I'll start off by saying that we paid $700 per person for a week at this resort and the flight. That's a pretty good deal no matter how you swing it.
Our flights went smoothly and finding the shuttle to our resort at the airport was a little confusing, but also went smoothly. We took the shuttle with 2 other couples who were going to different resorts, the ride is LONG (about an hour), but we didn't have to wait longer than 20 min for the shuttle to leave the airport.
Checking in was an absolute nightmare to put it lightly. We arrived around 12pm and were told (even though we upgraded to privileged) that our room wouldn't be ready until 3. I had read that this might happen so we weren't outraged. We took our carry on bags to the buffet and had a nice lunch. Then we sat by the pool for a bit (Bring suits in your carry on so you can change!). At 3pm we went back to the lobby to check in. They said we would have to wait 20 more minutes. 20 minutes? Not too bad, ok. We waited 20 minutes. I went to the desk again….the woman at the front desk told me 20 more minutes. At this point we were hot, sweaty, and just wanted to get in our rooms to shower. 6 hours of flying and 3 hours of waiting and my patience was fading. FINALLY, it was ready. We didn't tip the guy who carried our bags because we were just so frustrated.
The room was beautiful. We had some issues with the air conditioning not working throughout the week, but all we had to do was call and someone came and fixed it. They never gave us the part to the safe that actually works the safe (or even mentioned it), so we had to go back to the lobby to get that. They also forgot our beach towels and we had to call for those.
After everything had been settled we took a moment to just breathe and go explore the resort. It is truly a beautiful place. The grounds are immaculate. The beach is beautiful, but yes it is rocky. I'm not a huge beach swimmer so this wasn't that big of an issue. We snorkeled just about every day and it was awesome!
The buffet food is….ok. La Brisa is definitely not as good as El Mercado, which we realized about halfway through the trip. Dinner at the restaurants was AWESOME. The Japanese and the Tapas were our faves. All of the food just tastes a little off. Foods like chicken nuggets at the snack bar are good, don't get me wrong, they just taste a little strange.
The people at the resort are awesome! Olga (entertainment staff) is always so nice and fun to watch. Juan at the chill out bar was the best bartender! He works from 3-close most nights. Ask for Juan's special…you won't be disappointed.
We meet so many cool people at the resort and we genuinely had a great time. We saved a lot of money by going to this resort, but I think I would want a little more luxury if I were to go to this area again.
P.S: We took a taxi to akumal beach and used our own snorkel equipment to swim with the turtles. Save your money and do it this way! It was $25 each way for the taxi and $12 to rent 2 life vests. You don't need a guide to find the turtles, they're everywhere! We did the same thing for Tulum. Take a taxi, skip the guide. It's far too hot there to listen to someone talk for an hour anyway. After you see the ruins, go to the exit and follow the road all the way down to the left. You'll find the most incredible beach I've ever seen. There are also several small restaurants to grab a beer/food.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Catalonia Riviera Maya is situated in the peaceful ambience of Puerto Aventuras, located directly on the beach of the beautiful Mexican Caribbean and in the heart of the Mayan Riviera. The white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, a great marina with restaurants and bars at a walking distance as well as a 9 hole golf course makes Puerto Aventuras a place that stands out, a place for those looking for the authentic Caribbean. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Catalonia Riviera Maya Puerto Aventuras, Mexico
- Catalonia Hotel Mexico
- Catalonia Rivera Maya
- Riviera Maya Catalonia
- Hotel Catalonia Riviera Maya
- Catalonia Riveria Maya
- Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort
- Catalonia Riviera Maya All Inclusive
- Catalonia Mexico