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Barcelo Maya Beach
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A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto
130
Reviewed May 31, 2006

I found most of the reviews extremely helpful when planning my trip so I wanted to make sure I wrote one when I got back. My g/friend and I stayed at the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort May 20-27. We had originally booked at Barcelo Tucancun in Cancun but we received a call from our travel rep (1travel2000) a few days before our trip telling us that the hotel called and told her that the hotel was closed due to construction. (hurricane damage) (cha' right!) Anyways, we had a choice of a full refund or we could go to the sister resort in the Mayan Riviera. We were extremely disappointed because we wanted to go to Cancun for the great party atmosphere, however reading the reviews and looking at the pictures from the Maya Beach resort we decided to go, especially because we were upgraded from a 3 star to a 5 star for the same price. In case you're wondering the trip was around $1000.00. We figured we'd never get to stay at a 5 star in that area for that price ever again. Let me tell you, I SO glad we decided to go.

After we confirmed I realized that that was the resort the Woodbridge couple were murdered in so I was extremely apprehensive and extremely worried we'd end up in the same room. However there are 4 resorts at the Barcelo. Maya Beach (the cheapest), Maya Caribe(second cheapest), Maya Colonial(second best) and Maya Tropical(the best). The Caribe is where they were murdered and we stayed at Maya Beach. I know it's silly but I'm supersticious so I was relieved.

Maya Beach is the cheapest however it was very beautiful, still 5 star quality! I took a walk through the higher end resorts, peeked into the rooms and there wasn't much of a difference in room quality other then the colour scheme. Our bathroom was done completely in marble with a huge soaker tub and new looking toliet. Everything in the room looked fresh and new. It's true about the beds being hard as a rock. I called reception to get a mattress topper but they said I had to call for it early in the morning so that the maids can bring it when they clean the room. We had such a great sleep that first night we didn't bother getting one. It's good for your back to sleep flat like that and we actually enjoyed it. I never saw one bug, fly or mosquitto in our room or on the resort, well maybe a few flies but no mozzies! Never had to use the bug spray we bought. My only complaint so far is that they booked us into a room with one king size bed. We are two young women that aren't dating so it would've been nice to have seperate beds but it was fine, the bed was so big we never even came close to rolling over on eachother!

The food was great! I've been to Cuba where I lost 5 pounds. This resort I gained 5 pounds!! We pretty much ate for sport not for survival!! I never eat that much at home but there's just so many choices you want to try everything!! People staying at the caribe CANNOT eat at the Colonial and Tropical buffets. Not knowing this we went there after we had eaten at our buffet one day just to see the difference. They had a table serving champagne and orange juice outside and somehow we got in without them noticing and they had all the same food we had at our buffet! We didn't eat a second breakfast, we just left and decided to to check it out at lunch. When we got there for lunch we were denied entry and told that we weren't allowed in because people at those resorts pay $15 more to eat there. We didn't care so we left and went back to our buffet. The food at the beachside restuarants was yummy too. great selection. Never had to use immodium the whole week.

There were sooooo many pools, however we never swam in them because the ocean was warmer and so beautiful. There were alot of translucent fish in the water swimming around you. You don't notice unless you're standing up in the water looking down, don't worry they don't touch you! never saw a stingray or a barracuda although other people swore they did.

The temp. was hot hot hot!! We were disappointed because it was overcast and raining most of the week, only really raining at night except for one afternoon. On our last day there the sun came out and it was excruciatingly hot. The sun burnt us really bad if we laid in one position for more that 3 mins. After that we decided we were happy it was overcast the whole week. Even though we never saw the sun the sun saw us! We came home practically black! One thing I wish I had of brought was some after sun. It aparently stops you from peeling if you apply it after you get out of the sun every afternoon. My whole entire body is one big piece of peeling skin right now!!

The disco is alot of fun, great drinks, great music and lots of dancing. This resort is for couples and families not singles. That was pretty disappointing 'cause I was hoping for some cute single guys but didn't find any.

If you want relaxing and romantic vacation than this is the place to be.
I never used my thermal cup, water raft/mat, bug spary, immodium...or gym shoes and clothes. The gym is outdoors but make sure you use the jacuzzi there! It's fabulously relaxing!!

We rented a car for $60 US and rove to Cancun to see what we were missing and guess what? The Barcelo Tucancun was open and fully functioning...guess they didn't want to tell us they overbooked. Oh well, C'EST LA VIE! The water in Cancun is sooo much rougher than the Mayan Riviera. Didn't like it very much. We'll definately go there next time though. A lot more of a younger crowed there.

I would suggest you do at least one day trip. We went to Xel-Ha, it's a natural aquarium with snorkelling, a lazy river(they provide rafts) and restaurants/bar. It cost us $87us but was worth getting out of the resort for a day. Although to be honest, there's so much to do on the resort you never get bored.

This resort is very kid friendly. I felt extremely safe walking around the resort at night. The staff never bothered us. We hardly tipped at all, except to the maid a couple of times. They don't take Canadian money, the maid left it on the bed.

Anyways, gotta get back to work, hope this review is helpful!

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
30  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirectorBeachCaribe, Sub Director Beach at Barcelo Maya Beach, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2017

Dear Ms Kim

We would like to thank you for choosing our Barceló Maya Beach hotel for your holidays in 2006 and for the great review you shared on Tripadvisor, all of your kind words about your stay with us are great to hear.

We encourage to visit our web page and see our great renovations. You will love it

We look forward to having the opportunity to serve you again in 2017.

Sincerely

Erika García Argueta
Sub Director Beach| Assistant Director Beach
Barceló Maya Grand Resort
beach.subdirector@barcelomaya.com
T+52 984 875 15 00 | Ext. 1521

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Connecticut
142
Reviewed May 21, 2006

My family of 5 (3 kids ages 20, 18, and 13-all boys) stayed at the Barcelo Maya Beach from May 11-16th. I feel compelled to write as these reviews were very helpful to me in planning our vacation. First of all I would recommend this hotel overall to anyone-either couples or families-there is so much to do or nothing if you just want to relax.

Here goes: Check in/check out was quick with no problems or delays. We did have a problem aquiring a rollaway bed on the first day which was very frustaring. My husband and I ended up sharing our king bed with my 13 year old the first night. My husband had to pull a maid into the room to visually show her the problem on day 2 as 6 phone calls proved unsuccessful in soving the problem, but it was not that big a deal and kind of funny at the time. The bed was massive and yes they are VERY firm but after a day in the sun and many activities we slept very well. No other problems with either room (my older 2 boys had their own room) right beside ours which I had requested via e-mail 1 week before we left. Rooms very clean and safe in working order. My son left expensive electronics out on Day 1 and no problems. Fridge always stocked. Never felt unsafe in room or grounds.

Food: Large variety of food, I am a very picky eater and had no trouble finding delicious things to eat. My youngest is extremely picky and there is a good selection of typical American fare for kids as well. You must try the Spanish restaurant and order the COFFEE at the end of the meal for a nice show of fire! You must try the Colonial side buffet early in your trip, we did and never ate another meal anywhere else. Colonial side is air conditioned, newer and very beautiful. Service was fair at both. Very long walk from Beach side to Colonial side-resort is huge. We are an active family in good physical shape and even our feet were killing us by the end of the day from all the walking. But we chose to walk about, you don't have to if you're not into exploring whole resort.
None of us got sick at all though we did stay away from the salads and any fruits where the skin is eaten.

Activities: So much to do I can't list all so here is what we did. Miniature golf was fun esp. for 13 y/o. We went kayaking, sea trikes, and snorkeling under pier had hundreds of fish-we brought our own 2 sets of snorkels/masks. Signed out balls for pool basketball and pool volleyball every day. My 20 y/o and I went scuba diving (134 USD) each and class/lesson was very comprehensive and included a 2nd bonus dive. Dive shop/instructors were professional. Rented jet ski one day for 95 USD for 1 hour and whole family took turns riding. Went to Xel-HA/Tulum one day trip which was disappointing- way too much money and not that big a deal, wish I had tried Xcaret. Don't go to Xel-Ha just for snorkeling, you can see plenty at resort right off of pier.


Beach: Beautiful, long beach. Massive amounts of chairs at beach and pools. No need to reserve chairs early. Many activites on beach with staff.

Pools: Absolutely gorgeous--I've never seen such massive pools, they go on forever and there are about 4 of them. Plenty of shade and hammocks in the shade if needed. Mexican sun very intense. Pool water temperature was perfect (not too cold). Kids pool area was great if you have small children-I've never seen such a great kid's areas at an AI.
Short wait at pool bars, they could have used another bartender but what's the rush-no big deal. Good idea to bring own insulated mugs (we did) or they sell them in souvenir shop at beach.

Night time shows were amatureish but thats not what we came for. It was still nice to sit in the theatre at night to unwind and listen to some music or fun Karaoke. Never made it to Cpt Morgans at night- too exhausted to stay out til 11pm or beyond.

All in all a great trip for the entire family. I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone. I wish we had stayed on the Colonial side though. For just a few dollars more it is more beautiful and newer and more centrally located to the areas we found ourselves in the most, but you cannot go wrong with the Beach or Caribe sides either as you have access to all.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
42  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2006

We just returned from a 6 night stay at the Barcelo Maya Beach hotel. Overall we really enjoyed ourselves. The hotel is very clean, the food is good and the scenery was very nice. The one reason we probably would not return to this hotel is that we could not get adjoining rooms.

We had requested adjoining rooms when we made our reservations but were told they were not available at check-in. We were told that if we came back the next day, they would try and change us. The next day they told us they didn't have any for the entire time of our stay, but that they might be able to move us into rooms that were next to each other by our third day. Our rooms were across the hall from each other, so we decided to stay put. Given the ages of our kids (12 and 16), we really wanted to be able to keep better tabs on them (at least to know if they went out...).

When we first arrived, one of the rooms was a little musty and the drinks in the fridge were warm. We put a card into the power slot and left the a/c on the whole time we were there and never had a problem with it again -- we chalked it up to the room being empty prior to us.

The beds were very firm but we loved it and slept well.

The food was good. The buffets didn't change much each day but they had so much variety that you couldn't eat it all anyway. Many days we only ate 2 meals and then just had a snack. We really liked ice cream mid-afternoon.

We were very pleasantly surprised at the lack of bugs. I don't know if that is because of the lizards or the ocean breezes, but we rarely saw any.

We stayed in Building C and the show was quite loud, but not unbearably so.

We were told that the resort was at 90% capacity but we rarely saw more than just a few people. We tend to eat early (breakfast around 7:30, lunch 1:00, dinner 6:30) and never had any lines. We found the service to be very good -- there was one meal where we didn't get water served to us, but since we ate 18 meals there, we thought this was pretty good.

Never had to wait at the bar either. Would have liked more non-alcoholic frozen drinks, such as frozen lemonades or frappaccinos.

We played tennis and were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the equipment. Also kayaked, played miniature golf and soccer.

The staff was uniformly friendly and the ones we talked with loved their jobs.

We took two side trips -- unfortunately we picked the hottest and most humid days to do so. One to Playa del Carmen for shopping. The second to Xcaret. I would not go back to Xcaret. It was nice but overpriced -- and many activities are extra. The show is good, but not as good as the rave reviews would lead you to believe, and at 2 hours, too long.

If I was going back, I would skip Xcaret ($85) and take the 2 hour snokel trip to Akumel for $26 instead.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
27  Thank ta5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2006

This was truly a terrific experience! I earned a spot on my company trip and this is where they chose to go this year. I got to do water arobics in the ocean! The service was terrific - everyone was always very friendly and eager to take care of us. With everything being inclusive and with so many activities there at the resort, we only left for a few hours, and that was just to see Playa at night and get my hair braided.

The only negative things are that the food was not fabulous and the beds were a little on the hard side. But I did not go hungry and I lost no sleep at all!

I hope we go there again next year!

  • Stayed: April 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank Cinnamon E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirectorBeachCaribe, Sub Director Beach at Barcelo Maya Beach, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2017

Dear Ms Cinnamon

We would like to thank you for choosing our Barceló Maya Beach hotel for your holidays in 2006 and for the great review you shared on Tripadvisor, all of your kind words about your stay with us are great to hear.

We encourage to visit our web page and see our great renovations. You will love it

We look forward to having the opportunity to serve you again in 2017.

Sincerely

Erika García Argueta
Sub Director Beach| Assistant Director Beach
Barceló Maya Grand Resort
beach.subdirector@barcelomaya.com
T+52 984 875 15 00 | Ext. 1521

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2006

I traveled to the Barcelo Maya Beach resort with a group of 50 people for a wedding in early May, 2006. While I can’t say enough great things about the wedding and the way it was planned and put together (BM is fantastic for weddings!) there were a number of things that bugged both my husband and I.

Pros:
-very friendly staff, didn’t seem to demand tips
-food in the buffet is very good (for buffet ;) )
-grounds are beautiful, well-maintained
-lots of fun wildlife to check out – iguanas, geckos, fish, barracudas, turtles, sting-rays etc.
-the walking helps offset the massive amounts of food you consume
-nice sand beach
-pools are large and well-kept
-lots of shade around the pool (the palms are slowly coming back on the beach, I’m sure there will be TONS of shade next year)
-great, fun service in the à la carte restaurants
-room service! (a small fee, but totally worth it)
-bed was quite comfy (yes, it’s firm, but we’re not big people so firm was quite nice!)
-roomy bathrooms
-nice views, even when you don’t face the ocean (well-maintained, colourful gardens)
-nice magnifying/shaving mirrors in the bathroom
-kayaking was SO much fun – nice waves, very enjoyable.
-Disco was great fun – don’t know if it was just our week, but it was packed with young people every night. Loved it. Music was good, snacks were good.
-Availability of fun Mexican food – you didn’t have to eat it, but it was always an option. Very tasty!
-Tons of loungers to lay in :)
-Lots of fun tropical drinks. Very enjoyable!

Cons:
-check-in took an hour. (we arrived with a large group, but I think they could have done this more efficiently – the lobby of the hotel is the hottest, stuffiest place and we were forced to wait there for an hour to check in…not fun when you are still wearing your ‘northern’ clothes). For such a large group, it would be FAR more efficient to bring everyone into one of the air-conditioned rooms, brief everyone at the same time, distribute keys, etc.)
-room smelled musty (this is probably unavoidable in such a humid climate though)
-the “fridge” was useless (I love COLD drinks and had much better results from putting the drinks in a mixture of ice cubes and water…)
-housekeeping/stocking was mediocre and inconsistent. There were not enough towels (2 for 2 people….I have long hair and always use 2 towels for just ME). Some rooms had coffee makers, some didn’t. Coffee was never re-stocked for us. Some rooms had scales, ours didn’t. None of this really affects your stay, but the inconsistency is just irritating (with such a large group, you always end up chatting about stuff like this)
-not enough staff. While the food at the buffet (Beach side) really was surprisingly good, the service was terrible. There just simply weren’t enough servers working there – sometimes we would be done our meal before being offered water or wine. Same with breakfast – no coffee, tables not cleared, etc. The people who WERE working there were working really hard….but there just weren’t enough. What was annoying was that the Caribe side had much better service. We ate there twice, and perhaps because there were fewer people on that side, but the servers were super attentive and the line-ups at the buffet were non-existent.
-Ocean swimming was mediocre – you couldn’t go out very far, there was lots of seaweed. Cuba has much better beaches than this.
-“24” hour laundry took 48 hours (not great when someone brings only 2 pairs of shorts and gets red wine on one of them)
-loud, gross obnoxious people at the swim-up bar with huge mugs. Sorry, this is annoying, piggish and disgusting. On our second last day, a group of people came from the States and the volume all over the resort tripled. No joke. Where before it was very pleasant to laze around the pool, quietly enjoying ourselves, it became downright miserable with these obnoxious boors.
-Price of sunscreen – I paid $30!!!!!!!! Definitely bring several bottles with you. I went through 2.5 bottles of SPF 50. I also wore a giant hat, a special swim shirt….and I’m the only one of the group not to come home burnt and peeling. The sun is intense down there and can really cast a pall on your vacation. Be careful!

Things I discovered:
-I hate buffet
-Hot, humid weather gives everyone heat rash!
-Don’t like group travel (given the choice, hubby and I would have eaten on the Caribe side every night….)
-Tequila is evil

I probably wouldn’t stay in this resort again….don’t get me wrong, it was very nice, and overall, a super-enjoyable trip (especially the wedding…WAAAAY too much fun), but there were enough little things that bugged me that I think I would probably return to a place with a better beach, and more à la carte restaurants before I would come back here. Also, they should hire more bartending and serving staff!

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
28  Thank ottawagal80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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