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Grand Bahia Principe Tulum
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Reviewed 4 January 2007

We got a great deal to visit this resort for 14 days. Dec. 9th - Dec 23rd. It was also cheaper for the kids so we booked the Bahia vs the Barcelo. In retrospect ..we should have stayed at the Barcelo.

We were in Building 32 right behind the dive shop... the view was zilch ..the privacy was okay.

This is NOT a 5 star resort. 3.5 at best. Bring Water shoes, bug spray, after bite, cortizone cream, American dollar bills, and thermo cups. (some Canadian merchandise i.e. tee shirts, martial arts shirts, etc. are sought out by the locals) If you pay in American dollars, ask for American change or they will try to give you peso's.

Food at the "trough" or Buffet i mean is tepid at best. Al la Carte...we did the steakhouse, don Pablo, and the Italian at Akumel. Don Pablo is alright, terrible service...steakhouse just can't compare to Canadian beef, and the Italian restaurant had the best "buffet" appy's ...but I picked out a huge fishbone in my lasagne and they all looked at each other like it was no big deal.

Perhaps i'm a princess but if you haven't had a theme room...or paid for a true 5 star resort. you will find this resort dissapointing. THERE ARE CRYING BABIES EVERYWHERE

Visit it with an open mind. Remember, you get what you pay for.

Instead of ordering a double, get a shot on the side ;o)

BTW If you don't tip you get lousy service..in 14 nights our fridge was restocked with chocolate bars and chips once. We wanted to do more laundry but didn't get a new bag or order form either!!!

RECOMMEND
The service in the jewlery shop Tulum Lobby ...guy took us to all Jewlers looking for the "right" piece....but WAYYYY OVERPRICED..it may be "real" but you can get anything similiar for half the price anywhere in Canada with the same standards and certification and more selection.
Spa at Akumal
"Alberto's" drinks at the pool
"Carlos" for breakfast and lunch service in the "trough"
Families with Children and babies
Service manager at the snack bar, pool...i wish i could remember her name...short hair, in her late 30's early 40's , very good!!

DO NOT RECOMMED FOR
Travel for a honeymoon unless you meet others and want to party in a large group.
Romantic getaway for peace and quiet.

For heaven's sake Tulum Mgt. change up the entertainment ...same songs in the bar night after night....and theater entertainment just repeated weekly. Elton John over and over again in the trough, lobby, bar *buggy eyes*. ALSO ...the pools close at 6pm?!

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank CanadianGrlz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2007

Myself & my Husband & 2 teenage boys spent 2 weeks at this resort from the 29th November to 14th December besides the weather we had a great time.

AIRPORT:

After a 10 & 1/2 hr flight it took another 3 hrs to get out of the airport & a coach drive to the hotel.
Seems a long way at the time but you are closer to the ruins/attractions for excursions.

Food :

Excellent best selection ever - sweets lovely - this was the first holiday were I put weight on, so thats saying something.

Al la carte restaurants excellent best ever - like proper restaurants.
Mexican restaurant brillant - a brilliant experience!

Beach:

No problem getting to the beach from The Coba Hotel as it takes a few minutes by train (golf buggy) .

Beaches are not really swimming beaches but still beautiful & sea full of fish.If you go to Tulum then go for a swim there as it is a fantastic beach so beautiful.Not to be missed!

Entertainment:

Only show worth watching was The Michael Jackson Show - we saw this twice while we were there, even better the 2nd time.

All the shows are dancing shows & become a little of a muchness - could do with some variety.

Rooms:

We emailed the Tulum hotel before we arrived as we required 2 rooms on the top floor next door to each other with sea view.We were not dissappointed as our rooms had beautiful views overlooking the sea, the only thing was the room itself, it was a little dissappointing, the bathroom was small compared with other 5* all incluisves that we had stayed at before but that we could live with. The decor was also tainted & was in need of redecorating - the lampshades on the side lights had dust hanging off them & one had a rip across it, one side light was loose,the ceiling was marked & so were the walls.The plastic light switch was cracked & part of it missing.The air conditioning didn`t work but after speaking to reception a repairman came & fixed it straight away.The safe in the room was very small, the smallest we have ever had & cost $5 a day!

