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“Excellent Pool, Beach, Food, and Service” 5 of 5 stars
Review of BlueBay Grand Esmeralda

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BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Federal Chetumal- Puerto Juarez km 300 | Camino a la Pileta, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #120 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Edmonton, Canada
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Excellent Pool, Beach, Food, and Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

Recently, my boyfriend and I and another couple stayed at the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda for one week. It was the best week of my life! I have been to Mexico before a few times; and this resort was by far my favorite!
All of the buffets were excellent as well as the a la carte restaurants! I couldn’t believe it.
The service everywhere was great! The front desk, housekeeping, the luggage boys, the waiters/waitresses, the bartenders! Everyone was so well trained and friendly.
This resort had a great atmosphere; by the large pool there was music playing. By the smaller pool there was no music. It had everything for everyone! At night there was a disco on the beach which was really fun! There was also always so many lounging chairs by the pool and on the beach.
There was always lots of things going on by the pool and all the shows at night were great!
I would definitely come back to this resort and I would 100% recommend it to anyone who was looking for a relaxing day and a party filled night!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,709 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,190)
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English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

A great place to stay and relax! Great restaurants, especially the Italian and the Steakhouse! Staff was exceptionally friendly. Thank you to our many waiters: Juan, Wilfredo, Victor, and Antonio just to mention a few. Fantastic service! Our room was always immaculate with very cute towel art. Lots of attention to details all around the resort. Pool area was huge, always a chair when you wanted one in the sun or shade. Lots of birds,and other little critters. The lagoon on the left is a fantastic place to hang out. Would recommend this hotel any day! And be sure to do the Chichen Itza tour with Gonzalo!...worth every penny!

Room Tip: The Tulum building we stayed in is nice and close to the beach as are others as well.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington, New York
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

I came back to PDC to relax at the beach and enjoy the NFL Playoffs,
2games on Saturday @Sunday...1/12/13 @1/13/13
I do this every year, somewhere in the Caribbean.
I called 6 months prior to reservation , to ask
do you get American NFL football,
What size is tv, does your pay per view work,
How far is a garden view room from beach,
ALL responses yes, close to room , 5 minute

My room had no view, sight or smell of the
I had to take a tram 15 minutes to beach,
Beds were very loosely put together,and
moved while you were sleeping in them..
No American TV in first room,
Moved to better room, with more tv channels,
And NO Pay Per View or WiRELESS,
The hotel mgr. Was no help!
1 employee said to me you get
What you pay for!,
1800 for one person for 6nights..
Hotel thought I had 18 more nights
Prepaid according to CheapCarribean.
DO NOT STAY HERE , it's terrible in

Room Tip: Please do not stay here, it's huge , with no beach visible anywhere! Do you want to ride a tram...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

We been in BBGE in January 2013. Service was excellent , tips was expected. Room was clean and restaurants is always full with different kind of food.

However my biggest concern is the beach. Dirty and small. It is 100% NOT for kids and adults. I am not sure if I want spent 400$ for 8 nights only for pools with chlorine.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Kelowna, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

Funny how we, as long time visitors to many resorts on the Riviera Maya, still develope doubts when reading reviews from those who are not satisfied unless all is gold plated and free of charge. That being said we are a bit sheepish about having any concerns in the first place. Got home last night after 10 days at the BBGE. 4th floor, building 5. We loved it. Nice grounds, good food, excellent service. Again, EXCELLENT SERVICE. I can put up with a murky beach with roots under the water, noisy door slamming at 3.00 am, not enough 20 peso notes to be had for tips at the front desk and a "sports bar" that would be better re-designed as a nice lounge, given we're not all twenty somethings. These minor short comings are completely over shadowed by the great care and attention the staff gives to the guests. I absolutely must mention our concierge, Erick, who works the day shift at Buliding 5. Above and beyond the call of duty is the phrase that comes to mind. This young man is sharp, diplomatic, knowledgable, personable and does everything in his power to make your stay as pleasant as can be. In all our trips to Mexico, we have not been looked after as well as this fellow. If anyone from management reads this, a word of advice, give this young man a pat on the back, a day off and a raise or I just might hire him myself and that would be your great loss.

So is the resort perfect ? Of course not. If you find one, let me know. I do know that we just had the most pleasant experience that we have ever had at a resort in Mexico. See you next time.

Room Tip: Building 5 is very close to the beach, the pool and food. Also had a great view from 5410.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

I have been to BBGE 5 times now. I did end up purchasing one of the ownerships there for a one-bedroom swim-up unit. The last 2 times I have been in the same building (COBA) and I do need to comment that the building, rooms and furniture are starting to show their age with wear and tear. I think the need to upgrade the rooms a bit.

However, outside of that, the people at BBGE, the housekeeeping staff and the in general - BBGE employees are very friendly people with a genuine desire to make your vacation a good one.

Special mention must go to Francisco Miranda - he is the Concierge at the VIP Beach. My friends, family and I have all agreed that he is by far the BEST concierge. He is so professional, helpful, is always one step ahead in terms of anticipating what you might like or need. He has been there each time I have been to BBGE and I truly think he is a big part of why the experience has been so wonderful. Francisco should be teaching other staff or other hotels for that matter about how he approaches his role. We are confident that Fransisco could easily move to any European or North American 5+ star hotel and he would fit right in. His service and attitude elevates the service overall. On this last trip, the bartender was Claudia. She too was so professional and not to mention she made every beverage with care.

Thank you Francisco for making our VIP Beach experience the best.

Lori from Calgary, Alberta

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

People who are looking for an honest review here is one. I'm not the queen so my expectations are very moderate. I'm no diva, but I do have standards.

The highs and lows:

- Check in: I just came back from there a couple of days ago. During the time of year I went it wasn't very busy so check in was very fast and very easy. The front desk also gave us an option on where we like to stay. Either 2 double beds in a building close to a beach or a king bed in a building that was only 2 years old. We choose the new building that was only two years old because the king size bed sounded more appealing. We stayed in building 7. Looking at the map it may appear to be far from the lobby but is deceivingly close to the lobby, and sports bar. But quite a walk (10 mins) to the beach and main pool. (Shuttle busses come in handy at that point especially when you are planning to go back and fourth to the beach area. I have no bad comments for the lobby area. They seem to be running smoothly with a staff that has developed exceptional customer service skills. ***tip: if you do go during a busy time of year you can also check in at the concierge in the lobby instead of lining up at the front desk.

- Rooms: I really did enjoy the room. As my boyfriend and I entered the room we were very excited to explore what it had to offer. I've been to many resorts before and I really do appreciate a room that is up to date and modern because it creates a good and clean atmosphere. No tacky decor with bright colours, very settle and clean cut furniture. I really did enjoy the bathroom. It was a lot better than the bathroom I have at home. It appeared to be all marble which adds a nice touch for sophication. The showers are amazing tho ours tended to leak (it may be just ours tho) because the door was actually stuck and a bit open because the seal was not in place. There is a huge shower head and also another shower head you can freely move around. Loved it! The room provided us with a fridge that was stocked moderately not constantly. When we actually arrived to our room we found old baby food in the fridge and a hidden envelope which had a child's writing all over it. I doubt the maids would miss that because every time they cleaned the room.... They really cleaned everything! I assume the baby food was from a person that checked in... Wasn't satisfied with the room maybe because it was on ground floor... And moved right away forgetting n the baby food in the fridge. Or I could be wrong who knows. I didn't really care because everything else that was important was cleaned. I was just a bit sketched out until days would pass by and notice how clean the maids really were. *A big down fall for the rooms are that the walls and floors are very thin. And by thin I mean they don't have solid walls. Walls thin as at home where you can hear the vibrations of someone's voice or even hear a conversation that was going on in the room next to you. That thin. It was actually annoying. Especially because we had a lady who was above us that liked to wear heels inside her room and walked around with heels in her room......... ! I actually feel bad for whoever was beside us because my boyfriend and I are very loud people. **tip: tip your maid and they will be generous to you as we'll.

Pool and beach: the thing I enjoyed the most was the pool. The pool is honestly amazing! The resort is fairly big but I have been to larger resorts than BlueBay where walking to one end of the resort to another would take me 45mins. And yet Although BlueBay is smaller blue bays pool was triple The the size of the past resort which was larger than BlueBay. The main pool is actually two pools right beside each other. I would consider them as one pool tho since they are couple of steps away from each other. It is a very beautiful pool where some of the tanning beds are actually inside the pool. The down fall is that some swimmers may be disappointed because there is no actual deep end. I believe it's 4 ft all around. **tip: if you plan on going in the morning to the pool I suggest you get your blue towels and before you head into breakfast or lunch reserve a seat for yourself by the pool to avoid finding no seats later. It's safe to leave your towels there to reserve your tanning bench because everyone does it too. The beach is not the greatest. I mean those from Toronto if you have been to wasaga beach in collingwood it's not as dirty as that just with a bit more clear waters. The beach is still pretty dirty with the waves bringing in loads of rocks, bark, and sea weed. That is why I spent most of my days at the pool. Which I was satisfied with because it was beautiful. I was reading other reviews and they were saying that going past the resort and onto different resorts the beaches are apparently really clear blue.

- Restaurants:
My first day at the resort I was a bit disappointed grabbing lunch at the buffet. I know I was in Mexico but all of the food was just chips and pitas. No variety. And lets be honest... After a long flight we want a meal that's hot and will warm up our exhausted bellies. That was my only "disappointed" experience at the buffet tho. I'm not sure but the food kept on tasting better each day. I'm not sure if it was because we learned what to pick out and what not to pick out. Breakfast was def my favourite meal at the buffet, the lunch and dinner wasn't bad.. But repetitive.
The a la cartes overall were decent to good. The best a la carte would be the seafood (8/10) if you order the salmon/potato entree. It was honestly the best salmon I have ever had. If anyone has ever been to joeys restaurant in Toronto it is just as good as ordering the tuna club! The app and desert wasn't tasteful tho. But the entree was worth it. All of the service in the a la carte restaurants were very slow. They have excellent staff with good customer service skills tho but they are under staffed. Reading the other reviews people saying they had to wait to be seated and found the restaurant to be empty or saying they said they were all booked up but when we had a reservation there the restaurant was empty. - those type of reviews annoy me. They obviously don't understand the restaurant industry. If you're short staffed in your restaurant you def don't want to over seat a server. They are human and the resort is large and they are already taking more tables they can handle. So there's your explanation. They def work very hard tho and deserve credit and tips. You will def feel bad if you don't. Mexican was good(7/10), Italian was decent (6.5/10), steak was good(7/10), and I didn't get a chance to go to the other a la cartes. The staff in the restaurants are much nicer than the bartenders. The staff that worked in the restaurants are genuinely nice who like to help. The bartenders may be nice but are not genuine. And once they notice that you like to tip they try to be nicer but are clearly money hungry. They may make you special drinks but that don't really care to serve you. Most of the bartenders not all tho. The girls at the pool side are more pleasant to be served by.

- timeshare: my bf and I personally did not get approached by these time share people so we weren't bothered about them. But one morning we did notice some people that were oddly over dressed for breakfast and in a row of tables of 5 all 5 were sat down by time share people. It was actually funny. We couldn't see the people's face turn when they felt to pressured to buy a time share. I do agree with these reviews with time share. My mom actually purchased a time share with rci last summer while we were in Vegas and being naive as they were they bought into it. I feel really bad for her because it wasn't what they expected. Looking into the rci program before going on this vacation.. Going through rci I would have paid $200 for the room for both of us then one fee of $150 then... $ 80-150 a person each day for the all inclusive charge lol. So it was cheaper going through orbits and paying 950 each including flight. Because if u purchase the flight sep it is a lot more expensive. I believe the rci isn't good for all inclusive but is good for travelling in Asia or Europe or the states where you are paying just hotel. And if you travel with many people. I wouldn't suggest it tho. My mom paid 20 gs and still has to pay for each time she goes away with rci which is the 200 each room each week.

Photo lab: it closes at 9 and not 10. My boyfriend got into it with one of the workers there because it was our last night there and we really wanted to purchase some photos before we left and so we called the lobby to see what time they were closed. They said it closed at 10. We wanted to be sure since we had reservations to a restaurant. So we went there and they closed early and were very rude about it ( I guess who wouldn't be rude when they assumed that they can close the shop early and go home). She finally gave her email and let us in so we can write down the number code and email her when we've flown back home so she can email us the copy and we can pay by PayPal....

-cleanliness :
The resort was pretty clean. I mean any OCD person would say the resort was dirty but it was a very clean resort. I would say 8.5/10 for cleanliness.

- the animals!
I loved all if them. They aren't scary. If you feed one I whole pack will come. Which can be over whelming. We actually met two cats... We constantly saw the black cat with a white chest and paws. He recently got into a fresh fight and has open cuts. We took him back to our patio and feed him. He was very exhausted and haven't had rest in days. I hope he survives!

I know this was a long review but I was bored and I'm not employed until next week with my new job . This review will give you a great idea of the resort. I would recommend you go and I would go back after I experience the other resorts around the area. Couples resort too btw.

Good luck and have a good time!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about BlueBay Grand Esmeralda

Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal- Puerto Juarez km 300 | Camino a la Pileta, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#42 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#49 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#54 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#71 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#82 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — BlueBay Grand Esmeralda 4*
Number of rooms: 979
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located in an area of 445 acres in a prime position on the beach on the Riviera Maya, BlueBay Grand Esmeralda combines elegant Mayan features with contemporary design and a wide range of service to suit the most discerning traveller. BlueBay Grand Esmeralda provides a relaxed atmosphere for holiday makers. The Hotel features 979 elegant and well-appointed rooms and suites with the option of a sea or garden view. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Bay Esmeralda
Bluebay Grand Esmeralda Hotel
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Riviera Maya
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Mayan Riviera
Grand Esmeralda
Blue Bay Grand Esmerelda
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Resort
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Beach Resort Spa
Blue Bay Esmerelda
BlueBay Grand Esmeralda Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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