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“This is a very relaxing resort with only one problem” 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
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
“This is a very relaxing resort with only one problem”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2009

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.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • 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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winnipeg
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2009

We were there From March 7 to 15. The hotel was at 100% occupancy, but we never felt crowded. Here are a few things we learned during our stay.
1) We had a couples massage the first day were were there. It cost $220 for 80 minutes massage and a 30 minute hydrotherapy after. I felt it was good quality and value. However, that included a spa writband for the rest of our stay which entitled us to use the spa faclities. The spa included dry and steam sauna, huge hottub indoors, showers, plus even amenities like shavers, and combs. It was great to use it to clean up after a long day in the sun. I think a spa pass normally costs $15 per day.
2) Canadians should buy pesos in Canada for 12 pesos to the CDN dollar. The hotel will only give you 10.5 pesos to the CDN dollar. It does not pay to buy a lot of USD $ before you leave Canada, because it will usually get converted to pesos when you spend it. Take some USD with lots of $1 bills. Take most of your money in pesos before you go.
3) CRT has a great fitness center...including very expensive spin cycles. The gym opens at 7 AM.
4) I read a lot about the reserving of beach and pool chairs. I think most of the problems that were posted previously were due to selfish guests reserving chairs and then not using them at all, or later in the day. Also, I guess some people must have been reserving multiple chairs at both the pool and the beach. Obviously, these practices would cause problems. However, this did not seem to be happening during our stay. even though the hotel was fully booked. I am an early riser so I would get up at 6, reserve 2 chairs, and then grab a coffee and a pastry from the lobby. Bring your thermal mug. By the time I sat on the beach and finished my coffee, the gym would open and I could have a workout. After that, wake the wife and have breakfast around 8:30. Most days , you could still get chairs at 8 or 9 AM. Availability of chairs seemed to be more affected by weekends, and depending on how many people were on tours on a given day. Bottom line, if you want your choice of chairs, head down by 7AM.
5) Even with the hotel fully booked, we never waited more than 10 minutes for a seat at dinner in any restaurant. Depending on the time you arrive, the Royal Grill will have the longest wait, just because it is relatively small and beachfront. The Tapas lounge is great, but it will back up after 7 PM and there are only a few seats at the bar if you want to wait for a table. After 7, the wait can be 20 or 30 minutes. Plan to go there between 6 and 7 PM for an appetizer and a drink, before you head to your choice of resaturant for the evening.
6) The staff are wonderful. We did not encounter anyone with a bad attitude. There is a very high ratio of employees to guests. The only issue with tipping was that very often you had more than one server at a meal or at the bars. I like to give tips, but I also want to make sure that the right person ends up with the money. However, you should definitely tip your maid daily, your spa therapists, bellman, and the ladies serving drinks around the pool. I tipped the rest of the servers frequently, and tried to take care of anyone that gave the usual good service. The $1 US bills were handy for this. The staff are very gracious and appreciative.
7) The food was good but not great. I felt the setting in the Italian and the adjoining main restaurant was a bit loud. My favorites for meals were both the breakfast and lunch buffets. I also liked the Royal Salad, almost a meal in itself, and the steak at the Royal Grill. If you want authentic Mexican food like chilli rellenos, encheladas, and tamales, you will want to visit a restaurant outside the compound such as Charlies in Tulum Pueblo. The Centanario Mexican restaurant at CRT is OK. I just felt they had tailored their menu to ease of service and perhaps a more American appetite. Room service was fast but the quality and choices were not great. I would only use room service if for some reason, you want to stay in all night.
8) Bar service and selection is great. Again, even with 100% occupancy, I never waited long for service.
9) The entire hotel is spotlessly clean.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the CRT from March 10th to the 17th and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Let me first say thank you to all the people who posted reviews in the previous weeks and months before my trip-they helped a lot. I agree with all of the positive reviews. The CRT was our little piece of paradise for one week and I would recommend to anyone that they should go. I feel a little selfish, however, because I also don't want this hotel to get too busy and too expensive either!
The food was excellent. Always something different on the buffets at breakfast and dinner and the a la carte dinners were very good. My husband and I love to eat out back home, and felt that the food at the CRT was incredible for the area and for what you pay to stay there. I was shocked to find out that I could have a cappucino and my husband could have an espresso whenever we wanted, at any time of the day!
Our room was great and spacious. We just had a regular room. Sure the bed was hard, and my hips were starting to hurt, but I'm in Mexico and not in my own bed. I was so tired after our amazing days in the sun and fresh air that the bed didn't really matter. Unless you are the "princess and the pea", I wouldn't worry about it.
We took a day trip with Eddie from Edventure tours and we were not disappointed. What a great outfitter. I found his website on the internet and booked with him on line. We had a great day with him. We booked a private trip just the two of us and it was worth every penny. I'm so glad that I did not book through the hotel.
The entertainment staff was incredible and not pushy. They were friendly and could speak most languages, very impressive.
All in all, this hotel is a gem. If you don't like it, then you're too picky and should just stay home.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2009

Fantastic, fantastic beaches - long long walks on white sands with blue seas lapping at your feet. Fantastic food - al la carte restaurants so you feel like you are dining out somewhere special and romantic every night, fantastic grounds walk through the jungle to the beach and pool Fantastic seating areas around pool and beach. Just heaven.
Am booking to go back again this year. thats how good it is!
Towel game needed for the beach - but beds available poolside including chill beds.
We even joined in with the activities as we were so relaxed and enjoying ourselves and we never do that!! And very large swimming pool

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2009

We stayed at Catalonia Royal Tulum from Feb 28 - March 7 and had a wonderfully relaxing time.

