Catalonia Playa Maroma in Riviera Maya — Photo courtesy of Catalonia Playa Maroma
The entrance to Catalonia Playa Maroma Resort is not impressive: they are working on it, but for the most part, it’s still a bumpy dirt road winding through the Mayan jungle. Appearances can be deceiving, however, so don’t despair. What waits for you at the end of that bumpy road is an impeccably maintained all-inclusive resort, where you'll experience a tropical vacation paradise (not far from Cancun).
The lobby is impressive, an open-air space under a giant palapa. This area holds receptions, a disco, the theater and the buffet restaurant. When it’s time to head for your room, you’ll feel the stress of your travels melt away as you stroll down the long stone path through the jungle. You cannot see them from the main path, but smaller paths lead to the buildings that hold the guest rooms.
A stone path cuts through the jungle and leads to guest rooms — Photo courtesy of Catalonia Playa Maroma
The resort isn’t the newest on the strip, but as stated previously, it is very well maintained. The preferred rooms include everything a guest could ask for - a coffee machine; robes and slippers; beach towels; a hair dryer; an iron and ironing board; a safe; toiletries; a balcony or terrace; a mini bar stocked with water, soft drinks and cerveza ("beer"); and satellite television.
Privileged guest rooms include all the amentites your heart desires — Photo courtesy of Catalonia Playa Maroma
The main path ends at a shopping mall-type area, then continues to the pool. This is where the real fun begins, at least during the day.
The activities team at Catalonia Playa Maroma is top-notch, friendly, engaging and always ready to chat. Whether you’re three or 63, the resort provides ample activities for you. And the pace is just right: from Zumba or Salsa lessons by the pool accompanied by loud music, or a lively game of volleyball on the beach, the activities aren’t intrusive and don’t take over all areas of the resort.
For the little ones, the kids' club has its own facility and provides activities all day long and into the evening. The resort is also planning to open a tween/teen club soon. As if all of this isn’t enough to keep you busy, Catalonia Playa Maroma is also home to a full-service spa, including a Jacuzzi, sauna, salon and a gym with weights and cardio machines.
Speaking of the beach, it just doesn’t get much better than this. Playa Maroma ("Maroma Beach") has been named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Playa Maroma has been called one of the most beautiful beaches in the world — Photo courtesy of Catalonia Playa Maroma
There are plenty of palapas and lounge chairs for everyone. If you’d like a beer, a cocktail, a cappuccino or even a crepe or milkshake (from the creperie, yum!), the building that sits right between the pools and the beach (and that also holds the gorgeous La Terraza restaurant) is nearby.
When it’s time to grab a bite to eat, there are ample options, especially if you’ve chosen the “privileged” plan (which is well worth the extra money). The main buffet restaurant El Pajarito is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The a la carte restaurants - Toscana, Tio Pedro and La Terraza - serve Mediterranean, Mexican and seafood, respectively, in an elegant atmosphere. No reservations are necessary.
There is also the Tortuga Salad and Snack Bar that serves snacks and buffet–style food throughout the day. In the morning, Maloo offers natural juices by the pool. Don’t feel like leaving your room? Room service is delicious and efficient, and they’ll even come back and pick up your dirty plates.
Try the margarita on the rocks at Tio Pedro — Photo courtesy of Catalonia Playa Maroma
Just like during the day, there is never a shortage of activities at night, if you wish to participate. The lobby bar gets going after dinner. The drinks flow freely and the air is alive with the chatter of friends, families and employees.
At 8:30 p.m., it’s time for the mini disco, when activities staff members lead little guests through choreographed routines and games. After a short break, it’s showtime! The shows are performed by the entertainment staff and are thoroughly entertaining. Although lip-synced, the costumes and choreography are very well done. Themes include Madonna and Moulin Rouge, among others. If you’re still not ready to go to bed, no problem: the disco opens now and doesn’t close until 2 a.m.
You should expect to hear more than just English here. Guests come from all over the world to stay at this impeccable resort: Quebec, Canada, Italy, South America and the U.S. This gives the resort a cosmopolitan, international feel.
You'll be glad you came, too. Catalonia Playa Maroma provides the tropical vacation you’ve been dreaming about all year. This is a resort that you'll want to return to again and again.