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“Horrible food and food service” 2 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 #14 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Horrible food and food service”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2014

I'm writing this entry early because I'm so beyond annoyed I can't contain myself. Writing this is therapeutic for me. We haven't even finished our vacation yet! We're still here.

The resort is very nice. The room too. Very clean. The staff are lovely and friendly. Some early negatives such as not being able to use the spa dollars on a pedicure at THE SPA and only getting the 10% off discount at the boutique on CERTAIN items I could get past. The BIG negative I have to say regards the food.

I've never been to prison but I imagine the food there can't be much worse.

First, this is an all inclusive with a la carte restaurants and 2 buffets. We don't like buffets so we expected to eat at the a la cartes. Upon arrival we discovered our access to the a la carte restaurants was limited to 4 visits one per restaurant over the course of a week. We were not amused. We had not been told this in advance and if we had, we would not have booked this resort. Furthering my frustrations is that you cannot make reservations AND one of the a la cartes is closed nightly increasing the volume of people trying to get into the remaining three. It is clear to us, there is a specific intention to drive the heard to the 2 buffets.

The first night we waited 1 hour to be seated. We watched the hostess seat guests of 2 at tables set for 4 leaving tables for 2 empty and no tables for 4 left. This happened over and over each night. Evidently seating allocation is as complicated as quantum theory for Catalonia hostesses for clearly they can neither count nor assess their client need.

On the first night we ordered New York strips and got Rib Eyes-over cooked and full of fat. We tried to order and extra appetizer and got grief.

On day two my husband went to get lunch at the cafe by the pool. He wanted to bring it back to the lounge chair where we were sitting and the food police stopped him. In every resort we have ever been to you could not only eat by the pool, you could get served by the pool. Not here. The cafe food was horrible. Frozen pizza, hot dogs, fries and hamburgers. Yuck.

Day three, we woke up late and almost missed the forgettable breakfast buffet and because we were late we weren't hungry till later for lunch. Well at this Orwellian resort you eat when they want you to eat. We missed the lunch buffet and were relegated to the "hell no" cafe. Last night (my birthday btw) we went before the 6pm restaurant opening to the Japanese place only to be told we'd be waiting 1.5 hours to dine. WHAT?! Apparently they had groups if 12 in there who had prebooked. Blows the no reservations rule out if the water doesn't it?

Today we decided to try the a la carte breakfast figuring it would be better fare than the forgettable breakfast buffet. If canned hollandaise is your thing, this is the place for you.

Tonight we opted to try out the big dinner buffet only to find it closed because of a special dinner for Nolitours clients. So let me get this straight, the largest food venue available to all clients is closed to provide a private barbecue to a selected group?!!!!! Did I mention we upgraded to priority status?

So we were relegated to the forgettable breakfast buffet now transformed to the forgettable dinner buffet. Hear this, their idea of roast beef is to carve it into slices frozen and fry it. Yes, I am quite serious. You either got over cooked shoe leather or undercooked frozen meat. I'm gob-smacked.

Catalonia here me, food is EVERYTHING on a vacation. The average person eats 3 times a day. They want to eat when THEY want to eat not when YOU want them to and they want to eat palatable food. The food here and food service is APPALLING!! We will never ever come back.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
catrivieramaya1, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Catalonia Yucatan Beach, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your feedback. We deeply regret if your stay with us is not being a perfect vacation!

Starting with myself and all my colleagues and managers, we are disappointed to have not met your expectations. Regarding your comments made of our restaurants, we offer a great variety of food which is prepared for our guests to enjoy, with different kinds of cuisine each night. Our meals are prepared with the best selection of quality products and ingredients. We are very sorry to not have met your expectations, we would love to meet you in our Concierge desks from 9am to 5pm or approach a Manager to pleased your needs and tastes, we would like to take action and help by finding a solution.

On the other hand, thank you very much for your wonderful comments about our staff members, who work to make you vacation experience as memorable as possible.

We will take seriously your feedback and see possibilities to improve and make sure your next visit will exceed your expectations.

Yours sincerely,

Hotel Manager
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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
Armstrong, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

We had a great time. Service was great and the staff were all very respectful, helpful and . I loved the fact that it was in a gated community and we could walk all around and visit the shops and marina. Went to Tulum and Akumal on our own and either took a taxi or the local "bus" the collective! We were there during the Olympics and the staff opened the Sports Bar at 6am so a bunch of us could watch the gold medal hockey game. They brought in coffee, tea and juice as well as fresh baking and kept bringing in more chairs for us. One afternoon they were also having a staff beach volleyball game which I thought was great.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
catrivieramaya1, Gerente at Catalonia Yucatan Beach, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Dear, Wloree

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!

Attentively
Hotel manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

This was my fiance and I's first stay at this hotel, we have each had a few previous all-inclusive vacations in Mexico/Cuba to compare our trip to. We stayed March 8-15 and overall we both had an excellent experience and heard nothing but similar opinions when talking to other guests. We met a few other guests who have been back for multiple visits. It was nice being located in Peurto Aventuras which completely eliminated issues such as beach peddlers you would encounter on the west coast.

Rooms:
We did not "upgrade" to the privileged suites as we did not think it was worth the money for what we were expecting out of the trip. We had room 2133 which was 2 doors down from the lobby on the Yucatan side. It was simple, a bit dated, but clean, which was all we ever really wanted from a room. We really only spent time in it while sleeping anyways. Our king sized bed was comfortable enough but the blanket was a bit coarse in our opinion. Our curtain rod puller stick fell off once but it took 10 seconds to put it back on. The sound insulation from the nearby hallway and disco wasn't perfect but never prevented us from sleeping comfortably. One of our light fixtures was partially broken, but it didn't both us. The A/C worked great. Shower water pressure was a bit low but not terrible. In general our room was simple but got the job done.

Food:
The a-la-cartes were excellent! We ate at the Italian, Mexican, and Japanese and loved each one of them. Excellent service, portion sizes, and food quality. Unfortunately we planned to eat at the Bamboleo grill on our last night but it was closed, maybe there was some advance notice of this but we obviously were not aware of it. This was annoying since we could have planned it for another day, I would recommend to future guests to inquire early in your stay about restaurant closures so you can plan around them. Others have complained about the lack of reservations but it did not seem to bother us. Either don't show up during peak dinner hours (7-7:30) or be happy with having a few drinks while you wait. We often showed up before 6:30 and were seated right away. The 2 buffets each had an impressive selection, other peoples review's stating otherwise are baffling to me. Maybe if you stayed for 2 weeks it could get a bit repetitive, but what else can you ask for? You could easily make a unique plate each meal if you put any thought into it. We were happy with the various "make your own plate" stations where a cook prepares a fresh dish for you. Some of the options (breakfast sausages, pizza) were poor but there were enough other options to make up for it. We didn't use the room service. Some people have complained about having to fill up your water bottles in the bars instead of having new ones provided for you but we hardly view this as an inconvenience, you walk past one dozens of times a day.

Beach:
As mentioned in other reviews the beach is quite rocky in parts, but it does have a nice sandy portion about 5 feet deep running from about 15-50 feet offshore. We would highly, highly recommend bringing water shoes which will make the rocks almost a non-issue. Over by the lagoon there is a nice sandy area with no rocks. The lagoon and rock bridge area is great for snorkeling. There were always ample beach lounge chairs. We did not partake in the ocean related activities offered by the resort so cannot comment on that. In general I can understand how some guests might be disappointed with an endless sandy beach but in reality the Catalonia beach is fine.

Staff:
We were always impressed by the staff in the restaurants, bars, pools, etc. There was always somebody available to help you with anything, for example an empty drink glass seemed to always disappear right away! We were often met with a random "hola" and a smile. Rarely had to wait more than a few seconds for a drink at the bar or to get your water glass filled in a restaurant.

Entertainment:
We took part in most of the daily activities run by the entertainment staff and enjoyed each of them. My fiance enjoyed the pool fitness sessions and I played most of the sports games. Olga, Maria, Laura, Giovanni and the others were excellent (I'm somewhat jealous of their jobs)! The nightly entertainment in the theater was enjoyable, I've read a few reviews were people were disappointed by it but I'm not entirely sure what they were expecting. We poked our heads into the disco twice but both times found the music to be too loud. We usually love some drinks and dancing but had a really difficult time spending more than a few minutes in the disco. We went to the sports bar a few times and were happy with it but in addition to the pool tables it wouldn't hurt to have some other games such as ping-pong, air hockey, or foosball.

Pools/Hotel grounds:
We found no problems with the pools or other hotel grounds at all. The pools were cleaned on a regular basis and we saw pH tests being done regularly. The pathways were clean, we often saw workers sweeping up the sand which I thought is a nice detail, grass cut, garbage cleaned, etc etc. The gym was a bit small with limited weights and some cardio equipment (good quality), but I think if somebody has a problem they need to rethink their expectations and not compare it to the large gym back home. We did not use the spa.

In general we really enjoyed our stay and the few negative things we encountered were inconsequential and were greatly outweighed by the positives. If you are looking for a flawless hotel with marble toilets then look elsewhere, but if you are looking for a reasonably priced resort that will almost certainly leave you going back home with a giant smile on your face then we would highly recommend the Catalonia Yucatan.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
catrivieramaya1, Director General at Catalonia Yucatan Beach, responded to this review, March 18, 2014
Dear, Jarrad A

It is great to know that you and your fiance 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 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.


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



attentively
Hotel Manager
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Waterloo, Canada
2 reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

I am 15 years old and traveled to this resort with my family and our family friends this past week. One night my friend who is 14 were walking back to our room around 9pm to get a sweater before heading to the show that they have every night. When we walked out of the elevator there was a naked women screaming for help as she was been dragged and kicked by her husband. We were and shock and knew we could never "un-see" what had just happen so we hid in the stairwell until our younger siblings came up about a minute later. We knew we couldn't stand up to this man but sadly during that time she had been dragged into the room. ( I can only imagine what he did to make her be quiet) So we started running to get help. When we got to the front desk and explained what was happening they sent up security to see what was going on. Because the security didn't see for them self what was happening they refused to remove the man from the situation. This obviously wasn't okay with us as my friend and I were absolutely terrified. Our dads complained and after 4 hours of arguing were able to get a security to stand outside there door all night. We were also promised that he would be moved by the next morning. Sadly when we woke up the next morning there was no security there, so we went to the front desk and asked to speak to the manager. The manager was so disrespectful and wouldn't even come see us so instead he sent a younger women to come talk to us. She was completely useless and told us that they would not be moved and how they had a "beautiful breakfast in bed" as if they were rewarding the man for his awful behaviour. We were furious as we had been lied to but also because my friend and I are still terrified. The ladies suggestion was to arrange snorkelling for us which by the way is free to fix our fear. All in all we will never be going back to this resort. No one should ever have to be beaten up by there spouse and no one, especially to young teenage girl should have to watch it happening.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spruce Grove, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

Been there 5 times can't wait for the sixth . service is always fantastic, food is great, bartenders are amazing, especially at the tequila bar. Great time with Manuel. Close to the marina and shopping.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
catrivieramaya1, Director General at Catalonia Yucatan Beach, responded to this review, March 19, 2014
We would like to thank you for all your positive feedback of our employees we can not wait either for your sixth time here with us, we are going to feel very happy to serving you with our Hotel facilities.

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.


Yours sincerely,

Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

The first 2 nights we were in the A building on the main floor on the Yukatan side. It was right by the main walk way under the lobby and at night it was very loud because people were yelling and screaming, coming from the disco and bars.
We requested a new room and we were moved to building B on the 3rd floor
Room 345, very nice, clean, comfortable and most of all, quiet at night. A king size bed... very compfy.
Many things to do there that the resort offers free of charge: snorkeling, kayaking, bicycles, and a catamaran ( book it early in the morning though).
Loved the fact that this resort is in a gated community. We could go walking or bike riding and felt very safe. Exploring by bike is great!
About 5 minutes away from the hotel one can walk to the Marina, and book time with the dolphines or manatees. Or book parasailing which btw, is an awesome experience! We booked it at the hotel at the nolitours table with Isabelle, Katherine or Omar... they are all very helpful.
There are many shops , bars and restaurants to go to in the community that are in walking distance from the resort.
The buffet food at the resort is average, and somewhat bland, but a good selection, so if you like spicey or more savory dishes, bring your own condiments.
Most staff were always friendly and helpful. Some of the staff that we thought were exceptional ... Love (front desk) Samuel (waiter in both buffet restaurants) Anna and Evely (worked in the Creperie... love these 2 girls!)
Juan (operated the catamaran, very cool guy). And Olga (houskeeping, she kept our room very clean and made us cute towel animals)
We booked 4 excursions prior to arriving in Mexico with Xcaret experience, and got some good deals for the 4 of them and booking earlier. They were
Chichen Itza/Vallodolid, Tulum/Xel-Ha, Explor and Xcaret. All of them were fantastic and well worth it.
We were there for 2 weeks and we never had an inch of rain, until the day we left and arrived in the airport, then it dumped lol.
All in all for our first time experience, it was pretty good, I would go back again.
For us it wasn't worth upgrading because we didn't stay in our room a lot, and we were very comfortable. And the fee for the room safe is reasonable. But if that is what you like, then go for it, I hear they are very nice
The grounds and pools were always clean.
If you want to go into Playa del Carmen, it is better just to take a taxi, instead of the free ride in because they make you stop at a jewelery store and you only get about 4 hours there. 5th avenue is pretty cool, and so was the walmart!

Room Tip: 3rd floor in B building, south corner is quieter, a/c worked great.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

My hubby and I just spent 10 great days at the Yukatan ... we had a great time and met some great people. The A La Cartes are fabulous....you may see negative reviews but remember....you are in Mexico and not in your own kitchen! We found many places that we could go to without paying the outrageous prices for excursions.....do some homework of the surrounding areas before going. The only upset we have about the hotel was that when we arrived home, we rec'd a phone call from M/C informing us that our credit card had been 'tampered' with and we realized the only time we used our M/C without a PIN was at the hotel :( Remember to NEVER use your credit card without a PIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you do not have the cash for excursions and you must use the credit card without a PIN...remember that you will not be given 'the OK' to leave the resort or make sure that you don't let the credit card out of your site. I am not blaming the resort in this review.
The hotel is a bit understaffed but they work hard and we appreciated all the workers.
Our view of this hotel is that it is a wonderful holiday for all ages!

Room Tip: * ask to not be close to the tequila bar
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#13 On the Beach 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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