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Barcelo Tambor
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Reviews (1,914)
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Reviewed March 3, 2014

My wife and I stayed Monday- Saturday. The room was decent size, clean and comfortable. It, like the rest of the resort, is well kept, but not new and shows some signs of age. The resort is on the smaller side of the All-inclusives that we have been too. Great because you don't have to walk a mile to get to restaurants, lobby, bars, etc. It is a little limited in the variety of food, but it was pretty good. Tons of wildlife around. Iguanas and macaws are all over. There is a macaw breeding facility on the property. Great nature trails. Monkeys in the trees near the spa around 5pm. The beach is darker sand and a little rocky in places, but beautiful! The water is like bathwater. The resort is set in the middle of a private cove. There are no other resorts or houses. Most employees speak at least a little English. All of them were VERY friendly. As some other people have said, it gets busier on the weekend with locals. It was still not what I would consider crowed though. During the week it was almost deserted. No problem any day finding a good spot on the beach or getting a cocktail. Took an ATV tour through the forest along the coast. More monkeys, great views, a waterfall and got to see some local neighborhoods, highly recommend it. Also took a snorkeling tour. Started with a short shuttle to national park. More monkeys, deer and other wildlife. Then took a small boat a short cruise to a floating dock area. Incredible fish! Then lunch and time to explore on a private white sand beach with crystal clear water. DO NOT MISS THIS!!! It made the whole trip!! The "airport" is literally next to the resort. It was about a 1/2 hour flight from the airport in San Jose. Tiny 12 seat plane, single prop. A bit bouncy, but its over quickly and beats the 3 hour trip if you take the ferry. The people who really stood out: Ivan, the bartender in the lobby bar, best margaritas I've ever had. Guarr , waiter in the steakhouse. He was very attentive, helpful, outstanding service. Gonzalo, arranges excursions, transportation and restaurant reservations. He was great, didn't try to push the trips, just explained everything honestly and took care of the details. Overall if you are looking for a spectacular, private location to relax and enjoy this is perfect. If you are looking for glitzy, super modern and high end go somewhere else.

Room Tip: Room 245, ocean view. No issues. All rooms seem to be pretty much the same, except for the view.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank JPG7705
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor, responded to this reviewResponded March 6, 2014

Dear customer,

Greetings from Barceló Tambor Beach,

We must thank you for the published comments and observations made in this website.

We found ourselves very happy to know that your stay in our resort was heartwarming and the hotel met your expectations as well as the different excursions and the surroundings.

We have congratulated to the staff in order to keep on working with the same enthusiasm.

Once again We thank for your comments and we hope to count with you again in our resort.

Best regards;

Raúl Arranz

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2014

The resort was very clean. There was great security available. There are iguanas and macaws on the resort property. Enjoyed watching the howler monkeys travel to sleeping quarters - usually around 5:00 p.m. They travel back through the trees in the morning, but missed this event. Enjoyed the Macaw Sanctuary. Did not go to the spa, but our motel neighbors did and enjoyed it very much. The food and drinks were plentiful. I appreciated that we could choose to eat at a steak house or sushi restaurant as part of our inclusive meals as the buffet did get to be a bit monotonous. Same menu most days. The beach is not the cleanest. That was disappointing, but when the tide goes out, there is a lot of beach which is cleaner. We enjoyed the zip-line trip that the hotel was selling. There were additional day trips available which was convenient. Overall, our experience was very good. We traveled with DreamTrips by Rovia. All transportation was provided which was very nice! Great trip, lovely country! Our trip was the beginning of November and the weather was awesome!

Room Tip: Try to get one of the units close to the woods and water. We had an ocean view from our ground room. You have to walk a little farther to the restaurants, pools, etc. but the privacy was worth it. Also, less noise and people traffic, plus you could hear the howler monkeys!
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank biker5152
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Dear Customer

Regards from the Hotel Barceló Tambor Beach.

Thanks for sharing your comments on this website.

It´s very gratifying to know that you fully have enjoyed your stay in our hotel with the wildlife and all green surroundings, likewise We are very pleased you had a good time with the several excursions offered by our hotel.

We appreciate your kind comments related to the abundance of food and drink, and we take into account this observation regarding with the restaurant buffet.

The front of the hotel beach is cleaned daily by our gardening staff. Being a public beach, we ask to the authorities a better control of cleanliness around the hotel areas.

Again we appreciate the time invested in posting your comments.

Thank you very much!

Raúl Arranz Medrano

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2014

While this all inclusive was the first resort from the ferry off Paquera, we arrived there at 11pm and everything was closed or just about closing. No food after 10 pm and we barely got a couple of drinks. The greeting staff was negligent and indifferent and we were just happy to have a place to sleep. We got to our room, and there were no towels, no hot water and the room fridge had left a puddle in the middle of the floor. When I went back to the front desk to complain, (they didn't answer the phone when I called), they just said sorry our maid is really busy right now and handed me some beach towels. Really? I then asked about Wifi and they said sorry they don't have any... Huh? Then I was reading through the hotel literature and realized that they do have Wifi but it costs $20 extra... over and above the $300 plus per night. Ok even though that's completely ridiculous.. why didn't he tell me that? Curious?? The buffets were fine and the beach was very pretty. Oh and the monkeys were so darn cool! They woke us up in the morning... but I wouldn't spend the money again on this place. Not luxurious or welcoming at all... the way a hotel for that price should be. Oh right and the room safe was locked when we got there so there was a sign on the safe saying "if it's locked, call front desk to have it unlocked" So we did (this time they answered the phone), and they said they would send someone over... an hour later, still no-one showed up... poorly run hotel. Needs better management and staff.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Grace P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Dear Mrs Grace

Greetings from Barceló Tambor Beach;

We sorry your stay in our resort didn't fill your expectations, We have worked to improve our service in order to please customer service.
A meeting has been scheduled with the involved departments to externalize their comments and also avoid future dislikes related with room delivery, meals at night time and WIFI.
Appropriate disciplinary measures were taken with phone service and security department, responsible for safe-deposit box opening.
Once again we really appreciate your comments which help us to improve our service.

Best regards;


Raúl Arranz Medrano
Director
Hotel Barceló Tambor Beach

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

This all inclusive resort was a great place for a weekend vacation. The rooms were spotless and very comfortable. The food was good, nothing out of this world but good for an all inclusive resort. The drinks were decent. The bartender Alonso made killer mint margaritas and was a great time! The beach is beautiful and it felt as though we had it to ourselves. Don't miss the evening entertainment, it was fantastic! The dance show was a highlight of the trip.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Melanie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Dear Ms. Melanie:

Thanks for the time spent to post comments on this site.

It is a pleasure for us to know that we resort met your expectations during your stay.

We proceeded to congratulate our bartender Alonso for his great cocktails and customer treatment.

Likewise, we congratulated the animation team for their work and dedication.

Once again thank you for your comments posted.

Greetings;

Raúl Arranz Medrano
Director
Hotel Barceló Tambor Beach.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

The good:

This is a pretty good spot for a complete family vacation, it has so many amenities and activities that you for sure will be busy, there's everything from mini-golf to a Macaw Sanctuary on their property (also, dance lessons, archery, etc.)

The bad:

The quality of the food and drinks is Fair, most Piña Coladas are really industrialized and therefore not as tasteful as you could expect, the same goes to the food served at El Tucan (Buffet Restaurant) and El Palenque (Snacks Bar), it seems to be the exact same thing but on a different sauce (chicken, pork, beef) always, may be it would be beneficial to have different choices, as you will get tired of the food by day 3...

The ugly:

Even though the staff is very nice, they are not very efficient and sometimes not very kind either, there is a clear preference for foreigners over locals (main reason why I write this review in English as I'm sure it'll have more attention, just like the service) I stood in line in El Palenque Bar for over 35 min trying to get fries, luckily if you look not tico enough they won't mind that locals are waiting for 20+ minutes and will give all your devotion to you.

Also, I wasn't aware that in order to dine at one of the "fine" restaurants (Steak House/Seafood or Japanese) you have to stand in line since 7:30 a.m. in order to get a table... Why not book it online? Or by phone? Or at least let me know that I had to be on the Tours Counter at 7am to guarantee my spot in there?

Other than that, the place is in the middle of paradise and deeply in touch with nature, and since I got no reception on my cell phone it was the perfect getaway, I'm not sure if I'll go back... May be if they improve their overall food/drinks quality and communication with customers (what's included and what's not)

In the meantime, I'll Check out Langosta Beach and let you know

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank jramirezch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alejandra G, Channel Manager at Barcelo Tambor, responded to this reviewResponded February 24, 2014

Mr. Ramirez

Thanks for posting your comments in this page, in fact we appreciate the ones regarding with the service and the several activities offered in our resort.

Also, we take in consideration your personal observations about beverage quality and meals. We have been working with the executive chef into elaborate a different menu for each day at the snack bar pool to avoid the same meals in the main buffet, also the bar staff has received a brief induction to improve quality and service of the drinks.

We really sorry that some staff members showed you a bad impression of preferentiality of the foreign guest over locals. We handled a gathering in which the bar manager and his staff maintained this topic as top in order to avoid future complains.

In this right moment the staff of the hotel is making some implementations for a la carte reservation, in order to improve our customer service.

It will be a real pleasure for us to count with your presence in our resort.

Greetings;
Raúl Arranz Medrano
Director
Hotel Barceló Tambor Beach.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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