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Reviewed January 31, 2013

My husband and I went to the Catalonia Royal Bavaro (Adults Only hotel) during the second week of December 2012. The hotel is only a couple of years old and is part of the adjacent Catalonia Hotel Bavaro. People from the Royal are allowed to use the facilities next door as well.
The rooms are really great: huge bed, huge rain shower, bath tub, flat screen TV, everything you can dream of. This was a big change from the hotel we stayed at the week before (Grand Palladium Palace – see review). The hotel also offers free internet, although reception was slow in our room. They have three pc’s available in the lobby (free of charge) and internet works better on those pc’s.
The beach is amazing. Great lounge chairs, nice towels. There is even a waiter/waitress bringing your drinks to your lounge chair. If the waiter is not around, you can get the drinks yourself and enjoy the beach bar. There is also a fruit bar at the beach (natural juices) which serves fruit drinks made on the spot and which are pretty amazing too. Next to the hotel (50 meters) there is a small shopping center run by the local population. The hotel also has a shopping center but the prices are definitely higher.
What’s so great about this hotel and the beach is the fact that there are no other hotels in the area. When you’re on beach and you walk to the right, you can walk for miles without seeing a soul, nothing but endless sandy beaches and palm trees. Same thing when you go to the left. The closest place to the hotel is the place where you can swim with the dolphins, but that is at least a twenty minute walk, or longer.
The hotel has three restaurants. The one at the reception is where you have breakfast buffet. If you like you can order eggs/omelets/etc through the waiter (who gets them from the buffet for you). So basically you can get them yourself  What bothers me a lot is that although breakfast is a buffet, there is no one at the entrance of the restaurant giving you disinfection lotion. This lotion has been a “rule” for at least three years in the Dominican Republic. So how come this rule does not apply to this hotel?
The à la carte restaurant serves Mediterranean food (tapas). We did not go to this restaurant as again, as is the case in most à la carte restaurants in the Punta Cana hotels, men need to wear long pants and closed shoes. Pants just above the ankle are not allowed, and neither are sandals (although women can go in half naked). Where’s the logic?
So instead we went to the beach restaurant several times where they serve grilled lobster and steak every evening. The first time the lobsters were completely burned (read: black). I did not eat anything that evening. The second time they were ok, the third time they were more or less ok. Service is great.
We also tried the Thalassa restaurant in the evening (no buffet this time). The food was really good, service was great. We even had the best rum ever at this place.
We also tried the buffet restaurants next door. People from the Catalonia Royal can sit in the “privileged” section of the next door hotel. This means better tables and chairs, yet same food as the other guests. The food there is definitely 4 star food. Good, however nothing extraordinary. One night we ordered rosé wine at dinner at the buffet restaurant. It took them a long time to bring it, so we knew something was wrong. And indeed there was, the rosé wine looked completely different from the one we had the night before at the same place. We found out they mixed white wine with red wine, which was disgusting. I would have preferred them telling us that they were out of rosé wine rather than giving us this awful mixture. So we never went back there.
The hotel has two pools, one close to the beach (the infinity pool) and another one close to the reception area.
Overall this is a great place if you like to relax in a quiet environment. Great rooms, great beach, kind people, and above all, great rum (Ron Barcelo Imperial) !!!!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Soniake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2013

Dear Soniake,

Greeting from Catalonia Royal! It was a pleasure to welcome you for your holidays. Thank you sharing your review on Trip Advisor.

It’s wonderful to know you enjoyed our room accommodations to the fullest, as well as the internet service. We appreciate your comments of the Bar Maloo, we are glad our fresh fruit juices were of your liking.

We are sorry to read you were not able to enjoy our Cata Tapa restaurant; we apologize for the inconvenience with the dress code. In regards to the Sea Blue we will make sure to provide your comments to the Kitchen to improve in this area, but are glad to know the service was always great.

We are delighted that overall you enjoyed a great holiday with us, we look forward to your return!

Kind regards.

Ysabel Sosa
Management Assistant

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

This is the third time back to this resort and will be going back next year . If you are a golfer excellent course and only $35 for a cart ... The staff are very friendly and if you ever have an issue it is dealt with straight away. If I had to moan about any thing it would be the WI FI , but that is a small detail and any way you are on vacation so just relax and enjoy the resort .

  • Stayed: January 2013
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4  Thank edewing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2013

Dear edewing,

Thank you for choosing Catalonia Royal for your third holiday! We are delighted to received your excellent review, it proves us we have accomplished to exceed your expectations.

We appreciate your kind comments regarding our staff and golf services. About the Wi-Fi we are sorry to read the inconvenience, please receive our sincerest apologies. We will make sure to revise this issue with our technician.

Once again thank you, we look forward to a fourth visit!

Receive warm regards from all the staff!

Ysabel Sosa
Management Assitant

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Reviewed January 31, 2013

We spent 2 weeks at the Catalonia Royal (8-22 Jan2013) in room 3842. it was fantastic. if you want a lively resort, don't go there! it's just so quiet and relaxing. just great to unwind. The room was fantastic and was kept spotless by the staff. As were the grounds. The food in all the restaurants (7 off) was of a very high standard. We can't wait to go back and meet some of the staff again, as they made our holiday special. Yes there was some seaweed on the beach but the staff kept clearing it up. It didn't spoil our holiday at all.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank colin p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2013

Dear colin p,

Greetings from Catalonia Royal! Thank you for sharing your comment on Trip Advisor.

We are content to know you had a fantastic holiday with us, and that our accommodating and relaxing ambiance was of your expectations. We appreciate your excellent comment regarding our room cleaning service, grounds and restaurant services and beach cleaning staff. We will your kind word share with our staff!

We hope to welcome you back in the near future!

Warmest regards!

Josep Castellnou
General Manager

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Reviewed January 31, 2013

Just got back from this resort. We found the service was excellent and the rooms were very nice. There are some weeds in the water but it never presented a problem for swimming. There was plenty of loungers at the beach and never a problem getting a couple together. We found that the meals overall were very good and the staff very friendly and gave good service. All the staff were very pleasant and many went out of there way to help you any way they could. It was nice having the sister resort next door. It wasn't far to walk to meals and the walk was enjoyable as the grounds on that side were pretty with the different birds and the water areas. We were in villa 44 which was close to the lobby but a little more of a walk to the beach and the only drawback to this location (which isn't a big drawback) was if you wanted to sit on your balcony and enjoy some quiet to read of whatever, forget it. You are in front of the pool with the swim up bar and the party pool. It can get quite loud. We would definitely go back to this resort and probably will next year.

Room Tip: Pick an upper floor on Royal side closest to the beach.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank barmcm1405
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this reviewResponded February 4, 2013

Dear barmcm1405,

Thank you for sharing your comment on Trip Advisor, we hope you had pleasant return back home with unforgettable memories!

It was our staff pleasure to go above and beyond to provide the best service for your holidays. We are delighted that our room accommodations, beach and restaurants were of your liking.

Thank you for recommending us, it’s wonderful to know you will choose us for your next holidays!

Warm regards.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager

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Reviewed January 30, 2013

First off if your looking for a place to party this is not the place for you. If you are looking to get away for some relaxation then I highly recommend this resort.

We stayed at this hotel from Jan 11-18, 2013. We are 30, from Canada and opted for a pool suite.

The beach:
As other reviews said yes there is a lot of seed weed, this didnt bother us, staff is constantly working their hardest to keep the beaches nice. There are quite a few palm trees so it wasnt ideal for soaking up the sun, as compared to other resorts we have been to (Cuba, Mexico, Bahamas & Costa Rica). However we did enjoy our time on the beach. We did find there were locals on the beach trying to sell excursions, we would tell them no and they would leave us alone. The shops to the south of the beach (about 50 yards down) they were quite pushy, but I found it kind of fun. We did the couples massage on the beach, $40 for 25 minutes, this was relaxing and enjoyable. Also the juice bar, located beside the massage was a favorite of ours for fresh fruit smoothies (no alcohol)

The Room:
I would recommend spending a little extra and getting a pool room. We LOVED it. On days that were to windy to be at the beach we lounged around our own personal pool, because of the walls on each side of your patio there is very little wind. You have a lot of space, my only complaint would be there is not a lot of privacy in the room, the bathrooms have slats on the doors. The bed was comfortable, AC worked well, furniture was all in good condition. Jet tub was confusing to use. Shower with the rain head was wonderful.

The food:
If you are a foodie I would not recommend this resort. The food was ok, but I would by no means consider it to be 5 star. I would recommend the Cala Tapas, we ate 2 suppers here, the veal and the pork ribs were amazing to say the least. Sea Blue was ok for lunch and we had one supper there, the food wasnt to bad, burgers and lobster were both dry. The Italian on the family side was also pretty good. I found the room service food to be below standard, food was cold and soggy by the time we got it. The buffets (on both sides) were just ok, filled us up but that's about it, definitely have experienced better at other resorts.

The grounds:
The landscaping is wonderful and the staff work tirelessly to keep them looking spectacular.

The pools: we spent zero time at the pools (because we had our own that we didn't have to fight for a chair at) they looked to be kept quite clean and the double loungers at the infinity pool looked relaxing.

The Service:
Everyone was very nice to us. Our room was always cleaned, with turn down service at night, although the cleaning was never at a consistent time (which I prefer then u can be away from your room). Our mini bar was always stocked, and if we asked for extra anything they had no problem providing it for us. Not that this was a huge deal, but we brought DVDs from Canada to watch in the evenings if we didnt feel like going out or the weather was bad, the DVD players here (and only the DVD no other electronics) are European so none of our DVDs would play, you can rent at the front desk, $10 USD for movies 3+ years old- no thanks! When we asked for a North American DVD player they could not provide it. Again not a huge deal just something to keep in mind.

The Excursions:
We did two excursions. The pirate ship (which we bought on the beach) it was a half day, leaving the resort at 1:40 and returning around 6 for $75/ person. It was a fun afternoon, drinks included. They took you out about 200 meters from the shore and we snorkeled for about 1/2 an hour, then you cruised along the shore line, then stopped to swim / party in a shallow part of the ocean, it was a good time, lotsa dancing and music (which isn't really my thing) but it was fun to watch everyone.
Helicopter tour. I did this one and would HIGHLY recommend it. It was $220 for 30 minutes. We flew over the coast line and it was absolutely amazing! The pilot took us right over our hotel. The sights were amazing! (See pics)

WIFI: Wifi was a hit and miss, it always worked in the lobby, and about 1/2 the time it worked in our room. Mornings seems to work best from the room.

Overall I would recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a relaxing vacation. It is quiet and there are quite a few older people, if you want to party u can slip over the the family side, which we did a few nights. If u are just looking to relax definitely go to this resort. This overall has been the relaxing most vacation I have ever been on!

Room Tip: Spend the extra and go for the pool room! we loved it!!! We had room 3411, if I was to go again, i would opt for room 3402-3404 they are closer to the beach.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Carla S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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