Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Reviews

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Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort  

Playa Bavaro, Dominican Republic

"awesome trip for us"
Posted by: chris on Jul 30, 2014
see all reviews

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Reviews
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Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Bavaro Beach Dominican Republic

#9
of 29 Hotels in Bavaro Beach

User rating 4.0

Based on 21 reviews

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Information


Hotel Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort is part of the Hoteles Catalonia, a Spanish hotel chain whose principal goal is to ensure the comfort and quality in all of the chain resorts.

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Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Reviews

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Review: 4.0 of 5 21 reviews
Excellent
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"Great time!!"

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort
User Rating:  Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Jackie  on Jan 22, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
963 people found this review helpful

Your Arrival:
Easy arrival at the airport - very little wait time to go through customs. Many people eager to take your bags, but we insisted on taking our own. Looked for Nolitours guide and went to our bus. Check in was fast and easy, no drink upon arrival. Forgot to ask for safe key right away but got one in the morning no problem. A little disappointed that rooms we requested to be close to our travel companions didn't happen. Stayed in villa 27 and it was half way to lobby and beach.

Rooms:
Beautiful huge rooms with sitting area and nice size bathroom. Nice size ceiling fan above the beds and air conditioning worked very well. Shower area could have been bigger as there are stand up showers and big oversized jacuzzi tub that we didn't use. Face cloths would have been nice to have but will pack with us next time. A little noisy sometimes as there was lots of tile, but but sofa cushions by the door and that helped a lot! We requested extra pillows and water and got them the next day no problem. Had amazing towel art everyday!!

Restaurants and Bars:
Buffet restaurant was big and had plenty of options everyday for anyone. The choices at dinner time changed everday from turkey to seafood, to roast beef. I enjoyed the pasta bar in the evening and omelet bar in the morning. Fantastic selection of tasty deserts were offered every meal. Meals times were a little weird with breakfast being over at 10am and lunch not starting until 12:30 and dinner at 6:30.
Steak restaurant was very good. Served Budwiser beer which made our friend very happy!!
Japanese restaurant was amazing! Delious food which the portion size was really good compared to the other ala cartes.
Italian was okay very small portion size and the ravioli tasted a little like chef boyrdee. My husband had the shrimp with pasta which seemed to have more quantity and he loved the flavor.
Crepe and Ice cream place was fantastic. Only went once on the last day and regreted not going earlier. Very nice light desert after a long day.
Disco was a lot of fun with great music and dancing. Only problem was it was hard to stay up until 11pm to go there. Once you got there it was a great time! Animation people were fantastic!! Amazing dancers with tonnes of energy.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach was simply breathtaking! No rocks, very little weeds, and amazing sand. It was like brown sugar!!
Pool was perfect. Just the right temp to cool you off after a hot day in the sun. Lots of area to go around to not have to be close to other people. Shady areas for a break away for the heat. Swim up bar was nice to have!
The hotel grounds were breathtaking. Trees, plants and grass were imacculate. No weeds anywhere, paths always clean, never saw glasses laying around or cigarette butts anywhere. Lagoon areas were filled with fish and birds and a few turtles if you were lucky enough to see them. Saw very little to no bugs anywhere.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did the Marinarium and Bavaro Runners. They were both fantastic and would reccommed them to anyone. It's nice to see how the locals live and see how cigars are made, taste sugarcane, eat an authentic dominican meal, see how to collect and roast coffee beans, cocoa beans and what other vegetation grows in the region. We did the tour on a rainy day and it was still an awesome experience. Long day on a bumpy ride 8am-5pm for around $89 each. The marinarium was beautiful. Snorkelling with reef sharks and stingrays and actually being able to hold a stingerless stingray was fun. Boat crew was fun and hanging out in a natural ocean pool was gorgeous. About $84US and well worth it.
Nightly shows were a little repeatitive and got tired of the same preshow dancing with the audience. Kids on stage got a little tiresome and chaotic. Circus show was well worth the wait and highly recommended!!

Other Comments:
This resort seemed to have lots of Europeans with quite a few topless sunbathers at the beach. Wasn't too bothersome, but would be careful to explain to children when at the beach. Lots of Europeans at this resort but lots of Canadians too!! Will recommend this resort to our family and friends and would go back again someday! Staff always eager to say Hola everywhere you go and no one was ever pushy including the vendors that can to the resort. A firm no and that was all.

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"DO NOT get room 1515."

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort
User Rating:  Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Jason from Kingston, Ontario  on Dec 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2009
734 people found this review helpful

Arrival: January 24 - 31
Arrival at the Catalonia (standard- not Royal section) was faily uneventful. We emailed a week prior to coming and asked for buildings 2-4 which are closest the beach and pool. They hadnt responded to the email nor did they give us our requested building. "Impossible!!!...99 percent capacity" was the standard line. In the end we were kind of glad we didnt get buildings 2-4 due to noise from the pool and beach stereo. Noise likely to interfere with afternoon Siesta

Rooms:
We stayed in building 15 and room 1515 which looked nice from the onset but once you got settled in you could see the age of the resort, buildings and rooms. DO NOT get room 1515. There was a large wooden frame for the curtains which we noticed 3 days in was barely hanging by 2 screws (the other 2 screws were rusted in half. The 2 screws still in the wall were halfway out. It would have either seriously injured or killed someone had it fallen. People complained about the water pressure but I found it great on the 2nd floor. Our friends stayed in room 1525 which was above ours. Appparently the 3rd floor has virtually no water pressure.

So there I am trying to enjoy my luke warm shower...aaaahh..what great water pressure..then I turned off the water...yup, still great pressure! Thats when I looked up and realized that the water was pouring down on me through the vent which in turn comes from the drain of the shower in room 1525. YESSSS..I was showering in my neighbours umm..previously enjoyed water (no lie). This was reported to the staff and they did get to it. (the day before we left). We just made the best of it and coordinated showers with ours friends above in room 1525. The room had a fridge that was barely cold and a tv with most of the channels fuzzy.

The day we left the shower top broke off and sprayed all over the bathroom...yikes! Oh yeah...the water from above also leaked through the hallway potlight (still lit) into our room when they showered. I believe the leak was eventually fixed though. The bed and pillows are also quite uncomfortable but the room is air conditioned..noisy fan though!

Restaurants and Bars::
Buffet- not bad but the staff were the main issue. There could be 30 people standing in line and they would throw on only enough food for 5-10 people. The rest of the grill was bare??? Couldnt figure that one out.

Beach restaurant- terrible for breakfast but the lunch was really good. They do chicken on the rotisserie which is EXACTLY like Swiss Chalet--even the same fries..mmmm A-la Cartes:

Japanese- definitely the best. I dont like Sushi and that kind of stuff but they had chicken and steak too. Probably one of the best meals I have had anywhere. Everyone agreed it was amazing. they cook it Tapanyaki style where you are all seated around the grill---totally awesome!

Italian- very good food---really hot and stuffy in rthere though with no windows. The food seemed legit italian though.

Mexican- Really not very good...thumbs down and a waste of time--not much more to say there.

Steak House- kind of rude staff and the smallest portions...really quite funny. The one gal in our group went with chicken fingers because she wasnt a big steak eater. We all laughed at her until it arrived. Her chicken finger platter was bigger than all our meals combined. Until of course she bit into her hugemongous nugget and realized it was just batter with not one morsel of chicken hidden within....hahahahha- Fun meal for a laugh though!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Pool-The pool is awesome,pretty warm too. It is quite huge with a swim up bar. The drinks are really quite good with nicely made pina colads, daquiris etc (frosty, not watered).

Beach- Very nice long stretch of beach. I didnt really see any probs with coral like others reported. it seemed like a normal white sandy beach. The odd coral I guess on the north side. As the day progressed the seaweed startes to come back in again but it is raked out waaay early in the morning (I'm sure like 5am). When we leave at 5pm it is still fine...just starteing to roll in...really no problem at all. Great animation team at the beach..playing games and music etc. They arent so much at the pool though which kind of sucked.

Grounds- really very nice...getting old but they are always in a state of trying to maintain it. I like the older resorts because of the growth of the palm trees etc.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
Excursions-
We did the zipline tour which was really quite cool. My wife is deathly afraid of heights but after some coaxing she did it. there are 10 zip lines with the longest being 275 meters (I believe 275 feet high). It was fun but it made for a long day. I was a bit ticked off because they said it was only 45 minutes from the resort (thats a huuuge lie). We were supposed to be picked up at 1:30 but werent until 2:30. Then off we go to stop at 4 resorts along the way which takes forever then it was like an hour past that. we were told we would be back at 5:30. We arrived back at 8pm...after suffering a flat tire. Its no surprise since the guy drives like a maniac and the roads are terrible. It really was a hellish trip there and back but the ziplining was great fun and fairly easy. That cost $89 each.

Plaza Bavaro- We took a city bus to Plaza Bavaro to do some shopping. Great deals there for sure. It was a little scary at first but we met a local who worked at one of the resorts. He kind of told us where to stand to catch the bus back and how EXECTLY to get to Plaza bavaro. The cab was $20-$25 each way so we (being cheapy cheapy haha) took our chances. We hopped aboard a truck that took us to the main road outside the reosrt. we then waited about 15 minutes and hoppe aboard the city bus which took us to a main intesction. we got off and waited once again for 5 minutes and caught another bus which dropped us near the the plaza (total cost- $2 one way). we shopped for about 2 hours and traded stuff from home--they love to trade anything for cologne by the way! We then traded 2 bottles of cologne along with some Pringles, water and pop to one of the cabbies down near the Plaza for a free ride back to the resort. We were quite proud of ourselves for striking that deal. Glad we made the trek...well worth it!

Other Comments:
All in all it wasnt a bad trip. We didnt get too stressed over the room issue. I know some might have gotten angry over the condition of the rooms but they were well cleaned daily. It was just a matter of age getting the better of them.
A friend checked out the Royal section which was supposedly very nice but VERY quiet. No offence to some but even some elderly folks refered to it as the "Dinosaur Museum" haha. It is the never section though with top notch food and extremyly nice rooms. They apparently try to charge $20 extra per person/per room/ per day. Some one we talked to got it for $15 extar per person/per room/per day. Maybe worth it..maybe not?
I would rate this resort a solid 3.75- 4 out of 5. Definitely not a 4.5 but not so bad its a 3.5. Hope that helps those in search of a resort!

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"Very relaxing"

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort
User Rating:  Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Tracey from Scarborough, England  on May 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United Kingdom
Visited on: May, 2009
454 people found this review helpful

Arrival: 15th - 29th April
Transfer took about 25 minutes. Wow!! Well impressive reception area. Check in took a while, and no drink offered.

Rooms:
Spacious room, huge bed! Middle floor, so nice secluded balcony with hammock. Overlooked pool. Small fridge,topped up daily. Maid service was excellent.

Restaurants and Bars:
Choice of Mexican,Japanese, Italian and Steak house. One visit to each allowed. Recommend Japanese and Italian. Main restaurant average, got a bit repetative after 2 weeks. Service excellent. Bars busy,but a small tip assured table service!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Gorgeous white sand! Everywhere spotlessly clean. Gardeners working 24/7.

Other Comments:
Our first holiday as a couple without children!! Very relaxing. Plenty going on if you want to join in,but they leave you alone if you don't! Very good value for money. Will be visiting again!!

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"Our vacation was great"

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort
User Rating:  Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Ron from Toronto  on May 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2009
248 people found this review helpful

Arrival: March 27 to April 3

We flew Air Transat, excellent flight and staff. Trying to find our bus to the resort at the airport in Punta Cana was confusing as there was no one there to direct us to a little booth where a lady told us the bus number. A lot of people were standing in line. I think having someone with a sign held up for directions would have helped. We had to wait for our room as we arrived before 3 p.m. which was expected.

Rooms:
The room was large and clean, top floor in a 3 story building which was located half way between the beach and front of the resort, very convenient. Excellent service from the maid. I found the shower stall a little small and water pressure was low but not a problem. The power was out for a few hours one day, again we were out so no problem.

Restaurants and Bars:
The two buffets are in buildings with open air access and have a great variety of food. My only gripe was that at the buffet located in the front of the resort there were black birds flying in and out of the food area and helping themselves to the food and I never saw any of the staff try to get rid of them. My concern was that with the flying around there might be some bird droppings in the food. I think that there should be some type of doorway between the food area and seating area to prevent the birds having access.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Excellent beach but get down there early to reserve a seat. I don't believe in people putting there towels on chairs all day and not using them hardly. The pool was big and inviting but we never used it as we are beach lovers.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We booked an all day catamaran trip through our agent Nolitours at the resort which we took the day before we left. The trip was called Tropical Storm. We enjoyed the trip thoroughly and the staff were great. One staff member was video taping the trip and you could purchase a video of the trip and it would be sent to your resort the following day. I told them I was leaving the next day in the morning so didn't want to buy it. They said no problem, we can mail it to you . So I paid the $35.00 U.S. plus $5.00 for the mailing and looked forward to it's arrival in the next week or so I figured. We arrived back in Canada on April 3rd. On April 23rd I called cvustomer service at Nolitours to find out where my video was. Today is April 30th, still no video or word from Nolitours customer service so I called and was told it would be another two weeks before I would recieve my video. No one told me it would take over a month to get it. My thinking is if they can get it to your resort the next day then they should stick it in an envelope on the way to any resort they were delivering one to and send it off to Canada. Makes sense to me. So be aware that having a video mailed to you by Tropical Storm could take...? Best to ask before purchasing one, they don't volunteer any info to that regard. I'll let you know "if" I recieve it.

Other Comments: Over all our vacation was great and would recommend this resort as well as the Tropical Storm tour on the catamaran. One other thing is bring lots of sunscreen or other personal needs as they are expensive at the little store on the resort. I bought a 125 ml. bottle of sunblock for $22.00 American which equates to about $30.00 Canadian.

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"A beautiful resort"

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort
User Rating:  Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Stacey from Canada  on May 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2009
402 people found this review helpful

Arrival: November 2008
We arrived on schedule with no problems. We were a little taken aback by the men grabbing our luggage (my husband thought they were stealing it) and by the blatant request for tips. We tipped the first couple of times but quickly realized you can't tip every person so we tipped when we felt it was deserved.

Rooms:
We stayed in a building near the main pool on the first floor. We had no problems with the room except the hot water ran out a couple of times. Housekeeping kept the room clean and went to great lengths to design towels in different ways every day. Our fridge was always restocked.

