My husband and I travelled to this resort in Dec 2012 and had a fabulous time. The resort was fantastic! It was quite a ways from the airport but we were expecting the long drive so picked up a couple of beer at the airport and enjoyed the scenery. Even though the hotel is further from the airport than most hotels in the Mayan Riviera area, the drive was well worth it. It was my favourite location of all places we have so far stayed at in the Mayan.
The beach at the Coba was amazing. Lots of chairs with shade as well as sun and each time we went in the water we took our snorkelling gear a there were lots of fish to see.
We were very impressed with the food and decided to eat at the buffet every evening rather than any of the a la cartes. We were happy enough with the selection and quality of the food at the buffet and didn't want to be on any kind of schedule with dinner reservations. We have enough appointments and commitments in our every day life so don't have any on holidays.
We usually ate at the Tulum buffet for breakfast and lunch since it was right off the beach. Then we would eat at the Coba buffet for supper. We tried the Akumal buffet one evening it liked the Coba one better.
We liked having access to the three resorts and really enjoyed the bar at the Akumal resort before dinner. We also enjoyed the shopping centre called the Hacienda. Golf carts were frequent if you didn't feel like walking. We enjoyed walking to the beach but usually took the golf carts to the other resorts. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous and can it can be confusing at first, but we caught on to the layout after a couple of days.
We did two outings on our own as we don't like tours. We walked to the highway and caught the Collectivo to Akumal beach, which is very close. In fact, we realized we probably could have walked there along the beach - it would have taken an hour or so. We took our snorkelling gear and saw lots of fish and sea turtles. It was fantastic. This is where they take you if you sign up for the snorkelling tour, but it will cost $50/person. We spent $5 each in total for the Collectivo. You just stand on the resort side of the highway and the bus or Colletivo (white van) stops every 15 min or so although we never had to wait for more than a minute it two. The cost is 25 pesos each, or $2.50 each. When they drop you off at the road to the beach you have to walk in about 10 minutes. You will pass a library where you can pick up English books for $1 each. We rented a locker from the dive shop for $5 to store our stuff while we snorkelled. Akumal is a very neat town and we will spend more time there on our next trip. When you return to the hotel, you will need to cross the highway, but they have a pedestrian overpass so it isn't an issue.
Our second excursion was to the Tulum ruins and again we did it on our own. We had to cross the highway (use the overpass) and it was a further ride to Tulum. I think we paid $6 for two of us. Again it is a bit of a walk to the ruins from the highway, but it is a lovely walk and only about 15 min. There are options for getting a ride, but we enjoyed the walk. There are lots of booths along the way but we ignored them until we got to the entrance of the ruins. It is a very official looking entrance so don't get fooled by the booths along the way. The cost to get into the ruins was $11 for two. We loved exploring the ruins by ourselves, but tours are available if you prefer. It was so picturesque and awe-inspiring. We went early in the morning - about 8:00 or 8:30 and beat the crowds. When we left at 11:00 or so, the line-ups and crowds were crazy! I think the cost of the tour from the resort to the ruins was $30/ person. We did it for just under $12/person and did it on our own time which is very appealing. And it is very easy and safe to use the Collectivos so I highly recommend it
We took American money in small bills for tipping. However, in the future I would take American $1 bills for tipping and the rest of the cash in pesos. The bank exchange rate is about $1 = 13 pesos, but the usual exchange rate at businesses is $1 = 11.50 pesos. But many businesses did the conversion incorrectly or just used a conversion factor of $1=10 pesos. So using pesos to begin with is the most economical. Plus even if you use American or Canadian dollars, you will receive your change in pesos.
We thoroughly enjoyed our week at GBPC and would not hesitate to return or recommend it to others. I cannot imagine what anyone could possibly complain about. Go and enjoy!