We really enjoyed our trip last week to the Paradisius Esmeralda. We are in our late 40’s and traveled with our 10 year old daughter. We had a Ocean View Junior Suite which had a distant view of the ocean. Unlike other hotels there is not a grand drive into the entrance of the hotel and the back of it is very utilitarian looking. But inside is very nice.
Like others have mentioned there is a mangrove between the hotel and the beach so when you are sitting at the pool you can’t see the beach. It’s a short 5 minute walk to the beach which was narrow but still very nice and there were areas without rocks. We didn’t need to wear water shoes.
I was told about the Club Melia sales pitch before hand and they asked if we were interested in the presentation when we checked in. We said no and were not bothered at all the rest of the trip. Just avoid the desks that say “Guest Services” they are the timeshare people. I did have to go to them to change a few restaurant reservations but they were fine, didn’t bother us about the timeshare. We did speak to quite a few guests who were Club Melia members and they all seemed very happy with their timeshare. We just aren’t interested in one right now.
The main pool is nice with a pool bar and climbing inflatables for kids to climb on. The pirate pool is right next to the main pool and is shallower and warmer (very warm). This is the first time we went to Mexico in June and we had beautiful weather the entire week, but was told the week before it rained almost every day, so we were very lucky. It was low season and we were told that the hotel was 30-40% full, so there were plenty of chairs and even some of the beds near the pool.
The service was the best part of the trip, the staff is wonderful and the service was the best we had (and we’ve been to about 8 all inclusive in the Mayan Riviera. We made all our reservations a week before we arrived but were able to change a few when we got there.
The food was also very good and you can eat at the a la carte restaurants every night. We went to Mole, the Market (Brazilian steakhouse), Vento (Mediteranean), Bana (Japanese steakhouse and sushi). Our least favorite was Mole. I had the Chicken Mole which was okay but my husband didn’t like the beef. We were going to go to Passion since it was our anniversary but decided not to because we didn’t really like the menu (lots of things we don’t eat like fois grois, duck, clams, etc. Our favorite was Vento, the Market, and Bana. Our daughter loved the buffet Naos. We ate lunch there a few times and the made to order grilled chicken and fish was excellent, so was pasta. Another suggestion would be to have a kid's menu in English and Spanish for all the restaurants.
Our daughter was 10, so I was a little worried because most of the reviews mentioned younger kids, so I was afraid she wouldn’t like the kids club but she loved it. There were lots of kids her age and they did a lot of fun things. My only suggestion is the kids club is open in the evening from 8-10 which is great, but the shows start at 9:30 pm, so we would usually only see ½ the show because we would get our daughter and she would be bored or tired. It would be nice if the shows started at 9 or the kids club ran until 10:30. I heard babysitting was $20 an hour plus taxi fare, which seems high compared to other hotels. I think for kids over 12, I would choose another hotel because there isn’t a lot for teens to do or a club for them.
A few reviewers noted that the hotel is in a rundown area of Playa. You do drive through a neighborhood that looks poor. I don’t know how safe it is, there were a lot of police. We rented a car and after the Xcaret night show drove back to the hotel and got a little lost and were driving around. There were kids playing on a playground (if it was unsafe would they be out at night?) but we also had a police car pull in front of a store and a lot of police got out with shot guns so that was a little scary. If you are going to Playa I would take a taxi or if in the daytime walk along the beach. I walked by myself along the beach to 38th avenue and it took about 20 minutes and passed by hotels and condos.
You can rent jet skis at the hotel but if you want to parasail AquaWorld (the vendor at the hotel) only does it out of Cancun. The closest parasailing seems to be at a hotel on the beach at 38th street and the cost is $65.
The décor of the hotel is very modern. I kind of missed the Mexican feel of some of the hotels. I also missed that they didn’t have the shows in a theater, they set up a stage in one of the bars of the hotel. They also didn’t do a kids show. At the Iberostar hotels they usually have a kids show in the theater at 8pm and then have the adult or family show.
Excursions – we rented a car from the Dollar car rental in the lobby. For 1 day we paid $100 for an automatic car with full coverage (no deductable). For $80 we would have had a $1500 deductable but didn’t want to take the chance. We picked up the car at 1:15 pm and drove to Xcaret and sent the afternoon in the underground river and snorkeling, then we ate dinner and saw the show at 7 pm. The all inclusive cost was $119 for adults and ½ price for kids under 12. Then the next morning we drove to Tulum and arrived at 9 am. You will see many guys selling bug spray in the market – BUY IT. The mosquitos were awful, my husband must have gotten 20 bites. I didn’t think it would be so bad in the morning. We took some pictures but didn’t do a tour because it was HOT and we had been there before. We spent about an hour swimming in the ocean, then taking a few more pictures before we left and got back by 1 pm to return the car.
For food and service and rooms I would rate the Paradisius the best hotel we have stayed at. Would I go back, probably not only because we like to go to different hotels and the main reason is I like to be able to see the beach when you are sitting at the pool. My husband and daughter don’t really like the beach, so if the beach isn’t right near the pool I don’t get a chance to go often. Otherwise it was excellent resort. If I could just combine the view of the Barcelo Maya Palace with the service and food of the Paradisius it would be the best hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on the beach and surrounded by mangrove trees, Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda is an all-inclusive four Diamond resort with its promise of all-inclusive fun and LUXExclusive experience designed with the entire family. All suites feature a private balcony or terrace and include air conditioning with climate control, free Wi-Fi, 24-hour room Service, cable TV service, Minibar, in-room safe, complimentary toiletries, bathrobes, living area with sofa and a coffee maker. Services for relaxation and pampering include a YHI Spa, a hair salon ($), 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