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Reviewed 20 February 2012

Just got home today from barcelo pv. I am going to lay it out as clear and simple as I can. With more details further on.

Yes: hotel is pretty. Clean. Safe. Great service (especially housekeeping going out of way to check in and see if we needed any extra supplies). Pool heated. Cool things to do in area ie Jalapa beach and botanical garden. Rooms very nice.

BUT... Food service ruins it all. It's presented beautifully. Served nicely. Kept "cold" on display properly. Yet it's a big miss..... It's not clean as all four of us were sick throughout the week. I had it the easiest, but my bf was confined to hotel room for 2 days with major problems.

Not sure what the whole issue is but one thing for sure is safe keeping at temps with food. With bf being so sick I went to see if they had any more yogurt available that had been out for breakfast ( on ice) around dinner time. They kindly went into the kitchen and got me one. And it was as warm as the air outside. More scenarios of this through out the week.

When it is all said and done the three days we lost completely to the sickness and the rest of the times feeling crummy it just ended up not being worth it. When you travel to get there and spend it that way it's not a vacation.

I have traveled Mexico in all inclusives before and blew off the reviews of this thinking that these things that can happen time to time. WISH we would not have. This hit our whole group and the concierge stated " you must be brushing your teeth in the sink". We werent as we have known that ahead of time.

100% it was food.

The other bummer for me but would never have been a deal breaker was beach. Hard sand, free roaming dogs and too tiny to walk beach.

Barcelo, I have stayed with you in riviera maya and enjoyed it. But pv will not be a return for us. Thank goodness the room was nice because we ended up spending three days straight in it.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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10  Thank heart_travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2012

My husband, daughter & I stayed here from Jan. 28 - Feb.11. The grounds and rooms are fabulous, much bigger rooms than most hotels. We upgraded to a master suite the 2nd week at 1619 tower 1. Lovely view oceanfront with the Mismaloya river and boats and folk selling their wares below. I had stayed at the Mismaloya last year also. Cannot fault the atmosphere, however wasn't impressed with the food on the whole. Breakfast was the exception, very good, fresh juice, eggs cooked anyway you wished and very fresh pastry and fruits.
We found some of the dishes very salty, expecially Italian, and the fish was strong tasting one night at the Los Arcos. The best meal I had was at the El Quiote Rack of Lamb. Steak at the Los Arcos pretty good, but the Italian Resturant not very acceptable. Perhaps just an off-day. I did get sick from Montazuma's Revenge the last week we were there and ended in the hospital 1 night. We hadn't been out of the hotel the previous 4 days to eat anywhere else. All in all a great location as zoo close by and old town P.V. 25 min. bus ride for about .67 cents U.S. Village of Mismaloya with a couple of tequila factories and some cafe's across the road from the hotel. Think only real complaint is the hotel needs to be tweaked on "food safe" practices.

Room Tip: Tower 2, gets the sunny side.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank JewelCampbellRiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2012

We stayed here Feb 5-12 2012, This was our first vacation alone with no kids or family members so we where looking for a clean, nice place to relaxe and enjoy each others company after 15 years together, and boy did we find it.
From check in (5 mintues)to check out (5 minutes)everything was great. When we told them they under charged us close to 1000 pesos on our check out bill he said arnt you lucky.
The staff was always helpful, couple of staff did not speak english but a few hand motions and communication was made and they understood what i was asking for.
Food was always good, at least 20 different dishes, 10 different salads and side dishes at every meal in the buffet, it wasnt untill we where packing up that we noticed that we didnt use our 3 alacart meal reservation tickets. They have room service for 115 pesos per use. We used it every night for a snack around 9:30, but by the 3 day they stopped charging us for it.
I dont know what the thing is with the towel game on the chairs by the pool, but i found 20 towels on my first day. It was more than enough room for the people like me and my wife that where standing around looking for a place to sit while all these lounge chairs sat empty for 10 hours at a time. Never really had a problem after that, word spread like wild fire about some guy who returned some towels to the towel desk and a lot of people stopped putting towels down if they where not showing up to use the chairs in the morning. My Bad.
Room was huge, king bed, 6 pillows, ac, ceiling fans, shower heads are 12" x 12" coming from the ceiling, really nice in the morning after a night of cocktales.
Little tip for some frugal folks like me thou, empty your fridge of the complementry stuff in the moring and stick it in the night stand, they will refill the fridge. It will come in handy one night near the end of your vacation when you just wana hang out and have a couple of drinks and snacks in the room after they close the bar. One night we asked the bartender the odds of getting a little liquer in a cup to bring back to the room for a couple more drinks and without thinking he tossed me 40 pounder of rye and said have fun. Ask and ye shall recieve.
We went on the quad day trip offered through the hotel, do it, you wont regret it. It is a fantastic trip up the mountain, they built themselves a little retreat half way up for some beer and food.
We took a cab into the Wallmart area once, 200 peso each way. When we got there the cabbie asked us how long we where going to be be, I said about 3 hours, he said I'll be right here waiting for you. And he was. No charge, Was not expecting that.
Overall we have nothing bad to say about this hotel, it offered everything we where looking for, food, fun, sun, good ppl, things to do and lots of room to relax.
Just remember Mexico is like ever other place in the world, you want that little extra attention from the room and wait staff "OPEN THE WALLET" . 100peos ($7) tip a couple of times a day and you will never go thirsty or have to get off your chair for anything all week. No need to use your towel that might dissapear. :-)

Room Tip: Tower 2 balcony in room 2205 gets sun from noon till 6 on the nose every day, and its a double size balcony with a great view of the grounds and mountains.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank prand1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2012

Very good food. The best and friendly service. Very laid back. A lot of entertainment for the best price.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ilya L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 February 2012

My husband and I stayed at Barcelo Puerto Vallarta from February 11 through the 15th for a quick getaway to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We did not upgrade and had a standard junior suite which was great. We decided not to upgrade because extra a la carte meals were not needed and we planned to be out and about so getting a higher level room and better view was not important to us. As a background, we have stayed recently at the Dreams Puerto Aventuras and I also stayed at the Dreams Puerto Vallarta in 2010. I believe all three of these properties have their pros and cons but I would not hesitate to return to any of them.

Room
Booked the standard room and that is what we got. Junior suite in tower two at the far inland side of the tower on the second floor. This meant very little sea view. I contacted the hotel in advance and asked for a quiet room as I am a light sleeper. I do think this may have been one of the quietest rooms as it is away from all the elevators, bars, restaurants, and there is the main reception building blocking any noise from the nightly shows. Someone on a higher level said they could hear the band playing from the cantina but we never heard any loud music at night nor a single rooster.

Food
We ate at the Buffet once for dinner and several times for breakfast. I thought the buffet food was one of the best that we've had at an all inclusive. Good tasty options and there were plenty of seafood/beef/chicken dishes for all tastes. There was always fresh fruit and salads and pastries at breakfast. Los Arcos snack bar has a self serve taco bar as well as sit down service until 6pm. We loved the tacos al pastor and the chicken rice soup was simple but so delicious. I ate the soup 3 different times while we were there it was so good. We ate at Don Quijote and Los Arcos for our a la carte reservations. I liked Los Arcos better than Don Quijote but both were fine. Nothing outstanding but good dinners. I thought the portion sizes were good (contrary to some previous reviews that found them to be small). Both my husband and I would order an appetizer or salad, an entree and then have room for dessert. We always left feeling full. I prefer the no reservation policy of Dreams as I found myself forcing myself to get dressed for dinner even though I would have preferred to rest a bit longer.

Service
The service ranged from outstanding to indifferent. We contacted the hotel prior to arrival and Adelina Romero was outstanding in helping us to arrange tours, book our dinner reservations and answer any questions we had. She was always responsive and when we arrived she was there with glasses of champagne. She was as nice and helpful in person as she was through email. She is a true asset to the Barcelo company. Others we encountered were warm and really wanted to provide good service, while other staff seemed a little indifferent. We do tip the wait staff, bartenders, and housekeeping, so I don't feel that the indifferent attitude was in response to tipping or lack thereof, but seemed to be the general attitude of those particular people. Nothing that would keep me from returning but I do think this area could be improved with more consistency in the customer service of the waiters/waitresses.

Pools and Grounds
Lovely grounds, lovely pools. I could see the effort they put into always keeping the property clean and in top condition. We saw people painting, waxing floors, sweeping, and always working to keep it spotless and beautiful. Enough has been said about the towel game but we never had trouble finding two chairs together.

Activities
I appreciated that the poolside music here is not as loud as the two Dreams properties. While they will turn it up for certain activities, it never was obnoxiously loud. The activities staff seemed great at providing entertainment for those that liked to participate in games, excercise, and ping pong, while letting those who preferred to do their own thing to be left alone. I saw people enjoying dance lessons, ping pong tournaments, water aerobics and zumba as well as various contests. It was fun to watch people being silly and enjoying themselves. Also, all the activities seemed to be in one area and if you wanted to be in a quieter area, the other side of the pool seemed more tranquil.

Off site activities
We had massages at Paradise massages which were a good value at $50 for the two of us for one hour. Oscar "not the grouch" served drinks and food right next to Paradise massages and he was very sweet and his margaritas were very good. He introduced us to Roberto to take us out on a boat and since he was booked for those days, his nephew Adrian took us out on the Adilene Boat. He was fabulous and took us out for an almost all day adventure to look for whales (we saw several and a baby humpback), we caught two large Amberjack, went to Yelapa for lunch, and took us by all the little beaches to see where we'd like to go next time we return. I'd highly recommend doing this private excursion as Adrian customized what we wanted to do and see and this was not much more than it would have cost us to go out with the large catamarans and be in a heard of people. I also appreciate that with a private local guide, more of my money stays in the local community.

We also ate at Tony's Hide Away "La Choza." I thought it was pricey but the food was delicious and the margaritas were potent. Service was very good. I had delicious shrimp and lobster and my husband had the seafood platter and his favorite was surprisingly the breaded fish. The guac was the best of our trip and the tortilla soup was delicious.

Bottom line is the Barcelo is a great property and I think it provides a good value for the money spent. I thought top shelf liquor was readily available and did not see any need to upgrade our room. We are planning to return in the fall with our children.

Room Tip: If you ask for a quiet room you will sacrafice view, but we heard very little outside noise during the night time which suited us perfectly.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank noodle08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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