More about Barcelo Karmina Palace
karmina palace o.k.
karmina palace is allright. food at 2 buffet restaurants fair at carioca good reserve at 4p.m. alcohol best at carioca other places fair. room is excellent. service is good now because things are slow.I stayed there january 24-31-03. 4 stars
Karmina is Great!
We just got back from a 10 day vacation at the Karmina Palace. (Feb. 27 - Mar. 9) We had been a bit worried by some of the negative comments on this site - however none of them were true!! The property itself is absolutely beautiful and extremely well cared for. The gardeners and pool cleaners were out each morning, and kept the grounds immaculate. The eight pools that meandered through the property were clean, but a little too cold for me - yet my husband found them "refreshing" in the 90 degree weather! Our Royal Club suite on the 7th floor had a breath-taking view of the bay. The suite was large, clean, decorated in typical tropical resort fashion. Huge bathroom, nice ammenties, stocked bar fridge (pop and water). We had a massage on the beach (there are private palapas with open sides to view the ocean) that rated as one of the best massages I've ever had! Meals in all three restaurants were fine - we didn't go expecting 5 star cuisine, after all, this was Mexico! But we were not disappointed at all - everything was well prepared. Dinners at Carioca were very nice, the setting is beautiful. We had a very romantic dinner "on the point"- a secluded area for 2. The wait staff catered to our every need. We did go out for dinner a couple of times - once to L'Recif ( a 20 minute cab ride) and possibly one of the best restaurants in the area. The food, wine and view were outstanding! We also ate at Toscana ( 5 min. by cab). They have excellent seafood - we had fresh lobster and langostinos - delish, and highly recommended! Would I go back to the Karmina Palace? Absolutley! We have stayed at the Marriott Casa Magna Resort (5 star) in Puerto Vallarta many times, and we thought it was great. The Karmina Palace was way better! We're already planning our next trip!
Very Nice Resort
Karmina Palace features wonderful facilities. Lobby and rooms were very upscale. Marble floors, large beds, etc. Grounds were very nice with plenty of trees.
I took the advice of a previous reviewer and requested the 4th floor or above. I agree. The higher the better. You will be treated to a better view and be further away from any hotel noise.
This is a fairly large resort. Brush up on your Spanish... you'll want to use it. At least try! Most folks speak some English or will try, but their initial greeting to you will be in Spanish.
Food was good - but as with any place serving this many people they have to be creative. The restaurants are as formal or informal as you let them be. Make sure to make a reservation for the nice place overlooking the bay! No shorts there.
We often had to go get our own drinks and sometimes there was a line, but a tip or two and some friendly banter go along way.
Plan to kayak. Plan to walk along the beach outside of the resort. Take a drink with you!
Take the 'bicycle tour' if you want a good view... but be prepared to ride up a few hills and test your cardiovascular system! Take the cab to Play Audiencia. Take a boat tour of the bays! Great.
Evening dinner and shows were ok. Fiesta night food was great. Wish we could have stayed longer.
Not so great
The Karmina Palace grounds and rooms are magnificent but the food and service for drinks are very poor. The buffet had lots of choice but for North Americans the choice was limited. I think they have to cater a little more to our tastes. Also the food sat for too long a time in a hot climate. We also had difficulty securing a safety deposit box. We would not have minded so much it the staff had been straight forward with us and told us they were not available but they kept telling us to return in a few hours and we did this for several days. It was not until we became totally exasperated that one became available. In connection with the drinks one should be aware that the drinks are non-alcoholic unless you specify tha t that is what you wish. We had a great holiday because we were with our family but we were disappointed because the hotel does not deserve a 5* designation and we were expecting luxury!!
Great Resort, Beautiful Grounds
We just returned from Manzanillo and the Karmina Palace. This is the second time we have stayed there. The rooms are spacious and clean and the beds are comfortable. We have travelled to many places in Mexico and the carribean and this is the first place we have stayed at twice. We found the food to be satisfactory. The breakfasts are great! The supper at the Carioca restaraunt was also very good. We ate there 3 times and had a different menu every night. The Mahi Mahi is excellant!!. The lunches at the grill, we thought were just fine, of course we didn't try the whole fish either but we found alot of guests really enjoyed it.
We were at the Karmina during the earthquake and I can't say enough about the staff there. They were very helpful and did everything to keep people calm and informed as to what was happening. We were told it was one of the safest buildings to be in and that it exceeded earthquake standards. Most of the guests slept outside that night, fearing another earthquake and the staff provided bedding, candles, cribs for the babies, etc. Everyone helped each other.
When we were at the Karmina 3 years ago, the guests were mostly Canadians and Americans. Since 9/11 we were told that travel to mexico has dropped dramatically. The week we were there the Karmina was at 20% occupancy and Las Hadas was at 12%, but on the weekend it was at full occupancy. I guess they were offering weekend deals to the locals. We love Manzanillo, the weather is always great. The earthquake was very scary and we will probably go back but not for awhile. We always meet such nice people when we are there.
Know what you're looking for..
My wife and I had an excellent time at Karmina Palace. (Feb 15-22, 2003).We wanted 'down-time' and that's what we got. If your idea of a vacation in Mexico is to not sit still, perhaps Manzanillo is not your best destination.As stated many times, the hotel, grounds, people and entertainment were great. The food was typical "Mexican trying to cater to the meat and potatoes crowd". You have to go to Mexico (all-inclusives)expecting this. Learn what the star rating system is.The more ammenities, the more stars. It's not necessarily the difference between Motel 6 and having your bed turned down at night with a chocolate on the pillow. I've stayed at 2 star hotels and the food is the same. The best food is going out to the little authentic Mexican places cooking authentic Mexican food.. It's cheap and fun.If you're looking for the Westin or Hyatt-type hotels/vacation - forget it. Stay in the US or Canada. If you don't want to experience life a little (try ethnic food, speak a few words of a different language, do a little exploring, chill out and smile once in a while), then stay home. We met great people from US, Canada and Locals. We ate like pigs, drank like fish, beached like whales and laughed like hyenas. We didn't get sick and never did without for a moment. I'd recommend Karmina to those who have kids under 10 and/or those who want to just relax. Your trip to Mexico will be whatever you want it to be.J&L
Don't believe the bad reviews... it was great
I have to admit I was worried to go on my trip after reading so many terrible reviews on this website. I'm not quite sure what these people were talking about, but we had a great time at the resort and thought it was wonderful. The rooms were lovely and big, with a really nice huge bathroom, tub, and shower, and two vanities. We had a gorgeous view of the ocean, and it looked like most every room would have a good view, although if you are lower than about 4th floor, the view may be blocked a little or a lot by all the beautiful palm trees on the grounds. There are 7 floors, so I would ask for a higher one if available. Also, the beach is a little cove that is kind of protected. It was very pleasant swimming here, and if you really want a treat, use the free snorkel equipment they have and look around right there... there are literally thousands of colorful fish, sea urchins, and beautiful coral to look at and you won't suspect it. The salt water makes you very bouyant so you don't even need a life vest and you will float easily. There are three restaurants at the resort. Depending on how full the resort is, not all of them are always open. However, we nearly always went to Bougambilias for their breakfast buffet... excellent made-to-order eggs and omelets if you don't care for the other selections. Lunch was always at The Grill... also a buffet which always has mexican and american choices including burgers & fries for any non-adventurous types. There was always some type of wonderful grilled meat like chicken or beef. We had no problems getting reservations for Carioca's (the nice restaurant) for supper. You have to go to the desk in the lobby at 4pm (be a little early) and make reservations for that evening's meal. They have a lot of gourmet things on the menu, so you may find some things you like and some things you can't stand... you can order whatever you like, so order a salad, an appetizer, a soup, and a main course. If you don't like something, just set it aside and ene we were there, simply to have something different. I would highly recommend L'Recif. You can get there by taxi and the view is awesome. The chateaubriand for two is excellent.. it is kind of like a prime rib stuffed with shrimp and wrapped in bacon and two people split it. Also, the Caesar salad for two is marvelous and they make it from scratch right in front of you. I think for my husband and I our whole dinner was 60 dollars (600 pesos). Your taxi will likely wait while you have dinner. Mexican dinners usually last 2 hours or so, so don't be in any hurry as things are nice and relaxed... enjoy the view! The snorkel tours through the hotel are nice and are around 38 dollars. They also have scuba trips. I hear the kids club is great, but couldn't tell you much about that. We hung out most nights at the shows (which were fun) and then afterward at the gameroom which has a bar and a free pool table. Air hockey and video games are 5 pesos (50 cents), so try to keep your change, cuz they don't always have change at the front desk or at the bar. And, tips are not "required" at the resort... but we did give tips to waiters and bartenders who went out of their way for us, and we found they would treat us great everytime we returned. And, knowing just a little spanish is always a nice touch... you can at least try. Please, have a great time... we did!
My boyfriend and I have been to some beautiful places, but this one takes the cake!! We stayed for eight days and we enjoyed everyone of them. The staff was attentive, especially in the "Adult pool section", the shows were very good, the food was okay, they serve a lot of fish! The rooms and the grounds are breath taking, Boganvilla everywhere. Made service and room service were also excellent, they always made sure you had what you needed and with a smile. We found that most of the staff knew minimal Eniglsh, but it was enough to get them by with the guests and if you know Spanish they will try to communicate with you as long as you are comfortable doing so. They even will teach you a word or two if your intersted. The weekends are busier the the locals, but we didn't feel any less important then them. I do NOT recommend the shopping and city tour. They charge $20.00 US and it is worth about $2.00. You are better off tkaing a taxi to the mall and walking the streets from there, you will find more things!! Downtown Manzanillo is nothing to see, so don't waste your money. All in all we had a great time, enjoyed mostly everthing about it, and even made a few friens along the way!!
Spent a wonderful week at KP. Absolutely an effortless holiday. Beautiful spacious rooms and hotel and lovely grounds. Very good quality food (if somewhat bland) and good friendly service from the staff. 2 minor drawbacks - the small beach at the resort (although there are other beaches, including ones on either side) and the relative lack of things to do in the Manzanillo area. I would go again tomorrow. I plan on going again next year.
Karmina is Good Karma
We just got back from Karmina today. It was great. The rooms were huge and well appointed. With a wonderfully huge bath tub for soaking in. Bring your favorite bubble bath although the hotel provides great stuff too. The housekeeping staff was very accomodating bringing us extra towels and keeping our fridge stocked with diet pepsi. The pool and beach area were perfect for our family of five with children aged 3, 7, 9. They enjoyed plaing in the sand, snorkeling, boogieboarding, the pools and water slide, the kids activity center and the entire activity team. The one draw back was it got too cold in the evening for the water to really heat up. The food was good and plentiful - available from 7 am until 11:30 pm at the restaurants with 24-hour room service. Everything was truly all-inclusive --- NO HIDDEN CHARGES. People speak mostly Spanish but really make an effort for non-Spanish speakers. But, hey... this is MEXICO ... their language is Spanish, there food is Mexican. I was bit taken aback by some of the reviews on this web site about how they need to cater to North Americans. Karmina caters to everyone, but it is in Mexico ... If you are looking for McDonald's and TJI Fridays you're better off staying in the States. As for me and my family, we loved meeting people from Mexico and different countries as well as feeling we truly were on vacation in another country. If you want a luxury "international" vacation give Karmina a whirl. We would definately go back.
A unattractive view Manzanillo out the main square