Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Reviews

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Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort  

Playa Aventuras Akumal, Crtra. Xetumal - Cancun, Km 249, Akumal 77760, Mexico

"Great holiday "
Posted by: Betty on Mar 29, 2012
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Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Reviews
Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Pictures and Information
Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Mayan Riviera Mexico

#12
of 74 Hotels in Mayan Riviera

User rating 4.4

Based on 9 reviews

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Information


Comprised of three 5 star hotels (Tulum, Akumal & Coba), a commercial center and the entertainment center "Hacienda Doña Isabel" the hotel offers the best variety of services in the Caribbean.

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Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Reviews

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Review: 4.4 of 5 9 reviews
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"Great holiday "

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort
User Rating:  Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Betty  on Mar 29, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
206 people found this review helpful

I had my first vacation in Mexico mid March at the Gran Principe Coba. I found the staff to be very helpful and friendly. Our room was comfortable and we really appreciated the A/C. We took advantage of the 4 a la carte meals included in our all inclusive and they were good but with the variety at the buffets, that would have been sufficient. As we waited until we were at the resort to book the dinners, some of them were quite late in the evenings. We enjoyed our time at the pools and the beach. My biggest complaint- my stay was too short!

Room Number:
224

Room Block:
3

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"Family friendly, great place to be!"

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort
User Rating:  Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  kiki  on Jan 7, 2012  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
216 people found this review helpful

Bahia is a great place to stay with family. They have kids clubs that comes in handy, many different pools to choose from and great food and entertainment. There staff members are very on the ball and respectful. The one part of the vacation i did not enjoy was the meetings. They call you down to "have a meeting on your prospective of your stay" and then start convincing you to buy one of their properties. My kids sat there for two hours while this guy explained to us how "cheap" their lots are and how they are selling fast. It was a waste of our precious time. Overall I have been there many times and I would recommend you try it there to.

Arrival:
When you arrive the first thing you will see is there luxurious lobbies and tons of staff willing to help you with your bags. You will see the sigh that says Check in Check out and i se jest you go their quickly or else you will be waiting in a long line of sweaty people. They will give you your room number and from that point on you are a member of bahia. I bet you will start thinking "how in the world will i find my room with all these places. Well look no further. Just go up to one of the little golf carts and ask them to take you to your room. You wont need to walk or find any where, there will take you to the place.

Rooms:
There rooms are like anywhere else you go. My favourite place is there mini fridges. Everything is free in there to eat and drink and they restock them every day. Their is a wonder full balcony where i spend lots of time reading magazines and the comfiest bed in the world! You have one tv with lots of channels including one of the stuff to see and do in mexico. I give the rooms 10 out of 10.

Restaurants and Bars:
Their restaurants are fantastic! every night is a different theme with different foods. If you don't like that nights food their i another section of everyday food. there is fresh fruit and drinks i se jest you try their fruit salad,very good. When you book they will tell you how many nights you can have at the special resort restaurants. Book right away! They are phenomenal. I will tell you now dress fancy. Men have to wear long pants and woman must wear dress or skirt. Thats one downside for men because your in mexico and you don't want to wear long pants. Bars are open all day until 5 or so. Kids can get drinks at the bar so may i se jest to get them to order the mickey mouse. I even get the mickey mouse every once and a while to!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
If you are the beachy kind of person go early in the morning and reserve your spot with your bags. By the afternoon they are all taken. Same for the pools go before breakfast.

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"Great place and value - but watch out for the monkey"

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort
User Rating:  Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Namabeer  on Dec 19, 2011  >  5 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Dec, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
244 people found this review helpful

The Good:

•Clean and fairly new property
•Rooms were large and very clean
•Full access to 2 other sister resorts so lots of variety of pools, beaches, bars, restaurants (buffet & a la cartes)
•Good snorkeling for kids around Akumal/Coba beach. You can stand up so very shallow. Not allowed to feed the fish. There is often a person there policing this and policing that you don’t go beyond bouys (of protected coral reef). I did sneak out there once and it is pretty nice but I did notice many inconsiderate snorkelers standing up and damaging the reef so I can understand why they enforce it. There are more variety of fish beyond the bouys (squid, sea turtle, grunts, trunk fish, damsels, butterfly, anglefish, tangs, surgeonfish, etc………) Even within the bouys you can see many of these – mainly surgeonfish, seargant fish, and schools of white fish.

•Great waves to play on Tulum beach side beyond sand bags. A bit tricky to get out but once out there amazing.

•A la cartes were pretty good esp Mikaido, Gourmet, Arlequin.

•Half decent Chilean wine only at Gourmet & Arlequin (white is better, red a bit weak). Other places including buffet is not by the bottle and very weak but not sour like in some resorts.

•Good selection of brand name liquor if you ask for it.

•Great pools. Good variety given that you can use all 3 resorts and there’s prob 2-3 pools per resort. Coba’s quiet pool was a nice retreat after blasting music of the main one. Akumal’s winding pool is nice as close to beach and you can get your own little stretch or corner. Tulum’s pool was pretty empty as was there resort.

•Ocean temp very nice and water is crystal clear.

•Nice sandy beach. Easy entry at Coba/Akumal area. Tidal pool and coral on the southern Akumal side. Combination of smooth rock and sand on the Tulum side.

•Nice touch with bag of potato chip and a milky way in the mini bar. But really 1 bar/bag for 4 people. A little tip in the fridge with a note cured the problem.

•Dolphin show at 11:30am everyday on the Tulum side. But as others say I feel sorry about the dolphins in that tiny pool.


The Not so Good:


•My daughter got bitten by the squirrel monkey that was being carried around for photo on the beach. BE CAREFUL of what they may carry. Went to Dr at Hacienda who cleaned the wound and warned about Tetanus. Daughter needed Tetanus shots, then the painful rabies shots (x5) upon our return home. If you have not insurance, the rabies vaccine costs $2000 for adults !!!! And now, we will always worry about other potential transmittable virus to my poor daughter.. These are wild animals so unpredictable !!! DO NOT TAKE PHOTOS.

•Inconsistent housecleaning. Some days only 2 towels and no toiletries. No biggy as we would just call down for more but a pain. This had no reflection on tipping

Room Block:
312136

Arrival:



•Air conditioner appears to only work best on weekends?? During the week it’s a “damp” cool air rather than cold air but still not as bad as some resorts that put it on economy vent every night in the middle of the night only to have you wake up in sweat. So during the week you would need the ceiling fan on also to circulate the air. Note you are not imagining things, its how hotels save on their energy bill.

•Very difficult to connect Wi Fi in Lobby esp during peak times (after dinner and before shows)

•Food at buffet is not as high quality of other resorts in terms of things offered such as not offering shrimps/prawns, smoke salmon, procuitto, and nicer cakes.

•Pasta bar sauces were nasty esp the creme sauce. Bland. Unlike other resorts where the cook to order pasta would be a highlight. Pizza crust and pizzas are sub par. Taste more like frozen type.

•Food at buffet not refilled quickly enough – often empty trays or very dried up looking food. This simply meant going back many times when or if refilled. I think this is due to the number of choices of buffets within the 3 resorts and also due to the fact that the buffet food area has 2 mirror sections so they often neglect one side if other side is still somewhat full.

•Meats (pork/beef) typically tough in buffet esp if in a roast or cut up for tacos/fajitas. Many times filet fish were undercooked and some occasions hamburgers red inside.

•Water in pools could be a little cool this time of yr esp if cloudy but refreshing.

•Guacamoule was pretty bad and inconsistent most of the time compared to other resorts. Very lumpy or watery and sometimes included the skin.

•Drinks inconsistent everywhere eg a mohito is made so many diff ways there.

•Desserts worse than other resorts in the mayan. Mainly cut up cakes into squares.

•Shows are too late at Coba starting at 10pm. Hop over to Akumal or Tulum if you want earlier shows that start at 9pm. Problem is you don’t know what shows are on unless you scout before hand.



This is probably my 10th time to the Mayan Riviera so I’ve think I got a good handle of the standards that are offered by diff resorts in this region (Barcelo, Palladium, Gran Sirenis, Turquesa, Iberostar etc..). The Gran Bahia Coba is very similar to all the above resorts with some strengths and weaknesses over the others. I will try to list so of the goods and the not so goods below.

Before I forget, thanks Felix for making all the prearrangement before my arrival. It took a load off my shoulders having a convenient room, the a la cartes booked, and late check out arranged before hand. You are the best !

Rooms:
FOOD

Buffet: - do the buffet 101 rule. If it doesn’t look appetizing or there’s not much left don’t take it or wait for a fresh batch. Also test it and not pile a plateful just in case you don’t like it. Breakfast is regular stuff but cold cuts variety very few. Croissants ok, Churros at Coba only are amazing. Fruits typically due to season was mainly pineapple (not ripe), cantelope, honeydew, watermelon, papaya, guava ---- BUT where are the bananas. Had to request them all the time from the drink maker. Good thing they had was Soya milk in the healthy corner.

Lunch buffet very simiar to dinner. Always Mexican corner with pollo taco, empanada, cheese bread. Other Mexican stuff not too appetizing. Guacamoule was inconsistent and often not mushed or too watery.

Dinners were themed but only hit Thursday night Mexican. It was sad so lucky we only had one buffet dinner. We peaked at other nights after the a la cartes and pretty sad compared to other places like Barcelo or Iberostar or Palladium.

Restaurants and Bars:
A La Cartes:

Le Gormuet (9 out of 10)
Salmon platter app was best as was fish carpaccio. Seafood bisque soup was good. Filet Mignon was good not the best. Snapper deep fried was so so, Grilled shrimp were good but small portion. For dessert the chocolate fondant was best. Pappaya pie ok, raspberry ice cream with sweatbread was ok too. Wines were best a the gourmet.

Makaido Grill Table (8.5 out of 10)
This is the first time I was impressed by a Japanese restaurant down south. Food was done well and not overcooked and not overly drenched in soya sauce. The cook just cut to the chase and cooked everything perfectly instead of the show which is ok in my books. Apps were great. Real negiri sushi – large piece of salmon/tuna/shrimp. Rolls were nice too. Spring rolls not too exciting. Fried rice was good – well they used butter so of course.
Entree was plenty with filet mignon and seafood (shrimp/mussel), or chicken breast. Dessert was coffee jelly or deep fry ice cream as usual. Sake they served was disgusting and tasted like cheap Chinese cooking wine. It was made in China and not Japan !

Arlequin (9 out of 10)
For appetizer, the smoke salmon was good, the puff pastery mushroom was gross, the soups were both good, fish soup and creme of mushroom. Filet was very good here and filet group was ok too. For dessert, creme brulee was like egg rather than creamy. The chocolate cake was good.

Dolce Vita (8 out of 10)

The soup was minestrone or creme of tomato. Antipasto bar had some fish carpaccio, smoke salmon, grilled eggplant/zuchinni and calarmari. More than enough to fill you. For entree was pesto linguine with chicken breast – good. Veal wrap with spinanch mash – good. Alfredo linguine – good. Dessert was good tiramisu, cappacino and nice show from the waiter making Mexican Coffee for us.

Le Pescador (7 out of 10)

Least favourite of the 5. Appetz had seafood cerviches, fruits, cold mussels etc…..Soup was cream mushroom or seafood. Entree uneventful grouper (taste like one in buffet everyday), coconut shrimp ok, scallop steak (best of the ones ordered). Desserts were at the buffet, flan/stawberries, other cakes.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Comparing 3 Resorts:

Coba- busier newer resort. Liveliest of the 3 esp by lobby at night were they have outdoor dancing. Away from beach. Usually better buffet given higher turnover
Akumal – nice but less busy. Beach and pool and lobby all right there. Nicest theatre of 3. Cozy fell
Tulum – very tame compare to the others. Oldest of the 3 properties but closest to Hacienda. Beach and resort is more spread out


Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:

Entertainment:

Some shows lame. Michael Jackson had biggest crowds but was very similar to other resorts. Circus was basically Lion King tribute – so so.Gala Show had some good singing and good acrobat guy in it. The other shows looked a little lame like Ideal couple, or lip sync and dancing. Actually best show was on Friday nights at Coba where the kids mini club has a very good Character, shadow puppet show. I thought prob the best but never publicize and if so it would be to the kids. I think this was better than the normal shows.

Coba had great lively dancing after dinner and before show. Lots of dancing below the lobby in open area. Other resorts were dead compared to the Coba.

Lounge music bar. Not as lively as lobbies. Felt like I was in a 3rd world during the war watching some starving keyboard player play all the hits of the past.

Disco is at the Hacienda and that’s prob why the resorts seem dead after 10-11pm.


Excursions

Save $$ and do it yourself. As you have access to take collectivos on your own, most places are within 30 Peso $2-3 US (even Xel Ha). Also by being able to access the highway, you can bargain with taxis if that’s the way you want to go. I found collectivos just as fast as taxis in some cases and much cheaper alternative. The ones right in front of the gate are often not the best ones as they will wait for some sucker to guage. Just flag one down and then bargain hard

1. Yal Ku – poor mans Xel Ha. Ensure to go early in the morning as visibility is best and less tours there. Grab a cab that will take you there as it’s 3km beyond the town of Akumal. Make the taxis to stay at the park while you snorkel as it will be hard for you to find a cab there and it’s a long walk back. I managed to bargain hard and got the cabby to take me there and wait for 1 ½ hr then drive me to Akumal town for 140 Peso (the going rate to Akumal by cab to town is 120-140 then to Yal Ku is another 60 Pesos. To get into Yal Ku is 110 Pesos per adult ($10) and kids are about 80 Pesos and Locker is 20 Peso. They will not allow you to wear sunscreen unless organic. Even biodegradable sunblock is forbidden. They will make you show it off as they can smell it. Bring a T Shirt to snorkel !! This was my 3 time to Yal Ku. There didn’t seem to be as many fish nor huge angel/parrot fish as in the past. But it was still great esp for kids as it’s calm water. Tons of Seargant , Surgeon, Parrots, angelfish, butterfly, mullets etc…….Nice caverns to explore. Towards the open outlet the water’s visibility was poor – green and cloudy that you couldn’t see anything. Still a nice visit in this natural freshwater lagoon.

Other Comments:

2. Akumal Beach & Sea Turtles – This is a definite highlight and cheap excursion. We did it after Yal Ku. The beach in town has powdery white sand. Set up under a palm tree and you can just swim out and see the sea turtle straight out from the dive shop/coffee shop. You only have to swim out 3 mins to see the seaturtles. We saw a total of 8. Go futher to the reef another 5min swim and you will be rewarded with huge eagle rays, spotted rays, trumpet fish, grunts, tangs, butterfly fish, damsels etc…… and even flounders. You can also start at the small bend then swim out as there are some nice coral formation. Shop in the market for souveniers. Reasonable. Grabbed a cab back (paid 80peso after walking away from all the ones sitting there not budging for less than 140 Pesos!) Alternatively grab collective by highway for 15 pesos back to the hotel.


3. Azul Cenote – initially wanted to take cab there but too expensive. This is a hidden gem without all the tour bus of larger more popular cenotes. Locals and a few foreigners. Go in afternoon when sun is out. It’s right near the Barcelo resorts so about 15km from Gran Bahia. Took collectivo from highway and we got there in 15min going 120km/hr. Quick and cheap. Paid 20 pesos each (1.50$). Bargain. Entrance to the cenotes were 70 Peso for adults and 10yr and up and 40pesos for little kids. Fish food was 5 pesos a bag. You walk down to 2 small cenotes and you can see tons of guppies and smaller catfish. You will get bitten alive by bug in the bushes so stay in the water. A bit further came the main cenote and your jaw drops. Gorgeous is the word. Nice deck and jumping dock. Deep in the middle and shallow at the edges with tons of catfish/guppies and other colourful fresh water fish. You can even see the caverns and caves on the side of the cenotes. Bring a mat and sit in the sun and relax. Very tranquil and beautiful esp if sunny.

4. Tulum & Beach – a quick collective there 20 Pesos each for the 15km ride. This was my 2nd time there and I knew to bring bathing suit and towel. From the highway you must walk to the entrance gate which is another 10min walk. Ignor all the tourist infor booths as they war just sharks/timeshare etc… Entrance was dirt cheap. 51 peso for adults (about $4) and kids were free. Followed a few tour groups to listen a bit but then just went out on own to see Castello and took famous pic of the ocean and ruins. After 10 min kids were bored tired and hot. It was beach time. This was definitely the highlight of the visit. Crystal clear water and white sand set against granite cliffs. Great waves for riding. Stayed 1 ½ hr on the beach which did get a bit crowded but still you can find your own space in the ocean.


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"Bahia Principe Coba our new Favorite place in Mexico"

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort
User Rating:  Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Dennis Mouser  on May 29, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: May, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
436 people found this review helpful

Our visit to Bahia Principe Coba marked our eighth visit to the Riviera Maya coast in eight years. The last four we stayed at the Gran Sirenis. This was a last minute booking. We were concerned about not being on the beach at the Coba but found that the free trolleys run every 5 to 10 minutes and stop at prescribed "meeting places" usually covered bus stops at a-round- a bout. The beach from our Villa 23A was a five minute ride away.

As in other places we've visited in Mexico the people were extremely friendly and helpful. This seemed to be genuine to us and not only the result of training. All of the four a a la carte restaurants we were able to visit were exceptional. We thought the Tortuga was exceptional and the Japenesse very good. It depends on you taste in dining, but all were great experiences. The buffets were exceptional compared to others we seen and we were told by fellow travelers booked in Tulum they would take the trolley (5min) and eat at the Coba buffet because they thought it better in comparison. You'll read different views on this, we think all three are exceptional.

A few Advisories:

1). The "Traditional Mexican Fiesta" at the hacienda is not included in your all inclusive package. You will be billed $15.00 usd per person at checkout should you attend. This is an area that could be more tranparent.

2). The in room safes are larger that we've seen before. At check in you will be given a safe key. At check out they expect the key and the locking mechinism (you'll see, hard to explain).

3). As always STAY AWAY from the time share tours and presentations. It is too good to be true.

We look forward to our next visit, hope tp be able to bring along family members. GREAT RESORT!

Room Number:
32318

Room Block:
Villa 23A

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"Paradise"

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort
User Rating:  Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Lynn  on Apr 6, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2011 | Leisure | Family and Kids
309 people found this review helpful

We had a wonderful trip, we would recommend this hotel.The staff are great the guys at the swim up bar are a lot of fun. The was a lot of food choices,and the food was great nothing to complain about.We would for sure return to this resort.

Arrival:
We arrived no wait for room,the only thing if you have a late flight I would recommend to book the room early for late check out. It only costs 30 dollars extra well worth it.

Rooms:
The were great no problems you ask you will get it ,extra towels etc.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food was great we would recommend booking right away for the A la Carte.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
well the swim up bar in the afternoon seems to be where the party is.The mornings were great to go to the beach, No problems to get a shuttle

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The entertainment staff are wonderful their is alot of activities at the pool.

Other Comments:
We had massages on the beach I do recommend this it was amazing.

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"With Rico in Gran Bahia Principe Coba "

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort
User Rating:  Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  leonardito  on Apr 4, 2010  >  17 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
485 people found this review helpful

The Gran Bahia Principe Coba is very good hotel by most standards.
You will find everywhere Beautiful, manicured grounds.
If you do not want to walk there are shuttles going around
the resort every few minutes.

The rooms were spacious and kept exeptionally clean.

Food: There are so many different places to eat that you never
get bored and all the food that we had was excellent. We enjoyed
the breakfast and lunch the buffet Cozumel located in the Premier
section.

The beach had something for everyone, waves, calm waters,
sand, shells, fish. Beach chairs and shaded areas
were available at any time.

The main Coba pool was great and had very confortable cushioned
chairs for relaxing.

All together I would say that the resort is fantastic.
Everyone that works at Coba were so friendly and
accomodating and made our trip a pleasure. Felix the
F&B mgr is a big asset for the hotel as he is a great
communicater and always helpful and caring with the clients.
Also, in the a la carte restaurants, we had the pleasure
of meeting Victor, Louis, and the very pleasant and loveable
Guadeloupe. With her smile she greeted and seated us at our
favorite table.

