Catalonia Royal Bavaro – a comprehensive review for this Punta Cana adults-only all-inclusive resort

Catalonia Royal Bavaro is a pretty unique and different adults-only hotel in Punta Cana, which is a little bit different than most all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic. That’s why it is worth reading this extensive Catalonia Royal Bavaro hotel review with all details about this hotel in Punta Cana. You are wondering what makes it stand apart from others? Attention to detail, many cute photo spots, a compact size without the big resort-like ambiance and some interesting restaurants are just some of the interesting amenities of this adults-only hotel in Punta Cana. For all the information about this all-inclusive resort, check out this full review of Catalonia Royal Beach.

Where is Catalonia Royal Bavaro?

Catalonia Royal Bavaro is one of the many all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana and is located in the section of Cabeza de Toro, one of the first areas when driving up north from the airport. The all-inclusive resort is right at the beach, with Catalonia Bavaro Beach and Catalonia Punta Cana being right next to it.

From the airport, it is just a 15-minute ride to Catalonia Royal Bavaro, therefore it is one of the closest all-inclusive resorts to Punta Cana Airport besides the hotels in Cap Cana. For your way from the airport, it is recommendable to prebook your transfer* as taxis are not always reliable and Uber is not an option at the airport.

If you want to leave the resort walking, there is not much around it. To the mini-village of Cabeza de Toro, it is a little bit less than a 1-mile walk, but there is absolutely nothing of interest there, not even a proper restaurant or supermarket. If you need anything from outside, it is better to head to Verón by public transport or to Downtown Bavaro by taxi.

One thing you can reach walking is Pearl Beach Club. It is one of the most popular beach clubs in the Punta Cana area with large pools, comfy Bali beds and a full menu with food and premium drinks. They are famous for themed parties and well-known DJs, which certainly will be back once the Covid-19 pandemic in Punta Cana is over. Guests of Catalonia Royal Bavaro enjoy a 20% discount on food and drinks at Pearl Beach Club.

If you are wondering about the exact location of Catalonia Royal Bavaro, you can check out its location in Cabeza de Toro on this map with all Punta Cana resorts.

Overview of Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Catalonia Royal Beach is one of the smaller all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana with only 278 rooms, making it a particularly personal and intimate hotel, especially compared to those huge resorts like Melía Caribe, Hard Rock Punta Cana or Bahía Principe.

When entering the small lobby of Catalonia Royal Bavaro, you can already feel that you are not going to stay at one of those mega all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana. Three check-in counters, a few sofas and direct access to the buffet restaurant and the evening bar – that’s it. Once you leave the lobby, you are directly in front of the main pool with its pool bar, surrounded by sun loungers, a snack restaurant and another restaurant for the evening.

The main pool at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, a Punta Cana adults-only hotel

Once you continue walking from the lobby towards the beach (which is approximately 1000 feet / 350 meters) you’ll pass the spa, the beautiful outdoor library (see further details below in the section “entertainment and services”) and the buildings with the rooms of Catalonia Royal.

Catalonia Royal Bavaro, an adults-only resort in Punta Cana

Getting closer to the beach, you’ll first find a large (not swimmable) pool with fountains, followed by another small restaurant area (with 2 restaurants, including an à-la-carte lunch restaurant). This section is finalized by an infinity pool, which you can swim in and which has a view of the beach.

The infinity pool at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Ending your walk at the beach, you have already reached the end of Catalonia Royal Bavaro. It is a really small adults-only all-inclusive resort and very easy to get around and get used to all the areas.

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The beach at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

The beach at Catalonia Royal Bavaro is a pretty small area as well and consists of a well-designed and cozy beach club, a regular beach section with sun loungers as well as a Privileged beach with more comfortable Bali beds.

The beach bar at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

While the beach bar is indeed very inviting and a good place to start your beach day, the beach at Catalonia Royal is absolutely nothing to write home about. The sand is pretty gray, the beach is not very photogenic and while the water is shallow and easy to have a dip in, the ocean is not suitable for proper swimming.

For your Dominican Republic vacation

Travel resources

Punta Cana Airport Transfers: Info | Book It*
Santo Domingo Airport Transfers: Info | Book It*
All-Inclusive Resorts: Info | Book It*
Guesthouses & AirBnBs: Info | Book It*
Excursions: Info | Book It*
Rental Car: Info | Book It*
Road-Trips & Self-Drive Tours: Info | Plan It
Travel Insurance (incl. covid-19 coverage): Book it*

BUT, before browsing away and searching for another all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana with a better beach, hold on! The good thing is, as a guest of Catalonia Royal Bavaro, you have full access to neighboring Catalonia Bavaro and Catalonia Punta Cana, which have an incredibly beautiful beach section. I was actually surprised to see such a great and gorgeous stretch of sand in the Cabeza de Toro area, which is not necessarily known to have the most beautiful beaches in Punta Cana.

The gorgeous and beautiful beach section of Catalonia Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana

Looks great, doesn’t it? Especially the abundance of palm trees and the different colors are awe-aspiring. I loved this part of the beach so I would absolutely recommend you to head over to Catalonia Bavaro when staying at Catalonia Royal for your beach day. It is a 1-minute walk and you can use the beach bars and restaurants of Catalonia Bavaro Beach and Catalonia Punta Cana as well.

The gorgeous and beautiful beach section of Catalonia Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana

While the ocean is still not pretty suitable for proper swimming in this area (as it is very shallow all around), you have the chance to take advantage of an interesting sandbar, which allows you to walk out into the ocean in chest-deep water for more than 1000 feet – definitely a fun experience.

The gorgeous and beautiful beach section of Catalonia Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana

The rooms at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

The rooms at Catalonia Royal Bavaro are distributed among the following categories:

  • Superior Junior Suite
  • Premium Junior Suite
  • Privileged Deluxe Junior Suite
  • Privileged Romance Deluxe Junior Suite
  • Privileged Deluxe Junior Suite & Swimming Pool
  • Privileged Presidential Ocean Front Suite
  • Privileged Duplex Suite & Swimming Pool

When entering the rooms, you can see that Catalonia Royal Bavaro is not the newest all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. While everything is well-maintained and super clean, there is a certain age of the rooms you can feel.

A junior suite at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

However, there is absolutely nothing to complain about regarding the rooms at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, especially considering the moderate price tag this adults-only resort in Punta Cana is coming with. The jacuzzi in the room is pretty impressive, the bathrooms are perfectly renovated and the minibar is well-stocked. From the balcony, you can enjoy views of the garden or the pool. Further amenities include – among others – air-condition, a coffee machine, flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi (which worked well on most occasions) and a safe.

There are Privileged rooms with additional services available, which is the VIP section at Catalonia Royal Bavaro. You’ll find further information below about the amenities of this section.

If you are looking for swim-out suites, you can book the Privileged Deluxe Junior Suite & Swimming Pool room category*.

The swim-up suites at Catalonia Royal Bavaro in Punta Cana

On this occasion, I also want to put special attention on the Privileged Duplex Suite & Swimming Pool, which are very stunning two-story units with their very own large infinity pool. They are located close to the beach (even they don’t have a full beach view), have a private terrace and might be one of the cheapest options to get a private villa in Punta Cana within an all-inclusive resort. You can check out the current price for the Privileged Duplex Suite & Swimming Pool here*.

The wonderful duplex villa suites at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Booking and Prices at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

What is your favorite room category?
Once you have decided on one, it is time to book your stay at Catalonia Royal Bavaro.

Catalonia Royal Bavaro is an all-inclusive resort in the middle price segment, with rates usually starting between 150 and 200 USD per night per room on an all-inclusive meal plan. For the services offered and especially considering the smaller size of the resort with more personalized services, Catalonia Royal Bavaro offers are very good price-value ratio.

When booking Catalonia Royal Bavaro, you can check the following websites, all with their very own discounts and bonuses for you:

WebsiteYour AdvantageCatalonia Royal Bavaro
Apple VacationsGreat package deals and interesting promotions for US travelersCheck resort prices at Punta Cana Travel Blog
BookingGet up to 10% Genius discount on the already discounted ratesCheck resort prices at Punta Cana Travel Blog
DertourGet European tour operator rates (only for Europeans)Check resort prices at Punta Cana Travel Blog
ExpediaOnline travel agency with great deals, personal service and good reputationCheck resort prices at Punta Cana Travel Blog
HotelcombinedPowerful hotel search engine by KayakCheck resort prices at Punta Cana Travel Blog
TravalaGet a 25 USD welcome bonus (register here*) + 2% cashbackCheck resort prices at Punta Cana Travel Blog
TripadvisorCompare prices and reviews on one siteCheck resort prices at Punta Cana Travel Blog

If you haven’t booked your flight yet, you can also check if a holiday package is cheaper for your travel dates. It always depends on the airport of origin and availability if it’s more economic to book a package, but it is worth checking prices here.

