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“Grand Bahia Principe Mexico”

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Grand Bahia Principe Coba
Ranked #12 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Clevelanc
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Grand Bahia Principe Mexico”
Reviewed June 22, 2013

Just had an outstanding two weeks at this fantastic hotel. He whole experience was great. The restaurants were second to none. The buffet had such a vast variety to choose from and the a la carte restaurants(of which there were plenty) were the best I have ever had. The wine was reasonable to the point of pleasant . I can think of no reason that anyone could possibly go here and fail to have a great time.

Room Tip: Cobs or the premier suites I would choose if staying there again
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ellen 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 review, June 23, 2013
Dear Ellen,

We are grateful that you and our family decided to stay here in the Grand Bahia Principe Coba for your recent family holidays, it make us very happy to read that you had a wonderful time enjoying our facilities and services, we would like to have the opportunity to welcome you and your family back here in your new Mexican Caribbean home.

Kindest Regards,

Family holidays with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts

Ilse Saldaña
Grand Bahia Principe Coba
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Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2013

We stayed at the GBP Coba from June 9-16. Luckily, we had arrived after Tropical Storm Andrea had blown through the week prior.
My husband and I were visiting for our 25th wedding anniversary. We had stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe with our kids when only the Tulum and Akumal side existed.

We travelled with Air Transat - be warned, they do charter out a different company to get you to the resort. The particular company that we flew was Enerjet. Just as an FYI, they don't have any tv monitors or a spot for headphones to listen to music, so come prepared with an alternate form of entertainment.


Overall this was a good trip - how can you go wrong with hot sun, palm trees, crystal clear water and the hardest decision you'll have to make all week, is where to eat and what to drink
! The hotel is beautiful and the grounds and hotel areas are immaculate. The staff that we had any dealings with were very helpful and accommodating, even though, as some previous reviewers had indicated,m the resort was very very busy and they did seem to be understaffed.

Huge contingent of European guests at this resort at this time of year - so be prepared for some toplessness, not that this was an issue, as this was usually kept to the beach and not at the pools.

Restaurants - as we were staying on the COBA side we at the the buffet there, the Kukulcan. We did have access to the Cozumel buffet in the mornings, but we didn't make use of it as I really enjoyed the breakfast churros they put out every morning in the Kukulcan that didn't seem to be served anywhere else. The Kukulcan appeared to be the bigger of the two buffets we did visit, we never did get around to checking out the buffet on the Akumal side.

Of the buffets we did visit, they had a standard configuration - area for fresh fruits/desserts, a healthy corner, a vegetarian corner, Mexican corner, Asian corner and depending on whether it was breakfast or lunch, you would have a huge section of various cooked foods, made to order eggs, pasta, grilled meats. We have visited a number of all inclusives over the past 10 years and really the food wasn't bad at all. There were plenty of options to choose from. Given how busy the resort was, I would say that the poor cooking staff including dishwashers, and wait staff would have been run off their feet, but still the quality of the food was good.

A la cartes - as a golden member, we were entitled to 4 a la cartes during the week. Just as an FYI, for those of you who have prebooked reservations at the Arlequin this restaurant is closed for June as well as the Dolce Vita for renovations.
While we would have liked to try the Tortuga, Le Gourmet or any of the Mexican a la cartes Don Pablo or Tequila, we found that we could not even get a reservation for any of these restaurants as they appeared to be all prebooked online prior to guests arriving at the hotel.
This is the first resort we have been to that allows you to book your a la cartes prior to your arrival. This is a great option, if you know about it, but if you don't , it will be difficult if not impossible to get a reservation at a decent time. I believe we were offered the option to go to one of the above restaurants but the only reservation time that would have been available would have been at 10:30 at night.

We did end up trying Le Pescador, the Mediterraneo and the Mikado.
Le Pescador - I had the New Orleans Style Shrimp which was very very tasty and my husband had the special of the day - which was the grouper. He liked mine better as it was tastier. Our waiter, (I can't remember his name) may have needed a bit more training as after he took our orders, we didn't see him again, so very difficult to get a refill on water or wine. They did have the coffee cart where they do the flamed coffees, so I had asked if I could get a specialty coffee with decaf - our waiter advised us that that was not possible. We left the restaurant and was able to get that specialty coffee in the Akumal Lobby with decaf coffee. It would have been great customer service if he had been able to get that decaf coffee as they provide guests with packages of decaf in our rooms, at the snack shacks and in the lobby, however, it wasn't a big deal, but would have been a nice touch if he had made the effort to get it. Our reservation by the way was at 7:30, and not many people in the restaurant at the time.

Mediteraneo, - my husband and I had the New York Steaks. These were good, but nothing memorable. As we were being eaten alive by the mosquitoes in the restaurant, our waiter did bring us a bottle of OFF so we could apply and ward off the mosquitoes.

Mikado - we weren't able to get a show table and again this wasn't a big deal as we have travelled to other resorts and had been able to see a similar show previously. While the show is entertaining, it was much more relaxing just sitting at a table and taking our time wiht dinner, it did appear that the folks sitting at the show table were there only 45 mins and then the tables were readied for the next guests. I believe there were 6 show tables in the Mikado.

We did grab a snack at the snack shack La Casita a few times at night. Given that the bars closed at 11 p.m., we were able to get a snack and an alcoholic beverage there. I don't know if the main bar at the Tulum side stayed open any later, we only ventured there one night to watch the Michael Jackson show.

While we were there, as many of the other reviewers indicated - there was ALOT of mosquitoes. I'm not sure if there were so bad because of all the rain they had the week prior, but even bringing deep woods off, didn't help a lot.
We did see a lot of guests were little yellow bands on their wrists and ankles. Unforunately we didn't find out what they were until the end of our trip - they were mosquito repellant bands which we saw at the Hacienda. We talked to some of the folks who were wearing them and they thougt it may have deterred the mosquitoes a little bit. So be warned, the squitoes were biting day and night on any parts of your body that didn't have bug repellant.

Trams were easy to use, but agree that there seemed to be issues with the infrequency of trams going to COBA.

We didnt' do any excursions as this was our 5th or 6th time to the Mayan Riviera. My husband was looking into a fishing expedition - if you booked at the Scuba Dive Shop at the Coba beach they were charging $180 for 2 hours. If you went into Akumal (5 -10 mins away by Collectivo or Taxi, they were charging at the dive shop $150 for 3 hours.

We were going to go on our own to Akumal beach so that we could swim with the turtles, as we had done a guided tour last year. Unfortunately we asked our Transat Rep how far it was from our resort to Akumal and he indicated to us that as it is mating season, we may be turned away from the areas where the turtles feed, unless we were visiting with a guide. He did indicate he wasn't sure, but he did warn us that we may not be able to swim with them. Unfortunately, we found out later from several other guests who had gone on their own to Akumal, that they had no problems getting to the beach - as it is public, and there was no one to stop you from snorkeling with the turtles. My feeling is is that he was trying to sell us a package. He put enough doubt in our heads for us to not go...so, if you are considering going to Akumal beach...do it!!! It's an amazing experience. You can apparently rent gear from the Dive Shop there if you need fins, snorkels, life jackets etc.

While the resort was beautiful, - I am not sure I would return again. Had a much better experience at the Grand Palladium last year and a few years prior to that.

If you have any questions - please contact me.

We had upgrade to the Golden Club as it was only

Room Tip: We were located in Villa 30A on the Coba Side which overlooked the pool and the children's water...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank andhowlee
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 review, June 23, 2013
Dear Tripadvisor user,

We appreciate that you and your husband decide to visit us again for your 25Th Anniversary it was an honor for us that you decide to visit Grand Bahia Principe Coba for that especial occasion.

The feedback of our guest is very important to us as it help us to improve day by day the quality of our service, we have discuss all your observations with the Management board, particularly with our Food&Beverage Manager we would like to apologize for the incident that you describe with the service in Pescador, we have already take strong measure to avoid this from happening again.

We hope to have the opportunity to welcome you and your family back here our in any of the hotels of our chain.

Receive our warmest regards,

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel on Riviera Maya

Ilse Saldaña
Grand Bahia Principe Coba
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Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2013

My husband and I took our week-long honeymoon to Coba June 11-18. Upon arrival we were greeted with very small frozen drinks and taken to our room. I was already disappointed. There was nothing special for our honeymoon (even though I emailed 3 times reminding them). The room also smelled terrible, and the air conditioning never really cooled down the room. It was always too hot in our room to sleep with blanks let alone cuddle with one another! We did get 3 towel animals during our stay, and our fridge was stocked with a few drinks and 1 bag of chips on our 2nd day. During the thunderstorm, our ceiling leaked and we had a huge puddle in our room :( I had to wash all of our clothes and bags (dirty and clean) after returning from our trip because they all have the terrible musty smell of our room :(

Food was OK. There was never any variety in the buffets and I stayed away from some foods that just made me nervous. We ate at 3 a la carte restaurants. Le Gourmet had great service but not good food. Don Pablo was decent food but it took us 2hrs to eat. Our reservation was at 830pm and the place was half-empty. Why so slow?? Our last meal on site was at Dolce Vita. Food was not very good at all but we had a beautiful view of the ocean. Shout-out to Gilberto who drove us there in the thunderstorm so that we wouldn't miss our reservation! Make sure you order a "mexican coffee" at one of the restaurants-they put on a great fire show at your table.

We signed-up for 1 excursion to Xplor. We had fun but were ready to leave by 3:30 and bus didn't take-off until almost 5:30. We also ventured out one night to La Buena Vida in Akumal ($20 taxi ride each way was absurd-the ride was 10 minutes). Everything about this place is fantastic-make sure you check it out!

The pools and beaches were beautiful. Make sure you go really early (before 9am) to get a chair at the beach! Lobby was nice and provided free WiFi. It would have been great to be able to access WiFi at the pools as well and/or in our room. Almost all of the staff members were friendly and helpful. The grounds are kept clean and there are a lot of weird looking animals walking around. The mosquitos were insane! My husband said it looked like I had chicken pox after walking from our room to the buffet the first night. We bought a bottle of bug spray at the store and some itch-cream for the rest of the trip, but those suckers continued to bite us anyway!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alana1712
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 review, June 27, 2013
Dear Alana

Thank you very much for sharing the feedback from your honeymoon here in the Grand Bahia Principe Coba, we are very sad to read that we did not approach your expectations.

We have had a meteorological phenomenon during your stay that unfortunately caused some damage in our Hotel, which was not in our control, 5 days with strong raining that become into Tropical Storm “Andrea”. We are able to change the rooms for the affected guests that reported any situation and tried very hard to please and entertain everybody during the incident as much as we could.

As the hotel is located in the middle of the beautiful Mayan jungle, mosquitoes are part of the atmosphere we are living in especial after the rain, we are sorry our strict fumigation program was not effective for you and your husband.

We will be happy to transmit your especial mention to Gilberto, he will be happy to know that you enjoy his service, it will be an honor for us if you give a second chance to restore your confidence in our chain.

Receive our warmest regards,

Ilse Saldaña
Grand Bahia Principe Coba
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Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2013 via mobile

Stay here mid may loved it. On arrival they told us we had two double beds and not a king we were disappointed but once in the room realized the design is two doubles pushed together! So you sleep together but on your own bed by design totally awesome! Really enjoyed the disco and the shopping In la hacienda Dona Isabelle. All the al la carte restaurants left something to be desired but such is Mexico. Overall we enjoyed our stay coba has the best swimming on all Bahia resorts on this beach although akumal had the party beach and better snorkelling! Lots of Europeans and Canadians here! Only complaints are wifi only in the lobby unless you wish to pay 16 bucks a day and good luck getting food from the 24 hour snack bar after 10 it was nuts. Other than that great stay, oh and the environmental donation they put on your bill is optional you can opt out on checkout it was about 7 bucks. Other advice would be take a cab to tulum ruins, its totally worth it, gave them 50 bucks round trip, cab driver actually came back to get us at our desired time about 2 hours. It's a bit of a walk Into the gate If you've been to a ruin before you don't need a tour but bring sunscreen an water! Costs about 6 bucks per person to enter no big deal. The airline excursion cost 70 bucks each so we basically got 2 for one! Viva la Mexico!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank D 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 review, June 23, 2013
Dear Tripadvisor user,

We are grateful that you share the experience of your recent visit to Grand Bahia Principe Coba the feedback of our guest it is very important as it help us to improve and reinforce all our services, it is a pleasure to know that you were pleased with our installations and services. All the donations are for our Ecological foundation that is in charge to protect the turtles that arrive to our beach also as different programs to help developing communities. Looking forward to welcome you back again soon.

Sending our kindest regards,

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, a 5 star experience on the Mayan Riviera,

Ilse Saldaña
Grand Bahia Principe Coba
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2013

My husband and I returned yesterday from our second stay at Grand Bahia Principe Coba (Royal Golden). Overall, we had a wonderful vacation but we may reconsider our resort choice when we return to Mexico next year due to a decline in service level. Things have changed a bit since our last visit- if this would have been our first visit, we may have not fallen in love with GBP the same way we did in June of 2012. This review is very detailed and my basis for comparison is our visit last year. We went with what we felt were appropriate expectations considering cost, value, atmosphere/ambience and what we knew from last year. We are a married couple in our 30's, easy going and laid back travelers who have traveled the world. Last year, had I written a review- we would have given GBP 5 stars without hesitation. We experienced top notch, friendly service at all times last year. This year was a bit more hit and miss.

