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“Losing weight the bad way....”

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Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #29 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 7 March 2012

My significant other and I wanted a very special getaway from the cold and enjoy the sun, good food and each other. Well when we want to do that again we will never go to a Barcelo resort. I became sick on the second day and experienced intense vomiting, severe cramping, the shakes, violent diarrhea, the sweats, chills for over 24hrs. This was different from any type of Montezumas revenge.
For the next four and half days I didn't eat. I had no desire to eat coupled with the lack of good food at the resort. It would be one thing if it was only me, but then towards the end of the week my girlfriend started feeling off. Her stomach issues did not include the severe vommiting but did include the diarrhea. And it lasted well into the following week where it affected her work and job.
We had a horrible vacation and I feel like money was stolen from me because of our experiences.

Tim from Boston.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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11  Thank Timmy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,928 - 1,932 of 4,491 reviews

Reviewed 7 March 2012

We were at the Barcelo Feb 23 to March 1st. The resort was nice, very clean. The resort is a smaller, quieter type. The staff are very friendly however on numerous occasions would forget what we had ordered or even that we had placed an order. We had requested breakfast in bed for 9:00 am the day we were leaving...we waited until 10 am and still had no breakfast. When we called to inquire we were told it must have been a communication error between the concierge and room-service, no other explanation was provided. The entertainers work very hard but it lacks variety, it’s the same entertainers every night.

Many have already mentioned the towel game people play...and yes it is ridiculous....we never did find loungers by the pool, however we prefer the beach. The beach is quite small and the sand is very coarse but it is similar to most other resorts in Puerto Vallarta. The hotel does not cater to those guests on the beach, rarely a waiter/waitress would make their way to ask for drinks or assist with loungers.

The zoo is great, a walk across the street. We did a zip line excursion from the booth located outside the main entrance to Barcelo (Los Veranos Zip Line for $37 per person including transportation...the staff were great!). We took the local bus into town on two evenings; it was safe and only 7 pesos.

The snack bar is one of the best I have been to at an all inclusive resort. We are vegetarian and the Concierge was able to give us dinner on all 7 nights of our stay at the A la carte restaurants, however there is still a limited selection of vegetarian dishes and we ended up eating dinner outside the resort a couple of times. They serve premium brand alcohol, a huge plus compared to other all inclusive resorts!!!

Overall, the vacation was great. Enjoyed some much needed sun!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ngill84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 March 2012

We agree that the Barcelo is a beatiful resort and the service was good too. We stayed Feb. 25-Mar. 03 and enjoyed every minute. Our room was upgraded to Master suite OV ( #2819) and we thought it to be a great value, after all we were on vacation and it made us feel even better. We did not find any one particular resturant to be better than any other including the buffet selection. Say hi to Elena at the Spanish resturant, she is great! The taco bar was the best we have ever had and unfortunately we found it later in the week. We did find the breakfast to be a little short on selections and depth compared to other All inclusives. Thier HOUSE WINE STINKS TOO, so don't expect much there. They do have a fair wine list for purchase at the alcarte resturants. We also found that the front dest was constantly out of Paso's for exchange or just to get change to tip. Jump on the city bus to Boca (7p's) and hang out and have a few beers on the beach, or walk across the road and up to the Tequila shops and take the tours, it's fun. Book a boat all day with Sammy, he will show you a good time in Yelapa and other great beaches...

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank theklaw01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2012

I have visited this resort prior to it switching over to the Barcelo and All Inclusive, but I haven't been to Puerto Vallarta in about 10 years. I made the switch over to the Riviera Mexico for vacations these past years, and I was so refreshed to come back to Puerto Vallarta. Riviera is great for the MEGA HUGE resorts and blue waters, but you don't appreciate all that the Barcelo has to offer until you are on a vacation where you have to wait for a shuttle to take you to and from your room to the beach! The Barcelo is not a giant, and I LOVE it for that reason!

We upgraded to the Premium club and it was absolutely worth it! From the time you check in and are taken to the premium club, handed a glass of champagne, you know your vacation will be a great one! Premium club is guaranteed a room on floors 7, 8, 9. We had the top floor and had great vaulted ceilings and an amazing view of the pool, ocean, mountains and village. We left our patio door cracked open all night and could hear the sound of the waves! Every room at the Barcelo has great views and the rooms really are very spacious. They have a nice sliding door that separates the bedrooms from the sitting room (lounge couch, two chairs, and a nice flat screen tv).

Booking the premium club allowed you to book as many reservations to the restaurants. The Don Quoti had the BEST pork tenderloin. Others had the Rack of Lamb and were very happy with it also. The Italian had a nice mahi mahi and the caprese salad had such great flavor. The food service staff did seem to be a little light handed at every place we ate at. From breakfast buffet to the snack bar, to dinners. A few extra waiters would have been nice, but not only are you on "mexico time" and everything is a little slower, but you are also on vacation, so it wasn't too much of a problem. The snack bar was where we ate every lunch. The taco bar was awesome and the fresh chips, salsa and guacamole was all I really needed, but the entire snack bar menu was soo good we never even made it to the buffet for lunch all week. The premium upgrade includes room service charge, and it also includes box lunches!! We went on a whale watching trip from one of the guys on the beach and asked for boxed lunches to go - it included a chicken breast, a turkey or ham sandwich, banana, apple, bottled water, and a tart for dessert! AWESOME. We ordered from the premium lounge and they had it ready for us in an hour.

The premium lounge was fantastic. They had really good coffee you could make and pour your own top top shelf alcohol and better wine than the restaurants had. You could book all your reservations with them. You go to the lounge for checkout. Gabi and Ana were awesome. They have computers for you to use if needed also, but the premium includes a code for internet for the entire week included at no charge.

The beach sand is a big bummer. The beach has dramatically changed since I have been there years ago. The current changed and really took away alot of the beach. Sitting on the beach is still great, but walking on it was not. I did take two trips over across the river to get a massage at Paradise massage (towards the end of the group before walking up to the walkway for the Night of the Iguana.) I had two massages and they might be the best massage I have ever had. The pressure was awesome and they actually worked my stress away. Can't beat the price of $25 for an hour! The pool is beautiful, the waterfalls, the hot tubs, heated pool! The pool with the bar in it is much deeper and colder than the other pool. The towel game is stupid, but you deal with that at every resort.

I would absolutely recommend this resort and can't wait to go back again. I will not be waiting 10 years to return!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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4  Thank wisconsintomexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 March 2012

This past week I visited the Barcelo Puerto Vallarta with a large group of friends, excited for our vacation. The grounds and facilities were beautiful, the rooms were gorgeous (comfy beds! Rain showerheads! Bay views!), the weather was sunny and warm, the pools were clean, the drinks were poured, the company was great and the trip had all the signs of a perfect vacation…

Until the sickness began, as one by one 7 of the 10 in our group fell. This was not just your typical Montezuma’s (although I’m sure that played a part) – intense hours of vomiting, severe cramping, the shakes, violent diarrhea, overall weakness. Several of our group were confined to their rooms (and bathrooms) for days, which tends to put a damper on your vacation. The rest of us mostly stayed close to the resort, not sure when it would strike or return. We are not novice travelers—all had been to Mexico before (this was my 2nd trip in 7 months), we came prepared with OTCs and knowledge of the best ways to prevent an upset stomach (brush with bottled water, only drink bottled water, be careful with what you eat) and none of us had ever experienced anything remotely close to this.

A few things that made this wave of sickness especially concerning:
- The complete and utter lack of concern of the management. When I went to report to the front desk how many of our group were ill, there was no sympathy, acknowledgement or suggestions and instead I was told I needed to speak to the concierge, because he could change our dinner reservations for us. When I sat with the reservations agent to reduce the headcount for dinner to 5 and told him why, he said “they sell a pill for that in the gift shop” and assured me that no one else at the resort was sick. When we went to the gift shop to buy Immodium early in the week (for the bargain price of $13 a box, which we gladly paid at the time), there was a well stocked shelf. Fast forward 3 days and that shelf is completely empty, sold out, gone. This tells me that we were not the only ones experiencing sickness, despite management’s claims that we were. (A hint for future travelers: when you get sick at the Barcelo (not if, WHEN) if you are able to leave your room for a half hour, a quick walk to the village across the street will find you several stores that are well stocked with similar OTC products at very reasonable prices.)
- After we started to fall (and when several of us switched to what my friend Chris called “the donut diet”, where you only eat bread and bottled water) I started to notice that the food service workers did not follow basic food safety guidelines. There is not a gloved hand to be found, and cross contamination is rampant. (ex. The very nice woman who made our omelettes used the same dirty bowl to mix everyone’s eggs, and then would add cheese by sticking her bare hand in the bowl of cheese.) I don’t expect every country to follow the same standards as the US, and am perfectly happy to be flexible/careful when I travel, but I was surprised that a resort that bills itself as 4 stars isn’t more careful. It can’t be good for their reputation to have so many guests so sick.

I gave the resort 2 stars, because of the staff and the facility. The staff is really wonderful—friendly, helpful, hard-working. Johnny did a great job organizing fun activities, and the waitstaff and bartenders did whatever they could to make our stay pleasant and comfortable. We had a large group, and they were perfectly willing to accommodate us in every way they could (moving tables together, arranging for vans that would fit the entire group, etc.) The grounds were incredibly clean, and the rooms and facility were beautiful. The gym was terrific, the pool area was fun, and the flowers everywhere were lovely.

If it wasn’t for the food and resulting sickness that sent 70% of our group running for their beds/bathrooms, this would have been a wonderful place to vacation. As it is, I won’t return to the Barcelo PV until management acknowledges that there is a food sanitation issue and puts in place steps to correct it.

Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
4  Thank Sarah R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Barcelo Puerto Vallarta

Address: Zona Hotelera Sur Km. 11.5, Puerto Vallarta 48294, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#18 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#18 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#27 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#29 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: RM706 - RM2,206 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Barcelo Puerto Vallarta 4*
Number of rooms: 316
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Barceló Puerto Vallarta***** (formerly Barceló La Jolla de Mismaloya) in Puerto Vallarta, is an elegant, all-inclusive Mexican-style resort. It offers 316 completely renovated and comfortable suites with excellent service, leisure, history, beautiful scenery, exuberant flora and privacy.Relax after a hard day’s work in the hotel spa, catch some rays at one of the hotel pools or take time out to practice your favourite water sport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Jolla Mismaloya
Barcelo La Jolla De Mismaloya Puerto Vallarta
La Jolla Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta La Jolla De Mismaloya
Barcelo De Mismaloya
Barcelo Mismaloya Puerto Vallarta
Barcelo La Jolla Mismaloya

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