Bringing luxury to the most scenic, tropical destinations around the globe—from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to both coasts of Mexico—Barceló Hotel Group keeps raising the bar. From newly renovated spas to all-new adults-only resorts, the brand continually gives us more to love. Here are our top six favorite things:
6. You can experience the natural beauty of Costa Rica right from the grounds of the adults-only Occidental Papagayo.
Since the beginning of the century, the Gulf of Papagayo has been considered the jewel of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast. Nestled where the tropical forests meet the golden sand beach, this resort blends in perfectly with the lush, natural surroundings. Guests can take advantage of the perks of all-inclusive dining-and-drinking program while also enjoying the services of a concierge to book tours to see the best of the local natural attractions, from whitewater rafting to day tours that include zip-lining and hot-springs visits. A bonus: Bird- and animal-watching tours are part of the resort’s all-inclusive program.
5. Barceló Ixtapa is set on the choicest stretch of El Palmar Beach.
Head to Zihuatanejo on Mexico’s west coast, just north of Acapulco, for caramel-colored beaches set against the turquoise Pacific. The Barceló Ixtapa resort enjoys the middle of this beach and crescent-shaped bay, with ample chaise seating at the ocean’s edge. Plus, the main pool overlooks the ocean, and sits just steps from the water, so you don’t have to choose between ocean or pool for your day of water fun.
4. Every room in Occidental Nuevo Vallarta’s new tower features breathtaking bay views.
This AAA Three Diamond Award resort set on Mexico’s west coast just unveiled an all-new seven-story tower with 92 rooms, all with views of the Bay of Banderas. Inside, the modern decor blends elemental design with clean lines and an elegant aesthetic. Each room opens to a private balcony, perfect for an intimate moment of enjoying the sunset with a cocktail.
This new addition further adds to the five-star property’s offerings—from room service to three swimming pools—all of which have earned the hotel Trip Advisor’s 2019 Certificate of Excellence.
3. The spa is a life-changing experience.
It’s called the U Spa for a reason: Treatments are tailored to each guest’s preferences, from the music playing during a treatment to the aromatherapy oils used in massages.
At the Barceló Maya Grand Resort, a recent $6 million renovation saw the completion of 26 treatment rooms in a 33,000-square-foot area dedicated to wellness. The menu of offerings includes hot stone, sports and mom-to-be massages, as well as flotation therapy, deep-pore-cleansing facials and treatments, and much more, customized for individuals or couples.
Plus, a dedicated kids spa offers younger guests manicures and pedicures, as well as “princess” and “superhero” hairstyling.
Perhaps best of all is the spa’s hydrotherapy circuit, included with every stay in a premium room or added on for a small fee. This circuit—with saunas, steam rooms, hot and cold pools, an ice fountain and an outdoor pool—is meant to create a deeper sense of relaxation, as well as give the benefits of a stronger immune system, decreased stress, enhanced mental focus and deeper sleep.
2. We love the endless activity options at the Occidental Caribe.
There’s nothing better than an all-inclusive with unlimited activity choices. Take the Occidental Caribe, located in Punta Cana. Sporty guests can enjoy endless activities, from aerobics to volleyball in the pool and on the beach, basketball and water polo. A tennis court with lighting stays open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Kayaking trips, table tennis and even trapeze exercises are also available. Or take on the climbing wall for guests over 13 years old (open from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. only).
Those who love the sea and watersports can try sailing and diving lessons (charge applies). No experience is necessary for either: The staff offers instruction for a fun, confidence-boosting session. Just a few minutes away by car, guests can opt to play at various golf courses, including the 18 holes at the magnificent golf course by P.B. Dye at The Lake, which belongs to the Barceló Bávaro Beach Resort.
1. The adults-only Barceló Maya Riviera redefines luxury and exclusivity.
The new adults-only Barceló Maya Riviera, which opened in December 2019, gives you that next-level luxury: All 850 rooms are spacious suites or junior suites with either a super-king-size bed, spanning 10 feet across, or two double beds—all with a daybed in the living area for more room to spread out. The resort also offers swim-up suites, where the terrace of your room opens directly to your private section of the pool.
This resort also sets a new standard when it comes to the beach. Spaced-out rows of paired sun-lounger chairs spread across the entire palm-lined golden sand, so there’s never a shortage.
We also love that when it comes to dining, this property gives you the best of both worlds: You have access to all 27 restaurants spread among the six properties in the Barceló Maya Grand Resort—including the very popular Rodizio, a Brazilian restaurant in the Barceló Maya Palace—and you also enjoy exclusive access to the restaurants at your resort. In other words, you can explore the compound, but the Barceló Maya Riviera is private to its own guests.