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Reviewed 1 June 2010

We visited this resort in the middle of May and found it to be well-run and beautiful.

The staff were friendly, efficient and welcoming. We had our favourite wait staff in the main buffett restaurant who took care of our needs and always seemed pleased to see us (yay, Lauro and Francesca!).

The selection at the buffett was stupendous. I'm a picky eater (no gluten or MSG) and I found plenty of choices and was never bored. The higher-end restaurants that we booked into didn't let us down either. We especially enjoyed the Mediterranean restaurant at Coba and our waiter Amado.

Snack bars were convenient and had some good choices as well. It was such a nice convenience to be able to come and go as you pleased.

Our room was spacious and the houskeeping staff did a great job every day (the towel-animal art was very amusing and funny). My husband would have liked a better selection of beer in the mini-fridge as he is not a fan of the house brand.

The lounger/towel issue at the quiet pool was sometimes annoying. I observed some towels on loungers 'saving' for over 6 hours, with nary an owner in sight, effectively rendering those two loungers and the accompanying palapa wasted. I don't know how the management would solve this issue. I'm sure none of the staff members would want to be messing with a guest's belongings, and then perhaps getting into a confrontation with one of the arrogant 'savers'.

Since I didn't want to get up at 6 and stagger (in my pj's) to the poolside with my towel, each time I wished to sit by the pool, I trusted in the universe. This worked well for me.

Weather was great the first four days and then it started to get a bit rainy. However, the rain did not detract from our time, as there was always lots of activity options.

As my husband went scuba diving off-site, he quickly mastered the 'colectivo' system and loved it. The mini-vans run up and down the highway and will take you where you want to go for $3 per person. You just have to flag them down and tell the driver where you want to get off. In this way, we went to visit the Tulum ruins and also Playa del Carmen twice -- easy, peasy and with the added bonus of travelling with regular Mexican people. I do love you, fellow tourists, but I also want to experience the culture (in my safe, Canadian way).

We didn't have any overwhelming stomach issues. Not sure if this is because I never eat anything with a sauce (other than salsa, of course!) or any mixed salads. But my husband is a much more adventurous eater and he was fine as well. We drank lots of the bottled water and didn't drink much alcohol, perhaps that helped as well.

Oh yeah, we took lots of probiotics before, during and after the trip. I would definitely recommend a good probiotic, I'm sure it has saved my [--] many a traveling-time. Yes, that was a pun.

The last night we were there, we ate at the Tequila restaurant in Tulum. It was quite an adventure to get to and (apart from the Mariachi band) our entertainment was the spectacular thunder and lightening storm outside. We appreciated every minute of our evening and wished we didn't have to leave the next day.

To conclude, though we have travelled to Mexico several times, this was the first time we had gone to an all-inclusive resort and everything was beyond our expectations. We are saving our money to go back again.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Mexdream_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2010

I don't know how anyone can say anything negative about this resort. I guess you can always find something negative about anything but really? The grounds were beautiful, friendly staff, plenty of things to do and things to see. Three different resorts that you can choose from and the trolleys make it easy to get around even as massive as this place is. If you have any questions at all just send me an e-mail.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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2  Thank bluecrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2010

We stayed at this hotel between the 11th and 25th May 2010. We took private transfers from Cancun Airport that were arranged through First Choice. The flight had been delayed due to diverting around the volcanic ash and the flight was 12 hours altogether. The transfer took just over an hour and the driver found out which hotel we were in and arranged for the Bellboy's to take our bags to our room. All in all, the check in was very efficient. The room smelt musty when we first arrived and I was concerned as I had read about this problem on previous reviews. There was no need for concern however and the whiff soon left of its own accord. The room was a junior suite and was a very good size with good facilities. I made use of the coffee making facilities and gown and slipper services which were a nice touch. We were in Villa 5b and most evenings we returned to find giant red ants had crawled under the door. The final straw was when we got a little lizard in our room. It startled my partner when it scampered out from behind the bin in the bathroom. The lizard then hid behind the toilet. Another evening we got back and the lizard was on the wall above the TV. We chased it and it went in a pile of clothes on a shelf. We now know why the maids insisted that we didn't keep shoes on the floor and raised them off the ground. You don't want a lizard in your sling-backs. We quickly learnt to leave the hall light on when we went out in the evening and this solved the problem. Our room was on the second floor as I had requested this and we still had bugs. Once there was a big cockroach outside that did not come in our room. Someone stamped on it and killed it, which was a bit harsh.

