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Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda
Ranked #30 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 28 February 2014

After reading past reviews both myself, and family were extremely excited for our arrival at the Paradius.
From the time we arrived till the time we departed our experience was NOTHING as the reviews suggested.
I would caution anyone to think twice before planning a family vacation at the Paradius.
Some of the key takeaways;
- Management is clearly not willing to help with issues, and is very elusive
- If you do not book Royal Service, or Family Concierge your experience will greatly differ the reviews you read
- Kids under 18 cannot dine in any of the higher quality restaurants
- Getting reservations for restaurants is a chore, and most end up not getting the restaurants and times they want
- Attempting to get a bed, or chairs close to the pool is almost impossible, guest wake up at 2-3am to reserve the limited beds, and most never use them throughout the day
- The word "No sorry we can't help", or "No sorry we can't do that" are common vocabulary for the hotel staff
- Toilets back up very easily, and getting someone to your room to fix the problem is not an easy task
- Bar & Wait staff is very friendly
Our family has been traveling on family vacations to all-inclusive resorts for the past 10 years. This was clearly our biggest disappointment.


  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Review collected in partnership with Melia Hotels International
7  Thank Richard Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 3 March 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking some of your valuable time to post a review on Tripadvisor and for sharing your comments with us.

We deeply regret to learn that your experience at our property did not meet your expectations especially after our Guest Service Manager was attentive to your necessities. It is a shame that you did not perceive their efforts and you can be assured that thanks to your comments and your experience we will work harder, in order to accomplish our highest guest’s demands.
We assure you that your notes have been shared with the departments involved for review and in order to make the correspondent corrections.

On the other hand, after reading your comments regarding the restaurants, we will also work in improving the communication with our guests, since you did not receive the correct information about our entire culinary options.

Allow me to clarify that, we offer at least five options to have dinner to our guests from La Esmeralda. In fact, as an exception, we provided you the benefit of enjoying the menus of restaurants from La Perla (only adults) in Restaurants from La Esmeralda, because as you knew the restaurants located on the side of La Perla do not accept children under 18 years, we offer our sincere apology for failing to transmit that information to you.

We understand we didn't provide you with the hotel experience you expected and sincerely we are sorry for that and we hope to have another opportunity to redeem ourselves in your eyes and welcome you back in the future.

Santiago Rivera
Hotel Manager
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda

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4,007 - 4,013 of 7,678 reviews

Reviewed 27 February 2014

Our family of 5 went on our February Vacation the week of the 16th to Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda. Our experience was absolutely fantastic. From our arrival to our departure every employee from Jorge who met us on our arrival to the to Oliver the Guest Services Manager made us feel as if we were the most important guests at the hotel. Our son who is 11 has Celiac Disease which can make travel a challenge and they not only met the challenge but exceeded it. Each of the Managers at the Restaurants, (Patricia, Guillermo at Naos especially) insured that clean and safe preparations were done for his food and personally saw to his safety. Gluten free vs Celiac friendly are two different standards and they really understood how important it was for us. Our room was a 2 bedroom Suite that was incredible. I have traveled globally and this was one of my favorites. Ours was set up like two master suite rooms connected so that we had two large bedrooms and two large family/dining rooms. The bathrooms were huge and as nice as any Four Season/Ritz Carlton I have been to.

I read a review that mentioned how Oliver Bothfield the Guest Services Manager seemed to be in 10 places and at once and I laughed because it was true. He was in the restaurants, on the beach, at the pools and in the lobby 24/7. Attentive, personable, approachable and most importantly listened and responded to all of us.

The restaurants were all great. We went each night to a different one with our party of 10 and the food was excellent and the service was good. It never felt crowded, we never had to wait to sit down and the staff were friendly and helped us navigate.

We made two trips from the hotel using the Olympus Desk in the lobby that worked out great. The staff was incredibly patient, worked with us to get everyone on board. We went to Xplor for Zip Lining which was close by and great and the next day booked a private tour guide and driver to take myself and 6 kids (we came with another family of 5) to the Mayan ruins in Tulum. The guide was informative, interesting, patient (I said 6 kids from 11 to 16) and everyone loved it We went from 8:30am to 12:30pm and it was perfect.

