We've been going to this hotel since the first year it opened, at least once a year, and to the Tropical (same complex) before the Palace was built. We've never had a bad experience here., and have spent the majority of the time at the hotel whenever we go (although we usually opt for a couple of excursions each trip).
Arrival: Always greeted with a welcoming smile and a drink. Depending on arrival time, this could take a while, unless you've opted for Club Premium. We never have at this property - more on that later. We've never minded the wait, though - anticipation is great!
Bell service: Never a hitch, and the service person always takes the time to point out features of the room and the complex. We've gotten to the point where we just tip him before he gets too much into features, since we're pretty familiar with the hotel. NOTE: Tipping is included in the cost of the hotel, but we always give a little extra, since we found out (from several sources) that service staff at these hotels make ~$5(US) per day. This includes Bell staff, housekeeping, restaurants and bar staff.
Rooms: Great rooms, always clean and nicely decorated, pretty good size. There is a mini-fridge that is restocked daily (or on demand), a combination safe, flat screen TV, couch and sitting area, and spectacular bathroom.
Restaurants: The buffets and snack bars around the property are very good, with variety that changes daily. There are cooking stations in all of them, for all meals, so you don't have to settle for food that has been under the lights until they cool. Service has always been great. The a'la carte restaurants offer something for all tastes, although reservations can be iffy at the more popular ones. NOTE: As a Palace guest, you can make reservations at any of the a'la carte restaurants in the 5 hotels in the complex. Ask to see the menus for any restaurants that spark your interest. Same goes for the buffets and snack bars - you can eat at any in the complex.
Bars: Upper shelf pours in the Palace bars, and some of them set up snacks and appetizers throughout the day. The Lobby Bar is especially nice. NOTE: If you wander over to other parts of the property, you'll be charged for that Cazadores margarita, or the Absolut gimlet - upper shelf orders are only included when you're on Palace grounds.
Grounds: In a word, Spectacular! Huge, clean beach, abundant hammocks and lounges, huge, clean pools, many with swim-up bars. "Green" areas around and between the buildings have nice little placards identifying the wild critters you might see - lots of iguanas!that it is just as easy, and sometimnes cheaper, to book shortly after arrival. We especially like ALLtournative - locally owned and operated, eco-friendly tours.
Activities: Plenty to do right on the grounds, but if you want off-site excursions, Barcelo has arranged for tour operatiors to ply their trips in a secluded area near the lobby - no hawkers hounding you before you even get checked in! NOTE: First year at the complex, we followed "conventional wisdom" and booked excursions online before our trip. We have found
Miscellaneous: Lots and lots of sea life in the water - try taking a banana into the water and dropping it ,small bits at a time, into the water around you. You might just be surrounded by fish. We've also seen barracuda, sting rays and turtles.Free scuba lessons daily (go to the dive shop near the pier), activities all over the grounds, shops (not your best deal - go into the towns for shopping), shows, etc.
Club Premium: We've never used it here, as the benefits are not that spectacular related to the extra cost. There is a private lounge, check-in is expedited, and you get as many a'la carte restaurant reservations as you want. We've booked Premium at other Barcelo properties, but that was for short stays. Up to you and your preferences!
Summary: Going back in February - Can't wait!
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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