More about Catalonia Yucatan Beach
Beautiful Hotel & Great Time
We stayed at the Cameleon from May 12-19th, it was a really nice hotel at the price. We did have some problems upon arrival, the main one being that they told us they didn't have cribs which I had requested both through the travel agency & the hotel's website & the air conditioning in our hotel room was broken. They fixed the a/c immediately and then as we were heading out the door to go find a pack-and-play to buy our travel rep called to see how things were going, so I mentioned the crib, there was literally a knock at our door within 2 minutes, and a crib arrived - so both of those problems were immediately solved.
Our other problem was non-related to the hotel, my daughter got a severe ear-infection. There are 2 hotel doctors who maintains regular hours at the hotel & who are on call who we got to experience - both were extremely professional & very friendly - and were able to get my daughter taken care of. However, it was pretty scary to be in another country with a sick child.
The hotel was extremely clean and the grounds were lush. The lagoon & ocean were beautiful, but other review are correct, the sand by the ocean is pretty rocky and the whole time we were there the beach was very rough. The pools are great & you can use the ones on the Lookea side or the Cameleon side, sometimes one side is a little quiter.
As far as the restaurants go, I thought the food was fine, a good enough selection that even a picky eater can find something - I have to comment about the reviews complaining about the food - if you want 5 star food, go pay for a 5 star resort. This resort is not the nicest one that we've ever stayed at, but it's great for the money and we had a WONDERFUL time! By the way, if you bring some ones and tip a few bucks at meals & the bars you will get EXCELLENT service.
For side trips, we did the Jeep Tour in Cozumel which was extremely fun. If you don't want to do the tour I would highly reccommend taking the ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel and spending the day. Playa del Carmen was also extremely enjoyable - it was fun to walk around the shops, we ate dinner at Palapa Hemmingway which was extroidinary.
We did the Dolphin Discovery at the marina in Puerto Aventuras (wonderful as well, my 3 year old loved it) - the marina was also great fun, we walked over there almost every day. My husband went deep sea fishing which he really liked and we also did the Captain Hook Cruise in Cancun, which we had done before but my 3 year old wanted to do again - it was wonderfully entertaining, but the shuttle there took at least 1.5 hours, so it was a loooong night.
Enjoy your stay!!!
Fantastic Time - Loved every minute
Myself and my husband have just returned having spent 7 nights at this all inclusive hotel from 31st May - 7 June 2004. This hotel is absolutely beautiful. The room we stayed in was on the Lookea side of the hotel and our room was overlooking the ocean. When we arrived we were greeted by friendly hotel staff who served us with an icecold cocktail, how refreshing after a 10 hour flight from the UK. Hotel staff were on hand to show us the way to our room. The service from all hotel staff was absolutely superb. Food and drink were available from 6:30am until 02:00 am the next morning and the variety and quality were second to none. The hotel grounds and immaculate. I would definately recommend this hotel and give it a well deserved 5 star rating.
A wonderful resort
Was scepitical when i booked this holiday last minute, but needn't have worried. A TRUELY SUPERB EXPERIENCE. Couldn't fault a thing there - food, drink, service all A1. Stayed the LOOKEA poolside - room 1115 (ground floor) the tequilla beach bar and staff were all too willing to make the holiday what it was - oh and the weather was great also. Lovely people, lovely place. Would recommend this holiday resort to anyone - singles, couples, families.
nice place, would go back
My wife and I spent last week at this resort. It was very pleasant. The majority of the reviews are right on target. I found that the quality of the drinks varied greatly - but I didn't go there for the drinks, I went there to relax on the beach. The weather was bad for the last day and a half of our trip. Don't forget that you may end up dodging tropical rain, and trying to entertain yourself without sitting on the beach watching the world go by.
We stayed on the Lookea side. I think that is probably a better choice, but I never saw the inside of the rooms on the other side of the resort. The buffet, beach and bars on the Lookea side tended to have many more smokers, though.
Be aware that the resort is changing it's name to Catalonia. We had a bit of a panic at the airport when our travel company told us we were going to the Catalonia. It took a little explaining with limited English/Spanish to sort it out. They were actively erasing all traces of Cameleon while we were there. They even took away the room umbrella (and then it rained, of course).
As for the ala carte restaurants, they start taking reservations every morning at 9:00. We were there by 9:10 on our first morning, and had our pick of times starting the following day. Their food was good, the service was nice, and the ambience was relaxing - although we learned that the palapa roofs (palm leaf thatch) do leak when it rains - even in the nice restaurant.
Great trip except for rain
Just returned last night from our 7 day stay, June 10-17. I based my selection of this hotel solely on Trip Advisor.com and I was extremely satisfied. There were only a couple of minor negatives, hardly even worth mentioning. We arrived around noon but didn't get in to our room until around 3:00. I was already prepared that might happen so had our swim suits readily available. Thanks to our wonderful travel agent, we were given one of the best rooms at the hotel, Room 4130 on the Lookea side. She had advised the hotel that it was my hubby's 50th birthday and that we were also celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary. The room was on the top floor facing the ocean. We weren't in the room more than 20 minutes and they were already bringing us a cake and a bottle of champagne. Too bad they forgot the ice bucket for the champagne. While waiting for our room we spent about 2 wonderful sunshine hours at the beach. It was downhill from there. A tropical depression moved in and for the next four days we got around 25 inches of rain!!!! So depressing! It wasn't the hotels fault, so surely can't complain. The electricity kept going off and the elevators never seemed to work, but we needed the walk up the four flights of stairs to work off all the food we were eating. We got an umbrella and walked to the marina and watched everyone swimming with the dolphins. That was fun! Everyone was smiling and having a great time. The food at the hotel was fine to us. This is our 3rd trip on an all inclusive, so we already knew what to expect. Some of the food was strange, but you ALWAYS could find something to eat. Forget the desserts though. They look beautiful, but absolutely have no taste. Went to all three of the specialty restaurants - the Mexican was by far the best. The steak restaurant? Ugh - I asked for medium rare and got well done and tough. But you know what? We didn't go there to worry about eating. We went to relax and that's exactly what we did. We only left the property one time the whole time we were there. We went to Maroma Beach and took the snorkeling excursion. We have been snorkleing a lot of different places and this was one of the very best. A live reef and tons of fish and different corals. Well worth the $45 we paid. We didn't have to leave for the airport the last day until 3:00 so we had the entire day to lounge in the sun and enjoy the beach. This was actually the prettiest but hottest day we were there. One thing I will never ever forget is being in the clear water with my arms around my husband's neck "dancing" to Christmas songs. That's right!!! They were playing a cd with Kenny G Christmas songs. I would definitely recommend this hotel. We paid $300 per person more last year to stay at the Bahia Principe. I would choose the Cameleon (now the Catalonia) over the Bahia. FORGET ABOUT EVER TAKING A SIESTA/NAP! The maids are always cleaning, there is always something going on at one of the pools (loud) and if someone is in the hallway it sounds like they are right in the room with you. That's my big negative! Have fun!
A Very Nice Resort At An Affordable Price
My wife and I just returned home today from The Cameleon Marival or Catalonia or whatever the name is now. We were there from June 15-19 with another couple and their 2 children. It really was an enjoyable stay. For those who aren't familiar, the Riviera Maya is a long way from Cancun, at least 50 miles. For a quiet stay it is great. I think the wives missed the shopping opportunities of Cancun. I thought that the food was good. The two restaurants that we got in to, the Italian and Mexican, were excellent. We made our reservations as soon as we arrived and the Steakhouse was already booked up so we couldn't get in there. Just a tip for you steak lovers. Have the fillet at the Italian Restaurant, it's excellent. The buffets were also very good. Last year we stayed at the Riu Cancun and these buffets don't compare to that but there is a price factor we're dealing with here. There is plenty good to eat here, just not what we experienced at the Riu but I really didn't expect it to be. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying it there. The grounds are immaculate, the staff is great. The beer is cold and if you tip a bit, they will put plenty of booze in your drinks. The only complaint that I have and it's really not a complaint was that I thought the check-in crew didn't go out of their way to make us feel at home right away. Our flight got in early and check-in isn't until 3pm. We had to ask where to go change into our swimsuits instead of them offering advice. That's really a small thing. We stayed on the Lookea side and the rooms are very clean.
