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Grand Bahia Principe Tulum
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Reviews (13,520)
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Reviewed 12 April 2010

I booked an All Inclusive vacation thru apple vacations to the Bahia Principe Tulum, in the Mayan Riviera from April 4 to april 11 2010.

The first issue was all of the electrical outlets in our room were recessed about 1/2". I had to purchase an adapter for $3 from the Hotel's lobby shop and buy a sepparate universal adapter for $5 to connect my sleep apnea equipment. Hotel management was
completely unresponsive to what was a very dire medical situation. It seems that the hotel knows that anyone wanting to even charge a cell phone would have to purchase an adapter. I perceived this to be a scam, as the lobby shop grabbed a used adapter out of an old shoe-box.

2. We arrived Sunday, and tried to book reservations for dinner at any of the a la carte restaurants on Monday. All reservations were already filled thru the end of our stay. So my wife and I had to eat at the dinner Buffets all week. The dinner buffet served at the Yucatan was absolutely horrible. The food had almost no flaver. The meat dishes were tough like shoe leather. The deserts had nearly no flavor as well.

3. The drinks were mostly very watered-down, and contained nearly no alcohol. When
a drink did have alcohol, it was clear this resort was using the lowest quality available, as the drinks were harsh. I could not get a mudslide at the pool bars, nor at the hotel restaurants.

4. The pools nor the beach have drink service. You need to actually go to either the pool bar or the snack bar to get any type of drink. Amazingly many guests, were walking around with large travel mugs to get around this lack of service.

5. The lunch buffets were pretty bad as well. The Bahia Principe advertises itself as a 5 star resort. They served bacon wrapped hot dogs at the lunch buffet. A true 5 star resort serves bacon wrapped jumbo shrimp.

6. This was bar far the worst hotel I've stayed at in Mexico. If I had to rate it, I would give it
2-1/2 stars, not 5. I feel that Apple Vacations mis-represented this resort.

7. There is very little insulation between rooms. We were awakened by guests on the floor above us several nights a 3:45am when they stumbled in.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Mexico_Sun_70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2010

My husband and I recently stayed at Gran Bahia Principe Tulum for Spring Break (we're both teachers). We are 28 year-old Canadians. We loved it and really enjoyed our stay there. The resort was beautiful and clean. The beach was nice, however we spent more time at the main pool. The main pool was lots of fun due to the entertainment staff (Archie was my favorite!!!) I took part in the Salsa dance lessons and the water aerobics, which was hilarious just due to the entertainment staff. At the main pool they served drinks in coconuts a couple times during our stay, which were neat. We went snorkeling at the Tulum beach and the Akumel beach . . . Akumel was better, but we didn't get to see many types of fish. If you're into snorkeling you might want to look into a tour. The food at the buffet was good - we especially enjoyed the pasta station and the omelet station . . . and the salsa & guacamole! And one night they had a chocolate fountain with fruit kabobs and marshmallow kabobs - so yum! We went to 4 a la cartes - Arlequin, Portofino, Tequila, and Mikado. I would recommend all of the above, except Portofino b/c it was only so-so. Tequila was fun b/c they gave you sombreros to wear - bring your camera and the waiter will take a pic. The ambiance of Mikado was beautiful and modern and the food was amazing - get the banana spring rolls for dessert and book early so that you can reserve a spot where you can watch them cook for you. The evening shows were excellent - definitely something to look forward to. We went every night. Don't miss the Circus night as it's sort of like a mini Cirque du Soleil show - amazing!! It was fun to be able to have access to the 3 resorts and the transportation between them and the Hacienda (shops) was appreciated - sometimes they got busy at night and you'd have to wait for the next one or walk.

The only downfall (which wasn't even really that bad) was that the rooms seemed slightly dated. The cleaning staff did a great job and everything and the mini fridge was stocked and bottled water was given. Towel art was fun. But I guess I just felt like since the rest of the resort was so beautiful, the rooms seemed slightly overlooked. For example, the bedspread was faded because it was probably old. And the beds/pillows weren't even as nice as my bed at home (and I expect it should be at a hotel).

