Stayed at the Barcelo Palace from April 8th-15th for a family wedding. We booked the trip a year in advance so I had a year of reading reviews before the trip. I was a little nervous before coming about how large the resort is. The last time we stayed in Mexico was at Playacar Palace and it is definately a small intimate resort compared to the Barcelo Palace. There was a group of 25 of us and we all travelled down at the same time. We had a private bus all to ourselves from the airport to the resort which was awesome. But on the way back to the airport after our 8 day stay, we had to share a bus with another large group that was down for a wedding and it was a tight squeeze in there with barely any air conditioning. The first day we arrived at the resort we were all so excited to have finally made it there all the way from Vancouver around 8pm. We unfortunately got first hand experience what all the negative reviews about the front desk were about. It did take us an hour or longer to get all checked in. Luckily there was a lady that was handing out pina colada's and champaign when we arrived, and she did keep coming back until we were all checked in. The front desk staff are the rudest staff we had ever met. Not a good first impression to make for all of your guests. We got placed in the smoking building, well actually our whole group was placed in the smoking building. They only have two building sections. We were in the Oaxaca building room 8952, and our room did not smell like smoke at all. It was if we were in a non smoking room. It did not have a musty smell either. But my parents said they smelt smoke in thier room and they did not like that at all, and even after requesting to change thier rooms they were denied. We were given two double beds instead of a king bed. You would think after booking a year in advance you could at least get the room you asked for. We tried to request a new room the next morning but were denied at the time saying they were full and that if we came back the next morning we could have a new room. In the end it was not such a big deal and we decided we liked our room plenty enough to stay in it for the remainder of the trip. So back to checking in.....After the hour long check in I was literally miserable and hot and sweaty from the humidity (it takes a day or two to get use to). And after the long trek to find our room which seemed like forever to get to, I was even more miserable. After quickly freshening up and finding our way to the buffet for dinner to meet all the rest of our family, my mood changed for the better. I quickly realized what an amazing resort this place is and by lunch time the next day I had this resort mapped out no problem. It may seem overwhelming at first but it takes no time at all to figure it out. This was the cleanest resort I have ever been too. There are workers cleaning and gardening all the time to make sure it stays prestine. This resort had the biggest buffet I had ever seen. Anything you could imagine was there. There was no issues ever finding a large enough table to accomdate 10-12 people at a time at the buffets. There is actually two buffets but they open up the doors that seperate the food at each buffet and you then have the option to choose your food from both of them. And this was some delicious buffet food. I found the staff at the buffet very good up until the last two days. The last two days when we went for breakfast they barely came around to our table which bothered me a bit since we did tip $3 every morning when we were finished. We ate at the buffet every day for breakfast lunch and dinner for the first two days. After that we made reservations at the a la carte restaurants. We never once had an issue making reservations at the restaurants, and we always booked the day before and even once the day of. The first restaurant we went to was Rodizzio the brazillian steak and pasta place. We had a reservation for 13 of us and they accomodated us very well. I had the tenderloin and it was AMAZING. My husband and I liked it so much we went back 3 more times for dinner during our stay. We also tried the Sante Fe Steakhouse but we found the tenderloin to be better at Rodizzio. Although I can say that the desserts at the Sante Fe Steakhouse were massive and delicious. And I have a sweet tooth so the brownie dessert with ice cream at the steakhouse really hit the spot. We had breakfast at the buffet at the Palace every morning and for lunch we went next door to the tropical and went to their buffet which was a 2 minute walk or less from the pool at the Barcelo Palace. They buffet at the tropical had the best hot dogs. I ate like 3 of them for lunch everyday. Other than the buffet at the Tropical we did not venture off outside of the Barcelo Palace. There was no need to. This place had it all and then some. The pool was MASSIVE. It was the best pool we had ever been it. The resort was at full capacity but it never felt like it at the pool. You had all the room you needed and then some. Our group sat in the same spot in the pool every day and we loved it. It was our little corner of the pool and we loved the built in lounge chairs. My husband and I did go off to the adults only pool one afternoon but we never stayed there. There was no sun on that side and we had no issues in the first place with kids bothering us in the big pool. I think most kids stuck to the waterslides which were in thier own area of its own. We did hit up the ocean 2 times but we preffered to spend our time in the pool. The beach was gorgeous, but it was windy the 8 days we were there and the one day we tried to relax on the beach it was so windy that the sand was blowing all over us so we left to the pool. If you want to swim with turtles and snorkle this is the resort for you. Every time we went into the ocean the sea turtles where there. One actually swam under my brother and sister in law. It is a bit rocky along the shore line in some spots so watch where you are walking. Because it was so windy it made the ocean choppy and stirred up the sand at the bottom of the ocean. This made it hard for snorkeling and if you dont like swimming where you cant see beneath you then the ocean probably isn't the best choice.
My husband and I did get a 50 minute couples massage on the beach which was sooo good. You get a booklet of coupons to use within the resort at check in and with our coupon used it was $135 US for the massages. Everything at the resort is pretty much charged to your room. You cant pay cash anywhere. The gift shops and hat shops, and spa/massages is all charged to your room. You just give them your room number and the number off your bracelet and Charged!!!
We never did go to any of the evening shows. We walked in one night and it looked like a snore fest so we walked right back out. We spent our evenings every night in the lobby bar sitting outiside. The first two nights the bartenders at the lobby bar refused to make us any shots other than tequila. They said you can only get tequila shots nothing else. I was mad about that. If you are paying almost $2000 a person for a week you should get whatever drink you want since its all inclusive. Half way through our trip we all finally figured out if you want shots you have to order them from the waitress not the bartenders. We never had an issue after that. Spider man shots were our favorite and also mayan riveira shots.
The wedding was beautiful and handled really well. It all went very smoothly and the cocktail hour between the ceremony and the reception was awesome. They served ALOT of appitizers which were all so delicous and we had our own bartenders that would make you whatever you wanted. The food at the reception was scrumptious. It was a plated 3 course meal. To start they served ceaser salad and it was the best ceaser salad any of us have ever had. The main course was chicken which was delicous also. We had the best bartenders at the recpetion which made the best tasting shots and blended drinks ever. They were to die for. The best part of the wedding was after the reception we were all hot and sweaty from dancing that we all went to the pool to the cliffs and jumped into the pool wearing our formal wear. The bride in her gown, the boys in their tuxes, the girls in their bridesmaid dresses, and all the guests in their fancy clothes. It was so much fun. It was dark and nobody was in the pool except us and we partied and and played in the pool for about an hour. We even choreographed our own syncronized swimming routine.
All in all this trip was so much fun and the only negative I can say about this resort is that the front desk attendants suck. Get some new front lobby staff and this is definately a 5 star resort.
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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