Honeymoon Resort Review: Barceló Maya Palace | Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen, Mexico Beach

We got married!!!

For many of you married folks out there, I’m sure you can relate to our wedding planning madness. We had almost a full year of wedding planning. What a whirlwind the past few weeks were leading up our wedding day. Looking back it was all such a blur, but one thing I do know is that it was everything we wanted and we had the time of our lives! We left our fairy tale venue that night in route for the beaches of Mexico.  Don’t worry, pictures and a recap of all the wedding details are coming!

We were both beyond excited to venture out of the states to explore new culture, new food and new adventures. In fact, this was the first time either of us had ever been out of the U.S.!

Now, because you asked for it, here is our review on our honeymoon resort: Barceló Maya Palace in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Barceló Maya Palace

Transportation

We boarded the plane here in Northwest Arkansas and landed in Dallas for our connecting flight. While in Dallas we saw multiple couples with their matching newlywed shirts and even met another couple from Arkansas while we were waiting!

Mr. & Mrs. Matching Shirts

Our short flight from Dallas took us into Cancun where we grabbed our luggage and walked into a pool of taxi drivers. (like whoa!) We quickly found our arranged transportation company and checked-in.  The distance between the resort and the airport was about an hour long taxi ride, which we had heard lots of stories about. Although our driver drove incredibly fast, it wasn’t as scary as many friends had portrayed. We passed numerous resorts along the way before arriving at the Barceló.

view-from-the-plane

The 1st Impression

As we drove through the gates of the resort there were mini resorts within the Barceló. Barceló Beach, Barceló Caribe, Barceló Tropical, Barceló Colonial and then….we went through the arches of the Barceló Maya Palace. Our bags were unloaded at the front and we were immediately greeted by the nicest hosts and the most beautiful resort lobby. They gave us a quick tour of the palace, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries before we checked-in and off we went! (now I could get used to that!) Our first impression was…well basically, we never wanted to leave.

lobby-before-dinner

The Rooms

We booked an all-inclusive week’s stay in an ocean view suite where we crashed for the first 6 hours upon our arrival (just after eating at our 1st resort buffet, of course). Our room featured a king-sized bed, a living room area with 2 couches, a bathroom suite with a beautiful, spacious double vanity, a rain shower and a full-sized bathtub. The room also offered two huge his and hers’ closets with hanging, shelf and drawer spaces, which I loved. We had a personal balcony which overlooked the pool and a view of the ocean. Although the bed wasn’t a comfy, fluffy heaven as I had imagined it might be, the room was comfortable and clean.

barcelo-room

barcelo-bathroom

barcelo-gazebo

The Food & Drinks

When it comes to the food, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. 🙂 The resort had multiple buffets that we frequented often. Upon our arrival we ate at the Coral Buffet which is open between breakfast and dinner. I just couldn’t choose what to eat, so naturally I tried a little bit of everything! Our favorite breakfast buffet was the La Hacienda. J loved their donuts and I enjoyed their omelets and fresh fruit. We also made a few dinner reservations to explore what else the resort had to offer beyond the buffets.  Our 1st dinner was at the Caribe which served the classic Caribbean seafood. I had the shrimp and J had the lobster.  Our second dinner was at one of the most popular restaurants at the resort, Rodizio, a specialty Brazilian cuisine. Here we both ordered the skewers. They brought out 7 different meats that were cut right off the skewer onto our plate one after the other. We tried their chicken, ribeye, lamb, pork tenderloin…I can’t even name them all without feeling full. There was so much food that we took about one bite per meat and pushed it aside. SO SO good. And our last reserved dinner was at the Japanese Hibachi Grill.

The entire time we were there, this is the only picture I captured of our food!! Our very last lunch before heading back home. But believe me – it was all delicious!

last-lunch

Now let’s talk about the drinks. This was a first for both J and I at an all-inclusive, which means that we could order any drink, anytime, anywhere – say what?! Our favorites were the classic piña colada, tequila sunrise and the strawberry daiquiri. And of course we had tons of water to stay hydrated in that Mexico heat.

water

The Pool

The pools (plural) at the Barceló were big and beautiful! There were waterfalls, swim-up chairs with huts, cabanas, hammocks and our favorite, the swim-up Coco Bar.

barcelo-pool-reflection

The Beach

The beach was beyond perfect. It was a white sand beach with crystal clear turquoise water. I really enjoyed swimming in the ocean as there were colorful fish everywhere and the sea turtles would make an appearance every morning!

beach-2 beach

There was also a small pier down the beach where we jumped in and swam with hundreds of fish and snorkeled down to see a small coral reef. It was so neat and to be swimming with that many fish was so strange!

Now my favorite part of the beach, by far, was taking an afternoon nap by the water. Many days we found us a little shady spot under the palm trees and rested with the sound of the waves crashing in to the shore. I could seriously get used to that part the most.

The Activities

The number of activities to do at the resort are endless and because we wanted plenty of relaxation and down time, we only chose to do one big excursion. Our adventure was a full day of exploring the Mayan culture. We visited a Mayan village, zip lined across lagoons, repelled into an underground cave to swim, hiked through the jungle and cannoned across the lagoon to a Mayan house, where they fed us a traditional Mayan meal. We also climbed one of the most historic Mayan temples, Coba. I’ll be sure to share our story and pictures of that day full of adventure soon!

COBA Temple

In addition to the excursions that you could take, the resort offered many activities right on their beach such as jet skis, paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with the dolphins, riding on a catamaran, sailing, live music shows and daily water aerobics and games put on by the entertainment team!

My Overall Rating

In our opinion, this resort was just perfect for our honeymoon! It was affordable, gorgeous and relaxing. The people were beyond nice and there was never a time when we didn’t have something to do or see and we LOVED that! Our travel agent had explained to us that this was a more family friendly resort with lots of activities rather than a quiet secluded resort, but I feel we got the best of relaxation and adventure during our stay and because we are the busy adventurous type couple, we enjoyed the excitement. Now since we went in October, during their off season, the beaches and resort as a whole were very comfortable and not over crowded.  Score!

barcelo-from-the-beach

Stay tuned for more on the wedding details and our day in the Mayan village.

Do you have more questions about our stay at the Barceló Maya Palace? Put them in the comments below!

I’m partying over here too!

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