On a scale from one to ten I gave this vacation a 10 as did my kids.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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6  Thank jordanwolfeintegrity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2014

Dear Guest,

First of all we would like to thank you for having taken a few moments of your valuable time to express your satisfaction about the services of our Resort during your stay with us.

It is a great pleasure for us to know that we exceeded your expectations and that we were able to create such a unique holiday experience. We want to ensure that once you walk through our lobby doors, you’re able to relax and enjoy every moment of your vacation.

Our main concern is you total satisfaction and to please every need of our guests. We are glad to read you enjoyed our facilities, the culinary experience we offer and your incredible room. As for the staff members you have mentioned in your review, we will make sure to pass on your kind comments to all of them, whom we are sure did everything out of love in order to make your stay unforgettable.

We hope to welcome you back in the future to make more travel memories.

Santiago Rivera
Hotel Manager
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2014

Currently here with our two year old and parents. I do not understand the negative reviews except our friends are here too and they have had some issues with not being properly booked...I guess it depends on who you get sometimes.

Service is great. Family concierge was worth the price for us. Daniella and Aldo have done a great job for us. Elizabeth at the pool and a gentleman whose name escapes me right now but who is the family concierge at the beach are awesome too. Lived how accommodating the beach guy was at placing the umbrellas perfectly for us throughout the day. Ali at the front desk has noticed my father-in-law has some trouble walking and has many times arranged a cart for us. Bring tip money...lots of 1s and 5s...goes along way to getting to you superb service. Surprised at how many people here do not tip and then expect the moon and stars....these are people with families to feed...show your appreciation for them and you get more in return.

Our ocean view rooms have nice views and are quiet for the most part except when the maids are cleaning. That is to be expected with tile floors and hard surfaces everywhere I guess.

The beach is a bit narrow but perfectly fine especially down by the family concierge area. Go even farther north and there is a beautiful wading pool that is fed by an underground river. Perfect place for kids. Yes the locals are there but get over it people...you are in their country and there is nothing scary about them.

The food is excellent at all of the dinner places. Bana is the best. We have eaten there twice and would happily go back (and this is a pretty picky group of people). The pizza on the kids menu is terrible but the chicken fingers and fries are great. The breakfast and lunch buffet are just ok - like a cheap cruise. The lunch in the main restaurants is very good. The pool side places are again more like cheap cruise food though the guacamole is good and everywhere. We much preferred the room service breakfast. Don't hesitate to ask for something off the menu...they are super accommodating. Only problems we have had are with the juice and milk. We cannot find real juice except for peach nectar anywhere...it's all drink mix. The milk is Mexican boxed milk which is to be expected.

Why I give four stars instead and five even though we will likely come back...

Things that need to be fixed -
- add changing tables to all men's and women's bathrooms. Stupid to not have them in a family resort...just buy the Rubbermaid ones online and install them now.
- turn down the heat about three to five degrees in the family concierge pool...it is too warm.
- get rid of the glass coffee tables in the family rooms...toddlers cannot see them and can bonk their heads.

Also, hated the stupid window from the bathroom to the room...we have kids...we need peace and privacy in the bathroom...not a peekaboo window.

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing away from the common areas.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank KDB17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 27 February 2014

Dear Guest,

Allow us to express our gratefulness for selecting us to celebrate your vacation, and for sharing the impressions of your recent stay with us.

Our guests’s observations are very important for us, because give us the opportunity to learn and improve. You may feel assured that we took good notes from your notes; as we are always in the pursuit of exceeding your expectations and provide you the reasons to come back.

On the other hand, we are happy to learn you enjoyed the exclusive benefits of our exclusive Family Concierge area, our facilities and the dinning experience we offer. Also we would like to thank you for your kind compliments toward our staff; it is thanks to our excellent team that we are able to accomplish our goal, the total satisfaction of our guests.

It will be always a pleasure to welcome you back, and you can be sure that we will never cease in our efforts to constantly improve the quality of services provided.

