January 26, 2011

January 26th, 2011

Ok, so sorry this took so long.  I had a job interview and then went with Mark to Atlantic City for a day.  Hopefully the job interview results in a job, that would be awesome. 

Barcelo Maya Palace, Riviera Maya, Mexico.

It was a beautiful resort.  We didn’t get there until later afternoon Friday, and Saturday was pretty cloudy.  After that the weather got sunny and warm.  It was heaven.  The buffets for breakfast and lunch were fine.  You could eat all you wanted and be happy. The restaurants for dinner were a completely different story.  The food was good at dinner, but at the same time there could have been a lot better.  One night we ate all the Brazilian restaurant, and all of the meat was over cooked, and dry.  One night we ate at the French restaurant, and it was ok.  The lobster and shrimp were definitely overcooked, and the steak I had with my surf and turf was salty.  The seafood restaurant was ok, more overcooked shrimp, and the Bouillabaisse soup was so salty that if I had eaten it, my blood pressure would have gone through the roof.

Our last night at Barcelo Palace, we had a dinner reservation for 8 at the Italian Restaurant, and for some reason it was marked as 4.  There were 22 people who had not shown up for their reservations, and the Italian restaurant told us it could not accommodate us.  This was upsetting.  After trying to sort it out we went to the French restaurant, which we did not need a reservation for, and were told we could not be accommodated, AGAIN. It was as if on the last night, Barcelo and it’s staff really didn’t care what kind of time we were having because we were leaving the next day.  So, in all our dressed up glory 8 angry people made our way to the buffet.  The guy who was our waiter really did his best to make sure we had a pleasurable dining experience, even after he learned about what his co-workers in the other restaurants had done.  He carried our plates and a few other wait-staff even helped improve our moods by doing the same thing.  He was the rare shining star of the Barcelo Resort.

We did a lot of things while we were in Mexico for the week.  We went to Playa Del Carmen for shopping and lunch.  Lunch was quite possibly some of the best authentic Mexican food I have eaten.  Taxi rides to and from Playa Del Carmen were super cheap.  $25 split between 4 people one way = about $6.25 per person.

Tulum, the Mayan Ruins, were just as beautiful and awe-inspiring as I remembered. I love them.  Looking at them is like going back in time, and seeing a totally different world.  We didn’t make it to Coba as planned, because the rental car company took too long to get us our vehicle.  But the price of the company we used was way cheaper than the resort’s rental.  I believe we paid $160 for the rental and the resort wanted $310 for their rental.  Lame!

We also did XPLOR.  It’s part of XCARAT, and you can go ATV-ing, zip-lining, rafting and swimming.  It was great.  I got really dizzy and nauseated while doing the zip-line, but I still had fun.  I will definitely go zip-lining again, if given the opportunity.  If you take a trip to Cancun or the Mayan Riviera, I totally suggest you do it.  And, book it online, because through the resort it was almost $120 and online it was $90.  Same thing, except the resort wants all your money, so they mark up everything.

I did get a massage while on the resort, and it was a hot stone massage.  I really loved the hot stone massage I got when I went to Atlantis back in 2007.  This was was ok.  Not as good as Atlantis, but still good.  Also on the resort we were able to buy fish food to feed the fish in the water just off the beach of the resort.  That was actually really fun.  Even when someone spotted a 4 foot reef shark!

Over all I wouldn’t say my stay at the Barcelo was not terrible.  We had a great time, until the last night.  And to me the last night is what really counts.  It’s how you end your trip that matters.  Barcelo is supposed to be the number 1 resort in Mexico.  I would not rate them so high.  Not when there needs to be improvements made to the food cooked at dinner (make it fresher, and don’t over cook it), and if you decide the stay at the Palace, which is supposed to get you access for all the restaurants, be prepared.  You won’t be able to get into them.  You can’t make dinner reservations before your trip, and you can’t make reservations when you get there because all the restaurants are booked solid.  I would give them a mid-grade rating.

If and when I go back to the Mayan Riviera, because I am sure I will at some point, (It’s so beautiful there, you really should go.) I will not be staying at the Barcelo.  I will look into the other resorts and see what else there is to offer.  And to be honest I hope someone from Barcelo reads this.  The price paid for the Palace and all it’s access to the restaurants of all the resorts was not worth it.  I feel if Barcelo improves their overall service in the restaurants (food and seating) I may give it a second chance. 

Here are some pics, hope you enjoy!

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