Our family of four (My husband, myself and our 2 children - ages 4 and 1), stayed for our second time at GBP Coba from May 6-16, 2013. This is our second trip here as we stayed for a week in January 2013 as well. The value is exceptional. There are just SO MANY positives. I'm not sure where to begin. We have traveled extensively and have been to several all-inclusive resorts with our children. This resort is definitely the best that we have been for families.
Waterpark -this is a new addition as they were building this when we stayed here in January. Our son probably spent 25 plus hours here during our 10 day stint. Lots of slides and water showers to keep the kids happy and entertained. The water was warm and clean. There was always someone cleaning and scrubbing the sides of the pool.
Beach - We spent a lot of time at Akumal Beach rather than Coba Beach. We liked both beaches equally, but we found that Akumal beach was quieter and easier to find a lounger under the shaded palapas. We also found that there were less people smoking on the Akumal side compared to Coba Beach. Not to say that will be your experience. We loved the beach. The water is crystal clear. The sand is white and powdery and clean. There were always lots of fish swimming about so that you could watch without snorkeling. I enjoyed the water aerobics on the Coba Beach side and there was always music playing and something entertaining going on. Akumal was a bit more on the quiet side. Both beaches were awesome for the kids. My four year old enjoyed swimming without his lifejacket as it was very shallow and the water was calm. My one year old daughter liked crawling in and out and digging in the sand.
We never took the tram (trains) at all to the beach and we have two young children and LOTS of equipment (lifejackets, floaties, sunscreen, towels, diapers, etc.) to tow along. So - the distance from the rooms or lobby to the beach was not even an issue. It's a beautiful walk with some shade along the way. We actually enjoyed walking as much as we did. With all of the great food and yummy drinks that we were consuming, the walking offered us some exercise.
Rooms- We stayed in room 32732. It is a corner room with a view of both sides of the building from the balcony. We LOVED this location. After visiting in January, we actually requested to be in this general area as it was so quiet, yet close to the snack bar and lobby as well as close to the quiet pool. We checked in through the Premier as it was our second visit. We were so, so very impressed with the check in process. We didn't wait in line at all. The bellman had our bags to our room in a couple short minutes after arriving at our room. He took the time to tell us what amenities were close by and asked if we had questions. A bed was made up for our son as well when we arrived.
The room was clean, cool and well stocked with drinks and snacks in the mini-bar. Each day after our room was cleaned, we were greeted with a new towel animal - a snail, a peacock, an elephant, a swan, a person.... our children loved them.
I am shocked that people complain about the humid smell -- you are in Mexico!!! It is humid there!!! Really?!?!? I think the staff does an amazing job working so hard to keep the mustiness smell minimal.
Our bed was not hard at all, as many reviewers claim. We slept comfortably every night and only woke when our mini human alarm clocks woke us.
Food - The Coba buffet is probably the best if you have children. They really cater to the little ones by offering so many kid-friendly options, such as - peanut butter sandwiches, chicken nuggets, French fries, hot dogs, chicken burgers and a big selection of hard and soft ice cream. We ate most of our supper meals at the Coba buffet and always found something delicious and different to eat. We really enjoyed eating at the Akumal Buffet only because we could get a table for four by the huge open windows and we could feel the ocan breeze while eating. Whereas Coba buffet only had two seated tables near the windows. We ate most of our breakfast meals at the Premier buffet - which we didn't even know existed when we stayed at this resort in January during our first visit. We preferred breakfast here because it is a smaller buffet and a lot less busy. The service was exceptional at every place that we ate. We needed a high chair each time and we rarely waited for a clean highchair to be brought to us. We loved the cappuccinos and ordered them with breakfast each day. We ate most of our lunches at the snack bars. We liked Casita only because it was so much less busy than the Pisces and there were a lot fewer smokers. We also enjoyed eating at the Akumal snack bar on the beach. We took advantage of the 24 hour snack bar (Casita) and ordered pizza, French fries, ribs and chicken nuggets late at night. Everything was made fresh and quickly.
We ate at only one a la carte restaurant - Le Grand Tortuga. It was AMAZING! We would have loved to eat here more than once... but we only made one reservation on the night before we went home. Usually with the children, the buffet is easier as a la carte restaurants tend to take too long for the kids to sit. We did not wait at all at this restaurant. We were seated and were given our drinks and our appetizer immediately. We then started on the salad bar. After we were done with the salad bar, we were given a red and a green card. When the green card is laying out, it tells the server to bring you your meat. When you turn it to the red card, it tells the server that you have had enough and you are ready for dessert. The first meat was roast chicken, followed by bacon wrapped sirloin, turkey breast, beef ribs, Brazilian sausage, prime rib and roast beef. It was absolutely delicious! We ate constantly and enjoyed every bite.
Mini Club - The kids club was awesome for our 4 year old. He enjoyed going for an hour or so a day. He often wanted to stay longer as they were always doing fun activities. Jemica and Olivia loved the kids and greeted our son with hug and kisses each visit.
Other notes - We loved that this resort always had fresh fruit out to grab at every lobby. green and red apples, bananas, plums and oranges were always available. Our kids always had something healthy to munch on.
The fitness centre is clean and cool and there is a lot of variety for cardio and strength.
We liked that the bar in the Coba lobby had speciality coffees each morning.
The staff at this resort were incredibly friendly, helpful and genuinely wanted to make you happy. We were really happy with everyone that we came in contact with.
We noticed that there was always someone cleaning something. The grounds are immaculately kept and the staff work so hard. There were always people caring for the grounds, washing windows, tables, trash cans, signs, floors, etc. Just to explain how clean this resort actually was -- my little girl crawled constantly around the lobby and her knees were never dirty.
Yes, this is a large resort, but once you get to know it, you will find what you like and you can easily figure it out and get from one place to another without even having to take the trams. We only took the trams when we wanted to go to Tulum - which was a bit far.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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We would like to express how much we appreciate that you had choose in your 2 previous visit to the Riviera Maya our resort for your family holidays. For the Grand Bahia Principe Family, the main objective is to make the holidays of our little guest and their parents incredible.
It is a delight to read that you and your family were pleased with the waterpark, the activities, the miniclub, the facilities but particularly the hospitality of our team, Jimena and Olivia will be very happy to know that you remember them.
We are looking forward for your 3Th visit to your Mexican friends here in the Mexican Caribbean,
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.