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“Excellent Beach, Amazing Staff” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Catalonia Playa Maroma

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Catalonia Playa Maroma
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent Beach, Amazing Staff”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2010

The beach alone is worth the price. Hard working staff. Clean resort. Food is great. The only thing dragging this resort down to a 4 or 4.5 star is the interior design of the room; resort looks great on the outside, and the 2 storey villas look great as well but if t he interior is upgraded then it would definitely be a 5 star. But hey who really spends a lot of time in the rooms. I was kind of worried about the security situation in Mexico these days; not having travelled their before but playa del carmen, cancun and the mayan riviera are very safe. Im already planning a trip back.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Indo_Reefer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2010

After reading some of the reviews from earlier in the year, we were worried that we would have difficulty getting the privileged room we booked online. When we arrived, a hotel staff member took my suitcase and asked me if I wanted a beer or a margarita. That sets a wonderful tone for the beginning of a vacation! From then on we were in for a real treat, as the staff were extremely friendly, hard working and helpful. We got a room that looked exactly like the photos of the fabulous room we booked online, and the beach was the most beautiful I'd ever seen. There were great restaurants and easy access to tours and activities. I was a bit worried that my limited Spanish would be a problem, but everyone spoke very good English (and at least three other languages) and were always willing to help me improve my Spanish when I didn't know quite how to say things. The room was extremely clean and our refrigerator was always stocked. The grounds felt very safe even for the most clueless of tourists (me). Be sure to eat at the Mexican restaurant and order a Riviera Maya.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Anonymous440
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2010

We stayed for 7 nights and the main purpose of our trip was to: relax on the beach with a book, walk on the beach, swim in the ocean, and eat decent food. Mission accomplished!

Hotel:
- There are 6 separate buildings (building 5 & 6 are for the "Privileged").
- We stayed in building 6 which was closest to the beach/pool (which we liked) but further away from the main restaurant.
- The buildings are 2 or 3 stories (we stayed on the second floor in a 2 story building, which we requested, since we like to sleep with the balcony door open instead of the A/C). I wish there was another window in the room that we could have opened so we could get a draft, but there wasn't. The worst part was that the ceiling fan was very noisy so we decided not to use it. A couple of nights that were hotter, we slept with the A/C on and it was comfortable enough.
- The water pressure and temperature was excellent.
- The rooms and the whole property were very clean.

Restaurants:
- There are 5 restaurants.
- For breakfast you have one choice: the main buffet.
- For lunch you have two choices: the main buffet & the buffet by the beach.
- For dinner you have five choices: the main buffet + the other 4 restaurants (a la carte). The trick is that for the other 4 restaurants you need a ticket to get it. When we checked in we were given 4 tickets so what happened is that for 4 nights we ate at one of each of the 4 restaurants and the other 3 nights we ate at the main buffet. The non-“Privileged” guests only get 3 tickets. (By the way, you don’t need a reservation for any of the restaurants)
- The food is OK. We’ve been to other all-inclusive hotels and the food was neither the worst nor the best. There was enough variety in my opinion, and this was a good thing.
- The service was great, however during our stay the hotel was only filled about 50%. I don’t know what it’s like when it’s packed. We tipped a dollar or two at every meal and I know that usually helps as well.
- They have a creperie right on the beach which serves a variety of crepes between 10-6PM. They were delicious and just perfect when we felt like a snack between lunch and dinner.

Beach:
- The sand is amazing. It’s a fine powder that doesn’t get hot, so you can walk on it without any problems.
- The water was warm, clear and that magical Caribbean color.
- On our first day it was very clear so you can actually see tropical fish swimming all around you. I swam out to where it was at least 10 feet deep and I could see the bottom perfectly.
- The other 6 days there were 2 – 3 foot waves. I loved it because I love to body surf.
- The slope in the water is not very steep which is also nice.
- There are no boulders or rocks in the water. Just a continuation of the soft sand.
- You can rent out (for free) one or two-person kayaks, catamarans, depending on the water conditions. They also have jet skis but once they tell you how much they cost you will surely head back to your beach chair with your head down.
- There are 3 hotels right next to each other. This one is the middle hotel. To get to the next closest hotel you have to walk at least a mile either way. I think this is very nice because there isn’t that much traffic on the beach or water traffic (like jet ski, parasail, boats, etc…). There was almost none at all which I appreciate very much.
- The beach (sand area) is pretty wide and there are hundreds of beach chairs and also pergolas for shade. We never had to wake up early or fight for a chair (but I’m assuming it’s because the hotel was only 50% filled).
- I don’t swim in the pool or use the pool area, so I can’t comment, but they looked very nice.
- I would say that about 75% of the tourists during our stay were European. There were definitely topless women on the beach. This was bad for my wife but good for me!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank TheBodySurfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2010

This resort has great quality for the price. I was with my 2 children (10 and 12 1/2) who speak French so they joined the French kids' club and were able to practice. They made good friends and had a great time. We tried all the restaurants of the resort, they were all very good, we especially liked the Italian. We didn't go out the resort as there were so much to do inside. We want to go back for Christmas 2010.

Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank Roxane56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2010

We travelled to the Catalonia Playa Maroma during the last week of Sept. and beginning of October. Of our 6 visits to the Mayan Riviera this resort has the best location. The beach and ocean were fantastic. The rooms/buildings are hidden off the main path and accessed thru short jungle walkways. Although the resort is older, the rooms were clean and comfortable. The air conditioning at times was tempermental. Any problems were dealt with very quicklly by the staff. The food was OK, there was always something to satisfy our group. the a la cartes were alright, the portions huge for some entres. In particular the breads and desserts were especially good.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank t-sharp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rogers, Arkansas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2010

The Catalonia Playa Maroma provided us with a most delightful and comfortable experience. The is a 2 story Hotel, nestled in mature landscaping and I was told about 11 years old. It respects it's natural sea shore location, emphasizing Maroma Beach...the softest white powder beach in the world. The service staff is OUTSTANDING, the price inclusive of hotel, food, and beverages, the pool oversized, the grounds well kept,.....what more can you ask for? The beach area provided the most generous area of of shade of the hotels in the area. We enjoyed it in August, missing the crowds of high season . The room was a simple, but a generous size with a free stocked bar and plazma TV, non smoking available. As mentioned by previous reviewers, this location is a favorite by European vacationers, more so than American's which provided a sense of travel it self. Finally,, the activities staff/ entertainment staff were especially inclusive with multiple choice options during the day AND, transformed into a talented theatrical group in the the evening. Loved it!

Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank Kitkat444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2010

My partner and I have stayed at many hotels and resorts around the world and have to say our visit to Catalonia Playa Maroma was very special -- even touching. The staff is absolutely exceptional and made us feel so welcome.

We stayed in a more highly ranked (and more expensive) resort the last time we came to Playa, and really do prefer Catalonia. Here is the honest assessment:

The grounds are pretty, rustic and display more traditional Mexican architecture. You will not get the "knock-your-socks-off" grandeur of a luxury property. The lobby/bar area is open and very comfortable. The check-in area is nothing special. We stayed in a priveleged room and the small privileged check-in area is a woman at a desk, a mini-fridge and sofa-set. Admittedly, I was a little concerned when I saw that was the area for their upscale section. But the rest of the stay calmed the concerns.

The room was great. It was large and recently remodeled. It had Mexican tile and mosaic which was getting a little old around the sink, but still beautiful and what I would expect from Mexico. Bath lovers, beware! We had a large stand-up shower which also featured the mosaic tiles. The maids did an exceptional job cleaning the rooms each day. Be aware, unlike many other hotels, they will move your personal items in the process of cleaning. We hid or put valuables in the safe. Nothing was taken -- that is just common sense for any property anywhere.

The main walkway feels like a path in the jungle. One morning, dozens of coatis were milling around. One stood in front of us with a cute look on its face which leads me to belive some guests feed them. We did not and the creature quickly lost interest.

The walk across the property is really not that bad and helps you burn off some of the food. The pool area is different than we expected. It is a reasonably large pool, but the photographs in promotions are somewhat deceptive. It is not as large as it looks. While segmented, there is also only one pool for the property. A separate "quiet pool" would have been nice.

The beach is beautiful. The hotel offers row after row of beach seating. Of note, there are ramps for wheelchairs and specifically designated seating for people with disabilities. That truly impressed me and shows the resorts regard for inclusion. The water is gorgeous and the sand is soft. Be aware, loud music is playing in the pool area and the sound bleeds over to the beach (no matter where you sit). Also, the brochures give you the feeling of being at an isolated resort. The pictures are outdated. There are now properteis on both sides. However, a short walk down the beach, and very little is around you.

I will go from bad to good with food. We were not impressed with the crepe restaurant at the pool. Also, the buffet area in the immediate pool area is dark and unappealing, but there are decent offerings. Being vegetarians who dieted before our vacation, we ate nachos and pizza. There was a small salad bar, hot dogs on a convenience store style roller, hamburgers and other meats and sides.

The main buffet area is much more impressive. Breakfast was perhaps the best meal there. Thanks to the visitors from France, Italy and other places in Mexico, the baked goods are AMAZING. The breads were very impressive. When ordering an omelette specify that you would like it cooked longer (cocinado por mas tiempo). The first I ordered was not just runny, the eggs were actually raw inside.

Lunch and dinner buffets provided wonderful selections of fruit, vegetables, proteins, pasta, soup and other specialties. Sometimes as vegetarians, my partner and I struggle to find something to eat and are disappointed with variety. In this case, we were too full to even begin to try all the amazing options.

The dinners were also very good. We loved the Italian restaurant. We had two salads and our entrees were penne arabiatta and risotto. Both were perfect and served al dente. Again, perhaps we can thank the many Italian visitors for a high quality. At the Mexican restaurant, we found our only limitation, the main course, and were given vegetable plates. The tres leches dessert was amazing! We also enjoyed the tequila variety.

Dinner at Terrace was included with our room and did not disappoint. The tapas are not served in traditional fashion of the small plates for sharing. They were served in courses with many tastes on a single plate. Everything was amazing. I found the variety and inventive quality pleasantly surprising. Across the meals, you may notice some similarities in ingredients, though. For example, guacamole at lunch and avacado cheese tower appetizer at dinner. Nonetheless, everything is tasty and mixed up a bit.

The one negative thing about dinner was the ticket system. You are given one ticket per person per night for the restaurants. You really do not have the opportunity to try the appetizers at all of the places one night or mix up courses amongst the locations. Though, anyone can eat at the buffet.

The shows every night were a hoot. The members of the animation team work their tails off and we were entertained. Keep in mind, these are the same staff members who work the towel station, exercise classes, activities and kids club.

That brings me to the wonderful staff. Smiles everywhere! Everyone from the maids to servers to animation staff were always on their game. The animation staff eats at the main buffet and we had the absolute joy of sharing two meals with Mariana. We were there for my birthday and Aurelie gave me a big hug, sang happy birthday and ran to the bar to get me a creme de menthe which was lit on fire!

On a different sort of note, it is important to mention the resort does NOT have any marble floors. While marble looks pretty, it is about the worst thing a resort property can add. I actually took a serious fall on a marble floor at another resort last year, so not having to worry about that was a relief.

Overall, I highly recommend Catalonia Playa Maroma. I leave the review with the advice of my mother-in-law: Be careful in Mexico. When you order a drink, they will try to give you the cheap stuff. Make sure you ask for the good stuff.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank jayster
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 Romantic 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
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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