Hotel is located in a HUGE property. 8 Buildings (or 9 (?)) with about 90-100+ rooms per building. 2 Concierge per building to arrange for dinner reservations, tours etc etc. Trams/Trains take you around the property for those not inclined to walk...
The beach is NOT swimmable. Dark waters, full of seaweeds. Go to Cancun/Isla Mujeres/Playa Del Carmen if your main purpose in to get in the water. Having said that, if you walk to the left, facing the beach from the resort, about a kilometer or so, there is a swimmable beach by the Tres Rios Hotel Complex. Great snorkeliing also in that area.
Food was EXCELLENT for an all-inclusive. The buffet in fact was better (IMHO) than the seat down/reservation required, restaurants. Definitely skip the Oriental.
I have never been to a resort where there are so many smokers!!! They are everywhere!!! Maybe it's because at least 80% of the guests (at least when we were there) were Europeans. I smoke myself (stupid, I know, but at least I'm trying to quit) so this did not really bother me but it was an issue with my wife and teenage daughter. Also, if you smoke, make sure you have enough cigs with you as the cigarrete prices in the hotel are about 300-400% higher than outside. I actually befriended a waiter at the sports bar so she can buy me my stogies when she went home. Gave her a $5 tip for the favor and still saved TONS of $$$ : )
Rooms are more than adequate. Mini bar in the room are included, Cokes, beers etc etc.... Friendly enough service from the front desk to the waiters, housekeeping staff. No complaints there.
Pool area was decent. Water was too cold though, so lying around and sunbathing is an option but getting in the water itself was not. We were there in January so maybe that had something to do with it.
The show at night by the sports bar is nothing out of this world, good, but nothing to write home about.
Stay here for the food and the drinks, and the decent, well equipped rooms. If you are looking to get in the water, snorkel etc etc, then skip this place. You are better of going to PDC or Cancun. If you prefer something off the beaten path then consider Tulum or even Isla Mujeres, a 15 minute ferry ride from Cancun but worlds apart from Cancun.
Bootom Line: For an all-inclusive (I have been to several, in different countries), food wise, i'll give this place 10 stars out of 10. Drink wise, also a 10 out of 10. If all you want is to eat and party then this place is definitely for you. If you are looking for something more than that then you can do better....
- 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