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“Fantastic Stay again!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection

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Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #5 of 22 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Norwich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Fantastic Stay again!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2012

Hi guys, I have just come home from two weeks in Mexico, Riviera Maya and had to write another post, this time it's a Gran Bahia Principe Akumal review! This review will be less elaborate as last years GBP review, found at: http://www.phillshaw.co.uk/home/gran-bahia-principe-tulum-review.html, as both Akumal and Tulum share the same resort. Read the linked post for an in depth look at GBP Tulum, Riviera Maya.

Gran Bahia Principe Akumal Review.

So going back to the same resort, how boring I can hear you say, however, GBP is far from boring. The resort in its entirety is so vast that even going back a second time still haven't managed to explore every inch of it. Last year we stayed in the Diamond Hacienda area of Tulum which was fantastic, quiet, beautiful and close to a great lobby bar area that has a terrific house band. This year we stayed in villa 50 in Akumal which is designated 'Gold Club'.

Akumal, if you read my other review, is generally busier than Tulum or Coba and was reluctant to stay here and even contacted the resort to ask to be moved back to Tulum. Fortunately we weren't moved because our suites and location was brilliant! There was no noticeable difference in amount of people near our rooms than if we had stayed in Tulum so this was fantastic. What was also great was that from our villa the beach is a two minute walk, GBP Coba is a five minute walk and the beautiful bar and lobby only thirty seconds out of the door! Well placed so that you can venture off to one place or another easily without having to jump on a club-cart.

When we arrived for checkin we were greeted by the Manager 'Jerry' personally who whisked us off to a private checkin with a cocktail and had the bell-boys take our luggage to our room. As we had been before we didn't really need much explanation but if you haven't been take half an hour to acquaint yourselves with the layout and times places open so that you needn't worry about things later.

Our rooms where on the second floor overlooking an outcrop of trees and well manicured gardens which was perfect because we had the wildlife (small lemur type creatures) playing in trees opposite! As ever the rooms were pristinely made up and we had champagne and fruit waiting for us, which after fourteen hours of travel was superb. Each day our maid 'Patricia' tidied and cleaned the room and left flowers on our bed.

Food.

When you checkin they will tell you that there are four buffet restaurants that open for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus two 24-hour snack bars and (I think) eleven à La Carte restaurants that you must book into. You will receive three bookings a week unless you upgrade to Golden Club or Diamond then you will get one more each week.

The buffet restaurants and brilliantly stocked, full of fresh fruit and vegetables and freshly cooked meats and fish. There is plenty to try. I have read reviews where guests have complained that the food is repetitive. Look at this way, how many different meals at home do you actually eat? You may have a pasta dish two or three times, Bolognese and Lasagne for instance, a couple of rice based dishes, a Sunday roast twice, pizza once, a chinese takeout and burger and chips. Now consider that each of those is available on a daily basis as well as Mexican food, roasted meat and fish, fresh salads, soups and deserts and tell me that the choice isn't big enough. Some people complain about such trivial things. I guarantee you wont go hungry!

à La Carte restaurants are a great way to spend an evening. Be sure to book yourselves into the Dom Pablo, La Gourmet and Tequila restaurants, these are a must! The Dom Pablo restaurant has great well cooked and beautifully presented food, as does La Gourmet. The Tequila restaurant is a Mexican restaurant and I can recommend the chicken! One thing I would say is that Dom Pablo and La Gourmet need to be mixed up. Dom Pablo's cut of steak was phenomenal, I pointed a knife at it and it cut itself. However it wasn't cooked 100% correctly to our taste. My partner ordered hers rare but got it medium-well. This didn't taint our experience at all but after visiting La Gourmet later in the stay her steak was cooked just to her taste but the cut wasn't quite as good. The ambience in La Gourmet was the best we have experienced in any GBP à La Carte, everything from the ceiling height, music and decor complemented the well presented dishes and overall this was our favourite restaurant. The manager of that restaurant came to ask if everything was to our satisfaction and at the end of the meal asked us to fill out a feedback form, which we happily did.

We also ate at La Gran Tortuga, Mediterraneo and Mikado, which was better than the Jamaican counterpart, and they all offered great service and food. When a staff member goes that extra mile to make your evening pleasant I always remember it, at Mediterraneo the waiter chatted to us for a while after a couple of tables left because he had a couple of minutes to spare after things had quieted down, he was casual and showed an interest into how our stay was going and asked about England, hoping one day to visit.

The buffet restaurants, as mentioned earlier, have a great selection. I personally felt Coba was the best buffet eatery but my partner preferred Tulum with Akumal faring worst. Essentially they all offer the same food but, I assume, cooked by different chefs because there is a definite divide on quality. The ambience of Coba's buffet is lovely, the layout works well and always seems less populated than the other two, presumably because the others site close to the beach while Coba is further in land. Guadeloupe, waiter in Coba, was superb always running around making sure everybody is fine, we loved him.

Facilities.
I covered most of this section in last years review, not much has changed. Read it here. This stay however we used Coba a lot more. The mornings are the best time for the beach, they offer Yoga, Zumba and water aerobics from the pier on the Coba Beach (dont be misled by this, Coba is still inland!) My partner participated in Yoga and she loved it. The afternoons after lunch we ventured to Coba and used one of their far superior pools. Coba isn't as busy as Akumal or Tulum during the day so we had free reign of the massive pool and hammocks. I recommend getting out of the hot afternoon sun and find a shader, it's so easy to get burnt. Fortunately I didn't burn but Su, my partner, did and she peeled and blistered on her shoulders.

As mentioned there are club-carts that will take you to most places such as the shopping area, Hacienda Dona Isabella, which can be a bit of a walk in the heat. There is a great lookout tower set in the Coba jungle area which gives you views over the entire resort, we saw some sort of eagle (I think) which was huge! Dont go up on a windy day unless you're Mary Poppins.

Mosquitos are an issue, this is beyond GBP's control so dont whine about it on Trip Advisor (you know who you are!) but they do have 'bug guys' out with pesticides to try and hold them back but chances are you will get bitten. My advice, if you're travelling from UK, is to go to the local 99p Store of Poundland and look for the Xpel Repellant. We took this brand and it worked a treat. Dont take a repellant that doesn't contain DEET, it wont work and they will bite you. Xpel Wipes were the best as they wont leave your skin feeling oily and can breathe through it. Coba has more of a mozzie issue than the others because it isn't directly on the coast.

I highly recommend visiting the ruins of Chichen Itza or Tulum, they both offer an amazing look at the Mayan culture. Don't book with your tour operator book directly with Bahia Tours, the Thomson group act as a middle man for them anyway so save some cash and find them in the resort yourselves.

Overall.
I cannot applaud Gran Bahia Principe enough. They manage to run a massive super-resort with such attention to detail at such an affordable price it begs the question "how do they do it". However they do i'm glad they do and will always recommend this chain to anybody wanting to have a great caribbean holiday. The service, style and experience we received were second to none and are planning our next stay with them already!

I hope you enjoyed this, if you are planning on going and need some more information please don't hesitate to message me.

Thanks.

Room Tip: Villa 50 in Akumal is brilliantly located!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
22 Thank phillshaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
subdirectorbpaku, Guest Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, June 9, 2012
Dear Mr/Mrs:

First of all thank you for trusting the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal Resort and choosing us to enjoy your holidays. We really appreciate that you are taking the time to share your valuable comments about your stay with us and I will pass on the comments to all the persons mentioned in your mail and all the departments involved. The comments and suggestions we receive from our guests are very important to maintain the quality and service in the Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya.

It is for guests like you who send us some nice, inspiring words after their holiday, that our personal finds every day the motivation and energy to keep on the good work. We are very happy that you appreciated the service and personal attention of our employees and we hope we can repeat this wonderful experience in the near future.


Receive our warmest regards

Guest Service Manager
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Pittsburgh
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2012

The resort, beaches and pools are amazing. Then there is the management which is unbelievably subpar. This was our second visit to Gran Bahia. We have visited many resorts in this area and the Gran Bahia had all we wanted on our last visit.

Pay the extra for private transportation it is well worth the cost. The resort is about an hour south of the airport.

We stayed in the Akumal in building 66 and loved it. We had a beautiful room overlooking the Caribbean. Our room was spacious and clean.

The pools are well cared for as are the beaches. Our beach in front of the Akumal was like a secret hideaway and always had lounge chairs and Papulas available. We usually did the pool in the morning and afternoon at the beach.

Now unfortunately for the negative and there is plenty of room for improvement.

