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“Thank you Bahia Coba for an amazing 25Th anniversary trip. We will be back!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Bahia Principe Coba

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Grand Bahia Principe Coba
Ranked #9 of 21 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
New Wilmington, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Thank you Bahia Coba for an amazing 25Th anniversary trip. We will be back!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2011

My wife and I just returned from the Bahia Coba for our 25Th anniversary trip. It was our second stay at Coba. Andreinna Lobo in Guest relations was working with me since December 2010 to make this trip special for my Wife. She met us at our room to welcome us to what ended up being the most amazing vacation ever. The room had fresh flowers ,towel art, rose petals on the bed and in the big spa tub! Not to mention chilled Champagne in the room every night. We had fresh fruit, and turn down service . The room was amazing and the location was great. We love the Bahia Coba because of the size, That is why we went back. The shuttles came by every few min. and we never waited more than 5 min. If you stay at Coba go visit the best bar staff ever, Rubin at the Quiet pool and my man Alex at the Beach swing bar YO ! Alex, Thanks man....! Andreinna Lobo and Felix did everything they could to make this a second honeymoon for us! We had 5 romantic dinners and a Lobster BBQ. The food at the resort was amazing and the wait staff, Wow great job guys, YO! Edwardo and Bartolo Thanx for our most Romantic Dinner at the Mediteranio...You ROCK guys. The pools, and Beach are so clean. and plenty of palapas for all, Just go past the beach bar and there are at least 50 palapas unused each day. Don't be afraid of the size of the resort there are plenty of trams for everyone. Thanks again Andreinna Lobo and Felix for everything you did for us, We might See you in July.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank keithlpalladino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestServicePr, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Coba, responded to this review, May 26, 2011
Dear 'keithlpalladino',

On behalf of Andreina Lobo, myself and the entire family of Gran Bahia Principe I would like to take this opportunity to say 'Thank you' for informing us about your stay.

I have taken to account which employees went the extra mile and they certainly will receive your feedback by their managers.

Please let me ensure that we are looking forward to welcoming you here very soon to spend once again great vacations with us.

Have a wonderful day,

Yours Sincerely,

Felix Schlokat
Guest Service Manager Premier
Gran Bahia Principe Coba
Email: guestservicepremierbpcob@bahia-principe.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Newfoundland
Level Contributor
84 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2011

Ok first of all, this was my first time out of cancun when visiting mexico. That was my first mistake. Not much to do off the resort, shopping was not great either. The resort itself was nice, BUT IT WAS WAYYY TOO BIG !! This place is massive and involves lots of walking and very easy to get lost. They have trollys going everywhere but still everything seems like a journey to do. The entertainment staff were decent, the local disco was ok, but lacked A/C. Food was good, the " a la carte" restaurants werent overly good. Only 2 of them were good. of the 5 or so we tried. Bartenders were top notch as well as the staff, and house keepers. The beach wasnt all that great, lots of big rocks and so on, but it was kept clean. The A/C sucked in the rooms, and the fridges were not very cold. The whole place seemed to lack maintanance in general, but id blame this on the sheer size of the resort.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jeepmancrd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterloo, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2011

I want to apologize first: English is not my first language. If I would to write this in my maternal language would sound more convincing.

My husband was amazed every day: "I hope they also make some profit from this; they are spending so much! I've never seen so much care for quality, beauty and cleaning"

We've been to many other 5 star resorts in Mexico, Cuba, and Jamaica. But we realized this was the only truly 5 star we've seen so far! :-)
My only complain is that the food was amazing and I gain so much weight...
I have no other complains!

So, let me start:

We booked for 2 weeks. We always book for 2 weeks! One week is not enough, if you really want to relax and you want to have time to know a little about the culture!
The price is A LOT BETTER FOR 2WEEKS! Don't believe me? Check!
Of course, they subtract the flying price (at least at Westjet, they are fair about this) and you'll have an amazing 2 weeks vacation in a wonderful place!

I’ll start with the

NATURE: I was amazed by the beauty all around us. The palms, the grass, the ant-eaters, iguanas, lemurs, birds... I'll try to upload all the photos here. The resort is big, yes; some people complain about this. I was scared at first too. But this resort is built IN THE JUNGLE! I've never seen something like this before! Immaculate! Beautiful! Wild! Perfection!
We live in cities, mostly in Canada. Apartment buildings, straight boring streets, same “Home Depot”s and “No Frill”s at every intersection... Some people (I was thinking the same before this resort) want to stay in a small resort. They want to go from their room to the beach in 2 minutes and maximum 5 minutes to the restaurant. Well... if you book for 2 weeks you have the time to enjoy life (only if you deserve this, of course!): It took us 10 minutes walking to the beach (or 3 minutes with the cart) and 5 - 10 minutes walking to the restaurant (depending what we choose that day). One of them – the best – was half an hour apart – DON PABLO.

ROOM: yes, the room smells humid and getting home we had to wash all our clothes - as some people say in these reviews. But what do you expect from living close to the ocean??? Hello, people, wake-up!!! Yes, we had some cockroaches, so what? They don't bite; they are part of the jungle. Room was clean, sheets were changed every day, water was perfect, and bed was huge: hard as I like it for my back. View was amazing; villas were quiet, air conditioner worked perfect.

FOOD: As I said, this was my biggest complain. The food was too good. We tried the Premier Buffet, Coba Bufet, Akumal buffet and La Dolce Vita for lunch and were more than satisfied!
Because we were close to Akumal Premier we enjoyed most of our lunch and dinner time here and I can tell you it was more than enough. (They have more variety at Coba, Akumal and Tulum buffets but we tried to stay away from such a big of variety of food! )
At Premier we'll never forget our favorite waiter - Saturnino!
Also, Mauricio from Premier and Alejandro from Mediteranneo. Congratulations to them!

We booked some ”A la Carte”. Well...
Number one was Don Pablo. I would love to find out the recipe for their Wild mushroom Rice! I am a passionate cook; I have the talent and desire to cook. We've enjoyed food in many European countries. But NEVER in our life had an experience like this one! I had this amazing main course – the Beef steak with wild mushroom rice. Well… the difference between “The Keg” restaurant in Canada and the steak from “Don Palo” was like from Mono sound to Stereo sound!
I could sense, feel, the taste of the AMAZING steak in one part of my brain and the AMAZING taste of a rice - a rice I’ve never tasted before - in other part of my brain!!!! My husband and I were making noises like making love… I was embarrassed but we couldn’t stop it…
If you are a food lover go there and enjoy it.
Just so you know a little about me, I moved my microwave in the garage (because I never use it) and filled that place with cooking books :-) I cooked all my life and tried to make an art from this... If you go to “Don Pablo” or “Le Gourmet” you'll find WHAT THE ART OF COOKING is! I'm sure other “A la carte” at this resort are the same but we had no time to try them. They have 11 “A la carte” so I need about one month to try them all! (Next time!)
Le Gourmet was also at the top of French Cuisine. You have to be a really food lover, as we are, to appreciate this food properly :-)
When I read reviews about “how the hamburger was at the buffet” I disregard that review. Sorry, I don’t want to draw lines here but “good food” is not equal to “good hamburgers”.
You know what I mean. I regret now I didn’t spent more time to book other “A la carte”. First, you eat less than you eat at the buffet and you enjoy the great food, created by ARTISTS.

I forgot to specify: Wine at all restaurants was from Chile and really good. Perfect sleep and no headaches the next day!
(I am comparing with RIU resorts now. Yes, at RIU resorts, you can fill your own glass with wine there but if you have more than 3 glasses you’ll be out the next day!.. At Gran Bahia you’ll have to ask the waiter to fill your glass but you know is a good wine)

SNORKELLING: It was important for us to be able to snorkel on the shore. We have a 9 year boy and we all snorkel. Snorkeling is great here, the best ever we've seen so far on a shore! Fish are actually surrounding you as you enter the water! I'll try to post some videos, we have lots of them. We also took a Cab - 5 minutes down the street is the famous Akumal Beach. Akumal in Maya language means "The place of the turtles".
Check Google for that, you're not going to be disappointed. If you go to Akumal beach, rent the gear if you don't have it, rent a life jacket (6 bucks) and go see the huge sea turtles, the sting rays and, 30 meters further away, an amazing reef. But be sure not to have any shinny metals on you - like silver or gold (barracudas!).
Also, if you are a snorkeling fan, XCARET is near, so you know what I'm talking about!
There are many attractions close to you and they are not expensive; also the most famous Mexican cenotes are very close.

LOCATION – about one hour from airport. Great Westjet driver – Enrique. Really professional and polite, we were really impressed! You go on a highway. This 1 hour was interesting: you can see the entrances for all the resorts around the way. Some very impressive! And impressive modern looking constructions.

ATTRACTIONS : We booked a taxi to go to Coba Pyramid and Chichen Itza in one day. (This trip was 210 USD)
If you are in Maya Riviera, Chichen Itza it’s a MUST SEE! And if you read this and listen to me you can thank me later! :-)
I always thought Chichen Itza is more beautiful than Egypt pyramids because of his white colour, but I was in totally shock when Chichen Itza was in front of me! It was so huge (I thought it’s a small one), beautiful and breathtaking! This cannot be described in words. Sorry but I can't describe it! You'll have to go there. We left at 9:30 from Akumal Premier Lobby and we were back by 5PM, seeing these 2 amazing Maya Sites that day! And that is the day I see in my mind every time I close my eyes... I think about 2012, about Erich von Daniken and Maya civilization… Yep, some aliens maybe involved

STAFF: Extremely polite and friendly, outstanding. We loved Felix Schlokat - the Guest Service Manager. Thank you Felix, you are the best! And we miss you. It’s so nice to have a European presence there (he’s half German, half Austrian). He is at the Premier Lobby almost every day, all day, and paying attention to your questions. He makes us feel like home.
We loved Saturnino - from Premier buffet, Alejandro - from Mediteranneo A la Carte. Mauricio - from Premier.
And, I would like to send my amazed congratulations to the 3 Chefs from Don Pablo. We booked twice there and I wanted to meet the Chefs but I was too shy... Maybe next time…

Dear Chefs:
I have no words to say about how amazing your food was, from the “Sliced Rounds of Foie Gras with Pink Pepper, Lime Jelly and Warm Brioches Bread” appetizer, to “Cream of Celery Soup with Fresh Salmon Julienne and Chives” to the amazing Beef steak and Wild Mushroom main course and to dessert! (I'll post some photos for the curious).

I asked arround about the Chefs. I know their teacher is a French Cook and I can only imagine and dream how they learned about the amazing French Cuisine.
We were really impressed.

SHOPPING: This is something I don’t understand. Plastic jewelry you can buy in Canada at the Dollarstore with 1 Canadian dollar was costing here between 12-16 USD. Hmmm…
You don’t need a lot of math… We tried to buy souvenirs for our friends: the Hacienda, outside of the resort, inside the resort, … When you have 10 friends to buy for… Nobody would pay 140 USD instead of 10 CAD. There were stores close to our villa, stores in all lobbies, Hacienda. But no Customers! Guess why? The PRICES, maybe? I’m sure that if the prices would be acceptable, their profit would go up ( a lot). But this is not my problem to solve; they’ll realize this sooner or later.

ENTERTAINMENT:
Sorry I can’t say too much about his. We were snorkeling most of the day, enjoying the delicious food at night. We were tired at night. We only had the honor of 2 shows – at Akumal Theatre and were extremely happy. Usually felled asleep around 10:30 pm, to be able to see the sunrise next day

Thank you, all of you at Gran Bahia Principe Akumal!
We recommended this resort to all our friends and we are sure going to be back there as soon we have a vacation! We need to visit so many locations around – like XCARET, the Cenotes, the museum close to Chchen Itza, Palenque and other Maya cites!

PS. I see now that for this review I'm not allowed to upload movies or more than 3 pictures so feel free to contact me for more movies or photos about snorkelling or the resort at: satriana717@hotmail.com

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank EllaSatriana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2011

Now, before I start I'd just like to say that I am really not one for complaining if I don't feel it necessary, i don't really like making a fuss but given we ended up spending around £3000 for this holiday after having to move hotel i felt i should write a review.

Our holiday didn't get off to the best start anyway, our flight was delayed by a whole day which was obviously nothing to do with the hotel. When we arrived in Mexico it took around an hour and a half to travel to the hotel. Check in was quite smooth, we got to our room which was nice and clean and quite big!

The first negative was that we weren't expecting the resort to be quite as big as it was, it was very easy to get lost amongst all the villas within the 3 separate hotels. There were shuttle buses but they weren't that regular. Make sure you take the map everywhere with you! There was also a very funny sewery smell when walking about the resort, despite everything else being very clean.

Secondly, I'm very surprised reading the other reviews that the food was rated quite good. I was really disappointed with the buffet style food, they seemed to go for quantity rather than quality, although a lot of the dishes had ran out and took ages to be refilled. All the meat was on the bone, burgers swimming in fat and a lot of the food was only just warm. We were hoping the a la carte restaurants would be better, and to be fair some of it was. We went to the Mediterranean restaurant and they had a nice starter buffet selection. We then ordered the paella, which had a lot of bones in, not even attached to meat, just bone.

The whole time we were at this hotel (5 days), I had a really bad stomach, i think it was a mixture of the food and their bottled water. In Mexico, they have domestic and imported bottled water. The stuff at the hotel I think was domestic, hence less filtered. This meant i spent most of the time indoors as my stomach was really cramping and i didn't want to be caught out without a toilet.

After 5 days we went to out Thomson rep and told him we wanted to move hotels after a bad experience. We then had to pay another £300 to move to another 5* hotel for the remaining week. We went to the Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel which is about half hour closer to the airport, much quieter, smaller hotel and the food was 10 times better. My stomach cleared up within 1 day of being there.

I definitely wouldn't go back, but then again it sounds like there's plenty of people who would!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Sian88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermilion, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2011

Travelled down with my wife and 3 others.Flight with Canjet was good.Transfer from Airport to resort 1.5 hr bus ride was long but beer was avalible and the bus had a bathroom.
Check in was good,except that was not given key for room safe and found out it was a $50 peso charge per day,first time i have ever been charged for a room safe.Had to get key next day.
Rooms were very nice, we ended up on the ground floor of building 24 room 32410 which faced the quiet pool and was very close to the main buffet and lobby.
The room itself was very clean and had two double beds,a small tv,deceint closet, a desk with 4 good sized drawers,mini bar stocked with 2 large water bottles,pop,beer,chips and mini chocolate bars.The room also had a sitting area with 2 chairs a small table and a couch.The patio was small with 2 chairs and a table.
The bathroom was nice with a shower/jacuzzi tub combo,good sized sink/counter top.They provided shampoo/conditioner,razor,sewing kit,hair dryer, but no lotions.
The room was very clean and we kept that way all week.we tipped the maid 20 to 30 peso's a day,plus we put 20 peso's in the mini bar and it was very well stocked each day.

Food was great everywhere we tried,even the 24 hrs snack bar,which there are 3 around the resort. The main buffett had an amazing selection of food,but was very busy and a little noisy for our liking so we found the the Cozumel resturant was open for breakfast lunch and dinner,it did not have the selection of the main buffett,but was very good and alot quieter.The staff at the cozumel were great and we really enjoyed our meals there.
We tried 4 ala carts.
The Brazilain was great ,non stop meat and awesome staff.
The Japaneese was good ,better if you get a show table(pretty hot at the show table).
The Mediteranio was okay ,service was good,food not our favorite.
The Mexicain was very good,again great service and good food.
This resort is huge and because we had booked with Transat Holidays we had Royal Golden access to the entire resort.It was a real adventure just to see the whole resort in a week. There must be 10 large pools with half having swim up bars and another 10 smaller jacuzzi pools with there own bars.Chair saving at the pools was the usual, I saw people out at 630am to save there chairs,while i was out for my morning walk.Saying that we never had an issue with chairs ,it was so hot we spent our time at the pool in it,no need for a chair.
The Beach area was very large,from one end of the resort to the other would be a 40 min walk one way.Lots of lounge chairs and different areas to sit .Water was beautiful,not very good snorkeling,but nice for bathing.There were areas of the beach that were roped off to protect turtle nests.Swing bar at the beach was fun.
I had e-mailed Felix (who you read about all through the reviews) prior to our departure asking for room placements and to prebook our ala cartes.He was very prompt and helpful with our requests,so we were able to prebook our ala cartes and we got the building we requested. I wanted to thank Felix in person but never did get a chance to meet him.So thank you very much Felix for all your help prior to our arrival.

Overall our stay at the Principe was great,it is very big so be prepared to get lost ,but lots of shuttles and staff to help if you do.If you a looking for a fun and relaxing holiday this is the place,great value for your holiday dollar.

Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank square52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2011

This was overall a Great Stay, but there are a few things to mention incase this might not be the right resort for you. The Resort is 1.5 Hours away from the Airport, it is not terrible but for some it might be.

