I have never written a review for a hotel in all my life traveling, and I have traveled to a lot of places. This was my first trip to the Dominican Republic and my fiance and I decided to get married at this resort and also spend our honeymoon here. Well what a major disappointment it was.
Our first impression when we arrived was that the resort itself was upscale with a beautiful golf course and front lobby. We were quickly greeted by the front desk staff and given our complimentary welcome drink. Since we had upgraded to the privilege package, we were quickly brought to the privilege check in office and driven to our room.
And this is where the illusion of a 5 star resort was shattered. Our room was very dated and smelled musty. There were huge bugs on the floor, and our entire bodies were itchy from all the bed bug bites. The ceiling air conditioner leaked, the drain in our tub did not work, the hot water took about 5 minutes to warm up and the water pressure failed constantly. The lights on our patio did not work and although we were able to put the security latch on our front door, we had to struggle to unlock the latch to get out of our room. In fact, I had to get out from the back patio once because we could not even open our front door. The cleaning service was horrible and they failed to clean our room twice during our 14 day stay. The mini-bar was also not always restocked daily and the towels, shampoo and conditioner were not restocked daily. We had to call the front desk to get fresh linen twice. The coffee maker was also not cleaned. After using the coffee maker one morning, I found that the cleaning staff had restocked the coffee and water, but when I wanted to make another pot of coffee the next day, found that they had failed to clean the coffee maker and pot (found the coffee filter from the day before still in the machine and the left over coffee in the pot). Needless to say, that was the last pot of coffee I made for our entire stay. I also wanted to catch some news on the winter Olympics in the evening, only to find that the television had very poor reception. The wi-fi was also touch and go and kept dropping all the time.
Now for the wedding and honeymoon part of our trip, although the ceremony and decoration was well organized, we were not able to have our romantic wedding night dinner on the beach on the actual day of our wedding and could only schedule it for 2 days after the wedding. We also schedule to have our breakfast in bed the morning after the ceremony delivered at 10h30am, but it was never delivered. On the night we were supposed to have our romantic wedding dinner on the beach, we showed up at the restaurant only to be told that they had no knowledge of a wedding dinner being scheduled for that evening. The staff at the restaurant did, however, offer that we eat at the buffet. When I tried to explain that we had organized the dinner with the resort’s wedding coordinator for that evening, they insisted that here was no wedding dinner booked for the evening. We stormed out of the restaurant and me and my wife, who was wearing high heel shoes and dressed in a beautiful night gown, had to walk over 10 minutes to the privilege office to complain. After complaining to the staff at the privilege office, I was told that there was a misunderstanding and that they had the wedding dinner reservation and table ready. They drove us back to the beach restaurant and then told us to sit down and wait for them to set-up the table on the beach (which according to the front desk, was already supposed to be set-up). After almost a 2 hour delay, we finally got to sit down and enjoy our diner, which I will admit was very good.
But the service at the other restaurants was absolutely terrible. It took me and my wife forever to get any wine, while other people who showed up after us would immediately get served. On one evening, I ordered wine and waited 15 minutes and still we still did not get our drinks. I waived down the waiter and he immediately looked at us and said “Oh yes, the wine, I will be right back with it”. Again, we waited for 15 minutes and never got our drinks. I actually walked out of the restaurant and made my way to the lobby bar, ordered our drinks, and walked back to the restaurant with the drinks I got myself. Many times we felt that we were not offered water or coffee at meal times.
And forget getting money out of the ATM …. It just doesn’t accept any cards. I had to wait in line 30 minutes plus at the onsite bank office to get any money out. And the people working at the bank have no customer service whatsoever and are inconsistent with their policies. On one day, they accepted only my driver’s license as proof of identity when withdrawing money. Then on my last day at the resort, I needed to withdraw money before going to the airport. We had about 2 hours left before our airport transfer so we wanted to spend some nice relaxing time on the beach before leaving. I ended up standing in line for over 30 minutes waiting to get service at the bank, only to be told that I needed my passport to withdraw money. When I told the person that I had withdrawn money with only my driver’s license as ID 2 days earlier, he said HE only accepted a passport for ID. So we ended up wasting our valuable last hours at the resort running back to our room (about a 25 minute walk there and back to the bank) and staying in line once again for 30 minutes to withdraw money.
And to truly make our stay truly unforgettable when we left the resort, the driver for our airport transfer ended up almost knocking me out when he slammed the back door of the van on my head.
In summary, please pay attention to the one star reviews. I did not believe all the bad things written about this resort until I experienced it first hand for 14 days. Stay away from this resort and go somewhere else. I know I will next time.
- 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