Barceló’s own slogan boasts their hotels are “more than you imagine”, when in actual fact, we left feeling rather underwhelmed.
This hotel is not without its charms, sitting enveloped amidst panoramic views of the Caribbean sea and the Nichupte lagoon. The hotel sits a mere stone’s throw away from “luxury avenue” who’s retailers feature high end brands such as Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Unfortunately, these hotels charms begin to fizzle out once you have got over the location.
Everyone has a different experience when staying at a hotel, and it can obviously vary on many conflicting factors. I believe however that our three week stay was enough to get a grasp on the true standing of this hotel.
Our “more than you imagine” experience started after we arrived from 14 hours of travel, we got more than we imagined standing in a cue for 2 hours to check in, the cue in front of us a mere three people. Our experience continued when we had to drag all of our luggage unassisted up multiple flights of stairs, and then down a discoloured squalid corridor which wouldn’t have looked out of place in a crack den. When we thought we could finally throw down our bags to relax, we discovered our “lagoon view” room was that of various delivery vans, cooling units, extractor fans but no lagoon in sight, and two small single beds.
The next two hours of our holiday was spent at reception getting told there was absolutely no rooms available even if we paid for an upgrade. Then we mentioned that we were hoping to book a wedding in Cancun for 30 guests, and a superior ocean view room materialised.
Hotel Grounds / Ambiance
Beautiful location and beach, and central in Cancun for anywhere you may want to visit. The grounds themselves are pleasant and the hotel has three pools, with a bar at each open early till late. The hotel lets itself down on something it could have excelled at, one pool is taken up all day with water based activities, one is filled with drunks and incredibly rowdy, and the one remaining pool has a pleasant water feature and views of the sea. As both discussing the latest football results with intoxicated dancing strangers, and synchronised slow dancing to Westlife covers where not on our agenda, we opted for the water feature pool. This pool was ok, although relaxing there meant listening to multi-lingual call outs of bingo scores laced with innuendo regarding certain numbers.
Another nice feature is the poster in the hotel lobby that reads “Hey baby…Do you want to get wet?” and the scantily clad ladies showing 90% of their bodys and grinding on the floor whilst doing the splits during the night show. Suitable for family’s or couples? No. The ambiance of this hotel made me feel like I was at a seedy swingers club.
Slow, deceptive and extremely rude, I can’t even understand how these people where employed.
Restaurants & Food
you have two ala carte restaurants at your disposal, that require booking at between 8am-2pm with the dreaded reception or you won’t get in, regardless of how busy they may or may not be. The superior of the two would be the Mexican restaurant, reasonable food, and if you ask for a Mayan coffee you will get a nice surprise (but its not on the menu) if you don’t tip however, you will simply get ignored by the staff, it’s quite spectacular to see them dart past your table avoiding all eye contact and ignoring your “Excuse me”. The manager of the Mexican restaurant is the most sullen individual I have ever met, he “greets” people as they come in, but in all our 5 visits to the Mexican, never spoke one word to us or even cracked a smile, merely grunted and pointed to our table. The Sea food restaurant is lacking, the majority of the food was stale, and the waiter managed to spill a drink all over me, and the room feels like being in a swimming pool changing room. You also have the Spanish restaurant, no booking required. If you strike lucky this restaurant provides the best food we tasted in the hotel, slow cooked BBQ pork loin ribs, and braised steak in red wine sauce, fantastic, other nights however, it failed to impress. The last to mention is the “Majorca” buffet, which is the main no booking required dining area, this is where you will get breakfast, which has all the options you could want, as well as strangely, reheated paella and tacos from the night before. This restaurant has a “Mexican, Mayan, and Caribbean” night, all of which serve exactly the same food. Pork, fish, or chicken (The chicken is just the bony part of the wing and ultra fatty) aswell as chips, pasta etc. This hotel reheats a lot of food, and you will notice the pork is moist Monday, and as the week stretches on, goes dryer and dryer, disgusting. One final note, the “Majorca” buffet is crammed with tables, you can hardly move.
Depending on your barman the drinks can range from pleasant, to foul. All it comes down to is effort (which is extracted via your wallet) the cocktails in this hotel made correctly are great, equally the same cocktail made in a hurry is truly awful. The most unpleasant thing is that all the empty plastic glasses are “swilled” in a dark brown container of water and instantly reused, and most of the time, your drink will have a powdery brown residue at the rim of the glass.
an ocean view room will make your stay bearable. Room well cleaned, large shower, large bed, mini fridge restocked daily with 2L beer 5L soft drinks 2L water two bags of nuts and two chocolate bars, aircon unit and ceiling fan.
Certain corridors in this hotel flood to about 2-3 inches of water, you will get wet feet leaving your room to go out for the night, why hasn’t this been addressed ?
One woman ran screaming in to the lobby in absolute shock, she claims as she woke up from an afternoon nap she found a member of staff in her bathroom, and then her purse 500 dollars lighter.
The hotel has a photography team which walks around holding various animal for you to take pictures with, the baby crocodiles mouths where taped shut so tight the flesh had peeled away from its snout, the iguanas tail has been tied on to prevent it from ejecting, and I kid you not, the handler of this animal swung it around in his hands to stop it wriggling, then dunked its head in the pool.
The ultimate insult to your intelligence is that the jewellery store in the hotel is selling obvious costume jewellery as “solid Rhodium” bracelets, rhodium is worth ten times the value of 24 carat gold. Hilarious.
Great location, ideal for a partying holiday, not for couples or family’s.
Get an Ocean View room if possible.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC