Where do we begin? A week before we arrive I sent an email to the hotel to request 2 twin beds since myself and a friend were traveling together (with no response). We were traveling for a friend’s wedding and did not stay at the sister hotel (Catalonia Royal) since they did not have the option for 2 beds. When we checked-in (at about 3:30pm on 25Oct2013) our room was not ready so we were told to come back to the desk in an hour and our room would be ready. At this time I confirmed with gentlemen at the desk that the room that we were getting had 2 beds as I requested, he said yes “absolutely”. Fast forward an hour (actually over an hour), we returned to the front desk where they are calling out names for patrons whose rooms were ready one at time. So there we are with 100+ people pushing our way to see if our name gets calling when all of the staff leaves the front desk to go in the back. Finally, 2 hours later after various names have been called and we’re still waiting, the fellow we were dealing with comes out of the back and I flag him down to check on the status of our room. He says it’s ready and gives us 3 keys for 2 people (he states one of them is for good luck). The bell hop drives us to our villa and we proceed up to a room on the 3rd and final floor (Room 3027 - remember this room number for later) where none of the keys work. The bell hop turns to me and says you’ll have to go back downstairs and to the front desk to get the keys fixed. Luckily housekeeping was nearby and let us into the room where we find that there is one King sized bed instead of 2 twins.
The room was pretty large and nice. The mini bar was fully stocked and there was a separate shower from the tub which was nice in case we both wanted to get ready at the same time. We did notice that there were a lot of little tiny almost see through bugs on the desk where the coffee pot was and did not use that area or coffee pot the entire stay because of it. We try to log on to the WIFI from my Blackberry, my iPod, my friend’s phone, and her Kindle to no avail. We enter the bathroom and find there are no washcloths. We also find that there is we were not given the lock or key to the safe in the room. First we call guest services and get no answer (rings then connects to another line and rings then goes to a voicemail box that is all in Spanish). I finally get through to a gentleman and start asking a few things that we need and after I explained that our WIFI in the room didn’t work he said it did. When I told him we tried a few different things on different devices he said it must be the device and to bring it down. As I was trying to explain that all of our devices worked outside our room he hung up before hearing the additional requests.
Once we got settled in we headed down to get the keys fixed, get someone to bring washcloths, get the King Sized bed switched out for two twins, see about the WIFI and get an iron/iron board since we had a wedding to go the next afternoon. They said someone would be right up. Well, the only thing we got was the keys situation fixed. Actually on 2 separate occasions, both of our keys randomly stopped working and had to be reset (the last time it happened, they deactivated the keys we had and gave us 2 new ones instead of just fixing the one that wasn’t working).
There was also an issue with local vendors being on the resort grounds selling jewelry and other crafts. They were very expensive and high pressure. They were also unfortunately located right between the villas and the front desk area so unfortunately every time I had to go to get an issue resolved with our room I was hassled by the vendors to buy something from their table.
The next morning on our way back up to the room from breakfast, my friend requested the iron/iron board again (by this time we figured everything else was a lost cause) and they said someone would bring it right up. Fast forward to a half hour before the wedding, my friend calls down to guest services and explains that she had requested the iron/iron board the day before and earlier that morning. The gentleman asked her when did she need it by and she said as soon as possible since the wedding was in a half hour (3pm). He proceeded to tell her that she waited too late. Needless to say she went to the wedding in a different dress but when we returned to the room… we had an iron/ironing board. We meet back up with the bride and she says that she had left us a hand written note at the front desk to be delivered to us the day before to let us know that there was a get together Friday afternoon (the staff assured her that it would be delivered right away) and that she had called our room and left messages (neither of which we got).
In the middle of the night found myself running to the bathroom every hour and luckily I bought Pepto-Bismol pills with me just in case because judging by some of the other people who got sick while they were there and had to buy medicine at the resort that didn’t work I fared better. I was better by about 5 am but still took it easy with the breakfast the next morning. Speaking of the next morning, we were getting ready for a day of relaxation to find that our ceiling was leaking water from all the rain from overnight. So I was back down to front desk to request that it be fixed or be allowed to switch rooms since we still had not gotten our bed situation cleared. I was told that all the rooms were booked and that they could not move us but they didn’t send someone to fix (or drain the water from the ceiling). The ceiling bulges, which leads me to believe that there is a roof problem and that it’s done it before and it will do it again (remember Room 3027 – beware!!). Once down near the pool area, we were constantly harassed by workers to book our excursions through them only (supposedly for the best deals). Sometimes we were hassled by the same person who didn’t realize they had just talked to us earlier. We had booked an excursion online and when we relayed that we had already booked an excursion and weren’t interested he ask which guy and that we should only book through him for the best price and that he wouldn’t get any money.
On Monday night we are getting ready for dinner when randomly an envelope is slipped until our door… Finally the note that we were supposed to get on Friday!
Tuesday was fantastic as we were away from the hotel on an all day excursion and the next day (30Oct2013) was great since we were leaving.
In general the staff that provided food and drinks was great and the beach and pool were really nice and well maintained. The food, however, was not always great. The first place we ate at was the Mexican restaurant. The food was cold and seemed to be pre-cooked and then reheated a bit before bringing out to us. The sauce used at Italian restaurant tasted like something out of a can. The best place we ate at (our last night there) was the Japanese restaurant which was quite a bit more upscale and the food was certainly plentiful. The sushi could have been better but at least it was edible and didn’t make me sick. There were some activities throughout the day to get involved with and the night entertainment was entertaining. As long as we dealt with everyone else outside of guest services at our hotel we were fine (even the staff at the sister hotels Privileged and Royal were accommodating). At some point the light in the bathroom stopped working (so if you shut the door for privacy it was dark) and there was one day when our room was not cleaned until the evening. We did not bring this up to the quest services staff since all the other encounters were so bad and they seemed to not care. I really didn’t think about it at the time but once I was back in the states I had a lot of weird looking bites (and so did my friend but I thought they were from mosquitoes until remember that I didn't actually see any mosquitoes nor do I remember getting bit which leads me to believe that we had bed bugs (in our one King sized bed)!
- 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