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“Everything!! but the Food(which was ok).”

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Barcelo Maya Palace
Ranked #6 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Everything!! but the Food(which was ok).”
Reviewed 21 March 2012

This was my second All Inclusive. I'm bench-marking against the Iberostar Suites in Montego Bay. I'm a foodie and a snob about it - so if you like chain restaurants then you won't mind their food.

Room: Fantastic. The washroom is worth modelling your own at home after.

Resort: VERY VERY VERY Large. Walking made up for missed gym days. Premium resort was spectacular. I've never seen SO MANY Pools. And they were SOO AMAZING !

Water Sports: Fun and always available. They even give a free quick lesson on the hobbie.

Entertainment: Spectacular theater, and a lot of fun to watch. Not cheesy at all. Really.

Check-in: Took forever (2.5 hours). But I just hit up the bar and beach while me and my buddy switched spots in the lineup. They don't actually check for the wristband all the time.

Staff: SUPER helpful. I even had a minor accident, and there was a crew on hand within minutes with a full medical kit. They asked if I needed the real doctor, who I'm assuming could have been rigt there in no time.

Alcohol: Stayed at the Premium so it was unlimited anything. They even took tips on how to make drinks for the party. If you stay at the other resorts, you get only local selection. I didn't think I'd mind, but it felt awesome to drink unlimited anything. They would even go through hoops to get bottles of something they ran out off at a certain bar.

Food: The buffets were not ok. Selection was great, but it lacked character. The breakfast was awesome no matter what. The restaurants tried hard, but fell short of actually delivering the Japanese, French, Italian, etc taste. People are raving about the French restaurant - the bisque tasted like cornstarch, and the whole table couldn't figure out what cut of steak we got.
PS - book your restaurants on the first day. After that it was random luck.

Beaches - sharp rocks quite close to shore in some areas. But no jellyfish or crazy amounts of seaweed.

Disco - large and seemed empty most nights. Many drunken kids. They had new'ish music. Played the same thing every night. The DJ was confused when I tried to DJ, lol, but he let me (they had an elevated booth, very cool). Also, it's ALL the way at the other end of the resort.

That's it. Enjoy and try to get into Cancun or nearby off-resort restaurants to get some REAL Mexican food.

Room Tip: Stay at the Premium. The other resorts within looked dated.
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  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
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1 Thank rkama
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, 4 weeks ago
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your kind comments and evaluation. We are sharing all this with our staff in order to motivate them to keep up the good work .

We also want to offer you an apology due to the time it took for the reply as this feedback is of great importance to our hotel.

We hope you can visit us again soon!!

Best 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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English first
El Paso, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2012

My familystayed at this resort March 10-18th. We are a family of 5 including 3 teenage daughters 13,13, 16 . I chose this resort wanting a relaxing annual trip(we have stayed at 3-5 star all inclusive resorts during this time of year for many years in the Riviera Maya as well as the Dominican Republic). We always look for resorts that do not cater to spring breakers and we've been lucky throughout the years and have had many pleasant stays. I have a few positive comments about the resort but there are many more negative things to say considering it was a splurge for us because we reserved 2 rooms. I had a certain expectation about the hotel after reading many of the reviews on tripadvisor before we arrived.

Check in: We made room request a week prior. It was partially honored. 2nd floor Michoacan bldg. although we wanted 3rd floor. The rooms were not next to each other but after a while the desk attendant changed it so they were. We were only able to book 3 a la cartes right after check in. Two were scheduled at 10p.m.(we took the reservations thinking that we would arrive earlier and see if there were no-shows.)

Food: The first night we arrived we had the dinner buffet. The food was just okay. I consider myself a foodie and have come to know that I have to lower my expectations on dining but we choose them because with the three kids we find them the most economical and it's nice to try different types of restaurants via the ala cartes. During our stay, we ate at the French, Caribe, Brazilian as well as the Italian restaurant at one of the other hotels. French was definitely the best. They sat us outside, which was a beautiful setting. With 5 of us dining we had a little bit of everything but the steak and lobster was the best of all we ordered. Service was also the best at the French restaurant. Also, my husband the meat eater, truly enjoyed the Brazilian Steakhouse. Other than those positive comments about the French and Brazilian restaurants, the rest is not so positive. The service was very slow everywhere. We attributed it to the fact that the resort was to capacity. At the a la cartes, It seemed like the waiters were overwhelmed. They would always arrive at the table sweating and seemed to be rushing us. Yet, the food took forever to arrive. Even at the buffets, we would have to get up to find the waiter for our table. Even though the service left a lot to be desired, we generally tipped 20 pesos at breakfast and lunch and 50 pesos in the a la cartes because the waiters did work hard and were constantly running.

Rooms: To reiterate what many have said "this resort is huge!" It was too big for us even though we were in the Michoacan building, it was a 15 minute walk everywhere which got old after 2 days. As beautiful and comfortable as most people have said. The bathrooms are a major plus with the rainshowers. We truly enjoyed them after a long day at the beach.

Bar service: Because of the massive amount of spring breakers at this resort, they did not serve premium liquor unless you found a nice bartender who would kindly to to the back and get you Don Julio Reposado tequila for margaritas or Absolute vodka or Jack Daniels or Crown Royal(we like our cocktails:)! A pool waitress told us that during this time period they keep the bottles in the back because the kids would be on them like bees to honey. I ditto the comment made in a review about the lobby bar and the ambiance! Echoing, loud, you can barely have a conversation, a piano in the center where kids were always running up to and playing chopsticks! Kids in a bar at midnight seemed crazy to us. We only went there once.

Entertainment: We saw a few shows mainly at the Colonial hotel. They were pretty good. We were tired most evenings and went to bed after dinner time. Although my husband and I checked out Jaguars discoteque at the colonial after one of the shows and it was definitely music for a teenage crowd and the bar was 4 teenagers deep. We walked in, stayed about 10minutes then left.

Spring breakers: This was the worst part for us on this trip! The first night we arrived my husband and I decided to go to Karaoke night in the theatre of the resort. I'm so glad we did not take our teenagers. They went back to the room for the internet(which we purchased for 7 nights for $48 for one of our rooms). The Karaoke night was definitely not for grownups. It was a bunch of loud teenagers dominating the huge beautiful theatre. The group sitting in front of us had on VERY DRUNK kid that threw up right on the carpeted theater floor right in front of us!! As his friends were laughing at him and grossing out, He was finally carried out by two friends. I immediately got up to tell the waitress that was nearby and she looked at me rolled her eyes as if this was common and went and told her boss. As we were leaving I noticed that a hotel maid came to clean it up. I would have hated to be the next person to unknowingly sit in that spot!! The following evening at 3:45a.m. we were awaken to banging and yelling at our door by 2 teenagers thinking that they knocking on a friends door! We opened and told them that it was the wrong room, they laughed and continued to run down the hall! Finally, I think it is very sad to see parents of these underaged kids getting them drinks at almost every bar and allowing the obnoxious behavior.
Beach/Pools: Beautiful beach especially in front of the Colonial, Caribe and Beach Hotels. The Palace was for snorkeling. Our water shoes really came in handy. All pool chairs and prime beach spots were gone by 8:00a.m. We definitely learned by the third day how to play the towel game! Renting snorkel equipment was inconvenient because you had to do it by the pier at the Colonial hotel. My husband and daughter did a tandem parasailing trip which they enjoyed. The true highlight of our trip were the excursions! We snorkeled with the sea turtles in Akumal and went to the most AMAZING Cenote across the street from the entrance to the Barcelo complex--Kantun Chi was absolutely beautiful, fun, and well worth the cost!! Playa del Carmen was a 25 minute taxi ride where we went during the day and had lunch at Senor Frogs.

All in all, though our girls were fine with the resort and loved eating ice cream around the clock, because of the size of the resort (way too big), the cost$$, feeling like a number, and the sketchy service, we will never stay at another Barcelo resort again when there are so many more to try in the beautiful Riviera Maya!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank map217
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, 4 weeks ago
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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2012

I recently stayed at the Barcelo Palace the end of February into early March for 7 nights. I was vacationing with my wife and 3 children. We had a fantastic time.

The food was great and plentiful in the buffets and the restaurants at night were wonderful. I did see some complaints from people regarding booking the evening meals. We didn't run into that issue. Book them early in the week and you should be fine.

We found the service to be very good in all area's on the property and you never had to wait for a cocktail at any of the bars!

The grounds are also very well maintained and are beautiful wherever you look.

The rooms were good size for a family of 5 and it was nice that the two couches turned into beds which housekeeping made up every day.

If you're thinking of staying here in the future I would highly recommend it! We will return next year.

Room Tip: we stayed upgraded to the ocean/pool view which came with Club Premium service.
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank vette4u
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, 4 weeks ago
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your kind comments and evaluation. We are sharing all this with our staff in order to motivate them to keep up the good work .

We also want to offer you an apology due to the time it took for the reply as this feedback is of great importance to our hotel.

We hope you can visit us again soon!!

Best Regards,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Owatonna, Minnesota
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2012

Property Rating *****, Service etc * /We just returned from our 11 day stay at Barcelo Maya Palace. We got married February 24 and stayed for our honeymoon. We booked our trip with our travel agent in May 2011, as did 38 of our guests. Please mind that I am a very positive individual and do not want to sound like I am an unappreciative person. So bear with me in this long review....
I have stayed at the beach, caribe and tropical sections of the resort numerous times and we decided to stay at the Palace this time for our wedding trip. The reason we chose this resort is for the absolutely beautiful beach and resort grounds, it was always so well maintained and lovely.
We had a 6 am flight and arrived to Barcelo on Tuesday around 1 pm, we were checked in @ the club premium office. We knew we would not be able to get into our room that early as checkin time is not till 3. WHile she was checking us in, she mentioned they 'upgraded' us, and I thought - to what? When we booked our trip we paid for the 'upgraded sea view' club premium room. We did this because it was a special trip for our wedding and honeymoon -so we wanted to be sure we had an ocean view, as they do not guarantee any room requests or 'upgrades upon availability' (so we paid for this upgrade.) So when she said we were upgraded that was the first red flag. I just smiled and thought well we'll see, who knows. We were told to come back and get our room keys @ 3 pm. So we got a bite to eat, and joined our family and friends at the adult pool.
Needless to say my now husband walked up to the club premium office 3 times to get our room keys and nothing, 'not ready', he was very concerned at this point as the sun was setting and our family and friends were heading back to their rooms to clean up and go to dinner and we still do not have a room. Mind you, I have my wedding gown and numerous other wedding items, and no offer to hold anything in a safe or locked area. Last attempt, we called from the bar phone instead of making the walk. It is going on 6 pm, still not ready... my now husband expressed his frustration and concern and then we were told to go to our room number @6:30pm and someone would be there waiting for us. So we headed to the room, waited 20 minutes noone. THen walked all the way up to the lobby, it was well after 7 pm. I was very surprised no one apologized or anything, I am in the service industry and it means a great deal when you are treated well. So we were surprised, we finally got our room keys and got in to our room. The rooms are wonderful @ the Palace, dont get me wrong they are awesome, but when we went to check out our view - overlooking Barcy kids club pool. Seriously? For a couple getting married at the resort and spending our honeymoon? I can see if we had kids with us, but we did not, none of our 38 guests brought children either. We were just glad to be in a room at that point after being up for over 24 hrs so we thought we'd address our concern in the morning. We checked at the CP office right away in the AM before our scheduled meeting with our wedding coordinator @ 10 am. CP office staff, not helpful actually quite rude. Actually they acted like we were inconveniencing them. I can understand mistakes happen, but why not apologize or act like you even care. We didnt really know what to do other than tell them, it wouldn't have really been that big of deal but we actully paid for the upgrade so we were not in the correct room we paid for. We then went and spoke with our Funjet Representative to see if he could help us in any way, he was very kind and said he would be in touch as he knew we had our meeting.
We had our meeting with Claudia our wedding coordinator @10 am, she called and talked to someone about moving our room, we hoped to be moved that day (Wednesday) nope we were told we would not be able to move until Thursday or Friday. Wednesday night we were putting together our gift bags for all of our guests in our room, My now husband had a fishing outing planned with the guys Thursday morning and we also had our Groom's / Welcome dinner reservations for our guests Thursday night. Friday was the day of our wedding. Claudia tried to help, and said we could use the room we were in throughThursday night and we would get the keys to the other room that day so we could move Thursday at our convenience (which I thought was totally inconvenient, but it was something) Oh well what were we going to do? We tried to make light of it, as we did not want to get upset about things as we were getting Married in 2 days!
At our meeting we went over the exciting details of the wedding day and paid for our wedding package at that time. My travel agent had given me a 'Barcelo Weddings' brochure booklet that she got at a travel convention (from Barcelo) she had gone to recently( in the last 6 months) and it stated all of the wedding incentives and options they offer. I brought this information to the meeting and the incentives we were supposed to recieve - nope - none, I was given another shady excuse. We were well over the qualifications they state clearly in this booklet - required to recieve these incentives too. ANother disappointment, and a bigger bill to pay than we were hoping for, after bringing 38 guests.. ( I am very disappointed in the Barcelo for this false advertisement, very dishonest and just plain morally wrong )
Thursday is here and after relaxing with the girls @ the pool, I had to head up to the room about 1pm to shower up and be ready for my makeup artist to arrive at my room @ 3 for a practice application before the wedding day. (and to be lookin' good for our special dinner) :) Before he arrived I tried calling the CP desk to check in and ask about our other room keys? (They hadnt called us or delivered them or anything) The lady told me we needed to move right now (2pm), and that we could not have use of the 2 rooms as we were promised. I was told they needed one of the rooms for other guests, Are you kidding me? I was panicked.. This is just not cool, why was I the one that called them and asked about it then? Why wern't they the ones calling me to inform me of this situation in the first place? Unbelievable. (We never really unpacked or settled into our room because we didnt want to repack EVERYthing) So in the midst of getting ready we tried to quickly pack up our stuff so it was ready to go, my Makeup Artist arrived... Adrian Guerrera - www.stylingtriorivieramaya.com - I highly recommend him. He is so kind, professional and very talented. He did a wonderful job. WHile I was having my makeup applied, my now husband returned from fishing and started moving our luggage to another room. (Think maybe they could have sent someone to take care of this for us) We could have called a bell boy ourselves, but he decided he would just do it himself by the luck we were having.
We were moved to a sea view room on the 3rd floor, finally. Much more ideal for honeymooners- and what we paid for. (This is what upset me the most)- Thursday night we recieved messages from our travel agent, she learned about our frustrations from the funjet rep, so Funjet was trying to deal with the Barcelo for us and must have informed our TA, she wanted to make sure we were doing ok and if we were happy with everything? Barcelo flat out lied to Funjet and my travel agent and told them 'they were moved to a new room, and are happy with their accomodations'... (they were told -Wednesday morning) We figured out it was after we spoke with our Representative, Funjet was hot on Barcelo's butt to accomodate us. So they were under the impression we moved right away Wednesday morning. I just cant believe they flat out lied. Says a lot about a company when it comes to things like this.

