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“Blue Bay Grand Esmaralda”

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BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
Ranked #97 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Tarzwell
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Blue Bay Grand Esmaralda”
Reviewed 1 March 2012

Our trip got off to a rocky start in the air with Thomas Cook. The stewards were all cranky-pants...the movie with no audio was Happy Feet, with perhaps 3 or 4 children on this flight. When we arrived at Cancun there were probably 700 people waiting to pass thru customs. My disability was noted and we were brought to another agent. Because of the chaos at the buses, we decided to take a cab to the resort. Friends that we were travelling with arrived almost 4 hours later. The resort is huge...too huge to easily navigate...there were shuttles but they were never where we were. Our mini-bar was replenished daily and our room was always clean. The food was generally good...lots of selection though rarely was anything hot. We ate at most of the a la cartes and enjoyed them. We saw some really good shows and some were a tad weak. There were too few palapas at the beach...impossible to find shade anywhere most days. There was an incredible stench coming from the creek that ran in between Palenque (building 5) and the pool. We felt bad for the people in the swim-up rooms on the side of Palenque as the mangrove was right in front of them. We saw a large family of coadamundis and raccoons by our room and saw some birds that looked like turkeys admiring their reflections in a patio door. We were glad to never encounter an alligator on the sidewalks but our friend did hear one. If you get an opportunity to do the Rio Secreto tour, please do, you'll be amazed. Though most of the staff can speak and understand english to some degree, I was always met with enthusiasm when I spoke spanish with them. All in all, it was a good vacation, not too expensive and great fun to get away.

Room Tip: Our unit, facing south in building 5 was quiet...just had to hold our breath for a bit as we crossed...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank TarzwellMike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Abbotsford, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

Was there with family of 5, third week of Feb. I will try to put my thots down here. I spent alot of money and the experience was average. After a long flight, 1 1/2 hours in line at customs and guess who pressed the button and got the red light. Yeh the whole family had our bags searched. 'Welcome to Mexico' the military officer said. tried to make it to the bus shuttle but was pulled aside by 'time share sharks' who just wasted our time. Finally on the bus the guide breaks out the beer, the crowd begins to loosen up and becomes louder, i worry alittle for the small children on the bus. There were some very small children on the bus.

Got to BB resort and was greeted by a very nice refreshing drink. Then proceeded to rooms. Room info requested and indicated side by side rooms for our children. This was not the case, had to be changed last minute and the rooms were not ready. Finally settled in rooms ( the childrens room was a smoking room :() everyone showered and we went looking for food found buffiet open. Got to the door and was turned away by big "Bubba" at the door. My son was wearing a trousers and shoes but had a tank top shirt.(must be short sleaves). I didnt realize that this was formal dining. Feeling tired, grumpy, hungry, I ran back to the room with my son so he could change,( you should know that the resort is 10 minute walk from one end to the other), came back to find my wife and family sitting outside on the concrete wall, they had not been seated, that made me mad. Wow not a very good start.

The room quality was not that great. only a step above your Best Western Motel. 85% of rooms have no ocean view. Rooms were clean and beds comfortable.

The dinner shows were good but food was average or less than average. Couldn't find a taco or an anchillatas anywhere and we looked. Went to the Mexican dinner one night and dont recommend it. Had to bribe the hostess with a couple pesos after i watched 5 - 6 groups come in after us and be seated a head of us, although it was half empty and lots of room. I showed the pesos and was immediately shown a table. :(

Many of the day tours depart at 7:00 am. Try to find something to eat at that time of day. The 24 hour sports bar has just a few stale pastries on a platter and everyone stands around like a bunch of vulchers snatching up allittle bit of nourishment before the day ahead. Really, couldnt they just open one of the resturants at 6:00 and take care of thier clients?

Another suggestion... couldnt they put rubber tires on the maid cleaning carts. The carts have have hard wheels and make a lot of noise as they push them up and down the halls with concrete floors, you cant sleep in. The bell boys, two mornings in a week, got the wrong room # and were ready to usher our suite cases out as we were trying to sleep in.

The beach is what everyone else is saying, only two days out of seven did i see anyone in the water by the beach. the workers work hard to keep it up. Check out the lagoon 5 minutes walk north, this is beautiful.

The french restuarant was amazing and very top notch. The steak house was only good. We didnt have the chance to go to the Italian but i heard good reviews. All the rest are average.

My family went to the Michael Jackson show, this was very good.

Also Transat traveler's beware... There are long line ups at the counter if you want to book a tour. Sometimes they are not there during the hours posted and sometimes there is simply not enough staff. Not sure what the problem is but maybe they will read this and sort it out. There were alot of exasperated clients waiting for long peroids of time, I waited 1 1/2 - 2 hours to book our tours.

I would not return. My best advice is to get drunk so all that i just wrote will be a foggy memory. Im really not a grumpy person just honest.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank Barry W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

My family stayed at BBGE Feb. 20-27th. We were traveling with my two teenage boys that adore room service! I had prepaid for an upgrade to include internet and no service charge for room service. We had reserved two rooms, and at check in they offered us a swim up suite. I stated that we really wanted the two separate rooms. They then put us in building 3.... two suites :) 2nd floor, above the swim ups. It was a fabulous building! The suites were very nice- both of them! Not too many issues with bugs-- a few here or there, mostly on the balcony. I was in paradise; they didn't bother me so I didn't bother them.

We did reserve pool chairs for the days we wanted to be pool side. I will warn..almost all of the chairs were reserved by 10AM EVERY DAY. Plenty of chairs to be had on the beach at most any time. I already knew about the ocean so I wasn't surprised. It was actually much worse in the resort to the right of us. We walked down to snorkel in front of TresRios... very nice area!

Dining: The main buffet was wonderful. Lots of variety for breakfast and lunch. We sat in the same area with Roberta (she was fabulous!). The main pool buffet was good but the service was sooooo slow, so we opted to walk to the main buffet most days. The walk from building 3 to the lobby area was not bad at all-6-7 mins tops. We hopped on the trains occasionally if they were there waiting. We had no trouble getting reservations because we reserved for the following night and not for the same night. So no problems with times. We did choose a few times for 8:30 just because we wanted to eat late. We tried the Mexican (very good and a lot of food), the Oriental (Yummy veggie egg rolls) and the steak house twice. All were very good. The evening buffet was also very nice on the other nights. We did do the Mayan dinner show---- ehhhhh it was bleh. I could have skipped it. We had drinks every night before dinner either at the sports bar or the bar at the beach.

Entertainment- can't say too much. We caught the end of a dance show (good), and we watched most of the Grease show- the first hour was good, heading into the 2nd hour was a bit much... we left early. We didn't really stay at the pool all day long so I didn't pay any attention to the pool side entertainment.

We received a free day pass for the spa---- simply gorgeous and soooo peaceful. We enjoyed testing all of the jets :)

We left the resort three times- The Jungle Place (amazing), shopping in Playa (super fun), and Akumal (sea turtles!) I also sent my teens to Xplor for one day (they said it was OK).

We had a great time at BBGE. The service was great--- the staff was super friendly all day long.

We used USA Transfers (private) to and from the airport--- wonderful service!

Room Tip: Get a top floor- the suites are very nice! We didn't have any problems with hall noise.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank leighaa67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 February 2012

Don't get me wrong, The Blue Bay was a pretty good deal. My fiance and I went with another couple and we stayed 5 nights and it only cost the two of us $1800 for airfare and our all-inclusive stay. That being said, the food was decent. Barely.... The breakfast and lunch buffets were edible. Barely.... Dinner? Make your reservations! Daily. Some of the dinner was very tasty, but we skipped the reservations 2 of the days and boy was that a mistake. It seemed as if it was all the same food as lunch. I mean the exact same food that had been sitting out since lunch.
Half of the pool was closed for cleaning. We were there at the end of October so all is forgiven on that front. Supposedly, there was something about waiters on the beach but that was false, I got up and walked for every single drink i had. Speaking of the drinks, The stuff they served at the pool was water. We weren't there to get sloppy drunk, but we were trying to let loose and have a good time and all we had after sitting at the pool all day was full bellies.
The sports bar was fantastic, as was David the bartender, as were the people from all over the world hanging out in the bar area. Everyone was very friendly except for the people sitting on the smoking side of the room complaining about the cigar smoke. The Michael Jackson tribute show was hilarious and uber-entertaining.
My rating says it all... Average. Nothing horrible. Nothing great.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank TimMargulis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
152 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

My wife and I have stayed at BBGE many times. I do read the reviews.. Lets start with
service which is outstanding. The staff is great and everyone makes you feel at home.
Albierto is a waiter at the beach buffet and he knows how my wife and I like our coffee in the
morning as well as making sure we have ice tea no suger. Franscio is the Concerige at
the beach for Circle One and he always is there to help. My wife is an a wheel chair and we
always get help any where in the resort.
Food , Our favorite al a carts are the Mexcian , French and Italian. The beach buffet is very good with a huge selection of food. Something for everyone.

The Entertainment. This is a family resort , the Michael Jackson and Grease performances
where wonderful .
The beach , we really like the cabanas at the Circle One side of the beach..
The Room . we stayed at building five with a oceanside view.

As sign says when we arrive at the airport in Cancun welcome to paradise

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DavidkMassachusetts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

My wife, baby daughter and parents in law returned from a trip in February, 2012. We were all very pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness of the resort, extremely comfortable beds, friendly staff and AMAZING food. Nobody from the group was sick once.

The only downside was the beach which had quite a bit of seaweed build-up (which employees were working everyday trying to clean up). I'm not sure if this was due to a recent storm/winds?

Overall we loved this resort and would definitely go back.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Andrew L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
Reviewed 28 February 2012

Nice resort. Friendly Staff. Clean rooms. My main complaint was the beach. We had to travel to Playa del Carmen to get a chance to swim in the Ocean. The beach at the resort was such a disappointment.

Another disappointment was the night life on the resort. The Beach Party is from 11pm to 1am. They should either start the party earlier or end it later but either way 2 hours is not enough.

Our group was there for a Wedding and we wanted the opportunity to celebrate each night. We were even stopped from playing music on our own stereo at the 24/7 Sports Bar, the night before the wedding.

I am undecided if I would stay here again.
Travel Dates: Feb 20 to 27.

Room Tip: Get a room with a Balcony.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Teresa M
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:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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
#53 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#57 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#66 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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