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“"Royal" says it all” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Catalonia Royal Bavaro

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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Ranked #47 of 110 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“"Royal" says it all”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 20, 2009

Catalonia Royal truly takes the "royal" name seriously. I always felt like my well being was important to them. As long as you weren't trying to scam a free upgrade or request something outside of their all inclusive guidelines, you'll have a fantastic time. We tipped for good service, never excessively to get "better" service. As far as we could tell there was no favouritism to anyone in particular. We were all treated well. Everyone from the gardeners to management greeted us with smiles and hola's everywhere we went.

I travelled with my daughter in her mid thirties, I'm in late 50's. There are more couples than singles at this resort but we never felt out of place. Everyone was friendly and it was fun trying to converse with the European guests. There was no problem in conversing in English with the front desk staff, bar tenders or restaurant workers. The maids generally don't understand English but I was able to communicate my needs. If you have a serious problem I would suggest calling the front desk so they could translate for you.

Rooms:
We stayed in the regular jr. suite. It was spacious and cozy chic. All rooms have large king beds. Others have claimed the beds are hard but we didn't find that to be the case. Our AC worked so well I pulled the blanket on most nights. The trick is to have a room key in the slot at all times so that the room doesn't heat up during the day. The AC will turn off if the balcony door isn't shut tight. Minor room problems were taken care of swiftly.

We left a note to the maid listing which items to put in our room frig. It was always filled to over flowing and extras set on top of the dresser. You get sodas, water and beer, as much as you want. There is a coffee maker and as many coffee packets as you need. I brought a can of Carnation evaporated milk from home and kept it in the frig since I don't like powdered creamer.

Service:
We found the service to be outstanding on the Royal side. Less so on the Bavaro side. Anything we wanted we got in reasonable time. Keep in mind where you are and not back home.

Food:
We were not impressed with the Bavaro buffet. I think the problem was low capacity at the hotel. Obviously it doesn't make sense to have a big spread when few people are going there. Given the food quality elsewhere I think those travelling in the busy season will find a difference.

We only went to the steak house and Italian restaurant on the other side. I didn't care for the Italian but I had one of the most tasty and tender steaks in my life at Rodeo steak house. We went back for an encore and it was just as good the second time we went. Order the Texas steak.

Thalassa was great for breakfast and dinner. I miss my champagne, poached egg and smoked salmon on toast breakfast already. Breakfast is a combination of a la carte and buffet. The pastries were heavenly. Dinner was also excellent. The black pasta was yummy.

CaTa Tapa was a very interesting dinner. It's hard to describe the unusual dishes there. Try it. If you hate the food just go somewhere else to eat. No reservations needed anywhere except the Japanese. If you wanted to you could eat main course at one place and have dessert somewhere else.

Sea Blue is the new beach side lunch spot. FANTASTIC!!!! I dare you to find a better Angus burger anywhere else. Make sure to request mucho well done. The California rolls are amazing too. Vegetarians will find items for them on the menu.

There is a pool snack bar on the other side. Don't miss the excellent pizza and delicious roast chicken.

Creperie over near the shops. They serve great crepes and ice cream desserts, even banana splits. The ice cream is so yummy. If you're either a vanilla or chocolate lover you're in for a big treat. We often skipped dessert at the restaurant and headed here instead.

Bars:
All the bars on the Royal side serve good quality drinks. Get adventuresome and try some different drinks. The great thing about an all inclusive is you can try something different and if you don't like it simply order something else.

There is a new Ma Loo natural juice bar on the beach at the opposite side to the bar. The woman spends all day peeling and dicing fresh fruits and carrots. You can order whatever you want or off a suggested drink menu. Some drinks have granola or honey in them. Very refreshing and a healthy alternative while lazing on the beach.

Beach:
This one is tricky. I have found my perfect beach. I'm a non swimmer and very fearful of waves and currents. There are none at Catalonia. The water is calm and shallow. At high tide it was chest deep. At low tide I could kneel down on the bottom. I would consider this one of the safest beaches I've ever been on. Absolutely perfect for those with young children staying next door.

There is a concrete culvert out in the water. It is full of holes like Swiss cheese. This is a tropical fish hotel. Snorkelling along it and beyond is amazing. Some folks commented they saw more fish here than out on the snorkel tours. Bring your own mask and snorkel if you have one. If not, get one free for an hours use each day from the water sports hut. The sea kayaks are fun also. There are several catamarans available too. There are all kinds of water based tours for you to go on. This hotel does not have speed boats or party boats buzzing back and forth all day. It is tranquil and you can listen to the pounding surf on the reef out front.

Yes, there is some sea grass. It isn't slimey nor did I find it creepy. Others may disagree. The water is very very clear so walking around patches of grass is easily done. The bottom is soft white sand and I didn't find any rocks underfoot.

The white sand beach has tons of shady places to sit. We didn't bother with towel games and always found a good place to sit even if we went to the beach late in the morning.

The nice thing about the Royal private beach was the absence of those hounding you to buy something. There was a fellow who occasionally wandered by with a water sports tour book but it was discrete and a simple shake of the head would do the trick. He only approached us once during the week and thereafter left us alone. Also of note, there are no time share sellers at this resort. If you wish to shop for tourist stuff just head right down the beach a short way. You'll find all the usual stuff there.

Pools:
There are 3 pools all together. Two on the Royal side and a large pool with many activities on the other side. They all appeared to be clean and in good condition. Since I'd found my perfect sea, I only went in each pool once.

Activities:
To be honest I didn't bother with any of them but they are available if you choose to go to the Bavaro side. My daughter went to the disco a few times. She said it was okay. It's not like the clubs at home but it was a good place to dance. She also went to the Casino and played the slots. The Casino is small so don't be expecting Vegas.

Summery:
I would highly recommend this property to those seeking rest and tranquility. It's not a serious party place. That doesn't mean you will get bored but the ambiance is such that you won't likely hear excessive noise and boisterous activity. Within a day you'll feel all the stresses of normal life fade from your body.
If you have further questions I'd be glad to help. Message me for info and links to photos.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
22 Thank margadagio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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TORONTO
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 19, 2009

This was our first time in the Domnican and actually Punta Cana our two girls here here two years ago and said it was amazing so since my wife was turning 50 on the 28th of March it was the perfect birthday gift and let me tell you she enjoyed every bit of it and we would return in a heart beat. This was our first trip all inclusive and I had read up on all the reviews and I was a little hesitant coming to the Catalonia. As soon as we arrived everything went great it was as if everything was planned becuase we were there to celebrate my wifes 50th birthday. When we went to register they said to us we are going to bump you up to Royal side originally I thought this was all due that I had mentioned we were taking the trip for my wifes 50th and this was the Catalonia's doing but becuase they say that we were two adults and on the regular side it was a little full and on our flight there were a lot of families with kids so they were good enough to offer the royal side at no extra charge.
The grounds are emaculate and beautiful and well maintained, we tiped the maid five dollars every day and everything was in order. The beach was beatiful and less busy on the royal side but we would have not minded the business of the regular side. We found everybody to be very helpful and we did not find any problem with the food. If people could not find and assortment of food to coose from then they should stay at home and have MacDonalds. Where can you go where your airfare, hotel all you can eat and drink is covered for under $2500.00 back home alone the cost of a hotel is $150.00 per night.
Fantastic relaxing trip we would do it again any time.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TorontoNacc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
49 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2009

This resort is great! It's a rather large resort with an adults-only side (Royal) as well as the main resort grounds. We spend 7 nights at the Royal part of the resort. The staff is absolutely fantastic! The rooms are well equipped. We had a King-Size bed, whirlpool tub, flat panel TV, DVD player, small sitting area with sofas and coffee table, and a small patio area with table/chairs and a hammock. Our room was right across from the Spa so it was always quiet. Short distance from the Royal-only pool with swim-up bar. I would definitely recommend staying here. I'm ready to book my return trip for early next year. Enjoy!

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Marlene R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
western canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2009

I knew the travel agent was full of it when she booked our trip to the royal side and we when we arrived, indeed we were on the regular side. The resort looks pretty nice and there is always some creepy dude standing by to make you a fruity drink. Unfortunately there were ants under my pillow the first night which obviously threw me off, so we transferred to the royal side on day 2. The transfer took HOURS although the staff were very nice and the bellman carted us all over the place to make sure we got settled. The royal side was infinitely nicer, the room was beautiful-love the glass between the shower and bedroom-always clean and well stocked (we did tip the maid everyday).
The first night at Thalasse we weren't particularly impressed and ventured to other (worse) restaurants for a few meals before we tried it again and were horrified that we had eaten anywhere else! The food there really was excellent. The japanese restaurant was terrible and the ac was broken. The lounge on the royal side was also very nice and the staff there were really great to us, including making all the vodka martini's with as many delicious olives as we could eat (after we couldn't handle another fruity drink)! We did tip them well to ensure that fantastic service continued.
They were doing construction near our room but it didn't really bother us. What was worse were the VIOLENT storms we endured almost every night-and I like storms. Some of these ones scared the crap out of even me! Don't plan on wearing any fancy shoes because if its storm season (and your agent probably won't tell you) you will be rolling up your pants and walking through 8 inches of muddy water back to your room. It was kinda fun but I'm pretty sure I stepped on / through some nasty stuff.
The beach was nice though, some nice snorkeling, lots of little white rays and neat fish. Not Hawaii caliber but still nice if you like that kind of thing. We enjoyed 1.5 days of sun.
Oh and don't bother with the room service, the food was bland and unsatisfying. Thalasse for lunch was outstanding and also the large buffet neat the beach was quite good (especially the roasted chicken). Very damp to extremely wet weather so plan for it since the rooms are a substantial distance from the restaurants (which aren't open very late)! I would go back now that I know what to expect and what to look out for next time (like going during the sunny season!). I'd love to get one of those big new villas for week.
Oh and the trip to Sanoa island was scary, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who doesn't care to hang out with a bus full of french canadian exhibitionists. Plus all the driver there are ScArY, and people say my driving is erratic. Holy hell.
Good luck!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank sourfriday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
54 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2009

This vacation was outstanding. The hotel, food, service, and amenities far exceeded our expectations. We have traveled to all inclusive's throughout Mexico and to Jamaca for more than 30 years, and this resort was among the best we have encountered.

Check in was very efficient, rooms were large, well appointed and comfortable. The housekeeping and maintenance staff were outstanding. The hotel is a little older than many in the area, but managements commitment to upgrading the facility is quite evident. There is room for improvement, the inland pool needs repainting, and the grounds on the royal side need time to mature, but all in all the resort was understated, but quite comfortable.

The restaurant offerings were very good, and perhaps a little above the expected food offerings. Care was taken on plate presentation, especially in the Tapas Restaurant, with flavor subtleties perhaps overlooked by many guests. Offerings like roast duck, and pate are a bit unusual to most North American Taste, but an open mind found them to be delightful. The Royal side was by far more up scale.

The 2 things that impressed me that I had not read about in other reviews were the new Tapas Restaurant...If you stay at this hotel, and don't eat here, you are missing the best restaurant on the property. and Two was the service received from the concierge. My friend became ill ( probably too much alcohol) and went to the on-sight, 24 hour Doctor to get some medication for his gastrointestinal distress. After an examination, he was sent to the local clinic for IV therapy and further tests. When he did not return from the on site Doctors office, I went to the Concierge to inquire about him and was told that he was driven to the clinic. She then asked for me to come by later that afternoon to check on his recovery and I did. She said he was on his way back from the clinic, and would arrive in a few minutes, and for me to ask if he was hungry or needed any special diet for the evening to let her know. We didn't request anything, as my friend went to his room and went to sleep. Later that evening, the Manager of all of the restaurants found my wife and I in the Tapas restaurant and again inquired as to our friends dinner needs. We suggested a bowl of chicken and rice soup might be easy on him but allow him to eat something. The manager had the chef prepare a fresh chicken and rice soup that I understand was very good, and delivered it to his room, along with some fruit and cheese. The bottom line is that without asking, the level of service was beyond anything expected.

I will be going back, and will recommed this place to all of our friends.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank bogey18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 17, 2009

This was our second trip to the DR, and first stay in Punta Cana. The Royal Catalonia is a spectacular property with a spacious, white sand beach, 2 great pools, excellent restaurants, and friendly staff. From the minute we arrived, to the time we departed, everything was first class.
The rooms were spacious and clean. The beds had extra firm mattresses, which took some getting used to, more than enough towels which weere replenished daily. Beach towels delivered to your room each night. Room service is available and was very quick.
More then enough lounges at the beach, and you didn't have to get there early to reserve them. Beach was cleaned of seaweed quite often by staff. Just can't say enough about how much we loved this beach area.
We definitely will be going back to the Royal Catalonia again next year.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank zap53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 16, 2009

Ok, I am going to attempt to rate this hotel and answer the questions to what I would want to here during a review.
First, it was probably a 30 minute drive from the airport to the hotel. Once we got off the plane it seemed to me, we were there. Once we arrived, our room was ready. During the proccess to check in, they had a drink ready.
The room was exactly as the pictures depicted. I was worried after reading the many reviews about bugs, water, faulty air conditioner etc....so much so I brought a small fan. But, I gotta say we were on the first floor by the pool as I requested, and I was actually cold! LOL.....I also discovered the Catalonia's website....hotelescatalonia.com and was able to get more information there.
As I read all the new upgrades to the hotel once there I upgraded to a private villa with a swimming pool, much cheaper doing it there as oppossed to before hand.
As far as the pools, we had no issues getting a great spot at the pool bar or in the cabana's....the beach, I'm not a beach person....was not really crowded. And, like any beach had a great breeze.....I did have to get up to get a drink but I was not at the beach all day to rate the service there. The water was clear, but I am a chicken and the seaweed was a bit much for me, but not my friend who loves the beach. If you walked to the right (facing the water) there was a shopping area. Careful though it is not part of the resort and you will get hammerred to purchase something. I did not because I felt like if I took money out, I would have been hassled alot more. And, it was hot as hell down in these huts.....
Now onto my villa, absolutely fabulous....I had room service at any time, and actually they would bring drinks to my villa...of course tipping helped.
Which brings me to the food. We did not get sick at all. The food, I would rate a (3)....There was a spice of some sort that turned my stomach, but it was not present on all the food. Donno how to describe it...but the Italian resturant, and the Thalassa for breakfast was good. The pizza on the other side like others have said was great. I'm a picky eater and so was my travel partner but she faired well. We also had a private dinner and had the lobster, it was good. So I kinda feel like that is the only area that I was skeptical about. But the drinks were fine, not weak at all. The beer to me was comprable to a budweiser....
I heard a lot of people talk about the language barrier, I understand spanish but struggle to be quick with speaking it....however I was able to piece together words backwards and sideways and had no issues.
Now there were not a lot of Americans there, lots of Europeans, however they were friendly. If your not a smoker I could see people getting aggravated about this, but it didn't bother us....but we smoke.
We also had massages there, and gotta say it was not bad at all.....actually better than the last here I had in the states
All in all, the weather was great, and the service was very good. I'm not sure why others had issues, but they attempted to meet every need we had...after feeling like royalty we called room service a lot, and they attempted to meet our every desire...
I would also remind people you are in someone else's country and I remembered that as well when I tipped....I got the feeling it was greatly appreciated.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank BL1ncegain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Property: Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Address: Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana 837, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#30 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#40 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#42 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
#43 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Catalonia Royal Bavaro 4.5*
Number of rooms: 255
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

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