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Reviewed 8 September 2016

I just returned from the Barceló Maya Palace with 8 friends. Had a fantastic time. The French restaurant was by far the best. Japanese in the Mall was so much fun. They cooked right before your eyes while putting on a show. Brazilian steakhouse was ok but not as good as last time. Buffets were good but not great. One day the hot dogs in the Coral Grill were cold.

The beach was very nice but a little rocky right out in front of the Palace. Be very careful 3 of the 9 of us fell coming out of the ocean. Water was a little rough due to the hurricane brewing. It was so much fun to just float around. Sea turtles were a lot of fun to watch.

Rooms were very nice and large. Room service was very efficient. Not one employee would pass you by without saying hola and had a smile on their face. But the sheets do make a very loud noise every time you move. Not sure what they are made out of but that needs to be changed.

A friend who was with us goes to the spa often at home in California but said she had never had an experience like the one she had at the Palace. And you have the 25% off you will get at check in so the 2 hour experience only cost us $100.00.

They offer a double decker shuttle bus that loops around the properties all the time. It was nice because when you sat up on the 2nd floor you could see so much but there was no air, at all, on the first floor. Not sure if the windows open because not one time did we get on the bus that there was any air on the bottom floor. I get it would be hard to air condition the bus since people are getting off and on so often but then the windows should be open. We walked everywhere after day 2.

We had no problem with the check in process. We had requested that the 4 rooms be close together and on the 1st floor and had gotten just that.

Our check out was early in the morning, 6am, and it was disappointing to find out the only food available was bananas, olive and popcorn which was in the lobby bar.

Everyone in the group had a lot of fun. There is no vacation that is perfect but this came close.

  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Mary F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 12 September 2016

Dear Mary F

I have carefully read all your comments and first of all I want to thanks the time you took to write all your good and no good experiences and it is a pleasure to know that your holiday with us was amazing.
I can let you know that all guest comments whether negative or positive are very important to us, as they show us the areas that we need to improve.
We hope to see you again soon here at our resort.

Best regards,

The Management

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2016

This is a beautiful resort on 1.2 miles of gorgeous beach. Upgraded to beachfront and enjoyed the incredible view. As soon as you arrive make your dinner reservations at the a la carte restaurants. Our favorite was the French restaurant at the Palace. We loved having dinner on the patio looking out at the ocean and watching the sun go down. Our second favorite was the Japanese, the surf and turf is delicious. The steak there was better than any other place. Speaking of food, the buffet lunch restaurants at the Palace had a wide variety of food. I loved the salads and they offered daily fresh grouper, sea bass, salmon, and calamari cooked to order. The quality of food was extremely good! We love this resort because there are also many water activities. If you enjoy snorkeling there is a reef at the resort. There are also 3 water turtles that live there. They really like bananas, and will almost eat out of your hand.

Room Tip: loved the oceanfront rooms, 3rd floor
  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Alice W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 11 September 2016

Dear Alice W

Is a pleasure to read that you enjoy your staying with us at Barcelo Maya Palace, make us feel proud that your vacations were more than you expect. We hope for your next visit.

Best Regards

The Managament

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Reviewed 8 September 2016

My wife and 20 yr old twin daughters came here the end of August 2016. It's quite hot and humid this time of year so be ready for that. We have been to approximately 10 all inclusive a in Mexico and the Caribbean. The food in the buffets and ala cart restaurants is very good here! The staff is very friendly and helpful. They seem genuinely happy to serve you. The drinks are pretty good. Good mixes and the carbonated beverages tast right (some resorts get this wrong). The grounds are very well kept. It's a great snorkeling beach, walk out into the water and there are rocks and coral. Many fish. We were lucky enough to see 3 sea turtles munching on sea grass 20 yards offshore! The rooms are nice and clean. Good a/c and hit water. However; the beds are pretty terrible. I travel for a living and sleep in hotels 100+ nights a year and these beds are in the top ten worst. Very hard and have plastic bed covers that make a ton Of noise when anyone rolls over. All in all a pleasant stay.

Room Tip: Upgrade to ocean front saves a lot of walking to beach pool and restaurants.
  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank 4p0rters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2016

Dear guest:

Thank you very much for taking the time to write your review. It is a pleasure for us to serve you as you deserve, and our staff is more than happy to do so. We are glad you enjoyed the food and our facilities. All your comments will help us to improve our services.

See you on your next visit.

The Management.

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Reviewed 8 September 2016

This is our 6th trip to Barcelo, the third to the palace. We were just there last October and we had some concerns but still had a nice enough time to return again in August 2016. We are sad to report it will be our last visit to Barcelo. Their greatest strength used to be customer service, it is now their greatest downfall.
Starting at check in we were "whisked away" to club premium because we had paid for the higher level. Unfortunately, they only have two staff members working check in so the wait is still well over an hour to even talk to a staff member. Just awful.
When we finally reach our room we discover that despite paying a higher price, we were given a room with one king bed and two twin beds for a family of 5. We immediately called back to the front desk and they said they had nothing else available for several days. Seriously?! We paid extra for each family member but now one of the children doesn't even have a bed? Barcelo's excuse was that they can't guarantee room type. We repeatedly explained that we understand that but if you pay for a person there should be a bed for that person. They did NOTHING. Four days later we were told we could move to a room with two double beds and two twins but we would have to completely check our of our room, with all belongings before our 7am excursion, leave everything with the bellman and we would not have a room again until after 3pm! We were outraged. We are traveling with 3 young children, the hassle of this combined with not having a room all day, when we payed for it was absurd. We inquired about being upgraded to a family suite, they said they could do it but it would cost us an extra $1200 for the remaining 7 days of our trip. When we asked if they were willing to discount the rate because of the problems they firmly said no. We asked for a manager, we were told no manager was on duty so we spoke with a supervisor who told us we would have to wait until after 11pm to speak with a manager. My husband finally spoke with a manager at 2am who claimed he didn't understand english well enough to understand the situation. Barcelo again did nothing.

The resort itself has slipped in many ways. There's mildew on the loungers in the pool, more than once pools at the different resorts were cloudy. The attention to detail in all areas is lacking. The staff in every department is woefully understaffed. Wait times are long in restaurants and at the bar. During busy times much of the buffet consists of empty pans or pans of food that no guests like. More than once we sat through an entire buffet meal and never had a waiter bring beverages. It's not the staff's fault. They are working furiously, they are just understaffed. We too found that the buffet restaurant has very poor air conditioning and it was uncomfortably warm.

The only place we received excellent service was at the French, Brazilian and the japanese steakhouse in the colonial. Our dinner at the steakhouse in the mall was a disaster with the service being so slow the staff couldn't stop apologizing, we were there for over 3 hours.

We tried to schedule private babysitting, we asked for two staff members, they said they only had one. At $20/hr per child you would think they could provide this easily.

The evening shows don't start until almost 10pm. For the most part, the shows are of a lessor quality than you would find at any american high school program. The performers have talent, but barcelo obviously gives them no budget for sets, production or costumes.

We used our resort credit to pay for the Pirates Island water park and for two of our children to take a lesson on the surf rider. The water park is pricy for what it is. ($20 per person per day). Surf lessons are $15 per hour, but you share the instructor with however many other kids who signed up. So we paid for the hour but shared it with 4 other kids, so our child had to share the instructor and the surf rider with 5 other kids. Thus at best you get 12 minutes on the surf rider, not such a great deal. We would never have done the waterpark if we had not had resort credit.

The one shining star at Barcelo remains the Dressel Dive Staff. They are extraordinary, even more so as the rest of the resort is slipping. Our thought now is that we will likely stay somewhere other than Barcelo and consider using Dressels shuttle to bring us here to dive only.

Upon checkout they hassled us, like many others have reported over the use of the resort credits we were provided with our reservation. First we had to fight to use the credit at all, then about what was eligible for the credit. I had confirmed with two staff members that laundry service was eligible for resort credit, prior to using it but then at check out they say it isn't. After much arguing over the resort credits, they wouldn't budge. I ended up paying the extra @$11 US, but really when you spend over $5k for family lodging you would think they would waive the $11 that they fraudulently took. It says alot about how they value customer service when they won't wave an $11 charge.

Overall, they have slipped to the point where they just aren't worth the price. We will go elsewhere and encourage you to do the same. It's a shame, it used to be a wonderful place to stay.

Room Tip: confirm that you will have enough beds for each of your family members, they don't guarantee it
  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
8  Thank Tracey P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 14 September 2016

Dear Mrs. Tracey,
First of all in the name of the Barcelo staff we appreciate very much your loyalty and we deeply regret any inconvenience during your stay.
Mrs. Tracey we regret that due to the high occupancy we were not able to assign the room of your preference since the beginning and also regret any lack of service during your stay but I kindly ask you to give us the opportunity to show you the service you are used to receive. We are working on training with the new staff also I can assure you we can apply some services because you are a repetitive guest.
Please write us the next time you are planning to have vacations, you may find an email on our webpage, it will be our pleasure to host you and your family again.
Thank you again.
Best regards,
The Management

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Reviewed 7 September 2016

To the eye this is a grand resort that could offer so much, but frankly is lacking.
The service all around is average to poor, the staff are not well trained. No supervisors or managers in sight any where.
Front Desk: check in took 45 mins, check out was a debacle also. Front desk staff need detailed training, very confused all around.
Food - buffet is the same food everyday, pastries were decent. Note: Spotted food from the wedding I was attending at the buffet a couple of days later. Staff was ok here.
Brazilian rest, was fairly good.
Do not use "Vacationes Barcelo" for transfers. Will charge $54 a person. Find a cheaper company or private shuttle which will be much cheaper.
Resort has no activites compared to other caribbean resorts. No interactive activities day or night.

Employees were not interested, very little engagement. Maybe because a lack of pay.
Hopefull that a Barcelo Executive will read this and visit this property unannounced and see what the customer sees.
Barcelo, big international company like this should be able to do better all around.

  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Raj P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HBarcelo-Maya-Palace, Gerente at Barcelo Maya Palace, responded to this reviewResponded 14 September 2016

Dear Raj,
First of all we appreciate your valuable time and writing us your experience during your stay.
We regret that the check in process of your party took more time than usual due to the paying process also regret that the efforts of our staff was not enough to satisfy your expectations.
We usually receive very good comments about food but we will keep working to satisfy every single guest we have the pleasure to host.
Some of the activities that we offer are volleyball, aqua aerobics, football, basquetball, ping pong tournament, spanish lessons, dance lessons, also mini disco for kids, mini golf, spectacular shows in our theatre every night. With extra charge water park, bowling, surf and more.
Again thank you for your comments and best regards,
The Management

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