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“Great trip with only 2 complaints” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Maya Beach

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Barcelo Maya Beach
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 266,3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 15 hotels in Puerto Aventuras
San Francisco, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great trip with only 2 complaints”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2009

Celebrated our 20th Anniversary at the Barcelo Maya Palace 11/28 - 12/7 in an ocean view Jr. Suite. We were upgraded for free so we really got our money's worth! We're in our late-40's and we've traveled quite a bit. Major trips have been Hawaii (many times), NYC, Europe several times, Costa Rica, New England. We like quality resorts in tropical locals and big cities and simple, small and quaint in Europe and New England. Costa Rica was an adventure trip. For this trip, we wanted something nice and cushy.

This was our 3rd visit to the Yucatan and our 1st stay at Barcelo. Our previous stays were at the Palladium Grand and this time we were looking for a step up in both resort facilities and food. For this trip, we wanted something nice and cushy. We weren't disappointed at all.

My complaints are listed first, but read to the end so I leave you on a positive note.

Hated the lobby bar at the Palace hotel -- although the decor is very hip, it's so cold, both in decor and temperature and there are 3 small tvs playing sports all the time but no comfortable chairs to sit in and the florescent lighting is awful. The room echos terribly. We like to relax with a drink before dinner and afterwards as well -- this wasn't it for us. Bartenders had no personality. In Mexico, we prefer open-air lobbies and lounges with good mood lighting, comfortable seating and warm night air. The lobbies next door at Barcelo Tropical and Caribe had cozier lobbies and bars with open air and large palapa roofs. Walk there if you don't like what the Palace has to offer. And, while you're down there, take advantage of the miniature golf course at night between Colonial & Caribe. It's set in the jungle and it's pretty neat! Closes at 9pm or something.

We were also disappointed that there is only one spa for all 5 resorts and it's located at the Colonial resort. It's not very large and certainly not "Palace" standard, although it is clean and pretty. Barcelo really should add a new spa right at the Palace hotel and make it spectacular.

Now, for the positive ---

The Maya Palace is absolutely beautiful, spotlessly clean with a very long and lovely beach and nicely matured palm trees everywhere. We were able to take advantage of all 5 Barcelo properties, which are lined up one after the other along the 2-mile (or so) beach. The Barcelo resort that is at the other end of the beach was closed while we were there because of low vacancy and the beach in front of that hotel was practically vacant. We LOVED hanging out down there feeling like we were on our own private island! Had to walk 7 minutes to get a margarita but so what?! We had insulated mugs and a reason to get out of the chair! Alas, that hotel is scheduled to reopen on 12/18. The beach directly in front of the Palace was way too busy for us most afternoons. However, there's never a shortage of chairs at the beach or pools. And, the further down the beach you go to the other end, the less people you'll see. There are 10 Bali beds at the stunning Palace adult pool but they are grabbed early in the morning. We were able to get them twice during the week and that was enough for us. There are so many other equally beautiful spots throughout the resort!

The food was very good. We always found something we really like. Beautiful fresh meats and fish that are grilled to your liking right in front of you during lunch and dinner. We ate at the French restaurant twice (filet mignon and lobster is EXCELLENT) and the Cuban restaurant once (just ok). We ate outside the resort twice (Playa del Carmen and a lobster cruise in Cancun). The other nights we did the buffet. You can build a GREAT salad both at lunch or dinner. Breakfast is very good with plenty of choices. Made to order omelets every day. Top quality fresh fruit (strawberries, grapefruit, melon, pineapple, grapes, papaya). Even the nacho cheese sauce and guacamole are very good (unlike at the Palladium). Don't miss the chocolate and coconut gelato at dinnertime and the butter cookes that are at every meal! Even the house red table wine offered at the buffet was good enough (and we're wine people).

My husband works out and he preferred the gym at the Colonial resort over the Palace. More to offer in the way of free-weights and half of the gym is open-air under a large palapa so lots of sweating! Drinks always good and you can politely request more alcohol -- no problem. We never went to the Jaguars disco and didn't go to the shows (not for us). We did have fun bar-hopping in Playa, though! Started off mellow in The Den then Coco Maya (really cool) and the Blue Parrott for fire dancing. Do it! It's safe, fun and the party starts late (10pm) and goes late (3-4am). Lots of taxi drivers on every corner to bring you home for $18 USD. Guys - wear jeans with flip-flops and a cool t-shirt and you're set! Girl's can wear anything. Even flip-flops ok if you're not a fancy girl! Had a lot of fun.

