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Catalonia Playa Maroma
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed January 20, 2014

I went on vacation for a week (Jan 1- Jan 8) with my husband, my sister, my sisters boyfriend, and my mom, ages ranging from 21-53.

The Pros:
-Resort was massive which we love! Tons of places to walk and things to see! Very beautiful grounds!
-Rooms were nice, bed was very comfortable.
-Beach was gorgeous
-Pools were big, clean and gorgeous
-Buffet food was fantastic! Especially the pasta and the crepes!
-Went to the Italian and Mexican restaurants and thought that both were really good! A huge plus about this resort is that you don't have to pre-book the restaurants, you just show up when you want to eat there! Loved that!
-The creperie by the beach was really good as well!
-24 hour bar is awesome!
-Plenty of beach chairs so we didn't have to play the towel game

The Cons:
-No food after 10:30pm. Considering there's a 24 hour bar, I think there should be a snack bar or something that serves food until at least 2am. Most nights we were starving and had to go back to our room to eat chips or any snacks we brought with us.
-This resort definitely does cater to the French, which we knew coming in. The only reason we had an issue with it was because it was raining the majority of our trip, and none of the entertainment staff interacted with us to try to get us involved in any games or anything. Had the weather been nice and we could spend all day on the beach, we wouldn't have cared about this at all. And there were also some bartenders who had absolutely no idea what we were talking about when we would ask for a drink.
-The Priviledge upgrade is a little ridiculous. In the main buffet they actually have a different seating area for priviledged guests. The priviledged guests get white tablecloths instead of colored ones. There is also a restaurant that is only for Priviledged guests, unless you want to pay $15 a person to eat there. And we definitely noticed how much better the bar or waiter service was for the priviledged guests.
-We spent alot of money in all of the little stores in the resort, and we didn't like how they made us charge everything to the room instead of letting us pay cash. Especially when it was a really cheap charge like a deck of cards or some Pringles.

We really did love the resort, the fact that it rained most of the week put a damper on things, but that had nothing to do with the quality of the resort.

Room Tip: If you don't like stairs then get a room on the floor.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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6  Thank Nikki_and_Ben1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 18, 2014

First, we've been to Riviera Maya 2x before this, once outside of Playa del Carmen at what used to be Shangri La (now Mehekal) and at the Palladium Grand, south of Playa. We have also traveled the Caribbean, so we've seen the good and bad. We traveled with H&W and 2 kids < 10.

KEY POINTS: Service is exceptional; beach is the best you will find in Mexico; restaurants are above average; privileged status is well worth it; Hotel rated "TOP 10" resorts to work at.

We won't repeat others remarks here, but somethings you need to know:

ECO-FRIENDLY
Everywhere you will see the hotel's attempt to be friendly to the environment, including making the hotel blend into the surroundings, instead of creating water slides, towers, etc like some others that clear cut the whole thing. The animals are neat, and non-intrusive. They mean it.

BEACH
It IS one of the best in the world. Only seen one beach better, in the British Virgin Islands on Jost Van Dyke. It is part of the ocean, so yes, depending on storms, stuff does wash up, but quickly went out. Only saw a little seaweed 1 day, otherwise it was impeccably clean. The reef about 1/2 mile out cuts the waves down. The water is clear, and the sand has the consistency of flour -- not sand. NOT ONE ROCK.

POOL
Our kids LOVED the pool. I thought it was one of the most well designed pools I've seen, with gradual entry points all over the place. Never felt like there were more than 30 people at the pool, despite knowing differently.

FOOD
Service was exceptional. That is one of the best points of this resort. Tip a couple bucks here and here and it will pay HUGE dividends. We were privileged so we could eat at all the restaurants every night. So what if you had to use a ticket, we didn't need reservations which was a plus!

We liked them all. The Tapas had an interesting menu that you didn't know what you would expect when you got it. We ate breakfast and lunch at the Tapas terrace restaurant every day -- highly worth the privileged upgrade in and of itself, with exceptional staff. Overlooking the beach and only walking 30 paces from our room were huge bonuses. We knew the waiters by name.

The buffet, which we only ate at once for lunch, is about 1/4 mile back at the lobby and has great variety and service. Ordered room service for breakfast once day, and that was well delivered and good as well. Kids loved the crepes and ice cream every day.

Like you, we've read the reviews about the bad Europeans to the questionable upgrade experience to "Privileged".

ALCOHOL
You will get rail liquor unless you ask. So ask. That's what you would do in the US, right? Drank Cubano rum mohitos a lot. Their tap beer is Corona. Again, if you tip the bartenders, you will get what you want. Drank champagne for breakfast! No, it isn't watered down. Saw many a bottle get unsealed or kegs tapped. Whoever writes that stuff is ignorant.

ROOMS
We were in building 6 (DEFINITELY ASK FOR BUILDING 6), which is nearest to the pool and beach. We were on the 2nd floor. The room was very nice. Everything they say is there is there. Only see the bathroom could use a little upgrade, too, but the rooms were very very nice. The ability to stay only steps from the pool, beach, and restaurants is worth the price of privileged in and of itself.

SERVICE
As you have read, service is one of the BEST features of this resort, along with the beach and pool and restaurants. You can tell the employees really like working there and all wear badges that say that the hotel was voted "TOP 10" best employers in Mexico (presumably resorts that is.) I asked 4-5 of employees what that meant to them, and they said salary, job satisfaction, and how they were treated as why they were the best and why employees there give good service.

VALUE & UPGRADE TO PRIVILEGED
This is by far the best value for the money I have seen for some time. Don't even think twice about upgrading to privileged. Those who say it isn't worth it either never experienced it or weren't aware of all the perks. DO IT.

EUROPEANS
Get over it. First, this is not a US resort. Nor a resort in Mexico that pretends to be from the US. If you want that, go to Cancun. The hotel is part of a larger group owned by a Spanish corporation. They have a lot of folks from Spain, France, Italy, Canada, UK visit. They spend A LOT of money to come here. We were not bothered at all, and found it kind of fun. I personally was intrigued, especially by the animation staff, who were all imports from Italy, France, and Spain, but were professional, cool, hip, etc. Staff was well versed for the most part in many languages, mostly the wait staff that you will ever interact with, and if you knew only English you would be fine-- if you knew a little Spanish, then you wouldn't know any difference.

Room Tip: Bldg 6 - Go Privileged
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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21  Thank gritz71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

We booked with Travelocity pretty late for Christmas week, and when we arrived our rooms were not ready but they put us in the honeymoon rooms for 1 night (we booked 2 rooms) and this situation was true for both rooms. It was a bit of an inconvenience to have to pack up our rooms the very next day to be moved, but they moved our items and it was fine.

We had the Privileged Upgrade and we found this to be very good. The room we had was very nice and was close to the beach. The walk from the beach to the lobby is a little longer than you would expect, but it was beautiful and calming.

The beach is absolutely gorgeous! There is a privileged side with beds and some little huts. The other side did not have much shade, but all areas had plenty of chairs. There was less of a need to "save" chairs at this resort than others we have enjoyed.

The bartenders were great and the top shelf liquor would be served to you if you asked. If you did not, you would not get it. I have no idea if this is also available for non-privileged. We really did not know all of the differences, but we have different wrist bands, so they must have some kind of differences other than the sides of the beach,

The restaurants were nice and plentiful. We did see people being turned away from the restaurants, but we really had no idea why. They gave us tickets to use for the restaurants and they told us we could eat at the Terrace one only once during our visit. They offer a lobster dinner that you pay 25 each for and I would suggest that it was not worth it. Personally I would have likely preferred one of the other entrée selections. The sides were very good and we had breakfast at this restaurant another day and it was very good with a wonderful view.

The other restaurants were good. I am a bit of a foodie as well as a person who loves to cook. I felt like most of the food was fairly bland and not too exciting, but it was good and far better than many other all inclusive resorts I have been to. We were supposed to go to each of the three other restaurants 1 time during our week. We did go to one of them twice (the skirt steak was worth having a second time!).

They also have a very good buffet with omelets made to order in the mornings. They had many fresh juices, fruits and breads. Other items included sandwiches, crepes, sausages, cheeses, sweet pastries, hot chocolate, potatoes and other breakfast foods.

In the lunch and dinner times they had a lot to offer like pasta dishes made to order and many varieties of sides and meats. I was pretty impressed. The service was excellent and the servers in the privileged area of seating were excellent. Always with a smile!!

The creperie was really nice as you could get a sweet or savory crepe or ice cream during the day. They also has a snack bar that had nachos and guacamole along with pizza, salad and desserts available if the restaurants were not open or between buffet times.

The lobby was great for hanging out on a couch or playing cards at a table. There was a bar in there as well with coffee and espresso. The day it rained they pulled out all of the stops trying to make us entertained with games, trivia, poker, and other fun entertainment. The "fun" staff that did things out by the pool and taught yoga and other participation oriented activities showed us so much fun on Christmas Day. They had Santa outfits on (beach versions) and played volleyball with the guests and a dodgeball game. They also had a big santa reception lunch out at the beach and Santa came in on a boat and they tendered him to shore on a kayak. There was a staff member dressed up as the Grinch and he was carrying a small decorated Christmas tree around and they were taking photos. Great fun!

It is a very international guest group there. We are American, so we found ourselves in the minority. We did not mind a bit. Everyone was very friendly and enjoyable, it even made trying to play poker in 5 different languages more interesting!

You do not have to worry about dressing up very much for dinner. I was worried about it when they told us upon arrival that men need to wear pants and closed shoes to dinner. This was not a problem. My boyfriend had only shorts with him and they never even looked at us funny.

I would definitely recommend this resort for an enjoyable beach vacation! We only left the resort one day. We took a cab to Playa Del Carmen and took the ferry to Cozumel for the day. We rented a jeep and spent the day on the island enjoying snorkeling at Chankanaab, some bars along the beach, breakfast by the square downtown, and a few lovely stops on the "wild side". They is a day I recommend!! The wild side of Cozumel is my favorite!! Little roadside bars, some run only by a generator...but freshly made drinks with fresh fruit and enjoyable hammocks. It is great!!!

Enjoy a trip to Mexico soon! If you have any questions about the resort, I would be happy to answer them.

Room Tip: Rooms closer to the beach are the privileged ones. You will enjoy the perks.
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank KristinW821
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

We booked our trip with Expedia: flight+ hotel+ tranportation with BDTravel. It was our first time in Mexico and our first all inclusive experience.We booked the Privileged package and it was worth it because we travelled with our children (6 and 9 years old). First of all upon our arrival we received a welcome drink then we went to the Privileged Concierge for our check in and 10 minutes later we were unpacking in our room. Our room was very close to the beach (Palenque building) and pool area where we spent most of our time. The room was very clean, the furniture looked very good, we received bathrobes and slippers, free wi-fi, the minibar was restocked daily with water, soft drinks and beer. As Privileged guests we also enjoyed a privileged area in the restaurant El Pajarito, a privileged area on the beach, exclusive lunch at Terrace Restaurant from 12:00 to 16:00 located in the pool area, acces to the wet areas in the spa, once during our stay (you need to make an appointment), 10% off your purchase at the shops.
We received 5 dinners at the a la carte restaurants. There are 4 a la carte restaurants: Toscana- italian cuisine, Tio Pedro- Mexican Cuisine, Tortuga- steak house cuisine, Terrace Tapas Lounge- Spanish cuisine. We loved the italian food so we decided to have our dinner there every night. We also tried paella at Terrace Tapas Lounge and was very good. If you want to drink wine you have to pay extra.The dress code requires not to wear beach clothes during dinner. No reservations are required (on saturday and sunday is crowded and you have to wait for a table 15-20 min if you don't get there at 18:30 when the restaurants open). In the pool area there is also a Creperie opened 9:00 to 18:00 and the crepes are delicious (try them with ice cream). Drinks are great, try them all.
My kids had fun with the entertainment team at the pool, while we enjoyed our vacation on the gorgeous beach (the Kids Club was closed). They enjoyed their encounters with the coati which were really friendly.
I want to thank to all personnel for being so friendly and helpful, we really appreciated that (don't forget to tip them, you will make them very happy).
The only problem in this vacation were the mosquitos when we had dinner at El Pajarito (

Room Tip: Palenque building (rooms 6101-6324)
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank alisatoni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

We read good reviews about this hotel and decided to give it a chance. The facilities are well kept and the Mexican staff were incredible. The hired activities staff is mostly made up of French and English speaking staff who focus on the majority of their European visitors. Many of the Mexican staff (waiters, bartenders, etc.) speak French, English, and Spanish. Because they focus so much on making the Europeans comfortable, you don't get a real Mexican experience.

The rooms were very basic. The food selection in the buffet was passable, but nothing special. The restaurants serve extremely small portions so I would recommend going to them only when you want a more elegant meal. Don't expect to get full. The pool was too cold. We actually never went in the 6 days we were there. The ocean was warm and we had fun splashing around every day.

For external activities (snorkeling, scuba, etc.) I recommend talking to the scuba dive team located on the beach. Their tours are more valuable and less expensive then the commercial tours offered in the lobby.

REMEMBER: tips are included in the package but you should TIP THE WAITERS AND BARTENDERS. They work so hard and deserve it! Shout out to Antonio, Roberto, Arturo, Luis, and Baltazar!

Room Tip: I recommend upgrading to the superior room to have access to some Spa and extra room amenities. Some...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank unifiedac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Catalonia playa maroma excedded all of my expectations, the hotel is perfect , the ocean is one of the nicest oceans I've ever seen not a single rock in the water. And to top it all off the entertainment staff were the best group of entertainers I've ever ever experienced at a hotel, they are truly passionate about there job and always keep you entertained even on rainy days they were able to whip up fun activities and whats truly remarkable is that after a full days work the entertainment staff also perform the night shows believe me its not easy working all day and night! Huge KUDOS to them ! :) they just do such an amazing job.If you ever did have a problem one call to reception and it would be fixed or dealt with right away , they would also call to confirm that everything was taken care off, the service was amazing, overall i was very impressed with it all food was great. i would definitely recommend this hotel and i would even come back . I was here for christmas and new years stayed for 2 weeks and i have to say it was the best christmas I've ever had and new years is a party on the beach what more can one ask for ! :)

Room Tip: priority rooms are good rooms 6000's are closest to beach and pool and 2000 are closest to buffe...
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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7  Thank jessicabmw2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014 via mobile

Catalonia playa maroma exceeded all of my expectations , the hotel is perfect, the ocean is one of the nicest oceans I've ever seen not a single rock in the water , and to top it all off the entertainment staff were the best group of entertainers I've ever experienced they are truly passionate about there job and always keep you entertained even on rainy days they were able to whip up fun activities and whats truly remarkable is that after a full days work the entertainment staff also perform the night shows believe me its not easy working all day and night! They just do such a great job. And if you ever did have a problem one call to reception and they fixed right away they would also call to check if everything was fixed .Overall i was very impressed with it all food was great , would Definitely recommend this hotel and possibly come back.

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
3  Thank Jessicabmw
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

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 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range: $185 - $463 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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