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Grand Bahia Principe Coba
Ranked #11 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 29, 2012

I found the resort was way to spred out. I got lost a couple of time on the site. You have to take a train everywhere you go. When I'm on vacation I don't feel like taking a 2 hour bus ride from the airport to the hotel right after a 4 hour flight. Even to get to Playa Del Carmen is an ordeal. I was also told that the hotel has 24h alcohol service which is not true. There where no waiters on the beach. you have to walk across the beach to get your drinks at the bar. The food was not very good either. The A la Carte restaurants served pretty much the same food as the buffet only that they came and bring it to you at your table. All that said the service was very good. I especially apreciated Sidharta at the front desk. He was extreemely helpfull in giving us directions and suggesting us places to go visit. He even got us some ballons to give to one of our friends in our group that celebrated his birthday during the trip. The rooms where very clean as well but the beds are VERY firm. I would recomend this hotel to someone who really wants to relaxe and doesn't care about going off the site because everything is quite far away.

Room Tip: Get at room on the south side so it won't be so far to get to the beach.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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5  Thank Matthew A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPCOBA, Public Relations at Grand Bahia Principe Coba, responded to this reviewResponded October 31, 2012

Dear "Matthew A",

First of all we really appreciate that you decide to visit the Gran Bahia Principe Coba. It is kind of you to share your opinions about your time in our Resort. Suggestions are always well accepted and we will review yours with our Food & Beverage Manager.

We are really happy to read that you enjoined the kindness of our staff; Sidhartha will be pleased to hear that you delight his service. Thank you again for your comments.

Kind Regards for the Mexican Caribbean,

Ilse Saldaña
Public Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,663 - 6,669 of 13,976 reviews

Reviewed October 28, 2012

Was not expecting great things, and was surprised by great things. Stayed at Coba, far from the beach, but the nicest of the villas. Transport from Cancun was easy. The grounds are gigantic, and well manicured. The beach took a bit of a beating from Hurricane Wilma in 2005, so there are still some fair sized rocks that have come ashore, but it is still gorgeous.

Rooms: two twins together to make a "King", firm mattresses as always in Mexico. Neatly decorated with traditional Mayan elements. Small TV. Air conditioning (in Coba). In villas with 6? rooms per villa (3 floors x 2 I believe).

Meals: a la carte x 4. Pescador = fantastic. La MIkado = Japanese teppanyaki, but not the greatest. Portofino = pleasant surprise, great italian fare. Mediterraneo = wasn't great, dry, but bread and chicken, but came late. The buffets were packed, breakfast food disappeared quickly but was replenished quickly. Service was excellent.

Services: played tennis (nice hardcourt, at the first station from the bus that transports around the grounds), pools were always packed. They helped us with a trip to Chichen Itza and with bookings at Cozumel.

Overall: pleasantly surprised, had a great time, was very relaxing, and the grounds are gorgeous. 5/5

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank SugarSammy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPCOBA, Public Relations at Grand Bahia Principe Coba, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2012

Dear "SugarSammy"

Thank you very much for sharing with us your impression of our Resort during your visit in November 2011. The comments of our guest are always welcome, they help us to improve our services. It would be a pleasure and an honor for us if you decide to visit us again.

Kind Regards from the Mexican Caribbean

Ilse Saldaña
Public Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

Let me start by saying I have done extensive travel to the area staying at many different resorts on the Riviera Maya. My daughter and I spent a week at the Bahia Principe Coba from Sept 15 to 22, 2012. The Coba is one section of an immense resort which includes the Tulum, Akumal, Coba and across the highway, the Sian Ka’an. These 4 resorts total 3000 rooms. The resorts are beautiful and when you stay at one, you get to play at all 3, giving you lots of choice on restaurants, both buffets and ala cartes.

Air Conditioning: The weather was beautiful but quite hot and humid. This wouldn’t have been a problem since most of the time we were at the beach or pool. But, the fact that there was no air conditioning in the buffets and most ala cartes, dining in that heat was not pleasant. The air conditioning in the room fell short as well. One night, the AC in our room went out totally causing it to be warmer in the room than outside. We called and they fixed it right away, but the room was never really cool. The entertainment theaters were not air conditioned and with the number of people in the theatre, the lights, etc. it was unbearably uncomfortable.

Mexican Holiday: We arrived on the Saturday of the long weekend in Mexico that celebrates Mexican Independence. Resorts on the Riviera Maya offer great deals to Nationals to stay at the resorts during low season for a fixed price per room. The resort was at full capacity that weekend and most families had more than 2 or 3 people in each room. We had to stand on a very long line to check in and it took about 30 to 45 minutes before we were taken care of. I would suggest that guests traveling long distances should be checked in at a different area than where the locals are checking in. After all, not only have we been traveling for many hours, but we are paying top dollar compared to the locals.
Being low season, I’m sure staffing was lower than usual causing service problems in the buffets and bars. At one point I had to get up and get my own water refill because the staff was overwhelmed. My advice, do not travel to Mexico during the Mexican holiday.
Food: The buffets became quite boring serving the same food every day. We were allowed to book 4 a la cartes and the only restaurant that we felt was good was The Gourmet at the Coba. The service was fabulous, a shout out to Max at the Gourmet Restaurant. They had a beautiful cake for my birthday and sang to me as well. It was lovely. I have been to the Karisma resorts (Eldorado) and I am totally spoiled with the calibre of food at Karisma resorts. Therefore, I am not sure if others would feel that the food was good. I was disappointed.

Room: The room was very spacious. The room is equipped with a flat screen TV, iron, ironing board, clock radio, hair dryer, make-up mirror in the bathroom, Jacuzzi tub. There was also a small balcony.

Beach and Pools: Our room was located close to the quiet pool and we were there on two separate occasions. The weekend was a disaster with the pool area overcrowded due to the holiday. At one point a child of about 4 or 5 pulled down her bathing suit and urinated on the pool deck while her mother watched. We were shocked. We went back to the pool late in the day during the week and as my daughter and I entered the pool, I noticed something at the bottom of the pool and realized someone had defecated in the pool and there were about three or four pieces of excrement on the bottom of the pool. I notified the bartender at the pool bar and he immediately called someone to the pool. They removed the fecal matter and closed the pool for the rest of the day. I don’t understand how someone could do something like that in a pool with others swimming around in it.

The beaches were great. It was turtle nesting season and you could walk the beaches and see all of the marked areas where the turtles laid their eggs. Quite interesting. There is also a dolphin pool on the premises. Although we didn’t see it, I understand there are dolphin shows you can watch (free). You can also swim with the dolphins. It was a bit disconcerting to see how small the pool is for 5 dolphins.

If you like snorkeling, bring your gear and snorkel right off the beach. Lots of fish, but not a lot of diversity. At some points, you didn’t even need a mask, just look down and you can see the fish swimming around you.

Coba Manager: My daughter contacted Felix prior to our arrival and asked to have a topper put on the bed as we read here that the beds were so uncomfortable. Had we not had the toppers, the beds would have been hard as a rock. She also told him I was celebrating my birthday while there and he arranged to have the room decorated with helium balloons and special towel art. It was such a nice surprise. Thanks Felix for all that you do!

I think I would have a slightly different opinion of the resort if we had gone at a different time. September is quite hot and coupled with the Mexican holiday and lack of air conditioning, it wasn’t ideal. Also, I don’t like really large resorts, I prefer a smaller more intimate resort. The resort is beautiful and well maintained and clean with beautiful beaches.

In closing, I would like to say that I rarely saw anyone tip at the bars and restaurants. The staff work hard and a few dollars tip at meals and at the bar makes them feel appreciated. We left tips for the housekeeper, left money in the fridge for the guy who restocks it and got everything we needed. The wait staff recognized us and made sure we were taken care of – not sure if this was because we tipped, but regardless, they deserved it.

Suggestions: Don’t buy a phone card in Canada or the US and expect to use it down there. You can buy a $20 phone card at the resort and use the house phones to call home. The exchange rate at the resort hasn’t changed in six months, so don’t take Canadian dollars and exchange them at the hotel as you get a better rate for US dollars. Since the dollar is at par, or worth more it’s better to bring US $’s. Wifi is available in the lobby, but you need to pay extra to have it in your room. There is a $5 charge for the safe lock (RIDICULOUS), unless you are using Air Canada Vacations and you get that for free.

Room Tip: Contact the resort ahead of time and ask for a room around the quiet pool...puts you closer to the l...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Tbaymom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

GRAN BAHIA PRNCIPLE in Mexico is a beautiful hotel and what I consider to be 5* standard when comparing to over resorts I have stayed in Mexico HOWEVER this is a WARNING to other holiday makers about the Gran Bahia Principle & it’s practices of its ‘exclusive Premier/Privilege Club’ BEWARE BEWARE BEWARE….
On the first day of our trip in paradise we were approached in the hotel lobby by a friendly hotel staff member, after a general intro and small talk he offered us a tour of the hotel the following day what with it being made up of 3 different hotels which would take no longer then 60-90 minutes of our time and we would receive a free gift for our time, which I thought was great as I assumed this was a way of marketing the hotel if we were looking to return to Mexico. We turned up in the lobby the next day for our tour and were then accompanied by member of the Privilege Club team. Over breakfast in the buffet restaurant they quizzed us on holidays past and present with a keen interest of how much they had cost. We supplied the information and initially thought they want us to become part of their VIP clients if we returned to the Gran Bahia branded resorts similar to what other hotel resorts offer for FREE. The tour consisted of one ‘Privilege Club’ hotel room overlooking the Ocean and a mention of Privilege club benefits (roped off area on the beach with white cushioned sun loungers, a private buggy on demand & the option to go to the a la carte restaurants 7 nights a week rather then 6, & a black wrist band) & then we were brought straight back to the lobby where we were taken downstairs into a Privilege Club area and given a strong alcoholic drink, probably to numb our senses. This then actually turned into an aggressive sales meeting where they try and SELL YOU A MEMBERSHIP SCHEME. I mentioned I was not interested in what sounded more like timeshare as we had been warned about problems friends had experienced after purchasing timeshare type schemes in the past. We were reassured it was not a timeshare they were selling us. After trying to explain the outline of the holiday scheme they then starting discussing the large amounts of costs involved. This initially started about $35,000 then quickly halved in price, and then halved again. The cost was then reduced further to $5,000, with a one off payment of just over a $1500 and then a another large payment to be made in 30days and again after 60days, then a monthly payment plan to pay any remaining amount, with other type of payment options including interest options etc etc…….YES VERY CONFUSING but they try and sell you the concept on giving you accommodation for free in a GRAN BAHIA over your 10-30 year membership scheme, which we later found out after they finally answered our questions that it did not include the All Inclusive & we had to book and pay for our own flights, transfers etc which we calculated would actually cost more then just booking a holiday through a travel agency. They do not give you access to the internet to research their clsims they just try sales techniques along with their limited access to information iPad to get you to sign the paperwork which they also said would be no penalty if we signed and later wanted to cancel the contract ALSO NOT TRUE after later researching this and other claims. They keep saying “join the club” “don’t over think it” “just sign up” “you’ll never understand all of it” so I replied I’m not going to sign for anything I don’t understand but they do not want to take NO for an answer. They continued to claim that their offer was unbelievably good especially as you could also sign up for the RCI membership scheme at another yearly cost which offered you access to over 6500 hotels around the world at a cost of no more then $200 per room per week (but remember this is for the ROOM ONLY). After declining their offer the reps finally left our table and another rep joined us with a customer survey which we regrettably said that we were happy and fine with the presentation as we just wanted to get out of there. The new rep then tried to convince us again when we stated we did not fully understand the membership concept to the ‘why do you not want to sign up’ question only to have the piece of paper turned over half way through the survey to try and be sold to again. It was a relief when we got out of there that we had not signed up to anything after all the PRESSURE PRESSURE PRESSURE & confusion as they try to rope you in. Not to mention we no longer had to sit through outbursts of applause as an indication new members had signed up trying to add more PRESSURE to join and to be asked ‘’when can we get the champagne out for you’’. Thank goodness we were just happy with the free champagne GRAN BAHIA offered throughout the hotel as part of our all inclusive package.
We later researched on the internet and found a number of people making the same claim and the problems they had with scheme, some people of which had regretted caving in and handing over their credit card details as they were not able to cancel their membership contract and receive a refund. The best part of all is we later found out that RCI is the largest timeshare holiday scheme with a number of clauses and systems the reps in the room failed to mention.
I can’t believe the hotel condones this type of bullying tactic on unsuspecting holiday makers. Their 1980s sales pitch mixed with blatant lies and no regard for the facts left me fuming after wasting not 90 minutes but SEVERAL HOURS of our holiday.
We are not saying timeshare is not for everybody but it is not for us and that WE STRONGLY ADVISE TO ONLY EVER SIGN AND PAY FOR SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN GO AWAY AND THINK ABOUT FIRST, & RESEARCH WHAT YOU ARE SIGNING & PAYING UP FOR.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
20  Thank birdy-boo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PrivilegeClub, Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Coba, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2012

Dear Bridy-Boo

On behalf of Bahia Principe Privilege Club, we want to apologize for any inconveniences you experienced during your vacation to Grand Bahia Principe Coba. It's never our intention to make our owners or prospective owners feel uncomfortable when learning about the benefits of a Privilege Club membership.

We take feedback such as yours very seriously, as it helps us to redefine the way we convey our message. While we continue working to improve our approach, we invite you to please email us at customerservice@bppclub.com should you have any additional feedback you would like to share with us. We thank you for your review and hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards,

Adriana Toledo
Customer Service Manager
Bahia Principe Privilege Club

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

On our arrival we were put into a room on the top floor which was nice, but all the rooms are the same really. On the same evening of our arrival after a long flight, we were trying to get some sleep there was a droning noise which on investigating was the air con pump vibrating, which was located right on top of our roof this was really annoying. So rang reception and we were moved the next morning, which was ok but it would have been nice to be moved that night. But it was Mexican independence day so the hotel was very busy.

The resort is beautiful and the grounds are very well kept clean and tidy.
The grounds staff work very hard to keep it immaculate. The waiter’s and waitresses
are very friendly and professional, always topping up your wine, clearing your table.

The ground floor room we stopped in was nice, but was needing ( in my opinion ) fresh paint. Although our cleaner martin always did a good job in cleaning our room, we did find there was a musty smell in the room which comes from the linen or the air con units, this was not a problem as you get use to it and it is a very humid climate.

The food in the buffet, as some have mentioned is a bit bland and tasteless and the food did not seem hot enough but some was ok, but saying that it was always clean and the standard of hygiene was very good.
On the other hand we found the al a carte restaurants to be very good and the food seemed to be better. Try the Mexican coffee it is very nice.
So all in all we had a good time and a pleasant experience.
Marks out of 10
Food buffet… 4
Food al a carte… 7
Hygiene… 9
Room… 5
Grounds… 10
Pools… 8
Beach… 6
Hotel staff… 10
Staff selling time share at the resort… 0 you are annoying.

So to finish off. Thank you to all the staff you are nice genuine friendly people.
Tips
Take mosquito repellent
Take US dollars as well as Mexican money. As the shops in and around the resort are priced in dollars.
Walk straight past the people selling tours on the exit to Cancun airport

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Mat B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPCOBA, Public Relations at Grand Bahia Principe Coba, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2012

Dear “MatB”,

It is really nice of you to share your comments, about your experience in September here at Gran Bahía Príncipe Coba. We are really happy to read that you enjoined the kindness of our staff; Martin will be pleased to hear that you delight his service.

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. We will forward your comments to all our staff.

It would be an honor to welcome you again,

Truly yours,

Ilse Saldaña
Public Relations

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2012

My husband and I stayed from 10/17 to 10/24. This was our fifth time to Mexico (stayed at Iberostar Maya, Iberostar Lindo, Valentin Imperial Maya, and Grand Palladium Colonial. We chose this resort because it was huge and we read great reviews about this resort.
We booked our vacation with vacations to go. We paid for a private transfer (Lincoln Navigator) because without the private transfer it would take about 1 ½ hours-2 hours to arrive. Upon arrival at the airport, Lomas travel told us that we weren’t getting the Navigator. We showed them our itineraries proving that we paid for the transfer to and from the hotel. They told us to wait because they had to call up and confirm this information. Had to wait 15 min., but they eventually gave us the Navigator after we insisted on getting it.
Before arrival, we emailed Felix (manager) our dinner reservations for the a-la-cartes, told them that it was my birthday and our wedding anniversary, and requested that we stay in a quiet location on the third floor. Check in was quick and easy, but they put us by the noisy pool and on the second floor. We just wanted to settle in because it was already 6 pm. The next day we went to confirm our dinner reservations. Told us that 2 out of 3 they couldn’t find in their system and we had to wait for the manager. One of the reservations they had to change our date and time! We went to the Tulum lobby because we had to meet with our Lomas travel rep to get departure time to get to the airport. The woman told us that one of the reservations was closed, but we were able to get one of the reservations we wanted. The Lomas travel rep told us that they didn’t have our names in their system. How can this be when we arrived at the resort? We asked him how do we know when this will be taken care of. He said that we should come back later on or the next day. The next day we asked if we had a transfer and he told us that we have a transfer, but it’s not a private transfer so we showed him the paperwork again. He took pictures and told us that we should call our travel agency to take care of. We told him that we aren’t going to get refunded for the private transfer and we need a ride back to airport. After a few days, still not resolved. The day before our last day, we went back and he told us that we don’t have a private transfer, but we have a Eurovan. At this point, we didn’t feel like arguing because we realized it wasn’t going anywhere. NOT WORTH MAKING RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE BECAUSE THEY DON’T ACCOMMODATE YOU.

The resort is huge, but the layout is terrible. The trolleys come when they feel like it and sometimes you can wait up to 15 min. for one. Before getting on the trolleys make sure to ask the driver where he’s going otherwise you can end up on the other end of the resort.

Drinks: watered down.

Food: Decent. It all looks good, but you get sick of the food really quickly. We aren’t picky eaters, but by day 3 we didn’t want to eat at the buffets anymore. Missed dinner one night because we didn’t want to eat the food. We tried eating at the Akumal buffet for lunch (around 1:30) and we couldn’t find a table. As we were walking around the buffet, we noticed a man holding his baby in a diaper over the ice cream cones. Next day we went back for breakfast and noticed that a baby and a 2 year old had clothes and when they left the buffet, they were in diapers. Realized it was the same baby. Our favorite a-la-cartes were Don Pablo and La Gran Tortuga (Brazilian). Don’t waste your time at Mikado or Le Gourmet (French), the food is terrible. At the French restaurant, it took us 2 hours to get our food. Best buffet is Tulum. Asked for chicken tacos at snack bar, didn’t have anymore. Only had chicken nuggets (gave 4 per adult) and French Fries. Another snack bar, the bartender held up a cockroach and started laughing.
Breakfast: eggs, fresh omelettes, bread, croisstants, pancakes, French toast, bacon, sausages, Mexican corner, yogurt, cereal, fruit, and juices.
Lunch and dinner: sushi with ginger and wasabi sauce, hamburgers, French Fries, pizza, hot dogs, grouper, salad, pasta station, meat carving station, Mexican corner, nachos with cheese, guacamole and salsa, and a ton of desserts.

Service: What service? Horrible. Asked for 2 cappuchinos at breakfast and was told they don’t have them. Next morning, same buffet, ordered them and they did have them. I waited at the lobby bar for 15 min just to get 2 drinks. A man cut me off and the bartender served him instead of me. Another time at the lobby bar, I asked for 2 cappucinos, the waitress told me to ask the bartender and he told me that she was making them. After waiting 15 min and no drinks, I just left. Pool bars are crowded and the bartenders are rude. They see that there are people waiting and they walk away. The staff never smiles and if you ask for anything, it seems like you are bothering them.

Pools: Very shallow. Kids everywhere. Should have a separate section for the adults and kids.

Tried calling home (bought an international calling card before we left) and it didn’t work. Asked the front desk and they told me that you can only use the resorts calling cards. The calling cards are $20 US dollars for 22 minutes.

Pros:
• Price
• Small portions
• wildlife

Cons:
• Premium drinks- extra charge per drink
• Drinks watered down
• Shallow pools
• Rocky beach
• Service
• No A/C’s in some of the a-la-cartes
• No water (only bottled water in room)
• No chairs (have to play towel game)
• Glasses not clean. Taste what last person drank
• Too many kids
• Jacuzzi bars not open
• Other guests (saw that someone pooped in Jacuzzi)
• Don’t clean pools
• Refrigerator not cold

TIPS AREN’T WORTH IT. We tipped the maid $5 the first day and she didn’t give us any extras (left a note asking for an extra bottle of water). After we didn’t tip, didn’t leave water in our room and no chips

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank Michelle M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPCOBA, Public Relations at Grand Bahia Principe Coba, responded to this reviewResponded October 31, 2012

Dear "Michelle M"

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 maintain the quality and service in the Gran Bahia Principe Coba, Riviera Maya Resort Mexico.

We are truly sorry that we could not provide you a more personalized service. That certainly does not reflect the commitment and the quality that we have exhibited for many years, this is not normal that we have this type of incidents, we have reviewed your comments with the different departments and introduce corrective actions or improvements where is necessary.

We expect to have the opportunity to welcome you again to be able to offer a more charming experience.

Yours faithfully

Ilse Saldaña
Public Relations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2012

Originally, the four of us first booked another hotel with Thomas Cook to be told a week before we went that two of the four swimming pools (including the one with the pool bar) were being repaired and would be out of commission. Eventually, we changed to the GBP in Akumal but it was a bit rushed - I was trying to read a 'tell it like it is' review from a Canadian chap as we were re-booking on the phone. We booked exec rooms and said we did not wish to stay at the Coba as the Canadian said that it was a long way from the beach - and so it was - you need to catch a trolley bus..
When we arrived we were taken to the Tulum (impressive) and greeted with a nice drink. We were then shown to our block which was at the Coba but not as good as we were expecting. We had a view of the impeccable gardens plus a muddy field and our friends were situated right by the main road - just what you need after 16 or so hours' travelling. When we complained we were told that only the Coba has the exec rooms and to come back tomorrow. We were moved to another Coba block and what a difference. Same room layout except that there were drinks, chocs and crisps in the fridge, bottles of water, slippers and white towelling robes which we did not have before in our 'exec' rooms. A weekly tip to the cleaning staff ensured that the fridge was kept topped up and we got a towel 'animal' every day (it would have been nice to have hibiscus petals on the bed and George Clooney in it - but there you go).

There are two good but shallow pools near the Coba with a pool bar but there were not enough beds so you had to reserve them by towel (which is against the rules but who cares). The beaches are near the Akuma and Talum Hotels but the beach at the Tulum has humungous sand bags to break the waves. However, one day we got the bus to the Tulum cultural centre and then asked a taxi to take us to the beach. Fantastic tropical, white, fine, sandy beach with actual Mexicans enjoying themselves rather than just there in uniforms to serve us. Good laugh.

The food was was very good. I don't think anyone can say that they could not find something good to eat every day. The Japanese restaurant is probably the best one that we went to with the fish one the next best. However, I have to tell you that if you are looking for Tex Mex then forget it. In fact, the best meal we had that was (my idea of) Mexican based was at the airport before we flew home.

There are two things known in life. - a man likes his beer and he likes his newspaper. Sadly, there were no US or English newspapers but the staff got you a 4 - 6 page photocopy of some newspaper every day so you had to ask and wait while they did this. Also, HORROR OF HORRORS - uncover your eyes slowly when you read this - the bars closed really early. On one night they closed at 10.20 pm; the last night was the latest whilst we were there, being 11.20 pm as so many people had complained. Apparently there had been some trouble there before so now they closed early. When we took this up with the rep she looked ascance and said that there was 24 hour drinking ie you could get soft drinks all night in the pool snack bar. I'm not a violent person but she was quite close to getting a slap. The drinks are not full strength anyway (I am not a big drinker so get tipsy quite easily and the drinks at the Hotels didn't even touch the sides); I think it is a way of saving money and the drinks were nice enough anyway. We were told that we could go to the disco until two o'clock and drink there but we didn't want to get drunk and jig about - we just wanted to mellow, quietly, until the early hours in the cool night air - which we can't do at home because it's freezing cold.

I am, sadly, middle-aged, and this is the first holiday I have had for 47 years when I have been tucked up in beddie byes by 11.30pm. I saw a lot of sad, disappointed, faces at closing time which turned into disbelief. I felt really sorry for the family of 8 Americans who came to the bar, juggled some seats to their table, carefully chose their drinks and were then told at 10.50 pm that 'bar closed'. All that way, all that money and you can't get a newpaper and a piggin' drink.

There are lots of souvenir shops selling much the same, some nice dresses and jewellery but quite a lot of not very nice stuff. Again, there was better at the airport.

You also need to know that the place is about 20 minutes' bus ride from any town which means that you cannot take much of a stroll and meet any locals that are not working. We knew this when we booked (in a rush as I've said) and it didn't seem so bad then, but, bearing in mind that we are from sunny England we forgot what 'hot' really means (a bit like labour pains ladies) so it was a real sweaty effort to catch the tram to the entrance, and then wait for the bus to town.

However, I don't want you all to think that we are a bunch of winging Poms (well we are but I'm with the Canadian on this one). There were some good bits. The staff were always polite to us (don't know what happened to the other reviewer) apart from the bar staff who were a bit stern at closing time. The best bits were the swimming with Dolphins at Dolphinaris at Tulum. They are well cared for and very well trained - a 'remember it 'til you die' day. More money but worth it and you get an hour and a half with the dolphins and some very interesting info too. You are niot allowed to wear sun screen so go when you are a bit tanned. In contrast the same company owns the dolphinarium at the GBP which is everything you would not want to see. The pool is clean but quite small and therefore very sad. Not the way to keep dolphins in captivity even if they are well looked after.

The other thing you should do is to take a boat ride to go snorkelling on the coral reef. Brilliant! Good fun, good, simple food and great music. We went on the Mexican one and saw loads of fish and a turtle close up too which was a bonus.

Would I go again to Mexico? Well, when we started, we were looking for a sea view, tropical beaches, a nice hotel, a slow but steady flow of alcohol and a bit of a Mexican experience with a dollop of Old El Paso thrown in. The hotel was excellent most of the time and we found our own tropical beach but all in all, not what we expected. For those who are old enough to remember the tv programme The Prisoner - its a bit like that - perfect surroundings but a bit weird - like a Las Vegas hotel without the gambling and Steptford staff. If you want to just lie by a pool or on nice(ish) beach and have good hotel facilities and 24 hour food (did I tell you there was no 24 hour proper drinking?) then go ahead.

Oh yes. We were warned that the beaches were stoney/rocky and we all went out and got special shoes. I have to report that these were not necessary. British feet have seen much worse in Cornwall, so you just have to be a bit tentative.

Eve

Room Tip: Higher floors get less bugs and the water does not seep under the door when it rains heavily.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank jessiejessie19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RRPPCOBA, Public Relations at Grand Bahia Principe Coba, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2012

Dear “Jessiejessie19”

Comments like yours help us to improve our service every day. Thank you for taking the time to share with us your experience here at the Gran Bahía Príncipe Coba.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome and value we will forward to the Food & Beverage department, also to the other departments involved.

We expect to have the opportunity to welcome you again.

Yours faithfully

Ilse Saldaña
Public Relations

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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 Coba

Address: Carretera Chetumal - Cancun Km 250, 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:
#4 Casino Hotel in Akumal
#5 Family Hotel in Akumal
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#8 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#10 Spa Hotel in Akumal
Price Range: $139 - $302 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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, motorized sports (additional charge), water activity centre, entertainment amphitheater. WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge), buffet restaurant, 4 a la carte restaurants, 8 bars, 2 snack bars. 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 bathtub, 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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