I can agree with ALL of the positive reviews- the service was the most personal we've ever received, the food was amazing and the accommodations were exquisite. I'll try not to be too repetitive here. Instead, I'll try and include tips that were either suggested to me or things I wish someone had shared with me. We traveled as a family, with kids ages 4 and 8.
We booked a package online through a travel website and chose the One bedroom Master suite. The Family Concierge (FC) was not available with the one bedroom. I was prepared to upgrade at check in, but it was not offered to us, so I just saved some $$ I suppose. Someone suggested to me that, next time, just book the F.C junior suite, and upgrade to the One Bedroom at check in. We had an excellent stay without the family concierge and didn't feel like we missed out on much, except for the space at the pool, which I'll address in the POOL section below. My kids did not get their own slippers and bedtime snack, or bedtime bubble bath. No one carried our towels to the beach. Somehow, we survived. I'm totally kidding here. We were very pampered without the F.C. :)
I emailed the hotel one week before are arrival to request that our dinner reservations be made before our arrival. I received a prompt response, with dinner booked for every night, with one dinner booked at FUEGO, the adults only restaurant. I was surprised that we were allowed to bring the kids to the BANA restaurants, both on the LA PERLA side. I think they allow kids before 8pm. We arrived late on the first night and missed our reservation, and they were very attentive when we requested one minor change. Now that I've experienced the reservation process, I understand WHY they have them. They limit their seatings so that they can provide the most attentive service possible. It seemed we had a waiter (to ourselves) every time, and they were eager to fill every one of our requests, big or small. Also, every restaurant has a kids menu.
2013 $550/$1000 credit,
After we checked in we realized we didn't receive the 2013 credits. We had to request the coupon booklet . I think it's under lock and key because when we arrived on Saturday night, we were told that the department in charge of them was closed for the night. The room credit was useless, because it had to be used within 24 hours of check in, and by the time we received it, we were already unpacked and happy with our room. Besides, the room upgrade credit of $300 would not have covered much. The $50 spa credits didn't go far either because it could only be used for one treatment, and all spa services include and added 20% service fee. (I'll post a price list). The $20 and $50 alcohol credits were VERY useful. We used them to order champange/premium tequila/wines. Use those! Some bartenders are not familiar with them, but will never decline them. We didn't use the $150 Passion Restaurant credit because we just ran out of time, and dinner at Passion is $100 per person. IF the regular restaurants were extraordinary, I imagine Passion is stellar!
We saw 5 out of 7 shows and they were all great. I would only change the locations and times. 9:30 was a bit late for us, and we tend to be early birds too. The shows were held at either the Gabi Club or the North bar. Both were outdoors and the seating never seemed to be enough. They have a perfectly good indoor theater and I've wondered why they just don't use that for the shows.
THANK YOU, Esmeralda for limiting the smoking sections. They have a PURE AIR policy which is greatly appreciated by those who are not fans of cancer. Gracias.
Now open from 9am to 10pm. My kids loved it even when they just went after dinner, to kill time until the evening shows. I'll post a sample of last week's schedule. Kids 1 to 4 years old stay in the Kid Zone at all times, but kids ages 5 and up are taken outside the zone to do activities outside, such as rock climbing. The first time kids are left, parents must sign a permission slip. Any other time, parents just log them in and out. Lunch and dinner is also served there, which is very convenient. The staff also supervises jumpy houses near the lobby, even though it's not part of the Kid Zone. Parents stay with kids there. They serve cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn - they know how to keep kiddos happy!
We had a rental and were pleasantly surprised to have free valet service. We just tipped them every time. After all, the valet/bell were extremely generous in offering directions and water bottles to go, without expecting anything in return. On a side note, if you are driving from the airport, don't follow google maps. From 307, U turn at 106 street and just follow the blue signs to Paradisus--its a red brick road. It's that simple.
They were never expected, but always appreciated. We tipped every time, as the service was excellent almost 100% of the time. Even when we had a waiter that maybe was less than perfect, we tipped anyway. Everyone has an off day. Bring enough change - plan accordingly.
The bali beds (in the NON FC) area are in high demand and people "reserve" them by placing their stuff on them before 7am, to take ownership of them, even if they don't show up to the pool until after 9am. So selfish! The policy for the bali beds is that if they are not in use for 30 minutes, their belongings will be removed. The Pool Concierge does his absolute best he can, but people will be furious with him if he enforces this rule or doesn't enforse the rule. He just can't win and it's impossible for him to keep everyone happy. He told me that there have been fist fights over this. It's a hot topic. Other than that, the main pools in the Esmeralda side are very enjoyable. In July, they were not cold, as Spring reviewers noted.
Last but not least, are the employees at the Guest Services desks. Their job is to schedule your appointment to listen to the 90 minute info session for CLUB Melia. They are super friendly and great at greeting everyone. They will also offer you "promotions" or rewards for your time. We bought into it, only time will tell if it is worth the investment. If you are a member, I'd love your feedback - message me. The only inconsistency here is that the person at the desk promised us something that was inconsistent with what they could actually offer us. After a series of miscommunications between Guest Services, Club Melia desk personnel, and the Spa receptionist, we ended up with a great deal on a massage. Their miscommunications worked in our favor in the end, really wanted to please us. I just think they need to communicate better among themselves. It may or may not have been intentional. They need a clear list of "rewards" for guests, as this is their vacation time, and every hour counts. SO, with that said, if they promise something, make sure they follow through.
Send me a message if you have any questions. There is so much to say, but again, I don't want to be too repetitive!
- 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 By Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda Mexico/Riviera Maya