CHECK IN:

Positives- Check in at the Premier Lobby was very quick this year. We were in our room within ten minutes of stepping foot on the resort, a full 30 minutes earlier than they typically allow you to check in. Our room requests were honored and Felix even took the time to print out and staple our dinner reservations to our packet for us upon arrival. (Speaking of Felix- we didn't see him once. We were looking forward to greeting our amigo once again! When we asked about him, we were given a simple "Not here" from the front desk. Oh well!) Our bellboy arrived with our luggage within a minute of walking in to our room.

Negatives- The gentleman working the front desk at the premier lobby during our week long stay was embarrassingly rude. I continued to be polite in my interactions with him while he seemed to become more and more abrasive towards me and other guests. The first time we saw a smile from him was upon check out. Not a major deterrent as we didn't have any need to frequent the front desk for anything other than check in/check out and a request for more water to our room, but as far as first impressions go- he is not the guy to have up there! During check in, he spent it on the phone with someone and did not talk to us directly until he told us our room number and waved his hand at us to move along. Upon arrival to our room we discovered he did not include a safe key in our packet. We went back down to get it and were told we would be charged for a safe key this year, which was given to us free of charge last year as we were golden guests and that was to come with the package. He argued that was never true and we must have had too many tequila shots last time... Needless to say, we skipped the safe key and locked our belongings in our luggage without any issues. No welcome drink this year either. It's all part of that welcoming experience, somewhat bummed that wasn't created for us but certainly not a deal breaker.

ROOM:

Positives- The room was just as fabulous as last year. In fact, we liked our room this year even better than last years. This year, we stayed in villa 3a- a very close walk to the beach and away from the pool/snack bar sounds. It was perfect for us. We requested a mattress topper prior to our arrival which was honored and helped make the bed a bit more tolerable. I don't mind the typical hard Mexican beds but it drives my husband batty. He thought the mattress topper helped but he ended up stuffing a few towels under the sheets for extra padding after the 3rd night. The room was nice and cold every day and shockingly- no humid/jungle smell we had come to expect!

Negatives- I truly can't think of one. For the cost value and understanding this is a 3 star resort- this room exceeds expectations! While we did notice some wear and tear throughout the buildings, knowing this isn't the Ritz- we didn't feel this was an issue at all.

MAID:

Positives- Our maid Lloya was outstanding. She met always provided extra towels and left the room sparkling clean each day. We came back to our room one day while she was still cleaning and we sat on our patio as she finished. She was quick but very thorough and takes a lot of pride in her work. She always waved and said "Hola" whenever we happened to pass her in the resort. Sweet girl!

Negatives- We didn't get a towel animal. Silly thing to even mention, but I enjoyed that last year. She did make a neat little design out of our sheets on our last night and that was pretty cool. For my birthday and our anniversary last year, we had little surprises in our room. This year, not so. Not enough to turn me off from the resort at all, just a small mention in a minor change in service.

FRIDGE-

Positives- Our fridge kept our items cold.

Negatives- The young man refilling our fridge needs a new job. Last year we requested no beer/sodas, just extra water and our requests were met without hesitation. This year, I happened to be in the room one day that he came to refill our fridge. The first two days he did not restock anything except chips (which we weren't even eating, so we were up to three bags in the little fridge.). I had to call down to the front desk to request more water. The day I was in the room I asked him for this request and handed him a larger than normal tip for the inconvenience. He kept his hand out and said "More"... you're kidding me, right?! I was so turned off by this I said never mind and politely asked him to leave the room. For the remainder of the trip, he did not come by to restock our fridge at all.

FOOD:

Positives- We mostly ate Cozumel buffet for breakfast and lunch. The omelet chef in Cozumel was amazing and remembered exactly the type of omelets my husband and I liked from day one. Occasionally, he would begin to make them for us when he saw us walk in! This man deserves a raise! I witnessed so many people being rude to him, yet he just kept on making omelets and greeting everyone with a smile. He's a true gem in the resort!

We stopped into La Casita twice for lunch- both times we ordered the chicken taco's which were delicious! The ribs looked great too but we never tried them.

We ate all of our buffet dinners in the Coba Buffet as it was the biggest and had the most options. We stopped into Akumal and Tulum's buffet but decided against them and continued on to Coba's. The options were plentiful and we certainly never left hungry. I tried my best to continue my healthy diet throughout my stay and didn't have any problems in doing so while dining in the buffet. The fresh grilled fish was amazing every night!


Gran Tortuga- By far the BEST meal we had all week. We dined here last year as well and we agreed that it got infinitely better since then! Our waiter, Oliver, is the best waiter we've had at any restaurant- EVER. We had gone out to a five star gourmet restaurant at home the night before our trip and we agreed that Oliver had provided an experience ten times better than our fancy dinner at home! Not only did he have us laughing our entire meal, he's very kind, over the top accommodating and loves his job. The food quality in the buffet and of the meats was much better than anything we experienced throughout our stay. We joked that if we come back again next year, we will dine at Don Pablo again (which was fabulous last year) and spend our other nights at Gran Tortuga with Oliver!

Negatives- The service in all of the buffets was very poor. The staff is stretched so thin, you are lucky if you even see them for a drink. Most nights we had to sit at a dirty table and clean it ourselves as the staff was too busy to handle the amount of guests dining. A few days in, we started getting our own drinks knowing we wouldn't see anyone come by. Any staff we did have was seen only once- either to bring a drink or to clear our plates at the end of the meal. We don't blame the wait staff for this- we felt horrible for them. All of them were sweating and running around as fast they could to accommodate their large sections, cleaning as quickly as they could, serving drinks where they could and dodging kids running around. This needs to be reevaluated. Understandably it is "slow season", but the resort is still packed and there simply isn't enough help.

Also worth noting- there were two young ladies working the mexican station in the Coba buffet one day who were so horribly rude, I almost considered taking time out of my vacation to make a complaint. These ladies were bad mouthing a few overweight guests in spanish (I suppose they assume most of us don't speak Spanish so they can say what they want! Wrong!) and while preparing quesadillas would literally throw them on the platter (some of which landed on the floor and they would laugh!) and roll their eyes at the guests! Someone in front of me did speak up and asked them to be a bit more considerate and one of the girls called him a name I can't write here! Unbelievable!

We stayed away from the buffet options in La Casita because everything was covered in bugs even in their attempt to shield the food. This also rang true for the buffet starters in Frutos Del Mar and Tequila.

The food in Tequila was well below average, we didn't even finish our meal. I had heard mixed reviews but wanted to try it simply for the fun photo ops of wearing the silly hats! I would not recommend.

The food in Frutos del Mar was also a disappointment. Unfortunately, my husband and I were both sick that evening after having the seafood grill. We both noted a few bites in that it didn't taste right, so we discontinued our meal and just ate dessert instead. It is so hot in the restaurant, I imagine things spoils often in that environment.

BARS:

Positives: While we aren't very big drinkers so our bar review is limited, we mostly enjoyed an evening cocktail in the premier bar and found the beverages to be excellent when ordered from the bartender Luis- he was a fabulous bartender and my husband made a new amigo in him quickly. He always had great suggestions and when he was working, our drinks were delicious!

Negatives: The remainder of the staff (including the waitresses) in the premier bar were providing service well below what we were used to last year. Jesus was our regular bartender last year (I believe he was moved to the SK) and he spoiled us and every other guest rotten! This year, we could barely get a smile, an "Hola" or even a decent drink from any of the staff other than Luis. Another guest made a comment to us that because we were tipping, we seemed to get quicker service than he was getting. I cannot imagine what the service was like otherwise then because we typically waited over thirty minutes for our drinks when the bar was empty! On 3 other separate occasions, we ordered drinks from our waitress, only to never have her return! The waitresses that did return brought us the incorrect beverage every single time. We noticed many of the staff hanging out together in the back and ignoring the bar or playing on their cell phones. We decided to only get a drink when Luis was working and to order it ourselves. We went in fully understanding we were on "Mexico time", but this was just silly.

RESORT GROUNDS:

Positives: Absolutely stunning grounds! This is one of our favorite things about this resort. It is always clean and very well manicured. We love all the wildlife running around and the well lit pathways for our evening walks. We originally chose this resort due to it's size. While many find this to be an issue, this is a big plus for us as we love to go on walks and explore! We rarely use the tram service unless we are headed to a dinner reservation. On this second trip, we STILL haven't walked the entire resort. That's how big we are talking!

Negatives: None!

TRAM SERVICE:

Positives: We only used the tram for our dinner reservations and twice to the Hacienda. We had one tram trip with a driver who's name has slipped my mind, but as we were the only people riding, he took us on an adventure and drove us around for about twenty minutes to show us around. It was a blast! Most of the tram drivers were very friendly- one even had salsa blaring and was dancing around while driving. It made it a lot of fun!

Negatives: This was not a big deal for us because we came expecting it after our first visit- but if you are catching a tram for dinner, make sure you head out at LEAST 30 minutes prior to your reservation. The trams are always full at dinner time and many of them won't even take you to the restaurant- only the lobbies- due to the amount of people using the service at once.

We had an incident one night where it began to rain and several people were huddled under the entry way of the tulum lobby trying to catch a tram to Coba. Several trams came and went, none of which were to Coba. Someone had asked a bellboy and they specifically called for a tram to come our way. An empty tram finally showed up and when someone yelled out "Coba?" the driver yelled back that it was to the Hacienda. Nobody in the lobby was going to the Hacienda so they asked if he would make an exception and take everyone to Coba and he yelled "No!" and drove off with his empty tram. It took over twenty minutes before we gave up and walked back in the rain. We ended up enjoying our walk back, but there were many angry guests who started to fight tram drivers to take them to Coba. It was getting pretty nasty!

BEACH:

Positives: We love the beach at Grand Bahia. We knew ahead of time that there would be sand whales and rocks, but these things were not an issue for us. The water is crystal clear, we love that all the fish come right up to you and we love that you have the choice to swim in the crazy huge waves on the Tulum side or wade in the water on the Coba side. I went for a morning run daily on the beach during sunrise and it was stunning. I observed staff out every morning raking seaweed, cleaning the sand whales and setting up the chairs. The beach was always beautiful, just as it was last year!

Negatives: This was not a negative for us because we are very early risers so we always had first pick, but the towel game is hot and heavy here. While there are signs posted not to reserve loungers, it is not enforced at all. We would usually lounge on the beach after breakfast at 7:30 and stay until lunch. During that time, we observed every single seat being snatched up with a towel, a book, a scarf or some other personal belonging, only to have that person never return before lunch! Many guests were seen fighting over chairs or taking other peoples towels and throwing them on the ground in frustration.

POOLS:

Positives: We enjoyed the Coba quiet pool and the premiere Jacuzzi's. We are not really pool people when access to the ocean is available, but the option was nice every so often. I spent an afternoon lounging in a hammock at the Coba quiet pool which was lovely. Last year the hammocks had a distinct moldy smell to them. The hammocks appeared to be new this year and had no smell.

Negatives: The towel game is even worse at the pools! Out of the seven times we attempted to visit a pool- only once did we find a lounger that wasn't reserved. Again, loungers full of towels but no people!

ACTIVITIES:

Positives: We loved renting bikes from the Hacienda. We did this on our last day and rode around Tulum and Akumal. The bikes are rusty and falling apart and the helmets smelled horrible- but if you can have a good laugh about it, go rent the bike for an hour! This was one of our favorite memories from the trip!

Zumba on the beach was a blast but it was only available two of the days during our stay. I believe this was due to storms moving in so they didn't bring the speakers outside.

Negatives: The shows are not for us. We knew this based on our experience last year. While we did walk by the MJ show in the Coba section this year and dance along for a few minutes, we skipped everything else. It's just too hot to enjoy the shows in our opinion.

The entertainment in the premiere lobby is not nearly as good as last year. We recognized a 3 piece band that played last year in the Premiere and they did a great job entertaining us the first night, but they were quickly replaced with a duo the rest of the trip that was almost embarrassing to watch. One night the duo took an hour break, presumably because so many people were getting up and leaving in the middle of their songs.

The Dolphin Pool- It's been beaten to death, I know- but we actually rode our bikes to check it our this year to see if all the hype was correct. It broke our hearts seeing such a small pool for these dolphins. We noticed this isn't a very popular attraction either. Seems as though it might be time for management to let this one go!

Gift Shops- My husband purchased a few chips and assorted snacks in the gift shops throughout the resort and every single item was stale. Don't waste your $! Additionally, just about anything you find here you can find the exact same item elsewhere for at least half the price.

When it rains- Oh boy. Thankfully, I brought a deck of cards as we anticipated a bit of rain due to traveling during hurricane season. If we had not- we would have been bored out of our minds! We lost a good portion of our second to last day due to rain and decided to head to the Premiere lobby to play cards and relax. Dumb idea! The lobby was packed full of people, nowhere to sit, all looking miserable as the wait staff struggled to accommodate. We ran over to the Coba lobby hoping to find a spot and maybe some activities, but were met with the same situation there as well. Although, this time it included wet floors, people slipping, children crying, people fighting to get the bartenders attention and the wifi tied up. We played cards on the floor for about twenty minutes and then decided to go for a swim instead since we were going to get wet anyway. Guess what- this was the day we got a lounger! Ha!

ATMOSPHERE:

Positives: Again, as this was our second visit and we were very aware of where we booked, we came into it expecting certain things so we were not let down by certain aspects that would usually bug others.

We love the laid back vibe, the "middle of the jungle" feel, the beach and the beautiful grounds and room.

Negatives: While negative, this is nothing to do with the resort so I hesitated even mentioning- but we noticed a slight shift in clientele this time. Last year, we were surrounded by more couples, young and old, and a few families. It was a very quiet and relaxing trip with just enough activity from families to make people watching interesting. Plus it was adorable watching some of the little ones experience the ocean for the first time or seeing coati's running around. We just loved that!

This year, the resort was filled with a screaming child every single place we went to, children running through lobbies or the buffet and generally going crazy as their parents ignored them, couples fighting, extremely loud and drunk late teen/twenty somethings and several very unhappy guests. I had even mentioned to my husband within the first few minutes of arriving that all of the guests looked very unhappy and was curious as to if something tragic had just happened at the resort we were unaware of.

As far as the child issue goes- While we understand we have the option to choose the adults only SK- we decided against it because you are still surrounded by children during the day at the beach, which typically does not bug us at all and additionally- we had heard the mosquitos were really bad on that side. We have a child ourselves and considered bringing him on this visit, so an adults only section wasn't exactly what we were looking for- I guess we were just shocked at the amount of out of control children we saw running around this time. Perhaps the new child area attracted more families with children? Again, not typically an issue for us but some of these kids made us want a vacation from our vacation!

While we are not certain we will return to this resort again next year, we did have a very nice vacation and were happy that we came back to GBP. I would still recommend the GBP to friends, however I would adjust the expectation level this time. If you haven't been- I believe for the value, it is worth a visit! However, if you are a creature of habit and like to have a "home away from home" to visit occasionally, GBP may no longer be that place.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Tbug99
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 review, June 24, 2013
Dear Tripadvisor user,

First of all we would like to thank you for had chosen again Grand Bahia Principe Coba for your recent visit to the Riviera Maya, we appreciate that you take part of your time to share your detail review.

We are very sorry that this time we did not fulfil your expectations, we have already address all your comments to the management board, we have already take strong actions to avoid the incident that you described with the minibar service please accept our deepest apologies.

We will do our utmost and work to improve your next experience with us, if you can give us another change to restore the confidence in our chain by writing us a mail of your requests and wishes a few weeks before arrival and it will be our pleasure to help you in the best possible way.

Receive our warmest regards,

Ilse Saldaña
Grand Bahia Principe Coba
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Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 20, 2013 via mobile

We chose Gran Bahia as a first all inclusive vacation. We were immediately pleased with the service from day one. they have such a quality staff who genuinely appear to enjoy their work. The environment of all locations were outstanding, ie grounds, pools, restaurants, bars, and shows. For the course of nine days there were a few stand out people. Paulino provided great service at La Iguana bar. he went out of his way to make conversation with us and made sure we are enjoying our day. Andres did a great job keeping up with the orders at the party pool and had a good time doing it. Sebastian at Dolce Vita was very professional and a attentive. We plan to make Gran Bahia our vacation destination.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank otdoerferc
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 review, June 23, 2013
Dear Tripadvisor User,

It is a delight to read that you have a wonderful time here in the Grand Bahia Principe Coba, comments like yours are an important motivation of all the members of our team particularly your especial mentions, please be sure that we will transmit your nice words to all of them, we will be very happy to welcome you back here in your new Mexican Home.

Kindest Regards,

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, all-inclusive hotels on the Mayan Riviera,

llse Saldaña
Grand Bahia Principe Coba
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Salmon Arm, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2013

We just returned from a wonderful week at the GBP Coba. We were lucky to have missed the days of rain and had mostly sun for the duration of our stay.

To start, we travelled with WestJet Vacations. The flight was good, but the tv system is poor. They no longer have satellite coverage once you cross the Canada/US on our 5 1/2 hour flight, there were 4 channels, each offered 1 movie each for the entire trip and they were played at the start of the flight. Once they finished and hour and half later... they replayed the same sitcoms over and over again for the remaining 3 1/2 hours or so. Thankfully, we brought an iPad for our kids to watch movies and for games entertainment. The flight home was worse, no movies at all, and the re-ran the same sitcoms they played on the way down. They were out of some of their snacks too from the previous flight. Not well stocked at all so the flight was a long one home.

On arrival at the airport, we had booked a private transfer through Canada Transfers. They were fantastic. They were awaiting us just outside the airport, with our name on a sign so we found them easily. They offered us cold towels, beer and pop for the kids, each at $1 US. They were $69 USD one way. Great price, and the drive was only an hour.

Check in at the hotel went smoothly, many thanks to Victor the concierge who brought up all our suitcases to the 3rd floor in 1 trip (4 suitcase, one of which was over 40lbs itself!)!
Our villa was 20B, overlooking the main activity pool, and very close to the waterpark and within an easy walking distance of the main buffet. It was quiet at night as we went to bed during the shows. The only thing we found was that there was a shortage of towels in our room, there were 4 of us, and only towels for 2. The room was cleaned a little late in the day - around 4 on one day, so we had to wait before we could shower and get ready for dinner(an ongoing issue with the housekeeping all week - we had to ask the front desk at couple of times to deliver towels) Coffee in the room was rarely replenished as well. Not one towel animal for the kids :-( however, the room was always clean. Our ceiling had a leak in the bathroom after a night of rain, but not a big deal.

We found the waterpark a little young for our kids (10, 8), but they loved the quieter pools - the Flamboyan Bar Pool, and the other quiet pool closer to the Mikado restaurant (Angel and Jesus, you were Great Bartenders! Thank you for all your hard work!)

We went to the Tequila (Mexican ) Restaurant - food ok, but not great, and the service was very slow, and they weren't busy.

Brazilian Restaurant (Steak) absolutely fabulous! Service was great, food was fantastic. Loved the green for go, red for stop and the meat on the sword was really cool.


Mikado Restaurant (Japanese) great service, sushi was good, show table was amazing!

The grounds of the hotel were very well kept and beautiful. The lobbies and restaurants were always clean, as were the washrooms. You can tell the staff take pride in their work very much.

The lobby bar service was very good as were the Spanish coffees!

We did not find it a problem at all to travel among the hotels using the trams. The kids loved using them, and travelling to the little shops around the resort. We had a hard time remembering which tram went were, but Victor , again, was always there to point us in the right direction or even drive us himself. Thank you again!! There was bad service in one of the Premier clothing shops, the girl couldn't even get off the phone to tell me a price of something, rather she just put her hand over the phone to tell me and kept on talking after that. I would have bought the top, but I was so mad that I had waited for service and finally had to interrupt her that I walked out without buying it.

The Hacienda Shops were really neat, and my kids loved to walk around and buy their own souvenirs. The staff at these shops were all very friendly and willingly to strike a bargain.

The beach was rocky at the Tulum hotel, but very nice at Akumal. It was rather windy during our stay, but the day we spent at the beach was great. There were a lot of fish to see, and you didn't need a snorkel to see them the water is so clear.

We took a day trip to Xel Ha, and took a cab ourselves for 200 pesos. The snorkelling was fantastic, and the kids loved the easy zip lines. Food was ok.

The only negative service we received was from Our travel representative which was Best Day. We approached them our 2nd to last day to find out when we should be at the lobby for the bus transport to the airport and they were quite rude to us, pointing out that we would have gotten the info if we had attended the talk they give on the first day. (we didn't know about it as we didn't take their transportation from the airport, nor did they leave anything in the room to indicate we needed to be there... however, we had been to this resort a long time ago so didn't feel the need to be told again the tours, layout etc..)

The hotel property is really large, and offers many opportunities if you choose to take them. We will definitely be choosing this property again, and looking into the privilege club on our next trip!

Room Tip: Villa 20b 32036
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank FroggyTravels
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 review, June 23, 2013
Dear Tripadvisor user,

We are very content to read that you and your family were pleased with your stay here in Grand Bahia Principe Coba, thank you very much for sharing your experience with us, the review of our guest are very important as it help us to improve the quality of our services and to motivate all the members of our staff particularly those who are especially mention Jesús, Angel and Victor will be very happy to know that you remember them.

It will be an honor to welcome you and your family again soon,

Family holidays with Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts

Ilse Saldaña
Grand Bahia Principe Coba
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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

Property: 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:
#7 Family Hotel in Akumal
#8 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#10 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 8 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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