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“Great stay at Barcelo Maya” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Maya Caribe

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Barcelo Maya Caribe
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Ctra Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juarez, Km 266.3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 15 hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Burlington, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Great stay at Barcelo Maya”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Barcelo Maya Caribe from November 11th to the 20th. We were originally booked at the Barcelo Beach but were put in the Caribe because the Beach wasn't open yet because of the time of year. I don't usually do this but I'm going to break down my review as to not drag on forever.

Transfer:
This took entirely too long (about 2 and 1/2 hours). We went with Sunwing and they made 5 stops with ours being the last on the way there.

Beach:
The beach in front of all 5 resorts is very nice with lots of lounge chairs. Powder white sand with some rocky areas mostly near the pier. Ocean entry is probably the nicest in front of the Tropical/Palace pools just because it gradually slopes down. Ocean entry in front of the Beach/Caribe is a little rocky and has a bit of a drop when you first get in but after that is perfect. I really don't think water shoes are necessary anywhere but I will say you should probably shuffle your feet while in the shallow water as I came across a large stingray twice (pretty awesome by the way).

Snorkelling:
This is why I picked this resort and it did not disappoint in any way. If you want to swim with loads of fish just go down to the end of the pier that separates the Beach/Caribe from the Colonial/Tropical/Palace side and jump in. If you can't swim either wear a life jacket or stay out of the water in this area as there is only one ladder to exit the (some people kept clinging to it while I was there). If you want to see sea turtles walk out into the water in front of the Palace pool and watch for their little heads to pop out of the water. Lots of live coral if you swim around the rocks right next to the Palace. The one thing I was horrified to see was the amount of people stepping on coral and one nutjob woman actually pulling out sea fans...not cool

Pools:
The Caribe pool was freezing and could use a good scrub down. We mostly used to pools at the Colonial and Tropical Resorts. They were clean and warm. The Palace pool is nice too and huge! Pool bars were all pretty good and really didn't take that long to get service.

Rooms:
The rooms were clean, spacious, and had good size tvs with lots of channels (mostly Spanish but some in English). Mini fridge was always stocked with water, juice, Coke, Fanta, and Corona. Housekeeping did a good job, never any issues getting bath towels. Comfy slippers in the closet. The only problems we had with the room was our keycard didn't work a few times and had to be reactivated, and our in-room safe seemed to give us a lot of errors before working every time we would lock it.

Food:
Breakfast buffet was amazing with everything you could possibly ever want. The made to order omelettes and pancakes were great! Dinner buffet was pretty good with every night being a different theme. The ball was kinda dropped with lunch at the buffet and at Captain Morgans beach grill. We tried the Steak House and Italian Restaurant over at the Colonial/Tropical Resort and they were both great. Seeing as we were there in November the open air buffet at the Caribe was just lovely however if you're staying at a hotter time of year I might suggest staying at the Colonial/Tropical as their buffets are indoor and air-conditioned (they also have a little more range in food).

Entertainment:
There always seemed to be some sort of entertainment or activity going on. Zumba and aquafit near the pools during the day, and lotsa karaoke at night. You could be as active and involved as you want or just hang by the beach or the pool.

Spa:
Very nice and clean inside. Services are pretty overpriced but hey you're on vacation :)

Just a few things I should mention:
-When you check in they give you a book of coupons. If you want to upgrade to the Premium Club there is a coupon in the booklet for $400 towards the upgrade. Be sure to upgrade right away if you want to do this and are only staying a week because it has to be for 7 days. It was worth it to us so we could try out all the resorts (except the Palace) buffets and a la carte's. You also get wifi, free room service, discounts, and a room closer to the beach with this.
- Wifi does not work on the beach and its harder to get a signal the further away from the lobby you are. Sometimes I would get a signal by the pool, but not often.
- The staff are all wonderful. Not ever did I even pass any staff member and not get an "Hola". Most of the servers, receptionists, and spa staff can speak broken English but don't expect that from the maids or grounds keepers. Bring lots of American dollar bills for tipping.
- Don't expect to hear English a lot as we found most of the other guests were European.

