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“beautiful beach and water -snorkeling fantastic!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Maya Caribe

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Barcelo Maya Caribe
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Ctra Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juarez, Km 266.3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Philadelphia
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“beautiful beach and water -snorkeling fantastic!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2010

Stayed in Barcelo Maya Caribe Beach resort from 3/2 to 3/9. I picked this resort after looking at pictures on trip advisor. I love to snorkel so crystal clear water and beautiful reefs is what attracted me. I was not disappointed. This was my fifth trip to Mexico. Stayed at Iberostar, Bahia Principe, Xcaret, and Sunset Princess resorts. Although very nice resorts none had a beach where I could walk into the water with my snorkel gear and actually see more than a few fish. Barcelo reefs are awesome! I usually sign up for a minimum of two tours per trip to get some good snorkeling in but at this resort not necessary. I snorkeled all seven days at resort- some ok snorkeling in front of Caribe/Beach and fun to go under the pier in front of Colonial/Tropical at least once(lots of fish huddle under and one very big barracuda) but the place to go is in front of the Palace. As soon as your feet touch water there are reefs. My boyfriend and I would discover new reefs everyday - (the best is out by the ropes). We saw large sea turtles, stingrays, barracuda, and lots of fish. Even saw a squid! The reefs range in water depth from two feet to approximately twenty feet. I did read some other reviews saying the snorkeling was not good and the fish under the pier were boring. These people obviously did not try very hard and stayed in that one section. I also saw people comparing the resort to Xel-ha. I have been there three times and that is an experience that you cannot compare and I do not expect you could find that on any resort. (Xel-ha is a protected national ecological reserve -incredible place that for me is best snorkeling in Mexico and trips offered from Barcelo resorts). So i hope this review helps out fellow snorkelers!
So as I said we stayed at Caribe/Beach resort. For those of you unfamiliar with Barcelo there are three resorts in this complex all connected by walkways and all accessible from same beach. The lowest end is Caribe/Beach followed by Tropical/Colonial and finally The Palace. At our resort the rooms were fine- have stayed in better rooms but we were not expecting that since we did pick the lowest end resort. Bathrooms were still pretty nice. I had no complaints. No problems with housekeeping and always enough fresh towels and whatever else i see people complain about.
There is the main buffet opened for all three meals and they also have two smaller buffets that we went to for lunches. There are four restaurants and you are allowed to reserve three for dinner during your stay. We chose Seafood, Steakhouse, and Spanish. The one we did not choose was Mexican. Spanish was our favorite. Apparantly you can do the Hibachi over in Colonial/Tropical for $15 US per person but we did not. So if you stay at Beach/Caribe you only have access to restaurants and bars in this resort. I do not expect five star restaurants and gourmet food at these places and i was very content with buffets and restaurants at our resort. We did sneak in to the Colonial/Tropical buffet for dinner one night ( was chilly so had on long sleeves that covered our bracelets) and must say the food was a little better. I would imagine if your one of those people who care that much about the food The Palace would be the place for you.
I like a more tropical/jungle feel to a resort while my boyfriend prefers large marble lobbies and grand surroundings. I preferred our resort while he loved The Palace. We both agreed that we would stay at any of the three resorts if ever go back.
The staff very friendly and drinks were not watered down. The one thing is that at our resort had to pay extra for top shelf ($4 for Jack Daniels and certain other brand names) It did not bother us but if you plan on going and really prefer top shelf might want to check if other two resorts are the same. There is a lobby bar, two bars at theater, and a disco. During the day Capain Morgans bar and pool/swim up bar. The one thing i cannot comment on is the pool and swim up bar since the weather had been unusually cooler in the Riviera the few weeks prior to our trip and pools were pretty cold. Hardly anyone was in there which was disappointing because i love spending some days at the swimup bar! This shouldn't be a problem for too much longer since the weather was getting better the week we stayed. We were actually worried after seeing weather reports giving temps of 72-75 being the high temp on certain days but everyday was sunny in the high 70's to mid 80's with the exception of one cloudy day. It was chilly at night which i am not used to in Mexico for this time of year so if going soon bring a couple long sleeve shirts.
I will try to comment on some other topics I always see other people complain about on these reviews. There are rocks and reefs in the water but only select places and we had no problem walking in and out of water so no need for water shoes. There are no bugs on beach or walkways around resort. They do have a miniature golf course in jungle like setting and that was the only place i got bit at all and wasn't that bad. If you want to play golf bring bug spray- otherwise you will be fine. No problem checking in and our room was ready when we got there. We used the safe in our room through the whole trip and nothing was taken. This is a family resort so were definitely fair share of children but we were never bothered. The Palace seemed to have noticably less children. All resorts have kids centers and Colonial/Tropical and Palace have impressive water parks for kids.
So in closing would definitely suggest this resort and the Barcelo complex to people. I think between the three resorts there is one for all tastes. Hope this was helpful!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 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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New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2010

Before I booked my trip at the Barcelo property, I was very confused about the layout of the hotel and the amenities offered to each property by "class system." So, first, you must understand that the Maya Caribe Beach is 1 of 5 hotels on this hotel's property compound. While facilities are sometimes shared among all 5 hotels, each property has its own front desk and separate room buildings. My boyfriend and I stayed in the Maya Caribe Beach, which is next to the Maya Beach. They are considered on the same property, as they are the same price point (lowest) and all amenities are equal between the 2.

These 2 hotels were the cheapest to stay in of the 5 and surely felt that way. Everything from the crowd, to the food, to the service felt like you were in the lower "class" of hotels. I'll just cut to the chase. Below is my review of the Caribe Beach Hotel. (I'll start with the good and then end on the bad.)

GROUNDS: They are GORGEOUS. You can't argue with that fact. So much greenery. Beautifully manicured lawns, palm trees, flowers, Mayan statues adorning the grounds and the buildings. They grounds are also very clean. You always see employees walking around fixing things up cleaning the area. There are also basketball courts, giant chess boards and mini kiddie water parks for the kids.

BEACH/OCEAN: Breathtaking. Seriously, one of the nicest beaches I've seen. Unlike some other hotels in Riviera Maya, there are no sandbags in the ocean here. The sand is pure white and feels like powder between your toes. There are more available chairs than your eye can see. After reading many reviews and going there myself, the Maya Beach and Caribe Beach hotels are definitely situated on the nicer part of the beach versus the other hotels in the Barcelo property. That doesn't mean that you simply can't walk over from the other hotels to stay on this part of the beach though. The ocean is crystal blue and refreshing. There are a ton of fish to see if you snorkel. The beast place is by the dock-million of fish! You can rent free water tricycles, kayaks, and other equipment. The hotel also gives you 1 free hour of snorkel equipment ($6.00 US for every hour after that). The beach gets crowded, but it's so enormous, that if you want a private spot, you can definitely find one. The entertainment staff also does a lot of activities on the beach like water aerobics, yoga, and games.

SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS: I HIGHLY recommend booking these. Depending on which property you're staying in and for how long, you get a certain number of free vouchers for dinner reservations in the restaurants. They fill up very fast, so book them right after you check in. If you stay in Maya Beach or Caribe Beach, you have a choice of 3 restaurants (Spanish, Mexican, or Steakhouse). We only tried the Spanish one, and it was delicious. Nice atmosphere and a welcomed change from the buffet. We also paid $15 US extra each to dine at the Bali Hai Japanese Restaurant at the Maya Colonial/Tropical Hotel and it was well worth it! It was a real hibachi place with the whole show at the table. The food was awesome, as was the service. They put on a great little "show" for birthdays too.

POOLS: I didn't really spend much time at the pool because the beach is so gorgeous, but it's a nice place to hang out and relax. All the pools are surrounded by chairs and hammocks. There is usually entertainment, music, and games at the Maya Beach pool.

SHOPS: Between the Caribe Beach and the Colonial beach there is a really cute little marketplace. They sell all kinds of souvenirs and bargain with you. A couple of days they also have live entertainment/shows in the plaza that are cute for kids. I would definitely recommend taking a nice stroll through this area, it's adorable.

DISCO: It's called Jaguars and located between the Caribe Beach and the Colonial and definitely walking distance. If not, there's a free trolley/bus that runs all night to and from the disco. Club is really nice and big. Music is really loud and eclectic. Since we happened to be there over spring break, it was really crowded with rowdy kids, but not so sure how crowded it would have been otherwise.

ENTERTAINMENT: They have a big entertainment staff that is around all day playing games and activities with the guests. They're at the pool, beach, etc. There are also a ton of things for kids to do. Arts and crafts, sports, etc. The shows at night are really nice, but get a little redundant after a while. You definitely can't get bored here though.

TOURS/EXCURSIONS: This hotel has a person in the lobby that can help you book tours but they also rent out an office to private tour companies you can book through (ie. Apple Vacations). Just a note about this, they'll all rip you off, so be prepared. We did the tour to Tulum and Xel-Ha. The guy we booked it through lied to us about the time of the bus arrival. He also gave us misleading information about the tour itself. When all was said and done, Tulum was a really beautiful and educational site to visit, and Xel-Ha was a really fun all-inclusive water/eco park where you can snorkel, cliff jump, tube down a river, etc.

BUFFET: Very very disappointing. Granted they are cooking for thousands of people, but nothing ever felt or looked fresh. And almost everything gave us indigestion. My boyfriend and I would dread lunch and dinner at the buffets. For breakfast, they at least made fresh eggs to order but everything else was just sitting hard and cold in large tins. Pizza was always cold and hard, toast was pre-toasted, burgers were pre-cooked, etc. Don't get me wrong, they had A TON of food and choices, but nothing really looked or felt appetizing to us. We managed to survive on making turkey sandwiches from deli meats, cheese and (actually) really delicious fresh bread. The service in the buffets is decent.

SERVICE: Aside from the front desk/lobby which you can read about in the "ROOMS" section below, the hotel service was fair. I think that if we had stayed in the Colonial, Tropical, or Palace, the service may have been better, as they deal with higher-end clientele. I made the mistake of not booking this trip in those hotels, but who really knows how much better it would have been.

ROOMS: Ok, this is a biggie and I am going to include a lot of detail. The rooms were the source of all our frustration on this trip. When I booked this trip on cheapcaribbean.com, the only thing I requested was a room with a nice view. I also noted that I have been a client of another Barcelo property for over 10 years. To my disappointment and frustration, when I got to the Caribe Beach Hotel, I received a room that was the polar opposite of what I requested. (I understand that it was only a request, but being such a great client of "sister" property, I thought I would get something--anything better than what I actually got.) The room was literally the farthest room away from the pool/beach and it was on the first floor, facing the tennis courts and a busy road. We heard workers zooming by in their trucks all day and night. Not only that, like many other reviews noted, the buildings have NO insulation whatsoever. Therefore if someone so much as breathes outside your door, you can hear it. You can hear everything! This awful room also happened to be adjacent to a staircase, so all day and night we heard people's heels clacking up and down the stairs. I immediately went to the front desk to request a room change and was met with resistance. I should note that if you want ANYTHING done, immediately ask for the manager. Don't bother with the front desk staff. It seems like their job is to try and push you away as much as possible so you just break down and walk away. After much arguing with the font desk staff, the manager finally came out and agreed to give us a new room in 2 days with a much better view. After finally making the switch, we thought everything was great, but not for long. A huge pack of spring breakers were placed in all of the surrounding rooms near us and were louder than words can describe. Parties all night long. Loud music. Screaming. You name it. So, once again, (this time at 11 pm), we went back to the front desk and requested a change. They immediately resisted and were unapologetic about the noise. All the guy said he could offer was added security on the premises. Clearly, added security was not going to stop a rowdy crowd of 20 year old's from having a good time, so I refused to accept that. The guy at the front desk was a real jerk about it, kept on resisting, and told us the only way to get another room was to pay for a better one or wait for something to open up in the next day or so. Again, not good enough. I explained that I went on vacation for peace and quiet and instead I had spent more time fighting with the front desk than anything else. And I especially shouldn't have to pay more for quiet. Again, he didn't care. Anyhow, to make a LOONNNG story short, after literally screaming and crying and what was almost a nervous breakdown, the asme Manager who helped us the first time finally came out and we were able to be upgraded that night to a premium room for no additional cost. I don't understand why they couldn't just offer to make us happy in the first place, instead of trying to break us down (successfully) and ruin our evening and our opinion about their hotel. Customer service there stinks to say the least. Well, it didn't end there, folks. Our new room, while quiet and in the premier section, was dirty. The toilet was filthy, the towels were stained, and the toilet was running. WAS THIS A BAD DREAM? So, once again, we called the manager and she sent someone up at 12:30 am to clean the bathroom. I mean, really, that's just pathetic. Not only was the bathroom dirty upon arrival, the housekeepers barely clean at all (in either of the rooms we stayed in). To me, it seems like the hotel doesn't care about making their customers happy because they already have their money. I left with a very bad feeling about the front desk staff. They lied many times to persuade us to stay in our undesirable rooms and put up a fight every chance they could. Their only saving grace was their manager.

Sorry so long, but I hope this helps.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Calgary
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2010

The Barcelo Maya Caribe Beach is a nice hotel, it is not 5 star. If it is than I would like to know what the Barcelo Maya Palace is rated, it must be a 10 star.

First off, the rooms were clean. The resort was really nice on the whole. Here is what I disliked about it....The a la cartes (you get three options), we went to the spanish restaurant the first night and it was really good, an actual restaurant. The other two times we went we got sent to a converted snackbar. The seafood restaurant was in the Capitan Morgan snackbar. We had our meal, we were waiting for our dessert and my wife said she saw a rat. I could not believe it till I saw, not one but two, scampering around the bar and then up into the boat (the bar is a pirate ship). We complained to the restaurant manager and the front desk and no one seemed that put out by it. We asked for a new a la carte slip, and were told that they are all booked up.

The room cleaning and minibar situations were hit and miss. Some days we came back to our room and we had not complaints. Other days we would come back and have no face cloths, no toilet paper and the minibar was not restocked. I was there for a week and I raided the maid cart 2 or 3 times for toilet paper. I had to call guest services the same amount of times to get the mini bar restocked, one time thay never showed up at all.

The buffet food was sub-par, it was okay the first couple days. After that we started to dread eating there. It is a buffet, so that can be expected.

The esthitics of the resort was beautiful . The beach is marvelous, the pools are nice and the land scaping is top notch. The employees are friendly and work very hard. The service at the buffet, the bars and the theatre is great. It was rare for an employee not to say "hola" when you walked by.

I would not recommend it. The rat thing was enough to sour me on the entire resort.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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maryland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2010

I am a very careful traveler and research ahead of time extensively. This was our first trip to any place like this so we wanted to play it safe and go to an International chain. Barcelo knows how to do it right. For the money we paid which we have been told was very reasonable for 5 nights all inclusive it was a great value. We upgraded to Premium when we got there which was a little bit of a racket since we thought we had already paid but they were offering a special $37.50 a night and we saw the value in all that we got (free internet, more ala cartes and a premium room on the end w/ private hammock not a far walk from pool.beach area) The property is beautiful, amazing pools and beaches. They have pool activities available if you want them, staffed with fun Mexican young people! We had a blast each night trying the different restuarants. The nightly shows at the different theaters was an unexpected treat. I can't say enough about this place. Wouldn't recommend the Santa Fe steakhouse ala carte (it was an odd place and they played an entire Dolly Parton CD a little too loud the entire time. It was just weird there but all the other places were really nice. I HIGHLY recommend this resort. No unexpected issues here just a beautiful place to relax and enjoy all the amenities this place has to offer.

Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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swift current
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2010

BEACH- The most important thing to me on a trip is the beach as i like to spend most of my time in the ocean. This beach is gorgeous. white sand. shallow water-you can go 50 yards in and still be waist deep. very limited amounts of coral and rock. However, there was no beach bar, so we found ourselves going to the pool bar for drinks all the time. That kind of defeats the purpose of being at an all inclusive.
POOLS- The pools were very nice. pool bars were nice. pools were very big.
RESTAURANTS: Buffet was nice. nothing spectacular, but there was a variety of choices and everything tasted very good. The a la Cartes were very good. We ate at 3 of them and each was terrific.
HOTEL/ROOM- very nice too. however, because of the design, you could hear everyone in the hall ways. there was 3 floors which opened in the middle. this middle had no sound barriers, so you would be woken up by everyone talking, visiting, or arriving.
otherwise, the room was just average. Of the nine resorts we have travelled to, this room was easily the least attractive. honestly, comparable to a super 8.
SERVICE- this is a big one. AWFUL! the staff at the pool bars, buffet, and lobby bar were absolutely awful. they would ignore you. they would go as slow as humanly possible. I personally consider myself to be a big tipper. every resort i have been to i will tip a bartender $20 US off the start. I will ususally tip around $200 in a week. I honestly could not find anyone at this resort that deserved a tip. to give you an example, sitting at the lobby bar, when the waitress finally decided to come ask us if we wanted a drink, (considering there was 10 guests and 3 waitresses on duty), after 15 minutes of waiting I went up to the bar and reordered it. We were able to finish those drinks before she came back. fortunately she saw me do this so not tipping her was very easy!
THE WORST SERVICE OF ANY HOTEL in all my all inclusive holidays!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Victoria, B.C.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2010

This was are second stay at the Barcelo Beach and we were even more impressed this time. New comfy beds, white linens and new pillows, flat screen TV's. The food seemed better esp the desserts and we had no complaints last time. Lots of our favourite staff were still there and it was a delight to see them again and wow do they work hard. The lobby bar at the beach is the most fun, with Ives, Sergio, Marcos, Francisco all working hard to keep your glass full and keep you smiling. Ruthie, Guatalupe, Carmela and all the lovely waitresses here are so sweet. So even though the resort is fabulous without these amazing staff it would not be half the fun.

Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Rockton, IL
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2010

My girlfriend and I went because we wanted a low key, lay on the beach type of vacation. It was my first time to mexico and I wasn't looking for a big party scene or anything, but wanted a great beach with quality food and good accommodations. I would say we picked the perfect spot. The weather could have been nicer to us but the beach was still gorgeous. Plenty of places to relax at this resort. Good snorkeling off the pier and by the Palace. Plenty of food variety and locations to eat. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
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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:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Maya Caribe 4*
Number of rooms: 414
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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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