I'm truly surprised by all of the positive reviews for this resort on Tripadvisor - which one was of the reasons why I booked it. The photos they show you on the net and in travel brochures for this property are truly NOT accurate. They show you the renovated Privileged rooms and Honeymoon suite which you have to pay an upgrade to stay in. The standard room is more like a cell. The furniture is old, run down and the beds are like a sheet of plywood with a thin patio cushion like mattress. We arrived at the hotel at 2 am and our A/C rumbled and rattled so loud that you couldn't even hear the voice of the person in the bed next to you. My husband was so frustrated that he went to reception to see if we could switch rooms and they told us they would only know in the morning. So we had to go back at 8, then 9 and again at 10 and they said that a Privileged room would be made available that afternoon at an upgrade price of $50 pp per night. They actually contemplated charging us $50 addt'l. for each of our kids - who are only 3 and 5 yrs of age. This was ludicrous considering that the Nolitours brochure and their website claim that kids stay free! Finally they waived the fee for the children - gee thanks! Anyways, the upgraded room was renovated and much more pleasant however the bathroom was still old, damp and seriously run down. It's almost as though this resort started a few renovations and then stopped but still went ahead and advertised itself as a 4 star for the small number of rooms that it had updated. This is inaccurate and not a fair representation to the traveller. The beach however is beautiful and the food is good.
The tapas bar and La Toscane are both really nice and tasty. They say the a la carte meals are unlimited however once you get there you have a specified number of meal tickets that you can use - 1 per restaurant. Note: The Tapas restaurant costs addt'l. $ if you order the seafood.
We also used the spa services while we were there and the $ for what you get is lacking here too. They have this one poor esthetician braiding hair, doing manicures and pedicures, etc., so whatever time they give you as an appt. factor in it being delayed - in our case - by 2 hrs. Our 5pm appt. quickly became a 7pm appt. Not ideal. And the quality of the work is rushed - again, not the esthetician's fault but still worth mentioning.
If you're looking for a very basic hotel, this one is fine, however don't be fooled into thinking that you're going to be staying at a 4 star. The rating needs to be adjusted until the renos are complete. If you still do decide to stay there please heed my warnings and spring for the Privilege upgrade or else you will most likely be disappointed. Buildings 6000 and 4000 are the two that have been renovated so push to stay in one of these. We also met a couple staying in the honeymoon suite which has a jacuzzi on the terrace and apparently their room was very nice as well, however with all of these upgrades, means additional $$$ so it might be best to just book another hotel. I know we would if given the chance to do it over again. They do however offer a free shuttle bus to and from Playa del Carmen - which saves you the $20 taxi ride.
Oh and be forewarned that everyday at 6pm, the maintenance staff sprays the premises of the property for mosquitos. The product used smells so foul and the chemicals are so toxic that the person spraying wears a mask and protective gear, however the guests are left to their own defenses as the fumes envelope not only the lobby lounge but also the open air buffet - imagine all of those chemicals settling on the food and dishes you're about to eat! It's ridiculous. You literally see all of the hotel guests covering their mouths and faces with scarves and towels as he goes by. It's really quite disturbing. And even despite this toxic ritual spraying there are still a number of mosquitos on site! I would recommend bringing some insect repellent - especailly if you have kids.
Another point worth mentioning, especially if booking with Nolitours - the destination representatives are not helpful. They are merely there to sell their excursions - even though they say they're not. When we asked for help with our room issues and luggage lock-up, she just dismissed us saying "Sorry that's standard - it's like that everywhere." We dealt with all of our issues ourself. I disagree with her remark that this is standard practice. I've been to Caribbean at least 7 times in the past and never had these issues - I even stayed at resorts with a lower rating and was more satisfied than this. In the past, we had either arranged the booking ourselves or used TMR - Les Tours Mont Royal and even on site, the destination reps were much more helpful. Sadly, this young woman was useless unless you wanted to book a day trip on one of her tours.
Also, if given the chance and you purchase this hotel as a package with Canjet airlines, try to also find out if another airline is available. Canjet was awful - no comfort, no frills and an apple, ham & cheese on a hard bun for the meal. Just say no to their meal - a total waste. Also, even though our flight was at 2 am that on the night of departure and checkout was before noon, the hotel does not offer a locked room to store the luggage. Instead all bags must be left in plain view at the main entrance. Nothing was stolen - but food for thought in case you do have valuables.
- 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