We (5 families with 8 kids) just got back after a week's visit during spring break to GBP, Tulum and had a good vacation.
This was our 5th visit to Cancun at different resorts and the first for other families.
It started off on a bad note. We booked in Jan and emailed public relations for dinner reservations. One family got thru, but got a reply that the resort is not taking any more advanced reservations due to a change in software and have to do it with a self-service app upon arrival. Tried a couple of times nearer to the trip date and got no response. I got furious when I saw others posting about getting advanced reservations done. We finally got a response on the day before leaving that it will be done on the day of our arrival.
We booked private airport transfers via CancunTransfers.com and got good deals for $250 for a 12 seater and ~$140 for 8 seater minivan.
Ride took 1 hr. 10 mins from the airport and was tiring after a long turbulent flight trip.
Check-in was smooth and we were offered welcome margaritas.
We got building 26 that was at the farther end of the resort. We also got free in-room safe as we booked via expedia, but is otherwise charged $5/day, which sounds cheesy when you already paid a good bit. Wi-Fi is available for 1 hr. straight only in the lobby area, or can pay $12/day to get it in the room.
Room was fine, but the A/C's barely made it cool. The shower had a half glass door that got the floor wet.
We were allowed to move to a nearer building 11 mid way thru the trip to a Jr. suite. The Jr. suite was a joke as it was the exact same room with an additional sofa/bed. The power sockets were only 2 pins and fit the normal US pins, but didn't fit some adapters like the iPad, DS due to the inward indented shape. There was only 1 plug available in the room and another in the bathroom. So, might be good to get an extension that connects to a 2 pin socket.
Resort and grounds were extremely clean and well maintained and the staff worked extremely hard. It’s good to tip them for their hard work.
The food was good; including the buffets, but the menu was quite the same every day.
There were plenty of dinner a la carte choices, but were limited to 3 for a week's stay. We did these 3.
- Don Pablo. This was awesome.
- Mikado/Japanese. This was good, but didn't get show table.
- Tortuga/Brazilian Rodizio(just average). The meats were dry and salty.
Availability was bad at a la carte's for the families that booked upon arrival as they got only 9 or 10pm for dinners (but all had plenty of empty tables).
Drinks were decent and there were plenty of bars around. Whisky choices were only the standard ones - Jack Daniels, J&B, Passport, and Red Label.
The main/lobby bar at Tulum was huge and awesome and had plenty of chairs near the pool to enjoy drinks in the evening. We enjoyed hot coffee w/Baileys. The 24 hr. snack bar by the beach was convenient, but food was below average in quality.
The entertainment shows were quite good. We loved the Michael Jackson and Acro dance shows the best. There are no free shows on Wednesdays on any resort and have to pay extra for the Mexican party at the Hacienda marketplace, which was cheesy.
The option of trying the other resorts (Coba & Akumal) was good, but was disappointed in how similar they were with Tulum in the decor and amenities. It would've been nicer to have some variety with complimentary facilities. Coba did have a small casino, but didn't try it.
The buggies came in handy and were generally available quickly except during dinner time when they arrived full.
The adult’s only Sian Kaan resort was not accessible.
The main pool at Tulum was nice and huge with different sections and enough palapas. The quiet pool had lots of kids and was not so quiet.
The Jacuzzi/hot tub was missing.
The pool at Coba was smaller and has very little shaded areas.
The beach was quite narrow and bad, compared to Playa del Carmen (this was the main drawback of this resort + hassle for dinner reservations that skewed my rating). There are lots of rocks and boulders in the water and can't walk in the water without getting hurt. The tide blocking concrete barriers are an eye sore, but provide good snorkeling option to see fishes. There were plenty of palapas available near Tulum. There was only a small patch near Akumal that didn't have rocks, but was extremely crowded.
I hurt my foot while stepping on a sharp stone while playing volley ball that dampened my vacation and saw a couple of others getting hurt also, The only treatment available was the peroxide antiseptic from the life guards. Water shoes are a must for this resort and carry some large size band aids and tape.
There is a Dr at the Hacienda, but charged ~$200 cash for a kid's ear infection consultation (US insurance is not accepted).
There were plenty of pool side activities like stretching, putting challenge, aqua aerobics, water polo, beach volley ball, soccer, horse shoe, bingo, ping pong, crazy games, dancing/cooking/Spanish lessons, etc. and the entertainment staff did a good job keeping folks entertained.
They also have 6 tennis courts (racquets were bad, so better to get your own). You can also get an hour with the instructor, but he seemed to be an average person. They also had a basketball/soccer court and bike tours.
The kayaking and sail boats (if you know to sail) were fun and could use 1 hr/day free.
Not sure why they didn't have a mini golf.
They also have a championship 18 hole golf course and a 9 hole Par 3 course, but is a bit of a rip off. They advertise green fees are fee, but get you with mandatory per person cart fees ($80/$90) although its shared by two + club rental ($45), dozen balls ($48) plus extra for food and drinks (it’s quite tiring in the heat). You might want to get your own clubs and balls if you plan to use it.
Friends did the Chichen Itza excursion by renting a car, which is more convenient and cheaper than the bus tours that take longer.
Having stayed at four other Cancun resorts earlier, this resort is mostly good except for the bad beach and the long drive from the airport. Also didn't like the restricted a la carte dinner reservations and the cheesy extra fees for in-room safe and Mexican show.
- 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 (1 h 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
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- 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