We had a very nice time at the resort (and complex). Nothing really terrible, nothing really great - which is why I give it a three. Some people have indicated that the Sian Kaan is new and maybe the staff is working out some bugs. Gran Bahia has been operating for at least a decade at the other resorts on the property and they had the same bugs. I don’t think it’s a new resort issue, I think it’s a management issue.
We spent a week at the Sian Kaan and while we certainly didn't suffer, I'm not sure what all the rave reviews are about. I'll quickly touch on a few topics. There are FOUR resorts at this complex and it is huge. When I refer to a restaurant I will indicate which resort it's at.
Major pros: Lots of options because you have access to four resorts when you stay at the complex. The beach was really wonderful, the a la carte restaurants were good. Guacamole, guacamole, guacamole. Ate it whenever possible.
Major cons: A lot of the restaurants seemed woefully understaffed. Room was not appealing, in the slightest. While they did have guacamole and chips available, most of the time, there was not much in the way of Mexican food at the buffets - and NONE at the Gran Tortuga (Tulum) lunch buffet.
Pools: There were no umbrellas/palapas so there was no place to sit if you want shade. Some people thought the pools were quiet or boring, but we only spent a few hours at the pools because of the Zumba and drinking. Now, I know it's not the hotel's fault that there are drunk people, but the issue I have is that the bartender was encouraging shots of tequila. I was frustrated because I LIKE quiet and boring. And with all those people sitting around shooting tequila, I had to wait quite awhile for a drink. Didn't see a server while I was there. We did spend some time at one of the large pools at Coba (right next to the 24 hour Cenote snackbar) but had to catch the earliest shuttle over because otherwise you could not find a chair.
Beach: LOVED the beach. My husband is not a beach person but we spent 5 of our 6 days at this one. Lots of palapas, wonderful waitstaff, nice that we had an exclusive bar. Never had to wait in line. The only con is that there is only one place near it to get food and the service there (the Gran Tortuga lunch buffet, Tulum) was pretty terrible. Also, the selection was very limited compared to other buffets at the resort.
Restaurants, buffet: The buffet at the Sian Kaan had pretty good food but it was arranged in such a way that there were log jams all the time and no easy flow. My husband got an omelet only once, because he decided it just wasn't worth the 20 minute wait. Why they only have one person making omelets/fried eggs is a mystery to me. Also, dinner appeared to be exactly the same as lunch. They had a nightly theme but the only thing I saw that was different about any of the food was that the little tag, describing the item, was on a card that said "France" on French night. We really were confused as to what was unique about each night - couldn't figure it out.
Restaurants, a la carte: Maiko and Alux (Sian Kaan), Gran Tortuga and Tequila (Tulum). Liked Maiko quite a bit, service and food were both great. Alux - loved the service but the food was just so so. My husband got the pheasant crepes, cartilage and bones, included. We both got soup. Whatever I got was so unremarkable I can’t even remember what it was. Gran Tortuga - if you like meat, you’ll love Gran Tortuga. The turkey was awesome. Complaints - where are the waiters? And it was superhot inside. They turned on the AC just as we were leaving. Tequila - I liked it so much we cancelled our reservation for another restaurant and went there twice. Where was the Mexican food you ask? They had it all at Tequila. The Tacos al Pastor were to die for. I skipped dessert and got another one of those. I had the pork and my husband had the beef, the first night. Both were fantastic. The second night he got shrimp and I got salmon - neither were remarkable.
Room: Huh? That’s all I can say. Our room was very poorly designed. I can’t even describe it properly. It was broken into two sections and we actually had an accordion-type door you could pull closed to separate the sitting area from the sleeping area - you know, for all those parties the other person in your room is having. No wait, when I’m sleeping, he’s sleeping, too. So confused. Because of the partition we had two doors for the bathroom. There really are no dressers - I thought maybe that was a misunderstanding by a reviewer - so what we couldn’t hang up we shoved onto the shelves in the closet. We had a giant table, a counter and a sink in the second room. It just wasn’t comfortable. I think they’re going for modern/sparse but they missed the mark. Really unappealing colors, too. Think murky, mustard and blechy brown.
Service: Everyone was wonderful and helpful, but the restaurants seemed really understaffed. Also, it seemed like no one was responsible for any areas. The staff seemed to roam around and not have sections. Maid service seemed fine and we always had a cute towel creating waiting for us. We had a problem with hot water the first night (as many other people have mentioned) but all it took was one talk with the front desk and it was never a problem again. There were a few mysteries, though. One night, we got a plate of fruit - including a kiwi and something I didn’t recognize, but no knife. Another night we came back to a bottle of red wine and no corkscrew. Despite our do not disturb sign, someone knocked on the door and delivered a plate of chocolate covered strawberries. I didn’t mind the interruption - they were delicious. I asked why and the kid looked totally confused, just a treat from the chef, he said.
- 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 (free of charge) 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 Resort And Spa
- Gran Bahia Principe Sian Ka`An Golf Hotel Akumal
- Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'An Don Pablo Collection Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico