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Barcelo Maya Colonial
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Reviewed April 12, 2014

We read a ton of reviews before booking this trip and were a little nervous about what we would find. My best advice... This is a beautiful, modern property and my feedback is minor compared with the overall experience which I would rate as first class, having traveled around the world. We booked a premium ocean suite for a week during spring break with a 5 year old.

The entrance to the property is grand. The grounds are immaculate and the staff work non stop to keep them that way. We were able to bypass the front desk with the Premium upgrade and enjoyed the premium lounge. My husband liked their cold beer and often stopped there to pick up a few cans or a cup of coffee in the morning after going for a run.

We gave our Premium benefits a little too much credit though and didn't find out until the end that the coupons that we used which said $10 US for a bottle of wine, actually meant $10 off. The wait staff assured us the coupons were for $10 wine, so when we got our final bill on the day before we left, we were a bit shell shocked at the amount. The staff and management did nothing for us to make up for this.

Room impression was awesome. Large balcony and 6506 room is great location, ocean view, near kids pool and theater. The beds are extremely hard... My ear hurt from laying on my side too long. You can ask for a pillow top bed liner which helps.

We were there during a busy time so the maintenance tool a bit longer than expected. I was impressed by their triage for important issues like my fuse blown on my hairdryer ( the buffets kicked me out one afternoon for having a wet cover up where my bathing suit soaked through and I had to go back to the room to change before they would seat me). Our Bureau door was broken when we arrived and we reported it day 1 and again. It never was fixed. Then again, our Hairdryer fuse blew and they fixed it right away.

Tips: Bring an insulated cup for refills at the bars to keep drinks cool,
Make dinner reservations when you arrive ...day 1 or risk not getting in.

The dolphin experience is great for all! Ask for the coupon for the photos and video.


The Barcelo complex is simply four properties side by side. You really can't tell one from the other. The Tropical and Colonial are mirror images as are the Beach and other. They share a Theater, and the buffet halls are right next to each other. They each have a grill for beachside /poolside casual eating. You can go to any buffet other than the Palace. We ate at the Beach grill one afternoon and I did notice that it had less options than the Colonial grill. The Palace is at the North end, but we walked through there and ate at their buffet (a Premium benefit) twice.

The party crowd definitely congregated down at the Tropical pool. The staff worked hard to get people dancing and engaged at both pools.

Bartenders had power. We saw them control the party crowd several times. Bring enough small bills to tip. This is not a "no-tip" resort like Sandals.

Kids club "Barcy" was well staffed and our daughter volunteered to go there for the better part of 3 days while we were here and had a great time. They have an hourly schedule posted from 9-5 and you can hire a babysitter if you need after hours care.

The roads from the airport are all modern and paved and we found the hotel transportation to be in nice vehicles and courteous drivers. We ended up being the only family both to and from the airport.

We went to Playa del Carmen one day. We are not big shoppers, so the constant shop workers approaching us was annoying but we walked the beach and had a nice meal at a parilla. Tip: take the bus into Playa for $3 per person each way. They are air conditioned sprinter-type vans.

They have decent internet available on one device.

The beach at the Colonial/Tropical is a bit rocky for body surfing, but you can go out and stand in it and snorkel. We went over to the Maya Beach where there is more sand and minimal rocks, if any and the sand is nice. There is also a protected bay so in general, the water is more mild there.

The room drapes are sufficiently dark to sleep in and there is a nice hair dryer.

The night shows were great. The kids have a great program to start and we usually stayed for the other shows. The Circus show is good. It played at the Beach resort earlier in the week so try to catch it. The spring break party crowd was not interested.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
9  Thank tlcjunk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BMAYATROPICAL-GS, Director General at Barcelo Maya Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded April 20, 2014

Dear tljunk:
First of all receive our greetings, feedback from our guest is essential to improve our services and achieve our goal to fulfill your expectations.
We are pleased that You enjoyed our beautiful Resort and you´ve had a wonderful holiday. Regarding your comments sorry you have had these problems in the room we work on it does not happen again.
We appreciate your time and we look forward to the opotunity to serve You again.
Best regards
Management
gtealojamientocol@barcelomaya.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2014

We have been coming to the Riviera Maya for years and have stayed at many of the all-inclusives in Playa del Carmen as well as Puerto Aventuras where this resort is located. Although our needs have changed because we started out vacationing here as a young couple, and now we have two kids, 12 & 13, I feel we can give you helpful feedback, as we go pretty much every year...can't give up my beach time (we are in land locked Colorado).

The star system in the area is not always reliable, and if you go only by that, you may be disappointed. This hotel is rated as 5 Star, but it is not really that by US standards. You won't find the level of customer service and attention to detail. However it is not a moderate property, either. I don't know any moderate properties that have floor to ceiling travertine marble in the bathrooms. In a nutshell, here was our experience-

Rooms: We reserved two ocean-front jr suites, and had emailed the week before for connecting rooms, but they don't exist for junior suites. But we were placed on the same floor, just a couple of doors apart, which worked out fine. Both faced the pools and you could see the ocean just beyond...very beautiful. Our room had a corner balcony with a hammock which was very nice. Suites are bigger, have more closet space, flat screen tv, bigger bathroom with both tub and separate rain shower, robes and slippers, and most important for the kids, free WIFI! I feel it was worth the extra cost, also for the proximity to pools and beach. Also was nice to have a separate check in area where they immediately made our dinner reservations for the week.

This was a new resort for us, as the past few years we have been very happy at the Iberostars (Toucan/Quetzal and Paraiso Lindo in Puerto Morelos). We decided to give this place a try because of the on-site snorkeling, and the larger size for our kids to explore. We were very happy we did. Our family LOVED this resort.

Beach: gorgeous. No palapas for shade, but plenty of palm trees. You just need to move with the shade! Water calm and shallow because of the protected coves. BUT bring pool shoes. Thank god we did ( read other reviews), because although you can navigate around them, there are more rocks than we have been used to at other resorts. The pier was super nice to have for the snorkeling. Amazing amount of fish.

Grounds: Beautiful and perfectly maintained and cleaned

Food: Good, not amazing. Our upgrade got us a free pass to the Palace Buffet. Very good. Also tried the new Mexican n/c, over rated, we thought. Drinks, stay away from frozen premixed stuff pool side. Margs at lobby bar & restaurants were excellent. Our upgraded bracelets got us top shelf n/c.

Staff. Nothing amazing, but no concerns. Minor issues handles quickly.

Important- get a private car/taxi to the resort. They will fly you there!

I think to really enjoy vacationing in Mexico, you have to remember it is a third world country and it is not a "well oiled machine". Just go with the flow and don't let the little things get the best of you. I honestly can't believe the things people complain about. Just go and you will have a great time!

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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7  Thank mikabella01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BMAYATROPICAL-GS, Director General at Barcelo Maya Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded April 13, 2014

Dear Mikabella01:
First of all receive our greetings, feedback from our guest is essential to improve our services and achieve our goal to fulfill your expectations.
We are pleased that You enjoyed our beautiful beach, really is amazing for all kinds water activities, we appreciate your time and we look forward to the opotunity to serve You again.
We are sure to exceed your needs and expectations compared to his previous visit.

Best regards
La Gerencia
gtealojamientocol@barcelomaya.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Maya Colonial between March 6th - 13th / 2014. It was excellent! This is our 2nd year at the Colonial. We enjoyed it so much in 2013 that we decided to book it again and come back this year. I'm glad we did. The staff treat you very well, the resort is spotless and safe, the food is excellent, the beach/swimming pools are great and there is plenty to do. Something impressive happened this year, there were 3 staff from 2013 that recognized us when we came back this year. Now, how personal is that. Guess where we and our family will be going in March 2015?

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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6  Thank Dan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BMAYATROPICAL-GS, Director General at Barcelo Maya Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded April 13, 2014

Dear DanK:
First of all receive our greetings, feedback from our guest is essential to improve our services and achieve our goal to fulfill your expectations.
We are pleased that You enjoyed our beautiful beach, really is amazing for all kinds water activities, also our four a la carte restaurants Sea Food, Italian, Steak House and Japaneese and our buffet with a variety of food and different cuisines every night.
Please let me know the date of your next visit and I will personally serve you, thank You for choosing us again.

Best regards
La Gerencia
gtealojamientocol@barcelomaya.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2014

We were here from March 27 to April 3, 2014. This is a very large beautiful resort which is very well kept. The grounds were beautiful. We were here during Spring Break but we were very fortunate as the section we were in, room (6217), 2nd floor, was very quiet. We usually retired for the night by 11 pm so weren't bothered by the noise at the bars. We found this hotel to be very clean, our room was lovely(except for balcony view - jungle), but we didn't spend much time in our room anyway. The food was great, especially the Japanese a la carte - it was AWESOME as was our Chef Augusto. If u choose this a la carte be sure to ask for Mayan Coffee at the end of the meal. The preparation was a show in itself. We were a little upset with our waiter in the Seafood a la carte. I think his name was Margarito(probably spelled wrong, sounded like the cocktail but ended with an o). He was very pushy - immediately very strongly tried to sell us a bottle of wine leading us to believe there was no house wine available; Then insisted we give him our complete dinner order including dessert as "he might be too busy to take it later." Was almost adamant that we order the apple or lemon pie.......He definitely had no personality definitely could use some training. Other than this one waiter, we found the staff to be very very friendly & helpful; We enjoyed the beach & the pool & would definitely consider returning to this resort on our next trip to Mexico. Our Air Transat rep, Marcos, was very helpful also...\

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Geraldine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BMAYATROPICAL-GS, Director General at Barcelo Maya Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded April 13, 2014

Dear Geraldine M:
First of all receive our greetings, feedback from our guest is essential to improve our services and achieve our goal to fulfill your expectations.
We are pleased that You enjoyed our Japaneese ala carte restaurant as You said it is awesome.
Regarding your comments saddens me to know that you had a bad impression of our waiter Margarito, I'm sure he never wanted to be rude, we really strive to train staff in quality service.
We appreciate your time and we look forward to the opotunity to serve You again, I take care of You personally.

Best regards
La Gerencia
gtealojamientocol@barcelomaya.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2014

It was a family vacation for us, we stayed there recently for 7 nights, March 27 through April 3rd. We have been to Mexico many times but for the first time at Barcelo Maya Colonial. Our last stay was at Grand Palladium Kantenah which is less than 10 minutes away from Barcelo Maya Colonial. We liked Barcelo more than Palladium, and will most likely be back there at some point. Location, beach, pools, room, service, food and night restaurants were good. Since we have a great level of prior experience we could tell the difference. However, we would never come there during the Spring Break. If you go there for a family vacation and especially have young kids under no circumstances go there during the Spring Break. When we booked this vacation this resort was specifically advertised, as was also printed on our intenary in capital letters, discourages spring breakers and does not allow any without an adult supervision. So we thought that would be great since we were going there during the spring break time. However, boy we were wrong. As a matter of fact this resort allowes as many young spring breakers as they can fit with disregard to their own policy and complete disrespect to families with kids. It was wild and in some cases totally unapropriate parties and behavior throughout the resort, it was everywhere, lots of very loud noise, overcrowded pool area bars, lots of swearing "the F" word in front of young kids, total disrespect to everyone else around. Moreover, the biggest problem was at night. It was almost impossible to get a decent sleep at night. Almost every night we, including kids, were awaken at 1:30 a.m., 3:00 a.m. and later by drunk and in some cases I suspect on some kind of drugs spring breakers running arround, loudly talking, swearing, doing other crazy stuff. When we finally had enough we approached the management and hotel security 3 times but, unfortunately, they were not trying hard to change the situation. With all due respect but it seemed to us the management was not really interested in doing much. To their credit they tried to explain to us that they were doing the best they could to maintain the security, especially at night. I disagree with that 1,000%. They also said that the spring breakers were there under an adult supervision. True, we saw some parents there but the ones we saw were either drunk themselves or did not really care to do anything. So any other time this resort will probably be on our list but for sure they will never see us there again during the Spring Break.

Room Tip: For families they have "Family Room" that consist of 2 rooms and some have 2 bathrooms, so consider it as an option.
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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5  Thank Larry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BMAYATROPICAL-GS, Director General at Barcelo Maya Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2014

Dear Larry D:
First of all receive our greetings, feedback from our guest is essential to improve our services and achieve our goal to fulfill your expectations.
We are pleased that You enjoyed the hotel, and thank You again for considering return.
Regarding your comments is true this resort is not for spring breakers specifically, one of our rules is that they must be accompanied by adults and of course we make our supervisión more strict. Unfortunatelly the bad moments that happened and we appreciate your time and we look forward to the opotunity to serve You again, please do not hesitate to contact me I take care of You personally.

Best regards
La Gerencia
gtealojamientocol@barcelomaya.com

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