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Catalonia Riviera Maya
Ranked #8 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed July 22, 2009

Our first experience with an all inclusive resort. My family all agrees that we hit a home run with Catalonia Riveria Maya Resort and Spa. BOOK IT..and enjoy it!

A couple of money saving Tips: Take the ADO bus directly from the airport to the bus station at Playa Del Carmen. The cost is about $7 per person. From the Bus station at Playa, take another bus to Puerto Venturas at about $2 per person. Tell the driver that you need to get off close to Catalonia hotel. They will drop you within about 4 miles of the hotel. From the bus drop off point you will see cabs running every couple of minutes which you can get. The cabs will charge you about $7 to get the 4 miles since they know where to go and you do not. This approach to getting to the hotel can save you up to $200 over what we have read that over people have paid to get from the Cancun Airport non stop to Catalonia Riveria Maya Resort.
Another approach is to find the mini van companies in Playa Del Carmen who will charge you around $35 to haul your group the final 20 + miles and all the way to the hotel.

OUR REVIEW: Standard rooms are much better than many other hotels that were (not) all inclusive. I too would recommend the upgraded room if you can and want. Our King bed in our standard room was great. We have stayed in many resorts in the Cancun area that offer beds as soft as your kitchen floor. Again..we had a very comfortable King bed. Room was clean and nice.
Air conditioning in many hotels we have used in the past (struggled) to keep a hotel room modestly cool... at best.
The air conditioning at Catalonia Riveria Maya was FANTASTIC. It was no problem to get the room temperature down as cold as you wanted!
FOOD: Fantastic...what more can be said! It is buffet style but their is a wide variety of foods to choose from. We had some really great Mariacha groups which performed during dinner as well that just add more fun to the experience.
HOTEL STAFF: Fantastic! Very kind, friendly, and helpful. Whether it be in the restaurants or at the pool the bar, or at the beach. These guys and gals do a great job with or without YOU paying any sort of tip. We felt compelled to tip on occassion simply because the staff did a great job.
ENTERTAINMENT: Fantastic! These guys and gals put on great shows with energy and excitement. You will love it! Plus they serve drinks during the show if you need one.
The Disco Club opens up at 11:00 pm and goes till early in the AM hours. The staff is there to offer dance lessons to all of us lousy dancers and they just do a great job of being positive and helpful to all guests.
POOL SIDE ACTIVITIES! Very fun. The same staff that put on the great show you watched the night before will be the same guys and gals putting on fun games through out the day around all the pool areas. Again with poise and a positive attitude and without being pushy.
HOTEL GROUNDS! Excellent. A beautiful resort all the way around. Nothing is ever perfect in any hotel..but this one did a really great job at trying to put forth a great experience and beautiful property appearence.
BEACH: Good! Some rocky areas off to one side of the property, but their is still sufficent beach area and swimming areas that offer beautiful white sand and no rocks. Also tons of lounge chairs and umbrella's to get you out of direct sun rays if you want shade. Another thing we noticed is that the property had a nice modest breeze of about 5 to 7 mph.. most of the time we were there.
This was a very good thing in my view because of the July temps and the high humidty and just sets the mood for a nice siesta under a palapas in a lounge chair and soft breeze.
BEACH SAFETY! Very good. The hotel has trained life guards that roam the beach areas all day long. They look for any problem and respond quickly. These guys were really great.
SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS! Fantastic FOOD,,, but it took hard work to actually get in to eat at one of the 5 speciality restaurants. You have to book your restaurant at least one day in advance of when you want to eat at the speciality restaurant. Also the hotel makes you walk all the way down to the furthest corner of the hotel property from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm to book a specialtity restaurant. It was our experience that the ladies taking the reservations seemed to indicate every day at every restaurant was full even though you were one of the first persons to show up that morning to book a spot. However as soon as these ladies realized my wife was fluent in Spanish they quickly retreated from their original position and seemed to magically find us an available table. We went to the Steak restaurant. The service, the Steaks and the dessert were all 5 star...Great night!

My only issues with this resort were 2 fold and may be more personal comentary than others might write about or comment on.
Poor service at the hotels front desk. We were the only people standing at the front desk at the time we arrived. The hotel had 3 people standing behind the desk. No one payed any attention to us. After about 2 minutes I finally spoke up and asked the guy if we needed to come back tomorrow. He then looked up and finally asked if he could help us. Also the check in process took 15 minutes plus. We were the only customers when we arrived but by the time they finished with us their were at least 8 other couples or persons waiting. The guy just seemed not to have good computer skills and was just plain old slow!
Part of the reasons for slow check in is that they need to put wrist tags on everyone and they need to describe the property and give lots of information. It would have been a great idea in my view, for the hotel to make the check in a 2 phase deal. Sign in first as phase one and then move guests to another table or area of the lobby for another person to put on wrist tags and answer all the questions about who what where on the hotel property.
My SECOND issue is that the hotel had a lot of guests from the other side of the pond.
It would appear to us that the stop smoking campaigns from the USA had few results with many from the other side of the pond.
We could not help but notice a large number of smokers who were (yes) from the other side of the pond, who did not care whether they lit up next to you on the beach, or in a restaruant or in the hotel lobby. Even though the hotel has many areas where it was posted.... NO FUMAR!.. But that is just my view.

OVERALL: My family would give this resort 4.5 stars out of a 5 star rating. No place is perfect and over all the hotel did Fantastic job making our stay a week of Great fun, great food and great entertainment.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank habanero50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,650 - 4,656 of 9,591 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2009

Firstly we would like to say what a brilliant holiday we had at the catalonia hotel. We stayed from 5th to 19th July. After reading some of the reviews you would think it was butlins but in fact it is one of the best hotels we have stayed at.

We always read trip advisor before we book anywhere, but luckily my wife had already been to this hotel so already had an idea of what to expect.
FOOD - The buffet is very nice, yes it gets a bit boring after two weeks but what hotel buffet does't? You get a wide selection of food and it is not the same every night.
We chose to use the three tickets to go to the a la carte restaurants and we were glad we did. They are all excellent and can't fault one of them. The japanese is the best but try all of them. We stayed two weeks and got to go six times! The only thing is do book early so not to be disappointed.
ROOMS - We decided to upgrade our room on arrival. We paid about $400 for two weeks but was well worth it! Very spacious with a good sized tv and nice view. You also get a mini bar with the upgraded rooms. The shower was amazing!
BEACH - We decided to sit on the beach everyday. It was a lot quieter than the pool and you also get a breeze. There was lots of space and a lot more shade than by the pool. The sea was lovely really warm and you could see all the fish as they used to swim around us. Take bread in to feed them and you will be surrounded by them. Yes its a bit rocky but my wife didn't wear any water shoes and managed to get in and out ok without any injuries.
POOL - We didnt really use the pool much. Its a bit noisier as the animation team are entertaining everyone. They have different activities everyday but if you don't want to get involved they will leave you alone. They play music but its nothing too loud, its not like what you would expect on a 18-30 style holiday! The pool bar does get very busy and at the end of the day it seems to be where the LOUD people like to hang out!!!!
SHOWS- The animation team are excellent and very hard working. The shows were amazing and would definetly recommend seeing them.
DRINKS - We loved the cocktails here, they are not watered down in fact sometimes were a bit strong!
TRIPS - We booked all our trips through thomson. The best ones were the swimming with dolphins and the jungle speed boat tour in cancun. We went on the fat cat which was ok and xel -ha which was good but beware of mosquitos as we got eaten alive here!!!
The marina is just 5 minutes away. It has restaurants, shops, chemist and of course the dolphins. We would recommend the dolphins as it was an amazing experience.
We had no trouble with reception, in fact they were very attentive to all our needs.
All the staff work very hard and they will do anything for you.
Overall we loved this hotel and have no complaints. It was very clean and everbody was frendly.
We hope this review is helpful!!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank hola09Chester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2009

This is a terrific place. I was there July 12-16 and everything went beautifully. Check in took only about 15 minutes and that was with purchasing an upgrade to one of the suite (I highly recommend a suite). My bags were carried to my room and that was just the start of excellent service. Everyone was very helpful and friendly, from the gardeners who were always tending to the grounds, to the wait/bar staff who genuinely seemed to want to please, to the maids who always kept my room clean and my minibar stocked daily, without prompting. The food at the buffets (there are 2, one outdoors and one, slightly air conditioned) was okay, nothing really jumped out at me as fabulous, except maybe the guacamole in the snack bar, which was wonderful. There was plenty of food and it was varied. The Mexican and Japanese restaurants were great and, again, the service was impeccable. Between the Mexican and Italian restaurants is a neat little bar with a huge balcony overlooking the sea that no one seemed to be taking advantage of, so it was lovely and peaceful. The beach was very pleasant and though it was rocky, paths had been carved so you could walk in and out without water shoes, though I recommend taking them for deeper exploration than just the shallows. It was very hot and humid and though I will go back, I doubt it will be in July again; I am just not that fond of sweating. I went back to my room every so often to cool off, as there was definitely no problem with my A/C. I walked down to the marina a couple of times to shop and watch the dolphin play and have an ice cold beer in on e of the many shaded restaurants that line the area. You actually get two resorts for the price of one. The Catalonia Yucatan is next door and they virtually flow together. If you didn’t notice the other lobby you would think it was all one big resort. The service and amenities at the two resorts certainly make it seem higher that just the 3 stars it has been rated.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank Beachgirl073
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2009

We stayed from the 5th - 19th July. Flew with Thomas Cook from gatwick via Belfast. Slight delay on way out and a pain to have to go via Belfast but not much of an inconvenience.
Transfer from airport was about 1.5hrs which was fine and check in was speedy and greeted with a refreshing cocktail on arrival.

We were allocated room 156 on the ground floor of block B which was a very nice room but too close to the lobby bar and quite noisey when we arrived as live band were playing. We changed the next day to room 215 1st floor block A and this was also very nice with a view over the gardens. There are 2 levels of upgrades $30 and $50 per night per room but decided what we had met our needs although a fridge would have been nice.

The grounds of the hotel were immaculately kept and very nice everything in close proximity.

Buffet restaurants always had a wide selection of foods and all cooked very well indeed. Staff cannot do enough to help you in this resort. Didn't try any of the speciality restaurants although heard they were all nice we were happy with the buffet.

My only gripe is the beach and the lack of consideration of a lot of guests reserving lounger s in the shade (this happens everywhere but not usually to the extent here). We were on the beach by 8am most days and couldn't find shade. Some people were reserving shades and weren't on the beach until 10am or later and some even had shade on the beach and at the pool leaving towels at each. The hotel needs to address this in 2 ways; more palapas are needed and smaller ones would be better also need a beach patrol to stop the reserving situation. We found in Cuba last year this stopped the practice and was first come first served. The other gripe with the beach was the huge numbers of loungers out every day in need lines no gaps to walk through and very packed. The hotel could easily sort this just by stacking chairs out of the way and the beach staff could get them if needed which I'm sure wouldn't be too often as the hotel was very full when we were there even to the point they offered free upgrades to the sister hotels.

However the above did not spoil our holiday in any way and I would highly recommend this hotel. would definately go back if the price was right.

If anyone has any questions message me.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank cathryn0903
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2009

Overall the resort was just average. There are several things I enjoyed about the resort and things I did not care for.

- Lagoon and snorkeling right at resort. Also was nice for kayaking and small children to play.
- Clear water at beach - very pretty. There wasn't a huge expanse of beach, but enough for me to enjoy it
- Close to the marina at Puerto Aventuras: very nice to walk over to the shops, restaurants and the dolphin show. We also caught the Fat Cat catamaran for a trip out to a reef - very fun, highly recommend.
- Japanese and Mexican ala carte restaurants. Was very impressed with the quality of food at these two restaurants.
- Excellent service thoughout entire resort.
- Very nicely appointed Junior Suite room with tub on balcony. My 4 year old liked the tub and it was nice to have the separate room.
- Proximity to Playa Del Carmen is nice, a short cab ride.
- Great bar service: lobby bar was my favorite at night with live music and the bartender would make special concoctions by request and remember you when you came back.
- Fun evening activities & movies in the Theater put on by the Kids Club staff.

The bad or below average aspects:\
- Buffet was below average: hot food was at best warm and cold food was almost always warm. This was due mainly to it being an open air restaurant. They had the second buffet closed that was indoor, so this was all that was available. Choices and quality of food was poor. We've been to the El Cid in Puerto Morelos and their food is many times better than Catalonia's. The Italian ala carte was very poor. We did not get to eat at the Steak House.
- Room views stink: we knew we weren't getting an ocean view room going in, but this would certainly change my mind about going to the Catalonia again because there are very, very few rooms with a decent view. You also miss out on the nice ocean breeze that comes with an ocean view room, which makes sitting on the balcony less enjoyable.
- 1.5 hours from airport: again we knew this going in, but it is something to think about when you've been traveling for most the day already, the extra time spent in a shuttle makes a difference, especially with young children.
- Pools were pretty small and old. My 4 year old didn't mind, but I've seen a lot better, nicer pools.
- No room service: knew about this going in, but it sure comes in handy, especially with little ones when they are too tired to get out.

This is a decent AI resort for the money. I probably would not return, and would spend a few bucks more and try a different resort, or I'd return to the El Cid in Puerto Morelos. At best I'd give Catalonia a 3. I don't believe there is any aspect that would rank this resort above a 3. I would recommend this resort to budget conscious travelers who are not particular about food or fancy room accomodations.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank altadog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2009

This was our first trip to The Catalonia Riviera Maya and our first trip to Mexico. We would go back in a minute. I can't think of anything I would change except the shared ride from the airport. Took us almost 2 hours to get to the hotel. This is a gated community so you could walk all around and feel safe.

Room --We arrived earlier than check-in, but our room was ready and we were greeted with a drink. We upgraded to a suite when we booked with Apple and it was worth it. It had a large bedroom, living room with a refrigerator that was kept stocked, a good size bathroom with plenty of closet space and a safe. The balcony was nice with the sunken tub and a side view of the lagoon and the beach. We were in Building #9 on the second floor. A short walk to the lagoon and pool.

Restaurants -- We ate at the Japanese, Italian and Steak House. Japanese was our favorite and 2nd was the Steak House. Always found plenty to eat at the Buffets. After the first morning, always ate at the air conditioned one.

LaCreperie -- went every night except Thursday (closed). The milkshakes are to die for!!

Pools -- Used the one at the lagoon and got chairs under an umbrella each morning. Pool and lagoon water was warm. Bought water shoes, but only went in the lagoon so we didn't need them -- nice sandy bottom. Saw a lot of small fish.

Entertainment -- Always something going on at the pools - you could join in or just watch. Good shows at the Theater.

Bars -- Plenty of bars -- our favorite was he Pure Chill Out Bar -- good view and great breeze.

Side Trips -- Went to Coba to see the Ruins -- little pricey and restaurant we stopped at was "so so", but glad we went.

Took the shuttle to Playa del Carmen -- a must to see. Really enjoyed it there. Also took the ferry over to Cozumel -- wouldn't go back, but was glad we went once.

Marina -- went several times -- took pictures of the dolphins, seals, etc,, shopped a little (you can bargain there, too) and went in Gringo Dave's a couple of times. Sophia at Gringo Dave's is very, very nice.

Hotel Staff -- everyone at the hotel is great. They go out of their way to make you happy. This was a great vacation and I would definitely recommend The Catalonia.

I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank NancyWestminster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2009

Well me and my new bride decided to go here for our honeymoon. After the hour and a half drive from the airport we were ready to relax and enjoy our vacation. Well all that was spoiled when the hotel lost our reservations. After arguing with the front desk that we have paid for everything and had our confirmations they still could not find our room. So they told us to come back at 3pm and they would get us in our room. We came back at 3pm and they supposedly found our reservations and escorted us to our room. Well they brought us to the wrong type of room which was a downgrade from the suite we purchased. Again we went to the front desk and the clerk told me all the suites were booked. So we told them we wanted our money back and we needed a shuttle back to the airport and magically there was a suite availiable. After getting into our suite finally the airconditioner in the room would not work. To sum up that ordeal it took them a day to switch us to another room. Aside from drama at the beginning the resort is very nice the food was average. As far as the beach its very good a little rocky but it was ok. The shows we went to were boring at best. Our next trip to Mexico will not be at this resort.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank xstar911
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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#9 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#10 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#12 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range: $204 - $531 (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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