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Reviewed 17 July 2006

Not the best hotel choice

Room: The room was not comfortable. Bed was on a board which made it rock hard, pillows were hard too. Felt like stuff with old hard towels. Never received a full set of towels and had to ask for more towels almost daily. Only received 2 bottles of drinking water in room and had to keep refilling everyday or had to buy from small store on site. The room was extremely cold even on the lowest A/C setting. Room faced construction which kept our two toddlers amused. Didn't want to switch rooms for fear that we wouldn't have hot water as we overheard that other guests had this problem. Had to pay for the room safe. We wound up not using it because there was an additional charge.

Pools: Had to get pool chairs early otherwise you were lucky to just find one to use. The pools were nice and big and they had lots of activities. The pools were nice and big and they had lots of activities.

Food & Drinks: Food was just okay. Pasta was not good. Good variety and choices. Restaurants didn't open for dinner until 6:30 and our toddlers usually couldn't wait until then to eat. While at the pool you either had to wait for someone to come by to get a drink or go get one yourself. Either way you would up waiting and the drinks cups were so small you'd have to get two at a time.

Beach: The beach was beautiful and the lagoon was perfect for our toddlers to go in and play and feed the fish. My sone learned to snorkel in the pool and then was able to go see the fish.

Kids club: We did not use the kids club as our toddler did not want to go. We tried one day and it only lasted an hour. They did have movies and the activities on the schedule were not followed so you had to go check. They had the mini disco for kids nightly at 8:30 pm. One night they had a pinata and our kids were able to go. Othewise they were unable to stay up that late. We only took them one other time and that is because we woke them up to go.

  • Stayed: June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Herbstwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2006

visited for 3 weeks.had a great time this is our second time. still no mini bars in the rooms.
Ramon and Wilbert still there getting ever up to have fun.

Stay away from Gringo Dave's he is a conning american offereing free margaritas that taste awful. Then when you go again he doesn't give you the time of day. He is only happy when you are spending your money in his bar. Watch out for the tortilla chips that they put on your table as you have to pay but they don't tell you this.

Sarah ( the english one) from the A-Team has asked for cadbury's chocolate and walkers crisps please.

7  Thank Jaffacakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Canal Fulton, Ohio
19
Reviewed 17 July 2006

Just returned from staying at the Catalonia. And what a wonderful resort! We travel with friends and among us we have kids ages 10, 14 and 15. They had so much fun snorkeling in the cove. It was so amazing how many fish you could see. It was rocky but that is where the fish hung out and you could snorkel all day long. You could still go out into the ocean but not too far before the rocks got you.
We never had any problem getting a chair around the pool and we were rarely moving before 9:00am. The beach chairs seemed to go faster because there were not as many. There are a total of 4 pools and 1 is more relaxed and for the adults, the kids pool always had activities. They had on both sides water aerobics, stretching, belly dancing, dancing lessons and so much more! Expect to be involved if you go over to the kids pool. The A-team will pull you out and make you participate. Our 14 year old girls learned how to dance the meranga from Monkey Boy!!! You will be able to spot him anywhere! He was great, as were the rest of the A-team. Actually they were all talented, so talented. They would work all day at the resort and then at night they would perform in the shows that they had every night. These shows were awesome, the kids loved them as much as we did. You have to do the shows every night!!!!!!!! A must!!!
The food we never had one single complaint about. Breakfast was buffet and there was soo much to choose from. Lunch we sometimes would go inside because of a break from the heat. But you could also eat at the snack bar which the kids would do all day long, just for snacks. At the indoor restaurant they had buffet and at the snack bar you could get pizza, nachos, hamburger and hotdog. The buffet changed daily so there was always something different. We made reservations for the 3 restaurants when we first arrived, someone on trip advisor reccommended that, i would also reccommend this. All three restaurants were very good. And then we hit the creperie for banana splits everynight!! This is also a must!.. It is only open from 5:00-10:00. You have to squeeze this in between the show that starts at 9:30. The kids hit the disco a couple of nights and they liked that too!
The resort has everything, you really do not have to leave and you will be perfectly occupied every night. Anyone who complained about the food has to be a super picky eater, because you could find something. The fruit was so fresh and they always had a good selection, and they had fresh breads everyday, all day.
The hotel was super clean, you saw people all day long cleaning the beach, the pool, the grounds and so forth. Our room was always clean and they even put towels on our bed in the shape of swans. One night while some of us slept, the men went to the bar by the pool to have a drink and didnt pull the door closed all of the way on their door. Security called their room to ask if they knew that the door was not shut all of the way. They walked the resort all night long! I was very impressed by this.
We really loved the Catalonia and hope to go back soon. None of us wanted to leave. They really have everything, and we looked thru alot of hotels before wel booked this one. Just look at the overall rating, and there are very few complaints about this resort. You can have it all, food, activities, shows, snorkeling, swimming, ice cream, etc. I can't say enough good things. Fantastic!!

  • Stayed: July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Longmont, Colorado
111
Reviewed 16 July 2006

If you travel with children, the Catalonia Hotel is an excellent choice. There are many activities, a varitey of pools, etc., and I was touched to observe how the staff genuinely engages with the children.

As a woman traveling alone, it was also a good resort choice. I have little experience traveling out of my own country, the USA, and have never done so alone before, but found this hotel to feel safe and friendly. The staff were all friendly to me and seemed to appreciate my efforts to speak in Spanish. I only got in trouble when they responded in Spanish! (I only use words I know, but of course, when they reply they use a lot of words I don't know!) My last name is Fox, so there was a lot of joking about if I was a relative of the president of Mexico.

There were more Europeans on the Yucatan side, both in hotel rooms and at the pools, and more Americans and British on the Riviera side, but it didn't matter as you could go anywhere. I enjoyed A-team actiities like dance lessons and exercise classes on both sides, and was amazed at the trilingual ability of much of the staff. They gave all announcements in Spanish, French, and English. Again, if you travel with children, this exposure to a number of different languages and customs is a wonderful education.

DRESS: For American readers, this resort is in Latin America, and the dress code is more formal than Americans are used to. It is appropriate to wear any type of swim wear at the pool and beach, but when you go into the snack bar or restaurant, you are expected to cover up. Women, wear a wrap or skirt. Short shorts are not in keeping with Latin American dress code and it's not ok to go into the food service areas in just your swimsuit. While it's ok to wear tops that are low cut at dining areas, it is important for women to wear clothes that cover hips and thighs. At the three restaurants where you need a reservation, dress up a bit. Men are requested to wear button down shirts and long pants to these restaurants. Women, nice dress or skirt and shoes.

TIP: When you arrive at the airport in Cancun, it's a little confusing. After you get your bags, go directly down the hall and outdoors to ground transportation. There are many men in the hallway who will approach with offers to help you find your way, but who are representatives of resorts or time shares, and want to offer you a gift for going to look at their resort. Just keep going until you get outdoors. There are bellmen associated with the airport who will help you with bags, but as a newbie, I found it difficult to tell who was who at first, and got roped into a conversation by a resort salesman before I got it figured out.

TIP: If you have a suitcase lock, you can save $3/day for renting a room safe.

TIP: If you go to bed early, consider earplugs. My first room was near the theater and bar, and very noisy. My last night at the hotel was interrupted at 2:00 in the morning by a group returning from the disco into the rooms below me and being very loud, laughing, slamming doors, etc. I suspect the Yucatan side is better behaved, but be prepared for noise if you are not a night owl.

OBSERVATION: This is the first time in my life I have seen the sun and moon RISE over the ocean. All my other ocean experience has been on the Pacific, where I saw the sun and moon SET over the ocean. What a delightful difference to note.

ACTIVITY: Snorkeling opportunities abound. A trip to Akamal is fantastic to see the sea turtles, whether you go on a guided group trip or go there on your own. Lovely beach. It is a wildlife preserve, and you are asked to use only biodegradable sunscreen or else wear a t-shirt instead of using sunblock. There are other great snorkel places, too, like Yal-Ku and the various cenotas.

WATER: Hotel water is purified, ok to drink. If you take your own water bottle you can fill it up at any of the bars or at the buffet restaurants. Or, you can use the water bottle the hotel provides and keep refilling it. Make sure to drink plenty of water.

Have a great trip!

  • Stayed: July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2006

Wow!! I am not sure I can possibly say all the things that I loved about this resort. My husband and I travelled with our 2 children (14 & 7). I have never felt more relaxed. I will return to this resort every possible chance.

TIPPING: We took $75 in singles for 6 days of tipping. That was money well spent. I found that bartenders are NOT "tipped out" by that wait staff at the end of an evening. I recommend that you find the bartender that made the drinks that your waiter brought to you and tip the bartender also. Don't get me wrong, tipping is not expected but well appreciated. I found that $2 at a bar for the day kept my children with all the drinks they could ask for before they could ask. I was impressed that there are no tip jars anywhere within the resort. They do not pressure you for a tip, nor do they neglect you if you do not tip. Housekeeping will keep you well stocked for a couple of dollars each day.

FOOD: I was perfectly happy with the food. My thought is that you can't please all of the people all of the time, but the staff tries really hard to please everyone all of the time. The Bambolea Grill for dinner was my favorite. The food and atmosphere were great, but the drinks were the BEST there. If you can't be pleased with dinner visit the Ice Cream Parlor. You are bound to be all smiles when you leave there.

ROOMS: I had no complaints about rooms. They were simple, but always perfectly clean. The resort had SO much to offer that we did not see our room very often.

STAFF: What can you say about staff members falling over themselves to help you or see if you need something? Every staff member that I met on the walkway greeted me so politely. We did not lift a finger to do a thing all week. My daughter did fold our dirty towels before houesekeeping came each day because she thought they worked to hard.

POOLS/BEACH: The pools were great (everything seems great when you have a swim up bar supply top notch liquor). Beach was clean, just a bit rocky. Snorkelling was my son's favorite event daily (feed the fish from the rocks with bananas and you will get great underwater pictures) How can anyone complain about R&R by the pool or beach with an unlimited supply of drinks at no cost?

MARINA/PUERTO AVENTURAS: I loved being so close to such a small town (10 minute walk). We were well away from the busy tourist area and it felt great to walk around so safely in such a great little community. Dolphin Swim for $100 was GREAT.

GENERAL: Our stay was during the week and we had almost no problems with topless sunbathing. We brought the insulated mugs and were glad that we did. They gladly filled them up and we took them on excursions away from the resort and saved money on drinks. Power outages were a minimal inconvenience, but I do recommend the flash light.

SUMMARY: I loved every minute of our stay at the resort. My children were perectly safe at every moment and I never think my children are safe from harm. We will return to this resort again.

  • Stayed: June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17  Thank Melanie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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