Stayed at the Catalonia Bavaro from July 13-20 with my BF. This was our first vacation together and his first AI ever. I had read the reviews on TA before booking but in my experience everyone’s opinion/experience is just that...theirs. I did get a little worried after booking and kept reading the reviews until we left (heck, I still read them now) but was going to keep an open mind. Our flight was half an hour delayed due to a medical emergency on our plane but it was resolved and we were on our way. Bf was nervous as he doesn’t do well on planes and hasn’t been on one since he was young. We arrived in PC and boy was it HOTTTTT. Bit of a wait for our bags but who cares we were on vacation, found our bus and off we went. Drive wasn’t too long, about 20 minutes or so and check in wasn’t too bad. Resort was nearly at capacity and we couldn’t get a room at any of the buildings I requested. Silly me forgot to ask for a second or third floor but no big deal. We did have a bit of an issue finding our building/room but we did manage to find it. The musty smell hit me as soon as we opened the door but the first thing I did was rip open the air freshener (little tip I read on TA) and the smell disappeared for the entire week. Room was what I expected, though I never did figure out how to use the hand held shower in the stand-up shower. However I did manage to take a shower (2x a day) in there with no issues with hot water or water pressure. BF showered in the tub and preferred that instead. Water did get out in the stand-up but we just put a towel and problem solved. We always go face towels (I know there were some people complaining about not getting these, and we also brought our own). A/C was great and so was the fan, however the tv remote was nowhere to be found. But I wasn’t there to spend time watching tv so not a big deal for me. BF did accidently lock himself out of the safe (nothing was in it) and someone came within 10 minutes to reset it. Let me add we never did use the safe. Mini fridge was replenished daily and sometimes we would end up with 4 bottles of water without us even requesting it. Ceiling did leak on the second last day which we called about but it wasn’t resolved and we just put a towel on the floor. No bother as we were leaving soon anyway.
Food in the buffet– it is good for an AI and if you can’t find something to eat, then you have problems but I know food is subjective to everyone. My BF is picky but he was warned that PC isn’t home and he was just fine – we had no troubles finding anything to eat. Pizzeria was awesome to grab something late at night or if we were just passing thru to get to our room from the beach. We usually had lunch at the buffet by the beach. Again there is always something to eat and pretty good as well. I loved the fact that no reservations had to be made for the a la carte’s. Steakhouse and Japanese was good (even with the language barrier I did manage to get across that I had an allergy to shellfish). I made the mistake of ordering risotto at the Italian which ended up being salty white rice in yellow broth but bf enjoyed his dinner. Mexican was good as well. We drank the bottled water, had water in the restaurants but brushed our teeth with the bottled water. Didn’t get sick at all from the food or water.
All the bars are great, some of the mixed drinks were a little sweet but I stuck to Presidente, red wine and mojitos. We didn’t discover the beach bar until day three (we were a little slow). BF would go to the pool bar for drinks. Bring a thermal cup, I did but bf didn’t…guess who used it 90% of the time. Both lobby bar and beach bar have excellent cappuccinos.
Beach is awesome, much better than Samana from what I remember. Yes, there is seaweed but they are being raked up daily. One day was a lot more but I think that was because it had rained heavily the night before. Brought my water shoes and never used them. We always found a lounger whether we went at 10 am or 12pm…palapa’s not so much right away. But we would eventually find one to keep us shaded. This whole putting a towel on the chair at 6am is crap – I enjoy sleeping at that time. Also guests feeding the fish, why do people do that! I never fed them, all I had to do was stand still and wait for 2 seconds and they would swim around me. Cannot comment on the pool as we never went in once, just passed thru to get our towels and to grab food/drinks.
We only caught a couple of shows but didn’t really see any from beginning to end. We tried the disco once for about 5 minutes. Don’t think the bf was impressed so we didn’t stay.
Wi-Fi was throughout the complex but was a hit and miss. Best place was at the lobby bar. I did manage to face time my beauties back home from the beach which was excellent.
There are a bunch of retail stores with clothing, jewellery, tobacco shop, mini mart…etc. However I did not know that except for the mini mart everything was either credit card or charged to the room. No issues, I did a mixture of both. Sunblock is expensive…bring a lot of your own. I believe a small bottle of Hawaiian Tropic was $24.99 usd. There is a vendor night on Fridays (which I didn’t know about or didn’t do enough research). I am not a fan of vendors trying to get me to their booths so I didn’t purchase anything but BF did. We did not do any excursions or leave the resort so I cannot comment on that aspect. We did find out that the golf was 40$ p/p, $35 for one if we shared the clubs.
The grounds are beautiful; my favourite flower tree was there (frangipani). The animals by the front buffet were stunning. Workers were everywhere doing something.
I have to say that we really had no issues with staff (except for the vacation club staff, one of them found us on the beach and after a few minute conversation we politely said no and he left)– the only rude people we encountered were guests. But we did meet a variety of nice folks from all over the world. We had no problems interacting with staff if we needed anything (Google translate is always handy), Spanish language is no barrier. You are in their country, learn some phrases if you need to. I am sure there is lots about this resort we didn’t discover but I went to sit on the beach and as far as I’m concerned, mission accomplished.
Would I come back? Probably not, but ONLY because I would like to experience other resorts in the area, unless I got a really great deal.
Any questions, please ask away and I will do my best to answer.
- 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