Our concierge assigned to us was Makmal and he really tried to help but could only do so much.

We started the week eating breakfast at the Akumal buffet and it was awful as far as service. The restaurant is so overcrowded and under staffed. The staff could not keep up with clearing the tables and never came to our table to see if they could get us anything to drink. We finally started just getting our own drinks. The other thing is it is best to sit at a table near a window. There is no air moving around so it was really uncomfortable.

After two frustrating mornings we decided to try the breakfast at Tulum and it was so much better. The manager was there every morning to jump in and help clear tables or do whatever needed to be done. The food was excellent and service very good. Our waiter was very attentive to anything you needed.

Trying to get refills of water and diet coke for the room was awful. I had to call sometimes 3 or 4 times to get service every day. We left a tip every day but that didn't even help. We ordered room service for dinner one evening and it arrived cold. Makmul helped us and had it sent again.


We had a storm on the third day that produced a lot of rain. Our bathroom ceiling started leaking terribly in several places. It took about 5 phone calls to get some extra towels to mop up the floor. The only way to use the toilet was to hold a towel over your head. Forget about trying to get another room.

Food was very good and plentiful for the most part. The buffets for dinner and the outside Akumal poolside bar café had good lunches. Edgar was a very friendly bartender and remembered your preference for a drink. We had dinner at Mikado and it was outstanding. Request the show seating as it is fun to sit with other couples. We walked out of Arlequin which is in Akumal. It took them 15 minutes to get our drink order. Then they said they were out of filet mignon, but we were one of the first customers that evening. We ordered an appetizer and it never came. I ordered the strip, which took 45 minutes to come, and it was gray. We left and had the buffet which was very good.

Then the kicker during check out. We arrived in the lobby on time and they would not check us out until we produced the key to the safe. My husband had been to the lobby the night before to secure our valet for the next morning. They never mentioned that we needed to bring the key. They wanted us to walk back to the room and get the key. They finally gave my husband a ride back to the room to get the key. The private transportation had to wait for 10 minutes while they did this and then check out.

All in all we had a wonderful vacation as it is truly a beautiful place and the people are so nice. I think the bottom line is the Akumal has serious management issues.

Room Tip: Building 66 in Akumal has a great view.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank SteelCityChic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
subdirectorbpaku, General Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, June 10, 2012
Dear SteelCityChic:

On behalf of Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya, we are grateful to receive your comments from your experience in our complex.
All comments , suggestions and criticism are well accepted because our clients are the most important value in our chain. We will review the points you mentioned, in order to carry out a better supervision of our areas. Once again thank you for your time and comments, hoping to have a second opportunity in a near future.

Receive our warmest regards

Alberto Hernandez
General Manager
Gran Bahia Principe Akumal
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Kettering, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2012

This was my first trip to Mexico and I can safely say that it won't be the last. This hotel is very very good. On arrival the Bell Boys tag you up and sort your cases and before you know it you are on a bus being taken to your room, swiftly followed by your bags!! The rooms are spacious and have a good maid service. The fridge is re-stocked with water, beer, soft drinks etc every day. We were in the Royal Gardens area and everything was close by. The bus service was great, drivers were always very polite and helpful and would have a laugh and a joke with you. The hotel itself was very clean and every member of staff was as helpful as pososble. The food was great, the buffet in the main restaurant was always very nice (you can also use the restaurants at the Tullum and Coba) and also the a la carte restaurants were all very good. I can reccommend the Japanese for good food and good entertainment if you get a show table and also the Dolce Vita!! All the staff were very friendly, the entertainment team especially helped make our holiday a fun one. A big thank you to Charlie, Ever and Mikey who made us laugh between them from the moment we got on the beach to closing time at the Hacienda! Those guys work very very hard and do a fantastic job.
I have absolutely no complaints about my holiday whatsoever, apart from the weather, which wasn't the hotels fault, and the hotel were very quick to keep us entertained in the rain!!
I would definitely go back to this hotel, as far as I'm concerned it's a little piece of paradise!!!

Room Tip: If you are able to, book in Royal Gardens.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Amy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
subdirectorbpaku, Guest Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, June 9, 2012
Dear Mr/Mrs:

First of all thank you very much for staying in the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal Resort and taking the time to write your positive impressions. It is for guests like you that our resort remains one of the most appreciated hotels in the Riviera Maya.
We are very happy that you appreciated the service and personal attention of our employees and we hope we can repeat this wonderful experience in the near future.

Sincerly yours

Guest service Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Level Contributor
19 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2012

I have just got back from 2 weeks with my family for my Mums 70the Birthday celebration and a good time was had by all. I have been fortunate enough to visit many of the Caribbean Islands and a variety of all inclusive resorts and there is good and bad with all.
Overall this was very good and I would definately recommend it. The bad were more little niggles and nothing that spoilt our holiday in anyway just things they could perhaps improve.
The grounds the accomodations are set it are amazing and extremely well maintained and spotlessly clean. There is much wildlife including pretty coloured racoons and many other animals that come out at different times of the day and night and depending where you are situated.
Our check in was fine and the junior suite we had chosen for out accomodation was very nice and had all we needed including iron, ironing board, hairdryer, tea and coffee making plus a fridge that had some beers soft drinks and a few snacks each day. We fouund it to be more stocked if we left the odd dollar. The room was exceptionally clean and the shower very good and powerful which is always one of my gripes.
The maid service each day was excellent and if you needed anything more they were happy to help.
The pools very clean and plenty of sun beds if not by the pool on the surrounding area by the beach. Daytime activities were quite fun by the snack bar pool and also on the beach if you fancies Zumba or Aerobics. Ever and his team at the snack bar were great people and very friendly and good fun. Music is quite loud here which was fine by us but other pool is a bit quieter if you prefer that.
The pool bars and the beach bar were fine in terms of what they would make you however it would seem the management should look to employ more staff. At busy times there were 10 or more people waiting and the poor bar man struggled to keep up with it. I have always found the beach and pool bar staff elsewhere to to be good fun and will always have a chat with you. These poor guys hardly had chance to say hello as they did not stop. The wait was never too bad but could be around 15mins to get a drink when it was really busy.
You can use the facilites at the Coba and Tulum so we moved around the restaurants each night. We found the Tulum buffet better with a bit more choice but then that was just our preference. The food is fine with a wide choice although it can be a bit the same with not loads of difference between breakfast lunch and dinner!! Quality of food was pretty good just needed to change it so there was a point of difference each day and not just put out all the choices all of the time as it was too much and made you feel it was always the same.
The Al La carte Italian at Akumul and Brazilian at Tulum were excellent. The Brzilian is great for meat eaters as you get a playing card with red and green. Leave it on green they just keep bringing meat round and only stop when you turn your card over to red.
Snack bar at the pool is fine and we would often grab toast and a pastry there at breakfast and also lunch there to avoid the big buffet restaurant. It is waht it is a snack bar and nothing special but has fruit, salad, toast, pastrys and then the usual burgers, hot dogs and chilli at lunch. Serves it purpose.
Entertainment could be better and we preferred to go to the Hacciennda up by the Tulum. This has a sports bar, night club plus several shops and things. They also have a live band which is quite good from around 1030/11pm and everyone dances in the outdoor forecourt. This is fine for both young and old and not rowdy at all and they play for around an hour.
Again Bar staff here and also at the entertainments bar were pretty lacking and have no time to chat and pass pleasantrys althoug always have a smile.
You can get a number of golf cart trains from your lobby to the there but sometimes there could have been more frequent for the number of people waiting.
We did some trips such as the FAT CAT boat trip, Chichen Itza, Pirate ship and COCO Bongo nightclub. This is a must for all ages as it is a big cabaret show and really good fun. I would suggest you pay extra for the VIP area as you get a table on the upper tier which is yours all night and a bar man brings you your drinks. You get to see the whole show which is three hours or so of surprises and very very good fun and differenct from anything you would see anywhere else.
Overall we really enjoyed the holiday apart from Mozzie bites so make sure you take repellant. Its the price you pay for beautiful tropical gardens althought the gardeners do go round with a big spray coating all the plans around the edges.
Playa Del Carmen is fine to go to day or night shopping or to eat out. Very nice and no trouble and we went by bus outside the complex and it was really cheap and totally safe and fine.
I do not think anyone who goes here would be dissapointed and the little niggles certainly did not spoil our stay.
We met lots of nice people and overall had a great holiday.

Room Tip: We stayed in Villa 50 perfect for the lobby and buffet restaurant in that area especially when it ra...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LisaDSurrey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
subdirectorbpaku, Public Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, June 9, 2012
Dear Mr/Mrs:

First of all thank you very much for staying in the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal Resort and taking the time to write your positive impressions. It is for guests like you that our resort remains one of the most appreciated hotels in the Riviera Maya.

We have already sent your nice words and thanks to the departments involved also to review your suggestion’s .In the name of the whole Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya resort, we want to thank you again for your valuable comments.

Yours

Public Relations Manager
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Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
75 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2012

We stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal for 10 days in May for my sister’s wedding; we had 25 guests come and stay at the Akumal. To provide context to this review, my husband and I have stayed at 11 other all-inclusive (AI) resorts, including 4 other AI resorts in Mexico, 3 in the Dominican Republic and 4 in Cuba (ranging from 3* to 5*), so I DEFINITELY have many to compare this resort to and I know what to expect. This resort claims to be 5 * by “Mexican standards”, and it most certainly IS NOT. This resort is 3* at best and is rapidly aging. There is usually some “wow” factor, or something that stands out at each all-inclusive resort we have been to (whether it be the drinks, beach, pools, etc.), and this resort doesn’t excel on any. I have NEVER written a review for any of the 11 resorts I have been to, but felt that it was 100% necessary for this resort. My husband and I are not picky people, as you can see we love all-inclusive resorts, but we would NEVER pay to go back here. I CANNOT understand how someone would want to return to this resort, you can go to much better resorts in the Mayan Riviera for much less than what we paid for at the Akumal! I don’t like writing such a negative review, as I am a very positive person, but there were just so many negative aspects of this resort and because we have a lot of resorts to compare this to, I felt it was absolutely necessary to explain them here. I will provide an honest review here about various aspects of the resort.

This resort is on a complex of three resorts with Coba and Tulum, so indeed it is very large, but the trolley system around the resorts takes you easily where you would like to go. No problems here, it just takes time to where you want to go! Coba is furthest away from the beach, but seemed to have better food and better all-around service.

Royal Golden: We stayed in the Royal Golden section of Akumal. This is not worth the extra money. Other than being close to the quieter beach and 1 extra a la carte reservation, not much else is included. There is a separate lobby for Royal Golden guests and an air-conditioned computer room with desktop computers (which the main lobby does not have). The main lobbies do have free internet access, but you have to bring your iPad or computer to access it. Villas 66, 67 and 68 overlook the ocean.

Rooms: We had a nice room, top floor, corner room facing the ocean. Nothing special about the rooms, but ours was kept "visibly" clean by the housekeeper. We did leave a tip for her every day. The fridge was NOT stocked on a regular basis and was supposed to be! The first two days we had one bag of chips and a chocolate bar along with drinks (a few beer and some pop) and then it stopped for the rest of the trip. Royal Golden guests are also supposed to receive turn-down service every night (not that we care, it is just the premise that it is supposed to be included and we paid for it!) and only received this 2 out of 10 nights. There was such inconsistency in service between all guests in our wedding party group. Email the resort ahead of your stay and ask for a mattress topper, you certainly won't regret it!

Most rooms smelled moldy when you walked into them. Yes, you do come to expect the humid, “tropical” smell in rooms at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, but this was quite prevalent in many of our guests’ rooms. My parents were in the top floor, villa 64 and one day, after it rained heavily, the roof collapsed in their room and everything got soaked. They were switched to a different room in the same building on the second floor and the mold was so bad in their room, that it caused my mom and sister to get severe pneumonia of which they are still recovering from two weeks later. Several doctors in Canada told them it was because of the mold in the rooms. Many people in our party got very sick at this resort with fungal infections, pneumonia, strep throat and much more of which I won't describe here! Very disappointing. Some guests saw critters running into their air conditioning vents and I am sure that cannot be good for the quality of air being pumped out!

