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“5/19/09 - 5/24/09 Loved the Barcelo Maya Colonial !” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Maya Colonial

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Barcelo Maya Colonial
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km 266.3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Grain Valley, MO
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“5/19/09 - 5/24/09 Loved the Barcelo Maya Colonial !”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2009

We were in Mexico from May 19- 24 2009. It was our first time traveling to Mexico, so we didn't know what to expect. There were four of us girls traveling, we were taking my friends 18 yr old daughter and her friend to Mexico as a gift for their graduation from High School. We stayed at the Barcelo Riviera Maya All Inclusive resort. We were booked to stay in the Caribe but were upgraded to the Colonial since they had 3 of the 5 resorts closed. The Swine Flu scare really kept people away. We practically had the entire beach to ourselves. We bought our trip through Orbitz and got a great deal - $642.00 p/person which included the resort stay and air from Kansas City, Missouri. The flights were great had to stop in Dallas but that was no big deal. I suggest not purchasing the transportation offered by Orbitz from the Cancun airport to your resort or the Travel Insurance. Orbitz was going to charge us $88 per person for transportation from the Cancun Airport to our resort, we booked our transportation seperately with Cancun Valet they only charged us $145.00 for a round trip which for the four of us ended up being $36.25 per person (The cost of $145.00 is for up to 6 people). Purchase your travel insurance with Travel Safe (it's cheaper and more coverage than what Orbitz offers) it was a great deal and be sure to buy the insurance that includes cancel for any reason so if something comes up and you have to cancel you can at least get some of your money back. When you arrive at the airport in Cancun the transportation company will hold up a sign with your name on it so you know you are going with the right person. The resort was wonderful all you can eat, the buffets were nice and had a great selection of food. The Ala Carte restaurants are by reservation only, the resort gives you a certain number of tickets depending on the number of days you stay at the resort. We stayed 5 nights so we got 2 vouchers each. Otherwise you will have to eat at the buffets which were good. With our 2 Ala Carte tickets we elected to go to the Brazilian Restaurant and the Japanese restaurants - believe me you will not be disappointed! The Brazilian is quite the experience - they give you 7 different meats and a wonderful salad bar and dessert. The resort also has all you can drink (take your own mugs!) and they were good drinks too, be sure to try the Rivera Maya drink it is Delicious!! Staff at the Barcelo were wonderful and friendly be sure to tip them for their service although you don't have to, but it is nice. The beach was gorgeous! There are a lot of fish to see about 6 ft out in the water you can actually go out pretty far in the water and it will be waist deep. Take some crackers or bread with you and the fish will just swim around you, it's so cool! I even seen a sting ray jumping out of the water while I was laying on the beach looking out at the ocean. Free water sports are available on the beach. Parasailing and Deep Sea fishing will cost you, but it is reasonable. We took a taxi to Playa Del Carmen from the resort which is about 15 minutes from the Barcelo resort it cost us $18 one way so we split the cost between the four of us. I highly recommend it, there is lots of shopping that can be done and you can also take the ferry to Cozumel while in Playa Del Carmen if you want. Be sure to take cash with you and have lots of dollar bills- many times I tried to use a credit card and the machines didn't work. Also, be sure to take a bag so you can carry your souvenirs with you. You can bargain with the stores, but believe me all of the stores usually have the same things, so I would wait until you have looked at all the stores before buying something for the first time. We also visited the Mayan Ruins in Tulum and again took a taxi which was $25.00 one way for 2 hours it costs you $10 for every extra hour you spend there. Two hours is enough time to visit the Mayan Ruins. To enter the Mayan Ruins it costs $5.00 a person. Do not take a video camera with you - they won't let you in if you have one. If you want a guided tour it will be extra- the beach that sits below the Mayan Ruins is accessible during your tour of the Mayan Ruins and is absolutely beautiful! Wear your swimsuit the water is so blue and it is refreshing because you will be hot after walking through the Mayan Ruins exhibit. Be sure to take your camera, sunscreen and a bottle of water. Our overall stay was Excellent and i would definitately go back again! If you have any questions I would be happy to try to help you if I can.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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 (262)
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2009

Tip your servers and attendants our one dollar is SOMETHING for them. They work so hard to please the tourists, we get excellent deals in Mexico, the least we could is appreciate the front line workers. Beware when you tip the housekeeper, and mini bar supplier that the tip goes to them. Sometimes maintenance workers will go in with out your request to perform routine maintenance, and if they spot money meant for the housekeeper they may believe it is meant for him.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Washtington, DC
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2009

Just got back from a trip to Barcelo with four other girlfriends and we had a blast. When we arrived, we found out that our actual hotel, Barcelo Maya Beach Resort had been closed because so many people canceled their trips due to the swine flu scare so we actually got upgraded to the Colonial. This ended up being really great for us!

