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“Would never recommend to anyone”

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BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
Ranked #96 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Eyemouth, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Would never recommend to anyone”
Reviewed 8 June 2014

I should have listened to the reviews! Unless you tip everyone you can forget getting good service. Unfortunately you seem to get forgotten about if you don't flash a few pesos at them all the time. On arrival it took an hour to get checked in and then once in the room had to wait another hour for our cases to be delivered. Just what we wanted after a 10hr flight. When we got into bed we realised the bed sheets were brown with dirt. That was not the only occasion we had dirty sheets either. We got moved rooms because the first room we were in had a connecting door and it was so noisy it was like the people were sharing a room with us. Our 2nd room was damp smelling, had a leak on the bathroom ceiling, light fittings hanging out and we had to lay towels along the bottom of the balcony doors as there was a gap along the bottom. Cleanliness is not great here even outside some ignorant tourists had thrown out empty beer bottles onto the grass and they lay there for almost 2weeks and was still lying there after we left (a guy cutting the grass drove round the bottle instead of picking it up). For dining out we tried 2 a'la carte but soon realised the buffet was far nicer so did not try any more. There's not much shade provided at the pools just a lattice style frame but you just end up tiger striped with burns through the slats. The beach was horrible and so uninviting, built up with sand bags. The water is not tropical looking at all just full ofseaweed. I really could go on and on. Loved the location in amongst the mangroves though never seen so much wildlife. But take plenty bug spray they will eat you alive there.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gems7383
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014

I was so worried as I booked my tickets before I read the reviews. Upon reading about the hotel I had weeks of sleepless nights and battles with the travel agent to try and change. I am so glad I didn't!
This hotel is 5* and beautiful. The grounds are spacious and immaculate, as are the well facilitated rooms. The pools and beach are gorgeous, warm and immaculately maintained.
The food is second to none, with so much choice, all freshly prepared and beautifully presented. We never even managed to venture away from the buffet as it was so delicious and with so many things on offer each night, it was hard not to take it all!
The staff are friendly and helpful. The only thing I would mention is the check in staff aren't the most friendly, but once you are past them, everyone else us delightful.
During our entire stay I DID NOT HEAR ONE PERSON complain about anything!
Please do not worry if you have booked this hotel, you are in for a treat, enjoy! :)

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
25 Thank Susie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2014

We stayed at hotel blue bay for two weeks between the 19th May-03rdJun 14. We enjoyed our stay and we all had a great time, food was plentiful and had a good choice. The alacart restaurantes were not worth booking in our opinion as you had to book the day before and often had to wait to be seated ( we waited over an hour for the steak resturante, eventually gave up at 9pm and went to the buffet).

All staff on the resort were helpful and pleasant, they all went out of their way to say hello. I must say though that the staff at reception were not consistant with their customer service and i think that lets the place down. Entertainment was good in the evening for the 1hour it was on, all the entertainment team were fab, soooo funny.

My 8 year old visited the kids club twice when we had a bit of rain and although all the children wers spanish he loved it and mingled well, the carers were great and were so attentive to the children.

Overall the hotel worked out good value for money for us but if I was to return to Mexico i would dig a bit deeper in my pocket for a bit of luxury and stay in a real 5 star hotel.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank johnstons1709
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

Just got back from this resort went may 26-june 2 and it was AWFUL!! Horrible service and very unfriedly staff. Way understaffed and they kep telling us "this is our slow time." We asked for simple thing as getting water during our dinner and the waiter ingored us, finally after the 5th time the hostess got it. Not the waiter. I high recmmond spending a little more and enjoying every minute of your trip. We normally leave a resort not wanting to leave but I could not wait to leave. Sorry but it is the HONEST TRUTH!!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank goptrsn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dickinson, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

I bought my tickets before I read all the reviews . Big mistake ! The beach is in fact horrible. The beach is held up by sand bags, full of seaweed and the water is very brown and murky all the time. If you want the blue waters and a nice place to swim, DO NOT GO THERE !
Other than that, the resort is nice, rooms are clean, buffet is good, did not go to the specialty restaurants so cannot judge. The grounds are very well kept. It's a large resort so be prepared to walk a lot.
Was in bldg 5 (Palenque) and it is very convenient to the beach, pool, and restaurant.
I must give applause to all the workers who are fighting everyday the beach/seaweed situation with bulldozers and rakes.
Nice resort, would not return because of the beach. I go to Mexico for the blue water.

Room Tip: Avoid ground floor if possible, very noisy !
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank calyso13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lossiemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2014

First things first!
Do not let the reviews worry you about this hotel.
Me and my wife went to the bluebay grand esmeralda in May 14, 6 months after we got married and had the most perefct holiday.

FOOD;
Great selection.
Delicious food and cooked very very well.
Amazing restaraunts. (you have to book early the day before and if that is a problem then its your problem not the staff or hotels problem)
Open practically all day so if you miss food its your own fault.

DRINK;
Anything you can think of, just ask.
No problem getting served regardless if you tip or not.
It does get busy at times so be patient dont just presume because you are all inclusive you are more important than anyone else ( everyone is all inlcusive).
Swing bar is great fun and a great place to meet new people and have a laugh.

HOTEL;
Beautiful grounds.
We stayed in block 7 so it was a mahoosive heartbreaking soul destroying 3-4 minute walk to the beach ( hint of sarcasm).
Buggies going around all day so wait at one of the stops if you really need to.
Check in was quick and easy bags were already at the room by the time we were dropped off.
The beach is not great but if you can be bothered there is the most amazing lagoon 5 minutes down the beach to your left! The beach cannot be the fault of the hotel and was never a problem to me and my wife, it is not postcard perfect but we made the most of it and it certainly never put us off this hotel.
So much wildlife everywhere was amazing to see.
Slight smell of mangrove only after rain but not bad enough to complain about to be honest
About half an hour from the airport which in our opinion does not warrant complaint at all.

ENTERTAINMENT;
Granted it was cheesy but it WAS funny.
Finished quite early but if you are a party animal Playa Del Carmen and Cancun are a very short/cheap taxi journey away.
Entertainment staff did amazing always organising plenty and trying to get everyone involved.
( I did feel sorry for them as they didnt seem to get much back from guests in way of enthusiasm ).

STAFF;
So hard working it is unbeleivable.
They are not rude, they are busy in my opinion.
They do not expect tips at all but they are definitely appreciated when given.

ROOM;
The room was exactly what we wanted, Big king size bed, amazing shower and cleaned every day.
Mini bar filled everyday and towels changed everyday no problems at all.
To me if you spend a lot of time in your room and complain about it you are not making the most of your holiday.
Aircon was brilliant and kept the room as cold or as warm as you wanted.

AMENITIES;
Wifi was good to have but defeats the point of being on holiday soi we werent really fussed about having it. Although it works everywhere at the hotel and is good to have.
Pools are amazing and very clean.
Tennis available all the time.
Loads of activities and sports during the day.
Aqua arobics and Yoga etc everyday.


Had an amzing fun packed holiday with great food and great laughs.
If you do not have fun here its because you have too high expectations or are not fun yourself.
P.S. We are from Scotland and noticed that the majority of complaints are from Loud Americans and Canadians which you will see when you get there i absolutely guarantee it. If you are a normal person from the UK i guarantee you will love it !!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
27 Thank Wayne O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
michigan
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 June 2014

Ok, first things first, before I get into the review of the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda, just in case there are any newbie's out there, Before you head out on your relaxing trip and you plan on using a credit card for anything...please do yourself a favor and notify the credit card company BEFORE leaving the states. That way they will allow you to use it and not think that your card has been stole or anything, it takes about 3 mins to do and you will save yourself from a huge headache. Yes I saw a couple before me go through the painful process of being declined because they didn't notify the card company beforehand..just some advice, now onto the review.

Arrival at Cancun airport...Folks my wife and I have been through the madhouse of the Cancun airport a few times and she has come up with a perfect way of dealing with the timeshare sellers right outside the sliding glass doors...keep your head down, and make the dash to the exit fast...if not they will get you and you'll be stuck for 10 mins trying to get yourself out of it. Oh and don't forget for you newbie's out there, DO NOT throw away your visa stub..that gets you out of the country, or you will go through a VERY PAINFUL process of paying and obtaining another one. (Yes, I speak from past experience)

Arrival at the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda.... Just like you, we read most of the reviews on Trip Advisor and we were prepared for any and all things both good and bad. We landed at Cancun airport around 1230ish, took about 30 mins to get through customs and immigration and it took about 45 mins to drive to the resort. We took the Cancun Shuttle with the private option so as not to stop at every resort along the way. We arrived about 230 and there are lots of signs that say check in is at 15:00 (3pm) so we were prepared with swim suits in out backpacks just in case the room wasn't ready. We chose Book-It for our trip and selected the deluxe ocean view room which put us in the VIP status, not sure if there was a difference or not but our room was ready in building 5, 2nd floor. This building is closest to the beach. I asked about any open rooms on the first floor but was told no, not at this time. We received 2 towel cards and 2 room keys, which you later trade in for two blue towels near the party pool. Room was average and we kept in mind that this is a 3 star resort, so no 50 inch plasma or 800 thread count sheets, but a clean comfortable room.

