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“Customer service NON existent!!! terrible place! Not a quite holiday! U will burn! If u can get a bed!”

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BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
Ranked #95 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Customer service NON existent!!! terrible place! Not a quite holiday! U will burn! If u can get a bed!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2012

The pictures of this holiday look amazing we were very excited about going! Unfortunately It started with a two hour wait in the custom hall! Followed by an hours wait for transport to hotel by which can only be discribed at a cattle run to get transport.
Once at blue bay you soon see it's not like the photos which lack people!! This hotel is rammed packed with people mainly drunks!!! We got up to use the gym a few times so was up at 6am and even by that time you CAN NOT get a sun bed!!! People leave towels by 5am or even over night!! There is not enough for everyone! There are NO umbrellas or shade!! My partner got seriously ill with sun stroke. The noise is incredible we changed our room 3 times non better than the 1st. People were loud and drinking all day so you will never get any peace what so ever! This hotel is NOT 4/5 star but a VERY cheap distination for the Canadians. If you are English all I can describe it to you is it's like benidorm for them. The lovely pictures of the spa and bit of beach area which have beautiful nets over the beds cost you!! $30 us dollars each per day! But even then we brought two just to get some shade and peace and by 8am big groups of times share had bagged them by placing towels, they were noisy and when I complained I was told tuff basically! So although it may have facilities of a 4* you cannot use them unless you want to spend a lot each day! And even then I wouldn't bother. When we complained on various issues the hotel staff do not want to know we got told by two, one even management! to throw towels of the beds if we want to use them! Begs belief! I replyied I did not come on holiday to get into an argument with someone over their beds! They just didn't care! We had a few other problems with the room and ill health caused by their hotel, again we got brushed off and sent packing! The hotel only seem interested in making extra money and speacial offers were not made to Europeans because they feel they would not get repeat business, well they at least they got that right! I have been working for a major airline for 20 years and 10yrs with a travel co and not in all my time of traveling have I been treated in such an appalling manner. I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THIS HOTEL TO ANYONE!

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sgukba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
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    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
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    4 of 5 bubbles
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MJ, Saskatchewan, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2012

My famliy and I went to this resort over Christmas this year and it was overall a nice stay with one MAJOR exception. On Christmas DAY our cleaning lady dug through our bags (that were closed) and stole $20 US out of my son's wallet that he got for Christmas from his grandparents and $70 US from my wallet that I was holding for my younger son as well. We had put the bulk of our cash in the safe but tucked our wallets deep in our bags to go to the pool for a bit. I didn't complain to the office because I knew all that would come of it is a she said, she said, but I was really disappointed in the resort for the lack of screening of their staff. Needless to say I left a note at the end of our stay for the cleaners and told them that they had already received a HUGE BONUS for Christmas from my family. SO WATCH OUT AT THIS RESORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Room Tip: There are garden rooms that are a good 5-10 mins from the water. So pick a beach/ocean view if you d...
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MissMCHammer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Llangollen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2012

Just returned from a 10 night holiday from the UK with my teenage daughter. Great stay overall - as with anywhere the world over, you get what you pay for! Will start with the negative aspects of the hotel but would say now that the positives do outweigh these and would definitely consider again for a cheap(ish) break away...

Cons:

SUNBEDS- There are nowhere near enough sunbeds by the pools to accommodate the number of guests at this hotel. We stayed 29th Feb to 10th March when we understood the hotel to be pretty much at full capacity... being on holiday, we did not appreciate having to get up at 6am (or earlier) to reserve our beds for the day. Hotels in Europe, of any class, do not allow this and this should be replicated here. It is unfair that people reserve beds and them don't use them until the afternoon, when others have to lay their towels on the floor while sunbeds remain empty! This is not acceptable and perhaps the pool staff should enforce this - any beds left empty for over an hour should have their towels removed to allow other guests to use!

RESTAURANTS - Inconsistent food quality in the main buffet restaurant. Sometimes really good (as far as buffet fare goes, of which I'm not a fan), at other times appalling! We ate there on our first night at 9pm - pretty much all the food was cold or lukewarm and had clearly been sat there since the first sitting at 6pm. Not nice to see bacteria breeding chicken and rice being left at room temperature... the second time we ate there (at 7pm, having forgotten to book at one of the a la carte restaurants), the food variety and quality was excellent. Also piping hot! This needs to be maintained - regardless of what time you eat, you should expect quality and consistency of food.

CONCIERGE - On our penultimate day, we tried to book for the steakhouse restaurant for our final night, having eaten there previously and thought the food to be exceptional. As our last night was also my birthday, to ensure we got a table, I set my alarm and dragged myself out of bed to be first in the queue at the concierge desk in block 8 @ 7am. By 7.30, no member of staff had turned up and so had to go to the lobby concierge instead. On arrival, was told that the steakhouse was closed the following evening and as we were late in booking (prime bookings need to be made, at or soon after 7am), only the seafood restaurant or Mexican were available. We had already vowed never to eat at the Mexican again (we ate there twice - the food was okayish but considering we were in Mexico, expected better fare and found the menu very limited. Plus the air-conditioning way way too cold which made for very uncomfortable dining - take a fleece and scarf!) Therefore, had no option but to go for the seafood and we don't even like seafood! Fast forward to the next day and imagine my disappointment to discover the steakhouse well and truly open!!! Explained to the manager what we'd been informed and he was very apologetic on behalf of the concierge but stated it's a regular occurrence for them to inform guests that restaurants are closed when they're not! Bottom line is having to endure my birthday night eating seafood (which I 'm sure is nice if you like it...) - as it was also our last night, this really put a dampener on our thoughts and views of the hotel. However, would like to commend the seafood restaurant manager though for trying his best to resolve the situation - a lovely guy.

SPORTS BAR - In a word, awful! Cheap and cheerful(ish) is best described. No atmosphere whatsoever and drinks served in plastic glasses, need I say more. Only plus was free wifi...

Please do note that despite the negative points raised above, these were generally outweighed by positives, namely:

Pros:

HOTEL - The hotel itself is beautiful; well maintained and the service provided by the staff exceptional. The grounds are lovely and again, well looked after. The pool waiters serving cocktails around the small pool were lovely and served with a smile! Cocktails and all drinks we tried were delicious...

ROOM - Our room was great with comfy beds; lovely walk in shower and excellent service from the cleaning staff. Upgraded wifi worked well in the rooms as well as by the pool which was a bonus! 

A LA CARTE RESTAURANTS - The food in the Italian and Steakhouse a la carte restaurants was exceptional (we didn't try the Oriental - didn't seem appropriate to holiday in Mexico and eat Asian food! Although happily ate Italian so maybe a contradiction in terms...)

All in all, a great hotel at a great price - just a few minor changes would change the hotel from being very good to  a really exceptional resort! :-D

  • Stayed March 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Karen_3311
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

We stayed from Feb 28 to March 6th 2012 – Group of 8 consisting of 6 adults, 1 teen and 1 7 year old for a family vacation.

Booked through Sunquest Canada. Word of caution...Sunquest uses Thomas Cook Airlines (Air Canada Jazz) out of Toronto, but the luggage restriction is different for Sunquest than Thomas Cook website posts. Most airlines, including Thomas Cook allow 50 lbs checked luggage and a carry on of 10kg...but Sunquest only allows 20 kg per person total and then 5kg carry on which they measure and weight also. If over..you pay $20 per kg!!!! So do not try and bring a small roll on, carry on luggage..empty it weighs near 4kg. And this was the reason we were overweight. For some reason, didnt' have to pay overweight on the way to Mexico, but on the way home, the Cancun Airport charged us $160 in CASH ONLY or no boarding pass. Yikes. For any other airline..we would not have even been overweight with our luggage. Very disappointing.

RESORT/ROOMS: Huge! Lots of beautiful walkways between buildings. If you don’t wish to walk, catch one of the trolly rides at the ‘bus’ stops. Murky smell in the mornings along the pathways but it was gone later in the day. Rooms were ok. Nothing fancy, but clean and also large. We stayed in Building 4 which was closest to the large pool and not far from the beach. Great choice if you were requesting a building. Not a lot of towels in room, only one large bath towel per person. Cleaners made us great towel animals each day which we enjoyed coming back each day to see what they left. Safe in room is small, not large enough for laptop. Nothing stolen at all. Felt everything was safe in our room. Room 4114 – air conditioning barely cooled room. Whereas the room next door, 4112 was very cold! Comfy beds. Language barrier much of the time…cleaners and towel people at the pools did not speak English at all. We had a small incident in our room to report and it took us several people to find an English speaking staff member to assist us.
GYM: If you like to work out, there’s a gym near the spa and sports bar. About a 5-8 min. walk from building 4. 2 or 3 treadmills, although they were not working while we were there. Also 3 cross trainer machines (similar to steppers almost – you can get a great workout on these) and one elliptical. Also several bikes and one machine with steps you climb. And of course, weight machines. Gym opens at 6am.

INTERNET: Didn’t work in Bldg 4. Could get full bars of wireless connection but only once for about 45 min, could I get a connection to the landing page to enter the login and password we were given at checkin, and even then it took several tries of the same numbers to get it to work. I gave up. Internet free week instead.

CURRENCY: USD or Pesos. Our group used both. My husband and I preferred using USD and felt it was fair, but much of our family changed their USD to Pesos in the lobby because they thought they were getting a better deal. Your choice. Basically it was 12 Pesos per 1 USD no matter which way you did it..exchanged or bartered with prices with purchases.

BEACH: Not crystal clear blue waters so don’t expect that. Compared to San Jose/Cab0 San Lucas, Mexico, there is no comparison as the beaches in Los Cabos are much better being very large, white, sandy and warm, clean waters. In contrast, the beach here was murky, small, full of seaweed (staff worked constantly to remove some of it). So if it’s beach you are looking for in Mexico…try the Cabo side. (We had stayed at Barcelos in San Jose, MX a few months ago and it was fantastic!) No beach vendors here at this resort. That can be good or bad depending on what you prefer. Rentals on the beach include jetskis ($65 USD for half hour) as well as boats, parasailing. Our group enjoyed the jetskis. Pesos or USD can be used.

FOOD: Buffets were good. But lines were often long. We found our food sometimes got cold waiting for the next area of the buffet. We preferred the breakfast buffet of the restaurant nearest the beach over the Festival Buffet Restaurant near the lobby. We attended the Brazilian Dinner Show on our first night. Dancers were interesting to watch. Food was ok, but set menu, and if you didn’t like fish, well, you’d have to go to one of the buffets afterwards..which we did. But the show is worth watching. We were unable to get into the Las Vegas dinner show, and unable to get into the Steak A La Carte Restaurant on 3 attempts, so we gave up. Groups of 8 either can’t get a la carte reservations, or it’s very difficult?

POOLS: Large. (main pool area) Very pretty. Shallow. Warm enough to swim in. Very few shaded areas. No umbrellas. Chairs were often saved by towels around 6am so difficulty finding chairs if you were later than about 8am. We had 2 towels (and a chair) stolen! The staff would not budge on the $30 towel charge to get a new one, UNTIL my husband said, ok…I’ll just go steal someone else’s towel then. Only then did the concierge at our building agree to get him another towel card, but he waited until the next day for this. It was a real problem all week with the towel theft. So our advice…use an old t-shirt to “save” your chairs and/or put a book on the chair (there were books by the towel hut you could borrow to do this). Activities on the pool deck around 3pm were fun. The sports staff was full of energy and smiles! Also was another pool near Buildings 6 to 8 that I walked over. They had their own snack bar and it was a more contained area, just behind the Sports Bar at the resort.

