Lots of reviews for this place, so will stick to key points ( good and not so good!). Bearing in mind this is staked as a 5 star resort, the comments are based on our previous experiences throughout the Caribbean, US, Europe and Asia - knowing that 5 star means very different thing in all those places and having stayed in many thought those regions. To us, 5 star ultimately is more about how the guest feel than the availability of services/spa etc in any given resort. We didn't feel 5 star here.
-Really good size rooms, in an extremely clean and well maintained resort
-Fabulous wildlife wandering around - iguanas, coaties, birds, raccoons etc. Such a shame that many of the intelligence-challenged guests couldn't understand that feeding wild animals ice cream cones and chips so that you can get them to gather round for photos isn't acceptable. The resort staff should really do more to stop this appalling behaviour.
-In general, great staff - helpful, friendly, funny ( there was the odd grumpy exception, but we've all had bad days, so will forget those!)
-Japanese chefs table meal was great entertainment and pretty decent food.
- Don't expect too much from the a la carte restaurants - they're a welcome relief from the buffets, but nothing to get excited about. I would equate to local pub grub - not great, but you wouldn't send it back if you we're paying pub grub prices. Steak was probably the best bet, but if that was genuinely a filet mignon, I'm genuinely a uk size 6. (Neither are true!)
-We found the buffet restaurants pretty poor in terms of overall quality; they try to cover too many cuisines at one time and end up providing poorer quality. They'd be much better splitting the cuisines amongst the multiple buffets they have and concentrating on something to do it well in each place.
-Book your a la carte meals as soon as you can - for people only staying one week, email the resort in advance to book otherwise you will only have choices of 6pm sittings for the restaurants you want to eat at.
-Don't take any organised tour to Tulum ruins. The place is amazingly beautiful; do yourselves a favour and take a collectivo from the hotel entrance/hacienda area. It will cost you a fraction of the price and is such a stunning place it needs no tour-guided, over-priced, shopping-based, waste of time to detract from it.
-If you're going to do chichen itza, do this independently too- a private car for the day will probably cost around 2,000 pesos. Any organised tour spends too much time taking you to shamelessly obvious shopping spots and too little time doing what you've really come to see. Will leave a separate review of this too.
-Ik kil ( near chichen itza) is an absolute must-see; unfortunately not enough time there with the organised tours, but swimming in that sink hole is something we will never forget. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. Do not forget your cameras! Will leave a separate review of ik kil too.
-There was an enormous difference in service between August and 1st September onwards; I appreciate its tailing down from high season, but from one day to the next they'd shut down the 24hr snack bar (only place you get get tea/coffee/water/soft drink outside of main bar restaurant hours - when you're up at 6am to get a lounger, you need a coffee!) and the Cozumel restaurant and significantly reduced staffing numbers in the bars and restaurants. There was no notice this was happening, it just closed overnight. We did ask the Virgin rep (David) what was going on and he said he didn't know - not that he'd ask, or try to find out, or sorry that the advertised facilities weren't available any more - just that he didn't know either. Thanks for the inside info David!
-In busier periods (evidently before 1st sept!) the reviews about availability of loungers is absolutely true - but is almost a self-fulfilling situation. People do it because everyone is doing it; the only way this will change is if the resort put a stop to this practice by removing towels that are left there for hours on without people to accompany them. That said, I don't expect to ever need to stake a claim on a sun lounger at 6am in any genuine 5star resort!
All in all, I'm afraid to say, we probably wouldn't recommend anyone making a new booking, but use the advice on trip advisor to make the most of the stay you've already booked.
Don't misunderstand this review; it's no dump, it's not unpleasant in any way, it's just not the standard of 5 star resort we were expecting - or have been used to staying in this part of the world.
Room allocations are irrelevant - everything is is close to at least one the pools, the restaurants...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
September 11, 2013
Report response as inappropriate
We appreciate that you had taken time to share your opinion because this is our best tool to learn.
We are extremely sorry that our facilities did not meet with your full approval as we do pride ourselves on guest satisfaction. Please, rest assured we will review your comments with our staff to improve where is necessary.
We hope you decide to visit us again; we assure you we will exceed your highest expectations.
Nayma S. Amabiles
Grand Bahia Principe Coba
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.