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“Beautiful & Relaxing”

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Barcelo Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #34 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 10 December 2009

We were at Barcello La Jolla Nov. 28-Dec. 3 and enjoyed it very much. Arrival and transfers went smoothly, we were supprised to fid a clean modern private taxi waiting for us. We chose Barcello from the excellent reviews on TripAdvisor and also from seeing it on Travel Channel as one of the top 10 beach resorts. We were aware that the beach had undergone some damage since the show was broadcast so we were not supprised that the beach was rather small. The rooms were beautiful and well maintained. We were a little supprised to find the buffet food a bit below average for an all inclusive but we certainly found enough to keep us well fed. The bars were top-shelf and I found them to be a little heavy handed with the liquor
:) We rode the bus to town and found it to be an easy way to get around, The buses are all clearly marked. We also walked to the zoo which is across the street and about a 15-20 minute walk through a small village. It was pretty nice, the animals had plenty of space and seemed well cared for. All together a pleasant relaxing vacation.

Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
2  Thank websta'
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 December 2009

I took a chance on this "out of the way" hotel and could not be more pleased! Upon check in I was upgraded to Club Premium which was luxurious in every way. Two 40 inch T.V.'s, four phones, huge soft bed, a separate sitting room, tequila and fruit basket, and the most beautiful view of our own private bay! The balcony was huge and looked down on the five pools and seven waterfalls. The staff are fantastic and go out of their way to make sure you are well taken care of. The food was good and lots of it. I was even invited to a private Barcelo staff party and had a blast! The zoo is just across the street. This is one of the few hotels that actually replied to my email prior to leaving. The only negative is the elevators are a bit clunky, other than that it is a great Barcelo! Having stayed at the Riu in Emerald Bay Mazatlan the week before, this was a true 5 star hotel!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled solo
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2  Thank ramjet3735
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2009

I have been to Dreams in PV and many other Mexican resorts incl. beautiful Riviera Maya. The location of Barcelo Mismaloya is very tropical and you feel surrounded by a jungle. It is like being at Yelapa (day excursion spot from PV) but at 5 star hotel.
There is a river that drains to this little bay and the place is very picturesque. The pools are better than at Dreams as they are bigger and one is a quiet pools away from fun/games with water falls, etc.
Yes, the service is a little worse than what I have seen before or elsewhere. LET's NOT forget people we are in a global recession. The hotel was at 50% capacity and I believe it is like that in most of Mexican and other resort destinations. We see cuts in US so Mexico has to do some cutting to still give us ALL Inclusive at regular hotel in Hawaii prices.
This location is awesome as it is right in front of LOS ARCOS which people pay big bucks to pay and need to take a boat ride to get to to snorkel and explore. At Mismaloya you can just rent a boat for 30-35 bucks in front of the hotel and they will take you there. Roberto with red boat took us there for $35. He speaks great English and we saw lots of tropical colorful fish. We had such great fun that we asked Roberto to take us to LAS ANIMAS, which is a remote beach about 20min boat ride. That cost us another $30, but it was well worth. It features a quiet waveless beach with fine white sand. It was very safe for kids and there are vendors with palapas so that you can get a beverage (Corona) for about $2. It was a nice trip.
There is also a tropical zoo about 10min walk from the hotel. There are many animals that kids can feed (they give you food). It is pricey for Mexico as tickets are about $10, but it is very exotic and there are even some locations where the movie PREDATOR was shot.
Yes, you need to make reservations like at most AI resorts. However, if you are nice and ask the host, then they will take you later or earlier or switch you to another restaurant. We did not like the Italian and asked to be accepted elsewhere. Do not forget to tip as these people make next to no money to make a living. We tip in the US and yet some people do not want to drop a buck or two. Believe me, your 10-20 bucks spend during your vacation will make your stay much more pleasurable one. What's another $20 on your vacation that cost you thousands??? Tip as you got and you will be treated much better. We all need money and those locals need it much more to survive as they are paid very little.
The shows are pretty good and especially "RHYTHMS OF THE NIGHT" It is a great show with beautiful dancers and great acts.
We enjoyed our stay at Barcelo and its seclusion. Our room (ask for 4th or higher floor) had a great ocean view with nice balcony.

Like in most of Mexico, do not expect, but ask nicely/tip and you will receive a great service which will make your vacation sooo much better. Barcelo is great and different from cookie cutter reports. Enjoy.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank Greg9999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2009

We just returned from a week-long stay at Barcelo La Jolla Mismaloya and cannot stop raving about it. From the minute we arrived to the moment we left everything was fantastic. the room we had, although a junior suite, was spacious, well maintained and more than we expected. we had a huge balcony and we faced the pool but if you looked out the the left we had a great view of the ocean. the buffet was amazing...and the service there even better. we could not help but notice how hard everyone works there. our plates were cleared immediately, drinks never empty and we were always acknowledged. the pools were clean and very refreshing. we went to two of the al a carte restaruants offered but preferred the service at the buffet. no negative aspects the entire trip. thanks to all the staff who made our stay perfect!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sunnysunny09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2009

I traveled to the Barcelo La Jolla de Mismaloya in October of 2009 for my wedding. My husband and I were joined by 20 of our closest family members and friends for a week at this all inclusive resort. Our experience there left us all wanting more! The staff were very friendly and they were very attentive to our every need. The rooms were spectacular and very clean. The food was great for the most part; some of the food on the buffet got a little redundant but all in all it was delicious. There was a wide variety and plenty to choose from every day. The food at the reservation-only restaurants was superb! We were able to work one on one with a wedding coordinator and the resort not only took care of us for the entire week, but also every last detail of our wedding ceremony and reception. The resort allowed us a private dinner in one of their restaurants, Capri, for our reception. The food and service we received here was amazing! The employees at this resort really know how to cater to their guests! It was a truly enchanting experience and we will definitely return!

  • Stayed: October 2009
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1  Thank F-64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2009

I have been to many places. Jamaica, bahamas, st. lucia, cancun, isla mujeres along with many others. I have also been to all inclusive places. This was one of the best trips i have been on and one of the best places I have ever been. I cannot believe all of the negative reviews. The first day there i really did not have anyone come by and ask me for a drink but when they did and i tipped them, they always came back and asked me again. So i had AWESOME service. Remember they work for our tips. If you dont tip of course you will have aweful service. I have worked in the service industry and i totally understand this. In the morning for breakfast we always were seated promptly and if the hostess was not there, the server we had the morning before that we tipped good came and would seat us. We never had a problem getting into the restaurants. We only had problems with what time we wanted. We actually ate at the Italian restaurant twice and they never said a word

RECOMMENDATIONS: get a massage on the beach. We paid $55 us dollars for both of us.. that is total dollars for one hour. Also try out the ATV excursion. It was wonderful. We booked that through the hotel and it was $60 us dollars a piece. It was three hours long.. Be prepared to get dirty. You have got to eat at Tonys restaruant. It is right up the road. Ask the hotel and they will get you there.. You can walk or take cab. We took cab there and walked home. EXCELLENT SERVICE and food. Go during sunset and it will be beautiful. We went into town one night. We took a cab it was $13 us dollars one way. Also go to the zoo. It is a mile a way and you will only need an hour while you are there. It is very interesting

My only negative comment is that they need to have more than one bar open at night. It is tough to get a drink at night time.

The room are awesome.. Best rooms and bed I have ever stayed at!

  • Stayed: November 2009
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1  Thank monicajo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2009

My husband, 2 young daughters and I usally enjoy Mexican beach resort holidays, having been to nearby Dreams, and Gran Porto Real in Playa del Carmen. However the Barcelo was a huge disappointment on many levels.
We chose this resort to spend Thanksgiving week 2009 because it has 2 bedroom suites, and while our premium suite met our expectations, the resort service was appalling. The main restaurant which offers the breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets was so under staffed that we usually had to seat ourselves, and even had to get our own silverware from the waiter stations around the room on several occasions. The waiters were frazzled and rude and the simplest request seemed too much trouble and often never materialized. Our table was offered water at only one meal in 5 days, and a glass of wine was usually very hard to come by. The food was very poor quality, usually dried out from sitting too long, and the few dishes that were okay were often empty and not refilled for quite some time.
The 3 other restaurants need to be booked at check-in, (even when you pay for the 'premium service' ) and we were never given a choice about which restaurant we could eat at, but told which night we had to go to each restaurant AND the time we could go there. They actually give you reservation print outs, like a credit card receipt! Our first dinner at the buffet restaurant was so bad, we vowed not to eat dinner there again, and the following night, a Tuesday, the ONLY time we could dine at another was at 9:30 pm - extremely late for children. When we arrived at the Los Arcos they actually ask to see the 'reservation ticket." Forget about trying to change your mind if you don't feel like Spanish food on the night you are supposed to go there, because they won't let you into the Italian unless you have booked in advance and have the ticket in your hand. We felt like we were in a prison camp!
As an example, the Spanish restaurant, Don Quiote, had very slow service and terrible, overcooked food. We were given an 8:30 pm reservation, despite having 2 children under 9 years, and I hoped the 2 course meal would be served in a prompt manner, however it dragged on to point of exhaustion for our girls. After a long wait, we asked 2 waiters if they knew when our entree would be coming, and eventually had to find the manager to ask for help.
The Barcelo Kids Club was absolutely horrible, and completely different to any of the other Mexican resorts we have stayed at. It is in a small, poorly lit, dark room that was so un-inviting, that our kids - who usually LOVE kids club - were so bored in that when they were left UNATTENDED in the room, they left and came to find us in the resort. There was zero security for the children, and when I returned to find out how our children had been able to just wander off, there was still no-one in charge. This was an absolute disgrace, and explains why the club was not used about 95% of the time. Hence the parents had no choice but to take their children to the beach all day, every day, and we didn't get to enjoy any adult time knowing our children were being well cared for.
The beach is tiny, there were no shady palapas to sit under, and the peddlers are so prolific and persistent, that relaxation is not an option! In addition, in the 5 days we were there, we were only ever offered a beverage on 2 occasions. You really have to fend for yourself at the Barcelo! For the money we paid, it was a bum deal, as it was apparent they were on a major cost saving exercise.
The fitness center was small and crowded with old, sometimes rusty exercise equipment that I haven't seen since the early 80's. It is also a tiny room and very stuffy which made it very unappealing.
Overall, this resort is a disaster, and we would never, ever visit again.

(If you like this area, Dreams is so much better. Or if you can travel over to Cancun, head to Playa del Carmen and try the Gran Porto Real where you can experience charming Mexican hospitality.)

Stayed: November 2009, travelled with family
2  Thank Coobry
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: Carretera a Barra de Navidad Km. 11.5 | Zona Hotelera Sur, Puerto Vallarta 48300, 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:
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#19 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#21 Spa Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#23 Family Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#26 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
#27 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: £129 - £399 (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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