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“Diarrhea”

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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Ranked #49 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersGold level
negaunee, michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Diarrhea”
Reviewed 28 March 2009

We stayed on the Royal side. We traveled with 3 other couples. When we first arrived I thought this was a beautiful resort and wanted to come back. But there seems to be something very wrong with their food.
5 out of 8 of us had problems with diarrhea and one person ended up with vomitting and going to the ER when we returned home. So for that reason I would not return to this resort.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank yooperlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Tinton Falls, New Jersey
Level 6 Contributor
303 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 311 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2009

If you want a hotel to relax and unwind, in a beautiful setting, at a reasonable price, then the Royal Catalonia is for you.
We made our decision mostly from all the positive reviews here on TA. It lived up to those good reviews. I will try not to repeat what has been said before.
This is a solid 3 or 4 Star resort. If you desire a 5 Star, look elsewhere. Besides, let's be real, it's not a 5 Star price tag either. Look up all the amenities on the web. You get alot for the money spent.

SERVICE---- All the staff were friendly and very helpful. No atttudes here, except for a few travellers. It is a Spanish country, so we had fun brushing up on our high school spanish. But a non-issue. The staff makes you feel welcome. GRADE---A
OUR ROOM---- Clean as a whistle. Our requests were honored. Very comfortable. Our maid, Altagracia, was very good. To comment about the handful of negative reviews----No water, bug, air conditioning, or service problems at all. You do have to close the patio door to have the AC work. GRADE----A
POOL & BEACH-----Typical caribbean beach. Nice & tranquil. Blue-green water, etc. Great. Seaweed raked up as needed. A non-issue. The large pool, pool bar, hot tubs, and patios are really nice. Have Carlos make you one of his special cocktails, or request your own. Ask for the top shelf liquor. Patio chairs, very comfortable. GRADE----A
THE FOOD---- The Royal side's Thalassa restaurant was our favorite. Excellent service, and great food. Breakfast had a nice variety. The lunch menu was changed daily. Nice.
Dinners were quiet, with dimmed lighting. Service was attentive to your needs. The only gripe--- we wished the menu could be more varied like lunch. But very good overall.
GRADE----A
FOOD---On the Non-Royal side-----We went to three restaurants, and one lunch buffet. Food was OK, nothing exceptional. They are heavy with the salt. We could not eat at the Italian cause it was really hot inside, like 90 degrees. AC was out.--- GRADE----C.
THE GROUNDS-----Well maintained and beautiful. The staff are constantly at work. You can take some long walks all over. GRADE----A.
Ask for an iron, and a dehumidifer for your room. It is the caribbean, so it can be humid.

If you read through the positive reviews you will pick up on some common great features of this resort. I am puzzled by the few negative ones. Some comments just don't make sense, after being there. We met two other couples there, that felt the same way. But I guess some poeople will always find fault.

Overall, an excellent vacation at a great price!!! The staff makes you feel welcome. And the resort is a relaxing one. We would love to go back. Enjoy!!!!
Cheers----Ken

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank JerseyBeachcomber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2009

Just got back on 03/20. Stayed at the Catalonia Royal. Hotel and rooms where nice. Refrigerator in the room would only cool to just below room temperature. Oh ! there is two glasses at bathroom sink , dont brushteeth with the water as I came down with a stomach problem. Food in the theme restraunts we where able to get in was fair at best. At the Rodeao steak house I had Tenderloin. It was a VERY thin flank steak that was folded over three times to look thick. The drinks Esp. the Banana Mama's where very good. bar service was great. Staff at all places where extremely helpful. The beach was a big disappointment. The water was full of weed growth so you are not able to enjoy the great color of the ccarribean water. Don't go snorkleing. There is no coral reefs at hotel and a small number of fish. The $25 snorkleing excursion showed fish but the coral reefs where a bland gray. Eventhough, the phone says no surchatge for credit card calls , we where billed $139 for connection fees. After a little argument and are bus ready to leave the hotel dropped the charge. So , in conclusion if you want to relax and have good food then this is a good hotel. If you are looking for a nice place with a nice ocean view nope. lastly , the dancing entertainment shows at nice are very good. Dont play slots!!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank TroynSky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
medicine hat alberta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2009

We just got home last night,
The food was OK, you were never hungry, but, as usual, buffet, gets old.
Pizza at beach snack bar was great! Omelette station best for breakfast as it was made to order, same with Pasta dishes at lunch. they were great!
We really loved the animation staff!!! they actually became friends, and ran to us whenever they seen us! we will miss them, it was weird today not seeing them! Michael, the bartender does some good bottle throwing tricks! he's so cute!
Do not waste money on Tropical Storm lobster tour, and snorkelling, It was very disappointing. barely got off shore to snorkel, probably could have swam to where they took us. lobster was not anything special. It was our friends 1st experience on a catamaran, and really enjoyed it. But I guess we are comparing to Cuba last year, and it was fabulous, (same with the one in Puerto Plata)

Our 1st room we had at Catalonia, was quite musty, and main floor, we seen a lizard in our room, as soon as we got in there!!! EWW!, but anyway, we requested to be moved, closer to the beach, and 2nd floor, and we also, had friends with us, so they moved their room with us too, so we stayed together, in fact, we were right next to each other, which was SO convenient.
When you see how different countries, build their bathrooms, and their pipes, you know why things can smell musty, but they moved us instantly, in fact they let us check a new room, before we took it, to make sure we liked it.
Disco was fun!. played american, music. shows at night were ok, a little cheesy at times but amusing!
Kids club appeared to be great! The girl 'Natividad', running it, was a DOLL!, we did'nt have our kids with us, but we know they would have loved her!!
Did not spend too much time at the beach, as we had a few windy days, and it wasnt as windy at the pool. Sand is like powder!!
Take part in whatever the animation staff try to encourage by the pool, its fun, and they have alot of fun with it too!!! we want to go back in a month and take our kids!!!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank katandrob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2009

I have been all over the caribbean, and if you are going to go to DR, then I would give this hotel a serious look. I was not too crazy about the DR bc there are a lot of negatives about the island, ie very poor, and not very safe once you leave the resort. But if you have your heart set of the DR and the Catalonia you MUST go to the ROYAL SIDE. No doubt, worth every penny.

The royal side is along the east side of the main resort. Even though it is all connected they are very strict about keeping the royal side to only royal members. All royal side get to use the main resort, but not vise versa.

Now there are so many reasons to go royal, first off the pool way way way nicer.., and a lot less people. The chairs all around the pool are wicker with great pads.. i went over to the main pool on the other side and it was a mad house,.. Plastic chairs, stacked side to side, people everywhere, and no place to really relax.. Second, is the service.. If you even look like you are in need of something, someone just pops out and asks you what you need. From drinks at the pool, to the restaurant, to maid service, everywhere..
third is the food: the royal restaurant has a great breakfast with almost no one there. And it is all inside without the birds and other things at the main buffet.. lunch, sunday was the best, i was there for two.. they have a outside buffet with lobster, all sorts of fish, and great piaya.. Then of all the dinner restaurants, the royal is by far the best. elegant, over looking the pool. the main restaurants are so so average. everything over there was luke warm, somewhat dry, and not all that good. Next the rooms are way bigger.. the main side had typical size hotel rooms, the royal are all suites, with sofa, sitting area etc.. i would say about 40% bigger.. Everything on the royal side was nicer..

Before I left it was a close call what side to go on.. I waited until a week before to make my decision, and it was only about 100 bucks pp more. That was the best 200 i spent all week.

As for the rest of the resort.. It was all good.. a nice value, plenty to do, very large, never felt too crowded, except main pool, and the food was ok-kind of good.. I had a little problem with the scuba shop personal, but maybe they were over worked.

I enjoy to gamble, but be careful at casino.. No regulations in DR.. I am positive that the blackjack decks were purposely short of high cards giving the house a major advantage.. I played there every night, but go the hand of their scam, and used it against them. I would hit on almost anything, and it turned out to be a good move. you could not imagine how many times I saw seven or eights cards without a face card. So watch before you play.. you will see..

As for excursions, I did a few.. all ok.. I enjoyed the half day swim/shark, sting ray thing.. they took you to a great lagoon for a couple hours after and it was very very nice.. since i was winning a lot in the casino i also went for the swim with the dolphin thing.. it was cool, but not really worth 120 pp..

So that is it.. I would never go back to DR, bc so so so many other islands for same price are way safer and just as nice. But if I had to go to DR, and I wanted to go to this hotel, the ROYAL is the only way to go..

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank bklalaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2009

Luxurious rooms with soaker tub, comfortable king sized bed, face cloths available everyday, beach/pool towels available in the room, good working safe, flat screen TV, clothes rack on patio, love seat and 2 other chairs in the room, good sized patio.
Pool has padded loungers, plentiful palyapas for shade, clean pool, great bar attendants, quiet environment (no animation teams or photo-ops personnel), deck-side drinks and fruit kabobs. All entertainment is on the Catalonia side. Everything is within a short walk. Royal is an adults only.
Restaurants - on the Royal side, breakfast is buffet or a la carte; lunch is a la carte, supper is a la carte with very good quality food.
Clients from the Royal side can also eat at the large buffets at the Catolonia side- lobby or beach and the a la cartes at night. From 4pm to 11 pm there is a Creperie that serves crepes, banana splits, etc. included in the all-inclusive.
A la Carte Restaurants on the Catolonia side are Japanese, Italian, Mexican and American. You can book several restaurants at a time.
Virgin drinks are delicious and all drinks are served with a smile.
Bottled water was very good quality and available anywhere.
Fridge is stocked everyday.
Transport to the resort was swift and check-in was efficient.
All the staff were extremely friendly and professional. A small problem we encountered was resolved immediately.
Royal side of Resort is about 3 years old with some new construction that will add another pool and shops and buffet.
Having stayed at 3 other resorts in Punta Cana, we will definitely return to this 5 star resort.
Another nice feature is the free internet.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ClassmanJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2009

Spent 5 days. We have traveled all over the world. We stayed on the Royal side since we wanted a quiet, relaxing time (childless this time), but still had the advantages of the the other half of the resort. Hotel is 10 minutes from airport. Flew Delta with NWA/mlt trip program--a van taxi shuttled us (alone) to the hotel...we had our luggage & were at the hotel within 30 min. Unlike Playa del Carmen where we waited 4 hrs for the luggage to be delivered to the room, they took us to the room via cart w/the luggage.

STAFF: ALL hotel staff were very kind, professional, helpful and caring (unlike other hotel comments I'd read). From the taxi drivers to maintanence men, all were friendly and offered "Olah!"

LANGUAGE: We did not have a problem with language. There was always an employee who spoke English okay. (Remember, we chose to go to another country, so we can't expect them to know our language). The one thing we were slightly confused about was the front desk said we could charge up to $150 to our room. Because I'd seen some specials on the internet when we booked...where the hotel/site had offered $100 per couple in "free" items at a resort, I assumed maybe we'd gotten such a deal. We went back to clarify and discovered that it's not "free" money to spend...it's just so that if you want to purchase a bottle of wine at a restaurant or at the spa, for example, you can charge up to $150 to your room and it will be applied to the credit card you reserved on. If you spend more, they need you to come to the front desk and make arrangements--probably security policy. They are so anxious to please you.

--TIP: In looking through an Eng. tourbook, I read that the Dominicans all want to please you so much, so to get the answer you are looking for. it's important to word your questions right--for example, if you say, "Will the weather be nice tomorrow?" you will get a yes. If you ask if it will rain tomorrow, you may find out Yes, it's scheduled to rain. If you say, "Is the town 30 minutes away?" They will say yes, when it's actually 60 minutes, so you may have to keep asking questions.

ROOM: I'd asked for a non-smoking room due to allergies and one not on the first floor (after reading reviews from other hotels, I honestly was a little worried about bugs). The first bldg was a new one, #38, and the room did smell slightly musty and it had an ash tray, so I asked for non-smoking. They graciously, immediately, moved us to Bldg. #46 which was just being cleaned. It was close to the lobby/restaurant & overlooked the pool. Beautiful! All rooms in the "royal" side are suites with hammocks, sofas, a poster bed, and large tub. If that isn't good enough, what is? (Caution--the tub will make the room pretty humid :) The beds are "firm." I like mine soft, so the 2nd night put the sofa cushions on the bed and slept great. The maid noticed this and they added padded cushions on the bed for us! We also were greeted with a large fresh fruit plate which was delicious. There was a small bottle there we didn't drink as we weren't sure what it was...but at the airport, it was $9 wine.

MAIDS: They clean continuously, but ours cleaned early morning or late afternoon, and they she'd stop in to turn down the bed around 10 p.m. My husband asked for extra water and beer in the fridge, they brought up a case of water. We couldn't have been more pleased with the cleanliness--definitely much cleaner than Jamaica, Mexico, or our cruise cabins. She mopped the floor daily and brought me softer pillows. We left a tip of $5 the first day and then $3-4 after that. When we saw teach of them the next day (two different maids re: the pillow and bed pads) each asked if the items helped...and inquired about my back.

MAINTENANCE/Service: All good here. I read in other hotels where people were not moved, light bulbs, leaky rooms, etc. but they keep this place pretty top notch. Saw a kid delivering a lightbulb next to us.

Restaurants: Make reservations immediately upon arrival. We arrived Tues. and some were booked all week already, although, the guy did take a waiting list and fit us in for 2.

The Royal side has 1 restaurant, Thalassia, and it was top-notch. The food, presentation, staff are all wonderful. We tried it for breakfast (buffet w/maid-to-order omelets/eggs), lunch & dinner are ala carte and fantastic. We absolutely loved the baked lobster (order 2 halves) and the beef was better than I have EVER eaten. Personally it's better than some others. Everything including appetizers, after drinks, desserts were fancy and tasty. You do make a reservation for here, but because it's only royal people it was always available.

The "other" side has __ restaurants:
First, Tuesday nights are Beach Party/Grill night on the other side...No one said anything to us, so you have to check the board by the main buffet for activities.

1-Beach Grill, has hot dogs, burgers, and pizza. Just off the pool, a nice late-afternoon snack stop if your meal isn't until later.

2-Bretone, a crepe/ice cream stop by the little shopping mall. Open 4-11 pm.

3-The Gran Caribe Buffet, open for all 3 meals. They did have "theme nights" (Spanish, Italian, Dominican). It was a nice change, enjoyed breakfast/lunch there, but tried the restaurants at night. Loved the fruit and crepes for breakfast.

4-American Steakhouse - adorable decor inside/outside, waiters as cowboys--stop by even if you don't eat there. Food was good.

5-Mexican, 6-Tuscana (Italian), and 7-Japanese "Tapanyaki" style as a group. The staff/ food here was very good, and a fun change, but the decor needs cleaning/more to really have atmosphere. Desserts weren't worth it.

Bars: Beach bar--Roberto is the hardest worker! He's a gem, sweet guy, happy attitude. Cute single guy, but an only child, so works very hard for his parents. Said he likes the girls, but right now he needs money and school, so he has to stay away :)

Entertainment: Hotel crew work hard to entertain. I think they were funny and they're really young adults trying very hard. We had live music, an American dancing show, kid's dancing, fashion show, talent night. Not Vegas, but typical tropical hotel shows. No one really used the Disco when we were there, and the Cascino was small and unappealing. They did have two blackjack table $5 and $10. I played a little in the machine, but would do blackjack if we went again.

SHOPPING:
The hotel property is basically "alone"..between two strips of beach. The royal side has a small market where you can walk down (wear shoes!) to for inexpensive items. The other side had one tent. We took a taxi (up to 5 people same price) to town to Plaza Bavaro...essentially locals shops and got some good deals on Larimar. Need to watch though as the pink coral necklaces are often NOT on silver...but cheap metal. Spent $25 each way for taxi...and it's about 15 miles (30 minutes)... if you can wait & shop on Friday, the locals bring in their wares and sell them at the hotel. Much cheaper than the one jewelry shop on site...BUT be sure you get finished jewelry... I bought one Amber necklace that in the light it isn't really polished well. Slightly higher in price, I paid $105 at the airport jewelry counter and got 2 Larimer crosses, 2 sets of amber earrings, a larimar slide, and 2 necklaces for my kids. Very nice jewelry.

Beer: My husband noticed when he tipped first, they used the more expensive liquor. Some hotels charge for that, this one doesn't.

Beach is nice. Was windy due to weather over Haiti, but we snorkeled (chest deep) (free) out at the far swim rope...there's a cement thing out there to stop the waves and beach erosion...the fishes sit in there. Rip up bread in an empty water bottle, fill that with water & shake it, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

We signed up for the Rip slide trip, then changed it to the shark/sting ray swim. Unfortunately, due to the wind, that got canceled. Our guy was not pushy at all, and even gave us his home phone, drove out to change our reservations, and then was sad to cancel on us and refund our money. We tipped him because he'd gone through so much, was pleasant, and we realized he wasn't getting a commission.

If it's windy, get a spot by the pool...they fill up.


---------------

Only Downs: We did get the runs, not bad, as did some others. Not sure if it was from ice. At the bars by the restaurants, they all used dishwashers. I did notice at the pool bar, the guy washed the glasses himself...and I didn't see any soap..but then they do give you straws to use, rather than putting your mouth on glasses. We did try all the food though....
Oh, I guess it's mostly French, French Canadians, and Europeans who smoke. I'm allergic so I tried to avoid them. Beware, I guess they don't go by the rule, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do...because even though they are in Dom. Republic, they seem to need to remove their tops." :)

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Minnesota40
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
#29 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#44 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#46 Luxury 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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