We spent a week at the hotel in mid November. Here are some of the things we really loved about this hotel:
The food was consistently good tasting and made with high quality ingredients. We especially enjoyed the food at the Spanish restaurant. The service at the restaurants was typically very good.
The drinks were equally good, and they used decent size glasses too. They were certainly not shy about the amount of liquor they dispensed. I did notice however that each bartender would use a different brand of liquor, so the drinks often did not taste the same from one to the next. The two main pools and the beach had wait staff that periodically came around to take drink orders. This was not offered at the adults only pool; At least not while I was ever there.
The lobby bar is actually in a separate room, next to the lobby, so it was not really obvious that it was there. It had many nice seating options, as well as a small selection of goodies to eat and a specialty coffee machine.
The martini bar was also really good. I liked the apple and chocolate ones the best.
The room was huge and very well equipped with a nice soft bed, and a massive bathroom. The room was also very clean, and was maintained in that state throughout our stay. For a hotel room, it also had very good lighting.
We also had the best maintained in-room mini bar I have ever experienced. Every single item we removed was replaced each day, without fail, with lots of bottled water available. (Would have been nice if there was an alcoholic beverage other than beer offered too though. Most women do not like beer, so there is just pop or juice.)
They had many different kinds of pillows available, and I had a hard time with the "default" ones on the bed. When I asked what the others were like, they just decided to send me one of each. I think we had a dozen pillows to choose from each night. The hard part was finding the one you like the night before.
We witnessed a dozen weddings taking place at the property over the week we were there. I can not speak for the satisfaction of the happily ever afters, but I can tell you that the staff took great care with each one to make sure that the other hotel guests did not accidentally walk through the ceremony or procession. Many of the weddings had quite elaborate settings staged for the party following as well.
There were always tons of chair available on the beach. All the lounge chairs on the beach and around the pools were also the rattan type weave, so they were supportive. No saggy mesh or worn out straps.
Here are some of the things we observed that could be improved upon. Do note that they are our observations. We still loved it at the Barcelo, and even the aggregate of the below would not prevent us from returning to this hotel:
The chamber maid kept removing our used towels and floor mats. Most days even those we had hung up to use again. With the exception of the first and last night, they were not replaced with fresh ones. One day we were down to one towel between the two of us, and finally called the front desk. Someone came and brought us a whole fresh supply, which luckily took us through two more days before we had to call again.
We were in a club premium room, which was supposed to come with preferential reservations at the specialty restaurants. This was however not our experience. While we understand that not every restaurant is open each night, and there are other guests, we were not even once successful at getting a dinner reservation for our preferred dining time...even though we booked all our meals on the first day.
The reservation slips we were given clearly stated that reservations would be held for a maximum of ten minutes. In light of that, I did not appreciate, that for two of our reservations, were were told to go have a drink and then come back, because were were there 3 and 5 minutes too early. I thought that was tacky.
As part of the club premium, we were also checked in at the premium club lounge rather than in the front lobby. When were arrived, a bellman immediately whisked us away through the crowed lobby down a passage, up an elevator, around a corner, and presto, we were in a cozy lounge, being served cocktails while awaiting our turn to check in. Once the man at the desk took all our information, he gave us the room keys, room number, a property map and just told us to go back to the lobby and find a bell man if we wanted help with our luggage. Were were rather dumbfounded...neither of us had even paid attention to how we had gotten to that room. Once we made our way back to the lobby, there were so many people, we wound up just finding our luggage and walking around until we found the room on our own...no quick orientation, no mini tour on how to get around, nothing...and from watching others get checked in at the lounge over the course of the week, that was the norm...even when it was not crazy busy.
They also only ever had one person staffing the desks in the lounge, where you also had to make your dinner reservations and that kind of stuff. If they were checking people in, they refused to even talk to you to answer a question in-between parties being checked.
On the second day we discovered that the mini bar fridge in our room had stopped running. Since it had power, and we could hear the thermostat click when we played with the lever, we decided it was broken. While at the lounge for a pre-dinner drink, we asked the lounge concierge to send someone to check it out. By the next evening, after returning from dinner, it had still not been taken care of, so we called the main reception. Someone was at our room within 5 minutes to take care of it. Another 10 minutes late we had a different fridge, fully stocked with cold drinks. So...call the front desk if you need something. The lounge people have way to much to deal with on their own to get any of it done. They really need a second person there.
The Wifi access was also very touch and go. Some days it was just outright down, and on others it would hang every few minutes. If you need reliability, bring your own.
On the week days, there were always plenty of chairs available around the pools, no matter what time you came around to the pool, but on the weekend, people would go out and put something on them, and then left. There were very few chairs with shade, and it was quite disrespectful of the those guest who reserved their chairs, but did not even bother to show up until after lunch...meanwhile others were forced to sit in the sun for hours....or leave... The hotel has a no reservation rule, but they do not bother to enforce it.
The one thing that I was genuinely disappointed in, was that the travel agent informed the hotel that we were there to celebrate our 25th anniversary. The hotel did not do anything whatsoever to acknowledge that fact. Not even a "Thanks for spending your anniversary with us." On our 20th, we were at a Resort in the Caribbean, where they served us a little candle decorated cake at one of the specialty restaurants one evening, and congratulated us. A hotel in the Mayan Rivera once put a bouquet of flowers from their gardens in our room with a "Happy Birthday" note, because they saw on my passport that it was my birthday. I was very disappointed that our 25th milestone passed with no acknowledgement, given the fact that they put so much effort into the weddings.
Now, would I recommend this hotel to others...ABSOLUTELY. I would feel confident that they would also have a good time. I do not know that I would spend the extra money for the Club Premium again. I do not think it is necessary, or particularly worth the extra money.
1/2 of rooms on top floor have wide concrete railings on balcony blocking the view
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.