Just returned from GBP Coba following a two week stay, I booked this holiday following a recommendation from someone who stayed here in July 2012.
Three days before we leave we received a letter from Virgin saying due to low take up at resort several of the eating facilities would be closed ( should have put two and two together and realised that meant staff reduction to save costs, anyway i digress, i will try and review this hotel as best as possible with honest accounts. First of all i will add this complex is massive, i mean really massive, i believe it can cator for approx 5,000 people.
When you arrive you are greeted in the lobby with a drink to get you in the holiday mood, at this point as a plus i would say the lobby's around this complex are stunning, really well presented high thatched roofs and very well decorated, not quite 5 star (or ticks in the virgin brochure) but pretty close.
Check in was easy and cases were loaded on carts and delivered 15 minutes later to your room, you are taken on seperate cart direct to room. At this point i would say the cart service works well and on average we waited no more than 3 minutes for one and we never waited more than 10 at peak times.
We were in block 23A, the first thing is the smell, it's like being in a damp basement, walls had patches of blown plaster bubbles, but its the smell it gets in all your clothes, at this stage i thought we were just unlucky but people we went with were in block 29 and not only did they have the smell but by the end of the holiday the had mildew growing on shoes that had been left in wardrobe.On the bright side the bed was very comfy!
The cleaners came in every day a did a fair job, the towels can be changed as often as you want you just bundle them on the floor and they will swap, the only criticism i would have is the cleaners like to leave a towel design on your bed (man / chicken / rabbit) the downside they used the wet dirty towels we had bundled on the floor (really),
At best i would rate the rooms a 3 star level.
Before i talk about food i just want to mention the alcohol. plenty of choice but i am convinced these are all watered down, watching the barmen make drinks you think wow thats at least a tripple, by the time you drink it it taste like coloured water, someone needs to test the levels of alcohol being provided !
This is the first time i have gone all Inclusive so was not sure what to expect, It took precisely 3 days before i was ill with severe stomach problems, ( if you have spare cash i suggest you buy shares in Pepto Bismol), anyway these lasted pretty much the whole hoilday, but the first two days by far the worse i have ever known. All bar one of the other people i travelled with had problems as well but luckily not as bad as me.
The food issues - Coba I have never seen so much wasted food in my life, a big part of this was due to either cold food or undercooked, at least three times we binned the chicken as when it was cut open it was raw in the middle. nearly all food is left out uncovered for hours on end, i guess in full holiday season so many more people around the food gets eaten quicker so it is replaced frequently, however in low season it sits around getting cold. they supposedly cook fresh pasta dishes, however this means you point at a pre cooked pasta and the re heat it in water for 30 seconds while the pre cooked sauce heats up. The only positive thing i would say about the catering is the waiters / waitresses work very hard keping tables clean. The catering i would rate a 2 star level.
Akumal - by far the best eating facility, similiar issues to Coba but on a smaller scale.
Tulum - i believe this is supposed to be the more expensive part of the complex, however after walking in and seeing birds flying around the restuarant and sitting on tables lamps and chairs decided not to eat in there, i believe in high season they have someone who goes around getting the birds out, again i guess the cut back of staff resulted in them being alowed to fly around. - Disgusting
Before i move on to other areas i will quickly mention the ala carte restuarants, included in our package we had 6 free ala carte meals, within a couple of hours of arriving following advice on trip advisor we tried to book these, at first we could only get one over the 14 day period, after a brief discussion with the booking desk where we pointed out this was unacceptable we finally managed to persuade them to give us 5, some people staying over the same period as us didn't push hard enough and only ended up with 1 or 2. Anyway whilst better than the buffet they were still not brilliant, if at home and you were paying the only one i would go back to (can't remember it's name, but it done a great Steak Mignon). The interesting thing was none of the restuarants were ever more than half full, and i think the only reason they were saying they did not have any space was the fact that they were under staffed yet again.
Swimming Pool Area
The coba had two massive pools, the first is the biggest and caters for families so has a seperate area with slides for kids, this is known as the noisy pool. the second pool is known as the quiet pool and is smaller and seemed to cator for older people, it also has a pool bar.
The pool area was ok, the only issue i had is when the barman collects the used cups any undrunk liquid is emptied on the grass right by where you sit, this encourages the animals and ants - massive ants to congregate. why not just empty them in the bar sink ?
The practice of emptying half drunk drinks also applies on the beach,where the barmen collect cups and poor the undrunk bit on the sand next to the sunbeds - really nice, at least i know why the sand stuck to my feet..
Tulum has the best beach by far , with real white sands, the beach at coba seems to be finely ground limestone, ok but not as nice, both areas have a man made shallow pool area where all the marine fish swim around you looking for bread, ( take some from the restuarant).
Time to recap.
This is not a 5 star resort, at best a 3 star plus.
I think many of the problems we had are down to staff reductions as a result of low booking take up.
Would i recommend the GBP - No
Would i stay here again. Never, not even for free.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Facilities and services 2 lake-style pools 3 Jacuzzis Large sun terrace and gardens with sun umbrellas and loungers Pool and beach towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 5 tennis courts, basketball court, bicycles Motorised sports (additional charge) Water activity centre Entertainment amphitheatre WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge) Buffet restaurant 4 a la carte restaurants 7 Bars 2 Snack bar 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 1080 rooms including 4 types: Superior Junior Suite, Club Golden Junior Suite, Family Junior Suite and Master Family Suite. Room facilities: Two full size beds or a king size bed Sitting area with sofa Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, shower, wash basin, magnifying mirror and hair dryer Bathroom amenities Balcony or terrace Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Radio alarm clock Flat screen satellite TV Mini-bar Coffee-making facilities Safe (additional charge) Ironing set Terrace Wifi Family Junior Suites and Master Family Suites the perfect choice for families, including: All the facilities and services of a Junior Suite Bathrobes and slippers for all the family for use during your stay Children's bath kit Welcome basket with sweets Mini-bar with juices, shakes, milk and soft drinks for children Two fully independent connecting rooms (Master Family Suites) Club Golden Junior Suites Children Bahia Scouts Children can enjoy a range of specially-tailored facilities: Children's pool Mini Club with daytime activities Evening Mini Disco Bahia Scouts Water Park Teen's Club (11 - 16 years) Baby Station Other services On-site miniature railway providing access to all facilities 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:
- Gran Bahia Principe Coba Akumal
- Hotel Gran Bahia Principe
- Bahia Principe Coba Mexico
- Gran Bahia Coba
- Gran Bahia Principe Resort Coba
- Gran Bahia Principe Coba Hotel
- Gran Principe
- Gran Bahia Principe Mexico
- Bahia Coba
- Grand Bahia Principe Coba Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico