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Barcelo Maya Palace or IB Paraiso Maya

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Water Valley, Canada
4 posts
1 review
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Barcelo Maya Palace or IB Paraiso Maya

I have been researching for a couple of weeks now and I have finally narrowed my choices down to these 2 resorts. We are going for a week in Feb. with 2 kids aged 9 & 12. I am really torn on which one to choose. There seems to be nice things about both. My main concern is keeping my kids happy and not bored. The kids clubs seem to be for smaller children. I know the barcelo has a kiddie pool that I'm assuming is for younger children. Too bad they don't have a couple bigger slides for my kids age group. The calm ocean seems nice for snorkeling there though. As for the Paraiso Maya, the wave pool seems really cool and the lazy river. There are so many mixed reviews for both resorts that it's leaving me frustrated! And very mixed reviews on the food!

Has anyone been to both and possibly with kids my age? I just want to book something and get it done, but I just can't decide. I keep changing my mind everyday. Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks!

Chalene

Tequesta, Florida
Destination Expert
for Puerto Aventuras, Punta Cana
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9,611 posts
14 reviews
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1. Re: Barcelo Maya Palace or IB Paraiso Maya

Your age kids will enjoy the IB Paraiso much more, and we found it to actually be a superior destination for adults as well, albeit with kudos going to the 2-kilometer long Barcelo beachfront.

FYI - The Barcelo "waterparks" are really best for toddler-to-age 5 or 6 although they allow kids to age 12 to use them. And they will be totally bored with Barcelo's "Barcy Kids Club"!

Happy Travels whichever you choose!

Ottawa, Canada
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28 posts
9 reviews
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2. Re: Barcelo Maya Palace or IB Paraiso Maya

Good morning,

I can share my experience. We stayed with our boys (then 12 and 14) at the Barcelo Maya Tropical and they absolutely loved it. The mini golf setting was fun, the snorkeling right off the beach, the self-serve at the beach snack bar, the ping pong tables, scuba lessons in the pool, riding the water bikes, archery, the smoothies for breakfast, the show at the Japanese restaurant, the evening shows, etc... We also walked to the different restaurants, ate lunch at the Maya Beach one day, and they liked going to the different restaurants. We had two rooms with connecting doors - I don't know if the Palace has them.

I later stayed with my mother at the IB Grand Paraiso, and we visited the IB Paraiso Maya. The pools appeared to be the main attraction - in addition to the beach. I did the lazy river with my mom, it's fun but not a main attraction for kids. The area where the wave pool is at is nice, we were there for about an hour and did not see the wave pool in action. Although the pools at the Barcelo are fantastic and huge, the ones at the IB had more features, falls, etc. I did not visit the room, however.

They would be happy at both resorts. My personal choice is Barcelo. The rooms at the Palace are new, which adds to the experience.

Enjoy your vacation!

E

Water Valley, Canada
4 posts
1 review
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3. Re: Barcelo Maya Palace or IB Paraiso Maya

Ha Ha! Thanks for the reply TravelPro and E-Ottawa. This is exactly the problem I'm facing. It sounds like both are great for my kids age which is why it's such a hard decision. We don't normally do all inclusive, so we're changing it up a bit this year. I wasn't expecting there to be so many choices. We're heading to Akumal for a week after and staying in a condo, which we absolutely love, but wanted to add something a bit different this trip. I am also thinking about the Tropical instead of the palace to save some $$.

Thanks again! I would love anymore comments from other folks.

Chalene

Calgary
Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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22,970 posts
8 reviews
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4. Re: Barcelo Maya Palace or IB Paraiso Maya

I've stayed at the Tropical. It's a step down from the Palace and remember, only Palace guests have access to the Palace pools, bars and restaurants. (Well, to the strictly accurate, other guests can pay extra to dine at the Palace restaurants but only Palace guests have them included at no extra charge.)

I think the Barcelo beats the Iberostar hands down in terms of beach (I haven't stayed at the IB but am very familiar with the beach there). As a resort though, I think the Iberostar edges out the Barcelo .... but not by much.

They're both great resorts; I don't think you can go too far wrong with either.

But just to mix things up a bit, have you considered the Grand Palladium? (Or maybe that'll just confuse you more - bwah-ha-ha!)

Tequesta, Florida
Destination Expert
for Puerto Aventuras, Punta Cana
Level Contributor
9,611 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Barcelo Maya Palace or IB Paraiso Maya

Just to set the record straight, the Barcelo Palace rooms are not new! The resort first opened in November, 2007 some 5 years ago, and has yet to undergo any sort of refurbishment!

Donnellson, Iowa
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995 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: Barcelo Maya Palace or IB Paraiso Maya

I have been to both. And my personal preference would be the Barcelo Palace. My daughter was older when we went to both (15 & 18). But for adults, i definitely think Barcelo Palace is better. One drawback is they charge for room service.

Richmond, BC
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5,376 posts
17 reviews
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7. Re: Barcelo Maya Palace or IB Paraiso Maya

I think that IB Paraiso Maya age is pretty much the same as the Barcelo Palace?

With the kids I would not overpay for the Palace - we stayed at both Tropical and Palace and the food was good enough at the Tropical with more activities happening there in the evening time versus Palace being dead quiet in the evenings. We had some very good quality dinners at the Palace restaurants but the best one - French - is very hard to book even if you stay at the Palace.

The downside of the Barcelo property is no palapas for the shade on the beach. There is a shade around the pools.

I second Grand Palladium for that age although it is a very different resort with lots of walking and jungle around the property.

8. Re: Barcelo Maya Palace or IB Paraiso Maya

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