NOTE: There is a new casino which recently opened (Sept. 2015) at the Maya Mall; it’s supposed to have card and table games. Check it out and let us know what it has to offer and what you thought about it!
The Barceló Maya Caribe 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 Maya Palace Deluxe. The Maya Caribe is often associated with its immediate neighbor and sister resort, the Maya Beach, and previously had use of just this additional resort’s amenities. 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 Caribe can therefore eat, drink, use the pools and otherwise cavort at the Maya Beach, Maya Colonial, and the Maya Tropical. (The Maya Palace Deluxe has typically been off-limits to guests staying at the other resorts).
The Maya Caribe resort reopened its doors Dec. 2014 following a multi-million dollar renovation to many areas of the resort. The following amenities were completely re-done, added, or upgraded:
- addition of a Dolphinarium (located between the Maya Caribe and the Maya Colonial)
- Barcy Kid’s playground
- lobby and lobby bar
- mall bar
- Club Premium Lounge
- added A/C to the buffet
- new Maya Mall with shops, casino, teen disco, teen lounge, and two new a la carte restaurants (La Trattoria and Tokyo)
- Don Quijote and Captain Morgan’s restaurants
- new 24-hr. sports bar
- new bowling alley
- miniature golf course
- new Pirate’s Island Water Park with splash zone, waterslides, and FlowRider. Children age 6+ can use the FlowRider as long as they are 1.1 meter in height ( approx. 43.3 inches). NOTE: The rule for FlowRider use was originally age 13+, this has been recently changed.
- addition of three new guest room categories–Jr. Suite Swim-Up Club Premium, Suite Oceanfront Club Premium, and Suite Swim-Up Club Premium
Several new amenities incur a charge including dolphin interactions, nighttime miniature golf ($10 p/p), the bowling alley (typical charge is $24 p/lane for two for all day play–people pay different amts. depending on when they get there–all day vs. late at night start), and Pirate’s Island Water Park/Surf Ride ($20 p/person, under age 6 is free). Guests staying in top level Club Premium suites may not have to pay these charges–check with the Club Premium concierge upon arrival.
When not shooting down a waterslide or throwing a strike at the lanes, guests will appreciate the beautiful beach at the Maya Caribe. The beach on this side of the property is one of the primary reasons why guests book either this resort or the Maya Beach resort–clear water, easy ocean entry, and swimmer-friendly. There are some areas which can be somewhat rocky (the further north one goes along the Barcelo beachfront, the more rocky it becomes offshore), but water shoes are generally not needed here. For those interested in snorkeling, the pier at the edge of the property between the Caribe and the Colonial as well as the waters at the Palace Deluxe resort provide great opportunities to see turtles, rays, and the occasional barracuda. 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.
The pool at the Maya Caribe is smaller than some of the other Barceló resort pools, but it does have a built-in Jacuzzi, fountain, shallow children’s section, and a swim-up bar. Although there are no shade umbrellas at the pool, there are man-made overhead structures and natural shade opportunities.
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 Standard rooms have had a change of linens and added a flat screen TV, Club Premium rooms have been fully renovated with the addition of balcony/terrace Jacuzzis as well as swim-up suites. Swim-up suites do not connect with the main pool, but they do have built-in loungers.
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: Beach, stay at one play at four, new amenities
Con: Charge for new amenities, no true oceanfront rooms, WiFi and room service $ for non-Club Premium guests
Best Suited For: Families, beach-lovers, those who don’t mind dolphin captivity
No. of Rooms: 408
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, balcony/terrace, A/C, sofa/daybed, table and two chairs, in-room safe, mini-bar, flat screen TV, telephone, coffee maker, ceiling fan, iron/ironing board, robe and slippers, alarm clock, hair dryer, shower, and toiletries. Room service and WiFi is an added charge for non-Club Premium guests. Here is a brief rundown of non-Club Premium rooms:
- Superior: King or two dbl beds. Garden view.
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, balcony Jacuzzi, two sofas/daybeds, radio alarm clock with iPod dock, rainforest showerhead. Partial ocean view.
- Jr. Suite Swim-Up Club Premium: King or two dbl beds, terrace Jacuzzi, terrace access to a private pool with built-in lounger, two sofas/daybeds, radio alarm clock with iPod dock, rainforest showerhead.
- Suite Oceanfront Club Premium: King bed in separate bedroom, balcony Jacuzzi, two sofas/daybeds in separate living room area, dining table and four chairs, two bathrooms, two flat screen TV’s, soaker tub, rainforest showerhead, balcony privacy screen. Partial ocean view.
- Suite Swim-Up Club Premium: King bed in separate bedroom, terrace Jacuzzi, terrace access to a private pool with built-in lounger, living room with two sofas/daybeds, dining table and four chairs, two flat screen TV’s, radio alarm clock with iPod dock, rainforest showerhead, bathroom soaker tub, two bathrooms.
- NOTE: Corner suites have dbl the balcony/terrace space.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Pool with swim-up bar, Jacuzzi, and shallow children’s section, poolside hammock area, dolphinarium, Pirate’s Island (waterslides, splash zone, and FlowRide), miniature golf course, teen lounge, teen disco, Barcy Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), new playground, bowling alley, 24-hr. sports bar, Kukulcan theater located between the Caribe and the Maya Beach, motorized/non-motorized water sports and dive center, new Maya Mall shops, concierge, tour desk, car rental, and resort shuttle. See reviews for the Maya Beach, Maya Colonial, and Maya Tropical for a listing of shared amenities.
Restaurants/Bars: The on-site buffet restaurant has been renovated with A/C added, while two new a la cartes have been added to the existing one which has also been renovated. These a la cartes include Spanish cuisine (Don Quijote), Pan-Asian (Tokyo–teppanyaki tables and sushi bar), and Italian (La Trattoria). Tokyo and La Trattoria are new and located in the new Maya Mall area. A la cartes require reservations. There is also a poolside grill which has been fully renovated (Captain Morgan). Guests may also dine at the Maya Beach, Maya Colonial, and Maya Tropical. Upon check-in, guests are given dining vouchers for a la carte dining (typically four for a week’s stay, while Club Premium guests have an additional three)–it’s best to make reservations immediately upon check-in. Those who wish to dine at the Palace resort will incur an additional charge of USD $25 p/p. Five bars are scattered throughout the property including a swim-up bar, pool bar, theater bar, lobby bar, and shopping mall bar. Self-serve bar options have been added (taps face outward at some drink stations) including soda, beer (Corona), margaritas, and daiquiris. Bring your own beverage container or buy it in the gift shop since serving containers are small.
Entertainment: The on-site theater hosts nightly, family-oriented theme shows, while the Jaguar disco over at the Colonial is open from 11 p.m. until 2 a.m. The teen disco is open from 8 p.m. until midnight.