Just spent 7 incredible days at the Barcelo Ixtapa Beach hotel in January. 30+ degree temperatures each and every day, barely a cloud in the sky and not a drop of rain during our stay. Ixtapa is the perfect destination for a January getaway.
The Barcelo Ixtapa definitely looks like a Sheraton 'circa 1980', however it is very clean, and the staff (though maybe fewer in number than other AIs we have visited) were very friendly and helpful. For sure the newer condominiums looked more luxurious, but we were told they were primarily full time ownership condos. Our impression from the incredible Playa el Palmar beach was that the Barcelo had one of the largest, if not the largest, and most beautiful grounds and pool areas of the All Inclusive hotels along the strip.
Our hotel room was clean, beds were comfortable, air conditioning worked and the mini bar was replenished daily. The bathroom was dated and a bit grungy but the panoramic view from our 7th floor balcony was spectacular and more than made up for the view in our bathroom. Perhaps if we had intestinal problems and had to spend more time in the bathroom it would have bothered us more - haha . We definitely agree that higher floors and ocean view rooms are preferable (the even # rooms have the ocean views) however our other family members were scattered on the 5th and 3rd floors and all had nice views of the pool area and ocean and no one complained about their rooms or noise inside the hotel.
The Barcelo’s location is incredible! We absolutely loved the beach and warm water. Shopping across the street was so convenient. Public transportation is cheap (around 9 pesos per person) and ran all day, taking you either direction - to Zihuatenejo or to the Ixtapa Marina or Playa Linda (where you could catch a small boat to Ixtapa Island for 40 pesos return). We enjoyed the hotel guided 2 hour bike ride to Playa Linda, afternoon games of beach volleyball, snorkelling at Coral beach on Ixtapa Island, and a day trip to Zihuatenejo. Vendors along the beach were plentiful but polite. It was also fun to watch the many parasailers each and every day.
Food wasn’t always the best or particularly varied, but we all still managed to gain weight during our stay! We enjoyed the omelette station, pancakes and fresh fruit for breakfast. Open air restaurants either side of the pool were nice. Kids especially loved the self-serve soft ice cream. The rice and beans, pork tacos and french fries on the buffet at La Palapa restaurant were popular. The chicken fajitas, BLTs, french fries and breaded mozza bites were popular at the poolside restaurant, Caracol. Coffee was good at all locations, and the tortilla chips , fresh guacamole and salsa were always yummy. We all liked the pasta station for dinner in the main buffet, but other buffet offerings were a bit hit and miss. Salad bar at all buffets was okay, not great, but okay. We all liked the Sunset dinner which was a barbecue/buffet. Liked the ambiance of the Don Quixote restaurant but beware the lighting is dim, we could hardly make out the menu. We had the best luck with the calamari appetizer, salmon entree and ice cream dessert at Don Quixote. Overall, alcoholic beverages were a bit of a letdown, wine took a while to adjust too, but within a day or two we all managed to find drink choices that pleased our palates.
Ixtapa and Zihuatenejo both look to be in a bit of an economic slump, restaurants and shops are quiet, which is very sad to see. The people in the shops were friendly and not intrusive in spite of things being so quiet. We always felt safe while wondering during the day, we did not wander too far at night. We absolutely loved our stay in Ixtapa and would return to the area and the Barcelo hotel in a heartbeat!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.