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“wolf in sheeps clothing”

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Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda
Ranked #31 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
torrance, CA
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“wolf in sheeps clothing”
Reviewed 18 April 2012

I recently stayed at Paradisus La Esmeralda Playa Del Carmen.
This was without a doubt the worst AI experience I have ever had. I have previously stayed at over a dozen different AI’s including Melia, Iberostar, Royal, RIU, Dreams and others so I know what to expect.
Below are the notes of the multiple issues I had:
1. Upon arrival I was given an old activities schedule which caused numerous disappointments throughout my stay, and I feel it is important to note when this was brought to management’s attention (Many people were given the wrong schedule) they did NOTHING about it.
2. NO explanation was given about family concierge areas being off limits or limits on restaurants, which caused me embarrassment that day when I tried to use the family concierge area.
3. I was expecting a cell phone delivery and checked three times with the front desk, each time the heavy woman working there said it had not arrived, and finally the man working gave it to me and said it had been there the entire time. She never apologized or even smiled.
4. English was very poor at the front desk, and not one single person smiled or said hello to me the ENTIRE six days with the exception of Jean at the spa and my waiters.
5. My room was not ready so we headed to the pool, there was not ONE single chair available, we walked around everywhere and finally found plenty of spots at a remote pool only to be told we were not allowed there as it was the family concierge area which we were never told about.
6. Finally get to the room and it over looked a large patch of dirt and parking, also the lights did not work.
7. Security does not do its job at night and people reserved chairs and sun beds from one day to the next by leaving their belongings. Many guests were fighting each day over this and management and security did nothing about it.
8. We went to book spa appointments because the expedia website said over 12 years old and my child is 13. This is the main reason we chose this property so that we could spa together. We were told by the spa staff that 16 is the age not 12. Even though there was no one there they would not allow us appointments and were very rude (except Jean)
9. The next day we got a different room and the shower was not draining, it took four phone calls and two hours to get it fixed causing us to miss that evenings show.
10. Also the phone message light came on even though there were not messages and it took 6 calls and three days to get it turned off.
11. The directory in the room had a section for English and one for Spanish but the English section was blank
12. The TV directory was completely wrong in the listing of channels and weather the station was English or Spanish
13. We also went to yoga where again they told me over 16 not 12, I told them we were taking the class based on the web information and also that the spa staff told me the day before that we could. Again, all staff had very poor English.
14. I spoke to Jessica the manager on duty at night about all my problems and she said that the manager would contact me the next day (Tuesday) after my excursion. He never did so when I called him I had to relay the whole thing again. He said he could not do anything for me but maybe credit my bill for a spa treatment. Then when I told him about the sun bed issue he said he would have security try to save a bed for me and to find him in the morning. (his name started with an H…Hildago??)
15. Even though we were tired we stayed up to see the show and sat in the theatre full of people for 30 minutes past the scheduled time waiting. Multiple times entertainment staff looked in the theatre and left. When I finally went to the front desk to inquire the staff there and the entertainment director were too busy arguing over who gave out the wrong schedule that they could not be bothered to tell the theatre full of guests that there was no show that night.
16. When I found H. the next morning not only did he have no idea what had happened with the theater the night before but he also said the security staff was unable to secure me a bed that night before because they were all taken….he also said that he walked the property himself at 7:30 and they were indeed all taken. I explained to him that either he was lying to me OR his security was lying to him because I know for a fact there were Palapa beds available. I know this because I reserved a bed myself at 10PM and there were plenty available until 7AM. I know this for a fact because I was down on my Palapa at 6:30 AM. He did not apologize, just stared blankly at me. I suggested that he find some way to compensate me for my horrible experience since he did not do as he said he would and now my experience is even worse. He said he would see what he could do.
17. I never heard another word from him, and when I checked out I spoke to him and all he did was credit me $150 for the spa, which I happen to know was given out for no reason to many people staying there.
18. Finally, when I looked over my checkout receipt I found a 20.00 charge for UNICEF which was never mentioned or explained. Not that I mind that small amount at all, but it should NOT be just added to someone’s bill.
FYI – this property is only a four or five star IF you pay the extra for the family concierge service. Also I should point out that the special food and treats set up near the family concierge pool is available to ALL guests at the Melia in PV that I stayed at! This hotel is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing….it is very beautiful, but the lack of service and the unfriendly and unprofessional attitude of the staff makes it unbearable. Further, EVERY other AI that I have had the pleasure to stay at provided a show EVERY night for EVERYONE. This property only had shows every other night if you had family and not just adults.
As I said at the beginning of this letter, I have stayed at many AI’s and I have loved all of them. I generally go at least 2X per year. In fact I went back to the same Melia twice in a row because we had such a great time, but this was the worst vacation experience of my life and there is no way to express what a waste of my time and money it was.

Room Tip: Make sure you pay for ocean view otherwise you are looking out onto dirt lot
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank jenturq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality Manager B, Quality Department at Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this review, 24 April 2012
Dear guest,

First of all, we would like to express our gratitude for sharing your observations about your recent vacation at Paradisus La Esmeralda. At Paradisus we have a strong commitment on continuous improvement; therefore your comments are very important as we already let you know trough the letter we sent directly to your email account.

As service-oriented company, we have a firm devotion to accomplish our guest’s satisfaction; therefore, after we finished reading your notes, we were truly sorry for the fact that we did not appear to have succeeded in this occasion with our main goal: your total satisfaction. Please accept our most sincere apologies for the inconveniences you experience and please be assure, that corrective and preventive measures have been determined with all the departments involved, in order to avoid, similar situations in the future.

We have even reviewed the web site information Expedia in order to assure that the information our clients receives coincides with our current policies, due, although our spa staff offered you a service massage in family concierge, we comprehend you preferred to enjoy the spa facilities.

It is a shame also that, our UNICEF help strategy could be misunderstood due lack of communication, causing reject in our appreciated guests instead of a complete conviction to contribute with this laudable program.

We do hope sincerely that this somewhat negative experience will not deter you from returning to this hotel.


Armando Mondragón
Quality Department
armando.mondragon@melia.com
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English first
Fullerton, California
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2012

The 4 block drive to hotel from the main road: Have you ever been to TJ's worst neighborhoods, where poverty and vandalism is the representation to the tourist? Welcome back!!!! I had read a review in another travel web-site from a man from Venezuela and he described it to the T. Because the hotel is new, I said, "It can't be that bad"...it was. Do your homework the area is called "Colonia Colosio". No where near the tourist area.

My slogan for this city is: "Lo sentimos (we're sorry), mil disculpas, (1000 sorrows), no se puede (not posible)”

For starters the only rooms with beach front view, are the time-share units, the rest 90% have side view of the ocean’s horizon if you’re lucky.

The pool: Wait...there’s a pool?

Worst beach ever, nowhere to swim because it’s all rocks and there’s JELLY FISH!!!!!

Resort surrounded by jungle. Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes, mosquitoes. Did I mention the mosquitoes? And they love outsiders blood especially children’s.

Check-in: We arrived around 8:00PM, two desk attendants (not rush hr) we waited 20 min for 2 guests to be checked in. Very politely, “David” would not honor the free upgrade that came with my package from Orbitz.

The service was very unpredictable and inconsistent; we either got red carpet or “I don’t even see you” service. Policies varied from employee to employee. I asked a concierge agent for the GM’s name and she did not know it.

I noticed that in the “only adult” side of the resort, the employees seemed more prepared to serve and physically did not look native.

The following day we had breakfast at Naos restaurant. I asked for coffee, it came with no cream. I asked 3 different people for the cream and never came. Finally our waiter came, the coffee was cold enough for me to dip my fingers in it; I was P@@@@@ and another waiter near us commented to another waiter “the broad is pissed because of the coffee” in Spanish, and laughed.

I am so sorry I picked this hotel!

Room Tip: None in this hotel since the only units with beach front are time-share units. Units are so cramped...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Laura A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this review, 17 April 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you for your taking the time to share your point of view about your stay at Paradisus La Esmeralda.

We are really sorry that our property location, the service and the staff did not satisfy your expectations. If you consider us again as an option for your upcoming vacations, we assure you, we will try to satisfy all your needs.

We think it is important to let our tourists know, that Paradisus is committed with society and the natural environment. That is why we are proud of our unique location in front the turquoise Caribbean ocean. This area includes a beautiful protected mangrove, It´s importance relies on the way it helps to decrease hurricane impact, protecting guests, the ecosystem and our facilities. We hope you understand our posture about it.

About your pool concerns, allow me to inform you that at Paradisus La Esmeralda, we have 6 swimming pools, including the kid’s pool and the one exclusive for Family Concierge guests. It is a shame we did not surpass your expectations about our pools either.

Thank you again for your comments and we hope you visit us again in the near future.

Alan Becerril
Quality Manager
alan.becerril@melia.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perkasie
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 April 2012

Pros:
Best service and food of any all-inclusive we have stayed at in the Caribbean (so far). The drinks were top shelf (but you need to ask and make sure you are getting the top shelf stuff). The service was excellent and the staff were very attentive to our every need. The atmosphere was calm and relaxing.
Cons:
The beach is poor, very rocky and depending on the day, a lot of smelly sea weed. There was a lot of people traffic (since the beaches are all public) and there was only public beaches (no other resorts) on either side of the Paradisus resort. Our kids like to swim but the pools at this resort were small and were quite boring (teens). We did not heed the warnings about paying for an ocean view, its really not worth it but at least our room overlooked the property (with a little ocean in the distance). The rooms (for a luxury junior suite) were small in comparison to other resorts we have stayed with a similar room description. The bathroom was especially small and became crowded when everyone was trying to get ready in the morning and evening. Lastly, the rooms were not very sound proof and often we would hear other vacationers returning to their rooms late at night.
Overall we rate the resort as average. Asked if I would go back, probably not, mainly because of the beach and pool.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Rich B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this review, 14 April 2012
Dear guest,

First of all thank you for your visit at Paradisus La Esmeralda and for taking the time to post your comments in Trip Advisor.

We regret we did not surpass your expectations regarding our beach and your room size. You honored us with your visit during Spring break. As you may know most of the people take advantage of this period to enjoy our beautiful Caribbean ocean.

In the other hand, we are pleased to know the service and our all inclusive plan were beyond your expectations. We strongly believe our personnel are our biggest strength to provide the service all our guests deserve.

Thank you again for sharing your point of view and we hope you give us the opportunity to host you again at Paradisus Playa del Carmen.


Alan Becerril
Quality Manager
alan.becerril@melia.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
greenville,sc
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2012

We chose this property because it is new and much less expensive than it's competitors. The pros-the resort is new and beautiful and overall the food is wonderful. Passion Restaurant was absolutely phenomal. The cons-we stayed in the family concierge section and were extremely disappointed to find the king room offer one king bed and one foldout sofa. Our other child had to sleep with us. The refrigerator was never stocked, we couldn't get dinner es we requested even before our arrival and it was disgruntling to walk by the restaurants we tired to get into and they were empty. Obviously staffing problems...our children left the kids club and no one called us, the beach is worse than terrible...the servers at the family concierge pool are so rude, unless it was the steal of all steals we wouldn't go back. Grand Velas or Las Ventas would be our choices.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank boohooGreenville_sc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this review, 14 April 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for sharing with us your experience at Paradisus La Esmeralda.

We are sorry we could not transcend your expectations about your room. It is completely understandable that sharing your bed with your youngest child was not what you were hoping for. When this kind of situations occurs, we have roll away beds available at our guest’s disposal.

We have informed the manager in charge about the minibar restocking. The minibar is part of our all inclusive plan and it must be filled in ones a day.

On the other hand, we are pleased you decided to try our Passion Restaurant by Martin Berazategui, who´s inspired work has made him awarded of 7 Michelin stars.

Your comments about your stay help us identifying our opportunity areas, thank you for sharing them with us and we hope we can honor us with your presence again.

Alan Becerril
Quality Manager
alan.becerril@melia.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buenos Aires
1 review
Reviewed 10 April 2012

We would like to remark the excellent quality of the restaurants of the hotel, which include all kind of international food for all kind of tastes. We as a family specially liked the "Naos" buffet, which offered a menu with a big diversity of meals whose quality is supervised by chef Oscar Toribio. We appreciate his kindness and devotion in attending the customers needs, as they also do all of the hotel's staff.

flia, Cenere.

Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Arnaldo C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda

Property: Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda
Address: 5a Avenida | corner Calle 112, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#26 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price range (per night): ₹ 18,803 - ₹ 67,259
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda 4.5*
Number of rooms: 488
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the beach and surrounded by mangrove trees, Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda is an all-inclusive four Diamond resort with its promise of all-inclusive fun and LUXExclusive experience designed with the entire family. All suites feature a private balcony or terrace and include air conditioning with climate control, free Wi-Fi, 24-hour room Service, cable TV service, Minibar, in-room safe, complimentary toiletries, bathrobes, living area with sofa and a coffee maker. Services for relaxation and pampering include a YHI Spa, a hair salon ($), Wedding services, tours/ticket assistance and a business center. World-class facilities including Family Concierge ($), Fitness, YHI Kids, Kids Zone, Kids Club, Baby Club, Game Room, Life enriching experience, Kids Pool. The resort offers 14 restaurants to choose from which are open daily. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Melia Hotels APAC, HotelQuickly and Agoda so you can book your Paradisus by Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Paradisus By Melia Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda Riviera Maya

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