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“Great place” 4 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 #3 of 4 Hotels in Xpuha
1 review
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

First I would like to point out the comment made by MT titled "beware".We travel quite often every year and stay at very nice places, I was very impressed with this place, and this time we even spent less than our typical normal price range for a place. The review from MT sounds like a review from a generaly unhappy and hard to please person.
I spoke with quite a few guests and most have been to the Cancun area several times and said thay the Royal Tulum by was the best unless you are traveling with kids, since it is an adult only resort. MT mentioned (the smoking, we don't smoke but you are on vacation, just relax and let people enjoy thier selfs too, also there was a strong breeze that whips through there it carries thr smoke before you can really smell it. Also, the "ANIMATION TEAM" i didn't have any interest in taking part in that but a large majority did, i would imagine most people should have the sense to know you are going to a beach in the Caribbean there is bound the be a beach activity like that, plus it olny lasted for about an hour each time maybe twice a day. If you want to nod off, go to your room, never heard the blender, she most have been right up on it to hear it. Music, a beautiful tropics beach vacation, are we really going to give a hoot if the same soundtracks of music play to often, I mean who is paying attention to how many times they played Jimmy Buffett? I mean c-mon and the cleaning crew if anything started too late, i never heard them in the mornings, even when I slept in late unti 9:30am.) I understand that this is a review website and people have their opinions but it bothers me when pepple nag for everything just to nag and give people misleading reviews.

We think it was a great resort with a perfect setting, resort building and walkways are built through the jungle that open right up to a great pool and beautiful beach.
The resort staff was very nice, the dinner service was great, I wish I could say the same for the food. They staff always kept the entire complex clean. Good key thing to know before going about the drinks, top self is avail if you ask for it and there is no additional charge. Too bad i found that out on my last day.
If you like wildlife there lots of these little Raccoon / monkey like animals all over the resort that will come up to you (COATI) another capybara like animal (RED AGOUTIS) and lots of Igaunas.

Planning day excursions were very easy there, we took a snorkeling trip near Tulum with the Sea turtle's and snorkeling in the Cenote it was definately worth it, we were able to swim upclose within a couple feet of 12 sea turtles, we booked that at the hobiecat/kayak rental spot by the beach at the hotel.
We also booked the Chichen Itza, Ik Kil Cenote and Coba ruin tour on a one day while we there. Best value, promptness, you can have the driver stop even at a roadside shop for gift etc and since there are private, you don't have to wait to for them to pick up and drop off guests at other hotels also for booking round trip airport pickup. (USA TRANSFERS)

CONS: Watchout for the seafood, i did get a little ill my first day from eating a room temp under cooked seafood entree at the Tapas restaurant. The rest of the food was very blah not good at all. I would have given them a 5 if it were not for the food, the one restaurant that was decent was the mexican and breakfadt because you could make your own hot breakfast sandwiches.
Also the tip and tax is included with the all inclusive package at this place, I even made sure and verified with the hotel manager and was told that the employees there are compensated very well there and that they are not supossed to accept tips. Though there were a couple bartenders that put us dollars out on the counter and leave them there to try to make it look like you are supossed to tip, when you don't it was those only those 2 bartenders that would pretend like uou were not there when you can back for a drink.
SO BE AWARE YOUR TIPS ARE ALL INCLUDED, PER WEBSITE HOTEL INVOICE AND MANGER, DON'T LET THEM MAKE YOU FEEL BAD OR INTIMIDATED.

OVERALL: I would definately recomend his place, even know the food is not anything to write home about, the setting, beach, pool, service and location are all worth it.

I hope this review was helpful,

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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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Sidney, BC, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

We are 65 year old married couple who have been vacationing along the Mayan Riviera for the past ten years at various resorts. This is our third visit to this resort. It is still the most reasonably priced adults only all inclusive in the area and continues to get high marks from the majority of reviewers.
This resort is about an hour away from the airport by taxi or personal transport. For those travelling through tour operators with transfers to the hotel it will take much longer.
The buses take much longer because they first have to wait till all passengers clear customs and board the bus. This in itself can take quite awhile depending on how busy the airport is. Once loaded the bus will stop at various resorts along the way to drop off passengers and depending on the number of stops, it could take up to 2 hours or more to arrive at the CRT. If you add up your time for clearing customs, collecting luggage and riding the bus it could take you up to 4 hours from landing to the CRT. If you forgo the hotel transfers (tell the bus driver or your tour operator so the bus is not waiting for you) and book private transportation you will arrive at the CRT within an hour and 10 minutes of clearing customs.
My advice is if you are arriving late in the day or have only a week or less of vacation time, take private transportation to the CRT. At $120US (USA Transfers) return it is worth it. Otherwise take the transportation provided by your vacation package and spend the $120 on souvenirs.

