We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Tulum vs. Coba”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Grand Bahia Principe Tulum
Ranked #11 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
“Tulum vs. Coba”
Reviewed 31 March 2010

For those who are trying to figure out what the difference is between the two resorts; the Gran Bahia Tulum or Coba, I'll tell you since I've been to both. (they are both side by side - "stay at one, play at 3 (akumal too).

Coba - It is the newer addition out of the two. It is located further from the beach. The Akumal buffet restaurant is bigger there. I'd recommend eating there a few times during your trip. I found that the buffet on the Coba side, not only bigger with more seating but more variety in food. Excellent seafood. And fresh churros too!!

Tulum - Closer to the beach. Smaller area than Coba. Highly recommend the Don Pablo restuarant. Its fine dining!
Tulum is closer to the Hacienda which is located directly in front of Tulum. This means you don't have to ride the trolley to get there. You can just walk. The hacienda is a little square "strip mall". There you'll find shops, pharmacy, sports bar, live music, photoshop and the club.

I've stayed at both and loved every minute of it. Tulum, Akumal, and Coba are all side by side and you can "play" at either resort. I found that Tulum was much more convienient for us because we were situated within walking distance of everything (except for when we wanted to eat at Coba). Coba I found we were taking the trolley way too much. And if you ever forgot anything in your room while at the beach, it was a pain to travel all the way back.

Other tips - Go to Playa del Carmen. It is a MUST. Take the collectivo, not a cab. Its a public van that pics you up at the side of the highway right outside the resort. Its $3 US one way. It beats paying $20 for a cab. Bring a bathing suit because there is a public beach. Gorgeous! Lots of shopping to be done there.

Xel-Ha - for snorkling. It is so much fun.

Rent a car - drive to Coba and Tulum ruins. Much cheaper. Not at all scary. Bring a bathing suit to Tulum. A very beautiful place. One of my favorite spots of Mexico.

Hope this helps someone trying to figure out the difference :)

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
145 Thank Mariposa123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

12,351 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
See reviews for
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,283)
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
South Western Ontario
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 March 2010

This is a multi facility complex with three hotels in one, there is also Coba and Akumal. Resources are shared as restaurants, pools, bars and entertainment.

First after a landing via Air Canada Vacations we were directed to the blue shirts for travel advice... ARGH... TIME SHARE REPRESENTITIVES... Run away. We got out side and were whisked into an extended van and sent along with 4 other couples going to the two other AI locations. 90 minutes and we were at our location and was it ever impressive. We had to leave our luggage, hard to get used to that. We checked in, we had a standard room but I wanted to upgrade. The English of our receptionist was not very good, I kept asking for upgrade she kept saying nice room very nice. I held out and after 45 minutes the manage came by and asked what was the problem and I stated we just wanted an upgrade to a suit, he gave it to me no charge... (SCORE)

While we could not see the ocean through the other buildings the room was fantastic.
Rooms and beds were nice not 5 star but comfortable.

Beds were always made up the next day but the refill on the mini bar was sporadic.

Bartenders were slow to get to you and drinks were slightly watered down to our usual 40% not necessarily a bad thing as in the heat of the hay you would pummel the drinks down. While very busy the servers were friendly and deserving a of a tip. We skipped all over the place so did not make associations with one particular bartender.

The pools was nice, I assume they were salt water as I did not notice chlorine. The activity staff, mostly young men, were there to get people going, more entertain the young ladies. After reading the reviews here I watched them very closely to see what they were up to and yes, just like young men here in Canada there were targeting the younger single ladies. They were not be rude or over pushy, but if they invited the attention, attention is what they got

The beach was fantastic. I watched the younger people play of the huge sand bags in the ocean, they are not a problem.

The food... well there is a lot of choice in the buffet, it was very bland. Here is the thing I am a competition chef and I have three bites to impress a judge, they were not doing this. To me this explains the other people stating the food was bad, it's not, it is just industrial. You must cook for the lowest common denominator among the masses, reduced salt, reduced spice. You can always spice up your meals or add salt. My spouse was in heaven with all of the exotic fruits

The entertainment was, well amateurish, though I enjoyed the 45 minute show as did most. If these people were Vegas stars that’s were they would be as for free entertainment, it was pure gold.

Speaking of Gold we had a free safe with our package and we stuffed it with tons of cash and silver, no problems.
The little mall or Hacienda has little shops and booths, a little on the pricy side but with local flavour. It also housed the sports bar and the disco, live music about 11ish to get things rolling for the night.

So evening was dinner show bar then Hacienda....

The entire resort is huge so take the little shuttle carts around and explore

Here is the best part, 1/2 way through our vacation I got a infection in my leg and had to see the resort physician, (at an extra cost) very professional and very good, so was the ambulance ride to the local hospital (private) as was the doctor’s care. Three days of intense IV antibiotics saved my leg from being amputated off. Got out with 12 hours left to my vacation and a difficult ride home...

Best regards to Air Canada Vacations, they went the extra step and got us refunds from our canceled day trips and help my spouse get things moving along with her for transportation to Playa. Hotel swapped rooms for us as was in a third floor room to a first floor room.

Great trip, loads of memories, would go back but we are trying out the Princess this spring.

Cheers from the Big Dog

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6 Thank Iamarealbigdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kitchener-Waterloo, ON
Level 5 Contributor
80 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2010

We spent a week at the Gran Bahia in Tulum with a group of friends/family and had a terrific vacation that included a wedding at the resort. The wedding details were well handled and we were impressed with all aspects of it. The gazebo location, flowers, dinner, cake and wedding coordinator were all up to or beyond our expectaions.

The remainder of the week at Tulum was also a pleasure. The beach and pools are pristine. The service is excellent. The buffet was above average and we also really enjoyed the a la carte restaurants ( Gran Tortuga and Mikado).

The big round bar near the lobby was our group's focal point in the evenings and the service and band were very good. We loved the Mexican coffees and really enjoyed watching their flaming preparation. We went to the Hacienda late at night and the music was good.

A significant liability is the entertainment in the main theatre. We found the shows to be poorly produced, under-rehearsed and sloppily presented. They lack the crispness and discipline one expects from professional entertainers. They are more akin to high school assemblies than cruise ship spectaculars.The humour is sophomoric at best, the dancing is loose and uninspired and the overall tone is far too casual. We have never seen worse in-house entertainment in our forays to resorts or when cruising. It's impossible to believe there is a choreographer and music director associated with this resort.

We had a great time overall but shake our heads for sometimes wasting an hour a night on what is purported to be entertainment.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank Ceilidh53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Catharines, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
361 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2010

Our review may be somewhat biased because we have visited twice each year for the last 5 years and have never been disappointed. Our 10 visits should be proof enough that this resort is worth visiting.

We won't repeat most of what hundreds of positive reviewers have said before. What keeps us coming back is the friendliness of the staff. Always smiling, they aim to please and if you have a problem (as can occur in a large resort), they will try to make it right.

Add a large variety of good places to eat, lovely pools, lovingly-tended grounds, a beautiful beach, free Wi-Fi and large, clean and comfortable rooms and you have a recipe for endless wonderful vacations. We will keep coming back.

Final Note: After having been disappointed by several tour operators who use SkyService and their crammed and often late flights (16 hours in one case!!), we started using Air Canada Vacations several years ago to get to GBP. We have found their ground transportation quick and well organized and flights (from both Toronto and Vancouver) comfortable and generally on time.


  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank Dogswood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Louis, MO
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2010

My husband and I went on our honeymoon here in 2006 and loved it so much we brought family and friends back with us in 2008. We are going again this year and plan to make it our "every other year" trip.

PRICE: The price is great for what you are getting. We paid $2300 in 2006 for 7 days and $2900 in 2008 for 10 days. We love that it is all-inclusive for that price!

SERVICE: We are very laid back people...so if you are uptight and think you are entitled, you may not want to go here. With that said, the staff is SOOO nice. Although the language barrier is tough sometimes, they are always willing to help with anything. If you haven't been to Mexico, just know that when you ask for something, it may take a few minutes or even a friendly reminder. But being on a vacation should be relaxing...who minds waiting a few extra minutes, do you have somewhere else better to be? So overall very friendly staff which you should tip. I don't care that they say "tips are included" We spoke to someone that was fluent in english and he worked at the snack bar and made $20 USD for 10 hours of work. If you can afford to go here, you can afford to tip.

FOOD: I am a picky eater but could find something no matter where I was at. The rest of the group loved the food and the variety. You HAVE to go to Don Pablo for one of your reservations...it's the best. I suggest if you are going with picky eaters to pack some boxed snacks (granola bars, Cheez-its etc.) Because even if you get this stuff at the resort, it tastes a little different. P.S. Water is okay at the resort but DO NOT drink any bottled water off the resort. I had some in Playa Del Carmen from McDonalds and my stomach paid for it! Overall, great food and a huge variety!

ENTERTAINMENT: We loved the main bar at night! I don't even drink, but we sat there and listened to the cover band that plays which is pretty entertaining. Bring a deck of cards and sit and drink in the beautiful Mexican air! --I guess I should mention that the only closed in areas are your villas and a few of the many restaurants on all 3 resorts. Everything else is open under Palapas.

*Go to Akumals pool one day...it is layed out much different than Tulum's and is great.
*The buffet at Tulum is the largest so we eat all of our buffet meals there.
*Go to Playa Del Carmen one day to do some trinket shopping. Go to the entrance of GBP and take a collectivo (white van) for $2 to Playa Del Carmen which is about 45 minutes. Remember where they dropped you off as this is the place that will pick you up to return.
*The Hacienda is a fun place too. Some little shops and entertainment. They have a party once a week that we haven't been to yet, but plan to in June. We hear it is pretty fun.
* If you are going to be on the beach a lot, bring a large, insulated cup (40-50oz's). It is much easier to only have to fill it up 2 or 3 times a day rather then keep on walking back for more drinks.
*If your feet are not callused, bring some water shoes. If you don't mind about 5-10 feet of coral, then don't worry about it. There is a coral reef nearby and the snorkeling is great.
*Front desk people are very helpful, don't hesitate to ask for anything...nicely.
*All in all, a great place to go and great value for the money!

  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank wittlejos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dianna Di Donato
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 March 2010

It was an amazing trip. I have been to Mexico about 6 times but by far this is my favourite for so many reasons. We travelled with a group of 6, my mom, my dad, my aunt, my uncle, my boyfriend and myself. We are all 20+. I will put everything into categories for you:

The drive to our hotel:

The hotel was about 1hr and a half to our hotel from Cancun airport, but our driver was great. We booked with Redtag and I believe Best Day is associated with them, I'm not 100% sure if it's red tag or the airline. The best day crew was great upon arrival, we checked into make sure it was our bus, and he mentioned important information to us that we needed for orientation, and they were also our "go to" people when we were staying in Mexico. They served beer aka "serbasia" and water for the ride to the hotel, and that 1hr and a half didn't seem long at all.

The hotel:

The hotel is amazing and HUGE! They have 3 resorts associated with 1 resort being the Gran Bahia Principe. So you have Gran Bahia Principe Tulum, Gran Bahia Principe Akumal, and Gran Bahia Principe Coba. We stayed in the Tulum and are glad we did. It was located right on the beach and because it's such a big resort you had a choice to walk or they had golf carts to bring you to where you had to go, they also had like little bus huts to wait for the golf carts. Akumal is also located on the beach but Coba you had to take the golf cart to either the Akumal or Tulum to be on the beach. You have access to all 3 resorts only as long as you had a Gran Bahia Principe bracelete and they do check for them, which I thought was great and safe!


The rooms were really nice, you really don't spend any time in your rooms at all therefore for sleeping the beds were comfortable, and the washrooms were big. The cleaning lady changed our sheets everyday and towels as well. Of course if you leave a dollar tip every day it is very appreciated because they do basically live for the tips and they give you anything you need right away especially if you leave tips! Our cleaning lady was great! Our rooms were always clean first thing in the morning and if we needed extra towels and such things we got it immediately! We stayed in Villa 27 room 2703 and 2704 it was about a 5-7 minute walk to the lobby and buffet. Like I mentioned earlier golf cart services are available about every 5 minutes.

