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“Three Stays and Going Back”

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Barcelo Maya Palace
Ranked #6 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 August 2014

After visiting in May of each of the last two years and again last December, we're returning this December. We have met people who had trouble with restaurant reservations and with the sheer size of the property and the amount of walking to shops, restaurants and the like. We use the Club Premium and if it's not a budget-breaker, it gets faster check-in, a nice lounge to read a paper after dinner, more room amenities, guaranteed seating in restaurants and room service. Two useful tips are to use the concierge service in each building for the restaurant reservations if you don't use the Club Premium and to study the map of the property to discover the shortcuts from one area to another so the walk is not so long and you don't have to wait for the tram. Walking south through the Oaxaca and Michoacan buildings leads to a road that runs past the next hotel south where the shops are located. A bonus is informational signs on pedestals along the road so one can learn more about local flora and fauna. We've been going to the Playa del Carmen area for several years - close to twenty times - and this is about the nicest property we're tried. The staff tries hard and most have language skills that can be understood, but if you deal with someone who speaks little English, it won't help to talk louder. Just ask whether there's anyone handy with whom you can speak and you can usually get an answer to your question or resolve whatever problem has arisen. Whether you're out early or late, you can find the ubiquitous iguanas, serekes, raccoons and even deer grazing peacefully in less travelled areas between the buildings. For us, the adult pool is an everyday hangout and it doesn't take long for the bartenders to know what you want before you say anything. The only drawback we've found is the distance from town, but the cab ride is okay and the public bus is available if you are adventuresome (and speak a little Spanish). All in all, a great place to relax and enjoy a less frenetic pace with nice people, both staff and visitors.

Room Tip: With no one overhead, time in the room is quitter, so top floors are best.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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5  Thank CongaJim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Director de Recepción at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2014

Dear CongaJim,

It is so nice of you letting everybody know about our grounds and our non harmful animals. we would be very pleased to host you in the near future.

Warm Regards,

Jose Luis Serratos.

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3,574 - 3,580 of 8,016 reviews

Reviewed 20 August 2014

My husband and I stayed from 8/9 - 8/16 and had a fabulous vacation!

First, a little bit about us so you know who is writing this review. I am very particular about where we stay, the food, the overall atmosphere. I did a lot of research before we chose our hotel and quite frankly, was scared off by some of the reviews...but kept an open mind and focused on the positive ones. I'm glad we chose this place and you will too!

Here's the lowdown:

What we booked: Garden view junior suite deluxe for my husband and I. We did not find that it was necessary to book Club Premium and I'm glad that we didn't. Our room was fantastic! Room 8425 on the third floor in the Michoacán building, nonsmoking, king bed pillow-top mattress - all of our room requests were met. Thank you reservations agents:) Our corner room was very private in a lush tropical garden near the adult pool. It was simply beautiful, clean and comfortable. My husband did comment about the bed being a bit firm but it was not uncomfortable. I slept like a baby. He's a Heavenly Bed snob anyway;). Our room was always cold - sometimes too cold and I would need to turn the air off.

Check-in process: We flew in from the US west coast on a red-eye, so we got to the hotel at 10:30-ish. By the way, we used USA Transfers - prompt, professional, private transfer in an air conditioned van. Our room wasn't ready so we got our bracelets and chilled out outside of Carey's lobby bar taking it all in and decompressing from work. I enjoyed several Americano coffees - thank you Alejandro for the amazing coffee all week! We then walked around becoming familiar with the resort and made a few dinner reservations with no problem. By 2:20, our room was ready and our luggage was promptly delivered to our room by the very courteous bell staff. I will tell you that the bulk of the flights arrive in the afternoon, so I can see where it gets busy. If you can, get there early, you won't have your room but you can get your bracelet and hang out.

Concierge: Okay, some were great but others need more training. The woman at the Colonial was awesome and very friendly! My recommendation is to ensure that all staff is trained on where to go, what things really cost and have menus for all of the specialty restaurants for all - Colonial, Tropical and Maya Beach at every desk. The nice thing is that there are guest services desks scattered throughout the complex. The travel agent tour operators and car rental office are all located on the bottom floor across from the gym. We booked our Tulum tour through Barceló Vacations and it was fabulous - $57 US per person.

Beach: Can you say "Tortuga"?? Yes, plenty of sea turtles were seen. You have to know where to go and where to look. This is one of the reasons why I chose this resort - because you can snorkel right off the beach and see the family of sea turtles every day! You do not have to go out far. They like to eat the grass in the sandy areas at the bottom. They are not near the reefs. I got a lot of great underwater/above water pics of them. Stay closer to shore directly in front of Coco Bar in shoulder height water look out and you will see them come up for air, then you can go swim and follow them. Snorkeling out by the reefs was good too with a few varieties of fish. I also saw a sting ray in the shallow part. As far as rocks - yes, there are some and you need to know where to walk out into the water. If you are facing the ocean, just to the right of the lifeguard stand, there is a sandy spot with no rocks - this would be in front of the flag. If you go down to the Maya Beach resort past the pier, its pretty much all sand into the water. We didn't mind navigating around the rocks as the water is clear and you can see them.

Pool areas: Beautiful! Kids club area, pool bar/main pool area, adult pool for some quiet time - it was all perfect and well thought out when planned! Oh, and the swim-up bar did not stink as other reviewers stated.

Food: All we can say is top notch. We live in a really nice tourist area and have many premium hotels around us that have Sunday/holiday brunches and the food at the resort was above what we had expected and way better than the Four Seasons, Hyatt, etc... Lots of fresh light and healthy dishes as well! We ate at the Caribe, Rodizio, Quijot at (Rancho Grande, Beach resort) and Marenostrum (Colonial) and the last one was our least favorite. All of the food at the Palace is top notch, especially the Coral Grill for day and buffet at night. If you love seafood like we do - its top notch - all you can eat fresh grilled lobster, all kinds of fresh shrimp, mussels, grouper, sushi, ceviche, etc...prepared so many different ways. If you are a meat eater....you won't starve - there is plenty of steak, chicken, duck.....the list goes on and on and sides, pizza, pasta stations, taco stations, salads and desserts are plentiful. There is something for everyone. I thought the selection for the kids was amazing...and all at their height on little food carts, soft serve ice cream, etc... All of the food, planning, etc...very well done! Drinks were all good too and we always tipped every time we ate or ordered drinks from the bar.

Perimeter of property: Yes it's huge but we didn't mind walking at all. We're active in our early 40s and took the shuttle to the shopping center once, then walked it the rest of the times. The resort is planned out well and they offer you a shuttle. If you're worried about being close to the beach or pool, just book that category and you'll be fine. We even walked out of the complex down to the Cenotes across the street - great experience by the way! Crystaline was really nice!

You can even walk out and wait on the side of the street for the local shuttle that runs to Playa del Carmen for about $4 US pp. rather than paying more for a cab. We did that and took the ferry over to Cozumel.

Cons: The major con was encountering many rude guests. No manners and would literally walk right into you as if you didn't exist. Many complainers as well - as with the woman who refused to eat salads because she was afraid of the water - seriously? She really missed out. I couldn't believe how rude some people were and how they treated and talked to the staff. I would imagine that some of the bad reviews came from that population so pay no attention to remarks like "nothing premium" or "helpless staff" - it's simply not true. Everyone works so hard and they want you to have a great time. If you have a bad attitude, well, you're on your own. I wouldn't want to serve or be nice to you either.

The other little con was that despite the fact that we left money for housekeeping every day, we always had to ask for a refill on the shower gel dispenser and for more washcloths - they didn't seem to have enough, even though we opted for every other day towel service. But that was minor - our room was always sparkling clean - they did a really great job and kept the water stocked as well.

Overall, the place was great, upscale resort, it's equally great for couples and families - there is something for everyone, the grounds are beautiful, staff is very friendly and I can go on! Thank you Barceló for a stress-free, relaxing vacation! We're thinking of bringing our kids next time!

Room Tip: Third floor corner room was really nice!
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank callysyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Director de Recepción at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2014

Dear callysyd,

Please allow me to star by saying.. thank you.
It is have being one of the most nicest and sincere review I have read. This has been posted in our employees board, we normally focus on what we might have failed, but at times it is so nice to read, and see that we have accomplished another nice vacation.

Muchas Gracias,

Jose Luis Serratos.

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Reviewed 20 August 2014

This was our second stay at the Palace and it was as good as the first. The rooms are large and very clean. Service is great, we never had to wait longer than a few minutes for a drink. The beach is large and has plenty of entrances to the water. You must watch out for the reef but not a problem if careful. I really enjoyed the new dolphin exhibit. The only problem is getting a dining time at restaurants, but it all worked out and the food was amazing. I will go back there next year.

Room Tip: Depends if you want by the pool or closer to the lobby . We chose the pool, because it is also close...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Thank Patrick R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Director de Recepción at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2014

Dear Patrick R

It is our pleasure to know that every time you have enjoyed your stay, we would be very happy to see you back again. that way you can enjoy the new attractions that the Barcelo Maya Beach Complex, will be having this winter 2014.


Kind Regards,

Jose Luis Serratos.

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Reviewed 20 August 2014

We stayed at the resort from Aug. 6th - 11th with my husband and kids (17 years old, 8 years old and 10 months old). Check-in took about 30 minutes. Our room was on the 3rd floor of the Oaxaca building in front of the kiddie pool. No problem since the building has an elevator. The resort was well manicured and our room was very clean and spacious. It fitted a king size bed, 2 day beds and a crib. Our mini fridge and snacks in the room were always stocked. Breakfast, lunch & dinner buffets were all good and freshly prepared. The restaurants were also very good and had nice decor. We all ate well and drank the water (including the baby). Kids enjoyed ordering their favorite smoothies at the bar and no one got sick. Expect to walk long distances - the resort is HUGE! Bring comfortable waterproof flip flops and an light weight umbrella stroller if you have a infant/toddler (if possible, buy a stroller shade to extend the stroller's umbrella shade). As a guest, you'll have access to the other Barceló Resorts that are beside this one (i think there are total of 5 Barceló resorts including the Palace that are side-by-side) along with some perks that are not offered at the other resorts - Staff identifies which resort you stay at by the color of the bracelet you get when you first check-in. There's a tram that drives around all the resorts. If you're not in a hurry to get to where you need to be then ride the tram but walking would probably be faster as the tram has several stopping points throughout the resort. We did plenty of activities and even hired a babysitter for a few hours (the hotel rate was $25/hr.). The resort had nightly performances at the theater that were quiet entertaining. We also did a little bargain shopping at the Shoppes. My husband and I stayed at the Barceló Maya Colonial and Tropical Beach a few years ago and really enjoyed it so this time, we decided to take the kids along but this time to the Palace. Overall, we had a good experience.

Room Tip: Our original room was in the smoking section of the Michoacán building which is at the back of the r...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank NoSlp4me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Director de Recepción at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2014

Dear NoSlp4me,

Thank you for still given us your confidence, and keep coming back home. Your highly review of the entire Barcelo MAya Beach complex, is greatly appreciated. We hope to still having your confidence, for your future family vacations, and we hope the NEW attractions for this winter.

Warm Regards.

Jose Luis Serratos.

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Reviewed 19 August 2014

Amazing vacation! Some things needed improvement. The pool was amazing with the swim up bar and great views from every seat at the pool. The restaurants were really good with many options to choose from. The buffets were good but i would have like to see more local foods. overall a great vacation!

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Keith V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Менеджер по обслуживанию клиентов at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2014

Dear Keith V

We are glad to know that you had a wonderful time in this paradise and it would be a pleasure to host you once again.

Thank you for sharing your comments on Tripadvisor.

Sincerely,
Barceló Maya Palace Deluxe

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Reviewed 18 August 2014

2,5 hours for our luggage to arrive at the room, One hour for the concierge to show up at his desk, helpless unattentive staff not equipped with the necessary skills or competences to solve obvious problems. E.g. No free WiFi in a suite though promised on the website. If you hate good hotels, love wine shipped from dubious vineyards in tanks and prefer complaints to end up unanswered feel free to book in.

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank kandinsky_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Director General at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 27 August 2014

Dear Ms. Kandinsky

I offer an apology for the bad impression you had of the service of our Guest Service

About the wines meet international quality standards and they are not of doubtful origin

I hope you give us an opportunity of serving you again in the future.

Yours sincerely

Armando Becerra M.
General Manager
Barcelo Maya Palace

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Reviewed 18 August 2014

I really wanted to love Barcelo Maya Palace. My husband and I have traveled to the Riviera Maya many times with another couple. We have stayed at the Moon Palace, Aventura Palace (now Hard Rock), Excellence, and Secrets Maroma Beach. This time, we were bringing my mother, sister, and our young daughters for the first time. So I wanted a family style resort that would appeal to everyone. We chose the Barcelo because it came highly recommended by someone that I knew with children.

I happen to agree with some of the positive reviews as well as some of the negative reviews that I read before going. So without repeating a lot, I will speak on the things that meant the most to me in my selection process. First, the rooms were a nice size and had a modern décor, which I liked. My group had 4 rooms in the Michoacán buildings. The rooms on the upper floors were fine, but my sister’s room on the bottom floor had a slight musty smell and a bad case of ants. Since it was her first time in Mexico, she did not say anything to me about it until our last day there. If I had known that before, then I would have requested to have her room changed. The second thing that we wanted was a beach and pools for the kids. The kid pools across the complex were entertaining for our 7 and 8 year olds. The other pools were large, but drinks for adults around the pool took up to 45 minutes to get one day. As far as the beach, I found it to be one of the rockiest beaches we have come across since going to the Riviera Maya. I understand that the reef is there, and that has snorkeling benefits, but we had several foot and ankle injuries right at the edge of the beach. I didn't expect it to be that bad. The last two things that bothered me were the size of the resort and the reservation process. If you stay at the Palace end, then it is nice to be able to use all of the facilities. However, this place is huge! Our room was far from the dining venues and the pools, just at the Palace. Then it takes forever for the tram (pulled by loud tractors) to come around and take you to places at the other resorts. It seems that there should be one or more trams making a 360 rotation in one direction, and then another going in the opposite direction. Instead, they all stop at each location, travel to the end, and then come back to each stop again. Therefore, it seems like a waste of time, especially when you have a large group such as ours and trying to make it to dinner reservations. This brings me to my last point, you can eat easily at the buffets with a large group. However, we tried to make reservations at the specialty restaurants right away for our group of 9, and had a lot of trouble. Our “concierge” was not very helpful. Once we figured out, on our own, that we could have the group split and get reservations with more than one table, then we were able to get reservations at two specialty restaurants. Be aware that the Asian restaurant at the Palace is not a real hibachi experience. We learned that the hard way. Thankfully, the manager over at the Colonial complex made adjustments for us and we were able to eat there instead of waiting for another tram at 9:00pm.

Overall, we were able to make several memories at the resort. It is a tropical place that has beautiful grounds. Our young daughters had a ball! However, I do not think I would go back to the Barcelo Maya Palace again. Everything just seemed too complicated and mediocre in comparison to other resorts in the area. The people were nice enough, but it just seems like they need more attendants to service the size and amount of people at the resort. To me, there is room for much improvement at this resort.

One last note, my husband found a camera in the water at the beach when we were there. We are still hoping to find the owners. We have a forum on Trip Advisor about it.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank tclark62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Менеджер по обслуживанию клиентов at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 28 August 2014

Dear tclark62
We regret that you have taken a bad image of service; generally we receive very good comments however your feedback is very important to us, as it help us to constantly improve.
We hope to see you in Barcelo one more time, to give you our service.

Best Regards from Riviera Maya
Barceló Maya Palace Deluxe

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Additional Information about 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:
#1 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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range: £199 - £392 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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