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“Relaxing holiday”

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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Ranked #43 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Relaxing holiday”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

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
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.

Food
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!

Gym/Entertainment
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.

Room
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).

Beach
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.

Trips
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!

SPA
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.

Other
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.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank PKN333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, Director General at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 9 May 2014
Dear PKN333,

Greetings from Catalonia Royal Bavaro, thank you for choosing us for your holidays. We appreciate your time invested in sharing your comments on Trip Advisor. We value your feedback regarding our facilities and services. We take important note of the details mentioned regarding the room accommodations and Spa services, to revise and ensure it does not repeat in the future. On another note we are delighted to read you received an outstanding service from Edward, Jeffery, Carlos Maria Monica Jeorge Jenny it will be a great joy for us to congratulate them on your behalf. We hope to have the honor to welcome you back soon and exceed your expectations.

Best regards.

Ivan Cunillera
General Manager
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Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 May 2014

Six of us spent a week here April 25 - May 2 and were very pleased with the the resort. The service and food were great! The rooms are quite large and the maids do an excellent job of cleaning and replenishing the fridge and snacks. The one thing we did miss was a 24 hour spot as we like to have a coffee early in the morning while sitting on the beach. The beach is a bit small but good swimming. The staff at this resort aim to please and we were fortunate not to have any encounters with the sales pitch. Great adult resort!

Room Tip: I don't think there are any bad rooms
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank 4friendsNovaScotia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, Director General at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 6 May 2014
Dear 4friendsNovaScotia,

Greetings from Catalonia Royal Bavaro! We are pleased to read you had a great holiday with friends. Thank you for your comments regarding our rooms, restaurants and staff services, we are glad they were of your enjoyment. We appreciate your feedback; we would like to share the good news that we have now available Sea Blue Breakfast menu with beach view starting at 8:00 a.m. also we count with a Coffee Break at the Piano Bar starting from 5:30 a.m. It would be a great joy to welcome you back soon.

Best regards from all the team.

Ivan Cunillera
General Manager
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Northern Ontario
Level Contributor
147 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2014

This is a great resort. The rooms are large and clean. We tipped the maid daily and got the best service. We were in villa 38 which is in the perfect location - halfway between the beach and the main lobby. There was a nice balcony with a hammock, wifi was okay most of the time, surprisingly quiet in the rooms and there are quite a few english tv channels.

The only thing that bothered us about the towel game on the beach was the people who saved chairs first thing in the morning and didn't show up until late afternoon. It's okay to leave your stuff there while you have lunch or take a walk on the beach but all day is a little much. We noticed that most people go to the beach in the morning and leave in the afternoon so there are plenty of chairs available at that time - no need to reserve if you don't go to the beach until the afternoon. Unfortunately no one monitors this. The snorkeling was pretty good out by the man-made concrete pipe - lots of different fish. The oddest fish we saw was a scrawled filefish - pretty cool looking.

The food was great. We enjoyed the a la cartes - especially the ribs at Cata Tapa. Best ribs ever!!! We never had to wait and loved that we did not have to make reservations. We had breakfast every morning at Thalassa. I loved the omelets and tipped the chef a few times. My wife usually ate off the buffet and totally enjoyed everything. Great service there especially Anderson! The buffet on the other side was good - lots to choose from and they cooked some dishes fresh for you. We ate at the Rodeo Steakhouse twice and it was excellent both times. We also found the service bad at Sea Blue but the food was very good so we put up with it but didn't always tip there. We enjoyed the Juice Bar at the beach every morning and the Beach Bar every afternoon. Great service at both.

I went golfing twice at the 18-hole and once at the 9-hole and both were very good. The best part was the singing driver that took us to and from the courses - highly entertaining!

We wondered about tipping in the restaurants as there are so many people involved in your meal - the person who seats you, the person who brings you a drink, the person who takes your order, the person who brings your order and the person who cleans the table. We were told to give the tip directly to the person who gave you good service as they do not share in the tips.

We didn't care for the staff who tried to pressure us into the hotel tour every time we went to the lobby. This is a total turn-off and we were surprised that the resort does this to their guests - not cool!

We met some really nice people here from all over the world - Copenhagen, PEI, Wiarton, Thunder Bay, Brantford and Ohio. Thanks for making our vacation better.

All in all, this is a beautiful resort with a great beach, nice pools, excellent food and friendly staff. We would definitely go back again.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank TMac_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, Director General at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 5 May 2014
Dear TMac_10,

Thank you for your recent stay at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, and for posting your review on Trip Advisor. We a content to read our room accommodations and restaurants were of your enjoyment, we will congratulate the staff for the excellent work, as well take note of the feedback provided. We apologize for the inconvenience at the beach and we will take action in order to resolve it. Please be assured that the resort does not encourage this activity. Once again thank you, we hope to have the opportunity to be your choice once again in the near future.

Best regards.

Ivan Cunillera
General Manager
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Smithers, Canada
Level Contributor
87 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2014

we spent 8 nights at catalonia royal bavaro in april. i have traveled 23 countries, but this is only my second all-incl. the grounds are beautiful, the lobby is decent altho not grand, not that it matters. we ate at all of the eaterys incl on the family side. all six of us were sick after eating at cata tapa. dont spring the extra $ for lobster, its dry, overcooked, and the local smaller spiny lobster, not much meat for the price. we enjoyed breakfast at thalassa every morning but one, we tried the breakfast buffet on the family side, i dont recommend that. yenci was easily the most attentive and personable server. what surprised me a lot is that you often see the management around the resort, eating, etc. there seems to be a large divide between them and the regular workers, as well, i never saw them interact with the guests. we found the food selections to be good and were happy with all the ala carte restaurants, however out of the 8 days we spent, 5 of them were unhappy tummy days and we arent sure why. the best food hands down was the salad/pizza place by the pool. id say the best things about this resort were: the drink specials, the pools, the hot pools, and the private beach (even tho ive heard its not as great as cuba). as for the staff, we found it really hit or miss. we actually had one server hint at wanting a tip several times, then straight up ask why there was no money on the table which was pretty apalling. we would have complained but didnt wanna cost him his job. we didnt really find tipping changed the service at all. after a few days we saved all our tips for the few staff members that really stood out from the rest. these staff members are the only thing that truly makes this resort stand out: hector at front desk, sabina the maid, yenci/jorje at thalassa, julio at the pizza place, carlos at swim up bar, domingo, jeffry, and juan at the eatery by the beach. i wish i knew juans last name because he was absolutely the best, most personable server we had the whole time, and there was a few juans. the guys in the steakhouse were funny too. the nightly entertainment/stage was pretty good, but i have nothing to compare it too. im sure we will return to DR, not sure if we will do the same resort. we mainly picked this one for the free wi-fi, the 24 hr room service (not much available), the hot pools, and the private beach. also, if youre a fan of snorkeling, we did a ton of that and diving here, some of the best stuff we saw was right out by the buoys on-site.....octopus, sting ray, trumpetfish, trunkfish, flounders, and all the regular reef fish incl the dreaded lionfish.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank aussienztraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, Director General at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 5 May 2014
Dearaussienztraveler,

Thank you for posting your comment on Trip Advisor and for choosing us for your holidays in Punta Cana. We appreciate your feedback regarding our grounds, restaurants and services. We are sorry to read the inconvenience with the stomach illness, please know our restaurants operate with high quality standards. On another note we are pleased to read you received an exceptional service from hector, sabina, yenci, jorje, julio, carlos, domingo, jeffry and juan it will be a pleasure to congratulate them on your behalf. We would be honored to have the opportunity to exceed your expectations in the future.

Best regards.

Ivan Cunillera
General Manager
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Level Contributor
32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2014

We stayed here for the fourth year in a row March 19-29 2014 Room #4442 overlooking the pool and bar. A very nice room and well kept by the staff. The Cat Royal is always a fine place to have a relaxing vacation. This year we had a surprise with the addition of a new restraunt next to the pool bar. Very nice little open air Asian place that converts to a pizza and salad lunch place during the day. Nice choice of salads and wood fired pizza and calzones. We dined at Thellasa, Tapas, Sea Blue, Asian. Next door at Catalonia we ate at Mexican, Steakhouse and Japanese. All very good with no issues. This is our favorite Carribean destination and we will return again next year! As nice as the resort remains, it's the people that work here that make the resort worth coming back to year after year. Carlos at the pool bar fantastic as always. Thanks to Enmanuel for helping us around the resort...GO AGULIAS! See you all again next March!

Room Tip: Room #4442 fades the pool, very nice room, third floor, open ceiling
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Weluvdr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, Director General at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 29 April 2014
Dear Weluvdr,

Thank you for choosing us for the 4thtime! It was a pleasure to welcome you back once again. We are pleased to read you enjoyed our new restaurants and received once again an exceptional service from our staff, especially from Carlos and Enmanuel. We look forward to your 5th visit at your second home.

Best regards from all the team.

Ivan Cunillera
General Manager
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Brampton, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

I am constantly amazed at reading the wonderful reviews of this resort. It was O.K. No more no less. We are retired teachers travelled every March Break 30 plus years.Always check Tripadvisor and really failed us here. Not on par with any Adults Only we have experienced. Services minimal,food very limited,"pandering service" staff huggy ,kissy yuck for tips wake up....you are paying good money service it should be good.
Rooms are nice but comparable to many resorts that are in better repair. Food lacking ,have never been to an resort with so little seafood,further up the coast had shrimp,lobster daily lunch and dinner.Never asked from day one how doing by management....never at an adults only have had that experience. Be wary think a lot of inexperienced travellers are wowed by very minimal service and return unaware of what is out there. Riu basic,but way better, El Dorado Resorts,Excellence Resorts no comparison buyer beware.
I always feel blessed to be able to travel but...Cuban beaches waaaaayy nicer,service tops this even food at a 4 star surpasses this resort hands down.
I will take Tripadvisor reviews with a grain of salt after this somewhat disappointing vacation.
That being said I am very fortunate to be in this position but want to caution future travellers.

Room Tip: 4000 honeymoon suite
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Barb1052
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, Director General at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 29 April 2014
Dear Barb1052,

Thank you for your recent stay at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, we value your comment and appreciate your time invested on posting your review on Trip Advisor. We are disappointed to read we did not achieve your expectations; we apologize for any inconvenience presented and will share your feedback with the departments involved. It would be a great pleasure to have the opportunity to prove the excellent service we are known for in the future.

Best regards.

Ivan Cunillera
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2014

such a waste of time!

When we first checked in, we were approached by a group of hotel staff, who are acting very like very welcoming and try to introdusing the facilities, I felt a little weird as they didnt do it to everyone, but since they didnt sale anything, we just went away after a while.

Then the next morning they approached us again, asking all personal information, age, family, marriage status etc, then said we will be given a free package of acochol and vouchers for SPA, curise, helicopter etc.after we joined a "orgainzed by hotel"...

the next morning, they took us to the Bavaro side to have breakfast (where the food was really low quality and made no sense as we were at Royal side) the asked us to do a survey (I got suspicious but immediately side everyone needs to do so dont worry), we were told the tour overall is only 1 hour, the we come back for the endless sales talk, when I realized they are trying to sell membership, I asked just how much, they refused to say, then the tour was only showing us the different hotel romos and saying if you become member you can get better rooms.....I complaint several times and the sale refused to either tell us the Price or let us leave, finally we went back to the room the boss came and said the Price of a mínimum length to purchase is 10 years for more than $10k and you have higher categories. the whole trip took 3 hours our whole morning was ruined, plus they didnt give any gift package.

So ridiculous

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank PennyD128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
#26 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Spa 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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