This review is only for Barcelo Maya Beach, not other 4 Barcelo resorts next door ( although Caribe is supposedly exactly the same as Beach).
First, before arrival, I contacted the hotel through e-mail and requested the building #3, upper floor. They responded promptly, and assured me that all my requests will be fulfilled. I was impressed. But, when arrived, I discovered that they gave me the room in the building 2, 1st floor. Not very nice, considering their assurance that my room will be just as requested. Also, we arrived in the hotel at 12pm, and they said that the room is not ready until 3pm.
No problem. We walked up to the room and saw that the maid just completed the cleaning, so we returned to the front desk for our room keys, but the manager refused to give them to us until 3:00pm, not a minute earlier (!) even though the room was ready very early. Very poor customer service and rude reception manager at the front desk completely ruin the first impression.
Beach is OK, not great, 3 days there were huge waves and very windy. Some areas are more rocky. The ocean and the beach are the main reason why I travel to the Caribbean, so I was not very happy. I also happend to know a resort 10 min. from Barcelo with the beach that is infinitely better than this one.
Food is ridiculously bad at the buffet, not even the simple grilled chicken or other basics.
Food in the a-la-carte restaurants is better, but it is impossible to get reservations. Tip: $5 bill will get you a table without reservation.
Pools are OK, big but nothing special.
Rooms are basic, no lock at all in the bathroom (kids can walk in at the wrong time any moment), very noisy -- you can literally hear people breath in the room above, mattresses make very loud squeaking noise if you move even slightly. But, overall, no huge problems.
There is a lot of entertainment for little kids, like rock climbing, euro bungie, kiddie water park, etc. But it is scattered through all different resorts, so you have to take very long walks.
Overall, the resort is OK, but, as I travel extensively and have been to numerous all-inclusive resorts, I know that there are so much better alternatives out there for the same price or less . If I didn't know any better, I probably would be more happy with Barcelo.
Feel free to contact me for more specific information.