We just returned home from a great trip with our parents and children, both age 7. Since this was a family vacation we really wanted to make sure there were enough entertainment for our kids. This was certainly not a problem for as the property offered a pleuthra of activites for them.
The check in is a bit of a circus at the property. We arrived around noon and there was a line to check in. Luckily for us we had upgraded to the Premuim Club (more on this later) so we bypassed all of that and were taken to a seperate "lounge" to check in. We were told we were not permitted in our room until 3 PM, which I guess is pretty standard down there, but we were permitted to have use of the facilities.
Also at this time we made all of our dinner reservations (for ala carte restaurants) for the week. (If you are in the Premium club you get priority on making reservations). If there is a downfall about Barcelo it would be this. We began to make our reservations and were told there were none available for our first night. We found this a bit unbelievable since there were 7 different places to choose from and after a bit of back and forth we were given a table.
Later we spoke to several different groups of people at the pool, (who were not in the Premium Club), who were told there were no reservations for the ala carte restaurants for the entire week of their stay! To top it off, when we went to dinner every night the restaurants never seemed full.
We ran into a interesting dilema each night at dinner because our parents did not upgrade to premium club. As such when we made our reservations we were only able to make reservations for the 4 of us and not them. Barcelo has created a niche economy for their maitre d's. Here is how it went each night. I would check in our family of 4 with the hostess for our reservation. I would tell her we had our parents with us and that we would like to be seated for 6. She would say the restaurant was full but to wait a minute. A few minutes later the maitre d would appear and ask if he could help. He would then remind me that the restaurant was completely booked but he may be able to take care of me if I took care of him. So each night I would hand him some money and he would get us a table. This went on for the totality of our trip. So if by chance you can't get a reservation at one of the ala cartes, this tactic would probably be successfull.
I would access the food at the resort fair to good by all inclusive standards. Both breakfast and lunch were buffet. The food on the buffet was fair, they do have omlette stations at breakfast and grill stations at lunch, where they make made to order chicken, burgers, sausage and paper thin steaks.Our biggest issue was that the breakfast and lunch buffets were exactly the same everyday, So by the end of the week we were looking for some varitey that just wasn't there. They had a ton of food for the kids, and even at the ala carte restaurants they had children's menus. We didn't make it to lunch that much as we were normally at the pool or beach but utilized the Coral grill (which is a snack bar that is open from 10-6). They have decent salads,nachos, burgers and hot dogs. . The ala carte restaurants were good. I would rank them in this order: French, (we ate there twice), Japanese (which is in the coral grill at night), Spanish ( Don Quiote,which in in the sister property Barcelo Caribe), and lastly the Brazilian, (we also ate there twice). One thing that bugged us a bit was that food at the pool bar was not included, So if you wanted to stay at the pool and eat you had to pay extra. I thought that was a bit tacky. Oh and room service is not included either unless you upgrade to premium club.
The rooms at the resort are very nice, there was ample space for our family. I would reccomend trying to to get a room near the pool if possible. It is a big resort and if you get stuck on the back end, it is a far walk to get to the pools and beach.
The pool is huge, they have beach chairs all around it but you better get up early if you want one. We would go to breakfast around 9, and most of them would have already been "reserved" with towels on them. There are signs all over the pool indicating that that you could not reserve chairs but this obviously fell on deaf "eyes".
The highlight of this resort is the beach. We've stayed in 6 different resorts in Mexico, and this is by far the nicest beach we have been to there. Bring your own snorkel equipment.There is a reef right off the beach with an abundance of sea life. During the week we saw numerous turtles, rays, and a ton of fish. There is a pier down the beach a bit, that has schools of fish that everyone feeds, and you can snorkel in the middle of them. The kids loved it and spent a lot of the trip just snorkeling in the ocean and exploring the different creatures,
A quick note about the premium club, we only upgraded ($20 per person, per day) initially so that we could get free WIFI, but it ended up being worth it for us to have access to the ala carte restaurants. If you are OK with the buffets and don't need to have internet access, it may not be worth your wild to upgrade. We never got room service.
All in all, we had a great time, mostly because of the beach, but that was one of our biggest draw to going to this resort.
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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