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“Fun Beach Play” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Maya Colonial

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Barcelo Maya Colonial
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km 266.3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #9 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Kitchener, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Fun Beach Play”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Three of us couples (in our 50’s and 60’s) stayed at the Barcelo Maya Colonial the week starting Feb 24th. We had a very good time and I would recommend it. It provided good value for the price – and had the things that I was looking for.

The Colonial is just one of four side-by-side Barcelo resorts. Each is big, so together they are massive. Collectively, they can host thousands of guests – but I never felt crowded, and we didn’t have to wait long for anything.

The complex is beautiful – with well manicured grounds, massive pools with kids play areas, etc.

The rooms were big, quite modern, and comfortable. The bed was firm, but I like that, so had no trouble sleeping. It was also quiet, since our building (and most) are far removed from the common theatre, disco, bars, etc. We got a room on the 2nd floor, because I had read some reviews about mold/smells in 1st floor rooms. Our room itself was fine, but the bathroom sometimes did smell of sewer gas - and not because of us ;-) No big deal.

The food was great. The buffet has a large variety, and most of it very good. The specialty restaurants were great. We ate at the Italian, Seafood, and Japanese ones. The service in them was excellent. The show put on by the Japanese chef was very entertaining. We didn’t reserve our restaurants until late the first day, so we got some rather late and early dinner times – but we worked around them just fine.

The drinks were good and served in normal sized glasses (although some folks brought their own big mugs which the bartenders filled for them). The bars were a little spread out, and sometimes a little busy – but if you relax and don’t be in a rush – all is good.

I was attracted to the Colonial largely because I heard it had great snorkeling and saw that it offered a good variety of water play activities. I found that the snorkeling was good, but not great. The best snorkeling was in front of the Palace resort, somewhat passed the bouy line. There is some bigger and healthier coral out there. There weren’t that many fish, but over the many times that I snorkeled, I did see a good variety of them, including some more unusual ones: a ~6’ stingray (including the tail), several sea turtles (right near the beach), a ~4’ long porcupine fish, and some trunk fish. Actually there was no point in snorkeling, or doing any other water sports for the first 2 days because of on shore winds that brough in bigger waves that also stirred up the sand ruining the visibility. When the winds swung around to off shore, things settled and snorkeling became worthwhile.

We also got out a few times (on our own) in catamarans – which was good fun. I also windsurfed a few times, but it was challenging to stay on the board when turning in the waves. (The equipment is in good shape.) They also have sit on yaks that are fun to use. Do be careful in the waves though – since they can tip over. So don’t wear glasses or other things that aren’t attached. (Our friend Ron lost his glasses :-(. Although they have water trikes, no one even used them – since during an onshore wind it it too wavy and during an offshore one – it could be hard to get back.

The beach is long and is mostly nice white sand, but in the water there is a good deal of old worn coral – so you need to be careful where you get in and out. It is best to wear water shoes.

There are other fun things you can do on site: tennis, pitch and putt golf, mini-golf, archery, pool, etc. If you like to be more active, they have beach and pool volleyball.

And we did a couple of things off-site as well. My friend and I expored a cenote (limestone cavern with water). After a short highway bus ride, and a longer (20 min?) smaller van ride along a rough road, we got to the cave system. Wetsuits, helmets with lights, watershoes and lifevests were provided. A guide led a group of about 10 of us through a series of caverns for an hour or more. You get to see stalactites and stalagmites, other limestone formations and tree roots. You mostly hike and wade your way through, but even float or swim through parts. It was a unique, fun, and educational experience.

We also enjoy playing slot machines, so shared a 20 min cab ride to the Winpot Casino, located in a shopping centre called les Centre des Americas (or something like that) in Playa del Carmen. It is a fair sized mall (even has a big Walmart owned store where I bought snorkel fins). And the Casino is clean and has lots of slot machines. It’s a bit weird playing machines that display pesos and doneros, but you soon figure out how much you want to bet. We went there twice, breaking even one time and just losing a bit another time.

We enjoyed our getaway at the Colonial. You likely will too.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2,198 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (337)
Date | Rating
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English first
Winnipeg, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

My husband, 7 month old baby and I travelled with 4 other family members from March 1-8th, 2013. This is a second time in Mexico. I preferred the last resort we stayed at, my husband liked this resort better.

We arrived at the resort late Friday March 1st. Since there were no others checking in, our check in process with seamless. They asked to see all of our passports. Not sure why they do that, I would rather give my credit card number... We got a room at Jalisco 6139. It was on the first floor and the patio overlooked a good piece of jungle area. It was private and really nice. The first night a cockroach ran from underneath the bed (which scared the your know what out of me). The next morning a giant spider was in the room. It wasn't a huge deal because we are in the jungle and we know the first floor is more prone to little scary creatures getting into your room. My husband and I like to tip the cleaning staff well, because I like a nice clean room to have a good sleep in. I found the cleaning to be a bit below average. One day the cleaning lady took our beach towels, we found her a few doors down to get the back (just so there wasn't a dispute if we never got them back and then got charged $40). The floors didn't ever seem to be clean, and even though we requested the sheets to be changed, the duvet cover never was (they had multiple stains on them). Also, for those tall travellers out there (like my husband is) the shower was perfect. I prefer lots of little buildings (we stayed at Gran Bahia Coba last year). This resort was long buildings with lots of walking, which I didn't mind at all, but it does get loud with all the late nice party-goers in the early hours of the morning.

We found the food to be pretty good. We ate at the buffet dinner twice, breakfast at the buffet everyday, lunch at the buffet and the beach grill. There was lots of variety for every person's taste. We also ate at 4 of the al la cartes. We ate at Kyoto (Japenese restaurant) - The food was excellent and the show was impressive. Marenostrum (Seafood) - I didn't enjoy the food, the soup had way way overcooked seafood. Sante Fe (Steak house) - the food overall was good, but the rib eye (I ordered) was half fat. Mariachi's (Mexican) - also the beach grill during the day). It was my favourite of the 4. It was outdoor, the food and service were the best.

The grounds were well kept and clean. The pool was beautiful right by the beach and there were always enough beach chairs for us to use. Snorkelling off the beach was great - make sure to bring water shoes because it does get rocky.

The lobby bar was enclosed, which didn't make it feel like you were at a beach resort. I preferred the Tropical beach bar. The colonial was the most central to everything (shops). The Colonial was the most family friendly, with waterslides and activities for the kids. We did the mini golf which was a lot of fun and we were able to see a lot of wildlife. I also had to see the resort Dr for an ear infection (too much snorkelling!). He was professional spoke English very well and I felt since I had to pay out of pocket before submitting it that he was honest and didn't feel ripped off.

Overall It was a great trip and the resort was very nice. Would I stay her again, probably, but we also like to try different places and resorts wherever we go.

Room Tip: If you don't mind walking a little further - request to stay in Jalisco, it's much more quie...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Last year we went to Barcelo Palace it was amazing up there this year we went to Barcelo Colonial and we tried to upgrade for Palace again but it was booked . Then we upgrated for Premium club and it was amazing , we love it so much they gave us excellent deal , thank you Eduardo :) . We were there between Feb 26 - March 5 , first 2 days weather was pretty bad but finally third day was much better and rest of the week was beautiful . They are very hard working people and they deserve to be tipped . Thanks Barcelo for great vacation to bad it was to short only 1 week but next time will be 2 weeks :) . Food and service was very good , thanks again .

Room Tip: Premium club - amazing :)
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge Ontario
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
156 helpful votes 156 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

We've stayed at several 5 star AI resorts and although the Colonial is actually rated 4.5 not 5 that really is just a number! As far as over-all enjoyment is concerned we just love it. The service is excellent, the food is good, bar service and drinks are good, the rooms are fine, the atmosphere is relaxed and unpretentious, a family atmosphere for all ages to enjoy. The beach is spectacular. Walking the resort grounds is a pleasure. I'd recommend this place to anyone who enjoys the AI type holiday in the Mayan and for whom the beach is the main thing.
My only suggestions for improvement is 1)the WiFi service. In a resort of this caliber, it should be available to guests for free in the lobby at least! and 2) the bedding and the towels are getting old.
Used USA Transfers for private transportation to and fro once more ... great!
BTW we had perfect weather and the water temp was wonderful. That always makes a huge difference as even the best resort can't compensate for terrible weather.
People with young children will appreciate the calm, gradual and shallow beach with powdery sand and the amazing pools and playgrounds.
See posted pictures by others for what the facility offers.
People from all over the world were enjoying themselves and having a great time. You should too!

