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“A Lovely Resort”

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Catalonia Royal Tulum
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Rogers, Arkansas
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A Lovely Resort”
Reviewed July 19, 2013

We have been to Mexico a dozen times, but have only stayed in a place this intimate once. It was quiet and nice to not be on a huge property. It was wonderful to see wildlife and exotic plants on your walk to breakfast or to the beach. It would have been nice to have a bit more of a food selection for dinner, but the food quality was good. It isn't as fancy as some places we have been, but the coziness made up for it all. I can only think of one staff member that wasn't friendly, all others were amazing. The spa was nice, though the hot tub was not working. The snorkeling on our beach was the prettiest I have seen near a resort. The beach was amazing and not rocky at all.

Room Tip: The spa only accepts cash tips.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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7 Thank philswope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2013

This is the sister hotel to Catalonia Playa Maroma, the suites were absolutely clean and nice and the beaches were just stunning. It's a little more south than most of the hotels about an hour away from the airport but it's worth it. Long and wide beaches are the way to go, and if you want to head into town to Playa del Carmen you can always take a cab or the little shuttle buses they have.

Food was really good, whenever you're hungry the food is right there for to chose from - not much of a night life but it was a relaxing vacation.

On top of that BPM was going on, which was great!

Will be back!

Room Tip: Stay in the middle of the hotel - this way you are not too far from the beach or main lobby
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank GTA_Travellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
shreveport,la
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

Preface -- We are mid 50's, married 33 years and have stayed at different places in the Yucatan since 1985 from Cancun to Xpu -Ha -- condos, villas, and all inclusives. Although I love to cook, grocery shopping there is quite different, so we prefer all inclusive.
We stayed here last July, choosing the resort based on reviews and loved it so much we were back exactly a year later, July 9 - 16. I booked through Yahoo Travel, choosing the 7:15 am nonstop Sun Country flight. Decided to reserve the private shuttle through USA transfers (dropping off others eats away a lot of your time) and were at the resort by10:45. We had requested by email a King room and got one in building 5, ground floor. Was worried about noise from upper floors (chairs) but it was never a problem. Rooms are basic but nice with a balcony that has a hammock, 2 plastic chairs, & a small table. Fridge is stocked daily with Pepsi, sprite, orange soda, 2 coronas a few waters and a great small bag of a peanut snack. HINT -- we took a small cloth ice chest for our water & beer and had Carlos fill with ice at the bar - great idea. Shower is good with soap, shampoo/conditioner, bath gel, lotion, sewing kit, and one of those small screaming blow dryers ( I took my own). The TV cabinet has a safe ( you put your code in), flat screen ( which I kept on the jazz music station), 2 small drawers and 2 larger ones for clothes. The closet has a dozen hangers, bath robes & slippers, iron & board, & 6 open shelves for clothing. They also provide laundry service if needed. You get two large beach towels which are swapped out for fresh every evening. Housekeeping was great and we loved the towel art each day ( please tip them - they deserve it).
The resort is laid out perpendicular to the beach and is built in the jungle so there are no "beachfront" rooms. There is a winding stone path from the reception desk to the pool and it is a very nice walk with lots of wildlife to see and hear, just do not be tempted to feed them or they will be forced to "thin them out" due to aggressive begging.
The pool is large and very nice and the beach is the most beautiful from Cancun to Tulum in my opinion -- beautiful water, lots of palms and fine white sand. If you can't snag a palapa, there is plenty of shade under the palms if you need it. Last year there were 3 hot tubs, which are large with varying temps but this year there were only 2, with the third boarded over and turned into a sitting area. There are lots of palapas and loungers around the pool but we prefer the beach due to the breeze. We never had a problem with getting drinks from the bar & used the beach servers very seldom because they serve so many at one time.
There are activities as others have mentioned and they welcome everyone to join. We preferred our multiple daily walks on the almost 2 mile stretch of beach, which is only occupied by a small beach bar and restaurant on each side of the resort. At each end of the beach, 2 abandoned resorts sit waiting for some huge monstrosity to be built in it's place. That will be a sad time as an earlier poster mentioned because of the crowds that will come with it. I can't imagine what it will do to the efforts to protect the turtles that nest on this beach. There must have been 50 nests marked with yellow tape indicating eggs and the date the mother came to shore. We were very fortunate to witness about 75 baby loggerheads being released on our first night there.
And now, the reason most people read these reviews -- THE FOOD
Existing restaurants are the buffets for breakfast, lunch, & dinner, Mexican, Italian, Tapas, Thai, Steakhouse, and beach deli. No reservations are required for any of them. Our favorites this trip were breakfast & lunch buffet -- lots of choices at each. The beach deli has a continental breakfast and several lunch choices as well as wood oven pizza (also served by the slice for a snack). We did not try the Tapas, Italian, or dinner buffet this trip. I will not go into full detail of each item we ordered but I can honestly say that we felt dinner was the WORST meal of each day. At all of the places we had dinner we left after several bites and we are NOT food snobs, they just can't seem to get anything right. The Thai served a "shrimps tail soup" that was hard to believe -- a huge bowl of 3 salad shrimp and about a 1/2 cup of spinach filled with a steaming broth of the saltiest concoction you can imagine! Same for the "French onion" soup at the steakhouse -- huge bowl (think 3 quart mixing) with slivers of onion in canned Lipton beef broth floating a small piece of toasted bread topped with a melted piece of American cheese. I know they all work very hard, long, days so maybe they are just too tired to care but we decided to skip dinner several nights because of it. We did order room service at about 10:30 one night and had a decent burger with chips and some eatable quesadillas, which arrived in about 30 minutes. One of the restaurants is closed one night a week which gets confusing because you don't know which one is closed until you get there -- it would be helpful if they posted this around the resort.
Entertainment - There are several shows each week in the theater, the Latin show being our favorite and they have a different music group in the lobby bar about every other night. Do not come here for exciting nightlife. There are pool tables near the lobby bar and ping pong tables near the pool as well as free non motorized water sports.
Do not forget bug spray with deet, stomach meds, or sunscreen-- it's outrageously expensive in their gift shop. I also packed a small tabletop fan due to the air conditioning not working a few nights last year. No problems with it this year but I still liked having the fan for extra air. Also, bring a couple of insulated cups like Tervis with lids -- frozen drinks melt fast if you're a slow drinker.
We had a great trip and never left the resort this time -- we've already seen and done so much there and everything is so touristy now, I think we would be disappointed at the changes. Prefer to keep my memories of the past.
We plan to return next year!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank pjsyoung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Barbara, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Royal Tulum Resort is wonderful. The beach and the beautiful ocean can't be beat. Its just so beautiful. People from all over the world. the Dutch and Canadians were the best.
Several draw backs; The food is of such poor quality.
Everyday 3 very young instructors have an exercise class in the pool. For some reason they think playing the music loud and pounding is good for everyone no matter if they choose to exercise or not. Yuck!!
The BEST instructor is Susie. She teachers scub. I have been certified twice. She is the 1st instructor who made me feel comfortable and taught me things I was never taught before. Susie is an Aussie. She is just incredible! I would go back just to have that beautiful ocean and take more scub from Susie.

Room Tip: Request a ground floor. We requested a ground floor because of a bad knee. Did not get it. The be...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Doris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oklahoma
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Back again for our 9th time to CRT.
We arrived at Cancun Airport at the perfect time- no line in Customs. We were off the plane, thru customs & out front within 10 minutes of landing. We booked our trip thru Delta Vacations and had purchased a non -stop shared transfer to our resort. When we got out to the Delta reps we were told that we could ride along with someone else who was going that way & be the second drop off or wait 45 minutes to see if anyone else was going to our resort. Needless to say we had a bit of a delay getting to CRT and a nice complaint to give Delta.
Upon our arrival to CRT we were greeted with a nice cool drink & towel while we checked in. Our room wasn’t ready so we ventured down to grab some lunch and a quick change of clothes so we could hit the beautiful beach. We never ventured into the pool during our stay. We prefer to hang out at the beach, can’t beat the ocean view. It did rain in the afternoon but it didn’t last longer than 30-45 minutes if that long.
A few things have changed since last year’s visit. They have added a Thai restaurant to your choices for dinner. It is the “snack bar” during the day where you can order burgers or pizza. Seating is limited there so I suggest if you are going for dinner to get there before it opens at 7 to assure you’ll get in. My biggest complaint is they have quit offering champagne at breakfast and at the lobby bar. You can buy a bottle if you choose. I just like to have a glass before dinner or a mimosa with breakfast. I really don’t need a whole bottle. Is this a deal breaker in coming back certainly NOT, it would just be nice if it offered again.
They are working on updating some of the rooms. We noticed they were working on a couple in building 4 where we stayed. Building 3 & 4 are right in the middle so it’s even walk to the lobby or beach.
We’re looking ahead & planning on booking our 10th stay next year.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank kfpd404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Visited from May 3, 2013 to May 10, 2013

This was our second trip to this resort. We stayed in the same room which we requested in advance. Upon arrival, we checked in and were taken directly to our room. Not even a 5 minute wait. Fresh fruit was delivered to our room 3 times without asking. Don't know why but it sure was nice!

The constant about the resort is of course the location and the employees. The beach is lovely and there are no resorts directly on either side; however, sadly a new place is being built next door and is advertising time shares also. The beauty of the location is the fact there are so few hotels nearby and adding even one will increase beach traffic. The Catalonia remains blissfully child free but if the new resort allows children, that will reduce the tranquility of the beach area altogether.

The resort is around 40% non Americans which is a real plus for us. We are not the kind of people who need to hear everyone's little stories of their lives and being surrounded by languages we cannot understand is something we enjoy. As far as the Italians go, yes, some are loud. But it was a real close contest between some Italians and a group from Arkansas and Texas. In the last few years I've noticed that people traveling in groups feel the need to be louder or worse yet, that they are ENTITLED to be louder and to bring attention to themselves. Unless you rented the whole resort, you ought to be cognizant of the fact there are others there and you are not more important just because you travel in large numbers. This problem spans both sides of the ocean. No matter where you go, there will be rude and nice people. Chair tagging has increased; however, if you leave your chair unattended 2 hours, I will be the one tossing your towel and moving in to your spot. I don't know why this practice got started or why someone thinks they have a right to leave a chair tagged while they go on an excursion. Running to lunch or going snorkeling is one thing but tagging at 7 in the morning so it's waiting when you get back at noon is beyond me. This is a new problem we have run into not only in Mexico but other countries as well and the problem spans all nationalities.

Changes from our stay last year: 3 times per week they are allowing hawkers to sell their wares in the lobby and just a few steps into the path that lead to the rooms. This was a very unpleasant shock to us and we thought was a very cheap addition to what was a perfect atmosphere. It clogs the path and while they are not pushy nor rude, the whole point of going on vacation is to escape hassle.
FOOD: Last year they had a cheese and meat section at the buffet in La Selva. The cheeses were all imported and of excellent quality. The meats were various salamis, prosciutto or other cured meats. These had all been replaced by cheeses of unknown origin with no flavor and what amounted to basically lunch meats. We were shocked and the reason for the change was unclear. Also, last year they had a shrimp night with gulf shrimp on the buffet and this was the highlight of our week. It was never served this year. The shrimp offered on one night for grilling was not gulf shrimp. The eggs were runny although you can get any egg cooked to order. It seems odd to me that someone has not pointed out the unsafe status of runny eggs to the manager. Perhaps this review will help. In general, the food is not top notch but it is not inedible either. They are trying to please palates from many countries which is definitely not possible. I found the breakfast buffet to be my favorite. We tried the Mexican restaurant which had a very limited menu; however, the fajitas tasted just like home. The little food place by the pool (Deli Sorrento) has very good burgers, pizza, club sandwiches and fish plus some other items. The only downside to this place was that for some reason they had only 1 person working there and between 12-2 it was a long wait and the gentlemen working there was way overworked. Management should add more wait staff and possibly cooks.
Bathroom by the pool: Wow - how can you keep a pool bathroom THAT clean? By having someone in there cleaning it every 15 minutes that's how. My only complaint is that out of 3 toilets, 2 were out of order more than once; always the same 2. But it never seemed like a line formed with more than 2 waiting. It was a joy to have such a nice place to relieve yourself and very conveniently located.
Staff: The staff could very well be the most amazing we've ever encountered. How do they consistently keep going and smiling when dealing with all of us spoiled tourists? They live to please and we made sure we always tipped. Generally $2 for breakfast, $3 lunch and $5 dinner not to mention $1 for every drink delivered. The service was great with or without the tipping but the gratitude could be easily seen in their faces when you did tip.

Snorkeling: You can do some snorkeling right off of the shore. It isn't the worlds greatest reef; however, for a novice like myself not interested in going 20 feet down, this provides just enough to look at. Snorkeling equipment is right by the beach and available all day.

Apple Vacations Rep: We use Apple because they are convenient. We don't like them because of the hard selling they attempt. They want you to report in the evening you get there and meet the rep which we did. But his job is to sell excursions. We stated right up front we did excursions last year and wanted none this year. It was as if he were deaf and just kept talking. I had to stand up to make a point. Then he said we needed to come back in two days to get our return time set up for the airport. So we showed up and again, he kept trying to push excursions. We finally said, just give us the return pick up time which he did but added a caveat to make sure we come back and talk to him in two days to confirm the time. We did not return and our ride was there exactly when he said it would be the first time. We have no problem with people trying to earn a living but once we've said no and you don't back off, you will get negative results from us.

Will we return to the Catalonia Royal Tulum? Yes, absolutely and can't wait.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Robin W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

My friend and I stayed at CRT from 7/7-7/12 and had a great time from check-in until check-out. It was a first time stay at this resort.

Day One: arrived early (around 9:30 am), checked in, received a cool towel and a cold drink at reception. The desk clerk told us our room would be ready at three and to enjoy the resort and its amenities until then. She gave us a map, a list of daily activities, and explained the dining options. She asked us if we would be interested in an upgrade, we told her no, and that was all the sales pitch she tried to give us. She did mention that we were assigned a room with a queen bed. I told her I had emailed to request a room with two double beds and she took care of that on the spot. We were given a luggage claim ticket and off we went to arrange a two day car rental with Ado Car Rental which was located in the lobby. After that we made our way to the bar on the beach. We ate a buffet lunch and then relaxed on the beach until 3:00. We found an unoccupied palapa right away. After we got situated in our room we got ready for dinner. We first went to the tapas restaurant but didn't like it very much. We ate a few tapas and then went to the Italian restaurant for dinner.

Day Two: Ate buffet breakfast, exchanged money at the resort, and went exploring Coba, Valladolid, and Chitzen Itza by car. We had dinner at the buffet and off to bed.

Day Three: Drove south of Tulum and went to the ruins at Muyil and did a boat ride/canal float in the same area. Drove back to the resort for lunch and to shower and off we went to Punta Laguna monkey reserve. Arrived back to hotel to clean up, have drinks at the lobby bar, and had dinner at the buffet.

Day Four: Returned the car, had breakfast, then went to the pool for the morning. In the afternoon we went snorkeling and relaxed at the beach. In the evening we had drinks and dinner and sat at the beach for awhile.

Day Five: I woke up at 5:45 to watch the sunrise at the beach and then fell asleep under my palapa until my friend woke me at 8:30. We had a light continental breakfast by the pool and then spent the day at the beach. We took out a couple of kayaks that day which was lovely. That night it was drinks and dinner again and then returned to our room to pack up.

Day Six: Woke up early to catch our 6:15 shuttle to go home.

The resort: very clean, small (in a good way imho). A wide variety of flora and fauna and a variety of activities.

The staff: friendly and helpful throughout the resort. Drinks at dinner were very slow though.

The room: We were in building two on the first floor. The room had everything we needed including: a very cold air conditioning system, coffee maker, alarm clock, tv with a variety of Spanish and English speaking channels, a balcony, fridge with waters, beer, a variety of pop, and peanuts, plenty of towels, shampoo, conditioner, soap, a sewing kit, an iron, robes, and slippers. The beds and pillows were perfect to me. If you didn't like your pillow, you could choose a new one from the pillow menu. I never heard noise from the road but the evening entertainment was very loud in our room. I knew this in advance and brought ear plugs so I was able to sleep like a baby.

The food: We ate dinner at the buffet all but the first night. As I mentioned before we were not impressed with the tapas. The Italian was good but not fantastic by any means. The dinner buffet was huge with something for everyone. Most of the hot food wasn't truly hot; just warm. They had two stations where someone would cook to order items. One was always Mexican and the other varied. It was stir fry, fajitas, fish/steak, The breakfast buffet was in the same location and also huge with just about anything you could think of. The continental breakfast by the beach was coffee, juice, and a variety of breads and jams.

Drinks: I tried so many different drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Some were good and some not. There also was inconsistency between bars and bartenders with the same drink order. The bartenders were very polite and friendly.

The beach: beautiful with lounging areas everywhere including chairs, couches, loungers, and hammocks. They had palapas and also palm trees as shade with tables all around. We did not feel crowded at the beach and always had a shaded area. There was a drink server at the beach. It would sometimes take her awhile because of the area she had to cover but if someone felt they couldn't wait, the bar was right there.

The pool: large, spacious with palapas and chairs surrounding it. We never had a problem finding room. There was also someone coming around to take drink orders.

The guests: It was a variety of nationalities. There were a lot of Italians there as others have mentioned.The only thing that bugged me about them is many of them were line cutters and often butt in front of others. Most people I spoke to were very nice and were also having a good time.

Activities: darts, aqua gym, stretching in the ocean, bocci ball, beach and pool volleyball, diving lessons, kayaks, snorkel masks, bingo, dance lessons, yoga, a gym, and a spa. The chill out area also had a small library.

I would recommend this resort without reservation.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank MimiDuffy
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 Spa Hotel in Xpu-Ha
#2 On the Beach 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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