My two sisters and I had a great girls getaway at the Catalonia Riviera Maya October 6 through the 13th. We had no “problems”, only a few very minor “disappointments”. Overall we had a great stay and would definitely come back. I only mention these things for your consideration, should they matter to you. The experience for the value paid is definitely worth every penny!
The very good:
The people were all very friendly and hospitable.
The beach and snorkeling were very good in our opinion. We didn’t care about “rocky” (we had swim shoes). We cared about the ocean view, the snorkeling, and the shells that washed ashore at low tide. We saw a big variety of fish, and also squid and stingrays. It was a great experience for my sister who had never snorkeled before. Easy in and out, calm, warm waters and lots of fish!
The resort was clean, landscaped beautifully, and small enough to find our way around easily and quickly. I have stayed at a larger resort that required a golf cart to get around and this was much more enjoyable.
The Creperie restaurant was wonderful and a selling point for me. I would have loved to go every night. We were given the good advice to go here before dinner. We really loved the Japanese, the Tapas and the Steakhouse restaurants.
The resort is located close (enough) to other areas of interest, such as the beautiful Xpu Ha beach and Akumal for snorkeling with the turtles and stingrays. I would like to thank the person that suggested stopping in at La Buena Vida restaurant for drinks with a great view on the walk between Akumal and Yal Ku.
We enjoyed the free bicycle rentals, the bicycle tour with Peta, and the nearby marina. We asked about the “secret beach” (had read about in these reviews) and Peta took us to the nearby Omni Hotel and pointed out a beautiful beach and view. The bicycle tour would have taken us there a few days later, so it seems the tours are not the same on each day. We came back later to snorkel there and saw turtles, along with other colorful fish different than those at the Catalonia.
Per other people’s suggestions we looked to book a boat tour at the nearby marina. We chatted with a nice fellow named Christopher, whose boat tours were not for us ladies (mostly fishing charters) but he offered his guide service another day exploring cenotes. It was a memorable day.
We only caught only one nightly show but it was outstanding entertainment and I hadn’t laughed so hard since I can’t remember when.
The resort has free kayaks and catamaran rides (for two) that were a bonus in booking at this hotel, but sadly we ran out of time to take advantage of it.
The room was very comfortable, other than the pull out sofa, which by its very nature is not going to be comfortable. A cot was provided upon request. The shower in the suite was spacious.
We used the “free” safe for our valuables, and it did fit a laptop computer as well as a few cameras.
The not so perfect:
The room was in the privileged section with a construction view, so it was not ideal. This may just be the luck of the draw, but I don’t think I would need to pay for the privileged room another time. Requested via email for a better room with double beds (no king) for a special birthday celebration, and it did appear to be slow season, but hey, we all can’t have the “best room”. Asked again upon check in.
The outdoor tub is useless, it only had about an inch of water after running the faucet for about 20 minutes, so we turned it off and didn’t try again.
The benefit of having a refrigerator stocked daily wasn’t really much of a benefit for us, it wasn’t actually stocked daily. We really only cared about the water, so ended up filling our own bottles most days like the “unprivileged” patrons.
We couldn’t find anything to tell us what restaurants were open and closed on what days, so we missed out on using one of our alacart restaurant tickets. We went to the front desk and they said to ask housekeeping for a weekly agenda that should have been in the room. We asked housekeeping, we just never received one. Couldn't the front desk have a few copies on hand?
The towel shack wasn’t open as early or as late as we would have liked. We took early morning snorkeling expeditions, and they weren’t open when we went out. Some nights we had wet towels that we couldn’t replace. One night the wet towels were removed from the room while out to dinner but not replaced until two days later. The resolution was to lay them out on a chair while snorkeling and they were usually dry when we returned, just not so fresh, so only a minor inconvenience to be aware of.
The buffets had a large variety of food, but I would have liked to have tortillas for breakfast. Did I just not see them? Also, would have liked more Mexican varieties than the Americanized varieties of food.
The house (free) wine was not good at all, IMO. We purchased our bottles of wine.
The free wi-fi was barely usable.
Our privileged suite (8317) in building 11 had a view of a construction project.
Even with a not...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
January 4, 2013
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We would like to thank you for your feedback about your recent stay with us, being of the utmost importance for us and our main source to improve our facilities and service.
It's a pleasure to know that you had a good time with us and you will keep a good memory of Mexico and our Hotel.
We certainly hope you will decide to visit us again in the future, thus giving us another chance not only to comply with, but to exceed your highest expectations.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.