Room Tip: The Jalisco section is nice and quiet and a top floor may be a bit of an advantage. There is elevato...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We stayed at the Barcelo Maya Colonial from Feb 24 to Mar 3/13. The hotel is absolutely beautiful. It is huge. I am a runner, and there was lots of space for that. Another bonus was the lap pool, which I used everyday. The beach is beautiful. Unfortunately, when we were there, it was very windy some of the days, so we never did any snorkeling. We could see lots of fish just standing on the dock.
The staff are amazing, very accommodating, and work very hard.
We loved all the restaurants, particularly the Asian.
It would have been nice if there was some more affordable wine for purchase. We felt it was fairly expensive. We drank the house wine, and it was okay.
One tip we got from this site, which we found very helpful, was to take the mattress topper from between the mattress and box spring and put it on top of the mattress. I do not know why it wasn't there in the first place. What a difference that made!
We were on the first floor, and we did find our room to be somewhat musty. That is not anyone's fault, it is just the climate. Maybe a room on a higher floor might be better in that regard.
If you have kids, this is a perfect place for you. They seem to have lots of kid friendly areas, like a water park and even a kids' corner in the buffet.
All in all it was a wonderful week, and I would recommend this resort.

Room Tip: I would try to get a room on an upper floor. We stayed in the 6000 block, and really like that loca...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

I won't repeat what others have said before....except... superb grounds, above average buffets and some excellent specialty restaurants. Stayed at the Coloniale - Jalisco 3e floor.. Great! Quiet - Go to sleep hearing the crickets, and wake up to the birds chirping...sooo relaxing.. Balconies are also very private. The Beach - Yes!! No running to stake your claim on the few best chairs at 6 AM!! Many chaises longues on the beach ,which is filled with Palm trees. Shade!! when you need it ! (Cuba's beaches are beautiful...but NO shade - you burn to a crisp!) Also..no vendors pestering you. Just the sound of waves and wind.. Riviera Maya is windy at times but the plus side..No bugs.. Never used "OFF" once.. never bitten.. Great meal at the Brasserie (French) restaurant.. Kyoto is a Teppanyaki show... Kids will love it and be amazed. Mare Nostrum is also first class. Modern, exceptionally clean rooms.. Friendly, warm, accomadating staff.. What more could you ask for? Will definitely return!

  • Stayed March 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wolseley
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2013

We attended a wedding at the Barcelo in Feb. 2013.Beautiful location and very fun wedding. I will try to answer a few questions that have been asked on the Unofficial Barcelo Website. Our son booked ala cartes for us before we arrived by using his coupons and then we just reciprocated. You can eat at the Palace if you pay $15.00 per person. We choose to eat on the terrace at the French restaurant and enjoyed the un rushed service. We brought gifts for staff and found that if you did not leave a note with your room # name and signature they could not take them. Take travelers cheques, american or Canadian cash and have it converted at the front desk. Using the ATM is very expensive. You can take a bus or cab ( about 15.00) to the grocery store if you want snacks or toiletries.We were there the first 2 weeks in Feb. the weather was hot and windy. Only saw the tricycles out one day. Take water shoes and your own snorkel. Try out the beach in front of the Caribe less rock and much calmer. The resort is very large and it takes a few days to get your bearings. I suggest you take the Barcelo bus or Trolley on a little tour around the resort to familiarize yourself. Very happy with the whole resort cleanliness, food, entertainment grounds and of course the service. Now understand why so many people are return guest and hope that we will fit that category.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barcelo Maya Colonial

Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km 266.3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
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:
#2 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Maya Colonial 4*
Number of rooms: 481
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Maya Colonial Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Colonial
Barcelo Maya Colonial Beach Resort
Barcelo Maya Caribe & Beach Resort
Barcelo Maya Tropical & Colonial Beach
Barcelo Maya Colonial Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

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