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“Excellent first experience! GBP Akumal”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #6 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Oakville, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
“Excellent first experience! GBP Akumal”
Reviewed April 29, 2012

I just returned from 1 week at GBP Akumal and wanted to share my observations for those of you planning your next vacation. As a "planner" I spent a lot of time asking questions in the forums and reviewing this website prior to our trip - the effort certainly paid off. Simply put – plan your room location, and ALC choices in advance...email the resort 1 week prior to arrival.

I've itemized my review in the headings available on this site:

Food – 4/5: This is NOT a 5 star food resort. Meaning you are not going to be able to eat lobster at each meal (if at all). We did however visit a number of the ALC restaurants as recommended on this site and were very happy with each. The buffets had a wide variety, with variations in the menu daily. I would recommend that you visit the buffets when they open at each meal, because as the time gets later, the food becomes limited and less appetizing. The 24 hour buffets were almost disgusting during the day (burgers and hotdogs sitting around...). That said, after hours 8 pm or later, the food was all fresh and on a “per request” basis – excellent at 11 pm when you're craving fries and chicken. We didn't order room service because the menu was the same as the 24 hour buffet and our villa was right beside it.

Service – 4/5: The staff was very good and generally met all of our needs. As expected there were several instances where we noticed a significant language barrier causing confusion (we only speak English), but these were limited. Buffet waiters were often quite busy and didn't keep up with refreshing drinks and clearing plates – I didn't find that to be a problem given that we still ended up full and satisfied!

Location – 5/5: Akumal is a beautiful place. Under 1.5 hours to the airport (private shuttle). The resort grounds are immaculate, and easy to navigate. I would suggest borrowing a bike at the hacienda on your first day to explore – you can cover the entire property in well under 1 hour (the time limit each day for free riding). Also, this resort is very close to the Tulum ruins for a quick and cheap day trip, as well as Playa Del Carmen. The hacienda as mentioned earlier also has a number of shops for souvenirs, all at good prices with a willingness to barter for better deals (15-20% discounts) without leaving the property.

Rooms – 5/5: We stayed in villa 64 on the Akumal site (3rd Floor). The room was very nice with a partial ocean view. We requested one of the villas closer to the ocean in advance through email, and were accommodated – very happy as some of the other Akumal villas are much further away (still within a 10 min walk). No issues with A/C or hot water – we were almost too cold!

Sleep Quality – 4/5: We emailed in advance to request a mattress topper which saved time. The beds were quite comfortable! The resort was, however, renovating some rooms, and sadly they started working between 6:30 and 7 am. Given that we were waking up at that time most days to watch the sunrise it wasn't an issue – but if you were someone wanting to sleep until 10 am, it might be a consideration and worth enquiring about.

Cleanliness – 5/5: Amazingly clean resort! No words can explain. Given the volume of people wandering around, we were VERY impressed.

Spa – I can not comment, since we did not use this service.

Value – 5/5: For all of the reasons noted above, this resort offers exceptional value (coming from Canada).

Additional comments: At this point my review is becoming quite wordy! I'll end with a few random comments. The pools were all very nice, but seating is limited. I hate to say it, but you have to save them if you want to get one in the shade before 10 (and still want to make it to breakfast). The beach is nice, however the sand is a little grainy and rough – not a big deal but hard on the feet at times. Swimming with the fish was fun, be sure to bring a bun! The hacienda has a great club for after hours with good music and dancing – very popular. The shuttles were good and you could get around the resort quite easy. The bars are ALL excellent, the music bar at Tulum has a nice atmosphere for 9-11 pm. The shows were fun for the most part, we did not like the “entertainment” show, but the others were fun. Coba had the best shows, followed by Akumal and Tulum last – be warned, the shows are different at each resort each night, and the MJ show for example is different depending on which resort you're watching it at (same for the other shows as well).

PM me if you have any questions – I would return again, but have other places I want to explore first.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank snktrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed April 29, 2012

Just came back from one week at the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal,I was very surprised and happy the hotel was amazing the beach was the best out of the three GB. People told us our resort was the best of the three Coba,Tulum & Akumal,also the better beach.The people at our resort were great, and couldn't do enough for us. We liked that we could go to the two other resorts and eat,or drink in them. The only thing was one week is not enough ten days would have been great. You can also e-mail to book all your A-La-Carte restaurants before you go and that saves you waiting in line when you arrive,you can also give your times for your meals,and they will try and accomodate you. The man to e-mail for your dinners is called Gerardo Alonso Mendez (Jerry). He is amazing he is the Guest Service Manager at the hotel. Also if you want to get as close to the beach as possible the building numbers you request are #64-65-or 66.Top floors are great. Also lots of variety of foods,for all different taste's. .The only draw back was the one hour and 30 minute bus trip to get to Akumal, but it is worth it. Can't wait to go back. Carol

Room Tip: Buildings close to the beach are #'s 64-65-66. Top floors have better view's.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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8 Thank Caroline C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West midlands, England
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2012

Ok i think our title says it all.....We stayed from 12 - 26 April 2012.
First off it was a long flight from the uk but well worth it, i recomend you upgrade to premium seats on the plane again well worth the money on long haul. The transfer was about an hour but every one was in high spirits and it flew by, the rep on the coach was selling ice cold beers or pop with was much needed in the heat. On arrival to the hotel our first thoughts was WOW, the entrance was amazing and the rest of the hotel and grounds followed suit. the guys all work extremley hard keeping the grounds looking ammaculate do a fantastic job and deserve a mention. Our room was also immaculate and was cleaned every day with fresh towels left in the bathroom, free shampoo and soaps topped up every day, and a towel animal made on the bed by our maid Yennie who was brilliant, we tipped her every other day about 20 or 40 pessos. I agree with other reviews left that there is a slight musty smell in the rooms but after a day its not noticible and yes your clothes do smell of the room when you get home but its not that bad, a quick wash and its sorted. The mini bar was restocked every day but we hardly used this as the large bottles of water came in more usefull after having enough beers and cocktails at the many bars. I read alot of comments on here stating the beds was hard, it depends on what you are used to at home i guess we found ours to be ok. I also read that the fridge and air conn didnt work, we had no problems with ours, i even had to turn the air conn up a little as it was too cold for me. We dont normally go to the rep meetings but we decided to on this occasion, our rep was Adrianna (she was amazing) she told you all the health and safety stuff and then about the excursions, i would like you to remember that reps work on commision so some try and push the excurisions on you, Adrianna did not do this, she told us her favourites and that was it, she never mentioned them again.
I also read that time share reps were a pain - they were not, they would ask you but a quick couteous no thank you and that was it!
The pools was kept very clean we even saw a man with a snorkel on scrubbing the lower parts of the pool walls, now thats what i call taking cleaning to the extreme. As with every holiday if you want a pool sunbed you need to get up early, i was getting up at 6 am and i was one of the first, i chose ours beds put towels on them and went back to bed for an hour. If you want a beach bed you can go at 9am and get one with no problems. The guys who do the pool entertainment was ace they were so friendly and funny and absoultly crazy, great bunch of guys and girls. We ate at 3 a la cartes, which was dolce vita (so good we went twice), the Grande Tortague (Brazilian) where you eat so much meat you cant move and the arlaquin which was nice to dress up in trousers and shirt and feel like your in a 7 star restaraunt. the food in all was top notch. The buffet was very good also plenty of choices for all, my now fieance is a fussy eater and had no problems, yes after two weeks it gets a little repertive but was to be expected. Snack bar food was good the usual burgers, chips, pizza great to fill a lunch time hole.
We went to 5th avenue in Playa de carmen, not super great but ok for a afternoon out and to pick up a few little prezzies for the family back home, plenty of places to eat and drink. We also went to the world famous Coco Bongos, OH MY GOD what a place this is one i really really really recomend you try this, its a cinema/thertre/night club all in one. The entertainment here will blow you away ive never seen anything like this in my life and i felt safe at all times, we also got very drunk as drinks was free because it was all included in the excursion price, as i said you are with the reps who keep you safe. The other excursion we done was swimming with the dolphins, to be honest this is not something i was intrested in doing. I went to mexico with an engagement ring ready to propose to my girlfriend and i had no idea how to do the proposel. I went to see Adrianna (our rep) who was so excited when i asked her to help. Adrianna suggested that i took clare on a couples trip swimming with the dolphins. You can go in a group of about 10 but the couples is a more private session with just me and Clare and the instructor who was amazing. I am so glad we done this trip. Adrianna had called the manager in advance at the dolphin place and told them i wanted to propose, so when we arrived i slipped the ring to a member of the staff and they sorted the rest. The dolphin was doing tricks and the instructor gave us a box and asked us to give the dolpin a fish. Near the end the dolphin done a trick and the box was given to Clare, as she opened the box (expecting fish to be in there) they had put the ring in with some beautiful flowers. Clare was blowen out of the water and i got down on one knee, asked the question and she said YES. What an amazing day which will never be forgotten, So a massive thank you to Adrianna and the guys at dolphinus.
The rest of the holiday was fantastic, we went on the jet skis which was fun and spent most of the time relaxing in the sun and having a drink. The entertainment on a night was ok but we made a lot of new friends so spent most of the time talking and drinking. We had a night at the hessiendia which they put on a show (very good night).
All in all our hoilday was totally amazing and we so didnt want to come home. Hotel, Rooms, Food, Entertainment, Staff, all get a 10 out of 10.
A little tip for all, E mail the hotel before you go to book your A la cartes, and i sent an e mail requesting a room with a sea view, top floor and a materess topper which all requests was met, and we was given a free upgrade to the golden section. So a big thank you to Gerardo (guest service manager) who i saw on the last day to thank and shake his hand.
One BIG last THANK YOU to all the staff at the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal - We will see you all again!

Room Tip: E mail the hotel about a month before you travel for any requests, obviously they cant be 100% that...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
14 Thank Simon Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal
Level Contributor
30 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2012

We stayed at Bahia Principe Akumal from April 12 to April 19th and had a pleasant trip. We flew with Air Transat and booked with Nolitours.

TIPS: Book your a-la-carte restaurants as soon as you arrive.
Top 3 restaurants: -Italian Restaurant @ Akumal
-Brezilian Restaurant @ Tulum
-French Restaurant @ Akumal
Buffet @ Akumal is good, breakfast is the best. Fresh pancakes, omelets, fresh fruits, juices..

MUST SEE: Michael Jackson show @ Tulum is a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
Staff is very friendly.
We booked 2 activities with Transat; Sian' Kan and Ek-Balam & cenote. Both were worth it!

I would recommend Akumal and Tulum more than Coba.
Will definately come back!!!!!

Room Tip: Get your room close to the lobby so you don't have to walk to much.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Emilee C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2012

I was hesitant to rate this place 4 Stars, just because this was my first time all-inclusive. I have to say it was a fantastic hotel though. I've never seen any hotel staff work so hard maintaining and upkeeping everything. First off, the rooms were immaculate. The other party we came with had a bit of trouble with their bed arrangement, but, that was sorted out quickly. The rooms were kept in pristine condition. Even when we didn't want room service, they would leave towels and bottled water on our door step. The fridge was always restocked with beer. It was really just so very clean. The rooms were also newer. The pool and beach area... very clean. I saw staff on the beach picking up by hand seaweed and garbage from the beach. And the beach was huuuuge! There was some stretches that were nicer than others. The water was wonderful...

Now the food. What absolutely fantastic food. The Ala Cartes were good, the best one we had was the Mexican. The worst was the Continental Cuisine. But, even the buffet was great. Really loved the buffet. Our Servers recognized us and always gave great service. There's something to be said for someone bringing you a coffee without asking... it's Fantastic! The Main buffet is the place to go! The best Fruits and Vegetables. Pasta was amazing! Great Pastries, Great Salads, Great Breakfast, Great everything. Go for the electric lemonade, it's great for that hot weather.

The Bars were everywhere. There line ups at some, and less at others. The Swim up bar for example was really busy. The Hotel itself had a lot of things to do. But, it was too hot to do a lot of things. Tennis for example, nice courts, 20 minutes away by "Golf Cart", but, it was bearable maybe early in the morning. The Gym was the same thing, Air Conditioned, but, just too damned hot.

The hotel itself is in a complex of 3 hotels. There's the Golf One, Sian Kan. There's Tulum. And there's Akumal. We stayed at the Golden Suites in Akumal. We were a group of friends. There wasn't a lot of single people around. But, that was alright because we didn't care for the craziness. It wasn't quiet, but, it wasn't a gong show. What really shocked me was the size of the hotels. They have trams and carts every 30 mins taking you wherever you need to go. It's a bit tough to explore too, because it was too hot for me.

All in all, great hotel. Would recommend it to anyone. I just put down an average review for the Spa, because, I didn't go to the spa.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Mrsupertwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prestatyn, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2012

Three section's make up this big complex...Akumal,Coba and Tulum. We stayed at the Akumal at the end of October 2011 for 2 week's, two adults 46 & 44 and daughter 16. Flight was good both way's with Thomson Airline's. Weather not so good,was at the end of the rainy season....and yes it rained for 7 0f the 14 day's with temperature's rarely above 23 Celcius. If we did it again we would go between January and March,but obviously the price will be higher. Food was ok (nothing special), but a fair variety. If you dont like what is on offer in Akumal you can easily hop on a shuttle tram which will take you to Coba or Tulum where the menu will be different. Beach was ok (when not raining)! lol. Shallow turquoise water's with fish freely swimming around. Room's were again ok but not 4*+ and nowhere near 5* (as advertised in some brocher's), mini bar in room was stocked nearly every day,by stocked i mean 2 can's of beer, 2 can's of pop, and a couple of mini snicker's bar's and crisp's. Entertainment show's were very disapointing, the best was the Michael Jackson tribute, apart from that you could find better in a 4 star All Inclusive in Spain. Staff were generally happy and polite and work hard to keep thing's clean and tidy. To sum up, The Gran Bahia Principe has the staff and potential to improve, especially in the area of thing's to do when the weather is not so good. It feel's a shame that we flew halfway across the world and did not get the full Caribean experience. we would go back to Mexico but probably spend a few more pound's to try somewhere else at a different time of year. A special hello to Geronihmo who tended to our table day after day in Coba.

Room Tip: Individual choice,if you are not happy ASK to be moved to another room. We did and we were moved fro...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
15 Thank naughtyzoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
233 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 225 helpful votes
Reviewed April 26, 2012

First, a bit of information about us for context. My wife and I stayed in the Royal Golden section at the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal. We are in our mid-30’s, non-smokers, and don’t drink much. We exercise daily, and eat a healthy diet. This was our second all-inclusive in Mexico; the first being about 10 years ago to a place in Puerto Aventura. We have been to several other areas of Mexico, and have cruised quite a bit.

Check-In:

We arrived via private transfer (USA Transfers) and our driver dropped us at the main Akumal lobby. We were quickly picked up via golf-cart style shuttle, and taken to the Royal Golden section. They immediately brought us a welcome drink, and we were checked in within minutes. Another short ride brought us to our room on the third floor of one of the buildings.

Rooms:

We were on the third floor of our building, and there are no elevevators, only stairs. This suited us fine because we like the exercise, but I can see it being a challenge for people who are not in good shape, so staying lower down would be a good option.

Our room was large, had a king sized bed, and most importantly, was clean (and cleaned daily). We took the comforter off immediately (they generally gross me out), and the cleaning lady took the hint and never put it back on. They didn’t use fitted sheets, so each morning the bottom sheet was completely untucked on my side. Our mattress had a mattress pad, and the bed was very comfortable.

There was a small table and two chairs, along with a small couch. Sliding door led to a decent size patio with two plastic deck chairs. The air conditioning was running full blast when we arrived, which felt good at first because it was 11 Celsius back home, and about 30 Celsius in Akumal. Bit of a shock to the system when you factor in the humidity. Neither of us like air conditioning, so we turned it off and never turned it on again after that. Turning off the AC and letting some fresh air in let the room dry out, and got rid of the musty smell. While in the room, we simply left the sliding door open, and the fan on. The bathroom had a jetted tub with shower. A note about the bathroom, the walls in this area of the room are very thin, and you can hear everything going on in the bathroom next door.

Room Amenities:

We were provided robes, and two sets of basic slippers for use in the room. Our beach towels were also waiting for us on a shelf. There was a very old basic TV in the room that we turned on for a few minutes one evening. There were only a few English channels, and the reception was so bad it was almost impossible to watch. Not a big deal to us because we don’t go on vacation to watch TV, and it was only on for the 30 minutes that one night. The mini-bar came stocked with three cans of beer, and three cans of pop, ONE Halloween sized bag of chips (about 30 grams), and ONE chocolate bar slightly larger than Halloween sized. We are not big on junk-food, but since it was there, we did drink a couple cans Sprite out of the fridge during the course of our stay. The funny part was that instead of them restocking the flavour we drank; they restocked it with the flavours he never touched. We shared the 30 gram bag of plain Lays chips one day, and never saw another until the second to last day. Same went for the little chocolate bar. It wasn’t a big deal, but given the fact that there were two of us in the room, the mini-bar seemed like a total waste of time. Guess it gives them something to put in their brochure.

We were disappointed with the bathroom products. When we arrived there were two bottles of 2-in-1 shampoo, two little soap bars, 2 little bottles of shower gel, a wooden comb (pretty cool actually), and a shoe-shine sponge. The 2-in-1 shampoo was terrible, so bring your own shampoo and conditioner. The shower gel was okay, but we prefer the little bars of soap which were great. The skin lotion would have been great for dry skin from the sun, but we used the two little bottles they gave us the first day, and they never brought more.

There is an in-room safe, but you have to rent their special lock for $5/day, and then carry the key around. We cruise a lot, and the safes in the cabins simply require you to input your own four-digit code (no key to carry around), and they don’t charge you to use them. We paid quite a bit to stay at this resort for a week, so the resort charging us $5/day felt like a total cash-grab, and was something that really annoyed us.

Restaurants:

This being our first Mexican all-inclusive in 10 years, and only having cruise-dining to compare it to, meant it took us a little while to get used to the lower quality of food in the main buffet. I know reviewing food is very subjective, so I should start off by saying that my wife and I are quite adventurous diners, and will pretty much try anything at least once. On our first night we arrived quite late, and when we went to the main buffet at about 9pm, it almost caused us to switch resorts. The 100 or so items had been sitting in steam trays for hours, and were well past their point of freshness. Luckily, it got better as we figured out when to dine there.

At the main buffet, we tried a bit of everything except junk like french-fries, hot dogs, heavily mayonnaised salads, etc., which we are not into. I think the important thing to remember, is that they have to cook for hundreds of guests from all over the world who have different tastes. We definitely found that it all came down to timing when you dined at their buffet. If you arrived right around a traditional meal time, we always found enough fresh food to make a meal of. We ate a lot of salads and raw vegetables, and found the chicken and even some beef wasn’t too bad. The guacamole was excellent, as were the fresh made chips. The sushi was hit-and-miss. There were quite a few pastas offered, but none with whole-wheat noodles, so we didn’t bother. They always had a selection of deserts, and we tried a few which were often pretty good. The soft-serve ice-cream was very popular, but you had to make sure you only took a little bit because it was so hot that the ice-cream melted really fast.

We ate breakfast at the Royal Golden buffet every morning, and it worked well for us with a nice selection of fresh fruit, omelettes to order, granola, yogurt, scrambled eggs, hardboiled eggs, bacon/ham/sausage, etc. They also had pancakes, donuts, and other pastries each morning. This buffet wasn’t huge, but the items they had were always fresh. We generally ate lunch at the main buffet, and that’s where we had our dinners on the nights were didn’t have an a la carte booked.

The a la carte restaurants were definitely a step above the other food at the resort. We tried the Gourmet, the Seafood, the Japanese, and the Brazilian Restaurants. We eat a lot of very good quality sushi where we live, and the Japanese Restaurant was actually very good. Don’t expect and all-you-can-eat sushi buffet. You are offered a four-course meal; you can start with a bowl of soup, and then have either a sushi or sashimi appetizer (they have non-sushi food too), a main course, and then dessert. Instead of soup we asked for an extra sushi appetizer, and then another instead of dessert. I thought our server was going to pass out trying to figure out how to make that happen, but in the end he did his best. My only complaint about the Japanese restaurant was that we didn’t get a lot of sushi. The Seafood Restaurant was okay, but they basically just coated everything in garlic butter, and we wouldn’t choose this restaurant again in the future. The Gourmet Restaurant had a nice atmosphere, and the food was pretty good. I had the fillet mignon which was fairly tough, and my wife had the duck which was very good. We’ve both had better, but they did a good job. Our favourite restaurant was the Brazilian Restaurant in the Tulum side of the resort where they serve you various cooked meats on swords, and have a fun green card/red card system for asking for more, or stopping to flow of food.

A note on booking the a la carte restaurants. When we arrived at the Royal Golden check-in area on our first night, we tried to book our reservations right away knowing they fill up fast. The guy behind the desk said he couldn’t book them at that time (nobody else in line checking in, so not sure why), and he told us to come back the next morning at 7am to see him. We had a trip to Cuzumel planned for the next day, so we arrived promptly at 7am. The guy didn’t show up until just after 8am, which delayed our trip considerably. I guess we should have offered him a “tip” the night before to grease the wheels. We asked about sitting at the “special show” table at the Japanese restaurant, but were told it was already booked. When we arrived for dinner at the Japanese restaurant, another couple we had met got seated at the “special show” table even though they hadn’t even asked to sit there. None of this stopped us from enjoying our dinner, I’m mentioning it so other guests don’t get too frustrated when it happens to them.

Dress code at the restaurants varied from casual to dressy. I wore dress pants every night, with a button-up long sleeve to the Gourmet, and button-up short sleeve to the other three. My wife wore a dress each night. Most men had dress pants and short sleeved dress shirts, or nicer golf shirts. A few wore shorts and short sleeve dress shirts/golf shirts. One guy showed up in shorts, flip-flops, and a t-shirt, and the staff were clearly not impressed. I can’t say I was either, as it took away from the overall atmosphere, but who knows, maybe it’s all he had brought. If we go back, I’ll be wearing short sleeve dress shirts and golf shirts, and skip the long-sleeve as it was too hot.

Moving Around the Resort

They have a great tram system that will move you within your own resort area, and around both Coba and Tulum. My wife and I walked most of the time, and explored all the areas of all three resorts. We took the tram at night when we were all dressed up and didn’t want to arrive at dinner looking like we’d just run a marathon.

Pools and Beach

I am a beach person, and my wife is a beach/pool person. I can’t see why you’d lay at a pool (we have plenty at home), when you have a perfectly good ocean with sandy beach right there. There are tons of beach chairs and palapa’s at the beach, and the white sand seems to go on forever. We walked from one end to the other regularly (past both resorts), and always found a place to sit down and relax. The beach offers calm areas and docks great for kids, along with areas for snorkeling, and others for playing in the large waves. Every day we were there they had the red flags up, so I have no idea what they’d put up if some real waves started forming because we were in the ocean everyday without any concern at all. The fish in this area are limited, so a trip to Xel-ha is a great way to see more sea-life.

We tend to be up and out of the room by about 7am each morning. While eating breakfast by the pool each morning, we watched an unending stream of women coming down and putting their towels on chairs to reserve them, and then walking away. Every review deals with this, and most people complain about it. So I guess the ignorant people who put their towels on the chairs to reserve them either don’t write reviews, or they keep their mouths shut about doing so. The one day we decided to set up shop at the pool deck to read, there were no chairs available, and nobody on the pool deck. I just walked up to the “reserved” chair I wanted and moved the two towels so my wife and I had a place to sit and relax. About two hours later a couple showed up, took one look at me and realized any argument wasn’t going to end well for them, and they picked up their towels and left. If more people took this approach, maybe people would stop putting their towels out to reserve chairs they had no intention of using until later in the day. Enough said.

