We spent a week December 2012 at Barcelo via Sunwing. We had only been to P.V. before and were not sure what to expect in Huatulco (hence the 'a few questions on Huatulco' thread).
I reviewed the Barcelo in it's own thread. In a sentence, it was a clean, pleasant resort with a lot of value for the money.
We arrived at the airport to a fairly long line for Mexican customs/immigration. There were a handful of timeshare sharks in their little hallway but nowhere near as aggressive they were in P.V. Once we made it to the bus area, we gladly bought some cold cervezas from a fellow with a cart. He accepted CAN, USD, and pesos.
I expected to be able to use my RBC client card for ABM withdrawals, and had notified RBC that I was going to be using my card in Mexico. I tried the ABM in the airport and it did not work.
At the resort, the ABM there did not work either. I then spent some time on the phone to RBC who said they had no record that my card had ever tried to make a transaction in Mexico. A bit of panic there as we had come with no pesos nor even USD.
We were directed to a ABM outside the staff entrance to Barcelo which worked no problem. Even though all the ABMs displayed the 'Plus' logo, apparently not all are the same.
Taxis were cheap and plentiful. We went to La C several times and enjoyed many meals, cocktails, and shopping. La Crema, Hemingways, Onix, were some of the places we ate at - all excellent. We had great shopping at Museo des Artisanes, and at the silver store across the street (Silver Factory?).
La C was pleasant. The shopkeepers and restaurant hosts stand outside and hustle business but they are friendly and non-pushy in our experience. The square was patrolled by police at night and we never felt uneasy. There was lots to see and do and we only got to a small part of it. We went to the coffee shop across from the resort every day for excellent lattes and for the Wi-fi.
We did a day-long bay tour with scuba diving for two with Hurricane Divers out of Santa Cruz. An excellent outfit and I am glad we did it. Review pending.
The road from Tangolunda to La C had a wide sidewalk and we went for a run one day (the other days we worked out at the resort gym). We ran nearly to the edge of La C and back, about a 45minute run. But hot. OMG the sun was more powerful in Huatulco than anywhere else.
I wore spf50 every day, replenished several times a day, and I am still peeling. The midday sun pounded me into the sand but it was so pleasant (maybe it was the cervezas?) that I didn't mind.
The area on a whole was refreshingly free of Mcdonald's, 7-11, Burger King, and other US and Canadian staples. The people were friendly and kind. We had limited Spanish but tried hard, and so did the local we were trying to communicate with. We experienced our first earthquake, and the first December rain in the area in 12 years.
La C was relaxed enough that we would consider returning and staying non-AC. It was a really great area and we will be back.