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“Looked very pretty”

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Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort
Ranked #54 of 114 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed February 3, 2013

We were in Punta Cana January 24-31 at the Grand Bahia Principe with Air Canada vacations. Unfortunately our plane had a mechanical issue and we had to stay over one more night. Air Canada put the entire plane up at the Catalonia Bavara. We were given a Privelege club room, the luck of the draw. The room was 2223 - right at the end of the resort overlooking the beach and pool. This was a junior suite, very pretty, a little sitting area with white cushions on rattan furniture, king size bed - very comfortable. We went to the main bar where we were unable to get a glass of red wine..... they ran out..... . There was no water in our room but the front desk sent two small bottles. We ate at the main buffet which looked ok - was oriental night. Finally we purchased a bottle of wine and went and sat on our balcony. The toilet is separated from the sink and has a shower unit - small plastic floor shower. On the other side was a huge jacuzzi bathtub and your closet and safe was in this room.Unfortunately we had to leave the resort at 6:30 AM before the sun was up so we couldn't get a look at the beach although it did look very pretty. The room was pretty enough that I would consider staying there on a future trip. Apparently all the a la cartes do not require a reservation.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
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7  Thank lindadg
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 February 4, 2013

Dear Client,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments of your recent stay at Catalonia Bavaro Resort. We regret any inconvenience you have experienced and assure you that we are anxious to retain you as a satisfied customer.

We hope that you will return and allow us the opportunity to pamper you.

Sincerelly,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 3, 2013

The resort itself was good, we enjoyed ourselves and had a good time. Was there from January 18-28. The beach was fantastic and as a few people who had walked down from their resort commented, the Catalonia Bavaro Beach was the best slice of the beach that they had seen.

The room:
Overcrowded, there was a lot of furniture, we had our King Size bed which was firm but comfortable, we had a loveseat, a chair, a TV, the mini bar, a desk, a tub that fit both of us and we are not small you could fit a starting 5 in the tub, but you couldn't fit much more than a child in the shower, and lastly we had a single bed, don't know why but it was there. The rooms are not sound proof, and you can hear everyone who is on your floor or upstairs. We had paid for the privileged package, but did not get much of what was promised with that. They did not deliver towels upon arrival as promised, there was no Wifi in the room and this was the common thread for everyone in that section that we spoke to. There was no pillow menu, no slippers, no robes as promised ( not that we wanted to use it but it should of been there). The Wifi in the room was the major detraction as we wanted to be in touch with our kids and we couldn't do that in the room like we wanted. International calling is $1.49/min . The room service was ok, we only took advantage of it once for a late afternoon pizza after a nap. Housekeeping was good, they gave us decorative sculptures with the towels and fresh flowers a couple times during our week, they were pleasant to speak to and they worked hard. Just FYI we didn't get fresh towels but heard others did in there buildings. Also you are entitled to late check out til 3 pm if there is availability which we did get but you have to go the day before and for an extra $30 you can have the 6 a`clock check out that we paid as we were leaving after 8 pm

The Beach: It was fabulous but it was also open to the public. This of course meant vendors for excursions, remember the phrase "The King is the Best" cause he will come visit you. Everyday whether you are at the beach or at the pool. Yes there was seedweed and some days the ocena was cloudy because of high winds but there was nothing you can do over mother nature. There was a consent crew of trying to clean it up.

The Bars: Fantastic service, did not need to tip to get great service, but they were so friendly and welcoming, they were the highlight of this resort, and it did not matter what bar, they were all great. They were having as good a time as the guests, but they never stopped working. If they weren't making drinks they were cleaning, and I mean cleaning anything and everything. They were the best. The pool bar the one day had coconuts to drink from my wife enjoyed that.

The Restaurants: The Steak House -- The best service of all the restaurants by far, and the food was very enjoyable, we liked our steaks, the buffalo chicken wings were not buffalo chicken wings but they were delicious just like the steak.
The Italian: The food was good, the service was absolutely horrendous. You get two small courses and while it was delicious (although the Minestrone tasted like it came from a Campbell's plant) but word of advice go have some crepes afterwards, you won't be full. In terms of service, after the food and drinks were initially brought they never visited our table again. They forgot about us and there was no excuse as there were 8 servers for about 20 tables.
The Mexican: Bad service and the food was not good either. The stuffed chicken was not stuffed it came with a sauce that somewhat matched the stuffing that was described. The taco taco was good but fiery hot, sensitive stomachs should not try this one, I enjoyed it but spicy food doesn't typically bother me. The service, there was a mix of excellent and downright awful here. There was one server who was quite short, he was absolutely fabulous, going around to all the tables, he was entertaining, engaging, giving high 5s etc, and making sure your drinks were full, that you had what you wanted. He wasn't even our server but he did a great job serving us. So much so that we walked by our server to give him a tip, this guy needs to be a trainer for the other servers. The menu was not accurate, the nachos do not say anything about meat, but there was meat on them, which was a very big disappointment for my wife who wanted the nachos and ordered them because there was no mention of meat of any kind. The resort needs to learn here, this can be extremely dangerous, people order off a menu based on what they want and can eat, there are too many food allergies out there to go putting stuff in the food that isn't described on the menu.
The Japanese: The food was excellent, the chefs were good, although they could use some more training, some of the chefs we've seen at other resorts were better, but the 2nd chef we had was entertaining and engaging, he posed for pictures and other stuff along the way. The service was good and bad, both times that we were there, we along with the other 10 people were unceremoniously told to leave immediately after we were done our food and told we could have dessert in another room. Not good customer service but still better than the Italian.
The Creperie: Not much to say here, best service and great food, the chef doesn't usually get tipped but we made it a point to tip both the server and the chef. The chef made me a special order the first time we went, we gave him a tip both times we visited and he was incredibly appreciative. The server was friendly, engaged in conversation with us and was just basically one of the best parts of the resort, this is another gentleman who should be training the serving staff.
The Buffets (two of them): Service was better at the beach than at the lobby. At the lobby you could go through a meal without seeing a server or a busser. At the beach, watch your plates, they will take them prematurely if you get up to get something. Just a warning if you pay for the privileged again there is suppose to special seating based on this (a section) , they put anyone in there and again the service was not great in there.
The Towel Guys: A tale of two cities here, the best of times was the heavy set guy, great to talk to friendly and helpful. The taller, thinner guy not so much. He was condescending and not very agreeable.
The front desk for check in was awful and didn't even know their own rules about towels and other stuff. No separate check in for privileged either. They didn't"t give us towel cards because he said we didn't need them due to the bracelets we had on, and when that next morning when we went to get towels for the beach we were told NO TOWELS with NO CARDS. We explained that the front lobby person said we didn't need it, and it was a pain going back to get the cards and delaying our morning.
Overall, don't believe all the bad things, but don't bother paying for the privileged, it was not worth the 120 per week for each of us. The one good thing, they will upgrade you to the privileged for free on subsequent visits so that you can get next to nothing of what they advertise.

Don't get me wrong we had a blast, but we paid extra for things we found to be attractive and worth the extra money but we did not get those items. I hate to say it, but compared to the Cofresi Palm Beach and Spa where we stayed two years ago with a lower star rating, this resort did not compete on any of the following, service, food, animation staff. If the Cofresi was located in Punta Cana and had the beach that the Catalonia had it would have been incredible. The staff needs to do better, and the food service management needs to do better with the food. Great time though and although we didn't get what we were looking for we did enjoy ourselves and had a great vacation that could have easily been just that much better.



The tips I can give,
1.) first ask for your pasta or omelets cooked well done which they will do
2 The best internet service is by the pool going towards the beach and buffet
3. bring a power bar for extra plugs as you get two one on the desk wall and one in the bathroom
4. get your towels in the morning they seem to run out during the day
5. the shops are not that expensive compared to the airport, they will charge everything to your room make sure you keep all receipts
6. there is a mini vendors to the right of the beach they are pushy but there you can bargain down
be persistent, they are pushy in trying to sale you things but say no thanks or i don't wear jewellery that seemed to work, i even said a limit i was willing to spend so on a bracelet i said 3.00 he said 7, I said three he came back 5 and I said nope three is what I have and he said fine 3.00. They will push you to each vendor but be polite look and enjoy the experience.
7. Pay a taxi to leave early to get to the airport, we split with a couple who was on our plane so for $15 each couple we got there early and didnt have as long of a line to wait in.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Lisaandgord4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

I wanted to take a moment to share on how lively the entertainment staff made the afternoon enjoyable during the daytime at the pool. My husband is hardly one to just sit and enjoy the sun, so when they would invite him for archery, darts, bocce ball or pool competition - he was in. They took a genuine interest in our group. We went down for a wedding and had a perfect holiday for the whole week. Big Mama (Claribel) and Condorito added a lot of fun to the sunny days! The a la cartes were fantastic. Our favourite was the Italian Restaurant.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Amy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

We were brought there due to flight cancellation... We came from a 5 Star resort (Melia Caribe Tropical) to this.... Main lobby area looked good (Sunwing rep on the bus telling us this was a 5 Star Hotel... 3.5 at best..) the rooms though, NOT! Our bed was 4 inches lower on one side, felt like you were going to roll off! Our 3rd floor patio door showed signs of forced entry at one point, floor tiles loose etc... Luckily only stayed there one night!