Reading all these reviewer posts - we had high expectations and some trepidations (the sun bed chase rumors worried me).

What you will experience at Catalonia Royal Tulum - is a unique experience that only you can craft for yourself. And this hotel completely offers a fantastic backdrop for just that.

The setting is tropical and beautiful. Marble everywhere - floor to ceiling, even in the walk in showers. The trail through the rain forest walkway with soothing music, and the tranquil long sandy beach - all set a baseline for your experience. What you do with it from there is up to you.

Whether you choose to take part in all the tours, shop till you drop, soak up the history, or just laze by the pool and enjoy endless cocktails - this place lets you build the vacation that suits you.

No pressure (yes, maybe the race for a sun bed was a little frustrating - but if that is the sum of your worries for a week - I'll take it).

The a la carte food is good, for an all inclusive. Not great, just good. The buffets on the other hand are excellent (breakfast and lunch only).

Whatever you choose to do. Go enjoy. Make some great friends with guests and the wonderful staff (Paulina and Jacquelin at the bar -we miss you).

You will never see such industry to make your vacation so seamless.

I can't sign off without commenting on the entertainment team. They are really the face of this resort. Melina, in particular, always greeted us and engaged in conversation (when what she was supposed to be doing was recruiting you for an activity) - we got a hug and kiss from her when we left. Now you don't often get that treatment from staff.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, MN
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2009

I read a lot of reviews on trip advisor before heading to this resort and had some concerns going into it. We ended up LOVING this resort. We travelled with another couple and the 4 of us could not have had more fun. Here is my advice to those who plan to visit this resort or area:
1. It is true that the beds are hard, but they will bring you a pad or two to add cushion. The showers/bathrooms are the nicest part of the rooms, and balconies. Definitely try to get a room on the top floor.
2. All of the staff were wonderful and helpful.
3. The beach is absolutely amazing.
4. If you go during a busy time, you need to reserve your beach or pool chair by 7am or you are out of luck.
5. Breakfast and lunch are the best meals of the day where you can choose what you want at the buffets. Dinners were okay. We enjoyed the tapas restaurant the best because of the music and drinks, but they boys were always hungry after those nights. Do not expect 5 star food. It is what you are paying for, and is a good bargain.
6. The spa at the resort is amazing. We did several treatments, including massages and body wraps. I also had a manicure. It was all wonderful. Prices similar to here, but we loved the products at the spa too.
7. LEAVE THE COMPOUND. There are a few must do's. First, go to Akumal. There is a beautiful protected lagoon that has amazing snorkeling- costs I think a few dollars per person for entrance and only biodegradeable sunscreen is allowed. One of the prettiest places. Unfortunately, it closed an hour after we got there so we could only snorkel for an hour, but it was great The town also has very good restaurants and shopping. It is maybe a 10 minute taxi from the resort. We rented biks and rode around the town and down to the lagoon. The bikes alone had us laughing all day. Had great food and drinks at two different restaurants. Order the hogfish, hmmm! Second, just north of the resort there is a hotel called El Cielo. The restaurant at this resort has the best food we had the entire trip. The Red Snapper was amazing. The creme brulee was to die for. The pomegranate tequila was worth every penny. Third, if you have not been to this area of Mexico, spending a day in Playa del Carmen is fun and the Tulum Mayan ruins are a fun sightseeing excursion.
8. TIP THE SERVERS, BARTENDERS, BELLMEN and whoever else helps you. It says tips included, but that is never true in Mexico. This resort is inexpensive so bring the extra money to tip people who work very hard and get paid very little.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
michigan
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2009

My husband and I loved this place. This was our 5th time at an all inclusive in the riviera maya and this is the first place that we would like to return to. Not that the other places were bad but we liked so much about this resort. We usually go middle of the road in regards to the price. The staff was the best. The service is the best we've ever experienced. It's a small resort but it never felt crowded. The grounds were beautiful. The beach was quiet with just the sound of the waves(except for the occasional activity) You could walk in either direction for a about a mile.The water in the ocean was warm and clear, and you could see the fish swimming about. The color was turquiose. The sand was soft and white, simply a beautiful beach with lots of palm trees. They had plenty of loungers available, but if you wanted a bed in the chill zone you had to reserve them early. They played the nicest music in this area very soft and relaxing. The hot tubs over looking the beach was a great place to go and have a drink, just be sure to check the water because they were all different temperatures . Everything about this resort was designed to help you relax. They did let you know about the different activities but were never in your face about it. I loved the yoga/stretching on the beach at 10 am. I also did the water aroebics (very fun).They have volley ball, bocci ball, horse shoes and salsa dancing classes for those who want more activity. We played bingo almost every day in the hopes to win a pass to the spa. They came around in the afternoon on the beach and gave me a free 5 min. massage very nice! Drink service by the beach and at the pool was provided often. We also bring lots of singles with us and always tip.(they work hard for their money especially in the resturants) The food and drinks were great. We loved the fact that in the evening it was only alacarte dining and you didn't need to make reservations. We tried all the resturants and liked the Italain and the royal grill by the beach the best. We went to the tappas bar every evening for a drink and appetizer before dinner. It had live entertainment and the atmosphere was wonderful. I've read other reviews that said the matteress were hard but ours was a king size pillow top and it was perfect. I was surprised that they did'nt provide body lotion so be sure to bring your own. Everything was cleaned and stocked daily. We did room service once for breakfast and it arrived hot and tasty. The free shuttle into playa del carmen is a nice service and we did this one evening. It was the relaxing vacation we were looking for and I'm sure you will enjoy it. We will be returning one day soon.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 16
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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