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“Great Family Vacation” 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   |  
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Ranked #4 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
philadelphia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Great Family Vacation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

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.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (757)
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

So I thought I owed a review after our third return. Great resort with plenty to do and room and fun for all! The grounds are amazing and the customer service has improved over the years. The food is great for buffet style.....with the resort being so full the food was constantly turned over and not dry and stale like some buffets. As military folks we have had the luxury of traveling the world and have had the opportunity to see some amazing places, not to mention the group that we went with has done the same and we all think that this is one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited. We were a group of 7...5 adults ranging from 29-45 and two kids ages 6 and 7 years old.

Some tips for the trip....sorry it's so long but wanted to get it all in and hope it helps!

1. Getting from the airport to the hotel and back and stopping at Wal-Mart. We used USA Transfer with an hour stop to Wal-Mart for $165 for all 7 in the group (we used them all three times with the prompt and courteous service). When you leave the airport do not stop to talk to all the nice people asking you where you are going and telling you they are with the "Welcome Committee"....go straight outside and find the taxi service folks that you book with. When you get back to the airport to go home don't let anyone grab your bag and ask you where your going unless you want someone to walk your bag in....you will need to pay these people and they can be a bit forceful. We packed no toiletries as they are too heavy. We stopped at Wal-Mart and picked up sunblock and all of the other toiletries for the week. I will say that Wal-Mart is a bit of a mad house but the prices are comparable to the states and they had everything we needed. Make sure you have a good list of what you need because the hotel is going to charge you an arm and a leg for it ($20 U.S. for a bottle of sunblock at the resort and they didn't have any sinus meds).

2. Rooms. Club Premium...just not worth the extra $ to me. You get a room close to the pools but none of them are right on the ocean so the views are slightly obstructed by the palm trees. Depending on where your room is it can be a bit of a walk but it is just about the only exercise we got in for the week ;-) It's puts you closer to the pool to play the towel game of holding chairs first thing in the morning. Your not supposed to put towels down to hold chairs but you know what they say.....When in Rome! Try not to leave open drinks and food in the rooms....there are ants everywhere. The beds were a bit uncomfortable to me but I hear you can ask for an extra pillow top.

3. Dinner can be eaten at a sit down restaurant of your choosing or at the buffet. Make dinner reservations right after check in. You are going to be excited and not want to wait but the reservations get booked up early, do this in the lobby not at the concierge in your building because they are usually not there. Book reservations for every night and if you don't make it you can hit the buffet. If you can't get reservations for what you want book something else and just go by the restaurant or back to the concierge to check for cancelations. If you have little kids and want to go to dinner alone make the reservations NLT 7 pm.....that way you can get back to get the kids by 9 pm and yes they will take your kids to dinner with the other kids in the kids club. If you are taking the kids to dinner with I would suggest NLT 8 pm dinner reservations. The little ones get really tired out in the sun and water all day so the crankiness sets in post 8:30-9:00 pm-ish.

4. Don't over pack! Men have to have on closed toed shoes and pants for dinner. Jeans and tennis shoes are acceptable. Some people do get dressed up but if you like to lounge at the pool and the beach you are not going to want to leave early to go back to your room to get all dolled up with hair and make up. Besides...all the make up melts off and hair falls once you walk out of you room due to the heat anyway!

5. Kids club-I am really picky about who I leave my kids with and with two girls my husband is even worse than me! Some parents would drop their kids off at 9:30 am and not pick the kids up until 9:00 pm. The first few days my kids would go for one or two activities for an hour each time. Eventually the kids wanted to stay longer and I would just go back and check on them each hour. There is any activity board posted with the daily schedule for the kids club outside of the kids club on the wall. Take a pic with your phone and just set alarms to go back and check on them. The ladies there are amazing and really sweet to the kids.

6. Take water shoes!!!! The beach is beautiful however many of the rocks are the same color as the sand and you will get hurt if you don't have water shoes on. Stop by the gift shop and buy some bags of fish food for a dollar, if you go out about waist deep and throw the food you will have fish surrounding you. There are beautiful fish near the dark rocks and tons of fish at the end of the pier. This kept my kids entertained for hours. You can see the sea turtles in front of the hotel about chest deep....we noticed them more in the morning. I also hear that there is a ruin about a half mile down from the French restaurant facing the ocean towards the left and supposedly a really nice quiet inlet of beach.

