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“Great place, horrible food.” 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   |  
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Ranked #5 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great place, horrible food.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

I loved everything about the Barcelo with the exception of the food. The grounds were well kept, the beach is just beautiful, and the staff was always warm and welcoming. The rooms were lovely.

The food was absolutely uneatable. I usually ignore review where people complain about buffet food because buffet food is not gourmet and never really tastes fantastic, but the food at the Barcelo has absolutely no flavor. There were 7 of us on our trip and none of us were able to find that much we liked. Breakfast was the only decent meal they served. Even the upgraded meal at the specialty restaurant was horrible. I lost a pound while on vacation and believe me, I wasn’t trying. It really was a shame. Everything else was perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Room Tip: The Beach section of the resort seemed to be more geared towards adults and the beach is less rocky...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (121)
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

We had an enjoyable stay at the Caribe for 2 weeks at the end of January .The rooms were fine and well furnished plenty of space with a balcony.Food was good .In the buffet resturants there was a huge selection - only a slight problem was keeping the food warm-i guess in these open plan resturants there is a continued through breeze at cools the food.(same with most other buffet resturants in other hotels)The wine during meals was OK and staff worked hard to keep glasses topped up. One tip if ordering a beer ,ask for the dark beer ,it has more taste than the regular larger type beer they will give.The beach is wonderful so picturesque boarderd by palm trees of various types.There are plenty of sun beds ,although some are in need of repair.There are no shades so one has to park in the shade of a palm tree.There is entertainment in the theatre every evening ,the only problem is that the sound is much TOO LOUD which spoils the show .There is a promenade where one can walk and look around the other hotels on the resort complex,which I must say, look better than the Carib.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

In my opinion the hotel deserves 4 stars in respect of the beach, pools and the grounds of the hotel; 3 stars in respect of the rooms and food; and 2 stars in respect of the cleaning of the rooms. Therefore, I will settle with the medium, 3 stars.

Beach and snorkeling: the beach is nice, white sand and clear waters and some nice snorkeling right by the beach (namely by the Colonial&Tropical beach, I saw a stingray, the Caribe beach is too shallow for snorkeling). However, there are better beaches for example in Tulum - the Barcelo Maya beach is rocky in some parts, so you have to watch your feet a bit. The beach by the hotel Caribe is very shallow with not so many rocks, and the beach by the hotels Colonial&Tropical is deeper with a lot more rocks, some coral and fish. Would recommend bringing your own snorkel gear. Swimming shoes not necessary in my opinion (the problem where the big rocks, I did not notice much small rocks).

Pools: they are nice. The water is on the cold side but its ok if it is a warm day. On a cloudy day, however, the pools are too cold for swimming. I noticed some people complaining about the food not being served to the pool areas – hello people, this was a huge plus!! Could you imagine all the trash people would leave poolside and all the birds and animals coming after for the leftovers?? Oh no, it was an extremely good policy by the hotel that all food must be eaten inside the restaurants.

Quality of food in the buffet: I noticed some people here have also complained about the food. I don’t think the food deserves that. It is very standard buffet quality food, the same as you would get anywhere in an all inclusive buffet. By all means no gourmet but good with a wide selection of choices. Those people here who have complained about the food: you obviously have not travelled very much – you go to Lithuania or Tunis and you will know what bad food tastes like!

A la carte dinners: we did only the Spanish, Mexican and steak dinners. All were very good; however, the Spanish tapas (entre) in the Spanish restaurant was not decent Spanish tapas.

I have to say, however, that the “we give you 3 a la carte dinners per week” system is rather ridiculous. It works just as someone here earlier had pointed out – you go to the concierge and they will basically tell you that there are no availabilities. Other that at some ridiculous hours (and yes, we tried to book early!). We ended up being able to use only 3 of our 6 a la cartes, just because otherwise the offered hours would have been totally either too late or too early (at 10pm for a family with two children???).

Drinks: the house wines (included in the all inclusive) were terrible. Both the white and red. No good people should be punished with that horrible tasting water that they called wine…

Rooms: now, this is the worst part of the hotel. The rooms were depressing and especially the bathrooms could for sure use some refurbishment. The walls are very thin and you can hear everything from your neighbour and from the corridor (it was actually very frustrating as some people kept screaming in the corridor and banging doors).

Cleaning of the rooms: I am sorry but it was about the worst I have ever experienced. We left good tips (50-100 pesos) each day and still it was always badly cleaned. Same dirt and garbage on the floor every day, it was clear that they only quickly cleaned the main visible areas of the room but neglected to do anything more. Also, a lamp was broken in the bathroom for the last couple of days (which the cleaning lady must have noticed) but nothing was done. We also had a water damage when I took a bath and took of the plug  all the water came from the drain to the hotel room floor (not just the bathroom, the whole room) because the drain was clogged with hair and other stuff that just accumulates there over days and years (=not properly cleaned by the cleaning personnel)… They came to dry the floor but it was left partly wet and it was only dried, NOT cleaned – therefore, the next night (within 8 hours of the incident) my daughter got a nice little case of diarrhea (it’s no wonder, when you have had 2 centimeters of sewage water on the floor and it has not been sanitized at all).

Laundry service: had to try it because some of our clothes got wet by stinking sewage water (see the bath incident above). The hotel covered the bill for us, but if you use the laundry on your own, it is good but seemed to be ridiculously expensive. Bring enough clothes for the whole trip or alternatively bring your own laundry detergent and wash your laundry in the sink of the bathroom.

Wifi: they really should not advertise having a wifi because it worked very poorly in the room (and not at all by the pools). Only time it worked properly in the room was at night (in the middle of the night I mean).

Service: all the restaurant personnel does a good job. Usually they were all very friendly. However, we did not get good service from the concierge (located in the lobby of the building where the rooms are).

Entertainment: I could not hear anything because of the VERY bad sound system they have. Your ears will hurt, let me tell you.

People: Caribe has a lot of European families. Tropical&Colonial have a lot of Canadian and American people. I love americans but there were some young groups who enjoyed the drinking a bit too much (unfortunately)... Lot of wedding parties too.

All and all, it was a good two weeks for the most part but they would need to refurbish the rooms and improve on their cleaning before I would ever go back.

Ps. Note to anyone going to Akumal: see my separate review of Akumal beach. Akumal beach town (the taxi will drop you of there) was also very nice with some very good quality supermarkets here (TIP: I could recommend making your purchases here, not in the hotel shops. Tequila and other Mexican stuff was soooo much cheaper here).

Room Tip: If you want to be sure to get a good room, book in another hotel...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Don’t be surprised il you see this resort illustrating numerous guides of the Riviera Maya on first cover page ! There is a reason !
They have kept entire parts of jungle when building the resort. It’s beyond a lush garden, big parts are naturally authentic.
It’s huge there so you can easily get peaceful places anywhere, especially on the south bound of the beach. If you like animation you’ll soon know the places to go too...
Staff works hard there but they keep smiling and do good job (restaurants, bars, gardens, beach).
First contact at the reception was a bit acid because I did book at the Maya Caribe and our rooms were set at the Maya Beach ... but as they filled all our requests (close rooms, non smoking, on the ground floor...) it was a good deal finally and the rooms (in Coba building) were brand new and very comfortable (not the bathrooms that need a little refreshment, but they were still OK ). They don’t provide with individual soap sets but with wall dispensers that were not operating, so I would recommend to bring your own shower/shampoo. After one claim at the reception nothing changed within the week !
Sometimes at night in the room we did hear noise coming from the shows in the theater, but after 10:30 PM it was over anyway. Once I had to get out of the room to make people shut up, they were giving a loud conference in the corridor at 01:30 AM...alone on the planet... “maleducati”...
Food is more than correct, of course after a few days you often see the same dishes, but there is a big choice though the roasted pork leg every two evenings is really boring !
I made our 3 allowed reservations to the “à la carte” restaurants just after check-in and there was no problem of scheduling (date nor time). The spanish one “Don Qijote”was average and very noisy, the steakhouse “Rancho Grande” on the beach was pleasant and we got very good meat and the mexican one “Agave” is a must where we got tasty food, a lot of fun and such a nice service with Irene !
About the wine served at table : the white wine (Chardonnay) is very acceptable, the red wine is awful !
I found the cocktails made better and more carefully than in many other places in the Caribbean.
The beach is great, paradisiac to rest and dream, you can swin peacefully but I would recommend to wear light plastic shoes when bathing because there are some little rocks in water even in the sandy parts, and so you feel safe for your feet.
Great freedom to enjoy walks within the 5 hotels grounds.
Everywhere sunbeds and hammocks are in perfect condition ; once a neighbour broke a hammock unintentionnally, one hour later it was fixed with a new one !
For shopping I would advise the Mexican Plaza at the Maya Colonial were there are bigger choice & discounts ahead !
About the trips from the hotel don’t forget the option for a dedicate driver & cab (180 USD for 4 hours & 4 persons).
If you are in trouble with walking, don’t hesitate to come with your wheelchair, then you’ll get full access everywhere even by the seashore.
About the evening shows, they take place in a pleasant theatre set like a cabaret and we really enjoyed the Fiesta Mexicana, being served at table by nice waitresses with complimentary cocktails like everywhere else in the resort. As an anecdote they even performed the universal hit of Psy “Gangnam style” in the mexican way inviting the audience to join them and it was such a fun !
Despite a few imperfections I highly recommend this resort for a nice vacation on the Riviera Maya.

Room Tip: You won't be sure of anything before check-in, but it seems they do their best to satisfy you.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Malling, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

My partner and I went to the Barcelo Maya Caribe on the 10th of January I booked this trip for his 50th birthday as a surprise through First Choice/Thomson. Our flight out there was 7 hours delayed from Gatwick so we didn't arrive until 12am. Transfer from the airport was 1 hour away wasn't expecting this but we were the first drop off. On arrival we were quickly checked in and given a booklet of discounts to use in the hotel and the bell boy took us to our room. Room was ok had better in Mexico and the bed was very hard not good if you have back problems but was very clean. Room had free mini bar with selection of soft drinks, water, beer and even crisps! Bathroom was ok, didn't like that you had to stand in the bath for a shower but it was fine and no privacy with the bathroom door you can hear everything if you know what i mean! Next day we decided to upgrade and used the vouchers that they gave us the night before. The upgrade was $80 per night but if you used the vouchers it was only $40. Upgraded room was the same as a standard but you got unlimited wifi and you could use the al a carte restaurants as many times as you wanted, had more selection over drinks, free room service and 10% off in the hotel shops. Buffett food for lunch and dinner for me was a let down always cold and not that great only thing I enjoyed about the buffet was the breakfast! The Italian, Japanese and Steak house restaurants were fab nice selection of foods and always hot but you have to book them with concierge early! The beach at the Caribe for me was amazing! The waters were so clear it really felt like paradise, its in a wonderful cove and much better this side of the complex. If you head down to the beach at 12pm you do struggle to find a sun bed so get there early. There were so many swimming pools I didn't realise it was such a big complex I think it had 4 hotels in total so bear this in mind if you want somewhere small because its not. Pool bars are great they do great strawberry slushies and if your into shots ask for the Spider-Man it's great! On general there was a lot of European visitors to the hotel I only heard a few English voices the whole 11 nights! There were some very rude Russians but you get them everywhere I guess!

My partner surprised me with dinner on the beach one evening which is highly recommended was very romantic if that's what your into?

We took three must do excursions whilst being there. Captain Hook evening on a boat in Cancun, drive your own speed boat and dolphin trainer for a day which was amazing!

All in all was a good trip, not sure I'd go back to this hotel as we would prefer somewhere with not so many kids!

If you have any questions about my stay email me at laurajcoombs@aol.com

Thanks Barcelo!

Room Tip: Don't bother booking sea view because there isn't one the rooms are set too far back you can...
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  • Stayed January 2013, 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
    • 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.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013 via mobile

The hotel is located in a very picturesque surrounding.
Almost all STAFF is very attentive and smiling, also loving tips very much. The only thing about the receptionists that upset us a little bit during check out is that we paid for wi-fi twice. On the 1st day of our stay we took the password at the guest room for 4 days and go straight to the reception to pay for those 4 days, cause we think it wouldn't make the connection until we had paid. (We found out later, that we should put all the purchases on our room number and bracelet num.) So, my boyfriend paid, than I asked him whether he had taken the check or not, he admitted, that he'd taken everything the man gave him, so I didn't bother to be convinced of it. When checking out, I noticed, that there was that 4days i-connection in the have-to-pay-list, so I explain, the situation and that we hadn't been given the check, but we paid and the info should have been in their computer. But unfortunately it wasn't, but we had no check, so couldn't prove, also didn't remember the receptionist who took the money. All in all it was our fault, so be more attentive, don't forget to get the checks and save them.
The food is nice and tasty, but nothing extraordinary.
The rooms are all in all ok, but sanitary equipment is noisy. Also we heard the steps from the upper floor, music and voices from the theater.
The sea is good and mostly always clean, but the bottom isn't sandy everywhere and shallow, be careful!
A la carte restaurants are cute!
Spa is common.
Barcy club is a perfect place to leave your child in for a couple of hours.
Animation is energetic!
Mexico is friendly!
Ready to come back!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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2 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

My husband I and I went with my brothers family and we all had a wonderful time. From food to location and services, it was Fab.

P.S.

Jan. 24, 2013
On that same trip I lost my engagement ring. I Was just Sick over it. We talked to the front desk and they directed us to the right person to help us. We went to dinner and the hotel rep. Showed up with my ring in hand. I couldn't believe that they had found it. I was so thankful.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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
#4 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Barcelo Maya Caribe 3*
Number of rooms: 414
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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