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“Upgraded room worth it” 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 99 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Upgraded room worth it”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

I went back and forth on giving this place 3 and 4 stars, but I landed on 4. I will give the pros and cons and what I think they did great, and not so great.

First of all, I’ve been to Punta Cana before and stayed at another resort, Excellence. That is a 5 star, hands down. This place is not even close to the same level (even the beach there is far superior).

The resort location is relatively close to the airport (so not a long drive), certainly under 30 minutes even stopping at other resorts along the way. There are two pools: the larger one is closer to the reception area that was the lively pool (music, swim up bar, etc), the other was an infinitely pool right next to the beach that was the “chill” pool. Very relaxing and not much activity. Both had plenty of chairs, I didn’t see an issue finding a spot to spend your time. The beach was another story. Now, I’m not a beach person but every time we walked on the beach, every single chair had a towel on it (and there weren’t that many chairs to begin with). So you must have to get up at like 5am to secure a spot on the beach. All in all, the grounds were nicely maintained and a solid 4 stars. You could walk in either direction on the beach (which had a lot of sea grass.... A LOT). There is grouping of shops to the right of the resort and they will try and sell you everything but their first born. It gets obnoxious because we were just beach walking each day.

The rooms. We booked the basic room (Superior Junior Suite) which is not superior. That rate gets you the ground floor rooms that are in dire need of updating. They just have that ocean “funk” smell to them. The bed was terribly uncomfortable and the pillows were like little pancakes. We were in building 38 and it was just dark in the room…not like you’re on an island. Our little patio had some shrubs that shielded us from basically the walkway between our resort and the Catalonia one that allows kids (I’ll discuss that place too). I believe that if you upgraded, you could get a higher floor and those were remodeled rooms. We upgraded to the suites with their own endless pool and that was the best thing (and money spent) that we did the entire trip. If you upgrade at the resort (if available) you can negotiate the rates (which we did). Those rooms are amazing. Better beds, better linens, better everything! My best piece of advice is to get one of these rooms. I know some people say that you aren't in a room enough, but with these upgraded suites you have your own pool. No need to leave the room!!!!

The food. I’ll pretty much eat anything and you have to remember when you visit an all-inclusive resort with a steak house, this isn’t going to be Morton’s ! If you read complaints on the food, those people are just unrealistic on their expectations. Their food is different than what we expect in the US, so you just have to go with it. What I was thoroughly disappointed in, that was NOT clear in the resort website, was that the majority of the restaurants are at the other Catalonia, next door, with kids. NOT what I signed up for. We wanted adults-only for a reason, but if you want the steakhouse, Italian, Mexican or Japanese places – you are going into kiddie hell. Even if you go late (which we tried), nope – the kids are in the restaurants past 9. I’m not a kid-hater, just didn’t expect that when we paid for an adults-only resort. Your dinner choices on the adult side is the Thai place (outdoor dining), the beach grille which serves a mix of dishes at dinner (also outside), the Tapas place (which was my least favorite menu and food – my only “yuck” moment) which was indoor and the other indoor place that did the breakfast buffet every day. Their menu was also more eclectic. We ventured to the “other side” once, and the steak place was good but I repeat, it’s not an American steakhouse so don’t go expecting that! We tried the Japanese place twice, but once was a 90 minute wait and the other time there was no one there….so we gave up. The kid-friendly sister resort was cheaper, and it showed. There were lines for the bars, restaurants, etc. Not worth the effort to walk there.

Entertainment. There is none at this resort, which is fine by me. There is however nightly entertainment at the other resort, but it’s definitely that “cheesy” cruise ship type entertainment. Frankly, I go on vacation to chill and don’t need to be entertained.

I will give you one strong word on caution regarding the time share/sales pitch. They suckered us in by what we thought was the concierge. She was overly nice, and I guess I should have seen it coming. “Oh you get a free gift” and “Oh it helps me. You don’t have to do anything, just listen to them and I get credit.” Three hours later, my boyfriend literally left me standing there with this sales guy. Frankly, I’m glad he stormed off because it gave me an excuse to leave (he had our room key!!) We played good cop/bad cop and finally escaped. It’s not a “time share” per say, but you invest a large sum of money to buy “discounted vacations”. It’s very salesy and pretty close to impossible to escape. What’s your free gift?? A small bottle of rum, coffee, some vanilla, and a couple cinnamon sticks. Not worth the time by any stretch of the imagination.

Would I return to this resort? Probably not because there are other places I would like to visit. Would I recommend this resort? I would, but with the caveats I mentioned. As always, it depends on what's important to you and what you're looking for.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the suites with the endless pools. They are above and beyond worth the money.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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3,479 reviews from our community

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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 (696)
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Kansas City, Missouri
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Went on my honeymoon here. It was the most beautiful hotel I have ever seen! Very private rooms, clean, with so much room and a jacuzzi! Not only did we have two pools in our area but we had ocean access. Walk right out to the beach from the hotel! The best part was that the family side would not allow children on our side! It made it very romantic! The main shopping and restaurant area was like being in a small city! Any food you could think of was offered at this hotel! Loved the all-inclusive packages!

Room Tip: Try to get a room with a private pool!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Great experience, the staff is extremely friendly, always smiling and ready to help the customers.

The all inclusive package is out of this world!!

As for our honeymoon, this week could not be better.

Thank you very much Catalonia Bavaro!!

Stayed July 2014
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Jacksonville, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

The resort is beautiful and the rooms are really really nice. Just be aware that all rooms at this hotel have a moldy smell, do to the humidity of the area. If you are not allergic to mold, you will be fine, otherwise stay away from the Catalonia.
The hotel grounds are perfectly keep, everything is clean and really pretty. The food is really good too.
Now, the service on this hotel and I think on all hotels in Punta Cana, is really really slow. The hotel staff is very nice, but just checking in took us 2 hours. The same is you just want to change your room or check for your airport transportation. They are really slow, they tell you just a minute, I'll be right back and they will be gone for an hour.
Overall we had a great time, we didn't spent too much time at the Catalonia side, we went there twice and it was always crowded and full of people everywhere. The waiting time for dinner on the Catalonia side could take up to an hour.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the suite with the plunge pool, totally worth it
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Me and my girfriend travelled from England and stopped here from june 26th to july 10th. We absolutely loved every minute of this holiday!

I can't understand why there are some bad reviews from the same time we were there.

The resort is massive and the views are amazing! It was boiling hot by the two pool areas so me and my girlfriend spent most of the time on the beach taking advantage of the sea breeze. That's a personal preference though, both pools looked lovely!

Our room was fantastic, we loved the daily offerings of peanuts and oreos. The fridge is also constantly stocked with water, pop and a couple of cans of beer. You will never go thirsty here. Especially when theres so much choice of cocktails and drinks at the bars and restaurants!

We loved the variety of restaurants available on this, the quieter side, and across on the family side. It was nice that we stopped here and could walk across to the other side, then come back to the quiet side for drinks to wind down as it does get pretty busy at the family side. That side's like the 'town centre' of the complex!

We loved the restaurants. Yes, the japanese is hard to get into, but its a proper japanese restaurant, they only have limited spaces at each cooking area and they cook it in front of you making a show of it. Once you see that, you can totally understand why you need to go early to get a seat. It is worth experiencing at least once! Some of the food in the various restaurants i'd agree can be quite average. It's the way they cook it i think but thats part of going away to me and sampling other countries foods. The asain restaurant on our side was very salty though and i couldnt eat it. i like salt so that's saying something!

For the first few nights we were still aclimatising and a bit jet lagged so our first few meals we did struggle to eat much of our food. Staff must've thought we hated the place! but it really was just us been tired and finding our feet for a few days!

We did get up early to get a spot on the beach. There were still places available larer in the day but we were always awake so early! May of been partly jet lag again!

The staff are the most friendly at any hotel i've ever encountered. The gardener, the maid, bar staff, everyone all very friendly!
We particularly got on with the waitress in sea blue snack bar/restaurant. Some lunch times it did get very busy in there and we did have to wait before even getting a menu a couple of times but we were on holiday so weren't in a hurry!

We got engaged there! It was my girlfriends birthday while we were away and the concierge was very helpful arranging for a birthday cake to be sent to the room, the room to be trimmed up and for us to have a romantic meal on the beach!

All in all a really good holiday and without doubt we hope to go back some day!

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

Excelent hotel, great food, great people, good service, healthy, super safe, and everything you are looking for an unforgettable holiday, me and my family back for the next vacation, and we recommend this hotel 100%

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Phillipsburg, New Jersey
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

GREAT customer service, first time i ever visited the Catalonia Royal Bavaro and i can't wait to come back! had so much to do a lot of events to attend to! Absolutely great! Employees were great and very helpful. Check-in customer service was outstanding. the food was delecious so many option i even wrote down some of the receipts to take home with me (: I've been to to so many other hotels and this is BY FAR the best hotel!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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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
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#24 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#33 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#36 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Catalonia Royal Bavaro 4.5*
Number of rooms: 255
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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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