The Check in was quick and the guy was friendly, we got to out room within a few minutes. We got to the room and immediately notice our fan was screeching as if we were staying in a cheap motel!! We asked to get it fixed, but it never was. We just lowered the speed of the fan and it reduced the noise.

Overall the service was great as well, Alfredo the server i9n the restaurant was funny and made sure that every dinner was memorable. Olga was the Lobby Coba Bar Server and was always willing to talk and go above and beyond our needs.

The biggest compliaint had to be the size of the resort, It was WAY to big. If you like that then this is the place for you, but if you want a smaller more intimate resort then dont stay here. You had to take the shuttle everywherem and you have to walk a lot. It was fine for the first few days but after a couple of days and sometimes waiting for the shuttle up to 15 minutes it got a bit frustrating. I would not reccomend this hotel to those who like a smaller place.

The resort was immaculate, everyone made a huge effort to keep it clean, I never saw one piece of garbage on the floor, because they came by and picked it up so quick.

The Food was excellent and the a la cartes were great. The French one was the best one as it had food that was not found in the buffet!

The Beach was nice but a bit rocky, the water was clear and the breeze was very nice.

Great Stay and Memorable but would not stay again due to the resort being way to big.

Room Tip: Dont be shy to ask for an upgrade.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KalelClark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GuestServicePr, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Coba, responded to this review, May 23, 2011
Dear 'KalelClark',

Let me take this opportunity to thank you for sharing your experience! I appreciate you recognition for our staff.

Please feel free to get in touch with me anytime if there is anything I can do for you. It would be an honor to welcoming you here again!

I wish you all the best,

Yours Sincerely,
Felix Schlokat

Guest Service Manager Premier
Gran Bahia Principe Coba
Email: guestservicepremierbpcob@bahia-principe.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westminster, Colorado
Level Contributor
49 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 208 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2011

This was our 10th visit to the Mayan Riviera but our first to the Gran Bahia Principe. We normally stay at the Barcelo or Palladium but thought we would try something different for a change.

Arrival
Reservations were through Orbitz and flights were nonstop on Frontier. We arrived in Cancun at 4:00 PM, were out the door of the terminal at 4:50, on our way with USA Transfers at 5:00 and at the resort at 6:00. The Playa del Carmen overpass was completed, cutting off at least 20 minutes in travel time. We were dropped off at the main Coba lobby and were then taken to the Royal Golden building for check in. We were the only ones there, were given a fruit drink, slips for our a la carte dinners, a lock and key to the safe, and a couple of maps of the resort. We asked about towel cards but were told we didn’t need them – I think this was a Golden perk(?) We were told that since we paid for Club Golden we could use the computers in the Golden building. After the place closed for the season 4 days later, we found that we could also use the Premier Lobby’s computers. Check in took less than 5 minutes.

Room
Our room was just as requested on the 3rd floor, nonsmoking, two beds, and in a centrally located building (22). The balcony overlooked a sidewalk and trees and we could actually see the ocean way out on the horizon. The room was large with a separate sitting area, had a cold fridge with 2 cans of Dos Equis beers, 2 Sprite, 2 Pepsis, 1 Pepsi Light, and a small bag of potato chips. Two 1½ liter bottles of water were on the counter. We had two robes and slippers. The bathroom was large with a jacuzzi tub. There was no place to hang wet clothing but we brought a bungee cord and hooked it on the balcony railing. The beds were rock-hard but we asked for and received mattress toppers to soften things up a little. The air conditioner did not work at night and our constant fight with maintenance people to get the problem fixed was unsuccessful. It was difficult sleeping in a hot room. This was a problem in every room on our floor. Housekeeping was outstanding. The room was cleaned by noon every day and we were also give cute towel animals and plenty of towels and wash clothes. Our fridge was not restocked every day but we always had enough water. On two evening, we found cockroaches in the bathroom.

Grounds
Unlike the Palladium, the grounds were cleared of jungle when the resort was built. Landscaping was beautiful with palm trees and other vegetation everywhere. Grass was perfectly manicured. We couldn’t help but be impressed with the place. The resort is huge (that’s a good thing) but it was easy to walk most anywhere – it took us no more than 7 minutes to walk to the beach. There were carts running all around the resort if you didn’t want to walk but we only used them to get to the Tulum section and the Hacienda Dona Isabel.

Pools
We were never more a short walk to a pool. The maps make it look like the Coba section has 2 pools but each pool is actually cut in half by a walk way resulting in 4 smaller pools. This was also the case at the Akumal and Tulum sections. The pools near building 22 were quiet while those further inland had numerous activities taking place. All loungers under a palapa were reserved by 9:00 AM.

Beach
The beach is very long and it takes over 30 minutes to walk from the northern end of the Tulum section to the southern end of the Akumal section. The beach itself is course sand with rock starting at the ocean edge. There were 3 rather small sections cut out of the rock to provide swimming areas. The area called “Coba beach” is between 2 piers and is one of the areas cut out of rock with huge sand bags protecting the area from waves. The place was packed with people whenever we were there. We thought the nicest area for swimming and snorkeling was at the far south end of the resort – a huge rock wall was built on one side with sand bags on the other, making for a virtually wave-free area. Snorkeling wasn’t all that great but there was always a nice selection of fish to watch. We found vacant loungers under palapas any time of the day in this area. Compared to the Palladium and Barcelo, we were very disappointed in the beach at the resort.

Food
The Coba buffet was either very crowded or nearly empty for breakfast. At the entrance were champagne bottles and ingredients for bloody marys and screwdrivers. There were omelet bars, scrambled eggs, bacon (usually), hot dogs, pancakes, pastries, fruits (but never any bananas), a juice bar, and a small selection of Mexican items. Service was either great or nonexistent, depending on the crowds. We preferred eating at the Cozumel buffet – the place was usually empty and we had great service – but it closed for the season on May 15. We also had breakfast at Dolce Vita on the Akumal side and service there was great.

We normally ate lunch at a snack bar – great barbecued ribs, roast chicken, and hamburgers - or Dolce Vita.

We had dinner in the Coba buffet the first night we were at the resort but were not impressed. Most food was barely warm, many trays were empty, and the place was full of people. But they had coconut ice cream and it was wonderful. We often came to the buffet on other nights after eating in an a la carte to get coconut ice cream but we did not see it again.

We requested and received reservations for 4 a la carte restaurants in advance by email (we had a Golden reservation) and asked if we could get a 5th since we were staying longer than 7 nights – no problem. We met some people at the pool who were going to cancel their remaining reservations since they preferred the flexibility of the buffet so they gave them to us. We had 8 reservations for our 9 night stay. Opinions on restaurants are very subjective but our preferences in order are:

1 - Don Pablo – Fig salad (5 out of 10) and Don Pablo salad (8) were good. The cream of celery soup (10) was outstanding. The surf and turf (10) was fantastic with the best piece of filet mignon we have ever had. The shrimp had an excellent cheese sauce and were also great. The cream brule (8) and apple crisp (6) were good. We asked for Mayan coffee and were treated to a table-side show with fire and all the special features. Outstanding service.

2 - Arlequin – Goat cheese and salmon salad (6) and seafood carpaccio (9) were very good. The portobello cappuchino soup (10) was to die for but the lime soup (4) was just okay. The filet mignon was outstanding but not quite as good at the one we had at Don Pablo. The chocolate cake with warm liquid center (10) was wonderful. Outstanding service but maybe not quite as good as Don Pablo. We sat next to the window overlooking the beach and watched the full moon rise up out of the ocean while we ate – wow.

3 - Le Gourmet – Le Gourmet salad (9) was great. Scallop appetizer was outstanding but small (10). Cream of almond soup tasted like chicken gravy (5). Grilled shrimp (8) and duck (7) were good. The chocolate cake with a warm liquid center was identical to the one we had at Arlequin (10) and the gran marinier soufflé was good (7). Outstanding service.

4 - Tequila – The appetizer bar was spectacular – shrimps, tostadas, empanadas, and anything else you would want. We would have been thrilled with the appetizer bar as our only dinner. The Aztec soup was very good (9). The chicken breast in molé sauce (5) was just okay – the chicken was moist and tender but the sauce was tasteless. The beef fajitas (7) were a little better. The desert bar was outstanding – churros, flan, rice pudding, etc. Service was excellent and the setting on the beach was wonderful.

5 - Portofino – Great appetizer bar, great mushroom soup (9). Cannelloni was very good (8) and the pistachio crusted sea bass was okay but a little overcooked (6) – the risotto with the sea bass was excellent. Excellent service.

6 - Mikado (regular seating – not the show table) – Selection of sushi rolls (8) and chicken on a skewer (10) were very good. Both the miso and the fish soups (1) were terrible. The steak and seafood (8) were excellent. The fried bananas and ice cream (7) was good but the desert in a glass that was like liquid pudding (10) was fantastic – can’t think of the name of it. Service was not very good and the restaurant was very warm.

7 - Fruitos del Mar – Excellent appetizer bar, including great tempura calamari. Good seafood grill (7) and dry, overcooked salmon (5). The chocolate tart (3) and lemon meringue pie (4) were a letdown. Great service with a wonderful view of the ocean.

8 - Mediterraneo – Appetizer bar was nothing special. Lemon chicken was good (7) and the tuna (2) was thin, hard, dry, and cooked beyond recognition, although I ordered it medium rare. The desert bar was nothing special. Excellent service.

Drinks
It seems like we were never a minute away from a bar. We had a lot of Dos Equis, great mojitos, rum and cokes, hummingbirds (can’t remember what was in it but my wife liked them), Baileys (or a substitute depending on the bar), Sambuca at some of the bars and almondra tostadas (?) with amaretto, cream de cocoa, and milk. If you wanted something other than bar liquor, you had to ask for it. Bar rum was okay but Havana Club was better. The gourmet restaurants and Mikado had very good house wine by the bottle while other restaurants had poorer quality wine by the carafe – I could drink the white wine but the red was really bad. The Mikado also had sake.

What we did
We spent our days at the south end of the beach swimming, snorkeling, napping, and visiting Edgar at the beach bar. On some days, we would bob around in one of the pools, occasionally visiting with people at the swim up bar. That’s about it. One day we went to Rio Secreto and had a fantastic tour of a cave and underground river system. In the evenings, we would sit on a lounger at the beach and listen to the ocean and look at the stars and full moon. We would then go to the patio at the Daiquiri Bar, have a few drinks, and listen to the great singers. After a couple of nights, Ophelia knew what we wanted to drink before we sat down. One night, we went to the Michael Jackson show in the Coba theater – great show!!

Overall
We loved our stay at the Gran Bahia Principe but we will probably not return. The beach at the Barcelo and Palladium are so much nicer – and the reason we love to visit the Mayan Riviera is to enjoy the beach.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Kjtrdlnp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Coba

Property: Grand Bahia Principe Coba
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#7 Family Hotel in Akumal
#8 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#8 Spa Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Coba 3.5*
Number of rooms: 1080
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 2 lake-style pools 3 Jacuzzis Large sun terrace and gardens with sun umbrellas and loungers Pool and beach towel service BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 5 tennis courts, basketball court, bicycles Motorised sports (additional charge) Water activity centre Entertainment amphitheatre WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge) Buffet restaurant 4 a la carte restaurants 7 Bars 2 Snack bar 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 1080 rooms including 4 types: Superior Junior Suite, Club Golden Junior Suite, Family Junior Suite and Master Family Suite. Room facilities: Two full size beds or a king size bed Sitting area with sofa Fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bath tub, shower, wash basin, magnifying mirror and hair dryer Bathroom amenities Balcony or terrace Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Radio alarm clock Flat screen satellite TV Mini-bar Coffee-making facilities Safe (additional charge) Ironing set Terrace Wifi Family Junior Suites and Master Family Suites the perfect choice for families, including: All the facilities and services of a Junior Suite Bathrobes and slippers for all the family for use during your stay Children's bath kit Welcome basket with sweets Mini-bar with juices, shakes, milk and soft drinks for children Two fully independent connecting rooms (Master Family Suites) Club Golden Junior Suites Children Bahia Scouts Children can enjoy a range of specially-tailored facilities: Children's pool Mini Club with daytime activities Evening Mini Disco Bahia Scouts Water Park Teen's Club (11 - 16 years) Baby Station Other services On-site miniature railway providing access to all facilities 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:
Gran Bahia Principe Coba Akumal
Hotel Gran Bahia Principe
Bahia Principe Coba Mexico
Gran Bahia Coba
Gran Bahia Principe Resort Coba
Gran Bahia Principe Coba Hotel
Gran Principe
Gran Bahia Principe Mexico
Bahia Coba
Grand Bahia Principe Coba Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico

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