The food:

The food I thought was average. It was great and a variety but me being someone who doesn't really like meat or fish, I thought they could have had a little more variety for people who are vegetarians or vegans. Everyone else who was with us enjoyed the food, and no one got sick off anything! That is always a huge bonus!!! You can also go to the other 2 hotels for the buffets and a la cartes. We went to the japanese one and we found it to be delicious but ask for the guy to cook in front of you especially if you have kids they will love it, we forgot to ask for that, but have been to them here at home. Also book the a la cartes as soon as you get there because they are usually booked pretty fast!

The entertainers/ entertainment:

When you go away you must get friendly with the entertainers. They are a riot. We got to know a couple of them and they joined us for lunch a couple of times. Very funny guys and girls and they are great at getting you involved, but if you don't want to they wont pressure you, which is good for those of you who don't always like to participate and just want to relax. The shows were also very interesting and funny! We watched them every night because they were that good :D . We just thought they should get the audience more involved as that would make everyone else very interested to continue to go to the up coming shows.
You can also go to the other 2 resorts to watch the entertainment as well.

The beach:

The beach is verrrrryyyy biggg! It has plenty of seats but to ensure you get your chairs make sure you get up bright and early, my boyfriend and I are early birds so we were up anywhere between 6:30am and 8:00am and we always found seats for 6 people right where we wanted them. I do recommend you go close to a washroom if you have children the walk can be pretty far. The sand is white and it never gets hot to the point where you can't even stand on it, always a good thing. The beach is really nice, they have big sand bags everywhere so you can swim at almost all point of the day and also all weather. Those sand bags are meant to let the waves reduce in size so there is no big under toe which I think personally is a brilliant idea. All resorts should have it.

Bugs and animals:

There are Iguanas everywhere but they don't bother you at all. They are actually Mexico's one animal they protect, if you hunt one or catch one its a really big fine/ you get arrested, not that I did but I asked. We saw a couple of lizards and they are also harmless. We do recommend that you put your dirty towels at the bottom of your door at night,why the dirty ones you ay ask, just because you don't want to waste your clean ones. We did find a 1 lizard and a spider in our room for 2 of our mornings out of 7 days but again harmless, but if your scared just put a towel and you'll be fine.

All in all this trip was greattt! We would definitely go back again!!! :D

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank ddd24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2010

My husband and I went to the Bahia Principe for 2 weeks with First Choice from Gatwick in March 2010.
First Choice (thomson) flight: The flight out was good, lots of food and drink, the cabin crew came around with glasses of water three times, the seats in premium economy are ok if you don’t try to sleep. However, on the way back the service was bad, the cabin crew was mainly chatting to each other or nowhere to be seen. There was no additional water being offered during the flight, I guess they assumed everybody was asleep! On our return flight our suitcases both arrived completely broken and we had to spent additional time at the airport to fill out the forms for damaged luggage, not much fun when you just want to go home after the long flight!
We paid for an upgrade for ‘Club gold’, but on arrival at the hotel we were allocated a ‘normal’ room. We had to fight for half an hour with the receptionist to get the upgraded room, she (Gracey) was very friendly and helpful, to be fair it wasn’t the hotels’ fault, it seems the hotel just didn’t get the information about our upgrade from First Choice. This was a bit annoying, as we were very tired and the last thing we wanted to do was to argue with the receptionist.
The room we eventually got in the Tulum club section was a bit dated – we had been to the same club 7 years ago and nothing seemed to have been done to the room since then. Old TV, no towelling robes or slippers, dripping air conditioning, old towels and bedding, dying plants on the balcony etc. Still, it was clean and the room maid did a good job. Sometimes it was very noisy at night, either because of our neighbours 'having fun' or some helicopter- like noise which lasted most of the night, maybe from a generator?
Overall we had the impression the hotel has gone downhill since our last visit and the beach at Akumal was very crowded. The hotel seems to go more for quantity than quality.
But the Tulum club section was very nice, not too many people, very friendly staff for breakfast and lunch in the Mexican restaurant. The only thing that is missing is a ‘quiet pool’ with no children or loud drunk people!
It was great to see lots of rock iguanas everywhere, I hope they keep looking after them. The gardens are very well maintained and there are interesting animals like coati, capybara and deer and different birds.
The reef was a big disappointment. 7 years ago there was beautiful coral and fish right in front of the Tulum/Akumal section. Now it was completely dead, nothing there, that is really sad. We went snorkeling there and met a guide who took a group of people snorkeling. You have to pay now to see dead coral!
The food was excellent – a lot of choice at the main buffets, lots of fresh fruit and salads. We went to several restaurants, which were all ok, unfortunately the seafood restaurant at Akumal gave us food poisoning , we are still suffering a week later…but I guess that can happen anywhere (especially with seafood) and was just unlucky, as all the other food was fine. At least we lost the weight we might have gained eating all the nice desserts! The cocktails were best at Coba.
Not sure if we would go back, we would need some guarantee regarding the location of the room we are booking, as we wouldn't want to be in the really busy sections. We liked the size of the resort and that we could use all the facilities of all three hotels.

