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.
- 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