We just returned from our visit to Blue Bay. I was expecting very little because I didn't have much to spend. I traveled with my 2 sons and husband. We were all very happy with the trip. No...it is not 5 stars but it was a great value! We stayed at the Barcelo' Palace Deluxe in Dominican Republic last year and felt very stressed from trying to make dinners plans every night!! Blue Bay has it right. It's a simple arrangement made in your building- done! And the people were super nice comparing to DR. In the DR they don't care. I won't return there. The food was great here. It's the usual A.I. faire. There were NO bugs. Who ever said that? The grounds are in great shape. There's is a CUTE tabby cat on the walk between the lobby and beach. He comes out at night. Say hello to him...The pool does need improvement and will have to be shut down to be fixed being as the ocean here is NOT good to even enter. I have never seen anything like it! So, no swimming or even walking on the beach line here. The beach is small. The sand is nice but there is so much sea weed it's like black sand in the water- gross... But if you go to the left and walk 5 minutes there is a nice lagoon. Grab some snorkel gear from Blue Bay pool area. It's free for 1 hour with a $20 deposit that is returned. So go and explore the river there. You can't use the chairs it's a different Hotel so leave your things behind...We were not happy that the one day the water was calm enough at Blue Bay for jet skis they didn't have any that worked! What? No need to buy your excursion from Cheap Carribean and the discount they offer on line before your trip??? FAKE! Check it out. It's the same price on line with the company's website. You can wait until you get there and see more choices of companies and trips or go to the companies (we used Olympus) website before you leave. There will have more choices. Just know that buying on line is quicker....The music at night on the beach is LOUD so you will want to be careful if that will bother you. We Loved building #1 Tulum. Our kids stayed in a room more inward and couldn't hear it. We were on the end... The night shows are okay. The show was better than the Barcelo's. Anyway...if you don't have a lot to spend don't worry- go here. The quality of people who vacation here is higher level. Not bottom of the barrel. But if you NEED beach- head more north or south. I hope this helps!
My girlfriend and I stumbled upon this gem when we were searching for affordable vacations. We had 3 criteria; it had to be an All-Inclusive Resort, it had to be accomodating, and it had to be gorgeous. Blue Bay was the obvious choice based on its price and it certainly did not disappoint. If you are planning on going to Mexico, it's a no-brainer, this is definitely the place to stay
This place was exactly what we expected and more. It was everything it pictured online. Staff was great, it was clean and the most relaxing yet most fun trip we've ever been on!
We stayed at BlueBay Esmeralda from Dec 19th thru 25th. We went with our 2 1/2 yr old daughter. CheapCarribean associate (i think her lastname is Taylor) recommended BlueBay as i specifically asked for kid-friendly resort and she was absolutely right. This place has been fabulously kid-friendly. Customer service is just great, they answer any questions we had and help out as needed. Resort: Well laid out, 2 big pools and beach. We got beach beds prettymuch anytime. Most ppl spent time on the pools and we did too. very clean all the time. Drinks were served through out (as expected very dilute but can't complain as you can as many). Lobby is a bit of a walk (we stayed in Building 5) but its ok and better than waiting for next shuttle. if you don't have to carry children its really an easy walk. There is a big breakfast/Lunch bar by the pool, very conveniently restrooms are close. There is a sports bar and an auditorium where nightly events are organized. We attended a few they had for children, especially xmas eve night was very good. Other than that not much to do at the resort, but thats the intent if you go to these resorts is basically to relax on the beach and pool i would think. Music in the sports bar was just ok. Food: Breakfast Buffet was excellent. they have all kinds of bread, juices, eggs, pancakes etc. Lunch and Dinner buffet was very good too. Service for drinks etc is exceptional, regardless of how big the crowd is. Mexican restraunt was really good, we didn't get a chance to try Italian, heard its very good, due their policy to make reservations a day before (not hard but they do this to drive more people to buffet as its easier for them than serving in restaurants, you can easily reserve though at your building concierge). To get around: Playa del carmen is close, its 5 USD for a shuttle ride, every few hrs from the hotel lobby. Coming back to Bluebay after 6 pm, is a cab ride they charge 20 USD (i am sure its less for locals but hey as a visitor..you know we pay the premium). Few things to know: Timeshare sales/presentation/VIP breakfast: its all the same, basically their timeshare pitch. when you checkin, they offer you to setup this, please try to say no. We did not say no, as they offered a Massage in Spa. Its not a massage, they call it Hydro therapy massage (its nothing but a pool). Don't fall for it. Currency: Please carry atleast 50 USD worth pesos (about 600 to 650). may be more if you are going for a longer stay. 1 USD is 12.5 Pesos, but they count as 10 Pesos (for e.g. if you take that shuttle to Playa Del Carmen, ticket is 50 pesos, if you pay in $, they charge 5 USD, not a big deal but its 20% extra on everything like souvenirs, shuttles, cabs etc). Tours: if you are planning to do any tours (for e.g. Chichen Itza, Tulum etc), which you will if you are staying more than a few days. I suggest you go to Playa Del carmen (when you get out of shuttle and walk onto the shopping area, its really 1 big street you can't miss it), there are ton of travel agencies selling tours. you can bargain, even if you don't you get them for 40% or so cheaper than booking from BlueBay Lobby. Its the same exact tour but just booking from hotel lobby they charge hefty premium (for e.g. Chichen Itza, we paid 70$ each, it was 110$ from hotel lobby). Even if you book in Playa Del carmen, they will pickup and drop from Hotel lobby.
I understand where most of the negative reviews are coming from (sandbags on beach/mosqitos) but honestly this resort was just fine. BEACH: I found that almost all the beaches in the area had sand bags on them as a result of hurricane damage. However, they were still beautiful and enjoyable. The beach at blue bay was much prettier than the place next door (Ocean maya) which had only a deck and non-existent beach. Get there early for a good chair. If you walk a quarter mile to the left (past the "VIP" area) you will find a prestine lagoon. Very cool, beautiful, and not crowded. We also took a bus into Playa Del Carmen for the day (costs 5 bucks each way) and enjoyed the beaches there for a day. Yes there were mosqitos at night. But hello?? you are in a jungle and near bodies of water. They were nothing major but bug spray isn't a bad idea. ROOM: Stayed in building 6, standard king room over looking the pool. Room was fine. AC worked great and pleasantly surprised to find the room had a fan. Mini bar was indeed mini but also really nice to have a cold water or coke every now and then. Private balcony with chairs/tables are also standard. FOOD: The food was what I had expected, just average. Similar to cruise food. Lots of it...but just ok. We walked through other resorts and the food looks similar as well, I think that is just what you are going to get when a place has to feed a ton of people at once. Our best meal was at the french place. Filet Mignon was good. Any form of potatoes were always a safe bet at the buffets. DO GET UP EARLY TO BOOK DINNER RESERVATIONS. Otherwise you will have to eat at buffet every night. Our concerige actually let us book for a few nights in advance. Overall this place is a good value full of super nice people who work hard. If you want super fancy, than you need to get out your wallet pay for a 5 star resort. For the rest of us middle class folk, Blue Bay is a good value. I also highly recommend Olympus company and the Xel-ha excursion. Xel-ha is all-inclusive, great snorkeling, and other fun activities for all ages but plan ahead cause it will take up the whole day.
This was my first all inclusive trip and first trip to Mexico. The hotel pictures online were correct, although half the pics are for VIP only, so we didnt get any beach huts or fancy sit out areas with the cool chairs. But that was ok, rest of the resort was great, the pool was amazing! It lists free watersports but the jet ski's were $65 for half hour. You also had to pay for the internet. room service was a crazy charge per visit. But the food at the restaurants was incredible, food at the buffet was very good as well. The reservations for the restaurants were difficult to get into, if you want to eat early you have to get up early the day before to reserve it, our first night there we got dinner early as we did that at check in, but the next day we went down at 9am and all the early reservations were taken so had to eat at 9:15pm, but the dinner was worth it, the steak house was the only place that was 'average'. The staff was super friendly everyday except our last. You must take your towels at check out, nobody told us that and we tried checking out and she asked us for our towels, we didnt use them as we brought our own, so they had to call our hotel and the person there had to go in our room to make sure they were still there. Understandable since ppl prob steal them. Only problem we had each day was getting a chair at the pool, people go early and put towels on the chairs to claim them, then go off and do all kinds of things, come back when they please, and some ppl took all day! that was very annoying, specially the one group that claimed chairs at the pool, i saw them laying at the beach for a couple hours and never even used the pool chairs until hours later when they felt like coming back, should be addressed by the hotel. There was a second pool at the other end of the hotel that was half as busy as the main pool, but wasnt as fancy, and our hotel was #5 right on the beach so we didnt walk all that way to it. The drinks were very well made, they werent shy on the alcohol lol. I wanted to play pool in the sports bar but it was crazy expensive so did not. There was always something going on, day activities on the back and in the pool, night life at the theater, the michael jackson show was pretty good! Overall a great trip, disappointed that "all inclusive" wasnt so inclusive but thats the way it goes.
This was the first time we used cheap Caribbean for a Valentine get away. It was a 5 night 6 days. This was a surprise for my wife and I included to excursions. With airline tickets to and from Nashville, was only 1200.00 dollars, All inclusive. So I was not expecting that much. How wrong I was. First of all the flight was with a major carrier (United). When we arrived our transportation was right away and super friendly. The ride was nice and not too far away. When we got to the resort, I was very surprised this resort was gorgeous. The staff was super friendly they set up my dinner reservation at one of the five restaurants that they had on the grounds. We were taken to our room, and may I say what a view oh my GOD it was breath taking, had soft drinks and water at no extra charge. Just a few steps away from the pool and the beach, It was gorgeous I mean picture perfect. Okay about the food it was wonderful. We had the buffets for breakfast and lunch and then decided to have a dinner at one of the restaurants at a different style every night while we were there. We did tip but we did not have too. But again the food was at least a 5 star type quality and the service was better than many of the best restaurants in the states. I accidently drop my spoon before I had time to pick it up the staff was there to replace it. We had 2 excursions planned and we went to Chichen Itza trip it was wonderful the bus ride was nice a little long but were we had to go it was not bad. The only thing I did not like we were the first to be picked up and then had to make several stops to pick up others but we did get served breakfast on the bus plus the two guides were super to us. We did make a few tourist type stops but we did purchase some items for gifts for the people back home. Once we got there our tour guides was also our guide at Chechen Itza. It was very informational and well worth the money to go. We were give time to go explore by ourselves I wish it was longer. The only drawback was there were hundreds of local vendors selling items almost every were you turned. Upon returning I called Cheap Caribbean to let them know that we had a wonderful time and defiantly been using them again I just happened to mention that we didn’t get to use our second excursion. About two weeks later I was called and told that they have refunded my cost of my excursion that I did not take. I was really surprised by this and to me that is way above customer service then I expected. I really loved the resort and I cannot wait to return. We are already making plans too. If anyone has any doubt than they should not have to worry about going to this resort, you will have a wonderful time and by the word for beer is crevasse. I was asking for a beer and the waitress kept asking me crevasse?? I said no beer! I did this a couple of times until my wife told me that crevasse is beer! Have a wonderful time.
WE just got back from blue bay yesterday! we had a fabulous time. Good food and drinks! French dining was to die for! The Buffet was also very good. Breakfast was great! This is a kid friendly resort. I would take my kiddos there any day. Very good entertainment at night and by the pool during the day. Very good value and great memories!
The facilities here are nice enough, and the food is passable. I would have been happy with this except for the horribly bad service. We were told it was policy we could only have ONE key car per room, so my wife an I could never go out separately the entire week. I even offered to pay for one, but they refused. One day we booked a scuba diving trip with a great shop in Playa del Carmen, but when they arrived at the hotel they were not allowed to enter the gate, despite us verifying who they were. Instead the hotel manager made us TAKE A TAXI FROM THE LOBBY TO THE FRONT GATE to transport our gear - a 45 second ride that cost $5! The hotel claimed liability issues, but the dive shop confirmed that no other resort does this. It was clearly a 'screw you' tax on us for booking ahead of time with someone we know rather than through their aggressive on-site agencies. We generally tip all staff while on vacation - when we asked the front desk for change so we could tip waiters, bellboys, housekeeping, etc... the front desk literally said "No. Do you think we're a bank? We're not a bank." We wanted change in order to give their employees more money, and they refused! One day they gave us white pool towels that looked similar to the room towels. When the housekeepers mistakenly took them, rather than apologize they treated us like criminals and made us waste over 30 minutes to hunt down the maid and confirm that she had them and we were not thieves (this great way to get return customers - accuse a group of 8 doctors and lawyers spending thousands of dollar of stealing a $2 towel and wasting part of their vacation!) And forget the "free" water activities - the two catamarans are broken down and barely safe to sail. I am an experienced sailor, sailed the catamaran one morning, then and wanted to take my brother in law out on one of the boats. They said he had to pass a catamaran sailing proficiency test or, of course, he could buy some lessons from them... even though he was just going to be a PASSENGER. Also, I left a new $100 scuba mask at the shop for less than 5 minutes and it promptly disappeared. These are just a few of the examples of terrible service that spoiled what could have been an OK trip to an OK resort.
My teenage son and I vacationed at the BlueBay Grand Esmeralda in June 2011. To say the least, we were very disappointed with the hotel atmosphere, staff, room, food and lack of entertainment. Even though this vacation was not the most expensive we have taken, it was definitely the most disappointing. When purchasing our vacation package via Cheap Caribbean, I paid for an upgraded room with upgraded ammenities and accommodations. Since it was a purchase and not a free upgrade, I anticipated receiving the room and amenities I purchased upon check-in. Immediately upon arrival, we were placed in a horrible smelly room that was not located in the deluxe ocean view location I paid for in advance. Rather, we were placed in a room that was in much need of renovation with the view of the burnt-down hut/restaurant that has yet to be removed following a fire last year. In regards to the "deluxe ocean view", the view was a 45 degree angle and one would need to hang over the balcony to see a glimpse of the water through the fire-damaged restaurant. The lack of professionalism via the concierge, which was another upgrade I purchased in advance, was pathetic. Every employee at the resort constantly lied and tried to take advantage of the resort guests. Just sitting in the lobby, I overheard the employees tell different guests different things to make excuses in regards to not delivering what was paid for by the guests when booking their vacation. In regards to the food, it was less than appetizing. The beach was the biggest disappointment ~ very dirty, full of seaweed, and unswimmable. When booking this vacation, it was listed as a 4-5 star resort. As of now, Cheap Caribbean lists it as a 3 1/2. This is definitely more representative of what this resort should be rated. If anything, it is a very generous rating! If you are interested in visiting Riviera Maya, I would definitely recommend staying a few miles away in Playa del Carmen. The beach and water are beautiful, there is more to see and do, and it is definitely a better location overall. In the heart of Riviera Maya, you cannot just walk off your resort and take a walking tour; in Playa del Carmen you can. If you expect what you pay for and do not want to be disappointed, do not book the BlueBay Grand Esmeralda in Riviera Maya!