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“Room was great, Overall Poor Experience”

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Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #35 of 125 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Room was great, Overall Poor Experience”
Reviewed April 19, 2013

My family and I spent 10 days at this resort from Apr 1-10/13 and had a Junior Suite (7th floor, tower 1) with one bathroom, a king size bed and a separate room area with 2 beds for the kids. Room service was great and the mini bar was re-stocked daily, although since there were 4 of us, it would have been nice to get more than one small bag of chips/day.

The resort was fairly quite while we were there so the pools were not that busy. Overall we found it to be very clean and well maintained. Compared to the other resorts we have stayed at in Mexico, we didn't find the nightly entertainment to be very entertaining. It also didn't help that it takes place in a theater without air conditioning (very humid and uncomfortable).

The food was good and the buffets provided a decent variety considering the resort wasn't very busy. The main complaint from my wife/kids was that the ice cream machines seemed to always be out of order, and it was also frustrating that they seemed to constantly run out certain alcohol.

There were two main concerns we had with our visit that will prevent us from returning - our boys wanted to take part in the Barcy (kid's) club one afternoon so we checked them in for 30 minutes. When we went back to pick them up, the group had left the room (back in 5 minutes sign on the door) so we took a walk to pass a bit more time. Well, we happened to find both of our kids in the playground (near the pool) by themself and the Barcy Club staff was nowhere to be seen. Our boys are 4 and 6 and it should be noted that the pools are fairly deep and the ocean is close by (small beach). When I approached the front desk to speak to a manager about my concern, it took over a day to get someone to follow up with me and then I was told "we will make sure something like this will never happen again". Needless to say, the boys did not use the club after that.

The second issue happened one evening after dinner. We were enjoying a family swim in the kid pool when a fight broke out between a group of people at the pool with the swim up bar. It took a few minutes for any staff to show up and they basically did nothing, waiting until the fight was over. Once they had the groups separated, they moved to different parts of the pool. One group consisted of a husband, wife (who was in the fight) and their young son (about 10 years old). The husband and wife ended up arguing and he actually hit her in the face and dropped her to the ground (kid was crying hysterically). Again, staff did nothing except stand around and watch. When she stood back up they walked away - assuming back to their room.

We were appalled that the staff allowed the people who were fighting to stay at the pool and they even continued to serve them alcohol! We overheard another guest speaking to the manager that evening about the incident and he was told that they handled it appropriately and the guests were not going to be removed from the resort.

The day before we were scheduled to leave we got a call from the manager asking us how our stay was. I told him about the above issues and his only reply was "we have taken care of things". He then said we were scheduled to check out that afternoon and when I corrected him to say that we still had one more night he proceeded to tell me that was incorrect. We had to take our confirmation papers to the front desk to prove that we were not checking out until the next day - the manager never apologized for the error.

We do not intend on returning here and because of our experience, will not recommend it to family (which is a shame because the Barcelo in the Mayan was beyond excellent).

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank tjjackman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Monument, Colorado
Level Contributor
237 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2013

Formally, called Mismoloyia., located several miles from the downtown area., located, on the Bandras Bay., beautiful room., tastefully decorated, quiet., and most of all works for families., or couples., have coffee on the balcony in the morning,. enjoy the ocean sounds., and sights. This is an all inclusive resort., that has just about anything for everyone., served buffet style, enjoy the nightly shows., and dancing under the stars. Beach afronts the property., also, "remembering scencs from "Night of the Iquana"., with Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton., tour the area, and bring back memories., The landscaping is beautiful., three pools., something for everyone., and a "hot springs" pool,. hidden away., to have that romantic time together,. Staff, are friendly., short distance to downtown PV., shopping., restaurants., and nightlife. Many activities., trips to private beaches., and great off shore snorkeling. We always have a beautiful time., when we stay at the Barcelo, in PV. Have fun!!!!

Room Tip: Always, get that room with a balcony, so you can enjoy the ocean breezes., mornings for coffee., and...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Paula U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, MN
2 reviews
Reviewed April 16, 2013

We had a great experience! Loved the spacious rooms with beautiful ocean views. We spent 8 nights at this hotel (March 31st- April 8th) We stayed in a two bedroom premium family suite. Perfect for a family of 5. We enjoyed many activites while we were there including kayaking and snorkeling. We also walked to the zoo and Tony's Hideaway restaurant. Both were amazing!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank ettam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Travel dates: 4/10 - 4/13
My husband and I took a short getaway down to Puerto Vallarta due to great flight times/prices. We picked this resort due to price.

Sickness: WE DID NOT GET SICK. We almost re-booked when we read all the reviews but decided to stick it out. However, we did share a cab to the airport home (not by choice) with another couple on our flight and the husband was sick. But - I'm not sure if it was Norovirus or maybe he just got that bacteria that people sometimes get in Mexico. But the wife did say he got the vomiting and diarrhea. This was the only run in with sickness while we were there.

Room: The view was AMAZING. We upgraded to an oceanfront suite and it was worth it. We got a one bedroom, two bathroom, and living area suite and it was great. It was nice and clean, they re-stocked our mini-fridges each day and the view was excellent. We were in tower 2 on the outside so we were not near the pool and never heard any loud music. Our room number was 2319 and I thought it was a great room.

Food:
Restaurants - because we upgraded we were considered 'premium' and could book restaurants each night if we wanted. Well, we booked as soon as we got there and got a 9:30 reservation one night and a 7:30 the next. The resort was pretty dead so we were surprised to see that the restaurants were so booked already. The food was good here.
Buffet - I read in other reviews that this was horrible. I thought those people were just picky, but I totally agree. I'm not a picky person at all and neither is my husband, however, the first 2 times we ate at the buffet we found hair in our food and the food was terribly cold the first time. The rest of the times it was mediocre at best due to food temp. I thought variety was good and if the temp would have been right, it would have been pretty good.
Taco Bar - EXCELLENT! Had this been open the entire day, we likely would have eaten here for lunch and dinner. The tortillas are handmade, the meats are cooked perfectly, the fixings are fresh and the guac is to die for. I would highly recommend spending some time at the taco bar :)

Pools: I thought the pools were good. I'm not much of a pool person so don't really care about these. We did sit in the hot tub and near the pool bar a bit and I thought the seats were a bit grimey. However, I did see people cleaning the pools with scrub brushes the day we left. I thought they were good otherwise. And due to it being dead while we were there, lots of chairs were available. There were kids all over, in case you are looking to go to adults only, there didn't seem to be an option for that.

Service: We thought service was good. We didn't sit at the pool or on the beach long enough to judge waitress service there for drinks, but I will say if we weren't eating, we went and got all of our own drinks. But again, we didn't sit around much at the pool or beach so maybe we would have gotten waited on if we did. Service for all of the food locations was excellent. Maid service was good too.

Beach: Yes, the people selling stuff can get annoying, but all you have to say is 'no thanks' and they are pretty good about leaving you alone. My husband and I actually went down the beach to one of the local bars and sat there on our 2nd day. We ended up going back the 3rd day also. It was worth it to pay for beers instead of doing resort beer! The view was great, the service was superb and it was quiet. We read great things about the local beach bars before we went and we wish we would have eaten at one too. We just did drinks though.
The water was really warm but the actual beach area was limited. The sand wasn't fine like it is in other areas, it's a bit rougher.

Resort: It was always clean. There were always people sweeping, picking up, cleaning, etc. The grounds were kept up really nice too. Staff was friendly and the 'premium club' was excellent.

Adventures: There were TONS of people (locals) outside of the resort offering fishing, boat rides, snorkeling, massages, etc. If we would have been there longer, we would have taken them up on some. There were a few great people we talked too and would have loved to give them our business. We did do massages at the first spot on the other side of the river and it was great. $25 for an hour per person. So worth it.

Location: Since we were there for only a short time, the location worked ok. If we were there for longer, I think we would have gotten bored just staying at the resort. If you're ok with exploring the city or the local stuff a bit, you'll be fine. If you're thinking of staying at the resort the entire time and are looking for variety, I would re-consider this location.

Overall: This was our second time to Mexico. We must have come in with really high expectations from our last experience since we were only able to give this place a 3. We liked it, and would recommend it to others, but think it's good for a certain type of traveler. If you are looking to lounge around by the pool and have kids, great! If you are looking for multiple food options and lots of options outside the resort, pick a different spot.
We don't travel much, don't generally have high expectations and can find happiness without much. As I mentioned above, I think this place really appeals to a certain traveler and I think we learned we like more variety when we do travel.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mel_Marink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cody, Wyoming
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for a week. It was our first trip in 31 years without our children, so it was like a second honeymoon for us. We couldn't have asked for more. It was beautiful, super clean, everyone we met was super nice, the food was great, and we LOVED the outdoor patio buffet restaurant! They offered activities for everyone, including children, and had fun shows in the evening for entertainment. We would go back again in a heartbeat! The only slightly down side is that is about 30-40 minutes from the airport, but the beautiful, secluded cove it was on was worth the drive.

Room Tip: Go for the master suite with ocean view. It's worth the extra cost!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Linda A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Okotoks, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

We booked with Expedia.ca and stayed at Barcelo between Jan 19 and Jan 26. We booked a transfer directly with Barcelo through their web-site, and was nice to have car there waiting for us. We also did not have an issues with the Shark Tank.

When we arrived at the Barcelo, we were warmly greetly and escorted to the front desk. I had requested with our booking a room with a King Size bed, but at check-in, were told they had no King rooms available, but would likely have one the next morning. The room, in building 2 had a nice sitting area, and the two double beds. Expecting to move in the morning, we didn't unpack. We then got our swim suits on and went for a walk around the resort. We got the lay of the land, and proceeded to hit the pool. The larger pool had a GREAT atmosphere .... we spent a LARGE amount of time in this pool, and at the swim-up bar. EXCELLENT service at the swim-up bar...

The "rock feature/waterfall" between the two pools made you feel you were in the middle of "nature", instead of simple pool. There were 2 hot tubs, that REALLY were HOT .... great place to relax as well. The activity pool was great for volleyball, and water polo ....

The a la carte restaurants were ok ... nothing to really write home about. The buffet was acceptable ... food was generally the same day to day, but certainly was palatable. I had omelettes daily. It was wonderful to be able to sit in the open-air buffet and look out over the bay ... made us feel very relaxed.

Back to the room... We went back to the front desk the next morning, and lo and behold, they still didn't have a King room ... but Carlos tried to up-sell us to a Master Suite, for 1/2 price for us ... $50/night ... we didn't expect to go for it, but we went to see the room he was talking about... on the 7th floor in building 1. This was an end unit, looking out over the bay and the residential area to the south of the resort. We liked the room (had a seperate sitting area and large wrap around deck), and figured we'd go negotiate for a room to the INSIDE of the resort, so it looks out over the bay and the POOL area. He told us he had one on the 3rd floor in building 2, so we said we'd take it then. oh.. It also included upgraded all-inclusive benefits. We went back to our room, and packed up, and took our backs to the new room. When we got there, we realized the room was again, an OUTSIDE room ... not what we agreed to, so while my wife waiting in the room with our bags, I went back to talk to Carlos, and pay for the room. I told Carlos he got it wrong (that we asked for an INSIDE facing room). He apologized and said he'd give us the room beside that one , and that it's normally more money, but since it was his mistake, he'd give us that one. We paid for the room, so I didn't have to come back for that later. Went back to the room (2320) while my wife was in 2319, and opened the door to move the bags over .... we were SHOCKED ..... What we got, after all the mix-ups was a "Grand Master Suite" .... entrance foyer, dining room, living room, separate bedroom, and massive deck. QUITE an upgrade for $50/night.

The nightly entertainment was sorely lacking. Think we did only 2 or 3 shows.... We had our underwater camera STOLEN half-way through the week .... we believe, by a fellow vacationer from Iowa, who we had a bit of a run-in with due to lack of respect of seating around the pool. Funny..... never saw his after that day...

We were scheduled to go to a different resort (Melia) for our 2nd week, but after discussions with my wife, we decided that we would CANCEL the reservation at Melia and extend our stay at Barcelo, if they could give us a good price (we did not expect to be able to stay in the Grand Master Suite). I went to talk to the manager at the front-desk, explaining our desire to stay .... he would put us back in a regular room (no problem with that) and regular all-inclusive benefits, but the price was $60/night MORE than what we got when we booked through Expedia ! They made our final decision FOR us... They had very happy customers already in their property, and didn't make an effort to try to keep us there ... a little disappointing....

If the price was good, we would definitely consider returning. Hope this review is helpful to others.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank isundby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chico
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

My daughter and I recently stayed at the Barceló during her spring break (03/20 - 03/30). We have agreed this is the best vacation we have ever taken. I was a little worried about earlier reported sicknesses and some negative comments about the food, but I soon realized we didn't have to worry about it.

We contracted with PV Tours to pick us up at the airport - which was brilliant in my opinion - no hassles getting to the hotel. Although there were many negative comments about the ride to the hotel (the crooked, narrow road being the issue) we found the drive very pleasant. Where I come from this is NOT a 'narrow' road. The drive to the hotel gave us the opportunity to see the beautiful scenery and the coastline. When we went into town the fare was 130 pesos, much cheaper than any taxi in California (you can't get across town in San Francisco for that fare).

Upon check-in we were immediately taken to our room where a bottle of tequila and champagne awaited us. What a gorgeous room and view (Rm 1918). All the employees were friendly and professional. Our room was clean and housekeeping kept it spotless during our 10 day stay. The mini-fridge was nice - we requested more water, and since neither of us drink beer, we didn't care whether it was in there or not.

Food: We ate at all three specialty restuarants over a seven night period. Our favorite was the Spanish one. The steak house was our least favorite. The service at all three was impeccable. The food was good (again the steak house wasn't so great, maybe just average) and the serving sizes were perfect. The Spanish restaurant had a piano player and gorgeous view of the bay which really added to the atmosphere. We had breakfast in the buffet daily, they had a nice selection and everything was piping hot (or nicely chilled) and presented in a clean, appetizing manner. Again, the view from the floor was amazing. The only complaint I have about the buffet is what we call 'the buffet mentality' - it seems guests at buffets always fear the kitchen will run out of food and people who are normally civilized and polite turn into pirranhas, forgetting all manners and etiquette. This is certainly not the hotels fault! We ate lunch at the snack bar when we were on the property. Again, nice selection of food, good service, and very relaxiing.

Grounds: Beautiful, clean, small areas for privacy if you want it.

Drinks: Not bad, not great. We would drink whatever brand they served us during the day, but asked for 'top shelf' for evening cocktails and after dinner drinks.

Illness: I didn't see any illness. I was sick our second day, but I caused it. I became dehydrated from laying out in the sun and drinking alcohol all day. My daughter and I agreed I didn't take very good care of myself. I just took it easy the next day, ate lightly, and drank lots of water. After that we would drink one bottle of water for every two drinks during the day and I didn't have any problems after that.

Premium Upgrade: Do it!!!!!!!! It is well worth the money!!!! You get a higher level room (we were in a Junior Suite), access to the Premium Club Room (my daughter was able to get her morning cappuccino after her work out in the nicely appointment gym), access to the internet if you want it, and (the best part) you don't have to eat dinner at the buffet - you can eat in a nice restaurant with waiters.

Spa: This was a HUGE disappointment. We went for massages one day. I've had better back-rubs from unenthusiastic boyfriends who lost a bet and a backrub was the prize. My daughter got a pedicure after her massage. She was happy with both. We went for a manicure the last day there and I think I got a trainee. It's a shame. They need to hire a consultant and learn what a spa is supposed to be like. Don't waste your money.

If you go remember to get your picture at the kiosk in the lobby - we would take a picture each day and post it on facebook - our friends and family LOVED seeing us become more relaxed and tanned each day.

Nice surprise: Security was wonderful, check in and out at the gates gave us a sense of security.

Bottom line - the value of this vacation was incredible. We both felt it was worth twice what we paid. I'm recommending this hotel and trip to all my friends and family! Thanks Barceló!

Room Tip: Upgrade to Premium - it's well worth it!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank QueenJulieAnn
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
#21 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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