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“Go to the Barcelo for the beach but do not stay at the Caribe or Beach Hotel” 3 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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Ranked #8 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Go to the Barcelo for the beach but do not stay at the Caribe or Beach Hotel”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2010

We stayed at the Barceló Caribe from May 22 to May 31. This was our 11th time to the Maya Rivera but our first time at the Barceló.

Traveling from the airport was a breeze since we pre-booked with USA Transfers and they were waiting for us at the airport and picked us up for our return at exactly the time they said they would.

Our 1st day at the resort was absolutely horrible. Upon check-in they tried to move us to the Beach part of the 5 hotels even though I booked the Caribe and all of my paperwork showed the Caribe. I did not want to stay on the Beach side because it was on the far end of the resort and we wanted to be in the middle of the 5 hotels which is closer to the water sports. However, the clerk would not budge and kept saying we had to go to the Beach. I asked to speak to a manager and he said he was the supervisor and would not call anyone else. He said that they had no rooms in the Caribe hotel and we had to go to the Beach hotel. I asked him what he was going to do with all the people currently in line to check in and he said they had reservations. “Well so do I” I had to yell and I had all the paper work to prove it. I gave him the choice of finding me a room at the Caribe or sending us to one of the hotels closer to the middle and he said no. Miraculously after 15 minutes of fighting he ended up finding us a room but there is no excuse for him to make such a bad first impression of the resort. I have never had such a horrible check in experience and we had no special requests except to stay at the hotel we booked.

While I was trying to get checked in my husband went to get us a drink at the lobby bar. He made it back when I was about done with check in. He said that the bartender was moving in slow motion. When we went to our room we found the air condition did not work very well, the fridge did not work at all, the sliding glass door would not lock, there were little bugs all over, the garbage can lid would not open, the ceiling fan squeaked and the scale was broke. We called immediately about the door and air conditioner but no one came that night. Later we went to the show and the bartender there took about 20 minutes. For our 1st day at the resort we were highly disappointed and could only hope that things would get better.

Thankfully things did get better. The service did not increase; we just learned the tricks needed to get things by ourselves so we would not waist our precious vacation time waiting. We took big mugs to breakfast and filled them with ice at the buffet. The ice would keep long enough so we could have soda from the pool bar without having to wait for a bartender. I only mention this because although you can get soda self serve, there is no ice available at the pool bar without waiting at least 5-10 minutes for the bartender. There is also self serve pina coladas and strawberry dacaris inside the pool buffet so you can avoid another wait.

The food was OK. Some things better than others but we always managed to get full. The one thing the Barceló did very well was desserts. Every other time we have visited Mexico the desserts were not sweet so we just skipped dessert. At Barceló we had dessert at least twice a day. Only two of the reservation restaurants are air conditioned so besides the 2 dinners we had at these restaurants every other meal was uncomfortably hot, especially at the main buffets. At least by the pool buffets you could enjoy a breeze but the main buffets were so hot the sweat was dripping off of everyone’s forehead, including the wait staff & cooks which was not very appetizing. Also be aware that you have to pay extra for name brand alcohol. Not a big deal for us but others were upset about it.

I read before we left that getting reservations to the sit down restaurants was very hard but we did not have any problems at all. We just told our consierge how long we were staying, we wanted to try each of the 4 restaurants once, and have a time of 8-8:30. She made all of the reservations within 5 minutes and was very helpful. I happened to mention our squeaky fan and she said she would get it fixed so I proceeded to tell her everything that was wrong with our room. By that night the fan was oiled, the fridge was at least working, but not that great, and our air conditioner was much better. The other things wrong with our room never got fixed but most were just minor so we did not worry about them. My biggest worry was the sliding glass door that would not lock but we managed to rig the door so it could not be opened. We told reception in person a few days later about the door which makes 3 times we reported the door as broke but it was never fixed our entire stay.

Currently the pitch & putt is closed which was a disappointment. We did go miniature golfing one evening. It is open until 10pm which is nice because it was too hot to miniature golf during the day. We did encounter a lot of mosquito’s there but luckily I had repellent in the room so my husband ran back to the room to get it. We could not have finished the game without it because we were being bitten about 3 times a minute.

My husband used the work out facility a couple of times and said they were OK but it was outside so again no air conditioning.

We enjoyed most of the nightly shows. They had dancers, singers and a live band which we have never seen before. Most resorts have shows with dancers to taped music and it was pretty neat to see such talented live performers. The also had a very good circus act that I think they contract in. We were not impressed with the karaoke or Miss Barceló show but we were ready to go to bed on those nights anyway.

There were many times that we saw guests carrying around their luggage and we could not figure out why. The bell boys will gladly take your luggage to your room & pick it up when you are ready to go. We called them right before check out and they were there in 5 minutes. They also watched our bags for the next hour until our pick up arrived.

The beach is absolutely awesome! It is perfect for wind sailing and for taking out a catamaran. They provide free sailing lessons everyday and the combination of waves & wind was perfect when we were there. Make sure you have water shoes for the water sports activities. The part of the beach that you enter for water sports is very rocky and will cut your feet. There is also very good snorkeling towards by the Palace hotel. We went scuba diving in Playa Del Carmen with Beach Divers who we have used many times in the past because their fees are very reasonable ($30 per tank, $120 for a 2 person 2 tank dive). However, we agreed that when you have snorkeling this beautiful you do not need to go scuba diving.

Because the beach is so great we would consider going back to the Barceló but we would never stay in the Beach or Caribe hotel again. We would probably go to the Colonial or Tropical because they are also in the middle and have air conditioned buffets. I don’t know if the service or rooms would be better but I hope so because we really loved the beach.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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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Columbia, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2010

On checkin June 3 we paid $200 for 5 nights for 2 people for premium bracelet..
It was worth it to us because....in June AC is very important and it was more available with this upgrade.
Food- premium gets you in all the buffets and restarants except at the Palace. Tropical and Colonial buffets have AC. You can go to restaurants for dinner every night.=again AC. The presentation of the food is great. I am becoming my mother- I took pictures of the food!
Drinks- you can go anywhere except Palace to drink. Tropical and Colonial have lobby bars with AC. You get premium liquor also.
Room-more central location. View of pool and palms was nice.. Suite. Great service- cleaned and fridge stocked daily. Extras in room- loofa sponge, toothbrush, razor...and washclothes. :). Pool towels in room- no towel card.
Premium Hospitality Room- FREE INTERNET, self serve bar with premium liquors, snack/light meal available till closing, TV, books, meeting room and AC! Located behind check in desk. Was a great place to cool off when out and about.
Shopping- 10% off at Barcelo shops.

Favorite things-
1.snorkeling- This was our 2nd visit to Barcelo Maya, We chose to return because of the snorkeling off the resort beach. The most colorful fish were seen by Palace rocks. Yellow/caution flag was up but after a couple days we went for it. We went in with our mask and snorkel, no fins and it was fine. We did not see the sea turtles but I heard they were down by the Palace. Saw stingrays burying and swimming 1-2 feet from shore, right at shelf where drops down when enter water.
2.Walking the beach and stopping at all the swim up bars. The bartenders are friendly and go nonstop.
3. favorite drink- mojito without the mint AKA ?sp ki purina. Nice and refreshing when you are tired of the sweet frozen drinks.
4. 1200 water aerobics for everyone.
5. Sports bar at Caribe has AC and food till closing. It is upstairs behind check in desk.
6. shuttle to other Barcelo hotels for buffets, restaurants, shopping and bars.

I don't like to complain but.... We were sweating in our room the first eve. I called and said I did not think AC was working. In minutes a maintenance man arrived and confirmed it. We moved next door at that time , a manager came and made sure we were comfortable and we finsihed moving in the AM. The AC was better but could be improved. Keeping bathroom door and closets closed seemed to help. And check the AC filter.

Next time I would consider staying at Tropical or Colonial and I will avoid visiting in summer. Temps were hi 90 with 75% humidity.
But I would return and I would recommend this hotel.
Go , have a good time, enjoy the beautiful beach and water, pools, friendly staff, good food and drinks.

  • Stayed June 2010, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2010

Our check-in was a little rocky, but otherwise, we had a good trip. A few of the front desk staff were not very friendly, but no real complaints there.
The beach is awesome! Very clean, plenty of lounge chairs and even though the resort seemed full, the beach never felt crowded.
We did not try the a la carte restaurants, but the buffet was very good. The fresh fruit is awesome and the net around the buffet is an excellent idea to keep the birds away. I have been to so many resorts where the birds are ridiculous in the buffet trying to get food. The buffet staff was very friendly and helpful.
The maid service is excellent! They have a hard job, but always greeted us with a hello and a smile.
Check out the exchange rate at the front desk compared to the gift shop! There is a difference! One big inconvenience with the gift shop- we had to present our purchase to the cashier, she wrote down an itemization of our purchase. Because we were not using a credit card, we had to go to the front desk to pay for our purchase and then return to the gift shop with confirmation of payment to actually get our purchase. And because we exchanged our US cash to pesos at the front desk, our pesos did not stretch as much as they should. Its a little complicated, but I hope I explained it thoroughly.
With that said, overall it is a good resort for the price and has the best beach in Mexico.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 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
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Florence, Kentucky
2 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2010

This was my mine and my husband's 2nd time at the Barcelo. We love it! It is a beatuiful resort with friendly workers. The beach is so pretty and there was plenty of chairs at the pool and beach. Everthing is very clean! We will be back for sure!

  • Stayed May 2010, 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.
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2010

Let me start by saying the beach is beautiful and large. The grounds are wonderous and eye catching. The buildings are authentic and pretty. The pools are many and quite large. There are plenty of chairs on the beach and around the pool. I think that is about all the really good I can about our trip this past week at Barcelo Maya Beach/Caribe.
A/c didn't work in 1st rooms, had to move to another level of Labna building. Roach found in 2nd room but cooler so stayed, No AC in lobby, hallways, interior of buildings, almost all restaurants and buffets, theatre or walkpaths. Service was poor for drinks. Had to go to bar or swim up bar. NEVER offered a drink the whole week., Stay elsewhere. This is my 5th AI and have never been treated like a nuisance til this stay. Tips don't even help. I tried and I am a very friendly person and that didn't help. Couldn't even catch a small buzz.. Are these people overworked or just too big a resort? Won't return for sure. I wished we would have stayed in Playa or Cozumel where they treat you well. Unless you go to the bar, you are not getting a drink.... Food just so so. Beware of freebies they offer. You have to hunt high and low for them and NOBODY can speak English to help you. Do yourself a favor and stay elsewhere. I won't return....

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2010

Barcelo resort has 5 different buildings: Beach/Caribe/Colonial/Tropical and Palace.
Beach and Caribe are average and if you stay in one you have access to both. If you stay at the Colonial or Tropical you share both properties. Palace is by itself.
Disco, watersport equipment and Mexican shopping plaza are at Colonial. Best sandy bottom beach is at Caribe. Colonial lobby and building is more elegant, Caribe is more casual but colorful. Pool at colonial/tropical is much bigger and elegant but pool at Caribe/Beach will do.. Advice - research all 5 buildings first. Everything is in walking distance or you can take the trolly or bus between buildings .

Food :
- buffet terribe (large selection but poor quality)
- Sante Fe Steakhouse (at Colonial) was average (additional $15/pp)
- Agave Mexian (at Beach) was poor (NO AC)
- breakfast was at the buffet building (large selection but poor quality)
- Captian Morgans by the pool - lunch buffet - average but much better than main buffet
- Plenty of bottled water but warm
- Lift table cloth up off your lap for a cooling effect :)

Room: Caribe - Sayil Building:
- bed comfortably firm
- crisp linens and towels
- clean and spacious
- get 2 key cards (one for the slot by door which powers AC and lights) (leave in at ALL times)
- mini fridge well stocked but warm (keep cabinet door open to make colder)
- we had a balcony overlooking a tropical garden (very peaceful)
- 5 minute walk to pool and beach
- thin walls

- good but not exceptional
- everyone said Hola and answered questions we had
- no wait for drinks
- ask for Mojitos with extra lime, mint and shots of Rum (Yum)

- shows were pretty good (Circus was great)
- sit in the back of the theater for the breeze
- water sports close at 4:00
- have to make a reservation for the catamaran and lessons
- kyaks, catamarans, water tricycle were included
- $50 returnable deposit (cash or credit card) needed to reserve snorleing
- $60 jetski 1/2 hour
- plenty of by the pool activities (they post a schedule)
- plents of beach chairs and hammocks
- swim up bars
- a few shops in lobby, either pay credit card or charge to your room then pay at checkout with cash

- The resort is an open air concept, no AC except for your room and some restaraunts so careful in their hot and humid weather!!!. (May 31 was 90 and humid)
- Drinks are warm and food is also room temp.
- Watch out for the iguanas (they don't bother you but hang out on paths)
- be respectful of their language and you should be treated just fine
- no need to tip (included)
- felt safe
- explore the property, lots to see and do
- 1 - 1 1/2 hour drive from airport
- Our flight was at 2:21 and we got picked up at 10:15 (uggh)
- DON'T pay extra for ocean view because the pool blocks your view anyway.
- make sure you get both beach towle cards at front desk, you will need them to get towles by pool and have to return them each time to get cards back

We loved the property but would not return beacuse of the food and lack of AC
We met a couple on the bus back to the airport and they loved everything about the Dreams resort (fyi)

Adios Amigos!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2010

-Resort it self it top notch. The grounds, the pools, the ocean, are all fantastic. The service was very poor, everytime I had a question they could not answer, they would pretend no english. 2 people had a room and only got 2 rooms cards, when one has to be in the A/C to keep it running! They usually give you a 'dummy' card to put in the A/C like others in the hotel got, but we never received this. When I asked about it they pretended to know 0 english, then when they got a manager he said he would be back in 5 minutes and never returned!
-The food was pretty terrible... they had 'themed' nights at the buffet like italian, mexican, middle eastern... but it was all the same thing! Not to mention how much they watered down the drinks, I had 20+ Pina Colodas in a few hours and literally did not even feel any alcohal. The bar tenders took an average of 5+ minutes to make a drink when only a few people were at the bar!

-The resort is BEAUTIFUL, but the staff and the laziness makes me question what makes it even all inclusive.

Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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
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 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Top resorts 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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