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Barcelo Montelimar
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Reviews (1,946)
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Reviewed 10 February 2008

This was our first trip to Nicaragua and I've split this review into two parts. The first is a review of the hotel and the second contains some info that you may find useful, about trips and other stuff.

The taxi from the airport takes 1.5 hours each way and costs $60 when arranged through the hotel.

We asked for a bungalow but none of them are non-smoking. No bungalows are beach front but I think the're preferable to the main hotel rooms. We're non smokers but we couldn't detect any smoke smell in our bungalow.

The first morning we had both low hot water pressure and lukewarm water but after a visit to reception two guys were checking it out ten minutes later and it was fixed while we were lazing on the beach.

The room is large (6m x 5m) and comfortable and the bathroom is accessed through the small hallway. You get a TV showing 30 channels and almost all are in Spanish with a couple in English, including the ubiquitous CNN. There's a minibar with bottled water, 7-up and Pepsi; all free and replaced every day.

The beach is very wide, long and clean and there are trees which lie about 50m back from the sea. Here the hotel has strung up lots of hammocks and there are enough loungers too although you still get the problem where people use towels to reserve seats.

There are no beach umbrellas but I think this is a plus as this means almost everyone who visits the beach has clear sea views, otherwise you get the usual crowded beach with umbrellas everywhere. Most of the time the beach is practically deserted so you almost feel like you're the only ones around. There are no beach sellers but a 15 min walk along the beach are several stalls with t-shirts and some crafts. Don't bother haggling as it's very cheap already.

The buffet is good quality and there's enough choice for everyone but after several days you do get a bit bored of it, the same as in other All-Inc resorts. We didn't go to the a la carte restaurants or the casino.

Bring a large Thermos type mug as they serve drinks in tiny flimsy plastic cups, which also contribute to waste but in general the resort is very tidy.

The disco and evening entertainments are well away from the accommodation so there's little chance of being disturbed.

The resort has also made efforts to be wheelchair accessible as there are ramps to every area that I can remember visiting.

It's very peaceful here and if you're after a relaxing time, I think this is possibly the quietest resort we've been to. Most of the guests are forty-plus plus a few families so if you're after a lively party atmosphere, go elsewhere!

Overall, we really enjoyed our week here and expect to return.

We went to two trips, one to the local fishing village, Masachapa, and one to Volcan Masaya, Granada and Las isletas.

The Masachapa trip goes on Monday morning and lasts under two hours. During our stay, most guests were French-Canadian so trips that week were all in French. If we waited another week it would have been in English as more Canadians were arriving later! When you get to Masachapa you are immediately surrounded by small children selling bracelets, necklaces etc and they stayed with the group for the duration of the trip. They were more interested in the Canadians though and mostly left us Europeans alone. The children are very friendly though and if you do go on this trip, bring the free drinks from the minibar to hand to them.

After a walk along the beach we walked through the town and then into a school. Again the children crowded round us but were more curious than anything. After about 20 mins here we boarded the bus back to the hotel.

There are two main tours offered; one to Granada/Las Isletas and another to Managua/Volcan Masaya. We wanted a combination to exclude Managua so a private taxi was the only option for us at $100 for the day. Volcan Masaya is defintely worth a visit but we found Granada a slight disappointment. Our driver spoke a little English but my limited Spanish was enough for the day.

If you're considering visiting Nicaragua, I can certainly recommend it, if you speak some Spanish. If you don't know any Spanish you will struggle in some circumstances. All the people we met were very friendly and if you can spare the luggage space, bring some gifts for the children, such as coloured pens/pencils and A5 paper pads.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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14  Thank Bergkamp9999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2008

I stayed here for three nights, June 21~24, 2006. I enjoyed every minute at this inclusive resort. I had a bangalow/cabana, which was located equally between the ocean and the pool. Myself and a traveling buddy drove up with our Costa Rican travel guide. The price was so fantastic, that we all had our own cabana's. Only $ 88 per night. Yes, all the drinks are included in the all inclusive price, of course, they all come in thimble size plastic cups. But, you can walk away with a few at a time. The resort bill's it's swimming pool as the biggest in Central America, and I'm pretty sure it is, as I've been to many a swimming pool's in Central America. One of the biggest historical points that they don't seem to be advertising all that much, is the Casino. The casino used to be the sea-side hacienda of 1970's presidente~ strongman~general Antonio Samoza. Barcelo built this resort around the casino. So, take a closer look, at the furnishings and surrounding when you are gambling in the casino. We took all our daily meals at the Oceano open-air restaurant facing the ocean. The canabas were very clean and everything worked, A.C. and shower. The entire staff were all very helpful and happy.
The meals were good. The weather was fantastic. This is one great resort. I would not rate it as 5-Stars as the Barcelo chain says it is, but, a three and a half to four star...definately. I will return to Barcelo Montelimar the next time I'm in Nicaragua.

  • Stayed: June 2006, travelled solo
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4  Thank Gone~Walkabout~Man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2008

My boyfriend and I have just come back from a getaway at this resort, and it was a most relaxing week. The pool facilities are clean, it wasn't too crowded and it seems to attract mostly older people and couples. In January the weather was perfect.

I would recommend the massage services - and at $30 per hour it represents good value.

The only thing I wasn't keen on was the cheesy pop music blaring from the main pool during the day. Also, one of the organised activities was seemingly a girls dancing competition where guests were invited to dance enticingly for men sitting by the pool. An unecessarily tacky addition to an otherwise classy and well-organised resort.

Stayed: January 2008
3  Thank Marfypops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2008

Just got back, here's a quick reliable review... I consider myself a reasonable traveller.

Hotel rooms in tower: nice, but smaller than the bungalos, but newer then the bungalows.

Bungalows: I stayed in one, they are ok, larger than the hotel rooms, a little dated... I prefer the bungalows over the tower as they are larger, a little quieter too, but bungalos were not as nice as the "tower".

Weather: incredible, hot sunny, few clouds, slight breeze... much better than Punta Cana where it is often too windy in winter

Food: Buffet and a la carte were good; Downside: can only do 2 a la carte dinners during your stay... the seafood restaurant was the best... there are three restaurants, all in the same building.

Casino: quaint

Bars: good service

Excersions: good, see the volcano and go shopping

Excellent rum deals believe it or not at the duty free on the way out... example: Appleton 740ml for $8US, local rum even cheaper

I consider it a 3.5 to 4 star, no more. Very clean, good food and service, just not luxurious. Nice grounds too, just for walks.

Very good for couples and for a relaxing week, I do NOT recommended it for singles.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled with friends
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5  Thank GoHabsGo24Cups
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2008

We just returned from the Barcelo Montelimar and recommend it for anyone looking for an affordable all-inclusive resort.

The hotel grounds were lush and immaculate. During the day you can swim in the largest pool in Central America, dry off in a hammock, take in the sunset over the Pacific and wait for the night sky to become dense with bright stars.

There are a few options for food and drink including their main restaurant which offers a variety of food for breakfast lunch and dinner, numerous bars located throughout the resort, a snack bar in the center of the pool that serves burgers, hot dogs, and tasty chicken wings and an a la carte restaurant downstairs
from the casino ($25 per person) which offers three menus: Seafood, Spanish and Nicaraguan.

Our first night was spent in a bungalow. The bungalow was spacious but not to our liking because it retained too much humidity, the bathroom light was dim, we could hear our neighbors through its thin walls and we discovered a rather large mutated cricket on the bedspread. However, don't let this turn you off to the bungalows. If you want close access to the beach, a private hammock and don't mind more rustic accommodations, then choose the bungalow. The next day the
hotel kindly granted our request and placed us in a standard room in the main building and it made all the difference. The room was comfortable and came with a bigger bathroom and a private balcony.

We found the hotel staff extremely friendly. The other guests at the resort were mostly from Montreal or from neighboring countries. It's a good place to brush up on both your Spanish and French. There was plenty to do including sea kayaking, boogie boarding, mini golf, ping-pong, tennis, basketball and for an extra cost horseback riding and ATV rentals. The best deal was booking a 1 hour massage for $30! At night there's no where to go except to the casino and the discotheque. The casino was lively during the weekend but quiet during the weeknights.

All in all we had a great time and endorse the hotel 100%. Be the first of your friends to visit Nicaragua and spread the word!

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Marcelle513
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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