This was my fiance and I's first stay at this hotel, we have each had a few previous all-inclusive vacations in Mexico/Cuba to compare our trip to. We stayed March 8-15 and overall we both had an excellent experience and heard nothing but similar opinions when talking to other guests. We met a few other guests who have been back for multiple visits. It was nice being located in Peurto Aventuras which completely eliminated issues such as beach peddlers you would encounter on the west coast.
We did not "upgrade" to the privileged suites as we did not think it was worth the money for what we were expecting out of the trip. We had room 2133 which was 2 doors down from the lobby on the Yucatan side. It was simple, a bit dated, but clean, which was all we ever really wanted from a room. We really only spent time in it while sleeping anyways. Our king sized bed was comfortable enough but the blanket was a bit coarse in our opinion. Our curtain rod puller stick fell off once but it took 10 seconds to put it back on. The sound insulation from the nearby hallway and disco wasn't perfect but never prevented us from sleeping comfortably. One of our light fixtures was partially broken, but it didn't both us. The A/C worked great. Shower water pressure was a bit low but not terrible. In general our room was simple but got the job done.
The a-la-cartes were excellent! We ate at the Italian, Mexican, and Japanese and loved each one of them. Excellent service, portion sizes, and food quality. Unfortunately we planned to eat at the Bamboleo grill on our last night but it was closed, maybe there was some advance notice of this but we obviously were not aware of it. This was annoying since we could have planned it for another day, I would recommend to future guests to inquire early in your stay about restaurant closures so you can plan around them. Others have complained about the lack of reservations but it did not seem to bother us. Either don't show up during peak dinner hours (7-7:30) or be happy with having a few drinks while you wait. We often showed up before 6:30 and were seated right away. The 2 buffets each had an impressive selection, other peoples review's stating otherwise are baffling to me. Maybe if you stayed for 2 weeks it could get a bit repetitive, but what else can you ask for? You could easily make a unique plate each meal if you put any thought into it. We were happy with the various "make your own plate" stations where a cook prepares a fresh dish for you. Some of the options (breakfast sausages, pizza) were poor but there were enough other options to make up for it. We didn't use the room service. Some people have complained about having to fill up your water bottles in the bars instead of having new ones provided for you but we hardly view this as an inconvenience, you walk past one dozens of times a day.
As mentioned in other reviews the beach is quite rocky in parts, but it does have a nice sandy portion about 5 feet deep running from about 15-50 feet offshore. We would highly, highly recommend bringing water shoes which will make the rocks almost a non-issue. Over by the lagoon there is a nice sandy area with no rocks. The lagoon and rock bridge area is great for snorkeling. There were always ample beach lounge chairs. We did not partake in the ocean related activities offered by the resort so cannot comment on that. In general I can understand how some guests might be disappointed with an endless sandy beach but in reality the Catalonia beach is fine.
We were always impressed by the staff in the restaurants, bars, pools, etc. There was always somebody available to help you with anything, for example an empty drink glass seemed to always disappear right away! We were often met with a random "hola" and a smile. Rarely had to wait more than a few seconds for a drink at the bar or to get your water glass filled in a restaurant.
We took part in most of the daily activities run by the entertainment staff and enjoyed each of them. My fiance enjoyed the pool fitness sessions and I played most of the sports games. Olga, Maria, Laura, Giovanni and the others were excellent (I'm somewhat jealous of their jobs)! The nightly entertainment in the theater was enjoyable, I've read a few reviews were people were disappointed by it but I'm not entirely sure what they were expecting. We poked our heads into the disco twice but both times found the music to be too loud. We usually love some drinks and dancing but had a really difficult time spending more than a few minutes in the disco. We went to the sports bar a few times and were happy with it but in addition to the pool tables it wouldn't hurt to have some other games such as ping-pong, air hockey, or foosball.
We found no problems with the pools or other hotel grounds at all. The pools were cleaned on a regular basis and we saw pH tests being done regularly. The pathways were clean, we often saw workers sweeping up the sand which I thought is a nice detail, grass cut, garbage cleaned, etc etc. The gym was a bit small with limited weights and some cardio equipment (good quality), but I think if somebody has a problem they need to rethink their expectations and not compare it to the large gym back home. We did not use the spa.
In general we really enjoyed our stay and the few negative things we encountered were inconsequential and were greatly outweighed by the positives. If you are looking for a flawless hotel with marble toilets then look elsewhere, but if you are looking for a reasonably priced resort that will almost certainly leave you going back home with a giant smile on your face then we would highly recommend the Catalonia Yucatan.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 4 star Catalonia Yucatan Beach Resort & Spa is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, on the private estate of Puerto Aventuras. Located on the beautiful Mexican Caribbean coast, this resort is directly on the beach and offers a comfortable and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for a relaxing break. This mystical area boasts many Mayan archaeological ruins that include Chichen Itza, Tulum and Tikal as well as the natural attractions of Xel-Ha, Cozumel and Xcaret. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Catalonia Yucatan Beach Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Catalonia Yucatan Beach Puerto Aventuras
- Catalonia Yucatan Beach Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Aventuras