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“It was alright! But maybe I'm just spoiled”

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Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort
Ranked #54 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed December 17, 2012

I thought everything was pretty average at the resort. Stayed in a Junior Suite right by the Catalonia Royale. The first day I got a bit of their wi-fi in the room but the rest of the week we only had luck in the lobby and a bit at the pool. There was a free safe in the room (rare nowadays) and a TV with an SD card reader (really good if you want to look at your photos big screen and you didn't bring a laptop or whatever). When comparing the staff to the resorts I stayed at in Varadero, Cuba and Riviera Maya, Mexico, they weren't as friendly but I did get an 'hola' every now and then. I liked the selection of fancy beverages at the lobby bar. My fave drink of the trip (as per usual) was sex on the beach... and they made it the best (at least in my opinion) at the pool bar. Well, I forgot to get a drink at the beach bar, so they might have made it best over there, I'm not sure. Now for the food. Buffets were decent, don't expect too much and then you'll be pleasantly surprised at some of the finds. As for the a la carte restaurants, La Toscana (Italian) and Rodeo Steakhouse tied for first. Reason being the appetizer at La Toscana was amazing, but the entree at the steakhouse was also amazing. In second place Mikado (Japanese, teppanyaki style), then Mariachi (Mexican). Last but not least, the entertainment was pretty good and funny at times. The hotel's theme song is catchy. Best shows of the week were probably the disco one and the classic Michael Jackson night. Anyway, next trip is probably going to an adults-only resort. Not that I don't like kids, I just prefer that kind of atmosphere.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank harmonie143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 17, 2012

My girlfriend and I returned home from our trip a few days ago and had a really great time. The resort grounds are beautiful and well cared for, the hotel staff (grounds keepers, maids, servers, concierge) are all very nice and polite. The bartenders are fun and make great drinks, speak clearly when you tell them what you want though. The only bad thing is the constant annoyance of tour operators bothering us on the beach. At least 15 times a day we would have to say no (repeatedly) to them, and of course the same ones would come right back and ask again the next day. And they work for the hotel and it's tour operators! It was very frustrating. They have booths set up in the lobby and near the beach and pool for excursions, people know where to find you to book them if they want to, it's ridiculous that they roam the resort all day hassling people. The picture ppl were even worse, they'd just walk up to you and even if you said no they start snapping away trying to get you to do stuff. Happened daily. So annoying.
The maid service is excellent if you tip and have the right maid. We had Angela for the majority of our week there. The two days that she was off we only received the bare minimum of what was expected in our room. Angela would prepare a different design out of the towels and flowers around the bathtub and make sure everything in the suite was filled and clean.
The food at the buffet was very good once we found what we liked. There isn't a whole lot of variety tho but it's still very good. The A-La-Carte restaurants we tried were nice, La toscana was closed the night we wanted to go and the Steak House was absolutely horrible. Worst service on the resort and worse food than the buffet. The Mexican place was amazing! Really nice and fun servers and the food is excellent! We ate there twice.
The beach is really nice, there is always a breeze to keep you from being too hot and the ocean is always refreshing and swimmable. They do a great job of keeping the beach clean during the day and it was really nice to walk up and down it. We didn't stay by the pool too much but it's big and there's a great bar in it. Usually pretty crowded though.
We stayed in the Privileged section in Villa 2 right by the beach, I recommend doing this, the sections to eat at the buffet are a lot quieter and the service is excellent. And the Privileged section on the beach is perfect! Also the free room service to the suite was great!
One of the only other downsides was the language barrier. Many of the employees there do not speak any english at all besides hello or I don't know. It was very frustrating trying to call down to the concierge to ask questions and not be able to communicate properly. But we managed and even started picking up a little spanish by the end of the trip so it turned into a positive anyways.
The room itself was very nice, spacious and decorated nicely. A flat screen tv with lots of channels and a huge soaker tub to relax in. Big closets and a safe, a scale, robes and slippers, it was perfect. Very sloppy handyman work in the rooms (wood stain splatters on the mirrors, paint smudged on trim and quarter round, chips and gaps along frames and tiles) but that stuff doesn't bother us it's only small aesthetics.
All in all it was a wonderful trip and it would have been hard for us to ask for anything more. I probably would choose a different resort in Punta Cana for our next visit but I could see myself returning in the future.

Room Tip: Go with the Privilege upgrade.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank vanslyke85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2012

Don't Worry about the negative reviews.. Book your vacation and go to this resort.
I spent 7 days (by myself) and I had a wonderfull time.
Most of the staff were friendly, the entertainment was good, the resort was well kept and I didnt have a problem with the food ( & Im Picky).
The beach was clean and you never had to fight anyone for a beach chair because they had more than enough.
My only two suggestions would be that they should provide a little bit more food choices at the snack bar and on some days, they could play a little bit more relaxing music in the pool area. Apart from that exery thing else was GREAT!
BAVARO RUNNERS and the POLARIS excursions were great. I suggest that you try them both and WAIT until you get there to book it with one of the Representatives in the main lobby. The prices that way are substantially cheaper than booking online.
SO there U go !! Book your vacay and go and HAVE FUN!!
Keep up the good work Catalonia Bavaro !!
All the Best ~ Anika

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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7  Thank AnikaD_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cataloniabav, Director General at Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 14, 2012

Dear Guest:

Thank you for taking the time to bring your concerns to us about your holiday experience at Catalonia Bávaro Resort. We regret any inconvenience you have experienced and assure you that we are anxious to retain you as a satisfied customer.

All the comments you have sent us about customer service are more than helpful, and we appreciate the feedback we received from our valuable guests.

Receive warm regards from all our staff.

Thank you for choosing us!

Yours Sincerely,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 13, 2012

A little about me, first. I travel for pleasure, have visited 16 countries over the past 20 years, usually go south at least twice a year. In terms of all-inclusives, I have visted Cuba, the Domincan Republic, Mexico, Barbados and St. Maarten. I have also taken trips to Florida and Puerto Rico. Whi;le cruising, I have visited St. Lucia and st. Thomas. I estimate that this was my 24th trip south.

I travelled with a good friend, also in her forties and this was a post birthday trip for me.

The good:
As others have noted, the resort is very pretty, well laid out and the grounds are nicely landscaped. The beach is lovely and long, with both palapas and palm trees for shade.
The room was clean, fairly large and had a big balcony. We were comfortable and had no complaints.
Staff is friendly and pleasant. Service at the bars was very good.Other guests: some lovely people, including Anne and Stefan from Brampton Ontario. They were so sweet and funny and wonderful company.
Hotel guests were a real international mix including British, French, American, Canadian, German and Russian.


the bad:
Reception initially told us that they didn't have any free rooms with 2 beds (huh?). We were later told that the resort was at 60% capacity. Anyway, we did get our room as requested by being firm. Never had this happen in any previous trip.
Service in the dining room and buffet by the pool could be quite hit and miss. In the mornings we always had to chase down a server for coffee and were never offered refills. Dinner was only slightly better. We were never offered a refill of wine and the process repeated itself.

Unfortunately, the food in both the buffet and the à la cartes (steakhouse and Mexican restaurant) was mediocre. Food was rarely hot, (more of a buffet problem) and frequently only lukewarm. This is not only an annoyance, it can be a health hazard.

Other guests: I have to retell the story of an ugly incident that I witnessed between a server and a French guest. We were having lunch at the palapa restaurant and sitting near the outer edge of the dining room,overlooking the beach. A French woman (not French Canadian, because I speak French and know the difference in accent) was calling to a server in the restaurant demanding that she get her a chocolate cookie. The guest was very insistent and quite oblivious to the fact that the server did not speak French. She became very rude and demanding. We intervened and told her to go get a cookie herself (and a few choice additional words). The server was upset because she did not understand what was being asked nor why she was being spoken to this way. Apparently some guests do not understand the difference between a server and a servant.

In summary we had a pleasant trip, but the resort is really not up to scratch. With some improvements to the service and to the food, it could be a much better hotel and a solid 4 star. Given the wide range of hotels in the Punta Cana area, I don't think I would return to this one, or recommend it to a friend. Too many other good choices.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade to the privilege section (rooms closer to the beach).
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Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
3  Thank Ottawagal62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2012

We went during thanksgiving break the people were great they helped us out with everything the best waiter there is alejandro suco i believe just a great person he brought us a cake for my girlfriends bday. The bartenders are great people. The people who put on the shows and activities were great individuals who worked hard and had us laughing the whole time. The spa is amazing as well put me to sleep. Never meditated but they really put me at peace i felt like my whole body was so relaxed.

Room Tip: get the rooms closest to the beach
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank joshio s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cataloniabav, Director General at Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2012

Dear Guest:

It is a pleasure to know about your stay with us. Thank you very much for your comments. We were pleased providing you an excellent service and to know that you liked much.

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns and help us in the quality processes we have.

We will be delighted if you give us the opportunity to have you again as our guests, in our Catalonia Hotels, so that we may prove that 100% Guest’s satisfaction is our main goal.

Receive warm regards from all our staff.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2012

Hello from Garth and Sharlene Minto of Milestone, Saskatchewan Canada, Our first winter holiday in January 2012 and we did not know what to expect. Well were we amazed and impressed, the only bad part was that it was raining when we got there at night and could not find our room righ away, but the rest of our stay was amazing, all the staff at every venue was very great and we were treated well, and that is why we are returning to the same place this winter with all of our kids all 5. Hopefully our tour guide will be a little better at getting us answers to questions than he was last time, but all it was a great holiday and we hope our kids will enjoy it as much as we did. We plan also to take in alot of the extra activities so it goes to show that going back to the same place is great when you have an excellent time there the first time. Soo see you as we bring in the new year down warm

Room Tip: corner rooms great and ground floor is excellent, we always left good items for our cleaning staff...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank shar020257
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cataloniabav, Director General at Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2012

Dear Guest:

It is a pleasure to know about your stay with us. Thank you very much for your comments. We were pleased providing you an excellent service and to know that you liked much.

We will be delighted if you give us the opportunity to have you again as our guests, in our Catalonia Hotels, so that we may prove that 100% Guest’s satisfaction is our main goal.
Receive warm regards from all our staff.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2012

You may have been wary of this resort by some the reviews. Do not be! This is an excellent Resort. Keep in mind this is a 5 star Hotel in a 3rd world country. We were there for a marriage of a friend and we were not disappointed.
-- Privileged Upgrade --
I would recommend it, we did and enjoyed the little extras. We were in Villa 1 which is right by the beach - 50 yards. It is away from the central hotel and noise. The advantages are a Jacuzzi tub, robes and slippers, Villa close to the beach, better seating in the restaurants, discounts in stores and Spa. We also needed a powerbar for our room and the privilege desk provided us one. Free Wifi in your home.
-- Rooms --
Clean and functional. A little outdated. Hammock was comfy. The shower was a decent size and everything was working. A not about electricity. You have one outlet in your room and your should bring a powerbar or extension cord if you have more than one thing to plug in. Our maid was very polite and helped out with our Spanish. We requested no flowers in our rooms as the attract ants and "solo Agua" for our fridge. No problem. A/C was working and kept our room cool and comfortable for sleep. bed was great.
-- Food and Restaurants--
This would have been the only disappointment. The buffet was nothing spectacular. I always found something and each meal there was chefs making food ( Omeletes or pasta, burgers and such) But the food was nothing compared to our Mexico trip.
The Gran Caribe buffet was nice but becuase it is open air, there a lot of birds and they poop on the chairs and floor. These were not always as clean as I would have liked. Solution. Go to the buffet on the beach, newer and very clean. Same food. Then go to a theme restaurant in the evening. The service at the beach buffet is better as well. We were ignored at the Main buffet but felt like royalty at the beach buffet.
The theme restaurants are okay. But do not go to the Steak house and expect it to compare to a steak house in North American. This is DR, not the KEG. The italien was good but if I want good italien I would go to Italy or little Italy here in Montreal.
The Creperie was our treasure find. from 16h00 - 23h00 they are open and it is never busy. They will bring you the crepe of your choice and any coffee you want. The best Cappachino I have ever had. They use Sweet cream ... so good. Every evening we would skip desert and head there for our evening coffee.
-- Beach--
Very nice beach, lots of shades and chairs, 2 bars on the beach, There is a cleaning crew that roams up and down the beach to keep it constantly clean. There is alot of seaweed in the water but the hotel cannot control that. Drinks on the beach are not watered down. So enjoy. I enjoyed my Blue Hawaii. There is a no reserve chair policy but noone follows it. If you cannot find a chair, ask any one of the staff and they will find you what you need.
-- Bugs, animals --
There were mosquito, so bring bring spray with DEET. Other than a few ants in our room, there was nothing that bothered us. A few DR dogs that walked around but were very friendly.
-- Staff --
I did not meet any staff that were not friendly, Lots of Holas! Must do not speak English, some spoke french, all speak Spanish. This did not ruin anything for me. Some the best evening discussions were about our adventure of explaining I had an upset stomach and trying to describe it to the girl in the drugs store
--Extras--
There is jewelry store, mini mart, drug store, Booze and cigar store, clothes and art store. A doctor on premise 24/7 There is photographers that are very expensive, but they get great pictures and what better way to remember your holiday.

You are only 20 mins from Airport which is a huge plus, nothing like getting off a plane and getting on a bus for anther hour or two. Nope, here you will be drinking and swmming within the hour.

Room Tip: Privilege section gets the rooms, closest to the beach. Bring a powerbar if you need more that one o...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Lucannus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort

Address: Playas De Bavaro | Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana 2062, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#33 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#41 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#48 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#50 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#50 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $178 - $583 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 711
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

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