We just got back from a week stay at the Barcelo Maya Colonial, and I want to go back!! We had the time of our lives. The rooms are very nice, with great views, the staff is top notch and very professional, and the beaches were the best! We ate, drank and got a lot of sun, just like we planned. Now lets get down to details...
Rooms: Just right. We got turn down service every night, and we never heard guest in the adjoining rooms. It was fun watching Mexican commercials on TV, but if you're looking to keep in touch with the USA from your room forget it. But that's not what you're there for right? Make sure you tip your housekeeping staff 20 pesos every day. They get their medical, dental and all of that deducted out of their paycheck, and at the end of the week they have almost nothing to take home, so your gratuity is what they live on, so they are VERY grateful to get a tip and it will show by the service you get.
Resort Grounds: The grounds are beautiful. Well maintained and they spent a fortune on landscaping. The buildings and facilities are well maintained. The pool is huge and the beach is raked every morning. We had no problem getting a chair either on the beach or by the pool, although the chairs closest to the bars were usually taken, but that was no problem, I will always walk a distance for cold cerveza!! We usually hit the beach after breakfast, then the pool in the afternoon. What's really kind of nice is that the sand is crushed limestone, so they never get hot.
Food: Now here's the skinny. When you check in, make sure the first thing you do is go to Customer Services and make reservations for all your dinners. There are 4 restaraunts to choose from plus the buffet. You have to have a reservation to eat at the restaraunts. We did buffet the first night. It was okay, they just prepare things differently down there, but by no means will you starve. The buffet for breakfast is your only option as well, but they have everything covered. We always had an omlet made to order. The Capri (Italian) was our least favorite. We ordered Sea Bass and it sucked. The salad bar wasn't really a salad bar, more like an antipasta bar with priscutto (sp) and a bunch of stuff I have never seen. The next evening we ate at the steak house. Now being from Iowa I'm used to some really good beef, so my expectations were not high, but it was okay. The salad bar here was also kind of strange, and the baked potato was not a russet, just a plain potato. We left with a full belly, so no complaints. Our third night was at the seafood place. Had the lobster and a bowl of bisque. My wife had the shrimp cocktail and everything was very good. Make sure you order Mayan Coffee!! It's like Irish Coffee, but wait until you see the presentation! It's pretty cool. The next evening we went to the Japanese Habachi Grill. This was our favorite and the most fun! Make sure you order the Surf-n-Turf. Our chef, Pedro was a real character. Our last night was spent dining at the Mexican restaraunt. Very nice, we didn't have to wear long pants and the atmosphere was very casual. A great ending to our culinary trip around the world. Again, don't hesitate to tip your waiter!!
Recreation: This place is geared for families, although my wife and I were sans kids. They have a great water park for the kids, plus a program called "Barkley" that gets them involved in a lot of fun things. For the adults, we saw vollyball, yoga, water aerobics, snorkeling, water polo, bocci ball...the list goes on. But if you just want to sit, get some sun and chill, the staff doesn't pressure you, although they work really hard at providing you fun things to do, so I suggest you try at least on activity, you won't regret it. One note, you will need to check out a couple of towels fro the week, if you don't return them they charge you 20 bucks...just an FYI.
Excersions: We pretty much wanted to just chill all week, but I love to snorkel. They have a number of desks around the corner from the lobby and they will help you with anything you would like to do. When I went to check out my snorkel gear (free for 1 hour with 50 dollar deposit) down on the beach, I set up a trip to snorkel a cenote. If you don't do anything else, YOU HAVE TO DO THIS!! It was the highlight of my trip! It took most of the day, but we met some great people and Tobias our guide was a great guy! I'm telling you now. You have to go to a cenote (senotay), they're really cool!!!
Other than that, I was kind of surprised to find that we were an hour away from Cancun, so we never made it there. The place you want to go is 20 minutes away in Playa del Carmen. We walked up to the highway and for 20 peaso each, were able to catch a ride in a van to the city, (which was a trip) where we did some shopping, but mainly drank cerveza's and watched all the people. Didn't find many deals, but did manage to leave the town a little "greener" when we left. No one ever messed with us, but because there is so much competion for your dollar, they tend to try to get you in their store. Just be polite and say "no gracias". They usually back off.
Notes: At the hotel bar, make sure you visit Antonio at the Havana Salon. He's a great guy, and treats you like royalty. We always went there before dinner and had a couple of cocktails and listend to him sing along with the Frank Sinatra of Mexico...Jose Jose! What a blast!! The bar managers are great as well. I would like to mention Isidro and Rodrigo. They both make sure everything is ran smoothly and that you're happy. They also speak very good English and will answer any question you may have about the region or the best tequila's.
All in all, I can't wait to go back. We had the time of out lives and everyone at the resort was AWESOME!!!
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- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Maya Colonial Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Colonial
- Barcelo Maya Colonial Beach Resort
- Barcelo Maya Caribe & Beach Resort
- Barcelo Maya Tropical & Colonial Beach
- Barcelo Maya Colonial Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Aventuras