Having just returned yesterday from a week vacation with family (2 adults, 3 teenage children) at BBGE, I felt compelled to write a review (my first) to dispel some of the negative reviews. It seems others who have recently visited there feel the same. People are entitled to their opinions but quite frankly after having spent a week there I just don't see how some people manage to have such a bad experience.
In the end the numbers tell the truth; 2 out of 3 people rate this resort as very good or excellent and I agree. It is not a 5 star resort but a solid 4 star.
Yes, the lobby is hot and humid. Yes, the pool and ocean are warm. It's Mexico! Yes there is seaweed in the ocean and it sometimes washes ashore. I have read people describe the beach as "nauseating" and "disgusting". It's not perfect but hardly as bad as some would have you believe. Most days the water was very clear and you could see tons of fish. Very kid friendly, not very deep water so no undertow or big waves to be concerned with.
The staff everywhere was pleasant and accommodating. Never encountered one "rude" person as one recent reviewer repeated several times. The walk from the beach area buildings to the lobby area is 8-10 minutes and is very pleasant. You may see coati's, deer or iguana's along the way as we did. It is not 15-20 minutes a some have said. Furthermore, there are carts that shuttle people back and forth regularly if you are not up to walking.
The pool area by the beach is beautiful. Lots of sun chairs and shaded areas. Staff were always working at keeping the pool clean. The pool is only open until 7pm. Would like to have gone swimming some evenings after dinner.
The rooms are cleaned and minibar restocked every day. Rooms are comfortable and nicely appointed. Use the safe for any valuables, it's free and will avoid any unpleasant experiences on your vacation. Pay the 2$ day for high speed wifi if you need it. It's definitively faster and has better signal strength than free wifi. The a/c does not work if you leave balcony door open.
Buffets were good with lots of choice. Yes they repeat often but so do the ones in Cuba and the Dominican. At least food is better quality here. No one in our group became sick nor did I hear of anyone getting sick or even complain about food while there. Make your a la carte reservations the day before as early as possible. There are no limits on how many times you can go to a la carte restaurants as with Cuba or the Dominican. It's a welcome change from buffet. The bars are ok, the swing bar by the beach being the best. If you want stronger drinks just ask otherwise the drinks are not strong. If you want a top shelf brand ask or you will get cheap stuff. All resorts work this way to save money.
The spa is very nice. If you are given free pass to water circuit try it, it's quite nice.
You will probably be contacted by Circle One reps offering stuff if you go for presentation. Not quite timeshare but similar. Just say no and they won't bother you. Avoid them and they will keep after you. We went but just said no and received some goodies for future travel.
Overall very nice resort at a good price.
- 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