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“Wonderful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Karmina Palace Deluxe

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Barcelo Karmina Palace Deluxe
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Ave Vista Hermosa 13 | Fracc. Peninsula de Santiago, Manzanillo 28867, Mexico   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Up to 15% discount
Ranked #3 of 52 Hotels in Manzanillo
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2010

This is a really nice resort. It seemed like they cater to all types of groups and are family friendly too. We didn't have any problems with kids being in the adult pool & there were plenty of places available to relax away from the kids if you want. The food was very good even though it is an all-inclusive. Honestly we didn't have any of the concerns that other reviewers did. The staff was wonderful, super helpful, and always attentive. I do recomend having some Spanish speaking abilities. Most of the staff knows some English, but it is easier for them to get you exactly what you want if you can ask for it in Spanish. We had a great time & will be going back next year!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,817 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (277)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2010

The hotel is in an absolutely gorgeous setting. The hotel rooms are the biggest we've ever stayed in - and the bathrooms are to die for. You normally get either a bath or a shower, but not both - and especially a soaker tub. Loved it.
They will only give you 2 bottles of water per day - and 2 beer, etc., in the mini fridge. If you expect to need more, start stockpiling at the start of your stay so you don't run out. I called the front desk the first night asking for more water and they never brought it. My husband went to the front desk himself and got some. Somewhat frustrating.
The food was average for sure. We have been to Riu's and their food is superior. The first night we arrived we already knew we would be disappointed and we were, alittle. But the hotel is not on the same scale as a Riu.
The pools are beautiful and clean. Small problem with children in the adult pool. They have 3 other pools to access, and of course, they choose to use the one they are not allowed in. Security would eventually make them move, and they would repeatedly reinforce this, which was appreciated.
The hotel is walking distance into town: Walmart, Starbucks, etc. There is a short-cut through the golf course and it takes alot of time off the walk (you don't need to go all the way down the driveway).
Staff were very nice and helpful.
I loved the weather in Manzaniilo - not too, too hot and not humid at all. It was truly lovely.
Enjoy your trip!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wyoming
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2010

We just returned from a 7 night stay at the Karmino Palace! This resort is absolutely beautiful, very well maintained, delicious food, a private beach area, great spa, the staff is so friendly and helpful!!! We travel to Mexico 2-3 times a year and this ranks as one of our top visits! The resort is pretty busy with local folks on the weekends, it was very quiet during the week. We loved the adult only jacuzzi!! Drinks are great!!! Weather was unbelieveable; not a cloud in the sky any day we were there!! We will definitely return!!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Alberta, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2010

Stayed at the Karmina Palace during spring break, thought it might be a nightmare as so many families travel at that time but we had a great time.
They have 3 adult pools which were great, the other pools were very busy but also nice. Not much of a beach if thats what you like, myself I am a pool girl. Though we did enjoy a lovely walk down the beach, just ask the security gaurd to unlock the gate and it is no problem.
There have not been many travels that we have had where my husband and I say we would "saty here again" but we did here. Food was great ! Staff were nice enough. Room was beautiful !!
I would recommend this hotel, no problem.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatoon, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2010

My husband and I returned from a two-week stay at the Barcelo Karmina Palace on March 29th, and we had an excellent stay

TRIPADVISOR

We found the reviews on TripAdvisor to be fairly accurate; the food is great, the pools are lovely, it's just a great hotel.

This trip was our honeymoon, so we paid a little more than we usually do, but we still feel that we got excellent value for our money.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE & ATM's

Don't worry about bringing a bunch of cash with you; we Canadians get a better rate of exchange by using our bank cards and withdrawing funds directly from our CDN accounts.

Before we left Canada, I bought 1000 pesos, and it cost me $87.46 CDN. When we were in Manzanillo, I used my bank card to withdraw 1000 pesos from my account, and it cost me $83.82 CDN.

Just remember to go to your bank and change your PIN number to a 4 digit number; some ATM's in Mexico don't accept longer PIN numbers.

I'd suggest that you bring some CDN cash to buy drinks on the plane there and back, and buy 1000 pesos before you leave, and ask for them all in 20 peso increments. This will cost you just around $100.00 CDN, but you'll have money to start buying and tipping as soon as you get there.

Canadian visitors, there's really no point in changing any Canadian money into US Dollars before you go; some vendors won't accept US dollars at all, others will accept them but not give very good rates, so you end up actually losing money.

The ATM at the airport may or may not be working, or, as when we went through, may be missing altogether. The most reliable bank machines we found were at the Wal-Mart, and also at the ScotiaBank on the east side of the main road as you taxi to Santiago beach. There are also machines in the city of Manzanillo, so if you plan to take a city tour, you'll see ATM's downtown.

HOTEL STAFF

The staff are absolutely lovely; we had no problem communicating with anyone, and everyone was friendly and courteous. The servers were lovely, and we had excellent service with a smile.

TIPPING

When you leave tips for the maid, make sure to leave the money on your unmade bed; last year when we stayed at the Tesoro, a couple of travelers we met were leaving cash on their nightstands, but the maids won't take anything that's sitting anywhere other than the bed; these are some seriously honest folks. Same with the people who refill your fridge; leave the tip inside the fridge; if you leave it on top, they may not take it.

We tipped about $4.00 per day (20 pesos for the maid, 20 pesos for the fridge lady) and had stellar service; our fridge was never empty and our room was spotlessly clean every day.

CHECK-IN

For us, check-in was relatively quick and easy; we were picked up from the airport by a friend who lives in Manzanillo, so we were the first to get to the hotel. Our check-in was simple and quick, and we were in our room very quickly.

APPEARANCE AND CLEANLINESS

The Karmina is absolutely beautiful, inside and out. The hotel is spotlessly clean, even when very busy, with one exception; the bathrooms by the pool were... pretty gross for many of the days we were there, but other days, were just fine.

HOTEL SAFES

The safe locks at the Karmina Palace are not electronic, they are a lock/key combo, so you can't accidentally lock your safe with the key inside. You definitely don't want to lose your key, though; if you lose the key, they have to drill the safe, and there's a minimum $100.00 US charge for that.

The safe is a standard hotel-sized safe; we fit all our electronic gear (2 Blackberries, 2 cameras, our Zune, and a mini-PC, etc, as well as all our travel documents and had a bit of room to spare. Again, a regular laptop wouldn't fit into it, but our 7" mini-PC fit just fine.

ROOMS

Our room was clean and comfortable, with a huge marble bathroom. The bed was firm, the pillows surprisingly fluffy, and everything was spotlessly clean.

The hotel participates in something like the Green Key eco-rating program, which means that they WILL change your sheets every night, and give you fresh towels every day if you require/prefer. If you want the sheets changed every night (we don't feel it's necessary for us, since I don't change sheets nightly at home) they have a card you need to leave on your pillow. If you want towels exchanged, you're supposed to leave the dirty ones on the floor or in the tub; hanging towels will be considered to be still usable.

Everything in the room worked, worked, and the TV in our room had RCA jacks on the side, so we could plug our Zune in and watch movies at night or during siesta time.

There IS wireless internet available in the hotel, but there's a fee for it. A couple of travelers were telling us that they found a couple of free wireless hotspots from outside providers, but I had no luck logging in to any system but the hotel one, so can't vouch for free wifi.

RESTAURANTS & FOOD

We found the food to be pretty spectacular, with a few caveats. Each night, the main buffet is themed, i.e. Mexican Buffet, French Buffet, Prime Rib Buffet etc. We enjoyed all BUT the Mexican buffet; the cuisine is VERY authentic, and I guess we're just not cool enough to enjoy it. That said, the prime rib nights were spectacular, and even on Mexican night, we still had no trouble eating enough to satisfy us.

The line-ups for the a-la cartes were VERY long when we were there. Get there before 10:00, or be prepared to be disappointed.

The Italian restaurant was kind of a let-down, the appetizers were only okay, the soup was inedible, and I got really sick from the shrimp. My husband had a steak, though, which might have been the best beef I've ever tasted.

We couldn't get into the Japanese restaurant, and having learned that neither of us enjoys authentic Mexican food, we skipped the Mexican restaurant.

BOOZE AND BARS

The fridge in our room came stocked with cans of Sol beer, as well as a couple of varieties of pop, and water.

We were surprised to learn that there's no swim-up bar at the Karmina; this didn't bother us at all, but it was just... one of those things we didn't expect.

POOL AND BEACH

There are a multitude of wonderful pools at the hotel; at the bottom level, a huge all-ages pool where all the families seem to congregate, in the middle level, a quiet all-ages pool with a bartender stationed right next to it, and at the top level, a couple of lovely adults-only pools.

The pools are all interconnected, and seem to be heated mainly via passive solar; the upper adult pools are fairly shallow and have dark tile, so they're where you'll find the warmest water. The other pools are extremely cold in the mornings (not a complaint, just a statement of fact), but they warm up considerably by noon.

The beach is a private sheltered cove that is only accessible to the Karmina guests. Off to the left and right of the resort are two large beaches; on the right side as you face the ocean, there's a fairly quiet bay beach with a lot of rocks, and on the left side as you face the ocean, there's a wickedly scary beach with the biggest surf and most brutal undertow. If you walk far enough along that beach, you'll end up at a place where swimming is maybe a little safer, but I'm not sure how far you'd have to go.

At any rate, the surf at the beach in front of the Karmina is not suitable for boogieboarding or bodysurfing; in order to find the right kind of beach for that, put on your swim gear and pack some towels and head to the lobby to hop in a cab. Ask to go to Santiago beach, by the artist's market, AKA the beach in front of Club Maeva. There's an artist's market there that extends onto the beach, and there are a bunch of restaurants where you can rent a table with an umbrella right close to the water (between 50 and 100 pesos for the day), and drink Coronas in between catching huge waves.

GETTING AROUND

If you walk out the front doors of the Karmina, you can walk about a half kilometer down the driveway and find yourself only blocks away from Wal-Mart and a number of other shops and stores - just turn right at the end of the driveway.

TIMESHARE OPERATORS / BEACH VENDORS

We didn't see or talk to a single timeshare operator in our entire 14 days in Manzanillo.

There were many more beach vendors this year than last year, but just say "No, gracias," and they'll leave you alone.

EXCURSIONS / SPA TREATMENTS / SALON

My husband and I did all our excursions through Tlaloc Tours again this year, and greatly enjoyed it. We did the Colima tour (tour of the capital city) and the Manzanillo sightseeing tour, both of which were exceptional.

I did a few spa treatments at the Karmina Palace, namely a foot and leg massage and a cleansing facial. Both were excellent, and I'd absolutely recommend the spa for anyone looking for a little vacation relaxation.

I tried on more than one occasion to book a manicure and pedicure, but the salon was closed more than it was open, so I had no luck booking anything. Maybe next year!

OUR TOUR OPERATOR / AIR CARRIER

This year, like last year, our tour was booked through Air Transat.

Last year, our only (minor!) complaint was with the food - it was a little gross.

This year, the service was absolutely craptacular - I've never been so thoroughly ignored on an airplane before. They did a lightning-fast first round of drinks, then brought out the food, then essentially vacated the main cabin and left a plane full of coach passengers to their own devices.

No exaggeration, no word of a lie, I couldn't get so much as a glass of water from them for the last four hours of the flight. There were three rows of us with call buttons lit, looking for a drink of water, and the ONLY person who got any sort of service in those last four hours was a woman with two small children, and THEY only got water because her husband got up and went to the front of the plane three times and asked for some.

The moral of this story is to bring your own food and water on the plane, and do whatever you can to limit the possibility that you might need to ask for help from the flight attendants. It's a miserable solution, but it's better than three hours of drymouth and rage.

LAST MINUTE TIPS AND ADVICE

The hotel itself is not in Manzanillo - the city of Manzanillo is about 20 minutes away. Instead, it's in a suburb called Santiago. Everything you might need is there, or in the neighboring suburb/town of Salagua including a Wal-Mart, a KFC (we both got food poisoning two years in a row at the KFC, so we don't recommend it) a Burger King (tastes exactly like home) and a Dominoes (tastes nothing like home), and a few other places, like Starbucks and Dairy Queen. If you get to missing home, go there, but don't go looking for deals; everything is the same price as at home.

Bring travel mugs; they'll keep your drinks colder, longer.

Bring your own boogie boards, if that's your thing; we had no problem arranging carry-on for ours, but boogie boards in ZLO are about double the price for a lower quality product than you'd find at Wal-Mart or Zellers here in Canada.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oklahoma
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2010

This is the first trip report I have written in over 5 years of using TA, have finally found a resort I truely enjoyed. I wanted a few days away from work and the family to relax and unwind. This resort was definately the place.
Was a little unsure due to the good price I got thru Orbitz, was delighted upon arrival to the hotel. The tile and look of the lobby took away any reservations I felt, and the room was excellent. I had an oceanview on the 5th floor, all I could ask for.
The staff was very helpful answering any questions that arose, the room was always visually clean. I say visually because I always felt some slight sand on the tile floor under my bare feet. Mini bar always restocked, plenty of clean towels
I do agree with most of the reviewers that the food in the buffet was good, with some rare exceptions that were great. However also agree that the hot food was only warm, and the cold food only cool ( ice cream was always half melted).
The only other complaint was that the front desk was forever out of peso and seldom could exchange my US dollars. The rate at the hotel was about 15-20% better than spending dollars with taxis or vendors outside.
Went on a very fun cruise and short snorkel thru the hotel, mostly a "booze cruise" as the waters were very murky when we were there. Also tried a day of fishing, hotel was asking $300 for the fishing trip, at the docks and also at the mall a couple of miles to the right of the hotel into town, was able to do it for only $150. Again our timing was bad, sailfish season pretty much over and marlin not biting, we did however catch many 10-20 pound tuna. Also say a huge school of small dolphing that stayed with us for over 10 minutes while trolling, easily over 100 of them.
Saw the nightly 9pm show twice, after seeing it once the second time was a variation of the same with slightly different music. The on site "disco" was pretty calm and did not stay there long.
The pools were excellent, always a chair free, with good drink service, the adult pools did have some children in them most times. Did not partake of the "beach" as it really is not much. No to much in the way of tourist shops in the hotel or even in town.
Upon arrival home, highly recommended this resort to my friends and co-workers. Will probably go back later myself, in fact enjoyed the constant beauty of the hotel. I have booked a trip to the Barcelo in Punta Cana for August.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2010

Arrival was pretty standard – nothing outstanding from the front desk – in fact, this is the one area where we believe they could improve their service.


We had a garden-view suite in the tower on the second floor which faces the golf course, the mountains and the parking lot– note that these rooms (Rooms X030-X038) are not like the pictures posted on the website. They are actually more like 2 rooms – you walk into the sitting room from the hallway which is connected to the bedroom and the balcony through a small corridor beside the bathroom. I found the sitting room quite dark – however, I think it would have been brighter if we had been staying on one of the upper floors. In the end, I think we actually preferred this, as the gurgling fountains right outside of the room masked any noises and also one of us could watch TV in the evening or morning without disturbing the other – this might even work better for families as the kids could have their own room.


Even floors are non-smoking, are odd numbered floors are smoking.


The pools were well kept and the adult pools were very nice. Each is surrounded by trees and flora and this really helped keep all the noise at bay. We really felt like we were in our own tiny oasis. The security guard seemed to make the rounds on a regular basis and would ask those families with children to leave for the family pools. Drink service was very regular – heads up to Aaron for his great service!!!! I don’t think we were ever long without a drink (mango daiquiris) before he came around asking if we needed anything else. We tipped him about 20 pesos every other round and noticed we were the only ones doing so – however, I believe he was just as attentive to those that didn’t tip.


We had absolutely no complaints about the food – in fact it is probably the best we have had at any all inclusive in either Mexico or Cuba. The Italian and Mexican were great – we didn’t go to the Japanese as we have great Japanese here in Vancouver.


The main clientele of this resort are Mexicans. In fact, we saw very few gringos. However, almost all the staff speaks really good English so communication was absolutely no problem.


There are not a lot of activities at this resort – we walked to the shopping centre a couple of times and took the bus downtown, but other than that, there was not much else to do. This wasn’t a problem for us as we were there for R&R, but for someone who likes to be more active, this might be an issue.


All in all, we had a lovely time and were very impressed with this resort!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barcelo Karmina Palace Deluxe

Address: Ave Vista Hermosa 13 | Fracc. Peninsula de Santiago, Manzanillo 28867, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Colima > Manzanillo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Manzanillo
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Manzanillo
#2 Spa Hotel in Manzanillo
#3 Family Hotel in Manzanillo
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Manzanillo
#3 Romantic Hotel in Manzanillo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Karmina Palace Deluxe 4*
Number of rooms: 324
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Barcelo Karmina Palace Deluxe***** hotel has been recognised with the prestigious AAA 4-Diamonds award. It is a spectacular feat of architecture inspired by the Mayan temples. Its tropical gardens with palm trees, along with 6 interconnecting swimming pools with waterfalls, create a romantic and relaxing paradise in a place brimming with fun for all the family. This 5-star hotel offers 324 luxury suites fully fitted with everything you need for a comfortable stay. In addition, all suites have balconies and excellent views of either the tropical gardens or the sea. The Barcelo All Inclusive programme at Barcelo Karmina Palace Deluxe hotel has been designed to ensure your complete satisfaction, enabling you to enjoy our 4 restaurants and their varied cuisine from different countries: Japanese, Mexican, Italian and international. And to complete your holiday in this spectacular luxurious resort, relax in the U-Spa, enjoy the gym, the beauty centre and attend the nightly shows and lively nightclub. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Karmina Palace Deluxe Hotel Manzanillo
Karmina Palace Manzanillo
Barcelo Hotel Karmina Palace
Barcelo Hotel Manzanillo

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