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“All in all a good place to go”

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BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
Ranked #100 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Reviewed March 29, 2013

My wife and I went to this resort with two other couples. At check-in we found out that the reservation was screwed up but the people at the desk promptly made it right. We stayed in building 5 in a king room. The room was very nice with a large tile walkin shower. We had a partial ocen very with a woods area right behind us. This area is full of small animals which are a type of lemar. They are harless but always come running up looking for handouts when you go out on the patio. I would suggest not getting a ground floor room if this would bother you and if you are on the first floor definitely don't leave your patio door open.

The grounds and pool was very nice. The food was good at the buffets, but when you get tired of buffet food the resort has several specialty restaurants, at no extra cost, that are excellent and easy to get reservations. The choices are Mexican, Italian, french, asian, steak and seafood. I would recommend them all.

The beach is nice although it is rocky once you get into the sea.

All in all I would recommend this resort.

Room Tip: Stay in building five if possible. Try the specialty restaurants. They are all very good. You have t...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Tom n Barb K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,772 - 3,778 of 9,722 reviews

Reviewed March 28, 2013

My wife/I and another couple, mid-thirties, stayed in January of 2013. We were looking for a budget friendly 4 star (mostly meaning non-buffet choices for dinner) in the Riveria Maya area. We take trips to this region annually and this was the least expensive trip we have taken in some time, so I'll try and keep that in mind during the review.

Check in was standard for this class of hotel, nothing luxurious or overwhelming, but prompt and acceptable after a brief wait for our room to be prepared. The resort is a healthy size and the golf cart was appreciated.

Room was a free upgrade by the beach for our anniversary, which we requested in advance and was honored. Once again, it was acceptable but not wonderful. There was a slight aroma of moisture in our room, but once again considering the price (less than $1000 airfare/hote/person/7 days) it was acceptable. Also, the AC never got quite as cool as we'd like. Room was cleaned daily and got better after day 2 when we started tipping daily as opposed to at the end of the week, which we'd done in the past.

Pool/Beach-Beach was as others have reviewed, very mediocre, but if it were nicer, the resort would cost more. The pool was fine for temperature and that is where we spent most of our time. There was a very diverse attendance at this resort (US, Canada, Western/Eastern European, Mexican) which we appreciated,but not US dominated like other resorts we've been too. Also, there were a lot of families and this was not over Christmas break, so I think that may be the norm. No bother to us,but just be aware.

Restaurants- If you want non-buffet, you do need to make daily reservations, irritating but common for this price class. Over the course of the week, we did get to eat at the steak, seafood, Mexican (2), Italian and French during the week, I liked the Italian the best and the Mexican the least. But I never had a horrible meal, just some were OK and some were good. Free wine was OK for a AI resort.

Nightlife-entertainment was pretty blah, with the notable exception of the Michael Jackson show which was phenomenal. Definitely room for improvement. Luckily we had another couple to entertain us. Late night they have a dance party 11-1am by the VIP section and that was very cool on the beach. They were runnign late one night and we started bartending ourselves and the bartender was very cool about this when he arrived to learn his job was being outsourced! They will server non-rail booze but you NEED to ask for it and you NEED to tip, which should be done anyway. My wife and I brought $100 in 1's and some 5's for the week and that helped our service compared to some others.

Other random bits-Wi-fi in the rooms is horrible, if at all. By the sports bar/lobby its better, but at night everyone is using it and it gets overwhelmed some nights. During the day I had less problems heading up for a quick beer and checking email. Finally, one issue I did have. I had my phone with me to keep in touch with email over wi-fi and also for texting our other couple. I am 98% sure I left it at the table during lunch on the last day there. I went back an hour later and they claim no one could find it. I tipped the waiter at lunch $5 (so I thought he'd be helpful) but he was not. I escalated the incident and the management team ran me through "standard protocol" and how it would be turned in. Well, we never found it and I had to replace when I got back. Now, an iguana could have ran off with it, but, I am pretty sure I know what happened to it and it was very unfortunate.

Anyway, the other husband and I talked and we decided we got exactly our moneys worth on this trip, no more, no less. So for that, I think 3 stars is fair. I probably would not go back, but only because I'd save more money for a better trip and make the $$ sacrifice. But if someone was going, I would not talk them out of it.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank jasonr15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2013

Pros:
Beautiful hotel with large well kept grounds
Free wifi in lobby and sports bar
6 a la carte restaurants with a good atmosphere
Quiet areas(if you look for them)
Plenty of sun loungers
Lovely spa and salon

Cons:
No swim up bar
Funky smell near the unheated pool
Room is very basic but well presented
Buffet for evening meal can be very busy.

I have read a lot of negative reviews of this place and they are, in my opinion, mostly just people with a personal gripe. This place is, broadly speaking, a fantastic place and I am having a great time. The staff are great and mostly eager to please and the shows are entertaining, if a little cheesy. What I would say, is that this hotel is lacking some of the finer details that make a holiday extra special and a little bit of maintenance is needed in some areas. I would compare this more to a decent 4 star than the advertised 5stars. In a nutshell, if you are wanting 5 star luxury and will settle for nothing less, maybe try somewhere else. If you are wanting an awesome hotel with everything you need for a great holiday, but aren't an overly fussy person, you're gonna love it here. Also, this place was priced extremely well.

