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“Nice but could have been much better.”
Review of Barcelo Maya Beach

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Barcelo Maya Beach
Ranked #10 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Reviewed 29 July 2010

The Barceló Maya Palace is the top-level of the five hotels located within the Barceló resort complex. This is actually the second time we have stayed at this resort. The previous visit we stayed at the mid-level hotel, which, in my opinion, offered just as much as the top-level hotel but at less cost.

Lobby at Check-in: the lobby was hot and humid but clean and spacious. The staff was accommodating for the most part but I experienced several that didn't want to take the time to assist me when I requested a room change. The first room I was given was extremely far from the pool, beach, and restaurants. Traveling with two kids, walking to and from everything is not a "fun" part of the vacation. I finally spoke with someone that took the time to listen to my request and accommodated my request to move closer to the beach.

Room: the room was clean and spacious. It had two double beds and two couches, which is perfect for a family of four. The beds were well used, even with a mattress topper; you could still feel all of the springs in the mattress. The bathroom was large with dual vanities, separate shower and tub, and a separate water closet. It had plenty of storage with two closets and multiple drawers within the room itself. There were maintenance issues though. The television worked 10 minutes at a time, and then turned off by itself. The toilet leaked water into the bowl constantly, the weather stripping around the sliding glass door was coming off both inside and outside, and the curtain rods were all broken off (making it difficult to open and close the curtains).

Housekeeping: they did a good job cleaning every day and did so on time. I wouldn't say that they did an outstanding job but they weren't bad either.

Restaurants: we ate at the buffets for all our meals. It's just easier with kids because they have plenty of food options to choose from. We found that if we sat ourselves at the table of our choosing rather than being seated by the hostess, the wait staff typically overlooked us for drink refills. Didn't matter, it's a buffet and I prefer to get things myself. The food was good, the fruit fresh, and the deserts delicious.

Pool: both the kids play pool as well as the general use pool were clean and well maintained. The pool is very large and expansive, covering a lot of space, and set up in such a way that it allows you to be in areas where there were not a lot of other people around.

Beach: the beach was disappointing. It had serious erosion issues, probably due to the recent tropical storms that passed through the area but we only found the erosion issue to be present in the beach area at the Palace Maya and not at the rest of the resort hotels. You would think that since you are paying the most money to stay at the nicer of the hotels in the resort, the beach would be well maintained. There didn't seem to even be an attempt to reconstruct the beach with more sand. There were deep ruts where the water runoff dug through the beach and with a lot of the sand washed away, the hard packed ground was not all that pleasing to walk on. On the positive side, the cove offered great snorkeling opportunities (a lot of coral, fish, and the occasional ray).

Resort Location: the resort is located about 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen and 15 minutes north of Xel Ha. We took advantage of the closeness to the port in Playa del Carmen and took a day trip to Cozumel. Overall, the resort is located well within reach of multiple activity destinations.

Overall, the hotel did not meet my expectations based on the price and potential. We will not stay at this resort location again and will probably seek other hotel options further south in Tulum on our next trip to Mexico.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank KLTSM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 July 2010

We just returned from the Palace and would go back tomorrow! The resort is beautiful and very modern. The pools and the beach were excellent! The buffett had a wide variety of foods, you would be hard pressed not to find something you like:) I would highly recommend this resort!

Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
Thank taylorg2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2010

When I read the reviews before we left, I felt very confident that we had made a good choice. I went with my husband and 2 other couples. We had been saving to go on vacation at the beach for 6 years (hey, times have been tough!) The beach is absolutely beautiful, however the rest was a huge disappointment. The staff were not at all friendly, except for 1 girl. You didn't get a clean room or freshly stocked water unless you tipped. You were also expected to tip at every single meal and for every drink. I don't mind tipping at Ala Carte restaurants, but the buffett? Come on, they poured a glass of water. One fellow traveller pulled a piece of glass out of his mouth after biting into a quesadilla. When bringing it to a staff member's attention, the response we got was, "We don't use this to make the food." DUH!!
A lot of the reviews I read said the food was great, but we didn't find that at all. Some was okay, but mostly not great.
Once we got home, I had horrible stomach cramps for 2 days, while a fellow traveller was diagnosed with E-Coli or Salmonella poisoning (same symptoms) and had to miss several days of work after coming back from vacation.
The bed was very soft. That was the best part about the room. I did happen to see 2 giant bugs that resembled roaches.
We booked our Ala Carte's just after we checked in and by our surprise, every restaurant we wanted to get into was already booked up. So we were forced to pay to upgrade to get into an ala carte if we wanted to use our tickets.
You will see some great reviews as I did before our trip. Unfortunately, it was not what we expected. We do not recommend Barcelo.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BeFit_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2010

I would just like to say i was very disappointed with this resort as a whole. We were there for a wedding, everyone in the resort including staff was rude. As for kids i would not recommend this resort there were about 30 stingrays seen by our family at the beach in the resort there was no warning from the resort or beach staff further to that one of our family members got stung and had to go to the hospital. i could only imagine if that was a little kid!!!!! For the rooms the first day i killed a mosquito on our bed and blood came out the next day we had the maid in and she did not change the sheets or bed spread ( assuming because we did not leave a tip ) also i have never been asked to tip so many times at a all inclusive resort and if you did not tip good luck getting drinks !!

  • Stayed: July 2010
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1  Thank swift77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2010

Just got back from a week at the palace (7/16-7/23). Had gotten nervous reading some of the earlier reviews and dont know how anyone can possibly complain about this place. The food was incredible! The buffets had everything you could possibly think of, with many of the foods grilled to order as you waited (t-bone steaks, salmon, etc). The specialty restaurants were also great. Ate at them 5 of 7 nights and had no trouble getting our reservations. The Staff could not have been nicer! I have never seen a harder working group of people. So eager to make our stay a great one. Thumbs up to Carlos in the French restaurant, Hugo in the steakhouse, and Freddy in the Brazilian!! Also to our housekeeper who lined up every pair of stinky shoes, and arranged every baseball cap and made a nice bed for my older son when she saw he was sleeping on the couch instead of sharing a bed with his brother. And the beds were comfortable. Had no problem sleeping on them. Had a private transfer (there were 9 of us) from Olympus Tours, and got to the hotel in about an hour. also arranged "Tulum Extreme" tour through Olympus - had a great time!! If you go to Mexico, you really should see the Mayan ruins. Unreal how these buildings were built by hand so long ago and still standing. And the view from the cliffs is georgous.
The pool is Huge! Never had a problem with it being crowded at all. It's just too big. The water at the beach is beautiful. There is plenty of sandy area to swim. And the rocky area is great for snorkeling. Actually, you don't even have to snorkel to see all the beautiful fish. I could go on and on. So if you booked this hotel, please don't listen to any of the bad reviews and worry. You will have a wonderful vacation!!!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank ronthemom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2010

Party of nine - ages 6 to 56 - and everyone had a great time. The food at the a la carte and buffet was good. Way better than Cuba, not as good as Beaches Turks and Caicos, but lots to choose from and reasonable quality. Rooms were spacious and the bathrooms were amazing. Lots of grounds crews pruning, cleaning, and painting so resort is well maintained. Some staff were less than pleasant, but they were few and far in between. Bar had premium alcohol so if that matters to you - then they have it. Amazing pools, amazing beach. My aunt usually avoids the beach - we couldn't get her out of the water. My six year old went from pool to beach and back again several times a day. I loved rocking in the hammock and reading. July is rainy season, so it rained, but that just minimized the humidity and the heat was more than bearable. Not sure why all the bad reviews - they had me scared prior to departure - but glad my experience was so different!!!!! We would love to go back.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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1  Thank Rede2Trvl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2010

This would be our 11th trip down to Cancun / Maya Riviera. Except for Disney which we did last year, we've done Mexico every year since 1999. Prior to the Barcelo Maya Palace, we had always used the Riu resorts with the Riu Palace Las Americas being the standard bearer.

I little about what we looked for in our decision to vacation in Mexico:
1. Must be All-inclusive
2. Must be affordable (from Houston ~ 500 - 800/person for 4 nights)
3. Best star ratings based on #2
4. Beach (clean, near proximity to the room, not too rough)
5. Things to occupy the little ones (ages 6-10)

Kids were a recent phenomenon as wife and I would always travel either by ourselves or with other adult friends. Being as such, we now place heavy emphasis on #4 and #5.

Research. I do it all. There are 16 of us on this trip. I scour every inch of the interweb to find that one elusive deal. Once set on a certain price, I then forward it to a travel agent I used a lot. If he can match or beat the price, I booked thru him. He's really good with beating the price and giving us all the special 'hook-up perks' that you can't get thru the website. Boy, did he really came thru in GRAND fashion this time around. After reading the review, you can PM me for his contact info. You won't be sorry.

So the Barcelo Maya Palace (BMP) is rated as 4.5 stars on most travel sites. I will say that it should be rated as a 5 stars at a minimum. Don't let the rating fool you if you are comparing only 5 stars resorts. Within the BMP are 2 tier of clientele -- regular or Club Premier. Your experience with the resort will definitely be night and day depending on what tier you are in. From reading the 'bad' reviews about this resort, I can see where some people might say the services are bad. When I prepared the quote for this trip thru Funjet, the package priced us out at Standard. The Club Premier upgrade was pricing out at $150 more per person (ouch! especially since that price was not adjusted for age.). The agent I was able to get us the upgrade for free since he has knows the GM of BMP and he has been sending a lot of his clients there.

Club Premier clients got preferred check-in at a separate office away from the regular check-in desk (which had very long lines at each queue when we arrived). We were provided tropical drinks and water bottles immediately by a hostess. The room had computers connected to the internet free for use. It was AC'ed unlike the lobby. There was a snack bar with drinks, liquor, pastries, etc. all for self service as you are being checked in. We arrived at 11am and our rooms were readied after check-in at Noon! No 2-3pm room availability here. Also, our checkout was at 2:30pm, not 11am! Our bags were whisked away to our room by the bellhop. Club Premier clients also get special wrist bands that allow for special treatment throughout the resort --> no need to present room keys to check out towels; preferred seating time at all the specialty restaurants; preferred rental times for the water activities.

Our rooms were at the Club Premier wing (Michiolan). As we had 2 little tods, our room was configured to have 2 full and 2 separate day beds for the kids. My parents had the room with 1 king bed. Room had a flat screen with Internet PC built in. Satellite reception was bad though, and I didn't use the TV-PC since I brought my laptop which connected to the Wi-Fi for free (Club Premier only). A/C was strong and you had a ceiling fan also. Restroom had a separate opened shower, tub, and toilet room. Separate toilet room allow the wife to get doll up while I catch up on my reading and not disturb others :-). The shower had the large, rainforest-style shower head. No jacuzzi in the tub though. Great water pressure. Hot water always available. We had plenty of towels, pillows, blankets, toiletries, and even beach towels were neatly rolled in a stack waiting for use. There are 2 adult robes and slippers available. There was a self-programmed room safe that can fit a 17" laptop. Even a mini fridge with water bottles, sodas, beer, mixed nuts, crackers; all included and all refilled daily. Rooms in this wing had balconies overlooking the swimming pool and pool bar. We were on the 3rd floor and the noises from the pool was tolerable (4th or 5th floor probably would have been nicer). If you choose to sit out on the balcony and enjoy the quite of the night, be sure to bring bug spray. Probably a good idea to get sunscreen with bug repellent built in; you are indeed in tropical climate after all - not that all different from Houston so we were prepared. Turn-down service (which I never understood the need for, but the kids loved the little mints) was available each night. I noticed that a minor tip each day yielded cute woodland creatures made from towels on our bed; again, kids loved it.

Premises were pristine. There were always someone on cleaning something at all time. The pool area is awesome. It is basically one huge pool that meanders throughout the lush complex, underneath bridges, starting at the kiddie section and ending at the Adult only section with a waterfall. I was told the water was cleaned every night by a mineral cleaning process, not chemical. The water does not smell like chlorine at all. That was why I'm able to open my eyes underwater without them burning. The kiddie section was great! There are slides, draw bridges, steps, water falls, water misting, colorful creature rides, etc. This was were my kids (other kids) spent most of there time. The swim up bar was awesome or so I was told, but I did not partake since I'm just amazed by how many people would just sit there and drank all day without have to once leave to use the restroom :-). I saw a sign for a cenote below the entrance to the Palace. Never got a chance to explore.

The beach. Spectacular. Only 2nd on my all-time ranking behind Grand Cayman Island. Beautiful, clear, calm. If you see rocks on the satellite view of this property, don't be put off. These are actual corrals that was great to swim to. But if you were put off, then there is great stretch between the properties where there are absolutely no rocks at all. Bring your own snorkel gear; since the resort can let you borrow gear for only 1hr intervals - besides the walk to where you get the gear to where you actually want to snorkel can be quite a trek. I suggest getting beach shoes too as these rocks can cause some serious cuts if you stepped on them. Wildlife abound at the corrals! We saw zebra fish, rainbow fish, triangle fish, long tube-looking fish (I'm not a marine biologist as you can guess). There were even sting rays. I captured it all with my Kodak underwater camera (also recommended, you'll thank me). In the past, we would have spent at least $50 per person to go on a snorkeling tour which was basically free at his hotel. Heck, I even see tour boats docking here to let their snorkelers out. Don't get me wrong, this is NOT the Cancun-Isla Mujeres reef equivalent, but at 50% of what you get there, it's free here. Not too shabby. Another reason to not leave the resort. Also it was predicted that there will be 50-60% of rain during our stay. It only rained for 45 minutes one day. The other 5 days were either overcast or sunny. We prefer the former since it means not getting burnt too much by the sun.

Tours. Didn't to any. So didn't have to deal with any one (I'm a good bargainer, so tour hawkers don't intimidate me at all, I'm a worthy foe for them). This was our 11th trips and we've done it all. But if you want, Xel-Ha is only 15 minutes away. If you've never been, I highly recommend it. I wanted to take the kids but they were still getting the hang of snorkeling at the reef out front and they thought what they saw were waaaay cool. So no need to spend extra money. X-Plor was new but I didn't do it; ziplining is much cooler in a jungle setting not as a amusement park.

Restaurants are great. We are AI-type travelers so take that into consideration. The buffet offers a lot of food to choose from. Made-to-order was a hit for everyone since you get to pick what you want to be grilled, bbq, or fried. Dinner buffets were on par with any 5-stars sit down restaurants; prawns, ribeyes, sirloin, prime rib, t-bones, stone crabs, salmon, tuna were ALL on the buffet. There were 3 themed restaurants here and through the wonders of our travel agent, we got reservations for all 16 members of our party for all 4 nights. No need to wake up early to reserve. The restaurants were perfect. We had lobsters at the Carribean one; steaks at the French one; and a lot of churrascoria style meats the Brazilian one. On the fourth night, the reservation was at the 4-star Colonial complex, called Capri - Italian-inspired. Foods not so good here as we were expecting to be pampered like we were at the Palace. No problem, we just returned to the Palace for the dinner buffet. Win-Win. And if you you have the munchies, there is even a grill-style restaurant that covers the hours where the main buffet was closed. So you can technically eat for 24-hours if you wanted too. Not have to worry about foods or drinks, especially with kids, was well worth the price it pays to stay at an AI. Drinks do come in 'top-shelf' variety. Just ask for it. A dollar tip here and there really insure you get the best margaritas and coladas on the property. We probably went thru 2-3 bottles of Don Julio tequilas with all the shots that we did. Bartenders were great - always encouraging us to do 'one more'.

Entertainment. My parents and my kids loved the nightly shows. The best was the Michael Jackson Spectacular. Lev 'Jackson' Garcia was the impersonator. Very authentic. There was an International show on night and circus show another night. We were there during the World Cup finals so they showed the matches on the projector in the theater. I didn't realize that there were a lot of European vacationers here. Euros can be a wildly bunch during soccer matches. It was great!

There was tram that takes you throughout the Barcelo complex. Again, we only experience the Colonial, but my parents took a ride throughout and said that the grounds were well kept. Security is everywhere. My friends played a prank on us by hiding my camera after one of the show. Having gone back to the room and discovering that I didn't have it, I rushed back to the theater. The supervisor saw me frantically looking under chairs and tables and he quickly asked me if I lost anything. After explaining my story, he called for Security and a guy came right away. He took my info and insure me that they had cameras throughout the property. He will view the films and get back to me. Eventhough I didn't have to follow-through (my rascal friend confessed), it was nice to know that they took security very seriously here; very professional.

In closing, this was a truly spectacular vacation for us all. Being at the Barcelo made a big different. Club Premier was a must to really take this vacation to the next level. Even if you can't get for free, I recommend you upgrade. We are now no longer Riu followers.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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6  Thank texasanthony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barcelo Maya Beach

Address: Carretera Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 266,3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico (Formerly Hotel Barcelo Maya Beach)
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
#5 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range: £161 - £337 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — 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
Barcelo Maya Beach Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Aventuras

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