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“Relaxing Stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Catalonia Royal Bavaro

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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana 837, Dominican Republic   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #43 of 102 Hotels in Punta Cana
Boston
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
“Relaxing Stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2014

We were there for a week-long stay and had an amazing time. I don’t think much could have ruined it so I’ll give this resort at 4 though I think it’s really a 3 ½ but has some very strong qualities. The main negative is the maintenance of the hotel. There are parts that are dated and shoddy. Our room was very clean and no complaints as far as maid service is concerned, but things like poor paint jobs, loose tiles, shower that sprays everywhere except on you, clogged sink.. did hurt the overall impression. Our first night was tough as we couldn’t get the AC to work properly and I called early the next morning about that and our sink. Someone came instantly and fixed it all so thumbs up.

The beach is beautiful and we really enjoyed the back pool with the cabanas, though we had to get up at 6 am to ensure that we got one! Thallassa and the Tapas restaurants were both good, and the alcohol was actually quite good (Johnny walker, Smirnoff) compared to other resorts. We liked the adults only side of the resort much better than the family side, better quality furniture, cleaner, more space etc. We did end up going to the Italian restaurant on the other side and enjoyed that a lot too.

Had an absolutely wonderful time at the beach party on Thursday night (adults only side), so I recommend going. Also really liked the Dominical Barbeque- 2 piglets on the grill and the lobster at the beach restaurant.

The crowd was very nice actually, most of the younger/family crowds were ont he other side so the adults only section had a nice international mix of couples and older friend groups (no spring breakers is what I mean to say), people were friendly and in a good mood.

The service was very good overall, bartenders and waiters were exceptionally friendly. We ran into a very unpleasant situation with Gyro (that’s the name of the attendant) at the water sports desk. The catamaran requires prior sign up and was booked for both Saturday and Sunday so we finally signed up for Monday at 10:30. When we got there, he already had another couple there and was explaining something to them. We thought it was odd but walked over and asked if this was where we should wait and he proceeded to berate us because we were late. We weren’t (Mind you I am impeccably punctual always, we were on that beach 30 min prior just waiting for our time). The boat was not even back until 10:35. He then started yelling that we weren’t going any longer because we didn’t have a ticker (what ticket?) or t-shirts on(no one told us we needed t-shirts?) so he wouldn’t be taking us out. Then proceeded to take the other couple, during our time. Completely infuriating and frustrating.

Overall we had a wonderful vacation in a beautiful setting and with perfect weather. Wish we could have stayed longer.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (630)
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English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

My boyfriend and I just returned from Catalonia Royal Bavaro. We stayed for six nights in late Feb/early March and to say it exceeded expectations would be an understatement! This resort is ideal, a little slice of paradise with everything you need within a two-mile radius. But if you’re anything like I was planning this vacation, you need some details! Here you are:

1) The food. We live in Washington, DC, with arguably some of the finest chefs and restaurants within walking distance of our apartment. But this food was amazing. There was virtually nothing we tried on the adult side that we didn’t at least like, but there were a few things that we LOVED, most notably the California roll at Sea Blue (or anything at Sea Blue – ask for Nelson!) and the pizza place by the pool bar that turns into Thai at night. Room service was always good, especially for breakfast. Avoid the Mexican and Japanese places at the larger resort – the Japanese place was fun but food was mediocre and performance was nonexistent. Mexican was just, no. Italian was nice but limited to one app and one entrée, and my boyfriend and I always ordered at least three apps ☺. I would recommend the adult restaurants for lunch and dinner (Talahassa, Cata Tapa and Sea Blue also have great dinners, and Sea Blue even has lobster!), and going over to the family side for the bars (Curacao or the large bar by the stage) and entertainment. The acrobatic group was a blast, and the nighttime vibe was lively and fun!

2) The drinks. This probably goes without saying. However, we had some amazing drinks during our stay. We were greeted with a delicious cocktail at the very start and they only got better. The bartenders were always willing to add a bit of extra alcohol if you asked, so a Pina Colada, Banana Mama or Dirty Monkey (must try all three) was worth the sugar! The house wines were great, especially the rosé. For after dinner drinks, you can order anything you want pretty much anywhere, but the large bar by the stage had EVERY kind of alcohol you could imagine. Try a Brandy Alexander as a nightcap. They are amazing.

3) The room. I was especially nervous about the room not being up to par. Per my previous note about needing details, I read a lot of reviews and heard that some guests had issues with smell, cleaning, air conditioning, etc. Well, our room was anything but warm, HUGE, no smell and the décor was perfect for the environment. There were 80 channels with lots of English options, and the bed was huge and comfortable with options to order any pillows you like. The mini fridge was restocked with plenty of water and some sodas and beers every day, which is pretty much the only thing you’ll need with all of the bars around!

4) The pools/beach. First off, it’s hard to go wrong when it was 85 and sunny with a nice breeze every day! We loved the beach, but when it got too breezy, the pool with the bar (by the lobby) was the perfect solution. There’s usually a fun soundtrack playing, and Daniel the bartender is always walking around asking if we wanted more drinks (and always remembered extra alcohol!). The beach was amazingly relaxing, with a wide assortment of shady/sunny spots, which was perfect for us because I always wanted sun and my boyfriend always wanted shade! The beach also had drink service and the walks were very nice! A large stretch of beach to enjoy, and the waves broke so far back that it was a calming and beautiful coast. Lots of people complained about the seaweed, but I didn’t mind. They even had people raking it all day long!

Other things to note:

I had a deep tissue massage and it was great! The gym was small (in the spa) but worked for what you needed – only two treadmills though.

I would avoid the airport shuttle service, we heard they were very strict on time and the concierge was more than happy to call a cab for the time we asked – but the airport was crazy so give yourself extra time! Taxis are about $30 each way, so it works out pricewise. It’s also very easy to get cabs outside of the airport when you arrive.

The age range of the adults resort seems to be about 25% under 30, 50% 31-50, 25% 51 and up. Some of the older range seemed a bit annoyed when others would get “rowdy,” but it truly depended on the people. Most were just there to have a good time no matter what age! The crowd was also mostly couples, I only saw a few groups that weren’t coupled up, so it may be less comfortable for non-couples. The family side wasn’t too swarmed with children, but there was definitely a younger, under 30 crowd there.

Overall, I would give Catalonia Royal Bavaro 5 stars! I recommend it highly and am even planning to come back around the same time next year!

Room Tip: Request a room on the second or third floor with a pool view
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fairfax, Vermont
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

This was our 3rd visit to CRB, 2nd in 6 months. We stayed in room 4443 this time, a Junior suite superior, which we like just as much as the Junior Suite Deluxe that we had stayed in previously. There isn't much difference in the rooms. The Deluxe room is a little bigger, and believe has a hammock on balcony. Also these rooms are closer to the beach. The deluxe rooms have a more open concept bathroom, which isn't bad, but we do prefer the bathroom in the Junior suite as it is more private. I liked the Junior suite location as it's great for people watching if you have a room on the pool side. Better half liked the Deluxe room due to the shorter walk to the beach. In reality, there are no bad rooms here.

What has changed since we've been coming here is the quality of the food. We always went to the breakfast buffet on the family side as it has more variety and also sitting near the water feature with the flamingos, fish and other birds was a nice way to start the day. *Note* In the area reserved for royal and privileged customers there are black birds that fly all over trying to snag bits of food and sugar packets from empty tables. We found it fun, others might not.

We have also enjoyed our meals at the Mexican place a few times. Good food, quick service and the staff does try to be personable. Catatapa on the royal side is another favorite, food is tasty and it's fun trying the various tapas available. Service seemed a little slow in this restaurant, not much personality from the servers..but still a good place to eat.

The big hit this time(for us) was the pizza place(for lunch) which then turned into the Thai place for dinner. Both menus here are well done, we were very impressed. The staff here really was the best all around compared to the other restaurants. We also tried Sea Blue for dinner this time. Again, we were very happy with our meals. Both of us ordered surf and turf. Was hesitant about this as we've never had good steak in any of the restaurants and we knew the lobster wasn't going to be like Maine lobster. Well, alas, the steak was a dissapointment...very tough but not overcooked. It was edible, but we like really good steak and this just didn't cut it. Was surprised that we liked the lobster, very different than Maine lobster but it still was very good, the wood grilling really flavors it well.

Have never tried the Thalasa restaurant for dinner, the menu just has never did anything for us and this time was no different. Did go there for the chocolate dessert that I read about on TA, will definitely go back for this dessert. If you're a chocolate lover you have to try it!

Another area of improvement is the wifi. It was a great speed most of the day, even on the beach. It did get sluggish in the room later in the afternoon and evening. We had purchased a Gobecon wifi unit, but found we really didn't need it as the Catalonia Royal wifi was faster.

Although we've been there 3 times, we have never used the pools, we're beach people, but the staff really works at keeping the pools clean. Did notice in the Thalassa pool, the crowd tended to get louder as the day wore on, even saw an alcohol-induced verbal fight which provided amusement for us and embarrassment for the folks involved. Staff was quick to calm the situation.

One of us didn't like the bed, too firm. Offered to see if they had a pillowtop pad but was told by the better half it wasn't that bad. We once visited Catalonia Royal Tulum and had a pad brought to room, it made a big difference, I'm assuming they have them at Bavaro. Did have to request more pillows(I like lots of pillows) and received 2 pillows by the time we were ready to hit the hay.

Hung out a little bit at the bar on the family side, due to it's size it's a little more lively. Also the olives you can get(just ask!) are incredible and they don't skimp on the amount they give you. Totally addicted to those now, thanks to the kind gentleman who offered us some.

Only problems we had with our room was an issue with the AC, it did get fixed during the day, but noticed the next night that it wasn't working again, it was our last night so we didn't report it. But did notice on our last morning(5:00am) that there was some water dripping from the ceiling in the bathroom. Reported it when we checked out at 6am, and desk clerk was making the call to have it checked as we walked away.

At check-in, while waiting for bell hop to show up, the vacation club lady did approach us. She was friendly and when we said no to her offer of a presentation the next day, she asked why and that was it. No high pressure.

Obviously we like this place(and the Catalonia brand overall) so we'll be back and highly recommend it. Wish Catalonia would start a loyalty program as I'm sure we could rack up some points very quickly!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Chicago, Indiana
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

I and 4 friends stood at the Catalonia Royal Bavaro in Punta Cana Dominican Republic , well where should I start? First, our rooms were not ready once we arrived there was no available rooms for us and I even called the night before to confirm our reservations. We had to be transferred to another hotel next door for the night. Second, our travel agent requested double beds and at this hotel there are no double beds only king size! I was not happy! Hotel never confirmed with our travel agent that this hotel only has king size beds. Lock on doors were broken, hot water did not work, and when I requested something from housekeeping half the time she did not fulfill my request. Room service sucked! Took nearly an hour for me to get room service delivered. When I went to pool area you have to use a card to receive a towel and on one occassion the pool tenant informed me that they had run out of towels!! Really!! Just overall a very bad experience at this hotel I would not stay at this hotel ever again!! Punta Cana is beautiful and Dominican Republic to to die for! When I visit again I will find another hotel to stay at.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Mississauga, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2014

Can't say enough about this resort--food was outstanding (as a "foodie", this was important to me); accommodation was clean and spacious; evening turndown service was a great touch; and the friendliness of the staff (everyone from front desk, to bartenders, to housekeeping) was first rate. Grounds are impeccable, and the beach is maintained beautifully. Artificial reef for snorkelling was a great touch too. Only a few things that could be improved upon: evening entertaining was sorely lacking. The Teatro entertainment (non Royal side) was bad. Really bad. I stayed 11 nights and each night except for one, we walked by after dinner to an empty stage, or just kids from the resort playing on the stage. The disco opens at 11:00, and after a long day of excursions and sun, that just seems too late. There was no evening entertainment at all--ever--on the Royal side. And other guests have mentioned the annoying habit of some people "reserving" their chaises on the beach and pools in the early hours. The resort needs to address this quickly! Other guests suggested a 2 hour limit, after which they lose their towels and their chaise. Majority of guests were North American (mostly Canadians... "Punta Canada") and there was an occasional language barrier with some employees--nothing major though--but thought this could be improved. This is my 5th visit to this resort, and definitely won't be my last.

Room Tip: Get a room in a building that's in the 40's (I was in building 42). Quieter, better views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

My husband and I took our honeymoon to Catalonia Royal Bavaro in Punta Cana January 7-15. This was my first time out of the country and to an all inclusive resort. My husband had been to an all inclusive in Jamaica and did not like it.

From the moment we stepped on the property until the moment we left, nothing could have been more perfect! The location is GORGEOUS! It's in a location that isn't on a strip with resort after resort. We were secluded. The grounds were gorgeous! We were greeted at the desk by a friendly gentleman and a rum punch!

Our room was fantastic! The bed was so comfortable, the mini bar was always stocked, the housekeeping always did a wonderful job! We didn't have a hammock on our balcony like everyone else so we just mentioned it at one point to the front desk and within a few hours there was a hammock on our balcony! Also because we were honeymooners there was a fun honeymoon sign taped to our door when we got there, as well as a fruit basket and some Dominican rum.

The pool with the pool bar was just a few steps outside our room. That's where we spent most of our days! The servers and bartenders were always friendly - especially Daniel!

We went on a few excursions - snorkeling and booze cruise, as well as a 4 wheeler through the beautiful scenery. Both were AMAZING! I would recommend both to everyone :) And it was nice that they were only half day excursions because alot of what we wanted to do was just hang out and relax!

The beach party was really fun! They had a very fun party going on! All the restaurants were good! Some we liked better than others, but we visited a different restaurant for dinner each night we were there and were never disappointed.

I would recommend this place to anyone and everyone! :) Thank you to the wonderful resort!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
St. John's, NL
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

Staff are all great...rooms are great... grounds are spectacular...food/drinks are fine. And, guests are friendly and low key.

Four big issues for us:
1. Could never find a chair at the pool because many selfish people throws towels on chairs and never appear. And the management can easily fix this with signage and a policy that announces removed belongings if no shows for an hour. This must be fixed... first time I have ever seen this so bad. Really missed having some time socializing at the pool.
2. 80% of the guests are North American and 100% of the dance music is salsa and such. Loved watching the locals/Spanish dance but the non-Spanish just sat and watched. And we love to dance too but do not the know the dances ... so open the disco at 10 pm (not 11:30!) and play a combination of music - so everyone can enjoy and dance!
3. The great piano player should have an accompanist so we can slow dance - romance is in the air and the over numerous 45+ group really missed dancing.
4. The Teatro entertainment (non Royale side) is sad, really sad... doing their utmost but needs investment in other than four good dancers. Why not have a DJ who plays some recent and well known videos/songs for North American audiences from 9-10pm -- everyone wants to move!

Wishing for improvements

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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 Royal Bavaro

Address: Playa Bavaro, Punta Cana 837, Dominican Republic
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#23 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#30 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#35 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Catalonia Royal Bavaro 4.5*
Number of rooms: 144
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Royal Bavaro Hotel Punta Cana
Catalonia Royal Bavaro Punta Cana
Royal Catalonia Bavaro

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