We extensively researched resorts up and down the Mayan coast before deciding on the Gran Bahia Principe Coba. It was definitely the right choice. The lush setting, the beaches, the incredible staff, the service and the area’s attractions and natural beauty make it a perfect destination. We were extremely pleased with Apple Vacations and with everyone we encountered along the way that was associated with Apple. Their operation was amazing. We could not have asked for better value for our travel buck. We have already recommended it to our traveling friends and will continue to do so. As soon as we can go back, we will.
Our stay at the Coba, between May 26th and June 1st, met or exceeded our expectations in every way. Our flight out of Boston was right on time and after running the gauntlet of luggage handlers and time share hawkers, the transfer bus to the resort was comfortable and cool. The bus stopped at a couple of resorts along the way. The stops were amazingly short, as the luggage experts were well organized. Once at the Gran Bahia Principe, we were checked in at the Premier lobby and driven to our room. The check in was really smooth, not a lot of waiting, and our room was fabulous. We had emailed Jorge Garcia in advance with a room request and he came through big time. We were assigned building 27, overlooking the quiet pool and right near the Jacuzzi pool and Iguana bar. Our room was clean, and well stocked with cold drinks, waters, and plenty of towels the entire stay. The Jacuzzi tub was great. They certainly did not skimp when furnishing these rooms. The entire resort is amazing. No cheesy beach chairs, nothing broken, not a light out, anywhere. It’s a gorgeous resort, so well maintained, manicured, and appointed. Each morning we saw the pool being cleaned, and cleaned really well, with care. The lawns are stunning. My boyfriend watched one morning as staff members actually carried a lawnmower over their heads in the pool, in order to mow the grass on one of the pool’s islands. This attention to detail only served to cement our satisfaction with the resort. We had no complaints whatsoever.
The Coba staff needs to be commended. Everyone was incredible. Delaney Olinyk and Jorge Garcia in particular deserve accolades. They gave us personal attention that we hadn’t expected in a resort of this size. It is greatly appreciated.
We were certainly well fed during our stay. We ate most often at the Kukulcan buffet, the main buffet for the Coba, but did go to the Cozumel buffet a couple of times and ventured over to the Tulum buffet once evening. Others who have reviewed have noted that the service at Coba was superior to that at the others and I’d have to agree. Some reviewers had complained about the temperature of the food. I found that since there was so much to choose from, the food on my plate cooled off as I walked around checking out the selection. I realize that they need to be able to accommodate tastes of all kinds, and that they did. There was so much to choose from, although, as others have said, toward the end of our stay, we found ourselves with a “buffet is a buffet is a buffet” mindset. The mind-boggling selection did get monotonous. I would have liked to see more Mexican food, but I like to experiment while on vacation and try new things. For a la cartes, we had been looking forward to the Mikado, but found out that it was closed for the week we were there. We had checked the menus online before leaving and chose La Tortuga in Tulum, the Oriental in the Hacienda, and El Charro at Coba, with the Oriental being our favorite. The service was the best and the food – my tempura shrimp – was cooked perfectly! Again, the staff was attentive and courteous. We were away from the resort at lunchtime every day except one, where we ate at the snack bar at Akumal, where the gelato was awesome.
Getting around, at the resort and on the outside, was pretty easy with a little planning. It took a couple of days to learn what was where and how to get there within the complex. It is huge, so be sure to allow time to get from one place to another. I think all of the walking we did helped keep the pounds off, considering how much we ate. The shuttles and trams will take you everywhere, but they are a bit confusing as to which goes where and when. At night or when there were few riders, we found that the drivers were very accommodating. I ran a couple of mornings and was delighted to see a capybara and so many iguanas sharing the walkways with me.
Just outside the Hacienda, there were taxis and usually a collectivo or two. Both were easy to use. We used the collectivo - $2 each - to go to Tulum, Xel Ha, and to Playa Del Carmen. We took a taxi to Akumal beach for $10, but now know that it’s not a long walk from the highway where they drop you off, to the beach.
Quick notes on these excursions:
Tulum – $2 to get there $4.50 to get in – check out the flea market, ruins are really cool – would hire a tour guide next time and learn more about the place, definitely bring towels, sunscreen, and your swimsuit as the beach was incredible! The waves made for great bodysurfing, the color of the sea is amazing, and the view of the ruins and the surrounding area is unbelievable.
Xel-Ha – soooo cooool. Spend the whole day. Definitely worth it to pay the extra $20 for the all inclusive option and eat and drink there. The buffet for lunch was $23 on its own, never mind the occasional drink over the course of the day. So many fish to see in the lagoon. You could float around all day. Tons of them near the bridges where people feed them. Take the option of biking to where you get in to float down the river. Really neat to bike on those paths in the jungle.
Playa Del Carmen – kinda trashy, lots of street salesmen. We took the ferry to Cozumel to snorkel at Dzul Ha beach club. Beautiful snorkeling and great clarity.
Akumal beach – after keeping an eye on the Akumal beach webcam on locogringo.com, I had to see the place for myself. The whole little village was cool, kind of bohemian, a couple of galleries, a couple of funky little restaurants – Turtle Bay café was a great lunch. Lucy’s Kitchen had the best chunky ginger ice cream I’ve ever had. AND we saw quite a few sea turtles and rays while snorkeling.
If you’re questioning, as we did, whether to spend your vacation at the Coba, our response would be a definite and resounding yes.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions that I might be able to help with. My email address is email@example.com.
- 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