A group of us went to the Barcelo Maya Beach from March 25-April 1st. My friend was getting married and I have to say they were well prepared. She decided on getting married at the palace which was outdoors but more formal than the beach. There was a covered gazebo for the wedding party and stunning views. The reception was at Ranche Grande and the food was pretty good. The lobster tail was a bit over cooked and the Tenderloin the same, but the service was excellent.
Now, as for the resort. This is our 5th time to the Riviera so some experience with what we like and don't like.
Check-in and check-out, painfully long. They must find a way to stream line this. Even if you email them and you are standing there as a couple don't assume you will get a king room, you must ask. In our group of 20, a few rooms were mixed up, but worked out amongst the group as some were couples and others there with friends/family etc.
We were in Tulum 1364. I found the bed fine, although we do have a firm mattress. Pillows were a bit thick and firm. The bathroom although a bit worn was good, nice rain shower and no problems with water temp or pressure at all. The room is a good size with a small balcony and dry rack which was handy. The A/C worked well and lots of closet, but not too much drawer space. Fridge was stocked daily, but never really cold. Overall, room was good.
The beach especially at our resort and the Caribe were gorgeous. Very warm water, but lots of coral patches, so water shoes may be a good idea. It was a nice walk from our end to the Palace end. We liked how close all the properties were on this resort. There was transpo, but found we could easily walk anywhere without much time or effort. We were at the Grand Palladium last year and found you had to take the trolly everywhere, so I really liked this about the Barcelo.
There were lots of chairs at the beach, but if you wanted a prime spot, as usual had to be up at dawn to "reserve" with towels etc. This was a big problem at the pool as the resort was full and most chairs were reserved by 7:30 am. This really irks me when some people don't even use them all day!!!
Anyway, there is a fantastic and quiet spot away from the resort on the beach with tonnes of chairs and solitude. I loved that part, also a bathroom close by.
The pool was nice, not deep. It isn't heated, but by mid day that's what you want.
We didn't take our kids this time, but noted a decent kid's club and several splash pad/water parks at the various resorts on the properly.
The bars are few and far between. They really need something closer to the beach as alot of people park there all day. Even if it's a small hut with water, pop and beer. Also, there was only one towel station, but they did open early which was great.
Now, for the negatives....
I abhor wearing bracelets. It is soooo annoying. I also don't appreciate paying for a resort and not being able to get reservations for the a la cartes that barely seem to be open. We arrived on Monday. Early Tuesday I attempted reservations and only got 2. The steak house is only open until Wed. and was fully booked and the seafood restaurant only had a 9:30 time on the Saturday.
I don't find it relaxing to have to compete to eat!
The buffet in the morning was ok. I noticed there was no toaster to toast your own bread, bagels etc. The toast was pre done and quite awful. My husband had an omelette everyday which he enjoyed, but I found everyday it was the same old stuff. The waffles and french toast were always cold. Pretty much lived on donuts all week. Also had to wait ages for coffee everyday that was only luke warm.
At lunch mostly ate at the beach grill. Decent cheeseburgers, but lacking in good salad options. Most people like a cool crisp salad on a hot day, but there was not much variety or choice. I did like the self serve beer/wine and ice cream though. They could make up some pasta/grain salads or even caesar salads that would improve things. Only ate at the buffet for lunch the day we left, and it was quite good at lunch.
The buffet at dinner....well. The food actually tasted ok but was never hot. Although, we didn't have the kids it seemed like their choices were lacking. Other resorts have had a big kids buffet section, but this was a measly small place with a few nuggets and fries. They could get pasta and pizza at the main buffet every night though.
Overall, the food was just average. The service was quite good except at breakfast. We were often waiting 10 or more minutes for coffee, but the a la cartes had quite good service..
Compared to Dreams, Grand Palladium and Karisma resorts the food quality/selection/options were the lowest.
I had my hair done for the wedding at the spa. They did a decent job, but very expensive
We ventured to Tulum and Playa del Carmen using the Collectivos which were fantastic. Very clean, a/c and cheap. Cost $4 to Tulum and $3 to Playa as opposed to $23 in a taxi.
Played tennis a few times, but never able to do the golf as it was always busy. My hubby used the gym everyday which he liked was open air, but does get quite warm. They have steam and sauna rooms which were nice, but the hot tub was cold some mornings and drained fully another time we were there. The gym was quite busy in the early mornings, but less in the afternoon. We kayaked a few times which was lots of fun and the guys at the water were great. They weren't restrictive and you could stay out as long as you liked.
After the wedding we hit Jaguar's Club which was a blast. Lots of young people, but we enjoyed the music as 40 somethings and anytime there were spills, cleaned up ASAP and good security.
The one major issue we had was the first night my friend's mom fell on the VERY SLIPPERY walkway to dinner after a major rain storm and bonked her head quite badly. The front desk had no first aid kit, but she was able to see the doctor right away. The front desk staff did not seem to know what to do. They made her take a taxi to the hospital in Playa. I feel this is one thing the management at the Barcelo needs to address. You need to have a plan in place for people who are or could be seriously injured at the resort. So beware if it rains when you are there the walkways are literally a skating rink.
Overall, we had a decent week. I likely would not return to this resort as the things I mentioned (bracelets, food reservations etc.) made it a more stressful vacation, but if you got a good deal and made sure you reserved meals and chairs early you will likely have a good time. There were lots of large groups there of teenagers who I assume were there with parents, but lacked supervision. I guess it would be ideal for these groups.
- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Maya Beach Resort
- Barcelo Maya
- Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Hotel Maya Beach
- Barcelo Maya Palace
- Barcelo Maya Mexico
- Barcelo Maya Resort
- Catalonia Rivera Maya
- Maya Beach Resort
- Barcelo Maya Beach Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico
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