Like a few others have said I was quite apprehensive about what we might find upon our arrival at Bluebay due to some of the very negative reviews I'd read on Tripadvisor, but I really need not have worried!
It's a long old way from London, after an 11 hour flight & nearly 2 hours waiting to get through passport & baggage control at Cancun airport (which was a nightmare) I was just desperate to get to our room and then get a nice hot meal. I have to say when we first entered our room I did feel a little disappointed, there was some mildew around the bath and some things really just looked like they needed a good spruce up, which I wouldn't expect from a hotel that's supposed to be such a high standard. We also had an issue with ants, lots of them in our room & around the pool area, I've experienced this in this area before but it was a pain to have to make sure no drinks or food was left out. Anyway, this really was the only negative. We were in block 1 (which in my opinion was perfectly situated for the smaller restaurant & larger pool & beach area) and the view from our balcony was beautiful. I was also really impressed with the all-inclusive mini bar, just fizzy drinks & beers & water, but I've not experienced this before. Because we were on the top floor our room didn't get cleaned until around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, which was often the time we wanted to come back to our room after a day by the pool, but this is just a small niggle.
The restaurants were great, there was a huge variety of food at every meal, everything looked freshly prepared and I was never waiting around in queues for food, even though the hotel was very busy when we went as it was Easter time. The bars were also great, fast & friendly service everytime.
The larger pool area was beautiful, I really cannot fault it, the pool was large & as we were up very early every morning because we hadn't adjusted to the 6 hour time difference we always had a good pick. However, I agree with one other reviewer, I'm not sure if this is a culture thing & I'm just being stuffy & English! But I did feel like we were quite pushed around at the pool in terms of sunloungers, people would squash us up & add more loungers in next to us, some days I was literally elbow to elbow with a stranger, typically a loud stranger! But this isn't a fault of the hotel in any way. The jungle areas around the pool were a bit smelly, you only noticed walking to & from the pool, but it's a jungle! It didn't bother me!
The beach wasn't ideal, the sandy area was gorgeous and you could swim out past the seaweed a bit, but I am a bit squeamish about seaweed & couldn't face it! They do have people on the beach constantly clearing the seaweed away & I'm sure they'll get on top of it, I was happy round the pool so it didn't affect me.
Also, nobody had warned us that there is a £45 GBP charge to get out of Mexico! This was a bit of a shock as it's quite a lot of money & we had no idea until we got to the airport on our way in to the country.
Anyway, I would go back, I really enjoyed my holiday, the food was great & I happily spent my days next to or in the pool, but if I went again I would pay more for a ground floor 'swim-up room', these looked great & would really solve the 'too close around the pool' issue!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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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