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“Simply Wonderful”

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

My husband and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary at the Catalonia Royal Tulum the third week of September, 2013. Nearly everything about this resort was perfect for us.

Overall Resort Environment & Grounds: Adult only (no unsupervised dirty little fingers fondling the food at the buffet). Well-maintained ‘jungle’ grounds with natural cenotes and mangroves. Amazing beach. Small resort (which we prefer), so you don’t spend half your vacation getting from ‘point A’ to ‘point B.’ There are a lot of coatis running around, with a few iguanas scattered about. I just wish people would not feed the animals, as it is not only dangerous to people, but the animals lose their ability to forage for food and feed themselves. So enjoy looking at all of the animals wandering the grounds, but please do not feed them!

Staff: Outstanding service! We were greeted with a welcoming smile at check-in. We arrived before check-in time so our room was not ready (which we were prepared for). So we headed to the lunch buffet for some food and drink. There we were greeted by the sweetest young man, David, whose service was exemplary! He introduced himself, got our names, and from that point on David was our waiter at every breakfast and lunch. He really gave us our first impression of the resort, and it couldn’t have been better. We also received wonderful wait service by Geny at the beach. Relaxing on a beach chair with Geny bringing us cold drinks—ahhh, bliss! I also want to mention Julie in Guest Services—she was so helpful and sweet as well. I would have to say that we received excellent service everywhere we went at the Catalonia Royal Tulum. Even the a-la-carte restaurants had great service (which gave us a pleasant surprise, as it has been our experience that the a-la-carte restaurants are always slow at all-inclusive resorts). Also, the young ladies at the dive shop (Suzie, Natalie and Lola) were all so very sweet and personable. We didn’t get to go on a dive trip with them this year, but we will definitely dive with them next year!

Rooms: The rooms were spacious and very clean, and the fridge was cold and well-stocked. The air-conditioning worked and the flat-screen television was nice to have (although we didn’t spend much time watching TV!). The shower was large and we always had hot water. The king-size bed was very comfortable. The rooms must be well-insulated, too, because it was very quiet. The resort was 95% full (very odd for September), but the room was so quiet it felt like we were the only people in the entire building.

Food: I am so puzzled by some of the reviews saying the food was bad. I mean, I am REALLY puzzled. Breakfast was wonderful. The lunch was a bit different each day, and it was all good. All of the a-la-cartes were good, my personal favorite being the Mexican. The only one we did not eat at was the tapas restaurant, but tapas is just not our ‘thing.’ The only food that was just mediocre was the dinner buffet. We ate at the buffet one night, and we thought it was acceptable, but nothing to brag about.

Other Guests: Though probably half of the guests at the resort were Italian, I never felt ‘snubbed’ by the staff in any way. I really didn’t see that any single group was ‘catered to’ more than another. Sure, the Vera Club is on the premises specifically for the Italian guests, but they did their thing; we did ours. No biggie. The only recommendation I can make to this resort is to do something about the towel game, which was being played full-force. I believe people are going down to the beach before going to sleep at night to reserve their chairs for the next day. We met some people who went down to the beach earlier and earlier each day trying to get a chair under a palapa, and even at 6 a.m. there were no palapas available at the beach. That is ridiculous. If the resort wants to end this silly game people play, they need to make a ‘no reserving policy’ and enforce it by pulling all towels off the chairs at 7 a.m. each morning. We even saw one Italian couple who had palapas reserved at both the pool AND the beach! That being said, though, there is still a good bit of shade under all of the palm trees. So even without a palapa, and with the resort being 95% full, we were still able to find a shady spot to park ourselves for a few hours each day.

There really was so much to love about this resort. We loved the jungle-nature environment. The beach was spectacular. The service from the staff was outstanding. The food and drinks were all good. Even the relatively small size of the resort is perfect. And it is adult-only. We are already planning our trip to go back next year.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank LoveLabradors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 3, 2013

We're at the Catalonia Royal Tulum now. It's raining so we're sitting on our balcony catching up on emails. The resort is nice enough but a long way from being great. We've been to Mexico resorts several times and this one is at the low end of the scale. It feels very cramped and crowded. Too many people in too little space. And there is nowhere to go to have silence. We're sitting on our balcony looking at the foliage..... listening to jazz music that's piped *everywhere *!! Huge minus. What kind of management mind thinks people want to listen to canned jazz music.... or ANY music.... while walking along a walkway and looking at the surrounding foliage?? Very annoying! If anyone from the resort is reading this and wants a quick and easy way to improve things, simply shut the ridiculous music OFF! The food is ok. The beach is quite small and very crowded. You can do better than this place in Mexico. Keep looking.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Rick435
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2013

We stayed at CRT from September 25th to October 2nd. This was our second trip to CRT. The weather was perfect and the hotel was great!

There were a few things we observed that I want to share.

The food was better this trip than when we visited in 2010.

The food is GOOD. It's not great but its close. It's an all inclusive meal plan and not gourmet. The presentation was very nice at all of the restaurants! We ate the buffet breakfast and there are SO many options!! We also had breakfast room service and it was fine. It took about 15 minutes so we were pleased. For lunch we snacked on pizza, or had the poolside buffet. IF YOU ASK THE HOSTESS AT THE BUFFET FOR A PLASTIC PLATE, YOU CAN MAKE A PLATE TO EAT AT THE BEACH!! I did this to get chips and guac for an afternoon snack. We never ordered a burger or chicken sandwich at the pizza place but they looked good.

For dinner we tried all of the restaurants except the new Thai restaurant. We LOVE Tapas!! Everything was good!! Our favorites were the Pork Tenderloin and the Fried Sea! This place is romantic and has the best drinks! They have a special menu of drinks that the other bars do not offer!! Try the key lime martini!! Oh and the chocolate soufflé and ice cream was yummy!! Carlos, at Tapas, was our favorite waiter of the week. The steakhouse and the mexican restaurants were good and much improved! My husband had the buffet dinner one evening and RAVED about the grouper.

The FOOD always seems to get bad reviews but you have to be realistic! Its not fabulous but its good!!

Did you know you can go to any restaurant and order drinks and appetizers, move to another for dinner and then go have desert somewhere else? I recommend starting with drinks at TAPAS and go about your culinary experience!

We were offered an upgrade room and package but declined. No hard sell! The rooms are the same minus a few fancier decorations. We stayed in building 4 and loved it!

We went to every show and enjoyed them!! The comedy show was hilarious!! We also enjoyed the live music in the lobby bar each night!

The beach is beautiful!! It's safe to walk the mile stretch from tip to tip of the beach. We shopped at the local souvenir shop to the South. We also hung out at the La Playa beach club. They have live music a few days a week so check it out!!

We snorkeled in front of the CRT beach. The farther you go the better the coral is and the more fish you see. We saw several grey rays, a spotted ray,
a huge trigger fish and a large barracuda. Lots of other fish of all sizes and colors!!

There are many complaints about the Italians. I didn't see any rude behavior or notice them being any louder than the rest of the guests. They may not move out of your way on the path but that's the only thing I noticed. Yes they have a crew that works specifically with them but the hotel entertainment staff, especially Monica, were wonderful with all of the guests!!!

And last, the rooms were nice and clean each day and the staff works hard to keep the grounds nice and tidy!

We enjoyed our stay and will be back!!

  • Stayed: September 2013
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7  Thank tripreviewsbyali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2013

We are on day five of our trip, and we leave the day after tomorrow. I read lots of reviews before getting to the resort. It was recommended to us by a friend of ours. Overall, it was a lovely vacation/honeymoon.
We came for a late honeymoon, and upgraded to a honeymoon suite for the first three nights. I must say, it wasn't really worth it. It doesn't help that it rained like crazy the week before we got here. We had a room in the second floor & it was dreary and had a damp smell. A bit more space, had a seating area with couch and table I addition to the desk. The rest of the room was the same as the deluxe we moved to yesterday. I definitely recommend a room on the top floor. There's no elevator, but it's not a bad walk.the rooms are bright & cheerful...also no bad smell.
All of the staff are polite & try their best to accommodate everyone. It's hit and miss at times to get someone with good English, but no real problems.

The beach- incredible. Beautiful turquoise sea water, powder white sand... fish swimming at your feet, no jellys.. only complaint here is it is a bit small, (fits the resort) and it's hard to find a spot in the shade unless you arrive early. This wasn't a problem for us because we are early risers. It was hard getting drinks delivered on the beach at times, but a short stroll to the bar.
The pool was small, but never crowded. There were always chairs available.

My biggest problem with the resort I believe is due to my picky nature when it comes to food & drink. The restaurants are geared toward the European cultures for the most part. Room service was terrible (only made that mistake once) but a lot of this is because I have a texture issue & most of the foods are soft, and often times buffet food sat out awhile. If you like trying new foods and aren't a picky eater like me you wouldn't mind it (my partner didn't have the same troubles I did) the only places to find American food are the snack bar (my fave) the lunch buffet at times, breakfast was hit & miss and the royal grill is an average steak place. It was quite the culture shock for me & took a couple days to get used to it. There's wonderful wildlife to enjoy.
There are vendors on the weeknights around the resort & some a bit pushy but just keep walking and you'll be fine.

The drinks are all local cheap liquors and wines, but it's free so you make do. The bar in the hotel lobby had the best drinks. I didn't notice a difference I service whether you tipped or not. We did bring $100 in one's And fives to tip here and there.

If you're there more than a couple days GO ON EXCURSIONS. There's a million things to do close by & not much to do on the resort. We did get a massage at the spa, going for another tomorrow as it was lovely. We did the Mayan jungle tour and it was one of the BEST experiences EVER. Tomorrow we swim with dolphins.

Overall, even thru my being picky, we had a Great time. Highly recommended!!!

  • Stayed: September 2013
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Thank Angelamj82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2013

I read a lot of reviews before our visit about how absolutely perfect this place was. After staying there a week, I gotta say, "Meh." It's nice, but there are better places at the same rate.

The service in the restaurants was not good. The waitstaff is very busy bustling here and there, just never to come back and check on you. Our water glass would be filled and our drinks delivered, but then you'd have to actively stop somebody to get refills. When the food was brought, there was never any follow up. I was brought red wine on one occasion when I ordered white. My wife's appetizer was forgotten at the same meal. If you want a glass of milk with breakfast it takes an act of congress. Tables go un-bussed and just sit there dirty during the duration of your meal.

And the food was very, very average.

The room was basic, bed was good, had a nice big shower - no tub - but I will say that the AC worked wonderfully. And you will need it.

This place is HOT. And not simply because it's located where it is. It is incredibly humid because the resort is poorly designed. With all the lush vegetation along the pathway going 3 stories high between the buildings, the designers forgot to leave any room for a breeze to make it through. It's as still as a stone throughout the resort. I'm talking I was soaking in sweat at 8:30 in the evening going to dinner. And I'm from Houston, Texas. I'm used to heat and humidity.

I also read a lot about how rude some of the guests were, particularly the Italians. I never experienced any of it. In fact, the only obnoxious person we encountered was an American on Day 1 swearing and cursing a rival football fan.

The beach. If you like a small fairly packed beach, you'll like this place. You can always drag your chairs off to the side and find your seclusion, but this beach was too small and packed for me.

Look, your vacation is what you make of it and my wife and I had an excellent time. But if you want a BIG beach, BIG pools, lots of space and a nice open view, go to Barcelo Maya. We've been there twice and would recommend it all day over this place.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Danny K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Great beach, good food, decent room, hit and miss drinks. All in all one of our best trips. Our server Fernando was absolutely excellent, thanks my friend. Beach was great, enough chairs, nice shade and sand. The water and surf was good. The walk up and down the beach was great. All in all very relaxing and low key, but not boring.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Chris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Arrived back last week from a fortnight stay at this hotel, what can I say? Absolutely fantastic from start to finish!

We arrived after a 18 hour journey to get there (11 hr flight plus airport transfers each way) and were greeted with mango margaritas and a cold towel. What a treat! We were told to take a seat and that they would go check us in and bring everything to us as they could tell we were all very tired. We were told that four of the people in our group did not have a room (though we later found that this was an error with our travel company and not the fault of the hotel). They were told they could all share a room or move to a different hotel for the evening. They chose to stay together as we all just wanted to relax and enjoy our first evening together, they were then moved to their own rooms the next day and given free upgrades and access to the spa.

The housekeeping standards in this hotel is amazing, floors mopped everyday etc. Every morning we returned from breakfast to a sparkling room and a lovely towel sculpture and flowers on the bed.

The hotel is beautiful through and through, and we felt like we were a million miles away from everything with how quiet it was (we were in building one). The pool area and beach are immaculate right the way through the day, yes it takes a while sometimes for the waitresses to collect empty glasses, but there is only one or two of them each day working the entire beach and pool area! They definately deserve the tips they get.

We tried all the a la cartes apart from the Thai, we found our favourite was the steakhouse, absolutely fantastic service and food. We were a little let down by the tapas, there were 6 of us so the 1 hour wait for the table was understandable, however we waited for 2 hours and 15 minutes because of a selfish group of people that wouldnt move to the bar to finish their drinks. We were then seated and our orders taken, then the rain came! We were quickly moved inside, though this then caused a lot of confusion with meals and tables etc which meant that some of our parties food was flat cold by the time it reached them.

Everything else was fabulous, breakfast and lunch buffets were great. Lots of choice, and no worries about it being repetitive apart from the breakfast (but how different can breakfast be?)

Our favourite bar on a night was the one by the pool, the two staff members there are absolutely fantastic and we definately miss hearing 'more shots?' everytime we order drinks at home! They looked after us and made sure we had a great night everytime.

The reception staff are extrememly helpful, especially when it comes to organising taxis for us all, they even called ahead to Akumal to ask if the beach was open because the first time we tried we had a wasted journey.

All in all i would definately visit this hotel again (although maybe not in the rainy season ;) ), and i would definately recommend it to my friends.

Thanks Catalonia for a fantastic trip! :)

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Nichola L
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 On the Beach Hotel in Xpu-Ha
#2 Spa Hotel in Xpu-Ha
Price Range: $276 - $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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