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Catalonia Riviera Maya
Ranked #8 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 13 April 2010

Four people travelled to this hotel Mar 27-Apr 10. We decided to upgrade when we arrived which out us on the RM side, instead of the Yucatan, which we had originally booked. This gave us a nicer room, with a mini fridge and coffee maker and a lovely bathroom with a great shower. We do, actually, spend a fair amount of time in our room in the evenings after dinner, enjoying each other's company, since we rarely get to spend long evenings together. I couldn't imagine running for water everyday and not having coffee in the early morning hours. There was a snack bar that was hit or miss for coffee and pastries early, but luckily we could fall back on our own if all the carafe's were empty, or non-existant, which they were, more often than not.
Service was, for the most part, pretty good at the front desk, restaurants and bars. We called for an extra blanket and they were really fast. We asked to have our ground floor room sprayed after seeing an unwelcome guest and they were right on that too. Getting water and coffee in the buffets was often a wait, but whatever. We don't freak out over stuff like this. The food was quite good everywhere, the drinks were awesome.
The beach is nice, just what I had expected from the pictures. It's small but adequate. The lagoon side is good too, lots of kids, as it's calm for them.
The spring breakers the second week, from Spain, were very loud, but amusing. I don't think the families were very impressed. There were 170+ of them, and they certainly made themselves known!
I can't comment on the entertainment, as we always retire to our deck after an early dinner since we are up at 5:30 to watch the sun come up, so beautiful!
Location is very good, close to Playa, close to the Marina.
We went to Tulum ruins and from there, a short walk down the road to beautiful Paraiso beach for the day where we hung out at the Paraiso Beach Club. Awesome beach! We went to Coba for the day and it was a fantastic journey. Cozumel snorkelling was also great and had a wonderful massage on the Cozumel beach.The mighty fishermen had a great day on their own boat and caught a sailfish, a small tuna and a white marlin. Incredible!!
Now I'm going to sound like a snob. All in all, this was a good resort for the price we paid. I wouldn't go again but will instead continue with adults only themed resorts. We chose this resort based on a budget for other people travelling with us. It seemed like a solid 3.5 star resort, family oriented, ok beach, ok rooms. We knew what it was going in and had a very nice time here. I would certainly recommend this hotel to families or people looking for a good all around resort at a good price.
Let me add, this resort has a 5 star spa, it was gorgeous, the spa pool was totally amazing and the sauna, steam bath and spa showers were fab! The gym was really, really nice too.
Don't forget to tip the people who serve you!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Michelle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 April 2010

I like to research my trips, so spent a lot of time reading these reviews prior to going. So I would like to spend my review time addressing some of the issues raised by other reviewers:
The Beach: The sand here is composed of broken down coral, so there are a variety of particle sizes and sharp fragments (yes I'm a geologist) so it isn't as easy on the feet as nice soft silica sand. We wore Tevas but you can also wear water shoes, otherwise, enter in a less rocky area and swim. This is a limited beach, not a long sandy strand, so if that is problem, chose a different hotel. The swimming is good, with fish for snorkeling, and a man-made lagoon adjacent for smooth water swimming.
The Food: We enjoyed the buffets with lots of fresh fruits and salads. The entree selections varied enough to keep it from being boring. We ate in three "a la carte" restaurants: Japanese was good and entertaining, Mexican was OK but not spectacular, and the Tapas good but not enough for a meal. We are not big "foodies" but if you are, you may need to book a bigger, more expensive hotel.
Drinks: Yes, the drinks are all served in juice sized glasses, but it is no problem to get more if you need more. They also allowed people to bring in their own Big Bubba mugs or whatever you call them, which seemed popular with the Midwest people (US and Canada) who were drinking heavily. Despite some of the prodigious drinking, most seemed to burn out early in the evening so we never saw anyone get overly boisterous. And yes, the drinks were pretty weak, but the big drinkers just pounded it until they got their buzz on anyway.
Tipping: The staff all accepted tips, but never did they stand around with their hands out waiting for it. We tipped $1 or more to most waiters, and few each day for the chambermaids. The staff are always friendly and aim to please, the management must emphasize customer service first and weed out the bad actors.
Hotel Transfer: Our Orbitz package did not come with hotel transfers, it would be $180 RT extra for the two of us. Other here recommended USA Transfers at $115 RT, and so do I. They were on time and provided good comfortable service.
Currency: I converted some money into Pesos before arriving so spent both those and dollars. The economy in this tourist area allows for a dual system, you can pay for pretty much everything in dollars. However, which to use depends on the quoted price because they always get you on the conversion. For example, the current rate is a little more than 12 peso to the dollar. No one gives you that. If the price is originally dollars, and you want to use pesos, they convert at about 13.5 to 1. If the price is pesos and you offer dollars, they convert at 10 to 1. Whatever is in their favor. Using a credit card gets you an extra penalty: we booked an excursion and the price was $69 dollars each. The agent multipled the total times 13.5 and charged my card for that many pesos. In general, things are still pretty cheap so as long as you keep that in mind you are OK.
Buying gasoline: Pemex is a federal monopoly on selling gasoline, so you have no choice but to buy from them and see gringo tourists from miles away. We rented a small car from Blueway at the hotel (negotiable price, by the way), and had to end the trip with the same amount of gas as we started. The little car only used 1/4 tank, so all we needed was at most 3 gallons(12 litres). We pulled into the Pemex station at the entrance to Pto. Av. and it was like a Keystone Cop scene. 5 guys swarmed the car, they agreed to only put in enough gas to get the line over 1/2 tank. You couldn't really see what was going on at the pump, there are no prices you can see. At the conclusion, the Jefe came to my open window and saw that I was pulling some peso bills from my pocket. He gave me the price of 155 peso. I looked down and that was exactly what I pulled from my pocket (he read and added faster than I did). I pretty much laughed and handed him the money, and he had the gall to ask for a tip. So I gave him an extra 10 for his cojones. These guys have this to a science, and the lesson was worth the ripoff.
Excursion: On our rental car day we went to Tulum (too hot) and the lagoon at the end of the Akumal Beach road - which was totally worth it but I recommend getting their early before all the excursion vans show up. A couple days before we went to Chichen Itza, which was worth it despite the long trip (3 hours one way including all the hotel pickups). It was very hot there, but the guide was good and bus comfortable.
Room Upgrade: We did the $15/each upgrade, and felt it was worth it. We were in the newer buildings on the north side, no view but the room and furnishings were nice.
After all that, I recommend highly to those who want to be waited on, eat plenty of relatively health food, and have fun. We met plenty of nice Canadians, English and some Germans, even a few Americans. Is it 5 star, no, but it is certainly a good deal for a 3+ resort. Go again, if we go back to the Riviera Maya, absolutely.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank zibhammad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2010

we just came back from our vacation at Cat and I have to say " we have never had so much fun staying in a resort as much as we did at Cat !! I Have been to a lot of 5 star resorts such as Barcelo , Bahia and ...... and we never had this much FUN! The staff are amazing ,very very friendly . Entertainment and activities all day kept us quite BUSY all !!

we are back and we can't keep our minds off of all the fun we had in there !

The best entertainment team !!!

Mony from Toronto

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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4  Thank TorontoMony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2010

I have stayed in many all inclusive resorts, inlcuding Sandals, which is suppose to be top of the line; Los Cabos; and Cozumel, so have much to compare to. I must say the service here was out of this world - the best I have ever had. The employees were friendly and hard working from the minute you got there. I felt waited on a little too much actually - felt bad cause I could have certainly done some for myself.

The sea life was great if you took the time to explore. The room - we had a standard room and it was comparible to Sandals, which I wasn't real impressed with, but after a day, you over-looked the chipped paint and were so tired from the day, slept like a rock. We were offered a high upgrade at half the price, too, but deferred it on the second day because we didn't wanna pack everything back up and move - seemed like a waste of time, so obviously the room wasn't that bad. They cleaned the room very well every day and we had five people tracking thier sand throughout the room but you couldn't tell after they cleaned. All that fine sand would have taken me weeks to get out of my own house! Tip good - they work hard!

The night life was nice but breezy and chilly. The wind never really seems to stop in Peurto Aventuras - bring your pony tail holders. The kids loved the sports bar at night! That's all they wanted to do. If there is anything you really wanna see at the theater, get there early, cause there is not enough seating, although, reading other reviews, I believe they were about full capacity while we were there.

I loved this resort and when out and about, I missed what I could be seeing there, especially as far as the sea life and so much stuff to discover. We went with two 17 year olds and a 9 year old. They had a great time - never bored at all and always had something on their agenda. However, be very careful sitting around the pool for a whole day - we burnt pretty bad - versus walking around or site seeing. And we did have sunscreen on.

The location: I personally loved the location for what I wanted there. I wanted the kids to see real Mexico, and we were central to everything I wanted to see - Jungle, ruins, cenotes. It was all there. If you are very touristy - you may want Cancun or Playa Del Carmen; however, if you really want a taste of the landscape, culture, and natural bueaty, this location could not be more perfect actually and VERY safe, which counts for a lot when you have children with. The marina in town was great too and I would highly recommend Tulum and also Aktun Chen for zip lining and stuff. We did the dolphin discovery at the marina, and I would NOT recommend this - I thought they got very little for the money you paid and promised free pictures, which was not the case.

Of all the resorts I have stayed at, I have never been met at the entrance like this before nor seen to our every need before as this, and believe me, I have paid for luxury, and thought I had it until I stayed here. Now I feel ripped off!!! You are also treated as good and thoroughly on the way out just as on the way in. I would definitely recommend this resort and would go back, with or without the kids. We all totally loved it.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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11  Thank jessisever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2010

My wife and I just returned from a week at the Catalonia Yucatan. Well, we thought we booked the Catalonia, but ended up with a room on the Riveria Maya side. I can't quite figure out why one side has a four star rating and the other a three star rating. It just seems like one big complex to me, so don't get too worried about which side you are on. In fact, all of the upgrade suites that people talk about are on the Riveria side. Anyways, the good and the bad.
The beach was not that big, somewhat rocky, and sometimes a little bit crowded (at least most of the chairs were reserved with towels by people who would come late in the day), but the water was very pleasant and the snorkeling was excellent!! I would highly recommend bringing your own gear and wondering around the shorelines of the neighbouring resorts. If you don't mind going past the markers, you can spend hours out there seeing hundreds of different types of colorful fish and interesting formations. In fact, we went to Cozumel just for the snorkeling but found it to be much better in the little bay at our resort!
Overall, the food was quite good. Buffet food tends to get bland after a while, but the salads and fresh fruit were always excellent. I loved the cappucino for breakfast! The Tapas restaurant had very tasty food, although not too much of it. The best of the ala carte' s we experienced were the Mexican and the Steak House, which was excellent considering we are used to Alberta beef. Great sweet crepes and milkshakes at the Creperie!!
The service is very friendly, if at times a little bit slow. But hey, who is in a rush anyways?
The gardens around the complex are very pleasant and clean and it is very easy to make your way around. The rooms were quite nice, and they were very clean with air-conditioning that was efficient and effective. I don't know why there are so many complaints about the rooms on this website, but we certainly did not find this to be the case and did not see the need to get an upgrade. The workout gym is small, but is very modern and exceptionally inviting, looking out over a beautiful fountain pool. They even have spin classes in the mornings.
Not so good:
The resort is quite busy (at least when we were there) and tends to be noisy for most of the day as there is always some loud music activity going on. There are often kids running around screaming, or loud groups of drunk people wondering around seemingly unaware that there might be people who don't want to listen to them singing or shouting.
There is no quiet pool adult pool, which other resorts we have been to have. If you like to sleep in, bring ear plugs, because you can start to hear doors slamming and people shouting at around 7:00 a.m. It did tend to quiet down at night, but the calm is always punctuated by people who cannot handle the limitless availability of booze. Our room was overlooking the main pathway to the lobby, so it might be quiter on the backside. In any event, the noise and crowds are not a deal breaker. It is just what we have come to expect at all-inclusives. Overall, I would have to say this resort is pretty good value if you can get a deal and a very enjoyable place to spend the week if you do a few day trips.

Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
9  Thank NoTV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Catalonia Riviera Maya

Address: Avenida Xcacel Lote 1 Plano 2 Manzana 18, Puerto Aventuras 77783, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range: €128 - €444 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalonia Riviera Maya 3.5*
Number of rooms: 423
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Caribbean Sea's turquoise waters can be seen from this hotel-paradise. Come and get ready to spend some unforgettable days in the heart of the Mayan Riviera, surrounded by marvelous landscapes and seductive, white sand beaches. The hotel is located in the wonderful Puerto Aventuras development. This is a tourist development which boasts a marina for yachts, a golf course, restaurants and dolphin tanks, all within easy reach of the main Mayan Riviera attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Riviera Maya Puerto Aventuras, Mexico
Catalonia Hotel Mexico
Catalonia Rivera Maya
Riviera Maya Catalonia
Hotel Catalonia Riviera Maya
Catalonia Riveria Maya
Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort
Catalonia Riviera Maya All Inclusive
Catalonia Mexico

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