This was my 9th trip to Mexico, 6th to the Cancun/Playa area. I've stayed in boutique hotels to adults-only, on the beach and off the beach. My husband and I usually travel this time of year, and usually without our 4 children, for a 4-5 day getaway. Such a Blessing! This year we decided to find a place that would suit our 18 year old and his friends...a place that had a good beach, on site activites at the pool, and close enough to a vibrant town (and definitely not a crazy party type Cancun). This was the perfect place
We originally were booked at the Caribe/Beach, standard room, and ended up, of course, at the Colonial...in a Jr. Suite!! We were placed in Guanajuato, rooms 6410 (which was a corner room w/hammock) and 6408. We did not have Club Premium, but were offered at $25/night/person. Our room was directly across the theatre/fountain and really loved the location (we were up and about very late every night so noise was not an issue for us). We were on the first floor; having rooms above would not have given you a better view IMO due to the beautiful palm trees. BTW, the grounds, trees, flowers......just beautiful.
The beach, as many of you know, is absolutely stunning. It carries such a natural beauty....the rocks, sand, trees, it's expansion, etc make it all just perfect. While we spent much of our time at the pool, we did enjoy ending our days relaxing on the beach loungers, strolling from Palace beginning to Beach end. We took the kayaks out, snorkeled, rode the waves with a turtle, and spotted a ray flipping. The 'boys' took their blankets out one evening and slept on loungers...just because they could.
We situated ourselves most days by 8am at the Colonial pool, near the swimup bar and activity area. We participated in many water polo games, some pool volleyball, salsa lessons, water aerobics, etc. It was a very lively area, and met so many nice people (hello to our Texas, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Chicago friends). Our 'boys' befriended others their age as well, and are now all FB buddies. The entertainment staff was wonderful....a big thumbs up to Erika, Ivan, Carlos, Memo (and everyone else I've forgotten the names)!! The bartenders were great; hopefully they will build up their staff soon. Service was spotty, but no fault to the bartenders working, they just need more of them. I drank Bay Breezes all day long...every bar location had my Vodka/Cranberry/Pinapple. Hubby and I are currently in detox We were so proud of the 'boys'....they had fun without having to indulge. My son did try a mojito (didn't like it), a Mexican Flag shot, and a Spiderman shot. That was it for the 6 days....I'm such a proud mommy
We also did mini-golf, ping-pong, pool, bocci ball, streching classes, and enjoyed the workout facilities.
We were given two al a cartes, which were good for the Palace as well. We had Brazillian (ssooo much food and excellent at that), and the Seafood (also very good). Most of all, we LOVED the buffets....all of them...breakfast, lunch, dinner. Good variety everyday. I miss the food, I really do. Because of the closings around the resort, we could not experience all the Barcelo has to offer in the way of bars. We were limited in where we could hang out for a few drinks. The 'boys' were fine with the lobby bar, because of the sports games on TV. We did go to Jaguars one night (Friday), and was alot of fun (I actually like the music in that setting). Hubby and I did see the shows two nights, and the bar at the open air theatre was packed with the youngsters, and was not our 'boys' cup of tea. So with that......
We went into Playa del Carmen for three nights. Nightlife doesn't get going until 11:30ish, needless to say, we were out until 3 or 4 two of the nights. We took the 'boys' to Blue Parrot (beach club) to see the Fire Show, where our son had his first and only Dos Equis with Dad. Great show!! We also took them and friends they met at the resort to Coco Bongo one night. It was the highlight of their trip. The show is amazing; it is definitely an experience The other night we went into the Marina (nothing special IMO) with more new friends the 'boys' met, and back into town to see it at dayight and into the evening. My son ended up getting a very tasteful cross tattoo on his back at a great tattoo parlor. Okay, not one of my proudest mommy moments I just love Playa!!!!
We ventured to Coba and Tulum in one day. We left at 8:30a and returned at 1:30p. It was a perfect, fun day riding bikes, climbing the ruins, stopping at a Mayan village, playing in the waves at the Tulum ruins. We opted out of the tour guides, simply because the 'boys' read up on the ruin culture (breifly) and did not need anymore info. We hired a private driver for all our trasportation needs, including back to the airport. Pedro at the Colonial Bell Station was most helpful for us, and referred us to our drivers. It saved us money, and gave our Cappuccino and Louis an opportunity to earn extra money...a win/win
I have to say, we all had a fabulous time. Since this is a family resort, I missed the other three kids we left with Grandma and Grandpa all the more. We usually take our family vacations late summer, but after our wonderful Barcelo stay, we decided that the entire Lendino Clan will just have to make a return trip next year in May or June!!!!