I stayed at the Catalonia for a week-long vacation with my husband & 1 ½ year old. It is about an hour away from the airport. The resort does not have its own shuttle service so we reserved a private van with a carseat to pick us up from the airport. I was a little nervous traveling with a baby for the 1st time, but the resort is very family-friendly & we had a great time & would love to go back! In my opinion, this resort is very reasonable priced for what you get. It is definitely worth it to upgrade to “privileged” as I don’t think it would have been as enjoyable otherwise, mainly because of the suite that was perfect for a family. We stayed in 2nd floor Privileged Family Suite- #8411. We were in a quiet area close to the Algeria Spa & hibachi restaurant. The resort is large but not too overwhelming that you can’t find your way around easily. We were just a few minutes’ walk from the pools & beach. The suite was perfect for our needs with a baby & was very comfortable & modern. The king size bed was so comfy & we took advantage of the pillow menu. We had a living room & huge bathroom off the bedroom that were accessible through sliding pocket doors. This was ideal for our family because we put the baby to sleep in a pack-n-play in the living room & could close this area off while we could still stay up & enjoy the suite & balcony. The large balcony was the best part of the suite- we had a table and chairs to the left & a soaking tub to the right plus a garden view. We’d get drinks from the bar & bring them back to our room to enjoy while relaxing in the tub. The suite also had a mini-bar with beer, sodas & water restocked daily (and included!) The housekeeping staff was very friendly & accommodating. We really enjoyed coming back to the room in the late afternoons to see what they created out of towels & flowers (they even made a dinosaur once, I think for the baby!) My only complaint regarding the room is that the pack-n-play was not in the room when we arrived even though we requested it with our reservation & my husband called the day before to confirm again. It took a few hours to get it to the room & was made even worse with an over-tired baby just off a 4 hour flight. My husband had to go to the front desk after 2 additional calls to the desk from our room. Thankfully though, this was our only issue related to the room.
The privileged beach area is beautiful with beds on the beach, beanbags & lounge chairs. The Pure Chill Out Bar is on the privileged side & we enjoyed many delicious drinks here. There are rocks in the water, so bring water shoes if you don’t want to attempt to swim over them. We walked about 500 feet past this beach to the sister resort- Catalonia Yucatan to try out their beach. You can use the accommodations at either resort, regardless of which one you are staying at. The Yucatan beach does not have any rocks & you can walk right it. There was also great snorkeling here, with tropical fish all around you. We also really enjoyed the hammocks right on the beach. Great spot to read & enjoy the sea breeze! There are multiple pools around the resort, but we mainly stuck to the largest one behind the beach. There is a large kiddie pool attached (probably about 1 foot of water high). My son absolutely loved this area! There are multiple bars close by the pool to serve you all day long. We also enjoyed the smoothie bar that is close to the lagoon area. The lagoon is full of large fish you can feed or snorkel with. It’s also shallow, so a good area for young children to swim in. A few times during the week, vendors set up tables at the resort & we were able to buy some great souvenirs without having to leave the Catalonia. One night they also had a mariachi band, traditional Mexican games & a tequila tasting bar. It was a lot of fun to get to enjoy more of the Mexican culture.
We ate at the buffet for breakfast & lunch almost every day. They had a wide variety of food, but we got kind of bored after a few days. They’d offer a couple traditional Mexican items each day (empanadas, burritos) but mainly had typical lunch items like pizza, lunchmeat, pasta, etc. We ate at the Bamboleo snack bar for lunch a few times for some variety. They have more bar-type food like burgers & fries. Overall, I’d say the food was just average but I wasn’t expecting gourmet meals anyway, so it didn’t damper the vacation. We always found something we liked at each meal. We only drank bottled water although we saw some Americans drinking the water provided at the restaurants. We asked another guest about it & he informed us that the water is filtered into the resort. With a baby, I was still leery about this so didn’t risk drinking it. Unlike other resorts I’ve been to, you cannot make reservations for their specialty restaurants, so you risk waiting in line or the restaurant being full. I think the resort should allow reservations as it makes things more enjoyable for the guests to not have to worry about rushing to an early dinner to avoid crowds. We wound up eating right when the restaurants opened at 6pm every night. Once we were turned away around 6:15 because the restaurant was already full. Another time, we did get in but waited about 30 minutes in line. Privileged guests have access to some additional restaurants- Terrace Tapas Lounge & (I think) the hibachi restaurant, Mikado. The hibachi was our favorite food & it was fun to sit & watch the chef perform & cook the meal. The Tapas restaurant offers Spanish style tapas food & has a great view of the resort & beach. We also really liked the Mexican restaurant Los Alebrijes & the food & margaritas were very good! The outside Creperie had really delicious savory & sweet crepes & fruity smoothies. This is open earlier than the other restaurants & is more casual that the others. All of the restaurants offered kids’ menus & very clean high chairs which made things very convenient for us. We had an issue with extremely slow service at the Italian restaurant- Bellavista. Our waiter was really friendly but forgot about our table once the restaurant was full. Service was very slow & people who came in after us got dessert before us & left before us. We wound up leaving about 45 minutes after our entrees were done & no one came around for our dessert order even though we asked a few times & the waiter said he’d be over. I know vacation is supposed to be relaxing, but this was just extremely too slow!
I spent an afternoon at the resort’s Algeria Spa. The spa pool is so relaxing & beautiful- with lounge chairs built into the pool & a huge stone wall with water flowing down. You have access to the pool when you have a spa session as well as the sauna & vapor room. The massage and facial I got were so relaxing & the whole afternoon experience spent there was well worth the price! I highly recommend it. I also highly recommend taking a day trip to see Mayan ruins. We took a half-day trip to Tulum. We booked it through the resort at about $60 per person (the baby was free). This included shuttle service (with other pick-ups at nearby resorts) and a guide at the ruins. Tulum is breathtaking & the beach is out-of-this world!
Overall, we really had a wonderful time. We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of the accommodations at the resort as well as the friendliness and convenience towards families on vacation. We’d love to go back next year!
- 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