More about Catalonia Royal Tulum
Nice Resort - Great Beach
We stayed at the Royal Catalonia (Copacabana) Feb 10th - 17th. We booked this trip through Apple Vacations about a month before we left. Overall Apple did an ok job. The only real complaint I have about Apple is the 2.5 hour bus ride to the airport at the end of our vacation.
Food - The food was pretty good. We only ate breakfast and lunch at the resort about 4 or 5 days out of the 7 we were there. We went off the resort a few times and had some wonderful lunches. The breakfast buffet was good, omelets, bacon, french toast, pancakes and a few Mexican favorites like chilaquiles. From 10:30 - 12 there was usually a continental breakfast set up in the lunch area. Lunch buffet always included beef, chicken, pork and chorizo tacos, different pizzas, hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and a varying number of hot dishes. Dinner Buffet was a different theme each night. I thought the soups were really good. There was always some sort of grilled item, shrimp, steak... Plenty of different choices and most of the food was really good. The Mexican and Caribbean reservation restaurants were nice and the food and service at both was really good.
Rooms - A little musty when we first got there, but the AC took care of the pretty quickly. The housekeeping staff did a nice job keeping the room clean and the fridge stocked. I really liked the nice big shower. No one stole anything from us. In fact one day I left a tip, but it was still there after cleaning because I didn't write a note saying it was a tip.
Entertainment - Nice shows every night and plenty of activities around the pool during the day.
Beach - Incredible!!!! No problems getting chairs at the beach or Pool.
Drinks/Bar - Probably my only complaints were with the drinks. First I would like to say the drinks were not "watered down". You can get as much alcohol as you would like all you have to do is ask. I tried Margaritas twice and both times they were not good. I am not sure if it was the tequila or the mix. This is Mexico, they should have good tequila and good margaritas. I ended up drinking a lot of rum & cervesa because of this. The lines at the bars were a little long at times because they seemed short staffed. That said the bar waitresses were great. Especially Gabriella!
Overall - Well worth what we paid and I would recommend this resort. Note that they are changing management and we didn't really see any management until Wednesday. About that same time the bar menus changed... Guess I should have tried another margarita at this point. It looks like they are slowly making small changes for the better.
JUST AMAZING !
I just came back (feb. 10 to 18) from Copacabana and it was just amazing. Don't listen to other reviews because I'm telling you, I had the best vacation ever ! Food was excellent and various, service was excellent. Beach is wonderful. Rooms and bathrooms are very clean and very spacious ! Don't miss the shows each night at the hotel. Ricky, Valeria, Freddy, Stefano and the others are so great and so kind ! Only 25 min from Playa del Carmen at 16$ taxi and you'll have so much fun.
Nothing bad to say about this hotel. I would go back anytime !!!!
Not a four star(beware of theft from room safe)
Just got back Feb 16/07
Someone had a way of getting into the room safe and stole $100 American.
Security was advised but I was told it was impossible..go figure
My wallet and passport we;re tossed aside (not in the same place I had it)
Food was great
Entertainment was great.
Rooms clean but very smelly.
Not enough bars for the size as line ups were a problem.
And many people butt in front of the line by going to the side of the bar. My pet peeve.
Would not probably return due to the theft.
I always think it helps to know a little bit about who is reviewing. We are an older couple with adult children who did not come with us. We are well traveled-lots of trips to Europe etc, but I have not been in Mexico since I was a child and my husband has never been. We probably would qualfy as "foodie"-though we do not have to have fancy food, but quality is important to us. I am in the salon/spa distribution business so am very picky about services.
I got this hotel stay on Skyauction--sort of by accident. I had never bid on anything before and was sort of interested in this place because it is environmental, so I decided to bid too low to win. Low and behold, I won. So I stipulated a holiday ( valentines day) thinking they would not have it available. They did and we were going.
I booked a direct and expensive flight to make sure we got there OK and booked a car from Thrifty so we could do day trips. Flight was fine and the Thrifty Car rental went well--even though I did not recognize the nice helpful lady as a timeshare saleswoman. She was nice about our no and we drove off, getting used to the topes and pulling over to the right to let people pass. It took a bit of doing.
We arrived at the hotel about 3 on February 7 and I asked for the manager , Yolanda, at the front desk. I had sent several e-mails with room requests and had not gotten an answer-I assumed because of the ownership change. She was lovely and , having dropped Carolyn Gustavson's name ( ;0) -she is an expert here on the hotel--Yolanda aplogized very nicely by upgrading us to a superior. with a bit of sea view--in building 300 if you are interested--about halfway beteen the ocen and the main building . We liked this fine.
The room was very comfortable and the bed --though hard--was fine for sleeping . I laughed to see that they have added padding to the matress--what it must have been before. The maid kept it beautifully clean and we tipped her generously --I believe in this because I don't believe they get enough credit. It's only a few dollars to us , but all the world to them. She responded by a new and pretty towel sculpture every day. We kept our passports and extra money in the safe and never had any problems.
The beach, as everyone says, is gorgeous-fun to walk . Lots of teeny children there and there were some days that they might not be able to swim in the ocean , as it was a bit rough, but the pool ( and there was a nice baby pool) was perfect.
Food was good. Breakfst was lavish because the resort has a lot of prople from French Canada and Italy and they all ate different things--so different things were provided. Just about anything you can imagine. There was always a good grill cook for omlets and one for pancakes etc.
Lunch was just fine . There was alway a roast or roast chicken, hamburgers, pizza, salads , a grill cook for tacos, soft ice cream--not exciting stuff but not bad either. Later in the week the resort became very full and lunch lines occured--we just ate earlier or later than 12 if we did not want to wait.
We ate twice at the reservation restaurants ( would have liket to eat there more but only got 2 tickets while someone else got 3. I was a bit disappointed , but feel sure that had we asked, we could have gotten aonther--they were awfully accomodating) .
Mexican was good and interesting. Caribbean was fun too. We did not try the steak and lobster becasue we ate off site at Hezixho in Tulum for Valentine's Day. GREAT restaurant .
I had two services in the Spa. Do you remember that I said I am very picky when it comes to Spa services? Well I had a really wonderful deep tissue massage and a really good Mayan massage. I was quite impressed. They have a steam shower, a hot tub etc. Nice dresing rooms and a very nice open air papua with loungers where they serve you water or green tea afterwards. Being in the industry, I asked why they didn't market the spa more and one of the two sisters that now have the place told me that they were just starting to build the spa image. .She said the new owners have a lot of plans for upgrading the former Copacabana and I could see that this was true , because later in the week there was a lot of management out looking into things.
Oh yes--ther weather wasn't perfect , but we went to Tukum and Chichin-Iza and Playa for some shopping. The side streets are better than the main street of 5th.
We went to the shows often and were most impressed. They do a great job and the shows had way more personality than those on the Celebrity cruise we took. I particularly remember the girls dancing with lit candles on their heads in the Mexican Folklore show and the cute "borrowed " baby who was the baby lion king when that did the show. He or she didn't cry --just looked at all of us so seriously we had to laugh.
Oh, Drinks. I thought the beach bar drinks were probably more watered down because a falling down drunk would be a bit awkward in the pool or beach area. At the lobby bar, all you had to say was strong and the drink was. We drank less of the fancy mixed drinks and more basics and thought they were fine --though the fancy drinks were kind of fun.
A little tip goes a long way.
Altogether, we had a great time. We really loved the path through the resort. Some folks have complained, but I found it charming and loved seeing the small animals and birds. It was kind of a de-stresser to walk the Very few minutes to the beach of restaurant.. We actually though it was one of the best parts!
This is a great place to go . As my husband said, it has "Good Bones" and the upgrading that is being done will make it even better. Just do remember--you are in Mexico and everything won't be done fast or perfectly --but what the heck--you are on vacation!!!!!!!!
We arrived at the Catolonia Royal Tullum (formerly Copacabana) on Feb. 19 2007 and left on Feb. 23. I must say that the only good thing that we have to report is the beautiful beach and pool. The room was not a little "musty" it had a strong odor of mildew, we had to wash our clothes twice after getting home. Our biggest complaint was the food, for the money that we paid it was disgusting and horrible. I stuck to bread, rice and pasta to be on the safe side. My husband is now on antibiotics since arriving home. He became very sick after 3 days at the resort. I would never recommend this resort and would never return. I'm not sure that I would use Apple Vacations again as I'm sure they probably did not try the food. Disappointed in Maryland.
We invested a week in mid-Feb to this fabulous resort. We had read other reviews that did not give it justice. We (both in our mid-fortys) found this resort to be clean, safe, restful, friendly, peaceful, curtious staff that can speak good English. The resort seems to have been built around nature as opposed to the other way around. The walkway to the beach and main entrance was weaved around the natural environment such as trees. They even go to great extent to germinate any dead trees or shrubs. So cool to have people that care about the environment. The sound of the diversity of birds made me want to open the patio door just to listen to their songs. The iguanas are free to roam but don't worry, they are both harmless and I've never seen one in the restaurants or the rooms. The food was absolutely excellent, plentiful and diverse. We recommend that you reserve at least one of your free "a la carte" restaurant to be the vegetarian restaurant. There is also a liquor that I want to promote. It is called XTABENTUN and wow is it good. It tastes like licorice and honey. Must try.
The two kilometer long beach was to die for. So clean, so much like powder and overall peaceful. Feel free to sunbathe topless as people are respectful. The sea was multicolored and there was hardly any coral. We did not go into the beautiful pool as we prefer the sights and sounds of the waves.
