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“Don't Stay Here”

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BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
Ranked #98 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
London
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Don't Stay Here”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Awful place, decor from the 80s in the rooms. The beach was beautiful many years ago before the storms hit and now it's a very average view. The water is not nice. We were there in January this year. The place was suited for couples or young families who don't want to do anything and do not mind about their surroundings. Lots of mosquitoes in some of the rooms. The food was not so bad just gets repetitive. Another annoying thing is you have to book the all-inclusive restaurant the day before and you can not do it over the phone. Ridiculous! Also they clean the hall ways very early in the morning which disturbed the sleep of many guests. In the spa they slapped on a tip on my friends bill without asking.
Service was the most rude and aggressive that I have ever come across in my life. My firend ordered a movie in her room but the receiver broke after 7 seconds so we could not watch it. A service man came but could not fix it - we can not speak Spanish well and he could not speak English at all. We did manage to convey that we would speak to reception the next morning. On check out the next morning we were charged for it, we explained the situation but they did not understand and checked the logs which show the movie had started which it did but their logs do not log that we did not watch more than 7 seconds. Moreover, we asked them to check with the service man but they did not locate ther person who had come the night before. He would have been able to prove that the movie was not showing on the TV. They thought we were trying to not pay for a movie we had watched (I understand that some dishonest people would do this). This was NOT the case with us and the manager and staff were RUDE, threatening and aggressive. My friend was angry I do not deny but that is NOT customer service. The trouble was in my opinion that this was a language barrier BUT I was astounded by their rude aggressive behaviour. This is the worse hotel experience I have had. The rest of the qualities about the hotel are not worth mentioning. If you do go there walk left of the beach as far as you can go and there is a gorgeous beach which makes you realise what you are missing. Bluebay need some customer service training and upgrading to call this a 4 star. More like a 3 star but due to the service I would say 2. Go and stay anywhere else.

Room Tip: Not this hotel - go somewhere else
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank 777Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

I am confused by the negative reviews on here... Maybe we didnt stay at the hotel because Im outstanded by what people are moaning about?!
I admit I havent rated this 5 stars purely as to recieve a 5 from me it would have to be out of this world amazing but defintely worth a 4 and after dreading the holiday due to the negative reviews I can honestly say if youre a normal person with normal expectations youll be fine. Thanks BlueBay :) wed def come again

  • Stayed September 2012
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Helpful?
5 Thank LAPSJE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2012

My wife, daughter, and I stayed at Bluebay during the last week in September. We booked this as a square deal through Apple vacations where you didn't know where you were staying until you arrived at the airport to leave. The discount for doing this is nice but I should have known to follow the old adage of "you get what you pay for".
The good: Our room was very nice, well cooled, clean, and well-maintained for the duration of our trip. We stayed in Building 4 which is literally 25 yards from the pool. That was very convenient. The only downside is that you are a good distance from the lobby, the sports bar, and most of the restaurants. This is pretty standard at most Riviera Maya resorts so it isn't fair to hold that against them. The service in the breakfast/lunch buffet was very good at each meal. This is largely due to the fact that we were taken care of by Jose Cruz every time we were there. He was our server at our very first meal and is outstanding! We made sure that we sat with him every time we were there. Service at the other restaurants was not bad but nothing that would wow you. Samuel and Marco at the swing bar were excellent bartenders and you could never have an empty drink if they were there. Otherwise, at the sports bar or around the pool it was often difficult to find someone to get you a drink. It was easier just to get it yourself.
The bad: As soon as we arrived we were greeted by a lady who said that after we checked in to come see her and she would get us settled in and explain things to us. Well, this is the dreaded Circle One pitch which is nothing more than a timeshare hard sell. It is very disappointing that it is such a full court press right in the lobby as soon as you walk in. Second, the beach is as described in other reviews. It's just not very nice with the green color, debris in the water, and muddy bottom. You can find areas that are better than others but overall it is far below the Caribbean beach paradise I've seen at other resorts. Third, the shows at the sports bar are far below the standard that I've seen in other locations and very short lasting only about an hour. It is very telling by the amount of people who show up for them. It is hot, stuffy, and the sound is poor. The entertainers are up there trying but it's just not up to par. Fourth, the food at most of the buffets is average at best. My family and I are far from snobs and will generally eat anything you put in front of us. You can find something if you look hard enough but overall I would rate it average. We were only able to eat at one ala carte restaurant (seafood) despite the resort being very empty due to off-season timing. The seafood paella was very good but the rest was again very average. Not worth a 90 minute dinner when the dinner buffet was at least as good if not better. Fifth, the concierge service in the lobby was very helpful but at the building itself it was non-existent. If the 15 minute break sign was up on the desk you should not expect to see anyone for an hour at least. On the last morning we called for a bellman to come with a cart for our bags at 8am because our transportation was leaving the lobby at 8:35. By 8:10 when no one had arrived we decided we couldn't wait any longer and began the trek to the lobby, bags in tow. As we passed the concierge, he offered to call someone. I explained that we had already called and no one had come and we had to get going. At no time during our walk did anyone meet us or come to get us or even apologize for the mistake. We drug our bags up the hill, through the lobby, and deposited them at the feet of the bellman. Lastly, the worst part about the trip is that for lack of a better word, it was just boring. We have stayed at other resorts and been thoroughly entertained by the staff, poolside games, activities, and shows. At Bluebay there is none of this, it is good if you are looking to do absolutely nothing because that is all there is to do. That works for about a day and a half and then I'm looking for something more. Overall, our visit was not terrible but it was not great either. For the first time in our four trips to a Riviera Maya resort, by the last day we were all ready to go home. Usually, we are being drug kicking and screaming to the airport. I cannot say that I would recommend this resort or would ever go back.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank CJS2323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2012

