The only resort I have stayed...
The only resort I have stayed at in the Dominican Republic was the Catalonia Bavaro, and I was pleased with the accomodations.
842.00 dollars American for 7 nights, all inclusive Very nicely decorated, all rooms are Jr Suites, including jacuzzi tub, mini bar stocked daily with bottled water, soda pop, and Presidente beer. The Pool is great with a swim-up bar, and an island in the middle with a jacuzzi. The beach is right in front of the pool area, and loaded with chaise lounges and palm trees. There is some shopping for sundries, and souvenirs in the resort. The price was reasonable. There is an exercise facility, although there were not many visitors taking advantage of it. The staff and other guests were friendly. There are 5 restaurants which are all inclusive, and nightly shows. There is a discoteque that caters to the late night crowd. Picture is of Villa 2 which is very close to the beach and the pool.
Loved the Catalonia
Ignore all those negative reviews about the Catalonia Bavaro. My wife and I have been to numerous Caribbean resorts and islands and found the Catalonia to compare favorably with any resorts we have stayed at. First of all when you go on vacation you should take on a positive attitude. Don't let little distractions ruin your hard earned vacation. Punta Cana is definitely not Maui! But the cost is also half the price. We went Mar 15-22 and enjoyed beautiful weather and a beautiful resort.No bugs,no getting sick, and with a little tipping were able to really enhance our stay. Money does indeed talk south of the U.S. Border. Please e-mail me with any questions.
Our trip started off by being bumped from our hotel which had been booked for over two months.We were suppose to stay at the Breezes Superclub.Upon arriving we were told that we would have to stay at the Catalonia Bavaro. (No choices were given). The hotel was clean, the staff was fairlypleasant and the rooms were okay. The problems were we went without hot water for three days,at times there was no water at all, and the electricity had a habit of going off. I think we could of handled all of that but the food was Horrible!Would we go back, no way! Tom and Sherry
Much more Than We Expected!
Spent the week of March 2-9, 2003 at Catalonia Bavaro. We were very, very surprised at beauty of the resort considering that we paid only around $1000 all inclusive (including airfare) for the week from Chicago. A creperie, casino, movie theatre, were bonus options that you don't see at all resorts. Also all of the usual stuff like a gym, water sports, were all above average. The junior suite that is considered standard included a loveseat, chair and small fridge that was kept stocked. A large round soaking tub really added to the idea of luxury that we all like to feel when we are on vacation. Almost all surfaces in the hotel and therooms are of natural marble. I read negative reviews on the food so I was nervous since I am in to gourmet food as a hobby. The buffet choices were almost endless. If for some reason you did not have a taste for the many already prepared dishes, there were so many food options that you could create on your own with the fresh ingredients and plentiful condiments that were always at your disposal. The French and Japanese rest. were above average and worth making a reservation for. Don't hesitate to go here! Especially if you are getting a bargain price like we did!
One of our BEST vacations
Catalonia Bavaro, Punta Cana, D.R.February 22nd March 1st, 2003BEACH: The beach is large and beautiful. There is lots of white sand and you can walk for miles in either direction. The nearest resort is about a mile away so it very secluded. There are lots of chairs on the beach as well as huts and a small beach bar. You will never run out of places to sit. If you are an ocean person, you may be disappointed if you like lots of waves. The water is quite calm but there is seaweed in the water in spots. The water is clear and you can often see small fish swimming around, very cool.POOL: The pool is amazing. Its huge!! It never seems to be crowded despite this being a large resort. There is a swim-up bar as well as a separate area with a fountain and a private jacuzzi surrounded with lots of foliage. You can play water polo everyday and there is a small volleyball net. There is also a separate childrens pool.ROOM: We were very happy with our room. It is like a small suite. Satellite tv, king bed. The mini bar was re-stocked everyday with water, soft drinks and beer. It appears every room has a hammock and chairs. The bathroom had a large soaker tub with a separate shower, hair dryer and lots of marble. There was also an in-room safe that was included. The maid puts flowers in the bathroom everyday. Just a tip, we did leave her a small gift (hair clips, nail polish, pencils) on the pillow with a note. RESTAURANTS: Again despite it being a large resort, the restaurants were never crowded. There are 4 a la carte restaurants as well as a creperie. We went to the Tex-Mex and the French a la cartes which were very good. We found out the wine was even included, and they gave us 2 bottles at dinner and never seemed to rush us. There are 2 separate restaurants you can have buffet breakfast at and all the restaurants were open air.RESORT: This is a very impressive resort overall. The grounds are huge and very tropical; lots of birds, trees and ponds. Despite the language barrier, the staff were very helpful and there are always lots of activities. Just a tip, when booking try and request a building close to the pool. It will save you a lot of walking in the course of a week. We have been to the Dominican before and this was the nicest resort yet.Please feel free to email us with any questions regarding the resort at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A long review
I was really worried about my week at the Catalonia Bavaro, based on the reviews of the place on this website, but I after my week, I was really, really pleased with my stay, I would recommend it to anybody, and I would go back myself. Certainly the place has some pros and cons, but overall, I thought it was very good in some instances to really great in others. I am a pretty picky traveler, but overall, I really enjoyed the resort and feel I got value for my money. My biggest complaint was with the unexpected diversion of our direct flight to Punta Cana to Santo Domingo, where we waited two hours for someone to cave when there were two fewer seats on the plane than the number of people being picked up to fly home. I dont know whether to blame the charter airline or the vacation package company for this. A piece of advice: find out from your travel agent before you go if this could happen to you - youll be less irritated if you know it could happen. A word of advice to travel agents if you know this can happen, dont keep it a secret. People get less irritated when they know something irritating can happen. The hotel is very impressive upon arrival wide open, pavilion style, with fountains and palm trees and flowering shrubs. Our weather was spectacular! I found that generally the morning (early morning) was pretty cloud, but generally the heat and the breezes cleared the sky to blue with a blazing sun by about 9:30. We had nothing but sunshine from March 2 7th, with a nice breeze off the ocean. About four thirty it tends to cloud over a bit again. Those clouds generally clear by darkness. It can be quite still and humid for a couple of hours between six and nine, but generally the breeze picks up again into the even. The Dominican Republic can be incredibly humid, so you really appreciate the breeze and youre going to feel the humidity when it isnt blowing. The grounds are really, really nice, but the resort is a lot deeper than it is wide, so yes, youre going to either walk a long way to the beach or a long way to the restaurants. The staff certainly tried their best. Some of the bartenders and waitresses can charm you with just a smile. Its true, spoken English is pretty spotty. I speak no Spanish at all, but I would say I had absolutely no problem communicating. Learn a few simple phrases phonetically and youll be fine. If youve ever played charades, youll be fluent! If any of this troubles you, dont go to the Dominican Republic. The staff all tries to understand English. Keep an eye on their name tags: if you see a Union Jack or the American Flag, you will know they can speak English reasonably well. We made a habit of leaving our maid a dollar or two in U.S. funds each day, along with things like nail polish and hand cream. In return, one day we had the heart and hibiscus routine on the tub; the next we had the beds turned down, with flowers on the pillows. The next two nights we had the beds turned down, with the bedspread arranged into a fan at the top. After that, she just kept the room clean, but hey, how many tricks can you pull with a couple of hibiscus and a bed sheet? I didnt really do this for the treats from her. I did it as much because the Dominican is an incredibly poor country, as you can judge on your trip from the airport if you make it during the day. We must seem like millionaires to the Dominican people. On our trip back to the airport the bus guide was incredibly moving when he talked about how there had been nothing for the people around Punta Cana prior to the establishment of the resorts and how grateful they all were for the jobs and the resorts and for the people who came to them. He practically begged us all to come back next year. A lot of people have called the staff surly or unfriendly; their speed of service isnt to North American standards, for sure. But theyre diligent enough. I imagine it is kind of difficult to serve about fourteen hundred people each day, many of whom dont speak your language. We were really pleased with our room: it was bright and it was clean upon entry. Sometimes our room was cleaned by noon, sometimes by three, always by five. North Americans be advised: they dont provide face cloths. I was told this is because the hotel is part of a European chain, and Europeans regard face cloths as such a personal item that when they travel, they bring their own. The shower stall was about the size of a phone booth, so it was a bit of a tight squeeze, but we never had any difficulty with the water temperature, and frankly, it is so hot down there (and often your skin is at least a little tender from the sun) that I never wanted a totally hot shower anyhow. The hotel provides packets of shampoo and soap. The air conditioning and ceiling fan worked fine. The fridge was well stocked with beer, pop (hey, they have Fanta!) and all the bottled water you need. As well, if you can write out a few words of Spanish (i.e. Muchos cervesas por favor) youll generally get what you want in the bar fridge. The beds were comfortable. The curtains have black out liners so you can sleep late if you want to. I saw a very few, very tiny ants in the room once, but absolutely no other bugs. As to mosquitoes outside, yeah, there were a few, but not so many that I would say it is a problem, at least in March. I never noticed the spraying for insects, but I did smell something that smelled like bug spray in the early evening, but only once or twice. The pool was really nice and clean and generally packed with people. There were more than enough loungers for everybody and if you want to stay out of the sun all day, there are more umbrellas (which are basically dried palm branches, but they look right for the setting and they keep the shade off you!) I am slightly puzzled by the extent of the frustration over the beach. Yes, there was some seaweed on the beach at all times. I saw it swept up several times each day, but its the ocean, and it keeps moving onto shore the things that get caught in the tide. As to the seabed, yes, there is some sand, but there is also a lot of coral and that can be rough on your feet and there is some sea grass. But its misleading to call it weeds. The sea grass grows in some of the sand and is about three inches high. It is not growing so tall that you could get tangled in it or it breaks the surface. And, its the ocean. It lives and breathes. I know there are lots of parts of the seabed in the Caribbean that are sandy and shallow for miles and miles, but trust me, eventually, youre gonna sea grass and coral. But I can see how some people might be disappointed by the seabed in the part of Punta Cana. Blame it on the travel brochures! I will say that the sea off the resort is as turquoise as you would hope and that the water is teaming with lots of fish many really beautiful to look at. Snorkel for even five minutes and you realize how so not alone we are when we swim in the ocean. Another thing to know that they dont explain terribly well (either in our trip brochure or at the hotel) but to use snorkel gear you have to deposit $20 US and bring it back in about an hour. No big deal, but if you were planning to snorkel one day and went to the beach without some cash, youd have to go walking back to your room. Its the kind of surprise that can really *** you off if you let that stuff get to you. I actually think the tour package companies are the ones to blame for that. They should either resolve little cprint better brochures. Signs say you cant leave towels to save lounges or beach huts, but the couple of mornings I bothered, people seem really respectful that youve staked your claim and youre unlikely to come to the beach even a few hours later and find your lounger gone. As well, there are so many palm trees on the beach that it is very hard not to find some shade for at least part of the day. And the sand is soft like powder. I also want to add one about our responsibility as guests, even if were paying to be there, which is that we should do our best to respect the environment. I was really dismayed by the amount of litter people left at and on the beach: plastic cups, plates with half eaten food on it, cigarette butts in the sand, etc. The resort has lots of big terra cotta pots placed on the beach for people to use and I just cant figure out why people dont. I bet that annoys the staff and rightly so. When we were there the guests were a blend of Europeans (I would say the population was 80% Spaniards during our stay), some French, some Canadians, a few Germans and Belgians and English. There were also a number of people there from another country that you have probably heard of, but which is very sensitive about being called poor travelers or loud. And perhaps there were a number of people from that country who didnt stand out. But the ones who did were indeed poor travelers and loud. For example, I heard one lot complaining that the ocean was colder than the pool. I think that speaks for itself. Another group of girls from the aforementioned country thought it would be really great if they brought their CD player and speakers to the beach so we could all listen to their music together. Two others were so drunk in the casino that they were actually insulting the dealer for the cards he dealt at Black Jack. Mind you, they were also holding at twelve when the dealers first card over was a ten. The casino was OK a diversion. It is small by Vegas or Atlantic City standards, certainly. But its got lots of flashing lights and roulette and black jack and about two or three dozen slot machines. Youre a fool if you gamble and expect anything in return, and I did every night. It is air conditioned, though. So is the disco, which was dead some nights and rocked on others. Guess it depends on the crowd at the resort. I did find most guests were in bed by eleven and the resort was pretty quiet in the evenings, but after a full day in the sun I was generally bagged and in bed between eleven and two. Finally, the food Catalonias weakest spot. First of all, youll survive it. There is plenty to eat. Youll be fine, but you might not be happy. In all honesty, sometimes the food was so bad or bizarrely cooked that it was actually funny. I say Dominicans cook everything within an inch of its life and then serve it lukewarm (except the red wine, which is chilled!) The beef isnt the best cut and is overcooked. But the chicken was pretty good moist, but cooked through. They did pork really, really well. There are lots of hamburgers and hotdogs. Lots of fresh fruit. The desserts and breads were the freshest I have tasted anywhere (the desserts were the sweetest I have tasted anywhere I think each recipe must start with 4 pounds of sugar!) There is actually a really good selection of all kinds of things to eat at every meal. But, the cooking isnt great. The food isnt gonna kill you, but I can understand why a lot of people complain about it. I didnt get sick personally, I didnt see or hear of anyone who got sick while I was there, and we were assured the ice cubes, the water served at the tables and used for washing or cooking food was all purified. They even warn you the coconut milk is a natural laxative and so to go easy on the Pina Coladas. The booze is booze for me there was no difference between Dominican gin and British gin the effect is still the same. Overall, I think the Catalonia Bavaro is extremely good value, with lots of great things about it, many good things about it, and some things towards which you want to adjust your expectations. But overall, dont get scared off when this place gets a furious review here.
Catalonia Bavaro All Inclusive
"Summer trip to Paradise"
This was a cheap (1000€) All Inclusive travel to the paradise. We booked everything at the agency so we didn't move a finger. Flights and Transfers included as well. Relax, drinking, eating, and beach. Also a bit of watersports.
Catalonia Bavaro Resort
Can anyone tell me about the Catalonia Bavaro Resort; we are booked there for 5 days. It was a gift from close friends. Please give me any info you have on the resort! Thanks so much!
RE: Catalonia Bavaro Resort
I spent my honeymoon there, back in nobember... lovely place. ask for Ruth Martinez (one of the managers) and tell her you are a good friend of Jorge Fernandez from Puerto Plata. For reviews and extent info visit...