My boyfriend and I stayed in this amazing hotel from March 7 - March 14, 2009. All I can say is we absolutely loved it! We've both been to other resorts before, but we liked this one the best... BY FAR! It was 5 stars in our books.
Traveling from the airport:
We arrived at the Cancun airport around 8:30pm and it took a little over an hour to get to the hotel. Luckily, our bus didn't have to make any stops to other hotels along the way (the gran bahia principe is the furthest hotel from the airport).
We bought the Gold Membership package so we knew there was a different place to check-in... but this wasn't clear upon our arrival. There were no signs or anyone telling us where to go. Make sure that you ask where the Gold Membership Lobby is! We took a short tram ride there. We were told that we were in villa 7, but we wanted villa 22 or 23 because they are closer to the main lobby (we knew this coming in). Unfortunately, the unfriendly staff member gave us a hard time. We weren't able to switch our room... we were told to come back in the morning. My boyfriend got very upset! Then I asked if we could at least book our 4 a la cartes... and we were told that we couldn't. So we complained and this guy's supervisor came over and we booked our a la cartes and decided that if we really didn't like our villa location then we would switch in the morning.
The next day:
We ended up loving villa 7 because it is in a quiet area and it is only a short walk to the beach. There can be loud noise coming from the lobby at night (outside karaoke and other such events)... so villas 23 and 22 might not be so great if you want some peace and quiet.
We loved the food! We are both not picky eaters though...!! Every morning we got up for breakfast. We had an omelette made right before our eyes. My boyfriend loved the bacon... so did everyone else because the staff were always refilling it!! The main buffets at Coba and Akumal were very big! The one called Cozumel was a bit smaller, but still the same food... just not 2 omelette stations, etc. We usually ate at Akumal for breakfast and Coba for lunch.
As for the a la cartes... we loved "Le Gourmet". I swear we were closing our eyes and saying "mmm" with every bite. We also liked the italian and japanese. The seafood one at Akumal wasn't great though... just ok.
There are sandbags in the water, so the waves don't come crashing in. It's cool if you like calm water... we wanted the waves though! So we found a great spot at the Akumal beach. We swam in front of big mossy covered rocks and the waves would come and push us up onto the rocks!! It was so fun. Sometimes the waves were so strong that they pushed us up and over the rocks. We were always able to find a chair. If there aren't chairs in coba, there are some in tulum. But we recommend that you put towels on your chairs before breakfast at Akumal! One of us would get fresh towels and the other would find great chairs in the front row. All the chairs have little huts over them for you shade-lovers out there. We used walkie-talkies to find each other on the beach!
After lunch, we would go to the pools. The Coba loud pool is definitely the best. We swam, played catch... there's volleyball, waterpolo, ping pong... lots to do. There is an event board so you can see when everything starts. Many bars all around. Towel exchange place. Lots of huts for shade.
On our 3rd last day, one of the kind waiters offered to get me a drink called the "Riviera Maya"... it was the most beautiful tropical drink I've ever seen.. and it was delicious. Also, the "Mango Tango" was awesome.
We were tired at night. We found out that there was a disco at this shopping centre place called Hascidena. You have to wait in front of the Coba lobby for this rickity loud trolly to come pick you up. It kind of resembles a circus tent. Anyway, it will take you there. It's loud there. There's a sports bar... theatre... disco. One night there was a big mexican party. They had fireworks!
At Coba there was karaoke every night. Sometimes it was outside. I love karaoke, but we never ended up doing it because each session is only an hour long and a lot of the time it conflicted with our dinner reservations. If you want to do karaoke, ask the front desk when it is... or go to the Music Bar and ask. Then get there early to sign up. Also, make sure you have a couple of drinks.
I almost forgot this! The rooms are great. The king size bed was hard... but we liked it! There was a small couch area, balcony, hairdryer, jacuzzi, minibar with excellent chocolate bars and chips...
The room service is exactly what they serve at the 24 hour snack bar. Except, the room service food is fresh. The snack bar food kind of turned me off. The frozen yogurt machine was the best part! Oh.. and the nachos with cheese.
The whole resort area was so huge!!! Carry around a map with you. I went for runs around all 3 hotels and it took a long time. Everything was so neat! The maintenance staff do a great job.
In general, the staff were very friendly! They would say "Hola" when I walked by. You should tip the staff who are extra friendly to you. We tipped a chef that made us pasta... waiters... someone who helped direct us, etc.
They were so expensive. We couldn't believe swimming with dolphins for 40 minutes costs $160 each! We did the cheapest one... snorkling at Akumal with turtles, coral reef, and fishies. The boat ride was fun. It was a cool experience. Parasailing costs $60 for 12 minutes.
Here is a summary of some tips:
- Book "Le Gourmet" and order the soup with a ball of cheese in it... oh my it's delicious
- Towels on beach chairs early
- Ask the front desk about nightlife
- Go to Hascienda because bargaining is fun
- Don't stay in villas 14-17 because they are by the highway
- The area near the top of the Tulum section smelled like sewage everytime I ran by it - don't stay there
- Tip your maid, the waiters, the bus boys.....
- See the Michael Jackson show... it was amazing
Overall, I would come here again. I had the greatest time!
- 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