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“Great Resort, Great Location and Food Options”

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Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Casino & Golf Resort
Ranked #55 of 112 Hotels in Punta Cana
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed February 5, 2013

This was my first time in punta cana, and overall I very much enjoyed this resort. I will break the hotel down into the following categories.....

Food: Great, Many options, buffet always had lots to choose from, the 4 la carte restaurants were also very nice. I was amazed by the Japanese restaurant, truly amazing food cooked right in front of you as a large group around a live chef table.

Pros:

Grounds: Very well laid out, everything is within walking distance. There were a couple of stray dogs around this resort, which was nice, they didn't bother anyone and loved to be pet.

Entertainment: There were live performances every night at the hotel. They interacted with the audience in an amazing manner, got everyone participating and giving everyone some laughs.Great shows and talent here. Also, the lobby bar was very active most nights, complete with what i call a "party starter" named Maria, who came around with a cart of various liquors giving people shots to get the night going.

Service: Great friendly staff here, always willing to help. Our mini fridge in the room was stocked well daily.

Excursions: We booked all of our excursions through the resort. This was handled very well, buses picked us up on time and arrived back on time also. I highly recommend the excursion on the large 2 level party boat, that takes you out for snorkeling in the coral reef, as well as swimming with nurse sharks and sting rays. The zip line excursion was also a great experience.

Cons: Only complaint I have is sometimes it is difficult to get a chair by the pool. Tip: Save a chair early in the A.M with a Book or towel.

Overall I would say this is a great resort for your money, and the perfect size in my opinion.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Kara M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 4, 2013

Hotel staff very helpful and friendly. Also the entertainment staff always had something planned. This resort had a great atmosphere very relaxed and casual. A la carte restaurants were very good. Highly recommend the Japanese and the steak a la cartes. Overall I'd rate this resort a 7 out of 10

  • Stayed: January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Rlo1968
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 5, 2013

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 another chance by counting again with their presence 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.

Thank you for choosing us!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

This hotel offered everything that we needed to relax... room (1907, a priviledge room) was clean but kinda smelled a little bit humid, but to be expected as it is very close to the beach, AND it's an island. AC worked great, had wifi 90% of the time.. There was even a hammock on the balcony, which is very relaxing for an end-of-the-day read ;)

The buffet offers nice food, changes theme every night. Not saying it's a Michelin 5 star buffet, but honestly, have to be very very picky not to enjoy at least 50% of the menu. A la carte restaurants need no reservation, so that's nice! The two best ones would have to be the mexican and the japanese.. Oh, and the cappucinos and crepes at the Creperie are amazing! must go!!

Shows for entertainment are actually pretty great, too! Sometimes resorts cheap out on this but not the Catalonia! Hmmm, what else? Beach is clean and very pretty (although a bit windy, but what are you gonna do about that??!), entertainment offered by staff if you wanna join in (sports, salsa or bacciata lessons, etc), lotsa chairs but still need to go out early enough to get a good spot. Get towels early, too... they sometimes dont have any left if you go too late (i.e. go at 10ish) Pool bar is nice, Jisselle is very entertaining! The grounds are very well kept, the staff is friendly, alot of them speak english and french (surprising!), but it is nice to know a bit of spanish :)

Women; expect to be flirted with. But hey, that's in their nature! And yes, vendors tend to want to sell excursions and little shops and things, but hey, it is a poor country, we would probably be doing the same... A good way to get them to leave you alone is to say politely but firmly: thank you but we have already planned our excursions (or bought our souvenirs!)

Tipping: room service maids; we left a dollar every day on the pillow. Bar people: tip if the service is good, then they make your drinks stronger ;) Otherwise, when you think about it, for a whole week, we tipped for a total of maybe 20$, max 30$??? When you think about it, it's the price we pay for a T-shirt, so, they deserve it i think.

And voila! Had a really nice time, and like I said, if you're hesitating to pick a place, this one is definitely a good choice. Don't expect extreme luxury (this is not the Melia Tropical), but very very nice!

Stayed from jan 27th to feb. 4th. 2013.

Room Tip: This worked for us; say you have asthma and really need a non-smoker room. We got upgraded to priv...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank MonnfromMontreal
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 5, 2013

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for the favorable review you gave to our hotel. We are pleased that you found Catalonia Bávaro as a holiday destination.

We certainly enjoyed reading your review and would like to thank you once again for your kind words.

Receive warm regards from our team.

Cordially,

Report response as inappropriate
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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
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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.
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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.
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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 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#48 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#49 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#50 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#51 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range: $169 - $528 (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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