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“Relaxation at its finest”

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Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda
Ranked #33 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
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Roselle, Illinois
Level Contributor
43 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Relaxation at its finest”
Reviewed 13 March 2012

Instant relaxation! When we walked into the open lobby with the zen pool garden beyond it was like being in paradise. I have never seen so many lounging areas in a resort in my life! There were large sofa areas with big pillows, cabana beds, large chairs everywhere in this sprawling complex. La Esmeralda is the family side of this complex with shared facilities dividing this from La Perla, the adults only side of the resort. The common area consists of the many wonderful restaurants and lounges the resort has - some for families and some adults only. It is a nice set-up altogether. The family pool area has a large pirate ship on one end with slides and on the other end a giant blow up raft on the end near the swim up bar - what a great idea - mom and dad can supervise their kids in the pool while sitting in the water at the bar just a few feet away. The adults only pool also has a swim up bar - no toys - but some water aerobics at certain times of the day. The beach is just a short walk over a boardwalk surrounded by natural foliage. Unfortunately you can not see the beach or the ocean from the resort, but there are lots of loung chairs and cabanas down at the beach too. During our stay it was too windy for the beach so we stayed around the pool and received great service all day. The food at this place is incredible (and I am a food snob). I have never had such great food at a resort. While we did not take advantage of special services in the spa we did use the steam room, sauna and spa pools. Again the spa area had three day bed cabanas that you could hang out in.

All-in-all this was a very nice place for total relaxation. The nuevo-tech music that played most of the time got to me - I think they had the same girl singing every song. I would have liked to hear some carribean, latin or regge music to liven up the pool area. This also being a very new resort could use some polishing on the training of its employees (many of whom did not speak english) for a bit more attention to small details. All of the staff, though was friendly and helpful.

I am not sure I would come back here (or anyplace I had to fly into Cancun as that was a total cluster f.... - they need some serious help at that airport) as it is very expensive and there is no place else to go as you are in the barrios away from the downtown area. We were told that you could walk the beach to town (about a half hour walk), but otherwise, the only way to get anyplace is by cab, which is very expensive. This would be a better place with a large group, such as a wedding or family reunion if you could afford it.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank martinigirlmina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

Just returned from a wonderful family ( 3 generations) vacation at paradises Playa Del Carmen. Chose family concierge, which is well worth the extra bux!
Our concierge, Luciana, was extremely helpful, from the very start. Very attentive, and always there for us.
The food was delicious!
Highlight dinner was Trepanyaki, not only a great meal, but a fabulous show put on by the chef. There are so many excellent restaurants from which to choose, but even the buffet was great!
The beach isn't the best we've been to, in that the Family Concierge section is a bit far from the resort, but it is beautiful!
The resort itself is magnificent, but be very careful on the marble floors. They're beautiful, but very slippery, especially when wet.
The rooms are spacious, very clean, but, even though our rooms were designated as " Junior Luxury Suites", they were in fact only rooms, with a cot for the kids. We were led to believe that they were actual suites, with a separated area for the kids.
All in all, it was a spectacular family vacation.

Room Tip: If travelling with small kids, upgrade to the family concierge. If the kids are older, you may want...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank stokdoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oh
Level Contributor
47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2012

Pros: sparkling new so very up to date, fabulous decor throughout. Alcohol is the "real deal", not watered down crap as experienced elsewhere. M Bar-just fab, nice martinis. Blue agave bar makes a "pique" margarita that is mucho spicy!
Fuego veal chop to die for! Must try the caipirinha...Brazilian national drink! Had privileges at La Perla (adults only side) and spent all my time there since no kids with me.

Cons: Horrible wait to get thru customs, no organization and tempers flaring. Biggest downfall is beach. Not good as small, tons seaweed and very rocky. If u are going for the beach, skip this resort, although they are trying develop it. Rather slow and inconsistent with restocking of mini bar, coffee and water. The Market Grille restaurant which is an argentine steakhouse theme, was not good, felt like very low quality meats but then again, I'm not a beef lover.

  • Stayed March 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kelly23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
40 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2012

Hello Travellers,

I came here when it was only open a month so everything was fairly new and some sections were still being built. But I will give a breakdown on my thoughts.

The rooms, lobby, layout, set up was gorgeous. I have stayed at many all inclusives and this was the nicest.

Food, Buffet was pretty much the same everyday, they had nice touches for kids as in a candy station. For dinner I liked the Japanese restaurant and enjoyed the sushi. Everything else was average or good. Where I spent most lunches and dinners was at the pool grill. The food was really good there and quality of the food was great at all restaurants. It was not your average all inclusive food.

Beach and Pool, You know I never went in the pool lol I spent most of my days at the beach which is small and not powder white sand like some portions of Playa and Cancun but it was it was very calm with little waves so great for swimming. There was good service there as well a waiter would come out offering sandwiches and always asking if we were ok for drinks.

Bars and Beach Club, the Beach Club was not completed when were there but the bar area is really nice and even Hookahs set up for people who were interested. They tried really hard to entertain and accommodate everyone.

Negatives- PRICEY, maybe we were there at a peak time but 3500 for a couple for just the all inclusive hotel for the week alone was just too much. Also there was a issue at check out and it took me 2 hours, they do a preauth of your stay on your card but when I tried to check out the preauth wasnt being removed and they were charging my card on top of that, I don't know what happened or what got messed up but when I came back home I was charged 3-4 different times and had to charge it all back.

I found everything too costly, taking a cab to 5th ave playa because there was 6 of us was an automatic $50 ride per way even though it was 8 min drive!!! All the tours were expensive as well between $120-$150 per person. I don't know what happened but costs have gone up in general in Mexico.

Please note this is not near 5th avenue not even walking distance and it is in a really poor area so you are confined to the hotel which I did not appreciate.

This hotel was nice but overall the costs were too high for a all inclusive I would not return.

Room Tip: All the rooms seemed and we only had the basic ones.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank irrum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Franklin Lakes
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2012

We got back from vacation over 2 weeks ago and we are still thinking about it!! The hotel is beautiful and the restaurants are great. Fuego was the BEST restaurant! Order ALL the Ceviche!! The staff is great all around the resort. Be sure to ask for a cappacino in the am at The Market. They dont tell you about it unless you ask! The gym is really nice with GREAT spin bikes although thy need better spin music. Be sure to grab a palapos at the pool as soon as you can.... they are the best for the whole day out in the sun. We had 5 kids with us ages 10 - 18 and they ALL had a GREAT time. We were not sure if you needed to tip because it is an all inclusive but we did and they REALLY appreciated it.
The ONLY glitch they need to work on is the beach... it is too small and full of sea weed but the pools are great to hang out by. The adult club "disco" is fun also... it is on the adult side but does not get "active" until 11pm. Internet service was very poor by the pool and could be better in the rooms
Our families will be back for sure!!!!!!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Alison D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trabuco Canyon
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2012

The ambience of this hotel is classy, tropical, and relaxing. The grounds are beautiful, a perfect combination of decor and landscaping.

We did come in via the local neighborhood. Note that the drive off the main road to the hotel took approximately 3 minutes. Note that we saw families walking with their children along the streets. Was it dangerous? NO. To me, the neighborhood was just a classic local area. Of course, there were no million dollar mansions. Give me a break! The people that reside in this area live a simple life. It is reflective in their housing. Don't judge. You are lucky to be able to afford La Esmeralda. Not everyone is that fortunate. And you should never judge a book by its cover. The people in Playa are gentle people. The new road to arrive at the resort is scheduled to open shortly or is already open.

Check in was fine. They have a bar area in the Check In Lobby for you to enjoy drinks if your room is not ready. I believe there were also TV's there as well.

The hotel rooms are gorgeous. I looked at 3 different types of rooms and they all were impressive. We chose to stay in a swim up. We loved it. We spent 1/2 day at the beach and then 1/2 day back in our swim up pool area. Total luxury. I would take my book and read in the pool and/or swim in our pool area.

LOVED the Shower in the room......I don't know the exact word for it, but the water jets down from the ceiling. Huge Bathtubs. If you get a certain type of suite, you will also have a Jacuzzi tub on your patio or balcony.

If you have an IPOD, bring it. Every room has a fantastic dockers with great sound. We loved listening to our favorite music in the evenings getting ready for dinner.

The Swim Up Bar at La Esmeralda is fun. The main pool is great. The only negative I found was this trampoline thing that was in that area and it attracted too many children. I hope it has since been removed because they have another fabulous pool with a pirate ship and water slide for the children next to it.

I personally loved the Mangroves that separate the hotel from the beach area. It gave you a tropical jungle type vibe and when you are on the beach, you felt a wonderful disconnect from the hotel itself. The Beach is a natural beautiful beach. Yes, some area's of sand are wider than others in area's, but that is what you would expect from something made from Mother Nature. You can walk forever, both ways. We never saw any vendors peddling things to buy or bothering you. The water is warm, clear, and such amazing different colors of Aqua. Absolutely Mesmerizing. I enjoyed taking a cold drink out and just standing up to my waist in the water sipping my drink and just basking in the sunshine and enjoying the soothing Caribbean Sea.

The Service on the beach we found great. Our server was super friendly and we had no problems getting ice cold drinks served to us. After a day or so, he would look in the water if we were not in our beach chairs and signal "Do you want a drink?".......

Restaurants - They were all Excellent. Each restaurant is different with it's type of cuisine. We ate at Vento, The Argentinean Steak House, The Brazilian Restaurant, and the Teppanyaki. I was particularly impressed with the Salad Bars, filled with such a fresh variety of different items. Then the actual meals themselves were always perfectly cooked to order. The waiter always asked if it was okay and was everything good. I am positive if we had said no, he would have done something about it. Service very personable and friendly. Did they rush us? No. We enjoyed leisurely dinners with wine. Was it too slow? Not in my opinion. To me the timing of the meal was just right. They even encouraged us to sit and relax and drink some more wine after our dinner was finished.

The Bars in the hotel really modern and each decorated differently. They are just plain fun to sit and enjoy a drink. The architecture was really innovative. Top Shelf Alcohol. Bartenders are well trained and can make amazing concoctions. Each bar had a totally different vibe and ambience, thus you really can choose what suits your mood and/or style.

There are also a couple of late night dance clubs on property. While we did not go, they appeared to be really popular and stayed open I believe until 2 am.

The Breakfast Buffet had an great selection of items for everyone. This included the "Mimosa and Bloody Mary "Do it Yourself" bar set up there as well.

If you have children (which we do not), I recommend splurging for the Family Concierge. It's a true children's paradise. Cotton Candy, Sno Cone, Caramel Corn Machines and so much more around the Family Concierge Pool Area. And that pool does have a swim up bar for the parents!

I also want to emphasize that I never encountered any rude staff. But maybe that is because I am always friendly to everyone and say "please" and "thank you" to all the staff at any resort I visit.

I have stayed in All-Inclusive's in Cancun (2), Playa Del Carmen (2), Punta Cana (3), Bahamas (1), Jamaica (2), all different hotels. I have also stayed at plenty of also Non All Inclusive Resorts throughout the world. And there is no such thing as a "perfect" hotel. The Paradisus Playa Del Carmen sits at the top of my list of All-Inclusive Resorts.

I am not a travel agent, nor am I related or employed by Paradisus. I am just a very satisfied customer.

I actually also do not normally write reviews. I do read them all the time. So this time, I decided it was time for me to write one and "give back" to Trip Advisor.

To me, La Esmeralda is a 5 star resort and absolutely fantastic.

The Management at this hotel know what they are doing. They run and manage an amazing property with professionalism which is reflected everywhere in the resort.

We will definitely be going back.

I recommend this hotel with no hesitation and instead with great enthusiasm!

Room Tip: I recommend the Swim Up Rooms
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
8 Thank Ltaylorsocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 March 2012

We were a group of 10 women traveling from Georgia for a girls weekend. We booked our trip with cheap Caribbean back in October 2011. Once we arrived in cancun & waited forever our shuttle to the resort (not the resorts fault) the transportation company did not have all our names. I say we waited about an hour. The drive to the resort wasn't bad at all. Apparently they are still working on the front entrance so we entered I guess through the back. No big deal. Once we pulled up we were greeted by a woman welcoming us with a nice cold towel. Our luggage was then taken. We went to the front desk & it's about 2:00 ish & our rooms aren't ready yet so no big deal we are hungry. We then go to a restaurant for lunch & was there for a good 2 hours. We figured at this point our rooms would be ready since check in is at 3:00 but only 3 of our rooms were ready. Check in was very slow & painful. Our rooms were supposed to be all near one another which was not the case & we were told we would get upgrades. A couple of the rooms faced the tennis courts & the bungy jump for kids. Apparently they could not move the 3 rooms that were not happy until the next night. Housekeeping was still cleaning rooms after 5:00. You can clearly tell this resort is majorly understaffed in all areas! We did move the next night & got a pool view. Alysa the front desk manager wonderful. Your chief concierge Zenzino Silva is absolutely the best. He went above & beyond for our group & made sure we were taken care of. You have yourself one great manager there.
Once we got settled into our rooms it was after 5:00 & we tried to make dinner reservations & we were told we were past the time. Go figure! They suggested the restaurant where we ate for lunch which we didn't want to go back to. We ended up ordering room service. That night on our way to club gabi for those that didnt order room service we had tapas. We passed a couple of restaurants on the way there & so a lot of empty tables & wondered why they couldn't accommodate our group other than the fact short on staff. The entertainment staff did a great job especially Ivan. Boy do they work a lot of hours! Aaron & martin at the pool were awesome. They helped us everyday getting our chairs all together & the palapsos ( high demand)
We ate in Bana one night hibachi service was terrible. We waited at least a half hour before someone entered our room & took our drink order. Once he showed up we told him we had to be somewhere in a certain amount of time & he quickly started cooking the food which was very salty. Our last night we ate at Fuegos which was probably our best dinner. Service was slow there too but the waiters went out of the way to accommodate us. We were in the back room. As far as the morning breakfast buffet you will not starve my only complaint it's the same thing every day. I do recommend going to coco bongo & Mandela which are off property & not included but you will have a great time. The resort will help assist with getting you there. I do have to say the resort is decorated very nice. They just need to work out a few kinks & hire more staff. They also need to tone down the smell in the front desk area. It smells good but is very strong. Then beach is nothing spectacular. I stayed mostly at the pool on the adult side. The lunch by the pool was good too. I can't say enough good things about Zenzino Silva. If you need anything see him. I will be back as long as Zenzino & Ivan are there. Once we got home we decided this trip we will be doing every year.

  • Stayed February 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lzang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda

Property: Paradisus 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
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#28 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Paradisus 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 Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda Mexico/Riviera Maya

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