More about Barcelo Maya Palace
Great Vacation at the Palace
We stayed at the Barcelo Maya Palace resort Jan 5-12 and had a great time. The rooms were beautiful, the pool amazing, and we loved having access to all the facilities on the Barcelo complex. Not sure if we just got lucky given all the negative reviews, but we had excellent service, rooms cleaned daily, full minibar daily, excellent food at the buffets (huge steaks, yummy rotisserie chicken...). We didn't have any long waits for anything, except for check-in, during which they did seem pretty disorganized...
For sure they're understaffed in some places, but it didn't bother us in the least (nor did it bother us that the staff had limited English...we were in MEXICO!!!!). In fact, at the buffets I had to try to NOT make eye contact with the wait staff, or else they'd be at our table asking if we needed anything or pouring wine into our glasses...We had no problem getting beach chairs, either on the beach or at the pool, but the resort did seem to be far less busy after our first day or so...at one point on our last day we were the only guests in the huge pool!
We're active vacationers, so we took full advantage of the tennis courts, golf facilities, basketball courts, and if you're into running, the perimeter of the entire Barcelo complex is perfect for a stress-free run.
We've stayed at a few all-inclusive resorts over the years and this was by far our best experience. Others on our flight who stayed there felt the same way. Don't be scared off by the negative reviews...this is a beautiful resort with lots to offer.
Wonderful time at the Palace
We stayed at the Palace from Jan. 3-10 and had a wonderful time and a good experience. We stayed with our two young adult daughters in the Michoacan building (8166). Our check-in and a la carte dinner reservations went fairly quickly (two groups in line ahead of us) and smoothly.
The room was beautiful and everything worked (LCD TV, safe, refrigerator, hot water, etc.). Our daughters slept on the sleeper sofas and extra bedding and pillows were in the closet. The beds were soft with a "pillow top". The bathroom was beautiful. The refrigerator was not real cold, though.
The beach was beautiful but a little rocky in front of the Palace (better swimming and entry points are to the south). We like to snorkel, so having a mix of good wading beaches and decent snorkeling areas was good for us. A crew raked the beach every morning -- so it was clean and free of debris. Beach loungers were a little in short supply for the first few days, but this seemed to be corrected by the middle of our stay.
The grounds are gorgeous with beautiful pools and manicured landspacing. Hundreds of palm trees had their trunks wrapped in lights for the first part of our stay -- quite beautiful at night as well. We were sad to see them come down.
We thought the buffets were very good and loved sitting out on the veranda to enjoy the views while eating breakfast and lunch. The buffet grills had made-to-order omelettes for breakfast and plenty of tasty things for lunch (salmon, chicken fillets, steaks, made-to-order pasta, etc.). Plenty of fruits, berries, vegetables, breads, and juices. A somewhat limited breakfast cereal selection, though. Sometimes the food wasn't very hot by the time you sat down -- it might have just been the time to load up the plate and get seated.
The a la carte dinners were good but not fabulous. We did the Brazilian, Caribbean, Italian, and Japanese restaurants. The presentation was very good, our service was very good, the selection was somewhat limited, the wine was O.K., the desserts were good but not great. We enjoyed the Brazilian and Japanese ones the most.
The shows were a mixed bag. The Variete (sp?) show was very good with very professional singers, dancers, and entertainers. Some of the others were fun but could be amateurish at times.
We used the sea kayaks (at the far south end -- a long, but pleasant walk) and had a lot of fun with that. It was quick and easy to check them out.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at the Barcelo Maya Palace. It's a beautiful resort and a pleasant place to vacation.
Some suggestions for Barcelo management:
More available and reliable information about the resort. This includes menus at Guest Services for a la carte dinner reservations, posting of show schedules, and location of ATMs, etc. Perhaps a few more people at the front desk and Guest Services.
Some upgrading of the a la carte dinners and shows.
Better access to the wading areas in front of the Palace. The bottom was soft and sandy once you made it past the first few painful feet.
Thanks for a wonderful vacation! We're looking foward to another!
My stay at the Barcelo Maya Palace took place between Dec. 30th - Jan. 6th. I travelled with a group of 7 who were all transferred from Grand Riviera Princess due to issues from the resort not being ready. No comment on this decision.
Now where to begin!!!... BE PREPARED to walk a million miles. It was 15 min walk from lobby to room and restaurants were even further. So if you forgot something in the room, I'm talking about 30 min of your night wasted on walking. No house phones to use, so to get a hold of our friends we would have to either walk to lobby or room. An example of this is when we booked a tour, they called us from the room and told us they would be an hour late because there was an accident on the highway and no car can get through. They call us back after 10 min and told us the bus is there. We rush to get ready and run to lobby, probably took 15 min and bus left without us. Very iriitating with the far distances when time is such a factor when you're on vacation. We did get a refund but to this day, no one knows who that person was who told us the bus would be late. Strange. Resort shuttle available to pick up/ drop off people at different points of all five resorts. Not sure how often it comes. Walk to only disco (Jaguar) at the Barcelos is 20 min from room. Although the walks are very scenic, grounds are beautiful and at night there are lights wrapped around on every palm tree. Got blisters on the bottom of my feet!!
During this time is Mexico's winter too. The weather there was cloudy and windy 5/7 days we were there, temperature ranging from what felt like 10-18 degrees. The sun set at 5 pm and after dark, absolutely nothing to do at the resort. Lack of staff and no entertainment staff, some do say hi when walking by. Felt that I was bored most the time and wanted to get out.
Too many things I would like to say but here goes...
Check in- Resort is 1 hour away from Cancun airport, you get to see the outside of some other 5 star resorts (and wish thats where you were staying instead...) but checkin at 1pm went OK for my boyfriend and I, a very nice man gave us our room keys and said it would still be 40 min, he made us laugh and was very funny so we didn't mind the wait as we went to see the resort first. The second room in our group, they waited until 7 pm for doubles, but instead got a king (2 guys). They just settled as it was already difficult enough for them to get a room itself, no one ever called for a room move. The third room was for 3 people, which on the itinerary said there would be doubles and a pullout or extra bed in room (single occupany not allowed). One person ended up sleeping on couch for 4 nights even after exploding at front desk and Air Transat rep. After this time, he got a mattress to put over the two couches. I overheard other horror stories about one lady getting a room with people or there things already in them.. twice!. I question this hotels organization and therefore security. One family was waiting past 24 hours for there third room. So I was the lucky one of the bunch.
Rooms- Nicest room I've ever stayed in. Spacious king with separete living room and balcony over looking adult pool. Bathroom had sliding doors with two marble sinks and two shower heads. Room was very clean, never saw a single bug (probably too cold outside). Beds are close to pillowtop, and were pretty comfy for me. Free use of digital safe in room. Room was forgotten to be cleaned the second night, had to call twice after they said someone would come and again, when it still was not done when we came back.
Buffets- Pretty good food, very repetitive but wide selection. They had chefs at stations cooking on some days: pastas, steak and lobster (make sure you request how you want it done, otherwise it will be horribly overcooked). Peak periods it took 20 min or longer wait in line for these. Staff are not helpful in this area.
A la carte restaurants- Good for a more formal atmosphere. It did take us 4 hours to wait/ find someone to make reservations for us. Japanese was full right away. We tried the Caibbean, French, and Brazillian. None of those were culturally inspired at all, same foods as the buffet (and overcooked) just served and displayed better. We decided to skip on the Itallian and steakhouse which was also had reserved, but I heard those ones were good. Servers quite professional.
Pools- Pools were too cool to even get half your body in, and were almost empty most of the time. They are very big and beautiful and have those built in chairs on the shallow areas. Tropical has a jetted one, but all pools so large, it stayed cold. There is one hot tub in doors where the gym is on the Tropical side, I found I was on the Tropicial side more as the week progressed as they are a more established hotel with more staff and better facilities. Same problem as not enough chairs to accomodate amount of people staying in resorts.
Beach- Beach at Palace was very rocky, and by rocky, I mean these large rocks the size of your turso embedded in the sand and bigger ones above the water. Was very paranoid of kicking of of them while swimming, and it was quite painful on the feet as the cloudy sand hides them. Again, more walking further down the shore for clearer beach. Water comparable to pool was warmer but still quite cool, but it was a cold week anyways. Snorkeling available at dock, didn't try but saw many beautiful fish from above. Even less chairs to find at beach as people "reserve" their chairs with towels and have to walk MORE to find a vacant one if lucky.
Bars- Lobby bar was the worst. No bartenders will serve you unless you are flaunting money at him. Many people were getting restless waiting to be served. The bartenders wouldn't even look at you or make eye contact. At one point, they were just looking down and not even doing anything (I heard from another vacationer that they ran out of glasses??) but who knows. WORST SERVICE EVER. I didn't even bother going to the bars here, just went to neighbouring Tropicial, with fast service and friendly staff (Another long walk).
Check out- 6am departure. Only one person working at desk. On my bill, noiticed high room service charge, turns out it is $4 per plate, not $4 overall service fee (I work at a 4 star hotel in Toronto, we charge $3 for overall service fee, no limit on orders) So it was my fault for assuming same. Told the man that and he got very angry and was very rude even to begin with. I said that was unfair because we hadn't signed any receipt upon them being delivered to room (and by the way food was disgusting we didn't even eat past one bite). Then he said," FINE if you don't want to pay then don't pay... this is how much you owe.." then showed me the new amount. We gave him half American and $5 Canadian - for $2 that we were short. He again very rudely said "we don't accept that" and tossed the money back to us. That was seriously all the cash we had and told him all we had was Canadian. He was shaking his head continuously for that whole time, mumbling what probably was Spanish swears and said FINE, NOW GET OUT OF HERE!!! and pointed to the exit. We were shocked, as we were not being rude and even though it was our fault for not knowing the room service charges, the unprofessionalism and disrespect towards someone who just paid thousands to go on a vacation should not be yelled at like that.
OVERALL- I think this hotel had some great potential like the other Barcelos, I don't know if there is lack of staff and training, or since this is the fancier of the four, that you have to tip more generously to even get noiticed/ serviced, and even that doesn't garantee they will care more. Some staff speak more English than others, or just don't really care. My advice to anyone chosing this hotel is, stay at the Tropical or Caribe especially if you are a large family with small children or teenagers who need a huge place to hang out at all day (avoiding bringing the young ones outside resort doors), others- choose someone else altogether!... There are so many other 5 star resorts in Mayan Riviera/ surrounding cities and I bet anywhere smaller and more focussed on its guests and facilities, will be way more worth the $$$ and you will have an unforgettable vacation... in a good way!
Sorry for being so long but feel free the message me for questions!
Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Place
The Maya Bacelo is a magnificient property on the Yucatan Peninsula about 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. It consists of a number of resorts. The older ones need refreshing. We stayed in the Palace which opened up on the day we arrived.
Where to begin:
1. Check-in took forever. There is absolutely no reason for check-in to take over an hour.
2. The room was very nice but try to get someone to make it up. Often our room was not made up until after 4:00 pm and then only because we took the time to track down a room attendent ourselves.
3. Front Desk. Were very unresponsive. We asked for another blanket over about three calls and it was never dropped off.
4. Food. Five star? Please. The food was OK but there was nothing novel. Buffets filled with smoke when they cooked steaks because it appeared that the overhead vents couldn't keep up. Made food selection interesting. Food repetitive. So what about the restaurants?
5. Can recommend Santa Fe for steaks which is in the adjacent Barcelo Colonial property. Excellent everything. We never could try any of the three restaurants in the Palace because THEY WERE ALL BOOKED which was a familiar complaint that we heard.
6. The pools as with the grounds are simply beautiful. But try to get a drink around the bars. Very challenging. Why? Maybe two bartenders making drinks if you were lucky.
7. Hallways. Never as clean as they should have been. Small litter and days' soil was often not attended to for some time.
