I consider myself to be the average income middle aged solo traveller. I have been to Mexico over a dozen times. I did enjoy the Gran Bahia Principe properties very much. Nothing negative to say, or nothing worth stopping anyone from going to this resort. My comments are based on my personal preferences alone and what I like.
Of the three - Tulum, Akumal and Coba I would say that Tulum is probably the most vanilla of the three - makes sense as it is the oldest. It is still beautiful and you can't go wrong with booking here. I did find the beach and pool lay out at Akumal to more appealing. Cleaner clearer beach at Akumal. Both Akumal and Coba did leave me with the impression of being just a tad bit more upscale.
All the properties are huge. You have your choice of any of the a la cart restaurants at the three. They have golf club carts that will transport you from lobby to lobby. It is easy to get around - but you do need to adjust your time allowance for this when trying to meet your dinner reservation time.
Rooms are clean and perfectly fine. The plugs are a wierd size in the room. Normally two prongs electric plugs for your curling iron or battery recharge will work. However the cord to recharge my laptop was "three prong" - I had to recharge while using it while in the lobby. There is a mini-fridge, coffee maker, slippers and robe available in all the rooms. A/C worked fine and the bed was comfortable. Firm but with a mattress pad. Bathrooms maybe a bit on the small side if you're family size but they worked fine for me. Be aware that depending on the location of your room - you may have quite the distance to walk back and forth to the lobby, to the buffet or to the beach/pool. Take comfortable walking shoes.
Free wi-fi is offered in the lobbies and available in your room at an additional cost. Be advised that "hotmail" does NOT work at this resort. You can access it but cannot open any messages or send from it. I suggest you open a yahoo account when travelling here.
Hotel is about 1 1/2 hours from the airport. It is about 25 from Playa del Carmen. You can take the Collectivo into Playa del Carmen for about $3 one way. They do offer an shopping tour available thru your tour operator for $17 round trip. Pick up at hotel was at 4:20. You're dropped off at the south end of 5th Ave. and then picked up at 8:30 pm to return back to hotel. This tour was perfect, allowed you time to shop, it offered relatively inexpensive and safe transport in comparison to just taking a taxi - as a single girl travelling alone it fitted my budget very well.
The buffet was huge. Pretty much the same stuff every day but hey, when you go to a buffet in Canada isn't it pretty much always the same stuff ?! The only diff. is that you don't eat there seven days straight when back at home. LOL.. Am I right???? or am I right! Of all my trips to Mexico I would say this was one of the best buffets. A la carts were good - wouldn't say that anything really wowed me, but they were enjoyable.
Beach at Tulum. Nice, long, good for walks. Rocks though. Rocks are typical of the Mexican Gulf coast line but I found it a bit much here in spots. There is seaweed that they clean up every day. (didn't see seaweed at the Alkumal end)
Beach also had the natural incline down towards the shoreline. Had to dig out little rutts to level off the beach lounge chair otherwise I felt like I was sliding into the ocean. They were lots of lounge chairs available at both the beach and the pool (it is low season though)
As for other travellers - Just want to say that even though Mexico does not have any restrictions on where you can smoke.. smokers should be more considerate of those that don't. I must also mention that out of consideration it would be nice if people did not bath in cologne and or hair products prior to flying. Airplanes are small confined places - the smell lingers and can be very irritating to those who have allergies.
Will I go back? Probably not. As beautiful as the resort is - it is much too big for me. I perfer something a little cozier where you will occassionally see the other travellers again and perhaps strike up conversations and friendships. Very rarely did I converse with the same couple or family twice, I just never crossed paths with them again.
Hint - take your own drink cup or mug for refills at the pool/beach bar. (a little bit more sanitiary)
- 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