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CAT or Barcelo?

Halifax
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284 posts
30 reviews
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CAT or Barcelo?

Both of these resorts have pretty great reviews...

Can anyone say which has the better beach of the two? We're a couple going, ages 29 and 33.....

I think i prefer a smaller resort rather than having to take a trolly around...but im not entirely sure....I stayed at a Barcelo in Punta Cana last year and enjoyed my stay....

Also, has anyone waited to book last minute from Halifax or Canada? Do the prices drop drastically? Im planning on going in April, but think ill wait last minute to book.........has anyone recently booked last minute and got a great deal????

Any insight or advise would be greatly appreciated...i could go on and on with the question, but ill spare you all ;)

First time going to Mexico and very excited!!!

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Punta Cana
Punta Cana
Dominican Republic
Mexico
Mexico
North America
Choctaw, Oklahoma
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1,945 posts
41 reviews
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1. Re: CAT or Barcelo?

CAT CAT CAT. Actually thats just my opinion as the beach at the CAT is not great but good. It's never been an issue for us. We enjoy it very much. We've never been to any other resort in the area because we loved the CAT so much, we've been 4 time since May of 08. As you may have read, it is rocky in places but we've never had to wear water shoes and my wifes feet are extremely tender. The CAT is a wonderful place and you will come home ready to book a return trip. Any more questions, please don't hesitate to ask and most of all, have fun no matter where you end up.

BigDave

Evans, Georgia
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1,112 posts
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2. Re: CAT or Barcelo?

Might not be an issue for you, but I am VERY fair and there are no palapas on the beach at the Barcelo, only palm trees. For someone very light and easy to burn like me, palm trees don't cut it.

Halifax
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284 posts
30 reviews
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3. Re: CAT or Barcelo?

I love the sun...so the shade isnt too much of an issue....we're very laid back. Dont need a super impressive room...rooms are only to sleep and shower anyways! :)

Ive heard great feedback about the CAT....its close to alot of other things off the resort too eh?

CT
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2,133 posts
45 reviews
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4. Re: CAT or Barcelo?

We almost booked the Barcelo one year but chose the Iberostar Lindo and loved it there. At the time the Barcelo and IB Lindo were similar in size but I believe the Barcelo is even bigger now. That is why we chose the CAT for our vacation in just a few short days!!! I think the Barcelo is too big. We really prefer smaller more intimate resorts so that is what sold us on the CAT, plus all of the repeat visitors.

I'm sure you'll enjoy either resort...I think size is the major difference.

And you know...size matters....

Choctaw, Oklahoma
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1,945 posts
41 reviews
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5. Re: CAT or Barcelo?

BeccaBee09, yes, it's very close to the marina which is very nice. A 5 minute walk gets you there and then you'll have a choice of many restaurants, bars, shops and swim with the dolphins as well as catamaran & fishing charters.

BigDave

Atlanta, GA
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875 posts
12 reviews
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6. Re: CAT or Barcelo?

When you say "better beach," what are you looking for? Are you wanting to take long strolls down the beach each day? Do rocks/coral bother you? Are you looking for a white, sandy, pristine beach? Are you wanting a place you can snorkle onsite?

Here is an arial veiw of the map at the Catalonia: www.locogringo.com/maps/tour/133a-t.html

Although the beach is still the same, this is an outdated picture. The "Sunscape" is now Dreams; The "Lookea Resort" is now the Catalonia Yucatan side; the Cameleon Marival is now the Catalonia Riviera Maya side; the grassy land plot on the north side of the CRM is now where the suites are located. The really 'walkable' portion of the beach is pretty much what you see in the picture (ok, there has been at least one brave soul who has gone to the marina by climbing over rocks & stuff, but I wouldn't recommend it!). But, even though the beach area is relatively small, and a bit rocky, all that rock and coral makes for some decent snorkeling. It's not great snorkeling, but it is decent and I never have a problem finding a subject for an underwater photo.

So, can you walk for miles along a white, sandy, pristine beach at the Cat? No, not really. But, there is plenty of shade, lots of chairs, and plenty to see when snorkeling.

LL

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Halifax
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284 posts
30 reviews
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7. Re: CAT or Barcelo?

Thanks for the info!!

Ive never snorkled before! Im excited to give it a try!

So I guess by better beach I mean....what beach has the most to look at....lol

Tequesta, Florida
Destination Expert
for Puerto Aventuras, Punta Cana
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9,803 posts
15 reviews
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8. Re: CAT or Barcelo?

The direct answer to your most-recent question Becca, is that the huge Barcelo complex has the bigger and better beach front, with lots of opportunity for snorkeling adventures along its 2 km. stretch of ocean, especially right off the Palace and at the pier area.

Happy Travels!

Richmond, BC
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5,376 posts
16 reviews
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9. Re: CAT or Barcelo?

The beach at Barcelo is awesome, long and it is all sand on the beach and some rocky parts in the water it is where people snorkel to see the fish - closer to Palace. The set up of the accommodation at Barcelo is very smart - their buildings are all running up perpendicular to the beach and regardless where you stay there is never really long walk to the beach and you are passing towel stand on you way there and the food/drinks are right there under the huge beach restaurant hut. The pools are very amazing. We stayed there at the Tropical part and were passing the pools at the way to the beach and they looked so good that I was always tempted to try the kids water park. We liked its size - it allows to have very nice walks on the territory passing beautiful grounds, there is their own small pier to feed the fish that is circling in abundance there so we would go there and along the beach. The only issue I had there was no shade palapas on the beach, there is a shade around the pool. Swinging palms were not shady enough but we survived - I just had to many chocolate eclairs and cappuccinos reading books under the roof of the beach restaurant. We liked the food there.

Mission, BC, Canada
Destination Expert
for Puerto Aventuras, Mission, Abbotsford
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3 reviews
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10. Re: CAT or Barcelo?

Becca,

We love the “Cat” as well. Just came back from our 7th visit there, so obviously that’s our recommendation, when we go back it’s like visiting family. Been 11x to the area, & found this “Gem” & haven’t been able to go anywhere else. I have heard that it has the highest % of return visitors in the Mayan, don’t know if that is absolutely true or not, but it DOES have a rather large following here.

Here is a newer aerial picture of the place than the one LL gave you that shows the Suites (Right side of resort)

cataloniacaribbean.com/us/img/MSflash_fichaC…

Have you seen the other thread with my lastest pictures from Jan? If not, here is the link;

aplusnetworks.ca/pictures/rivieramaya2010_ja…

In answer to your question about last minute, we ALWAYS book that way from BC here, & get good deals. We have booked anywhere from about 45 days out to 2 wks. Especially if you are somewhat flexible in your schedule. We always go around the same time every Jan, & start watching prices in Nov & then buy when the price is right. April is the start of “Off Season” so you can usually find last minute deals, (From BC anyways, been tempted to go then a few times myself).

In closing, would I go to the Barcelo? Absolutely! But I have never found a good enough deal there to warrant me to go instead of the “Cat.” I know what I’m getting at the “Cat” & Mrs Pablo & I LOVE it! Staff is wonderful, food is great, top-shelf liquor, nice off-site amenities, even the other guests are friendlier it seems. It also is a “Laid back, unpretentious” atmosphere & although it states men are supposed to wear long pants at the ala carts, it isn’t enforced.

Wherever you choose, you’ll have a BLAST & the Mexican people are very caring & friendly!

Pablo

Sat 09:52 PST