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Iberostar vs. Barcelo vs. Club Med?

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48 posts
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Iberostar vs. Barcelo vs. Club Med?

We are an active family trying to decide between these three brands of resorts: Iberostar/Barcelo/Club Med in the Yucatan Penninsula.

We've been to the Club Med Cancun and really enjoyed it. We'd like to try something different by going down to the Riviera Maya, but there are so many choices that we are pretty confused.

We have two kids 11 & 13, so having lots of activities for kids (or a kids/teens club) would be helpful. We'd also like to have nice rooms that have some kind of separation between where the kids are sleeping and where we'd be sleeping.

Activities like water sports, volley ball, snorkeling, etc. are important to us. We don't want our kids to be bored, but we don't want to be bored either. We like a nice pool, but don't really like too many people or a hassle when dealing with meals.

How do these three resorts compare? We're looking at the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe or the Beach Caribe and the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo (or maybe another one?) and the Club Med Cancun.

We certainly don't want to be tipping or worrying about anything while we are on our vacation.

Which would you choose?


Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya, Yucatan Peninsula
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4,513 posts
38 reviews
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1. Re: Iberostar vs. Barcelo vs. Club Med?

Iberostar and Barceló are very comparable and there are many past threads comparing the 2 complexes if you want to search for them.

Barceló has on site snorkeling, Iberostar does not. Both are a part of large complexes. The Palace is the highest level of resort at Barceló, and actually the Iberostar Maya is the highest level family resort in that complex. The Lindo is the next step down.

One thing I will mention, and I really don't want to open up a can of worms, but cant not mention this.....its standard to tip at Barceló and Iberostar and most other all inclusives in the area. Not sure if there is a no tipping rule at Club Med like there is at Sandals, but even though resort literature may say tips are included, most people still feel the need/want to tip.

And, what does this mean "we dont really like too many people or a hassle when dealing with meals?" These are both all inclusive family resorts that are large and at most times of the year will be crowded. You also must make reservations for the a la carte dinner restaurants.

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48 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: Iberostar vs. Barcelo vs. Club Med?

Thanks for your reply. I will do a little more research on Iberostar vs. Barcelo. We were leaning towards the Barcelo Maya Palace. The resort seems to have a lot to do for our family. We also like the family suites -- the room configuration looks like it has a separate sleeping area for the kids and the parents, which is what we'd like.

What I meant by hassles with dinner was: I have read a bunch if reviews saying that reserving seats at dinner at the non-buffet style restaurants can be a problem. I suppose we can just go to the buffets which would be fine.

We are thinking of going at the end of June/early July. Is this considered "low season"? How far in advance should I book?

Is the Barcelo website the best place to find the best deals?

Thanks again!

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3. Re: Iberostar vs. Barcelo vs. Club Med?

So what was the final decision?

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21 posts
28 reviews
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4. Re: Iberostar vs. Barcelo vs. Club Med?

I too am debating this same thing. Barcelo vs Iberostar vs. Club med. we have 10 and 11 yr olds. want to be active, snorkel, love the beach. Not a fan of the dolphin experience and thats why leaning against Barcelo. Help...

Cincinnati, Ohio
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1 post
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5. Re: Iberostar vs. Barcelo vs. Club Med?

Club Med is the best. Going to an Iberostar (Dominican Republic) in a couple of weeks just to do something different. But not expecting it to stack up to Club Med for teenagers.

Moose Jaw, Canada
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185 posts
195 reviews
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6. Re: Iberostar vs. Barcelo vs. Club Med?

If it Were me just my honest opinion, I've stayed at both and since maya palace is #1 of 5 resorts on the complex and lindo is #3 of 5 that would be my answer. The beach at both are amazing with Barcelo having some rocks but mostly infront of maya tropical. Snorkling right off pier is really good at Barcelo as well. Only factor is that lindo is 30 mins away from the airport and has lazy rivier and wave pool. Barcelo has a reverse surf and water park on complex and is approx 1.5 hours on a shared shuttle.

Burlington, Canada
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2,639 posts
27 reviews
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7. Re: Iberostar vs. Barcelo vs. Club Med?

As you say Barcelo has allowed a dolphinarium on site so if you are against it don't stay there. I've stayed there twice previously but i will not support this resort further as it has allowed dolphins in captivity in a small concrete enclosure. It is really sad how some of the resorts in the area have allowed these. The service is much better at the iberostar than at the Barcelo. I think the Iberostar is much more active for kids than the Barcelo as well...entertainment is much better at the Iberostar. If you want to stay at a resort with on site snorkeling choose the Palladium as it does not have and will never allow a dolphinarium on site.

8. Re: Iberostar vs. Barcelo vs. Club Med?

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