We have just returned from 10 wonderful days at the Barcelo. We booked on Barcelo.com, the price would be comparable to a vacation package but you have more flexibility with dates. Unkown to us until we arrived; this had extra perks- free wireless internet, unlimited dinner reservations, which you could make before arrival (we did know about this one), discounts on tours, spa and convenience stores. We had a king room on the 8th floor, which we did not pay extra for. It was huge (I think all the rooms are), very comfortable and we loved our view of the pool, ocean and jungle.
The resort is spotless, the cleaning staff are working constantly, the grounds beautiful, the pools clean (we saw the water being checked a few times/day), staff very friendly and attentive.
The breakfast buffet was great, the coffee could be a bit better but the fresh orange juice made up for that. We always at lunch at the snack bar. Here you could order from the menu or have the tacos or pizzas they were making. All very good. The dinner buffet had a good selection but it is a buffet and we didn't expect more. Staff were busy and somewhat inefficient, but we were never in a rush. There are three other restaurants but only one is open each evening. The Capri was our favourite. Sevice in the restaurant was excellent. We never had any illness but made a point of using hand sanitizer after touching all the serving tongs at the buffet. If there is an issue of transmitting germs we think it is from other guests more than from staff.
We feel this resort has incredible value! Where in Canada could you stay at a resort for this nightly rate not even considering all the food, drink, entertainment and services.
One of the reasons we chose to stay here was to be away from Puerto Vallarta; the area is beautiful; and it is so nice to not be looking at another hotel. As others have said it is very easy to take the bus everywhere. We did have bites (no-see-ums?), not at the resort so much as at the botanical gardens, Yelepa and the hills around Mismaloya.
Loved this place! Have never stayed at a 5 star, but this certainly does not have a 5 star price.
Our only complaint would be the noise from the TV in the adjacent room, still going at 2 am from not very considerate guests.