I went down to Punta Cana with a large group of family and friends. I paid a good price for a one week all-inclusive stay and had a great time. This was my first time to the Dominican Republic so I didn't really know what to expect.
- In general, most of the resort's staff were friendly and approachable.
- Large, clean rooms.
- Large swimming pool.
- Nice swim-up bar
- Clean bathrooms.
- The on-resort club was lively most nights.
- Large beach with plenty of beach chairs.
- Plenty of palm trees and huts on beach provided lots of shade and great photo ops.
- Lots of a la carte options. Japanese was my favourite.
- Good pizza.
- Man-made ponds have plenty of animals to look at and photograph (birds, fish, turtles, frogs, etc.)
- Swimming pool's circulation/filtration system seems to function poorly in deeper areas of the pool. Don't be surprised to find some floating debris in the middle (perhaps a bandaid or two!)
- American a la carte was so-so
- Nightly shows were sub-par when compared to Cuba's.
- Burgers at the pool bar weren't good.
- No bidets in bathrooms (I was surprised since this hotel has a lot of European vacationers)
- Swimming at the beach was disappointing. It had a considerable amount of vegetation floating around. Water was a little turbid. Some parts near shore were rocky and sharp. Luckily, you can find clearer water if you don't mind walking for 10 minutes or so.
- No 24 hr bar.
- Close to airport
General tips and recommendations
- If you're doing excursions sold by resort staff don't pay "retail price", you can negotiate.
- Having only been to Cuba before Dominican, I had high hopes for the food. Although the selection here was better, the quality wasn't as good as I expected. So if you don't have high expectations you will be fine. After a few meals, you will find what you like and you will generally stick to it.
- The resort's convenience store is ridiculously overpriced. So don't forget any necessities like sunscreen. I know hotels can be pricey but charging $29 USD for a small bottle of 60 SPF sunscreen is ridiculous. Luckily, my family/friends brought enough sunscreen to share.
- The resort is large and there is plenty to see/do. Walking to and from places will take time. If you are in decent physical shape, you don't have to worry.
- Lots of mosquitoes at evening and night time are a nuisance. Bring bug spray with you if you are particularly sensitive to insect bites.
- Helps to know some Spanish; not all resort staff speak English that well.
- When lobby bar closes at midnight, you can go to the disco for a few more drinks before it closes at 2 am. The only other option after that is self-serve beer at the 24hr snack bar beside the pool.
- This hotel seems fairly isolated from other attractions like shops, excursions/activities, clubs, etc.
Overall, I would recommend you don't go to this resort with high expectations and you will be just fine. I would consider coming back again after I have seen what some other resorts in the Dominican Republic have to offer. 3 out of 5.
- 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
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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