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Reviewed April 4, 2010

My friend and I came here with our sons who are both high school seniors. The travel agent recommended the Barcelo Maya Caribe to us and she was right on the money!

We booked through Delta Vacations which included our transfers to and from the airport. It was about a 2 hour bus ride from the airport, which was a drawback. However, the bus was comfortable and airconditioned. We did not get to the Barcelo until right around 10 pm due to an issue with the bus.

When we arrived we were immediately taken to the buffet so that we could eat beforethe buffet closed down for the night. We really appreciated this, since we had been traveling since 7 am and were starving!

We then went to check-in. That went very fast. I had hoped to get my son ( a young senior at 17 yrs) an adult bracelet so that he would be able to get into the Jaguar club with my friends son who was also a senior, but was 18. The front desk clerk asks to see the kids passports to verify age, so that was imposssible and she was not going to bend on that point (which I can appreciate, so it was no big deal). When we booked our trip we asked to get two rooms together so that the boys could have thier own room, but they could not gaurentee us this. They said that the rooms are not assigned until you get to the resort. We were very pleased to find out that the rooms were together.

ROOMS- we were especially pleased with the rooms that we got. The were in building 5 SAYILLE. We got rooms on the very end facing the pool/ocean. I could not have asked for a better location! I was concerned that it would be noisy since it was right by the pool and Capt. Morgans, but we never heard a thing, except for the very last night that we were there.

BEACHES: fabulous! Plenty of beach chairs. THe beaches were well kept also. They grounds keepers go through each night and put all the chairs back in place and I think they must rake it each night also. Great sand.

CLEANING STAFF- Very good. mini bar was always stocked. Rooms cleaned daily. We left a $20 tip the first day and the housedeeper made a heart on one of the beds out of flower petals and kissing swans on the other bed out of towels. It was a nice touch.

FOOD- The food was fine. Nothing to write home about, but it was a buffet, so it was what we expected. I do recommend the pasta bar area where you choose what you want and they make it up for you. That was the best meal I had. Also, if you like bleu cheese, they have absolutely the best bleu cheese!
ALA Carte- make your reservations ASAP! I read reviews before we left in regards to this, so I was prepared. The lady basically told us that the only times available were at 9 pm. Because I was prepared for this, I kept telling her that she had to keep looking because 9 pm would not work. If you are persistent, you will have bettter luck. We ended up getting one at 8 pm and two at 6 pm.

BAR- Terible bar service. Very slow and drinks were weak. I did find the the bar at Capt. Morgans was much faster than the bar right outside by the pool. Buy a beach mug at the gift shop on your first day there so that you can have larger drinks and not have to go back to the wait at the bar as often.

SUMMARY- the boys had the time of their lives! There were a ton of teens for them to hang out with and they made many new friends. My son who was only 17 was unable to get into the Jaguar, so each night he went up there and hung out outside the club. He said that there was tons of kids that hang out outside, so he had a great time. In fact, the last night, I gave him my bracelet so that he could see if he could get in. He said that he never bothered, since all the kids he hung with all week were outside.

I loved that the kids could have so much freedom and we felt very safe.

HINTS- We never booked an excursion through the resort. We wanted to go to XEL-HA but we did not want to commit to what day or time we would be ready. I think it was about $95 per person on the tour bus excursion. We have 4 people, took a taxi for $25 each way and bought tickets at the door for $79 p.p. So, for roughly the same price, we could come and go at what ever time we wanted instead of on the tour schedule.
My son and I also wanted to go to TULUM one day but the tour did not leave for 2 hours. The tour bus was $40 or $45 per person and was about a 4 hour excursion. We instead took a taxi which was $28 each way and bought tickets at the door for $5 p.p. So we saved money and were able to come and go on our own schedule. We only needed about 1 - 1 1/2 hours there. So I was glad we were not stuck there for 4 hours.

  • Stayed: March 2010
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7  Thank keahnyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirectorBeachCaribe, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Caribe, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2016

Dear Keahny,

Many thanks for your full review and your comments which are very important for us. We invite you to visit our website to know the new Barceló Maya Caribe.

Kind regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2010

I'll start with the best, the beach. It was beautiful and very well kept. Lots of space and chairs for all. The ocean was a gorgous color blue. If you'd rather the pools there were many spacious pools with swim up bars and world pools. Adorable kids pool.

The service was excellent, very friendly, helpful staff.

The grounds were very well kept and maintained. Very tropical look. Wouldn't have mind a little more color from maybe some flowers.

The rooms were nicely decorated and well kept. Some modern touches were added such as a flat screen tv for those that it matters to. Nice comfortable mattress and lots of pillows and towels.

The food was delicious with lots of variety for all. Awesome desserts and loved the coconut icecream.

The entertainment evening shows were just ok for me. I appreciate their efforts though. I did like the Mexician Fiesta show.

Ok...the negative: though the hotel accomodations were beautiful and interesting buildings, the noise level was terrible. The buildings echoed and carried all the sounds. It didn't matter where you were located you could constantly hear voices, traffic whatever was around you. You could hear most of everything that was happening in the room next to you. The music from the evening entertainment was extremely loud and you could hear it perfectly in your room as well (even with patio door closed). If you are a light sleeper it'll probably make for broken rest.

The only other negative which is no reflection on the resort is Sunwing. If your package is with Sunwing don't bother attending the morning briefing that they encourage you to attend, it is a waste of time. They don't offer any tips or hints or any information about your resort. They focused only on the excursion packages that were available. They discourage you from using the white buses on the hedge of the resort that can take you to Playa de Carmen for example, telling you it isn't reliable or really that safe. Not true at all. It is the easiest and cheapest way to go.

Overall, it was a great trip.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Ann-Marie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirectorBeachCaribe, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Caribe, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2016

Dear MS_Annie,

Many thanks for your full review and your comments which are very important for us. We invite you to visit our website to know the new Barceló Maya Caribe.

Kind regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2010

Barcelo is the best all-inclusive. The beach was absolutely beautiful and the activities included were awesome (hobie/cats,kayaks that we were able to take out on our own) the music and entertainment at all of the pools. The first day that we arrived it was raining and cold, we went to the sports bar, which is tucked away near the entrance and we played foosball and pool, a little boring but something to do. The shows are at 9:30 p.m.(after dinner)and if you want more action after go to the Disco which is from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. We are Adventure seekers and get bored quickly but we stayed at the hotel for 3 days before going out, there was so much to do and see, the place is huge, it has 5 hotels on the property and an abandoned property to the right which we snuck in to try to snorkel but there was a person there that whistled at us and said ""You can snorkel near the pier which is to the left of the property. We did sneak out and snorkel near the place that we were not supposed to near the end of the week, not much to see though. The weather was very hot at the end of theek, 90's.
We took a collectivo(van-1.50 us dollars p/p) to Playa del Carmen one day and took the ferry to Cozumel (14.00 p/p) round trip) and rented a scooter (33.00 U.S.) for the day) and toured the whole island by oursleves, we had snorkel equipment with us, so we snorkeled at the Money Bar and had lunch. We also walked from Barcelo to a few cenotes (Le Jardin of Eden and another next to it )and snorkeled and dove off of some cliffs into the cenotes. Did a tour with Adventours , Coba, zipline, rapel, canoe, ruins in Coba, tequila shot on the way back, all day trip, a little drug out but, worth it, $119.99 p/p USD.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank yakfit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirectorBeachCaribe, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Caribe, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2016

Dear yakfit,

Many thanks for your full review and your comments which are very important for us. We invite you to visit our website to know the new Barceló Maya Caribe.

Kind regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2010

First off, hands down, this resort has some of the best staff and service I have encountered in the entire world, and believe you, me, I have seen my share of both good and poor service in any given country on any given day. Don’t believe the negative reviews, which I found are few and far between. If you are expecting five-star haute cuisine, marble walkways and room-to-room concierge type service you may want to try the Mandarin Oriental down the road, or stay at the Ritz Carleton in Cancun. If you are looking for that, then stop reading now, because the Barceló Maya Beach/Caribe is not the place for you.