Santiago Rivera
Hotel Manager
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2014

Ahhh the Paradisus La Esmeralda......Incredible would be an understatement! We stayed from February 15 thru February 22, 2014. Upon on our arrival we were greeted with warmth,fresh towels to wipe our hands and faces, and then were whisked away to the family concierge area. We paid an extra fee for the family concierge service which to us with a 6 and 3 year old was the icing on the cake! (if you have older kids like teenagers I think there is a way to have" family concierge access" for a little less money without the personal concierge for the entire week) When reaching family concierge we were immediately offered refreshments, the kids received special back packs, and we got to meet who our concierge would be for the week. Ours was Olga. Olga was fantastic. She was kind, warm, attentive, and fabulous to our kids (and us too!) Olga took us to our room and showed us around. She booked our dinners for the week, brought special things to our kids each day, (i.e. special treats, water balloons, a surprise bubble bath with animal shape balloons) Our kids were ecstatic. She checked on us two to three times daily to make sure our needs were met. Little things like making sure we had an extra six pack of liter water bottles in our room might seem small to some but I am an avid runner and water (lots of it is a major requirement:) To me it was one more thing that I would have had to chase down but instead it was taken care of. If we head to the Paradisus again (strongly considering) we would request Olga again:) In addition the family concierge package allows you to have access to all the regular pools plus the heated "family concierge pool" which was a total blessing. My son wanted to hang out in the unheated pirate pool and my daughter enjoyed the heated family concierge pool.( which is a step away from the beach where you also have your own section for family concierge where every detail is tended to). As we talked to different families over the week (at the swim up bar where Jeremias took care of us even remembering our drinks,at the Hydro Grill where Duranda who calls herself the "Mexican Beyonce":) prepared food, or pool side where Olga and Ariel were checking in to see how are stay was going) we realized that many families were having the same great experience that we were. Some were there for a second time and a couple of the other families we met had stayed at their Dominican and Puerto Rico properties prior. Switching gears.......

Our room was fabulous and clean. We had the Two bedroom Master Suite size room so just under 1600 square feet. It gave our kids their own room, bathroom, living room, kitchenette. (the large amount of space made it feel more like home away from home) We had the same on our side of the suite with the inclusion of a formal dining table where we actually ate at for one of our meals. There are jacuzzi tubs on the balconies so my kids would take an outdoor tub while my husband and I relaxed, enjoyed champagne, and laughed with the kids. Spacious and comfortable where we all could have our "own space" The one thing I did notice though was that at night the beds were super warm due to the lack of breathability of the sheets. Some of the other people we met shared the same experience. (trying not to leave out details:))
The restaurants were great especially considering the amounts of people they were cooking for. There are a variety sushi, Mexican, Mediterranean etc. We had an opportunity to enjoy most of them.(we even tried the grasshoppers at Mole to share in that experience) They tasted a bit like super earthy popcorn:)
Last but certainly not least. We ventured into Playa Del Carmen one late afternoon and enjoyed a fabulous meal at a restaurant called Ambasciata D'Italia. Yummy! Great wine, calamari,pasta, pizza, caesar salad,and my husband enjoyed a filet that was prepared with leeks and some other awesome ingredients. We stayed mostly at our resort as we were so relaxed and felt that there was enough to do there for the particular type of trip we were taking. Some of our trips have been filled with back to back excursions and adventure. We were really looking for some low key, quality family time and that is exactly what we received. We returned from vacation rejuvenated!!!!!

Side bar. One of our kids did come down with a severe ear infection toward the end of our vacation that required the hotel doctor to visit ($145) In addition to a trip to one of the Hospitens (private med centers) where we were treated fairly quickly. The hotel staff doctor was excellent. We dealt with Dr. Diaz who was calming and ethical. We greatly appreciated his expertise!!!

If at all possible try to book a car service from airport to hotel. We used Lomas Travel. It was around $240 round trip. We road in a Lincoln Navigator instead of joining the masses on a hotel shuttle bus. Worth every penny!

Room Tip: If you have nappers and want sun during the afternoon while they sleep ask for a pm sun facing room...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Stacey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 27 February 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for writing such a detailed review of your recent stay with us at Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda.

We are delighted to read that you spent the best time in our property. Our top priorities are to provide the highest quality service and to show you how to embrace the experience of the Pure Freedom to Just Be.

