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“8th visit & still love it”

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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Ranked #46 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 16 May 2014

We returned to Royal Catalonia for the 8th time Apr. 2-16th. This was our 3rd visit since Nov. & we couldn't wait to return.
Having travelled to the Dominican since 1984 & staying at several lovely resorts, Royal Catalonia has become like a second home. We just can't say enough about the wonderful staff at this resort. They truly aim to please & always welcome everyone with a smile.

The Gen. Mgr. Mr. Ivan Cunillera & his asst. Mr. Adrian Fernandez are very approachable & always inquire as to how everything is. The staff at reception - Breney, Angela, Yinna, Daysi & Jenny the concierge are so friendly & want to know if everything is okay..

Luis Cedano, the food & beverage mgr. & his asst. Ruben have a great staff also. They are all extremely friendly & just plain fun to talk to. Some of the staff we have come to know and appreciate are Francisco Agreu, Julio Morillo & Franklin at the Sea Blue. Nilsa & Carlos at the Sorrento, and George, Andy, Luis, Dilainy, Hector, Roberto, Eddie, Raphael, & Carlos at the various bars,

The food is very good in all the restaurants on the Royal side. Hope they bring back the Fish Orly at the Sea Blue though. The Sorrento for pizza at lunch & Thai at dinner was a very nice addition to the choices of restaurants. We also like the Italian restaurant on the family side. Not having to make reservations is a bonus,

The beach is beautiful with lots of trees & palapas & is very well maintained. We've always found the maid service to be excellent as well.

So if you're looking for a quiet, relaxing vacation with wonderful, caring staff, then this is it.

We hope to return again in Nov., Jan. & Apr. to enjoy it all over again.

Room Tip: Building 42 is half way between the lobby & beach and non smoking
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Judy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded 23 May 2014

Dear Judy L,

Thank you for your recent stay at Catalonia Royal Bavaro; it was truly a pleasure to welcome you back for your 8th visit. We are pleased to know once again we have provided a wonderful holiday experience. Thank you for you trust in our services, we will be pleased to congratulate Breney, Angela, Yinna, Daysi, Jenny, Luis Cedano, Ruben, Francisco, Julio, Franklin, Nilsa, Carlos, George, Andy, Luis, Dilainy, Hector, Roberto, Eddie, Raphael and Carlos on your behalf. Thank you for recommending us, we will be waiting for your next visit at your second home.

Best regards.

Ivan Cunillera
General Manager

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Reviewed 16 May 2014 via mobile

Definitely the best location and hotel accommodation in my opinion!

If you get the room with the private pool, you will not want to leave.

Beautifully decorated beaches with Palm trees.

Food was great, lots of variety. In fact it links to a family friendly sister hotel within a 5min walk which gives you access to nightly shows and a casino as well.

Had a great vacation here, highly recommended!

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
4  Thank PlatoArist0tle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded 23 May 2014

Dear PlatoArist0tle,

Thank you for posting your review on Trip Advisor, we are content to confirm you had afabulous holiday at Catalonia Royal Bavaro. It was our pleasure to exceed your expectations with our room accommodations and services. Thank you, we hope to see you back soon!

Best regards.

Ivan Cunillera
General Manager

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Reviewed 15 May 2014

Stayed at the resort from May 7 to May 12 and enjoyed it very much. The check-in was quick and courteous but make sure you avoid the time share hawks. My wife and i don't speak Spanish which isn't really a problem but after a long day of travel we got stuck agreeing to go on a "tour" the next day. Needless to say I wised up after some rest and backed out of it after much argument. I hate when people make you feel guilty for trying to relax on a vacation. The resort was very nice and VERY quiet particularly at the Infinity Pool, which was exactly what we wanted. The food was surprisingly good. Not the best meals I've ever had but Thalassa was great. Cata Tapas was very good. The Japanese Hibachi restaurant was good too considering where you are. Rodeo was humorous to an American steakhouse lover. The food was below average but again, remember where you are and leave your expectations at home. The staff for the most part was very friendly especially Edward and Raphael at the Infinity Pool bar, Luis at the Piano Bar and Yenci at Thalassa. Our housekeeper was really sweet too (Room 3848). Only a few seemed annoyed that we couldn't speak Spanish. Make an effort, they get a kick out of it. The room was nice and very large but the pillows were awful, even after ordering new ones from the menu. Also the A/C unit only worked on high speed so it cycled all night keeping me awake at times. Otherwise the resort was great and very good value. Just don't expect a 5 star place.

Room Tip: Try to face the pool. Either the main pool if you want activity, or the Infinity Pool area if you w...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank kb_410
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded 23 May 2014

Dear kb_410,

Greetings from Catalonia Royal Bavaro, we appreciate your comment on Trip Advisor. We were delighted to welcome you for your holidays. We take important note of the feedback provided and we take good note about the food, pillows and AC. It’s great to read you received a great service from our staff especially from Edward, Raphael, Luis and Yenci. Once again thank you, it would be an honor to welcome you back and exceed your expectations.

Best regards.

Ivan Cunillera
General Manager

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Reviewed 15 May 2014

We were there for our honeymoon so I booked a room on the "Adults Only" side. The resort is not very big so walking from one destination to another isn't a problem. There is a sister resort a short walk away with families and whatnot (beware, airport transfers may leave you on the wrong side). Let's see... We got to the resort at check-in (around 3pm). While standing in line, we met another couple that mentioned they had been standing there for awhile. After about 20mins, we were next. It took about another 10mins for the gentleman to inform us that they didn't have our reservation, we were on the wrong side of the resort and a golf cart would take us to the correct side. Okay, not a problem. We were serviced on the Royal side rather quickly. After about 10mins in the Piano Bar we were handed our keys and sent on our way to our room (golf cart). The room... My husband (very simple man to please) thought the room was nice. Me... The room was okay but NOT what I paid for! The Superior King Suite is what I paid for and the pictures shown to me on Expedia. King size Canopy Bed, huge soaker tub, sitting area etc... I'm very thorough when researching a trip. I viewed the hotel's website as well as other's pictures to be certain Expedia was advertising the correct pictures with the correct rooms prior to booking. The room that I stood in was not that! It wasn't functional at all. The shower was THE WORST! Water all over the floor every time you took a shower; just a mess! Anyway... we were tired and at the time, I didn't feel like complaining so I left it alone. Later that evening I went to the front desk and was told that the resort has many different types of the junior suites. Please pay attention to the fact that I booked a Superior King Suite but I digress... Didn't want to ruin our honeymoon by having uncomfortable back and forth with a woman that didn't seem too concerned or interested in my issue. Fast forward to the next day... We were approached while walking through the resort by a gentleman who wanted a "moment of our time'. Long story short is he was selling a timeshare and took up 3 hours of our day. DO NOT ENGAGE THEM IN CONVERSATION! This is a waste of time and they're not really great at their sales pitch. Oddly enough while we were listening to the crap, a couple actually purchased a package. Kudos to them. The food is average in my opinion. Most items were cold and not very seasoned. The drinks are pretty good. Water is never cold even when you see ice in it. That amazed me. The best restaurant on the adult side was Sea Blue. Their food was seasoned and tasty. Don't waste your time eating on the family side. Each restaurant has a wait time. We never made it into the Japanese restaurant because "they were full for the night". Interesting since I could clearly see open tables. The Mexican restaurant... Oh boy... The roof/ceiling was literally leaking as we were trying to enjoy the mediocre food. Here is a tip for the resort, cook Dominican food. Stop trying (I do mean trying) to cook everything else. Unless... You actually hire chefs that specialize in that particular type of food. Even my "easy to please" husband wasn't thrilled about the food. Enough about the food…The beach is gorgeous! That is enough to bring you back to the DR! A lot of seaweed but you get over it quickly. Beware that some females go topless. Not an issue but something you should know. Entertainment is pretty non existing on the adult side. They had a beach party one night that was fun! Most nights we relaxed at the piano after dinner then headed back to our room. They had a great Michael Jackson show one night (family side)! That was definitely one highlight of my trip! Let me go back to my room for just a sec. So we get to day 3, after returning from our AWESOME ATV/buggy ride I see that the uninterested lady is no longer at the front counter. I decide to try my luck with this gentleman in reference to our room and my huge disappointment. After listening to my concerns... He informs me he has a different room for us and it would be ready by 3pm! Thank you Jesus! This room was exactly what I paid for and made my experience at the resort move from 3-4. Overall the resort is about a 3.5-4 start. The make-up of the rooms is nice, the resort is relaxing and if you find something that you enjoy eating, stick to that. I would return as long as I receive what I paid for upfront.

Sidebar: A must would be zip lining and the ATV/buggy rides! So much fun!

Room Tip: 1903 horrible 4650 pretty nice
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Shanita W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed at the adults only resort from March 2-7, 2014. I don't see many complaining about the excursion salesmen - which is shocking considering how many of them there are and how aggressive there are. Overall, this is a great place but there's no way we would come back.

The good: food was great and lots of choices, landscaping was immaculate, room service, outdoor theater, cool bars, fun little casino.

The bad: aggressive salesmen for "excursions." I had 7 people approach me during a 50 ft walk one morning after breakfast. Even the guy handing out towels is trying to sell you an excursion. Stopped going to the beach area because peole approaching. Management has no control over these people obvisously. No alcohol in room (except for 2 beers per day).

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank J_Perry888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 May 2014

The hotel itself it in a great location with amazing pools and restaurants which mostly serve lovely food.
The selection of drinks available on the AI option is varied and has a large choice of cocktails!

The first room we had was musty, so we asked to change this was denied so the cleaners came in a sprayed something which temporarily took the smell away until the next day it was back, so they let us move - The same problem occurred, so we figured it must be across the board and why waste another day moving all of our clothes just to have the same issue again.

We booked a romantic dinner on the beach - The most expensive deal as we were on honeymoon and hubby wanted to surprise me.
What a disaster.
The food was terrible.
Tinned Tuna & mayo rolled in ham.
Stale bread.
No drink until the main course had finished.
And the lobster was over seasoned with too much salt.
- We complained the next day and was told we could have some treatments as compensation. 2x 20 min mini massages were offered, which was a bit of an insult after what we had already initially paid for the meal.
So we asked the GM for a full refund, which he agreed to.
We received it in September 2013 - Our stay was in May.

There are plus points!!!
*The dolphin experience is an absolute must!! As well as the boat trip with the crazy captain who makes you play drinking games in the ocean!
*The waiting staff are good - Denise who sometimes is maitre'd on breakfast is lovely, friendly and attentive.
*The guys who look after you around the pool & the beach are also great at what they do and they can make a mean Banana Mama!!
*The restaurants in the sister resort which you can use are fab.
-Definitely recommend the japanese restaurant - What an experience!! - - Book this as early as you can!
*The Tapas restaurant at the Royal is also great. Food and service were bar none - Again you have to book early to avoid disappointment or have to eat very early in the evening.



.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Katie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2014

After MUCH research, we decided to spend our 12 year anniversary here.

ROOMS:
Went with many peoples suggestions, emailed and requested a room facing the pool in a non-smoking room which we received with an added treat of a "happy anniversary" banner on the door. Very happy with the room in Villa 46 facing the smaller pool. Can be a little loud from the piano bar at night, but the glass slider door kept out a lot of the noise. Nice rooms, comfy ( a bit firm ) beds, many pillows to choose from and soft linens. Always had enough towels and rooms were cleaned by lunch time everyday. Bottled water was always plentiful everywhere you went. Pop and beer in fridge and Oreos and peanuts in the cupboard. Safe was very easy to use nice to have. We never had a problem with the power or hot water. Only complaint about the room; the air conditioner works, but maybe not as cold as in other countries. If you think its not working, just walk outside....

GROUNDS:
The grounds are beautiful.. The palm trees and flowers are gorgeous. They work so hard to keep it up every morning. The walk ways can be a bit difficult if you are wearing heals, since they are cobble stone-esct... The beach was kept clean all day long. People can be very disrespectful and leave there garbage all over the place, and the workers try there best to clean up. The palapas on the beach are really nice, but usually taken early. The walk ways between the two resorts are well lit and easy to get were you are going.

POOLS:
The pools are kept clean all day. The pool at the family side is defiantly more.... busy, always something going on. The infinity pool is mostly quiet, just the noise from the restaurant next to it. The pool cabanas are nice and we were able to get one several times. There are a lot of chairs, but the "towel game" will be played everywhere. The pool closest to the lobby with the swim up bar is nice. We ended up there later in the afternoon to keep up with the sun. They have music playing there most of the day and there seemed to be more loud conversations at this pool. There is a towel exchange at each pool and there was never a problem getting a clean towel.

FAMILY SIDE STUFF:
We did watch a couple of the shows there, the entertainment staff is really fun. The Michael Jackson show is a must on Wednesday night. We went over to the this side after dinner and hung out at the main bar or the casino before our night cap. It is crazy busy on this side..people everywhere, which made it nice to have our quiet side.

FOOD:
Ok here we go.

Thalassa in the lobby.
We went here for the buffet breakfast a few times. Pretty good, but very generic food. They do have an egg menu you can order from. Must try the Smoked samon eggs benedict. Lots of meats and cheeses, breads, omelets, fruit, pancakes, crepes, and some authentic sandwiches.
Dinner here was pretty good. It was amazing to see how they transformed the restaurants from day to night. You can do a full 5 course meal if you like or order one item. The fish and seafood soup was amazing and the spicy salad (honey mustard) was really good too. Remember you are in the carribean, the meat is different.

Sea Blue by the pool:
Breakfast is served here and it was ok. One time, we received one of our meals.
Lunch is also served here, lots of options. We tried the cod croquettes, philly sandwich, pear and blue cheese salad (my fav), fish and chips and a few other items. This is the only place we had an issue with serves, super slow or not at all. This is also the beach and pool bar. Jeffery the trainee was amazing and always on it!!

Tapas:
We were skeptical of this place, but it was out of this world. Ordered a couple appetizers which each had four items. Keep and open mind here... amazing presentation.. so pretty didn't want to eat them. Not even sure what we had sometimes, but it was all sooo good. You must order the ribs and the grouper entree here....yummy

Thursday night beach party:
The food here was really fun. Everything from burgers, dogs, fish, salads and desserts. They put a bar out on the sand and have music going. This is the only time I saw the entertainment staff come over.

Pizza by the pool:
The pizza place by the swim up bar is awesome. 10 or so pizzas and 3 salads to choice from.. Everything was really good and fresh. Keep in mind when they say "sausage" they actually mean hotdog... haha.

We did try a few restaurants next door
La Toscana:
It was ok, food was not hot and very bland tomato sauce. Deserts were good. Felt kinda like a cafeteria but had to dress nice.

Mariachi:
Serves here was really good, but food was ok. The fajitas and the green salsa were the best part.

Rodeo Steak House:
The ribs were good, thats it.

La Palapa restaurant:
Generic buffet with something for everyone.

Overall, stay on the Royal side, much better. Even the wine is better on the Royal side.

Bars:
All four of the bars on the Royal are consistent with there mix. There is a bit of a language barrier since our Spanish is terrible. We once ordered a gin and tonic and got red wine, but just go with it don't be picky!! They do have top shelf liquor and pour liberally. Some of the blended drinks come out of a slushie machine and then they add the liquor on top since not all bars have blenders. The house red and white were actually pretty good, but the white is warmish and the red is chilled. You must try the mamajuana at least once. They have a drink special everyday and that is fun.

Tipping:
You know, not many people tip here. We found that the serve really didn't change whether you did or not. But to see the appreciation on there faces when you handed them a buck or two, was so worth it!

A few tips for you!
We could not believe how easy the airport was, not problem at all. Just picked up our bags and walked out. No security... nothing. Kinda scary. But walked out to the curb and got a taxi. So easy. $30 bucks to the resort and tipped them $3. As soon as you get to the resort, your bags are left outside, kinda freeked me out but was no problem. The bellboy was always there to watch them. We did get our welcome drink and the check in took like.. 2 minutes. We were 3 hours early so they gave us our bracelets and towel cards and turned us loose. There is a bathroom in the lobby to change if you want to. As soon as you turn around from checking in, there they are!! The sales people. We knew this ahead of time, so we knew what to do. At firs they give you a nice little explanation of where everything is, which was helpful... But then they start in. Just say no, a couple times and it works. They never bothered us again. Some people took the tour and did the presentation and it ended up being like 3 hours. To each his own. There is a locals market just south of the resort, it is packed full of stuff, but they are super pushy. If you are good with negotiating, you will do well here. Also on Monday or Tuesday the locals market that comes to the pool area, they are still pushy but bring nice stuff.

Well this is all I can think of! Let me know if you have any questions!!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Christine-Oregon
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

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
#27 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £164 - £509 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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