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“Beautiful resort but I wish I had gone somewhere else!”

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Barcelo Maya Palace
Ranked #6 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Certificate of Excellence
Montreal, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort but I wish I had gone somewhere else!”
Reviewed 17 August 2011

I am torn as I write this review. On the one hand you have this beautiful resort that has so much potential and on the other I couldn't believe the horrific service we got. The best way I can express my feelings toward this resort is to give you a brief story of my experience.
After reading so many positive reviews here I really looked forward to my vacation. It all began when I booked my reservations. I had booked 3 months prior at the Barceló Maya Palace Deluxe hotel. For those of you who are not familiar with the resort, it's the newest facility they have.
I am the type of person that doesn't like surprises so when I go on vacation about a month before my arrival and every other week I would call to make sure nothing has changed with my reservations, meaning the room I reserved is the same, what I asked for in the room is still noted and can be delivered and so forth. Every time I called they reassured me all was good.
On the day of our arrival, we were greeted with the news that the hotel is over booked and that they needed to relocate us to another hotel within the resort. So after some disappointment I was offered some incentives to make up for the last minute change. They claimed they changed us to the same accommodations with dual Queen size beds and a crib as requested. Also, If you read some of the other comments, most recommend you book the restaurants at the same time as you check-in, so I did as recommended.
When we got to our room there was only one queen size bed. So I called our check-in desk to let them know the room did not have the beds as mentioned but we were re-assured that we would be taken care in no time.
That same evening, we had dinner reservations that we booked upon arrival. When we showed up at the restaurant they never received the reservations from the concierge desk. So I went back to our concierge desk and they kept me there for another 30 minutes while they advised the restaurant of our confirmations. This was a running joke all week long.
After dinner we went back to our room and the beds were still not delivered. So I called again the concierge desk and they again promised me the beds would be delivered, at this point it was about 8:30pm. At 9 pm I called housekeeping to get a status and they told me they had no request to deliver additional beds to our room. I was furious; I called the front desk again and asked if anymore there was competent enough to follow through on what they promise. They again reassured me the beds would be delivered. So to put this in perspective, we are a family of 5; I have 2 young children and a baby. At this point they had traveled all day and began to sleep in our one and only bed. I was just getting more and more frustrated at how everyone just says what you want to hear but does absolutely nothing. Finally at 10pm I called the front desk demanding to speak with the hotel manager and after a few words between us he finally sent a maid to deliver the beds at 11pm.
The next day, I went back to the Palace front desk to vent my frustration about the night before and to re-confirm we had reservations at the restaurant we booked for that night. The girl excuses herself and leaves me to go and speak with her manager and she leaves me there waiting for 45 minutes, she then returns with her manager and they both reconfirm my reservations and reassure me that I would not be disappointed.
Well that evening just before we left, I decided to call the restaurant to confirm our reservations and to my surprise they were not expecting us. So I called the desk again, the girl there says to me come by and we will give you a letter to confirm your reservations, so I passed by again and 30 minutes later she gives me a letter. This happened every night for a week.
Just a warning before you decide to book your reservations at Barceló. When I was waiting for the girl to confirm my reservations, I got to speak with another girl at the concierge desk and she confided in me that the hotel has been fully booked since December 2010 and that the reservations dept. always over books the rooms and that they are constantly scrambling to find other accommodations for their guests when they arrive, she also said they are 40% less in staff than a year ago and I can tell you it shows.
The reason Barceló gets away with this, they do not charge you for the room upfront. So even though you booked your room well in advance and you think you are getting what you reserved… think again, since they do not charge for the room when you book, they can shuffle you around as they wish. To add insult to this whole trip, Barceló will ask you to sign a letter that in order to get the incentives they offer you must not complain to anyone at the resort during your stay. BTW their incentive was a 30 minute massage for my wife and I.

Room Tip: Ask when you book your room if there's anyway to guarantee the room you reserve.
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank Canadian_Traveler521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this review, 10 April 2017
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your valuable review, we are sorry about our reply being delayed as we really appreciate that you have taken some time to write your comments about your experience in our hotel and this comments have been noted and shared with the leaders of every department.
We have been working hard to improve all our opportunity areas in order to achieve all our guests’ satisfaction.
Once again, we thank you for staying with us and hope to welcome back soon.

Regards,

Them Management
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English first
Redlands, California, USA
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 290 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2011

My family stayed 7 days at the Barcelo Maya Palace at the end of July. This was our first visit to Cancun, and our first all inclusive. Before booking our vacation, I read many reviews on tripadvisor.com in order to figure out what we wanted most in a Cancun vacation. We decided that we wanted to stay at a large complex with its own snorkeling beach, and one which was close to the Mayan ruins and the ecoparks. The Barcelo turned out to be perfect for us. Here are some observations about our trip:

Airline
We flew nonstop from LAX to Cancun on Virgin America. Although a bit pricier than other airlines, VA allows one free piece of baggage per passenger when flying to Cancun. My kids loved the new, modern plane with in-seat TVs. Give yourself enough time at LAX, though. We naively thought 90 minutes was enough time for passport/baggage check in and security, but we barely made it to the plane before departure.

