We stayed at the Barceló Caribe from May 22 to May 31. This was our 11th time to the Maya Rivera but our first time at the Barceló.
Traveling from the airport was a breeze since we pre-booked with USA Transfers and they were waiting for us at the airport and picked us up for our return at exactly the time they said they would.
Our 1st day at the resort was absolutely horrible. Upon check-in they tried to move us to the Beach part of the 5 hotels even though I booked the Caribe and all of my paperwork showed the Caribe. I did not want to stay on the Beach side because it was on the far end of the resort and we wanted to be in the middle of the 5 hotels which is closer to the water sports. However, the clerk would not budge and kept saying we had to go to the Beach. I asked to speak to a manager and he said he was the supervisor and would not call anyone else. He said that they had no rooms in the Caribe hotel and we had to go to the Beach hotel. I asked him what he was going to do with all the people currently in line to check in and he said they had reservations. “Well so do I” I had to yell and I had all the paper work to prove it. I gave him the choice of finding me a room at the Caribe or sending us to one of the hotels closer to the middle and he said no. Miraculously after 15 minutes of fighting he ended up finding us a room but there is no excuse for him to make such a bad first impression of the resort. I have never had such a horrible check in experience and we had no special requests except to stay at the hotel we booked.
While I was trying to get checked in my husband went to get us a drink at the lobby bar. He made it back when I was about done with check in. He said that the bartender was moving in slow motion. When we went to our room we found the air condition did not work very well, the fridge did not work at all, the sliding glass door would not lock, there were little bugs all over, the garbage can lid would not open, the ceiling fan squeaked and the scale was broke. We called immediately about the door and air conditioner but no one came that night. Later we went to the show and the bartender there took about 20 minutes. For our 1st day at the resort we were highly disappointed and could only hope that things would get better.
Thankfully things did get better. The service did not increase; we just learned the tricks needed to get things by ourselves so we would not waist our precious vacation time waiting. We took big mugs to breakfast and filled them with ice at the buffet. The ice would keep long enough so we could have soda from the pool bar without having to wait for a bartender. I only mention this because although you can get soda self serve, there is no ice available at the pool bar without waiting at least 5-10 minutes for the bartender. There is also self serve pina coladas and strawberry dacaris inside the pool buffet so you can avoid another wait.
The food was OK. Some things better than others but we always managed to get full. The one thing the Barceló did very well was desserts. Every other time we have visited Mexico the desserts were not sweet so we just skipped dessert. At Barceló we had dessert at least twice a day. Only two of the reservation restaurants are air conditioned so besides the 2 dinners we had at these restaurants every other meal was uncomfortably hot, especially at the main buffets. At least by the pool buffets you could enjoy a breeze but the main buffets were so hot the sweat was dripping off of everyone’s forehead, including the wait staff & cooks which was not very appetizing. Also be aware that you have to pay extra for name brand alcohol. Not a big deal for us but others were upset about it.
I read before we left that getting reservations to the sit down restaurants was very hard but we did not have any problems at all. We just told our consierge how long we were staying, we wanted to try each of the 4 restaurants once, and have a time of 8-8:30. She made all of the reservations within 5 minutes and was very helpful. I happened to mention our squeaky fan and she said she would get it fixed so I proceeded to tell her everything that was wrong with our room. By that night the fan was oiled, the fridge was at least working, but not that great, and our air conditioner was much better. The other things wrong with our room never got fixed but most were just minor so we did not worry about them. My biggest worry was the sliding glass door that would not lock but we managed to rig the door so it could not be opened. We told reception in person a few days later about the door which makes 3 times we reported the door as broke but it was never fixed our entire stay.
Currently the pitch & putt is closed which was a disappointment. We did go miniature golfing one evening. It is open until 10pm which is nice because it was too hot to miniature golf during the day. We did encounter a lot of mosquito’s there but luckily I had repellent in the room so my husband ran back to the room to get it. We could not have finished the game without it because we were being bitten about 3 times a minute.
My husband used the work out facility a couple of times and said they were OK but it was outside so again no air conditioning.
We enjoyed most of the nightly shows. They had dancers, singers and a live band which we have never seen before. Most resorts have shows with dancers to taped music and it was pretty neat to see such talented live performers. The also had a very good circus act that I think they contract in. We were not impressed with the karaoke or Miss Barceló show but we were ready to go to bed on those nights anyway.
There were many times that we saw guests carrying around their luggage and we could not figure out why. The bell boys will gladly take your luggage to your room & pick it up when you are ready to go. We called them right before check out and they were there in 5 minutes. They also watched our bags for the next hour until our pick up arrived.
The beach is absolutely awesome! It is perfect for wind sailing and for taking out a catamaran. They provide free sailing lessons everyday and the combination of waves & wind was perfect when we were there. Make sure you have water shoes for the water sports activities. The part of the beach that you enter for water sports is very rocky and will cut your feet. There is also very good snorkeling towards by the Palace hotel. We went scuba diving in Playa Del Carmen with Beach Divers who we have used many times in the past because their fees are very reasonable ($30 per tank, $120 for a 2 person 2 tank dive). However, we agreed that when you have snorkeling this beautiful you do not need to go scuba diving.
Because the beach is so great we would consider going back to the Barceló but we would never stay in the Beach or Caribe hotel again. We would probably go to the Colonial or Tropical because they are also in the middle and have air conditioned buffets. I don’t know if the service or rooms would be better but I hope so because we really loved the beach.
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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