SHOWS: At 9:30pm every night in the Sports Bar/Theatre. We enjoyed the Michael Jackson show a lot. The guy sings and dances very well as Michael Jackson. Plus the Perfect Couples Show was full of laughs. Check the schedule in your room in the brochure that is left on the notepad area to know which nights the shows are you may wish to watch.

COFFEE: For early risers, like me…coffee was found outside the Buffet Restaurant near the beach around 6am or so, as well as in the Sports Bar…but at the bar you had to ask for the coffee, it wasn’t just out for you to get your own.

TIPPING: Remember to bring small bills. We used USD and had lots of $1 and $5. Of course tipping is optional, but our service at the buffets and our room cleaning was great and likely due to leaving tips. Really now…what’s a dollar to you compared to that dollar or $5 for the server?

EXTRAS: Saturday night was a local merchant night with many tables set up outside the Sports Bar and Festival Buffet area to buy souvenirs. You can barter the prices if you wish. Lots to look at…hats, purses, pottery, bathing suit wraps, jewelry, blankets…..no need to shop in town if you wait for this.

EXCURSIONS: We did 2 full day excursions. The Coba Maya Treasures I think it was called. Booked with our Sunquest Rep for $99 each for adults. EXCELLENT day! Highly recommended. See my full review at….. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g499447-d2010847-r125814782-Coba_Mayan_Village_Day_Tour-Coba_Yucatan_Peninsula.html But in short, you get to climb the highest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula if you wish, swim in an underground fresh water cenote, and tour a real Mayan village. This trip will humble you to the things you have and complain about, compared to the simple lives of the Mayans. Lots of walking on the tour. Our other excursion was to Xplor Adventure Park (30 min away) also booked with our Sunquest Rep. This cost about $139 per person. It’s an 8:30am to 5:30pm day. Ziplines, rafting, swimming and riding in amphibious vehicles. Reviews can be found at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g659488-d1535337-Reviews-Xplor_Adventure_Park-Riviera_Maya_Yucatan_Peninsula.html My review is still pending on that site but watch for it for a full explanation of the day.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Angie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Clair, MN, USA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

We stayed at the BBGE from Feb 29-March 7th. It was nearly a red flag every day with the wind blowing and causing some rough surf.

The service and staff were very good.

The food from the buffets to the specialty restaurants (ate at the Mexican, Oriental, Seafood, and Italian) was all very good. We were unable to get to the French or steakhouse but did the dinner theater option also. I'm a very picky eater yet I was able to find and enjoy food everywhere.

The beach is not wide in parts and yes the ocean for about 50' in front of the resort is brown. The sand is soft and the resort has done the best they could with what damage the hurricanes have done in the past.

We were at the small pool a majority of time due to the fact we were in bldg 8 and it was more protected from the wind. If you want a spot near the small pool, you need to reserve it pretty much by 7am, if not earlier. The big pool there are spots still to be had around 9 am. Usually the beach had chairs open in the afternoon due to the fact of the wind (blowing sand) and a little cooler nearer the ocean than the pools.

The entertainment was okay at best. The Michael Jackson show is the best. The band that usually accompanies the productions is very good. We stayed at the Tequila prior and being a much smaller resort, they outperformed BBGE considerably.

The beds were very comfortable and the shower was nice and big. There are some opportunities for repairs (cracks to be filled, touch up paint, etc...) in areas.

Jessica, the concierge who worked in bldg 7 and 8 is amazing. Very efficient and fluent in Spanish, French and English.

We never made it to the beach party but we heard it was good.

Would I stay here again even though I was satisfied with nearly every aspect? Probably not since I like to see different places.

Room Tip: If you want a chair by the small pool, be prepared to have something to reserve it by 7 am. You c...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank schonrocks
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:
#50 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#52 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#56 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#65 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#78 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price range (per night): RM639 - RM1,656
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 Playa Del Carmen, Mexico - Riviera Maya

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