Our grooms dinner reservation was at the Brazilian restaurant. We were a group of 40 people. We were told we had 1 1/2 hours and our dinner reservation would expire. I wanted it to be a relaxing experience for our guests, so instead of them kicking us out before they even served dessert, we tipped the maitre d and asked kindly if we could please extend the time frame so our guests could enjoy dinner. We gave our guests gift bags & itineraries at this time, so we needed a little more time to do so. THe maitre d was gracious after being tipped a $50 and the waitstaff was very nice, NELSON especially, he was our head waiter. Thank you Nelson, you were the kindest employee I met on our trip to Barcelo. We asked if he would be willing to make mexican coffee, its a neat kind of show if you havent seen them make coffee before. ASk next time you travel to MX. He was more than willing. So after the hectic day, our dinner was a pleasant experience.
Our experience at the spa was marvelous, I wish I remembered my therapists name, she was so sweet and was wonderful, I loved my massage treatments, so did my husband.
Our wedding was Friday, and it was an absolute wonderful day.Although we had a few more disappointments(with barcelo) with the way things went and what our package came with and lack there of (them following through) with things promised ... we just embraced the day and all of our loving guests and said the hell with it, no matter the detail- and after all what matters most of all is ( being married to the love of your life) we didnt want all the let downs wreck our wedding. Every wedding has a few hiccups, so we just let it go. We just wanted the ocean, the beach and palm trees, we got that. :) It was so amazingly beautiful...I need to include... I hired an outside coordinator - 'Weddings in Cancun' to help me with planning our wedding at Barcelo. Patricia and Paloma are wonderful ladies to work with, I am so grateful I hired them, my wedding was wonderful, because they had a part in it. Ceremony- Playa Azul, Cocktail Hour - Palace Lobby Bar,we hired a mariachi band (awesome) to surprise our guests @ the cocktail and then lead us to the REception site - Palmeras Grille. It was beautiful. The staff at our reception were SO wonderful, very polite accomodating, and the food was absolutely AWESOME. All of our guests said it was the best meal they had their entire stay. LOBBY bar bartenders friday night(our cocktail hour) and saturday night were UNBELIEVABLY rude. I only had good service with a smile from a gentlemen that worked during the daytime in the lobby bar, otherwise I'll say they were complete jerks.

All in all, we chose the palace because it was supposed to be an upgrade and a 5 star and we hadnt stayed in that section yet. The drinks were not anything to be desired, most of the service was absolutely horrible. (other than the special dinners we had ) we were treated like crap ( I felt as though we did something wrong by the way we were treated) The customer service, what customer service? lack of honesty, need I go on?
I have to say my previous trips to Barcelo were very special, dear to my heart actually... Our family has very special memories there, and we always will, I just believe in treating people, no matter the situation with kindness and respect. And we were disappointed. ( The thing is the difficulties we were having shouldn't have been this big a deal) how do they treat people when its a REALLY challenging situation?) I'm just glad it was us that had to deal with all of this BS, instead of any of our guests, afterall we invited all of them to what we expected and experinced as a 'wonderful resort' in years past. Its very sad that the service isnt any where near as impressive as the beautiful views at the resort. If you are looking for beauty, nice beach, pools, and well manicured grounds, this is the place for you, (its my favorite thing about this place) IF its Service and expecting to get what you are paying for... dont expect it from everyone, its 50/50. Sad to be disappointed in such a wonderful beautiful place.

Room Tip: You cant really 'choose a room' IF you really want a specific room or an upgraded room pay f...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank lpark15
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, 4 weeks ago
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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Killeen, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2012

This was our second visit to the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe. We had a great time in 2011 so we decided to return in 2012. I was extremely disappointed with the hotel lobby staff and some changes in the Barcelo "standard" in 2012. If you have to deal with anyone in the lobby area be prepared to spend at least an hour either waiting or dealing with the issue.

The Negatives:
1. As the person from the UK pointed out, people began "holding" their lounge chairs by 7:00 a.m. despite not using them until after lunch. Yes, I also played the "holding" game because on the first day, we were left without any "availability" at 8:00 a.m. So, the next day I was out early in the morning. This was not a problem during our 2011 Spring Break visit. The hotel management should follow the standard of other hotels (they collect the towels if they do not see usage of the chairs).

2. If at all possible, avoid any type of financial transaction with the hotel. We booked our trip with a travel company and ended up adding another day. We purchased the extra day directly through the hotel. My credit card was charged an excessive amount and "the hotel couldn't do anything about it (per the three individuals)". I spoke with three individuals and two were "supervisors". My Spanish is decent, but they pretended not to understand me in Spanish or English. Luis Hernandez and Fabiola Flores identified themselves as "supervisors". Well, both need customer service training. Their lack of professionalism is probably why the front lobby is completely disorganized so expect to wait at least an hour to check-in (and we only had two families in front of us).

Ms. Flores just looked at me when I told her ~ well, let us see if you will understand me when I put your name on tripadvisor.com regarding the excess charge. I attempted to provide Ms. Flores a copy of my bill and the the resort voucher (with a different price), but she didn't show any interest or desire to help. My credit card company is dealing with Barcelo for me. Ms. Flores also had the nerve to call another customer forward while I was reviewing my final bill with her. I told her that the other customer would have to wait because I wasn't going to wait any longer. Ms. Flores also identified herself initially as the "manager" (the person "in charge"). When I asked her to clarify her role, she back-peddled. She never got "anyone over her" to assist me. While some of you may think that I'm rude by naming Mr. Hernandez and Ms. Flores, I'm in a management position so I have a certain standard. The hotel lobby is completely unprofessional and lacks the leadership to fix the problem.

3. It is shameful that some drunk individuals give Americans a bad reputation. At 1:00 a.m. on one night, we got to hear the mating call of a drunk girl. This was not the standard in 2011. Any type of inappropriate behavior was quickly shut-down by the hotel. We opted for Barcelo due to the family and professional atmophere in 2011. We were disappointed this year. Barcelo needs to keep a level of "standard" in this area or they will continue to attract the rowdy crowds.

4. We kept hearing - "it is Spring Break". Well, we stayed during Spring Break in 2011. We had a difficult time getting dinner reservations during our five night stay in 2012. This wasn't an issue in 2011. We also found that the restaurants were never full.

The Positives:

1. Our two boys (almost 3 years and almost 5 years) loved the hotel.

2. The waiters at all the restaurants were top-notch. While the hotel is "all inclusive", tip these people they work VERY hard and get little credit. They went above and beyond to keep our boys happy. Thank you and smiles go a long way with the staff. I very rarely heard people say "thank you" to the staff. Leonardo (at the Maya), Marco, Fernando (and I can't remember the other names) were awesome.

The female supervisor at the buffet was also awesome. She kept everything running smoothly. Any time we requested something (from watermelon to chips), they were always willing to find it for us. My younger son wouldn't eat much and I mentioned this to a "ice worker" when I inquired about "watermelon". He told me to talk to a Chef and aplogized for not being able to help me (since he was only allowed to move ice around). Well, the Chef was more than happy and willing to get us some watermelon which made for a happy three year old. One night a waiter noticed that he wasn't eating much, I mentoned that he would only eat fruit and he brought us some fruit (at the Maya Beach Mexican Restaruant). Again, the waiters were awesome! Food was good.

3. The beach is awesome for kids. They could feed the fish right off the beach (and we did this every day with our boys).

4. The waterpark kept the kids busy and the lifeguards did not tolerate "older kids or adults on the slides" which is good in my eyes to avoid injury to the little kids. The families around the pool were wonderful along with their kids (well mannered).

Overall, I gave it a three due to the hotel lobby staff. Barcelo could easily be a five if they worked on the front lobby.

My husband wants to return again at the end of the year and for Spring Break next year because the lobby experience is only a small part of our trip. Hum....I'm waiting to see if I get a response from the surveys I completed.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank katwar610
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, 4 weeks ago

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
Stowe, Vermont
Level Contributor
60 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 260 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2012

I traveled to the Barcelo Palace in October 2011. My husband and I are in our late 40’s. Other places in the Riviera Maya we have stayed are: Iberostar Grand (three times), Le Blanc, Secrets Maroma Beach, Royal Hideaway Playacar, and Excellence Riviera Cancun. Also, I have previously stayed at the Iberostar Tucan. We are easygoing travelers who go with the flow. We traveled with friends from Puebla, Mexico. My husband is also Mexican, and I speak decent Spanish.


We won the Barcelo on Skyauction and paid $166 per night for two people. This is approximately half the advertised rate. I mention the price because it has bearing on my review.


Overall, I’d give this property 7 out of 10 stars. I liked it better than several of the adult-only places we have stayed in the past. I would return to the Barcelo Palace in a heartbeat, in spite of some major irritants relating mostly to the front desk staff.



FOOD
We were very surprised at the quality and presentation of the food. In many cases, it was as good or better than the more expensive places we have stayed. Breakfast had abundant, fresh offerings. The lunch buffet with grill stations was superb. The ala cartes (French, seafood, and Brazilian) were very good and actually better than any ala cartes we had at Secrets Maroma, or Excellence. I had no complaint with the food. We did eat at some of the ala cartes at the Tropical/Colonial and the Beach, but they were not as good. I’d stick with the Barcelo ala cartes for quality, although as Palace guests we were treated very well at the less expensive hotels in the complex. We had no problem getting reservations for any ala carte although we did have to be flexible on a couple of nights. Occupancy was very low (17%) so I would not have expected an issue with reservations.



BEVERAGES
Again, no complaint, although included wines are limited and not available by the bottle. I didn’t expect that they would be, so I was not disappointed. Top shelf everything is available at the adult pool bar, as well as the lobby bar and restaurant bars. If you visit another hotel in the complex you can have top shelf but you will need to sign for it. Ironically, Barcelo had a better included wine selection that Royal Hideaway Playacar, know for its food.



SERVICE
Adequate to excellent at times(except for the front desk) but not warm and fuzzy, or personal. We found housekeeping to be consistent and excellent for our entire stay, with AM cleaning and a PM turndown/fresh towels.



ROOMS
We were in the Michoacan building, and we were as close to the pool as possible without paying for an upgrade. Excellent location. The rooms are modern, clean, and well appointed. The beds are comfortable – not rock hard like many Mexican beds. The room was a bit damp, and I know that is expected as we were in the tropics, but it was by far the dampest room I have experienced. This is a large complex, and the Palace itself is also large. If you have mobility issues I would ask for room location advice on Tripadvisor.



POOLS
When we booked, I had made an assumption that kids at the resort (remember, we usually do adult only) would drive us to the adult-only pool for a respite. In reality, the adult-only pool was full of loud drunks. We went in off season so there were few children at the main pool. The adult pool is beautiful – the setting, greenery, with Bali beds and statues. We didn’t get to enjoy it though because of the loudmouths. Without them, it would have been heavenly. The main pool is enormous and we had a blast in it. One area is where the animation team does its thing (near the pool bar); there are so many other areas if you seek a quieter experience. The pool is punctuated with Jacuzzis and hammocks and was a delightful place to hang out. There is beverage service at the pool, but not on the beach. You do get a towel card, so you have to keep track of your one towel or they charge you.



BEACH
This was – by far – my favorite part of the resort and the reason I will ultimately return. This turned out to be my favorite beach so far in Mexico, even over Maroma beach. The beach is set in a cove, with crystal clear, calm water full of fish, sea turtles, and in one area, a small reef. The water was so calm I could float standing up, wiggling my fingers to stay afloat. We snorkeled for hours, swimming with the turtles who are visible from shore as they stick their heads out of the water. If you like to snorkel, being your own mask and snorkel; the place where you can get a set to use for free for one hour is way down the beach – bring your own. You don’t need fins. I didn’t even use a snorkel. I used swim goggles and it worked fine. Around the reef, you’ll see coral, rays, and a plethora of fish, all in water barely over your head. The beach is full of mature palms, that offer abundant shade and give the resort the feel of the South Pacific instead of Mexico. The beach, in summary, was magnificent.



NOW FOR THE LESS THAN OPTIMAL...

This is an example of what left a bad taste in our mouths. It is not meant to be a complaint, but more illustrative of why we found this place a bit odd with rules and management.


The front desk staff was the worst I have ever encountered anywhere in the world. They are harried, unfriendly, and completely unable to do their jobs. I say this from not one encounter, but several. When we checked in, occupancy was 17%. We were the only couple checking in at the time, around 2 pm. We did not expect our room to be ready. However, it took over 45 minutes for them to check us in. Each time we had a question, the desk clerk (Maria, who needs to do something else for a living) left the desk for 5 minutes to consult with someone. We asked for king bed. No. We then asked to not be on the ground floor. No. We asked to have a room in the same building as the people we were traveling with. No. Everything was not possible. And no reason given. With 17% occupancy. I understand that requests cannot be accommodated all of the time(we ended up in a double bed room on the ground floor close to the pool) but they were not pleasant in the least. At least be pleasant in saying no. Later on, when the other two people in our party were late arriving, we called the front desk to ask if they had checked in. The front desk hung up on us three times. We know this because the last call we made from the courtesy phone and watched them hang up on us. There was no language barrier as my husband is a native speaker. When our traveling companions arrived, what happened next really took the cake. The desk manager told us that while our travel vouchers and documents were fine and showed we were paid in full, Barcelo itself had made a computer mistake, making it look like we owed another $200 per room for the duration of the trip. We were asked to give a credit card, and they’d charge us the $200 and then, “refund it to us on Monday when the accounting office could fix the error.” We refused. Our vouchers were fine by their own admission, and the rooms were paid for in full with zero balance. This entire debacle took close to two hours the first day to remedy. And more time on subsequent days. The concierge one night made reservations for us at the Colonial at one of the restaurants. The hotel was apparently closed for renovation but the restaurant was open. She neglected to tell us that the hotel was closed. When we got on the courtesy bus, the driver would not drop us at the Colonial because it was closed. We went to the Tropical and followed signs to the Colonial. We got lost and asked a staff member. Instead of sending us around the corner (literally 10 steps) she had us follow a pathway for 15 minutes. Where we ended up at the door of the restaurant where we could see the staff member who gave us the directions. Curious, I walked over and asked her why she sent us on that long route. Answer? Because the Colonial is closed, so we have to access the restaurant via the Tropical.


My opinion is that Barcelo is a rule-bound place, where their goal is to keep everything efficient at the expensive of guest satisfaction. Want snorkel equipment? You need to hike for it. A ping pong paddle? You can have a ball but not the paddle unless you go across the pool area up a set of stairs and through the vendors to get a paddle for one hour. Want to use the exercise machines? You must have “sneakers” – my Teva athletic shoes (not sandals) were not allowed. Although someone we met worked out in flip flops. We heard “no” more than at any resort we have stayed in the past. This is a place big on rules. I bet they need them when occupancy is higher as this resort is large and crowd control would be important.


Despite these annoyances, I will return to this resort, hopefully this summer. The beach is simply amazing. The food and drink very good. Better than Secrets Maroma Beach or Excellence Riviera Cancun, at less than half the price. I will return in spite of the way this place is managed, which is with a Teutonic-like precision for rules mixed with incompetence that I not before seen in Mexico.


Avoid dealing with the front desk as much as possible, bring your own snorkel gear, and bring “sneakers” for the gym. Know that room service and wifi cost extra. If you are used to more exclusive all-inclusives, you might be very surprised and you’ll have a terrific time! The beach is THAT good!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank sassypantsgirl
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, 4 weeks ago
Dear Guest,
Thank you for your kind comments and evaluation. We are sharing all this with our staff in order to motivate them to keep up the good work .

We also want to offer you an apology due to the time it took for the reply as this feedback is of great importance to our hotel.

We hope you can visit us again soon!!

Best Regards,

The Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bognor Regis
Level Contributor
87 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2012

I have just returned from a 14 day stay at the above resort and I will endeavour to give an honest appraisal of my stay.

The bedrooms are large and nicely presented and with decent toiletries provided each day if you didnt bring your own,shower and bath both excellent.

The beach is very rocky and is better on the other hotels in the resort..although you do get to see some great fish by just paddling into the sea..

The spa is beautiful but totally unprofessional..I booked myself and my wife in for a massage,sat in the reception area and this voice shouted across in front of other guests.."how are you paying"..I replied "cash".."we do not accept cash,you can charge to your room or pay by card"..attempting to remain calm I replied "ok card" to which the response was " do you have your card with you"..at this point I got up approached the receptionist and asked why all the questions,her reply was that she wanted me to pay before the treatment..enough was enough,i told her I found her behaviour unprofessional and that I was cancelling the treatments.

Honestly I can see why this hotel is not marketted in the uk..as its full of canadians and americans who it would appear go on holiday in packs and the evidence of this is seen each morning around 6-6.30am when they go out and cover all the pool sunbeds with towels..despite the signs saying that reserving sunbeds is not allowed...some of these beds were not used until after 11am each day..the hotel staff just say "you can remove the towels" after 4 days of pointing out the fact to both each day and suffering abuse,I gave up...talk about ignorance..

This hotel was used for the spring breakers from both Canada and USA whilst we were their..and the hotel failed to control their rowdy abusive behaviour and what made it worse some parents abused the hotel staff for not giving alcohol to their underage kids...

Food in the buffet was plentiful and of good choice but the hot choices were merely lukewarm and on a number of occassions when new trays of food were brought out,this too was merely lukewarm,staff also found it difficult to keep up with clearing and setting up tables...

Around the pool bars there was never a problem getting a drink although you had to insist that you wanted a premium spirit e.g Smirnoff or you would be given the local equivalent..despite being told all drinks would be premium drinks...

The lobby bar in the main building in the evening is very noisy due to the dome ceiling..the architect should hang his head in shame,its one big echo chamber.
Again the same problems with spirits,so you have to be vigilant...it shouldnt be this way.
Cocktails are a laugh..either served in a plastic glass or a straight glass and no presentation..it took the pleasure away from having one..

There are seated areas outside around the bar which are nice and comfortable but if the hotel is busy,as it was,then you struggle to get a seat,if you are lucky enough then there is waitress service and these ladies work hard and will keep your glass topped up..but make sure if your on spirits to ask for the premium spirit of your choice..

We managed to get booked into 3 of the premium restaurants Caribe,French and Japanese..by far the French one was the best,but again the large groups from Canada and USA some as large as 70 practically made it difficult to get bookings as they booked all their restaurants upon arrival...so my ignorance cost me here..

I guess my needs and expectations from this holiday differ from those from Canada and USA but this hotel to those of you from the UK reading this is just one big Butlins..

This hotel charges top dollar but delivers really poor quality service and certainly not value for money,they should be ashamed to call themselves a Deluxe hotel unless they are basing it on their appearance..the hotel is far too big and is completely impersonal...if your idea of a holiday is to lay by the pool from morning till night swigging from a large insulated container then its just for you but if you expect more from a hotel that charges top dollar then stay away..

I did raise my concerns with the hotel who kind of just shrugged their shoulders and said if you come back again,they would offer me a free upgrade..even if they offered a free holiday I would not be taking their offer up..

There is a major price difference for those booking from Canada and USA as they can book thru a travel agent but coming from the UK we had to book direct thru Barcelo,I would add that this hotel was not choosen by us, we were invited to be (paying) guests at a wedding there..yes you guessed it the bride came from Canada..

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the pool..if not its bushes and gardens
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank a_scotatheart
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, 4 weeks ago
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
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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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Top resorts 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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