We stayed at this resort Feb 14 - 28th. We had previously stayed at the Barcelo Beach section many years ago and have traveled to the Riviera Maya many times.
The grounds were more beautiful than I remembered. There is a hard working team of gardeners tending to the beautifully manicured property. There are so many choices of things to do at the Barcelo; mini golf, chess basketball, tennis pool arobics, dance lessons, pottery painting, scuba diving, snorkeling, dance lessons...........and more.
Check in went smoothly and I found that all my room requests were met. We made our a la carte reservations immediately after checking in. We did not experience any difficulty making our reservations at a time that was suitable for us. I did hear that some larger groups had more limited choices.
The food was very good. The buffet had a great variety of well prepared food. I noticed lots of safe food practices; hairnets, gloves worn by cold food handlers, and trays low on food were replaced not refilled. The friendly staff at the buffet takes your order as soon as possible. You will not see the staff standing around talking to each other as they are actively focused on clearing tables and serving customers, We also enjoyed the a la carte restaurants. Our favorites were the Japanese and Steakhouse.
Love the large beach at the Barcelo. For us there was just the right combination of rock and sand. We are avid snorkelers and there is lots to see in front of the Palace section or off the pier. My husband used the dive shop and found the staff friendly and knowledgeable. We did take the snorkling tour available through the dive shop. The pools at the resort are large, clean and refreshing.
The location of this resort is close to cenotes and lagoons to visit. If you walk across the highway there are several cenotes you can visit. We spent one afternoon at snorkeling at Cristalino cenote. It cost 80 pesos per adult and is a gorgeous natural setting. We also took a cab to Yal ku lagoon for snorkeling. It was only $12 USD if you had your own gear. You can also snorkel off Akumal beach with the turtles.
We did visit Chinchin itza for the second time. While the ruins are amazing I was shocked at the amount of vendors lining every pathway through out the property. They were constantly calling out to you to buy their wares. This truly cheapened the whole experience and we would never return.
We will return to the Barcelo Maya Tropical again. The only complaint I have is that the washrooms off the pool should be tended to more frequently. Overall the service, friendliness and cleanliness makes this resort a top choice. Special thanks to the housekeeping lady who took care of our room 7679.