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“Awesome Resort”

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Catalonia Playa Maroma
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Playa Maroma
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed December 6, 2009

As seasoned travelers of all inclusives, I feel compelled to write my first review on this resort. We have spent the last 10+ years 2-3 times a year traveling to the Caribbean to all inclusive resorts. We have stayed at 6 golden apples and 3 apples in the same year. We book the best deal at the
time we wish to travel.
This was our most pleasant trip for all the right reasons. The resort itself is a great size, not too big, not too small. The beach is absolutely gorgeous! It is clean with powder soft sand and clear turquoise waters. Some days were calm and others had great waves for body surfing. The beach service for drinks by Enrique was awesome and never have we met an employee at any resort with as much enthusiasm for his job! It was inspiring!

The room we were assigned was not one of the newly renovated ones, but it was very nice anyway. It had a king size bed with an awesome mattress and the linens were so soft. The pillows were also perfect. This was the most comfortable room we have ever had at a resort. The AC was plenty cold, and the hot water plentiful. We had no water pressure issues at all. It was cleaned to perfection every day.
The food was again well beyond our expectations. Although we have been to other all inclusives with more variety, NONE compare to the quality of the food served at Catalonia. The daily presentation was superb. The specialty restaurants were also very good and rank at the top. The only complaint I would have is that the service at these specialty restaurants was quite slow. However, the service at the Buffet each and every day every time we were there was beyond outstanding.

We spent so much time outdoors swimming, sunning, and walking we did not see any of the shows at this resort, but I did hear they were good.
The front desk is another area where I believe this resort shines. Any time we approached for any reason we were handled quickly and easily. From check in to check out we were assisted at every turn quickly and efficiently.

The pool is beautiful and clean, the towel hut it easily accessible. Not having towel cards is nice.

The walkway from the front lobby/buffet area to the beach is very nice. It is well lit, paved and has beautiful music piped in. You have the opportunity to see some wonderful animals and birds, and a beautiful relaxing walk. There are benches for relaxing and it is truly quite pleasant. We did not mind it at all.
All in all, we found this resort to be the best hidden gem in the Caribbean, and especially in Mexico. Don't let the ratings fool you, read the reviews which are nearly all positive and visit this resort.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank eaner921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 3, 2009

We have never gone to an all-inclusive resort. We usually are searching for what we consider to be a more "authentic" experience. But, the price was right (through CheapCarribean.com, so we thought we would take a chance.

Guest rooms: They accidentally placed us in a standard room first (we were supposed to be in a superior room. It was not up to par.) However, they quickly moved us and the room was lovely. The bed was really comfy! (The bathrooms need an upgrade - and only have showers - no tubs. )

Grounds: The pool, beach and grounds are awesome! We chose this location because of the beach. We are from a beautiful beach area, so we are snobby about it...

Food: This was the biggest shocker. The food was really good! The Mediterranean place was the only place we didn't like. The buffets were varied, plentiful fresh and ever-changing. The Mexican a la carte was great. Even the creperie and the snack bar were spot on.

Bar: Drinks were plentiful (although the beer was always cool (NOT cold). The service was fast and curteous.

Tours/Area attractions: Since we usually manage all of our own travel we were a little frustrated by how far the resorts are (all of them) from public transport, etc. But we were able to get to and from Cozumel on our own for a fantastic diving day (with Scuba Tony.) And we took a tour to Rio Secreto and Chichen Itza through the resort. They were both well managed (although the guide at Rio Secreto was terrible. We asked him some simple questions about the cenote and cave that we were touring and he told us to learn more we could look on the internet!

We never return to the same location, but are glad we had the experience!

Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
5  Thank eventr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2009

Okay, I've got to start with the bad to get it out of the way. First of all, I don't know how other people were so lucky to get an upgraded room automatically, because when I asked, they quoted me an additional $40 per night! If it wasn't for my husband, I would have paid twice that, as the room was terrible! The bathroom has no ventilation, the shower doesn't have a door, and is the size of a coffin. The furniture and walls were not only old, they were disgusting! The first morning we were woken up by the housekeepers. They told me to go back to sleep, so I did. They never came back, therefore, no water and no clean towels (and we had our 5 year old and 18 year old daughters as well). Even though there were 4 of us staying in our room, they never managed to have 4 towels. Our refridgerator never worked, so the water and soda that they did put in our room, was never able to get cold. ONE BIG PROBLEM....Some people may not have a problem with this, but when we cram a week's worth of clothing into our suitcases, they don't always make it wrinkle free. This hotel does not have irons at all!! I found that kind of ridiculous!

Okay, enough about the room. As the other reviews state, this hotel caters to Europeans. Now, I wouldn't neccessarily say that, as the staff was most accomodating to us. However, as American's, it was apparent that we did not have a very big fan club. Now, I don't just mean that the other resort guests didn't smile back or say hello, I mean that they down right would glare and snuff you to make you feel unwanted and uncomfortable. We have a very blonde and attractive 18 year old daughter, and a few ladies even went as far as to look her up and down and scrunch up their faces, like snobby little school girls. We were fortunate enough to meet two very nice french men, and a lovely American couple to converse with during our stay. But the majority are not American. Some people should also be aware that there is an abundant amount of topless sunbathing, otherwise it could be a little bit of a shock.

Now, for ALL of the good! As you have probably already read, the beach is truly amazing. When I saw it in daylight for the first time, it was breath taking! The sand is so soft and cool on your feet. Only one day when the wind was up, was there really any seaweed in the water, otherwise it was gorgeous and very nice to swim in. They have a lifeguard on duty, so you always feel really safe too.

Yes, there is only one pool, but it is the biggest pool I have ever seen in my life. Not only is it the biggest pool I have ever seen, but it has so much character to it. I'm not a pool person, but spent quite a bit of time in it, as it was so enjoyable. The grounds to the hotel are very well maintained. They work very hard to keep it beautiful. Buy some strong bug spray in Playa, as we each had like 20 mosquito bites on our legs and everywhere else for that matter, even with the spray!

In regards to the entertainment staff. Wonderful wonderful wonderful! They are always upbeat and racking their brains in order to find things to keep the guests entertained. They truly make the resort. Just seeing their smiling faces everyday was great, but it was also refreshing to see a team that really enjoyed what they do for a living.

Now, I've heard some bad reviews on the kid's club. I would have to say that they don't have tons of stuff to do, but who cares? You're in Mexico. Why would your kids want to be bound to a room inside? The girls that ran the kid's club were very nice, and our daughter just fell in love with them. They played games with her, built sand castles on the beach, took her swimming and fed her lunch on two occasions, so we could have a break. What more could you want?

There is one buffet that serves breakfast. The same buffet serves lunch, as well as another buffet by the beach. They did a great presentation of the food, but it did get a little repetative. The Mediteranian restaurant and the Mexican restaurant take turns being open for dinner. THERE IS NO ROOM SERVICE, contrary to a few websites advertising the hotel. The food in both dinner restaurants are very good, with quite a variety.

I've also heard people complain about the walking. It is not that bad at all! If you can walk around a super Walmart, this hotel is nothing! My 5 year old had absolutely no problem. And, the walk is so beautiful, it's kind of nice to be able to take it all in.

I would definately go back to this hotel again, but would not go back if I had to stay in that room again.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
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10  Thank lecrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2009

This was our first time staying at Catalonia Playa Maroma and after reading lots of reviews and looking at other resort info I'm glad we stayed here. We booked 8 months ago based on location,price,and the layout of the Resort.{We were there Nov.4-14}Hurricane Ida put a damper on the first 3 days of our stay,windy and rainy but it rained on and off so only an inconvenience from moving from the beach to the beach bar {had to refill anyways }If you speak minimal Spanish as we do don't worry,upon checkin the receptionist asked if we spoke English and all was well. Roberto gave us his extension if we had any problems he spoke very good English as did Thomas at the front desk. We took only carry-ons so having the mini mart on grounds was a plus. Prices were very fair there,I wouldn't make an extra trip to town for most basics. The resort is as others have mentioned predominately French & Italian ,really wasn't an issue { unfriendly }it did take us 3 days to hear anyone else speaking English {what a welcome }all together we met 11 people speaking our native tongue. The staff {beach and entertainment} all spoke English quite well,all the activities instructions were given in Italian,French,and English depending on who was playing the games .Their staff was always busy recruiting participants very energetic and friendly.

Food-- We started out at the buffet,it was great,lots of different juices,yogurts,made to order omelets ,for lunch loin of veal,fish {grouper}a huge variety of muffins ,breads and rolls. We always felt sorry for the person in charge of the pizza station ,not too many people there but it was great pizza.I could have made a meal out of just their soups {cream of Pablano was especially good}They alternate nights for their reservations only restaurants {Mediterranean &Mexican}no reservations were needed when we were there 25% occupancy .The Mediterranean was our favorite,prime rib was excellent I was surprised,being from Wisconsin ,it was as good as in our state. Veal chops also outstanding along with their awesome stuffed pastas & spaghetti with mussels .Pastas were served before your entree ,definitely could have stopped there. At lunch time you also can eat at the snack bar {close to the beach if you don't want to walk all the way back to the buffet,it is a hike} again great food chicken wings burgers,hot dogs with chilli sauce if you like. Just looking at all the different desserts made you want to try one or two {too much indulging}The weight goes on! The lobby also serves appetizers at 6:30pm

Drinks-- Top shelf until We drank them out of their Tanqueray ,had to wait 4 days till they got more in{oh no}the bartender remembered our ongoing questioning and said guess what ? and ---all was well .Tequila is our friend ,started everyday with our 2 fingers worth in a glass , lime no salt, followed by the same hourly{doctors orders,Mexican that is}accompanying our glasses of water on the beach. Drinks to try would also include Sombrero & Boom Boom{boom boom has to be tapped on a special drum to mix ingredients }Were having way too much fun now! Lobby bar open 24-7 {SWEET}


Beach==The reason why We came,if you like to walk the beach like I do, this is the one for you. Going south a scenic 45 minute walk to the marina,only one neighboring resort {Secrets} My water was usually ½ gone by then so it was time to turn around. Going north wasn't as nice as going south but still worth the stroll. The width of this beach is overwhelming compared to our trips to Jamaica and Cozumel and the sand {flour}is spectacular.

Room—We were in the 4000 block {I wanted the 6000}but I really thought this location was just fine actually great. The Coatis built there evening lodging in the Palm trees between the main pathway and our building unit,just enough of a buffer so you felt secluded from the main path. The birds sang their hearts out in this area,more than other areas we thought. The upgraded room was clean,fairly modern,and comfortable {even the bed ,other reviews complained about hard beds }.The only issue we had was the stopper in the sink wouldn't always work and the shower well let's just say luke warm at the best,the last day We finally had hot water. If you took a shower in the a.m. your chances were better but really if that's all you have to complain about ,suck it up. It seemed whichever block of rooms you stayed at each had their quirks.

This resort is laid out so wonderfully ,even if it were filled up more the way the lush vegetation separates all the units is very tranquil. Again,staff ,rooms,food,beverages & price are unbeatable,and yes We'll be back.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank korisno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2009

As a last minute surprise romantic trip from my boyfriend, I did not spend a lot of time researching or learning about the Catalonia Playa Maroma (CPM) before we left. Having had a horrible experience in Punta Cana last year at an all-inclusive, I was cautiously optimistic about trying a new venue and a new resort. My cautious optimism bloomed into pure blissful joy when we arrived at CPM!!

Food -- the biggest part of the disaster in Punta Cana was the quality of the food. We could not have had a more opposite experience at CPM. The buffet is amazing...fresh meats and fish, a variety of salsas, made to order eggs/omelettes for breakfast, delicious breads and muffins, excellent pizza, fantastic desserts...all on the buffet! The snack bar by the beach offered a great selection of junky food (pizza, fries, hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.) but also had delicious fresh guacamole and chips, authentic Mexican fare, and, of course, grilled fish. Definitely indulge in the delicous crepes in the beach bar...my particular favorite was the nutella crepe with bananas...yummy. We also ate at the two included specialty restaurants...one Italian, one Mexican. The Italian restaurant had some of the very best pasta I've ever had. The homemade pasta stuffed with spinach and ricotta is reason enough to return to this resort! I also ate fish and the spinach/ricotta stuffed chicken (we went to this restaurant twice); both were excellent. My boyfriend got the veal chops both times and loved them! Desserts were also delicious, especially the mocha cake. The Mexican specialty restaurant was also very delicious, starting off with the fabulous salsas! Excellent margaritas, and the best chocolate cake I've ever eaten! After six days of this...I came back five pounds heavier, but it was so worth it!

Drinks -- the drinks are plentiful at the resort. If you request premium liquors, they will provide it, but you have to ask. I had the best mojitos made with Bacardi rum (a variety that I've never seen in the states), awesome apple martinis made with Absolut, and a whole host of fruity, frozen drinks on the beach. The buffet and snack bar by the beach has "serve your own" beer and wine dispensers. I'm not a big drinker, but did nightly cocktail time in the lobby bar every night before dinner, including champagne!

Room -- immediately upon arrival, we were upgraded from a privilege room in the 4000 building to a privilege room in the 6000 building (closest to the beach). It was very clean, nicely appointed. The bed was a bit hard, as were the pillows, but a day of drinking, eating and swimming helped to facilitate a delightful slumber every night. The bathrooms, especially the showers, show the age of the resort more than anything else. The shower is not great, but it in no way interfered with our enjoyment of the resort. The electricity seems to be tied to a motion sensor that knows when you come in/leave the room; resetting the alarm clock every night was kind of a pain, but I can totally understand the need to conserve. Loved the decor of the privilege room!

Beach -- literally the most beautiful beach that I have ever seen. We got there 12 hours after Hurrican Ida had brushed the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, and the only way that we could tell was that the waves were a little higher than expected. The water was a color that I have never before seen, and the sand was so soft, like flour. There are only two other resorts on this stretch of Maroma Beach (one of which is Secrets), but you can walk for a long time in either direction. We were able to swim out pretty far after the first day (and when there were hardly any waves) and could still see down to the bottom. There are these huge white angel fish that swim around you when you are out there, which is disconcerting at first, but kind of cool after you get used to seeing them. Also, on the beach you have the option of sitting under a shaded area or out in the sun. Because we were there when the resort was at only 25% capacity, we were able to spread out so that we could have a space under the shade as well as out in the sun. The sun is intense here, so I was grateful for the rest under the shade.

Staff -- very friendly. The animation team is tons of fun and speak a variety of languages (most prominent...French, Spanish, and Italian). They will ask you to join in with them, but if you say no, they move on. The wait staff, bartenders, housekeeping...everyone is extremely friendly. Not many people seemed to tip, but we did quite a bit, and it was definitely appreciated.

Grounds -- very well kept and very lush. The path leading from the lobby out to the beach is very long and surrounded by jungle. I loved our daily walks up and down this path, especially at night. Very romantic walks, indeed! The pool is beautiful, but honestly, we did not use it. Why swim in a pool when that beach is beckoning?

