Stayed in Barcelo Maya Caribe Beach resort from 3/2 to 3/9. I picked this resort after looking at pictures on trip advisor. I love to snorkel so crystal clear water and beautiful reefs is what attracted me. I was not disappointed. This was my fifth trip to Mexico. Stayed at Iberostar, Bahia Principe, Xcaret, and Sunset Princess resorts. Although very nice resorts none had a beach where I could walk into the water with my snorkel gear and actually see more than a few fish. Barcelo reefs are awesome! I usually sign up for a minimum of two tours per trip to get some good snorkeling in but at this resort not necessary. I snorkeled all seven days at resort- some ok snorkeling in front of Caribe/Beach and fun to go under the pier in front of Colonial/Tropical at least once(lots of fish huddle under and one very big barracuda) but the place to go is in front of the Palace. As soon as your feet touch water there are reefs. My boyfriend and I would discover new reefs everyday - (the best is out by the ropes). We saw large sea turtles, stingrays, barracuda, and lots of fish. Even saw a squid! The reefs range in water depth from two feet to approximately twenty feet. I did read some other reviews saying the snorkeling was not good and the fish under the pier were boring. These people obviously did not try very hard and stayed in that one section. I also saw people comparing the resort to Xel-ha. I have been there three times and that is an experience that you cannot compare and I do not expect you could find that on any resort. (Xel-ha is a protected national ecological reserve -incredible place that for me is best snorkeling in Mexico and trips offered from Barcelo resorts). So i hope this review helps out fellow snorkelers!
So as I said we stayed at Caribe/Beach resort. For those of you unfamiliar with Barcelo there are three resorts in this complex all connected by walkways and all accessible from same beach. The lowest end is Caribe/Beach followed by Tropical/Colonial and finally The Palace. At our resort the rooms were fine- have stayed in better rooms but we were not expecting that since we did pick the lowest end resort. Bathrooms were still pretty nice. I had no complaints. No problems with housekeeping and always enough fresh towels and whatever else i see people complain about.
There is the main buffet opened for all three meals and they also have two smaller buffets that we went to for lunches. There are four restaurants and you are allowed to reserve three for dinner during your stay. We chose Seafood, Steakhouse, and Spanish. The one we did not choose was Mexican. Spanish was our favorite. Apparantly you can do the Hibachi over in Colonial/Tropical for $15 US per person but we did not. So if you stay at Beach/Caribe you only have access to restaurants and bars in this resort. I do not expect five star restaurants and gourmet food at these places and i was very content with buffets and restaurants at our resort. We did sneak in to the Colonial/Tropical buffet for dinner one night ( was chilly so had on long sleeves that covered our bracelets) and must say the food was a little better. I would imagine if your one of those people who care that much about the food The Palace would be the place for you.
I like a more tropical/jungle feel to a resort while my boyfriend prefers large marble lobbies and grand surroundings. I preferred our resort while he loved The Palace. We both agreed that we would stay at any of the three resorts if ever go back.
The staff very friendly and drinks were not watered down. The one thing is that at our resort had to pay extra for top shelf ($4 for Jack Daniels and certain other brand names) It did not bother us but if you plan on going and really prefer top shelf might want to check if other two resorts are the same. There is a lobby bar, two bars at theater, and a disco. During the day Capain Morgans bar and pool/swim up bar. The one thing i cannot comment on is the pool and swim up bar since the weather had been unusually cooler in the Riviera the few weeks prior to our trip and pools were pretty cold. Hardly anyone was in there which was disappointing because i love spending some days at the swimup bar! This shouldn't be a problem for too much longer since the weather was getting better the week we stayed. We were actually worried after seeing weather reports giving temps of 72-75 being the high temp on certain days but everyday was sunny in the high 70's to mid 80's with the exception of one cloudy day. It was chilly at night which i am not used to in Mexico for this time of year so if going soon bring a couple long sleeve shirts.
I will try to comment on some other topics I always see other people complain about on these reviews. There are rocks and reefs in the water but only select places and we had no problem walking in and out of water so no need for water shoes. There are no bugs on beach or walkways around resort. They do have a miniature golf course in jungle like setting and that was the only place i got bit at all and wasn't that bad. If you want to play golf bring bug spray- otherwise you will be fine. No problem checking in and our room was ready when we got there. We used the safe in our room through the whole trip and nothing was taken. This is a family resort so were definitely fair share of children but we were never bothered. The Palace seemed to have noticably less children. All resorts have kids centers and Colonial/Tropical and Palace have impressive water parks for kids.
So in closing would definitely suggest this resort and the Barcelo complex to people. I think between the three resorts there is one for all tastes. Hope this was helpful!
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- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Maya Caribe Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Maya Caribe Beach
- Barcelo Maya Caribe Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico