We spent a week at Paradisus la Esmeralda in April 2014. Our stay started with a few hick-ups: we arrived very late and our two kids (ages 6 and 4) were asleep. The lock of our room did not work, it took a while for the security staff to fix it and they delayed delivery of our luggage. However, the management apologized and compensated us fairly for this inconvenience. After that our stay was amazing. We got the family concierge service, which I would highly recommend. Our concierge was Virginia, and she did an excellent job throughout our stay, helping us with restaurant reservations, items in our room, transfer bookings, making surprises for our kids, such as a wonderful bubble bath, cookies, treasure hunt, etc. I would also highlight Ivan, who helped us through the issues upon our arrival, and Gerardo, the manager, who handled the matters very promptly and professionally. I also wanted to point out the staff at the kids club, who created an unforgettable experience for our kids. It was the actions of the above individuals who turned this vacation from a rough start to an experience worthy of a 5 star rating.
Now, the specifics: I will not describe the resort - there is plenty of that in other reviews. But I will share some of our impressions and comments.
Rooms: Very new and well maintained (resort was built in 2011). We traveled to a number of all inclusives in Mexico/Caribbean - these were by far the best rooms we've seen. We had a one bedroom suite, but I saw other rooms - they were quite nice too.
The pool: There is a main pool and the family concierge pool. Both are nice. The family concierge pool is quieter and less crowded. Some reviewers complained about not being able to find chairs/umbrella and other guests reserving them early. We were staying during the high season, so this was indeed an issue. By 9am it was hard to find a good space near the pool. However, the staff went above and beyond to help in bringing chairs and setting up an umbrella. Israel in the concierge area deserves an honorable mention.
About "reserving" the chairs/umbrellas by leaving your stuff on them. Every single resort we've been to has a policy against that. And in each case it is completely unenforceable. This is not a resort's fault. It is just impossible to enforce. Is it ok to leave your stuff on the chairs to go to the bathroom? I suppose it is. Is it ok to do the same and go for 20 min to the room to change? How about a quick meal at the bar? There is no objective time limit and the resort staff is in no position to enforce it. It is up to the guests to be reasonable, and you will see those who are and those who are not.
Bottom line - in the morning it was certainly possible to get decent chairs by the pool. But for those who ventured out of their rooms at 11am it was indeed an issue.
Beach: It is a bit narrow and once you enter the water, there is about 20 feet stretch where you can't see the bottom... and yes- there are some rocks, seaweed, etc. But this is part of the nature, I think they try to clean it to the extent possible. There is a public beach next to the resort, it is bigger and we went there for a swim on a few occasions. I played some beach volleyball there - animation staff was great in both organizing and participating.
Food: I found it to be very high quality for an all inclusive resort. We live in New York City, so we are not deprived of good restaurants. But we certainly did enjoy the meals at Paradisus. Especially the grilled items. We liked "the Market" restaurant the best - it is in open air and you get some nice breeze from the sea.
Kid's club: Our kids have greatly enjoyed it. They have 2 groups: under 5 and 5 plus. THe younger group stays indoors, the older group has a variety of outdoor activities. THe club is also open in the evenings until 10pm - something I never saw in other resorts.
Overall - this was an amazing family vacation. We wanted to extend by a couple of days, but the airline was not nearly as cooperative and friendly as the resort staff. We will return next year!
- 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