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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Ranked #43 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Not worth the money”
Reviewed 6 January 2011

We stayed here during the Christmas break of 2010. The hotel was nice, but not worth what we paid. We got a lot more for a lot less money last year in Mexico.

I had two concerns that formed my opinion:
1. The food was bland. My primary reason for choosing this hotel was to get better food than next door (the Catalonia). While it was better, it wasn't worth the upgrade. The two hotels basically share the buffet food. The restaurants at the royal were fancier, but the food was about the same in terms of taste. Let's just say that I didn't touch the food from the Catalonia after one bite, while I usually left about 40% of the food on the plate at the Royal. I don't really think of myself as a fussy eater, but I don't want to eat something that has no taste, but seems to have a *lot* of calories (fat etc).

Another annoying thing about the restaurants is that we kept being asked if we "liked the service", translation "I would like my tip". Well, we didn't like it that much, so not tip for you.

2. The reception had to be the most rude and least helpful of any hotel/motel I stayed at. I am even including the many Super 8s I stayed in questionable parts of the US. They lied to us on more than one occasion and they did not have any intention of honouring any of our request.

For example, we wanted a room with a cover on the balcony (some of them seem to have lost them due to wind). We got offered a room with a view of the back alley and the smell of sewage. I guess we were happy that we got the room we were already in. I'm just saying that if I'm going to spend as much as I did on this hotel and it is half empty, a request like that seems pretty reasonable. I chose not the press the point anymore, since I didn't want to ruin my vacation having a fight with them.

Another example is that they promised a "courtesy room" for checkout on multiple occasions on our last day. In fact they were "overbooked" as they told us at the end of the day. We had to have our shower and change at the co-ed showers in the spa. If they told me the truth at least I could have planned better. If I new that I had to shower and change at the equivalent of a greyhound station I would have skipped lounging by the pool on my last afternoon there.

Note, parts of the hotel (the back) do smell like sewage. Coincidentally, that is where the "privileged" section of Catalonia (not the royal) is. I can see why some people complained about this.

Some of the public washrooms are not that clean. I'm talking about the washroom at the reception, not the ones close to the beach. You have low expectations there anyway.

Notes on the whether. It was extremely windy. From the look of the palm trees on the beach I think that must be the norm in Punta Cana. I'm going to think long and hard before I go back to Punta Cana.

Notes on the trip to Santa Domingo. It takes about 2 hours to pick up people from other hotels, before the tour even starts. We met the bus at 6AM and only got to Santa Domingo at 11AM. And then, the tour was completely rushed. You get about 15 minutes every you go. I wouldn't take it again.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank drpete2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PuntaCanaCabezaToro, Director General at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 12 January 2011
Dear Guest,

First of all thank you for your review. Please accept my apologies for the problems you encountered with some services and the Catalonia Royal Bavaro. I have discussed the different points with the appropriate departments heads and I am positive that this issues will not occur again.

Once again, many thanks, and I hope that we will be able to welcome you back again in the future!

Best regards,

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2011

The lobby does not in any way represent a 5 star hotel and neither does the reception from staff - no one to welcome us to assist with luggage.
Food and waiter service is mediocre at best. The beach was the worst section of Bavaro ever (small, cloudy water with floating garbage)!
The bed was like sleeping on a slab of marble. Many promises to change the mattress - never materialized.
The one redeeming feature was the golf.
We would definitely not recommend this resort!!!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gabby015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
maryland
Level Contributor
29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2011

We are leaving the hotel today and were not happy with this vacation:
1. rooms-all the rooms are the same except for the swimming pool rooms. The swimming pool rooms are way better. Our room had a terrible sewage smell in the toilet area and poor shower drainage. The drain was at the highest point so there was always standing water after one shower-disgusting. We complained and all they offered was the same room type with the same issues. They refused to upgrade us and that was a major disappointment. The room also had no heat and our first night there I woke up feeling ill due to freezing all night.
2. staff do not follow directions-on many occasions I asked for a type of drink or ordered room service only to not get what I asked for. I have never been on vacation and not blatantly got what i asked for. For example, they do not like to cook eggs here. They like to crack them open and serve raw. I always asked for well done and never got it, not even when I told them to cook both sides then fold-yuck. Aside from their inability to follow instructions there were some really great staff here and I tipped the excellent ones very well. Some staff were amazingly rude such as the guy in the Mexican restaurant who said we could only order one appetizer and one meal even though the menu had a soup and salad section or the waiter at Thalassa who gave me the wrong meal and tried to argue with me that I ordered it and I showed him the menu and he was wrong. No apology. These people need to go to Mexico and learn how to treat customers.
3. Activities-nothing much to do here and they don't give out daily activities list or anything so got kind've boring. We constantly went over to the children's side as there always seemed to be more going on over there.
4. breakfast was seriously lacking and the worst I have ever tasted. The pancakes taste awful, waffles awful, eggs raw, everything was yuck. I starved most days and had to wait for the good lunches and dinners.

All in all, the weather was kind of cold and there was a sickness going around the whole hotel. Many staff and guests coughing and picking their noses and my husband got very sick. I have never been on vacation and got sick with a sore throat and cough. I don't plan on returning here ever again. And I certainly will not recommend it. They need to really revamp their rooms, they are disgusting and are akin to staying at a motel 6 on skid row.

Lastly, if you want to see beached whales with their tops off, this is the place to go. I have never seen so many disgusting naked women in my life.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MarylandGreatness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2011

The hotel service was excellent: staff were very friendly and attentive, among the best I have ever seen.
Rooms are good, but they are starting to show their age, specially because of humidity. For instance my AC stop working one night and we have to change room at 2.00 AM. Probably is about time to think of revamping the rooms
Food quality is good but could improve.
In general I liked the hotel and I may repeat

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank javier_peraza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2010

Great Hotel, very good food (Thalassa restaurant was the best) , nice cocktails , friendly and happy staff . Everything was great, and if you want some excitement go to the Bavaro side.
Generally speaking, the food and service in Royal side is much better. The only good restaurant in the Bavaro side was Italian, but all the options in Royal side were great.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank siato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PuntaCanaCabezaToro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 27 December 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your time in posting a lovely review on Trip Advisor with regards to your experiences at Catalonia Royal Bavaro.

We also appreciate you pointing out the excellent service you received and will be sure to share your feedback with the team.

We are delighted to know that we will once again have the opportunity to welcome you back at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Sincerly,

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Catharines, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2010

My partner and I stayed at the Catalonia Royal Bavaro from 12/11/2010 to 12/20/2010, a 9 night vacation with Nolitours out of Toronto. We have also stayed at the GBP.
We chose Catalonia Royal because of the trip advisor rating, reviews and the price.

I will structure this review using subtitles to help readers looking for specific information.

Check-in: We were transferred from the airport on a large bus. We were the first stop on the transfer (which is nice) it took about 20-30min. We were greeted by the bellboy who took our bags and put them on the golf cart for us to be taken to our room after check-in. We arrived in the evening around 10:00pm. We proceeded inside and were checked in quickly and efficiently. They have small plastic zip bags made-up prior to your arrival with bracelets, room keys, room number and hotel information. We were given VIP black bracelets and an upgrade. We did not receive cold towels or drinks, but this wasn’t a big deal to us. We did see others checking in during the week who received both.

Room: We were upgraded from a standard room to a Deluxe Suite, #3849 when we arrived. The second villa from the beach. I would definitely recommend booking a Deluxe Suite, or a Loft Suite over the standard suites. They are newer rooms and are more spacious. We were nervous about the “smell” that other reviews stated so we brought a candle and damp rid. We would have been ok if we didn’t bring these items. The room was very large. We had a corner room on the third floor. We could see the ocean and the vacant area beside the resort as well as the putting green. There are no elevators in the villas, but that is not a problem for us. The bathroom area, there is a vanity with one sink and large mirror. The toilet is to the left in an enclosure and the shower is to the right. The shower was spacious with tiled floors and two shower-heads. See pictures. There is a two-person bathtub in the main area of the room. We had a king size bed that was soft. There is a pillow menu for your pleasure. There is a sitting area in the room, and balcony with another sitting area and hammock. There is a mini bar (beer, pop, and water), coffee maker, safe, hairdryer, t.v, alarm clock, iron, ironing board, umbrella, robes and slippers.
We were provided a complementary room to shower in on our last day because we left in the evening and checked out at 12noon. This room was a standard room, the bed was rock hard and the bathroom area is much smaller and less attractive. I have posted pictures to outline both rooms.

Service: When we first arrived we thought that the service was a little off. But as the week went on the service improved greatly. Anything that you wanted you could get. It was a bit difficult to communicate with the servers, because we were rusty on our Spanish sayings (we do not speak Spanish, just know some key phrases/words to get by when traveling). If a server didn’t understand you, they would get someone else who spoke better English. When in the restaurants sometimes it was difficult to know who was your waiter, because the hostess seated you and than someone would introduce himself or herself as your waiter, but another person would take your order and another would get your drinks.

Food: On the Royal side, the options were really good. We ate breakfast at the main restaurant Talahassa. You could get eggs al la carte and than buffet for everything else. Lunch we could eat at a variety of places Royal or Bavaro side: Sea Blue, Talahssa, Pizza, Bavaro Buffet, and beach buffet. We ate mainly at Sea Blue; it was really good and close to the beach. Dinner you can eat on the Royal side or the Bavaro side. The restaurants on the Bavaro side are not open every night, they rotate, 2 and 2. We enjoyed the Mexican and Sea Blue the best. Our least favourite was the Steak House on the Bavaro side better to get a steak at Sea Blue.

Beach: The beach is nice. We were worried about the seaweed that other reviews mentioned, but it wasn’t a big deal. There was a bit of sea-grass on the shore and in the shallows floating, but the staff raked it up daily. The water wasn’t deep in the swimming area, which was a sand bottom. There is a man-man reef area out of a pipe that attracts fish and is a great place to snorkel right off the beach. There are plenty of loungers and pallapas for shade. We received drink service on the beach everyday.

Pools: The pools are cold, but refreshing. The infinity pool has day beds but only a limited amount, and they were usually all taken. There were also loungers for use and umbrellas for shade. It was quite by this pool. There was sometimes music on at this pool from the Sea Blue restaurant. We received poolside service from the bar. The other pool had the swim up bar, it was a bit more lively during the day.
There were also two hot tubs, one was 104degrees and one was cooler.

Bars: There were four bars on the Royal side, beach bar, sea blue, pool bar (swim-up/walk-up) and in the lobby. They had liquors like Vat 69, Smirnoff and Disaronno I saw Canadian Club once. There is also the juice bar on the beach for fresh smoothies or juice.

Nightlife: We did not go to any of the shows, but they all occurred on the Bavaro side. Our Beach Party was rained out so we didn’t experience that party. The Royal side was pretty relaxed at night and that’s what we enjoyed. We never experienced anyone partying loudly at night.

Guests: I would say that the Royal side was mostly couples. A few singles were around who were golfers that I seen. The ages of guests were from 25’s-80’s. There were people from all over staying at the resort.

Activities: We went snorkeling for 20$ off the beach 5 min away from the guys who do the beach activities. It was really good. There were tones of fish as soon as you got in the water. We also went deep-sea fishing with Mikes Marina, but didn’t catch anything. You can also kayak and hobby cat. You can use a mask and snorkel to use in the swim area, for a 20$ deposit and it is refunded when you return your mask and snorkel. There are also other excursions offered by the tour companies.

We enjoyed our stay at the Catalonia Royal. It was quite and relaxing, just want we like. If you want to party you can do so on the Bavaro side or in the around the pools. We would recommend this resort to others who want a relaxing vacation with delicious food and good beverages.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Sunkist00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PuntaCanaCabezaToro, Director General at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 25 December 2010
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your very positive review which is much appreciated and please be assured that it will be shared with all of the team here.

Everyone at Catalonia Royal Bavaro strives to make your stay enjoyable and it is always pleasing to receive such feedback .

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind Regards.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
daveinyk
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2010

Well this was our first visit to DR but it was a great break. The weather was poor for most of the trip but it is difficult to do a weather review without having more pull from a higher power. The hotel was excellent 10 years ago. It is now a little run down but the amenities and service more than make up for the few cracks in the picture of paradise. The service was among the best any where in the Caribbean or any where else for that matter. The food was worth the price of admission alone and was some of the best we have enjoyed anywhere.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank daveinyk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Property: Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Address: Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana 837, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 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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