Barcelo is actually located in San Jose del Cabo, 20 miles from Cabo's sometimes hectic Spring break atmosphere. The perfect distance if you're looking to relax.
With the exception of tipping waiters, and paying for a shuttle to the airport, it was great not having to pay for anything during our seven day stay.
The variety of recreational water to enjoy is outstanding.
If you're a foodie, you'll love the menus throughout, along with the beautiful presentations.
Barcelo is actually 20 miles from the lively night life in Cabo San Lucas. If you're looking to party, you'll have to rent a car, take a cab, or shuttle into Cabo center.
You won't find grand entertainment at this Barcelo resort. While there is a show every night, they haven't finessed the atmosphere of their venue or found, for the most part, satisfying talent.
Reservations for the five restaurants are made in the morning, in the lobby. Get there early or you may encounter a long line. Take care of this on your first day as they often fill up fast. You are only allowed to visit each restaurant once during your stay.
If you want to experience swimming in the Sea of Cortez, this is not the location for you. Black flags continually fly on the beach indicating treacherous conditions.
Ask for a room that does not face Barcelo's neighbor - a singles resort. It can get noisy in the evenings.
After returning from a relaxing week in Mexico, it's impossible to dive into daily routine without a swift shove. The balmy breezes and ma·ña·na attitude maintain a stronghold on otherwise normal ambition.
We're seasoned travelers and cruisers but this was our first stay at an all-inclusive resort and I know it won't be our last. Barcelo can be described in one word – dreamy. While many resorts display beautiful pods of lush landscaping accented by one or more pools, Barcelo flips that mold. The grounds are more like one giant, swimmable waterscape accented by lush landscaping and walkways. No shortage of water to play in, no elbow-to-elbow swimmers, no colliding inflatable floats. And surprisingly, we found lots of cabana shaded areas by the pools when we needed them. You've probably seen a swim-up bar but have you ever seen a swim-up room? You'll find them here. The mass of water on the grounds is an excellent idea since the Sea of Cortez which fronts the resort, poses a serious threat with it's pounding surf and challenging undertow. Few visitors dare to venture in.
At Barcelo, all-inclusive means just that - every bit of food, every drink, everything in your room's mini bar. Five themed restaurants offer gourmet, evening meals while the optional, eclectic buffet that opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offers a collection of everything from exotic sushi to peanut butter sandwiches. The word buffet is a huge misnomer here because for most, it conjures up a very different menu than Barcelo offers. While there may be troughs of food available, it was generally above par. In addition, we found dedicated stations that grilled fresh lobster to order, sautéd the day's catch, and slithered just-made pastas onto your plate. We love to cook and have eaten in great restaurants worldwide. We found the selection at Barcelo, vast and expertly prepared.
And what better place to order drinks you're curious about, but afraid to try? It's all included. You can abandon a cocktail after a couple of sips if it's not to your liking, and order something else. A word of caution - the Martini Bar located on the lobby level may become your favorite destination. Out by the pools, there is always a bar within a swizzle stick's throw.
Evenings are comfortable at the resort. While the nightly entertainment might be a little less than spectacular, you have other options - like lazing on a chaise on one of the slatted wood platforms that hovers over a water pod, and enjoy its center fire pit. You might even share it with another couple and find new friends.
Night and day, there is much to do if you have the ambition. The schedule of activities is publicly posted and includes aqua aerobics, volleyball, billiards, ping-pong, and just about anything you can think of that you wouldn't want to do with a pina colada in your hand. The kids club keeps little ones busy too. Besides organized activities, the water park, with its water shooting/splashing/dripping toys is the most fun any kid could have in a swim suit.
Barcelo took over the resort property from another owner and refurbished the existing building that was completed five months ago. You can find reviews online that paint Barcelo in a very negative light, most of that resulting from people visiting shortly after the reopening, when construction was not yet completed. In five months they've shaken out most of the kinks of a new organization and managed to present itself with their best foot forward. Still, it's hard to find anything that's perfect. After raving constantly about our experience to new friends at the resort, I encountered a very angry man in the elevator who was upset with the food and service at the Italian restaurant. He even supported his rant by explaining he met two other couples with the same complaint. When he asked if I had eaten there, I could only smile, "Everything was perfect. It was our favorite."
With their takeover of the resort, Barcelo also added more suites. We were lucky to have a room in the new building #3. While the refurbished suites are perfectly elegant, they don't have the same plushiness and styling as the newer suites, which I would describe as Mexican/Asian, if you can imagine how that might look. All the accommodations at the resort are suites. Ours offered many luxuries, like the Jacuzzi in the bathroom. While enjoying the bubbling hot water, I could also see through the suite, out to the balcony and the view beyond. Our view included the central pools and the Sea's crashing waves. Sculpted frosted glass adorned each door inside the room and two large closets provided more than enough space for storage.
I think the fact that we didn't set foot off the property in seven days speaks volumes about the comfort level we experienced. We were really just looking for a quiet, relaxing week and we found it. To further promote that, Barcelo uses a rope barrier on the sand to prevent beach vendors from constantly soliciting guests.
I could gush endlessly about this resort experience. I highly recommend it and want to return tomorrow. But I'll finish by describing the coolest hi-tech feature of the rooms – a combination TV and computer. This big, flat screen acts as control central. Want to open the drapes? Click the mouse. Adjust the air conditioning? Mouse. Do not disturb? Mouse. And when I wasn't clicking to control our environment, I could watch TV and learn some Spanish!
Check out all the reviews, good and bad at Tripadvisor.
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