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“On the fence...” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Barcelo Tambor Beach

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Barcelo Tambor Beach
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Tambor, Tambor 771-1150, Costa Rica   |  
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Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Tambor
Dublin, Virginia, United States
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“On the fence...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2014

If you are used to five star resorts you may want to look elsewhere. Although this is a nice resort there are many things that could be done to make the experience nicer.
This was our first time in Costa Rica and to be honest I really thought that the resort would be similar to some other resorts we've been to, I was wrong. The staff was helpful but for the most part we felt like an inconvenience due to the fact that we did not speak Spanish. At a resort where many of guests are from Canada and the US it would be beneficial for their staff to be fluent in English.
The food was average at best. I admit that I am a picky eater and expect that the food for me would be less than desirable however, I travelled with 2 people who are not picky eaters and they were disappointed at the selection. It seems as though the food was either the same or slightly different each day. For guests that are staying for a week or more selection in the menu would be a welcomed change.
The pool was nice...more lounge chairs would be a good idea with additional umbrellas for shade coverage. On a couple of occasions after getting drinks from the pool bar we took the drinks to the other end of the pool and then were told by security that we could not have the drinks in that end of the pool...to be honest this is the most ridiculous rule at the pool. What is the difference if I drink at that end of the pool or the other? Nothing!
The rooms.. We stayed in a room that had 2 double beds. The beds were comfy and the bedding clean. The room overall could use a remodel, it's a little dated. The a/c was great, very powerful which was nice. Nice television with some English stations. The bathroom needs an overhaul. In the shower there was mildew, no water pressure. The cleaning staff provided a room of 3 guests 4 bath towels, 1 hand towel and no facecloths! The toilet paper although 2 ply was like wiping with cheap paper towel! (It's the little things)
The cleaning staff always did a nice job of tidying the room.
Overall the resort is average in my opinion and a bit disappointing. We had a good time and made the best of our girls vacation creating new memories....
Would I go back to this resort? I'm on the fence about this. I believe that some things need to change at this resort to give your guests a more pleasant experience.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor Beach, responded to this review, August 28, 2014
Dear Ms. Meloney D.:

Receive our greetings from Barceló Tambor Beach Hotel.

Thanks for post your comments on this website.

We have taken seriously your opinion and we are working on each of the observations described, to continue growing and trying to be better every day.

We are grateful if you give us an opportunity to meet the improvements that we are making, and we hope again to have your presence and your family in our facilities.

Once again, thanks for the time spent in publish your opinions.

Yours faithfully,

Raúl Arranz Medrano
Principal
Barceló Tambor Beach
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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327 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, Costa Rica
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

Months later, my 6 and 9-year old still talk about the fun activities here, as well as the pools, food and also the macaws! There's quite a bit to keep young ones occupied between arts and crafts, trampoline, the various pools, and the macaw area (as well as spotting the wild macaws and watching the huge iguanas lounge about the property).

My son got a cut while in the ocean, and one of the dance instructors scooped him up and rushed him off to the on-site doctor, who thoroughly cleaned the wound and bandaged it. It's nice to have competent medical staff on site when traveling with kids.

The serpentarium seemed sort of untended too, but this is a minor detail.

I didn't see lifeguards on duty at the pool, though perhaps there were. As a safety precaution I'd make sure my kids were out of the pool before dusk, as it was hard to find them in the dim, crowded pools once it got dark (and night falls fast in the tropics!).

Also, for the trampoline and wall climbing, kids need to sign up at the activity area at like 10am. The activities then take place in the afternoon, but I saw several people show up disappointed because they missed the sign saying they needed to sign up beforehand.

The room was very comfortable and looked out onto a pleasant green space. The gardens are very pretty, and the maintenance crew unobtrusive. There was always fresh fruit and water available which is nice in the heat, and the meals were satisfying, if not always spectacular, but then again they are preparing food for hundreds!

A definite easy vacation with little ones, and beautiful views from the beach ... watching the planes come in off the ocean to land on the little strip next to the hotel was also neat for my kids.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor Beach, responded to this review, July 21, 2014
Ms Sophia.

Thanks for publishing your comments on this website.

For us is a big pleasure to get to know your stay in our resort have met your expectations.

We thank your comments regarding our activities staff and the medical support.

We take into consideration your observations related to the serpentarium and the inscription of the activities aimed to get better in our customer service

Once again thank you very much for having the time to let us know about your experience in our hotel.

Best regards;
Raúl Arranz
Director Comercial
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

The resort offers great value for the price. I've been to some luxury all inclusive resorts but of course the prices I paid were much higher, too. We got an awesome deal on the ocean front room so we decided to come here. Only a few of the staff speak English. But that is not much of a problem since we got by using gestures and some basic Spanish words. The staff were generally nice and helpful. I also feel they are working hard. Whenever I walked around, I saw someone sweeping/mopping the floor, wiping the tables, etc. Our room was normally cleaned by noon every day and bed was comfy. Out of the two restaurants needs reservation. The steakhouse has great ribeye. The Japanese restaurant is a hidden gem.

Wherever I traveled, I always use a money belt and leave other valuables in the hotel safe. I didn't feel that this hotel is more unsafe than other places I visited. My only suggestion to the management is that the public restrooms next to the buffet and the front desk are in need of renovation.

Room Tip: Ocean front rooms is the way to go
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor Beach, responded to this review, July 14, 2014
Dear M. Denver C.

Greetings from Barceló Tambor Beach;

It is a big pleasure to know we have met your expectations during your trip.

We want to thank you for the good comments in regards with the relationship of the amiability of our staff and our a la carté restaurant.

We will take into consideration your suggestions regarding the handling of public toilets.

We thank you the time spent on publishing your comments, the ones will help to improve day by day.

Best Regards
Raúl Arranz
Barceló Tambor Beach
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2014

We stayed here 3 days and nights. The accommodations were so so. The room was comfortable and the A/C worked. Our room safe was broken and we never got it fixed for the 3 days we stayed. Someone stole all of our belongings from the pool area. ID's, cameras, phone, credit cards, money towels ect. This of course is of no fault of the resort just our experience. The staff was somewhat helpful in our situation but were not what I would call outstanding by any means. They refused to help us file a police report. I guess they did not want to tarnish their image. They did however let us use their phone at the front desk to make international calls to cancel our credit cards ect. Security was able to recover our ID's from the trash and for that we were thankful. The food was sub-standard and the reservation only steakhouse was horrible. The property was very neat and clean and the staff was very courteous and helpful. Overall an average experience.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor Beach, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Mr Joseph T:

First of all I would like to thank you for the time you took in publishing your comment in this website.

We fully regret the inconvenient occurred in the swimming pool; actually we have been working for this not happen once again.

We have been carefully following each one of your comments regarding food and the reservation at the steak house,

this with the main purpose of working in the elaboration of new menus and food preparation in coordination of our chef executive and his staff.

We appreciate your comments about the amiability of our employers the cleanness and neatness of our facilities.

Once again thank you the time it took you publishing your comments.

Best regards:
Raul Arranz
Barceló Tambor Beach
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Brandywine, Maryland
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

First let me start by saying this hotel was much better than I expected. The photos on the website did not do the hotel justice. I have to give the staff at the Steak House kudos for the dinner on Thursday 26, June 2014. There was an unexpected storm and we were forced from the dining area into the actual kitchen by high winds and rain. The staff still prepared a meal for us and everyone that chose to stick around was served a great meal. Absolutely fabulous

Room Tip: If you want a hammock ask for a corner room. Even though a hammock will not make the trip it may ju...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor Beach, responded to this review, July 8, 2014
Dear Mr. Notlrac 1971:

Greetings from Barceló Tambor Beach resort& spa hotel.

Thank you very much for the time you spent on writing a comment through this website.

We have proceeded to congratulated our staff at the steak house “El rancho”, aimed they keep on working in such excellent manner and customer service.

It is a honor to know we have met your expectations during your visit in our facilities.

We hope to have you once again in our resort.

Best regards;
Raul Arranza
Braceló Tambor Beach
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2014

The all inclusive price seemed great for the food, drink, and activities. Room comfy. Expect only one beer option, which was good local, but different varieties of light vs regular would have been great. Sunrise was beautiful on the beach, just be sure to wear shoes at the beach with the rocks. Glad we had our Keens. Only a few people knew english and we knew very little spanish, so it was a game of charades with hand gestures, but everyone was still nice and friendly. We only stayed 3 nights but had no problems making reservations two of those mornings for both special resturants for two of the nights. The food there was delicious. Compared to the other places we stayed around Costa Rica, This place was not evironmentally friendly at all! Every other hotel stressed how they wanted to conserve water, electricity, and recyling was huge. However at Barcelo every drink cup (paper, plastic and styrofoam) all went to the trash, what a waste. Maybe they should incorporate a refillable cup???!!! Dont expect to have free internet, that is not part of the all inclusive (alot extra!!). It wasnt really needed but it would have been great to check-in to flights and look up directions for a few places with out the huge fee. They have a trail where you can observe the parrots, macaws, and wild mokeys. One description stated the macaws are endangered and a breeding program was on the premises. BUT It would have been great to have an explaination of why some of the animals were there since some parrots looked like they could fly and should be released if so. Horses were also in a dirt/rock area with very minimal shade, I wanted to ride just to get them out and to some grass. They looked healthy but I still felt bad. So it was more like a non educational, captive zoo :( We went in late May, which was low tourist season and high time for the locals. Golf resort nearby, 9 hole course was good. Also near Montezuma, great place for souviners and at a great value! Resort also near ferry for easy travel back to San Jose. Good value Resort, just wish there werent so wasteful.

Room Tip: I did not not have a room option, luckily we ended up with a good view balcony and beach in the dist...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor Beach, responded to this review, June 25, 2014
2014 GatorFans;

We highly appreciate the time you spent writing your experience through this webpage.

We are so content our hotel met your expectations.

In regards with the recycling comments, It´s our duty to let you know about our recycling inner program. In which our staff is in charge of discriminate

the waste into non recyclable and recyclable matter. The waste are divided and sent to some companies for an appropriated treatment.

The waste which are non recycle are sent to a treatment plant under Ministerio de Salud authorization.

Every single room is equipped with special devices which main function is to control and measure the use of the electricity through a small box

which is located in the left side of the threshold at the main room entrance.

The hotel also has an reputable biologist for animal treatment as well as the flora and before mentioned fauna.

We have proceeded to make pamphlets of information or flyers for the customer to know about our recycling programs and green sustainability with the environment.

Once again, thank you very much; we hope to see you back in our facilities.

Att: Raúl Arranz
Director Barceló Tambor Beach
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Bergenfield, New Jersey
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

We have been to several places for warm weather vacations: Aruba, Cayman's, St. John, Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines, and I have to rate our vacation at Barcelo Tambor in Costa Rica the biggest bargain of them all. The biggest surprise was the park and aviary in the resort, which provided wildlife watching without having to hike great distances. In fact, without binoculars or a long camera lens, we identified about 15 wild bird species we'd never seen before. There were, of course, another dozen or so domestic or in the aviary, including a spectacular Peacock. Ever see a Scarlet Macaw feed a hungry Green Macaw? We did!
We found the buffet and snack bars to be a bit below average, and the steak and Japanese restaurants to be average, though the steak restaurant has a terrific ambiance right by the water. The gym is also below average, though I've never found a good one in any of our warm weather vacations. The beach is pleasant, and the pools are large and very clean.
We had good experiences with the staff and the operators that did the tours. (It's great if you speak even a little Spanish.) We can heartily recommend the Tortugas tour and the zip-lining experience, and some of the local talent puts on decent live music in the evening (sometimes).
One other caveat: the trip from Liberia Airport takes 3.5 hours on the road, and some of that road is dirt, perhaps as much as an hour of it. If it rains, some portions of the dirt road seem downright dangerous, though our driver seemed unfazed. There is a Tambor airstrip less than one mile from the resort. Next time we go (and we will) we will check out local air travel to get there.
If you're looking for a a bargain in a warm weather vacation, we think you will be pleased at Barcelo Tambor.

Room Tip: Don't take a late flight from the NYC area. There is a long ride from Liberia to the Airport. An...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor Beach, responded to this review, June 25, 2014
Mr Maine

We are more than happy for the publication of your comments through this webpage.

We are taking into consideration your observations you made about the buffet restaurant and Japanese restaurant too.

We have had a reunion with our executive chef who will be focusing on those important spots.

It would be a real pleasure for us if you will be able to give us a second opportunity of enjoy our resort,

We hope to have you in a near future.

Best regards;

Att: Raúl A.
Director Barceló Tambor Beach
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barcelo Tambor Beach

Address: Playa Tambor, Tambor 771-1150, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Tambor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 7 Hotels in Tambor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Barcelo Tambor Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 402
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Tambor Beach Hotel Tambor
Barcelo Hotel Tambor Beach
Barcelo Hotel Puntarenas
Hotel Barcelo Playa Tambor
Barcelo Tambor Costa Rica
Barcelo Tambor Beach Costa Rica

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