Overall, this was an AWESOME resort and a GOOD TIME! I would love to go back.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank I_heart_travel_000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2010

We travelled with two families and two children for 10 day stay in April 2010. Overall, we were pleased with the hotel, with a couple of important caveats. This was our first time at an all inclusive resort, and overall happy with the experience. Here are some tips to help you enjoy your stay:

*This is a VERY large resort. There are three sections--Tulum & Akumal on the beach, and Coba which is newer and inland (and in a swamp... so more insects!). Units are all 3 story with 18 rooms each, and nicely spaced so it doesn't feel overly crowded. Pools and beach chairs get snapped up early, but even during peak spring break when hotel was "full" we were able to find chairs.
*Rooms are nice, and cleaning staff did a good job keeping rooms clean and free mini-bar stocked. Beds were too firm for my taste, but some may like that. AC worked great.
*We arrived and were told they had overbooked in Tulum. They tried to bump us from a suite to a "superior" room (a downgrade), which was NOT acceptable to us. We were persistent, and they ended up having us stay one night in Coba, then moving us to suite in Tulum. They upgraded us to the "diamond" club for the inconvenience which gave us access to a smaller private pool and restaurant which was nice. Inconvenient, but we were happy with the solution offered by the hotel and rest of the vacation was great.
*Buffets are generally very good, better than I expected. Good mix of food, and they have different theme dishes every night, so it doesn't get too repetitive.
*"Specialty" restaurants were mediocre. We ate at 4 specialty restaurants. Food was basically same quality as the buffets, but you didn't have as much variety to choose from. Adults thought they were OK, kids preferred the buffet. Make sure to book your reservations immediately when you arrive!!
*WATCH OUT FOR THE FEES CHARGED AT THE ATM'S!! They have ATM machines scattered around the hotel that all dispense US dollars. I didn't read the page that discusses the fees closely enough. I withdrew $200 US twice during our stay and was shocked to learn on my return they charged $40 fee each time!! With no way to contact the ATM provider, and my US bank was unable to reverse the fees. What a rip off!!
*Onsite car rental from Europecar is good and reasonable price. It is easy to get to nearby attractions like ruins at Coba and Tulum, and attractions like Xplor (Kids & adults loved the zip lines and the cave rafting!) and Xel Ha.
*Onsite dive shop "Scubaquatic" was good for diving.
*I was pleasantly surprised by how many European guests there were. Didn't feel like "Little America", which we appreciated.
*One person in our party got food poisoning, we think from poached eggs. But otherwise food and water were safe to eat/drink.
*Pools are attractive, but shallow and not designed for lap swimming or diving. There are no slides or water features. Main pools are noisy, but there are smaller/quieter pools scattered around grounds. Nice palapas by pools and beach.
*Surf was strong week we were there. There are some protected beach areas where kids can swim. Parts of beaches are rocky, but plenty of sandy areas too.
*Although they have a time-share/golf development across the highway (with the largest entry gate I have ever seen!) they did a good job of NOT pushing their time shares. They had a small booth in the main lobby, but the sales people were not at all pushy. They deserve credit for not ramming a sales pitch down your throat!

Overall very enjoyable vacation. Despite being busiest week of year for them, felt like there was plenty of room and not overly cramped. We would recommend, and will probably go there again.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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8  Thank Paradoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2010

