Great Beach and a Piece of Jungle
Barcelo Maya is a huge hotel not far from Playa del Carmen (about half an hour or less by minibus). It consists of four parts: Barcelo Maya Beach and Barcelo Maya Caribe, Barcelo Maya Colonial and Barcelo Maya Tropical. The difference between the four parts is still a mystery to me, but I heard that Colonial and Tropical are more expensive.
Anyway, the place is a paradise with the "all inclusive" system covering even strong drinks. The place has a magnificent beach in two natural bays covering it from ocean waves. Rooms are great, the hotel is clean and green, food was excellent and diverse.
I was absolutely happy with my stay, though there were some problems with the service, which was too slow at the beginning, like, the safe box in my room was broken, and they couldn'e repair it for two days. The hotel tries very hard to preserve as much of the nature as possible. In its area you will see lots of iguanas, other lizards, birds, etc. There is even a piece of jungle in the area of the hotel with a cenote! You can ride an ATV round the jungle, the hotel provides such tours.
Loved Barcelo Maya--BUT
great resort--great food--fabulous beach--lots to do BUT, BEWARE of the Cancun Airport--we waited, on our return trip, for 10 hours in the airport for our flight. It appears that the development of the airport facilities has not kept pace with the development of the hotels etc. Our plane arrived in the morning only to cirlce for 2 hours because their was no room on the ground for it. This puts its schedule behind all day. It then returned to Toronto only to head back to Cancun to pick us up. They knew in the morning that we were going to be delayed and the Sunquest reps did not inform our hotels of the delay. We arrived at the airport to find a 2 hour delay which grew into 6 and a half hour delay. We were supposed to leave at 7:30 PM but did not leave until 2 AM the next morning. This would not have been so bad if we had of been informed before we left the hotel. To add insult to injury, the airconditioning at the airport is very cold and we nearly froze in the 15 C lounge waiting for this plane to leave. Never again will we go to Cancun,m just for this reason
December 8, 2002
Spent a fabulous week at the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort. Too short!! We will definately return. We read the reviews before we left and it was all we expected and more. Service, food, amenities were outstanding. All staff were very accommodating and always anxious to please. We had read flattering reviews of the nightly entertainment, but in our opinion they didn't do it justice. We were amazed at the level of talent and the outstanding quality of the sets and costumes. The shows (a different one each night) would be right at home in Las Vegas. Had a quick tour of the kitchen facilities and were very impressed with the organization and cleanliness of the operation. We will be back!
Don & Carol
After visiting the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort, I can't help but to realize several things wrong with the place. To start off with, the phone system is not good. Despite signs in the room showing international calls being $6.00 a minute, in reviewing my recent VISA bill I was billed $35.25 per minute. Second, I felt the service was lacking. If you are from an English speaking country, this resort is not a good choice. Key positions within the hotel (front desk and operator especially) are horrible when it comes to English. Thus making life difficult. Don't get your hopes up when it comes to the food, nothing is particularly good but they have so many choices that at least you can find a couple edible items.
Loved it! Can't wait to go back
I had read lots of reviews about different Mexican resorts before we decided on the Barcelo Maya. I am really glad I did the homework because this place was incredible. It had great food, wonderful beach (NEVER crowded), great pools, and very friendly staff. We also liked it because there were lots of famlies and kids for our little one to play with (and a great playground near the beach and pools). We had also wanted a place where we could snorkel on the property. There is indeed snorkeling here (with easy access from the pier) but the visibility while we were there was pretty poor. I am not sure if we just hit a bad week or if its always that way. We talked to some divers who said that if you really want to have great visibility you should take the excursion to Cozumel.
One surprise was how quite the rooms were. I always hate staying in hotels because I am forever getting waken up by noises in other rooms. However, the walls at this hotel must be very thick. I only heard noise for about 10 minutes one night. I also liked the beds. They were very firm. My husband said that his back had not felt so good in years.
We will definitely be back again.
Great New Years vacation for family
Quite a fantastic trip overall. I've been to many all-inclusives in Jamaica, Bahamas, Dominican, Grenadines, this resort equaled or exceeded in all areas.
Might as well start off with the positives...
Service: excellent for Caribbean staff. Most waiters and bar tenders spoke english quite well and were courteous and prompt. Much better than other resorts where they don't even listen or understand a simple drink mix.
Food: above average in the breakfast and lunch departments, average for dinner. Fresh croissants and pain-au-chocolates are made right before your eyes and combined with the freshly squeezed juices (orange - awesome, papaya, melon, cantelope, watermelon, banana) we were in heaven each sunrise. Very well done custom omlets, smoothie bar, and all the regular fixings. A variety of Yoplait yogurts were present for all meals. Top rated for breakfast, better than any other place by far. The fresh squeezed juices made a huge difference. Nothing like 4 orange/melon/banana glasses to rid the hangover bugs and pump up for a day at the beach.
Lunch was great as well, take it a the beach grill. One for a variety of locations and two the food is equally as good. Burgers, pizza, fish, veggies, nachos, tons of fresh fruit and desserts. The line-ups seemed to be for the grilled chicken and burgers but they weren't too bad at all. There was always tables to be found and at worst 3-4 minutes line-up.
Dinner was satisfactory in the main restaurant. Really the same type of food as lunch except a few more big game dishes such as a leg of pork, lamb, flimsy steaks, etc.
Overall, go for the guacamole with the tomato, onion, jalapeno mix - to die for.
Rooms where clean, not a single bug, nice hallways, cleaning staff. Best shower and tub by a long way I've ever seen. High pressure, lots of water, 6 foot tub, roomy. There aren't many english stations to watch on the tv. CNN international, 2 HBO stations, Cinemax perhaps. No american network stations which was disappointing. There were movies and Nintendo on a pay per use basis ( $5 US for the Nintento but the children seemed to like it). In room mini-bar fridge which was refilled religiously everyday. Sol beer, diet pepsi, 7up, 2x 1.5 litres of bottled water. Yes, the resort only as Pepsi products, no Coke for those lovers. Bathrobes, large white towels, face clothes, and the regular soaps and shampoos adorned the bathroom and were always fresh. Air conditioning was perfect, as cold as you want it. Humid, damp feeling, but cold. Absolutely no complaints about the rooms. Top notch.
Landscaping: brilliant! No weeds, acres of grass and trees well manicured and light up like a fantasy land at night. Hard to know when all the cutting and pruning is completed because noise from machines and workers was seldom herd. A definite pat on the back for the grounds crew.
Pools: clean, almost all around 4 feet deep or so. Not heated which at this time of year put it around 74 degrees: cold for my liking. OK if the sun was out but if not floating around on a raft was out of the question. Swim up bars (one at either end of the resort) where well stocked and service was pretty good. It was nice to find a resort so readily willing to make blended drinks everywhere with any ingredients asked for. Bananas, juices, ice, very refreshing.
Activities: snorkeling off the peer was ok, lots of fish to feed bread and swim around. Only 40 yards or so the reef could be navigated where other types of colour fish were seen. Kids playground was always filled with climbers, sliders, swingers (well, not that kind, the swing set kind), botchy ball, basketball. Our kids didn't go in the organized or monitored program but did pop in and out and socialize a little with the others. It looked very well run however.
Tennis courts where excellent. Book a day or two ahead in order to get one of the five courts at peak times however (3-6pm) was peak.
Mini golf - 2 thumbs and 2 toes up. Much better and challenging than expected. Not your Orlando super series but not Mom and Pop backyard either. Definitely wack it around a few times - basic putters and balls are plentifully provided. There is a mini-course which I didn't play but it always seemed busy, a nice touch. If you are into 40-60 yard holes I'd recommend bringing down your own sand wedge and putter, the demos looked pretty hacked up.
Night life: Great shows, Micheal Jackson was very entertaining. He looks like him, dresses like him, moves like him, sometimes sings like him, somtimes lip syncs as well. I couldn't understand why half the time he'd sing and the other half fake it. Anyways, the most popular of the week, get there by 9:20 to get a decent seat. Most shows were very well done. Again, far far better than any other resort. These are professionally trained performers in dance, song, theater - not the chef and bus driver who just got off their shift like some places dish off as entertainment. Excellent sets, costumes, lighting, dry ice, sound. A 10pm ritual.
Didn't make it to the outdoor disco near the beach sorry, too wiped from the long day by then.
Beach: very nice. Wide, many shaded spots, clean soft sand, chez lounges aplenty. Can walk to the east for 1km or so, to the west ends with another resort at the end of the bay, lots of room however for those who like to get away. Beach volleyball was always going with the teenage and older crowd. A few rocks could be found while wading out but nothing to keep away from. The wind was off 3 days and on the other 3. When if was on the waves were a few feet high, forget about reading a newspaper. Windsurfing and the hoby cats looked like fun. Wind never made in around the pool and dining areas which was a big plus for me, can't stand a constant gust.
Gym and Spa: standard stuff. Acceptable weights and equipment, only one treadmill, a couple of bikes, rowers, nautilis machines. They could use a bench press but pretty good. The spa consisted of a hot tub and guys and girls sauna/steam rooms.
Ok, that sums up the good stuff, the downsides of Barcelo Maya.
1. Getting there. Left for the airport at 4:30am for a 6:20 flight. Finished checking in and reserving the a la carte restaurants at 1:30pm (2:30pm Toronto time) putting the whole thing at 10 hours. Very inefficient customs in Cancun (30 minutes min.) Getting the correct bus loaded up and headed out of the airport was painful (30 minutes). It was the largest collection of buses in the smallest area possible. The ride is 65 minutes or so, boring, nothing to look at. Checking in was another 30 minutes as they only had 4 staffers who were operating with no obvious haste. We booked our restaurants right away because you won't get a good time otherwise. That took another 30 minutes - only one person working the desk.
Getting out of Cancun was no better. 1:45 to get through checking luggage in and security. 1:20 was just checking in which is draining with the luggage and kids. Obviously the airport wasn't built with the current passenger numbers in mind. Hopefully an upgrade will occur in a few years. We also had to get on buses each way to and from our plane and terminal. Planes were scattered all over the tarmack.
2. The a la carte restaurants: brutal. About the worst of any resort but fortunately guests are only allowed to go to each one once. I wouldn't recommend going more than once to satisfy curiosity but not for food. The service is fine but it's no better or different than the buffet. Much more variety with the buffet as well.
3. Wines: crap. Only one house red and white were offered. Both Chilean, the red was hardly drinkable unless half a dozen beers preempted the first sip. Bring your own wine or buy a bottle off the slim list for $20 to $30 US. The selection truly didn't live up to the quality of every other element. All other drinks were great however. XX Mexican beer was the draft, no cans available except the rooms.
4. check in, can't stress it enough. Slow and painful especially because of the tiring and long journey just to get there. All you end up doing is signing a piece of paper. Getting the room keys requires another visit at 3pm. Yes, no room until 3pm. Make sure your carry-on has a change of clothes and sunblock.
Overall: great trip for kids and adults alike. I would definitely recommend it for those of all tastes. Highlights: juices, fruit, cleanliness, pools, mini bar, beach. I think you'll like it. Any questions I'd be happy to answer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pool at Barcelo Maya Resort
Mexican night at the restaurant; Barcelo Maya
Beach; Barcelo Maya Caribe; Mexico
My room at the Barcelo Maya Caribe, Mexico
Barcelo Maya Beach Resort and Area
Staying their Oct 29th - Nov 3.
Looking for a good Snorkling trip for the day food/included
Looking for a good flats fishing trip for the day.
Both with pick and drop off at the hotel everything included..
RE: Barcelo Maya Beach Resort and Area
There are lots of tours and transportation options listed on this Website: www.docancun.com. It's a travel agency in the Cancun/Maya Riviera area. I have never used their services, but they seem to offer quite a few choices.
Martha Racine Taylor - Author of Spanish-Live It and Learn It! The Complete Guide to Language Immersion Schools in Mexico
RE: RE: Barcelo Maya Beach Resort and Area
thank you I will go look now.