We are just back from our first (and last) trip to Punta Cana where we stayed at the Catalonia. For the price we paid for the holiday, we were extremely disappointed as we have stayed at far better hotels/resorts in other countries for far less money.
Firstly, this hotel is very clean, our room was very clean and the resort very clean generally. I have always been of the opinion that 80% of tummy troubles at all inclusive hotels are caused by guests' poor hygiene and think the requirement for everyone to use anti bacterial hand wash before entering the buffets was brilliant. I believe this is a requirement at all hotels in Punta Cana but I have never seen it any where else in my travels. The staff also we found pleasant and helpful all over the resort.
Our room was fine, it was kept very clean. We had a king size bed (not two pushed together) and it was very comfortable however the pillows were horrific, small square things with a loose filling of torn up foam. Our 'fridge was pretty well stocked, our maid asking us what kind of drinks we wanted and supplying them. Our only bug bear with the rooms was the poor supply of towels. We had a bath mat supplied on two days only in our two weeks and often didnt get any hand towels. Our maid quickly cottoned on to our routine of coming back to the room around 4ish when we liked to shower and chill out for a bit before dinner and made sure we had clean towels for when we got back, before that towels were not appearing until 5 or 6pm after being removed early in the morning.
The grounds are beautiful, in fact the only redeeming feature of this hotel and are well above a 3 star rating which I have given but I just cant justify a higher rating for the hotel overall. The bar and lobby areas are too small to accommodate the number of guests, the theater is right next to the main bar and the noise is horrendous if you are not interested in the shows. We spent most of our evenings in the small bar next to the Japanese restaurant so we could hear ourselves talk. The cocktails and non alcoholic drinks are ok but way too sweet for my taste.
The food at the main buffet again is ok but nothing to write home about. As I said, our first time in Punta Cana so cant compare it to other resorts there but it was not as good as any of the other all inclusive hotels we have stayed at around the world. We visited the pool buffet for breakfast once but there was far less variety than the main restaurant so we didn't bother with it again. We visited the Italian restaurant which was fine and we had a great meal at the Western restaurant. We also visited the Mexican restaurant which was dreadful. Two of our party ordered the same starter and only one arrived, by the time they had managed to produce the second order, the main course was arriving and again two people had ordered the same so only one arrived. I had ordered beef fajitas and was presented with some tiny tortillas about 4ins across, a pile of extremely tough beef strips with a couple of strips of capsicum and absolutely no flavour, a watery substance that called itself refried beans and a small mound of rice. My husbands main course was stone cold. We didnt visit the Japanese which has good reviews as none of our party likes Japanese food. There is quite a bit of recycling going on in the main buffet and the food was usually luke warm at best.
The pool area was ok although there is a distinct lack of public toilets in this area and people were sat around that pool bar without moving all day - don't think we need to say anymore on that subject.
The beach area is beautiful right in front of the hotel, the beach and the sea are kept clear of the sea grass. One of our reasons for choosing this hotel which is away from the main strip of resorts was the prospect of some nice walks along the beach but as soon as we took one step of the area directly in front of the beach we were met with the filthiest beach we have every seen in our lives. There are mounds of rotting sea grass, which yes we are aware is just nature however its the favourite breeding ground for sand flies, or noseeums as they are aptly called, which then bear down on the guests at the hotel for their very own all inclusive lunch. My daughter and myself were very badly bitten, these bites are far are worse than mosquito bites and carry some pretty nasty diseases. As well as the sea grass, we encountered broken glass (be sure to wear shoes), rusty torn open tin cans, plastic bottles and bags, broken plastic tables, old shoes, well you name it, you will find it.
If you want a sun lounger with a shade, you need to be up at the crack of dawn. This hotel is the worst I have come across for lounger reserving. People are not content with saving themselves a lounger in the shade by the pool, they also want one in the sun by the pool and one on the beach just in case they fancy the odd hour or two down there. This is something the hotel really needs to get a grip on. I have never been to an all inclusive resort before that did not stack up sun beds when the pool was closed and put them out in the morning when it opened again, something that has a huge impact on lounger hogs but apart from signs saying the practice was not allowed, nothing was done about it. Getting a clean pool towel was quite a mission too and those that were available were mostly nothing but rags.
We would certainly not stay at this hotel again, or probably any others in the chain but we would also probably not visit Punta Cana again as we can get much better value for our money elsewhere.
- 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:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with BookIt.com, Despegar.com, Priceline, Hotels.com, Booking.com and Jetsetter so you can book your Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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