Food: Let me state that it is a known fact that you certainly do not go to Mexico or the Caribbean for the food; however, this was one of the worst resorts (especially in Mexico where the food is generally much better than the Dominican and Cuba) for food quality. Yes, there is something for everyone, and you will never go hungry, but the quality was poor. How do you mess up breakfast?! Because the Akumal buffet was always so poor (food was cold, never refilled or simply tasted awful), we always travelled to the Coba buffet which was MUCH BETTER and actually quite pleasant! Again, we are not picky people, but when a resort claims to be 5* (yes, I realize this is by Mexican standards), you would expect it to be MUCH BETTER than what we received. Most guests in our party were quite disappointed. The main buffet was quite far from the Royal Golden section, so be prepared for this! The snack bar, which is close to the Royal Golden section, had the same food every day. Yes, this is typical for many resort snack bars, but most of the time at this snack bar when you asked for something on the menu, for example, pizza, they would tell us that they don’t have the ingredients to make it and we should find something else! Out of the 10 items on the snack bar menu, they probably had 4 out of the 10 options available at any given time. It would have been nice to have a continental type breakfast here in the mornings, so that guests don’t need to make the trek to the main buffet from the Royal Golden section (it was very hot out!) and because I certainly don’t feel like a hamburger at 7am in the morning! Service in the Akumal buffet was poor. Very rarely would we be served our drinks at our tables and needed to track someone down to even get a glass of water. The Coba buffet had MUCH BETTER service and we were actually quite pleased with the service and quality of food here.

Service: Usually, at many resorts in Mexico and Caribbean, you will see the servers at the bars and buffets having fun, singing and dancing around and generally pleased to serve you. This was not the case at this resort. It always seemed that the workers were unhappy and it was like pulling teeth when you asked them for a drink. There was one very nice bartender at the little beach bar at the quiet Akumal beach and he was super nice and made our time on the beach quite pleasant. Other than that, this was the worst we had seen at any resort.
The front desk staff were SO RUDE. To make a long story short, two front desk staff, Jorge Santos and Andres Lara, treated a young girl in our wedding party so rudely when she checked out that I went to speak to them (because I can speak Spanish) to see if there was a misunderstanding. I asked them what happened and they responded with “why don’t you ask her what happened” and started laughing. I have never received service (especially front desk staff) as BAD as this. They had this young girl in tears. These two men were also very rude to my father and husband on two other separate occasions. I talked to their manager, Mehman Verdiyev, but I am almost 100% certain, that there will be absolutely no repercussions from this as I caught them all laughing together afterward.

On a separate occasion, at the theater bar, I had asked for a cappuccino (which the theater bar makes VERY WELL by the way!!) and the server kept emptying the dishwasher, until I asked him if he was working and then, he proceeded to make it after letting out a huge sigh!!! The service at this resort was so poor. Yes, they are not paid much, but Cubans are paid much less than Mexicans and do not have iPhones and Blackberries (which all of the resort workers seemed to have!), and they are so much happier to help you out!

Another observation – look on TripAdvisor and you will see that the only reviews that the Akumal Guest Services manager responds to are the reviews that praise the resort. If you want to improve this resort, show some interest for those that have less than pleasant experiences!!!

Beaches: Again, I truly don’t mean to complain, but if you have been to Varadero, Holguin, Punta Cana, you will be disappointed in this beach. Yes, it is white sand, but very coarse sand (not white powder) and the swimming areas are generally man-made or they have placed wave breakers out in the ocean. The water was super warm, but all of the swimming areas were very shallow – great for kids. Coba beach is more active with music and people, which we had great fun at! The Akumal beach (farthest to the right) was also very pleasant for quiet days at the beach. Tulum beach (farthest to the left) is very rocky and not very good for swimming. The snorkeling right off of the beaches here was great, we saw many fish and sting rays! Many people in reviews have suggested wearing water shoes, but I found they were not needed. Finding seats on the beach was NEVER a problem and you could find them easily at any time – the resort was only half full, if that.

Pools: 2 pools at Akumal, nothing spectacular about them. The pool bar closed at 5pm sharp and despite us asking for drinks at 4:55pm, they would not serve us.

A La Cartes: You receive 4 a la cartes per week if you are in Royal Golden, as opposed to 3 per week for other guests. We had 5 reservations for 10 days. As a note for potential wedding guests, that despite paying thousands extra for the most expensive wedding package, they still count the wedding meal as one of your a la carte reservations for the week! The a la cartes were not bad. Japanese was great, and worth it to get a show table. We emailed the resort two weeks in advance and they accommodated all of our requests ahead of time.