The room was dissappointing so we went to reception & they gave us keys to another room but this was not much better.Reception said that they had other rooms at the Coba hotel & gave us keys to view 2 on the ground floor overlooking the pool.These rooms were excellent much larger with a seating area & a large safe! The bathroom was larger & had a jaccuzzi bath & came with bathrobes & slippers.Not only did you get the usual shampoo/conditioner, body lotion,hair net but also a toothbrush,shoe shiner & body exfoliating mit.
We don`t usually go for rooms on the ground floor but as they were very nice & we didn`t want to spend days looking at rooms we accepted them, even though the other room 1 door away meant my teenagers had to sleep top to tail as both rooms had 1 king size bed in.The beds were HUGE much bigger than my king - size bed in England which mean`t you could stretch out as much as you liked & excellent if you are a large couple - lots of space.Honeymooners tye a piece of string on your finger so you can find each other.

Mini bar stocked up everyday with good variety of drinks & chocolates i.e Mars Bar,Snickers, Milkyway.
Coffee machine in room.
If in Tulum Hotel you need to request coffee machine from reception.

If you like a lie in on your hoiday then make sure you put your DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door other wise you will be woken up at 7.30am by the guy who wants to restock your bar!
Even if you do put your sign out you will be woken up by staff passing your room carrying walkie talkies with the volume set at FULL & will be able to hear every member of staff talking to each other!
Early one morning at about 2.30am !!!! we were woken by these walkie talkies - when I opened my door to see what the noise was all about I found a staff member sorting out the broom cupboard, which was next door to my sons room.I managed in sign language to get him to turn them down & went back to sleep.The next morning we were woken up by the daily, lawn mower cutting the grass.

The hotel was immaculate & the gardens well maintained but I think cleaning at 2.30am,power hosing the path outside my bedroom at 9.30pm & cutting the grass every day at 7.30am, just a little excessive.

If you do not want to be on a sunbed at 8am & would prefer some sleep then I would advise you to request a room on the top floor or bring a pair of ear plugs!

A note also to any lady/man who wears high heels - please remove them when entering your room, especially in the early hours if you have been to the disco & use the slippers provided as clip clopping back & to to the bathroom keeps the person in the room next door to you awake!

NOTE - if you do not put your PLEASE CLEAN MY ROOM sign out each day then it will NOT be cleaned.

GYM:

Excellent in the Coba & Akumel hotel , all the usual equipment you get in most gyms back home but awful in the Tulum - needs a make over.

Hope this gives everyone an insight.

All in All an enjoyable holiday.
The weather just bad luck - better luck next time.

Would I return to this Hotel ?

Yes, but I would request a room on the top floor AWAY FROM WALKIE TALKIES,BANGING DOORS,LAWN MOWERS,POWER WASHERS & HIGH HEELS !!!!!!!!! .

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
16  Thank Pinkparrot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2007

We stayed at this resort two years ago, and then went to the Bahia in the Dominican Republic last year because of the hurricane. We had such a great time at this resort two years ago that we couldn't wait to go back.

I'm going to touch of a few things that I haven't seen mentioned in the other reviews.

Two years ago we stood in line at the Cancun airport for at least 2 hours waiting to get through immigration and going on the seek and find mission to find our bags. This time, when we got off the plane an airport official led us to immigration, there was no line, because there were at least 10 immigration workers stamping passports (instead of 2 or 3). After immigration you need to look at the flat screen tvs to find out which carousel your baggage is at. Ours was already spinning around on the carousel, and we grabbed them and proceeded to head out to find our transfer to the hotel. This next tip is very important and time saving!!! After you get your bags and head towards the Ground Transportation area, you will walk through an area filled with "Information Center" counters. A gentleman will ask you which hotel you’re going to and will then send you over to a counter. The guy behind the counter will tell you that your transportation will be here in about 15 minutes and he will proceed to tell you about the area then try to sell you tour packages, or if you've already booked your packages he will try to get you to go to a hotel and listen to a sales seminar and they will supposedly reimburse you for the tour package you already booked after listening to their seminar. That is what happened to us, and even after we told them No Thanks, they got upset and more pushy with trying to sell us stuff, so we just grabbed our bags and walked away. My suggestion to you is to just avoid the guy asking you where you're staying or just say No Thanks and keep on walking toward the exit.

There are also tons and tons of bag handlers that will take your bags from you and ask who your transportation is with and will take your bags where you need to be. They are totally unnecessary as all the tour operators are just outside the door labeled Bus.

We made it in and out of the airport in 30 minutes, counting the 10 minutes talking to the Information Center guy. We were amazed!

The airport is an hour and half away from the resort wear your seat belt.

We got to the resort at noon and our room wasn't ready so we got to eat and wander the resort. Bring your t-shirts and shorts or swim suit on your carry on bag and you can change and relax at the resort. Our room was ready at 3:00 which in normal check-in time at all resorts, kind of a pain, but it could have been worse. We only received one key and were told to come back the next day and get an extra one. (Which we did and they had about 10 to 15 keys for our room on a key ring…..I thought that was kind of strange)

We got to our room and had little bugs in the bathroom, on the floor and the sink counter. I squashed them, but more and more returned, especially after we threw an empty soda can in the trash can without rinsing it out. Our fault. Hair spray works great at killing these bugs. One night we got back to our room and had about 20 to 30 tiny spiders on one of our suitcases, it looked like something had hatched, we don't have any idea where they came from....hair spray worked great on those too!

HOUSEKEEPING: I e-mail the resort before arriving and asked for a mattress pad to be put on the bed to make it softer. (Having been here before, I knew how rock hard the beds were) I received a reply stating that my information would be passed on. We had no mattress pad on the bed when we arrived at the room, so we tipped the housekeeping gal the next day and left a note for the bed to be made softer. The next day, still no mattress pad or the bed made softer. However after eating supper we went back to the room to the room and there was an extra blanket on the bed, so we stripped the sheets off the bed and put the extra blanket on the bed and remade the bed. The next day my boyfriend went to the front desk and asked for a thicker pad for the bed, (the last time we had a 2 or 3 inch thick mattress pad put on the bed) the guy at the front desk said No mattress pad available, so he asked for more blankets to make the bed softer, the guy made a phone call and said it was taken care of, but we never received any extra blankets and decided that after tipping and asking 4 different times that we were not going to get any extra blankets. Most of the time our room was made up between 3 & 4 o’clock and we only received three towel animals in our nine days there. Also, our mini bar was never stocked with chips or candy bars like other reviews had mentioned. So, we just made do…after all we are on vacation and glad to not be home in the snow and ice.

FOOD: We ate at the all the buffets….Coba seemed to have the best Pasta Bar, we were able to find Chicken, Fish, & Crab for the pasta. The food at all the buffets were barely luke warm to cold by the time you got back to your seat and the service was very poor also, most of the time we finished our meals before we were offered something to drink. A couple of times we just went up to the bar in the buffet and got our own drinks. Mariachi Bands stroll all the buffets every single night, it gets old after a day or two….the resort should alternate the days they play! We ate at the Tequila Restaurant, which was pretty good, but maybe that was because the food was actually steaming hot when it arrived at our table. The waiter kept bringing us frozen margaritas when we didn’t ask for them, normally that wouldn’t have been a problem, but they were very sweet and not that great. After dinner we were getting ready to leave and the waiter asked “Tequila” ??? We said No Thanks and he brought them anyway, as I proceeded to push it away from the front of me, the waiter put this napkin hat on my head, which I promptly removed and laid on the table. The waiter then came back over and put the hat back on my head then he put a napkin over my tequila and pounded it on the table to make it fizz, I then told him I didn’t want it. He said NO NO you must drink and handed me the tequila and I put it back down on the table and no thanks, again. Then he picked it up and held it up to my lips and started to tip it, so I took a sip. Then he crammed this cloth napkin over my entire face and swung my head around pretty violently making whirring noises and then messed my hair all up and left the napkin on my head. It was really humiliating and spoiled the evening for us. We also ate at the Italian rest. and the food was pleasant and hot and we had a nice waiter, this was a very pleasant experience.

ENTERTAINMENT: It was OK. Lots of singing and dancing and they try to get guests to volunteer or be dragged up on the stage, as was the case during the lip sync night. They drug a gal out of the audience during the Purple Rain segment and ended up throwing a 5 gallon bucket of water on her from behind at the end of the act. She was drenched and looked like she was going to cry. We felt very bad for her.

TOURS: We went to the Tulum Ruins on Sunday on our own, which is free on Sundays. Be sure to tell the collectivo driver where your going or you'll have no idea when you get to the ruins, as there is no sign and you can't see the ruins from the road way. It was really neat to see, and only takes about an hour to wander around. Buy your water at the little gift shop just before the main entrance of the ruins, a liter costs $1.50 US. There are no vendors inside the ruins.
We also booked XCaret. We booked this directly through their web site for about $80.00 pp. Which included round trip transfer to and from the hotel, entrance fees and snorkel equipment. It was an enjoyable time, but overpriced. There is no time to see and do everything, they should sell two day passes. The bus that picked us up was one of the XCaret buses....you can't miss it and the guide was very very informative and spoke about 5 different languages and met with you in groups to explain the park and what's best to do first. Also, Bahia is the last resort they visit when picking up people, so you don't end up stopping at other resorts to pick people up....your also the first drop off when returning back. You can float down the lazy river, which isn't really much of a river and you don't need sunscreen to do this as most of it is in caverns, there's really no fish in there to see while snorkeling, so I would suggest just getting a life vest and enjoy the trip. Just wear water shoes. PS the water is 62 degrees and is very cold when you first get in, but you get used to it quickly. The evening show is entertaining, but not as spectacular as advertised. It was all sung in spanish and if you don't understand spanish you really didn't know what was going on and it lasts for 2 hours with a 15 minute intermission. If we ever go back, we'll just take the collectivo as it's about 30 minutes from the resort and that'll save us $25 pp. Something to think about when trying to save money.

Well, I hope this helps some of you out. Just do your research and remember your on vacation and just make the best of it.

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank PatGln
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2007

We visited Dec 24th 2006-Jan1st 2007 and were allocated to the Tulum - the oldest part of the three site hotel, and we found it had maintenance issues. On arrival we were sent off to a room where the lock was broken and had to go back with all luggage to get another room (in block 6) In that room the fan was noisy, the pull cord was broken and on the last day we could not use the phone for an internal call. The bed was large but so uncomfortably firm that it caused us back aches and poor sleep.

Poor sleep was compounded because on four nights out of seven we were woken up by drunks at around 2-45am shouting their heads off walking throught the blocks - one night this went on until nearly 5-00am with different groups coming by. The policy of the hotel seems to be to send out security if you complain which we did once. The hotel seems not to be closing the bars at a reasonable time or anticipating and preventing some consequences when a minority get antisocial on endless hooch.

Amazingly there is no facility for making hot drinks in the rooms - you have to trek out to a 24hr bar to get them and bring them back (warm) or maybe pay tips for someone to bring them to you under room service.

Staff and service - everyone was generally fine to talk and deal with but why are they not on 5*wages so there is not this constant tipping culture going on?

Food and restaurants :- There are some good choices on menus and a very varied buffet but overall this food is not 5*. Too much of it is bland - tasteless single foods eg cheeses or combinations and there is no choice on wine. The a la carte restaurants we used were not entirely a la carte so you are part buffet again. When I asked for the possiblity of non (or other) Mexican wine in El Pescador it was taken as a National insult and I was treated to a lecture about American wine instead of any kind of wine list. the Mexican (Tequila) restaurant was the worst food - the soup (not gazpacho) was cold and the main dish chosen was chewy shredded roast pork with two peas and an onion ring stuck to it.

Shopping - There is far too much tasteless tourist tat on offer in any case in this area, including the Hacienda onsite, but at least Playa del Carmen 20pesos away by 'collectivo' (shared minibus outside site on main road) has more interest and life.

Beach and Pools - We enjoyed both. Snorkelling was good at the Akumel end of the beach. There are rocks but these act as breakwaters to create one or two safer pools and still allow the surf to be used.

Travel and Trips - We were quoted 300 pesos for a one way taxi to Playa del Carmen from the hotel as arranged by bellhops. The taxis just outside the resort on the main road are apparently a lot cheaper - draw your own conclusions.

There are seasport trips arranged off the beach - I would check these out before booking similar through your tour operator if you have one. The turtle beach is off the Akumal Hotels (North) resort beaches a few miles down the road towards Cancun and along the coast.

We could not recommend this hotel until it resolves its fundamental flaws in comfort and would drive us nuts eating in the same places if we had been there for more than a week.

Stayed: December 2006
3  Thank americanwinelecture
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 January 2007

Hola Everyone...Our Family had a great time at this hotel over Christmas..we stayed from the 19th to the 26th..There were 6 of us.. four kids..The hotel was great we got villa 12..and two rooms top floor which we requested. Villa was close to the beach and a great view of the ocean and was near the snack bar for the kids..our kids really loved the slurpy machines and the hamburgers and fries.Food was great and the al la carts...Dan Pablo was really good..we spent most of our time at the beach at Akumal ..water is calmer and not rocky..just a 5 minute walk up the beach. Staff was great and they really work hard at there jobs..we tipped everyone...at the bars the restaurants..maid...Weather was great and hot..didn't need a sweater at night...but the last day it did get cold must of been a cold front coming in from the North..just guessing...Lots of activities and shows to see at night..we saw the shows at all the hotels just took the tram to get there..also used the collectivo to get to Tulum and Playa del carmen and Yal Ku for snorkling very safe...they do tend to speed alittle...but air conditioned which was real nice. Thanks eveyone for all your tips over the past few months..It really was a great Christmas Family Vacation lots of great memories from this trip..

  • Stayed: December 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Bccanada50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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