Restaurants and bars at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Especially the food might be what is most interesting at Catalonia Royal Bavaro – not because you can expect ultra gourmet food, but because it offers some pretty unique options (with a couple of ups and downs).

In total, Catalonia Royal Bavaro offers 7 different restaurants, which are available in 5 different locations. This means that some restaurants are not open every day and are changing schedules with each other.

When visiting Catalonia Royal Bavaro, the following restaurants are available:

  • Thalassa – buffet restaurant
  • Tao Cat – Asian Cuisine
  • Cata Tapa – Spanish Tapas
  • BO Barcelona Origen’s – Vegetarian Kitchen
  • Siwichi – Peruvian cuisine
  • Sorrento – Pizza and salads during the day
  • Sea Blue – à la carte lunch and oceanside grill for dinner

Let’s start with the buffet, which is pretty straightforward. Quantity and quality are average for Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts, the presentation works well and the food gets you satisfied. We particularly loved the outside eating area with views of the pool and the garden.

Outdoor terrace at the Thalassa buffet at Catalonia Royal Bavaro in Punta Cana

The à la carte dinners are pretty interesting as well. They have a very beautiful garden restaurant which changes between Peruvian and Vegetarian kitchen. As to my knowledge, it is the only vegetarian restaurant in Punta Cana located in an all-inclusive resort, and one of the very few Peruvian restaurants. I am not sure if there is another Peruvian one, I haven’t seen one so far in my visits to 25+ all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana.

Restaurant section at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana

Usually, you don’t need reservations for the à la carte restaurants at Catalonia Royal Bavaro. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 and the restricted occupancy, you currently need to make reservations and it is, particularly during the weekends, a bit more difficult to get one. That’s why I don’t have first-hand impressions of this restaurant. The vegetarian restaurant was closed the entire week.

The Spanish restaurant is located next to the infinity pool. The food here was ok, but certainly not spectacular.

As you can see there are some things to improve regarding the restaurants, but there were also super surprising options.

Sea Blue for example is a restaurant very close to the beach, where you can have à-la-carte lunch, regardless of your booked room category. This is particularly remarkable for the affordable price you pay for a stay at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, as usually all lunch restaurants at other all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana are only buffet-style, as long as you are not booking a VIP level category.

A-la-carte lunch at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Furthermore, there was the Sorrento snack bar and restaurant close to the pool, where you can order a-la-carte pizzas and salads during the day – also pretty unique, as most pool- or beachside snack bars in Punta Canas’ all-inclusive resorts only offer precooked food-to-go.

Regarding the bars, there is not that much to talk about compared to the food. Considering the smaller size of the resort, four bars (one in the lobby, one at the garden restaurant, the pool bar and the beach bar), are sufficient and keep the drinks flowing. Taking into account the price you usually pay for Catalonia Royal Bavaro in Punta Cana, drinks have very good quality. There is a sufficient choice of international liquor brands. Particularly notable is that Catalonia Royal Bavaro is not using the big juice/slush ice machines for their cocktails, so you’ll always get freshly prepared drinks which is a big plus compared to other all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana.

Pool bar at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Entertainment and service at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Talking about entertainment at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, it will be a pretty short section. There isn’t a lot going on at this quiet and relaxed adults-only all-inclusive resort. You can take advantage of some of the non-motorized watersports included in your all-inclusive meal plan or enjoy a live music performance in the evening. This makes it perfect for those looking for an easy-going all-inclusive resort without the daily entertainment and loud activities some of the bigger resorts offer.

However, this is just half of the truth. Even if you are looking for more action, you won’t get bored as you have free access to neighboring Catalonia Bavaro Beach and Catalonia Punta Cana which have the full entertainment program available: daily activities, water sports, entertainment in the pool, socializing events and nightly shows in the theatre.

Catalonia Bavaro Beach, an affordable all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana

Another important unique part of Catalonia Royal are the many little hidden photo spots on the entire property. While this does not belong directly to the entertainment of an all-inclusive resort, it makes you feel that you are somewhere else than in a big 500-room resort and shows that the concept of Catalonia Royal was crafted with care.

And even some of the photo spots are suitable for entertainment – or what do you think of this super cute library right in the garden where you can read a book and relax.

A unique outdoor library at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Talking about the service at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, you can expect friendly employers and smiling locals who are always happy to help. However, be prepared for some waiting time in case of any special requests. It took the hotel 8 hours and 3 requests to finally bring an extra bed to the room, the check-in was arduously long and the security guys at the front gate were simply unable to cope with new arriving passengers on individual reservations arriving by rental car. I assume that all of this was due to the recent staff reductions nearly all Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts were doing in the past months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, I hope that Catalonia Royal Bavaro will find a way to streamline its processes a bit for a better customer experience.

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Privileged Section (VIP Level) at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Like many other all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, Catalonia Royal Bavaro has their own VIP level with premium services, which is called “Privileged”. Those rooms come with additional services including the following:

  • Privileged guest identification
  • 10% Discount on any treatment at Alegria Spa
  • One access to the wet area of the Alegria Spa
  • Private Privileged beach area
  • Preferential access to all restaurants at Catalonia Royal Bávaro and Catalonia Bávaro Beach
  • In-room beach towel
  • 10% discount on all extra services (Golf, romantic dinner, shops and boutiques, etc.)
  • Early check-in & Late check-out (3 pm), subject to availability

If you want to enjoy these additional services, simply book a room called “Privilege” when making your booking at Catalonia Royal Bavaro. As the surcharge is usually not that high, it’s worth checking the price right here* and consider the Privilege rooms in case you are interested in the additional premium services mentioned in the list above.

Compared to other Prefered Clubs or VIP levels in Punta Cana, the advantages of Catalonia’s Privilege section is not as impressive as in other resorts. There aren’t any exclusive restaurants, there is no VIP lounge and the drinks are the same as for all the other guests. But that’s not necessarily negative, considering that the price difference usually is not that high compared to the regular rooms.

What’s a big advantage is the separate Privileged beach section as you can enjoy very comfy beach beds instead of the typical old sun loungers. 24-hour room service and early check-in and late check-out are also some nice perks.

The Privileged beach section at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Interchanging facilities between Catalonia Bavaro Beach and Catalonia Royal Bavaro

As a guest of Catalonia Royal Bavaro, you also enjoy additional and full access to Catalonia Bavaro Beach and Catalonia Punta Cana (which are basically the same hotels). This being said, if you are looking for further restaurant choices, an absolutely gorgeous beach, more nightly entertainment or additional activities, it is worth heading over to Catalonia Bavaro Beach for a few hours. Both Punta Cana all-inclusive resorts are located next to each other and are connecting seamlessly. While guests of Catalonia Royal Bavaro can visit Catalonia Bavaro Beach, guests of Catalonia Punta Cana and Bavaro Beach don’t have access to Catalonia Royal Bavaro as the latter one is the higher tier of both Catalonia Resorts.

Catalonia Punta Cana & Bavaro Beach is the much bigger resort of both, featuring 711 rooms, 2 buffets and 4 à-la-carte restaurants, among them an Italian restaurant, a steak house and a restaurant with Caribbean cuisine. Especially the buffet right at the beach and the additional à la carte restaurants can be a welcoming change of scenery if you stay for a couple of more days at Catalonia Royal Bavaro.

The gorgeous and beautiful beach section of Catalonia Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana

Furthermore, you definitely should check out Catalonia Punta Cana / Bavaro Beach when looking for more activities and entertainment.

However, quality-wise Catalonia Punta Cana / Bavaro Beach is the lower tier of both Catalonia Resorts, so it makes perfect sense to book Catalonia Royal Bavaro and just head over to Catalonia Bavaro Beach for selected services.

Safety Protocols and Hygiene Standards at Catalonia Royal Bavaro

As all all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, the Catalonia Resorts have created their own hygiene protocol as a response to Covid-19 in Punta Cana. It is divided into different sections and includes the following measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus at Catalonia Royal Bavaro:

In the rooms at Catalonia Royal Bavaro:

  • Bed linen and towels are washed in a double process of chemical and thermal disinfection
  • Decorative furnishings have been removed (cushions, plaids, rugs)
  • Rooms and bathrooms are cleaned with approved disinfectant products
  • Disposable single-use items and/or microfiber cloths are used for daily cleaning
  • Reinforced cleaning procedures for high-level contact items
  • Extra ventilation is carried out during the cleaning of the room
  • Non-essential stationery and magazines have been removed from the rooms

At the reception at Catalonia Royal Bavaro:

  • High-level contact items are cleaned thoroughly during the day
  • Disinfected room keys to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Punta Cana
  • Hand sanitizing gel available to all guests
  • Perspex screens on the front desk as a response to the Coronavirus
  • Distance markers between guests and reception personnel
  • A special collection box for keys to avoid personal contact

Bars and Restaurants at Catalonia Royal Bavaro:

  • Capacity of the themed restaurants is controlled through reservations
  • Special care is taken in cleaning and disinfecting tableware, cutlery and tablecloths
  • All surfaces and furniture are cleaned continuously to prevent the spread of Coronavirus
  • Furniture has been re-accommodated to maintain the recommended social distancing

In other areas of the hotel or resort at Catalonia Royal Bavaro:

  • Information about maximum capacity has been placed in each area
  • Hand sanitizing gel in different areas of the resort.
  • Maximum capacity for pool and beach areas
  • Sunchairs and beds have been redistributed to ensure Covid-19 social distancing
  • Disco and casino will remain temporarily closed.
  • Kids club with outdoor activities and limited capacity
  • Gym and spa available by appointment only
  • Extended disinfection and social distancing for golf carts and other golf services
Lounge area at this adults-only all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana

Staff of the resort at Catalonia Royal Bavaro:

  • Enforce proper personal hygiene (washing hands, using hand sanitizer, etc.)
  • Occasional Covid-19 tests and daily temperature checks
  • Personal protection equipment for the entire staff
  • Extensive training and education for the staff
  • Safety measures and social distancing in staff areas

The Covid-19 measures at Catalonia Royal Bavaro were taken pretty easily. There wasn’t hyper-detailed sanitation in place or hand sanitizer applied every 5 seconds like in other all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana. Even Catalonia Royal Bavaro makes sure to not create any contagious areas, everything is kept more in the background so that you can enjoy a worry-free vacation without thinking of Covid-19 all the time.

All the employers wore their face masks perfectly and at all times. All guests were also complying very well with the social distancing and sanitation recommendations. Access to the buffet was only possible with a disposable glove. Besides this, it felt pretty much like a regular all-inclusive holiday in Punta Cana.

As many other all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, Catalonia Royal also offers Covid-19 testing services right on the property. The antigen tests are currently (with a minimum stay of 3 nights) free of charge for Americans (backed by the Dominican government).

Excursions from Catalonia Royal Bavaro

Once visiting Punta Cana and Catalonia Royal Bavaro, it is more than recommended to reserve at least one or two days to explore the surrounding. After all, you don’t want to travel to the Dominican Republic without seeing the country, do you?

To start with, I am recommending you this list of the most amazing things to do in Punta Cana. As you can see, there are many exciting activities – both on the water and land-based.

If you are looking for fun and entertaining excursions on the water, I can highly recommend you a trip to Isla Saona or Isla Catalina. If you don’t want to travel that far (it is approximately 1.5 hours by bus before you board the boat) you can also head on a booze cruise or catamaran tour right from Punta Cana.

The one and only Isla Saona, the most popular excursion in Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic

If you are looking for land-based activities, ziplining and buggy excursions are the most popular excursions in Punta Cana. There are plenty of tour operators out there. In case you need any help finding the right tour, you can check out these articles about the best ziplining excursions in Punta Cana or the most exciting dune buggy tours in the area. Safari and countryside tours are other excursion options, especially if you’d like to learn a little bit more about the Dominican Republic.

View of the Anamuya Mountains close to Punta Cana

If you are up for adventures, you can consider renting a car in Punta Cana to explore the surrounding with its fantastic hikes and stunning waterfalls. There are also many day-trips available when heading out from Punta Cana.

Summary

Catalonia Royal is a super interesting adults-only all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana, which is especially perfect for those looking for peace and tranquility. Its small and compact size makes it appear more like an intimate hotel than a super-sized resort and the many beautiful corners such as the garden library, the beautifully decorated beach bar or the herb garden show the love and attention to detail that went into designing this adults-only all-inclusive resort.
The rooms and food at Catalonia Royal Bavaro are truly not spectacular, but they are well in line with the affordable price for this Punta Cana all-inclusive resort. While the beach isn’t very beautiful either, you have access to the beach of neighboring Catalonia Bavaro, which is very stunning and allows you to enjoy a perfect beach day.
Catalonia Royal is perfect for a romantic yet affordable getaway in one of the smaller all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana. If you are looking for more luxurious options in Punta Cana (with a higher price tag and in larger resorts) you can also check out the extensive hotel reviews of Secrets Royal Beach and Hard Rock Punta Cana.

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The face behind Punta Cana Travel Blog: Chris

CHRIS

Author, Travel Coach & Punta Cana based digital nomad

Hey, I am Chris, a born and raised German, travel-addictive and Caribbean Soul. Since 2011 I have been living in the Caribbean, among them 5 years in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is my home-base here in the country and I’d love to tell you more about how to experience Punta Cana off-the-beaten-track and give you all the advice you want to know for your vacation in Punta Cana.

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