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“Paradise Away From Home” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Catalonia Riviera Maya

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Catalonia Riviera Maya
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Avenida Xcacel Lote 1 Plano 2 Manzana 18 | Solidaridad, Puerto Aventuras 77783, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 16 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
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1 review
“Paradise Away From Home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2009

We have visited the CAT every year (sometimes twice a year) for almost ten years. We loved it the first time, even though there were a few problems but we were determined to go back. Each time we return, we see more improvements, many of them being ones that we had suggested on our comments card which told us that they really do read them and listen, unlike many other resorts and ones we never thought could be improved on. No matter what you are looking for in a vacation, relaxation, activity, nightlife, golf, etc., they have it. HOTEL/GROUNDS – BEAUTIFUL! The hotel and grounds are always immaculate and wherever you look 24 hours a day, they are cleaning, planting trees and flowers, scrubbing walkways, raking beach sand, preparing for the next day. They have just about every amenity you can think of with the exception of room service. The resort opens right up to the ocean, so there is almost always an ocean breeze throughout the grounds. ROOMS – the rooms are absolutely wonderful. Whether you have a standard, deluxe or suite, they are all very comfortable, always clean and the air conditioning really works and allows you to cool off in the hot Mexico climate. STAFF – We have never experienced a hotel staff like the CAT has. They all treat you like a king and queen, from the groundskeepers to the top management. They are always willing to help and if they can’t, they will immediately find someone who can. We have visited the CAT so many times, we feel like the entire staff is family and amazingly, the CAT has very little turnover. Not only is management at the CAT excellent toward their guests, they also appreciate and respect all of the staff and rightly so. Julio at the Front Desk is wonderful, always willing to make sure you have what you need and fix any problems and Cora in Guest Services is a blessing - she always seems to be there when you need her. Gregorio at the Margaritas Pool Bar has to be the best bartender in the world!!! We have come to consider him, not only the best bartender, but also one of our true friends. Along with Jonathan and Benito, they work their tails off to please you and never stop for a minute. LOCATION/ACCESSIBILTY – The location of the resort is about an hour and a half away from the airport depending on your mode of transportation. We always get a Lomas private vehicle which is $80.00 round trip and it takes us directly to the hotel without stopping. For us, we truly appreciate the fact that the resort is away from the noise of the airport, hub-bub of city bustle, and in a quiet, serene area yet close enough that a short bus or cab ride will get you to Playa or Cancun for the city life. The CAT is its own little family and community. The resort is within a very short walking distance (5-10 minutes) from the marina where they have shopping, dolphins, deep sea fishing boats, and many other attractions. If you like other excursions such as sightseeing, you can book them right there in the hotel lobby. The CAT also offers a free shuttle to and from Playa del Carmen. FOOD – The four ala carte restaurants are superb! The staff, including management caters to you and the food is excellent! We had a special birthday on our last visit and Devid, manager of the Mexican restaurant (and also wonderful) made sure it was extra special. However if you want to go to one of the restaurants, you must make your reservations in advance. The buffet is a buffet – however they spice it up with different themes each night of the week to change up the variety of food so that you are not eating the same thing, night after night. Luis is most gracious and humorous, and is always striving to ensure you have everything you need. They also have an ice cream parlor which is absolutely scrumptious. BEACH – The beach area at the CAT is not huge, but big enough to accommodate all of the guests and is always kept immaculate. The shore of the ocean is a little rocky but we like the fact that they leave it the way nature intends. There are always lifeguards close at hand should anyone encounter problems and each morning, a colored flag is posted to let you know if it is safe to swim or not. POOL/ACTIVITIES – There are several pools so whatever you enjoy, it is there. Two of the pools have activities going on all day long from water aerobics to pool basketball; something for everyone’s liking and the activity team is exceptionally entertaining and have so much energy it is amazing! Two pools have swim up pool bars for those that want to just relax however they can get a bit noisy at the end of the day after some of the guests have had a few too many drinks! They also have kiddies’ pools for those little tykes. The CAT offers nightly shows which differ each evening and the kids love them. The shows don’t start until 9:45 p.m. which might be a little late for some to enjoy. MANAGEMENT – We have always experienced superb treatment from management, from the lower echelon to the General Manager and they want to make sure everyone is happy. A person can always spot one of the managers walking the grounds, restaurants, and pool areas, to ensure everything is in order and this includes Xisco, the General Manager. On any given day, you will see him walking through the grounds several times and you can tell by the way he speaks to the staff and the staff respond to him that he is very well liked and respected. He is also one of the most gracious General Managers we have ever had the pleasure to meet and will go above and beyond to make sure the guests are pleased.
In summary, we will always return to the CAT when vacationing and have sent many friends and family who have also enjoyed their visits and returned. We have never felt the warmth, caring and friendly atmosphere at any of the other AI resorts as we do at the CAT. We have also met many, many wonderful friends at the CAT that we continue to stay in touch with. Feel free to contact us if you would like further information.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2009

Let me first say their are some things good at this facility and some bad. I will start with good. When we arrived and went to check in at 1pm (check in is usually at 3pm) we had no wait and we asked for an upgrade on our room from a standard. It only cost 210.00 to upgrade for the entire stay. (7nights) The room was available immediately and we were able to go straight to the room. We were thrilled with the room. 1st floor with a jacuzzi on the patio Very Very nice. GOOD
The grounds are kept very nice. Alot of greenery and palm trees. This is not a 5 star hotel, but it could come close as far as the grounds and rooms. GOOD
The pools are beautiful. GOOD
The beach is nice but as all reviews state, MAKE SURE YOU TAKE WATER SHOES. To get into the water you must walk on coral rocks which if their are any waves makes it very difficult. You will cut your feet. They do sell them in the shop on site, but they cost $35.00. If you forget them take the shuttle to Playa and buy them there. Much cheaper
Now for the BAD:
There are 4 restaurants other than the buffet. You can only choose 3 to go to. ???? You have to make reservations for those you choose. Mexican, Italian, Steak, Japanese.
The steak dinner was ok, but how hard is it to mess up steak??? The menu says baked potato. NOT it is one round slice of a potato smothered in butter. I would say about the size of the bottom of a coke can and almost waffer thin. That's your baked potato. Your "vegetables" are three round slices of squash, zucchini, and something else?????
The Italian restaurant was the ABSOLUTELY WORSE FOOD I have ever put in my mouth. I took one bite of the ravioli and very gracefully spit it out in my napkin. I then ordered spaghetti and yes did the same thing. DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME
The japanese restaurant food was the BEST FOOD we had the entire trip. Yes we were pretty hungry for some descent food. The show put on while cooking the meal in front of you was very good and funny.
BUFFET. BELOW AVERAGE. we have stayed at some very nice facilities and them some average however this place's buffet had ALOT to be desired. Everyone we met including ourselves got sick from the buffet. I am not even going to tell my experiences just read again what I have said.
I understand the "open air" concepts but their is absolutely no air conditioning except in your room. You better stay close to the pool, or ocean. It was miserably hot. Even sitting in the lounge of an evening you took your napkin and wiped the sweat that was pouring off of you.
Theater, shows were cute
If you like to lay on the beach, or stay in the pool this is the place for you. But if you like to get out and walk around your done. There is a marina about a 10 min walk down the road (inside the resort gates) that has some shops, and a dolphin show that was pretty nice, but that is it. Golf????? $170.00 for 9 holes is what one of the guest told us. This resort is off the main highway. So if you walk down to the gates you walk out to a highway. You are pretty much stuck at the resort unless you take the shuttle bus to Playa (NEED RESERVATIONS) or go out on an excursion.
The hotel offers several things, sailboat ride, snorkel equipment, cayaking. But guess what...... you can only do them once a DAY.... and only for 1 hr. TAKE YOUR OWN SNORKELING EQUIPMENT. If you don't you get to snorkel for only 1hr.
To get a chair on the beach under shade be prepared to set your alarm for 0645am. All chairs WILL be gone by 0700-0715am. Don't loose your beach towels that are given to you or the cards to get the towels. Each towel or card is $30.00.
We enjoyed our time together celebrating our anniversary however we were ready to leave by the 3-4 day. You can only look at the beach, ocean, and pools so much. We did do some excursions may I highly recommend the 'DELPHINUS" DOLPHIN excursion. A little expensive $159.00 but you get a coupon when you are there. You bring it back and they will give you $40.00 cash back. ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT. We also went to Playa twice. We did take the shuttle over but wanted to come back early so we took a cab back to the resort. ($16.00 well worth it)
The staff I found to be not very happy. It was like do the job, no socializing, go home. We tipped graciously and did receive quick service at the swim up bars, but no small talk, smiles, or anything really they just made our drinks and said thank you when we handed out the money. The ladies on the beach take FOREVER TO GET YOUR DRINKS. We finally got our mugs we had brought and went and got our own.
It is a great facility minus food just for pools, beach and sun. If that's all you want then you will be ok, but if you like to eat alot ( to which my husband does) you are going to be in trouble. I hope this review helps and doesn't deter to many people but I read all the reviews and it had so many good reviews that we gave it a try and would have to agree with the negativity.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2009

This was the first time we had tried an all-inclusive resort, and we chose Catalonia partly for the good value and partly because of the overwhelmingly positive reviews. Overall we had a great time, but we have reservations as well, which are less a reflection of Catalonia than of the all-inclusive Riviera Maya resort experience.

On the plus side: an inexpensive holiday, excellent and persistently friendly staff, a terrific location, plenty of pool space for the kids, a great beach, and being in Mexico.

On the minus side: we booked Riviera Maya but were put in a room in Yucatan Beach, the food was tolerable but bland (even in the Mexican restaurant), it took us a day to work out all the rules (little guidance or advice given by front desk at check-in), you have to be up before 7am to snag the best loungers by the pool or on the beach, water sports very limited (20 slots available per day on the Hobie, and you cannot sail it yourself), a lot of cigarette-smoking Europeans present (I'm a European myself - nothing personal, I just can't stand smokers), the drinks (including the wine) were watered down, no matter what brand of beer you ordered it was all on tap and was as tasteless and gassy as Bud Light, tiny rooms with no comfortable chairs, and except for the Mexican staff there was little indication that you were in Mexico.

We may go again, but next time we will avoid the airport shuttle (because you have to stop off at other hotels on your way to and from Catalonia), and rent a car (so we can get out of Catalonia and seek out real Mexican food and go somewhere else other than tourist-drenched Playa del Carmen).

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2009

This was our holiday together and we chose to go to Mexico and we couldn't have picked a better place or hotel!

Location: about one and a half hours drive from Cancun airport. The hotel is in a nice area with a marina, shops and bars about 5 minutes walk away. The marina has dolphins and seals and you can swim with dolphins here. Playa Del Carmen is 15 minutes drive from the hotel and a taxi will cost you 160 pesos each way. The hotel run a bus service from the hotel at 9-5 or 6-11. I would advise to go at night as it is still very hot but not impossible to walk around. There is a large strip with shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

Room/Maid service: On arrival we upgraded to a suite. We ended up with room 7032 and we couldn't have got a better room! The view was directly over the pools and on to the beach and sea and it had a huge bed, plasma tv, walk in shower and mini-bar fridge. I would try to upgrade, definitely worth the extra money - was around 400 dollars for two weeks. The maid service was brilliant, the rooms were immaculate when we returned to the room at the end of the day. The mini fridge was stocked daily with soft drinks and beer.

Food/Drinks: there was a lot of variety in the buffets however it did get slightly repetitive after two weeks. We also tried the Italian and Grill À la carte restaurants which were both good! You get 3 vouchers per weeks for these special restaurants. The drinks are not watered down, if anything they are a bit too strong, but it is holiday so can't complain!

Hotel/Pools/Beach: The hotel itself is very clean and has lovely surroundings. Not a huge hotel but you can wander about outside the hotel. There are number of pools as you can use facilities from both this hotel and the Catalonia Yucatan Beach. The Yucatan side is much quieter. The beach is lovely. It is quite rocky at parts and the sea is full of coral however still great to snorkel in as there are so many fish. Water shoes would be a good purchase but we managed to go in the sea without them!

Gym/Spa: We did use the gym a few times and I know a few people will want to know about it! Its a good gym, they also do classes including spin and the gyms itself has weights, treadmill, cross-trainers - the works! The spa looked great although we did not have time to use it. I think the prices were reasonable!

Entertainment: the staff at this hotel are better than any I've seen. During the day they run lots of games for kids and adults such as football, volleyball and games at the pool. If you don't want to join in they don't bother you. At night the shows are great, we thought they would be a bit cheesy but they were actually really good! The hotel has a disco which is ok on the odd night however it is not always that busy! We loved Freddie!!

Excursions - we went to Xel-Ha which is total paradise. You can do lots of different things here such as swimming, snorkeling and cliff jumping. However, as it is surrounded by jungle I would advise to use some insect repellant. The Fat Cat Catamaran was also a great day out at sea. Would recommend to do this! We also went to the Thomas Cook night out which takes you to a few bars and then Coco Bongos which is a fabulous night!

Overall, we had a fantastic holiday and I would recommend this hotel to everyone and I would ignore the negative reviews as you would have to be extremely picky to find something bad to say about this hotel! We will definately be going back :)

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2009

wow.the best holiday we have ever had.had an 18 hour delay on the way there but worth the wait.the food was great(try the mexican resturant) the hotel was clean,the staff couldnt do enough for you and made us very welcome.room was clean and had a great view over the pool and the beach..the chill out bar was really relaxing and had a spectacular view of the beautiful carribean sea. the local wildlife was pretty amazin.the resident iguanas were a sight to see. if you can cope with the humidity you will be fine.took a while to climatize. a lovely walk from the hotel is the marina with a dolphinarium.i loved to go there then back to the hotel for a refreshing dip.did a trip from the hotel with fatcat catamaran.highly recommended.we had a great day out.the snorkelling was brilliant. read the reviews on tripadvisor before we went and really glad i listened to the positve ones.we will definatly be going back

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 4
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9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2009

Spent two weeks at this hotel from the 6th july to the 20th when we got there we were given a room wit 2 double beds but had a amazin view of the pool and the beach and chill out bar, we had a problem for the first few days the room had a door joining on to the next and the neighbours set there alarm for 6.30am who does this on holiday i dont know!! on our 2nd week we upgraded rooms and had a massive king size bed and big walk in shower and a fridge which was well worth it.

During our stay we met loads of lovely people, although some americans were really annoying very loud and jumped in front of you when u were waiting to be served, also found them to be very rude not them though we did meet a lovely family from Texas!!

The resteraunts were nice really enjoyed the Japanese and the grill although I was not impressed wit the Mexican but my boyfriend liked it. The buffet was also nice.

The hotel was very clean and the beach area was too. We went snorkelling and saw lots of lovely fish, we also went out on the hobbie cat and saw a giant turtle which was amazing to see, one came and layed its eggs while we were there but we missed it we had gone to coco bongos. There was also a disco in the hotel which was very cheesy but a good laugh and we had some really good nights out in it.

We walked down the harbour a few times which is nice to see the dolphins, I went in swimming with them which was amazing! And you can get a corona at gringo daves for 25 pesos which my boyfriend was glad off he said the beer in the hotel was watered down it was XX something!! But the cocktails were good.

The only bad thing I can say is the Thomas Cook Rep was terrible, dont book any trips through them they rip you off, there is a bit in the reception does them much cheaper try book there.

Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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44 reviews 44 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2009

Start off by saying this was my first time traveling to Puerto Aventuras...to begin with I would make (1) suggestion and that is to splurge the extra bucks for a Private Car from Cancun International to the Resort. We used a shared transfer and it took us well over 3 hours to land and make it to the Resort.

Upon arrival we were greeted by Alfredo and our fabulous vacation began. It was our Anniversary and Upon getting into our upgraded room we found Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Champage.

The Grounds were majestic and as I would tell my wife, you see people cleaning constantly.

Food: The Resort has a large range of available places to eat for Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner and Snack. Depending on your stay you will get reservation slips to lock in specific A La Carte choices.

We stayed (4) nights and were given (2) slips. We choose the Japanese Steakhouse and the Steakhouse/Grill. Both choices turned out to be amazing.

The Japanese Steakhouse was tremendous, great food, great ambience, and Sake!

Bambelo Steakhouse/Grill was a romantic back drop as it was open air and the Caribean Sea at night is breathtaking. The steaks had great flavor and a decent wine list as well.

The hands down best place to eat at the entire Resort was Le Crepe. This dessert restaurant is only open from 6:30pm-10:30pm most nights. Please check upon arrival as it was closed on Thursday night during our stay.

As we had heard from numerous Trip Advisor Comments the Chocolate Lover Crepe is to die for. I also enjoyed the Moka Shake, a Warm Apple Crepe, and also the Banana's and Strawberry Crepe.

A hidden gem with this resort is that you are a 5 minute walk from the Marina. Just walk down and you can see Dolphins, Sea Lions and Manate's close up.

We went down for dinner our 2nd night at a place called Tirami....Su. I highly recommend this place (we had hear about it from Trip Advisor). A very romantic ambience (a little pricey and watch out for Mosquito's), a night I will never forget spent with my wife.

This is only a 3 Star Resort so if you are used to staying at Ritz Carlton's, Le Meridien's, Westin's, W Hotels, Four Seasons, you will be in for a rude awakeing. However, if you are like us and were looking for a cheap quick destination to enjoy the Sun, Pool, Sea, Food and Drinks, then the Catalonia Riveria Maya will be a perfect place to visit.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Riviera Maya

Address: Avenida Xcacel Lote 1 Plano 2 Manzana 18 | Solidaridad, Puerto Aventuras 77783, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalonia Riviera Maya 3.5*
Number of rooms: 423
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Caribbean Sea's turquoise waters can be seen from this hotel-paradise. Come and get ready to spend some unforgettable days in the heart of the Mayan Riviera, surrounded by marvelous landscapes and seductive, white sand beaches. The hotel is located in the wonderful Puerto Aventuras development. This is a tourist development which boasts a marina for yachts, a golf course, restaurants and dolphin tanks, all within easy reach of the main Mayan Riviera attractions. ... 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

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