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Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe epitomizes luxury on the Riviera Maya - GTH
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Exploring our world through gay eyes

Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe epitomizes luxury on the Riviera Maya

The beach at the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe beckons guests to take a moment and relax. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

The beach at the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe beckons guests to take a moment and relax. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

This very impressive all-inclusive resort provides luxurious surroundings, delectable cuisine, and rare blend of posh and casual. From it’s hideaway at the Barcelo complex of resorts over half way between Playa Del Carmen and Xel Ha, the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe is the jewel in the crown of the Barcelo Maya Beach resort complex. This luxurious all-inclusive has the best of both worlds: an exclusive, un-crowded ambiance of a boutique five-star resort, but with all the amenities of a megaresort close at hand.

Lounging, entertainment, and beach options
Palace guests have a variety of beach and hotel facilities exclusively at their disposal, including pools, a fun kid’s mini-water park, and other entertainment and sports venues. In addition to onsite amenities at the Palace, you will also have access to all the dining, beach, and common area facilities and amenities of each of the other four resorts making up the Barcelo Maya complex. A courtesy shuttle makes the rounds every twenty minutes or so, and the walk is very manageable, about ten to fifteen minutes to the Colonial, for example.

The beach at the Palace is in a class all it’s own, with cozy inlets and calm bays, crystal blue waters, and palms swaying in the breeze. The meandering layout of chairs seems to create a sense of privacy and seclusion even when full of people. All of this is, of course, by design. You can’t help but feel like you almost have your own private beach, another hallmark of the luxurious touches Barcelo infuses into this property’s design.

The main lobby is decorated with a cosmopolitan chic aesthetic reminiscent of Miami’s South Beach, providing many areas to sit or mingle inside and out. Lobby terraces and balconies are furnished with trendy yet inviting seating creating a balance of hip and intimate. Off the main lobby, Carey’s is designed as a relaxed bar and lounge. Those looking for a livelier venue during the day can visit Coco’s bar by the pool, where Latin and club vibes set the tune for those enjoying the beach.

Quiet spots with gorgeous views can be found throughout the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe complex. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

Quiet spots with gorgeous views can be found throughout the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe complex. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

The Palace offers a high-tech, luxuriously appointed theatre for nightly live folkloric performances and Vegas-style shows with a decidedly Latin flavor. Guests can enjoy ample cabaret seating where each two or four individual plush chairs have their own full sized table. The productions are quite lavish, and often have the feel of the best of Broadway, Vegas or Miami.

Culinary dining options: World class and well worth the trip!
For many travelers, the variety and quality of dining offerings are a very important deciding factor when choosing an all-inclusive resort. The Maya Palace provides culinary options, variety, and quality to tempt even the most gastronomically sophisticated traveler. The number of dining venues is astounding in this five-hotel resort. At the Palace are two buffet restaurants, an ocean grill, and several specialty options. I must point out that the buffets here are executed with such attention to detail and presentation, they are truly exceptional. Although I’m someone who normally avoids buffets, I still found myself impressed repeatedly with the selection, taste, and high quality of the food.  Even the proverbial ‘pool grill’, Coral, featured delectable dining options. It’s evident that Barcelo’s Maya Palace employs only the best chefs to prepare and oversee its operations.

Specialty dining alternatives are truly special here, providing not only variety of cuisine but mouthwatering delicacies using fresh and high-caliber ingredients that are masterfully prepared by world class chefs. Dinner at the French restaurant Brasserie, for example, starts out with artisanal breads, and features starters such as terrine of foi gras, fine escargots, or classic French onion soup.  Main course highlights include Chateaubriand, lobster, duck, filet mignon, surf & turf, or refreshing fish and vegetarian alternatives, all without any additional surcharge.

The Caribe restaurant is also noteworthy, with haute cuisine re-interpretations of classic Caribbean fare. For those seeking Asian cuisine, the Japanese tepanyaki restaurant Kyoto offers sushi, sashimi, and of course the panache of table side cooking, all with included sake. Make sure to specifically ask for the grill-side table when booking otherwise you may be disappointed when seated at a regular table and miss the show. The menu is the same in either seating but the show is an experience not to be missed.

An additional notable touch is that Barcelo provides full bar service in all its buffets and restaurants so you can order your preferred beverage with every meal. As far as all-inclusive dining options, the Barcelo Maya Palace raises the bar for all AI properties, and is easily comparable to the finest restaurants on land or specialty restaurants at sea.

Guests at the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe can wile away the day in one of the many hammocks strung along the beach. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

Guests at the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe can wile away the day in one of the many hammocks strung along the beach. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

Accommodations –Elegant, modern and very roomy
The first impressions in the accommodations are that even the standard rooms at the Maya Palace are spacious and lavishly appointed. Spanish colonial arches and columns are blended with dark wood and rattan island interiors. Furnishings are refreshingly simple but draped in warm reds and earth tones, while artwork and wall hangings are an eclectic blend of modern rustic and contemporary. Perhaps the most impressive part of the standard suite is the bathroom. The longest lie down full bathtub we’ve seen in years (easily accommodating my six foot height) is combined with an adjoining shower centered around a natural rain-style shower head. Two large onyx bowls function as a double sink, and are accented with additional onyx touches and granite masonry.

With the smallest standard suite at just under five hundred square feet, all accommodations feature the most luxurious amenity of all: space. If you’re used to more lavish accommodations, or for those celebrating special occasions, you’ll be interested in the Michoacan or Oaxaca presidential suites. While they only accommodate a maximum of three people, at about two thousand square feet, they are enclaves of relaxation and serenity in and unto themselves. For larger families wanting to stay together in one room, the Family suites offer sleeping for up to six persons in one thousand square foot units.

It’s evident that Barcelo has pulled all the stops to deliver a superlative guest experience at the Maya Palace Deluxe in Riviera Maya, Cancun. When looking for a high quality all-inclusive resort, you should seriously consider the Barcelo Maya Palace with its tasteful and roomy suites, amazing food and beverage. This resort delivers overall quality in a luxury product at excellent value. Without reservation, I can say that this is one of my absolute top recommendations for an all-inclusive resort for clients who appreciate a great beach, exquisite cuisine and plush accommodations!

 

The sun rises on the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe, begging sun worshippers to enjoy a day on the sand. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

The sun rises on the Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe, begging sun worshippers to enjoy a day on the sand. (c) GTH & Nathan DePetris

If You Go:

  •   Consider upgrading to Club Premiere –it’s such a value and includes special lounge access, unlimited specialty dining, concierge services and more.
  • When planning day tours, consider private tour options that can leave earlier in the day to arrive at the popular sights and ruins well ahead of the crowds and heat. Arriving at Chichen Itza by 9:30 am, for example, requires a 7am departure. While brutally early, this rewards you with an almost uninhabited site free of crowds and creates a truly memorable experience.
  • Taxi rides are almost twice as expensive from the airport to the resorts as the other way around (about US$120 vs $70!) so make sure you book a transfer with your travel agent, at least for the arrival.
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