This was our first visit to the CRT. We are veterans of large all inclusives along the Myan Riviera but this year we wanted to try something smaller and more intimate, particularly since it was spring break week and “quiet” was more what we were looking for. The resort did not disappoint. Previous reviews were pretty much right on. The food was good not great, the beach was great not good, Ambiance was everywhere. It was not in the same league as the opulent large resorts with expansive gardens, huge pools, gazillion bars, shops and restaurants; but it was, however, well appointed and groomed with larger rooms and more attentive staff and enough restaurants and bars to satisfy our need for variety. It can be said that it had all the trappings of a large resort only on a smaller scale. More is sometimes not better. I really enjoyed the spa music along the jungle pathways. It was very relaxing and made you walk slower, particularly at night after a few drinks. My wife and I love the beach and can be found on it most of the day. We only left to eat or a quick dip in the pool, but other than that we were on the beach. Which (annoying smokers aside) brings me to my only complaint. Ah yes, you guessed it… the beach loungers…
We arrived in the evening and on the morning of the following day we were awoken to a few banging doors around 6:30-7am. Early risers we thought and dosed until 8am when we went for breakfast. We then headed down to the beach adorned with our new bathing suits, white skin and towels. All we needed was a lounger. About half of the loungers had bodies on them the other half had an assortment of towels, books, hats, sunglasses, water bottles and there was even two loungers side by side with one flip flop each. Being veterans of all inclusives we new immediately that these items were claim stakes and the lounger was taken. I scoured the beach and found one with a broken back and another free one sitting by a palm, what luck.. I overheard one tanned veteran say “newbees” when we passed him in our blinding white skin, dragging our broken lounger behind us to a more appealing spot. I now understood the reason for doors banging at 6:30am and vowed that this would not happen to me tomorrow. The following morning my wife had me up at 7am and with beach towels in hand I trundled down to the beach. Now I have a bad knee and my speed is somewhat diminished, particular on the uneven limestone pathways. I was being passed, again and again by guests laden with towels. I thought I was going to get scooped on the palapas. By the time I made it to the beach there were only a handful of loungers left. I grabbed two and stretched out waiting for my wife (we are not savers we are users). The rest of the available loungers were taken by 7:30. Good god, how early does one have to get up? On day three I was up at 6am and ventured out on my bleary eyed walk to the beach. I encountered people returning from the beach with trance-like stares when I greeted them. This is getting crazy. When I got there all the palapas were taken and about half of the beach chairs were taken and there was not a sole on the beach. And so it went for the rest of the week. I think people were coming down it the dark (perhaps after the disco at 2am) and claiming chairs only to sleep in till near noon while the rest of us poor schmuks have to get up at 6am for the leftovers. This is either a diabolical resort plot to cut down on late night drinking (early to bed, early to rise) or a serious shortage of loungers. Might I suggest to the resort to A) bring back the towel card system.( I suggest this only because some selfish guests got enough towels to save loungers both on the beach and around the pool) B) Place signs with a no reserve policy clearly displayed in brochures and at the beach. C) Get more loungers D) Chain killer dogs to palapas from 1am to 7am. What I was most annoyed about was the fact that many people did not return to their saved loungers for hours. Here is a tip. If you go down to the beach at lets say 9-10am and there happens to be a lounger with its top folded down on a towel with no indication of recent habitation, chances are that that chair was saved at around 7am.(3 hours ago) or earlier. Just pick up the lounger (do not drag it because it leaves tracks) and move it to a new spot far away. Lie down and enjoy the sun. I have been to many resorts and lounger saving is just part of the culture but I never experienced a saving problem as serious as this resort. And just for information at most all inclusives only carded towels can save a chair not a flip flop or water bottle.
All in all this is a very relaxing resort ( I even fell asleep during bingo ) and well worth a visit.
- Also Known As:
- Catalonia Royal Tulum Resort
- Catalonia Royal Tulum Xpuha
- Riviera Maya Copacabana
- Copacabana Riviera Maya
- Catalonia Royal Tulum Riviera Maya, Mexico - Xpuha
- 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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