Drinks: Not exceptional, but not bad either. They do not wash the plastic cups very well, so beware! The snack bar often did not have wine and had minimal choices. Every other resort we have been to will provide a cocktail-type menu at each bar so that you can have fun trying drinks to see what you like, but this resort did not provide drink menus at any of the bars, except for the theater bar.

Wedding Services: The wedding day was lovely and a great day was had by all. My sister (the bride) had absolutely no complaints of course, except for one aspect. She was promised and it was written, that the groom would have a separate room for the pre-wedding night to follow tradition of the groom not seeing the bride until the ceremony. The resort backed out on this and WOULD NOT provide the groom with a separate room for ONE NIGHT, even though the resort was empty, my parents paid for the most expensive wedding package there was available and we brought 25 people to their resort in low season! I spoke to the wedding coordinator and her director (as did my parents), but they still made my sister’s husband pay $90 USD for the room. They said that they couldn’t provide this free of charge, because they didn’t want me to write this on TripAdvisor and have every other potential bride expect this. Well, too late now because here is your bad service mentioned on TripAdvisor! Maybe they shouldn’t write this type of stuff down in wedding emails and correspondence!!!! Truly NOT accommodating…..

My sister had the Mariachi band play during her ceremony. Most guests pooled money ($100 USD) after the ceremony to have them play for 10 minutes longer, but they took the money and left!!!! It wasn’t a language barrier because several of us can speak Spanish!! At the reception, they would not provide red and white wine, despite that being offered throughout the resort as part of the all-inclusive package! After much ado from my mom, they finally brought it to the reception. EVERYTHING at this resort is like pulling teeth to get!

Also note, that despite paying a lot extra for the wedding package and wedding meal, they count the wedding meal toward using one of everyone’s 4 available a la carte reservations that week! Pathetic! We paid extra for this! During the wedding speeches, they seated other random resort guests all around our tables during the speeches. It wasn’t private, despite paying extra and quite disappointing, especially when the resort is not at all full during the low season. We found this quite disrespectful. They didn’t even set enough seats at our tables and again, the servers were annoyed when they had to get more seats!

All in All, I simply would say, that there is much better All Inclusive resorts for the same price or even much less than what you would pay to go here. If you are a beach person and have been to Cuba, Dominican, even Cancun and other places in the Mayan Riviera….you will be disappointed. The food was so repetitive and the quality was not good, that we were so happy to leave by day 10 (and usually I could care less about the food because that is not what I am there for!). The service was the worst we have experienced EVER and the staff are not friendly or personable at this resort. I cannot fathom how people return to this resort, they obviously have not travelled to many other places! Remember, this was my 12th all-inclusive, so I have something to compare this resort to for sure! Message me if you have any questions or want suggestions on other resorts! I’d be happy to help.

Room Tip: Email ahead of time for a la carte reservations, mattress topper and desired room location. They wi...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
14 Thank Cubagal82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
subdirectorbpaku, General Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, June 9, 2012
Dear Mr/Mrs:

We would like to thank you for have taken you time to write us your comments during your staying in our Complex. For Gran Bahia Principe all comments, suggestions or criticisms are very important and taken in heart, because our clients are the best supervisor we have.
We fully understand that you are a person with a great experience in all inclusive Hotels and your expectative are very high, for this reason we will take each point to verify it with the personal and staff involve.
On behalf of the General Management of the hotel, receive our most sincerest apologizes, for have not been exceed your expectative during your staying with us. However we thank you, to offer to us the opportunity to learn from this experience.

Sincerly Yours

General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stafford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 7, 2012

I stayed here with friends in October 2011. Absolutely beautiful surroundings, a bit scary going off resort though so I would suggest booking a trip because you do get cabin fever if you don't get out!
All of the staff, with exception to the private check in man at akumal, were helpful and pleasant. The food was to die for and the cocktails were something else. the Brazilian restaurant was a meat feast! All very high standards and the bam bam drink was hilarious. I would go back tomorrow now I know how it all works!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sharon D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
subdirectorbpaku, Guest Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, June 10, 2012
Dear Sharon D:
First of all thank you very much for staying in the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal Resort and taking the time to post your positive impressions. It is for guests like you that our resort remains one of the most appreciated hotels in the Riviera Maya.
We have already sent your nice words and thanks to the departments involved also to review your comment related to the reception staff .
In the name of the whole Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya resort, we want to thank you again for your valuable comments.

Sincerly yours

Guest Service Staff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesquite, Nevada
Level Contributor
52 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2012

We returned from a 12 night stay at the GBP Akumal May 20th. There were 2 of us couples. For the most part we really enjoyed our stay there! We have been to the Playa Del Carmen Area a few times, stayed at the Iberostar Tucan & Quetzal (a few times), Gran Porto Real & Viva Windham Azteca. We decided to get away from PDC this time. This resort is out a bit but not too far if you want to visit PDC or Tulum. Reviews are personal and different people are looking for different amenities and have different taste. So I will just lay out our experiences!

We arrived and checked in very fast... The front desk people were helpful, fast and always friendly when needed during our stay. The grounds are well kept and beautiful. Critters running around all day. The trolleys run all over and will typically take you where you ask, even right to your door! The only problem with a couple of the trolleys appears to be maintenance, and exhaust fumes.... a couple were pretty bad. If you sit in the 1st seat behind the driver the fumes aren't so bad. A couple drivers were real characters and very friendly! The room was very nice... air conditioned, refrigerator (wasn't working when we arrived.. 1 call to the desk and by the time we returned from the pool it was working) free safe (somehow! usually runs $5 per day, we were upgraded to premier for some reason). The fridge was stocked most days with water, bag of chips, and a candy bar (beer and pop). Always had towel art… so I left her some of my towel art! All the outlets are pretty loose so you might have to bend your plugs a bit to get them to make contact. Nice location, we were in building 61 on the 2nd floor. A short walk to a pool, lobby and beach. This resort is big..! But you do have total access to the pools, restaurants & buffets at the Coba and Tulum. We spent a good time in the pool with the bar. Typically a nice place to hang out, but the bartender didn't seem to be having a good week. Also spent some time in the pool where aerobics are done and where water polo is played. We aren't into loud music so we typically avoided that pool. Most of the day... loud techno music. The day before we left, we went over to the Tulum pool. Very fun crowd. Bartender there was GREAT! The beach is nice if you don't mind not having rolling waves. A couple times we went out to the "whales" (large sand bags placed to prevent beach erosion) and sat on them with drinks. We did miss the waves. Food: buffets are ok... you should be able to find something out of the large selection. If you are a fan of tortillas like me, you will need to ask for them from one of the cooks. Just tell them how many and what kind. Ala Cartes are very good!!! We were able to make 4 reservations for our 12 night stay. Make reservations prior to arriving by contacting the resort. You may have trouble getting what you want after arriving due to the popularity of the particular restaurant. We ate @ the La Gourmet, Mikado, Tortuga, and Tequila. All were really good but the favorite for my wife was LA Gourmet... I really liked the salmon at the Tequila. Plenty of good food at all. Great service and very friendly staff. We took a day trip into Tulum via Collectivo caught right outside of the Hacienda. I really liked the atmosphere in Tulum (old Mexico feel), but the other 3 weren't too excited about it. If you do go to Tulum stop in at the Panna e Cioccolato ice cream parlor! It's great... We also took the Collectivo to the beach at Tulum. Beautiful beach. You might want to try the Segways… our guy took us all over then to the Coba grounds over the freeway. Very fun! All in all it is a very nice place… a bit big but they do a pretty good job of accommodating everyone and moving everyone around. Feel free to ask any questions! I will try to help… We love this area of Mexico and find it difficult to get this atmosphere, value, service and fun anywhere else within 1 travel day of Seattle.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Frogwashme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
subdirectorbpaku, Guest Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, June 8, 2012
Dear Mr/Mrs:
First of all thank you for trusting the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal Resort and choosing us to enjoy your holidays. We really appreciate that you are taking the time to send us some valuable comments about your stay with us,.
The comments and suggestions we receive from our guests are very important to maintain the quality and service in the Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya Resort. It is for guests like you who send us some nice, inspiring words after their holiday, that our personal finds every day the motivation and energy to keep on the good work.

We are very happy that you appreciated the service and personal attention of our employees and we hope we can repeat this wonderful experience in the near future.

Yours
Public Relations Staff
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 Akumal Don Pablo Collection

Property: Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection
Address: Carretera Chetumal - Cancun Km 250, Akumal 77760, Mexico
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 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#4 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#5 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#5 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#5 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection 4.5*
Number of rooms: 630
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 2 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 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 630 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 (additional charges apply). 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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