Also, people say that Americans and Quebecers are sometimes different... There were some Russians there that were loud, arrogant, bullies etc... More than one too...

Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
2  Thank Danielbruce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

I'm a guy, so I dont care about how pretty the trees, beach, grass, hotel, concrete, pools or any of that. This place had nice grounds. The wifi was either broken or a lie. No wifi in my room. Lobby was the only place, and it barely ever connected for more than 30 seconds. The golf course was pretty nice but 80 bucks a pop for 18. No beer the 2nd 3rd or 4th day I went. I repeat...... no beer. Pretty much earned their 2 star rating right there because I love golf. And they ruined it for me. Anyways scuba shop left a lot to be desired. Wouldnt hook up my regulator to their BC so I didnt go diving. The buffet wasnt bad but wasnt great. It was wierd the cooks who made the specialized omelets and stuff like that never spoken english so ordering a ham and cheese omelet would be tough without a little spanish which seemed to be the case, it always helped to know a little spanish wherever u went. Room was decent. AC barely kept the joint at 75ish so as a fat person that coulda been much better. I turned the ceiling fan all the way up to deal with it. There wasnt much to do for excitement in my opinion. maybe not the best place to go as a mid 20's couple. or maybe its just my style i dont know. the italian restaurant was good. we went twice, i dont know if that was allowed but they let us. mexican food place was pretty good too. no light beer available at the bars, just full bodied stuff. cant really drink it, as it gives me a splitting headache. tv wire was broken so the tv reception was all snowy and bad. a lot of tv channels in spanish, some in english. lots of channels though. 80 to 100 ish. i liked that you could smoke pretty much anywhere. a cab driver even let me smoke in the car on the way to the hotel after the flight in. people in general were always nice i thought. for me though the wifi was the deal breaker. i just paid 250 dollars extra on my phone bill because i couldnt skype with my people and had to use my phone $2 minute for verizon. oh and apparently january is part of their windy season where the wind constantly blows 15 to 30 mph. gets super annoying after awhile.

Room Tip: I dont know if there is a difference.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Joshua T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

we stayed a week here in January 2013 and weren't impressed. The food was awful in the buffet for every meal. The selection wasn't great and what they did have wasn't good. The only special restaurant that was decent was the Japanese one. Forget the Italian one, food was bland, worse than pasta from a can. The drinks aren't strong (like having rum flavored water) even when we asked for extra rum. The overall resort area was nice and they kept it clean. Our room wasn't bad, we asked for a 2nd or 3rd floor and got a ground level room.When we asked to change it,we were told they were full and nothing available.Nothing the next day either, but we kept seeing people checking in.No big deal. We had to call for towels when we checked in because there were none.You can't drink the tap water, so you have to use bottled water to brush your teeth and they never left enough bottled water. /we had to call almost every day for more water. Our shower curtain was too short and the water would go all over the floor. We only got a bath mat one day and that got soaked.They fumegated the rooms one day, we still had tiny bugs on the bathroom vanity and that night my boyfriend killed a cockroach near the bathroom. The staff were friendly and tried their hardest to make us feel welcomed. The shows at night were lame. I've stayed at better places in Punta Cana where the food and drinks are better.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank sungoddessLU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

First time in the Dominican and would recommend this resort as a perfect place to stay for the first time. We enjoyed the buffet as well as the A la carte restaurant. The service was delightful all around. Helps to know a bit of their language, which we did. Great room close to pool and beach. Our mini bar was always stocked with beer, water and soda. Highlight was our hammock outside on the patio. Price we paid was well worth it.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Nick L
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 February 2, 2013

Dear Valued Client:

Thank you for choosing us, we are very pleased to read your comment. We are very satisfied that you had a wonderful time.

We are glad to know that your expectations were exceeded wich is our main goal.

We look forward to welcome you again!

Cordially,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:
#14 Green Hotel in Punta Cana
#34 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#47 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#48 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#50 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#50 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $160 - $521 (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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