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“Nice Enough Resort, Pushy Sales for Travellers Club, Some Room Issues” 3 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 #39 of 100 Hotels in Punta Cana
St. John's, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Nice Enough Resort, Pushy Sales for Travellers Club, Some Room Issues”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

First off the website states the rooms in the Royal Bavaro (Adult Only Section) are new and close to the beach. They are in fact somewhat closer to the beach, but in no way are they new. Poorly repaired leaks, badly plastered ceiling, poorly patched tiles, etc. The room we actually a Honeymoon Suite which was fairly spacious and adequately furnished, but there were definitely things not perfect. The first night we had no hot water in the tub (which is a big feature in the room) 3 calls/visits to the front desk and we finally got hot water. The person on the desk made an interesting comment to the effect: "Some people don't like hot water, so we can turn a switch on by the door". There are no switches for the tub by the door. All i can think of is that they have a valve of some sort to turn the hot water off to the tubs, that unless you complain, they don't turn on. I have absolutely no idea, but the second day we finally did get hot water to it. Then 2 days later, there was a dripping leak in our room that appeared to be coming from the tub above, but that was addressed fairly quickly. We also went 1 full night with no toilet paper as it wasn't replaced during the daily visit by housekeeping. My two biggest complains regarding the room were the terrible wifi that was unreliable at best and the fact that even with the air conditioning running, the room was always damp, for example Sleeping was tough because the sheets actually felt damp. The food was pretty good for the most part, not excellent everywhere, but pretty good. The Mexican and The Italian restaurants were by far the best two we ate at. Here's ante, bring long pants for men or you will not new allowed to eat in the two restaurants on the Adults (Royal) side. Service was generally excellent by the workers, servers, etc. we encountered. The were very polite and friendly. The beach was very nice but it does have quite a bit of kelp if you don't like that. There are a fair number of canopies, etc. but you have to get there quite early to secure these either by the pools or on the beach. We had no issues with mosquitos or bugs during our stay. My Biggest Complaint overall, that makes returning here highly unlikely, is the pushy sales staff that tried to sell us travellers club memberships from approximately 12,000 to 28,000 USD. We were told we were going on a short tour to see what extra amenities were available to us since we had upgraded to the Royal side, this was 100% wrong!!! They told us no such thing, it was simply a sales pitch that wasted a couple of hours of our vacation trying to sell us something we hadn't asked for or wanted. by the end of this, I was quite upset and quite frankly, disgusted my vacation time was being wasted for nothing. They were quite friendly and falling over themselves to "help" us while presenting the sales pitch, when we declined, it was a totally different story. To make matters worse, everyday we were there, we were approached by different staff members trying to get us to "do the tour" to basically to get their commission or reward for bringing more people in to the sales office to try and sell their travellers club. We weren't bothered at all at the beach, but I sure as hell didn't appreciate the staff in the resort trying to sell us this package. The room without hot water for the first day even after being told it would be addressed immediately and the pushy sales travellers club really started our vacation off on a negative note and it is quite unlikely I would go back. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. The lobby and main building for the Catalonia Bavaro (the family side) is much more impressive looking and certainly larger and nicer than the Royal Side lobby and main building. You would expect the opposite considering you pay more to stay on that side. However, both places are available for you to use if you are staying on the Royal Side, so it wasn't a terribly big issue for us. The nightly shows left a lot to be desired even though the staff tried to provide some entertainment. The Michael Jackson show was pretty good, but the rest was not so great. was extremely disappointed when we went to book a dinner on the beach, they only offered seafood menus and if you could not eat seafood like me, you couldn't take advantage of this nice service. Interesting considering it isn't that cheap and you would think they'd offer at least one non-seafood option.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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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English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We went to Catalonia Royal Bavaro in September 2014. We flew Sunwing and arrived at 12:00 but didn't get our room till almost 4:00pm even though they told us it should be ready by 2:30pm.

The resort is clean and the rooms are large. Some of the rooms, like ours, was quite a long walk to the beach. The beach was the best part of the resort for us. My wife prefers to tan and swim topless at the beach and there wasn't issue. There are a lot of fishes in the ocean and the water is relatively calm and clean, great for snorkelling. There are always sea weed in the late afternoon being washed to shore despite guys cleaning them off every morning. There are large seashells, some cracked, half buried in the sand so you really need to watch your step when walking out. We were at the beach every single day. The bartender at the beach bar, I think his name was Roberto, was great.

The food is good. It is not amazing, but no where near bad. The restaurant near the pool, called Tao Cat, serves Thai/Asian food and is great. However, I don't understand why it is located there as the mosquitoes were horrendous and we left the first time as we were getting bit every 3 minutes despite repellants. We found that if the night has some breezes/wind, you should go there as the mosquitoes won't be out. Most staff were friendly but some were not despite us giving them tips every meal. You also need to make sure your order was taken correctly as some staff don't really know English. E.g. I ordered fries twice and I got rice even though I pointed at the menu. Medium rare became medium well that sort of things.

The air conditioning through out the resort could be better. It is only good at the Exclusive Traveller's club, which brings me to the worst part of this resort. They are constantly trying to sell you this travellers package which you paid a large sum of money to be eligible for cheap rates for exclusive suites. First someone will approach you at the resort, make sure you say NO or they will keep hounding you day after day, which was what happened to us. They kept saying they won't push sales and drove us to this nice Exclusive club house where the air conditioning makes you realize the they were cheaping out on the rest of the resort. We talked to a young sales person and it was a friendly conversation. Afterwards, he introduced us to his manager, which is an older guy with glasses (forgot his name). The manager introduced us to the plan and immediately I realize it is not for us. He was extremely pushy. At the same time, they TURNED OFF the a/c at the place and it had became very hot and humid as there were no open windows. My wife was starting to feel ill and I told him we will think about it as my wife wasn't feeling well, but he kept on pushing to the point that I was getting angry. We finally left and my wife felt sick the rest of the afternoon, and she would have gotten a heat stroke if we stayed there. We never had this kind of pushy sales people on vacation, totally unacceptable. Despite the rest of the resort was good, we likely won't go back. Stay AWAY from this sales manager or this Exclusive travel thing if you aren't interested.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

I would preface this review by stating that I have travelled extensively in the Caribbean.. I am a writer and have professionally reviewed hotels in both countries. I consider myself to be fair minded and cognizant of limitations that are sometimes beyond the control of hotels in these third world countries. However, I have always thought that the “devil is in the details”, services and details that are within control.

I recently stayed at the Catalonia Royal and from the outset things did not go well. After a long flight all one wants to do is relax in the room that was booked. In my case, I had requested a ground floor room in a quiet area close to the beach. I arrived at 2.30 p.m., was taken to 4 different rooms before I was finally so exhausted that I settled for the last one – it was now 6 p.m. The room faced a busy roadway, no hammock on the balcony as advertised. After inspecting the room I discovered there was no stopper in the bath, no instructions to operate the TV or the safe for valuables. I had to phone reception to send help. They say they are coming right away but they do not come. Throughout the stay I had to phone many times before there was a response to my requests. On returning from a long day on a catamaran only wanting to take a bath, there were no towels in my room, not even a hand towel. The room had been cleaned but no clean towels. Also, I had paid $120US for the trip and my requested wake up call for 6.45am(bus leaving at 7.40am) did not happen. Fortunately, I woke up at 7.20am and was just able to make it. When I questioned the employee at reception who had promised to wake me he said he had spoken to my husband. I am single! Hardly any of the staff speak English so this makes all communication very difficult and frustrating. Many folks that I spoke to confirmed all these problems and some had even worse things to report. When I asked why a toaster at breakfast was not working, the waitress investigated and realized it was not plugged in. When she looked for the outlet there wasn't one on the wall. A very basic and important device for breakfast was put there just for show! I had to use the same beach towel for the whole week because there were never any towels in the towel hut at the pool. Two employees sitting in an empty hut texting and talking all day, telling people the towels were coming – but they never come. Again, the basics, the small important details that make or break a vacation.

To be fair, I have to mention that there is one restaurant that is excellent (The Thalassa), both in food, presentation, and service by the staff. I took the majority of my meals there and was more than satisfied. The whole staff in this restaurant are competent and have a wonderful friendly attitude – in particular Ernesto who took excellent care of me throughout my stay. If the rest of the hotel was run as well as this restaurant it would be a wonderful place to stay.

Over the years, I have come to realize that the squeaky wheel gets the oil so I do speak up when things are not satisfactory. The Food and Beverage Manager (not the Hotel Manager) did come to talk about my dissatisfaction and listened intently. He stated that input was necessary because if no-one complains he cannot fix things. Overall, this hotel is not as advertised. This is not fair to Canadians who spend hard earned money for their vacations. For a few dollars more I would very strongly recommend the Majestic Colonial as an alternate because it lives up to its advertising, all the basic details are taken care of and more. Plus, if you are a beach person, the beach there is far superior to Catalonia Royal which has a seaweed problem and small beach.

Room Tip: Rooms facing inside towards the gardens are quieter
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  • Stayed September 2014, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This hotel advertises as a 5*, does not compare to any other 5* I have stayed in. The hotel grounds were well kept, rooms large and well appointed but tired. Food choice, quality and service fell way below 5*. Thalasso restaurant and Tao Asia (Royal side) were the best out of all those on offer, some of ones on the other side did not warrant a second visit. Reported 3 problems with items in the room on the first evening, only 2 were addressed in the whole 2 weeks. Language problems were a very big issue in all departments, even most of the staff on reception did not understand basic English always ended up us having to write it down. Our room was not serviced for 3 days as upon returning to it at 4.30pm it had not been done, so we tidied it ourselves! Maybe this was because we did not leave a tip daily but intended to at the end of the holiday as usual, lack of good service resulted in this being less than it might have been. Tipping became a real issue for me, in some places you might have 4/5 different servers attending your table it is therefore not feasible to tip everyone but this resulted in the service dropping. I would like to add, on a positive note, that the majority of female staff were either more interested or better trained than their male counterparts
The beach/sea was OK once you had waded through piles of seaweed, the men clearing it were fighting a losing battle. Although they did seem to manage to clear it better on the other half of the beach! Maybe this was just due to the time of year.
We were also approached by the 'timeshare' people as we were checking in and then on a daily basis, having met a lot of these types in Europe we were quite blunt and walked away. We were surprised that the hotel seemed to go along with it.
I have been very negative I know and I am sure a lot of people will disagree with me but at the end of the day we paid good money for what was only an 'OK' holiday and expected more.

I would like, however, to commend 3 members of staff for their hospitality, friendliness and service - Dominga (greeter in Thalasso restaurant - breakfast), Marisol (Seagrill - beach lunch) and Roberto (Beach bar - took the time to get to know you and remember what you drink and it was waiting on the bar as you approached) Maybe some of the other staff could be trained by them!
This was supposed to be a much needed holiday but sadly disappointing.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, Director General at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 5 days ago
Dear Guest,

We appreciate your valuable opinion on Tripadvisor.

Our main objective is fullfil your expectations and we did not make it.
Thanks for all your remarks that they have to be improved. We will work on it.
We hope we have the pleasure to have you back sometime and have a second chance.

We congratulate Roberto, Dominga and Marisol. They are thankful.

Ivan Cunillera
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sioux City, Iowa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Just got back from 7 days at Catalonia Royal Bavaro. Resort is quiet and we had a relaxing stay. Beach was not very nice on the Royal side but could walk over to other side and beach was nicer. My advice is to say "no" to the "Vacation Plan" presentation. It is just like a timeshare no matter what they tell you. There was a good variety of food using both resorts but nothing was exceptional, just average. Rooms are large and nice but we had problems with the large soaking tub...first no plug and it took 3 days to get it fixed, then no hot water to tub and that did not get fixed. It was hard to speak with our room attendant or maintenance people. The ones we were dealing with did not understand any English. We had a nice stay but most likely will not return to this resort.

  • Stayed September 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Spring HIll
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

While our honeymoon itself was great we got really scammed when the unsavory staff got us really drunk and while I told them we were drunk they convinced us to join their travelers club which is not at all what I remember them explaining it would be and will probably never use. I wrote to cancel but was told tough luck! Why would I want to stay there again?

Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sherman, Texas
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

This resort is very pretty but that is all. We were there with a large group in June. The service was lousy when we were not with the trip sponsor & the Travel agent. If they were around all was good. Our room was so hot it felt like a sauna the entire time. Our bed felt wet & smelled sour. I thought the first night that maybe the sheets just didn't get dry but it was every night. Room service was a joke. They won't answer the phone & If you need something or something fixed they send someone that supposedly can't speak English. I ordered 4 Pepsi's for our frig & Ice. I got 1 Pepsi & no Ice but they sure wanted their tip money. I never saw an Ice machine on the resort. I would gladly have gotten it myself but never saw one. It was so dark in our room that I would probably have been scared to death if I had seen all the mold that had to be growing in there. We were in the Piano bar one night with some pretty well known musicians & they turned off the AC, closed the bar & went in the back room. Most of the service was terrible. It was like they did not like all those Cowboys from Texas. They sure took our tip money though. We will NEVER go back there. Mexico will get our money just like they have for the past 10 years. Mexico has great service & they appreciate you spending money with them.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, Director General at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Dear Sherman,

We appreciate taking the time to express your opinion. It help us to improve our services

We apologize for not being able to satisfy your needs.

I assure you that we try our best to make your stay and the rest of your group confortable.
Texans or Newyorkers or whatever nationality are valuable guests for us.

Regards,

Ivan Cunillera
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#15 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#19 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#28 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#31 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#33 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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