Aubrey, Oscar and I spent a week at a Paradisus Resort, La Esmeralda in Mexico. It was to date, one of the best vacations we have ever taken. I heard about the resort from another Mom who lives in my neighborhood, whose son is in the same class as Oscar. In the end we ended up booking the same week as them, so it was pretty nice to have someone there that we knew. With that being said – 90% of the guests spoke English (the others were speaking French) which made it very easy for Aubrey and I to talk with other parents, and, for Oscar to make friends in the pool. This was in comparison to last years vacation where no one really spoke English which made me feel isolated and a little homesick.
Paradisus Resort, La Esmeralda is an all inclusive resort in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico – a 1/2 an hour ride from the Cancun airport. The resort has an adults only side (La Perla) but the Esmeralda side is for all ages. On the Esmeralda side, you have the added feature of being able to upgrade to a feature called the “Family Concierge Service”, which is extremely well worth the upgrade – and, perhaps the best kept secret in the world of family travel. The exceptional level of service was consistent throughout the resort regardless of whether or not you were a part of the family concierge but read below to why I recommend the upgrade.
It often felt as though you were at a spa, as throughout the resort BOSE ground speakers played relaxing spa music (which I loved so much, and Aubrey surprised me with the CD). In the Family Concierge pool area, in the morning at 9am, the music would softly start to play, and made for a relaxing morning as you took a dip in the warm pool, and had a waitstaff come by and offer you coffee. (They obviously know parents well) In the afternoon some more upbeat music would play in the family conceirge pool area but not so loud that you couldn’t fall asleep on one of their daybeds, as your significant other played with your child. 😉
Quick Facts About Our Stay:
We stayed: February 2015
Room: Family Concierge, Junior Suite Ground Level
Would I recommend this resort?: Yes, Yes, Yes!
Tips: Go for the Family Concierge Service
Flew: WestJet Vacations
Booked through: Katherine Lewis after she came highly recommended on twitter (She’s awesome, and responds really quickly to e-mails)
My Rating: 5 Stars
Price Point: Mid Level – Not as expensive as resorts that advertise themselves as kids resorts, but more expensive than your regular all inclusive.
Is It Worth The $$? Yes. 100%
THE RESORT ITSELF
- A lot of attention to detail – the architecture and design was exceptionally executed
- Staff are friendly, accomadating
KIDSZONE / BABYSITTING
- Oscar was ASKING to be dropped off at the kidzone to play with the other kids
- The women who watched the kids were awesome. They would remember Oscar’s name, they were the same people day after day so it was nice for Oscar to see familiar faces.
- They did activities like make pinatas, go feed the fishes and turtles, rock climbing, face painting, pirate hat making.
- Dance Parties at night
- Service is included in your stay – off hour babysitting is additional (we didn’t take advantage of it)
FAMILY CONCIERGE AMENITIES WE LOVED
- Private lobby for checkin
- 24 hour room service of a large selection of food (I ordered a brownie one night, I ordered a cheese platter another, and snacks for Oscar)
- Free Kids backpack with items, given to the kids upon arrival. It made Oscar felt so special!
- Kids Robe + Slippers for the stay
- Every night they do something special for the kids in the room. One night we came home to a treasure hunt, another night a bubble bath was made up with balloons. It was pretty cute!
- Mini Bar stocked daily with treats and no extra charge
- Free Wifi in your room and it’s amazing reception
- “Butler” who will set up your dinner reservations, help with anything you need to make your stay enjoyable. We had Allan, and he was lovely! He’d come find us by the pool, stop and say hello, ask how our reservations were, asked if we needed anything.
- Use of the Family Concierge Exclusive pool which is quieter than the bigger pool and warmer. It’s SO WARM!
- Snowcone machine by the pool
- Amazing. (And I’m a picking eater)
- A ton of different restaurants that have exceptional food and an array of choices. One part of the resort has adult only restaurants which we never made it to, but the restaurants we did dine at, were equivalent to restaurants in Toronto. The decor and service in these restaurants was exceptional and consistently good throughout the resort.
- Always a kids menu with food that they gravitate towards – Mac and Cheese, Pizzas, Chicken Fingers. There is never any issue finding something that a child will like (if they aren’t adventurous in trying other food)
- 2 Buffet restaurants should you not have made reservations which are buffet style.
The beach is my only area where I felt as though it wasn’t as amazing as everywhere else. I was a little apprehensive about this because I would have considered myself a beach person vs. pool – but because of the family concierge pool (warm, spa music playing, amazing pool side service) I wasn’t missing the beach at all. Which is super surprising. What lacks in the beach is made up for x 100 in the resort. Now, with that being said – a short walk along the beach you reach a fresh water pool area that the locals frequent and it’s gorgeous and shallow. Oscar played in this for a long time one day and made friends with some children who lived in the area. It was safe, friendly, and really gorgeous. The water in the ocean was pretty wavy so I didn’t go in, which again, surprised me – as I love the ocean. But I was rather smitten with the family concierge pool. 🙂