logo Old Reviews - Gran Bahia Principe Coba Resort
  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Jackie ~ Alberta
June 2009

Arrival: April 19-26
We arrived at Cancun Airport at 2pm and were of course greeted by timeshare staff at the hotel and quickly told them we were meeting our transfers. We boarded the big airconditioned buses and waited for the other tourists to arrive. Air transat/Nolitour operators were very accomidating. $3 beer was available on the bus!! Bonus for my husband and dad. Arriving at the hotel was easy and staff spoke very good English. We were advised to not loose keys or towel cards as they were $50US to replace. Also we got the in room safe key for $45 pesos a day.

We had two double beds, sitting area with couch, enormous bathroom with jetted tub and small balcony. Air condioning worked very well and ceiling fan above beds was nice. Had great water pressure all 7 days and beautiful towel art 3 times. Mini fridge was always restocked and had prenty to drink at all times.

Restaurants and Bars:
We booked ala cartes little late as we couldn't decide where to eat. We had Mediterrainian and Mexican and ate at 6:00pm both places. Tequila restaurant(mexican one) was amazing! Delicious food and beautiful ambiance. They were very accomidating at both with our fussy 6 year old and made him what he wanted which was always pasta and butter. Buffets were always good and almost always the same. There was so much variety that it didn't matter most of the time as you couldn't really try it all. Pasta bar and omelette bar were my favorite as you knew it was fresh and hot. Swim up bars were awesome, swing bar at the Akamal beach was cool. Always lots of choices and never lacked alcohol if you wanted it. Night shows were fantastic, great entertainers!! We saw the disney show for kids, and the lip sync show. My 6 year old loved them both!! They really cater to appeasing the kids - non alcoholic drinks, and drinks with fun names, he loved the mickey mouse and shirley temples!!

Coba and akamal beaches were my favorite. Most fish at Coba, and lease amount of coral there too. Always chairs to be found at all beaches, just not always one with shade. Pools were amazingly clean!! Never drinks laying around, or cigarette butts, staff always willing to get you a drink. Party pool was our favorite with lots to watch and do. My son loved the music and loved being able to splash around and jump into the water without getting in trouble.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We did Captain Hook Pirate ship which was a lot of fun and our son loved being on Captain Jack Sparrows boat. They did a great job of keeping everyone entertained for the 3 hour ride. Great outing for all ages - free booze the entire trip and great music and dancing too. A little long for little ones as we left at 3:30pm and got back at 12:30am. Shopping at Playa Del Carmen - rented a van for the 7 of us and it was $120US for 6 hours. We went to Senor Frogs and had a blast. My son loved it!! Balloon hats, jokes, fruity drinks and a great time had by all. Warning - it was a big money grab place wanted tips for everything, but we expected it and wasn't bothered too much by it at all. Everywhere you go they expect tips!!

Other Comments:
I would definately stay at the Gran Bahia Prinicipe again. This time maybe in Akamal side as we would have loved to have oceanview rooms and be a little closer to the ocean. Not sure of price difference though. It really wasn't a big deal to get around. Map was very deceiving and it didn't take very long to get anywhere by foot through the walkways. The trolley routes were a little longer and more out of the way. They cannot use CANADIAN COIN AT ALL so don't even bring it. A bus boy asked us to change $58 in coin for him as Mexican banks will not take it, so don't use it as it is USELESS to them!! I can't wait to go back to the Mayan again soon!

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Judy ~ Vancouver, Canada

May 2009

Arrival: April 17 - 24
Our arrival at 6:00 p.m. at the resort was smooth and very fast. We were checked in and in our room by 6:30.

There was 3 of us in the room and is was very nice. Very spacious and clean. Our villa (17A) was facing the highway but didn't notice any noise coming from it when the patio doors were closed. Obviously some highway noise if you were sitting on your deck but really wasn't an issue. We were on the 3rd floor and and felt very safe. Our maid was excellent and had our room done by 3:00 every day with some nice little touches added in (fresh flowers, etc.)

Restaurants and Bars:
Great variety of places to eat or places to have a cocktail. The variety of food was great and other than the odd time things were cold from the buffets, all in all we found the food very good. We at 3 ala carte restaurants (Japanese, Italian & Seafood). The Seafood wasn't great but the other two were excellent.

The only issue here was with people reserving seats that were shaded by either the palm trees or little cabana huts. Once we realized what you had to do we just decided to play the same game and one of us would get up real early and place the towels on the chairs and then go for breakfast. Didn't like doing it but seemed to be the only was to get a lounge chair in the shade. Never had a problem finding a chair on the beach but not usually one in the shade.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Didn't take part in any activities or go on any tours.

Other Comments:
Had a great week at this resort. It is very large, but after a day or two and you figure out where everything is the size doesn't seem to matter. Shuttle service to the two other resorts on this property was excellent and always available.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Doris ~ Canada

April 2009

Arrival: March 24 - 31
We had a fantastic flight with SkyService. The bus went direct from the airport to 3-5 resorts with the Grande Bahia Principe Resorts being the last. The only complaint I would have with the bus ride is they were serving us cold beers etc. and the bus was not equipped with a washroom.

We got a taste of ``TRUE MEXICO` when someone finally pleaded with the driver to let us have a bathroom break. The roadside station was an experience to say the least. I guess you could call it a unisex toilet as you did not have to lift the seat because there was not one. To flush the toilet you had to put 3 pails of water in the back of the toilet from a big barrel that was in the corner of the washroom. No paper towels or toilet paper, so it was `drip dry`.

Our check out went very easy and we were given a glass of champagne each upon registration. All luggage was tagged and we were told our room number and were told to advise the trolley driver our number. Luggage arrived approximately 30 minutes later.

Our room was nice but it was in 17B complex which is really close to the highway and it was horribly noisy. The cleaning staff was male and it seemed that he had not been properly trained or was just not domesticated. The second day we were at the resort our rooms were still not cleaned at 5:00 p.m. After phoning and asking to have our room cleaned someone came up to give us fresh towels and made our bed. We tipped everyday but it did not really improve service as we never received fancy animal figures made out of towels etc. The door and patio door was covered in finger prints from the last tenants.

Security was poor as someone tried to break into our daughters room next to us. Something must have scared them off as they were unable to get into the room. When we returned from one of our tours we came back to a room with a door knob half off and crow bar marks on the inside of the door. We phoned to have the locks changed and it took staff three hours to change and repair the locks.

Restaurants and Bars
The buffet had lots of selection but the food was not the greatest. The fresh fruit was tasteless and not juicy.

The la cart restaurants were excellent, we went to the French, Italian and Japanese restaurants. The chef at the Japanese restaurant put on a fantastic show of juggling knives and other kitchen utensils. The food was by far one of the best meals I have ever tasted.

The pool at Coba was very crowded and you had to fight to find a chair to relax in. If you went in the pool people would steal your chair and some hard feelings were expressed.

The grounds are beautifully kept but Coba is in a bad location with being so close to the highway and not being on the beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The evening shows were entertaining. However, I did not feel that the Mexican Fiesta was worth the extra money they charged over and above your all inclusive fee.

We went on two tours and they were very good. We went through our tour guide from Signature Vacations and we found they were double to triple in price from just going direct. One couple we met went straight into Playe Del Carmen and purchased tours from a travel agent and saved themselves over $75.00 per person per tour.

Other Comments
We had a wonderful family vacation. There were lots of lovely areas on the resort but I think we experienced some bad luck.

In the future we certainly would not go to a resort of this size as we got lost quite a bit the first few days. We just got the hang of all the things there was to do on the resort after 5-6 days and then it was time to go home.

This resort is more like a 3.5 - 4 Star than a 5. With this advice and going in with your eyes wide open, I think the next vacationers will have a better time overall than we did.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Judy ~ Manitoba, Canada
April 2009

Arrival: March 21 to March 28
My husband and I arrived in Cancun at 11:40 am after a great flight. Once we found our Air Canada representative, we got on the bus from Cancun to our resort. The bus was air-conditioned and we were served beer at the cost of $3 US. The 11/2 hour trip flew by quickly and arrived at Coba resort before 2 pm. Checking in was a breeze as the people at the reception desk spoke English quite well and were friendly and answered our questions patiently. We were also served champagne while we waited.

Our room was not ready until 3 pm (actually not until 4:30) but we decided to enjoy the lunch buffet and sat outside on the shaded patio and relaxed with a drink. We didn't mind waiting at all as the resort was simply beautiful and the breeze was refreshing. Once we were settled into our room and unpacked, we took the tram around the three resorts just to get a feel for the place.By the way, our Villa was 30B, room 33026. It had a spectacular view from our balcony and the room was huge with a jacuzzi tub. The maid artfully decorated bath towels into different shapes every day and the pillows and often the bedspread was done up beautifully. We made sure to tip the maid and the person who refilled our mini-bar if we took items from it. My husband and I found the people worked very hard and always had a smile for us. A $1 US tip daily was well worth our while.

Restaurants and Bars
The buffet at our resort, Coba was excellent. There was always a wide variety of food to choose from and the desserts were superb. Our only problem was to try not to gain too much weight. We did try the other resorts(Akumal and Tulum )for breakfast and lunch and they were very good as well. We found the service and the variety of foods the best at our resort. We booked 3 al a cartes but only made it to one (Le Gourmet). The service and atmosphere was fabulous although personally I am not a lover of fish. The other 2 a la cartes we booked Mikado and Mediterrean)I heard were great but they were late times so we didn't make them. It is very important to book the a la cartes the day of arrival as it it a huge resort servicing about 5000 tourists. We didn't book till the next day. We stayed at the activity pool much of the time as both of us caught colds and it was great just to rest and relax and watch the different events. You could get involved in water volleyball, aqua exercise, yoga, spanish lessons and numerous contests. The snack bar was close by so it was just steps away from the bar or snacks such as burgers, hot dogs, fries, chicken nuggets, fried fish, salads and fruit. We got to know the waiter there and found that a daily tip gave what we wanted quickly and with a smile or joke.

The grounds were immaculately kept and there were people working hard to maintain them and water the vegetation at all times. We enjoyed the iguanas of different sizes that were every along the sides of the paths. You could take the tram or the larger shuttle bus to the different parts of the resort and they came frequently. If you wanted, you could walk to the other resorts or to the beach. From Coba to the beach, it was a 10 min. walk.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
My husband and I took the guided 1/2 day tour to Tulum and found it very interesting and informational. You could take the Collectivo and go on your own but you would miss all the pertinent information. We also took the Collectivo for $3 each one way into Playa de Carmen and shopped along Fifth Avenue. The prices are cheaper there but you need to barter to get a good deal. From there, we took the ferry across to Cozumel for $40 US return for two. It was an enjoyable 30 to 40 min. trip. We shopped there as well for souvenirs. If you are interested in gold or silver jewelry, there were many shops. Also beautiful tablecloths and Tequila. I decided to take in a body massage at the spa and it was the best I had ever experienced.

Other Comments
All in all, it was a great trip and we would definitely go back. My husband and I both caught colds and found the pharmacy stocked most of the items we needed.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Marc ~ Ottawa, Canada
March 2009

Arrival: Feb 23 to March 2nd
My wife, I & 4 friends stayed one week at this resort between Feb 23 & March 2nd. We booked our trip via ITravel2000.com & flew direct on Skyservice from Ottawa. To our surprised, we were upgraded to the Star class on both of our flights.
For my wife & I, that was our second stay at this resort & we felt that it was even better than the first time.

We receive our room request & ended up in the unit 3B which is about 10 minutes walk to the beach. When we first got to our room, there was a bottle of Champaign, a basket of fruit & a welcome back letter on the table. The rooms were very clean and spacious and supplies replenished every day including our mini bar fridge.
The only negative aspect of this vacation was a small argument with our room Stewart on the very last day. I don't understand Spanish although it sounded like he wanted us out of our room in a hurry even if the check out is only at noon. His fellow teammate was having a good laugh so I just can imagine what was being said. I didn't bother to file a complaint as the week went by flawlessly.

Restaurants and Bars
We found the food to be good at the buffet with a whole lot of choices. I am fussy about what I eat & always managed to get out of there with a full belly. :o) We did 3 a la cartes. The Mediterraneo for which the service was very good but the food was so so, the Mikado for which the food was excellent & of course great service. Reserve early because it is a very popular restaurant & for a good reason. Try to get a place at the hot plate. You'll have a good show. And finally the Gourmet. Good service & very good filet mignon cooked to your taste.

If I am not mistaken, there are 6 large pools on this resort which three of them have activities at it during the day. They now have a lot of huts on the beach. Bring some water shoes because there are lots of rocks and coral at the beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
This resort is very large & very easy to get around. During the day, there are a lot of small carts going around all the time. This service runs until 3:00 am.
We used the collectivos to go to Playa Del Carmen. No matter where you go, the collectivos are only $3.00 US funds per person per one way trip. If you take the taxi, make sure that you agree to a price with the drivers prior boarding their taxi because they will charge you whatever they feels like.

Other Comments
What we really liked is they don't show any expectations of tips although they really appreciate it. All 6 of us really thinks it is truly a 5 star resort. We highly recommend this resort.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   A ~ Alberta, Canada
March 2009

Arrival: Feb 18 - 28
To begin, we travelled through Westjet Vacations in Canada, absolutely top notch service from the Westjet crew. "Time Share" sharks were not too bad at all outside the airport, hang on to your luggage and be weary of those trying to "help" you. We were transferred from Cancun on a bus run by "Best Day Travel" Nice guy named "Gustavo" was our greeter/director. Bus was not crowded at all, we made only 2 stops prior to our destination, the trip lasted about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Very fast compared to other reviews I have seen here.

We were upgraded to the "Premier" area apparently, check-in was a simple 2 minute process. Clean and spotless, great aroma, no mustiness or humidity smell. AC was cranked on, awesome. Was a junior suite, very spacious and comfortable, huge bathroom.

Restaurants and Bars
Mountains of great food with a huge variety of selection from many different cultural backgrounds. If you can find something to eat in any of these buffets, YOU are the one with the problem. We ate at 4 a la carte restaurants. Portofino (Italian) good meal, small entree portions but still felt adequately full. Tequila (Mexican, located in the Tulum portion) Would have liked to see more variety here, not as authentic as I might have thought. Food was still good. The mariachi's roaming around were very cool, and they didnt sound so bad either. Le Gourmet (French) I was expecting more from this place, however, the deserts here were incredible. Finally, Mikado (Japanese), the public relations recommended we wait and go to Mikado last, EXCELLENT IDEA. What a blast, awesome food, great atmosphere and very entertaining show put on by the chef. Top knotch service in all but le Gourmet. Service in all buffets was excellent, always greeted with smiles, "hola's" and prompt table service. It felt incredibly good to tip all these extremely hard workers, and they truely appreciated everything. Show the bartenders a shred of respect and they'll knock you on your butt with great drinks. NOTHING tasted watered down here.

I read some reviews about the beach on here, people complain complain.. get off your fanny's and walk a bit, you'll find any type of beach to suit your preferences. YES there is alot of coral, but there are many area's cleaned up and quite swimable... and certainly NOT busy at least in the water, bring a towel and lie on the sand, it was great. Pools were really fun, especially the main Coba pool where the animation team hung out alot. Huge area with lots of room to play fun activities in the water. The grounds were immaculate. Very hard working dilligent crew always busy doing something. We were very impressed with the Ecological Preservation efforts in and around this resort.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Animation teams were cool, the shows were entertaining and funny, maybe a little "80's" ish but I was an 80s teen so I quite enjoyed it, my 14 year old thought it was pretty fun too. Jungle Jim's quad tour was excellent. Xel-Ha and Tulum were wonderful, NOTE, next time I would book these tours on my own directly with these sites and not use a Tour company... no matter who they were their prices were absolutely ridiculous... these places are so close you can pay the Collectivo to take you there for about $2 or $3 USD a head. Save yourself some serious $$$. Shopping on the resort was just fine, we were able to grab 99% of all our souvenirs in the shops or at the Hacienda.

Other Comments
There were many Europeans at the Bahia Principe resorts, NO not all of them are ignorant and loud... YES some were, and so were some fellow Canadians, we had no problem telling them so if their ignorance affected me or my family... We enjoyed setting a great example of how to conduct yourselves at this resort, and for our efforts we were treated, what we felt, like royalty. Much respect and thanks to all the wonderful employees at Gran Bahia Principe Coba. I will be back some day.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Adele ~ Toronto, Canada
February 2009

Arrival was good, luggage was taken to our rooms within 15 minutes. Tram ride took us right away. Tip the bellhop!!! They rely on it. All was good.

The room was very clean, fridge was stocked with soft drinks, chocolate bars, and beer. Towel art was present. Air conditioning was on and the room was cool. Shower was great. Tip the maid every day, they need it, 0.65 cents/hour is their wage.

Restaurants and Bars
We went to 3 gourmet restaurants, all were very good. Service staff were great. Food was good. We had a large group, everyone enjoyed themselves, and no one was sick.

The beach was great, though you need to take a 5-10 min. tram to get there. Swing bar was cool, jet ski, parasailing was good too and the kayaks were also fun and free. Grounds at the resorts were very clean and the pool was nice too.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Day trip to Playa using the taxis, this was okay, I think you can do just as well price wise with the shopping on site at the resort. Drinks at bars in Playa, very expensive. We did not eat there, so no comment on that.

Other Comments
Day trip to Tulum Mayan Ruins a little disappointing, you cannot get close enough to see inside the buildings. However, it was informative about the ancient culture. We would definite go back to this resort.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Twylla
January 2009

Just a couple of notes on this great resort. It is 2 hours from the airport, not the 1 hour that is mentioned everywhere. Not really a problem unless you were not expecting it.

We were in the Royal Golden Club villa # 27, and our freinds in #25. Villas # 22 - 27 are around quiet pool close to lobby, & buffet. the Jr. suites were fantastic, large, clean, and quiet. the normal section of the resort is by the other pool (activity area) which is good, but the reall down side is villas 12- 18 are also just one wall and a couple of plants away form the very busy 4 lane highway. Deffinitely ask for the Royal Golden Club.

Large property, 3 resort areas, all are fantastic. You can walk everywhere with a map and no difficulty. 5-7minutes from villa 27 to the beach. They also have little trams to take you around.

No beach sales people. A shopping centre with quite a few shops just north of the Tulum lobby.

All food everywhere was very good. There were bars everywhere, found the best Mohitos at the beach bar at Akumel.

Beach is ruff sand (coral). the ocean is just about all coral, some sandy spots to wade in the water. The coral collects fish so snorkeling is good, but the coral is also protected by being roped off. If you are looking for the really nice beach, and want to play in the water do not book this property. I did not mind the beach as it was interesting, and there was lots of fish to see. Lots of chairs and cabanas.

Never seen the night shows, heard they were good.

Xel - Ha is a water park just 15min south of the Coba resort. Definitely worth the trip. the cost of the park is $75 US for a full day. this includes all the food, drinks, and booze (Corona & premium!) while you are there, as well as snorkel, mask, & fins, and towel! Buy your ticket for the park at the coba lobby from the travel rep there. Two ways to get to the park - collectiveo whick is $2 one way. Get on the collectiveo at the Hacienda shopping centre. the collectiveo drops you off at the highway entrance to the park and you walk in. the best way to get to the park is tell one of the bell boys at the Coba lobby to call you a taxi, and for $10 the taxi will pick you up at the lobby, and drop you off at the park entrance, no walking! You can take your normal sunscreen, and when you get through the park entrance there is a kiosk to trade in your normal sunscreen and get the mandatory biodegradeable sunscreen. At the end of the day you can trade back for your normal sunscreen. Once done at the park grab a taxi at the park entrance mention Coba resort and for $10 you get dropped off at the hotel lobby. go to the park early, it opens at 9am, you will want the full day.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Christina G. ~ Calgary, Canada

January 2009

Arrival: Dec 30/08 to Jan 13/09
Enjoyable to breath in the jungle air (Calgary's is dry as a bone) Very busy with all those porters ripping your lugage out of your hands,..but getting used to it We have been at this resort many times.

FABULOUS,..clean spacy and comfy

Restaurants and Bars:
Did not like the buffet at Akumal part of Bahia,..not enough choices, hard to find a table when busy A la carte's are incredible,..service is inpecable north american waiters (US & CN) could learn a lot from Mexican servers !

