Barceló Maya Beach Resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya does all-inclusive right
If you are not a fan of all-inclusive resorts, Barceló’s Maya Beach Resort on Mexico’s famed Riviera Maya, may change your mind. Everything about the resort is top-notch, from the service to the stunning beaches.
Barceló Maya Beach Resort is like a city to itself. It has everything all in one place including theaters, a wide array of top-notch restaurants, a world class spa, and well-appointed fitness rooms.
Barceló tries to be all things to all people and does a pretty good job of it. If you are traveling with kids aged 4-12, you can drop them off at the Barcy Kids Club, where they will entertained with activities all day long. There is one attendant for every four kids. The resort also has water parks especially designed for kids. But if you would prefer to spend time with your rug rats, all the resorts have water parks designed for kids. The resort’s buffets also have low tables and food catering to kids’ tastes.
For 11-18 year olds, Barceló has a teen clubhouse and a bar serving soft drinks (The drinking age in Mexico is 18.) They’ll meet kids from all parts of the US, Canada and Mexico. They may even pick up a few Spanish words.
If you want to get away from the kids, the Maya Palace Deluxe has a wonderfully tranquil adults-only pool. The resort also has 19 bars and a spacious Jaguar disco open nightly.
If everything in the resorts appears modern and new, there’s a good reason for that, it is. The first complex in the property opened in 1989. The most recent and very upscale edition, the Palace Deluxe, opened in 2008.
The Barceló is ideally situated in the heart of the Riviera Maya, an 81-mile stretch of pristine beaches on the Yucatan Peninsula between Cancun and Tulum. Although you may be tempted to spend all your time in the resort’s pools, don’t. You will miss what is among the best beaches in the world. The beaches were beautiful when the rest of the property was still a jungle. The resort gives lets visitors get up close to the beach without having to schlep through the jungle.
The Riviera Maya is home to the largest coral reef outside of the Great Barrier Reef in the South Pacific. The Barceló’s beaches provide an up close and personal view of some of the Riviera’s most beautiful fish, which love the coral patches along the beach. You can feed the fish or just stand back and watch. (See the video on the left. It was shot from the resort’s beach.) If that’s not enough fish for you, take an excursion to nearby Puerto Morelos. A nearly 100-foot section of coral and underwater caverns are a feast for the eyes.
Barceló Maya Beach Resort five properties
Barceló Maya Palace Deluxe
This is the resort’s premium property. You will have access to all 20 of the resort’s restaurants, including the five star restaurants that are part of the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe. The property is made up of 736 Junior Suites Deluxe, 12 Suites Deluxe, 6 Family Suites Deluxe and 2 Presidential Suites with sea views, swimming pool views, or garden views.
Barceló Maya Colonial and Barceló Maya Tropical
There are a total of 480 rooms between Barcelo Maya Colonial and Barcelo Maya Tropical. Of those 420 are large standard-sized rooms and the rest are various sized suites. The resort has four restaurants, two of which are buffet style and the other two are a la carte. This resort is a sports-lovers dream. It as seven tennis courts, a multi-sports court, and ping pong. It also has a huge convention center theater that can hold up to 1,400 people.
Barceló Maya Beach
With a total of 627 rooms and suites, the Barcelo Maya Beach Hotel has three restaurants, including a Mexican a la carte restaurant. It is also home to the complex’s Jaguar disco.
Barceló Maya Caribe
With a little over 400 rooms and suites this Barcelo Maya Caribe includes a Spanish a la carte restaurant and two buffet style restaurants. You can practice your swing there with both mini golf and golf.
Best time to go
September, October and November are the slowest months, so you can expect to get your best deals if you can travel then. Rates in the low season have been known to start as low as $120, an incredible deal considering that meals are included. If you are traveling in September, it’s a good idea to avoid the days around September 16, Mexican Independence Day. Rates usually go up with the demand around that time. And even though summer is the rainy season in the Riviera Maya, that’s the time when many Mexican vacationers head to the beaches, so rates are higher than the fall.
Food and drink, including alcoholic beverages. Use of the snorkeling equipment, canoes and kayaks. Taxes and tips are included in the posted price, that’s a huge difference when comparing hotels in the US, which generally do not include the hotel tax, which in many cities can be has high as 14 or 15%. Although the tip is included, some people give the employees a dollar or two if they were especially helpful. The minimum wage in Mexico is about $5 a day, so a little means a lot.
Even more stuff is included if you book your stay on the Club Premium level. The minibar is free as is the Internet. You will also get separate check-in, private concierge and room service.
What’s not included
Laundry service, telephone calls, 24 hour room service, imported drinks (with the exception of the Palace Deluxe property.) The resort is also set up for WiFi but there is an extra change for that (free if you’re Club Premium). A medical center with 24-hour doctor service is also extra.
In the mood for a snack or a drink at 3 a.m.? No problemo. The Lobby Bar Beach at the Maya Beach Hotel, the Puebla bar at the Colonial, and the Carrey bar at the Palace Deluxe never close.
Barceló Maya Beach Resort by the numbers
4,500 employees (6800 during the peak season)
3,000 employees live on the hotel property
1,400 seating convention center auditorium
7 tennis courts
2 championship 18-course golf courses nearby