Gran Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an is by far the best of the GBP hotels in Akumal.
My wife and I stayed here a week to celebrate my 35th birthday. First time in Akumal, but 13th or 14th time in Mexico..... we love Mexico!!!
This was our first time staying at a mega resort like GBP, (so many hotels on one property) the place is huge! The rooms are very nice, well decorated and very clean. Compared to Coba, Akumal, and Tulum... I think Sian Ka'an tops them in every category except location. The restaurants are nicer, the workout facility @ TAO is nicer, and the service @ the bars and restaurant is better. Even the lobby bathrooms were better, cleaner, well maintained. However Sian Ka'an is the furtherest away from the beach, and being on the jungle side, you had to deal with lots of bugs beatles, millipedes, grasshoppers, and wildlife aplenty (especially at night). But the shuttles ran constantly and made it very easy to get around.
Check in, like every place, is at 3PM. So pack your swim suit in your carry-on and be ready to leave your bags with the front desk. Skip the pool and take the shuttle to the private beach (Sian Ka'an guests only). Bar service at your lounger is sooo nice (bring tip money, these servers work hard)
Beach is ok, don't really care for the huge man made sand bars in the water (they look like beached whales) but they serve a purpose.... less waves and probably prevents erosion of the beach.
Had a few good experiences and a few very bad experiences with dining. We made most of our dinner reservations for ala cartes before we arrived. First night @ Arlequin was the worst service during that week. Celebrating my birthday.... seated only 10 mins late and right next to a couple w/ a screaming/crying baby. I asked the server to move us to the otherside of the dining room.... BIG MISTAKE. Our server greet us and serves us water but does not come back for another 20 mins to take our drink order (so we go ahead and order dinner at the same time). Sorry they ran out of Filet, substitute NY Strip. 15 more mins, no bread, no drinks.. just sitting there enjoying each other's company and trying to just be happy that we are on vacation. Finally when entrees come out, they having the same sides as if they came off a buffet. My NY Strip is a thin piece of meat with some gravy on it and my wife's Sea bass & shrimp are dried out like pieces of seafood jerky. We had enough, left in the middle of our meal and found the buffet. Off to a bad start...
Breakfast @ Sian Ka'an buffet was perfect. Eggs made to order and great service. That night, dinner @ Alux = done to perfection. Everything came our at the perfect timing, not rushed, no long waits... and the presentation was beautiful. Our servers Roque & Wilberth were attentive and professional. We tipped each of them $20 at the end of the night....
Lobby bar @ Sian Ka'an is also the best bar @ out of the many bars in the GBP complex. Offers a romantic & upscale atmosphere, servers are very attentive and as far as I know the only bar that serves top shelf (Don Julio Tequilas, Crown Royal, different Scotch selections).
Tulum buffet also had another bad experience with a very rude hostess. After watching 10-15 people in front of me who walked in wearing beach wear, she singled me out and told me I could not come in wearing wet clothing. Very understandable, I wouldn't want to sit on a chair cushion soaked by pool/ocean water either; but I wasn't wet. I insisted I haven't been in the pool or ocean yet but she insisted I had to change. Normally I am the short tempered but my wife stepped in and requested to talk to a manager. At this point, I could tell she was getting very upset. She harly ever complains.
Neytaha (not sure on the spelling) with an attitude refused to get a manager and said "it's his day off". At this point, I could tell there's no winning this argument. I calmed my wife down and pulled a pair of shorts out of my backpack and changed in the lobby bathroom. My wife could not let it go and sat there during lunch, pointing out how many people walked in wearing swim wear unharassed. We did not return to this restaurant for the rest of our visit.
Don Pablo for dinner, pretty good food and service but nothing special.
Mikado next night.(not the one @ Sian Ka'an) Also uneventful. They cook in front of you, but no presentation (no jokes, no flaming volcano, no knife work or juggling) nothing like Japanese steakhouse back home. Cook, serve, and eat.
The one thing that prevents me from wanting to return to this resort is the Dolphin Encounter. Its sad and in my opinion inhumane. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this matter, but its a deal breaker for me.
- 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