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.
- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Maya Colonial Hotel
- Barcelo Maya Colonial Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Maya Colonial Beach
- Barcelo Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Colonial
- Barcelo Maya Colonial Beach Resort
- Barcelo Maya
- Barcelo Maya Caribe & Beach Resort
- Barcelo Maya Colonial Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico
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