Restaurants and Bars:
Main bar near the front was good (although my maragarita was made without ice so it was watery and not good). Staff were always friendly and we were served quickly. Main buffet offered many options. I learned quickly not to eat any bread since birds would fly in and sit on the bread and eat crumbs - this grossed me out. Food was pretty good - I am a picky eater so I didn't try a lot of it, but overall we didn't go hungry. The pool snack shack had awesome pizza - we loved it and ate some almost daily - so delicious! We went to the steakhouse which was alright but nothing to write home about - portions were tiny too so we ate again an hour later. Mexican restaurant was good and atmosphere was great. We had trouble booking our a la catres - system is awful and my husband stood in line well over an hour, to be told the only times left were at 9 pm or later. We took them, but then showed up early (7:30pm) and both times they were able to accomodate us which was wonderful.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beach was amazing - lots of chairs and shaded areas - we did go early to leave towels on the days we knew we'd use the beach. Pool bar was wonderful and the pool was huge - we spent more of our time at the beach though.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Recreation staff were great. We participated in a couple of things and had fun. Went on a tour - swam with sharks - it was amazing and although I left the shark area early ( I started to get freaked out) the trip was awesome and drinks were free flowing. Lots and lots of fun!

Other Comments:
I didn't love Punta Cana - I like being closer to a city and it was too far away and secluded for me. I also found the resort a bit too large - the walk to the buffet daily was very long, and when it rained we got soaked! Otherwise though, it was a beautiful resort and we truly had a great time! The beach was incredible and we would recommend it to anyone.

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"The resort itself was great. The price was right"

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort
User Rating:  Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Daryl from Vancouver  on Mar 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2009
265 people found this review helpful

Arrival: Feb 8th - Feb 15th
The flight was fine a little too long for my 5 and 2 year old.

Arrival was on time but late in the evening as we got to the resort at about 12:30 AM. The line was a little slow getting our rooms. It was dark so we had a hard time finding our room. Some of the company that came with us had help with staff and carts to their rooms. Since it was so late there was no food to be had except for hotdogs.

The lobby was big and open but since it was dark it was hard to get a good look at the resort.

Rooms
The rooms were adequate very typical. We had asked for one in the middle of the resort so that it would be quieter for the kids to nap (not that they did) and we ended up in the middle on the 2nd floor. The building we were in was quiet the whole time we were there. The 2 year old found the walk to the main buffet to long.

We ended up with a crib in our room and not the extra bed as we had asked. The staff were very quick about getting us the extra bed. We had several requests at different times of the day including 1:00 AM and the service or response was within 15 minutes each time we had a request. GREAT THAT WAY.

The shower was small and was in the same room at the toilet and we always had hot water. The main bathroom was OK in size with a big tub and adequate hangers and shelving. The room had a fridge with beer, water and pop stocked. This was filled when the rooms were made up. there was also a coffee machine and coffee. One complaint was the horrbily lumpy pillows.

The balcony had a hammock which was a nice extra touch. The TV was great for the kids at quiet time to watch the english cartoon channels.

Restaurants and Bars
Main Buffet - We ate breakfast here most days. The food was mostly the same each day but it was good. The omlette bar was great and it usually had a small wait. The service the first few days was great. Durning the last few days we were having to flag staff down to get water or juice.
The dinners were good they had different food each night of the week. Two nights they had crab and shrimp which were both good.

Beach Buffet - Only ate there once as lunch was mostly at the snack bar. It seemed OK less to choose from then the main buffet.

Snack Shack - this was a great place for lunch. It is right beside the kids pool so we were usually very close. The kids and I both loved the pizza and we snacked there most days for lunch and snacks. The pizza staff even made my 2 year old a special no cheese pizza in the shape of a heart. They also had rotisserie chicken, burgers, hotdogs and fries.

A La Cartes:
The A La Cartes in general were not great for my 2 kids. If we had a late seating they were way too tired and cranky to eat their meals and we could not enjoy our meals. Most portions were small so we usually ordered a plate for the person that was not there.

Steakhouse - Most of our group of 12 ate here and the reviews were mostly just satifactory. My ribeye was good. The steak kabobs were tasty. Most others meals were OK. The service was OK. This was the only meal we were childless so that was a plus.

Mariachi- All of the group ate here and this was probably the least favourite of the group. It was a casual atmosphere and again the portions were small. The service was OK. This was a late sitting for us so the kids didn't do well here.

Tuscana - For the italian restaurant we moved our seating to an early one for the kids. So there was just the four of us. The atmoshere was nice more then just casual. The kids like pasta so the meal went well. I had the fetticini and I enjoyed it. It was better then what my wife had. The restarant was quite and ther service was good. Portions were better here.

Mikado - The Japanese was my favourite. Its not often that I have sushi and I enjoyed it. I had the shrimp dinner and it was good. The rice was really good. This was another late night sitting so my kids barely picked at their meals. This was fine as I ate most of my son's beef dinner. My wife, not a big sushi fan thought the meal was OK. The service was good. The salmon apparently was great.

