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“Listen Suckers”

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Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #33 of 124 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Listen Suckers”
Reviewed January 5, 2013 via mobile

I have stayed in Mismaolya but not only at Barcelo. it is a beautiful setting and I stayed the In 1989 when it was half completed. I stayed again in 2000 before Barcelo owned it. The beach is a big shortcoming because most of it eroded in the last 10 years and replenishment has not been successful. The pools are beautiful. Dont get too fussy about service it's Mexico not St. Bart's or Crystal Cruise. It's about chips salsa, beer and Tequila. Affordability, informality and fun.

The bus to town stops in front and is 70 pesos. $.50. Unless you have kids never stay in an all inclusive. Puerto Vallarta has hundreds of the best and most varied restaurants in the world. Wald around Old Town and the waterfront Malecon. It is 100% safer than Rome or Barcelona.

All inclusive food is at best cruise ship quality and worst school cafeteria. If you get sick, sorry. I was in Mismaolya Christmas to New Years and except for acid from so much spice my 71 year year stomach was fine. When I got home to NY half the people I spoke to were sick.

I took walks on the road 3 miles to Boca beach and my 64 year old wife jogged on the road towards Town.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank Barry E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (941)
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 4, 2013

It is a beautiful property, lovely beach, albeit washed away since it's 90's splendour. Staff extremely helpful and gracious. Beautiful rooms, well serviced. We did not feel any need for the premium class. However, my husband and I found the food very disappointing. Breakfast fruit, usually a mainstay in Mexico was tired, and somewhat tasteless. Evening meals in the buffet were really mediocre, and the specialty restaurants weren't much better. My sense is the facility needs to hire some accomplished chefs who know how to create great dishes. The best specialty restaurant was the sea-food steak; also the snackbar on the beach served the best mexican-style dishes for lunch and late afternoon. I became ill on the 4th day, extreme nausea, some gastro-intestinal distress, which lasted the rest of the visit and another 2 weeks once home. My sense is that it was a virus, since it took a long time to abate. Lovely area, but we wouldn't go there again, mostly because of the mediocrity of the food.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JohnBo411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 4, 2013

This was our family's first all-inclusive trip to Mexico. We stayed in a Club Premium room, and I think it was worth the extra expense. Overall, we had a great time. The staff was friendly and helpful--particularly Antonio the entertainment director. He went out of his way to make sure my 11 and 13 year old daughters could participate in the activities that interested them. The resort was clean and well maintained. Our room was spacious and well appointed.The food was delicious. The kitchen staff even prepared for us the mahi-mahi we caught during a fishing day trip.
The only negatives were sketchy internet access (I'd be angry if I'd payed a daily rate) and itchy bug bites (but you are in the jungle, so what do you expect?). The dive shop on the property that is supposed to provide free scuba lessons, snorkeling gear and kayaks was the biggest disappointment. The hours were supposed to be 9-1 each day, but usually the shop was just closed. We wanted to use the kayaks and checked in each day, but it wasn't until the 5th day of our stay that we finally managed to do this. Even then, despite a storage area where you could see numerous kayaks, they would only let us use 2, and they provided a life jacket for my daughter that was sized for someone quadruple her weight. I realize the dive shop is not part of the resort and is subcontracted, but I think Barcelo should seek a better outfitter for these activities.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SLCJK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, Ca
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

It's probably my fault for not doing more research on this place before coming, but I had bigger fish to fry with my wedding and all. I stayed at this place in Mid-December.
I won't go into too much detail because my experience was similar to other guests who encountered horrible service and became ill.
As soon as I got there the issues started. Couldn't find my reservation and we waited and waited and waited. I too paid extra for the premium upgrade and was not put on a Premium floor. The Gold wristband was a waste of money and the "Premium Lounge" was not worth it.
In order to get service from anyone, including servers, bartenders or staff, I had to wave money at them... even though it's an "all-inclusive."
Every one of the front desk or concierge staff members that I encountered was extremely rude and dismissive to me. The bartenders were also rude until I started throwing money at them. In fact, one of our bartenders was so drunk one afternoon he couldn't even make our drinks and we had to go to another bar. Really, really lame.
Housekeeping was great -- probably because I tipped them every day as well. Our servers at Capri were also very nice... but again, we tipped them well.
I still have not figured out why the staff was so rude, but it definitely helped sour the experience for me.
Being at this place made it impossible to relax and actually became stressful.
All week people were telling me how sick they were, or their family is, or their friends are. And yep, it happened to me too. I am convinced that it was from the Milk/Creamer that I put in my coffee because after I became physically ill and began vomiting, all I could taste as that milk. But honestly, it could have been from anything. Really, really horrible. I was sick for 4 days and it ruined my experience.

If you are on our honeymoon or "romantic getaway" forget about sleeping in and feeling "alone." The microphone, speakers and screaming kids start early in the morning and do not stop...

During checkout, I tried to tell the concierge about some of the issues that I had, but she blew me off. Awesome.

I would not recommend this hotel to anyone, except maybe bachelor parties who don't care about this kind of stuff and want to eat like pigs and drink a bunch of booze.

I do not think would not stay at the Barcelo again if it was free and you paid for my airfare and taxi to the hotel. The best part about my stay was leaving.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nickyzaazaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

bought an all inclusive trip from United Vacations, included free transfer to/from airport. Was a little crazy at the airport to find the representative who paid for a private cab for the two of us, but then a nice drive to the resort. about 40 mins.

check in was simple, front desk people were perfectly acceptable, no problems that other reviewers encountered.

room on 2nd floor of tower two was huge. big living room and bedroom with flat screen tvs in each room with lots of channels in English and Spanish. nice bathroom with big rainfall shower.

minifridge kept stocked with tecate and other non-alcoholic drinks. $5 tip at the start helped.

towels weren't always replenished, but a quick call had new towels brought immediately.

both pools were nice and the ocean was great. the hawkers would not bother us after a quick "no thanks." beach was mostly private although the far end was public access, it never got too crowded.

buffet was great for breakfast, especially the mexican specialties.

poolside grill was good for lunch.

a la carte restaurants weren't that great, but also not terrible. on par for an all-inclusive resort.

lots of families, not too many couples.

bring lots of singles as it helps to give a little something extra to the staff during your stay eventhough tips are supposed to be already included.

activities offered for fun even if mostly to keep kids occupied.

only true nightlife was a different dance show at 9 pm, then some live music at the bar for a short time afterwards, ok by us.

Room Tip: rooms on 2nd floor have HUGE balconies
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Steve C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatoon, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

The Barcelo is a beautiful property with spacious rooms. However, obviously through our experiences and reading those of people who went through the same.......there is a food handling problem currently at the Barcelo.DO NOT go there if you want to stay well. We stayed at the Barcelo Dec 26-Jan 2 and 5 of 7 members of our family became ill. This ranged from stomach upset to severe vomitting and diarrhea. All of us have been to Mexico at least 4 times before and never drink the tap water or place ourselves at risk. Every group we talked to told us that at least half of their group got sick while staying at the Barcelo. We know of 2 people who went to hospital dehydrated with vomitting and diarrhea. I am disgusted to read the replies by the manager that insist there is good hygiene practiced at the Barcelo and people are sick due to alcoholic drinks etc.. Just admit there is a problem and fix it! When Norwalk virus strikes our hospitals in Canada we admit it, clean thoroughly and isolate patients until it is over. Our 14 yr old daughter was sick and she did NOT drink alcohol. Our 79 yr old grandmother was sick and she did NOT swim in the river or ocean. The only people in our group who did not get sick consistently drank from plastic coffee mugs brought from home......... There is an outbreak of some sort so stay away!

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank Cindy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Vancouver, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
46 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Our family (13 of us) decided to try Christmas in the sun this year... this was not my first trip to Mexico, or to an all inclusive... but I left this resort with good and bad feelings.

CLUB PREMIUM HUSTLE:
- being sold on the "Club Premium" package, only to find that my room was still being cleaned (45 mins) and worse that it was on the 7th Floor. Being someone who's never been here before, I found it instantly off-putting to see that the "premium" room I was sold was not on a "premium" floor -- The buttons on the elevator and the placards above each room number on the 8th/9th floors clearly designate which rooms are premium... those don't exist on the 7th floor.
- room service is "included"... but try and call to order anything. I tried to order and found endless ringing, no cooks in the kitchen perhaps?!
- "late checkout" -- I called the front desk the day before to inquire about late checkout and was told that it shouldn't be a problem, but the protocol is that I call the day of checkout to confirm. I called at 8AM only to be told that a 2PM checkout was not possible. The insult was that I had to wait over 20 minutes in the Premium Lounge to checkout because there were two other parties checking out before us.
- Yes, there's a printer in the Premium lounge to print your boarding pass... There is also no ink in the printer. Enjoy.
- The premium lounge always smelled like yesterdays dinner, off-putting scent
- Decent selection of premium alcohol in the lounge for free-pouring enjoyment... trouble is that once a particular bottle was finished it could be days before it was replenished (see Vodka). Most of this is also available for the asking/acceptable tipping from the other bars in the resort

GOOD:
- location is beautiful... nestled in a cove surrounded by a small town about 30 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta. tranquil, not much hustle here... locals on the beach try to sell, but friendly and not pushy
- pools are very nice, great landscaping surrounding them... even the resident iguana living around the waterfall in the middle of the pool was cool
- cleaning staff were great... mid-day towel replenishment was appreciated, as was turn-down
- taco stand in the beach grill was amazing and by far my favourite food. bartenders at the beach grill were also very friendly and quick to put drinks in my hand
- the buffet had nice views, open-air feeling
- if you're part of Club Premium you get free Internet. Do your non-premium friends a favour and get them access codes from the premium lounge so they too can enjoy being connected
- Santa arrived by boat, then came up to the pool deck. He handed out gifts to all children who lined up to see him... Staff did a great job here, and the kids were thrilled!
- poolside beverage service was overall quite good/responsive

BAD:
- I think everyone during the Christmas week knew at least a few people who were sick... there was definitely some sort of illness plaguing the resort... 6 of 13 were shutdown for at least a day.
- skip the spa at the resort and try a massage just down the beach ... Paradise Massage was my favourite, professional staff and $20/hr... those I heard who got massages on-resort weren't very satisfied for the price paid/duration
- buffet was more limited than I was used to at an all-inclusive. breakfast was generally very good, dinner was hit and miss
- seems like they need to make a run to Costco and buy some decent batteries... the batteries in my door/lock died (totally locked out of room), batteries in my TV remote died, batteries in the DVD player dead!
- the left side elevator in Tower 2 is in need of serious repair. It stopped between floors a couple times (the doors still opened), it was completely broken down at other times, then it made ugly grinding noises
- Rooms in Tower 2 are of a much older style/decor than those in Tower 1. Most of our group was in Tower 1 and I really liked the overall aesthetic within their rooms. Our room in Tower 2 (2816) had a nicer view, but the room had much older furnishings/didn't look near as nice.
- It seemed like the hot/cold controls were reversed from what they should have been in both showers
- some critters were biting like mad... I see from other reviews that perhaps it was some sort of "midge"? Could be... I never saw them, but I got a ton of bites as souvenirs. Perhaps some repellent would have helped.. I just didn't know what was attacking me and others and if it was in my bed, on the beach, or near the pool?
- no beach/pool towels available for "10 minutes"

Overall it was a decent trip, but my first few days in the resort were full of issues particularly dealing with the fake upgrade that I was sold on. My main objections could have been resolved quickly if the front desk staff would have been more upfront/honest.

The staff and management at this resort seem VERY reluctant to make any concessions. At times they treated me like a customer they didn't want to bother pleasing... (Yeah, I'd rather rant at the front desk instead of sitting in a lounge chair relaxing in the sun). Don't worry, Barcelo... I won't be back... I'll warn my friends too.

Room Tip: Tower 1 rooms are more recently renovated Club Premium is a bit of hustle in my opinion, make sure...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank 457khz
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:
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#19 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#20 Luxury 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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