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“Catalonia Yucatan Vacation :)” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Catalonia Yucatan Beach

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Catalonia Yucatan Beach
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Av. Xcacel Lote 1 Plano 2 MZ, Puerto Aventuras 77783, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #15 of 16 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
London, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Catalonia Yucatan Vacation :)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

Hola!! ;)

Just got back from this vacation less than a week ago. Missing it already! Overall a good resort and vacation, with a few minor hiccups. Here goes:

Smaller resort (which I liked) everything is compact and easy to find and locate. I recommend the upgrading option. We had a lovely ocean view room with champagne, tequila and a little cake as a nice welcome. The upgrading "privileged" option also gives an extra a lacarte dinner access to the tapas restaurant which we took advantage of and loved.

The food overall I found to be perfectly fine, mind you I'm not a picky eater, but even the pickiest could find something for breakfast lunch and dinner. Fresh omelettes and fruit every morning and very good coffee! We tried the Mexican, Italian, Japanese and tapas a la cartes and as many reviewers write, the Japanese is by far the best. We throughly enjoyed every meal though, and weren't ill whatsoever.

Its true what others have said, the beach is extremely rocky! So enter with caution! Once you are in the ocean be sure to try some snorkelling as there are many beautiful colourful fish to see 20 feet off the beach! One of the highlights of the trip for sure.

We swam with dolphins at the dolphinaris which is a truly amazing experience, although the photos are a ripoff! We also went to Cozumel for a day and rented mop heads which was awesome. The Thursday evening of our trip we tried out coco bongos in playa del carmen for the night. I highly recommend coco bongos as it was the most fascinating show/disco I've ever seen!

This resort is located in Puerto Adventures which is a gated community. I had no idea it would be in this gated community until arriving and absolutely loved that we were. Not only did it make me feel safer, you could leave the resort and rent bikes, or take a quick walk down to the marina which features beautiful yachts and boats to look at, people watching and great shops and restaurants. the marina also has a dolphin discovery (this is not where we did our dolphin swim) where you can freely watch them swim and shows they have going on.

The only downfalls (and they are minor) about this trip was the weather was iffy at times. Night time cooled right down, where a sweater or coat was needed a couple of nights. Some overcast and rainy days as well but thats the risk you take travelling in January I suppose! It was annoying that one had to be up at 6 am to reserve a beach lounger at both the pool and beach, but thats with any resort. Lastly, the a la carte dinner reservation issue is misleading and unclear. They tell you at the beginning of the trip that no restaurant takes reservations and it is first come serve. So, when you go to dinner at 6 or 7, you may expect to wait a bit but not get turned away! (Which happened one night) the best advice is to either eat very early every night (5pm) or, go at 5pm sharp and book a reservation for later in the evening (even though, they apparently don't take reservations.) lastly, if there is any weddings going on, the tapas places closes for the reception.

Overall though, a fabulous vacation and a good resort. Well worth the money. :) thanks for the great memories and good times I will never forget!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Rating summary
  • 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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English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

We were here in 2011 with a big group of people!! We had a great time!! It was our first trip to the Mayan. Our rooms were clean and spacious. The food was good at the buffett and ala cartes. The pools were awsome! Great drinks! We went to Tulum and also did a zipline tour. The snorkeling off the beach in this resort is fabulous!! We are glad to see most reviews on this property are still great!! We will come back one day for sure!!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2014

For this Air Transat holiday we paid 1346.77 each (incl taxes and fees) then discovered that a fridge and safe were not included and we upgraded to priviledge for ~$260 at check-in. It also got us access to the beachside "Chill Out" bar and the "Terrace Tapas Bar" a la carte. We did use the Terrace restaurant once and it was good but discovered the Chill Out bar was too far from the best snorkeling to make a good beach base. Immigration was nuts this trip; it took 3 hours (seriously) from when we landed to getting on the bus and we were actually backed up all the way into our plane for immigration. The bus did have $3 cervezas but no bathroom. There were 49 of us headed to Catalonia Yucatan, a big wedding group and my wife and I, so check-in took 90 minutes. Once we got to our priveledged room (4th floor in B section with a dead elevator) We tossed our valuables in the safe, forgot to lock it, then headed to dinner. We returned to our room to find our safe locked with a note that said something to the effect of "we locked your safe for your safety, call this number to get it unlocked". Nobody answered either number so we waited until the next day and called the front desk, they sent security with a folded piece of paper who unlocked it then stood there like he expected a tip. I told him thanks and closed the door behind him. We found that the staff let themselves into our room to perform a 'turn down' service in the evening too but would only complete the service if you were around, expecting tips.

Restaurants: The buffet restaurants both serve the same food but El Mercado is more enclosed (a bit too warm) and upscale than it's conjoned twin, La Brisa. La Brisa is surrounded by netting which lets the breeze in but keeps the birds out. The food in both buffets was fair and required seasoning at the least. The buffet layouts were strange and items you would expect to be close together were often all the way across the restaurant. We ate lunches at the snackbar (Bamboleo), when we could find a table, as they had a good assortment of hot and cold items and fresh french fries, which I love to pick at after swimming. As for the a la cartes, you are given 'tickets' upon check-in for the a la carte restaurants and then have to line up before 5pm to make a reservation at 5:30. If you go dressed (casual elegance is the dress code but I didn't see anyone get turned away for their outfit) and bring everyone in your party you may be able to get a drink and wait for the restaurant to open at 6pm. We enjoyed the Mikado Japanese which cooks your dinner in front of you on tepanyaki grills that seat 12. The Bamboleo grill (steakhouse) served us 1/4 inch thin steaks which were cooked perfectly (how?, I'm not sure). Expect to be kicked out of a busy a la carte if your stay begins to run into the next booking. That said it's usually 90-100 minutes allotted.

Bars: the staff at all the bars are happy to serve you, tipping or not. I found the service in the lobby bar, Abuelo, to be slow and drinks inconsistent. The pools were cold, if you were on a barstool in the pool and out of the sun you would freeze. Sitting at the poolbar (wet or dry) you are guaranteed a continuous supply of drinks and odd round of tequila shots ordered up by a stranger 6 seats away.

The liquor: I had actually hoped that "Priviledged" would give us a better selection but; the best Gin available was Tangueray, the best Scotch was Dewars (I saw Passport and another bottle with Scotch on the label but I'm not that adventurous), Canadian Rye Whiskey was Canadian Mist (the missus couldn't stand it). The house red wine was far too sweet and fruity and came out of a beer tap cold at the bar. If you were at Chill Out you could get the bottled house wine which was more palatable (because they didn't have a dedicated tap?) or you could buy bottles starting at $22 in the a la carte restaurants.

The Beach: the beach is very rocky but the reef is amazing! We brought snorkels and masks and used them most days. Tons of fish are everywhere, even in the lagoon. We saw spiky sea urchins, some with spikes 6 inches long - yikes. Please don't feed the fish, they should be cleaning the coral and keeping it healthy, not swarming around tourists with bananas or bread.

On the grounds: Very well kept, almost nothing in disrepair. Plenty of dry towels available at the towel hut. People are still reserving loungers first thing in the morning, what can you do? The loungers at the "Priviledged" section are nicer and have a cushion. The beanbag chairs in "Priviledged" were awesome but scarce. Vendors setup on one of the walkways most evenings and are asking too much for their goods, go haggle in Playa if you want this stuff. There is enough lighting to get around in the evening but don't try to get something to eat between 5 and 6 because there's nothing open.

Close to the hotel: we took a 5 minute walk to the marina nearby where locals tried to sell us fishing for $100, we saw the dolphin discovery center: $100 for 3 activites in the pool with the dolphins, and shops selling all sorts of kitcsh for more than you'll pay in Playa Del Carmen. In 20 minutes We walked all the way to the gate at the highway (the resort is in a gated community called Puerto Aventuras) where they were happy to allow us through. Outside the gate is a gas station, Subway restaurant and convenience store as well as a giant grocery/everything store named Super Chemuli (sp?) down the highway a bit.

TL;DR - We would not come here again. We've had better experiences at the nearby Grand Palladium and Grand Bahia Principe for the same dollars but the snokeling is awesome. 3 out of 5 stars.

Room Tip: Pay for privileged if you want a fridge and king bed.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edson, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014

After arriving to the resort and ending up with a room that has 2 double beds, we opted for the upgraded room. This was the best decision we could have made and after getting a discounted rate for the upgrade, they upgraded us to the honeymoon suite for no extra charge. We ended up with a nice king bed, marble shower, and a tub outside in the deck.
The Japanese restaurant was very entertaining to go to and the Mexican restaurant was very good. With our upgraded room, we also got a free dinner in the Tapas restaurant, and this was our favourite meal of our trip.
With the upgraded room we also got access to the Privileged section on the beach and the Chill beach bar. They got new chairs for this section when we were there, and they also have large beanbag chairs to relax in the sun on.
Although the beach was nice and clean, make sure you wear water shoes when you go out into the water. It is very rocky which makes for good snorkelling, but not great for walking out into the ocean over.
This was a great resort for our first trip to this area and would recommend it for others visiting the area

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Leduc, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014

Every room I was in is moldy! Ceiling fans should be in every room! Time share or own? Entertainment too loud! Lost 7 lbs. in 1 wk.! Be careful taking local bus that they drop you off at the right hotel, or have enough pesos for another bus. Must do Coba Mayan tour. No helmets for bicycles. The whole resort is beautiful! Golfing, Museum, Marina, dolphins & shopping all there. Mega store across highway. Animation crew loads of fun! Great Kids Club, bring bike helmet.

Room Tip: Maybe facing south would be less moldy. Up to avoid bugs & critters.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weston super Mare, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2014

lovely resort in residental area, hotel has great resturants, highly recommend the chinese where they cook food fresh in front of you, good atmosphere as you mix with other holiday makers.
steak house good to but must book early.
beach is beautiful, loads of wildlife to see in sea.
amazing sea life centre type place just 5 minute walk outside hotel, where they dont charge you to take picture, you can see the dolphins, sharks and maneties etc, as they are all in natural pens around the harbour. lots of cafes and bars to sit and watch the world go by.

trips are expensive so be prepared

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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catrivieramaya1, Director General at Catalonia Yucatan Beach, responded to this review, March 24, 2014
Dear, Lousieday

First of all we would like to thank you for writing and choosing our Hotel and I would like to thank you for your feedback about your recent stay with us, being of the most importance for us and our main source to improve our facilities and service.

It is great to know that you had a good time and enjoyed our facilities and services. We feel very proud of the impression you had from the hotel and our lovely country.

We hope you will decide to visit us again in the future, it will be our pleasure to welcome and pamper you once again!

Hotel manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trenton, ON
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

We just came back a few days ago and we really enjoyed our week here. It's a much smaller resort than the one we usually go to (Grand Palladium, which is HUGE) but we found we really liked that. You meet a lot more people at a smaller resort, plus it's easier to get around as your room is close to everything. All of the staff were fantastic, very pleasant and friendly. We upgraded to the Privileged room upon checkin as I had read here that it was worth it. They were offering the upgrade for $175 for the two of us so we didn't think it was too bad. Our room had a king size bed, stocked daily mini bar fridge, coffee maker, safe and supposedly wifi, although the signal was always too weak to use. The standard rooms had none of these.

The buffets were pretty good. They had a nice variety of meats, a well stocked salad bar, lots of breads and fruit, etc. We only tried 2 a la cartes as we found their system so frustrating. You're given 5 certificates for the a la carte restaurants in your checkin package, which you have to present when you make your (non reservation) reservation. The Japanese was fairly good and of course entertaining to watch. The Italian, not so much. We had a 'reservation' for 7:30. We got there at 7:20 and told the hostess we were there and she told us to go to the bar/waiting area and she would call us. So we did that and waited. And waited. And waited. At 8:15 we went back up to her, along with a dozen other people who also had reservations for 7:30. And we waited some more, this time right in front of her. Some of the people got angry and took their ticket back and went elsewhere. The end result was we finally got seated at 8:50. The soup was lukewarm, the pasta was almost cold and not cooked enough, it was hard. So after that we just stuck to the buffets as we found it was too much of a hassle to go to the a la cartes and just wasn't worth it for us. You have to line up at the a la carte restaurant you choose at 5:30 in order to get a time for that night. I don't understand why they don't allow you to pick up the phone or whatever in order to make a reservation. We would've preferred to make our reservations at the different restaurants for the entire week rather than make sure we're around at 5 pm to stand in line for half an hour in order for them to tell us when they can fit us in.

The only other complaint we have is the beach. We love to swim and snorkel and prefer the ocean to the pool so the beach is a big deal to us. If you're a pool person then this won't matter to you. The beach is sandy but as soon as you step into the water it's filled with sharp coral. We tried swimming in different spots and it was all the same (other than the lagoon but we like the waves so the lagoon didn't appeal to us). We had water shoes, which are a must here, but it was still very difficult to get out into the ocean when underfoot you have rocks and boulders of coral. We almost broke an ankle getting out and watched many people do the same. The beach is also too small for our liking. You're not going to walk for miles on this beach. There are private residences on one side and another resort on the other, and rocks in between.

The pools are small but clean. There's always something going on around the one on the Riviera side (karaoke, dance lessons, etc). There is a swim up bar at each pool. If you don't grab a lounger first thing in the morning, you may be out of luck, both at the pool and the beach. Although there are signs posted all over the place stating that you can't put towels on the chairs to reserve them, everyone does it anyway. So if you go anywhere for the morning, forget about getting a chair and lazing around the pool/beach for the afternoon. There's wifi all over the place at this resort. Each bar, the buffets, the pools, the lobbies.

We didn't do any of the excursions as we like to just do our own thing. We walked up to the highway several times and got the collectivo to go to Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, etc. About a 15 minute walk and a whole lot cheaper than a taxi (taxi to Playa del Carmen is $24 US I think. Collectivo was 70 pesos for both of us).

We took the bikes out and toured around Puerto Aventuras one morning. There are a few shops and restaurants around the marina and of course the dolphin adventure place. Fun for a morning. All in all we had a great time and enjoyed this resort and its location. We probably wouldn't go back again just because we like a great beach, but I would recommend it to others. We got a great deal so it was well worth what we paid.

Tip: If you can avoid it, don't exchange your money at the hotel. They were offering 10.5 pesos for 1 CAD. In Tulum the rate was 11.9 and at the airport in Cancun it was 12.5

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Yucatan Beach

Address: Av. Xcacel Lote 1 Plano 2 MZ, Puerto Aventuras 77783, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#11 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#13 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#13 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Catalonia Yucatan Beach 4*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 4 star Catalonia Yucatan Beach Resort & Spa is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, on the private estate of Puerto Aventuras. Located on the beautiful Mexican Caribbean coast, this resort is directly on the beach and offers a comfortable and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for a relaxing break. This mystical area boasts many Mayan archaeological ruins that include Chichen Itza, Tulum and Tikal as well as the natural attractions of Xel-Ha, Cozumel and Xcaret. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Yucatan Beach Hotel Puerto Aventuras
Catalonia Yucatan Beach Puerto Aventuras
Catalonia Yucatan Beach Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

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