Catalonia Riviera Maya Trip Report

We arrived Dec. 25 and left Dec. 31, 2005. RIDE FROM AIRPORT only took us about 45 minutes as we were the first people dropped off. I was very surprised when we turned off of the main road and came to a gated entrance called Puerto Adventuras. I expected that we were entering our motel. However, Puerto Adventuras is basically a gated community with one way in and one way out, with the exception of the ocean. Within this community was the three motels that I saw and the numerous condos and apartments, the marina, the Dolphin Discovery, neat shops and restaurants surrounding Dolphin Discovery creating a boardwalk effect. Very neat area within minutes walk from the Catalonia R.M. Check IN went very quickly with polite staff. Remember to pay for the safe ($3.00 per day) at checkin so you can get the access piece right away. Also, in your key envelope are slips of paper that you’ll need to have with you to make reservations at the sit-down restaurants. Would recommend doing this on your arrival day if you arrive during the day. ROOMS are very comfortable, spacious and extremely clean. We had four people and never tripped over eachother. Room was larger than some we’ve had. We had two balconies but not sure that everyone does. I felt that our beds were very comfortable. GROUNDS are absolutely beautiful. I could not tell a hurricane had been there two months prior. Puerto Adventuras definitely fared better than Cancun did. The palms and shrubs and bushes were beautiful and flowering. There is a quaint feeling about Catalonia Riveria Maya because of how they have the buildings set up and the vegetation. We didn’t feel that it was as large as it actually is. The pools and restaurants are very clean and well-kept. BEACH was lovely with the calmness of the lagoon and the bay that the Catalonia sits in. Water was beautiful colors of the Caribbean. Sand was white and soft. This having been my 10th trip to Mexico (Cancun 9 times, 1 here) I was nervous about the reports of the beach and such. We did bring water shoes and never used them. In front of the main part of the resort there were more pebbles and small shells washing in where the water meets the sand. Just past this area was all sand. Because of the coral/rock areas out in the bay area and across the little bridge, this creates a wonderful place for snorkeling. Each day we sat in the little peninsula between the lagoon and the bay and there was an area of just sand entrance. One huge benefit of this resort was the protected area of the bay that made a wonderful play area for our kids. This is not always the case in Cancun with the huge waves constantly crashing in. They would not have been able to do this where we were set to stay in Cancun. FOOD was wonderful. We were able to get reservations at the Mexican and Italian places. We also ate at the buffet each morning and some nights. We ate at the pool snack bar each day. We loved the food at all places but especially the snack bar and Italian. DRINKS were plentiful and yummy. They blend what you want at order time (no pre-mix bags here). Most of our drinking was at the snack bar but we did drink at all places, including the buffet. All drinks were great. Sometimes in the buffet you need to remind the wait staff if you want alcohol as with serving kids, etc. bartenders sometimes make non-alcoholic frozen drinks. ACTIVITIES were great. We took advantage of the snorkel equipment. It states only one hour per day but even during this busy time of year, my family took out the equipment in the morning and kept it all day, returning at the end of the day. Never a problem here. They also kayaked and like that. We booked our parasailing trip through here but we could have done it on our own down by the marina area. There were tons of activity people running around (A-Team) and they were all funny, nice and more than willing to help you out. They have a large staff and we loved to watch all that they did. They were great with kids and adults and always SMILING! They put on AWESOME nightly shows. It was a great time. Highly recommend going to watch. Each night was different. Also, every few days they bring in local vendors that show their specialties. Much like in Cancun market areas. They also have a couple artists that paint—one with the spray paint cans making beautiful sceneries. It was neat for our kids to experience since we weren’t visiting a local market outside of the resort. We would MOST DEFINITELY go back to the Catalonia Riveria Maya. We do not have one bad thing to say about this place. This vacation was a dream come true to have our kids with us. The Catalonia helped make many special memories for our family. We’ve traveled a lot to all different island places. We all loved this resort. The people work hard. No tipping is expected but out of respect for their hard work, attentiveness and making our vacation awesome, we always do in all areas from bell boy, room cleaning service, buffet restaurant waiter, sit-down restaurant waiter to the bartender. A little bit given there puts a big smile and means a lot. HAVE FUN!!

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Sounds great! I can´t wait to go! My famly is visiting the Catalonia in February. My children however are older 18, 16, 14 We are planning a few day trips to sight see the ruins, scuba, ect... Is there a bigger beach nearby the resort with bigger waves? I would appreicate your input Thanks

Thanks for your post! It sounds wonderful...we are going mid-Feb and now are really excited!

Can´t wait. We are going Feb. 5, but our hotel is called Catalonia Yucatan, not sure if they changed the name? Sounds wonderful regardless.

Catalonia Yucatan is the sister hotel to the Catalonia Riviera Maya and is right next door. You share the facilities of both hotels. Formaly called Club Lookea where the Catalonia RM was called the Cameleon Marival

My husband and I are traveling to Riviera Maya for a wedding at the Aventura Palace. However, we´d like to stay at the Catalonia (better value). Do you forsee any issues with us going back and forth for wedding activities between Catalonia and Aventura Palace?

I just received a brochure on Mexico and one of the properties listed was the Catalonia Riviera Maya. I picked that one out before reading your review. Can you tell me if they have passes to the ruins included or if not, how much they are? This sounds like an amazing place. Do they also have shuttle service to surrounding areas? Also, is August an OK time to go? This will be our first trip to Mexico, for our 25th wedding anniversary! Thanks for any advice you have.

I was at the Catalonia last August and would return in an instant, actually checking it out for a group of adults for next Nov. The ruins can be arranged through to hotel, but not included. I found the Chichinita very long and not as good a day as Coba. We will do Tulum next time we are down. hope that helps

We just returned from the Catalonia on Feb. 1. We had 5 people in our group and we all had a great time. Definitely make your reservations for the restaurants the day you arrive. They open the books on Sunday for the whole week so those arriving mid week have less oportunities to get in. I preferred the buffets, eat whenever you want. Don´t forget to try the coffee/dessert shop at the very top. Beautiful view and delicious ice cream. You also have to go to the Looky Bar to see Belardo, the bartender. He is awesome. Makes the best drinks. Be sure to ask for the Corol Reef. Enjoy your trip. We will be back over Christmas with our 2 children.

I´m very excited to attened the catalonia resort in june 2006. I´m in L.A. and can´t wait to be there. They better treat us good. I´m also taking 3 kids.

is it too hot to go in August

what would be a good snorkeling /eco/jungle and ruins tour that is only a few hours long ? Any other tips, traveling with 4 boys 9-16 yo ?

I went in August in it wasnt too bad. I am from Florida though so I am used to the heat. I am in Iraq now, anything will be better than this 120 degree weather

you say to book on sunday, i am arriving at 17.45pm to the airport - do you think i could still book after i arrive??

sorry i mean to book for the restaurants on sunday..

do you think this hotel is suitable for couples?? aged late 20´s looking for a relaxing holiday with some nightlife??

Hello, I also went to this resort before it changed its name in 2002(called Chameleon Marival at the time) and it was AMAZING! The staff was absolutely wonderful and friendly....we had a waiter who always recognized us and teased us and really made us feel welcome. Tips were included so we were never to tip anyone which was nice....I went with my family(sister and parents) and we had a great time. There are many activities on the resort such as biking, dance lessons, volleyball, scuba diving lessons, aerobics, and so much more but my family also had a great time going off the resort and shopping and seeing the ruins. The rooms are gorgeous and very clean, the food was amazing(especially the omelettes and smoothies - both made in front of you) All in all, there were no complaints! As for if it is suitable for couples....it is a very quiet nice place for relaxation but also, upon arrival me and my sister were invited out to a nightclub next store and there was a bar on the resort by the evening entertainment as well...so if you look, you shouldn´t have a problem finding a place to go. The staff are very helpful with helping you with anything as well. anyways, everyone, this was a great resort!! Love to go back!

if i could request a specific room, that has a great view and not to far from everything, on the riviera side, which one or area would you recommend?

hello, i am going to Catalonia Riviera Maya resort in may for my daughter college graduation. is this a good place to go for a couple that is 50 years old? my daughter and her boyfriend are of course in there mid 20´s and they are excited, however i have never been here and i am pretty reserved and like being alone and quite. any thoughts?

I had an amazing time at the Catalonia. We traveled two teenage girls and never once did I feel nervous to travel alone! The staff was amazing and always making sure you had no problems and were enjoying yourself! I can´t get over how hard these people work, its incredible! Playa Del Carmen is a must, we took the shuttle out and then took a cab back ($14+tip) and its an amzing place. Wish I could have gone one more time. The staff put on amazing shows. I would go back there in a heart beat!

Has anybody stayed at another AI resorts in the mayan and if so which one was better or worst.

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