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“Nice but probably won't go back”

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Grand Bahia Principe Coba
Ranked #13 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
56 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Nice but probably won't go back”
Reviewed 19 February 2012

First off let me say I would not call this a true 5 star resort. After I read my own review I even wondered about the 4 star rating. This place is huge if taken in context with the other two resorts. It's also a fair drive from the airport if you do the milk run and stop at mutiple resorts along the way. It is not intimate resort and you never seem to see the same people on a daily basis. Even the staff seems to rotate to different locations.

CHECK IN: was simple and very quick but that also depends on the number of arrivals. Front desk staff did not seem to speak English as well as many of the resorts we were at previously so my very weak Spanish was put to the test.

CHECK OUT: totally different story. We booked a pick up from our room at 11:00 AM and after repeated calls to the front assurring us "they are on the way", we walked dragging our luggage to the front to wait another hour to check out. If it wasn't for the kindness of several folks from Alberta and Toronto allowing us to queue jump we may have missed our shuttle to the airport.

ROOMS: Ours was spacious with a king sized bed, fold out sofa, soaker tub and a large bathroom. The room had the obligatory musty smell from the humidity (no bathroom fan) and a bed that was as soft as a sheet of plywood. We were close to the Iguana bar and quiet pool as we had requested and that was appreciated. Our fridge was not working, our TV remote wasn't working and the shower fell off the wall. I visited the front desk and all was resolved in a very expeditious manner. The maid did a very good job and always left us a cute towel animal.

POOLS: Many all over the resorts, no reserving chairs and if you followed that rule you were out of luck. Chairs were in very short supply. We never got service at any of the pools we were at and some of the bars could have used extra bartenders.

BEACH: the Coba beach is a fair walk and you can take the frequent shuttles. There are lots of chairs but get taken up quickly. The Coba beach is actually in front of the Akumal resort but did not seem to get any table service. The beach bars could also use extra bartenders. The protected is safe and shallow. The other surrounding beaches are rocky with coral and not swimmable.

GROUNDS: impeccable, lucious and very well maintained. This place was always spotless and staff were always working very hard.

STAFF: friendly and very helpful.

BUFFET: ordinary to say the least. There really is nothing that makes the place stand out. The food is palatable, never hot and really just plain ordinary. The theme changes every night but it really doesn't change that much. Food runs out and takes some time to get replenished. Staff service is OK but a little slow on the refills.

AL A CARTES: the ones we ate at were very good and we have no complaints. The service was outstanding. The reservation system to get to them is a joke!!! I have no suggestions on this matter. We found that money talks at these places and we got in to many of them with a bit of a carrott on a stick. (green backs work).

ENTERTAINMENT: too late a start at 10:00 pm in Coba. Tulum has 9 pm shows and the Michael Jackson show was amazing. The other shows are typical and as to be expected.

SYNOPSIS: too big, very impersonal, excellent grounds and friendly staff and name brand liquors.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
9 Thank mustangguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Brampton, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2012

We have visited several Bahia resorts over the past few years and have enjoyed all of them. This was our second time at Akumal and we had a great time. Check in was very efficient and our rooms were ready after we had our lunch. Rooms are spacious and very clean.The housekeeping staff was very efficient and we had nice surprises every time we returned to our room.

The food was fabulous!!! We had the opportunity to eat in 7 different restaurants. Very special mention to the Japanese restaurant. Food was delicious and the service outstanding. We were very well taken care of by the Matre'd Luis and our server, Armando who had a great sense of humour as well as first class service. We also had great food and service in the Gourmet Restaurant in Akumal.

There is a lot to do in this complex with 4 hotels, multiple pools and lots of bars, snack bars and places to go. Lots of night life and different types depending on what you like. We walked alot as well as took the trolleys and golf carts. The iguanas were facinating and we finally saw the monkey/racoon animals!!

We would highly recommend this resort.

The Stansfords

Room Tip: Building 48 and 47 at Akumnal are beach front and close to everything.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank brenda s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
29 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 February 2012

We just got back from a 1 week holiday at the BP Coba. We are not discussing the airport here but just so you know - it's a nightmare. Totally unorganized. Expect a huge delay getting through customs & inspection.
Okay - that said - the resort is about 1.5 hours from the airport. There are 3 resorts with about 2500 rooms in all. There is a lot to see. There are a ton of a la carte restaurants to choose from. Make reservations by email before you arrive so you won't be disappointed. Here are the things to know:
Resort - Huge property. Take some time to see all 3 properties as all lobbies are different. we loved the Tulum lobby bar.
Shuttles around the report - Plentiful. not an issue
Beach - 5 to 10 minute walk from this report to the beach by the Akumal resort. Easy walk. There are shuttles as well. Nice beach with lots of chairs. Be down by 8am or so to get your pick of any area. Come at 11am? forget it. You can go down early and put towels on chairs to save a spot. These are respected. Lots of fish to see right at the beach. You can walk for a while.
Pools - Lots of them with lots of chairs by the bigger ones.If you want a quiet pool go easy and save a spot (like before 7am)
Buffet - food was fine. Lots of hot dishes were not hot so we stayed with the "cooked in front of you" options. No issue. Plenty of choices even for kids.
A La Carte - Loved Mikado (Japanese) with table service & Gran Tortuga (Brazilian BBQ) right beside the dolphin enclosure. Tequila was fine (order the salmon)
Rooms - Large. Clean. Musty smelling as the humidity is really high but not horrible. Nice balconies. We were in 8b and liked the privacy with all the trees. Fridge is stocked with beer, pop, chips. if you want more of something you will have to tip daily. Bed & pillows are rocks.
Transportation off the report - take the collectivo (local white vans that you flag from the highway) to Playa Del Carmen for $3, Akumal $1.50 or Tulum $3 at the main highway. Safe. Cheap.
Golden option - We liked the free WiFi available in our separate lobby. They also have a business centre. Good perk.
What would we do differently? Stay at Akumal resort as we are beach people & spent our days there. Otherwise, nothing. Loved it.

Room Tip: Don't take villa 16-18 as it's too close to the highway. Villas 19-21 are too close to the m...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank CindyLouX2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worcester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2012

Our first experience with the Bahia Group was not a pleasant one, when 11 years ago we stayed at the Bahia Principe San Juan, Dominican Republic. We vowed to never again travel to one of their properties and that resolve held firm until January 2012. We went to the Gran Bahia Principe to celebrate my 65th. birthday after having read the reports on Trip Advisor and the brochure and decided that maybe it was worth a look.
The difference between San Juan and this huge resort could not be more obvious in all departments. The food was actually very good to excellent, and there was always something to tickle your fancy. The speciality restaurants were excellent and Luis in the Portofino Restaurant, which we rated to be the best after the Japanese Mikado show, was an absolute dream of a waiter and made the evening with his humour and level of service.
The rooms are spacious and our 'maid' Alberto was a wizard with the towel animals and did not put a foot wrong all holiday. An absolute star. We had upgraded to the Royal Golden at Akumal and Jose in the Royal Lobby also needs a special mention for his attention to detail, and nothing was too much for him. He even managed to get the J & B scotch in the lobby bar after a few days without it. He deserves to go far and it was difficult to comprehend that he had only been in job for a few months. Well done Jose, see you again soon. Make sure the J & B is there also.
Although there is no natural beach on the Akumal side there is an adequate man made effort with appropriate furniture and the all important beach bar. This was never too crowded and rather peaceful. The Tulum resort beach was direct into sea with a few rocks about but was very busy most days and a little noisy, so for those wanting a quiet relaxing time head for the Akumal beach.
As we said the resort is huge and the little trains dart about the resort and take you where you want to go without any problem. What was really striking was the number of staff, from cleaners to gardeners, to bell hops, bar staff, serving staff et al. They are all very smart, polite, and friendly. The resort was immaculate in all respects at all times, with no litter or mess, and the gardens were also impressive.We never met a Mr. or Miss Grumpy in the whole two weeks we were there.
The evening entertainment was very varied but we chose most nights to sit outside the Premier Coba Lobby in the shopping precinct and listen to the music. Maricello the waitress also deserves a mention with her lovely smile and enthusiasm. An empty glass was never seen when she was working, very efficient and courteous.
All in all my wife and I had a wonderful time, although at the start of the holiday I would never have thought I would leave there saying we would return there, fully intending to do so.
We met several people who had been there four/five times before and they were very proud of their gold bands but I am not sure the benefits you get justify the continued patronage. The jury is still out on that one.
If and when we return we would still upgrade the suite to Royal Golden as you can see the benefits but next time Jose needs to sharpen his pencil and place us in block 65, 66, or 67 with a full sea view. We had suite 6221, top floor with side sea view. It is a very good suite but seafront is where you need to be, especially for the sunrise and sunsets.
Having stayed on most Caribbean islands to date, usually in the 5star resorts, we would put this resort up there with the best of them. I just hope they keep their very high standards up as it will surely pay dividends.
Well done Gran Bahia Principe, Akumal, we will return................someday, maybe soon. The Bahia name is back on our holiday shopping list so long as it is in Mexico, not San Juan.

