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“Fantastic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Catalonia Royal Tulum

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Catalonia Royal Tulum
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Cancun Chetumal Km. 264.5, Xpuha 77790, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 hotels in Xpuha
Austin, TX
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

A nice hotel - well kept with excellent food and service. Very quaint and comfortable. Appears to be a little older but is kept in excellent condition and very clean. The food is better than most Caribbean resorts I have been too - the Mexican Restaurant is to die for!!! And the beach and the water is the best I have ever been on in the Yucatan and I have been to most of them. Just a wonderful getaway!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Verona
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

We absolutely LOVED the Catalonia Royal Tulum. We went to the resort last June for our honeymoon. We had a destination wedding and planning the honeymoon really took a backseat so we just took our travel agent's recommendation on going here. As we were going there, I had no idea what to expect and worried I should have looked into it more, but we were thrilled with our choice. The cost was half of the other resorts we considered and it was fantastic. I have not been to a lot of all inclusive resorts and I'm sure there are some that are nicer, but for the price, we thought it was amazing and we were talking about our return trip while we were still on vacation!

Check in
This went really smoothly, we were told where our room was and our bags were brought to us a little after we got there.

Room
We thoughts the room we great, it was clean, beautiful and spacious. It had a comfy bed, nice and clean bathroom and a little sitting area. We also had a porch, but it was in the trees/jungle so we didn't really use it. We had an end room on the first floor and it was really nice and large.

Pool
The pool isn't huge, but it was never over crowded and there were always chairs and umbrellas to use. We loved hanging out in the pool and playing with the pool toys you could borrow. The pool was clean and beautiful and we really enjoyed it. We spent a lot of time there. They have people going around to bring you drinks and they also have a bar right there.

Beach
The beach was alright, but from what I have heard, that area is not known for their amazing beaches so I think theirs is actually pretty nice for the area. We had just come from Punta Cana and it's hard not to compare the two. It wasn't very large so it was mostly chairs without a huge beach area. We never had a problem finding a chair and there was plenty of shade or sun areas. The water was nice, but pretty wavy and had some seaweed. Since we had just spent a week on the beach in Punta Cana we spent more time at the pool here, but it was still a nice beach and we still enjoyed it and swam in the ocean.

Staff
The staff was friendly and accomodating. We had no issues with anyone or anything and were very pleased with the service. Waitstaff was quick and helpful. We had a server at the pool that always kept our drinks full and was always smiling and friendly. They have people working there that speak a variety of languages which is nice because there were people there from all over.

Food and Drink
The drinks were good, lot's of variety and good service. Plenty of places to get drinks and sit and enjoy them. They also put water, beer and soda in your fridge. We tipped housekeeping asking for more water and beer and no soda and they kept it full with what we requested. I enjoyed all the different margaritas, there were a lot of options. You do have to pay for any wine other then the house wine at the restaurants but with so many other options we never felt the need.

We thought the food was fantastic! Our favorite was the mexican and the italian. We also tried the tapas and although good, it wasn't really our thing. The atmosphere looks great but it actually not that comfortable and it's outside so it was pretty buggy. We tried the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We thought the breakfast and lunch was awesome with lots of option but we would skip the dinner one next time, it was probably our least favorite meal. The little snack, pizza place was fine for what it is. Nothing too great and the pizza was just ok, but it worked for a quick bite to eat if you need it. We actually did not get to try the steakhouse because we loved the mexican and italian so much that we wanted to go back to both! We will definitely be going there next time.

Overall we had a great time and can't wait to return!

  • Stayed June 2011, 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange, California
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2012

Imagine yourself in a lush tropical paradise where a mangrove jungle filled with exotic birds and animals meets an authentic Mayan stone walkway. Where incredible natural cenotes and rustic wooden bridges lead you through the jungle to a spectacular white powder soft sand beach with azure seas. This is the Catalonia Royal Tulum!

My husband and I spent a week at this beautiful adults only resort for our 29th anniversary with the Royal Honeymoon package. "Royal" is definitely an appropriate word in describing our experience at what I would call an "eco" hotel that meets modern amenities, First of all I emailed the hotel to request to be on the 3rd floor of buildings 5 or 6, (closest to the beach) and the concierge Roberto gladly accommodated us and welcomed us warmly. The Honeymoon package came with all kinds of fun surprises. A romantic and delicious private dinner on the beach, a 30 minute massage for two that we upgraded to a couples one hour massage (fantastic!), breakfast with champagne brought to our room one day, rose petals leading into our room to the beautiful canopied bed and more champagne left for us! I felt like I was on an episode of The Bachelor staying in the fantasy suite!!

This was more than a stay at a great hotel, it was a cultural experience! You really get to experience what the land must have been like for the early Mayans. The lush jungle and all that live in it meets the amazingly picturesque sea and beautiful cenotes. We also liked that there were so many different cultures represented from around the world. We found everyone to be friendly, and did not have any negative experiences during our multi-cultural stay.

Most of the dining and food venues were sophisticated and delicious! We especially loved the Tapas restaurant La Terraza that was out in the jungle next to the cenote. They are a Spanish owned hotel, therefore I believe they did a wonderful job with the tapas. We actually spent our honeymoon in Spain, so we have a soft spot for Spanish food. Our next favorite was the Italian, Mexican and steak house last. Unfortunately we were let down at the steak house because our steak was too tough. We never ate at the buffet for dinner, but we did have some good breakfasts and lunch at the two different buffets. The wait service at the pool and beach was good. The drinks however could be hit or miss depending on the bartenders, but at least you could always ask for another one if you didn't like it. We also asked for the premium liquor which they were always happy to oblige.

As for the activities, Zsu Zsu with the activities team is a gem! Always gracious and a delight to talk to. We enjoyed some of the evening shows, and the Elvis one was a favorite! Good entertainers and dancing. We were never without a spot at the pool or beach, even when we didn't rise early to reserve chairs. We also took the collectivo van right outside the hotel to visit the ruins at Tulum for $3.00 each. It is an easy short excursion, but bring lots of water and swim suits to cool off at the amazing beach that is there.

On the Riviera Maya, we have previously stayed at the Moon Palace, Dreams Tulum, Dreams Riviera Maya and the Barcelo which is a mega hotel. The Catalonia Royal Tulum exceeded our expectations in all areas and especially the location with the perfect beach! We fed fish in knee deep water, snorkeled and also brought our own pool floats to float in the Caribbean sea on some days when the water was extremely calm and the clearest blue you can imagine.

We certainly enjoyed our stay at this wonderful hotel which treated us royally the entire time we were there. It had a few minor flaws, but overall it was an amazing 5 star experience and I definitely recommend it if you are looking for a more natural and relaxed eco-style hotel stay for adults only with a romantic vibe and fantastic service!

I also recommend USA transfers which is an excellent and reliable transfer service for your trip. We have used them twice now and we will continue to do so on future vacations.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2012

Just returned from a 6 day stay at the Catalonia RT
We L-O-V-E-D the resort for so many reasons!
1. The beach is beautiful, with soft white sand and turquoise waters as far as you can see. Truly the prettiest beach I've ever seen. We were "WOWed" when we first set our eyes on it.

2. All the staff are very friendly and interested in making your stay enjoyable/comfortable. They are always smiling and willing to help. Our favorite staff member was Betty, at the pool bar.

3. Because it is all adults, it makes for a very relaxing and laid back atmosphere. Great for busy parents who are seeking some needed quiet time!!

4. The entire resort is very clean, including the public bathrooms.

5. The food is great and the cooks prepare it like artwork.
Our favorite restaurant was the Mexican. We did not care for the Italian restaurant, but could see how someone with a different taste palette may love it.
There was almost never a wait to get in, but there's always a bar available to drink at if you do need to wait.

6. Veraclub made a great effort to entertain us.
They were super fun! During the week we were invited to all the ongoing activities, and always felt comfortable while participating in the ones we joined. Activities we participated in were volleyball, stretching, horseshoes, aqua gym and pool aerobics.
Veraclub was so funny and would always have us laughing! There are activities going on all day. These people work from sun up to sun down and must be exhausted at the end of the day!
There was a pool party, which they also directed. They got the whole crowd to dance and do the limbo.

7. The animals along the pathway are very friendly and will take food by hand.

8. We can not think of one complaint about this resort!


We will be back for sure and would not hesitate to recommend it to everyone who asks. GET THERE!!!

Room Tip: We upgraded to a Jr. Suite and were happy with the decision.
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  • Stayed April 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 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dartmouth, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2012

Just got back from our first visit to the CRT. We were there from April 9th to the 16th. I am ever so grateful for the day on my lunch hour that I stumbled upon the CRT on Trip Advisor. It sounded, by everyone's reviews, just what we were looking for - and we were not disappointed.
Arrival: We were unfortunately 8 hours delayed in getting to Mexico thanks to our wonderful charter company - we had booked a flight leaving 6 am, arriving at 9 am - so we figured on the beach and having lunch at the CRT. We didn't book a private transfer to the resort since we figured our room wouldn't be ready, and it would be a good chance to see some of the other resorts. We didn't land until 5pm and didn't get to the the CRT until 730 pm (thank God we were only the 2nd drop off) - so we were travel weary by the time we reached it and a little angry we had been ripped off almost a full day. Once we arrived at the CRT all was good - fast, efficient check-in - with a warm towel and cool drink. She ran down everything with us, including we just needed to enter our own 4 numbered code on the room safe.
Room: We had booked a junior suite and I emailed a week or so before requesting building 3 or 4, top floor if possible. We were given just what we had requested. Room 3201, corner, top unit. The room was lovely, with another window on the back of the unit - could see the ocean from it. The bell hop explained to us the beach towel exchange policy and went on his way. We found the safe where we put our passports, etc - old safe - required a lock and key(had to go back to front desk to get) - only blurb our whole stay. I was a little concerned because of some reviews about the beds - we found it very comfortable and slept well at night. The room was spacious as was the bathroom - loved the shower! Had different towel art each day, something to look forward to after a hard day on the beach. Stocked mini-fridge - we put in a note each day for a couple of more beer and it was always provided (plus put a tip in the fridge each day). My only suggestion would be that they put more bottled water in room - resort last year in DR - had 1.5 litre bottle of water in bathroom for use and another one by the coffee maker plus the bottles in the fridge for drinking. We got around that by filling our large Bubba mug with ice and water at the pool bar and bringing it back to room.
Pool: walked around it but didn't spend anytime at the pool area. It looked lovely and was very well kept. Loved Pure, the chill zone. Kept saying I was going to go up one day and have a nap in one of the pool beds but just never made it.
Beach: the one thing I couldn't wait to see after looking at all the pictures before our trip. An absolutely beautiful beach. Soft, white sand with hardly anyone on it. Walked to both ends, nice walk in the morning. A couple of abandoned resorts, a couple of restaurants, a small boutique resort and a couple of businesses. We had lunch on our last day at the Xpuha Beach Resort, just south of the CRT - excellent service and Mexican food. Highly recommend. Only two vendors while we there - they are not allowed past the "tree line" so they stay down closer to the water - one selling silver jewelry and the other hammocks - and not pushy at all. My husband had a long chat one morning with the hammock guy and found out about all of the hurricane damage that had happened to the businesses. We usually hit the beach around 730 and never had an issue with getting a spot - although most of the "choice" spots were taken. But for the most part I didn't see too much of pool/beach hopping by other guests. Once people arrived after breakfast most were there for the day. Make sure you get a fresh fruit/veggie smoothy at the Ma Loo bar - absolutely delicious.
Restaurant's: Found the food very good - didn't have any issues. Ate at all venues except the tapas restaurant - Italian was good, the Dutchess potatoes a little dry and not very big portions. The Grill - I had the the tenderloin medium rare and it was cooked perfectly. Husband had the rib steak medium rare and it was medium well and tough. Crab cakes are not like we are used to more of a crab quiche. My favourite was the Mexican - our first meal at any of the a la carte's and we ordered something from each course - we were full to the brim (and learned our lesson). The food was delicious and I wish I could have finished the burrito. Soon as you sit down they bring you a Margarita which was nice. Ate our other dinners at the buffet which had a nice selection - as did breakfast buffet. Only ate at lunch buffet once, good selection. Ate at the Sorrento grill once - husband had the burger which was huge and delicious and a plate full of home fries. I ordereded the Mexican chicken - four little pieces of chicken and 3 home fries. I giggled when it came and it was very tasty (and I had some of his fries). Everyday at lunch they BBQ or cook on the beach. Had the seafood shish kabobs one day and the seafood paella a couple of days. We ate off of the resort three days.
Grounds: Absolutely beautiful, loved walking the pathways and listening and seeing the wildlife. Even though signs are posted not to feed the animals I couldn't believe how many people were. If the lifeguard saw you feeding the fish he would blow his whistle - what people don't understand is if you are feeding the "little" fish the bigger fish are going to come. Talk was of a barracuda attack a few weeks before. So please people don't feed any of the animals, they eat quite well in their natural habitat. I can't understand other reviews of the "long" walk from Bldg 1 to beach (for example) - nothing is far because it is a small resort. A wonderful walk, especially in the evening with the lights on. However, not a good place to wear high heels - I got Carolyn's tip sheet beforehand and she mentions the high heel issue, so everytime I saw a woman tip toeing along with heels I would say "they didn't get Carolyn's tip sheet".
Staff: the most amazing staff. Friendly, accomodating, and professional! Anyone who worked in positions with alot of guest contact spoke very good English. We found they had the "junior" waitstaff on in the buffetts but in the a la carte, it was senior waiters who were professional to a the letter. Enrique in the Mexican restaurant was wonderful.
The Italian issue: can't understand what all of those reviews are about. We had no issue - my view is that the Italian tourists come over usually for 2 weeks - I watched the Veraclub young people - they circulated the beach and sat down and talked to every Italian guest - I feel a way to make them feel at home. They introduced people to each other, etc. But we did not find them rude at all. The resort has it's own entertainment staff who also circulated the beach and most activities were a combined effort - with people from all countries involved.
Smoking: another issue I don't know where it is coming from - staunch non-smokers or ex-smokers. I kept waiting for it but it never appeared. They do allow smoking in the open air lobby but not in the restaurants. I guess North Americans have become accustomed to strict no smoking policy's however Europeans I believe do smoke more BUT they are also paying guests. I just read one review where person felt the CRT should do something about all the smoking and it left me mystified because I just didn't see it.
Departure: we had an early departure so we did book private transfer through Best Day - great service and worth the money. Took 55 minutes and we were the first at the airport before any of the busses arrived. Check out was smooth - Roberto very pleasant for 530 in the morning.
Outside adventure: We took the collectivo two days - once to Tulum and once to Akamal - great way to travel - $3 each and fast - and a great combination of locals and tourists on board. Alot of resort staff travel to work and back by the collectivo. Tulum was beautiful - but very hot and also very crowded because it was a holy week holiday in Mexico. But well worth the trip down. I never once felt unsafe while off the resort. The people are lovely and friendly, the vendors are no where near as pushy as we have experienced in other areas.
Our time at the CRT was fantastic and we have both recommended to friends/co-workers since we got back. We will for sure be going back in the near future.

Room Tip: It is worth the money to book the junior suite - when we checked in, another couple from same flight...
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  • Stayed April 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 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Berlin, Wisconsin
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2012

BACKGROUND: We are a married couple in early mid 30’s with 2 kids who travel about once a year to some tropical destination. I am an avid snorkeler and scuba diver; my wife is a beach lover. We have been to Couples Swept Away twice (including a brief stay at Couples Negril), Akumal Beach resort in Akumal, Hotel Na Balam on Isla Mujeres, Disney land/cruise trips, Mazatlan, and so on. Overall, CRT met our expectations as an above average all inclusive resort- though not without some concerns/disappointments.

RESORT: Well designed for the footprint- lovely fixtures and flooring throughout buildings; simply stunning fieldstone lined central walkway that is perfectly lit up at night time; wonderfully lush vegetation surrounding rooms and on beach; good use of space in terms of clustering of restaurants and bars on each end of resort. OVERALL size vs others in Rivera Maya I would say as a step above small but certainly nowhere near some of the larger resorts further north. Plenty of wildlife to see and interact with on resort. During mealtimes, you will often find coatimundi (Mexican raccoons) coming right up onto central pathway looking for a handout- they will grab it right out of your hand and even crawl up on you in search of a treat. We always brought back some poundcake/donut from breakfast for them. There are also a plethora of beautiful blue jays that try to swoop in and steal the food from the coatimundi’s (in fact, I tossed a piece in air to one and a blue jay flew and nabbed it midair). There are also Agouti running around the woods but they area shy (look like big guinea pigs). Tons of iguanas too- they will usually come out around noon when sun has warmed the rocks lining the central pathway. At night you can see a few gnome lizards at night time on the walls by the light fixtures looking for bugs to eat. No feral cats or dogs (we loved all the stray “el gato’s on Isla Mujeres and were hoping to see some here).

LOCATION: Xpu-Ha is a basically a beach and nothing more- no town; that being said though, it is the best beach in the Rivera Maya which is why we chose this resort.

BEACH: The designated area of beachfront for CRT is about 100 yards from one end to another and about 75 feet from waterline to pool area which abuts the beach. On either side of the resort are numerous rundown/deserted resorts. To the right of resort beachfront, you can walk about a mile until you hit a rocky area that makes up the far end of this coved area of beach known as Xpu-Ha. About 100 yards to the right is Bahia Divers shop. Just beyond that is a beachfront restaurant/bar and then nothing until hit end of beach. To left of resort is nothing until ¾ mile down you will see Al Cielo resort and beachfront restaurant which I have heard serves great food and an intimate lobster dinner. ¼ mile beyond is the end of the beach where another rocky area defines the other border of this coved area. Beautiful soft white sand as far as the eye can see, especially in front of resort. Swimming is easy as no coral to worry about initially and not a rock in site. Commonly, schools of fish will swarm you looking for some crumbs for a few minutes when entering water. Plenty of Papala’s and shady palm tree’s if you fear the sun as I do (Irish skin burns quickly) and always could find a lounge chair and usually a table too. My wife and I were not of the variety to get up at the ACOD to reserve our spots on beach but most of the prime areas were already taken after 8am. There were also a few hammocks. A waitress will come around to take drink orders as well. LOVED the beach and it is what made this stay as good as it was for us. Very few vendors will pass by and are not bothersome at all. Friendly silver salesman comes by daily as well as a guy selling hammocks. Think one other vender as well but never saw him as I was usually diving or snorkeling. Swimming off beach was easy and no water shoes necessary. Soft sand and mild wave action. First half of swim area goes to about 5ft and it drops to 8-10 at edge of area.

SNORKELING: while not much to see in the squared off swim area of resort, if you kick out about 300 yards (if looking at water on beach, it is where the last of the light blue colored water is) you will come to a pretty substantial reef wall that is interesting to tool around. Over the wall of the reef it drops off pretty deep and the reef itself is somewhat deep too, making most swim downs for a closer look challenging in most areas. Unless you are confident in your abilities, I would not recommend going alone as if you get in trouble out there, it is unlikely anyone on beach would notice save for the resort lifeguards IF they had binoculars. Bring a bright colored snorkel vest/life jacket as boats will travel out to this area for snorkeling/fishing trips and if it is wavy, they might not see you otherwise. Overall, not really worth it especially considering what I have experienced in Akumal (can’t recommend it highly enough to get a taxi down to Akumal in morning, rent snorkel gear if you don’t have any, and snorkel for an hour or two- simply amazing sea-life to see 15 feet off beach, especially turtles galore. I at one point had 4 in my field of vision at once! Saw an eagle ray, southern ray, school of cuttlefish which look like squid, 5-6 foot barracuda, remoras, and tons of fish. Literally it is like scuba diving without the need for a tank. I saw more in 3 hrs of snorkeling here than I did on my 6 dives that week. Before you leave Akumal, you MUST head over to Lucy’s Ice cream shop just down from super Chomak store and have their FISH TACOS- THE GOLDEN STANDARD OF FISH TACOS BAR-NONE!)

SCUBA DIVING: The resort itself has a scuba stand run by ProDive. The unfortunate part of this is that you don’t leave directly from resort’s beach- you need to get shuttled about 10 minutes up to Puerto Aventuras and leave from the Dreams Aventuras ProDive Scuba center/beach. Then after dive, get shuttled back to resort. You can leave your gear at shop though if doing multiple day dives. They run a good operation with friendly guides that all speak English and keep tabs on the divers during the dives. I went with Brian from Canada all week and he was great. Did 6 total dives- some average, some better than average- but this region isn’t famous for their diving so I knew what to expect before going- however it is one of the best sites in Rivera Maya for diving as close to the reef system. It isn’t Cozumel nor anywhere near Bonaire, but for someone like me who comes from Wisconsin and only really gets to dive once a year in warm water- it did the trick.

ROOMS: If there was one area of concern I read TA reviews for prior to this trip, it was about which room to choose- that being said, let me try and lay it out for you. Rooms are important to me as I am a Type A person who plans and researches everything in depth despite knowing how little quality time I will spend in the room itself. You will read a lot of different opinions on which building is the best, which category to book OR wait to upgrade when get there, if an upgrade is worth it. There is no simple answer. I can tell you without a doubt, there is no way I would be happy staying in building 1 or 2- just simply too close to the lobby/night show arena/restaurants for us in terms of noise or privacy. Granted the surrounding vegetation is lush around these buildings- they are not for us, regardless of being on a top floor or in a suite. If fact, if given option of a honeymoon suite on 3rd floor corner of either building 1 or 2 vs a regular room in 3-6, I would take the later every time. NOW that that is out of the way- lets examine the differences between 3-4 and 5-6. 3-4 are sandwiched in the middle of 1-2 and 5-6, equal distance from the lobby and pool/beach area. These buildings have abundant surrounding vegetation on first and second floors, so very nice for privacy, but not for view if that is important to you. For us, we insisted on a ground floor room or second floor due to this. Given there is no ocean view from any room save for the 2 upper outermost 3rd floor corner suite rooms on building 5 and 6 (and the view is a distant one at best) and we would rather not look out of balcony and see everyone else’s balcony across the way on 3rd floor- we avoided 3rd floor. There are suites in all buildings, but the rooms in building 5-6 are updated with flat screen TV, digital safes, travertine tiled bathroom and shower with rain shower heads across the board. It cost $140 to upgrade from a standard room in buildings 1-4 to 5-6. A Junior suite was a $255 upgrade (but I talked to guests who got it for less with bargaining- wish I had thought to try and haggle down the $140 deluxe room upgrade to 5-6). I don’t know what the junior suite upgrade cost is in other buildings, it may be less. When we arrived, we were given a standard room in building 4 on 2nd floor with a King bed. In hindsight, I wish I had just stayed there, but without having experienced the resort before and thinking I had to be as close to beach as possible and as far away from noise of lobby, I took an upgrade to building 6. They offered a 3rd floor, I turned it down an insisted on a ground floor (as the vegetation around buildings 5-6 is less than 3-4 and the second floor has more view/less privacy than in buildings 3-4 and basically NO vegetation on 3rd floors; plus I am very active with snorkeling and diving and needed to go back and forth between beach and room more than most people would so a short walk to building 5-6 and being on ground floor avoiding going up and down steps was perfect for me). I also wish I had asked to see the room in building 3-4 FIRST before deciding on upgrading. OVERALL, IMO- not worth it for the 45 seconds it saves you in actual walking time being closer to beach and I could care less about flat TV (though the digital safe was a huge plus for us as I would hate to have to lug around a key). Our room was nice though and probably worth $75 upgrade- we stayed in 6011 (room numbers are coded as building number, floor, then room # itself- so 6011 is room #11 on ground floor in buildling 6. There are #16 rooms per floor, 3 floors to a building, so #288 total rooms. Rooms are located as follows- room #1 is on the far left of the complex if facing it from central pathway, rooms #08 and #09 flank the central corridor, and 16 is at the far right end of complex. All buildings have rooms with 2 double beds OR a king- for us, it was of paramount concern to get a King bed. I emailed the resort 1 week ahead of time about this as well as a request to be in building 3-4 or willing to upgrade to 5-6 but never heard anything back from them prior to arrival, nor was there any mention of this request being received at check-in. SO in the end, make your decision based on what is important to you, but the walking distance between 3-4 and 5-6 is not significant enough a reason to justify cost of upgrade in hindsight and I’m sure we would have been just fine in our originally booked standard king in building 4. Oh, there is really no difference between 5&6 or 3&4- both entrances join central pathway at same points and they are identical in nearly every way. I would have rather been in building 5 vs 6 for the fact that it is darker in room in morning based on position of sun and also it shines more directly on balcony in afternoon which would have helped to dry my gear as the angle of sun shining on building 6 after 2pm was basically nothing. Hair dryer provided as are bath slippers and robe. Coffee maker and alarm clock in room. NO DVD player. Iron with ironing board also in closet. Not many outlets so may want to bring a travel circuit breaker- especially one with a USB dock for Ipod/Iphones. Mattresses are actually decently soft/comfortable for mexico- we stopped at Walmart and picked up an egg crate topper before we arrived and likely would have been fine without it, but still like feel of it and it only helps get a good night’s sleep. Fridge and resort uses pepsi products, so if you are a die-hard rum and coke guy, consider stopping on way to get some coke. A/C is centralized and not very powerful- in fact I was immediately concerned it was not working or going to be enough to cool room given environment, but if left on, it will cool room down but not get it ice cold which is fine- just wanted humidity out and cool enough to sleep comfortably which it did- however be sure to check AC control unit each day after maid comes to clean as they always turned ours off. They also provide turn-down service each night which was a nice touch! Lastly, the pillow menu was a welcome touch too as I am very picky about pillows and always travel with my own anyway, but it was nice to have extras and a choice in their qualities.

RESTAURANTS: First off, the food was "good" overall (3.5/5)- about what I expected, nothing spectacular but rarely disappointed to point of ordering a new entrée. No dress code except obvious no-shirt-no shoes-no service (no long pants needed or closed toed shoes for men). WE NEVER used room service but the menu is limited for each mealtime and very limited late night but still 24 hrs which was a plus. For BREAKFAST- 2 options: the continental breakfast opens at 6 somewhere, either at lunch buffet area La Papala or the Margarita Bar (we never did this) OR there is the Breakfast buffet at La Selva right off lobby. This is where we ate every morning. Evidently there is also an a la carte option here as well but we were only offered this 1 time during the week (?) and passed as it was basically same options you could get yourself anyway. The Breakfast buffet was really good- good selection of everything for everyone and all cultures. Mimosas/Bloody’s available; 5-6 selections of fresh fruit as well as fruit juices; standard American fare eggs/bacon/sausage/hash browns; wide selection of bakery and breads, French toast/pancake station; fresh custom omelet station; cold cut/cheese station; Mexican breakfast items that varied occasionally and were actually pretty good. LUNCH: again, 2 options- Snack Sorrento was the beach grill that served pizza, sandwiches, apps, guac and chips/nachos, burgers, chicken, etc. We ate here twice and the food was okay. The pizza was horrible- nearly no sauce, odd cheese, and meats were obviously different than in US- we had Hawaiian one and just not worth it. However, the Fish fry was good, the burrito was really good and the Guac with Pico and chips was amazing. My wife had the (veal) burger which was decent but big enough for 2 hungry adults so. The fries were subpar but the hot dog with grilled onions was great (surprisingly the ones at lunch buffet were excellent>?!). My TWO big problems with this grill are 1) they really need to have more “Grab and Go items” besides a bowl of tortilla chips and nacho cheese sauce- put some pizza slices out, Hot dogs, and PLEASE HAVE GUAC AND PICO AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES IN THAT CHILL BIN SECTION at the counter that has basically burger toppings that no one really needs as it comes on burger anyway when you order it. 2) This should be open late at night for munchies/bar food/drunk cravings- nothing hits the spot like nachos and fresh grilled hot dog after a night of drinking (weenies for the wasted  ) LUNCH BUFFET at La Papala- Located on opposite side of pool across from lunch grill looking out over beach on far end. This was surprisingly VERY GOOD every day. We ate here most days and were always full and content. Fresh fish and seafood were offered and grilled up fresh daily; freshly sautéed pasta station as well; a ton of cold salads; tempura veggies which were great; fresh sushi; breads; Mexican dishes; soups; etc. All good quality items too. BEACHFRONT BBQ: Occasionally on the beach, they would set up a grilling station and serve BBQ items or Paella- we tried the later and I enjoyed it but my wife wasn’t too happy with it though she isn’t a big seafood lover like I am. Nice change of pace though from Grill and Buffet. Fun to eat on the beach too! DINNER: Okay, here we go- for starters, we never ate at La Selva dinner buffet so can’t comment but figured after lunch buffet nearly every day and 4 a la carte restaurant options- skipping buffet was not an issue or a regret. TERRACE (Tapas restaurant). This is the open air restaurant overlooking cenote and next to Toscana Italian restaurant. We ate here once for dinner and once for apps as menu changes slightly during the week. Basically you choose from 6 different trio’s of tapas- I would recommend each adult picks 2 each and then can share/split but they are each about 1 big bite worth. Then you pick from 6-7 entrée’s and ours were good (veggie lasagna and grouper). Apps were enjoyed more than entrée’s and was the reason we came to this restaurant, hence why we came back just for apps. A MUST DO. Bugs were present more if rained recently so a small can of bug spray is worth packing along/picking up. TOSCANA Italian rest. We ate here once and would have like to go back but tried it later in week because read so-so reviews about it and didn’t hear good things from those we asked there. We were pleased- start off with a great Foccacia bread with EVOO/balsamic/parm dip- then 6 apps to choose from, then 2 soups, 2-3 salads, then a pasta entrée (we had the penne carbanera and the gnocchi- both were excellent and the reason we wanted to come back), then finally a main entrée- Cathy had the stuffed chicken with cheese and spinach which was really good and I had the grouper entrée which was also good. For dessert we had the coffee tart which was really good like a Tiramisu, and a horrible canoli that wasn’t sweet at all. OVERALL- Recommended not to miss. CENTENARIO (Mexican). We had mixed reviews here. Went there first night and were disappointed. The variety app plate items were cold and somewhat bland. The house margarita everyone gets when seated is very weak too. The Guac wasn’t as good as at Sorrento lunch grill (maybe because missing pico as I would assume same recipe). The pumpkin soup was bland and sweet, the sopa de lime was okay but lacked punch and was too brothy. The fajita entrée was decent; the Shrimp with chile sauce and tequila reduction was okay- nothing special. Overall we were not impressed and disappointed considering we are in Mexico and thought they would nail this cuisine (couldn’t hold a candle to the authentic Mexican restaurants in Milwaukee) so we thought we wouldn’t return but gave it one more shot on last night. The Second time around we passed on these items and had the enchilada and tamalito/tamale apps- the tamale was decent, the enchilada was nothing special; the mexican corn/pepper/goat cheese salad was pretty good (and I hate goat cheese but this type wasn’t smoky at all); for entrée Cath had the veggie plate (average) and I had the burrito which was good. We skipped desserts here as already had them first time and the chocolate Tres generations cake with strawberries wasn’t worth it and the other 2 were not to our tastes (flan, mango moose) The corn tarte which was dry and nothing I would ever call dessert. ROYAL GRILL (steakhouse). We ate here twice and really liked this place a lot despite disappointing red meat entrée selections. Had Grilled Veg app which was good and the French onion soup was equally as good. The Maryland crab cake was not to our liking at all, nor anything to what a crab cake back in US is like. The potato soup was also good. Had spring roll app which was okay. The Ceasar salad is tasty and comes with small pieces of grilled chicken. Cath tried the Arrachera flank steak which was touted to be the most flavorful, tender piece of meat they offered- very disappointing- had neither great flavor nor was very tender. I had the Grilled Ahi tuna steak rare on both occasions as it was excellent- if you like rare Tuna, don’t be tempted away from it by the other choices. Cath also tried the Filet next time and wasn’t impressed with it. It was tender but lacked flavor- I have made better steaks at home on grill. Dessert- DO NOT MISS the apple pie crisp/tart with ice cream- AMAZING (had it twice). The brownie here was unremarkable (no offense, but Mexico just doesn’t do chocolate well at all- it is the one thing we both are craving when we get back home dessert wise). One other interesting service note- often one of us would get an app while the other got a soup/salad, then in 5-10 min, one would get a soup/salad and the other app would come out- seemed odd and are used to the apps coming at once together, then soups/salads together- but this seemed to be a theme on more than one occasion- no big deal, just odd. That’s all for restaurants- give them a try and see what you think. They also offered a Romantic Lobster dinner on beach for $45 a person but we passed as not huge warm water lobster fans and also heard that you can get a nice romantic beach lobster dinner down beach at Al Cielo for $50 total but don’t quote me on this as didn’t experience first hand.

BARS: This was the best of times and worst of times mixed into one. For us, we like to go SIT AT A BAR and socialize with bartenders and patrons. There are 4 bars at the resort (one of them being a fresh juice bar open during afternoon on beach which serves interesting non-alcoholic combinations that certainly will please kids, pregnant women, AA members, and those hungover looking to recharge the body with goodness. Moving along to the real bars- TERRACE BAR- This is located in the Tapas restaurant and only open 6pm-10:30 and only when restaurant is open (closes one night a week). We LOVED this bar- it actually had 4-5 stools for people to sit at and chat. Wonderful ambiance here as well being outside, beautifully lit, and had the best selection of premium liquor on resort (which is another point of contention as quality of booze selection was interesting and a bit lacking IMO). Only 1 beer on tap at any given time (either Modelo especial OR Negro Modelo- both of which we enjoyed with a lime- in the room fridges there was only Corona in a can which we hate. We stopped at Walmart on way down and picked up some Sol and Pacifico as we both love good Mexican beer). There is a cocktail and martini menu which was plentiful with options and most very good but some are different than what you are used to back home (especially the Long island Iced Tea at the Tequila bar). At the Terrace bar, the chocolate martini and the Singapore Sling were among our favorites. Bartender Yezser (sp?) was one of our favorites- a real nice guy who liked to socialize with guests as not very busy here. We came here for pre-dinner cocktails on many occasions. TEQUILA BAR- This is one of the main bars open all day till 2am and located by beach/pool next to Sorrento Lunch grill (hence why I said it would be a good idea to have the Grill open late as well for bar food). Has totally different drink menu than Terrace Bar (but same as Margarita Bar) and more of the blended tropical variety. The Mojitos were outstanding and a staple of this trip. The frozen drinks were very good as well especially the banana mama. Heard the Mango Tango was good too. The Fruity drinks on rocks were also good but I would avoid the Bloody mary and the Long Island IT. Beer selection same everywhere and no other bottled/can options. Mostly dealt with bartender Jamer here in late afternoon/evening who was awesome as well- outgoing and friendly. There was a duo of tenders on during lunch/day there were also efficient and friendly though their names escape me. The bar waitress is very friendly and will bring you pretzels in a martini glass if you want something to snack on. BONE TO PICK- there are ZERO barstools here. While they did have a number of 2 top bar tables around the bar to sit, it was too far to socialize with tender and took away from that bar atmosphere. While it is a busy place serving guests of lunch grill, beachgoers, and those in pool, at least have stools on 2 sides and this will leave 1 side for guests to get drinks and another for waitresses to get their drinks too. MARGARITA BAR- Located outside Mexican restaurant adjacent to lobby and open 6pm till 2am. Has very similar drinks to Tequila bar, except has more variety of Tequila’s including a number of them infused with fruits. Dealt with Carlos the bartender every time we went and he was excellent. A bit older than our other 2 fav’s and more reserved but will come out of his shell if engaged. He is very busy as they do drink service for Mexican restaurant and lobby guests as well. There are only 4 bar stools here on 1 side of bar and numerous tables surrounding bar to sit at- we always sat at bar though and felt this was best place to socialize with guests and tenders. Fun place to hang out before dinner or after as well as if you are going to see a nightly show which is just next door across the way from Terrace/next to cenote. Selection of Tequila’s was disappointing- no Don Julio, limited amount of Hornitos, no Milagro, etc. Same for rest of selection- had Finlandia vodka but nothing higher; decent Gin varieties, no good bourbons (beam and early times), no jack daniels that I saw though I heard from someone they keep a bottle underneath one of the bars for insistent guests, hardly any canadian whiskey (1 bottle of crown was found at Terrace but often ran out and not resupplied, no Captain and scarcely had Malibu at 1 bar I think. Halfway decent Scotch though (JW red and Dewar’s with some other Glen Elen single malt and JW black at Terrace occasionally). Overall, not bad but expected a bit more or at least a consistent supply of them. For what I drank the majority of the trip, I was fine with selection. As long as they tasted good, really could care less what name brand it was especially when it came to tropical/blended drinks.

ENTERTAINMENT: Most of this seemed to be coordinated through the Vera Club and was directed more to the Italian crowd. The night shows seemed to be that way as well but they seemed to offer 2 a night with one being more for everyone. We really didn’t partake in any of these activities EXCEPT on Thursday night (and we think it was purposely put on this night and may recur every Thur due to fact that Italians tend to leave on Thursdays) we went to see the Elvis Show by Dany Lova- LOVED IT- definitely something geared towards American’s and for Elvis fans.. We had a blast and thought it was really well done.

