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“Just go! Tips for parents with little kids.” 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 #12 of 16 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Chicago, Il
Level Contributor
54 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“Just go! Tips for parents with little kids.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2009

Everything in the forum & these reviews is true. Check out my profile & contributions for lots of tips on this & other resorts. Fabulous last minute (booked online Monday, left on Thursday) two week vacation. First week here, second at Sandos Playacar just for a change…should have stayed at Catalonia for the entire time. Wife, daughter 6, son 5, loved this resort. So I’ll comment on different things.

Take a pre-arranged taxi from the airport, especially if you have kids! Only took us 1 hour in moderate traffic. Search the Forum for taxi service suggestions. We picked Jeromi Transfers, booked online, $62 plus tip one way (2 adults, 2 kids rate). Driver was waiting outside holding a sign with our name. Nice a/c van just for us.

Seems some negative reviews come from those in Standard Rooms. Guests upgrading, ultimately to a Suite like us, report a 5-Star vacation. The Suite is a must if you have kids. Separate sleeping room for them, their own flat screen tv, huge bathroom w/luxury décor, patio with tub was fun for the kids. They charge $25 PER ADULT (over age 12) for the upgrade. It was well worth $50/night for us. Spent the first night in a Standard, which was clean, older décor, no view, but fine if you don’t mind. It’s a WOW experience when you step into the Suite.

Note to couples without kids: the upgrade to a remodeled regular room is less (I think $15pp). Those rooms are also fantastic…I peeked into a few when the cleaning lady was there. Same higher end styling like a Suite (flat screen tv, new king bed, lux bathroom) but only one room. So do us families a favor & take one of those…leave the 2-room Suites for us so we can have a little vacation time away from our kids! : )

Kids’ Club was FANTASTIC!!! Sue & Tania worked so hard. Yes, parents, you are allowed to tip them during & at the end of your stay. It was very clean and safe. They kept the kids so happy & busy, going swimming, snorkeling, dancing, shell collecting, crab hunting, eating, doing crafts, face painting, and putting on an unbelievable production of The Lion King one evening featuring our kids. The resort is small enough that we could easily find them within minutes. No pagers needed. Remember, Puerto Aventuras is a gated community. In the end, my kids didn’t want to leave.

Wife LOVED the gym. She worked out every morning using the new equipment (free!). Spa services were extra, didn’t use them, but treatment rooms & pools looked very nice. She got a massage in Puerto Aventuras at a small salon in the strip mall next to the Omni. She liked it, especially since the price was half that of the Catalonia. I booked for the next day & they never showed up for my 10am appointment. Finally the owner arrived after 20 minutes, shrugged her shoulders and said, “Oh well, I guess the massage lady is sick.” No apology, nothing. So I hopped back on my bicycle and headed back to the resort. So if you want to take your chances, it's worth the risk.

If you want to leave your laptop at home, hop on a bike & go to Cafe Cafe across the street from the Omni. They only charge 50 pesos or $5 US PER HOUR (or 1 peso per minute for shorter time). And they have nice fast computers, serve good coffee or cold drinks & bakery items. Sure beats the non-a/c room with 3 old & slow computers at the hotel that charges $5 per half hour.

Bring your own snorkel gear, fins optional unless you plan to go to Akumal to swim with the turtles. Highly recommended. Rent a car for the day (negotiate the price!), take some towels, kids LOVED it. Fins needed if you want to swim way out to the better viewing areas, but plenty of turtles & rays come close enough to the shore so not a lot of swimming is required. No expensive tour needed.

Do a search in the Forum section for answers to everything about this resort. Or PM me & I’ll try to help. Wife considers Catalonia her best Mexican vacation experience with kids so far. That says a lot. Congratulations, Catalonia!


  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 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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Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2009

I went to this resort with 2 of my daughters of 10 and 8 y.o. We LOVED it!!! However , there are some positive and negative aspects to it .

On the POSITIVE note: Resort is not HUGE. Very green with a lot of places to hide from the sun if you need to . The service was OUTSTANDING!!! Everywhere. In the restaurants it seemed like the waiters were waiting just for you . They constantly refilling your drinks and you do not need to look for them when you want something. ALWAYS service you with a smile. ALWAYS!!! They are not waiting for the tip and if you do not give it to them will ignore you forever. I actually, did not see people giving them a tip. There was no reason. Even with tipping at other resorts we NEVER had a service like that. If you rate the resort for Service they surely deserve 5+ STARS.
Activity schedule is very busy. Free bikes are great!!! 2 HUGE tennis courts on the roof , Always available chairs on the beach and by the pool. Night shows are amaizing. Do not miss "NIGHTMARE" That is a real performance!!! You do not see that at other resorts . It is a MAsterpiece.
Anything you ask for , you get it fast. For example, We had an issue with an air conditioner when we just got in the room . Within 15 minutes someone took care of it. I needed some new sheets at 10 pm. Called front desk and got the sheets in 5 minutes. Needed some extra shampoo at midnight got it as soon as I called a front desk. I was even thinking what else should I ask for so they can "screw up" LOL.

Now some of the NOT so POSITIVE things: Air conditioning could be much better at the common areas such as Restaurants and the theater.
We stayed at the regular room and it is kind of oldish( which is not a main problem) , but the towels were more gray than white and some of the sheets , although washed, but had stains all over them . ( That is why I had to change the sheets at 10 pm) Restaurant reservations are hard to make. We came for 5 days and 4 nights and were supposed to be given 2 reservations. Only got one , because everything else ( 4 restaurants ) were booked already. Not a HUGE deal for me , I do not mind a buffet, but in general, they should be able to guarantee you at least 2 reservations.

With all this being said, all that POSITIVE experience and UNREAL CUSTOMER SERVICE far outweigh some NEGATIVE things, that I hope management will read about and address. And I am sure they will. Because I could see that management CARES about their resort and Satisfaction of all the customers ( not just getting more money )

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2009

We travelled with Thomson and had a great holiday, the rep (Christian) couldn’t do enough for us; he even offered to do our laundry. Everyone seems to be moaning about the time of the transfer, and even though it probably took an hour it was on an air conditioned bus with drinks and a toilet available.

The layout of the hotel was good although they did have trouble when it rained quite heavy as some of the areas do not drain well. A lot of the floors are slippery, even in the dry so be careful (especially in the buffet restaurant) as I fell over on some steps one night and ended up sat in my pasta.

I thought the buffet restaurant was good and compared well to other 5* hotels I have stayed at previously, there was something for everyone. The snack bar was good in the day although sometimes the food was cold. Of the four al la carte restaurants our favourite was the Italian. We didn’t enjoy the food at the Mexican and the service and food at the steakhouse was poor, for some reason all of their steaks were very salty. The Japanese was good for a show but the food wasn’t to my liking, other than the ice cream in batter. The service was good at all the restaurants other than the steakhouse. We didn’t find out about the Creperie until day 4 of the holiday as it is hidden away but we went there every day after. Make sure you find it (its up the steps by the entrance to the buffet restaurant) as the deserts, milkshakes and service are all excellent.

The drinks were of good quality, my favourite cocktails were the strawberry or blue margaritas, and the mars light. I suggest you go through the menus and ask for bigger glasses where possible. The bar service was excellent; if you tip well around the pool then you will be guaranteed drinks delivered to you all day.

The beaches were well kept and you had a choice to go into the rough sea or use the lagoon where the water was calm. You could also swim out to the rocks and do some snorkelling. The animation team tried their best to get everyone involved but left you alone if you just wanted to relax.

One of the best things I thought was that you could use the Yucatan Beach resort next door which was a much more laid back hotel, so there was no noise around the pool. It really was a resort for many different kinds of people. We used the sports bar at the Yucatan most nights, they could do with having some rules about the use of the pool tables as some people tried to stay on there constantly when it was obvious that loads of people were waiting for a game. I didn’t understand why they had 2 free tables and 2 pay tables!?!

I used the free Wi-Fi everyday but it was very slow and difficult to access, I couldn’t get a signal in the room but used it at the lobby bar. This is something they could rectify with little cost. The rooms were well appointed but could do with a mini-bar fridge, it seems that they don’t put them in just so you will upgrade.

We did 3 excursions during our trip. The first was the dolphin swim at Puerto Adventuras. My girlfriend really enjoyed this but I thought it was a bit expensive particularly once you had paid for the pictures and DVD, although we did haggle on the pictures.

I thought the best excursion was the trip to Coba and the Mayan village. The day was made up of a trip to the pyramid at Coba which you can climb (take your time as it’s very hot and tiring), also don’t leave your money on the bus as you will want to buy a drink after the long walk to the pyramid. We then went to have a traditional Mexican meal at a restaurant next to a lake with crocodiles in it. The meal was okay and it gave us chance to get to know our fellow travellers. We were then taken to the Mayan village where we gave the cute kids fruit and cereal but I had taken them more. Then the day finished with a swim in a natural spring which was a great way to end a hot day. You should definitely do this trip as it is the real mayan experience.

Xcaret was good although it you do the trip through your rep it is a very long day. I suggest getting a taxi there at around midday. This will give you a chance to see everything and swim down the river caves twice before the evening show. The first part of the evening show was very good but the second part seemed to be aimed at Mexicans as none of the tourists knew what was going on.

Overall we had a great holiday and would definitely go back to Mexico and this hotel!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2009

The service was great.The people were nice and friendly except the girl working in the lobby store.Housekeeping was on top of her game.Alot of choices in food and styles to eat.Our favorite was the Japanese grill.The roof top desert bar was a nice end to a long day too.With more pools than you can count we had no problem cooling off.Beach is right down a set of steps,with a reef only a few steps out.We saw alot of sealife.Starfish,snails,crabs,and fish of all kinds.They offer alot of free activities to keep you from getting restless.Its only a 10 minute walk to the marina where thay have shopping,dining,and the Dolphin Discovery(or $3.00 taxi)Here you can swim with dolphins,sea cows,and sea lions.They are cheap too.Shopping will cost you more,we took a cab to Playa for that.(6 people in a van $61.00)I would have to say everything was great except the beds are like sleeping on the ground,the beach has alot of topless tanning,and dont forget the bug spray.Also visit Hidden World (hiddenworld.com) and Catamaya,

  • Stayed July 2009
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2009

Well, it took me a while to write this. We went in June and here it is Aug. I think I delayed my review because I am just not sure I want the truth to be told...I don't want everyone flocking to this resort...I want it all for myself. Selfish hugh?

I guess I should start the review by letting you know that we have traveled to this part of Mexico 7 times now. Each time staying in a different resort, but always AI. AND...actually, I have been to this resort once already, however, it was my very first trip to the Riviera Maya and I had nothing to compare it to, nor did I know what I was doing or experiencing..I was a "newbie" then, but not now.

Every experience we had at each resort we have been to has been really good. Nothing negative to say really. We had great times, great experiences, met fun people, ate wonderful food and drank some very nice drinks..(and plenty of them too). The staff at the resorts were polite and friendly and VERY hard working. Basically, we were able to compare apples to apples.
But this resort...hmmm....there was just something a wee bit better. It's difficult to put my finger on it exactly. They had the great food, great drinks, great staff, great experiences, etc., etc....just like all the others, but it went beyond that.

It was not a 5 star, maybe not even a 4 star (but, I think yeah maybe it was!)...I think the thing we liked the most was the size. I think that is where the major difference for us was. But then again, it could have been Gregorio the bartender and his awesome sidekick...or it could have been the snack bar that had terrific guacomole, or it could have been the awesome people we met from England, Ireland, New Jersey and Colorado, who are now our new best friends, or it could be the fun bar on the beach with the wood plank floor and the breezy flowy drapy pieces of fabric hung on the ceiling, or the lagoon and the many fish, or the easy walk to the lobby. It might have been the yummy creperie that helped to add another 5 pounds to my waist, or the Japanese restaurant where we had a great meal and a very entertaining chef (I even caught the piece of chicken he flung my way with my mouth!) The Mexican restaurant was delicioso as well. And oh...I should mention that I do not ever like the Margaritas that they mix up in Mexico...never..and I grew up on the border, so I should know..but Gregorio made really good ones.

Something else that could have been that one thing was the easy access to the marina...oh gosh...how cool was that. A quick bike ride or short walk and you are there. Some great environment there, let me tell ya. Gringo Daves was fun and definately affordable! The shops were a bit expensive, so we just didn't purchase there, but still, it was fun to look. It could also be the easy trip into Playa on the complimentary shuttle...I know most of the other resorts offer this too, however.

