BY NICOLE DEFOREST
It’s not to early to start planning for a March break vacation.
I had the pleasure of staying at the Barcelo complex in Riviera Maya this past October with my family and I must say it’s one of my favourite hotels. (I’ve seen over 300 in the Caribbean).
This hotel is great for everyone; families, couples, singles, honeymooners and travelling with younger children. The complex is made up of five hotels on the one property, with free trolley services to get around. Stay at one, play at four, unless you upgrade to the Palace then you have access to all hotels on the property. All hotels offer large rooms with modern or traditional Mexican flare.
The Palace: Quiet and laid back, top notch service and dining, best water park for the kids, just an ok beach.
Tropical/Colonial: Conveniently located in the middle of the five hotels, offers a better selection of water slides for the kids, great food and service. Has the option to relax or join in on the fun.
Maya/Carib: Recently renovated to a modern decor, best stretch of beach of all the hotels, great food and service, very lively atmosphere.
A few years ago, they added a pirate ship equipped with large water slides and a wave rider, fun for the whole family. As well as Dolphinaris where you can watch daily dolphin shows or even go into the water to experience an up close and personal interaction.
These hotels are built along a long stretch of white powdery beach (a little rocky near the Palace) with crystal clear water. No issues finding a chair or trees for shade. Excellent snorkelling right off the beach with colourful fish and coral. We even saw a stingray and sea turtle.
The service was top notch here, staff were so friendly and accommodating. Didn’t take long if you called down for more towels or room service. The food was fantastic, lots of selection, colourful and full of flavour. They even have a lower buffet table for the kids with all the American classics.
The Barcelo also has a mall in the complex where you shop for duty free jewellery, dine at off site restaurants, shop at local vendors or larger stores.
Each hotel in the complex has a mini water park for the kids. Ranging from splash pads to water slides. We couldn’t keep my son away from these areas. The kid’s club was fantastic. Lots of daily activities and games to participate in and a fun mini disco to attend at night. Don’t forget to ask for your Barcy card when you participate to earn points towards free souvenirs.
Put this hotel on the top of your list when considering March break!