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“Barceló Puerto Vallarta- Good and Bad” 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 #40 of 119 hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Seattle, Washington
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Barceló Puerto Vallarta- Good and Bad”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

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!

Room Tip: Higher floors have better views.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
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English first
Fremont, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

I was at Barcelo last year and all was great except.....Surprise surprise, the food at the buffet! Had it not been for the two nights we were able to eat at the two restaurants, I would have not survived. I'm shocked that with all these reviews mentioning how horrible the food is, the management has not improved the selections any. I would be interested in reading something from the management regarding their steps in improving the situation. It would be a terrible waste if they lose vacationers staying at the resort for something that could be rectified quickly.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Arlington, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

I visited this hotel in August 2009. I have reservations for August 23 -28, 2013. I wrote a very good review in October 2009. I hope that the resort is pretty much the same as it was then. I believe the first time I went, they upgraded me to a room with a nice Jacuzzi on an upper floor. I remember the AC was fine, not cold, but fine. I had a great time and that is why I am returning. I came to this resort because of the comments about the Staff and not for the beach. When I want a beautiful beach, I go to the Caribbean Sea. But I love the city of Puerto Vallarta which I have visited many times. Should I have any problems, I will be sure to contact Mr. Pacheco and I will write another review upon my return home. Jim Sparks

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, Tennessee
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

I must say that I was optimistic about being prepared for the worst when arriving at the Barcelo. My optimism diminished during my family's last 3 days of stay and the following week after. Starting from our arrival at the airport, we were separated from the arriving group to be held hostage by pushy timeshare people. My husband and I read the reviews, and thought that we would be able to avoid them. However, we were not aware that these persistent salesmen rent stations setup inside the airport just seconds beyond the airport screening area. After my husband shuffled my 11 and 13 year old daughters away, they cornered my 14 year old son in order to get us to come back to talk with them. In my efforts to rescue him, I was approached by 2 additional salesmen. Before we knew it, my son and I were tangled, tripping, and stumbling over our own luggage. At which point, the salesmen got scared and left us alone. When we arrived at the hotel, we were impressed by how friendly the staff were. We had stayed at the Barcelo in the Dominican Republic, and the desk staff there were extremely rude. We took a chance on the same hotel only because we placed blame on the individual people and not the hotel. Everyone else in the Dominican was extremely kind. Anyway,the PV hotel's entire staff was down to earth and truly kind to us. When we got to our room, I checked the sheets, and the master bed had a red stain on it. We reported it, and someone was there to change them within 5 minutes. The pools were nice, and we enjoyed the amenities. The hotel environment was serene for the first 2 days, then a bus load of teenagers arrived on our 3rd day. During one trip to dinner, my husband took the elevator and my children took the stairs. He stated that him and three other men were on the very small elevator, and 3 teenagers disregarded the 5 person maximum sign and got on after them. The elevator got stuck and they waited for 20 minutes before they were able to get off. So, we choose to take the stairs there after and elected excursions outside of the resort. We were please with swimming with the dolphins, and snorkeling. We also, took the bus to go to the shops downtown. The hotel is about 6 miles from the downtown shops. It was cheaper to take the bus, but the travel was longer because of the stops along the way. So, we took a cab to get back. It only cost us 140 pesos, about $14 US, for five people. It was well worth it after a long day of shopping. Again, beware of the timeshare sales people. They stop you for a conversation, then they ease into a sales pitch. If all you want to do is shop, then say no and keep walking. If you think that you want to have a relaxing time on the beach, think again. Make sure that you grab a "no gracias" sign before you go to the beach, otherwise you will be pestered by more sales people that can't take "NO" for an answer. Also do not swim in the secluded part of the beach near the Italian restaurant. My husband was told by one of the locals that it was not safe for my kids to swim on that end, because that was the run off area for the hotel's dirty water. Stay near the tourist areas to swim. We had trouble making reservations for the restaurants, but it did not make a difference, because I got ill my last two days. I was vomiting and had diarrhea. I thought that it was the food, but my husband got the same symptoms on the last day. Then, my 11 year old daughter got sick once we got to mother's house. We chose to spend the second week of our vacation with her, because we reside in another state and don't get to see each other often. We regretted that decision, when we found out that she got sick our last day visiting with her. So now we know that our illness was viral. We were all sick between 3-5 days. We chalked it up to travelers diarrhea. Once again giving the hotel the benefit of the doubt, we disregarded the fact that we have been to Mexico 3 times before, and have traveled through Europe and stayed in other hotels. None of us have ever gotten sick with symptoms like this. We all had extreme stomach cramps and could not hold anything down. I would have probably been dehydrated had it not been for the reviews warning me. I brought pedialyte, pepto, nausea pills, and crackers from home to aid in my recovery. So, thank you prior reviewers!!!!! The restaurants give you hand sanitizer when you walk in, but when you go to the buffet, there is no real way to protect yourself. So, I'm adding to the future travelers to this resort to bring your own sanitizer to use right before you eat. Sanitize your silver ware on the tables. Get your glasses from the juice and soda area and don't use the ones on the table. Make sure you use napkins when handling the serving utensils at the buffet. Last but not least, make sure to tip the staff well the first day. If you take care of them, they will get you anything you need whenever you need it. They will also give you the inside scoop on discount excursions and local sights.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PachecoR, Gerente at Barcelo Puerto Vallarta, responded to this review, July 3, 2013
Dear Mrs. Rogers,

I acknowledge receipt your comment posted on Juno 30th, 2013. Above all I would like to thank you for share with us your comments that undoubtedly make us better every day.

I take this opportunity to send you a sincere apology for the non-intentional incidents that you experienced during your stay in our Hotel.

We are very disappointing to not have met your expectations during your stay because for Barceló Puerto Vallarta the main goal is to fulfill the expectations of every single guest we have the pleasure to serve.

Regarding the food, I would like to tell you that our Buffets are liked by the majority of our guests so they let us know in the surveys we carry out in the resort. It is unfortunate that you did not enjoy our cuisine in spite of the variety of meals offered in our Buffet Restaurant.

We have high standards of hygiene in the preparation of our food and drinks, which are audited every month by the reputed external company Check Safety First, through their Cristal Program and also the hotel is awarded with “Distintivo H”, that is a distinction given by Mexican Authorities.

I would like to inform you that we do not have such situation as you mentioned, these symptoms can occur in travelers by stress to the trip, or just for a change in their diet, another factor is the abuse in the consumption of food and beverages mainly alcoholic.

The most important thing for us right now is to reiterate our sincere apologies and about the details that you shared will be corrected immediately, as the service standards Barceló Hotels and Resorts provides are very high.

We invite you to trust us again and give us the opportunity to show the true service of Barceló Puerto Vallarta with which we are building our reputation.

Best Regards,

Rodolfo Pacheco
Gerente General | General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

We just got back from a 7 day visit to the Barceló. I have been to PV about 50 times in the last 20 yrs and the hotel I usually stayed at was closed for renovation so I took a chance on the Barceló. So the good. The resort is beautiful. The grounds are kept very clean and the views are priceless. The pools are nice and big and the kids club was great for our 10yr old. Angel the bartender in the Cantina was awesome and really knew how to show us a good time.

The location is great if you want to be away from everything and like being in a secluded area. If you do not than this is not the place for you. The bus is 70 cents per person and stops right in front of the hotel. It takes about 20 mins to get into town but is overall not a bad bus ride.

The bad- The FOOD- we nickmamed it the barfcelo. The buffet is blan and the same thing everyday. Their is no poolside service so you have to leave you spot to go it food which is annoying. The ladies at the Grill in the buffet were rude. It took me 45 mins to just get a hamburger made for her to tell me no buns. The buffet was out of ice so warm drinks. For breakfast the premade eggs were powdered and disgusting. Coffee was served luke warm at best and their was never syrup for the French toast which was the best thing they served. The dinner options were average. We did the Spanish Resturaunt and it was blan and small portions, the Steak and seafood place was average and you have to be business casual to eat there. We found it too much work for average food. Actually if you are looking at the ocean and head left their is an ally way where a woman makes homemade tortillas and tacos. We started eating there as the food was better. The food was so bad that two days later any my digestive system is still out of whack.

Convention- Hotel had a convention of alien believing swingers who were allowed to leave their sexually explicit advertisements out. It was a pleasure explaining to my 10 yr old what multiple sexual partners meant and why they did that for meditation. The resort should have told us what type of convention was gonna be there when we booked as we just booked 3 weeks prior.

Service- Not 5 star and not what I was used to in Mexico. Front Desk female staff was rude, Maids often times cleaned the room and left one towel for three of us. I did finally complain but nothing was ever done. We loved the rooms but I will never stay there again.

Room Tip: If you stay here, get a 2 bd 2 bth room if you have kids. The set up is great
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Pendleton
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

Stayed a week in the hotel with my husband. At first glance, the hotel appears very nice: the room was great and the beds are comfortable. However, the food is mediocre at best. 2 of the 3 restaurants were available to eat in but only one was actually accessible. The food was okay...nothing special. We had to get security to let us back into our room twice as the locking mechanism wasn't functioning properly on the door. Registration desk staff not very friendly or overly eager to help and don't even waste your time with the $550 credit coupons as they are worthless. And, "free internet" is not an option for all room levels. The rooms weren't kept cool by the air conditioning and the minibar is only maintained at your request. Overall, we were quite disappointed in the hotel.

Room Tip: Choose one of the "premium" level rooms for all of the amenities indicated. The basic sui...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Mexico City, Mexico
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2013

Stayed in this hotel with family for 3 nights as an all inclusive. The rooms were nice, but one could hear the noise from outside. The restaurant options were decent, with a nice breakfast spread. And for the size of the hotel I think the pool area was small. The beach is all to the hotel guests, but not great. Overall, there was nothing really to complain about but also nothing really to write home about!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.

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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:
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#16 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#17 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#26 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#27 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#40 Business Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Puerto Vallarta 4*
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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