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“The Best Vacation Ever! You Will Not Be Disappointed!”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #8 of 21 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 April 2012

Our family of four (Mom, Dad, two daughters - ages 13 and 15) stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal from April 14th to 21st, 2012. We DID NOT want to return home! We flew with Air Transat and booked with Nolitours. It was a good flight with good service.

Upon check in, we discovered that our emailed requests had either not be received or just not acknowledged. We did not have an ocean view on the third floor with 2 adjoining rooms as requested. We were given 2 rooms with one king size bed in each room. Since I did not want my daughters staying alone in a room, I stayed with them (3 gals in a king size bed) and my husband stayed alone in the other room. We were in building 54. Avoid it at all costs!!! There is a terrible septic smell which gets worse as the day goes on. Before accepting the rooms 5403 and 5404 in this building, we requested to be changed to an ocean view room. We were told that there would be 2 rooms available on Monday in building 48.... 4822 and 4824; however, they were not side by side with adjoining doors either. In fact, there was a room in between. So again, us 3 girls stayed together and hubby stayed alone. We paid an extra $40 per night for the 2 rooms. These rooms had a wonderful view, the AC did work in these rooms, but my husband had a very musty smell in his room. A couple of days later, we found out why. During a heavy rain, the roof started leaking in 4822..... badly! We reported it and were offered to change rooms. It wasn't worth the bother with only 2 nights left. These were minor issues to us! The positive far out-weighed the negative.

The Restaurants: Anyone who complains about any of them should stay home and cook for themselves!! They offered top notch food and excellent service. The Akumal buffet was massive with soooooooo many choices!! If you go, look for a table in the higher middle section. Manuel was our favorite waiter!!! He was so kind, thoughtful and attentive in every way!! He reserved a table for us for breakfast and lunch. Tip him well!! He works very hard!!

The Beach: Beautiful, warm water! The Caribbean Sea is absolutely wonderful with small fish swimming around you!! It is so refreshing to walk into the water during a hot day! If you want a lounge chair, be early!! But we always found a couple... after a while.

The Pools: Beautiful, clean, awesome! What's not to love?? Reserve a chair by 8:00 am at least, but only if you are going to use it!

Housekeeping: Good for the most part. We left a couple of dollars every day and a little gift a couple of days. We always had clean towels and extras when we requested them.

The Entertainment: They work very hard! Don't expect Broadway, but they do put on a good show. I question whether teenagers and kids should go. The dancing girls do a lot of "movin' and groovin;" just put a few polls there and you would change the atmosphere. I didn't really enjoy that part of the show. The main singers were very good as well as the rope climber/ acrobat and the guy who could spin and dance on one hand. Wow! He is talented!!

Excursions: I would not recommend booking tours with the Nolitours Rep. They are VERY expensive. We paid $17 per person to take a "Luxury shopping tour" to Playa Del Carman. "Luxury" it was not! We were picked up in a small white van and crammed in with many others. We could have taken the Collectivo for $3 per person. My daughters were a little intimidated walking through Play Del Carman. Vendors are very assertive, yelling at you to come into their stores. Little did they know that if they hadn't been doing that, then I may have gone in to take a look.

Swimming With the Dolphins: $318 for my 2 daughters to swim with them plus $169 for the DVD and pictures. It was their dream, so we bit the bullet and paid the price.

Front desk Staff and cashiers / money exchangers: People... smile a little more. I know that you deal with a lot of complainers, but you get further with a spoonful of honey than a spoonful of vinegar. They get the job done. If you want to change rooms, see Esther. She's the one who seems to be the manager. She was very good and offered to change our rooms when 4822 was receiving an "infiltration" as they called it... aka a leaky roof. When we declined, she credited our account for our 4 tickets to the Mexican Fiesta night at the Hacienda. (About $60 US)

Transportation: Trollies and carts are great!! Fast! Helpful! Punctual!

Would we return? In a heart beat!! I really hope that the hotel chain puts some money into renovations and maintenance to repair the roofs of the villas and deal with the septic issues. More straws should be available even at the pool bar. I saw how they "washed" the plastic cups... a few swishes in a bucket of soapy water and a rinse. Next time, I'm taking my own straws.
The Privilege Club.... time share reps.... tried every trick in the book to hook us in to a presentation. Just say "no thanks" and keep walking. The line, " Have you received your free massage, free dinner, free tickets to swim with the dolphins, etc," please remember that there is nothing free in Canada and there is nothing free in Mexico. Besides, if you can get a great Last Minute deal like we did, who needs to sink money into a time share??

In conclusion, we will return to the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal. It is a beautiful resort with very friendly people. Everyone greets you with "Hola!" Please tip the workers. We never thought of this until now, but slip a dollar once in a while to the groundskeepers. They do an excellent job!

Hola, Manuel (our waiter in the Akumal Buffet)!!! We will always remember you!! Until we meet again, my friend!!

Room Tip: Villas 65, 66 are in the Golden Section, but have better ocean views. (Mucho $$$) Buildings 47 and 4...
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lee7188
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,032 - 5,038 of 9,760 reviews

Reviewed 25 April 2012

Got back a week ago from a week long all inclusive at the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal. I have to say that the resort lived up to what we wanted, relaxation, sun and the beach. If you are going to stay in Akumal, stay in the Royal Garden Suite section and ask for a room in complex 66 or 67. We had room 6604 and it was the closest room to the beach! We opened our pation curtains and looked out onto the beach and the water, it was amazing. Our friends stayed in room 6706 and they had a little less view of the beach and water however they had more foliage. Either way you can't go wrong and if you are spending the extra money to stay in the Royal Garden Suites, you might as well get one of the best views.

As far as food goes, all buffets were decent however the best buffet in the resort was the Coba as it had theme nights and a bit bigger spread. Akumal and Tulum were only ok as it seemed the items didn't change all that much from day to day. The dine in restaurants were decent however not that much better than the buffets. We dined at the Dolce Vita (Akumal), Arlequin (Akumal), Pescadoro (Coba) and Don Pablo (Tulum). In order I would rate them Don Pablo, Arlequin, Dolce Vita, Pescadoro. Don Pablo was the only restaurnat we walked away from really enjoying our meal much more than the buffet. Don't get me wrong, for Mexico and specifically a large scale resort, the food was decent. If you are looking for fine dining and / or are a really picky eater, you might not like the quality, albeit there is a ton of selection.

My only negative comments about the resort (and personally I didn't care as I would rather be at the beach than the pool) is that the pool chairs get reserved very early by guests placing towels on them and then not using them until they are done breakfast or lunch. They need to have a first come, first serve policy with they pool chairs.

I had a chance to golf the Riveria Maya Golf Course across the street and it is a beautiful course. Wait until a little later in the day so it isn't so hot when golfing (and the cart rental is cheaper). If you are a golfer I would definately recommend playing the course as it was top notch and I read the #3 ranked course in Mexico.

All in all, I would go back to this resort without hesitation if I were with a large group or on a budget. If you are looking for something a touch more romantic or higher end, try a different resort as it is quite large and caters to the masses.

Room Tip: Ask for room 6604... you won't be disappointed!
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Wineguy780
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2012

First time to Mexico and we picked a great hotel.

The hotel is part of a massive complex and using the trains is a great way to get about, but you can also walk and enjoy the great views.

We had a junior suite and was plenty big enough for my wife and i +2 kids (14 & 12).

Room was cleaned every day and the fridge restocked every other day, we did leave a note for more chocolate, crisps and drink, which they happily done.

The buffet restaurent had a wide selection of food so you try something different every day or just stick with your burger,pizza and chips.

The a la cartes are very good, we thoroughly enjoyed the Mikado, get a show table if you can you will enjoy great food and a great cooking demonstration.

send an e-mail approx 10 days before you leave requesting your preference to high or low floor, sea view, quiet area, they will do there best to get you your requests, you can also e-mail your a-la carte reservations

The whole area is kept spotless and the staff work very hard every day and very friendly and helpful.

we went on 2 trips to xel-ha and chichen-itza and both were very good.

When we left the airport tax was 780 pesos per person ( £42) can be paid either way or variety of both.

I definatley recommend this hotel and you will have a great stay, we all hope to return again one day

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank Adie145
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012

We just returned from a 5 day stay at the Gran Bahia Akumal and had a fantastic time. I don't understand the recent complaints at all. We had a room in the Golden section in villa 65. We had a great ocean view. The room was clean and quiet.The air conditionin worked fine although we really didn't need it on the third floor with the nice ocean breezes. We had a nice little protected beach right outside our villa and with a snorkel we could see yellow and blue fish right by the rocks. The staff was wonderful- all were friendly and very helpful. The buffets were fine. Think cruise ship type food. The Brazilian and Japanese ala carte restaurants were great. There was so much to do right where we were staying- it is a huge place. We want to come back with our grandkids as it is very family friendly. The shuttle service worked great and we never waited long for one. The only complaint I have is that they do try to sell you their time-shares. Beware of free meals and offers of extra spending money.

Room Tip: Third floor of 65 or 66 in the Goldern section. Great views, nice breezes.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank KatGilbert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

This was my first time to Mexico and I have to say it was a really good choice. First of all the resort is large and you also have access to the Coba and Tulum resorts. There are electric carts that pick you up and drop you off wherever you want or you can just walk and enjoy the scenery. The food at all the resorts in the buffet was very good as was the A La Carte restaurants. I believe the buffet at the Coba was air conditioned and the Akumal was open air with fans blowing. I liked eating in the Air Conditioned buffet better. Our room was on the second floor and the first night we had no or very little Air Conditioning, this was really horrible as I like to be comfortable when I go to sleep. They could not fix it so we were moved the next day and the room was fine nothing fancy but clean and everything worked well. The grounds were very clean as were the pools, lots of Iguanas on the resort and that was pretty cool.

We found all the staff very nice and helpfull. We were talked into attending a time share breifing. Got a free T Shirt and small bottle of Tequilla.....didnt buy a time share though. We did the trip to see the Ruins in Tulum. It was pretty cool. We took the local transportation that stops in front of the hotel along the highway. The cost was a couple of pesos. Also picked up these vans into Playa Del Carmen a few times as well. Did some shopping as there was some good prices on Silver. Ate at Senoir Frogs and it was pretty good.

The beach was nice but there is a man made barrier due to keep the beach from washing away I believe. It was a bit of an eyesore but still the beach area was quite nice. There is lots of fun stuff to do in and around the resort or you can just kick back and relax. My overall view of this resort and area was a favorable one.

Room Tip: Get one that has a Good Air Conditioning Unit.
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank postman36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2012

My wife and I stayed at The GBP Akumal for two weeks in March 2012 and had a brilliant time.

Firstly, this place is massive. If you walk in a circle from the lobby of the Akumal to Coba lobby, The Hacienda at the main entrance (with about 20 shops, some market stalls, a Doctors and a nightclub), to Tulum lobby and back to Akumal it would probably take about an hour. There are land trains which hold about 20 people running around and between each hotel so you can get to any given point with one change and no more than 2 minutes walk if you feel lazy. However in between the hotels is dense jungle so if you do walk, you get to see lots of animals and birds, Iguanas are everywhere and one day we saw 2 wild boar which are not mentioned on any of the information boards.

You can use all the facilities of the Coba And Tulum hotels for all meals giving about 15 restaurants to eat in the evening plus 4 snack bars (3 are 24 hour). Some of the a la carte restaurants open for breakfast and lunch giving about 10 places to eat in the day apart from the snack bars so the choice is huge. Some forums suggest that you book the a la carte restaurants by email before you go but we did not find this necessary. We spent about 6 hours on the first day exploring the hotels, finding the a la cartes and looking at the menus, stopping for an occasional drink or 3 (with over 20 bars one is never far away). We picked 6, the days we wanted to go and the time, went to Customer Relations and got everyone we wanted. A word of warning, if you want steak go before 8 pm as 3 out of the 4 of the ones we choose had run out by 8.30 and these are gourmet restaurants serving neuvo cuisine like portions (apart from the Brazilian which keeps bringing food until you surrender) so what you get is very nice but not a lot of it. The buffet restaurants in Akumal and Coba where of similar standard which was acceptable but by far the best was Tulum for breakfast and evening meal.

There are stage shows at each hotel at night and at least one bar in each hotel had live music so there is plenty to do in the evening. Most bars have waitress service but this can be a bit hit and miss. The only fault we could find was with the service in the restaurants and bars. The Mexicans do not seem to have the same idea about service as we do. As it is in nearly every restaurant and bar, I think that is how they do it rather than bad staff. Spoons were never put on when the table was laid so you have to ask for one for soup or desserts (perhaps Mexicans don’t use them). Service everywhere was slow although as we had nothing better to do it was not a problem for us.

The room was large with 2 double beds and was cleaned everyday to a high standard. The bathroom was clean and spacious and as well as towels you also get clean face clothes everyday. The minibar was filled everyday and included 1 bag of crisps (chips) and a bite size Snickers between 2 people. Other reviews have said that the rooms smelt musty but we did not find this to be the case.

We did 5 excursions whilst we were there and they were all very good. We were lucky enough to go to Chichen Itza on March 21st (spring equinox) and got to see the diamond back rattle snack down the side of the pyramid. Xel-ha and Xplore were great fun with too much to do in one day really and great food. Jungle Maya was very action packed and informative. Coba was very impressive although not for the faint hearted. A long walk and then 120 steps straight up. The cenotes you visit on the Chichen Itza and Coba tours are absolutely spectacular.

We also used the Collectivo a couple of times. This is the nearest thing they have to a bus service. They run up and down the main road all along the coast. Its one price no matter how far you go ( 35 pesos or 3 dollars).
You just wave them down and jump in. When you return you just shout when you want them to stop. They are all 12 seat mini buses. They are relatively new and appear to be well maintained. Travelling about in this area of Mexico is perfectly safe. We went to Akumel (turtle beach). Booked in the Hotel it costs nearly $100, we did it for $12. It’s a 15 minute walk from the main road, you can get snorkel and masks from the dive shop in the Hotel free (deposit required) and is in an calm area enclosed by a reef so is manageable for nearly all swimmers. You do not need a boat.

Last, but by no means least, a special mention to Leanne the First Choice rep. She was brilliant, easily the best we have had in many years of travel. She was great fun and extremely helpful. I genuinely feel she wanted us to have a great holiday rather than just doing her job. It was her who encouraged us to use the collectivo.

We had a brilliant holiday in Mexico. The weather was great. The excursions were a good mix of history, culture, natural beauty and a good dose of adrenalin inducing action. I would not hesitate to recommend this Hotel and this area of the world to anyone. We will return one day, hopefully sooner rather than later.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank GARRY S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2012

We spent a week at this resort, and loved it. We were in villa 56 which was close to everything. We didn't have the best weather, but we made the best of it. There is always something going on. The buffett was great, we never had to wait for anything. Would definitely recommend making your reservations for your "special" dinners. We loved the hibachi theme and food at Makado the best. We spent a lot of time at the beach, but at the furthest part away on the right where it wasn't so busy. Lot's of fish to see while snorkeling. We also took a taxi to Akumal beach...AMAZING snorkeling, just a 5 minute cab ride away.

The staff at Gran Bahia was awesome. They were attentive and fast. I have to give a special shout out to the entertainment staff. They work their butts off, and always have a smile on their face. Special thanks to Carlos, Miguel, Ever, Ytalia and crew for making us laugh all week long. We can't wait to come back!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank akm514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection

Address: Carretera Chetumal - Cancun Km 250. Mexico | Cancun Km 250, Playa Aventuras, Akumal 77760, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Casino Hotel in Akumal
#4 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#5 Family Hotel in Akumal
#7 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#8 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
Price Range: $265 - $627 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 758
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 3 swimming pools 4 jacuzzis 2 children's swimming pools Solarium with sun umbrellas and sun loungers BAHIA SPA (additional charges apply) Sports centre: a gym, 5 tennis courts, bicycles Motor sports (additional charges apply) Aquatic activity and diving centre Entertainment amphitheatre Wi-Fi access in the lobby (free) and with an no additional charge in the rooms Buffet restaurant opposite the sea 3 a la carte restaurants 9 bars Cocktail Lounge Riviera Maya Golf Club: 18 long holes and 9 executive holes with lakes, cenotes and Mayan jungle Hacienda Dona Isabel: karaoke bars, shows, live music and a night club Rooms 758 spacious Junior Suite Superior rooms. Equipped with: Two full-size beds or one king-size bed A living area with sofa A fully fitted bathroom: shower, washbasin, dryer and magnifying mirror Hydro massage tub Bathrobe and slippers (to be enjoyed throughout your stay) Pool towel (to be enjoyed throughout your stay) Balcony or terrace Air conditioning Ceiling fan Direct-dial telephone (additional charges applicable to external calls) Radio alarm clock Flat-screen TV Mini-bar with mini alcoholic beverages (included) Coffee set Safe (included) Ironing set 24 hour room service Butler service (upon request) Evening turn-down service Pillow menu Wi-Fi (no additional charge) Children Bahia Scouts Children can enjoy facilities designed especially for them: Children's swimming pool Mini Club (children aged 4 to 12) Mini Disco in the evenings Bahia Scouts Water Park Teen's club (children aged 11 to 16) Other services An internal mini-train service providing access to all the facilities: 24-hour medical service (additional charges apply) Pharmacy (additional charges apply) Personalised menu options for celiacs and diabetics Specialised wedding, anniversary and event planning service Casin ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Akumal
Bahia Principle
Bahia Principe Mexico
Gran Bahia Principe Hotel Akumal
Mexico Bahia Principe
Bahia Principe Tulum
Grand Bahia Principe Akumal
Bahia Principe Riviera Maya
Bahia Mexico Principe
Akumal Gran Bahia Principe

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