We will surely return as we had a very enjoyable vacation at
GBP Coba and Cheers to all the great staff whom we met.

Photos: http://leonardito.com/bahcoba1003n/bahcoba1003.php

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"awesome"

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort
User Rating:  Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  faten  on Mar 24, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2010 | Leisure | Family and Kids
457 people found this review helpful


Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
the animation team is very nice

Other Comments:
alex the MC is a great host. all the best to him.
he is very energetic, helpful,modest,welcoming, entertaining and has a good language skills.

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"5 months later--- april 2010 we are revisiting"

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort
User Rating:  Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Dawn  on Mar 23, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) United States of America
Visited on: Oct, 2009 | Leisure | Family and Kids
483 people found this review helpful

We were very nervous heading for an unknown vacation resort..Loved every minute of our stay from our rooms to service and staff. Very clean and well maintained. We have scheduled to revisit in April 2010.

Your Arrival:
very fast. but was warned to not lose keys or towels or would have to pay a $50. u.s. dollar fine per item.

Rooms:
large clean lots of extras from mini bar stocked daily and bathroom soaps lotions etc... very nice bathrobes and slippers. We also tipped housekeepers and mini bar person daily. not necessary they were so kind and service was the same on the day we forgot to tip.

Restaurants and Bars:
all very good. service was again outstanding. we had 5 ala carte dinners went to don pablo 2 times, japanese 1time, meditranian 1 time and i forget the other.buffets had many many selections and would also cook to order. again we always tipped.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
awesome awesome awesome. a little suprized with the different cultures dress codes or lack of but it isn't the normal for all and those brave enough to get a little more sun were never vulgar.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
playa da carmen to shop, turtle watching ,snorkeled, sunned mostly we relaxed our lives are stressful and busy at home.

Other Comments:
mosquitoes TAKE REPELLANT.

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"Wow - An Amazing Hotel!"

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort
User Rating:  Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Sarah  on Jan 28, 2010  >  2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
497 people found this review helpful

After looking for deals for what seemed like ages, I came across a Royal Golden Club package for an outstanding price and had to book immediately. This package gave us a room in a special area of the resort (Coba - Royal Golden) , 4 a la carte dinners, special services in the club (own bar, tour booking agents, restaurant reservation agents, private check-in etc).

Your Arrival:
We arrived from Calgary on a very late flight, so did not get to the resort until nearly 2 or 3am. They served beer on the bus, which was a nice touch ($3). Check-in was very easy and we were taken by golf cart to our rooms, with our luggage to follow later. It took about an hour for our luggage to arrive, but that was understandable since a big group of us had arrived at the same time.

Rooms:
The room was amazing. So clean! The furniture was modern, the bathroom had marble tile and a Jacuzzi and was HUGE. The balcony overlooked one of the Jacuzzi bars, and was near the main swim up bar pool and a day-time snack bar. Our unit was 10A. It was convenient to everything! The rooms are situated in three-story buildings and there are 36 in each. We were on the top floor, which granted us a nice view overlooking the resort.

Restaurants and Bars:
We had 4 a la carte dinners and chose the Italian restaurant in Akumel (delicious!!), the Gourmet Restaurant in Coba (also to die for), the Mexican (Can't go wrong with Mexican!) and the Mediterranean. We actually didn't make it to our Mediterranean restaurant reservation because we were having too much fun with some friends, but I heard it was not good and the service was very bad. The other restaurants were excellent, however. The service was great and the food was delicious. As far as the buffet goes, we only ate at Coba's main buffet and there was always something delicious - salads, pasta, fruit, sushi, seafood etc. We ate at one of the many snack bars quite often, especially the 24-hour one at Coba (which by the way serves drinks 24 hours). All the snack bars at the resort had delicious salsa and guacamole throughout the day on the buffet, as well as chicken taquitos, salads etc. At night you can just order whatever you want. The food at this resort was great, there really is nothing to complain about!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The grounds were immaculate!! They must have 100 people landscaping the resort every day. The beach was huge and there were always chairs to be found. If not, a friendly worker would help you find one. We sat at all three resort's beaches and probably liked Tulum's best because it was least busy and there is a snack bar right there to get some food. There were many pools, but we hung out at Coba's two swim-up bars. The Hibiscus bar is the best one. The chairs there are padded, they serve you drinks while you lay there... Too bad I didn't discover this pool until two or three days into our trip!!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
They do a lot of activities throughout the day in the main pool. Didn't partake in any of these. There is also seadooing, snorkelling and parasailing on the beach. We took a day trip to Chichen Itza, which was well worth it. It included lunch, swimming in a cenote and entrance to the ruins. They served beer on the bus all day!! We also grabbed a local collectivo bus and took it to Playa del Carmen (about 45 min). That was a great day and next time I'd like to spend some more time there.

Other Comments:
This resort is huge! After a week we were still discovering different places to go and have a drink! It definitely took a few days to get our bearings. It's so big because there are three resorts in this complex and you have access to the amenities at each!! We liked this because although we liked hanging out with people we had met, we also wanted our quiet time together and that was totally possible at a resort this size. I definitely want to go back! Very 5 Star!!

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"Wonderful experience beyond expectation"

Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort
User Rating:  Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Ilana Hoegler  on Jan 13, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
619 people found this review helpful

I read all the reviews I could get my hands on before I left and the negative to that those are the reviews I remembered when I was there but not in the way you think. I thought ‘Are they crazy? You aren't in Canada!'

The minimum wage there is $5.20 A DAY! and they work harder and longer than most people here so remember that when you read negative reviews about stinky trolleys and mosquitoes. Which by the way there are a lot. Here is my honest but long and very detailed review.

Your Arrival:
After an hour in immigration and 30 minutes in customs and wait on the bus for other Coba vacationers, we had an hour and a half bus ride to the Gran Bahia. We finally arrived at 10pm. We went straight to the check-in and were quickly and pleasantly received. I had read in reviews that the beds were like sleeping on cinderblocks, so request a mattress pad and that is what we did. I also requested a quiet villa and was assured that it was. We got our map and keys and the bellboy took us by trolley to our villa (#11B), top floor.

Rooms:
Well it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t as quiet as I had liked. The trolley path was on one side and the activity pool was on the other. At night it was pretty quiet but the microphoned activities at the pool in the afternoon interrupted my nap but I brought my clip-on fan, earplugs and that helped. The beds were hard even with the mattress pad, which by the way was delivered and installed minutes after we arrived in our room.
Everything was clean and the minibar was well stocked. Everyday we left $1US on the boudoir and $1US in the minibar and was well stocked every day with towels, water and towel animals on our bed.

Restaurants and Bars:
Food: Per week you are aloud to 3 a la cartes and the rest of the week you can go to any of the 4 buffets on the Gran Bahia property. We choose the Brazilian grill (La Tortugas) and it was awesome. Meat on big swords cut off with machetes, lol. Very tasty but not for vegetarians. Second we chose the Mexican restaurant (Tequila). It was ok but not great. Third we went to the Japanese (the Mikado). This one was definitely the best but the most difficult to get into. Make the reservations as soon as you get there or you may not get a table. We waited till the next morning and we couldn’t get a table till the last night at 9:30pm. It was well worth it. There are many more, 2 Italian, a Seafood, a Mediterranean, and 2 Gourmet. The buffets were all good for buffets but the Tulum buffet was by far the best. The Cozumel was quietest but the smallest.

Drinks: There are 21 bars and I didn’t find one better than another. I did like the self-serve pina colada and strawberry margarita bar in the Coba buffet. I didn’t like the bartenders that served the tippers first but that varies per bartender not bar. But I also understand because of how much they make but how am I supposed to carry a tip in my bathing suit.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
There are 2 Coba pools, a quiet one and an activity pool. There is a swim up bar at the quiet pool and there is a whole list of activities to do at the other and the activity staff is fabulous. There are 3 pools at Tulum but the one by the Tequila restaurant is the smallest and is for ‘Club’ members only. There are 2 at Akumal.

The beaches at both are great although the beach at Tulum by the ‘Club’ pool is quiet and well groomed and has lots of beach chairs under umbrellas. From that beach, going toward Akumal the beach got a little less groomed. Beach shoes or thongs are a necessity.

The grounds are beautiful and were always being cleaned and maintained by staff. Every small detail is taken care before you even think of it.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Entertainment: They call them the animation team and they are truly fabulous. They go from 10am in the morning till 3am. There are activities at each pool everyday from 10am till 5pm. Then there are dance lessons and/or karaoke around 7pm till 10pm. Then there is a show every night at 10pm at the Coba and 9pm at the Tulum and Akumal. We saw the Michael Jackson and I thought it stunk. The impersonator and the dancers were dogging it the whole show but the Gala, Entertainment and the Broadway were all good but not fabulous. After the show there is live entertainment at the Hacienda till 12am when the disco opens, yes midnight for those of you who can make it that late but be prepared for a very young crowd and the day’s popular music after about the first 5 songs. Shopping: The Hacienda is on the property and you can take a trolley to get there from the Coba or Tulum lobby. It opens around 10am and closes around midnight. You can buy anything from souvenirs, mosquito repellent bracelets to sunscreen but buy the 30SPF Hawaiian Tropic biodegradable sunscreen at the lobby shops for $13US instead. There is also a medical clinic and a pharmacy at the Hasienda. Tulum Extreme tour: We went on this tour and we were picked up at 8am and taken to a location about 20min away. There we repelled down a tower, did 3 ziplines and then snorkelled in a cenote. They made us lunch and showed us the pictures that they had taken of us and of course you can purchase a DVD of pictures for $25US but honestly they were better than the ones my husband took. Lunch was fabulous. After lunch we got back in the van and were taken to Tulum (about 20min away) and were given a guided tour of the ruins and then we had an hour to shop, explore more, go to the beach and then make our way back to the van. We were returned to our resort at 3:15pm. Now I am a bigger girl and not too adventurous but I had fun and didn't feel it was too extreme for me.

Other Comments:
Telephones: Using your cell and room phone can cost you a fortune, like $6 a min or pay your cell company something like $30 for 15 min and a decreased minute cost. The cheapest way is to buy a Global Link prepaid phone card at the gift shop in the lobby for $10 and you get 45-60 minutes or $20 for 100-120 minutes for US and Canada. Do not be fooled by the phone card dispenser by the lobby house phone or the credit card phone (the blue phone). Then go to the lobby house phone (the white phone) and push the ‘operator’ button below the keypad. Tell the operator that you want to make a call with the Global Link phone card. Then there will be a voice prompting language, phone card number (the one you scratched off on the back of the card) and then enter the phone number (e.g. 1-604-234-5678).

Getting around: Getting around the property is easy. You can walk: From Coba to Tulum is about 20-30 minutes. From Coba lobby to the beach or Akumal lobby is 10 minutes. You can take a trolley: From Coba lobby to Tulum lobby 10 min going by the Hacienda. From the Hacienda you can walk out and catch the Collectivo (public transit) and pay $3US per person each way to either Tulum or Playa del Carmen. You can also get to Xel-Ha, Xplor, or Xcaret on the Collectivo. On the property, depending on where you are going, there are trolleys everywhere going all different ways but nothing takes more than 10 minutes.

Check-out::
You have to check out at 12pm. We were in line at 12pm and check out was pretty quick but there was a long line up. We paid for our lock key ($5US a day). We were warned in advance that all through Mexico there is a theft problem. In this part of Mexico it is most of the time other travellers not the locals. We weren’t being picked up for 3 hours so downstairs there is a locker room with showers, hairdryer and lockers to store your carry-on bags (the bell boys pick up your luggage and store it in a big room but be prepared it is open and not monitored). You still can use all facilities while you wait. When we got picked up we had to go down to the room and get our own bags but they would help you if you needed it.

In Closing:
I hope this review helped you make your choice or prepared you for what you are in for. It is a wonderful place. There is something for people of 4 years to any age but I wouldn’t bring younger kids there although people did. Have a fabulous vacation.

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