We have been to Riviera Maya for the third time. We happily chose the Catalonia Royal Tulum (CTR). This hotel is our Best Resort Ever. If you are looking for a relaxing resort, no kids, great food, best beach on Riviera Maya, this is it. Let me tell you why we loved this resort and plan on coming back:
The staff are all great and they are all smiles with guests. Everywhere we went on the site we were always greeted by friendly staff with the extra effort to greet us both in Spanish as well as our native language. The hotel grounds and beach are perfectly manicured. The hotel is run quite efficiently. You never have to wait more than five minutes for the bellboy to either deliver or pick up your luggage. We had difficulty with our room keys upon arrival and they took care of it immediately.
This is the most beautiful beach we have ever been to. The Xpu Ha beach has nothing to envy beaches of Cuba, Saint-Martin or even Meagan’s Bay in St. Thomas. The beach is approximately 1.5 km long and the CRT is the only « large » hotel (288 rooms) on that beach. When walking the beach on either side of the hotel, you will find two or three other abandoned hotels on the beach (vestiges from past hurricanes) and also very small hotels such as the Al Cielo as well as a beach club. The nice thing about this beach is that you can snorkel and see lots of fish, there is a coral reef right in front of the hotel. You will find people reserving lounge chairs by pool or beach. We never reserved chairs and always found a place in the shade, at least at the time of year we went.
The pool is exquisit. The chairs are very comfortable. There are two jacuzzi, one warm and the other at ambient temparature (cooler than the pool). The activities team are very polite and far from pushy, they ensure you are included in activities you may wish to participate in.
The breakfast and dinner buffet were okay and found lots of choices. The lunch buffet, which is located near pool and beach was the very best we have ever had. There were lots of fresh and healthy choices. The « à la carte » restaurants were also very good. The steakhouse is very nice just as the Italian and Spanish as well. We really ate healthy at this resort.
On-site dive shop
We went on two dives with the ProDive team and they are magnificent. Ask for Laura as your instructor. They are also responsible for lending the snorkling material as well as kayaks. You can also book snorkling excursions with them too.
There are lots of guests from Italy as the resort is part of Veraclub resorts. We have met people from all over the world and this makes for a very diverse resort, we just loved the place. We were not sollicited with timeshare sales people; we saw some of them but they were not after us. Upon check in they proposed an upgrade for $25 per person per day which we found the value to be somewhat poor. The only added benefit of people who upgrade was possibility to have breakfast by the pool and ocean. All rooms are equal. There are no ocean-front or ocean-view rooms. Rooms located on third floor mostlikely have a better view as the vegetation does not quite reach that high. We were in building 3 (out of 6 in total) and next time we will ask for a room on the third level. Going to Playa del Carmen is also easy, for reference, a taxi costs $50 for return trip (driver usually waits for you). They have a fresh juice bar on the beach which is popular in the morning. Getting coffee (awsome lattes) or drinks at the beach is easy and you never have to wait.