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“Perfect - More than we were expecting.”

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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Ranked #45 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 14 April 2009

My wife and I spent a week at the Royal side of Catalonia Bavaro. It was our first trip after having a child 18 months ago and it was exactly what we needed.

First - I would like to make a comment about Trip Advisor. This website is fantastic and I appreciate everyone who made comments about both sides of this resort. I checked the website daily for reviews. Everyone was valuable and gave us important information.

Check In - Went fine. I did not tell the cabbie Royal so he brought me to the regular side first. Once they realized they wisked us over in a gold cart. Only negative part was there were 4 really drunks gays arguing with the front desk at the regular side. The mood was much better at the Royal Side. They gave us a cold drink and we ate lunch while our room was prepared.

Rooms - The room was very nice. Bigger than it needed and everything worked fine. The fridge did not make things extremely cold, but I would just grab a bucket of ice daily at the bar. The tub was huge. I really liked the hammock on the deck.

Beach - The best sand that I have ever felt. It was beautiful. Yes, there is seaweed. If this bothers you then seek professional help. Every morning I would walk to the beach around 8 while my wife slept in. I read a book, claimed my thatched hut and took an early morning nap. This was my routine but it was not necessary. The royal side had double the amount of huts. We became friends with a great couple from Virgina. Every day we shared the hut. The beach bar was great. Carlos would even come around with real coconuts filled with your drink of choice. If you want a snack it is a short work to the snack bar at the regular side of the resort.

Pool - I also loved the Royal pool. We would spend our late afternoons at the pool for a little more energy and drinks at the pool bar. We went to regular pool once but even though it was much larger it had too many people for us. Our pool was the perfect blend of laughter and mature people.

Food - We did make all of our reservations on the first day.

Thalasia - On the royal side. FANTASTIC. We ate lunches there daily. AMAZING. Lunch was the best. It was a different daily menu. Every time we ate lunch somewhere else we regretted it. We had dinner there twice and it was a great experience. One night we did not have a reservation and we walked right in. One night the lobster tasted bad and the waiter had another meal quickly made for us.

Steakhouse - Really good. Yes it is has cheesy decorations, but so does Outback. Food was very good and the steaks were a good alternative to the more exotic food.

Mexican - Really good as well. For $3 I bought a Corona.

Italian - We did not go because we had heard so many complaints about the temperature inside.

Japanese - Did not like at all. The food was not good. Very salty. Bad service. They also placed us with one large family that spoke a different language than us. This made for an awkward experience.

Buffet's - We did not like at all. When you compare them to Thalasia you would be crazy to eat there.

Snack Bar - Good for a snack. Yes the pizza is good.

Day Time Activities - Our goal was to relax so we spend the day at the beach, long lunches and pool.

Night Time Activities - Shows were fun. They only one I did not like was the fashion show, it was just a sales pitch. They are worth going to every night overall. Disco was fun when the crowd got there. We only went twice. After the shows we would have drinks and conversations at the piano bar with the friends we made. The beach party was impressive. Show up early to get a good table. Casino was not worth it.

Some hints -
* Bring $100 in ones for tips.
* Bring plenty of sunscreen. Very expensive in the store.
* We have a small child so we called home to the States daily. Do not buy a phone card. They double charge you. It is better just call directly.
* Make your dinner reservations the first day you get there.
* I brought my laptop and had internet in the room!

Have a great trip!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank dadooleys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 April 2009

We had a planned vacation at the Catalonia Royal from Sept. 20th through Sept. 25th – 5 nights. However, we only stayed at the Catalonia Royal for 2 nights (September 20th & 21st). After the first day and one half, we knew we needed to leave. We then decided to return to the Majestic Colonial for the remaining nights of our vacation.

I was truly saddened at being disappointed by the Catalonia Royal as DH and I were really looking forward to it.
It was a compilation of things that made our very short stay unbearable. These things taken separately might not have mattered. However, when these things happen in a short span of time, it does matter.

Things started on the wrong foot with check-in. We had upgraded to the Royal side and had a confirmation #. Upon arrival, our info did not appear on their records. Eventually we were checked in after having charged us twice for the upgrade. Things continued on the downslide with service in general. We were looking forward to the friendly and helpful attitude from the staff which sadly, we only encountered once.

2 things really broke the camel's back. The first was that we did get tummy issues while there. Shortly after eating I had the runs followed by cramping. I would have taken this lighter had I just arrived at the Catalonia directly from NY. However, the previous 4 nights I had been at the Majestic Colonial without any troubles whatsoever. Further, after returning to the Majestic, my tummy troubles disappeared. The other strong reason for us to leave the Catalonia Royal was the amount of smoking under closed conditions - whether at the Lobby or at the restaurants. DH got bad allergies from this. While it is claimed that there are smoking and non smoking sections, there really aren’t any. Smoking is allowed in the non-smoking sections of the restaurants - including and especially in the Thalassa. We don't have an issue with smokers, but we do have an issue when it happens in closed quarters and in the designated non-smoking sections.

Because of this and other things we will not be returning to the Catalonia Royal and cannot recommend it.

We arrived at the Catalonia Royal on the afternoon of Sept. 20th via IBK Servicios (great, great taxi service, btw) from the Majestic Colonial. Upon arrival, we provided a copy of the reservation # to the check-in clerk. Our information was not found in their computers. Luckily I had a copy of the email exchange I had in the past with the Royal. We were asked to have a seat for a little while. After approximately 20 minutes we were called to the front desk and asked for our credit card in order to charge the upgrade. We provided our credit card and were then asked to have a seat. After another 20 minutes approximately, we were called to the front desk and asked for our credit card once again, as the first clerk had processed it incorrectly. After this, we were asked to have a seat once again for another 10 or 15 minutes or so. During that time we saw others being checked in and provided a welcome drink, while we were never offered one. Again, no biggie, but a fact. Minutes later, they ask us to approach the front desk as they finally have the info and key cards to our room.

The look of the room was actually quite nice. It had a view of the pool and was nice. It has a bit of a damp smell, but I’ve come to expect that in the Caribbean. I light a scented candle and that usually takes care of the issue. Service appears to be an issue as a whole at this resort. The fridge contained opened bottles of waters and soda from the previous guests and the fridge had not been restocked. I immediately disposed of the opened ones. We noted what was missing in the room – towels, robes and the DVD player – and provided the list downstairs. We were advised that these things would be taken care of by the time we returned to our room. We proceeded to walk around the resort in an effort to familiarize ourselves with the Catalonia. When we returned to our room, they had delivered the DVD player – actually, it was just placed it on the dresser without hooking it up. The first thing we had to do was to devise a way to unlatch the DVD door as it was stuck. Then we tried hooking up the DVD player which is pretty straightforward, but wasn’t. We called service and they were able to fix it, but didn’t arrive until the following day. The bathrobes were not delivered until the evening of the following day.

I have to mention here that we were woken up the first morning around 6am with a loud and constant electrical sawing noise. To us, it first appeared that our room door was being sawed away. When we realized it wasn’t our door, we were thankful, but couldn’t sleep after that because the noise continued for about an hour. We decided to then head to an early breakfast.

Upon our return from breakfast, we headed back to the room as it had started to rain. We decided to watch a movie until the rain cleared. At about 10am, we get a call to our room for us to open the shower water as some repairs were being were being done. Approximately 30 minutes to 45 minutes later, we get another phone call to shut the water off. Again, I find no reason why we need to be disturbed if we’re looking to have some peaceful and quiet time on vacation.

One last note – we did encounter a water roach in the room. Thankfully, it’s not a huge deal to us as I killed it myself, but some others might have an objection to this.

Cannot really rate this area as our stay was too short and the one full day that we were there, we didn’t need our room cleaned.

POOL 2/5
The pools looked nice overall. However, I do not like the feeling of being so close to your neighbors. All the chairs are placed really, really close to each other, not affording any quiet/private time.

The beach had a lot of seaweed the afternoon we went down to the beach. I’m used to resorts being mindful of seaweed washing up and of cleaning it up. It wasn’t the case at the Royal Catalonia. The beach area in itself is very small for the Royal customers. The chairs are placed closely together with no privacy or being able to escape the cigarette smoke from others. I will say that the beach bar had an excellent gentleman that does not allow your drink to be empty. He brought us drinks constantly and always with a smile. I’m sorry that we didn’t take his name. He is the ONLY friendly person that we encountered while at the Royal during our stay.

We ate at the Thalassa, Mexican and buffet restaurant.
We had a decent dinner at Thalassa and thought the food was good. Where they lack here is in service once again. They disregard smoking vs. non-smoking sections and service is not friendly. Lunch at Thalassa was quite limited and not enjoyable.
Mexican – the meal itself was good. They didn’t have Corona beer, but not a huge biggie. Again, service was not friendly and they allowed smoking in all sections.
Buffet – we had breakfast one morning and the options are a bit limited. Also, the hot foods were a bit on the cold side. We eventually got coffee and water served at our table, but it didn’t seem like it was a priority to serve it’s guests – very disappointing.

BARS 2/5
Service at the bars is not really good. They appear to be understaffed and you must wait a long time in order to get a drink. We aren’t huge drinkers, but every time we walked over, we had to wait a long time. Their espresso is very good though.

Entertainment is typical of resorts – some good and some not so good. I believe the animation staff sometimes is too forthcoming. A couple of women approached my husband to dance when we were holding hands and in a middle of an obvious conversation. A simple “no” did not work. He explained as politely as possible that he wanted to spend some time with me. I realize that entertainment wants the crowd to participate, but they should know the difference when a couple should not be approached.

The ground look nice overall and they are great for pictures at night.

Check out did not go as smoothly as expected either. While it was barely 7am and the majority of the guests were still asleep, we had to wait close to 30 minutes for our suitcase to be brought to the Lobby. We were at the top floor and we couldn’t handle all of our suitcases, so we had no other choice. I felt really bad making IBK Servicios (once again,IBK offers superb and on-time service – hats off to Bronly) wait for us when it should not have been so. After a couple of trips to the room attempting to find the gentleman with our suitcases, he was eventually found. We were anxious to return to the Majestic Colonial where service is the most important thing.

3  Thank NYHappyToTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2009

My Husband and I recently traveled to the Dominican Republic (April 2, 2009); my fist time, his second. Catalonia Bavaro was a very nice surprise!! The gardens are gorgeous , the staff are outstanding and the food was delicious!! The rooms were clean with plenty of hot water, towels, and a minibar with water, soda, and beer stocked daily. The attention to detail is evident everywhere you look. There is plenty of staff on hand at this resort; most speak broken english so you can get by.

The beach has fine,sugary sand. The water is not turquoise like other beaches; just patches here and there. There is a coral reef about a kilometre from the beach in front of the hotel. You can see the waves breaking out there. The staff cleans seaweed from the beach daily and is evident in the water when you are swimming. Didn't bother me too much since the water is clear and warm!!

The pool is the largest I've ever seen. You can walk in at several points. There is a jacuzzi, a kiddie wadding area, and children's play area located nearby. There is a swim up bar and second restaurant close by, and you could get roasted chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, salads, drinks, and donuts at the outdoor food court near the pool.

There is nightly entertainment for children and adults - even karoke. A beach party was held one evening. It was amazing!!! The beach was beautifully decorated with woven palms archways and linen draped tables and chairs for the guests to sit - a huge barbeque was the meal for the night. Entertainment was held on the beach as well ending around midnight.

The food was excellent and the deserts were absolutely delicious. The best I've had in my travels in the Caribbean. This resort exceeded my expectations and the staff are working hard to please you.

I highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for good value and elegant outstanding service!!

Trickets, soap, shampoo, pens, children school supplies, feminine products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, make up, cheap watches, Canadian tee shirts are well received by the staff members and are greatly appreciated. A lot of this stuff can be purchased at the dollar store.

Mark and Sharon McGovern
Medicine Hat, Alberta

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank McGovern46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2009

Hello -

So my wife and I decided to take a trip again to Punta Cana. We looked online and got a pretty good deal for around $1200.00 each with flights from Chicago. Since it is really cold at home this was our getaway. Upon arrival it was very smooth. We were booked at the CATALONIA BAVARO HOTEL AND CASINO, which is not the same as the ROYAL CATALONIA BAVARO. They share the property but the ROYAL side has a private restaurant, pool, and much better rooms.


The resort on the ROYAL side is very nice, and quiet! There are no kids allowed on the Royal side. The service is MUCH better on the ROYAL side, and the restaurant service is great. The food on the other hand is SUBPAR across the entire resort. I would give the food a VERY low rating. The quality is just not good. So, we stayed on the "Royal Compound" for most of the trip.

The regular side of the resort is very busy! It is a extremely large resort. If you are booked here pay the extra $20.00 per person, per night to upgrade to the Royal side. The difference in liquor, service, and restaurant is worth it.

The Casino is very dated, and smells moldy. I think they took a lot of face cards out of the mix to give the house an advantage. I made a good amount of cash playing Roulette though.

If the price is cheap then it is not a bad getaway. However this is not a good place for a honeymoon, or for anniversary's.

If you stay on the regular side of the resort you will get sick. The buffet is NASTY! The food and preparation of the food was lack luster.

I would come back here for around $800.00 a person with flights for 7 days. Past that we are on to our next trip. (We do 4 - 1 week trips a year.)

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank McCannFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2009

Stayed at this resort March 9-16.This was my husbands first trip to a tropical locale and he wasn't sure if he would enjoy the heat,food etc,but to my surprise he now wants to book a trip every year.
Pros- Staff were extremely professional,helpful and really seemed to take pride in their work even though they work very long hours.
Food was the best I have ever had at an AI,the steak at the Thalassa melted in my mouth and the desserts were to die for , we tried the other ala cartes and we were very pleased,couldn't get into the Steakhouse but that was fine
Rooms were very clean and spacious,lots of towels ,water was hot,AC worked great,make sure your patio door is closed tight.
Room service was a nice touch if your Dinner reservations were a little late, you could get salads,sandwiches on a variety of breads served with excellent potato chips on the side,cold cuts,fruit plate and a few other things I can't recall.
Beach was never busy with lots of loungers and huts for shade,windy when we were there
No bugs at all,oh sorry saw 1 ant and 1 mosquito
Fridge was stocked with beer , water, orange,diet pepesi and pepsi if want more of anything just leave a note and they will usually accomadate you.
Tips- when we arrived in our room it was very musty just open your patio door and your hall door for a cross wind and the smell goes away quite quickly.also bring a little spray bottle of fabreze and maybe a scented candle helps also or you can order a dehumidifier but we didn't bother.
Bring lots of small American bills for tipping,very much appriciated
If you have any questions ask away and remember you are on vacation, smile, we met alot a very nice people and wish we were there now

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank BettinaW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2009

Everything was perfect from the moment we left Montreal until we returned. The hotel staff was courteous & helpful. The rooms were large, clean. My mistake was I should have brought a english/spanish dictionnary, but we managed. A great choice of restaurants, but we mostly stuck with the large selection buffet. If you're interested only in relaxing, this is defnitely the place to be. This hotel is quiet secluded from other hotels. We only stayed on the resort. Never ventured out, but we met some of the other guests that did venture outside the hotel, but recommended us that we should stay in the resort as there wasn't much to see outside. I wouldn't recommend the casino. I hate to say this, but sort of a rip off.

All in all, great hotel!!

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank HootsMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2009

My boyfriend and I just returned from the Royal Catalonia Bavaro from March 25-29th. We had a great time at this beautiful resort. Check in was relatively easy...we arrived around 12pm and our room was ready within 20 minutes. I had requested a room on the 2nd or 3rd floor near the pool and that is exactly what we received. The room was very nice and a decent size as well. The balcony was great and we spent every morning on it, relaxing and drinking our coffee. The grounds of the hotel are very pretty and well kept. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful, always holding doors and greeting you with a smile. It was also obvious they work hard at keeping the hotel looking great. There was plenty of security around the grounds as well which made me feel safe.
The pool was great..large and with a lot of lounge chairs. But, if you don't arrive early many of them are taken quickly! The pool area was just as many other people described, quiet and relaxing.
The beach was beautiful as well but I found it to be extremely windy which at times made it hard for me to enjoy and relax. But the sand and water were breathtaking. The staff was there just about every hour raking up seaweed and keeping the beach looking great.
We found the food to be very good. We ate at Thalassa every morning for breakfast , a few times for lunch and one night for dinner. The food here was very good each time. Two days we went back to our room and ordered room service for lunch which was great.
Besides the one night at Thalassa, other nights for dinner we ate in the Japanese, Italian and Mexican restaurants. Each was good but I would say the Italian was the best. Food was filling and tastey in each place. We tried the Crepperie one night, it was ok, but not nearly as good as other people had described it. We had absolutely no problem with any sickness issues as far as the food was concerned. Drinks were very good as well with plenty of liquor in them. We love mojitos so that was our drink of choice but anything that we tried was pretty good.
The regular side of the Catalonia from what we saw was very nice as well and extremely large. We did not spend time at the pool or beach on that side but did walk around it one day. Quite a difference from the royal side! The pool and beach area both are very large with tons of people around each. The atmosphere was much louder and active. At night we would always go over to the regular side because there was just more to do, including the row of shops that it offers which I found to be great!
There were very few things I would complain about at this resort. A few minor things were that except for the first night there was no hot water in our shower. Luckily the tub always had hot water and a flexible water spout which made it easier to wash my hair while in the tub. Also one morning the power went on and off for several hours. It wasn't that bad, just annoying at times. It also took a long time to get the room cleaned. We would leave in the morning around 9 and return around 3 or 4, and the room would still not be cleaned or the maid was just getting to the room then. But once we left again at around 7pm for dinner we would leave the sign on the door and when we returned at around 11pm the room would then be clean.
Overall we had a great experience here at the Royal Catalonia Bavaro. I felt we had the best of both worlds by staying on the Royal side and would recommend that to anyone looking for peace and quiet and complete relaxation!
Just as a side note about the construction, we had no issues with noise and it seems to be almost finished. From the looks of it, this new construction will be awesome and we are already talking about returning once it is finished!

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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3  Thank CourtC
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
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
#38 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: £160 - £508 (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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