We stayed at the Palace from June 7th -12th. There were 8 of us total. It was me, my wife and 3 kids (5,7 & 18), my brother in law and my parents. We celebrated our 10th Anniversary and our daughter's 7th birthday while we were on the resort and the concierge Jazmin made our stay even more memorable by booking a massage, having our room decorated with balloons and a HAPPY BDAY banner, and also by having a cake delivered to our table at dinner.
We booked it 200+ days out so I was reading ALL of the reviews leading up to our stay and I have to say that all of the people that leave poor reviews probably wouldn't be happy wherever they stayed.
CHECK IN: I was worried most about this since everyone expressed some level of frustration. Sorry if everyone else's checkin process sucked. Ours was pretty great. We were able to walk right up to the front desk as we had a private transfer from the airport and were the only ones arriving at the time. We had planned to upgrade to the CLUB PREMUIM rooms to be closer to the beach, but my dad decided to grease the wheels of our check in process with a $20 bill. "Anything you can do to make this process easier and our stay better would be greatly appreciated" BOOM! She moved our room from the MICHOACAN building to the OAXACA on the 3rd floor rm 8650 and 8656. Pool view. Quiet. 2 minutes from everything. She also slapped the Club Premium bracelets on us so we wouldn't have to worry about towel cards at the pool. We still had to pay for Wi-Fi and room service (which we didn't use), but the great location was worth it.
GROUNDS: This place is huge! Lots of walking. My Dad has bad knees and we talked him into renting a scooter from a company (Cancun Accessible) out of PDC. Best money he spent he says. If you are traveling here with anyone with mobility issues, you should consider this option.
As an added bonus, he was hauling my kids around most of the time. plus, every time he stood up to walk away from it we would act surprised and yell, "YOU CAN WALK?!!?" :)
WEATHER: The forecast leading up to our stay said 90% chance of thunderstorms for the entire vacation. I think I felt 3 raindrops during that whole time, and it rained ironically on the shuttle ride back to the airport. Even if it had rained we wouldn't have cared too much.
FOOD: The HACIENDA and MIRADOR buffets in the main Palace complex were much better than the lunchtime beach buffets on the next two resorts. The food at the buffets is mostly mass produced and tends to get repetitive after a couple days but you can always find something to eat. Have some Kahlua in your coffee and a beer with your omelet and chill out already people. You're on VACATION.. act like it!
We ate at the MARENOSTRUM (seafood) and the KYOTO (hibachi style) at one of the sister resorts. Both were very good and I would recommend.
We also ate at the CARIBE and RODIZIO (Brazilian) on the Palace side and they were exceptionally good. Make sure you ask for the "Mayan Coffee" wherever you eat. It is a fiery show that isn't on the menu. Be sure you tip if you order it, because they are sure to have to do it 10 more times if the rest of the place sees your show.
BEACH: Just plain amazing. Seriously, if you complain about ANYTHING on this beach you should probably punch yourself in the face and/or stay home. We saw all manner of fish, turtles and other wildlife. My daughter stubbed her toe and stepped on a piece of sharp rock that upset her for about 3 minutes, but she got right over it because we were in PARADISE ! We made the walk and swam off the pier too, but spent more time in the surf on the Palace side.
ROOMS: Sure, the beds are harder than I like. we would just have a couple beers before bed and tended to get over it. Staff kept the beds made and the fridge stocked. AC worked fine the whole time.
THINGS WE SPENT EXTRA $ ON:
SPA: We celebrated out 10 year anniversary of being married in Mexico on the 9th. Treated ourselves to the Couples Relaxing Massage and loved it. 80 minutes flew by faster than we wanted. I would spend that $ again in a heartbeat.
SWIMMING WITH DOLPHINS: 5 of us did the $99 swim. If my young daughters hadn't been with us we would have skipped it, but we are glad we decided to swim with them. Memories were made. Bought 3 pics of the kids for a whopping $75. They get you with the pics but like I said.. it was more about the memories than anything else.
WI-FI: Was $14/day. I was only ever able to get on with my phone in the room. Tried a few times in the lobby when I was bored, but what the heck do I need WIFI in the lobby for? Am I here on business? If so, this might not be the right resort. I might not spend the money for Wifi again. I could go either way.
THE ONE NEGATIVE THING: The bracelets, where they fold over and snap closed, are sharper than hell. My son was horsing around in the pool and tore a 6 inch long, 1/8th inch wide chunk of skin off my daughter's leg with his bracelet. It was a cleanly excised piece of flesh that will turn into a lifetime scar she will have fond memories of, which she also promptly got over because we were in paradise.
All told, we all agree that this was the best vacation any of us had ever been on. We WILL be returning, hopefully sooner than later.
Don't listen to all the negative reviews. Book NOW! I wish we were.
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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