My husband and I visited Gran Bahia Sian Ka’an from Nov 17-24 and stayed in villa 12 – 3rd floor facing the pool – we booked a regular junior suite with AC Vacations. Thank you Claudia – our room was great and the dinner reservations were exactly as we’d arranged.
We got lucky with our airport trips. Previously, there had been long waits in customs, etc at the airport, but we were only about 40 minutes getting out to the bus. As has been mentioned in the past – DO NOT STOP in the hallways after leaving security until you are outside and see your rep holding a sign for your tour company. They will tell you which bus is yours. Or in the case of private transfer, just find your “ride”. The people in the inside hallways are quite determined to “trick” you into a ride and I’m assuming large fees. They often say the tour company names trying to catch you.
We were on a large bus with a washroom and they sold cold Corona for $3 each. Water was $2 I believe. The drive was about 1 hour 15 minutes. A couple beers and we were there:) Sian Ka’an was the first stop. There was to be a drop off at Coba and then Dreams Tulum. There’s something to see most of the drive – all the resorts between Cancun and Akumal and Playa Del Carmen, etc. On our return, we were surprised to get an 8 passenger bus that headed straight for the airport – 1 hour – awesome! We ate at Johnny Rockets in the airport – their burgers were amazing! Duty free in the airport is very inexpensive for things you buy at home in Canada (Bailey’s 1L 2/$40; Flor de Cana 1 L $12.00; Captain Morgan Dark $14)
Check in was quick with a welcome margarita. We were early, so the room wasn’t quite ready. We had lunch and a drink, then got our room around 3:30. When you leave your suitcases in the lobby , the bellboy gives you a paper. After you have your room, give the paper to the bellboy and tell them the room number. They will accompany you with your suitcases. We had our restaurant reservations already via online, so we just checked in with public relations the next morning to have the receipts printed.
The first evening we had champagne and fruit delivered to our room which was a very nice touch. The fridge had the standard snacks, spirits, 2 beer, pop, etc. It was refilled the first couple of days, then was sporadic. The room had a king size bed, flat screen tv, sitting area, large patio with 2 small chairs (A more comfy chair would be nice as I spend an hour or two in the morning reading on the deck) and side table. The bed was quite firm but we both loved it The whole wall is windows/patio door with 2 different roll up blinds – one lets light in and one is room darkening. I can see why people have complained about these in the past as there are two sets of hanging things to open/close the blinds and it usually takes a few tries to get the one you want lol. The bathroom had a large stand up shower with an excellent pressure show (We never were lacking hot water ever) – lovely vessel sink and a shelf underneath for towels and your stuff. There’s ample storage; however, I wished there were more hooks or towel rods to hang damp things including towels on. There is an iron, ironing board and umbrella. I kind of laughed at this, but there is a menu to order “scents” for your room if you wish. I am very sensitive to scents, so I definitely didn’t try that one lol. There is also a pillow menu if you don’t care for the pillows on the bed. You may also order your coffee delivered in the morning if you wish. We didn’t try room service. The rooms were very clean with no bugs; however, I found the stairwells scuffed up and not always real clean. They didn’t quite match the excellence of the rest of the resort.
The pools were very cool the week we were there as the evenings were cool and most of the days had some cloud. When it was sunny, it was beautiful and hot and the cooler pools were very refreshing:)
We enjoyed Carlos at the pool bar – I loved the Mayan Monkey drink, mimosas, beer and clamato, Dark Bacardi and Sprite mostly. One day Hery worked at the pool and we had a blast with him – He usually works at the lobby bar. The towel game was in full swing to get the sunny chairs while we were there. We also had a hard time getting loungers at the beach. I was surprised we hadn’t read about that in the past? They said the hotel was only about 60-70%, so I can’t imagine what you’d do if it were full.
We loved the Holbox beach bar and had good service from everyone there. Paloma is amazing. I can’t imagine her job traipsing back and forth through the sand and up an incline over and over to deliver drinks to your chairs at the beach – she deserves a reward. It’s VERY hard walking in it let alone doing it all day. She’s obviously in very good shape! And she was always smiling:) Holbox is right next to the dolphin pool, so you can watch anytime you want. We found the music at Holbox very repetitive and the same person singing all the recorded songs. We would have rather heard Mexican music or original artist modern music…. Just seemed like the same all the time – a mix would be good. The washroom is just behind Holbox. Take the path to the trolley spot and turn right, and you will see it. It’s quite close to walk to Akumal (walk to the right facing the ocean), or through Tulum (turn left facing the ocean) . On the overcast day, we kind of resort hopped checking out the others. Coba was packed when we visited – too full for me in the lobby area!