POOLS: We are not big pool people at all, even swim up bars (though this resort lacked one). The pool is nice and has a volleyball net always set up at one end. Water was very warm, like a lukewarm bath and not over chlorinated either. HOWEVER, they also have a trio of hot tubs overlooking the beach which we made good use of nearly every afternoon as a way to relax with a drink before the pre-dinner cocktail hour. There is an ambient temp tub (which IMO was on the cold side), a warm temp (which we always went in after a few attempts in the cooler one which we used to wake up and refresh when got too hot as pool wasn’t refreshing) and a hot one which we never even dipped our toe in to see how hot it was but heard it was on the hot side. While the sign’s posted said no food or drink in pools or hot tubs, no one followed that and the waitress would actually come to the hot tubs to get our drink orders. Can’t recommend these tubs enough. Found this was a good place to socialize with random guests as well (granted they spoke English that is as that is about all we speak).

STAFF: Wonderful, friendly, hardworking in all areas. Maid service was good though tended to run later in day than we would have liked on more than one occasion. She always left us cute towel art on the bed too. Got 3 bottles of water every day and fridge was restocked too as needed. Occasionally she would forget some items and we just found her and asked and were given whatever we wanted with a smile. Front desk was equally helpful. Waiters really worked hard and tried to please their guests in all restaurants. Bellmen brought bags to room for you. There are cold towels and welcome drink from front desk when arrived.

GUESTS: Another small minus for us is the amount of Italian guests and the catering that goes to them at this resort as well (though not so much by resort directly- rather the Vera Club staff that is a permanent presence there). While we (surprisingly) didn’t have any bad/rude encounters with them during our stay, we were at another resort in Akumal that was populated heavily by them and found them to be rude and smoked like chimney’s. Fortunately for us this stay, the most that we were bothered by was the smoking which wasn’t as bad as some reviews have complained about, and the loud/obnoxious music/activities by the pool/beach during the day- very minor annoyances though but thought should address/discuss as it seems to come up in every review and is an area of concern of this looking to stay here. Not knowing who you can talk to due to language barrier is another small minus as well- we like meeting other guests and had fun with the Canadians and American’s at CRT, just wished there were more of them as it removes that uncertainty of who you can approach/ask questions/socialize with. We also found them (Italians) much less likely to tip the staff which pisses me off given how hard the staff works and likely how little they get paid for their services. At other resorts where there is a mix of guests who speak different languages, each guest was given a different colored bracelet to correlate to their primary language. It saved the staff the trouble of asking you what you spoke, and made it easier for guests to know who they could (easily) socialize/converse with (sure a lot of foreigners can speak some English, much more than we Americans are likely to speak Italian/French/etc, but they are usually very awkward conversations that probably were better not attempted in the first place).

TIPPING: Please tip those that give you good service- even though it is an AI resort, they count on this as a way of life just as we do here in the service industry. We tipped the maid every day, tipped the waiters at each meal including buffets, tipped bartenders every round of drinks- even if it isn’t much (like a dollar/round drinks, more if you are a larger group; a dollar or two at buffets as they still bring drinks, clear plates, a few $ at dinner, something for the bellman, a dollar/day for maid, etc.) Of course, it is up to you, but being someone who used to wait tables, bus tables, and tend bar, I know what it is like to give good service and not be appreciated.

SPA: We were given $30 in Spa credit for upgrading to Deluxe rooms in building 5/6 but never used them as are not Spa goers. Looked nice though from what we could tell.

OVERALL/FINAL THOUGHTS: We enjoyed our stay and would recommend it to others- good “bang-for-your-buck” factor. Would we return ourselves? Maybe: we liked the grounds, variety of restaurants, friendly staff, decent rooms, smaller footprint of resort, LOVED the beach and hot tubs, quality of food and drink was decent, beautiful lush vegetations, interaction with wildlife. We miss having more social bars to sit and mingle, miss the plentiful sealife/amazing snorkeling that Akumal beach offers (what I do all day when I am not diving), miss the ease of scuba diving that other resorts offer (while Prodive was fine, not leaving from resort’s beach directly is a hassle and makes it less enjoyable), miss experiencing things around/outside of the resort (like on Isla or Akumal town) as Xpu-Ha really is this resort and not much else unless you have a car/rent a taxi. If we came back to Mexico, it would be between this resort, Akumal beach (Akumal Caribe or Akumal Beach resort), or back to Isla Mujeres (Hotel Na Balam) as so much to see and do/experience on that island- each offers a different type of vacation. All inclusive resorts like CRT have a lot going for them, but sometimes when that is all there is, it gets redundant as no avenues to escape (unless you do excursions like Xelha or Xcaret but that can be said for any resort). One week is perfect for CRT, but that is about all we would want to stay here at one stretch. We have no interest in Playa, Cancun, Tulum as these places lack the beach and reefs that Xpu-Ha and Akumal offer (Isla has a great beach too) and appreciate the “slower pace” more authentic culture you get south of Playa de Carmen. Hope you found this review to be helpful and not offensive. It is an honest review and I find that not sugar coating topics will paint a better picture of what to expect so that you know what you are getting and shouldn’t be surprised or let down if expecting something else. Have fun, we sure did! (Don’t forget to spend a few hours at Akumal beach snorkeling! We spoke to so many guests staying here that did it and absolutely loved it just as we did)

TIPS/ADVICE: Forget hair dryer at home. Bring small can bug spray. Beach towels provided. May want to invest in an insulated BUBBA KEG mug/cup as ice melts within seconds/beer gets warm quickly. Ask bartenders for “Mas Ice” when getting drinks/side cup of ice. Invest in a Capital One credit card as it is the only CC company that charges neither for a foreign fee or a conversion fee. IF renting a car, can’t recommend EASYWAY rental company- reasonable, reliable, friendly (for $50-$75 more than the cost of private transfer from airport you can have a decent sized car for the week- but if you do make SURE TO GET FULL MEXICAN AUTO INSURANCE regardless of your policy at home and if it covers you abroad). Not that the resort serves any unpurified water/ice- no one can control what water the fruit soaks up when it grows- so for those of you will sensitive stomachs OR those that want to eliminate the possibility of getting Montezuma’s Revenge, take 2 pepto bismal tablets 3X a day just before or during meals and you can eat and drink whatever you want without a care in the world. In fact, if you take it 4X a day, you can even drink regular Mexican water and avoid MR as well as pepto is protective against the bacterial agent that causes it (yes I am in the medical field). Besides, pepto is a must bring item in case you get any diarrhea down there anyway, as are the Pedialyte powder packets (also recommend asking your MD for a Rx for Zofran ODT to combat any nausea/vomiting problems that could arise sho

Room Tip: Anything in building 3-6 is fine, I would avoid buildings 1&2. Probably not worth upgrading to...
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  • Stayed April 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

We just returned from our trip to Catalonia Royal Tulum and we had a blast! We were there from April 10-16. My husband and I have been to four or five all inclusive resorts and this one ranks as one of the best. I will do my best to break it down for you...

ARRIVAL/ROOM: The resort is about an hour drive from the airport. We took a private car through USA Travel since we didn't want to spend our time dropping other people off at their hotels. It was worth the extra money. When we arrived they gave us cool towels and a welcome drink. I had emailed the resort a week in advance to request a king bed on the top floor of building 3, 4, 5 or 6. We were given exactly what we wanted:) We ended up in building 4, which is halfway between the lobby and the beach/pool. It was perfect! We booked a standard room and we were very happy about the size, decor, bed, balcony and bathroom. The showers were the best of any of the places that we have stayed! The TV was kind of old, but who wants to sit in their room and watch it anyway... The room was always clean and we had fresh bath and beach towels daily.

FOOD: We thought the food was pretty good. The breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets had a large variety and there was always a cook-to-order section where someone would prepare something fresh for you (omelettes, burritos, tacos, chicken, fish, pasta). The wait staff at the buffets are wonderful. David was our favorite!
We tried all of the specialty restaurants and we thought they were all very good! It would be hard to choose just one favorite:) The steakhouse is next to the beach and has a wonderful atmosphere. The flank steak and tenderloin were great! The Italian restaurant is near the lobby. We enjoyed the lasagna, a pork dish (can't remember the name), and a brownie for dessert. The tapas restaurant has the best ambiance (but remember to wear bug spray!!!). It is situated near the lobby right next to the cenote. It has more of a lounge feel, which is kind of nice. We loved the grouper wrapped with salmon and the pork skewers along with some apps... The best part about the tapas restaurant was the bar! We had the best martinis there and decided to visit the bar nightly for our after dinner drinks. The mexican restaurant is situated in the lobby next to the lobby bar. Again, the food was great and the service was amazing. We enjoyed the fajitas and lime shrimp!
For lunch there is one buffet next to the beach that is pretty good and a grill next to the beach bar. We thought the grill was great! My husband loved the burger and the ceviche was delicious!
Lastly, you HAVE to visit the juice bar on the beach. They make whole fruit juices that are very healthy and refreshing.

STAFF: A huge highlight of our trip was the wonderful staff at this resort. We have never been to a resort where the majority of the employees have been friendly and accommodating. The staff here will do everything in their power to see that you are comfortable. They are always smiling and saying "hola" as you pass by. The only time we had a little problem was in the lobby bar. There was one bartender who seemed to be having a bad day (or a few), or just didn't like us. His name was Carlos... He never smiled and was never very helpful to us. With everyone else being so nice, this didn't bother us much. We just stayed clear of him if he was at the bar.
Please tip the employees. They work very hard and deserve a little extra! We tipped our waiters, bellman, bartenders and maid. They all seemed very grateful:)

BEACH/POOL: The beach is breathtaking! White sand and warm, turquoise water with palm trees and ocean breezes... I can't think of any place more serene. It is true that some people come down to the beach early to secure their chairs, but this didn't bother us. We came down after breakfast and always found a great place to set up. I think it is rude of people to claim chairs and not come back for hours on end, but it is not the resort's fault. The book is large and nice as well. There is only one pool, but since there are no kids allowed, one pool is plenty. We enjoyed the late afternoons here when the wind picked up on the beach.

OTHER GUESTS: After reading all of the bad reviews about the Vera Club, I was a little nervous about the dreaded Italians. But, we had no problems with them at all. The Vera Club staff were very nice and always included everyone in their activities. There were a lot of Europeans in general at the resort, which made for a lot of smoking. It wasn't that bad though. We met some really nice guests of all nationalities! Actually the most annoying people that we encountered came from the US. As mentioned in a previous post, these 20 somethings carried around a huge boom box and played house music everywhere they went. They were loud, obnoxious and had no regard for other guests. If you have ever seen an episode of MTV's "Jersey Shore", you'll have a good idea of what these guests were like. Again, this didn't bother us much. It just made us laugh:)

ACTIVITIES: We decided to do two main activities while in Riviera Maya. One was a fabulous tour of Chichen Itza. We did a small tour through Flavio Tours and it was the most amazing tour we have ever been on! I will be writing a review of this tour, so if you want more info you can look for it in the activities section. We also took a collectivo (3 buck per person each way) to the Tulum Ruins (about 25 minutes away). I highly recommend going to both places. I have to add in one last thing about activities in general. This is only my opinion, so please don't take offense. PLEASE do not swim with the dolphins here in Mexico. It is cruel to have these intelligent and sensitive creatures kept in small pools just for our entertainment. If we all stop paying to swim with them, less of them will be taken from their families to live in a resort... There are many tours where you may encounter dolphins in their natural environment. Please choose these tours instead:)

Thank you for reading my review and sorry it was so long! I hope you choose this wonderful resort for your next vacation. We hope to go back again:)

Room Tip: Get a top floor room in building 3 or 4
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  • Stayed April 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 30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Catalonia Royal Tulum

Address: Carretera Cancun Chetumal Km. 264.5, Xpuha 77790, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Xpuha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 hotels in Xpuha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Catalonia Royal Tulum 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Adults only all-inclusive resort, located in Xpu-Ha, Riviera Maya, on the Caribbean coastline. It is surrounded by native jungle trees, local plants, mangroves and cenotes - water springs where a diverse variety of flora and fauna can be found in an unspoiled habitat. It is just 25km from Playa del Carmen and Tulum's archaeological site, and 85 km south of Cancun International airport, in Quintana Roo State, Mexico. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Royal Tulum Xpuha
Riviera Maya Copacabana
Copacabana Riviera Maya
Catalonia Royal Tulum Riviera Maya, Mexico - Xpuha

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