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Reviewed 24 January 2010

This was a wonderful trip. Great accommodations, friendly staff, quiet beach and nice buffet (just get there early). Also - the zoo is a quick walk away - and the animals are oddly accessible - I held a young tiger/leopard for $10 after signing a short waiver. Great time!!!!

Date of stay: November 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
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2  Thank ilovepvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2010

My girlfriend and 2 other couples decided to go on vacation for a last hurrah for Summer months of 2009. We did a lot of searching around with price, all inclusive, and restaurants in mind. We searched for about 2-3 months prior until we finally found Barceloy La Jolla.

First off, it is amazing! It was about a 30 minute shuttle ride from the airport to the hotel (which was included and convenient considering all the cab drivers there are ruthless) When we arrived we started to check in with the very nice and polite front desk staff who all spoke English very well. We were all brought champagne as well while we were checking in.

It took some time to find our rooms, but once we did, we were all very impressed! The decor was very sharp and modernesque with blacks and reds and whites. The rooms were very clean as well. Looking back on it, I don't think I saw a time where there weren't housekeeping maids cleaning rooms on our floor.

Once we settled in, we went right into the pools. (The humidity is very very high) The pools were very clean and again, all the hotel staff was very nice and helpful in issuing towels, footballs, and volleyballs. The main large pool is where most of the kids stayed so we avoided that one only to go to the float up bar (who had the best bartender) we stayed to a smaller pool on the side which was deeper and had a volleyball net. We arrived on a Sunday and it seemed like there were maybe 30-40 guests in the entire hotel which was very nice and quiet.

The drinks were very good. Some of the staff didn't recognize some of the names of drinks (I don't blame them) but if you told them how to make it, they would make it perfect, well, usually heavy on the alcohol. Everything in the hotel is included. I can honestly say I spent more on tips than anything else the entire trip! The food at the main buffet was very good and very well stocked. All of the waiters were very helpful and very funny. It seemed like they too work from 7:00am to 11:00pm. The bar has a small buffet for afterhours which was nice. There were just some tacos but after a day of drinking, swimming, playing in the pool, they hit the spot. The other restaurants were very nice as well. I wasn't a fan of the food I ordered in both of them, but the rest of the people I was with liked it so it may just be me!

At the hotel, you can sign up for many activities. We were told to do the zip lining tour. Now I am deathly afraid of heights but I definitely do not regret going. It was veeeery fun. The staff there were very fun and very energetic and no one felt unsafe at any time. If anything, do the zip line tour!! I believe it cost around $84/person? But with everything paid for, it was well worth it.

The entertainment was very impressive too. They had a different show every night. There were the same dancers each night, but many different dances. I don't know if it was just the alcohol, but I was very impressed! The band there was probably my favorite. a couple of the nights, they played in the bar and it was a very cool atmosphere. On our last night there, they had a competition with some of the audience member. It was very funny and one person in our group actually won the competition and was deemed "Mr. Barcelo" and all the staff would address him as so when he walked by for the rest of the trip. He also won a hat and a very nice bottle of tequila.

All in all, for the price this is the best place I think I will ever stay at. I try to go on a vacation once a year and now when I look, I feel as though I was spoiled there when there are places that don't look nearly as nice, aren't all inclusive, and are much more expensive.

Date of stay: October 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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2  Thank Arrensan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2010

I didn't know what to expect from this hotel and the whole all-inclusive experience. I was pleasantly surprised. The hotel was gorgeous, the grounds were clean, the service staff friendly and helpful, the rooms immaculate, and the location on the beach, perfect. The food was average, but there was a great selection. I would highly recommend the calamari, tenderloin steak, and the creme brulee at the Spanish restaurant. Another recommendation I have is going to watch the live band at the cocktail bar who play every night at 11pm.

Date of stay: January 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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2  Thank Danikath77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2010

I spent nine nights here and didn't want to leave. The setting is beautiful, the staff are excellent, the pools are great, the room's nice and the buffet's good. I had never been to an all-inclusive before and I liked being able to get a drink or snack whenever I wanted. If I wanted to nitpick, I could say that there were some cracks in the drywall and bathroom tiles, but nothing too bad. There were days when the shampoo/conditioning/shower gel dispensers weren't refilled, but the staff were always quick to respond to a call. Los Arcos was a big disappointment -- tiny portions and a steak that wasn't as good as what I get at the supermarket -- so I skipped the other specialty restaurants. The buffet was very good, though, and had a great view just off the beach. Internet was an outrageous $9 an hour (if cheap chains can have free Wi-fi, why can't a high-end resort?). The nightly dance show was unimpressive, and they should show Night of the Iguana by the pool at least once a week, since it was filmed there. I could have also lived without the D.J. playing club music by one pool every afternoon.

As for the snorkeling, it was as good as anything I've seen in Hawaii or the Great Barrier reef the first day, with tons of fish and water that was as clear as a pool. After that? The tide took a drastic turn and you couldn't see a thing, with a dangerous undertow to boot.

Again, the positives far outweighed those minor negatives. I would highly recommend this place.

Date of stay: January 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
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2  Thank justsomeone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2010

My husband and I stayed from the 7-11 as my brother-in-law was getting married at the resort. As soon as I got there I was instantly amazed. The hotel is clean and beautiful. Our room had a living room, big bathroom with a rainfall doorless shower, and a gorgous bedroom area with a king size comfortable bed. All the rooms are suites of some sort. The door to your hotel has a view of the mountains, then the balcony has a view of the pool area and ocean. The beach is gorgous, however we did experience sand fleas. Coming from Minnesota where misquitos are plentiful...a few sand fea bites did not bother me at all. There were also other reviews of small ants in the bathroom. I did encounter some of this. They are almost microscopic and the way they clean the rooms, I am really not sure how they are there. I did see two or three of them, but it did not bother me at all.

The wedding we had there was the most beautiful wedding I had ever seen. There were chairs set up on the beach, and white carpet with flowers and an alter. The wedding dance was perfect. Great music, beautiful and the food was amazing. We ate at all the restaurants at night (except capri which I found the last day) and we were all served great five star food. The buffet never impressed me, but it was just for sustainence before or during pool bar breaks. I do have to say the cheeseburgers in the snack bar were really good! Did I forget to mention All you can eat, all the time guacamole??? So good! The drinks are top shelf. Don Julio, Genlevit, Stoli, Absolut....you are not paying to drink liquor labeled black and red. They provide bottled water everywhere, but the water is safe to drink at the resort. I was brave enough the last day to drink it and I survived!

Everyone is very friendly, even to my loud fun loving family. 30 of us were there and we were all sad to leave.

One thing I would warn against is the snorkling through the resort. There are guys on the beach that will take you out, but we went through the resort "to be safe" and it was the worst snorkling experience ever. It took an hour to pick us up and when we got the catameran there was a shortage of equipment and we were by some rock islands with waves crashing into them so you only felt safe within a small radius. I got to see some fish and it was cool, but only a few and no coral. I'm pretty sure the snorkel guide was more handsy then he needed to be. So I would go with someone off the beach and just make sure they will take you to coral or someplace shallow.

There were activities and I think there was a daycare for kids. Also kid friend food at the buffet. Although I think this place is a much better place for your second honeymoon and I am glad my kid stayed at home for some much needed fall in love all over again walks on the beach.

So overall....I wish I could've stayed months. I really loved it and unless you are really hard to please, there should be no reason not to fall in love there. (Also check out Las Veranos Canopy tour, I'm writting a review on that next. The guys went to Christine gentlemans club for the bachelor party and said it was great. The Zoo is a 10 min walk and worth the experience, if not a little sad.)

Date of stay: January 2010
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4  Thank yippie22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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