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“Another great 2 weeks!!!”

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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Ranked #48 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersGold level
Ottawa, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Another great 2 weeks!!!”
Reviewed 9 March 2012

We visited the Royal Catalonia Bavaro for the third time from Feb. 7 to the 21st. Previously for 2 weeks in 2009 and 2010. We keep going back because we know that the rooms are comfortable, the service excellent, the staff are friendly and helpful, the drinks are wet and wonderful as well as the food for the most part is very, very good. We do not go to the buffet at all, tried the Italian again and were not thrilled with it. Talhassa, Cata Tapa, Sea Blue and Mikado Japanese were all better than ever. Blackened Cuttlefish Spaghetti, Surf and Turf, Crab Cakes, Grouper, wicked Bacon Cheeseburger, etc., etc. The food is awesome!

The first 2 times we visited we had rooms overlooking the pool side of the resort. I had requested the same by email for this trip but when we arrived there was only a room facing the service and walk path between the Royal side and the regular side. It was fine as in truth the path is quiet, the palm fronds were approaching our balcony and in the end, you're not supposed to spend a lot of time in your room anyway.

We don't spend much time at the beach but it is lovely. Yes, there is seaweed which gets cleaned every day. You are next to the ocean!! The pools are very nice. The pool with the swim up bar can get noisy. The infinity pool is quieter if the main pool gets rowdy and you want more quiet.

What people need to know and realize about this place is that it definitely is a 5 Star. Just that it is a Caribbean 5 Star. It's not Toronto or New York folks, it is the Dominican Republic. Relax and enjoy. Give this resort a try and have a great time!!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 14 March 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for visiting us for the third time. We are flattered to receive your review on TripAdvisor, and your excellent score of our services.

We are delighted to offer a consistent and valuable service for you throughout the years.

Thank you again for recommending us, and providing such honest comments.

Kindest regards.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
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Sherbrooke, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2012

Hi,
first, let me say that my wife and I travel to an all inclusive resort each year (sometimes twice a year), and that I do my home works before booking a resort. I don't purchase a vacation based on the price vs number of stars. I look at the top X hotels for each destinations, read countless reviews, then choose the resort that seem to best fit our needs and look for a good deal afterwards...
I read many negative reviews about the Catalonia Royal, most of which were about the rooms, the service and the food. If you did the same, then you probably realized that the complaints about the food were way ,way outranked by the good comments about the same aspect of this resort (I will get back to the food aspect later), and that the ones about the service were often made by people who said that the employees hid behind the language barrier. If you ask me, when you go to a Spanish speaking country, you HAVE to expect them to speak Spanish... Most people do not realize that, but this resort welcomes Italians, Germans, French, Portuguese, Americans (we even say Chinese speaking people there...) they just CAN'T speak every language. Some might say : Well, not all, but at least English! Why, oh God why on earth English before any of the others? In any case, We managed to get everything we wanted every time. Only once we had a waiter who did not speak any English or French, but still managed to get what we wanted. He was funny, and realized that it was not easy for us to get by in Spanish, but he tried very hard, and finally understood everything we ordered. (His name was Domingo from the Mexican Restaurant). Last aspect of the many negative reviews is about the rooms (outdated and smelly). We got a room in one of the older building, and it was just fine. We were prepared for the bad smell, and had brought an air freshener. We were immediately struck by the smell in the room, but it disappeared as soon as we opened the balcony door. We did plug the air freshener, but really only because we brought it along. Granted, my jacket smelled damped when I put it on when I got back, but then again this only lasted 2-3 minutes...

Well I sure hope this put everything in perspective, now let’s begin with my review of this hotel.
Check-in : We got there very early, and were very disappointed to learn that our room would not be ready before 3 p.m. This is the very first time this happens to us, and we did not really know how to deal with this. It was only 1 p.m. , and we had hoped to enjoy the beach and the sea on our very first afternoon. We asked if there was a place we can put on our bathing suits, and let our luggage, and they accommodated us, showing the lobby rest rooms, and assuring us that we could let the luggage with them. So we put on our bathing suits, and went off to the beach. We looked around to familiarize ourselves with the resort, took a couple of beers at the beach, and first thing we knew, it was 3 o’clock. I must say, I would still have preferred getting my room right away, but there really wasn’t much they could do as the hotel was at full capacity the whole time we were there.
Beach : The beach is magnificent. There are a lot of palapas, a lot of royal palms, and a lot (really a lot) of loungers. You could get a place in the sun, or under the shade any time of the day. Of course, you couldn’t get the first row of palapas if you got there past 9am, but then, this is true of any resort. We went to the beach every day, and had a great place every day. We tend to get up late when we are on vacation so we got to the beach at about any time of the day, and still get very good places. As I said, there really are a lot of loungers. There are a lot of seaweeds, but they clean the beach about 10 times everyday…
Sea: The sea is warm a nice turquoise color, and there are tons of fishes to look at around the cement tube. I went scuba diving in front of the resort only and could see tons of different fishes. I even saw a lionfish (my first) and a ray (also my first).
Pools : We are not pool people, and only went at the end of each day to take the sand, and salt of our bodies. We liked the one with the wet bar as it was closer to our room, and got places there every afternoon without too much trouble. I have to say though that the loungers are not as common around the pools as they are on the beach. I realize we were lucky to get a place every time. This might be a problem for pool people.
Rooms : The rooms are lovely (even the entry level one we got). The bed is huge, the bath room is fine. There is a bath large enough for 2 people. We did notice lower pressure in the shower once while we were there, and the A/C breaker jumped once. (the A/C was on the same circuit as the refrigerator) Nothing to complain about as the breakers were accessible, and the water pressure came back within about 20 minutes. As I was in the first building, I even had WIFI right in my room. (BTW, they say that you get WIFI in your room, but that’s only true if you are very near the lobby).
Grounds : Everything is well kept, and though not as luxurious as we have experienced at some places, everything is beautiful.
Buildings : They were constantly maintaining the buildings while we were there : painting/ doing repairs etc… So everything is quite in shape… Surely not worst than other DR properties we visited. I must admit, they do not have the same construction norms as we have here in Canada, but I’ve seen much worst.
Food : Ahhh! Food is one of the aspects we research the most before booking a resort, and I must insist here. The food is very good. In fact, it ranges from very good to Excellent. The most amazing thing here is that you do not need reservation to ANY of the restaurants, so if you really don’t like your meal, you can always go to another restaurant the same night. There are 7 choices of restaurants, but we only went to 5 as the menu of the Italian was not to our taste, and because we just HAD to go back to the Japanese and the Sea Blue. We did not enjoy our meal at the Capatapa restaurant, but that is only a matter of opinion as everything was tasty, and well presented. The Mexican restaurant is very good if you like that kind of cuisine. The tepan yaki (Japanese) was also very good, plus you get the show. I very much enjoyed my meal at the steak house, but my wife didn’t like the restaurant. It is more like a sports restaurant. (I think it is a restaurant designed by a guy, for guys…) My favorite was defenetly the Seablue. It is a grill by the beach, and they have Lobster. The lobster is excellent, and there is something quite magical about eating right by the sea… This is also where we ate all of our lunches. We never went to the buffet. The lunch selection is very large, and while it is Bistro style, and not fine cuisine, I could eat something different every day, and everything was very good. BTW, I gained 8 pounds on this trip. 
Service : Like everywhere, there are good waiters, and bad waiters. When we had good waiters, we gave tips, and when we got bad ones, we didn’t. Just like you would at home. I found that tipping helped in the fact that the good waiters would recognize us, and try to give sustained good service afterwards… I don’t think tipping bad waiters would have helped.
One last thing I must say. I became a fan of the Catalonia Hoteles FaceBook page, and I was supposed to get personalized check-in with a free gift (t-shirt). Never got any of those… The t-shirt arrived the day I left (too late for me to get). This is by no mean a deal breaker, but I thought I had to mention it.

Overall : This is a great hotel, with a great location, great beach, great food, great people, and great everything. If the price is right, do not hesitate to go. Have I had better? Yes, but not often, and I would still go back in a heartbeat if the price was right.

Hope this helps.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
18 Thank QuebecFrank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 14 March 2012
Dear Guest,

We appreciate your time invested in your review, is very important for us to receive your comments on TripAdvisor. Thank you for giving us such an excellent score.

Your detailed review about our services is fundamental. We are aware we were able to create an unforgettable vacation with our friendly staff and accommodations. As well for to take note of the details in which you point us to improve.

One more time thank you very much, receive warm regards from Catalonia Royal Bavaro.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
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Ottawa, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2012

We had a good time. The staff are wonderful and the food is good, especially at the Tatapa restaurant. My only advise is, stay away from the Dune buggy tour as this is a real tourist trap at his best.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank johanne386
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 14 March 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for posting your comment on TripAdvisor.

We are delighted to receive your kind words about our staff and facilities.

We look forward to welcome you back in the near future.

Best regards.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beaverdam, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2012

Anyone giving this resort a poor review is either too picky, or more likely, out of their mind. My wife and I went there from June 26-July 2 2011. We literally had our wedding, stayed up all night (the wife napped), and headed straight to the DR. We took the short trip from the airport with a shuttle and got the resort mid-afternoon. We were greeted at the door with friendly staff, and the front desk was great. We had a cool drink, rode the golf cart to our room, and got ready to enjoy our honeymoon. From there, we had a great time the entire way. We went to the pool bar (closed at 4) and were immediately hooked even though we only had an hour or so. We hung out that night after going to the tapas restaurant. We ordered a bottle of champagne ( didn't realize they had house champagne which is included) but we weren't upset at all. Food was great, and we were ready for the rest of the week. We ordered room service the first night, but fell asleep before it got there. We called the froth desk as soon as we realized because we felt bad to make sure that the server received a tip. Quick tip if you vacation here: tips aren't mandatory, but it makes you feel good and the staff truly appreciates it and will serve you accordingly. Here is an overview of key points of our trip: The best bartender in the place is Luis. He is friendly, attentive, and makes a mean Coco Loco ( best drink for day drinking at the pool bar). Andes is great as well, as were all of the staff. Our favorite restaurant was the japanese because hibachi plus wine is a grea time; however, this is on the bavaro side and you must get there early enough to get reservations. On the royal side, we enjoyed all of the food. Thallassa was a hidden gem that we learned about late in the game due to a poor review from a guest the first night. We recommend it for all meals, especially breakfast, but the room service breakfast is great as well. Sea blue on the water is good for a quick snack at lunch. We even spent extra money for the romantic dinner on the beach. We had a horrible thunderstorm and got stuck on the beach alone. However, the staff was amazing and helped us get inside catatapas and we had a great honeymoon memory as a result. We are headed back may 1-9 of this year with more friends. We are especially excited to take them on the saona island catamaran excursion, which was fantastic to see different parts of the island. Overall, we had a fantastic trip and would recommend it to anyone. Can't wait to be back!

Room Tip: Anything near the pool bar, for rum drinks and Caribbean music with Luis.
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank HoneymoonHokies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 14 March 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you for choosing Catalonia Royal for your special HoneyMoon vacation.

It was our pleasure to welcome you, and create the unforgettable holidays you were looking for.

Thank you for recommending us on trip Advisor. It’s wonderful to read what a pleasant time
you had spend with us

Thank you for deciding to visit us again in may! Receive warm regards.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
blackburn
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2012

My partner and I enjoyed a weeks holiday from 28th Feb 2012. We arrived to a welcome drink ,check in was quick and easy we booked with Thomson Holidays, and was provided with rum and fruit in our room. We stayed in room 4230 the second floor facing the spa and near to the pool with the swim up bar. The food in the main restaurant, Thallassa was our favourite for breakfast, lunch and evening meal, The Tapas was very good too. the snack bar near to the beach was also good, I tried the calamari in batter and my partner the burger which we both enjoyed. The service at the bars is good too, some people liked to tip as they order drinks using 1 dollar bills, we prefer to tip at the end of our hol depending on the service we got.Let me say though that the service was no different wether you tipped or not, I would recommend taking US dollars instead of pesos.The hotel next door is worth a look even if its just for a stroll in the evening the food at the restuarants is not as good and the service no where near as good as the royal side. The beach is lovely there have men clearing sea weed in the mornings ,you also have staff waiting on so you dont have to leave your sun lounger, the cockails and drinks at this hotel are very good, the wine flows at meals times too. All in all this was a very chilled out relaxing hol, just what we needed, the staff are really good nothing is too much trouble for them. The rooms are spacious if I could be a little critical, we think they could do with a little make over. The mini bar was stocked ,the towels always changed, The beds are huge and comfy! if you dont want disturbing just put your sign on the door. We had no musty smells, no insects, as after reading some of the reviews, I was a little nervous,about coming to the royal catalonia, but we had a great, relaxing week, we ate great food, drank nice wine, and couldnt fault the service we received, the staff look like they are actually enjoying working, with always a smile and a hola for everyone.

Room Tip: most of the private pool rooms are overlooked
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank xenaboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 14 March 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your excellent score of our services. Your kind comments and remarks of our facilities assure us you have enjoyed completely your vacation stay at Catalonia Royal Bavaro.

It’s wonderful that you found in our Resort the relaxing ambiance you expected to fulfill your holidays.

Warmest regards.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Property: Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Address: Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana 837, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#28 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): €€
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Catalonia Royal Bavaro 4.5*
Number of rooms: 255
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy the authentic Caribbean at an exclusive, adults-only resort. Its small details make big your stay and the personalized service you receive will make you feel as if you were in heaven. Exclusive suites, innovative restaurants, dreamlike swimming pools…relax in this tropical paradise and enjoy the best vacation you’ve ever had. Have an extraordinary experience, and leave the worrying to us; we’ll take care of you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Royal Bavaro Hotel Punta Cana
Catalonia Royal Bavaro Punta Cana
Royal Catalonia Bavaro

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