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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Ranked #45 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 26 August 2009

We were looking for a quiet, adults only atmosphere and were very happy with the results. I believe we were the only English speaking guests staying there this week, but it didn’t bother me. All guests and staff were friendly and helpful with my broken Spanish.

Grounds are great - especially on the regular side.

Rooms – We stayed in the junior suite in Bldg 40 which is about ½ ways between the beach and the Main building. I had called guest services 1 day ahead for a dehumidifier and to make sure the a/c worked properly. Both were taken care of by the time of our arrival. The room was clean and fresh flowers were provided every day. The buildings are 14 years old and I believe the décor is a little dated, but it did not bother us at all. No drawers for your clothes, but the closet is large, has 10 hangers and many shelves. Many bath towels were provided and 2 large beach towels were provided daily. The bed was hard and no mattress pads are available, but not after a long day of hanging out at the beach or pool, the rest and air conditioned room was welcome. The toilet was slow to recover after flushing and the phone message system did not work, otherwise the room was perfect. The shower was strong and we were able to get plenty of hot water.
Beach – the private beach was wonderful. No problem finding beach front seating. No problem with people “saving” their spot with towels or other such rudeness. 50/50 on topless folks but no one seemed to be bothered. The snorkeling was wonderful .
Pools – we went to the infinity pool a few times. No problems getting a chair under an umbrella. It was harder to get chairs under the white shades, but not impossible. Only tougher because folks were actually there and using them. No “saving” with towels. Pool was very nicely maintained – we really enjoyed it.
Restaurants – No reservations needed except at the Japanese restaurant.
Royal Side – Thelassa and the Tapas restaurant were both top notch on food, presentation and service for dinner. Thelassa is also open for lunch and breakfast. Breakfast was wonderful – eggs or hot sandwiches to order and a buffet. For lunch, it is a la carte every other day with outdoor bbq & buffet on the opposite days. We tried both and both were excellent. There is also another restaurant at the beach/pool – Sea Blue – open for lunch only. It’s a la carte sandwiches and a few salads. The service and food were very good. My only “complaint” was that there was random reinforcement of the closed shoes for men rule. I believe it should be all or nothing – allow sandals or don’t, but be consistent. However, over all the staff was extremely kind and friendly.
There is a piano bar on the Royal side open during the day and evening. Its air conditioned and the staff is very kind and friendly. A piano player comes on Wednesday and Saturday evenings and on the other nights there is a flat screen TV playing HTV (like MTV for Spanish videos). Wonderful drinks and service. Would like to see the piano player more frequently.

Ordered Room service - would like to see them expand their menu to include the pizza and chicken - currently only sandwiches.

Regular Side – In general, the service on the regular side was nowhere near that of the Royal side but was fine.
Italian restaurant – food was ok but serving size was small and service was terrible.
Mexican restaurant – food was very good and service was very good.
American Steak restaurant – food was good but appetizers were very small and the waiter seemed confused that we wanted both an appetizer and a salad. He said, “Americans…” Also, he did not want to provide butter for the baked potatoes and finally I asked for butter for the rolls. Service was not great but food was good.
Japanese restaurant – didn’t eat there
Main Buffet – ate there the first night around 9pm – the food was average but refills on water, drinks, etc was bad. We later discovered that 9pm is the main time when the Europeans eat and so it was the busiest time. Also ate there one morning for breakfast – I recommend this if you like a big variety of choices. There are many stations with things being cooked to order at all meals. This restaurant is not air conditioned.
Pool Snack – We ate lunch there twice. They have rotisserie chicken, pizzas, hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, etc. This was a great option when you just wanted to hang out and have a quick lunch. Everything is self service but it was fine. Careful as it is slippery.
Highly recommend this resort, especially for the value!

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Luvvaca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 August 2009

We loved the Catalonia Royal Resort. We found the atmosphere to be very relaxed, calm and quiet. The pools and beach areas were never crowded as it is a small resort. We never had a problem finding a palapa on the beach. The regular side was far more crowded. The staff was friendly, the service was impeccable; they would always go out of their way to help you, and they made a point to remember you. There was great snorkeling right on-site; make sure to bring your own snorkel mask & tube.

The food at the Thalassa was absolutely amazing, as was the service. We ate at every ala carte restaurant except for the Japanese. The only one we liked was the Mexican; their food was awesome. If you want a change of pace for food (off of the Royal side), the beach buffet on the regular side was pretty good for lunch, and the main buffet on the regular side had far more choices for breakfast. Other than that, don’t bother with the food on the regular side.

The rooms were lovely and spacious. The landscaping on the grounds were the prettiest on the regular side. If you stay here, make sure you walk through the middle of the grounds on the regular side between buildings where there are ponds and gorgeous landscaping. There are lots of places for taking beautiful pictures.

We spent the first 7 nights of our vacation on the regular side and then upgraded for the last 5 nights to the royal side to see if it was worth the price difference. We liked the regular side, but we loved the royal side. It was well worth paying for the upgrade. We especially appreciated the better food on the royal side, as we didn’t care for much of the food on the regular side. We enjoyed the atmosphere of quiet elegance, which was quite relaxing.

Here is a tip that I wish I would have known. You can use the little catamarans for free, but we didn’t know how to sail and were nervous to try. The day before we left, we found out that we could have paid $25 for someone to teach us. By this time, it was too late to reserve a spot. If we would have known, we would have done this at the beginning of our stay, so we could have used these for free during the rest of our stay. As it was, we never used one.

We took 4 tours: Saona Island, Bavaro Runners, Bavaro Splash, and Santo Domingo. All of the tours were excellent. The Bavaro Splash was the best snorkel tour we’ve ever taken. Our guide took pictures of us snorkeling from under the water with our camera. They fed the fish and gave us food to feed the fish, so there were always a lot of fish around.

We would go back in a heartbeat if we liked visiting the same place more than once. However, there is too much in the world to see to go back to the same place twice, so we probably won’t go back. We would go back to the DR though, maybe Puerto Plata or Samana next time. We enjoyed the culture in the DR; the people were happy, friendly, outgoing, and always smiling.

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank craigsuem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 August 2009

We stayed four nights and had a great experience. The rooms are huge and include a balcony with hammock, king-sized bed, large tub in the main room plus shower in the bathroom, flat-screen TV.

The food and service were largely great, and the staff was friendly. We were able to check in early and check out late with no problem or fees. Beware that many staffers speak very little English, so you'll have to practice your Spanish.

I have a few complaints that knock one star off my review, but these were mostly minor issues. First of all, the pools all close at 6 p.m. It's disappointing that there's no night scene at these cool, luxurious pools with swim-up bars, and it remains hot at night and sometimes you're in the mood for a dip. While generally service was great, the staff took a long time to respond when we had issues in the room -- a broken AC and a broken safe. The beach is very nice, but there's quite a bit of seaweed, and you're only allowed to swim out to about three feet of water. Also, I went on a family vacation with my two adult brothers and mother, but the resort was pretty couples-oriented and romantic, and I wish I had known that.

FYI -- Men need long pants and closed toe shoes (sneakers are fine) for the restaurants.

I've read a few reviews about food poisoning, but none of the four of us had any sort of problems with that. Overall, a great experience.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank chinBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2009

We stayed at Catalonia Royal for 7 nights and choose this hotel because of many positive reviews on tripadvisor. But we were disappointed!
1. Not friendly staff. For the 7 days stay we only once heard 'hola' from the hotel employee, walking by. All others, just kept mortal silence. 99% of the staff DOES NOT speak English!!!
2.Room. Design of the rooms is good but there is no ventilation system neither in the shower nor in the room, so all the possible humidity just accumulates in the room and all the pillows, linen stinks. This smell exists in the rooms permanently and the conditioner does not help to improve the situation.
3.Food and dining. The worst food ever. There is no good chose of food. There are 5 main meals that repeat every day. The Japanese restaurant Micado is the worst Japanese food experience - grey color smelly shrimps, disgusting rice. During breakfast they also served terrible bacon, which consisted 75% of lard. If you would like to order room service menu – you will have only chose of 3 sandwiches and one of them – vegetarian served without bred))) – kind of ‘sandwich’ a la Catalonia. And finally dinner at Cata Tapa restaurant resulted in severe food poisoning. Both we were sick for 3 days, used our medical insurance and the rest of our vacation were on the pills.
4. Beach and the sea. The sand on the beach is white but the servants of the hotel while picking up the glasses with drinks does not bother recycling them but instead they pour the rest of the drinks from the glasses into the sand near sun-beds, where the glass was found. That is why there is a plenty of wasps. The sea is to shallow and we were not enjoying swimming as it was not possible to do this in 30 centimeters deep water. And one more – all the signs in the hotel states – that it is located at the Caribbean Sea – but look at the map – it’s Atlantic Ocean, so if you expect to see amazing Caribbean color of water – you will be disappointed.
5. General impression. The hotel is certainly sucks.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank travelcos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2009

I stay at CRB in June, and it was like been one step above haven, the hotel was very calm, the room was huge and very beautifull. the Thalassa restaurant its very very good ( in all meals). i like also the the rodeo restaurant and the mexicano, the italian and the japanese are not to good. if you are looking for relaxing and peace go to the Catalonia Royal Bavaro.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with friends
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5  Thank Joy_Cardozzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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:
#17 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Green Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#38 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: €183 - €555 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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