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“Not Impressed” 2 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
Nebraska
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Not Impressed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

Where should I begin... We just returned from a week at the property. We were traveling for a friends wedding.

Upon checking in and making our way up to our room we were greeted by a nice lizard in our bed! Now I know we are in a tropical environment and all but ick! That was just the first of many surprises in our room.... Stated in our travel documents it said we were suppose to have fresh fruit and tequila in our room... Well all of our friends had that in their rooms- but we had none. After a long day of travel I removed my shoes only to feel excess amounts of sand all over the floor of our room! After noticing that I figured I had better flip back the sheets to check them out... Sure enough, sand and Hair were present there too! I honestly don't think our room had been cleaned since the last person that stayed in it. Maybe just a quick tidy up! Bath towels were also stained and well worn and drain in the shower was terrible.

After making note of all these things that should be simple things to be done my husband made his way to the lobby to speak to someone to get them taken care of. They promised our room would be cleaned and fruit/tequila in there by the time we returned from dinner.... Well when we returned from dinner at 10pm... The maid was just getting there. She was friendly and was trying to get the sheets swapped and floors cleaned as fast as she could. But again they had over 2 hours to get this completed and by this time we were falling asleep out in the hall. Fruit and tequila was still not there. (finally received fruit & champagne two days after check-in)

Room overall:: Beds are as hard as concrete. Pillows are okay. Towels are stained and worn. Hairdryer looked as if it had caught on fire once before-needed replaced! Air vents looked filthy. Just plain needs a great facelift!

Buffets:: Decent service, good selection, plenty of room so never had to wait.

Restaurants:: Hostess were extremely rude! Never smiled... and I mean never. This was at all the restaurants (we didn't try the seafood one, so not sure about there). One at the steakhouse even took it to another level and rolled her eyes at someone in our group a couple times. Servers were pretty good. When we had good service we would make sure they knew by leaving a generous tip. Sometimes they would seem thankful and other times like it didn't matter.

Our favorite restaurants were the Japanese (we ate their twice) and the Mexican(Jose at the Mexican restaurant was the best server we had all week). The Steak House was okay, nothing fabulous and the Italian we could have went without!

Pool & Beach:: Pool area was kept tidy and clean. It is huge. Even though its size, I would recommend getting up and out there to get your chairs by 7:30am. It fills up fast!! I am an early riser so I never had a problem. The beach is pretty, but chairs have definitely seen there days- worn and sagging in the middle. Beach is also extremely rough on feet! Tons of broken shells and cigarette butts- ick. Never did I see anyone out there racking the sand (which at every other resort I have ever stayed at they do). Water is clear and you can do lite snorkeling right off the beach. Pool & Beach Towels are GROSS. They need to get new asap. Faded, torn, and stained.

Pool Bar:: Service is probably the worst on the entire property. None of the staff smiles. They are under staffed BIG time. I would definitely suggest they make some changes here asap. The pool bar is where people mingle to have a fun afternoon, and to me it was never fun being over there. You could stand for a good 5 minutes without being acknowledged. One day I when I went up to ask for a bottled water I was told they were OUT!!! I was asked if I'd like a glass of tap? Are you kidding me?
***Also they do not wait on you- so every time you want a drink you have to make your way to the bar to get one yourself. Not my idea of relaxing. Again I have NEVER been to a resort where there are no waiters. There is also no food service at the pool***

Lobby Bar:: Rude staff bartenders and servers. You could sit at a table for 15 minutes with an empty glass before being asked if you'd like another. We tried tipping again to improve this- didn't help. She seemed extremely ungrateful and like she hated her job.

Restrooms:: Throughout the property were not kept very tidy. The two that jump out to me are: the lobby restroom located by the bar- smelled of sewer bad. The restroom by the towel stand at the pool- smelled of sewer, wet toilet paper alllll over, disgusting! Needed to be tended to at least every other hour. I wanted to gag going in there- wear your sandals or better yet... make the trek back to your room.

Dinner Reservation System:: Where do I begin.... Never have I ever experienced something like this! Good luck trying to get reservations. My suggestion is to make all of them the day you arrive- even though that is the last thing you want to do- do it. Many times I would go try to make a reservation and I was told the earliest was 9pm... really? Well then a friend of ours who had a "gold" band would go try to make one and they would get a 7pm... Strange. When we would be at the restaurant (any of them) there were ALWAYS tables open... Liars. The system is totally out of whack and extremely unjust. Unless you want to eat buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day/night you are there- make your reservations asap- not kidding.

Wrist Bands:: Or should I say "status" bands! Every time you go to make a reservation, order a drink or speak to anyone- they look at you and look at your band. It is very evident too- makes you feel uncomfortable.

Wifi and Room Service:: They are available throughout the property. If you have a "Gold" band they are free if you have any other color they are extra. (at least that is how it was while we were there).

Many people in the entire group of 70+ people that traveled for this wedding experienced the same things we did. Some even reported their rooms smelling of sewer. One even had standing water in their room upon arrival... It was cleaned up and they were not given a different room.... ick.

I am sure I am not covering everything...

Overall would I stay here again? NO
Would I stay at any Barcelo property? NO

When you have a group of 70+ people travel and stay at your resort you expect great service. The service at this property overall is about a 4 out of 10 in my opinion.

Room Tip: Ask to not be close to the amphitheater... Extremely noisy at night. But good luck as trying to ma...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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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
Omaha, Nebraska
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

I've stayed at a lot of all inclusives before and this one was the worst. Food wasn't good, rooms are outdated with hard mattress, pillows and tube TV. Internet isn't free, decent liquor isn't included. The service isn't good...had to call front desk 3+ times to get our room cleaned by 5pm. The staff wasn't all that friendly compared to other places I've stayed. You can forget getting dinner reservations at a decent time except for the last day or 2 that you are there. Their resort credit promotions are nothing but bad coupons for shops and services. Avoid this one.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
London, Canada
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We went with another couple and are now planning a return trip with all of our kids. The resort is huge however, the beach never felt packed. There are rocky sections in the beach but there are also large sections which are all soft sand and very swimmable. Massive pools and the kid section at the colonial is a 2 minute walk so the access to pools is amazing.

We enjoyed the food and heard some complaints about the warmth of some of the heavier hot foods but we stuck mainly to fresh foods or the grill stations so I never noticed. The drinks were fine (walk over to the caribe for really, really strong drinks!) and once in a while the bar got busy but never waited more than a minute or two. The kyoto restaurant is a must and the rest were fine and a nice break from the buffet.

Rooms : we didn't arrive until 11pm and our king room was gone, which was annoying, but we just stayed in the two queens, though they turned out to be 2 doubles to avoid the hassle. Do pull out the mattress cover that is inexplicably placed between the mattress and box spring. This on the top of the bed makes it much, much more comfortable. The bedding is annoying - it doesn't breath and is noisy. The beds are my only real complaint. Mini bar well stocked and clean.

The gym has 5-6 treadmills and it's not always easy to get a machine immediately. Cardio area is airconditioned and the weights are open air.

A taxi to town from the hotel is 23 usd ... however, when returning home, it's a lot cheaper because you can make a deal with taxi driver to either come back for you at a set time or grab a registered taxi and make him an offer.

I can't wait to return with our 4 kids who range from 8-16 ... i'm confident all will be satisfied.

Room Tip: vera cruz is right off the beach and far enough from the theatre to be silent.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Nebraska
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

We stayed here for a week in January. First of all upon arrived they were slightly rude to us at the check in counter. NOT a good first impression. My first drink was awful and I couldn't finish it. Dinner reservations are a nightmare. You get tickets to have to have to reserve your spot and if dont have them, you will be eating at the buffet. The reservation gal was very rude to my husband one evening...classless! The beach is awesome but don't book just because of that! Our room smelled very moldy and like mildew. The rooms are not very nice. The beds are hard and the sheets are awful!!! We have been to Mexico 7 times and usually stay at the Dreams chain. They do everything right and we will NEVER book with barcelo again...back to Dreams we go...from service to rooms they never fail!

Room Tip: Dont stay on first floor, very damp and moldy
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Kansas City, Missouri
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

I booked our room with Ignacio in reservations, he was so nice and easy to work with.
We arrived at midnight on a Saturday night. Our transportation dropped us off at the Colonial which we were told we were booked and found out that we had been moved to the Tropical which is another lobby in the next building. Not a huge deal except that it was very late and we were exhausted, luckily we had packed light and didn't have to lug a ton of bags over to the next building. It would have been nice if they had offered to take our bags for us or even offered a ride. Oh well.
Got checked in quickly and off to our room.
The room was acutally nicer than I expected, simple and clean with sitting area and a desk as well as a large balcony. The beds were hard as are all beds I have slept in while staying in Mexico. The air worked very well, got cold a few times and shut it off acutally
The pools are large and well kept, we spent most of our time by the pool.
The pool near the tropical is clearly the party pool. It is sometimes loud and very active. The other pools we visited were much more laid back and quite.
The beach is beautiful but beware as previous reviews have stated it is rocky and the rocks are white and blend in with the sand on the beach as well as the water. I started to walk out into the water in an area that looked safe and thought I had completely sliced my feet up, I screamed like a little girl. Turns out they weren't cut but that did put an end to my beach swimming (I'm a bit of a sissy when it comes to my feet). So do what others have suggested a bring water shoes, I wish I would have.
We were there during high season and it was sometimes difficult to find a lounge chair even at the beach after 9 or 10 am. Sadly you will have to play the towel game if you want a decent chair. I even saw several saved from the night before. I find this both rude and irritating but what can you do?
The food here was above average I think, the buffets were well stocked and had a wide variety of foods. The beach grills also had a good variety. The speciality restaurants we went to were the Japanese and the Steakhouse. The Japanese was our favorite, very good fresh food. The steakhouse was also very good. No complaints there.
Drinks were sometimes very good and sometimes very bad. I noticed that the lobby bar at the Tropical mixed a nice drink, the pool bar not so much. I ended up buying myself a bottle of Capt Morgan and adding my own alcohol. I just put some in an empty water bottle and had it in my beach bag. Worked pretty well.
Our checkout was quick and easy no problems there.
I did have an issue of being ignored a few times at the lobby and at a few of the bars. Not sure what that was about, I didn't let it bother me.
Overall it was a nice trip and a nice resort.
.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
BC
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

This was our third trip to this resort having stayed in the Colonial and the Palace on past trips. We got off to a bit of a bad start as we didn't get the room we requested and were told no upgrades were available, but after explaining our plight to the manager everything was made right and then some.

Room Tip: Pay the extra for a pool front room.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 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.
Calgary, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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
Amenities:
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
Reservation Options:
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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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