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“First time in Mexico.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Puerto Vallarta

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Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Zona Hotelera Sur Km. 11.5, Puerto Vallarta 48294, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #47 of 120 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Edmonton
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“First time in Mexico.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Before you read my review, please keep in mind that I have nothing to compare this resort to. This review will be based solely on my experience at this resort, not a comparison to anywhere else.

The View: The pictures say it all. Ocean AND Mountains. This is one of the features that brought me to Puerto Vallarta. Every room has a spectacular view of both. We stayed in room 2808 which is on the 8th floor of the north side. 5 of 5 stars for the view.

The Location: Located in the small town of Mislamoya, about 15-20 minutes via cab to downtown PV. The town of Mislamoya itself doesn't have much to do, maybe spend half a day there. There is a Tequila distillery (I didn't go, so can't say if it's good), The Puerto Vallarta Zoo (which is AMAZING, see my review on this), and an authentic Mexican feel to it. Keep in mind that the cab fares are set rates from the hotel, 130 pesos to downtown PV (10 canadian roughly) so don't pay any higher than that returning. Being so far from downtown meant that you had to stay entertained at the resort, which there is lots to do, but still. 3 of 5 stars for location

The Rooms: The rooms are pretty much like the pictures show, Awesome! The rooms are suites, so that alone is great. We had a King Size bed in the main room, 2 singles beds in the bedroom. The beds were really comfortable. They were on the softer side, which is good for me. One bathroom had a walk-in shower with a rainfall shower head. The other was a standard bathtub with standard shower. Mini-Fridge was stocked with Tecates Beer, Water, Pop, and some snacks. FYI, A note and small tip got my fridge stocked the way I wanted ;-)
DO NOT CLOSE THE PATIO DOORS IF YOU ARE ON THE BALCONY!!! I closed mine and they accidentally latched so we were stuck out there for a good 15 minutes before I finally managed to shake the thing loose! I'm not sure if every door was like that, probably not, but ours was. Beware! 4.5 of 5 stars

The Staff: The staff was excellent. Bartenders were fun and friendly, servers were fast and courteous. Front desk was very informative and knowledgeable. Sitting around the pool, they have servers walking around the pool chairs to bring you drinks. I wasn't expecting this, so this was awesome! Most spoke very good English, the ones who didn't were the house-keeping staff and kitchen staff... I realized I'm in their country, so I tried to learn some Spanish to help me there. 4.5 of 5 stars.

The Pools: Blew me away. The pictures didn't actually show how great these are. There are 3 pools and 2 hot tubs. One pool has a swim-up bar and a sun-tanning pad where you can lay in about 3 inches of water and get a tan! Great! The other one has a waterfall you can swim under. I read some reviews about other resorts and people having to claim chairs with towels really early, This was not the case here! We came to the pool at different times every day and ALWAYS got a chair beside the pools. They have more than enough! Also, they serve you drinks while you relax!! You don't even have to get up if you don't want! 5 of 5 stars

The Food: First off, I want to say that I brought a lot of Pepto and Immodium. I took them daily as a preventive measure and I must say.. It worked! --- With that said, the food was AWESOME.

The Buffet had new stuff every day, usually featuring a different area of the world. Along with that, they had the same good stuff every day too. So if you're a meat and potatoes kind of person, you'll be happy. Breakfast was particularly good. Enjoying my coffee right next to the ocean was great! The omelette station was frequented by myself quite a bit. Lunch and Dinners were also very tasty there. Fish, chicken, beef, pork, pasta, salad, and dessert were all offered at every meal we ate there. They have lots of tables so we never had to wait for one.

The Snack Bar. It took us a few days to figure out that this was actually a restaurant opened for Lunch. There is an evening snack bar in the Cantina that has Guacamole, tacos, refried beans etc, but The Snack Bar you can either grab one of the slices of pizza or nachos on-the-go, or sit down and have some more "American" food like Hot Dogs or a Clubhouse and Fries. It was really good here and we ate lunch here more often than not once we figured out it wasn't actually a "snack bar."

