We stayed in a Junior Suite Club Premium March 5-12 in the Caribe section. We had friends staying in the Beach section and were able to see the upgraded Club Premium section. The Caribe rooms definitely looked dated compared to the upgraded Beach rooms; however, we felt the Caribe layout was better for a family. Although the bathroom door is louvered in the Caribe rooms, it afforded more privacy than the partial door in the remodeled rooms.
Pros: The beach is awesome! There are sandy areas for swimming and coral reefs for snorkeling. There are plenty of loungers on the beach with palm trees for shade. The best snorkeling is about straight out from the jaguar statue in the Tropical resort area. We had Club Premium and used the Beach CP lounge daily, we also enjoyed access to the Colonial/Tropical buffet where the servers were much more attentive. If you don't have CP, go to the Beach buffet as it is newly remodeled and has more to offer. We needed to call housekeeping a couple times for "room emergencies" they were responsive and took care of our issues. The combination of all the resorts provides you with plenty of areas to explore. Make sure to check out the cenote near the Palace.
Cons: There were several small things that added up to a disappointment in the level of service/quality of the Barcelo resort. A bulb in the bedside lamp was burned out the entire time that we were there. While the room was cleaned, the towels were replaced in some sort of sporadic order. For example, we started the week with 2 washcloths, 2 hand towels and a shower mat, by the 3rd day of our stay we had no washcloths or shower mat and 1 hand towel, but on day 5 we had 2 hand towels and a shower mat and on our last night a housekeeper came by to offer extra bath towels. We never had towel animals or anything special. We requested water and Fanta in the mini-fridge, but the request made no difference. There were always lines at the pool bars and you will only get a straw in your drink if you request one. The people in the room next to us ordered room service and the tray sat in the hallway for 2 days.
We specifically chose this resort because of its awesome beach and the variety of free non-beach activities such as mini-golf, sports bar, ala cartes, theaters and buffets. If you are planning to spend your time in the pool you might want to look for a resort with better service.