The hotel is massive and I was daunted when I first arrived. Armed with a map and the very efficient public transport system on site, I soon got to grips with it and enjoyed the variety it afforded me. I spent most days down the beach near the Akumal quiet pool. There were plenty of loungers and hammocks available. I also snorkeled in the sea and saw lots of fish. The sea was very pleasant and warm. There was also a self-service bar called White Sands where you could pour your own beers, soft drinks and make dacquiris with as much rum or vodka as you liked. Very tasty. It was hard to get a poolside bed and I was nearly turfed off mine when I made the mistake of going in the pool for 10 minutes. I am by no means the type of person who gets up at the crack of dawn to reserve a bed, preferring to do this on an ad-hoc basis. Be warned, it is kill or be killed.

The food in the buffets was good and there was plenty of variety, but in common with all inclusives everywhere, it does get a tad monotonous. The a la cartes we tried, Don Pablo and Le Gourmet were both excellent, although for me Le Gourmet edged it and the Filet Mignon was very tasty. During our meal at Don Pablo a lightning storm started that lasted all evening. This led to the lobby area flooding and the wind was so strong they had to tie the doors to the restaurant shut with a napkin. The roofs do seem to leak everywhere, which is a bit strange in a country where there is a rainy season and hurricane season. It rained about 4 days altogether. On one day it rained all day and evening pretty much, this caused flooding in the premier lobby and the restroom lights stopped working and one of the computers for Golden Club was broken by water. The reception also closed and the Coba Lobby Bar. The lobby area was cordoned off and the Piso Mojado signs were ubiquitous throughout our stay. The Dacquiri bar was our favourite and I loved the Mojitos, Margaritas and Singapore Slings very much. The bar service was excellent and the bar-staff and waiting staff were always giving excellent table service and there was a live band most nights. It was a bit of a bummer that the bars closed at 23.00 as I think that is a bit too early, midnight would be better as we couldn't be bothered to go to the Hacienda. The 24 hour snack bars do serve 24 hour alcohol but the atmosphere is a bit lacking.

The rain did marr our stay to a degree, as although the transport did have covers, it made it very difficult to go out and about as when it rains, it rains. We ended up cancelling reservations for Gran Tortuga and Tequila as it was raining so bad and these resturants were in Tulum which was the furthest away resort and these restaurants were not near the main lobby. We didn't really have a problem with mosquitos as we took plenty of spray. Make sure you take an umbrella.

Another thing that has been mentioned is the stomach bug issue. Myself and my partner both suffered with stomach cramps and loose stools for several days. We are both very careful about food hygiene. I have noted the comments by various people on this site stating it is probably just too much drink/sun/food etc... I have returned home and am still not back to normal. I think there is definitely something amiss as I haven't had this problem before and several other people we spoke to had similar problems. I don't think it was food poisoning as the symptoms were not severe enough, maybe just some bug.

In summary, I suggest the following precautions to enjoy your trip:

1) Immodium, lots of it.
2) First aid kit in case you hurt yourself on the rocks in the sea.
3) Leave your hall light on when you go out to put the bugs off going in
4) Take an umbrella/waterproof jacket.
5) Lots of mosquito spray
6) Get a mattress pad as the bed is very hard.

I took insulated travel mugs as we used them in Cuba, this is not necessary at this resort as the cups are bigger so we didn't use them in the end. One final point, a minor gripe, is that they only let you use the balcony light between 7.00pm and 11.00pm. I don't think it is unreasonable to go out on the balcony after 11.00pm. One night I was on the balcony after 11.00pm in the dark and a massive beetle flew into my head and got stuck in my hair. It was most disconcerting.

On the whole, I would recommend this hotel as the pools, beach and grounds are beautifully maintained, the staff are very friendly and attentive and the service is excellent. It was just a shame the weather was a bit naff and we had dodgy stomachs. I would definitely return to this area and Mexico in particular as the Mexican people were very nice and friendly and the levels of customer service were second to none.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Peeps-Bocadillo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2010

had an amazing holiday the staff are brilliant and will go that extra mile the place is spotless we had a junior suite which was beautifull and we did not see one single bug in the room the whole time we were there!! the a la carte restaurants are fab especially the japanses and the buffet is good altho a little repatative we hd NO problems with the food at all!!! the drinks especially the cocktails are also great {especially the champagne}would like to say a massive thanks to our thomas cook reps karim and katie who were brilliant and were a big help. all in all a fantastic holiday

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank jen1412
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2010

Where to begin?! We just returned from our honeymoon in Mexico. We stayed 7 nights at the Coba. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about this resort, so here goes.

Lobby/Check in- Beautiful lobby and entrance. Very friendly upon arriving. The lady I had been emailing even came over and spoke to us about the restaurants. The brazilian steakhouse we wanted was closed for renevations so she took the librty of upgrading us to the French Restaurant Le Gourmet. They also greeted us with 2 welcome drinks. Very nice!

Rooms - Our room was the Junior Suite and it was beautiful and spacious. We arrived to a towel swan, bottle of tequila and red balloons. My favorite part was the bathroom... gorgeous and huge! Large shower, great showerhead with lots of pressure, huge jacuzzi tub with jets. The room also had a mini bar that was stocked daily with beer and sodas. We had a nice patio outside with a sliding glass door. The only thing that could have been better was the tv, but who watches that much tv on their vacaton anyways? The maid cleaned our room everyday and left us a few different towel animals, which we loved.

Pools/Grounds - Pools were huge and beautiful. There was a quiet pool and a fun pool. Each one had a swim up bar. There were always exciting things going on at the fun pool and the entertainment team did a great job at keeping everyone happy. Music and games galore. The quiet pool was just that. Also there were scattered hottubs throughout the resort. The grounds were immaculate and the staff was always working and cleaning.

Beach - This resort is huge and has 3 different sections (coba,tulum & akumal). But you can go to any of these sections, eat at their restaurants, swim in their pools and their beaches. The beach had some rocky sections but that didn't bother us we just went where the least amount of rocks were. The water was crystal clear and you could see the fish swimming all around you. The beach was very clean and white sand. There were plenty of chairs for everyone. The bar was never too far from where we were laying so that was nice. We spent 3 days just laying on the beach and 3 days doing acitivities and the beach days were probably my favorite.

Tours/Excursions - We went to Xcaret park for a full day. This park was on the expensive side but very pretty and lots to do. We swam with dolphins here was would highly recommend it. We also swam in the underground river which was cool. This was included in the admission but if you wanted to snorkel it was extra. Another day we went with a tour company and did ziplining, rappelling, snorkelling and tulum ruins. The ruins were AWESOME! Right on the beach, so pretty. The snorkelling in cenotes was alot of fun! The 3rd day of activities we did horseback riding with a company called Cancun Vista, this was great. We rode for 2 hours, half on the beach and half thru the jungle. Sooo much fun. The tour guide was great and the price was very affordable. There are other activities to do at this place but we just stuck to horseback riding.

Transportation - It is pretty cheap to get around in Mexico. They have taxis and collectivos. Taxis are more expensive and you are the only passenger in the car. Collectivos are $3 us per person and take you wherever you need to go. They were parked at the front of the resort so you just walk up and say "collectivo" and they all jump up. They also drive up and down the hwy and will pick you up if your sitting at the little bus stop. We had no issues with this means of transportation. We also had a driver pick us up from the airport and take us to the hotel and then vice versa. The trip from the airport in Cancun was about an hour and 10 min. Because the resort is so large they have shuttles going all the time from lobby to lobby or lobby to beach. It was very handy.

Language - You do not have to know Spanish to get by at this resort, but I will say that they highly appreciate it if you try. A few phrases will be fine. I could tell they really perked up when we spoke spanish. However, most of the staff spoke English.

Restaurants - There were so many to choose from. However, staying 7 nights meant we could only pick 3 of the fancy restaurants to eat at. Which meant the other 4 nights we ate at the buffet. This was fine with us as the buffet had more than enough variety and was very clean and oragnized. The food was suprisingly good as well. They had everything from soups to sushi, all meats, fish, pasta, pizza, etc. Buffet was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However they did close right before dinner and reopen at 6:30. As for the fancy restaurants we ate at Le Gourmet, Pescador & Mikado. Mikado (japanese) was AWESOME and very elegant inside. The chef preparing our food was very entertaining. Pescador is one of the seafood restaurants. This was our least favorite of the 3 we ate at. Food could have been better and the decor inside was lacking. Le Gourmet was great, such an upscale restaurant. Great service, food, drinks, etc. We are very pleased with this restaurant. We ate here on my husband's birthday and the staff came out and sang happy birthday and brought a cake out to him.

Entertainment - This resort had plenty to do at all times. Every night there was a show going on in the theatre, which was large and very nice. We saw the Michael Jackson show our first night, it was awesome. I was worried it might be hokey or silly but it was fantastic dancing all night. That was the only show we saw because we were so exhausted every evening. The entertainment team was also great when there was nothing going on. At one point the buffet was not open yet for dinner so they were playing games in the lobby and giving away prizes, we wont a bottle of tequila.

Overall this was a wonderful resort and a great honeymoon for us. We highly recommend this resort for anyone and plan to go back soon!

Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
10  Thank TheJordans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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