Catalonia Royal Bavaro – Punta Cana – Domincan Republic [REVIEW]

Over the past week, my wife, and a couple friends of ours decided to take a break from the real world, and spent the week at Catalonia Royal Bavaro, which is a slice of paradise nestled in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic). Here’s a review of what this amazing all inclusive resort had to offer.

Best Parts
- The Beach. Absolutely perfect. There was about 2 miles of private beach you could walk down, which had stunning views of different peninsula’s and exotic trees. The resort had several amenities ready for your entertainment, including snorkeling, kayaking, archery, boche ball, and all sorts of beach games. The lounge chairs were extremely comfortable, and you can swap in your towel any time if it gets too sandy. Also, having a couple beach-bars fully staffed never hurts :-)

- The Room. Our room came complete with a king-size bed, and a king-size bathtub in the middle of the room. It included a balcony which overlooked the spa, and tropical palm trees as far as the eye could see. The room was cleaned every day, and they even mopped the floors which anybody who is staying the week on the beach can appreciate. Bathroom was also very clean and nice.

- The Food. At first, I was spectacle about the food. They did not have a place that was open 24/7 which surprised me, as this is a very large resort. Also, the room service menu was weak with only 4 sandwiches available at all times. They once even told us they were out of ketchup! (Christie loves ketchup more than anything so this was quite upsetting to her). However, the restaurants they had on site were very delicious. Our favorites were the hibachi, tapas, and breakfast buffet.

- The Casino. This was honestly the first time I’ve been able to legally gamble at a casino, so this was new to me. Luckily, this was not Dave’s first time at the rodeo. We found the casino a great place to end the night. Not really knowing what the exchange rate was, it took some of the pressure off when placing the bets. Lady luck must have been with us on the trip, as we both left with a few extra pesos in our pockets…

Downsides
- The Staff. Maybe we just had the best staff ever at Couples Resort in Jamaica, or the Dominicans aren’t as friendly. However, we found the staff to be a little rude at some points, and a little inconsiderate. However, given how much alcohol people are drinking at these resorts, I can understand how they could get annoyed with us tourists. They were also more aggressive in trying to sell us cheap merchandise, and getting tips which was odd.

- Ocean-view. We love being able to sit on our own balcony and watch the waves across the ocean. We had this in Jamaica, but then realized how much more we spent on that trip, so I guess this is one perk you sacrifice for such a good deal.

Overall.
We all decided we would definitely come back to the Catalonia Royal Bavaro. We are certain that the Catalonia Royal Bavaro has to be one of the best resorts in Punta Cana. Dominican Republic is a beautiful country, but a bit in poverty. The Catalonia Royal Bavaro is surrounded by several local towns and villages. While in Punta Cana, we also went dune-buggying through a Dominican tobacco farm. We also swam in a cave through an excursion with Catalonia Royal Bavaro. Our total rating on the Catalonia Bavaro Resort would be 4 out of 5 stars.

Queens Cup at Steeplechase

Joe RestivoA Saturday afternoon in the Carolina countryside… what else could a guy ask for? How about adding your friends, family, finger-food and alcohol into the mix, and you’ll have quite the fun day!

The Queen’s Cup at Steeplechase is like no other event in the Charlotte area. Thousands of people flock to Steeplechase from across the country to partake in the festivities. Other than the normal excitement of the actual horse racing, there are several other family activities. Steeplechase has spectacular views of the entire racecourse from wherever you sit, which is pretty cool!

One downside to this race is the fact that gambling is illegal in the state of North Carolina. There are ways to ‘bet’, but I’m not going to share them here. Just know that I won the first race :-)

The weather was OK, as we were hoping to sunshine, but we were still able to have a good time without it. It took us some time to get there, but traffic to Steeplechase was not as bad as we were anticipating. It’s fun to dress up in bowties and funny hats, as is something I’m sure me and my crazy friends will go to again next year.

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