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Should I change my booking?

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782 posts
56 reviews
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Should I change my booking?

Hi, I've recently booked our first trip to Mexico for our family(2 adults, 10 year old n 6 year old). I read the hotel reviews and after much deliberation, opted for the Catalonia, but since booking, the reviews seem a bit so so. We were looking for a luxury style holiday and for the amount of money we have paid..kind of hoped it would be getting 4/5 stars and excellent reviews.

I asked at the travel agents and they said it would just be a minimal fee to change hotels. What are the opinions of the standard of the Catalonia among TA posters? And if I switch hotels, which would you recommend?

Thanks for any help you might be able to give

Nova Scotia
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2,100 posts
25 reviews
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1. Re: Should I change my booking?

I wouldn't call the Cat a luxury vacation. The Palladium is more ritzy by far.

Union, Oregon
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4,097 posts
435 reviews
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2. Re: Should I change my booking?

Love the Catalonia. We even got married there. It's not total luxury but it is really nice. The kids will love the beach there. Choice of ocean or beautiful lagoon to swim in. Lots of fish. Can walk to Puerto Aventuras and see the Dolphins, manatees and seals swimming. Shops and restaurants there too. Give the Catalonia a try and I bet you won't be sorry. We went there for our first trip and were delighted.

Edited: 06 February 2012, 00:30
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1,662 posts
28 reviews
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3. Re: Should I change my booking?

It is nice but not top of the line.

We enjoyed our stay however I wouldn't like they said call it the Ritz.

San Antonio, Texas
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1,989 posts
36 reviews
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4. Re: Should I change my booking?

no, not the ritz...but it does have a special something...we have been 4 times now..and LOVE it...can't really put my finger on what makes is great. We have stayed at a variety of resorts in Mexico too, so we can compare...

(been to the Iberostar Paraiso Beach, Palladium Colonial, Iberostar Cozumel, El Dorado Royale, Riviera Maya Princess)...Those were all fantastic...loved them all, would return to them all, but we LOVE the Cat. It is small, personable, easy to get around, food is good, and we really like the gated community its in..Puerto Aventuras.

The beach suits our needs and has a nice lagoon to kayak in and for the kids to swim in and not be pounded by waves.(which are not huge anyway)..but then there is the other side, where the lagoon is not, and the kids can play in the waves, if there are some that day.

No, its not the ritz..but the suites are really really nice. I hope you opted for a suite..you will be very satisfied with it. It has 2 separate rooms. The kids can sleep on the fold out sofa, you and hubby can have privacy in your own room. Bathroom is awesome! Look at pictures here on TA...you'll see what we are all talking about.

Toronto, Canada
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2,022 posts
81 reviews
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5. Re: Should I change my booking?

Honestly we have been to the Mayan 14 times and while there is nothing wrong with the Cat, it was our least favorite of all our trips (except the princess explosion). Most of our stays were in a similar price range. It does have a very loyal following - it just didn't do it for us. Again nothing wrong with it - just not our fav. What are your other choices to move to?

Winnipeg, Canada
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3,993 posts
17 reviews
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6. Re: Should I change my booking?

Agree with the above. Been to the Mayan several times and the Cat twice. I wouldn’t call the Cat luxury either. It is a great smaller sized hotel where everything is easy to access and everyone is very personable.

We’ve also stayed at the Barcelo, Iberostar and Palladium properties. I would look at Barcelo properties, Colonial or Tropical as an option. Palace is the highest end, if it’s in the price range, definitely consider it as well. They have great water parks for the kids as well.

If you don’t end up switching, my advice is to go to the Cat with the right expectations and I’m sure you’ll have a great time there. It’s not high end luxury but it is a great little property that you can enjoy with your family.

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25 posts
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7. Re: Should I change my booking?

We just returned from the Cat on Friday -- and I would recommend if you do go, like others have said - to not expect a 5 star. I was well prepared but still was a bit disappointed. The food this past week was not very good - even my kids were very bored with the options. The lagoon and beach - to snorkel - after going down to Akumal beach for the day - was not good in comparison ... I would recommend going to that area -- you can snorkel for free and it was amazing! We really liked walking to the marina and met some really amazing people over there .. but overall the Cat - we found the service to be really slow and they really didn't care.

We have 3 kids and had booked 2 rooms -- I emailed 3 times with no reply and still got rooms that were separate. We then got moved to 2 rooms beside each other - but they were ground level with no view of anything but the childrens club. The kids liked the rooms because behind us was an area where some odd little animals and tonnes of lizards were.

I would recommend you go somewhere else - for the money we paid we didn't feel it was worth it.

Level Contributor
782 posts
56 reviews
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8. Re: Should I change my booking?

Thanks everyone for your feedback, I maybe shouldn't have used the term luxury, I'm just meaning value for money I guess, we went to Disneyworld 3 years ago for 14 nights and stayed in a Disney hotel n that holiday cost less than this one, apart from that Disney holiday, as a family we normally just opt for the budget holiday but this is our splash out one n we just kinda want it to feel like we are getting good value that's all.

Our other options are Sandos Caracol, Sea adventure, barcelo tucancun, barcelo costa cancun, sandos playa car, grand Sirenis or gran Bahia principe.

Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya
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1,914 posts
15 reviews
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9. Re: Should I change my booking?

I agree with the one poster - you should check out the Palladium. Lots of options there. Check it out on the Palladium Addict website.

The moon palace is also great - more expensive but they include some excursions in the price and seem to have a lot for the kids to do.

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183 posts
2 reviews
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10. Re: Should I change my booking?

I haven't had a chance to write my review of the CAT yet since we just got home last night. I will never understand how anyone couldn't love the CAT. If you're used to high-end luxury hotels like the Omni which is near the Cat in PA where a bowl of corn flakes is $7.50 USD and the place has zen music playing, etc..(you get the idea) then maybe the Cat isn't for you.

However, if you're an 'average' traveller then the Cat is ideal for you. We loved it. We're going back next year and bringing the kids. We fell in love with it. I know everyone is different but overall the CAT really can't be faulted. More details to come in my review!