The Barceló Maya Colonial is part of a mega-resort complex in the Riviera Maya (called the Barceló Maya Grand Resort complex) which consists of the following resorts on over a mile-long stretch of beach: the Maya Beach, Maya Caribe, Maya Colonial, Maya Tropical, and the Maya Palace Deluxe. The Maya Colonial is often associated with its immediate “neighbor” and sister resort, the Maya Tropical. As of January 1, 2015, Barceló is changing its resort accessibility policy with the adage “Stay at one, play at four”, meaning guests staying at the Maya Caribe, Maya Beach, Maya Colonial, and the Maya Tropical now have unrestricted access to each others’ amenities. Guests of the Colonial can therefore eat, drink, use the pools and otherwise cavort at the Maya Beach, Maya Caribe, and the Maya Tropical. (The Maya Palace Deluxe has typically been off-limits to guests staying at the other resorts).
Many guests come to this Barceló complex for its beaches, swimming, and snorkeling, and to the Maya Colonial in particular for its old-world charm and numerous onsite amenities. Although the Maya Colonial’s general décor is Spanish Colonial, it offers contemporary amenities with the likes of a disco, Plaza Mexicana shopping center (very pretty when lit up at night and some good bargains to be had in the process), its own Kid’s Club with adjoining children’s water park, a theater (no A/C), the nearby spa with children’s spa services as well, and fitness center (cardio room has A/C, free weights does not). Additionally, there are tennis courts, paddle tennis courts, and a multipurpose sports court for all guests to use.
The Maya Colonial’s behemoth beachfront pool is the perfect place to while away many vacation afternoons. There is a palapa-covered swim-up bar at one end, a fountain and built-in Jacuzzi (non-heated) in the middle, while the end of the Colonial’s pool is marked by a walkway which spans its girth. On the other side of the walkway is the Maya Tropical’s side of the pool with its own swim-up bar and built-in Jacuzzi. Most sundeck shade is provided by large sections of covered structures; the mature palms also provide a minimal amount of shade for poolside guests. The adjacent children’s water park is quite extensive with numerous slides and fountains. On the Maya Tropical side is a lap pool for more serious swimmers. Guests looking for additional fun-filled amenities should check out the Maya Caribe (just south of the Colonial) since it just finished a multi-million dollar renovation and added a bowling alley, teen lounge and disco, Pirate’s Island Water Park, 24-hr. sports bar, casino, and shopping mall of its own. The miniature golf course at the Caribe has also undergone a complete renovation.
The beach at the Maya Colonial is rocky in spots, so you may want to bring your water shoes. Although the overall beach area is much nicer at the Maya Beach and Maya Caribe, the pier at the edge of the property (bordering the Maya Colonial and Maya Caribe) is one of the places at this complex where snorkelers will love to hang out since many fish, turtles, rays, and the occasional barracuda have been spotted. Although snorkel equipment can be checked-out, there is a time limit of one hr. and a deposit of USD $50 to do so. Best to bring your own gear. There are plenty of loungers on the beach, while the many mature palm trees provide shade. There are no umbrellas or Bali beds/cabanas.
Guests looking to enjoy ocean views from their room may be somewhat disappointed since even oceanfront guest rooms don’t actually have unobstructed ocean views–buildings are set back from the beach which may allow for partial ocean views from upper floors if you are lucky. While many guest rooms at both the Maya Beach and Maya Caribe have had extensive renovations, rooms at the Maya Colonial have yet to experience their own refurbishment (rumor has it that these will occur sometime in mid 2016). So far, rooms here have new flat screen TV’s and new linens only.
There is a very good web site which offers all kinds of helpful information concerning this resort complex as a whole. Check out the following: http://www.unofficial-barcelo-maya.com/site/. For an updated map of the resort, check out this link and click “Our Resort”.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Snorkeling off the beach, stay at one play at four, lots of on-site amenities
Con: Beach can be rocky in places, WiFi and room service for non-Club Premium guests is an extra charge, no true oceanfront rooms
Best Suited For: Families, beach lovers, those who don’t mind dolphin captivity, and for those who enjoy a mega-resort set-up.
No. of Rooms: 481
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, balcony/terrace (with the exception of Family Rooms), A/C, sofa/daybed, table and chair, ceiling fan, flat screen TV, mini-bar, in-room safe, telephone, alarm clock, coffee maker, iron/ironing board, robe and slippers, hair dryer, tub/shower combo, and toiletries. WiFi and room service is an extra charge for non-Club Premium guests. Here is a brief rundown of non-Club Premium rooms:
- Superior: King or two dbl beds, desk and chair. Garden view.
- Family Room: King bed in separate bedroom, living room with three sofas/daybeds, coffee table, desk and chair, large picture window (no balcony), two flat screen TV’s, small dining table and four chairs, refrigerator, sink, microwave, guest bathroom.
Club Premium Room Amenities: Club Premium is an upgrade and includes the following amenities:
- private check-in/out
- exclusive concierge
- rooms are closer to the beach–less walking and usually better views
- use of the Club Premium Lounge with top-shelf liquors, continental breakfast, snacks, desserts, board games, books, newspapers, flat screen TV, and computer/printer use
- complimentary WiFi, room service, and local calls
- priority a la carte reservations
- upgraded mini-bar
- upgraded toiletries
- access to top-shelf liquors in all accessible bars upon request
- in-room welcome gift
- spa/beauty salon/hotel shop discounts
- turndown service
- pillow menu
- in-room pool towels
- express laundry service at the normal rate
(Club Premium Guest Rooms)
- Jr. Suite Oceanfront Club Premium: King or two dbl beds, adjacent sitting area with sofa/day bed, coffee table, desk and chair, rainforest showerhead. These suites often have garden or pool/children’s water park views.
- Suite Oceanfront Club Premium: King bed in separate bedroom, living room with sofa/daybed, two armchairs, coffee table, desk and chair, small dining room table and four chairs, guest bathroom, rainforest showerhead. These suites often have garden or pool/children’s water park views.
- Master Suite Oceanfront Club Premium: King bed in separate bedroom, living room with sofa/daybed, armchair, coffee table, dining room table and four chairs, two flat screen TV’s, two bathrooms, Jacuzzi tub, rainforest showerhead, large balcony with full loungers, chairs, and hammock. These suites are on the top floor but do not have great ocean views.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Large pool with a swim-up bar at each end, built-in Jacuzzi, children’s water park, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), spa with Temazcal hut, Kid’s spa services, beauty salon, fitness center (cardio room is A/C, free weights is not), motorized and non-motorized water sports, tennis courts, paddle tennis, multipurpose sports court, giant chess set, hammock area, theater (no A/C), disco, Plaza Mexicana shopping center, chapel, resort shuttle service until 2:30 a.m., concierge, tour desk, car rental, ATM. See reviews for the Maya Beach, Maya Caribe, and Maya Tropical for a listing of shared amenities.
Restaurants/Bars: One buffet restaurant, a beach grill (Mariachi), nighttime snacks at the lobby bar, and two a la cartes including seafood (Marenostrum) and Japanese (Kyoto–teppanyaki show tables). A la cartes require reservations which should be made shortly after check-in, if possible. Guests may also dine at the Maya Beach, Maya Caribe, and the Maya Tropical. The number of times guests may dine at a la cartes is limited by the number of nights spent during one’s stay–typically four for a week’s stay, while Club Premium guests have an additional three. Those who wish to dine at the Palace resort will incur an extra charge of USD $25 p/p. Bars at the Maya Colonial include the swim-up bar, pool bar, theater bar, disco bar, and 24-hr. lobby bar. Bring your own beverage container or buy one at the gift shop since serving containers are small.
Entertainment: The on-site theater hosts nightly, family-oriented shows, while the disco is open from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Teens now have their own lounge and disco over at the Maya Caribe. Live music plays at the lobby bar.