Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda

5 out of 5 stars5 Stars

Carretera Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juarez, Km. 300, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, 77710, Mexico
BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Great Value!

Costs 53% less than similarly rated 5 star hotels

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Good For Couples
  • Families63
  • Couples69
  • Solo63
  • Business50

More about Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda

I would not recommend the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda

by Talley03 about Blue Bay Grand Esmeralada ~ Playa Del Carmen

I would not go back to the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda in Playa Del Carmen. While the grounds were nice, the basic room category was terrible. It was outdated, smelled musty, and I would not stay in that room with my children. We had to upgrade to a suite which had the swim up pool which was definitely better. The mini-bar is not a mini-bar at all. It only consisted of a few sodas, water and only beer. And if you asked them to stock the mini-bar with more beer, they refused. When we checked in to our original room and requested an upgrade, it took the front desk almost 30 minutes to make the change. The service from then forward was quite slow and the many of the staff were not friendly or helpful. The concierge in our building did not seem very knowledgeable. We heard many guests complain. We always had a problem trying to make dinner reservations; there was never availability, even if we tried to make the reservations early in the morning. The room service was slow and they charge you extra for room service which is ridiculous since you pay an all inclusive rate. The buffet breakfast is supposed to be open at 7 a.m. daily. One morning we arrived at 7:15 a.m. and a waiter told us they were not ready; we have 2 young children who were ready to eat; all we did was ask for a fork and spoon so the kids could start eating and the waiter refused to give it to us! On another occassion, my daughter got sick (vomited) in our room and we used some towels to clean it up. Afterwards, we called housekeeping and explained what happened. When housekeeping arrived to our room, they refused to pick up the towels! We also had ants in our room. We called housekeeping 3 times and they never took care of it. We used some bug repellent which we had to buy to spray around the room. They advertise that the kids club opens daily at 9 a.m. which is false. We found out they only take "sign-ups" from 9 - 10 a.m. and even that is not true because even then there was no staff at the kids club when it supposedly opened at 9 a.m. The beach is extremely small and quite dirty. They advertise that a business center is available for internet access and printing documents, however we found that there is not a printer available. If you want to print something, you have to email it to the front desk. Another inconvenience. Honestly, I would not recommend this resort. Instead I would recommend Iberostar.

A little bit for everyone

by JOEBABY about Temptations,(formally blue bay)

The hotel was under renovation,we had one of the newer rooms,and it was really nice.Service was excellant,and the staff was friendly.A small tip here and there goes a long way.It was an all inclusive resort,and one of the better ones I have was decent and the theme resturants were better than average. There was a main pool and bar where most of the guest hung out,it was a younger crowd,and they lived it up. By the way this was an adults only hotel,no kids.There was also a quiet pool and bar not far away,where you can just relax and take the sun,read abook.It was also far enough of the hotel strip that you were'nt bothered by constant sales people trying to sell you a time share.public transportation was good enough to get around,and was frequent.

Absolute Best!

by TripAdvisor Member maryvall

Just returned from a FABULOUS time at the Grand Esmeralda! Our daughter's wedding was on Nov. 11th, the first wedding for this hotel. The staff could not have done enough for us! Everyone was amazing..helpful..wonderful. Our guests had a blast and we all plan to go back next year for a reunion. The hotel is beautiful, new, clean, and accomodating to our every need. Our band played till 3 am..perfect weather, perfect everything. If you plan a wedding, ask for Felisa and Angeles who will spend 12 hours a day working on your wedding plans! Great hotel for families, or just couples who want to get away. We cannot rave enough about the Gala Grand Esmeralda!

Grand Gala Esmeralda Nov 18-25, 2006

by TripAdvisor Member MYDRAGON


First of all, we booked the DELUXE PAKAGE through Conquest. We arrived there on Saturday, Nov 25, 2006. Found out that DELUXE PAKAGE doesn’t mean a thing. Every room there is called a deluxe. They gave us a room at the back of the Coba building with Gardenview, which is just a swamp. I am glad we got this building, as it was the closest to the buffet.
Sounds like they are planning the Grand Opening next week.

I have no complaints about the food. Mexico seems to be sort of same food everywhere to me. I researched this hotel since about April or May. I have no complaints about the staff. They were all excellent. They never looked for a tip, but we gave a USD or two every day.

Our room is the smallest room we have ever stayed in.
The main lobby is way up the hill. You have to catch a golf cart limo or it is a real long walk. They is absolutely nothing to do there unless you book a tour such as snorkeling, etc.

We dealt with Hugo, from Conquest. He is a little scammer. He tried to get us to book all the tours the first day we were there, as he said he would only be there for two days. I guess he must get a commission on this stuff. I told him forget it, if there is no Conquest rep there, we will just book with Apple or Signature, who were also there. Then he was mad at me for that. He was there every day though, at different times. Remembered our name very well though, after that.
Two other girls got there and came for the orientation, and I guess they complained big time and went to a different resort.

Never had any problems getting onto the loungers by the beach. Wife and I spent most of our time there, when on the resort.
You read other reviews from previous people, who have been before us, saying they work on cleaning the beach every day. That is true. But what nobody has mentioned, is the beach sucks big time. I have been a building contractor for twenty five years. They are not just cleaning the beach. Because this is a completely new resort, the beach there is like unchartered territory. We went out into the water twice. I would say about fifty feet out from the land, you are lucky if it comes up to your knees. You hit a sandy spot, then it feels like you are stepping into slimy tar sands which some up through your toes, and smells like sewer. They have been digging up piles of this smelly junk the whole week we were there. They can’t reach that far out, as they are using a back hoe, and about ten Mexicans digging. There is now way that beach will be ready for at least five years, I would say. They say it was due to the hurricanes. That’s a lie. The water is all black as the small waves come in.

We walked down the beach to the next resort, which turned out to be Club El Mandarin, where we stayed 3 years back. Beach was nice there with the Caribbean water colors. They just had smaller rocks to clear. Same with Secrets next to El Mandarin.
I am going to complain to Conquest about this. I don’t think that is fair that you get charged for a five star rated resort just because it was a soft opening in April. They say the prices reflect this, and it will be more when it is fully finished. I would say $1400- each is a big rip off. I would never go back there even if finished.
They are working on a few small buildings up by the lobby, which will be little shops. This is too far from the water. Everything is tons of walking. The lobby has nothing other than lobby. No bar or anything. There is a bar between the two restaurants that are used as specialty, such as Italian, or Mexican or French; which you have to book. Same thing there. Limo ride up the hill or long walk.

Resort is ok if you are ninety years old and don’t do anything. And if you don’t mind walking lots.

Myself, I would say it is a poorly designed resort. To far spread apart for the size.
They spray big clouds of insect killer at dark, I guess so you can’t see them doing it , to kill the bugs, etc.

We never went in the pools as to cold. Very windy week at all resorts though. Was glad I brought my leather jacket along. Wore that and long jeans from about five o’clock on. Every day.

I don’t think travel agents such as Conquest should plug places like this, unless they go experience this themselves. That is not fair to the people who are looking for a good holiday.

Anyone who has booked from now into the new year, I would suggest to try and get your money back and book even a four or three star of an established resort.
Have photos, but basically same as other submitters.

The Beach,

by MexicoLand

Here in La Manzanilla we have the Bay of Tenacatita, which is basically divided, in the middle (around Blue Bay) by an outcrop of rocks. The beach we use is approximately 3 miles long. Near town the water is normally not rough with a gently sloping beach that is very conducive to playing in the water with children. This area almost always has people around with Palapa restaurants for a cold beer and food. There is usually one of the fishing boats with a yellow Banana thing tied to it to give the kids rides but you cannot always count on that happening. There is no Parasailing and you cannot rent jet skis. Once in a while there will be vendors walking the beach selling different things but it is not a bothersome thing like it can be in some areas where almost every other minute someone is asking you if you want to buy something. All in all it is a pretty laid back beach. As you head north the beach becomes less and less populated. Around the half way mark you can find all the privacy you desire but the water becomes a little more rough and the entrance to the ocean a little steeper. This is not a good place to bring children for a day at the beach. Further north still you come to the old Hotel, this part of the beach is so deserted you can do what ever you feel like. The entrance to the water once again becomes gentle; as well do the waves. Further north still is Boga de Iguana. This beach has a campground that attracts many recreational vehicles and tent campers during the peak season of November to April. It has the gentlest of entrances to the ocean and the water is usually calm. Even when the water is a little rough with the large distance between the waves and the shore you can still enjoy the water, just do not go out as far. This is a great place to come with children, just as long as they do not go way out in the ocean. There is some kind of a current out there that takes a few lives a year, so stay relatively close to shore. Also be careful to keep the very young children and small dogs away from the Lagoon, as there are some large Crocodiles there

Very disappointing resort

by TripAdvisor Member Celtwoman

Hi there. I have just returned from spending a week at the Grand
Gala Esmeralda with two of my friends. I have travelled extensively, and have been in various locations/resorts in Mexico.
This was my first time however on the Gulf side of Mexico, and I
was very excited about going there. I must say the positive things about my stay at the Gala, as there were a few. First of
all the rooms were very nice, and the beds/bedding were fabulous, very comfortable/clean. The food in the 3 restaurants
was excellent, and my favourite was the Italian, French second, and to my great disappointment, the Mexican was my least favourite. The staff were polite and courteous/friendly, however;
there were several glitches/misunderstandings in food/beverage service, although that could have been the language problems,
not too many staff spoke English. Also, on our last day, our flight back to Canada had been delayed by 4 hrs, and the staff failed to inform us, even after having received a fax from the airlines informing them. So, we sat in the lobby area waiting to be picked up to go to the airport, and nobody came for us. It wasn't until we inquired that the staff found the fax notifying them, so basically the day was wasted sitting around all day waiting. Had we been informed of the delay, we could have planned to spend the day at the pool, or go shopping in Playa. The most disappointing part of the resort was the beach. It truly was a mess, and the water was filthy. You could not swim in it. To make matters worse, the construction trucks/diggers were working right in front of the restaraunt the whole day, and the smell of raw sewage was terrible. So, we were unable to spend any of our time at the resort during the day deciding to leave and come back at night. The other major problem was the spraying of insects at night. The smell/sound of whatever they were spraying was terrible, and we only hoped that the chemicals they were using were not toxic/dangerous to our health, although whatever they were using killed everything in sight. Would really like to get more information on this . I would not recommend going to the Gala at this time, however; I concur with a few of the other reviews that in a years time, this will be a beautiful resort.

Great Deal! Nice Staff! Great Food!

by TripAdvisor Member yellowfafa

I stay there from Nov 5-Nov 12, 2006. The hotel is very new, i will say is a 4 star. They are not a 5 star yet, is just they are not totally function yet. Don't forget they are only in soft opening, and is good deal for the new hotel.

The room are fairly high tech with remove control for A/C and ceiling fan. also have free internet access, and Cable TV, some rooms have Palsma TV. The bed is very comforty and nice view. The fridge is refilled once we step out the door.

There are some on-going renovation and construction, even the week i am staying i have seen some change. They have clear up some bushes and some mud. True, the beach is a bit unclear, but i walk to the next two hotels, their beaches are almost the same. I saw a team of 8 cleaning the beach every morning. And one day i walked around the resort 4:30 am, the staff already cleaning up the pool and beach, and setting up the buffet breakfast.

There are golf cars in the resort, we always got a ride from the bell boy. They arrived your door once you call. They even step down the car and help some seniors to get down the car, and explain to them where to eat, where you stay.

The staff is excellent, very friendly, helpful and very informative. I feel they do not want tip (i.e. i call room service, while i am looking for money from my wallet, when i turn around the waiter is already gone. And two other days we left the tip for the room keeper, they did not take it until i wrote a note to the room keeper!!) and very willing assist you in all way.

The buffet is a little bit boring, i cannot deny that. The a la carta is very good. All three a la carta are opened, but they are still in rotatary schedule. one nite there were two a la carta open. The french resturant is my favourite. The food, especially the dessert are excellent, i am so picky on food and service, i have no complains. They keep refilling your drinks, and keep chating and joking with us, we really enjoy the dinner and food there.

There are some PR in the resort, daytime they will come talk to you and play water activities with guess. And they have shows at nite time, is true that is not very entertaining, but they try their best with their own talent.

Singles can have fun too!!

by TripAdvisor Member ladyj1980

I am a 26 year old single girl, and I traveled to this resort at the end of September 2006. I went with my friend, and we had a blast!!

We arrived at the resort mid afternoon, so it was hot. It was striking and beautiful, walking into a open foyer. We were greeted with smiles, and our bags were looked after right away. After taking a short time to register, they transported us via cart to our room. They are always ready to take you where you need to go. First thing I noticed was the swim up rooms, very cool idea because they looked like fun!! We stayed on the second floor and shared a balcony with our neighbors.

The rooms were fabulous!! The beds are new and the sheets are incredible!! You have access to music stations on TV, local news, international news and choice of Spanish and English channels. The bathrooms are marble, taps are eligant and the bathtubs are huge with telephone showers. Everything was replaced daily, towels and bar fridge :)

The staff is incredible. They cater to your every need. They go above and beyond. Yes sometimes there can be language barriers, but that is expected. It is easy to get by. The Entertainment Staff, what to say, they are fun and entertaining!! Special cudos to the Sports Programming and PR Staff - everyone of them Corrina, Amanda and Nikki, Candy, Juan, Luis, Jose, and Gerry. They hold classes in the water (for all), play bingo, beach volleyball and interact with everyone to create a very friendly atmosphere. It was my friends birthday while we were there, and they organized a night out for everyone and we partied all night at "The City" in Cancun. It was a fabulous beach party, with a dance floor and free flowing bar. There were lots of people to meet and the location offered a great atmosphere (it was like a private beach party).

On the resort, they do have a show in the theater, and they have some good shows. Some (not all) are interactive, so you should have fun getting involved. You can play pool, or even have a competitive game of Connect 5 :) And who doesn't have fun doing the traditional evening dance!!

We swam with the dolphins one day. This can be organized by the gentleman who works at the front entrance. He is extremely helpful with booking day trips or cars. We booked a day trip to Dolphinus, and spent an hour in the water with our very own pregnant dolphin. She was so sweet!! And the staff there is great too. This makes for a fun day in the sun, plus they video tape and photograph it all, if you want a souvenier.

We spent time in Playa Del Carmen, only a short $12 cab ride away. This offers a wonderful shopping, the locals are fun to talk to and they are always up for a "good deal". The silver for purchase is endless, but great. The shopping is fun, and the deals for lunch are excellent food and good beer. Mmmm!!

Back at the resort... food is enjoyable, they have three restaurants Mexican, French and Italian. All three are nice, though I could have used a bit more variety. The morning buffet offers variety with fresh fruit, baked goods and your usual morning options. The service is impecible. Everyone on staff pays attention to everything.

A couple draw backs that the entire region is suffering from:
1) Beaches are being worked on... you can walk down the beach and find some beautiful water... it is worth the short walk
2) Locusts... they spray every evening for bugs... it stinks for 5 seconds, frankly I would rather they spray than not
3) Construction... is still happening but so much is accomplished daily... I saw them build a kids area by hand (with a manual cement mixer and tools)... there is something to be said for workmanship

One more thing!! I went to the spa and recieved a full body massage. This was world class great for me!! The rooms are ocean view because they are in the Presidential Suite for now. Not sure where or if it will move. Who cares were you get the massage, just get one.

We were sad to say good bye, to our "Circle of Heaven". We made good friends, had great laughs and were entertained all week long!! This is a great location for relaxation, the pool is fantastic and it never rains - it seems (we would always watch the storm pass over/by us). This is a fantastic resort because of its location, if you want quiet time you can have it, if you wanna party you can go party anywhere (Cancun or Playa) plus I would think it is a fantastic romantic getaway.

It comes highly recommended by me!!

Highly Recommended

by TripAdvisor Member HolidayHangover

We have just returned from a holiday in The Grand Gala Esmerelda and it was one of the best holidays I have ever been on. We were a small bit worried that the hotel is going through a 'soft opening', but it didn't affect us at all.

Firstly, the entrance and lobby is stunning, all open air with a water fountain in the middle. We shared a taxi / transfer with people who were going on to another hotel and they were all extremely jealous when we arrived.

The next thing we saw were the rooms. They are all very nicely furnished, kept spotlessly clean and all have balconies. The suites are amazing and have a large bedroom with a huge kingsize bed, living area and big balcony with a jaccuzzi.

Next was the restaurant. We ate in the buffet almost every day because the quality of the food was so good, with a huge selection of hot and cold food on offer.

The pool area is amazing and the bar staff can whip up any cocktail you can think of, you don't even have to leave your sun lounger because they have waitresses to bring it over.

The most important thing we found was that the staff are SO friendly and accommodating, they can not do enough to help you and always have a smile on their faces.

We were a bit worried about the beach because we had heard that Cancun was still suffering because of the hurricane last year, but there are men out every morning ensuring that there is no rubbish / sludge floating in the sea / on to the beach.

All in all it was an amazing stay and I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone. It should be an amazing property when it is fully open.

Wedding in Mexico

by TripAdvisor Member Manoto

My wife & I just returned from a 6 day, 5 night stay & we thought it was very good. The beach has now been cleaned up(daily), although it is shallow, less than 4 feet deep.

The staff was wonderful, very polite & well trained. The Italian restaurant was very good, but make reservations early. The buffet was also very good w/ plenty of variations everyday.

The resort, although still being completed, was beautiful, the pool was excellent w/ plenty of service when needed. We attended a wedding there(the 1st ever at this resort) & the staff made it a very a memorible experience. They did an excellent & complete job.

The swim up rooms were beautiful, but maybe not worth the extra money/person.

Overall, an excellent stay here & one I'd recommend.

Forum Posts

Need Advice - Cancun- All Inclusive spot!

by princesscarina


We're looking to go to Cancun (or nearby) in February for 5 nights. We want to try something all-inclusive and keep the planning simple.

Does anyone know a good all -inclusive resort that is more for couples than families (even romantic) and not too wild. Maybe even a spa type resort. We're a couple in our mid 30's and even though we like to have a good time, we're trying to "get away from it all" and have a second honeymoon. I'm a teacher and I don't wish to be surrounded by tons of families with kids or college kids partying. We'd like to go somewhere where we can meet other couples who may be in the same "second honeymoon" situation to do some day trips or evenings out with.

Our priorities are: great service, good food - and drink, reasonable entertainment, beautiful atmosphere, etc. The purpose of all-inclusive for us, is that we should not have to leave for anything (except to see ruins) , if we don't want to...

Places we were considering are Blue Bay Getaway and Crown Paradise? or something like that. Anyone been to either of these? Are there any other all-inclusive resorts in Cancun or general area that aren't too pricey that you would recommend?

Thanks in advance!

Re: Need Advice - Cancun- All Inclusive spot!

by YVRDave

Super Clubs Secrets in The Mayan Riviera.

Re: Re: Need Advice - Cancun- All Inclusive spot!

by princesscarina

Thanks Dave!

Anyone have any specific experience to share? That would be the most helpful.That's why I came to fellow VTers. :-)

Thanks again.

Re: Need Advice - Cancun- All Inclusive spot!

by chubasco

The best deals for hotels are at:!!.

I bought a whole week last year at the brand new Mayan Palace for $240.00. When we got there we found that the rooms went for $225.00 a night. I would not recommend you stay at the Mayan Palace, even tho it was new it is designed all wrong and to get a view from your room you have to go out on the deck and crane your neck, but the rooms were beautiful and the people friendly.


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 Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Blue Bay Esmeralda
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Riviera Maya
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Mayan Riviera
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Beach Resort Spa
Blue Bay Esmerelda
Blue Bay Grand Esmerelda
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Resort

Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juarez, Km. 300, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, 77710, Mexico