We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Just the facts about our week at the Gran Bahia Principe Tulum”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
Grand Bahia Principe Tulum
Ranked #10 of 22 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 17, 2010

My wife and I stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Tulum on Feb. 9 – 16, 2010. This was our 6th Apple all-inclusive vacation and our third trip to the Rivera Maya region. We fly out of St. Louis and like to travel non-stop. That limits our destinations to Cancun, Jamaica, Punta Cana, and Puerto Vallarta. We decided on Cancun, and had a rough idea on travel dates. Then I monitored the Apple web site for the best deal.

We were about to book a trip at a six Apple Secrets resort for $1,050 pp, when the five Apple Gran Bahia Tulum resort appeared for $800 pp. The differences were; Bahia was farther from the airport, five star instead of a six, the Secrets resort was smaller and adults only. In the end we decided to save the $. The next morning I logged on and the price had changed to $850. We booked the trip. I compared prices with other guests. Most people paid more for a shorter stay. We left on a Tuesday and I suspect that contributed to getting such a good deal.

We left St. Louis at 7:00 am (USA 3000) and arrived on schedule at 10:00 am. Some people on the flight had opted for a $20 premium package that gave them express check in and a $7 meal package. We bought breakfast sandwiches in the airport, and had a better meal.

We arrived at the resort at 1:00 pm. Our bus made numerous stops dropping off people at closer locations. It took the same amount of time to fly from St. Louis to Cancun as it did to drive from the airport to the resort!

The resort landscaping and grounds are immaculate. We were notified at check in that our room was not ready. Check in time is 3:00. We went to the restaurant (still wearing our winter clothes) and had lunch. Within about an hour our room was ready. We stayed third floor of building 24. The Apple guests are supposed to get rooms that are closest to the beach. We were two buildings back from the beach and our view was over the grounds.

There are three resorts (Tulum, Akumel, and Coba) located on the same property. Privileges are shared among the resorts. We ate at both Akumel and Coba. The resort is huge and we did plenty of walking. The resorts have trams that run every couple of minutes and on occasion we did take advantage of the free rides. Coba is between Tulum and Akumel and sits back a considerable distance from the beach. Tulum is the oldest of the resorts.

Our room was a little dated. The TV was old and the picture not very clear. The bathroom ceiling had a little mold, and the soap dish was rusted. The room had complimentary robes and slippers, stocked mini fridge, and a safe.

The beach area was long. The north area was the Tulum beach. The shore there had some slope and rocky areas. By far the best area was the south Akumel beach. The area was flat, no rocks, and the swimming/snorkeling area was better protected and consequently the water was much calmer. Sometimes you had to hunt a little but there were always chairs available.

We didn’t use the pools but the water and area looked pristine. We did try to use one of the Jacuzzis only to discover that they are not heated. It was cool and a hot tub would have been nice.

We ate three a la carte dinners and Apple had a special BBQ dinner for their guests. The food was very good, but I love seafood, and had hoped for some peel and eat shrimp, crab legs, thin sliced smoked salmon, and lobster. Shrimp was available in some of the dishes. Last year we stayed at the Barcelo Maya and the buffet had smoked salmon every morning. Lobster was available at one of the a la carte restaurants, and the buffet had, at least once, peal and eat shrimp and crab legs.

The drinks were plenty strong, and the staff was always very accommodating. We went to a coupled of shows and listen to several of the musical groups. It was some of the best entertainment that we have seen at an all-inclusive resort.

I only did three dives at the resort. The weather was overcast and the sea on occasion was rough. I did see a lionfish. They are poisonous and are not native to the area. A year or so ago they started showing up around the keys, Mexico, and Caribbean. The dive master carefully tried to capture it, but it escaped. Be aware.

When you visit an all-inclusive there is always information about buying additional tours. We have done a couple of these but in my humble opinion they are not worth the $. One such trip that is offered is a snorkeling trip to the town of Akumel. The public beach (Akumel beach), not to be confused with the Akumel beach at the hotel, is protected and has abundant sea turtles. The tour package is $50 pp. We walked to the front of the resort and caught public transportation, a mini van. The cost was $2 pp. They dropped us off and we walked a couple of blocks to the beach. Coming home we walked the beach maybe an hour and a half back to our resort. There are a couple of rocky areas but it can be done. While snorkeling we saw sea turtles, stingrays, and lots of colorful fish. One other little tip, we always take our own masks and snorkels on these trips. I also take my own regulator for scuba diving.

We also took the public transportation ($3 pp) for a one-day trip to Playa del Carmen. Playa is a tourist trap with a thousand t-shirt shops. From Playa you can catch a ferry to Cozumel. Some years ago we did take a trip to the Mayan ruins of Tulum. I would recommend this trip. Again use public transportation, and you have to pay to enter the ruins. Then someone will try to sell you a tram ride to the ruins. It’s maybe a 10-minute walk. I think I’d save the $.

Another observation we made was there were not very many Americans at the resort. An Apple rep told me the resort was full, and four years ago they Americans made up about 55% of the population. Today it’s about 15%. Canadians now make up about 60% of their clients.

Bottom line, we liked the resort. I thought it was a very good value for the $. We probably will not return simply because I’d like to find someplace closer to the airport that satisfies my seafood craving.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank ploethen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (12,791)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

7,051 - 7,057 of 12,791 reviews

Reviewed February 17, 2010

My boyfriend and I stayed at the Bahia Principe Tulum in February. I am a travel agent who has travelled a lot and my boyfriend had never travelled before. This place was AWESOME!
We arrived at the hotel around 1 am so we had no troubles with check in. Snack bar was open so after checking out our room, we went for a bite to eat and a drink.
We spent most of our time at the pool as we were there for rest and relaxing. We never had a problem getting loungers and there are lots of Palapas (shade things) around the pool and beach. At the Tulum side, there are 3 pools all connected; lower pool is where the activities happen. Swim up bar was very nice to have and made the BEST Pina Coladas.
We went over to Akumal one day to go Snorkelling as they have calmer water and a nice sectioned off area with LOTS of fish to see. My boyfriend liked the fact that they had Sol (beer) on tap there.

Food was AWESOME! Buffett was great and we did do 4 a la cartes. We did Seafood (its was ok) Mexican (SOOOOOO GOOD) Japanese (GOOD) and Don Pablo (fine dining, very nice). There was always something to eat at the Buffett and we never found it repetative. Dining room was very large and we were always being offered water and drinks and the staff was great about cleaning up tables.

Shuttles between resorts and through the resort were really easy to catch and always seemed to be around when you needed them.
Staff was EXTREMELY friendly and helpful.
We did an excursion to EXPLOR which is an adventure Eco Park with Ziplining, Cave Swimming, Cave Rafting and Amphibious vehicles. The Ziplining was great but to get to the next Zip point, you have to walk up a spiral staircase, which made me sick after 6 zips. The rest was great though and my boyfriend enjoyed the rest of the Zip Lining.
All in All this is an amazing place and I cant wait to go back!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Nicole T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2010

The Hotel Was Just Amazing, i Went With My Friend And Her Mum and Dad.
Although It Was a Family Holiday Thing , Me+My Friend Were Off Together Most Of The Time.
We Spent Most Of Our Time By The Pool, And With The Entertainment Crew' Who We Made a Great Friendship With :)
I'd Like To Say a Special Thanks To Adrian,Juan,Archie,LightStar,Lester,Rafael + Ricardo *Richi Rich* :) You Lot Were Fantastic + Made The Holiday Worth It :)
Juan Especially, You Weere Like A Dad/BestFriend To Us :)

The Food Was Fantastic, Really Was Great.
+ The Staff Were a Massive Help, Thanks Alot.

Overall The Holiday Was My Best So Far, + i'd Like To Come Back Soon.
+ Still Keep In Touch With The Crew:)

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TwilightBabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2010

We and our friends just returned from our 3rd stay at Bahia Principe Tulum and we can't say enough nice things about the people who work there and the wonderful treatment we received. The Management staff: Nicki, Melchor, Hector and Martin go out of their way to make you feel welcome and to assure your every need to taken care of.
We booked our trip with Apple Vacations and were treated to additional special dinners and amenities because Apple is such a strong supporter of this resort. The food offers international flair so that all nationalities are represented and can find food on the buffet that is pleasing to them. The beach front and pool areas are immaculately tended- the resort was 100% full during our stay, yet we never had a problem finding lounge chairs, nor did the lobbies feel crowded! We have been very satisfied with our stays at this resort.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Connie51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2010

Wow... where to start?

In selecting this resort, my wife and I were looking for a place that was 4 and a half to 5 stars and offered everything that we were looking for. After booking through a travel agent, she suggested we try the Bahia Principe Tulum.

Prior to the trip we did as many do and checked out the reviews here on TripAdvisor. Needless to say the "terrible" and "poor" reviews spooked us a little bit (or a lot), but we (hopefully) chalked it up to the theory that some people are never happy unless they are complaining and it couldn't possibly be that bad! After spending a week in Mexico, I'm convinced this theory is very accurate in consideration of these negative reviews and found in re-reading the reviews that if people would have done a little research before hand, they would have known what they were getting into or simply booked somewhere else.

That said, was the resort perfect? No. Was it the hell on earth many describe? Hardly.

In the following review hopefully I will point out some of the positives about our trip, suggest things to watch out for, and dispell some of the overly dramatic negative reviews that you may have found on here.

THE RESORT

First things first. If you've read any reviews about the location of the resort you should know that it's not close to the airport, which means automatically if you don't want to sit in a van for an hour and fifteen minutes on the way there or the way home then don't book your stay here. The shuttle took a little over an hour, and although we were lucky enough to have a private van, the trip went by fast and the anticipation factor counteracted that.

Upon our arrival we were greeted by friendly staff who insisted that we not touch our bags! We realize that these staff members rely on tips, but they were very friendly about it... as though they were genuinely happy to help. We stayed at the Club Diamond portion of the resort (which we would recommend) and were booked in with no problems.

We had to pay a $5 a night charge for a lock for the safes in our room, which really isn't that big of a deal for peace of mind as it's much more trouble to have items stolen. It also says right in the room that the resort isn't responsible for lost or stolen items, so in reading that one couple had their cameras stolen from their room, i have to ask, why wouldn't you pay the $5 to have them locked up?

The rooms were decent. Marble/tile floor, bed was a king size (not two doubles pushed together) and was very clean. We were on the third floor (Villa 41) and had a decent view. The fridge was stocked with beer, water and juice and for a dollar a day tip left by the mini bar, we recieved a little extra.

Now for the downside regarding the rooms. Our first night, my wife awoke to use the bathroom and discovered what she described as a "swarm" of ants on the bathroom floor. She killed a whack of them and when I attended to the bathroom found a number still scurrying about on the floor. I looked for the source and saw a crack under the sink that wasn't grouted or sealed. I then attended to the front desk and they stated they would send soemone by with some spray. A short while later a staff member arrived and i sprayed the crack with a half a can! We then switched rooms the next day with little hassle. It was tough to nail down the manager early on, as staff aren't authourized to switch rooms, but we eventually had it taken care of.

Also regarding the resort, It's huge! There are three parts of it, (Tulum, Akumel and Coba) but they have shuttles going to each one and places in between,. One review commented on the lack of eco-friendly transportation, and while some are better than others and some do occassionally have a bit of diesel smell, it's still a convinient mode of transportation. And for the most part, necessary. So if you don't want to walk, or be on a huge property, again, stay elsewhere.

As for the "constant" sewage smell, there were a few times walking where you would get a whiff of unpleasentness, but it is by no means long lasting or enough to ruin your day or trip.

THE FOOD

Booking a la cartes at any resort is never easy, and often it's recommended you do it as soon as you check in. Here is no different. We were able to get the places we wanted but not the best times. Many times were were eating after 8 or 8:30 wihch may not be ideal for many.

That said we did Dolce Vita (Italian), Portofino (Italian), Tequila (Mexican) and Mikado (Japanese) and all were excellent. The buffet at Yucatan (Tulum side) was also terrific and had a wide variety to satisfy the pickiest tastes. Hamburgers, Pasta, Salads to more exotic dishes were the norm with a few dishes that changed each day.

There are also 24 hour food service shacks on each resort (3 in total) that are self serve after 11 p.m. and offer up things like burgers, nachos and assorted fruit.

THE DRINKS

I found no examples of drinks being "watered down" or bartenders pouring drinks with their backs turned. And there are many, many places to get your fix. Pool side, in the lobbies, in the restaurants, there is no reason to go thirsty!

Each place also has a wide assortment of drink menus and liquor availabilities.

THE BEACH

As many other reviews stated, the beach in front of Tulum is less than ideal. The sand is nice, but the water is far too rocky to swim or snorkel. However, if you go down the beach to the Akumel resort end, it's swimable, or if you take a day trip to Tulum or Akumel towns (about 5k away each way and a 4 dollar cab ride) the beaches there are amazing and worth the trip.

THE POOLS

There are plenty of them and being in the Club Diamond, you had access to your own pool and bar. There was music playing some of the time, but it was unoffensive in nature (mostly top 40 stuff) and wasn't overly loud. I saw animation activities going on at the main pool some of the days, so if that's your thing, then you can stick to those. However, there are plenty of smaller, quieter pools to enjpoy if you want to stay away from the hustle and bustle.

THE STAFF

99 out of 100 people we dealt with were a pleasure to deal with. They were always smiling and willing to help.

INTANGIBLES

All in all, a very enjoyable trip. It wasn't perfect, but if you go anywhere expecting it to be so, you're likely in for some disappointment. Sometimes people just get sick and while it's easy to say it was the food, or the drinks, or what not, you never truly know. Think about the fact there are hundreds of people all touching the same door handles, spoons and chairs and of course, some germs are going to spread causing people to get sick. Furthermore, there are plenty of kids on these holidays... many of whom are 10 times worse about cleanliness.

For the people that complain about the clientelle... I have to say "What did you expect?" There's are always going to be a wide mix of people at these resorts no matter where it is. Trashy people, snotty people, loud people, dirty people, rude people.. you're going to get the full spectrum. If you don't want to deal with people who may be different from you... you should look for a much more exclusive place to vacation.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
21  Thank CandCsk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2010

My wife and I went to the Gran Bahia Principe Tulum as our first All Inclusive vacation. We had a great time and couldn't wait to try somewhere the next year. The resort was excellent in all ways. The food, beach, cleanliness, etc were top notch. The selection of food was so impressive that anyone should be able to find something that they like. I would highly recommend the resort as a safe bet because of the overall consistency of the offerings.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank CrazedCaper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2010

We are a couple in our mid 50's, and this was our second trip to the Bahia Principe in the Mayan Riveria. We travelled from Dec 3rd to the 10th 2009. We had stayed at Bahia Coba in 2007 and absolutely loved it. Both of us agreed that if we ever revisited, this would be the one. ( We don't usually like to, because we want something different ) we changed our minds with the Bahia. This recent trip was to the Tulum... although older, we liked the Tulum side just a bit better because of location to the beach and just an all around feeling of closeness to all ammenaties. We love this resort and will continue to go back there. Great value for your money, beach was wonderful and where we spent most of our time, abit rough in places but if you swim in marked off areas.. perfect... we didn't use the water shoes we brought because there was no need to. The food was great with lots of variety, especially when you can explore and enjoy all the facillities of Coba and Akumal You don't usually have the opportunity with an all inclusive to have a three in one deal, in our opinion this was fantastic!!! Rooms are abit nicer at Coba just because they are newer and larger. Had no problem with staff, everyone friendly, helpful and trying to please. Pools, although we didn't use them, were beautiful, lots of activities going on, or so it sounded like there was. Lots to do offsite, a day at Playa Del Carmen is really a must to do some shopping and just all around fun, and a change of pace. Colletico.... safe and a great deal!!! If you are planning a trip to this resort regardless of which side you choose..... do not hesitate to book it!!!! There is so much variety that one week is actually not enough! You will be more then pleased with your choice!!! You can't go wrong with this resort!!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Halli2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Akumal hotels
0.7 mi away
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection
2.0 mi away
Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya
0.7 mi away
Grand Bahia Principe Coba
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.5 mi away
Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection
0.3 mi away
Villas DeRosa Beach Resort
0.0 mi away
Hotel Akumal
Hotel Akumal
#5 of 6 in Akumal
5 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Grand Bahia Principe Tulum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Tulum

Address: Carretera Chetumal Benito Juarez, km 250, Local B, Akumal, Municipio Tulum, Quintana Roo. 77760 | Local B, Akumal 77776, 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:
#3 Casino Hotel in Akumal
#6 Family Hotel in Akumal
#7 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#9 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#10 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
Price Range: $167 - $425 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Tulum 4.5*
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with KIPPIN S.A Lussemburgo Cadempino Branch, BookIt.com, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Booking.com, Travelocity, Cancelon, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your Grand Bahia Principe Tulum reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing