June 26- July2
I was a little apprehensive after reading all of the negative reviews on here before my trip to the Barcelo. I was sick the last two days of my visit, but I believe that came from the specialty restaurants. Every other guest that I spoke to that was sick only became sick after using one of the complementary reservations at the spanish restaurant.
Bring pepto bismol and immodium since the store at the resort charges quite a lot for these. Bring hand sanitizer.
When you arrive at the airport, the timeshare people will corner you-- Do Not Respond to them! If you ignore them and just walk through that area they will leave you alone. They will tell you that you need to check in with them, you do not. I found it helpful that we had transportation arranged already.
The hotel staff is friendly and if you tip them well from the beginning they will cater to your every need. My only complaint would be that sometimes the maids do not leave any/enough towels when they clean the room.
The rooms are comfortable and very nice, we had a smaller room on the 5th floor, which had a very nice view of the ocean/pools/hills. I enjoyed the pools and the swim up bar, there was usually good music playing. The environment was very relaxing for the most part.
However, the large alien believing movement group of people that were holding a convention at the hotel created a somewhat weird environment at times. They all wore pendants which were stars of david with swastikas in the center, and had sexually explicit posters up at times. They held a large bonfire party where they were shouting strange things and carrying on in a strange manner. Once the convention was over the hotel was much more peaceful.
We only left the hotel twice, once to go snorkeling and once to go to the zoo.
The zoo was fantastic!! We chose the option which allowed us to pet the baby tigers and jaguars, and monkeys and it was well worth the money! The baby animals are so cute, truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. The zoo is very close to the hotel and taking a cab was inexpensive and fast. The package also included bags of food to feed the animals! Very fun.
Snorkeling was very fun as well! We chose to go with one of the pestering salespeople from the beach. (I think his name was Sergio) For $10 a person we got about an hour and a half plus. The boat was nice and he provided life jackets and snorkeling equipment, and took us snorkeling through the arches. He would dive down and bring starfish and shells from the bottom for us to look at. They also provided bread so we could feed the tropical fish! They took pictures for us with our camera as well.
The surroundings of the hotel are beautiful, I enjoyed being away from all of the other large hotels, it felt a bit more intimate. The beach is pretty small and there are a lot of sales people.
Overall, I had a great time. The sickness was very mild, and taking medicine made it so I could still enjoy my trip. The hotel is beautiful and the staff is friendly. The food might be somewhat bland, but it is all inclusive so I can't really complain.
I definitely would go again!