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Grand Bahia Principe Coba
Ranked #11 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 April 2009

We stayed at Gran Bahia Principe Coba from April 12-19.

Room was superior, compared to other all-inclusives we have experienced. King size bed. Large sitting area (table and two chairs, sofa/day bed). Jacuzzi tub with shower (great water pressure all week). Mini fridge with beer, pop and juice - restocked every day. Two large (1 litre) bottles of water provided each day. Coffee maker and coffee, replenished every day. (a bottle of Baileys provided our "must" addition for morning java on the balcony!) Air conditioning worked well, was also an overhead fan. Balcony was fairly small, with two plastic patio chairs and a small table. We were on the ground floor (no issues), all the buildings were three-storey walk-ups.

We did not drink the water in the room, but drank water in the restaurants all week (appeared the be bottled, as was the water they used to make coffee).

Maid service was excellent. We left $2 on the pillow every morning. One day she forgot facecloths and it took about 2 minutes to get replacements.

Bags delivered promptly when we arrived; we left early on Sunday morning and called for bags to be picked up - cart was there in 5 minutes.

The Gran Bahia Principe complex on the Mayan Riviera is amde up of three resorts: Coba, Akumal and Tulum. Tulum is the oldest, stretches along the beach. Akumal is newer, fronts onto the beach although a good part of it is not directly on the ocean. Coba is behind Akumal. Even the furthest villa at Coba is no more than a (pleasant, easy) 10-minute walk from the beach. And there are shuttles that run all the time.

We had access to all of the restaurants (buffet and a la carte), pools, bars, etc. at all three. So the choice among a la carte restaurants was varied. Our favourite was Mikado (Japanese restaurant at Coba). Agree with other reviews about booking early:!We waited until the morning after arrival and had to make a few compromises. Main issue was time: we ended up eating late (9:00 - 10:00pm) when we went to the a la carte restaurants. No issue, that fit our schedule ... but couples with children might have found that problematic. We also found that when we showed up an hour early, we could still get a table.

Buffets were excellent. Good variety of food, always found something we liked. Never walked away feeling disappointed. Good service at the tables at the buffet - wait staff were always prompt in providing water, drinks, coffee or taking away plates. We found the main buffet near the Coba lobby very busy in the morning, and found our way a couple of days to Cozumel buffet which was smaller but never quite so busy.

People are out early (6:30!) putting towels on poolside chairs/loungers. We could always find a chair by one of the pools if we walked around . . . but the "reserve a chair and then disappear back to bed" approach taken by most meant that by 9:00 a.m., most chairs by the pools were spoken for. So we went to the beach. Never had a problem finding a chair on the beach, even when showing up late in the morning. Especially easy when we walked up the beach toward Tulum.

It was windy when we were there, so surf was up. But there are some sheltered areas of beach for swimming, going for a dip. Thankful for sandbags (where the teenagers would stand and wait for the waves!).

Lots of bars, of course - by every pool as well as in the lobbies. We found the pool bar to be a little much (lots of very drunk people by early afternoon). Not that we mind people having a good time, we just moved down to the other end of the pool when things were wound up. Main lobby bar at Coba and Akumal before dinner in the evening was very enjoyable.

Used the gym: not a lot of equipment (one rowing machine, one cardio machine, one stationary bike, some weight equipment) but not too cramped, machines were mostly in good repair and staff were helpful.

We noticed a lot of European travellers at this resort - many from the UK as well as Italian, Spanish, German. Many Canadians, of course. But not a lot of Americans, which was a bit surprising.

Bus trip to the resort from Cancun was fine. About an hour-and-a-half, with stops at two other resorts. If you have a bus arranged with your tour operator (we were with Air Transat), exit the terminal and bear left...big buses are just around the corner, and they are pretty well signed. We stopped to ask for directions in the terminal concourse and had to extricate ourselves from a very aggressive timeshare pitch!

Would strongly recommend Alltournative if you are planning an excursion. We took the Mayan Encounter (ruins at Coba, ziplining and rapelling into a cenote); it was a great day. If you go to Coba, though - rent a bike or a Mayan 'taxi', or yo'll be jammed for time!

We'd go back to Gran Bahia Principe Coba in a second.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank BumpyTakeoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 24 April 2009

Canadians be careful with these guys. Nice resort, treat you well until something goes wrong. We unfortunately arrived on the 14th of April, Conquest vacations went bankrupt the 15th. I went to them to see what was going on. I offered to pay what Conquest owed them for the room. They stated their contract was with Conquest not us. As such they charged us the top rate they could charge us. I paid $4990 (Cdn) for the original package. The Bahia Coba made us paid $5,690 just for the rooms. There was no negotiating with them. I told them this was extortion. I asked what would happen if I didn't have the money to pay. They told me they would help me reach friends and family to get the money from them (nice help hey!). I was told if we didn't pay they would not allow us to check out and would call the police. As I said I had no problem paying them what was owed to them for the room, even though they were the ones that extended credit to Conquest. But they would not go for that. They charged us the rack rates. These guys are crooks. Also once they knew we didn't have a rep at the hotel representing us the service went down hill. They did nothing to help us. I asked to use their computers so I could find out what was going on and what other resorts where doing, they would not let me until I paid what they demanded. We compared stories with other Conquest victims when we were waiting at the airport to get out of Mexico, Coba was not the worst but they were defiantly up there.
BE VERY VERY CAREFUL WITH THESE GUYS THEY ARE EXTORTIONS.
Oh yeah, a la carte restaurants were great, buffet sucked.
Good Luck

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank Familytravelers09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2009

My fiancee' and I travelled to this lovely resort in January of this year. The hotel was a "Mystery Hotel" through Apple Vacations. Our trip was a 3 night 4 day get-away that was much needed. The trip was wonderful except for the weather (rained and cloudy until the day we left). Other than that, the hotel itself was amazing.

We are used to smaller resorts, so we were overwhelmed with the size of the complex (it is 3 hotels in 1). Check in was the same as every other one that we have been to; rooms not ready until 3 or later. The bad part of this hotel is the tram system they have to get around the resort. We prefer to be able to walk around to get to specific restaurants, bars, pools, and the ocean. Depending on your room location that just is not possible here, unless you enjoy really long walks.

Once you get to the beach though you will be amazed with the size of it. The beach is clean and someone is always around cleaning up. Like most resorts in the area there are sandbags in the water; they are there for a reason though. The water is calm in most areas, but it depends what interests you. You can go in an area with good waves or you can go into another area with little or no waves at all.

The beach has a few bars on it, but the best one is the bar that has swings on it; down side is that it was very windy sitting there, but well worth it. If you are into long beach walks then you need to walk north on the beach on all the coral rocks. Once you get down to the end you turn to your right and you will find a hidden treasure; an abandoned beach area that is absolutely Beautiful.....It's a good walk that requires sandals or shoes, but is well worth it.

We had the pleasure of being invited to an Apple Vacations beach dinner one night that was just for those that booked through Apple Vacations. Since the weather wasn't all that great for us we decided to go, and WOW was it well worth it. They served Lobster tails, shrimp kebobs, steak, and chicken. They also gave away free t-shirts; all just to say thank you and ask for any input on the resort (It was no time share sales or any other sales pitch).

Since this resort is so far from everything else they have a unique layout in that its like its own city. They have their own area of the resort that has a nightclub and shopping area (La Hacienda) that is awesome. All you do is take the tram ride and enjoy the nightly entertainment.

This resort is huge, and with all the venturing around we did in our short trip, i dont think we were able to see all that they offer but we were inpressed with it. We probably wouldn't return to this resort only because we enjoy the smaller sized resorts, but we would definately recommend this resort to those who like the larger resorts.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank wmack4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2009

Before I start my review I should probably mention that I've never been to Mexico before so I really don't have anything to compare to. I have been to Jamaica and Cuba.

Unfortunately for us we booked through Conquest...total disaster...but that's another story. PM me if you want the details.

CHECK IN
Fast and easy. Received an upgrade to Premier. Served cold drinks while checking in. Had lunch while waiting till 3pm so we could get into our room. Trolleyed to our room with luggage delivered about 10 minutes later.

ROOM
Very large. Marble everything. I had emailed the resort a week prior to arrival to request a king room, sofa bed made up and an extra bed. Got what I asked for with the exception of the extra bed. They were all out and couldn't get one until the second night. No big deal. King bed already had foam topper, didn't have to request it. LOVED the bed and slept great. Mini bar fully stocked daily. Room cleaned well but the bathroom could have been cleaned better. There were tiny ants on the patio but it was the ground floor. Could hear outside noise quite well at night, especially door slamming and loud talking.

FOOD & DRINK
Buffet was good. At the busy times the service in the main buffet wasn't great but I had not problem getting up and grabbing my own water or another glass of wine. A la carte restaurants were great. We ate at Portofino, Le Gourmet, Mediterraneano and Mikado. The after dinner drink cart was nice. Food was very good as was the service. 24 hour snack bars served typical snack food but also fresh fruit, salad and even lasagna. We ate and drank everything and had no illness at all. I found the tropical drinks to be really sweet but I know some people like them that way. I tended to stick to beer during the day and JD on the rocks at night. The restaurants seemed to serve the same red wine; a dry Chilean merlot. Not awesome but definately good.

POOLS
Clean and clear. Zero depth entry which is great for families with young children. Washrooms, towel hut and bar beside every pool. Cleanest pool bathrooms I've ever seen. Even though there are signs on almost every palapa telling people not to reserve the chairs...they still do. There are also signs requesting that women do not go topless but I still noticed a few sunbathing this way. Not a big deal for me and I don't have an issue with my kids seeing it either.

BEACH
Not a great beach for beach fanatics but not terrible either. For little kids it's great because it's shallow and calm and there are many fish for them to see. A few more topless women too. I found the beach to be rather crowded but I was there when the resort was full. Again, don't plan on sleeping in if you want a chair under a palapa.

ENTERTAINMENT
I can't comment too much on this because we didn't see many shows. The animation team did a great job keeping people entertained around the main pool. Michael Jackson show was very good as was the kids show.

GROUNDS
This is a huge resort and kind of intimidating the first day or two. Fortunately, there are trolleys that go everywhere so you don't have to walk much if you don't want to or can't. The grounds are immaculate.

STAFF & MANAGEMENT
I found the management to be very responsive to my requests and the staff were more than happy to serve us. We tipped well because it is clear that the staff works very hard to keep the tourists happy.

Overall I found this resort to be excellent value for the money and would love to return. It is a large resort but because of this has something for everyone. You could spend 3 weeks there and have something different to do every night. We spoke to younger and older couples, families with children and singles with friends. Everyone had nothing but good things to say about the resort.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
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8  Thank ineedavacay27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2009

We stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks between 6 & 20 April. We had our reservations about the size of the hotel but actually found that in many ways it was a bonus, more choice etc. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and were very well looked after.

1 - The hotel room was lovely, at times not cleaned very well (toilet was not always cleaned, glasses not replaced) but this did not spoil our stay at the hotel. It had the biggest bed I have every seen and a small table and sofa and plenty of hanging space.

2 - The food and the service in the a la carte restaurants was superb. We ate at the Mexican, Don Pablo, Le Gourmet, Mikado & Portofino, which were all very different and all first class. The only restaurant we did not enjoy was the Mediterranean, where the service was poor and there was little atmosphere.

3 - The food in the buffet restaurants was of a high standard and with plenty to choose from. The service was also very good. We mostly ate at the premier buffet which was a little more intimate but with less choice, but on occasion we did try the main buffet and had lunch at the akumal buffet looking out over the beach. One comment I would make, which we also heard many times from different people, was that the food was not always as hot as it could have been, which is a shame because the quality was outstanding. We tended to go for many of the dishes that were freshly prepared for you like the pasta & fried eggs or omelette to ensure it was hot.

4 - The pools around all 3 hotels are lovely and all very different, giving you far more choice than many hotels. We preferred the quieter premiere pool but did find that it was very difficult to get a sun bed with shade if you did not ‘reserve’ a bed before 6.30 am, which was far too early for us. We went down just before 8 am and always managed to get a couple of beds which we put under a tree if we wanted a bit of shade. We then went off for breakfast and came back within half an hour but we did notice many beds were empty until nearly lunch time. You can always move peoples stuff off, which we did see people doing and good luck to them, but we don’t go on holiday to have an argument over beds, which we also saw a few times.

5 - We did find that at all times staff were friendly, efficient and hard working, whether you tipped them or not. We took dollar bills because it was difficult to get small Pesso notes and each day left $2 for the maid and $1 for the guy who filled up the fridge. We also left $2 at meal times but many people didn’t tip and got just as good service, so we didn’t feel pressured to tip at all. We tended to use Pesso to buy things as it worked out cheaper.

