My bf and I just got back yesterday from the Royal, and we had a great time. We are a young couple (mid 20s, early 30s). We found the average age to be about 50, which is a bit high for us, who like a good party, but we expected this and still had an awesome stay.
The room was spotless, we stayed in a deluxe room, which is on the renovated side of the hotel, I highly recommend booking a deluxe, or a suite if you can afford it, because the rooms are super nicely renovated and fresh. The room was always cleaned well, and there were plenty of towels to go around. The mini fridge was kept full of water, beer and sodas (one time they did not refill the beer, so we put a dollar in the fridge, and that solved that). The shower was amazing (rain shower head), and the bath was great; no jets, but still super relaxing. The balcony is spacious, there was a hammock, 2 chairs and a table. The tv= flat screen and plenty of channels to choose from if you're into that. The room was just great, no complaints whatsoever. One time I, like an idiot, left the room safe wide open- it had over 1000$, our passports, sunglasses, etc, but nothing was taken. The manager had us sign a form stating that everything was still there. The cleaning person saw that it was open, contacted the manager who then found us and had us go check it out. I was very reassured by this process.
The infinity pool, which is closest to the beach is awesome. Clean, beautiful and relaxing. There is no swim up bar at this pool, but it is right next to the pool. Some of the bartenders will come up to the pool and serve you there, others will not, but I did not find this a negative point.
There is no music played at this pool, which for us, was a negative point, but for others, a positive point.
Beware that there are only 11 sunbeds around the pool. If you want one, you have to wake up at the crack of dawn (between 6 and 7) in order to reserve one with your towels. If you're a morning person, its really no big deal, but if not, this can be seen as a negative point, however, some beds do free up mid-day, so just watch out for that. Otherwise, there are plenty of lounge chairs that are also comfortable around the pool and on the beach, so no worries. There are also plenty of sunny and shady spots to pick from, which was important for my bf and myself who burn badly, always.
The other pool, with the swim up bar, which is closer to the lobby is nice, but we chose not to hang out there because it is far from the beach. It is still a good option though, if you want.
They do play music at this pool, but we did not like the kind of music. It was disco or other "oldies", which in regular life is fun, but for us, on vacation, we want to hear dominican music, or tropical music, but it's not a deal breaker if you like this pool.
The hot tubs are awesome. Although they are not super hot, we still enjoyed them. I didn't ask them to make it hotter, but maybe that would solve the temp problem, sometimes asking will get you far. In the spa, next to the hot tubs, they have 2 saunas (one dry, one wet), this was awesome. Too bad we only discovered them on our last day!!
You also have access to the other resort pool. It is fun just to check it out once or twice, but beware of all the screaming children.
THE FOOD (overall the food is good. Remember that you're not at home, and that you cannot ever compare it to New York city meals, or for us..Montreal meals, it just does not compare, so don't try. The standards are not the same).
Thalassa was good for all 3 meals. I recommend trying it out for all 3. Breakfast was annoying at first, because they say that you have to order the omelettes from the waiter, which takes forever, but I recommend just going straight to the source (the cook, himself) and waiting for your omelette infront of his face, this is faster. The annoying thing about ordering it from the waiter is that it takes a bit long considering the rest of your meal you pick up at the buffet. You have your meal, but not the main part. Anyway, the food was good here. Andres was the best waiter at this place, he was quick, and super friendly.
Sea blue= great for lunch (burgers, sandwhiches, salads, sushi, fried fish= all tasty)
I do not recommend it for dinner though. The lobster is fun to eat, but it's bland. Sea blue is right off the beach, so you can see the ocean while eating lunch which is really nice.
The tapas resto was good, but do not compare it to a fancy tapas resto in your home town. We went once and did not go back, but it was fun that one time.
The buffets on the other side of the resort are good for breakfast or lunch, but not dinner more than once,..the ambiance is zero romantic for dinner time.
The mexican was good! We did not try the japanese or the steak house. We did not get sick from the food.
The beach is really nice. There was no sea weed when we arrived, but after the 15 minute storm mid-trip, there was sea weed for the rest of the trip, but it did not bother us one bit. The staff were there all day raking it up, and it does not affect you once you're out there swimming.
We did snorkling on the resort and off the resort. There are plenty of fish to see in the water on the resort which is super cool! You pay 20$ to snorkel, as a deposit, and you get it back after you give back the mask. It was fun, we did it twice. We also went kyaking and catamaraning. Both super fun experiences. Kyaking is free, catamaran is 35$ once, and then you can take it everyday for one hour for free. We had a blast on the beach, due to these activities.
We went on an exursion (40$) it included snorkling in a different area, drinks on the boat, a snack and stopping in a natural pool to hang out for a while. The trip was about 3 hours and it was beautiful. They play loud music on the boat, so if you don'T like loud dominican music, don't do this exursion. The water was a lot nicer in the area that they took us, we wish it was like that on the resort, but the resort water is still breath taking.
The service at the bars and restos was sometimes excellent, sometimes good and sometimes bad, but really, who cares, you're on vacation and there is no rush. If we were waiting for something, we just asked again, no point in getting worked up about it. Most employees were super nice, fun and friendly, there were a few who were not as friendly, but from what I remember it was 1 or 2 people out of about 50 who we spoke to throughout our stay, so really no biggy. Front desk was helpful. One tip, the front desk rarely has ones to exchange ($$), so go ask the bellboy at the front, he gave me 10 ones one day when the front desk said they didnt have any. One time, the front desk asked the bellboy for me, so I figured it would be easier to go straight to him myself.
There is no noise on this resort, if you're looking for a party, maybe go to the disco, but I didn't go, so I can't say if it was good or not. We hung out at the piano bar because the bartenders were AWESOME. Manuel, Hector, Adelso and Righty were great, there are others, but I don't remember their names. These guys are fun and just want you to be happy. Their service was top notch.
On Thursday night there was a beach party, this was realllly fun; the music was good, everyone was dancing and the service was impeccable. My glass of champagne was always full.
It ended early though! 11pm.
Watch out for the mosquitos if you're the type of person to get bitten. I got about 50 mosquito bites, but my bf got 1. I bought bug spray which helped, but I kept forgetting to put it on, hence my 50 mosquito bites. Just pack some OFF!
Overall, we had an amazing time. Get to know the staff, they can really make your trip!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy the authentic Caribbean at an exclusive, adults-only resort. Its small details make big your stay and the personalized service you receive will make you feel as if you were in heaven. Exclusive suites, innovative restaurants, dreamlike swimming pools…relax in this tropical paradise and enjoy the best vacation you’ve ever had. Have an extraordinary experience, and leave the worrying to us; we’ll take care of you. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Catalonia Royal Bavaro Hotel Punta Cana
- Catalonia Royal Bavaro Punta Cana
- Royal Catalonia Bavaro