4.0
Very Good 11932 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
This Hotel meets our standards
This hotel meets our standards, but we haven't stayed yet

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

Amenities

  •  Babysitting
  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Gym
  •  Handicap Accessible
  •  Kids Club
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Room Service
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Architecture Beach Beachfront Buildings Exterior Grounds Lounge Luxury Ocean sky water Sea Nature Coast shore caribbean Island aerial photography Resort cape lined sandy

Overview

All-inclusive enclave with three pools, six restaurants and a stand-out spa near Playa del Carmen

The Lowdown

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

Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda All Inclusive
Carretera Federal Chetumal
Playa del Carmen, 77710 Mexico

Reviews

Annual family vacation
Eva D

We have been traveling for 21 years while the resort is beautiful the reception we received from resort representative was substandard. We are traveling through RCI. I normally don't complain about anything.

Arrival-normally we are received with appetizers and drinks to tie us over while they go through the check in process. And what services we are suppose to receive as members of RCI We just received a juice drink, which was ok.

Room/Air conditioning Immediately upon entering the room I felt the air conditioning was not working properly. As someone who is used to central air/heat I felt it within 20 minutes. They sent someone immediately and he said it wasn't programmed properly. I gave it until the evening and it still was not working. I complained a total of 5 times between Saturday and Sunday by Monday morning after spending a sleepless night in a hot room I was throwing up and had a headache. I was called by Jenny on RCI to say that I had to go to the lobby and pay for my stay because their credit card machines were not working on Saturday. I said I don't think I can make it to the lobby because I don't feel well enough to walk the 2 miles to the lobby. It seems we made an enemy of Jenny, because after that she had an attitude towards us. This will not be the first interaction we will have with her.

Dinners- Make reservations at the restaurants this is very important because the dinner buffet at the Festival is so unorganized people think its ok to cut in front you without an excuse me may I get that.
At the restaurants we informed staff that we were a large group of 12 everyone was willing to work with us and we were willing to split ourselves up into a two groups of 6. Except at the Mexican restaurant where we received an attitude. The host told us if you don't like it you can go complain in the lobby. All the other restaurants were great, especially the Seafood, Steakhouse and Italian restaurant.

Pool-There is no swim up bar. If that is important don't stay at this resort. You have to get out of the pool and walk to the pool bar to get your drinks.

Check out- Usually we get a letter under our door the night before reminding us that our vacation is over and what we will need to check out on the following day. We turned everything in and Jenny said ok now you have to leave the premises. I felt she wanted to add and don't come back. Very unwelcoming attitude.

Don't worry Jenny we won't be back. Like I stated at the beginning in the 21 years we have traveled we have never stayed at the same resort twice. We like to experience different resorts.

Ignore the negative reviews - fab holiday
Kathryn H

We have just returned from a week stay with Tui at Blue Bay, which we thoroughly enjoyed. This is my first ever review as I feel compelled to tell how good our experience at Blue Bay was since all the negative comments nearly made us change our hotel after booking. We were really really worried but are so glad that we did not change.

The resort is lovely and since there are so many different restaurants to eat each day it felt like we were visiting different places.

All the staff we met greeted us with a friendly hola, were welcoming, and they couldn't do enough for us - glasses kept topped up with water and drinks, drinks brought to you on sun-loungers etc.

The restaurants we visited served hot, tasty food with the French restaurant being our favourite, made special for us by Benjamin. Special mention must be made for Elvis at the pool buffet and Juan at the beach buffet also, although all the restaurant staff were fantastic and attentive and I wish I could remember more names.

Our room in block 6 was lovely, and always wonderfully clean with towel animals left each day.

I really don’t understand the negative comments and wonder if they are confused with another hotel?
Thank you Blue Bay for a lovely relaxing holiday. Totally recommended.

Family vacation
ShellyHaddad51

We went on a family vacation this year to BlueBay Grand Esmeralda. There were 9 adults and 3 kids. We all enjoyed ourselves very much. The resort was maintained well, with transportation available if needed. Multiple options were great for the kids. The pool closest to the beach was fun with daily activities/competition like activities. There was painting for the kids, games, etc. There were many restraunt options which was nice to change it up every night. The main buffet restraunt was well air conditioned, great food and great service. Shout out to our favorite waiter, who my kids adored-Servando Perez. He was phenomenal, as were most the staff. Would recommend this resort to others!