Headquartered in Spain, the Barceló resort chain is owned and operated by the Barceló family. Operating primarily in Europe, The Caribbean and Latin America, the 88 year-old family business owns two hundred fifty hotels and resorts. In 2019, The World Travel Awards named Barceló the “Best Hotel Brand In Mexico and Central America. Twenty-six of the company’s resorts were nominated as “best establishments in the world”. Throughout our stay, we were impressed by the friendly and accommodating staff, from the front desk to the wait staff and everyone we encountered.

Barceló Palace

The resort complex is made up of low-rise, three story buildings with elevator access

The centrepiece of the company’s Mayan Riviera location is the lovely beach; a snorkeler’s delight with aquamarine waters teeming with multi-coloured fish and sea turtles. And while the guest focus is on the beach with lounge chairs placed amongst the palm trees, each part of the resort features large swimming pools, lap pools, adult “quiet pools”, and water parks for children (except the newly opened adult’s only section).

There are six individual resorts in the Barceló complex on the Mayan Riviera, ranging from four to six stars – the latter being a recently opened adults-only facility. Guests are welcome to use the restaurants and beachfront of any of the resorts; except at the new six star facility.

Barceló PalaceWe enjoyed a week at the Barceló Maya Palace, a five star resort that met and exceeded our expectations in all aspects; from the beach, to the pools, restaurants and everything in between. We met people who have returned to ‘The Palace’ three and four times, saying that this all-inclusive resort provides everything that they wanted in a holiday.

The accommodations are in three storey buildings with open air courtyards, well-maintained gardens and fountains. Elevators are available. The ocean front rooms have a modest premium, and the face directly onto the beach.

Barceló Palace

The always popular Kiddie water park

The lobby and hallways are open-air, with warm Caribbean breezes bringing a hint of ocean salt air. In addition to a very large freeform pool (that was the sight of afternoon Aquafit classes); there was a lap pool for guests who wanted to maintain their daily exercise regime. Scuba diving classes are also available. The Palace has an expansive children’s water park that was a hit with toddlers and young children alike. Day care services are offered. We noticed that pool-side rooms with main floor patios were popular with families traveling with young children. As grandparents, we made a mental note for our next family vacation.

The accommodations are large and well-appointed, with two double or king-sized beds available. Ultra-modern bathrooms are equipped with rain and traditional showers. Each room has a sitting area that opens out to a good-sized balcony. Our suite was at the quiet end of the building, overlooking lush gardens. Housekeeping services include a turn-down service. Complimentary in-room mini-bars are restocked daily. Everything you would expect in a five star resort.

Barceló Palace

We enjoyed quiet afternoons by the adult-only ‘Quiet Pool’

The beachfront is a real life version of what most people imagine to be their idea of a perfect beach. Plenty of lounge chairs amongst the royal palms. The beach front is made up of several mini-bays running the length of the resort complex. There are lifeguards on duty during the day. The Palace is located at one end of the beach – making it a little quieter.

Adjacent to the beach there is a basketball court, ping pong tables, tennis courts, shuffleboard, Bocce Ball, and even a soccer pitch a short distance away. There is a fully equipped fitness centre and adjacent spa on site. About halfway along the mile-long beach, there is a pier where you can sign up for a dive expedition, deep sea fishing and hang-gliding.

Barceló Palace

Couples or single massages are offered at the quiet pool and also on the beach

Hobie Cat sailboats and sea kayaks are available as part of your package. There is also a dolphin pool a couple of hundred yards walk down the beach, to another one of the Barceló resorts.  For a fee, guests can get into the pool with the dolphins, while supervised by a trainer.

The resort complex has its own upscale shopping mall that is popular in the evening. It’s also the home of the on-site casino, and a marketplace selling traditional Mexican souvenirs. The resort runs a double-decker bus every 20 – 30 minutes. You’ll also find the Ventura Fly & Ride Park nearby; which offers a Zip-Line circuit, 10 rope-course circuits, a Bungee swing, Aquazip, Parachute Landing, all family Quad Cycles and a Go-Kart track. You might have trouble getting the kids back to the beach! Adjacent to the Mayan Mall is Strikers Sports Bar & Bowling, plus an outdoor Mini Golf ‘course’. The Maya Mall offers One Disco Club for teenagers.

Barceló Palace

Traditional Mayan sculptures are located along the beachfront

Cuisine is an important part of a successful holiday, and we enjoyed the A-La-Carte restaurants in addition to the buffets. There is a vast selection of food available at the buffets, open for Breakfast, Lunch and Supper. The two main buffet restaurants at The Palace had outdoor seating overlooking the ocean. Inside, white linen table cloths and attentive waiters provided an elegant atmosphere.

The Palace has three a-la-carte restaurants, and we sampled each one – returning to the French cuisine at La Brasserie a second time after enjoying a terrific meal and superlative service. It was like old home week when a couple returning after a year’s absence was warmly greeted by the staff. Hugs all around!

Rodizio is a Brazilian-themed restaurant that featured choice meat cuts on a sword served at your table. Lots of fresh pasta and an enormous salad bar completed the evening menu. We also enjoyed a fine dinner at Caribe, featuring a variety of fish and seafood. One evening we ventured next door to the Maya Colonial and had a very enjoyable meal and dining experience in their Mediterranean restaurant that has an open kitchen. There is a warm ambiance in all the restaurants, but the wait staff and chefs in the Mediterranean location were obviously enjoying a friendly camaraderie.

We had a terrific week, and wished that we had booked a longer stay. The number of guests we met who were on their second, third and even fourth visits illustrate the popularity if this resort.

Barceló Palace

The Riviera Maya ‘sign’ is a favourite for souvenir photos

Travel Planner   

We booked our trip through Transat Holidays, and took the advice of our travel agent, who recommended Barceló Maya Palace. In fact, she noted that many travel professionals such as herself take their vacations at this resort.

Please visit www.transat.com or contact your local travel agent.   


Barceló Palace