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“A great family vacation for people with athletic kids!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe

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Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km 266.3 | Carretera a Chetumal, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
halifax
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“A great family vacation for people with athletic kids!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012

My husband and I and our sons (ages 7 and 9) stayed at the Barcelo Maya Palace from March 7 through 14. As typical well-travelled Canadian family, we have stayed at many other four and five star all-inclusives in Mexico, Dominican Republic and Cuba, and overall, we absolutely LOVED this resort! We would definitely return if we could get a package for @$5000 or less. (By the way, they are soon going to build an even more fancy Barcelo resort as part of this complex so the prices for the Maya Palace will likely go down in the next couple of years!)
The best things about this resort were:
1. the beach. We are definitely "beach people" and are certified divers as well. We usually take excursions off resorts to go snorkelling and diving. It wasn't needed here though...the snorkelling was THAT good right at the resort! We swam with lovely sea turtles every day, fed giant schools of angel fish every day by hand (tip: they love the bananas from the buffet), and even saw large rays and barracuda! My boys loved this and we spent hours every day exploring the reef. At other times, we just preferred to swim or jump waves. A few times we walked to the pier and fed the fish and pelicans there. There was something for everyone at this beach. We usually go to Xel-ha but not this time...this place had WAY better snorkelling than Xel-ha. We did bring our own equipment, and we really glad we did because it was inconvenient to rent it otherwise (we heard lots of other people say this).
2. the entertainment around the pool was great! Eduardo did a FABULOUS job of getting folks involved. Our kids were too old for the Barcy club but they loved the organized water polo, water basketball, even the poolside bingo and zumba (and lots more). We gave E a big tip at the end of the week...he is one hard-working dude. The kids also spent hours everyday playing basketball, ping pong or big chess with other kids from around the world...they weren't bored for a second! Which meant that we were able to relax and enjoy!
3. the cleanliness of the resort: you could literally eat off any floor at this resort, everything was spotlessly maintained. And SO beautiful...gorgeous modern furniture and lighting everywhere. It is an exceptionally beautiful resort.
4. the food and drinks far exceeded other all-inclusives we have been to. We liked all four a la carte restaurants (BTW we booked as soon as we checked in and even got the french restaurant twice). Our favourite was the brazilian. My kids would probably say the Japanese (the waiters were fantastic and let us order as much sushi as we wanted). All the waiters were amazing, and we tipped them well. The buffets were great too--for buffets--there was always a wide variety and you could always order something cooked to request on the grill. Two things I miss are those chocolate-covered bananas at the breakfast bar...and the lovely guacamole! The buffet restaurants were so huge though...there was a lot of walking to go get something. As a result, the a la cartes provided a much more quaint dining experience for a family (we'd all be at the table all the time and could actually have a conversation).

There were a FEW things that I would recommend to the Barcelo management team that would really take this hotel a notch higher.
1. surprise, surprise--the front desk service. There was ALWAYS a long line there...why so understaffed? And even more annoying, whenever I tried to call the front desk, the line would just ring and ring and ring and ring and ring...it was VERY hard to get an answer. The customer service was really the only thing that wasn't 5 star at this resort, unfortunately.
2. The shows--the quality and variety of entertainment was pretty good...however, we were really surprised that the two shows that were really geared for families (the Disney show and the circus show) started at 9:30!! it is REALLY too bad that they couldn't offer these two shows even an hour earlier. All through the show I saw parents carrying out children who had fallen asleep during the performance. what's the point of a Disney character show when there aren't any kids to watch it?
3. The Spring Breakers who arrived en masse halfway through the week were kind of an unpleasant surprise. Some of the staff told us that they always shut down the saunas and put the premium liquor away when spring breakers are around. This kind of racuous partying is not a great mix at a family-friendly resort, when we are paying big bucks to stay there with young kids. We had to leave the karaoake show in the theatre one evening because it was nothing but really drunk teens trying to do obscene rap music on the stage...not appropriate for management to allow this. there was some overtly sexual behaviour in public as well by these young people, we tried to steer our kids clear of it and the fact that we needed to was annoying.
4. the beds! The beds and pillows were NOT comfortable, not in the least. We had heard this in other reviews and half expected it. But at least we were so tired every night that it didn't cause major concern. However, the beds at the Bahia Principe resorts (the last place we stayed) are FAR superior to these, AND they had a pillow bar. The bedding at this place left much to be desired. However, everything else about the room was fantastic, so we didn't let it bother us too much.

Overall, this resort provided us with an excellent vacation. We did NOT want to leave and when my youngest son asked us if we could move to Mexico, I knew the vacation was a success! It was 95% perfect, and that is good enough for me :>) By the way, we flew direct from Nova Scotia and paid $5400 taxes in...we were told this was a good deal. Compared to what we usually pay, I would say this was a lot of bang for the $CAN buck.

Gracias Barcelo!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Oacaxa and actually LOVED our garden view room. it was so quite back there, very lu...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Halifax, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

Just some background info first. My wife and I went with # kids ranging from adult to 2 years old over March break. We stay at some great hotels, but are far from picky. We travel around North america and are aware of the limitations in some of the countries south of us, so we know a "5 Star" isn't always a 5 Star. I'll keep it short and sweet from here.
The high points are:
- Very clean grounds
- Some of the best rooms we've seen at resorts with great showers and lots of nice space. well decorated
- The food was quite good overall, and the people that say that the buffets don't have enough variety must be putting 30 different things on their plate each night. There's plenty to keep you interested for a week.
- The "barcy" buffet (kids buffet) was nice for the kids, but if you want healthy options, I wouldn't look there. More donuts than vegetables.
- nice beach and particularly good for young kids that can't deal with big waves, and snorkelers. Its not world class snorkelling, but it's right at your doorstep and easy with fish, turtles, and the odd manta ray (harmless)
- kids pool was GREAT for the very small ones. Lots of variety of small and big slides with 12 - 18 inches of water.
- pools are nice and uncrowded (in the pool), but the chairs are the usual "towel game". Kind of annoying but it comes with the territory. We always had a place to sit.
- Service staff is generally outstanding. Swim up bar, buffet, and full service restaurants did a great job.

What could have been better?
- hands down, the front desk was NOT good. Way too long to check in (75 minutes) @ normal check in time.
- the Concierge desk at the main lobby was indifferent and I would go as far as saying borderline rude. It was literally "just the facts". When inquiring nicely about dining reservations, the answer was blunt and uncaring. Maybe it's just the volume of people they have to deal with, but maybe some eye contact and at least faking a smile would be great for $2200 per person?
I would like to say that the concierge that I had in my building, (each building has their own mini concierge desk) was outstanding. I kick myself for not getting her name. we stayed in the Michoacan building if that helps, and she was very helpful.
-The only people that were worse than the concierge was the girl in the business centre. You could literally be looking at her, talking to her about something, sitting at her desk, and she would just turn away, and make a phone call that clearly had nothing to do with the issue you're speaking to her about. It was bizarre.
To try to sum it up, if you have any small issue like internet problems, problems with your check in, room cards, etc, the service could use vast improvements. that being said, once you settle in to this beautiful resort, with a drink in your hand, and deal with ALL the other staff. You don't give it much thought. I would probably try another resort as I like change, but I also wouldn't hesitate to recommend this one to young families.
Thanks to all the staff that worked so hard to try and make it a great vacation. Feel free to message me if you have any questions.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe all inclusive for 8 nights in September of 2011. My review is late but I like to give credit where it's due.
Our room was absolutely gorgeous and very updated. Everything was clean and well kept.
The beach was amazing and there was always plenty of room especially at our end which was not nearly as busy as the others.
The food was great, the buffets get repetitive after awhile but I guess that's why there's all the restaurant options. I loved the fact that we were able to utilize all of the hotels restaurants as well as the options in our own. We loved the hibachi restaurant and the french one as well.
The transportation bus from hotel to hotel was very convenient and a few times we were even taken by golf cart to a neighboring hotel if the bus wasn't there right on time for us.
All of the hotel staff was so, so friendly. I can't say enough how helpful they were. My husband and I went outside the hotel grounds to Playa del Carmen at least four times at night. They told us exactly what to do as far as catching public transportation, what time the last van's stopped at, and fun activities to do in Playa. We loved going there walking on the cobblestone strip for shopping and we even ate at a restaurant there for my husbands 30th birthday.
Overall, our trip was great, everything there is beautiful and we will definitely go back!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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saint louis
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2012

Stayed at the Barcelo palace in mid March for 6 nights with my wife and 15 month old. This is a nice resort to take small children or a infant. There are plenty activities for all. The buffets for lunch served a variety of different foods for all tastes and ages. We did not do the buffets in the evening. We were lucky enogh to attend one of the specialty restuarants each evening. The best service and food was found at the french restuarant. We did eat one night at 930pm. Book your restuarants early in your stay. You can allways cancel the reservation or change the time if another spot is available. Did not have any problems with young spring breakers. It appeared that most of the real partiers were at the other Barcelo resorts. There is piano bar in the lobby that provides music at certain times during the evening. shows start at 930pm or the disco is located at the other end of this large compex that goes untill late in the evening. The looby bar is open 24/7. There is a lot of walking at this resort, but we did not mind that. I would not recommend this resort if you are looking for everything close. The beach is very nice at this resort. If you are going to the pool you better plan on getting up before 7am. Most mornings I was able to get the last couple of chairs at 730am. The beach has a lot of available chairs later in the morning. The room was very nice, the air conditioning was allmost to cold. A refrigirator in the room with beer, soda, and juice was nice .I did not like the bed or the pillows, to hard. The maid service was very good and turn down service was performed every night. I would return to this resort if the price is right. I usually shop arround when I am ready to trave and I think that this property is overpriced some of the time.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Mayville, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2012

This was our first vacation at a Barcelo and we enjoyed it very much! We stayed at the Barcelo Maya Palace on the north end of the "Barcelo complex" and it was beautiful! We thought the food was good, drinks were good, the resort was super clean and the pools were HUGE!!! We are beach lovers so we headed to the beach every day, all day. There were always plenty of beach chairs; never had an issue getting towels. We would hand our towels in at the end of our day to get clean towels so we could go right out to the beach the next morning - this worked great. We thought the buffet was pretty good - always a selection of various things to eat, but we'd suggest getting something made for you at the stations where they make up the specialty for the night (there were different "theme" type meals each night). The fajitas were awesome! The guacamole and fresh salsa was always wonderful! The snorkeling was great right out in front of the resort . . . just walk in and you would see lots of fish, sea turtles and sting ray! Every time we went we seen the turtles ~ pretty cool! There is rocky areas in front of the Palace, but there are also spots of the nice soft sand as well. Just be careful going in and coming out. I suggest wearing water shoes if going in there. But just a short walk down the beach (south) is the wonderful soft sandy beach area. We loved it and plan to return next year and bring our kids. ☼ It is a 20 minute cab ride (or do a "shopping tour" on a bus through one of the travel guides at the hotel) to Playa del Carmen. Loved it and look forward to going back again!

Room Tip: We loved our location as we are beach goers every day...Room 8621 in Oaxaca building was great - on...
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  • Stayed February 2012, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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La Plaine
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2012

Was there in 2009 and in 2010. This hotel offer in the riviera maya the BEST OF THE BEST !!! The food, the room more than beautifull, the beach is in some place rocky and smooth at other place. Right in the beach you can see sea turtles. The restaurant, all of the perfect !! Didn't pay for the palace 2 times, be there by a free upgrade, but I think for the difference I will go to the tropical !

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2012 via mobile

This is the story of how family photos turned into extortion at the Barcelo.

15 family members met at the Barcelo Maya Palace to enjoy the Mexican sun. Prior to our trip, we had contacted a family friend and professional photographer from Cancun. He had offered to drive down and take some photos as a favor. While taking the photos, hotel security came down and was lingering around. They said I had to pay for him - no problem, we were aware that we had to buy a guest pass ($95USD). Our friend indicated he would come up for the bracelet as soon as he finished the shoot. Security waited to escort him to the front desk. That is when things fell apart.

On arriving at the front desk, they informed him that we needed to pay $500 USD to Kodak (the name of the company that apparently owns some kind of photo rights at the Barcelo). I was baffled, we did not employ any of their services - what is the charge for? You will not find this info on anything you sign at the desk or any documents in your room. I refused to pay based on this fact. The staff at Kodak said he understood and would notify his manager - in my mind it was over. We thanked our friend and said goodbye and went for drinks before supper. After about an hour, we cut through the lobby on route to the restaurant and were appalled to find our friend there with security. The hotel would not let him leave until he paid $500. I went to the front desk with them and explained to the manager, the took our friend to the back office to essentially interrogate him. I was allowed back after about 15 mins. The manager initially said he was too busy to talk to me about it. It was only after about another 15 mins of me refusing to leave his office that he got tired of the whole thing that he agreed to let our friend leave.

That's how family photos resulted in what I would call attempted extortion and kidnapping. Despite the nice facilities, this experience really soured us on the Barcelo resort. We will not be returning.

Stayed March 2012
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Additional Information about Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe

Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km 266.3 | Carretera a Chetumal, 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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe 4.5*
Number of rooms: 756
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

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