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“Rest, relaxation & sunshine”

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Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda
Ranked #31 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
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Fredericton
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
“Rest, relaxation & sunshine”
Reviewed 21 February 2012

The bus from Cancun airport to the resort was a very long ride. Had read that it was 45 min but there were 5 or 6 other resorts to stop at first so we were on the bus for well over 2 hours. Same for the return.

The resort was very nice but driving in to there on the bus was very sad to see how some of the people lived. Upon check in we didn’t get room as requested but were told we could up grade for about $700 more (that was with the $400 coupon) - NOT. So on that note we took a ground floor room with swim up patio which was nice but ended up right in front of the kids section so unless you brought kids with you it was a little annoying sometimes with all the noise. Yes, some of us out here would like to vacation without listening to other people's children screaming day and night. However, it was nice that only adults were allowed in some restaurants.
The room itself was very nice, big bathroom with walk in shower, private toilet & also a big tub.

The restaurants... Great!! It was so nice to have so many choices and be able to revisit the same one over again just as long as you made your reservations in advance - but ADVANCE is the key. We missed out on the cooking show one because we didn't reserve in time. There was always a big buffet available for breakfast, lunch & dinner if you wanted as well. Have to say there was a great selection of drinks available as well. The service was always great.

They didn’t really make their guests aware of entertainment that was going on so if you happen to come across something – good for you. The info just wasn’t there or at least we didn't know about it. We didn't find that there was much to do. On the day we were leaving, we were taking a last walk around and came across a different section we hadn’t seen that had this big beautiful heated pool we didn’t know about. The other pools were really quite cold, especially the one from our room. So we missed that one.

We were advised to only take a taxi into Playa del Carmen to 5th Ave for shopping to be safe which we did. That was fine, enjoyed that. It cost about $8-$10 each way for the taxi to 5th Ave.

The beach was a little disappointing. It was nice but quite narrow and you really had to watch where you walked all the time.. Some areas of the water were really dirty & not very inviting but we found one spot that you could wade out & wasn’t bad to walk on. Since the place is so new I assume that is why there isn't much for flowers around. The layout and design is very new and elegant and the furniture is really nice. They had nice furniture on the beach if you walked down far enough but... It sure was a very long walk back if you needed to go to the washroom. There were no washrooms any where near the beach. Had to go all the way back into the hotel for washrooms.

So, over all I think the resort was very nice but still has room for improvement on a few things. It was a good choice and really enjoyed seeing a place that was so fresh and new. The staff was very friendly as well as the servers and bartenders. I would definitely recommend this place to others. They certainly did not have a full house though.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Marie T T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Columbus, Ohio
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2012

My wife along with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law spent a truly luxurious week at the
La Esmeralda from Feb 11 through the 18th! Our concierge (Annielu) was terrific and
helped us with great suggestions as well as our dinner reservations. The food overall was
excellent. Our favorite resteraunt was Fuego-the veal chops were to die for. Our waiters
Nicholas,Carlos and Oscar took great care of us. Our room was great but our view wasn't.
We could live with that. The beach area was small, but well maintained and service on the
beach was good. This resort does lack one thing-that is a bathroom near or on the beach.
It was a long walk back to the public restrooms at the resort. The outdoor eating venues
are elegant and the service excellent. The resort never seemed crowded. We were always
able to find a palaypa bed around the pool areas. Many different pool areas which were
quiet. Perfect for reading and napping. Beautiful, tranquil music everywhere in the resort.
No loud music @ the outside pool areas to distract from the peaceful atmosphere.
Check-in and check-out went well without a hassle. The entertainment was good.
The dancers very good. On our last night we heard a trio audition. The singer (Francisco)
sounded like Bocelli. Excelente! I hope they hire him! We would return to this resort in
a heartbeat. Truly elegant and peaceful. A very classy resort.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
9 Thank harriseyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Belfast
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2012

We have just returned from this hotel where we spent a week in a luxury junior suite with family concierge. This allowed us access to the heated pool and we enjoyed the very good pool side service from Luis and wonderful cocktails from Jesus and Alejandro. However our personal concierge was completely invisible. She left a couple of notes in our room and on Valentines night left a bottle of champagne but this did not hide the fact that she did not do her job at all. Thankfully we did manage to get what we needed from others in the Family Concierge team who did her job for her. My advice would be if your concierge is Priscilla ask for a change immediately. Manolo was excellent and many thanks to him for looking out for us as well as the familes assigned to him.
The restaurants are excellent and all the alcohol is high quality. The children enjoyed the pool with the inflatable obstacle course.
There were lots of little irritations eg our TV did not have kids channels in English even though the guide in the room said it did. We asked for this to be fixed on the first day but it never was. Getting meal reservations at the times we wanted was difficult but a good Family Concierge could have sorted this out. Ours didnt even inform us that we could book 3 nights ahead.
Overall I would recommend this hotel for families but lower your expectations as everything is a little bit hit and miss.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
20 Thank hobBelfast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2012

This mid-winter vacation was a company paid incentive trip. We had been to Atlantis in Nassau 2 times prior and had a fantastic time. There were 2 separate groups with 20+ people in each group. We spent over $100K for the flight tickets and accomidations so we expected nothing short of spectacular. I was booked on the second group travelling with my wife and 2 kids from Feb 5th to the 12th. The first group absolutely loved the resort so I had nothing but very high expectations for this resort. The transfer bus from the Cancun Airport to the resort took about an hour to get there. We unfortunately encountered a flight delay so the bus did not get to the resort till around 2:30 am. The streets were dark and I could not really make out where we were going. Neither did the bus driver. Even the resort itself did not have ample lighting so the bus had to painfully maneuver around tight corners to get to the lobby entrance. Upon arrival, the Family Concierge desk staff were friendly and welcomed us with big smiles. We headed to our room and behold, the card keys did not work. A room attendant was dispatched and we were let into our room. Before I even had a chance to admire the accomodations, I noticed a very big flaw....there was only 1 bed. This had to be a mistake. I booked 2 beds, and paid extra for the Family Concierge. Considering it was 3 am, I was beat and fairly upset. I headed down to the front desk and was told that the double beds were only offered upon availability. What???? Everyone else was in the same boat. 4 other families. I expressed my disappointment and they said a roll a bed set to our rooms. I was not in the mood to argue being so tired. When we awoke, we then began to admire the room. It was nicely decored with contemparay fixtures. It featured a large tub, a spacious fully tiled shower, private toilet and a jacuzzi on the patio. Wireless internet is free and an ethernet jack set up by the corner table. One thing that was annoying was the fact they only had 1 tiny garbage can set up by the toilet. Really? With a family? There was no specific time the room was attended to. On many days, the room was still unclean at 3 pm. Not enough staff maybe? I would suggest a "Please Clean Room" card that can be inserted in the key card slot like in cruise ships. Other than that I must say that the resort is gorgeous. The enviroment is soothing, and relaxing with nice trance music playing in the background. There are several pools including one with a pirate ship that the kids loved. There was an inflatable obstacle course that was set up that was a great hit. My favorite though was the headed private pool in he Concierge area. Water was not too deep and there was a swim up bar. Considering this resort is an all inclusive, they do not cheap out on the alcohol. The servers and bartenders were absolutely awesome and work really hard to keep you happy and drinking :) The Concierge also included a private chef that grilled burgers, hot dogs, chicken and ribs which were exceptionally tasty. There were also offerings of snow cones, nachos with cheese, cotton candy and popcorn that kept the kids smiling. Only downside was the incecticide that was sprayed around the parimeter of the pool along the bushes and trees. While it made it relitively misquito and insect free, the smell lingered in the air. Probably not the best for our kids. Also, don't forget to bring plenty of suncreen. They sell it at the resort for $35 - $40 a tube and around $30 in town. Another highlight was the kid's Playzone. It offers a rock climbing wall and a reverse bunji jumping trampoline for kids 4 and up.The Paradisus offers a large selection of restaurants to choose from with different international cuisines. The food is spectacular, the best I have ever had at an all inclusive. Our favorite being the Japanese and Brazilian restaurants. I am sure many of you reading this have gone to a Japanese Teppanyaki where they grill food in front of you. Well, the chefs are excellent and keep you amused preparing very tasty food. The Brazilian restaurant offered many samplings of grilled meat that was also very tasty. Perhaps the highlight of this restaurant was the daily featured nightly show that was put on. Professional flame acrobats, belly-dancers and Mayan dancers offered great entertainment. The stage was set up on a large artificial beach which the kids also loved while we drank and danced the night away. Off the resort, Playa Del Carmen offers an extensive array of activites including ATV tours, great snorkeling, watersports, hiking, shopping and awesome parks. The whole resort is gorgeous and very relaxing. The staff is very friendly and work extra hard to try and keep you happy which brings me to the most important part of the review. While the resort itself is beautiful, the surrounding area where it is situated isn't. It is in the middle of perhaps the poorest part of Playa Del Carmen. It is an shock awakening example of opposite lifestyles. The buildings are the worst imaginable slums with citizens sitting on the roadside and pillaging through garbage. It humbles you with sadness. Not something you want to see on vacation. I had a chance to speak with a few staff members and the income they make is very minimal, but they consider it very good. $300 - $700 a month which is barely enough to cover their rent. Pay increases depending on how verse they are with English. I over-tipped this trip because I knew that it was the pure source of their income. Apparently some of the staff even lived in those slums surrounding the resort. I really wished I could do more for them. But all in all the resort is fantastic. There are certainly things to improve on, but given that it opened last November I'm sure it will only get better.

