This was our 2nd trip to these Barceló resorts and were happy to have been invited to a wedding there. We were originally booked for the Maya Beach but were put in to the Caribe as renovations were not completed at the Maya Beach until mid-week. Here are some reviews/tips:
Wedding –This was a classic, picture-perfect wedding in front of the Maya Beach resort. The area for weddings in front of Caribe has more rocks and a dock in the background so you may want to choose according to which you prefer. At the time, there were almost no people at the Maya Beach so it was very private. The Maya Beach area is the end resort so there would consistently not be as many others “by-standers” as well I think.
The coordinator made it a really easy and stress-free process for the couple, the staff was great in all aspects, and we were grateful to have the groom’s uncle, a minister, perform the service. (Documents to be signed in Canada afterwards- the real wedding was on the beach! This makes it easier on all and the important part, the ceremony, is what counts. Something for you to consider if you want a destination wedding)
Hotel – We initially were on the 1st floor but switched to the 3rd and highest floor because of insect bites and it was a bit noisy on the first floor where guests entered the building. So, no bugs and quieter on the 3rd floor. They spray the grounds around 6pm everyday so you may want to avoid these areas for a short time around this time. As we didn’t get a king size bed in our 2nd room we put the two doubles together. Room location is more important and this worked well. To keep the room cool all the time, leave your second room key in the power slot when you are not in the room with the balcony door closed. This will ensure the air conditioning and fan stays on. (The a/c and fan will not turn on if the balcony door is open).
Beach- There are some minor rocks as you enter the Sea from the Caribe resort. This may make it difficult for handicapped or elderly to enter here, as well as not as comfortable for everyone else as well. We recommend setting up 100metres down the beach, just past the lifeguard tower. It’s perfect there for all!! Bring a refillable mug to keep your drinks cool, avoid waste and time going for refills.
Bring your snorkel gear if you have it. If not, it is available. They also have kayaks and paddle boats etc.. We enjoyed snorkelling in the area straight out form the Caribe resort. Follow the perpendicular rope out toward the perimeter boundary-rope. At this “T” section you will find beautiful coral with lots of tropical fish. They love squished bananas so grab a couple to bring from the buffet. We were also told that there is a great spot to snorkel near the Barcelo Palace but never made it over there. Others in our group went on a snorkel tour and had great success seeing large turtles and manta rays, etc..ALSO, there are cenotes a short walk from the resort! You can swim and snorkel in these underground caves. Ask the front desk for directions. They are only a 5-10 minute walk south. Your tour group will likely not tell you about these as they want to sell you expensive day trips. The entrance to these is $5 only and you don’t need anyone to arrange or transport you there.
Other- The food was great and we had 3 “a la carte” meals included for dinners that you will need to book reservations for upon arrival.
We stayed at the Barceló Tropical 5.5 years ago and the Caribe is almost the mirror image in many ways. It will likely cost you less to book at the Caribe or Maya Beach and we would consider this option again.
Para-sailing is fun. We went tandem. It was safe and they stopped for us to take a swim in the open water. Wear contacts as they advise not to use eye-wear. Try to book a time that doesn’t have someone booked in the next time-slot. This will maybe give you a bit more time in the air and swimming afterwards.
For the Adventurous - Our wedding party went on a day trip/excursion provided by AllTourNative that included cenote rappelling/snorkelling (different from the ones by the hotel), zip-lining, a Mayan lunch, 4x4 trucking through crazy rocky jungle, a tour of Tulum and time on the beach at Tulum as well. We’re fairly experienced travellers and this is one of the most memorable tours we have ever had.
IF YOU FIND THIS REVIEW HELPFUL PLEASE GIVE US A “HELPFUL VOTE”. THANK YOU AND ENJOY YOUR VACATION!
Spencer and Holli