Riviera Maya’s Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda is a 4 star hotel with the service of a 2-star one and the facilities of a 5-star. Go figure!
The Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda is nestled among acres of tropical jungle, by the Caribbean Sea and is built in the typical style of the grandest resorts in the Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya areas. A magnificent lobby (in this case open without air conditioning, nicely swept by the ocean breeze), imposing gardens, and independent buildings each with about a dozen rooms and suites, make up this beach resort.
The architecture is modern without being minimalistic, and the furniture and furnishings are beautiful and comfortable. The rooms are clean and spacious, but the hall ways are not only unimpressive but also dirty with dead roaches and used napkins here and there. As a contrast, the pool and general facilities were clean and well tended to. The service though, is simply sad. There is no valet parking, and you must park your own vehicle, sometimes more than a block away from the lobby. Upon arriving we asked the employee at the entrance where to park our car, and he simply shrugged. When asking for help with our luggage at the front desk, the employee was blatantly rude. But what really made us regret staying at the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda, was the ridiculous wait to grab a golf cart that would take us from our building to the lobby. So we gave up on waiting and every time we had to go to the restaurant or the lobby we ended up walking a quarter of a mile under a raging sun during the day time or eaten alive by mosquitos at night.
The Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda is an All-Inclusive resort, where you can eat and drink to your heart’s content, and the food was actually quite good! We were pleasantly surprised by their chicken soup (yummy!) and their salads. The drinks were good without being anything out of the ordinary, and they were plenty and always frozen cold, which is a blessing in the Caribbean.
So, there are good and bad things about the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda. A great touch we’d like to mention is a fresh fruit basket awaiting you in your room, in addition to a well stocked minibar (included in the price of your stay). Sadly we must also mention that in this hotel despite being an All-Inclusive, you will pay extra for lots of things, such as room service (there is a $10 USD fee to deliver your free food and drinks to your room), late check out ($10 USD per hour after their regular check out time of 12 noon), and $5 USD per extra room key.
In a nutshell, the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda was quite disappointing. They’re priced lower than all comparable resorts in the area, and there’s a reason for it: they’re sucky! Therefore in our Review of the Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda resort, we give it a 3 star rating.