The Catalonia Royal Tulum is a 5-star, adults only all-inclusive resort along the Riviera Maya in Mexico. This resort is great for couples, but I actually did this as a solo trip (my first international!) and enjoyed myself immensely! It would also be a good fit if you are looking for a spot to do a girl’s trip, guys trip, or even a group trip to Mexico!
My intentions when writing about a place are not to promote the place but to give my readers an honest review so that you can make an informed decision about how to spend your precious time and money. To assist in your decision making, I want to go over the good, the bad, and the ugly…but mostly good so stay with me here. Let’s get started!
the good (mostly great!)
Catalonia has the best of both worlds. The resort is nestled in the middle of the jungle. Just as you emerge from the lush jungle you step onto gorgeous beach property.
It’s why most of us are here. The resort has a nice little slice of oceanside property with soft sand and gorgeous blue green water.
I chose this resort because of its location right in the middle of the jungle, and I was thrilled about that! As you might expect of a jungle location, it rained a lot, but just for a bit. One of the most enjoyable aspects of my trip was sitting on my balcony listening to gentle rain tapping out one my favorite sounds on the bright green jungle flora!
pretty walking paths
Walking the lovely paths that wind through the resort was enjoyable both day or night.
They are romantically lit at night and one section of the walkway has mesmerizing color changing lights!
nature, beautiful nature
Although I had a wonderful solo trip here, this resort is definitely geared to couples.
The walkway paths are studded with cute inspirational signs.
With the beautiful green sea just feet away, I didn’t even try out the pool, which has a swim up bar. I did stick a couple of toes in to test it out and it was a pleasant temperature for early January.
my favorite spot…the hammock!
This hammock and I made great friends during my time at the resort. What a great way to enjoy the sounds of the ocean waves relaxing in a hammock. Eyes closed, I let the sound of the waves wash over me and it was bliss!
Your reservation at Catalonia comes with access to some of the cutest area residents. The walkways are teaming with coati, friendly and as you can see oh so cute! They were a fantastic addition to the whole jungle experience.
I booked a junior suite and paid for the “privileged” upgrade which comes with the following:
one access to spa water circuit, 10% off spa treatments, the possibility (but no guarantee) of early check in/late check out, accessed to the BLOVED beach restaurant and bar, and access to the privileged area of the beach.
Check out their QR code site for the pillow menu! I didn’t find that neat feature until my last night. The room was very clean and had cool a/c. The closer the proximity to the rowdy Rauxa bar the louder the music was. If you like to retire early you might try and request a room further from this area.
These key card wristbands were perfect for a beach resort. I never had to worry about remembering my room key or leaving it unattended while I was swimming.
The spa ran a special on most days. I went twice for the massage/facial special. Spa services include hair, braids, waxing, nails and more.
We all know about Mexico’s reputation. Safety is a #1 priority, especially for a solo female traveler. I felt perfectly safe here. I walked around the resort alone at night but didn’t stay out late. There is access control at the entrance to the resort. When I left and came back the guard took my name and room number from the taxi driver and took down the taxi number. Take the usual travel precautions and do your research before you travel because knowledge is always your best defense.
“no” before you go
Get used to hearing the word no. Even the simplest of requests seemed to elicit a response to the negative. Can you make change for my 500-peso bills? “no madam” can you reduced my room rate my travel companion was not able to be here? “no madam.” There were a few other small requests that elicited further “no madam” replies.
When you book an all-inclusive they usually price the rooms based on double occupancy but there is often a small reduction in price when just one person is occupying the room. The reasoning is that one person is going to consume about half of the food and drink. I wasn’t very happy that they declined to give me any type of discount but my only option was to stay home, which was not actually an option.
Communication with the resort prior to arrival was almost non-existent. I attempted to contact them directly several times with questions and got no response. I made my reservation through booking.com and they did not respond to them regarding one of my requests either.
The QR code method for accessing the menus was at times downright frustrating; inconvenient at best and just flat irritating at worst. I found their site to be littered with glitches and technical issues. Do yourself a favor, when it’s working take a screenshot of the menu for later reference, or if you are struggling with QR code process just try asking for a menu.
somewhere in between:
For me, if I am being perfectly honest, the food was really hit and miss. There were 8 restaurants to choose from. To get into B’loved beach restaurant you will need to book a room with privileged access and the rowdy Rauxa requires a reservation. In the interest of keeping this article short and sweet, I’ve covered the food in this supplemental article: Food and Restaurant Review for Catalonia Royal Tulum.
The service was good, the employees friendly but I did have some communication issues. Google translate for your mobile phone can be a very useful too. If you are new to google translate I cover google translate basics in this article.
The resort has several activities scheduled throughout the week such as cornhole, ladderball, beach volleyball, bocce ball, bingo, ping pong pool volleyball, dance lessons and more.
location and getting there
The resort is located about 1 to 1.5 hours’ drive south of the Cancun airport. On the recommendation of a friend, I booked private transport. They will take you directly to your resort as opposed to shared transport which has to stop and let other’s out along the way making your trip potentially much longer. There are many companies that perform this service. I used Mayaland (booked through booking.com airport taxi booking, which gave me the best rate) and USA Transfers (booked direct), both of which have stellar Google reviews. For around $80 each way I had the entire van to myself. NOTE OF CAUTION WHEN USING BOOKING. COM. They booked me with Mayaland airport to resort but when I tried to book my return transport they offered me some company that has very bad google review. Do a little research on the company before you finalize with them.
All in all, I find that there were more positive aspects about this resort. I would go back in a heartbeat.
easy day trips from Catalonia Royal Tulum
I did two day trips while I was at the resort. I swam with the sea turtles and did some snorkeling at Akumal Bay one day and on another day visited the Kantun Chi Cenote Park. Both are very close to the resort so you can spend your time having fun instead of sitting in a car or on a bus. Check back for full reviews on both activities.
You can rent a car, join group tours, take the bus or do like I did and take Taxis. The fares seemed a little high but I felt it was safest option for me. Make sure you already have the correct amount of change in your mind before you hand over your fare, otherwise they may take it upon themselves to take a large tip.
The weather was almost perfect during my stay in the month of January. I never really got hot and despite the daily rain showers humidity didn’t seem to be an issue. In general daytimes temps averaged 81 degrees f, nights 65 degrees f.
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