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“Royal Treatment”

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Catalonia Royal Tulum
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed May 16, 2013

Wife and I have traveled to many all inclusive in Mexico and other countries. CRT gets high marks in most areas.

Size

Smaller than the mega resorts but large enough to offer diversity in dining options. Adults only is a plus also. Beach, pool, lunch buffet and another restaurant at one end with the lobby and other restaurants and a bar at the other. Rooms are in the middle with a very nice path through the jungle connecting it all.
Rooms

Clean and comfortable. No ocean views from any room. Six buildings, three facing the other three. Jungle setting so if you like it bright get an upper floor. Buildings 1, 3 and 5 get the afternoon sun and the others get the morning sun.
Beach

VERY nice beach. Thick white powder sand. No rocks on beach or in the water so no water shoes needed. Did not even see any seaweed wash up to be cleaned away. Plenty of shade from palapas or palms but you had to be down early to snag a prime spot. Good walks in both directions. Depending on weather beach can be a tad rough or pretty calm. Some snorkeling off the beach but nothing too exciting.

Pool

One pool only down by the beach. Two good size hot tubs between the pool and the beach but only one was hot, the other ambient temp so it saw much fewer people. Also a little 1’ wading pool which maybe was left over when it was not adults only. No swim up bar so if that is your thing go elsewhere. Plenty of shade with palapas.

Food

Notch above the average AI. No restrictions on the number of ala cartes and no reservations needed. Resort was pretty full but the longest we had to wait for a table was 20 minutes or so.

Breakfast buffet was decent with short waits at the egg station and plenty of other options.

Lunch was either a buffet down by the beach or a snack type bar also down by the pool/beach. Had heard they had a pizza oven at the snack bar but was disappointed as most frozen stuff was better than what they offered. One thing you learn in other countries is when you see a favorite on the menu it does not always translate into what you are used to back home. Lunch Buffet was very good. Always fresh with enough variety every day to keep things interesting. One nice option was a grill on one side where they cooked either fish (great) or steak (so-so) fresh.

There are 5 ala carte restaurants. Two stand alone with the other three nighttime re-dos of the buffets or snack bar. There is also a night time buffet but we did not venture to that one. All had good food with the steak house at the bottom of the list. Favorite was the Tapas not so much for the food but the atmosphere. Outdoors with trees and nice lighting next to a Cenote.

Miscellaneous

Little over an hour from CUN so direct transfers worth the extra money. Dollar still king and they charge a lot in fees to change to pesos at airport. Jungle setting so bring bug spray. Nice looking gym and spa near pool but did not use. Free Wi Fi good in rooms or in lobby. Many Europeans (mostly Italy) but everyone great and there to have a good time. Shows at night pretty typical for all inclusive.

Room Tip: No ocean views from any room. Six buildings, three facing the other three. Jungle setting so if yo...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Jim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 16, 2013

This is a review of our stay from May 5 - 10, 2013. My wife and I, plus some of our friends were looking at resorts and reading reviews for the longest time. We were looking for an adult only place, all-inclusive, with a great atmosphere and beach. This place did not disappoint. I think I've read all the reviews on this place going back the last few years and I can honestly say that MOST of it is spot on.

We arrived Sunday afternoon with 2 other couples and check-in was a breeze. They greeted us with warm smiles and a nice cold drink. They helped us with all our bags and took them right to our room. All of our rooms were ready and actually my buddy requested a room close to the beach since his wife had a little trouble walking and they gave him an upgraded suite in building 6.

Food.
Exactly from the reviews, the food is going to be mostly good. We ate at all the restaurants and were mostly pleased. We were starving when we first arrived and ate at the Italian restaurant. It was good, but the portions were very small. You can order more, but we decided to try another place right after that. For lunch we always ate at the lunch buffet or the pizzeria. Those places did not disappoint. We were missing the food from there soon after we left. You have to order the cheese sticks from the pizzeria, they were amazing. Some plates at some of the places are not for everyone, so you have to find what you like. The breakfast buffet was very good too.

Beach.
One word, ridiculous. Everyone on this site has raved about the beach and now we can see why. Soft sand, clear water. We were lucky enough to have great weather our entire trip, so we basically spent most of our time at the beach. We did not have any trouble finding 6 loungers to put together no matter what time we went out there. Staff will come by frequently to take drink orders, but most of the time we didn't mind heading back to the bar to get out own drinks. It was simple to rent some kayaks or go snorkeling. The angel fish will swim around you as you relax in the water.

Rooms.
The rooms are basically all the same. As I mentioned, one couple in our party got upgraded to a suite in building 6 and it wasn't that much bigger than our standard room in building 4. The biggest difference is the bed canopy and the extra couch and chairs. If it isn't that big of a deal for you, then save your money and get a standard room. We thought being in building 4 was perfect, because we were halfway from the beach and from the lobby. The rooms were spotless, no odor and the A/C worked well. We did have a little trouble with our safe and with the lock on our sliding door, but they were fixed quickly. We left a note in the fridge with some money to get some extra water and some extra beer. They left some extra water, but no beer. All it took was a quick call and soon they gave us a 6-pack of Corona. Then 5 min later they brought us 2 more just to be sure that was enough...and it was.

Italians.
From the reviews, I was expecting this to be a big issue at the resort. If I didn't read any of the reviews, I wouldn't have really noticed them. Nobody in our party had an issue with any of them. In fact we had a great time with them. The Vera Club people were awesome and we developed friendships with them during our stay. At the beach they will invite everyone (Italian or English speaking) to join in on the fun. Never did we feel left out or looked over. We took part in the games and had a great time. Big thanks to Monica for her friendliness and hospitality.

Drinks.
Cold and lots of them. We took the advice from Carolyn and brought our own Tumblers for the drinks and are glad that we did. Tomas at the Margarita bar was hooking us up left and right all day. This would be a good time to remind you to be sure and tip these guys. They work very hard to service everyone, so throw a few bucks their way every now and then. They won't forget it and will even get your drinks before some others. We also did not see any favoritism at the bar towards the Italians.

Pool.
Incredible. To the review a few spots below that said the pool was small, that is insane. The pool is massive and very relaxing. We would always end up in the pool after a long day at the beach. There was plenty of room for everyone to swim. Yes, the towel game is played, but again with a party of 6 we never had trouble finding a spot. Most of the time we threw all our stuff on one lounger and headed in the pool. If you head out to the pool around 8:30-9:00 there are plenty of loungers to claim your spot for the day. You can always head to the cool tub or the hot tub that has a great view of the beach.

We will definitely return to this resort. We were very happy with what we got out of this value. Best bang for the buck that we could find and it was a great decision. The staff is very friendly, always happy and would do whatever they could to help you out if you needed something.

Room Tip: If you want to save some money, then don't so the upgrade. Basically the same room.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Jeff P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2013

We have just returned from two glorious weeks at the CRT (26th April - 9th May).. Firstly may we thank Carolyn for her very welcome tip sheet, invaluable information, secondly Judit on reservations who was very helpful with our room request - Luna building, second floor, beautiful room with fantastic wildlife just outside of our balcony. Room was huge, large walk in shower, flat screen TV, digital safe and well stocked fridge, everything we needed for a very pleasant stay.

First impressions were fabulous, locatation just off the highway but once in the hotel grounds it feels as though we were in the jungle. Songbirds galore, iguana, coatimundi's, we even spotted a tortoise and squirrel, and not forgetting the lovely grey cat which we passed on a few occasions when walking to the dining room. The walk through the grounds to the beach was stunning, we shall miss our daily walk over the bridges and cenotes with numerous fish to spot. We are beachlovers and could not have been more enthralled by what we saw us on our first day - beautiful talcum powder white sand and turquoise sea - heaven! snorkelling was fun with plenty of fish to see just off the beach.

Food was always presented and cooked well with plenty of variety,the italian and royal grill were our favourites. The staff were very helpful, nothing too much trouble, always had time for a chat even though they work very hard, always smiling, big hello and thankyou to all, especially to Delphino (spelling?) and David.

We are not big drinkers but I did enjoy the marguarita's and pina colada, some people that we spoke to said that they were not very strong they were more than adequate for us. Smoothies at the beach bar were yummy too.

In summary we would return in a heartbeat, this was our first all inclusive experience and we were unsure what to expect, however this little corner of paradise was just what we needed for a chilled out holiday. We are already missing our daily walks along the lovely deserted beach and can't wait to return.

PS - Don't be put off by negative comments, we found nothing at all to complain about during our 2 week stay. If you need a complete chill out with nothing more demanding than a short stroll to get from A to B then this is the place to be.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank linlizzie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

I had booked this trip as we really enjoyed our first trip to the Riviera Maya ( we stayed in the Catalonia Riviera Maya in 2009, when swine flu broke out ) so we wanted to go back and see more.
.We had a wonderful 2 weeks from the 17th April - 2nd May. The resort, without question is beautiful, peaceful and tranquil with the most stunning beach. The turquoise is sea is breathtaking.
I had certain reservations on arrival after a long flight, they were due to negative reviews, but we kept open minds, as often people are prone to exaggeration and you really can't suit most people ( my opinion ) . I must say on arrival though as some have said, it could have been warmer and for sure we were advised to upgrade ! Having seen the reviews we stuck to our guns and said we would see our room first.
The room in the Sol block, nearest to the reception area, was really lovely. Always spotlessly clean and with excellent daily maid service, so no need to upgrade at all !
At times we thought the food could have been better, we didn't enjoy the Mexican or the Tapas But the others were good generally with a we looked forward to our evenings in the lovely restaurants, especially near the beach. Great lunches available too ,which were a nice break from the sun with a lovely glass of wine !
The staff are delightful and couldn't do enough to please. We enjoyed listening to entertainment group, even though we didn't join in. this really is a lovely adult only resort. The lobby bar was great for a pre-dinner drink and the walk down the pretty path to eat as always entertaining with the Iguana's and other wildlife.
if you enjoy sun, beautiful beaches and pure relaxation, don't hesitate and worry about the negative comments you may read, there is nothing you can't overcome there and it's a little bit of heaven! We would always return, and to the Catalonia Riviera Maya too. We love Mexico. Just as a little tip, take dollars to tip the staff and don't be pushed to upgrade until you have seen your room.

Room Tip: Rooms on the third floors in any block would provide a sea view and better use of balcony
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank chard-les
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the CRT April 27 - May 4 2013. We had a wonderful experience and highly recommend this hotel. The service was exceptional. Staff go above and beyond to make sure that you are happy. The beach is beautiful. Can't wait to visit again!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank kim g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2013

My stay at this resort was from April 2nd to April 16th, 2013. After being told by my travelling agent how this resort was unique and beautifull with the most beautifull beach of Mexico....
We arrived from the Cancun airport in a little 13 passengers bus overcrowded to the hôtel around 14:00hres. Of course the room was not ready and a long wait of 1:30 hres was necessary.
The policy of this hôtel is scandalous....First they let you know that the room you have reserved hasn't been renovated and that there are other beautifull rooms available and renovated for 25,35,55 dollars more a day!!!!!!!
We refused the upgrade and found ourself in a room ( fairly clean and decent ) except for the air conditionning system that had not been cleaned for the past 10 years. The musty smell exhausting from the air conditionning impregnated all our belongings wich forced us upon return to decontaminate all our things.
The food was decent but nothing fancy and of less quality then 3 years ago, according to frequent travellers met there.
The money counter is a JOKE, for sure they will change your dollars for pesos but only in cuts of 20,50, 100 or more!!!! How do you expect to tip the personnel decently....
The bar at the pool uses reusable glasses for their drinks, they are worned out chipped and not very well cleaned. There is no lifeguard at the pool, rules are applied ( people bathing with clothes on every day ).
The large majority of tourists are from Italy, transat around the pool belongs to them and them only 24 hres a day.
The most beautifull beach of Mexico was red flag for the 14 days.
OK now lets talk of the positive things and the first thing that comes to my mind is the warmt of Mexican employees generally speaking. The personnal speak many languages including Frenc, English, Italian, some German ant they will treat you with great respect. Even if the food is only fair, the employees will do everithing to please and serve you well.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank titanium2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2013

I am very late with this review, but better late than never. We spent 5 days at CRT and found it exactly as TA reviews described, the grounds are beautiful, food and drink was excellent, beach is spectacular, room was very comfortable. The service was great, We did not have one single issue the entire trip except it rained for about 15 minutes (HaHa). Wanted to give Carolyn_Gustafson a shout out for her help sending us her tip sheet and her many posts. We will return.
I highly recommend this resort if you have 6 days or less for fun. We have been to many of the Mega resorts where we did not see the entire resort in a week. Enjoy!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Steven B
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

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 Spa Hotel in Xpu-Ha
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Xpu-Ha
Price Range: $277 - $630 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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