We normally fly out of Winnipeg but the return flight times were terrible for people our age. We opted to fly out of Toronto as we had relatives there and the flight both ways with Air Canada (surprise) was reasonable and pleasant. The same for the flight to and from Cancun on Transat (options plus) and we had excellent flight attendants both ways.
We arrived at the hotel just after lunch and it was getting full. Pablo at the front desk was very accommodating by arranging a room with a view of the pool for us after a short wait. Another couple travelling on the same flight became quite irate that the room they had wanted was not available. This seemed to set the tone for them for the rest of their vacation and when we saw them at the end of it they were not impressed with any of it. They did however both have very nice tans. The room was fairly spartan but clean and comfortable. The washroom had a small leak from the air conditioning but it was quickly fixed when mentioned. Our shower leaked onto the floor a bit so we blocked the edges with face cloths. It wasn't a big problem. We only had one chair in the room but a second one showed up during our second week. We didn't spend much time in the room except to sleep and on two rainy days.
The maid service was excellent with new towel art every day. The room was spotless. Make sure you tip the maid every day so you reward the one who cleans your room.
The food was very good at both the buffets and the a la cartes. The service was very good. The el Mercado had very good breakfasts and lunches but dinners were a better bet at the a la cartes. All al la cartes were good although some people mentioned that the Mexican (Alebrijes) was not for them. The only complaint we had at the Mexican restaurant was that they gave us too much food. Our favourites were the Bamboleo (steaks), the Mikado (Japanese), the Bellavista (Italian), and la Creperie. The Bamboleo was also great at lunch time too but watch the seagulls if you sit near the outside. They are creatures of opportunity. We lined up between 5:30 and 6:00 pm and always got a table. If you prefer a later seating show up between 7:00 and 8:00 although you may have a short wait. There is always a bar nearby to sit in.
The resort is actually a combination of two, the Catalonia Yucatan and the Catalonia Riviera. The layout is a bit of a maze but after a few exploratory excursions we got the hang of it. The beach is okay and for us the snorkelling and swimming out past the stony beach was good. The main beach becomes quite crowded with the usual towel on chair for reserving it. The beach all along the Yucatan was wiped out by a hurricane a few years ago and they have made an effort to haul sand back in. It's a narrow beach. There is a little stone half bridge near the lagoon and is a fantastic place to see tropical fish. The water is shallow so even the kids can enjoy snorkelling there. Beware the seagulls if you feed the fish. None of the water is over 6 feet deep and some people complained it was too shallow. There are 5 pools on the property with some more lively than others, so something for everyone. Beach volleyball, horseshoes, bocce, catamaran rides and kayaks were free. There were nightly shows and most were enjoyable.
Being right in Puerto Aventuras is an advantage. It's a gated community so we always felt safe. We did not do anything different than we would at home and that seems to be the key anywhere you travel. Don't make yourself a target. There are dolphins and manati within a 10 minute walk at the marina and you don't have to pay to see either. For a fee you can swim with the dolphins or feed the manati. There are also shops and restaurants there.
It's about a 20 minute walk to the entrance of the community and another 5 minutes to a large store where you can buy everything from groceries to washers and dryers. I took a bike (free) and toured the area. Look for monkeys early in the morning or at dusk.
We would definitely stay here again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The 4 star Catalonia Yucatan Beach Resort & Spa is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, on the private estate of Puerto Aventuras. Located on the beautiful Mexican Caribbean coast, this resort is directly on the beach and offers a comfortable and peaceful atmosphere, perfect for a relaxing break. This mystical area boasts many Mayan archaeological ruins that include Chichen Itza, Tulum and Tikal as well as the natural attractions of Xel-Ha, Cozumel and Xcaret. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Catalonia Yucatan Beach Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Catalonia Yucatan Beach Puerto Aventuras
- Catalonia Yucatan Beach Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico