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“My new favorite”

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Catalonia Royal Tulum
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Nuangola, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“My new favorite”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

My fiance were here Sept 13th to the 19th. We are in are early thirties and travel to this area of Mexico about twice a year. Some of the other resorts we have stayed at are Secrets Capri, Secrets Maroma and VIM. I will break my review into sections, it will be all over the place if not!

Transportation: We took USA transfers. Very nice drivers up and back. We stopped for beer on the way there and before my fiance could even finish 2 we were at the resort. Do not let the distance scare you. On the way down it took about 50min, way back, an hour.

Check in: Easy and fast. We arrived at 11:00am so our room was not ready. We hit the beach, had lunch, a few drinks, and it was ready. We felt that our luggage was secure. We were not offered a hot towel but did receive a cold fruit drink (non alacholic).

Room and maid: Our room was 5206, that is building 5 third floor. We had booked the regular room but were upgraded because we are Expedia VIP customers. While it was not the most luxurious room we have ever stayed (Secrets Maroma was) it was lovely with more than we needed. It had a king bed, flat screen T.V., was recently remodeled and had one of those showers that two could easily fit in. Our view was overlooking the jungle. The maid service was excellent and at least daily. The maids were very sweet. I brought some clothes and accesories I did not want anymore and the maid I gave them to seemed delighted, we also tipped daily.

Beach: Wonderful! We did not think this beach could even compare to Maromas, it does. White sand and crystal clear water. In fact besides some of the beaches we have seen in Eleuthera Bahamas this was one of the best. The first few days we were there water was calm with little to no waves. The end of our vaca it got a little choppy but it was fun playing in the waves. The beach club down to the right was a nice place to go and hang out for a few beers. It was like $3 a beer (Victoria). We also had an excellent couples massage here. $100 for both and it was over an hour. If you continue walking to the right you will come upon the old club Maeva (sp?). There were a few security guys hanging around and we asked them if we could walk around, as long as we had on shoes they said ok. Wow, that was really neat. This once mega resort just crumbling. We took pictures by the empty pool, in the theater and one of the rooms. We want to joke with people that this was the resort we stayed at! lol.

Food and resturants: Overall quite pleased. We ate at the Spanish, or Tapas and the Itallian. The Spanish had the most beautiful setting on the cenote with lounge type chairs. I would go there again for the atmosphere alone. I wish I could tell you excatly what we ordered but we kind of forget. The one thing I remember is the app in the puff pastry with mushrooms was yummy and my fiance like the chicken entree. The best dessert was the chocolate dish served in a small cup.
The Italian was just OK the first night. I believe they were understaffed because it was their Independence day. We did not receive bread and both dishes were just warm, however my pork scallopini was very tasty and that is why we gave it another chance. The second time was much smoother. Bread with olive oil and balsamic. The dishes were hot and service was better. My fiance liked the beef tenderloin. Lunch buffet was good, we liked the rosemary chicken and the seafood paella. Salad bar was good also. As for the sit down lunch by the pool the calamari was our favorite. We did not do the dinner buffet. We ordered room service for dinner a couple nights and it was alright, the tacos are fried, we did not expect that. My fiance liked his burger. When we come to AI's we kind of know what to expect food wise. CRT was almost as good as Maroma at half the price :) Drinks were good at all the bars, we mainly drank mojitos and they were well made. The lobby bar made the best.

Pool and jacuzzis: Pool was large and clean. As stated before no swim up bar but it was a 5 second walk to get a drink. Some people brought their own floats and we wished we had. The real star was the jacuzzis. There are 3, cold, warm and hot, and the hot was hot unlike many places we have stayed! They are all right next to each other but private with bushes around them. When you sit in them you overlook the ocean, it was kind of like the infinty pool concept. We are in love with the jacuzzis! We had a little crew that would meet there at 5pm, so fun. Hello from Mutt and Ski :)

Italians: I really can't believe people make an issue of this? They are people like you and I who speak another language. Period. We had no issue at all with them or any other nationality for that matter. The photographers asked us on several occasions to have our pic taken and we saw our English speaking friends playing horseshoes with them. It was not our scene but we in no way felt intimated or that they did not want us to join in. The Vera Club girls were nice and bubbly.

Spa: I only had my polished changed on my toes because of a chip. The polish was so old and gooey that it took 2 hours to dry. When it did dry it looked funny. I get pedis all the time and that polish mush have been 2 years old. The girl that did it was nice and did a good job but time to get new polish! I did not complain because I did not feel like getting it done again. I let the front desk know when we checked out though.

Conclusion: Really great trip. We always loved Secrets Maroma but it is so expensive. This resort is so nice I do not think we will even bother to blow our money there again. I would recomend and will return!!! One last thing, Our order for room service was messed up one night as in it did not come, we went to the Italian resturant instead. While we were waiting for our table the room service manager must have found out that we were the ones with the forgotten order and came over and explained that the man taking the room service order wrote our room number down wrong. They did not know who to deliever the food to till we called and said we could not wait anymore, it had been an hour and half. He was very sorry and offered us a special dinner at the Tapas, we declined but thought that was so nice! When we got back to our room there was a bottle of champagne waiting for us. Wow, nice touch!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
21 Thank coreco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Omaha, Nebraska
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2012

First time all inclusive for us. The CRL is down the road from most. It is very secluded and romantic. This place is BEAUTIFUL!!!,,, This place is like the most beautful ice cream sundae that when it is being completed, they just cant get the cherry on the top without dropping it.... We were there for 7 days with the honeymoon package. First couple of days were ok with services at the bars and restaurants as far as the time it took to get noticed. Tipping a few bucks gets you in the good graces quick!

The food is bland and overdressed on the plates with odd things (a piece of onion and a drizzle of asparagus sauce type stuff). Again, after a few meals and days, you will realize what to order and what to stay away from. The food was fun since many uncommon things were there to try.

Almost everything that was to be "special" for the honeymoon package was errored in some way or another.This is the "cherry on top missed" referrence .. Our romantic dinner on the beach was supposed to be seafood for me and an "alternative" for my non-seafood loving wife. We both recieved seafood. Our waiter left us alone after the 2nd course for so long, we just figured we were done and left for a beach stroll.
We had scheduled our "romantic breakfast" for Thursday morning at 8am. At 8:20 we called the front desk. 15 minutes late we received no call back. We called again. This time we did get a call back with appologies. The meal came and was incredible! We never got mad or short with them on this issue and just smiled. There was a few other things that by the end of the trip just became funny. They tried so hard but just could not get us right. Other couples that we hung around with had no issues and thought we were making some of the stuff up..

Cleanliness. You could eat off the floor in the bathrooms of this place. Incredible! The beach is cleaned of seaweed before you get up in the morning so it is always pristine. Room cleaning was great also but there were a few funny issues with the restocking of certain items. The mini fridge has a list of what gets stocked daily. Drinking water for the coffee seemed to alwasy be missed. The coffee for the coffee pot was also missed oftem. Please note, we only drink one mini pots to get moving in the morning before breakfast. Again, not huge but how do you only stock 1/2 the stuff. The maid would be right down the hall with a full cart and happilly give what I needed. They were very nice and apologetic.

Bugs. Nope.. A few but in all reality only got bit a couple of times. Many raccoon like animals that want to be fed. Fun to watch but I can see where some are not amused by wildlife so much. Many birds also that in the morning can be noisy also but you are in the jungle remember.

Comfort.. "What can we do to make you comfortable" could be the theme of this place.. They bend over backwards if it makes you feel better! The bed is very comfortable. Oddly noisy. No box spring type that seems to squeek on the frame. Other than that, it is heavenly. Our room was in the 5th building (away from the lobby and closer to the beach) and the third floor.

Italians. Yip, they are there.. They come across snobby at times. But you are there to get away anyway right? Had fun with many of them. They do all smoke it seems but not rude about it. Of the American couples that we hung around with, they smoked too.. They come in all shapes and sizes like all of us do so get over the couple of them that feel the need to go topless on the beach. The resort is a "VeraCruz (?) ) resort that has a team on sight to keep their Italian customers moving. They are always doing a dance class on the beach of the pool somewhere. Everyone is welcome to join but you can stay to yourself too. Much eye candy :).

Tipping. It seems to be the theme in all of Mexico. Its not cheap to begin with and your travel agents will tell you that you do not have to tip. They are right. Try that when you go to your local favorite restaurant the next few times and see what happens.. The most important seems to be the 20 peso or 50 peso bill. Not every time. The first then every other few times will get you taken care of very well. Some feel the need to tip bigger and you will see that at times to. It is "all inclusive" but you are getting top treatment.

Hidden gems.. Walk out on the beach, turn left (before the water,duh) and walk about 200 yards down. There is a small resort with a bar/restaurant that is open air on the second story right above the beach. Yum!

Snorkeling etc at CRT. Yes! Do it!! It is alot of fun. Many fish etc to see out on the reefs.

Over all. We had some complaints. Nothing major but there were enough to gripe about. This place is beautiful and is incredibly romantic. I could go on and on about the lobby, pathways, you name it and still not get it all out there. From the airport, it is approx 90 minutes to the resort if you get the direct taxi (worth every penny). This place it worth every penny to check it out! Couples only and no kids.

Room Tip: 1st floor you will more than likely have these Mexican raccoons (forgot what they are called.. Cooka...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
10 Thank Marty C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2012

The Mexican staff couldn't be faulted and the hotel itself is very nice but the Italians have their own thing going on,having their own private organized entertainment program. It doesn't sound too bad until your holidays been disrupted due to their private entertainment keeping you off the beach, feeling harassed at the pool and suffering their ignorance at every turn. The catalonia royal tulllum does not make it clear that they have the run of the hotels facilities at their own convenience. The Italians entertainment team pulls out all the stops to ensure they bond, act like children and do whatever they please in which manner they will. Paid full price for half a holiday. If I'd of known the situation before we would of chosen a different resort. Over paid, over run and overall very little value for money. If you value your choice to do as you please on your own holiday and aren't Italian then this isn't the hotel for you.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank stephen s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merida, Mexico
Level Contributor
100 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2012

Adults only, all inclusive, fabulous beach, good food, excellent service, comfy beds. Everything you need is right here, so just lay back and relax!

this is the ocean, so there will be seaweed, when I've been there, twice now, the grounds crew swept it up daily. Lots of europeans so expect a lot of smokers, topless women, and men in speedos.

the beach is awesome, the pools beautiful, the grounds are gorgeous.

the food is quite good. the buffets are good, for buffets. the restaurants offer a better level of food. they are cooking for hundreds of people, it's not like your favorite restaurant that caters to 30 or 40.

I will go back!

Room Tip: do not get ground floor. there are lots of coatimundis that guests insist on feeding so they come o...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Debi K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Dorado Hills, CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2012

The hotel did everything it can to make our stay special. We were warmly greeted at check-in, and given chilled towels and a cocktail to take the edge off our travels. If we needed something the staff always looked for ways to help. Everyone was very friendly.
The rooms and grounds are well kept. We stayed in building 3, in a junior suite, which was in the center of the resort. The terrace off the room looked into the jungle and it was a great place to sit and see all the wildlife.
My husband and I came to have romance and recharging, and to be pampered. The hotel exceeded our expectations.
There were activities all through the day if you wanted to participate, or you could just chill at the beach or pool.
The beach and the water were awesome. The sand was white and soft, the water turquoise and warm. We basically were the only group on the beach. There were two other very small resorts that had some people, but it hardly made a difference. I loved that I wasn’t constantly hassled by predatory vendors. There were a couple of guys on the beach who sold silver and hammocks, but they were really mellow.
I thought the food was good. The morning and lunch buffets were standard fare lots of fruit and veggies available. There were a few misses on the dishes, but there was so much to choose from it was easily remedied. I really enjoyed the cappuccinos. The restaurants for dinner were very good. They really went out of their way to make sure you had a sense of fine dining. My husband and I had decided not to bring any dressy clothes and that was fine in every restaurant. They didn’t take reservations, and unless you are a late diner (7:30p or later) there was never any wait to be seated.
We would definitely come back!

Room Tip: We stayed in building three, 1st floor. It is in the center of the resort and an easy distance to t...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank 50andhappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2012

Let me start by saying that this was my first trip to an all-inclusive resort. I have nothing else to compare it with, so there are some items in my review that may just be standard with all-inclusives (IE food quality-see below).

This was my first trip to Mexico and I had very high expectations. The resort was very nice and clean, and the beach and ocean were beautiful. I did not notice any excess seaweed on the beaches and the ocean was crystal (blue) clear. We certainly did not have any negative experiences with the Italians. They were all very friendly. However, there were a few topless women on the beach one day which we were not too thrilled about. There were no issues with the "towel game" whatsoever. During a brief rainstorm, someone did take our towels, which we were not too please with, but that was the only issue.

My wife and I upgraded to the honeymoon package, and I do not think it was worth the extra cost. Our friends received the same room as we did and they did not upgrade. The breakfast delivered to our room wasn't as good as the buffet, and the massages were okay. We thought it was a couples massage, but we were in two separate rooms. I would not recommend it. We were in building 6, but the noise at the pool at night wasn't bad at all.

The food was the only item I was disappointed with. This was my first-time at an all-inclusive, so I should have expected the it would taste a little mass produced. With that said, the food was not bad by any stretch. At least one menu item at each restaurant was great (Fajitas at the Mexican, Steak at the American, Gnocchi and Lasagna at the Italian), but usually 2 out of the 4 of us were disappointed with our meal choice. Again, it wasn't bad, it just wasn't great.

The snorkeling on the resort was a lot of fun, and if you explore outside of the boundaries you can find some really cool reef spots.

Overall, we had a really fun time, but I think I will try a different resort next time I travel down. While I liked the seclusion of Tulum, it would have been nicer to have been closer to some of the other cities near Cancun. I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 if I could, but I went with average because it did not end up meeting my level of excitement for the trip.

Room Tip: Do not worry about upgrading to the Honeymoon package, it isn't worth it. Go with a normal packa...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jon N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norway
Level Contributor
25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2012

It's actually been a year since we returned from this resort, but only becoming a TA member recently we felt we should share our experience now. We absolutely loved it! Room was great, not too fancy but perfectly functionable and lots of space. Stayed in building nr 2 from the beach, so right in between the restaurants and the beach. Not very far to walk no matter where you stay, and the walkway is very romantic - especially at night when it was lit up and playing chillout music. A really nice touch!

Beach is amazing, soft powdery sand and turquise water. Could get a little crowded sometimes, but it was easy to move the sunbeds around. Also great beach bar and All Inclusive, all cocktails, drinks, smoothies, fresh juices etc. included.

Resort is located right in the middle of Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, so it was easy to visit both of these places. Akumal is also close by, we went there for snorkelling but didn't find it any good.

Tapas restaurant is really romantic and cozy, highly recommended.

Good service and very friendly staff.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank IreneM942
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catalonia Royal Tulum

Property: Catalonia Royal Tulum
Address: Carretera Cancun Chetumal Km. 264.5, Xpu-Ha 77790, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Xpu-Ha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Xpu-Ha
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Xpu-Ha
#2 Spa Hotel in Xpu-Ha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Catalonia Royal Tulum 4*
Number of rooms: 288
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Adults only all-inclusive resort, located in Xpu-Ha, Riviera Maya, on the Caribbean coastline. It is surrounded by native jungle trees, local plants, mangroves and cenotes - water springs where a diverse variety of flora and fauna can be found in an unspoiled habitat. It is just 25km from Playa del Carmen and Tulum's archaeological site, and 85 km south of Cancun International airport, in Quintana Roo State, Mexico. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Royal Tulum Xpuha
Riviera Maya Copacabana
Copacabana Riviera Maya
Catalonia Royal Tulum Riviera Maya, Mexico - Xpu-Ha

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