Let me start by saying that we traveled to the Catalonia Royal Bavaro, June 10-17, using Apple Vacations. Let me start by saying that we traveled to the Catalonia Royal Bavaro, June 10-17, using Apple Vacations. We have been going to the Dominican Republic for 10 years now, sometimes twice a year. We love it there!
We flew AirTran, with a straight flight out of Chicago Midway, as it was the only way to get a direct flight to Punta Cana from Chicago. Upon arrival in PC we had no problems at the airport, either picking up luggage, getting our tourist card or going through immigrations. Quick and easy and we were on our way.
Check-in was a breeze, our rooms were ready when we got there, and everyone was so friendly! We were given a refreshing tropical drink when we arrived! Loved it, and drank quite a few throughout our stay but added extra vodka!. Everyone at the front desk, including the concierge, were friendly and helpful. It was about 2:00 PM, at check in, so we stopped for lunch at Thalassa, right next to the main lobby. After lunch we were driven to our room and were quite happy with the accommodations. When we got our things unpacked and went to lock the safe it would not lock, so we called the front desk. 2 people showed up within 10 minutes to fix it, and ended up having to go get us a new one. We were happy with the quick service we received. We also had to request to have our sink fixed as it was draining quite slowly, that was taken care of very quickly also!
Rooms - Large, spacious, and very comfortable. We thought the hammock on the balcony was different but was very relaxing. Now we need one at our house! Loved having the free wifi but did have difficulties with it in our room. One day I took it out on the patio and it worked great, so I just started using it out there. The hammock made it a nice way to relax and stay connected! We did notice that on 4 of the nights, that we were in our room, our power went out between 7-7:30 PM, for about 10-15 minutes. We always have candles with us, (I keep them next to the tub) so I would just light one and wait for the lights to go back on or go outside to walk. We called the first time, to let them know it was out, and after that we just waited for it to go back on. No big deal, but we always wondered why it happened! We did bring an extension cord with, to charge our things, which really helped as there aren't many outlets in the room. Our housekeeper was wonderful and our room was always very clean and decorated beautifully! I hope she knows how much she is appreciated! We did have turndown service also, which is very nice also! Its always great to climb into a freshly pulled up bed!
Food - We ate at Thalassa, and Cata Tapas and loved both restaurants. The only buffet was for breakfast at Thalassa, you ordered your eggs from your server and then went to get the rest of your food. There was also a salad buffet to accompany your lunch, if you wanted it. We loved the Garlic soup with bread and egg, and the Rice and mushroom soup, they were the best soups we have ever had on vacation! Wish we had the recipes. All of the food was great and a real treat! We also enjoyed the 24 hr room service, and wish we had used it more! They were fast and friendly! The Dominican lunch was wonderful! I wish I could have eaten more!
Pools - There are 2 pools, one has the swim up bar and was a little more energetic, and the other was an infinity pool and very relaxing! The best of both worlds. There were no activities at either pool, if you wanted to do that you just go next door to the Catalonia family side. We met alot of nice people in the main pools and in their pool suites walking by!!
Beach - The beach was great! They kept it very clean. We loved taking long walks to the left. One day we saw some beautiful "jellyfish", They had fuchsia heads that looked like a rose bud and bright blue bodies. They weren't real big but did have long tentacles. A few days later while we were snorkeling we saw a much larger one in front of the resort. We were told they were Portuguese Man o'wars. When we looked up jellyfish, on the internet, we couldn't find any pictures of them but when we looked up the Portuguese Man o' Wars, it was what we had seen! Please note that in all of our travels, to the Dominican Republic, we have never seen jellyfish or Portugese Man o'Wars before. We think they probably came from a tropical storm. We usually stick to the pools and walks on the beach, but here the water in front of the resort was very calm and fun to be out in.
We met Marge and her daughter, (informed us about Catalonia on Trip Adviser) at the Managers Cocktail Party we were invited to. That was nice, as we knew we'd be staying at the resort at the same time. Had a nice talk with one of the manager, Adrian. It was really great to have management want to hear your opinions and any concerns. He is fantastic at his job and a great asset to the Catalonia Royal. You can tell that he really cares about his staff and guests.
Drinks - They were never watered down!!! They were very good and had good choices of alcohol. We found the drinks to be much better at the Catalonia Royal side than next door. The bartenders and staff were all so friendly and seemed to really enjoy themselves and had a lot of camaraderie amongst themselves. They were also not selfish with tips, we would tip a bartender and they would say no and who it should go to! That says alot about a persons integrity!
It was nice to not have alot of vendors all around trying to sell us souvenirs and no vacation club sales people.
We did venture over to the Catalonia side a few times to check out the shops and just walk. The shops were nice and the usual resort prices. We saw one show, which we enjoyed. Those people must be given props for all the hard work they do in that heat. They do a good job. We only ate at the buffet for breakfast and the snack bar once. They were fine. The buffet area is huge and crowded. They put us in the preferred dining area, which was nice. Loved the sitting areas at the Catalonia, especially at night. But we loved our quiet side better!!
The Catalonia Royal Bavaro is all about relaxing, from the 24 hr room service to the cheerful employees that work everywhere here. Thumbs up go to the great chefs, the hostess at Thalassa, Dominiga, whose smile brightened our day every time we saw her, Milsa and Yenci, in Thalassa - we loved seeing and talking to you! The bartender Jorge Pina the only one who could make a perfect Caipirina, and all the other piano bar staff, including Manual Fernandez, Yisel Figuereo, Denis Del Rosario, and all of you that I didn't get your names (we did ask them to write their names down for us, but not everyone was able to). The front desk staff, including Jennifer who always stopped to help me, thank you for that! and Jesus and the other yourg lady at the front desk concierge, thanks for helping us! There are so many others that I cannot name but hope that they all know that we appreciated everything. A big thank you must go to the maintenance workers and grounds people also. They do an awesome job keeping everything up.The staff is what makes a resort what it is, without them our vacations wouldn't be so good. And to you Adrian Alonso, Resident Manager - thank you for your time and wonderful staff! And also for that wonderful tropical drink recipe!! I cannot wait to make it. Please make sure your staff knows that we appreciated everything they did for us! I hope I did not miss anything or anyone!
In closing I would like to say that when we booked this resort it was with some trepidation. Once arrived we thought it was too quiet for us, but within less than 24hr we were wowed with the wonderful people we met and ended up wishing we had more time than a week here. It has become one of our favorite resorts! It is not flashy or new but has a feeling of rest and relaxation. It is a hidden gem in Punta Cana! We will be coming back soon.
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- Also Known As:
- Catalonia Royal Bavaro Hotel Punta Cana
- Catalonia Royal Bavaro Punta Cana
- Royal Catalonia Bavaro