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“Good points and bad points........” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Catalonia Royal Bavaro

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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Ranked #47 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Hereford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
88 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Good points and bad points........”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 June 2011

My husband and I stayed here for a week. The weather was great, warm and sunny but not horribly humid.

Really quick transfer from the airport. We took a taxi on arrival. $30 fixed fare and good quality vehicle with aircon.

Like many other readers have commented, arrival is a bit of a disappointment as the reception area is not very grand. I was aware of this so it was not great surprise. We were greeted with cold towels and a welcome drink and the check in process was swift.

Our room was fine - a good size, and kept clean. We had the musty smell that so many people have mentioned and I coudn't say it was luxury accommodation, but no real problems. I had taken my own shampoo / shower gel etc and was pleased I had done so as the quality and range of toiletries provided was pretty basic. No extraction in the bathroom, and quite a few bugs, especially at night time. The aircon worked well.

The room was cleaned throughly every day and the mini bar generously restocked. We didn't tip daily but did leave a tip for housekeeping at the end of our stay.

Food wise, in my opinion all of the dining options on the Royal side outclass those on the other side. We tried the Mexican, Steak House and Italian but none of them matched the standards at the Royal. The quality of food was fine - not outstanding, but fine and generally the food was well presented. I get the impression that hygiene standards are good.

The resort is set in beautiful, spacious grounds which are well tended.

With regard to golf - the course was never busy and we were always able to walk straight on. The $50 fee for the buggy proves expensive when you only want to play 9 holes each day. The buggies leave a lot to be desired. We played every day and without exception we had a problem with the buggy we were given, either backfiring there way around the course, or running out of battery before we completed our round (given we only played 9 holes i don't hold out much hope for anyone playing the full round). The course is well kept and challenging enough for me.

We spent most of our time at the infinity pool - which is the quieter area with no music blaring. Some of the atmosphere was spoilt by people getting very drunk and noisy, but generally this was a nice area to relax. The beach is also nice and though there are not many parasols available the trees provide some natural shade.

Service was a bit hit or miss - sometimes good, others not.

One word of warning about this hotel - we met two separate couple who'd had wallets / purses stolen from their rooms. We were careful to put our valuables in the safe and had no problems.

One thing I did especially like about this hotel was the choice of outdoor dining in the fresh air or indoor seating with the comfort of air-con. I've been to other resorts which don't have restaurants with air-con and it can be very uncomfortable when the weather is very humid.

In terms of other guests, there were quite a lot of Americans staying at the hotel, along with a wide mix of Europeans. Some guests were pretty raucous but it did not cause us any major problems.

Bear in mind that though a lot of the staff speak some English their first language is Spanish. We sometimes found it quite difficult to communicate anything beyond the most basic requests.

There is a strong tipping culture here. Other AI hotels I have stayed in have requested guests do not tip staff directly but leave a tip at the end of their stay which will be shared amongst the staff. I personally prefer this arrangement and did not want to bother to have to carry money around with me. Some staff clearly expected to be tipped when serving.

I would rate the hotel as 3.5 stars. It certainly isn't my idea of 5 star, even by Caribbean standards, but then again it is less expensive than some of the other hotels in the area - to a large extent you get what you pay for!

Room Tip: Tip the front desk.
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank HerefordshireSara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PuntaCanaCabezaToro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 18 June 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Catalonia Royal Bavaro on TripAdvisor

Concerning the restaurants, we understand this issue is very subjective but we still are sorry for not been able to satisfy at 100%.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to post your review on Tripadvisor, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Catalonia Royal Bavaro.

Best Regards.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,242 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (997)
Date | Rating
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English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2011

Although we booked the Deluxe Junior Suite, there was no room available the day we checked in. We were offered a regular room with 2 free spa massages. The standard room was nice but does have the musty smell that other people wrote about in the review. We moved to the Junior Suite the next day and it does not have the smell with much nicer bathroom which makes a big difference when you are at the beach or pool everyday.

This resort is small and very quiet, nice for people just want to relax by the pool or beach. There is no entertainment or group activity offered. (You can take advantage of the programs in the sister hotel next door) The beach is very nice with calm waters. No problem getting lunge-chairs. Snorkeling is a great activity to do right at the beach. The water is shallow with lots of different fishes that you can see by simply open your eyes in the water. The ocean is a bit deeper and better for swimming at the Catalonia side.

The restaurants are fairly good although breakfast can have more variety. Our favorite is the Sea Blue Bar. Make sure to try the Dominican chicken and California roll there. The Thalassa has good dinners. The Black Cuttlefish Spaghetti is amazing! Buffet next door is ok. Don't bother with the Japanese restaurant, it is not really Japanese.

The internet service is slow and often not working. We had to spend time in the lobby with our tablet/ laptop to get connected and it is still slow and working only70% of the time. The upside of that is the lobby bar cappuccino is excellent.

Put the door sign up when you want the room cleaned. It tend to speed up the process a little bit. Although did not cause too much trouble, there is also 1/2 day with no runner water during our 8 day stay and the power often went off for 15 minutes or so between 12-1am.

We spent most time at the beach and really liked the quiet and relaxing atmosphere. There is room for improvement at this hotel, but over all we enjoyed our stay and would recommend it to friends and family.

Room Tip: Upgrade to Deluxe Junior Suite if you can.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank WorkeBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hereford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
62 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2011

It was fine but be prepared to be tipping everyone if you want to get decent service - I would have much rather left a tip at the end as opposed to tipping individual members of staff after every meal or round of drinks! You will get ignored or receive mediocre service if you do not tip! We even tried to get an upgrade which we were prepared to pay for but no villas were available or so we were told the next thing, a friend of mine had given the receptionist some $$ and he gets a villa! Total joke and absolutely corrupt!

The food was very average except in the tapas restaurant, the mediterranean and the bar down by the pool - we were there for 8 days (anniversary which we told the hotel about - it went without any acknowledgement!) I was ready to go home after 5 days, I'd had enough! The golf was ok but we could have done with some free water - one day I was sent to reception to get some as the golf club had run out! Says it all really!

I won't be going back

Room Tip: Provide a tip!
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank James L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PuntaCanaCabezaToro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 15 June 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review. We were very sorry to read that you found some elements of your experience disappointing and We would like to apologies for that .We thank you for highlighting this and promise to our future guests that they shall be rectified.

Thank you once again and we are looking forward to you next visit.

Kind Regards,

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beaver, West Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2011

The other half of the resort has everything and is cheaper. the service was great, but for the broken de-humidifier which took 3 wet days to replace. The room was at 94% humidity according to the dehumidifier that worked(100% means its raining) there was a coat of water on everything including the beds and sheets. The dehumidifier that worked took 9 gallons of water out in 3 days!!! There is no rum in the room the bar consists of 2 beers 3 sodas, and 4 bottles of water anything else more costs you. The cealing had mold around the shower with no exaust fan which made the room wetter every shower we took. The bang for the buck is not here. The best thing is the beach, was great but for the russian and american couple fighting over a cabahna for over 2 hours. the snokleing was made much better with bread in a bottle. the service was great, and always with a smile at both sides. We had 3 rooms and all had issues, 1 (mine) was soaking WET, 2nd room kept blowing fuses, and the 3 had a broken lock on the door which was a pain for only 1 day. this was an experience I had to have and over all was a good one. would I recommend this hotel to friends? No. But the people and the beach are great and will revisit DR in the future just not to stay in the cave. The spa refused to give massages to my son, first they said he had to have a appiontment. He asked to make one and the said they were booked. He went back 3 days and was told that on all 3 days. the 6 people we had with us never saw anyone and never talked to anyone that ever got a massage there. the just sit out at the desk and talk all day. The resturants on the Royal side were empty and the emplotees were soliciting people to come but seen very few that did, but for breakfast. the other side had everything and has a off the hook great buffet. Fish was always a treat there, they really know how to prepair it. The entertainment was weak but this is not Broadway. the other side was way more GRAND and over the edge glamorous, wished many time we had stayed there but for the hussle and bussle. the adult side (Royal) was quieter. The golf couse there was nice but the desk clerk was really rude and unhelpful. The trips are good, dove a wreck of the coast and with the exchange rate paid more than what I was told. (told $174, credit card said $198) probobly the exchange rate. language was never a issue there seemed to always be someone that could understand.

Room Tip: Damp Rid helps but ask for a dehumidifier ASAP
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank gloworm25613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PuntaCanaCabezaToro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 15 June 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write your experience at our hotel on Trip Advisor.

We are in a Tropical Country and there is a very high % of humidity, especially during the rainy season and I would like to apologies for the shortfalls you experienced during your stay.

We hope that we will be able to welcome you back again in the future.

Sincerely,

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beckley, West Virginia
Level Contributor
134 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2011

They honestly tried, if I had to choose again I think I would have stayed next door and saved the money for the upgrade. My room was so damp, everything had a coat of water on it, nothing was dry. Asked for a dehumidifier and got one very quickly. It was broken, and took 2 days to replace. Got a new one and it registered 93% humidity, any more and it would have rained in my room. Other than that, we had 3 rooms and mine was the only one with that issue, the others had damp rid that did the trick. Tipping was lost on the fact that if you did not have the same table same waiter same everything every time (which was near impossible) did not help, the good news is the service was very good and always with a smile. They all had a great sence of humor. The front desk girl was over the top exelenta. It also is a very Eroupien beach ;) the snorkeling was great especially if you have a bottle filled with bread. The beach trips were good but beware the exchange rate, they got me for $20 more on the credit card, pay cash to avoid this. Wifi was good inside and out of the room. The drinks were always generous, and quick. All in all a good time but save the money and stay next door.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank daveandgloria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PuntaCanaCabezaToro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 15 June 2011
Dear Guest,

Many thanks for taking the time to your report on your stay with us.

We are delighted that you enjoyed our service at Catalonia Royal Bavaro. We would like to apologizes for the inconvenience of the humidity but we are in a Tropical Country and we try to minimizes the effects with dehumidifiers.

We do hope that we will have the pleasure of welcoming you back.

Best Regards.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2011

We stayed on the Royal side of the resort which is adults only. We had fun and made the most of it but I would not recommend this place to anyone.
First, check-in was at 3 and our rooms were not ready until after 4.
The rooms smelled like a musty basement and were so humid that everything felt wet. Climbing into sheets that feel damp is not very comforting or relaxing.
The air conditioners were not very strong anywhere in the resort and that played a part in everything feeling wet. In addition there is no exhaust fan in the bathroom so taking a hot shower just adds to the moisture in the room.
There were mites and mosquito's in the room that we could not seem to get rid of, I then realized that when the cleaning crew came everyday they left the front and back doors wide open while they were there (A/C also turns off when the back door is open). I have bites all over my legs and hope they are mosquito bites and not bed bugs bites!
Many of the staff was friendly but we did encounter a few that were a bit rude.
The entertainment was awful, amatuer dancing that was more like step aerobics and the same show every night. The Casino was also very weak, a bunch a slots and maybe about 6-7 tables of which only 2 were opened.
I will say that the food and drinks were good and the lush green landscaping was beautiful (on the family side). If you go, don't expect a 5 star resort experience. For us, it helped that we were with another couple, I think if we went alone we would not have enjoyed ourselves as much.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DMPlant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Mankato, Minnesota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2011

So we just got back on our honeymoon and we stayed at the Royal and it was amazing. I have been on many different trips and this place is very impressive. We had one of the suites with private pool and that is the way to go. Service is amazing and everyone is very nice. Food was good and drinks were good.

Also, about the weather, BEATIFUL!! It rained 3 days but only 30mins each time and then the sun was right out again.

I would suggest this place to anyone.




Thanks

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank nate2521
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PuntaCanaCabezaToro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 17 June 2011
Dear Guest,

Thank you for the positive review of our hotel. We are very happy to know you enjoyed your stay with us at the Catalonia Royal Bavaro.

Thank you for your very positive feedback in relation to the associates at the resort and thank you also for recommending our hotel to the other travelers.

We do hope to see you again very soon for your next stay in Bavaro.

Sincerely,

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Property: 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:
#15 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#30 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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