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“A Fantastic Trip!!!!”

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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Ranked #49 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersGold level
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A Fantastic Trip!!!!”
Reviewed 16 June 2009

We just got back from the Catalonia Royal this past Saturday. We stayed from 06/08 - 06/13. We are a couple in our mid-30's who were looking for a quiet, relaxing place to get away from the stresses of life, and boy did we find it.

The Royal section is a section inside a much larger resort called the Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort. This main resort is for everyone, and it seemed very crowded, the Royal side however (which is adults only) was very quiet and calm and didn't seem crowded the entire week we were there.

Beach/Pool - We were always able to find chairs at the pool and the beach but not always under an umbrella. Beware the towel game was played here heavily all week at the beach and the pool. By the time the pool closed in the afternoons there would still be almost every chair under shade occupied by towels that no one had sat in. We went to the beach most days because there were palm trees there that you could usually move your chairs around to find some shade, but if you are the type of person that needs constant shade, you would need to get up by at least 7:00 am to save an umbrella. The ocean was very clear, warm and calm, no waves where the swimming area was. You could see the waves breaking out on the coral reef (don't know if it's natural or man made?) but it was like 1/2 mile out. The ocean did have some seaweed patches and some floating in the water, so if that's something that really bothers you this might not be the resort for you. It didn't bother us though, and the Royal side of the beach was soooo relaxing. If there was music playing it was always something soothing or with a Caribbean feel and the wind was usually blowing gently to cool you off. This was where we spent most of our time.

Room/grounds - The rooms were very spacious and clean. We were in room 4049 which was just past the pool facing the garden side. It was very beautiful and quiet, and I would recommend a room on the top floor. We didn't have any problems with bugs and our AC and hot water worked great. Just an FYI, there is a big tub beside the bed in the main room but this is not a jacuzzi tub, just a soaking tub. Our refrigerator was stocked every day with two beers, a pepsi, a diet pepsi, a 7up, a Red Rock (local orange soda), and 2 or 3 bottles of water, and if you needed more water there was bottled water at all the restaurants and the bars had bottles to give you. We would leave our room after lunch to go to the beach or pool and put the sign out to make up our room and it was always done when we got back to the room usually around 4:00 or 5:00 pm. My SO's birthday was on Thursday, (our travel agent had commented on that on our reservation although we didn’t know it) and we got back to the room on Wednesday night around 11:00 pm to find a birthday cake with candles lit for him. It was a very nice, thoughtful surprise.
Only negative, the bed and pillows were like a ROCK. Definitely use the pillow service to get a softer pillow and even with the mattress pad that we got from the front desk the mattress was still really hard, by the end of the week our backs were pretty messed up, but the alcohol at night helped with the sleeping.. lol.

Food - The Thalassa Restaurant on the Royal side was the best by far. For breakfast they had a menu that you ordered eggs from (cooked fresh to order) and a buffet for the rest. Fresh fruit, yogurt, meats and cheeses, cerals, pancakes, crepes, doughnuts, sausage & bacon (not like the american versions but still good), pastries, breads, etc. Lunch you ordered off a menu that changed every day, but they had a 'snack' menu that was always the same with burgers, hot dogs, Fried calamari, roasted chicken, etc. I had one of the best meals all week here at lunch, it was a stir fried eggplant and chicken dish with soy and ginger served over rice with crisp vegetables... it was delicious.
Dinner you also ordered off a menu that had a choice for everyone, steaks, seafood, lobster, chicken, pork, soups and salads all fresh and beautifully prepared. We ordered room service several times during the week, and it was always delivered within 30 minutes and the sandwiches were always good, but the negative was that all the sandwiches were served with 'chips' (which were fries) and they were, half the time, cold and soggy. I think they must just cook these up and leave them in big trays waiting to serve, because one night my SO got up at 3:00 am hungry and ordered a sandwich from room service and the fries that came with that were fresh, crisp and hot. (I guess not a huge demand for fries at 3:00 am... lol)
There were also 5 different restaurants on the main resort side and we ate at all of these as well. Our favorite was the Italian, the carpaccio of beef was fabulous as well as their mussel pasta. The Japanese, the only one that required reservations, was ok, although I was expecting a show like the hibachi style restaurants here in the US and there really wasn't one. Just a guy, who very methodically cooked everything, handed it out and left. Also, there wasn't a sushi menu which I was hoping for, they just brought out three pieces of different types of sushi as an appetizer for the meal and you didn't get to choose or pick which ones you wanted. The Mexican was pretty good; they had chicken tacos, fajitas, grilled shrimp, etc. The Rodeo (steakhouse) was our least favorite. The steaks all came WELL DONE no matter how you asked for them... my ribeye was so much like leather I couldn't eat it. My SO's fillet was butterflied to be thinner so it would cook well done quicker and then put back together before it was put on the plate even though he asked for medium rare. After that, anytime we ordered meat, we would make sure they were paying attention and say we wanted it rojo (red) and it would come out med. rare to medium.
The buffet was the only place that we could both eat dinner in shorts and sandals, so this was where we ate the first night we got there after traveling all day. It was pretty good; they had all kinds of cooking stations where you could get cooked to order fish, lamb chops, stir fried beef and pork, and pasta. Also there were all kinds of salads, fruit, cheeses and meats to make panini’s (there were two panini grills you could use), and the usual different vegetables, breads, and already prepared meats, casseroles, etc. There was a lot of variety although it reminded us of cafeteria quality and for the rest of the week we ate at the ala carte restaurants for dinner. Just as an FYI, if you are expecting all the food to be 'Americanized' you will be disappointed. We read all the reviews, and are adventurous with food, so we were very pleased with the selections, but if you are looking for food just like you would find in the US you will be disappointed. But what do you expect; you are in a foreign country!!!

We can't comment on the excursions, shows, casino, or disco because we really didn't partake in any of these. We just enjoyed each other's company, and usually wound up at the piano bar on the Royal side for drinks before going up to our room. Kudos to Louis at the piano bar, he fixed the best drinks and was so nice and personable. All the staff was helpful and accommodating, but it helps if you can speak a little Spanish. My SO spoke just enough so were didn't have any trouble communicating, even though we had to do some pointing... :)

All in all, a wonderful, relaxing vacation. We couldn't have picked a better place for what we wanted from this vacation and I would recommend this resort to anyone who was looking for peace and quiet with a great atmosphere and staff. And if you wanted something livelier you could always go to the other side. Fantastic!!!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank Debra D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Northern, NJ
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2009

The incessant smoking was our biggest complaint on this trip. I would say more than 80% of the clientele smokes (many Europeans) so there is no place to hide. The beaches, pools, and disco are the worst. Fortunately, I didn't see anyone smoking in the restaurants.

The Catalonia Royal Bavaro is the same hotel as the Catalonia Bavaro. Royal gives you one private restaurant, pool, spa, beach, piano bar, and four villas. The private beach is worth the money. It's quiet and not as crowded.

Rooms - big, clean, beautiful, and nicely appointed. AC is terrible and the room is warm and humid.
Service - lots of empty promises, no follow up, no leadership.
Room Cleaning - Excellent
Beach - Excellent
Pool - Dirty (see pics)
Bar - The bar staff is very friendly and accessible. Drinks are tasty but light on alcohol.
Food - The food will sustain you and that’s it. It is on par with your local $9.99 all you can eat buffet. We were disappointed by the lack of unique, traditional Dominican cuisine. Also, the food seems low quality and unhealthy. We may have had one or two surprises throughout the week but for the most part, the food was bad.
Entertainment: They try.

My final assessment is that the Catalonia Royal Bavaro is a nice place to visit but an even better place to leave. If you are not bothered my smoking or average food, then this place has a lot of offer in a relaxing vacation. However, this hotel is not concerned with repeat business. I was annoyed more than relaxed. We chose this destination because based on the number of stars, we thought we were getting a good deal. You get what you pay for and next year, we’ll gladly spend more and go back to a Ritz Carlton property for a real vacation experience. I will go to a Hotel Catalonia property again and this is probably my last time in DR.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank OnTheGoNorthern_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 June 2009

There have been some very good reviews posted so I'll just try to add a few items that others may have missed.

Rooms - The Royal rooms are spacious and relaxing. The AC doesn't work as well as we might have liked but it was satisfactory. The beds are hard so ask for a pad and the front desk if you like a softer mattress.

Best rooms are upper units facing the pool. I'd ask for 4421 or 4441 if I were going back tomorrow. The second floor rooms are not as private but the overhead balcony keeps them relatively dry. We were on a third floor which had a wooden awning that allowed rain to drip down. It flooded during a downpour. I wish I could have relaxed out there during the rain.

The staff is great. One night they had a bubble bath for us after we got back from our Saona Island trip. Great timing! The tub takes a long time to fill. I'd say 20 minutes at least. Plan accordingly. Overall though, the staff did an excellent job taking care of the place.

Restaurants - Thalassa is the best by far. Great tasting food and excellent service. Most of the other places were just ok. They made up in presentation what they lacked in taste. The only one we didn't like was the Italian. It was just plain bad. Lasagna was terrible and the lobster was smothered to death in cheese sauce. Japanese and Rodeo were good. Get a reservation early if you want to eat Japanese. It's the only one that requires reservations. Again, you can't go wrong with Thalassa. If I were going back tomorrow, I'd eat every meal there. They have a great breakfast too.

A note about room service, the portions are very small. You could order everything on the menu and you might have a decent meal. Great thing is, you can order as much as you like as often as you like 24 hours a day. It takes about 30 minutes to get your order. Order more than you think you can eat.

Beach - If you like a quiet beach, stay at the Royal side. Very quiet. Go over to the Bavaro pool to get some pizza for lunch though. It's worth it. Otherwise, we enjoyed a quiet, kid-free beach.

Activities - If you want to sail the catamarans, get a reservation early. Also, the scuba diving is much better than I expected. No big fish to speak of but the coral was in nice shape. It's not a diving destination but it's worth your time if you have your "C" card. Kayaking is fun. The water is very shallow way out from the beach. You can get out and walk in ankle deep water in places. Not great snorkeling, a few fish on the artificial reef but nothing worth writing home about. I brought my mask and snorkel but I wouldn't bother with it again.

Odds and Ends - The Royal Catalonia is part of a Spanish chain so many of the guests are from Spain. Learn a few words and you'll do fine. I carried a pocket translator but I didn't need it much. I just needed a few words to get by.

Keep an eye when walking around the resort in the rain. All the smooth floor surfaces become incredibly slick when they are wet. Take your time and don't run.

Overall, we had a great stay. I recommend Royal Catalonia to anyone wanting a fun, all-inclusive stay in Punta Cana.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Joel M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bridgwater, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2009

"Well we have returned from the Royal Bavaro after an extremely enjoyable two weeks vacation (April 29 - May 14) and I would definitely recommend the 'Royal Bavaro' to anyone seeking the 'adult only' type of vacation. Further Comments to my Original - not in any order!
1. We used the 'Royal' Steamroom and Sauna every day. This is a great way of cleaning off the suntan lotion you have been smothered in during the day. Ask the girl at the Spa for a cube of Menthol and the steam room is fantastic! There are two showers to use and toiletries and towels are provided. My only criticism here is that it is not extremely well run. We would have to look for someone and ask for towels and toiletries, which should have been there ready to use. Its a small detail, but dont forget you are meant to be 5 star! After using the Spa we would soak in the Jacuzzi for 30 mins (one hot and one colder) and by then you are completely chilled out for sure.
2. There is a Gym located in the spa complex is and this is well equipped for general excercise and weight work.
3. Here is a little snippet - there is a putting green close to the spa and if you want a putter and ball - the spa is where you will find them.
4. As time went on we found that the hotel became busier and the dreaded 'laying of towels' on your favourite beach umbrella started to occur. It may bother you or it may not , but for us I dont think the hotel should allow people to take up two umbrellas and 6 beds and then not arrive at the beach till midday. Again not a huge issue but can be frustrating.
5. The hotel gets busier at weekends with people coming for a short breaks.
6. There is a great piano bar in the Royal side and a pianist comes and plays 3 times a week - lovely for an evening chill out.
7, The Thessalonia restaurant on Royal Side is superb. Food choice is great, and service as well. People have already mentioned this. Try the lobster - Amazing!
8. Bar staff and service by all was excellent and a couple dollars here and there goes a long way and is gratefully received. However, tipping is a personal thing and you will not receive poor service just because you dont tip.
9. After two weeks the construction of the new buildings never disturbed us at all. Full completion looks to me to be 3-4 months away - but boy it will be nice, including some fab single units with your own private swimming pool.
10. We walked both ways on the beach for over 3km and never encountered any security issues. If you walk to the left you will end up at another resort, after passing the 'fish sanctuary' where people can pay to go see Ray's and sharks etc. Go right and there are a square of shops up off the beach and then nothing for a long way.
11. We brought coffee at the hotel shop - it was cheaper than the airport. In the shops by the beach you can get it for a dollar less than the hotel shop but not sure how fresh.
12. A couple of people we met had been stung by jellyfish. I think you are probably unlucky for this to happen. I never saw one in two weeks. One tip told to me by someone who got stung. Just put vinegar on it to neutralise the sting.
13. When you go out in the water there is a concrete culvert about 60 yds out (waist deep). Go to the right hand side near the end and take some bread and banana. You will have lots of different speices of fish swimming around you and taking from your hand. Lovely!
14.. On the food side we least liked the Mexican restaurant (only because we are not keen on mex food) and most liked the Thassalonia. The Rodeo, Crepe, Buffet, Japanese and Pizza are all good.
15. On the non-royal side entertainment at night is good and colourful, with theme nights and the usual audience participation sketches. A disco goes on till about 3am. There is a casino with a range of slots, roulette BJ etc.
16. There is one main bar on the non royal side and this gets really busy. We used it a few times but always ended back at the piano bar on the royal side.
17. On the golfing side you can get a special for two people for around 40 dollars i think it was.
18. A taxi for 25 dollars will take you from the hotel to a local shopping centre for gifts etc.
19. About a dozen various shops on the resort selling gifts, clothes, cigars, coffee, rum etc. I didnt think it was too pricey (compared to uk) and the coffee is certainly a must buy.
20. Plenty of watersports if you want it, also boat trips, diving, and these great little speedboats you can hire for a good fun 'boys will be boys' session!
21.. There are various tours you can book. The 4 wheel drive excursion is popular as well as Sanoa island.
22. Room service is included in the 'all inclusive'. Nice touch when you want a snack on the balcony!
23.. The only negative point i have about the room side is that they exchange towels and re-stock your mini-bar in the evenings. And its always around the time you are relaxing before going out for the evening. I think it would be better to put fresh beach towels into your room in the afternoon and just take your wet ones the following morning. Same with mini bar - easier to stock in the afternoon when room is generally empty. Again not huge but sometimes frustrating having to launch yourself out of the lovely bath, and into a towel because the maid suddenly appears in your room!
25. Recommended blocks to try and get are 44 and 46 (upper levels) with a pool view. Also these blocks pick up wireless very well.
26. Encountered no insects in room apart from a few tiny sugar ants around the coffee making area.
27. On a Friday evening a number of 'sellers' set up there stalls on the non royal side and merchandise includes the usual things listed above plus paintings and carvings etc.

Well thats about it really. I would recommend the Royal for the peace and relaxation element. If you want top quality 5 star service then the Royal is probably at the lower level of the 5 star scale. Its like everything in life. You get what you pay for.Enjoy!"

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Glen and Kamy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lyndhurst
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2009

This hotel is worth for the budget price that we paid. We took a package of 5 nights and we enjoyed every day. Room was clean and food good. We recommend to visit all restaurants in the resort, but specially the "Rodeo Steak House", meat was very good and the Chef Rodrigo was a friendly and courteous person with us all the time. Beach had white sand and clear water, we were able to see fishes. My wife had a 30 minutes massage on the beach, very relaxing. Nice hotel for vacationers.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank mamamyriam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, GA
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2009

SUMMARY: This is a gorgeous hotel. It can't compete with something that's brand new, but it has charm and quality construction. There is beautiful wood and marble throughout, and everything has been meticulously maintained. I have found that newer properties often have cheap-looking materials and construction. They lack charm and character. The Catalonia's maintenance staff was constantly involved in improvements large and small -- everything from changing light bulbs to painting stairs and railings. The landscaping and grounds are breathtakingly beautiful. Lots of trees, colorful shrubs, and of course flowers. There are several small ponds and lots of interesting birds to enjoy. You might think that bugs would be a problem, but NO. They fog the grounds periodically and we encountered no bugs outdoors (day or night) and likewise, none indoors. The public areas such as lobby restrooms, beachside restrooms, and similar areas are kept clean and decorated with fresh flowers.

This is a nice-sized property, but not HUGE. Most people navigated on foot, even the retiree crowd. The exception is the first trip to your room. At that time, after you've checked in, the staff insists upon taking you to your room in a golf cart. This is a well cared for upscale resort staffed by charming and accommodating personnel. We didn't have a single need that was not professionally and cheerfully addressed. Here are more specific details based on our stay from May/24 – May/30/2009:

FOOD: Overall rating of food would be a B+. It is important to note that we stayed on the "Royal" side of the property which is all-adult and carries a few perks and priveleges. One of them is the ability to dine at the Thalassa Restaurant, which features fresh, cooked-to-order fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food and service here were excellent. We also dined at the Japanese Restaurant where the food was delicious but our cook happened to mix-up the orders and came up short on the fried rice. This was quickly rectified, however. Also, with the large grill in the middle of the room (you sit in groups of eight), the heat in the room was a little uncomfortable. We tried the Caribe Restaurant one night for dinner and several times for lunch. We found the food there to be so-so. For us, this restaurant brought down the overall average. It's the typical all-inclusive buffet and we seemed to hit it at times when the food may have been out for a while and was thus dry or otherwise unappealing. It also featured the same choices over and over -- there were plenty of choices, mind you -- but they were the same ones from the day before. We didn't try the Steakhouse but heard that it too, was so-so. We heard very good reviews of the Italian Restaurant, but never had a chance to try it. We did not have problems with long waits and never made reservations except for as required at the Japanese Restaurants. However, we tended to eat late -- usually after 8:00 pm.

ALCOHOLIC DRINKS: In a word, YUMMY! Not watered down as long as you obtained them on the Royal side. Very distinctive difference on the other side. Drinks were, in fact, watered down and if they contained alcohol at all, it was imperceptible. But back to the drinks on the Royal side, they were delicious, perfectly blended, and served with a smile. You'll find a "drink menu" posted at every bar and we tried everything on the list. ALL WERE DELICIOUS. If you like sweet, fruity drinks as we do, you MUST TRY the Banana Mama!

ROOMS: Very spacious and tastefully decorated. Loved the in-room tub which was large and comfortable. It worked fine but was not a jacuzzi -- no jets. It's a regular tub but this didn't take away from enjoying it. We loved the balcony, which was also very spacious and overlooked a beautiful view of the gardens. The hammock on the balcony was heavenly! (but see note in very last paragraph) Everything worked fine in our room including hot water, AC, and refrigerator. The twice daily upkeep of the rooms is impeccable. Rooms are kept clean, well-stocked, and we always had towels and washcloths. Rooms are serviced both in the morning and evening. While you're at dinner, the maids will come and take wet beach and bath towels and give you fresh ones for the next day. ONE DOWN-SIDE HERE, the bed was very hard. There is no way to sugar-coat this fact. However, after a few days I went to the front desk and politely complained. By the end of the day a cushy mattress pad had been added. This was a major improvement.

BEACH: This is not the most beautiful beach I've ever seen in terms of color of sand, turquoise water, and absence of debris. The beaches are more picturesque on the Northern end of Punta Cana. Here,the water is clear and clean, but DOES contain patches of seaweed "here and there" on the sea-floor.Some pieces of seaweed debris also float on the surface. If seaweed creeps you out, this could be a problem. Not a problem for us because the beach was lined with beautiful palm trees for shade, there were pleny of umbrellas available, and the water was warm and free of jellyfish. I'll take seaweed over jellyfish any day. Also, there were constant breezes gently blowing on the beach -- this added to the overall sense of relaxation. (but see note in last paragraph) The Royal beach is SO peaceful. The breezes caused a “swoosh” of the palm fronds – this gentle sound just took us under! When there was music at all, it was smooth jazz or something soothing. By contrast, the beach on the non-Royal side is full of noise and activitiy because the "Animation Team" is constantly blasting music or trying to involve guests in competitions, games, etc. There is NO PEACE on the beach or at the pool UNLESS you choose the Royal side. Note, Royal guests may frequent any area of the property, but non-Royal guests MAY NOT come over to the Royal side. Other nice touches on the Royal beach were waiters coming to your chair to take your drink orders, and to serve fruit and sandwich snacks at the end of the day.

NIGHTLIFE: Negligible. Punta Cana is not a town, it is just the name of a stretch of beach that has been built up for tourists. Unlike Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Montego Bay, or Aruba, you can not hop a bus or taxi for a ride “into town.” Therefore, nightlife is limited to the shows put on by the aforementioned “Animation Team.” I don’t find these shows to be particularly entertaining, but they do get an “E” for effort. The young staff puts a lot of energy into these performances.

SHOPPING: Same as above but there ARE a couple of small plazas within 15 to 30 mins away from the hotel. We went to Plaza Palma Royal, which is a small, indoor mall. We were a little disappointed. After spending $23.00 (U.S.) EACH WAY in a taxi, the majority of stores featured upscale, overpriced merchandise such as cotton sundresses for $495.00 U.S. There were just a handful of reasonably priced gift shops.

ONE NOTE OF WARNING: Non-smokers, HEADS-UP! The D.R. is largely a vacation destination for Europeans and Canadians. No offense to anyone, but it appeared to us that these guests DID NOT receive the memo concerning “smoking being hazardous to your health.” Smoking is not allowed in the rooms, in the restaurants (even open-air ones), but for a overwhelming majority of guests, they were lighting up as soon as they left these restricted areas. ALL outdoor lounge areas were CONSTANTLY filled with chain smokers. Same thing for the pool, the beach, the bars, the jacuzzis, and regrettably, the balconies. We had the misfortune of having a smoker in the room next to us who often wanted to “enjoy” the balcony at the same times that we did. She usually “won” the "balcony war" as we couldn’t stand the smoke and either wouldn't go out at all or would cede the "air space" to her. She, however, never reciprocated. On the beach, we “wised up” after the 2nd day. We tried to secure a chair and umbrella closest to the shoreline so that no one would be in front of us. That way, as breezes blew from the front of the shore to the back, we didn’t get lungs full of smoke. When we were seated BEHIND others, it was highly likely that those people would be heavy smokers and the smoke would blow right into our faces. Here I must also add that the guests during our week of stay were also not "courteous smokers." In other words, most made no effort to direct the smoke away from others. They would do so if asked, but if not, they just let it blow where it may! After all, smokers were clearly the majority. This was the biggest downside to the hotel, which is of course something that they can not control. However, should anyone from Catalonia be reading this, you might consider designating at least one outdoor lounge area as NON-SMOKING. I highly recommend so designating the area immediately outside of the Thalassia Restaurant so that diners don't have to get up from a lovely meal and walk through a wall of smoke just to exit the restaurant.

IN CONCLUSION, we had a wonderful vacation. This resort is perfect for romance and R&R. The MANY positives greatly outweighed the negatives, of which we found only three: 1) Not the prettiest beach 2) Hard, uncomfortable bed, and 3) the ubiqutous presence of CIGARETTE SMOKE.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank atlplayagirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Akron, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2009

I have read good and bad reviews and am not prone to complaints so I will tell you what was good . However I was sorely disappointed with our trip May 24-May 31 at the Royal Catalonia. I met nice people and the pool, the grounds, the beach were beautiful. Fresh flowers were spread around room but they miss the boat on service. We booked through Continental Vacations and bellieve we were overcharged compared to to others. No one was around to pick us up at the airport and they had not given us a voucher so the drivers were like buzzards swarming.
We waited and finally were able to get info to call but they had never even heard of "classic tours". After a while they came and got us to our hotel. We were unable to check in at 1:45pm so they directed us to lunch and asked us to come back at 3pm.
Went to Thalassa-Food wa sonly so-so in taste, they try to prepare things fancy but end up blowing it, a royal hamburger is a hamburger patty with a fried egg and bacon and onions on top. They also don't have ice tea nor are they able to speak enough English to explain menu items
We went back to check in and the man gave us room 4631 and motioned for us to give our wrists and arm bands put on without explanantion. No map or orientation of grounds or activiites. They were able to tell us first building second floor and we walk over and found it--the room was lovely, king size bed, oval soaking tub in room,bathrobes, and flowers and towel animals-sitting area, and balcony

Couldn't make reservations with guest services-had to walk to other side "catalonia bavaro" after 6 pm to make a reservation-which meant out of pool and trekking 1/4 mi.
the air conditioning is great in lobby and the shops but beyond that it isn't great. They changed our room (4424) when we complained and the next one was better but not great-certainly never got cold but did allow us to pull a sheet over us to sleep. The refrigerators do not keep things cold, barely cool. No ice unless you get it from the bar.

The piano bar was the best, the bartenders were exceptional and aimed to please. Victor at the pool bar also worked very hard. IF you ask for upscale liquor which they have on shelf they will pour it for you. Brahama beer in the room only-not so good--presidente served at the bars was better. We had a good meal at the Italian, the steakhouse and the Mexican however the second time we tried the steakhouse it was not good. The breads were excellent in all the restaurants.The buffet selection was good if you went early otherwise things were not refilled, yes the eggs are runny and a 5 min egg will be done 3 min quality and fried hard will be fried medium.
They have ice cream but no one was impressed, the chocolate is the best and I don't even eat chocolate ice cream.
Anyway hope this helps others choose, its denitely on the middle of the road list

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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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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