Came to Catalonia because we could not find any 4* in Dominican or Mexico under $1000. We stayed at the Wyndam 2 years ago and paid a lot less. We noticed that this time the Hotels are pushing this "Privileged" status, for $20 per day, which from what I could see is not worth the money. They basically take things away from the regular customers, (like nice places to sit) and give them to the Privileged ones. It created a lot of animosity and bad feeleing at the resort. If its all inclusive then keep it that way and quit fooling around.
This is the second time we came to la Romana, and I fogort the trip to the hotel was such a pain in the ass. First of all you get to the airport at about 10pm because of the late flight, then you have to put up with an archaic immigration system that took another hour because they only had two booths for about 1000 people. After that you sit on a bus, and wait for every straggler to get through the line. When everyone is on the bus a nolitours rep comes on an tells you it is only 15 minutes to the hotel. Don’t believe that liar! We had to stop at Hotel Dreams, which has an entrance road thats about 5 miles long, and speed bumps every 100 feet. It took us another hour from the airport to get to Catalonia, just after midnight. So we arrive tired, and hungry, and are given room keys and told to go to the pizzeria for food. Not so, as the room was 90 degees because they didn’t turn on the air conditioner, and the pizzeria had about 3 slices of dried out pizza left.
This place was a bit tired. You could see that things had not been looked after, and the rooms were not very appealing. We actually changed rooms the first day as we asked for an upper floor,king, and got a lower floor, with problems. They accomodated us as I put my foot down, and told them I would not be coming back every day about this. The next room was better however, it was very basic, with no pictures on the walls, missing tiles, doors that didn’t close etc. Otherwise it was ok.
Restaurants and Bars: The bars were the best thing about this place. For once we found a place that made real drinks in real glasses, not 2-oz plastic cups. They had real Mohitos, Caparinas, and good beer. The beach bar was good too, and they made crepes at the beach, which weren’t bad. The restaurants were another story. Italian- had better food from a michelina frozen dinner. Great ambiance but that was about it. Mexican- fahitas were tough, and fish was undercooked. Staff could not speak any english, however we spoke a bit of spanish, and still they could not understand us? Steak house – We had eaten at the buffet and found their beef to be in-edible and read that the steak house was the worst of the bunch so we declined.
We asked the Nolitours rep if she had eaten there, and she said they weren’t allowed as they weren’t customers. Wouldn’t you think that the person giving you information about this place should have eaten there?
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach was as expected, as we had been there before, but it seems that there has been some storm damage there. The pool was ok, and had a simulated beach with shallow end that goes deeper, however the pool has four sections, that go from shallow to deep with no warning and often I would be walking in waist deep water then fall off the edge and go under. Kind of wierd layout.
The grounds were nice, with lots of palm trees, and bushes. They do a good job on gardening. Its lit up at night, so you can see where youre walking. We have been to other places where its so dark you can’t even see where youre walking.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activites were good, streching, aerobics in the pool, dancing, volleyball, bingo etc. Music around the bar at night was a bit cheezy. They have a lot of kids at this place, but they have a kids club thats pretty good, however at night the kids are all wired and running around. Can’t figure out why they didn’t seem to have any accidents with all these kids running around.
Other Comments: I would not come back here as there were too many kids, and the hotel didn’t seem to know that they should have a separate area for families, and for people without kids. We had a family beside us and the kid was screaming for four hours straight the first night. We almost changed rooms a second time for that. As is with most of the Carribean, the star rating of hotels is overrated. This place is no more than a 3*. They may have been a 4* when they openned but as things deteriorate, they don’t fix them and everything goes downhill.
Food quality is a big one for us, and we will try a 5* next time, as we found the food sub-standard. Quantity was good, and variation was good, but quality was not. Undercooked eggs, fish,etc, overcooked meat, desserts unappealing.