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“Great place but watch out for sales people for the "Exclusive Traveler's Club"”

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Catalonia Playa Maroma
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 9 August 2014

Everything at the hotel is as it says. The privileged membership is great for being able to enjoy the order from the menu restaurants. The employees are wonderful and are fun to get to know. The beach is beautiful. It was not clear to us that we would be able to SAIL as well as snorkel and kayak for no additional charge, so that was great to find out and experience. Tipping is not required, but is an appreciated gesture at the end of a day or the week.

The thing to beware is the "new" exclusive traveler's club" sales people. We were harassed when we first arrived and not allowed to check in. Monica kept asking us if we wanted a drink but didn't get one. Then she sat us down and once we realized she was not going to get us checked in to our room, she just kept going on and on about the sales pitch. So we signed up for the next day with words that it would only be 60-90 minutes of our time and it would not be pushy and we would in turn receive coupons for the spa as well as $100 off an excursion and 2 for one on dolphin trip.

The next morning we went before our kayak trip (at 10:30). We started at 9:05 so I was clear to say that we needed to be done in time for the kayaking (you can go any time but there are only a few days in the week that a guide takes you out to the reef, and this was the only scheduled time during our visit so we did not want to miss it). After touring the exclusive rooms and going to another location for the sales pitch, we were told we would receive our coupons promised. Because of past experience with sales pitches and the fact that they NEVER get done in the shorter time, I was very clear that we needed to be able to go kayaking at 10:30. The polish girl who was our tour guide must have got fed up with my insistence on the time, so sent us out by 10:10, but then would not keep the promise on the coupons. What an irritating waste of time.

Just avoid the sales people (in light shirts), and if they try to deter you, simply walk away. It is thousands of dollars to just have the ability to rent a room at a discount.

Room Tip: We were in the closest building without being in the Exclusive travelers club (#6). There aren'...
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
13  Thank valkyrie65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 August 2014

hola:
Travelled 8/3- 8/8. married couple with 2 older children.

- beach: just as good as it looks, maybe better! water is crystal clear, 85 degrees, calm, beautiful and relaxing. One of the best we have ever seen. Plenty of places to sit, shade, etc. If you are a beach person, put this one on the list.

accommodations: rooms were booked in January, and still on check-in we were told they were overbooked. Not happy with this. Paid for privileged room, but were put in a regular room for the first night. Room mistake the 2nd day as well--they still couldn't get it right, until I mentioned that my next call would be to American express to dispute payment. Their reservations systems do seem to need work

Building 6 is the top choice!! make sure you request it!!

food was fine,,steakhouse and Italian place were very good!! buffet does not have A/C, so it is Christly hot for dinner. lunch, etc.

There is a ton of walking--be prepared! The walking seems so much more since it is hot as hell!

The staff works their tails off---grounds are immaculate, everyone smiles, says "hola", etc.

There are a lot of Europeans, but they tend to congregate with themselves, and we had no issues with them. There are also plenty of Americans there.

They do try to push the timeshare deal quite a bit---they insist you present a major credit card, which I refused.

it is a smaller ( in terms of total rooms) resort, which we actually liked---only 350 rooms.

Room Tip: lower numbers in the 6000 building are top choice. Ours( 6004) had a partial ocean view>
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank chris k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

This was my 2nd trip to a Catalonia hotel (the other in Punta Cana at the Bavaro) and my 2nd trip to Mexico staying in 5* accommodation and the differences couldn't have been any greater (you can see my reviews of the Bavaro and Paradisius La Perla on my homepage). I'll break it down into the categories:

We booked a Privileged Superior room that came with the associated 'Privileged' package (more on that con as I go on).

CHECK IN
We arrived at 8pm and check-in (not computerised) took about half an hour as the receptionist was trying to do 2 couples at the same time and kept getting confused. The website says that Privileged guests get a "Private Check-In area" and "Welcome Cocktail". We got neither! Bags arrive at our room 45 minutes after we'd arrived at the room ourselves. Good start!!!

ROOM
POSITIVES: Good size, large comfortable bed, good furniture, nice size balcony, decent TV channel selection, comfortable linen/towels.
NEGATIVES: The yellow/red/orange decoration to mimic a 'Hacienda' really isn't the modernised look I'd read about on the website.
No bath tube.
The tiling and painting looked like it had been completed in a rush and therefore didn't have that clean, 5* quality.
As a Privileged guest, we were meant to have a Beach Towel service. They were in the room for the first day and we never saw any again! So when you want them cleaned and replaced, they're just cleaned and you have to get them from the same place as everyone else from day 2 onwards. Great 'Privileged' service!

The biggest problem: housekeeping! 2 days out of the 7 we had to call to the reception because our room hadn't be cleaned (one was after a longggg day out at Chichen Itzá and the one thing we wanted was to collapse in our room with room service and fall asleep. Imagine coming back to dirty room at 9pm) AND 3 nights out of the 7 our room hadn't been turned down (again, as stated on the website as a service they offer to Privileged guests).

BEACH
POSITIVES: Absolutely beautiful! White sand and crystal clear water. Seaweed was cleared when necessary to always make the place look tidy. There were certain water sports that were free but we only found this out when we enquired about prices and the hotel hadn't given us any information about these activities. Missed opportunity!
NEGATIVES: As a fair skinned guy, I needed shade quite a lot of the time and there simply weren't enough beds under the umbrellas/trees to cater for everyone. This led to arguments between guests about who had laid their towels on certain beds at 6:30am or 7am! Yes, people are that competitive for beds!

SWIMMING POOL
POSITIVES: It's big and has lots of different depths for different age groups.
NEGATIVES: IT'S SO DAMN HOT!!! When it's 35 degrees outside, you want a cool relaxing soak in chilled water to refresh yourself but the water was the temperature of a jacuzzi. It wasn't refreshing in the slightest and therefore we only went into the water at the beach.

RESTAURANTS
Mediocre. Each of the a la carte restaurants hold about 40 people max. which means that you need to get there early to be seated at a decent time. I don't mind eating at 7:30/8pm so we were kinda early and seated promptly on most occasions but Spanish natives, who typically eat at 10pm and arrived at around that time, were told they had an hour or 90 minute wait. That's ridiculous, especially if you have a family!
The food in each was OK, nothing special, as highlighted when going to a Mexican restaurant in a Mexican hotel in Mexico, they were using fake guacamole!

One massive drawback was La Terraza. We got this restaurant free as part of our Privileged package and if I had paid for this place, I'd have been even angrier than I was! We saved this for our last night as it was apparently the best one. Julio, our god awful waiter, left us with our menus for 15 minutes despite the place being half empty, we had to ask for our drinks to be replenished as he never took it upon himself, and I had to ask him 3 TIMES for a teaspoon. Food and service were both of a poor standard! (Living in Valencia, Spain if that's what they're providing as Spanish food, then I have no idea what I'm eating in restaurants here!) A waiter should be buzzing around constantly, asking how everything is, do you want another drink, can I get your anything, etc? To top it off, the dessert menu has 4 items. Julio left us with that menu for TEN MINUTES despite us leaving them closed and together (the normal sign for waiting staff that the customer has decided) for almost the entire time. 9 minutes after we ordered, the table behind us ordered exactly the same desserts. 2 minutes later their order arrived but we were still waiting! So from getting dessert menus to desserts not even arriving, we had waited over 21 minutes whilst another table had waited less than 5! What a joke. So we just upped and left, complained to Ricardo (Restaurant & Bar Manager) who was polite but couldn't really do much except give us a bottle of cheap cava and a few chocolates, which arrived at our room at midnight, by which time we're not really in the mood to drink.

SERVICE
Again, mediocre (see La Terraza and housekeeping reviews above). The only exception we noted was Roberto in the buffet restaurant, who was superb. After one day of being there, when we were sat at a table he would arrive with the same drinks that I'd had the day before (great memory and initiative!) Being European, I only tip for good service, not just being served like some people. Unlike my last stay in Mexico, when I tipped everyone who served me because they were all outstanding, Roberto was the only one I tipped before I left and I made a point of speaking to him and outlining how he'd been great at his job, especially compared to the majority of others.

GYM
Outdated equipment, ergometers that had aspects broken (the incline was broken on both treadmills, the foot holds on the spinning bikes were all damaged etc.), machines were rusty and aged BUT the biggest problem was the people using it: Entertainment Staff! In 3 out of the 5 times I went, presumably off-duty Staff were in there, messing around, acting like testosterone fuelled monkeys with each other. Another frequent user, an Italian lady, and I were constantly sharing "what the hell?" looks at each other. 1. Why are staff using the same facilities as guests? and 2. Why don't they know how to conduct themselves in front of guests? Several of them, with even less muscle mass than me at 6'5" and 200lbs, constantly grunting with their shirts off, doing bicep curls with 15lb dumbbells whilst staring at themselves in the mirror? (For those who don't know, that's ridiculously light!) Guests go to that gym to stay healthy and trim on a holiday of indulgence, not to see that kind of thing. Come on, guests deserve better than that!

SPA
We got an hour of the jacuzzi, sauna, and steam room free. It was of a decent standard.

CHECK OUT
This is the funny part: at check in, they take your bags to the room for you, as it's a fair walk with luggage to the rooms from the lobby. At check out, no such service, so we had to trek the 5 minute walk in 35 degree heat through mosquito valley (the resort is one long line of buildings through a wooded area) with our heavy luggage and other bags. I wonder if the hotel understands what this portrays to the customer? Maybe "you've stayed here, we've got your money... now show yourself out!" would be an appropriate analogy.

OVERALL
One question answers this: Would I return? Hell no!

The pros do not outweigh the cons and the Privilege package is a complete joke (no private check-in, no welcome cocktail, no beach towel service, no turn down service half of the time, "Exclusive breakfast area in restaurant El Pajarito" means you have a white table cloth instead of yellow and the service isn't any better... WOW!, "Privileged identification" = horrible plastic purple wristband as opposed to another colour but you'll still catch your nipples and skin in the shower with it, free dinner at La Terraza was diabolical...).

Room Tip: 'Privileged' rooms are near the beach/pool/restaurants but far away from lobby & buffet...
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
14  Thank Rob M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

My husband and our two boys stayed there from July 29-Aug. 5th and really enjoyed our time. I was a bit hesitant going in because of what I read about the rooms and privilege/non-privileged stuff. However, we got a room in the 3rd building, which was actually great since its right in the middle of the complex and it was completely remodeled. Our minibar was always restocked and Nancy the cleaning lady was very nice and did an excellent job.

The food was great. Many speak badly of the buffet but I found it to be better than most of the restaurants, to the exception of Tio Pepe (Mexican cuisine). If you like fresh, healthy and salads with the other child friendly stuff... then I would suggest the buffet, and there is no waiting. It is true that it was hot and there is no AC at the buffet... but I prefer that than to wait for the a la carte restaurants. We did eat at Tio Pepe, the steak place, and the terrace. The Terrace was good... however, I thought it was all supposed to be tapas, which is not - so adjust your expectations and you are good to go.

The beach.........amazing! My kids called it the sandbox and really enjoyed playing and building castles. Really pretty and one of the nicest I have seen in the Caribbean (which sort of surprised me).

Finally, the staff where great. We had very nice waiters and other staff. Julio, Javier, Grabriella etc where really great and attentive. One final word about the guests is that it was mostly Europeans with families - so if you mind that I would not suggest this hotel. I honestly say we will like to go back next year... I know my kids really loved it as well.

Room Tip: Upgrade to Privilege!
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank whlnatalia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

This is a late review. I am trying to book my 7th trip to the resort, and came across negative reviews. This is a well run resort. We have brought teenagers and other friends over the last few years and EVERY visit makes us want to be there more and more. ALWAYS accommodating, ALWAYS entertaining, ALWAYS a dream to be at this resort and on the most amazing beach EVER.

1.) Beach
2.) Beach
3.) Beach
4.) Not crowded beach
5.) Beach
6.) Amazing staff
7.) Clean
8.) Safe
9.) Beach
10.) Food is awesome, service is bomb.

We will keep coming back every 6 months until we can buy property there!

Special compliments to our amigos/amigas:

Jesus (Our Mexican son, warm, sweet and always pleasant to everyone - great dancer)
Teo (Talented, genuine addition to your staff)
Judith (Wonderful service)
Carlos (Hard worker)
Enrique (Great smile and drinks)
Luis (always funny)
Baltazar (thank you for watching out for our teenagers)
Amaury (Excellent at front desk and service is amazing)

Room Tip: Buildings closest to the water (duh).
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
10  Thank Kim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We were a group of 3 families. Twelve people all together. The hotel was very nice. The rooms were clean and comfortable. the beach was one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The food and drinks were just average.The pool was very quiet. Service at the restaurants was hit or miss. Some of our group experienced extremely long wait times at some of the sit down restaurants.The privilege check in went smoothly for us but one family in our group was told they only had a king room for them. This was a family of 3 adults. . Clearly 3 people could not sleep in one bed so they told them they would give them a cot. This was unacceptable to have one person have to sleep on a cot. However the next day the hotel did move them to a room with 2 double beds. This too was an inconvenience to have to pack up the room early in the morning but then they didn't have the new room ready for another 3 hours. All in all it was a great vacation with a few little bumps. The hotel is quaint and I loved the beach and the charm. I believe it could be a true gem with a little better customer service, better quality food and drinks. If we returned it would be for the beach.

Room Tip: Privilege rooms are closer to the beach and pool.
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank chip80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

My daughter and I visited this resort in mid-October for a last-minute getaway (5 days--too short). We absolutely loved everything about this place!!! Check-in was quick and very friendly and we were welcomed with a tequila at the bar. Nice!!! The resort is lovely, and the grounds were really nice, lush, and tropical. There were a lot of coatis and iguanas running around, as well as lots of beautiful birds and butterflies. Our room was on the second floor of Bldg. 6 and had a partial ocean view with a nice balcony. It was lovely. Beds were comfortable (we had two doubles) and had nice reading lamps above them. There was a lot of storage space in the room and closet, and the drawer under each end of the large vanity in bathroom was convenient for makeup and toiletries. Housekeeping was excellent and unobtrusive, and our minibar and coffee supplies were restocked daily. We never needed anything. We really enjoyed Maroma beach! Wow!!! There were plenty of loungers and shade on the Privileged side of the beach, and the beach drink service was great! I am an early riser, so we always had a shaded palapa, but there was a lot of shade from the palm trees as well. The weather was perfect for our trip (we hit it just right--guess it was rainy before we arrived) and the water was calm. We love the ocean, and the swimming area was great and there were no rocks. Stunning and beautiful!!! There was no loud music blaring on the beach, only the sound of the waves, and it was very relaxing. We spent some time in the pool as well. It was nice and warm and kept very clean. There was music at the pool in the afternoons to get the dance party started! For those folks with small kids, it had a large baby pool area; for those without kids, there were other sections where you could avoid them. There was no swim-up bar, but the bar was only a few feet away and had a very nice selection of top-shelf liquor. The bartenders made great mojitos and margaritas for us, and they could really crank out the great drinks--hardly any waiting at all. No matter which bartender served us, we received great drinks. Thanks! In addition, you could get self-serve ice, water, ice tea, and sodas in the same area, along with different crepes (ham and cheese crepe was delicioso) and ice cream. Restrooms were conveniently located on the back side of the bar and kept very clean. We ate at the buffet every morning and it was delicious, with a large selection of fresh fruit and juices (even the green type), all types of breads, cheeses, meats, and omelets; you name it, they had it!!! We ate at the Mexican restaurant twice and were wowed. Loved the tequila selection and the food and drinks were fabulous. We ate at the Italian restaurant once and loved it, too! In the evenings, we would have drinks at the main lobby bar or on our balcony. Make sure to wear bug spray after the sun goes down. We did not attend any shows or go to the Cats Disco, but we heard they were nice. Also, there were a lot of organized games, yoga, exercise classes, Zumba, beach volleyball, etc., if you wanted to participate. We had a great time with the other guests, especially Miguel and Jenny from New York! We cannot wait to return with the whole family!

Room Tip: Privileged rooms in Bldg. 6 are the closest to beach and pool.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank broncofan303
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Catalonia Playa Maroma

Address: Carretera Federal 307 | Chetumal- Puerto Juarez Km. 306+250, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Family Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range: £137 - £343 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalonia Playa Maroma 3.5*
Number of rooms: 404
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Catalonia Playa Maroma is situated in the Mayan Riviera, at only 35 kilometers south of Cancun and 20 kilometers north of Playa del Carmen. Regarding to the Travel Channel, Playa Maroma is one of the most beautiful beaches of the world. The typical Mexican decoration with its vibrant colors and palapa roofs surrounded by the native jungle make this resort the perfect place to spend a wonderful vacation. The Mayan World has to offer a lot to its visitors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Playa Maroma Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Catalonia Playa Maroma Del Carmen
Playa Maroma

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