We'd travelled to Paradisus La Esmeralda over Thanksgiving, for a 9-day vacation. This is the 4th time we'd stayed at a family all-inclusive resort over the past 12 months, so we're comparing this resort to other family all-inclusive resorts.
1) It's beautiful. The grounds are clean, the decor is modern.
2) The kids club is the best we'd seen so far. It is open all day (no breaks, as in other resorts), so you can bring your child here at any time. It has a separate toddler (up to 4-year area), so the kids play safely together. Parents are welcome to stay or to go (no extra fee). The staff is attentive and knows how to get the kids' attention. There are large screen TVs with movies for the tired kids to lie down to watch. There are always balloons for a festive atmosphere.
3) Top-shelf liquor is available, but you have to ask for the specific brands (Grey Goose, etc.)
4) The service is amazing. The waiters learn your preferences, and bring everything before you even have a chance to sit down.
1) The beds are foam and are very uncomfortable. You sink into one spot, and then can't move. My husband actually slept on the floor one night, so I spoke to the front desk, and they kindly changed our room.
2) The buffet is okay, but nothing exciting. In a few days, we became jaded of the breakfast food since it's always the same. The smoothie station is great, but there's always such a long line for the smoothies and for the eggs (perhaps because we travelled during such a busy time).
3) There are many restaurants, but only 4 allow kids, so we were limited to only 4 restaurants, which weren't too exciting. The presentation was enticing, but the food wasn't gourmet (as compared to the other resorts at which we'd stayed this past year). We had gone to each one once, and then decided that we don't want to return to any of them, eventhough we were there for many more than 4 nights.
4) The concierge that makes reservations is kind only as long as he or she thinks that you'll go to a sales pitch presentation. As soon as we made it extremely clear that we won't attend a presentation, we weren't even offered any help in making restaurant reservations.
5) If you don't book the Family Concierge, you really do feel like a second-rate customer. My travel agent did not offer the Family Concierge option to me (I wasn't trying to save money by booking this vacation, and was very interested in this option, but when we got to the resort, we were told that it's completely booked, but would have otherwise cost us $250 extra per night if booked at the resort itself). Try to explain to your little child why he can't have the cotton candy that other kids are eating just because we're not in the Family Concierge. Also, their pool is heated, which would have been great, considering it wasn't too hot when were were there, and the other pools were almost empty because they're so cold. Our pool ran out of towels at one point, and I went to their pool to get a towel, and was told I can't have one.
6) The pools are so cold. The beach is warm, but has tree stumps and rocks in the water, so watch your feet. The lifeguard walks around warning everyone of this. Not too far to the left is a beautful, clean beach, without rocks and tree stumps.
7) The entertainment begins at 9:30PM, which I thought is a little late for people who have young children. Other resorts began their shows at 8:30PM. We couldn't attend any of the shows since our baby went to sleep at 9:15PM.
8) There is hardly any entertainment and activities outside of the kids club. Other resorts have rifle shooting, bike riding, poker games, etc., but none of these activities, other than volleyball, at this resort.
9) Ladies, bring your own shampoo and conditioner, because the one given dries out your hair.
Considering the cost, I had expected more of this resort, but only because I'm comparing it to others in its class.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on the beach and surrounded by mangrove trees, Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda is an all-inclusive four Diamond resort with its promise of all-inclusive fun and LUXExclusive experience designed with the entire family. All suites feature a private balcony or terrace and include air conditioning with climate control, free Wi-Fi, 24-hour room Service, cable TV service, Minibar, in-room safe, complimentary toiletries, bathrobes, living area with sofa and a coffee maker. Services for relaxation and pampering include a YHI Spa, a hair salon ($), 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