Stayed at GBPC for 10 days (2 kids - 9 & 13, 2 adults).
Location: GBPC is a good 1.5 - 2 hour drive from the airport, even if you have direct transportation. If you dont like a long drive, choose something closer. We dont mind the drive ourselves. You are going to be about a half hour from Tulum and about 10 minutes from Akumal Bay. Xcaret and Xplor are about 45 minutes.
Lobby: There are 3 main Lobbies (Akumal, Tulum, Coba) and a premier and royal golden for those who want to upgrade. The main 3 lobbies can be very busy, so premier and royal will get you through the checkin process quicker....beyond that there isnt alot of benefit that we found. The main lobbies all have a buffet attached, and various lobby shops. For some reason, you cant get to the akumal buffet from the pool area (probably to control having people come straight from the pool\beach into the buffet area - which they dont allow for obivous reasons).
Room: All are suites, we were in villa 24B right beside the Hybiscus bar at the quiet pool in Coba premier section. location was ideal as it was a quick walk to quiet or activity pool and the main coba complex where the lobby, buffet, gym, shops and theater are located. Rooms are a good size for 4 people, bathroom is decent, and balcony provides a good place to dry your beach towels and swimwear. Safe was included in our room (Expedia includes this) however many other people had to pay. Main issue with the room is the A/C, which didnt work for us, even after we called to get it fixed. We were told to leave the fan on in the room! It never worked right for the 10 days we were there.
Housekeeping: Hit and miss. Several times we had to call for basic things like toilet paper and bar soap as they were not provided by housekeeping. Overall cleaning of the room was good.
Food: Weak point of this resort for sure. We were not impressed by the buffets or the a la cartes. We are not picky eaters, but as another recent reviewer said, alot of the items are not hot enough (things like eggs and meat, that need to be kept hot). The 'best' buffet is at Coba - kulkulcan. It has the biggest variety and also seems to be the busiest - except for lunch where alot of people tend to eat at Akumal buffet due to its proximity to the beach. We ended up eating omelletes from the fresh egg station, and cereral on most days for breakfast. While the buffets are large, there is a lot of repetition of items, so there is not as much variety as first appears. If you go when its busy, you will very likely find alot of empty food trays, which is annoying. Hated alot of the desserts...most taste like marshmallows or a mix of some sort.
A la cartes were ok to bad. Arlequin and tortuga were best ones we tried. mediterranean was quite bad. buffet for salads was virtually empty...again many cold 'hot' items (fish, etc). main course was passable, and dessert was another iteration of the marshmallow theme...terrible. snack bars are decent for a quick meal without having to worry about changing from your beach clothes. we found snack bar at akumal was the best and right by the beach. the pool and beach bars are good for drinks. the drinks were pretty good, and not overly watered down. never had to wait more than a minute or two either.
Service: From buffets to restaurants to bars, etc. everyone at the resort works very hard. Cant fault the service at this resort. If you want personalized service (drinks and food at the beach or pools, etc) you wont find it here, simply because the resort is far too big for it to be practical to provide that level of service. If you want that, go to a smaller resort. Despite our issues with food quality, we tipped at every meal, because we can see how hard everyone works here. Also tipped bartenders whenever we asked for something a little different.
Entertainment: The entertainment team does a pretty decent job of keeping the willing participants busy at the beach and activity pools. The nightly entertainment at the coba theatre was pretty good too, although a bit repetitive a few nights. The gala show and michael jackason show were probably the best ones.
Resort transportation: If you dont like to walk or want everything to be close by, go to a smaller resort. There are golf cart style trains that run between all the resorts at GBP, that make multiple stops to pick up and drop off at convenient spots at each resort area. the most used trains go to the coba beach area, which is a few minute ride from coba lobby. If you want to go to tulum or akumal, trains are the best way unless you like to walk alot.
Beach: While the beach is quite long - probably a good half hour walk from one end to the other, there is not alot of quality beach in our opinion. The akumal area has a nice rock water break that looks better than the 'whales' that are placed at the other beaches. although the water is quite murky and loaded with seaweed here. Walking north toward Coba beach, is another small beach area that is swimmable, but quite shallow and has the whales. They are kind of ugly but we get why they are there...to keep the waves offshore. Coba beach is the most popular area, and has better sand and fewer rocks in the water than the other beach areas. North of coba beach is the water sports area (kayaking, sea-doos, etc) and then the tulum beach which is mostly unusable due to extensive rocky areas. We found the best place for us was just to the north of the water sports laneway, where you can actually walk out past the whales and enjoy the waves and snorkelling a bit more. The entire beach at GBP has rather coarse sand, not at all powdery like you will find at Akumal Bay or many other beaches in the area.
Pools: The best pools for us were at the Akumal area. They are closest to the beach, and seem to be more suited for kids/families. The quiet pool at Coba is more adult oriented, but we brought our kids there a few times as it was close to our room. We only went to the coba activity pool once, but it is very big and lots of room for everyone. We used the akumal pools more because they are by the beach...we stayed at the beach while our kids played in the pool. Note: even though there are signs everywhere at the pools not to reserve with a towel, everyone does it anyway, so if you want a chair, you also need to reserve with your towel. Coba quiet pool is retarded...you wont get a chair if you arent out there by 6am. You can get a chair at akumal pools if you show up before 830. Same for coba beach. Beach area at akumal is easy to get chairs at.
Overall: We enjoyed our stay at GBPC, but our issues with food quality, along with the mediocre beach, and the overall size of the resort would prevent us from returning.
Get a room in a villa close to the quite pool. All villas are 3 story walk ups (no elevator), so ge...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC