This place was a disappointment. We spent 5 days there and just got back last night so I wanted to get this review going before I forgot the details. I read SO SO many Trip Advisor reviews before choosing a resort for our winter escape, and I can't believe I didn't see this in the reviews:
This resort (Catalonia Bavaro) is completely connected with Royal Bavaro. There are multiple paths back and forth between the resorts. The Royal Bavaro people have two ridiculously nicer pools and much better lounge chairs. They are allowed to come over to Catalonia Bavaro and drink, eat, enjoy the nighttime entertainment etc. but the people at this resort were not allowed to go over there. We tried! My husband looked it up and said that Royal Catalonia costs $30 more per night... this is DEFINITELY worth it if you don't want to feel shut out of the MUCH better side of the resort. It is insulting, and made me feel like a second class citizen which was not was I was expecting especially since we have paid to upgrade to Privilege AND had the Honeymoon package (although thankfully this was not actually my honeymoon!).
Catalonia Bavaro has the WORST pool I have ever seen, and the D.R. was my 21st country visited. It is peeling paint everywhere, has the worst layout, and the bricks around the pool are sticky and nasty. They need to start over. The pool was a huge disappointment, and was the reason I didn't choose the Royal Bavaro (Royal doesn't have a swim up bar). The yellow chairs you see in the pictures are mostly all tinged with black now and look dirty. They are the worst beach chairs I have seen at a resort.
Luckily we had the nicer Privilege chairs and beach beds. The beach is truly stunning and is by FAR the best feature of the resort. It is SO different than Cancun which is all high rises and resorts. These two combined resorts (again, should just be one darn resort!!) are the only thing around, at least that we saw. I got up early the first morning to save chairs on the Privilege beach, but realized later that it was unnecessary. I spent the rest of the mornings sleeping in and we always got great chairs since the Privilege beach wasn't as full.
Another huge disappointment was the people bothering us constantly. They want to sell you motorbike tours, dolphin tours, scuba, you name it. There were also the resort sales people who literally waited like hawks by the restaurants to get you coming in or out. We probably said no to salespeople 100+ times in 5 days. It grates on you.
There are multiple people picking up cups on the beach and by the pool, but we only got 1 person 1 time to bring us drinks in the Privilege section of the beach. I think that would be an easy upgrade for the hotel to make, especially if you are paying more for Privilege. Tell one of the cup collectors that he is upgraded to drink getter, and he would make a mountain of tip money!
The drinks were fairly strong... not amazing, but okay. The food was disappointing.. the Japanese was pretty good, the steak place served the toughest steak I have ever had, and the Italian place was nothing special.
As for the Honeymoon package, it includes the other highlight of the trip besides the beach: the lobster dinner on the beach with your own waiter. Our dinner was 2+ hours and was delightful. We felt special since we were the only ones on the beach! Another part of the package was 2 30-minute massages. My massage was ok, but my husband said she basically just gently rubbed his back the whole time, not actually massaging at all! It also included a bottle of champagne which was a nice way to start our trip. We also had access to a nice bar in the middle of a pond. It was not included with regular packages, but we enjoyed drinking there! It was a bit fancier! There is a casino and a little shopping mall that we enjoyed a bit too.
The housekeeping was very poor. Twice we didn't have our refrigerator restocked and I had to call down for it. Once we didn't have our toiletries (shampoo namely) restocked and I had to call down and wait for that. Very irritating. This should be a given-- restock the rooms! Our room even had a honeymoon banner hanging on it the whole time we were there... I thought we would get nicer treatment from housekeeping, but no such luck. Our room ACTUALLY had a view of the ocean-- Room 114-- since we were in the Privilege section. We felt lucky to be so close to the beach! They have upgraded the pillows which was needed according to other reviews.
My husband and I speak Spanish, so we enjoyed using it here. The resort is huge and involves a lot of walking which could be tough for folks who are out of shape. It is a very international crowd (Russian, Canadian, French, Spaniards) and I would guess that the majority were not Americans. I liked the international flavor there, but was irritated by SO many saved chairs and no one sitting in them! I would not come back, though if a friend asked, I would recommend the Royal Catalonia right next door.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Agoda, Orbitz, BookIt.com, Otel, Cheap Tickets and Odigeo so you can book your Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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