We had a great time while on this vacation mainly because we made it great, not because this resort was great. This doesn’t mean the resort was bad neither. We stayed here for 6 nights. We originally made reservations for the Catalonia Bavaro, but upgraded to Catalonia Royal Bavaro(“Privileged”-the adults only part of the resort). There are a lot of positives and negatives about this resort.
The good: Staff is accommodating, you can tell they all work really hard…I kind of feel bad for them. Whenever we requested anything, it was done. Lots of restaurants to choose from. The steakhouse was the best of all the places we tried. Swimming pool w/swim up bar was awesome, and was quite a beautiful view from our room. We were right next to the pool. Because we were “Privilieged”(adults only), we had access to all of the resort. The rooms were really spacious, and each had their own balcony. 24/7 room service was available. If you didn’t have your “do not disturb” sign on the door knob, the maids would come by every day to clean your room, and they do an excellent job. They always restocked the towels even though it wasn’t necessary. They even straightened out my shoes for me. I was able to tell every time the room was cleaned. It was nice having room service for breakfast when we didn’t want to wake up too early to get ready to go eat.
The bad: Check in was horrible. We waited forever in line to check in at the Bavaro lobby, then after we took their offer for an upgrade, they sent us over to the Royal Bavaro lobby to go through the whole check in process again. The a/c in our first room did not work, but they moved us as soon as we requested for a different room. Although the staff worked really hard, they were not friendly(probably b/c we’re making them work hard), there were a few friendly ones though. I can tell a lot of them were just tired/overworked…I didn’t really blame them. There were lots of restaurants to choose from but this place is so huge(be prepared to do a lot of walking), we never even found all the restaurants. There are no signs directing you to any of the bars/restaurants. The food wasn’t great but wasn’t bad neither. Most of the specialty restaurants’ food tasted like buffet food. If you want to eat the Japanese restaurant, you have to go right when they open, otherwise they will already be full for the night when it’s only 7:30...and the food didn’t taste like real Japanese food neither, but that was expected. The hibachi guy did a great job with his performance/cooking skills though. Half way into our vacation we finally figured out the hours and locations of most of the restaurants. Wi-Fi sucked, worked like every other day. It was hard getting a hold of room service sometimes. Sometimes, you couldn’t get a hold of them at all, mainly at night time. Also, it’s not required but room service and bell boys do expect tips.
The beach was beautiful, but not as beautiful as I expected from pictures I’ve seen online of Bavaro Beach. I did see a guy cleaning the water of seaweed by the beach, but it was definitely not a one man job. It was also hard to find a nice spot on the beach under a palapa. You would have to wake up early in the morning to save your spot with a towel if you wanted a decent spot.
Beware of “cheapy, cheapy/no compromise”…the pesky vendors with their souvenir tables. They are no joke! They can see you from a mile away and are very aggressive. They seemed to be stationed in different parts of the resort each day. One after another, they will literally grab you to their table. And never buy anything at the initial price they give you. One vendor wanted $95 for 8 shot glasses and a small candle. We eventually haggled him down to $20 for the 8 shot glasses. Nothing is price marked, they tell you whatever price they want to tell you and you’ll just have to judge for yourself if you’re getting a deal or not. To get an idea of how much souvenirs really are, behind the casino in the main Bavaro lobby, there’s a shopping center. We went there to scope out the prices of similar souvenirs so we can have an idea of when the vendors are cheating us.
Overall, it was a great first experience in Punta Cana, but I will spend more money to stay at a nicer resort next time.
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- Also Known As:
- Catalonia Royal Bavaro Hotel Punta Cana
- Catalonia Royal Bavaro Punta Cana
- Royal Catalonia Bavaro