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Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda

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Our Opinion

This is the perfect place for those who want to stay at a large luxury resort, and yet want to experience privacy. The sheer size of the resort makes it seem like you're the only ones in the area. It's a bit of a walk to the beach. However, you are greeted by some spectacular views and a well-maintained area. The food choices vary and are excellent in quality and service. This is also one of the very few resorts that offer top-shelf liquor in their bars. This portion of the Paradisus resort is perfect for families and children.

Located in a small yet stunning bay, the family hotel Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda is the newest of the luxury hotels in Riviera Maya. Combining a prestigious Caribbean setting with world-class facilities, including Family Concierge, the ultimate in spa treatments, a relaxed ambiance, and flexible meeting spaces with state-of-the-art equipment. This elegant resort has a Mayan ecological feeling, and an oceanfront location surrounded by a lush tropical mangrove preserve and with views of Cozumel Island. Take your senses on a culinary tour through eleven remarkable restaurants serving delicious cuisine from all around the world and ten bars serving unlimited international Premium brand drinks.

Location: Playa del Carmen, approx. 45 minutes from Cancun International Airport

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • kmbonin82 : Houston, Texas
Best "affordable" trip, period.

Just returned from a four-night stay at La Esmeralda. Overall, the trip was very, very good, but not quite 5 stars. It was, though, the most affordable trip we have taken to date. We traveled as a couple, for our 8th wedding anniversary, which was the week after our trip. Arrival: We booked our trip through Costco Travel, which was a great value. The transportation from the airport was through BDTravel (Best Day Travel), and there is a booth on site at the resort with BD reps that can assist with transport, tours, etc. The transport was relatively easy, and the drive down to the resort was about 1 hour. Most of the roads are really, really well marked, but to get to the resort you have to go through a pretty sketchy area, and I'm not sure it would be a good idea to drive or walk on your own through this area. Recommend doing a transfer instead of renting a car. The Hotel: The grounds of the hotel are beautiful, and it's laid out pretty well. As others have suggested, there are two sides - adults only (La Perla) and family (La Esmeralda). Even though we traveled by ourselves and no children, we opted for the family side and were so glad we did. Since we were in the family concierge section, we had full run of the entire resort - including La Perla and their "premier" services, Royal Services. We did venture over to the La Perla side once, but found a bunch of screaming adults that had too much to drink. Really glad we stayed on the family side. The restaurants are mostly between the two sides, in the "common" area. This means that yes, if you stay on the adults side, you will mingle with kids for dinner. There is a gift shop, but there really isn't a lot to choose from. They do have some items at the airport for souvenirs, but overall, very little. Clientele in general was mostly European, with everyone speaking good English. Most of the resort, with the exception of a few restaurants and the rooms, are open air. So it can be quite warm for meals, but there is usually a good breeze flowing through the property.The Rooms: We sprung for a Family Concierge room, which made our room a little more expensive. We had room 2114, a one bedroom master suite on the first floor (US second floor). Our room was gorgeous, by far the best room we have ever stayed in. Several rooms and an amazing bath, shower and outdoor jacuzzi. The hallways can be a little bit loud, doors slamming and what-not, but we never had a problem and just lived with it when it occurred. Our concierge was Mario. We checked in on a Monday after 5pm, and he was already gone for the day. We didn't see him until Tuesday after lunch, when he called our room and we happened to be there. He dropped by shortly after that. That was literally the only time we saw him. Day 2, we came back to the room to freshen up for dinner and he had run us a rose petal bubble bath, which was nice. Then Day 3, we came back to the room to a small cake and champagne for our anniversary, which was the following week. They had also left us a nice card as well. Mario did call us our last day to check to make sure we had our transport back to the airport for the morning, but that was it. No other interaction with him. Don't get me wrong - we don't like to be hand held, but it would have been nice for him to check in more often. We saw other concierge for other families checking in each morning and afternoon (they would come find the families on the beach or by the pool), but ours never showed. Family Concierge: If you do spring for the service, it's quite nice. We contacted the resort several times before we went, but never heard back until about a week before the trip, when someone FINALLY responded. We put in for our dinners (we did all free-flowing, no reservations), and had no issues. There's a separate arrival area for FC guests, and your room is nicer, from what I understand. You also have access to the heated FC pool with swim-up bar and the FC section of the beach, which is right in front of the swimable section of the beach and next to the activities. There's also access to the FC restaurant, Olio, which was good for lunch (and convenient, as it's right next to the FC pool). The Beach: Our first day, the beach was amazing. The water was very, very calm. The sand was beautiful, and the FC section of the beach was positioned perfectly between the sports and in front of the swimming area. My husband did the jet-skis ($70/half-hour), and we did the ocean kayak and hobie-cat (free). One of the men from the rental place even went with us on the hobie-cat and taught us how to sail, which was really nice of him. Days 2 and 3, some weather moved in and it was very cloudy, overcast and quite windy. This churned up the seas pretty badly, and all the seaweed that was growing on the rocks just offshore was churned up an sent ashore. There was a lot of it, and it did smell. But, that's why we booked the FC section, so we opted for plan B, which was the heated pool. The Restaurants: Yes, there are 14 of them. Most of them required reservations. We went to five - Olio for lunch (very good, part buffet, part menu); Sunrise Grill for lunch (by the main pool, opens early, menu ordering); The Market for lunch (amazing buffet and menu ordering, but mostly buffet - very, very good. Wish we had eaten lunch here every day); The Grill for dinner (adults only, no reservations, salad bar + menu ordering); Naos for breakfast and dinner (no reservations, we actually ate here three nights because we liked it so much). Room service is a $5 delivery fee for whatever you want. Mini-bars are stocked in the rooms and are free, so eat/drink up.The Service: Several reviewers commented on the outstanding service at the resort and recommended bringing hundreds in tipping cash. We brought $300. We only spent about $70 in tips. The service was average, at best. We have stayed at many very nice resorts and definitely tip when service is outstanding, but other than our house-maid, Alma (who was amazing), service was average. Prepare to ask for a beverage refill meals. Two of the meals, my husband asked for ketchup, only to get it at the end of the meal when he was down to his last two bites. I asked for a refill on my tea once, and the waiter never returned. I had to ask someone else for a Coke (apparently iced tea is difficult to come by a the resort). Service was slow, and not the "Pura Vida" slow like in Costa Rica, just plain slow. Waiters seemed to be stretched out among several tables, or were still getting ready when the restaurant opened at 6pm (they were still getting ready when we left at 7pm). The pool service was slow as well, waitresses often disappearing for hours, leaving us to get our own food/drink. It was disappointing given all the rave reviews about service. The Timeshare Pitch: Never received it. Not sure if it was because we were FC, or because we didn't have kids, but it was never, ever even mentioned to us. We also didn't contact guest services for anything, so that might be why. Overall, we would like to stay at another resort along the Riviera Maya, but given the value we received for all we got at La Esmeralda, we will most likely visit this resort again. Tips: 1. Download the Melia app, you can check out menus, restaurant times, activities, etc. at the resort before you go. 2. Early bird gets the worm - We had the FC pool to ourselves for most of the mornings. We arrived there at 730am, and were alone until about 930am. Same for the beach, same for the restaurants. Get up early, go early. 3. Definitely stay on the family side - it's quiet, more relaxing, and closer to everything (restaurants, beach activities). 4. Take advantage of everything - beach, pools, mini-bar, etc.5. Contact the concierge before you go - make sure to customize your mini-bar to your liking. You can call to have it stocked once you get there, but it's easier to have it done before you go. 6. Internet is good, but it does drop. Also, you're not going to have WiFi, and sometimes not even service at all at the beach. (AT&T for us)

  • Moore F : San Francisco, California
Home sweet home!!

We felt home away from Home. From the moment we walk in when you were greeted by Florencia Colunga! She made our trip stress free! She surprised my daughter with ballons and cake in room her 10th birthday! She was great help on recommandation ! We felt we had someone looking after us During our stay!The hotel is beautiful and eco- friendly. They are very conscience of nature. I just wish guests were more repectable of the environment! The beach is very kid-friendly with free activities like canoes/ paddle board/ mini catamaran. Full service to eat there. The hotel ground is just beautiful! Love the fact they have two parts Adult only and kid- friendly. My kids 8 and 10 loved the Kids Club. My son made ton of friends! For my 10 years she wishes for better food selection at kids club! We used kids club when my husband and I wanted to try adult only restaurant for dinner. The kids would join the dinner and evening activities at kids club open until 10pm. We upgraded to add access to private area but we did not have the butler access . Which I highly recommend specially if you travel with kids on high season! It makes a huge difference! We wish we took concierge level from the beginning! You have butler making all reservation and have acess less crowed area. Kids have lobby area with all snacks and drinks when needed! For restaurants we loved Fuego restaurant is was delicious and ambiance perfect for rommantic dinner. We did not care for Las palapas only adult french menu! Naos was my kids ' favorite . Having concierge access we ate lunch at Ollie, Dimitrio our waiter was very sweet we even suggest the seafood platter( extra cost) but was worth it. Spa My daughter for 10th birthday wanted to have spa!! They have acess to kids spa!! She was so excited to feel pamper! I used the adult spa was less relaxing!! I booked a 50 min facial because I was press for time!! The esthéticienne was very pushy to sell me 80 minutes! The staff and guests were very loud in hallway! Hard to close my eyes! Activities: We rented a car to went Tulum for the day and see a cenote! Don't hesitate to ask concierge for recommandation for day trips! Overwall we had best relaxing vacation!! Our kids cant wait to go back!! If you are looking for luxury all inclusive and stress free vacation Paradisus is place to stay!

  • Jenbunny85 : Las Vegas, Nevada

This was a trip that my boyfriend won from his company. The hotel was amazing. It was so relaxing and refreshing. His company had a string of events for us to attend and the hotel did a spectacular job making the events lavish. I had an awesome time here and the staff was so nice. Plus the food was really good. I love the market grill and sunset bar.

  • DebbieSlepkow : Dartmouth
Family Destination Wedding - Great Service, Beautiful Property and Decent Food & Drink

We were recently in Playa del Carmen for my cousin's wedding. There was a total of 15 of us and I must say, this is one of the nicest all-inclusives I have ever stayed at. Gorgeous property and ultra-modern rooms tricked out with all the amenities. I honestly enjoyed hanging out in the room at the end of a busy day/night and ordering their 24 room service which was delicious and having a cocktail on the veranda. What really made this experience was the staff. Extremely friendly and accommodating. I can't say enough good things about Luis Campos who served us by the pool everyday. He was always making sure we had everything we needed and was prompt with refills on food and drinks all day. He was also such a sweet and nice guy. A pleasure to have him be part of our day as were most of the staff. Food was delicious with the exception of the fixed menus that some of the restaurants required when our entire party decided to dine out. They would limit our selections to one or two options which was frustrating when in some cases we were the only people in the restaurant. If they had 15 different diners that weren't sitting together would they have made them only choose from 2 dinner options out of the several on the menu? No. So this was super annoying. But in general food, drinks and service were top-notch.

  • Natalie C : Seattle, Washington
2nd annual trip wonderful

Once again a lovely trip to Playa and Paradisus! The staff are very friendly and accommodating. Since our second year, many of the staff at the pool recognized us. The beach is fine but not great. They had seaweed problems so it was smelly some days. If you walk over to the public side a few hundred feet away, the water was calmer and more enjoyable for the entire family.Once again, the Kids Zone staff did not disappoint. The team is absolutely wonderful and adored our girls (5 and 8). Many days, the oldest wanted to be there as long as she could! They keep the kids busy and entertained and of course there is down time with movies, arts, etc. Mucho gracias to Joanna, Erika, Karen, Laura, Miyuki, Irina, Mitzy and Andrea! We hope to see you all next year, hopefully!Pool staff are lovely and so wonderful - Enrique, Anallely, Imelda, Stefianos (he's the man!), Richardo, Carlita, and many more...

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

  • Daily buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Unlimited a la carte dinners
  • Unlimited domestic, selected international and premium brand drinks (house wine included)
  • Snacks
  • 24 hr room service
  • In-room mini-bar 
  • Tennis (daytime)
  • Beach volleyball
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Aerobics
  • Daytime activities such as Pilates, body balance, meditation, spinning, beach volleyball, aqua fitness, merengue, snorkeling, step aerobics, stretching, and more
  • Life-enriching classes such as candle-making, cocktail workshop, painting workshop, wine tasting, sushi making, cigar workshop, and more
  • Nightly entertainment
  • Theme parties
  • 512 Suites
  • 11 Restaurants
  • 10 Bars
  • 2 lagoon-style pools
  • 1 Family Concierge pool
  • 1 Activities pool
  • Swim-up bar
  • Lighted tennis court
  • Wedding Gazebo
  • Marina water sports (additional charge)
  • YHI Spa and Health Club (additional charge)
  • Fitness room
  • 24-hour Room service 
  • Beauty salon
  • Shops on site 
  • Business center
  • Meeting rooms/Conference facility
  • Medical services
  • Laundry service 
  • Indoor games room 
  • Golf course nearby
Luxury Junior Suite:
  • 42" Flat Screen TV with cable
  • CD/DVD Player
  • Living area with sofa
  • Private terrace with tanning area
  • Modern bathroom with sensory tub and rain shower
  • Daily stocked mini bar
  • Marble floors
  • Coffee maker
  • Individually controlled air-conditioning
  • Iron and ironing board
  • 24-hour room service
  • Wi-Fi internet access
The Family Concierge at Paradisus offers personalized and luxury services designed with every family member in mind. Let our concierges attend to all your needs while you enjoy your family vacations. In addition to the mentioned services, the Family Concierge rooms also offer:
  • A private air-conditioned Family Concierge lounge for private check-in/out and complimentary Internet access
  • All-day assistance of a Family Concierge, and a complimentary walkie-talkie or cell phone for instant communication
  • Paradisus Kids Beach Kit check-in gift
  • Kids and Teens activity menu
  • Exclusive family activities and excursions such as swimming, classes, painting, and more
  • Kid-sized bathrobe and mini-slippers in the closet
  • Kid's bathroom amenities such as mini kit with soaps, toothbrush, shower gel, mosquito repellant, and towel
  • In-room activities menu
  • Kid's drinks in the minibar
  • PlayStation on request
  • Kid's pillows
  • Nightly turndown with milk and cookies
  • Bathrobes and slippers for the parents
  • Pillow menu for the parents
  • Luxury bathroom amenities for the parents
  • Access to the exclusive Family Concierge restaurant for a la carte dining
  • Hydromassage on the terrace
For the Kids - Kids club for ages 5-12, Family pool and Children's playground.

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer 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

  • Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda
    Riviera Maya,Mexico

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda
5a Avenida Esquina Calle 112, Playa del Carmen 77719 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.