We went to 3 a la cartes: Maiko, Le Gourmet(in Coba), and Alux. We loved Maiko and Le Gourmet – Alux not so much. At Maiko, we each ordered the Satay Trilogy which was the three skewers on grilled pineapple and the mixed Teppanyaki – It was more than Excellent! My hubby had the fried ice cream dessert and I had the banana in a tortilla with icecream – excellent! We loved Maiko and would definitely return. At Le Gourmet, my husband ordered the scallop appetizer and I ordered the carpaccio. I had almond soup and he tried the seafood bisque. We both had the filet mignon and the warm chocolate brownie dessert – Oh my goodness – to die for!!! We loved the whole meal and would definitely return. At Alux, I ordered the Fois Gras which was excellent and tasted like apple pie. My husband ordered the shellfish in puff pastry and said it was good. The Portofino soup was good. We ordered the Tenderloin and here’s where it went not so good. The meat had no taste whatsoever – looked good but was not so great Mine was also severely underdone. If it had have been good, I would have returned to have it cooked more , but it wasn’t worth it to me. The desserts were just so-so at Alux as well. The service started out okay but as it got busier we started waited a bit too long between courses in my opinion. I’ve taken pics of several menus which I will post in a few days.
We enjoyed the buffet very much. I personally found there should have been more grilled meats, etc. ready to choose from(and it was always busy, so there were people to eat the food) – you could order items to be cooked, but that meant waiting, and it wasn’t always easy to see what to choose from. They had the chocolate fountain at least two nights while we were there and it was very good. They had tiny baked cheesecakes occasionally and they were excellent! The mini salads and desserts were a very nice touch. I loved the tiny premade sandwiches at breakfast and lunch – they were always fresh and good. The mimosas at breakfast and omelettes were my fav There was lots of fresh bacon/hashbrowns/waffles/etc every day. (and smoked salmon/caviar/sushi/etc if that’s what you like) I especially loved the “Chinese food” section at dinner with fresh chow mein, rice and spring rolls.
At the 24 hour grill, we enjoyed the burgers, nachos and guacamole (had to ask for gauc but they had it every day) and the ribs are excellent! Ice cream is very good as well. The service was always good there; however, I found the quality a bit less than the rest of the hotel. I think it’s because it’s never very busy there, so they don’t have a lot prepared or ready.
We mostly drank beer, beer/clamato, dark rum (Bacardi or Havana Club) and sprite, and mimosas. The Mayan monkey at the pool bar was very good as well. All the drinks I tried were very good and very well made. The bartenders certainly know what they are doing. At most bars, they have nuts and pretzels if you want to request them. The sweet corn nuts at the beach are awesome!
I must mention the girls at the lobby bar area. They work tirelessly and most are ALWAYS smiling. A special mention about Laura, Adrianna and Ana – our favorites. Excellent job ladies! We spent every evening in the lobby area. Most of the nights, there were 2 men that performed live music. They were only so-so. We found they did okay with their “Spanish” music, but when they tried to mimic popular “English” songs they massacred them! My husband and I actually had good laughs about it most nights. The popular DJ music when they took a break was refreshing in our opinion. We felt Sian Ka’an could improve in this area – even with good DJ music occasionally rather than less than impressive live music.
We weren’t overly impressed with activities. In our opinion, Sian Ka’an needs to have a bit more livelier activities available for those who like to have a bit more fun….come on…yoga, bingo, mini golf in long grass, and zumba???? It would have been nice to see some more “fun” activities once in a while. The entertainment team did work hard to keep things going including blackjack, etc in the lobby in the evenings.
The trolley service was EXCELLENT – we never had a problem or wait more than about 5 minutes. Just tell the driver when they stop where you want to go, and they will tell you if they are the right trolley and help you get the right one some times
-better lighting in the bathrooms for putting on make-up, etc… ;
-more comfy patio chair on your patio for people that actually sit in them;
- better music in the evening – even DJ would be good if the music was upbeat and fun;
-at least one “more active and fun” pool and activity area for those livelier guests
-more hooks/racks for hanging damp things in your room
-bit better food at Alux – perhaps a couple more “normal” choices
We enjoyed Sian Ka’an; however we felt overall it was a bit too quiet for our taste-more geared to an older, ritzy crowd – perhaps that is what they are going for? The food, service, rooms, etc was all above par – excellent! Please message me if anyone has any questions you would like answered:)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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First of all thank you very much for your recent visit to the Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an Resort and for taking the time to write your impressions about our hotel. It is for guests like you that our resort remains one of the most appreciated hotels in the Riviera Maya.
We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed the pools and beach area, buffets and a la carte restaurants during your recent stay to our hotel. Regarding to the comments about the food at the Alux restaurant, we assure you the same has been communicated to the concerned and necessary action have been taken to ensure we keep providing our guests with the attention and services they deserve.
We really appreciate you mentioning our staff, especially Claudia, Carlos, Hery, Paloma, Laura, Adriana and Ana. It really incentives and encourages them to keep working and improving day by day, we will forward your comments to Claudia and the rest of our staff.
Concerning to the fridge, we work with a very strict Concierge Express service where every request, complaint or report of malfunctioning in the room is filed. The management and staff extend our sincerest apologies for any inconveniences which you may have experienced as a result of the situations you have brought to our attention.
Thank you very much for your suggestion about the music in the evening and the entertainment activities, lighting in the bathrooms, hangers and the patio chair in the room. We have already sent them to our general manager and will be taken in great consideration to ensure we keep providing our guests with the attention and services they deserve.
Once again, thank you for your valuable feedback and we are looking forward to the pleasure of welcoming you again at our resort.
Gracy Manzo Mendoza
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.