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“"Privilege Club" scam ruins the experience”

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Grand Bahia Principe Tulum
Ranked #11 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver
Level 6 Contributor
92 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
“"Privilege Club" scam ruins the experience”
Reviewed March 27, 2011

Hotel itself is great; nice beach, great food, great service, and our room had no issues whatsoever. We have stayed with Gran Bahia Principe before (in Jamaica) and the fact that we are repeat customers says it all.

However, Gran Bahia Principe is aggressively promoting something called the Privilege Club. And I mean AGGRESSIVELY, with staff in the hotel lobby, flyers in the rooms and on the pillows at night, and logos on all the maps and handouts. They offer the impression that the Privilege Club is somehow a part of the hotel chain, but it is not. It is simply a third-party run "club" promising extra benefits to people who pay up front and return to hotels associated with the club. All the cheesey hustle associated with time-share sales (promises of "free gifts" that suddenly disappear when you don't sign up, hard-core closers to seal the deals, warnings that "there's just a few memberships left at this price", etc.), but without even the security of the limited property ownership of a time-share.

I wouldn't say that being sucked in to this marketing scam ruined our vacation; we bailed out as soon as we realized that it was a third-party deal not associated with the Bahia Principe chain. But we were left wondering why a large (and otherwise extremely attractive) hotel chain would associate their name with these scammers, let alone turn the blood-suckers loose in the lobby in uniform shirts with the hotel name on them.

Don't waste your time on the "Privilege Club".

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
82 Thank viaducttravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nickivanden, Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, responded to this review, March 31, 2011
Dear Sir, Madame

First of all thank you for your comments about your stay in our Hotel. The comments and suggestions we receive from our guests are very important to improve the quality and service in the Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya Resort.

We want to assure you that we take your comments very serious and will certainly do our best to make the situation regarding the issue mentionned better as the attention to the clients as one of the factors for which our resort is appreciated by lots of repetitive guests during the years.

We appreciate your writing and hope to receive you once again in our resort as a second chance to serve you.

Sending you my kindest regards

Nicki Van den Auwelant
Sub Director Gran Bahía Príncipe Tulum
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2011

I am 19 went with my sister (25) Grandma (66) and mom (45)
The good:
-It was beautiful scenery from the lobby to the walk to your room... just amazing
-There were iguanas there all the time which was cool
-The rooms are very clean a bit out-dated, but really who is ever in the room
-There is so much to do for night time activities, they have a disco there that is pretty equivalent to a U.S. club//rave.... rave because they play a lot of house music.. a down side is the disco doesnt open till mid-night
-I thought the food was excellent a ton to choose from at the buffet we also went to the japanese restaurant which was good they have good sushi for an appetizer. We also went to the steakhouse which I also thought was wonderful.
-At the hasenda (shopping in spanish) there are so many great stores and only like a 5 minute walk from the hotel... they also have live music and dancers every night at 11pm
-the shows were good but could have been better... but im not complaining because i could never do any of it.

The bad
-The hotel is a hour and half drive from the cancun airport
-The beach directly outside of tulum is very rocky(but if you go to akumal the beach outside there is a little rocky but very still water and very blue and you can snorkel because there is always fish around
-Everything is really spaced out so take your tennishoes if you are gonna walk or just wait 5-10 min outside tulum for a tran ride
-if you want to jet-ski or something like that is a hour away
-xel ha is fun and only 10-15 minutes away
-the only internet connection are in the lobbys

Thats about all I can think of...... so if you have a question just askkk!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank mmehd02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nickivanden, Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, responded to this review, March 31, 2011
Dear Sir, Madame

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

The comments we receive from our guests are very important to maintain and/ or improve the quality and service in the Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya Resort.

We thank you for the good publicity to family, friends and other future travelers and hope to see you back soon in the GBP México. Please inform us prior to arrival to accommodate your requests.

