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“Best holiday ever!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of BlueBay Grand Esmeralda

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BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
Ranked #92 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Best holiday ever!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2013

We travelled from 19th-30th june, weather was perfect but very humid!
We were so worried about this hotel after reading the reviews, but when we got there could not understand what people were complaining about.
Ok yes the beach at this hotel is not the best but that's not their fault. If your holiday is based on the beach then book a hotel closer to playa del Carmen itself as that beach is beautiful though quite busy.
The rooms were great, lovely shower and huge room. Room was cleaned everyday and fridge was stocked too. We got towel art on some occasions but not everyday. We stayed in block 5 which was close to the main pool, buffet and beach which was perfect for us. We were a little way from the sports bar and reception but only took 10 mins to walk or you can get a little train. The walk did not bother us one bit.
The food was great. So much choice. The buffet can sometimes be the same but there are 6 a la cartes to choose from which you can book as many times as you like. But must be booked the day before. Our favourites were the French which we ate in twice and the steak which we went to 3 times. Drinks for us were great as we love cocktails and their were so many different ones. Try a mango tango or Miami vice they are yum.
One thing to be aware of is the price of the hotel shop. It is stupidly expensive!! $11 for a bag of lays crisps. We bought some crisps along with a few other things and paid in peso. We then asked what it was in dollars. When we realised we had paid $11 for some crisps we asked for our money back (we hadn't even left the shop yet) but he refused to give our money back.
There is a shuttle bus that runs from the hotel to playa del Carmen every day at 9am, 11am and 3pm and cost 50 peso each one way. It's worth going as the beach there is beautiful and there's loads of shops.
Overall our holiday was great! We did loads of excursions which can get a bit pricey so take lots of money. Swimming with the whale sharks is amazing but can only be done from june - sept. We booked that through the Mexican guys round the pool as they were cheaper than Thomas cook. You must go to cancun one night too as its brilliant!!! Coco bongo is wicked

Room Tip: Block 5 is next to main pool and buffet. We wished we had a sea view
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Mawatts2101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Emsworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2013

Just come back from my first visit to Mexico, hotel very good staff always smiling and helpful, but not the best place if you want a beach holiday. The beach is held in place by bags of sand and the sea is just a mass of thick seaweed, not much good for swimming. We were given a room in block ( one ) this was a bit old so we asked for a move to block ( five ) which is modern and in a much better position, the move was not a problem. The food was quite good I would give 8 out of 10 for that, and the staff were always keeping the restaurant very clean. Any trips out from the hotel are quite expensive, and don't forget the £45 airport tax to get out of Mexico

Room Tip: If you want to be close to the sea try blocks 4 or 5 For a quite area away from the beach block 6...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank malcolm p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2013 via mobile

DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE BAD REVIEWS.

We have just returned from a two week stay, Like everyone else who read the reviews recently we were worried about what to expect. Upon arrival we were very pleased as our hotel entrance was so much better than others we had passed on the way and the drive up to the hotel was equally impressive.

Room- we were not disappointed, the bed was massive, the room large and very clean, bathroom also large with a walk in shower. We were in block 6 and had a large balcony, with only one neighbour as we were on the end, very pleasant outlook over a forest of trees, which was great for watching the wildlife. Each block has its own reception where you can book the al a carte restaurants. We left our safe open one day, I was really worried everything would be gone, but when security came to unlock it there was nothing missing at all.

Pool - there are two, we stayed mainly by the quiet pool, which is smaller and quieter than the other but suited us. Some of the sun beds are immersed in the water of the pool, which is a lovely way to cool down without jumping in. The only negative I have is there is limited shade, no umbrellas, there are gazebos structures with slatted roofs but the sun can still get through. I like the sun but at times it was intense. We bought a hat and that helped. The service was great, and a small tip does help immensely. We also had breakfast here as it wasn't as busy as the main restaurant, if you do eat here, there are cheeky birds that will get any unattended food as its outside, they clean it thoroughly every day, There was so much choice you should be able to find something, omelette cooked to order, great.

Grounds - we're beautifully kept with lots of wildlife around, we saw all sorts deer, iguanas, lizards, birds and got the best picture of a raccoon ever. The site is big, but Is easily walkable, and extremely pleasant as the grounds are lovely with little pathways everywhere. From block 6 the beach was a 5/7 min walk away, I do not consider that a long walk!!!!!!!!! From block 1-4 the beach is 2 mins away. It is on a natural swap so the Mosquitos are there so take your spray.

Beach- is not the prettiest beach I've seen, they do have sand bags to stop the sand being washed away, but better that than it being washed away. The swing pool bar was great.

Restaurants - we only ate in the buffet restaurant 3 times for dinner as you could book the al a carte restaurants as many times as you liked and there are 5 to choose from. There was so much choice in the buffet restaurant I cannot understand how some people cannot find anything to eat, if anything there was too much choice, we didn't have a bad meal once. Some people said it was very busy, but we went around 7.30 and had no problems at all. Unlike some we found the service excellent, I think if you smile and say hello it goes a long way. All the al a carte restaurants were good, the French one was our favourite and surprisingly the Mexican our least, but all are worth a try. Book first thing in the morning for the following night and you should get into one of them. Smart dress code needed which we liked.

Trips - I thought they were all overpriced, but coco bongo, xcaret were very good, we really wanted to go to Chechen itza but the 3 hour coach journey each way put us off. But now do regret not going.

Spa - was really worth spending the day in.

Market every Saturday night, which is open until 10 pm, so good to get a few gifts. The are about 5 shops as well on site.

Tips- take lots of small notes for tips, they are so grateful, and we were looked after very well.
Remember to keep £45 each aside to leave the country, lots of people didn't know this.

Overall we really enjoyed our stay and would not hesitate to go back.





Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
7 Thank Susan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bothell, Washington
Level Contributor
43 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2013

BlueBay is a nice resort. It has great potential, but misses the mark on quite a few areas.

Pros -
* Good location about a 25/30 minute drive from the airport in Cancun.
* Very nice pools, both large pool and smaller pool at back of property are well maintained and clean.
* Most of the staff are very nice. I would say about 2/3 are welcoming and friendly. The other 1/3 are sour grapes and can be nasty.
* Property was clean, well maintained and we saw a lot of wild life.
* Convenient to Playa del Carmen nad the ferry to Cozumel.
* Towel Art - Everyday we had a beautiful animal made of towels on our bed after maid service.

Cons-
* Ridiculously cheap and nasty domestic liquor. In a country with such wonderful Rums and beers, they are pouring very heavy (too heavy) pours of super cheap Russian vodka, rums, and the beer is the worst.
* Food is very mediocre. Reservation restaurants are so so. They try to do a good job, but miss the mark especially with the entrees.
* Stupid electric box in the room. You have to insert your room key in a slot inside the room to turn the electric on. Fine, I like "Green" friendly places. Problem is it turns off the room refrigerator and clock radio every time you walk out. Stuff in refrigerator is always luke warm because of this (unless you live in the room) and you have to reset the time on the clock radio each time you come in (Unless you like the red flashing numbers in your face or want to keep track of how many minuets you have been back in the room - then it is a great idea!).
*TIMESHARE!!!! They promise you will not be hounded by Timeshare people. Okay, so THEY call it "Circle One" and dress it up to not look like a timeshare. I have stayed at worse places, but don't tell me I won't be hounded by time share people then hound me with "Circle One" people. For that reason alone I would not go back here.
* $25 USD FOR A SMALL BOTTLE OF SUNSCREEN!!!!! I "get" that a place has to make a profit. But we had all our liquids taken at the airport (long story) and had to replace our sunscreen and a few other things. We went in to the store on the property and were shocked -- They wanted $25usd for a $6 usd bottle of sunscreen. We took the $5 shuttle in to Playa del Carmen and went to Wal-Mart where we paid $8 usd for two (2) bottles of sunscreen, bought souvenir t-shirts for $7 each (nice embroidered ones) and several other gifts.
* Shuttles around the property. When I started reading trip adviser reviews I thought people were just complaining about the shuttles. It is a really big property and while I love a good walk, it was 98 degrees (f) and 80% humidity. Not exactly walking weather. The shuttle runs infrequently, and is packed a lot of the times. It also broke down 3 or 4 times while we were there. We would get on and they would go one stop and tell everyone to get off because it was not working....

