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“Relaxing, great food, beautiful rooms”

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Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #34 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed October 1, 2011

We stayed in a junior suite with our 3 kids. The hotel desk staff wonderful. The transfers to and from the airport also were first class. We were supposed to have a king bed and a double Instead we got a free upgrade to a king, Queen and a cot in a 2 room suite! the in room fridge was stalked daily! There were no sign of bed bugs, bad food, sickness or any of the nasty stuff we had read on this site before we left Canada. The beach was small but large enough to relax. The pools were nice but there really wasn't enough chairs for the number of guests in thd hotel. Done ignorant guests would lay their towels out the night prior to ensure the best spots each morning. That was very frustrating and not fair! The buffet was simply awesome. Thd menu could be anything from western to Japanese to Italian. The kids were 7 10 and 13- there was something for everyone! We did dinner in one of the a la carte and none of us cared for it. Far too fancy and slow to make kids sit through. For us though having no set time and being able to show up at a time that we chose at the buffet worked for our family. If you are looking for a night life you may better look elsewhere as this lacked variety. We were there 12 days and we saw the repeat dancers nigt after might- just doing a different dance. That got old fast. Walking to Mismaloya is just 10 minutes. The zoo is also about 15 min walk through Mismaloya. The bus to town was about 3.50 and it went straight to town. VERY safe. We went in a few times then for about $15. US a can took all 5 of us back! Worth it cause getting a bus in was easy cause it only went one way. Even finding a bus to stop to take us back was impossible. For the sake if less frustration we would take the bus in and a cab back. Any questions just ask! Ljarratt@telus.net
We probably won't return but that would only bd because there are so many other new places to try that do have a bit more good variety and more nightlife. The hotel was a good 20 minute bus ride into town just to let u know. Grabbing a cab from the hotel to the zip line would have been less than half if what the tour guides fees were! If we had know it was only 5 min down the road we would have done it ourselves!!! Oh and there is no physical possible way that food in the buffet could come into contact with sunlight or spoil food! I cant see why that was ever written by another person. The total buffet is covered and the sun can't even get near it. We had 9 in our party in total and we were all different sizes and ages- none of us got sick. None got bites, sores or rashes either. So if you are looking for a nice quiet holiday with minimal nightlife then this is your place- the pillows were fine as well. Yes, the roosters do start in the morning as posted but we asked to be in tower 1 where they are not so loud- what do u expect though it's Mexico! Get up early and enjoy it. Have fun!

  • Stayed: April 2011
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7  Thank 5Canadiantravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,209 - 2,215 of 4,695 reviews

Reviewed September 26, 2011

Just got back from a week long stay with my bride celebrating our 25 wedding anniversary, we had a blast. The reviews about the beach were accurate though- it is small but the pools were clean and we didn't miss the beach. I never got asked once about a time share! This was our forth visit to Mexico, we were used to hitting the bigger resorts- this was the smallest resort we visited but it just made us book a few more tours to fill our days. I recommend the Canopy Zip Line tour combined with the ATV tour. We also had a blast on the Vallarta city and tequila tour.
Great food, great food and clean resort. A/C could use a tune up but it kept the room at 74 which isn't that bad since the temp outside was around 110 all week.

Room Tip: All the same- higher floors give you a better view though.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Gregg B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2011

We first went to Barcelo with a group of friends in Decemeber of 2010. We had just a great time that we decided to return, this time for 2 weeks again in December. The food is amazing, even the buffets. They are constantly serving different types of food at the buffet so you never get bored. It was perfect for us that it was located a little bit our of town, it feels so much more private, especially since it is the only large hotel on the beach. There are some great little bars, restaurants, and attractions all within walking distance. If you feel the need to go into the city you can take a bus which is super cheap and convenient. Overall I would recommend this resort to anyone.

Room Tip: We went with the cheapest room and it was amazing, i wouldn't even bother upgrading, especially...
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  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Asendria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2011

This was a fantastic property for families who wanted to unpack their suitcases and live on the resort for the next week. Plenty of chairs, umbrellas and and rooms around the many pools. Never felt crowded.

We have been to many locations in Mexico and the great thing about the Barcelo resorts is. the layout of the rooms. They are very well decorated and spacious enough for a family of four or five. There was a pull out couch as well as two large double beds and a single sleeper in the back end of the room. The layout is a long room allowing for a living area in the front and the back.

There was a decent sized playground, kids club was great. The breakfast was very good - dinner was hit and miss depending on the theme - Mexican night was yummy. I wish Mexican hotels would stop trying to have theme nights as we all go to eat Mexican food - not Chinese...but there was pasta every night so the kids were happy.

There were some stores on the property if you wanted to take a break from the pools. The nightly entertainment was good - nice for the kids but they need a refresh of newer costumes as some seemed pretty worn. They had a "carnival" on Mexican theme night and it had a bouncy castle and other treats - kids loved it.

This was the first time we went in June and the weather was hot and humid. The rooms were air conditioned as were the indoor spaces and the drinks were plenty. We had fantastic meal service from Azucena and Victor and the Kids Club staff - Patricia and Maria made sure the kids had a great time! Matilde kept our rooms spotless - you could really eat off those floors and the shower area was one I wished I could have brought home to my house. It was modern and beautiful.

Here are some suggestions we would have:
-STRAWS...stop the straw environmental program right away - drinking a slushly drink without a straw is frustrating and all the guests were complaining about the lack of straws. We did get some when we spoke to the management but this is the silliest environmental program - disposable cups not recycled but they are worried about straws in the landfill? I don't get it.
-More servers during the show and some dessert plates during the shows would be great
-The BEACH - it's pretty but impossible to walk on as he sand is coarse and almost sharp. We were told that the hurricane took all the natural sand and the hotel tried to ship in new sand - it will take some time to "become softer". If you like the beach - choose another hotel - if you like to look at it but not walk on it - this is the hotel for you.

Cab ride into town was about $15 bucks although we really felt we never needed to leave the resort.

Room Tip: The rooms are great - all the rooms seemed to have a view and a patio.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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8  Thank MateCruzfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

My mom and I have been to several different All-inclusive resorts across Mexico and this one ranked up at the very top! We went during "rainy season", end of August and LOVED the weather! It wasn't ridiculously hot during the morning and then almost every afternoon it sprinkled enough to cool everything down. We come from the desert so maybe that's why it didn't bother us one bit, but we will definitely come back same time next year because it's less crowded and cheaper.
We somehow got upgraded to Club Premium with our reservation through Expedia, completely unexpected but very exciting! Our room was a master deluxe suite with two bathrooms, one that had a full tub and separate shower, two closets, a living room and king size bed. It was beautiful!!! And had an amazing ocean view! With Club Premium we got access to a separate lounge that had all the top shelf alcohols (Crown, Belvedere Vodka, etc) and free wi-fi on the computers, which was nice to be able to email and Facebook, print boarding passes. The best part about being Premium though was getting to eat every night in the A la Carte restaurants, which we loved! Normally they limit the nights based on how many nights you are staying. We ate Italian first, which was delicious and Spanish (Don Quixote) the next night. We loved the view and service at Don Quixote (Lily was our waitress) so much that we cancelled our Steak House reservations and ate there again the next night and the Italian place twice!
The pools are all gorgeous and the beach is perfect! Small but great for swimming and the sand is clean and soft so water shoes aren't needed. We walked down the beach and across the bridge a little way and found 3 little massage "huts". If you aren't uptight or too modest, this is the way to go. We both got 60 minute massages for $40 total! Best $20 massage I've ever had. The places are literally just little cabanas with white sheets hung around them, so they're not super private, but we could hear the ocean and it was raining when we went so it was very relaxing!
There are tons of guys with pongo boats right in the bay of the hotel, so if you wanna go for a boat ride you can arrange it through them and haggle the price a bit. We didn't feel like snorkeling, so we just went for an hour long boat ride to Los Arcos and were able to see tons of gorgeous fish when he through bread in for them to eat.
The Puerto Vallarta Zoo was one of our favorite excursions outside of the hotel!! It's about a mile walk uphill from the hotel to the town of Mismaloya. We took a $6 cab ride up to the zoo and then just walked back down so it was painless. It's $5 to get in but well worth every penny! Also spend the extra $5 for the bag of food to feed the animals. It's all separated and lists which animals like which food. How often do you get to have a giraffe eat a carrot right out of your hands? Plus the animals come to expect it so they come right over when you walk up. The only thing I regret is not paying the $10 to get to hold a lion or tiger cub. That definitely would have been a once in a lifetime thing. Some of the animals make you a little sad but overall it is an amazing zoo and unlike anything you'll see in the States.
The only drawback that we saw with this hotel was there isn't much nightlife other than the Cantina bar which is pretty small, hot and very loud (bad acoustics). And there weren't a lot of people from the States staying at the time, so we didn't interact too much, most people spoke mainly Spanish so that was a little disappointing. They do have a different show every night of the week, which was great! Awesome costumes and dancing! And they had a great band that would go from the show over to the Cantina bar and play until about 11-11:30.
I think if we would have had to eat at the buffet for 3 meals a day, we would have gotten sick of the food, so thank god for the A La Carte restaurants. There was a lot of variety at the buffet, but it didn't change much from day to day. It was typical for all-inclusive food, but a little lacking. We couldn't go back without doing the Club Premium again just for that reason.
Definitely would recommend this hotel and hope to go back soon with the rest of the family! The staff were all friendly and helpful, the grounds were gorgeous and our room was out of this world.

Room Tip: Ocean View is the way to go!
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank MeghanR333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

It´s really a great Barcelo Hotel, I have been in other Barcelo´s (Guatemala, Ixtapa, Cabos) and this it´s the best.

The food great, a lot of diferent restaurants, the pools great... the jacuzzi... amazing.
Has a private beach, it´s at 15 min from the City, and 5 min from the Zoo and other great outdoor activities.

The people there give you a 5 diamond experience...
We loved it.. and sure... will come back again!

Room Tip: As ussual Top Rooms are the best for a great views...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Reussner_R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2011

We stayed there almost a year again and still talk about it! First of all the views are AMAZING! You wake up to lush, green mountains behind you and the ocean in front of you. The food was good, not just good for an all inclusive, but actually good period.

Food: They had a nice variety and good flavors at the buffet restaurant which overlooked the beach/water. We ate there several times for breakfast and a few times for dinner. We were able to eat at each of the specialty restaurants. Service was amazing and our the food was delicious at each one. We also had lunch at Los Arcos a few times, if you do, you have to try the shrimp burritos. Just thinking about them is making my mouth water, yummy! FYI, if you can flag a waiter/waitress down they will even bring you lunch poolside.

Room: We originally booked a one bedroom suite and were somehow upgraded to a 2 bedroom/2 bath suite. This worked out really well since we were traveling with a 2 1/2 year old. She had her own space and I think that allowed us all to sleep better. My husband and I did a lot of research and this was the only hotel that offered something like that without having to pay twice what we actually did. For families with young children that is HUGE! Being recently potty trained she was excited to have her own bathroom to herself as well.

Hotel Grounds: This hotel is a little older than some of the others in the area, but beautifully maintained. It is lush, clean and the staff was friendly and accomodating. There were shows and activities but a lot of them started after we had to put our little one down so we did not really participate. The pools were not very crowded and the kid pool was nice and shallow enough for our little one to feel safe in. The beach was small and as long as you stay close to the hotel the vendors seem to leave you alone. The water was pretty rough so I would be careful unless you are a really good swimmer. By far the highlight of our trip was participating in the sea turtle release. The first night we just happened to get lucky by being at the right place at the right time. If you are interested just ask one of the activity people. It's a memory my little one still talks about a year later and she was only 2 1/2 at the time.

We also went to the Puerto Vallarta Zoo which is about a 15 min walk from the hotel. We purchased a bag of food to feed the animals. It's a small zoo but getting to feed different animals was a good experience. Downtown Puerto Vallarta was fun to walk through, we went to Los Arcos and saw a beautiful old church, other than that there seemed to be a lot of touristy stores.

Overall I would highly recommend this hotel if you are thinking about staying in Puerto Vallarta. It worked very well for our family with a young child and the food, room, amenities, and surroundings were a great value!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled with family
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9  Thank rkymtn1
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

Address: Carretera a Barra de Navidad Km. 11.5 | Zona Hotelera Sur, Puerto Vallarta 48300, 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:
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#19 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#21 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#23 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#27 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $200 - $638 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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