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“Segregation on vacation !” 3 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
Montreal, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Segregation on vacation !”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2013

Segregation on vacation ! Let me explain why.

I am not at all referring to anything concerning race by all means.

I am putting emphasis on the fact that this hotel splits the guest into two distinct categories: PRIVILEGED Guests and Non Privileged Guest. Wow ! I have never felt such a a distinct split of patrons and this is all over the resort. I am an experienced traveller and have been to many resorts all over the Caribbean (Cuba, Dom. Rep., TCI, Mexico, Aruba, Barbados Etc..) and have tried many types of meal plans but this resort is set up in ways that separates people very clearly: You have DISTINCT sections where you can eat at the buffet (Ridiculous), you can't eat on the elevated terrasse unless you are PRIVILEGED, you can't even stand on the wrong side of the beach if you are not PRIVILEGED. The beach is clearly split into two distinct section and if you want to be in the PRIVILIGED section you have to pay 35$ per person/per day ! On the last day of our trip, my husband went to say goodbye to a friend who was in the Privileged section of the beach, it mearly took five minutes that the lifeguard came down off his elevated post and rudely asked my husband to go back to his section because he could not be in the privileged section. My husband was STANDING and was not touching any beach chairs, he was just talking to a friend that was leaving that day!!! My husband kindly explained to the lifeguard that he was on a FEDERAL PUBLIC BEACH and was not doing anything wrong, he was just saying goodbye. This really cheapens the whole experience at this hotel ! I cannot count the times that we were asked ARE YOU PRIVILEGED. We had booked the regular package but what I can say is that if you want to be treated with respect you have to PAY $$$ to be PRIVILEGED ! Have I said it enough.

Food:

I am still giving this resort a 3 star because of the food; the buffet is standard (except for sushi one night) but the a la carte restaurants were very good and generous with excellent service in all three. Ah yeah, Non Privileged guest get to eat a la carte, Thank God ! We ate well so for food no worries. PS: They will try to push you to by bottles of wine at the table that will be charged to your room, so beware. The house wine is free but you have to mention it.


Beach:

Almost no palapas (I counted 3) on the beach, only natural palm trees which are great to look at and naturally beautiful but not very effective at proving shade so you are constantly leaving the beach if it gets too hot or if you cannot tolerated constant sun. Plus everybody is one on top of the other (very crowded), the chairs are stuck together so No Privacy ! The sand is very nice, white and the water generally clear. The were a lot of seaweed all over the beach though, not as much in front of the hotel. Mexican workers are constantly removing seaweed manually but they only start working around 10:30 AM and by the time they are done it's 3 PM. No machinery to remove them. Important: In front of the hotel the beach is taken care of but the minute you exit the hotel section, you are faced with a lot of GARBAGE on the beach, plastic containers, waste, and much more so it is very disappointing. The people there claim that Maroma Beach is one of the best in the world but I guess they haven't seen many beaches. By far, it is not even close to Turks and Caicos and Cuba. If you are a clean beach lover, there are far better choices of destinations.

Rooms:

Spacious but very Outdated !!!!! Plus the resort is so long that you have to walk a good mile on one little strip of concrete with everybody coming and going, from the beach to the lobby. At the end of the stay it really gets annoying! The rooms are kept clean.

Overall:

I did not want to give this resort a low rating because I have worked in the service industry for many years and I know it is not an easy job and so I have to say that the animation team tries really hard to make you fell at home, and the service at the restaurant was good and enjoyable. I would suggest management to revise this PRIVILEGED policy they have and come up with a better solution so everybody is treated the same and can enjoy the full resort.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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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
michigan
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

We are a couple in our early fifties, we do our research and know exactly what to expect when we reach a resort thanks to Trip Advisor... thank you all. We got a great deal on the trip and what we found was exactly as expected, not the Ritz, but we had a wonderful time. We went to the Catalonia because the beach was touted as one of the nicest in the world, and it is. The grounds crew kept the beach cleaned up better than any of the surrounding resorts. We spent most of our time at the beach. Beach bar service was available but very difficult to obtain, not a problem, it gave me a reason to get out of my chair once in a while. There was a decent selection of international liquors, your favorite may not be available, but a decent selection nonetheless. On tap was Corona and my favorite...Negra Modelo, the can beer in your room is Modelo Especial. Food was good, nothing to brag about, but we were always able to find something we enjoyed. We tried each of the restaurants and I would have to say the buffet offered the best food with a good and varied selection. There were live bands in the lobby a couple of nights which we enjoyed, other than that, the resort was mostly quiet at night. The staff was attentive and we never had to wait long for anything. Pools were very warm, I would guess... mid eighties... about the same as the ocean. We experienced a few mosquito bites, maybe a couple a day, nothing like some of the horror stories we read about. Mosquitos were few enough, that we never used our bug spray. We enjoyed the walk between the lobby and the ocean, not overly long like we had read about. By the end of the week it seemed longer, but we have stayed at mega resorts where the walk was many times longer. The rooms were dated but clean, plenty of hot water and fridge restocked with a couple of beers, plenty of waters and sodas daily. Almost exclusively a European destination, English language comes in number four behind French, Italian and Spanish. Most of the staff knew a little English, a few knew a lot, some knew none. If you know how to say beer and bathroom in Spanish, you will do just fine. The entertainment staff announced everything in all four languages, it took three staff members to accomplish this. We are very tough when giving ratings. We gave the Secrets resorts a 4 rating and they are a step ahead in service, food, beach service, alcohol selection and general maintenance, therefore we rated the Catalonia a 3. If you don't sweat the small things, you will love this resort. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable experience which we would recommend.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Hingham, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013

In response to previous reviews, yes there are European's galore. So what. We had a wonderful vacation interacting with many French,German, and Canadian guests as well as Americans. A little high school Spanish or French can really enhance your experience. The staff and the guests were all very friendly. The animation team did a great job including everyone in the activities. We ate at all of the specialty restaurants with no reservations required. Great service and good food. The beach front Terrace restaurant is a nice spot for breakfast. The beach is one of the best in the area. Lot's of large grass umbrellas and palm trees make for shady as well as sunny spots. We experienced great bar service on the beach. Especially liked the jungle that runs through the middle of this resort. Path ways cut through to access the buildings with your room. These buildings are hidden by the flora giving it a cozy feel. Our room was perfectly good (Bldg. 4) as was our friends (Bldg. 2). The evening shows were weak. Little Mermaid in mostly french? Would not have been better in any language. Live band at the lobby bar was great. They should do that every night. The disco is nearly non existent. Playa del Carmen is near by and has a variety of things to do including good night life. All and all a nice resort and a great vacation spot.

Room Tip: The most desirable rooms are in bldgs. 5 and 6. These are closest to the beach, shops, pool and spec...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Des Moines, Iowa, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

We just returned back from our honeymoon at the Catalonia. We stayed from Nov 15-20th, 2013. We stayed in the privileged section of the resort and would highly recommend it. We stayed in room number 5104, a comfort room, it was very spacious and clean. We had a king size bed, but there is no bathtub that was the only downfall, the AC worked great! Our room was always cleaned, one day we got back from the beach around 4:00 and our room hadn't been cleaned, so we called, they were there to clean it within 10 minutes. We also called about not having beer in the fridge and that was also brought within 10 minutes. They called us twice to make sure our stay was going well and to our satisfaction. They always went above and beyond to make sure our stay was perfect.
We ate at all three specialty restaurants. Italian twice, steak house and Mexican, they were all three outstanding! The service was one of the best I have ever had, I have been to Mexico seven times and this was one of the best resort I have stayed at ! I would recommend eating at the Tapas Restaurant right above the pool bar for Breakfast and Lunch, its set down and wonderful. We were not fans of the buffet, little options, although my husband did like their breakfast.
The beach is one of the best in Mexico, one of the top ten in the world according to Travel Channel. It had no rocks, but there was a lot of seaweed, that im sure was due to the storm which is out of their control. Workers came down and racked the weeds off the beach everyday. In the privileged section of the beach you do get waiting on for drinks, make sure you tip them a few dollars here in there for their hard work, its worth it. There was always chairs and you didn't have to get up at dawn to save them.
I would recommend this small resort to anyone that is looking for a low key getaways. It is good for couples and families.
Also, forgot to mention the FREE Wifi..first time at any resort in Mexico it was free.
We would most definitely go back to Catalonia.
Amanda & Dave -Des Moines Iowa

Room Tip: buildings 5 and 6 are very close to beach. We stayed in building 5 and were right by all the restaur...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

I am not one to write reviews, but I feel that I had to after staying here. First of all, we were the ONLY Americans! Nobody spoke English except for us. We went to a show a one night and they actually tried to do it in four different languages, awful. We ordered a bottle of wine to our room. Night 1: never showed. Night 2: never showed, called and asked they said it was raining so they wont be able to come Night 3: finally came at 4:30 - thankfully it was raining and we were in the room or who knows what would have happened. the room had little air conditioning, but everytime the maid came to clean it *when she did come* she would turn it off! The food was okay. Stinks that tehre is no swim up bar, but the beach is beautiful. BUT there is zero service on the beach so you constantly have to get up for a drink. Overall, i would never reccomedn this hotel to anybody from the US.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Mountain Top, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

The hotel is now called Catalonia Privileged Maroma. My girlfriend and I went to this resort for a week in the beginning of November. The drive from theCancun Airport is approximately 30 minutes. Get 2 beers from the airport for the drive. We arrived at the resort where we booked a privileged room. This is an upgrade from the basic room. We had no wait for check in because we were privileged guests. The walkway from the lobby is long but cool because of the beautiful trees and the coati's. They are friendly little racoon/monkey looking animals. The walkway was also frustrating. The resort has alot of french people there. The walkway is wide enough for 4 people to walk side by side easily. Almost every time we walked down this walkway, there were ignorant french people walking 3 people wide and not move over causing them to bump into you.

The room was awsome. The bed was so comfortable. The bathroom was a litle dated but definately aceptable. The beach was huge. Lots of chairs to sit on. There was a waiter coming around to get you drinks. The ocean water was rough. Not calm at all. You couldn't snorkel from the resort because of the rough water making it cloudy.

The 3 restaurants were all equally great. The food and service were great. The restaurant above the beach bar had an amazing view to go along with the food and service.

Take a snorkeling trip to palancar reef. It was amazing. There are no shops near by. Downtown Playa Del Carmen is around 35 minutes away. That ia a $25 taxi ride each way. We will definately be back again.

  • Stayed November 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2013

ok just returned from my return trip to Catalonia Maroma for our second time, first let me say the weather was not in our favor this trip but i cant blame the resort for this. this was our second trip to the resort and was very happy with the updates that were made and ver surprised also. We had a constant strom that came thru here and there but the staff continued to do their best and never missed a beat. I must agree with some of the other comments who say its catered to the Europeans but honestly who cares because we still had a great and i mean great time!!!! We were greated by a banner that said welcome back on our door and drinks and a basket of fruit in our room which was a great surprise.... Thanks. We met a couple from Ill Bob and Nita who who were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary who went out to eat at the Blue Lobster with us. huge Lobster but my first time and last time eating lobster but everyone enjoyed. To everyone who says its not for Americans, i do understand but when you are outnumbered 98 to 2 i can see why but we still found time to enjoy. Food good but sure after 6 days its going to be the same. Staff great, room just ok, after being in my own bed that hard bed was not the greateast. I still love this place and olny thing i really missed was being able to feed the fish in the ocean due to the weather and the waves in the ocean. I had never been to the Catalonia in November but trust me i would never chance it again because the weather was a monster for sure.. Still the greatest beaches in the world i think, geratest staff and beautiful place for sure. things that could be fixed, please bring back the shuttle to Playa de Carmen i really missed it, even if you need to up the fee just a little bit, maybe more english speaking events but honestly who care just get new UNO CARDS and i could care less, and maybe a real backgammon game. I suggest guest bring playing cards or a game to play because the wear and tear has beat theirs up, bring a ro go mug to keep from running bak to he bar, and just relax and enjoy the place uts really great!!!! Cant wait to return in the early summer months forsure lol

Room Tip: take the upgrade before you go, its really worth it
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 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
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Amenities:
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 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Romantic 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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