8. Great beaches but just try to get a lounge chair on them. That is a half hour adventure in and of itself. Too few loungers made for a very frustrating experience on the beach.
9. Water. Amazingly warm and pleasant and a complete pleasure to swim in.
What's good about the Barcelo Palace. Not much. In fact nothing that could compensate for the poor service, poor and completely booked restaurants, lack of variety in food at the buffets, and lack of general building cleanliness.
The Barcelo bills their Maya property as a five star experience.
After spending two very long weeks there I am at a loss to account for the third, fourth, or fifth star.
Worst service ever at the 5 star resort.
Worst service ever at the 5 star resort:
We have travelled extensively throughout North and South America, including Caribbean. We always stayed at 5 star resorts or hotels and Barceló Palace does not come close to any of the resorts we stayed at as far as service and food go. The hotel, pools, rooms, and grounds are magnificent, but service does not exist. You feel lost and forgotten as nobody cares. Staff is totally inattentive and constantly reminding you that they are underpaid and rely on tips, which is very annoying. We always leave good tips, but you have to work for it.
The resort is huge, but there are no security personnel patrolling the grounds at night. The night before our departure, a group of very drunk men were furiously knocking on every door looking for their room as they were too drunk to find it. That continued for some time. They knocked on our door, making us very nervous. We phoned the front desk, but there was no answer. We ended up calling the operator and asking for security to get involved, but the noise continued for some time.
One afternoon we went to town. When we came back, someone had been in our room and went through our suitcases. A sealed bottle of liquor was opened and broken, whatever was left in the bottle, leaked inside the suitcase. We also left the tip for the cleaning lady. The tip was gone and as it turned out, the cleaning lady did not enter our room after we had left. As our safe did not work, I hid $200.00 inside our clothing, the money was gone.
We did complain to front desk and to the security, they took all the information, but nothing was done. Surprise! Surprise!
The service on the beach does not exist. There are not enough chairs on the beach, and if you are not out by 7:00am, you are out of luck. The pool that is designated for adults only, was full of loud, screaming children, even though there is a beautiful children’s pool. Staff does not enforce the rules and there is no sign posted at the pool.
Restaurant and buffet food is not very good. Restaurants are beautiful, but the service is terrible and the food is very average. The buffet, had no service. At 9:00am. The serving dishes at the salad bar were empty and nobody bothered to refill them. The same happened at lunch and dinner. The food was identical every day and for each meal. We complained and believe it or not, the next time we went for lunch the food in the buffet was better. Food that was dropped on the floor stayed on the floor for some time, before anybody bothered to pick it up. On a few occasions my husband was afraid that somebody would slip, and picked up the food himself to throw it in the garbage.
There were nightly shows, but nobody knew the schedule and every night we were running from theatre to theatre to find what was going on.
The management is always there talking to one another, but does not care to communicate to the guests and rarely even says “Hello”. It is a shame that such a beautiful resort is so mismanaged.
We will never go back!
Working out the kinks
Okay, I need to preface this review with the fact that this was our first time in Mexico and our first time in an all-inclusive hotel. We have, however, stayed in a few 5-star hotels in the states which might be our only basis for a comparison. Other reviews have already commented on the fabulous design of the property so I will echo those sentiments, absolutely beautiful with lovely views of the beach and the pools.
We were there from January 3-10, and the service/organization continued to improve every day we were there. Perhaps there was some glitch with another hotel that resulted in a flood of unexpected guests to the palace in late December for which the staff were unprepared. I read of 3-hour check-in waits, we did not experience that, there were about 3 groups in front of us and we were checked in after around 20 minutes. It is true that there were never more than 3 people at the huge front desk, and they do seem to disappear a lot behind that big wall to perform some kinds of mysterious tasks. We did not get the ocean front view we had requested (even with flashing $100 potential tip), there are very few suites facing the ocean, apparently you have to have purchased the Club Premium membership to get first choice on those locations. We did get the next room behind those suites, room 8551, with a first floor patio view of the pool and nearby bar (that earned Fernando a $20 tip :) . From our front door it was maybe 50 meters to the beach, very convenient. We had no problems with our plumbing, although our room was consistently damp and I had allergy symptoms that increased every day we were there, improved immediately upon our return to our home. We had great maid service, we tipped $1 per day and had fresh towels (if we left any on the floor, otherwise the rule is to recycle), washcloths, bathsalts, t.p., etc. When we did notice something that needed to be restocked (like coffee for my caffeine-addicted husband), the maids were very friendly and willing to help out. Mini-bar was restocked almost daily, sometimes the guy just knocks on the door carrying a sixpack and asks if you want any beer! We weren't bothered by many of the staff not speaking english, after all it is Mexico, learn THEIR language. Our feeling was that the more contact with guests a position had, the more english that staff member spoke. So, for example, the wait staff knew a lot more english than the cleaning staff.
(For the ladies) Having been spoiled by the Four Seasons, I was looking forward to seeing what high-end shampoos, etc. would be supplied, but the body wash, shampoo and conditioner were supplied in big dispensers on the wall, they seemed a bit chemically harsh. The rain shower was heavenly, the hot water took a long time to get through the pipes to our room, but at least we had hot water, unlike what we heard from other guests there. Also, the sheets are scratchy, sounds picky but it becomes more important if someone gets a sunburn!
The hotel advertises free internet, this was still not up and running while we were there. We were told that wireless internet was available in our room, but it was not. There was a computer room near the lobby that had 3 monitors/keyboards initially, so there was always a wait to use them. Later in the week they installed 6 more hubs, so the wait was shorter, but the computers started running really slowly with more people on at once. The last day we were there there was an attendant sitting at the door who would not let us use the computers without billing our room $3 for 15 minutes. There were a lot of disgrunted people upon being informed of the new policy, especially with the free internet service not available in many of the rooms. However, we didn't travel down there to sit inside and surf the web, just to quickly check email to make sure the kids hadn't killed the babysitter, so we weren't bothered.
The staff seemed to be undergoing a learning curve, but anything that was brought to their attention was taken care of quickly. Examples: when I told the front desk that our room did not have any bathrobes, they were supplied by the time we got back to the room from the lobby. One day our electronic key quit working, along with our t.v., they replaced the keycard immediately and the t.v. was working again within an hour. We locked ourselves out a couple of times and there was always a staff member (not cleaning staff) nearby in the corridor who let us right in. The rooms are a fair walk from the main building, but there was a help desk in our walkway where we could submit our requests.
The Palace was not at all full during our week there, short waits at the concierge desk for booking a la carte, when we arrived for our dinners we got right in, even once when we forgot our slip of paper, she checked her papers and took us right in. We ate at the Carribean, French, Brazilian and Spanish (from a sister Barcelo complex) restaurants, all had great food and very attentive service. The buffets had spotty quality of food (for the mid-westerners, think Golden Corral), the breakfasts were consistently good, especially the made to order omelette stations, but the lunch and dinner food was only average, and many time the made to order stations were unattended at those times. We also had a hard time figuring out exactly when the Hacienda and the Mirador buffets were open for dinner, it seems like one would decide to close their doors and then the other would open around the same time (but a different time each night, sometimes 7:00, 7:30...). But once inside you could move between the two. The wait staff were excellent, again very attentive.
About the beach: A beautiful beach was our top priority for this trip, and it was what we were most worried about, having read a negative review last month, however, it was lovely there. We had to play the "towel reservation" game to get beach chairs, so nbd, we just threw some out on the way to breakfast. The sand was pristine at all times, we saw staff out cleaning and raking the beach every morning after sunrise. There were also staff members out walking among the chairs all day long picking up empties and other trash. The last day of our stay there was also a waitress taking bar orders beachside as well.
The ocean, however, is hard to get to without tearing up your feet on rocks or doing a vaudville-worthy pratfall when stepping in the invisible trench that ran along the shallows. We both tripped the first time, then we amused ourselves watching other first-timers fall over (is that wrong?) Once you figure out the narrow rock-free path out to the swimming depth, the water is heavenly, clear and refreshing. Hubby saw a turtle on the last day we were there!
Since it was our first time in the area, we took a cab to Playa de Carmen, around $18 one-way, but we felt more secure going into unfamiliar territory. We went back again a second time, but this time we just walked out to the highway and took the white local public transportation van into town, costs $2 per person, you ride with locals, lots more fun and much cheaper as well.
When we walked around to the other Barcelo properties we noticed that there were many more shops and people. The Palace has only 2 shops open at the moment, but lots of space for more in the future. Overall, we thought that the Palace was the most opulant of the Barcelo resorts, going through its growing pains. However, the other Barcelos had a more natural feeling, better beaches, more shops, the snorkel dock area was cool, lots of fish.
We did go to Chichen Itza, Xel Ha and Tuluum, the Barcelo area is a great base from which to see those sites, we booked our tours through the AAA Worry-Free representatives in the Palace, had a great time. This was our 15-year anniversary trip and overall we had a fantastic time, enjoyed the hotel immensely, had very few problems, all minor. Hopefully the Palace will continue to learn and grow (and work on the plumbing problems that evidentally still abound). It was a great trip and we will definitely return with the kids in the future..
what can i say i would rate this hotel a 3 star instead of the 5+ they claim. we had a group of 26 for a wedding. It took the bride and groom 5 hours to finalyy get there room right. hotel safes did not work , some rooms had problems with air conditioning, some had tv problems ice machines did not work, room servise would not show up when you asked for early clean up . staff was brutal dont think i saw a smile all week (except for bellhops which were excellent) bar servise was horrible , was supposed to have premiem alcohol but i found out through a staff member that they gave 1 bootle of each brand per day per bar what a joke. The poolside bar didnt have straws for 2 days. i dont except the excuse that the resort just opened I was at the one next door that just opened 2 years prior and it was excellent for being open the same amount of time. I had to switch rooms twice in one day which wasted a whole afternoon. The only positive things i can say about this resort were that the bellhops were awesome and the wedding coordinator ( anna) did an amazing job she made the wedding absolutly perfect and if it wasnt for her the vacation would have been a total disater,Thank you anna you are awesome.
the scariest thing at the palace
Just got back from the palace. Stayed Jan 6 to 14.Let me tell you I was so scared before I left that I called my travel agent and Sunwing to tell them I heard horror stories and I was scared to get stuck with the issues mentioned on the internet prior to our departure. I traveled with my 22 year old and my 10 year old. So let me tell you the scariest thing about this resort was reading the reviews!!!!! We were either very lucky or just a little more realistic in our expectations? Do not know what is the case. I know we have stayed in Cuba, Punta Cana and Cancun several times and this was by far the best of the best so far.
This is a big resort and does require a lot of walking however on our first day we asked to have our room changed to a room closer to the front of the resort . Everything worked just fine . A note to some the air conditioning will not work if your patio dooris open. Safe worked fine shower and tub were great. One day out of seven the room was cleaned after 4pm but other than that the fridge was well stocked the room cleaned and towels replenished. I am by no means a food critic but the food was very good. Lots of variety at the buffet. Great salsa lobster tails steak smoked salmon, pasta bar something for everyone. The fries were not great but that was one less temptation for me! Salads and fruits were excellent I am not big on deserts but the Ice cream was refreshing. Coffee was great, my son especially enjoyed the specialty coffees . The Brazilian restaurant was our favorite of the a la carte but the French ,Carabean and Santa Fae grill were also very good. Service was great I do not know what all the complaining is about. Maby last week they had less staff I do not know.The beach does have little fine rocks as you enter the water about a foot wide. It did not seem to bother anyone and I do not know what the resort could do to totally eliminate them. As far as the lack of beach or pool chairs I did not find this to be the case at all. What I did realize is that since there are no cards for towels people simply do not return them they just leave them all day for the staff to pick up. One thing that impressed me is that the light bulbs used in the resort were energy efficient as were the toilets nice touch for our planet. The bathrobes and slippers were nice touch in the room.There were a couple of things that I would suggest need improvement and that would be room service food we tried was really not good and as someone else mentioned to brief new arrivals on what is available. Another good idea would be to provide some recycling and garbage cans for people to use. The pool bar was not running do not know why but complaints about the temperature of the water? give me a break What I found totally disgusting is how guests would leave their cigarette buts in the sand as well as wrappers and bottles. Service pool side and beach side could use some improvement for those who wish to be constantly served. Sorry I am jumping all over the place but I don't want to forget anything. We had a great vacation and had to write to maybe reasure someone else that could be in the position I was in prior to departure. I did speak to other guests who also shared my views. Some did find some service issues however not as drastic as in the reviews. So if youre booked do not worry you will have a good time I know we did and would definettly go back!! Say hello to Aldo the greatest bellboy who made us feel so at ease
Enjoyed Our Visit
My wife & I stayed for 5 nights in mid-January as part of a large group of about 190-200. This is our 3rd consecutive year visiting Riviera Maya (prior two - Riu Palace & Catalonia).
