We just returned from The Barcelo Puerto Vallarta yesterday (dec 1), and really enjoyed ourselves. As this was our first trip to Mexico, and our first all inclusive all of our ratings are comparisons against our expectations.
5 out of 5
The friendliness of the staff, and their willingness to accommodate our every need met and exceeded our expectations. Every request was met with a smile, and prompt service.
The jungle backdrop made us feel like we were a million miles away from civilization, and not 12 Km's away from a city of 200,000 people. Just what the doctor ordered!
The beach and water in the bay in front of the resort were both just excellent. The surf was a lot of fun to play in, the water was warm, and the sand was clean.
4 out of 5
We had a family suite which was perfect for our family of 4. The separate bedroom and bathroom for our teenage girls was perfect for the many showers we had. Having said this, the room and the rest of the facility is showing it's age, and could use an upgrade. It's not that it isn't clean, it's just showing some wear and tear.
If gourmet food and premium drinks are what you are looking for, this resort is not the place. This is not to say that the food isn't of good quality and tasty, because it is both of those things. I think it comes down to presentation and choice. After a week, we really weren't keen ongoing back to the buffet.
There are a few exceptions to this comment though.
The taco bar was excellent. Home made tortillas and al Pastor were "da bomb"
The soups served at the buffet and ala carte restaurants were all top notch
The baked goods were all of the highest quality.
As mentioned above this was our first Mexico experience, and I'm sure we willing look back on it fondly. Part of the reason we enjoyed it so much was our experiences off site as well. The venders on the beach and the residents of Mismalayo were all respectful and genuine people. One of the locals we did a little business with was Juan Carlos. He took us snorkelling to Los Arcos, and to Playa las animas which is a beach that can be reached only by boat. We felt safe and well looked after while with Juan Carlos. Thanks to Bob and Ginelle for the recommendation.
We would not hesitate to recommend the Barcelo Puerto Vallarta.