Over the December holidays, I’ll be heading back to Maya Riviera in Mexico for a third consecutive year. I’ve become a real pro at knowing what to eat, what to drink and more importantly, where to stay.

Sadly I won’t be returning to the Barceló Maya Beach Resort, as I was overruled (note: in my household democracy, the votes are weighted); however, if you don’t know about this crown jewel of the Mayan Riviera, you a clearly missing out.

The Barceló Maya Beach Resort, one of the 142 Barceló Hotels located in 17 countries, is located approximately an hour south of the Cancun, Mexico airport. I would highly recommend that you arrange with the hotel transportation to and from the airport. It will make the arrival and departure a lot more enjoyable and stress less. Upon your arrival, you will be greeted promptly and your bags will be tagged for delivery to your room.

Perfectly situated on arguably one of the best beaches in the world, the Barceló Maya Beach Resort is made up of five different hotels and even includes a “Deluxe” hotel, which is where we have always stayed. The main differences between the Deluxe hotel and the others, is there are a few more restaurants to eat, as well as top-shelf alcohol is included at the Deluxe.

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There are plenty of amenities, typical of what you’d expect at this destination resort. There is an awesome spa, two fitness centers, mini-golf, tennis courts, night life entertainment and an excellent kid’s club. You can also “Swim With The Dolphins” and this year a brand new wave ride attraction was added. I can’t wait to try that out.

Although I’ve been known to be a picky eater, there was plenty of variety for eating. From buffets to sit down restaurants, I never felt as though I or my family were not satisfied with our meals. And here is a bonus: no one caught “Montezuma’s Revenge” (c’mon, you know what that is).

There are plenty of pools and beach space to either lazily lay around soaking up the sun or playing a friendly game of beach volleyball or soccer. The aquatics staff is always coming up with fun games to play and keep everyone entertained.

If bars are your thing there are plenty, both poolside as well as lounges. The bartenders are always there to mix up a drink and keep you well hydrated (with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic elixirs). I even was able to convince a bartender to tell me his secret sangrita recipe.

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I’m a bit nervous about going to a different resort this December, as I’ve really come accustomed to being pampered by the staff at the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort. I have some wonderful family memories from this resort and you can too.

So if you’re looking for a Mexican vacation, come to the Barceló without hesitation. You’ll have a great time like my family has had. Great memories you’ll create and you’ll forever be glad.