I would rate our overall stay here as about a 4 star (out of 5). Of the dozens of couples among our group with whom I spoke, most seemed to be very satisfied with their stay although I would acknowledge hearing that a few had issues that were bothersome to them.
Some positives about the resort would be the beauty of the property itself, perhaps the most beautiful pools of any resort that we've stayed in during the past ten years, spacious rooms, (as a Palace guest) the abilty to utilize amenities in Barcelo's adjoining properties, kid's waterpark, shopping district in one of the adjoining properties, most items on the buffet kept hot & fresh (not always the case in all inclusive buffets) to name a few.
Some negatives (minor nuisances) included cold pool water, our minibar not being automatically restocked daily (had to call each evening), watered down drinks especially at the pool bars (note: just ask for "double shots"), and a slow front desk. Also, except for one, the elevators to the 2nd & 3rd floors were not operating while we were there (which obviously could be an issue for some).
I saw a handful of reviews as to the lack of variety on the buffet but can't comment as we only used them for breakfasts. We had two dinners at the ala' carte restaurants - one at the Brazilian & one at the Caribbean. Both were fine. Our other three dinners were private affairs arranged for our large group (these were excellent).
During our stay, the resort seemed to be around 50-60% capacity (only opened a few weeks ago). Although I can't honestly say that we experienced most of the negatives that others wrote about, I would not discount them but would expect that the staff would improve as time goes on. If we were to travel here again in the future, I would just check up on tripadvisor reviews to make sure that most of the reported problem are behind them. One thing is for sure. If the issues that others mention are corrected (they easily should be), this will be a top 10 Riviera Maya resort.
We went from Jan 12-17th w/ my husband and 2 children (4,6). The facility is absolutely beautiful. Every area you walk through had gorgeous artwork and decor. The staff at the front desk is slow and you need to hassle to get a decently located room. Even check-out took a long time. I think that a lot of them are still in training. For us it was important to be at a good walking distance to the pool/beach/restaurants and not all the rooms are.
The room are beautiful and nicely sized. they each have a bath/shower and another adjacent shower.
Both the adult pool and childrens pool were fantastic: water is cold though. The beach is rocky but this is reef and I dont think it can be removed. You can see some beautiful fish near the large reef areas. The beach by the maya beach is nicer and all the water sports are there.
Food: for an all inclusive it was great. There was everything that you can imagine. There were comments that it was the same, well they had every possible thing you can imagine, so what could you change daily. The a la carte restaurants were good. Staff just needs to wear gloves while handling the food. The service in the restaurants was spectacular. They would do whatever it took to make you happy or make you things not on the menu to accomodate you. Even in the buffet if something was finished all you had to do was ask and they would fill it for you. The reservations for the a la carte restaurants were sometimes a hassle.
The evening shows: we saw the circus one. My kids loved it and I wish we had seen more. They also should have listed them at their bulletin boards they have all around the hotel (they were their but blank)
Overall, i would return and highly reccomend it.
Plaza of the thousand columns
Michael chilling at the beach!