We just returned from a one week stay at Barcelo. We had booked the Caribe and were there 4 nights when they moved us (an upgrade) to the Colonial as they were planning to close the Caribe for maintenance.
We had a wonderful time while there. The rooms in both were clean and nicely maintained. The in-room refrigerator was stocked well and when moved to the Colonial (Club Premium) also included some light snacks: peanuts, chips, etc.
The beach was lovely and water was crystal clear-I believe it was better in the Caribe portion. In Colonial it was rather rocky. The small pier between the two hotels had plenty of fish-so check out the free snorkeling equipment (I believe it is 1 hour per day) and can get some good pix. Also rode the water bikes, which was fun, a bit like paddle boats. My husband and kids also took advantage of the pool scuba lesson.
We enjoyed the pool at the Colonial...plenty of activities for everyone...my 14 yr. old daughter and 17 yr old son especiallly enjoyed the water volleyball and the water polo. Swim up bars were great at all the pools.
We ate most of our meals at the Caribe buffet. Service was great----especially Gary and Ezley, they were our favorites. We didn't speak much Spanish, and they didn't speak much English, but that was actually part of the fun. We made it through and everyone was very accomodating. Breakfast was my personal favorite (probably because I don't care for seafood which was offered during the lunch and dinner menus). We ate lunch most times at one of the grills...either Captain Morgan or Mariachi. Even if you are a picky eater, you could definitely get enough to eat. Quantity is not lacking. Our family favorites included the made to order omelets and pasta, guacamole, and the soft serve vanilla ice cream. Just a heads up, the service at the grills was pathetic...we could never get anyone to give us drinks. Wish they would make it a self serve beverage bar (no alcohol) so that wouldn't happen. Inconvenient, but not anything that would ruin our stay. We never used our ala carte resturant certificates as we packed only casual wear and didn't want to make reservations either.
We booked our excursions with Jose from Lomas Travel (he has a desk at the Colonial). We enjoyed snorkeling, ATVs, zip lining, and a shopping trip to Playa del Carmen. Other than that, we enjoyed the amenities that Barcelo offered.
When we booked our trip, it was with hesitation after reading the reviews, but we had a wonderful stay, the resort was beautiful, and we look forward to visiting again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.