They have a beautiful spa, but I didn't utilize any of it's services...next time. The gym also seemed well equiped, but there again, just peeked in the door..didn't use any of it. (I was on vacation for goodness sakes!)
We weren't entirely satisfied with our first room they gave us. We were there to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary and our room had 2 Double beds...not gonna work at all...even if we weren't celebrating the anniversary. I requested a King bed before we arrived, but....so, our bell boy called front desk and they asked us to come back to the lobby...which we did. They gave us another room with a King bed..much better, but not where I wanted. We stayed one night there and they were happy to move us the next day. I LOVED our 3rd room and it's location. It was by the pool and snack bar...very easy access. We even had a minimal view of the ocean!

Like I said...it's just hard to put my finger on the ONE thing that made this place special, but I do know that we will return again and again. NO more searching for that perfect place. We have found it!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2009

Let me start off by saying my girlfriend and i had an open mind when we picked this resort,being that the rating was a 3 1/2 star we did not expect the worst nor the best.trip from airport took almost 1 1/2 hrs i could of jogged it faster maybe not,but driver was the slowesty i've ever seen.trip back to airport was no better...with that being said upon arrival our check in was without problems we upgraded from our standard room for only 30 dollars per night and it was well worth the money.we stayed in building C room 6135 front desk informed us this was a new add to resort,one of the best rooms we've had and we have stayed at 5 star resorts in the past.layout of resort perfect does not take long to get arond, grounds are well maintained,beach area is well layed out we stayed most of our time closer to the lagoon area, can just step right in and the fish are waiting for you to feed them.parts of the beach area when you first get into the water it can be very rocky but water is clear enough to manuver around it.food is o.k some nights better then others.one thing i would like to mention is alot of people from europe stayed at the resort and when it comes to the buffet they have no respect and will cut in front of you,my answer to that is stand your ground and let them know were the line ends,they may look at you funny but trust me they will get the point.also warning to families with kids alot of women from europe go topless on beach and pool area if this offends you beware!before i close this let me say reviews helped alot with our choice,and we had a great time far more positives then negatives and met some great couples from around the world.also resort is in a great location shops dolphins and much more within short walking distance.for the price it's something special

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Desborough, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2009

Review from a family of 2 adults & 2 children aged 9 & 7 Staying from 15-29 July:

Hotel very clean and tidy.
Staff exceptionally friendly and willing to help with anything.
Varied food, good choice of cocktails all of which you must try (go through the cocktail menu).
Beach towel tokens given to every guest, which can be changed daily
Maid Service Daily
A La Carte Restaurant reservation slips 3 given in first week and have to get 3 more for the second week from reception.
Very hot weather had 3 episodes of rain which all passed in 10 - 20 minutes then boiling hot sunshine again!!

Encountered a couple of problems with room but this was rectified:
Problem 1: 2 adults & 2 children: placed in standard room next to lobby bar - live music most nights (room 460)
Problem 2: moved to another standard room (room 434) - very clean & quiet - but then air conditioning unit broke, we had our very own waterfall in our room! (not everyone can say that they have this in a standard room! LOL) used the towels to keep children from slipping, rang through to reception who told us they would fix it straight away, we went for dinner came back not fixed. phoned twice again and again informed it would be fixed straight away whilst we went to watch the evening entertainment. Came back at 11.45pm still not fixed, although we had been supplied new towels!!! This time getting very angry phoned reception again and the engineer turned up, removed the vent and plasterboard surround, which was water logged the plasterboard surround promptly disintegrated, the air conditioning unit was fixed but now we had a hole in our ceiling, the engineer phoned reception who then spoke to my husband informing us that we could change rooms again, we said yes please but not at midnight and arranged for it to happen the next day. Spoke to Thomson Rep - Christian, who arranged with the head receptionist guy - can't remember his name-Remco?? who said everything would be sorted and we would be upgraded to a suite.
This was completed and almost with no problems except our cases got taken to the wrong room, then promptly moved to the correct room (room 3163). Although on check out tried charging us for the safe from the first room, spoke to head receptionist again who cleared this up and we didn't have to pay !!

This was all at the beginning of our holiday and once it was sorted we had a great time!!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 Romantic 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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