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“Do not go for the Beach, but the property is beautiful!” 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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Up to 25% discount
Ranked #41 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
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6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Do not go for the Beach, but the property is beautiful!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2013

My family had a very relaxing week at this very well maintained resort from May 25 to June 1st 2013. We were on the 7th floor of tower 2 with the perfect view of the ocean and the pools, our room was amazing with two bathrooms and a large balcony. The resort was only at about one third occupancy so it was very quiet but there were no lines ups for anything. The staff are always cleaning and gardens are immaculate, but the service could have been more energetic (maybe just the end of a long season). The food was excellent with lots of choices (but very little fruit) and no one got sick. They had a different theme each night. We never went to any of the fine dining restaurants because my wife and daughter loved the buffet choices. The entertainment was usual for Mexico and after the show the bar in Tower 1 had live music (loud) until 12:30am.

Now about the beach, this resort is in a small bay and has a very small beach shared with about 30 different fishing/tour boats, if you went to the beach you would get a few offers for all kinds of trips. While the beach had about 75 lounge chairs there were few to nobody on the beach at any time of the day. The water had areas of slime (maybe oil/gas scum....something) see my pictures that made both the beach and the swimming unattractive. I do not know if it was just the tide, the wind or if this is normal for this bay but if you are going for a beach vacation you will not enjoy this one. As well the the water gets deep very fast (within 5 to 6 feet) which makes the waves very aggressive, so this is not a beach for small children or anyone who does not swim. We spent all of our time at the two pools although I prefer a sandy beach, however the swim up bar helped ease the pain. Bring your bug spray becuase you will get eaten alive by the sand fleas.

This resort is at best a 4 star because of the lack of a beach, average service and no effort to give the extra frills, towel animals in the rooms, fruit or ice carvings in buffet and some areas of hotes are just plain.....but the rooms for families are perfect.

I would not go back to this hotel because of the beach but if you want to sit by the pool and have great food this resort is good value at last minute prices.

Room Tip: Get tower 2, floor 6 or 7 it is a little more quiet and has a great ocean view.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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3,243 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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 (702)
Date | Rating
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English first
Denver, CO 80013
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

Just got back from a 10 night stay, June 6th through the 16th. Very Disappointing! This was our 15th time staying at this resort, when we were deciding where to go and stay, hands down everyone in our family was set on going back to this resort, Our group of 29 people arrived and were given the family suites, which was very appreciated, I was actually upgraded to the Premium floor and given use of the premium room with free internet and upgraded alcohol and unlimited ala carte restaurants, so we were off to a good start, we thought.
Our first morning there we found out that the dive shop was closed, so no kayaks, snorkeling, diving, etc. Then we discovered that the Patio Grill restaurant that we all loved for lunch and snacks and the bar was going to be closed for the rest of our trip.
The next day there was a leak in our room and we were told we would have to pack up and change rooms, when we inquired about being moved to a larger suite for the two hour inconvenience of re-packing five people and moving we were told sorry, they really could have cared less and it was very obvious.
Every time we tried to make reservations at one of the specialty restaurants, we were told to come back the next day as they were full, even though every time you would pass by half the restaurant was empty. So it was the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast was always the best, lunch and dinner were virtually the same. As I said we have stayed at this resort fifteen times over the past 16 years sometimes several times in a year, the food was always varied and the quality was always excellent. This time it tasted more like mass produced cafeteria type food.
The last few days of our trip the hotel was taken over by a large group of high school kids for a senior trip. The pool with the swim up bar became inaccessible for any one else to use. You couldn't get near the Cantina until they would go to town for the clubs later in the evening. Anyone who wanted lunch the day they arrived, if they weren't in the buffet by 1:30 they didn't get lunch. Towels were taken by these kids that we were responsible for, they literally took over the hotel. I guess what bothered me about this is that on Apple Vacations website, the Barceló advertises that they don't allow spring breakers or senior type trips. In addition the activities director was constantly hitting on my 16 year old grand daughter, trying to kiss her and ask her out, even after she told him she was 16 and not interested, as well as myself telling him to stay away from her, he too did not care.
On the 9th day my 13 year old neice lost her bracelet and was told she wouldn't be allowed to eat there until her parents paid $100.00 US for a new band, even though they had a copy of her passport and knew she was a registered guest. After my sister complained, it took my brother in law going to the GM to get them to take the charge for the new bracelet off their room. At the same time, another person in our party went to the front desk to have his band replaced because his was ready to fall off, this young man is fluent in Spanish, which they were not aware of, and they were complaining about him needing a new band.
On three different occasions different people in our party were trapped in elevators, as well as many other guests, this was a common complaint. One time a small child ran into an elevator ahead of her family, the doors closed, the power went out and she was hysterical, guests were frantically trying to get her out, and once again, the management didn't care.
I must say that the service staff is wonderful, they bend over backwards for their guests. Above that level, the management at every level is rude and extremely indifferent. They act like the guests are an inconvenience.
For the last six months or so, I read all the reviews, and really just thought that a lot of the people that complained about poor service were just being picky, because we had always had such wonderful experiences with this hotel, well I believe every one of them now, and I won't go back as long as the reviews stay bad. For this trip, we paid more then we ever have in the past, and were really only able to use about a third of the amenities. We totally did not get what we paid for.
The high points were number one, being able to spend time together as a family, we kept our focus on that. Also a couple of the guys caught two 70lb tunas, and down the beach Jose, who runs one of the little restaurants prepared the best meal we had with that fish, he was also the guy they went fishing with, he's a great guy and he has a wonderful family, who we have gotten to know over the years. We've watched his kids grow up!
We will definitely go back to PV, it's our home away from home, we'll just stay somewhere else. We stayed at Dreams once and also loved it, so maybe you'll hear from us next time about Dreams!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

Our family just returned from a week at the Barcelo. (My husband and I and 3 kids - 16,12,6). We stayed in a premium 2 bedroom overlooking the ocean and pool. We are not big drinkers but liked having a room on a higher floor and access to the premium lounge for espresso each morning and snacks throughout the day. The grounds were beautiful and always well maintained. All the staff was very nice. During our stay (6/1-6/8) the hotel was not very full..in fact, it was very empty and I am sure that is why not all the restaurants were open. For lunch our only choice was the snack bar. The buffet was not open, which after a week got a little boring. For dinner our choices were the buffet or one of the better restaurants (only one was open each night). The food at the buffet was average. At the better restaurants the food was very good. Our favorite was the Spanish restaurant.
The room was large enough for the 5 of us. The only complaint is that the air conditioning did not work very well. The humidity in the room was quite noticeable. We called maintenance three times to fix the air conditioning in the second bedroom because no cold air was blowing at all. Once he came it seemed better - at least for a while.
The most disappointing was the lack of activity at the pool. Every now and then the music would play and the guy running the pool entertainment would show up but for the most part it was just quiet with nothing going on.
The beach is very small and the there are so many vendors. If you tell they no thank you they do leave you alone. Again, everyone as very nice. There are guys offering boat rides for a fee to a sandy beach, which we would have done had the weather been a little better. Most days were dry but overcast.
We did walk to the Puerto Vallarta Zoo which we all enjoyed. Amazing to see tigers and lions so up close. The kids really enjoyed feeding the monkeys. The area is very safe. We took the local bus to the boardwalk and had no problems. The bus stop is right in front of the hotel and only costs 70 cents US. It is about a 30 minute ride.
Each night there is a different show at the hotel - all were very good.
Overall we enjoyed our trip - would have liked to see the hotel with a little more activity.

Room Tip: It is worth paying a little extra for premium so that you are one of the top 2 floors.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

When booking our trip, and then again when we arrived, we were offered an "upgrade" to our all-inclusive stay for the 6-night stay. The upgrade was advertised as "unlimited access" to the a la carte restaurants, which means traditional restaurant ordering, but already paid for (instead of the buffet for every meal and 2 nights of the a la carte). They also advertise that there are three restaurants to choose from for the upgraded a la carte restaurant ordering meals. What they DON'T tell you is that while there are three restaurants on the premises, only one is open on any given day. They also DON'T tell you that the restaurants only accommodate a limited number of people and the one that is open may be pre-booked and you won't get to eat there that night. So you might be paying for an "upgrade" where you get no restaurant benefit.
Also, the air conditioning in our room did not work properly. We were up all night in a sticky hot room. Cleanliness is sub-par, at best in the rooms and room bathrooms.
The all-inclusive was also advertised as offering non-motorized water sports, such as snorkeling, paddle boarding and kayaks free of charge. That was not available. Apparently, the company with whom the hotel worked had terminated their contract several weeks before our trip and the hotel had not gotten a replacement. The best the hotel could offer instead was renting kayaks for us for one hour one day. No discount on our room rate, or even throwing in a massage, was offered to make up for their promised goods and services that they couldn't provide.
The resort was a huge disappointment.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

THEN MY LOVELY WIFE DECITED BEFORE WE LEFT TEXAS TO BOOK a 3-4 day ALL INCLUSIVE Just to see what that was about........So after indering THE MAYON PALACE Cost, The Guys on the Beach trying to sell you Drugs that i Thought went away with the 60's.
All Inclusive, all first class, not one Peso ever came out of my pocket, i drank so much free booze i had a hang over for three days, I eat so much food i gained 6 lbs in 4 days, They had a Baby sitter service that was Safe,Clean,With Smart, Local, Very well behaved and very traditional valued 17 + High School Kids. Our Three year old didn't want to go back to our suite with us at the end of the day but stay at the Kids Club with the sitter! Hurt my Feelings.
What Else ? They sent a service up to do some of our laundry, Got a Massage for like $30 each, then they knocked 30% off that, and knocked 30% Off the Babysitting, My Wife and I Rented a Jet Ski and went to a small village only accessable by water (Los Anemas) and had these Pineapples that were Cut open and Stuffed with Seafood...bUCKET OF bEERS $28 American.
Oh the Suite? Yea, our first day we get there we were asked if we would like to upgrade our room to a better view for $50? . OK here you go.Whats $50 we just spent $ 162 on Tacos.....Well we got sent to a Presidential Suite Over looking the Pacific, and It had Two fully stocked Bars. Two Bedrooms, and a living room.

Save Yourself the headache Get off the Plane, and Run as Fast as You Can to Barcelo Resort, and have a real Vacation.

This was the Only Vacation in our 25 year marriage that we did not want to go Home. And found our 48 year old selves looking for an excuse to stay another day,or week. Oh The Best Part of Barcelo Resort, was Check Out.....They gave us the Full Premium package/Presidential suite All Inclusive Food,Booze etc. that we had for $277 a night. YEAR BUDDY.... If the flight wasnt so expensive we would be there every weekend.


Room Tip: Rooms 1719 or 1720, 1819, 1820
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

The pools are amazing and really pretty.

The food was delicious and there was a huge variety every day so there was no worry about finding something to eat, even if you were super fussy, they could always cook you up a custom stir fry or pasta dish at the chef station.

The different a la cartes definitely were all worth checking out, but make sure you book them ahead of time!

The patio/lunch area was delicious and would cook you up a snack all day which was great for grabbing a delicious bite by the pool.

There was a huge variety of drinks available, way more than other resorts I've been to.

There were snacks and drinks for free in the mini bar in your room which they refilled frequently.

The maids also made towel art which was nice as well.

The room was huge and beautiful. It was clean and beautifully decorated. The photos on the hotel's website did not set my expectations too high, it really lived up to the photos. The balcony was HUGE and overlooking the pool which was great for meeting back up with the people you're with.

They held lots of activities and I definitely recommend checking out the night entertainment because the ones we did catch were super funny/cute.

The staff was amazing and friendly and very eager to help no matter what your query!

The beach was a little rocky so if you're looking for soft white sand, this might not be the place for you, but if you're just looking for sunshine and swimming, the many pools more than make up for it!

It was also a little far from downtown Puerto Vallarta, which meant it was a little far from Vallarta Adventures pick up zone, but if you wait to book your tours once you get there you can figure out what days they'll pick you up right from the hotel!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Kalamazoo, Michigan
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

Overall this resort was excellent! The staff was friendly & helpful. The grounds are nicely landscaped & clean. We were pleasantly surpised to be upgraded to a family suite with aocean & mountain views. The only negative would be the buffet, which I do not care for dishes with sauces, however the ala carte restaruants was to our liking.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
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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
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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#20 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#25 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#27 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#29 Family 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
Puerto Vallarta La Jolla De Mismaloya
Barcelo De Mismaloya
Barcelo Mismaloya Puerto Vallarta
Barcelo La Jolla Mismaloya

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