Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe

Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km 266.3, Puerto Aventuras, Riviera Maya, Yucatan Peninsula, 77750, Mexico | 4 star resort
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Travel Blogs from Puerto Aventuras

Day Uno - Plane, Hotel, Action!

A travel blog entry by philescayola

1
4

... have my hands scanned or sampled or something. They scrub them and analyze what they find. Then we pass the metal detector and the machine "randomly selects" me for a bag search. Wow, I'm lucky! Next stop, Latex Glove, *****es! We walk to our gate and Tipsy Sabrina looks around and says "I'm not attracted to anyone here and I'm already drunk... so they must all be hidious!" - LOL. I haven't laughed this hard in a few days!

While walking towards the plane, the guy in front of ...

Day 7

A travel blog entry by 1100amanda

2

... for some yummy garlic bread :)) Italian was nice. NO garlic bread though. He looked at me like I was stupid when I asked for some. Even asked me if it was real !!!!!! Went to the comedy show OMG. Are u seriously havin a laugh. I mean literally no we didn't laugh !!!!!!!!! walked out half way through it was ...

Friday Adventure Time!

A travel blog entry by calistakaufman

19

... cenote, followed by a Maya purifying ritual then on a sketchy 4x4 through the rockiest trail, to snorkling through dark waters to discover the underground river full of stalactites and stalagmites. We had a break for a traditional Mayan lunch, and then we finish with three spectacular ziplines, one directly into one of the cenotes. I unfortunately don't have many pictures of ...

Arrived. I think.

A travel blog entry by calistakaufman

1
7

... of our fourth floor room, with an ocean view (yay good luck!), I have about 5 hours of broken sleep under my belt since Saturday morning. It is now 6:30pm Sunday night. Does this travel blog even exist? I have my doubts.

Does this Purple Rain in my hand taste delicious? Most ...

Ruins on the Beach

A travel blog entry by dan_and_lauren

1
18

... that was a great place to cool off even if a little crowded. I can probably create an album of lizards at ruins after today.

Afterwards we headed to the closest public beach just south of the ruins called El Paraiso and had a beer at a sweet little bar on the beach before chilling in the sun (and shade for me) and having a swim in the crystal clear waters, our favourite beach so far. ...

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Location

This 4 star resort, located on Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez km 266.3, Puerto Aventuras, is near FatCat Ocean Adventures and ATV Explorer Jungle Tour.
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    TravelPod Member ReviewsBarcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Puerto Aventuras

    Reviewed by danielreihl

    <3

    Reviewed Feb 17, 2011
    by (1 review) , Canada Flag of Canada

    everything was great except i didnt get this girls name and that was my one regret.

    This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.

    Historical Traveler Reviews Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Puerto Aventuras

    Ridiculously beautiful

    from

    We stayed for 7 nights & enjoyed ourselves tremendously. It is extremely beautiful, large rooms, huge pools, etc. There is a lot of walking involved to get to the rooms from the restaurants but that was

    not a problem for us. We received nothing but fabulous service. Of course not every single employee speaks English, it is in Mexico, after all, but we would just ask our question of another employee. All the waiters were very accomodating & helpful. The food was delicous in the buffets & the speciality restaurants. Of course everything is not perfect. We didn't expect it to be. Everyplace is going to have some problems. I was appalled at the amount of petty complaining I overheard from some of the other guests. I felt very sorry for the hotel staff. They probably do need to hire more staff for the front desk. Some people had to wait a long time to check in (we did not) & we were assigned the wrong room at first (it had only 1 bed) but we were quickly moved to our room with 2 beds. A minor inconvenience. The hotel & grounds, pools, beach, etc. are ridiculously beautiful. It was paradise. We had great weather.

    Loved the Barcelo Maya Palace!

    from

    Our group of 15 have just arrived from the Barcelo Maya Palace, we too were amongst the other many Air Transat vacationers who were originally booked at the Princess Resort! We have only very positive things to say about this resort. We have all travelled to at least 10 different resorts in the past couple of years and have yet to stay at a hotel that was just PERFECT! In every hotel and destination we have encountered different problems and we are always surprised to read reviews when they are so negative when in fact problems that have been mentioned of the Barcelo Maya Palace could happen at any other resort. Things such as air conditioning/ the safe/ the mini-bar not working properly could happen anywhere!

    In total our group occupied 6 rooms, we all had our small problems but that should not be the basis of rating the hotel as a whole. Our group was actually very impressed with how well the hotel was working considering it officially opened the day that we arrived!

    We would highly recommend this resort for anybody and everybody. There is a lot to do, it has an amazing water park for the kids, the food is amazing and sometimes we just have to overlook little problems!

    To all that will be going to Barcelo Maya Palace we are all certain that your experince will be nothing but the best!

    5 star hotel - 2 star service

    from

    My husband and I have never been to an all inclusive resort anywhere - this was our first experience. We spent the last week (Dec 28-Jan 4)at the Palace and pictures just don't do it justice. It is really beautiful. Laying back in those beds in the pools drinking pina coladas, surrounded by palm trees, was pure heaven. I'm still melting from the incredible couples massage that we enjoyed yesterday in the massage hut by the pool.

    Checking in wasn't too much trouble considering we arrived Saturday morning about 1:00 am - not too many people at that time of the morning. We had requested a room with a king bed and got it. Our room was just as we expected by looking at pictures on the websites. Very beautiful rooms, however, and I really am not one to complain, but it had a peculiar odour to the room. We just figured it was the smell of the new furniture and didn't think much about it. I went to wash up and discovered that one of the sinks had a busted pipe and was draining out onto the floor. The bathroom does come with 2 sinks so we just used the other one. We went to bed and but had a disturbed sleep due to the smell of the sheets and pillows. You could tell they were very new linens so we just thought it was the 'new room' smell. The next morning my husband was in the bathroom and heard the people above us showering, and with his trained ear (he's a plumber) hears their water running down inside our walls. Putting 2 and 2 together, finds that the smell in our room is mildew caused by broken pipes in the wall. Not to mention that everything in our room seemed 'wet' (we assumed it was just the humidity from the weather - not humidity from the moisture in our room from leaking pipes). We reported the broken pipe to maintenance but they didn't send anyone to have a look. We decided that we would try to get a different room and contacted our on-site Transat rep (who was really great through all of this) and he finally after a couple hours of us waiting at reception, got us a different room. We had to take a room with 2 double beds, but we decided not sleeping together was better than sleeping in a mildew smelling room.

    We moved to our new room Saturday night - I couldn't wait to use the rain shower - I had never used one before, and before you knew it the bathroom had flooded - the drain wasn't working. We called room service and reported the flood and asked for someone to bring a mop so we could clean it up. They said they were one their way - that was Saturday night....after 2 more calls to room service the next morning, and 1 call to the front desk, someone did show up Sunday night and fixed it.

    Housekeeping did come and do our room everyday - we heard many other people say they didn't get any housekeeping done...however on Tuesday they left us with no towels. It took 3 calls to room service, 1 call to front desk and 1 visit to the front desk to get towels which we didn't get until late Thursday. We saw people trying to get towels from housekeeping and being flatly refused towels. Once the cleaners turned their backs, these people were just taking them off their carts. People were sneaking into the housekeeping storage rooms and taking towels and toilet paper because they weren't being supplied in the rooms.

    We really did have a nice time on our holiday aside from these minor mishaps. From what we saw and heard from other people, the situations we encountered our situations were very minor compared to many other people. Other people complained of standing in line at reception 3 hours to check in. Large groups of people with reservations were turned away because they had overbooked the hotel and there were no rooms available. There were alot of very angry people to say the least. Every person we talked to had a 'story'...no power in their rooms, tv's didn't work, safes didn't work - ours didn't work in our first room... mini bars not being restocked. The person restocking our mini bar kept taking the tip we were leaving for the maid. Some mini bar items weren't be replenished - when we asked about that, they told us they had run out of stuff.

    What it looked like to us was that the hotel hurried to open for Christmas - it was horribly understaffed, and very unorganized. Keeping in mind that this is probably the busiest time to go, and that a new hotel will have some 'bugs' to work out, we didn't get upset about anything, but then again we did this trip with Air Miles Rewards... had I paid out cash for this trip, I think I would have been a lot more upset. Also keeping in mind that I've never been to Mexico, and by listening to many, many of our friends and family who have been, we knew that standards in Mexico aren't the same as we have here in Canada, so we just let a lot of things go.

    We found the food fabulous - the buffets were great, but keep in mind that they are open only certain hours, as probably everyone but us were aware of... we found that out one morning when we slept in to 10:30 and tried to find food - breakfast ended at 10:30 and lunch wasn't served until 12:30. We always sat out on the verandas of the restaurants....dining while watching the waves roll in - absolutely wonderful.

    We didn't try ordering food through room service as we didn't have any luck getting room service for other things - we were afraid we'd go hungry.

    There were always line ups to sign up to make reservations for the a la carte restaurants. We got our reservations fine, but we heard others say they made reservations and then received calls just before dinner that they had been cancelled - probably from overbooking. This procedure seemed to be very unorganized. However, the dinners we had, one night Caribbean, one night Brazilian, and one night French, were all fabulous dinners and great service. The French restaurant is especially beautifully decorated.

    And yes, it seemed with every other beach property from what I've read, the 'towel game' is alive and well at the Palace. People reserving lounges at the beach and pools with towels - most of the time they sat empty most of the day - very inconsiderate. We actually did manage to get a lounge chair on the beach the last day we were there only because the weather had turned cold and hardly no one was on the beach.

    Entertainment was minimal - nothing was advertised, so you never knew what was playing/showing or when. We caught part of a dance show after dinner one night by chance - nothing spectacular - actually looked like a novice dance troop from some dance recital.

    The best part of the hotel would be the pools. Very relaxing and huge! With the hotel being fully booked, you never felt crowded in the pools at all - just need more lounge chairs around the pools and the beach.

    I know it sounds like a lot of things went wrong, but I'd like to believe it was because the hotel was new and the staff were new and not yet organized. I actually felt sorry for the staff there because there were a lot of angry people yelling at them, and I know that most of the things that happened are beyond their control. But like I said, I've never been to Mexico and perhaps these situations are common? I'd like to think that by this time next year that they have all these 'bugs' worked out and that the operation and service of the Palace measures up to the beauty of the hotel and its surroundings. As for me, I wouldn't go back there until I knew for certain that these issues have been resolved.

    No Service at the Barcelo Maya Palace Stay away

    from

    First of all, we stay at an all-inclusive resort at least once a year

    - so we know what they are supposed to be like. We were very disappointed in the Barcelo Maya Palace and were very generous with a 2 rating. While composing this review our 14 year old said "give them a 1" We understand that they just opened - so perhaps that was part of the problem.

    1.) The food was barely OK, not the high quality we have come to expect from area resorts - there was generally limited to NO service at the buffets - if you needed a napkin, you would have to find it from another table - need water - no problem, go to the bar and see if you could get a bottle. We spent 2 HOURS the first day making reservations for the restaurants., The Carribe restaurant host was SHOCKED when I handed him the reservation card for 7 people, we sat at the table for 1 hour waiting for our order. (During that hour the waiter NEVER came by, not ONCE.... We never even received bread) Even

    our not gourmet kids commented on the mediocrity of the food throughout the resort. Long lines were the norm even for hamburgers or pasta.

    2.) Beach - nice, but NO chairs were ever available at the Palace pools or beach. You can walk 10 or 15 minutes to one of the other Barcelo properties and find a chair. No beach cleanup or drink service

    at the beach like we receive at other resorts.

    3.) Calling the front desk with a request was a waste of your time. If you needed towels, you just had to find a cleaning cart and take them - no one was going to bring you one. If you needed your toilet unclogged, good luck.

    4.) The jacuzzi - AHHHH! Thankfully, there is only one on the entire Barcelo property, a 15 minute walk from the Palace. It smelled and looked like sewer water. We had a better time that most of the other guests we talked to! Some were locked out of their rooms; the room next to us flooded (toilet over flowed and dirty water was literally running out of their room. It took them about 2 hours to get help.); some waited over 3 hours just to check-in . . . Thankfully, we didn't

    have many of those experiences. (except when we were locked out of all

    three of our rooms promptly at noon on checkout day)

    Bottom line, the Riviera Maya is a beautiful place to visit, there are

    many beautiful resorts, stay at one of those, NOT the Barcelo Maya Palace.

    PS.. excursions through apple vacations are very costly. And the apple

    representative was only there to sell. We know this and book side trips via Internet and by other means. For example to see the Coba ruins thru apple was $700US. Booking ourselves was $170. We could have

    done much cheaper as well.

    Needs A Lot Of Organization

    from

    Family of six;Dec 24/07 thru Jan 02/2008. LAST XMAS-stayed at Barcelo Tropical, had great time.. great accommodations & tons to do (four teenagers)...safe disco. THIS YEAR, stayed at Barcelo PALACE.Once again, three rooms. BEAUTIFUL rooms, beautiful beach (spotty rocks but lots of sand) all comparisons stop there! First three nights were great. Joined "the CLUB" for an extra $2100.00 for reservation preferences, special "club" room w/ computers, h'ordearves & beverages & not needing "towel" cards. The 26th opened as a nightmare. Went from great food selection to poor food selection. Hotel took additional 500 guests (a hotel didn't open on time so PALACE took them)...couldn't find a beach chair, hotel lobby was packed for hours w/ complaining, whiny people. We were lucky we received linens & when we did, we received a bath towels & one wash rag.Buffet went from above average to way below. REALIZE that to work in an international hotel, one must speak at least two languages. The people at this hotel PRETENDED they couldn't understand because they were so overwhelmed and inexperienced. A manager could not be found and when a guest requested to speak to a mgr or asst mgr, the reservationist would stare & say they could not understand. The mgr and/or asst mgr would be hiding behind the wall. The club receptionist was very professional and very nice. Tried to be helpful. This "exclusive" pay for service area ended up as a free for all area. The computers were used 24/7 by people not permitted but not disciplined. Food & alcohol was consumed inappropriately. New Years Eve was so unorganized it was comical. The seating times were confused because the computers weren't "communicating"...The maids were so overly stressed because there was so much to do but nothing to do it with.

    The sad truth is that we have reservations with two more families at this resort in March (over Easter). We are diligently searching to find an alternative. We have stayed at all of the Iberostars up the road & had no problems. The visit was the same price. Bottom Line: If we are paying a premium price, we expect a premium hotel. If we were NOT paying as much, I would probably overlook the aforementioned inconsistencies.We felt so awful for the staff as they had no one to turn to & certainly couldn't make a decision for themselves. It was helter skelter. I think that this resort should send its management people to Disneyworld for a crash course on how to run and manage a resort.

    BIg Beautiful Disaster

    from

    This hotel is a big, beautiful disaster. It is rated a five star probably because of the facilities, however, it needs to be a two star because of the service. The beach, rooms, and restaurants all need extensive refinement. Below is a sampling of issues we had.

    In the morning at 7:30 a.m., all beach and pool chairs are taken because there is intense competition for chairs. People put their stuff out the night before. At least 100 chairs need to be added to the beach and more than that added to the pool area. Also there are very few covered areas at the beach. There needs to be more seating areas, covered umbrellas and benches on the pathways. Many people steal your chairs even if you leave personal stuff there. Tempers really flew on this issue. There was one incident where a patron accused another of stealing his cabana. He then threw a glass of Sprite at the accused's laptop. It took one hour for security to come.

    The beach has lots of garbage on it. One hotel employee should walk the beach twice a day and pick up the trash. There are numerous bottle caps, straws, plastic bottles, garbage washed up from the beach, glass, etc. I took a stick on my daily walk and picked up the large plastic bottles that were washed up. The beach is beautiful yet trashy .They need to keep it pristine.

    We waited in line at the Club Premium for at least 20 minutes to get our special dinner reservations at one of the specialty restaurants. While we were waiting in line, we see the phone at the Club Premium desk ringing. After several rings, the employee just picks up the phone and hangs it up. We walk 1/4 of a mile to the specialty restaurant, The Capri, only to be told our slip of paper is not good. We tell the manager that is what Mayan Palace gave us and he says sorry its not his fault. Back and forth 1/4 mile to our hotel to find out the problem and finally after 45 minutes to an hour of haggling, we are seated. Maid service at 7:00 p.m. when we are trying to dress for dinner and we have been out of our room all day.

    The electricity went off in our room at least 4-5 times a day. Calls down to the front desk go unanswered after 65 rings. Sometimes, the phone is picked up and then let down again, just as we witnessed at the Club Premium.The only way to contact the front desk is to go down there personally and wait in a long line.

    Also at Club Premium there is internet available. On the website for this hotel it says that the internet is free to all patrons. However in the Club Premium, the attendant says we must pay four dollars. My husband, normally mild mannered, told the attendant to call a manager knowing full well that would take at least an hour or more. The people who paid for the supposedly free internet are mad. One guest came in and ordered all people who did not pay off the internet. Coffee and tea are available in the internet room. Everytime I tried to get a cup of hot tea at night, the large canister for hot tea was cold.

    The bar down by the pool ran out of bottled water at 10 a.m. No one is serving pool or beach side, it is all self service. However one must wait at the bar for water and the bar is understaffed. Many times at dinner we did not get water or anything to drink. We would have to get up and get everything ourselves. Sometimes dishes were cleared but not often. There are not labels on most of the buffet items. Restaurants were not opened at the times posted. Doors were blocked off requiring long go arounds to eat.

    The rooms are beautiful, however, something is wrong with the electricity. If you go, bring a flashlight. The one review says baskets of fruit and chocolates are in your room. Not ours!

    Our refrigerator was not refilled everyday. There is no room service menu.

    Upon check-in, we were suppose to get adjoining rooms and did not. Then the next day, my husband went to check, they told us no rooms. When he was very persistent, he got adjoining rooms right next to ours. However there was something wrong with the locks and we had to have someone come up and fix them. Another 5 hour project.

    When something is wrong, the employees usually say it is not possible however they will make a notation of the problem in their notebook. Beware of this statement.

    If you go with young children, beware that most of the shows are not family friendly or that professional. Also, there is a nice disco on the property, however, the shuttle stops at 11 just when the club is opening. We have teenagers and we did not want them walking the 1/2 mile to mile back to the room. So we had to make sure they had a big group or took a taxi for an on site property club.

    Most of the wait staff and maids only make $5 a day. The tips are imperative. There is no card in the room that says your maid's name or anything. Sometimes, we left a tip for the maid but found the tip gone before the room was cleaned. At other resorts, this is really stressed so that people know tips are important. I know many people were unhappy and did not leave tips. It is not the employees' problem, it is just a very mismanaged hotel.

    If you enjoy beauty and constant challenges and conflict, go to this resort. Actually, it is a great conflict resolution /assertiveness training course and an immense test of patience.

    Barcelo is Spanish for Nightmare

    from

    This hotel is so disorganized its almost a comedy. Wrong rooms assigned at check in, rooms not cleaned when checked in, room doors locks not operable (very common complaint), no AC for three (3) days, clothes and sandals stolen from pool (very common complaint), resort train non operable or intermittent which is annoying as this complex requiress LONG LONG distances to walk. I counted 475 steps to get a coffee from my room. I should have rented a Segway!

    To be fair the grounds and amenities are top rate. The rooms are new and it shows. The Pools are amazing, and i know pools. The restaurants are very very nice. But the staff are new, badly trained and the front desk is under siege from complaining guests, so complaining about anything is an exercise in frustration. Any calls to them are not returned and when answered they politely say yes we will solve it but of course they dont because you are one in a continuous stream of compliants they have recieved in the last 30 minutes. Its an avalanche and they are inundated with angry guests and your only recourse is to swear next time you will research your trip better.

    This is the first vacation i have ever been on where i WISHED it to end.

    Barcelo Maya Palace is missing the Intimacy of a smaller resort.

    from

    My Husband and I just arrived home from a 1week stay at the Barcelo Maya Palace.

    This resort was like city on its own, Very large and everything spread out. Long walk to everything at least a 15-20 min walk. If you forget anything in your room it is quite the trip to go back and get it. Had to reprogram our room key (card) on three separate occasions, it would take at least a half hour each time just to walk to reception and back.

    My Husband and I are in our late 50's and found the walking incredibly hard. So it may be a great resort if you were young or you don't have any health problems.

    This resort lacks outdoor entertainment. No Intimacy at all.

    Maybe it's just to big to be friendly like the smaller resorts.

    One reason we pick to travel to Mexico is because we enjoy the outdoors. All entertainment is indoors. Piano/Lobby bar indoor, disco indoor, theatre indoor.

    No outside patio bar at night, no outdoor entertainment at night. We were there for New Years Eve, and we found nothing going on. No new years eve party that we know of, Nothing was advertised, and we were not told of anything going on for New Years Eve. It was just not the kind of vacation where we came home saying Wow can't wait to go back.

    However the food and the rooms are amazing! the al a carte restaurants are by far the best we have ever had. The food was delicious at the buffet, and lots of variety.

    If asked if we would go back my answer would have to be no, I think for the amount we paid we will try something else.

    Horrible experience

    from

    Beware if you are coming to this hotel. Our nightmare began with the quarter mile walk from the lobby to our room. The air conditioning did not work the first night, so the room was in the mid 80s and very humid. There was no water in the room, the refridgerator was empty. Not enough lounges at the beach or pool, all are taken by 0800 in the morning. We had to ask twice to get linnens for the sleeper sofa. We never did get additional pillows. I can go on extensively about myriad other details, but let me tell you there are literally dozens and dozens of very, very unhappy people here. I am trying today to go to a different hotel after 2 days of hell here. Apple Vacations is also complicit in this mess, will never book with them again. BEWARE!!!

    Beautiful Barcelo Maya Palace

    from

    The Barcelo Maya Palace officially opened to guests on December 24th 2007. My husband, children and I were staying next door at the Barcelo Maya Colonial for the previous 6 nights and had booked to stay at the Palace for the 7th, and final, night of our holiday. We transfered immediately after breakfast and were shown to our rooms (standard double and kingsize junior suites) in the Oaxaca building on the 2nd floor towards the rear of the building.

    The rooms were truly sumptuous with beautiful bathrooms - double sliding doors bath with shower plus separate rainfall shower, double sinks and sliding door to the toilet. The candle display on the partition wall between the shower and the vanity unit is a nice atmospheric touch. The brand new bath towels were huge - larger even than a bath sheet. There are two wardrobes, bathrobes, safe, minibar and tea and coffee facilities. There is a wall mounted LCD TV and wired internet connection (which wasn't working at the time of our stay). A bowl of fresh fruit was provided in each room and a plate of chocolates. The beds were very comfortable and all the linens were crisp and fresh. Beach towels were provided in the rooms.

    I will just make a quick comment at this point about the distance of our rooms from the buffet and speciality restaurants as I am certain that this may be an issue for some guests. Personally I didn't mind the walk at all but I just have a feeling that there will be some negative comments concerning this matter in trip reports from future guests. There is a delightful covered walkway (with seating) from the Oaxaca Building to the main building where the lobby is and walking this way to the buffets/restaurants is probably quicker (and cooler) than walking past the pools and across to the path that runs alongside the beach and around the front of the Coral Beach Grill. However, we chose to take the 'open-air' route to the buffets for dinner and for breakfast as it's just so beautiful, especially at night. The other building (Michoacan) is perhaps more central to the Palace facilities.

    In addition to the Beach Grill which is open for lunch there are two buffet restaurants (Mexican and International) and three speciality restaurants (Brazilian, French and Caribbean). Of course, guests at the Palace may eat at any of the other four buffet restaurants at the Barcelo Maya Beach and Caribe Hotels and the Colonial and Tropical Hotels as well as the six other speciality restaurants on the Barcelo complex.

    The Coral Beach Grill was fabulous - far more upscale in terms of decor than the beach grills at the Colonial/Tropical. The self service area where the food is layed out is air-conditioned and, even on Christmas Eve when the occupancy rates were very low, the selection of food was more extensive than at the other beach grills. As with all the restaurants at the Palace, the Beach Grill is located right on the rocky headland and has large glass sliding windows which were open to offer sea and beach views pretty much in every direction.

    Dinner in the buffet restaurant was very good. Wine was served from bottles rather than a carafe and the service was very attentive. In addition to being an overall smaller restaurant than the Colonial/Tropical buffets there are some decorative screens between some tables and the lighting was more subtle so I thought that this gave the illusion that our dining experience was perhaps more similar to eating in a restaurant than a buffet (apart from jumping up and down to get our food of course!)

    The buffet breakfast selection was similar to that offered at the Colonial/Tropical. There were three separate omelette stations one of which was for diet/light omelettes (egg whites and vegetables - no cheese). There is a selectioned of boxed cereal, a good variety of cakes and breads, fresh fruit including strawberries (no sliced fresh pineapple though), cold meats, cheeses (no cottage cheese) and bread for the toaster (no peanut butter - gasp!). Yogurt was available in individual pots rather than in a serving dish. There were some different flavour juices (not just orange and pineapple like at the Colonial) as well as chocolate milk and hot chocolate. Of course there was also a choice of hot food like sausages, meats, quaesadillas, beans, french toast, pancakes and waffles.

    The pools are simply spectacular with fountains, jacuzzi pools and sunken sunbeds. Around the adult pool are straw covered huts with luxurious padded double loungers and there is also a massage hut. There is a bar located adjacent to the adult pool. The main pool is enormous and has a swim up bar. There is also a lap pool and kiddies pool with slides. Alongside the pools there is a small basketball court, table tennis tables, giant chess set and Petanque pitch. Under cover there are pool and air hockey tables. The Barcy kids club is spacious and has a small enclosed garden with climbing equipment and slide.

    The water sports centre is located at the far end of the beach at the Barcelo Maya Beach and Caribe Hotels which is a fair distance to trek from the Palace, especially on a hot day. The beach, however, is beautiful and if you walk along the beach path you can stop at one of the bars en route to quench your thirst!

    All the restaurants, the shops, the business centre, theatre and gym are sited in the main lobby building where there is also an air-conditioned bar which has seating around the outside on the open air balcony. We were offered branded international drinks without asking, both here and at the beach bar, and we were not Club Premium guests.

    Transfer time from Cancun Airport by private taxi is approximately an hour and 10 minutes. Xel Ha, Xcaret and Playa del Carmen are all within easy reach.

    We were blessed with the most amazing weather during our holiday with daytime temperatures of about 28 to 30 degrees C. In the evening I needed only a lightweight cardigan or wrap and most guests were in short sleeves. I understand from the staff at the Barcelo that It isn't usually quite so warm over the Christmas period and certainly the weather conditions exceeded our expectations.

    I am sure this palatial new hotel will be well reviewed by many in the coming months but if you are considering making a booking in the near future please be assured that, based on our brief experiences, you will not be disappointed with the service or the facilities.

    TripAdvisor Reviews Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Puerto Aventuras

    4.50 of 5 stars Outstanding