This was our first experience at a Barcelo resort, but our ninth trip to the Cancun region. We were traveling as a family - mom, dad and 3 kids under 10. Overall, we had a good trip, but I would not rate this experience as "deluxe" or "first-rate". Here is a breakdown of our experience:
Hotel appearance/cleanliness/view: Excellent
The hotel is beautiful, with a grand and gracious lobby greeting you as you walk-in. The views of the beach are gorgeous. The hotel common areas are clean and well-kept.
This was by far the worst check-in experience of any hotel we have ever stayed in. The entire process took over an hour, and the line was not even that long. We paid extra for adjoining rooms, which were guaranteed in writing. After walking across the resort to our rooms, we realized that despite their consecutive numbers (8180 & 8181), the rooms were actually at opposite ends of the hallway. To their credit, the hotel did correct this mistake by putting us in a beautiful, oceanfront presidential suite.
The room that we originally booked were the typical rooms in this part of the hotel (deluxe/premium), and they were very spacious and nice (two queen beds, sitting area, balcony, large 2 sink bathroom). When we were upgraded to the presidential suite, that room was HUGE, with a kitchenette area, dining table, living room area, enormous balcony, patio pool, large separate bedroom, and two bathrooms (full and half).
The pools are very nice -- Really just one large pool separated by bridges into different areas. I don't believe any pool is any deeper than four feet. One pool is zero entry, and there are several areas with in-pool loungers and cabanas and fountains. Seats are easy to get. Towels are unlimited for club premium deluxe folks, but carefully regulated for other hotel guests. The kids' pool has lots of fun water slides and fountains ... my kids all enjoyed it, but the water is only about 2 feet deep and the ground of the pool is rough, so there were several times when the kids came off the slides and scraped themselves on the bottom of the pool.
Really nice beach, lots of seats. There is some seaweed on the sand and some rocks, but plenty of swimmable areas.
Restaurants/Food Service: BAD.
There were numerous problems with the restaurants. The only options for breakfast and lunch were buffet. As Maya Palace Deluxe Club Premium, we could eat at any of the buffet restaurants in the Barcelo resort, but no sit-down restaurants. The quality of the food at the buffets was typical - not outstanding. We were disappointed by a lack of Mexican food.
I was VERY disappointed by the lack of pool-side lunch options (no bar food, no hamburger shack, no poolside ordering). Anytime we wanted lunch, we had to get dressed and go inside ... FOR A BUFFET. Yuck. Very annoying. We ***could *** pay extra to eat at the outdoor bar, but paying extra to eat at an all-inclusive resort really chafes. The day I decided to actually do that, I never was able to because no one ever served our table.
Speaking of service, pool-side drink service was the WORST I have ever experienced. We spent the entire day at the pool every day (six days at the resort), and each day I would see a waitress MAYBE twice. Then, if I did order a drink, half the time it never came, and if it did, it would take up to a half hour. Same for swim-up bar ... we would sit at the bar for long stretches of time before we would be acknowledged.
We tried room service a few times, which was included in our club premium deluxe level. The menu was extremely limited and we had a good experience a couple of times, but one time we all ordered breakfast, it took forty-five minutes to receive the order, and the server forgot cutlery, which then took twenty minutes for her to bring back to the room. By the time the silverware arrived, our food was stone cold.
In terms of the sit-down restaurants, the best one we tried was the Mexican restaurant at the Maya Beach resort. They had a very interesting menu with authentic Mexican dishes. Our food was hot, fresh and tasted good. In Brasserie, the French restaurant, I ordered the crunchy sea bass, which was overcooked and clearly had been frozen, but was still edible. In Caribe, the sea food restaurant, I ordered the shrimp, which was so overdone as to almost be tough to cut with a fork ... absolutely inedible. In that restaurant, my husband ordered the lobster tail dish, and suffered food poisoning afterward (he wasn't drinking, and no one else was sick, so we are fairly certain it was the lobster). In Rodizio, the Brazilian/Italian restaurant, I ordered the ravioli, which were hard and absolutely gross. The waiter thoughtfully offered to change my order and the skewers, which I switched to, were very good. I especially liked the green chorizo. In all the restaurants, the service was friendly and attentive.
The staff were friendly and helpful at all times. Unlike in other resorts I have visited, I did not develop a relationship with any member of the staff ... no one learned my name, remembered my favorite drink or went out of their way to give me a special or unique experience.
The rooms were cleaned promptly and well. We were pleased to receive a 70$ off coupon for unlimited laundry, which we used (total cost came to $70).
I visited the spa once to receive a relaxing massage. As a club premium deluxe guest, I received 20% off, which turned off to be the same discount as I would receive if I used the coupon. The massage was fine, the spa was pleasant and relaxing. The spa also offers kids' services, which my kids were interested in, but we did not use.
Overall, although we had a nice vacation and our children and wonderful memories, we will likely not return. We prefer a smaller resort, with better food options and more staff interaction.
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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