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“Rain drops keep fallin on my head” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort

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Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playas De Bavaro | Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana 2062, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #52 of 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Rhode Island
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Rain drops keep fallin on my head”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

But at Catalonia Bavaro, its really sewage seeping through the ceiling. For 3 days of an 8 day trip, I had to make dozens of calls and several screaming incidents to get managment to recognize that the sh** from the third floor bath was dumping on my ceiling. When they finally fixed the "leak", it took another day to get them to wash the ceiling panels in the bathroom. We were not allowed to change rooms because there was no other room to move to because the hotel overbooked. Some friends were shipped to another resort because Catalonia had sold out.
Among other, less offensive, reasons to avoid Catalonia Bavaro: food is 3 of 10 at best, wireless internet is nonexistant, overstrached, discourteous staff, not enough towels for the rooms, not enough seats at the ONE pool, and generally dated and worn out infrastructure. Catalonia is one of the oldest Punta Cana hotels and it shows its age. When I complained to a manager, Leonardo Lara, about the poop drippings he chastised me for not calling I'm earlier. When I said I had been reporting the problem for 3 days to the emergency servicesm he said they ignore such calls. How is a guest to know which manager to contact? That said, Leonardo turned out to be a complete liar. He made numerous promises to compensate us for our troubles, then reneged on the first promise (a taxi ride) and then disappeared. Another manager, Rocky, promises to try to make amends for ruining half of our vacation. I have not heard back from Rocky as yet - we're still living the dream at Catalonia. I never thought I would say I can't wait to leave this dump. FYI, i rented 6 rooms for my family costong approx $15k. Guess that dosn't matter to this place. I will try to attach photos of the leaking sewage from my mobile phone (because there is NO internet here).

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (578)
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Just returned, my boyfriend and I stayed Feb 15-22. Had the most amazing time. For the most part the staff were fantastic. A few of waitresses were slow but pleasant. Definitely show more attention to the men, it its all about tips right.

Food at main restaurant had a nice variety. You can always count on a daily supply of planteen- several ways, yucca- several ways and rice and beans. Lots of chicken, eggs, fish, sausage- multiple variety and all good. Fresh crepes made any way for breakfast, eggs, bacon , pancakes, waffles, cereal, yogurt fruit ext...At night buffet they had prime rib, pork loin, duck, rabbit, fresh prosciutto that melted in your mouth and they even has sushi one night.
If you looking for beautiful surroundings this is a great place to try. The beach and pool were stunning! They keep the resort very tidy and work hard to keep you engaged.

If you do any excoursions I suggest Bavaro Runners and Hispaniola History tour.... Breath taking!

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cataloniabav, Director General at Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Dear Guest!

We certainly enjoyed reading your review and would like to thank you for your kind words.

As a company that prides itself on customer satisfaction, we appreciate knowing that we met your expectations.

We will be delighted if you give us another chance by counting again with their presence in our Catalonia Hotels, so that we may prove that 100% Guest’s satisfaction is our main goal.

Receive warm regards from all our staff.

Kind Regards!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, Canada
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2013

We stayed at this property from February 13 to 20, 2013. The resort seemed to be running at full capacity during this period. Our holiday, booked through Target vacations and including Air Transat flights from Toronto cost $ 2,781, on the basis of two people sharing. We had a good time, we enjoyed our stay, and we’d give a positive recommendation to people considering this hotel. However, on previous Caribbean vacations we have paid less and got a little better elsewhere.

It is easy to take the really good things for granted and focus on the negatives – that’s what I’m usually accused of doing by my wife. However I will say that the genuine warmth of the Dominican staff, the beautifully scenic location of the resort, and the great weather should go at least 75% of the way to ensuring any guest has a good holiday regardless of any negatives.

The Catalonia is well-kept but it is starting to look a little worn at the edges, especially on things like wood doors and trim. The landscaping is pretty good although there are not a lot of gardeners working around as you see at other places. The food was okay…pretty good, in fact. I do not recall ever saying to myself “Wow, this tastes so good ! I need to get another plateful ! “. But I was never very unhappy with the food.

Observations:

Rooms:

Just by luck, we had a “Privileged Room” (what a strange description ! ). It was spacious in the bedroom area. Washroom facilities were divided into a toilet/shower stall room and a vanity/clothes closet/two-person bath tub. We had a very comfortable king-sized bed. Pillows were okay if you’re not fussy. The big bath tub was never used – it seemed to be a dumb idea to have such a thing at a tropical resort. The toilet and shower room was very small - as noted by other reviewers. The shower head wall mounting in was broken so showering was a one-handed operation. We didn’t complain about the shower head – it was obviously a major problem and wouldn’t be fixed during our time so why get worked up about it ? The floor outside the shower really did get wet from an inadequate sill. We just put a towel down as a mat and let the maid deal with it. There was a flat screen TV that featured Latin American channels and the execrable U.S.A. network programing - so we didn’t watch much TV !

Electricity is 110 V. However my 3-pronged plugs didn’t work in the receptacles in our room. It took me three days to think that they might sell 3-to-2 prong adapters at the resort. They did; cost was $4.00.

Security:
The resort had a controlled entrance at the road. The grounds are well-lit at night. There were lots of people still up and walking around everywhere as late as 23:30. I’m not sure if the resort had actual security people on staff – if they did it wasn’t obvious to me. We locked everything valuable in the room safe and were careful not to leave valuable stuff around to attract thieves.

Restaurants:
After a few days we started to feel that the main buffet location was under-sized for the number of guests. There was often a queue at the entrance before guests were directed to a table. Once we were inside, it seemed noisy. In the buffet area there were a lot of near-collisions between people carrying plates and frustrating waits as other guests poked through serving dishes.(Jeez, just pick up a piece…it’s all the same !!!). At times, the hard-working staff seemed rushed and overwhelmed with their bussing and drink-serving duties. The buffet restaurants were open-air and that attracted small birds. I got used to them in the seating area but I was uncomfortable when they occasionally alighted on the salad tables.

In the last part of our stay we ate breakfast and lunch at the beach buffet. It had had less food variety but was more convenient and relaxed with a nice view of the ocean. We went to all our evening à la carte restaurant options. In all these locations the service definitely trumped the food. Unlike other reviewers we didn’t think the Japanese was so hot. The Mexican was our favourite, the steak place the least enjoyable. All four places were a quiet refuge from the mildly chaotic atmosphere of the main buffet. The staff were great.

Other Guests:

Not a really friendly bunch. We noticed other guests seem to avoid eye contact and were reluctant to acknowledge others. People seemed to stick with their spouses, families, or larger groups. Maybe it was because there were groups from all over – eastern Europe, Russia, South America, Canada, Quebec (!). There was quite a range of people - older retired couples who must have been paying a fortune for travel medical insurance, handicapped guests – wheel chairs were fairly common, working couples on vacation, couples with young children, and young adults partying. I was struck by the number of attractive young women on the beach – made me feel wistful rather than lustful though.

There were occasional instances of rudeness and poor manners from other guests. How can you blame this on the hotel though? Should they require references for guest behaviour before accepting reservations? I wish it were so.

Smoking.
A throw back to the 70s at least with ashtrays and cigarette machines. Smokers can go at it just about anywhere other than the dining areas. It was quite annoying when we were seated in the open-air theatre and someone was smoking upwind. We had to either tolerate it or take off.

Insect Bites.
I got bitten on both ankles and my lower legs a few days into my stay and the resulting itching would have driven me crazy without lotion. I don’t know how it happened. My wife got off easier than me even though she is more sensitive to bites. Mosquitoes or sand fleas ? I don’t know.

Weather:
It was good. There were a couple of perfect days of continuously clear blue skies but most days were sunny with some scattered clouds. A couple of days had longer cloudy periods. There were very brief (10 minute) rain showers on two different days. There was a steady south east wind blowing up the shore – sometimes it was unpleasantly strong and folks were using their beach towels as blankets. I never heard anyone complaining about the weather. I was a little disappointed by the sea water temperature. At home in Canada I can swim in water at that temperature in the summer. I like the novelty of tropical water being almost lukewarm. I only swam once.

Evening Entertainment: It was always entertaining with different acts at the open air theatre each night. I wonder how many “Michael Jackson Tributes” are presented around the Caribbean each night ? On a couple of nights we had a group of drunken young female guests who insisted on getting on stage and participating with the performers. It was briefly amusing but then became tedious. It was the only obvious example of drunken behavior by guests we experienced.

Stars at Night.
They were really obvious in the black night sky. Twice I heard fathers pointing out the constellation Orion to their kids. If my wife had been more agreeable I would have gone back to the beach and studied the night sky every night.

Professional Photographers.
They roam the resort property with cheesy props and practically demand that you pose. A set of prints can be had for $52. Later at the airport, on the way through exit formalities, you’re grabbed by girls posing as officials, and photographed again. Cost here is $12 if you’re interested. Other vendors were very inobtrusive and friendly and knew what "no thanks" meant.

The Beach.
Walking on the sand was difficult. It would have been nice if they had a transverse stone walkway across the back of the beach area to facilitate trips to the beach restaurant and washroom. Getting of a lounge chair to make the long trip to the beach washroom is almost as irritating as having to get out of a warm bed on a winter’s night.

Recommendations:

1. I wouldn’t bother to pay for a “Privileged” Class Room: - we had one and it didn’t seem so great.

2. I’d ask for a second floor room: We were on the ground floor. One night just at bed time someone tried to gain access to our room via the sliding door. When I opened it to investigate, I found a young woman sitting on one of our patio chairs having a smoke. She was drunker that anyone I’ve seen since 1969. I encouraged her to go away and she did. Later I thought that I should have done more to ensure her safety because she was so drunk she was probably a danger to herself.

3. I’d take a decent-sized insulated drink container in my luggage. The hotels beach glasses were fairly small plastic glasses that you’d drain fairly quickly before making the trudge across the sand to queue up again at the beach bar.

4. Take a tour. We took the tour to Santo Domingo. It was a three hour bus ride both ways. It was mildly interesting. We saw a little of the Dominican Republic beyond the resort-airport axis. We’re glad we spent the $95 each for the tour.

5. Tipping: Over the week we tipped about $50 to wait staff and our room maid. It wasn’t clear to me if it bought better service to us; it just rewarded an almost uniformly great performance and attitude by staff. We saw a few guests tipping. I don’t know if others there came from a tipping culture. $50 is peanuts. Do it.

6. See if you can find a language book “Spanish for Guests at All-inclusive Caribbean Resorts”. If there is such a book, please let me know ! I need to learn how to say “Please fry my omelette a little longer”. My own book was for travellers to Spain and not directly relevant. It was fun learning a little Spanish and trying it out on the staff. I think they appreciated the effort and enjoyed the task of helping people improve their vocabularty. Spanish doesn’t seem to be a hard language to speak and the words sound beautiful. Even the name of the resort: “Cat-a-leen-ah Brav-a-dough” sounded musical. A couple more weeks and I’m sure that I’d be sounding like Ricardo Montalbán.

7. Get on the buses first and sit near the front. That way you’ll be first off, and first in line for check-in at the hotel or airport.

8. Either turn the room air conditioner down at night or get the blanket out of the closet. We were cold in bed under just a sheet and thin bed cover.

9. Consider bringing any issues to your tour representative first. We weren’t issued beach towel tickets on check in and our tour rep got them for us very quickly – no questions asked.

10. If you want a beach chair in a prime shady location, 07:30 is not too early to grab one. The towel-on-the-chair reservation system is selfish and inefficient but that’s the game and what can you do about it ?

Room Tip: As per review
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

The resort grounds, beach, pool area and staff are magnificent and eager to please. The food was a big dissapointment though not enough and poor quality of vegetarian,vegan,dairy/gluten free options. Basically if you have allergies or special food choices; it is hard. Another aspect where the hotel could stand improvement were the quality of the rooms; we did not stay too long in the rooms but the pillows are very lumpy and the bathroom shower curtain sucks; it is too short and creates a pool of water. Other than this the staff and beach itself were great!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013 via mobile

First, I need to say that the resort staff was excellent. The resort was clean and our room had recently been updated. Do yourself a favor and upgrade to the privileged room. Our front and patio were right on the beach. Well worth the upgrade fee. We had WiFi at most times during our stay, both at the pool area and in our room. The only piece that we were not enthusiastic about was the food. The Gran Caribe was good, with the omelet station doing a great job. The sit down restaurants were disappointing. Mikado, the Japanese restaurant being the only sit down worth tge casual elegant dress policy. If they could get the food piece down, this would easily be a four star vacation destination.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

hi! we was in Dominican Republic (febr,8 until febr,12)...the Adults only Hotel was ok..the room was ok...the food was ok..but the same food every day..so not was nice...in Family Part...the food was sucks...the napkis was dirty..3 times i changed my napkin ...i was asking for a clean one...and all the times they changed for a dirty one back...food was old...and not tasty...the disco was sucks also...Dominican music outside at the bar and dance lessons and at the disco inside..the same...by the way..disco was empty all 4 days ...servers are not friendly...we recently,in octomber was in Cancun...and the people overthere are more nicely then here...i do not know for sure if we will come back in Dominican Republic,again,but in this hotel for sure that we will not come back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoney Creek
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

So, I went to this resort with my mother, and niece. After a perfect vacation in DR last year, my mom and I were looking forward to a similar experience. We paid more than last year,but that doesn't always seem to be the criteria to go by. This resort has some wonderful qualities. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. The beach is gorgeous with a lot of umbrellas and palm trees to offer a choice of sun or shade. The buffet restaurants are well organized, and the food is varied and delicious. We had filet mignon which was tender and perfectly cooked. There was a wide selection of vegetables, salads and sides. The desserts were delicious. I have absolutely no complaints about the quantity, variety or quality of the food. Well done! We went to the Italian restaurant one evening, but the food was forgettable. The creperie was a lovely and delicious touch. Both the savoury and sweet crepes were delicious, and the cappuccino was excellent. There were a lot of lovely touches at this resort, romantic leather beds to lounge on, streams and cunning little waterfalls on the grounds, and both lively and quietly intimate bars. All of the staff were friendly and attentive.
Having said all of these positive things, we won't return to this resort. The room was dim, musty and rather overcrowded with furniture. The shower vent in our room poured water from the room above every time someone used the shower or tub above us. This meant that their dirty water was running into our shower. The water also splashed out onto the bathroom floor, causing a safety issue, especially for my 86 year young mother. I reported the problem the first full day we were there. Nobody responded the first day. The second day I reported it again, and informed the Nolitour rep, who also reported the problem to the front desk. We were told we couldn'tbe moved to another room because the resort was overbooked. After that it became somewhat of a game. The tub had a hand held shower, so we were able to bathe without worry of someone's dirty water dropping on our head. On the third day, the maid was there when it began to pour water. She called the desk to report it. Someone came to check it out, and made a few efforts to repair the problem, but it wasn't fixed. That evening I received a very officious call from the front desk to " confirm that the water problem was good"
I told him that I'd prefer to wait and see. Needless to say, the problem was never fixed. Don't stay in room 2304! The second problem was that we were not given any fresh water on Thursday. It was supposed to be brought "in five minutes". After dinner, I went to the front desk to request some fresh water for the room. The nice gentleman looked very concerned and wrote down the details. When we returned to the room at 8:30, there was no water in the fridge. At 9:00, I phoned the desk to ask again, and was promised he'd be right there. At 10:00, my niece called and the man said "oh yes, you reported this problem 57 minutes ago, I'll tell him to hurry" At 11:00 there was a knock on the door, and the gentleman delivered two bottles of water, for three people. The kind of neglect that impacts people's health and well being is not acceptable, and this is the only reason that we will not return to this resort. i did write these things down and leave the note with the desk staff. We really had a fun week, and the parts of the resort that are well done, are really well done..enough to make the rest acceptable, but not when you are paying fairly high prices, and expecting a four and a half star experience.

Room Tip: Stay away from 2304, and bring a pillow. They are very lumpy.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cataloniabav, Director General at Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
Dear Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments of your recent stay at Catalonia Bavaro Resort. We regret any inconvenience you have experienced and assure you that we are anxious to retain you as a satisfied customer.

Please accept our sincerest apology, these unforeseen events have no doubt caused you some dissatisfaction and we want you to know that this is certainly not typical of our hotel. We guarantee you, to do our best effort to avoid this happen again.

We hope that you will return and allow us the opportunity to pamper you.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort

Address: Playas De Bavaro | Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana 2062, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#41 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 711
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A magnificent hotel resort with exclusive, white sandy beaches, crystalline Caribbean waters, palm trees lining the coast and abundant vegetation throughout the complex. Coral reefs along the beach allow guests to enjoy the rich marine life of the Caribbean Sea. It is located in Playa Bavaro (Punta Cana), one of the best beach areas in the Dominican Republic. The complex is situated 20 km from the International Airport of Punta Cana and 47 km from Higuey. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Bavaro Beach Hotel
Catalonia Punta Cana
Catalonia Bavaro Beach Golf & Casino Resort
Catalonia Bavaro Punta Cana
Punta Cana Catalonia Bavaro
Catalonia Bavaro Beach Resort
Catalonia Bavaro Resort Punta Cana
Catalonia Hotel Punta Cana
Catalonia Resort Punta Cana
Catalonia Bavaro Hotel

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