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“2nd time around is not always the best.....”

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Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Ranked #43 of 111 Hotels in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“2nd time around is not always the best.....”
Reviewed 11 June 2012

We arrived May 12 with much excitement because we were there 2 years ago and loved every thing about this resort.
We have a wonderful flight down with Westjet.
The check in was great we were upgraded from a superior suite to a deluxe suite, there really wasn't much of a difference but appreciated the upgrade.
We travelled with another couple who were booked a superior room also. They were quite disappointed in their room as the toilet seat was almost off, the fridge was broken, the cushions on the sofa was ripped and the stuffing was coming out.
Yes everything was fixed right away except for the sofa cushions which were done later in the week.
The POOL with swim up bar needs some major work done. There are spots in the pool where the cement is coming up or has come up and i cut my foot on it. I understand that this would mean emptying the pool. I am not hard to please but this was disappointing.
Food... Well this is where it gets bad. We love the Sea blue for lunch. Fransico was the best waiter and the other waiter are just as good but he really took the time too look after you.
Went to the Sea blue for dinner that was a big mistake. Three of us ordered the ribs and all 3 of them were raw so we sent them back and then when they came back they were still under cooked and could not cut them.
We also did the Rodeo again we decided to try the ribs because this is a steak house right wrong. Mine was cold as if it just came out of the fridge and the other one was so fatty you could not even eat it. My husbands steak was so tuff you could not even cut it or chew it.
Breakfast at was a hit and miss some days. They didn't understand what over hard was until we figured it out that you have to order scrambled.
We did not try Cata as we didn't like it the last time we were there.
The italian that was not good as well, The only thing hot there was the soup. The lasagne was not fit to eat.
The Restaurant in the lobby thalassa I'm sure this is wrong, But it was the best food we ate all week.
I do have to say that the grounds are still as beautiful as they were the last time we were there.
My husband and I have a rule never to go to the same resort twice. We should have kept to that.
In my opinion the resort is getting a little run down, But I'm am sure that they will fix everything up.
I will not be returning to this resort as there is much more out there.
I just asked my husband what he would rate this resort and he said a 4 star, he would have given higher if the food was better.
We are not picky people if u read my other reviews we are pretty laid back people

Room Tip: superior or deluxe are all the same
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank jakeandme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking your time to post your review.

First of all please know we appreciate you being a repeated guest to our Resort. Thank you for all your valuable feedback, your opinion helps us improve our service on a daily basis. We will be honored to receive you once again, to guarantee an exceptional holiday. It will be our pleasure to regain your trust. Also thank you for your kind comments about our grounds.

Kindest regards.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
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columbus
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2012

I did reviewed the reviews on this hotel and I know that you cannot please every single person that goes to this hotel. You will always read at least 1 or 2 negative comments on any resorts...but I don't write anything unless if I really had to. I definately agreed with jroberts100 comment, THIS HOTEL WAS WORST AND OLD!! We went there on June 2nd and came back on June 7th. The minute our bus from the airport arrived on the hotel lobby, i already had the feeling that this hotel was not up to my stardard. the outside looked old and not impressive at all. But, I tried to be positive. When we went inside our room, which by the way was the stardard room when we booked thru Orbitz, the room was musty and smelled like a cockroach..but my friend with me told me to be nice and positive. Ok, i did until the sink in the bathroom does not work. Bad sign already. So, the next day, we decided to find out how much the upgrade will be and the person on the receptionist (which was not nice at all..acted like we were just a pain in the butt), told us that we can upgrade to Deluxe for $20 a nite. After we looked at the upgraded deluxe room and looked exactly like the stardard, EXCEPT the way the layout of the bathroom,we decided to go ahead with the upgrade and the receptionist told us the the total upgrade will be $180 for 4 nights...huh? What happen to the $20 a night upgrade? then he told us that it is $20 a night PER PERSON...oh, but he failed to tell us that.. how convenient. The room still smelled musty and sometype of weird odor. Anyways, the following morning, I went to the bathroom and found a cockroach running around the shower...yikes!! soooo grossed! Iam just wondering how Orbitz rate this hotel as 5 stars?? Have you guys been there at all? Orbitz should be ashamed of rating this as 5 stars...definately not. I for sure rate this hotel as 2..and the funny thing about it coz we spent more time in the sister hotel, which has a lot better atmosphere and ambiance. When we went to one of the excursions and saw the other hotels in punta cana, it looked 10x better than the old drengy Catalonia Royal Hotel. My friend went 2 mths ago to punta cana and stayed in Now Larimar Hotel and it was a true 5 star hotel. I should not listened to what these people talking about this hotel...they must got lucky not to find any cockroaches in thier room. Oh, and the beach? Sorry...it was not clean. tons of seaweeds all over and the infinity pool is nothing to brag about.. I've seen a lot better swimming pool. We paid a lot for this all inclusive vacation and we expect a completely a 5 stars all inclusive service and experience. I will for sure let my friends and family know NOT to go to this resort. Do not waste your money and time on this horrible resort. Believe me, I was just there few days ago and we were so dissapointed with this place and dissapointed with Orbitz's rating. We will not book our future vacations are anymore with Orbitz also.. they must got some type of cut from this resort to call this a 5 stars?? Really?? this was the very first time that we got back from an all inclusive vacation that we came back not satisfied and very dissapointing.. not a memorable vacation at all!!

Room Tip: not worth the money!!
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank jocyveloso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your time invested on TripAdvisor.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the discontent presented during your stay.

We are sorry to read about the inconvenience. We can assure you that we value your comments is the best way to find possible mistakes. We take your feedback seriously to avoid these matters repeat in the future.

We will be delighted to change your mind, and have the honor to exceed your expectations.

Best regards.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 June 2012

Room - GREAT!!!! Clean and big. Only issue was that there was no where to plug in my sleep apnea machine next to the bed. I asked for an extension cord around 5pm when i noticed and didn't receive one until I was awoken at 10:50pm by a call then a knock at the door. The cord was two different cords patched together by electrical tape and i decided to not use it due to this. 5 out of 5

Food - 2.5 out of a 5

Pools, Ocean and grounds were beautiful. Spent everyday all day on the beach. Only bad thing about the beach is the constant selling of excursions. 4 out of 5

Shops and souveniers - VERY poor. Bringing people onto the resort to push sales onto you is classless. Trying to walk to the front desk to meet the SunWing rep. one day and was bombarded by pushy sales people. Not what I want on a vacation. 1 out of 5

The lack of english speaking employees is a MAJOR issue for me at this resort. When you ask for no chicken in your ceasar salad and get double chicken or if you say no fries and get two orders of fries it's a problem. Also, saying well-done when ordering meat apparently means red inside. I understand in the greater scheme of things this seems like a minor issue, and it is, but when you pay for a vacation you should at least get what you order.

Some of the servers smile all the time and are very helpful but you get the odd few who do not even try to be personable. There were a couple real good servers at the Mexican place, and also the Sea Blue and Cata Tapa, that I enjoyed and you could see they were happy to help.

We went on the glass bottom boat excursion and loved it. It was 2 hours that had 45 minutes of snorkeling that was awesome.

All-in-all my girlfriend and I had a great time. It is what you make of it and I didn't dwell on what I didn't like (no english and the food).

If the food was a little better, or at least if you got what you ordered, and if the resort actually hired people who spoke english I would have scored it 4.5 and would be back. As it is now I score it almost a 3 and won't be back.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jeff S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
Dear Guest,

We appreciate your comment on TripAdvisor, thank you for sharing your review.

We are glad you enjoyed our facilities and room to the fullest. We kindly inform you regarding the language barrier we strive to assure a proper service for our guests, the hotel provides free language courses for the continuous improvement of our staff skills.

Thank you for your comments about our areas, it most important to receive our guest kind suggestions. We hope to have the chance to welcome you back!

Best regards.

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2012

Just returned from 2 weeks at the royal bavaro and it truly was an amazing holiday. it was our first trip to Dom Rep so we do not have any comparisons but from check in to check out we had a wonderful time. the room was lovely and spacious ( the hammock on the balcony was a nice touch ) food was great especially some of the evening meals in the Thalassa the beef wellington was out of this world. Cannot understand the negative reviews about this hotel ?? the staff work so very hard to make the place clean and tidy, the waiters . waitresses alway have a smile and a friendly word and the bar staff especially Jorge and little Carlos by the pool bar these two are the hardest working bar staff i have ever seen and a great laugh.
All in all my wife and i would have no hesitation in returning the the Royal Bavaro. the place is excellent.

Room Tip: no tip needed just have a good time and relax
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Rod W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CataloniaRoyalBavaro, General Manager at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your kind comment on TripAdvisor!

It’s always a joy to read about your fantastic vacation experience. Thank you for choosing us for your first holiday at the Dominican Republic. Thank you for your appreciation of our services and staff!

Hope to see you back soon in Catalonia Royal Bavaro!

Best regards

Josep Castellnou
General Manager
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Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2012

we have travelled to Punta Cana two times - last year (at a different resort) in late june 2011, and this time from june 1st to the 8th. I must say my first experience in Punta Cana last year was FANTASTIC - my second experience was shall we say extremely dissapointing because we stayed at the Catalonia Royal Bavaro, i really dont think that this resort is by any means 5 Stars. it would be 3,5 at the most. The only good thing about this vacation was the weather and the infiniti pool. We decided to pay extra for a deluxe suite, which in reality is the same as the junior suite except that the villa is newer....and closer to the beach and infiniti pool. The beach - NASTY - really nothing impressive. The sea is full of seaweed and so was the shore line - which they did their "best" to keep clean - we avoided the beach.
Food: the best a la carte restaurant was the Japanese one (we went twice)
the rest - on a scale from 1 to 5 - 1 being the worst - we rate them 2 at the most.
the room: aside from buying an upgrade - we were pleasantly visited by a disgusting cockroch which was climbing up our bed post - we killed it of course - and called the front the desk - demanding a resolution they suggested we kill it- and dismissed us. I wil say again 5 stars huh?!
The next day after almost causing a scene at the front desk - we finally were able to talk to the manager, she was apologetic - but could not give us a resolution. All i wanted was my money back for paying for the upgrade which had cockroaches. She told us - that their policy is no refunds - which in my book is POOR customer service. She then offerd us for our last 2 nights the private pool villa. which i must say is definately nice....expect for the fact that we found 2 spiders the size of the palm of a man's hand. One inside the room under my suitcase, and one outside by the pool....all i can say is that i wasnt surprised at this stage of the trip with all that had happened. We didnt address this issue as the outdoor spider was found the first evening we stayed in that room. and the second inside on the day we were leaving.
I know what you are thinking....its the south - its warm this is to be expected...yes it is as at a 1, 2, or 3 star hotel....but definately not at a 5.
In summary, i kept wondering all week - why is the hotel not full....i got my answer, because its below standard.
IF i do go back to Punta Cana it will be at the Gran Bahia Principe Ambar a true 5 star resort. With excellent quality food, service, cleanliness.
Book at your own risk at the Catalonia...i for one did ignore the negative comments - i really wish i had not. I am not a picky person - all i expect is a clean room ,decent food, and respectful service which i was cheated of this time. I did forget to mention that we got the runs AKA Tourista on the 2nd day of our arrival.
Thanks

Room Tip: dont stay here
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank jroberts100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Property: Catalonia Royal Bavaro
Address: Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana 837, Dominican Republic
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Dominican Republic > La Altagracia Province > Punta Cana
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Family Hotel in Punta Cana
#17 Romantic Hotel in Punta Cana
#26 Casino Hotel in Punta Cana
#37 Top resorts Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 On the Beach Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Spa Hotel in Punta Cana
#39 Luxury Hotel in Punta Cana
Price range (per night): ₹ 11,627 - ₹ 85,137
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Catalonia Royal Bavaro 4.5*
Number of rooms: 255
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Enjoy the authentic Caribbean at an exclusive, adults-only resort. Its small details make big your stay and the personalized service you receive will make you feel as if you were in heaven. Exclusive suites, innovative restaurants, dreamlike swimming pools…relax in this tropical paradise and enjoy the best vacation you’ve ever had. Have an extraordinary experience, and leave the worrying to us; we’ll take care of you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalonia Royal Bavaro Hotel Punta Cana
Catalonia Royal Bavaro Punta Cana
Royal Catalonia Bavaro

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