We traveled to Mexico during spring break and did not want to be near the college-kid scene so we booked an all inclusive for south of Cancun, about 1 1/2 hour trip from the airport, just before the town of Tulum. This was our first trip to Mexico and I was little aprehensive about what we'd find from the airport to the transfer to our resort to the hotel itself. I couldn't have planned a better place to stay.
Lomas Travel directed us immediately following customs to a transfer van where we rode to our hotel; we seemed to dodge the high-pressure Time Share people waiting just outside the baggage claim area. I was worried we'd be crowded into a van with many people and many stops to make along the way, but that wasn't the case, the four of us were the only ones in the van. I did tip the driver both from and to the airport.
Once at the Gran Bahia we were checked in quickly and rode the golf cart-like transport to our villa even though we could have walked there; everything at this resort is within walking distance but the transports can get you anywhere faster and they're sort of fun. I did not tip the transport drivers, but I suppose you can.
At our villa (all are three stories) our room was very nice; two double beds with extra foam padding I didn't think would be large enough for the four of us, but turned out fine. We had the AC on all the while with a ceiling fan to circulate the air; no bathroom fan so things could get humid in there. I was surprised to see just one or two flies or mosquiotes, no other bugs to report in light of the high humidity. There was plenty of closet space and room to move about. Room service was great every day; plenty of towels, a fruit basket, and hand towels shaped like animals. I did tip our room service.
We ate at the buffet for breakfast each morning; we were never disappointed with the variety and there were always seats available no matter what time we went. We had three a la cart meals three different evenings (seafood, Italian, and Mexican) all very good meals and excellent wait staff that I tipped each evening. We brought our "Sunday" outfits for these evenings as they don't allow shorts, although several people did enter wearing shorts; it was nice to dress up a little in the evening after being so casual during the day outside.
The grounds are impecably kept up; always people trimming trees, edging sidewalks, picking weeds by hand, sweeping the littlest amounts of sand off walkways. The entire place is beautiful. The resident lizzards were a treat for us to see and photograph. We walked the clean beach quite a bit and found the sand in front of the Tulum hotel the best. While the whole resort was close to capacity, there were always beach and pool chairs somewhere. We did not bring our own towels which was OK because you could check them out by using a towel card and exchange them for clean ones throughout the day. We all enjoyed swimming in the waves of the ocean and the clean swimming pools; never too crowded. The pool entertainment was fun; my two sons competed in a game of water polo and my husband won a bottle of tequilla in golfball putting game. Lots of fun!
We did not have any excursions pre-booked but thought we'd like to snorkel one day. Again a Lomas travel agent assisted us in this and we spent a great day (from (9:00-2:00) snorkeling at two areas about 1hour up the coast. At $75 per person we got transportation to and from the site, a catamaran ride to and from the reefs, two 45 minute snorkel sessions, a parachute-type swing ride off the back of the catamaran, and a very good lunch. The tour guides were very fun and helpful as I've never snorkeled before. This was one of the highlights of our trip and I'd recommend it to anyone.
I spoke with 5 or 6 other people and asked them to rate the resort to others they'd been to and everyone siad this was one of the nicest they'd been to. I honestly feel lucky to have picked this place from the hundreds of choices out there and to do so for our first trip. We all agreed that we would go back again. If you go you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank TulumAugi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2010

I just want to say " PLEASE CAN I GO BACK NOW!!!!" I wish i could have turned the plane around and headed back for another week. My trip started off really bad. I got the flu at the airport an hour before take off. I was so weak that they had to get the paramedics to wheel me away. Once I was looked over WESTJET put us up in a hotel and changed our flights for the next day! NO charge! They were so awesome. I finally got to the resort only 4 hours later than our original time of arrival and everything was perfect. We were in building 14 which is close to the pool and snack bar. Very quiet at night time and the beds were great with the bed toppers. Best night sleep every night. OK the mayan monkey drinks might have helped too. The entertainment at the pools were very funny and the drinks were definately strong enough for my husband and myself. My 11 year old daughter loved the slushies and ice-cream. We went on one excursion to Explor and it was fantastic! I screamed on all the ziplines and my daughter couldn't get enough. We did take a cab to Akumal bay and snorkled with the turtles and ate at LOL-HA ( best coconut shrimp ever!) We ate at the buffet all the time because we loved it so much but the last night we got daring and went to the Brazilian restaurant. Wow! is all I can say. I could have gone everynight and my daughter thought it was awesome. The beaches were great both waves and calm waters. Couldn't ask for more. The water was so clear and perfect! As you can tell we loved it so much that we are planning to go back as soon as possible. I almost forgot the great friends we met there from Edmonton. Thanks for the great time!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank Shine16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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