My Wife and I just got back Nov 25th from a week at the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal complex. This was our 6th trip to Mexico and 4th to the Mayan side.
As most know this is a large 3 property/phase resort. We enjoyed walking the paths and when we didn't want to there was always a trolley conveniently coming by with a friendly chauffeur. Getting around this resort was never a problem.
The Akumal had the best access and frontage to the beach area. The main "pier" area was always quite busy, but you could usually find a palapa or lounger any time of the day. We mostly pulled our lounges down to the water... half in and half out to stay nice and cool. If you moved to the most western end of the beach, it was much quieter and private. You still had your own beach bar near and the snorkeling was great along the inside of the breakwater. We saw a good sized resident wolf eel, a lion fish, countless other reef fish and their was a massive school of bait fish (I think sardine) that was like a moving cloud that you could swim through. At one point when I reached the edge of the small bay, I had a glimpse of a large predatory fish (looked like a silvery tuna type shape) dart in to get a snack.
It also had the most interesting main pool layout that weaved about with plenty of dividing foliage that gave great visual and noise separation from the other guests when compared to the other more open concept pools.
Staff was always friendly and you couldn't pass anyone without getting a friendly "hola".
Our Villa 74 room was bottom floor, a bit dated and smelt musty (it is the tropics), but it did improve after our first housekeeping visit. She treated us with a different towel art animal everyday and did a great job making the place neat and tidy. The air conditioning just worked marginally, we asked for it to be looked at, but nothing seemed to change. It wasn't too bad with the ceiling fan running.
Food in the buffet restaurants were all the same and just okay. We definitely had better at most of the other resorts we've been to (the Barcelo just down the road for example), but saying that this was less expensive too. The a la cartes were better. We ate at the le Elegant (French - good food, but not much. We had to visit the buffet after), the Pescador (Seafood - had the swordfish quite good) and the Mikado (Japanese - cooked in front of you. Not a bad show, but quick and we've had better. They cooked the prawns whole with heads, so you had to pick them apart with your fingers... not exactly chop stick material).
The only real negative thing I would say for this resort, however, was their time share version of what they like to call "Privilege Club" presentation. We got suckered in and spent over 5 hours with them. Yes, we almost bought into it until the lovely legal secretary went over our contract before signing and we quickly found that it was not what we were told we would be getting. BE CAREFUL... I can't believe we almost fell for it. The "closer" came back in and tried to dismiss it as a misunderstanding, but to be honest it was outright deception. We eventually got our "free" beach bag and $100 dollar bribe excursion voucher, but we wasted the better part of the day and felt very upset by the whole ordeal. They're in the lobby and very good at gaining your confidence. If your strong, go for the $100 voucher and then tell them to get lost and get out of there. I can't get into the details as to why this "deal" is bad, but always remember "if it sounds to good to be true... it is!" Don't let your guard down with these greasy sharks.
All in all, we'd go back or recommend to friend if you could get it for the right price...