Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda All Inclusive
What We Love
- Mayan-inspired treatments at the 26,000-square-foot spa
- Caribbean views at nearly every turn, from your private balcony to a lounger on the 1,937-foot beach
- Location: The beachfront resort is a 20-minute drive from the bar-lined streets of Playa del Carmen
What To Know
- Popular spot for groups, weddings and Spring Breakers — not ideal for romancing couples or seclusion seekers
- Beach is small and suffering from some erosion
- The resort is enormous (984 rooms) but trolley and golf cart services are available
- Bring plenty of bug spray — the surrounding mangroves mean lots of mosquitos
- Some rooms and the pool area are showing the natural wear and tear of a year-round resort
- Meals are hearty and varied, but don't expect gourmet dining
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The all-inclusive BlueBay Grand Esmeralda hugs a private palm-fringed swath of sand just 20 minutes north of downtown Playa del Carmen. Hand-carved wooden headboards and cream- and earth-toned furnishings add Mayan inspiration to the simple decor in the 984 rooms, equipped with private balconies and terraces. Days here are spent windsurfing, scuba diving, playing on the two tennis courts, teeing off at the on-site golf course or simply reclining in a lounger (go early to secure yours!) on the small beach. You can watch the sunset from a private catamaran or unwind with a chocolate body wrap at the spa, followed by a dinner of international and traditional Mexican cuisine at one of the six enormous restaurants. Popular with Spring Breakers and wedding groups, this is a destination for sun seekers, fans of the all-inclusive set up and travelers content to laze by the big pools and interact with fellow guests.
In the Area
The resort is located on an intimate beach just 20 minutes north of the restaurant- and bar-lined streets of downtown Playa del Carmen. Don’t miss the shrimp tacos with the spicy verde sauce at La Floresta (between Constituentes and Juarez streets) on the southbound service road just underneath the Highway 307 bypass. For traditional Mexican, try Carboncitos (4 Norte, between 5th and 10th avenues), where the people-watching is as good as the flank steak burrito and $6 jumbo margaritas. Must-orders at the Italian-owned Piola (Calle 38 between 5th and 1st avenues) include the wood-oven fired pizzas and basil martinis, served in an intimate garden two blocks from the beach. A trip to the Riviera Maya is not complete without seeing the Mayan Ruins of Chitzen Itza, the seaside structures of Tulum and the jungle-fringed peaks of Coba. Need to escape from the sun? Book an afternoon with Protec Diving for a tour of Quintana Roo’s majestic cenotes, underwater cave systems that reach 100 to 200 feet in depth.
How to Get There
Check in & check out went really smoothly... a very welcomed drink was awaiting our arrival. The resort is large, we really enjoyed walking around and looking at the beautiful grounds and the wildlife is in abundance. The restaurants are a great hit with guests and you can never get bored of the food/drink here, our favorite restaurants were the Steak house & the French... OMG the French this was our top one, big shout out to Francisco & Benjamin they're so good at there jobs, we spent our Anniversary evening here & Benjamin went above and beyond. All the staff work really hard and the place is spotless, rooms are large and everything worked as it should of done and the "towel friends" left on the beds was lovely to come into everyday. We ate breakfast mostly at the smaller restaurant by the smaller pool, lovely food & service BIG SHOUT OUT to ELVIS who always remembered our morning drinks, was so attentive and we loved seeing that smile. We used the small pool and the larger pools & really enjoyed them all, it's very nice to be able to have a choice and mix it up as they offer such different things. We did 2 excursions Coba Maya & Tullum both are based on ruins & have a lot of history, at Coba you can climb a ruin which has 120 steps to the top... the views are so worth it whether you climb just 40 or the whole lot! We got the shuttle bus which the hotel put on to go into Playa Del Carmen which didn't cost that much, was great for a bit of browsing, shopping & a spot of lunch. Be prepared to be pestered though as they all want your custom, just say no and move on. Our TUI rep Max at the resort was brilliant, he gave us all the relevant info at the welcome meeting the following day after our arrival, he covered things such as trips, all the local info and safety tips we would definitely recommend you attend this. If you head towards the beach and turn left and walk for around 10-15 mins you will come to what people call the "Blue Lagoon" we went here and did some snorkeling it was brilliant and a change of scenery was really nice, but a word of warning it's a bit smelly getting to it in places but it's soooo worth it. Do not take any towels as the hotel provides them all (helps with your luggage allowance!) and they are lovely towels despite what other guests have said. All the normal soap, shampoo etc you would expect to find in your room and they replenish all that you use, this also goes for the mini bar (which is stocked with beer, water & fizzy drinks) we were in block 6 top floor and loved it yes the rooms are a tad dated, this block is near to the smaller pool and reasonably quiet. Has a large walk in shower and our balcony looked out to what we called "The Jungle" at around 5pm each day look over the balcony and you will see your visitors :)
The reason we have given it a 4 out of 5 is one because of the WIFI which was shocking for us, which in this day of age? please take note that your WIFI code only lasts for around 7-10days so if here longer you'll have to go to reception to get a new code & two because my husband told the corsage Carlos when booking my birthday evening meal... that it was in fact for my birthday & he didn't pass this info onto the restaurant of my choice :(
Would we go back... YES :)
The resort is run down for the price, it needs major remodeling. The food is just average, very bland and repetitive. The à la carte French was very good, Italian no different than main buffet. David from Circle One tracked us down to offer us a timeshare although he didn’t label it that. We agreed he could come get us at our room the next day and he never showed up. We waited 45 min and then went to complain as we put off an excursion with our friends because of him. They made no effort to rectify it and make it right or honor the gift they offered this left a very sour taste in our mouth. The beach is very disappointing and the ocean was very dark, murky and seaweed unlike other Caribbean places I visited where the ocean water is clear blue. Nobody swam in the ocean. The drinks were good but not consistent from one bar to the next. I was disappointed there was no dancing at night in their bar. Mayan riviera is beautiful but I wouldn’t select this resort again.
Spent a week at Blue Bay. Service is great all the staffs are eager to please, Resort grounds are well kept, Food was excellent, there was no restrictions on the number of speciality restaurants you can go to. I recommend the Steak House and the French stye restaurant. Room are a little dated, Air conditioners stops and goes. But the staff responded to the situation quickly. There was a distinctive sewer smell in the room. It could be due to the AC malfunctioning. The gym is well equipped. Beach was a bit messy. We were told that it was due to the seaweeds being washed ashore. However, we had a great time at the resort and we are would definitely go back if they promise us a better room.
We have just returned from a 2 week trip at bluebay grand Esmeralda and I don’t have a bad word to say about it! The rooms were cleaned everyday! And cleaned amazingly! Any member of staff you came across always had a smile on their face. The service was incredible I would like to mention Elvis from the pool/snack bar! He was amazing remembered us from the first day and always greeted us with a smile! All in all couldn’t fault this holiday the people are amazing and deserve the credit!
If you have hesitations about this hotel,don’t!! It was such a memorable trip and already wanting to book for next year!!
The resort is out dated and the rooms need a face lift. We had trouble a check in and also at check out. We needed 2 shuttles back to the airport and they only sent one. We almost missed our flight. Due not use the RCI guest service person she is terrible. The person that cleaned our room every day was amazing.