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“Good times at Barcelo” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe

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Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km 266.3 | Carretera a Chetumal, Puerto Aventuras 77750, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 15 hotels in Puerto Aventuras
New York
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13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Good times at Barcelo”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

I consider myself a seasoned veteran of the all inclusive concept and I love Mexico and Riviera Maya. Barcelo Maya Palace was exactly as I expected it. No place is perfect and there are some areas that can be improved but overall if I weigh in the price I paid and what Barcelo offers this is a great place to visit. The Barcelo resort consists of five properties. The Palace being their top billing. Rooms are junior suites which allows for 5 people in the room (reason why we chose this specific property within Barcelo resort). We traveled with a large group of friends and family and for the most part all had similar experiences.

When choosing any type of a resort the first thing I look at is the beach. You go to the Caribbean to enjoy the beautiful color water and the beach. if the beach sucks it doesn't matter how great the other areas of the resort are you will not have a complete vacation. Barcelo resort complex is built on one of the best beaches in the Riviera Maya. It is lined with palm trees providing natural shade and the water is crystal clear with no sea weed and soft sand. As an added bonus the reef provides great snorkeling off the beach with turtles, rays and plenty of fish to feast your eyes on. The water is very calm with no waves which makes swimming perfect for all. The size of the property is so large that it would be impossible for them to run out of room so it was great not to have to worry about reserving seats.

The second most important thing to have a nice vacation is the accommodations. The Palace rooms are junior suites which provides plenty of space. We are a family of five and we felt very comfortable in the room. Two double beds or a king bed plus two day beds. A very large area balcony adds to the feeling of spaciousness. The bathroom is large with a separate toilet area, double sinks, tub with shower and a separate rain shower. A minor observation is that the sliding door to the toilet room does not close and there is no curtain or door in the shower so a bit of a privacy issue there. Plenty of closet space. Our room was on the third floor in the Michoacán (sp?) building. This is a building closer to the lobby. Our room was in the mid section and the walk to the beach, or restaurants was 5 minutes long with three kids so really not an issue. Some in our party had rooms in the last section and that added another 5 minutes of walking for them so really not a big issue at all in my opinion as some other travelers complained. Having said that I do believe it is more convenient to stay in the first or second section which you can request ahead of time as we did and they will try to accommodate it.

Everything else falls in its place in Barcelo. The pool is very large and beautiful. We did not use it much because the water was a bit cold and when there is such an awesome beach who wants to swim in chlorine water? The water park for the kids is amazing. if you see the pictures on the internet it is just as great when you get there. Kids had a blast in the water park. If you have older kids in your party have them go to the one in the Tropical/Colonial resort. For the smaller kids use the one in the Palace. If your kids like rock climbing or bungee walk over to the Caribe/Beach resort area along the beach. Call them ahead of time to check the time when they run it. The kids club is not the best I've seen but it is good enough if you need some time alone. Plenty of organized activities during the day. The grounds are ideally kept, very clean and beautiful. The open air inner corridors of the building with the fountains and greenery provides a very relaxing and tropical feel. Barcelo Palace has a very modern feel to it but the other resorts have more of a Caribbean feel to them. The entertainment is the usual all inclusive type of shows. I would recommend going to the theater at the Tropical/Colonial resort. It is open air vs. the indoor theater at the Palace.

The food is plenty and good. The buffet offers a lot of variety and the a la cart selection is very good. We ate at French, Brazilian, Carib, Steak and Japanese and we generally liked all of them.

The check in / checkout process for us was pretty smooth. If you come alone in a van you will spend 10 minutes checking in but if you come on a bus with 20 other people and there are 20 people already checking in or out you will spend 40 minutes in line. it all depends on the individual situation. No issues with storing and delivery of luggage both in and out easy process. The rooms are ready at around 3 pm so if you come earlier than that it won’t be ready so be prepared. Have a change of clothes easily accessible and start enjoying yourself.

A few useful tips are:
-Ask for a room in the first or second section of either building.
-Read the fine print on the coupons they give you. The coupons are great if you follow the instructions. If you don't read the fine print you can end up regretting using the coupon at the end. For example they offer a 35 dollar coupon for pictures but the fine print clearly says you need to spend 250 to get it. Or a 10/20 dollars off on wine requires a purchase of a 40/80 dollar bottle. My wife went to the spa twice and was able to use the coupons both times.
-See all of the other properties. Each one is different.
-The segway tour offered is awesome. it’s an hour drive through the resort and allows you to see the entire Barcelo complex.
-Upgrade to the club premium is not necessary in my opinion. One couple in our group did it and the amount they paid for the upgrade vs. the benefits received I am not sure is worth it. You do get internet included though with this upgrade so for some that alone might make it worth the price.
-Take a trip to swim with the dolphins. It is a great fun for all ages. We did Dolphin Discovery which had two big pluses. It was 5 minutes away transfer from the hotel and it has a encounter program geared specifically for kids 5 and under who are free with paid adult. Some in our group did a trip to Delphinus park which was also very close and offered a 4 hour program.
-We used Apple Vacations to book our stay and the good thing about Apple and why I always go with them is that transfers are included which eliminates the chaos of the arrival (and it is very chaotic in Cancun with all the timeshare salespeople at the exit and confusing taxi lines and prices). An additional benefit of booking with Apple was that when we got to the check in counter they told us we will not need any towel cards and can just get and return towels as we please.

So with all the nice things I wrote why a four star rating? As I said no one is perfect and the one thing that struck me in this resort is that while generally nice the staff did not want to go the extra mile to please. This has always been a staple of service in Mexico. Here in Barcelo Palace I just did not feel it. some of the examples are:
- On two days our room was not cleaned before we brought the kids for the afternoon nap. We would be out of the room every day from 8:30 to about 2:30. Never before have I had an issue with the room not getting cleaned in that much time. In fact everywhere I travelled before the staff usually knows your moving patterns by day 2. Here it did not happen which was odd.
- On more than one occasion when asking to move tables together at the buffet to make room for more people to sit together we were told no which again was unusual for me.
- A small child in our group fell asleep during dinner and when we asked for her nuggets to take with us we were told no. I am still not sure I understand why is there such policy.
- All three times that I had to call the front desk for something required multiple call backs as nothing was getting done.

The reason I saved these for the end is because none of my complains ruined our fabulous vacation. I think there is definitely room to improve the customer service a little to make it an even better place but again I do think the price to value ratio was very good. All in all thumbs up for Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
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  • Cleanliness
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Dallas, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Just returned from our second family trip to the Barcelo complex on the Riviera Maya. We had booked a return trip to Barcelo Maya Colonial as that is where we spent Thanksgiving 2011 & had a great time. When we arrived, we were told that they had upgraded us to the Palace. The oceans views from the lobby are beautiful. The restaurants are also right on the ocean & have great views. The room was great - it was nicer than the one at the Colonial (nicer finish out & better bathroom). It also had barely any musty smell (the room we had at the Colonial last year was super musty). I brought some "Dry-Out" this year & it took care of the very minor odor quickly. It is certainly more lively at the Palace than the Colonial. Some days we went back to the pool at the Colonial because it was quiet (no DJ & loud music). My 9 year old son liked the Colonial better because there are 2 pool tables & the balls/sticks can be picked up just a few steps away. For the pool table, ping pong, etc at the Palace, you have to walk a bit & go back inside to pick up the balls & sticks - no big deal to me, but it was to my 9 year old! The beach is a bit rocky, so I would recommend water shoes if you have sensitive feet. There was some good snorkeling there but it is better down by the dock closer to the Colonial. My husband & I both thought the food was a little better at the Palace than the Colonial as there are more choices. I loved that waitresses will come around & ask for your drink order while lying at the pools at the Palace. The drink service by the pools, the food & room are why I would return to the Palace next time. Also - ate at the Caribe (Seafood), Brazilian & Mexican restaurants. Mexican was awful (nothing was hot, food was bland). Caribe was good - coconut shrimp was excellent! The family favorite was the Brazilian. I don't eat meat....but they recently changed the menu & it is now billed as a steak & pasta restaurant. I had the ravioli (which was way better than anything our family had at the Italian restaurant last year) & my husband & son both had the short rib. All in all, I think we will be back as a family (I would pick somewhere else if we were traveling without my son).

Room Tip: Try to be on the 2nd or 3rd floors - less noise & less mustiness.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Montreal QC
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

We stayed at the Barcelo Maya Palace on November 9th, 2012. Having been to Mexico many times, I can say without a doubt this is a great hotel.
The pros: Excellent service from the time we checked in to the time we left, I only have praises for all the employees who helped make our stay a great one.
The beach. For the Mayan Riviera, the beach is very nice (nothing like Cuba but still very nice). We managed to snorkel just in front of the hotel and we were able to follow a few turttles everytime we went out. We also had a great time feeding the fish in just about 4 feet of water.
The rooms are very clean, yet we can tell this hotel is starting to age.
The pools, especially the kids pool, were fantastic, although the water was cold (they don't seem to heat the pools). The water was always very clear.
There was always plenty of chairs around the pools and at the beach for us to choose from, either in the shade or in the sun. No need to drop your towels in the morning to save a nice place...
The cons:
I only have one negative comment about our stay. We were somewhat dissapointed with the A La Carte restaurants. We went to the Brazilian, the French (Brasserie) twice, the Caribe and the Santa Fe. We got our best meal at the Caribe but the other ones were just acceptable and the Brazilian was horrible the night we went. All the meats were overcooked and tasteless. However, the service was always perfect. I can only hope we were there on an off night and that the food is somewhat better in general. We have no complaints about the buffet restaurants as the food was quite good and the choice always adequate for our 1 week stay.
We would definitely go back to this hotel in the future.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

My last review for the BMP was back in 2010 when we had our 2 and a half year old in tow, now she is 4 and a half so thats more where i'm coming from with this review, that and one other thing, that I'll get to. So the kids club, forget it, the Barcy Club, is sooooooo under par that i only left my daughter there once and didn't feel good about it the whole time, so that was the end of that. First and foremost, if you decide to leave your child at the Barcy Club to participate in a "fun" activity you might wonder how you will be contacted if there is an emergency or something, well they won't be able to contact you, when i asked this question, i was told, "well we will call your room" of course you won't be in your room, so already i'm thinking to myself i wouldn't leave my child anywhere at home where i couldn't be contacted, so why is it okay here, it isn't!! There are excursions to the pier to feed the fish, to play in the pool and collect shells on the beach, all with no way to contact the parents should something arise!!The Barcy Club, is an open empty room with a tv in one corner, and computers, some tables and chairs and bathroom area, the toys, i am assuming they have some somewhere are all away, if you are expecting some fun filled preschool type area with play kitchen, quiet area with books, a little tikes slide, dump trucks & cars, you get the picture well, it just doesn't exist. The staff do speak english and seem sweet enough, but if you are thinking along the lines of the bubbly outgoing types you find at My Gym, Gymboree or The Little Gym, you might be disappointed. So if leaving your child at the "kids club" for an hour or two each day is def part of what makes your vacation relaxing, rethink the BMP. The two hours that my daughter spent there, i hovered for a while and came back to "check in" after an hour, the 8 or 9 or so kids were busy painting weren't saying a word to each other and all looked rather serious, it was the same scene later with making a beaded necklace, so obviously not impressed with that, and needless to say didn't bother with Barcy again!
So moving on, here is the biggest tip i can give you for your stay at the BMP take with you a plug in air freshner and some kind of non plug in air freshner, one for the bathroom and the other for the toilet area, there is absolutely no ventilation in the bathrooms at the BMP, don't think this tip is all a bit overkill, no no, just do it, you'll have a fresher more pleasant bathroom :)
That was our last trip to the BMP, it was fun and we enjoyed but its time for something new.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stowe, Vermont
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
237 helpful votes 237 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

I should say upfront, I really liked this resort last year. I have stayed there twice – this year, and last year. We returned for the food, and the exceptional beach. What follows is a litany of errors during our stay. There is no excuse for a resorts that claims to “deluxe premium” or whatever name they give themselves to have these errors occur.


I am hoping my writing this review that someone from Barcelo management will actually do something about the poor front desk service at the Barcelo Palace.


About me: my native Mexican husband and I travel to the Riviera May 1-2 times per year. Between us we have been lucky to stay at : Iberostar Grand (3X); Secrets Maroma Beach, Excellence Riviera Cancun, Royal Hideaway Playacar, Grand Velas, Secrets Silversands, and Le Blanc. Last year, we stayed at the Barcelo Palace with family and we were very impressed with the resort; we felt you got a lot for your money, in a beautiful setting with excellent food.


It takes a lot for me to get angry – I can take a lot of ridiculous things that come my way, but the way this hotel is managed is beyond a joke. It needs a serious intervention. The hotel sits on one of best beaches in the Riviera Maya. The food is good to excellent. The pool is beautiful. Liquors are top shelf. The grounds and buildings are beautiful and well kept. Yet, the management of this place is by far the worst hotel management I have ever seen. I have experienced better service and management at a Motel 6. No exaggeration.


THE UGLY
We arrived early on a Saturday. Our room was not ready but we were not expecting it to be ready. Via phone the prior week, we had requested a non-smoking room in the Michoacan building, close to the pool. The resort has two very large buildings – Michoacan and Oaxaca. Oaxaca is closer to beach access. Michoacan is closer to the restaurants. Each building has ~375 rooms – these are large, long buildings that run from the beach out toward the main entrance of the hotel, toward the highway.


Checking in was a comedy of errors. If you read my review from my stay last year here, you’ll see I was scathing in my review of the front desk staff. I didn’t think it could possibly get any worse. I don’t know if it was worse this year, or just different. Judge for yourself in this review.


By the way, there is no language barrier. We speak fluent Spanish.


Upon arrival at the hotel, it took 15 minutes for the desk attendant to tell us the room number we’d have. I asked him to show me on a map where is our room, and the number. He pointed to the Barcelo Palace map in general and said “here.” He refused to tell us where the room was located – in which leg of the building. He flat out wouldn’t do it. The reason why? They assigned us a room in Michoacan the farthest possible from the lobby and I guess he didn’t want us to know at that point so we would not ask for room closer to the pool. When we finally realized that they had put us in the farthest room possible, we requested a room closer, and we are told that none were available. We said we would even take two double beds. We were told that none were available. We were put on a waiting list for when occupancy dropped on Monday we were told. Later we found out we were not on any such list.


We stood in line again for 30 minutes at 4 pm and received our room key. We again asked for a closer room and we were told none were available.


We took our bags ourselves from the luggage room and walked the full length of the Michoacan building (this is a very long distance) but we could not find our room. It turns out that our room was not in MICHOACAN, but in Oaxaca. The front desk had written down the incorrect building on our guest papers.


Tired, hot and grumpy, we finally got to our room, and found it to be damp, musty, and with sluggish A/C. The “Welcome to the Barcelo” letter actually shredded in my hand, the room was so damp. My husband picked up the phone and spoke with a manager, and told him the entire saga. Within five minutes someone from guest services was at our door, giving us the choice of two other rooms, poolside, much closer to the beach. Miraculous how they found not one but two rooms when no fewer than two people had told us that none were available. Kudos to Ivan the manager for making a bad situation right.


We were vacationing with another couple, who arrived later in the day. They were told that they owned $1500 even though their invoice clearly showed they had paid in full and had a zero balance. After 10 minutes of arguing, and the desk attendant said yes, OK, we see we made a mistake. The next morning our friend went to the reception desk to get a second room key because they had refused to give her two keys the night before when she checked in, for whatever reason. She got the key, only to have the desk attendant tell her, “Oh, it is great that you came by here today because you owe us $1500 and we need your credit card to charge it….”


It should be noted that the reason I am peeved about all of this is the amount of time it takes away from my vacation. And it is so senseless. The front desk staff is clueless and powerless to make any changes or decisions. Each question (Is there another room available? How much does it cost to upgrade?) required the front desk attendant to go in the back and consult, for as long as 5 minutes, with a supervisor. Like Oz himself was sitting behind the curtain. They take copies of the passports – five minutes. Go back to find your room and information packet – 5 minutes. Everything they need to do, they disappear behind the Oz-like wall for 5 minutes. It is ridiculous to have a check in process take 45 minutes to an hour (this includes standing in line) for a PREPAID VACATION. Everyone – check ins, check outs, questions, etc… stand in the same line at the front desk. The wait time can be very long – up to an hour. This is, for a resort, really unacceptable.


Since your room is not ready if you arrive early, they tag your bags. Except they wanted to tag our bags with tags that say, “OUT” because they were out of “IN” tags. Bags are kept outside all day long, unguarded at the entrance to the hotel where everyone goes in and out. Incoming bags are mixed with outgoing bags, and the only thing that differentiates them is the “IN” or “OUT” tag. No way were we leaving our bags with an “OUT” tag all day long at the entrance. We asked to have our bag locked up. They balked and said, “no.” Finally, they did take care of that and it turns out there is a room to lock up luggage, so ask if you want your bags secured.


Getting access to the internet the next day required my standing in line at the front desk, only to be told to go to the internet lounge to get a ticket. I got the ticket, and stood in line again at the front desk to pay for 15 minutes. I needed a copy of my passport to buy 24 hours of wifi. And had to sign 3 documents. There was a special document for the conversion of US dollars to pesos. I also had to sign that. All for wifi. Which at most hotels, is free.


The front desk manager should be retrained, or fired. The desk is a mess, staffed with unprofessional people who are miserable and could care less about their jobs or guests. BARCELO MANAGERS: IF YOU ARE READING THIS REVIEW, BE ASHAMED THAT YOU ALLOW THIS FRONT DESK TO BE RUN LIKE THE TOTAL MESS THAT IT IS.


The concierges and the concierge system are worthless and rule bound. You can only make reservations at the desk, in person. If you want to make a change, they demand the paper receipt or they will not make a change. The only way they can make a change is to cancel your existing dinner reservation. They would not make any reservations until the party we were traveling with had been assigned a room. The party was not arriving until 10 pm. We had to wait in line to make reservations for my husband and I. The next day, we had to wait in line again to cancel those, and make all new reservations to include the other couple. After waiting in line and gave the concierge our room number, the concierge said that we were wrong, and that is not our room number. She refused to believe that we had given her the correct room number. She wanted us to stand in line again at the front desk to confirm our room number! Are you KIDDING? There was another concierge at the desk reading a novel, while a line formed at the concierge desk. Turns out , guess what? We did have the correct room number and no way did I stand in that line again to confirm what I already knew.


The saga of the telephone was another matter. The zero button on our room phone did not work. Almost all resort extensions end in zero. The telephone was useless to make calls. My husband’s corporate iPhone didn’t work in Mexico (Verizon) and he had to make a business call from the room phone. Without zero, there are not a lot of calls that can be made. I called an extension that didn’t have a zero and asked to speak with guest services: call #1 – rang and no one picked up; call #2 – someone picked up and hung up; call #3 – I explained what was happening. The person who answered transferred me to the front desk. Who then hung up the phone. I called again and asked to speak with guest services. This time, the person understood and laughed and said, “Oh, isn’t it terrible? – Yes, that is a real problem, you need a different phone. Let me transfer you to someone who can help you.”


She transferred me to the Lobby Bar.


At this point I went out into the hall where the concierge desk was located. No concierge in sight. I used the concierge phone to call guest services. I explained why I was using that phone. She said she would send someone.


When we got back from dinner there was a note on the phone, “Phone is OK.” It wasn’t. It was still broken.


I tell this story to illustrate how the Barcelo Palace handles questions and issues, not to complain per se; it was more funny than anything, how incompetent they are.


If you stay at the Barcelo, I would pay extra for Club Premium (even though I don’t think it is worth the price for goods in kind) just to not deal with the front desk (you have your own private check in area). Otherwise, a sedative would be in order. Or maybe two.


This resort doesn’t practice hospitality – it practices containment. I have never heard “no” more often than at the Barcelo. It is like the staff are trained to say “no” first, and only say yes on pain of suffering. For really dumb stuff. But enough to make your blood boil when added up. Who needs that hassle on vacation?


Other negatives? The pillows are hard as rocks – flat rocks. The beds have mattresses that are encased in a plastic sheet so you end up sweating when you sleep. The mattresses are not great. There are only three on site a la carte restaurants – a seafood place, Brazilian grill, and a molecular fusion place (more on that, below), although you do have access to restaurants at the other hotels in the complex. Rules abound – getting a ping pong paddle requires a hike across the complex (although the ball is on the table), “no” abounds, and the animation team can be loud. No beach service for drinks or food. Room service is extra ($9 per plate) if you are not a Club Premium guest. There is food available at the pool bar, for $9 per item. A basket of fries are $9. Beach chairs are showing their age, and need a good cleaning. Distances are great, as this is a large resort and spread out. The resort appears to be handicap-accessible, but the distance might be an impediment.


Midway through our vacation, the French restaurant menu changed from classic French to (get this) “Molecular Fusion.” The food was so disgusting I don’t know if I can properly describe it. One appetizer: "Prawns Two Firings: shrimp tails bleached head forming a very smooth and crispy crunchy accompanied by a sauce made from the same juice on crispy spring." Got that? Another appetizer: fish skin on a cracker spiced with honey. Dessert? How about "Hare with Strawberry Juice - Strawberries flamed with reduced rabbit juice and a touch of algae." I am DEAD serious. The waiters begged us to fill out a comment card, as they hate the menu, too. It was without a doubt, the worst meal I have ever had at any resort, and possibly in my life. Hopefully if you go to the Barcelo Palace, by the time you get there, they will have gotten rid of this science experiment of a menu.


THE GREAT
The beach, oh my Zeus the beach. The beach at the Palace is probably the least attractive of all the resorts in the complex, and even then, it is the nicest beach I have experienced in the entire Riviera Maya. Slap on a snorkel or even swim goggles and swim with the turtles, see manta rays, coral and a bunch of fish. It is like a nautical Garden of Eden at your fingertips. There are tons of palms that provide lots of shade. Walk the beach all the way down to the point and you’ll feel like you are in Bora Bora, with the palms, and the crystal clear water. There is a pier where you can dive in with the fish who swarm around you. The water is gentle, with little to no waves. There are few hidden rocks to stub your toes. The sand in some places is very soft and in others a bit course, but it is a glorious beach walk, with breathtaking vistas.


The pool is large, and amazing in design. The adult pool area is very pretty, and has a bar. You do need to pay $10 per day if you want to use a Bali bed.


Our guest room was modern, and very clean. A/C is cold. The bathroom is large and private. The shower is open and large and shares space with regular size bathtub.


The breakfast and lunch offers are buffet with multiple cooking stations. Food was fresh, tasty, and abundant in the offerings. We also enjoyed the dinner buffet a couple of evenings.


The Caribe restaurant is excellent, and offers lobster and not just the rock lobster. This was the best restaurant at the Palace, for us. The Brazilian one is not my favorite, but if you like the whole meat-on-a-stick thing, then I would try it; the meats are liberally spiced.


CONCLUSION
If I had paid the going rate ($300 per night) for a room, I would not think it is worth it. We paid almost half that from an auction site, so for what we paid, it is a very good deal. The beach is really superb, and swimming with the turtles is sublime, but after this latest customer service fiasco, I don’t think I will return to the Barcelo Palace. It pains me to rate this hotel average, but until they do something about the front desk and the service attitude, it deserves no greater.

Room Tip: The lower the room number the closer the room to the front of the resort (near the beach) - and the...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oregon
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

We booked with Apple which apparently got us some perks. Apple includes round-trip transfer from the Airport but I booked non-stop for a little bit more. A bit under an hour to get to the resort and since it was a smaller van we were the only ones being dropped off which meant no long lines for check-in. In fact, the whole check in process took 5 minutes and they were very friendly at the front desk, as was the concierge. We did not need towel cards because of Apple and had a room as close to the beach as was possible without being Club Premium. I had e-mailed my request, had my travel agent also e-mail a request and the only part that was not honored was that we were in the Oaxaca building which was on the Smoking side but meant we got to be bit closer to the beach.

Room was quite large, we had champagne a small bottle of liquor and fruit in our room. Excellent bathroom and kids slept on the daybeds while we had the King. Yes, bed is hard but not unbearable and pillows were not great but not as bad as I expected given the complaints by others. We brought small camping/travel pillows for the kids which helped.

Yes, grounds are amazing, my daughter said that she ' felt like a Millionaire." Staff worked extremely hard and always had a friendly "hello" when we greeted them. Beach was lovely and snorkeling was terrific. Ocean was warm and many people were enjoying it. Swam with turtles and saw so many fish, stingrays and an eel. Snorkeled off the pier as well which has a few more colorful bits of coral as less "hammered" by overuse. We brought our own snorkels and used them every day.

We spent time at all of the resorts and they all have a different feel. Lobby bars at Beach/Caribe were very smoky but people were having a great time and it seemed very social and conducive to people mingling. Colonial's Lobby bar was almost empty one evening and when we went in for a drink we decided not to stay as the speakers for the pianist were incredibly loud (as were the speakers at the Palace when the Mariachi band played so we sat in the lovely outside section and could hear quite fine.) the Palace lobby and bar and very beautiful and have a lot of great places to sit outside.

The pool bars at the 3 resorts definitely had a difference in that the bartenders at the Beach/Caribe side quickly passed the bottle of alcohol over the glass, a slightly longer pour at the Colonial/Tropical but the Palace poured a real drink and the Adult Bar (Which is beautiful) did seem to put a lot of effort into the drinks. We also had fun at the Sports Bar which was not at all crowded. All of the bartenders, even when busy, were smiling and friendly.
A convention of people in Red Shirts came to the Tropical and after their event on the beach, they filled up the bar/pool area but we were still able to find chairs. The Red Shirts seemed like they were having fun and we could hear them partying at the pool long after we left.

Kids loved the pools but the Palace pool was shallow due to construction so we enjoyed the Colonial/Tropical pools. The kids also had fun at the Beach/Caribe and swam there while waiting for the 4:00 trampoline jump at the Barcy Club. They have the harnesses so kids get up super high and flip around. My son was a little big, at 12, but the staff worked hard to make it work for him and they shot him up 20 feet. That was the only Barcy activity that they did as they are 10 and 12.

We also enjoyed tennis (bring your own balls at least, racquets were not great but usable) and putt putt but definitely bring bug spray for the putt putt golf. My husband and I did pitch and Putt which has 4 holes.

The food was good and we booked several restaurants. They have changed their menus and in talking with repeat customers, it seems that the French is not the same caliber. Portions were small which we did not mind and my son loved the presentation with the colorful "gelatins". The Caribe had a lot of seafood and we thought the Salmon was amazing (and we live int he Pacific Northwest). We ate there twice. My husband loved the Brazilian and the meat was rare to medium rare and not at all dry. The kids favorite was the Tepanyaki table at Kyoto and we also liked the Marenostrum at the Colonial where we had seafood for our Thanksgiving dinner.

We loved the Dolphin Discovery and splurged for the Royal Swim with the foot push. We were glad we did. We went to Tulum and yes, it was hot which made it a little more difficult for the kids but thankfully there was an ice cream cart close by. We did parasailing which was exciting and one of our favorite things was the Segway tour at the resort. It was way more fun than we thought it would be, given that our only experience with one was watching Mall Cop. We used the water bikes (bring flip flops or even shoes as the metal bars are a little tough on the feet) and catamaran sailing.

We also went to Kantun Chi cenotes and underground cave exploration. We felt silly as we took the shuttle to the entrance to the property, then asked a cab driver sitting out front to take us. He looked across the street and pointed 200 yards down the road. We walked down the highway the 200 yards and then a 5 minute dirt road walk from their entrance to the lobby. We had the cave tour with just our family which was nice and it was stunningly beautiful. The cenotes were nice but not super inviting to swim in but they gave us snorkeling gear and it was so interesting to see the labyrinth and clear water with the stalagmites. I hear that the lunch is very good but we were done by noon and lunch was not until 1:00 so we opted to walk back to the resort and eat there since we were a little cold on a cloudy day.

We also stopped at the Library/Literacy center Hekab be biblioteka in Akumel and dropped off many solar powered calculators we had brought from the US and a bit of a cash donation. They are a non-profit library which helps children and adults learn to read and write and helps students stay in school. It was a very sweet spot right on the way to the beach so well worth the stop.

Overall, excellent trip, I do not understand how people complain about the staff. Everyone, from the Concierges, to front desk staff, to maintenance workers, waiters and bartenders were ALL friendly. It can take a while to get a drink at the buffet, as the workers are busy turning over tables but you can either bring one with you when you come or go to the bar at the buffet and order yourself. We often grabbed our own sodas or beer from the self-serve at the buffet bar. (With chilled beer glasses) The place is huge which was enjoyable in that it had so many options for restaurants, bars, pools and activities but I am not sure I would want every vacation to be with so many others. That being said, we always found loungers by the beach or pool.

We took cabs, Collectivos and the bus once and all worked pretty well (except the bus did not quite drop us where we thought so we took a 5 minute cab ride from downtown Tulum to the Ruins.) The Collectivo also over shot a bit and I had to remind him I was only going to Peurto Aventuras not Playa Del Carmen) so I had to walk back down the entrance ramp a 100 yards.

We had a great, action-packed time and recommend this resort for families. It was beautiful and friendly and had good food and drinks and was a lot of fun.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012 via mobile

As stated and as other reviews have said the check in is terrible it takes absolutely forever. And then there are the up charges for Internet 12 dollars a day and no free room service not to mention you can order food at the pool bars cocos but there there is also another charge.if you want wine at dinner again another charge.
Pros about this resort
1.the beach is amazing for snorkelling a little bit bit rocky in places but worth it for the snorkelling numerous turtles and sea rays along with all sorts of different kinds of fish to be seen.
2. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained.
3. To me the food was of pretty good quality for an all inclusive much better then the iberostar lindo that we stayed at a year before.
4. Always lots of chairs to be found on the beach and at the pool unlike the iberostar where it was a must to get up and reserve at 6 am.
Cons....
1. The front desk service is terrible slow and very unhelpful.
2. Very large in scale and a lot of walking seems like endless walking.
3. The beds where like concrete slabs and the pillows where as hard as a rock.
4. The pool was only two feet deep due to some sort of repair that was being done to the tile in it . We opted for using the pool over at the tropical which was a 5 minute walk away.
5. They don't except cash at the stores there which is good but I noticed there is a service charge for charging to your room. Another hidden up charge.
6 charging for Internet at this day in age is a joke especially for a resort that is 5 star
Conclusion would we stay here again??
Probably not unless we got a better deal. With the uncomfortable beds and the terrible service at check in along with all the hidden charges we would opt to stay some place next time.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
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:
#2 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#3 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#5 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe 4*
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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