Gran Bahia Principe Coba
My girlfriend and I just got back from spending a week at Coba (12/24/06 - 12/31/06). We booked the day before we left and got a fairly good deal. We used Trip Advisor a lot in deciding where to go and cross referenced every hotel in our price range and wanted to contribute to the knowledge base. I have taken a few pictures of the resort to give you a better idea of the place and broken down my report into three sections "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" to make it an easier read.
- The resort is big and beautiful. Gran Bahia Principe is made up of three resorts (Tulum, Akumal and Coba). We had access to the buffets and beaches of all three resorts. Tulum and Akumal are (sort of) on the beach, while Coba is off to the back. Tulum and Akumal are more expensive because of there location, but neither of them appeared to be right on the beach, so in my opinion not worth the extra expense.
- From what I gathered the place is geared towards families. My girlfriend and I met a guy at the airport who stayed at Akumal who was disappointed at the lack of a party atmosphere at the resort. We didn't mine as we are past that stage in our lives.
- We had a junior suite for our stay, which was a big and well maintained by the housekeeper. We tipped her a couple of bucks each day and came home to a new towel animal everyday.
- As part of the "Golden Club" we we're given access to internet/computer workstations. I can't live with out the internet. I have to look up everything and while I had made extensive notes on the region before we left, I was happy to be able to get on the computer and double check our day trips and the weather.
- We we're told to book our a la cartes early on in the week, since they filled up fast. But since we spent so much time off of the resort we ended up missing all but one of the meals.
- While the beach was nice, we found that there were lots of rocks in the water and we were thankful to have brought water shoes with us (we got them real cheap from Wal-Mart).
- I'm not sure if it's the norm with an all inclusive, but all the beer was draft, which I personally don't like. The only cans were in the minibar.
- Speaking of the minibar, when we finally checked into our room it had not been restocked.
- Our flight from Toronto left at 6:35AM. When we arrived in Mexico we had to wait around for an hour while our bus waited for other planes to arrive. Since we had to be at the airport three hours before departure we we're up pretty much all night the night before, so we we're none to impressed that we had to wait around and were not taken directly to the hotel to check in so we could get some rest.
- Not that it would have matter, when we finally arrived at the resort around 1:00PM, we we're told that we could not check into our rooms until 3:00PM! We couldn't believe this. Luckily we brought our bags with us (someone else on Trip Advisor had recommended taking them and not letting the valets deliver them) so we could change out of our warm clothes into our swimsuits. When we finally did check into our room at 3 we we're so exhausted that we slept the rest of the day and totally lost the first day of our vacation!
- We traveled with Air Transat, who we would have complained about this situation too, but the reps we're conspicuously absent when we checked in. I don't remember seeing them at all on the first day. I am sure that they knew no one would be pleased with the situation and avoided us.
- To make matters worse, the morning of our second day was eaten up by a meeting with the Air Transat reps, where they gave our group the "ins and outs" of the resort. Why they didn't do this on the first day when we couldn't check into our room is beyond me. This was only the beginning of problems with Air Transat.
- Despite my intuition we followed the advice of the Air Transat reps on more then one occasion when going on tours of the area. Our first trip was to Xel-Ha which we we're told was a beautiful place for scuba diving, but turned out to be more like Disneyland's scuba adventure. Our second excursion was to Chichen Itza. The rep told us that if we didn't book through her tour company we would seriously miss out, and after looking into several options we thought we decided to pay the extra money for the convenience. While the experience was amazing, I found the trip to be very rushed, we didn't have much time to see or do much of anything. The tour guide obviously was in coohoots with some of the people we met along the way as he pointed us the direction of several vendors, belittled others, and tried to sell us bottles of tequila with our pictures on them from a cenote we had visited. The topper for me was when the tour guide asked us for a tip after we shelled out $85 for a tour that if we had done it ourselves would have cost less then half of what we paid.
- Speaking of tipping, every time we got on a bus, we asked to tip. Whether it was going to or from the airport or part of a tour, our hosts we're always looking for a handout. These we're all services that we paid a PREMIUM for and I found it to be in poor taste to expect a tip.
- Like others have said, the food is a few stars short of 5. I am not a particularly picky eater, but by the end of the trip I had become so dissatisfied with the food that I pretty much only ate fruit and nachos. I found everything else to be very bland or down-right uneatable. We only ate at Coba and Tulum and would usually take the trolley from one buffet to the other trying to find something to eat. We found that both buffets had the same food and we're generally of the same poor quality.
- While the rooms we're beautiful we found them to be very dank and moist and when we got home our clothing were funky smelling (someone else had complained about this on Trip Advisor and we laughed it off).
- We were told to do an early check out the night before, which we did, so when we went to leave the next day at 6AM my girlfriend left the keys at the front the desk (the Golden Club where we had checked out of the night before was closed). When the bus to take us to the airport finally arrived 45 minutes late, we we're told we could not board the bus with out a key voucher from the front desk. When my girlfriend went back to the front desk our keys were just sitting there, the attendant hadn't bothered to put the keys away or tell her that she needed a voucher! Why we even bothered checking out the day before was beyond me as we had to check out again a second time that morning.
- My last complaint is with Air Transat, who we will not book another vacation with. The reps at the resort obviously have some sort of a deal worked out with the tour companies. Check in at both airports was a nightmare. And on the flight home, when no more veggie sandwiches were left the stewardess told my girlfriend to pull the roast beef out.
I know it looks like a lot of ugliness, but overall the experience and resort were great. I just wanted to make you aware of all of these things so that you are prepared. I'm sure that every resort has it's own shortcomings and that everyone will see things differently. I would recommend Bahia Principe Coba, despite my grievances. We will probably not return as "all inclusive" doesn't really fit our life style. But if you are looking for a great place to take the family and aren't to concerned about the food, Bahia is the place for you.
- 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