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“Amazingly Relaxing July 18-July 23” 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 #37 of 100 hotels in Punta Cana
NJ
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Amazingly Relaxing July 18-July 23”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

We just returned today from a 5 day stay at the Catalonia Royal Bavaro resort. My husband and I stayed there from July 18-July 23rd for a much needed getaway.

I read many horrible reviews prior to going so my expectations wew fairly low upon arriving. Well was I wrong. Our check in was a breeze and even got an upgrade to thw honeymoon suite on the couples only side. We orginally booked the family side. See a smile and kidness goes a long way.

From there on out we were treated like royalty. Our room in villa 42 was always clean, spacious and comfortable. The bed was comfy as well as the pillows. They even had a pillow menu if the ones in the room didnt fit your fancy. You also get 24 hour room sevice included in your all inclusive package.

We didn't do any excursions as our main objective was to completely relax and not have any time constraints. We spent alot of time at the pool close to the front desk on the couples side. The pool Jacuzzi area was our favorite. We always found a spot to lay out with no problem. The pool bartender Carlos was the bomb.com. We tipped although not required but worth it because the service deserved it.

I will agree the food was my least favorite but I did find things that were pretty good and it helped me not to over eat on vacation like I normally do. Lol. Its not a deal breaker though.

I will return to this resort in a heartbeat. The service, the beautiful rooms and grounds and the boat load of activities are all worth it. Also, the grounds are beautiful and beautifully kept. Definitely an awesome place to vacation.

Tips: Bring your own insulated cup to keep your drinks cool by the pool and beach. Its very hot there.

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
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Ocean View, Delaware
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

My husband and I were here from July 14-21, 2014. We felt very welcomed upon arrival and we were offered a welcome drink--yum! We were thankful that we were not there in June when the Texan invasion occurred along with endless country music; my condolences to those who posted about this. Sounds like a long, slow, and expensive torture. However, we didn't encounter one rude employee or guest except for the towel guy--more on him later.

I had a drink from the piano bar while we waited in the lobby. All the bars are very good--well mixed drinks, top shelf liquor, friendly bartenders, cannot complain at all. We had lunch at Thalassa while we waited for our room--best food ever! We wound up having another lunch, dinner, and two breakfasts there since it was THAT good. Make sure you go to the Dominican Celebration lunch buffet there on Saturday! EXCELLENT!!! So is the breakfast buffet!

Our first room was 1816 which was very modern and backed up to the family resort. However, the room above us sprung a leak on our bed and we were quickly relocated to 4001--very clean and quiet. It's a bit dated, but all I care about is hot, running water, internet, a clean room without bedbugs or roaches, no smoking, and peace and quiet. The room provided this. Internet was out sometimes, but not too often. We often spent our mornings working out at the gym. It's small, but clean and it had what I needed--weights and a treadmill. Score!

The resort is very well cared for on both sides. I even saw little land hermit crabs running around, so cute! Most of the entertainment is on the family side. We enjoyed a couple shows at the theater, especially the Michael Jackson one. However, we were very relieved that we stayed on the much quieter, adults-only side.

The beach is breathtaking and the snorkeling is grand...and don't miss out on the Ma Loo bar! We beat it to death. No alcohol, but it's all natural and they make the fruit smoothie while you wait. There are about ten different varieties. Just remember to hide from the people walking up and down the beach trying to sell stuff or offer massages. I pretended I was asleep when they came by. There is a market on the right side of the beach which is worth your time if you can tolerate some shop employees trying to lure you into their lair. I purchased items from two younger female Haitian employees in one shop who were SO friendly! I bought from them and nobody else because they did not annoy me or act overbearing.

Speaking of overbearing....run for the hills if Luis if is working the towel exchange hut. This guy will NOT take no for an answer when he offers you a "tour of the resort and a gift." EVERY. SINGLE. DAY that he worked there, he bugged my husband to take this tour (it's a timeshare sale, not really a tour). He even tried withhold the towels on the fourth time we said NO. He was pretty obnoxious. We're simple people, but this guy can annoy ANYONE. I think Luis missed his calling as a used car salesman or door-to-door vacuum guy.

There is a nice Friday night market on the family side, but I didn't buy anything because I was overwhelmed by the overbearing market merchants. I felt like a steak thrown into a hungry bear's den. Not all were like that, but many were. I finally gave up and ran away with one in hot pursuit yelling, "Miss! Miss!" Good friggin' grief.

More on food: Gran Caribe is a lunch and dinner buffet; lunch is meh, but dinner wasn't too bad. The pizza and the meats on the grills satisfied me....the rest of the stuff, not so much. The steakhouse is awesome! Very tasty meats, good appetizers, and plenty of vegetables. The apple pie with ice cream is to die for! Sea Blue is ideal for lunch--it's nothing special (although the wings were really good!), but it satisfied us enough that we dined there twice. Don't miss the Thursday night beach party which is a b-b-q buffet. LOVE the pork chops! Don't eat the burgers though--they are the same ones used in room service and they are putrid. I'm not even sure if that's meat. Burgers were beyond gross, but the rest of the beach party food is extremely tasty.

Other than the timeshare hawks and annoying sidewalk merchants, our stay here was excellent. However, it's sad that you drop a few grand on a one week stay and get harassed by somebody every day unless you hide or run away. Get rid of annoying salespeople and the resort would definitely be five star!

Room Tip: We really like room 4001--very quiet!
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Nashville, Tennessee
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Union
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

I had an amazing time we my family and friend.I feel every staff part of my family.I can't wait to come back GREAT customer service,GREAT employees were GREAT and very very HELPFUL.Food was DELECIOUS.Room,Restaurant,Pool,everything EXECELENTE.!!!!

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

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
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 Business Hotel in Punta Cana
#27 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#31 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#31 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Catalonia Royal Bavaro 4.5*
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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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