As traveling and staying in various types of resorts and hotels, I would like to give my opinion of our stay with as accurate comparisons as possible.
Nice time, nice hotel. Nothing fancy, great for families and or couples. night entertainment slightly cheesy, but fun. Daytime entertainment fine. Food- didn't go hungry, but have had better, and worse. You truly can make it what you want. Would I go back? To Punta Cana, Yes, this hotel? I would try another one, just to compare but if were a great deal would stay again.
***note our electrical outlets in our room were American two prong style. If you have a cord with 3 prongs (ground prong) it won't fit. Take a 3-to-2 adapter.***
My wife and I were celebrating our 6yr anniversary and looking to stay in the Dominican Republic for the first time. We were not wanting to 'go all out' for an endless budget vacation, but didn't want to stay in a run down place for dirt cheap. The overall price for this location seemed to fit the bill.
While we have stayed anywhere from a Days Inn to Hilton and Marriott, for a resort I would place this in a category along the line of a Holiday Inn type. Not a high end resort, but not a bottom dollar. Maybe a 3 star type based on cleanliness, amenities, food, and service.
Some reviews are hit or miss. We understand that we are traveling to a somewhat under developed country (compared to the USA) and understand to not expect ALL the luxuries of that of the USA.
Resort Food: We did not go hungry what so ever, and there is something for every type person I think.
It was okay, as with any buffet style food, it is bland with little to no spices or added flavor (like southern cooking lol) so salt and pepper to your taste. I take this as the way to cater to those that might have allergies etc. Be creative and you can make your own type of food (example taking mashed potatoes from one tray and the gravy from the roasted beef tray and had the best mashed potatoes and gray I've had in a long time)
The a-la-cart restaurants, were a nice break up from the buffet. Again food was okay, the japaneese was probably our best pick We were able to go to everyone once and repeat one if desired. We didn't repeat any of them.
We did have the 'romantic dinner on the beach'. Pick the later one (6:30 or 8:30) as the 6:30 one people are still on the beach or in the water. No big deal to us, but thought I'd share the info. Food was good (we had the lobster. Yes it was a whole lobster per person cut in half right down the middle. 4 course meal and took about 4 hours. Wife loved it.)
Wood fired pizza near the pool was awesome, and everyone knew it as it went fast.
For our anniversary, they also at no charge gave us a congratulation cake, bottle of rum, and a fruit tray.
We booked the "privileged" room, which had rooms closer to the beach, but made the walk to the main dining further. We didn't mind as we enjoyed the walk.
We had a problem with the tv in the room and had to report it 3 days in a row before it was fixed. Our tv was a 19" model non flat panel, which didn't matter to us. The mini-bar only had sodas, water, and beer (no liquor, no big deal) and took about a day to cool a newly added beverage, so plan accordingly. We asked for a king size bed when booking, which we did get, but the other 'double' bed was left in the room taking up space, but didn't bother us as we used it for the suit cases. No issues with theft and our maids were friendly. The in room wifi didn't work for 2 days, called the front desk, then finally worked. It never would work on the ipad (unless in the lobby), but the laptop worked fine. We like to travel with the comforts of home, and contact family back home.
**yes there is a slight musky smell as there is in all tropical locations that we have stayed in, we just take a dryer sheet and put in the air vent. That is just our way of dealing with it and not complaining about it.You won't notice the smell anymore. ***
I did scuba diving with the shop at the resort and took my own gear. Nice people, small boat, no ladder to get in or out of. I had no issues but some might. Dive locations lacked what I have experienced before but still better than diving in the cold quarry at home. With my wife being a non-diver, I decided to go the the conveniently close shop as apposed to being away with her alone for a long time.
The beach was beautiful with all the palm trees on the beach and yes there was a lot of seaweed but the beach crew kept it cleaned up many times daily and was not an issue. The water was extremely calm like a bath tub. No waves. Very nice, if looking for waves, it's not here.
While on the dive boat I saw a 'flea market' probably less than 10 min walk on the beach (face the ocean and turn left). We did not go as we went to another one instead before I saw this one. The other 'flea market' less than 5 min walk (facing ocean turn right. walk in front of the 'Catalonia Royal' side of the beach, follow path) Can kinda be over whelming so be prepared to say No thank you. They will tell you they all have the same stuff and they do to a point. But after we politely ignored some of them we found some different things at the other shops. Haggle Haggle Haggle. This flea market and the resort gift shops had most of the trinkets we were looking for cheaper than other places we went to.
The pools were nice and never had an issue finding a chair or beach hut (can't remember name) as we get up early, mostly before the 'rush crowd' showed up.
***warning there are commissioned tour guide salesman roaming the grounds during the day*** sometimes they can be annoying to some people, we made friends with a few even though we didn't buy anything. Be ready to say no thank you if approached and they will leave you alone.
***Go to front lobby and book the safari tour (again haggle the price) it is an all day trip and very worth it. you will not regret it one bit.***
The pool bar staff worked as fast as we've seen from a laid back country. We tip even though not needed, but not every time. Some people would say they took too long, but we were on vacation and time wasn't an issue for us. The best drinks we had were at the bar next to the front desk and theater. Kelvin and Eddie took very good care of us.
All in all it was not the worst place by any means. We had a great time and for the money enjoyed our vacation. If we had paid what we usually pay, we would have expected more, but it was a good value for the money. Short ride from the airport, although not within walking distance to any local shops or restaurants.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A magnificent hotel resort with exclusive, white sandy beaches, crystalline Caribbean waters, palm trees lining the coast and abundant vegetation throughout the complex. Coral reefs along the beach allow guests to enjoy the rich marine life of the Caribbean Sea. It is located in Playa Cabeza de Toro (Punta Cana), one of the best beach areas in the Dominican Republic. The complex is situated 20 km from the International Airport of Punta Cana and 47 km from Higuey. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Catalonia Bavaro Beach Hotel
- Catalonia Punta Cana
- Catalonia Bavaro Beach Golf & Casino Resort
- Catalonia Bavaro Punta Cana
- Punta Cana Catalonia Bavaro
- Catalonia Bavaro Beach Resort
- Catalonia Bavaro Resort Punta Cana
- Catalonia Hotel Punta Cana
- Catalonia Resort Punta Cana
- Catalonia Bavaro Hotel