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.
- 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