This was my second trip to Mexico and this time we talked two other couples into comining with us , this was there first time. So let me start off by saying we would return in a heart beat everyone of us, we got there were welcomed with a nice drink and smiles. Check in was great and fast now they did try and get us to go to the welcome breakfast lol ( timeshare) but we told them we had a long day and that we were not interested, They did ask a few other times but never were rud at all. Also to let you know this happens at most places not just them. Our rooms were wonderful big and the beds were the next best thing to my own . pool was wonderful swing bar was so much fun people were always so friendly. O.k food it wasn't bad at all we all found things to eat and things we would not lol. The al a cart was a different story Mexican was just ok . sea food not one of us liked and we had men that will eat anything lol, french was wonderful and we all wished we had eaten there every night. TIP: men bring long pants lots of upset people that could not eat because they forgot some type of pants even in the off season this is a rule they will not bend. beach in spots not great but some were lovely and we like the pool anyways.. Last yes this is a very large place but so wonderful walking isn't bad and helps ladies to wear off the food and drink lol go have a blast you will love it

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lisa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2012

My wife and i usually go for 10 days with another couple and we always have a great time. The staff here is excellent always pleasant and helpful. An extra special thanks to Francesco and Mario in the VIP beach / bar area. It's people like this who go out of their way to create a fantastic atmosphere and make a vacation special. If you see Mario at the bar ask him to make you a Golden Martin Martini and ask about his brother Ricky lol.Don't let Francesco fool you he's really a Canadian.
Our rooms have always been clean and well kept. We only really are in the room to sleep and change for dinner so we are not to picky.
The food is very good on the buffets and we enjoy the Steak House, Oriental,Italian and Mexican a la carte's. We didn't like the Seafood a la carte and we haven't tried the French a la carte . Ask for a flaming Mexican coffee they put on a nice show at the table for you. If you are expecting the same quality of food as at home in a nice restaurant you will be a bit disappointed its not to that level but still quite good.We have also stayed at Gran Bahia Principe Coba just up the coast and the a la carte's where of the same quality but the buffets were not as good. We have also stayed at the Riu Yucatan the first year it opened. The food there was truly fabulous but it is a much more expensive resort.
There is no shortage of things to do with a full schedule of activities at the resort and everything the Mayan area has to offer.
The beach is nice and sandy with plenty of loungers for all. The only real downside to this place is if you want to swim in the sea here its not so nice the water isn't very clear and the bottom is more muddy than sandy and a bit weedy.The pools have always been clean when we were here. They don't have a pool bar i miss that. The sports bar/disco where all there evening shows are needs something to help the atmosphere and a sound system upgrade.
Don't get sucked in to the time share demo unless you are really interested in it they will use up your whole day and it is a pretty hard sell situation. If you do decide to go cut your self a better deal than what they offer you to go remember what a days vacation is worth to you.We got $150 to spend at the resort and spa passes.

Room Tip: buildings 6 and 7 are a bit out of the way but have there own pool .We like building 5 ocean side.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Ron B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rushden
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2012 via mobile

I stayed here with my girlfriend in September for 2 weeks.

We were really looking forward to staying but felt a bit let down by certain things in the hotel. We have stayed in quite a few hotels before and were expecting a little more from this hotel.

There are a number of problems with the hotel, the smell from the mangroves is awful, the non air conned restaurants (sweating whilst eating isn't great), the entertainment at night is poor, the cleaners opening all the doors in the room every day to let in a load more Mosquitos that you then have to kill isn't great, the cost of everything in the shop is ridiculous. The bathrooms were a bit dated. Some of the staff are rude, and ignore you, some are friendly though. The pool is really shallow which was annoying. The ala carte restaurants that you have to book are strange, struggle to get a time slot and when you go in they are pretty empty!

On the plus side we were there when the hotel was only half full so didn't have to queue in the restaurants, and there where a lot of sun beds available. You can have all the branded alcohol for free. There is a bus that shuttles you around the hotel which is good. The food was alright and we never struggled to find anything to eat.

On the whole it wasn't the worst hotel and we did have a nice break, just think if they addressed a few of my points they would have a good hotel. I wouldn't go back as it is.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bellmo83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2012

Let me first of all say that this hotel was exactly what we expected...you get what you pay for.
The advantages are that the beach was amazing as was the scenery, the buildings were very nice, and the room was very spacious and comfortable. The food was excellent and the variety was great. The drinks were average in standard and the margheritas were exquisite!!! The beach bar with the swings was such a nice touch and in the evening it was a terrific place to chil with some music and meet new people.
The disadvantages however are the fact that the staff although were friendly were very very lazy and it would take them forever to get an order right. The drinks were served in glasses which frankly did not seem very clean. Although there were golf buggys taking you from the rooms to the lobby theses were very infrequent and the walk in the midday heat was unbearable. The fire alarm went off in the middle of the night several times in the first 3 days and when u inform the staff they pretend that it didnt happen and no one else heard it!!!!! they fixed it for the fourth night, but that was a major negative point for us!
Overall it was a very comfortable stay. The price was fair and I would certainly reccomend this hotel, but would give it a 4 star rating max!!

Room Tip: I would certainly go for an upgraded roo with a seaview as on the ground floor these have their own...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank maroo3
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

Property: 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
Amenities:
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:
#50 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#55 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#57 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#67 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#78 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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