Let me summarize the pros and cons of this property and then if you are interested, read further through:
PROs: Great beach, good variety of things to do, very good kids facilities/entertainment, good on-property shopping options
CONs: Below average food (even for an all-inclusive), Inattentive service
RECOMMEND (Y/N?): I probably won't stay here again. Families with small children may want to give this hotel a look.
The Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe is one of five properties that are operated adjacent to each other in Puerto Aventuras, which is about an hour's drive south of Cancun airport. This hotel is the northern-most of the five properties and is marketed as the "premium" option among the hotels. For ground transfers, we used Entertainment Plus, which made things very easy with direct online booking and payment. Your total roundtrip should be in the $150 range for a private transfer for a family.
Initial impression not great. Took almost 30 minutes to check in. I get that you won't check in as fast here as a business hotel, but it required the staff approximately 20 minutes to check in each family. Everything required them to go into the back office....even stapling items!
Room was decent. Air conditioning was good and furnishings are average. The beds themselves are not very comfortable. A small mini-bar with beverages and a few snacks that is re-supplied was available. Bathrooms/shower and amenities were good.
The infrastructure of the property, the pool areas, dining, etc are very good. There are pools designated for small children, there is a sport pool for water polo/basketball, an adults-only pool and a large general use pool that has the usual swim-up bar. Drinks are served poolside but dining is not offered there which I found unusual. In fact, the only place outside of the restaurants on the entire property (and room service) where you can eat is in front of one of the walk-up bars and you are charged additional for being served food here. You are also charged for room service, which is different than most other premium all-inclusives.
The beach is actually one of the best I have visited in Cancun. The property is centered around a beach with very soft, almost white sand which is bordered on edges of the property by shallow coral reefs. You can walk out almost a quarter of a mile in the beach section and still keep your head above water.
Kids activities are numerous with Dolphin experience on property (advance res required) and after-dinner shows that allow children to show off their singing and dancing skills.
However, all of this could not compensate for what is, even by all-inclusive standards, a pretty horrible food offering. Not that there was any lack of food---in fact, there were two entire buffet halls---but no matter what we selected it just was poor quality or taste. Even the Mexican food was lacking. So after several days, our kids were eating hamburgers at almost every meal and we were eating whatever basic plate that could be cobbled together. The only passable meal we had was at their French restaurant, with some of the meat dishes having flavor.
The drinks at the bar were not especially great either. I could see that they did stock some premium liquor, but by lunch-time all of those bottles were gone and they were producing cocktails with local brands of vodka, rum or whatever else. Safest option was to stick with beer.
Also, a lot of things that Premium all-inclusives include in the rate are not here. This includes room-service dining, pool-side dining and wireless access.
Overall, I would definitely not recommend this hotel for singles or couples. This is potentially a decent offering for families with children. However, while the hotel bills itself as a "Deluxe" property, this is a four-star hotel at best with three-star food/beverage, four-star infrastructure and a five-star beach.
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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