Kind regards

Nicki Van den Auwelant
Sub Director Gran Bahía Príncipe Tulum
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2011

We visited for 11 days in March. It was a very busy time - primarily Canadians and Europeans at the resort. Service was uniformly excellent - the staff have great senses of humour. We did tip for good service and it was appreciated. The rooms were great, beds fine, very quiet. The buffet had great selection - we will miss the croissants. A la cartes were very good, Arlequin in particular. The staff took particular care dealing with my daughter with life threatening food allergies.
The pool was busy and if you wanted to be in the main section you had to get up early - but there were always chairs on the beach.
The beach is rocky and it is typically wavy - not appropriate for young kids - but great for teenagers - we all had a great time in the waves and the sand whales. We spent 5 days doing trips off the resort and that worked well (self planned not through the hotel or a tour operator).
I would encourage the animation staff to include activities for the pre-teens, (10 to 14), there were many who were too old to be in the kids program but were often excluded from the activities. As well, the Coba site had a great dance party on Sunday nights that should be replicated at the other sites - it was great fun.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank drfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nickivanden, Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, responded to this review, March 26, 2011
Dear Sir, Madame

First of all thank you very much for staying in the Gran Bahia Principe Tulum 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 and in the name of the whole Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya resort, we want to thank you again for your valuable comments and for convincing other future travelers to visit our resort.

We want to invite you to visit us again soon, please write us a little message before your next visit and we will do all our best to accommodate your wishes.

Kind regards

Nicki Van den Auwelant
Sub Director Gran Bahía Príncipe Tulum
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seixal, Portugal
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 22, 2011

It was my second stay at Bahia Complex, so I know what to expect, bad alcool at beach bars, so so rooms (clean- room staff is 5*- but with evident signs of usage-and bad maitenance) good food (as long as you use the several restaurants in the complex to get some variety,
But this was clearly my last time because I used the ATM at Hacienda, and my credit card was cloned, I'm pretty sured of was I'm saying mainly to: I keep a record of every account movement, and a couple that we meet at Mexico also get their card cloned.

So beaware you have been warned, the money with you NEVER use the ATM's in the HOTEL.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Truncatos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2011

Just got back from a great week with 2 teens at the Tulum resort. It was a pleasure to be there, the kids could participate in activities, or not. I felt that they were safe exploring on their own, whether to check wifi in the lobby or go get snacks or drinks. The staff were all courteous and the grounds immaculate.
Yes, sometimes food that sat in the buffets toasted the end of the serving time was cool, but if thats a concern get there at the beginning of the meal times. There was plenty of variety to serve all of our taste buds and if you didn't want to sit in a restaurant the snak bar had plenty of options.
We did outings to akumal, Playa de Carmen, and the ruins and xelha. My least favorite was playa de Carmen because we just went to 5 th Ave. Which was all stores and vendors. We took a taxi to all the places so we could get there quickly.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kootenays64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nickivanden, Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, responded to this review, March 24, 2011
Dear Sir/ Madame

First of all thank you very much for staying in the Gran Bahia Principe Tulum Resort and taking the time to write your positive impressions and your suggestions, to improve the service we are offering.

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 would be an honor to welcome you once again to our resort. Please write us a mail before your next visit and we will do our best to accommodate your wishes.

Kind regards

Nicki Van den Auwelant
Sub Director Gran Bahía Príncipe Tulum
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2011

This has so far been the nicest resort I've been to in the Mayan. Buffet is great and food is plenty hot trust me! Every night I ate fish cooked various ways, all types of chicken, salads ( spinach, romaine, mix) every oil and vinegar on earth! Pizza a plenty, great mexican as well. Service is great, we needed a high chair and at times it too a while but only at breakfast and lunch. Trust me the food is wonderful! Don Pablo surf and turf was excellent. Beer is dos exise and good. Only issue here is they only put 2 in the room a day and this is my ONLY turn off!!! If I want 5 put 5 in the fridge. Rooms are very nice, we have 2 kids and a play pen was set up with a single and king bed as well! Pools are great and the lobby is fabulous, nicest I've ever seen! The main bar near the lobby was great for late afternoon drinks and never crowded. Service is great! Folks this is a 4.5 to 5 star and as of now we are going back next year! Oh the 24 hour snack bar is great too for drinks and roasted chicken and fries at night and small buffet for lunch. Coffee here is wonderful as well. March 11-18 sunshine everyday!

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Cambridgedemps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nickivanden, Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, responded to this review, March 23, 2011
Dear Sir, Madame

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

The comments we receive from our guests are very important to maintain and/ or improve the quality and service in the Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya Resort.

We thank you for the good publicity to family, friends and other future travelers and hope to see you back soon in the GBP México. Please inform us prior to arrival to accommodate your requests.

