Hotel Catalonia Bavaro Resort, Punta Cana
Reviews - Hotel Catalonia Bavaro Resort
- Age Group: 31 - 40
- From: United States
- Traveller type: Relaxation Seeker
- Age Group: 41 - 50
- From: United Kingdom
- Traveller type: Family Traveller
- Age Group: 18 - 25
- From: Canada
- Traveller type: Party Animal
- Age Group: 26 - 30
- From: Portugal
- Traveller type: Young Couple
- Age Group: 31 - 40
- From: United States
- Traveller type: Relaxation Seeker
- Age Group:
- From: United States
- Traveller type:
Read 1617 additional reviews of Hotel Catalonia Bavaro Resort at TripAdvisor.
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Historical Traveller Reviews of Hotel Catalonia Bavaro Resort
2/8/07-2/12/07. Beautiful resort.from gegallo
First let me clear something up. The Catalonia Bavaro Golf and Beach Resort, The Catalonia Royal Bavaro, The Royal Catalonia Bavaro, The Catalonia Bavaro All Inclusive is all the same resort. This resort has a main section and a Royal section. The Royal side is small, quiet and for adults only. It has a smaller but lovely pool with a pool bar, a smaller but lovely beach with a beach bar (next to the main beach) with palm trees, palapas, and cushy lounge chairs, a small indoor bar and it's own restaurant called Thallassa, a free internet room, two jacuzzis, and a spa that gives massages (in the Royal package you get a free 30 minute massage). The rooms are gorgeous. This is a newer section of the resort.
The main section is brimming with activities, has the big buffet restaurant and all other ala carte restaurants as well as various bars, lounges, casino, disco, a pavillion for shows (which was being repaired so while we were there the shows were held in the disco), pool tables (which were out of order), ping pong tables, games (scrabble, etc), internet room (there's a fee), a full service spa and lots of shops. A band plays in the main lounge area which is off the lobby - everything is very open - and there's dancing. The pool is huge with a pool bar, and the beach is very large with lots of palm trees, palapas and less cushy lounge chairs. A water sports center divides the two beaches. They have an entertainment team going full steam all day long leading every imaginable activity. It's lots of fun. I don't know what the rooms are like, so I can't comment.
Which side do you want? Depends on if you want a fun filled, active vacation or mostly peace and quiet. You can have both worlds staying on the Royal side. You can spend as much time at the main resort as you like. However, if you aren't a Royal guest, you cannot go to the Royal side. The cost to be a Royal guest is minimal, so if you want peace and quiet it's easily worth it.
By the way, topless sunbathing is allowed on both sides.
My husband and I stayed on the Royal side from Thursday to Monday. The entire resort is so beautiful. So clean. Gorgeous grounds and gardens. The staff is wonderful but the language is a strong barrier. It helps tremendously to know even a little Spanish. We're from CT, but most people we met were from other parts of the world. Many, many Europeans. and many from Spanish speaking nations.
We went diving, and snorkeled a little. Note: the diving was cool because we saw a shipwreck, but the marine life and coral are very disappointing. What others say about the water is true, it's very grassy and extremely shallow. You can walk out 100 yards into the water and it'll only be 3 feet deep, so it's not very good for swimming. I thought there'd be a lot of fish living in the grassy areas, so we snorkeled but there was almost nothing to see. Very little coral formations for sealife. Other parts of DR may be better. We lost money but had a blast at the Casino playing $5.00 blackjack. I kicked my husband's butt playing ping-pong (8 games to 1, thank you very much). We danced, we saw a show and hung out in the lounge. During the day we relaxed at our beach or our pool...napping, reading, sipping Pina Coladas. We had great massages. It was so wonderful. I walked along the beach and found the vendors "mall" where they sell typical Dominican wares. They're very aggressive so be prepared.
Okay. This is the negative part of the review. I thought the food was just awful. Just to give you perspective, I am a food person. I adore cooking and I adore good food. That said, I can still be very happy filling my plate at one of those buffet restaurants located in suburban strip malls around the country. But the food at the Catalonia was terrible and weird. It might be weird to me because I'm from The States, so keep that in mind. The Steakhouse was terrible. Tenderloin was an odd cut, corn on the cob was really strange - hard, like indian corn you hang on your door. Mashed potatoes really weird. I asked others during our stay in case our experience was isolated, but it wasn't. Japanese wasn't bad, Hibachi style...but a C- grade. French was awful. I ordered what others on this site suggested. French Onion Soup which was good, and the tornadoes of beef. Again, the same weird slap of beef - not medallions of tenderloin like tornadoes is supposed to be and it had an off taste, and it was served with a bad potatoe-egg dish. My husband's Scallops St. Jacques - was okay but in a strange pink sauce with jullian vegetables. Not "St. Jacques" at all. In fact, that's part of the problem. They try hard, the presentation of the food is nice, but they miss the mark so much. Menu items aren't as described. New York Style Cheesecake was a weird (again that word) rectangular piece of gelatinous flan and maybe rice combination. Maybe some coconut, I'm not sure. Chocolate mousse at the French restaurant reminded me of Cool Whip.
At the snack bars, burgers are gross with crunchy cartilage in it. I wouldn't go near the hotdogs. Roasted chicken is great and pizza and fries are good.
At the breakfast buffets they make good eggs and omelets and pancakes are fine. But the sausage is strange, the bacon is really fatty. Sweet rolls are homemade, and different but good. There's a lot of Domincan food served there..fried plantains and such. Lunch buffet...well, the lunchmeat - it looks like various forms of Spam. I had something called Golden Fish that was grilled. Incredibly dry - like jerky, and tasted similar to tuna. I had fried frog legs believe it or not, which were pretty good. Pasta Bolognese was icky. Salad bar had some odd ingredients, odd dressings. The lettuce was cabbage like, but they do have olive oil and vinegar. These little pieces of fish called Fish Fingers were good, though. We order that in the beach restaurant. The best meal we had was grilled lobster tails at the Royal Restaurant called Thalassa and it's on the French Restaurant menu, too. They were the only thing we found that was truly delicious.
Food is an important part of a vacation for me. And generally I'm pretty happy especially when someone else is preparing it. But in this case I was highly disappointed. Even the desserts weren't good. I just couldn't bring myself to indulge. We went to the crepe restaurant for dessert one night and I ordered the Crepes Suzette. The crepes were delicate but the orange sauce tasted exactly like orange juice concentrate - before you dilute it. My husbands banana split was great though.
They need chefs in their restaurants who know what these dishes are supposed to taste like. And look like. They try hard, the service was excellent, the decor in each of the restaurants beautiful - especially the French Restaurant, but with the food they miss the mark so much they aren't even close to the target. Because of the this, we won't go back. Which is sad because it's a gorgeous place and I loved the people. I put on 3 lbs while I was there and that's only because of all the virgin Pina Coladas I drank.
The bottom line is this: if food isn't important at all to you, you can have an amazing time. Do tip everyone face to face. A dollar goes a very long way there, and they really appreciate it.
Could not ask for morefrom OntarioLoved_it
Memorable and relaxingfrom waterdoggie
The accommodations were very good (I brought my own cervical pillow and was glad that I had). The food was better than what I expected (Thalassa was wonderful at suppertime). The beach was super soft sand, the ocean was weedy, but soooooo warm and lovely. The palm trees were beautiful. The sky was blue and went on forever. It rained only at night. The staff worked hard to understand us. Once in a while there were some language complications. Those times were not frequent, not important. Since we had decided to drop off the face of the planet (as we know it) we just rolled with it, and let those times lead us to tame adventure. We did find some glass in the sand at the beach once in a while. The beverages served at the beach bars were not served in glass containers.
We flew on a Skyservice plain, and it was crowded and a cramped flight. We landed late in the middle of the night at the airport. There had been a huge storm system in the Great Lakes area for several days before we left that delayed a lot of flights out of Toronto. We departed from Hamilton International Airport, and that was a bonus for us. It was less crowded, and we were able to dress better for our arrival in a semitropical environment without worrying about freezing in a Park N Fly lot waiting for a shuttle bus to take us to the airport. The flight was delayed for hours. However, when we left it was well below zero, and when we landed in the Dominican Republic, it was hot.
We were able to get through customs and get our bags without much delay. We found our hotel shuttle. We arrived at the Royal Catalonia Bavaria in quick time and we had no trouble registering at the hotel. The night manager took care of us weary travelers very well and gave us our hotel keys and an information package in a clear, yellow trimmed plastic zippered bag. We received our yellow ID bracelets the next morning. Our room was in a villa close to the pool and the hotel lobby, and was handy for us late night arrivals. The night manager spoke enough English to get us through the entire experience. He also made certain that we understood that we had to activate our room with the little key in the mechanism mounted on the wall inside the room beside the door. We have experienced this type of activation of rooms in some of the newer hotels in Europe. Perhaps some travelers have not really understood this, and without doing this, nothing will really work.
A large plastic covered basket filled with fruit and a bottle of Brugal Dorado rum awaited us in the room.
We made our a la carte dinner reservations at the Catalonia Bavaro next door, as we did not meet with the Sunquest rep at the time we thought we were to meet her. It did not matter, as there seemed to be redundancies built into the system. Reservations for Thalassa had to be made at the Royal Catalonia at the customer service desk.
The room was ample. There was a nicely appointed bathroom, with a makeup and shaving mirror. There was a hair dryer, and a separate shower with a hand-held shower that was flexible. It was also easy to accidentally hit the shower water control when one turned around in the shower. We did this a few times, and we did what travelers must do: we adapted. We always had hot or cold water. We never ran out. There was also a large tub in the main room, large enough for two people. There was also hot and cold water available, on demand.
We had had lunch in Thalassa, the first day, and this is the restaurant at the Royal site. It is an a la carte restaurant. The wait staff were energetic and also accommodating. We also found the breakfasts here to be excellent. The two dinners we ate there were also excellent. I had lobster twice at Thalassa, and it was delicious. I recommend the passion fruit mousse for dessert lovers with a sweet tooth. It is incredible! Spanish sparkling wine was offered to dinner guests upon arrival at this establishment. For meals, there was a choice of red or white wine. This was, in my opinion, the best place to dine. Dress nicely there. Closed shoes for the gentlemen are required. We saw some very finely garbed people dining in the evenings here at Thalassa. Many of the a la carte restaurants also had separate wine lists, charged to the guest’s hotel bill upon checkout. We ordered one of these wines at the Rodeo Steakhouse, another a la carte restaurant there. The wine chosen was very good, and fairly priced.
We dined at the Makaido, which served Japanese style food, with an entertaining style.
We also ate at the French restaurant and we had a very good beef tenderloin dinner there. People that we met there also told us the onion soup was very good.
Several times we opted to have our desserts at the Creperie Breton. On a hot afternoon, the opportunity to have ice cream and a crepe was most enjoyable. Always accompanied by coffee of course!
Coffee at the Royal Catalonia Bavaro was very enjoyable. I always felt pampered at any time in their restaurant, or at the hotel bar. At home I always drink my coffee black with nothing else in it. At the Royal I had Caribbean style coffee, which is really in the French style, café au lait. Hot coffee, which is served with rich, hot milk. I introduced my husband to excellent Dominican aged rum at this bar. At the bar they offered Ron Barcelo Imperial, premium blend. This is a really good rum, fine tasting and so smooth, like a cognac. We discovered this to be an excellent post-dinner treat at the bar.
The Royal has a pool and the whole environment is calmer and quieter then the main Catalonia Bavaro next door. The Royal has its own pool and beach area. There are fewer large palm trees at the Royal, but they are planting more of them. The Catalonia Bavaro has many palms.
The gardeners work to control the weeds, and to present pleasant floral views to the guests who traveled along the paved walkways.
We always found a shady spot at the beach or pool to laze away several hours in a comfortable lounger. Daily we could exchange our beach towels for a fresh one. Some guests exchanged towels more frequently. Always though, remember to have your towel card for check out time, and thus avoid having to pay for a beach towel.
It was initially a bit of a shock to see topless women sunbathing by the pool and on the beach, or bathing in the surf. We became accustomed to it.
The bartenders work hard to satisfy the guests. There are some guests who seem to be quite impatient. But most of the guests at the Royal seemed pretty laid back. But there were a few who were not and I had to admit that the bartenders did an admirable job of dealing with the pressures of their job, especially at the pool bar, which had a six o’clock PM closing time. There were always people who would suddenly show up just before closing time demanding exotic beverages. There are some guests who over indulge themselves at all-inclusive resorts. At the swim up bar, the bartender quickly learned that I sometimes wanted my pina colada with rum, and sometimes without. He would always ask me. Once a guest from the main Navarro hotel wandered into our area, and wanted a beverage at the Royal pool bar, the bartender politely and firmly, with tact explained to the gentleman that he could not provide him with it, as he was not a guest at this hotel. That man said to his companion that he liked the quiet here better, and he did end up upgrading his vacation from the Catalonia Bavaro to the Royal Catalonia. The bartenders, male and female, were pleasant, entertaining, and had to be masters of tact and discretion.
There were security guards stationed throughout the resort. They watched the guests. They watched the staff. The guards had walky talkies. Many of the house keeping staff also had them.
The Catalonia Bavaro seemed to be wifi equipped. Many of the guests at that hotel could be seen sitting down on benches from time to time with their laptops, busy working away.
The Royal had a room with two computer stations for guests to check their e-mails, or the weather conditions at home. For a couple of days there was a virus that impacted on these computers. Things got a little slow. However, generally the system worked fine.
We never did get to see a show at the main hotel show place. We would go over, just before ten, and there would be a band playing beside the show place, and the Animacion team would be dancing and instructing the guests. Then it would end and the team would invite everyone to the disco show. That seemed to be it. If there was a show, it certainly was not at the posted time.
Be prepared to learn the 24-hour clock system. The world does not all follow our system of AM and PM, from 1 to twelve. It is the 24 hour time system. Show time is at 22hundred hours. Except it wasn’t!
Have you ever read a book and the author describes how a place has a certain fragrance? I was on our little ground floor balcony, reclining in the hammock, drinking a Miranda, which is an orange soda pop, which was left in the bar fridge every day, when I smelled the fragrance which I will always remember as my favorite smell of the Royal Catalonia: the coffee fragrance, of a perfect cappuccino.
Good Resort, Not-so-good-beachfrom somerandomguy
great placefrom newbrunswicktraveler
It Was Wowfrom civi
The room are large and well clean, the food Ho my God 7 restaurant a la carte plus 1 at the hotel just for royal guest.
The french restaurant the best.
The steak house was very good.
The Japeneas so so
And the list go on and on. For us it was the fact that there were no kids cause we have 3 and we wanted peace but the pool is big and it's not crouded by lots of people.
We decided that this place would be a great place to say I DO and we did and it was fantastic journey.
The people that work there just want to please all the time 1$ bill makes them so happy cause they do work for 2 dollard a day so by nice to them cause they will be to you no matter what.
I word of advice watch for fleas in the sand at the beach cause we got a few bits off our feet and hands....the reason for those it because of the sea grass. But dont worry just go at the bar get some sea salt and but it on were the bits are leave it for 1 minutes and then rince and do that twice that day and you will see It will go away.Well that was our experience and it was great.
By the way we just came back on the18-02-2007
BY THIS TRIP YOU WILL LOVE IT...BON VOYAGE
Catalonia Royal Bavaro - Magnificentfrom JSunLovers
There were a lot of negative comments on posted on Trip Advisor ,and we were somewhat hesitant to stay there. But you have to look where the comments are coming from. Do not believe them. Last year my wife and I stayed at Sandals in Montego Bay. We checked out Sandals for this years trip and Sandals was almost 2X the cost of the Catalonia Royal, and we found that Catalonia Royal offerred much more than Sandals. In fact, we have already opened a travel bank account to go back to the Catalonia Royal next year. Just an unbelievable experience. Go for it, you won't be dissapointed
Brian & Judy Harding
Had an excellent time!from Tazdog95
Catalonia Beach Resort Punta Canafrom gstout
Rooms: good size, nice bath, hot water. Fridge stocked daily with beer/water/soda.
Staff: Staff was very friendly - a few may not have smiled or greeted you, but oh well, is that a big deal?
Food: If you can't find something to eat here, then you're just looking for something to complain about.
Speciality Restaurants: Make your reservations for all four as soon as you get there. Japanese and Parisian the best.
Front Desk check-in or check-out: no problems
Beach: Beautiful, no problem with getting chairs, etc. There is some seaweed. Topless at beach and pool.
Golf: Played the 18 hole course and rented clubs -approximately $100 and shared a cart.
New Shopping Center: take the 'free bus' if you go. However, it's not worth the trip -only a few stores.
AIRPORT: Absolutely the worst one we've been in. When leaving the country they funnel everyone into one line and you go through one gate - took forever.
You will have to pay a $10 fee to enter the country.
Bring bugspray - a little bothersome in the evening. You can't see them, but they bite.
Hope this helps!
Absolutely Beautiful!from kenny
Rooms: The rooms are large and cleaned daily; although, not until the early afternoon. There is a large closet with a safe that you program yourself. The closet has room to hang clothes and also shelves for folded clothes. The bathroom was average. We had to let the water run for a few minutes before we got hot water, but once it started coming, the water got really hot. One day, our toilet would not flush. It was fixed within an hour and the manager on duty called our room later at night to make sure it was fixed. The bed is a little hard, but I still slept well. There is a sitting area with a loveseat and a chair and a coffee table. We had a balcony and a hammock. There is a mini-fridge in the room stocked with beer, champagne, Pepsi, Fanta, Sprite, and bottled water. This is refilled on a daily basis. There were also Oreo cookies, peanuts, and some other snacks. There was a DVD player in the room with movies available at the front desk. There was a huge bathtub next to the bed. It took awhile to fill up but was well worth the wait.
Food & Drink: The food was great. We ate at the Thalassa restaurant – this restaurant is for Royal guests only. This was good food. We ate there every morning. They had a buffet in the morning with fruit, made to order eggs and pancakes, cereal, yogurt, donuts, and fresh juices. We also ate lunch there. There was an outdoor area for eating lunch. This is located next to the pool so it was nice to just walk over and eat lunch. This was not a buffet – you ordered from a menu. We also ate at the main buffet and that was wonderful. I am a VERY picky eater and I would leave there being way too full! The pizza was so good. If you cannot find something at the main buffet to eat, then you must not be too hungry. The buffet is HUGE. We also ate at the Mexican Restaurant and the American Steakhouse Restaurant. Both them were very good. We ate at both of them twice. Generally, you are not allowed to eat at the restaurants more than once, but being a royal guest, you receive this extra perk. We did not eat at the French or the Japanese, but heard wonderful things about both of them. At the royal pool, they walk around with fresh fruit and mini-sandwiches during the day. So if you really do not want to move, you do not have to! They will also bring you drinks. You have to try the Banana Mama. It is made with a fresh banana. It was SO good. We would spend our evenings at the royal lobby bar. The bartenders are fantastic! They know basic English so communication was not a problem at all. Royal guests get top shelf liquor – Absolute Vodka, Bacardi Rum, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and Jose Cuervo Tequila – just to name a few. Bartenders Lydia, Jose, and Basellio (spelling not correct) were just wonderful. They remembered us all week after meeting us the first night.
We walked around the whole resort and it is beautiful. It is very green with many flowers. The resort is just huge! We did not go to the main pool as it was always loud and crowded. The Royal pool was less crowded and quieter. The beach is huge and beautiful. The water is warm and clear.
We met many wonderful people there, such as Bernie & Andrea, “Sean Connery” and his wife, Dale & Jen, Danny & Gail, and Potsie & his wife. If any of you read this, contact us! Potsie – we have your picture, but lost your e-mail address! ?
If anyone has any questions, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have more pictures to share; however, we could only upload 9 of them on Tripadvisor.
We highly recommend this resort and are planning to return sometime in the future. We also highly recommend taking the Saona Island excursion. It is beautiful. It is located in the Caribbean Sea with the sparkling blue water.
Top Local Tips for Punta Cana
keep it secret the lady at the service care sells good wine for cheap price...it's a secret!!!!
Restaurant Don't listen to reviews about the restaurant. Everyone has different taste so make sure you try for yourself.
Be sure to take some things for the staff The people who work at these resorts do not make a lot of money, many have no education... be sure to think of them when packing and take some extra things for them and their families i.e., pantyhose, candy, nail polish, feminine products, razors, toys, baseball hats, clothing. Anything you leave for them is great appreciated and a couple of dollars also helps them alot more than it helps us.
Other names for Hotel Catalonia Bavaro Resort
- royal catalonia bavaro
- catalonia royal bavaro punta cana
- catalonia royal bavaro hotel
- catalonia royal bavaro
- Address: Playa Bavaro - Punta Cana - 837 - Dominican Republic
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