Airport Transportation
I booked a private shuttle through USA Transfers, which I highly recommend. The driver was courteous and safe, and we appreciate going straight to the Barcelo without any other stops. It takes an hour from the airport to the Barcelo, but the Playa del Carmen overpass is now finished so the trip is much smoother than before.

Weather
It was very hot and humid the last week of July, but it wasn't unbearable. We had 4 days of sunshine, 3 days of overcast, and 2 nights of thunderstorms. The water at the pool and beach was very warm at the beginning of the week but cooled slightly as the week progressed. There were many mosquitoes at sunset, so bring bug spray and "After Bite" if you are prone to getting bit.

Check In
Because we didn't upgrade to Club Premium, we had to check in at the general front desk which was slow, as expected. The clerk, however, was friendly and apologetic about the wait. As advised by other reviewers, I immediately booked our restaurant reservations with the concierge. Since I was flexible about dates/times, I was able to get reservations to all four restaurants allotted to the general Barcelo Palace guests.

Hotel Room
Again, since we didn't upgrade our hotel room was in the back of the resort, but we never minded the long walk to the beach or the buffets. I thought the room was beautiful, although as other people have mentioned, the beds/pillows are harder than we are used to and the humidity makes the bed sheets always feel slightly damp. I brought Lysol to spray the beds/room when my kids complained about the musty smell. I loved the rain shower in the bathroom and the large shampoo/conditioner/shower gel dispenser on the shower wall. I also appreciated the small selection of snacks which came with the beverage service and the drying rack outside on the balcony. Even though we were far back in the resort, people tended to walk by talking very loudly around 2 am. It was annoying but didn't last long so we immediately went back to sleep.

Food and Entertainment
We went to the AI with no expectations, so we were pleasantly surprised by the buffets, the restaurants, and the nightly shows. The buffets tend to get hectic and depleted near closing time, so it's best to go early if you can. I thought it was fun to dress up to go to the restaurants, and the dining experience was more relaxing than at the buffets. The entertainment was lively, and after each performance the emcee invited the audience members to come up to take pictures with the dancers. We have some cute pictures of our kids from these photo ops.

We only ate once at another buffet, and although the breakfast food was basically the same I noticed that the presentation of the food at the Palace buffet was much more spectacular. However, the wrap-around plate-glass windows over looking the fountains and the freshly made churros made the walk over to the Tropical buffet definitely worthwhile.

Beaches
We were amazed by the white sand, turquoise ocean, and very salty water. As other reviewers have noted, the beach is very extensive and perfect for long strolls. The section in front of the Palace is a bit rocky, so you need to be careful where you step when entering the water. Because of the reef, there is good snorkeling in front of the Palace or over off the pier. My daughter spent hours swimming after the sea turtles or kayaking by the pier.

Excursions
Because there was so much to do at the resort itself (my son played hours of ping-pong!), we ended up only taking two off-site excursions. For the first excursion, we booked an all-day taxi to take us out to Coba, where we climbed the Mayan pyramid, and then back to Tulum, where we swam in the ocean below the ruins on the cliff. In addition to the taxi fare, we had to pay parking at Coba, along with entrance fees and video camera fees at both archeological sites. It was very hot that day, especially by the time we got to Tulum. It was a long walk from the parking lot to the ruins themselves, so an umbrella would have provided welcom shade.

For the second excursion we took a taxi to Xcaret and paid for general admission, although the upgrade--which includes a towel, locker, snorkel gear, and buffet--seems like it would have been a good way to go. The days was overcast, so the park didn't seem all that crowded (especially by Disneyland standards). This ecopark is not as exciting as Xplore, but Xcaret is definitely worth a visit at least once if you have the chance.

Occupancy
I didn't realize this, but July is considered high season. Everywhere at the resort felt full--the beaches, pools, and buffets--however, it never really bothered us. The employees were obviously working very hard to keep the resort clean and well-maintained, but many people were friendly and said "Hola!" as we walked by. If you are the kind of tourist who doesn't like crowds or waiting during your vacation, there are a few things you could do to help alleviate the situation:
1.Ask for or upgrade to a room near the beach/pool area. It will be crowded, but at least you won't have to walk as far.
2.Go out early to reserve your lounge chair, especially if you want one by the pool. Officially, this practice is discouraged and we never had problems finding a place at the beach, but I noticed that the pool loungers tended to fill up before 8 am.
3.Bring your own snorkel gear, ping-pong paddles, pool rafts, and toys from home so you won't have to waste time checking out (or buying) equipment from the resort.
4.Go to the buffets when they first open for best seating, best selection, and no lines at the food stations.
5.Go early in your vacation to book a hobie cat or off-site excursion.
6.Have the bell captain arrange for a private, all-day taxi to take you to Coba and Tulum.
7.Always tip a little, it seems to go a long ways.

Final Thoughts
While my family had a great vacation at the Barcelo Maya Palace, I'm not sure if I would recommend this resort to individual couples or to those looking for nightlife. The week we were there, the resort was full of families (like us!), and there wasn't much to do after the evening entertainment finished around 10:30 pm. There is a lobby bar with music and an on-site disco, but since my teenagers are not yet 18 they could not go to the disco during the regular late-night hours. If you are looking for excitement or romance, you may want to consider a resort actually in Cancun or Playa del Carmen with an adult party atmosphere. However, if you are a family with kids/teenagers who like beach and pool activities, this is a wonderful resort.

Room Tip: Bring a small bottle of Woolite so you can rinse out your bathing suits and hang them to dry on the...
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TulipL0ver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this review, 5 January 2017
Dear Guest,

We are very happy about your feedback as our main goal is to leave all our Guest satisfied . We will continue all the hard work to keep satisfying all our guests and we hope to host you back real soon!!

Best Regards

The Management
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Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
45 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2011

Our July 24-31, 2011 Barcelo Palace Trip
Our flight there was great. We almost missed the cut off because of a timing miscalculation, but it worked out. My sons 5 and 8 could never remember being on a plane and were thrilled with the experience. We arrived 20 minutes earlier than expected. We had to look around for a few minutes for the USA transfers rep, but we found him. We were loaded up and on our way within minutes.

We arrived at Barcelo at a little after 12p. I was amazed that getting through the airport and the trip there took such a short amount of time. This is where things went sideways. We were standing in the line to check in. It was a pretty long line with at least 20 people waiting. During the hour that we stood there, an angry woman from the end of the line demanded to see a manager. Filipe was called to assist her. He started checking her in on the spot! To make matters worse, there were 3 other families with her and he checked them in too. Such a slap in the face for those of us sweating it out in line. We even had to ask for a drink as a server walked by carrying an entire tray of them.

So after getting our info, we decided to eat lunch until our room was ready. We went to the buffet connected to La Hacienda. The food here was ok, not bad, but just ok. We had a leisurely lunch. At that point, it was almost 3 and so I headed back to the desk for our room key. Stood in line again. I did ask to speak with Filipe to explain how off putting and unfair it was to have people check in before others because they are causing a scene. He literally looked at me as if he were clueless and never answered. I then went to the other desk to make our a la carte reservations. Mind you, this was our first day on site, but we were only able to get 1 of our choices. How is that fair that the restaurants are filled before many people even arrive there for their vacation.

So I proceed to our room. It was stunning! I immediately took pictures because it was so pretty. I noticed a plate of grapes and a bottle of Tequila. What a thoughtful idea! I reached down to pick a grape and noticed movement on the plate. Ants were all over the underside of the grapes. There were ants marching up the side of the table! I called the front desk and was asked what I wanted done about the ants. Of course I wanted the ants out! TWO HOURS later a service man came up with a can of raid. He also cleaned the table and mopped that area of the room. Maid service was also spotty. 3 of the 7 mornings our room was not serviced until I called and asked for it.

One thing Barcelo has going for it is that it is so beautiful! The rooms, the pools…everywhere. Unfortunately, customer service does not come near to matching the physical beauty of the place. Our sons loved the splash park and the pools. They also enjoyed the buffets, the child sized stations were a really nice touch. Drink service by the pool was good. The drinks were not too strong so I asked for a double shot and was good to go.
If I had to choose one word to describe this vacation, it would be UNDERWHELMING. Another word would be DISAPPOINTING. After researching and saving for months, I found the resort to be long on beauty, but short on substance. We have no plans to return.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mzche1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this review, 10 April 2017
Dear Guest,

We appreciate all your feedback , we wanted to apologize about the delay on the reply but rest assured that this valuable comments have been shared with all our leaders of each department of the hotel in order to continue providing the positives and avoid the negatives to achieve our main goal which is Guest satisfaction.

We hope we have the chance to welcome you back !!

Best Regards,

The Management
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East Amherst
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2011

This is my first time writing a review only because I could not believe some of the complaints read here before our trip and our excellent experience at Barcelo. Myself and my wife are 50ish and vacationed here for 8 nights with our two sons 17 and 21yo and daughter 18yo (try to find a vacation to please teenagers!). I found most of the positive comments and most tips to be right on and helpful. Those with serious complaints must be used to properties and service I can't even imagine.
The Cancun airport is infested with snake oil salesmen. Ignore them (even those in uniform as "Official Porter", etc), pull your own bags, and exit the terminal. Since Barcelo Maya is one hour and fifteen minutes from the airport with no traffic I recomend private transport rather than a group bus with several stops.
I never saw much of a line at the lobby check in even though we passed there several times per day. We got processed in about 15 minutes. In my opinion they DO take too much time here and make things more difficult than they have to be. You have to ask for more than one room key (why???) but they will do it; takes another few minutes to re-key some more cards. Requests seem to take longer than neccessary to check on (room location close to pool, particular floor, adjoining room, etc). I can see if there was a long line things could get backed up. The lobby is NOT air conditioned and can be stuffy when waiting. I suggest one person stay in line and others wait in the lobby bar (a/c) and have a drink. The only time all have to be present is to get individual bracelets. These allow you access to everything Barcelo has to offer. Everyone also gets a towel card which gets you one towel at a time from the pool areas. Don't lose it or your towel! In all, check in was not a big deal.
Go right from check in accross the lobby to reserve "alacarte" restaurant times for each night you may want to eat at one of the table service restaurants. You can eat at the buffets any day you wish with no reservation. Since there is not a lot to do after dinner I suggest dinner at 7 or 8pm. The Palace restaurants are all very nice. Staying at the Palace is supposed to make you eligible to eat at any other Barcelo alacarte. The key word is "when available." We were told at check in that since they were 100% booked up we could not make reservations at non-palace alacarts. We did the 4 palace alacarts and buffets the other 4 nights. All were great. No complaints. Men & boys - don't forget a pair of long pants required for the alacarts - none of the shops sell pants!
After reservations start having fun! If the room isn't ready, there are plenty of places to change into swim suits. Since our family is more on the active side, we spent most of our time near the main pool. There are always 2 or 3 activity directors from 9 to 5 leading stuff like ping pong & bocce tournaments, dance & spanich lessons, pool aerobics, bike tours, etc. Young families hung out near the Barcy Club area with the water slides. The adult pool is VERY quiet if thats what you are into. Regardless, there are more activities here than anyone has time to use! The towel game is alive and well here as it is in most places even though there are multiple signs stating that chairs can not be "saved" with towels etc. If you want your choice of shady chairs, be there at 7am (save the towel from the day before since the towel room doesn't open till 8am - just exchange it then for a fresh towel).
This place is HUGE! Lots to do but may mean some walking. From the palace to the dive shop is about 10-15 minutes. Snorklers may want to bring your own goggles/fins since the best snorkling is near the palace area. You may want to use the free Barcelo shuttle to go to the mini golf area or the shopping area. We did not visit any other non-palace restaurants but they are not close. The Palace has its own tennis, basketball, and exercise areas real close.
Bars are everywhere - don't fear going thirsty! Good idea to bring a large insulated mug of some kind. They can mix almost anything you want, with or without alcohol. If you want a premium brand ask for it - if they have it you get it. Corona is the only beer the bars have & on tap only. House wines are not the best. Stick with beer, mixed drinks, soda & juices. The water was not a problem for us or any other travellers we talked to )no travel sickness).
We did not try anything to do with the spa - sorry.
Rooms: big, airy, and cool! Plenty of space, private balcony with chairs & table, couches, big bathroom, room safe. Air conditioning stays on without being in the room. The room refrigerator does not get real cold. I put some things on ice each day. The biggest problem with rooms is that the beds and pillows are rock hard even with the "Pillow-top" on top of the mattress. After a couple nights I slept on the couch. Same comments seen on other posts and from other travellers. They must have gotten a great deal on extra firm beds & pillows! Not a deal breaker to me though.
Cleanliness: This place is immaculate! Nothing is out of place, staff is constantly cleaning everything from rooms, floors, walkways, etc. Landscaping is right out of a brochure. Guys were scrubbing pool decks, replacing awnings, raking sand, you name it. They are cleaning and replacing things that don't even need it.
Food: Very good in all restaurants and buffets although not what I would call "gormet." Offerings at buffets were rotated so you had different choices all the time - never got boring.
Staff: This place is very well run. The worker bees are hustling with or without supervisors present and whether or not you have tip in hand. Waiters are all over you in restaurants asking for drink orders, removing un-needed dishes, etc. I never saw a waiter standing still! If there was nothing to do, they would find something! Take a sip of water, someone is there to fill up the glass - I kid you not! Desk staff aims to please - I didn't get rooms as close to the pool as I wanted, but it wasn't like they didn't try. They don't like saying no. Bar tenders serve you whether you tip or not - they don't pick 'n choose. Like I said, not once in our 8 days did I get the feeling a staff member was expecting a tip. We spread some dollars aroung like I would anywhere else but never was someone waiting with his hand out. We speak English but very little Spanish - most staff in positions like desk staff, bar tenders, waiters etc speak ok english, the rest usually speak broken english. It was fun learning some spanish and they also try to pick up more english, but Spanish comes first at Barcelo.
Side trips: we visited Tulum and Xplor. Both very nice. You want a guided tour at Tulum - very educational- otherwise just looking at some ruins! Xplor was a lot of fun. Both were a little pricey, but you expect that at these places.
Summary: we have never repeated a vacation spot yet but this is definitely a keeper. Although no place is perfect in every respect, Barcelo really strives for it in every respect. I can't imagine anyone not being satisfied here much less disliking it. The only knock is the bed/pillows.

Room Tip: Ask for a room closest to the restaurants & main pool. This is where everything happens. There...
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DonFleming44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this review, 5 January 2017
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your amazing feedback, this motivates us as a hotel to keep up the good work and improve day by day to create great experiences to our guests.
We really appreciate your evaluation and hope to welcome you back soon!!

Warm Regards

The Management
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Montreal, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2011

I will start by saying that I have been going to all inclusive hotels in the south for for over 25 years ( 1-2 times a year ) and mostly in 4-5 star resorts. I went with my wife and we are both 30 years old.

I extensively researched this vacation because I wanted (in order) the best beach, a modern / new room, really good AC in the room, great food, WIFI (to make long distance calls with Magic Jack).

What I booked:

In Canada, most of these vacations are prepackaged via chartered companies (westjet, aircanada vacations, Transat, sunwing, etc...) I was staying for 2 weeks and when I saw the prices out there....$5200 for 2, I started looking elsewhere. Via expedia I booked the hotel and flight with continental for $4000 (i did not take the premium as it is useless), 1 stop flight each way and total flight time with transit was 7hours. For the airport pick-up and return I booked USA Transfers.

Expedia: What can I say, cheap, quick and efficient!

Continental: Really good service, flights were ontime, had a new 757-200 with built-in screens and much more leg room. On the way back, I upgraded to 1st class for only $99/person and we had a 180deg reclining seat.

USA Transfers: The utmost best service possible. No wonder they have 100% online satisfaction on the blogs. A private transfer for 2 roundtrip cost $120 to the Barcelo. You can book this on their web site and pay by paypal. Very convenient. They are very organized. You will get all the necessary confirmations and a reminder e-mail 1 day prior to your departure to advise if anything changed. Upon arrival to Cancun, once you have crossed all the doors it took 5 minutes and the van was there. The ride is about 1h, maybe a bit less. On the way back, the driver was 30 minutes early which is really surprising as this is Mexico after all.

Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe:

We arrived at the hotel at 3pm sharp. It says on the voucher and in their hotel policy that check-in is at 3pm. Guess what, our room wasn't available and we were told to come back at 4pm. We then asked what floor our room was on. The front desk guy told us it was on the 1st. We wanted one on the 2nd or 3rd. He didn't care and went forth to tell us that the hotel was fully booked. The front dest people are for a majority a bunch of jerks...not all of them but just about 95%, really slow at checking in people, I have seen people wait for 1 hour with 10 clerks at the front desk. We tried to change room for 4 straight days and it was the same story every day. The only great thing about the front desk is that they have tons of $1 dollar bills for change and this is very rare for hotels down south. You will always have change for tipping and this at all times.

The rooms are all the same except 2 master suites and a couple of family suites. For the Junior suites only a handful look onto the ocean as 1 building is smack on the pool and the other has about 6 junior suites with oceanfront views but most of them aren't full views and the rooms are obstructed. The rooms are modern, nicely appointed, ac works really well, toilet seat is the most uncomfortable thing I have ever sat on, you will get a double vanity with a big mirror, a separate tiled shower and soaking tub. The safe is free and easily accommodates 4 laptops (in size). The mini fridge worked well in my room, it had juices, coke,beer, water peanuts, etc. It didn't have small liquor bottles like most 4-5 star hotels give. There was also a coffee machine with regular and decaf coffee. The bed is pretty comfortable but nothing comparable to your own. Keep in mind that this is a humid country and normal (what we are use-to) mattresses will soak-up the humidity. Cleaning ladies are terrible cleaners, never seen anything like they will forget their dirty rags and the old linens in the room, there was considerable mildew in the shower where the granite meshes-up with the grout of the tile, floor stains in the room and balcony dirt never got cleaned. I could take it off with a swipe of my finger.

Bars: I always had great service, never waited more than 1 minute for my order weather I was at the pool, lobby or at sister hotels. I however noticed many arrogant and impolite guests when they order. Even worse, they never tipped. I highly recommend tipping as the barmen will remember you and you will always get great service. $1-2 goes a long way.

Many people complained that there was no bar at the beach and they had to walk to it. Or that the adult pool has a bar but you need to get out of it. Or that the rooms are to far from everything. Come on guys...the walk from the beach area to the bar is about 20 meters on average and maybe 50 meters if you are sitting further away. The longest walk is probably from the room to the buffet and that takes a normal person 5-7 minutes I suggest those lazy people to get a wheel chair and bring a private butler with them next time. Electric wheelchairs, bikes and golf carts are available for rent at the hotel.

Beach: The beach is amazing, the water is really clear and it spans for about 2km. A pier separates it at the middle point. The sand on the Palace is really white which means it is always cool to the touch, your feet will never burn when walking on it. It isn't as rocky as people mention. It's only a bit rocky if you walk the entire beach. If you just want to get off your chair and get in to the water, no need to be afraid. There are many entry points to get in the water and the sand in the water is super soft...again no rocks. The hotel has an amazing reef, great for snorkelling. there are tons of human sized brain corals (neon green and yellow), sea fans, tangs, groupers, angels and a whole bunch of other fish and corals. Turtles have been seen by others as well as sting rays. For those that have been to Cuba, especially Cayo Santa Maria and Cayo coco, this beach doesn't compare in any way as Cuba really has exceptional beaches.

Kids: This hotel is great for kids as there is a really nice water park just for them at each of the 4 hotels which keeps them really busy and the kids were having a blast. I almost felt like joining the party.

The pools: There are 3 pools. One of them is beyond huge, big enough for everyone to have their own spot. This pool also has a bar for poolside drinks. All the pools have built-in lounging chairs in the water. The second pool is a lap pool right next to the huge one.
The third pool is the adults only pool and is great to get away from all the action and noise. Couples will prefer this one by far and the bar is right next to it.

Buffets: The buffet food is average for Mexico standards, more like what someone would expect from a 3 star hotel. Why is the food average? Because nothing tastes good or great. Thera are a lot of choices, and way too many in my opinion but you are just eating bland food. The only thing that tasted good was the steaks that the cook makes for you. The deserts are just horrible!!! lots of things that look good but taste just the opposite. The ice cream was pretty good but was often soft and melted. This was by far the worst buffet food I have ever had in Mexico. Same applies to the Grill (the grill opens at 10 when the buffets closes after breakfast). Surprisingly, they just shift some food from the buffet to the grill. The configuration is really bad as the 2 buffets are one next to the other and you will go through them both as they are separated by 2 sliding doors in quest of something good. Right next to the 2 buffets is the grill with the same repetitive food. This hotel serves pretty much the same food every day. There are no themes like most buffets do. The waiters are very disorganized, often you will get there and no tables are clean and the waiters just look at you...You have to tell them HEY...i need a table (thinking in your mind: what did you think I was looking for) . This is the first time I see such a thing. Also, the service varies from 1 day to the other. Sometimes it's incredible but most of the time it's just ok. Here again, I noticed that no one tipped and it seems very generalized at this hotel. Guys, it is very important to tip when you get service, better service, more tip, bad service very little or no tip. They will get the message.


Premium: Guys do not waste your money. It says you will get premium drinks. Ya right, I wasn't premium and I got all the premium alcohol I could ask for. The bartenders don't care or this is just something to screw the non knowledgeable tourist. Premium also gets you a pool view or a room closer to the pool. This is another catch as there were quite a few premium guests in the same building section as me and not overlooking any pool whatsoever. The last thing is that you will have access to the club premium that is always empty, and that has a tv, a couple sofas and 4-5 computers to use for free. Ask yourself if this is really worth $100+ per day over what you have already paid. WiFi is $12 per day for everyone including premium guests as works really good (speeds are comparable to what you have at home).

Restaurants: I booked the restaurants the day after I arrived, the clerk was really slow and it took her 30 min to process 7 reservations. Lucky for me and considering the hotel was fully booked, I got all 6 reservations without getting upset (unlike other guests) and she was willing to give me more. The reservations were pretty much back to back starting on day 3 (day after I started booking). Let me tell you that all the palace restaurants are pure garbage compared to other resorts in the riviera maya. From worst to best: Brazilian, French, Mediterranean tied with Japanese (these 2 are just ok). I also booked at the Tropical and the Beach: the Mexican and steak house which were really good and surprisingly in lower class sister hotels. Keep this in mind as I wish I had booked other restaurants that are not at the Palace. Also, note that the service is way better at these restaurants.

Xel-ha, Xcaret, XPlor and Tulum:

I did these 4 activities on my own by using the collectivo just outside the hotel. 30 pesos ($3) each way and very safe. I recommend them as they are a lot of fun. You can go online and see what they are all about as there is too much to say about them. If you plan on doing 2 or 3 of them, buy them as a package...you will save a lot of $.

On a final note, I will never go back to any Barcelo whatsoever. I will however suggest everyone reading this to go to the Bahia Principe Akumal (take The royal garden package) because the buffet food is excellent form every point of view, the restaurants offer excellent service, food and presentation, the staff is royally great and I mean everyone, being Royal garden, you will have an ocean front room with no excuses (AC isn't as great), Wifi is free, you have a private check-in and a private reception with a real concierge, the beach isn't as great but the swimmable section is very comparable and you have access to the 2 other hotels and the Hacienda at the Bahia is like night and day compared to the Barcelo. This will also cost less than going to the Barcelo.

Room Tip: No tips as Front desk are people don't care about what you think
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this review, 10 April 2017
Dear Guest,

We appreciate all your feedback , we wanted to apologize about the delay on the reply but rest assured that this valuable comments have been shared with all our leaders of each department of the hotel in order to continue providing the positives and avoid the negatives to achieve our main goal which is Guest satisfaction.

We hope we have the chance to welcome you back !!

Best Regards,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plano, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2011

My family of 7 just got back from the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe yesterday. We spent 6 nights. Our party consisted of 4 adults and 3 kids ages 10, 5 and 1.

Here are a few pointers I wanted to share since the experience is still fresh in my mind. Hope this information helps someone:

1. TOWEL CARDS: I was a little confused if the Palace still utilizes "towel cards" from reading various forums prior to leaving for the trip....short answer is YES they still do. They will give you a certain number to towel cards to use upon checkin. You take your towel card to any of the pool or beach towel counters and exchange it for a nice big Deep Purple colored towel (the ones in your room are white). Don't forget your towel once your done with it, you'll need to bring it back to any of the towel counters in exchange for your towel card back. Upon checkout, you will need to bring back the same number of towel cards they gave you. OR you can bring them one of those Purple towels (same thing). If you loose one of your cards or dont' return the required number of towels, they will charge you $20 USD for every towel card missing.-----However if your a Club Premium member, my understanding is that those folks don't need any towel cards, nor do they need to keep track of their towels.

2. "Reserving" Beach / Pool Chairs: Ughh, my biggest pet peeve. Although there are signs everywhere asking people not to do this, people still do it. It seems like everytime we wanted to go to the pools, all the good chairs were "reserved" by invisible people who never even showed up to sit in their chairs!!! After the 2nd day, I got over my frustration since none of us really sat in any chair for more than 10 mins anyway. My tip: Should you try to hit the pool and all the good shaded chairs are seemingly "reserved" by one of these "no shows", just do what i did and "perch" nearby. The good chairs are almost always taken, but the hammocks are always available. Just dump all your pool stuff there...worked out great for us.

3. LAUNDRY SERVICE: Its expensive, it varies from $2-$6 USD per piece. They don't have any self service laundry facilites here. Try not to overpack and just bring really thin clothing that can be air dried on your balcony (there's a towel bar on the balcony--use it). Remember the its humid heat, so thick clothing takes forever to dry.

4. PLAYA DEL CARMEN: We took a day trip into Playa del Carmen. A small taxi for 4 would have costs us $23 one way...but since we were in a party of 7 we had to get a van which costs us about $40 USD (and then we tipped the guy $5) one way. We asked him to give us about 4 hrs to roam 5th Ave and then come back for us...which he did. Costs us another $40 USD back. That strip on 5th Ave is absolutley georgous! The streets are lined neck and neck with artisans, shops, resturants, bars, street performers. This is a "must go" place. Surprisingly my kids never once complained. From 5th ave , walk across the beach area, there should be a Ferry that can take you to Cozumel Island....a must go!!!

5. BRING BUG SPRAY: Although I never got bitten my misquitoes, my kids did.

6. TOILETRIES: They provide you with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, toothbrush , toothpaste, floss, a comb, house slippers, bath robe, quick fix sewing kit, shoe polish sponge, shoe horn, natural loofah sponge, disposable ravor, shaving gel, bath salts, shower cap--------------yep, after checking in, I wished I hadn't hauled soooo much stuff with me from home. I should have ONLY brought in my case, baby wash , baby lotion and SUNSCREEN (it costs like 240 pesos there, about $20 USD for a tube!!!)

7. MINI BAR: In your room is a mini bar that is stocked daily. There's orange soda, diet cokes, cokes, mineral water, beer, water, Frito Lay type potato chips, and peanuts. There's a coffee machine with coffee pks as well.

8. ELECTRICTY: same as in the US, all my stuff plugged in and worked just fine...no converter needed for me.

9. Look thru the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe hotel binder when you get to your room, its full of good to know info.

10. The pool bars close about 7pm, the lobby bar closes at 10 pm and the theatre bar closes at midnight.

11. BUFFETS: The buffets were actually really good. The Mirador and the La Hacienda buffets are actually connected. They will have one buffet sectioned off and closed for setup and will serve out of the other. Once setup is done, they will open the doors and you will have access to both the buffets regardless of where your physically sitting (either the Mirador or the La Hacienda). Buffets open at 7am and close at 10pm. In between breakfast, lunch and dinner services, they are closed for a brief time to setup/cleanup.

12. GRILLS: The Palace doesn't have a beach grill, which sortta sucks...but only a few minutes away is the Coral Grill...the seating area is not closed off and air conditioned, but the food area is.

13. YOU NEED WATER SHOES: The rocks are extremely sharp.

14. SNORKELING: We had bought tons of new snorkeling equipment, but the kids and I found that you really didn't need it. We just went out to the tide pools and rocky areas and the fish just swam up to us. Really nice exprience for the kids. The fish were abundant and colorful!

15. SHELLS: My kids and I are avid shell hunters...we were a little disappointed. There's not as many shells as maybe Sanibel Island in Florida. The shells here are small, but still fun to hunt.

16. CHURCH: There's Catholic Mass services at 5pm on Sundays at the Colonial Resort. Just go out to the Lobby of the Palace and ask the Bellman standing there when the next Trolley to the Colonial is coming. Wait for the trolley. It will take you to the front fo the Colonial resort. Walk straight in past the Mexican market area and the open aired chapel is right there. Mass will be either in Spanish or English depending on how many Spanish or English speaking people attending. FYI: It was HOT, the chapel was just cooled by several ceiling fans, the surrounding buildings prevented any cool breezes from coming in. Bring a fan.

17. TIPPING: We all know we don't have to at All-Inclusives, but a little goes a looooong way! Plus, it gave us better and faster service.

18. MILK: For those of you who need this info...there is fresh cold milk and it does taste very similar to that in the US. I ready many forums and was a tad bit concerned since my kids are heavy milk drinkers, but when we got there they drank the milk without hesitation. They couldn't tell the difference. You can ask for cold milk in any of the bars, buffets, resturants or grills.

19. COVERED WALKWAYS: any tid bit to throw out there for those who are afraid of too much sun...from your room, regardless of which building you are in, you can always acess the main resturant areas, buffets, grills, bars, theaters, lobby via a nicely covered walkway.

20. THEATRE: It seems that there is only one show at night. It was at 9:30 every night for us. The first night was a Micheal Jackson Show which was pretty good. The 2nd night was a Circus show.

21. CHECK IN: I read numerous forums saying that checkin was painfully slow. They were right. I guess we were checking in on a Friday evening when everyone else was checking in. But once you got to the counter, the service was speedy and friendly! I noticed that ANY other day than a Friday or a Sunday, the counters were virtually slow. I'll have to remember this for our trip next yr.

22. DINNER RSVPs: wow, these RSVPs for the specialty resturants are extremely hard to get. For a 6 night stay, i was only able to make RSVPs to one resturant...all the other resturants were fully booked during the duration of my stay. TIP: In the Oaxaca building in the breezeway, there's ANOTHER Guest Service desk that can make dinner reservations for u!!!! The lady is there from 9am to 5pm. Dont' attempt to stay in line in the Lobby tryign to wait for the Guest Services....they are ALWAYS busy there.

23. SWIM SHOP: Can blow up any inflatables you brought from home for free.

24. ROOM SERVICE: This isn't free, but is moderatly priced. The price is a per plate charge.

25. MISC pointers: Highchairs are the trayless kind, bring a high chair cover (the highchairs are messy and sticky when they are really busy), bring hand sanitizer, free FRESH coconuts in the beach bars in the Colonial and Tropical resorts (my mom got it free one day and then the next they wanted to charge her $3 a coconut??????), the health clinic is in the Colonial Resort, Night Club is closer to the Caribe and Beach resorts than to the Palace.

Hope this info helps someone. Have a wonderful trip! Once you get to the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe, you'll feel that you've just walked thru the gates of Heaven. This place is immaculately clean and the views are beautiful! The pictures don't do it justice.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Holidayhoping
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this review, 5 January 2017
Dear Guest,

We are very happy about your feedback as our main goal is to leave all our Guest satisfied . We will continue all the hard work to keep satisfying all our guests and we hope to host you back real soon!!

Best Regards

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Central California
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2011

We were delighted with our SECOND stay at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe. We stayed 4 nights and were 100% pleased with every aspect of this resort. The beach and pools are gorgeous. The service is excellent.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chloesue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this review, 5 January 2017
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your amazing feedback, this motivates us as a hotel to keep up the good work and improve day by day to create great experiences to our guests.
We really appreciate your evaluation and hope to welcome you back soon!!

Warm Regards

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barcelo Maya Palace

Property: Barcelo Maya Palace
Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km 266.3 | Xpu Ha, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico (Formerly Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe)
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 Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#3 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Barcelo Maya Palace 4.5*
Number of rooms: 756
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Maya Palace Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Aventuras

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