Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

Barceló La Jolla de Mismaloya
Zona Hotelera Sur, Km. 11,5.
PO Box 158B. 48300
Puerto Vallarta
Jalisco, Mexico
5232 2226 0660
www.barcelo.com


Eat, Drink and Fiesta
Quality and Quantity
by Jeff Hoyt

Barcelo La Jolla de Mismatoya
The Barceló La Jolla de Mismaloya hotel is an all-inclusive resort that doesn't stint on either quality or quantity

Consumers often have to make the choice between quantity and quality. However, vacationers at Barceló La Jolla de Mismaloya Hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Like many Barceló properties, this beachfront hotel located a twenty minute drive south of downtown is set up as an all-inclusive resort, but unlike other chains, that doesn’t mean bad quality food, watered-down beer and below-bottom-shelf spirits. The hotel provides a secure, clean, fun atmosphere, plenty of good food and drink and a chance to improve upon both if you’re willing to spend a little more.

The recently-renovated all-suite hotel is built around gardens and a large network of interlocking pools and hot tubs, including an enormous adults-only pool with a built-in bar. There’s no need to carry cash or credit cards in your Speedo; flashing the wristband attached upon check-in is enough to keep the pool drinks coming. At other resorts, patrons must wake up early and race to reserve the limited poolside chairs, but here there are plenty of chaise lounges and sunshine to go around. The beach, which is smaller than we would like, always appears to offer empty chairs as well as kayaks and larger snorkeling, diving and fishing boats for off-property excursions.

One of the 316 suites. All come with high-end amenities The Don Quijote restaurant

Among the multitude of land-based activities at the Barceló Premium resort are tennis, aerobics, spa treatments, gym workouts, shopping, bingo and different musical shows every night. Parents can truly relax by taking advantage of the Kids Club, where five-to-twelve-year-olds are entertained for eight hours a day free of charge, and babysitters are also available. Just sitting on the patio in one of the 316 well-appointed suites taking in Banderas Bay breezes with a trashy novel and/or a drink is a great way to pass the time. While the rooms have the usual high-end amenities, including flat-screen televisions, the one that makes us feel like we’re truly living large is the minibar stocked with many free items.

Throughout the restaurants and bars, all domestic drinks by the glass, including cocktails, wine and beer are included. The house selections are enjoyable, but those willing to pay extra can get name brand tequila in their margaritas, or a better Merlot with dinner. Similarly, meals at the five restaurants were enjoyable and varied, but could be upgraded (or served in-room 24 hours a day) at additional cost. For the best experience, guests should make reservations at the higher-end restaurants as soon as they arrive, as they are limited.

Tourists who don’t enjoy eating and drinking should probably look elsewhere, as they’ll wind up subsidizing others’ appetites. But families, couples and singles looking for a Mexican beach getaway who don’t want to stay in the city, drive to dinner or run up a bar tab will enjoy themselves here.

Going to Mexico? Check out our guide
Jalisco travel guide



PKH091008


From turrets and moats to spas and golf courses, GAYOT's Top 10 Castle Hotels blend the best of past and present.
Whether you are in the mood for zingy Creole or fresh Hawaiian, you will find the perfect place to settle in for Sunday morning hedonism.