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Barcelo Maya Beach
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Reviewed May 8, 2009

We were victims of the Conquest closure, but good thing we hadn't left yet when they decided to shut their doors. This wasn't our first choice of resort, but had to change resorts because of the Conquest happenings, and we weren't disappointed!

This resort is huge, georgous and very clean. I travelled with 4 other friends on a girls week getaway and we were all so impressed. We did do our own transfers, which we booked with agi tours and they were on time, and very professional.

We had 2 rooms on the top floor, one overlooking the adults pool, which I would recommend, and the other overlooked the road leading up to the resort. The rooms were identical and a nice big size. The 2 sofas were like daybeds and one of the girls slept on a daybed which she said was very comfortable. The bathroom had a huge sliding door which opened to the tub with shower, seperate rain shower, and 2 sinks. So someone couldn't be in the shower, while another used the sink, but that was no problem for us. There was a door to where the toilet was located in this area. We had a free combo safe and 2 large closets. There was a flat screen tv with both english and spanish stations and plenty of room for suitcases. We even had robes and slippers in our closets. The maid service was fantastic, they were in twice a day, once to clean up and the other for a turn-down service. We did have a minibar with water, pop and beer but no liquor, and snacks.

The front desk was quick and we booked 4 a la carte's as soon as we checked in. We ended up going back later in the week to book 1 more. I liked the French restaurant the best, but all that we tried were great. The buffet was fantastic, they only complaint here was the service was either great or horrible, but the food selection and quality was perfect, and omlette/egg station for breakfast, kids buffet area, lots of desserts to choose from, pasta made in front of you, steaks and fish cooked to your liking, too many more to mention.

We were able to walk into the water and go snorkelling right there. We did go to Akumel on did our own snorkelling but my friend seen more right at our own resort then we did in Akumel. Plenty of beach chairs, never had to save any, there were lots to choose from at any time of day. The chairs at the adult pool, you needed to be up early to save them or the beds at that pool. At the main pool we never had a problem finding 5 chairs together at any time of day. There is a pool with waterslides etc for small children and nearby there is a couple basketball nets, bocce ball etc.

We did use the carts that transfer you between all 5 resorts, used the disco and went shopping, we also checked out a couple of the other Barcelo's there but ours was superior, with no paper cups for drinks, and we had premium rum, etc. For a couple of dollars we were able to fill our travel mugs up with some rum to take to our room to mix a couple drinks while we got ready for dinner.

Not sure that I would recommend this resort, likely the other Barcelo's, for someone with teenagers, as it was quiet at night, but we were tired out from our days at the beach/pool and spending time with each other - that doesn't happen often, that we didn't need other entertainment. Loved the hammocks at the pools, bought one and brought it home with us!

Enjoy your trip here if you decide to go, don't forget your travellers mug and bring a air mattress from home to blow up and use in the pool!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with friends
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5  Thank everythingwastaken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2009

I have almost nothing good to say about this place. I will start with the room.

The bed was a king. The bed spread had cigarette burns in it. The bed itself was so bad that I could sleep no more the 4 -5 hours on it. It was so uneven that I can safely say it was the worst bed, bar none that I have ever slept on. And worse to sleep on then most couches. The ridges in the bed were in places two inches higher then the valleys. It was about 8 -12 inches between them so there was no good spot to sleep. I was told that the Beach was recently renovated and that bed and other fixtures were new. I don't think that is the truth.

We had booked our rooms in the Caribe. They closed it two days before we got there and downgraded our room to the Beach. We were there for a wedding and my GF was the maid of honor. The group had made arrangements to have our rooms be close to the bride and groom. The Bride had made it clear that we in particular needed to be close to help on the day of the wedding. So when they got there they were in the Colonial so now we were a 1/4 mile as the crow flies away from them(measured with the GPS.) It was about 1/2 a mile walking. We talked to the front desk about moving to the Colonial. They said it was going to be $40 dollars a night per person. So for our whole stay that would have been about $800. Not worth it. So we decided that we would live with it. Then as we heard the other wedding guests stories and how they got free upgrades and things we started asking more questions and I have to say I have never gotten such bad service in my life. I have never felt so screwed and lied to. Laura the front desk manager told us to call our travel agent and get them to change it. so we did and they couldn't change it but they talked to the hotels reservation department and got us a discounted rate. The problem was that when we went to the front desk they told us that that was not possible and there was no way that we would get the rate we were quoted. We had sent 40 minutes on the phone to the US at a dollar a minute for nothing. The day before the wedding after being there for a week they moved us. We spent at least an hour at the front desk each day fighting with them. Their stories were never the same and after a week I had heard enough of them to call them on their lies and reminded them that they had called me a liar about the rate our travel agent was able to get us. So they moved us to a room near the bride just in time. The down side of that was we had to spend an entire day of our vacation packing back up checking out by noon to be told we had to wait in the lobby of the other hotel with our luggage until 3pm to check in. After the night manager had told us there was no way we would have to do that if we upgraded. When we got to the new room it was so full of mold I put all the furniture with fabric on it on the patio. Our clothes and everything smelled of mold for the rest of the trip. The new room was so bad we avoided being in it as much as we could.

Food: First a bit of back ground on me. I have been a professional cook/chef most of my life and grew up in restaurants. The food at the Beach was bad. I tried the seafood the first day and was so disgusted I never ate it again. By the time we upgraded I was eating plain chicken breasts with guacamole exclusively. The deserts were gross. I can go on and on. Nothing good to say about the food. The Colonial food was a grade above that but still not that great.

The good.
They had Hobie Cats to use on a reservation basis.
Warm water.
Weather was real windy but otherwise ok.

The Bad
The Cigarette smoke everywhere.
No such thing as a non-smoking room.
The rooms
The Beds
The Food
The service
The Staff attitude. I can't tell you how many times I was run off the walkways by a staff member. They drove around in trucks, golf carts, and on mopeds way too fast and ran me off the side of the walkways a few times a day. Even walking the staff was likely to run you off the walkways. Never did they let you pass. They would smile at you when you passed and if you turned around to look back they would be snearing at you. The cleaning carts were left in the middle of the narrow walks. I scraped my elbows so many times on the stucco I ended up pushing the carts to the side to avoid injury.

I could go on and on. I wouldn't recommend this place to my worst enemy because I wouldn't want them to spend their money there.

  • Stayed: April 2009
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5  Thank drrf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2009

We stayed at the Palace from May 1st and 5th with our six year son. This was our first family vacation and it was truly unbelieveable. With the current health scare we rode the fence about coming, but instead of cancelling decided to upgrade from the Tropical to the Palace ... and were very glad we did! The rooms were excellent and the staff was always very friendly - even when our son a bit unruly. With so few people at the resort there was an over abundance of staff to wait on you. There was >>never<< a line at the bar and the drinks were top shelf. The food was good and the 'made to order' steaks and fish at meals were excellent. Get the capuccino at the buffets it was to die for and for the forty year parents of an active boy - it kept us up and moving.
The flight from Houston to Cancun was barely half full and everyone had a opportunity to spread out. We cleared Mexican immigration, the temperature check by medical personnel, and customs (with our bags) in less than 20 minutes after stepping off the plane. It was unbelievable!! As previous people have said walk straight out the terminal, avoiding the timeshare sharks, and find a red shirt person to get your ride to the the hotel. The private ride to the hotel took about an hour and was well worth the monies not to stop at other resorts on the way. Our plane landed at 12:30 pm and we were in the hotel looby by 2:15 pm. The room they assigned us was not ready but Ivan upgraded us to an excellent pool view room on the second floor of the Oaxaca building. Great room! We took other people's advise and brought two bathing suits and some cloths pins - that worked out great as did the Bubba Keg or insulated mug suggestion. There is a Walmart in Playa de Carmen on the way to the hotel and they may have these in stock. We took my son to the Barcy club for a couple of hours in the morning and afternoon - the staff was great but we so few children at the resort - it was difficult to keep him entertained and interested. I imagine that next time there will be more children and he will have a fantastic time! He did get a kick out of the water parks at the Palace and the Tropical. He did get to see several sea turtles and a barracuda swimming only a few feet away off the beach. We even saw a huge pelican on our last day. We did not eat in the ala cartes primarily because we just wanted to keep to the basics on our first trip to the Mayan Riveria - but the people coming out of them see very pleased. I do not believe anyone had any issues with getting an reservations for these. All the staff were perfectly health and we felt very comfortable there with our child. There was times because of the lack of people and noises that it was kind of eerily. We got over that fairly quickly because we realize that our next vacation here will have more people and we will have to share the staff with them. If you are looking for a romantic get away -- go now!!!!! If you are looking to meet and mingle with a lot of people from different countries you may want to wait until after this flu thing is over. There were truly very few people at the Palace, especially in the pool and at the buffetts. We did notice that there was a bit larger crowd at the Tropical but not by much. I would venture to guess that of all the rooms at the Palace only 10-15% were occupied. Can make for great romance but not much fun if you of one of two families that is at the pool at 11:00 am in the morning and no one else can be seen in the water. While the staff was always cleaning and maintaining the property, we notice that the hotel was also getting in some maintenance to the grounds, buildings, and rooms that may not have happened if more people were staying at the hotel. We have already started planning our next vacation here which may be sooner than later if the great airfares and hotel rates continue!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with family
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8  Thank MycornerofTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2009

This resort is FANTASTIC! There are five resorts in total - we were at the Palace, which was the nicest and most exclusive. The rooms are very nice and the pool area is ideal. We thought the 9 restaurant options were okay in total - the best one was the French restaurant. All in all, we loved this resort - it was clean, new, great beaches, perfect pools, good food options, good entertainment options, etc. We will definitely go back again!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank citiesem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2009

We stayed at the Barcelo Maya Beach from April 26th to May 3rd. Overall, we thought the resort was great! It was definitely one of the best vacations we've had!!! We booked our trip throught a local travel agent. Check-in was smooth; we were given the room we asked for; our luggage was brought up to our room within minutes. The resort itself is HUGE! It has 5 hotels within the resort. It is very easy to get around, and defintely worth checking everything out!! Althought it is pretty big, it still isn't a far walk to the beach or pools, or the buffet, from anywhere you are on the resort.

FOOD: The buffet was great! There was lots of choices for every taste. The morning breakfast seemed to be almost the same every day. For lunch, you had the option of going to the regular buffet, which was really good, or going to the ''grill'' on the beach - where they served hot dogs, hamburgers, quesadillas, etc. Both were really good!! There was a different theme for the evening buffets every night and they were all very good! Every night still had the mexican food in the buffet, and make your own pasta. We went to three of the ''a la carte'' restaurants: Mexican, Steak House and Spanish. The Steak House was great! The steaks were some of the best we've had! Both the Mexican and Spanish were really great as well. We preferred the Mexican because of its great service, but both were great!

BEACH|POOLS: We definitely had the best beach on the resorts; the other ones being more rocky. Both the beach and the pools were very clean and well kept! We didn't have any problems finding chairs at any time of the day. It was always a little bit windy, but only had a red flag on our last day, the other days being yellow flagged. The waves weren't as bad as I thought they would be! It's definitely possible to do lots of swimming and water sports.

ACTIVITIES: There is some animation at the pool during the day: water aerobics, volleyball, bingo, dance lessons, etc. It is definitely worth it to take advantage of the free kayaking, catamarans, snorkling etc. The best place to snorkle is close to the Palace part of the resort... we saw lots of fish, sting rays and even a turtle!! It is alot of fun to snorkle on the small warf close to the Colonial part of the resort, there is hundreds of fish to swim with!!! There is also some tennis courts, mini golf, archery, etc... We also had a massage on the beach. Not as good as we expected, but still relaxing. We did go parasailing. It is expensive... but if you've never done it, its a fun thing to do! We also got some pictures with the animals they bring to the resort, its a nice souvenir.

NIGHTLIFE: There is a disco on the resort. We went once, it was fun! There wasn't a whole lot of people, but it was still a lot of fun! Great music! The staff who did the animation at the pool during the day was at the disco still doing some animation at night! The shows at the theatre are also nice! The theatre is huge! They often have pre-shows at 8:30, and the regular shows at 9:30.

STAFF: Overall, the staff was pretty good! There is a language barrier as most of them don't speak alot of english, but it never caused us any problem! They know enough english to provide you with everything you need and good service! There is a concierge in every building, althought she wasn't always there. We didn't need her help, therefore can't comment of that service. The rooms were very clean, the maids came in twice a day, and the mini-bar was taken care of every day.

EXCURSIONS: Unfortunately, because of the swine flu, Chichen Itza, Tulum, Coba, Xcaret and Xel-Ha were closed during the week we were there, so we weren't able to do any of the excursions. We did go to 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen, and it's a definite must see! The vendors can be quite annoying, but other than that, it is alot of fun!!! We have dinner at a nice Mexican Restaurant with Mariachis... had drinks at Carlos n Charlies and Senor Frogs... Senor Frogs is a definite must see if you've never been! We had a lot of fun!!

All is all, Barcelo Beach resort is a great place and I would recommend it to anyone! The Maya Beach part has the best beach... althought the other parts seemed a little more luxurious if it is what you are looking for!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank Lookingforvacay2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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