Just returned from one week's stay and the resort is fabulous!!!
Travelled 2 adults and 2 children (8 and 10). We have stayed at some great resorts previously (Royal PDC, Royal Hideaway, Excellence RC, Valentin, Grand Palladium White Sands). We are pretty picky and can honestly say that the SK is a definately few steps up from the rest of the complex. Beautiful rooms, great good, fabulous service!
The grounds are gorgeous and meticulously maintained. I was pleasantly surprised that for a new resort, the vegetation is quite lush - I was expecting tiny baby plants but such is not the case.
ROOMS: I emailed Claudia in advance of our arrival and because we were travelling with 4 people, asked if we could have one of the larger junior suites with a real pullout sofa AND the sliding wall - and we got it. Gorgeous room and the sliding door was great to allow some privacy and to allow the kids a quieter and sleeping area since they crash much earlier than we do. The pullout sofa was in great condition and very comfortable for them. NOTE: There ARE blackout BLINDS (not drapes) so sunlight still slips through the sides of the blinds - hence my kids would wake up at the crack of dawn around 6:15AM !!!! For us adults it wasn't a problem BUT if you require complete darkness to sleep, it may be an issue. Also when the sliding door is closed, the TV is on the bedroom side of the room, so it wasn't possible for the kids to watch TV and let us parents sleep for another hour or so.....oh well...Bathroom initially seemed small but ended up working fine for us. The room itself is also adequate in size. For future visits I would definately book the ground floor garden rooms which would allow outside access from the bedroom as well - if we wanted to sit on the balcony we had to quiety slip through the sliding doors in the kids sleeping/living area.
FOOD: The food both buffet and restaurant at the SK was far far superior over the rest of the complex. It was wonderful having breakfast or lunch buffet in a smaller more intimate room rather than buffetting and standing in line with hundreds of people. Initially the selection looked minimal, but in reality it had everything you could possibly want AND the eggs are all made to order as well as pancakes, crepes, waffles, etc. We never felt that anything was missing and the experience was extremely pleasant. *** We didn't realize until the last 2 days, but taking the tram back to the SK from the beach FOR LUNCH is definately the way to go and well worth the extra few minutes of travel time - food far superior than at any of the other complex buffets.
POOLS: The SK pools are gorgeous - glass tiles lining the pools, comfortable temperature and adequate number of chairs and such....but very quiet during the day when the families and kids are out at the beach....got louder when the families would return around 3 or 4PM.
BEACH: The SK exclusive beach was terrific. Very comfortable loungers, plenty of them, drink service and a bar just steps away, tons of palapas/shade. Gorgeous stretch of beach with some rocks but plenty of areas to enter the ocean without rocks - did not pose a problem at all. Yes there are "whales" in the water and kids seemed to enjoy climbing them, jumping or sliding off - again no issues about this. The tram service to the beach was perfect - never had to wait more than a couple of minutes (less probably) and a quick and pleasant ride.
ENTERTAINMENT: SK always had their house band play at night. Around 8PM there would always be something for the kids - kids music, balloons, etc. Lovely outdoor candlelit table atmosphere and great drink service. We also took in some shows at the other resorts as well - Tulum, Akumal, etc.
KIDS CLUBS: My kids preferred the kids club at the Tulum complex because they liked the outdoor/palapa setting. Not many kids unfortunately and predominantly non-english speaking (probably due to the time of year we travelled) BUT my 8 year old daughter who always prefers to be around other kids had no issues with it and would get upset when I would pick her up. My 10 year old son would come and go depending on the activity. Teresa who runs the club was wonderful. My only beef with the kids club was that they didn't always stick to the schedule OR they didn't execute the activity at all (excuse was due to lack of kids).....but I guess that is understable. Not the best of kids clubs we have ever experienced compared to other resorts, but adequate. They always had something at 8PM in the Tulum lobby as well for kids - kids disco, etc. There are THREE kids clubs (Akumal, Coba and Tulum) and I am wondering that if they would reduce it to ONE then all the kids would be condensed into ONE kids club and it all might work better.
RESTAURANTS: Because we stayed at SK we were able to get a reservation for every night. I emailed Claudia in advance of our arrival and therefore arrived with all our reservations in place. We were very happy with the food quality of all our choices.
POOLS: Visited several pools and all were lovely and clean. Water a bit cold for me, but fine for my kids. Lounge chairs get reserved early, but if you aren't picky, if you arrive by 9:30AM you should still be able to get something. A few times, we took "reserved" chairs for ourselves - those with only towels on them and no personal belongings....and in most cases people never returned. Only once people came back and we politely moved and gave them back their chairs. Problem is that many people will abandon their chairs WITH THE TOWELS (instead of returning the used towels) so you aren't quite sure if some chairs are occupied or simply abandoned.
RESORT SIZE: This is most defiantely the largest resort we have ever been to!!!! Yes, if you stay in the SK you will be dependant on the tram service, but quite frankly, even if you stay on any other three resorts, you will equally be dependant on the tram......was a bit of a pain trying to get from point A to point B, but not a big issue and nothing that would prevent us from returning.....you just have to remind yourself that you are on VACATION and therefore aren't on any "schedule". I laughed at myself once as I was charging to catch a train...only to realize that I am not in Toronto anymore trying to catch a bus or cab...LOL.
GOLF: My husband and son played golf twice. First the 9 hole/3par course for $35 pp. The second time the 18 hole course....regularly $80pp but if you tee-off after 1PM it was only $55 and they really enjoyed it and said it was quite challenging.
CLAUDIA: Great service. We booked our trip last minute. I sent her an email with our room and restaurant preferences, completely expecting that she wouldn't have the time to read and react before our arrival - and she shocked me by getting it all done!!!! AND then she even called upon our arrival to ensure that we were satisfied with everything.......that is amazing service!!!!!
All in all it was a great family vacation. The Sian Kaan is a gorgeous resort that provides guests with the added level of luxury and pampering that many might look for in a smaller more intimate feel and sized resort BUT still offering a vast array of amenities of a larger resort.
Is it great for a family with young kids? - not sure.......while my kids are still small, there is nothing like a true one bedroom suite with blackout DRAPES as we have experienced at other resorts (and which none of the GBP resorts offer)......but it was still a fab trip.
I wouldn't be surprised however, if one day, the SK becomes an adult only complex. I was very self conscious to keep my kids quiet all the time - when in the room with the sliding doors open, by the pool if everyone else was quiet, or even sitting on the balcony.....no one requested it, but the overall feel of the resort felt more "adult-like".
But as a family resort, it offers the kids everything that they may be looking for in a "fun" vacation by experiencing all the amenities of the Tulum, Akumal and Coba - and at the same time, the SK provides the adults/parents with the added level of luxury that they may be looking for in a vacation......meeting both kids and adult needs.
I highly recommend enjoying this resort, especially before the prices go up.....cause they will I would imagine!
If I have missing anything don't hesitate to PM me with your questions.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Facilities and services 4 outdoor pools (1 with Jacuzzi) Sun terrace with loungers and sun umbrellas BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Transfer to the beach and other facilities on the complex (at set times) Water activity centre, Beach Club with exclusive bar (at the Grand Principe Tulum) Motorised water sports (additional charge) WiFi access in the lobby and in rooms (free of charge) 1 international buffet restaurant 2 speciality restaurants 4 Bars 1 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 420 rooms including 4 types: Junior Suite, Deluxe Junior Suite, Deluxe Garden Junior Suite, Deluxe Penthouse Junior Suite. Deluxe Garden Junior Suites and Deluxe Penthouse Junior Suites are larger than the Junior Suites and the Deluxe Junior Suites. Room facilities: King size bed or 2 full size beds Air conditioning Ceiling fan Direct phone line (additional charge for external calls) Sitting area with sofa-bed and armchairs Balcony or terrace Bathroom with shower, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Bathroom amenities Bathrobe and slippers Don Pablo Collection amenities Alarm clock with iPod docking station Flat screen TV Coffee-making facilities Mini-bar Safe Iron and ironing board 24 hour room service Butler service in rooms Private Jacuzzi Wifi Pillow menu Aroma menu Other services Medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Specialised service for organising weddings and anniversaries, as well as corporate incentive trips and conventions Casino ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Bahia Principe Sian Ka`An Golf Hotel Akumal
- Gran Bahia Principe Sian Ka`An Golf Resort And Spa
- Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'An Don Pablo Collection Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico