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“Great vacations at Paradisus la Esmeralda”

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Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda
Ranked #34 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed November 6, 2013

A very exceptional stay from October 5 to 16.
As Club Melia members this was our second vacation at this resort. This time we were joined by 3 members of our family and everybody really enjoyed the stay (11 days for us and a week for our family).
We have nothing to complain as service was exceptional and food too. We were normally having breakfast at Hadar (buffet with great selection) or La Palapa (a la carte), both served very good cafe latte. For lunch we were either go to Market Grill for fish or tapas, La Palapa or asking Carmen our beach bar tender bring us light meals on the beach.
We went to all the a la carte restaurants and really enjoyed the meals and service. Passion was exceptional for the gourmet food as well as service. We went to Vento twice and it was the best chicken Tikka our family has ever eaten, we also went to Fuego twice and food was delicious (try the tuna Tatami style) but service the 2nd time was good at best as the restaurant was busy (same happens last year). Hana and Mole were also very good. Only dinner at Market Grill (Rodizio style) was so so, but the atmosphere was festive as there was a outdoor Mayan type of show we could enjoy at Gaby beach.
Staff at Club Melia was very friendly and helpful especially Grizelda. Our friend and server Renau at La Palapa was one of the best at the resort and he was very attentive to our every need as well as Lizbeth the hostess which was always nice with us, always affable and smiling. We are looking forward to be back and meet them again next year.
We are used to travel in nice resorts and hotels and our family also and this hotel is among the best all inclusive in the Caribbean mostly because the staff is so attentive. The fact that we speak some Spanish with the people was really appreciated as they feel we were trying to establish better relations with them. Finally don't hesitate to tip them as they really work hard and long hours to please all of us this is a way to show them our appreciation, they don't ask for it but most of them deserve this little mark of appreciation.
Family Pilon

Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Gerald P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded November 9, 2013

Dear Pilon Family,

On behalf of all the staff at Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda, we want to take this opportunity to thank for believing and trusting on us.

It is always a great pleasure knowing that we exceeded your expectations and that we were able to create such a unique holiday experience.

We are happy to read you and your family had a great time in our property, to know you enjoyed our facilities and the dining experience we offer, but most of all we thank you for complimenting the service, as our team is the most important resource in our commitment to create memorable moments, We will surely congratulate Carmen, Griselda, Renau and Lizbeth in your behalf.

We look forward for your next holiday in Paradise.

Santiago Rivera
Hotel Manager
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,401 - 4,407 of 7,970 reviews

Reviewed November 5, 2013

Our young family of 4 (boy 3, girl 1) stayed at Paradisus La Esmeralda at the end of October 2013. We try to vacation at least once a year and have been to about half a dozen All-Inclusives in Playa del Carmen and the Caribbean. After a stressful year we decided to spend a little extra and treat ourselves to a premium all-inclusive vacation. After reading other reviews and awards on Tripadvisor I felt excited about our upcoming vacation to Paradisus La Esmeralda.

This was our first time to Paradisus but probably our last, due to a few hangups and surprises (which I'll get to below) that kept it from living up to our expectations and becoming a repeat destination for us.

First the good. The decor, food, service and staff were all excellent and definitely up to our expectations for a premium resort. La Esmeralda truly stands out in all of these categories and easily the best of all the properties we've visited to date. The staff were very friendly and genuine, most spoke English really well and went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable.

After check-in we were greeted by Ramon, who showed us around the property and checked in from time to time to see how we were doing throughout our stay. He helped us make restaurant reservations (must be done at least a day in advance, even though the resort was empty during our stay in the off-season) and offered daytrip options, which we declined to spend more time with our little ones instead. The restaurants were all exceptional, it was hard to believe they were part of an all-inclusive. I cannot say enough about the restaurant staff, who were super friendly and helpful.

We spent most of our time on the beach and in the 2 main family pools, which we and the kids absolutely loved. The beds by the swimming pool with the pirate ship were very comfortable. The towels come in kid and adult sizes, and they are available in any quantity. Other resorts make use of towel cards and require reservations of beds; there was none of that here, which is a big plus.

They did get a few things wrong, which mattered a lot to us. So here comes the bad...

1. No water sports. Several websites and brochures in the hotel room state that they offer water sports, including windsurfing ONSITE (according to Expedia). I did a lot of research looking for a vacation spot where I could windsurf for a couple hours while the rest of the family is napping. I was disappointed to find out that this property has no windsurfing or catamaran equipment onsite once we arrived. The only water sport options present are canoes. The nearest windsurfing and catamaran rental spot is about a couple miles down the beach. Hotel staff explained their misleading brochures by stating that that they can shuttle their guests to another location where they can do water sports. That didn't work for me, since that left no time to windsurf in a place where my family could easily find me.
Link to Expedia, which as of this date, still has misleading information (not sure where they got this information from, but likely from Paradisus): http://www.expedia.com/Riviera-Maya-Hotels-Paradisus-Playa-Del-Carmen-La-Esmeralda-All-Inclusive.h4488514.Hotel-Information

2. The professional photography pricing is poorly thought out. During our stay we were approached no less than 6 times by onsite photography staff offering a "free" photo session. This was definitely annoying, but we decided to try it anyway. The proposition is that a professional photographer spend about 30 minutes to an hour with us taking photos throughout the resort. Photos can then be bought a-la-carte after the session with no commitment beforehand. The photographer Tati did a great job with our kids, who usually don't like to be photographed. She took some amazing photos, and we ended up with about 100 photos that we liked, which was way more than what we originally expected. When we asked the staff member what kind of package deals they offer to get all the photos she got real quiet and wrote down a number on a piece of paper that looked like a ransom note - $1300. At first I thought she meant that was in pesos, but no, that was in US dollars. What a joke... It was insulting and we were ready to walk out, but it was too painful to say no to wonderful photos of our own children. The photos were so good that I was willing to pay $300 for the whole lot, which is still more than generous for less than an hour of photography, but after fruitless argument I ended up buying $159 worth for 13 pictures (12x$12 + 1x$15 with a monkey). We had to say no to some really great pictures, which was a painful and frustrating experience to say the least... In the end, everyone lost something and I still feel bitter about that experience. The next time someone approached us about this great "free" photo session, I let her know about our experience, so hopefully they will do something about it, but for now I'd recommend to stay away because it can be heartbreaking and infuriating at the same time.

3. The room configuration is also poorly thought out and rooms are not "suites" as they are called. If you look up the definition of the word "suite" in a dictionary (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/suite) you will find under bullet #3 "A series of connected rooms used as a living unit". I am a business traveler, so I am very familiar with the word, which to me means at least two rooms connected together. We were disappointed to find out that our "luxury junior suite" was just a room with a bathtub, shower and toilet. Putting our two kids to sleep was going to become a lot more difficult because we couldn't separate them. There was no option of a sliding curtain to separate the room into two halves, like we've seen at other resorts. So naturally I wanted to know what our options were. The rooms next level up on the upgrade list are "one bedroom suite" rooms with tiny (double) beds and tiny rooms. Sleeping with my wife in the same bed was not an option with this configuration, so the next level up from that is a two bedroom master suite, the equivalent of a penthouse, at $120 per night extra in the offseason. We ended up staying with our original room and keeping my son awake outside each night until he was exhausted and the baby was already sleeping in the room. The room configuration was the most baffling for us because for a hotel that prides itself on being family focused, this seemed like a no-brainer to get right. Families with more than one child will want to have some privacy and a king (or at least a queen size bed) for mom and dad to sleep in together. The only option that offers that is a master two bedroom suite.

Ramon was very helpful, savvy and professional. He helped us throughout our stay and when we shared #1 and #3 with him he backed off from try to sell us a comeback visit, but that didn't stop another sales consultant from hounding us each time he would bump into us. He kept asking us to go to a sales presentation and just didn't get the hint that #1 and #3 were dealbreakers to us.

Needless to say we won't be coming back, but it's a shame, because Paradisus did get a lot of things right. Our experience was closer to a 3 out of 5, but to be objective, for a family with one child and no interest in water sports I could see how it could be a 4 or a 5 out of 5.

To us, La Esmeralda still ranked behind Iberostar Rose Hall Suites and possibly even Now Saphire due to these issues. Lesson learned, sometimes more expensive doesn't mean better and no matter how much research you do, sometimes you get burned by surprises.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank Sergei V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded November 9, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking some of your valuable time to post a review on Tripadvisor and for sharing your comments with us.

One of our top priorities is to provide the highest quality service level beyond our guest expectations; we are delighted to read all your compliments on the facilities, the culinary experience we offer, which is one of our most important attributes and your compliments to our team.

We want you to know that the comments and observations we receive from our guests are always taken very seriously, as they tell us what we are doing right, wrong, and how we can improve it, which is why we truly appreciate your willingness to share your impressions. You can be sure that your comments and concerns are already in the hands of our heads department, as we are always in the pursuit of exceeding your expectations and provide you the reasons to come back.

Thank you again for your value review and for visiting us, we hope to have the privilege to host you once again in a near future and exceed your expectations.

Santiago Rivera
Hotel Manager
Paradisis Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2013

Overall we really enjoyed our experience here. Our check-in was a little odd as I'm not sure if we were given the room upgrade as promised by Costco, but we had a swim up suite, so I thought we had. The only concern was the room that we were in with our 2 kids had 2 beds. Both were doubles. Luckily our kids are small, but my wife and I felt that we were sleeping on each other every night. The swim up was fantastic and we enjoyed it, but didn't use it was much as I would have thought. The pools were very warm and I was concerned before going as other said it was cold. We did have wonderful weather so that may have been the reason. You have to book your restaurant reservations for the week upon check-in and ours were a bit messed up. (We didn't have a reservation one night and I had to spend some time with the staff to resolve this.) This seemed really strange as most of the restaurants were empty when we were there. I understand they want to give the best service to everyone, but I can tell you that a reservation system would do this for you, and this was the biggest waste of time on my trip. My wife also has a dairy and gluten allergy, we were promised a card to tell the staff about this, but we didn't get it until a few days before we left. All of the food was fantastic, and the wait staff was incredible. We never went without a drink or some food for the week. The beach was spectacular, ocean was soooooo soooo warm. The property was very well maintained and my wife just loved the smells that were in the lobby area. They told us that the hotel is trying to get to a 5 star rating and I think they are very close. Again I would invest in a better reservation system and I think you are there. Loved the trip and had a fantastic time.

Room Tip: Pick a swim up for the kids, but make sure you get bigger beds than we had. They should be both at...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Parkhad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2013

Dear Guest,

We would like to extend you our gratitude for selecting us to celebrate your vacation, and for sharing the impressions of your recent stay.

It is a pleasure for us to read you had a fantastic stay at Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda; also we are happy to learn you enjoyed our facilities, the pool area the beach area the culinary experience and to know that the service provided for our team was always focused in your total satisfaction.

You may feel assured that we took good notes from your particular observations, in order to provide all of you unforgettable experiences.

Thank you again for your value review and for visiting us and we hope to have the privilege to host you once again in a near future.

Alan Becerril
Quality Manager

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Reviewed November 4, 2013

i traveled to the paradissus with my husband and three children, ages 8, 10 ,12 for the holiday weekend. this was our 5th time going to the riviera maya area. when we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised by the staff and the resort. everything about our stay was exceptional. our room was the nicest of all the resorts we had been to. the resort was at 20% capacity, which made us feel like we were extra special. the beach was not amazing and was small, but there was a BBQ and bar set up on the beach which served incredible burgers. the restaurants were by far the best of all the resorts we've visited. very high end. the pool had a "jungle gym" blow up that kept kids busy, they felt like they were on wipe out.
i typically do all the research for my vacations on my own and book everything separately. this time however, i used TRIPGUY.COM. THE BEST THING I'VE EVER DONE! mitch helped me through the whole process. initially, when i contacted him, i thought i could still get a better deal on my own. but after extensive research, his prices were much better. he was so knowledgeable about each resort and gave me an educated recommendation. he arranged my private transportation. i made a mistake and didn't print out my voucher, so when i arrived to cancun, i didn't have it. so i emailed him and he immediately called me back and fixed everything. when we arrived in our room, he had left us a very sweet note and a bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries!

Room Tip: second floor was perfect
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Bessie123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for selecting us as a destination for your vacation.

It is always a great pleasure knowing that we exceeded your expectations and that we were able to create such a unique holiday experience. We want to ensure that once you walk through our lobby doors, you’re able to relax and enjoy every moment of your vacation.

We are very pleased to read you enjoyed our Resort, the pool area and the dining experience we offer, our main goal is the total satisfaction of our guests, thank you for letting us accomplish that goal.

We look forward for your next holiday in Paradise.

Alan Becerril
Quality Manager

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Reviewed October 27, 2013

We were consistently impressed with the high quality of service in Naos restaurant, where we had daily breakfast. Alejandro and Gilberto were outstanding, even remembering that only two of us drank our coffee with milk. They offered good service without infringing on our relaxation or privacy. Our week-long vacation was made even more enjoyable with the incredible member service we received from Griselda in Club Melia. It was a terrific trip and we are planning on returning next year.

Room Tip: Choose the swim-up rooms. They're fun and convenient.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank sbate2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your wonderful feedback with us here on TripAdvisor

We greatly appreciate all of your kind words and we are thrilled to know that you had such a terrific trip.

As for the staff members you have mentioned in your review, we will make sure to pass on your kind comments to all of them, whom we are sure did everything out of love in order to make your stay unforgettable.

We look forward to pampering you once again in the near future.

Alan Becerril
Quality Manager

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Reviewed October 26, 2013

I recently stayed at the Paradisus with a corp. group of about 70 people. As their meeting planner I always seek a great hotel with courteous hotel staff, great food and ambience! All of which were met by having one of the best convention group coordinators, Alain Velazquez, who was by my side helping me out! I want to thank him and his staff/hotel for their support and assistance. In the future, I want to work side by side with him again, as I know I will be in good hands! Thank you Alain!

As for the food, their various restaurants stand out in the normal line of All Inclusive Resorts, my favorite, VENTO Rest. is a must! The are lots to do in this beautiful property, my favorite is the RED Lounge after a long day of meetings this was my hide away spot.

I'm definitely, going back with another group soon!

Room Tip: Stay at THE PERLA, all adult side of the resort and a bit more quiet...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Liz N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for reviewing your recent experience at Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda.

On behalf of all the staff at Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda, we want to take this opportunity to thank for believing and trusting on us for this important group event, one of our top priorities is to provide the highest quality service always oriented in the satisfaction of our guests.

We are glad to read even you were here for a business trip; you enjoyed our facilities and the dining experience we offer. We really appreciate your compliments towards Alain Velazquez: he is a big asset of Paradisus Playa del Carmen; we will surely congratulate him in your behalf.

We look forward to welcome you once more very soon.

Alan Becerril
Quality Manager

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Reviewed October 25, 2013

Magic and memorable!!! I stayed at the family concierge with my family and everything was perfect. A beautiful hotel, great food, excellent service. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who wants a top notch experience.


  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with Melia Hotels International
2  Thank Jairo Adolfo N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded October 28, 2013

Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for visiting us and recommending us to future travelers.

We are delighted to read that you spent an awesome time in our property. It is always a great pleasure knowing that we exceeded your expectations and that we were able to create such a magic and memorable experience.

One of our top priorities is to provide the highest quality service; we appreciate your kind words. We hope this is the first of many more times we will have the pleasure to host you at the Riviera Maya.

Alan Becerril
Quality Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda

Address: 5a Avenida | corner Calle 112, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#7 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $326 - $1,164 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda 4.5*
Number of rooms: 488
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the beach and surrounded by mangrove trees, Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda is an all-inclusive four Diamond resort with its promise of all-inclusive fun and LUXExclusive experience designed with the entire family. All suites feature a private balcony or terrace and include air conditioning with climate control, free Wi-Fi, 24-hour room Service, cable TV service, Minibar, in-room safe, complimentary toiletries, bathrobes, living area with sofa and a coffee maker. Services for relaxation and pampering include a YHI Spa, a hair salon ($), 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

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