We have just returned from a 2 week holiday at this resort and it was almost perfect except for the rain and construction work. Our (first) check in was fairly quick and easy and we upgraded to Premium straight away. I would highly recommend this upgrade as it allows you to eat any number of times in the a la carte restaurants rather than the usual 3 a week restriction. It also provides unlimited internet, though only on one device at a time and in the rooms and lobby. However, do not be fooled by the statement that you can get unlimited internationally branded drinks because this is only in the club premium room at the back of the hotel. We got two massages at the spa, which had a beautiful set up, and we left feeling super relaxed and rejuvenated!
Our upgraded room was amazing, with a huge bed and in the 2nd floor so was noiseless from the other residents. However, our room block was right next to the Maya Beach hotel which was being demolished and there was a fair amount of noise throughout the day. The room and the hotel in general was spotless and there were staff cleaning constantly. The only problem we had with the room was the bathroom door didnt provide much privacy as it was slatted wood and did not lock.
The food at this resort is amazing, so tasty. However, we went to the buffet once and I struggled to find something I liked. So we were really glad we had upgraded so we could go to the a la cartes instead. We visited most of these restaurants and also paid an extra $20 each to go to the Maya Palace restaurants which were especially fantastic. The breakfast at the buffet became very samey after 2 weeks. Lunch at Capitan Morgan was tasty but again samey.
All the staff were so friendly at the restaurants. Sometimes you felt slightly rushed if you got a late booking for dinner but usually not. We also had an incident with a missing phone, and the concierge and security staff were super helpful.
We visited Chichen Itza and the rep that booked us in was very helpful. The trip started at a reasonable time in the morning, with an air-conditioned coach with water and beer included. The town itself was amazing and I would definitely recommend this excursion, quite good value for money and allows you the chance to see a lot in a fairly short time.
I would also recommend Playa del Carmen which we visited twice. The first time we went to Coco Bongos, and just a wander around a lovely town.
All in all our holiday was amazing until the last 3 days when we were informed we had to move hotels due to the Caribe being shut down for renovation. This ended up taking up the whole of the 2nd last day of our holiday. This despite e-mailling Thomson in advance to check the construction work wouldn't affect our trip at all. Apparently there was limited communication between Barcelo and Thomson and as we later discovered between the hotels in the resort. We moved to the Tropical to a room which was not part of our Premium upgrade so had to complain and wait for another hour to get a decent room though it was on the ground floor so turned out to be very noisy. It also turned out to have a severe leak from the bathroom light which took yet another hour to be remedied. The rooms at the Tropical were lovely despite these issues though, more contemporary than the Caribe and had an amazing wet room. This was an unfortunate ending to an amazing holiday but I would probably still recommend a Barcelo hotel because it was beautiful hotel and I'd go just for the food really!