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“Worst Vacation I Have Taken In My Life” 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 #51 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Worst Vacation I Have Taken In My Life”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

Myself and my group had many issues at our stay at Catalonia Bavaro. The management at the resort accused my group of friends of breaking 15 glasses at the disco this past Sunday (March 11), which we did not do, and they said we had to pay $75 for them. Without telling us about any of these accusations, they deactivated our room keys, essentially locking us out. We completely wasted 3 days of our very expensive "vacation", being run around by employees every time we asked to speak to a manager. When we went to reception, they refused to tell us the managers name and said that they didn't need to meet with us. We finally got in contact with the local Apple Vacations representative, Daniel Zanes but he was ineffective. He got in touch with the Chief Concierge at our resort, Rocio Matias, and got her to reactivate our keys; however, she said that we needed to pay the $75 dollars for the glasses. Her exact words were, "There was an internal investigation and the case is closed. You have to pay the $75 or you have to leave." The fact of the matter is we did not break them and they were just trying to extort us because we are young adults. In addition, during the time period we were locked out of our rooms, my friend and myself had medications in our room that we needed and they refused to let us in to get it. We need Apple Vacations' help. This was by far the worst service I have received In my life. My room had not been cleaned in two and a half days. I am truly irate right now. After unsuccessfully attempting time and time again to contact supervisors, we paid the $75 at checkout because they were threatening to call the police if we didn't and we could not risk missing our flight. I emailed the Chief Concierge Rocio Matias, about the situation and have yet to hear back from her. This is simply unacceptable. I am disgusted by this service and I will not tolerate it.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 (419)
Date | Rating
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English first
Windsor (Canada)
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay at the Catalonia. Thestaff is friendly and if you enjoy meeting people from all over the world, it's the place to be. When you book your stay adk to stay in the building away from the stage and main bar. With kids we found that's it can be too noisy. Overall the food was good anf there was a variety. The hotel is ratef as a 5 stars. I 'll probably rate it a 4 ( max) If you are vacationing as a couple or with kids, I highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Upon arrival at airport, signs were clear. Got on bus no problem. To resort in less than 20 minutes. Arrived at noon and rooms were not ready but that was expeced and we were told in advance so we were not disappointed. Went to buffet for lunch. Lots of choices. Nothing amazing (will comment on food later). We packed beach clothes in our carryon and went to the beach until 3:30pm. Rooms were ready then. We travelled as two families of 4. Reception staff were great. Gave us adjoining rooms for our daughters and rooms right above for the parents. This was excellent!
Rooms were fine, odd configuration with tub and sink (safe and closet in this area) in one room and toilet and shower in another room. Shower was small (my wife and I are not large people). Hot water took long to come (if it came). All minor issues were resolved very quickly.
Beach was clean and chairs were plentiful (we claimed our before 7am so this may have helped). Lots of trees for shade if you didn't get a palapa.
Beach bar was convenient. Staff very great and friendly. Always singing. Line ups were occaisionally long but not a real issue.
Two beach volleyball courts (one right near the water and one closer to the resort). Had a blast playing everyday. Soccer nets on the beach as well.
Staff were good to get people to play the sports but should have removed themselves when there were enough guests to play. Some staff (not Benji) insisted on playing even when other guests were waiting.
Towel exchange was good but only gave 'clean' towels in the morning (not in the the late p.m.).
Grounds were well maintained. Gaps in a sidewalk should be minimized as some are quite large and could present a 'tripping' hazard especially at night. We really appreciated the covered pathway from the lobby to the beach.
One grounds keeper who was pruning some palm trees actually cut open a coconut for me. Fresh coconut water, my first time trying this. Can't get fresher than that. Gracias amigo.
Nightly shows: Micheal Jackson story was great. Circus was really good also. Karaoke was fun, glad they had it. Could have had it a second time.
Disco was very disappointing. It only opened at 11:30pm (after the evening show) and they were very strict on the "18 yrs" age limit. This was apprecaited but odd considering people with 'adult' bracelets could get alcohol all day long but are not allowed in the disco. Music was terrible. DJ played music that he liked. He left the dancelfoor empty for long periods of time (5-10 minutes at a time). Played local music that no one knew. When he played american music, people danced but then he put on local music again and cleared the floor. I asked him to put something else on. He said 'like what'. I said 'anything because the floor is empty. He asked for a song. I told him "Call me maybe". 7 songs later, nothing, so left. I spoke with others about this and they all agreed that the music was terrible. Don't expect to dance at this resort. Disco night (live show) had better music.
While I don't golf, our room faced the golf course. It looked beautiful.
Drinks were never weak. Some were too strong but no complaints here. Drinks made at the main bar were the best. They actually used a blender and fresh fruit at this bar versus the slush mixture at other bars (which was fine too). My wife loves mojitos. when they had mint, they made it for her. Bar staff that we met were great. Maria at the main bar was very nice. She recommended drinks and warned me about others. She was always right.

Food. 4 a la carte restaurants. Japanese, Steakhouse, Mexican and Italian.
Japanese was good. Our show was entertaining. Did a few tricks and even allowed our friend 'cook'. Too funny. Food was good but quite salty (too much soya suace used). Desserts were served in a different room. Very darkly lit. Couldn't tell what the desserts (3 squares on a plate) were. Not very good desserts. Went to crepe place and had amaizing crepes!
Italian: Tomato and Mozzarella app was great. Lasagne was ok. Carbonara was good. Spicy Penna was great. Gnocci was not good at all. Overall, nothing impressive. Service was just ok.
Tex Mex steakhouse: Wings were smothered in a think bbq sauce (too much), mini tacos were great. waiter recommended the Texas Steak. Great choice. Other meals were less impressive. Staff was good and tried their best. Again, went to creperie for dessert. Yum.
Mexican: Lime soup was good. Mini tacos was great again. Burrito was good, Fajitas were great. Everyone enjoyed their meal. Desserts not tried. Went to creperie again.
Main buffet: Huge. Lots of options. Breakfast had made to order omletes, pancakes, french toast, pancakes, fresh breads, sliced breards for toast, lots of hot options, fresh donuts and churros (yum), Lots of fruit and cheese. 4-6 juices, cereals, yogurts, pastries.
Lunch and dinner: Again, lots of options. Had a made to order pasta. When I brought it to the table, is smelled weird. I believe the ham I added to the pasta was bad. Others at the table also smelled it (from across the table). From that day forward I avoided all cold cuts.
Overall, food at buffets was just ok. Better food at other resorts, for sure.
Burgers and pizzas was good at the 24 snack bar. Self serve pop, juice and beer on tap, cool.
No other resorts around so cannot walk for miles on beach without coming across 'unkept' areas. I would not recommend walking alone. Vendors on beach were numerous but not pushy at all.
Beach party was nice and music was finally good but organized 'game' was too racy and inapprorpiate. It simulated something unmentionable on this site. Summary, good resort. Nothing negative other than the Disco.
Will try another one next time.

Room Tip: Rooms on ground level have walkout patios. Rooms on higher levels have private balconies (better).
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, B.C.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

My husband and I stayed here from Feb27-Mar6. It was our second time to DR, but we have been to Mexico and other tropical destinations many times.
We requested an upgraded "privileged" room at check in as we were celebrating my birthday, and after about 30 min it was given to us at no charge. We were put in building 5 on the top floor. The room was nice, a/c, tv, bed, mini bar all good. Pillows horrible, but we brought our own...
First night I woke up to something "touching" my head...Thought it was my husband, maybe the ceiling fan moving my hair...a spider perhaps..!? We were really tired from a long travel day, so even thought I was dreaming...
Next night we were woken up by rustling sounds in our room and under our bed...my husband flipped on the lights to investigate and found the packets of creamer and artificial sweetener from the coffee station all chewed up under our bed! Needless to say I now realized that the rodent had indeed been on our bed and on my pillow the night before! Yuck!! We left the tv on all night and tried to sleep in shift as we didn't want it to come back onto our bed...
First thing the next morning we went to talk to Linda, a Canadian expat who works in management at the hotel. She was very helpful in arranging an immediate move to another room in building 4. Apparently our rodent visit was not the first time this has happened...she apologized and stated it is the tropics...? We had a full upgrade now with the privileged armbands and all. New room was same as last...bathrooms all in real need of upgrade. (TINY showers, and my hubby and I are slim people...don't know how larger people would manage.)
When we were packing up our belongings from the closet we discovered a pair of my shoes had holes chewed in them, my down jacket I had used on plane had holes in it, and my hubby's leather carry on bag had holes chewed in it. This was no mouse...it was a rat, and a big one to do all that in one night. Maybe there was more than one!? I don't want to think about that... We reported this to the hotel and two days later were given a $100 credit for the hotel shops...not the reimbursement we had been hoping for as these items were ruined and we didn't need tshirts or souvenirs from the hotel...
We figured out the rat must have come in from under the bathroom sink where the pipes/ wall are not well sealed, or in the closet where the ceiling boards are a bit loose. In our next room we kept the bathroom door and closet doors closed ALL the time . We also tucked the creamer/ sweetener from the coffee station in a drawer- this is apparently a favourite of theirs, according to staff. I would recommend doing this if you choose to stay here.
Other than our rodent issues, the hotel itself was clean, pretty, well cared for. Grounds were nice, lots of gardeners working hard. Staff wasn't overly friendly. Most times I had to initiate an "Hola" or smile to get a response from them. We tipped our maid and servers every day. Privileged buffet restaurant service was definitely better as we sat in regular area the first 2 days and could tell a difference. Food was pretty good...nothing stellar, but nothing really bad. The Italian a la carte was our favourite which was surprising because 3 or 4 couples told us it was really bad ...! We didn't like the Mexican - run down interior and food so- so. Japanese was very salty and kind of like Asian mall food...the service was great at all of the a la cartes. Loved not having to make a reservation. Francisco was excellent and very funny.
Pool bar- not swim up, made best drinks. Mojitos (when they had mint) were excellent, Caipirinhas were also very yummy. We took insulated cups from home, which are a must!
Beach was so nice, a bit of seaweed, but not a big deal. Nice and quiet compared to the noisy pool area. Were not too bothered by tour operators, said no and they left us alone. We walked down the beach all the way to the pier down at the end of the point -about 15 min each way. Beach was deserted and yes, a lot of washed up debris from boats. Sad really. Nothing dangerous to step on when we walked...a lot of plastic bags and bottles mostly. Didn't shop at the beach markets, they were very aggressive.
Weather was beautiful...if it weren't for the rat issue we'd probably return if we could get a good deal. If we go again we'll try a different resort.

Room Tip: Ask for upgrade to a privilege room, don't pay in advance. Higher floor doesn't guarantee yo...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Booked a privledged honeymoon suite and it was very nice. Room was clean, pretty and comfortable and the building we were in was closest to the beach and pool. Privledged got us expedited check in, special less crowded area of the beach, preferred access to all restaurants, special area in the breakfast and lunch restaurant, access to the Pure bar that was inclusive only to privledged guests. Resort was clean, pretty and staff was attentive for the most part. Entertainment and dancing going on every evening. Plenty of meal options for all preferences. If your a very picky travelor choose a different resort (this is not a Sandals). Enjoyed every minute of my stay and would go back.

Room Tip: Spend the extra and book priveledged, its well worth it.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, March 15, 2013
Dear Guest:

It is a pleasure to know about your stay with us. Thank you very much for your comments. We were pleased providing you an excellent service and to know that you liked much.

All the comments you have sent us about customer service are more than helpful, and we appreciate the feedback we received from our valuable guests.

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.

Thank you for choosing us!

Yours Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Regina, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

very friendly staff,make you feel at home,,the grounds were well kept aside form the tourists that leave their drink glass laying around,which the staff clean up very quickly,i`ll give this resort a thumbs up

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Winnipeg Manitoba
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

This was my first trip to Punta Cana and it was all around a great vacation for general rest and relaxation. There are miles of quiet beach to walk along and enough activities to keep you entertained whenever you felt like getting active. The activities directors did a good job of offering lots of activities from volleyball to zumba on the beach. They always made you feel welcome but didn't annoy you if you were not interested in getting off the lounger.
The food was decent and had a lot of variety. The ala carte restaurants were a little hit and miss but each restaurant had a unique theme with different menus including mexican, italian, japanese or american. The buffet always had enough variety to keep me fed, with a few unique offerings at each meal.

There was a good bar in the main lobby and the disco/night club was open from 11:00ish to 2:00 ish. There was usually something to do and you could almost always find a drink at one bar or another.

They had a small casino on site and I managed to play for a couple hours on a couple occasions and actually came out ahead a few bucks. they have a few tables for blackjack and assorted slot machine games. THey also had a couple golf courses attached to the resort but I did not go as it was a little bit costly for a cheap guy from Manitoba (About 5-8 times the cost for a 18 hole round).

There were stores on site and if you didn't feel like wandering off the resort by cab or bus, you could find everything you need on site, or a short walk down the beach (less than five minute walk) there was a public market with about 10-12 stores for souvenirs, cigars or general swag.

Overall, i would definitely consider this resort if you want a relaxing beach vacation. It is MUCH more remote than Cancun, Peurto Vallarto, or Mazatlan areas, so I wouldn't go here if you want to tour around a lot (cabs are a bit expensive). Punta Plata has a bit more local activity (towns and markets) closer to the beach resorts if that is your thing.

Room Tip: All the rooms are pretty well the same, with the premium rooms closer to the beach (but further from...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.

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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
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:
#42 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#45 On the Beach 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*
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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