First of all thank you to Franklin on the beach for supplying us with towels every day and good luck with your engineering degree. Also, Scubaquatic.com for taking us on a lovely afternoon out on the glass bottom boat. I would highly recommend it over any other catamaran trip anyone is considering. I would also recommend booking ANY excursion with Hotel Extras within Reception - negotiate! Please don’t get bored with my review.
Now back to business – A 5* resort?? R u sure. If you look at the aerial view from the beach of this hotel you can see that this is just a poor attempt at an add-on to the left of the Catalonia Bavaro (which I could also review on but you’d really get bored). Blocks of rooms existing from the Bavaro are now the Royal and there are newly built buildings housing the Tapas, Beach Snack bar, Reception Building (with the Thalassa restaurant and Piano bar inside), both swimming pools, the row of private villas and the spa out-building. The private villas with their own plunge pool and lounge area I don’t see as being very private – they are right opposite the beach snack bar – and they face north which gets hardly any sun all day so we saw most people on the beach or around the pool every day – what a waste of money.
The small area of beach is overcrowded and is now being reclaimed by the sea and won’t be there for much longer. Every morning palm tree roots are exposed more and more. Any day now they will be falling in the sea. There is the usual mentality of people putting towels on beds at 7am (I’m guessing)! The guys down there work tirelessly every day to clear seaweed off the beach. The first week the sea was clear. The hotel have laid a concrete tunnel for the fish to live/breed - great. The second week was stormy and frequent rain, it was several days before the sea became clear again, but the beach at the Bavaro side was still nice and clear so we often went for a dip up there and saw lots of fish up that end.
Rooms – OK. Kept having to ask for restocking of everything. Only one snack packet of peanuts and biscuits allowed per room. No hammock, no DVD player. Asked for both. Told $20 deposit for DVD because being stolen. We challenged this and eventually got one. Never got hammock. Broken hairdryer. Got replaced with another broken one! Uneven shower floor. Would get charged for taking things from room (obviously) – even slippers!! I hope I wasn’t wearing worn slippers -yuck! So just make sure that the same number of towels etc. are there on departure. Turndown – just put “Don’t disturb” its like them holding a begging bowl and opening the door to let more mozzies inl!
Food/drink – best place to eat – beach Blue Sea café-quick service, fresh food. Tappas-good. Thalassa – good for breakfast-half buffet/half menu if you wanted anything cooked, but people went up to the chefs and asked for eggs, omelettes anyway. Thalassa at lunch – also menu. Thalassa Mediterranean in evening – bad luck if you are seated to the right of the restaurant. If you are seated to the left of the restaurant you will get the full works! Room service – didn’t have breakfast but other stuff. Some OK but avoid anything that says chicken or ham as its prepacked slices.
Tipping: Don’t be fooled in thinking you have GOT to tip for everything. Our rep had the cheek to tell us to tip at the start and all the way through. I’ve been there several times now and I just do what I want. If you start it you will be expected to continue it throughout your holiday. The staff are lovely and they don’t expect it, but If they don’t serve you on the beach, it’s their loss. It does you good to get off your butt!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy the authentic Caribbean at an exclusive, adults-only resort. Its small details make big your stay and the personalized service you receive will make you feel as if you were in heaven. Exclusive suites, innovative restaurants, dreamlike swimming pools…relax in this tropical paradise and enjoy the best vacation you’ve ever had. Have an extraordinary experience, and leave the worrying to us; we’ll take care of you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Catalonia Royal Bavaro Hotel Punta Cana
- Catalonia Royal Bavaro Punta Cana
- Royal Catalonia Bavaro