Barcelo Maya Beach
Located on a private beach spanning over one mile, Barcelo Maya Beach is part of a larger resort complex. Also known as Barcelo Maya Grand, the complex contains four hotels - Maya Beach, Maya Caribe, Maya Colonial, and Maya Tropical. The stay at one play at four concept offers spectacular options for dining, activities, and entertainment.
The Barcelo complex is approximately one hour south of Cancun International Airport (CUN). We get it, the 60-minute drive may not sound ideal. But, this location is close to Xcaret and Xel-Ha eco-parks, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen. This gives you many options to venture off the resort for sightseeing and activities. Yet, with the endless amounts of things to do on the property, you might want to stay on the resort.
Offering just over 2,000 rooms between the four properties, this is a large place. So what's to love? Massive pools, four swim-up bars, plenty of lounge chairs, water parks, sports courts, and many bars and restaurants. Worried about getting from point A to point B, don't be. We had no trouble walking from end to end, just be sure you give yourself enough time. Not in the mood for a stroll or want to get somewhere quickly, a double-decker shuttle bus will take you anywhere you need to go.
The Barcy Water Park for kids is free and they are sure to have a splashin' good time. While the slides are smaller its perfect for the youngsters. You can kick back and enjoy a few beverages poolside while they splash the day away.
Want to take the fun up a notch? Make your way over to Pirates Island Water Park for larger slides geared for all ages or test your bodyboarding and surfing skills on the FlowRider. Pirates Island Water Park costs $15 per person per day when charged to your room. Bodyboarding is included in the cost, surfing will cost extra. The FlowRider alternates every hour between bodyboarding and surfing.
Looking for a little adventure? Head over to the Ventura Fly & Ride Park for an adrenaline rush. Enjoy zip lines and ATVs without having to leave the resort. The Ventura Fly & Ride Park is not included in the all-inclusive, fees apply. Have you ever tried scuba diving? If not, here's your chance to give it try, free intro to scuba classes are held daily in the pool. You won't see any fish, but hey it's free, and the kids will love every minute. Our kids quickly decided PADI certifications would be in their future.
Is swimming with the dolphins on your list? Barcelo has you covered there as well, with an onsite Dolphinarium. Swimming with the dolphins is not part of the all-inclusive and fees apply. If you just want to watch there is no charge, but where's the fun in that? Learn all about dolphins and get up close and personal with these beautiful mammals.
Need a little break from all the fun in the sun, the Maya Mall is the spot. Do a little shopping, take a ride on the carousel, or catch a game at Strikers Sports Bar and Bowling Center. Strikers Sports Bar and Bowling Center contains an arcade and other activities to boot. Bowling seemed pretty pricey to us at $15 per person per game. While the bar is open 24-hours, the activities close down at 2 am.
With all the great activities what's not to love? Many of the activities cost extra, and this can add up. Cash is not accepted anywhere on the resort, not even in the gift shops. Charging to your room is the easiest way to pay. If you are paying with a credit card it is best to use a card that does not charge foreign transaction fees.
The dining situation is another thing we did not love. For specialty a la carte restaurants, you will need to make reservations. This is not a huge deal and is common at many all-inclusive resorts. However, the number of reservations you can make is based on the number of nights you are staying:
3 nights, 1 reservation
4-5 nights, 2 reservations
7 nights, 4 reservations
8 nights, 5 reservations
9-10 nights, 7 reservations
11-12 nights, 8 reservations
13 nights, 9 reservations
14 nights, 10 reservations
This is something to be aware of before booking. Getting to the resort and finding out some of your dinners are buffet style might be a letdown. We prefer a la carte restaurants but are happy to report that the buffets were very good, so that is a plus.
We spent the majority of our time at Maya Colonial and Maya Tropical. More lively and closer to the activities we like, this would be our choice on a return trip. Don't forget to stop at the Riviera Maya sign and capture a memory or two!
Is Riviera Maya on your list? If you've already been, we would love to know where you stayed. You never know, we just might head there next!
When you're ready to plan your next adventure we would love to assist you. Head over to our Book Travel page and we'll help make your dream vacation a reality.