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“ok rooms, BEAUTIFUL beaches”

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Catalonia Royal Tulum
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 24 June 2014

The place was beautiful! A very cool jungle setting. We went on a couples vacation and needed a good deal- this was it! It was about an hour and 15 away from the airport -- it probably would have been shorter if we had private transfers which I would recommend, even if you have to pay a little bit extra for. We were a little tight on time on the way back due to the stops we had to make (although the airport on the way back was perfectly fine and we ended up being just fine). The staff was friendly and accommodating but a little slow on the service. Don't expect to have drinks in your hand often at the pool/beach unless you want to get them yourselves (the service at the bars is quick though!) The rooms were nice and the view was always cool - always some sort of animal roaming about. We were told by one staff member that we could feed the animals and then sort of reprimanded by another when they saw us doing it. Oops! There was a lot of people there, make sure to get up early (we were up before 8am) and save your chairs on the beach or the pool. There was no swim up bar which we kind of missed from our trip the year before. The beach though? GORGEOUS. We swam in it everyday. Snorkeling and kayaking were included in the price and we took advantage of it to go explore the clear waters- so cool. We went in the beginning of May and although the forecast called for rain each day, it only rained a couple of hours in total the 4 days we were there. There was an awesome juice bar on the beach which helped us recover from the all inclusive drinks - we miss them each morning now. SO GOOD, make sure you try them! The margarita bar by the mexican restaurant was awesome, who knew a cucumber marg would be good? The mexican restaurant was my favorite of them all - a must go-to! If you have been to a high end resort before, you may not like this place as much but it would be a great place to begin your yearly Mexico trips (like we have apparently started!) :) We used Dream Makers Vacation Services for our booking for the second year in a row. They are awesome and I would highly recommend them. You can consult with them online so you don’t have to be in their area and they make sure to find you the best price. http://dreammakersvaca.com/

Room Tip: Decide if you want a room closest to the beach or to the restaurants, the walk isn't TERRIBLE bu...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Kayla A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 June 2014

Let me start off by saying that this was my first hotel stay in Mexico. It was beautiful. The hotel is covered in greens and there are iguanas and other critters everywhere! I am a big animal lover myself so it was super exciting! The rooms are simple but beautiful. My husband and I went for our honeymoon and we couldn't be happier! The staff is very friendly and they will try to do whatever they can to make your stay more comfortable, especially the managers. We LOVED the food. Again, you are going to go to a hotel with Buffets. They aren't supposed to change the choices much but they do and it's always something different! The only bummer is that people put towels on beach chairs and leave. As a result, it's hard to catch a beach chair to lounge on. They will all be vacant but you can't actually use them because a towel is "holding" the spot.... Other than that it was perfect!

Room Tip: Buildings 4,5 and 6 are closest to the beach area.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Tanya P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2014

Great rooms. Great hotel site. The beach and the grounds were amazing. Has relaxation written all over it. Had my first massage, and it was great. I had read that the food was not so good, and that proved to be true. I'm not very picky about food, but most of this food was bland. We tried Spanish, Italian, buffet, Mexican, and the steak house. The steaks tasted good, but were very tough. The lasagna at the Italian restaurant and the potato skins at the steak house were the only things that I would rate better than average.
I sat at the "snack bar" for about 10 minutes. Servers walked by my and said nothing. I finally got up and asked at the bar and they told me the snack bar was closed for the day. They were only serving drinks. Seems like someone could have told me. I speak Spanish.
We called about the TV remote not working. Left for Chichen Itsa and came back 10 hours later. The remote still didn't work. Called again. 30 minutes later we had to call again before it was fixed. So, the service wasn't so great. The people were very friendly.

Room Tip: We stayed in the junior suite, but I think a regular deluxe room would be better. We were very far f...
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Mario M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

This was my second trip to this resort. I love the beach, the sand, the ocean, the snorkeling, the size and layout of the resort - the same things described in detail in other reviews. On my first trip, I was disappointed by the food, but it was not enough to keep me away from this beautiful resort.

I was very disappointed upon arrival to discover that Catalonia had allowed the travel club to set up shop. The sales people were very slick and persistent. I have read other reviews where people said that they were left alone after they told the sales people "no." I was not so lucky. I said "no" many times, but I would still see the sales people around, and they tried to talk to me. I am not someone who enjoys being harsh, but that is what it took to get these people to leave me alone. I did not pay thousands of dollars to go on a vacation where I would be hounded by these snake oil sales people who I had to swat away like mosquitoes. I came to the resort to relax. The travel club has ruined Catalonia for me and also ruined my trip. I loved my first trip here, and I am upset that I will not come back unless they get rid of this travel club. All a person has to do is Google "vacation clubs" to find out they are scams. People should run, not walk, away from these people.

I disliked the food, which was greasy and often not even hot. I tried all the restaurants and like the Thai place (I found one dish that I could stomach) and the Mexican restaurant the best. None of my meals were very good, though.

Another bad experience was that I had a set of Bose headphones stolen from my room. I used them on airplanes, and I did not discover the headphones were missing until my flight home. I had stored them in the case, which was in my backpack and in the closet. The thief was clever and left the empty case in my backpack, so I had no reason to notice the headphones were missing. I did not bother to make a report at the resort, since I have read on the internet that when other people reported a theft, the resort responded by denying any responsibility. Come on! Who else could get into my room other than the resort employees?

However, I do have to give credit to the staff overall. As others have said, the staff are very hardworking and nice (except for the thief!) I did leave tips and the staff certainly deserved it. I have no complaints about the service I received.

I had thought that I would return many times to this resort, but I will not return unless they get rid of the travel club. I would also hope for better food. This trip left me disappointed and sad.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Swanneytrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

I always read reviews here before selecting a hotel to stay at and have stayed at quite a few Caribbean all-inclusives (Sandals Dunn River, Sun Palace, Dreams Punta Cana, Barceló Bavaro, etc). This resort was as beautiful as the pictures show and was a great bargain. The pool, the beach, the rooms, the grounds, all were gorgeous. I remembered most of the common complaints reviewers had noted so I could also chime in. We were there June 16-20.

Food - I never expect the food to be great at an all-inclusive. This food was average. I didn't starve, I always found something to eat. It just wasn't great. Instead of trying to do American and Italian dishes, I wish they would stick to Mexican! And for context, I happily eat at Olive Garden, Chipotle and Domino's! I am by no means a "foodie". I'd say the pizza was better than frozen pizza, and on par with Chucky Cheese. Italian restaurant was horrible. But again, I never expect it to be amazing. If you want amazing food, I think you have to PAY for a more expensive hotel or skip all-inclusives. We did walk north along the beach and had wonderful seafood at a restaurant right on the beach. About $30-$50 US per person.

Time Shares - we didn't get bothered once, so I wonder if the complaints they've been seeing have changed their approach? But, since I had the warning, I also walked into the hotel as if I had been there for days already to avoid being approached. Be blunt if they stop you - ask them if this is part of the time share pitch. To avoid it at the airport, book your transportation AHEAD of time. Do not walk off the plane and look around like you are lost. Look like you know EXACTLY what you are doing. Everyone there that LOOKS like they are just customer service because they wear the same uniform, are ALL selling time shares.

Transportation- I researched cabs and shuttles and rental cars, and went with a rental. That was about $30 for the 5 days from National for a Chevy Aveo. In hindsight, I wish I had spoken to my All-State insurance company and credit card companies BEFOREHAND to understand EXACTLY what local car insurance to purchase (if any). I paid another $70 for third-party liability, but the real coverage would have been $200 for the week. For that price, I would have just paid for a private shuttle, so I declined. We only chose the rental to save money and time - the hotel is about 1.5-2 hrs from the airport, longer if you are in a shared shuttle and have to drop people along the way. Even worse is the trip back, when they force you into a pick-up time that gives you 3 hours at the airport. Another reviewer commented that she was harassed by police and shook down for money. Not our experience, but we were only on the main highway. I registered our trip with the local US Consulate in Merida and they said if stopped, be polite, but ask for their name, badge number, patrol number.

Smoking - the hotel can't tell their guests not to smoke, so that can be a problem. We were at least in a non-smoking building (5), which also happened to be closest to the pool/beach. Perhaps there are hotels that are entirely smoke-free?

Service - we didn't upgrade and I feel like our service was great. I think everyone was really very nice. We also didn't tip them until the end of our trip (rather than tipping them JUST to get them to notice you and serve you faster).

Language - I think attempting to speak some Spanish goes a long way! If you don't speak Spanish, learn some basics, and when you speak in English, speak in simple short sentences, like you would to a 2 year old. If they know a little English, they will be focused on picking out a few key words in what you are saying, and using context to figure out the rest. Instead of "Hi, could you help me find the ladies room?" just say "Bathrooms? Por Favor?" Keep it simple.

Alcohol - I think some liquor was 'top shelf' and you had to pay extra? We bought a bottle of Ciroc vodka at the duty free just in case :)

I don't have a lot of bad things to say about this hotel - I won't be back only because I don't like being SO far from the airport (for a 5 day trip, you lose a lot of time travelling). I also would prefer a place with a swim-up pool bar. I have been to more expensive all-inclusives and still felt un-wowed by the food, so the food is not a deal-breaker for me.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank G3PO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

This is a little slow in coming but I just wanted to say how much we enjoyed our honeymoon at the Catalonia Royal Tulum. We were there for two weeks in January 2013. The service was fantistic! We eecially liked that you could eat at any of the resturants every night no reservation required and no limit to how many per your stay. The Grill and the Tapas were our definite favorites. Our favorite server was Carlos at the snack/Pizza bar. He took great care of us and because of this we took good care of him. He went above and beyond duty. The only cons I would have about the resort is the we were on the first floor and it was a little musty. The bed was a little uncomfortable but the rooms were super clean and the turndown service at night was really nice. The beach was great for swimming, snorkling and walking. We really enjoyed the aults only it was nice to be on our honeymoon and not have to listen to yelling children. :-) Also one good thing to know, if you want better quality drinks you just have to ask or you will get the cheapest they have. For example you have to ask for good rum in you pina colada Nd younwill get it. If not it will be the cheap stuff.
We would go back anytime.
!!!!

Room Tip: 3rd floor is best for view Building in middle to farther away from main lobby are quieter at night...
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank SueEllenD-48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2014

We have just recently returned from an 11 night stay at this Hotel. We had a fantastic time staying here! This was our first time to Mexico & we were looking for a relaxing & peaceful location & this hotel ticked all of the boxes we required!

Rooms – They are a great size with a huge comfortable bed & pillows. We were in a deluxe room which I think is standard when you book through Thomson’s / First Choice. The bathroom is also a great size & has a lovely walk in shower. We were on the second floor in the ‘Agua’ block which is nearest to the pool/beach & this suited us completely as it was a nice walk to the restaurants but close enough to hear the sea from the balcony. The balcony was a nice size with a comfortable hammock for chilling in. The best thing about our room was the location for seeing the Coati’s in their nests. We even got to see very young baby Coati’s being fed & playing! It was also lovely to have a morning visit from the local birds who will even feed out of your hands. There was a minibar which was stocked daily by the cleaners with fizzy drinks, water, beer, granola bars & nuts which turned into our daily bird & Coati food! The rooms were cleaned everyday plus the towels were changed daily. We didn’t life a finger the whole 11 nights everything was done for us…. Bliss! On our return to the rooms later in the afternoons they had been cleaned & tidied & always looked immaculate. The beach towels were also changed every evening. There was a coffee maker in the room but as I’m not a coffee drinker it would have been preferable to have tea/coffee making facilities instead but that’s only a small niggle.

Pool – Lovely huge pool with plenty of sunbeds. We never struggled to find a sunbed although we were early risers & sunbathing fairly early each day but mostly at the beach. The pool was always warm & you never struggled to find a nice spot to swim or just chill as it’s so big!

Beach – The beach is just breath-taking!!! White sands & clear turquoise waters… paradise!!! We spent most day chilling at the beach & again never struggled to find a sunbed. We were unfortunate to be there at a windy time so we didn’t really get any calm days in the sea which was a bummer for snorkelling but we did have fun body boarding (we bought 2 body boards from the hotel shop) & swimming or trying to swim in the waves! Geny served us most days on the beach & we grew fond of her infectious giggle & good humour. You can walk in both directions & it’s completely remote, just be aware when walking to the left of the Hotel along the beach we got as far as the rocks & got shouted at by a security guard & his dog who must be looking after the derelict hotel. It appeared he wanted us to go back & not hang around the rocks!

Food – The food for us was not brilliant… which I’m surprised to say as both myself & my husband are not fussy eaters apart from we don’t eat fish. Reading the reviews before we went I was sceptical when people were reviewing the food as not being great but I can now see that this is true. The main buffet restaurants were lovely especially the breakfast buffet which served up fresh omelettes & eggs. There was a large choice for breakfast & we always enjoyed it, the same for the lunchtime buffet, there was always a good choice in particular the thin cooked steaks cooked on the hot plate were lovely. The issue was the evening a ’la carte’ restaurant’s they just were not good apart from the Thai which we really enjoyed. The other restaurants in particular the Mexican & the Tapas were just not authentic & more emphasis was put on the presentation rather than the actual taste of the food. The steak house was ok but both times my steaks were fatty. My husband had the T-bone steak on both occasions but on the second visit his was also fatty. This surprised us as the whole theme of the restaurant was aimed at the Americans in particular the Texans which are renowned for having big & well-cooked steaks! The Italian restaurant was again just ok. I ordered the pork for main course which was lovely but I only got pork there were no potatoes, veg or rice to accompany it. Very strange! The deserts were ok again a bit hit & miss in flavour but the ice cream was delicious! The food would not put us off returning as we always found something nice to eat especially in the buffet restaurant. I think they need to try employing chefs who have cooking experience in each of the themed restaurants instead of one chef fits all type cooking. I wonder if the food is the reason why Thomson’s rate it a 4* plus. The drinks were good & they are not tight with the alcohol, I’m not a big drinker & the barmen found it hugely amusing when I asked for the drinks to be made with less alcohol! Our favourite cocktails were the frozen Margaritas from the pool bar.

Staff – The staff were always very pleasant & hardworking especially the cleaners, waiting staff & barmen. The reception staff were ok apart from one lady who we found extremely unhelpful & almost rude sometimes! The ‘time share / privileged’ sales guys were just downright annoying to be truthful & we ended up avoiding them as were sick of going over the same questions every time they saw us & tried to engage us in their sales talk! We lost count of the number of times we were asked our reason for the holiday & kept telling them it was for our anniversary. We kept being told they would write this down in a ‘book’ & on the day of our anniversary something special would happen. Well I don’t know where this secret book went but on the day of our anniversary the hotel did nothing to acknowledge it!
Some of the staff seem to almost expect tipping but the others seem very humble when you tip & they almost all deserved the tips as were so hardworking. The animation team were lovely & friendly & yes they do favour the Italians first but they did make an effort to engage us without being pushy. We spent a very funny afternoon playing bingo & drinking shots in the pool bar after a tropical storm hit. It was nice to watch the games being played like volleyball, water polo, Zumba & everyone appeared to be having a fun time & it was fun watching! We didn’t venture to any of the shows or the nightclub at night as we would usually have something to eat & then have a few drinks before going to bed as were are morning ppl & & not night owls! If you’re looking for a lively night life this is defiantly not the place! We enjoyed chilling out in the chairs outside of the pool bar area with a cocktail.

Spa – The spa is lovely. We booked in for a couple’s 80 minute Swedish massage as a treat for our anniversary. We were given a voucher booklet by the hotel which enabled us to get money off. The actual massage was wonderful but it was also so nice to chill out in their special reserved chill out area afterwards. It was so peaceful & relaxing, all in all a very nice experience.

We ventured into Playa a few times on the minibus that stops outside of the hotel. We found it ok for picking up gifts & touristy things but the vendors were just so annoying & wouldn’t let you even look at anything without trying to get you into their shop. I wish they would learn that ppl would much rather browse at their own leisure & then buy things instead of being put off almost immediately. The Hotel has a nice shop which sells most of the same items they sell in the town for around the same price. We also did the Royal swim with Dolphins at Xel-Ha. We were unfortunate to get bad weather on that day but it didn’t spoil the dolphin swim it just cut short our snorkelling plans for the afternoon. The place seemed very busy mostly with locals but I’m not sure if this was because the weather was bad so most ppl were crammed into the restaurants & bars but it felt a bit hectic for our liking. The food was nice we ate in the Mexican restaurant but we both had dodgy tummy’s the day after!

All in all we absolutely loved this hotel & we will defiantly return again. The whole jungle theme is great we managed to spot all sorts of wildlife including Coati’s, lizards, iguanas, turtles, frogs, a giant hamster thing (not sure of the name), birds including Pelicans diving for fish in the sea , squirrels, fish & we were even lucky enough to spot a racoon one evening having a drink in the pond. The hotel has a lovely laid back & tranquil feel to it & nothing is rushed or in your face.

I would defiantly recommend this Hotel if you’re looking to kick back & totally chill out in lovely surroundings with a fantastic beach ;)

Room Tip: We stayed in the Auga Block which was fantastic for being close to the beach & pool.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Giff0rds
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 On the Beach Hotel in Xpu-Ha
#2 Spa Hotel in Xpu-Ha
Price Range: £179 - £434 (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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