I stayed four nights with my husband in early September. We originally were going to only stay three, but were enjoying the all-inclusive atmosphere of the hotel, so we stayed an extra night. We stayed at this hotel almost 10 years ago to the day, and while some things have changed, it felt like the same hotel.
The rooms have been updated since we last stayed, and the bed was comfortable. There is a refrigerator in the room, and an ice maker on each floor. We were in the fourth building, which is very close to the amphitheater and pretty far from the lobby/pool. Even though there weren't too many guests, the hotel had shows each night in the theater, and it could be heard very well from our room (didn't bother us since we were up most of the time, but could be a problem for others). Some of the buildings closer to the pool/lobby were being renovated, and were closed to guests.
The pool area is clean, but the chairs were really dirty. I'm not sure when they had last been cleaned, and if they had been, I think it's time to invest in some new furniture. The pool bar was open most of the day and had a small selection of snacks, including nachos, pizza, etc.
The beach is lovely, and the random dogs are cute and friendly. The sea looked a bit rough most days, but you can still swim if you want to.
The food at the restaurant was OK. While I enjoy gallo pinto and queso fresco, there wasn't much selection beyond that. I am a vegetarian, too, and during some meals the rice did include meat, so selection was limited. My husband did enjoy the days when they cooked chicken and beef when you were being served, since it tasted very fresh. If you are looking for a hotel to supply gourmet meals and have a different cuisine each night, this hotel is not for you. If you're fine with rice and salad, or going into Tamarindo for dinner, then this hotel will work. I did find hair in my rice one morning, which can happen anywhere, but made me more cautious the next time I took food from the buffet.
There is a small fitness facility and spa on the property, and a restaurant near the parking log. I believe the restaurant is only open during peak season (was closed during our stay) and was an up charge.
I would return to the Barcelo. Overall I think the employees are friendly, the rooms and facilities are clean, and it's not as busy as Tamarindo. The road to Langosta is not paved, but it only takes 5 minutes by car. There is also secure, free parking if you rent a vehicle.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.