The resort itself remained largely unchanged from our last visit about 2 years ago with the exception of a new specialty restaurant and one less hot tub (changed to a sitting area). There is a warm water tub (not hot) and a cool water tub overlooking the beach. They have also tightened up on the beach towel availability. You get one fresh towel in your room per guest when you arrive and they are exchanged every evening in your room during the turndown service. In addition they have dummied down the dress code for all restaurants. You are not required to dress up for dinner if you do not want to. In the specialty restaurants you will see well dressed guests to those wearing flip-flops, tees and the ever popular ball cap. This may be not the ambiance you are looking for. It certainly wasn’t ours. Happily, they have also added an evening buffet which was lacking during our last two visits. However, the resort should take better advantage of the buffet dinning option . For example, by enforcing a dress code for the specialty restaurants, those guests not wishing to dress up for dinner have the option of eating at the buffet. This would improve the ambiance and dinning experience in the specialty restaurants immensely.

The walkway is still beautiful with background music in the evening it makes for a very relaxing and enjoyable stroll. The limestone pathway is uneven and not very forgiving to those having difficulty walking or those wearing high-heels. There is an option however, the service roads running along the rear of buildings. They are inlayed brick, level and run the length of the resort.

The beach remains to be this resorts greatest asset. Beautiful white sand, mature palms offering an abundance of shade and a gradual slope into the water. There is no need for water shoes here. The beach can get a little crowded with guests directly in front of the resort but you have the option to venture away from the crowd on either side of the resort and enjoy a beautiful un-crowded view of the water and sandy beach but you must bring your own shade.

A very nice feature offered at this resort is FREE WI-FI throughout the resort. There is no need to run down to the lobby to get a WI-FI signal and pay expensive connection fees to use it; like you do in many high-end resorts. Nice touch CRT.

The food in the restaurants and buffets are hit and miss. Overall I would say the food is good and variety is good. However the quality from restaurant to restaurant is inconsistent and you may be very happy or very disappointed in you chosen dishes. I suggest that if you do not like it don’t eat it. Either order something else or go to the Buffet. Also, don’t blame the serving staff if the food is not up to your standard. If the serving staff work hard to serve you then reward them with a tip. They do not cook the food and can sure use the tip money.

We have found the staff, without exception, to be very friendly, hard working and very helpful. This is the resorts second best asset.

The pool tended to be on the cool side and as a result saw very little use by guests who were content to sit around the pool and tan rather than go for a swim. However, during our stay when the weather was a little cooler and windier than usual. Perhaps a spell of real hot weather would prompt greater use of the pool. They do have a nice area off to the side of the main pool that has a small half meter deep pool with lounge chairs in the water so you can lounge in the water while you sip your margarita.

There has been much said about Italians and their VeraClub. We have found that much of it is unwarranted. However, the fact of the matter is they arrive at the resort in large groups. They travel around the resort in large groups and they tend to be loud and overbearing. This was also the case with the French; loud large groups. So as a couple looking for some quiet relaxation we found the situation annoying. There is however, nothing you can do about it. Just be aware that you will feel outnumbered and imposed upon by these large loud groups. We were. One particular place you do not want to be amongst these loud guests is the margarita bar (lobby bar). It has a very high ceiling and terrible acoustics. But, on the plus side the bar is non-smoking . When there are a half dozen Italians or French in there having a drink you can hardly carry on a conversation across the table. It was just awful.

I will now rant about lounge chair saving!
Lounger saving is in full swing here. 5:45 am is the start time and by 6:45 the pool loungers are all spoken for. The beach loungers (on a nice day) are usually picked over pretty good by 11am. I have complained about this in past reviews and it is no better today than it was 4 years ago. If it is a cloudy or windy day the pool loungers were all claimed by 6:15. Here is a scenario that happens far to often. Guests run down early place towels on pool loungers and head back to their room/breakfast/shower etc.. They return around 10-11am. A few even place personal articles of clothing, bags etc., on the lounger, replacing their towel which they take down to the beach and claim a lounger down there. They now have claimed a pool-side lounger and a beach lounger. Greedy and inconsiderate guests are alive and well here at the CRT. I have seen one woman come down at 6:30, laden in towels and claim 6 loungers in a row (for herself and friends I assumed). These loungers sat empty until 11 am when two people of the group sat down. The others showed up after lunch; two others didn’t want the poolside lounger and took their towels off the lounger and headed down to the beach. These two loungers sat unused for 5 hours. While this did not impact me that day it infuriated me that guests are deprived of a lounger because of greed. This lounger problem (which is more serious than all other resorts I have stayed at) is reason for me to consider not returning to this lovely resort. Getting up at 6am because of greedy people is just to hard on these old bones. The problem, I think, is exasperated by the relatively small pool for the number of rooms (especially when the resort is fully occupied) and available space for loungers as well as an inadequate supply of loungers. My wife suggested that resort staff should chalk towels that are saving loungers like they do car tires at parking meters. She also suggested that staff collect all the flip flops, beach wraps, water bottles and magazines off of loungers and place them in a lost and found. Only your personal pool towel should be allowed to save loungers (one towel per lounger).
OK rant over.

Our room was a deluxe room which means a refreshed standard room in building 4 or 5. We were second floor in bldg 5. Everything worked just fine. Nice rain shower and hammock on the balcony. There was good lighting in the bathroom and the maid service kept it spotless. I should mention that twice we left our safe open and both times the maid closed it for us with a note to contact security to get it open again. Very trustworthy staff. The size of the room is good. We stayed in a larger corner suite last time we were there and the suite is definitely a nicer and larger room with more seating but the deluxe was just fine for us this time around. The bed was very comfortable and they even had a pillow menu.

For non smokers the lobby is a harsh environment in the evening. It is filled with loud talking Italian and French smokers (and others). Drinks are served in the lobby from the acoustically challenged non-smoking lobby bar. Not what you would call relaxing places to have an evening drink.

I think if we were younger and more tolerant of these, let’s say annoyances; we would have had as good and relaxing a time as we have had in past visits. However the crowd at the resort seems to be getting younger and louder or maybe we are just getting older and grumpier. Although this resort fit most of the bill for us with a beautiful sandy beach, mature palm trees offering lots of shade, long stretches of un-crowded beach for long walks, wonderful attentive staff, secluded jungle walkways, free WI-FI throughout the resort and all amenities within easy walking distance we may look elsewhere for a vacation next time. Probably another adults only resort that is a better fit for what we are looking for; quiet, relaxing atmosphere, elegant dining with restaurant dress codes and no more of that “snooze you loose” feeling with loungers. Getting up so early in the morning ruined our evenings. We ate early and went to bed around 9:30-10:00 every night. Anyway, we will probably have to cough up more money to get what we want elsewhere.

Another review I recommend reading is one by “simplysterling”. It is pretty much right on. On the whole this is an average to good resort (bearing in mind I never participated in the spa services, so I can’t comment on their spa) with some positive and negative aspects. Despite its shortcomings it is still a reasonably priced adults only all inclusive and probably better suited to groups (if you can’t beat them, join them) than senior couples.

Room Tip: Deluxe rooms are closer to the pool and beach where you will spend most of your day.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hancock, Michigan
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

Visit Feb 25-March 4. I had previously stayed at the Catalonia Riveria Maya but found the food to be mediocre and the wine to be terrible. This year I decided to stay at the adult's only resort hoping that the food and wine would be better. It was!

First the Pros:
1. Beautiful beach- this resort is worth coming to for the beach alone. It is beautiful and sandy. You can snorkel right there and the fish will swim around you even if you are not snorkeling. I never had trouble finding a beach chair.

2. Friendly Staff - While many did not speak English they were very friendly and were always smiling. I took the advice of another visitor and brought little gifts for the maids but they did not take them so this may not be worth your time.

3. Good food and wine - the buffet catered to the mainly Italian visitors but this meant there was also tasty food and wine. My favorite restaurants were the steak house and the Mexican Restaurant. There are two bars open at night, one by the beach and one by the lobby. The bar by the lobby has live entertainment each night and is worth checking out.

4. Clean rooms - All the rooms are by the garden and overlook the central walk way. I had a ground floor which I liked because the animals would come and visit in the morning and I could feed them. The beds were mediocre and the sheets were scratchy which surprised me at the rate they charged for this hotel.

Cons
Business Practices - Upon check in they asked me to "help them out" and offered me a "good deal" of a free night at their sister resort the Hotel Catalonia Tulum. I promptly told them that I had paid more money to stay at this resort and did not feel it was right to ask me to go to a lower level resort. He asked me if I had been there before and I told him I had. This appeared to surprise him. When he came back he had a room for us. After talking to others this appears to be a normal practice for them, to over book and them push customers to a lower rate hotel. Not a good business practice to make people stay at a resort that costs significantly less that what they paid for!

No USD currency - This hotel will accept almost ANY currency other than USD so you will have to use your credit card for incidentals and pay the charges upon check out.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berwick, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

We stayed at CRT the week of Mar 9-16, 2013. We arrived at Cancun airport only to have to wait upwards of 45 minutes for a shuttle to our hotel. We were not given any info about why we were waiting; everyone else had left on big buses and still we waited. Not sure if it was a Nolitours error, but it sure did NOT impress us. The shuttle driver did not really speak to us, welcome us to Mexico or give us any info about the area. Arrived at CRT about 10 pm (drive to resort was about an hour), and were the only guests checking in so we did not have to wait at the front desk, thankfully. We were in building 3000 (3rd floor) so half way to the beach/pool area and half way to the lobby and this was perfect for us. It was very quiet and peaceful resort and the main path leading everywhere was in the middle of the rain forest and was just lovely. We enjoyed seeing all the wildlife and by the end of our week our eyes were truly trained to spot large iguanas, newts, beautiful birds and coutis. Our room was sparse but lovely, king size bed was very comfortable. The mini fridge was stocked daily with water, Corona and pop, bathroom was nice, but no bath or jaccuzi tub which we missed. The maids did a great job everyday. We absolutely loved the beach and put it on par with Punta Cana's Bavaro Beach (which is a favorite of ours). You can walk in either direction for about a half mile. The water and waves were perfect for snorkelling or cooling off. The bar service on the beach was great and the waitresses work very hard to make sure you always have a drink on hand. Loved the margaritas!! There is no swim up bar at this resort and we missed this as we like to finish off each afternoon this way. The pool area is very large and chairs are taken quickly early each morning. The Pure Chill area had cabana style loungers, hammocks and ping pong tables and was a favorite spot for us late afternoon when we could get chairs. We were disappointed in the food at CRT as we had heard the food was so much better in Mexico than the DR or Cuba. We had hoped to have some really good spicy Mexican dishes but instead found all the food to be quite bland (and safe?). We did love the guacamole and corn tortilla chips which were at the buffet each day at lunch. The burritos at the beach grill were terrible and fajitas at the Mexican restaurant were just okay. The fish and steak at the buffet at noon were very good. Breakfast was quite a busy time at the buffet, and often there was a wait if you arrived between 8 and 8:30. The fresh fruit was plentiful and we really enjoyed breakfast each morning. We spent each evening after dinner at the lobby bar which was quiet and usually entertaining with guests at various points of sobriety. It is a small area and did not seem to have the fun atmosphere of other resorts we've been to. There is musical entertainment of some sort each night until 9:30 when the main stage show began. The drinks here seem to be watered down, and what is slated to be Baileys is definitely not the true Baileys brand. We had one full day of rain and so we used that day to venture to Playa del Carmen. It was very busy and Americanized and the shopping was high pressure. Ate lunch at The Grill (Le Parrilla) which was very good. We did not sign up for any high priced excursions (we were advised to not book anything through reps at the hotel as the prices were very inflated, but rather were advised to arrange our own transportation to a destination and pay an entrance fee). We ventured off on our own for snorkelling at some local cenotes. Just down the highway from CRT is La Jardin El Eden and next door to it Cenote Cristalino. The taxi fare was 100 pesos. Both places looked a bit sketchy upon arrival (50 pesos at one, 80 pesos at the other) but they turned out to be the highlight of our week on the Mayan. Both were very safe and the people working at each were very kind. The landscape is beautiful, wildlife excellent, and the snorkelling experience was wonderful although we had hoped to see an abundance of fish and we didn't. The resort is popular with Italians and other Europeans and the entertainment staff during the day definitely catered to these groups (which is not necessarily a bad thing). The fitness center had 10 Lemond spin bikes which pleased my husband and overall was one of the better fitness centers as the equipment wasn't antique. Overall a wonderful holiday and the resort definitely grew on us by the end of the week.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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Norwich, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

Let me start by issuing a warning. If you come to this hotel looking for things to complain about, you are going to have to work hard at it. I have read some of the negative reviews and I cannot endorse most of those comments. I will also apologise for a long report but if we had read this early on, our decision would have been much easier to make.

First, location: if you have not visited Yucatan before, it is not the vision of sombreros, tequila, burros and cacti conjured up when thinking of Mexico. Its Caribbean coast to the east and proximity to Belize and Guatemala are much more of a hint to its feel and a still strong Mayan influence lends a more relaxed and somehow genteel atmosphere. The very busy areas around Cancun and Playa del Carmen are in the north if the peninsula. The further south you travel down the excellent highway, the less intense the developments, the more relaxed the atmosphere and a growing Mayan influence which, when you get to know them, is a great bonus. Local people are mostly friendly and courteous and have a full understanding of the importance of tourism to their livelihoods.

If you are minded to be just a tiny bit adventurous, communications along the highway are fantastic with the local 'Collectivo' minibus service running every 5 minutes or so, picking you up and dropping you off anywhere you like and are very inexpensive Taxis are also reasonably priced and a price menu is on display in the foyer. If you plan to hire a car, look very carefully at insurance. The statutory minimum 3rd party cover is only £21,000 and the best you can buy still has an excess of 10% of the value of the car!

There are plenty of attractions and sites of interest within an hour’s travelling. There are no local amenities but we were so well catered for we had no need for them. There are two shops on site offering the usual basics. There are good tourist shops in Tulum and Akumal. Playa del Carmen is much busier with a greater selection.

The concept of the development is to be applauded. Many people will come to the Yucatan without appreciating it is mostly tropical forest or indeed jungle. On this site, only sufficient clearance was made to site the buildings and amenities, the rest of it is not only unmolested but a multitude of tropical plants trees and shrubs are carefully managed to ensure healthy growth. As a result, you get the feeling you are somehow living in the jungle. One of my favourite pleasures was drinking my morning coffee on the balcony and communing with the considerable nature on show.

The management is extremely good with a high set of standards applied through excellent staff training and supervision. The staff are friendly, helpful and courteous to a fault. Nothing, but nothing was too much trouble for them. Cleanliness appeared to be virtually an obsession and a small army of staff worked very hard to maintain that standard.

This was only our second all inclusive holiday and it had one fundamental advantage over the first. On that occasion, a large number of guests were on half board and continually being asked whether we were A-I when ordering a drink, as if that made any difference (and we suspected it did), became immensely irritating. The CRT is totally A-I and not once was there any hint of any reluctance to serve.

With an unlimited choice of 5 a la carte restaurants plus a buffet restaurant, the choice of food was very good indeed. The range of dishes available at the buffet breakfasts and dinners was staggering and I can appreciate how difficult it is to maintain high standards with such a large offering. It is therefore difficult to rate the food. I have given 4 stars for this which is how I see it, being one notch short of gourmet standards. We did, however, eat very well and enjoyed every single meal. Meal service was top notch.

The room was fitted out to a high standard, very spacious, comfortable and well serviced. I cannot comment on the upgraded rooms in blocks 5 and 6 but see my comments on room choice.

For daytime relaxation there is a wide variety of different choices but one area of comment is the availability of sunbeds. Other reviewers criticise the hotel for not policing this. I take a very different view. If guests are prepared to not only ignore the signs prohibiting reserving beds with a towel, bat also reserving 2 lots, one for the morning and one for later when the sun has moved round, then my criticism is aimed fairly and squarely at the guests. What is the hotel supposed to do? Create conflict with guests by removing their belongings from the beds? It saddens me deeply to witness such selfish behaviour. That is my single whinge over but for all that, we always managed to find something which suited us, if not exactly in pole position.

The acid test of any holiday is always would we come again? On this occasion, the resounding answer is absolutely! The area is without doubt one of the most beautiful we have visited and the hotel is not just a great place to stay. It really is a trip to paradise.

Local interest
Wildlife: If you’re into it, it will blow you away! If you’re not, it will enchant you.
5 adjoining cenotes are within 2 miles of the hotel and one really should be on the bucket list
Tulum Mayan citadel about 30 minutes
Coba Mayan city about 1 hour (once a city of 50, 000!)
Tulum itself is a laid back town with limited tourist influence and an hour spent at a roadside cantina offers an interesting (if noisy!) insight into daily life for residents
Akumal beach offers snorkelling with turtles! The dive centre and ecological centre are well worth visiting.
Yal ku lagoon just north of Akumal is a pleasant and interesting visit. You can easily spend quite a lot of time here and if that is your plan, you may want to spend the extra 250 pesos (about £13) for a thatched shelter, which also gives quite a lot of privacy

The furthest we went was Puerto Morellos to take a (mandatory) boat trip out to snorkel the pristine reef. The variety and intensity of the life was nothing short of bewildering. If you like snorkelling, it’s well worth the 1.3 hours travelling each way and the relatively modest cost of the mandatory guides and boat (300 pesos each for boat, guides and 2 hours of snorkelling). All doable on the collectivos for the grand total of 120 pesos, about £6 each way

The massive Sian Kaan wildlife reserve (about 45 minutes to the south) is highly protected and has very limited access - and only with guides and by boat.. However, the opportunity to see crocodiles, manatee and a myriad of wild birds in their natural environment is well worth it if that’s your thing.

There are plenty of livelier attractions towards and around Playa del Carmen (about 30 minutes north) if that’s your thing. It isn’t ours so can’t comment on them

Room Tip: All rooms face inwards towards the jungle gardens. None offer sea view. Ground floor looks out on th...
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  • Stayed March 2013, 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 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erin, Canada
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

This is a really great resort - the design of it makes it very quiet and private. The pool is really beautiful too and they have really great loungers. The spa was a really great experience as well. You don't need any reservations for the a la carte restaurants which I thought was really great. The staff are incredibly friendly too.

There are a few downsides to this place though - the food in the a la carte restaurants is not that great (The food in the buffets is better). The Italian and steakhouse is just downright terrible. The Tapas food restaurant is a really beautiful setting but the food is just okay. I never made it to the Thai restaurant because it's close to the ocean and it was a bit cold. The only restaurant that I would probably do again was the Mexican - the portions were big enough that you don't need to order multiple appetizers (unlike the other ones).

One thing we were really surprised by was travellers cheques! We have NEVER had any issues taking travellers cheques with us (especially to Mexico). But this hotel will absolutely not take them. They even have a currency exchange location on site but they won't take them either. The shop has prices posted in USD and pesos but they won't accept USD. We tipped all the staff with USD though. If you have to cash travellers cheques you have to take a cab to Playa del Carmen which is about 20 minutes away - although all the shops there will also take USD. Just a word of warning which I wish the hotel had made clear on their website .

But the resort itself is beautiful, the rooms are lovely and it made for a relaxing vacation.

Room Tip: Building 6 is the closest to the pool which is convenient when you have to pop back to your room for...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

This Hotel is excellent with great amenities. The wonderfully private balconies overlooking natural jungle setting are a really nice change of pace from an ocean view that normally includes a view of everyone else's room. Grounds were well kept and clean; as were the rooms. Service was excellent throughout the hotel. Good booze selection - not just the bottom shelf - with Corona on tap. Staff were friendly and attentive. Suite rooms were spacious and inviting. We had a great time with a large group of couples. Many other guests at the hotel were on their second or third visits. No advance reservations were necessary for the a la carte restaurants and no restrictions on how many times you could visit them. There is a night club – it was usually sparsely populated, but chic and refined with a DJ spinning tunes and a big dance floor. Young couples and groups may bemoan the sedate nightlife. But, the bars do continue serving until 2am.

A few minor issues:

Snagging a spot by the pool can be a bit tricky as people tend to come down early and stick their towels down to reserve seats - but this is an issue everywhere.
There are no ocean view rooms in the hotel; however, the privacy of the balconies more than made up for this - my wife and I would request this view everywhere!
Some a la carte food was mediocre: the Italian restaurant and the Steakhouse. But, the Mexican restaurant was fantastic and the buffet really isn't bad. The Snack bar by the pool is the place to be for lunch with wood oven fired pizzas and sandwiches.

Overall a fantastic experience, highly recommended.

Room Tip: Jr. Suite upgrade is well worth the $$. No elevators in the hotel, buildings are all three stories
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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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 #3 of 4 Hotels in Xpuha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Catalonia Royal Tulum 4*
Number of rooms: 288
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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