Kind regards

Nicki Van den Auwelant
Sub Director Gran Bahía Príncipe Tulum
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, Ontario
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2011

We have been to the Bahia 5 times with family ( my wife and 2 teenage daughters and twice with my wife's parents ). We have had a fantastic vacation every time with no complaints. The grounds are always immaculate and we love the alecarte restaurants as well as the buffets. Breakfast is one of my favorite meals and at the buffet, omeletes are made to order, you will not go hungry here that is for sure. The beach is long, sandy and beautiful. There are some rocky area's but that was never a problem for us. The pools are great as well. There are several pools that you can go to, generally we hang out at the south pool as it has a great view of the Carribbean Sea. Relaxing on the beach and swimming in the Caribbean Sea is where we spend the first part of the day and then we head to the pool for the rest of the afternoon, what a great way to spend your day.

We have been to other resorts in the area but this is our favorite so much so we are coming back to the Bahia Pricipe Tulum this year again in fact we will be there within the next 2 weeks.

Our excursions have been to the Tulum Ruins several times, the beach is great there. We have been to Xel-ha twice and swam with the dolphins we have some great pics of the dolphins jumping overtop of our daughters while in the water. Last April we also did the Coba Mayan Encounter what a great day that was. The trip consisted of being picked up out front of the Tulum lobby, we were then driven to the Coba ruins where we had guided tour ot the site, we climbed the pyramid and the view was awesome when you get to the top, from there we went zip lining, repelled down into a cenote, experienced a mayan ceremony and had lunch in a Mayan village. This trip was fantastic and we have very fond memories.. Akumal beach is also great to visit, we swam with turtles there wow! What a fantastic adventure.. Playa Del Carmin is great for shopping and just walking around checking out the sites.

We would highly recommend this resort and are looking forward to our next visit this month.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank luvmayanriv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nickivanden, Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, responded to this review, March 22, 2011
Dear Sir, Madame

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

The comments we receive from our guests are very important to maintain and/ or improve the quality and service in the Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya Resort.

We thank you for the good publicity to family, friends and other future travelers and hope to see you back soon in the GBP México. Please inform us prior to arrival to accommodate your requests.

Kind regards

Nicki Van den Auwelant
Sub Director Gran Bahía Príncipe Tulum
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 Grand Bahia Principe Tulum

Property: Grand Bahia Principe Tulum
Address: Carretera Chetumal Benito Juarez, km 250 | Local B, 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in Akumal
#7 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#9 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Tulum 3.5*
Number of rooms: 978
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 3 pools (including 2 with Jacuzzi for relaxation) 1 Jacuzzi Large sun terrace with loungers and sun umbrellas BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 5 tennis courts, bicycles Motorised sports (additional charge) Water activity and scuba diving centre Entertainment amphitheatres WiFi access in the lobby (24h per day free of charge) and in rooms additional charge) 1 buffet restaurant 3 a la carte restaurants 6 Bars Snack-Bar Wedding gazebo Dolphinarium (additional charge) Riviera Maya Golf Club: 18 long holes and 9 executive holes with lakes, natural wells and Mayan forest Hacienda Dona Isabel: karaoke bars, shows, live music and disco. Rooms 978 rooms including 4 types: Superior, Superior Junior Suite, Superior Club Hacienda and Club Hacienda Junior Suite. The Junior Suites are larger than the Superior rooms. Room facilities: King size bed (Superior Junior Suites) or 2 full size beds Sitting area (Superior Junior Suites) Fully-equipped bathroom: shower, wash basin, magnifying mirror and hair dryer Hydromassage bath tub (Superior Junior Suites) Bathroom amenities Balcony or terrace Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Radio alarm clock Flat screen satellite TV Mini-bar (included) Coffee-making facilities Safe (additional charge) Ironing set WiFi (additional charge) Club Hacienda rooms (See page 18, Club Golden, Club Hacienda) Children Bahia Scouts Children can enjoy a range of specially-tailored facilities: Children's pool Mini Club with activities for children aged 4 to 12 Evening Mini Disco Bahia Scouts Water Park Other services On-site miniature railway providing access to all facilities 24 hour medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Personalised diet option for celiacs and diabetics Cash point Specialised service for organising weddings, events and anniversaries Casino ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bahia Principe Tulum
Tulum Bahia Principe
Gran Bahia Tulum
Gran Bahia Principe Tulum Akumal
Gran Bahia Principe Hotel
Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya
Gran Principe Tulum
Gran Bahia Principe Mayan Riviera Resort
Gran Bahia Principe Mexico
Grand Bahia Principe Tulum Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico

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