  • Stayed March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank iguanafan70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Akumal
1.2 km away
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection
1.0 km away
Grand Bahia Principe Coba
0.8 km away
Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
14.9 km away
Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
9.0 km away
Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa
18.7 km away
Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort & Spa
Dreams Puerto Aventuras Resort &...
#10 of 17 in Puerto Aventuras
4,598 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Grand Bahia Principe Tulum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Tulum

Property: Grand Bahia Principe Tulum
Address: Carretera Chetumal Benito Juarez, km 250 | Local B, Akumal 77760, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Akumal
#7 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#9 Spa Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Tulum 3.5*
Number of rooms: 978
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 3 pools (including 2 with Jacuzzi for relaxation) 1 Jacuzzi Large sun terrace with loungers and sun umbrellas BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 5 tennis courts, bicycles Motorised sports (additional charge) Water activity and scuba diving centre Entertainment amphitheatres WiFi access in the lobby (24h per day free of charge) and in rooms additional charge) 1 buffet restaurant 3 a la carte restaurants 6 Bars Snack-Bar Wedding gazebo Dolphinarium (additional charge) Riviera Maya Golf Club: 18 long holes and 9 executive holes with lakes, natural wells and Mayan forest Hacienda Dona Isabel: karaoke bars, shows, live music and disco. Rooms 978 rooms including 4 types: Superior, Superior Junior Suite, Superior Club Hacienda and Club Hacienda Junior Suite. The Junior Suites are larger than the Superior rooms. Room facilities: King size bed (Superior Junior Suites) or 2 full size beds Sitting area (Superior Junior Suites) Fully-equipped bathroom: shower, wash basin, magnifying mirror and hair dryer Hydromassage bath tub (Superior Junior Suites) Bathroom amenities Balcony or terrace Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Radio alarm clock Flat screen satellite TV Mini-bar (included) Coffee-making facilities Safe (additional charge) Ironing set WiFi (additional charge) Club Hacienda rooms (See page 18, Club Golden, Club Hacienda) Children Bahia Scouts Children can enjoy a range of specially-tailored facilities: Children's pool Mini Club with activities for children aged 4 to 12 Evening Mini Disco Bahia Scouts Water Park Other services On-site miniature railway providing access to all facilities 24 hour medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Personalised diet option for celiacs and diabetics Cash point Specialised service for organising weddings, events and anniversaries Casino ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, HotelQuickly, Booking.com, Hotels.com, TripOnline SA and Cancelon so you can book your Grand Bahia Principe Tulum reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Bahia Principe Tulum
Tulum Bahia Principe
Gran Bahia Tulum
Gran Bahia Principe Tulum Akumal
Gran Bahia Principe Hotel
Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya
Gran Principe Tulum
Gran Bahia Principe Mayan Riviera Resort
Gran Bahia Principe Mexico
Grand Bahia Principe Tulum Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing