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All reviews don pablo hacienda section diamond club tequila restaurant snack bar a la carte restaurants thomas cook fish gbp tulum bahia principe tulum tulum ruins main buffet dolphin pool show table breakfast and lunch main pool smaller pool
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Reviewed 24 April 2006

Very unorganized; desk clerks were rude; they forgot to give us the key to our room, and we had to ask for the bracelet for our identification of the particular vacation package we were on; we received no "Welcome" cocktail, or fruit basket as advertised through the hotel;Guest Services did not offer any information regarding onsite activities, i.e.: a show was performed every night, but we had no idea about the performances unless we happened to walk by the theatre; we had to ask about the different places to eat on property, then the Service Rep "pointed" to where we were to walk to, which most were very far from our room; they did not inform us we could take the trolly train for destinations; we constantly had to call the front desk for ameninities that were not placed in our room after cleaning (water, coffee, removal of dirty glasses); a waiter at the buffet removed the pepper and salt shaker while we were still eating because they were going to close soon; the safe requires a $5.00 deposit each night (we were told it was included with our package with no charge); we were told to give a half hour notice in order for the bellboy to take our luggage from our room and transport us to the lobby, after waiting for over an hour, we had to carry our luggage down 3 flights of stairs, and walk a minimum 1 block to get to the lobby before we missed our cab to get to the airport; when we addressed this issue to the clerk at check out, he said "I'm sorry" (which was a common phrase we heard throughout our "vacation"). The good things....the room view was breathtaking; we also recommend the mexican restaurant (The Tequila) for dining (if you can get a reservaton); twice, we went by the restaurant and it was 3/4's empty at the time we were told there was no room; however, we found that if you give the host an extra $5.00, amazingly, they will have a table for you. If you want relaxation and want to be pampered, this is not the place to go. You will receive little to no help and/or information unless you ask. This property is nothing like we have visited in the past, where the employee's do everything possible to keep the guests happy and comfortable in order to get them to come back. We will never visit this property again, nor will we recommend it.

12  Thank LinF2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2006

We just returned from a stay at the Gran Bahia Tulum April 9th - April 16th ( 2 adults and children ages 6 and 10). We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. For anyone nervous about the resort and/or negative reports here, don't be! Our room and the public areas are all clean. The grounds are meticulous. You will survive and thrive without the ability to speak Spanish, although trying is met with a smile. The food is plentiful and you will find something for everyone to eat, including picky children! We drank the water served to us, ate all the fruit and vegetables, and did not get sick. We liked the huge size of the resort because it gave us an opportunity to do something new every day. Here is a quick recap of our experience:

We arrived early, before our room was ready. Be sure to pack your swim suits in your carry on luggage. We went to the gym in Tulum (located near the lobby and pools),changed our clothes, and stored all our valuables (passports, money, etc.) in a locker. We were given towels at the gym to use for the day. We ended up using the gym again to lock up our valuables on our last day after we had checked out of the room. This eliminated any worrying about our stuff being taken and allowed us to roam freely.

At around 3, we were assigned our room in Villa 8, #811 on the second floor. Villa 8 is in a nice location, close enough to the main buffet and lobby, the pools, 24 hour snack bar, and the ocean. The air conditioner, a light, and the toilet were not working, but were quickly addressed by management and taken care of while we ate dinner.

We found areas in the ocean that did not require water shoes (near the pier and in front of the sand bags). When we did want to wear them, we used our TEVAS and they worked just as well. We did feed the fish with bread from the buffet. Great fun! We loved the pools at the Coba and the activities people there.

We did not use the kids club. After watching the supervision of the children done by the directors, I did not feel comfortable. There were quite a few children using the facility though. We did go to the "kids disco" a few times in the evening which was entertaining.

We did an ATV tour while we were there. It was marketed as going through the jungle, but it was not what I expected. It was fun, although we were not allowed to touch the monkeys at Aktun Chen. Jumping into a cenote is not to be missed. We took a cab to Tulum, only 15 minutes away. The ruins were interesting and the beach phenomenal! Be prepared for intense heat while viewing the ruins!

Things to keep in mind : The resort is 1 1/2 hours away from the Cancun airport. If your bus takes other stops, it will be longer. The sun 's intensity is amazing ! Obviously we knew it was going to be stronger than what we are used to, but we were still surprised. We used SPF 50 our entire stay and still returned savage beauties. The ala carte restaurants are a great break from the buffets! Make your reservations immediately upon arrival. Be sure to bring a nice outfit for the restaurants. Men must wear pants and closed shoes.

Be sure to bring small bills to tip the staff. We enjoyed doing it and after seeing some of the local homes, we were glad to do it. The staff were friendly and accomodating. Some were more engaging and interesting than others. The staff and entertainment at the Yucatan buffet were wonderful for my daughter's birthday. They delivered a special cake and candles and the mariachi band sang Happy Birthday. We enjoyed our stay! Have fun!

  • Stayed: April 2006
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39  Thank shellbell3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2006

January 5th to 19th, 2006.. We were booked elsewhere but after the hurricane our vacation operator changed our destination to the Bahia Principe Tulum. We didn't want that hotel but we weren't offered any others. We had been looking forward to this holiday for a year and it was the only 2 weeks we had....so, off we went.

The place is HUGE! We were told they employ over 5,000 people! The only swimmable beach was in front of the Tulum section of the resort. So, everyone from the Akumal & Coba parts of the resort fought you for every inch of beach space. Trying to get chairs with shade at the beach was exhausting! So, we gave up and stuck with the pool near the Gran Tortuga. It was a small pool but at least had a view of the water - unlike the main pool at the lobby level.

They had a train/bus system that ran 24 hours a day. If you were lucky the driver knew where you were going. They had so many new employees they didn't even know the name of the restaurants you were trying to get to. Took us over an hour one night to finally get to the restaurant we had a reservation at.

Buffets at first glance look great. It is when you get closer that you realize that you have been duped. I don't use the word lightly either. There are a large number of serving stations in the buffet. The problem is that they is a very large amount of duplication of items going on. There was only one highlighted meat each night. I could not believe it. They had pork roast the first night, turkey the next night, ham....it continued that way. The 5 star resorts I had been to previously had Roast Beef, Turkey and possibly a Ham being offered all on the same night in the buffet.

The grounds are kept spotless. Yet, it is totally beyond me, why they don't have a single bench anywhere on all of their miles and miles of walkways! We would have loved to wander the walkways and admire all the hard work that you see being done to the grounds. However, there is not a seat in sight anywhere which will allow you to do so. Never seen anything like it at any resort I have ever been at...no matter the number of stars.

The only places you can sit are at the bus/train stops - which are few and far between and for some reason the seat is about 4 feet off the ground. Your feet don't touch the ground and it is almost impossible to get up on it at all.

The rooms were large and kept very clean. However, I found it extremely distressing just how many times I looked up to see young people vomiting into garbage cans, bushes....anywhere actually. It was both disturbing and disgusting. There was tequila tables everywhere you walked in the resort. All of them unattended and at kid height...saw a number of young children deciding to try out the drinks when their parents weren't watching. For a family resort I felt the availability and unmonitored nature of these tequila stations was incredibly stupid.

Got really sick the beginning of our second week there. E-Coli. The Dr arrived at our room with a Paramedic (who gives all the needles) promptly. He spoke English well and prescribed me 4 different medications and told me to drink the Pedialyte (2 bottles) and then try to drink as much of the bottled water as I could tolerate. I was taking longer than expected to start feeling better. So, headed on the 3rd day to the Dr's office. On the way we discovered some employees filling the water bottles (like the ones in our room fridge) directly from a tap in the back of a building. We reported it to the front desk and even gave them the names of the employees in question. We were politely told that it was against the rules and that none of their employees would do such a thing as it would make guests sick. We felt that the Front Desk wanted us to leave and not make a fuss. We were offered another night at an a la carte - which we turned down! I am not sure what else we could do - so I just hope they made sure those employees were attended to. I then made sure to NOT drink the bottled water and stuck to drinking pop. My condition improved almost immediately.

The employees were pleasant and we tipped our maid and waiters regularily. However, this resort just wasn't what we wanted though we are sure there are lots of people who loved it. Just not us. We will never go here again!

  • Stayed: January 2006
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20  Thank PattiM-Cda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2006

We stayed at GBP Tulum from April 7 until April 14th with 2 small children (4 and 7) along with my parents and we had a excellent stay.

The resort was clean, very well kept and the grounds were immaculant. The food was superb and no one got sick. There was lots of variety and it did change from day to day. The pools were very good for the kids and the resort had many to choose from. The resort is large, but the little trains arrive every few minutes to take you places. The staff were very friendly and they really take care of you. The beach was beautiful as well (a little coral on the beach but nothing to complain about) Our room was very clean and we had a great site. We stayed in Villa 14
All in all we would stay here again.

MUST DO'S

1) Do stay on the Tulum side - closer to beach and lager than both Akumal and Coba
2) Watch the Michael JAckson show at 9:30pm at Coba on Sunday night. This was the best show!!!
3) Feed the fish in the shallow water in the beach at Akumal near the peer.
4)Best beach is on the Tulum side, right in front on the Gran Tortuga. I walked the entire beach (both Tulum and Akumal) and this was by the far the best part with no rocks or coral
5) Book your A La Carte restaurants on Day 1 of you arrival. Book the Don Pable as its the best one
6) Book A La Carte restaurant named the Oriental in the Hacienda as you get to watch the Mexican Show for free (other wise you pay $14 US ) and its great. People who are left in there, watch it.
7) Buffet restaurant on Akumal is better than Tulum, but visit all 3 for variety.
8) Take the collectivo to go to Playa de Carmen - only $2 each way
9) Book Villa 12, 13, 14 or 15 as these are closer to the pool, beach and the 24 Hr Snack bar. Select the third floor of any Villa as its a better view
10) Take a lot of $1 bills with you for tipping

Have a blast as its a great resort!!! It met all of our expectations

  • Stayed: April 2006
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38  Thank SunshineLenny70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2006

This is a beautiful looking resort. Our room and most of the facilities were relatively clean and the grounds were well maintained. The food was in most cases borderline... it reminded me of the buffets available to soldiers (just good enough that no one complains). I found the staff to be superficial and transparent and they did not appear to be overly interested (unless of course you are willing to constantly tip). I certainly did not expereince anything that came close to a 5 star. Won't be returning to BHP and likely will avoid at all cost a vacation to mexico again especially if BHP is considered to be "5 Star". If this is the best Mexico has to offer I will be going eleswhere.
Mexico: "give us all your money and then a little more and then go home".

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
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6  Thank Navigator4048
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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