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Catalonia Royal Tulum
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Xpu-Ha
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed February 14, 2014

My husband and I love all-inclusive resorts and decided to try Catalonia Royal Tulum for the week because I liked the idea of the jungle and being further away from Cancun to avoid spring breakers as our trip was to relax and not deal with noise and craziness. Our luggage took awhile to get to our room so we just headed to eat first while we waited. I did notice a language barrier at this resort in asking questions to the staff about food details or understanding what they were asking. I quickly learned the key words but it was frustrating at times - like I asked for water and she brought me beer, little things like that - not a huge deal. But being around a ton of different languages, it was really cool to see the staff interacting with everyone. I am susceptible to mosquito bites and got eaten up pretty badly while there.

Rooms: We had the superior room. It was fine - nothing special but we didn't plan on spending much time in the room. I do appreciate the free minibar that is restocked everyday, showers were nice. Our room didn't have a strong musty smell others had mentioned. We had a nonsmoking room on the top floor which was a lot of stairs but we didn't hear neighbors. We had some ants but nothing awful. The fridge would make a loud clicking noise that woke me up a few times a night. We had taken advantage of a promotion where we went to a different resort for a night and then were upgraded for free upon our return to a junior suite. It was really nice to have a little more space, couch and table. We were on the second floor on the end and had a heavy-footed walker above us but it was only for a couple days and that was really the only noise issue. The luggage took about an hour to get to us this time. Overall, if you don't plan on hanging out in your room much, the basic room met our needs.

Food: Overall the food was not bad. It really depended on what we got. I'm vegetarian so was pretty limited on options, which I expected I would be eating a lot of pasta and salads. Like others, I enjoyed the pizza bar - best mozzarella sticks. I did ask for the margherita pizza which was supposed to have oregano on it (instead of basil I guess) but it came out as a cheese pizza. Another time I had ordered the vegetable pizza and instead of eggplant it had artichokes and a few other vegetables were missing. Oh well. The tapas place was ok. There were not a lot of vegetarian options there so I ordered all of the ones that were and we were brought other tapas than we ordered. They brought me bbq pork. I noticed, too, that the menus had the V designation for vegetarian but there were other entrees on the menus that were vegetarian also. We spent 40 minutes waiting for the Royal Steakhouse (really the only time we had to wait to eat). We did not feel it was worth the wait. I talked with the waiter and we discussed the only vegetarian option was the caesar salad, there were no entrees that were vegetarian and he offered to bring me a plate of steamed vegetables. No problem, I can always go to a different restaurant after if I'm still hungry. My caesar salad came out and had chicken instead of croutons and most of the steamed cauliflower had black spots. My husband wasn't too impressed with his order either. I liked the mexican restaurant, the Italian wasn't bad either - a lot of sauce options to make your own pasta. Room service after 11pm offers only three choices so make sure you're not counting on that as a fallback. We did the lobster festival and they made me vegetarian options which was so nice and my husband loved the lobster - so if you're into lobster, this may be worth the extra money!

Spa: A great getaway - anyone can use the indoor jacuzzi and sauna and steam room and then if you receive a treatment, you can also hang out in the outdoor chill area with water and tea. It was a nice way to end our trip since I wouldn't really do something like that back at home. Bardo did the massage and he was great.

Our flight was cancelled the night before and we had to scramble with trying to reschedule the flight and contact the transportation company to reschedule as well. Veronica and Robert were really helpful and even offered that we could stay another night at a discounted rate if we needed to.

Overall, I did really enjoy this resort. When we were at the other resort (a Barcelo resort) for the promotion, we were anxious to get back. CRT was quiet, mostly an older crowd, many cultures (yes I felt there were mostly Europeans), food was good for the most part (you can go find other options if you need to!), the size was great for us, loved the banana mamas and mojitos! I don't know if I would be back mostly because we like to try out new resorts each time we visit, but I would recommend it to someone else!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank smiles1024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 12, 2014

Let me start by saying that we are an easy-going Canadian couple in our early 40’s whose priorities in choosing a resort are: Great beach, great food, no kids, and clean rooms. For the past 5 years, we have been going to Couple Swept Away in Negril, Jamaica, (LOVE IT THERE!), but this year we decided to take a break and try something new. That said, we just returned from a week at the Catalonia Royal Tulum.

I’d read a ton of Trip Advisor reviews before and after booking, and I can sum up what I agree with and what I think is mostly complaining for the sake of complaining.

Reception/Check-in: We arrived late in the evening and we were the only people checking in at that time. The woman at the desk was very helpful, reviewing the map and giving us an overview of the resort. We easily found our room and our bags followed almost immediately.
Grounds: Jungle, tropical, well maintained, full of little creatures we didn’t recognize and some pretty outstanding birds! Also, the property is incredibly easy to navigate, which made diving in to relaxation mode effortless. We are pedestrians at home, so we didn’t find the length of the path a problem at all. We loved going to dinner up by the lobby and then strolling down to the beach for an after-dinner cocktail.

Rooms: Because of the reviews, I had requested a room on an upper floor. Unfortunately, there were none available. We were actually assigned an upgraded room, (Junior Suite), at no charge, and were given the option to move the following day if an upper room became available. We declined, but thanked her for the offer. We were right in the middle of the resort, and our room was beautiful, but as described in many reviews, the musty smell was quite strong, and the dampness stayed in our clothes. (Even just the ones hanging in the closet.) We got used to the smell quite quickly, and the truth is: It’s the jungle. Jungles get damp. Deal with it.

Pool: Looked lovely, but we are beach people. No part of either of us touched chlorine even once. However, we loved the “chill out” area with the outdoor beds and took advantage of them for a fabulously comfortable outdoor nap one afternoon!

Beach: In a word: Beautiful. A little more crowded than we’re used to, but we never had trouble finding chairs, or sunny or shady spots. (He likes the sun, I need some shade.) And when I say we never had trouble finding chairs, it’s not like we were at the beach at 6am “reserving” spots. We would stroll down after breakfast (9:30-10) and have no problem finding what we needed. There were also lots of empty loungers as well. Worst case scenario? You might have to move a lounger to the exact spot you want to be. The water was lovely. – A little rougher than we’re used to, but beautiful and we went in a few times a day.

Food/Drink: Because we arrived late on the first evening, we had room service for our first meal, and ultimately we tried ALL the restaurants. (Minus the buffet dinner.) The drinks were good. Some great. And the bartenders really do know how to make some of the prettiest cocktails I've ever seen! Over-all the food was good. (Better than Cuba, not as good as Jamaica.) The breakfast and lunch buffets were fine. – Lots of choice, not too exciting. The lunch grill had fabulous calamari and tasty pizzas, and one of the hardest working women at the resort. For dinner... Strangely, the Mexican was the worst of the lot. I think they were trying to cater to too much of an international pallet, and would be better served by making it more authentic. The Italian was meh. Terrible ambiance and okay food. The steakhouse was okay. It’s hard to make either of us unhappy by putting a big steak down in front of us, but it was just okay. A little tough and a little greasy. The Asian was really pretty terrific. The food was fabulous, the atmosphere was lovely, the service was outstanding. And finally the Tapas. The food was amazing, the atmosphere was beautiful, and the service was pretty great. We were able to eat at one place twice, and the Tapas won out. Fabulous.

Overall: Because we live in a very multicultural city, we’re used to hearing multiple languages being spoken everywhere. But I’ve got to say that I was really impressed with the staff and their ability to navigate through all the languages spoken. Amazing! The staff was mostly attentive and not pushy. (Getting coffee in the morning could take a few minutes though...) Entertainment was weak. We watched one show and they were really trying, but I couldn't sit through more. However, the evening musicians in the lobby were sometimes pretty good. Check out was as easy as check-in.

We really enjoyed our stay. We will likely not return, but if anyone asked me to recommend a place in Mexico, I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest the Catalonia Royal Tulum.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank j v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

My boyfriend & I stayed here Jan 2010 so this review is a bit overdue.

I LOVED the beach here... absolutely beautiful. Rooms were also very nice(I upgraded to a Junior Suite) Bathroom had a huge shower which was also very nice.

Food was ok. Nothing spectacular. Grounds were beautiful. Ate at the buffets for breakfast & lunch & Specialty restaurants for dinner. My favorite was the Mexican one.

There isn't a whole lot of night time activities here... Pretty quiet resort. I liked it but I don't think I'd go back just because it was a bit too chill for me...

Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank peaches2581
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2014

The Royal Tulum is a beautiful hotel but I contracted Cholera while staying over New Years 2013. I found the service and amenities very good however I strongly recommend you reconsider staying at this hotel if you value your health.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank 1948Gord
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2014

My wife and I returned Friday 6th from a 2 week vacation to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary and it was perfect. Great hotel in perfect quirt location, wonderful staff who were eager to help and always had a smile and super food. The drinks were 'strong' and plentiful. We have visited Cuba, the Dominican 3 times, Jamaica and a larger resort further north in Cancun, but the Catalonia is the best. Strongly recommend this resort for anyone looking for a smaller resort which is large on service.
And although our return flight was delayed due to a mechanical malfunction Canjet kept us informed and put on another aircraft and did their best to make up time.
All in all a wonderful vacation in a great resort.

