Upon returning to the land of ice and snow I would like to touch base and share our experience with our recent WestJet vacation.
We were thrilled for a 5 day getaway at Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda. We were greeted by wonderful staff and our luggage stowed until check-in time. We were advised about a welcome dinner and set off to the beach via the sports bar. Our first disappointment was the foul smell at the sports bar, hoping it was an anomaly we enjoyed our day and were pleased with the staff who took our bags to our room where we had wine and fruit waiting for us. The room was clean and tidy upon arrival.
Rooms: Despite the wonderful food and friendly staff at this resort we cannot overcome one large factor that overshadowed the entire vacation. We finally discovered on our final night why we had so many bites on our bodies. We thought it was mosquitoes (we rarely saw any). To our surprise, we found that our bed was riddled with bedbugs. We have returned with beautiful photos, tanned skin, relaxed but very itchy. There is no doubt that we were blessed with these bugs as we pulled back the sheets and saw insects in our bed.
Restaurants and Bars: Our second disappointment was with the lack of welcome dinner and show that were promised at 730pm. We had left Ottawa very early, were hungry, and chose not to wait for an already significantly late "welcome dinner". The buffet dinner we chose however was once again with pleasant food and excellent staff so our disappointment was somewhat alleviated, although we may have ate more than our share. Our stay was very pleasant despite the broken toilets and putrid smells at two of the bars. The sports bar is horrible. Poorly lit, and the smells at the bar area were brutal. I would suggest, that the bar be closed for a day, and a proper and thorough cleaning be done. Ordering there will make you not want to go back for a second drink.
The beach bars were great, and the staff everywhere were; for the most part excellent.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach was weak. Alot of mangrove debris, making the water appear black. Looking past the obvious hurricane damage and the "fiberglass bagged" false break waters, its not too bad.
the pools were awesome, warm, clean, and staff eager to go get you a drink.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Our orientation the following morning with the BestDay staff was late but friendly and entertaining. We chose to book an excursion with the BestDay representative Tim Coutu who was excellent to deal with. We were also encouraged by Circle One staff Lupita to attend a "non time share" presentation. The presentation which was supposed to take 90 minutes was much longer than anticipated. We were however impressed with the property and signed on until we realized what was being offered was changing faster than the approval on our credit cards and eventually turned down the offer though the reversal to the credit card remains unprocessed. We were advised that the reversal could take 10 business days. In this day and age of instantaneous credits and debits…. really? Holding 5000k usd in their account for up to 10 days to earn interest. We really aren’t silly rubes that don’t understand what they are doing. Very little night life. We appreciated as we had come to relax.
We took the snorkel excursion to Akumel, and saw the ruins in Tulum. That is highly recommended.
Other Comments: We were encouraged to visit the neighboring lagoon though fortunately chose not to as other guests on the excursion advised us of an armed robbery on the beach that same afternoon.
The departure from the hotel was far too early to meet our flight. Departing at 3 hours ahead is a little excessive. Although it seems you have saved some money by not allowing a bunch of us access to breakfast. You really should consider moving your flight by an hour. The good news however, once again the BestDay representatives were amazing as we left our phone in the van and it was returned to us within 30 minutes.