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Catalonia Riviera Maya
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Reviews (10,010)
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4,660
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3,269 - 3,274 of 10,010 reviews
Reviewed 5 November 2013

Our stay was the 13th - 27th October 2013, this was booked back in Febuary for myself and a friend. This hotel was one of the recommended hotels via First Choice. The 2 weeks all inclusive came to £2500 which is hell of a lot of money for the holiday.
Towards the end of september i received a call from first choice to inform they had recieved a letter from the Hotel stating they were having building work taking place during the first week we were there and that we wouldnt have access to a couple of the restaurants, bar and that the beach bar had been demolished and they were in the process of rebuilding a new one. In the letter it stated that we would have access to the sister properties facilities should the facilities on-site not be acceptable, and it also said there would be someone on the beach serving drinks as the bar would not be open until the 20th. I emailed the Hotel a few times before our arrival as i was concerned about our booking,when they eventually emailed back (around a 10 days after i had sent the initial email) to say they had previously had terrible weather and that the building work was not near being finished, they also stated that the beach bar would not be finished until the end of November, which is very different from what it said in the letter we received.
There was never anyone on the beach serving drinks, which meant we had a long walk around to the bar in order to get a drink. The building work was still not finished by the time we left the Hotel on the 27th. During breakfast we could not hear the building work, but during lunch and dinner we were sat in the restaurant and all you could hear was drilling and banging. There was also some building work being done right near our room, meaning we were disturbed.

When i booked this it stated we would recieve a welcome cocktail on arrival and all rooms had a mini bar. After a long 15 hours of travelling all we wanted to do when we arrived was relax. We were never served a welcome cocktail but everyone else in the reception area had one. The lady that checked us in was very very rude, she told us there was no mini bar in the room just one bottle of water that did not get refilled we had to do it ourselves, we booked all inclusive and this was not what i expected. The lady was talking so fast i had to ask her to slow down on a few occasions, 'if you want to upgrade it is $30 per person per night, here is your room key if you lose it - it is $25 per key, this is your beach card if you lose it -it is £25 per card' and then again she asked us if we wanted to upgrade and 'we are in a standard room, it is very basis and not very nice the upgraded rooms are better', well this is not something i wanted to hear on arrival at the Hotel! - Very, very money orientated. Felt like all they wanted to do was to squeeze more money out of us.

when we got to the room they had put a happy birthday banner on the door which was very sweet (thank you). The room was very basic but was suitable for our needs as we were not planning on spending much time in the Hotel.
We asked for an asktray to be sent to the room on the day of arrival, we had asked for this 5 times by the time the day was over and were told of course madam no problem someone will bring it up now. Again we asked for the next 2 days and we still never recieved an ashtray. I went to reception and asked for the Manager to be told it was a ridiculas reason to ask for a manager, that the whole building was non-smoking that is why we had not recieved it. The gentleman also said that the other staff that had previously said we would get an ashtray must not know what they were doing. I find this very difficult to believe as we must have asked at least 6 different members of staff.
We arrived on sunday. Sunday evening we called down to reception to say the TV was not working, we were quite badly jet lagged and just wanted to relax. We were told that someone would come up to the room to sort it out. 30 mins later still no-one had come up so we called again and were told someone would be up shortley, 30 mins later still no-one so we called again and asked them to cancal the request as we were tired but we wanted it sorting out the next day. Monday evening we returned to the room and still the TV hadnt been fixed, so i had a very angry walk to reception to again ask for a manager as this was unacceptable.

On one occasion we left the room at 6.30am to get breakfast and sunbath on the beach, we returned to the room around 2pm and it had not been serviced. We called reception and they said they would send someone up. Around 45mins later the maid came to the room to clean, as my friend was getting changed i asked her to come back in 5 mins so that we could leave the room and let them clean. We left the room and went to the bar for an hour only to return and the room had not been serviced. We called reception to tell them and asked for someone to come up later on as we needed to get ready for our evening out. We bumped into the maid in the corridor on our way out and asked for the room to be clean, she was very shocked and her reply was 'what now?'. We confirmed this, only to return back to the Hotel around 1am after our night out only to find it had not been cleaned. We called reception the next morning to tell them what had happened they did apologise and sent someone up immediatley.

Saturday we spent all morning and most of the afternoon on the beach, we went for lunch and to get a drink only to return to find one of our towels had been stolen. We went to the towel desk but the women there did not understand a work of english, luckly there was another member of staff there that was available to translate. She told us that yes someone had taken our towel, there was nothing she could do and that we needed to go to reception. There was a phone there right on the desk but no we had to walk all the way to reception. We did this to be told initally that wee needed to pay for a new towel card, once again i asked for a manager to suddenly find that on this occasion they could replace the towel card free of charge but if it was to happen again we would need to pay.

One of the evening we visited the Italian restaurant. we waited outside in the que for 20 mins to book in and were seated almost immediatley. We waited around 20 mins for our server to come and take our drink order and then a further 30 mins for him to take our dinner order. We had not eaten all day and were extremely hungry, it took 45 mins for them to come round and serve us bread. we asked for 2 bread rolls, and then later asked for another this never came. when the served finially bought us our drinks we again asked for some more bread, the waiter came over asked if it was for us and then promptley laughed in our faces and walked off. We explained we hadnt eaten and had been waiting ages for our order to be taken, reluctanty he then gave us another bread roll.

Every other day there are market stalls set up in the grounds near the restraunt selling souveniors, as much as it was lovely to look at they were extremley over priced and i did not appreciate being disturbed on my jourrney to and from the restaurant. We just wanted to relax not be hasseled by the market sales people.
The shop is the Hotel is VERY expensive, £8 for packet of cigarettes, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? more expensive then cigs here in England.We were told by a couple that we could get cheap cigs in the shop by the gate at the top of the complex. We asked reception which way to go and how long would it take us. We were told 15-20 mins to get there. Well this was wrong, it took us a good 40 mins to get there, yes okay we took a stroll not a fast walk but who would fast walk in the boiling hot weather?! The cigs were around £2.20 in english money so was well worth the walk. We were told there was a supermarket a couple minutes walk from the gate so we asked the security guard which way, he said follow right and its there. We went right only to find we had been sent along the highway, and that the supermarket was about a mile down the road on the other side of the highway. The mexicans might do it but there was no way in hell i was playing chicken attempting to cross the road.

Our Thomson/first choice rep was only at the Hotel Mon-Sat for 2 hours in the morning and 2hours in the afternoon which was very disappointing. Every morning he was in a 45 mins welcoming meeting, which always ran late and was more like and 1hr & 20 mins meeting meaning it was very difficult to talk to him about our issues and hard to book our excursions. Okay this is not the Hotels fault but not something we expected for the price we paid.

The hotel is stunning, and there were only 2 members of staff that were friendly and actually wanted to talk to us. Really sorry i cannot remember the name but was the evening security guard and our server in the tapas restaunrat. Overall we enjoyed our stay as we did not spend that much time actually in the hotel, we spent most of it on the beach or doing excursions. It seems like every day there was another issue which never seem to be resolved straight away, we had to chase and chase and chase for things to be sorted out, when they should not have happened in the first place.

The Hotel was a let down for the money we paid for what was meant to be a relaxing holiday. I work in a Hotel myself and it is all about the customer and their satisfaction. We were not overly impressed with the general staff attitude and their lack of ownship for the issues we experience. It was just passed from one person to another and only ever seemed to be resolved when i asked for a manager.

On the plus side, i was very very ill 2 days before we were due to leave and was up all night and most of the morning being sick. The maid & im presuming manager walked in around 9.20am only to hear me throwing up so they left. Around 5pm they came back will a chocolate cake and some fruits, im guessing as a get well soon present. This was much appreciated and a very sweet thing for them to have done.

I hate leaving negative reviews but cant help but feel like maybe now it might get taken note of and resolved for future guests.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank xxlittlemissyxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

Husband and I went for a few days for a little R&R. We didn't book a privilege suite...we weren't even ask to upgrade.The room we booked was a garden view...which was very nice for as much time we spent in the room. Variety of food for the 5 nights we spent in resort.. We rented golf cart for 4 hrs. which was $25. ..went to watch dolphins being feed. Very nice!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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3  Thank deb w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

Best food ever, steaks brilliant. Huge choice of restaurants with multiple dishes. Resaurant staff very polite. Try the creperie, lovely pancakes and milk shakes. Our room was fully equipped and comfortable. Plenty of sunbeds but could be a problem when hotel is full. Great range of cocktails. A great location to explore wildlife and culture. Tryusing the local bus, so much cheaper than taxi. We thought the hotel was great, the animation team tried reallyhard and the hotel staff were great. We stayed when the hotel was only half full, we suspect that when full it would be very crowded and could struggle to maintain the great service.

Room Tip: Upgrade before you go in high season. Many of the rooms have a very poor aspect.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank laserbuoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2013

Myself and my boyfriend stayed in this hotel as part of an all inclusive package through Thomason Cook, from the 6th - 20th October. We had a lovely 2 week break but would not choose to go back to this hotel.

Rooms - When we arrived we where show a list of upgrade options, we were taken around the various rooms and asked to choose which we would prefer. There are 4 options, the standard room which is relatively small with no safe or fridge included in the price, the privileged room which is slightly bigger, decorated in nicer furniture with safe included in the price, the honey moon suite which has a 4 poster bed and a stone bath on the balcony, the final option we where show was a privileged suite.
As it was a special occasion for us we decided on a privileged suite which had a separate living area, his and hers sinks, large balcony, safe and fridge included and a very large bed. We paid $420 to upgrade which we felt was a little pricey but felt it was the best option for us.
The bed was very comfortable and the room was always kept clean, we tipped around $5 per day.

Food - The food was awful. There was a large selection of food to choose from but this was exactly the same each day. One the second night my boyfriend picked some chicken from the buffet which was pink once cut open, this seemed to be the norm throughout the 2 weeks. After that experience we stayed clear of meat from the buffet. The salad items are all washed in their water and the food is left out for long periods.

Depending on which room option you choose, you are given tickets to use in the 5 restaurants. We where given 8 and used them all.

Steak Restaurant - Poor quality meat and your portion depends on how busy they are on the night.

Mexican Restaurant - It should be the best but it was very average, small portions and lots of deep fried food.

Italian Restaurant - We heard awful things from other guests so we stayed clear of this one!

Tapas - You are given 1 voucher for this restaurant, we really didn't enjoy it. The menu was full of under cooked or deep fried options.

Japanese - This was our favourite, they do a show where the chef cooked the food in front of you. The chef's where great and made the experience really fun. The food in general was okay, the starter is "sushi" which included deep fried carrot and cucumber.

Beach - The beach is small but very clean. The water is very clear and the sand is lovely, it is however a very rocky and could be dangerous if you have young children.

Pool Area - there are 4 different pool areas, 2 with a swim up bar. All are kept very clean, they will turn any white swimwear yellow. We asked the staff about this and were told it was the sun cream but when speaking to other guests we agreed it is the chemicals they use it the water. So please if you are going do not splash out on white swimwear!

Entertainment Team - The entertainment team were great. They put on lots of activities throughout the day for you to get involved in. They can be a little pushy when you are trying to relax but overall they were very good. Ivan was our favourite, he was great. They also do some of the shows at night time, these were okay. Pita the team supervisor was very good and seemed to ensure everything was organised well.

Spa - The spay was lovely, very relaxing. We chose to have a couples massage, this was an 80 minute massage followed by 20 minutes in a Jacuzzi bath with a bottle of "champagne". It was lovely but quite expensive for what we got, we paid $270 between us. The staff were great and very helpful and we where glad we did it.

Trips - We went to Xel-Ha which was amazing and I would highly recommend. Coco Bongo was also a great night, we aid $120 for VIP seats and unlimited drinks. It was a really fun night, the show was amazing. If you have time it isn't to be missed.

Staff - Overall the staff were friendly, all the waiters and bar tenders where great. As well as the maids who were fantastic. The reception staff were not as nice, we did get the impression that once they had our money they dropped the friendly act. We got a very warm reception when we arrived but not at all when we checked out.

Overall the trip was okay but we definitely wouldn't choose to go back to this resort and I wouldn't recommend the hotel to others. You can get much more for your money elsewhere.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank Jemma S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2013

Family vacation during fall break was excellent at the Catalonia Riviera Maya! We are seasoned travelers and take our kids (6 & 3) with us. This place doesn't blow you away but it's a great deal and a good resort. We booked a privileged suite which I would recommend to everyone in advance.

Room: Our suite was large and in great shape. Beds were some of the most comfortable I've had for an overseas vacation. Maid service was very good as well. Towels were soft (even compared to US hotels). Nice balcony with a bathtub which we used for the kids.

Dining: We had 4 certificates for reserved dining and one at the tapas restaurant. Japanese restaurant was very good as was the mexican restaurant. The steakhouse was also good but you MUST order the filet. Other steaks were more typical of mexico dining (grass fed, thin and tough). Service at these restaurants were very good. The tapas restaurant food was not good at all. We like tapas food but this was just very different. We complained to the concierge and received one additional restaurant certificate. We didn't eat dinner at the buffets. Breakfast and lunch were decent but not what I'd want to eat day after day. we know this is typical for resorts. the snack bar was about the same.

Service: We had very good service our whole trip. You do have to find the good bartenders and we did tip frequently. A few dollars here and there go a very long way. All inclusive doesn't mean no tipping (a common misconception).

Kids Club: The ladies who ran this were very nice, especially Ita. However, there wasn't much to do and since few kids were there when we were, it was very quiet. The biggest issue we had was all the previous reviews stated people left their almost 4 year olds there without issue. We couldn't bring our 3 year old back after the second day when the director questioned her age despite the workers who would have gladly taken her. Apparently there is some strict rule that cannot be overlooked.

Beaches & Activities: As reviews suggest, the beaches are not great. they are rocky. The lagoon was fine but there were jellyfish there so we couldn't let our kids play there. We did kayaking and the catamaran several times. very cool especially since it's included!

Puerta Adventuras was a cool town about a 5 minute walk from the resort. everything is gated so you feel safe. There wasn't much shopping down there however, mostly restaurants and the swim with the dolphins. it's right there in public so you can watch others swim with them, including the show/tricks they do. there are also sea lions, manta rays, etc. However, the town isn't a place you want to spend more than a few hours at.

Overall, I would return to this resort and recommend it. We will probably try something closer to Cancun next time, especially if we plan to stay in the resort most of the time. I wasn't charmed by Puerta Adventus as I was 10 years ago by Playa Del Carmen.

Room Tip: Upgrade to privileged! Tip your servers and bartenders.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank cdapel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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