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Grand Bahia Principe Tulum
Ranked #10 of 21 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 March 2012

We had a great week at this resort but would not return. Too far from the airport AND we are beach people and did not like this one. Next time, we would return to the Iberostar.
The staff at this resort are really friendly and the food was excellent. Try the al a carts they are wonderful. Huge resort but never a problem to get a tram ride back and forth. make sure you check out the Akumel pool, it's the best. The grounds were beautiful. In the evening before the stage show, they have a live band which is great for dancing. On Thursday nights, they have a Mexican show at he shopping center BUT it's not included. $15 a person and SO not worth it! If you are like us and have a late flight, they will store your luggage for the day and provide a nice shower area with towels and shampoo(no blow dryer though) lots of stores at the airport and two big duty frees.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank SBTOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,149 - 6,153 of 12,699 reviews

Reviewed 1 March 2012

Stayed here for 3 weeks with my husband and 2 boys 11 and 8.We stayed in the Tulum part of the resort in a Junior Suite on the Hacienda area.The resort feels more like a village with identical faceless apartment blocks with often no sign of the beach or pool .
The grounds are impeccably kept and very attractive .Our room was plenty big enough and cleaned reasonably well .The rooms are dated but not unkept .
Food choice good but without exception all food on buffet and a la carte is lukewarm unless just been refilled of cooked fresh e.g omelette.By the time we left this we are craving hot food and I would say is a big problem .
Service was hit and miss and the only way we achieved good service was to go to the same places ,.let the staff get to know us and tip heavily !The saying the customer is alright does not apply here .
There is no pool /beach drinks service which we are used to from 5 star resorts and missed .
We were very disappointed with the children's facilities .Apart from the water sports and obvious pool/beach there is little for them to do .We looked at the kids club but felt it was more suitable for young children and if you're child goes there would likely find themselves with other non english speaking children .There never appeared to be many children there and I am not surprised .There is nothing for older children .The resort needs a play/adventure area,kids pools with at least inflatables .THERE REALLY IS NOTHING.
Entertainment was average but difficult to access as each hotel,pool has a different programme so you wouldn't know what was going on unless you visited each location individually and daily .They need to coordinate a daily activity bulletin .

We had a good holiday here and it was our first time on Mexico but I think there is probably better.

  • Stayed: February 2012
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8  Thank alice_wood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2012

My wife and I traveled to the Gran Bahia Principe last week. It's a huge resort comprised of 4 different places: Tulum, Coba, Akumal and Sian Kaan. See the attached photo of their map, it's blurry but you'll get the basic layout. It's easy to get around to the different places because of all the shuttles.

Sian Kaan is across the highway (white buildings) and is billed as the luxury part of the resort. That's where the golf course is located, and I think you should only stay there if you are going mainly to golf. Otherwise it's a long shuttle ride to the beach across the highway.

Akumal (green buildings) and Coba (dark blue buildings) are located back to back. As you can see Coba isn't right on the beach, and much of Akumal is back away from the beach. We went to the main bar at both places, and the buffet at Coba and it was similar to Tulum.

We stayed at Tulum (purple buildings) and it was the best place in the resort, in my opinion. We were in building 5 on the 2nd floor and had an awesome view of the beach. We were really close to the main lobby, main bar and buffet. The food was pretty good. We liked the sushi, fresh fruit and fresh bread. The mexican part of the buffet was a lot smaller than I expected, and they didn't have tacos once! There is always tortilla chips and a lot of different toppings. There's nothing too exciting about the buffet.

We didn't try any of the a la carte restaurants because we didn't want to be tied down to making/holding reservations. We enjoyed spending time at the main bar, which had a variety of cold drinks (e.g. pina colada, cabana, etc), and lots of different hard liquors if you're into that. They only have one beer on tap (Dos equis) and one white wine and one red wine. There is free wifi in the lobby, and you can get it from the bar if you sit on the side nearest the lobby as well. There is a snack bar down by the beach that serves food 24-hr a day. Mainly they have french fries, chicken nuggets, chips, etc. They'll serve drinks too. There was this really nasty smell wafting from there, so while we did eat there a few times the smell kept me away later on in the week.

The beach is sandy, but is made up of what looks like ground up shells. We saw the workers sifting the sand with a big lawn-mower-like machine one night. They rake the sea weed each day. There is a lot of coral right off the beach, which makes it hard to walk. You'll want to bring a pair of sandals or water socks if you'll swim a lot. On the other hand if you like to snorkel bring your stuff because there are a ton of fish right off the shore. About 50 feet off the shore there are quite a few of these man made sea brakes. If you're into bobbing in the waves, you can head down the beach to the north and there is an area just at the end of the resort before the private homes start where you can find a sandy bottom area with plenty of waves. We walked up to the area by Coba and it's much more rocky south of there. There are some sandy areas over between Coba and Tulum, but they were more busy with loud music from the water aerobics classes, etc.

There's a little shopping area at the entrance for the seaside resorts. There's also a dance club in there as well, but they don't open until like 2330 or midnight.

The shows are entertaining, but a little hokey. We saw part of the star show, and the Michael Jackson show. Both of these are essentially people lip syncing and dancing. We saw part of another show with a troop of girls from Canada which was essentially a dance recital. I heard from others that the Circus show was really good, but we didn't see that one.

We just did one trip, which was to Rancho Baaxal (which I'll review separately) up by Playa Del Carmen, and we liked it a lot.

Overall we had a really relaxing time.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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13  Thank Keith M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2012

My wife and I joined 12 other family and friends for a week of fun in the sun and we all had a great time. We all stayed in the Diamond Club portion of the resort and are very glad that we did. The beach and pool areas were both much quieter and we never had a day where we couldn't find lounge chairs for us all in either area. I read many reviews talking about the rocky beach areas and that water shoes were a must - well, we brought them, but we never had to use them. Yes, there are some rocks in portions of the beach and in the water, but it wasn't hard to navigate around them and we had a blast playing in the surf. The food was quite good for an all inclusive buffet, with some decent variety to choose from. Service was excellent by all the wait staff, though special mention has to go to Alfredo in the Tequila Restaurant - always a smile on his face, and after two mornings there he knew exactly what each of us drank and had it ready on our table as soon as he saw us.

Don't be put off by the number if iguanas that live on the property - they are much more afraid of you than you are of them, and all they really want to do is sun themselves during the day. Very harmless and we found them to be a great part of the whole experience there.

We walked the entire length of the beach from the Diamond Club area to Coba, and after spending an hour there we quickly took a cart back to our end. Coba was absolutely packed with people! If you're looking for a quiet vacation, that is not the place to do it.

After eating at 3 different restaurants on the resort, we found the Japanese experience was amazing, both in service and food. Highly recommended!

I hurt my ankle the first day there playing beach volleyball, so I was limited with what activities I could do, but we did end up going to the Tulum ruins for the morning. Some very useful tips:

1) Take the "Collectivo" public transit (basically a van) that you can catch on the side of the highway in front of the resort. It sounds sketchy, but it was super easy and the drivers are friendly. It cost us 25 pesos per person each way.
2) It's only a 5 minute walk to the entrance of the ruins from the highway - there's no need to pay for a ride in.
3) There are many tour guides available for your use at the entrance - you can even pool other groups of people together for one tour guide to lower the per-person cost.
4) GO EARLY!! I can't stress this enough. We arrived at 9am and walked right up to the ticket booth. There were hardly any people on the grounds as we walked around to take pictures and take it all in. By 10:30, the place was packed with people, there was a lineup 100' long at the ticket booth, and the beach (which is well worth swimming at) was also full. It opens at 8 - try to be there as close to that as possible.

The cost of this trip for 5 of us was under $50 USD total, including entrance fees and transit there and back. It's min. $30-40 per person to do a guided tour from the resort. With all the money we saved, we were able to bring back that many more gifts and bottles of tequila from the market and duty free!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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19  Thank Zoltan N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2012

I don't normall write reviews - a bit selfish because I use them a lot. Today I have just returned from this resort and feel that it was so good that I just had to let other people know about it. First though I will get out of the way the very few not so good points which did nothing whatever to spoil our holiday. Safe swimming off the beach is quite restricted and it can be very difficult beyond the artificial reefs thay have put up and currents can be strong around and beyond them. The best swimming is further up on the Akumel/Coba side which only takes 5 minutes or so to walk. Similarly snorkelling is not very good though there are plenty of fish but not as colourful and varied as the red sea, maldives etc. Also, the only not too clean place was La Isla cafe which we nicknamed 'Dirty Lil's' and used it as little as possible. Finally on the downside some things are very expensive, particularly excursions.
As for everything else it was truly exceptional and by far the best food we have experienced in an all inclusive environment. The main buffet has a huge choice of cuisines and I cannot see why anybody cannot find something more than satisfactory. The 'a la carte' restaurants were all very good indeed. Our favourite was 'Don Pablo's' which offers superb food and ambience, but 'Tequila' and 'Gran Tortuga' were not very far behind in that order. At breakfast and lunch we always used Gran Tortuga because it was nearest our villa and again choice was very good indeed with very friendly service - Jorge and Manuel were both very helpful and cheerful at all times and well worthy of the tip we gave them at the end. We aslo had 'champagne' (decent bubbly really) during all meals including breakfast!
The whole resort is extremely clean including the beach and you see people cleaning at all hours of day and evening.
We stayed in a junior suite at the southern end of the resort overlooking the dolphinarium and could not fault the facilities. Whilst I think of it the swimming with dolphin experience is expensive at around £60 to £100 but all five of the dolphins are fantastic and we did not regret trying it - photos and videos afterwards though are VERY costly - potentailly more than doubling the cost of the experience.
Transport around the resort is free and frequent, as it also is to the other hotel areas and the golf club. Whilst mentioning the golf - if you are a player then it is a must to have a go. The championship standard 18 hole course is an absolute stunner and very challenging but absolutely immaculate. The 9 hole par 3 course is also immaculate and not without its challenges either but is a good work out for beginners and not without its fun for low handicap players.
We travelled with Thomas Cook - great legroom but charge for a lot of extras. Their reps were not the best, and if you go on the excursions try not to be with too many others, particularly to historical sites - we went to Chichen Itza, amazing but totally spoiled by a large party of 32 and a tour guide who was totally unintelligible and boring - his name was pronounced something like 'Fry' - avoid him if you can - he uses a walking stick and simply spoiled the day.
Finally do not miss the cenotes they are a real experience for swimming and snorkelling - totally different.
Great holiday and wonderful people.

Room Tip: Junior suites are better and not much more expensive
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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11  Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Tulum

Address: Carretera Chetumal Benito Juarez, km 250 | Local B, Akumal 77760, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Casino Hotel in Akumal
#6 Family Hotel in Akumal
#7 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#9 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#10 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
Price Range: €138 - €366 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Bahia Principe Tulum 4*
Number of rooms: 978
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 3 pools (including 2 with Jacuzzi for relaxation) 1 Jacuzzi Large sun terrace with loungers and sun umbrellas BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 5 tennis courts, bicycles Motorised sports (additional charge) Water activity and scuba diving centre Entertainment amphitheatres WiFi access in the lobby (24h per day free of charge) and in rooms additional charge) 1 buffet restaurant 3 a la carte restaurants 6 Bars Snack-Bar Wedding gazebo Dolphinarium (additional charge) 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 978 rooms including 4 types: Superior, Superior Junior Suite, Superior Club Hacienda and Club Hacienda Junior Suite. The Junior Suites are larger than the Superior rooms. Room facilities: King size bed (Superior Junior Suites) or 2 full size beds Sitting area (Superior Junior Suites) Fully-equipped bathroom: shower, wash basin, magnifying mirror and hair dryer Hydromassage bath tub (Superior Junior Suites) Bathroom amenities Balcony or terrace Air conditioning Ceiling fan Telephone Radio alarm clock Flat screen satellite TV Mini-bar (included) Coffee-making facilities Safe (additional charge) Ironing set WiFi (additional charge) Club Hacienda rooms (See page 18, Club Golden, Club Hacienda) Children Bahia Scouts Children can enjoy a range of specially-tailored facilities: Children's pool Mini Club with activities for children aged 4 to 12 Evening Mini Disco Bahia Scouts Water Park Other services On-site miniature railway providing access to all facilities 24 hour 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:
Bahia Principe Tulum
Tulum Bahia Principe
Gran Bahia Tulum
Gran Bahia Principe Tulum Akumal
Gran Bahia Principe Hotel
Gran Bahia Principe Riviera Maya
Gran Principe Tulum
Gran Bahia Principe Mayan Riviera Resort
Gran Bahia Principe Mexico
Grand Bahia Principe Tulum Riviera Maya, Mexico - Akumal

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