The Bars
We spent some time at the main lobby bar it was usually busy. The drinks were good and the staff were friendly. The pool bar was great we had the bartender making some strane drinks for us. I never wnet to the beach bar.

The drinks were all strong and I did not notice any of the bars watering their drinks down. We found a quite little bar close to the board walk by the a la cartes. This was nice as it was quite. The bar had a better selection and the bartenders were very generous with the alcohol.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach was very nice. White sand and warm water. Most of the week was very windy on the beach so we didn't spend a lot of time there. The one day we stayed on the beach all day the kids had a blast playing in the sand and going in the water. One thing I did not like was the people who would take chairs and leave stuff on them but never actually use the chair. Meanwhile we were scrambling to get one chair for the whole family. This happened at the pool as well.

The pool was HUGE. It wrapped around a large area and had the swim up bar at one side. I spent a little time in it and enjoyed the volleyball and water polo that the staff gets going.

The kid pool was where we spent most of our time. The kids LOVED the pool and it was not too deep. They would hang out there all day and play with the other kids. We brought water toys and beach toys that they all shared and had fun.

The resort itself is quite nice lots of water and ponds. The kids loved the birds, fish and turtles that could be found around the resort. The trees were nice. The covered walkways everywhere were great when it rains. The resort looks older but well cared for.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Some of our group went on the tours and had mixed reviews. We did not go on any as most were full days and we did not want to take the kids on these.

The resort has a kids club which was for 4 year olds and up. I was not expecting much and was slighlty impressed with the club. Are 2 year old also played and did crafts there. They had a decent swing set and some toys to play with. They had a room where you could do crafts, watch some TV or play some games. There was always a friendly staff there with the kids. The club was gated but most kids could come and go as they pleased. The staff was not really watching this so we did not leave the kids unattended. There was a small eating area across from the kids club where us parents could sit eat and drink if we wanted to. The kids enjoyed the club frequently. My only negative comment was when the staff was allowing my 2 year old to throw real darts at a dart board.

The resort has all the typical water sports that I usually try but had no time. They also have an onsite 9 hole golf couse and quad tours for a fee. I brought my tennis racket nut never had a chnce to use it on the courts they have.

Other Comments
There was 12 people in our group and we all had a good time.

I was not expecting much as this was our first family vacation of this kind with both the 5 and 2 year old. My 2 year old was a little high maintenance but we all had fun and are looking to do it again.

The resort itself was great. The price was right. The staff were friendly and I would recommend it to others. If you have kids the pool was great and kids club was OK. All the staff were really good with the kids smiling, talking to them and giving them hi fives.

Is this 4 1/2 star? I don't think so but it was an upgrade from the two 3 1/2 star resorts I have been to before.

Would I come back? If the flight was not so long or if I went without my children I would. I would probably try a different resort just to try something different but do recommend this one. CHEERS

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"Very dissapointed."

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort
User Rating:  Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Kathy from Illinois  on Feb 4, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Feb, 2009
250 people found this review helpful

Arrival: 1/28/09 - 2/4/09
check in was quick no locks for the safe until the next day

Rooms:
rooms were clean enough, but hot water or water pressure was a problem

Restaurants and Bars:
buffet was ok. the snack bar by the pool was very good. went to the mexican rest. the service was the worst. food took 90 min. italian was the same sercvice was very bad, but food was ok when we finally got it. the steak house was by far the best sercice and the best food.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
beach was clean and nice. pool area was very nice. the grounds were well kept and clean

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
four wheeling tour set up by our fun jet rep was terrible. on a truck for more than an hour then rode on the black top road for 1 hr and back on a cattle truck for another hour. set up our own through the hotel and it was great and cost much less. it was four wheel ride through trails and did not have to ride for an hour.

Other Comments:
very dissapointed. staff was not very friendly. had a hard time with restaurant staff they only know the words coffee (which was hard to get) and beer. we felt very confined on the resort. will not go back. we were all ready to go home after 3 days. the entertainment was awful. to bad as they appeared to have great talent, but the show were a disaster.

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"We had a great time at Catalonia"

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort
User Rating:  Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Margaret & Bogy from Ontario  on Feb 1, 2009  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
251 people found this review helpful

Arrival
We just returned from Catalonia Bavaro Resort and found it be an excellent resort. It is a great value for your money. Check-in was easy and quick. The staff was competent and friendly. Entrance facilities to the resort are very well designed, very modern and big in scale. The reception, lobby, Caribe restaurant, main bar, 4 a la carte restaurants, big theatre - open concept style and very inviting. All sitting on the reflecting pools. During the evening and night hours all of them transforming to an entertainment centre. In case of strong wind or rain, cotton walls can be rolled down adding nice, warm touch.
We have got room #23 in villa #4 - #0423, on the 3rd floor (there is no elevator).
It was the 2nd villa from the beach near the swimming pool.
There are 2 rows of the villas on either side of the resort with paths going to the beach. In the middle additional path going to the swimming pool and the beach. All villas are hidden in the tropical paradise.

Rooms
The room - clean, large and comfortable with the balcony. We loved the hammock on the balcony and enjoyed the rocking chairs. We did not have a problem with the room. The bathtub was huge and separated from the shower. Water pressure could be better, but the water was very warm everyday.
There were soft drinks, beer in the fridge and lots of drinking water supplied everyday.
King size bed was very good. Air conditioning was very quiet.
Room was bright and sunny.

Restaurants and Bars
The food was very good. In the morning we used all bars close to beach. For dinner we used the buffet restaurant Caribe and 4 a la carte restaurants. The Caribe Buffet was very good. From the a la carte restaurants we really liked the Italian restaurant and the Steakhouse. We also enjoyed pizza bar and the Creperie for an afternoon or evening desert treat.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The beach was amazing! Wide and long. Big sandy area between the last villas and the water, lots of palm trees. There was always enough shade available under the palm trees. Lots of loungers so there was no problem getting a chair. Water was calm, shallow, greenish blue. Swimming pool - big, clean and well maintained. Lots of loungers around. There was a side swimming pool for the kids. The grounds are beautiful and very well maintained. Mature, well landscaped resort with lots of tropical vegetation, small ponds and water fountains.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Catalonia resort has a very good animation team! This was our 13th trip to different resorts in Dominican Republic, most of them 5+ star resorts. We can say honestly, this was the best animation team from all of the visited resorts. Lots of activities on the beach and around the swimming pool and lots of Spanish music. Lots of fun if you want to participate but there is no pressure. Evenings: mini-disco for kids, live band playing Latin music and then live shows. Almost every day live shows were very exciting part of live entertainment. Very interesting choreography and costumes. All dancers were bringing cascade of energy and passion to each show. Thank you!

Other Comments
We are not strangers to the Dominican Republic. We stayed in different resorts, lately 5 times in Riu Palace Macao. We had a great time at Catalonia and we are definitely coming back at the end of this year.

Advice for people complaining about communication barrier with the staff:
In Catalonia resort few hundred people of the staff is exposed to at least 4 different languages all time. This is not easy and extremely stressful, so help them, respect them, smile and be nice. Learn a few Spanish words and you are going to have more fun and a relaxing vacation.

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"We really enjoyed this"

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort
User Rating:  Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Mary  on Feb 1, 2009  >  7 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Feb, 2009
240 people found this review helpful

Check in was 'normal' = had to wait about 1 hour to get into the room

Minimal hot water and no pressure at all from the shower in room 706. Managed to get around it by using the hand held shower located in the tub itself. Water leaked from bathroom ceiling - not sure of the source since it rained nearly everyday and seemed to leak worse when raining, but we were on the first of 3 floors. beds were ok, pillows are lumpy, so get over it!! The rooms are quite big and were definitely adequate.

Food was edible most of the time - had some scrambled eggs that definitely had a very sour taste. Glazed ham had a very strange taste also. little hard some mornings to get a cup of coffee, they seemed to almost ignore us - we are american and this resort if primarily european and canadian. Buffet food was usually plentiful, but quality was just so-so. 4 speciality restaurants had really good food and very good service. Japanese restaurant was the best as far as food quality and the 'show' provided. They cook for you right at the table, very fun!!

The beach is simply spectacular!!! Wide and long and covered with palm trees, no better beach as far as I'm concerned. Some seaweed washes on shore, but what can you do about nature!!! It did rain for about 4 of my 5 days there and did have sustained 40mph winds for most of that time too, kind of a shame, since we really didnt get a change to use the beach or pool as much as we should have.

Landscaping was fabulous - tons of tropical plants and trees - large variety all manicured to a tee!!

we have stayed in the dominican before, different resort, and this resort did have a lot of employees that did not speak english either at all or not very well, so some basic spanish wouldve come in handy.

overall, we really enjoyed this resort and would consider going back - but we usually like trying different locations vs. going to the same place again. This place is very nice and wouldve been even better had the weather cooperated just a little!!

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"Our Vacation at Catalonia Bavaro"

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort
User Rating:  Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Golf & Casino Resort Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Gary from Illinois  on Jan 1, 2009  >  2 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Jan, 2009
237 people found this review helpful

Arrival: January 18th through 24th:
We arrived in Punta Cana on January 18th. When we left Chicago, the temperature was zero degrees (F) and there was a foot of snow in our yard, so when we stepped off the plane into the Punta Cana sunshine it was quite an eye-opener. Otherwise, the arrival at Punta Cana airport was fairly uneventful. We each paid our $10 entrance fee, were each given a card and then took a few steps and promptly handed the cards to another person. This is a business I wish I would have thought of starting years ago. As for getting to the Catalonia, thanks to information on this board we chose IBK Servicios and we're glad we did. Even though he was a few minutes late picking us up, we were finally on our way to fun in the sun. Check-in was relatively quick, although the desk clerk said he wanted to check with housekeeping to see if the room was ready, so we went to the bar for a Presidente or two. As it turned out, this would be the first of many Presidentes. Upon arriving in our room we noticed that we were not given a lock and key to the safe and the rules sheet said that if the lock and key were not returned at check-out we would be charged $50.00. Since I had better use for my $50, I went to the front desk to ask for a lock and key but was told I would have to return the next morning at around noon, since we could get one from someone who was checking out. This same scenario repeated itself the next couple of days as locks and keys never seemed to be available until our third day there. I suppose I can't be too upset about this situation because the first two days we were there we somehow managed to lose our room key...twice. A new key was given to us each time with no questions asked, which come to think of it may or may not be a good thing, since I could have said I lost my key to any other room and would have been handed one to someone else's room...twice. Oh well...

Rooms::
We were in Villa 24 on the second floor. We had e-mailed the resort a couple weeks earlier asking for something close to the beach, non-smoking and on the second or third floor. Well, one out of three wasn't bad, I suppose, as the only request that they honored was the second floor. It's a good thing we weren't on the first floor as the lock on our patio door was broken, but being on the second floor we felt reasonably certain nobody would be climbing the wall to get into our room to steal our dirty underwear. It turns out that Villa 24 was perfectly situated in the middle of the resort, so walking to and from the beach...and to and from the activity areas (main bar, main buffet, shops, etc.) was easier than being on one end or the other. The room was pretty much how most people described it. A bit dark, a bit old, but not too bad. The soaking tub was huge...the shower wasn't. Actually, the shower was an okay size, assuming we had hot water, which was probably only about 70% of the time. But since the shower curtain left a gap of about eight inches at the bottom, keeping water inside the shower became almost impossible. Extra towels were needed to mop up the floor following every shower. A couple times the power went out and not only was the room dark at night, but the toilet wouldn't flush and the water wouldn't run. I was shocked that the electric would affect the water like that, but I guess that's how it's set up. In the bathroom there always were a number of tiny, almost microscopic ants scurrying across the vanity top and in the sink. It became sport to see how many I could kill with one tissue...I think my record was 57. Other than the ants, there were no other bugs in the room (that we could detect, anyway). The beds were sort of an adventure. I have read reviews where people said their beds were soft. We must have been staying at another resort because our bed was not soft...far from it. It was almost rock hard and slanted to one side. I'd say the pillows were a joke, but they weren't funny...they were just lumpy and small and extremely uncomfortable and nearly non-functional. Our maid did a decent job...we tipped her a couple of bucks every day and she did the towel creature thing and generally cleaned pretty well. She did have a habit of barging right into the room every day around 3:00 to replenish the water bottle supply, which was just about the time we got back from the beach each day. A couple of times we were in the shower, napping or in various stages of undress, but she seemed to think nothing of it. I guess when you're a maid in Punta Cana you've seen it all.

Restaurants and Bars::
The food was one of the things we were most looking forward to, but ended up being disappointed by the most. The buffets were generally mediocre. Breakfast was pretty bad, as the bacon was barely cooked, the pancakes and french toast were sitting in bins and both were always cold and dry. Getting coffee was hit and miss...some days they were right there with coffee, other days you could sit for 15 minutes or more waiting. And some days the coffee was hot, others not. We did think the selection of bread was outstanding, particularly the many loaves of french bread, which usually was my standard breakfast along with a chocolate croissant and some yogurt. Lunch was usually a trip to the pizza and chicken stand by the pool. The pizza was okay, but the way some people have raved about it I was expecting the best pizza in the world. The chicken was good and the self-serve Presidente poured into our insulated mugs was a bonus. Dinner in the buffet was only slightly better. The selection of food was large enough, but much of it wasn't the most appetizing stuff. Although, the grilled shrimp was outstanding. Not so outstanding was the fact that the girl who was grilling the chicken and beef would use a set of tongs to pick up the raw chicken and beef and then immediately grab a grilled piece of chicken or beef and put it on some unsuspecting person's plate. I'm thinking this may be the source of so much illness I've read about in recent reviews of the Catalonia on Trip Advisor. Another may be the numerous birds who fly through the buffet area and land on tables to consume bits of leftover food. They really need to consider putting up netting (or something) to keep those birds out, as they also carry disease. Luckily, the only illness we suffered was self-induced after a long afternoon at the pool bar with multiple Presidentes and "mucho rum"...a phrase coined by fellow Debbie's poster Geronamo, who as luck would have it, ended up right next to us at the pool bar one fateful afternoon. It was a fun afternoon, followed by a not-so-fun evening...I'll spare you the gruesome details. But Martin, the pool bartender was great...he kept the drinks flowing with a smile on his face. We didn't have smiles on our faces later that night, but as I said, I'll spare you the details. One hint...when sitting at the pool bar with your back to the sun, be sure to put on sunscreen. Yours truly didn't heed that advice and I'm still paying the price. Another bit of advice, when ordering a slushy drink from the machine, they have no alcohol in them. Be sure to say "with rum" if you are so inclined. A number of reviewers have said that they felt short-changed since they didn't think there was much alcohol in those drinks...turns out they were right. As for the ala cartes, we only tried the Japanese (which was generally pretty good) and the Mexican (which was generally "okay"...although the tequila shrimp was excellent). Also, the margarita in the Mexican restaurant was far superior to any we had in the main bar...mainly because the main bar didn't put ice in theirs. A warm margarita is not too tasty. Although, that was fixed by a trip to the bar for a cup of ice. One pleasant surprise in the main bar was the popcorn machine, which served as an adequate appetizer on more that one night. One night we went to the Creperie for dessert and it was okay, but the requirement for long pants in the evening is ridiculous in a Creperie/Ice Cream parlor, for gosh sakes. I didn't see the dress code actually enforced in the Creperie, but in the handout you are given at check-in, it clearly states that long pants are to be worn in the Creperie in the evening. They've got to be kidding. We also went to the beach party on Tuesday night, and it was okay.

Again, most of the food was merely passable, but they sure did go to a lot of effort to set up that whole event.
People who had been there before knew how to circumvent standing in line and would grab plates and cut in front of people who had waited for 20 minutes in line. These people are probably the same people who are chair hogs (see below).

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The grounds were impeccably kept. Lots of palm trees, shrubs, plants, flowers, ponds, etc., all in beautiful shape. I wish my yard looked one tenth as nice. The beach was also beautiful with the numerous palm trees. We never had a problem getting a palapa. In fact, most days we were able to get the same one, arriving around 8:30 each morning. But the reports of chair/towel hogs are not an exaggeration. Upon arriving at the beach, it's towels as far as the eyes can see. People? Not so much...they're all off doing whatever chair hogs do while their precious chair sits unoccupied (other than by a towel) for hours at a time. There was one group of Japanese tourists who came to the beach one day about the same time we did, took a palapa and put four white room towels across the chairs and then left. By the time we left at 3:00 they still had not returned. The next day the same thing happened. The following day we noticed the white towel thing happening again and nobody occupying the palapa until about 10:00, when only one woman of their group finally came and sat there for most of the rest of the day by herself, texting her buddies back in Tokyo. It's people like this who ruin it for everyone else. The ocean water wasn't quite the crystal blue that you see in other places like Playa del Carmen or Jamaica, but it certainly looked a lot nicer than Lake Michigan. As for seaweed, it's true that there is seaweed that washes up onto the beach, but they generally do a pretty good job of keeping up with it. Although one day there was a particularly huge amount of seaweed both on the beach and in the water. It may be due to a rainstorm that happened overnight, but the seaweed was especially bad that day. Walking along the beach that day wasn't too pleasant...although most other days it was fine. Speaking of rain, we were lucky in that regard as the rain generally only came overnight (with the exception of one early afternoon where it may have rained for about 15 minutes, if that). People on this board say to bring bug repellent for mosquitoes. We can say we did not see one mosquito. What we did see were wasps...they seem to love the beach. One comment about the beach restroom: There was always a woman in there cleaning up the place and placing flowers on all the sinks. I found it odd that they had women cleaning the men's restroom and men were going into the women's restroom to stock the toilet paper and towels. It first it was strange standing there peeing in front of a woman, but when you gotta go, you gotta go. Of course, there's always the ocean...not that anyone would ever do that, would they?? We walked over to the "Royal" side of the beach and honestly it was very small...nowhere near the size of the huge "regular" beach. It also seemed dreary and kind of gloomy, like nobody there was having a very good time. Other than escaping kids (which there really weren't that many on the "regular" side when we were there) I can't see paying extra for the Royal side. Being from the U.S., it's kind of funny to be in a place where Americans are a minority. The bulk of the people were from Europe or Canada and you heard a whole United Nations of languages everywhere you went. I also noticed that the vast majority of guests were smokers. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but living in Illinois where smoking in public places is now illegal, it caught us a bit off-guard.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel::
We stayed on the resort the entire time...didn't do a tour. Our plan was to lay on the beach for a week and in the immortal words of George Bush, "Mission Accomplished".

Other Comments:
Check out took about 10 seconds. When we got into the IBK van for the ride back to the airport, one of the security guards came after us wanting to see our check-out ticket. Nobody told us we needed to show it to anybody before we could leave. I almost threw it out...good thing I didn't or we would probably still be there trying to get home. As for the airport, we realize that airport food is generally high-priced, but almost $10.00 for a value meal from the airport Wendy's was a little much. Also, they never did post our flight at our departure gate...they only had a flight to Montreal listed, so a number of us who were trying to get to Chicago where just a little confused. But we eventually worked it out and were soon winging our way back to the frozen tundra. All in all, the trip was a nice getaway to a warm climate, with the chance to lay on the beach. Would we go back to the Dominican Republic? Possibly. Would we go back to the Catalonia? Probably not. It's a decent place, at a good price, but you really do get what you pay for. We're really not all that fussy when it comes to food, but there would have to be some major improvements in that department before we could ever consider returning.

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