Our family (2 adults, 2 kids ages 8 & 6) just came home from a week at the Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda (family side of the resort). This is our 2nd experience with the Paradisus brand. Two years ago, we stayed at the Paradisus Palma Real The Reserve in Punta Cana, DR. We had such an amazing time in the DR and at the resort that we wanted to check out the Mayan Riviera with the kids and stay at the Paradisus Playa Del Carmen. The resort is a little over 30 minutes away from the Cancun airport. We booked our travel through AMEX and reserved a private van to pick us up from the airport and take us to the resort (highly recommend). We booked through Olympus Tours - very professional! The resort is in Playa Del Carmen and has a very urban feel to it as you drive through neighborhoods to get to the entrance to the resort. Their is a gate & security at the entrance - so very safe though. The La Esmeralda side (family) has a beautiful entrance with modern furnishings and an amazing fragrance that greets you as you step out of the van. From the moment we arrived, we were greeted with smiling staff always willing to help! The check-in process was a breeze and in a matter of a few minutes...we were taken to our room.
We booked a One Bedroom Master Swim-Up suite...it was very large with a small foyer (closet and place to put a suitcase), kitchenette (sink, microwave, countertop, stocked fridge, etc), large dining table & chairs, living area with TV (pull out couch for the kids), large master bedroom with comfy king bed and TV and a really nice bathroom. We were on the first floor - room 2030 with an entrance into the pool (swim up suite). We saw these types of rooms in the DR and thought it would be fun. The kids really enjoyed this feature...just being able to take a dip in the pool right outside our room. The spacious patio had a table, 4 chairs, love seat and a jacuzzi tub. The kids took tubbies almost every day to wash off the chlorine, sand, etc from the day's fun! We did not upgrade to Family Concierge...didn't feel it was worth the extra $$$. We had no problem getting dinner reservations each night (contact guest services in the main lobby each day to make resi's). Our kids enjoyed the main pool each day, so no need for the special FC pool.
**Pools, Special Activities, Beach**
Our room was just off the main pool - the kids really loved the blow-up Obstacle Course they had all week in the pool. Lots of fun climbing on it. They also used the kids pool too - with the pirate ship, small water slides, etc. While my husband and I enjoy the beach and ocean, our kids love the pool (and they always win that battle). The beach was a short walk away but not too bad. The water was rough - so not as relaxing to take a dip in the ocean but it wasn't a big deal for us. The sand was soft and the color of the water was amazing - bright blue!!! We rented wave runners and the kids thought that was awesome. We also took out sea kayaks - fun but a little rough in the water. My 8 year old had a hard time paddling with me! My daughter and I enjoyed the Zumba, Water Aerobics and Hip Hop lessons...we also sat through a "Making Guacamole" lesson as well that was interesting. Luis at the pool was awesome...he was very attentive and always brought us margaritas and Tecate Light's for us!!! The staff at the pool work REALLY hard....they were always cleaning up, helping guests, etc. No request was too much...
For breakfast, we ate at the buffet (Naos) each morning and it was delicious. The made to order omelets were awesome. Lunch was usually by the pool at Sunrise Grill...yummy ceviche and fresh salads/sandwiches. The kids loved the nachos and hot dogs. Easy!! We had some good dinners as well...for us, it's about the kids & what is easy for them - each of the restaurants have a special kids menu with chicken fingers, pasta, pizza, etc. We really appreciated it! Vento was awesome - Mediterranean style food. The Market was good too - although the mosquitos were bad the two nights we ate here so that was a bummer. But the food was good! The asian restaurant (name escapes me) was awesome - great hibachi show! The food was fresh and very good.
I only have a couple negatives...
1. The Kids Club in the DR was just outside the family pool - so it made it easy to be a part of some of the activities and keep tabs on the kids all at the same time. Our kids utilized the DR kids club almost every day. This trip, the Kids Club was in the main lobby and it felt very removed from the main part of the resort. Our kids do NOT like to be dropped off at unknown places so that was not an option for us this trip. We did not experience any of the Kids Club activities in Mexico.
2. There were several weddings, receptions, work events going on while were staying at La Esmeralda. The noise was very loud from the receptions and they were set up pool-side in the family section of the resort. I was surprised that they didn't have a special section to host group gatherings...a place that was removed from families trying to get some sleep with their young kids.
3. The 3rd issue is NOT the resorts fault at all....but there were several large groups (here for weddings) staying at the resort. They basically took over the pool area, swim up bar and lounge chairs near the kids pool. Super annoying for a family who was trying to relax and just enjoy a vacation. There was nothing that the resort could do - but it was just annoying to listen to the groups yell at each other from across the pool and crowd the swim up bar, wait staff, etc.
We are a family of 4 from Boston who loves to go on nice vacations...this resort met (and exceeded ) all of our needs! It's a very luxurious place with amazing staff & service. We hope to return some day (soon!!).
p.s. We also took a Taxi to Playa Del Carmen and shopped 5th Avenue. Fun! Another trip we took outside of the resort, was a half day excursion to Tulum. It was HOT...and unfortunately, we could not climb on the ruins (as my son was hoping to do). They had them all roped off due to vandalism a few years ago (totally understand).
Hope this review helps!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on the beach and surrounded by mangrove trees, Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda is an all-inclusive four Diamond resort with its promise of all-inclusive fun and LUXExclusive experience designed with the entire family. All suites feature a private balcony or terrace and include air conditioning with climate control, free Wi-Fi, 24-hour room Service, cable TV service, Minibar, in-room safe, complimentary toiletries, bathrobes, living area with sofa and a coffee maker. Services for relaxation and pampering include a YHI Spa, a hair salon ($), Wedding services, tours/ticket assistance and a business center. World-class facilities including Family Concierge ($), Fitness, YHI Kids, Kids Zone, Kids Club, Baby Club, Game Room, Life enriching experience, Kids Pool. The resort offers 14 restaurants to choose from which are open daily. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda Riviera Maya, Mexico