My wife, I and our two daughters four and one year old just returned from a one week stay and had an excellent family vacation. We chose this resort because it was family friendly, had a water part and most of all because of the high marks given in reviews. We have traveled extensively throughout Mexico, Jamaica and DR and can compare it other RIU, Iberostar, Bahia Principe amd Barcelo resorts. Out of them all, this one is definately the best.
We arrived at the resort around 1 PM after about a 1 hour ride and had a disappionting start. We were met by a bell hop who directed us to the check in desk. I was a bit disappointed that we weren’t greeted with a welcome drink while waiting in line. Check in was bizarre, I e-mailed a week earlier to request a room near the pool, lobby and restaurants since we had small children and my wish was granted. We got a room in the first building (Michoacan) as requested. However, after we checked in, the front desk clerk told us to come back at 3PM for the room keys? In the meantime, we went to the buffet to have lunch. After we returned, we were told to get back in line to get the room key. This procedure is very flawed. You need to return to the check in desk again to get your key. If the room is ready, one should be allowed to go to the room or if it isn’t the key should still be given and go to the room at 3PM. I don’t understand why they won’t allow you into the room earlier if the room is ready. I never experienced this at any other resort. Very inefficient! Management should streamline this process so people don’t waste part of their vacation waiting around when their room is ready.
The room was very big and clean. The bathroom was very large with a tub, standup shower and two sinks. The cleaning maid did a great job keeping the room tidy and the fridge was restocked everyday. Our room was only a couple minutes walk to the main pool and waterpark, a huge plus for us. Yes the resort is large and you do have to do some walking, so if big isn’t you thing, look for a smaller resort.
The landscaping was beautiful and the pools were very clean and very well kept. Now for the water park and kids club – this is the main reason why we chose this resort. The water park is an excellent feature as it kept our four year old busy all day, she absolutely loved it! The Colonial next door also has a very similar water park that Palace guests can also use. The Barcy club for kids is also a great place for young children. It’s very structured and they have activities scheduled every hour like face painting, sea shell hunt, apron painting, water balloon toss etc. There is a schedule of activities when you check in your child. At first I was a bit skeptical leaving her there but the activity girls are very caring and put in a lot of effort to make the children happy. The children are also well supervised when they go to the beach or water park. The kids club even has activities after dinner time until 9PM like musical games and dancing. Our daughter met a lot of new friends and grew close to the instructors. Highly recommended for parents who need a short brake without the stress of worrying about the well being of their child.
The beach was just OK. The sand wasn’t very soft as it was a combination of sand and coral rock. The sand towards the other resorts was much better. The water was very clear and there were many fish near the coral reef. You can purchase fish food or get some bread from the buffet to feed the fish and they will come right up you. The water is very calm as the beach is on a small harbor. It’s ideal for small kids and snorkeling as there are no waves. My wife and I got massages on the beach, well worth it.
The restaurants were very good. I don’t understand other complaints as you could not go hungry at the buffet. There is a very large variety of food and it is cooked to your liking. We also ate at the French which was very good and the Rodezio which was wasn’t very good due to the meats being over and under cooked. The service at all restaurants was excellent. Nobody in out party got sick or had any stomach issues, just stick to the bottled water. Perhaps the greatest asset of this resort is the employees who work very had to provide a favorable customer experience. We brought a lot of singles for tipping as it was well deserved. We didn’t see any of the shows since our children went to bed early. The theatre is very nice as I watched the Super Bowl there. All the bars have top shelf liquor which was a nice benefit and very good service also. There was no communication problem with the employees, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they spoke English. Most of the guests were from Canada or the USA. I speak some Spanish and it goes a long way if you try to make an effort to speak to them in their native language.
I really don’t understand the negative reviews that were posted! The complainers obviously didn’t do their research or need to do a better job managing their expectations. Quit whining and spend double or triple the money and stay at the Mayakoba, Grand Velas or a Four Seasons. Some people will never be satisfied…you get what you pay for. Is it perfect? No, but here you get an excellent value for your money. Thankfully the good reviews overwhelmingly outnumber the bad ones. You won’t be disappointed if you go with an open mind and a bit of patience. There’s a reason why this resort was booked to capacity while we were there.
Overall, this is an excellent family resort, especially for those with small children or couples looking for a good upscale value. If you’re looking to party, this isn’t the place for you, go to Cancun. We walked to the other resorts and there is a big difference. Spend the extra money as the Palace is so much nicer and more upscale. It never felt crowded and there were always loungers available on the beach or by the pool. Palace guests can visit the other resorts buy not vice versa. I would highly recommend!
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- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Barcelo Maya Palace Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico