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“Average; Beautiful Wildlife and Grounds”
Review of Barcelo Tambor

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Barcelo Tambor
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Tambor
Certificate of Excellence
Atenas, Costa Rica
Level 6 Contributor
314 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
“Average; Beautiful Wildlife and Grounds”
Reviewed July 10, 2013

My wife and I stayed at this hotel for a couple of nights and were overall disappointed. When we arrived we were notified that a certain section of the hotel did not have air conditioning and that it would possibility be fixed the next day. Keep in mind that Tambor is a very hot and humid area. We asked if a discount was expected and they told us no discounts; we then requested a full refund and wanted to cancel our prepaid reservations. They were able to relocate us to another section of the hotel with a/c. Once we got to the room the toilet wasn't flushing properly and I attempted to call maintenance; however, the phone wasn't working so then I had to step outside and find a staff member to relay the message. Also we had no towels in the room.

After all of this we were just glad to be in a nice a/c room. This is vacation time for locals so the hotel was full of families with lots of young children in the pool so we decided to play golf in a nearby golf course - Delfines. The course is a real nice 9 hole course with beautiful wildlife and the price was right - $30/person if you are a guest of the Barceló.

We have stayed at several Barceló hotels in the past and we were disappointed with the limited selection of the food choices on the buffet and the lack of smiles from the staff, which is very unusual for Costa Ricans. Overall management needs to work with the staff to make sure that they smile and at least say "Con Gusto."

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank rrodriguez2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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london
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Having travelled around central america staying in boutiques, small hotels and b&bs, this was a bit of a shock as a massive resort..... So my own fault for booking it, but really not my thing. However, rooms are very nice and the facilities are excellent. The place was very crowded with mostly costa rican families enjoying their holidays, and this really is a place for families, not couples.
Food is truly awful!
Disappointed that the wifi wasn't part of all inclusive and only available in the lobby.
Some of the "house drinks" are also very bad, so avoid the wine and stick with the beer!
Beach area could do with a bit of grooming.
Overall, cant fault the value, but wouldn't revisit personally, but understand this place could appeal for a family holiday spot for a few days for others.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank DelfromLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

I went here a year ago for my honeymoon. The hotel was clean, the food is great, there are a ton of tours. The beach was great. The service was very good.
The only downside was, nobody told me that the hotel had a private air strip. So.. We had a 4 hour journey to the hotel on the way in. Spent $75 for a 20 minute flight back to San Jose..

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Dave C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2013

Let me start by saying I am a regular at the Barceló Resorts. I usually have almost no complaints. I have visited 5-6 Barceló resorts. I love their customer service and the quality of the resorts and the maintenance. I don't want to say this resort was bad but comparing all of the other Barceló resorts we were not too impressed at this resort. I still had an amazing time because I love traveling and experiencing other countries and their cultures. I will make the best of every trip and compromise. We are on vacation and in another country without the same things we would be used to and spoiled with in America.

The trip started with our landing in Costa Rica at about 2:15pm. and being picked up by Odyssey tours & travels. We had pre-booked our land shuttle that would be a 4-1/2- 5 hour trip by land to Barceló Tambor. You get to enjoy the beauty of the country this way and also get to travel on the ferry for approx. 1-1-1/2 hours. We left the ferry at about 4:30 so we enjoyed the sunset on our journey to Tambor.
Our driver Enrique and our tour guide Juan were so friendly and very helpful with explaining the culture and any questions we had about the country. They made the trip to the resort enjoying and pleasant.
We arrived at the resort at about 7:00 pm. or so. Check in was pretty easy and there wasn't anyone else there at that time at the desk. I do have to say they really did not give us as much info about the hotel and such nor any tour etc.. maybe because it was late who knows? We were just given a vague explanation where our room was and eventually we found it. We were very happy to find our room being beach front very close to everything. Our room # 423. great location and we enjoyed the land waking up every day with the lizards coming out of their trees and the squirrels playing in the trees and such. Also the macaws every morning flying above and squawking and making all kinds of noise but gorgeous to watch. The land was beautiful and I just can't really explain the beauty!

So now for the room. I think we just received the trouble room. We had troubles with little baby crabs in our room. Called for help and they really couldn't help us so we fixed the problems ourselves. The maid service was good. We tipped $2.00-3.00 daily. Amazingly it was the same lady every day. They only say they will give you 2 water bottles per day and you have to save them and refill throughout the day. If you tip the water guy you will never have to worry about this. They do not provide any beer in the mini fridge. We thought all of this was not up to standards but what are you to do? So we walked to the town of Tambor along the beach approx. a 45 min walk and you have to go at low tide because you will have to cross the river but is no problem at low tide. We bought beer and wine as the wine they give outside of the al a carte restaurants was no good. There were other problems in the room as well. We could not get hot water in our shower. Every morning we had to run the shower for at least 30-35 min. in order for the water to finally warm up. The coffee maker decided to break on us and take about 25 min to make also. It almost became a joke to us to wake up early in the morning and just start the coffee and the shower and rest for another half hour. Gotta make the best of it!

So onto other things.. The food. I have to say the snack bar-lunch - pool bar was pretty good food. They have really good hamburgers and great nacho bar, salad, fruit etc..
We arrived on a Friday evening and ate at about 8:00 There was a line but not horrible. Oh my the lines continued to get larger. Keep In mind we are in low season and lines should never be long. Not at this resort at least not on the weekend. All of the local people come into town and take over the place. The lines are ridiculous! I don't recall being at any resort ever having to wait for meals in line for 15-20 min and we go in low season always. Food at the buffet was ok, but the a la carte was tasty. My husband did get food poisoning for 24 hours. not sure what that was but he spent the entire day with that. My son and I never had that problem. We had a very great employee/ manager named Edwin. He gave us amazing service and I wish he was always our server as he was amazing caring and friendly. He even offered to make my husband special soup when he was sick.

Service at this resort could use great improvement. Edwin was the best. some nights they were on but as weekends came they lacked. There aren't any premium rooms or premium lounges, I thought that was disappointing since I always upgrade.

The beach is awesome. When it is low tide it is the very best time to enjoy the ocean. I just loved it. In some spots you have to get past the rocky areas. Not all areas are that way. The sand is soft and black. Fun times. My husband and son Kayaked and we all boogie boarded, which was so much fun. The ocean is friendly for the most part but at high tide if you are not a good strong swimmer you really shouldn't go out to far.

At the ending we took the puddle jumper to San Jose which was just great. Awesome views and well worth it. Make sure you plan your travel accordingly, as I did not realize that we had to book all of the separate travels like the puddle jumper and the land travel . This info was not listed on the expedia website, so it came as a surprise and an extra $-500-600 that luckily I had.

I would most definitely return to Costa Rica. Not sure if I would go to the same place but this place would get a better review if the customer service was much improved. What a great and beautiful country!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank outintheadventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013 via mobile

The hotel was overall good. The rooms were just renovated and they added some nice features. Unfortunately there were some things that I didn't like about them...pillows are terrible!!!

Food was ok but nothing special, good and plenty of options to choose from. I didn't like the fact that in order for you to enjoy a dinner at one of the fancy restaurants, you have to stay more than three nights so the only option for you will be the buffet or something from the snacks.

Entertainment was terrible, the shows aren't any new and he staff is not very professional.

When it comes to the service portion they really have serious problems, from the front desk to the restaurants, housekeeping, bars... No one is friendly they treat you very harsh and the just font care. I think the main problem is that they are contracting local people and they don't care about their job, by local I mean people from puntarenas and not from San Jose.

Facilities were good. Unfortunately the Pool water was very hot and I didn't enjoy it because come on! You're at the beach!!!! Lots of sun, but hot water in the pool was not a good bet. They should make something about it.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Wapbravo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed May 13, 2013

I took a trip with my family to this hotel. I packed high hopes, I had heard about a recent 2 million dollar renovation that got me excited. What this hotel is missing can't be bought. Poor quality service, nobody smiles on a hall way, the cleaning ladies don't look happy to answer back good morning. Yes, I'm into manners and things like that. It is called hospitality when it comes to hotels, this one lacks greatly. I had to change my room, and the person on the front desk did the job with a frown on his face the whole time.
Now to the part that as a traveler with small kids can't forgive, cross contamination in this hotel is galore. No labels to warn about possible allergens, all desserts are place on coconut for no particular reason (my kids are allergic so no dessert for them), chicken nuggets fried with fish nuggets, so since my kids are allergic to fish, no fries, no chicken nuggets and basically nothing that came from a frier. This is the first vacation where everyone in my family actually lost weight in an all inclusive hotel. Impossible? not at all, all we could eat that was tasty and healthy was fruit or salads. My kids got rashes every day without eating any of their dangerous foods, which tells me that the cross contamination here is off the charts.

Bad attitude, bad service, and bad administration= skip this hotel and find another one that will be happy to host you.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank gabsalca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edmonton
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

If you'd like a place to visit where the sunset takes your breath away nightly this is the place to be. The beach is a perfect spot to sit and watch Mother Nature's splendor in action. The resort is very well kept and I liked the smaller blocks of buildings that were only 2 storey's in height. Our room faced over the beach (couldn't see it because of all of the foliage) but we could sure hear and smell it and the sounds of the birds in the trees helped with the loss of the beach view. The Hibiscus and other plants were stunning and the grounds very well kept. The food was good and both my friend and I always found something good to eat. The buffet is a theme every night and the food at the bar by the pool was great !!!! Snacks like Nachos and Cheese, Pizza, Chicken Wings, Hot Dogs, all kinds of toppings and salads and tons of fresh fruit, tea, coffee and of course the bars right there.

I would recommend this resort highly and hope to get back again real soon

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank debster70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Barcelo Tambor

Property: Barcelo Tambor
Address: Playa Tambor, Tambor 771-1150, Costa Rica
Phone Number:
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Tambor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Tambor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Tambor 4*
Number of rooms: 402
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Tambor Beach Hotel Tambor
Barcelo Hotel Tambor Beach
Barcelo Hotel Puntarenas
Hotel Barcelo Playa Tambor
Barcelo Tambor Costa Rica
Barcelo Tambor Beach Costa Rica

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