I went to the Barcelo on a last minute vacation. It was my first all-inclusive resort experience, which may turn most people away from this review, but I had an amazing time. The Barcelo resorts are grouped as follows: Beach and Caribe, Tropical and Colonial, and the Palace. The Beach and Caribe are on the lower end in terms of price. The lobby and lobby bar are not air-conditioned. They are air-conditioned in the Tropical and Colonial. As the vacation went on, we actually would have preferred that, especially since when you stay at the Beach/Caribe, you cannot drink at the lobby bars of the other resorts. You can however, drink at the Colonial/Tropical pools, which were by far the best pools of all the resorts.
The room at the Caribe was amazing. Everything was clean and crisp. There was a full mini bar in the room that was stocked every day. There was a nice patio and the air-conditioner worked really well.
We ate at 3 of the restaurants (another downside of staying at the Caribe, we were only allowed to choose from like, 4 restaurants as opposed to the 8 we could have with the Colonial/Tropical) the Steakhouse, the Spanish one, and the Mexican one. The Spanish and Mexican one were absolutely delicious. Steakhouse could have just skipped. The buffet was really great. Every day was something different, even for a 7 night stay.
The staff were so friendly. The pool bars were fun, the bartenders were awesome and really played with the guests. Even though the alcohol was watered down, there was never a shortage and I never waited more than a minute or two for a drink.
Jaguars, the nightclub, was pretty fun. The last night we went seemed to be almost a local night. The strobe light is a bit intense and the floor is ridiculously slippery when wet, but it was still a great time and great music.
We spent most of our time at the beach area by the Beach resort (the best-no rocks, always a ton of chairs available), at the pool and pool bar at the Colonial, and at the lobby bar of the Caribe. This resort definitely got me hooked on the all-inclusive style and I would absolutely return to the Barcelo, but probably to the Colonial or Tropical.