As a mom, when I’ve looked for a luxury resort in Playa del Carmen, I’ve found very few which cater specifically to children. It’s important I find this in a property. I want my son to have just as much of an incredible experience as myself. And while others offer a kid’s club and playground, none quite compare to the family concierge service at Paradisus La Esmeralda.
Recently I had the absolute delight of visiting Paradisus La Esmeralda during the Festival of the Dead at Xcaret. I have, over the years, been to quite a few resorts along the Riviera Maya so, I was pretty eager to see what this luxury resort in Playa del Carmen had to offer.
Luxury Resort in Playa del Carmen – Paradisus La Esmeralda
Per my usual, I had done little research on Paradisus La Esmeralda before our arrival. I do this with a purpose. I want to be completely surprised in my experience. What I did know is that we were staying at an all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen and that they had a special family side to the resort (there’s an adult only side as well).
Upon arrival, we were greeted with cold towels and refreshing drinks. The concierge took our bags and made us comfortable while we waited for a driver to escort us to the family concierge side of the property. Simply put, from the moment our feet touched the ground we were taken care of. Gauge enjoyed playing with the turtles while I had a much-needed adult beverage. Before we knew it we were on a golf cart cruising over to meet our butler and tour the family side of the resort.
The Family Side of Paradisus La Esmeralda
The family side of Paradisus La Esmeralda, in my opinion, is an even better experience than being without the kids. When you enter the family concierge, you’re given actual bracelets to wear and keep which act as your validation to be on the property. Gauge was given a kid’s backpack with a hat and T-shirt as well. Here we met our butler Leonardo who greeted us with a warm smile and really made us feel like he was there for our every need.
Leonardo toured us around the family side of the resort and even took us to have a late lunch (we were pretty hungry by this point). After a spectacular lunch, he brought us to our room, and this is where we about fell over.
Our One Bedroom Suite
You know that commercial on Hotels.com where the family opens the door and flips out because the room is freaking amazing? Yeah, that was us. When Leo opened the door we about hit the floor. A huge dining room table stood beyond the foyer alongside a small kitchen complete with a Nespresso maker and mini fridge. Our mini fridge was filled with snacks, drinks and beers and of course, it was all included.
Beyond the dining room was a full sized living room with a flat screen TV and sliding doors leading to the huge outdoor private balcony. The balcony had a full-size table and chairs and, wait for it, a full-size hot tub!
A second set of sliding doors led us into the king bedroom which was complete with a flat screen TV as well. I would later find that the bed was quite comfortable.
Off the bedroom were two bathrooms. The first with a double sink and full-sized kid’s amenities (which I thought was an awesome touch), to include toothpaste, toothbrush, sunblock and lotion. The adult amenities suited every need you could have as a guest.
Also in this space was a built in closet, where we found both an adult sized and kid-sized robe and slippers, and a huge jetted bathtub. The second bathroom is where the vanity, toilet and rain shower were found.
We were pretty stoked to have so much room but having a butler and an all inclusive experience really made us feel like we were royalty.
The Property Paradisus La Esmeralda
After we scoped out our digs, we were eager to check out the property. So, we set out to see what Paradisus looked like after the sunset. The property was well designed with the most beautiful landscape and tropical zen-like decor.
To one side we had the lazy river which met first floor guests with private pool entry and wrapped around a kid’s pool with a massive pirate ship. To the other side, we had a common courtyard type area lined with stone canals that were home to hundreds of turtles and fish. Between these canals were little boutique experiences like espresso and sweets, whiskey tasting, champagne tasting and a few other cool spots. Beyond this, we found restaurants and the beach.
The All Inclusive Experience
When you stay at an all-inclusive resort, everything you eat and drink is included in the price. This means restaurants, cocktails and even room service. I love this type of property because it allows you to stick to a budget and really enjoy everything.
Many luxury resorts that offer this type of experience are known for having poor food quality or being overcrowded. I can honestly say that Paradisus is not one of these. The food was exceptional and I never felt like I was in a cattle drive. It had all the dynamics of a luxury resort without the shuffle of the all-inclusive crowd.
The Kid’s Club
I don’t usually check Gauge into a kid’s club when it’s just he and I traveling alone, but I really wanted the full experience. So, I called my butler Leonardo to pick Gauge up at a specified time so I could do a little work.
The kids club was super cool and filled with lots of games like air hockey, computers, video games and board games. It also had a mini buffet just for kids and scheduled outings to do things like go swimming and exploring. Gauge had a blast in there and honestly didn’t want to leave!
We really enjoyed all the activities offered at the resort. While we were not able to experience any of them first hand, we were impressed with the variety and offerings.
There was also a few times when our butler really made a lasting impression on us. Like one day when we came home from a long day with Xcaret, my son was surprised with a special bubble bath filled with balloons. On another day he was surprised with a treasure hunt in our suite. I especially loved having our morning room service.
Overall I had not one complaint or area where something could have been done better. Our experience at Paradisus La Esmeralda proved that it was the best luxury resort in all of Playa del Carmen. We enjoyed our stay here so much that we actually considered buying a timeshare. We’ll have to do some more research on timeshare exiting before we do that though.