This was our 6th all inclusive vacation & 3rd time to Mayan Riviera. We booked 9 days before departure for family of 4 (children ages 3 & 5) based on the last-minute deal & positive reviews on Tripadvisor. Had great experience with Air Transat, kids enjoyed their little gifts. Biggest complaint of the day was the 3 hours it took from the time our plane landed to when we arrived at the hotel. Lots of waiting. Also - at the Cancun airport when you arrive, just by pass all the people trying to talk to you. Your rep (for us, Nolitours) is actually just outside the building to tell you which bus to get on.
Once at the hotel & waiting to check in, they served flutes of orange juice for us in line, very nice touch. We didn't wait for a porter so found our own room; be aware the building #'s do not correspond to room #'s. Room 1xxx means first floor, not building one. At check in, you'll want to ask for this golf-tee looking thingy in order to use the safe (cost $3USD/day).
Overall, hotel, grounds and beach are SUPER clean and VERY well maintained. Lots of beach chairs & shade (yes, you have to wake early to put a towel on the lounge chair of your choice). Staff are all friendly & hardworking. Lots of: "Hola!"
Grounds were not too big; room to beach to buffet, etc are just minutes walk away. Our kids hung out at Mini-club off and on during the week and really enjoyed their activities. We never left them unattended for > 30min but lots of other parents did and their kids were fine. Plus you can borrow toys from them (ie. pool noodle) just be sure to return when you're done. And as a parent, just know that for "snack" time, your kids are given orange pop, hot dog and fries to eat.
The walk to Dolphin Discovery was 5-10min; my personal opinion is that this was a rather depressing place for dolpins to live as there are just tanks full of dolphins surrounded by a market full of shops and restaurants. I think Delphinus would be a lovlier place for dolphins to live & for a swim-with-the-dolphin experience.
Re: A-la-carte restaurants - first come first serve; at Mikado, lines start at ~5pm for booking a seating that evening (for either 6pm; 7:30pm or 9pm). Great show by the chef, kept the kids entertained. Tapas (which you DON'T need a voucher for is located up a few stairs from La Creperie) is this odd little place, all their dishes are bite size / sample size servings, so great place to stop for appetizer before heading to another restaurant or the buffet as you will NOT get full here :)
Beach was lovely but can be non-existent during high tide. The lagoon side is GREAT for kids, shallow & calm. For catamaran rides, you need to line up at 8am to sign up for a spot that day and they won't sail if its too windy. We brought our own life jackets for the kids and they enjoyed the ride (2 people/catamaran).
Main LOWLIGHTS of our trip:
(1) Daughter got 2 of these crazy bug bites that formed a dozen or so blisters which swelled then eventually popped, these caused her much agony & discomfort as made her shoulder/calf swollen & hard. So please bring bug spray & some kind of afterbite cream.
(2) Both son & myself got stomach bug (on different days). We never ate anything questionable and not sure how we got it, but please bring immodium for yourself and pedialyte or something for your child. This was the first time I have EVER gotten sick on vacation.
As an aside - found out a visit to their onsite Dr for "medical consultation" is $105 USD. By the time we got back after going to our room to get credit card, he had left for the afternoon so didn't end up seeing him.
IN SUMMARY - this is a SOLID 4 star resort. Their evening shows are great, pool games are hilarious, buffets had good selection, staff were all commendable. Rooms are basic but adequate. Enjoyed ourselves & would recommend to others.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Catalonia Yucatan Beach Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Catalonia Yucatan Beach Puerto Aventuras
- Catalonia Yucatan Beach Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico