4.5
Very Good 9888 Reviews
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What We Love

  • À la carte meals, 24-hour room service, most alcohol, and live entertainment are included in the Jetsetter rate
  • Free classes, ranging from yoga to tango to tequila tasting
  • Kid-friendly perks like a kids camp and arts and crafts workshops
  • Book by December 22, 2015 and up to two children 12 and under stay and eat for free from August 9 to December 22, 2015 (limit one child per adult; other restrictions apply)
  • Book by January, 2016 and up to two children 12 and under stay for free from May 1 to December 22, 2016 (black out dates: July 9 to August 20, 2016; limit one child per adult; other restrictions apply)
  • Bookings for stays from May 1 to Dec. 22, 2015 will receive $550 in resort credit (for stays four - six nights) or $1,500 in resort credit (for stays seven nights and over); Resort Credit is per room, per stay, some restrictions may apply. The last day to use the Resort Credit is Dec 22, 2015
  • Bookings for stays from May 1 to Dec. 22, 2016 will receive $550 in resort credit (for stays four - six nights) or $1,500 in resort credit (for stays seven nights and over); Resort Credit is per room, per stay, some restrictions may apply. The last day to use the Resort Credit is Dec 22, 2016

What To Know

  • Reservations are required for à la carte restaurants; breakfast is buffet-style
  • Most rooms are set back from the beach behind the pools and mangroves, so ocean views are at a distance
  • The resort shares restaurants, bars and entertainment with the adults-only Paradisus La Perla

Amenities

  •  All-Inclusive
  •  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.
Lobby restaurant living room

Overview

Family-friendly all-inclusive with 14 restaurants, an indoor/outdoor spa and a prime spot on the Playa del Carmen beach

The Look

At the entrance of Paradisus La Esmeralda, soaring purple walls and oversize modern sculptures make a big impression — befitting a hotel with 488 guestrooms and 14 restaurants. The look is bold enough for Vegas, but the spacious, beachy atmosphere creates a family-friendly vibe. Fronting the entire complex, a row of mangroves gives the white sand beach a natural feel.

Bed and Bath

The resort’s sprawling atmosphere continues into the modern guestrooms, which start at 517 square feet and each of which has a private balcony or terrace. Sliding glass doors let in the Caribbean light, and the modern bathrooms have rain showers and deep tubs. Finished in a tan and orange palette, the setting is relaxing, but it’s by no means unplugged: In addition to plasma TVs and iPod speakers, every room has its own WiFi router with free service. Room upgrades add unique extras such as a private heated pool in the Paradisus Jr. Suite Swim Up, or access to a balcony soaking tub and a personal butler in the Family Concierge wing.

Beyond

La Esmeralda is a playground for children and adults alike. The kids pools are filled with pirate ship slides and a floating obstacle course. Their grown-up counterparts have swim-up bars, half-submerged daybeds and thatch-roofed Bali beds for shaded lounging. Parents can drop off youngsters for activities at the kids club and then head to the 20,000-square-foot Yhi Spa for a couples Swedish massage. A daily roster of activities ensures that there’s also plenty to do as a family, with sushi making in the afternoon and Michael Jackson and Coco Bongo shows at night. There are two breakfast buffets (one of which is adults-only), and another eleven restaurants offer excellent à la carte options for lunch and dinner to please foodies and picky eaters alike. Don’t miss the tuna ceviche at the Latin fusion Fuego, or the tempura ice cream at the Japanese Bana.

In the Area

Paradisus guests get discount tee times at the seaside Grand Coral Riviera Maya Golf Course, designed by Nick Price. On-site travel agents can arrange daytrips to the remarkably well-preserved Mayan ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza, or a snorkeling excursion to a cenote in a cave. A half-hour stroll along the beach brings you to Fifth Street, the main drag of Playa del Carmen. Snack on dark local chocolates at Ah Cacao as you browse the colorful craft stalls there.

How to Get There

Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda All Inclusive
5th Av., Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen, 77710 Mexico

Reviews

4.5 Very Good 9888 Reviews
An adventure to remember.
Reviewed 19 hours ago

This was my first time travelling to Mexico and I had an absolutle blast. I was worried about a few things like being bored or not enjoying the food as I am a picky eater. The staff were very accomodating and went the extra mile to make sure we had the best possile stay. The resort was very clean and had some of the usual critters around like iguana's and a marsupial of some sort.

Everything I ate was full of flavour and well presented. My favourite was the Brazilian restaurant. The boardwalk down to the beach was warm and soothing. the sand at the beach was raked daily and they had a well stocked bar, shower system and comfortable no shortage of chairs.

Our room was huge, very private, clean and luxurious. it included a safe and a fridge stocked daily with refreshments. we did our first dive through aquaworld both me and my friend were terrified to actually scuba dive but the expert teaching us started us off in the pool. we got our confidence quickly and headed out to a reef just a few minutes from the resort. I say experts when I mention aqua world because they provided the highest level of safety and maximum amount of excitement. We saw a variety of marine life during our guided tour.

I look forward to visiting this resort again.

Great place, not great policies
Reviewed 1 day ago

We just came back from a week at the Paradisus.

This place has a tiered level of stay...and you wear bracelets to alert staff to what level you are. If you pay more, you get to reserve dinners early, have access to certain pools and restaurants etc.

While I think this works at Disneyworld or Universal studios...its rather odd to have this at a resort, esp if they run out of the special tier.

We wanted to upgrade to the special family concierge section so we could have dinner at a reasonable hour for our kids...but they wouldnt give it to us bc they were full. Had I known this, I would have booked at another hotel!

