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“Excellent Vacation and Zero Problems!” 5 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
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“Excellent Vacation and Zero Problems!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2009

My best friend and I stayed at the Barcelo Maya Tropical from January 9-16 2009. We had a fantastic time and would not hesitate to return to this resort, or the Colonial resort next door.

We arrived in the evening and check in was quick and easy. Our room was on the ground floor of the Veracruz building, close to the pool, snack bar and theatre, though we did not hear any theatre noise at all. The room was exactly what we wanted, with 2 double beds and enough space for 2. The room was cleaned daily and the sliding door is secure with both the door lock, and an extra bolt in the centre that snaps up into the frame. There is a guest services person located in each building which we used to make reservations and read the spa menu on a rainy day.

As mentioned in many reviews, the grounds of this hotel are gorgeous and very well maintained. Several times I saw workers pruning the gardens and planting fresh plants. I found the property to be very clean. I also did not find the hotel to be as large as it appears on the map. Yes, it was a bit of a walk to go over to the older side for dinner one night, but navigating on the Tropical side was very simple.

Neither of us had any issues with food at all, and enjoyed the buffet, beach grill and restaurants. We had breakfast at the buffet daily and dinner there twice. The food service part of the buffet is not huge, so I felt that I could get a look at everything without my selections getting cold. Service was quick to slightly slow, though I found once I got the attention of a waiter there was no problem. The buffet also has a bar where you can serve yourself coffee and tea, beer and wine, soft drink and juices. You can also get an espresso or cappuccino, or a mixed drink. At the coffee and tea station there were paper cups to take a hot drink to go. We had lunch at the Palmeras grill on the beach most days and again, had no problems with food or service. Yes of course, there is some repeating from the night before. The grilled hamburgers here are great. For dinners we ate at the Steak House twice, the Italian and the Mexican. Each restaurant provided a different atmosphere and we enjoyed all of our meals. Reservations are required, and we made those either in the lobby or at the guest services desk in our building. We had no problems booking for the next day at a good time. All of our reservations were for 6:30 or 7 pm. Service was very attentive in all of the restaurants. The beer on tap everywhere is Corona, and the house white wine is pretty good.

We spent most of our time at the pool. For the early morning the small activities pool is outfitted with lanes for lap swimming. This pool feeds into the larger free-form pool with swim up and dry bar. There are fountains in the pool as well. Water was cool, but turned to refreshing in the afternoons. There is a hut at the pool with a shop, the games desk, towel desk and a washroom. The animation staff plays their music here, and we found that if we sat a little further from the swim up bar the sound of the fountains would tone down the music. The pool and pool deck were very clean. It wasn’t until my last couple of days that I started seeing stray cigarette butts on the deck. A daily sweeping might be a good idea. The Colonial side of course has the kids water park, which has several slides and water features. There are a lot of chairs and palm trees for shade. There are also rows of palapas with chairs underneath as well as hammocks.

The beach is long, with a pier at the end where the dive shop is. Walking along the pier you can see small and large fish hanging about looking for food. The beach is a little rocky, but there were lots of people in swimming every day. There are plenty of chairs and palm trees for shade. My only complaint about the beach is the people who use it as their ashtray. Please stop putting out your cigarettes in the sand!

We took a taxi into Playa Del Carmen to shop when the clouds rolled in. Remember to negotiate your cab fare with the driver before you get in the car. I asked the bell boy, and confirmed with the driver, and a trip into Playa is $18 USD, We stopped at a taxi stand for our return trip and were quoted the same price. It’s about a 20 minute cab ride, but can be longer with the construction on the highway.

The shows at the Barcelo were actually very good. The only one we did not enjoy was the Prehispanico show. Most shows involve a live band, live singers and what seem to be professional dancers. The theater was full every night.

Though the weather didn’t always cooperate, we had a fun and relaxing vacation full of good food, good drinks and good times. I totally recommend the Barcelo Maya Tropical!

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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  • 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
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2009

The good things first. Large, lovely group of resorts connected by impeccably groomed walking paths. The employees are hard working and cordial. The rooms are large and comfortable with spacious bathrooms. (We did have an ant problem in the bathroom every night and despite numerous calls to the front desk, the problem was never corrected.) The restaurants were nice but the quality of food caters to the average palate typical to most all inclusive resorts. The beach is great for snorkeling but quite rocky so swim shoes are recommended for your safety. Entertainment staff is excellent, talented, and professional though some of the shows tend to be more Las Vegas than I expected, probably not appropriate for children.

The "not so good" features: Food poisoning wrecked havoc with the last few days of my vacation. I have visited Mexico numerous times as well as other foreign countries over the last forty years and this is the first time I have become ill. I encountered several other guests that became ill as well. I attribute this to the challenges of preparing food to accommodate the large population of this resort.

  • Liked — The fabulous landscaping, beach, and pools
  • Disliked — ants in the bathroom everynight
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington dc
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2009

My wife and I just returned from a 6-day trip to the Barcelo Maya Tropical for a wedding (January 14 - 19). We thought the food was poor, the pool and beach were average to below average, and when we experienced a terrible case of food poisoning the last night, the staff was not only unhelpful, they were defensive, combative and quite rude.

We found that the food in the buffet was generally ok; however, it was definitely not worth the money that we paid, and the "dinners" were a joke. Regarding the dinners - it's essentially a fake night out. They make a big production of "going out to dinner" whereby they require you to dress up and make reservations at different restaurants. (There is a steak restaurant, Italian, seafood, Mexican, etc.) Then you have to show up at the "restaurant" and wait to be seated. After the production, however, it's fake. It turns out that all the different restaurants serve essentially the same food that is in the buffets. There is minimal choice on the menu and the actual food is lower quality than in the buffet itself.

The last night we ate in the Mexican-themed restaurant...which seems like it would be the best, right? On the menu were ceviche (which probably caused my wife's food poisoning), fajitas (cut up meat from the buffet), shrimp (that also could have caused my wife's food poisoning), lomo (also from the buffet), and filet of fish. That's about it. The shrimp and fish were basically identical - down to the same sauce and garnishes. The deserts were lemon pie - which consisted of the exact same 2-inch pastry that they have in the buffet - and bunelos - which were leftover donuts from the buffet with added honey. They were garnished with exactly the same cream and fruit.

About 4 hours after returning from dinner my wife became dangerously ill. I was also affected but not nearly as bad. We passed the night vomiting and with horrible diarrhea. We made it until 8 AM and the clinic opened. The doctor had to give her multiple shots just so we could get on the plane. It was one of the worst nights/days of our lives. The treatment cost us over 4000 pesos, not to mention the pain and suffering caused.

When we presented the management with the issue they offered neither an apology nor reimbursement. In fact, they claimed that they investigated it and denied it could be food poisoning because they had no other reports from the restaurant. They claimed they have "international standards" and that it was probably something that my wife had picked up somewhere else. They were not sorry at all that they had caused this. In fact, they were argumentative from the start and basically told us to contact their lawyer. The guy in charge refused to give us his name. He also said that if I was to write a trip report describing this experience that I would be guilty of "defamation."

Nice customer service, huh.

Too bad that this was at least the 3rd or 4th reported sickness among the members of our small group; too bad that we had not left the resort in 3 days; and too bad that the doctor at the clinic actually diagnosed my wife with food poisoning.

Actually, too bad that we went to this resort in the first place. If I can help someone else avoid our experience and choose a different resort in the Playa del Carmen area, at least something good can come from our trip. Believe me: I've traveled widely in Latin America and there are better choices out there. Most of the good reviews seem to come from Canadians and other people out there that are "wowed" by the weather and the beach. There was certainly a drinking element in the resort that would have enjoyed themselves no matter what. But if you want good food and want to get your money's worth (and avoid food poisoning) then go somewhere else.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cascade, CO
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2009

My husband & I stayed at the Barcelo Colonial the first week of December, 2008. The resort is just beautiful, and soooooooo big I got lost several times in the lush estate, which was okay, as I seen Iguanas and very beautifuly maintained grounds while I wondered around loving every minute. The buffet restaurant is good, with plenty to choose from. The two a la carte restaurants we dined in were fantastic! The several snack bars we tried were good also, but did tend to have some of the same items the buffet did. Pools and beach are superb, and more than plenty of chairs for everyone. Nightly entertainment was okay, some shows better than others but they DID have a show every single night and earlier shows and interaction for the children too. We had been upgraded due to renovation work being completed on the building we originally booked, but all went very smooth. This resort is VERY worth the long ride from the airport and we cannot wait to go back again.

  • Liked — Relaxing
  • Stayed December 2008
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2009

Beach Area - Excellent (Palace area had a lot of rocky areas so was not the best for swimming)
Cleanliness and Upkeep - Excellent
Lobby, Bars, Facilites etc - Very Good
Service - Average
Food - Above Average
Standard Rooms - Below Average due to small (two double beds or one king with a couch)....not big enough for a family w/ two teen-agers unless you upgrade to the "Premium Club" suites.

  • Liked — Upkeep on the resort was excellent. Cleaning and maintenance staff were everywhere.
  • Disliked — Small rooms (because we had a baby with us, we spent more time in the room than we would have liked)
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
myrtle beach, sc
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2009

My family just returned from Barcelo Maya Tropical Resort in Riveria Maya. What a wonderful place. We loved it!!!! The premises were beautiful, clean, and well maintained. The beach was beautiful----long beach, thick white sand. There were thousands of chairs available on the beach and around the pool. You never had to "fight" for a chair!!!!! Although the entire resort contains five hotels, you can make it be as "large" or "small" as you like. You can stay around your hotel or wander to the pools, bars, restaurants of the other hotels. The spa is delightful---ask for "Andy" (Andreos) for the best massage ever!!!!! Plenty of bottled water available everywhere. The restaurants were exceptional---seafood, japanese, thai, steak house, itailan. Make sure you make reservations as soon as you arrive. Some of the restaurants are small and fill quickly. If you don't make it into a restaurant, don't worry, the buffets were great!!!! (And I don't like buffets!!!!). The food was the best I've ever had at an all inclusive resort!!!!! There are very few "ocean View" rooms available---most rooms have a garden view. We didn't care because we were never in our rooms---except to sleep.There are eight tennis courts, putt-putt, disco, small pitching green, bocci, ping pong,spa, workout gyms, snorkeling, diving, parasailing, etc---so much to do!!!! Best all inclusive resort I've ever been to!!!!!

  • Liked — Nice, spacious, clean rooms with well stocked refrigerators
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2009

This will short and brief. We've stayed at the Tropical. Very nice place cause it's away from the main theater. When you are at this hotel, you get for one week 5 diner 'a la carte'. So you can go anywere except the Palace, for an extra meal 'a la carte, must pay 15 USD\pers(but buffet are highly reccommanded).

Now let's talk about the Palace. Very crowded and many chidren. The beach is the worst, cause it is very rocky. To have access to the most sandy part of this resort, you need to go in front of the Caribe beach (CB).

Now let's talk about the CB. We liked to qualify this resort as the 'getho' of this resort. The environment is visually cheaper. More teen, more party's, one dance club....Not bad if you want the night live and party, but if you are loocking for luxuary (like us), Tropical or Palace.

The food is absolutely delicious. Room service is under average (no fancy art done with the towels...) If you like diving, very good access from the hotel where you can discover cenote diving and do an excursion to Cosumel (Must seen).

Hope this will help, enjoy your trip,we would not hesitate to rebook.

  • Liked — Food ' A la carte'
  • Disliked — Room service
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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:
#8 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#8 Family 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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