Room Tip: We would recommend 65, 66, 67, or 68 on the Akumal resort if you desire peace and quiet, away from t...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank JandBRare47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Allen, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2012

I am going to try and give a little comparison during this review. I have now only stayed at 2 AI's and I personally appreciate it when other reviewers can give me a point of reference. I do not want to however, give the misconception that we did not have a wonderful time and really enjoy the GBPC just because I may state that I thought there might be something we thought was a little nicer at the other resort, which was the Barcelo Maya Caribe and Colonial sections.
My wife and I celebrated a belated honeymoon at the Coba from Jan 4th-14th. We took USA transfers and really enjoyed their service, especially on the way back to the airport. From reading reviews I knew to contact Felix (Felix cannot be praised enough. The man works tirelessly all the time and is very helpful) about ala cartes and our desire for a third floor room. When we arrived we were pleased to find we were upgraded to premier which allowed us access to the smaller premier buffet and we were staying on the third floor in a building right across from the buffet. We used this on most mornings, since it was very convenient to the location of our room. The room was great, very large and we had towel art almost everyday. I actually enjoyed the room a little better than those at the Barcelo, even though we did not spend much time in it. TVs are small and not great, but I only watched it to relax just before bed, so it did not matter to me. We never had a problem with air conditioning, and realizing we were in a tropical jungle area were prepared for the humidity.
The resort is very large, but they do have shuttles constantly running to take you to different sections of the resort or the beach. Our room was located near the Akumal section, and since my wife and I were eating like pigs, we enjoyed the 5-10 minute walk (depending how fast we walked) to the beach to help keep our weight gain to a minimum over the 10 day period. The Barcelo was a very large resort as well, not quite as big as the GBP, but if someone chose to walk from the Caribe to the Palace section, it would take a long, long time to get there. We had only been to the Mayan Riviera during June, so it was difficult to compare the grounds. There were not near as many flowering plants because of the time of year. The grounds were immaculately kept and lovely at the GBP, and we have no complaints, but we would say we thought the Barcelo was just a tiny bit nicer. Understand, when we booked our trip there was a $1000 difference between the two resorts, and although overall we thought the Barcelo was a little nicer with a much better beach, it was not near a $1000 nicer. Also, Akumal was 2 1/2 miles to the north of GBP with a wonderful beach, and Tulum was about 15 miles to the south with one of the best beaches in the world. We took a couple of trips to both and enjoyed the variety.
I thought the buffets were about the same with maybe a slight edge toward Barcelo, but the ala cartes were better at the GBP. We booked the Mikado, which was wonderful, the Le Gourmet which was very nice, the Brazilian which was a little disappointing, and the Arlequin which is one of the finest restaurants I have ever been to, and if I was going again would book all of my ala cartes at that restaurant. It is on the ocean and the service and food were absolutely fabulous.
The drinks were not always great, but if you just spent a few minutes explaining what you would like to the bartenders, they were more than happy to either add top shelf liquors or make a drink the way you like. This leads me to the staff which were all fantastic. They have been (at both resorts) the best part of our trips. These people work extremely hard six days a week. They greeted us with big smiles, and very quickly begin to recognize you. After about 3 days we started spending quite a bit of time in the premier bar just so we could chat with the staff and other visitors. This resort is populated by a huge percentage of Canadians,and we felt they were all pretty friendly and good natured and we enjoyed them very much. The Barcelo seemed to have more Europeans, which we think is fun because we do not get to hang around many Euros in Texas.
We will be going back to Mexico in May and plan on staying at 4 different resorts over 18 days, just because we want to experience the differences. If the price was identical or very close, I would probably choose Barcelo again. If the price difference was significant, I would book the GBP in a heartbeat. It is not the Ritz Carlton, and anyone who thinks for what they pay that it should be, needs their IQ checked. It is however a wonderful resort with fabulous staff, and the facilities are very nice. We had a great time and if you are unable to appreciate something that is not really nice because it is not the Four Seasons, shame on you. We are grateful to all the hard work the staff did to make this vacation the best we have ever taken. If you can enjoy a relaxing time at a wonderful resort then the GBP is definitely one you should consider.

Room Tip: Across from the premier lobby is great. It is away from the activity pool, so it is quiet, and the s...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank MikeL776
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2012

Overall, it's very hard to find anything to truly complain about at this resort. My only complaint was the torture device called "the bed". Pretty sure the Flintstones had a softer sleeping surface. It may also be a grand scheme by the resort to get you to use the spa's services! The resort manager was helpful by getting a foam mattress topper which helped a little. Seriously, the beds are hard enough to have been a deal breaker for returning. However, this is a very clean resort and the staff is very committed to making your experience enjoyable. The food is good for resort buffets and any seasoned traveller knows better than to expect a lot from a buffet. That said, the a la carte restaurants are better than most. If you have trouble walking or are just tired....there are trams and carts everywhere, even between the four resorts you have access to. There are people everywhere cleaning from the grounds to the rooms and common areas.

Room Tip: higher numbered buildings are further away from the high traffic areas, but there are trams every fe...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank site-c-r1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2012

We spent 10 nights at the Coba in December 2011, departing(back home) Christmas Eve, late at night. We arrived late, and had a very late dinner. We were very unimpressed with our initial meal. EVERYTHING had fish in it, or so it seemed. But honestly, this place just kept getting better. The entertainment staff are great, the pools are clean, and it's not too hard to get a spot. The rooms are okay....clean, but not spectacular. We had a hard time getting HOT water past 8pm. The TV's are not great, but I have not been anywhere in Mexico where they are. The food honestly got better and better each day, and they outdid themselves on Christmas Eve!!! Aside from the visit from Santa,the MEAL was amazing!!! Best prime rib I have had on vacation anywhere! The selection got better and better. The ala cartes are just OK. Did not enjoy the Mediterranean at all, the Itialian was better, the Mikado was the best, but again, not wonderful. The buffet was better than any of the others. The enetrtainment for the kids (mine are 4 and 6) was great, however we went to Akumal as the kids entertainment immediately was followed by the resort entertainment, and Tulum and Coba had an hour wait in between. The real downside is that this resort is HUGE! You have to take the trolleys almost everywhere. Fun for the first few days, but the novelty does wear off pretty fast. We would go back.....if the price was right. All in all great vacation. YOU MUST GO TO XEL-HA. It`s a great tour worth every penny!!! As per every single time I visit Mexico, day 3 got the stomach issues...be sure to bring pepto...the gift shop charges an arm and a leg. If we go back we would consider staying at Tulum as then you are on the beach, rather than having to trolley. Most beautiful plantation and wildlife though.....reminded me of Hawaii.

Room Tip: I would choose to be by the activity pool...it`s very central. It`s not loud late at night at all.
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  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tatum P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Coba

Property: Grand Bahia Principe Coba
Address: Carretera Chetumal - Cancun Km 250, 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in Akumal
#8 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#10 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Coba 3.5*
Number of rooms: 1080
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 2 lake-style pools 3 Jacuzzis Large sun terrace and gardens with sun umbrellas and loungers Pool and beach towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 5 tennis courts, basketball court, bicycles Motorised sports (additional charge) Water activity centre Entertainment amphitheatre WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge) Buffet restaurant 4 a la carte restaurants 8 Bars 2 Snack bar 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 1080 rooms including 4 types: Superior Junior Suite, Club Golden Junior Suite, Family Junior Suite and Master Family Suite. Room facilities: Two full size beds or a king size bed Sitting area with sofa Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, shower, wash basin, magnifying mirror and hair dryer Bathroom amenities Balcony or terrace Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Radio alarm clock Flat screen satellite TV Mini-bar Coffee-making facilities Safe (additional charge) Ironing set Terrace Wifi Family Junior Suites and Master Family Suites the perfect choice for families, including: All the facilities and services of a Junior Suite Bathrobes and slippers for all the family for use during your stay Children's bath kit Welcome basket with sweets Mini-bar with juices, shakes, milk and soft drinks for children Two fully independent connecting rooms (Master Family Suites) Club Golden Junior Suites Children Bahia Scouts Children can enjoy a range of specially-tailored facilities: Children's pool Mini Club with daytime activities Evening Mini Disco Bahia Scouts Water Park Teen's Club (11 - 16 years) Baby Station Other services On-site miniature railway providing access to all facilities 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 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Coba Akumal
Hotel Gran Bahia Principe
Bahia Principe Coba Mexico
Gran Bahia Coba
Gran Bahia Principe Resort Coba
Gran Bahia Principe Coba Hotel
Gran Principe
Gran Bahia Principe Mexico
Bahia Coba
Grand Bahia Principe Coba Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico

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