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Catalonia Yucatan Beach
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Reviewed March 6, 2014

We have nothing but praise for the Yucatan Beach Catalonia hotel. The hotel was busy while we were there but the staff did a fabulous job and went beyond anyone's expectations to provide us with a wonderful atmosphere within which to see the Gold Medal Canadian Hockey game (6 am in Mexico - coffee, tea and juice provided along with pastries right out of the oven!)
Lots of extras available: catamaran rides right off the beach, amazing juice bar all day and lots of choices for restaurants. Sure there are things which could be improved to be more efficient but when you are on vacation those things can be overlooked!
HIghly recommended.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Lucy19561956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2014

The staff was great. Our room was very clean, done early everyday. We were on the 4th floor. Elevator was not working when we arrived. They never did repair it in the ten days we were there. The food was not good at all on the buffet, no variety. The staff were great, Samuel was always smiling and provided us with excellant service. Beach and pool areas were good,resort very easy to get around.Specialty restaurants hard to get into, no reservations accepted. Would not go back again.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
1  Thank Bev B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2014

This is only a 3 star resort, don't get it confused with the Bahia Principe:)

These guys overbook like crazy, you are highly likely to show up and be told that they are relocating you to another resort (happened to my other 10 party members as they arrived 2 days after I did, Nolitour rep somehow got them booked into standard rooms in lieu of the superior rooms they booked).

Front lobby looks nice, its small. No lobby bar in front entrance. Pools and grounds are very clean. Not enough shade umbrellas and chairs around the pools ( very common for most resorts).

-Buffet food is not the greatest for what you are paying for and there was no variety ( most resorts have these great theme nights in the buffet with different items each night...not this resort). They only have bacon every second or third day however they do have a panini maker, so you can make yourself some great ham and cheese sandwiches.

-The a la cart restaurants were actually pretty amazing. You will want to pay whomever off to get as many of those that you can. Each one is really great and the food was really really good. Japanese was awesome, very talented Tapanaki Chefs.

-Staff were pleasant, a few bartenders went over and above. Don't forget to give them a few bucks as they are hard workers. Overall, the Bars and Restaurants are very understaffed. You may not have a bartender at the pool bar on the yukaton side ( opposed to the riviera side).

-The stores on the property are very very overpriced. If you want a ball cap or some lotion, walk to the marina( 5 min walk within the compound =safe) and you can buy just about anything. Absolutely bargain 15% off the price with those guys. The little restaurants at the marina have better food than the resort, and more authentic ( clean water and washrooms).

-Beachfront is not that great. Very rocky and you can cut yourself going in the water with the coral. Also not a lot of walking beach property as you have private residences on either side of the resort. There is a rock pathway near the lagoon on the beach where you can feed the fish some bread or bananas from the buffet; very fun to do!

-The shows are not very great. They are in an indoor auditorium on the riviera side of the resort, can get stuffy, and the talent includes some great lipsinging! No live singing in these shows so I give them a thumbs down ( kids will love it regardless)

-If you are a wine drinker ( I know I am) your going to hate the fact that you will never get a real glass ( obviously because the only bar is near a pool so plastic is required.) You will have to sneek a glass out of the Indoor auditorium bar when they are not looking if you want to enjoy it outside ( bummer because I hate breaking the rules but had to in this instance).

-I never bring my own mug or cup as I prefer to use that luggage space for shoes:)...however, after I saw how the bartenders "rinse" the used cups and reserve them to other people, I wish I had brought my own. They have a bucket of water and they merely rinse the dirty plastic cups and re-use them.

- Room cleaning time is never consistent but they do a great job when they come.

-The security at the front were extremely diligent in documenting every single person who leaves on a tour and making sure everyone is safely returned. Watch them in action, they know where every bus/taxi/tour is going and who is leaving with them. Very safe place!

- The spa is very nice, and the massages were great. Get Erika to give you a Deep Tissue massage.** if you plan on claiming the massage on your insurance, get the therapists full name and registered license number before you leave as it is not in the receipt ( we needed it to make our claim).

-Don't miss out on a Mayan Ruin Tour, you'll regret it. At least go to Tulum 1/2 day tour. It was $79 USD from 8:00am to 1:00pm and you'll learn some history. The other ruins tours ( the big ones) are full day tours if that's what you like ( I hear they are pretty amazing).

-Booking your a la carte was really not a big deal. A lot of people complain there is no pre- booking that you have to wait around in line at the restaurant to get in. This is not true. We went to the a la carte of our choice when we wanted to go, waited at the bar for 30 mins to be called in, and then we were called in. It really wasn't that big of a deal, and you can gab near the bar area and have a drink. The system works with less "no show reservations"

Overall, if you travel a lot, this will not be your favorite place, if its a first time down south, you'll have fun.

Room Tip: Defiantly upgrade to the superior rooms, they are much nicer. Upgrade to privileged as you get access to the chill lounge ( wifi is better) and free room-service. Ask for a room away from the elevators as they are noisy.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Mel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
catrivieramaya1, Director General at Catalonia Yucatan Beach, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2015

Dear Mel B,


Thank you very much for your feedback. We deeply apologize if your stay with us was not a perfect experience

Starting with myself and all my colleagues and managers, we are disappointed to have not met your expectations during your stay with us.

I hear all your comments, and certainly we will take seriously your feedback and see possibilities to improve and make sure your next visit will exceed your expectations.

Yours sincerely,

Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2014

The staff were awesome, they work very hard. We ate mostly at the buffet restaurants, we did eat at the Italian restaurant, it was really good, but you have to get there right at 6 to get in, you can't reserve. The really good waiters in the buffet were, Domingo, and Samuel (Sammy). They say you can't save beach chairs at the pool, but we had to because everyone did and if you didn't get there by 7 am you wouldn't get one. The shows at the theatre weren't that great, they didn't last long. We did the Tulum/snorkelling trip, we swam with turtles and saw stingrays, the trip was by Cancun Adventures, our guides name was Gus, he was pretty good. We then went and had lunch, and then went to the Tulum Ruins, it was cool to see but very very hot. We had a great time, and would recommend it to anyone. We always finished our night off in the Sports Bar, and Gerardo was our bartender, he was the best. If you go there you have to go meet him. He will take good care of you, if you do say hi to him from us. We had a great time, we wanted to relax more then do excursions. We do a shopping trip one day through the resort, it's free, but I don't recommend it, they take you to a jewelry store for an hour and a half, very expensive and a waste of shopping time. You are better off to take a taxi in and back. The resort was perfect for the money. We were there from Feb 22-March 1/2014

Room Tip: They offer upgrades for an extra $175.00 per week, I would just recommend going with the standard room, we didn't spend much time in our room, and it was fine. We had a view of the pool and gardens.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank CharBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
catrivieramaya1, Director General at Catalonia Yucatan Beach, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Dear ChaBC,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your last stay with us and for such nice comments.
It is great to know that you had a good time and enjoyed our facilities and services. We feel very proud of the impression you had from the hotel and our lovely country.
We definitely hope you will decide to visit us again in the future, it will be our pleasure to welcome and pamper you once again!

Sincerely,

Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014

ok where to start. We stayed Feb 20 - 27, 2014
Beach--- you really do need water shoes it can be quite a challenge getting in and out if you don't have them, and even with them, the waves hitting you and you trying to balance your way out over the rocks and coral does give the other beach goers an entertaining moment to watch! The lagoon is a better place to swim or 2 minute (or less) walk over to the Dreams resort just at the end of our resort. You should get up early to get a good spot with a tiki hut. We were up and at the beach or pool most days by 6-630am to get a spot but you can wait till 8-9 and get a spot but it may be a spot not to your liking.
The lagoon has a ton of fish so snorkeling is excellent there and it has a water break between the lagoon itself and the ocean so it is sheltered. Water is more shallow in the lagoon but deep enough to swim. Also it is a great place to get the kayaks and paddle up around the lagoon and look at the nice houses.

Restaurants
For me the best was the Bamboleo steakhouse. I had the ribeye and my wife had the tbone. Both were tender and tasty. The Mexican restaurant I had the flank steak it was tough but tasted good. My wife had fajitas which she enjoyed.
The Mikado was not to my liking but I'm a meat and potatoes kind of guy, my wife very much enjoyed it and we both enjoyed the interaction that the chef had with all the guests . I don't really like seafood to much so not much on the menu for me but I ate it anyways and it was good. It was very entertaining to watch the chef cook.
While I think of it a lot of people were complaining about how you had to book the a la cartes. That is the point...there is no booking. For us we went the first night at 730 and had to wait 1.5 hrs to get in. After that night we went to the a la cartes at 5:45-6:00, as the restaurants opened at 6, waited in the line and got in just after 6 and had no problem. It is first come first serve.
Italian restaurant was very good, but my wife suggests, if you are a lover of risotto, do not order it, it was a major disappointment, to her it seemed to just be white rice and a bland flavoring. The appetizers and the desserts were very good.
If you upgrade to privileged then you get access to the Tapas which is also quite good and you get to go to this privileged only restaurant for breakfast and lunch upstairs where the Italian restaurant is. The Caesar salad, cheeseburger and wings are much much better there than the buffets and the wine is better also. Menu is a bit limited but should be able to find something for breakfast and lunch no problem.
Buffets are typical but again there should be something there for everyone. You can have a salad or fries or a burger or nachos or some stuff you really cant tell what it is but everything is labeled and fun to try new foods, if you enjoy that sort of thing. There are pasta stations at one of the buffets and very nice for a change. Cold cuts are avail also. omelettes are great for breakfast just get the items you want in the omelette ready first in a bowl to give to the guy or girl making the omelette.
Rooms
We had room 8113 which was a suite with a hot tub on the balcony. We had no issues at all with this room. Plenty of hot water, amazing rain shower, and bed was comfy. Room was made up most days before 10 am, fridge was restocked everyday, room was clean, turn down service every night, had 2 beer 4 bottles of water in the room and 5 different flavors of pop and a bottle of tequila as a welcome gift.
Pools
5 pools all well maintained although when you have people at the pool bar from 10 am to 5 drinking all day and never leaving the pool makes you wonder... other than that water was warm and pools were a good size.
Bar service
Sometimes a little slow but overall not bad. I pretty much stuck to beer while my wife had the fancy drinks which some she found quite sweet. Definitely bring a bubba mug as the serve beer in small 8 ounce glasses which are only about 3 drinks so you are forever going to the bar.

The marina
Excellent place to go with shops and bars. We watched the Men's gold medal hockey game at an outdoor bar which the owner brought in speakers and tvs just for the game and was even wearing the Canada shirt . There were about 30 of us there and about 100 at another. Beer was 40 pesos and they did take American money but no credit card at this pub so you may want to check that out before you order. The marina is about a 5-8 minute walk from the resort and because it is within a gated community there was NEVER any fear about leaving the resort. The area is very safe and very friendly. The marina has dolphins, adults and babies, manatees and lots of shops and pubs and bars. Great place to go for a few hours.

Currency
The hotel doesn't take American money so to be honest you may as well convert Canadian money to pesos (when you arrive at the money exchange booth on the resort) and take American small bills for tipping as canadian coin is no good to them and you wont get small American bills at the money exchange even if they have them. I saw a lady give the teller almost 30 dollars in American 1 dollar bills but when I went to switch US $20 for small bills she said she didn't have any and I said yes you do I just saw the lady give you 30 in 1's but she refused to give them to me and I saw someone else trying to get small bills to no avail. what we did was go the bartenders and ask them to switch our larger American bills for small bills which they did with never a problem.

We would like to thank the cleaning staff in our building, they did a great job, always friendly and always efficient. We loved our towel art every day! Also, Lazaro in the privileged restaurant made every breakfast and lunch that we spent there very fun and entertaining and he was a sweetheart, thank you Lazaro . We would also like to comment on Loren at the Steakhouse restaurant, she was extremely efficient and friendly and even offered to take our picture during our meal, that was very kind of her. Thank you Loren!

One tip I can offer is if you go to the resorts FB page, you can most often download some coupons for your stay. For instance, we got 30% off our upgrade which was well worth it. We also got a coupon for $10 off a bottle of wine in the store or restaurant. That being said, the wine that you get free at the resort is the house wine. If you choose anything off the wine menu, you have it charged to your room.

Would we go back again, yes. I would recommend you upgrade tho, as you do not get a coffee maker or a bar fridge in your standard room. You do not get free access to the tapas or the privileged breakfast and lunch restaurant. The privileged area on the beach had very nice loungers and beanbag chairs and it's own Pure Chill out bar. There were always spots available in that section it seemed.
We would recommend this resort to anyone. It is a very small resort and we do like that.
From the airport this resort is about 1:30, after you drop everyone off.

Excursions:
We did not go on any excursions this trip, as we found the prices VERY high. The cheapeast trip to the ruins would have been about $140pp and the most expensive was to Chizanitza (sp?) and it was about $190 pp and was over 3 hours one way, so 6 hours of your day will be spent on a bus. Maybe if you are comfortable booking outside what the resorts offers, you may be able to get it cheaper. We were happy this time to just stay and relax at the resort. The weather was hot and beautiful all week and we didn't want to waste a day of the sun!

All and all, you make the best of what you have. There are always people who will complain and find things to criticize. We are not those people. All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our stay, thank you Catalonia Yucatan for a great first visit to Mexico!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank nancymoncton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
catrivieramaya1, Director General at Catalonia Yucatan Beach, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Dear nancymoncton,

Thank you very much for your feedback. We deeply apologize if your stay with us was not a perfect experience

Starting with myself and all my colleagues and managers, we are disappointed to have not met your expectations during your stay with us.

I hear all your comments, and certainly we will take seriously your feedback and see possibilities to improve and make sure your next visit will exceed your expectations.

Yours sincerely,

Hotel Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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