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“Nearly Paradise”

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Catalonia Royal Tulum
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 20 January 2014

Bit late on this one, thought I had already reviewed.
Went October 6th 2013. Nice hotel. Rooms on ground floor in the blocks are a little dark because of the jungle like effect from the vegetation. Plenty of room though with good shower and pretty good and large bed and you are only in there to relax and sleep I suppose. Different restaurants serving varied food and all good, in particular the tapas restaurant and the steak grill.

The complex is fairly small compared to what I am used to with 'all inclusive' and we soon got fed up with the entertainment which was in Italian. The team are Italian and the hotel seems like a magnet for Italian tourists.

The beach is absolutely beautiful, best I have ever been lucky enough to see.

Service, food very good. Would I go back? Riviera Maya yes, this hotel, no.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank holidayreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,204 - 2,210 of 7,320 reviews

Reviewed 18 January 2014

Tranquility in Paradise

My wife and I who are from Boston, Massachusetts vacationed at Catalonia Royal Tulum Beach Resort & Spa from 4-11 January, 2014. We were unlucky with the weather because we only had one full day of sunshine. But this will not negatively influence my review.
OVERALL
I will give this resort an A grade. It's very well managed, extremely clean, excellent staff, spacious rooms, never ran out of hot water, scales in bathroom, lots of towels, beach towels delivered to room every evening, screens on sliding balcony doors, healthy food (don't have to make reservation to any of 6 specialty gourmet restaurants), best coffee in Mexico--black/espresso/cappuccino, juice bar on beach, clean gym, high end spa (spa services cost extra).
THE BEACH
The one-mile sandy beach is much superior to Cancun, Maroma, Playa Del Carmen beaches respectively. It's more like the beach at Grand Caymon Island and Turks & Caicos. There are a number of closed resorts adjacent to Catalonia Royal Tulum which is a plus because guests from Catalonia can find more solitude there. The negative is that since these resorts are closed on their beaches there's no one to clear the seaweed and the plastic debris and discarded into the sea trash that gets washed out daily on to the beach. (How humans pollute the seas and oceans make one want to cry.) I brought this issue up with the general manager of Catalonia and he told me that periodically the Beach Association cleans the beach. I suggested to him that Catalonia should organize a weekly beach cleanup program comprised of volunteers from amongst the guests. Maybe on account of the weather, but there was no loud jet ski or other loud power boat activity which for us was a real plus. From the Water Sports/Dive Center, guests for free can take kayaks , hobbie sail boats. There's also snorkeling and diving. There was never a shortage of shaded space on the beach or sun cots.
ENTERTAINMENT & DISCO
The resort has its own dance company that puts on a variety of 4 shows per week. The dancers' effort and talents are commendable and their costumes are beautiful. We went to the Disco only on the Karaoke Night and that was a disappointment. We didn't stay for the dancing but the Disco was not crowded. The Disco itself is very clean, spacious and well appointed. I can see that this would be a cool place with a great DJ and a good crowd. In the evening there's a musical group that near the bar on the one side of the main foyer. We were extremely disappointed that there was no dancing to the music of these bands. The resort should try to find a way to provide the right incentive and atmosphere for those guests who don't go to the disco (11pm-2am) a place to dance in the evening. All other resorts we have stay at provide such a forum.
RECOMMENDATIONS
• There are some activities but except for beach volleyball and beach aerobics they all seemed very low key and passive. It would be fantastic if they had the following:
• Daily early morning power walks along the beach
• Daily Yoga on the beach
• Daily Zumba on the beach or by the poolside.
• Afternoon Salsa/Meringue dancing on the beach
• Evening dancing near bar in foyer and/or outside by the poolside.
• At the juice bar in the main breakfast restaurant often times they ran out of orange juice which is provided in pitchers. There should be an orange juice and pineapple juice dispensing machine.
• None of the food handlers in the restaurants (literally those handling food with their hands) wore plastic gloves. This was very unhygienic and I think it was the cause of my wife getting food poising the very last night of our stay.
• We learned towards the end of our stay that on rainy days some of the beach activities are held indoors (in the Disco, etc.). But this fact was not publicized or notified to us during check-in.
IN CONCLUSION
Would we return to this resort again? The answer is "YES."
http://youtu.be/9HB9wWof7WM

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank ArmenfilmUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2014

I really wanted to love this hotel based on all the reviews on TripAdvisor.
There are a lot of things to like:
1. The beach is beautiful! White, sandy beach and crystal clear warm water. The best thing about the hotel.
2. The wait staff on the beach are the hardest workers ever. Overall all the staff was very good, with the great exception of the bar staff. We tipped these folks very well.
3.The rooms were big and comfortable. We had upgraded to the Honeymoon package, so we stayed in a spruced up Junior Suite. The house keeping staff did a great job of keeping the room clean and the towel animals are great fun!
4. The upkeep of the grounds was very good. The ground keepers do a really hard job of keeping the place clean.

The Cons:
1. Like it or not the hotel does cater to Italians. That’s OK. The Italians were not super rude. Different people, different cultures. Some may think that they are rude but they just have a different way of acting. (I know, you are thinking this guy wants everyone to speak only English to him while on vacation. Not the case, I am Mexican and speak English, Dutch and French and a good bit of Italian [which came in super handy while at the CRT]).
2. The food was OK. Not the best and not the worst we have had at an all-inclusive. The desserts were probably the most disappointing.
3. The towel game: I lived in Europe and was super ready to get up at 6 AM to “reserve” my beach chair. It was annoying, however, to see folks leave there towels in the morning but not use the beach chair at all. Other hotels remove towels after an hour or two so that other guests can use the chairs. It would be nice if CRT could have the same policy.
4. The Honeymoon Package was disappointing; especially because of all the great pictures other reviewers have posted about their experiences. The chocolate covered strawberries promised as part of the package ended up being four Ferrero Roche chocolates, and the in room breakfast was an apple tart. The massages were nice, but you may just want to book the massages and skip the Honeymoon Package.
5. The bar staff are unbelievably bad. These guys were the slowest in the place, forgot your order after they took it (we were asking for beers), did cater to Italians, and were more interested in making out with the lady guests than in serving drinks. Truly terrible.

Good value for the money mostly. We didn’t end up loving it, nor did we hate it. It was just OK. We will likely not be back.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Capebrux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2014

We have spent beautiful 12 days in this resort. It was our first time in Mexico, so I cannot compare. Resort was certainly above average AI resorts we visited in past. It was not perfect, but close ...
Pros: Nice beach with white sand, jungle area between buildings with mapaches, iguanas and 1 local cat, crystal clear lake near reception
Cons: Food in some restaurants, crowded beach with "towel reservation game", worn furniture in room
Room was large, light ( we had top floor) and clean. Furniture was worn.
Food was above average if you realize you are in All Inclusive resort, but do not expect gourmet feast.We were little disappointed with Mexican & Thai restaurant. We enjoyed dinner in Steakhouse , Spanish and Italian restaurants. Buffet dinner was also OK. Lunch was good, best meal was breakfast, with plenty of choices. Glass of Champagne for breakfast was excellent start of the day.
Staff was very friendly (except one situation at reception)
If you like history vist Tulum, Coba abd Chichen Itza. Beautiful places ... And Tulum is only 15 minutes by Taxi collectivo. Trip to Coba with Alltournatives was combined with some activities like zip line, swimming in cenote, rappeling. Thanks a lot Mel. And Chichen Itza is must ! Of course it is one of the new seven wonders of world. Great place with strong magic.
Overall it was very good holiday. One of our best - on par with holiday in United Arab Emirates and Thailand. Highly recommended. Viva Mexico !

Room Tip: Ask for the top floor
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  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank bv666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2014

We visited the hotel from Boxing Day to New Years Day and were very pleasantly surprised with how relaxing and fun our vacation was. Reading some of the reviews had us a bit nervous when it came to the rooms, food and overall treatment of non-Italians. We were given a `deluxe` room, with 2 queen beds. When we asked for 1 king bed, we were told we`d have to wait until the next day for then to check and see, as that day they didn`t have one available on our check in. I`m not quite sure we really believed that line, as we have read on here many times they play the upgrade game. Bed was comfy, room was cleaned nicely each day, shower was good with adequate products (I didn`t want to over pack, so I left mine at home), the fridge was restocked daily and a few times we were left a piece of towel art or some extra snacks and fruit. We were overwhelmed with a mouldy smell when entering the room... not musty... mouldy. After getting the upgrade run around at the desk, we decided to open the patio door all day and turn the fan on high and stick with it. This did help a bit, but I should have packed a room freshener just in case. Next time. Also, we were not able to use the balcony railing for drying things, as there were some very interesting looking fungi growing on it. The cleaning staff did knock them off a few times, but they grew right back! Stayed away from the mystery mushrooms for sure! We were in building 6 and enjoyed the closeness to the beach, pool, and gym. Relatively quiet at night although some people just don`t know how to be quiet and considerate when travelling around the building later at night. The food was better than we`ve had when travelling to Cuba, Jamaica or to Playa del Carmen. Only the Asian restaurant gave us both some tummy troubles. Avoid the Pad Thai.... it`s more of a soupy stir fry. When ordering at the steakhouse stick to your usual doneness. We were a bit leary of ordering medium-rare and ordered medium instead. Mine was a hockey puck, but my boyfriend`s was much better, but still tougher than he would normally enjoy. The breakfast buffet is consistently good. No surprises or mystery food. We had lunch at the buffet and the burger bar, and enjoyed both. Service at the lunch buffet for drinks or utensils and napkins was slow. I mean, slow. Not sure why so many of us sat without these items for so long, after being seated by the hostess. The nachos at the burger bar are nothing too wonderful - a soupy, cheesy mess. Stick with the guacamole instead. We both enjoyed our dinners at the other a la cartes and found that there weren`t long lines around the 7:30-ish time. Later yes, but we only had a 15 mins wait the one time. The beach drink service was pretty sparse. We tried to order through her the first time around and tipped well on the first drink, but we still found it was a 45 mins-ish wait between drinks. Also tried to order top shelf rum through the beach service and never got it. Only regular when getting drinks by the beach service. Top shelf was used if I went right up to the bar and asked specifically for it. We loved walking either direction up or down the beach and were never bothered by vendors or locals. The beach is wonderful and if you take some snorkel gear, you can see tons of beautiful fish out in the little grassy area by the buoys. We weren`t put out by the extra attention given to Italian visitors as we don`t tend to get involved in group activities and games when we travel. We`re looking to relax and rest. However, there was only one time we were invited to participate in activities during our week there. The little entertainment guy walked passed us every time and would often stop near us to invite those who could understand him speaking in Italian. Like I said, there was extra attention, not necessarily special attention, but extra, given to some other guests. Overall, our experience at this resort was very fun, relaxing and enjoyable! I`d recommend it for sure!

Room Tip: Please don`t feed the coatis! A woman we got to know had to see first aid after being bitten while...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Julie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2014

My husband and I went to Catalonia Tulum for our honeymoon in September. We still can't stop talking about our vacation. From the moment we arrived at Catalonia to the moment we checked out, we loved everything. The resort is beautiful and the grounds well kept with daily attention. The accommodations were nice, not overly luxurious, but clean, comfortable, and spacious. The staff at Catalonia were fabulous and definitely a huge part of our positive experience. Everyone is so friendly and helpful. Food was great, we loved every restaurant for a different reasons. For a small resort, there are plenty of choices and everything was so tasty all the time! The beach is...AMAZING. Miles of white sand, perfect water. Never felt as though it was crowded and could always find a great beach spot. If you are looking for a resort outside of the hustle and bustle of a busy resort area like Cancun, this is it. Between the staff, the beautiful grounds, the fantastic beach the plentiful tequila and the yummy food, we had very few complaints. There were a few things that we could have complained about (minor things, like waiting for room service) but in all honesty, there are too many perfect things about this resort that the minor things are really not worth complaining about. We are already planning our return trip for our first anniversary. Can't wait to go back to Catalonia Royal Tulum and definitely recommend this resort !

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank kateG92113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2014

I really liked this resort, beach as you likely have read is amazing, loved the juice bar on the beach perfect for getting over an eventful evening the night before in Playa, great snack bar and drinks. There were only two issues that I had with this hotel but I knew before coming in so can't complain. The first issue is that the rooms are inside a jungle which is nice but nothing dries. Your bathing suits never get dried out even on the balcony... I have never had this problem before.

Second, the nightlife is non-existent beyond anything I have experienced before. By 9:00 there may be 6 people in the lobby bar and no one in the dance club ever which shuts right down because it is empty. I think this problem could be corrected if they had music playing and most importantly seats at the bar. There are no bar stools at any bar on the resort. This is actually a bigger deal than you might think on first glance but it makes it difficult to make friends at the resort and talk to other people when traveling alone or as a couple. I truly think that the resort does this to cut down on the cost of alcohol as it is deterrent from staying at the bar but it is a big loss in the long run because the resort was super boring and somewhere I am unlikely to return. Good for 3 or 4 days max but we had to go into Playa or risk being put to sleep by 8:30 each night from boredom.

Oh one more strange item that I found a bit disturbing and for those germaphobes out there pay attention. The sheets on the bed were not fitted and did not completely wrap around the mattress. It was simply a mattress pad that laid on top and covered about 90% of the mattress and then a bed sheet that just came over the edge of the bed on top. Problem was that when you moved when you slept the "protective" sheet moved and you woke up laying directly on the mattress or the bed pad. Gross! I mean really. This resort was not cheap so I think the can afford fitted bed sheets or at least larger sheets that can be tucked in. Again germaphobes beware!

Oh and just when I thought I was done.... one more thing. The noise. We were put on the top floor near the lobby and a couple times a week the Veraclub which caters to the people from Italy puts on a special show in the lobby starting at 11:00 or so for about and hour and a half. We were woken up for a deep sleep by a loud announcer on a microphone and blaring music all in italian. Terribly timed and completely negligent in my opinion. Front desk answered my complaint with a shrug and "it only happens a couple times a week" If it wasn't for the beauty of the resort grounds and the daytime snack and juice bar I would certainly go elsewhere.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Alisa15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Catalonia Royal Tulum

Address: Carretera Cancun Chetumal Km. 264.5, Xpu-Ha 77790, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Xpu-Ha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Xpu-Ha
#2 Spa Hotel in Xpu-Ha
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Xpu-Ha
Price Range: £211 - £474 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Catalonia Royal Tulum 4*
Number of rooms: 288
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Adults only all-inclusive resort, located in Xpu-Ha, Riviera Maya, on the Caribbean coastline. It is surrounded by native jungle trees, local plants, mangroves and cenotes - water springs where a diverse variety of flora and fauna can be found in an unspoiled habitat. It is just 25km from Playa del Carmen and Tulum's archaeological site, and 85 km south of Cancun International airport, in Quintana Roo State, Mexico. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Royal Tulum Xpuha
Riviera Maya Copacabana
Copacabana Riviera Maya
Catalonia Royal Tulum Mexico/Riviera Maya - Xpu-Ha

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