I cannot say enough wonderful things about this resort. I would return anytime and have no reservations whatsoever about recommending it to anyone that I know!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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10  Thank TCBaltimore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2009

In reviewing this hotel it is kind of bittersweet. The better reviews, the more people go, and the more crowded it gets. I want to keep it a secret and ALL TO MYSELF!! My husband and I got married at the Catalonia Playa Maroma on October 10, 2009 and I couldn't have asked for anything more. Both of us work in the hospitality industry and we wanted something different, not Americanized, more relaxing. We came down with a group of almost 30.

FOOD: First and foremost my husband is a chef and so when I mentioned all inclusive wedding he wasn't thrilled but he went along with it after we read the reviews. The food was better than we could have ever anticipated. Completely blew us and our entire group away. There was majority idustry people there, even my family is in the industry. We did the La Tortuga for our rehearsal dinner. We had a private dinner in the Terrace Restaurant with tapas and and surf and turf. Our ice cream dessert was unreal. Also our cocktail hour was on the balcony of that restaurant. It was completely amazing. We had one person who had a food allergy and one who only eats certain items and he made sure that nothing was made with mango and he special tapas for the other. The chef came out and got a standing ovation. We did Tio Pedro the last night the lime soup was sooooo good. Also if you get the chance finish your meal there with a La Cucaracha...You will thank me later. Oh and before I forget the buffet and snack bar were equally as good. Only downside the buffet doesn't get a very good breeze so it can get hot in there. Don't sit close to the buffet lines. There was always a wide variety of things to choose from. You never got bored. Everytime I had grouper it was awesome!!

Rooms: Super clean. We were all put close to each other in building 4. We asked for non-smoking but were put in a smoking section. HOWEVER you would have never ever known you were in a smoking section. There was only one of our guests who had to switch rooms. But they didn't mind one bit. Also we were all in the upgraded rooms and they were absolutely OUTSTANDING, AMAZING and totally worth it.

Staff: I can't say enough about them. Can't. It's physically impossible. The only thing I do tell people is that some speak very little English. All management does and the staff that can't will get someone who can. But it didn't matter to anyone in my group because our philosphy was we are in Mexico and they speak Spanish. Adreina, wedding coordinator extraordinaire. I totally trusted her and we talked towards the end almost every day before we got there. They had Out of Town/Welcome Bags delivered to every room for us on time. She helped with everything from food to flowers to music. You name it it was done. She got us La Tortuga at no extra cost just for us. The activity staff super energetic and wants everyone involved. So if you are by the pool be prepared. Enrique, beach cocktail server, rocks. Pool bartenders are awesome.

IF YOU TIP you might notice you don't have to drink as many as if you don't tip. Just saying.

Surroundings/Scenery: If you didn't know this is like a jungle. It is so great because we all felt like we were on another planet. There is wildlife and soooo much green. The resort itself is pretty spread out and very calming. The grounds are kept up very well every day. THE BEACH IS LIKE A SCENE FROM A MOVIE. White beach and warm turquoise water

Spa: I think like 12 of us ended up getting massages and we all enjoyed it. The manicure and pedicure were good. Not the best but definitely needed morning of. Since my hair is short I didn't have them do my hair but they were all very accommodating.

All in all everyone in the group wants to go back next year. We truly had the greatest time. We did group snorkeling, took the free bus to Playa del Carmen, some people in our group went parasailing, atv tours, jet boating. Ray and I are so greatful to have had our wedding there and would suggest to ANYONE and EVERYONE.
PS if you are looking to party hard and don't want to relax...just stay in Cancun

  • Stayed: October 2009
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5  Thank ceengland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2009

we've been to mexico a few times, but this by far was our best vacation. we went through nolitours,who were great in finding us the best tours. the staff went out of their way to please us. the entertainment staff on the beach were fantastic, especially johnny.
the food in mexico has always been great, at maroma no different. the white sandy beach really is a piece of paradise. we wanted to go back as soon as we left and are planning to go again in march.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank gjsToronto
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
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range: $194 - $470 (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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