This was our first trip to the Barcelo family of resorts, and we traveled with a couple who go there regularly. Spent one week from Oct 13-Oct 17.
Booked into the Colonial, with Air Transat and got the Prestige Package. Check in went quickly and before we knew it we were off to explore the resort. It is very large as others mentioned, but we have no problem walking and it helped work off the food we ate all week.
We booked our a la carte restaturants with the concierge shortly after arriving. We booked the steak house, Italian and oriental with no problems. We got times and dates we asked for. We also paid $15/person to eat at the French restaurant in the Palace. It was well worth it, as the meal and service were tremendous. Of the 4, only the Italian was a bit of a disappointment. The others were great, and especially the Oriental were our cook Pedro put on a fine show for us while he prepared our food.
The buffets were good, but the food was a little repetitive. I am a beef eater, but I was looking for somethings else by the end of the week. Other resorts I have stayed at had turkeys, roast pork and roast beef to serve, but never saw anything like that here. I can't believe I'm saying I got tired of eating rib-eye steaks!! Breakfasts were also very good. If you are a bacon lover and don't see it out, just ask for it. They always have it, but sometimes it is under the counter as there is no spot for it amongst the hot trays on some days.
The pools were great, the pool bars were a bit of a disappointment as others have said. The drinks are watered down. There were a few good bartenders who would add more alcohol if you asked. One special guy was Conception. He served at the Captain Morgan beach bar the first morning it re-opened. He just poured the alcohol until you said "stop or enough".
The lobby bar's were excellent, both drinks and service. There were also lots of munchies available if you hadn't got enough food elsewhere.
The rooms were great and the balconies were a nice size if you wanted to sit out there. The only issue was with the shower heads. They are large and flat with many holes. Although you get good coverage, you sacrifice the water pressure. If you love standing under a blasting shower, these ones aren't for you.
The service was excellent everywhere accept the pool bars. We had no issues communicating with any of the staff.
This was the first time I had gone snorkeling in the ocean. It was an amazing experience. The coral was magnificent, the fish were plentiful, we saw several manta rays and many turtles.
There is an ATV tour inside the resort. For $35.00 you get an our on an ATV as well as a swim in a cenote, all without leaving the property. They even have a photographer that travels with the group, and you can buy your pictures later for an extra charge. You go through the jungle, ride on the beach, and even out on the resort's main road where you can open it up and get some speed.
This trip was just for two couple's, but I immediately noticed the 3 water park's for kids. I had visions of my grand-daughters frolicking in there. Maybe next trip.
This resort was well worth the money. This may now become our resort for future trips. Our other two favorite resorts just couldn't compare.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.