This was my 4th trip to Mexico and my 7th all-inclusive. No resort is perfect, but I would high recommend this one!

Room Tip: Make sure you always have your coupons with you when you need to use them, they won't except the...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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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
Bensalem, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

This was our frist time to Riviera Maya and we both thought it was absolutely beautiful. We met a bunch of really nice people and had a great time. For the price of an all-inclusive it was just about everything we could have asked for. The only thing we wish would have happened is that they followed through with doing something for us for our honeymoon. Our travel agent made it a point to let them know it was our honeymoon and they would do something nice for us at least 1 day but they didn't. No champagne, no breakfast or room service or anything else complimentary at all. We figured since they have a wedding at their resort just about every day and that they see honeymooners all the time they probably don't think it's a big deal - and in the end it wasn't a game changer for us, just would have been nice. Now to the review of everything. I will break it down to make it easier as another reviewer did prior because you might be going for different reasons and your wants for a stay at a resort might be different than mine.

Hotel and Room:

The ride is about an hour from the airport. For those that complain about that, really, who cares? We were lucky to have it be during the day and we took it as a time to see the sights of outside the resort to where the locals live. My wife isn't into history or that kind of stuff at all, but even she found it somewhat interesting to see. We were originally booked at the Beach but found out when we got there that they moved us to the Caribe. We walked through 4 of the resorts and as far as the landscaping and rooms, they are pretty much all the same, so again, who cares? The only thing we liked better was that the lobby bar over at the Tropical was indoors and smoke free. The lobby bars at the Beach and Caribe were outside and it seemed like every person was smoking. We do not smoke and it was somewhat annoying but again, we were in a tropical location while it was 40F degrees back home. The room was nice. Typical room with a king bed, flat screen tv with a bunch of english channels (we took this time to keep the sub titles on to learn some more basic spanish to talk with the locals - it helps!). Our fridge was fully stocked with Corona, 4 huge bottles of water, sprite, coke and diet coke. I made coffee every day with the bottled water and they replenished everything I used daily. They changed the towels even when I didn't ask them to and they knocked every day that we happened to be in the room between 4 and 6 to see if we wanted more towels (I guess figuring maybe we showered after the beach?) but we politely declined. I loved the fact that you had to keep your card in the slot by the door to keep the lights and air on because it made me remember my key card every day! I saw it as a convenience and don't mind it being an energy saver. Bathroom was nice, everything was cleaned and smelled great every day. The hallway can be a little noisy at times because there aren't any carpets anywhere. The hotel has an open roof to the hallway where they have beautiful gardens between the rooms so the rain comes in on them. Be careful as it can be a little slippery, but it is so nice! You will start hearing them roll the cleaning carts at about 8am and you will hear luggage being rolled a few times here and there, but it's really not much louder than a regular hotel anywhere. We were on the bottom floor so if you are as well, you will also hear the maids moving furniture above you while they clean. They must move every piece of furniture to sweep, but at least it's clean! Our view was just of a palm tree and a bush and to the access road as we stayed at the Sayil, but we didn't care because we came for the beach and pool. Lastly for this part, if you are looking for a quiet resort without kids, you chose the wrong resort. We had no idea there would be so many kids (from babies to about 6 yrs old) at this resort. I don't think it would have deterred us from staying there, but holy crap there were a lot of bratty crying children who's parents should have been made to take a perentatl test before being allowed to conceive children. Again, not a deal breaker, just say "silencio" and they will get the point :)

Beach:

HIGHLY recommend that no matter which of the buildings you stay at, that you go to the beach at the Beach and Caribe area if you like going into the water. There were a few rocks here and there, but nothing like the tropical and colonial areas. Be careful as there was a slight drop off as you first step in that could be a little rocky so take it nice and slow first time out. There were always chairs available and you can move them wherever you want on the beach. The sand was beautiful, the water blue and beautiful and a great temperature for late November and the view was fantastic. I took some pictures and they look like something you would find in a magazine or on a computer screen saver. You could hear a little noise from the pool music, but nothing that would interrrupt your day. We would just move our chairs closer to the water to hear the small waves crashing.

Pool:

Ok, so this one is a little tricky. First of all, the water was COLD. Now we are from the north so we are used to colder ocean temperatures, but this pool was much colder than the ocean at the resort. So much so that 90% of the people were not even in it. We were there for 7 days and I went in the pool 1 time and I love the water. It took a while getting used to and it was ok for a bit but then was feeling really cold. Not refreshing, just cold. This was a bummer because we wanted to split our time between the beach and the pool, and we did, we just didn't really enjoy the water at the pool. Now, granted we were there in November, but the outside temperatures were still hitting the mid 80'sF. At home we would have had pool temps around 75F or so. They say it's because the air temperature is lower, but I felt cold water by the jets that filter the water coming in. It is probably great when it's the summer, but not great at all in the November time frame. I just wish they would have heated it a little bit. Being younger and on our honeymoon, when we were at the pool we wanted music and some fun. The Caribe did not have anything like that. This seems to be the quietest pool around. We went to the Beach pool the one day and it was ok and had some music. We liked the Tropical and Colonial pool the best. Music, games, fun, bigger and many less small children :) The water was clean and blue.

Food:

First of all, make sure you book your "a la carte" selections the second you get there and check in because they will tell you that they are booked up. One previous reviewer was correct in telling you that even though they say they are booked up, they will be mostly empty. This is because they want you to select one of the "upgrade" a la carte restaurants that will cost you $15 or $20 USD more per person. I know this because when we went to book the steak house at first she told us it was unavailable. Then we booked the Japanese hibachi for an extra charge. Next thing you know, the steak house was not only available, but when we went it was less than half full. Kind of "scammy" but we were ok because we knew we were booking the Japanese anyway before we even left our country. As far as the a la carte, in our opinion the hibachi and steak house were the best by way of flavor. The service was fantastic at both. The Spanish was terrible. I tried to play it safe by getting a chicken, but they must have cooked it for a week because it was so dry. The service was extremely slow but they did put on a nice presentation for the "mayan coffee". I recommend that as a desert because at least you get a show out of it. The buffets were just that, buffets. You get what you get at a buffet. You have to remember that they are trying to cater to a buch of different likes and tastes so you will almost always find a buffet somewhat bland. We tried almost every one of them for lunch and found Captian Morgans our favorite. They all have pretty much the same thing as far as selection. Each day they always have the same 4 or 5 foods with 1 or 2 extra different selections to mix it up. We never saw breakfast, so I have no opinion on that. Overall, out of a 5, the food was a 3. But for the price of the all inclusive, it's what we expected. Then again, we aren't really that picky.

Drinks:

Again, it's an all inclusive so it is what it is. Corona you can get from the bartender, or you can self-serve it right from the tap! Nice! Fruity frozen drinks are good but get old and there isn't much alcohol. You can ask for things that aren't on their 7 drink menu, but you usually have to tell them how to make it or if someone else orders it, you can just say you want one of them. (Mai Tai, Miami Vice, etc.) If you don't want it frozen, you have to tell them because they make amost everything frozen during the day. You can ask for things such as Captian Morgan for no extra charge. They don't tell you this, I found out by accident by tipping a little at the bars :) Hey, at the end of the day, I'm drinking all I want in a tropical paradise. If the last one didn't have enough alcohol, get another!!

Other Activities:

After a long planned wedding, we were there to relax most of the time. We didn't do any of the water excursions, but we were told by everyone that did them that they were great. The only thing we did do was go to Playa del Carmen a couple days and went to Coco Bongo. What a great time! They have shops in Playa where you can haggle pricing to get good deals and they have plenty of authentic restaurants with fantastic food. People asked us, you got an all inclusive so why did you go spend money at Playa? Believe me we got our money's worth at the resort, but we wanted to take in some of the authentic food and atmosphere. I wouldn't have done it any different.

Tips:

- When you first get to the resort, walk around a bit and familiarize yourself because it's HUGE.
- Find out from the front desk when you check in what the buffet dinner schedule is so you can coordinate your a la carte reservations to avoid having the same things over and over
- TIP your bartenders!! I gave a guy at Coco Bongo $10 USD because he was so awesome and he literally hugged me. That's nothing in the states for 5 hours of work, but it's a lot to those guys. Also, a bartender at the resort told me they work for 60 Pesos per day - the same amount it takes him to get to and from work. That's about $5 USD. They LIVE off of tips. Yes, it's an all-inclusive, but what is a few dollars going to do after you just spent thousands to get there? Not much for you, but a lot for them. We spent time with a bartender that was great so I gave him $10 USD. Next thing you know we were getting shot after shot of all kinds of Tequila, including Don Julio which you normally have to pay extra for! They are greatfull.
- If you want more alcohol in your drinks, ask for the drink with "Mucho" and name the alcohol like rum or tequila or whatever goes in there.
- When at the a la carte dinners, they will try to sell you the drink list. If you want some wine and aren't too picky, just ask them for the "house wine" and there is no extra charge. They will refill over and over if you want :)
- If you are going info Playa, take the Collectivo. It is about 30 Peso's per person. The hotel shuttle is $19 USD per person - about 230 Peso's. We kept hearing different prices about a cab, but all of them were very expensive. Plus, the Collectivo runs from 5am till 11:30pm non stop so you aren't on the hotel shuttle time frame. All you have to do is exchange some money at the front desk for some Peso's, walk out to where the front gate of the hotel is to the side of the main road and I guarantee you a Collectivo is there within 2 minutes (Make sure it says Collectivo on the side and it is not a cab.) There must be hundreds of them going back and forth and they will get you there quickly because the faster they get you there, the faster they get more customers. When you get into Playa, remember where they dropped you off and when you get back to take the Collectivo to return just ask one of the workers that is boarding passengers which one takes you to Barcello and they will point you to the right one.
- While in Playa, if you can cover your all inclusive bracelet you will be thankful. You will get harrassed non stop for a taxi or to come see someone's shop or to book an excursion with them or to eat at their restaurant. They know you are from Barcello by the bracelet and will target you individually. They yelled over to us the entire time we walked but we learned to just ignore them or just say no if they walked in front of us to divert us to a store. If you walk past the same peole a couple times they stop, or if they see you ignoring the others they don't do it as much. Some of them were actually pretty funny. One guy said "come take a look at my crap, I have a lot of crap" and another guy said with a smile "hey come on over here so I can rip you off". We laughed and they get the game, just don't fall into it. Also very important is that you don't fall for the people that tell you they were your waiter at the Barcello. Again they know what resort you are from so they are trying to persuade you for something else.
- If you like shows in places like Vegas, do NOT MISS Coco Bongo. Best live show I have ever seen. You can buy packages from your resort that include transportation and all inclusive drinks. These were the only people that gave us good treatment for being on our honeymoon! We had a reserved table with all you can drink and table service from a server all night so we didn't have to go up to the bar once. It was $60 USD each, but worth every penny! Oh, and they said it was 70, but we told them someone else tried to sell it to us for 45 so they sold it to us for 60 for a Friday night.
- Lastly, learn a little Spanish before you go. It will help you and the people you are dealing with and is a little more respectful. You only need to learn about 10 key words, but it helps. Bathroom, beer, bar, front desk, drink, clean, towels, beach, more, time, yes, no, thank you, your welcome, finished and please should get you through your first day or two till you pick up a few more.

Overall:

We had a blast and a great time at this resort! We will be returning this coming summer with more people and we can't wait to see any of the things that we missed. For the price, everything is well worth it! I recommend this resort to anyone (Unless you require adult only resorts or some fancy shmancy service that follows you around all day).

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

I stayed at this resort a year prior in February 2011. At that time I travelled with my boyfriend and mother and father. We enjoyed our stay but there were some minor issues that have apparently become much worse....
My friend and I travelled to this resort Nov. 11-19th. We decided to 'treat ourselves' and upgraded to "Premium Club Class" through our travel agent. This was suppose to upgrade our room and offer special services for Club members.
We arrived around 8pm and checkin was fast and they offered up some warm champagne.
Our room which was suppose to be "Superior Ocean View" was a small ground floor standard room with one King size bed. We had specifically requested two beds as we were friends travelling. Six phone calls later we were moved to the room next door and again were in a regular room with a view of a lovely tree.
There was absolutley NO SERVICE. The resort was very slow and it was quite obvious that they adjusted there staff. If you wanted a drink by the pool it was about a half hour event at the bar where the bartenders basically ignored you as long as possible. The quality of the coctails was terrible. With our pricey upgrade we were told we could have all 'top shelf' alcohol...hahaha
Now if you are interested in eating while you are on vacation I suggest you send in a resevation request at least one month in advance. At our check in I asked to make our dinner reservations for the week...I think we were able to book one restaurant at a reasonable time and the rest were totally up to the booking lady as every restaurant and dining time we requested were unavailable. And then when you do walk past the restaurants they are more than half empty????
Didn't see a towel animal or chocolate on the pillow.
The second day we were there we recieved a phone call from their sales office asking us if we would like to upgrade to "Premium Club Class"...i told him that we were Club Class and he said he'd call me back. A few minutes later the phone rings and its the boss appologizing and expaining that our travel agent had 'ripped' us off and we they could not help us because we paid their fee to the travel agent. Maybe Sunwing should think about changing their brochures.
Couldn't find a Sunwing rep all week...our conciege had us running from resort to resort for hours in seach of SUnwing. A huge waste of time on a short vacation.
The bartenders in the main bar were rude and generally didn't seem to like their jobs at all.
Had one nice evening at the Italian restaurant where the service was excellent...they could teach the other venues at the resort some manners.
Overall I can definitly say I would never return to this resort and definitley warm family and friends of the issues.
The grounds are beautiful and the beach is lovely....but there are many other resorts in the Maya where you can have beauty and service!

Room Tip: Do not ugrade to Club Class....you get nothing extra
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

While the all-inclusive concept is not very appealing to us, my spouse and I decided to visit Mexico as a quick and inexpensive beach getaway. We selected the Barcelo due to its overall positive reviews. In retrospect, I wished I would have read the reviews more carefully.

Depending on the type of traveler you are, the interests you have, and your previous travel experiences, you will either truly enjoy the Barcelo, or never plan to return. As such, I have broken this reviews in several sections to make it easier to find the information that is most pertinent to you.

The Bedroom:

The bedroom was what one would expect at a beach resort. The bed was quite firm and uncomfortable to me, but the pillows were plentiful, fluffy, and  nicer than what I have usually encountered in other Latin American countries.

The Beach:

The beach is nice and clean with plenty of jack fish swimming alongside the bathers. The Beach/Caribe side of the Resort seems nicer with less rocks, but the Beach bar plays obnoxious loud music all day starting at around 10:00 am. I personally just want peace and quiet while at the beach, but I am assuming most of the other guests did not mind the music, and took it as part of the Caribbean/tropical ambiance.

There are several beach activities such as kayaks, sailing, jet skiing, and snorkeling. I recommend snorkeling or swimming by the pier if you want to be around plenty of fishes. It was fun and refreshing. Finally, the resort was not very full, and finding lounge chairs at the beach or by the pool was never a problem.

Beach Bars:

The beach bars only had one bar tender while we were there. Thus, it could take a minute to get drinks, and I can imagine it would take much longer if the hotel was busier. The bars had special drinks everyday, and we tried one each day. The drinks were fairly weak, with basic ingredients. Definitely not premium liqueur, but if you are not particular about your drinks, this should not be a problem.

Food:

My main complaint about this resort was its horrible bland and cold food. If you consider yourself a foodie do not go to this resort. Food quantity is not the problem, as there was an overabundance of food, and plenty of options, but don't expect to have an amazing meal while staying here. It is all about quantity rather than quality.

After our first meal there we were unsure how we would be able to stay for 5 days with such sub-par dining options. This review may sound overly critical by some, but food is an essential component of my travels. I seek exotic and gourmet food both at home and abroad, so the food at the Barcelo was disappointing and unsatisfying to say the least. That being said, the food on the beach grills, were warmer, and better seasoned than in the main buffets.

While the food was pretty bland with no hints of the local cuisine. The food would have been more palatable, if it was kept appropriately warm. However, the majority of the dishes are kept under warming lamps, which are inadequate to maintain the temperature. Why not invest on chafers for all the warm dishes? It seems like a pretty easy solution.

If you cannot stomach cold food, I would suggest relying on the pasta station where your dish can be prepared to order. Another option is to eat something from the grill, if you can ask for a freshly grilled burger rather than the several pre-cooked patties that I saw sitting under the heating lamps. The soups also seemed to be warm, as they had appropriate electric tureens.

However, if you are an easy eater, and not overly concerned with seasoning anf temperature, you will probably be very happy at the Barcelo. I effect, most children are likely to have no problem at all with the food.

Finally, of all the meals, breakfast was certainly the least offensive. The refried beans in particular was nice and warm, and had a modicum of seasoning (but not as rich and spicy as refried beans you will find outside the resort). Luckily, we had a chance to have a meal outside of the resort while visiting Tulum, which was delicious. I just hope that most guests don't think that the food here is a good representation of authentic Mexican food.

Specialty Restaurants:

We ate at the Spanish and Mexican restaurants. While the food was better than the buffets, it was nothing to write home about. The food in both restaurants was appropriately warm, which was a vast improvement than the food served in the buffets, but I have eaten better Spanish and Mexican food before. Heck, I have eaten better "Mexican" food in Tokyo.

Staff:

The staff was great. Nothing to complain here. They were friendly and attentive, and no one ever gave any outward indications of wanting tips. However tips are certainly appreciated.

Children:

There are a lot of children in this resort. If the idea of screaming children bothers you, you would do better at an adult-only resort. While there were plenty of couples there, I could not imagine the place as a romantic getaway. Again, it all depends on your level of tolerance.

Travel Representatives:

Travel representatives, and a car rental agency can be found in the same area as the main concierge. These travel representatives are not associated with the resort, but I thought I would share our experience trying to book a visit to Chichen Itza and Tulum.

We were quoted an astronomical price for both tours, as such I told our representative I would check on the prices for a rental car to compare costs. He tried to dissuade us from renting a car, implying on the possibility of highjacking as tourists are easily recognizable by “crooks.”

Okay, last time I checked I was visiting the Yucatan peninsula and not Juarez! Have had driven before in Brazil and in Israel, I was not overly concerned about driving in Mexico. The drive was super easy: the road to Chichen is well maintained and you just need to follow the signs. Just be in the lookout for the speed bumps, because they come out of nowhere : )

Internet:

The resort has no free wireless -- not even in the lobby. Furthermore, the wireless code only works in one device at a time. If you have multiple users in your party, you either have to buy several access cards, or take turn using the service. In this day and age, this type of wireless service is outdated and quite annoying.

A quick test to see if the Barcelo would be a good option for you (in my humble opinion):

Is gourmet food a big part of your life?
Are you able to and/or enjoy identifying the different ingredients in your meals?
Do you like your food to be warm?
Do you favor premium liqueurs and wine?
Do you like to explore the country you are visiting and  to observe the locals in their daily lives?
Do you mind children screaming on the hotel hallways until about 10:00pm in the evenings?

If you answered Yes to at least 3 of this questions the Barcelo is probably not for you. STAY AWAY!

Is your main vacation goal to lounge at the beach or the pool?
Are you traveling with children?
Are you an easy eater with no food restrictions?
Do you have basic requirements for libations and spirits?
Do you prefer staying in a resort throughout your visit than exploring the countryside and mingling with locals outside the hotel?

If you answered Yes to at least 3 of this questions, you will have a ball at the Barcelo. Have fun!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Boise, ID
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Been to Mexico 10 times, Cancun, Akumal, PV, etc... first time to Barcelo as we got a 50% off deal thru orbitz. We stayed at the Caribe resort in the Sayil Building.

PROS
Beach in front of Caribe was excellent as you could walk into ocean 300 feet and see many fish, Barracuda etc...
Had no problem finding loungers at pool or on the beach. Hotel only seemed 50% full in Nov.
Staff was excellent
Room was great, had king bed very comfortable (most beds in Mexico HARD) Had many english TV stations, HBO, MAX, ESPN etc....
Breakfast and dinner in Caribe buffet restaurant was good. Dinner was a little better over in tropical/colonial buffet restaurant. (You can eat at either)
Mini golf course was very fun and we played it 4 times in our 10 day stay.
Easy to catch Collectivo in front of resort to playa (25 pesos each way was a deal)
We had the option of seeing the nightly shows at the Caribe theatre or the Tropical/Colonial theatre was was good. Most evening shows pretty enjoyable. Michael Jackson and Latino shows were our favorites.


CONS
Lunch at the Capt. Morgans resaturant at Caribe was pretty BAD. Not many choices and food was always COLD. We ended up hanging out at the Olympic pool over at the tropical resort and having lunch at the Palmeras restaurant which was MUCH better than Capt. Morgans.
Items at the stores and resort shopping mall were about 50% more than same items in Playa stores.
Fairly long walk to towel pick up booths but was good excercise.
Maid service was fairly slow on a few days as they didn't get to room until 5pm. Not a big deal.

We took ADO bus from Airport to Playa (120 pesos) then took taxi to hotel (250 pesos)
We like this much better than paying the high cost of shuttle service.

Also went to Playa Jazz Festival Nov 22-24th and it was outstanding. FREE admission on the beach. Will be back next Nov. and do it again.

Room Tip: Find a room midway between lobby and the pool/beach. Find a room away from theatre as its very noisy...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Not a 5star more like a 3star

Hotel reception and staff - We didn't get what we paid for - premium alcohol, now having to eat/drink gluten free I would not have accepted a package that did't allow me such options. I was inquiring about internet service and I got about 10 different prices and the run a around, finally I was able to buy a wifi package for the remainder of my stay at an unlimited price.

Food - It was good, edible but boring as it was the same thing every day. Breakfast was the worst selection.

Witnessed a father physically assault his son outside our room only to have that man charge after me then proceeded to punch and kick my door while yelling that he is going to kill me. no option to call 911 had to find the 4 digit code to call reception. Security showed up. I come out to find out that this guy had also thrown another female canadian guest against the wall. The wife shows up to defend her husband (really WTF). to make a long story short this guy gets to remain in the hotel as if nothing happened. I would say that the hotel does not put the safety of their guests first.

The only thing this hotel has going for it, is the beach. I have been to many resorts in the mayan and I have to admit that this beach is beautiful and not rocky at all.

I will never be back to this hotel and I will certainly voice my opinion to friends family and whomever that they would be better off somewhere else.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

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

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
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
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Barcelo Maya Caribe 3*
Reservation Options:
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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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