7. Take small bills for shopping and tipping. When you pay in $ some of the time they will return the change in pesos and it's a pain to try and change it back. Take some one dollar bills with you if you can spare it. The trip is all inclusive and although tipping is not necessary these folks work so hard and it is appreciated when you tip!

8. Shopping! I just had to go to Playa del Carmen our first trip so we took a Colectivo (public transportation it was $8 round trip versus $60 in a cab for two people) into town to hit the shops. Very much a party town, (especially at night) if that is your thing but we were being hounded by shop owners to purchase things. We spent money on drinks and food that we could have had at the hotel for no more charge. Go to the Mexican Plaza at the hotel near the disco and the prices there are the same or less than Playa....just haggle with the shop owners. If you don't get enough trinkets there you can find plenty in the airport when you leave to go home.....tons and tons of souvenirs and the prices are not outrageous (picked up mini bottles of tequila with the worm, Mexican hair scarves, magnets, maracas, etc and they were all $5 ea at the airport).

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermont
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

After a great deal of research we decided that we would go to the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe for our honeymoon, we know that we made the right choice. We enjoyed all of the aspects of the resort. The hospitality was a highlight, and included a complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries delivered to our room the night we arrived. The food was amazing at both the restaurants and the buffets. The quality was amazing and the choices vast. The beach was amazing, the weather was windy but beautiful the week we were at the resort and prevented some water sports. We plan to visit the resort to celebrate a future anniversary.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Onsite clinic is useless.

We just got back from a wonderful week at the Palace. I wanted to share one bit of advice which would have made our trip much much better: Bring a good pair of tweezers!

One of us got a few small black sea urchin spines in her foot - like little splinters, right in the shallow part of the ocean in front of the resort. We went to the resort doctor - actually it's not a doctor, it's some kind of outsourced corporate clinic. Anyway, I thought that this type of injury must be something that they deal with all the time. However, after waiting 30 minutes in an empty clinic (it's in the complex of shops by the Tropical), a person in a lab coat finally shows up and very unsympathetically tells us that there is nothing that she will do for us, and that our only option is to go into Playa del Carmen to the hospital and have the spines removed surgically.

This seemed extreme to me, and I'm sure the clinic was just giving a cya response so that they could not have any liability. I suppose they are there only to dispense diarrhea pills.

So we instead went to the internet room and googled it, and saw that we needed to soak the foot in hot water and then remove the spines with tweezers. This is not medical advice, but it worked for us. We had to wait until we got home because we couldn't find a good pair of tweezers at the resort.

So, five star place, 0 star doctor.

Room Tip: If you don't have kids, the Palace rooms at the back, away from the beach, happen to be closest...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

Stayed in this hotel for 1 week with my husband and 2 children 1 year old and 3 1/2 year old. This was a great resort and it truly caters to families. The service was amazing and the food was very good; lots of fresh food and never ever got sick eating them. The kids pools were amazing and my son had a blast on those slides :-). He could not stop talking about them when we came back home. It was very relaxing and enjoyable and we are definitely planning to go back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

We did the premium club package and couldn't have been happier with our vacation booked through Delta Vacations. We were greeted upon arrival and taken to the club room. At the club we were checked in right away while enjoying champagne. We were able to book reservations for 5 nights without a problem. Our room was not ready due to a 1:00 arrival but we were able to begin enjoying the resort and had access to our belongings. At 3:00 we were told the room would be ready in 45 minutes so we enjoyed a swim in the pool, later when we stopped back at the club they greeted us with our 2 room keys. Room was clean and cool, our luggage was there along with a bottle of tequila. The restaurants were excellent, we enjoyed the French and the japenese (located at the grill) the best. Food at the restaurants was amazing! At the buffets, I think breakfast was their best meal. Our almost 5 year old enjoyed our stay and had her hair braided at the kids spa; her hair turned out great but the spa was a disappointment. For the kids spa you have to check in at the spa which we were not told so we sat around in the empty spa for a while and our stylist was not friendly at all.

We did not do any water sports due to it being on the far end of the complex and you could not really schedule ahead so we did not want to deal with the hassle that we did 2 years ago when we visited. We did take the tractor ride to the kids spa and to the Mexican shopping center on Friday night for the festival and piñata fun! We also enjoyed playing minature golf, it is very jungle like so you MUST wear bug spray. It is very cool and they have some birds in cages as well as a bridge over a pond where we got to see fish and a turtle. Past the fountain in the front lobby drop off is a path to a cool cenote where we saw fish and many lizards.

Suggestions: bring thermo straw cups to pool to get filled with your favorite drinks, bring rafts/noodles (we brought cheap ones in the states and gave them to other families when we left, if you leave them in your room when you leave the staff packs them up and takes them somewhere so it is better to hand them off), bug spray if you go to the golf/ walk through pathways to other resorts/excursions/cenote, check daily activity board and Barcy club, do the kitchen tour because it takes about a half an hour but it is cool, if you run out of books you can look in the cabinet under tv in the club premium room or if you want to donate yours, leave your hair dryer home (one in the room works great), if you have kids bring them to the mini disco and activities in theatre at 8:30, little kids will love the butterflies, moths and grasshoppers so bring a bug container, flash light to spot crabs on the beach at night, 7:00 dinner is great when you have kids because you will finish right before kids part of the show begins, no problem with bugs while eating outside at restaurants

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albert, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

We were a group of almost 40 people from Alberta, Canada, and from Montevideo and Florida Uruguay, reunited for the wedding of our children in May 2013. We stayed for 12 days and most of the other attendants for one week. The hotel is enormous, being the newest of several Barcelo's in the area; everything is very clean and new. The size of the premises and long walks needed top go from rooms to restaurants, beach and lobby area were not a problem at all for our group. Some persons were around 80 years old and they did not have complains at all; on the contrary, they enjoyed walking through very safe walkways, [many covered to protect from sun and rain], existing ramps to access restaurants and shops area, and elevators everywhere. The rooms were clean and big. Our room was at ground level and we noted more humid and hot than others, but it was OK (living all the year in a extremely dry weather it is good). Restaurants were very good and we enjoyed the diverse food and quality. Being at the Maya Palace gave access to the restaurants of the other hotels nearby; so we could enjoy many alternatives. The entertainment was very good at night with performance/shows in an very good theatre (indoors, very big and with air conditioned). You can also go to the other Barcelo hotels and there is Plaza Mexicana where you can find many good shops and entertainment at night (the Jaguar disc is there). A shuttle service is available and runs frequently between the different hotels.The beach was very good with possibility of snorkelling close to shore (many fish, turtle and stingrays); regrettably many days were very windy; it is not Aruba Eagle Beach but it has its charme: very clean, lots of palm trees, recliners, many bars and pools close, paved walkways to move from one hotel beach to other. Regarding the wedding coordination services, everything, the staff did was perfect. Claudia and her team did a great job. We can say that the place, arrangements and perfect weather gave us the of living a "Hollywood wedding" experience: exceeded our expectation which is the best for a client.

In general all the staff in all the hotel services was very friendly and respectful; for example we did not feel the 'excess of attention' we experienced in other places where the staff is looking for tips. Only we had an issue with did not receive satisfactory answer: from security or information technology staff. They had a glitch in the system issuing the access cards controlling access to guests room. One day at midnight a Russian guest entered my room; I was writing the speech for the wedding next day and you can imagine the surprise that both experienced. I went immediately to front desk , put my complain and let them know they had a huge security issue. I did not receive any feed-back other " this is not possible and cannot happen"... The next day, may parent in law (in his almost 80's) forgot the # room and with his card open TWO other guests rooms (one, a US citizen and the other...my parents room; this was really hilarious...) We went again to front desk and nothing..."this cannot be possible " again. They still had, al least, a record of my previous complain. Finally, last but no least, other group member found a drunk guy inside the room geting beers from the fridge.
Barcelo management: you had/ have a real problem. Come on: It was more than once...Hope you payed attention on that issue and could fix it. It would be sad if any guest may experience a problem like theft or assault. Finally and overall, it was an excellent and unforgettable experience, and the access card issue an hilarious anecdote to tell.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
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 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#3 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 Spa 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*
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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