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Reviews (13,750)
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Reviewed June 20, 2006

Hi, my name is Telmo Fonseca, from Portugal, and i have just got back from a wonderfull 15 days vacation at the Bahia Principe Tulum, wich is a perfect place. I went with all my family (Wife, parents, grandmother, cousin and brother, with his wife and his son!), and they all loved it 100%. Everything positive i have read here about this hotel is true, and there is more to it!

The hotel crew are extremelly kind, the organization is perfect, the place is beautifull, the food is tasty and varied, the transportacion works quite well, and the rooms are huge! The only point that didnt got a perfect 10 is the beach... its beautifull, but very very rocky, with exception from the beach in from of the Akumal loby (the hotel next door!).

I am going to speak mainly from the Hotel Dive Center, because i have not seen much about it here at this site. It's afordable (even cheaper than some dive centers at Playa del Carmen), with good organization and a lot of different choices. You are able to dive in the reef in front of the hotel for 35 USD, or even cheaper if you buy a package (for 6 dives, you will get one for free!). There is also the choice to do a 2 tank dive in cozumel (full day trip) for 120 USD, or the magical Cenote diving (80 or 90 USD, depending on the location). You can also do some snorkel trips, to see some turtles (40 USD), or swin with wale sharks at holbox island (only in the months of June, July and August. Everything in the confort of your own hotel, in a 5 star PADI dive center, with showers, WC, equipment at adicional cost, locker rooms for the whole stay, and with your bill at the check out... Wonderful!!!!

I brought my own equipment (except bottle and weigth), and tried to do a bit of everything: 2 reef dives, 2 cenote dives and 2 cozumel dives. Cost: about 260 USD, including transportacion to the places (Mini-van, ferry and dive boats).

The reef is rigth in front of the hotel, with 5 minute boat trips from the hotel beach and its OK. Visibilities from 20 to 40 meters, water temperatures of 29 C, some fishes, some reefs...

The cenotes are magical. The best dives of my life (...and i already have 89 dives, from Portugal, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Maldives and Ibiza). The water temperature is about 26 C, and the visibility is TOTAL!!!! You dont even feel that you are inside the water. It is wonderfull!!!!!

Cozumel may be the best dive site in the whole world... for me it is!!!

I have just loved it!!! Thank you for your atencion, for any question e-mail me at fonseca_telmo@yahoo.com, and i will e-mail back to you!

Best regards (and forgive me for my spelling!!!),

Telmo Fonseca

  • Stayed: June 2006
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38  Thank TelmoFonseca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
london
125
Reviewed June 19, 2006

Great hotel!! Enjoyed every minute ! Food Excellent, great choice!
Plenty to do, relax by the pool, enjoy the snorkelling right from the beach, watch for the sea turtle snorkelled around with them amazing experience definately a must do!!

we travelled with first choice, Do NOT do their EXCURSIONS !!! 2 times they never picked us up for the tours. Cheaper to go to xelha by cab only 10 usd each way and on the door only 30 usd! compared to the stupid price the rep charged!!
Tulum ruins FREE on a sunday, local transport 2 dollars anywhere you go, great fun and do NOT listen when reps put you off it, its great fun and a real mexican experience!!!
Cheaper to go to the bars yourself not on their bar crawl, i think the reps just use it to get drunk themselves!!

We did enjoy chichen izta but drive or hire a van or taxi you get to see a lot more!!!

  • Stayed: June 2006
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25  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2006

My boyfriend and I stayed at gran bahia principe (akumal) between the 28th may and 12th of June!
We we both very nervous after reading the reveiws but we couldn't complain about a thing. The service was excellant and the staff we really friendly and seemed really interested in us when we said we were from th U.K.
Checking in was a breeze and the porters were happy to help in anyway they could. Yes the beds were hard but no sleep was lost and the free mini bar was and added extra.
Yes the beach was rocky from the coral but still a beautiful sight.
The food was first class and we made friend with one of the waiters who kept topping us up with fresh water and refills of whatever beverage we had.
The grounds of the hotel were kept to clean and there was always a sunlounger for us.
The hotel looks in in size but never feels to busy. The only disapointment we had was the hotel was too americanised. Not there is anything wrong with that it's just we would of preferd it to be a little more mexican.
The trip to XelHa was amazing and cost us about $60 per person. We also attended a trip to the Mayan Ruins in Coba which was so informative as we visisted the Mayan families and got to buy some really pretty jewellery which is made by had.
Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and can't to go back!

  • Stayed: May 2006
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18  Thank vicky24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2006

We just got back from the Gran Bahia Principe Tulum a day ago, and I could not wait to get on-line to tell how great this place was! This was our 3rd time to the Riviera Maya area, and this was by far the nicest place we have ever stayed! Was it perfect, well of course not. Good luck if you are looking for a place that is. We had to wait for drinks, the food at the buffet was pretty much the same every day, it was a big place. WHO CARES! THe resort was very nice and we couldn't have been happier.
The little things...... We had e-mailed ahead of time to request an ocean view room and to tell them it was for our 5th wedding anniversary. I did not know if they did anything special, so I thought I would give it a try. We arrived to find a fruit basket and a bottle of tequila in our room. They had slippers for us and towel art. The view of the ocean was great! Every night they left a dessert in our room when we came back from dinner. All little things that made us feel special.
Checking in- We were there early in the day, so we know knew we could not get into our room yet. They greeted us at the bus and marked our lugggage with our room number so they could take it to our room when it was time. Make sure to pack your swim suit and suntan lotion in your carry on so you can start your vacation. Check in was quick and easy. They brought us champagne and orange juice and everyone was very friendly. The man who waited on us explained everything to us and even took the time to show us everything on the map.
Room- We stayed in Villa 3 and I thought that it was the perfect location. It was pretty much in the center of the resort, so it was a good walking distance to everything. We stayed on the top floor, so although it meant 3 flights of stairs, it also made for a great view and a quiet stay. The room was ALWAYS cleaned very thoroughly. The maid restocked our mini fridge daily. There was beer (Dos XX), Soda (Coke, Coke Light, Spright), juice boxes, bottled water and carbonated water. Plus 2 candy bars and a bag of chips. These were only restocked once. They had plenty of amenities in the bathroom including bug repellant wipes :)
Beach- It was rocky, that is true. It is because of the coral reef. We brought our water shoes, and it was fine. SO MAKE SURE TO TAKE WATER SHOES. There was a tropical storm in Carribean Sea while we were down there, so there was a lot of waves and the water was not very clear. I never complained though.
Pool area- There are 5 pools, so they were never crowded, which was nice. The pool area is also a no topless area, which is nice for someone who is not used to this. I knew it was a possibility, but was happy when it did not happen. They had the entertainment around the pool with the pool bar. That was alot of fun.
Food- We read in many reviews that you were only allowed 2 reservations for 5-7 days. However, we were never told this by the staff, so we made reservations at 3 specialty restaraunts, Don Pablo (gourment), Gran Tartuga (Grill), Tequilas (mexican). All were very good. We had steak at the Gran Tortuga, and although I am not a steak expert, I thought it was better then most of the steaks I have had in the US. The Don Pablo was very formal, and by far the nicest we ate at. We tried to get reservations at Dolce Vita (Italian), but they were completely booked up until the last day we were there at 10:00. So make reservations there first if you want to go there. The main buffet was great at all meals. They had something for everyone, they even had a kid section. I always found something I liked. Especially the chips, guacamole and salsa. If you can, sit in Ivan and Josue's section, they were great! The snack bar was pretty good. Not a lot of variety, which is to be expected for a snack bar.
Overall I just loved being there. Everyone was very friendly. Most people spoke english. I would not hesitate to go back there. No bug spraying issue, no rude workers, no getting sick from the food. I will say this. Take something for your stomach. You are going on vacation and eating food and drinking (alcohol) thet you probably don't normally and more quantities than you are used to. You are going to more than likely have a little of an upset stomach, thet is what happens. SO unless you plan to go there and eat and drink exactly the way you gdo at home, you are at risk of have an upset stomach at some point in the trip. Just the fun of all inclusive! We had a small issue and maintanance took care of it immediately.
We tipped $1 at every meal and left the maid $5 at the end of the week. They work very hard and deserve the tips. So make sure you bring plenty of $1's.
Go there, have fun, and look past the fact that this place is not perfect. I don't know about you, but I have never been anywhere that was perfect. So relax and enjoy it!

  • Stayed: June 2006
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34  Thank pebbles_1998
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Washington, DC
121
Reviewed June 13, 2006

We've never been to an all-inclusive resort before, preferring the smaller boutiqe hotels, but considering we brought down 40+ with us for our wedding it was the only way to go. We couldn't have been happier to pick BPT. The price was right for starters. It's one of the best deals I've come across. I'm not sure how they make money as I feel I personally ate and drank more than my daily charge.

The grounds are immaculate. The rooms are decent, but really you don't spend all that much time in them anyway. The open-air restaurants, buffets, snack pars, lobbys, bars...all great. Pools everywhere..wonderful blue water...some rocks and coral in the ocean.

The only complaint is that you have a set limit to how many nights you can eat at the the a la carte restaurants based on the number of nights you stay. That made planning dinners besides our wedding dinner difficult since our guests stayed different nights. But, thankfully, the Yucatan buffet was great.

The wedding was amazing. Easy to plan and so beautiful thanks to Jazmin, our coordinator. I recommend renting La Rancherita disco if you have enough people. Great times all around! They crank the weddings out here. We had ours an hour after another (in fact, she posted her great review on the 6th...and we all played some volleyball together earlier in the week). But despite all the weddings, it still feels very personal and your own. Amazing really.

One note: bring a print out of your reservation. Don't count on the computer systesms.

This place is great for groups! We'd love to come back.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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21  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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