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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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