The Renovated Barceló Maya Grand Resort on Mexico's Riviera Maya Is a Family Paradise

Beaches, a world-class spa, entertainment, and good food to write home about at this five-star complex
Barcelo Maya Tokyo Restaurant

Wendy Altschuler

Grilled salmon with salted vegetables yakimeshi (fried rice) at the Barceló’s Tokyo Japanese restaurant.

Barceló Maya Grand Resort on Mexico's Riviera Maya — the verdant tourist district on the Yucatán Peninsula's Caribbean coast — is the ideal multi-generational family travel hot spot, especially for food-loving families. This five-star, all-inclusive resort shares the region’s longest stretch of private beach. The property features loads of live entertainment; different swimming pool (family-friendly and adult-only) options; a newly expanded and redesigned world-class spa facility (with a separate kid’s spa!), which includes a new hydrotherapy circuit and aromatherapy shower; and 22 gourmet restaurants. New this year for guests, thanks to an $80 million renovation completed in 2015, are two new restaurants; new swim-up luxury suites; a vast Maya Mall shopping and entertainment center (complete with bowling alley and teen disco); a miniature golf course; and a waterpark with a surf pool (lessons are available). [related]

Beyond the fabulous sweeps of sandy beaches, soothing swimming pools, and nightly entertainment, Barceló is also known for its more than palatable food. Of course, there are multiple all-inclusive bars, grills, and buffet restaurants that offer noshes and cocktails around the clock (with separate kid-level places serving favorites like chicken nuggets, pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream), but the real dining gems are the full-service sit-down options at the five different hotels.

Visit Barceló Maya Tropical hotel, for example, for the Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, which offers Asian fusion cuisine that’s prepared on a flaming grill in front of you by a chop master with flashy knife-wielding skills. Nigiri sushi, maki sushi rolls, sashimi, tempura, or fresh fish with yakimeshi (Japanese-Chinese fried rice) — it’s all here and it’s all delicious. The Barceló Maya Palace Hotel is where you’ll find the Palace Brasserie Restaurant, a monochromatic, swanky little French bistro with an excellent menu and a lovely alfresco patio: ravioli alle pistache, capuchino de langosta, asado de salmón fresco, and a fun caja sorpresa (jack-in-the-box) de bombones are fan favorites.

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There is much to explore at this all-encompassing five-star resort on the stunning Mexican Caribbean coast. Your whole extended family will be taken care of here. Barceló offers everything you’d expect for a relaxing vacation: entertainment, beach time, kid-friendly activities, an incredible spa, free-flowing drinks, and food to write home about.