It is an honor for us to know that you have enjoyed all the benefits, services, and special amenities of our exclusive Family Concierge Area; also we are glad to learn you enjoyed our facilities, your fabulous room and the culinary experience we offer, but most of all we would like to thank you for complimenting the service, as our team is the most important resource in our commitment to create memorable moments for our guests.

Thank you again for your value review and for visiting us and we hope to have the privilege to host you once again in a near future.

Santiago Rivera
Hotel Manager
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda

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Reviewed 26 February 2014

We just got back from a family vacation at La Esmeralda. From the moment we arrived we felt welcome.Rosario our consierge was very friendly and informative.Our 2 bedroom suite was so spacious and always kept spotless by staff. Pools were well kept and found them pleasantly cool after the heat of the day. Beach was wonderful, always being cleaned and service at beach was above most hotels. Ernesto was superior, he never takes a rest! The only downside of the beach is no washrooms close by! Exceptional staff for us were Rigoberto Santos in Naos and Selene Mateos in Sunrise Grill.They went above and beyond for us.Even if they weren't serving us they always came over to chat and make sure we were OK! They truely are wonderful people,they are lucky to have them as workers! Major problem for us was people smoke everywhere so beware if you are allergic to smoke! Overall wonderful vacation and travelled with Air Canada vacations which were excellent and looked after everything. A problem free company for us!

Room Tip: 2 bedroom master suite well worth it.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank leeniealberta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 27 February 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you so much for selecting us as a destination for your vacation.

It makes us really proud to read you had a wonderful stay with us. We want to ensure that once you walk through our lobby doors, you’re able to relax and enjoy every moment of your vacation.

As for the staff members you have mentioned in your review, we will make sure to pass on your kind comments to all of them, whom we are sure did everything out of love in order to make your stay unforgettable.

We look forward for your next holiday in Paradise.

Santiago Rivera
Hotel Manager
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2014

Booked 2 rooms for family vacation at Paradisus Esmeralda. Upon arrival, learned that hotel was overbooked for "a convention" and one room would be located at accompanying sister Hotel Paradisus Perla. It turned out that the 2 rooms were nearly 1/4 mile apart in this 950 room >2000 guest hotel, making family "togetherness" logistically difficult. The same "overbooking" experience was encountered in 2007 at another Paradisus hotel located at a different venue in Playa Maya -- that time we were moved to Cancun for 3 days.

Although the service, food and amenities were first rate, this hotel complex is like a huge cruise ship with more than 2000 folks on the go and looking for things to do. A "caste" system also exists in terms of making reservations (24 hours versus 1 week) for dinner at the specialty restaurants.

I would never return because of the unreliability of Melia/Paradisus reservation system -- conventions come first and individual reservations are a second thought.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Malcolm M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking some of your valuable time to post a review on Tripadvisor and for sharing your comments with us.

The situation you describe is not a reflection of our service standards and it is not a common situation.

We are disappointed to hear that your experience with us did not live up to your expectations and would like to extend our sincerest apologies. At that time we offered to you an option that we consider the best and we thought you had approved.

Our main concern is the total satisfaction of our guests, we truly hope that the good details you mentioned prevail and allow us a second chance, to provide you with a flawless experience.

Santiago Rivera
Hotel Manager
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 February 2014

I have travelled to various all inclusives throughout the carribean...this is by far the best resort I have every went to...Pool Concierage Elizabeth and Isreal are fabulous! Service at this resort is impecable, they were the most friendly and accomodating staff ever. Food was amazing in both the al la cart and buffet, Would highly recommend this resort!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Melia Hotels International
1  Thank Michael K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this reviewResponded 27 February 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you so very much for your outstanding review and awesome recommendation.

We are very happy to read that you spent the best time in our property. Our passion is exhibited through our service; we are delighted that our friendly and attentive staff was able to display our key philosophy by providing you with a wonderful experience. Elizabeth and Israel will be delighted to hear that she contributed to your stay.

It will be always a pleasure to welcome you back and repeat the Paradisus Experience.

Santiago Rivera
Hotel Manager
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#21 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#24 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £226 - £1,313 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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