Oh yeah, the guys trying to sell you a time share are easily avoided, just smile politely and walk on, they're harmless.

I'm here until the 2nd of Apr. if u have a query, I'd be happy to help.

Room Tip: Ground floor is a little noisy as it is a thoroughfare. Upstairs is probably quieter, if that's...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank shaunp2904
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

Well I want to start by saying we went as part of my sisters wedding party and although the wedding was BEAUTIFUL and the wedding planner did an amazing job that is probably the only good thing about this resort!

We had a group of 60 people staying with us and from the first night we had very strange things happening. We all arrived and 90% of us were given standard rooms with double beds even though we asked for king size beds. When we asked to have the rooms changed they wanted to charge us an arm and a leg. Our room was changed without a fee, but we were put into a room that smelled like raw sewage.. being 5 months pregnant it was unbearable. When we called to complain they said they would send someone to check and move us rooms and we never heard back. The next morning when I went down to the front desk, they were arrogant and rude and refused to do anything at all for us. Thank god my husband figured out what the problem was himself fixed it and we could enjoy a smell free room.

The next day a large group of the party went to Coco Bongo club, one of the wives was pregnant and stayed behind only to awake to a stranger coming into her room at 2:30 am.. they saw her and quickly left. She filed a report and NOTHING was done about it before we left.

The rest of the group returned at around 4:30 am and two on the guys sharing a room, walked in to find 2 staff members in their room. When they asked the staff what they were doing they said stocking towels. The guests asked if it was standard procedure to stock towels at 4:30 in the morning and the staff started to back track big time. they then returned money they had taken from the safe. The next morning the guests were harassed by security as the two staff members that were caught red handed had complained that they were harassed as they were changing towels.. again.. when is it standard procedure to change towels in guest rooms at 4:30 am?????

The next morning another female guest with the party that was right across the hall from us awoke to a male staff member standing over her bed at 8 am. When she woke up and asked what he was doing he didn't reply and she asked if he knew to knock and again said nothing and turned and left.. Later the same guest was in her room and 2 security guards came to her room trying to intimidate her and force her to go with them.as a complaint had been filed by a staff member after the incident in her room that she was harassing them...she refused to go with them and they dropped it!

Throughout the resort the staff were either extremely friendly or HORRIBLY RUDE!!

When we returned home, my husband was unpacking his things to discover that the diamond bracelet I had bought him for our anniversary was missing out of the bag that remained in the safe the entire trip!!! Needless to say we are very upset about this!!

After being home for a day or two a friend called me that had also gone to this same resort last year for a wedding and she informed me that a large number of their guests had also had their things stolen from them.. from money to jewellery to phones!

I would not recommend this resort to anyone, the rooms are really not that nice and since they seem to have a culture of theft and dishonesty why even take a chance.. there are much nicer resorts with far better reviews!

Room Tip: Ask for a King size bed.. if you do not care of you are close to the beach ask for buildings 6-9 the...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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13  Thank 58Rachel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

We recently spent two weeks at the Blue Bay Esmeralda and had a wonderful holiday. The staff was wonderful, the food fantastic, the grounds and rooms spotless.
The resort isn't the largest one we have been to, but it had the best beach area of all the hotels in the area. If you are looking for a lot of free water sports, you won't find that here. We just wanted to relax and spend time with family and friends.
I guess it depends on what kind of holiday you are looking for- we liked the Blue Bay, our niece has been there 4 times and I think plans on returning.
The coyates were the cutiest animals I have ever seen.

Room Tip: The staff is helpful in changing rooms for you, just see the concierge in your building early in th...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank brenda154996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

My husband, myself and older teenage sons just returned home from this resort--what a fantastic place to stay! The hotel rooms were large and very immaculate (double sinks in washroom!), in-room safe (no extra charge) and a bar fridge that was replenished daily with beer, pop, and bottled water (no extra charge). All the staff (waiters, housekeeping, front desk, bar tenders and groundskeepers) were all so happy and friendly to the tourists. The buffets and restaurants were amazing--especially loved the Steakhouse and Mexican!! (Again, no extra charges to eat at the restaurants,reservations were easy to get and it was a nice change from the buffets). The grounds were so pretty and really enjoyed the beautiful walkway to the beach. The pools were very clean with lots of chaise lounges in sun or shade to choose from. Will be back soon!!!!!

Room Tip: We booked with Noli Tours--you get the newest hotel(#8)--it's not by the beach but has a beautif...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank slmmhey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

We just returned from 6 days here met our friends from Canada for their spring break and our experience was great!! ALL the staff are friendly,funny and work their butts off to serve you! The food was good and there is enough variety to satisfy anyone's needs! As Nuala wrote - the grounds were impeccable, ALWAYS.

If there is anything negative to say it is that our room smelled of "mold" when you came in each time but you open the sliding glass door for fresh air and it clears right away and the AC thermostat did not work (it was all or none) but we "worked" out a system for balance.

Room Tip: We were in building 6 - great central location - BUT not close to beach. Ground floor "garden...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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    • Service
1  Thank Mel L
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

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
#54 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#57 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#68 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#78 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $146 - $417 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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