VIP section. We tried to get a swim out pool room but failed during check in, but we quickly learned that there was a VIP section near the buffet, we settled into a covered cabana bed and ordered several drinks at the VIP bar. We stayed about an hour enjoying the sights when we were notified that we did not have white wrist bands which would indicate us as timeshare holders. Seems this area was only for them, and believe it or not there are no wrist bands for adults, only for under 18, but a simple snip of the scissors will solve that issue so even under 18's could drink. We left the area bummed and returned to our 2nd floor room for some winding down, when there was a knock on the door saying that we could change rooms now to the first floor. I quickly ran down the first floor and checked out the room which just so happens to be one of the 4 best rooms in the building, right off the beach with a beach/ sea view from the bed!!! We quickly packed up and moved to room 5129 ( the other 3 great rooms are 5130, 5128, 5127). If you can when you book request one of these 4 rooms and you shall not be disappointed at all.


Food.
We read several reviews where the folks said the food was horrible or they didn't like it, well we found that buffets were of 3 star quality and had plenty of everything to go around, now with that said, if you arrive at the breakfast buffet say 30 mins before it closes down than you will be hard pressed to find a lot of anything. We always arrived right when it opened at 07:00am because we are early risers, in fact we sometimes even ate breakfast twice and loaded up on pulled pork or chicken and some Pico salsa. The nightly themed dinners were a different story, we found the presentation of the food very good but it was small portioned. We tried the Mexican and Steakhouse dinners. The steakhouse was actually inside Mexican restaurant, just without all the sambros. We ate downtown on 5th avenue one day for lunch and had a better Mexican dish than what we had at the resort, but everyone is different so taste away I say.

Chairs. This was a very easy one where we read several complaints about not finding chairs. We traveled from 24 MAY-31 MAY, which seemed to be low season where there were literally hundreds of chairs to pick from. We sometimes selected or put our towels down on 2 separate spots, one under the hut on the beach in front of our room and the other near where the party pool was at. We had absolutely no issues getting chairs just about anytime we wanted.

Drinks. We also read several reviews where folks complained about drinks not being strong enough or the resort not having top shelve liquors, we let me put your concerns to rest my traveling friends. They have plenty of top shelve liquors such as Jim Beam, Jonny Walker Red Scotch, Bombay Gin, vodkas, a very good aged rum and of course tequila. For those of you who wrote about drinks not being strong enough I would say you have a high tolerance to liquor and could be a candidate for a AA class or two.

Bars. I was fond of the swing bar and found myself going there 90% of the time only because its 50 feet from our room, but it is a place where folks tend to gather and I made several new lifelong friends there (Dennis and Heather you guys rock!!). I can't stress enough how much a simple buck or two tip will help go a long way in getting a drink simply by saying hi to the bartender. My favorite Bartenders at the swing bar are, Jamie, Jonathan and Elmer. 3 of the best drink makers on the resort. This part of the review is where I get on my pulpit and preach some, Folks you spent more than a dollar to get here so have a heart and bring like 50 dollars in singles as tip money. I tipped very often a buck or two and believe me when I say the swing bar gets packed and I would just make eye contact with one of the 3 bartenders and say their names and my drinks were next in line to be made and I NEVER waited more than a couple mins for them.

Resort grounds. This place is very clean and workers were out everyday doing stuff, I'll agree with some reviewers who wrote that the beach is kinda in poor shape, well in some spots they do have sandbags protecting the beach area from further erosion and the beach area in front of our room did have some seaweed on it, but if you walk the beach 1 mile up or down in either direction you WILL find that each and every other resort has the same seaweed issue. The pool does have some areas where some TLC could be helpful such as some cracks on the tiles or some grout that could be scrubbed but all in all it’s a solid 3 star resort. Would we go back to this place, but this time we would bring the kids with us but without kids we have many more places to travel to. Hope this helps some.

Room Tip: Request rooms 5130, 5129, 5128 or 5127, perfect view from your BED to the beach.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank ranger3pl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about BlueBay Grand Esmeralda

Property: BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal- Puerto Juarez km 300 | Camino a la Pileta, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#49 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#54 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#56 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#66 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#78 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — BlueBay Grand Esmeralda 4*
Number of rooms: 979
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located in an area of 445 acres in a prime position on the beach on the Riviera Maya, BlueBay Grand Esmeralda combines elegant Mayan features with contemporary design and a wide range of service to suit the most discerning traveller. BlueBay Grand Esmeralda provides a relaxed atmosphere for holiday makers. The hotel features 979 elegant and well-appointed rooms and suites with the option of a sea or garden view. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Bay Esmeralda
Bluebay Grand Esmeralda Hotel
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Riviera Maya
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Mayan Riviera
Grand Esmeralda
Blue Bay Grand Esmerelda
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Resort
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Beach Resort Spa
Blue Bay Esmerelda
BlueBay Grand Esmeralda Mexico/Riviera Maya - Playa Del Carmen

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