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Catalonia Riviera Maya
Ranked #8 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Dagenham, essex
Level Contributor
31 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Disappointed....”
Reviewed 24 January 2014

Having never been to Mexico before i had high hopes for this hotel especially as it had got good reviews on here & i was traveling with a friend who works for Thomson...

On arrival we were asked if we wanted to upgrade to a 'privileged room' we declined & was shown to our 'non privileged' room....which faced an extremely ugly and loud generator. Not happy with this we went to complain & asked to be moved, only to be told there was no more availability in this hotel but there was a room available in their sister property next door The Catalonia Yucatan.

This room was slightly better in that we had a little view of the pool and were far enough away from the generator. However as this hotel was not in the Thomson brochure we lost our fridge, free safe & was directly opposite a loud lift....more on this later.

Deciding to make the best of our holiday this is where we stayed for the duration in Room number 3136. We have no idea why the two hotels dont just merge, they are both connected to each other & you can use the facilities at both hotels. However the grounds are just too small for the amount of people they both hold. You feel kind of cramped like to are sitting on each other, a great example of this is the sun lounger situation. Because there aren't enough to go around people were getting up at 6am to reserve beds....in the end we had no choice but to follow suit but it just goes to prove my point that there's not enough space.

The room were clean and the maid service good. The water pressure & temperature was good too. The beds were comfy and the room a good size with two doubles fitting comfortably. The bad points: Balcony door Curtain rail is just awful, two curtains, two noisy rails & long poles on which ur meant to pull the curtains with but in which u constantly smack ur head on every time you go outside...the hairdryer broke on day 2 and despite repeated trips to the front desk it was never fixed...The air con was good and nowhere near as noisy as some hotels i've stayed in so a plus point.

Buffet restaurant: Good variety of fresh food but it does get pretty boring after so many days, the hotels had 5 a la carte restaurants...except us 'non privileged' guests were only able to use 4 of them: Japanese, Mexican, Italian & the steak house.
We tried the Japanese twice & the Italian once - we could not fault either, lovely food, good service & a great waiter in the Japanese called Miguel who looked after everyone with ease despite being the only barman we saw working there.. Now on to the ridiculous booking system they have....having been all over the world i've never encountered such chaos as we did in trying to book at the 4 restaurants (especially the Japanese) Most hotels allow you to book for the next night or a few days in advance...but nope instead you were forced to form a queue outside the certain restaurant you wanted to eat at around 5pm each afternoon in the hope that you could nab one of the dinner slots of the same night.....no pre booking, just form a long queue which is just ridiculous! At 5pm most people want to still be relaxing at the beach/pool not forming a queue just to see if they can eat dinner!

The Snack bar we used a few times at lunch and always found the food good - it doesn't have the variety of the main buffet restaurant but it has a slightly different selection. We did not use it late at night so cannot comment on what was available then.

The spa/gym - we both used the gym and its probably the best i've seen in a hotel .This was definitely a plus point. Lots of equipment, free towels and showers available in case you didn't want to have to drag your sweaty body back to your room. We didn't use any of the spa but it did look very nice!

The beach is amazing, lovely golden sand & good water-sport center with free use of snorkels, kayak's & sail boats - a definite plus. There is a little cove around the side of the hotel which is shallow and it collects the most amazing amount of fish - the water is so clear! Snorkeling here is just brilliant.

Another down side of being moved hotels is that the Yucatan had a nightclub right at the front of the hotel....which was not far from our room.....obviously being a nightclub the music went on until the early hours which would be great if it was sound proved.....or if the staff did enough to make sure the people leaving it were quite and respectful of those sleeping.....

As for all the bars, some you get great service & proper alcohol at while other the service feels forced and the alcohol is cheaper. non more so then in the theatre bar where despite being the biggest bar, the service was awful.

This hotel definitely needs to improve, its not 4* standard for me & i was saddened to realize i would rather have stayed in another hotel. If you don't upgrade to the 'privileged' rooms you are left somehow feeling like your second class, they try to push the rooms on you all the time and we even noticed that they got to sit next to the windows in all the restaurants while us 'non privileged' folk were left in the middle.

My overall feeling is that i definitely would not stay here again nor would i recommend it to others.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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2 Thank Lau10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Berlin, Wisconsin, United States
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2014

This was our first all inclusive and first time to Mexico. My whole family attended our niece's wedding at the resort. Great location. I recommend the snorkeling. Was beautiful. We also went to Tulum and did a guided tour of the ruins. the highlight there is swimming in the beautiful aqua ocean water and white sand beach. We also played a lot of sand volleyball . A great way to meet people from Canada and the Midwest. I recommend waking up early to put your towels on a chair by the ocean or pool. Signature restaurants have very good food. Buffets are average to above average. You need to put your name in around 6:00 for the signature restaurants and make a reservation. Italian restaurant is fabulous. Japanese steakhouse very good- try the chicken. Bartenders very friendly. Was an issue with our room but it got worked out. You are never in your room. Too much to do and too many rays to get. I did golf at the golf course across the marina. Decent course but tight. Extras costs a lot such as parasailing ($70.00) golf $100.00 per person including club rental and cart and 3 balls and swimming with dolphins ((90/00/100.00) Overall great time and beautifully kept up.They did a professional wedding. Beautiful setting.

Room Tip: Negotiate in the beginning. Standard room is fine.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Todd H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Castle Rock, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014

My wife surprised me with a trip to Riviera Maya last week. My wife and I stayed at Catalonia back in 2005 and were surprised with all of the upgrades that they have made since. The food was much better this time around and found no real issues to get reservations for the restaurant we wanted to eat at. The privilege area was nice but not great. Most of the staff was nice and friendly but the man at the front desk that checked us out upon leaving demanded that I return back to the room and bring him all the towels from our room. This individual was quit rude and disrespectful. I would have rated the hotel much higher if not for the towel incident of 2014!!!

Room Tip: When asking for a privilege room, request a view of the village and not the parking lot!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Nick R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014

We have just returned from our trip to this hotel where we stayed for two weeks over the New Year Period.

Check in...... Very rushed because staff was checking us in at same time as other families. Rushed though the map with us aswell, Although the welcome cocktail was very nice and added touch. Would of been nice if we had little more attention and little less rushed.

We arrived at 8pm and after a two hour coach transfer from airport and a three hour wait in customs so we was very tired and hungry. Next morning. We had a look around, the resort is huge, plenty to do if you like. Beach was lovely and plenty of sunbeds to chose from. Towels are available daily which is good, we saved our beach towels for our excursions.

We didn't like how you couldn't book a table for evening meal just at main reception. You had to go to the specific restaurant at 5-5:30pm and reserve your slot. Although we managed to eat in all the restaurants the booking system should be changed.

We can recommend the crepiere (milkshake and pancake bar), which is located above the outdoor buffet restaurant. Make sure you check what days they are closed though we had a lot of rain so wasn't open alot of the time. Japanese restaurant was lovely too went their twice make sure you give that a visit.

Catalonia hotel is near the marine which is good to watch the dolphins, and take pictures, there is a few bars and restaurants, give Pelican Point a try if you stay at Catalonia this is in the Marina. Also amazing ice cream shop Adventuras Gelto - perfect ice cream. Quite a long walk, 30 mintutes to main highway to get a collectivo to playa de carman or tulum etc but worth doing because so cheap to get into town and both Tulum and Playa Del Carmen are nice areas to visit.

Would visit again .... but there is room for improvement in certain areas

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Jenna C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2014

I stayed a week, during January 2014, and these are my major disappointments with the hotel:

• Restaurants: In order to go to a restaurant, you have to stay in line for around an hour. Also, it is possible (and happened to us) that, after waiting for an hour in line, you don't get space and you have to go to the buffet area.
• You shouldn't be drinking tap water. I would expect that in an 'all inclusive' hotel, you would find bottles of water for you to drink at night. Unfortunately was not the case. You have to BUY your own water and take them to the room, if you plan to drink water during the night. I find this 'fine print' strategy so annoying.
• If you plan to do water sports, be prepared to go back and forth to get a kayak or snorkel. Again, there is no reservation system in place and not enough available. So you have to be standing at the office waiting for somebody to return them. Finally, if there is a wedding, you can't kayak or snorkel.

Seems that the business model is oriented for you to go to the tapas restaurant (that you have to pay), to buy your water and purchase your own snorkel equipment (of course, you can find in the hotel store). Not my idea of an "all inclusive".

The only really good thing was scuba diving. Our guide, Stephan, was really patient teaching my daughter the basics of scuba in the pool and taking her to the ocean later. Really good guy!

Hope this helps other travelers!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Gerardo0469
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lakeville, Minnesota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2014

Like many others, I was obsessed with reading the negative reviews about this resort before we left. Once we got there I was sure that these negative reviews must have been for another resort. I just can't imagine how picky you would have to be to not like this place. The setting was beautiful, the pools were great (we went over Christmas and it was busy but the pools were never packed). The beach was great (the chairs are gone by 7:00 am, which is annoying, but that happens everywhere). The food in all the restaurants was great, and the service was so unbelievably professional. Our room was nice, smelled very musty but we still liked it. My only complaint would be that many people smoke around the pools and in the outdoor bar/seating areas.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Rachel F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2014

OK so to be fair I take these sites with a pinch of salt. I rarely let reviews on tripadvisor determine where I holiday, as I have stayed in some fantastic hotels of which I've read terrible reviews and vice versa. And to be honest I don't often write a review unless I feel it necessary, so here goes...

I'd say this hotel is poor to average. I have stayed in much better quality resorts in terms of accommodation, space and service of an equal star rating. The general feel of the resort is cramped, too many people are squeezed into a hotel which would be better suited if spread over an area of twice the size. You get the feeling that you are 'laying on-top of everyone' squashed in like sardines by the pool and on the beach IF you are lucky enough to get a sun lounger where you want (we'll come back to this one).

The Catalonia Riviera Maya is apparently two hotels next door to each other with the Catalonia Yucatan, which is actually just one half of the hotel in my opinion. You can use the facilities of both (with the exception of 'PRIVILEGED' - see below). In reality they should just call the whole place 'The Catalonia' as there is no need to refer to the place as two different hotels. So if you are overly sold on going here, just book which ever is cheapest as they are actually the same thing.

The staff at the hotel are a bit 'hit or miss'. Some are friendly with the others just average. One guy on reception the other night really did have a 'can't be bothered' attitude and a face like a slapped... Erm... Back-side. The friendliest and most attentive bar person has to be at the Japanese restaurant bar. I'd have to agree with other posters that the bar staff make the drinks and cocktails up as they go along. No consistency as every cocktail from every bar arrives different. Some work to be done here I'm thinking. The bar men at the main bar by the theatre where the shows are, look overly tired and treat you like you are bothersome if you ask for a drink. No smile, no thank you, no chit-chat = No tip for you!

When you arrive at the Catalonia Riviera Maya, the first thing you are advised is "UPGRADE UPGRADE UPGRADE" - "SPECIAL PROMOTION 50% OFF". We decided that having spent enough money on the holiday itself, we would check out the room and see what we got as standard. Our first room at the Catalonia Riviera Maya was 428 - A grubby dark room overlooking a rather dirty large bland wall with an overly noisy generator running. Needless to say we didn't stay put. Working on the assumption that maybe this was standard practice to get you to upgrade to their "AMAZING 50% OFF PROMOTION OF THE SEASON" we complained and asked for another room. We was told that this was possible however our room would be in the Yucatan number 3136, we elected to check the room out first. The only difference I noticed was that we had no (empty) fridge and plastic furniture on our balcony, as opposed to the wicker chair and table on the balcony in room 428. After a ten hour flight I was happy with this, I was not happy to be fleeced of $250 just to become what they call "PRIVILEGED".

The "UPGRADE UPGRADE UPGRADE" - "SPECIAL PROMOTION 50% OFF" continues throughout your holiday where you are faced with TV screens in the main bar areas telling you to upgrade as well as posters throughout the resort. You are also treated like a second class citizen as you are not aloud to use the "PRIVILEGED" beach bar or sun loungers on their "PRIVILEGED" section of the beach. If you want to eat at the Spanish tapas restaurant they will charge you $15 just for the 'privilege'. Just what you'd expect having spent £2500 for the two of you for a relaxing break where you want to be made to feel special.

The restaurant situation is a bit of a nightmare to be honest, you need to arrive at 5pm to book a reservation for that evening and not the "turn up 30 minutes before" as our holiday advisor advised us. Because of this we missed out on our first two attempts to eat at the Japanese restaurant, which to add this restaurant is probably the only highlight whilst staying here.

Now for the sun lounger situation - Be prepared to behave as if you are on holiday in Benidorm! If you want a sun lounger pretty much anywhere and together get up early! When I say get up early, I'm talking 5.30/6am because if your towel ain't down by 8am you'll be lucky to get two beds together, or worse still you'll be sat squashed between two Americans yelling at each other to get more beers from the all-inclusive pool bar. Not my idea of a holiday having to take it in turns to get up at the crack of dawn just to guarantee a space somewhere by the pool or beach. Oh hang on... Perhaps if I was "PRIVILEGED" things would be different?

Finally my LAST bug bear so far is the noise, partly from the disco and secondly from the rather intoxicated guests as they leave. The second part could be easily remedied by having a member of the hotel staff positioned to move people on as they exit the disco and onwards to their rooms, rather than letting them shout at each other like a school corridor right outside my room at 2.30am.

So to sum the whole place up with "Would I stay here again?" my answer would be "No".
"Would I recommend this hotel to a friend or relative?" Only if I really disliked them a lot.
In my opinion stay elsewhere for the same money and be treated like you are 'Privileged' as standard.

And if the hotel management read these postings... I'm still here, in room 3136 until Thursday 23rd if you'd care to get in touch.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Richie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
catrivieramaya1, General Manager at Catalonia Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 22 January 2014
Dear Richie F,

We would like to thank you for writing your opinion about your stay with us, being of the utmost importance for us and our main source to improve our facilities and service.

We truly regret that you are not having a good time and the fact that we were unable to fulfill your expectations, we highly appreciate your opinion this is why we have been trying to contact you to your room, however, our Concierge staff has not had any luck, we kindly ask you to contact them at the Lobby Riviera thus giving us another chance to make your stay a memorable vacation,

Best regards,

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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Additional Information about Catalonia Riviera Maya

Property: Catalonia Riviera Maya
Address: Avenida Xcacel Lote 1 Plano 2 Manzana 18 | Solidaridad, Puerto Aventuras 77783, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalonia Riviera Maya 3.5*
Number of rooms: 423
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Caribbean Sea's turquoise waters can be seen from this hotel-paradise. Come and get ready to spend some unforgettable days in the heart of the Mayan Riviera, surrounded by marvelous landscapes and seductive, white sand beaches. The hotel is located in the wonderful Puerto Aventuras development. This is a tourist development which boasts a marina for yachts, a golf course, restaurants and dolphin tanks, all within easy reach of the main Mayan Riviera attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Riviera Maya Puerto Aventuras
Catalonia Hotel Mexico
Catalonia Rivera Maya
Riviera Maya Catalonia
Hotel Catalonia Riviera Maya
Catalonia Riveria Maya
Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort
Catalonia Riviera Maya All Inclusive
Catalonia Mexico
Catalonia Riviera Maya Mexico - Puerto Aventuras

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