Ive never been at a place where we couldnt reserve dinner before we came...super silly. Why promise these things if you cant give them to your guests?

The buffet was awesome, one of the best we've had. The staff was wonderful, the water park was awesome as were the pools.

The beach is pretty poor, lots of seaweed...the public beach next door is pretty great though, and we spent a lot of time there.

It would be nice if they had more activities for the teens...if you have a teen the teen clubs in other resorts are a bit better, but if you have young kids, there is a lot to do for them.

There were shows and activities every night which were awesome and a lot of fun...loved the magic show, bands, dancing etc.

It is a great place, just not a fan of that concierge...bad business model in my opinion...

Great family resort
Reviewed 1 day ago

Excellent resort, food was great, service and hotel were outstanding. The new water park was awesome. Pools were very clean. Reservations for restaurants were very easy to do. Favourite restaurant was the Japanese Tappanyaki.

Wow!
Reviewed 1 day ago

Awesome family resort!!! We take 1-2 big beach vacations/year and this was one of our favorites. We went with our kids 2, 5, & 7 as well as our parents (9 ppl total) and we had a swim out suite (no family concierge).

PROS: Service - amazing - staff is so friendly and there to serve you. They were always around at the pool asking if you needed drinks, food...we haven’t had that level of service in a long time and always stay at higher end resorts. Entertainment - outstanding - never a dull moment. Huge pool parties for the kids, foam party, synchronized swimming show, aqua aerobics, multiple shows every night. We liked most that the shows were not in a big cold empty theater but rather around the bar area and not the same cheesy singing shows Cancun resorts usually have but good bands, DJs, and shows for the kids - circus show, pirate show, breakdancing show, carnival - and lots of great stuff going on on the adult side too if you have some help with the kids. Food - good, favorite was Bana for habachi grill and another night for regular table service, they also had the best kids pasta there too. Drinks - fabulous - best pina coladas, ice cold beer, never had a bad drink (lemonade wasn’t good but kids liked pineapple juice). Spa - expensive but fabulous - wow I had a massage with Daniel and it was the best! The spa is beautiful. We also had fun on the catamaran (included) and jet ski ($70/half hour). Water Park - OMG incredible as if the resort couldn’t get any better for kids wow couldn’t believe it was included. They even serve food and drinks (no alcohol but you can bring it in from the other bar). Water was deeper by slides so our 5 year old needed floaties and luckily we had brought them (no life vests to borrow). Also a wonderful kiddie area in there for our 2 year old.

CONS: Beach has darker sand/water and lots of seaweed and smells bad — BUT if you walk down a very short way there is a super cool fresh water wading pond that merges with the ocean perfect for the kids and is as clear as water gets, very beautiful. Room - the first one we had was on a sharp corner with planters with palm trees lining the balcony so we had zero view of anything including our kids swimming outside the room so we never used the swim out (pic posted). Nice if you want privacy but horrible in our case. They did switch us but not until the last 2 days of the trip and was a hassel, second room was so much better in what our first room lacked, but a tad more weathered (paint chipping, tiles missing on pool stairs, couch was sunken in and had some stains). We had 2 double beds, they were small. Also don’t leave any food/drink on balcony there are Mexican raccoons everywhere and they like to visit the balconies. They pooped on ours twice, it was gross. We took a taxi to the shopping area in Playa near coco bongo and regretted it, lots of pan handlers didn’t feel super safe with kids at night.

All in all, if you have kids who like to have fun this resort is where it’s at. The adults had a great time too. Guests were all very classy and that’s important to us too, met lots of great people here. We would definitely go back and get the swim out suite again but request an unobstructed view.

Another great stay!
Reviewed 2 days ago

We’ve just returned from our second stay at La Esmeralda, and are already trying to figure out when we can go back! Our kids are 4 and 8 yo, and this resort is perfect for them. We spent a lot of our days at the FC pool (Dominga is an AWESOME server!) and at the water park (new since our last visit, and so amazing! Great work by server Nehemias!)

Our last stay was in Oct 2017, and the resort was much less busy that time of year, but we were still impressed by how well the servers and staff managed everything during a very busy week (Mar 16-23). Everyone was so friendly and helpful! We were very happy that we had opted to book FC this time. We will likely always book FC in the future. We did miss not having a swim out room on this trip.

Food was generally very good. We ate most breakfasts and lunches at Olio (LOVED the lunch tacos!). We largely avoided the buffet because of how busy it was, but the food we got from there was great. We ate at Mole, Fuego, La Palapa, Bana Fusion, the Market and Bana Teppenyaki. We had good meals at all of the restaurants, but I would say that the Market was probably our least favourite. We loved our experience at teppenyaki with chef Carlos! Mole is always a favourite of ours.

Our kids used the kids club for an hour or two most days. The ladies (Yessinia and Yadira) in the baby club were so kind and welcoming for my younger daughter. My eldest enjoyed the activities in the older kids group.

There was seaweed on the beach during the first half of our stay, but conditions were much better during our last 3 days, and we enjoyed playing in the sand, jumping in the waves and walking over to the lovely cenote just up the beach. We used the Hobie Cat and the kayaks, and enjoyed that a lot!

We didn’t see the evening shows this time - our kids were way too tired from the busy days in the sun!

Our concierge was Ivan, and he checked in with us regularly to help arrange reservations for the spa and tequila tasting (both very good experiences!). He arranged late checkout for us on our last day. Thanks Ivan!

Overall, a wonderful facility with good food and lovely pools. It is made even better by its kind and welcoming employees, many of whom showed grace under pressure during what was obviously a busy week!