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Reviews (14,573)
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Reviewed 16 March 2010

GENERAL COMMENTS:

I've been to many beautiful places but I have to say that the services at this resort is exceptional. The staff went out of their way to cater to your needs. OUTSTANDING SERVICE.


CHECK-IN:

As we arrived at the resort we were dropped off at the main Coba lobby to find out that we had to go to the Coba Premier lobby (no big deal). We were escorted to the reception desk and we were served a cocktail. Check-in was very fast. Once all our paperwork was in order and we received our keys we were driven to our rooms with our luggage.


ROOMS:

When booking our vacation through our travel agent, we had requested that our rooms be next to each other and a crib for one of the rooms.

I was extremely impressed with our room. It was spacious and very clean. I had a king size bed and one sofa bed. My sister's room had 2 double beds (placed together to form a king), a crib and a sofa bed. Lots of closet space (with shelves) and hangers provided. They also provided an iron and ironing board. Bathroom was very clean as well.


FOOD:

My husband and brother-in-law had no problems with the food. I'm a pickier eater but always managed to find something to eat. The food is not the warmest, however. The only thing we found was that there wasn't enough variety (but nothing major to complain about).


BEACH/POOL:

Wasn't impressed with the beach. I love playing in the waves but wasn't nice enough to do that. Lots of rocks and sand whales made it a bit difficult. We spent a lot of time at two of the many pools. The Coba (quiet) pool and the Coba (activity) pool. They each had an area for the smaller kids.


GROUNDS:

Grounds are extremely clean and well kept. Very beautiful. You constantly see workers maintaining the grounds.


STAFF:

Everyone is extremely nice. It was the best service ever. The staff went out of their way to help you. We tipped generously but I'm sure that had nothing to do with it.


OVERALL COMMENTS:

I would recommend this resort. I just found it a little bit too big. Great place for families and couples.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank Fatcat_VDM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2010

This is my 2nd attempt. After 45 minutes I hit Enter and Trip Explorer logged me off!
Thanks for nothing. Now I'll do it up in Word and cut and paste.

We absolutely loved the resort. We have been in the sub-tropics now 23 days in total in 3 years and not one drop of rain.

I had a couple of questions before going that I couldn't find answers to so I'll help someone or two out if I can. I wanted to take a laptop and couldn't find any info on the size the safe could hold so I took a chance.

1. Your room safe: Laptops will fit if they are smaller than these dimensions: 13.5" x 9.72" x 1.49". That's the dimensions of our Acer 4520 which just barely slips into the safe, angled bottom left to upper right corner with the shelf removed. Once in, you can turn it flat and all your camera's, wallets, passports etc will all fit in fine. You will have to pay $5 a day for the safe and that is for a later rant.

2. Power: There is only one (1) 3 prong wall socket in the room. The rest are two prong universal. So, if you need more than one plug, hit Canadian Tire for a 3 prong to 2 prong adapter. You camera chargers will plug in fine in the universal a/c jack. The voltage is ok. If you're from Europe, best bring an adapter kit.

3. Bring some movies with you on your laptop if you can, especially if you've got kids. The TV is a waste land. Unless you like soccer or speak Spanish.

4. Get your doctor to prescribe Ciproflox, also known as Apo-Ciproflox or Ciprofloxacin. It's great if you get travelers diarrhea, or if someone comes down with a bladder infection or you get a bad chest cold. Getting medical attention down south can be an expen$ive propo$ition. We don't leave home without it.

5. If you bring a laptop or a *berry or I-phone, there is wireless but it isn't fast. I clocked about 130K through a test website and that is only about twice the speed of the old dialup if you remember.
It's fast enough to get your email or upload a dozen or two photo's to Picasa but you sure aren't going to watch Peter on 'The National' even on a reduced bandwidth version.

6. Watch the sun. I tan reasonably well but even so, I got pretty red one day when the dial hit 90+. I used to use Solarcain but this trip I tried this stuff that was recommended "Ocean Potion Moisturizing Aloe Lotion", costs about $13 almost everywhere. It is awesome. Solarcain stops the pain but doesn't stop the drying out and peeling. This stuff does. Get it on fast after a burn and apply every few hours and you will feel it keeping your skin moist and that's the secret to not spending the next two weeks de-foliating. Bugs weren't much of a problem and I didn't hear them spraying every night like they did in Veradero. Some people are bug magnets though and if so, try the local stuff.

I agree with the dozen or so others here who have complained about the chintzy charge for the room safe. Sure, $5 a day ... so what. So, it's cheap .... it's Wal-mart cheap. Having spent $3K for a trip, to be charged this is insulting. The $5 isn't worth the bad publicity. And a 24/7 snack bar should be a snack bar. When you have a 4:30am flight to catch or an outing off the resort and the 'snack bar' has warm milk and Corn Flakes, that's not a snack bar. I can do that in the room.

Anyway, back to the review. Pam and I spent a wonderful week from March 6th through the 13th at the Bahia Principe Coba. Two years ago we stayed at the Cayo Libertad in Cuba and last year at the Barcelo Colonial Beach just up the road from the Coba. We enjoyed both of those resorts but we absolutely loved this one. The Coba is so clean, if you keep quiet someone will dust you! The food was great, the roomswere clean and the maids did an excellent job. We spent about a $100 over the week tipping US $1 or $2 as we felt and it always brings a smile and a thank you. We got to see some Agouti on the grounds one day and a white faced Coati on the road inside the resort.

We are going back next year but I am pretty sure I won't be flying WestJet again. On the trip down, none of the entertainment equipment was functional and on the trip back the reservation system in Cancun went down and all our work pre-booking our seats went for naught. We considered ourselves lucky to get seats together; friends who had paid for assigned seats got to sit on the aisle, and not even in the same row. Upset were they ? Ya think?

We had a la cartes reserved but after the 2nd buffet supper we cancelled them and just ate at the buffets for the rest of the stay. We were just off the Premier where they kept most of the 'oldsters' and it was peaceful and quiet. The young people all tended to congregate near the Coba except for Fiesta Mexicana night at the Esmirelda.

Even tho' the signs request you not to, they play the towel game on the chairs so be forewarned. In the section frequented by the kids, they tend to be late risers so you can still get a chair until 10:30 or so. Where we stayed, the oldsters (us included) towelled by 8:00 am or you were out of luck. On the beach you can still get good spots with a cabana and chairs at 11:00am and chairs out in the sun, almost any time.

We love travelling and we're off to Cuba next month for another week. See you soon!

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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17  Thank Norm_PamBedfordNS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2010

We were part of a wedding “party” of 32 people. We had a wonderful time.
The room and bathroom were spacious, clean and well maintained. The rooms has a mini-bar that was free and stocked every day with Dos XX’s beer, Diet and regular soda, Chips and a candy bar. Peso conversion rate was 12-1 for US $ and we left a 20 Peso ($1.65) in the fridge every day. We always had plenty of beer and soda on hand for a very small tip. Perhaps the fridge would have been just as well stocked had we not tipped, but who can’t afford $1.65? The staff is so very friendly and paid so little. The room was always clean and the maids are always available. More towels, a spare razor, a fresh beach towel; never a problem. There are several restaurants on the property and on the two “sister” properties, Tulum and Akulmal. You get 3 “ala carte” nights (you can pick restaurants instead of the buffet). We chose the Japanese, the Brazilian and the Mexican. We were correct to do so as they were the best. We spoke to other sand they agreed. They have trams running all the time and you can get everywhere on them or a short walk. If you want to go to the beach, again, take a tram and it’s just a few minutes. We also tipped the Maid 20 Pesos each day and she took very good care of the room. As for Safe and key, we were part of the Club Golden program and were never asked about any safe key deposit.
The Principe Coba is a drive from the airport, but it is a lot closer to most tourist attractions. Xcaret is a day well spent. Especially the “show”. You can also have diner while watching the show for about $25 pp depending on how you get your tickets. I think it’s worth it. If you skip diner, the show is still worth the time and it’s free once you’re in Xcaret. They also have a nice horse show the kids would enjoy.
CAUTION: We got sucked into a Timeshare presentation by reps at the airport. They “steer” you to one of the “Travel Agents” at the airport who will give you discount tickets to Xcaret, Xcel-Ha, the Ruins, etc. DON’T GET SUCKED IN! We gave them a deposit and wound up having to spend 6 HOURS at the Mayan Palace fending off high pressure salesman, sales managers, general sales managers, etc. trying to force us into a timeshare. What a waste of the nicest day all week!!! My fault. I wish someone had mentioned these guys in a previous review. Don’t give anyone a deposit at the airport!!! There are travel agents at the hotel that will give you discounts too.
CAUTION: Leave early for the flight home. We had first class tickets. Several friends on the same flight stood in line at the airport for almost two hours. Leave plenty of time as they are very slow at Cancun airport. You can also buy antibiotics, etc. at the airport pharmacies. We checked the ingredients and the prices versus what we pay in the US and there were some very good deals on generics. Just something to think about. Enjoy your trip and RELAX!

  • Stayed: March 2010
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1  Thank Baystate2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2010

Most of what I would say has already been said. It is a very big hotel, but doesn´t seem so, since it´s so easy to get around. The grounds are lovely, the staff so friendly, and the buffet offers a big enough choice of food that we could always find something.
However, I don´t think it is a 5 star, more of a very good 4 star. For one thing, a 5 star hotel wouldn´t charge $5 a day for the safe, nor would it take most of the day to get round to making up the rooms. This was a bit of a nuisance if you wanted to have a rest in the afternoon, which we did occasionally. We assumed, too, that the entertainment was part of the package, then we were told that for the Mexican evening at La Hacienda the charge would be $14 per person.
The speciality restaurants we would recomment are Le Gourmet, the Japanese one, La Tortuga, all excellent. We were there for two weeks so also tried El Pescador and Portofino. These two weren´t so good. The buffet starters were lovely, but the rest of the meals were a big disappointment.
As someone else commented, the early morning door banging was a bit annoying, probably made worse by the design of the buildings so that it echoed more, but if you get up earlyish it won´t bother you. If you want a quiet room, where you can have an afternoon siesta if you feel like it, make sure you are well away from the main pool. We weren´t that close, but could almost always hear that pounding bass note, it would have been better to hear the whole song!
All things considered, we would use this hotel again if we were to go back to the same area. It´s very easy-going, and the size means that there is plenty of variety in what you can do and where you can eat.

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank PaquitaSpain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2010

Our group of 6 couples stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Coba March 6 - 13, 2010.

We booked this resort primarily because we got an excellent deal through Westjet Vacations. The next time we will book because we loved it!

This resort is very large, however the transportation provided by the resort makes it easy to get around. We also found that looking at the resort maps before we went made navigation much easier. Once we got our bearings nothing was really that far away except for the Tulum section, which we didn't go to very often. The pool was 2 minutes away, the beach 5 minutes maybe, the lobby 2 minutes - you get the idea.

We had two couples in building 31, two in 26 and two in 27, so everyone was nice and close. These buildings are very centrally located in the Coba Section. All of the rooms were the same and were very nice sized junior suites. The rooms were well kept and the mini bar stocked daily. We had beer, sparkling water, pop, juice, potatoe chips and a small snickers bar in the fridge.

The only criticism with respect to the rooms is the safe. It wasn't included in the package we booked, I don't know if it is in any, and it's kind of pain to have to carry the key around all week. It was $30.00 at check out time for the safe. Personally we would prefer to see the price of the safe just included in the package so you don't have to think about keeping that money aside all week.

The grounds of this resort were immaculate as was the beach. This is the first resort we have been to where we can say there were lots and lots of ashtrays and garbage receptacles around. Never any need to not put a cigarette or cigar out in the proper place or to litter. My husband and I both smoke and both commented on how clean the ashtrays around the resort were kept. It was like someone was right behind cleaning them out everytime they were used. Even at night. Also on the beach there were little pots where garbage and cigarettes could be put, and again people kept them clean almost as fast as they were used. We spend 3 or 4 hours on the beach one day and a gentleman was by no less than four times ensuring our pot and area was kept clean.

The pools in the Coba section were great. The Iguana Pool has three jacuzzi's in it. There is a bar there as well. Nice spot. The quiet pool has a pool bar and is quiet with nice loungers. The acitivity pool also has a pool bar and was a pile of fun. We never had a problem getting 6 plus chairs anytime we were there.

The beach was excellent. The Tulum section is wavy and we had a ball playing in the waves. The Coba and Akumal sections were calm because of the sand whales, which was nice. You could see fish swimming around you in the water. Again we never had a problem getting chairs at the beach and we don't play the towel on chair game.

The food was excellent. Everything from buffets to A La Cartes. We ate at all the buffets. They are large, but there is lots of selection. They keep your table very clean as you eat.

We ate at Gran Tortuga - loved it and you want to be hungry going here, La Gourmet - excellent, and Mikado - very good. Even though there were 12 of us at two of the A La Cartes we went to, which would challenge many restaurants, the service was awesome. Super Friendly.

Our favourite place was the Daquiri Bar. Great place to sit have a few drinks and listen to live music. Really nice.

There are a few shops on the resorts or you can take the train to the Hacienda. There wasn't anything at the Hacienda that was a great deal, same price in the resort shops. Same stuff for the most part. We got a couple t-shirts and cook book at the resort shops. We did most of our shopping in Akumal at the Super Chomax and the grocerteria across the street from it. Good deals on good stuff there. $10.00 by cab to get there.

Akumal Beach is spectacular. My husband went snorkelling and saw rays and turtles. Easy place to get a beer or food if you want it. Take your towel to sit on, it's a public beach.

We also went to Yal Ku Lagoon for snorkelling. Everyone who went was amazing. Others in our party who had been to Xel-Ha said it was just as good as there if not better. It was $9.00 each to get in and we rented the Palapa, which was $20.00. Cab was $20.00 for 12 of us on the way there and $40.00 on the way back because we got him to stop for shopping and stuff. Excellent cab driver - Hector!

We did the Tulum ruins and snorkelling off the riuns as well, $35.00 each. All I can say is that Tulum beach is one of the most amazing beaches I have ever seen. We did the Coba ruins last year which are more spectacular than Tulum, but the Tulum Ruins are still worth seeing. We walked to the public beach to get to our snorkelling. What an amazing public beach. Absolutely huge!

We had some excitement at our building one night. Security was after someone who was drunk and causing a fight. The whole building and I bet others could hear it. We never did find out what happened but security did a good job handling it from what we could see.

One last thing, the pizza at the snack bar is awesome! Made to order and really good!

I think the saddest part of this trip was coming home....we easily could have done another couple of days at this resort.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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13  Thank nslisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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