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“Really pleased with our stay”

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BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
Ranked #100 of 210 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Really pleased with our stay”
Reviewed 15 April 2012

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!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank sammylou100084
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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long island
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2012

the good - food was great in the buffets, and some of the dinner restaurants, personally loved the italian, steak was fair in steak restaurant and mexican ok, didn't enjoy steak but family liked their meal. Service was great and property was always being cleaned.
The smell described by others on the property was bad, had to hold my breath a few times walking around. Family enjoyed the coati mundis (the raccoon like animals. Also enjoyed the towel art each day the maids did in the rooms. The room was not great other than the size. Bldg 1 Tulum where we stayed had an old tv that barely worked. We had an infestation of ants and they didn't move us due to "being fully booked" even whem I tried to really push them. The supervisor was horrible and told me what can you expect madam, this is the jungle. All they did was spray ant spray and the room smelled of chemicals for days after. They just didn't care enough even after I threatened to write this on Tripadvisor. Also had to request immediately a new shower curtain and liner because they were filthy and the tub had a taping around it to cover up the grout full of mildew.
Did like the location of the room to the main pool, buffet and beach.
Did not like the towel game you had to play to get seats. We wanted shaded seats since it gets boiling hot, so we got up at 6 a.m. to get prime seats. I would hang around usually or get a bite to eat. And one morning I came back and a couple people had thrown their stuff right on top of my towel tee shirt and visor, I moved their things and when they came back they lied and loudly proclaimed they were their seats, they were awful and we had to get security to deal with them. Also had another incident on beach where 2 towels were taken off of our seats. They charge you for your towels btw if you don't turn them in when you leave. It is interesting also how some people don't respect your private space on beach or pool - they turn their chairs and face you directly, or back their chairs up as if they were part of your family. That whole thing was annoying and something I haven't found in the higher end places I have stayed.
The entertainment was mediocre.
I give the property a 3 because of the food and the service and the way they kept trying to clean the property all the time. But won't return. Next time it will be an Iberostar or a higher end property.

A tip, I used Cancun Cab to get to this property and they were wonderful, very efficient, and I felt a good price for private transportation. Marlene is truly professional.

Room Tip: if you don't like old furnishings don't stay in building 1
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Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
7 Thank kaaala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rothesay
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2012

Anybody saying the beach is a 4 star,never travelled anywhere else,seaweed and water that looked like a oil spill had happened all along the coast untill you get to cancun,1 star at the most The pool was good except for no swim up , but the bars were only steps away.3 star for the pool The staff was great except for the buffet police, My wife was sick one day and i wanted to take her a box of kids size ceral and the waitress snaped the spoon out of my hands when leaving the building saying no no no and would no way let me leave.Just minor I guess. The food was about the best I have had from the different countries I have been to. The shows at night were about a 2 star except for peter pan I would give a 4 star. The rooms were a good size as well as the bathroom. Beware of the many ants and fling little insects because if they get into your room will bite all nite long. The only real bad thing that makes this resort terrible is the stink by building 5 that leads everybody to the beach,It is truley rank. For those of you that want to snorkell, don't go on the bus ($120.00) per person for 1 hour of snorkling a trip to a teqila factory that isn't one but instead a little house in the jungle where they give you five free half onnce jiggers of different drink and then try to sell you over price bottles. Better for you to take the 5 dollar ride to the ferry 7 dollars to cross and the pay 8 to get in the park for snorkling. The ruins trip is well worth the 130 dollars for education purposes if anything. All all I had a good vacation with friends and family, The worry about security of canadians is highly inflated ,just be smart just like you wouldn'd go to certain areas of toronto while on vacation be aware where you go while in Mexico. Over all I would give this resort a 3 star

Room Tip: Building 5 is close to the pool and beach, But don't get a swim up room because it is next to th...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank kenny k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barrie, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2012

I travelled to BBGE on April 2, 2012 - April 9, 2012, with my boyfriend and two friends. We flew with Air Transat, flight there was about 3 1/2 hours. We got to the airport and someone immediately took our bags and carried them to our bus, which was nice. It was extremely hot! I've travelled to a few countries and this was by far the hottest weather I've experienced. My boyfriend did get sick as soon as we got to the airport (nerves from the flight, or the weather change?) They did have a bar at the airport,I think a beer was 400 pesos. The bus ride to the resort was about an hour, and our guide was awesome, getting everyone excited and telling us about Mexico. We got to the resort and there was a woman there waiting for our group. They took us to Building 7 to do our check in, which was done within 10 minutes, it was amazing. Our friends and I requested rooms near eachother and that was done no problem. Someone then took our bags to bring right to our rooms for us.
The room was gorgeous, big king bed, amazing bathroom, loved it! We were on the 4th floor which was nice. We were in building 8, which is far from the beach area, but it has its own pool, and buffet. We mostly stuck around that area anyways.
The food was amazing! I don't know how anyone could complain about the food, I loved everything. We only ended up doing 1 a la carte, which was the steakhouse.. So good!!! Definetly recommend it.
The pools were both so nice and warm, it was hard to get a chair after 8-9am, but we were usually up around then for breakfast and would throw our towels on some.. Its really not as big of a deal as everyone makes it, if you can't find one there, go to the beach, or wait an hour or two until people leave. Towels were always around if you needed a new one, but don't lose it or its $30 (I think).
The service everywhere was incredible, the staff goes out of their way to help you, everyone was so friendly.
Drinks were ok, everyone I went with loved them, but they were too strong for me lol..
We did 1 excursion to Xel Ha and Tulum... Tulum was awesome to see but the tour was painfully boring, and the ocean was red flagged so we couldn't swim and it was super hot that day. Xel Ha made up for the morning, it was amazing there.. so much fun. It was $130/person for that day trip.
The ocean isn't the nicest I've seen, the water is a bit murky, but nothing that could ruin a trip there! If you walk to the left (looking at the ocean) about 10 minutes, theres a lagoon area.. very cool, we had fun there and the water is nice.
Can't comment on the shows, I was never up late enough (9:30pm) haha... but I heard they were good.
All in all we had a great time, and I would definetly go back. Please message me with any questions as I'm sure I missed a few things :)

Room Tip: We were in building 8, in room 8418. It was looking over a forest area, it was really nice, our room...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank emiily9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Creston, British Columbia, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2012

Entertainment and rooms are perfect. Drinks are ok. Food had a little lack of imagination I would say... kind of repetetive. I would say it was a little too americanized... the pool was a big negative. Had to swim in the morning cause the level of the water was under the baskets, so imagine in the afternoon when everybody is in. Really discusting, not filtered at all... Me and my 10 year old son found that lagoon and spent a lot of time there (good alternative) Rio Secreto and Puerto Morelos snorkel are a must. Ek-Balam was good too but a little too much pick up and drops off at other resorts. Overall, me and my son talked and agreed that we had a much better time and better food in Puerto Vallarta at the Royal Decameron last year... and way cheaper.... Make your choice !!!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Marc D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kentville N.S.
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2012

spent the week of march 24 at bluebay and was much taken with the whole resort this has been our 5 th trip to this area of the mayan in the past 6 years bluebay has some if not all the best staff we have encountered the alacarts were very good with plating of dishes wonder full choices at the alacarts we a little limitting but good selections all around if u like a variety of dishes keep to the alacarts as the buffet left me dissappointed no carving stations ang very much the same dishes every lunch and supper one cannot exist on cut up roast chicken, hot dogs ,french fries,and burgers well at home I can try but not on vacation breakfast was good and service in the buffets excellent rooms are ok if I went back I would try to score a swim out room especially on the end of the building ove all good buy for the money spent need to up grade buffet menue right away

Room Tip: buildings 2,3,4, good locations for us did not like 7,8,9
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Linda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stevens, Pennsylvania
Level 6 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2012

We recently returned from a 10 day trip to this hotel. All in all it was a good trip. The food was good, the wait staff was excellent!! We did get to go to the steak house and seafood and they were very good. There were plenty of beach towels and if you needed a fresh towel they were happy to exchange the one you had. There should be more shade areas around the pools. That is a major concern for those who do not like the sun............lack of shade at the resort. We did have an issue with housekeeping. Somedays they cleaned the room early and other days, well, let's just say we made our own bed and just got clean towels. They really need a better system for that. But, they do a very thorough job. I found most of the help at the hotel very pleasant. They always asked how the day was going. The drinks were as strong or weak as you wanted them to be. The only bad thing about the trip was some of the other guests. They acted worse than the toddlers at the pool. They really thought that they were the only guests at the hotel. It was such a shame to have to explain to adults that you need to stand in line and wait your turn. But, I guess you run into that sort of guest anywhere. If there were any spring breakers, we did not see them or hear them. We have been away during spring break season where the rosort is overrun by them...........not at this resort. Very quiet and relaxing

Room Tip: We liked being near the small pool and buffet, so building 6,7, or 8
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank breezes pleases
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
#57 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#58 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#69 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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