We only did one excursion and it was the combined TULUM and XELHA tours. Great for the price. We were told that all of the ruins tours were so similar that you may wish to pick the closest. TULUM is only half an hour away. If you're mother tongue is English, insist beforehand that your guide speaks the language well as we were subjected to 80% French and 20% English on the bilingual tour. Not a problem if you understand French but you may miss out on a lot of information otherwise. XELHA has the best snorkeling. You see so many fishes by your side and you had access to a free dolphin show. Great for the whole family.
We also spent half a day at Playa de Carmen and it was great. Cab down for $16US and go to 5th avenue. That street is only for pedestrians and we recommend investing at least 6 hours to do your shopping to get great deals and possibly eat at a restaurant and enjoy the night life.
This was our first out-of-country trip together as a couple and wow was it ever romantic. Yes there is some nightlife although we only attended one of the events and the staff were excellent entertainers.
We personally found one-week to go by too fast and would not hesitate to recommend this resort for a two-week romantic vacation.
A negative experience was the CANCUN airport wait of three hours before leaving with your luggage but who knows, they may have had a bad day (so we were told). But what the hay, isn't it worth it? If you can get half of the pleasure that we have experienced, it is well worth it.
If you would like to contact us, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Theresa and Roger
We had an amazing stay at the CRT (former Copacabana). It was our first trip to the Caribbean and we will definitely go back, maybe even to the same hotel because of the staff, who were fantastic!!
Food & Drinks: The food was great! The buffets were always tasty and hot food was warm. There were always pizza, nachos, veggies and lots of other themed food for suppers. The two a la cartes we went to were also fantastic - the Mexican and the Caribbean one. Both had excellent service and the food was superb. We had ribs and fish at the Caribbean restaurant and chicken fajitas at the mexican one. It was also my 27th birthday while I was down there, so my friend Megan hooked up many surprises for me which made it extra special. At the Mexican restaurant, they came out and did this fire/alcohol pouring thing and then put it on a little cake and sang Happy Birthday, it was really great! For drinks, try the mojitos, they are wicked!! And if they run outta mint, try a caipirania... its very similar in taste. The drinks were tasty and they made them how you asked - no complaints.
Spa: We both had 30 minute massages and they were fantastic. We had use of all the spas, showers, etc. and there was plenty of time to relax and enjoy the serenity. The staff were great and the facilities really nice.
Beach: One of my favorite things about this place was the beach. It was absolutely breathtaking and stretched for miles. It was very clean and there were always lots of chairs available to lay on. The water was beautiful and there were even small schools of fish swimming around from time to time.
Activities: Lots of stuff to do, you'll never get bored! We got to the point where we didn't want to leave the resort since there was lots going on. There are aerobics, dance classes, lots of beach volleyball, crazy games and the animation staff made everything fun. Thursday was by far the best when it was staff vs. guests day. The beer competition was a blast!
Shows: These were fantastic. The staff were very professional and did an excellent job every night. We saw all 7 shows when we were there and loved all of them!! There were always things to do before the shows as well, play bingo, dance, etc. Ricky, Stefano, Valeria, Aaron, Luiz, Carmen, Freddie, Lupita, Paola, and Garson.... you guys rock!! You totally made our vacation fun and were fun to hang out with at the Disco after the shows and during the day with the activities.
Rooms: We were upgraded to a Junior Suite when we arrived and the room was huge! It was really nice and not musty smelling at all. I even brought a candle just in case and never used it once. We tipped the cleaning staff daily and they kept our room in very good shape and the fridge stocked with whatever we needed.
Excursions: Go to Xel-Ha for a full day. We went on the combo tour of Tulum and didn't have enough time to get the full benefit of the park. It was fantastic. The snorkelling is AWESOME. Swim with the dolphins, its totally worth it! We also went on a catamaran trip with Catamaya and they were fantastic and super fun. We had lobster & steak on the boat and partied on the way back. I don't know how the crew dances and pours drinks on a boat, it was pretty impressive.
Safes: I had a laptop, 2 cameras, 2 ipods and tons of money in the safe and they were fine everyday. Nothing was taken from us and I felt comfortable leaving my stuff in the room. They didn't touch anything and you had to explicitly leave them tips.
I think that is it. I've added a couple of pictures to show you what it was like - it was definitely a vacation to remember and hopefully we will be able to return soon. The activities/entertainment staff and the beach were definite highlights of the trip. Don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions. email@example.com
Melanie (& Megan)
Excellent all-inclusive value.