One other thing that I wanted to point out, and not necessarily a negative on the Barceló’s part, but just a reflection of some of the guests staying there…mind your stinking manners! Over and over my fiancé and I witnessed the rather rude and inept guests staying at the resort. Adults who supposedly know better, complaining and being flat out rude to the staff regarding the way their drinks and/or food was being made. I even heard one woman yelling at the omelet station chef about overcooking her egg. It’s an omelet! You are on vacation! Get over yourself! Please try to understand that this is Mexico and not some cosmopolitan city that you think you are from. Drinks will be made differently and with different brands of liquor. Yes, food is different because it’s the Mexican way of trying to please Europeans and North Americans, while at the same time, trying to replicate what they think we may enjoy. They are trying their hardest to keep us happy, so if you don’t like something, don’t eat it or drink it. Move on and don’t yell at someone who is trying so hard to serve and please you.

The breakdown- BEACH: By far the Beach/Caribe section offer the best beach out of the other resorts. It is truly immaculate and the snorkeling off the beach is superb. There are some rocky sections in the sea once you get out past your waist, so I would recommend some aqua shoes so you don’t get cut up if you plan on venturing out that far. We encountered more “red flag” days then we did green or yellow flag days. The sign will indicate not to swim, but there were plenty of people swimming and doing so safely. The life guard did not tell anyone to leave the water. On Red flag days, well, I just would not attempt to snorkel as the visibility was not good.

Grounds - The grounds are well kept and stunning. We always saw gardeners grooming and sweeping every morning to make sure that everything was prim and proper and the way it should be. There are plenty of iguanas walking around, and they are completely harmless. I would not attempt to touch one just because they are the wildlife. Seems like there are plenty of non-beach activities to participate in, like, tennis, mini-golf, basketball, game rooms, etc., but we did not take part in this because we enjoyed the beach too much.

Staff- Wow. Need I say more? Every day our room was cleaned and bed made. Every evening, the maid service would check on us to see if we needed anything like extra towels or water. The snack cart guy came around once in the late afternoon/evening, and same deal, nothing but respect. The concierge service is great and attentive to your every need. Bartenders are accommodating and full of life. Buffet servers and waiters/waitresses are attentive and serve you with a smile. Tip these people! They don’t ask you for tips, or expect them, but they deserve it.

Pool – This was a big disappointment because it was freezing. The sea was about 10-15 degrees warmer than the pool on any day we were there. The Caribe side pool, with Captain Morgan’s swim-up bar, has a Jacuzzi looking tub connected. You think, oh good, a nice hot tub in a cold pool. Super misleading because the tub’s temperature is the same as the pool’s which means it’s cold! Huge disappointment there! It would be so much better if they heated this pool because its huge and very clean.

Food: Say what you will about the food being horrible and people getting sick. This was not the case for us. In the Dominican, we experienced inedible food to the point where if we chose to eat it, we got sick. Really sick. And, this was on simple things like pasta and fruit. This was not the case at the Beach/Caribe buffets. I would not call it five-star, but there is definitely something for everyone, and it’s generally good. The breakfast was the best meal buffet of the day, offering anything you can possibly dream of for breakfast. Fruit, cereal, waffles and pancakes with an assortment of toppings, omelet stations, eggs, bacon, etc. So fresh, and so good. Lunch was second best, but we mainly ate at Captain Morgan’s grill buffet. Typical lunch meats, cheese, salad bar, French fries, and some hot plate items like burgers, quesadillas, rice, steamed veggies. Dinner buffets were ok. There are theme nights for dinner and by the end, we really wished we could experience more of the Mexican/Spanish nights because they were by far the best. Seafood night was probably the scariest if you don’t eat seafood and are looking for a decent meal. Not sure what the Tropical/Colonial buffets offered because they do not have a share option with the Beach/Caribe. That is too bad. I would think that perhaps some people would enjoy jumping around to different buffets, if indeed they served anything different.

A la Carte Restaurants – Good luck getting a reservation. Our one week stay gave us 3 tickets to use at any five of the al la cartes between the Beach and Caribe properties. We only made one reservation for the Mexican restaurant, and it was ok. A little different from what you would find in a buffet, but not really. The Mayan coffee was a pretty sweet treat, so that made the a la carte worth it.

Rooms- We requested a king bed and high floor, which we got in the Labna (sic) building. Each room comes equipped with a flat screen, phone, balcony, table chairs, safe, scale, robes, slippers and a rather new bathroom. The beds and pillows were super comfortable, I felt like we were at home with our firm temperpedic. If you don’t like hard beds, then you will probably disagree, but they were super comfortable and it felt like we didn’t really leave home to sleep in a strange bed.

In short, this resort is worth the price and is worth going to. It’s about a 1.5 hour car ride from the Cancun airport. The only negatives were really nitpicking and overall we had a great time and would go back. The resort is very-family friendly and seems to have a lot of activities for kids.

Perhaps and because we went during the last week of March and it is spring break, there seemed to be drunken underage kids flowing into the resort during our last two days. By underage, I mean 18, if that. The drinking age in Mexico is 18. Loud, annoying, inappropriate kids. If this resort caters to families, wedding parties and couples, they really should not allow these young kids, who arrive in massive groups, to stay at this resort. While we were there, we witnessed several (they looked way under 18) boys vomiting all over themselves and the lobby at 8:00pm. No one kicked them out and they continued to be served drinks. They were also very loud in the buildings late at night. Again, not really the fault of the Barceló, but they could certainly do something to control that situation a little bit better. These types of crowds belong in Cancun, not the Mayan Rivera.

I recommend this resort, and aside from some rude people treating the staff poorly and the underage drunken teenage mess that happened toward the end of our trip, this resort was great. Food good, beach fantastic and overall a great place to be when it’s still cloudy, cold and dark in your neck of the woods.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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7  Thank NYMpotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirectorBeachCaribe, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Caribe, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2016

Dear NYMpotter,

Many thanks for your full review and your comments which are very important for us. We invite you to visit our website to know the new Barceló Maya Caribe.

Kind regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2010

Left March 20th for a one week holiday with my husband and another couple,flew with Sunwing, great staff and flight. This is my forth time in Mexico and I picked this resort because it was between Playa and Tulum, and our friends had never been to this side of Mexico. Airport was a nightmare, 19 planes landed at once, lineups were long, slow and very hot. One man in line behind us collapsed, staff just moved the line around him.
While waiting for friends outside of immigration, I had a timeshare person tell me I couldn't stand there and try to physically remove me, threatened he would have me arrested etc, had a very angry crowd around us when our friends finally showed up.
Bus ride to resort, in small van very quick. Checked in quick but room not ready so off we went to get changed and hit the beach. Too much sun and booze so finally got room key, went back to room. As we were changing there was a knock on the door and a maid walked right in. Not very comfortable with that. My husband went across the way to visit friends and another quick knock at the door and as I am standing there naked, a male staff member walks in.He had come to refill our fridge!! I hadn't put the lock on so my husband could get back in!!!
This happened every day, even when we put the sign out, so beware.
We ended up buying 10 beer off the male staff member and stayed in our room. Had room service, $7 US for each plate, had the steak, it was great. Don't leave the tray in the hall at night as raccoons roam in the halls, and will rummage through the containers.
Next day went to lobby to check out trips, Sunwing rep was very rude, we ended up walking up to the road and catching the collector bus, much cheaper, but they try and cram you in, just wait for the next bus!
Really enjoyed Captain Morgans bar and grill, staff Mary, and bartender Carlos took great care of us, met a pile of kids there from Minnesota, very polite kids, yes they were noisy but they sure were a happy bunch!! Very polite, their parents should be proud!
We checked out the other resorts, we definitely had the best beach, and always had our choice of loungers, no matter what time we got up, a first anywhere.
Three of the four of us had tummy troubles, not sure why.
Wifi is expensive, $12US per day
Didn't do the a la cartes, had one booked but after spending a couple hours at the swim up bar, with Antonio serving us the best variety of shooters we have ever had, 2 of our group had to head back to the rooms. Same problem there with staff coming in the room, while our spouses were passed out, had to stay in the rooms with them!!
We were checking out the next day, and a maid tried to get in our room starting at 8:30 in the morning, someone else at 10:30 to tell us we had to be out of our room at 12 noon and then they called. Wow, and we paid good money for this? We won't be back!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank runawayfromOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DirectorBeachCaribe, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Caribe, responded to this reviewResponded October 19, 2016

Dear runawayfromOntario,

Many thanks for your full review and your comments which are very important for us. We invite you to visit our website to know the new Barceló Maya Caribe.

Kind regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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