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“Fabulous time at the Barcelo”

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Hotel Barcelo Maya Beach
Ranked #11 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Vancouver
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Fabulous time at the Barcelo”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2009

I stayed at the Barcelo Maya Beach in May 2008 for one week. Late review but better late than never I suppose. I travelled there with a friend (both of us gals in our early 30's) looking for an amazing beach and a great place to relax. We found it at the Barcelo. This is a huge resort with 5 resorts in one but it never seemed crowded and we found it easy to get anywhere we wanted to go.

Getting there:
It took about 6 hours to Cancun from Vancouver. It was quick to get our bags and easy to find our Air Canada rep outside the terminal who directed us to our bus. Do not stop to talk to anyone along the way, there are many official looking people inside the terminal offering to help. They are trying to either sell you timeshares of get large tips for carrying your bags for you a very small distance. Your rep will be outside. It was about an hour and a half to the resort from the airport with several stops along the way. You can buy beer on the bus for $3.00 US if you like.

The Rooms
Check in was fast and easy. We were given a standard room with garden view in the Coba building right next to the lobby and close to the buffet. The pools and beach were a quick walk (about 5 minutes) on beautiful walkways. The rooms are somewhat dated but very clean. The room was cleaned daily and the fridge was always stocked. Something I have not seen mentioned in other reviews is the slotted bathroom door which does not provide a lot of privacy.

Pools
So many to choose from as you can use the pools from all 5 of the Barcelo resorts and always lots of chairs in the sun or in the shade. The palace pool quickly became our favorite with the chairs in the water. Service at the swim up bars was touch and go depending on the bartender. A few times we were offered poolside service for drinks at the Palace pool although I dont think our bracelets entitled us to this.

Beach
Breathtaking. The beach is best on the Beach/Caribe side of the resort but stretches about two kilometers. You can walk forever and the sand is amazing. No need for water shoes to walk or swim here. Again there is always a ton of chairs no matter what time of day or if you want shade or sun. We spent most evenings hanging out on the beach listening to the waves. There does not appear to be any rules about using the pools or beach at night like I have read at some other resorts as we did this most nights and never had a problem, but didnt really see anyone else doing this.

Food/Bars
The main buffet food was great, lots of selection and a different theme every night for dinner. I cant speak for the a la carte's as we did not try any of them. The lunch buffets by the beach were also very good and you could wear your beach clothes inside. The salsa was so tasty. The lobby bar is a good place to relax and meet some people. Also enjoyed the beach bars and swim up bars. Try a dirty monkey, they are fantastic.

Tours
We took a cab ($18 US each way) to Playa del Carmen to shop. Didnt find the deals to be fantastic but did pick up a few things. You can find a lot of the same things for the same prices at the shops in the hotel but would recommend the trip to Playa for the restaurants and bars and the mariachi bands that play in the evening. The tequila shop with the samples was my personal favorite.
We booked two tours in Playa (Chichen Itza and Xel-Ha) because the prices were much cheaper, almost half but when they came to pick us up we realized why. The tour company did not use the big fancy buses like if you book through the hotel. They were vans and a few people actually had to sit on each other's lap on the Chichen Itza tour as they didnt have enough seats. It is a long drive to Chichen Itza I must note. We stopped for lunch and a swim in a cenote on the way back. Chichen Itza is a must see, absolutely amazing. I wish we had more time to spend at the site as we didnt get to see it all.
Xel-Ha was also amazing. Great snorkelling and tubing down the lazy river. You can easily spend the whole day here and not see/do it all so I would recommend the full day tour.
I also booked a Coba half day tour through the hotel. This includes your transportation there, a guided tour and also some time to spend on your own. A half day here is enough and you must check out the beach, it is stunning.

Staff
We found staff to be very friendly and helpful. The only exception to this was the towel hut but I think it was more of a language barrier thing as we dont speak any spanish and the english was limited.

The only thing I did not like about this resort is having to leave it. I would absolutely go back and would recommend it to anyone looking for a large resort that has an amazing beach and a ton of stuff to do and also plenty of quiet places if you just want to relax.

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank SandInMyShoes32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Winnipeg
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2009

Just returned from our 2 week honeymoon. We stayed Oct 17-31st. I booked the hotel direct with Barcelo. Airport transportation direct with Vacationes Barcelo.

Cancun airport arrival was packed. Three flights arrived at the same time. We waited in long lines for three hours before we cleared customs. Then of course you run the gauntlet to exit the airport past all the time share and sharks. We were met outside the airport by Vacations Barcelo and my wife and I were taken via private brand new Chevrolet Suburban SUV direct to the Barcelo Maya complex. A one hour drive from the airport. So nice to travel in a private vehicle and even cheaper then booking a normal shared bus transportation. Highly recommended!

The hotel is located in an isolated area. You enter through a gated entrance off the highwway and travel a fair distance before you reach the hotels. Very secure and private location. Closest town is Play del Carmen which is 15 mins by taxi and 180 pesos.

I booked us into the Barcelo Colonial and in my reservation notes I let them know it was our honeymoon and asked if there was any way they could make our trip special to do so. Well they certainly did! When we arrived we were bumped up to the Barcelo Palace, given a pool/ocean view room and greeted with a bottle of champagne in our room. What a way to sart our honeymoon.

The room was superb. Large bathroom with separate toilet room, his and her sinks, shower for two, large tub which we never used. King sized bed. Separate sitting area. Balcony with pool/ocean view. Clean. Maid created towel monsters every day.

The Palace is just that. Hard to believe how nice this hotel is. The grounds, flowers and trees were spectacular. The colors intense. Palm trees everywhere. Geckos, iguanas, birds of all types. Very well maintained.

The pool area was the biggest I have ever seen. All interconnected so an immense amount of water. Walkway arch bridges over the different sections. Kids area separate. Lap pool used for swimming, volleyball and water polo. Large central pool with swim up bar. Whirlpool for soaking. Separate adult pool area with pool side bar. The pool has in-pool loungers, deck loungers, covered loungers. The adult pool has in-pool loungers, deck loungers, canopied king size beds and a raised romantic massage for two area. We had the 50 min couples massage and recommend everyone do the same. AMAZING!!!

The beach was fantastic. The complex includes five hotels so the beach is a great walk. Takes about an hour to walk from one end to the other and return. All sand so no need for footwear. It really encompassed two bays separated by a pier. The first includes the Palace, Tropical and Colonial hotels. The second bay includes the Caribe and Maya hotels. When we visited in Oct only the Palace and Colonial were open. It actually made the beach walk very nice as only a few people were found down at the closed side which was very quiet.

Weather was hot and humid. Rained overnight every day but cleared by breakfast. Hot and sunny, Temperature in the mid 80s. Often a nice breeze to making sun tanning a pleasure, not a sizzling bake! Just right :)

The ocean was spectacular. Clear warm water to play in. Mild waves on windy days. Easy to swim/play in. Lots of fish to see so snorkeling was great. Areas of coral to explore. Lots of toys available to use like kayaks, seadoos, water bikes, etc. Snorkel equip is provided one hour free per day otherwise bring your own as rental costs are expensive.

For parents with children and wives with husbands... there are topless suntanners to be found on the beach. Just tell the kids and husbands not to stare! lol

The buffet restaurants at the Palace were incredible. The food was mouth watering. Lots of choices to keep everyone happy. We never went to any of the reservation required restaurants as the food at the buffets was all we ever desired.

The Colonial Hotel has an outdoor shopping area adjacent so no need to go into town to shop. We did take a trip into Playa del Carmen but found the shopping at the hotel to be better overall. There is also a disco here for dancing.

Only two negatives to report:

First, we found the bar tenders working the pool bars to not be the friendliest. Sad as this is a key front line service position that could make a great impression. Take a big gulp drink container as pool bar service is slow and unfriendly.

Second, the evening entertainment. The acoustics at the indoor theatre at the Palace and the outdoor theatre at the Colonial are horrible. The band/music overpowers the singers so what would have been a superb performance became simply load noise. The announcer was very monotone and it became obnoxious to hear him say the same old same old after a few nights. Bar service at these venues was also very slow.

Would I recommend this hotel complex. ABSOLULTELY! It was an incredibly beautiful resort with only a few minor complaints. The hotel, beach, pool and buffets were well worth the trip.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank dmay46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2009

Our family spent a wonderful week at the Barcelo Maya Palace! The location was beautiful, the hotel and grounds were stunning, and the pools unbelievable! We loved the food in all the buffets we visited- our kids ordering cook-to-order stir fry dishes, steaks and other great options. They had a great staff there, very friendly, and the service was first class! The restaurants that were separate and needed reservations were wonderful!! We especially loved the Bali-Hi Japanese, and the Rodizio Brazilian Steakhouse. We literally spent all 7 days at the pool and beach, our kids hopping into different activities like water polo, beach soccer and volleyball. There were so many wonderful places to plant our families beside the pool in sun or shade and just soak up the sun, listen to the waterfalls in the pool and read!! Amazing! We would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jdmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
brianp48093
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2009

WOW! Sorry about the late report. We got back and bought a new house, started moving etc. Well, here’s the report I started working on 2 months ago! Hope it helps….

We stayed at this resort from August 24-August 29. 2009. The trip consisted of myself, wife, mother, and 3 sons ages 4 9 and 11. This is my forth trip to the Rivera Maya. The first 2 stays were at the OCCIDENTAL GRAND XCARET and the third stay was at the Iberostar Tucan in Playa Del Carmen. So far the Barceló is my favorite. There are five resorts located on this property, the Barceló Maya Beach, Barceló Maya Caribe, Barceló Maya Tropical, Barceló Maya Colonial, and the Barceló Maya Palace. When you stay at the Barceló Maya Tropical or Barceló Maya Colonial, you have access to all restaurants and services at the Barceló Maya Tropical, Barceló Maya Colonial, Barceló Maya Beach and the Barceló Maya Caribe. When we were there, all were closed due to the lack of tourism except the Colonial Beach, and the Palace. We Stayed in the Colonial Beach.

Some key points of this resort are: AIR CONDITIONING! The main buffet has A/C, as well as the business convention center, and the bar attached to the lobby. The bar is roomy and open from 9 am to 2am. It was very nice after being in the sun all day to be able to eat in A/C and relax in a nice comfortable bar! There is internet access. It is NOT FREE. You have 2 choices. #1 you can use the hotel computers in the convention center (not 100% what the price is) #2 use the WI-FI with your laptop, this is what I did. The WI-FI DOES work in your room, you DO NOT have to go to the lobby for a signal. The WI-FI was 154 Paso’s for 24 hours of use. So it's roughly $13.00 US funds for 24 hours, not TOO bad. There are 2 ATM's located in the convention center, 1 dispenses Paso’s and the other dispenses US currency! There are A LOT of stores here for shopping, kind of like a mini 5th Ave Playa Del Carmen. Resort was clean, food was really good, and NO BUGS! Not one mosquito bite. The resort was dead…great for us! Pools were empty of people, and you could find a lounge chair ANYWHERE, anytime of the day. No having to get out there at 6:00 am to reserve your lounger with a towel! 

Some negative points are: This property is HUGE. Lots of walking. In the colonial, the closest building to the pool is the J building. The second closest building to the pool is the G building (this is where we stayed) for us it was an 8 minute walk to the pool and a little farther to the beach. Note: all the buildings are 3 floors, and they DO have elevators. Poolside service for drinks was spotty, although I attribute this to understaffing due to the lack of tourists. One thing that I was pretty miffed about was the “all inclusive drinks.” Yes, the drinks were all inclusive…to a point. They carried “premium” liquors i.e.: Johnny Walker, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam etc. in addition to the “bottom shelf” liquors BUT the premium was NOT included, you had to pay per drink, just like at any average bar. I was not aware of this ahead of time. The other resorts I’ve stayed at were not like this, if they had it on the shelf, it WAS included…no extra charge! This resort is a pretty good distance away from everything, so if you plan on sightseeing or going to Playa Del Carmen for night life…bring plenty of cab fare! Example: Basic cab for 4 people, $36.00 round trip to PDC (Playa Del Carmen) Not too bad. BUT, if you have more people and need a bigger vehicle such a Minivan that seats 7, the price is $75.00 round trip to PDC. And in my situation, we had 12 people so we needed a full size van that seats up to 15; it was $100.00 round trip to PDC! The food was good. Typical buffet style. Good selection. Nothing great, but nothing bad. I will say though...this resort carried A-1 steak sauce! YAY! lol. We didn't dine at any of the sit down restuarants, with kids it's too much of a pain.

