A group of us (7 adults and 2 children under 4) visited the Barceló Karmina Palace in Manzanillo, Mexico from March 24 – 31, 2010. We had a great time. This place is beautiful. See details below.
Overall we loved the resort and are willing to visit again in future!
Fast, easy, simple.
My fiance and I have been to Mexico 5 times and these are the best rooms we’ve ever seen. We just had a standard room with a king bed, but it was like a premium room in most other resorts. The beds were comfortable, but the pillows were horrible. If you are like me and have neck problems I highly recommend bringing your own pillow. The bathrooms were great. There were 2 sinks, large soaker tub, tiled shower with glass door (no shower curtain to stick to you), and a separate enclosure for the toilet.
Restaurants and Bars: Food: The food was amazing. Again the best out of all the times we’ve been in Mexico. The buffet was great, the Mexican al-a-carte was great, and the Japanese restaurant was descent considering it’s Japanese food made in Mexico (have to keep an open mind). The deep-fried ice-cream at the Japanese was my favourite dessert of the week and the cheesecake at the Mexican was my fiancé’s favourite. We didn’t go to the Italian, but my mom, sister, and 2 small children did and they said it was pretty good. The desserts at the buffet weren’t quite as good as other places we’ve stayed, but that wasn’t a big deal since we were typically too full to eat much of them anyway. Drinks:
The resort makes good cappuccinos (especially good with cinnamon added) and the coffee was good too. The bar drinks weren’t quite as good as other places we’ve stayed, but were ok. We liked strawberry & bananas with vodka. There isn’t a drink menu so you’ve got to use your imagination. Sometimes they seemed a little week so we asked for more booze to be added, which wasn’t a problem.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The resort property was very beautiful and fairly easy to get around for those that have difficulty (all areas are accessible without using stairs). There is a bit of an incline when walking from the beach towards the rooms however. There are lots of flowers and palms making the grounds very lush. There are extensive pools with 3 adult only areas. The pools are a little chilly however, but warm up near the end of the daytime hours. It’s not so bad when its 30’C +. The beach at the resort is small and not for boogie boarding or surfing, but you can snorkel and it’s good for small children. When we snorkeled in this small man-made bay it was quite silty and hard to see much. To the right of the resort (facing the ocean) there is a great snorkeling beach (just walk off the resort and it’s right there). It was less silty (as long as boats aren’t speeding around) and we saw lots of fish (stingrays, puffer fish and a number of others). This is actually the best snorkeling we’ve seen in Mexico to date. The water is pleasant and actually feels warmer than the pools.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: If you need to use the internet during the week to checkup on things at home then you may be a little frustrated. The system wasn’t very good and the connection was really slow. If you need to use the internet and have a small laptop, iPhone/iPod Touch, Blackberry or something else with WiFi capabilities then you can use the resorts free WiFi with much greater ease (we borrowed a friends iPod Touch after trying to use the internet terminals).
A downside to this resort is that everything pretty much stops once the nightly show is over around 9:30 – 10 pm. There typically wasn’t music or anything. The bars near the stage were open for a while after however. There is a disco that opens at 11pm and the atmosphere is great since it’s located in the open-air Mexican restaurant overlooking the ocean after it’s closed for dinner, but it was usually dead. It probably would have been busier if the resort kept the entertainment going after the show to bridge the gap before the disco opened. For those that like to party at night the resort wasn’t great, but fantastic till the nightly show was over. The shows were very well done. The stage wasn’t as elaborate as we’ve seen (no big deal at all), but the dancers were very good.
Other Comments: The service was great. The staff were ready to please and we had no issues at all. There aren’t bars near all the adult pools, but a waiter was happy to come around to take your order (we had one come by with a tray every 15 minutes or so and gave him 20 pesos each trip – there were about 3-4 couples so each couple took turns tipping).