The good, the “OK” and the “annoying”… there will be no “bad” or “ugly”
The resort is huge and absolutely beautiful. It’s impeccably kept and well planned. Rooms (we stayed in Akumal, but I don’t think they differ much) were spacious and nicely setup. Buildings were not very luxurious, but cozy and convenient. Keep in mind that Coba (the upscale part of the resort) and some other parts of the resort maybe somewhat far from the ocean.
No complaints about food – buffets as good as they get in Mexican all-inclusive resorts with Coba buffet offering better selection. Specialty restaurants were just like everywhere else there – mediocre (for the pretense) food with decent enough presentation. Half of the menu is usually form the buffet and “signature” dishes, while good tasting, nothing to write home about. We always go there just to get a change of pace and get a break from the buffet. We intentionally skipped the ones requiring the “dress code” as we didn’t feel like wearing long pants there.
Kids programs are great and facilities are awesome. Not only they have a deflinarium on property (granted, way overpriced) but they also built a full aqua park and their kids clubs and nightly kids shows are very high class. Staff working with kids are probably the hardest working employees and they really do try. I would highly recommend this resort to those traveling with children of all ages. Keep in mind, though, that there are no elevators in the buildings so if you need to drag the strollers into the rooms, you might want to ask for lower floors – we were on the third (top) floor.
Beach is impeccable and vary as you move through it. Some areas are very rocky but picturesque… others would give you white sand and some waves… in some places they built somewhat ugly but working perfectly wave breakers so even the smallest kids can easily get in without any problems.
Pools were, quite literally, everywhere. We’ve lost count at one point. Once again, for kids’ sake, all the pools were built with very large shallow areas and going deep after that.
Keep in mind the location – it’s further from the busy Cancun, but that means longer transfer. I’d highly recommend direct transport as it takes hour and a half with not stops to get from the airport to the resort. If you get a shared transfer, chances are you’ll spend 3+ hours on the road.
The whole resort is covered by very developed shuttle routes and you never wait for one for more than 5-7 min. Usually, they are there within couple of minutes.
They don’t believe too much in AC, unfortunately. We were there in late April and even then we were noticing that most of the common areas are not air conditioned. Rooms don’t go below 21C and even then not very efficient. However, lobby, most of the restaurants, bars etc do not have ACs. They got ceiling fans everywhere, but they are not very adequate. I think Summer would be somewhat unbearable there unfortunately.
Staff (even front desk and barmen) barely speak English. While it’s not really a problem, that’s somewhat unusual. Frontdesk is absolutely useless as they don’t have any answers to anything and keep referring you to other departments (travel agencies, Public Relations, etc). They often can’t figure out their own night entertainment schedule. Night staff is significantly more knowledgeable and helpful, so we tried to deal with them instead.
Some front desk staff is bordering rude and we had to set them straight when they tried to pin the fact that the rooms were not cleaned before 1pm on us. After talking to the managers, they were more “understanding”.
I hate when a high level hotel tries to “nickel and dime” you here and there. It shows no class and leaves a bad taste. For example, they charge for safe locks. Naturally, they don’t take any responsibility for anything not put in the safe, but to get the lock you have to pay 50 pesos a day. It’s not much and it was twenty some dollars for us for the week, but this is something that should be included in price.
They setup a scale in the lobby to let you weigh the luggage, but they charged a dollar for it. Why not offer it as a courtesy service??? They are clearly not going to make any money on it, so why show such low class?
On the checkout, we tried to get extension for two rooms we were occupying. Our shuttle was picking us up at 1:20pm and we wanted to get the extension till 1:30pm to make it easier for us. They first told us that they’d be charging both rooms for late checkout. Then they agreed to allow one room to check out at 2pm for free and the second would have to check out at regular time. This didn’t make any sense to me as we were not asking for later than 1:30 to begin with. Then, they offered late checkout for two rooms, but only by 1pm. While it worked for us, this flee market style of haggling with offers being around what we asked on both sides but never at the point was annoying.
They tried to sell their “private club” membership on every corner with agents being more annoying and persistent than those that try to stop you at the airport to sell you timeshare. And they get upset when you try to ignore them. I understand that they make money on it, but they have to make it more subtle.
Public relations staff worked like they learned how to move fast from snails. It would take forever to get anything done though them and they would often try to pretend they don’t notice your presence until they have to.
While the whole resort was covered with shuttles, the schedule and routs were very confusing. We gave up on trying to understand then at one point and instead started yelling out where we need to go when we’d get outside and somebody would point us to the right shuttle.
Bars close at 11 and the selection in 24 hour snack shacks is usually subpar with very slow and unreliable service. Same goes for the bars in these shacks – we were usually betting on what they won’t have on any particular night. Nevertheless, you could get some food and drinks at any time.
The barmen on the beach would leave through the day at any time to get more cups and other supplies without any sort of notice and could be gone for significant amount of time. Yes, they need the supplies, but a notice of some sort would be nice. Service in the buffets could be very lengthy – it may take up to 20 min or so to get coffee or juice for the kids.
In general, the resort seems to be understaffed and it shows, unfortunately.
This being said, I’d still highly recommend it, especially during Fall or Spring times when AC everywhere is not such a huge issue. My “annoying” list seems to be long, but don’t let that stop you. There is no “bad” or “ugly”, which doesn’t happen too often lately.
- 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