I was a little worried about this place after reading some of the reviews, but am here to share some good news! This place is GREAT! Could the food be a little better? Sure! BUT, for the bargain price, I wouldn't change it. No matter how much you pay for your all-inclusive, you'll see people on here complaining about the food. The entertainment was fun, rooms were nice, drinks were great, and staff was TERRIFIC! Here are a few tips to make your stay more enjoyable: Pizza Bar- the pizza bar at the pool is great, but here's a little known tip: You can ask them to make a fresh pizza of any variety..I recommend bacon, onion, and extra cheese! Delicious! One day I even had a fresh pizza made and took it over to the swim up bar to share with my husband, and new friends I had made. What a fun day! Drinks- you can tell them to put more alcohol in your drink at any time, don't be afraid! Also, most of the bartenders have a delish signature drink that they make, my fave was the "Richard Special" When we first arrived, we thought we were limited to the drink menu, but they will actually make you anything you want. Bars- the swim up bar is pretty much standard frozen rum drinks, but the bar by the Japanese restaurant definately has the most upscale alcohol. It is only open from 5-8 in the evenings, so definitely visit it when you can. They carry Disarrono Amaretto, Baileys, Champagne, Sambuca, and many other great spirits. Enjoy drinks there before and after dinner. It’s in a beautiful serene area, and definitely feels luxurious. They also have a great martini menu! Food- Avoid the main buffet, it really was horrible. I really didn’t care though because there were many other options. Eat in a specialty restaurant every night! I recommend the breakfast buffet by the beach, over the main one as well. Highlights include fresh rolls, cheese, and fruit. As far as the specialty places go, the steakhouse was the best, but all were good. They all serve wine, and were very attentive. Creperie- don’t forget about the Creperie that is open every evening. It is tucked back by the shops, and my husband and I didn’t really realize how awesome it was until our last night there! Delicious! If the specialty restaurants are too crowded, definitely have your dinner here. They have sweet dessert-like crepes, but also have ones that contain spinach, ham, cheese etc. Rooms/Staff- very attentive! Don’t be afraid to leave a dollar or two under your pillow on occasion, as you’ll get some really cool towel art in the bathroom as a resultJ They were also great with re-stocking the mini fridge according to what we seemed to be favoring. Overall recommendation- get up around 9am, have breakfast by the beach, head to the beach for some early morning sun and swimming, then hit the swim up bar for the mid portion of your day. Enjoy some pizza during your time there. After the swim up bar closes, head back to your room, take your time getting ready for dinner then head out to the bar by the Japanese restaurant, have a glass of champagne, then pick a specialty restaurant. After dinner, grab a cordial from the bar, and head over to watch the entertainment. We went to bed early while there, to be able to enjoy full days of sunshine! If you really do want to stay up late though, rest assured that the lobby bar is open until 3am, and there is always a self serve beer tap in the snack bar open 24 hours. My only minor complaints would be that the wi-fi is pretty hit and miss, and never worked in our rooms.. Your best best is at the pool or in the lobby. The 24 hour snack bar is a bit of a joke, the best option is honestly the fries and nacho cheese. Lastly, as I said the main buffet is pretty bad, but stick to the ala carte restaurants, the Creperie, and the Pizza place and you're set!!
Absolutely loved the country and the resort. I'm glad I did my research (from many reviews) on the resort, airport, and overall country before I went. I'll start from the beginning to the end. I WANT THIS TO BE AS INFORMATIVE AS POSSIBLE FOR TRAVELERS LIKE ME! We went from Sept 13th-Sept 19th. Airport-many people said they waited in line for 2 hours in immigration-however those people traveled in June, July and early August. We did not wait more than 3 minutes as the peak summer rush was over. The airport was very clean and organized and the process was painless. As it was on the way back. (yes a bit more of a wait with many more flights leaving but thats why your hotel and transportation know how to perfectly time when you need to be there). Every employee was so kind and personable...immediately entering the duty free area however were men offering complimentary shots of something (rum or mamajuana perhaps) which we declined as did everyone before and after us that we could see. I've heard they try hard to sell you their bottles that may be designed very pretty but are double even triple the cost you will get outside the airport. Resort-Catalonia resort was only a 15 minute drive. Immediately upon arriving we were greeted, handed a welcome drink, the bellman took our luggage and we proceeded to check in. All in all took us about 10 minutes to be given brief info and a map of the resort and our keys and towel keys (yes towel keys to retrieve beach towels daily-you turn in the key get a towel and must bring the towel back to get the card back for the next day). You also must receive a ticket that allows you to eat at the 4 restaurants (does not include buffet or poolside pizzeria). If you stay more than 4 nights and use up all your restaurant punches they will kindly give you another. We were driven to our room and simply told in which direction the pool and beach were which was nice. We checked both out after settling in and both are beautiful. Rooms- we had no issues in our rooms. Yes slightly outdated but its very clean and neutral with wicker so you really feel the beach vibe. You can make international calls from you room phone which was great because the wifi is TERRIBLE and very spotty BUT you are on vacation ....so it's nice that you have no choice but to stay off your phone and enjoy the vacation you earned. My mother and sister's room had an issue with a leaky bathroom ceiling and a room door that wouldn't open without slamming into it but it was fixed quickly. The maids did a wonderful job tidying up and remember a small tip goes a long way....we would get cute towel art. Pool/Beach...Pool is amazing..so huge and the landscaping around it with palm trees is so beautiful and calming. Even at night...make sure you lounge poolside and beach side at night once! The pool bar was awesome..SUGEL is absolutely wonderful...she said she always works the day shift! The beach was a slight let down...the lounge chair area is beautiful in between many palm trees so there's already a shade. The beach portion going into the water is filled with seaweed but the workers are constantly going back and forth picking it up. The water is a bit murky and the floor is rocky so just be careful. Food- I read many reviews about terrible food but I don't know how it can be scored as such. YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER ...a resort feeds hundreds of people daily...it's about quantity not quality.... HOWEVER i only mean this in regards to the buffet. It wasn't a 5star meal but it wasn't terrible either. The main buffet off the resort wasn't great....BUT La Palapa ....the one right next to the pool and NOT the pizzeria...it's situated behind the pool bar and on your way to the beach... was amazing. BREAKFAST and LUNCH were amazing there. The pool pizzeria was OK...for a quick snack or slice of pizza it was perfect. All the restaurants were good... but our favorite was the Caribbean and Italian...they were GREAT! we were NOT let down by any of the courses from appetizers to dessert...it was amazing as was the service. The steakhouse was pretty good...appetizers were bland...dessert was good...entrees were good. Japanese was good too...it's your basic hibachi nothing special...but still good...we were not offered dessert at all. We checked out the creperie one day for lunch...it was ok...a good mid-day snack but nothing extravagant. Activities and Entertainment- Every single night there is a show at the "theater" near the lobby. They were amazing. One night there was no show but a beach party...it was awesome. Don't think it was just young people either...every age group was out there dancing in between the palm trees, in the sand, feeling the beautiful breeze...it almost felt unreal. daily by the pool the entertainment crew did many different engaging activities which I'm sure change weekly. GO DOWN to the beach and the guys in the red and white uniforms will talk to you about which activities are included and which you pay extra for...we Kayaked and it was awesome. our Parasailing was cancelled due to rocky water and cloud and wind BUT the refund process took 1 minute. Make time early one morning to walk to the lobby and talk to the excursion people. we swam with dolphins and did a tour our in the actual country .... we are the travelers who want to see the actual country we are going to and not just stay on the resort. They will help you. It also doesn't hurt to google some excursions before you go so you can narrow down interests and pricing so the scheduling is quick AND you'll know what you're talking about and what you want. ALSO if you want a small local marketplace for goods...walk to the beach...when your close to the water an facing it...turn right and walk up the beach a bit...you'll walk up a slight "driveway hill" and you'll find the marketplace (ASK THE WORKERS AT THE BEACH IF NEEDED THEY'LL DIRECT YOU ...BUT JUST KNOW HOW TO BARTER ON EVERYTHING) OVERALL- amazing trip. sorry for the lengthy review but I wanted it all out there. The people of this country....are what make it beautiful. they are by far the kindest people ....every level of job, income status, age...all the most down to earth people. REMEMBER a small tip goes a long way...the workers don't make much compared to our expectations....so a small tip makes their day and makes your stay even better!
this was a girlfriend trip (feb19-feb 28) and we had a fabulous time! after reading mixed reviews we were a teeny bit apprehensive, but we needn't have been. the ONLY problem we had were the pillows. one was like a slab and the other one was filled with ping-pong balls....well not really but we joked that they were ;) the resort itself was gorgeous! just like a big beautiful park! we were two buildings away from the beach in 2104 and it was a good location, not far from the smaller restaurant, pool, and beach. we had a hike to get to the main restaurant and lobby bar but that worked great for us, each of us gaining only a pound in nine days! the food was very good, plentiful, the main buffet had a great salad bar and anything you could want for breakfast lunch or dinner. sunday evening we enjoyed a delicious roasted turkey! i have to say i was very impressed with the friendliness and competency of ALL the staff at the Catalonia. there were some stand-outs in my opinion though. Kenia (last name?) in the main buffet brightened my day, everyday! Hector Reynoso in the main buffet & steakhouse with the most charming, kind, and perfect waiter EVER! Freddy in the steakhouse was also excellent. one stand out waiter on the beach was Samuel Mercedes or as we called him, Sammy Sosa. Great guy who worked very hard. our housekeeping staff were also just great. the beach was incredible! soft, fine sand and big beautiful palm trees everywhere. men with rakes and a cart would rake up the seaweed on the beach 3 times a day! the water was fairly warm and shallow and most days it was so clear. we loved to take long walks down the deserted beach. i've never been anywhere in the Caribbean where the beach was so undeveloped as it was here. LOVED that aspect of the Catalonia. the theater and entertainment was some of the best i've seen at a resort. the circus was really fun! we like the fact that we didn't have to rush and stand in line to make a reservation at the specialty restaurants. NO RESERVATIONS! yay! our favorites were the steakhouse and the mexican. the italian we tried twice and just didn't love it either time. we were unable to wait for the japanese restaurant the night we tried to eat there so i can't comment on it but everyone said it was very good. i would like to encourage people to tip. these service people try VERY hard to please their guests. they exist off tips here. they work awfully long days and many days in a row so don't be cheap, if you get good service reward it. cannot wait to go back!
My boyfriend and I, both of whom are 23 years old and American, stayed at the Catalonia Bavaro in the Dominican Republic in early October. We had an absolutely fantastic time! When we arrived at the airport, we were looking for our shuttle which we had previously booked. A CheapCarribbean representative met with us and showed us our way. We arrived by shuttle to the hotel from the airport, which took a mere 15 minutes. The hotel lobby was simple, beautiful and open. The reception staff was prompt and polite. The grounds had beautiful trees, flowers, water and birds throughout. Our room was closer to the lobby than the pool/beach, but was a mere five minute walk. The room was lovely as it had a mini-fridge, seating area, king bed, soaking tub and shower area. I would say my one complaint would be the size of the shower. I did think it was rather small, and I found myself turning the water off in order to wash my hair and body as there was no way to get away from the stream. But, in the grand scheme of things it is a minor complaint! The room also had a lovely porch area which included two chairs and a hammock. We always had clean towels, sheets and the fridge was re-stocked often. The maids were friendly and lovely, though they did not speak much English (neither did much of the other staff!) The pool was beautiful and very well maintained, and who doesn't love a swim-up bar! We never had trouble finding an open spot and the bar tenders were so positive it made the experience even more enjoyable! I would recommend to travelers to bring a large drinking cup as I found the cups quite small - we had to keep going back to the bar as we drank our drinks in only a few sips (even water!) The beach was absolutely beautiful - I mean how can you go wrong with soft, white sand and palm trees! There were multiple palapas (little huts) around the beach which we used every day to stay out of the sun. We did not find it hard to find a spot on the beach each day, but did go during "off" season. If there were not palapas there were plenty of coconut trees that provided shade. The water was beautiful, despite the seaweed which we could deal with. The seaweed that washed up on sand was constantly being raked and carted away by the hotel staff - which I thought was very thoughtful! My boyfriend and I are also avid swimmers and snorkelers as well. There was plenty of soft sand to swim/walk on in the "safe swimming" area, which is roped off. You may also swim at your own risk passed the ropes. We found that there was amazing snorkeling even within the roped area. There was no bright coral, but even small coral formation seemed to have attracted a huge amount of fish! There were schools of fish found everywhere, and the water was clear for the most part! We saw a huge variety of fish including: parrot fish, angel fish, sergeant majors, blue tang, sea snake (tiny- don't worry!), puffer fish, sting ray, damsel fish, flounder, etc. We also ventured passed the roped off area, as there was a path that made its way out towards the ocean. The path was a sandbar and often had several groups of people venturing their way out. We also attended a snorkeling trip on a glass bottom boat, which took off right from the hotel. The trip was only 2 1/2 hours (a perfect amount which allowed us to be on the beach all morning and after we returned) and allowed you to snorkel further out with tons of fish! If snorkeling is not your thing, the hotel also offers catamarans and kayaks that may be rented. We also enjoyed several of the restaurants in the hotel. There are two buffets, one of which is on the beach which is open for breakfast and lunch. The other buffet is near the lobby, and is open for three meals. The buffet near the beach had a limited selection, but definitely had something that everyone could eat! The lobby buffet had a broader selection and was very good. We also tried two of the four specialty restaurants (Japanese, Italian, Caribbean and Steakhouse). We tried the Japanese, which we loved, and the Caribbean, which we loved! The hotel also had several small shops on site with very reasonable prices so that we could get our souvenirs. Just as a note, the Cheap Carribean representative called us at 8 AM our first full day and asked us to meet at 9:30. When we arrived, we were confused as to where to meet the rep as she had not given a specific location. When we asked the front desk, they pointed us to a desk across the lobby. We spoke with the desk who informed us that we would come back with our flight information the day before we leave the hotel. We enjoyed our vacation and returned to the desk the day before our leave. The new person at the desk pointed us to another desk around the corner from the front desk, and we met with the cheapcarribean representative there. She was flustered and acted irritated and told us that we should have met with her the day she called. We explained the miscommunication, but she seemed to brush us off and told us to go see the first desk. We became stern with her and told her that she needed to give us our information, at which point she pointed to a book which had all of the flights listed and the hotel pick up times. As it was that easy, I was confused why we were given the attitude by this representative. However, the shuttle did come at the appropriate time the following day, so no harm done. Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at the Catalonia Bavaro. The stand-out pros would be the lovely staff, food, beach, activities and snorkeling. The cons would be the showers in the rooms and the size of the overall hotel (I found it quite big! My personal preference would be smaller ). Hope this review helps all of the future travelers! And yes, we would definitely recommend this hotel to others, including couples and families!
Upon arriving, my fiance and I were early for check in. It was 12:45 pm est and check in was 3:00. We we're told our room would be ready in an hour and a half. No problem, we got our bracelets and went to the lounge to have a drink and wait. No one took our luggage either after watching several people get there room keys and have staff take there luggage. After the hour and a half we go back up. Our room still isn't ready. We played this game of back and forth until 4:00 pm. Finally we got a room and they offered to take our luggage. Upon arriving in our room, there were no sheets, no bath towels, none of the little extras in the room and the biggest issue, the air conditioner did not work at all. I traveled back to the front desk to speak to the service there. They of course, pretended like they didn't remember me from all the trips to the front desk i took waiting for my room to get ready. Which they told me to keep coming back at different times. The manager on staff told me that everything was fine, he hadn't even been to the room to look. So I was forced to raise my voice a bit in front of other guests. The manager promptly gave me a new room. Our luggage took 45 minutes to get to the original room. Which we than had to lug across the resort to the new room. Upon arriving at the second room the key to the door did not work. My fiance went to the front desk and of course there was a new manager on staff that had no idea of our previous problems. After she informed him, he traveled with her from the front desk to the second room. The key worked this time and they entered the room. Again there were no sheets, towels, and the Air Conditioner barely was moving any air and that air was not cold. The manager informed her the A/C was working just fine and he left the room. At this time i was walking around with all the luggage looking for her, it took the manager 30 minutes to leave the lobby because he kept stopping to help other people when he was supposed to be following my fiance. While i was walking around with all the luggage none of the staff offered help, in fact another guest had said "I can't believe he (a staff member) walked right past you, can I help you with your bags?" I did not allow the other guest to help me, I thanked him and continued on my way. Why ruin other peoples relaxing vacation. When I arrived at the second room, my fiance was on the phone with a cheapcaribbean affiliate who was at the resort. She handled the transportation in the area. We met with her and told her of all the problems we were having. She then spoke to the manager and he agreed to change our rooms, but not until the next day. This was not acceptable. The only option he offered was us paying for the luxury or "privileged" room. We managed to talk him down to half price. So after all the trouble and aggravation, we still ended up paying extra just to have a room that was prepared. We arrived in the privileged and third room at 8:00PM Est. This room actually had sheets on the bed and two shower towels. The A/C again barely worked, but it was still better than the first room. I booked this trip to propose to my fiance, which I did. However instead of arriving to a dream vacation, it was actually a nightmare. Over 7 hours of trouble, the entire first day was ruined and worthless, and we had to pay to get a room that wasn't broken or missing sheets on the bed. The decor and beach was gorgeous. Management, maids, and general grounds staff were horrible. I would not recommend this resort to anyone, ever. It was sad to see we had to negotiate just to have a suitable room and the cheapcaribbean representative in the area barely helped. We still ended up paying extra. Stay away from this resort!
This resort was alright.Let me start off by saying that ive only been on one other all inclusive resort. So im not sure if my experience here was the norm. The room was ok i stayed in the royal suite. My first room had a leaky ceiling. I told the front desk and was moved to another room no problem. The room was nice and very clean. The restaurant choices are kind of hit or miss. The best one we tried was the Rode Steakhouse and the Japanese place. Im all about trying new stuff but most international desserts just taste awful to me.Oh yeah if you eat outside there are hun dreds of flies and birdstrying to get to your food.That was very annoying these flies are aggressive,they just wouldnt stop no matter how many times you swatted them.. The beach was awesome warm clear blue water and white sand.There was alot of seaweed on the shore but i saw a guy cleaning it up every afternoon.(so its nice to know there trying to keep it clean). One thing that annoyed me was that there were salesman on the beach trying to sell you excursions. It didnt matter if your were laying down or not he would come up to you and try to pitch you something. The night life was kind of weak. Not much was going on.One thing that kind of ticked me off is that its not trully all inclusive.If you wanted ice cream at one of shops you had to pay for it. If you wanted certain wine or alchohol at the restaurant you had to pay for it.Like i said in the begining ive only been to one other all inclusive resort so this may be normal but the last resort i went to there was nothing you had to pay for. Other than that its a good place to relax get a massage and lay around on the beach. Be prepared for a language barrier if you only speak english.The main language spoke here is spanish and very few people here speak fluid english. That wasnt too big of a problem for us though.
We had a great time on this vacation. The resort's beach and pool were beautiful and all the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The rooms were small but we didn't go to the islands to stay in the room. Be sure to get the airport transfers from CheapCarribean. There are a lot of hustlers at the airport and having Olympus Tours waiting for us was very helpful. They were also right on time on our return to the airport. The CheapCarribean travel representative met with us the next day to make sure our accommodations were okay and to review other trips we could take. The representative was also very helpful. The food at the resort wasn't great but we really liked have everything all inclusive so we didn't have to worry about taking money with us while on the property. We took one full day trip into the mountains to see the countryside - I would recommend this trip if you want to learn more about the island and the people.
This resort was decent for the money. The rooms were spacious, but the beds and pillows are very lumpy uncomfortable. The AC wasn't working the best, no water pressure in the shower and the temperature fluctuates from ice cold to scalding hot. They were also persistent in taking your used towels first thing in the morning, without leaving you clean ones. They would come back later and leave 2 bath towels each day. We were able to upgrade to privilege halfway through our stay (which is free...so ask for it!) and the rooms were renovated and much better. The beds much more comfortable, new pillows, ice cold AC...and 4 towels/day! As far as the beach and pool....excellent! The food in the buffet was pretty good, but it was basically the same food everyday. It's nice that you do not need a reservation in the 4 a la carte restaurants. The Mexican and Rodeo Steakhouse were excellent. Didn't care much for the Japanese or the Italian. The service was fair..a little slow, but we had excellent service at the pool bar. Overall, it is a nice resort considering the bargain price we paid. I would stay there again.
Great beach. Average but acceptable food. Only 1 pool, pretty crowded. Rooms are really dated and needs a lot of upkeeping. But the beach makesup for it all.
There was nothing exceptional looking about the Catalonia, but after having stayed at four other all inclusives in Punta Cana, this was by far our favorite. We have a 2 and 4 year old. The pool was perfect: huge, with two zero-entry areas and a shallow shelf along one side, as well as walkway to the island with shallow steps on either side. Beach was gorgeous. Rooms were fine. Not deluxe but totally pass-able. The service, however, was so so good. We didn't have to wait for a thing during our stay. Also, the 24 hour snack bar was real, and open 24 hours, and had hot and cold food, and was absolutely perfect for dining with kids who get hungry at odd hours. This was by far our favorite all inclusive vacation, and we've been on many over the years.