We stayed here from January 18-25 and were very happy. The resort is composed of "two sides"--this side (Catolina Royal Bavaro) which is the adults only side and then a more family friendly side. If you don't have children, definitely stay on the adults only side--it's smaller and quieter, but you can still jump to the other side whenever you want. As a guest on the adults only side of the resort, you have access to all the facilities at both resorts. There are three restaurants on the adult side and about eight (i.e. Italian, Asian, Mexican, Steakhouse, etc.) on the other side. The food was great with lots of variety and options. We never needed reservations. We enjoyed one of the restaurants on the adults only side the best -- Thalassa. There is also 24 hour room service. We ordered breakfast several times and were very happy with it. The beach was beautiful with lots of lounges and shady spots. There were two pools which were both great. The staff was fantastic and went above and beyond. Very nice, friendly, personable. Our room was great. The only minor complaint is that the room always feel a little humid, but that's due to the weather and there's nothing the staff could do about that. The AC worked great, as did the ceiling fan. The spa was great and the prices were very reasonable. Gym was good, as were the hot tubs. This is a small resort that isn't trying to be a "four seasons" or anything like that. But it's a great resort and well-worth the price and we can't think of any reason that we weren't happy.
This was my first time booking a trip through Cheap Caribbean and it was also our first visit to the Dominican Republic. It was a good experience all the way around (except for an airport fiasco at the end). Booking was easy and went smoothly. The only thing I wasn't fully aware of prior to our trip was the fact that the D.R. requires visitors to pay a small fee upon entering the country - CASH ONLY. I had plenty of cash so it wasn't an issue, but I know some people don't carry a lot of cash and prefer to get local currency from an ATM upon arrival. We chose the Catalonia Royal Bavaro because it is located away from the very busy part of Bavaro Beach. The resort was lovely, and I sometimes looked around and wondered if the people who write picky, critical reviews were staying at the same resort. I found the staff to be very friendly and for the most part the service was excellent. The Royal Adults Only section of the beach was never crowded and there was plenty of natural shade, which I prefer over palapa shade. We never had to get up early to score a good spot and the beach wait staff was great. We especially enjoyed Rudy and Wander, who took great care of us. There was not much boat traffic which was another reason we chose to avoid the main stretch of Bavaro Beach. We enjoy snorkeling but I knew ahead of time that the D.R. is not the place to go if you want to snorkel a lot from the resort beach. Even so, on our first day we saw several different species of fish including stingray, barracuda, trunk fish, angel fish and the usual sergeant majors and jack fish. The rest of the week, the sand was pretty stirred up and I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. One day we took the 2 hour snorkel trip with the dive shop on the resort which was a lot of fun (although the snorkeling was nothing to write home about - especially compared to Roatan or even Mexico). But our trip was a last-minute deal with a great price and we were mostly looking for a quiet, laid-back veg-out-on-the-beach-every-day vacation, so it suited our needs very well. Yes there was a fair amount of sargassum, but I understand it has been particularly heavy everywhere in the Caribbean this year. It's a natural part of the life cycle of the ocean and did not diminish my enjoyment of the beach in the least. We also took a Hobie Cat out daily and enjoyed sailing in the wide, calm area between the reef and the beaches. We had an excellent room location in Building 18 which was the Royal Junior Suite building closest to the beach. The room was clean and comfortable, and I found it comparable to resorts we have visited in Mexico. Having never visited the D.R. before, I was a little concerned about the quality of food based on reviews I had read, but we found the food to be very good overall. The Tapas Restaurant was excellent, as were the Caribbean and Spanish Restaurants. My husband enjoyed his meal at the Italian restaurant while my meal was a little meh, but we never went hungry. We preferred walking over to the Family section of the resort to eat at the buffet for breakfast, which always had a wide variety of food including made-to-order omelettes, crepes, eggs, etc. Hostess Kenia was a delight who always greeted us with a big smile and made us feel welcome, and Ernesto quickly learned we liked black tea instead of coffee. The only annoyance was the time-share land sharks who continuously circled both lobbies on the hunt for gullible newbies. Luckily I had read ahead of time that the person who introduces himself as "your Concierge" is NOT a concierge but a time-share salesman who wants to insinuate himself into guests' vacations. Apparently the 1 hour tour turns into a 3+ hour torture session, and I am grateful to the folks who shared their experiences in reviews so we could avoid the same fate. The vendors who came into the resort when they had "market nights" were also kind of pushy, but a polite "no gracias" while moving along seemed to fend them off. The beaches of the Dominican Republic were beautiful and the people were friendly and always had a smile and 'buenos dias'. Although A.I.'s are considered inclusive of tips and gratuities, like many others I prefer to take some extra cash tip the people who work so hard to make my vacation enjoyable, including the guys who work long hours in the sun raking seaweed and the groundskeepers who keep resort beautiful and clean. I never felt like tip was expected or that service suffered in any way if I didn't tip but I could tell that a even a dollar here and there was appreciated. The Punta Cana airport is obviously a work-in-progress that struggles to handle peak demand times. Between Frontier's computer system problems, thunderstorms, and the airport bussing passengers from one terminal to the other terminal and then back again, we spent around 4 hours standing around in various lines. That was followed by a long wait on the tarmac for everyone else on our flight to make it through the same gauntlet. End result was a 2+ hour flight delay. But it wasn't enough to ruin a good beach vibe and for the most part people seemed to roll with it - island time and all that. We would definitely return to the Catalonia Royal Bavaro and the Dominican Republic again if we could find another good deal that fit our time frame. Because snorkeling is a big part of our beach vacations, the D.R. will probably never rank at the top of our "must visit again" list, but it was certainly a great last-minute-get-away at a great price and I'd do it all over again, airport fiasco and all!
Ceiling leaked (dripping from light fixture), no hot water, hot refrigerator, poor room service. Any complaints reported were responded to with "you did book through Cheap Caribbean." This was our third time booking through here and we have never had these problems. Cheap Caribbean is great, the resort however, was not.
We had a very short trip 5 days and 4 nights for our Honeymoon. The overall experience was excellent. Based on discussions with others this was probably a middle tier resort and that was consistent with pricing. Service: Great people who were attentive to needs, responded to requests, spoke decent English in positions that needed better communication, went above and beyond in several instances to ensure we had a relaxing and enjoyable stay Resort: The beaches were well maintained, clean and very relaxing. There were plenty of bars with the full menu. The pools were in good shape, clean and inviting. The common spaces were clean and well maintained. The live animals - iguana pen and flamingos were a great touch to the resort. The workout facility was subpar. Food: The buffet on the family side had something for everyone and was well prepared - would recommend the plaintains in many forms. Room service was definitely serviceable, but I would recommend going to the nicer restaurants available on the adult side as they had the best food that we ate while we were there Restaurants: The tapas and mediterranean restaurants were both good. You had to figure out the right foods to order, some were more bland and probably beyond the scope of the cooks in the restaurant or the availability of fresh ingredients (i.e. all mushrooms tasted and looked like they were canned and not fresh). My suggestion would be to look for the more local culinary dishes as those were the best (caribbean chicken, plaintains, and tropical fruits). The pork ribs at tapas was probably our favorite. Room: We told them in advance it was our honeymoon - they put out flowers around the room for the first night and again later when they cleaned. Other: Since we told them it was our honeymoon they provided a bottle of champagne, which was a nice touch. The catamaran riding on the resort was fun, but the $35 lesson that they make you take was a joke as we were not given great instructions and then had to figure out the sailing later on in our trip. On one day they served cocunut drinks directly from freshly cut coconuts - those were the best and highly recommended. The Piano bar was open late and the piano players were excellent and even took some requests and played them well. The drinks here were the best that we had - Aldis was a fine bartender who was attentive to the special requests on the drinks (try the cucumber and chocolate martinis) Negatives: Sometimes room service was not the most responsive and we had to call a couple times on two requests - nothing egregious though. All of the free inclusions seemed to result in staff attempting to sell additions to the package (i.e. scuba lesson, massage lesson, and catamaran).
My goodness, I could not be more pleased with this incredible resort. We spent a week here on our honeymoon and we had the time of our lives. I wanted to write out what we loved most in hopes that this review will be useful for others who book this resort. The staff at this resort are the kindest people that you will ever meet. They are so willing to help and serve and are always so genuine to their guests. Because we speak Spanish I know that helped a lot, but we even witnessed how great they were with the language barrier with others. The room was gorgeous and had everything that we needed. We spent a lot of our time at the pools that were absolutely gorgeous! The swim up bar in the non-infinity pool was one of our favorite parts. Unlimited piña coladas and banana mamas (a piña colada with banana) was just heaven for us. The infinity pool is more relaxed and less crowded at almost all times so if that is more you, you will enjoy that pool. If we weren't at a pool, we were eating the INCREDIBLE food at this resort. The Tapas Restaurant was gourmet HEAVEN! I would recommend the veal, and the fried manchego. It was to die for! Sea Blue Restaurant was another restaurant that we went to frequently. It sits right next to the infinity pool and lies on the edge of the beach. So gorgeous and such good food. The Wood Fire Pizza was excellent as well, this is right next to the other pool. One of the greatest assets of this whole resort is the access to the Catalonia Bavaro, the more family friendly, entertaining resort. It was RIGHT NEXT to the Catalonia Royal and had several other restaurants. Yuca, the Caribbean Restaurant was TO DIE FOR. The Jerk Chicken was just what we needed. The Steakhouse was excellent, I would recommend the Coulette Steak. We enjoyed the buffet with lots of delicious food and the best fresh mango that life has to offer. If you order breakfast for room service, get the Healthy Breakfast and the Dominican Breakfast. There is plenty of food and it is absolutely delicious. The Entertainment each night was completely enjoyable and ended each night with smiles and laughs. We absolutely LOVED this resort and would give the highest recommendation possible. The only complaint we had was that because of the time of year, the beach was quite filled with seaweed, we wish we could have been in that water more. Other than that, we would not change a THING about our vacation to this paradise. I hope this review can convince any customer to book this resort and have an incredible experience here!
This resort was all that was pictured & more. Being at this resort afforded the quiet of being at an adult resort, fabulous dining, service, rooms, beaches, pools as well as the entertainment/additional dining afforded through the sister resort right on the same property. The nightly shows were fabulous and quite professional. While others on the plane home complained about other resorts not meeting their expectations, I was quite pleased with this resort. Tipping was NOT expected as it was included in the package price & the staff did not alter their service if you did not tip, although I did simply due to the fact that I was so pleased with all the smiling/genuine/great service.
First let me sat, DO NOT TRUST THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS!! THIS PLACE WAS GREAT-BEYOND GREAT!! My husband and I were travelling kid-free (first time since kids were born!) with another couple to celebrate our 10 year anniversaries. This trip could not have been anymore relaxing! The rooms were clean, cool(A/C worked really well!), and large. The grounds were covered with tropical trees, a real Caribbean feel (I do not like the stark white resorts!). The pools were great ("party pool" up front, quiet pool in the back by the beach). The food was surprisingly good, even at the main resort. Our favorites were Thalassa (awesome breakfast buffet!), Rodeo Steakhouse (the crab cake was not good! Maybe its a European way to make it...). Cata Tapas was so delicious! It was all good. The beach was wonderful, and a constant breeze kept us comfortable in the sun. The beach was cleaned daily, as there was sea grass in the ocean. My husband enjoyed snorkeling in the far right corner of the swimming area (fish and small stingrays!). Be prepared to be asked about "activities" from the guys on the beach, but they are polite and kindly accept your no. Eventually, they recognize you and stop asking. We did book a dune buggy excursion through the tour company. The ride was fun, the beach (Macao) was amazing, but the overall trip was longer than anticipated. But, was a nice way to leave the resort and see Punta Cana. The shopping tour basically takes you to 2 gift shops, with slightly decent prices compared to some of the resort stores. Especially the liquor. The prices at the beach shops start off hgh, can be bargained down a lot. Be sure the tip the wait staff! They greeted us daily, and we felt very welcomed. I can't wait to go back!
Just returned from 6 days at the Royal Catalonia Bavaro and have nothing but good things to say. The staff is friendly and attentive, the food and drink excellent, and the pools and beach relaxing. This resort is adullts only and is small and quaint. Vacationers included newlyweds, Americans, Brits, Germans, and French. This resort is calm, quiet, and classy in its feel and services. Staying here gives you rights at the sister property next door, and we did go over there to eat at the Japanese restaurant (very good) as well as an American steakhouse ( good food and service- a little rushed). This property is 3-4 times larger than the one that we stayed at, and attracted more singles, young people, and families. While a nice property, I would not stay here and much preferred the Royal Catalonia. I would definitely go back.
My girlfriend and I stayed at the Catalonia Royal Bavaro in early December of 2012. We had a great time. We requested a room near the beach and the beach is where we spent most of our time. The beach is full of palm trees and has plenty of chairs (even though you may have to search for a bit) and the staff is very attentive. One thing I will warn of is the people that go out early and put their towels on the chairs to reserve them. The most frustrating thing is that you'll notice the reserved chairs stay empty most of the day. The snorkeling is a lot of fun. We brought our own snorkeling equipment with us that we bought on Amazon right before we left. The beach's minimal waves, and man-made reef were perfect for snorkeling. We saw all kinds of fish and they would come up close - especially if you'd bring bread out with you. We ventured off the resort on a few different excursions and we are so glad we chose the CRB because the beach is phenomenal compared to the other resorts' beaches. The seaweed was not bad and the staff works really hard to clean it up from sunset to sundown. I have a lot of respect for those guys and they deserve to be thanked daily. Our room was not what we were expecting, it was better than expected. Since we read so many reviews about the mold smell and some of the other issues I was really worried. My girlfriend is really allergic to mold so I thought we'd surely have to move a few times. There was a bit of a smell in the rooms but it wasn't unbearable. The cleaning staff does a great job of cleaning. One thing we learned and have never seen before is the key-card that goes into the wall switch - don't take it out or it will cut the power to the whole room. All you have to do is put it right back in but it resets all the clocks. I thought the food was alright. It wasn't bad. My girlfriend doesn't eat meat but she does eat seafood. She was disappointed that there weren't better options for seafood since we were in the Caribbean Her favorite was the California roll from the SeaBlue restaurant by the beach. We found that to be the best option for both of us. Thalassa for breakfast was good. Neither one of us were impressed with the Gran Bahia on the other side of the resort. We both liked the buffet by the beach. This is a great place for couples and for people looking to relax and reset. The infinity pool and surrounding area are beautiful. The outdoor beds are super relaxing! The staff are very accommodating and friendly. Be aware of the vendors selling items. It can be very frustrating and difficult to walk away from them. They will put jewelry on you before you know it and you're stuck. Overall we recommend the CRB and will likely return someday
Overall, I enjoyed my stay at Catalonia Royal Bavaro. The service was wonderful. The staff was friendly and helpful. The resort is beautifully maintained. It was great to be able to have VIP access to the sister resort as well as having the exclusivity of Catolonia Royal Bavaro. The beach was lovely and pool area was really nice. The biggest cons relate to the food. I thought that the food in the main buffet restaurant was average and lacked in variety. Also, in order to go to the specialty buffets, men had to wear pants which I didn't appreciate. Also, our room had a moldy/mildew smell to it. The hotel provided us with a humidifier and gave us an option to move to a different room. Finally, if you are interested in actually seeing the island and exploring the city, this resort may not be for you. There is really nothing to see near or around the resort.