We recently returned from our vacation at Barcelo Maya Tropical – and we had a fabulous time!!! We were there from December 7, 2008 to December 21, 2008.
The resort is absolutely incredible. The layout is really nice and spacious. You never feel cramped. The landscaping is awesome, and there are always lots of things to do in the evening. The beach is awesome; great for swimming and snorkeling, right off the shore. Here are some more details about the place:
We arrived around dinner time on a Sunday night. We were taken to our rooms by the bellman. There were four of us, and we requested two rooms with two double beds in each. Unfortunately they gave us rooms with only one king bed each, however, the bellman quickly got on the phone and straightened it out and we were given new room keys just a few doors down from where we were. We were located in building “I”, which is the Veracruz building. I recommend this building as it’s very quiet (not to close to the Theatre) and only a short walk from the beach. It’s a little further from the restaurants and lobby, but we didn’t mind the exercise. We had a nice view of the gardens. The rooms are a very generous size, with a good size bathroom with a tub/shower, blowdryer, etc. The room had a fully stocked mini bar (variety of soda pop, beer, orange juice, water bottles, nuts and chocolate). There is also a small coffee pot with mugs, coffee and another bottle of water. The patio deck is large with two chairs and a small table, and overlooked the gardens and palm trees.
Buffets - There are two buffets together, the Colonial and Tropical buffets. They are mirror images of each other and offer a wide variety of food. For breakfast, there is a smoothie station where they will make your fruit smoothies with whatever fruit you choose. There are omelet/egg stations, fruit, pastries, etc. Lots to choose from. The lunch and dinner buffets also have good variety; lots of nice chicken, beef and fish. The white fish (grouper) is really good (and I’m not a seafood eater). The crepe station makes delicious made to order fruit crepes for dessert. There is lots of variety. We were there for 2 weeks and were getting a little tired of the buffet after that long, but there is still lots of variety and something for everyone.
A la carte - The specialty restaurants are really something special. We went to most of them, and loved all of them. The Capri (Italian) has amazing lamb chops (so tender) veal and pizza. The Japanese is a lot of fun, as the chef makes the food in front of you. The thai is really good, however, doesn’t have a lot of variety. The pad thai was great. The Mexican was also fun, with a mariachi band. The chicken fajitas were great. The Santa Fe steak house was another hit – you have to try the filet mignon. The best I’ve had.
Lunch buffet – we ate at Palmeras, the beach grill, for lunch each day. There was lots variety and a wonderful view of the ocean!
Beach and Pool
The beach is fantastic; the water is light turquoise and warm. The sand soft and white, however, watch out as there are the odd little rocks. It’s a good idea to bring water shoes, as it can sometimes get a little rocky when entering the water. There are some rocks/coral off the beach which allow for great snorkeling. In between the hotel & beach are tons of palm trees, where many people like to sit in partial shade. There is never a shortage of lounge chairs on the beach to sit on, even if you don’t get there until the afternoon.
I’m not a big pool person, but I spent quite a few afternoons around this pool. The nicest pool I’ve seen. The pools are huge and beautiful. There is a great swim-up bar, and beautiful fountains.
There is a lot to do in the evenings. In addition to the shows, you can take the Barcelo train over to the other hotels for shopping and touring. There is a show each night, however, we didn’t find it to be very good. .
Unless you purchase the upgrade to Club Premium, the drinks they serve are domestic brands and not top shelf at all. They are still enjoyable, so we didn’t mind. The bars have self-serve beer on tap, Corona dark and light, so you can help yourself to a beer whenever you like without having to wait for a bartender. Very convenient.
One thing we liked was that we never had to worry about not having enough purified water. In the morning, the buffets and bars would put out bottles of cold water that you could take with you. You could always get more at the bars any time you needed, and there were always 3 good sized bottles in your room each day.
There were four of us, so we took advantage of cabs instead of overpriced excursion packages. We spent half a day at Playa del Carmen ($25 US each way for a cab) a couple of times. We arranged with the bellman for a man with a nice van to take us to Tulum and back. We toured Tulum on our own (you only need a couple of hours) and really enjoyed the amazing views, the ruins. It’s very hot there though, so bring some water. For the cab, be careful to get a quote in the $ you are paying in (US or Mexican Pesos) as sometimes they will charge you 1:10 exchange rate, and other times much higher. If you are paying in pesos, get the quote in pesos or the difference will be a surprise.
We didn’t go to the spa, but a spa staff member came by us on the beach and we purchased 40 minute massages in a very private outdoor gazebo near the adult pool at the Palace. This was very relaxing and enjoyable. We paid $60 US for 40 minutes. They do a great job, and we were happy to have the help getting us relaxed.
Some of the wait staff were great, however, generally the staff friendliness could be improved. We often felt they were only just doing the bare minimum, and we had to ask for everything, such as refills of our drinks, cutlery, etc. This seemed to improve the second week; I’m not sure why there was such a difference. We put all of this information on the comment cards they put out, so hopefully management can work to improve this.
All in all this was a fantastic trip, and we thoroughly recommend this hotel. Like all resorts, there are the odd things that can be improved, however, if you are looking for a great resort with a nice layout, great food, beautiful beaches and a fantastic pool, this is the place.
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- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Maya Tropical Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Maya Tropical Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Aventuras