The resort offered various food options such as seafood, Italian, Mexican, Japanese and a buffet. It was an inclusive so everything *SHOULD* have been included. For the most part it was, except for tips even though the website says it is included. The site also mentioned wifi was included but when we arrived we were told we had to pay a fee of $50 per person to have access. The resort itself was pretty and in a good area right on the beach. Most of the staff was helpful and friendly. The major downside was some of the staff making you feel bad for not tipping or not tipping enough even though it was already included in trip price.
Barcelo was a nice all inclusive with great service. The only complaint that my husband and I had would be the room. We thought we were getting a king sized bed with a pool view but when we checked in we actually where given 2 double beds and a view of the back parking lot. When I asked the front desk about this they said the bed and view are not garenteed if you book online. This was a little upsetting because this was our honeymoon vacation. We where put on a cancellation list but were told that it was slim chances because there was a 52 room family coming in the next day. For the inconvenience we were give 2 wifi passwords which I also thought was included but I guess not. The passwords worked in the lobby and in our room so that was nice. The food was ok but we contemplated going to other restaurants outside the resort but never ended up doing so because we figured why go pay money somewhere else when it is included there. We liked that because we booked with cheap Caribbean we got a $100 discount on our excursions, which were pretty fun. It was a fun vacation besides that and we will definitely will be returning to Aruba but maybe not staying with Barcelo but another all inclusive there.
The resort was clean. Rooms Were extremely cold. Check in and check out easy. Variety of restaurants BUT food wasn't that great. Japanese and Mexican restaurants were the best. Pool and beach were clean and it was nice to be able to have free floats and plenty of them. Alcohol was poor to say the least. People were nice but not overly friendly. Entertainment was awful except for one night. We tried every night but walked out except for that one which seemed to be different people . Worse part of whole trip..... the resort is about a quarter mile or a little more from an outdoor bar called South Beach. They start playing music around 11pm and don't stop until 2-4 am. It kept us up most nights. NEVER AGAIN !!
This resort is not worth it. We've been to many all-inclusive resorts and this one was by far the worst. I'd honestly recommend CheapCaribbean remove this resort as an option. FYI, the name of it used to be Occidental. Issues/negatives: 1) Found fecal matter in our bed when we got to the room after checking in. Unacceptable. 2) There was hair all over the room from the cleaning people. Cleaning staff should seriously wear hair nets. I had to pick up dozens and dozens of long black hairs (not mine nor my wife's hair is black) just so we could feel free to walk around, use the shower etc. 3) The shower did not drain and we constantly had to turn off the water so it wouldn't overflow. 4) Our TV barely worked. 5) The towels were cheap and shed everywhere. 6) The main restaurant played the same song nonstop. Literally the song didn't change the entire time we were there. I'm sure many people don't notice but how hard is it to have a few songs on a playlist? 7) We were promised champagne in our room and had to follow up about 6 times and wait in the lobby before someone finally brought some to our room (hours later) 8) The bars were constantly running out of things. For example, one day they were completely out of beer and tequila for most of the day. It is an all-inclusive resort. The least they can do is have enough alcohol (and food). Oh and they only have 1 beer to offer in general which isn't even a local one. 9) The food in general was mediocre and didn't change that much from day-to-day. 10) Most of the guest room doors don't have "do not disturb" signs. If you're in the room, you have to double lock everything so they don't come in. 11) My wife was walked in on by housekeeping because they said we had called housekeeping. We didn't; they went to the wrong room. 12) They mention they have "live music" which for most of our stay meant 1 guy singing into a mic with recorded music accompaniment. 13) In general, the staff was rude and service was not very good 14) We were told they (Barcelo management) were inquiring about getting us some kind of refund. Never heard back about it of course. The positives: 1) The manager gave us an upgraded room due to the issues (and champagne/chocolate, even though it is all-inclusive anyway) 2) Resort is near many other hotels/shops/restaurants within walking distance 3) We felt safe and there were enough security guards around 4) Hibachi grill was good (just make a reservation in as far advance as you can) Overall: If you're there to party and don't really care about cleanliness, food quality, and service then I'm sure it is fine (other than the limited alcohol options). Otherwise, avoid this place.
I had never been to Aruba until last week (Feb.19-25), but had always dreamed of staying at an all inclusive resort on an island where I could swim, enjoy the sun, relax, and feel safe all at the same time. I found this at the Barcelo Aruba resort. We enjoyed our room which was always clean every day (and has a stocked refrigerator with complimentary drinks!) and the pool with the swim up bar along with the option to enjoy the cool breezes under the many straw huts located along the white sand ocean beach....it was just what I had always envisioned as being my Dream Vacation! There area all kinds of activities for all age levels (if you go, check out their daily newsletters) and the people there are SO kind and helpful. Be sure to take plenty of sunscreen...like 2-3 bottles. The sun is VERY intense (you are close to the equator) and you can burn very quickly. They do offer complimentary blue mats so you can float in the water in the ocean! There are many water sports also available near the resort. Take some chair clips, too, and a beach towel (even though Barcelo offers complimentary towels) to reserve your spot EARLY in the day wherever you'd like to sit and enjoy the beautiful views/weather! Also, take your insulated mugs with you...the wonderful staff will fill them up with your favorite drink. The main restaurant that offers buffet meals 3x a day has a great variety of food for all appetites.There are also a few specialty restaurants..our favorite was the Japanese restaurant where the food/service/peaceful setting was amazing! You need to make reservations as soon as you arrive to secure a table..especially if you're there for only a week. We also planned a jeep trip and was able to tour some of the rest of the island...if you get a chance, check out Baby Beach ...on the opposite end of the island from Barcelo (absolutely breathtaking!) and rent some snorkeling equipment. This will be a highlight of your trip! All we can say is that we can't wait to return to the Barcelo in Aruba!..Great memories/wonderful people/terrific sun and fun in the water!!
The entertainment during the day is lacking. There is only one small bar open at night. The Mexican Restaurant is TERRIBLE. The beef was green. Even the waitress said it was awful after people didn't eat their dish. The Japanese was my favorite. There are many options to eat, drink, and shop in Aruba, and it seems like a safe area. We walked around at night with no problems. If you plan on staying at the resort all day and night to get the most out of your all-inclusive price then this is a good option. The beach was large with plenty of shade and seating. People get up early at the pool and put out their towels, so seating can be limited. Pool bar drinks were poor quality. Staff at the restaurants and lobby bar were great.There was a group of 8 of us and they were always accommodating. The rooms were good. No issues there. I wouldn't pay for an ocean view. It is a partial view, and not worth the money.
it was a nice resort. Rooms & resort clean. Funky smell by pool bar. Food is average. Breakfast is fine. Lunch is ok. dinner is ok. Japanese best restaurant followed by mexican. Not the friendliest resort. Beach is beautiful, no problem getting chairs or towels. Pool is harder to get a chair. they treat the royal floor guest differently. i.e. - we were going on a snorkeling trip and my husband was looking for a bottle of water to bring. The employee on the beach told my husband to go to the bar on the beach for the "royal guests" he walked all the way over there for the bartender to say he would not give him a bottle of water because he was not a royal guest. seriously?? so my husband had to go all the way to our room in the mini fridge to get a bottle of water. that was ridiculous. it was a nice resort, however i do not think i would stay here again. there were a few others on the island i thought were nicer.
I have been in 10 island in the carribean and Aruba water is warm, clean water and white sand. Hotel was good, Gary (server at the beach) was bringing me drink with just a sign...amazing, Vanessa from the dining buffet remembers my kids name from the first time i went in "Axl"... Santiago at the lobby bar on point. Good people and good hotel lpcation for night life.
Everything about this resort was amazing, the food, the drinks, the staff and the hospitality. My girls and I had a wonderful 6 days in Aruba full of energy and excitement. Will definitely be returning to this resort in the near future. The only thing I would say it was very bad was the WiFi. We only had free WiFi for an hour while being in the lobby. We had to purchase WiFi for the days we were staying. The front desk promised that if we did, we would have WiFi in our room, pool area, restaurants etc. This did not happened, we paid for nothing the service was still very bad only in the room we had service coming in and out. Also the room that we stayed at the AC was leaking water, we reported but nothing was fixed. Other than that everything else was great.
The trip was great and the beaches, scenery, attractions, food, people and service was great. All inclusive trips are the only way to go to Aruba. The submarine ride, catamaran and full day bus tour were very good. Also, taxis are inexpensive