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“Good trip overall” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Maya Tropical

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Barcelo Maya Tropical
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Ctra. Federal Chetumal - Puerto Juarez, Km 266,3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #11 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Calgary, Canada
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Good trip overall”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

We flew out with Sunwing from Calgary for a one week trip (Wed to Wed) Feb 13th

We had previously stayed a Barceló Maya Beach 2 years ago so were familiar with the resort. For this trip we decided to try Tropical as it was only $50 more per person than Beach when we looked at packages from Calgary.

We landed at 3:35 pm and were on the bus at 4:45 – we waited another 15 minutes for some additional people and left Cancun airport at 5 pm. We were told the trip would take anywhere from an hour and 10 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes depending on traffic – we arrived at 6:10 – the bus was stopping at 2 resorts and though the Barceló was furthest south, (the other 2 stops were close to Puerto Adventuras, 10 mins north of Barceló) Barceló was the first stop – dropping off people at the Beach lobby before Tropical then heading back north to the other 2 resorts.

Check in was smooth and front desk staff were friendly. I hadn’t emailed the resort prior leaving to ask for any room requests, leaving our room location to chance. We ended up in room 7126 - a ground floor room in Yucatan, right across from the theatre. We would normally request a 2nd or 3rd floor room facing away from the theatre but we decided we were due to take a less favorable room as we’ve been very lucky in the past. The ground floor room was very close to both pool and buffet – so that was more convenient than we would have thought. We never had any issues with bugs in the room, but we did find the theatre very noisy. The shows ended between 10:40 and 11 and the volume was sometimes very loud –we actually enjoyed the shows more from our patio or inside the room – they were even louder when we went to the theatre and my teenager asked to leave during the Fiesta show because the volume was hurting his ears. The Circus Circus show was excellent with some very talented performers.

If you do like to go to bed before 10:45 I do recommend asking for a room further from the theatre. The resort should turn the volume down on some of the shows as several patrons commented that it was too loud in the theatre itself.

Compared to Beach, the lobby, lobby bar and buffet areas are larger, more grand and upscale. At Beach, you find your own seat and the buffet is not air-conditioned (which is fine in Jan/Feb and probably March.) At Tropical, the buffets are glassed in, have air-conditioning and you are seated by a hostess. More often than not, service is more attentive than at Beach, though we found it a little spotty sometimes – at dinner one night we finally had to go find a waiter and ask him who was supposed to be serving our table as we wanted water. If we weren’t getting served other beverages we just helped ourselves at the bar and adjusted our tip accordingly.

The room was a little larger than at Beach, but we found we preferred the bedding at Beach 2 years ago. At Beach we had 4 new pillows per bed and crisp new white bedding while this trip at Tropical we had 2 fairly hard flat pillows on each bed, well-worn blankets and we found the sheets very “noisy.” We knew to take the thick mattress pad from between the mattress and box-spring to make the bed more comfortable but there was nothing to be done for the pillows! This and the theatre noise made sleeping a little harder but we are pretty easy going and there are enough wonderful things about the resort to offset this drawback.

Housekeeping was fine, and the fridge was restocked daily – a couple times we even received chips and extra nuts (we tipped every day – on our pillow for the maid and in the fridge for the person restocking it.)

For the first 3 days of our trip we found the refrigerator very warm – even though we kept the cabinet door open, having read about this tip on TA. We would just get a bucket of ice and put a couple beers in it, if we wanted a cold one at night on the patio. I tried to find a temp control but couldn’t see one. On day 4 the fridge was a lot colder and stayed that way for the rest of the week. I’m not sure of the person restocking it noticed it wasn’t cold and adjusted it or what, but it made having a cold beer much faster!

The buffet was generally good – we could always find something to eat and we liked the layout – with several stations/sections, it made it easy to go in and find something without long lines.

We booked a la cartes right after arriving and had decent times at all 3 of our choices – Kyoto, Santa Fe Steakhouse and Mexican (Mariachi). All three were excellent and service was great. We laughed at Mariachi as the bar is right near the entrance so after we were greeted by the hostess we were asked if we wanted a drink by the bartender. We weren’t sure if he meant they had special welcome drink, so we asked, “What kind of drink?” and he looked at us and said, slowly, and dryly, “Well… this is a Mexican restaurant , so we have Mexican drinks like Margaritas, Beer, Pina Coladas…” We asked for strawberry Margaritas but we had to laugh as we sat down – my husband looked at me and said “Stoooupid tourists!”

We never had any trouble finding a lounger beach side or poolside in the am (between 8:30 and 9ish) - it was harder to find a shady spot by the main pool soon after that and when we came back from a trip off resort on a sunny day around 3 we had a hard time finding a lounger anywhere – even on the beach. People did reserve spots (some people even tried reserving 6 prime pool spots by spreading 1 resort towel across 2 chairs and turning the side tables on top of the other ones!) On our last full day, the weather wasn’t great – it rained from 10 am to 4:30 and people began “reserving” chairs in the lobby bar – putting towels on chairs as well as beach toys!

I snorkelled in front of the Palace several times over the week and saw several turtles, a couple rays, and some fish, though the coral didn’t seem to be in great shape.

Off site trips – we walked to Cenote Azul one afternoon – it was great! My husband son thought I was crazy making them walk off the resort, cross the busy highway and then walk along beside the highway itself for a short bit. My son kept asking – “Wouldn’t it be safer to take a cab??” but I had read this cenote was only 1000 meters from the May Beach Lobby and it was. We walked past 3 others (Including Kantun Chi) to get to Azul, so there are many options. We really enjoyed Azul – entry was only 70 pesos per person. We had fun snorkelling and jumping off the cliff into the main cenote and it is quite pretty.

We also took the colectivo to Akumal one morning for a couple hours of snorkeling in Akumal Bay and did a day trip to Xel-Ha – taking the colectivo there and taxi back. At Xel-Ha there weren’t as many fish as I remembered in the past (it’s been about 6 years though) but we still enjoyed the park overall. Note – we packed light for Xel-Ha and it was a good thing my husband had a VISA with a PIN – otherwise they require ID and we hadn’t brought any with us.

At Barceló, service was fine at the pool bars and grills – though yes, there were times when it would have been nice to have more people working at the pool bar in the afternoon peak period. Service at the beach grills was always good and a couple times when the pool bar was really busy we just refilled our drinks at the beach grill bars (jus making sure we had shoes and cover-ups/shirts on before going in to do so.) We saw several people breaking the rules and entering the grill with bare feet or no shirts, and we saw one family repeatedly take food out to the pool, which is against the rules. Several people also seem to have trouble finding an ashtray, preferring to use the beach or pool deck – but this reflects on them, not the resort.

The grounds are very well kept and very beautiful and the beach is great. We always managed to find shade on the beach, under the trees. Overall our trip was good and I would recommend this resort if you like larger all-inclusives.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,845 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 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 (338)
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English first
Grand Forks, North Dakota
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for a full week and had so much fun! The beach was gorgeous and big since there are 5 Barcelo resorts all lined up. Our room was basic but clean. We had a patio with 2 chairs and a table. Our mini fridge was always stocked. We were always able to find chairs on the beach. The pools were huge and again always able to find a spot to sit and lots of hammocks. We were able to eat at both Mexican restaurants, the Italian restaurant, the Steakhouse and the Japanese restaurant. The Japanese was by far our favorite and I wish we would've ate there twice!! We only ate dinner at the buffet one night and it was Mexican night... BEST pork tacos! The lunch and breakfast buffet were also great! My husband enjoyed the make your own omelets and myself I could not get enough of the fresh made churros! We NEVER had a bad meal! And the deserts were to die for! We did have 2 nights where we could not get dinner reservations until 9:30 which I think is sort of late for dinner so it was one of those nights we went to the buffet. The staff was amazing! They were always checking on you and making sure everything was great. I never saw them even take a brake! I was more than pleased with this property! We did go to the Barcelo Beach & Caribe one night for dinner and you could definitely tell the different between the 3 and the 4 star resorts... I would definitely recommend upgrading. I wish I could've gone to the Palace but you could only go there is you were staying there. If you go here you will not be disappointed, bored or hungry! I should also mention this was our first trip to Mexico and I would not hesitate to go back!

Room Tip: We had a garden view room and I wish we would've upgraded to the ocean. Plus our garden view wa...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here February 11-25, 2013. Before we left, I asked a colleague of mine what she had thought of this resort as she had been here recently, and she said she would never go back as the service was very poor, I just brushed it off and thought - it can't be that bad, we'll make the best of it! Resort was very large, grounds are beautiful. However, as stated by other reviewers, this resort is understaffed. This could explain why staff looked overwhelmed, or just very unhappy. The worst service I had seen was at the Colonial pool bar, these men were very unprofessional and extremely rude. While waiting to order my drinks, I have heard them call several guest fat or ugly in Spanish. Are they not aware that some guest can speak and understand Spanish and may get upset? At one guest, I had heard one of the men say "She can wait because she is ugly". One gentleman had recieved his drinks and gave a good tip, and as he walked away the bartenders made fun of his weight. These bartenders were ugly inside and out. I am hoping the resort managers read this and make certain changes as this is really unacceptable. These incidences occurred specifically on Feb. 17. This is the main reason why I have given a poor rating and this left a bad taste for me overall for the resort.

Front desk staff were pleasant and friendly. The rooms were small but clean, maid service was hit and miss, one day the maid only left us with one towel. Beach was nice but rocky, just got to watch where you step. We became tired of the buffet after a while. Sometimes we found a course that was tasty but most often the food was bland and questionable. The Kyoto restaurant was good. Buffet service was hit or miss, mostly just came to get your drinks then they disappear. Or they show up to get your drinks after you are almost done eating. I've seen quite a bit of guests getting upset at this and one man actually tracked down the waiter responsible for his table and yelled at him. We did find Noe to be pleasant and attentive and always request to sit in his section. I wouldn't return to this resort, we've stayed at Dreams Tulum and Grand Sirenis, and experienced great service there, so we had something to compare this to. This was the first time we've actually looked forward to leaving.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Our family of 4 just returned from 12 days at the Barcelo Maya Tropical and it was an amazing trip! The rooms were ok and we were happy we were in the Veradera building as it's further from the theatre which could be noisy, but the resort was beautiful! Very clean, and beautiful grounds, right on the ocean! Every morning, we would do the whole long walk around all 5 resorts, and along the ocean, and it was beautiful! The buffet breakfast and lunch food was very good, dinner was ok, but out of 12 days, we only had 3 days that weren't a la carte meals, so that was fine! The a la carte restaurants were all amazing! Our favorite was Kyoto (the Japanese one), but all were very good! The Mexican one was just so much fun! The waiters/waitresses in the whole property were just so pleasant, and fun, and if you're willing to have some fun with them, they make it all a great experience! The bar staff was really good too (and we definitely didn't have a problem with drinks being weak as some reviews say)! Really, all the staff were just wonderful! I have to say though, that what really made our trip here truly unforgettable was the entertainment staff....Estaban, Miguel, Sammy, Fernanda, Marcy, Elfredo, Carlos, Marcos (I'm sorry but I might have forgotten a couple more names), but I actually cried saying goodbye to some of them! They made us feel like part of their little family there, and were just amazing at their jobs! The non-stop activities that they provide at the Tropical pool were incredible. Between all 4 of us, we participated in almost everything...Water polo, Water aerobics, Spanish lessons, Pool and beach volleyball and basketball, and the 4:00 dance lessons were so fun! If you are travelling with teenagers or adults, we would go back there in a minute, but if you have young children, I would recommend the Colonial right next door and attached to the Tropical, because they have a better children's play area. I'd say the Tropical property is more like a 41/2 star property, but their staff definitely puts them into a 5 star category in our opinion!

Room Tip: Veradera is quieter than Yucatan
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hudson, Wisconsin
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Went feb 2012 for a wedding w a group of friends and family. Age range 5-60. ! The room was disappointing even as an upgrade.
Great pools and swim up bar.
Beaches secluded and rocky
Ocean beautiful as was the weather.
Great food! Especially the French restaurant.
Good nightly entertainment and nightclub.
Comfortable nothing luxurious!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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New York, New York, United States
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Overall the trip to Riviera Maya in Mexico was excellent. The Barcelo Tropical was clean and the staff very accomodating. The grounds were beautiful and well taken care of. The resort is huge with lots of paths to walk from one resort to the other. Our plan included all resorts except the Palace. We were surprised when to arrived to learn we could only get reservations in the restaurants 3 out of our 6 nights and the other 3 would be a buffet. I personally dislike buffets however, the breakfast buffet had everything and anything you might want to eat for breakfast. The lunch grill was very good with choices for all types. The dinner buffet was very good. The quality of the food itself was very tasty for the most part.
We went on a few excursions that were excellent--Xcaret and Tulum with Best Day Tours both great!! The weather was not great however. We expected it to be warmer and less windy--just sitting on the beach for me was uncomfortable.

Room Tip: If your room smells musty tell them to change the airconditioner filter every day. They did this for...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

My sister and I stayed at this property Feb 2 - 9 and we won't go back. We bought a vacation package for room type "Junior Suite Oceanview Club Premium". When we complained upon arrival that there was no oceanview, we were told the hotel does not offer oceanview rooms just oceanfront. Our balcony was on the 3rd floor with concrete on all sides so the only view was concrete and the tops of a few palm trees. The hotel offered to change our room the following morning to an end room on the 2nd floor with glass on two sides for a better view. We were to be at the front desk before 11:00 am. When we arrived at the front desk at 10:00 am we were told they had given the room to someone else. We waited forever to see if they had any other room available and we agreed to change to another room on the 3rd floor but with a glass front. The room was vacant but needed to be cleaned. Instead of allowing us to move when the new room was cleaned, they insisted we vacate our old room immediately and bring our luggage to the front desk before they would issue the new room to us. The new room was to be available at 1:00 and they stated they were doing us a huge favor by letting us check in before the usual 3:00 check in time. Of course, the room was not ready when we appeared at 1:30! The new room was better than the first but the view was of the basketball court and activities area, still no oceanview whatsoever. When I check the hotel's own website it clearly states that Junior Suite Ocean Front Club Premium rooms ALL have fantastic views of the swimming pool and sea. This is clearly false.

The first room had a mini bar fridge that did not work. The second room had very noisy airconditioning and the phone did not work.

We were surprised that there was no service on the beach or at the pool. Not even beach staff to help find and move lounge chairs. With up to a thousand people on the beach, finding a lounge chair and then dragging it to a desired area could sometimes take up to half an hour.

There was staff at the buffet restaurants but they were not very inclined to offer service. Even if we ordered drinks, they did not arrive and we finally took it upon ourselves to go to the restaurant bar area to order drinks and coffees. The staff would see us but were not shamed into any action.

The Club Premium included access to a private lounge but this lounge was never restocked. We left the welcome fruit and champagne in our first room assuming this would be available in the second room but of course that was not the case.

The only positive about the resort is its location on a beautiful stretch of beach with gentle waves for comfortable swimming. We also found the food up to the standard expected.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
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Additional Information about Barcelo Maya Tropical

Address: Ctra. Federal Chetumal - Puerto Juarez, Km 266,3, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Bar / Lounge 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:
#6 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Maya Tropical 4*
Number of rooms: 479
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Maya Tropical Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Maya Tropical Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

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