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“Beautiful surroundings, but very rude staff.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Maya Caribe

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Barcelo Maya Caribe
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Ctra Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juarez, Km 266.3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #7 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Staines
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Beautiful surroundings, but very rude staff.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

This is our 3rd time to Riviera Maya and we all agreed that this hotel was the worse of the 3. Don't get me wrong the resort itself is very beautiful, they are always gardening or cleaning rooms. Did think the beach pool could be cleaned alittle bit more.
We are a family of 4 (kids 13 & 10) and loved coming to Mexico, 1st time in April, we usually go in July/August. The weather was very hot, just how we like it. The beach was lovely, white sand alittle seaweed but not like our slimy green stuff. The sea was not very calm i think we saw 1 day were it was flat, but we had fun jumping in waves.
When we first checked in we were taken to a "Premium" room to sign in, by a very unwelcoming lady in the dark. Then she said our room wasn't ready until the following afternoon, which didn't go done to well after our 10 hour flight (tv didn't work in plane either). We had a put-up bed and sofa bed and they didnt say sorry. Then we had 2 drag the boys away from the pool for 3 half hours to change rooms, wait for bell boy with cases then unpack, again with no "sorry". We went to our rep who said she will see what the hotel can do. They put a bottle of sparkly wine & grapes in our room. (we are all inclusive - its free).
The breakfast buffet was great, so much to choose from, lunch buffet was the same thing every day ( check the burgers we had a lot of uncooked meats. The buffet had a theme every day, but pretty much the same thing daily - mind the pink chicken. We went to the Japanese, great show, but rude waitress. Steak house at beach bar was best, but did feel rushed. Brazilian awful over at the Palace..uncooked meat and had to wait ages between meats that everything else got cold.
The evening entertainment was ok if the audience was involved like miss Barcelo , ideal couple or karoke but the shows they put on was awful, and the same each week. Every night they would show a promotional video of the spa and coco bongos. once or twice would be ok but every night...boring!! The bar staff by pool was rude, of they would ignore you. And same in the buffet resturant, you can ask for water and still be waiting half way through your meal. The diving was great and Alex was a good guide. We also did the quad bikes, which were fun, but the swim in the cave was not worth seeing, also did the segway tour around the resort, and i would suggest doing this early on your holiday as they show you around the resort and had so much fun. You have to pay for these, segway were worth it.
Nice resort but staff need to learn some manners. Would not go back.

Room Tip: Our main room 5305 was lovely, on the top floor, facing pool & beach.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

This was a family vacation (mom/dad, 15 yo, 13 yo, 9 yo). Short version is a good, relaxing vacation was had by all. Beautiful, sandy beaches, clean pools and rooms, comfortable beds, nice staff. We felt safe and secure letting our children wander the grounds and stay in their room at night. The food was mediocre at best and we couldn't get a reservation for all 5 of us at any of the restaurants and we were there for 5 nights.

We have decided that we are not aggressive enough for all-inclusive resorts. We want info on food choices/locations, activities, and shows handed to us at the front desk upon arrival so we can review them at our leisure. We felt that in the Barcelo you had to aggressively seek out information on activities and entertainment. There seemed to be more entertainment (DJ, music, games) at the Maya Beach pool and beach as opposed to the Caribe. The buffet at the Colonial was better than the buffets at the Caribe or Maya Beach.

Long Version: The ride from the airport is a bit long but worth it. The beach is sandy all the way out. We heard from friends that the beaches closer to Cancun were rocky. The water is very clean/clear, warm and calm.

There is a security gate at the entrance to all resorts where every car has to stop and give details on where they are going and how many people they are taking in/out.

Check-in should have been smoother: 1 of our rooms wasn't ready due to a late check out so we went to eat and came back and it still wasn't ready. We told them to bring our bags to the room that was ready so we could change and get to the beach. We had to find it ourselves and wait for the bags. Later we had to make a point of going back to the lobby and requesting the key to our 2nd room.

At check in, they give you a quick overview of your food choices, hand you 3 cards and tell you they are for making restaurant reservations thru the concierge and then they try to sell you a food upgrade. We chose not to do the upgrade and waited until the next evening to seek out the concierge to find out about restaurants -- big mistake! Were we blacklisted bec we didn't upgrade? We could not get a reservation at any of the restaurants on any night for the 5 of us! My husband and I finally took a reservation for 2 on the last night at the Mexican place. It was only ok. But there were tons of empty tables!!! And we heard there were lots of empty tables at the other restaurants every night too. Note: The steak restaurant is only open Mon, Tues, Wed so is very hard to get into.

Buffets were very plain. There could have been a few choices that kicked it up a notch and a a few average spiced dishes plus the kid friendly food. They say the buffets are all the same but we found that the Colonial buffet was better than the Maya Beach and Caribe -- You have access to all of them so go to the higher end resorts and the food improves. They should stagger their menu so you have more choices per night but if it is Seafood Night in one, it is Seafood Night in all which was a pain for us because our kids don't eat Seafood. The only other real choice was a marinated chicken breast which they didn't like so they had pizza and fries (again!). In our family, the adults are foodies and the youngest is a very picky eater but none of us were happy with the food. I understand that all-inclusive buffets have to cater to the general public but they took the middle road on flavor. And just because there's a lot of it, doesn't make it good.

For cleanliness, you can't take food out of the restaurants/buffets - so you have to "get dressed" and sit down to have a snack. We understand why but it was a pain when one of the kids wanted to grab fries or a burger and didn't want to go alone.

We had 2 rooms. We had requested adjoining or adjacent but they were across the hall from each other. Nice, comfortable & clean. It was a bit of a walk from the lobby/buffet to our rooms but a very short walk to the pool and beach. The grounds are beautiful and well kept. Lots of paths to wander -- it took us a day to get our bearings and find the shorter routes (mostly because everything looks the same). Beware: hallways create an echo so you hear a lot of noise during the night. We were there during Spring Break so every night around 3, we got woken up by crowds of yelling teens returning to their rooms.

Water Activities: The beach/water trikes were free for 1/2 hour. They are harder than you think but were fun to try. You can borrow snorkeling equipment for 1 hour a day free (with deposit) and go out off the peir to see lots of fish. It was a bit rough there. I think snorkeling should be a more passive, relaxing activity. If you kept the equipment for longer, it was only $6 per hour/per person. You can buy the equipment in the gift shop. I didn't price it but found other items (balls, goggles) were inexpensive.

Entertainment/shows: Every night there was a show in each resorts' theater. If you miss a show in your theater, you may be able to catch it the next night at one of the other theaters. The "circus" was acrobatics that the whole family can enjoy. "On Da Radio" didn't sound appealling but was a musical variety show of songs you hear on the radio with choreographed dancers. The theaters are loungy with wait staff/table service. We found out later that some theaters have entertainment for kids earlier in the evening but never got definitive info on time, locations, descriptions.

Kid spa: We had to make an appointment to get 3 braids put in my daughter's hair when it looked like there was a woman there doing nothing. They were $3 each and she got to choose any color beads she wanted -- 3 per braid. I believe it was $35 for a half head of braids. A kids' manicure was around $25 and a kids' pedi was around $35 -- outrageous! There is an adult spa also that looked nice but we didn't use it.

Off-resort tours/excursions: We booked the Tulum/Xel-Ha tour for 1 day at $160 per person including all transportation, guide at Tulum and all you can eat meals/drinks -- alcoholic and non at Xel-Ha. Tulum is hot but beautiful and interesting. 1/2 a day is enough time unless you are a history buff or are going to use the beach there. Xel-Ha is a beautiful, fun day but we wish we had the full day instead of just the half. There's so much to do and it is such a huge place. There is a lot of walking there. There are a lot of activities you can pay extra for (dolphin swim, manatee swim, snuba, etc...) but I don't know how you would find the time to squeeze them in.

We went to Playa del Carmen one evening. Since there are 5 of us, we had to take a van as opposed to a taxi (car). It cost approx $85 round trip. The hotel called the driver and later he met us at a predetermined location and time for our return trip. He gave some great advice. It was fun to walk around, browse in shops, take photos with exotic animals (approx $5) and have drinks at tables on the street. The vendors/shop owners tried to get you to buy things from them but weren't overly aggressive/annoying. Prices were good but they expect you to haggle. We had dinner at La Parilla,a Mexican steak house -- well worth going to and inexpensive (around $90 plus tip for family of 5 with Margaritas and steaks). We had delicious food, there are roaming Mariachi players, they take a souvenier photo of you with sombreros but you don't feel obligated to buy it. (We did, you can haggle.)

Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen are beautiful places worth seeing. Overall, we enjoyed our family vacation.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
River Edge
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

The resort is huge with 5 hotels making up the Barcelo resort. The grounds throughout are stunning and the pools are large and fun. The vibe was happy and upbeat with the staff being helpful and welcoming. The beach is spectacular but quite a few cigarette butts in the sand. Lots of activities - fun snorkeling by the pier. We only paid extra to go to Dolphin Discovery which was amazing. The dolphins are very well trained and the trainers really know what they are doing.
The hotel rooms are clean but small - fine for a couple, but gets tight with a family. The double beds are not queen sized but more like a full size or large full. We paid extra for the premium expecting an ocean view. We did not get an ocean view - appears that there aren't many ocean views because the trees are very mature and tall. Another perk of the premium was that you can go to the specialty restaurants as much as you want. But it was a struggle to get into them before a 9:30 sitting. Had to check back daily to see if I can get in. The ones that we did get into had very good food and we really enjoyed ourselves. The buffets are very good as well but can get repetitive. Overall a great time but not a "5" rating because of the cons that I just mentioned.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2012 via mobile

We travelled here with 2 kids (7 and 9) over the Easter break and had a good time. The hotel was clean, food was varied and of a good quality, staff were friendly and helpful and facilities were up to our usual expectations of a mid to high quality tropical resort. The location itself is also ideal for the trips we wanted to do. Whilst this is not a real luxury style hotel, we gave an overall view based on how we felt rather than the specific features on offer.

We did quite a few tours:
Snorkelling at Inha (from hotel diving centre) - okay, but not worth the money, especially compared with...
Snorkelling at Akumal - here we got some great close ups with turtles and stingrays and a far better selection of fish than at Inha
Tulum - a really good half day experience of Mayan ruins, but be warned, it is incredibly hot out in the full sun listening to the guides, some go prepared
Xel-Ha - a great day out which the kids really enjoyed. We got a lot more from this by doing it as a full day trip rather than the half day we did last time we were here which didn't give us a chance to enjoy all the attractions we wanted to see.

My only gripe is that this is an incredibly noisy hotel, both acoustically (any sound made in corridors echoes all around the room block) and in terms of many of the other guests (though there was some suggestion that this was connected with Spring Break groups and us may be seasonal). Every night we were woken three of four times by people shouting, cheering, laughing or screaming in the corridors, usually between 0030 and 0400, so if uninterrupted sleep is vital to you or your kids, then this is not the place for you. We found it somewhat irritating, but overall it did not detract from a great holiday.

Stayed April 2012
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edmonton
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

were all under 25 and let me tell you...this trip was more than we could have asked for!!!

firstly, we arrived at barcelo beach (the lowest end of the barcelo chain, the palace is highest i believe...) and they said they were fully booked so we got an automatic upgrade to the caribe. we got to eat at caribe and beach and enjoy both areas pools (the higher in the chain you go, the more you get to enjoy in terms of going to the other resorts pools and food places!). We loved the food, it was almost identical every day for the buffet though, so use your a la cartes for dinner!!!

CAPTAIN MORGAN BAR was amazing...we loved the service there and the boat was cool

we met hector "the protector" who basically just helped pump up the extra curricular activities and he took us to coco bongo, which was a riot, I have been there twice and he made it lots of fun (although we were left by ourselves at the end of the night to find our ride home).

beach and water is unbeatable. i have been to viva wyndham maya, dreams puero adventuras and grand princess...this beach was my favorite by FAR!

no issues with rooms, except we were on ground floor near bushes in the first building and there was a lot of spiders and a turantula paid us a visit which scared the hell out of us, and the mayan religious belief is that they dont kill what doesnt harm them, so they didnt want to move it. just fyi it might be better to stay from ground floor for that reason.

drinks - prime.
staff - amazing
pools - mehhh kinda dirty
beach - amazing
the theatre and performances were great (again this was my 4th all inclusive to mayan riviera and this was my fav resort! I STAYED AT A 5 STAR , 4 STAR AND A 3 STAR but this resort rocked them all)

tip. you will have friends if you tip haha, our maids organized our bathroom stuff without touching any valuables, we used our safe for money and such tho. the bar tenders favor you if you tip extra well your frist night. we met tons of friends there, and still keep in touch.

Jaguar nightclub
....can be really busy and fun, or dead and very awkward haha by awkward i mean a few people sit, and there is noone dancing. but mostly a good busy bar, theres exotic dancers (the staff are tight on wristbands and checking ages, a group of highschool kids stole wristbands and were kicked out of the resort when they got ID`d!) so dont pull any funny stuff. the busy nights are like a rave almost, its super high energy, awesome music (make sure you request songs from the DJ upstairs!!!) and everyone comes to party there. we went almost every single night of our ten night stay.

we loved our room, didnt watch too much tv but they had a good variety of english chanels.
room service was good but we were close to concierge.
book a la cartes your first day if you can! BUSYYYYY (we went end of april last year)

balcony is nice. fridges stocked ..leave a note if you prefer one thing, i asked for extra diet coke.

there seems to be a younger crowd and more couples in comparison to families...probably not the best for young kids

there is great stores. a doctor and pharmacy. 24 hr bar is fun when the drunks get playing the piano haha there is hot snacks in the 24 hr bar also!

we loved our trip and i will be returning for sure...i have virtually nothing negative to say at all!!

DEFINITELY A 4 STAR!!!! minimum!

Room Tip: corner rooms are biggest, stay off ground floor if you dont like bugs
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Blanc, Michigan, United States
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

This was the least expensive part of the property, but was still really great. You can use all of the pools on the property. It was beautiful, service was wonderful. The food was pretty good and the spirits were endless. It was so fun to see the iguana's all over the place. We went parasailing and just loved our trip. Apple Vacations was very helpfull and transporting to and from the airport was easy. I would definately go back! We went in August because it was when we could bother take time off, but it is VERY hot in August. Still loved it and had a wonderful time. Beautiful resort.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2012

We just got back from a week at the Barcelo Maya Caribe and I only have great things to say! Our transfer arranged through the hotel, to go airport to hotel and hotel to airport, was very convenient and on time. The staff at the hotel were very friendly and helpful. The hotel was modern and extremely clean - I'm sure they cleaned the rooms multiple times every day. The buffets were plentiful and diverse with brunch being my favourite. We tried 3 a la cartes: Spanish (Don Quijote), Steak (Sante Fe) and Seafood (Marenostrum) - the Steakhouse was everyone's favourite. It was fun to dress up and go out to eat. The beach was clean and the water was beautiful and warm. The Caribe was a little quieter but if you're looking for more of a party atmosphere on the beach the neighbouring Maya Beach hotel had a younger party crowd. Always beach loungers available. Nightly entertainment in the theatre. Thanks for a wonderful time!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barcelo Maya Caribe

Address: Ctra Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juarez, Km 266.3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico
Phone Number:
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 Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Maya Caribe 4*
Number of rooms: 414
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Maya Caribe Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Maya Caribe Beach
Barcelo Maya Caribe Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

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