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“Loved the experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Bahia Principe Coba

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Grand Bahia Principe Coba
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal - Cancun Km 250. Mexico, Akumal 77760, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 20 Hotels in Akumal
Kitchener, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Loved the experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2010

My wife and I travelled with friends this new year to the Mayan Riviera and chose GBP Coba over other options based on the ratings and reviews on this site and others. After staying there, I completely agree that this is an excellent hotel. We booked Coba, but could use all the amenities at GBP Akumal and Tulum as well. There is plenty of choice in terms of pools, bars and restaurants. The A La Carte restaurants are all quite good, but you will need to book early to get your first choice. The buffet restaurants had a very wide selection, too. Since Coba is an "off-ocean" resort, we chose to use the beach at Tulum, which was excellent. The only complaints we had, and they are minor, are 1) that the resort is a long bus ride from Cancun airport (over 90 minutes), 2) there was construction across the highway at the new housing development which went on through the night and was fairly noisy, and 3) that the internal shuttle bus system uses some very old, noisy and smelly vehicles (beware, the drivers do not turn on their lights at night).

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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USA
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2010

This is a wonderful place to stay!!! The best thing was that you stayed at one of the three (coba, akumal, and the Tulum) and you could vist, eat, and drink and use all three resorts like one! And the transport serive to each comes every few mins, but really the walk is not bad once you pick up a map and figure out where you are standing. The food we great! There was one main buffet that def. needed some A.C!!!! veryyyyy hot inside! The shows at night where soo much fun you never wanted to miss them. The entertainment staff was always doing there job, I.E., @ the pool, in the shows, the "aftershows" right outside the theater (Kareoke, dancing, etc.) Sports where always going on (soccer), @ the "party pools" there were kayake races in the pool, drinks contest, vollyball, aerobic, you name it it was going on!! If you want to get away and have a mellow day the Coba (where we stayed) does offer a really nice quite pool, it still has a swim up bar but the music is softer and the chairs are more for sitting there to read and lots more shade! The beachs were different at each resort, some rocky some sandy and great for snorkling, and some just plain old beach to relax at! The disco is GREAT! it really is a night club! it does not open until 12PM so its great to do after the shows and such. and they party all night there they play a lot of very moden and american music(new stuff) good club songs. (mind I am in my young 20's and saying this is fun) I wouldnt go if you are looking to relax in a quite bar- they have those in the lobbys @ night with live bands playing rock and swing music and such.If you have ANY more questions please ask- I would be happy to answer!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
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Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2010

I read all the reviews I could get my hands on before I left and the negative to that those are the reviews I remembered when I was there but not in the way you think. I thought ‘Are they crazy? You aren't in Canada!'

The minimum wage there is $5.20 A DAY! and they work harder and longer than most people here so remember that when you read negative reviews about stinky trolleys and mosquitoes. Which by the way there are a lot.

Here is my honest but long and very detailed review.

Arrival: After an hour in immigration and 30 minutes in customs and wait on the bus for other Coba vacationers, we had an hour and a half bus ride to the Gran Bahia. We finally arrived at 10pm. We went straight to the check-in and were quickly and pleasantly received. I had read in reviews that the beds were like sleeping on cinderblocks, so request a mattress pad and that is what we did. I also requested a quiet villa and was assured that it was. We got our map and keys and the bellboy took us by trolley to our villa (#11B), top floor.

Room: Well it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t as quiet as I had liked. The trolley path was on one side and the activity pool was on the other. At night it was pretty quiet but the microphoned activities at the pool in the afternoon interrupted my nap but I brought my clip-on fan, earplugs and that helped. The beds were hard even with the mattress pad, which by the way was delivered and installed minutes after we arrived in our room. Everything was clean and the minibar was well stocked. Everyday we left $1US on the boudoir and $1US in the minibar and was well stocked every day with towels, water and towel animals on our bed.

Telephones: Using your cell and room phone can cost you a fortune, like $6 a min or pay your cell company something like $30 for 15 min and a decreased minute cost. The cheapest way is to buy a Global Link prepaid phone card at the gift shop in the lobby for $10 and you get 45-60 minutes or $20 for 100-120 minutes for US and Canada. Do not be fooled by the phone card dispenser by the lobby house phone or the credit card phone (the blue phone). Then go to the lobby house phone (the white phone) and push the ‘operator’ button below the keypad. Tell the operator that you want to make a call with the Global Link phone card. Then there will be a voice prompting language, phone card number (the one you scratched off on the back of the card) and then enter the phone number (e.g. [--]).

Food: Per week you are aloud to 3 a la cartes and the rest of the week you can go to any of the 4 buffets on the Gran Bahia property. We choose the Brazilian grill (La Tortugas) and it was awesome. Meat on big swords cut off with machetes, lol. Very tasty but not for vegetarians. Second we chose the Mexican restaurant (Tequila). It was ok but not great. Third we went to the Japanese (the Mikado). This one was definitely the best but the most difficult to get into. Make the reservations as soon as you get there or you may not get a table. We waited till the next morning and we couldn’t get a table till the last night at 9:30pm. It was well worth it. There are many more, 2 Italian, a Seafood, a Mediterranean, and 2 Gourmet. The buffets were all good for buffets but the Tulum buffet was by far the best. The Cozumel was quietest but the smallest.

Drinks: There are 21 bars and I didn’t find one better than another. I did like the self-serve pina colada and strawberry margarita bar in the Coba buffet. I didn’t like the bartenders that served the tippers first but that varies per bartender not bar. But I also understand because of how much they make but how am I supposed to carry a tip in my bathing suit.

Pools and Beaches: There are 2 Coba pools, a quiet one and an activity pool. There is a swim up bar at the quiet pool and there is a whole list of activities to do at the other and the activity staff is fabulous. There are 3 pools at Tulum but the one by the Tequila restaurant is the smallest and is for ‘Club’ members only. There are 2 at Akumal. The beaches at both are great although the beach at Tulum by the ‘Club’ pool is quiet and well groomed and has lots of beach chairs under umbrellas. From that beach, going toward Akumal the beach got a little less groomed. Beach shoes or thongs are a necessity.

Entertainment: They call them the animation team and they are truly fabulous. They go from 10am in the morning till 3am. There are activities at each pool everyday from 10am till 5pm. Then there are dance lessons and/or karaoke around 7pm till 10pm. Then there is a show every night at 10pm at the Coba and 9pm at the Tulum and Akumal. We saw the Michael Jackson and I thought it stunk. The impersonator and the dancers were dogging it the whole show but the Gala, Entertainment and the Broadway were all good but not fabulous. After the show there is live entertainment at the Hacienda till 12am when the disco opens, yes midnight for those of you who can make it that late but be prepared for a very young crowd and the day’s popular music after about the first 5 songs.

Getting around: Getting around the property is easy. You can walk: From Coba to Tulum is about 20-30 minutes. From Coba lobby to the beach or Akumal lobby is 10 minutes. You can take a trolley: From Coba lobby to Tulum lobby 10 min going by the Hacienda. From the Hacienda you can walk out and catch the Collectivo (public transit) and pay $3US per person each way to either Tulum or Playa del Carmen. You can also get to Xel-Ha, Xplor, or Xcaret on the Collectivo. On the property, depending on where you are going, there are trolleys everywhere going all different ways but nothing takes more than 10 minutes.

Shopping: The Hacienda is on the property and you can take a trolley to get there from the Coba or Tulum lobby. It opens around 10am and closes around midnight. You can buy anything from souvenirs, mosquito repellent bracelets to sunscreen but buy the 30SPF Hawaiian Tropic biodegradable sunscreen at the lobby shops for $13US instead. There is also a medical clinic and a pharmacy at the Hasienda.

Check-out: You have to check out at 12pm. We were in line at 12pm and check out was pretty quick but there was a long line up. We paid for our lock key ($5US a day). We were warned in advance that all through Mexico there is a theft problem. In this part of Mexico it is most of the time other travellers not the locals. We weren’t being picked up for 3 hours so downstairs there is a locker room with showers, hairdryer and lockers to store your carry-on bags (the bell boys pick up your luggage and store it in a big room but be prepared it is open and not monitored). You still can use all facilities while you wait. When we got picked up we had to go down to the room and get our own bags but they would help you if you needed it.

I hope this review helped you make your choice or prepared you for what you are in for. It is a wonderful place. There is something for people of 4 years to any age but I wouldn’t bring younger kids there although people did. Have a fabulous vacation.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sidney, Canada
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2010

Our trip was short but very nice, We were in the resort December 6th through the 13th. The resort is HUGE, we were in the Coba section and it was perfect. It took us less then 5 minutes to walk to the beach and about the same to walk to the buffet. We ate at all three buffets while we were there as well as four al-a-carte restaurants. We prefered the Kukalcan in the Coba section to any of the other Buffets, there seemed to be more fresh food there for some reason. The restaurants... we booked everything for the week the first day we were there and were lucky to get seats, though when we were in them they were fairly empty. Prior to the trip we had heard bad reviews of the Gran Tortuga restaurant, it was likely the best we had while there followed by Le Pescatore Mikado was reputed to be the best however it was cramped, hot service slow (other than the drinks) I think if we do return we will steer clear of it as it was also the hardest to get a reservation in. the last was Le Gourmet, very nice.

We traveled a bit mostly on the tours avalable to be booked through the resort. We could likely have done most of it much cheaper on our own but as we only had a week we were trying to get a lot in. We traveled to the ruins of Coba where you can still climb the pyramid, the Ruins at Tulum (we took the bus tour but this would be very easy to see via the colectivo - we left our rude and very slow tour guide and explored on our own here anyway) Xel-Ha is amazing and very worthwhile with loads to keep you busy for as long as you can spend there. We also booked a trip to swim with the turtles in the town of Akumal (it was meant to be a boat trip however it was to rough to go via the water so we drove and swam off the beach) this trip would also be prefect to use the colectivo and walk out without paying the resort to move you around.

At the resort the beach is amazing and clean, there are a few people who seem to be all over it all the time raking up bits of whatever washes up. in the water it is a bit rough but as soon as you are swimming all is forgotten, snorkeling right of the beach is quite nice. The inter resort transport is quite good but most places you can walk fast then you can ride anyway, we only used it to move when it came by where we were walking. It was windy the whole time we were there and we had no bug issues.

All in all a great trip, I would go back in a heartbeat!!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2010

My husband and I will be returning for the 5 year in a row, we absolutely love this resort. We have read all the reviews and cannot believe the negative things people write.
There is something for everyone at this resort.
The food is great, if you are looking for North American food stay home!! You are in Mexico!
They have trolleys that take you from one hotel to another at this resort, as there are 3 sister hotels at this resort. You also have run of all 3 hotels, so if you cannot find something at one, you get on a trolley, and you will find it at another.
We have never had any bad luck with our room, always clean, neat towel art, and the air conditioning was never a problem.
If you have and problems don't phone down to the front desk, go to the front desk, it gets taken care of quicker. We had a problem with our bar fridge, and went down, and within the hour it was taken care of. Just have a little patients, after all this is a huge resort.
The location is a bit far from the airport, but HEY the serve CORONA on the bus for a price, once you get out of the airport. And start to talk to others on the bus it makes the time fly. Really it is not all that bad.
If you want things to do off the resort, there are lots of things to do. Take the collecto for $3.00 one way and go into Playa Del Carmen for some shopping, or wherever you want to go. Book some excursions, and have fun.
Can't wait until April to go back.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Breton Nova Scotia
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2010

We traveled to the coba in march 2009 a party of five couples.We stayed in the golden section and didn't have a complaint with anything.The first thing the staff (all of them ) were great,nice people.You to Ivan at the gym haha.We enjoyed just about every thing we ate.Didn't hear a complaint from anyone we were with .The a'la carte restaurants were also very good.House keeping Ladies very nice. worked hard to keep everything clean .We enjoyed swimming at the ocean in the mornings and pools in the afternoon.We are all returning in april 2010 Can't wait.(sorry we took so long to write review)

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dundas, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2010

We just returned on January 8th having spent a week...having hummed and hawed about going to the Mayan at this time of year...we went anyway...much to our dismay the weather did not co-operate but that has nothing to do with the hotel...As many others have said before...this place is huge...and I mean huge...however...after you get your bearings...it's a quick study and you can get around very easily....the walk to the beach is less than 10 min...and you can always take the tram...
Food: was overall very good for an all inclusive of this size...the A la Carte's were very good...had great salmon in the Portofino and very nice Shrimp in the Gourmet...the Fish/Seafood Restaurant was just ok...
Booze: you could get bailey's depending on the bar you were in...the wine is ok...not great...the beer is DOS EQUIS...it's ok..I would have preferred it out of a bottle...I saw other brand names for alcohol..but you had to ask for them..
Beach: not a great walking beach...(go to the actual Akumal Beach {not to be confused with the Akumal Beach at the hotel}....about 4 kms from the hotel...awesome)...and it's very rocky...although it was still a lot of fun
Rooms: we got a room facing the highway...luckily there is a lot of foliage between you and the highway.....the beds are like sleeping on bedrock...you can get sleeping mats...
Grounds/Pools: fabulous...so well kept...the water in the pools is freezing...but once you get in it's ok...or if you get a hot day...
Service: well I cannot say enough about the service at the hotel...they are so helpful and willing to please it's amazing...one of the people I travelled with celebrated a birthday and a cake was provided without our asking...
Bikes: we took a couple of bikes and did a tour of the golf course on the other side of the highway...they have nine holes open and nine more to open shortly...they will have a total of 27 holes...the fellow we spoke to said that it was $40. US to pay the nine holes...they have rental equipement (Calloways)...it was totally awesome course...and would have loved to have played it...did not look too easy...we also did a tour to the beach at Akumal...4 km's on the road that runs parallel to the highway...it's an easy ride and the beach there is really nice and you can snorkel there...you can also use the bikes to get around the resort...
Overall: I would recommend this hotel...however...my preference is for a smaller more quaint hotel...but I think this hotel would be great for families with children...and large groups of people...everyone seemed to enjoy the place and we heard very few negatives about this resort...Even though this place is huge...you still get to meet ton's of Canadians and American's...

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Coba

Address: Carretera Chetumal - Cancun Km 250. Mexico, Akumal 77760, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#4 Business Hotel in Akumal
#5 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#6 Family Hotel in Akumal
#6 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Coba 3.5*
Number of rooms: 1080
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

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