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.
- 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