All I can say is that for the money, it's a great place with clean rooms, above average food and great staff. If you need the mini-bar in your room and want to go all out, then pay for a 5 star resort. Nothing is free in this life, however it was all I expected and then some for the price we paid. If you have realistic expectations, you certainly won't be disappointed. It's a really nice resort.
A beautiful resort in Mexico
My husband and I stayed at the resort from June 10th through the 17th for our postponed honeymoon. I, like many others, chose the Cameleon based mainly on the excellent reviews it received on this site. All I can say is you can trust the reviews. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, it rained our first 3 or 4 days there, yet we were absolutely amazed at how clean everything stayed! We never saw a bug and had no problems with mosquitoes (even though our room was right next to the "jungle"). There were some problems that I will address first because they were, in my opinion, minor. First, the front desk workers are rude and extremely unhelpful, so expect it. We were told nothing except that our room wasn't ready. Luckily, the bellmen are wonderful. Second, everything sold in the shops at the hotel is extremely overpriced. Bottled Evian there ranged from $6 to $12; take the short and beautiful walk into town and purchase the water for $1.50. Third, yes, the beds are extremely hard. We asked for extra blankets for padding, which made all the difference. Fourth, the electricity goes out in the rooms often; luckily it takes only a moment for it to come back on. Finally, bring some pepto or immodium; you will thank yourself later!
Now, on to all of the good! For starters, arrange for a Best Day shuttle to and from the Cancun airport. The escorts are very helpful, and the comfort is well worth it. Also, there is so much to do at the hotel and within the town that we never got to it all; so, really there is no reason to go into Playa del Carmen or to do any extras, unless you are really looking forward to something. The shopping in the small town around the Marina was terrific, and you couldn't beat the scenery of the dolphins. Plus, the week we were there, vendors set up at the resort twice (very convenient). The lagoon is beautiful and peaceful, and we loved kayaking and viewing the fish. My husband really enjoyed snorkeling in the ocean, too. We stayed on the Lookea side, and we loved being around all of the different cultures. We did not find any people from other countries to be rude (some said the French were, but I disagree). There are 4 pools, 2 to each side. Loved the water aerobics in the morning on the Lookea side, and loved watching the events at the other pools. The animation staff is extraordinary! I'm not sure why people have said the buffet was not good; on the contrary, we found it to be very good with plenty of variety. The Mexican and Italian restaurants are a must, so make your reservations the day you get there (just the views alone are enough reason to go). I found the resort to be perfect for all ages. The staff seemed to be great with the kids, and singles and couples alike had a great time. My drinks were never lacking in alcohol, and I was never without one. One other thing: many mentioned tipping to get better service. We did, on occasion, tip, but we did not see where it ever made a difference. We were treated with courtesy and with smiles, regardless. The last night we were there, we were surprised to find a bottle of champagne in our room for a honeymoon farewell. I recommend this hotel for anyone. It is worth much more than you pay. Relax and have fun!!!
Excellent Visit at a GREAT resort.
We stayed at the Catalonia (fka Cameleon Marival) from June 9th-16th. We booked through Tony Perez with Apple Vacations and everything went as smoothly as possible. We took our teenage daughters and requested and received adjoining rooms on the Lookea side. We had a beautiful view of the pool and ocean. We had great meals at all of the restaurants and really enjoyed the Lookea pool bar because of the friendly and fun staff. We were so amazed at how clean everything was everywhere we went. They really work hard to keep it that way and it shows. The nightly shows were average and the room was very warm when we were there. Definitely take your insulated mug, snorkel mask and water shoes for even a more relaxing time. We have stayed at 5 star resorts, but this one is smaller and more intimate which we liked and feel that this resort is deserving of a higher rating especially given the price.