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“Quiet and relaxing” 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
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Quiet and relaxing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014

My wife and I went here for our "babymoon" (which I had never heard of but was more than happy to give her) in February 2014. Its a very quiet resort. We weren't there to do anything but relax, sit on the beach (or near the pool) and forget about work for 7 days. Mission accomplished. If you're looking for a resort to go to and party, this probably isn't the place. But for what we wanted it was perfect. Why we picked it--Adults only. Figured we would have plenty of time to go to family friendly resorts!

The only issue we had (and it wasn't a big issue) was the food. It could have been better (but also could have been much worse). Surprise surprise...the Mexican restaurant was the best. And don't miss out on the Thai restaurant that seems to be a secret.

  • Stayed February 2014, 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
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Waverly, Tennessee
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

My husband and I stayed here in November of 2013 (had a bit of a delay in writing this - got home and life interfered with my plans to write an immediate review). Hands down, this resort has the best service of any all-inclusive we have ever stayed!

Here's the breakdown:

Check-in: Brenda and Amanda at the front desk, were prompt, courteous, professional and very efficient in getting us checked in (and were helpful throughout our stay whenever we needed assistance). Luggage was brought to our room almost as soon as we were checked into it.

Rooms: Excellent, comfortable, quiet, and something not to be taken for granted - decent, two-ply, soft tissue and toilet paper. The room was very clean and was kept spotless every day we were there. Our refrigerator was restocked daily. There was also a towel service at night for pick-up and drop-off of beach towels!

Room Service: Our favorite was the FREE room service - the menu was limited but delicious and delivered in a reasonable amount of time - my husband had a burger and fries and I had nachos the first night since we were tired from travel.

Restaurants: We ate at the main buffet most nights but we also tried out the Mexican specialty restaurant one night. Here's some of our favorites from the main buffet: bamboo soup, grilled cactus with peppers and onions and a fantastic seafood stir fry. At the Mexican specialty restaurant, we really enjoyed the crema poblano and the shrimp tacos. Here's the best part about the specialty restaurants - NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED!!! Plus, you could eat at the specialty restaurants as many nights as you wanted. At the pool area, there is a buffet as well as a nice little casual restaurant where you can come in right from the beach and have pizza or burgers or fish and chips - great service and great food - this was a favorite when we were spending a day at the beach.

Bars: The main lobby bar (Las Margaritas) was beautiful - there were large windows where you could see out directly to a garden area that had birds and plants and butterflies. Raul and Lilia were a couple of our favorites - they made a wonderful espresso in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoon, my husband and I would have a drink here for a change from the beach and pool scene.

Décor and Environment: We were impressed with the beauty of the wood carved doors leading to each restaurant and to conference rooms. The doors were massive solid locally sourced wood doors with ornate hand carvings. Décor in the rooms, the restaurants, and other areas was tasteful and colorful without being gaudy - nice! The resort setting has a variety of environments to enjoy; there is a jungle area with lots of coatimundis wandering the grounds (cute and fun to watch but don't make the dumb tourist mistake of feeding them - we saw this happen and they proceeded to climb the man like a tree to see if he had more treats). This area is where the buildings are with rooms (great views from the balconies) Then there is a natural cenote that you cross over on a wooden bridge. Then, there is the beach of course and there are plenty of chairs for everyone and shade if you want it or sun if you want it. Walk down the beach to your left and there is a nice little beach souvenir shack run by a local gentleman.

Public restrooms at the beach and the pool: Some folks may not take the time to write about this feature, but they bear mention because they were kept spotless and instead of paper towels, there were cloth towels that were rolled up in a basket - you would use one and then put it in a catch basket for laundry.

Beach drink service: Wow - there was always a server to bring drinks to you directly at the beach, regardless of where you sat - fantastic service!

Beach: plenty of area to walk and the ocean isn't rough most days, so nice for relaxing swimming. Lots of other water activities too - kayaking, catamaran, etc. The water is a magnificent shade of blue that is unique to this area.

I know I have missed some detail, it's impossible to cover it all - but our title indicates the most important part of this vacation for us - the service was head and shoulders above other resorts where we have gone on holiday!!

Thank you so much to everyone at the Catalonia - we hope to return again.

Room Tip: We stayed fairly close to the front of the resort in the second building on the third floor - never...
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  • Stayed November 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2014

Just returned from a 2 week holiday at the Catalonia Royal, we're in our mid 40's and well travelled.
Like you I read all the reviews before booking and to be honest, I can't disagree with most of what's already been said, but I'll add my thoughts as well.

HOTEL & ROOM
By Mexican standards this is a small hotel with about 300 rooms, it still retains a personal feel whilst being big enough to offer choice. The hotel layout works well, with accommodation split into 6 blocks with a well 'maintained jungle' running through the middle. The jungle means the rooms are quite shady, but never found it an issue. Everything within the hotel is within easy reach. We stayed in a standard room (lowest grade) in block 4 and were happy with the room and had a comfortable stay. In hindsight would I have upgraded - maybe. The room was a little basic, to give you an idea they glue the table lamp to the table (I have no idea why)!!!!!

BEACH/POOL
Everyone seems to play the towel game. To be honest we decided not to play and never really had a problem finding a sun bed on the beach, but I haven't a clue what time you need to be up to get a sun bed by the pool, but good luck!!!
Like all the other reviews, the beach is fantastic and quiet. There are several abandoned hotels along the beach, since found out these were victims of the 2005 hurricanes. WARNING - from first hand experience don't go wandering around these abandoned hotels they are private property, the 'heavies' guarding the properties don't take kindly to holiday makers.

FOOD/RESTAURANTS
This is an All Inclusive, and to be honest to food wasn't great. They try really hard and there's a choice of 5 or 6 restaurants and we had some very enjoyable evenings/meals, but on too many occasions we were left disappointed. The food was always too cold and you felt like it had just come off a conveyor belt.
Apart from the main buffet restaurant, the rest are quite small, which we really liked, but does have it's down side. There were a few occasions we were told there'd be at least hour wait at the Asian and Grill Restaurants and we decided to eat elsewhere. The Mexican restaurant was appalling, bland and tasteless. As we're in Mexico you would have though this would have been the signature restaurant.
We normally eat our meals later than most other guests, and always found the restaurants relaxed and quiet, even the buffet restaurants at breakfast and lunch. However, on our last day (because of flight times) we ate breakfast early and were horrified and the number of people queuing and waiting frantically for food to be brought out. Until our last day we'd never seen anything like this. So if you prefer a quieter meal, eat a bit later.

ENTERTAINMENT
There's ongoing activities around the pool and beach, not really our thing, but it never disturbed us and other guests seemed to enjoy it.
There is a definite bias toward the Italian guests, but not an issue for us.
The evening theatre shows were mainly in Italian and pretty dire, in fact so bad they made you laugh for the wrong reasons.
If you want a hectic night life you wont find it here.

ALL INCLUSIVE
We booked this holiday with the idea of 2 weeks relaxing and doing very little. And that's exactly what we did and we had a fantastic holiday. It took us a while to get use too All Inclusive world. For us the food was a big let down and things like the towel game can start to annoy you, if you let it.
By the middle of our holiday we realised we'd relaxed into All Inclusive world and became more tolerant of the little things we first found quite annoying. Would we go back - no. It's good hotel, the staff are great, but for us the food and restaurants were a huge disappointment and even a fantastic beach can't compensate.

Room Tip: If you stay here you will have a great holiday. If you want fine dinning you may want to look elsewh...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Paradiso
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2014

I stayed at this resort in October with a group of friends and really enjoyed it. It was my first all-inclusive and I wasn't certain what to expect. Room was on the first floor and bit dark because of the heavy foliage, but the grounds were so beautiful that we were never in the room. The staff was attentive. the breakfast and lunch buffets were especially nice, with a nice variety of items from which to choose. I would certainly recommend this resort to anyone.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014 via mobile

My husband and I stayed at this resort for our anniversary at the end of March. It has a gorgeous jungle setting and the beach is stunning, as many people have commented on. Our room, which was on the first floor of building 5, was very simple, spacious, clean and quiet. The bathroom was obviously recently renovated and was very nice.

The spa was very peaceful and the staff was pleasant. We had a couples massage that was supposed to end with a private jacuzzi session, but we found out at the end of our massages that the jacuzzi was not functioning. This resulted in a few awkward moments with 4 or 5 people in the room tinkering with it while my husband and I were standing around with our robes on. It was a bit of a let down, but they very graciously gave us a discount so I can't complain. These things happen.

The one (very big) thing holding this resort back is the food. Frankly, I am shocked by all of the positive reviews of the food on this site, as both I and my husband, who is not picky about food at all, found much of it to be downright inedible. The biggest offender was the lunch buffet, which we avoided at all costs after trying to eat there twice. The breakfast buffet was slightly better, but people were often waiting around for the most popular items to be refreshed, such as French toast, scrambled eggs and bacon, while several other weird non-breakfast items such as loaded nachos and bruschetta sat around for hours. As for the dinner restaurants, we tried all but the tapas restaurant, which, unfortunately, was the one that we were most looking forward to. It was closed during the first two nights of our five-night stay, it was raining a third night (not good for an open air restaurant) and there was a 1.5 hour (!) wait the other two nights. The other restaurants ranged from OK to blech, with the Mexican being our favorite, followed by the Italian, Thai and "steakhouse", in that order.

Overall, although we loved many aspects of the resort, particularly the beach and friendly staff, we probably would not return due to the very disappointing food. The resort would greatly benefit from hiring a chef to reassess and rework its menus and buffet selections.

Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2014

What a wonderful week we had at this lovely adults only all inclusive. We have only good memories of our week at this resort and although a couple of things went wrong, they were more than made up for!

The check-in was very pleasant and efficient, including a warm welcome and a cocktail. Our rooms weren't ready, which surprised us as it was 2:30 pm but we dutifully went off to the lunch buffet by the beach and started our week-long experience of tropical paradise! Excellent buffet variety and a lovely view of the beach, complete with cooling ocean breeze and sparkling white wine made us very pleased with our choice.

Returning to the desk at 4pm, we were given our keys and sent off to our room. I had understood we would be taken by the bellman, but was mistaken, and after being up traveling for almost 15 hours by that time, was a bit tuckered. We'd pre-requested by email a third floor room, king bed, non smoking. I saw that these requests were noted on our check-in card. However, we were sent off to a second floor room and told that the resort was 95% booked. OK two out of three I thought, as I dragged myself and my carry-on back up the path again.

We arrived at the room to be greeted by a maintenance man in the bathroom, a ladder in the middle of the floor, and an unmade bed. Two cranky Canadians (yes, there is such a thing!) made their way back to the desk, where we were given a (reluctant) apology and...wait for it - an upgrade to a third floor, corner room suite! Sweet!

This resort has a beautiful pool with a couple of amazing jacuzzi hot tubs. The one closest to the beach is nice and hot! The pool is the perfect temp, easy to get into, lots of loungers, great service from the bar. It's also right beside the beach and next to the lunch buffet. The advantage of being at a smaller resort is very apparent at this pool!

The beach is as lovely as everyone says! Soft white sand, easy to get into the water, firm sandy bottom, pretty fish everywhere! Some days were more wavy than others but it was always magnificent! We do not play the towel game although it seems most other guests do. As each guest is provided with 1 beach towel per person in the room every night, there is only one towel per person to use to reserve a spot. No card to turn in for a towel and if you weren't back in the room with your wet ones, you still got a clean dry towel left for you each evening. We generally got to the beach between 10 and 11 and always found loungers. It was just a question of dragging them to our preferred spot in either the sun or the shade. Along with the palapas, there are many palm trees offering shade if you want it.

Off to the left on the beach are the ruins of the old Xpu-Ha resort - it makes for a nice walk but you cannot pass the rocky point. To the right are public beaches and small hotels offering beach-side services if you're into that.