The a la cartes, Reservations need to be made for all the a la cartes.

Don Quijote - DRESS CODE FOR MEN. No flip flops, sandals, shorts. Food is Authentic Spanish. Was very good. Menu was small but was very good. The desserts were just ok. This was probably my least favorite of the 3, but was still very good. The pianos playing and attire of the servers made it feel really Spanish.

Los Arcos Grill Restaurant - This was my 2nd favorite, although most people we talked to said this was the best. It was very really good, steak was cooked just right, potatoes were seasoned nicely. There was nothing fancy about the restaurant itself, it's the same as the snack bar. So it was mainly just about the food.

Capri Restaurant - Pasta is pasta, but this was the BEST a la carte there in my opinion. Maybe because I went in with low expectations because I feel pasta is pasta. But yea, I had the lasagna and it blew me away how tasty it was. We forgot to make a reservation and they made a table for us outside, which was a nice gesture.

All in all... each of these restaurants are very very good. The portion sizes are a tad on the smaller side, but you won't leave feeling unsatisfied. Food 5 of 5 stars.

The Spa: We went for a couples massage at the Spa. The masseuses were very good and polite. It was very relaxing. I can't remember the price, I think it was around $90 CDN for both of us, which is pretty good for a professional massage. 4 of 5 stars

The Beach: The Beach was fantastic. Sand was fine, view was great. A few vendors around but once you said "No, Gracias." they left you alone. If you plan to swim in the ocean, beward that it does drop off fairly fast so make sure you're a strong swimmer. I walked in about 4 meters about waist high and in a few steps I was at my neck in water. If you wanted to venture off, there are some paths to the left that looked interested. (we never went but others did) There is also a restaurant (non hotel) and bar on the beach. People offering boat rides and jetski rides were readily available. It was $50 for an hour I think the one guy said. Beach I'd give 4 of 5 stars.

Hotel Entertainment: I have to mention this because we checked this out on a few nights. The circus was AWESOME. The Entertainment was actually quite good each time we went. For a free show, I'd say go check it out. 4 of 5 stars.

All in all. I was extremely happy with my first trip to Puerto Vallarta. I would come back to the Barcelo without question. If you're looking for a beautiful resort, with lots to do at the resort. Barcelo is a good choice.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (511)
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English first
Citrus Heights, California
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I have found a beautiful Hotel outside of Puerto Vallarta which has become my home away from home. I went back for my 11th time and have made many friends for life. I highly recommend this hotel which is all inclusive. Great food and drinks

Room Tip: take a premium club room, you have your own club room with top shelf liquor and excellent food and e...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coon Rapids, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

The resort is beautiful, however if you're wanting to be close to town this is not the place for you. The bus is on .70 each way, fun adventure. The ocean and mountians are amazing. The food is average or even below average, same with the drinks. Beds are covered in plastic making it hard to sleep. I love the upgrade to the premium club, was able to make our own drinks. I would traved back to PV but not stay at this resort.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Palatine, Illinois
1 review
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

This is a no BS assessment of the Barcelo Puerto Vallarta. We had a wedding here from February 19th - 27th, 2013.

Let me preface by saying that my fiancé and I have been to Mexico 6 times (Puerto Vallarta 3 times) and never experienced any issues other than self induced with each trip. This was our first time at the Barcelo.

First, all the latest reviews about people getting sick because of some “mysterious virus” are absolutely true, although the hotel management will not confirm its existence. The day we arrived the IslandSun Experience (Funjet) representative called our room and stated that, “There is some type of virus going around the hotel and that if any of our party got sick they would move us to the Hilton hotel in Downtown Puerto Vallarta free of charge.” The only problem was they couldn’t guarantee that our entire party would be able to find accommodations and we would lose all the money we paid for our wedding package, so we were stuck with the Barcelo unless we wanted to take the risk which we didn’t. He also stated that the wedding party before ours had 15 out of its 20 guests get sick and almost had to cancel the ceremony. All complaining of the same symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and extreme cramping. Sure enough my fiance’s brother (who isn’t old enough to drink), her mother, the maid of honor, and 2 other guests got sick within 2 days. Not to mention everywhere you go there was hand sanitizer being pushed in your face by the wait staff. Problem is that sometimes you actually have to wash your hands, which seems to be a real chore around this place. They tell you that they use the most strict sanitizing practices blah, blah blah, blah, but I literally saw one of the cooks in the buffet drop his spatula on the ground and wipe it off with his shirt and continue on. Really?!?!

Second, the hotel was absolutely infested with sand fleas and I don’t mean by the beach either. After the second day, I had 10 bites on both of my legs and I hadn’t been anywhere near the beach or near downtown or anything like that. I had only been in my room (Grand Master Suite) and the pool. After speaking with all of our guests, they also were experiencing flea bites and non of which had been near the beach. Absolutely terrible!!! We even brought fleas home with us in our luggage. Had to bomb the house and Frontlined the dogs. Terrible first day back home. Now the rest of our party had to bomb there houses as well and we came back to a cold weather climate. This point alone should tell you never to stay here!!!

Third, the food at the restaurants was absolutely awful. Don Quijote (Spanish Tapas) restaurant was embarrassing! I ordered the garlic shrimp. Seems easy enough. We are by the ocean, so the seafood and shellfish should be fresh. It looked like they took a dozen frozen (90-100ct per LB) tiny shrimp and put a drop of butter on it and called it a day. I’ve had better shrimp at Panda Express. They are obviously cutting corners where ever possible. The “Italian” restaurant Capri is an absolute joke. Now I know that you don’t go to Mexico for the Italian food, so my expectation were very, very low and I was still disappointed. The food had no resemblance to Italian food other than there names. The lasagna looked like soup, all watery and bland. The Alfredo was salty and tasted like old milk. The Seafood pasta had one shrimp, one scallop, and some unrecognizable fish in it which tasted like smelly catfish. I mean this place was just down right awful! None of our party even finished there dinner. We literally all walked out and went to the buffet which was a pleasant surprise. That night they had prime rib on the menu, go figure.

Fourth, the bathrooms around the pool throughout the day are never cleaned, even though the card on the back of the door says someone was just cleaning the bathroom, except they didn’t empty the garbage, fill the towels, or clean the toilets. Could be why people are still getting sick??? This isn’t rocket science.

And lastly, you don’t want to have a wedding here, unfortunately we did. The wedding coordinator, although pleasant and polite, has no idea how to guide someone through a wedding. Basically, all she did was nod her head and say yes and okay. She gave no advice or suggestions about timeframes and pre/post party activities like the reception dinner and cocktail hour. Our wedding was scheduled by her at 3:30pm which sounds like a good idea except its the hottest part of the day in direct sunlight so the whole party was sweating. Then after the ceremony the guest were suppose to have an hour of drinks and appetizers, while we shot the wedding photos. Turns out the she scheduled the cocktail hour to start at 5:30pm (an hour and half after the ceremony) and didn’t tell any of our guests so they just stood around by the pool wondering whats going on. Then dinner was late and still the coordinator was nowhere to be found. The pictures turned out amazing, but that’s because the photographers were contractors through Vallarta Adventures and not through the Barcelo!

In conclusion, I don’t care that this hotel has been awarded Diamond status for the past 5 years and 6 Golden apples or whatever. All I can say is that the current state of this hotel was very very poor and for your own safety and piece of mind stay somewhere else!!! Your wedding will be a disaster and you will waste your money!! I hope this helps, good luck!!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Just back from PV stayed at the Barcelo from March 2 - March 9 it was wonderful. The staff is great and helpful. We booked the master suite that had the ocean & mountain view with a wrap around balcony ~ loved it, will probably always upgrade to the Premium Club they were so nice and helpful with information, easy check in & out. Lots of rest and relaxing the food is good with lots of variety. The weather was perfect the resort was quiet, there was no "sickness" going around that I knew about. I could see how "sickness" could happen eat too much, drink too much and too much sun you will get sick. At the end of the week the spring breakers were checking in so I was glad to be leaving I like the quiet area of the resort and would rather be here than in the hotel zone.

Room Tip: top floors corner suites, tower 1 rooms are next to the fishing village we did not mind the noise
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Lansing, Michigan, United States
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Spent my springbreak there last week with my friends. Generally , employees are really friendly except one restaurant manager. Facilities are nice. pool is nice and clean. it has swim bar in the middle of pool which is awesome! one hottub besides the pool, and another pool for water volleyball.
One buffet restaurant open all day from morning till midnight. Three other restaurant the hotel opens one each day which are spanish style, italian style, and another like mexican and american style. One bar is located the first floor of tower 1 right by the pool area. it opens till 1am.

The most important thing i have to say is that i read about food poison issue before we left. They def took actions to have solved this problem already. everytime we enter each restaurant, host will give u sanitizer. we have stayed 7 days and ate most there. we didnt get any food poison issue at all.


This hotel is all-inclusive. The atmosphere of three restaurant is high class, but the food quality is ok, if u r food expert. My friends and I were satisfied with food, drinks, and service. For three restaurant, u have to reserve in advance at least one day before since they are limited.
We reserved premium suite which has unlimited reservation, unlimited free 24 room service, free wifi, and top floor ocean view, free access to lounge having self-serve international drinks, appetiters, desserts.
Also premium has one free city tour, however, they will take u to one restaurant in the mountain, which will cost $50 for two, which i think is not necessary and kinda rip up, since they didnt tell us the lunch is not included, but food was ok. I suggest after city tour, tell tour guide stay in downtown or stop by the hotel since we passed the hotel to get the restaurant.


Overall, this is the first all inclusive hotel i have ever stayed. Im satisfied with services, facilities, food, drinks, and view etc.

Room Tip: I recommend to book premium ocean suite, since bar is kinda loud at night and u can get alot of extr...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

My husband and I stayed from March 1st - March 5th on our annual trip to Mexico. We had never been to Puerto Vallarta or stayed at a Barcelo'. I had actually seen this resort on the travel channel a couple of years ago and added it to my must visit list.

I, too, had read all the reviews about "sickness" and I can tell you I just don't see it! Not only did we never get sick but I saw no one else sick nor did I hear of any sickness. The resort was not full I am sure because of all the "sickness" reviews and all I can say is what a shame! If someone had planned to visit and then changed their plans based on what they had read then that is sad!! There were no bed bugs and we did not get eat up with bug bites outside.... I am telling you none of this happened!

We absolutely loved everything about the Barcelo'! The room was probably the nicest we have stayed in at a Mexico All-Inclusive resort. The staff was fabulous, the service was excellent, the food was great, the drinks were not watered down, and the cleanliness deserves high marks. We got two massages while we there at the massage place on the beach next to the resort that sat at the point by the water. It was wonderful!!! And cheap!!!

I would highly recommend this resort and we will most definitely return!

Room Tip: Don't let the distance from the airport scare you! The view will not disappoint! It is amazing a...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barcelo Puerto Vallarta

Address: Zona Hotelera Sur Km. 11.5, Puerto Vallarta 48294, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access 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
Hotel Style:
#17 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#18 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#19 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#27 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#30 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#30 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Puerto Vallarta 4*
Number of rooms: 316
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Barceló Puerto Vallarta***** (formerly Barceló La Jolla de Mismaloya) in Puerto Vallarta, is an elegant, all-inclusive Mexican-style resort. It offers 316 completely renovated and comfortable suites with excellent service, leisure, history, beautiful scenery, exuberant flora and privacy.Relax after a hard day’s work in the hotel spa, catch some rays at one of the hotel pools or take time out to practice your favourite water sport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Jolla Mismaloya
Barcelo La Jolla De Mismaloya Puerto Vallarta
La Jolla Puerto Vallarta
Barcelo De Mismaloya
Puerto Vallarta La Jolla De Mismaloya
Barcelo Mismaloya Puerto Vallarta
Barcelo La Jolla Mismaloya

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