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Barcelo Huatulco
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Reviewed March 10, 2014

I have a lot of mix feelings about this hotel, we were in suite 548, the room is very spacious, two bathrooms, separate living room and dining room area, but the best part was the AMAZING balcony/terrace that wrapped our the corner or the building. This is one of the best balconies we ever had, you have shady and sunny areas, it's breeze, has a hot tub, an awesome view and it has a lot of privacy! Indeed thanks to our balcony we had an amazing stay!
Now the bad part was that they don't have enough chairs with shade on the beach or pool, so if you want to get a place you better wake up before 7:00 AM because by 8:30 you would not find an empty spot! Therefore we were never on the beach, again...glad we had our balcony.

The hotel is showing its age, it is a little dated. The shower would go from warm to burning hot in a second! Regarding maid service, we had to call and ask for towels couple of times, and one day when we got in bed realized that the sheets didn't go all the way around the mattress, so it had like a "towel" fitted at the bottom. I asked the maid and she said they didn't have enough king size sheets! Really?

The air conditioning doesn't cool the room, so at night can feel very warm.

The hotel food was ok for its category, however food in the buffet was not HOT, they need better warmers.

If you buy the "premium package" you can order top shelf alcohol. One day at the lobby bar I ordered a Baileys and I got baileys mixed with milk. I went to the bartender and told him that's not what I ordered... he did give me the right one and said that they just didn't have a lot of it at the bar. I found this incident to be dishonest.

The location is great, feels safe, the view is amazing, plenty of good restaurants to eat, right across the street or in La Crucecita and Santa Cruz. Taxis are $4.00 so its very affordable.

Room Tip: The best room as far as I am concerned is suite 548/550 (its two rooms together)
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Deniseworlds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

We were at Barcelo from Feb 25th - March 3rd. We chose Huatulco for the "guaranteed" weather and were not disappointed. We understood that the Barcelo was showing its age but it certainly had no affect on the quality of my our stay.

We arrived at the resort at 12:30 and were very pleasantly suprised that our room was ready! Sunwing is the biggest provider at the Barcelo so when one tour checks out they clean the rooms so that they are ready for the next tour that comes in. Sure beats waiting until after 3:00 to move in. We are at the beach by 1:00 pm. We were in Room 157 which was the "lower level" and we had great access to elevator or could walk right out to the pool level. This is a great floor for people who have trouble with stairs. The fitness centre had good equipment (busiest time was mornings) and is nicely air conditioned, with lots of towels and water nearby. We did not book premium but did check it out. The difference in the rooms that I saw was that they had upgraded washrooms, larger floor tiles in the main room, and a large ceiling fan. Other than that they were exactly the same size. We had two very comfortable double beds with worked for us. Lots of storage space, nice little patio that had an ocean view. At night you would have loud music for about 1 hour only from the resort next door and it wasn't an issue as it was always quite after that. We had no trouble with water pressure or towels. Only negative was that the rooms were cleaned very late (5:00 pm) a couple of days when we were coming back from beach so we had to wait until they finished.

The food was good with lots of choices at the buffet. Best part is always the omelet ladies who stuffed them with lots of bacon and oxaca cheese. It is not gourmet but you will not go hungry. It is also nice to have a full lunch buffet by the pools instead of just the normal burger and pizza snack bar. We went to the steak and mexican a la carte and they were ok but I actually preferred the buffets. The lobby bar was nice in the evenings and we only went to a couple of shows. Not as good as what you see in Cuba and they did a lot of lip syncing instead of their own music. However the acrobatics on the drapes was pretty cool.

The large pool was the best. Yes you had to play towel game but they will put out cards first thing in am if you try to leave your stuff ovenight. I don't trust the "adult pool" which is where you will find all the people who think that an all inclusive means that you spend the entire day drinking and never seem to get out of the pool to use the facilities???? Gross. I also didn't appreciate the loud group of adults that blasted their music louder than the hotels but you get that type of group everywhere. For those that complain about the wait staff, there was never more that 2-3 people at the pool bar so it wasn't like you had to go out of your way to get your own drink. The animination team was very small but there is one person that needs a big thank you and that was Ruben. He made everyone feel very special and had a great sense of humour. Barcelo you need more like him. For those that say there were no activites, just didn't look for them. There were exercise classes, fish feeding, bingo, kayaking, hobie cats, beach volleyball, beach soccer plus the kids program. We did the jet skis and the guys were more than happy to jump on the back of the machine to help us out and spent the entire time with us giving us a tour of the coastlne and the hotels.

There is a little plaza across the hotel with some shops, coffee shop, tour guides and a couple of restaurants/hotels. Everyone is pleasant and the prices are cheaper than the hotel gift shop. We went into town and it's a great place to walk around and check out the local action.

We went on the Emerald Falls/Magic Falls trip and although they were beautiful, I can't say that the 5-6 hours that we had to spend going to and from them up the mountain was worth it and no one told us it was going to last that long. We also did the safari and city tour and they were good short trips. Our best day was a full day on the beach with Pilo (see separate review).

Huatulco is very small and not a party atmosphere at all (which is what I liked most about it). The Barcelo either had families with small children (not teenagers) or couples 40 and over and I would say 80% Canadians, 15% Mexicans and 5% other. There was no real issue with cigaratte smoke as they don't allow smoking in the lobby. There are less than 4000 hotel rooms in the entire area so although you are in a tourist town, it is nowhere as annoying as 5th street in Playa del Carmen.

Helpful Hints:
1. Currency. They take Canadian at par which means you get a much better price using Canadian currency (but they do not take loonies or toonies). If you purchase any excursion, they will calculate peso's in Amercian dollars so my friend ended up paying almost $50 more for the same excusions I did by paying in Pesos.

2. If you are looking to buy Mescal or Vanilla, do it at the airport. The price of vanilla is $4 cheaper and there is no real difference in price of Mescal. You will also save the weight in your luggage! There are no duty free shops in the airport but you can buy on the plane. There is a store that sells liquor in the plaza (rum, vodka, crown royal, mescal, tequila, wine) just plast the first hotel.

3. There are a few shops in the depature area now (this is newly built) but no food other than sandwiches. So if you want to eat there are more options outside before you go through security.

4. If you want to snorkel, go toward the rocks in front of the dreams (but only if the waves are not too big) and there are lots of fish there. They take the kids out there every morning to feed the fish so you can see where they are.

5. Remember - you are on vacation. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Feel free to send me any questions you have or if you would like pictures of the hotel or beach.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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8  Thank Fitzmaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

Huatulco has the best weather of any destination! It was hot and sunny every day. The rooms are basic, we requested a king bed, but were given 2 doubles. However I kept asking and turns out they could get us a king on the ground floor the next afternoon. So that was very good. The mini bar was restocked daily with beer, pop and snacks.
We did not upgrade to the premium rooms but 1 couple did in our group. I didn't think is was really work it. They still had 2 double beds, but did get free wi fi and could get the brand name alcohol. We went across the street to the coffee shop, bought a coffee and water and used their wi fi for free. It worked great.
The food was good. We only eat at the buffet and seafood place, then we went into town. I like to eat at local places for supper. Which every place we went was great and prices were good. Back to the hotel, one of the pools was closed (chemical problems) for part of our trip. But there was good snorkeling right from the beach. Love Huatulco and will be back - because of the price will probably to back to the Barcelo but will be checking into the Dreams, Las Brisas. Or maybe a downtown hotel or condo if I can justify not being on the beach.
We also did a private 7 bay tour 1 day and city tour + see the crocodiles & go to the turtle museum another day.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank lj68352
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2014

This vacation had to have been the best weather ever; every day was the same, hot and sunny. Loved the weather, hot but not humid. We spent 2 weeks at this resort in February.

The resort was tired and needs to be updated. Wasn't a fan of the rooms, double beds instead of queen beds. Our lock was broke on the patio door and they never did fix it, wouldn’t have stayed in this room but we were on the 4th floor and there was no way of anyone getting in.

No free WiFi, unless you were premium. However you could go across the street to the coffee shop and buy a coffee and use there WiFi for free and it was fast.

The food was good but not great. Loved the guacamole. Only tried 2 of the ala cartes and they were good. This is the first resort I have been at where the premium liquors ie: Drambui and Spiced Rum were an extra charge unless you had upgraded to premium.

The beach and ocean were wonderful although the vendors were annoying as they won’t leave you alone even after you had said “no thank you”. We did however buy blankets and sterling silver jewellery on the beach, and are very happy with our purchases. When purchasing silver on the beach make sure it is stamped .925.

Took a tour to the city of La Curcecita. Thank you Alphonso for a great tour as well as going out of your way to find a hardware store that had a tortilla press. He was also our guide to Emerald Falls. Although this trip is really worth it, make sure that you understand it is a long winding, bumpy ride up into the mountains. If you have trouble with motion sickness you will need to take something prior to going.

The catamaran tour through the hotel is not worth it. Talk to Tony on the beach and get him to take you for a tour of the bays and snorkelling. Only thing is if you take the sunset tour, you do arrive back at the resort after dark and it is little unnerving because his boat does not have any lights on it.

The people are very friendly in this area and the service was good at this resort. You can take a taxi to La Crucecita and Santa Cruz no matter how many people in the cab the rate was $4. We went in to La Crucecita in the evening and it was safe.

Overall we enjoyed Huatulco. The people were friendly and it was easy to take a cab into La Curcecita or Santa Cruz. The area is very clean and they do recycle and care about the environment. The airport is very small and can be crowded; hopefully as tourism grows in this area the airport system will improve.

We would love to return to Huatulco. However it will depend on if the golf course reopens and if they don’t price it too high. Not being able to use the golf course was probably the most disappointing part of this vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank George W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2014

My husband and I stayed for a week at the Barcel Huatulco at the end of February and enjoyed our stay very much.

We did not upgrade to the Premium, and felt that the rooms were plenty large and accomodating. We liked the fact that our mini-fridge was restocked daily with snacks, beer, water, and soda. The rooms had plenty of closet and drawer space with a nice view of the ocean and pool.

I have never seen the towel game played so harsh before! If you did not have a place on the beach reserved by 7:30, chances of getting a palapa were slim to none. Proably not much that the resort can do about this, but it was annoying. It made us feel like we had to get up early to put our towels out, which really only adds to the problem.

The majority of the guests are Canadian (at least 95%). One night Sun Wing had an appreciation dinner for their guests and the resort closed down the large buffet. We were directed to another restaurant where a handful of Americans were dining. Rather funny. We visited during the Olympics when Canada was playing hockey. We got down to the beach one morning after breakfast and the place was deserted. When we walked up to the lobby for coffee, we found the place packed with people watching the hockey game. We went back to the beach and about 15 minutes later, we heard a large roaring cheer. This is how we found out that Canada won the hockey game and within 10 minutes, the beach was bustling again. We met and talked with several guests (Canadian) and had a great time visiting with them, so really no big deal.

The resort was well maintained and clean. The staff were friendly and the food was good. The Mexican restaurant was a waste of time, but all of our other meals were good. This is a much smaller resort than Dreams or Las Brisas, which I like. It felt more intimate and a bit more authentic.

We would definitely go back!

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Joan44350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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