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Reviewed 2 April 2018

The stay at the resort was awesome. The views, the balcony from the room as we stayed in the main building, the customer service since one arrives to the lobby to the breakfast, the room service and everything else. Felt right at home, the rooms were very clean and roomy.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Barcelo Hotels & Resorts
Thank F4553RNsarar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
montelimar_rrpp, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Barcelo Montelimar, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2018


Hi,

We greatly appreciate the time you spent to review your recent experience in our hotel, at Barceló we always strive to exceed guests' expectations and your comments will help our teams reaching that goal.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2018

This place is paradise. The staff was amazing big shout out to Israel for making our stay great he went above and beyond to make everything perfect. The grounds are immaculate and very well kept. The room was incredible and always clean. The property used to be a zoo so there was deer, peacock and an anteater running around the resort. They check you in at the airport so when you get to the resort the bus will take you right to your room. The beach is amazing it's very untouched and perfect. You don't want to miss this experience of a lifetime.

Room Tip: The bungalows are so worth it
Stayed: February 2018, travelled with friends
4  Thank sassybonita007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
montelimar_rrpp, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Barcelo Montelimar, responded to this reviewResponded 5 April 2018

Hi Hidden,

We greatly appreciate the time you spent to review your recent experience in our hotel, at Barceló we always strive to exceed guests' expectations and your comments will help our teams reaching that goal.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2018

Let me start by saying that I have opportunities to travel through most of the Caribbean islands, Europe, North America, Asia and Australia and New Zealand, Cuba, DR, Panama and Belize and I would say Nicaragua has been a treasure to discover and experience. We went for March break with 2 teenage girls who loved the adventure as well. Travelling with Air Transat was easy from start to finish (Toronto-Managua). We were surprised to find that our airbus was only 3/4 full and found out that the travel season was slowing down due to impending rainy season and heat. Once we arrived at the airport, grabbing our bags and disembarking seemed to be seamless. We were greeted by the amazing Marcos Espinoza who helped us out not just upon arrival but throughout our whole stay. On the bus (1.5 hours) to the resort, Joel Barrios helped us checkin in on the bus which saved us time once we got to the resort. Joel was our guide for the tour to the resort. Since they had already tagged our bags to to go to the bungalow, we had no extra concerns except changing into our “summer clothes”. Barcelo Montelimar, although a bit dated, had the tropical charm with greetings from the local Nicaraguan dancers and drinks. We arrived early enough to have the buffet on the beach (1230-330pm) and by the time we ate, our bags were in our bungalow. The bungalow (#141) was spacious and was close to everything-beach, food, pool. We had a cosy hammock and sitting chairs on the porch. Now I know some basic Spanish and French that helped out a lot. Since Nicaragua is a poor country and tourism is just starting, English/French is just beginning in the education system. It would be an asset if you did pick up some Spanish phrases. We were the tourists that bring gifts and soaps as well as tips for the locals since we believe in kind gestures.

Even though it is pretty hot in Nic, our AC worked well and we kept our blinds closed to keep cool. The grounds were always kept clean and during the week the resort was pretty serene. The beach was amazing and huge! They warned us about stingrays but never seen any signs of concern and never wore water shoes. The water was pretty wavy but we were use to it since we swim Lake Huron all the time. The pool was clean and the tropical jungle feel was fantastic. We met many locals who came on the weekend which made for a bit of a line at the buffet, but on the whole the resort was so spacious, some days it seemed like there was no one there. We rented surf boards and had fun on the beach some more and I saw some people rent ATVs and horses as well.

Now, let me also tell you that my husband and one daughter are strict vegetarians and we found that all the food was definitely fresh and plentiful. There were some favourites that we happily consumed and if needed any “special” items, the chef seemed eager to please. The seafood, and meats were good, and even though I prefer spicy foods, the meals were still satisfying. We also tried the a la carte, Seafood, Italian and Japanese-and found that for what ingredients the chefs could acquire, the meals seemed true to form. We discovered as well, that even that we had reserved for “Italian”, they still allowed us to order from the Seafood menu as well-since it all came from the same kitchen. BTW, the lobster was awesome.

Just to let you know, we are people that go on excursions and discover the country. Typically, I would book privately, or on-line before I go thru a resort or cruise line; but since Air Transat seemed competitive in their pricing (when we went to Punta Cana)-we decided to use them again. Now, just letting you know, that Barcelo is far from most areas, but the drive and education along the way made the time fly. Originally, I wanted to go to Ometepe Island, however, Barcelo is still too far; but we settled on excursions that were closer by.

Our first excursion was Laguna de Apoyo and Pueblos Blancos. Since the season was wrapping up, we ended up having a private tour (2 adults and 2 teens at $76USpp). Our guide was excellent-Joel Barrios who explained his country along the way. Our driver, Orlando was safe and full of smiles. We went to a Pre-Columbian pottery display in Catarina and learned about how this establishment helps their community and culture-of course, we bought the fine art at reasonable prices. From there, we went to the Apoyo Resort and had a fine meal (included) and then kayaked, paddled board (included) and swam in the deepest (200M) and very clean volcanic crater. It was quite memorable for my Bday. Since it was my Bday, the Montelimar resort surprised me with a beautiful cake. Ate well for sure.

The next excursion we did was Cerro Negro ($90USpp); we left early so we also had our breakfast (boxed) on the bus. Initially the drive was 1.5 hours, but be prepared for the 30 min of bumpy roads to the volcano. Again, we were blessed with our guide Joel Barrios who was fun and informative all along the way. We also had our handy driver, Gabriel who kept our spirits up as we climbed 700M up the volcano. Warning-it was hot and windy but definitely worth it. Our guide was Benito and was always ensuring safety for the climb and watching over us. Once at the top (which took us 45 min-typically can be 1-2 hours), the view was spectacular and seeing the Volcanic chain worth the climb. Now, make sure you wear good hiking shoes and a bandana for the boarding down. Seems to be slower than tobaggoning but was really fun going down the 3 min from 700M. I’ve climbed volcanoes in Hawaii and New Zealand and boarded down in Kangaroo Island in Australia and the Yukon but never sledding down a volcano. There are only 6 places in the world to do it-I suggest that Nicaragua would be the most inexpensive.

From there, we went to Leon and ate at Yavoy (included-although service was slow, the food was good). We had some free time to look the Parque Central and the Leon Cathedral but really not much else. Wish we had more time there, but with the kids just climbing a volcano all they wanted to do was go to the beach. BTW, there is a great juice bar at the Parque Central and for $2-3US can get a great treat.

Our last excursion was a “special” combo that included Masaya Volcano and Granada ($100USpp). We traveled for about 1.5 hours to the National Park and had to wait a bit. Typically, I would suggest to go in the evening so you can actually see the red lava, however since the tour in the day was a better deal with lunch etc; we did the day tour. To me, it was “ok” to see the Masaya volcano, but it was just a lot of smoke. The view was ok and the history was more interesting. Our guide was great, Eddie explained all the geological events of Nicaragua and was excellent in answering all our questions at the museum. From there, our drive, Edgar safely left the volcano and we went to Masaya city to the Mercado and the Supermarket (La Conina). Which was handy to buy alcohol and coffee (which is cheaper than the resort and comparable to Duty Free). We had a great lunch at Masaya (included) and had fun looking around the city.

From there, the excursion included Granada. A very picturesque city with the Colonial feel (like old Quebec or New Orleans). We climbed the Bell Tower at the Cathedral and took many pictures of the city and volcanoes. We walked the streets to the Parque Central and viewed the vendors, horse carriages and the churches. Sadly, we weren’t able to go the hammock crafters nor the deaf cafe since it was closed. Will have to go there on my next trip. Our final stop was the Chocolate Museum, where we learned all about the great treat and bought some fresh cocao. This was a great combo excursion and the guide and drivers worked very hard. Although we tipped them, I was disappointed to see my fellow Canadians not even bother tipping these hard-working individuals. I’m hoping that tourists understand that they depend on tips as part of their salary.

We also took the Rickshaw to go the local village, Masachapa and our guide Rafael (Rickshaw #27 tel: 57042682) and Maraucio (Rickshaw #30) were great showing us the schools and the hospital. We also saw the local fishermen and the catch that went straight to market. Rafael was so proud of his village and he also made us a CD of the local music. You just walk to the gate and they are there to guide you for about $15US roundtrip.

Anyways, just things to mention-the locals do come to the resort on the weekends, however it isn’t as busy as it would be as a Mexican/DR/Cuban resort and the food is always replenished. As well, if you run short on towels, housekeeping seems to keep on it when only a phone call away. Finally, Air Transat doesn’t charge for you to bring home a hammock, which I gladly found out, but just make sure it’s wrapped well for the ride home. Barcelo resort also has mango trees all over the resort so you can just pick one off the tree before you go off to play mini golf. The entertainment was a bit sad and I even volunteered to be on the stage for the kids show since there was hardly anyone in the audience; but I had fun acting like a kid. Just letting you know that the Casino and entertainment is at the top of the hill, where the former dictator resided so when the show is on-there is no noise throughout the resort. The pools were clean and we especially enjoyed the adults only pool. Our kids stayed and ate at the main pool. The sunsets were awe inspiring and the beach sand is hot in the day, so wear sandals. In summary, I would gladly recommend this resort and country if you want something like Costa Rica without the extra expense and the uniqueness of the culture and cuisine. Jealous of you if you get to go to Nica:)

Room Tip: Get a bungalow in the 100-200 section
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank Reina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
montelimar_rrpp, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Barcelo Montelimar, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018

Hi Ms.Reyna,

Firstly we would like to thank you for choosing our Barceló Montelimar hotel once again for your holidays and for sharing this wonderful feedback of your recent stay among us, it is indeed very rewarding to read that we keep on meeting all your holiday needs and wishes year after year.

Regards,
Barceló Montelimar.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 March 2018

When you arrive at the airport, you were provided with a prepared room package and an English speaking guide and everything seems so well organized. However, be forewarned, the two hour bus ride is an exercise in torture, the hotel really needs to invest in bigger, more comfortable buses.
The front of the hotel, gives the initial impression of clean but ordinary and it's not until you venture further in towards the elevators that you realize how beautiful and natural this place is. Our bungalow was in the 100's, which made it very centrally located. The room was always clean and tidy and the staff friendly. However, when the air conditioner broke we had to wait for the repair man despite the cleaning staff being there, admittedly a mere half an hour but the hotel needs to vet these people as patrons shouldn't have to watch over hotel employees.
The beach was endless and so unspoilt. If you stood in the water and looked toward land, you could easily imagine being mid jungle.
If fact Nicaragua itself is really a jewel in the rough. The capital is expanding and cities like Granada are attracting a variety of expats but not to the detriment of the people or their beautiful country.
Can't say enough positive things about Marcos, the tour rep. This man is extremely friendly, knowledgable and goes above and beyond to accommodate any request. It is obvious that he loves his country and enjoys his job. He arranged a taxi ride for us into San Rafael del Sur with an English speaking driver who for a mere $40 return drove us, provided local history, translation services and patience while we shopped in the local market.
The food was pretty good at the buffet, with a fair variety of items with pleasant staff. We tried the Japanese al a carte which was again pretty good and didn't bother with the other two as the menus didn't seem to have anything out of the ordinary. No complaints as I don't go on all inclusive for gourmet food.
Pools and the bars were well maintained and never crowded either. And although we spend a lot of time at the adult pool, it was never loud or rowdy. In fact the whole resort was fairly quiet, with the wildlife making the most racquet. The grounds crew worked diligently to try and keep up with the lush fauna and the mischievous creatures who threw mangos about.
All in all this was a great trip and well worth the money.

Room Tip: Quiet, felt very tropical in bungalows
Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
3  Thank sunpig86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
montelimar_rrpp, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Barcelo Montelimar, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2018

Dear Mr(s) sunpig86;

Thank you for the great feedback of your recent holiday experience at our Barceló Montelimar; guest satisfaction is our number one goal and there is nothing better than achieving that, we are happy our hotel and staff were able to meet all your needs during your stay.

We do apologize for the technical problems you encountered; there are absolutely no excuses for details to be overlooked as all rooms should be thoroughly checked on a daily basis. We will make sure that the procedure is being reinforced, but let me tell you that due to hotel´s policy the guest have to be in the room when there are fixing inside, just for a double check that all is OK after repair.

Once more we thank you for sharing your experience with us and look forward to serving you again soon.

Best regards,
Barceló Montelimar.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2018

Stayed from March 5-19th, 2018, first time at resort. It's a 2 hour bus ride from Managua Airport, scenic and tour guide Joel was very informative. (TM representatives Angel, Eddie and Joel and Air Transat rep Marco are available throughout the day in an office on the resort. Marco will give you an orientation the day after you arrive. He speaks very good English and is a French teacher, go to them in office if you need any assistance 1000-1200 and 1400-1700). On the bus to the resort is the time you learn more about the culture and receive your wrist bands and check in package so no line ups at the reception. Once there you have a map and are directed to vicinity of your room. Cases are brought promptly after arriving to your room. We stayed in Villa 142 and was between the buffet/beach and main pool, was so close to everything. The room has a personalized coded safe and no charge, the bathroom was spacious with walk in shower, no tub, water pressure and temperature was fine. Maintenance install the hairdryer and place key card in slot to keep hydro on, do not remove. Had to call reception 3 times for maintenance to fix door latch and the breaker (in locked panel box) had tripped for the A/C, maintenance man asked for money for fixing! The fridge is stocked daily with beer, pop and water. The coffee maker has an extra bottle of water to make coffee with. Do not drink the water. The beds and pillows are soft and comfortable. A few good TV channels, but most are in Spanish. Housekeeping do the basics, will be in and out of your room a couple of times to replenish towels. Towels are not changed every day and beach towels are provided. Villa's are spacious with lot's of storage, chairs and table outside and hammock to relax in. Grounds are very overgrown and green, watered with timed sprinkler system and well maintained. Look for geckos, squirrels, peacock and lizards, to name a few. A few red ants in the bathroom and two cock roaches seen in the room. Not too many mosquitos. Large resort with lots of walking. 101 steps up to main a la carte restaurants, Casino and entertainment, but there are several bus stops throughout the resort and the bus goes around picking up and dropping off every 10 minutes. No need to rush down to place towels on lounge chairs, was not busy resort and ample chairs. Busiest on weekends when locals visit. ATV, Horse riding and surf board rentals at resort and pay for pool table. There is ping pong and mini putt also. There is a large pool, wading pool, adult pool, a pool to do laps and an adults only Jacuzzi pool, is tiled around the pool and gets very hot, wear sandals to the steps. There is a covered gym outside by the Jacuzzi pool, has older equipment, but functional. The weather was 92 - 98 degrees with not a cloud or rain drop in 2 weeks. Humid at times and warm nights. The beach is lengthy, sand is hot and the waves are huge, with a risk of undertows and stingrays. There are 3 ala carte restaurants: Seafood, Japanese and Italian, only 2 choices for each week, reserve by 10 am in the buffet area on the day of, make sure to ask "where" dinner will be, not always in the assigned restaurants, some are combined in one place. When we booked Seafood they held it in the buffet area with the Italian and Japanese dinners as numbers were low. Relax, service is slow. All dinners were good, but if only there a week, I'd pick Japanese and Seafood. All the food, even at buffet was tasty and a good variety. Snack bar in center of main pool served nachos, fruit, salads, hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, wings, fries, etc. We never had any food that we didn't like. Coffee and water served at all meals and red or white wine with lunch and dinner. Wine was palatable. Buffet is open 0700-1000, 1230-1530, 1900-2200. Can have a massage by the beach. Also are gifts shops, spa and rum store on site, bank and pharmacy. Rum is pricy at resort and market, go into Masachapa or supermarket on excursion. Airport duty free on return had 4 bottles for $40.00 which was even cheaper! A Rickshaw for $15.00 per couple will take you into Masachapa and guide will also spend time with you to show you around the fishing village, go early morning to see the most variety. I bought guide, Leonard a pop and snacks at the grocery store in town. It is about 1.5 klms there and back, walked there another day giving out candy to children en route. Sand boarding at Cerro Negro Volcano was a 45 minute walk up and 3 1/2 minute ride down. An extra $10 USD is required to rent board, goggles and overalls. Wear a mask or cloth over face. Booking excursions was difficult due to low occupancy at the resort, they separate English and French speaking tourists because of the tour guides available on the day. They combined the Masaya Volcano trip and Grenada trip which was good and included a walk up the bell tower for a panoramic view, lunch, market and chocolate factory. All excursions are far away. Taxi's can be rented from resort for a small fee and drivers will take you on a 2-3 hour tour and are very informative. The entertainment is from Wednesday to Sunday and are all in Spanish and are repetitive. All bars are closed at 7p.m except the bar at the top of the hill at the entertainment stage. They close at 11p.m then the bar at the disco in that area is open till 2a.m. The disco was above the Casino and few people there. Mostly Spanish music. One night they did have (older) English music playing and people dancing at the El Rancho pool bar. Montelimar coffee is like Spanish coffee and is good, drinks were either with rum or vodka, most drinks were with crème de menthe, not a huge variety, but strong. They have a drinks list at the bar. Moreno Ardiente was like a mudslide. White/Black Russians and Magic King was good. Some people liked their pina colado, some didn't. Their Tropical Montelimar was colourful. No vendors or peddlers on the beach trying to sell trinkets. Further down the beach off the resort were a couple of vendors. It's not a 5 star, you don't pay a 5 star price, for what you pay it's worth every penny. All in all, a relaxing getaway with walking trails, beautiful beach, amazing scenery/sunsets/food and days spent in the pool. Late evening entertainment was lacking, dancers were good, karaoke and name that tune/artist games, only saw one live band in 2 weeks. Great resort for middle age couples and young families. Not much for the 20's, 30's age group. Relax and enjoy! :)

Room Tip: Villas in the 100's or 200's are closer to everything
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
7  Thank SunshineNLollipops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
montelimar_rrpp, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Barcelo Montelimar, responded to this reviewResponded 6 April 2018


Hi,

We greatly appreciate the time you spent to review your recent experience in our hotel, at Barceló we always strive to exceed guests' expectations and your comments will help our teams reaching that goal.

Regards,
Barceló Montelimar.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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