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“Family vacation with kids age 9 and 6”

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Catalonia Riviera Maya
Ranked #8 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed March 23, 2014

We stayed in March 2014 for 10 days. We upgraded to a suite - room 8114 in the block closest to the beach - which was very nice and worth the extra money. Great king size mattress, beautiful bathroom with separate toilet and shower, and large balcony with tub. Maid kept the room spotless. We had great service throughout the resort, should note that we had the privilege wristbands and tipped generously. I think it made a difference. Special mention of Mayoli in the las brisas buffett, Leobarto in the bambolino bar and Maria on the activities team. The staff in the gym were rude. You are not allowed in without proper running shoes.

The mini club was great. It was open to kids age 4 to 12 years old, daily from 10 to 5 and had a different theme for each day (mexican day, ecological day, circus day etc.). The activities are planned out and posted outside the club. Ita ran the mini club and she was fantastic, my kids loved her and had no problem staying there for a few hours every day. She was very friendly and we felt comfortable leaving our children in her care. Ita usually ran the mini disco (most nights at 8 in the theatre), and she did a great job of this too, fun for parents and kids. Wednesday night (mexican day) there is a pinata and games for kids, don't miss it!

The food - the buffet was alright but I wished there was more mexican choices. They always had chips, guac and fresh salsa which was delicious. The breakfast was the best buffet meal but they only had bacon 3 of the 10 days we were there. Cappuccino was great. We tried all the restaurants, the Japanese and Italian were our favourite and the Steakhouse least favourite. We usually went on the early side (6:30) and never had to wait. If you go at 7 or later you'll be waiting. They won't allow snacks to be taken out to the pool area, this is to avoid a ton of birds hanging around for food.

The resort is compact with a good layout, you can get from one end to the other in 5 minutes or less, perfect size, not too big. The beach is a trade off. Yes the ocean is rocky, but the lagoon is sandy bottom and shallow which was great with kids. They could swim all they wanted without fear of being knocked over by the waves. We had water shoes and didn't use them that much. Lots of fish to see in shallow water. If you want to walk for miles on the beach, this isn't the place for you. If there's a wedding they clear out the lagoon area in the afternoon, they set up a tent. I reserved a palapa every morning at 6:30 but there was lots available even later on (the resort was only 70% full when we were there). There are signs posted saying reserving is not allowed but it's not enforced.

High points - good value resort and nice place for families, lagoon area, free kayaks, upgraded rooms are great.
Low points - far drive from airport (hour and a half), beach may not be ideal for everyone, a straw for your drink is hard to come by (they only had them sometimes and you have to ask for one).

Room Tip: Upgrade to a suite
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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Thank SunnyDays174
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,768 - 2,774 of 9,444 reviews

Reviewed March 23, 2014

Absolutely beautiful hotel great food, drink,location. Upgrade if you want a little bit more luxury. Dont go to nightclub if you are over 25 a bit shady. Stay clear of Russians a bit to much for a family holiday. Marina lovely worth a walk. Lovely staff.

Room Tip: Upgrade and ask for ground floor
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank brianManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
catrivieramaya1, Director General at Catalonia Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded March 24, 2014

Dear brianManchester


We would like to thank you for your feedback about your recent stay with us, being of the utmost importance for us and our main source to improve our facilities and service.

It's a pleasure to know that you had a good time with us and you will keep a good memory of Mexico and our Hotel.

We certainly hope you will decide to visit us again in the future, thus giving us another chance not only to comply with, but to exceed your highest expectations.


Yours sincerely,

Hotel Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Cat March 13-18. We had a great time and stayed in privileged room 4034. The Cat is smaller than resorts we have stayed at in the past, but not too small. There is plenty to do and see in Puerto Aventuras.

The room was somewhat small, but big enough for the two of us. The air conditioner, bed and water pressure was fine. The WiFi worked wonderfully the entire time. The only complaint that I had about the room was that the TV had cable channels, but only 2 or 3 in English (but what did I expect, really?)...

The food at the Cat was really good for the most part. We went to both buffets, the Mexican restaurant, the Japanese and the steak house. We did not go to the Tapas restaurant even though we had a ticket, we just didn't have time. The Japanese restaurant was the best restaurant that we ate at there. The steak house was very good too.

The beach is rocky, as other reviewers have said, but it didn't ruin our vacation. We found that if you go to the far left side of the beach it is much easier to get into the ocean. There are also lots of fish on that side of the beach.

I am not sure if I would go back to the Cat again, but I definitely enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank ENP1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2014

Although the start of the holiday wasn't good as we had paid to upgrade to Privilege, the room was not in good condition with broken drawers, cracked floor tiles, water damaged ceiling & damaged doors etc, once we had spoken to reception & showed them the photos they were very accommodating.
We were upgraded to a superior room which was lovely with bathrobes, toiletries, wifi & a good location...room 5012.
One thing that everybody needs to be aware of is that in the standard rooms you don't get a fridge, which in 29 degrees is a must and you only get a fridge in your room when you upgrade.
Food is excellent, the staff have been amazing especially the tall gentleman on reception...sorry didn't get your name, plus Ariana, Juan, Raphael at the Pure chill out bar which is part of your upgrade, it's really nice. Mauricio was brilliant in the night club & terrace bar, great service creating cocktails for us.
The hotel grounds are beautiful & the staff work so hard to maintain them.
There is a lovely spa with gym & hydro pool which we used...all were great with good equipment, steam room & sauna.
The hotel is located only a 10min walk to a lovely marina where there are some amazing boats & property's to admire, plus the tip of the day is don't book swimming with Dolphins with your rep, do at the marina.
We booked with the team at the marina & got a really good deal...swam with huge Manatees & Dolphins, where you can arrange just the two of you rather than a big group to swim with Dolphins & get photos all included in the price for $100 each which is far cheaper than going with Thompson.
The Tapas restaurant in our opinion was the best with great service & exceptional quality of food.

Room Tip: We were upgraded to 5012 nice garden view, not far from all the amenities.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank heather b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2014

We stayed at the Catalonia Riviera Maya in early March this year for a week. After reading multiple reviews about the rooms, we decided to pay about $200 extra for the upgrade once we arrived at the hotel. It was VERY worth it. We met people who had regular rooms, and they weren't nearly are nice. The privileged room wasn't bigger, but there is much nicer bed and bathroom. A safe and refrigerator is also included; which is huge because the fridge is loaded with free drinks everyday, and when safe bottled water is hard find...its in your room! The 'Privileged' bar, "Pure" was so cool. Bean bags on the beach!!! More comfortable chairs and a less rocky beach on the Privileged side.

Upon arrival we were very confused. If you can, ask for a tour of the grounds. We saw people doing this so we assumed you had to ask. It took us a couple of days to become acclimated with the surroundings. But once we did...woohoo!

So the reason I said slow, fast, easy, pace in the title is because this hotel is what you make of it. My boyfriend is very fast paced and loves to be moving 24/7, while I prefer to just relax. We were both 100% happy the whole time. For my boyfriend, the entertainment staff kept him busy. There were countless activities everyday including beach and pool volleyball, water polo (his personal favorite), zumba, water aerobics, and more. There were other activities at the resort that were free including the much praised catamaran, snorkeling, and kayaking. We did the snorkeling and loved it. For being completed included it was great. For me, the slow paced one, I was able to lay on my pool chair and completely let go and just hang out. There was music playing, but all I could hear was the ocean, as it was only 10 feet away! At night the bars were open pretty late, and there was the dance club that was great. There was a sports bar with pool tables. The amount of bars was insane; not a bad thing. You have to try the drink called 'Riviera Maya', yum!

The staff at Catalonia Riviera Maya needs some serious praise. Countless times staff went above and beyond for our comfort. From the moment we walked in, to the moment we left they were so welcoming and friendly. I wish I had the names of every person!!! First, the entire entertainment team, Maria, Olga, Mauricio, and the rest!! The front desk team, the bartenders, and the sweetest seating hostess at the Mexican restaurant.

The food. Ok this is why I didn't give 5 stars. Understandably, they're cooking for hundreds of people everyday AND I'm picky. But I struggled to find food I liked. The included restaurants include Mexican, Italian, Japanese, a steakhouse, and 2 buffets. The Mexican and Japanese were good, just different. So if you're used to what you like at home and you don't like trying new things, you may struggle like me. My boyfriend loves trying new things, and he was satisfied. The steakhouse and the Italian were good, as they were just like at home. The buffets were probably my favorite, lots of options that were decent. The breakfast was delicious, the hash browns were amazing! Remember, ketchup, soda and other things are different than American in Mexico :)

Overall this was a wonderful resort and the pictures do not do it justice. It was very clean, updated, and very fun!!!

Room Tip: Privileged is the only way to go, if you can get a room on a top floor, do it. Great views.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Sierra D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2014

We have just returned from an 11 night stay at this hotel and we loved it. We had paid extra for a superior room and expected that to give us a larger room however when we arrived we were informed we were 'privileged' guests which meant we had our own section of beach, own bar and other benefits as well. Our room was large and clean with a mini bar that was restocked daily. We also had FREE room service because we were privileged which we used once and was very good.
We have stayed in many all inclusive hotels across Europe and the Dominican Republic and this was by far the best we have experienced. The staff were friendly and the A la carte restaurants were a really high standard. The buffet was ok but reminds me of school dinners but we were given vouchers to eat in the Japanese, Italian, Spanish tapas, steakhouse and Mexican restaurants. The Japanese teppenyaki was a great experience with the chef showing incredible skills. The Mexican was good as was the steakhouse(didn't expect to be eating fillet steak!). The Italian was a letdown for us although everyone else rated it highly. However the highlight was the Spanish tapas restaurant. The food was incredible and of a really high standard.
There were always plenty of sunbeds available without having to be up at the crack of dawn to save them.
My only criticsms were that there was a real lack of evening entertainment. There was a show each night in the theatre but it was laid out like a cinema with rows of seats rather than chairs and tables to sit around. Also the entertainment staff, whilst very energetic, were incredibly vain and seemed to be more interested in posing than entertaining. I'm not a snob and on previous holidays have found the animation teams to be great fun but these were awful! My only other criticism was that the rooms appeared to have no sound proofing at all. You could hear every sound that anyone made including toilets flushing, voices and showers.
We didn't use the spa but our friends did and said it was amazing.
All in all we had a great time and would definitely return

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Annsinden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2014

We (my husband and I) and our two pre-teens traveled to this hotel for 8 days the 1st week of February. First of all, I must say, we weren't booked for this hotel - we were suppose to stay at the Catalonia Maroma but they had overbooked and sent us to this hotel. We told the hotel they had to pay the 30 minute taxi ride and that we were not moving around because it takes too much of our precious vacation time. We had chosen the Maroma because of the reviews on the beach which is a top priority for us. The hotel did tell us the beach at the Riviera Maya was not as nice and they weren't kidding.

If you are going to swim in the ocean at all, you need water shoes(at the hotel gift shop they are $40+). My daughter stepped on a sea urchin and the first aid professional (a life guard) was very helpful. The lagoon was a great place to camp out and observe the fish and sea life but had limited space. We were "privileged" and had an area at the beach we could be with comfy bean bags and lounge chairs but there was very little beach for the kids to entertain themselves in the sand because 3 inches down there was rock.

Our room was the nicest and cleanest we have stayed in (compared to our other 8 times we have vacationed in Mexico). We stayed in the "privileged family suite" which was one of the closest to the lagoon. It had two rooms with a kitchen area which included a refrigerator, microwave, mini sink, and small stove top. It also included dishes and silverware. The outdoor bath tub was very unique and kind of nice for the kids. We all agreed the shower was incredible with the large shower head.

One of my daughters enjoyed the kids club. There weren't too many kids her age (10) but she enjoyed the activities. I felt that she was well watched over and was safe. The resort had many other activities going on all the time. We enjoyed watching and participating in stretching, volleyball, archery, Zumba, dance classes, pool activities, etc. It was very similar to other resorts we have gone too.

Other than the beach, our only complaint was the reservations and standing in line for the restaurants. We only ate at 2 of the specialty restaurants (the Mexican and Japanese) which we would highly recommend them both. The non-reservation idea made us want to just go to the buffet which became very predictable. If I would do it again, I would have went to the breakfast and lunch restaurant that the people who were "privileged" could go to. We only ate lunch at that restaurant once and it was excellent. The restaurant was above the buffet. Also, I would recommend the Crepe Restaurant. It is fabulous for dessert and/or a light dinner. Ana and Eva were fun loving waitresses. We enjoyed them every time we went.

We indulged with a massage and pedicures. The pedicure was very reasonable. The massages were very professional. The circuit bathes were freezing.

Last, we felt safe and the property was very clean. We even went outside the resort and walked around. There is a marina and enjoyed it. The people who worked at this resort spoke English and we could understand them pretty well. They were kind and work really hard regardless if you left them a tip or not. One last thing, the resort is equipped with American 3 prong electrical outlets. We were able to charge electrical devices. Sweet!

Happy to answer any questions!

Room Tip: Family Suites were spacious and quiet. Stayed on the 1st level.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank PattyJean33706
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Riviera Maya

Address: Avenida Xcacel Lote 1 Plano 2 Manzana 18, Puerto Aventuras 77783, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range: $189 - $504 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalonia Riviera Maya 3.5*
Number of rooms: 423
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Caribbean Sea's turquoise waters can be seen from this hotel-paradise. Come and get ready to spend some unforgettable days in the heart of the Mayan Riviera, surrounded by marvelous landscapes and seductive, white sand beaches. The hotel is located in the wonderful Puerto Aventuras development. This is a tourist development which boasts a marina for yachts, a golf course, restaurants and dolphin tanks, all within easy reach of the main Mayan Riviera attractions. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Riviera Maya Puerto Aventuras, Mexico
Catalonia Hotel Mexico
Catalonia Rivera Maya
Riviera Maya Catalonia
Hotel Catalonia Riviera Maya
Catalonia Riveria Maya
Catalonia Riviera Maya Resort
Catalonia Riviera Maya All Inclusive
Catalonia Mexico

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