Our group of 7 traveled to the Barcelo Karmina February 7th to Feb 21st of 2014. (Sorry for the late review). This was our first trip to Manzanillo but have been all over Mexico multiple times. We have never stayed in an all inclusive that was less than a 4 star. We are not overly picky as we don't spend tons of time in our rooms but definitely want a clean room above all else no matter where we go.
Check In: We flew into Manzanillo on Air Transat operated by Enerjet (horrible plane: old, no padding on seats, no radio or tv at all, no electronic hook ups). We took the bus that was included in our package and there ended up being 2 bus loads of us at the same time. The plus is that there were no stops and it was only maybe 35 minutes to the hotel. The minus is that it took us about an hour and a half to check in as we're the second bus to be unloaded and were near the back of the line up. I think more staff should be available to help for when the rush happens. The poor workers at the front desk were just flying through the information trying to lessen the line up and therefore leaving people with more questions. This is the main reason why I rated the hotel as very good rather than excellent. it is important that the holiday starts on a high note to really set the tone for a wonderful vacay!
Room: We had booked 3 rooms and they were all in nice shape and very pleasing to the eye. Maybe some of the furniture is a bit out dated. Very spacious with lots of storage space. My room had two beds and was very soft and comfortable. The beds in the other 2 rooms were like rocks. There were a couple of small issues in the room when we got there. The thermostat did not work and our room was a bit hot. We called down and they fixed it right away and never had a problem with it for the rest of the 2 weeks. The shower head was messed up and spraying everywhere so they came in and 10 minutes later there was a brand new rain shower head installed. Anything we called to get fixed was looked at and dealt with in a timely fashion. We were very polite in our requests and they were respectful back. Our room was on the fifth floor and had a wonderful view of the ocean and faced East. Sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon was perfect.
Room Cleanliness: The room cleaning was done well enough but not in a timely manner. We are up and out of the room at 7am EVERY SINGLE MORNING. We may or may not pop up to the room after breakfast and we come back to the room around 3 or 4 pm. Some days the room was not done at all or else they were right in the middle of it. I did call down a couple of times to say we would be leaving the room all day and would like it cleaned sooner rather than later but that may be asking too much. I wish they would have a way to do this better.
Resort Cleanliness: The resort is VERY nice to look at. There are always workers cleaning pools, pathways, flower beds, trimming trees, watering the lawns, etc and always with a friendly Hola!!! The lobby is really nice as well and also very clean. You set your glass down and it is picked up very quickly. The foliage is mature which is very nice. Lot's of iguana's running around and chillin in the sun and enjoying the nice green trees.
Service: I have no real complaints on service. Most of our requests were dealt with in a timely manner and I did not experience any rudeness or bad customer service from any of the staff. Everyone from the pool waiters and activities staff to the maids were very nice and seemed to want to try to help you if they could. We tipped for good service but it was not expected.
Food: Not much selection. About half the trays to pick from compared to other resorts we have been too. Don't mistake this statement because the food that I did have to choose from was tasty and well (properly) cooked. They had a salad bar and a fresh fry station. We went to a couple of the ala cartes and they were good too. The Mexican is nice mostly because you are sitting on the water and the view is stunning at sunset so get an early booking for this one. My big gripe about the buffet is the other guests. I seen two teen girls grab food with their hand and put it back in the tray and one dipped her finger in salad dressing and licked her finger and dipped the same finger into the next dressing dish. That did it for me and I reported them to the buffet manager. As I was leaving I seen him approach them as they came back for seconds and started with their fingers again. Can we ALL, as human beings, please be more considerate in the buffet???????
Manzanillo is a really nice area. They are home to a massive shipping port and are actually building another one just down the coast. We went downtown a few times and the shopping doesn't seem to change no matter where you go in Mexico;). But they do have a pretty cool flea market that happens every Saturday. We went on a sunset boat tour and it was nice because the water was so calm. We ate downtown a couple of times and at both places the food was great. No one in our group had any stomach issues and one of the couples even stayed for 3 weeks. I would actually say that Manzanillo is a pretty sold middle class part of Mexico. I have seen way worse (like Mazatlan) and better (like Cabo). The streets and roads are cleaner than other places and the locals are in decent clothing and drive decent vehicles and seem to be generally decent people. I feel it is important to add that I felt safe everywhere we went for the entire 2 weeks. We did not choose to leave the resort after dark so I cannot comment on that part.
There are quite a bit of "locals" that come through on the weekends and can get quite rowdy at the Karmina but me as a Canadian can't say I've never taken a weekend trip in my own country/province and gotten a bit rowdy and loud and having a great time. I certainly have...lol.
All in all I would definitely recommend this hotel to others. If you go to any part of Mexico and keep in mind that you are visiting a 3rd world country and that you cannot always expect the same as you would get at home then I believe you'll be very pleasantly surprised. There is always room for improvement at any hotel in any country. Make sure to report room issues so they are fixed for the next person coming in and above all enjoy yourself!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Barcelo Karmina***** hotel has been recognised with the prestigious AAA 4-Diamonds award. It is a spectacular feat of architecture inspired by the Mayan temples. Its tropical gardens with palm trees, along with 6 interconnecting swimming pools with waterfalls, create a romantic and relaxing paradise in a place brimming with fun for all the family. This 5-star hotel offers 324 luxury suites fully fitted with everything you need for a comfortable stay. In addition, all suites have balconies and excellent views of either the tropical gardens or the sea. The Barcelo All Inclusive programme at Barcelo Karmina hotel has been designed to ensure your complete satisfaction, enabling you to enjoy our 4 restaurants and their varied cuisine from different countries: Japanese, Mexican, Italian and international. And to complete your holiday in this spectacular luxurious resort, relax in the U-Spa, enjoy the gym, the beauty centre and attend the nightly shows and lively nightclub. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Barcelo Karmina Palace Deluxe Hotel Manzanillo
- Karmina Palace Manzanillo
- Barcelo Hotel Karmina Palace
- Barcelo Hotel Manzanillo