Excellent resort grounds and amenities. We chose this resort because of the smaller size (288 rooms versus over 700 at most all-inclusives), and the reviews of the beach. We prefer to relax in a smaller place and this one is a gem. Check-in was very easy and quick. Room was beautiful and larger than we've ever had before in an all-inclusive. (And nothing was stolen.) Food was excellent - breakfast and lunch buffets were tasty and there was plenty of variety - everyone seemed pleased. At dinner, I preferred the food in the main buffet over the a la carte restaurants at the resort while my wife preferred the atmosphere of the a la carte restaurants - so we alternated nights between buffet and a la cartes. The pool was very nice and good temperature. There were these 3 large outdoor hot tubs elevated next to the pool overlooking the beach which were a unique amenity and we really enjoyed an evening soak each day after coming off the beach, with a cocktail, or two, or three... : )
Highlights: The beach was the perfect tropical beach. Lots of shade trees and palapas (shade huts). Lots of areas of full sun. Lots of beach chairs at your disposal. Soft clean white sand. Crystal clear turquoise waters. The "Animation Staff" were cool, fun folks who were not too "in-your-face" and who knew a lot of fun games, etc. to keep the joiners entertained and the spectators as well. These people are working so hard every day, as they are also the cast of the evening shows. The shows were higher caliber than at our 4 previous all-inclusive experiences.
Suggestions: the air conditioning in our room made it pretty cold, even though our room was on the top floor of the building and we had it on the warmest setting (30 deg cel) and lowest fan (lo). Normally we would consider this a great thing when it's 90 deg farenheit outside. However, it got a little cold while sleeping. We didn't bring long sleeve stuff to sleep in - suggest that might be a good idea.
Negatives: BEDS - OK we are parents of small children and really needed to sleep well and regain our rest on this rare 4 night trip away from our babes. Unfortunately, the bed situation was kind of bad. We had a king bed and the mattress, sheets, and blankets were long overdue for replacement. The mattress was hard, but we don't usually mind that. There was no mattress pad. The sheets were not fitted, and they were shrunken to the point of not really fitting on the bed. The blanket was shrunken to the point that if you tried to pull it up to your neck, it would come untucked at the bottom. By morning all the covers were unraveled around the bed. We could tell that the maid staff did their best to make it up nicely, but there's only so much you can do with sheets that don't fit the bed. Catalonia Management - time to invest in some new sleep amenities!
BOOZE - the bar staff have long lists of great drinks they make well for you. However, all the alcohol is bottom shelf. You don't notice in the "themed cocktails". But, the margaritas didn't taste very good - bit of a bummer on a trip to MEXICO! They do have Jose Cuervo tequila, I don't know, maybe it was the mix they use or something. Also, if you prefer gin or vodka martinis... be prepared for the rough stuff in the big plastic bottle. I sampled everything and was most satisfied with the Mojitos. They had good beer on tap. I don't know what brand they were tapping for the regular beer, but it really was good. Also, they had Negro Modelo on tap which is also good, darker beer.
Beware Of Hotel Staff
This resort is not at all what it is ranked, the front desk tryed to double charge us for everything, just so they could put cash in their pocket! They made us switch rooms half way through our stay. They said if we didn't change rooms they would call the police on us. We had a king bed and then 2 doubles. COULDN'T GET ANY DINNER RESERVATIONS FOR THE ENTIRE 8 DAYS WE WERE THERE. They said reservations had to be made 2 weeks prior to arriving. WHAT A JOKE, they were completely understaffed and the food was average, if not bad. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY.....GO SOMEWHERE ELSE.
Catalonia Royal Tulum
Does anyone have any familiarity or experience with this hotel? Also - is it best to rent a car to go from Cancun airport to hotel? Thank you.
Re: Catalonia Royal Tulum
If you are not a part of a tour group offering transfers then renting may be a good idea. I rented a car over Christmas when we stayed at Puerto Morales and found the driving to be OK. The highway has numerous speed bumps and the military was stopping everyone about every 50 Kms or so but it was still a good way to get around, especially if you plan on seeing some of the countryside while you are there.
Re: Catalonia Royal Tulum
If you're going to use it for other journeys then you may want to rent a car, even though the other poster is right and the roads aren't the best. But if you really just want it to go from the airport to the hotel and back I guess it's going to be too expensive and not worth it. As per the hotel's website, a cab would cost 30 USD.... so I guess it's up to you to decide depending on your needs and your wallet. Cheers.
Re: Catalonia Royal Tulum
I wouldn't rent a car unless you plan to do alot of travelling - you can book a airport transfer for you ride to the airport, they will meet you outside the gate. If you want to get around you can take a taxi or the public transit called "Collectivos" its the cheapest and only around 2$ a person. If you really want some great advice on the CRT and hear about some trip reports I would check out Locogringo - they have a huge following there.
Re: Catalonia Royal Tulum
We just booked a very quick getaway to CRT. I read all about it on TA - and it seems like a fantastic place.
It is All Inclusive, so renting a car may not be necessary.
But there is allot to explore too, so maybe having a car would be good, but taxis and buses are abound in the are.