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Barcelo Palace updates and tips

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Pocatello, Idaho
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638 posts
100 reviews
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Barcelo Palace updates and tips

Just now back from the Barcelo Palace late June 2013. Very high marks to the Barcelo. Here are some points for forum browsers:

Overall: Resort is highly comparable to Palladium and Iberostar properties, if that helps. More like IB in that there are 5 resorts spread into three “levels” – (basic, Delux, and Palace) , but more like the palladium in the uniform similarity of these levels. If you like either of those you will like the Barcelo. There are a lot of children here, so make sure that you are OK with that. We are childless and were fine.

Grounds are truly beautiful. Some of the nicest we have seen resort-wide. The architecture over at the Palace is different, but the grounds are similarly lovely. The beach is fantastic.

As I noted yesterday, as of right now the Maya Beach Hotel is closed. Thus booking the Caribe may lessen your experience, as those folks do not have privs at the more expensive properties. Guests of the Col / Trop / and especially Palace will not notice a thing.

Unlike some other posters, I think it is critical to book the Palace (if you have the cash) for the full resort experience. Here is why:

Palace – fantastic, large, and lively lobby bar area (air conditioned). Aesthetics and layout which are significantly different from the rest of the resort. Buffet has better offerings – better food offerings all around. Liquor has better choices if you care about that. (Only two beers to be found though – corona and negra modelo on draft. Whole resort. ) Main Pool is enormous, awesome, and adult pool is chill. Yes, there IS drink service at the main pool, none at the beach. There are also bars everywhere you turn.

Towel game in full force at the main pool. We never played and always found a place. Shady palms everywhere on the beach. Plenty of shade at the pool as well. Soapbox: Do not play the towel game. If you do, you are part of the problem. Do not rationalize it! By the way we were so much luckier with the weather than the crew from a couple of weeks ago. 5 sunny (1 super windy) 2 rainy. Rainy days during our excursions into Playa and Valladolid.

Food

The two-in-one buffets at the palace maintain one as the “Mexican” and the other as the rotating theme. They are connected. Supposedly air conditioned but they could get super hot when busy. I still think the Iberostar buffets are better. If you have kids, you will like this place, because there are more childrens’ offerings at the Barcelo than many other resorts. A la cartes were uniformly excellent resort-wide, with the Spanish (Caribe) being our least favorite by a wide margin. The French Brasserie was outstanding, and that’s not even our thing. My wife had a PERFECT tenderloin at the Brazillian – full steakhouse quality.

There were no kiosks selling food – to dispel that rumor – it is possible to buy addl snacks at the coco bar, or the adult pool cielo bar. Most would find that simply unnecessary.

Room tips

The biggest issue here is back to front, where water = front. Our room (8571) was perfect – the closest non club premium room to the activity areas (Oaxaca bldg.) If you are in the 84XX (Michoacan) or the 89XX (Oaxaca) blocks – those are a long way back. Prepare to walk a lot. We were assigned 8972, and were unhappy with the bedding , so requested a change to a single king. Little did we know how much of a difference the location would make to our water-based lifestyle. Rooms have a mini bar inside what appears to be a fridge, but it does not function as a fridge, so you have to get ice to chill your beverage. We complained that our fridge was broken, and were told that none of the fridges worked as such (?) There is a drying rack outside, but not a bathroom clothesline so bring your own. Bathrooms are functional and more private than at the Palladium. Rooms are actually very nice overall with minimal décor and a generally modern sense.

The front desk was fine – the attitudes were good and the staff was hard working. The issue is that it takes them SO LONG to do everything, because they always have to disappear around back to figure something out with a supervisor. Seems inefficient.

Anyway – lemmee know what else you want answered! I will modify this for a review shortly.

thomas

Fremont, Michigan
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51 posts
25 reviews
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31. Re: Barcelo Palace updates and tips

Did you happen to see anything regarding a new dolphin attraction they are supposedly putting in? We've been to the Barceló 6ish times and love it however we keep hearing rumors about this but Barceló won't fess up.

Carbondale, Illinois
7 posts
1 review
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32. Re: Barcelo Palace updates and tips

I suggest that you exchange your US Dollars at the hotel if you are doing a limited amount of dollars. We were there July 2 - 9 and the exchange rate was $12.1 Pesos per Dollar. The Exchange in my town was about the same, but charged a $7.00 fee on top.

Florida
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1,224 posts
32 reviews
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33. Re: Barcelo Palace updates and tips

momof3crazykids We've been to Barcelo and Palladium and I've posted reviews of both. The service and the food was better at Barcelo. We don't have kids but we saw kids things at both. We saw more things for kids at Barcelo. They even have kid sections at the buffets.

Pocatello, Idaho
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638 posts
100 reviews
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34. Re: Barcelo Palace updates and tips

For my money service was better and more personal at the Palladium, for the most part in any case. I had no real concerns at the Barcelo, minus the initial non-granting of our room request. So I don't know about the email - they just seem to grant rooms however they do, and then you need to petition them when you get there I guess. Our email request was ignored, and all we asked for was a king bed. Iberostar has the best service in the industry in my experience.

Barcelo is probably superior for kids - that whole place seems geared to children. More kids there than any place else I have stayed. Kids water parks, kinds stations at the buffets, etc.

Florida
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1,224 posts
32 reviews
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35. Re: Barcelo Palace updates and tips

Granting of rooms can be an issue anywhere. While we were at Palladium we met many and I mean many people that did not have their room requests honored. Depends on when you go. The higher the occupancy, the lesser the chance.

Barrie, Canada
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1,450 posts
14 reviews
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36. Re: Barcelo Palace updates and tips

Never had an issue with the Barcelo in my room requests. Always received an email saying they received my request and it will be handled as best they could...

New Jersey
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10 posts
3 reviews
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37. Re: Barcelo Palace updates and tips

Does anyone know where room 8820 is in the Oaxaca building? They found our old reservation when we booked our trip and the paperwork says this room number but we had been there 3 other times and the room we requested was the 1st building in Oaxaca building with the main pool view. We had loved that room but I'm not sure if this is the correct room

Thank You

Jenn

Calgary, Alberta...
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2 posts
6 reviews
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38. Re: Barcelo Palace updates and tips

I hear there is construction going on at the barcelo does anyone know hat is happening and completion dates? Planning on booking for next year. When will it be done? Also, we have been to the palladium white sands for he last 7 trips, can anyone offer comparisions of the 2 resorts better and worse pls. We think it may be time for a change and thinking of trying the barcelo colonial or grand Bahia principe akumal.any suggestions or info would be appreciated.

Vancouver
Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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43,870 posts
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39. Re: Barcelo Palace updates and tips

quote: Did you happen to see anything regarding a new dolphin attraction they are supposedly putting in?

If this resort is like the Bahia, they will keep it hush/lie until they open it, and then push it for ALL THE MONEY they can make

And tell you , all the dolphins were born in captivity, not captured, and will tell you that they live 2-3 times longer in a small pool rather than in the wild

Edited: 1:31 am, August 23, 2013
chelmsford
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9 posts
20 reviews
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40. Re: Barcelo Palace updates and tips

Steve77..... You were right....we had a fabulous time ..... I don't know what people find to complain about,it's all there ...something for everyone,,,didnt mind the walking....it's a bit food/ drink fest and my husband and sons certainly did it justice :-) so the walks were good ....the sea was lovely.turtles popped up when I was swimming...how wonderful.... Loved the beach down at Tulum....playa paraiso... Hard to top that...

Will certain visit maya riviera again...shame it's so far for us Brits..... Thanks for your info