I hope that you will find my review helpful... The ones who hesitate, don't.. it is a great place to relax with nice food and drinks.
We travelled with Thomson and we were really nicely surprised with the service we received (much better than before and we did travel with them a few times). If you are considering whether to purchase premium seats in the Boeing 787, the standard ones are fine for someone who is 5.8 feet and 6.2 feet tall with plenty of space.
People work extremely hard from gardeners to the housekeepers. We never had a bad experience with any of the employees. As already mentioned by other people, it's hard to find out who the tips are given to, if you leave them on a table. The tips should be split - as there are so many people involved in serving you in a restaurant. The people who made our stay are: Edward (the best mojito in the hotel) the barman at Sea Blue, Jeffery (the waiter at the infinity pool) always smiley and kept our glasses full, Carlos (waiter at the beach), Maria (entertainment) and Monica who run the pilates/stretching classes on the beach every day at 11am and Jeorge (not sure if I spelt your name correct) at the beach or pool bar (depending on the day) remembered our favourite drinks after 2 visits- carpirinia and whiskey and “our usual greeting with him” :-) Jenny - concierge - what a lovely and smiley girl - made my parents anniversary a very special day, thank you. Abbey - who was greeting people in the restaurants - she was delightful to talk to and always smiley.
We ate in all the restaurants. The best ones are at the Royal Side.
The choice for breakfast is more limited that at the family side, but the food is much nicer.
The Thalassa has an amazing onion soup and the Cata Tapa has amazing ribs.
The pizza at the main pool was delicious - the best we had in that part of the world.
The buffet at the family side has a great choice, but be aware of the birds that fly everywhere and dip into people's food. I found it a bit distressing to protect my plate from birds when eating.
The Mexican, Steak House and Japanese (with life cooking) at the family side were very good, the Italian was average.
We also had a romantic dinner (lobster dinner) on the beach. We didn't enjoy that as much as we did in Mexico, but it was ok.
Ma Loo - the fresh juice bar - is great!
If you are a gym lover, you will not be impressed, the gym floor is tiny with very old equipment. However, if you do the body weight training, you can use the deck on the beach - it worked for me. I also attended the pilates with Monica, who helped me a lot with my back stretching.
If you want entertainment, you need to go the family side, they do offer plenty to choose from - even the foam party in the pool. The evening entertainment was good especially the circus night and the Michael Jackson.
The hotel also organises the white party (without food but with drinks) on Mondays and the beach party (with food and drinks) on Thursdays, both were great fun. The people who organised that made an effort to ensure that it all works.
We stayed in the romm 3849. Slightly dated room, but it didn't bother us. very specious, the aircon didn't work well, but was cool enough for us. The receptionist offered to change the room, but we decided to stay as it was on the top floor at the end of the corridor so it was quiet and no one disturbed us.
The bathroom is open (apart from the toilet) but it was fine for us.
There was no hammock but after calling the reception, it was delivered to us within 30 min, I asked to replace it, as it was mouldy, but without any luck.
We asked for room service once (dinner) and it arrived within 30 minutes, the food was hot and very tasty (chicken wings and chicken breast).
if you want the beach front sun loungers be prepared to get up at 6am to reserve them, but if you are happy with any of them, there are always plenty free chairs on the beach.
Be careful with the rocks on the beach that look like sand, we hurt ourselves...
The beach is cleaned every day (or even twice daily) and they try to remove the sea weed as much as possible. The sea is very ward and calm so easy to snorkel, with plenty of fish.
We used the free catamaran once, it was a great fun without any problems.
We were not hassled by anyone on the beach.
The cooks also prepare twice a week paella on the beach at lunchtime - we tried and it was really nice.
We went to Saona island with the people who offer the catamaran on the beach, it was good, but be prepared for sales peach at every single step. We were told not buy anything before boarding the catamaran from the people selling on the parking, only to be taken to the "toilet" on the way back from the trip that was based in the big shop in order to buy from them, and if you did, they asked for the name of the person who brought you to them , so they can share money with them. On the catamaran you are asked to pose to the pictures and film, so they can sell this to you later. And the worse one was to pose with the dead star fish that they pretended to find it in the natural pool. We said it was dead and they said that it wasn't and it was only scared that's why it was pretending to be dead. It's not true as we found one the day before in the sea near the hotel, so we knew exactly how it behaves. Be aware of the massage ladies on the Saona island, they will not leave you in peace!
I booked a massage on the beach 3 days in advance, but when iI turned up, they forgot! When I asked if I can have it in spa rather than on the beach, they said it was fine, but forgot to mention that it will cost extra $14. As no one informed me about this, they were happy for me to pay the "beach price". The massage itself was good.
There is a market - 2 minutes walk on the beach (go right),be prepared to negotiate the price! ;-)
There is also a health centre open every day at the family side and the pharmacy if you need any medical attention.
- 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