We very much enjoyed the layout of the resort - one long stone path winding through the trees from the lobby to the beach. On either side are three room block buildings. We were in building 2, the first one on the right closest to the lobby. It's a non-smoking building. I'm not sure if perhaps they all are non-smoking. It really makes no difference whatsoever if you are closer to the beach or the lobby as your days will be centered around moving back and forth between the two. Along the way we saw quite a few adorable coatimundis playing in the bush as well as lots of birds, squirrels and iguanas, and also fish and herons by the cenote.

The food was very good everywhere we ate. We were delighted by the Spanish Tapas restaurant under the trees by the cenote. We ate there on our first night and on two consequent evenings. Everything we had was delicious and the house wine is great. We loved the laid back atmosphere, professional service and the ambiance. Not a mosquito or any other bug in sight.

The rhythm of our days consisted of breakfast in the buffet dining room off the lobby, where the staff were unfailingly smiling, welcoming and polite. Then it was a quick stop in the room to don sun screen and bathing suits, and off to the beach, where the loungers were plentiful and the service was amazing. Cudos to all the wait staff there. We really enjoyed the smoothie bar by the beach, serving up a fantastic selection of fresh healthy smoothies. After an amazing, diverse and delicious lunch, beautifully served and well-attended in the beach-side buffet, we usually shifted to the pool for the rest of the afternoon. There was no problem getting wine refills (as we've seen reported here, except by one waiter who I will not name as I don't want him to be penalized, and we took care of that early on, just as there was never any problem getting coffee at breakfast). In fact we were impressed to see the plaque in the lobby naming the Catalonia resorts among the best place in Mexico to work, and nearly all the staff we came in contact with were smiling, helpful and seemed utterly comfortable with their jobs.

It is true that there are a lot of Italian guests and that the animation team are pretty much completely dedicated to working with them. We were never approached to join in any activities other than the poolside bingo. That was the only downside we noticed at this resort, in addition to the fact that the evening show entertainment goes on at 9:30 and is less than an hour long, as then they consequently put on another show strictly for the Italian guests. As we prefer to dine later, we often missed most or all of the show and would have preferred if they had started later, especially as they appeared to be quite professional and well-produced. We caught about half of both the 'Nightmare' show and the 'Black Light' show and wished we'd seen the whole thing.

We booked the couples massage at the Spa because it seemed quite a good deal as compared with two individual massages. It includes a 50 minute massage for each of you, then a half hour in a private Jacuzzi with a bottle of champagne. After our excellent massage we were most regretfully informed that there was a problem with the power to the jacuzzi and we were offered the complimentary service of our choice to make up for it! We very extremely happy to book another lovely service at the Spa the next day, and impressed with the attitude of compensation, although we weren't overly put out by the 'inconvenience'.

Our room was spotlessly cleaned every day with varied and wonderful towel art. The showers were great with good water pressure and plenty of hot water. We loved the casual approach to dressing with no hardline dress code of long pants and dress shoes at the restaurants in the evenings. Shorts are fine for men, which is great as a couple of the restaurants are open air.

All in all, we felt this is a fantastic and pretty resort, very good value for the money, delivering a great vacation experience at a gorgeous beach on a well-maintained property with friendly helpful staff. We loved it and we're very grateful for a wonderful vacation.

Room Tip: Yes, corner suites are large and sunny! But they are all conveniently located so don't sweat it.
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

Although this is a great destination I would like to sincerely warn future clients of this resort to BEWARE. We booked and paid 3 months in advance only to be told after checking in having a welcome drink, getting a bracelet for inclusions etc that We DID NOT HAVE A ROOM!!
The hotel bundled us off to a resort up the road that was like a small city with 3800 rooms.(no personal touch here, take a number and get in the queue)
We returned to the Catalonia royal Tulum the following day to be told we could not check in until 3pm!!(hang on.....I thought we checked in the day before?? We certainly paid for the day before....) the front office staff we non apologetic it was "like it or lump it" that's it. We were none too pleased.
So future guests please beware, you may be palmed off to another huge resort where you really don't want to be.
I believe it was not only us, I heard another 6 couples experienced the same treatment . We think this could be a regular occurance.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
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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