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“An Absolutely Wonderful Vacation!!!!!” 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   |  
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Ranked #8 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“An Absolutely Wonderful Vacation!!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2010

We stayed at the Barcelo the day after Christmas for a week with our 14 year old son, another couple and their twin 16 year olds. Every one of us had a fantastic vacation. The place is incredibly beautiful. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. We arrived to find a fruit basket and a bottle of liquor (similar to anisette) in our room. Very nice! The room was stocked every day with drinks and snacks. Several days into our trip a man arrived at our door with a decorative box and a bottle of tequila. He said "regalo". This means gift. Another nice surprise. New Years Eve was incredible. They thought of everything. The place was decorated beautifully. The selection of food was wonderful. The shows were fun. I would highly recommend going to the Barcelo. There were only a couple of things you should know before you go:

The internet is almost non existent. You pay $12/day for a very bad signal. I wanted it on my laptop, but I opted to put it on my Ipod touch because I could carry that around easily and try and find a signal that would get my email. It really should be free. I own a ten room inn and we give our guests free wifi. It is something that travelers really look for and with their very bad signal, they have a lot of nerve charging $12/day for it.

The non motorized water sports should be reserved on busy days. All the days we were there were pretty busy and if you didn't reserve them early, you didn't get to use them. The snorkels couldn't be reserved. If there were none available, you could wait right by the desk and hope that someone brought them back. The problem with the snorkeling is that they rent them to excursions and two of the days there were absolutely no snorkels because they were all taken by excursions. If the hotel is going to say that you have 1 hr of snorkeling a day, they shouldn't give priority to renting them out to excursions.

Make your reservations for the ala carte restaurants on the day you check in. I waited 3 days and could only get to reserve 1 restaurant at a decent time. Having 3 teenage boys, we really did enjoy the buffet though. There was a lot to choose from and the food was very good. The grill next to the pool at the Colonial is wonderful for lunches.

On the day that we arrived at the airport, we were accosted right after customs by people at stand up desks to the left before you exit. They made us think that they needed to get information about our shuttle before we exited. They talked to us about general info for a few minutes and then started talking about a specific hotel - The Aventura Spa Palace. It was then that I realized that they were trying to sell me something. I told them I didn't want a time share, but they kept insisting it wasn't a time share. They then went on to say "Did I want to save money on excursions?" Well long story short, we accepted their promotion and it was well worth it!!! The following morning we took a short cab ride (which was paid for) to the Aventura Spa Palace, we were told we would have a 45 minute breakfast followed by a 45 minute tour of their property (which was a vacation club, very similar to a time share). It actually took about 2 1/2 hrs, but it was still worth it. They gave us coupons for all 7 of us to go on two excursions for a total of $75 - Total! So for $75 we all went to Chitzen Itza for the day (with lunch) and then another day we went zip lining. So for 2 1/2 hrs of our time, we saved almost $1200. A word of advice - don't get sucked into the vacation club. Don't ask any questions, it makes the tour longer and they then think you might be interested. Just take the minimal tour and you get your passes. One other piece of advice - If you go on an excursion with Holkan Kingdom (zip lining, 4 wheeling, horseback riding) and they bring out a binder on the bus to add on to your tour for the day, don't fall for it. We were told that there would be "waiting time" at the excursion and that if 1/2 the people wanted to do a 2nd activing there would be time. The people that were doing 2 activites would go zip lining first and then move on to their second excursion while the rest of the people would do their zip lining. This all seemed to be a lie to get you to buy a second excursion. We decided to do the horseback riding as a second activity (with an additional price tag of $75/person) since we would have to wait anyway. Not true. They first waited until everyone came off the zip line until they brought you to your second activity. While you were doing your second activity, they sent the bus home with everyone that didn't do a second activity and when you finished with yours they sent you back to your hotel in a van. Holkan Kingdom was pretty good excursion. Not the prettiest of places though.

All in all, I would say this was one of the best vacations I've been on. We went on the busiest of weeks. The hotel (which is 5 hotels in one) was all 100% booked and it didn't seem overwhelmed with people. I would definitely recommed going to Barcelo!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2,195 reviews from our community

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  • 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 (336)
Date | Rating
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English first
Red Deer, Alberta. Canada
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2010

We took our grown children Dec 11 - Dec 18th 2009
It was fantastic, there were no line ups for chairs at the beach or pool side. The rooms were clean, beds very comfortable, and vry well stocked with shampoo etc, includind the fridge,
The fresh fruit in our room was a pleasant surprise.
We found the food at the buffets, snack bars etc were very good, the ala carte restaurants were fantastic, they went out of their way to make your dining experience a special one.
There were activities all day and evening if that is what you chose to do at the resort, we chose to take a few excursions and our transat advisor was fantastic.
I would highly recommend this hotel for any one to go to, couples, families etc,
We also like the idea of being able to go to the little shops at the resort.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 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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4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2010

Recently spent a week with our young family of 4 children and their grandparents at Barcelo Maya Colonial Beach Resort. Although the flight is arduous with children and comes with a 1 hour bus ride after the flight, those were the only difficulties with the trip. Service was friendly, reliable and on many occasions went above and beyond what was required. We stayed in Junior Suites with the rooms being very clean, new, and with great bathroom fixtures (ie: Grohe rain showerheads) and balconies. Beds are queens and not the most comfortable of mattresses, but a small inconvenience. No hidden costs with all-inclusive stay. The only extra costs we incurred related to our arranging a wedding anniversary party - the concierge was helpful and excellent in how she put together music, food and champagne all of high quality at a reasonable price. Beautiful beaches although coral does encroach on swimming areas. Amazing pools from those for the children with waterfalls and slides all in fantastical themes (ie: dragons, sharks, pumpkins, mushrooms - a bit like Alice in Wonderland) and huge free form pools for the adults. Great snorkelling. The food was excellent and literally for the first time in years with a trip to Mexico, no one got sick in our party. New Years celebration included high quality champagne, grilled lobster, beef tenderloin, etc. Would recommend highly to families with children, but is quiet enough and with lots of options for couples.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2010

We spent from xmas day to new years day at the Barcelo Maya Colonial. It is attached to the Tropical and next door is the Palace and Beach resorts of the Barcelo Puerto Adventuras hotels. Our goal was to relax and have enough to do without leaving the resort. Mission accomplished! We did not need our own cups as previous reviews indicated. Nor did we need our own towels but you are only given one towel for your length of stay for the beach per person; so maybe you do want to bring one. Although the Hobie and windsurf boats are free as well as the kayaks and water bikes, oh and the snorkel gear..you must leave your credit card at the dive shop with a charge in case, I guess, you ruin the equipment. This was inconvenient as the rooms are a distance from the water toys (you will be doing alot of walking!!!!) and you could not just be in the mood while on the beach. Everyone marks off their chairs with the towels so the early bird gets the best seats for sunbathing but really, there are always chairs somewhere. Do bring water shoes, the ocean is deceivingly rocky with a variety of unexpected sharp areas and step offs. The reef by the dock is worth a look see; biggest elkhorn coral I ever saw near the shore. There is a school of fish that hangs under the dock and are very people friendly, they will eat out of your hand. The sand is mostly soft and white; no shells anywhere.
My eighteen year old was delighted with the all inclusive package; you can consume alcohol in Mexico at eighteen so parents be aware. He did learn Tequila shots can be dangerous to your health; better here than out driving with some friends later.
This is a clean resort with decent food; our new years eve meal was a five course gala that was outstanding. There were alot of families here with young children that were obviously having a good time; we traveled only with our 18 year old. I would like to bring my grandkids next time. It is 45 minutes from the airport; this is a very safe and private resort with their own beach and no outside vendors; no one hassles you to buy anything. Do not book on USA 3000 for your flight. The flight attendants are very unhelpful and rude. Do bring your own pen or pencil on your flight because you will not be getting one on the plane nor will the staff assist you with borrowning one and will humiliate you if you pursue any assistance. Their planes are tight and dirty; they prefer you sit tight so they can stay in the back and gossip. Apple does a decent job; I have no idea why they would work with an airline as awful as USA 3000 to do their charters. Wake up Apple!!! Otherwise, Barcelo is a great time; you will enjoy this mega resort.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Blind Bay, British Columbia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2010

I have been to the Barcelo Maya in 08, but we had stayed on the beach side which was gorgeous, but the colonial was just a slight step above. Their is a much larger selecion of food in the Tropical buffet versus the Carib, and if you stay at the Colonial hotel you have a choice of eating the Tropical buffet which is close to your hotel, or the Carib buffet at the Maya Beach. The food was all absolutely delicious! The Thai restraunt was delightful, so was the seafood restraunt, and very beautifully decorated. We also went to the Italian restaurant, where they had a small buffet of Italian styled breadsticks, cheese, and other assortments, the Calimari I had was delightful! The staff were amazingly friendly and helpful in all areas of the resort, all the pools (each hotel owned one) were clean, and they had a very big kids area with an amazing slide. The beach was gorgeous, and for people like me who are not into suntanning they had a shaded area under a pom tree. The room I stayed in was spectacular, and had lots of toiletries which was good since I had forgot my shaving gel and razor. The entertainment at night was beautiful, and quite loud, loud enough that if you were in the back row you could hear it, but if you were in the front row you might want to put a bit of tissue in your ears as not to hurt your ears. The theatre also had different levels so the entertainment could easily be seen. Simply walking through the hotel I felt like I was in heaven, walkways with waterfalls on either side, lush palm trees in between paths, gorgeous arcutecture and Spanish design, Both trips At the Barcelo Maya beach and more recently the Barcelo Maya Colonial beach were amazing, I will definitely go back and will not consider looking at any other resorts in the Mayan Riviera because this one exceeded my expectations!

Oh and also, the lunch bar was very good, and they have a small shopping area in the middle of the resort which is beautiful

  • Stayed December 2009
    • 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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Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2009

I booked this reservation earlier in the fall and was worried because of all of the recent negative reviews. It seems that the Barcelo is like most of the hotels in this area - a huge beautiful compound with a lot to do. If you are a chronic complainer - it would be hard to find the perfect resort in this part of Mexico. People who have had negative experiences are probably not reflective of the typical guest. Our food was great, our room was clean, we felt safe and were very relaxed. We all had a great time and LOVED the beach!

1. The beach is beautiful - spotlessly clean and constantly maintained by hotel staff. Bring your own snorkels/masks, don't need a float (but if you bring one, they'll blow them up by the children's pool), great to have shovels for sand castle building. Do not sit with a palm tree immediately to your right if you are looking for sun. It is good to go down to the beach pretty early to get a good location, especially if you have a large group. We went down around 9 am and had no problems.

2. TURN IN YOUR ROOM KEYS AND TOWELS when you leave. If you do not check out with your room keys and towels in hand, you will be charged for lost room keys and towels. Also, there is an area in the center of the pools where you can easily get a new towel every day. They also have tattoos (charge) and pottery painting (charge) if you are looking for something else to do. There are outdoor ping pong and other games. We didn't participate, but the hotel makes a great effort to get people involved in pool activities.

3. We ate at the buffets the whole time. We made reservations at the restaurants, but realized that the buffets gave our whole family everything they liked and that there was no reason to go to the a la cartes. Some meals were really great in terms of service (Jorge was particularly fast and great!) others had slower moving staff that didn't get to the water or plates super fast - but it really wasn't a problem. We tipped everyone just because we wanted to ($2-$4)- but most people did not tip and our tips did not seem to make a difference. Great cappucino and a lot of variety of salads, breads, meats, fish and desserts. We also had drinks and snacks at the bar in the front of the hotels and that was a fun place to sit for a bit and have a great blended or other drink. We drank the water at the restaurant and brushed our teeth with the water in the rooms - no problem. Men were required to wear long pants (although boys could get away with dress shorts) to the a la carte restaurants.

4. Cost- when we were booking this vacation we were looking for a low cost getaway for our family. Mexico was one of three choices (Jamaica and Dominican Republic were the other two) that presented the lowest cost and the best weather. We were not disappointed. If we wanted to spend more money, we may have gone elsewhere and gotten the 5 star service that a more expensive place would offer - but we were really happy here and relaxed. We did not go to the entertainment at night and played games in our room instead.

5. Rooms - the rooms tended to be a little cold, so we were happy with the extra blankets. On our last night, we requested another blanket and later on, were told that there were no additional blankets. There are bathrobes and slippers provided and the safe worked great. The first night we had turn down service, but that was it. The beds were a little hard, but not uncomfortable. We had a third floor room that did not face the entertainment area, but two of the nights our sleep was interrupted by loud groups of people at about 2 am. I had earplugs so it didn't bother me too much.

6. Service - Overall - we had no problems. Some of the staff was very service oriented and we were asked several times by managers if the service was okay and if we needed anything. We never had "bad" service, just sometimes they seemed disinterested. I've been to other resorts in Mexico before, and the service attitude was the same. Possibly because of the language barrier, we didn't get the sense that they were desperate to make us happy, but they would meet our needs. If you have special needs, make sure you contact the hotel by email and receive a response prior to leaving. We needed connecting rooms and were glad that we had the "proof" that we had made this request in advance. NO WIRELESS internet - they really need to change that!

7. Transportation - we had a direct transfer to the hotel which was great. The trip is about an hour, so if we had to stop at other hotels, it would have been too long. There are a lot of excursions with a few minutes of the hotel. Reps in the lobby were available during the day to help set up tours.

I would definitely return to the Barceo and thought that it was great. The variety and the beaches are the top selling features.

We went on one tour to Coba through Alltournative tours and had a GREAT time. Really got the opportunity to see and experience more rural Mexico and had an action packed day with a fabulous (Robby) guide. Thank you!

Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2009

Forget the bad reviews, this is a beautiful place.

Food-forget the a la carte,-Seafood restaurant is awful, grouper was not fresh, lobster is overcooked. At the buffet or the grills, all the fish are fresh-has not be frozen, you can taste the difference. The Spanish was OK. After that we just drop the 2 other a la carte and went to the buffet instead.

Drink- not a drinker, those who love to drink maybe a little disappointed with the selection. House red/white/local drinks only, but you can drink as much as you want and no waiting at the bars.

Beach was nice-not as blue as Cancun, wave mixed with sand. Some rocky area. But
lot of fish - around the pier and near the rocky area in between the Colonial and Tropical, with some bread, as many as 100 fish will swim around you in 3 feet water.
Do not book the Caribe or the Beach hotels, they do not treat the guests as well as in the Colonial / Tropical.

Beach activities were OK, need to get there before 8:45 to book the catamaran.

Tipping - does not make a difference, most people do not tip. They still provide the same good service, maybe this is the policy of the hotel for the workers to provide good service regardless.

Shows at night gets to be a little boring after 3 nights. Not much to do for those underage and cannot go to the disco.

Our room was on the ground floor, a bit of earthy smell, humid, just open the door and the patio for a minute or so, will be fine. Bathroom fan wasn't working. Room rating - 8 out of 10. Don't take the ground floor rooms.

In hotel trolley service is not reliable after 3:00pm except the traveling between hotel lobbies. We waited more than an hour from one end of the beach.

Overall - good to excellent, will return again.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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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
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
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Barcelo Maya Colonial 3.5*
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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