Travelled: Feb. 24 - Mar. 4/14. We booked with Maritime Travel in Bridgewater Nova Scotia Canada. We were booked through WestJet and had a good flight. BDTravel was our service representative and they shuttled us directly to our resort with only one stop before ours. We were a group of 3 couples and our check in at midnight was quick and efficient. We went for a bite to eat at the 'Tulip Bar' as WestJet doesn't serve a meal during that flight. There were small hot dogs, dry pizza and some fresh veggies to eat...not overly impressive for a 24 hour snack bar. However, we were happy as it wasn't snowing or cold and we had just left Nova Scotia Canada behind for a week!
We had 3 more couples from home join us the following evening. They travelled via SunWing...they wouldn't recommend that to anyone! Their flight time was changed a few weeks before leaving, then their flight was delayed at departure. They had a stopover in Cuba and had to deplane there. Their departure time at the end of their trip was changed and overall they lost a full day of their trip!
Our BDTravel rep's name was Marcela Carrasco and she was awesome. Marcela gave us the low-down on the resort and Mexico in general, she also helped us to book our excursion. We went on a full day excursion; first on a beautiful catamaran which took us on a 2.5hr boat ride out to the Tulum area to go snorkelling. I got to see a sea turtle which was cool. Everything was included, food, drinks and snorkelling gear. We then went to a public beach for about 45 minutes and then were cabbed (by air conditioned van) to the Tulum Ruins for a guided tour. The only unfortunate part of this excursion was that it should have been reversed. We felt that the Tulum visit should have happened first and the boat ride second. You shouldn't be provided the liquor before snorkelling and the Tulum Ruins beach was closing at the time that we arrived at it after our tour, so we couldn't venture down on it. It is absolutely stunning! We paid $130/personUS for this excursion and we feel it was overpriced. We wouldn't recommend this particular excursion - though we had a great day.
I had joined the Maya Beach Resort group on Facebook. I corresponded with them telling them that this was a 25th wedding anniversary trip. When we arrived at our room, to greet us was a complimentary bottle of champagne with two glasses, a beautiful heart shaped chocolate mousse cake, a bottle of liqueur and a greeting letter wishing us well. That was a lovely touch and much appreciated.
Room - Coba building, room 2168. Faced the garden, two double beds, close to the lobby. A fair distance from the pool/beach area. Very quiet at night. A typical 'hotel styled' room...nothing fancy but adequate. (we are a little spoiled from some previous resorts in the DR)
During our 7 day trip we had a few minor complaints, but overall this was a beautiful resort. This was our first trip to Mexico as we have always opted for Dominican Republic (Punta Cana being our favourite). I'll hit on a few our thoughts...
Food - We enjoyed the food for the most part. Sometimes you would have to wait to have a dish replenished. Some dishes were lukewarm - cold when they should have been hot. On occasion it would be difficult to find a clean champagne glass for our mimosa at breakfast...but really, should that be a complaint?! There seemed to be something different for everyone's tastes. The waiters were always ready with a clean table, an offering of a beverage and a smile.
Beach buffet - Rancho Grande - We we would eat our lunch here most days. The burgers were delicious. We went down the beach to the Caribe beach buffet (Captain Morgan) one day to try it. They didn't have as many variety options there and the food didn't seem to be as tasty to us. We also stopped for a beverage at the Caribe pool while there and we weren't impressed with their drink mixes there either.
We went to the Mexican and the Spanish restaurants. The Mexican was good. The Mexican coffee show was cool. The Spanish was okay. The decor in the spanish was tired and needs an update. There didn't seem to be any 'spanish atmosphere' there at all. The service was just 'okay' as well there...the waiter seemed to be over-worked and sad. He appeared to be the only waiter in the entire restaurant!
Shopping - We went into Playa Del Carmen for an afternoon and really enjoyed it. There are 32 blocks of shops there on cobble stoned streets. No vehicles drive in the town. There are a variety of different shops there, varying from high end jewellery and clothing stores to local vendor shops. We visited Senor Frogs restaurant while there and really enjoyed the atmosphere there. I would recommend checking it out. We took an air conditioned van cab there and for $90 ($30/couple) and we had the assurance of having the same cabbie return for us at a set time and place. We were about 20minutes from our resort.
Beach/Pools - The pools are awesome. Very clean and large. We were always able to find loungers late in the afternoon after leaving the beach. The entertainment was very loud at the swim up bar pool area. The entertainers were very good at what they were doing, however we found it to be very repetitive day after day. The same loud music and the same games. We would have liked to have more 'Mexican' type music be played as opposed to the loud base music that was played. I like modern music but that was a bit much.
Trying to get served beverages at the swim up bar and the 'land' bar (both sides) was a challenge. There were times when I waited 15 minutes or more waiting to be served (and yes, I was a daily tipper!). There were sometimes 10-15 people in the lineup at a time waiting to be served. I would suggest more staff be put on this detail.
The showers in the pool are awesome...kind of like being at a spa - getting a massage on your shoulders and back and then hopping into the hot tub - right there in the pool. :) Awesome!
The beach was fantastic. The sand is hard under about an inch of soft, but it is white and the water is beautiful. The beach in front of the "Beach resort" is the nicest. We hit coral a little ways out into the water, but nothing major (you won't need beach shoes there). We could sometimes see little white fish swimming around us right there! The further down the beach you went the more coral there was. When you got to the pier you could snorkel and see hundreds of fish...that was very cool. We took our own snorkel & masks. The beach in front of the Caribe Resort was all coral..you will definitely need beach shoes if you stay there! The most entertainment on the beach that we saw was soccer and bocce ball. The palm trees are plentiful for those that require a bit of shade. It was a lovely beach for walking. There is also a tiled walkway that follows along the beach if you don't wish to walk in the sand.
The workers were constantly picking up garbage/glasses/straws off of the beach and it was swept every morning. We found it to be a very clean beach. The only vendors on the beach were the guys asking if you wanted a temporary tattoo and the guys taking pictures. There were girls up by the pool selling bathing suits and accessories. The water sports/activity centre was down the beach quite aways, by the Tropical/Colonial section - you can sign out boats, water bikes, snorkelling gear etc there.
The resort itself was very well kept and recently updated. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We had no issues with our room at all except that I found the sheets to be quite damp from the humidity. The beds were quite comfy, there was a good sized flat screen TV on the wall. Shampoo/Conditioner/Soap dispensers were in the shower. The sink/shower was separated from the toilet by a louvered door. The bar fridge was restocked daily. Our towels were refreshed when we put the sign up to have them done. Take your own facecloths as they don't seem to leave any, our room had none.(apparently some rooms had them and some didn't - and some were not replenished if they used them). I even asked one day and the maid said she had none.
Music/Entertainment - As you walk along the beautiful paths there are little speakers that look like rocks. The music coming from them is 'elevator music'! We would have liked to have had some spanish styled music playing to go with the Mexican atmosphere.
At the tulip bar there is piano entertainment each evening, but that even had a mournful feel to it. Nothing festive there!
We found the theatre shows to be non-interesting and lacking in entertainment. We don't really enjoy an evening of Karaoke - intoxicated people thinking they can sing! The theatre itself however is huge and quite impressive.
We went to the sports bar one evening and that was dead. Only about 3 people there and no wonder why!
Needless to say...There was not much of a night-life happening at this resort.
Overall...the resort is beautiful, the sun is hot, the drinks are cold, the beach is fabulous and our travelling companions were awesome! What more could you ask for?
Would I go back? Yes - tomorrow!! :)
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- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Hotel Maya Beach
- Barcelo Maya Palace
- Barcelo Maya Mexico
- Barcelo Maya Resort
- Catalonia Rivera Maya
- Maya Beach Resort
- Barcelo Beach Maya Mayan Resort Riviera
- Barcelo Maya Beach Resort Cancun
- Hotel Barcelo Maya Beach Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Aventuras