Sorry BlueBay, but you have lost a potential repeat client.

Room Tip: Buildings 6, 7 and 8 are further from the hustle and bustle of the large pool, but no mangrove swamp...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DwightDG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
35 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2013

Spent two weeks for my sisters wedding. Given a room overlooking the mangroves and requested for a change. The duty manager was very accommodating and moved the entire wedding party to the block right in front of the beach so we could all be together and enjoy the time spent with family and friends who had flown in from all parts of the world.

Please note the property is vast and you need to take a small buggy ride from the reception to the rooms, depending on which block has been allocated to you. The walk is around 5 minutes. A few small shops that you can buy basics, jewellery and souvenirs.There are over 4 large restaurants that can get very full during meal times and a couple of speciality restaurants which you need to book the previous night. Excellent food and service in these speciality restaurants. The main beach front restaurant has less of a crowd - most probably as it is furthest from the main accommodation blocks. It also runs a beach side party spot at night with nice music and lots of young people.

Because it is an all inclusive package - the ability to have meals and drinks whenever you feel like it was a plus without having to put your hand into your wallet. They have various levels of these packages - some don't have room service included.
The rooms are large, well equipped and very comfortable. We had one with an enormous balcony that was good for entertaining. Housekeeping was good. We tipped the staff on the first day and in return, we were well looked after. Each block has its own concierge which makes it easy to organise anything you require. There are ice machines around.
Playa is away from the hub of Cancun - so you are fairly isolated however you can get into Playa town by cab or mini bus from the hotel and spend a whole day leisurely walking around the shops and restaurants. Massages are quite good in town. Don't miss the show at Coco Bongo. The tour agents in the hotel can organise the tickets for you. Try and get the VIP tickets as you are in a less crowded area and get in without queues.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms in the accommodation blocks closer to the beach.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jetsetter1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Level Contributor
99 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2013

I was sent to this hotel because the hotel I originally booked was oversold. Free wifi on the entire premise makes it easy to keep in touch back home with wifi calling. This hotel in general is a great for the price. The restaurants are pretty comprehensive. The breakfast and dinner are the best. Try the restaurant by the inside pool for breakfast and hut by the beach for lunch and dinner. The mexican and french cuisine is not very good. Drinks are not top self liquor but it is was is expected for an all inclusive. The rooms and restrooms are big and the general size for US hotels. The staff is really nice, but you do have to make an appointment to eat dinner. The beach is about 10 minute walk from the general rooms or you have to wait for the trolley, which takes forever. The beach is not pretty because of the dark sand you are swimming in mud. Take excursions to see the better beaches. Try to avoid getting a ground floor because it loud at night.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ktjf07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kettering
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2013 via mobile

Before we came to this resort we were very hesitant after reading all the terrible reviews about this resort, as we got there the room we had requested had 2 queen size beds, but we were given 1 king size and my immediate thought was 'here we go' I rang down to reception and was In our new room with exactly what we requested within half an hour so was brilliant!

The food-I don't understand what people complain about! The choice was amazing if I wasn't such a fussy eater I would have eaten everything from every section & every restaurant, those who have complained are very picky or just snobs!

The majority of staff were so friendly & so happy, there were a couple who looked like they didn't want to be there but you get that everywhere!

The beach was not that much of a disaappointment for us as we had read it here that there wasnt much of one once your down by the sea, but that didn't bother us much l, if your going for the beach then yes would be disappointing therefore to those who have complained about that, clearly didn't do there research before booking and quite frankly that's there problem no one else's!

The resort was spread out, and we didn't find that too much of a problem, sometimes we liked to walked to the lobby & shops and sometimes we waited for a shuttle bus which came every 5-10minutes up till 11pm! So again don't understand the problem there!

Overall had the best holiday ever, met some amazing people from USA & from home here in the UK! Would highly recommend this place to family & friends :) loved it!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank lordjoshua73
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
#52 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#56 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#63 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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