Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda

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Our Opinion

The Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda is a popular 4 star all inclusive resort with a spectacular pool area but a small beach. The complex is quite large so there can be lots of walking, although there are carts to shuttle people around which really helps. The food here is excellent with lots of selection in the buffet and a great Italian a la carte. The Spa is also another wonderful feature at this resort.

While this deluxe resort may be styled after an old Mayan village, it features all the modern conveniences of a world class resort. This stunning new property is part of the favourite Gala hotel chain and is located on a 350-metre stretch of beach - just minutes from the charming town of Playa del Carmen and local shopping and sightseeing. Spacious rooms and suites are playfully adorned with colourful tropical details and are distributed across the property in five two-storey buildings.

Location: Beachfront, 35 minutes from airport, 35 minutes to Cancun and 10 minutes to Playa del Carmen.

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • Melissa H : Burlington, Canada
Excellent Food, Plenty of Pool options, Some rooms not renovated & tired

I stayed here in Feb 2016 with a friend in Bldg 6. Very close to the main pool and the beach. We had top floor. The room was tired. Our booking was with Air transat and best we could tell, the tour operators have buildings assigned to their guests. I'm a pretty picky germaphobic traveller who sometimes gets called a bit of a princess...I was totally fine.The food was brilliant which we had heard from other friends who had been. The options were ENDLESS on the buffets. We didn't go to a la carte but heard excellent feedback from family who booked/went after us. There were some bumps with a tired room, meh, I didn't care. I did want a new smoke detector (bc there wasn't one!) so I tweeted AT and the resort and got one very quickly after front desk didn't send anyone. I was so pleased with this resort, I have just booked it over Christmas 2016 for my husband (who is a chef and hates AI) and kids bc I know no one will be disappointed with the food. Its not the Hard Rock, but if you can get it at a reasonable price - do it. Who's inside their room anyways? Very close to Playa Del Carmen which is cool if you want a break from buffet or to do some adventures/shopping. Tips: buffet restaurant at the large pool is really nice and tropical for breakfast or lunch. Also, the smaller pool buffet restaurant is just as sufficient but a bit smaller and less options. The room fridge has cans of beer and we tipped everyday asking for 2X large bottles of water which I will do again. We also left little treats like nail polish and hair elastics etc for the maids.The tram runs ALL the time so don't be fearful by the size of the resort. Bit tricky on chairs if we were slow waking up (which we were!) but enough options for pools and beach to get one somewhere. Tip: Walk along the beach to the left, there's a secret lagoon, very, very cool. Wear your bathing suit, you can swim it. Also has a little river leading in to it you can swim in. I AM SO EXCITED TO GO BACK!

  • peacelovetravel13 : New York City, New York

The value at this hotel is great. When i booked it was the same price for the platinum amenities as it was for the regular so i booked that and im glad we did. We were very happy with our room it was beautiful big and very clean. They gave us a nice cold drink while we checked in, we did not have to wait on the line, we checked-in at the VIP(??) desk, we sat down and made all our dinner reservations at that time and were able to eat where we wanted every night. We received a bottle of wine and fruit platter upon arrival to the room that lasted the whole trip. concierge downstairs was great! Make sure you hold on to your towel/towel cards (they charge you if its lost). room had a refrigerator i believe and a nice size TV and a safe.Honestly i would probably eat at the Mexican restaurant every night, it was the best one...i couldn't care less for the other restaurants personally. We enjoyed sitting and listening to the music they played on the terrace of the Italian and french restaurant while having some drinks. the swing bar was pretty cool, i do wish there were more fresh drink available like inside the coconuts or pineapples etc. The pool was nice but i ended up cutting my knee on the tiles so id be careful and they should really fix that. Buffets were pretty standard resort food. The beach was lacking as expected but that is mother nature i guess. however if you walk tall the way to the right over the boardwalk the beaches over there were beautiful and seaweed(??) free. we had a blast at that beach. definitely worth the walk if you can manage it (you have to walk through the beach/shallow water and climb a tiny bit to get onto the next resort LOL).we forgot to confirm our transportation to the airport returning home, so the hotel helped get us a cab (I WOULD SUGGEST NOT FORGETTING TO CONFIRM YOUR TRANSPORTATION the day before,and if you havent id PRE-BOOK IT round trip....THAT RIDE WAS SCARY, pretty expensive and then they want a good tip too). I also didnt love that the balcony did not let any sun in it was thickly covered and pretty dark and damp out there. but we had a good time! it was great for the pricei really wish they had a swim up bar though! and wish the weather cooperated better.

  • sylvia3131 : Sevenoaks, United Kingdom
It's the food that makes this hotel

My husband and I stayed at the Bluebay 15th -30th September. We stayed there on the recommendation of Thomas Cook. Normally I would check out reviews before hand but on this occasion I did that after we booked and was a little apprehensive! I was intrigued that some people had written reviews stating that it was definitely not a 5 star hotel ...that's probably because it's actually a 4 star and is advertised as such. We didn't have any problems at all checking in. .in fact it was very swift but the lobby is as most people have said. ..unbearably hot. We were in building 8. About the furthest out. This hotel covers something like 459 acres so it really was a long way from everything. The water didn't get hot and the loo didn't flush to well so we had a word with the rep. We'd arrived on the Thursday and moved rooms on the Monday to building 5.The water was hot but one of the basins was badly cracked and also blocked. However the room was clean.The air con worked properly and the mini bar was always stocked including 4 litres of water. Sian in Thomas Cook had said there was a bit of a seaweed problem and I was a bit concerned as I love the beach and swimming in the sea. The seaweed is actually like grass cuttings. There was a marginal tide and when it was in, the sea really was not attractive. ..a brown colour and in some parts black. However when the tide went out there were clear sandy patches. I have to stress that it was only the seagrass that gave the water it's unfortunate colour. It was clean in other respects. rubbish or any other unpleasant things. The beach was always clean and I don't know why one person reviewed that it was only 98cm wide. That so is not the case. They have put sand bags along some parts due to erosion and think they could do something make it that a little more attractive . I've never been to a hotel before where nobody puts there towels out on the sunbeds to reserve them! There was never at any time a shortage,though as others have said a shortage of shade. We went on the left hand side of the beach using the palm trees for shade and moving the sunbeds around as the shade moved. As everyone one says the lagoon which we timed and was a 9 minute walk was lovely. We never really go in the pools on holiday, but could see that they needed sprucing up a bit, though I didn't think they looked as bad as some people have said. The thing that made this hotel by far was the food. Spoilt for choice to be honest. And I've never seen such a choice at breakfast in any hotel we've stayed in. All food, whether the international buffet or one of the Al a carte restaurants was excellent and beautifully cooked. And in the steak restaurant the fillet steak was to die for. The hotel does really need to be refurbished but at the end of the day I'd rather have a tired room and great food than a wonderful room and poor food . The hotel is built in the jungle. It does have a couple of mangrove swamps and an abundance of wildlife. The time share touts that people have had problems with dress in a uniform very like the hotel staff. We didn't have any problems with them.We were approached once but ignored them completely and carried on walking. We went on three trips through Thomas Cook and all were very well organised if a tad pricy. Xplor is probably the most well organised place I've been to. The food there was also great. We did the quad bikes in the jungle which was brilliant. And we also did the trip into the mayen village. This too was a great day and quite humbling. So to sum up. Yes the hotel does require a good dose of t l c .It was kept clean and tidy though and it's got great potential. The grounds are vast and if you chose not to walk you could always hop on one of the buggy carts. The seagrass is not attractive but the sea is good to go in when the clear patches appear. If we returned to Mexico we'd probably try and find an area that doesn't have this problem. And the lagoon is well worth the short walk. Whist I probably wouldn't return to this hotel, we did enjoy our stay and I would recommend it for the food alone .

  • brianrigg : Westminster, Colorado
Outstanding Getaway!

My girlfriend and I stayed here in May and couldn't have been happier. The service was terrific, but allegedly they may have been pushier about a timeshare-style sales presentation had we not told them almost immediately that we just wanted to get to our room. They opened by telling us that they were going to seat us at a representative's desk and go over a presentation with us and we politely yet firmly declined. The room itself was of decent size and perfectly clean. The service was excellent and we never lacked for anything we requested. Interestingly, the best part of their service was a young man named Ernesto who works in one of the restaurants there - the casual buffet-style one that lays out the daily breakfast, though I forget the name of it. When he encountered us looking for a seat after gathering our food he asked if we were finding everything all right. We told him we were and asked if we could perhaps sit outside. The outside area was completely empty which was amazing because the weather was so nice. Ernesto quickly set up a table outdoors and moved an umbrella into position to shade us. He asked what we would like to start out with and immediately suggested maybe a latte, a Mimosa, and then laughed and suggested both. We took him up on both and he was delighted! Ernesto was very attentive throughout our meal without being invasive. But the best part was that when we returned the next day he recognized us and asked if we would like to sit outside again. We said yes and he called a coworker over to drag a table into position and bring back the umbrella. He offered a latte and Mimosa to start and we accepted. He made us feel so very warm and welcome and special. When we returned several times over the next few days he would ask us "The usual?" and when we said yes he positioned our table and umbrella and brought out the same drinks again. On the last day he brought out a small vase with a rose in it for "the happy couple. We make it romantic for you!" It was truly amazing and he treated us like friends the entire time. All in all the entire trip was fantastic, the accommodations comfortable, and the service very warm and friendly. But above all we would like to thank Ernesto for making our meals together enjoyable, comfortable, fun, and romantic! All of the restaurants we chose were top notch but Ernesto's service stood out above everything else with regard to our meals! If you have half a chance, go and seek out Ernesto and request a table outside. You won't be disappointed!

  • Julie W : Wakefield, United Kingdom
Exceptionally friendly

Myself and my partner plus 4 other adult family members Flew out on 4th October 2016 . Well after reading lots of scary bad comments on here we were very sceptical . However we were really surprised at how fantastic this place was. Staff are so kind polite and friendly and bend over backwards to help you we never met any who were rude or disrespectful. Hotel and gardens were immaculately clean and rooms were cleaned every day.Beach was clean whilst we visited and sea had a few bits of seaweed but they were easily missed whilst swimming.The food was really nice and plenty of choice . The al a carte restaurants were lovely apart from the Italian one which we did not enjoy as food was very cold and tasted awful.We have only 2 negatives.1) The small pool near apartments 6 has a lot of sharp broken tiles and two of us tore our swimming costumes on them and others had cut feet. It also had lots of flies in and could do with new filters. But it was warm and quieter than the busy main pool.2) The main pool had very little shade and half of it was closed for maintenance of broken tiles. Also there were metal sun beds with scalding hot edges and some were rusted causing one lady to cut her leg which required 6 stitches and cost them over $2000.However we brought this to the managements attention along with other guests .I would definitely recommend this hotel it really is wonderful and the good points certainly outway the bad. We will return here without a doubt.

Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).

If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.

Items not included:

  • Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
  • Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
  • Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
  • Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
  • Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
  • Items of a personal nature

  • 3 meals daily plus snacks
  • Christmas and New Year's Gala Dinners
  • All drinks (International brands, Domestic beer, House Wine, 10am to 1am)
  • Sailing
  • Windsurfing
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Introductory scuba diving lesson
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
  • Daily activities
  • 918 rooms in eight 2 and 3-storey buildings
  • 2 buffet restaurants and 3 a la carte restaurants (International, French, Italian, Mexican)
  • 3 bars including Snack bar, Beach bar
  • 24 hour room service (fee)
  • 3 outdoor pools
  • Shopping plaza
  • Scuba diving on-site (fee)
  • Tennis courts
  • Spa (fee)
  • Fitness centre

Deluxe Rooms include:

  • 1 king or 2 double beds
  • Air-conditioned
  • Ceiling fan
  • Satellite TV
  • In-room safe
  • Minibar stocked with bottled water, soft drinks & beer
  • Coffeemaker
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Balcony or terrace
  • Maximum occupancy per room is 3 adults

Deluxe Oceanfront Rooms include:

  • Same as above but ocean front location
  • Private pool

Junior Suites include:

  • Same as Deluxe Room but has 1 king bed
  • Sitting area with sofabed
  • In-room double jacuzzi
  • Maximum occupancy per suite is 3 or 2 adults & 2 children

Kids Deal - Kids 0-11 stay and eat free when sharing room and existing beds with 2 adults. Max 2 kids.

For the Kids - Galaxy supervised kid's club for 4-12 years & Teen Club for 12-17 years, Games room, Kid's pool

Honeymoon Bonus - Receive a fruit basket and bottle of sparkling wine. Request at time of booking. Requires proof of marriage.

Wedding Packages - Wedding packages are available. Please inquire for details.

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel offers early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map

  • Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda
    Riviera Maya,Mexico

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
Carretera Federal Chetumal- Puerto Juarez km 300 Camino a la Pileta, Playa del Carmen 77710 Mexico

Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.

Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.

Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules. makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.