Old Reviews – Catalonia Riviera Maya

  Catalonia Yucatan   Robin & Lynda ~ August 2009

November 2009

Arrival: August 2009
You could say Lynda and I are seasoned all inclusive travellers 18 trips under our belts.We’ve been to the Mayan a number of times we love the beaches the weather,people the diving and everything the area has to offer.Catalonia Yucatan is a solid 4star we enjoyed our 2 week get away very much and we would go back to this resort.

Rooms:
Clean and comfortable the maids did agreat job tiding up after us. Situated on the 4th floor we had a wonderful view of the pool and ocean .It was somewhat of an inconvience not having a mini fridge and coffee maker but we adjusted being in paradise.

Restaurants and Bars:
Overall the food was pretty good maybe a 8/10.The ala cartes were great no favorites really.The buffets were your standard fare nothing jumped out at you though the food was descent.The items you would hope to be hot were hot un like other places we’ve stayed.The bars were adequately stocked and easily accessible throughout the resorts.You won’t go thirsty.All

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
All manmade beaches in this cove great sand a little rocky great for short walks.The water was brilliant of course bring your water shoes as getting in and out was a bit tricky.Life guard patrolled water was nice,the staff at the beach bar were always around to see if we wanted a drink on the beach Great.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
No tours to speak of it was so hot.We did how ever dive a number of times.We were dissapointed with pro/divers lack of enthusiasm so we walked into Puerto Adventuras and found a jewel of a dive shop.Aquanauts is the name a friendly hands on professional bunch.John & Natalie made our diving excursions so enjoyable we’ll be be back soon.

Other Comments:
Two weeks at this resort you bet a smaller more personal stay it had everything you could want.

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  Catalonia Yucatan   Luis ~ Alberta

October 2009

Arrival: April 3rd – 10th
Very nice time

Rooms:
The rooms were just ok.  Nothing fancy but functional.  We had a few problems with our keys not working or losing their codes, staff took care of it and were very helpful.

Restaurants and Bars:
Bars were great, as usual if you leave a tip you won’t wait.  Liquor was fine, lots of selection.  Food was pretty good too although the beef tasted different then what we are used too in Alberta.  This is common to mexico, nothing to do with the resort.  Al La Carte was not very good, they booked very quickly in fact we didn’t even get to one but the rest of the food was fine.  The Creperi restaurant above the pool was AMAZING!!!  Easily a $10-$15 desert back home and you could have as many as you wanted, no frowns no lineups.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach was awesome, lots of loungers, great service from waitresses who kept the drinks coming.  Poolside loungers were harder to come by but could be had.  Volleyball, rentals, snorkeling right outside the hotel, great little shopping area nearby with dolphins, lots to see and do.  We took out their free bikes and went for a peddle ride around, it was great.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The staff are hilarious and extremely friendly.  I would say Very friendly but it wouldn’t do them justice, they were just awesome.  The activities were great, lots of movies, plays, performances, poolside entertainment, etc.

Other Comments:
Would definately go back.  Great value and a great time.

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  Catalonia Yucatan   Muhamedin ~ Canada

September 2009

Arrivale: sep 5 .2009

 I can not comment anything above because first impression for me is the most important thing..and the first impression is zero..if you come in hotel around 10:45 am and you have to wait until 3 pm to get rooms is that 4 star hotel..

and what hotel receives new guests with one men behind reception desk..if you know that saturday is day when you get full bus of clients and you are welcoming them with only one men, that is disaster…complete disaster…this is my first and last time in this resort…our experience is disaster and my vacation is ruined thanks to Nolitours….

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  Catalonia Yucatan   Rachel ~ Windsor, Quebec, Canada

March 2009

Arrival: Feb 5- 12
Airport was crowded with lots of international arrivals, but in spite of that we got through customs and immigration without a hassle and found our luggage very easily. Finding our way through the airport was a cinch and our shuttle was waiting right outside. Nice bus ride to the resort. With a busload of people to check in, it took a few minutes, we were comfortable in the lobby and they greeted us with drinks.

Rooms
We took a standard room, and it was very basic, but clean and functional. There was a shower/bath, but again, very basic. The cable TV didn’T work at first, but they fixed it within an hour or so. We were pool-side, and that was fine.

Restaurants and Bars
Seven bars on site and four a  la carte restaurants. Two buffet restaurants and one snack bar. All the food was great and the a la cartes were AMAZING! Beach/Pools/Grounds
Clean, neat and compact. I liked that the two hotels are interchangable and you don’t notice when you leave one campus adn go to another one. There is not much walking to be done, you’re always close to everything: beach, pools, restaurants, lounges, bars.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
We went to Playa Del Carmen and it’s a touristy town where everythign is overpriced in the markets. Not very Mexican. To go back, I would visit Cozumel instead and Tulum.

Other Comments Very family-friendly hotel. Great service and excellent value. Would go back anytime and will bring the kids next time. Wonderful vacation!

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  Catalonia Yucatan   Barb ~ Canada

February 2009

Arrival
Airport very crowed. Poor set-up. Ride to resort good.

Rooms
Be careful–you want to get one facing the pool. We first we given a terrible room facing a vacant lot. Staff made the room change for us pretty fast.

Restaurants and Bars
Awesome!

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Awesome…very nice

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
snorkeling all day tour…amazing..great staff…great activities Nice disco and theatre shows were amazing..

Other Comments We were having so much fun at the resort we didn’t even go shopping in Playa Del Carmen and I love to shop..LOL! Just to let you know 15 of us went!!!!

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  Catalonia Yucatan   Andrew ~ Toronto, Canada

February 2009

Arrival: Jan 31- Feb 7
We are not veterans of all inclusive resorts so we don’t have much to compare to. Bearing that in mind, We thought that The Catalonia Riviera Maya/ Yucatan Beach (both resorts function as one) was excellent value for the price. There are more luxurious resorts nearby, but we are glad we saved the money for the excursions. About an hour bus ride from Cancun, checked in easily, very friendly staff.

Rooms
We asked to see an upgraded room and decided to take it- larger room, upgraded bathroom, safe included, fridge with pop, beer and water stocked daily and a large terrace with a hot tub. Worth it! Tipped maid 2 USD daily, she made some very interesting towel art.

Restaurants and Bars
Book the a la carte restaurants ASAP or you will likely not get all your choices. Bookings are taken at the Chill Out Bar starting at 8 am. We liked the Steak House best, Mexican was fun, Italian good but not memorable, didn’t try the Japanese but heard it was good. The buffet restaurants were both excellent, many choices, great quality food. Crepe restaurant tasty!

Beach/Pools/Grounds
Pools and grounds were kept clean and tidy. Towels always available. Nice beach but rocky bottom, can snorkel from the shore. Also included is kayaks, catamaran, scuba lesson, bicycles, archery, tennis.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Very enthusiastic animation staff, entertainment a bit corny but fun. Enjoyed the lobby bar at night. Short walk into the commercial part of Puerto Aventuras where there are stores, restaurants and dolphins. Can book a free shuttle into Playa del Carmen at either 9 am or 6 pm or take a taxi for 16 USD. Return trip 5 pm from Playa took an hour because of construction at Puerto Aventuras, trip there is 20 minutes. Went to the Blue Parrot just to say we went but had an amazing time at Coco Bongo- highly recommend it! Excursions- Xel-Ha is a nature reserve, lots of snorkeling, tubing down a river, dolphins, kid friendly. If you want real snorkeling, try Puerto Morelos or Cozumel. Went to ruins at Tulum as part of the Xel-Ha package, well worth seeing and there is a very nice beach there. We did a day trip with AllTourNative Tours which included Coba ruins, swimming in an underground cave, kayaking, a zip line and rappelling, truly an amazing day!

Other Comments We loved the Mayan Riviera and want to go back next year. Unless one of the more upscale resorts is somehow cheaper than Catalonia, we are definitely going to return there.

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  Catalonia Yucatan    Suzanne ~ Canada

January 2009

Arrival: January 12-19, 2009
Everyone was hurdled into the lobby and one person proceeded to read out the hotel amenities and regulations but the people at the back could not hear.

Rooms:
Rooms were very clean and great. The beds very confortable.

Restaurants and Bars:
Great food and service.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
All were great, clean and always chairs available somewhere.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Registered for some tours but information provided from anyone in Mexico either at the hotel, tour companies etc… they either do not understand you or get a kick out of seeing you struggle to get where you need to get.

Other Comments: Due to construction in front of our hotel entrance at the main gate, our bus for the Chicien Itza tour did not pick us up and we did not get to see the ruins at all. Huge disappointment. Then, try and get your money back. Does not happen. Hotel neglected to tell us that there was a $3 charge per day for the safe. Told us the checkout would be open at 5am when we needed to checkout but they did not tell us we had to go to there sister hotel next door to do so. Huge communication problem in Mexico if you do not speak Spanish.

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  Catalonia Yucatan    Lyndsey ~ Ontario

August 2008

We traveled to the Catalonia Yucatan August 16-23, 2008. We have stayed at much larger, flashier and more expensive All Inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya area, but we found this ‘budget’ resort to be a very pleasant surprise. For the price we paid ($677 out of Toronto), this place was a steal. It is well-maintained, offers just about everything that the big name resort do, is in a great location for exploring the area, and the staff are exceptionally warm and friendly.

This review is long, but I really think this resort is one of the best kept secrets in this area – I feel compelled to share as much info as I can so that those of you who may hesitate to book it because it’s cheap or because it’s not one of the mega resorts, can know what to expect from the Catalonia Yucatan. Expect good things!

Here’s the lowdown…
Ride to resort from Cancun airport, dropping off at two other hotels along the way, was about 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Rooms:
The resort consists of two sides, the Catalonia Yucatan and the Catalonia Riviera Maya, sharing all facilities. The Yucatan side houses standard rooms as well as some junior suites, which are available at check-in for $35USD additional per night. We stayed in a standard room, #4115, located on the 4th floor, overlooking the pool and ocean, 2 double beds. The room was basic, extremely clean, and in good repair. Standard rooms are not equipped with a mini-fridge, which we did miss a little. Air conditioning was nice and cold. Junior suites are equipped with mini-fridges. All rooms offer programmable safes for a charge of $21USD per week. You will be asked to pay a $10USD deposit when you rent the safe at the beginning of the week, and you will be given a receipt for your deposit. KEEP THIS RECEIPT…they ask for it as proof that you paid the deposit when you check-out (even though you can’t get the safe activator unless you pay the deposit, they’ll still try to stick you for another 10 bucks if you don’t have the receipt at check-out. We had ours, but I could see where it was going if we didn’t, lol).

We enjoyed being located on the 4th (top) floor for the views. This of course requires climbing a whack of stairs throughout the day, but there is also an elevator in the building if stairs present a problem. Rooms are located in two large, 4-storey buildings which extend from lobby to beach, wrapping around the pool complex in the middle.

The Catalonia Riviera Maya houses junior and full suites, located in two larger buildings as well as throughout several smaller ‘villa’ type buildings. The Riviera Maya side is a little larger and more sprawling in layout, though still very small when compared to some of the mega resorts like Iberostar and Palladium. We really did enjoy the smaller, more intimate layout of the Yucatan. After staying at the massive Iberostar complex numerous times, this was a welcome and relaxing change. From room to pool was literally 30 seconds; room to beach, lobby or restaurant, all less than a minute as well.

One very persistent and somewhat frustrating problem we encountered was with our room key card – it would work a few times and then it would crap out on us. During the day it wasn’t a terribly big deal because we just went to the front desk and they reactivated it for us. At night, it was a real pain – the Yucatan front desk closes at 10pm, so we would have to walk through to the Riviera Maya lobby to have the card reactivated there. Once or twice, not so bad, but this happened to us all but 2 days of our stay and sometimes more than once. They ended up making us several cards at a time so we would have back-up when the first one failed. Storing a key card close to a cell phone or some other device with batteries can demagnetize the card, but we were careful to keep it away form anything that could cause this. In any case, it was frustrating. Being frustrated in Mexico is not the end of the world, however :o)

Pools:
There are 5 pools throughout the resort complex: on the Yucatan side, one large pool with swim-up bar and 2 in-pool jacuzzis, and a smaller volleyball pool; on the Riviera Maya side, another pool with swim-up bar, a second volleyball pool, and a third, larger pool with in-pool jacuzzi. We enjoyed the larger of the two Yucatan pools the most as it was the biggest of the 5 and stayed cooler in the August heat. The pools were crystal clear and clean at the beginning of the week, but we did notice by week’s end that they were looking a little grungy. The resort was full so the pools were busy. One thing we really enjoyed about this resort was the late opening hours of the pool…it was not shut-down at 7 pm as it is in many resorts. The pool stayed open well past 8pm on the few occasions we were still there that late; the closing time seemed to be around 9pm, when the chemicals were added. It was great!

Beach:
The beach gets a lot of flack for being ‘too rocky’. I’m a total beach bum who only hits the pool in the afternoon/evening on my way back from the beach, so I was apprehensive about this when selecting the Catalonia. I decided to give it a try because the price was so good. Here’s the bottom line, from a real beach lover: it’s quite small, and it is most certainly rocky in many areas, but it is still a beautiful, turquoise Caribbean beach. There are several lovely sand-bottom areas for swimming. Getting in is a little tricky in many spots as there is rock along the shoreline, but I went back and forth over it with bare feet all week and had no trouble. Water shoes would be nice but are not absolutely necessary. I brought a pair and never used them. Once you’re in, it’s fine. The saving grace of this rock situation is the lagoon at the far end of the beach…perfectly calm, protected waters with gorgeous sand bottom, great for swimming, bobbing, floating on a raft, or snorkeling. We really enjoyed the lagoon and found that it more than made-up for the lesser beach. All in all, I still prefer a nicer beach. But, if you just take this one as it is and see that despite it’s size and composition, it is still a beautiful Mexican beach, you’ll be just fine :o)

Loungers and Crowding:
The resort was full during our stay. There were always beach loungers available, but beach palapas/shade tended to be gone by 10am or so. We did not see any silly 6am reservation game going one…people just had breakfast, then found their spots and settled in for the day. It was nice. Pool spots were fewer so a little harder to get past mid-morning. There were usually full sun loungers to be had, but shade was gone by 9am or so.

We did not feel crowded in terms of too many people for too few spots, but the beach tended to feel a little concentrated in spots. It’s not a big beach so there is not a lot of room to really spread out. The lagoon area offered much more space and we found it less congested there. Also, the very far end past the Pure Bar offered a good deal more room, but only if you are fine with full sun…no palapas that far down. We saw some people drag loungers into a cluster of palm trees down that way, just off the property. Good spot there. All in all, a little more space at the beach would be nice (i.e. add some palapas down by the lagoon), but we were not on top of each other either.

The pool deck could definitely do with some more space…loungers here are lined-up right beside each other and, a few times, I had to do a flying leap off the end of my chair to get up because I had people directly on either side of me. I get that they are trying to keep a good amount of green space rather than all concrete – this is a good thing – but a little more room around the pools would be nice :o)

Snorkeling:
Snorkeling right off the beach is pretty good…you will see a lot of fish, just not a huge variety.. Start right off the rock bridge between ocean and lagoon. We saw lots of Sergeant Majors, Chubs, a few Blue Tang, some baby Permit fish, barracuda, a few of others we can’t identify, and best of all, Chain Moray Eels. Yuck. But cool to see. There are a number of them under the pipes at the bottom of the bridge so take a look (but be patient). This is a really good spot for a beginner or young snorkeler to give it a go – the water is pretty calm on the ocean side of the bridge, and dead calm on the lagoon side. I brought my own gear and was glad I hauled it down – the snorkel gear available for guests was pretty rough. In any case, it is available at the dive shop for 1 hour per day.

Kayaking:
Kayaks are also available for 1 hour per day. There were several days of calm conditions that allowed you to get right out on the ocean, and out of the bay that the hotel is located on. I’d recommend this only for adults who have some upper body strength to handle the currents. The lagoon is a great spot for anyone, kids included. It’s calm, next to no current, and large enough that you won’t get bored within the hour. We used the kayaks and really enjoyed them.

Restaurants & Bars:
This was perhaps our biggest surprise. We didn’t have any great expectations for the food and beverage end of things, I guess because we were viewing this resort as a ‘budget’ resort going in. It is anything but a budget resort – they have really cut no corners at all and I still cannot figure out why it’s available for such cheap prices, most of the time. The food was some of the best I’ve had at an All Inclusive! The buffet was varied, not a lot of repetition, hot food was hot, cold food was cold, and the staff were truly excellent. There are two main buffet restaurants to choose from: El Mercado, on the Yucatan side, is enclosed and air conditioned; and Las Brisas, on the Riviera Maya side, was open-air. Both are located right at the beginning of the beach, so they offer some pretty beautiful ocean views while dining. Both are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of the food was mediocre or not likeable at all, but some of it was actually pretty fantastic. The A La Cartes were also very good. We enjoyed the Italian, Bellavista, and the Mexican, Alebrijes. Excellent service, not bad atmosphere, and some fairly delicious food…the Pork Tenderloin in Chili sauce at Alebrijes was REALLY GOOD. Food is a very subjective topic, but most of us reading this website probably have a pretty similar view of All Inclusive food…not terrible, not great, and pretty repetitive. I think Catalonia was better than average in this area.

There is also a Japanese A La Carte, as well as a Steakhouse. We didn’t try either of these but they seem to be well-liked.

One of the best-kept secrets at this resort is the 2nd-floor bar patio that runs around the outside of the Italian/Mexican A La Cartes restaurants. It’s a really nice area with just a few tables, offering table service for drinks. It looks out over the beach, so there is an incredible breeze and you can hear the waves hitting the shore. We loved it up there and it seemed that not a lot of guests knew it was there. You don’t have to be visiting one of the A La Cartes to use it, but you enter through the doors to Bellavista and Alebrijes. Great spot!

There is also a dessert restaurant, La Creperie, open in the evening. It, too, looks over the beach and has both indoor and outdoor seating areas. You can still use the patio during the day when the restaurant is closed…the view is amazing and it’s a great spot for taking photographs of the beach.

Bamboleo is a pool snack bar located on the Riviera Maya side. It offers fewer selections for lunch/afternoon snacks, but you can come in off the beach or pool without having to change into proper clothing. Pizza, fries, nachos, and good chicken wings! Full bar service is available here. It also reopens later in the evening and stays open till the wee hours of the morning, I believe until 2am, so nice to have when the show ends, disco lets out, or if you are returning from a long day trip and need a bite.

They set-up a beach grill on one day (hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob), and some tables in the sand along side it. There is also apparently a beach party night that they do each week, but we went into Playa del Carmen a few nights and must have missed it.

The lobby bar, Abuelo, is located on the Riviera Maya side – there is no lobby bar on the Yucatan side, but it is less than a 5 minute walk so we didn’t find it to be a problem at all. We had decent table service and enjoyed the (not intentionally) goofy live evening entertainment. Not much of a breeze because of how it’s positioned, so it got pretty hot.

The BEST spot in this resort is the Looky Bar – which just last week was renamed the ‘Pure Chill Out Bar’ – and is located right on the beach. Beautiful breeze, full bar (with many better, international brand liquors), a good number of tables and a really cool vibe :o) One suggested improvement here: change the CD! I’m all for chillin’ out, but Bob Marley’s Exodus on repeat for an entire week is enough to put you in a coma! Despite this minor glitch, we really loved this place…nice touch, Catalonia!

Pool bars Tequila (Yucatan) and Margaritas (Riviera Maya) stayed open for swim-up service until about 6pm. Service was GREAT. We found happy, friendly employees throughout this resort, but Patricia at the Tequila swim-up bar was exceptional. Once swim-up service ended, the backside of the Tequila bar remained open throughout the evening. There is a patio area behind it and this was also a nice spot to sit in the afternoon or evening.

Full Swing Sports Bar is located off the Yucatan lobby and has pool tables, air hockey tables, a lounge area and bar service. It opens at 5pmThey run a few tournaments up here in the evening – Black Jack, billiards, chess, ping pong.

La Piñata Disco, also off the Yucatan lobby, was dead. Theatre is on the Riviera Maya side and is enclosed and hot. We didn’t care. The rest of the place more than made up for it. I doubt we would have used either, even if they were good, because we had the Pure Chill Out Bar on the beach to enjoy :o)

The vendors came in a set-up on a few nights; their prices are usually outrageous and this was no exception. You’ll do better in Playa del Carmen.

Service:
As I have mentioned several times now, service at this resort really was exceptional. I have repeated a few resorts in the Dominican Republic and Mexico, and have generally found a decline in service levels as these resorts expanded over the years. It was really refreshing to come to Catalonia and find TERRIFIC service, in all areas, clear across the board. We found most of the staff personable, warm, engaging and really helpful. Definitely 5 stars for service.

Resort Shuttle:
Free, offered twice daily. The first shuttle goes in at 9am and returns at 5pm. The second shuttle goes in at 6pm and returns at 11pm. The shuttle picks-up in the Riviera Maya lobby, and drops you off at Calle 10 and Constituyentes in Playa del Carmen (just off 5th Ave.). Return shuttle is caught at this location as well. Call Guest services the day before to reserve your seat(s). This is a GREAT perk offered by the resort. Iberostar used to offer a shuttle as well but they cancelled it last year and I was really disappointed with that. We go into Playa del Carmen frequently when we are down there, so cab fares would add up quickly. Cab from resort to PDC would run around $16USD.

Animation:
We always find these people fun and pleasant no matter where we stay, but these guys were an exceptional bunch. They were really warm and friendly, never bothersome, and even if you didn’t want to partake in the organized activities, they were a lot of fun to have around. Some of their activities were beyond ridiculous (a pink bunny and a Rasta man leading water aerobics, lol?!), but were definitely entertaining! We took in one show and they…tried. There is a scan of the full activity schedule, including Kid’s Club activities, in my online album – I will include the link below.

Activities available: water aerobics, tennis courts, gym, archery range, climbing wall, beach volleyball, pool volleyball, water polo, bocce ball, beach soccer/football, yoga, Spanish lessons, dance lessons, bike tours, poolside ping pong, darts, kayaking, snorkeling, introductory Scuba clinic in pool, hobie cats and, who could forget, ‘Bingo Bingo Sexy Bingo’. Additional charge activities: ceramics painting by the pool (on both sides of resort), Scuba lessons, full dive shop operating dives several times daily from Puerto Aventuras, snorkel tours.

Medical Clinic:
The medical clinic is located on the Riviera Maya side and is open daily Monday through Saturday. There is a doctor on-call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Resort Shops:
There are two logo shops, one in each lobby, selling the usual vacation needs (sun block, snacks, souvenirs, clothing and beachwear, flip flops, etc.).

Calling Home:
There is a pay phone in the Yucatan lobby, beside the logo shop. Right beside it is a phone card vending machine, which sells $10USD cards that give you about 7 minutes of talk time to Canada. You’re better off purchasing a Ladatel card at a variety store in town and calling from there…much cheaper/more time.

Internet:
There are two computer terminals in Yucatan lobby and 3 or 4 on Riviera Maya side. $5USD for 30 mins of time and cards may be purchased at the check-in desks.

Laundry:
There is a Laundromat available on the Riviera Maya side; not sure of prices, hours.

Playa del Carmen:
Not resort-related, but I have to slide this one little recommendation in: try Carboncitos in Playa del Carmen if you’re looking for a GREAT, affordable lunch/dinner, or even just a few really cold beers, off the resort. Food is excellent (nachos de Pastor are off the charts), service is fun and friendly, and it’s just a cute spot. Located on Calle 4 between 5th and 10th Aves.

Summary:
This was my 10th All Inclusive. Altogether, I have a hard time finding much fault with this resort. I’m not big on happy-happy reviews and do try to include the negatives as well as the positives, but the Catalonia Yucatan just doesn’t have very many negatives. It’s classed as a 4 star and I think it is definitely a solid, 4 star resort. I absolutely recommend it to people (families, couples, groups) who are not looking for a lot of marble and flash, but rather a more natural, relaxed environment with basic rooms, good (resort) food, friendly service and a good selection of activity, dining and bar options. Oh, and to the beach people out there, I’m a beach girl and I will definitely go back :o)

Also, I try to avoid discussion of the various nationalities of guests who visit a particular resort (mostly because I think it’s ridiculous to concern yourself with something like this) but I’ve read a lot of grumbling on this matter as it pertains to this resort so I will mention this: there were some Americans, a few more Canadians and British, and a lot of Spanish and Italian guests. We enjoyed the diversity and found everyone, save for a few surly guests from each one of these places, to be really pleasant, polite and respectful. No problema, a non-issue, end of story.

Online photos can be seen at the following links:
Catalonia Yucatan: http://travel.webshots.com/album/564160468mlWlYt
Catalonia Riviera Maya: http://travel.webshots.com/album/565653386CkYdSq
The rest of my travel photos, including more Mexico albums: http://community.webshots.com/user/lyndseyjones

Email me with any questions: lyndseykjones yahoo.ca (insert @ symbol!)

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  Catalonia Yucatan    Deb & Ray ~ Calgary, Alberta, Canada

August 2008

We stayed at this resort from July19/08 thro Aug.2/08. We travelled with Nolitours from Calgary. Here’s what we thought of the CAT.

Flight: Well what can we say about the flight down.It was excellent. We flew West Jet and had no issues at all. Loads of leg room, satellite TV, and flight attendants were super both ways Check-in/out: Check-in/out was fast and efficient. Although there was not a lot of us that arrived at once the process was very smooth. Bellboy took our luggage and directed us to our room. Downside is you have to wear a bracelet. I’m not fond of them, especially in that heat.

Room: Small and average and very clean. First room we had was a tad loud so we asked to be moved somewhere less noisy and we were re-located within a 3 days. Second room was much better. A lot less loud.

Food & Restaurants: The buffets were OK. Good selection of foods daily. Little or no line-ups. Nice touch to be seated. The al a cartes were all very good. Our favorite was the Mexican, with the Japanese a close second. They don’t tell you about the Japanese one but be aware if you want to go to it you have to give up 1 of your other choices. A highlight was la Creprie. It was fantastic. Its a must to try. The snack/grill is a nice place for lunch as well as late night snacks as its the only place you can get food after 11pm.

Bars: There are a number of bars scattered about the resort. Common meeting place tended to be the Lobby bar and the Looky bar. Be aware though that most close fairly early.

Staff: They are great. They are so willing to help serve you no matter where you are on the resort. A friendly Hola or Buenos Diaz in the morning will always bring the same response back with a smile. They work their butts off for you so you can have a pleasant vacation.

Beach: Here’s where it was a bit of a disappointed for us anyway. We are beach people. We love to swim in the ocean and take long strolls down the beach. At the CAT you could do neither. The beach and swimming area is small and rocky. There is however good snorkeling if you’re into that. We unfortunately are not.

This was our very first trip to Mexico and for the price we paid we enjoyed it except for the beach as mentioned. This is a family resort so there are a lot of children around. If that bothers you the CAT’s not the place. We enjoyed the walk to the small marina and felt safe both during the day and at night. You must remember that the CAT is is in a gated community with timeshares, condos and private homes, so without proper ID you can’t get into the property. The excursions we took to Chichen Itza and Coba in our opinion are not to be missed. I hope this helps make up your mind as to whether you’d like to visit the CAT. Just remember this is OUR view of the resort.

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  Catalonia Yucatan   Shawn and Melanie ~ Winnipeg

April 2008

Our neighbours had been here before and wanted to go back, so we went. No disappointments here.

We went Jan 29 – Feb 6, and wished we could have stayed longer. Definitely worth the 4 Star rating. Food was good, service was good, rooms were clean, water was warm. Nolitours staff were excellent.

We did 3 excursions:
1. The ATV jungle/cenote Tour (not recommended for experienced riders). There were 4 of us who knew how to drive, and found we would drive for 5 minutes, wait for 7-10 for the others to catch up (20 minutes at the start as one woman crashed leaving the parking lot). Cenotes were neat, but again if u are an experienced explorer, not much exciting to report.

2. Catamaran Tour. This was LONG, as the bus ride to Cancun was almost 2 hours. The tour was good, the snorkelling was cool, the island (Isla Mujeres) was interesting. We also found the best shopping deals there. Didn’t get back until almost 9PM.

3. Xelha. Was the highlight. The snorkelling around the park was awesome. Bright, colourful fish, some monsters. There are stingrays and sharks within the enclosure, but we found none. Lots of kids, so we had to venture to un-used areas to get more undisturbed views. 75 bucks was worth it. We simply walked to the highway and got picked up by one of the resort shuttle vans. Dropped us off right there and walked in. Getting back would have been the same, except we had a shuttle driver who saw us walking towards the exit and picked us up before we got to the highway. 2 bucks a person each way. Well worth it.

The resort was big (2 resorts in one – Catalonia Yucatan Beach and Catalonia Mayan Riviera). We never had a problem with chairs/towels, etc. We would just venture down whenever we wanted. If the pool was busy, we’d hit the sand. If the beach was busy, we’d find a pool bar. U just have to adjust. Some people get so caught up in their rigid ways, it was a wonder if they ever enjoyed their trip.

Included in the package was an hour of snorkelling every day (used it), free daily bicycle rentals (used it once), an hour free Hobie (personal catamaran with driver) we never got to use as they filled up quickly. The Lobby Bar was good. Our musician sang ballads from the 70’s-2000’s. Enjoyable for all ages. The resort itself is in a gated community. Only guests and workers allowed in the entire town. Very safe environment.

We went shopping in Playa Del Carmen. We took the evening shuttle (less heat). Ate at Ajua Maya. Expensive, but tasty. Found the best service of the trip there.

Overall, the trip was an 8.5 We found the service good, but not overly friendly. (In Cuba, service was friendly but not very good). Food was excellent (washed in filtered water). Filtered water throughout the resort (they are big on that). Never got sick, ate whatever we wanted, drank whatever we wanted. Everyone we talked to thought it was the best resort they’d been to. We would have to agree so far.

Recommended for everyone, all ages. We would go back again.

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November 2007

Ola! My boyfriend and I were there the week of November 10-17, 2007. If he had it his way, we would have stayed another week! The resort was excellent. It definitely deserves the 4 stars rating. I don’t think we would have had a better service at a 5 stars resort. Just my opinion.

As previously stated, overall, we were very pleased with the Catalonia. The room was clean. We got lucky and got a room with a king size bed and a view of the pools. The one complaint we had about the room was that the walls were thin and we could hear our neighbors.

The food was good for buffet style. If you stuck mainly with the Mexican style food, you were golden. The 3 a la carte restaurants were okay. The best for us was Bella Vista. I can’t say enough great things about La Creperie upstairs. The crepes..the cappuccinos..the ice cream..oh my goodness! So good! We went back a couple of times. The service was very good, always with a smile on their face. As someone said, there is always someone there to do the cleaning up.

We did 2 of the excursions. The Coba Mayan Village was far the best. We booked ours with Alltourative! Alex and Melissa were terrific tour guides.

Very friendly and full of life. We also did the Xel-Ha and Tulum deal. If we knew then what we know now, we would have done that on our own. So much cheaper that way.

My boyfriend, the one who didn’t initially liked resort vacations, wants to go back next year. That is saying a lot! I recommend this resort highly!

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May 2007

Hey.. My name is Kelly, I am 22 years old and on April 20-27th me and 2 of my best friends stayed at this resort. It was absolutely beautiful. The place was so clean, you would never walk around without seeing one of the workers tidying up the place. The staff were out of this world. They were the friendliest people you could ever ask for. The food was also great. I found that it was very americanized…. there were fries, burgers,etc… along with traditionally mexican food… the a la carts were AMAZING!!! We went to all 3 and we had absolutely no complaints… also the staff at the a la carts couldn’t do enough for you they made you feel comfortabe and as though they sincerly wanted you to enjoy your meal. The weather there was beautiful, the pools were clean and refreshing. I think that this was a resort for people of all ages. There was a great range of ages. There were some people my age, there were a lot of families… i would definately reccomend this to families. I can’t even explain the beauty of this resort. I don’t think that you could stay at this resort and not enjoy ever single moment…ENJOY!!!!!!!

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April 2007

My husband and I arrived back from the Catalonia on April 14th. We stayed for 7 days and had a great time. The food is good, the service is excellent and the drinks are professionally made and delicious. The hotel is kept very neat and tidy. They advertise as a 4 star hotel but we think it’s really a 3 star. The beach has lovely, soft, silky sand, and plenty of loungers and thatched, beach umbrellas. The pool side activities were fun, which included spanish lessons, water aerobics, competitions for the guys, cocktail lessons, and dance lessons. The resort provided snorkel equipment, kayaks, life jackets, two small catamarans, tennis, archery, volleyball and water volleyball. There is a beautiful little lagoon on the Riveria side that is perfect for small children and first time kayakers. Is there a downside, yes, but nothing too serious. If you didn’t get down to the pool side by 8:30am and save a lounger you were out of luck unless you went down to the beach and carried one up. Solution: put your towel on a lounger the night before, that way you can sleep in and not have to get up early. The pool side music was a little loud if you were trying to catch a few winks. Other than that, I would recommend going to this great resort. This was our first time in Mexico and the Catalonia was a wonderful experience.

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Catalonia Yucatan Fred & Sharron

March 2006

Hi Deb ! We stayed at the catalonia Yucatan Feb14 to 28th. This is a nice resort that I rate 31/2 star at most. I’m not going into a long detail account about this resort as other people have already done that. Honest points ! Ala cartes — Great Trips— Long and tedious Buffets — Alright Rooms — Thin walls but very clean Service –Wonderful Bar tenders and servers– Wonderful Beach–Pretty good Don’t use their laundry facilities. Wasted 2/3rds of a day here ended up going to room to dry them anyway. Swimming in Ocean –To many rocks Snorkelling –Good when not rough. Lounge — Great would be better if people would give musicans applause every now and then . Pools — clean & clear lot’s of loung chairs. Helps to learn a little Spanish before you go, people there really appreciate it. The vendors at the resort are every other night. How much (cuanto) to much (barato) you can get some pretty deals. Overall– A good resort !!! Would we come back ? No because we travel to different resorts every year to different parts of the caribbean. Hasta Luego

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Catalonia Yucatan Henry & Michelle ~ BC, Canada

February 2006

We were at the Catalonia Yucatan Feb. 12-19 for one week. This is our 2nd trip to this resort. Our first time was January 2002 when it was the Cameleon Marival.

The first time was great, but this time was awesome. We asked for an oceanview room and we did receive one. We were on the 2nd floor and had 3 balconies. We arrived to champagne and chocolate covered strawberries in our room. Our room was 2131. The only rooms to have 3 balconies are 2131, 3131 and 4131. We met a great couple from Regina (hi Eugene & Sandy) that were in 4131 and said they could see Cozumel from their room. We had a very comfortable king bed, a marble bathroom with roman shower and even a mini fridge (the only 4 rooms in the whole complex to have one). Every day we had a different towel sculpture with flowers. Wow.

The beach is awesome. Always enough chairs around the pool and beach. You never had to reserve chairs with towels.

We found the Tequila Bar to be the best. Look for Manuel. He makes the best drinks. The buffet restaurant adjacent to the Tequila Bar is the buffet we liked the most. Make sure you sit in Raul’s section for breakfast. We tried a meal at the other buffet restaurant but the service and food just didn’t seem the same. You MUST try the ice cream/crepe restaurant located upstairs next to the Italian and Mexican restaurants. Oh my!!!! My husband had a banana split which was out of this world and I had the best strawberry/chocolate milkshake and a caramelized apple crepe with vanilla ice cream. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. The Italian and Mexican restaurants are great as well as the snack bar. Try the chicken wings at the snack bar. Yummy.

The pools are clean and very refreshing after baking in the sun during the day. Lots of activities around the pool but they never bothered us. There were plenty of catamarans, kayaks and snorkel equipment.

If you are going to do an excursion, you must go to Chichen Itza. Our guide was Victor and found him to be very funny and extremely knowledgeable about Chichen Itza and the history of the Mayan culture. You can no longer climb the El Castillo (pyramid) but you can still get close enough to touch it. It was closed in early January of this year. They estimate it will be closed for at least 8-9 months. They had been saying they were going to close it for restoration work over 3 years ago. Unfortunately, an older lady lost her footing near the top of the pyramid and fell. Sadly, she did die. It is an incredible place to see and to take in all the history of the Mayan culture. We had sterling silver pendants made with our names in 18kt gold using Mayan hieroglyphics . The longer your name, the more you will pay. My name, Michelle was $73US. It is a heavy pendant and very beautiful.

The town of Playa del Carmen is great but we found from the last time we were there alot of the stores have become more "fancy". The main street, 5th Avenue is now paved, which is great but the good old days of getting a great deal through bartering is gone. Yeah, we bought some great stuff but it didn’t seem the same to us. I had more fun at Chichen Itza bartering with the vendors. There were better prices and deals there.

We would return in a heartbeat. We have travelled extensively, staying in 3 1/2 to 5 star resorts. In our opinion, this is the best resort we have been to. It definitely deserves the 4 star rating it has. The very few complaints I’ve read about this resort ranged from, no mini bar to bad service. Well, maybe these people should read the travel brochure before booking and if you don’t smile and say hola once in awhile and enjoy yourself, I wouldn’t want to serve you either. I suggest though not to make any long distance calls from your room. Each call, whether it is picked up on the other end will cost you $8US. I needed to only make 2 short phone calls and didn’t want to buy a phone card. We realized this when we checked out. Oh well, live and learn. No big problemo.

If you are looking for a quiet, non congested resort with many amenities, you must go there. If you have any questions, you can email me at antonichuck@hotmail.com

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Catalonia Yucatan Jessica and Patrick

February 2006

We stayed at the Catalonia Yucatan from January 20 till 27 2006. We had a very good time. I would definitely recommend this resort. I had my wedding at this resort during the time of stay we were a party of 16. At are arrival we where well greeted. The staff at the front desk were amazing. Are room was not ready at the time of are arrival but that was due to the time we got there but shortly after we were in our rooms

Rooms: The rooms were very big, a nice view of the beach, nice king size, big huge bathroom, but only a standing shower in are suite. We had an ocean view room which was amazing. We had champagne brought to are rooms throughout the week, basket of fruits and little extra. Very good room service, rooms very clean. Hotel overall very clean

Food, restaurant and bar:
The best restaurant I found was the Italian. That is were I had my wedding reception, the food was amazing, the waiter and the manager of the restaurant were amazing. Food very delicious, well presented and hot. The best buffet dinner we found was la brisa, very good food, good service. Bar waiters very good, the only bad thing we found was that the glasses we very small so bring larger cups with you, they will fill them up at the bars.

Staff: All the staff from the hotel were amazing. Especially our wedding coordinators were wonderful, Elena and Manuela. Our wedding was really amazing on the beach very private, nicely done couldn’t of ask for better.

Waiter at all restaurant including a la carte, buffet and ice cream bar were amazing. The best bar waiter was Jesus which he is located at the looky bar but only there until 5pm.

Beach equipment and beach:
The beach guys are also very good and the equipment that we used was in really good shape and we never had a problem getting stuff. The beach getting into it is really rocky so bring shoes but if you get into the beach near the lagoon not as much rocks. Pools very clean. Beach volley-ball very fun nice court to play on.

Night shows:
The night shows were great, very fun and pleasant to go to. One negative thing we found was the some of the nightly entertainment was all in French, butnother than that good nightly entertainment.

Overall I would recommend this resort.

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Catalonia Yucatan Brett & Barbara ~ Winnipeg, Mb., Canada

February 2006

If you want to stay at a resort which is personable and is not as congested and huge as other 4 star resorts located on the Mayan Riviera strip between Cancun and Tulum, this should be your prime choice.

The Positive and neutral:
The Catalonia Yucatan shares pretty much everything with its sister resort next door. You can go to all restaurants, the gym, the disco (which was moved to an alternate location due to damage via the hurricane), the pools, all bars and much much more.

The service for everything, and I mean EVERTHING was fantastic. For example, if you have any problems with your room, etc. or need something, see DOMINIQUE at the front desk, she is unbelievable. For food service ie. waiters, see RUBENS evenings at the BRISA. And, for the best bartender, see JESUS Sun. – Thurs till 5pm .at the LOOKY Bar where his specialty is called the MIAMI BEACH. Trust me, you’ve never tasted anything so delicious. There are a lot of choices for eating but the best food, believe it or not, was found at the buffets. The El Mercado is the enclosed, air-conditioned, non-smoking where the La Brisa is the bigger, open-aired buffet where smoking is allowed. Both share the same menus each day with an unbelievable variety of foods that will satisfy every ones taste. Make sure you have the fish. Don’t waste your time on the specialty restaurants. All three try to be authentic and exquisite but limit your choices. If you must choose one, go to the Mexican ALEBRIJES. The service and the romantic atmosphere make this a place for couples to have an evening where you will not be rushed or pressured to leave. Bon appetite!!

The anime team is great with a few exceptions. Their day activities are fun but it’s the talent they have for the evening shows which makes them stand out. They are all incredible entertainers. Check out Ann, Carrie, Cesar, ‘sexy’ Ramon, Aaron and, especially, Alfredo (aka el Zorro). Beware of Oscar aka Speedy Gonzales when he mc’s on Sat. and Sun nights. You won’t understand a word.

If you want to sight-see, don’t bother booking with the hotel unless its for the COBA Mayan village or Chichen Itza. These places are hard to get to and are better serviced by professional /knowledgeable guides, especially ALDO on the COBA tour. Trust me, this guy is passionate about his mayan heritage which makes the tour worth its weight in pesos. As for other sites such as TULUM, XCARET ,XEL-HA and Playa del Carmen, take a collectivo on the highway. After a 15 minute walk to the Puerto Adventuras entrance, for 20 pesos ($2 US), you can wave a white van or bus and it will take you very close to any of these places. For example, we booked a half day trip to TULUM for about $43 US through the hotel. If we had taken a collectivo and paid the parks entrance fee, it would have cost only $6.50 US. Investigate the costs before you do any day trips. A Close trip from the hotel is the town of Puerto Adventuras. A 5-10 minute walk to the marina takes you to a place where you can watch live dolphin shows while you sit around local bars and/ or restaurants, visit other live marine life on exhibit, a marine museum and various stores and souvenir shops. A definite must-see.

The Negative:
There are three things I need to warn you about which, if you can ignore them, you will still enjoy your stay.

1) Room Air Conditioner:
Even though it has adjustment dials, there is only one setting. COLD!!!! To make it more comfortable for sleeping, keep your balcony door slightly open at night

2) Moscas and Venders (Playa del Carmen/Cancun)
If you decide to visit Cancun and/or Playa del Carmen, you will be bombarded by Mexicans wanting money for nothing (moscas) and/or venders who want you to looky- looky at their merchandise or try to sell time-shares or excursions. Either ignore them and walk by without a glance or, in the case of pesky venders, tell them you need to find a Bano and can’t talk now. DO NOT book your excursions through them and, if they offer free gifts, walk away fast. TIME SHARES!!!!

Overall: This all-inclusive is a guaranteed 4 star plus, even though it is listed a 4. We, highly, recommend you experience this resort, especially, if this is your first visit to the Mayan Riviera. If you have any questions and/or would like to see photos, you can e-mail me at: mcleanrb@cc.umanitoba.ca. You will truly enjoy your stay

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Catalonia Yucatan Diana ~ British Columbia

February 2006

Greetings We were there from Jan 27 till Feb 10.

We are a 50 and 38 year old couple from British Columbia. This is the 4th year in a row that we have gone on a All Inclusive resort. One thing I must say right at the beginning. We had a really good trip. There were a few things that could have made it better. But for the price we paid the trip was great.

To start off the resort really should not be a 4 star. I found it to be more of a 3 or 3.5 The activities staff were really wonderful. They always had things going but they did not bug people who just wanted to lay in the sun. The nightly shows were also really good. But I really enjoy the shows at all the resorts we go to.

The beach guys are also very good and the equipment that we used was in really good shape and we never had a problem getting stuff.

The one thing that really drove me nuts was how bad the service was in the Buffet Restaurants. I even tried tipping when I was seated and I still had empty drink glasses and empty coffee cups. After 2 weeks we found one person in each restaurant that was really good about the service. The food was fine there was not a lot of different selection, but the fresh fruit and all the other things I love so much made up for it. I never found it hard to find things to eat.
For the best coffee the El Mercado buffet was the one. The Bamboleo had great snacks all the time and at night it was one of the A-la-carte. I had the T-Bone steak and it was great. The meals at the other 2 were also nice, some times they tended to rush you thru. Other times it was very relaxed.

One big thing we found was the Ice Cream Parlor. It was above the El Mercado restaurant. Walk up the stairs to the Italian and Mexican restaurants and keep going and you will find this little hidden treasure. Only open from 5 or 6 to 11:00 pm. Was wonderful…..

I had to complain to the guest relations person because the Looky Bar kept closing early. We were there for 2 weeks and it only open till midnight about 5 times.

We took the free bus in to Playa del Carmen twice and then got a cab back to the resort when we had enough. Was a nice little break from the resort.

We also did the Coba Mayan Village trip. Was a really great day. We totally loved it our guide he spoke great English and you could see he really loved his job. Swimming in the Cenote was a highlight of the trip. My husband also did a half day fishing trip from the Marina with Captain Ricks. He liked it and said next time he would go for a all day one. We also spent lots of time down at the Marina watching the Dolphins and all the other animals. Not much else to report. I did find the fact that you had to pay for your in Room safe a hassle. Hope this helps someone

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Catalonia Yucatan Bill & Kathy ~ Saskatchewan, Canada

February 2005

My wife and I have just returned from this facility. This is our 10th. Trip to Mexico, and we can say that this was one of the best we have ever had. The area is superb; the resort is excellent overall and a good value for the price paid. The Catalonia Yucatan has a sister resort next door (Riviera Maya) that you have full access to it also. These two resorts share specialty restaurants and water sport equipment.

ROOMS: good, clean, maid service is excellent, and support staff addressed any problems with the room immediately.

FOOD: great buffets, both the buffet restaurants serve the same fair and rotate theme nights once per week. E.g.: Wed. – International, Sat. – Tex-Mex. The variety at these was excellent and there is something for everyone. A great salad bar, and a chef serving a hot entry, which is different depending on the theme that night. The variety at the buffets ranched from seafood (shrimp, crab, fish & calamari) ham, turkey, rips and a pasty bar. The themes included Italian, International, Mexican, Tex- Mex., Caribbean, Spanish,. We enjoyed two of the three specialty restaurants, the Italian & Mexican which were both great.

BEACH: as other reviews have stated, it is small and you require water socks as the bottom is quit rocky (coral) unless you use the man made lagoon which is very clean and calm. The water is quit clear and if you snorkel, go out past the bay opening and you will see a great variety of tropical fish, maybe get lucky and encounter sea rays or even the odd barracuda. Ask at the diving center if it is safe to venture out, and the staff is very accommodating in telling you whether it is save or not that day. We have been on better beaches, but this one is good if you want to just get wet or snorkel.

ACTIVITIES: entertainment was good at the nightly shows, good disco for the younger crowd. Beach and poll activities are good, if you don’t want this, if not there are plenty of areas to sun bath or relax at away from the poll activities. Another enjoyable activity was going into Puerto Aventuras (5 min walk) to watch the dolphin shows, explore the shops or have a cervesa at a small bar. One tour that we would recommend was the day trip to the Mayan Ruins at Copa, quit unique and a bit more authentic than Chichen Itza. The tour guide to Coba was excellent, and should train every other guide in the area.

Overall this resort was excellent and we would recommend it to others.

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  Catalonia Riviera Maya   Karen ~ Cranbrook, BC, Canada

February 2008

We loved it! Upon check-in, we were upgraded at no extra charge to deluxe rooms, which were beautiful. The beds were comfy, & the bathrooms were amazing. The buffet food was very good, with plenty of selection. We ate one a la carte – the steak & seafood (no seafood on menu, other than one steak that came with shrimp), but was very good. The creperie was a hit with eveyone – and we watched the lunar eclipse from the view there one night. The sea was very choppy while we were there, so having the lagoon to swim in was a big bonus. There was plenty of staff to cater to your every need, and they always had a smile for you, although few of them knew much English. The A-team was very popular, and they always had something going on. The only complaint I have is internet access. You can buy 30 minutes for $5.00, but the computers are located in the lobby bar, and it is very hot and stuffy. I learned that mexican keyboards are different, and had to go back to the lobby to find out that @ = ALT + 64. For whatever reason, none of my emails ever got recieved, so I sweated for nothing. I ended with an ear infection, and there was a doctor on site, who treated me and gave me medication right there. We went to Playa del Carmen one day, which was fine, but mexican shopping is just not what it used to be now that they cater to the cruise ships. Things are quite pricey, and bargaining is limited.

We went to Tulum one day, and loved it. The ruins were quite spectacular, and the beach was the most amazing of any we saw. We went for lunch at Akumal, and did some snorkeling there, and were thrilled to find sea turtles! We also did Xcaret half day – we got there about 4:00 which was enough time to see the whole park and the show, which was amazing. We also rented a boat from Captain Rick’s which I don’t recommend and have written a separate review.

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  Catalonia Riviera Maya   Jenny

February 2008

this is only a brief update as it ha sall been said before. we could not fault this hotel we were there for a two weeks in february. the staff all work very hard and the hotel is spotless.

The food is very good as were the drinks . the hotel has a new manager and he is constantly walking round checking everything. we would not hesitate to return to this hotel. regarding the trips it is cheaper to do it yourself you can get a minibus on the main road for two dollars to most places.

on leaving mexico and paying your departure tax it is advisable to try an have the right money as they never have any change? it cost us 49 dollars each back to the uk.

if you are going here you will have a fantastic holiday .

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  Catalonia Riviera Maya   David

January 2008

Our extended family [20] spent Christmas 2007 at this resort. Beautiful resort, extremely clean and well maintained. The service was not so good, 20 minutes to get a drink at dinner or coffee at breakfast. The exercise room looks and works like used equipment from another hotel.

The main bars were reminiscent of a fraternity house in terms of drink quality and preparation. It was sold to us as an "All Inclusive" which was not entirely accurate. The liquor was all-inclusive but they did not stock top shelf brands. Extra charges for using the in-room safe , for internet access and other small amenities. The unlimited non-motorized water sports were nice but limited to 20 minute sessions.

The only internet access was two PC’s in a hallway next to a bar. There is no wireless internet. The beach, pools and lagoon were great. There are not rocks in the water off the beach, they are called reefs. The staff was very friendly and pleasant, especially our maid. Upgrade to a suite if possible. They are well worth the additional charge. Huge bathroom and two person bathtub on terrace. I work at a 5 star hotel and would not rate this resort higher than a 3 star. Spend some time on the internet researching the Mexican culture. It will enhance the experience. Bring tip money. It helps with all the service.

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Catalonia Riviera Maya Sandra and Steve ~ Arizona

July 2007

My husband and myself just took 10 of us to the resort on June 7th, 2007. We were overall very happy with everything, We were upgraded to a nicer room (with ocean view) for just $38.00 per night. Just one word of caution, there are some people that sunbathe topless from young to old!!! (eeewww) we brought 3 teenager boys with us and they got a little educated in that sense! so it might be a little uncomfortable for younger kids. (and adults!!!) All three optional restaurants were wonderful, our favorite was the mexican, then italian, then the steak one. the buffetts were wonderful with such a great variety of foods!!! breakfasts buffets never got boring with the variety of food to choose from. Do bring a thermal mug (walmart) with you to bring to the beach, they will fill them up for you at any of the bars!! diet cokes tastes wonderful!! be sure to walk down to the marina where the dolphins are to see them or swim with them, and there are plenty of shops also. If you do the ATV excersion which we booked through the hotel, make sure you bring mosquito repellant for the jungle part they take you to, the kids really enjoyed that excersion! we did get eaten alive and wished we had repellant. dont be afraid of the iguanas roaming around, they dont bother you. they were just in front of the hotel when we arrived. remember the hotel has a free shuttle sign up to take you to playa del carmen to do great shopping!!! we ate at senor frogs there also. the hotel supplies you with one umbrella per room, so you dont have to bring one!! Any questions dont hestitate to e-mail us.
SASWAKAY@aol.com

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Catalonia Riviera Maya USA

May 2007

We just recently returned from a week’s vacation at the Catalonia Riviera Maya, in Cancun (Riviera Maya) Mexico. We had a fantastic time and would highly recommend this hotel. There were some bad points about the trip, but nothing that is of major concern or something that would change our mind about going back there again. We like to travel to different cities in Mexico and do not go back to the same place twice. We booked with FUNJET (will never go back to APPLE) out of Cleveland on a USA3000 charter. Everything went smoothly there and back-seats were comfortable and food was OK for the flight. They provided us with free earplugs for the trip down there, but charged you $5 for another pair on the return trip if you lost yours. Be preapred for a good hour trip from the Cancun airport to the hotel. Our FUNJET mini van only took tourits for our hotel so there were no other stops along the way. Also, be prepared to wait for your room if you get there before 3:00 PM. We knew that before we left home so we did not make a big deal out of waiting some like tourist did. Read up on any website what your hotel offers so you are not surprised when you get there! They gave us a complimentary margarita and our wrist band and told us we could enjoy lunch or just sit around the pool. We had lunch at the pool grill and by the time we finished, our room was ready. We stayed on the second floor and had nice view of the courtyard. Each room has a balcony with chairs and your views may vary. It didn’t matter to us what our view was from the room – we weren’t there to sit on the balcony. The room was spacious and very clean. No matter where you go in Mexico, you are going to get the dampness in the room. Our clothes that were hung in the closet didn’t seem to obsorb much dampness as did the clothes thrown on the chairs. I think the maids do need to learn more English as I had a problem a few times getting extra hand towels that they seemed to forget on ocassion. We enjoyed all the restaurants and the variety of foods. Book your reservations for the 3 restaurants on site as soon as you get there. We enjoyed the Italian one the best-not only the food – but the service and atmosphere was great. It is a shame that some people couldn’t follow the suggestion of men wearing long pants for dinner. You don’t need to get real dressed up, but long pants and nice shirt on a guy makes you a bit more attractive than tennis shoes – t-shirt and uly shorts! We enjoyed all the other restaurants, the buffet (daily variety) and poolside grill. The drinks were plentiful – not strong unless you asked for a bit extra. The pools were very nice – clean and not very crowded. You do have to get there early if you want a nice chair under an umbrella. But that almost always depends on how crowded the hotel is. Getting a nice chair by the beachside was usually impossible by 10:00-some people must get out there by 6:00AM for a good spot. We didn’t care too much for the beach – kind of rocky from the dead coral – and some seaweed. We aren’t swimmers so it didn’t matter much to us. There were some topless women (Europeans mostly), but they stayed on the beach side and never walked around anywhere topless. We booked our side trips thru the FUNJET rep who was always available. My husband went on a fishing trip that he enjoyed, except for the big waves (it had rained the nite before) and then we booked the Sunset Cruise, which we both thought was spectacular. It was a lovely romantic evening with a 5 course dinner on the beach after seeing the sunset on a boat. The only draw backs to these or any other side trips is that it takes about 40-45 minutes from our hotel to get anywhere. We had also took the free hotel busride to Playa DelCarmen to do some shopping. You leave at 9:00 and come back around 5:00. We opted not to stay that long and took a cab back that cost us $14US. Once you are in Playa DelCarmen, you can take a ferry (don’t know the cost) over to Cozumel. We didn’t realize that until we were already on the bus. Overall, it was a fantastic vacation – hot and sunny every day. Remember to bring alot of $1s to tip everyone who waits on you – from the van driver to the hotel staff. These people are poor and work for pennies and depend on the tourist’s tips. You have to remember-you are NOT in the United States and things are not going to be like back home. It is a completely different culture and way of life. You can email us if you have any questions. We do have some nice pics, but haven’t gotten them posted on line yet. Enjoy your trip-wherever you decide to stay. Remember, everyone has an opinion, but don’t base your vacation on someone else’s trip. Everyone is not going to like the same things. This is a fantastic website with great travel information. There are alot of sites out there and try to read up as much as you can before you book your trip!

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Catalonia Riviera Maya LeAnn ~ Minnesota, USA

March 2006

I just returned from vacationing with my boyfriend and 12 other family members ranging in ages from 29 – 62 at the Catalonia Riviera Maya and can’t wait to go back! Everyone had a wonderful time. Check in was very smooth and the lobby staff at the Riviera side were very gracious and spoke very good English. We stayed in room 148 in section B which is on the main floor and the room was very clean and everything worked great. We never had any problems with noise and we’re both very light sleepers. Two of the rooms had minor issues that they called the front desk about and in both cases, within minutes of their calls, there was a staff member knocking on their door to fix the problem; amazing!! We don’t even get service like that in hotels in the States. Although we didn’t travel with any young kids or teenagers, I saw many young people at this resort having a great time also. I’ve experienced other all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic, Cozumel, Jamaica, and Grand Caymen, but the Catalonia was my favorite. What made this resort stand out far above the others that I’ve experienced was the courteous, smiling staff members and the great food. Very beautiful grounds with workers constantly cleaning and replenishing used items.

Bartenders/wait staff/animation team: Outstanding! The quickest and most generous bartender was Juan at the Bamboleo snack bar during the day!! He and the others would be filling multiple beers, running the blender and mixing drinks all at the same time while having a smile on their faces. Domingo the waiter outside the snack area is the best waiter. He remembers names and most importantly, remembers what everyone is drinking. He always has a smile on his face and can’t wait for you to place an order. These people work so hard to please everyone and it bothers me when tourists don’t tip them, even though they don’t expect it. The A-team is wonderful, especially Miguel and Sebastian. This is the first animation group we’ve experienced on vacation that isn’t pushy. They ask you to participate in the multiple games and if you say no, they leave you alone. They double as dancers at the nightly entertainment and are very talented.

Food/Drinks: Excellent!! The buffets change their themes each night so there was always something different to try. The fish no matter how it was prepared was very good and their breads are also very tasty. Desserts are pretty typical for the area, but I did find a couple desserts that actually tasted like real sweetened chocolate. We made reservations for all three specialty restaurants. The César salads are very good. The fajitas in the Mexican restaurant were excellent and the food in the Italian was good also. The Bamboleo steak house was good, but the steaks are a bit tough. My favorite food though was the Bamboleo snack bar during the day. They have a great variety of finger foods with the best salsa and guacamole. The fresh fruit on the buffets at each meal is so good. As for the drinks, they are very good. If you’re one who likes top shelf liquors, you can get those too as my group was in heaven with their favorite hometown drinks. There is purified bottled water available throughout the resort at all the restaurants that is completely safe to drink along with the ice. If you want, there is also bottled water in the logo shops for purchase (the generic bottles are only $1). Not one of us 14 had any type of sickness during or after our stay, which is very rare for any trip to Mexico or the Caribbean.

Beach/Pools: The beach is very nice but is not very long to take a walk on. If you’re looking to walk for a while like you can in the Dominican or Negril, this beach is not for that. But as big of a beach bum as I and my boyfriend are, we still really enjoyed this beach. There are plenty of chairs at the beach. The pool chairs did fill up quicker, but you can still find a couple here and there throughout the day. Good snorkeling and not too wavy so you can swim around without drowning from waves. The pools are very nice and we loved playing volleyball in the one near the beach. This one has a large ledge around the pool that you can just sit in without getting totally wet which was all of ours favorite spot during the hottest parts of the day.

Bars/Disco: Mostly we hung out at the lobby bar near the theatre where you can just relax, play cards, pool, or enjoy the live band that plays some nights. They played good music that got lots of people up dancing. We did check out the makeshift disco while the other is being repaired a few nights during our stay. It was ok, but again, the bartenders make the days and nights enjoyable with their smiling faces and quick service.

Overall: If you are looking for an all-inclusive resort that is affordable, beautiful, very clean, great food, with the best staff around, then do not hesitate to try the Catalonia. I will not hesitate to visit the Catalonia again and will be sure to recommend it to others.

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Catalonia Riviera Maya Richard ~ Canada

November 2005

We where booked for the Catalonia Yucatan for Nov. 19-26/05 but when we arrived we found that this side of the resort was closed. The stay there was good considering they had just recouped from Wilma. By the time we left all seemed to be up and running. Alacarte restaurants where all closed when we arrived, but seemed to be opening when we left.

The resort itself is beautiful and pools where clean. Grounds where well kept and also clean.

Food was excellent and the drinks where good too. See Domingo and ask him for a Domingo special. This guy is great.

Maid service was excellent, nothing to complain about unless you’r a whiner.

Puerto Adventuros is close by and a must to visit to see the dolphines and the manatiee. This is also free, hard to find these days.

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October 2005

We (5 adults and 2 children) just returned from the Catalonia on a vacation that was unfortunately cut short by Wilma.

We arrived on Saturday Oct. 15th and were extremely pleased with the resort.

The hotel had a great layout, very close to the beach and all of the amenities were easy to get at.

The food at both the buffet and the ala carte restaurants was very good.

The rooms were spacious and clean with a nice balcony.

The beach is OK but the water entrance is very rocky. The lagoon area is very nice and the children enjoyed it very much.

The short walk to nearby Puerto Aventuras is easy and they have nice stores and nice people.

This hotel was very nice and we were on our way to a very great vacation when Wilma struck. We were evacuated on Thursday afternoon and taken to the Copacabana resort about 5 miles south.

It is hard to judge this resort under the circumstances but it was also very nice and the staff worked very hard while we were in the hotel shelters for two days.

We typically go to the Dominican Republic but unfortunately we change to the Riviera Maya this year.

I would definitely recommend the Catalonia.

One last thing about Apple Vacations. When all of the other tourists where worried about getting home, apple came to our hotel, picked us up and got us out of the country while many tourists were/are still trapped there. They may have their shortcomings but the generally provide a great package and they really worked to get us out as early as possible.

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Catalonia Riviera Maya Brenda

May 2005

I just got back from 7-night stay in the Catatonia Riviera Maya, April 29 – May 5. This is the first time My husband and I have taken our children to Mexico. We have 3 children ages 5,11,13. If you want to feel like you are in Mexico on vacation, then you have to stay here! The resort was immaculate and the staff was constantly working to keep it that way. The resort is just adorable. Grounds are immaculate with workers always cleaning and trimmed the trees and bushes. I can’t really put into words how beautiful and relaxing it was at the Catatonia.

Rooms – nothing great. We had room on the second floor in the B-building # 234 & 235. Some rooms are rather un-private on ground level. Showers are fine but have low water pressure. But not much hot water in morning or around 6 pm. If you want a hot shower, go back to your room more like 4:30 or 5. I did and it made a big difference. The beds of course are hard – it’s Mexico. The beds have a concert slab for the frame with a mattress on top. The King-size bed was softer than the double beds. Bring your own pillow if you need to each room has one extra pillow. TV is okay; there are some American channels. Drawer space is limited to 3 large drawers in the desk and a good size closet. Bathroom was of adequate size with a shower/tub unit.

The A-team was awesome and always kept things exciting during the day. Maurizzio, Cesar, Oscar, Estella, Aaron, Celine – all of them are super, I cannot say enough about these young people. They speak an amazing number of languages and they work their butts off. They keep the kids – especially that in between age of 8-15 completely occupied. My boys met so many kids and fell in love with the a-team and morning activities. They were busy ALL DAY LONG!

Mini Club- is the activity center for children 2-8. The mini club is under the lobby of the Yucatan Side, and a little hard to find. They have a variety of toys; Lego’s, TV with videos, Outdoor Play area and Swimming. They take them to lunch and keep them busy so you can relax. They have activities planed each day and they bring the child to you when they want to find you.

Pools – wonderful and super clean. Many of the loungers were covered with towels but you can always find a place to sit. The pools are very clear and all are suitable for even non-swimmers.

The ocean and lagoon area was gorgeous. The lagoon has nice calm clear waters where you can swim, snorkel, kayak, paddleboat, etc. If you like the waves, you can swim in the ocean on the opposite side of the lagoon area. There are a lot of beach chairs and huts to sit in. The beach – could be a little better, but it is still wonderful and hardly worth any complaints. Plenty of sandy areas. A little steep and some rocks, but who cares. There is a great lagoon area too that we had such fun floating around in. We never had a problem getting chairs by the beach, or by the lagoon, and there were plenty of huts and trees for shade if needed.

The food was very good as well. There are two very large buffets and three restaurants where you will need to make reservations. The Snack Bar was great for lunch or a snack, because you can get pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, nachos & cheese; etc. Specialty restaurants require that you make reservations several days in advance, they are incredible. Make a point to go to them and eat. You will be very impressed. The regular buffet restaurants are great. There is so much to choose from and it is all fantastic. Mornings you can have omelets made to order, pancakes, smoothies, or a ton of fruit and yogurts. The food was exceptionally good. I am a bit of a picky eater; Breakfast was delicious with omelets to die for . There were always new international dishes available at lunch and dinner times.

The bars were a good time as well and the drinks are awesome Alcohol – they actually have real drinks with good alcohol. They even have traditional tequila – which they will actually pour for you if you ask for a shot. If you want a better Margi – order a virgin one and then a shot of two of these better tequilas. You’ll be plenty satisfied. They have a menu of drinks so take a look and try something new.

Puerto Aventuras is a very nice little town with a sport-fishing marina, dolphin-swimming activities, great little shops; we walked to the nearby marina it had a lot of shops and restaurants. At the marina you can watch or swim with the dolphins swim, along with see manatees and stingrays. I bargained with the store personal and was pretty successful in getting a better price for my souvenirs. We also took a taxi into Playa Del Carmen on one day ($12.00) and we were able to bargain with these people too. The Hotel offers a free bus in to Playa Del Carmen twice a day.

I have tried to think of some bad points about this resort, but absolutely nothing comes to mind. The power went out three times, this was right after a rain shower and was always back on before dusk. There was no refrigerator so I brought a cooler for my room. You have to go to the bar to get ice, this was no problem.

This is a very nice size hotel and in a great area. You do not have to ever leave the resort, because there is so much to see and do. It was well worth the money we spent, which was surprisingly inexpensive compared to other trips we looked at. We would go back in a heartbeat. In fact we are planning a trip for later this year and if the price is right we will be back at the Catatonia

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Catalonia Riviera Maya Kent in England

April 2005

I am 16 and have just returned from this resort with my family. We stayed there for 2 weeks and it was our first time to the caribbean. The resort of Puerto Aventuras is lovely, and is only a 5 min walk from the hotel. There is a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as the dolphins, manatees, sealions and stingrays.

The actual hotel, is in a lovely setting. Rooms are a good size, and are cleaned every day. There is a main restaurant (La Brisa), but the food is very samey over 2 weeks, also Bombaleros (snack bar open from 11am to 6pm, which turns into the A La Carte restaurant in the evenings, and then re-opens at 11pm for eveing snacks), and then the Italian restauant and Mexican above La Brisa. You have to reserve for the last 3. We only tried the Italian and didn’t like it, so didn’t bother going to the other 2, but from what we heard they were good.

The A-team are fantastic, they are the people I miss the most. With sexy Ramon, Maurizio, Janet, Stella, Aaron etc they really make the holiday fun, with constant activites during the day like beach volleyball and crazy games, that can involve beer drinking against the A-team. Their shows in the evenings are good, but are repeated weekly, so like us if you go for 2 weeks, only go and see the shows for the first week. Tuesday night show is ‘Music Hall’, which you must go and see as it is so funny, and also Thursday which is the comedy show, which is good. Pools are clean, as is the lagoon and beach. The rocks are sharp and can get very slippery, as we found out when mu mum slipped over and cut her arm and leg, so be careful, however there is a doctor at the hotel from Monday to Saturday. You can take out bikes, that the hotel has. They are safe and are serviced after someone has used them, alternatively there are bike tours with certain members of the A-team. Small catamarans are free from the beach, although you have to book for these, and they do get cancelled depending on the weather. Many people fed the fish every morning with rolls, and cakes etc from breakfast, this is worthwhile doing, as there are so many beautiful fish. Overall I had a great holiday and can’t wait to go back again. I miss it so much, the people are so friendly and happy, you will have a great time.

P.S: Don’t miss the trips to Chichen Itza. We visited Xcaret (about 15 mins away), but didn’t really enjoy it, you will be better swimming with the dolphins down at the marina, which you can walk to.

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Catalonia Riviera Maya Craig from Minnesota USA

March 2005

My wife, Pam and I are both 38 years old and this was our second trip to Mexico, our first was Cancun in 2001. We have also been to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic in 2003. We stayed at the Catalonia from February 19 to 26, 2005, I hope this review helps you.

RESORT:
The resort and grounds are well maintained and the building are nice. There are very few rooms with an ocean view. If our room would have been on the second or third floor, we would of had a great view. If you are looking for an ocean view and want to stay in your room or use the balcony, you probably won’t be happy with this resort. A lot of rooms face other buildings and that’s the view, but who goes on vacation to sit in a hotel room and look out the window.

If you want the free shuttle to Playa you have to sign up the day before. We chose to pay the $12US each way for a taxi.

FOOD:
We found the buffet food to be good and the variety was also good. The Grill specialty restaurant was good, but the Italian was extremely good. We did not try the Mexican restaurant. Try to make your reservations ASAP, or you may end up with 9pm dinner times. The snack bar during the day has excellent food and service.

ROOM:
We were on the first floor, room 1144, in a building that kinda splits the resort in half. We had an excellent location to go to any part of the resort. Our patio faced the pool that is in the south part of the resort. The room was very nice. It would be nice if there was bottled water in the room, but it wasn’t a major hassle to refill our bottles once a day at the buffet restaurant. I would recommend paying the extra $3 a day for the safe. The safe has a programmable code, so you don’t have to carry a key around. I went on the internet and found directions to fold US dollars into different shapes (money origami) each day for the housekeeper. We seemed to have a competition going on, who could create the most different shapes. My money verses her towels and she even used toilet paper to create a flower. I had cheated and did the origami prior to arriving.

BOOZE:
They serve Dos Equis XX on tap, regular and dark. There is a lot of premium booze, but no Canadian whisky other than a partial bottle of Canadian Mist at the buffet restaurant, that I consumed prior to leaving. Hopefully, they’ll go with my suggestion of providing Canadian whisky for the non-scotch drinkers. Please say high to Gregorio at the swim up bar (Tequila) and Leonel at the late night snack bar for us. They were assume. Unless you stay by one of the bars during the day, you will definitely want a large insulated mug. They are happy to fill even the large half gallon models that some of the guests had.

POOLS:
There are 5 pools in the resort. The southern part has one large pool with a swim up bar by the bridge. This swim up bar has direct sunlight after 1pm. Then there is a small pool for volleyball. The northern part has 3 pools, a volleyball, general purpose and the main pool with a swim up bar. The swim up bar area is shaded in the afternoon. This pool area is close to the snack bar. The pools are close to the beach so you can see the ocean. Both pool areas have an animation team.

BEACH/LAGOON:
There is a bar at the south end of the beach. The sand is fine, but it slopes down to the water. There are large rocks in the water and they are marked by rope and buoys. In this area you should have on beach shoes. The water by the lagoon entrance is calmer and that is where you will see fish. The lagoon itself is long and narrow with a sand bottom and calm water. There are plenty on chairs by the beach and lagoon areas. The beach/waves are a lot like being on the north shore in Puerto Plata Dominican Republic.

SERVICE:
There were plenty of English speaking staff. The staff works very have and I do tip even though it’s an all inclusive resort. I usually tip at the end of whatever we may have been doing. The level of service was excellent, even before I tipped. I will admit that the staff will remember you and the service does go up another notch after tipping a few dollars. Since most people in Mexico make about $5US a day, they really appreciate any tip you give, but they are not expecting or looking for it. We probable tipped a total of $100US during the week. Since we paid $2271US total for the two of us to go there, another $100US wasn’t to much to give these hard working people.

PUERTO AVENTURAS:
The marina starts about two blocks from the hotel and its about another 2 to 3 blocks to the stores and restaurants. This is a very nice town and they do not push you to buy their wares or schedule excursions. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to walk there. Mexican beer is $2.50US a bottle and American beer is $4US. Mixed drinks are $5US. Shopping is mostly at fixed prices.

PLAYA DEL CAMERON:
The tourist area is huge. It is three blocks by 15 blocks. The prices for souvenirs are mostly fixed, but a few places still negotiate. I wish more negotiated, that’s half the fun of shopping in Mexico. I really missed the market in Cancun Central. Excursions are just as pricey as they were in Cancun.

COZUMEL:
It’s time consuming to have to take a taxi to Playa then take a ferry to Cozumel. We did this once and went on the Atlantis submarine. The sub is awesome and well worth the money. The venders in Cozumel seemed to be pushier than in Playa. If your looking for the best scuba or snorkeling in the area, stay in Cozumel.

SUMMARY: The resort and town are very nice and I would recommend staying there. The only draw back is if you plan to do a lot in Playa or Cozumel, then I would stay were you are planning to spend most of your time. I would suggest using pesos if you plan to spend a lot of money outside the resort. You can get $10.80 peso to the $1US dollar by exchanging your money vs. the default of $10 peso to $1US.

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Catalonia Riviera Maya Meagan ~ Michigan, U.S.

February 2005

I just returned from a vactation to the Riviera Maya a few days ago. This resort was wonderful. The grounds were amazing, and so was the food and entertainment. There was so many fun activities to do outside of the resort, but you could also make an exciting day just staying inside the resort complex.

Flight/Transportation: I flew with funjet and everything went very smooth. The flight was on time and transportation to and from the airport was made very simple.

Food: The food was excellent. With so many choices, you couldn’t go wrong. You could always make reservations to eat at the tasy Mexican or fine Italian restaurants. For these you have to dress up slightly, but it is definetly worth it! Also, the buffets had a wide variety of yummy items to choose from, and you could make any type of meal you wanted! The snack bar was perfect if you were a little hungry right after swimming on the pool or lounging on the beach.You could wear your bathingsuit into the bar which was very convienant.

Hotel Room: The room was wonderful! Maid service was great and replaced your towels daily. They also cleaned up the floor and bed sheets. Very comfortable. The balcony was perfect for a breath of fresh air at morning or night

Staff: Everyone was very helpful and courteous. Servers and waiters were spectacular.

A Team: They were fantastic! Offered many activiteies to do on the beach throughout the day. Such as beach volleyball, archery, dancing lessons and snorkeling. There are so many beautiful fish only a few feet off of the beach! Ramon was halarious and the best member of the staff! Everyone loved him and he made everyone have the best time ever in the resort!

Night Shows: 9:45 every night at the theatre inside the resort. Simply put… very halarious and entertaining when the A Team put on the show.

Overall, my stay was the best time I ever had! This is definetly my favorite place in the world. Nothing bad to say at all about the resort. Tons of fun, and I hope and plan to return in the near future!

Thanks so Much!

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Catalonia Riviera Maya Tac and Lori from Dublin, Ohio

February 2005

This was our second trip to Catalonia Rivera Maya over the past 11 months. Needless to say, we recommend this resort. This year we were part of a group of 11 people, ages 4-58. The resort is smaller than others we’ve stayed at in Cancun and Punta Cana. I’m handicapped so the close proximity of most rooms to the pool, beach and restaurants is important. And we felt safe letting our children move freely throughout the resort during the day.

Another bonus, the hotel has wheelchairs available for guest use. I was very appreciative for this small, but thoughtful amenity

The rooms are comfortable and clean. Several members housekeepers can and will make a variety of animals out of clothing items. Unfortunately, ours did not. The hotel staff is friendly and accommodating. I observed several departing guests hug a favorite staff member before leaving.

While we recognize that the restaurant staff is preparing large quantities of food for a wide variety of nationalities, we were not impressed with the taste. If enjoying cruise-quality meals is important to you, this may not be the best resort for you. However, if you are willing to try new things, there is a wide variety of main and side dishes at every meal. You will not go hungry.

Our large group found lots of things to do during the day. Some simply relaxed at the pool. Others found the complementary bike rentals and enjoyed morning rides through the surrounding neighborhood.

My personal favorite was the ceramics booth at the pool. Unpainted pieces are available to purchase and paint. The man and woman who own this small business embellish your painting with little details, glaze and fire your pieces then return the finished piece the next day. For $10 US (cash only), my 4-year-old nephew had fun painting a dolphin solid blue. The owners added embellishments that looked like water drops on the dolphin’s body. My nephew was so excited and proud when he got his dolphin back!

The resort also has a collection of "exotic" animals that members of the A Team bring out on a rotating schedule. Guests can hold these animals and have their picture taken with them. Our group had photos taken with colorful parrots and a large iguana.

My 13 year old twin nieces had their hair braided in a hard-to-find thatched-roof hut by the hammocks and lagoon (also cash only). The hammocks were relaxing and shaded. Take a book or your ipod with you for total relaxation.

The lagoon featured complimentary paddle boats and kayaks enjoyed by families and couples alike.

We found the evening show to be uninteresting. But that was just our personal taste. Worse yet, is theatre was not air conditioned – leaving the large and crowded room hot and muggy.

We packed a few decks of cards and made our own"family" entertainnment

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Catalonia Riviera Maya Family of 4 with 2 toddlersfrom NY Area

February 2005

Family of 4, 2 adults and 2 children ages 4 and 5. We stayed in Catalonia Maya Rivera from 1/23 to 1/30 booked via AppleVacations. Previously, we stayed at Iberostar Punta Cana, Catalonia Bavaro punta cana and Sunscape Casa Del Mar at La Romana.

Flight/ground transport: We flew out of Newark on the biggest snowstorm of the century. We were about 18hours late but we eventually made it to Cancun. The Bus took about 2hours get to this hotel from the Cancun airport due to the many other hotel drop-offs. It took about 2hours on the return trip too. You should ask the Apple Rep for a toilet break at the last hotel pickup in the Riviera Maya area; no toilet on the bus.

Mini-club/mini-disco: The mini-club was fantastic, our two boys loved it. Diana usually takes care of the club, with help from Ramon and Linda. Its open depending on Diana’s schedule,usually 9am-5pm, she also takes them to lunch and evening snack too. The Mini-disco is usually runned by Ramon as MC, and Diana as assistant clown. One night they didn’t have enough kids to run the mini-disco. So if you’re bringing kids please be at the theatre at 9pm with your kids so that other kids can enjoy the mini-disco too. It was a lot of laughs for the adults and fun for the kids. Ramon and Diana did a fantastic job.

Show-Time: The main show starts at the theatre at 9:45pm. The A-team puts on a really good show. It’s similar to the lip-sync dance choreography we saw in other AI resorts. "Sexy" Ramon made the shows really fun. On Wednesday night, they had Mexican Ballet company, which had several traditional mexican dance, fire dance, and lasso rope dancer. You get a great feel of being in Mexico.

The A-Team: The Animation team does a lot of activities throughout the day, beach volley ball, water polo, basketball throwing, beer drinking, darts, horseshoe,archery. Riviera Maya seems to be the more crowded and active side. The Yucatan/Lookea, was a lot of French and less active. Its fun to watch as it was to participate.

Hotel/Room: At first glance, the lobby was small; the room looked a little worn, the overall size of the hotel wasn’t as big as other places we’ve been to. I thought this was a negative but as days went on it felt more cozy and comfortable. In other hotels, I remember walking for miles before reaching food or the beach from your room. I think smaller is a plus especially with little kids.

Beach/Pool: The Beach is a bit of disappointment. In other resorts I remember staying at the beach almost all day, even with water shoes, the rocks and the small beach made it uncomfortable to play in. There is a Laguna side, which had more of a flat beach area, but it was still rocky. There are many pools at Yucatan and Riviera Maya; the one we seem to like was the one near the Laguna. I think it was the warmest pool. You can throw bread near the bridge and you can see lots of fish.

Food: Food could be better at the Buffet. Tuesday night, Spanish theme was the worst. I think little more effort like warm fresh bread would help. The best food was at the Steak House Bamboleo. We had T-Bone steak. We also liked the burgers and fries during the day at this place. At the Mexican restaurant order the banana flambé and tequila boom boom, you get a great show. At the Italian, we had filet mignon, it was like Salisbury steak. You get 3 tickets, one for each specialty restaurant. Each specialty restaurant closes one day of the week and you can only book two days in advance. There is limited seating so book as early as you can.

Dolphin Discovery: This hotel is only 5min walk or 2min bike ride to the Puerto Aventura Marina. You can go see the Dolphins, Sea Lions, Sloth, Manatee and Sting Ray for free. We did the Dolphin Encounter program booked thru our AppleVacations rep. Which cost the same as booking directly. I thought I had to book early but they had plenty of room for the time I wanted. My two boys got a great photo and video with the dolphins, "The experience of a lifetime.”

The weather was nice, the hotel was beautiful; overall we feel we had a great vacation at this resort.

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Catalonia Riviera Maya Robert

January 2005

My wife and two children just returned from the Catalonia, having stayed December 26-Jan 2, 2005. This is a beautiful well maintained resort and we had a wonderful time. The cleanliness of the resort is above reproach, with crews working constantly on the grounds. Rooms were large, bright and well maintained. Maid service was excellent. It is obvious that the resort trains their people well to deal with the public. Everyone we met was helpful, friendly, and eager to please. The beach is somewhat non-traditional having chaises on a strip above the water and steps leading down to the water. The water is very rocky and caution should be observed. There is a small lagoon that is beautful and rock free, but small. The sister resort has a more traditional beach, but it is sloped quite a bit. Small amenities such as a refrigerator, drinks in the room, coffee pot, free safe are lacking but reflective of the price. A plus is the fact that! water in the resort is purified easing one major concern that travelers have. This being said, we felt the food was subpar compared to all other resorts except the Catalonia Punta Cana. It was very repetitive(beef strips served in many disguises), mundane and lacking in variety. Keep in mind this is compared to other all inclusives we have stayed in. For the price, this is a wonderful resort and the area is beautiful. It is also great to be able to taxi to town for both ourselves and our children, ages 20 and 24, unlike the Dominican Republic. Be aware that if you have young teen-agers, they may be served drinks at the disco. We saw several younger teen-agers at the disco who appeared quite intoxicated. This however should be more of a parental issue than the resorts! All in all, a very nice resort for the price

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Catalonia Riviera Maya Mac and Shelagh — Manitoba Canada

December 2004

What can I say but WOW!! Totally impressed with the facility, staff, restaurants, etc. The resort is relatively new and in really nice condition. It appears that a lot of effort is put into keeping the place in top condition. Just a tip if you do leave tips for the housekeeping staff on the bed in the morning they leave the neatest towel art sculptures in return. Makes coming back to the room that much more pleasant.

This was our first trip to Mexico and we were totally impressed. The weather was great, the beach was nice the water, although rolling waves most of the time, drew your attention. The buffet had quality food for all meals that we ate there with breakfast the best by far. Check out the omelet bar, lots of selection of fruits, breads, pastries, even fresh smoothies. The ala carte restaurants were good but they do need a lesson on cooking steaks. The Mexican and Italian ala carte restaurants had excellent meals with super desserts and service. There was a snack bar open through the day with a good selection of junk food.

Would we go back – without a doubt. Having Puerto Aventuras a 10 minute walk away was great as it provided a good alternative to staying at the resort. Tour the marina, watch or swim with the dolphins, some Cervasas at the pool side bars, a little shopping with some good deals to be had.

If you do go to this area take the trip to Chechen Itza. It is a day trip but well worth it with a few stops along the way. We stopped at a Cenote, a Mayan resort for lunch, and a few tourist shops. The tour at Chechen Itza was excellent and our tour guide really knew his stuff. He was very interesting and explained the significance of all of the structures. The tour took about two hours to complete. Play del Carmen is a short taxi ride away and also a great place to spend the day. Walk along 5th Ave. and check out the shops but watch for the hawkers. They will almost drag you in with "hey a deal for you" There were some deals to be had in the shops if you took time to look and they will deal with you. Never pay the asked for price. Some good deals on silver if you are interested. Lot of small bars and restaurants along the streets off of 5th Ave. I think the next time we would take a day trip to Cozumel and check it out. But for the first time there it was Great!!

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