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“Barcelo was very nice!”

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Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #33 of 124 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Barcelo was very nice!”
Reviewed March 30, 2011

We stayed at Barcelo the last week of February and had a wonderful vacation. My favorites: The pools are beautiful; the rooms are large and have different areas, all with pool and ocean view (the higher you are the better), the staff were great (make sure you tip...they work for peanuts and the better you tip, the better your service), and the location was just beautiful.

The food was alright...nothing absolutely amazing but very good none the less. My favorite was Capri. I recommend the fairest salad and the pesto pasta. We had lunch mist often at the snack bar. Tacos are yummy as well as the tuna avocado, guacamole/salsa and shrimp burrito. The cheese is gross IMO. So I disliked the pizza (I am from the northeast and a very Italian based area so i am a pizza
snob). I also got the shrimp burrito without cheese b/c they used the same kind as on the pizza. I highly recommend stepping off the reservation for a meal or few. Best restaurant I ate at was Tony's of Mismoya in the village across the street.

Activities I recommend nearby:
Hike to El Eden: this is a must if you are into hiking, nature and photography. You can also zipping there. You can hike on your own. Just walk across the street and follow signs. It is about 2.5 miles from resort. Stop along the way at smaller water falls and lagoons. There is a neat bar about 1/2 way up if you would like to stop afor a Berbers :). You can also check out Chico's paradise...it is not open but cool place to walk around. We swam in the waterfalls and had some tequila at the restaurant. There are more falls past the main one with the restaurant. Please check out my trip wow video I posted in the travel forum for PV.

Hike El Nogalito.
You can hike this and or do canopy tour as well. I recommend contacting a man Remco who owns a bed and breakfast in Nogalito village. He is an expert guide and this is a hike you will not soon forget. The waterfalls and lagoons at the top are AMAZING! Message me and I will give you his contact info. It is a short bus ride (few minutes) from the Barcelo.

Hike from Boca to las Animas Beach:
I highly recommend this and contacting Reinhard Dressler who can meet you on the beach next to the Barcelo. He offers a beach and trail hike or a beach hike and snorkel excursion. You can google him or contact me for his info. He also took us to the river canyon between Boca and El Tuito which is breathtaking. We swam down the canyon natural waterslides and down a waterfall near Chico's Paradise.

We went to Los acros, las marketed and did a sunset sail. All recommended as well! Especially marietas islands. Beaches and caves....lots of wildlife.

Again, check out my trip wow video to get an idea of the area.


I Am writing this on a smart phone but will upload pics and the video to the Barcelo Review one I am on my computer.

Happy travels!
Jess

  • Stayed February 2011
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Helpful?
6 Thank jfarrell55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Bloomington, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2011

We went for Spring Break, we had 20 people in our group, lots of fun, good food, fun activities at the pool, we went ziplining thru our "Apple Represenetive" which was an amazing experience, even for those of us who are afraid of heights!
We went on the city bus to the downrown area to shop at the markets, 65 cents per person, the people were friendly and it was safe to ride.
We also walked thru the village every morning for exercise and that was safe as well.

Our ONLY Problem at this resort was bug bites. Not sure if it was sand fleas but MANY of our group experienced these annoying bug bites on our legs and backs! YECK!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank joni2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2011

Our trip was awesome. We arranged everything through CheapCaribbean prior to our arrival and the transition to the resort was smooth and when we got there we got a free room upgrade and champagne. The bars are great and the service was very good. The pools were great but there is a huge problem with people reserving their lounge chairs early in the morning. Feel free to remove their towels and take the lounge chair because it clearly states in several places (ie. the paperwork you receive when you check-in and on a sign next to the towel dispensing counter). People get really worked up about it if you remove their towel even if they clearly are breaking the rules and haven't been poolside for hours and are clearly breaking the rules. Chairs should remain open for the people that are actually using them and not reserved so you can have a spot when you return after hours away from the pool. The towel/reserving the loungers is the only time you'll run into blatantly rude people @ Barcelo. Rules are rules, whatever. The breakfast buffet was good and there were plenty of options. We never ate at the buffet for lunch and there's really no need because you can eat @ the Los Arcos snack bar for free and they have a very good menu and the taco bar is great. Watch out of the dark red salsa if you cannot handle spicy foods. Day after day, I kept slathering it on my tacos despite it being delightfully wicked. The dinner buffets, we ate @ Asian night and seafood night, were horrible. A lot of people around us seemed satisfied and content but the seafood night was really bad. We ate at Los Arcos steakhouse once and it was mediocre. The rib-eye was very thin and covered in an unpleasant gravy. Other parts of the meal were much better though. We ate at the Italian restaurant once and it was much better than the steakhouse. I'd recommend eating there multiple times over eating at the steakhouse once. A must: EAT DINNER @ TONY'S in Mismaloya. Ask anyone near the front desk how to get there or take a taxi if you don't want to walk the 10 minutes and you'll have an amazing night. Happy hour @ Tony's is 2 for 1 drinks and the food was spectacular. They present the food prior to cooking it for you and you pick what you want off of the platter. Several of us picked the shrimp sampler (2 each: coconut, grilled, and wrapped in bacon with cheese), some of us had the steak/shrimp kabobs and one of us had the whole red snapper and everyone had the best meal of the trip @ Tony's. It's a must. The rooms are impeccable and housekeeping is very nice and would leave us towel-swans and hearts if we left a couple dollars. The staff is very nice and will answer any questions you may have. Go outside the main gate to the little stand if you're trying to arrange zip-lining or any other tours (trust me, it'll save you money and it's the same exact product). If you want to snorkel or go on a boat ride, head down the beach and barter with the guys on the beach. We went on a great trip around Los Arcos (the rocks) and got it on the cheap and the fish were beautiful and the baby pelicans were interesting to see as well.

I will definitely return to Barcelo PV. I look forward to my next trip to Barcelo Puerto Vallarta and I will not hesitate to pull towels from the loungers if they're clearly not being used for anything but spot reservation.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Cheddandrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
1 review
Reviewed March 28, 2011

The service in the eating areas needed improvement. Needed more activities for children and even family activities would have been appreciated. Some members in the group were covered with bug bites when we left. We're not sure where they got them, and why everyone in the family didn't get them. We didn't see any bugs or flying insects so this is a mystery to us. It was a fun vacation, but we think the cruises we have taken were a better value. We do not drink alcohol so this might be one of the reasons this all inclusive resort was not as good a value for our family.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sophia1234569
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2011

We visited the Barcelo in Puerto Vallarta from March 17 - 24. We were there with a group of 24 people in total, and staying in a mix of different room types but most of us had young children or teenagers and stayed in the family suites. The family suites are beautiful. Our room was a 2 bdrm ste with 2 bathrooms; one bedroom with 2 single beds and the other bedroom with 1 king bed. There was not really a living room in these suites, just 2 separate bedrooms. The rooms were newer and very clean and had all the amenities one would want at a hotel. The sliding glass doors opened up to a lovely deck with a hanging area for wet towels/bathing suits and a seating area and also had a partial ocean view. I have never had a better sleep at a hotel! The beds and pillows were perfect and extremely comfortable.
One tip I would share is to make your dining reservations for the a'la carte restaurants as quickly as you can once you check in, as we waited a day and then could only dine at 9pm as our group was quite large. The a'la carte restaurants were excellent; in particular the Capri Restaurant and the Los Arcos Grill. The buffet was also very nice but after you have eaten there for a few days in a row of breakfast, lunch and dinner it is kind of tiresome but the wait staff were very personable, efficient and friendly. At any of the a'la carte restaurants, men have to wear long pants and some people in our party were not aware of this so had to do some borrowing from friends in our group so they could eat there.
The pools were very nice and the drink service at the pool area was also a nice treat. We were there at the Canadian Spring Break time, and the hotel was at capacity, so the drink service was a bit slow however if you didn't want to wait you could go to the bar to get your own beverage. I would have liked the pools to be a bit colder, as they were warm almost like a lukewarm bath, likely due to the temperatures while we were there. It was between 28-30 degrees each day and VERY hot. I was worried what the pool temperature would be like, as some of the reviews stated that the pools were too cold. We definitely found it the opposite of that.
If there is one thing I could say I didn't get the most enjoyment out of at the Barcelo, it is that the evening entertainment was a bit lacking and being that the hotel is quite far away from downtown (approx 30 min drive), it can be difficult to leave the hotel for the evenings. The Cantina bar was fun and had karaoke in the early evening and then a live band usually played until 11 or so.
One item that I was not happy with was the use of internet service at the computer stations in the lobby area. It seemed every time we went to use it we were quoted a different price. My daughter used it a few times and paid $5 for 30 mins but whenever I went to use it the price varied and I am not sure why.
The hotel is a short walk to Mismaloya and very close to the zoo. There seems to be more bugs in this area of town so make sure you use insect repellent if visiting the zoo or being out after dark or on the beach. I was so happy that I didn't end up with any bug bites, that is until the last day when we visited the zoo and I came home with 8 bites on one leg. It seemed everyone in our party suffered from at least a few bug bites...and they are the tiny little bugs (no-see-ums!) so you don't really notice they are on you until after they have bitten.
It is easy to take the bus to/from downtown PV or you can also cab it for about 150 pesos each way. The bus was 70 cents per person each way...very inexpensive and the buses run often. We also took a cab to the hotel from the airport and it cost $280 pesos each way plus tip.
All in all, I think the Barcelo was a beautiful hotel and had great service. The staff were fantastic and worked so hard to make sure everyone had an enjoyable time. I wouldn't hesitate to go back there again as it is a great place for families. If you are wanting a hotel that has lots of nightlife, this perhaps isn't the right place for you, but I can honestly say I had one of the most relaxing, enjoyable vacations ever staying at the Barcelo in PV and would recommend it to anyone looking for a quieter, relaxing and comfortable place to stay.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank KarinMR71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Billings, Montana
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 26, 2011

the hotel was a great place to stay every room has an ocean view which was great the area was clean and tours were available from the hotel and also from the locals which were affordable the all inclusive was well worth it I hope if you get the chance to go you will enjoy it as much as I did

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank cwetsch138
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2011

Beautiful hotel, with a nice variety of food and drink.
20 minutes from town, so you'll want to take the city bus or a taxi to check it out. This was good because we had zero "Spring Breakers". Also, we were across the street from the Zoo and a Tequilla Factory. Check those out too. And, the setting was awesome, a cove within the big Bay of Banderas. In the city of Puerta Vallarta was shopping, the Cathedral, the Malecon with wonderful sand sculptures, etc. You'll want to go into town, at least once.
Small beach, with an unlevel area on one side of the hotel. The hotel should level this area, and put palapas or umbrellas out there. Then they could add lounge chairs. This would really help out with the scramble for seating. We'd set our alarm for 6:30am, to get up, and set out our towels for the day, around the pool. If you want to lay by the beach, which I prefer, you'd need to drag your own chair down the stairs to the beach, which we did one day. You could go to the activity pool, or right next to it, was the quiet pool. Both were lovely, with a pretty waterfall.

Food and drinks. They have a cantina, which is where people would go to between dinner and the show. It had karaoke, which was fun. Wonderful variety of food, with two "show cook" stations - where you could personalize your meal selection. Don't overlook the Kids Food Section. Good stuff over there too. We tried to sit in Luis' section, as he was awesome!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RealtorLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barcelo Puerto Vallarta

Property: Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
Address: Zona Hotelera Sur Km. 11.5, Puerto Vallarta 48294, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#19 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#20 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#27 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#29 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Puerto Vallarta 4*
Number of rooms: 316
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Barceló Puerto Vallarta***** (formerly Barceló La Jolla de Mismaloya) in Puerto Vallarta, is an elegant, all-inclusive Mexican-style resort. It offers 316 completely renovated and comfortable suites with excellent service, leisure, history, beautiful scenery, exuberant flora and privacy.Relax after a hard day’s work in the hotel spa, catch some rays at one of the hotel pools or take time out to practice your favourite water sport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Jolla Mismaloya
Barcelo La Jolla De Mismaloya Puerto Vallarta
La Jolla Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta La Jolla De Mismaloya
Barcelo De Mismaloya
Barcelo Mismaloya Puerto Vallarta
Barcelo La Jolla Mismaloya

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