We stayed at the Barcelo Colonial July 15-20th 2013. Check in was good, took about 10 minutes. We got the building/room we requested (Jalisco building near pool). However, don't know if they granted our request or if was just by coincidence. Grounds were very beautiful, pools very large and really nice.
Beach: The beach on the Beach/Caribe side of the resort was very nice, almost entirely without any rocks (in the water or on the beach). It would say it's probably one of the best in this particular area of Mexico. However, although the beach on the Colonial/Tropical side looks nice from a distance, it has many rocks sticking out of the sand and also an abundance of them in the water. It took us a while to find a "safe" place to swim on this side, without stepping on large rocks in the water. There is a good spot near the far end of the Tropical side, but of course this is where everyone was swimming. Chairs were always available by the beach and by the pools. Whatever section you're staying at, if you're going to the beach, go for the "gusto" and go to the Beach/Caribe side. It's well worth the walking! Overall, very happy with our beach experience :)
Pools: I thought the pool at the Colonial/Tropical was one the best I've been to in Mexico. The pool at the Beach/Caribe section was also nice and perfect for small children. There was a very large section about 3 feet deep, with a fountain, wich our kids loved and that's where we spent most of our time when not on the beach. The pool at the Palace was nice, but it didn't have that tropical feel to me like the other pools. Note: If you do not stay at the Palace, you're not supposed to use their pool/waterpark. However, if you really want to check it out, you can just hop in (as we did :) and swim for a bit. Our kids liked the Palace water park better, but my wife and I liked the other pools better, so we didn't stay long. Small children should avois the green tubular slide at the Colonial, since it goes really fast and my 4 year old daughter got hurt our first day:( She was better several hours later :) The Beach/Caribe pool and grill will be closing at the end of July for construction, so this will greatly affect the aesthetics and "vibe" of that side of the resort. There was some construction going on while we were there, but did not at all affect our trip.
Dinners: We stayed 5 nights and recieved 2 ala' carte dinners. We also were given the option of purchasing more for $15 per/person. We bought one additional dinner for the Brazilian restaraunt at the Palace, which was great and definately worth the money. We also ate at the Japanese and Sante Fe Steak House Restaraunts, both of which were good but not as great as our dinner at the Palace.
Buffetts and Beach grills: I thought the buffets were "okay", my wife and children really didn't care for them. Not the worst, but definately not the best we've had in Mexico or anywhere else. This is pretty much the only reason my wife wouldn't want to return. However, like I said, I thought they were decent and not a deal breaker for me. Good cheesburgers at the beach grills :)
Rooms: Okay but not at all impressive as other rooms we've stayed in while in Mexico. Clean but very basic. Not too many room choices at this resort either. No ocean view, except for partial ocean views in a "few" of the club premium rooms, which are extra $130 per night on top of the club premium charges. If they would have been full ocean view rooms, I would have considered it. I was going to upgrade to club premium, until they told me that dinners would not be available every night. Our room was near the club premium rooms and had an excellent location. Near the pool and right in the middle of the resort. Overall, happy with the room but not impressed.
Entertainment: The shows were the best I've ever seen in Mexico. We went to the Circus and Fantasia shows. I'm not a big "show" person, but we all thought they were great. During the Fantasia show, they even took my daughters, as well as some other children, on stage during their Wizard of Oz performance :) Every night before the shows, they had a kids disco on the stage, where the children got to dance and play with baloons. Our kids loved it! We didn't plan on using the kids club, but we went in to check it out and stayed with our children. The next day, they wanted to go back and didn't care if we stayed. We went to the beach while they painted. The two women running the kids club were very nice, spoke fluent English and were great with the children, so we did feel very comfortable leaving them for an hour.
Staff: Staff were friendly, but many guests were rude (i.e. several times while waiting in the buffet line, people just walked right in front of me to skip me). Not many American's at the resort during our trip.
Comparison: My wife and I stayed at the Grand Paladium in the Royal Suites 2 years ago and had a great time. I would say the Palladium had better food and we really liked that you "automatically" were entitled to a dinner every night and didn't have to book everything right when you arrived. I would say the beauty of the grounds were equal, but the the Palladium had more of a "jungle", untouched "vibe". We felt the pools and beach were better at Barcelo. The Barcelo was perfect for small children and we couldn't have picked a better resort for their ages (4 & 6 years old). And believe me, I did do alot of research :) If you're going as a family, or as an "independent" person (as I am), this is a great resort for you. If you're expecting staff to remember your name and kiss your a**, go somewhere else! You will not be happy here. In closing, I would stay at Barcelo again but will probably check out a few others before I return.
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- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Maya Colonial Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Colonial
- Barcelo Maya Colonial Beach Resort
- Barcelo Maya Caribe & Beach Resort
- Barcelo Maya Tropical & Colonial Beach
- Barcelo Maya Colonial Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico