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“Beyond My Wildest Dreams”

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Hotel Barcelo Maya Beach
Ranked #11 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beyond My Wildest Dreams”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2009

As soon as my boyfriend and I got off our flight, our air transat rep. told us we got upgraded to the Maya Palace from the Colonial. We were hesitant but to our surpise we got a sweet deal! The Maya Palace is brand new. Everything is lush. You can tell the moment you walk in to the lobby you wont be dissapointed, as you sip your welcome drink! The room we got was a suite with double vessel sinks, double showers, couchs, plasma tv, and rich decor. The beach was gorgeous. August is a great time to go. I highly recommend the French restaurant for an a la carte. It was definately my favourite from the trip. The buffets had so much selection. Everyone would be satisfied. All the staff try to please you constantly. They really make you feel special in every way. The shows were amazing, every night something new to see. The shuttle is great to get to the the other hotels on the resort. I definately recomend going to the pier. We fed the fish and swam with them - great photo op's! Trips I would recommend is Cozumel to go snorkeling and Chichen Itza to add to your vacation. This resort would be great for a wedding, a family vacation, or with a significant other.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jodiVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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  • Rooms
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  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Shelbyville, KY
Level Contributor
51 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2009

We have stayed at the Barcelo resort twice before in the Beach and Tropical sections, but never at the Palace. Due to the excellent prices brought about by swine flu this year, we decided to try the Palace. For comparison, we have also stayed at the Grand Sirenis and the Grand Palladium White Sand. The Palace was our favorite so far.

Rooms: The rooms are all junior suites, with two couches which could be used as beds for children. We just like the extra room to spread out our floats and snorkel gear. Beds in Mexico are known for being very hard, but the Palace beds have a pillow top mattress cover that makes them very comfortable. My husband liked the flat panel TV, and the rain shower in the bathroom beside the tub. I didn't like having to walk across a slippery wet floor to get to the tub, so we worked out the schedule so that I gt first shot at the tub and regular shower, and then it was his turn at the rain shower. We were not Club Premium (which gets ocean view rooms), but still had a very nice view of the pool, and could see the ocean off to the right. Maid service was prompt, with towel art on our last two days.

Pools: Quite possibly the largest pool I have ever seen, and we never had to play the towel game to get a chair under the shaded areas. This might be more of a problem during peak occupancy, but the occupancy was low while we were there and we had our choice of chairs. One odd thing - the Tropical, which is less expensive than the Palace, had nice thick cushions on all its pool chairs, while the Palace had no cushions except at the small adult pool.

Beach: The Barcelo complex consists of three section, and the oldest section has the softest, sandiest beach if you are a swimmer. Watersports are down in the older sections, which is quite a walk. Since we are snorkelers, we enjoyed the beach in front of the Palace. The sand is a little coarse, but there is a nice roped off swimming area to enter the water, and once you get beyond the ropes there is some good coral. There are turtles right there in the swimming area, and I saw at least two every day that we were there.

We were amazed by how well established the palm trees had gotten since our last trip in 2006. There are no palapas on the beach, which does give it a more natural appearance, and the palm trees did provide limited shade for those who can't stay in the sun all day.

Food: The buffets are very good at the Palace, and we usually had things grilled to order rather then eating the food that was in trays on the buffet. It is really hard to keep things from drying out on a buffet, but you could get fish, chicken, and even a T-bone steak grilled to order, so the meats were always very good. Vegetables, as at most Mexican resorts, weren't the greatest, and salads are not a strong suit. Because we were not Club Premium guests, we were limited to 4 a la cartes for our 7 day stay. We ate at the French, Japanese, Steakhouse, and Seafood, and all were very good. The French restaurant was the "fanciest" of the 4, and was beautifully decorated. All restaurants at the Palace are situated so that they have an ocean view, which is very nice. Breakfast was always good, with made to order omelettes, fresh fruit, and donuts, churros, and bunuelos (like a beignet) frying every morning.

Things to improve on:

The shows: The Palace has a very nice air conditioned theater, but often there really isn't a show. They just fill up time with something like "Miss Barcelo" or "Battle of the Sexes".

Restaurant Reservations: This system is just not good. The seafood, Japanese, steakhouse and Italian restaurants are all located in the Colonial/Tropical resort. The Palace is limited to 20 slots in those restaurants each night, so that C/T guests will not be crowded out. We got the last 2 slots at the Japanese restaurant, yet on the night of our reservation the restaurant was half full, with only 4 people at most show tables instead of 8. The other couple at our table were also Palace guests, and had been told when they tried to make reservations that there were no additional openings for Palace guests. Later in the week they stopped by the reservation desk in the Colonial lobby, and were given a reservation. It doesn't make sense to have empty seats in a restaurant when Palace guests are being turned away. When we were at the Palladium last year, they had just adopted a new "no reservation" system for their a la cartes. You go to the restaurant of your choice, and if a seat is not available you are given a pager just like you would be given at a restaurant here in the U.S. You can go to an a la carte every night if you want, and since that system has now been in place for over a year I assume it is working well for them. This is the one area where I would rate Palladium higher, because Barcelo's system is inconvenient and overly restrictive.

Internet Access: The internet connection is not the fastest, and the system of charging is a little awkward. $3 for 15 minutes, $6 for 30, etc. One night we thought we had been on 15 minutes, and it turned out to be $18. If you go over your 15 minutes, it is an automatic $6 charge, and the 12 minutes you didn't use doesn't carry over to the next day. They could charge in 5 minute increments, or accummulate your minutes and bill you at the end of the week, or something that would be more customer friendly.

Overall, we had a wonderful stay and would return if the price for the Palace was reasonable. If not, we would probably stay at the Barcelo Colonial/Tropical or Palladium White Sand which are normally several hundred dollars a person less.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
9 Thank AnnfromKY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
gottago48
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 September 2009

We stayed the week of aug 26-sep 2, this is a beautiful resort,the cleanest I have ever been to. we were welcomed with drinks and brought right to our room. the resort was not crowded at all. I dont think it was 20% full. The food was very good. the buffets you could choose your own steak , fish or giant shrimp to be grilled to your liking, pasta cooked the way you like. My boys had habachi every night. The service was excellent and never had to wait for anything. We did do many excursions like the zip lining and cave rafting. golf snd deep sea fishing, The zip lining I will leave to the younger people, little to high for my liking, the caves were real cool and glad that I made the trip. The property does have a cenote and one direclty across the street to the left for a mere $5.00 .I have stayed at 2 all inclusives in Jamaica, and 2 times in Cancun, Dominincan Republic plus multiple cruises. This was the best and I will return. I did get a hour massage for $55.00 however the spa does not have the sanuas, steamrooms etc that I would expect at a high end resort. oh well that is the only negative I can think off. Tip use cancun transfer for a private car to pick you up at the airport. you can reserve on line it was 150.00 round trip in a large surburban and very safe drivers. I hope for the hotel industry that the customers come back to keep the hotels in business. I will return and absolutely recommend this hotel to those looking to relax. no night life but the lobby bar which was beautiful.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank gottago48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2009

Especially if you have kids, this place is for you. We came back last week (August 30) and have nothing but raves for this resort. Sure, the beach is rocky with reefs but that's the great unspoiled part of it all. My 3-year-old went crazy watching actual stingrays in the surf (and no, none of them showed any signs of agression). The water slide pool for kids is amazing, the buffet is terrific. What's great about this place is that all of the amenities are along the water: lobby, restaurants, pool, etc., so many resorts bury them in the middle, here you can enjoy your breakfast watching the waves, the sea is an integral part of every moment of your day. Big piece of advice: bring beach shoes, shells and rocks and feet do NOT go well together, I actually cut my foot badly on a buried something in the surf. AND I STILL thought this place was tops. Believe the reviews. BTW the place was almost empty so if you are looking for volleyball tournament friends or romantic action, maybe not the best time of year. And if you like your all-inclusive to include 24h room service, too bad... It doesn't, and is a little pricey actually. (I have put a 4 stars on location only because it is so darn far from the airport by bus, but you CAN rent a car, they have an underground garage and the highway leads straight from the airport to the hotel, so no danger of getting lost.) Enjoy.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LinusMtl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2009

I got back yesterday from this hotel and after reading the reviews, I would say it pretty much met my expectations. I wont rehash all the positive things, but I will confrim that the service and personal attention was excellent, all the employees went out of their way to please me. I speak Spanish, which helps a lot also, but I saw all the employees using English proficiently. The grounds are beautiful and the grounds are kept very well maintained, the pools and beaches were immaculate. The food for the most part was good, but the prepared hot dishes were sometimes too Mexican in their choices: lots of salt, sauces and cheese. I wasnt impressed with the hot dishes they had on the buffets, I opted for having fish, chicken, steak, eggs, and everything else custom made on the grills so I could avoid all the excessive salt, cheese and cream sauces. The salad bars were ok but also had some weird combinations. But I was able to keep it healthy by telling them what I wanted and how I wanted it, and if they didnt have it, they made sure they did it, that was really good. But, you need to speak up if you need something, and they will accomodate you. Desserts and fruits seemed adequate as well. Coffee was not good , very bitter, so I did tea the rest of the time. The Japanese restaurant was excellent, and the Caribbean one was average. Both had outstanding service.

There were no activities going on, so I went to the Colonial resort every day, as it was teeming with activities such as Bingo, Water Polo, Aqua aerobics, darts, Kayak, beach volleyball, dance lessons, etc. At the Maya, no one tries to get you involved, and there were maybe 50 people on the beach and by the pool, completely dead. Had I stayed there, I would have gone crazy. The Colonial activity people are young, vibrant and personal. Thanks to them I made tons of friends and had so much to do and look forward to. If you are not looking for any human contact, then I guess its ok to stay at the Palace facilities. The other guests were not friendly or outgoing, very quiet. Few even returned greetings. On the other hand, the many guests at the Colonial were happy, fun, sociable and friendly. Guess it was the environment.

The room was good, I would say the beds were a big disappointment. I think the beds at Motel 6 are better than these. They sagged when you sat on the ends and the springs came though and you felt them when you laid on them. A poor excuse for a mattress cover was on top of the mattress ( they didnt even have full mattress covers, yuck) . I tried to get the bed changed or even to have a board put under them, but they didnt have the boards, and tried to layer the mattress with more sheets and covers, but it made it barely tolerable. The rooms also smell horrible of damp humidity when you get there. Make sure they dont use the horrible aromatizer ( which is a repellent) and which is to control humidity). Keep the AC on high all the time and it will be ok after one day.

For comparisons, I ate at the buffet in the Colonial and checked out the beds. Both were inferior to the ones at the Maya. I would say to stay at the Maya and do all the activities at the Colonial.

The shows were excellent, and all of the evening activities were enjoyable. I liked the Palace, and loved everything, but would be hesitant to stay unless the beds were improved. Thats a big problem for me, and several people felt the same way. For such a great resort that skimped on nothing, they truly dropped the ball on that one. Its a shame because in every other way, they were spectacular.

Do not waste your time on the Ecopark across the street. Waste of time and money.
Do figure out a way to get your cell service to work there, as phone calls are crazy expensive. There are ATMS on site and Internet is 3 bucks for 15 minutes. Gym was adequate, nothing fancy but had all the basic equipment you needed. Lobby bar is great. All in all, a good experience, but you had to make a lot of it happen with your own initiative.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank MistageeNewJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Barcelo Maya Palace for the 3rd time this year. It has everything that we could want - great people, great food, great entertainment. Our favorite restaurant is the French restaurant where the cuisine was excellent every time we ate there. However, there are several other restaurants and buffets available as well. We were able to be as busy or as relaxed and lazy as we wanted. Everything we could want was provided or available. We were able to wear casual dress or covered bathing suits in the buffets and cafe for all meals. The restaurants for dinner required shirts and shoes for men's attire. We always dressed up for these meals because of the atmosphere and quality of the restaurants. This made for very romantic evenings. This is our third visit to Barcelo Maya Palace this year and we plan on returning again for our next trip to the Mexican Riviera.

During our last stay, we learned about a local individual who will create a personalized tour tailored around individual interests. We used this individual for a private all-day tour of Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve and the cost was comparable to commercial tours made for large groups. This is an area that is not highly commercialized and only a limited number of people can tour the reserve per day. We were picked up and delivered back to our hotel. Our tour guide, Flavio, picked us up and returned us to our hotel. This included plenty of water and sodas during the tour, and lunch. Flavio was very knowledgeable and personable, communicated very well in English, and always made sure we were doing activities that we would enjoy. We had heard about Mayan Clay which is used as a mask for the complexion and told Flavio about it. He went out of his way to make phone calls until he located an outlet where we were able to stop and purchase a jar. We wore a bathing suit under our clothes and took along a towel for drying off. However, there was a place available to change if preferred. A hat and camera are also recommended. We loved the tour and plan to use Flavio for another tour when we go back to the Rivera Maya. We would highly recommend Flavio's services to anyone of any age.

Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank ArkieTraveler71909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange County, CA
Level Contributor
35 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2009

This was literally a last minute trip we booked 4 days prior. We had narrowed down to 3 choices and just picked this resort with its satisfactory overall review.

I have to say, for what we paid for ($166 per night for 2) we got more than we bargained for and exceeded our expectations.

Due to our flight delay, we arrived at 1 am and were greeted with outstanding service at the front desk along with our welcoming drinks. Because we went during their off season (luckily the weather was perfect and no hurricane) we literally had people serving us constantly. The pools were not crowded, the room was outstanding with a great garden terrace that makes you feel like you are in the jungle, and the cuisines were superb to be all-inclusive.

The most impressive factor I have to say is the LOCATION. Palace is the more luxurious one out of the five hotels on the resort and the beach front is divided into the open sand and the corner reef. So we had the option of swimming in the white sandy beach with turqoise water, and snorkeling along the reef.

We were able to get top notch drinks at all the bars, even the buffets had outstanding quality of food. I highly recommend "Brassiere" which is the French cuisine. The resort IS huge, especially with five hotels its a mega resort. But that's what I liked about it, the fact that it was huge but still secluded from eachother so you don't feel like you are living out of a cabana. Even though it was huge, it never felt like a giant hotel chain due to its European architecture.

We were far away from Cancun which is what we wanted and close to Tulum and all the attractions saving us time and energy to travel on the excursions.

Its family oriented, but not over the top "disneyland"ish so its perfect for couples as well.

I would definitely go back in a heart beat. (Massage on the beach with the waves as my background music didn't hurt either)

*** TIP *** If you go during their off-season which is between August and November, EVERYTHING is discounted on top of the recession mark downs. For my 50 mins relaxation massage on the beach in the cabana I paid $55 (normally $85) and our Mayan Jungle Extreme excursion was also $20 discounted.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank cheaptravelbug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Barcelo Maya Beach

Property: Hotel Barcelo Maya Beach
Address: Carretera Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 266,3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Barcelo Maya Beach 4*
Number of rooms: 630
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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

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