Room Tip: Just make sure you get the room you paid for.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
9 Thank Drakos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2012

we are only three days into our week long stay and things will have to change dramatically or there is not a chance we will ever come back. the list of benefits of the "family concierge" is endless... but the list of actual benefits delivered... quite short.

we were dropped at the front entrance after arranging our own transportation from the airport. after waiting in line for 20mins we learn there is a special check-infor the FC guests. 30mins later we are at another desk, learning that 400 of our 700 usd coupon book is only for room upgrades. wept to stayinour two double bed room - not perfect for a family of 5.... but not willing to pay 1200 usd to upgrade.

the FC desk is supposed to assign us a personal concierge - still not sure who that is... the walkie-talkies are set to a channel that no one answers. we have been trying for 2 days to figure out who makes the diving reservations... and after being sent to the on-site centre that is always closed... and then to the beach that said every day at 10am... but had no sign up sheet... and then hearing the harbor was closed... we finally have reservations with a centre in town that leaves at 8am and we need our own taxi.

dinner is an even greater adventure... we had reservations for two families and due to small children...requested before 7pm... the first night they made for 8pm at the Bana... and when we got there it was only older children allowed... and they didn't have the reservation made by the FC in any case. luckily, a brilliant manager saved the day... but that had nothing to do with the FC program.

we do like the beach. love the sand. the FC area pool is warm. the pirate ship pool is cold but a favorite of the kids. the all-inclusive drinks are good. kids love the cotton candy, the crafts and the snow cone machine. the restaurant selection...when you can get a reservation... are spectacular.

will comeback and amend after the diving and if the FC is ever delivered properly. will also review the other dining areas on the property. safe to say...after day 2... we won't becoming back. if we do... we will not be overpaying for the FC program that promises a lot and delivers little.

Room Tip: the swim up rooms look nice though probably not ideal for young children. the top units of the FC ar...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank joseph1369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
boca raton, fl
Level 5 Contributor
18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2012

I thought I would love this place, but I did not. Sure the food was good for an all inclusive and the room was nice and new. However, there were too many negatives. Starting with the drive to the hotel... although others have mentioned the bad neighborhood this hotel was built in, the level of poverty is indescribable. Incredibly sad.
Esmeralda is basically a U shape. All rooms either face the interior (a pool area with lots of concrete) or trees. There's no view of a beach from the rooms or the pool area. And to get to the beach, you have to walk through the pool area, past restaurants, down a path past trees and make a left. The sand area is narrow, and they have gray, sling chaises lined up like sardines in two rows. Directly behind the chairs are bushes and trees. There's no restaurant nearby and the bar is back on the path. The ocean was pretty, turquoise and calm, and there are jet skis available. But there are no kayaks, catamarans, aqua bikes, parasailing or even volleyball.
The vibe at this place is zen, calm, quiet and basically boring. The music is techno and everywhere. The pool is like a snake, narrow and winding around the rooms... and in the center there's a too-small swim area for a hotel this size. Esmeralda took up a huge amount of the pool area to put in tons of beach beds. But there are no trees, flowers, or waterfalls. It's a huge concrete patio. There are no activities offered at the pool--which is not heated and was freezing. Lunch at the small pool restaurant was very good.
The main restaurants have no views of the pool or beach. The restaurants are dark, huge, modern and upscale. There's no sunlight in them at all, as they are surrounded by covered walkways. The food was surprisingly good for an all inclusive, and I'd guess would please anybody...as long as you don't mind eating in the dark.
We had a family concierge room-small and pretty, with 2 firm beds. We were able to use the heated pool in this category (with our specific bracelets). The butler made a dinner reservation for us--otherwise we didn't need him. The other "perks" were: peanut M&Ms and chocolate milk in the mini bar, and Johnson's baby shampoo, colgate and baby bug lotion in the bathroom.
Most important for me (besides of a clean, pretty room and good food) is a great pool to swim in and play with the kids, a big, beautiful beach, and fun water sports at the beach--none of which are here. I'm not sure who this place would appeal to--I wouldn't go back for free.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank z2u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2012

I will start off by saying that this hotel is very nice and exceeded our expectations on more than one account. However, there are some aspects that are completely unacceptable. We stayed at La Esmeralda from January 25 – February 1. Although there were no children in our party, we booked Esmeralda just because of the significant price difference, and I’m glad we did. The adults only side is open to all guests, the only limitation which we didn’t mind is the 5 minute walk to the adult side from Esmeralda.

The Bad:
Customer Service
Our biggest problem was the check-in, we arrived and had to wait about 2 hours to get our room, upon seeing the room we were very disappointed to find out that the view was of the driveway (ground floor). When we spoke to the front desk we were told that hotel is at full occupancy and nothing can be done. As soon as we walked out to the pool area, we noticed that there were literally a handful of people at the pool, we spoke to one of the waiters at the pool who told us that the hotel is currently at 25% occupancy. We went back to the front-desk and demanded that our room be switched to pool facing view since the hotel was empty. All of a sudden, all these rooms became available, with one minor detail, we had to pay about $700 for an “upgrade”. At this point I was fed-up, and asked to speak with the manager, who shall remain nameless just because I don’t want to throw anybody under the bus – who explained to me that they won’t accommodate us in a room with a better view without a fee because “it’s business”. To make a long story short, I made enough of a scene, and we were finally promised a room with a pool view the next day.

The not-so-good:
The beach is nothing to write home about, the La Perla side is pretty bad with sharp rocks sticking out of the water. La Esmeralda side is better, but still the beach is just OK.

The entertainment is just OK – but that’s the usual case with all-inclusives.

The Great:
The property is gorgeous and huge with many places to just hang out on very comfortable lounge chairs/beds. The rooms are modern, and we did not have any problems with the cleanliness of the room, although only got turn-down service our first night there, but no big deal. Everything is beautifully designed, the pools are beautiful, and the temperature of the water in the pools is refreshing – some people complained that it was too cold, but I thought it was just right. They had a great pool party on Friday with great music, dancers and margarita shots. They should do it more often.
The food is very good. We are foodies and live in NYC, so we know good food. The breakfast/lunch buffets are very good, with a lot of variety. The specialty restaurants are exceptional, the food is beautifully presented and delicious. Passion is the restaurant with the surcharge (they have two menus, $40 a la carte and $90 tasting menu), although it was good it was not our favorite, definitely not better that Fuego or Vento. We also dined in La Palapa, which was our favorite (this restaurant is supposed to be exclusive for Royal Service guests, but since the hotel is very low on occupancy, they allow everybody to enjoy it.)
The drinks are ok at the pool/beach, but very good at the bars and restaurants. They have top shelf liquor which is pretty awesome.

We ventured out into town which is ten minutes away by cab, and is worth the trip – very safe.

Overall this place is great and once they train their staff, it will be even better!

Room Tip: Stay is Esmeralda instead of La Perla, save $$$. Ask for pool view
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank AlanK2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda

Property: Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda
Address: 5a Avenida | corner Calle 112, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda 4.5*
Number of rooms: 488
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 By Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda Riviera Maya, Mexico

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