Well guys. after 2 months this is all I really remember about the specifics. Hope it helps someone.

Stayed August 2009, travelled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank brianp48093
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indy
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2009

I have just returned from the Barcelo Maya Palace and I'm happy to say I agree with most of the reviews I read before I left. This hotel is wonderful. I travelled with my 70 year old Mum and my 16 year old son, there was something for everyone, but I must admit we didn't venture too far from the most gorgous pools I have ever seen, they are huge!

We did have to wait for our room, which I thought was interesting as the hotel was no where near capacity. Our room was very comfortable, two double beds and a sleep sofa for my teenage son. The bathroom was very modern, huge shower heads and vessel sinks. Also a flat screen TV.

The resort is big, subsequently we had quite a hike to the restaurants, all the restaurants are on one side of the resort and the rooms on the other. Breakfast in the buffet was very good, I've been to quite a few all inclusive resorts and I must say this buffet was the best I've seen, great choice. We did not eat in the buffet for dinner though. On arriving at the hotel we immediately booked at the speciality restaurants at the desk to the left of reception. The first night we went to the Caribbean restaurant and sat outside, a tad windy, but very nice just the same, the food was excellent, and the service was effecient and cheerful. The second evening we eat at the French restaurant, by far everyones favorite, the room is gorgous, all black and white, they played french music and it was total elegance, the food was great. On our third evening we eat at the Brazilian, this was our least favorite, if you love meat, which I do you will probably like this, but it became a bit overwhelming, again the staff where great. We tried to book at the Italian at the Barcelo Colonial for our last night, Monday, and we couldn't get a reservation, the first available date was Saturday, so my advice, book your restaurants on arrival. If you are staying at the Maya Palace you can book at any of the other restaurants within the whole Barcelo complex, but only guests of the Maya Palace can eat at the restaurants at the Maya Palace.

We did take a trip into Playa del Carman, take the hotel shuttle to the hotel entrance, and walk up the short road and there is a bus that goes by every 10 minutes, it's $2 per person, it will drop you off north of the main street in Playa were all the shops are. Lots of silver and guys pestering you to "take a look", but it was a fun few hours.

The beach was very nice, yes, a little gritty, I have "delicate feet" and I was happy to walk barefoot on the beach! It is softer outside the other Barcelo hotels, but overall, the beach was clean and the sea was clear enough to do some snorkelling or swimming.

I have stayed at quite a few all inclusive resorts and I have to say this is probably the nicest one I have stayed in. I am very picky about things being clean, this resort was spotless. It is not a party hotel, you can find a quiet place to read your book. The staff were very friendly and cheerful, I think you would be hard pressed to find a nicer resort. It was worth the 1 hour 20 minute drive from Cancun airport.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank IndyKaren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PUEBLO
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2009

We requested rooms near each other for my husband and I and our daughter, grand daughters and son-in-law who were meeting us. We live live nearly a thousand miles apart so it would have been much nicer to have been nearer, we were close to 40 rooms apart in spite of a 40+ day request. We also asked for a room near the amenities and were not granted this request either, I can only assign this disservice to the front desk staff. I must however say the serving staff are just wonderful, the location is devine and the food sublime. Please tip your servers, they are there to please you and earn so very little for all they do. We have stayed at all the Barcelo Maya's and have found them to be the best place to stay in the Riviera Maya.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank PatriciaPueblo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Falls Church, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2009

My wife and I had a destination wedding at the Palace in May. It's difficult to articulate just how wonderful our experience was at the Palace. I guess the best way to say it, is to talk about the experience of our wedding guest. We had about 45 guest travel from all parts of the U.S. to take part in our wedding celebration, and every single one of them said it was the best vacation they ever had.

All three of my groomsmen have made plans to come back down with their families. My parents, who usually prefer to take cruises, have said that they are going to cut back on cruises, and just come down to Mexico, and to the Barcelo Maya Palace more often.

The weather was perfect the entire time. The facilities were beautiful and impeccably maintained. The staff was wonderful. The beach is large. The activities are too numerous to name. The food was top notch.

In short, you would have a hard time finding a better overall place to vacation AND/OR have a destination wedding than the Barcelo Maya Palace.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank blkcrown1973
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 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Spa 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
Reservation Options:
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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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