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“Great place for vacation!!” 5 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   |  
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Free Lobster dinner
Ranked #4 of 5 hotels in Playa Maroma
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great place for vacation!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

We spent 7 days in this wonderful hotel and I have to say it was one of the best vacations we have had!! We were suppose to stay in the sister hotel just few miles south, but they did not have rooms we purchased for us, so they moved us to this hotel. When we came, they gave us not so great rooms, but after our initial complaint, they gave us wonderful rooms, close to the beach. Very nice and clean. The setup of the hotel is really unique. We loved the rain forest in the middle of the hotel resort and our little ones were just excited to see all the wild animals that were around. The staff was awesome. Very professional and very polite and always wanted to help and happy to answer any questions, specially Amaury Alameda. He was really great. We also enjoyed all the shows that staff prepared for quests at night. My daughter still dances and shakes her booty to the music that Amaury was dancing to at the acrobat show. :-) (the one with the whistles ;-))
Anyway, I would recommend this hotel to anyone who likes white sand, clear water, beautiful beach, great food, great hotel location and wonderful staff :-) Thank you!! We will definitely be back!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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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 (309)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

We are glad we stayed in this resort. It has the most beautiful beach! This place is not crowded and is great for family. The staff is very friendly and they prepare lots of fun activities for quests. One of the most entertaining staff was Amaury. It was always pleasure to see him. The food was perfect also.
One advice: bring some bug spray, you will definitely needed in the evenings.
Only reason why I did not give 5 stars is because we had some hard time with our room. First they placed us to very bad smelling room - (it smelled like mold and sewage). Though next day they moved us to much better and cleaner room close to the pool and beach. This room was great.
If you are deciding which resort to chose and you are not looking for something little bit more quite definitely go with this one! You won't regret!

Room Tip: Best rooms are called "Privilege", try to request room close to the pool/beach otherwise y...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013 via mobile

I have to say the review by "341bob341" is about right with a few exceptions (in my opinion)
This review is from the perspective of a small group of English, booked with Thomson and flew on the fantastic dreamliner, staying for 2wks.

Firstly I'd like to say how lovely the hotel is, in a "jungle" setting, (so yes you will get bitten from time to time!) The setting is tropical rain forest with birds, coatis and other animals roaming about, very nice.
Upon arrival check in was very easy we were offered to upgrade to privileged at the cost of roughly $20 a nt each. Which we did but only because of the offer. I believe it's normally $50 but occupancy was a bit low so lucky us. Privileged is worth it at the offer price not sure about full price, u have your own section of beach, own area for buffet breakfast and dinner, extra access to the other restaurants (which are ok) and also a balcony lunch restaurant by the beach! We ended up in block 4 which was fine.
We had no complaints about the food really pretty good most of the time. Waiters and bar staff, in fact all the local staff were fabulous we were well looked after and it didn't really seem to matter whether you tipped or not, although we did regularly.

As mentioned by many the beach is amazing and perfect for anyone who likes to go for walks, perfect white soft sand. Very safe with a few casual beach seller's who are very easy to say no too. There are options for diving, jet ski's, paragliding etc, I went diving with José who runs the water sports "shack" to the left of the beach as you look out to sea. As an experienced diver it was a pleasure to have such low key and relaxing dives compared to the hustle and bustle of some dive centres I've been to over the years, highly recommended! Oh and a PADI certified instructor.

Back to the hotel facilities now and if you need or want it the Wifi is the best I've had in any hotel ever! And I mean in the UK too! Decent speed and available from the beach right up to reception and everywhere else for that matter.

Now the only negative we had wouldn't stop us returning but was still a very annoying issue, the animation team and entertainment. In a lot of previous reviews (mainly American) the word European is used a lot. Well in fact the hotel is easily about 75% full of French and Italian's. So everything around entertainment is in French then Italian then Spanish (understandable) then in English! So there is a very strong bias toward French/Italian so much so it appeared the animation team only ever spoke to their own nationality which was definitely not English/American. The issue seemed to be highlighted by the only evening entertainment being "showtime" in the theatre (some were very good especially the Mexican show) but if you didn't want a multi lingual lesson then you were out of luck. In 2wks only once was there live music by a couple in the lobby, which was very good but as soon as "showtime" started they stopped they finished and packed away.? Now this may just seem like an Englishman whining but some of us have stayed at the Catalonia in Puerto Aventuros which had a perfect balance between "showtime" and live music/entertainment in the lobby bar. It seems the Catalonia Maroma has put all there entertainment eggs in one basket. Even the music around the pool area is continental, we struggled to hear any current english/american songs! We did actually think Thomson who we booked with could have highlighted this somehow, especially as on arrival including us there were only 8 English in the entire hotel.(but this changed a little as time went by as more Americans arrived)

Anyway that's enough of that, did we love it, yes! would we go back, yes! Just hope by next time the entertainment is for all? Special mention to Pedro and the other waiter's doing a fab job!

Just a quick note about currency from Dec this year only the peso will be accepted in Mexico, whilst we took a mix of dollars and peso, soon it will be peso only. Export tax is still dollars or peso or sterling (£45)

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

Hotel - fantastic
Staff - fantastic
Beach - fantastic
Location - fantastic
Coati's - fantastic
Nature - fantastic
BUT........
Animation not so blooming fantastic, if you're French or Italian they love you if you're English/American or any other nationality unlucky they see right through you! But it didn't spoil my holiday, I was just disappointed the hotel/animation team are Soooo French/Italian biased!
I would definitely go back, the local staff are wonderful.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Greeley, CO
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

We stayed at this resort July 2-9, 2013. This all inclusive resort was fantastic! We were traveling with our daughters, ages 20 and 18, and they had a terrific time, as well. The resort is smaller than some we have stayed in, but this was a plus for us. The beach, as stated in many other reviews, is one of the best beaches I have ever seen and enjoyed. The water was warm and perfect. I will break down the resort for you:

Rooms - Nice rooms. We upgraded to a honeymoon suite, and it was very nice. Both of our rooms had very comfortable beds.

Food - Very good. The terrace restaurant was our favorite, due to the view and service of the staff. All restaurants were good, and the buffet was ok, especially at breakfast.

Staff - This was the best part of the resort. The front desk staff was excellent, the bar staff and wait staff were excellent, and we really loved the animation team!! They made our stay so much fun!! We went to all the shows, and the disco at night was fun because of them. There was a beach party that was also tons of fun! We especially liked Jesus, Brenda, and Allison.

Drinks - there were plenty, and we never had an empty glass. They also made specialty shots for us! The bar staff was awesome!!

For the price we paid for this resort, our vacation was much better than expected. We had a great time, and would go back for sure!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Augusta, Georgia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

My wife and I visited Catalonia Playa Maroma September 1st through the 6th. Having read reviews from other Americans, our expectations were not, exactly, what you might call high, with the exception of the famous Maroma beach. But the price was amazing (about 40% of what it would have cost to stay at Secrets Maroma, which is right next door, and pretty much the best deal we’d seen in the Riviera Maya area). For point of reference, we’ve stayed at a handful of resorts between Cancun and Play del Carmen, from Four Diamond to Not So Great, so we have a little perspective. With that said, here’s my review:

ARRIVAL / CHECK IN
Easy-breezy. The resort is about thirty minutes from the airport (we used Olympus Tours – no complaints at all), and yes, as others have noted, the dirt road from highway to resort is bumpy, but it’s not like you’re going to get off the van with a hernia. It’s worth noting right up front: if you expect luxury, pay for it next door. This is not a high-end place. But neither is it low-end. The lobby (like most every other public facility on site) is open-air. It’s not shabby and it’s not marble tile either – I’d call it “comfortable”. We were greeted with a smile and pointed to the lobby bar for a drink while our bags were put on a cart. We then were escorted to the Preferred Lounge for check in, which is about a five minute walk. Other resorts we’ve been to push the upsell hard enough that one may wish to just turn around and go home. In this place, they took maybe twelve seconds to tell us the upgrade prices, and after a single “no, thank you” it was done. Loved that.

ROOM
We booked a Privileged Superior room, and I’ll say a couple of things here. One, book a privileged room. Just do. Two, I can only speak to room 6213, because that’s where we were. I know rooms can vary within hotels, so I can only give perspective of the one we stayed in.

I would describe our room as the Caribbean version of a nicer Hampton Inn. The king size bed was firm but not uncomfortable. I could have done with better pillows, but I happened to sleep every night. There is a flat-screen LCD TV (you may choose to adjust the aspect ratio), and other reviewers have complained about the bathroom being outdated, but I thought it was just fine. I laughed when I saw the shower, because I didn’t see how, as other reviewers claimed, one could get water all over the bathroom floor. I revised my impression after my wife showered, but I can say with pride I never, personally, watered our bathroom. This sink could have drained a little better, but in fairness it wasn’t bad, and I’ve been in four star hotels in the U.S. where the bathroom sink didn’t drain at all.

We were clever enough to lock ourselves out of the room from our balcony twice. Once, my wife put her Yoga skills to use and climbed to the next balcony, which was attached to a room in which happened to be a housekeeper. The second time I was suave enough to climb down a pillar to the ground floor and find a security guard. The lesson, as always: if you choose to spend time on the balcony, don’t close the room door.

The mini bar is stocked daily with a pepsi, diet pepsi, orange soda, 7-up, two Modelo beers and some water. One day ours wasn’t re-stocked. We called the front desk and it was taken care of.

Last note on rooms: the Privileged rooms are in buildings 4 and 6. Get building 6 if you can, as there’s a walkway directly from it to the beach’s Privileged section. Also, ask for a corner room. The balconies seem to be larger and more private (6213 is a corner room; I guess we were lucky).

GROUNDS
As others have noted, the place is, literally, in a jungle. But, the grounds really are nice and well-maintained. It’s pleasant.

BEACH / POOL
The beach lives up to its billing. This is the primary reason we choose this resort (that and the price). The beach itself is quite wide, and the water is a perfect bluish green (and clear), changing hues during the day depending on the position of the sun and the weather. There are no shells and the sand is so fine it feels like powder. There was some seaweed, but not much and never enough to be unpleasant. One can walk in either direction as far as one wants. From Cancun to Tulum, or anywhere else in the world I’ve seen beaches, this was the best.

The privileged section of the beach is on the North side, and the difference is that it has beds and tiki-style umbrellas. If you want an umbrella, get up early and put your towels out. One thing to note is the umbrellas do have beach chairs in from of them so if you want shade, you won’t have an unimpeded view. We found the northernmost umbrella closest to the sea offered the best view and most privacy.

Note about the beach: if you walk out to the beach and take a right (South), then walk to a place about halfway between Secrets and the lighthouse at the point (yes, it’s a lighthouse, we asked), you’ll find some logs on the beach and a fantastically beautiful, private area where you can sit or swim and feel like you’re in your own Corona commercial. The water is perfectly clear because there’s a sand bar about 150 yards out – my wife and I swam to it a couple of times (the water never gets deeper than 8 or 9 feet on the way there) and the water on the sandbar is maybe two and a half or three feet deep. Heaven. At least until we were visited by a sand shark of maybe five feet in length, and realized we were 150 yards offshore. As it turns out, we can swim really fast.

The pool is really nice, but we’re not paying for a Caribbean vacation to be at or in a pool. Some have complained there isn’t a swim-up bar. I personally appreciated this as I don’t, per se, have much interest in splashing around in urine. The pool is divided into joined sections, each with a different depth. Very nice.

BARS / DRINKS
There are two. A lobby bar and a bar between the pool and the beach (this bar is in the side of the building facing the beach). The lobby bar is open 24 hours per day and the beach/pool bar is open from 8 a.m. to midnight. I was surprised at the liquor options: Absolute, Finlandia, Johnny Walker Red, Bombay Sapphire, 1800, you get the idea. On that note, specify which liquors you want, because I’m almost certain you don’t want the “house”. Also, my wife, who is not what you might call a “wine snob”, said the house wine was pretty much undrinkable. Corona is on tap at both bars.

Note on drinks: as others have recommended, bring a Bubba mug (or something similar). They will happily fill them with whatever you want, the dinks will stay cold, and you will be happier.

RESTAURANTS / FOOD
Here our expectations were essentially non-existent based on other reviews, and I, as it turns out, am kind of a food snob. As a blanket statement, I’ll say we were pleasantly surprised and never once couldn’t find something we enjoyed eating.

If you are a Privileged guest staying five nights to a week, you get a card good for a dinner at each of the three restaurants (Mexican, Italian, steak house) plus a card for a dinner at the tapas restaurant above the pool/beach bar. Of those, we ate only at the Mexican and tapas restaurants. We didn’t have any interest in the steak house and, sadly, the Italian restaurant had a smell that can only be described as B.O. (We’ve encountered this smell at other all-inclusive restaurants close to the sea in the Riviera Maya). We thought both Mexican and tapas were pretty good. Really. All restaurants have a wine list – if you don’t want the house wine, and, again, you don’t, you pay extra for wine by the bottle. Other drinks are included.

The tapas restaurant above the pool/beach bar serves as a place for Privileged guests to have lunch. The lunch there is fantastic, and a lot of food. They expect you to order and appetizer/salad, entrée and dessert. Enjoy your afternoon nap.

The buffet was just fine, and for an all-inclusive buffet, it was actually pretty good. There is, as others have noted, a Privileged section, the difference being that at breakfast that section has a self-serve place for Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas. Breakfast there is the best, but lunch and dinner are just fine. Again, I’m an admitted food-snob, and I never had a problem finding something to eat.

There is no room service.

STAFF
I’ve read reviews claiming the staff is not exactly friendly, and I couldn’t disagree more. We never encountered anyone working there who didn’t smile, say “hola!”, and work hard. Here’s a tip: tip. If you do, you’ll be remembered and taken care of. We brought 100 ones for our six days, tipping a couple of dollars at a time. Bottom line is, the staff is friendly and hard-working.

The “Animacion Team”, or entertainment team, is made up of Europeans and locals, and they completely and totally ignored us. That was OK for us, but if you want to be engaged by entertainment staff and you happen to be an American (they can spot you a mile away), you’re out of luck.

CLIENTELE
As others have mentioned, the guests at this resort are, for the most part, not American. I think this is great, and here’s why: we weren’t bothered. The last thing I want, on vacation in Mexico with my wife, is to make “friends”. I want to enjoy the Caribbean; that’s it. The majority of the guests are European, though there are plenty of South Americans as well. We saw, maybe, six other Americans while we were there. You can identify the Europeans because they don’t trouble themselves which such trivial matters as, say, clothing. You’ll notice the South Americans are better-looking that the Europeans, and slightly more dressed. You’ll know an American when you see one because he or she will actually make eye contact and smile hello as you pass. In terms of people-watching, this resort is worth its weight in gold. In fact, I’d go back just for that.

Some have said the Europeans are rude. I didn’t see that. They just want to enjoy their vacation as far as I can tell. In fact, one Spanish couple asked us what time it was, and it only took us four or five minutes to convey to them that it was, in fact, noon, after which they smiled. A French woman tried to touch my wife a lot while smiling, and we thought that was nice too.

It is true that people smoke a lot here. They smoke at the pool, at the beach, in the lobby, while playing volleyball, etc. But all these places are open-air, so it’s really not bad. All the rooms and restaurants are non-smoking.

SHOPS
All I’m saying is, we ran out of sunscreen, and paid $31 USD for a bottle that costs $7.99 delivered to my door in two days here by a major internet retailer.

CONCLUSION
I’m surprised, but Catalonia Play Maroma is great. Again, it’s not luxurious, but it’s perfectly nice and the beach is just fantastic. This is the first resort we’ve been to about which we’ve both said, “we’d go back”, and, again, we’ve been to some that were considered much higher-end. Bring plenty of sunscreen and a bottle of bug-repellant – as others have said, mosquitos can be bad without it. Hope this long review helps. It’s full of things I’d like to have known before going. And, yes, we’d go back.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

We did not stay at the Hotel Catalonia. However, we did dive with Pro Dive Mexico found in this location.
My wife and I are certified divers. We were made to feel right at home. They looked after our EVERY need. My wife even lost a regulator mouth piece, They replaced it for us, free of charge.
We stayed about a 10 minute drive away at another resort. They sent a bus to pick us up each day.
Javier and his team went out of his way to make sure we were very pleased and very happy.
The diving was fantastic. Turtles, Eels, Lobsters, and sooo many fish!!!
We bought a 14 dive package and could not be happier.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.

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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
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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:
#3 Family Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 On the Beach 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*
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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