Hotel Catalonia Playa Maroma - My Family Caught Amoebic Dysentery While Staying at the Catalonia Playa Maroma Resort

Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo 0 comments

My husband, 4 year-old son & I stayed here from 7/12-7/21. Because of its low price point, we did not have very high expectations and kept them low. The resort itself is a lower category (with evident need for upgrading in less visible areas like bathrooms, A/C system in rooms, certain fixtures) but there are some serious issues with maintenance and hygiene in certain areas. We were in 5 different rooms during our stay here. The first (#6118), had obviously been flooded recently due to the strong moldy smell in room, and moldy-smelling pillows in closet, as well as poor A/C. As some people who have also stayed here, we noticed our safe had been opened our first night there when we returned to our room, but nothing had been removed. After much back and forth with the "Privileged" concierge, Nina (who had an unbelievably fake "friendly" demeanor), we were then moved upstairs to a smaller room( #6217) with two-full sized bed, which couldn't adequately accommodate the three of us comfortably. Again, Nina grudgingly then moved us to room (#6218) which was the nicest room we had during our stay. The A/C worked well, the room smelled clean, and we started to relax and settle in to our room. The next day, we were contacted by the front desk (Filiberto), who said that as a "gift" to us, they would offer us an upgrade to an ocean-front view room, and they wanted our current room for a special needs family who needed to connect to the room next to it. Though happy with the current room, we made the change to the smaller room (#6222) not only to accommodate the child, but the room did have a lovely view. So we moved again, which was not fun since we had just gotten comfortable, but hoped this would be the last issue. That night, we noticed the A/C was not working well, so we called a repair person who came up and worked on it. When we came back from dinner, it wasn't much better, so we decided to call the next day to resolve. At that point, we started dealing with one of the managers named Pilar who tried to help as best as she could within her abilities, but ultimately there are many larger-scale problems with the hotel itself that have to be fixed first.

Hygiene issues that we experienced:

Flying bugs in open-air food buffet and on food.

Towels and linens that were not regularly changed after being used and put on floor to be changed.

My personal shower glove that had been left in shower smelled strongly of bleach after room had been cleaned.

Lunch Cafe Tortuga had hair wrapped around some of the hot dogs on rotary grill.

The toilet in our room (#6222) failed twice and was clogged, and drainage in sink was clogged.

At our fifth day into our stay, we started experiencing GI issues and our 4 yr. old awoke at 4:30AM on our sixth day with high fever and diarrhea. We requested a room change since the toilet was not functioning and Pilar gave us a honeymoon suite (#6324) on the next floor up. We took it even though the room was much smaller and the A/C was faulty (again) because the bathroom was very new and looked cleaner than anything we had seen so far, and our son needed a toilet that functioned. That night, my son's condition worsened and when I tried to use the in-room phone to call in the local doctor, the phone did not function. I could not believe my eyes (or ears). I had to go down 3 flights to call the front desk to get a doctor. When he did arrive, he examined our son and said he believed it was a case of Travelers Diarrhea, and offered us the option to treat our son with his own meds. We were going to have him treat our son, but I conferred with a family member who is a physician and was advised to take him to the Hospitel in PDC, which we ended up doing.

At the hospital, he was diagnosed with Amoebic Dysentery and was admitted. We all stayed for two days in the hospital, had to pay $2,600 out of pocket for his care, and now we are all on meds to contain the parasite. Pilar did call the hospital to follow up on the situation, though we are convinced it was strictly to assess the situation and offered no compensation, no cab fare, nothing, other than telling us how sorry she was for our situation.

We spent one last night in our room before we left the next day, and when we were checking out the next day, the person checking us out (Willie) had the audacity to charge us for an in-room phone call (which was bizarre because our phone didn't work). Pillar came out to see us, and promptly rectified the 20 peso charge, but again no offer to do something for our horrible circumstances. She actually asked if we would consider visiting again, which made my head spin. Horrible, horrible, horrible. We are in the process of trying to ascertain exactly where the source of the parasite came from, and at the hospital were told it was definitely food-related.

We did have a day trip to Isla Mujeres early in our trip but ate at a large fast food chain, but the majority of our meals were on-site at Catalonia.

Our opinion of this resort is obviously unfavorable, but in the end we chose this resort because of its attractive low price point and location on the beautiful Playa Maroma. We have learned (in an awful way) that a bargain is not always a bargain. For what was spent in hospital stays, doctor charges at hotel, medicines, future doctor visits & monitoring since this is an extremely contagious, hard to get rid of disease, and lost time from work, etc., we could have stayed somewhere much better and of less questionable hygienic practices, but we had no way to anticipate the *** this trip became.


After I posted the above review on TripAdvisor, the hotel management wrote a response (under my review which is posted here: )

and had the audacity to dispute all the issues in the review and essentially called me a liar.

Firstly, whomever authored the hotel's response does not fully identify themselves, which speaks volumes about their failure to accept responsibility for the rampant incompetence that afflicts this resort. Secondly, the author is completely incorrect in stating that my son was left ill for two days. It was within the same day of his falling ill that he was brought to the hospital. Perhaps if the author had correctly read my review, they would see that I stated that my son was IN THE HOSPITAL for two days. Again, another obvious shortcoming from the "management" at Catalonia.

Thirdly, the same complaints that I mention in my review are common threads in complaints from the other 61 "Terrible" reviews on Trip Advisor, as well as the 101 "Poor" reviews, many of which emphasize unsanitary conditions (food, rooms, etc), A/C's not working, and theft from room safes.

My review was an accurate perspective of our family's stay at the resort from 7/12-21. To make statements about what foods we had from room service was a complete lie as well, since we did not eat the meal that was delivered to us the night my son went to the hospital. My family is still in the midst of recuperating from Amoebic Dysentery and to be essentially called liars by the "management" only solidifies how unprofessionally mismanaged this company is. It is clear from the many personnel changes at this resort that they have some serious issues with consistency in their product as well.

Clearly this hotel's management needs to reevaluate their Customer Service methods, as evidenced by the author of this response, who choses to attack a customer instead of dealing with the overwhelming shortcomings of this resort.

Hope this story helps someone who is considering a trip here.

Review about: Riviera Maya Resort.

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