6 – The beach was ok, we have been to Florida and the Caribbean a few times so it wasn’t the best beach we’ve been to. One of the disadvantages is that you can only go out to about waist high as there are ‘breakers’ stopping you, which are understandably there for obvious reasons but are not nice to look at, saying that though they are good fun to try to sit on without the waves pushing you off! We were there for 14 days and the red flag was up every day so we could not use any of the free water sports, which was disappointing. The beach is 3 minutes walk from the premiere lobby and no more than 10 from most rooms but you can get the little bus which takes you all the way there. We tended to go after lunch and always managed to get shade and a couple of beds.

7 – We were pleasantly surprised at how many English and other Europeans were there, probably up to 40% with the rest mainly Canadian and a few Americans thrown in for good measure, but the accents are so similar it was difficult to tell most of the time. Everyone was friendly and we talked to lots of people who were all really friendly but we did find that on occasion the large family groups of Canadian’s, possibly wedding groups, were quite loud, which didn’t bother us, they were on holiday having fun but it may not be to everyone’s liking. One group had been drinking all day and then all stood on the swim up bar in the premiere pool for a photo and broke the tiles. There was an ugly seen between them and some American guests so the bar was closed early. But apart from that we didn’t see any trouble.

8- We didn’t go out much, but did go to Akumal beach (5 minutes away) using the little white mini bus you can get from the Hesienda for $3, here you can loan (for free) from a conservation hut, swimming vests for both adult and children so that you can snorkel to see the fish and the turtles and they also give you free advice on the best spots. We also went to Playa de Carmen which we found very expensive but nice to see, that was also $3 and took half and hour or so. The mini buses have air conditioning and seat belts and are in very good condition. We expected the local bus to be run down and cramped but not at all.

9 - The entertainment was good and again it was nice to have the choice of 3 different hotels. There was a show on every night in each hotel and also a live band in each hotel playing decent enough music that you could dance to.

There are so few English reviews on this site that I thought it worth while spending a bit of time writing one as I found the reviews helpful when we were thinking of booking. We would definitely consider returning to the hotel in the future and would not hesitate to recommend it to family and friends, but if you like small and intimate then it may not be the place for you.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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14  Thank tingley2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Coba

Address: Carretera Chetumal - Cancun Km 250, Akumal 77760, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Casino Hotel in Akumal
#5 Family Hotel in Akumal
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#8 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#10 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
Price Range: S$180 - S$384 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Coba 3.5*
Number of rooms: 1080
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services: 2 lake-style pools, 3 Jacuzzis, large sun terrace and gardens with sun umbrellas and loungers, pool and beach towel service, BAHIA SPA (additional charge). Sports facilities: gym, 5 tennis courts, basketball court, bicycles, motorized sports (additional charge), water activity centre, entertainment amphitheater. WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge), buffet restaurant, 4 a la carte restaurants, 8 bars, 2 snack bars. 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 1080 rooms including 4 types: Superior Junior Suite, Club Golden Junior Suite, Family Junior Suite and Master Family Suite. Room facilities: Two full size beds or a king size bed, sitting area with sofa, fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bathtub, shower, wash basin, magnifying mirror and hair dryer, bathroom amenities. Balcony or terrace, air conditioning, ceiling fan, telephone, radio alarm clock, flat screen satellite TV, mini-bar, coffee-making facilities, safe (additional charge), ironing set, terrace, Wifi. Family Junior Suites and Master Family Suites, the perfect choice for families, including: All the facilities and services of a Junior Suite; bathrobes and slippers for all the family for use during your stay, children's bath kit, welcome basket with sweets, mini-bar with juices, shakes, milk and soft drinks for children, two fully independent connecting rooms (Master Family Suites), Club Golden Junior Suites Children Bahia Scouts Children can enjoy a range of specially-tailored facilities: Children's pool Mini Club with daytime activities Evening Mini Disco Bahia Scouts Water Park Teen's Club (11 - 16 years) Baby Station Other services On-site miniature railway providing access to all facilities 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:
Gran Bahia Principe Coba Akumal
Hotel Gran Bahia Principe
Bahia Principe Coba Mexico
Gran Bahia Coba
Gran Bahia Principe Resort Coba
Gran Bahia Principe Coba Hotel
Gran Principe
Gran Bahia Principe Mexico
Bahia Coba
Grand Bahia Principe Coba Akumal, Riviera Maya, Mexico

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