My cousin and I stayed at the Barcelo Puerto Vallarta for 5 nights from 7/23-7/28. Many Nationals were on vacation during this timeframe, and were staying at the hotel. It was also rainy season, but those are just some of the facts.
My opinion of the hotel was that it is a very nice older hotel with an authentic Mexican flavor located in beautiful Msmaloya. We enjoyed our stay.
The location is very nice. It's South of downtown and walking distance to the Zoo (which I would recommend) and the Mr. Tequila factory tour. There was a lot of action at the Mismaloya River next to the resort. We had great massages there ($20/pp for 1 hour). The bus into town was 70 cents.
The Concierge team pre-booked my dining reservations. They were very nice if we had any questions and we never had to wait.
The rooms were very nice (even the lowest category room was very spacious). The decor is Mexican/modern and the balconies are huge. The closet space was really appreciated. Double sinks might have been nice, but not a big deal. Our room's lock was broken, and they wanted to be present to fix it, so we decided to use my door stop and have them fix it later. Our fridge was always stocked with what we asked for and any time that we saw the man, he was very nice and would give us anything we wanted.
The Bell Boy was very nice, but he forgot to tell us that we had to leave our room key in the slot in order for our electricity to work. LOL
The buffet was sometimes overcrowded and because the middle section where they prepare omelettes and Mexican specialties was square shaped, people came from different directions and didn't form a line, which was very crazy and confusing. Lines are very helpful to keep things organized. Whenever you walked in, they offered you hand sanitizer. I loved the Fruit Water and also the Crepe lady on Mexican night. I also enjoyed watching the activities on the beach while eating.
We ate at the Steak House and Italian. I was really impressed with the Italian. The food was really good and the atmosphere was pleasant. We had good service too.
Drinks by the pool were not to my liking, but they came around frequently.
There were plenty of pools and I really liked the waterfalls. You didn't have to play the towel game even though the hotel was full. People did not wake up at the crack of dawn to reserve.
Security at the resort was very good when leaving the resort and at the beach/pool area.
Internet - We dd not purchase internet as I feel that hotels should offer this service for free.
Shops - There was a suprising amount of various shops on the grounds. Very nice for those who do not like to venture out and they had vendors comein a couple evenings too.
The resort gets a big applause with how they handled my allergies. The Concierge notified the restaurants on my behalf, and before I even said anything, most knew. One time, I went to the snack bar by the pool, and the waiter told me that the manager would take my order due to my allergies and we didn't even sign in with our room # or anything. They just remembered. I really appreciate the attention to detail here.
The beach is not the greatest for those who love nice beaches, but I prefer the pool. There were some chairs, but not too many and it was always bustling with activity due to the river being next door. I found it to be entertaining.
Maybe sometime I will return and stay in a Master suite or the Penthouse!