First off let me say I'm not the type that complains about "sand on the beach" like some other picky reviewers, I'm easy going!
TRANSFER - Hotel is pretty much at the end of the resort strip, its about 1-1/2hr from Cancun, a little less with a good driver...for this reason we hired CANADA TRANSFERS for $80 (CND$ at PAR) to beat the Tour operators bus, we beat them by over an hr since we'd be the last drop-off, well worth the price..on the way back we took the tour bus as it was direct to the airport with no stops. Even though the location is far its very close to XEL-HA, Tulum, Xcaret so you save money on transfers to these places for your day trips..its 10mins to XEL-HA, 15-20mins to Tulum
HOTEL - Because we beat the crowd and we were in the Royal Golden area, check-in was fast...15mins and then 3min walk to our room in Villa 67...not the best villa but 66 and 65 were filled. Grounds are spotless, they really keep itl clean scrubbing the walkways and pool areas at night so don't worry about walking around in bare feet. Its quite spread out so even though it was busy it doesn't seem busy except at the beach. Looking at the site map it will seem huge but we could walk from the main lobby to Royal Golden in about 5-7mins with kids (ages 9 and 7) in tow. If you don't like walking there are golf carts with trains attached, they come by every 15mins and take you around your resort or to the others TULUM and COBA. AKUMAL seems to be a happy medium between adult and family...COBA more geared towards children with the nice water park but it far from the beach so keep that in mind if your a beach person, Tulum seems more Adult oriented...it has the best beach area...this is where you can swim with dolphins on the grounds.
BEACH - I'm a person that considers Negril Beaches some of the best, that being said I don't find the beach overly great, they are just ok. Because this region has the second largest coral deposits in the world there are a lot of rocks. Some sections of the beach are not accessible due to a short brick storm wall, even it you step over this wall you'll be met with tons on rocks, they are probably not allowed to destroy the rock formations. The areas that are accessible are good, about 100 feet out they have "break walls", large mounds of sands enclosed in a vinyl netting, this keeps the huge waves from reaching shore and washing away the beach but also makes it swim-able for the young ones, kids seem to like playing on these break walls. Lots of shade, even with "THOSE PEOPLE" that run to the beach at 6am and through their towels and books on the lounger there is still lots of places to sit...they even have signs on the huts that say DO NOT RESERVE THE LOUNGERS IF NOT USING IMMEDIATELY but people still do..this is the same everywhere so I cannot fault the resort. Lots of fish to see especially by the underwater rocks/coral so bring snorkel equipment if you have it, but the resort has some you can signout. The TULUM resort area has the best beach.
ROOMS - very spacious,clean, few ants...nothing to worry about, our room had a King bed with a double bed and a sofa that pulled out to a single bed and still lots of room to walk and room for a small table with 2 chairs. In room safe was large enough to fit our camera, 2 ipad mini's, one android tablet, iphone, BB Q10, money, passports etc...more than enough room. Very clean lots of towels, for this I left $2-$3USD for the maid each day on the pillow. LG LED TV, could use more drawer space, fair sized closet, hair dryer, iron, good size bathroom
FOOD - Buffet not great but is good, but I'm comparing it with Jamaican food which is excellent, breakfast is best, fresh omelets and tons of fresh fruit and juices, lots of seafood at dinner. The Italian a la cart "Viva Dolce" is the best restaurant we tried...very good! Buffet has a lot of the same stuff but there is so much choice you'll find something you haven't tried each day.
POOL - Busy, hard to get a Palapa Hut in the early morning however the turn over is high, people coming and going all the time so you may not get one first thing in the morning but hang around and by lunch one will open up. Pools are clean, 4ft deep except at the kids pool were it more like 2ft deep. COBA has the best pool for kids.
ENTERTAINMENT - Good, ends about 10pm, they had a Michael Jackson impersonator with dancers that was quite good. There is a bar that goes late.
KIDS CLUB - Kids club has a mini disco at 8pm - 845pm in the main entertainment center. Kids club is located by the main pool and they have good activities for the kids, some days they would take them to the COBA water park and even take them for lunch, another day they were part of a production of LION KING that played during the 9pm show...very cool for the kids, one day we didn't see our youngest daughter(7) from 9am - 5pm..she refused to hang out with us even at lunch!
TOURS - Being at this hotel offers a break on the day trips since most are so close by, but going into Playa De Carmen for shopping is about 40min trip. THey have swimming with dolphins on site so you save on that only $89. XEL-HA is a must see ECO park with Centoes, snorkeling, Zip line all included in the price of admission adults $90 kids half price...free transfer from the Bahia Principe. Some activities cost extra. Also the Mayan Ruins don't allow you climb the structures anymore (Chichen Iza, and Tulum) however there is a fairly new site that does allow this, its 1-1/2hr away...cannot remember the name (ask tour operator) but its one of the most recent discoveries 20yrs ago.