My husband and I just returned from our trip to Baru. He has travelled to many all inclusive resorts in Cuba and Mexico over the years and said it was hands down the nicest resort he has ever been to. First of all, the food was fantastic. We ate breakfast at the buffet every morning, and there was a HUGE number of options. I usually filled up on the fresh fruit, there were so many types to choose from! Fresh fruit juice as well! My husband tried almost every hot breakfast option, and raved about the bread choices and omelettes. Lunches were always different...but the best part was the ice cream! There were always at least 5 flavours to choose from, many were exotic fruit flavours. We ate dinner at 2 of the 3 a la carte restaurants during our stay (an allergy to fish made the seafood restaurant out of the question) and our favourite was the asian restaurant, we went back more than once. Dinner at the buffet was also delicious, they never had the same theme twice, and we both really enjoyed the "typical colombian" dish when they served it. They did a great job of labelling the food at the buffet and on the menus in 2 languages for those who were a bit wary of exotic foods. Service in the restaurants was ok, sometimes had to wait for a refill on drinks in the buffet but it was a beautiful building and atmosphere so we hardly noticed. The only complaint we had was that after 6pm there is only 1 bar open in the whole resort, and they only had 2 staff working at it. We went there while waiting for our reservations each night, and often after dinner as well...as did everyone else. 2 staff for a hundred people was very slow. Not to mention that was the bar that had the cappuccino machine so it took 5 minutes to make some of the drinks. The staff also didn't seem to work on a first come first served basis either, so we quickly learned to hold a few thousand pesos in our hand in plain sight and they would come a bit faster to serve us! Don't forget your travel mugs from home either, the cups for beer and mixed drinks are quite small which leads to more trips back with the wait time.
The grounds were immaculate. Gardens were watered, pools were clean, no garbage on the ground, beaches clean and raked. As long as you got to the beach at a decent time, there were many chairs available. We went over to the other beach as well and it was never busy, no matter what time of day. The main pool was busy in the afternoon with activities but we just went to pool 3 in the afternoons and there were rarely more than 20 other people there, and it was very quiet.
The room was great, we originally had 2 double beds but switched after the first night to a king size. It was a honeymoon trip for us and they brought us a nice fruit tray and champagne which was very nice.
It is important to consider that this is not an english speaking country. The staff speaks spanish. Bring a little dictionary if you want, it will come in handy. Learn to say things like please and thank you, my room number is..., coffee, water, beach, towel, pool, excuse me, where is, how much, can you, etc. Some of the staff know how to say these things in english, but it is a spanish speaking resort. We had a great Nolitours representative to help us translate a health question, but we both enjoyed practicing our spanish, and the staff seemed to appreciate it, often helping us with pronunciation. We found it a great part of our Colombian experience.
We did a snorkelling trip one morning with the Nautilus dive shop and it was fantastic. The guide got in the water too and pointed out different things for us, which was great...very different than snorkelling trips we've been on. We also went on the Rosario Islands tour. The excursions were quite expensive, but this one was well worth it! The boat trip out there was fun, the islands beautiful, the aquarium was neat to see, and Playa Blanca (public beach) was beautiful once you got past the group of locals selling things. We were warned of that happening though so we just said "no gracias" and continued on our way. No different than experiences in Mexico or Cuba.
Overall it was a fantastic experience, the weather was beautiful, and the resort was beautiful. I recommend this resort for couples, or families, looking for something out of the ordinary! Bring your sunscreen and camera!