Stayed at the resort March 18-25th.
Just spent a beautiful week on the Mayan Riviera at the Barceló Maya Beach. The weather was perfect! My friend and I stayed there in 2009. We arrived in the morning and could not get our rooms until 3:00 pm. The person that checked us in barely spoke a word and I felt was very unfriendly. We checked our luggage and headed down to the beach. We enjoyed lunch at the beach café and returned to the lobby to talk to the desk staff about upgrading to premium. The staff person we spoke to this time was wonderful (Isabella? - I wrote her name down, but lost it) We decided to do this, but in the long run don't think it really gave us anything extra. We were able to go into a different room to book our restaurant dinners and to also check out. So, that may have been the only real perk. A suggestion is to hand guests a brochure that has everything that the Premium upgrade includes on it. The staff just circle everything on a map.
When we were at the Barceló in 2009 we thought the Spanish restaurant was excellent. What a change! It was terrible. The wait staff kept trying to get us to purchase a bottle of wine from the wine menu. When I told him that we wanted house wine, he said they didn't have any. The couple at the next table (who we befriended) were drinking house wine, so I pointed that out and low and behold we got our house wine. I ordered the fish with a garlic sauce and it was lukewarm and salty. I overheard a couple at the table on the other side of us tell the waiter their steaks were cold.
The Mexican Restaurant was lovely. Our server was excellent (sorry, can't remember his name). The service was wonderful and the food was good.
The Steak House was okay. The filet mignon was not filet mignon. It looked like a filet until I started to cut it. It was actually two small pieces of steak sitting on top of each other. We were so rushed. It was like they wanted to get us in and out in 30 minutes. The cheesecake dessert was a big disappointment.
The Japanese Restaurant on our last night was fun. We sat with a nice family. The server enticed me to buy a half bottle of wine for my friend and I and said it was only $10.00. Right! When I went to check out it was $40.00. They offer everyone sake and then want to charge them for it.
We had breakfast at the Beach Buffet each morning. It had lots of food and fresh fruit. I loved the papaya and the yogurt. Wait staff were excellent as were the hostesses at the door.
The Buffet at the Colonial was lovely. We had dinner there our first night and lunch there on our last day. Lots of variety.
The sandy beach is excellent. We never had a problem getting a lawn chair. The ocean was warm and the waves were lots of fun. We had a totally relaxing vacation.
We left tips in our room each day but never did receive the turn down service we got in 2009. One thing that was concerning was the door to the balcony. We were on the 3rd floor. Whenever I was leaving the room I always double checked to ensure the door to our balcony was locked. One morning after breakfast I popped back to the room to pick up a book before heading to the beach. The room had already been made up, which was awesome. I had a bathing suit drying on the balcony on the little contraption that was supplied. When I went to go outside the balcony door was unlocked. That surprised me as I had definitely locked it before I left. I am anal about locking doors. I locked it and went to the beach. The next day, same thing, only this time the table and chairs on the balcony were moved and one of the chairs had been moved over and up against the divider between our balcony and the room next door. I pulled the table and chairs back together. Both mornings I put a 'do not disturb' sign on my door, in case someone was setting up our room for easy access from the balcony -- they would think someone was in the room.
The next morning I moved a chair in front of the balcony door and left a note (in Spanish -- thank you to my translation app) asking them not to unlock the balcony door. We didn't have any issues after that.
We had massages at the spa. My friend asked if there was a special that day, and they said the massages were 2 for 1 -- of course we booked! We booked therapeutic massages, and mine was very disappointing. It wasn't therapeutic at all. It was a relaxation massage -- which I really didn't care for. My friend had a great therapeutic massage so I don't know what happened. The other two women in the change room also had excellent therapeutic massages.
I really did not like the pressure to purchase wine. An all inclusive should be an all inclusive. I don't mind paying extra for the experience, but it has to be worth it and I don't like being nickeled and dimed.
The resort itself is lovely. I was a bit apprehensive about travelling at Spring Break, but there was no need to be. There were lots of families with small children and the resort catered to everyone. There were no loud parties (at least that I heard) and I slept like a baby. If I were to return I would probably stay at the Colonial, Tropical or the Palace.
Pick up and drop off at the hotel went smoothly.