My wife & I stayed at the Barcello Maya Colonial from 11-18 March 09. Although our Transat flight was rather long (5 hrs), it was fairly comfortable and included a small hot meal. When we arrived at the airport in Cancun we had to wait quiet a while for our luggage but considering the hundreds of tourists arriving when we did, I wasn't surprised. We went through customs and immigration without any problems. For first time travellers to this airport, please watch out for the time-share people who pose as customer service reps offering to help you get to your resort. I recommend that you proceed directly outside to the bus area and look for your tour company rep who should be wearing a shirt with a tour company logo on it (ie: Transat Vacations) They will tell you which coach to board. The bus was air conditioned and the trip from the airport to the Barcello took approximately 90 minutes, which included a stop at one other resort.
When we arrived at the resort, we were greeted by the friendly reception staff who provided us with information about the resort, such as available facilities & services, restaurants/buffets, our room & available room service. Seeing as our room was fairly close to the main lobby, we decided to carry our luggage, however the bell staff would have gladly taken our luggage had we wanted them to. Our room was very clean and included a King size bed, Couch, Mini-bar (Beer, Water, Pop, Snacks: peanuts, chocolate wafers, small bags of potato chips), and large towels in the bathroom. Our room was on the third floor looking out over the beautiful trees & vegetation, and also faced the Theatre. There was an electronic safe in the room for our valuables and we set our own combination. I'm not sure if it was just because of the type of vacation package that we had, but our room also included pool/beach towels, a fruit basket, housecoats, slippers, and a bottle of Mayan liquer in our room.
We had access to the entire resort (Colonial, Tropical, Caribe, Beach) but we were not permitted to go to the Palace resort ("high-end" area of the complex). Our package included reservations at any 4 of the 6 a la carte restuarants. We ate at the Thai; Seafood; Steakhouse; and Italian restaurants. The service and food were excellent ! The buffets were also amazing! I can't think of one time where we had a shortage of items to choose from - every meal was different depending on what it was we wanted to eat. There was no question about the variety and availability of excellent food, especially considering that the main buffets were open each day from (approx) 7:30-10:30 am / 11:30 am -3:00 pm and again from 6:30-10:00 pm. The pool buffets were open from 10:30 am - 6:30 pm. Of course depending on the time that we went to eat we may have had to wait for a couple of minutes to be seated and/or wait in line at a popular food station, however overall it was never a problem or inconvenience.
There were Variety-type shows at each of the two theaters nightly at approx 8:30 and 9:30 respectively. Each of the nightly shows had a different theme and were composed mainly of the same cast of very talented performers. The only disappointment about these shows is that none of them featured really traditional mexican dancing or costumes.
Most of the time during our stay was spent relaxing by the pool/beach. We had no trouble finding lounge chairs or a spot in the shade. We did notice that people play the "reserve a lounge chair" game, but to be honest we were always able to find a place beside the pool - even after lunch. The pool is huge ! and despite only being 4 ft deep, it didn't really matter considering the main point is that it was clean, refreshing, and had good clorine levels. The pool also had "lazy rivers", a separate area for volleyball or activities (day) or lane swimming (evening) and the pools were open until 10 pm. The beaches were the kind of beautiful white sandy beaches you would expect; clean and had sufficient lounge chairs. Shade on the beach was provided by numerous palm trees. I would also recommend the snorkeling which is available at the diving center (near the dock). It's free (returnable $50 USD deposit per person required) and avail in one-hour increments. The recommended areas to snorkel in are: at the dock (Lots of fish swimming right next to you !) and also around the coral (three or four spots) located along the two mile beach!
Shopping is available at the resort at the "Plaza Mexicana" shopping center, as well as in the various shops located in the lobby complex at each of the resorts. We took the "collectivo" to/from Playa del Carmen on our second day. The collectivo is a fast, safe, and inexpensive way to travel via public transport to/from Playa (cost: 20 Pesos per person each way). We caught the mini-van at the side of the highway in front of our resort without any problems.
What did my wife and I like the best? Well, we really didn't have a "best" .... we found everything was equally enjoyable. The service, staff, food, accommodation, grounds-keeping, etc etc. We did however find a couple of things that we liked the least: it was not knowing beforehand that a $50 deposit was required for the snorkeling equipment and that the last time period to sign-out the mask/flippers was 3 pm (even though the dive centre was open until 5 pm). Another disatisfier was the fact that the only place to get free-of-charge life jackets (we wanted them for snorkeling) was at the beach activity center located at the Beach resort. I found it somewhat far to have to go from the Colonial beach to the Beach resort just to get life jackets (Note: they were available at the diving center for $6.00 USD non-refundable each. I think that's because the staff at the diving center are members of a diving club and not the resort itself).
We highly recommend the Barcello Maya Resort to anybody, regardless of age, married, single, family with children, etc !! I hope you'll love it as much as we did. Happy vacation !
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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