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Barcelo Maya Colonial
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Reviews (6,844)
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Reviewed 14 January 2008

We have just returned from our week- long trip to Mexico. I have to say that we found it very enjoyable, and noticed that the service at the buffet, snack bar, restaurants and at the various bars was incredible. The hotel, theatre, and the beach were so beautiful and it was incredibly difficult to say goodbye to.
The food was simply amazing! The variety of food at the buffet was almost overwhelming. With several varieties of pasta, meat, fish, potatoes, and vegetables at each dinner, it was hard to imagine eating breakfast the next day at all! Not to mention a selection of desserts including pastries, ice cream, and made-to-order-crepes. We were extremely impressed with the quality, quantity and availability of food throughout the day.
The pool and beach were absolutely beautiful, and the ocean water was a lot warmer than expected. However, we did discover that there were no hot tubs which was a little disappointing. We saw many little schools of fish while we were just wading in the shallow waters in the shore! There were also many different types of coral and shells enhancing the beaches.
The resort was very beautiful and we enjoyed our stay very much. The general upkeep of the resort itself was impressive and we were really surprised at the amount of service that was provided. Our hotel room was very spacious, comfortable, and well- appointed.
Though we were expecting a decent four- star experience, it is hard to imagine anything being better, and we considered it a real five- star vacation.
We would highly recommend Barcelo Maya Colonial Beach Resort for your vacation, and we would give it 8-1/2 iguanas out of 10.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
19  Thank SuzyQBum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BMAYAFASEII, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded 28 September 2016

Dear SuzyQBum,

Is a pleasure for us to know that you enjoyed your stay, also thank you for take your value time to share with us your experience, was an honor to have had the opportunity to serve you, we hope to receive you once again very soon.

Best Regards.
La Gerencia
jeferecepcolonial@barcelomaya.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2008

Well, maybe we are easy to please but my husband, two children (aged 10 and 13) and I loved the Barcelo Maya Colonial/Tropical hotel. It may have been the wonderful weather we experienced during our stay, from the 18th to 24th December, or the steady supply of Caipirinhas (not for the kids you understand!) but either way we had a wonderful time.

Of course our stay wasn't perfect and I can list a few minor problems but we didn't let these bother us and I just feel blessed to have been somewhere so pretty and sunny for Christmas instead of scrambling for the last handful of brussel sprouts in my local supermarket. We definitely appreciated being able to spend time together as a family whilst others, including the staff at the Barcelo, were having to work.

Check-in wasn't especially smooth and even though I had booked directly with Barcelo.com I had problems agreeing the amount that should be charged to my credit card. We had booked two rooms for our family of four and I was able to produce our reservation voucher with confirmation of the price of each room. Barcelo had agreed a price match with Funjet for me over the internet but at check in the staff wanted to charge me too much for our second room. Of course they also had to convert the USD price to pesos and it seemed to take a long time to arrive at a price in pesos that I thought matched the USD price on my reservation vouchers.

At the time of reservation I had requested inter-connecting king and double rooms in the Guanajuato building and we were allocated exactly that on the ground floor. The rooms were definitely damp and musty as other people have mentioned. There was a very slight improvement as the week went on but our clothes remained cold and damp. I would most certainly request rooms on the upper floors in the future but we were grateful to have the inter-connecting rooms and rather than risk losing this benefit by requesting a room change we preferred to hang on to the accommodation we were allocated. Both rooms were very clean and we had excellent room service every day.

The complex is lovely and we were very impressed with the lobby bars and happy with the variety of food on offer at the buffets. If there was anything I missed it was probably some kind of muesli or porridge at breakfast. There were small cereal boxes of All-Bran and Corn Flakes but otherwise the cereal was the very sugary type that the kids like (and never get given at home!). There is such a huge variety of other food though that it wasn't really worthy of a mention. We never experienced a problem with poor service in the buffets and if plates weren't cleared the instant we had finished I don't recall it being a problem to move them to one side for a few minutes. The waiters were courteous and friendly. We also ate at the Capri Italian and the Sante Fe Steakhouse and rated the food and service at both very highly.

The choice of food on offer at the beach grills was perfectly fine for lunch. Trust me I am very difficult to please when it comes to finding something relatively healthy to eat and when we have stayed in All Inclusive hotels in the past I usually have to drag my family to the hotel's main buffet at lunchtime because I won't eat the type of food available at the snack bars around the pools. However, I was very content with the selection of salad, vegetables and grilled meats and fish on offer at the Colonial and Tropical Beach Grills. In addition there was also a choice of freshly grilled burgers, pasta, pizza, hot dogs, quesadillas and fries as well as rice dishes and vegetables. There was some variety day to day as well.

I recommend sitting with a drink on the shady terrace outside the Marina Snack Bar where you can relax and enjoy the sea breeze and view. I am assured by my husband that the cooked to order cheeseburgers here were excellent. Nachos and other snacks are also available at the Marina Snack Bar.

The pool area at this hotel is wonderful and for the first few days of our holiday there were lots of unused sun loungers and the resort never felt crowded. There was a noticeable influx of guests over the weekend of the 22nd/23rd December and free sunbeds were pretty scarce. However, even at high capacity I felt there was plenty of room for everyone. The pools were cool but not unbearable and much to the suprise of my kids (I hate being cold) I was in the water nearly as often as they were.

The undercover games area and internet facility by the Barcy Kids Club was a blessing. Both my sons enjoyed playing pool and having the occasional half hour on the internet. We enjoyed a round of Mini-Golf one morning at the Beach/Caribe but do use some protection against the mosquitos as the area is quite wooded.

If you are staying at the Tropical/Colonial with younger children you might like to walk them over to the Beach/Caribe hotels where there is a great slide and some climbing equipment adjacent to the beach path. Of course the slide pool at the Colonial is a major attraction if you have a young family and, suprisingly, it never appeared to be over-crowded.

The beach at the Barcelo is beautiful and has largely escaped hurricane damage. My husband enjoyed snorkeling by the pier and further up towards the new Palace hotel. I really enjoyed strolling along both the beach and the beach path as the views are so breathtaking.

We didn't really get to see much of the evening shows as they didn't start until about 9.30pm and we had often finished eating by 8.30. We usually went to the lobby bars after our evening meal and played cards together for a short time. The popcorn and nuts on offer at the bars were a welcome suprise. The Colonial Lobby Bar is fully enclosed and air-conditioned whilst the Tropical bar is open air.

Lastly I just want to add one final comment about how sensational the hotel is at night during the Christmas season. The fountains and Christmas lights are very beautiful and, dare I say, romantic.

For a spectacular finale to our trip we transferred to the stunning Maya Palace hotel on Christmas Eve for the final night of our holiday. It was a real pleasure to stay at the Palace for its opening night and I have posted a separate review of our brief stay there. I wish you a very happy vacation at the Barcelo Maya Colonial.

Stayed: December 2007
29  Thank jigglypuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BMAYAFASEII, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded 28 September 2016

Dear jigglypuff,

Thank you so much for sharing your impressions about Barcelo Maya Colonial, we are glad we have accomplished your expectations and enjoyed your vacation with us.
We really appreciate your remarks at our staff, who make a great job trying to fulfill our guests expectations, as our main goal is create unforgettable experiences, we will be happy to reach them your good comments above mentioned.

We hope to have the opportunity to receive you once again, it will be our pleasure to
serve you.

La Gerencia
jeferecepcolonial@barcelomaya.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2007

We have just returned from a week at the Colonial. We like others were switched from the GRP hotel that was not ready for the opening.....

Before beginning.... this is not our first trip to the Mayan, not our first trip to an AI resort, and usually very tolerant..... It’s a vacation after all!!

Good....
It's a gorgeous property. The facilities seem very nice and the beach is one of the best I have ever been on. We walked all over the 5 hotels (yes I snuck onto the Palace site as well!) and although you can see the age differences between the buildings and there are some changes to the amenities with the newer buildings it is all very nice. (A 4 **** is a fair rating, the palace is 5***** though!)

Our room was good, even if it was not the best location. We were beside the theater, and right beside the kiddies pool. We really only heard the theater once and the kiddies pool was quieter than the regular pool!

Worth experiencing…
Steak house ala cart, good food, nice piece of meat. Service was not bad although it was a little slow.
Sea food ala cart was by far the best meal we had.
Trip to Playa del Carmen on the “chicken bus”. (Collectivo) $2 PP very fast and convenient takes you to 2 blocks of the main part of 5th avenue a very Mexican experience!

Bad.....
Service was terrible a majority of the time. Buffets were almost entirely self serve at most meals. We couldn't get coffee, juice, or drinks, plates were not removed etc. Personally it was a disappointing level of service for a "5 star" hotel. The food was generally very boring, same stuff with about 20% variety on a day to day basis. Now, if you actually could get into the allotted ala carts that wouldn't be so bad, however, 5 min after the reservation desk opened I could not get into the Japanese ala carte and all but one of my reservations were after 9pm. I know Christmas week is busy but this was ridiculous.

This is a resort for families and bigger groups, not for couples, not for older folks, we could not find a place to get away from the noise and just relax. At one point my wife put ear plugs in so she could read beside the pool.

I know how they keep the pools so clean in the Mayan. Water is cold!! (December isn’t the best time I guess) I am fussy! I like my water warmer than 78 F. It was funny that even with all those kids there weren’t that many in the pool at any one time!

Maid service was great the first two days and then went downhill from there. The last two days we had to call the front desk at 5:30pm as the room had not been made up yet.

We had a nice holiday, it could have been better in some ways but it was better than no holiday! I wish that resorts would take some of these criticisms more seriously and take steps to fix the problems.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
25  Thank PoolBoy1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BMAYAFASEII, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded 28 September 2016

Dear PoolBoy1960,

Is a pleasure for us to know that you enjoyed your stay, also thank you for take your value time to share with us your experience, was an honor to have had the opportunity to serve you, we hope to receive you once again very soon.

Best Regards.
La Gerencia
jeferecepcolonial@barcelomaya.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 December 2007

Just got back today from a week at the Barcelo Colonial, and I hate to complain because I'm very happy to have just spent a week in Mexico, but this resort left A LOT to be desired!

We were originally scheduled to be at the Grand Riviera Princess Dec 21st - Dec 28th, but Air Transat moved us to the Barcelo Colonial 2 days prior to departure due to all the negative reviews it was getting. It was my whole family travelling (6 in total) and we didn't have a choice in the matter, so just went along!

For starters, this is a beautiful resort! It's freaking huge though and even though we spent 6 full days there, there was much that we didn't see, or were discovering each day! Our room was in the 6100's (Jalico building or something like that) and close to the lobby which was great for check in and out, but was a bit of a trek to the beach, nothing too bad though.

This resort brings a new meaning to 'Mexican time' We checked in at about 2am, and it took at least an hour. We were also told by the people in front of us that we arrived at a good time as before us there was a huge line! The f/d agents also processed our rooms wrong, I was given my brothers room, and him mine (both of which were double beds) and they didn't bother to correct it. This caused a pain the whole week because any time my husband or I tried to charge something to our room (everything has to be charged to the rooms ie: bottled wine from the restaurants, and many of the gift shops) it would show up with my brother and his gf's name, and the same would happen to them and we'd often be given a hard time when purchasing stuff. We were also supposed to be upgraded to a honeymoon suite, but that never happened. We tried to correct this problem with the front desk, but to no avail. It's also damn near impossible to get served a drink in an efficient manor! My husband took to going to the 'self serve' cervesa taps in the grills as he was guaranteed quick service then! This happened at not only the pool bars, but the a la carte restaurants as well! And on numerous occasions. Some of the staff are great and friendly, but others you can tell really don't enjoy their jobs and it makes it painful to be around.

The hotel seemed to offer many amenities that weren't actually available. They said that we would get a welcome drink, 1 hour of free internet per day, neither of which was included. Also, we weren't able to get a reservation at one of the a la carte restaurants, and all the tennis courts were always booked so that was out as well.

The food left much to be desired as well. The buffet food was never really *that* good. Always tasted like it had been sitting there for a long time. I was also quite surprised to see canned pineapple on the buffet! The food was usually repetitive, but that's to be expected from a buffet I guess. The seafood restaurant had by far the best food (lobster) and you must order the mexican coffee! They put on quite the show doing that!

We had a few major complaints with this hotel, and have a very hard time believing that it's 5* and that it was an upgrade from the Princess. First is that there's practically NO music! None what so ever on the beach, unless you count over hearing aquasize during the day. There's also none at the pools or pool bars. The service overall as listed above is not up to 5* standards. There is a serious lack of accessible food on this resort. I mean, until 6ish there's always at least a grill open, but the food isn't very good, and you have to have a sit down meal, can't take it out to the beach with you, and you can't go into the grills in your bathing suits. They need an actual snack bar available. After 6 the main buffet opens, and when it closes, your SOL for food, unless you want to order piss poor room service for a fee! I ordered the express breakfast today as we had to check out at 5 am, and even though I put the card on the door as it said to, I woke up in the morning to the card still there! Had a feeling that would happen! So I called down, and 30 mins later the food hadn't arrived. I finally got it delivered to the lobby, and had to pay $8 us for a bunch of small pastries, and some cut fruit, coffee and oj!! What a joke! The last thing that I'll complain about is the lack of night life!! As I said, it was 6 of us travelling together, us honeymooners (I'm pregnant though), my brother and his gf in his early 30's and my parents in their early 50s. There's usually one show per night that lasts NO longer than an hour. Some of the shows were really great, but others were a little disappointing! They had a great karaoke night, but it lasted about 50 minutes then they shut it down. We didn't even look the whole way through the book before they took it away and said too bad! Once the evening show finishes, the 'night club' opens. This is the lamest excuse for a night club that I've ever seen. If you don't want to go there, there's really nothing else to do! You get kicked off the beach, because they comb it and arrange the chairs, and you can't get a drink anywhere after 11pm!! It's definitely not a resort meant for anyone to have an overly good time (and we weren't looking for a huge party, just something to do!)

This is definitely a resort meant for families with kids or older folks that go to bed at 10. There was an insane amount of kids and a great kids area, but this was the exact opposite of what we were looking for!

I don't mean to totally trash this resort, but in my opinion it's not nearly close to 5* and no good for couples as they promote. Overall we did have a great time regardless of anything that wasn't up to our standards (and we're usually 3* travelers!) We would just definitely come back here again!

Hope this has been of help to some!

**also, if you're insistent on the use of a blow drier, bring your own, the ones at the resort don't get hot!! And I tried a few of them!**

I think I got it all! If you have any questions feel free to ask!

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
24  Thank Needing*a*vacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BMAYAFASEII, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2016

On behalf of our hotel, we would like to thank you for coming to Barcelo Maya Colonial hotel; we also want to thank you for your significant opinion which is very important for us to improve our services and products .

we glad you have a good time during your vacations in our hotel.

we hope to have the privilege and the honor to share with you again soon.

Best Regards.
La Gerencia
jeferecepcolonial@barcelomaya.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2007

I traveled with my husband, 3-year old son and 4-month old daughter. We wanted a family-friendly resort and the Barcelo delivered. I had a great time (hey, no cooking or cleaning for a week!), but the resort has several areas that can be improved.

In terms of weather, we had great weather all week. Ocean conditions varied greatly; water was calm during the first few days and rough enough towards the end of the week that they were not allowing watersports (i.e., no hobie cats were allowed to go out). Some seaweed did wash up on a couple of the days we were there. I guess when it was rougher out, the seaweed would come to shore.

The Good
- Long beach with beautiful sand. Do bring water shoes as there are rocks in the ocean and depending on ocean conditions, there may be seaweed on some days.
- Beautiful landscaping and lobbies.
- Good a-la-carte restaurants (better than other all-inclusives we've been to in the Mayan Riviera).
- Fruity/Tropical drinks were prepared correctly and tasted great! Stick to Cuervo, Bacardi and the Negra Modelo beer and you'll be happy!
- Plenty of bottled water.
- Great layout - you're not far from anything!
- Extremely family-friendly. Lots of young kids, great kids waterpark, bartenders were very nice about making virgin drinks at the swim-up bar. Self-serve ice cream everywhere!
- MareNostrum Restaurant was excellent! The octopus appetizer was to die-for!
- Breakfast buffet was fantastic.
- Waiters and managers at the buffet and restaurants were very friendly and efficient.

Neutrals
- Our suite was spacious (2 rooms), although it wasn't luxurious. Not worth the hefty price tag if you don't absolutely need 2 rooms. Since we were travelling with an infant and a very young child, we didn't want to simply request adjoining rooms, and risk not being accomodated at check-in.
- The spa was nice but expensive ($60-$65 for a pedicure, before tip).
- Spa only took cash.

The Bad
- The Snack Bar near the beach and pool had a very limited selection of food and they required that you wear DRY clothes and shoes. There were no eating options at the resort if you were wet, or in your bathing suit, even if you just wanted chips and salsa. There were no healthy grill options (like grilled fish or grilled chicken), just burgers and hot dogs.

- The lunch and dinner buffets were subpar. We've been to various all-inclusives in the Mayan Riviera and the Caribbean (8 in total, before this trip) and the buffets at the Barcelo were the poorest of them. There were very limited grill options, very limited cooked veggie options and the proteins (turkey, pork, beef) were very dry and overcooked. We only ate one night at the dinner buffet and did not return.

The Ugly
- My husband and son got very sick (chills, diarrhea, headache, vomiting). I can't say that it was necessarily the food. Whenever you have a lot of little kids in a small space, you have a high risk of transmitting viruses.

- Maid service was very inconsistent. We didn't get our room cleaned on 2 days because they arrived at 1 PM (right at the beginning of my kids' nap time). I asked them to return at 3:30 PM and they didn't. We had hung the "Please clean our room" sign outside the door at 8 AM!

- The check-in people were absolutely clueless. The room category that we booked included Club Premium, but we were not given the correct bracelets at check-in, despite the fact that I asked if he had given me the correct bracelets for Club Premium. His answer was that everyone at the Tropical/Colonial was premium and that the guests from the other side could not use the facilities of the Tropical/Colonial, which is true, but it did not address my Club Premium issue. Fortunately, the Guest Services manager fixed everything the next day (she was great!).

Overall
Despite the sickness and the other problems, I still think this was a very pretty resort on a very pretty beach. If you go with the right attitude, you'll be able to have a very nice time.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
19  Thank mrvinotinto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BMAYAFASEII, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Colonial, responded to this reviewResponded 29 September 2016

Thank you so much for share with us your opinion in reference to your stay in our hotel, please receive our sincerely apologize if we caused you some discomfort, we are taking your comments with special consideration.
The service flaw that you mentioned was shared with our staff involved be sure that all the measure will be taken in order to correct each of the them.

Best Regards.

La Gerencia
Jeferecepcolonial@barcelomaya.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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