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“A little disappointed” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Catalonia Playa Maroma

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Catalonia Playa Maroma
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Federal #307 | Pto Juarez Km 360.250, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersGold level
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“A little disappointed”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012

This was our second trip to Catalonia Playa Maroma (Jan. 11-18, 2012) our first trip was last January.
This time it was just my wife & I. We decided to go back since our first visit was so wonderful.
However this time we found the service in the main Buffet dining room had gone downhill. There seemed to be less staff and some of the food was barely warm - these seemed to be the case at the A-La-Carte restaurants as well. The resort it self was wonderful and the maid service was exceptional, as was the check-in and check-out at the Privilege Lounge area - Muriel was fantastic - she even gave us some of her favourite Mexican recipes.

This is still one of the best beach resorts for the money. If you are more of a pool person this is probably not your cup of tea - this is for the beach loving tourist.
Because of the less than ideal service/quality we will probably not return next year

Room Tip: Privilege suites on the third floor have the better views
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 3 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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3,711 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (423)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

To sum it up, we really had a great time in Catalonia Playa Maroma!

Yes, not much to do at night but we knew it by reading the reviews ahead of time. Everything you need to know is there – very helpful was “BeantownSole”. For a really relaxing time and to be on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, this is the place. The hotel has a nice layout, very lush and not too big. Beautifully coloured buildings. Very clean facilities, from the hotel down to our room. They really try their darn best to keep the area clean and tidy. Check in and out was a breeze. Was very lucky to be upgraded to A Honeymoon suite - totally unexpected but very much appreciated. Mostly European guests, but for me, it was a welcome treat. Felt like I was somewhere in Europe. Yes, English was hardly spoken because a lot of them speak mostly French and Italian but I didn’t have a problem at all. The staff speaks English as well but it’s not the only language they speak - they are MULTILINGUAL! Some English speaking guests didn’t even bother with simple words like “Gracias” and “Ola”. The Madonna show at night was my favorite, very entertaining.

If you’re adventurous, you can walk about 20 minute from the hotel to the highway to get on Collectivo. 20 pesos to Playa del Carmen and 30 pesos to Cancun. The shuttle service had been discontinued. It’s dirt road from the hotel to the highway and just remember to follow the power lines when walking to hotel at night. Bring a flashlight. In Playa, one can catch a First class bus to Tulum or Coba. In Cancun, First class bus to Chichen Itza or Valladolid.

The staff was very courteous and work very hard. I disagree that they only work for tips, if I may say so, “who wouldn’t?!. Discovered early on that a simple smile would make a difference especially when service was concerned.

TIPPING: It's like a taboo subject but I would really suggest it, not to get better service but because they deserve it. They earn very little and a $1 tip for breakfast and lunch and $3 for A la Carte was plenty. I don’t think this was a lot considering $5/day is more than half of their salary for the week!

Have a very relaxing stay!

Room Tip: Coba, Uxmal areas are closer to Main lobby and buffet restaurant. Privilege rooms are closer to A L...
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  • Stayed January 2012, 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 9
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2012

we found mostly guests from Europe who spoke little English. During poolside activities the staff spoke Italian, French Spanish and not so good English. Resort is very nice,but is spread out a bit. Food was OK seemed more geared to European guests. Wait staff at the ala carte restaurants were not very efficient as we waited a half hour for a beverage or appetizers. Muriel and Eduardo in guest services were very helpful. I believe if there was a sit up bar or tiki bar it would encourage people to engage in conversations. sitting at a table makes it harder to meet other peple.

Room Tip: buildings 5 or 6 are close to restaurants beach and pool
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2012

We all want the perfect vacation. Myself, like you read reviews, saw lots of pictures and wondered what hotel would be the chosen one.

This hotel has charm, cleanliness, extremely friendly staff and a pleasure to be at. The rooms are extremely clean.... we got the complimentary upgrade booking through cheapcaribean.com. The food exceeded our expectations, gourmet quality. Food was always fresh and amazing flavors. You get what you pay for... I read on here critiquing the hotel to being a 3 star... guess what folks!!! it is a 3 star, they don't claim to be anything else. The grounds are extremely clean, very pedicured.

Make the best out of your vacation. The first night we were there we decided to party. There was about 15 people at the club they have at the resort.... well by the end of the night I had everyone dancing with us. To the ones that claim the drinks are weak, they probably were not asking for strong drinks. Drink the wine or ask for a strong drink if you want to feel the effect.

The following nights we decided to make it a romantic vacation, we would go to the beach at night, one night hung out at the canopy they set up for the private dinner(the guests eating were done )

You will love this place! it has everything you can ask for... good food, clean rooms and an amazing beach. As far as people saying its geared to europeans... what does that mean? i'm from the states and we fit perfectly well... people extremely friendly from the guests to the staff... i really hope you get a week like we did and have an amazing stay!!!

Room Tip: on our last night, we saw that the ocean front suite was vacant. I offered them a price and they to...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Islip, New York
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

So, I did notice while do the quick research only a few weeks from our trip that most of the reviews were from canadians or europeans, but we felt we were getting a pretty good last minute deal for an all inclusive with the jacuzzi in the room and privileged beach upgrade so we went for it. The first note is that this hotel is no where near where it maps out to on google. It is in the jungle! You are at least a 20 mins taxi ride to Playa del Carmen and at least 45 minutes from many of the attractions (snorkeling, ruins). I think I had an idea about this but didn't mind since it forced us to sit on the beach and relax, but my husband was a bit shocked. The entranceway is modest but welcoming compared to some other resorts we saw down here. The lobby is beautiful and the people mostly speak english and we knew enough spanish for the two of us to get by. The service, btw, was above and beyond fantastic. The staff are helpful and happy to work and do whatever they can to make your stay enjoyable. There were constantly staff in the gardens, and woods, as well as cleaning the grounds.

The guests are mostly european, and we saw a few things that surprised us a bit (girls as old as 10 or 12 without tops on, an older woman topless, a little boy directed by his mother to pee into the garden, right off the walkway, men in speedos)- not good or bad, just different. I do not feel that we were treated any different because we were american, we were just a minority and really didn't find anyone to talk to.

The playa or beach is beautiful, crystal clear water with little white fishes swimming around, and we were able to walk and run at least a mile and a half in both directions, which was great, although some of the empty beaches are not as well kept up and could use a school or something to come in and clean up all the garbage. The sunrises are gorgeous, too, by the way, so make sure to catch at least one.

The room was clean and very nicely done. The bathroom was clean, although the shower was kinda small and not well ventilated. I slept great, but my husband did not sleep so good. The final morning we woke up and he had a dozen or more bug bites all over his body. I hope they were not bed bugs (nothing bit me), we got home and washed everything, but three days later, and he is still horribly affected. Might've been just one angry mosquito, or chiggers?

We slept through dinner one night, so we only got to the italian, mexican and tapas restaurants, as well as the buffet (la pajarito) for breakfast and lunch and the grill for lunch (buffet). I thought the buffet breakfast was FANTASTIC, a wide array of yummy food, freshly baked goods and fruit juices. The lunch was pretty good and I was surprised to see grouper and leg of lamb among hamburgers and cheeseburgers. However, one day, at the Pajarito for lunch, they decided to empty the cesspool or something during lunch hour. The smell wafted over and grew unbearable, we had to leave. Isn't there any other time to do that?

For dinner, I thought the mexican restaurant was Pretty Darn Good and the service was excellent. I think it was our favorite, but my husbands grouper won out over my fajitas I think. The Italian restaurant was standard and Good. Nothing off the charts but I did enjoy my lasagna. For our last night (after the night when a day of snorkeling wiped us out and we slept clear through dinner!), we went to the tapas restaurant, which i think was included with the privileged upgrade, otherwise its $15 usd pp. I thought it was great, although most of the time, I forgot what I was eating by the time it came out. My husband was a little less sure of the tapas thing (multiple mini plates - three bite sized appetizers each, an entree and three bite sized desserts), but I think he enjoyed it also.

The property, like i said, is beautiful and very well maintained. It is a long property with 7 or 8 sections (we stayed in Tikal, facing the woods, very private, first floor w/ a jacuzzi). There is quite a bit of wildlife and plantlife here (coatis, various birds, just please don't feed the darned coatis!). Because the property is so long, there are many people for a relatively narrow spot of beach, so the chairs are six rows deep and people get out there pretty early for the prime spots. Most of the day, however, you could find some chairs here and there if you are a late riser.

It is sortof like a cruise in that there are scheduled activities and things to do all day. Which is great, esp for teenagers, but, like someone else pointed out, I actually didn't hear any of these in english, so we didn't really get into it. On Thursday, our last day for relaxation on the beach, was interrupted by an hour and a half of the "Olympidades" which was fun for the teens and young adults, basically silly games and obstacles or something. But it was LOUD BLASTING MUSIC, frequently interrupted by the MC yelling out (spanish? italian?) Not even my ipod could drown them out, and we were pretty far from the action. I could barely focus on my book (although my husband napped through it all, lol)

We also visited the spa. It is pretty small and we went early for the "hydrotherapy" and found two small rooms (steam and sauna) and a medium sized jacuzzi (please enter by the stairs! There are no signs but there are no seat around the edge, like you'd expect from any other jacuzzi you have ever been in in the whole world, and some of the lights under the water were out, we watched a guy totally fall into the jacuzzi trying to step onto a not existent step. There really should be signs up or something!)

We sat in the jacuzzi and watched a couple get massages, thinking, man I hope they don't give us that room! The couples massage room was in full view of the jacuzzi and everyone just sits there and watches (because, well, what else is there to look at?) Including when the girl sat up and had to put her top back on, while the guy in the jacuzzi just stared. I cringed when they led us in there. I saw that there was another curtain on the inside that would've made it more private but they did not pull it down. It doesn't matter anyway, because I realize that you are in full view of the nearby walkway anyway. True, they probably don't notice you but I just thought it was weird. Maybe its just an american thing, to be that modest or prude, but it irritated me. I managed to get my top off once I was under the covers, but the whole time, all I could think was that people were watching me from the jacuzzi and it made me very uncomfortable. Plus you could occasionally hear their voices. No music or anything. The massage itself was pretty good. When it was over, I saw my bikini top was left at my feet and awkwardly reached for it to try to get it on in the most unrevealing and unembarrassing way possible, and suddenly a man walked through the curtain at a very awkward moment. He was american or canadian and probably drunk, but a brief conversation ensued where he made a few suggestive and rude comments and said he was looking for towels and just stared at me, despite me asking him to leave several times, he didn't quite get it for a minute or two. I was mortified. He finally left. I got my top on and left as quick as I could. My husband had actually fell asleep at the end of the massage and of course, didn't realize what was happening. He went back after I got back to the room, to tell them what happened and complained. They had no signs up anywhere saying not to enter or that it was a private area. He also complained to the manager of the hotel, who had already been made aware and was already planning to make arrangements for signs to be placed. When we got back from dinner, they had sent champagne and fruit, which was nice as a gesture but we did not have any use for it. So, in short, ask for a private room. Unless you don't mind taking your top off in front of people.

Finally, I'll take a moment to talk about the bars. They aren't really what we were used to. Probably because there was only two of them and many more people, you can't really hang out at the bar or sit at the bar, and there are no swim up bars or tvs or anything like that. The bar by the beach was weak although convenient. I felt that there probably was not enough beach service. The one poor guy was loading up constantly and it seemed to take awhile, it was easier to just get it yourself. The bar in the lobby isn't bad, but as for most all inclusives, the liquor was cheap. We sat there before dinner one night listening to some live music. We didn't get to the theater or the disco.

So, overall, I probably would not go back, there are a plethora of hotels in the area I would try instead, but if you were getting a good deal and don't mind being away from reality for a while, this really was a lovely resort.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012

If you are European you will enjoy this resort!! It really targets and accommodates these people. It was very hard to find English speaking people at this resort. The food was to accommodate europeans and was limited I would say a 3 star quality The staff seams to speak anything but English is not one of then. the rooms are old with some modern things put in to make it look like they up graded(not working). Serving staff was slow and not friendly unless you tipped.... Beach was the highlight of the trip the rest was 3rd rate at best.

Room Tip: Upgrade to ocean suite or suite with pool
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 7
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Vancouver, Canada
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

I'm going to put all my feed back in bullet points as I find it easier to skim through

-First thing we noticed is that we were one of the very few canadians and native English speaking guests. We were lucky to have taken some french in high school which helped in communicating with some of the animation staff and guests from France and Quebec.

-The beach is truly exquisite. Plenty of chairs with shaded canopies or without. We enjoyed playing beach volleyball, ping pong and participating in activities hosted by the animation team like spanish lessons, step class, salsa class, dodge ball, beach soccer, and more.

-If you don't speak any other language besides English you may feel a bit left out. This hotel has 3 different Animation/Entertainment teams which were made up of employees from France, Italy and Mexico. Since we weren't from either of these countries and spoke very little of each language there were times we felt left out of the loop or simply ignored. This could be because of a language barrier, but I still thought it was weird that they didn't have a team who would mainly interact with the English speaking guests.

-In the evenings, after the sun has gone down there isn't too much to do besides hang out in the lobby bar, have a few drinks, play a round of billiards (they have 1 table) and play cards. If would be ideal if the hotel provided some board games or brought some ping pong tables inside to get the guests to mingle.

-Nightly shows started at 9:30 and were for the most part very entertaining and creative. Favourites were the Moulin Rouge show, History of Hollywood, and the Mexican States showcase where they brought in professional mexican dancers and a mariachi band.

-The food is very good. I enjoyed yogurt and fruit with an omelette in the morning, salad and chicken for lunch, and fish, roast beef and delicious tacos and quesadillas for dinner!

-Rooms were very clean and beds were pretty decent. If you want to have a fancy shmancy room you can upgrade to something called "priviledged" but I don't really see the value for about $300 more.

-They don't accept USD at this hotel. There is a new law that bans them from accepting it in Playa because of the money laundering issues happening in and around Mexico. They will exchange your US money up to a limit at the hotel but it's best to take Canadian dollars or Pesos.

-The resort is located in the jungle. So it's a 2km walk on a gravel road to the highway to catch a 'collectivo' (mexican cab bus) it costs about 30 pesos. Be careful and do not walk the gravel road at night because there are no lights and some scary critters will be out and about. So if you are leaving or coming at night its best to take a cab which isn't cheap at about 25 or 30 dollars or 300 pesos. It works to split a cab and always confirm the price with the driver before leaving.

Hope this helps. I would recommend this hotel to friends. Best for couples and families.

Room Tip: We had a room in the Coba building on the 2nd floor. It was halfway between the beach and the lobby...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Playa Maroma

Address: Carretera Federal #307 | Pto Juarez Km 360.250, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Family Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalonia Playa Maroma 3.5*
Number of rooms: 404
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Catalonia Playa Maroma is situated in the Mayan Riviera, at only 35 kilometers south of Cancun and 20 kilometers north of Playa del Carmen. Regarding to the Travel Channel, Playa Maroma is one of the most beautiful beaches of the world. The typical Mexican decoration with its vibrant colors and palapa roofs surrounded by the native jungle make this resort the perfect place to spend a wonderful vacation. The Mayan World has to offer a lot to its visitors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Playa Maroma Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Catalonia Playa Maroma Del Carmen
Playa Maroma

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