The bartenders at the resort weren't the friendliest but they do their jobs well. Rooms are beautiful. Grounds are perfectly kept and the palm trees have filled in much more than the hotel photos show - they are BEAUTIFUL. Housekeeping always did a great job and we only tipped twice. Kids pool is a blast for kids under 7 or so. I felt guilty about leaving our kids at home every time we walked by! ;-)

Our vacation was spectacular (even better than we had hoped) and we had a really wonderful time. I've already checked prices for next June!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Deep River, Ont.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2009

I should have written this when we returned last March but better late than never. This was our second trip to the Mayan Riviera and we were not disappointed. Once again, we booked through Travel Only who arranged a few extras for us upon request. (Thanks Becky and Craig)
By far, The Barcelo Palace was the best resort we have stayed at yet. The rooms were spacious and clean, the food was absolutely amazing (book as many a le cartes as possible as they cannot be topped) the service very good. Swimming was not the best as while we were there it was windy and the waters rough. The beach is OK and is quite a stretch. We were there for a week and didn't see all of the resort as there are 5 resorts within the whole complex. The Palace is a little more money, but you are able to take advantage of all amenities, premium beverages and entertainment at all other resorts in the complex. Worth every penny. My only complaint would be that we didn't stay for 2 weeks rather than one. If you're wanting to raise tha bar a little, I would definately recommend the Palace.

R&H

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2009

I have traveled all over for many years but had never been to Mexico. I enjoyed the country very much but the hotel experience was NOT a good first impression.
Barcelo Maya is a huge resort with 5 different hotels on the resort.
For starters we did not get the hotel we booked. We booked the Barcelo Maya Caribe Beach for many reasons. Upon check in we were put into the Barcelo Maya Colonial Beach.We were never told that the entire Barcelo Maya Beach Resort was closed except the part we would be staying in and the Palace. Most of the restaurants and bars were closed as well but noone ever told us this.

When we got into our room we found the bathroom to be crawling with ants and one of our beds had a red stain on it that appeared to be blood. We called to get the ants serviced and someone came right away. Someone also came with clean sheets but simply stood at the door and handed them to us and left. I had to remake the entire bed. The lamp was broken and the couch had a big black stain that looked like grease. We did not sit on it or set anything on it because it would end up on us. The room smelled terribly musty and even tho we had the air on max cool the floors were always wet and slippery from moisture. I have been to the Carribean many times and I know when humidity is at 100% this is a constant battle.But it doesn't have to be that bad.

As we went to explore the grounds of the resort,we found most everything closed. We found one bar to get a drink and the shelves had a very nice selection of alcohol. We placed our order and were told we could only have what was on the bottom shelf for our all inclusive-which was very low rate rail alcohol. Anythng top shelf was an extra charge for us. We found another bar by the lobby and were told the same thing. I would not call that all inclusive by any means.

We continued on our walk to explore the resort and found one building open. The only other place on the entire resort with lights on.It was the Palace. We went walking thru and were quickly told we were not alowed there. We could not eat or drink or even walk thru. So that put us limited to our resort with only a few choices to eat and drink and that was it.

Our first night we turned in early since we had been up since 4am. Just as we fell asleep very loud pounding music woke us up and continued until 11pm. Our room was right outside the theater which has a show EVERY night from 9pm until 11pm. The second night we were out later but the music still kept us awake. I called the reception to find out this would be happening every night. I asked if we could move rooms and was told that we could move in the morning if we came down to reception at 9am. I explained that we had an excursion that day and we left the hotel at 8am and would not return until 6pm. I was rudely told that I either came down at 9am or no moving rooms. Each day we had excursions planned and was told that I either came down right at 9am or no moving. So we stayed in the same room and lost sleep every night. We even tried to change one of our trips just so we could be at the reception at 9am. We asked if a valet could move our bags for us if we had everything packed up sitting by the door.That was a no as well.
This resort is a u shape with the center of the u facing the ocean.In between each hotel there is a theater and when the resort is fully opened all the theaters are active until 11pm each night. No atter where your room is you will hear it.Loudly!

On the 3rd day of housekeeping we had what appeared to be very stained sheets again and ants all over the place. We called housekeeping and got service right away which did absolutely nothing. The ants still remained and I had to remake the beds again.

Upon check in we were also handed coupons that we could make reservations for and would still be all inclusive. We later found out that only the Italian,Japanese,and Seafood were open.

There was nothing Premium about this place and certainly not all inclusive to anything we wanted to eat or drink.We did not feel that got our moneys worth at all.We did alot of research on our vacation and we very disappointed in our choice.

On the plus side,the grounds were very well kept and the staff you encounter every day are wonderfully friendly and make you fell very welcome. The beach and pool area is kept very clean and it is very gorgeous.On site they have Lomas travel agents which are absolutely fantastic! The same 2 gentlemen sent us on a new adventure every day and we were ALWAYS pleased. We had the time of our lives and got to experience so many parts of the country thanks to them. On site there are many dialy free activities to keep you busy as well. Even with the majority of the resort closed at the time we were there,there was plenty to do for all ages. They have a wonderful spa on site to.Excellent services and decent prices.

Stayed November 2009, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2009

SERVICE: Excellent. Never had to wait for drinks (as some reviews stated). What ever we wanted was always available at any time.
ROOMS: Extremely clean, roomy and beautifully decorated. The bathrooms were to die for ... would like to have this at home!!! Beds were hard as mentioned in many of the reviews, but nothing we couldn't deal with.
LOCATION: Many tours were within just minutes from the resort (would recommend snorkeling in the Cenotes - quite and experience) and Playa Del Carmen was worth getting a taxi for a night out of dining and shopping.
BEST PART: My husband and I took our family (with 2 grandchildren). There was more than plenty of things for everyone to do .... or not to do (just relax). Kids played botchey ball, bowled, water volleyball, shuffleboard, loved the water park, the beautiful pools that seemed to go for miles and the beach. Messages & hair braiding was also nice. We all really enjoyed the entire trip .... would rate this as a number one family vacation

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
River Falls, WI
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2009

My wife, 13 yr old son and myself stayed at the Barcelo Maya Palace from Dec 6th - Dec. 11th. and rate this place a 10 + overall !! I filled out their satisfaction survey and I really couldn't find anything to complain about !! Truly a great experience for this, our first time out of the USA.

STAFF - Wonderful staff. Everyone seems to be very happy to serve and appreciative of the opportunity to work for the Barcelo Maya Palace. My wife and I couldn't believe the smiles and service that followed everywhere we turned, especially when you tip a couple US dollars here and there.The service was wonderful at every turn.

ROOMS - The Housekeeping was phenomenal !! We even rigged up the zippers of our closed suitcases each time we left the room to see if anyone would move or mess with our belongings and never once did we encounter any snooping or messing with our stuff. The rooms were thoroughly cleaned every day, mini fridge replenished every day and then they come back in the evening and did turn down service and left little chocolate candies on each bed. We tipped $2 per day for housekeeping and then I sought out the actual housekeeper that took care of us for our stay as we were leaving and gave her a $10 tip on the last day personally !! Beautiful rooms and the very firm beds actually were a good thing as our backs were so sore and need it. Flat screen TV with CNN and a few other english language channels + several that were in spanish. Be sure to leave the wooden cabinet door to your mini-fridge open at all times if you want cold beverages. There seems to be a lack of ventilation that only allows the mini fridge to get cool, not cold unless you leave that little wooden shutter door open. Cold A/C in the rooms was great too !!

BEACH - Awesome!! There are several beaches on the property but we found the one by our Palace resort was awesome. We saw Sea Turtles, An Eel and many variety of fish snorkeling right out from the beach in water we could still touch bottom at. Bring your own snorkel set tho as the rental is a pain. We just bought them in Playa for $22 each. You can see the coral so easy to navigate and keep your feet on the soft white sand. The Dock down by the other beach where the non motorized water sports stand is has a great community of fish there to see just from the dock too. We fed them a couple different days and even saw a big Baracuda there.

DRINKS - we did our best to get our money's worth out of this perk and we did a good number on them. They had all the same top named alcohol as we are used to in the USA and they did not skimp on it either. Tipping here is well recieved also . We tried to keep up but when you are in the pool and getting drinks at the swim up bar it is hard to tip since no cash is on hand, but we made certain to get it to them as we passed by the pool on our way to dinner and they treated us very well.

FOOD - We ate mainly at the 2 buffets at the Palace, all the Fresh (made while you wait) omelettes for breakfast, fajitas, hamburgers, chicken, shrimp, etc for lunch and then more of the same and even more is an understatement. This buffet ROCKED so much that we cancelled our reservations to the alacarte restarants for all except one night there. The one we ate at wast he Caribean Restaurant, Blackened Grouper (fish) was awesome, just not worth making a set time and dressing up for dinner when they had such awesome buffets. Again tipping the staff at the buffet or the restaruant is a great and inexpensive plus. I was craving a SNICKERS by about the 3rd day of our vacation. If you have a sweet tooth for chocolate, bring your own because they don't have the same chocolate as we do here (maybe why the Mexican people are much skinnier than me !! They may have had it in the gift shops too?

SHOPPING - Playa Del Carmen - We rode the Barcelo Choo-Choo from the Palace to the main gate of the property and then walked out into the public area to catch a shuttle van for 20 pesos ($1.63 USD) per person, each way, to Playa. Much cheaper than the $15-$18 for a Taxi each way. This was culture shock for us for sure. 19 of us in a 15 passenger van for a couple of interesting minutes of the 20 minute drive. It really was not that bad , more entertaining than anything. I would do it again. Once we stopped at Playa we were again reminded we are not in Wisconsin or Minnesota anymore cause there were armed military trucks parked and driving thru the downtown area and numerous police officers on each city block. We felt a little uneasy at first but I guess it is as secure as it was for a reason. We were comfortable with it. The shops on 5th avenue are MAJOR CON ARTIST HEAVEN. DON'T buy a thing from the first 10 places you look in . We found that the deeper into the shopping area we went, the better the bargains. I looked at the stone carved animals they had and the first store said $115 USD for one, would only go as low as $50 when I haggled him so we walked down a bit and my wife was able to get me an even nicer one for $20 !! The Hammocks were $18-$20 , Sombrero Hats (large ones) were $18 at the cheapest we saw in Playa or $20 at the Barcelo shop at the Resort. T-shirts were $5 each or 3 for $11 and were mostly 100% cotton pre-shrunk shirts. Stay away from the time-share guys. They are sneaky and this will potentially put a damper on an otherwise great vacation. We learned that lesson years ago so we were able to avoid it here but the pressure is on in Playa !!

Booze was real cheap in Playa but I suggest the Duty Free Shop at the airport on your way home. They had the cheapest liquor I saw and also had 5 carton boxes of cigarettes for $100 USD ($20 per carton is crazy cheap but we don't smoke)

Anyone that wants to email me with more questions can and I would be happy to respond as this was how we chose Barcelo Maya Palace in the first place. tripadvisor.com reviews are the best tool for vacation shoppers !!!! My email is tomfenske1@sprint.blackberry.net

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1superflygirl
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2009

Beautiful beaches, but with lots of big hidden rock in the water. Very clean resort, excellent food selection, all around beautiful resort. lots of slippery areas so watch out for water on the floors. I've stayed a many all inclusive resorts and I think the buffet and seafood is the best here. Lobster is NOT an additonal fee here like at many other resorts. I recommend this place to all. The prices for spa services a a little on the ridiculous side though.

Tips:
*immediatly after checking in, book you reservations for a few of the specialty restaurants so you don't have to do the same buffet every night. Although the buffet is excellent, variety is a plus.
*avoid taxi drivers if you can. they are a rip off. they will not give you the correct change if you pay in dollars. and there are other means of public transport. I know that to take a taxi to playa del carmen is $18 each way. if you take the striped shuttle it is $2 each way.
*be prepared to tip...so always have a few $1 bills or a stack of pesos whick give you more bang for your buck. 10 peso vs $1....12peso=$1
*at the airport, if you can carry your own bags DO NOT LET ANYONE GRAB IT TO CARRY IT 20 FEET AND ASK YOU FOR A TIP! AND THEY WILL GRAB IT...
*Playa Del Carmen is a great place to shop...be prepared to haggle.
*When you go on a tour bus...always carry cash because this is a tourist industry: sometimes they want a tip, and they will take you to places to shop. Remember...it's better shopping and the same stuff in Playa Del Carmen.
*i recommend doing the tours...like Chitchen itza, Xcaret, etc. Do not book these in Playa Del Carmen or on the side of the street unless you don't mind being sardined in a hot vehicle. Air conditioning is a must.
*take a day or two to step outside of the tourist area.
*get a street taco!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
arkansas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2009

Barcelo Maya Palace was incredible. The staff was exceptional and couldn't have been nicer. The beach was beautiful. After reading the other reviews I decided to take swim shoes, however, I didn't end up needing them at all. The beach did have some small stones at the shoreline but after you got into the water the ocean floor was powdery soft. The rooms were nice but we weren't in the room very much. The pools were great. The adult pool was very quiet and the other pools were not loud this time of year either. The resort is really big so be prepared to walk a lot. The Carey bar in the lobby was really fun. The bartenders were cute and very personable. They wanted to make sure we had a great time. The buffets were also good. The Coral Grill is great for lunch. The French restaurant is a must. Extremely good. The Caribbean restaurant was ok. Make sure you take time to get a beachside massage. Very good therapists. The all-inclusive aspect was so easy and worry free. I would definitely recommend this resort and cannot wait to go back!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Barcelo Maya Beach

Address: Carretera Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 266,3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Barcelo Maya Beach 3*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Hotel Maya Beach
Barcelo Maya Palace
Barcelo Maya Mexico
Barcelo Maya Resort
Catalonia Rivera Maya
Maya Beach Resort
Barcelo Beach Maya Mayan Resort Riviera
Barcelo Maya Beach Resort Cancun
Barcelo Maya Beach Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

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