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“Surpassed our expectations!” 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, Xpu-Ha 77790, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersSilver level
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Surpassed our expectations!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

This was our 5th holiday to Riviera Maya, but the first without kids. We were looking for a smaller hotel that catered more for adults and this seemed to fit the bill.

We flew from Birmingham with First Choice and upgraded to premium (this is about equal to/very slightly better than BA or Virgin basic economy). We had a hassle free journey and on arrival we were checked in very quickly with a cold drink.

Now it's at this point that the only negative occurred, and it's well documented here on trip advisor. For some really unknown reason now, given all of the negative feedback here, after a 16 hour door to door journey, we were put straight into the hands of a time share salesman by the receptionist before we'd had a chance to finish our drink. He wanted to show us around the hotel and was quite pushy,negative and stroppy when I said I wasn't interested and just wanted to get to the room, get our swim kit on and go for a dip. Management, you must stop this practice now as it really does spoil the first impression of the hotel - it's a massive negative. Anyway, with that over we went to our room.

Room - We booked and paid for an upgraded superior junior suite and it was well worth the extra. It was a large corner room with a large balcony, four poster, living area, tea and coffee, fully stocked fridge with beer, pop, nuts and snack bars. It looked as though it had just been decorated. We were really pleased with it. Also, because we had booked the upgraded room, we had a number of "treats" over the week including a fruit basket, cheese platter, bottle of red and a bottle of tequila. We also had a free him and her 30 minute massage at the spa with unlimited use of the spa facility (sauna and steam room), and, we were able have a la carte breakfasts by the sea and room service. I'd recommend spending the extra on the upgrade. It doesn't really matter which building your room is in, all six look similar, they all face into the jungle, no sea views, and the hotel isn't that big anyway. For example, it took us around 2 minutes to get to reception and 4 to the beach.

Food - Not one bad meal. For breakfast the buffet is great with everything you'd expect. As I said above, the upgraded package enables you to have a la carte breakfast by the sea, we did this a couple of times, all good. Lunch at the buffet, or table service at the pool bar. Dinner at the buffet or one of the speciality restaurants which include Mexican, Steak, Asian, Italian and Tapas. We tried them all and they were thoroughly enjoyable, the great thing is, you don't need to book, you just turn up. If you're really hungry, go to the buffet.

Bars/drinks - The all inclusive seems to cover everything except champagne. We enjoyed numerous beers, cocktails and other alcoholic concoctions at the lobby, pool and martini bars. Our favourites were the pool bar during the day and the martini bar at night - special thanks Jorge for educating us on the art of going through the entire martini menu!

Beach/pool - The pool was nice but you go here for the beach - it's superb. We've been to the best beaches in the world, and this rates right up there. White sand, that turquoise sea, fun waves, sandy bottom, and empty in either direction. It must be a mile long and the hotel sits right in the middle.

Getting around - As we've been to the Riviera Maya so many times, we've done all of the organised trips including Xel Ha and Xcaret (well worth going to). In the past we've also hired cars. This time we used the local colectivos. These are mini busses that travel up and down the main road between Playa del Carmen and Tulum stopping at all the main stops along the road and costing only a couple of pounds. We used these to go to Tulum to see the ruins and go swimming in the sea below them - a must do, followed by watching Mexico win a World Cup group game in a local bar. We also used a colectivo to go to Akumel where we went snorkelling off the beach and swam with ten turtles and stingrays. Both of these trips cost a fraction of the organised trips. We did one organised snorkelling trip to Cozumel that we booked through the on site dive centre. This was a fantastic day trip, an adventure as you travel to Playa del Carmen, then take the fast ferry across the sea to Cozumel, and then board a boat to do two snorkel sessions. There is better snorkelling to be had closer to the hotel, but the whole trip was great and well worth doing. Get some Mexican pesos in the UK before you go to pay for stuff when you're out so as not to get stiffed with exchange rates.

General - The whole ambiance of the hotel is relaxed. It's been very well planned out and you really are staying smack in the middle of the jungle, wild life and all. It's a fairly unique experience for a package hotel on the Riviera Maya. It never seems crowded, and although it's small compared to most other hotels, it is of high quality and has all of the required amenities to have a fantastic beach holiday.

Final words go to the staff. With the exception of the aforementioned time share man, everyone was helpful, polite and efficient - a real credit to Catalonia Hotels - so much so that we may try another Catalonia group hotel in the future.

We will return one day!

Room Tip: Top floor upgraded junior suite.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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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  • 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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English first
Little Rock, Arkansas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

My wife and I stayed at the CRT from July 4-10. I researched what I could before going. Mainly on this site. Carolyn also sent me a copy of her tip sheet which helped know what to expect.
We arrived via private transportation because we didn't want to stop at other resorts and save that time since it was a little further from the airport. It took about an hour and the cost was a little more but worth it.
When we arrived at the resort after being up for way too many hours we were greeted with a fruity drink and promptly checked in. We were on the look out for the sales guys in white shirts that we had read about. They were there in the front lobby to the right on the front desk. One of these guys nice enough) approached us and started telling us about the resort after he got us both a much needed margarita. He transitioned into something that sounded like a time share that he insisted was not. He was trying to get us to attend a breakfast were we would learn more. We told him we would not return bc we like to go to different places each time. He was a little pushy but backed off once he learned we would not go. Not as bad as I expected and he left us alone the rest of the stay other than a friendly greeting.
We upgraded to the Junior suite and requested an upper floor which they gave us in building 3. Not too far from either the beach or the restaurants. Buildings 5 and 6 are reserved for a further upgrade. Our upgrade did include some extras (fruits one night, wine and cheese one night, and a 30 min massage) which was nice especially the spa which we were allowed to use part of anytime (steam room, hot tub). The room was nice and roomy . The bed was comfortable. We had a pillow menu but never ordered a different one. Shower was big and bathroom was nice. One thing about the upper floor is that we found it a little warm at night. Maid service was very good. Make sure you carry back your beach towels to your room at the end of the day and the maid will come by and exchange it for a fresh one. One day this happened at 10:00pm...
The Italians outnumbered the English speaking people probably 3 or 4 to 1. I've read where some people had one issue or another with them. We did not, except for not being able to converse with them. They do seem to smoke a lot which I don't like being around, but I guess because most everywhere is open to the outside it didn't bother me or my wife.
The staff was eager to please and always greeted me with a smile. They worked hard to make a pleasant experience for guest. We get up early and they were up sweeping, cleaning everywhere. I think they were understaffed at times. On one morning we could get a cappuccino at the pool bar at 7 other days we couldn't. They would also get backed up during busy times but this didn't bother us. The staff kept a friendly attitude through it all.
The food was pretty good. We had the buffet most of the time and had Mexican a la carte twice. The buffet was quick and pretty good with lots to choose from, b'fast a little better than lunch and dinner but still good. It would be nice to have posted some kind of info about what places are open daily and not. We stayed at the Valentin Imperial Maya last year and every day the maid would leave a little newsletter about whats going on the next day around the resort. This small thing was nice and useful and could be done at the CRT, I understand all can't be open all the time. We called the front desk each afternoon to find out. It may be posted somewhere but we couldn't find it. We didn't try the room service and didn't have a menu in our room. We could have called for one but spent little time in the room anyway.
The pool was good size and quiet with lots of thatched umbrellas for shade. The beach was where most congregated. Fine sand and scattered palm trees if you want shade. Sometimes if you show too late its a little hard to find a place. We always were able to find somewhere. A couple of times we gathered empty lounge chairs and drug them to where we wanted to be. The beach was awesome and I couldn't have asked for any better. The water on the beach was relatively calm (yellow flag) and nice enough to cool off or swim if you wanted. The service on the beach and at the pool depended on how many people were there. We got up to get drinks if we needed but a few times somebody would come around and bring us one back within 10-15 minutes or so. There are abandoned resorts/hotels on both sides down the beach. There is one about 1/2 mile down if you walk to the right that we explored some. Empty, abandoned buildings with glass everywhere. plant life overtaking most everything. You could tell at one time it was a decent place. Probably not quite as nice as CRT. Kind of creepy.
Wild life was found all throughout the walk ways in the resort. Coatis where seen every time we were out on the walkway. We saw some people feeding them and in no time a herd of them showed and a few were trying to climb up a lady's beach towel. I heard but didn't see that one bit someone while we were there. Its pretty thick jungle where the rooms and walkways are located. There were also iguanas sunning during the day and some rodent looking animal about the size of a house cat. The grounds were well taken care of and always somebody working on landscaping somewhere on the resort.
We tipped in USD. $1 for a couple of drinks and $2-$4 for lunch and dinner. $3-$5/day for maid depending on our mess. They appreciate the tips. The last day we tipped the lady at the beach $3 for a couple of drinks bc she was so nice and pleasant, from then on she watched how much drink we had and came by with one when we got low. Thanks Aremy!
We really enjoyed our time at the CRT. We were made to feel welcome and appreciated by the staff. Some of the things that I've heard people complaining about were minor and a little picky. If we were this kind of people that frequented the same resort we would come back to CRT but we like the newness of a place and like to explore.

Room Tip: None of the rooms were in a bad location. I think we would have been happy with any of the rooms...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

Just came back from CRT yesterday. We worry about the weather but it turned out great weather!
It was out first all-inclusive experience so we didn't know what we are expecting. It turned out a great one!

First of all --- it's all inclusive but please don't forget to tip great people who work so hard for us. It's a paradise because of them!

*Food - we ate at Grill,Tapas,Mexican at night,Buffet for breakfast and pool side restaurant for lunch. They take turn and close one restaurant every night, so make sure which one is closing if there is any restaurant you definitely want to eat. Many review says food was ok, or not good so my expectation was low. Maybe because of that? I had no complain about food. While I'm not a picky eater, I know what is good and what is not. Grill was not my favorite, but I shouldn't order steak. You don't expect the best meat at all-inclusive, right?Still nice to have dinner with ocean sound. We loved Tapas place! Ambiance was great and food is awesome! We liked everything we had.
---Make sure to wear insect repellent spray if you go to Tapas place!!!!!---

*Room - It's not a 5 star resort so I'm talking for the price we paid - still pretty good size and they kept clean. Nice size balcony too. We requested 2nd floor. Like many review says most of the first floor seems dark, however you get to have your friend Coati visiting you if you stay 1st floor!!! Very humid because of jungle setting, so we left AC on to air it out before we went to sleep. Next time I will bring some good scented candle or something… ladies, little candle make you feel at home ; ) ! Wish they have a bathtub but there is a jacuzzi by the pool so I took jacuzzi before I return to our room every day.

*Beach - Good snorkel just 2 min walk! I would say almost in front. Walk slightly to the right towards south. That's where you want to go if you want snorkel. Marco polo from the dive shop guided us to show where is the good spot. We never had a problem getting beach beds.

*Activity - We didn't get to see any shows but we would have if we had enough time! I joined Luis's Zumba class at beach. Great feeling to dance on the sand!

*Ground - I love love loved the path from the lobby to beach. So romantic and you will see many Coati and iguana. There were many babies too!They were so cute, whenever mommy stops babies tried to drink milk!

*Location - many small cenotes near by. Easy access to many major spots by collectivo.

*Service - yes we did have some communication issue or slow service here and there, but overall they are all nice and friendly.

*Spa - I had a massage at the beach!Great deal - 1 hour/$35! You can't beat this!!

We wish we stayed longer! We were very happy we chose this hotel : )

Room Tip: If you love animals, choose the 1st floor. 2nd and 3rd floor is brighter. Remember - there is no ele...
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

I will start by saying some people are never satisfied. This hotel is well situated and set out. I'm currently staying here at the moment for 2 weeks. After 7 nights I haven't had one single complaint. I'm staying in block 2 in room 213, it's on the top floor, and it's well situated for all amenities. I was apprehensive after reading some of the negative comments, and thus far, my wife and I have had a wonderful time. I thank the hotel for making my wifes 50th birthday so special(Champagne and birthday cake). And look forward to another great week ahead.

Paula and Neil Butterworth

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014 via mobile

This is the 1st resort I have ever been to that caters almost exclusively to Italians. I have seen preferential treatment for those guests and not to any Americans or British. Food was about a 3 on a 1-10 scale. Edible, but not even decent. Beach was wonderful.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

We really enjoyed almost everything about this resort: the food, the people, the beach and water, our room and those little surprises along the way, like a complimentary bottle of tequila on the fifth night. Hotel personnel like Alfredo were so welcoming and helpful and we grew to look forward to seeing the smiling face of Armando, the waiter, who was every ready to bring us a refill of coconut juice. The only drawback, only for my wife, was the water which was a little choppy. She prefers perfectly calm, crystal clear water.
Overall, this resort and how we were treated made our vacation a great one.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014

I stayed here with my family for two weeks from the middle of June. We had a 12 hour flight from Newcastle and then about a 45 minute shuttle bus journey to the hotel.

Staff: the staff were very helpful and friendly- some a bit too friendly but they were all very nice. The waiters and waitresses tried very hard to speak English which was useful.

Spa: The spa was a bit too pricey so I decided not to have any beauty treatments, however there is a massage area on the beach with an offer of a 1hr massage for $35 which was absolutely fantastic and much cheaper than the spa- despite being ran by the spa. Very relaxing and peaceful. There are a few massage beds so you and your friends or partner can have massages at the same time.

Rooms: we asked for a room in blocks 3-6 in February, but were given a room in block 2. This was close to the entertainment and was very noisy. After a few days we managed to move to block 3 which was better. The rooms are nice and spacious with king size beds. The maid cleans the rooms thoroughly every day and comes in to change beach towels and for a turn down service on an evening.

Food- the morning buffet had a number of options for all nationalities and also a menu to order things such as omelettes and full English breakfasts etc. There are 2 options for lunch- the snack bar and the buffet. The snack bar has a good menu but there aren't that many tables so we tended to go to the buffet area. There are 6 options on an evening- the buffet, the tapas restaurant, the Mexican restaurant, the Italian restaurant, the grill and the Thai restaurant. We found the buffet options to be a bit dull compared to the restaurants. Each restaurant has a 3 course menu. Our favourite was the Mexican restaurant because the food was delicious and the portions were very generous. The Mexican fajitas are unreal! They're certainly not like the fajitas we would get in England. We didn't try the Thai restaurant. The best location Is the tapas restaurant- it's outside on relaxed chairs and next to a little stream area. It's lovely to relax- but prepared to be bitten!

Bars: there is a main bar in reception, a bar near the beach/pool area and a juice bar on the beach. It's great to see the juices freshly made at the juice bar, they are lovely and refreshing. One issue with the bars was that they often ran out of drinks for a few days in a row, e.g. orange juice, baileys, English breakfast tea. Every other night there are some brilliant Mexican singers until about 9.30- definitely get a drink and listen to them they are fantastic!

Facilities: there is a small gym which is clean and modern. The equipment is good quality and it looks out onto the pool. Behind the bar near the pool is some Jacuzzis which are set to different temperatures and overlook the beach. There's a shop in the lobby which had reasonable prices and a lot of options for gifts, snacks etc. You can walk right down onto the beach where there are plenty of sunbeds and some beanbags to relax on.

Entertainment: We didn't watch many of the night shows, it was a little disappointing that they were the same every week. There is day time entertainment but that also was pretty much the same every day- zumba, volleyball and bingo.

I really enjoyed my stay at this resort, the food was delicious and the rooms were lovely and spacious. The beach is beautiful and the resort is also fairly close to key locations such as Tulum and Akumal. There are a few points which could do with improvements but they were quite small. Overall I would recommend this hotel!

Room Tip: Higher floors are less humid and you won't have the animals up on your balcony. Also avoid block...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Catalonia Royal Tulum

Address: Carretera Cancun Chetumal Km. 264.5, Xpu-Ha 77790, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Xpu-Ha
Bar / Lounge 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 Xpu-Ha
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 - Xpu-Ha

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