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“Expectations were not met!!”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #5 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
new jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Expectations were not met!!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2013

Let me begin with the fact that I am currently at the Sian Ka'an as we speak. I've been on many travels and this is the first time I felt the need to make a review and while still here on vacation.

Me and my husband travel quit often and we expected more of this resort.

Our biggest issues with this resort is that we had NO HOT WATER for two days. I understand things happen and cannot be controlled but they did nothing extra to accommodate us. When we booked our trip we decided to upgrade and pay more for a room with a jacuzzi. Soooo, on top of no hot water for two days that also meant we couldn't use the jacuzzi that we paid extra for!!! So this was definitely a disappointment. Thankfully this was an adult resort because I can only imagine the problems this resort would have had if people were here with their kids and trying to get them to take cold showers without screaming.

The restaurants were a huge disappointment. We always look forward to traveling and enjoying good food, but not really the case here. Your better off sticking with the buffet.

Their are several pools and those were fine but not enough seats to lay out.

Theirs a private beach that a shuttle transports you, but the section is so small so you won't find seating and if your not seated in that area you will not be served. And if you walk up to the bar it takes about 25 mins cause they only have one bartender.

Internet service, NOT GOOD!!!!!! If you need Internet service because you still have to handle some business while away on vacation you will not get much done.

No entertainment !!! Besides one woman and one man singing songs. We do have the option of using the other neighboring resorts. We bought tickets for the Mexican show last night in the hacienda hotel and it was also a disappointment. Due to the rain they moved the show into a littleeeeeeeee theater and we were seated in the most horrible seats that all we saw was the back of the performs and that was asking for a lot.

I forgot to mention the garden suite with the jacuzzi is NOT a private jacuzzi. It is only covered by trees and bushes that's along side the path that everyone walks by, so if its not dark outside people can see you and theirs no privacy. And if any of the above levels decide to use their balcony when they look down they can see us in our jacuzzi so again no privacy!!!

Enough of the Con's , wish I didn't even have to name them



As for the Pro's of this hotel they are :

Adult resort, but you can use the other hotels , outsiders cannot use this hotel though!!!!!
New spa/gym but you need the trolly to take you.
Modern rooms/ clean
A lot of top shelf liquor, if you visit the other hotels this is not available to you, until you get back to the Sian Ka'an.
Service is pretty good
Nice beach( blue and green water :)
Air conditioning works amazingly!!!!!!

Room Tip: Make sure you have a room close to the lobby and the main pools
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank annapuorro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, March 2, 2013
Dear Mrs. Puorro,

Please receive greetings from the Luxury Bahía Príncipe Sian Ka’an; your comments and suggestions are very important to maintain the quality and service at our resort.

We are very concerned to learn about your disappointing. We would like to send our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience that we may have caused you concerning the lack of hot water during your stay with us. We had a very unfortunate situation arise when both of our boilers that provide hot water to the entire hotel malfunctioned on the same day, 6 hours apart. We could not source the parts locally and had to have them air shipped in overnight. We are certainly not making excuses, but with the unexpected situation, we resolved it in as timely a manner as physically possible.

Some of the other problems you mentioned are totally under our standards and we have already taken action in order to meet our values again. Furthermore I would like to express my appreciation for your concerns and will discuss them with our Management Board soon.

Once again thank you for your time and comments, hoping to meet you while you are here to offer you a better experience.

Receive our warmest regards,

Brisa Islas
Public Relations
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an
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New York City, NY, United States
Level Contributor
60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2013

This is by far the best of the resorts on the property and worth the distance to the beach. The new construction, adults only, high end details, quality food and brand name booze make this clearly the best choice in Rivera Maya. The only downside is that the staff doesn't aim to please, probably because of intentional under staffing, frequently asked many times for each request.

The room: Nice high ceilings, dark wood finishes, earth tone bathroom, huge comfortable (on the harder side which i prefer), closet all give it a new condo vibe. You can request a variety of pillows and scented oils which is really a nice touch. The downside, the mini fridge didn't fit property in the closet so it made opening the fridge a pain and closing the closet impossible. The shower is ok but with all the other nice finishes it was a let down not to have a larger, rainfall type head. Sian Ka'an being very small and not having a theater made both the room and grounds nice and quite at night.

The beach: Is far away, you HAVE to take a trolley to get there, and to any of the other resorts. I am from NYC, walk everywhere and I am telling you it is not walkable by any means. The trolleys run frequently, every 10 min or so starting at 7am. The bar at the private sian ka'an beach area is good, brand name booze and they give you real, washable hard plastic cups so you dont really have to bring thermos/insulated cups of your own. the chairs are better too, light metal instead of chunky plastic. they also have tables for drinks that the other resorts lack.
Snorkeling, see my pictures, they have lots of cool fish right at the hotel beach thanks to natural and manmade reef, so much so that we skipped paying for a trip to akumel to swim with turtles.
Jetsking is $73(can be paid with credit card but is charged in peso so make sure you have no foreign transaction fees) and was not so good, if you do it make sure not to go out on a green flag, the water was so choppy that they didn't go out for days so I didn't want to miss it and went the 1st day they allowed it, still a red flag and I couldn't get it up to a fun speed because of the huge waves almost flipping me every time I landed.
The swimming, was difficult past the manmade reef and inlets at the other resorts, if you like to swim in the ocean you may want to reconsider this location.
The pools, are actually very small and not heated which is a let down so stay at the beach as long as you can.

The food: We made reservations by email a month in advance for each of the properties gourmet restaurants and had no real issues getting the time we wanted(8pm). Both Alux and Maiko at Sian Ka'an were far and above all the others so I recommend double booking those, ask for Saki at Maiko when you sit down, it is better than the wine. The other resort gourmets were ok, nothing more to say about them but skip the theme stuff, especially grand tortuga, it was really disappointing. Go to Sian Ka'an buffet saturday night buffet, its lobster night plus good gnocchi and pancetta brussel sprouts on the side making it probably the best dinner all week. We also took the trolley back to sian ka'an buffet for lunch, worth the trip. The breakfast buffet is also very good, nice mimosa station, great made to order eggs/omelets thanks to Auroa who is a master of her craft and one of 3 exceptions to my service complaint. The lobby bar has an espresso machine so grab a capachino, latte etc before you go to breakfast and skip the drip.

The booze: is brand name, jim bean, hornitos, smirnoff, bacardi, absolut, frangelico, kahlua, disaronno etc. If you want the brand name you have to ask for it by name, e.g. Jim Bean and coke, bacarrdi mojito, hornito margarita, you dont ask you get plastic bottle stuff so be warned. also ask for a double, they poor pretty short. The lobby bar is the place to go for a illegitimately good drink, both booze or espresso Martha & Paloma are quality bartenders. Oh and the white wine is actually drinkable unlike most all inclusives, but the red is unfortunately still grape juice.

The souvenir shop at the center of the resort is decent, we went to playa del carmen, tulum and coba and saw the same stuff at the same price.

I cant tell you about the evening entertainment, we skipped it entirely, its not vegas...

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Mark B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, March 2, 2013
Dear Guest,

Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an staff would like to thank you for choosing us to spend your vacations at the Riviera Maya; we appreciate your feedback and your valuable comments of your recent stay.

That you enjoyed the facilities, food, drinks and service make us very proud and honored. Also thank you for bringing to our attention the points in which you consider we need to improve. This will help us to improve day by day.

We hope to be your host again in the near future,

Best regards from Mexico,

Brisa Islas
Public Relations
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edmonton
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

Booked this trip via Air Canada Vacations and travelled mid feb 2013. We were pleased with what we got for what I would say was a decent price.
The hotel, rooms and grounds were very clean and well kept. Our room was a good size very bright, bathroom was clean too. Our only complaint was after leaving a giant pillow top at home the mattress was a bit on the firm side for us. The property is divided into small buildings three stories high. We did not have a third floor with a jacuzzi tub and will make sure to have one next time. Additionally we will also look to have a room facing gardens as I like to let the sunshine in and our pool facing room had not enough privacy when the shades were up.

This resort is part of a group of hotels. The other three Coba, Akumal and Tulum are a ten minute tram ride over the highway. Personally I liked being away from the rest as it was very quiet and serene. The style of the sian ka'an is more modern as opposed to mexican themed, so expect modern clean lines and a lot of white. Being on the sian ka'an side gave you access to everything the other hotels had but then you could come back and relax without the noise and children.

We were amongst the younger guests at 40ish so if you want your vacation to be a party stay in one of the other properties on the other side. The night time entertainment was a bit on the low end too. Perhaps rotating with the lounges from the other side to provide a variety. The same duo played almost every night (the same set too).

My husband and brother in-law played the golf course which they said was a very challenging course (and to bring lots of balls!) while my sister and I had massages in the spa.

Food: we ate at six restaurants. Our favourite by far were the Japanese (the Mikado for the hibatchi atmoshere and the Maiko for the food quality) we also really liked the gourmet (sian ka'an). The mexican was likely our least favourite the food was bland and the service terrible. The buffet was fantastic and one could easily have just eaten there everynight too.

The "entertainment" pool was better earlier in our stay frankly when they were not trying to make it a big party. They had loungy type music playing, Jesus at the bar was mixing drinks and the atmoshere felt very high end and posh. Later in the week it was very loud and we tended to migrate to other pools or the beach.

The beach was very clean and we had a private section from the other hotels. My only complaint would be the food was a fairly good hike from the beach section.

I will say I also liked the "market" they had set up at the Hacienda. I recommend going at night when it is really quiet and low key. prices were not bad and somewhat negotiable to get the things for the kids at home.

Service was great and they were very friendly, and professional. Will do a shout out to Eduardo from the entertainment crew. thanks for the happy face! :)

Overall we loved our trip and Like I said we will be back again!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mirmme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, March 1, 2013
Dear Guest,

Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an has been honored to be your host on your recent stay, we would like to thank you for choosing us and for left a nice review of your experience with us on TripAdvisor.

We are flatter that you had a good time during your vacation in which you enjoyed the hotel facilities, room, grounds, a la carte restaurants, beach, market by the Hacienda and the great service of our staff.

Hopefully this is not the last time you give us the opportunity to welcome you in the Riviera Maya,

Warm Regards,

Brisa Islas
Public Relations
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 28, 2013

My husband and I just returned after a fabulous week at the Sian Ka'an. It was true 5 star offering gourmet food, room service, spa, variety of pools, modern furniture, live entertainment and top shelf booze. However, if you are looking for Sandals or Secrets - this isn't it.

I say this because so many reviews of late seem to be a little disappointed in regards to a few aspects of this resort. We stayed at the Secrets in Cancun 6 months ago - and were at Sandals in Antigua last year. I agree that those resorts may be have some advantages in comparison - but they were double the price of what we paid for the Sian Ka'an. Amazing value for the money!

Our room did require some maintenance upon arrival - we noted 4 things to public relations management but only one was fixed during our week. However, our room was always clean and very comfortable. We stayed in room 41521 which was a 3 floor regular room with a very private balcony near the activity pool. It could get loud in the late afternoon, but we enjoyed the energy so didn't mind even if we were in our room.

Claudia handled our restaurant bookings via email prior to our arrival and they were exactly as requested. We went to 4 - Alux, Maiko, Tequila (Tulum) and Le Gourmet (Coba). They were all good - not great. We dine out gourmet quiet often in Toronto, so perhaps we were expecting more? In fact, both my husband and I much preferred the buffet - the selections were outstanding! Service everywhere is excellent. It can get slow when its busy, but that's to be expected.

We spent our first couple of days at the activity pool and had no problem finding chairs but come the weekend, it starting becoming very difficult - even at 8:30am. We discovered we actually enjoyed the Sushi bar pool more, so spent the rest of the time there. We only went to the beach once - so very windy! However, they need to address this "chair game" in busy season. We would sit all day next to chairs with towels on them that NO ONE ever came to use. In the meantime, people we just sitting on the pool edge because there were no chairs. Attendants need to remove the towels after a couple of hours - or at least add more chairs since there is definitely space for them. Being early risers we were lucky, but the one morning we when to the beach, we literally walked all over the resort for an hour and found no chairs. We ended up just going back to the lobby for a coffee and trying again about an hour later...

Most evenings we spent in the lobby area and we really enjoyed the live duo and DJ. Some nights this was more mellow - sometime raging fun and lots of dancing. I guess it depends on the overall tequila level of the guests - lol! Our favourite part of the evening was Lucy with her Mexican coffee cart - we had one everyday. I LOVE these boozy, flame encrusted, sweet drinks! Lucy makes them perfectly!!

We went to the Hacienda area twice - once while they had a Cuban band and another time to go to the disco. Younger crowd here, but didn't stop us from being dancing fools. We had lots of fun and met some great people there too!

One note, my husband wasn't too pleased with the single beer on offer - only Dos Equis. However, the alcohol, wine, sparkling wine and coffees were all well made and of good quality - so I think that helped make up for the beer loss ;)

I would recommend this resort to any and all of my friends. We had a great time and would definitely go back if the pricing stays the same.

Room Tip: Rooms by the Sushi Bar pool are much quieter that rooms facing the other pools.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Cocomer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, March 2, 2013
Dear Guest,

We are glad to read that you had a fabulous week at the Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an, thank you so much for choosing us and that you would recommend it to others.

We pride ourselves on delivering 5 star service, clean and comfortable room, very good a la carte restaurants and buffet, and great nightlife entertainment at the Hacienda; we are happy that you enjoyed all of these.

I will pass on your comments to the persons you mentioned, Claudia and Lucy. We would be delighted to welcome you again at the Riviera Maya!

Best Regards,

Brisa Islas
Public Relations
Luxury Bahía Príncipe Sian Ka’an
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montgomery, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

We stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Sian Kaan for 5 nights in a Junior Suite, beginning on Valentines Day. We have been on many cruises in the past but have also experienced all inclusive resorts these past 10 years. We selected this resort based upon the 5 star rating and the "free golf" that was associated with it. The free golf is quite misleading as the $80 per person for a cart fee is exorbitant and not clearly stated anywhere. Still, we were on vacation and the course and the staff made our 1 round enjoyable.

Check-in went ok. We would have liked a little more of an overview of the resort than what we received but, over the next several days, were able to explore it a bit more. Our room was smaller than other all-inclusives we've stayed at, quite simple, and a small couch would have been put to better use than the table and chairs that are there. There is nowhere to hang things or put your suitcase.

The room was kept reasonably clean and the towel creations left on the bed were enjoyable. On our third day, we did come back (late afternoon) to find that the new towels left were still wet. I called housekeeping and requested replacements. We awaited 45 minutes without any response. It just so happened that we then got a call from guest relations asking how our stay was so far. I noted the issue about the towels, and then continued on about a couple of other things: dirty dishes and laundry still outside our door, dirty dishes at the base of our stairway that had been there for 2 days, a nasty looking face towel hanging in a tree between 1st and 3rd floors, and the linen closet at the base of the stairs that does not shut (latch broken). The guest relations person did not seem to want to hear about the issues, as she seemed to hurry me off the phone, but saying she would take care of them. Another 30 minutes later, still no towels. We did go down to the lobby to speak to guest relations directly, where I actually showed pictures of what I had noted on the phone. I commented that these were not the kind of things we expected from what was advertized as a 5 star resort. Several of these issues were taken care of by the time we returned to our room after dinner, but the broken linen door latch and the face towel that remains in a tree even the day we left. Over our remaining nights at the resort, we were left a desert plate, an appetizer plate, and a bottle of wine. Perhaps this was to make up for what we experienced and "win us over" ? I am not sure.

Like many vacationers, we go to warm destinations during the cold winter from the north. So, a most important note for us about this resort is: There is VERY LITTLE room at the pools and even fewer chairs available. If you are not up at 7am putting towels on a chair to reserve them, they will not be available. Your only option for sun is to go to take the tram to the beach or to one of the sister resort pools. This was pretty disappointing point to us.

We ate at the Japanese and Gourmet a la carte restaurants. They were good, both in service and food quality. The Grand buffet was very good, especially on Saturday night, and for breakfast. The 24 hour snack bar was not good at all, and only tried this on the afternoon of the first day we arrived.

Overall, the value we received and the issues noted above prevent us from considering this as a 5 star resort. We will look for other options in the future.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DB1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, March 1, 2013
Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for your comments and detailed review on our services, facilities and hospitality about your past vacation in Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an.

We are sorry to hear that we did not fully meet your expectations regarding the 5 stars service you used to enjoy. We assure you the same has been communicated to the concerned and necessary action have been taken to ensure we keep providing our guests with the attention and services they deserve.

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us and we hope you give us a second chance to offer you a better experience.

Sincerely,

Brisa Islas
Public Relations
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manotick
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

As others have noted, this is the adults-only property which forms part of the large Gran Principe complex near Akumal. Overall, it is a reasonably nice resort complex at the low end of the five-star category. We spoke to several people who were return guests - always a good sign in my books.

Room

We had the second-from-bottom class and found it to be quite attractive - a bedroom with a sitting room, with a sliding wall that could be used to separate them. The sitting room had a sink (with no water), counter area with coffee maker and cups, and an under-counter bar fridge. A dining table and two chairs completed the "kitchen" area.

There was also a couch, chair and coffee table, and flat screen TV that could be face either toward the bed or the sitting area depending on where you wanted to watch.
The bathroom was not huge but had a good-sized shower, sink and toilet and adequate towels (their towels are huge!).

The room came with two room air conditioners, only one of which you could control, so on occasion when it became too cold, we had to resort to turning it off using the breaker panel in the kitchen area.

The man (who we only saw once) cleaning our room was thorough and generally prompt, and always left one of the ubiquitous towel sculptures for us each day.

Buffet

The buffet at Sian Ka'an is in a bright, appealing room with large windows. Food here is quite good - breakfast is a good selection of typical European and American selections, both hot and cold, with the usual cold cuts/bread/yogurt/cereal/fruit as well as omelet/eggs bar, and a good selection of hot meats, waffles, pancakes, etc to go with. (Whimsical three-layer peanut butter sandwich triangles were tasty.) Lunch offered an agreeable selection of fresh salad items, pre-made salads, cold cuts, cheese, breads, soups, pasta bar, grill where chicken, burgers, roasts and other items are prepared, a Mexican corner featuring tostadas, tortillas, beans, rice and a different meat each day, along with delicious guacamole, an Asian corner which was less successful - spring rolls which were short on filling and a little greasy, along with stir fried vegetables and a rice.

There would be a least 10 dishes of hot food - some fish, meat, various vegetables, mashed potatoes, rice, etc. The selection of desserts at lunch is excellent, and they are all cut into small servings so that you can sample a couple without feeling too guilty. We only had dinner at the buffet one night, the so-called "Gala" night on Saturday, which featured a lot of seafood, including grilled lobster tail and shrimp in the shell. Many of the choices from lunch were also available here, along with a roast beef and many other hot dishes.

They offered a number of additional price wines that could be had at lunch or dinner. A mimosa bar right inside the door was available daily at breakfast.

Staff here were of variable friendliness. Some were quite outgoing, but others seemed harried and did not engage much with guests. Although we always left a small gratuity at every meal, I did not notice much tipping, which might mean they don't go out of their way to please knowing they're not likely to get anything.

A La Carte Restaurants

We sampled dinners at the restaurants below, including the two at Sian Ka'an (Alux, Maiko) as well as at other resorts. We requested bookings basked on reviews from this site by email In advance, and although they weren't always able to accommodate the time or day we requested, we did get to all the places we had asked for.

All offer a fixed menu of four - five courses as well as an amuse-bouche to start. We tended to have a couple of courses only, and no dessert. Most places also offered a god-awful "welcome drink" in a vibrant colour which was mostly sugar and for us, to be avoided. We tended to stick to the house wine, but all offered other additional-charge choices.

Arlequin (category: "gourmet") – We had salad, shrimp and steak. Experience was good but not great.
Alux (category: "gourmet") – here we had soup, lobster tail (was supposed to be shrimp) and steak. This restaurant, which we expected to be the highlight of our stay, proved to be a disappointment. My husband categorized the tenderloin as the worst he’d ever had, so tough he couldn’t cut it without causing the table to shake. Staff noticed it was mostly unbeaten and offered an alternative, but that point it was about 10 pm and we decided to call it a day. My lobster was overdone – in fact the lobster at the buffet was much better.
Maiko (category: Japanese) - We went here twice and sampled the spring rolls, wonton soup, chicken stir fry, chicken teppanyaki, sushi, sashimi, fish in green curry, seafood teppanyaki. All the dishes were good, although we found the soup a bit salty. The spring rolls and fish in green curry were highlights for us.
Le Gourmet (category: French) – here we had the Le Gourmet salad, and surf and turf, which was pork tenderloin and shrimp. Our meal was delicious – perhaps the highlight of the trip, surprisingly.
Dolce Vita (category: Italian) – here we had tomato soup, lasagne, and salmon with risotto. Staff here were extremely harried; I guess they had had a rush of guests just before we arrived. The restaurant confused me – it was apparently a buffet, but the offered us an a la carte menu only, then at one point asked us if we were not using the salad bar ...as they were bringing our mains. My husband had ordered the lasagne, was told some minutes later it wasn’t available, ordered something else, then a few minutes later was told it was in fact still available if he wanted it. He did, and it was fantastic, for all that! My salmon was good, but a little overdone.

Pools / Beach

There are five small pools at SK, perfect for staying cool while sunbathing, but not for vigorous swimming. They are well stocked with sun chairs, however the tables tended to be a little sticky from yesterday's drinks. There is a reasonable amount of shade at each pool, which is what we tend to prefer.

In my opinion, the beach towel approach at this hotel encourages towel and chair hoarding. You can take as many towels as you like, which people tended to do, and then, they'd place them on a pair of chairs in the sun, another pair in the shade, and a third pair at the beach -- and most would be empty 80% of the time. There was no chance of a chair at the beach after about 9:15am due to this, and after about 10:15am in the shade at a pool. It was two days before we could get a towel - they were always out when we checked. The "card" method, which requires you to exchange a card you get at check-in with one pair of towels per couple would eliminate this problem.

The SK has its own section of the beach and is well equipped with chairs and small tables under palapas. The shuttle ride is about 5 minutes - really quite convenient.

The beach itself is not overly wide but is very clean with nice white sand. The water in front of the SK beach is quite rocky, but it is a bit better to the north.
The days we were there the red flag was flying (which it does frequently) and there was a good on-shore breeze keeping it cool. There is a small building with clean toilets just steps away from the beach bar.

Gym - Tao Wellness Center

There is no gym in the Sian Ka'an proper, but the small gym at the Tao Wellness Center is available for use by hotel guests. The Tao is a twelve minute jog, if you can stand the heat, a twenty minute walk, or there is a shuttle bus that runs roughly every 20 minutes, somewhat irregularly. The Tao is prettily situated in the woods on three levels, providing spa treatments along with the gym. The staff on the entry level will provide you a large towel and a locker key if you want one when you sign in. The Tao also has a lap pool and another pool for use by guests; the lap pool was great - lightly treated, perfect temperature, and no one ever using it except me! The gym is quite small, with two bicycles, two treadmills and an elliptical machine, all Life Fitness brand, as well as a rowing machine, a few weight machines and a selection of hand weights. There is a yoga studio room beside which can be used most of the time as classes are only held first thing in the morning. The gym has three wall air conditioners similar to what are in the hotel rooms, but these are almost always off. The remote for them is available so you can turn them on, but there is no chance that the room will cool down while you are working out (one part of the ceiling is glass so the sun shines in directly). This is the biggest drawback of the gym; I believe they are trying to save energy costs, which is admirable, but more people would use the gym if it was actually cooler than the outdoors. It would also be good if they provided small (not the beach towel size) towels for use in the gym.

Other Amenities

Lobby areas are nicely appointed with adequate seating, cool and staffed with friendly people.
Gardens at Sian Ka'an are attractive and well kept; unfortunately the sprinklers tend to be on when you are going for dinner, so there is a danger of getting wet.

Walkways were pressure-washed continously while we were there. We saw a man doing a cleanliness check of the area outside the pools near the Alux restaurant; it would be good if he also checked the little tables at the pools.

Selection of "no extra price" alcohols was more extensive than at the other 3 resorts; my husband found this a plus.

The large number of shuttle buses that take you between the various hotels and from Sian Ka'an to the SK beach are fabulous and very convenient. The infrequent buses to the Tao Wellness Center were the one exception.

Room Tip: Building 8 offered a nice compromise of distance from the main lobby and quiet away from the hub.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank girlfromthetick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, March 1, 2013
Dear Guest,

On behalf of the Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an staff, receive our most sincere appreciation for choosing us for your past holidays.

We are very glad to know that you had a good experience during your stay with us. Also thank you so much for sending us your suggestions. Your comments will be really helpful to target the areas that need to be improved and ensure that we maintain and deliver the level of service expected from us.

We thank you for offer us the opportunity to learn from your experience through your comments shared. We hope to have a second opportunity and receive you soon at your house in The Mexican Caribbean!

Receive our warmest regards,

Brisa Islas
Public Relations
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
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3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 27, 2013

This review is a little late but late than never - right?

My husband and I stayed here in September 2012 for 7 days. The resort is beautiful and the service was very good. We got there early, around 11 am and asked for an early check-in, we kept being told 10 mins. but never actually got in our room until 3 pm. So in the meantime we had lunch and a drink and hung out in the lobby bar area.

We stayed in one of the penthouses with the rooftop deck. It was awesome. The room was big with a large living area, nice size bathroom, and king size bed. The bed was not the most comfortable I've slept on but also not the worst. There are no elevators so we had to walk the steps (and so did the poor bell man with all of our heavy bags!) which on most days/nights was fine but if it rains beware it's very slippery. I slipped going down the steps one night after a rainy day and thank god my husband was behind me to catch me otherwise I would have seriously hurt myself. The rooftop deck in our room was awesome. We enjoyed the jacuzzi at least 3 or 4 of the days we stayed. It's a great chill spot.

On another note, you are in the jungle so there are all kinds of animals. I'm not a fan of the lizards and bugs... but they are everywhere and there was a questionable animal living in what we beleived to be a sewer not far from the quiet pool that made very scary noises at night when we would walk by. Still don't know what it was. My husband was convinced that it was Chubakka! lol

The food here is wonderful! We ate at all of the properties and the Sian Ka'an is by far superior to the other resort for food and drink. The buffet was great with a wide selection and everything was always fresh and delicious and the staff was so freindly and welcoming. All the gourmet resturants at the Sian Ka'an were also very good and superior to those on the sister resorts. The pools were nice but very quiet, almost too quiet. They are also very broken apart, I would have preferred if they were closer together. We stayed at the quiet pool most of the day (when we went to the pool) as it was closest to our room and seemed to have the most sun.

The beach - Okay, I am not a beach person. I travel every year to an island and I will say I have never seen such a beautiful beach. The water was crystal clear, the sand was white and soft and it was truly just beautiful. I am usually the one that has to be dragged to the beach instead of the pool and I couldn't wait to get to the beach every morning here. I will say the one negative was the resort wasn't beach front and you have to take a trolly there. They run often and going there never really seemed to be an issue. Going back though when you were wet and full of sand and had all of your things and wanted to just get back to your room, sitting and waiting in the beating sun for the trolly to come and get you was agonizing and annoying.

Entertainment was okay. At Sian Ka'an they had live music in their courtyard almost every night which was nice to sit and have a drink, my husband enjoyed a cigar most nights here. Entertainment in the other hotels with the shows was good but it was just too hot in the theaters and the only one we really sat through the entire show for was the circus which was great.

Overall the resort is very nice. It's a little to big for our taste and we didn't like that most of the evening fun and the beach was actually off of the sian ka'an property. If you went to any resturants (like the mexican) that were on another resort they are like in hidden paths and impossible to get to by foot. The trollys are literally like a bus route here. It was just too much. The mexican place we had to take two torllys and then walk a little thorugh a path of dark bushes and it was almost behind the resort. Very strange....

Overall a nice stay. Would we go back probably not. I prefer to be on the beach, the waiting for the trolly to get here or there just got annoying by the end of the trip. But the beach was beautiful and the food was great. Probably some of the best I have had at an all-inclusive and I have stayed at some of the highest end All-inclusives on many islands.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank fbls_trvl_grl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, March 15, 2013
Dear Guest,

Totally agree with you, better late than never! Thank you for the review of your vacations in Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an on September 2012; it is always a pleasure to read about our past guests.

We are glad to know that even this hotel is not like the ones you used to, you enjoyed your Penthouse Suite, the wonderful food, the beautiful beach and the good entertainment. Hopefully you decide to visit us again in the future; we will be delighted to welcome you back.

Kind Regards from the Mexican Paradise,

Brisa Islas
Public Relations
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection

Property: Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection
Address: Carretera Chetumal | Cancun Km 250, Akumal 77760, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#2 Family Hotel in Akumal
#5 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#5 Spa Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 420
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

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