Apple Vacations Traveller Reviews
Our hotel room was much better this time. But no view of ocean. The grounds are just beautiful. The food in the special restaurants tasted great, the buffet was just fair. The staff in the special restaurants did a great job and really worked hard. The buffet staff not so much, we would ask for items like coffee cream and they would say ok each time we asked and yet on several mornings we wouldn't get the crčme unless we took it off another table. Hotel bar service was great! Pool bar service not as good. It would be wonderful if you had bar service on the beach. We have that at other hotels. We really enjoyed the entertainment. This was our 2nd visit I would like to go back but they just don't understand about familys wanting rooms next to each other to be by kids. They think having them in the same bldg. and floors is good enough.
Our week at the Barceló Maya Caribe in Riviera Maya was the absolute best all-inclusive vacation we’ve been on! We can’t wait to go back…should sum up our experience pretty well!
My wife and I were at the resort for the third week of August. We booked through Apple Vacations and traveled out of BWI in Baltimore. This was our third trip using Apple and they continue to be first rate in the level of service they provide in ensuring their customers are informed, safe, and get to/from the airport to their respective resorts. An A+ for Apple!
Check-in/Check-Out went flawlessly. Be advised your room will not be ready until 3:00PM. If you get there early leave your bags with the bellmen, go eat, explore, drink, or just chill on the beach or by the pool. Get your room keys at 3 and the bellmen will deliver your bags to you shortly.
The resort itself is huge and if you take advantage of all the resorts and what they offer then be prepared to walk. We stayed at the Maya Caribe but you have full use of all the other resorts that connect (except the Palace). Not sure what was at the Palace but don’t care…there was more than enough available at the 4 others! The resort is very family orientated with multiple pools and activities for adults and kids.
The staff was friendly, helpful and anxious to please. Not once did we experience anyone with an ‘attitude’. In fact, it was just the opposite, they were more than friendly! I speak some Spanish and would try my best to speak with them in Spanish as much as I can when conversing with the staff. They really do enjoy it and appreciate the effort. I tell them I know enough Spanish to sound ‘estupido’ but most would laugh and tell me my ‘Espanol es bueno’.
The grounds are immaculate and beautiful. The landscaping is tropically amazing!
The beach is wonderful. Sugar white sand that doesn’t get hot no matter how blazing the sun it. Turquoise blue water with very little surf. The staff keeps the beach incredibly clean and there was never a problem finding a spot under a nice palm tree to park ourselves for the day. With Tropical Storm/Hurricane Harvey passing over us the surf kicked up a little and the seagrass along with it but the water was always ‘swimmable’ and the beach cleaned of the seagrass nightly.
Our room was nice, modern and clean. King bed, non-smoking building (Sayill) with a mini-bar that was stocked with Corona beer, soft drinks, water and snacks. The mini-bar was resupplied almost daily. Housekeeping was very efficient and the level of cleaning service was excellent. TV signal was iffy sometimes but they use a Satellite service and Hurricane Harvey was nearby which could have been the issue.
The food was excellent in our opinion. The buffets had more than enough choices to please either the American, Mexican or European pallet. If you can’t find anything you like then you’re just too hard to please or just want to find fault. In addition, each of the buffets had ‘theme’ nights so if you don’t like what’s at one buffet then walk 5 minutes to another resort and look what they have at their buffet. We went to multiple buffets and experienced Seafood night twice, Mexican night twice, and Italian night.
A la carte dinner reservations should be made at customer service when you get there. We made 4 reservations at the times we wanted at the restaurants we wanted. We ate at the Mexico Lindo – grade an A, Tokyo – A-, and the Marenostrum – A. We had a fourth reservation for our last night at the La Fuente but decided to stay on the beach until the bitter end so we skipped it…next time. Food was always excellent and the service outstanding. You will read in some reviews from people complaining about not getting the times they wanted and their being ‘lots of empty’ tables when they did go. Keep in mind when you go at your reserved time you are seated almost immediately (we waited for 5 minutes at Tokyo). If the restaurant operated at full capacity and there weren’t those empty tables do you think you’d be seated right away? Of course, not, the management doesn’t want their customers to wait around getting upset about having a 7 PM reservation and not getting seated until 8…hence, the empty tables. If you can’t get a reservation at a particular restaurant at the time you want, then try another night or another restaurant. We wanted to eat around 7 each night. The young lady making our reservations didn't mind at all checking different nights or different restaurants for a 7PM seating. Go at your reserved time and enjoy!
Alcohol choices abound and our service level was the regular as opposed to premium. Tip the bartenders a buck or two and they’ll remember you. Next time you go back instead of automatically reaching for the house gin or rum you’ll get the Tanqueray or the Bacardi. The bartenders have no problem making your drinks as strong, or as weak, as you like. As with the food, if you can’t find something you like you are not looking hard enough.
Tipping is always optional. I brought $200 in 1’s and $200 in 5’s just for tipping. Always left something for the housekeeper each day, always left a couple $$ for the buffet wait staff, I’d give the bartender a buck or two, and would always give something to anyone that did something for us. These people work very hard and they are working for you. It isn’t much for us but it is a lot for them and they do earn it.
We met 4 couples from different parts of the U.S. all of whom all have been to multiple resorts in the Cancun area. The couple from Colorado was on their 10th visit to the Barceló resort, from Texas their 9th, Kansas their 7th visits and a couple from Alabama, their 19th! All of them told us that the Barceló is the only place they stay at now. To a person they said the beach is the best, the resort the nicest and the value for their $$$ was unbeatable. Add us to that list…we will be back!
Rude employees overall
The only other place I vacationed at that had not only bad service but rude service was another Barcelo hotel in Dominican Republic. Been to the Barcelo Maya Palace before and food and service was great but this one was horrible.
Beautiful beach and clean hotel!
The hotel was super clean and all the view were beautiful! Food at the buffets was disgusting! We did not get to eat at any of the restaurants, they claim that reservations are priority for higher level guests. We attempted to make reservations the day that we arrived. Staff was professional and nice.
My Worst Apple Trip Ever!
I could get into it, but I know that my wife has sent a letter on our behalf, and so has our travel agent. This was hands down the WORST Apple vacation we have ever taken and we have been on many. The only saving grace to this vacation was the beautiful beach, other than that it was horrible. The part that makes it worse, is that when we were booking the trip, the Barceló rep was at our travel agency that day and said that all the rooms were redone and that it was top notch.....the mall area was made over....the rooms were horrible...paint chipping, shower head had rust on it....I could go on.
Great resort with a few catches...
The resort was great, however there were a few small glitches. The staff that books you limited dinner reservations was less than helpful. When we first tried to book dinner there was nothing available. After lots of waiting we finally received our 2 reservations for our 4 night stay. [Which in my opinion is crazy. Should have ability to reserve every night.] One reservation was for 10 pm... Not great... We took a gamble, got dressed and went early. Amazingly we were able to get in. Im being sarcastic because every restaurant we passed was never full. Gave me a bad taste right off the bat. The food was great at the 2 places we ate at though. The food at the buffets was good, but got a bit old by day three. Ability to go to make reservations nightly would have helped with this. The rooms we stayed in were dated. They could use some freshening up.
On the positive side, the beach was wonderful, the pools amazing and the staff for the most part was very friendly and helpful. The evening entertainment was just that, entertaining. I would return again if we could have reservation nightly without a hassle and if we could have a bit of an updated room.
Food and Beverage
Staff in restaurant needs to be more attentive and friendly and bar service needs to be kicked up a notch because they don't know their cocktails and how to make them properly.
excellent resort , Beautiful place. Good food. Family oriented. Sometimes difficult to get a drink at the pool. Bartenders understaffed. Should be trained to spot who is next to be served. Hard feelings when one is ignored. The self serve beer taps a great idea, but they never worked and when they did dispensed only foam. But all in all a terrific resort.
Barcelo beach resort review
Stayed at Barcelo beach resort over memorial weekend. First of all, since it is a 45 min ride the nonstop transfers are well worth the costs. Resort was beautiful, staff was friendly, beach the best in area, plenty of seats, and very family friendly. Had a maintenance issue and staff responded quickly and efficiently. Food buffets are just that buffet food so never hot enough. Costs of all inclusive should include wifi. Makes no sense to nickel and dime folks. Apple rep at resort was helpful and friendly. Used Judy and Maries travel agency once again to assist booking this vacation and they are the best. Highly reccommend them at www.jmtravel.com.
We will be back to Barcelo.
Palace review May 2017
We got upgraded to the Palace, but we were not told why. When we arrived at the Palace, we had to wait for our room to be ready for 3 hours. Our room was finally ready at 5pm. You have to open a line of credit which takes $500 out of your account to get internet service.
First Apple Vacation
Very nice! Apple reps were at both airports and at resort. Very helpful and friendly! Enjoyed every minute and service was amasing.
TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews
Barcelo grand resort deluxe
Had a blast! Planning on going back! Room cleaners where amazing. And had the best time dancing and playing games with Diego Higareda with the entertainment team! He's was so much fun when I went on the kitchen Tour with Diego and his other staffs!
I went with two girlfriends and we had an amazing stay! The staff was all friendly and helpful, we especially want to give a shout out to Miguel, Javier and Arturo at the fitness center, Martin at water sports, Gilberto Perez and Luis Dias at the dinner Buffet Caribe, and Alex at the breakfast Buffet Caribe, and Maria at the spa! They helped to make our stay memorable and enjoyable. Also, all of the pool/water activities staff were fun and got us to do water aerobics and zumba by the pool each day :) We enjoyed all of our meals at the buffets and the restaurants, our favorite was the Italian restaurant, La Trattoria. Overall we had a wonderful week at BarcelĂł Caribe and we will definitely be heading back soon! Highly would recommend staying here :)
AMAZING TRIP - LOTS of DETAILS & TIPS
We just returned from a wonderful 10-day vacation and will definitely return. Weâ€™ve been going to the Moon Palace (Riviera Maya) the past 15 years and while thatâ€™s truly a 5-star property (golf, big name entertainers), the price difference makes the 4-star Barcelo Maya Grand a MUCH better value and the best choice. There are 2 main reasons for that, the BEACH and the FOOD!
1) The BEACH: You may already know that beaches on the Cancun strip are beautiful and clear, but the current is ferocious. It takes only 30-40 minutes to thoroughly kick your butt. Conversely, the beaches of Playa del Carmen (Moon Palace) are calm but really not that great; they can be mirky, with natural debris and seaweed everywhere despite noisy tractors constantly cleaning up the beach. Whereas the beach at Barceloâ€™s Beach section combines both calm swimmable, crystal clear waters with a powdery, white sand beach = itâ€™s absolute perfection.
2) The FOOD: Brasserie, a French restaurant located in the Palace section, is a MUST. You may question whether or not itâ€™s worth paying an extra charge at an all-inclusive, it definitely is! Do this early in your stay, because itâ€™s likely youâ€™ll want to dine there again. No dining ticket is required, you just pay a $20 fee. An impressive menu (escargot, oysters, chateaubriand, wellington, filet mignon, lamb chops, sea bass, lobster), I was delighted with the food quality, presentation, and ambience. The foie gras was as exquisite as any Iâ€™ve had in Paris or Nice, and the surprise chocolate box was a work of art. The synchronized service was impeccable. If you can reserve a table on the veranda to coincide with sunset, it will be a highlight of your stay. There are 2 more pay-restaurants but the Brasserie is the best by far, we dined there twice. Of the â€śincludedâ€ť restaurants, I highly recommend Mare Nostrum, the seafood restaurant at the Colonial. It features lobster 3 ways, flaming Mayan coffee (on request), and superb service. We dined here 3 times, it was consistently fabulous! Mexico Lindo was also a favorite. Grilled lobster Tepenyaki at either of 2 Asian restaurants was another good choice. Try to fill every night with a dining reservation if you can. If not, arrange your open nights for when the buffet â€śthemeâ€ť is seafood/unlimited lobster, itâ€™s the best one for sure. Champagne breakfast buffet + omelette station was very good each morning. Buffet lunch & dinner selections are vast; salads, appetizers, seafood/chicken/pork/beef entrees, pasta chef, carving chef, taco station, soups, sides, desserts galore, coffee bar with assorted tequilas, thereâ€™s something for everyone. Youâ€™ll be pleasantly surprised.
The resort is massive and there is plenty to do. Multiple theaters feature a variety of nightly entertainment. Youâ€™ll find miniature golf, ping pong, courts for tennis, racquetball, basketball, soccer. Thereâ€™s a dolphin show/experience, and a professional dive center. The â€śMaya Mallâ€ť connecting the Caribe and Colonial lobbies offers shops, live music, casino, bowling, pool tables, a carousel, haunted house, bars and restaurants, and a Mexican crafts marketplace at Colonial end. Despite the huge size of this resort, everything is very walkable! I had recent knee surgery and walking the beautifully landscaped grounds was NO ISSUE whatsoever, just a leisurely 2-6 minute walk to anything. Additionally, there are air conditioned, double-decker buses servicing all 5 properties, until 2am.
POOLS/BEACHES: There are 5 sections, 5 pools, 5 beaches. Every section has a kiddie pool with slides and fun apparatus, as well as a semi-Olympic pool with separate swimming lanes, and you can sign up for a free scuba lesson at the pools. Kayaks, windsurfing, and snorkel equipment are also free to use. In all sections, youâ€™ll walk from the rooms toward the pool areaâ€¦ and directly beyond the chaise lounges is easy access to the beach, along with outdoor showers. There is no service on the beach so bring a large thermos you can fill at the pool bar, because youâ€™ll have to walk back to the pool area for food or drinks. No stray animals or birds at the open-air buffets, if youâ€™ve been to the Carib before you know thatâ€™s huge! There are towel huts between the pools, and no room card was required for unlimited towels. Getting a lounger at the pool or the beach was no problem whatsoever (September).
BEACH Section: WOW! Swim to your heartâ€™s content, itâ€™s fabulous. Calm, crystal clear blue watersâ€¦ powdery soft white sand, no rocks or shells underfoot, itâ€™s a dream. If youâ€™re a beach person, stay at the BEACH lobby for this reason, itâ€™s their BEST beach by far. At the far end of the beach, beyond the palm trees and loungers, is a totally unspoiled area of natural vegetation and rock formations; an amazing photo op if you want to climb them and pose. Largest pool. This pool bar is without music. The buffet has the cleanest environment for open air dining, the food selection here was adequate. Also in this section but far from the beach, is the El Cielito, a smaller adults-only pool with cabanas, bar service, and in-pool water loungers. Free access, except for the cabanas which are $20 per day. This area is tranquil, relaxing.
CARIBE Section: Swimming is only pleasant if you go far from the shoreline. While the beach appears to have no rocks, they ARE there, beneath the water where you cannot see them. This can be especially dangerous when exiting the water; your feet get caught in the rocks, you can cut yourself and you may need a hand to be pulled up. This pool is the smallest, but definitely the liveliest. Music, dancing, DJ, pool trivia, prizes, water games, it all happens here. The open-air buffet environment was not my favorite, but the food selection here is extensive and made up for it. (Recommendation: Stay here for prime location and walk 2 mins. to the adjacent beach)
COLONIAL & TROPICAL Sections: These beaches are NOT swimmable. Rocks along the shore, youâ€™ll be stepping over them just to make your way into the water. You can certainly take the sun on the loungers but if you want to swim, go to the BEACH (last section) for sure. This pool does appear massive because itâ€™s 2 large pools separated by just a 5â€™ walkway. Thereâ€™s a pool bar at each end, but again no music, no DJ. I canâ€™t speak to the open-air buffets here because I ate only at the huge indoor, air-conditioned buffets (attached to each other) â€” and they were spectacular, SO many selections! The main lobby of the Colonial is traditional and beautiful.
PALACE Section: Access is not included with your stay unless you book this section specifically, and itâ€™s double the price. The beach isnâ€™t swimmable, rocks everywhere, and the pool is far removed. The best way to enjoy this property is to stroll the grounds and have a drink before/after your dinner reservation at the Brasserie. The fountains, terraces, and overall ambience is stunning and upscale (on par with Moon Palace).
MORE INFO: Any issue was addressed immediately. Extra towels, delivered in 5 minutes. When our TV reception became spotty, we were moved to another room across the hall within 20 minutes. I heard they usually require you to move at 3pm the following day when a room-swap is requested, perhaps we got lucky. Bathrooms are not as pictured on the website (vessel sinks, glass shower) unless you reserve a â€śPremium Levelâ€ť room. In standard rooms, the bathrooms (tub/shower combo) are perfectly fine, just not as modern. Youâ€™ll have a sofa unless you get an â€śadjoiningâ€ť room; in which case you get a door and youâ€™ll hear your neighbors every movement so remember that at check-in. The A/C is superb, your room is cooled even while youâ€™re not in it. I requested a blanket! Balconies on the 3rd floor have acrylic panels allowing more sunlight to come through. Balconies on the 2nd floor are concrete and offer more privacy. First floor rooms open to a small patio and include loungers, though nobody utilizes them. Youâ€™ll receive a 40% discount on spa services if your appointment takes place within 24 hours of your arrival. Get a massage, you deserve it. A $20 day-pass gets you showers, sauna, steam, lap pool, hydrotherapy pools, plunge pool, etc. The Fitness center next door is state-of-the-art and completely free to use. Full salon services (hair, makeup, wax, nails, etc.) are available as well. Very Important: Make your dining reservations immediately upon arrival (same-day reservations must be made by 3pm). You can ask to see menus. Note that your luggage will be left in a wide open area of the lobby until you receive your keys â€” so if you have cash, jewelry, valuables keep them close while you kill time at the buffet, pool or shops until 3pm. No safe is offered until you get into your room. Wi-Fi is $9-$12 daily, but itâ€™s free from 10am-1pm each day in the Maya Mall, though connectivity was intermittent. Your in-room mini bar is restocked daily with soda and beer; let them know your preferences. Or empty it to allow space for desserts you bring back from dinner. While room service is offered, the delivery fee is not included. Youâ€™ll pay $8.50 for EACH item you request, whether itâ€™s a full entree or a slice of cake. THAT was my only real complaint.
I enjoyed this resort. The staff was friendly and worked very hard to please guests. We experienced no issues with scams, crime, tainted alcohol, or any of the stuff you sometimes hear about. Security was never an issue, we always felt safe and relaxed. I hope to visit Barcelo Maya again in just a couple of months, itâ€™s really that good. Sorry Moon Palace, you have officially been replaced.
All American Brat (NYC)
PS: We booked our roundtrip transfers with USA Transfers (rated #1 on TripAdvisor) â€” ask your driver to stop at the convenience store along the way. You can pick up sunscreen for half the price here, and thereâ€™s also a Starbucks there if you get a craving!
Thanks to Daniela, Andrei, Ernesto, and josue my son and I had the best time at surf ride at barcelo, they had a lot of patience and good teaching skills, and all had positive attitudes. We will be back! Thanks again to everyone at surf ride at barcelo maya caribe.
Gracias Marco! You made a difference in my trip
Great hotel, rooms are clean and the food is delicious. I played chess with Marco (and won 5 games!). He was very client-oriented and made a difference in my trip. I am looking forward to come back and play with him again.
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