Transfers:

We opted to take a private transfer rather than the big bus provided. We used USA Transfers, and it cost us $135 return. From an environmental point of view I had trouble with our choice because the bus would be traveling to the resort anyway. Having said that, the wheels on our plane touched down at 6:55pm, and we were sitting at the Akumal buffet before 9pm. On our departure date, the driver showed up at the exact pick-up time, and we were at the airport in short order. Without question, we will use USA Transfers again.

Outside the Resort:

We traveled to Playa Del Carmen twice while down there, and went to Cozumel on one of those trips. We used the Colectivo’s last time we were in the Cancun area, and did so again this time. It cost us 30 pesos per person, one way, to Playa Del Carmen from Akumal. A taxi would have been about $30USD. We simply walked to the edge of the highway, waited about 1 minute for one to drive by, hopped in, and paid when we were dropped off.

Currency:

I brought USD and Mexican Pesos. I prefer to use the currency of the country I’m visiting, but unfortunately you’re better off using USD for most purchases. The Pesos are handy for tipping, paying the Colectivo’s, and paying for things around the resort (like the safe rental in our room). I did the conversion each time I purchased something, and it almost always worked out better to use USD. Next trip I will still bring both, but more USD.

Summary:

We liked this resort enough that we are considering a second trip to this resort later this year with our two children. It’s a little further south than we would like, but the resort is large and offers enough to keep us busy for our time there.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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10 Thank Victoriatravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection

Property: Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection
Address: Carretera Chetumal | Cancun Km 250, Playa Aventuras, Akumal 77760, Mexico
Phone Number:
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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#4 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#5 Family Hotel in Akumal
#6 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#6 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 758
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 3 swimming pools 4 jacuzzis 2 children's swimming pools Solarium with sun umbrellas and sun loungers BAHIA SPA (additional charges apply) Sports centre: a gym, 5 tennis courts, bicycles Motor sports (additional charges apply) Aquatic activity and diving centre Entertainment amphitheatre Wi-Fi access in the lobby (free) and with an no additional charge in the rooms Buffet restaurant opposite the sea 3 a la carte restaurants 9 bars Cocktail Lounge Riviera Maya Golf Club: 18 long holes and 9 executive holes with lakes, cenotes and Mayan jungle Hacienda Dona Isabel: karaoke bars, shows, live music and a night club Rooms 758 spacious Junior Suite Superior rooms. Equipped with: Two full-size beds or one king-size bed A living area with sofa A fully fitted bathroom: shower, washbasin, dryer and magnifying mirror Hydro massage tub Bathrobe and slippers (to be enjoyed throughout your stay) Pool towel (to be enjoyed throughout your stay) Balcony or terrace Air conditioning Ceiling fan Direct-dial telephone (additional charges applicable to external calls) Radio alarm clock Flat-screen TV Mini-bar with mini alcoholic beverages (included) Coffee set Safe (included) Ironing set 24 hour room service Butler service (upon request) Evening turn-down service Pillow menu Wi-Fi (no additional charge) Children Bahia Scouts Children can enjoy facilities designed especially for them: Children's swimming pool Mini Club (children aged 4 to 12) Mini Disco in the evenings Bahia Scouts Water Park Teen's club (children aged 11 to 16) Other services An internal mini-train service providing access to all the facilities: 24-hour medical service (additional charges apply) Pharmacy (additional charges apply) Personalised menu options for celiacs and diabetics Specialised wedding, anniversary and event planning service Casin ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Akumal
Bahia Principle
Bahia Principe Mexico
Gran Bahia Principe Hotel Akumal
Mexico Bahia Principe
Bahia Principe Tulum
Grand Bahia Principe Akumal
Bahia Principe Riviera Maya
Bahia Mexico Principe
Akumal Gran Bahia Principe

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