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   Catalonia Playa Maroma   Marg ~ Alberta, Canada

February 2008

Arrival - After some minor problems at the airport (mix up with suitcases) we were finally on our way to the CPM. The access road to the resort is very bumpy and has huge potholes, overall it's in a really bad shape and it might be a good idea for the resort(s) using the road to have the road paved.
Check in was quick and easy and we were welcomed with a tequila sunrise.

Rooms - Our room was the only thing that could use some improvement. Although it was large, it was very basic. There was a tv with two English speaking channels, a hair dryer and a safe. The mini fridge only got stocked with water (no pop or beer), there was no alarm clock, no iron and no coffee maker. The room was clean, but the bathroom could use a make over, as the grout between the tiles was pretty dirty. There was no bath, just a shower.

Restaurants - Beside the buffet restaurant, there were two a la carte restaurants. One was the Mexican, the other one the Mediterraenian. I can't comment on the last one, as we didn't eat there. Apparently they have a lot of seafood on the menu and my husband is not too crazy about sea food. During the day this restaurant also operates as a snack bar for the nearby pool and beach. We did go to the Mexican restaurant twice and the food, the ambiance and the service was excellent. The buffet restaurant was also pretty good with better than average food and lots of choice. Most guests at this resort are from Italy and France and that reflects in the food that was available: great pasta and pizza, lots of pastries and breads, fresh fruits and salads. Both my husband and I gained quite a bit of weight in the week we spent at the resort! :)

Bars - There's two bars at the resort, as well as a disco (which we didn't go to). The main bar is in the lobby and is open 24 hours a day. The other bar is between the pool and the beach and only serves drinks, no food. It also has a slush machine and you can get ice cream there.

Beach and Pools - The beach is gorgeous, very wide with beautiful white sand. I've heard people say that the Maroma beach is one of the nicest beaches in the area and I totally agree with that. There are plenty of beach chairs and you don't need to get up at 7 to throw a towel on one of them, because there's always chairs available. The water sports centre rents out kayaks, boogie boards and hobie cats. The pool looked really nice, but we didn't try it as we spent most of the time at the beach.

Grounds - The grounds are absolutely beautiful. There is a main pathway leading from the lobby to the pool/beach area and it's right through the jungle. Also the smaller pathways to the six seperate buildings are really nice and well kept.

Activities - There is an activity team that also takes care of the shows at night, they're very talented young people with lots of energy. They play games on the beach, take care of the merengue lessons, Spanish lessons, beach volleybal, aqua gym and lots more. The shows at night are quite something. Although they are mostly in Italian/Spanish/French, they're still fun to watch.

Tours - We booked 2 tours through our Nolitours representative. They were not cheap, but it was convenient instead of going to Playa del Carmen to book them there. One of the tours we booked was to Coba, combined with a visit to a Mayan Village. The other one was a catamaran trip to Isla Mujeres. Through Nolitours you can book basically every tour possible in the area.
A cab ride to Playa del Carmen cost about 20 dollars, the distance to PDC is 17 kms. The hotel provides a free shuttle to PDC every night at 6 pm and it will pick you up again at 11 pm. The shuttle can be booked in the lobby and you have to book it a day in advance.

Conclusion - This was our third AI trip and one of the cheapest, but the resort was absolutely beautiful and worth every dollar we paid for it. The hotel used to be owned by Italians (maybe that's still the case) therefore there are lots of European guests. You can tell the different nationalities apart by the colours of their wristbands. The staff is very helpful and although their English is limited, they're very polite, very hard working and they always have a smile for you. Overall, we were very impressed with this hotel and we can totally recommend it.

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