Everything in the forum & these reviews is true. Check out my profile & contributions for lots of tips on this & other resorts. Fabulous last minute (booked online Monday, left on Thursday) two week vacation. First week here, second at Sandos Playacar just for a change…should have stayed at Catalonia for the entire time. Wife, daughter 6, son 5, loved this resort. So I’ll comment on different things.
Take a pre-arranged taxi from the airport, especially if you have kids! Only took us 1 hour in moderate traffic. Search the Forum for taxi service suggestions. We picked Jeromi Transfers, booked online, $62 plus tip one way (2 adults, 2 kids rate). Driver was waiting outside holding a sign with our name. Nice a/c van just for us.
Seems some negative reviews come from those in Standard Rooms. Guests upgrading, ultimately to a Suite like us, report a 5-Star vacation. The Suite is a must if you have kids. Separate sleeping room for them, their own flat screen tv, huge bathroom w/luxury décor, patio with tub was fun for the kids. They charge $25 PER ADULT (over age 12) for the upgrade. It was well worth $50/night for us. Spent the first night in a Standard, which was clean, older décor, no view, but fine if you don’t mind. It’s a WOW experience when you step into the Suite.
Note to couples without kids: the upgrade to a remodeled regular room is less (I think $15pp). Those rooms are also fantastic…I peeked into a few when the cleaning lady was there. Same higher end styling like a Suite (flat screen tv, new king bed, lux bathroom) but only one room. So do us families a favor & take one of those…leave the 2-room Suites for us so we can have a little vacation time away from our kids! : )
Kids’ Club was FANTASTIC!!! Sue & Tania worked so hard. Yes, parents, you are allowed to tip them during & at the end of your stay. It was very clean and safe. They kept the kids so happy & busy, going swimming, snorkeling, dancing, shell collecting, crab hunting, eating, doing crafts, face painting, and putting on an unbelievable production of The Lion King one evening featuring our kids. The resort is small enough that we could easily find them within minutes. No pagers needed. Remember, Puerto Aventuras is a gated community. In the end, my kids didn’t want to leave.
Wife LOVED the gym. She worked out every morning using the new equipment (free!). Spa services were extra, didn’t use them, but treatment rooms & pools looked very nice. She got a massage in Puerto Aventuras at a small salon in the strip mall next to the Omni. She liked it, especially since the price was half that of the Catalonia. I booked for the next day & they never showed up for my 10am appointment. Finally the owner arrived after 20 minutes, shrugged her shoulders and said, “Oh well, I guess the massage lady is sick.” No apology, nothing. So I hopped back on my bicycle and headed back to the resort. So if you want to take your chances, it's worth the risk.
If you want to leave your laptop at home, hop on a bike & go to Cafe Cafe across the street from the Omni. They only charge 50 pesos or $5 US PER HOUR (or 1 peso per minute for shorter time). And they have nice fast computers, serve good coffee or cold drinks & bakery items. Sure beats the non-a/c room with 3 old & slow computers at the hotel that charges $5 per half hour.
Bring your own snorkel gear, fins optional unless you plan to go to Akumal to swim with the turtles. Highly recommended. Rent a car for the day (negotiate the price!), take some towels, kids LOVED it. Fins needed if you want to swim way out to the better viewing areas, but plenty of turtles & rays come close enough to the shore so not a lot of swimming is required. No expensive tour needed.
Do a search in the Forum section for answers to everything about this resort. Or PM me & I’ll try to help. Wife considers Catalonia her best Mexican vacation experience with kids so far. That says a lot. Congratulations, Catalonia!
- 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