The pools are the best I've ever seen--be sure to check out the one closest to the Palace Resort, once we found it we spent all of our time there. We also enjoyed the ocean near the Palace and even saw sea turtles swimming around.

The Ala Cart reservation situation was totally confusing especially because some of the restaurants were closed. We asked about the Carribbean Restaurant in the Palace and got in there--good thing--it was amazing!!

Only other negative was the towel situation which is totally weird. Our first day two of us got towels and the other three didn't. One got taken at the pool which was no big deal until we found out that they charge you $20 if you "lose" your towel. Be sure to get all of the details about the towel policy when you check in. You even have to bring them with you when you check-out which seemed excessively restrictive.

The buffet was suprisingly good...again the buffet in the Palace which we snuck into was super fancy! Even the one at the Colonial though had an awesome smoothy/fresh juice station which was exciting. The bars were good, but again...bring your big mugs...the cups are small and everyone who didn't bring one wished they had.

Overall, a GREAT trip...it will be hard to beat this place!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2009

This is by far the best all-inclusive we've been to. Rooms were big, clean and confortable, gardens were impeccable, pools always clean and clear although the temperature is 32 and there are a lot of people swimming all day. The beach is wonderful, maybe a few pieces of coral here and there but, nothing that will keep you from enjoying the warm water. Food was excellent either at the buffet or a la carte restaurants, which we were lucky to get reservations for 7:30 each time. My favorite was the seafood, although the japanese was quite an experience but, just a little too hot in there. The service was great and if you slip them a dollar after a meal, they will remember exactly what you want (wine, beer, water etc) the next time you go (small investment for such an attentive service). Even if I try really hard, it is almost impossible to find something negative to say about it, except maybe that the wine was not very good, so let's drink beer!!!!!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Powell River, BC, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2009

Stayed at the Barceló Maya Colonial in February. Wonderful resort, I highly recommend this place and would definitely go back again. Went this year with girlfriend and parents whose first time it was to an all-inclusive resort. The Colonial is a sister hotel with the Tropical and both offer the exact same amenities.

Pools (4/5*) were wonderful. Big Lagoon style pools. Spent most of our time at the Tropical Pool. The Colonial pool is adjacent to the kid’s water park so if you want to stay away from the little ones go to the Tropical half of the pool. The pool activities were all on the Tropical side and the activities staff at the pool were great. Pool Bar was awesome, Oscar and Rene were great entertainers as well as bartenders. They even have a self serve beer tap so you don’t have to wait in line. I do recommend you bring your own travel mug to use at the pool bar. Cups they serve drinks in are small. The resort was full and we had little problems finding chairs at the pool any time of day.

The beach (4/5*) pristine. Some sections were a little rocky but for the most part it was nice white sand. Always chairs available somewhere. I was worried about this resort having no palapas on the beach, but the palm trees at the resort provided ample shade.

Al’a’carte reservations (1/5*) do book your right away. We went immediately after we checked in and were we ever disappointed. We could only get one early time for the 4 of us to sit together on our last day. All they offered us reservations between 9 & 10pm which was garbage. When we then tried to get reservations with separated in twos we still had troubles getting decent times to eat.

Al’a’cartes (5+/5*)were amazing!!! Truly 5 stars in my book. The Japanese restaurant was excellent with the chef cooking everything right in front of you, truly an amazing dinner and experience. I had steak and lobster...delicious. The steakhouse was great, get the tenderloin! It rivals the baseball sirloin at the Keg, big, thick, & delicious. Since they were full they transformed the daytime poolside buffet into a Mexican themed al’a’carte at night. We had low expectations for this Mexican dinner and were blown away by how good it was. They even had a Mariachi band too which created a great ambiance.

The buffet’s (4.5/5*) were probably the best I’ve had at any all inclusive I’ve been too. One night they even had lobster tails on the buffet. Great variety for dinner, live cooking stations with meat & pasta. Breakfast had great assortment of fruit and juices, numerous omelette stations so you didn’t have to wait long, they have a smoothy station too which was a first for me at any resort I’ve been to.

Poolside snack bars (5/5*) were buffet style. One on each of the Tropical and Colonial sides of the pool. They were great. Sure they have fast food, hamburgers, hot dogs, and French fries; but they also have a full buffet that was better than some of dinner buffets at places I’ve stayed at before. Top marks for the poolside buffets.

Evening entertainment (3/5*)was hit or miss. Some nights it was top notch with wonderful singing, dancing, and other forms of entertainment. Other nights it was just Karaoke or a cheesy Miss Barcelo pageant involving actual guests from the resort.

Lobby bar (4/5*) at the Colonial side was great indoor and air conditioned. Great tableside waitress service (be sure to tip these girls they work hard) they always made sure you had what you needed. Their was a grand piano player nightly. Only problem with bar was they had extra charge for premium drinks. This meant extra charge for any rye, JD, Baileys or premium rum. But I didn’t let that stop me from getting my money’s worth from the bar. Bacardi or Smirnoff are included just ask and you will get it instead of the no name stuff they have. Beer is Corona on tap, they even have dark Corona on tap which was ok. The lobby on the Tropical side was outdoor and small. Hard to get a drink and a seat the one time we went so we never went back. The Tropical side also has a quiet little “Havana Louge”; it markets itself as a cigar lounge. Ivan the bartender inside makes a great Mexican version of a Long Island Iced Tea.

Other Tips:
-When travelling to Playa del Carmen don’t take a cab, walk out to the road and take catch a “Collectivo”, they are van pools cost is $2 pp ($20 for a cab). Vans come by all the time and flash their lights if they have room, just wave and they stop.
-The resort has its own shopping centre. Some items such as T-Shirts were cheaper at the resort than on 5th ave.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2009

This is a great resort. I will taylor my review to those of you first timers, as I was, trying to make sure I made the right choice. If your choice was the Colonial don't worry, you made a great decission. Rather than list every catagory, food - beach - room etc., I'll skip to brief comments on each based on what I read, and continue to read from the extensive point by point reviews already listed.

First, when you arrive, plan on an hour or two getting through customs; to your bus; waiting on everyone else etc. Cancun is a small airport and the planes arriving are big. Chill out, keep your patience, it takes a bit of time but is all well organized . As stated in other reviews, once you have your bags, just keep going till you're outside. Find your tour operator, (easy) go to your bus, wait for everyone else, and you're off. It's about an hour and a half to the Barcelo.

Check in was fast and easy -- I had emailed a request for a king bed, 2nd, or 3rd floor room and I got just that. Front desk staff were friendly, efficient, and like 90% of the staff at the resort speak very good english. (Don't believe the reviews that say they don't speak english -- they do -- plain and simple) Further, they are all friendly, and always looking to help. Besides, you are in a Spanish speaking country........how arrogant that we should think they should speak english at all!

Further to some of the neg reviews, the rooms are very clean, well maintained, and no, we didn't hear every word being said in the room next door. In fact we didn't hear a thing our whole stay, and yes they were occupied. One thing to comment on here however, activities begin quite early. You will find it quiet at night but sleeping in may be an issue. You will hear alot of activity fairly early. Oh well -- get up, have some breakfast and hit the beach, or pool.

Speaking of which, both are fantastic. Beautiful, white sand beach, crystal clear water, lots of loungers, never an issue getting those, even at mid-day. Pool at little tougher if you are later than 10 or 11, but even then you will find them, maybe not exactly where you want, and unlike the beach where you can haul them off anywhere, you are a little more confined at the pool. Bar service at the pool bars is fine, the odd time you need to wait a few minutes -- big deal, you got a meeting you need to get to? No you don't -- so chill out! One comment for families with children, yes you will see a few topless women on the beach. It's hillarious to watch the parents get all freaked, while the kids don't even notice. It's really not an issue -- nothing to worry about.

One comment on the food and drinks. They're great. Keep in mind these are buffets, there is only so much you can do -- use your ala carte reservations, the restaurents are all good and it breaks up the buffets, (Highly recomend the steak house, and the Japanese) but really, I think the problem people have with the buffets are that there is too much choice, beef, chicken, pork, great fresh salad stuff, plus pizza, mexican, and pasta as well. Could it be those negative reviews are from people who loaded up and felt like crap later? Drinks are good, if you find them week, tell em to put in an extra shot -- they have no problem with that, what do they care? -- they love it when you say "mucho rum por favor". Of course, if you don't do that, you can always write a review on TA complaining about something later!! One tip for my Canadian friends -- you won't find Canadian Rye, so if you are a rye and coke drinker, might want to take a bottle for your room. Or just drink 15 Pina Coladas a day like I did.

A couple of final comments on travel and tipping. The Barcelo is a ways from the aiport but then is close to Tulum and Playa Del Carmen, so once there, you don't need to pay big to travel. You can make these trips yourself rather than paying big for tours. You can walk up to the road and take the "Collectivo" or public transit van. Cheap, but I I found it easy to just grab a cab. Have the bellmen call for you, there in 2-3 minutes. $18 U.S. to Playa, $25 to Tulum. They don't have meters, they have set prices zone to zone, but make sure you ask and agree on the price before setting off. I found on both trips the cabbie would take Pesos at 10-1 though, which made the Playa trip $18 CANADIAN, (pesos 10-1 Canadian exchange) about 30% cheaper than using U.S. -- found the same for my trip to Tulum. By the way, both were well worth it, but you only need a couple hours in both, not all day, (my opinion only of course -- really interesting but once youv'e seen it, youv'e seen it. Tell your cabbie and they are happy to pick you up were they let you off, or just go back there, there is always cabs at these locations.

Finnaly, tipping. Please don't be one of the loopy reviewers who say it's all inclusive and you shouldn't need to tip. You don't, and if you don't want to tip, don't -- but these people work hard, they're friendly, and you can afford it. (Yes you can) 2 bucks a day or 20 pesos for your maid, (Leave on the pillow) and same for the guy who fills your fridge later in the day, (leave it in, or on the fridge) That's a grand total of about 28 bucks. Throw the same 2 or 20 peso down after dinner for the guy who filled your water six times, took away your 3 dirty plates, and brought you the 4 Pina Coladas. Breakfast and lunch I only left if they really served you, most times you do all the work yourself at B and L. If you really don't get served don't tip, but you will generally find the service at the buffet very good. Hit the bartender at the pool bar with a buck or two every 3-4 trips as well. Believe me the drinks will be better. Grand total won't be more than $50-$60 for the whole week. Come on, ya just dropped 4 G on your vacation, 50 bucks ain't gonna kill you, and you'll feel like a big roller to boot.

Have a great time -- believe me, if you have the right attitude it will be hard not having a great time at this resort. --- Cheers!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Ontario
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2009

My husband and our two friends visited this resort from April 1-8 2009. We had an amazing time. The weather was perfect the beach was amazing and the staff were very friendly! We had a very relaxing holiday.

Rooms: When we arrived we were place in a room on the first floor. We had wanted a second or third floor room. The front desk said we would have to wait until tomorrow. Our room backed on to a garden and pathway and was very quiet and private so we like this just fine and did not change to another floor. Our friends room smelled of paint so changed to second floor and they were happy. The rooms were spacious and very clean it was nice to sit on the balcony at the end of the day in the sun and watch the lizards and birds etc. Fridge replenished daily.

Service: Staff work very hard and most always had a smile on their face. It was busy and you did have to wait for drinks etc. but this didn't bother me you are on vacation so served drinks and this wasn't as busy as the swim up bar.

Pools: Plenty of pools and water was nice. Three swim up bars along all five resorts and the kids pool looked like fun.

Beach; This is the most important part of our holiday. The beach was breath taking. Blue waters and on days when not windy you can see plenty of fish etc and good snorkeling. Lots of fish by pier. Two red flag days (first two days) so waves were strong but rest of week great.

Food: I have been to five all inclusives and this resort had the best food. We were allowed 4 a la cartes and they gave us five. The steakhouse, seafood and mexican were our favourites. No problem with reservations etc. The service was excellent as well.

Activities: During the day there were pool activities if you like. Beach volleyball etc. but not as much going on as other resorts I have been to. Shows at night were best I have seen but that is not my thing. My only complaint would be the piano bar did not have any entertainment at night and I would rather just sit there and chat with friends and listen to some music rather than go to shows.

Overall a great hotel and miss the staff and the great weather. Wish I were back.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Barcelo Maya Colonial

Also Known As:
Barcelo Maya Colonial Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Maya Colonial Hotel
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
Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km 266.3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Barcelo Maya Colonial 3.5*
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