We traveled to the Barcelo Maya Colonial first week of May 2012 and had a great time. Family of 4, kids ages 6 and 9. Had a basic room, first floor near pool. Great location. Would prefer to upgrade next time to a separate bedroom for adults for more space.
KIDS: They absolutely loved the water park and beaches, snorkeling and we saw the turtles right in front of the hotel. Walked down to Barcelo Maya Palace to snorkel and see all the fish. There are fish off pier in front of Colonial but we liked shallow waters by the Palace. The kids club had great activities and was safe at the Colonial. The teachers were wonderful. Our 6 year old loved it and it was a nice break out of the sun in the afternoons. Lots of food for kids at poolside restaurants. Loved their ice cream stations too.
ADULTS: we loved all the a la carte dinners. As a family the Japanese restaurant was a hit! Kids loved it and so did we. Also liked the steak house. We only ate one time at the regular restaurant at night and did the a la cartes other nights. First week of May no problems with waiting at restaurants or problems getting reservations like I read in so many reviews. However, we were there during a non peak time which I would recommend if you can get away then.