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Now that we've actually seen one of the properties in person, we're even more ready to give the all-inclusive experience a whirl.
We peeped at the former Barcelo Cabo in Mexico as it was undergoing some last-minute touch-ups to turn into the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, a family-friendly resort. (Hyatt Zilara in Cancún will be adults-only.)
The good news is that the Barcelo property is rather new (it opened in 2009) and so the rooms, public spaces, restaurants, meeting rooms, pools and even the kids' club area are all in excellent condition. (We especially loved the giant flat-screen TVs which also accessed the internet as well.) All Hyatt really had to do was make some cosmetic adjustments, change up the signs and tweak the all-inclusive plans.
You can read more about the plans here but the basic all-inclusive plan includes not just food and alcohol from the eight restaurants on-site (most are a la carte and only two are buffets) but also entertainment options, daily and nightly activities, fitness center, kids club and WiFi. The Club Premium Plan gets you a few more perks like private check-in, access to the Exclusive Premium Level Lounge, 20 percent off spa and salon services, welcome amenities and other goodies.
After completing a multi-million dolllar renovation of the Barcelo Bavaro in Punta Cana that increased its occupancy rate by about 2% and revenue per available room by 8.6%, Barcelo will now turn its attention to its gigantic Riviera Maya property in hopes of achieving similar results.
The project will cost more than $45 million and will begin on May 6 and focus on the complex’s Maya Beach and Maya Caribe hotels. Each will receive a revamped lobby, a new bar and an a-la-carte restaurant. The complex as a whole should benefit from the addition of an entertainment center that is to include a sports bar, bowling alley, teen disco, kids club, waterpark, and paddle tennis courts. A new Premium Club lounge will also be added.
The property consists of five adjacent hotels and one of the largest pools we've seen on a resort property in that region, with plenty of space to find serenity and avoid the drunk people at the swim up bar.
Name This Caption / Hotel Snapshots / Barcelo Hotels / Mexico Hotels / Puerto Vallarta Hotels / → All Tags
It's Monday and just the right hour to take a minute and play Witty Wordsmith with us, whydontcha? That's right, it's time to Name.This.Caption!
If you're looking to find the party at an all-inclusive hotel, the pool area and swim-up bar are good places to start. There's always that one couple that parties just a little harder than the rest of the bunch, and they're not hard to spot at these resorts, especially during the off-season when occupancy is low. You either love them or you hate them, that's for sure.
Take this couple we caught in action at the Barcelo Puerto Vallarta, for example. You know the drill - we need your help with a side-splitting caption. Does this gal have cold hands, or is her man just happy to see us? Seems like one hell of a Christmas card!
Have a humorous hunch about what's happening here? Let us know in comments below!
[Photo: Hotel Chatter]
If you love men who love banana hammocks and speedos, you'll want to head to the Barceló Punta Cana Resort. The Dominican Republic hotel will be full of hard-bodied, tan men when it hosts the finale of this year's Mr. Universe pageant.
You will be able to see the ripped guys flexing their muscles and strutting on the catwalk at the all-inclusive hotel from May 10 to 14. Given that the Barceló Punta Cana sits on the water, you may also be able to "accidentally" run into a few of the muscular contestants at the beach.
If you thought you had a crappy Christmas, you don't have anything on guests at Costa Rica's Barcelo Tambor Beach. The hotel had to close after a nasty diarrhea outbreak last week.
The health ministry shut it down after 150 people reportedly sought treatment late last week at a local clinic after suffering from such symptoms as nausea, cramps and vomiting, though the hotel only reported 37 cases of the runs.
Talking pillows. Of course. Obvious candidates for a big hotel promotion campaign. Or have the Barceló Hotels group simply gone completely mad?
If only for novelty value alone, the new campaign from the Barceló group, "Pillow Talk", wins big points. It features six videos of two talking pillows, Sophie the Softie and Drew the Dreamer (who incidentally have their own Twitter accounts), as they dream of a better life. Spoiler alert, in case you want to watch all six videos and enjoy the suspense: Sophie and Drew end up finding this better life at the newest Barceló hotel in Mexico, the Barceló Los Cabos Palace Deluxe, which will open up on December 17, 2009 (or December 15, depending on which page of their website you trust).
[Ed. Note: Welcome to our Good Rate/Bad Rate feature where we look at hotel prices in the same city and decide which one most deserves your hard-earned benjamins. Rates quotes here were captured August 21, 2007 and are subject to change. Enjoy.]
The Barcelo La Jolla de Mismaloya near Puerto Vallarta is known for some common themes. The small beach completely disappears some months of the year, service is indifferent at best, and you're more liable to get sick eating here at your hotel than you are eating at the taco stand in a van down the road.
Perhaps the last trait explains the odd pricing policy currently posted on the hotel's website. Go all-inclusive and it's $160 a night for two. If you opt for the European Plan, however, and forsake the bland buffet meals and watered-down drinks in plastic cups, you'll pay $177 a night. In other words, you pay more to avoid their food.
If you want an all-inclusive vacation, there are plenty of better options in the area. If not, we suggest a stay at the Westin in the Marina area--this week's Good Rate--instead.
· Good Rate:: $107 at the Westin Puerto Vallarta [HotelChatter]