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Catalonia Playa Maroma
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Reviews (8,324)
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2,183 - 2,188 of 8,324 reviews
Reviewed April 28, 2011

I read a lot of reviews regarding this resort prior to booking our vacation. I was sceptical but hopeful. I was rewarded. If you are doing homework as I was, then I am not going to discuss the positives that have previously been reported. The positives are all true. I want to concentrate on the negatives that could have prevented me from booking this resort. First of all, I have no knowledge of the less expensive rooms, we booked a privileged room from the start. On arrival we received (4) passes to the specialty restaurants - steak, Italian, Mexican. We also received one pass to the tapas restaurant - this is the ultimate restaurant at the resort. We visited the Italian restaurant twice. We did not like the steakhouse as compared to what we think of as a steakhouse in the US. The Italian was excellent. The Mexican specialty restaurant was ok (on Tuesday, the buffet specialty is Mexican and we really enjoyed the variety of dishes).

I have read much that the buffet never changes and I disagree. The buffet ( in the evening) always has chicken, pork, beef and fish. But the preparations of these entrees changes each evening. We always found something different to eat. And all of it was good.

The breakfast buffet is as advertised. Lots of choices and all very good. Omelets to order and a variety of other dishes including a Bloody Mary table and a Mimosa table. The variety of pork sausages changed each day and all were interesting.

Tips go a long way at this resort. We did not tip nearly as heavily as recommended on TA but we received great service. Leave tips for housekeeping and minifridge service,. Damn, these people work hard. I left most of my tips at the pool bar where drinks were delivered to my table without asking and only a few pesos brought large rewards. The Mexican people know how to satisfy the tourist trade.

One negative that I need to report is that all the Maroma Beach hotels have a $22 USD plus tip trip to Playa one way. So with tip, about $25 USD each way. We went to Playa a few times but I wanted to forewarn you.

Room Tip: Book a privileged room from the beginning
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank kgeren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2011

Hi,

Just got back from the CPM, from April 8th to April 15th to attend my friends renewal of vows.

Well, to say the least, the hotel is indeed very, very quiet and relaxing. Too much for my taste, in fact, but that depends on the purpose of your trip. If you are between the ages of 19-40, and you don't have any kids, and you expect to let loose and party, THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR YOU. If you have a family, if you're going as a couple, or if you are the type that goes to bed early, you will love the resort. The food is Ok, but not great, as in most resorts. Unless you catch a dish right out of the oven, the food is warm. Not a great variety of fruit. Mostly just melons and bananas. Almost no guacamole and pico de gallo (weird, for mexico?). The italian "à la carte" is excellent. Forget about the discotheque, not 1 person in it the 7 nights we were there, and they shut the lights in the lobby at 11 pm. No late night snacks. No pool bar. No party pool. Almost no entertainment or loud music at the pool. The ambiance they are looking for is relaxing, and they obviously don't want to catter to young spring breakers (a positive point for some guests, I personnaly found the resort dull.) If you start having fun after midnight, the fun police (security) comes running with a hand on their radio! (Come on! the closest rooms are like 3/4 mile away!!!!!) Ceasar. Excellent bartender, my favorite ever! He deserves a raise. The rest of the staff is also very good, very friendly, the service is excellent. The rooms are very, very ordinary, but they are reasonnably clean, and the beds are comfortable. The AC worked well. No alcohol in the rooms, by the way, and finding a bottle of water outside your room fridge is impossible. You can't get one at the bar.

I recommend this resort for you if:
- You are a beach person (it's by far the nicest beach I've ever seen)
- Like "jungle" like resorts (it's green and thick all around you)
- Go to bed early
- Don't like resort with young people or spring breakers
- Like international crowds (people spoke french, italian, german, english, all around)
- Are travelling with kids
- Like small, cozy resorts.
- Like a quiet resort, where you can play cards with your friends in the lobby
- Are not a luxury fanatic that can only enjoy themselves if there is marble in the bathroom

I DON'T RECOMMEND THIS RESORT IF:
- You are afraid of snakes!!!! My friends saw 2 while we were there!!! (Not agressive, and more of the garden variety, but still!!!) One was right in the path way to the rooms!!!! I am very afraid of snakes, and I have to say, it bordered me a little bit...
- You like to Partyyyyyyyyyy! It's a good thing we were a group of 12, (of which, 6-7 are party animals), so we would have fun anywhere (and don't get me wrong, I did enjoy my trip, but only because my friends are a lot of fun) I think I would've changed resort if we would've been only two, trying to meet new people). They close the lights in the lobby in your face, even if you are sitting there having fun. You either have to stay in the dark, or go sit around the the bar to get some light. We felt a little bit out of place, and everybody looked at us funny. I felt like I was disrupting naptime at the nursing home!!!
- Pool bars!!! I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE them! Having to get out of the pool and back in is NOT the same!!
- Late night snacks! There aren't ANY!!!!!! (which is dull, if you only go to bed at 4 in the morning! :)
- You are single and like to mingle! (They only single people there were there with their parents! haha) And with no discotheca, it's hard to get your groove on! ;)
- Like the shade (this is a resort where the towel game is played at it's best. The hotel doesn't keep track of towels, so all the chairs under the shade are taken, but no one ever sits on them. Same thing at the beach).
-Like luxury. This resort is all about the beach. The focus is not put on the food, on the ambiance, or on the rooms.
-Like to go to Playa del Carmen a lot (it's further, and a 20$ taxi ride)


Over all, it's a nice little, cozy resort. The food is ok, the rooms are ok, the service is excellent, the beach is breathtaking. It's just for a different type of people. I like a lively resort with people up very late! This is a resort where people go to bed early and get up early. And it's just fine. It's just not for me. I will be back... When I'm 60! :)

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Guest_1979_Guest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2011

This was our 5th trip to Playa del Carmen (have stayed at Hotel La Tortuga, Riu Playcar, Iberostar Paraiso Beach, and Iberostar Paraiso Lindo before). Though I would recommend this hotel to friends and our stay was fabulous, we probably would not return to this hotel again.

The good:

Staff is outstanding. Any requests (safe in room didn't work upon arrival, additional towels, bell boy) were attended to within minutes.

Beach: Playa Maroma is frequently voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Need I say more?

A la care restaurants: Excellent. We ate at the Italian, Mexican and tapas restaurants. Food and presentation was world class. We live in Chicago and I'd say any of these restaurants would do well even with the competition in this city.

The other guests: Very international crowd: lots of Italians, French speaking (not sure if most were French or Canadian), a fair amount of Americans. Everybody was respectful and nice - maybe the fact that there's no swim-up bar (but there is a bar by the pool) and the fact that there were so many families with children kept the adult alcohol consumption and related sound volume down. If you're a traveler that feels more comfortable with a predominantly American crowd, you most likely will not like this hotel.

No mosquitos: maybe it was the time of year, but we had no bugs what so ever.

Distance from airport: Only 25 minutes by taxi. We pre-ordered a taxi with Cancun Transfer.

The bad:

The buffet restaurants: First of all - it's not the quality of food that is a problem. It's the selection, especially at the lunch restaurant by the pool/beach. Apart from hot dogs, hamburgers and pizza, the options were limited. The grouper, however, was fantastic, and we ended up eating that for lunch every day.

The reason we wouldn't go back is partially the buffet restaurants and partially that the resort feels small and we felt we did all there was to do, just about every day. Compared to the Iberostar resort where there's so many restaurants you litterally have to stay a week plus to eat your way through the restaurants, where there's a carousel at night for the kids, a small shopping mall on the resort grounds, several different pools to hang out by, this resort felt small.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank Advokaten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2011

We just returned from a seven night stay ending Easter day. This was our second trip to Riviera Maya. The resort was so relaxing that we never left the place all week. During our previous visit to Mexico we saw the wonderful tourist and historic attractions, but felt no need to visit them again. Our travel agent (cheapcaribbean.com) booked us for a Privileged room and it was good value.

The beach was outstanding, among the best beaches I have seen. Defiantly the best beach I have seen on the Atlantic Ocean. The resort is a long narrow strip of land that has lush "jungle" habitat filled with birds, lizards, and native Coati (raccoons). Although the beach is not too wide (across) there is open access to walk the beach past the few other resorts that adjoin the resort. Just north is a very expensive resort - but they get to use the same water and sand we did as a reasonable price.

Around the pool and beach are many activities and nearly 30 staff to organize activities for adults, teens and children. The staff will walk around and gently encourage you to join in volleyball, a jungle tour, dance lessons, or a water polo etc. The list of activities was endless and the enthusiastic staff were great. At night you would see the same staff as dancers in the nightly shows which were quite colorful and entertaining.

Bar service was quick and there were abundant juices and a coffee bar. The food was very well presented. For lunch we preferred to go to the restaurant near the lobby rather than eat at the beach restaurant (Tortuga). There was a wide variety of selection at the main restaurant. Tortuga was convenient for families with burgers, hot dogs, pasta etc. The morning breakfast selections were great as well as the evening buffet that had some theme nights. As "privileged" guests we got four tickets to the themed restaurants. Many have commented on these restaurants so I will not elaborate. We did enjoy the al-acart menus and service was excellent. All in all, the staff were very eager to make you meal a pleasant experience. The house wines were included and so-so. Bottled wines are available at a reasonable extra cost.

There is wifi service (free) in the main hotel lobby and the pool area. It was not the fastest connection in the world but we were able to keep up on email and news. The spacious lobby was a great place to begin the day with fresh coffee a roll and email - the bar there is open 24 hours a day and a great setting.

The room was spacious. There were about 20-30 cable channels on a smaller size flat screen TV. The bathroom was clean, but the grout was put on a little sloppily in our particular bathroom so it had more rushed appearance. This only applied to the shower and sink. It was not a big deal. The "privilege" room balcony was large and comfortable looking over the colorful courtyard. Other rooms had plastic balcony furniture. Not sure what other differences were. We all ate the same food and had the same beach.

Many have written reviews commenting on the large number of those speaking French, Spanish and Italian. This is true, but it gave a more international feel to the atmosphere which we liked. English was the minority language.

We would return to the Catalonia Playa Maroma any time. Looks like a great place for families with a great children's program. We went as a couple and had a wonderful time.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Robert D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2011

We stayed here Oct 2011 so the review is due..

Good:
-One of the best beaches
-Service is decent
-Layout is good
-Food is decent - pay for the Tapas...well worth it!
-Gym is ok..basic
-Couples massage was very good
-Location is good - between airport and PDC
-Grounds are nice
-Free bus ride to PDC - book early
-Good amount of room on the beach so you could find shade.

Needs some work:
-Rooms - basic and clean however in need of upgrades (stayed in block 5) however I would imagine once all the rooms are upgraded the price of this resort will increase
-SMOKERS - pick up your cigarette butts....they are ALL OVER THE BEACH...sick, sad and digusting (www.cigarettelitter.org)
-No beer in mini fridge and no cans of beer on the resort (bring mug etc. if you want to have a drink back in your room)
-Nightly entertainment was weak even by AI standards
-No iron in room or resort (small detail however ..)
-IMO red wine was not very good....very cold and out of a plastic jug!! However at the resto's serve it out of a bottle.. but still not very good.

Overall...good experience

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Globetrotters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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