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“Good hotel bad service”

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Catalonia Playa Maroma
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good hotel bad service”
Reviewed August 17, 2013

My husband and I along with our two kids stayed from aug 12-16. I think it was the perfect hotel to go with the kids but wouldn't go if it was just my husband and I. We booked the Priviledged room and got building 6 room 6121 and had a direct view to the pool so every morning I would go reserve a spot!! Adults also got a complimentary 1 hr spa/jacuzzi so that was a surprise!!!

Now on the food... The buffet was MUCH BETTER than the a la carte dinner BUUUUUT the walk from the Priviledged rooms to the buffet felt like a MILE!!! If you have little ones take a stroller!!

SERVICE.. It was good but the restaurants had close to terrible service!! In the buffet there is Roberto Gutierrez aka speedy Gonzalez and he was AWESOME put all the other waiters to shame.

THINGS YOU MUST PACK!! Stroller and Mosquito repellant and lots of it

Vacation was good but I wouldn't go back

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Elvazquez1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2013

This resort is wonderful.Located in one of the most beautiful beaches on earth.The facilities are very nice.Rooms very attractive and clean.Food always very good and the menu with many options.The staff was wonderful and very professional and friendly.We were a group of fourteen family members and every one had a very positive opinion of Catalonia Playa Maroma.We are looking to come back next year.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank bitalala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

We booked 2 rooms in the privliged area for a bachlorette party. When booking we requested that the rooms be next to one another, however we were given rooms in different areas and told thta our request could not be honored.
Rooms: Once we entered the room we were greated by a horrible smell in both of the rooms. The rooms were also very outdated. One of the rooms had a broken safe and the AC did not work. When we asked to be upgrated to a nicer room we were given three different prices by three different people. The manager, William however gave us the highest price. When I asked why his price was the highest he just said that "this is how much it is"
Food: Snack bar had horrible food, you are better of getting a crape from the bar at the pool. Buffet food was pretty good. Italian resteurant had great food and amazing desert. The terrace resteurant had horrible food, esp the sea food was very bad, but the ambiance in there is very nice. The bar/lounge by the pool/beach has great beach view seating. It's very relaxing espacially at night. Ceasar, the bartender is fanastic and was the one of very few people who have good service at this resort.
Spa: I had a facial which was okay, noting special, however some of the other people in my group had massages which they highly recommend. The spa has a very nice atmosphere and staff is super friendly :)
Pool: There is only one pool with no swim up bar, but there is a bar very close by. Do not bring new swimwear as the texture of the inside of the pool snags on everything. All of my swimsuits are destroyed.
Overall: It's a avarage resort in the mid of nowhere, about 40 min to Cancun and 25 to Playa del Carmen. It's family friendly with average food and bad service. If you are used to good service this is not the place to stay at. We still had fun as we were there for a bachlorette party ,but would not recommend this place at all. If however you do end up in this resort I highly recommend Paublo, the photographer. We took group photos and they turned out fantastic.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Agi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Webster, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

I recently took a girls get away with my younger sister to the Catalonia Playa Maroma Carmen del Playa. We had a wonderful time! I think that my review will be helpful to answer all of the questions that I had when researching the resort. I highly recommend Catalonia Playa Maroma and wish anyone who vacations there a good time!
STAFF-one word…wonderful! Everyone there was so nice and accommodating. Most speak broken English but for the most part it was easy to communicate. I recommend taking at least $100 in $1s to tip the wait staff and maid services. After a few days they start to recognize you and you do get better service.
FOOD- None of the restaurants were 5 star but were good and I have no major complaints. Main buffet was really good and everything was always fresh. The main buffet theme changes every night for dinner and always has many different option to choose from. Breakfast and lunch were also held in the main buffet. The options seemed to be consistent each day but it was always good, fresh and plentiful.. Italian restaurant was good it was something that we really enjoyed. The menu items were traditional but naturally had a Mexican twist on flavor. The Mexican restaurant was really good as expected for being the specialty. I really enjoyed the meal and service there. The steakhouse was not so enjoyable. We did not like our dishes and I would recommend NOT getting the crabcake. The portions seemed smaller than normal (only getting 2 slices of roasted potato) and the meat was fatty. We actually picked at the meal and then headed over to main buffet. The tapas restaurant was the similar. The menu items were not suited to our liking but what we did have was ok. The portions were small (as expected) but all of the tapas were grouped together so if you did not like something it was and “o well” situation. The main course was not that great either. The atmosphere (very romantic) and view are worth the visit to the restaurant though. I would recommend at least trying it. Crepe station was FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!! Definitely a must! It was impressive how quickly the service was and how beautiful the finish dish was. The lunch buffet was good and catered more towards beach goers who are just looking for a quick meal. Great for families and kids. The pool bar always had quick and speedy service (remember to tip your server) and FYI bring your own cup with insulation and a straw, the bartend will fill your cup up! The Lobby bar was a fun place to hang out at night. I would recommend packing small snacks like chips of crackers for something light while at the beach/pool. There were not any light snacks available if you did not want a large meal. BBQ on the beach was a very nice feature that we enjoyed as well. During our stay they had fish and burgers.
ENTERTAINMENT and STAFF- Very friendly and involved with the guests. They were quite active with participating with teens, children and people of all ages. They were always energetic and upbeat. Many of them spoke a combo of Spanish, English, Italian, French and Dutch. At night time shows were nice. I recommend seeing the Mexico theme show. It was very well put together and gave a good sample of the culture. We each got massages while there and they were wonderful. If you have the opportunity to enjoy that service I would recommend it. Every other day they had a market in the lobby. The items were expensive (def barter if you can). The beach was beautiful, very clean, water was warm and clear. Would recommend getting up at 8:00a and reserving a seat if you want some shade, they seem to fill up fast. The pool was very nice as well. The staff tested the water frequently and it was large enough to accommodate the amount of people that were there at the time. It located near an entertainment stage so you can watch small shows/activities throughout the day. If you are planning on leaving the resort please make arrangement with the concierge and verify taxi fees before going. Although we did not leave our travel agent told us some horror stories (mainly 100 cab fees and military check points off the resort) that I would not want to happen to anyone else. Also bring extra cash to avoid using credit card and the extra fees tagged to it.
ROOM- we stayed in room 4102 and we were very pleased with it. WIFI was good and everything was conveniently located. The resort is trying to be “green” and Eco friendly which was high respectable.
OVER ALL: Would recommend this resort to anyone looking to have a relaxing vacation. Its not a 5 star resort but it is worth the money that you spend to go there. If you are looking for something fancy and high maintenance then this is not the place for you. It is very family orientated and geared more towards Europeans. I loved it and would go back again.

Room Tip: room 4102 great location
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank ahill7139
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013 via mobile

As a frequent traveler to Mexico I'm able to compare other all inclusive resorts to this one. Yes, prior to booking this trip did I do my research and I have read the negative reviews but I am also one to see past those reviews as well. Unfortunately the negative were true. Thankfully today is our last day here (yes, I'm typing this review while at the resort still).

There are a total of 5 of us (3 adults, a 10 yr old and a 6 yr old). Although the kids had fun at the pool and beach, they weren't too happy about a lot of things.

The food was pretty average. The Italian restaurant was the most decent place to eat for dinner. I highly suggest to eat at the buffet for lunch since the restaurant by the pool has a limited selection. Breakfast was the same each day and unfortunately there is no room service. The handling of the food seemed a bit poor. We only had one nice waiter throughout our trip. A lot of the other workers definitely seemed miserable and lack a lot of customer service as we are used to at previous resorts we stayed at.

It's funny how the animation team were beyond snobby to many of the visitors. I once said "hola" to one of the men from the team and he barely even acknowledged me. Don't even get me started on the bartenders! They looked twice more miserable doing their jobs and this all shows in the quality of the drinks they make up for you. Don't know of it's the cups used or the weather but the ice melts so quickly that in order to enjoy your drink you'd literally have to drink it as soon as its given to you. There was hardly any waitstaff walking around the pool either to take any drink orders. Oh and to that one animation team who so rudely told the kids to get out of the way so that she can take a picture of a sculpted Mayan ruin that was made on the beach...get your attitude in check lady...your face is remembered and this one act of rudeness to innocent kids will bite you in the butt 10 times fold....but you probably wouldn't understand that!

Yes this resort is about 99.9% Europeans and many that we've come across were extremely rude.
Even the kids of these parents need to be taught some manners! A simple "excuse me" would be nice rather than walking into you like you weren't there!

The a/c in our room barely worked. Thankfully there was a ceiling fan so that made the temperature tolerable. And be aware of bed bugs! My 6 yr old daughter got bitten all over her tummy last night. Plus we've seen other visitors with the same bites all over. Definitely be prepared with a good supply of OFF spray as there are Mosquitos all over due the the lush jungle that surrounds the resort.

Overall, the pool and the beach were probably the only highlight of this trip. Be prepared to walk the path from the lobby to the pool/beach. It seems like a good half mile in distance but I could be exaggerating....or not.

We won't be back and we definitely will not recommend this place to anyone especially Americans. I've never been to a resort where I was in such a rush for the days to pass so that we could go home!!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank everleea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2013

A day or so into the trip, I was perfectly prepared to give a more favorable, even-handed review in light of my well-lowered expectations and in consideration of the low price we paid. But as the trip wore on, it became apparent that even low expectations were not enough. This review will be even-handed, but just not nearly as favorable as I first considered...

This is a mediocre hotel, catering to budget-minded European travelers on family holiday. If you travel from the US, you will not be confortable unless you can look beyond:
European standards for smoking (anywhere, everywhere, ashtray not required, even next to the pool);
European standards for modesty ("Daddy, what's that tingly feeling," said the 12 year-old boy watching the "family" evening show. I can confirm what others have said about the evening show being a bit risque for youngsters);
European standards for queuing, personal space, and lines ("I do not understand what you are saying?");
Mexican standards for facilities (low water pressure; barely functioning room a/c); and
Mexican standards for sanitation (primarily regarding food and drink service).

Having traveled extensively in the third world, I understand and appreciate what it takes to deliver a quality experience having minimal to work with. But a lack of pride and a clear preference for a particular clientele to the dismissal of another is inexcusable. Here I speak of the concierge Berta who had my wife and me given up our beach loungers to a European guest who had "reserved" it at 6 AM by putting a towel on it, but who had not been using it for at least the two hours we were there up to 1:30. He whined, she acquiesced, we lost...

All that said, the youthful "camp counselors" seem to have something entertaining going on all the time, and the hotel staff is friendly and mostly eager to please. But a silk purse this "resort" is not.

You can manage to put together a meal at the buffet. The things you want to avoid for sanitation reasons are generally obvious. If you are "privileged" you get to dine in the other restaurants a couple of times, and you should take advantage of that, even though the food is not substantially better, it's an improvement. I would recommend against paying extra for a lobster dinner as we did.

As to location, the beach is beautiful, but you are essentially captive to the hotel. I heard the local cab consortium referred to as a "Mafia." But except for outrageous 2-day minimum car rental and transportation-included excursions, cabs are your only option. We would have been happy to flag a "collectivo" which runs along the highway every five minutes between towns for 20 pesos ($2 US), but the walk from the hotel to the highway is simply not practical, and the cab fare to the highway alone is $9 US. So you have to pay the $230 pesos to get to Playa del Carmen or Cancun if you want to explore on your own or get a different meal.

There are no "view" rooms at the hotel. There are a few ocean front suites, but the hotel sits on a narrow strip, projecting inland toward where the buildings housing the rooms are carved out of the mangroves. You can see nothing but gardens and access roads from the rooms.

Couples might want to look for a different hotel for couples. Americans should read other reviews to get a feel for other places with a different vibe. Like I said at the beginning, the truth was not immediately evident, but eventually became apparent.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank JohnClarkDenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2013

Myself and my new hubby booked this hotel with Thomson holidays because the price was fair and we could stay in the honeymoon room for the same price compared to standard rooms at other hotels. One thing i must say is the beach is breathtaking, Go and have a coffee there in the early morning its beautiful! The hotel was ok... i wouldnt say it was bad and i wouldnt say it was amazing. Being English here is a bit of a downfall...Everyone is foreign...For 2weeks my partner and i only spoke to each other pretty much (Which on honeyymoon was actually quite nice). I think if this was our annual holiday we would have felt quite isolated and if you had young childeren they wouldnt be able to play with the other kids and would probably be bored. The evening entertainment is good at the hotel, The shows are much better than any other hotel weve visited. One of my biggest down falls about this hotel was the male entertainment staff, The males spend most of there time walking round the place admiring there own physiques which was entertaining to say the least! The girls were ok it was just the men. The honeymoon suite was ok ..The bed was lovely a nice big four poster. Completely different to whats advertised online. The photos on the website shows petals in the jacuzzi, Champagne, chocolates , Balloons...Well we didnt get any of that until my hubby questioned it at the recpetion and then they sent us a bottle of bubbly and x4 forreiro roches, By this point the moment really had passed though. The waiters are amazing, They work so hard and seem to work long hours to. If you are looking for a hotel thats ok and you get a good deal on this hotel i would go because the beach more than makes up for other down falls. If i went to Mexico again we wouldnt stay at this hotel unfortuantly.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank TiffanyH229
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Playa Maroma

Property: Catalonia Playa Maroma
Address: Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal- Puerto Juarez Km. 306+250, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Family Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalonia Playa Maroma 3.5*
Number of rooms: 404
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Catalonia Playa Maroma is situated in the Mayan Riviera, at only 35 kilometers south of Cancun and 20 kilometers north of Playa del Carmen. Regarding to the Travel Channel, Playa Maroma is one of the most beautiful beaches of the world. The typical Mexican decoration with its vibrant colors and palapa roofs surrounded by the native jungle make this resort the perfect place to spend a wonderful vacation. The Mayan World has to offer a lot to its visitors. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Playa Maroma Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Catalonia Playa Maroma Del Carmen
Playa Maroma

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