Room Tip: Pay the extra fro the Junior suit as you will be closure to the beach.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank stuWellandport
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2014

We just returned from Catalonia Royal Tulum and we could not have had a better time.
Clean,great food, friendly staff and great beach and pool area.
Casper the bartender by the beach bar was particularly friendly and took picture of us and was always a pleasure .
Salute to your staff
Thanks
Joe Browne

Room Tip: Watch out the floors are slippery when wet
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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3  Thank J0e1005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

We just got back from our second stay at the Catalonia Royal Tulum. The first stay was about a year and a half ago for our honeymoon. This time, we came back with another couple who had never experienced an all-inclusive resort before.

Overall, our stay was fantastic. The rooms were very clean and fresh, showing no signs of age or need for maintenance. The food was excellent in all the restaurants we tried. Drinks were also very good, including those at the Ma Loo juice bar.

If anything detracted from the experience this time around, I would say it was the fact that they were at, or near, full capacity. I guess I expected this, since January and February are high season, but it was so full they offered us rooms in their sister Maroma resort. If we agreed to stay there, they would give us all 6 free nights at this resort next year. We declined mostly because we wanted no children at our resort and also because I've read the reviews at the Maroma and was not impressed. If we had not been with friends, I probably would have accepted, but I really wanted them to experience the CRT as their first All-Inclusive.

Downfalls of the resort being full booked were:

1. Longer waits to get in the restaurants
2. MUCH slower service in the restaurants
3. Slower service at the bars
4. Hard to find a beach lounger that wasn't "reserved"

Number #4 is probably the most talked about in reviews for this resort. I have to kind of agree. However, while I hate the practice of reserving chairs with your towel in the morning, I did exactly that this time. We worked hard to go on this vacation and the MAIN thing we want to do when we come here is lay in the SUN on the BEACH. I can go to a pool anywhere, which is why I come here for the beach. If we walked down to the beach at 9am after breakfast it would be nearly impossible to find an available lounger. It was for this reason that I found myself walking sleepy eyed every morning at 6 AM with our towels to reserve spots. I would usually stay for 30 minutes and watch the sunrise while I was at it. During this time I would usually see at least 30 people come reserve seats. Pretty frustrating, but if you want a seat, you have to play the game. A simple solution to this would be to add more loungers to the beach and maybe have the staff spread them out in two's out from under the palm trees in the morning. This would create less of a "traffic jam" of loungers under the palm trees every morning.

Entertainment was actually VERY good this time around, so it looks like they have stepped up their game here. I was very pleased to see that. I also like that the entertainment staff came to the Disco after the show to try and get the party started by dancing with us. Special thanks to Anna and Natalia for making this gringo dance. I think my friends sure got a kick out of it. My wife also had a good time dancing with Andrea, from the beach!

My wife loved taking the dancing lessons on the beach and the water aerobics. The animation group, Vera Club and the Hotel's people really did a good job at making sure you were invited but not pushing you to hard. Rosa and Andrea were the BEST!

We used the Ambient and Hot tubs this time around by the beach and found them to be quite a popular place to meet people and have your last couple drinks before you go back to the room to get ready for dinner. I think we met the only other Americans in there this trip. Just about every single person this time around was Italian. Most of them are very pleasant and will smile back at you on the beach as you pass them. Like any culture, there are always exceptions. Your own attitude and perceptions will change this. Smile people! You are on vacation!

My buddy and I tried the sea kayaks this time, which are free, and now I am hooked. It was a great way to see what's under the water out past the swimmer's area and we had a great time riding some waves in on a wavy day. I highly recommend giving it a shot!

We will likely return to this resort again, next time we come to the Yucatan. Having stayed a few places there, it is our favorite! I really don't think you will find a friendlier staff anywhere in the Caribbean.

Our favorite restaurant was probably the Mexican place. The food was fantastic and the service was top notch. Special thanks to Guillermo, who was fast, attentive, and smiling all the time! Also, if you eat here, I hope you get to experience the incredibly bizarre acoustic properties of this place! Do not be surprised if you suddenly hear someone talking as if from a speaker directly in your ear and no one else hears it at the table. It will have been someone across the room talking at a normal volume. Sometimes it will be the clink of the fork or plate, but when you hear it, you will know. We had a little fun with it and totally cracked up the waiter. Sorry for that, Guillermo. :)

Room Tip: All the rooms are great and you're hopefully not here for the room anyway. Enjoy the beach!
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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10  Thank joshncate
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: $242 - $592 (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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