Arrival/Check-In: As we drove up to the Barceló Maya Grand Resort, I was in awe of its size. The property comprises five different hotels, each with its own unique style, restaurants and amenities. We stayed at the Barceló Caribe, whose bright orange and white, open-air lobby was flanked by colorful metal statues of Mayan warriors leading the way inside. Directed to the Premier check-in, we were quickly seated and offered welcome drinks. There was a small mix-up with our reservation, as I was traveling with my teenage daughter and husband, and we needed two double beds instead of a king-sized bed. But the room was quickly switched for us and we were told it was ready, even though we were early.
Guest Quarters: Our Junior Swim-Up Suite offered plenty of space, with two double beds and a living area with two facing couches and a table in between. The table held a welcome gift: a bottle of tequila, of course. Sliding glass doors led to the best feature — an outdoor terrace with a small table and chairs, a hot tub, two chaise longues and private access to the pool — our own little private paradise.
Services/Amenities: The Barceló Maya Grand Resort is ideal for meetings and conventions, with more than 49,000 square feet of meeting space in a total of 21 meeting rooms that can fit up to 1,300 people, as well as outdoor areas for as many as 5,000 guests. It also includes an exhibit space for 50 stands.
If you have the opportunity to combine a business trip with family vacation, as I did, the resort has plenty of activities for family members on site while you’re at meetings. Guests have access to tennis, basketball and paddle courts; snorkeling; kayaking; windsurfing; scuba diving lessons; catamarans; water trikes; water aerobics; water polo; volleyball; table tennis; darts and archery; giant chess; pool tables; and more. If parents want some kid-free relaxation time, the Barcy Kids’ Club has daily activities for children ages 4–12 years.
I was pleasantly surprised by the all-inclusive dining options. The resort offers several buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner and 11 additional restaurants available with dinner reservations. We had the pleasure of dining at La Trattoria Ristorante Italiano, the new Italian restaurant, and Mare Nostrum, a spectacular seafood restaurant. We were pleased both restaurants were happy to alter menu items to accommodate the vegetarian in our group. Other restaurants include Mexico Lindo, Mexican; La Fuente, Spanish; Kyoto, Japanese; Capri, Italian; Santa Fe, steak house; Tokyo, new Japanese restaurant; Brasserie, French; Rodizzio, Brazilian; and Caribe, Caribbean.
There are also 15 bars throughout the resort in lobbies, at pools and at the theaters, so guests have plenty of places to congregate and sip a cocktail.
For the fitness-conscious, a gym offers new and modern exercise equipment as well as rooms for yoga, Pilates and Zumba.
Our stay was far too short to experience all Barceló Maya had to offer. I would love to go back for a whole week next time.
◆ You can visit the whole Barceló Maya Grand Resort on double-decker buses that run about every 20 minutes.
◆ Two theaters at the resort provide nightly entertainment. The shows change every night of the week, so there’s always something new to enjoy.
◆ The resort has abundant shopping options, from highend fine jewelry to Mexican handmade crafts; you can find it on site at the Maya Mall.
Barceló Maya Caribe
Puerto Juárez Km. 266
3 XPUHA Q
77750 Riviera Maya,
tel 52 984 875 1500
IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.
This past May, the location of Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland, was granted status as a city of its own during Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Not too shabby for a town that’s actually been around for a while, boasting structures dating to the 11th century.
Marriott Bonvoy and American Express recently debuted changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. The card, aimed at helping small business owners turn business expenses into travel rewards, now provides new and existing card members with a 7 percent Room Rate Discount on eligible bookings at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; four times Marriott Bonvoy points at restaurants worldwide; and complimentary Gold Elite status. These changes are in addition to the card’s other existing benefits.
PHOTO: © BOGDAN LAZAR | DREAMSTIME.COM,
National Rum Day is right around the corner on Aug.16, meaning it’s time to start planning your celebration. Sandals Resorts, the all-inclusive Caribbean resort company, shares recipes from mixologists, allowing rum fans to celebrate as if they are staying on property.
There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*
Until Aug. 21, catch the museum premier of Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood at Boca Raton Museum of Art. After learning one of the large-scale red paintings created by artist Lucio Fontana was the result of his viewing of the 1964 film Red Desert (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni), Lautenberg set out to discover other instances where filmmakers and artists knowingly — or perhaps unknowingly — had an effect on one another’s work.