Clean, pools are great, grounds are fun to explore and easy to get around incase you are elderly or handicaped

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Chichan Icha (?) tour stops too many places and not enough time at the ruins Xcaret is great, the night show a must see. Park is beautiful Scuba diving is good at resort but wayyyy better at Cozumel

Other Comments:
Love this resort, have been there a few times, gotten to know the staff very well, enjoy the familiarity everytime we come back

Thing I hate ! Those damn ignorant vacationers that are rude, don't tip, smoke all over the place, drop their buds in the sand when there are special ashtrays AT EACH umbrella,...and are just rude to the staff,..we have seen it over and over. So my advise to those vacationers: Chill the heck out and be nice to your fellow human beings,..they are there to make your vacation a dream,...so why treat them like dirt??? And why make your fellow vacationers upset by your bad behaviour !?

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Jo-Anne ~ Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
January 2009

Arrival: December 29 2008 to January 5 2009
We arrived 2 hours late but that was no fault of anyone. Weather at the start of the day is where the problem was. Arrived at the resort and went through check in with in 15 minutes. Had our bags and started to settle into the room within a half hour.

We had emailed ahead requesting a main floor room in villa 24 to 27. These are close to the pool as well as not far from the buffett. They had everything that we had requested. We were in villa 24 room 32407.
Very large spacious rooms. Very nice large closet with hangers (about 6 - 8). A few shelves that were quite large as well. Safe was kept in the shlef area and it too was large. Had no problem putting a laptop in it along with many other things.
Rooms were kept extremely clean. The whirlpool tub was awesome after a long flight. The cleaning staff do a fabulous job. We didn't use the mini bar except for water, but it was checked and refilled everyday.
We too noticed that the beds were hard, but really it had no effect on our sleep. Air conditioning worked too good and had to turn it down in the evenings.

Restaurants and Bars:
We only ate at two a lacarte's El Portfino & Le Gourmet. The food was very good in both and the service was good as well. We are not really fancy dining people. The presentation of all the food was excellent and deserts were to die for. Staff were extremely friendly.
The buffett was our preference. Service at the buffett was hit and miss. Sometimes it was great and others you spent a half hour waiting for a cup of coffee. It seemed the evening service was better than the morning. We tried going for breakfast and supper at different times to see if there was a difference but there did not seem to be. All in all though it was good. I think due to the holidays and the number of people at the resorts had a bearing on what they are able to accomplish in a very short time span.
We really only used the swim up bar at the quiet pool and the lobby bar and found dthe staff great at both.

Our resort had 2 pool areas. the quiet pool and the family pool. We spent most of our time by the quiet pool. There is a distinct difference between the pools. We spent an afternoon at the Family Pool and enjoyed it but would not have managed a full week with the level of noise. It's great that there are two pools for everyone to enjoy.
We took the tram to the Coba beach just to have a look. Neither of us are real beach people but it was nice to hang out to look around.
We visited Tulum and Akumal resorts one day and they are absolutely beautiful as well. Tulum seems extremely very well laid out. There are not a lot of stairs and the ocean is right there. If we went back I would seriously consider staying there depending on the room sizes. We were spoiled with the JR Suite.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We didn't venture out of the resorts at all our whole trip. We had good intentions of going to Playa Del Carmen but by afternoon we were content with just hanging around the pool.

Other Comments:
New Years Eve was very enjoyable. We had dinner that night at the Cozumel. It was a great dinner and the service was excellent. We then ventured up to the Hacienda. Wow, the number of people. We didn't arrive until around 9:30 pm and it was packed. Service though was great considering the number of people they had to serve. The show started about 10 pm and seemed quite good. They had two stages going with similar acts on each. We decided though about 11:30 pm that we had had enough and went back to the hotel where it was much quieter. Everyone we spoke to about it had a great time, staff included.
The staff everywhere were always friendly and very helpful. The tram service was excellent and very quick. You didn't seem to have to wait too long for one to come by. They even picked you up or dropped you off in front of your villa. All in all it was a great vacation and we would go back to this resort.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Thomas ~ Colorado
January 2009

Arrival: December 2008
Transportation pre-arranged from the airport was waiting for us. Everything was great.

Large attractive and clean. Yes, the mattresses were kind of hard, but acceptable.

Restaurants and Bars:
Great. We didn't like the huge common buffet restaurant at Coba, but we chose to go to the smaller one. We always sat at the same table, We got to know our server and he us; we were served wonderfully. We tipped him $20 twice, once for Christmas day.

Pools are great, not crowded, except for the lounge chairs which people claim early in the day contrary to posted signs. Beach is clean, maintained by rakers and groomers. A little rough--it was windy and there are rocks and coral.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Went to tour of Coba ruins, including swim in Cenote and zip-line. Lots of fun, energetic guide.Also Catamaran snorkeling tour with fabulous lunch: steak or lobster, and fun staff.

Other Comments:
Loved the all-inclusive thing--no worries other than trying not to gain too much weight.Huge Staff was hard-working, unobtrusive, and amazing. Competent.
We had a great time. The Christmas Eve Buffet was amazing too.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Steve ~ Toronto
January 2009

Arrival: September
We arrived at the Bahia Principe aroud noon. We were greeted with smiles and everyone at the resort was friendly. We walked into the main lobby and right away someone grabed our bags and tokk them for us to the Golden checkout. (This is a special check in/ check out for Club Golden members, well worth it) We got to the Golden check out and we were in our room with our bags brought for us withing 15 minutes.

Rooms were beautiful. We had a 3rd floor room with a nice view of the grounds. The mini bar was not stocked when we got there (with alchol anyway), with a quick call to the Golden Club reception we had our fridge stocked with beer and liquor in 5 minutes. The rooms were cleaned every day nicely, best to leave $1 on the bed and $1 in the mini fridge everyday for the service. That $1 a day goes a long way. Whatever you do, do not give the maid or the person who stocks your fridge a lump sum after your stay...it may not be the same person who has been taking care of your room all week.

Restaurants and Bars:
This resort is 3 resorts combined, so there are alot of bars, snack bars and restaurants. The buffet is nice, lots of selection...(the banana shakes are great with breakfast). We ate at 3 restaurants at the resort and had great service at all and the food was very good. The guy preparing your food at the Japanese restaurant was great. He did a few tricks while working the flat grille. Lots of snack bars around, never had to grab some food.

We were in the Coba which is the furthest from the beach (of the Tulum, Akumel or Coba)...a bit of a walk but if you want you can take the "train" to the beach. The beaches are nice but a bit rocky. Wear sandals. They do attempt to go out and clean up the beach but you cant get all the rocks. Also there are tons of cigarette butts all over the beach. I am a smoker but I didn't throw my butts on the beach. Just used a glass and took it to the garbage later. Also there are small bars at the beach..so drinks are not too far. Big bonus. Pools were lovely, so nice (not the square ones) but free forming pools. the main pools had a swim up bar (where I spent a lot of time) The bartending service is great. (heres a tip, when you first get to the bar, give the bartender $1..you wont be waiting for drinks at all, you will get served before others).

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Not too many activities on the resort that I participated in. i watched the staff have a beer drinking contest against the vacationers. We played water polo in the Ackumel pool. (the akumel and the Tulum poos seemed to have more going on) My wife and I meet some friends down there and we took a bus ride to Playa Del Carmen (about 20 mins from our resort) cost $2 each. We did some shopping and had a great time there. We also booked a trip to Xel-Ha (pronounced Shel-Ha). This is where they shot the move "Blue Lagoon". Cost about $60-65 each, this gains you entrance into the park and all you can eat and drink. Beautiful spot, good snorkeling, also some good cliff jumping as well.

Other Comments:
All in all this was my first trip south and I dont know if any resort will be able to top this one. Such and amazing place and all the staff are so friendly. Will be back for sure (after I travel to a few more countries 1st)

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Alex ~ Oshawa
December 2008

Arrival: Dec.6 2008
Very smooth, Flew Air Transat out of Toronto, went through Cancun airport fast and easily. Greeted at the resort with a welcome drink and quickly checked in and arrived at our room.

Spacious and clean. It did take a little effort to shower without flooding the bathroom floor but I mastered it the day before we left. Certainly didn't feel the need to call housekeeping. Maid service was excellent (thanks Silvia) and mini-bar was also stocked every day. I would suggest some tipping in both those areas.

Restaurants and Bars:
Ate at 4 A la Carte restaurants..Le Gourmet was the best but all were fine.

Grounds and pools are clean and beautiful, no problems with loungers or shade. Beach is very nice but if you want to swim in the ocean take beach shoes. I actually prefer it that way since I find some rocks and structure more natural

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Took a cab ride into Akumal Bay (10 mins. 10 USD). Nice little 2 or 3 hour time waster. Some shops (an outstanding art gallery...GALERIA LAMANAI), nice restaurants, very friendly people and good snorkling if you want to see some sea turtles. Beach is also very nice.

Other Comments:
Would definitely recommend this resort. We stayed at the Kantenah a few years back and thought they were both pretty much on par with a little give and take in different areas. I'm not one to expect a $100 Ruth's Chris steak at an all inclusive but I did enjoy my filet at Le Gourmet. I don't go to another country and treat the people like my little slave puppets (which you sometimes see), in my opinion the staff were fun, friendly and did a great job...if anything I thought at times their management were a bit harsh. The three resorts do cover a large area but the shuttle service works great. We did the Air Transat Royal Golden package and think it was well worth it. I can't recall hearing anything but praise from the many other guests we talked to. Adios!

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Clive` Calgary, Canada

December 2008

Arrival: December 2008
Upon arriving at the Gran Bahia Principe resort, we were offered a fruity champagne drink as we checked in. Check in was quick. A golf cart shuttle quickly took our luggage and ourselves to our room.

Rooms: Very nice large room. Good shower and jet tub. Comfortable firm bed. The bar fridge was refilled every day and the staff kept the room clean. The air conditioner was a little noisy and a couple of light bulbs needed replacing.

Restaurants and Bars:
The food at the A la Carte restaurants and the buffets at all of the hotels at the Gran Bahia Principe was well above average. I can't believe some of the poor reviews I have read. We had a great experience.

Some items were not great at the buffets, but most of it was superb for a buffet, and a huge selection for everyone. The "Mikado" Japanese A la Carte was entertaining and tasty. Our favorite was the "El Pescador" (seafood restaurant). "Tortuga" the Brazilian BBQ A la Carte had very good food, just pace yourself and don't eat too much at the appetizer buffet. All in all, GREAT FOOD and GREAT SERVICE!

We experienced above average service at all of the restaurants and bars except for on one occasion at the lunch buffet at the Le Gourmet restaurant. Except for the one time, we had great service and had a good time talking to the staff.

As you have read, the beach is large and nice with lots of sun chairs and shades, but the shallow water is very rocky. All of the pools are very nice with bar service and snacks available nearby. The staff does a great job at keeping everything clean and tidy through the resort.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Although the Gran Bahia Principe resort is quite a distance from the Airport, it is in a very good location in relation to off-site activities and sites. The huge shopping area of Play del Carmen's fifth avenue, Akumal (ruins and beach), Xel-Ha (water park), and Xcaret (zoo, swimming and heritage park) are all within a half an hour by taxi or collectivo.

XEL-HA... I highly recommend Xel-Ha. Great snorkeling, ALL INCLUSIVE park. Don't book at the hotel... save yourself money and just take a taxi to Xel-Ha which is just ten minutes away, and pay at the entrance gate. No need to bring towels or food. This includes food and drinks at about three different restaurants, lockers, fresh towels, inner tubes, kayaking, and snorkel gear. Everyone gets a new snorkel that you can keep and take with you. We spent five full hours snorkeling and ran out of time to take advantage of other activities at the park. GREAT DAY!

Chichen Itza... Great historic site. One of the "New Seven Wonders" of the world. Chichen Itza is about two hours from the resort. This is the one trip worth booking through the hotel. I am not too sure young children would enjoy this trip, but this is a truly amazing place and is worth the day trip. I would go back!

Akumal... nice ruins, not nearly as impressive as Chichen Itza but it is close by (25 minutes), and the setting is beautiful! Good swimming below the ruins. The price is right... no need to take a tour from the hotel, take a taxi ($15 each way) and pay an entrance fee $5/person?) at the entrance gate. You may also take a collectivo down south. $2 person each way.

Xcarat.. nice big park/zoo, some good swimming, good night show. Good for all ages. It was good but I won't be going back. If you are in the area for a long time and looking for something to do, it might be worth visiting, if you are not in the area very long, visit one of the other attractions in the area first.

Other Comments:
The Gran Bahia Principe resort is VERY LARGE. Some like this because it offers a huge variety of dining and drinking possiblities, some prefer a small quaint hotel. It takes a little while to get a hang of where the trams are going. But they are handy and will take you to the various hotels and restaurants on the resort, the beach, and right to your front door. My advice... keep a map of the resort with you.

I will definitely recommend the Gran Bahia Principe resort to my friends and family. If you are flexible with when you go, you can find great deals to this resort. I will be going back one day!

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Jennifer
July 2008

Overall Rating:
I rate this hotel overall a 9 out of 10. It was an absolutely amazing holiday all the way around! The resort was beautiful and so well kept. And the weather really cooperated as well.

We booked through a travel agent - for piece of mind, and boy was it worth it! We booked through Sima and Terry at Carlson Wagonlit RK travel. (1-877-430-7462). They were wonderful start to finish. Everything from making sure we got the best possible deal (including Club Golden which were the best located rooms and the best lobby), to making sure we had all of the important information before we left. We went on our vacation knowing that if anything were to go wrong, they would be there to help us. Truly made it stress free! Thanks Sima and Terry!

Food: Overall a 6 out of 10
Snack bar, atrocious! Was certainly not 24 hours any day of the 14 we were there and there were times where the food looked and tasted like it has been there for two day. Then, at certain times there was no food at all. And if they were putting new food out, one day they made us wait almost an hour before they let us eat anything.

Buffets, pretty good. Coba buffet has a lot less selection than the Akumal buffet. We enjoyed the Akumal buffet much more. The food was fresher and there was a way better selection. The small Coba buffet was very nice, but half way through the trip it was closed with no reason given.

Reservation restaurants - the Japanese one was a lot of fun but the others that we tried were just not that great. The food was good for the most part but the portions were super small and the staff could be downright rude. It felt like they were trying to get us out as quick as possible so they could get the next table in for their "expected" tip. The service was WAY better at the buffets.

Staff: 9.5 out of 10
Other than in the restaurants the staff was awesome! We had a few small problems, but nothing enough to complain about. It was nice when you got to know certain waiters or bartenders, they were really a lot of fun!! If you get to go to the Club Golden lobby it has the premium liquors, but they are usually stashed behind the cheap stuff so you have to ask for it!!

Shuttles: 9.5 out of 10
We never really had to wait too long, you just have to be careful if you catch the shuttle that is still making it's route to pick up passengers it can take quite a while to get where you're going. I would strongly suggest getting a map your first day and finding your way around. We realized that the beach was way closer than we thought and we could walk there in under 5 minutes if we went through, I believe it's the akumal lobby.

Rooms: 9.5 out of 10
Our maids were great and the rooms were spacious and clean. I really enjoyed the jet tub! Our rooms were in the club golden section so they were very well located and pretty much central to everything. It was great!

Pools, very clean and people came around to clean them (suntan lotion floaters) every few hours.

I will also say that many people we talked to preferred Coba to the other two resorts. The shuttle line ups also seemed much much longer at Akumal and Tulum

Overall this is a great resort and we would go back in a second!

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Bolek ~ Oakville, Ontario

June 2008

Worst hotel service ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have never felt the need to warn fellow vacationers about a resort to which I have been, and there have been many over the years.

Well, I will make this short-don’t WASTE your money and time, go ELSEWHERE. Gran Bahia Principe Coba is advertised as a 5 stars resort but after our experience, we would not give it 2 stars. It is a joke advertising this resort as a 5 stars. The resort rooms and buffets were just ok but when it comes to service they have no idea. The GBC is absolutely the worst resort that we have ever stayed at. The entire place is a huge disaster. The service is truly terrible. We have had much better service at a 3 stars resort in Cuba then in Grand Bahia Principe. I have nothing good to say about the resort.

Short Summary of the Grand Bahia Coba.

Size of the resort – Coba is a part of jumbo resort -the Grand Bahia Principe. The resort is huge. Way too big.

Location – Coba has very bad location. Resort is located between Akumal and public highway, far from the beach. Numbers of villa are very close to the public highways. There is substantial noise from the passing cars every night and day.

Rooms- nice size but they don't have a stand alone shower only the jet tub. There is a problem with the water from the bathtub, it leaks onto the floor. Cleaning service did Ok job however every day something different was missed.

Mini-bar- it was hit and miss for restocking. Only the first day we had candy and chips after that only the beverages were replenished. Some days we got juice other days we didn't. Last day they did not restock the mini-bar at all. After two phone calls the mini-bar was restock by the mad, rude individual. Of course, no apology.

Beach: we were very disappointed with the beach. Forget about the powdery sand beach.

Way too many rocks in the water and the beach. Beach shoes are mandatory. Coba is very far from the beach therefore you have to take the gasoline smelly bus (such a nice way to start a day). Akumal and Coba beach (yes there is even Coba beach) are extremely crowded. Tulum offers much nicer and less crowded beach but it take it takes approximately 15-20 minutes to get to the beach; sometimes you have to wait 10 minutes or more for those guzzling buses.

Pools – nice but if you want a lounger be prepared to get up early. Forget getting up at 6 am all the chair are taken by 3 am by “early birds.”

A la carte- there is a terrible inconsistency of the food and service at the “a la carte restaurants”. We ate at four restaurants:

Arlequin- the most enjoyable, good food and good service.

Le Gourment- good food, acceptable service.

Fruitos Del Mar- below average food, very slow service.

Mediterranean- terrible food, awful service, really BAD, BAD.

Buffet food- food were ok. Long line up for the breakfast, lunch and dinner. The service were really poor. Plenty of empty but dirty, tables. We saw people fixing there own table and when they finally did get seated, they had to wait for clean plates. To get a drink was like you have to beg forever. It seems that The Grand Bahia promotes a new all inclusive concepts called “DO IT YOURSELF”. If I wanted to do things for my own I would not have chosen an “all-inclusive 5 star resort”.

Some of the servers were very rude if you asked for something, they were not very accommodating at all, lot of bad attitudes. In my opinion they all should be send to the anger management program.

Also if you like drink wine, bring your own because the served wine is undrinkable.

Pools bars- below average drinks, definitely water down. Hygiene seems to be a very big problem. Drinks are served in a dirty disposable plastic cups that are always lining the pool, beach and anywhere else you go. I watched as the bartender takes this dirty cap rinses it under the tap water then mix drink and serve it to the vacationer.

Lobby bars- average drinks. The biggest problem it that lobby bars are closed at 11 pm and I really mean -there are CLOSED. They not only stopped serving drinks at 11 pm but they also transfer drinks into a plastic caps, take the candles from the tables and switch the lights off. I found this behavior extremely offensive and disgraceful. We have stayed in many 5, 4 and even 3 stars resort but never experienced such as terrible bad manners.

For this reason alone I would not recommend this resort and I would not return.

Nightly Shows –average. I have seen elementary school children put on a better show. Also there is no show on Thursday in entire resort. GBP offers Mexcian Fiesta that cost $15. It so ridiculous that you have to pay for something that it is included in the vacation package. In my opinion this is a cheap way to make extra bucks.

Last but no least, I don’t like to pay for a safe when MOST other resorts do not charge for that.

Overall, the hotel is average at best. Very mediocre! Three stars, not the five advertised

I don't think we will ever go back to Mexico and we definitely won't be staying at the Coba. I also will not recommender this resort and I will make sure that none of my clients will go to the GBC. I’m 100% sure it will be worst in the future. The Gran Bahia Principe chose quantities ant qualities.

Luckily we had good weather and good company. GBC is the resort that should be to be avoided.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Lesley
May 2008

My friend and I went to this resort for 10 days in May 2008. Good thing because we were both sick with vomiting and diarrhea for one day each, so we lost 2 days between us (one sick, the other the nursemaid).

Our initial check-in was quite seamless and the reception clerk gave us the full run-down of the resort by using their on-site guide/map. It takes a while for it all to sink in because the resort is so large. They informed us that use of the in-room safe would be $5.00 per day ($50 for the duration). This is absolute extortion as I feel a safe should be a given and the only thing you're actually paying for is a key and a lock which you insert into the safe which is already in your room. This is obviously a big money-generator for them. When we balked at the exorbitant price, they "rechecked" our reservation and informed us that the safe was actually included in our arrangement so we got it for free. I wonder if this is standard response to people who question the ridiculous rate.

Our luggage was delivered promptly to our junior suite, which has an extra sitting area and makes the room feel much bigger. Apparently the suites are only available in Coba, which is the newer section of the resort. Akumal and Tulum have only standard rooms from what I understand. We also got complimentary terry robes and slippers and two cards for an extra beach towel per person (you already get one per person in the room). At check-in you are warned that if you don't exchange the extra towels for your cards and hand them back in at check-out, you can be charged $50 per towel on your final bill. Okay, that's fine, but when we asked for the cards at the towel exchange on 3 separate occasions, the guy behind the counter told us he didn't have any cards so we had to keep the towels. Frustrating.

Upon arrival in the room, we discovered a few things: we had requested 2 double beds but had been assigned a king (okay, so we could live with that); there was a coffee maker there but no coffee supplies; the bed was rock hard (they offer an optional mattress pad to soften the blow but it's quite useless. Be prepared for restless nights.) Our in-room fridge had not been stocked with pop, water, chips, which were supposed to be included. We called the front desk at 5:00 p.m. to request the coffee supplies, an extra mattress pad, and stuff for the fridge. By 9:00 p.m., we had called a total of 4 times without response and it was only when we got very angry and said we wanted to go to bed that they finally sent someone to our room. He showed up with full bedding and proceeded to try to make up the fold-down sofa bed. He didn't speak English, but we stopped him and indicated we only wanted the mattress pad. He yanked all the bedding off the bed and dumped it onto the bare floor to put the mattress pad on. Not very polite, but at this point we were just happy to have sleep in sight as we'd been up since 4:00 a.m. The fridge was restocked the next day. We didn't get any coffee supplies until about 6 days into our stay.

The resort is certainly everything you'd expect at an all-inclusive. Beautiful grounds, lovely pools, plenty of booze, lots of food. I don't like the gigantic buffets that they constantly have because the risk of food poisoning is so high and, besides, I don't like eating food that has been sitting around and is not fresh and hot. After we each got sick, we were very picky and only ate certain foods, so that made the choices kind of boring.

We reported our food-borne illnesses to the front desk, but to no one's surprise, they informed us that no other reports had been filed. They did send some fruit and jello to our room, which we appreciated, and also allowed us to eat exclusively in the a la carte restaurants for all of the last 5 nights of our stay because we were concerned about the safety of the buffets. Any time we asked the dining hall staff for plastic plates to take food back to the room or extra portions of jello, they were most accommodating and friendly. Thank goodness!

We were glad the rooms had big plastic garbage pails because we put the one in the bathroom to good use. What would we have done without it?! The maid was also very helpful when we declined housekeeping for the two sick days but requested extra toilet paper and kleenex.

One night we discovered a huge cockroach in our room, which I suppose is not too unusual in Mexico. Still, it's an unpleasant addition to any holiday. We called the front desk for assistance, but by the time they sent their "Raid" crew a half hour later, we had already been forced to crush the thing to stop it from invading our bed area. They swept up the corpse but left the trail of guts on the floor. We threw the slipper used to kill the roach in the garbage because the bottom was covered in guts, but the next day the maid fished it out and put it back under the night table. LOL

There is an Internet cafe at the small shopping plaza (Hacienda Dona Isabel), which is central to the resort, but you have to take the shuttle there and the rates are ridiculous: 40 cents per minute (4 pesos/min.), which can really add up fast. And one of the six computers was out of order the whole week. One other had a bright pink tinge to the monitor, which made viewing quite unpleasant. On our second visit, we discovered the clock used to time our usage was inaccurate and we were being overcharged (anyone surprised by this?) but when we insisted that we had only been on for 10 minutes, the cafe operator reduced our charge. After that, we were very careful to watch our time. If you get the chance, go into Playa del Carmen for $2.00 per person per direction on the local collectivo and get an hour of Internet for 10 pesos (or $1.00) at an Internet cafe. Ideally, Internet access at the resort lobby would have been so much more convenient.

One hour of snorkelling at the beach per day was included for us. But when we went to get our equipment at the beach, we were told we had to reserve at least an hour beforehand (we had not been informed of this previously). I think the guy made us wait the hour just out of spite because it looked like there was equipment there when we showed up. The snorkelling was fantastic as there is a small reef right at the beach with lots of interesting fish and sea urchins around it. The beach is nice but the ocean bottom is quite rocky so watch your step.

The pools are spacious and clean (they do seem to check them often) and warm (almost bath-like). It would be nice to take a swim before bed but the pools close at 8:00 p.m. I guess I can see their point - they don't want any accidents late at night. But an evening swim would have been lovely because it was so hot when we were there. One thing that always annoys me about resorts is that people "save" chairs with towels and then leave for hours. This is so frustrating for people who want to use the pool and beach area but can't find a chair and see all these ones sitting idle for hours on end. If people would just come and go and use the chairs only when they need them, there would be plenty for all. I really hate this aspect of shared accommodations.

Playa del Carmen is about 20 minutes up the highway but don't take a taxi. Take the local transport at the entrance to the resort. As I said, it's $2.00 per person per direction in a 10 seater van. There is a meeting area in Playa for your return trip. Fifth Avenue is a well-known shopping district in Playa, but watch your prices. Many things are over-inflated and the merchants protest that they have fixed prices and won't barter. You'll end up paying more than you would elsewhere so if you buy something, make sure you really want it and it's worth it to you. When I was in Puerta Vallarta in January, I was able to buy things much cheaper from the numerous vendors on the beach or at various kiosks around the village or at the local market. You can often get them down to half price. No such luck in Playa.

We talked to some Canadian girls while on the collectivo to Playa and they told us of a guy them met at the resort. They said he was a young Canadian who was not worldly and had not travelled much. According to the girls, he ventured into Playa del Carmen one night alone, got drunk, got into a fight in a bar, and when the police were called, they beat him up pretty badly and took all his money ($600). He was thrown in jail for 36 hours and was supposed to be released at no charge at the end of that. When his friends, who had been calling hospitals and police stations trying to find him, went to pick him up, they had to pay $150 to get him released. This is all third-hand, so the facts might be kind of sketchy, but I have no doubt there is a lot of truth to it. The lesson is clear: Be smart. Don't mess with the locals. Stay out of trouble.

Lastly, on our flight back to Toronto on Mexicana Airlines, a Columbia windbreaker was stolen from an outer pocket of my suitcase. Good thing I know better than to pack real valuables in my checked luggage. Who knows what disappears on a daily basis from luggage. I did send Mexicana an e-mail to let them know, but I don't expect any response.

I know I have pointed out a lot of negative aspects of our vacation, but all in all, I would recommend Gran Bahia Principe. I'd say it's probably above par compared with other all-inclusives I've been to in Dominican Republic and Mexico. It's not perfect. Mexico is a different country. They have different ways. A lot of the staff don't speak much English. They're not sophisticated. You really have to be prepared to look after yourself.

If you keep this in mind, you'll have a great holiday.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Shaul
April 2008

This was our first time in Mexico...and maybe the last one. Before this vacation, 3 times in a row we have been to Cuba (Cayo Coco, Cayo Guilermo, Holguin) and we liked Cuban resorts much more than Bahia. So in review I will be comparing Bahia to Cuban resorts.

Just wanted to note that if it'd be my first resort, my review would be more positive.

- arrival: whem you arrive to Cancun airport, a lot of guys with information "badges" trying to sell you different time shares, tours and other BS and giving you wrong info... so when you arrive don't talk to those guys at all and go directly to exit where you'll find buses to your resort.

- Rooms: rooms a little bit bigger that on Cuban resorts, have jacuzzi in rooms. But beds are very small and hard.

- Housekeeping: very poor. The first day we came from the beach almost 3pm na d noany even started to clean our room. I called help desk and we went to dinner. When we came they were in the middle of cleaning and finished almost at 5pm. We're family of 4, but housekeepung guys left only 3 set of towels. After my complain they left 4 towels for 3-4 days and again started to leave only 3.

On the first day out toulet stop flashing. I notified front desk, (who told me that in Mexico we cannot put toulet paper into toulet and have to put it into special bin). They send guy to fix toulet and after this guy left sandals of my son got stolen from the room together with beach towel (I suppose, he should've wrap stolen sandals).

- Beach. - the worst part of the hotel. It's simply disaster. Very rocky. It's very difficult to go to the water without wearing watershoes. In the middle of swimming area lying hude metal tube. After 50-60m from the shore - they have a rope and if you try to swim beyound this rope, local guys whistling and telling you that this is protected area and you can go there only with local guy (for $12 per person). Considering that water up to this rope very shallow (about 3 feet) , swimming is very limited. Also, note that Coba (where we stayed) is not on the beach and you have to take smelly trolley (about 15min to the beach). Beaches in Cuba 100 times better, Cannot compare to Bahia's . Don't leave you stuff unattended on the beach, my crocs were stolen.

- Food: very basic. Food at Cuba was better. In Cuba (all 3 resorts where we stayed) we had a plenty of seafood, always shrimps, lobster night, even smoked salmon and red caviar. At Bahia nothing like this.

We visited 3 a la carte: La Gormet, Mikado, Arlequin - all of them were OK.

- Amination staff/entertainment - very poor. In all 7 days, only 1 day guy from animation team came to the beach to play volleyball with guests. Shows is so-so. Nothing special.

- Swimming pools - pretty good. i think this is the only thing that is better than in Cuba. We liked more Akumal beach that close to the shore. The biggest problem there - towels. They are always don't have enough towels. After 2.30 - 3 pm almost impossible to change towels.

- Tours: we took collectivo to Tulum Ruins. It's a nice site with good beach where you can swim. Beach at Tulum ruins much , much better that at resort.

Also we went to Hidden World's Cenotes. Snorkeling in cenotes was good. Zip line - bad.

Overall, Bahia - is a very average resort and we won't return there.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Peter and Christina
March 2008

Flew from Toronto Pearson airport during snowstorm March 08 2008.
Glad we could get airborne.
Flight delayed over two hours for de-icing and plowing runway etc.but what the hey...we were on our way to sunny beaches and pool side bars.
Arrived at Cancun airport about 1100 pm. Met by no one, found our way through the airport to the Conquest people, couple of guys in bad shorts and polo shirts by the bus lanes.
Boarded the bus which was cool and air conditioned.
Offered $2.00 Corona, which does not taste like Corona from Canada let me tell you.
About 2 hours later arrived at Coba lobby for the Gran Bahia Principe resort. Nice marble lined lobby,with centre piece.
Desk clerk was good, explained about pool towels and mini bar key and stuff.
Also explained about room safe key.
For everyone going there.....get one !
The people who made up our room took money from my wallet three days in a row.
And on top of that the very first day I left a 20.00 US tip to ask for extra towels.
I reported the theft to the hospitality desk personnel, but honestly what are they going to do ? The cleaning staff make about 5.00 a day US and the security staff do not make much more. The hotel policy is anything not inside the safe is not their responsibility. Ya, OK so I should try to fit my entire luggage into the safe ? I don't think so.
Anyway, the hospitality crew tried to accommodate me with some free passes to the Mexican Party. This is at the Hacienda which you can go to for free during the day. Only difference is the bar gives you free watered down drinks, big deal. At 16 dollars US not worth it at all.

Food was good, specialty restaurants were just OK. Good thing the buffet was open after the other restaurants were to fill up on what you missed out on.
Pools were good at all three hotels. Swim up bars were good but be sure to ask for extra alcohol if you want to get any sort of buzz going. First day I must of had 8 mixed drinks and 5 beers with no ill effects at all. And I am not a big drinker.

Night time entertainment was good which passes the time.
Kids club was good to get rid of the kids for a couple hours to relax and not hear any whining. Big space but not a lot to do. Kids thought is was great though.

No room service sucked, and trying to get anything brought to the room took forever.

Beaches were good with lots of bars along the strip to get a drink. Swing bar was cool to sit and watch the surf and have a drink.

Took a cab to Playa Del Carmen. What a rip. Sure there was a Starbucks, McDonalds, and Subway but at hugely inflated prices. Only for tourists. The people selling T shirts cannot afford to get a double decaf half caf mochachino with crème from Starbucks unless they spend 2 days wages. And do not fall for the over priced Rolex fakes there. Guy started out at 600 US for a piece of crap knock off. I walked out and he came down to 200 US. No thanks dude.

Overall a nice place to visit. Stay on the resort. If going off the resort book stuff off site and save money.

Swim with the dolphins ? Ya at 149 us each I could buy one.

Shop wisely and take in the site.

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Lewis
March 2008

Hello to everyone on thier way to mexico, just got back from the bahia coba resort in akumel, this was out third time at the resort and it is a great resort. Not into writing alot of wordy reviews so if you would like info on such things as room location, eats, reservation requests, places to go , shows, maps, side trips just drop me a line and i will respond. Have a great trip you will truly enjoy it--------- send your questions to---lewcandy@sbcglobal.net

Top of Page

  Gran Bahia Principe Coba   Charlie ~ Ottawa, Canada
January 2008

hi, My husband and I went to this resort early December 2007 and stayed for a week. The resort grounds a beautiful. Anna in the Royal lobby is great. Now for the down side of the trip. The plane was late(oh well, this happens all the time)but, the resort sold Royal Coba exlusive sign in. This didn't happen because we arrived after 11:30pm. We stood in line for over and hour before the bar tender (who was helping out) booked us in. When we got to our room our luggage was not there. After waiting for an hour, we phoned and we were told, we were one of eighty and we would have to wait. By 5 am the luggage arrived and we could finally go to sleep. The next day we were moved to a room with a clean tub. (Another story) I am one who has travelled to Mexico and have learned ~ don't sweat the little stuff ~ but sometimes the little stuff takes up the whole visit!!! Anna was great when trying to take care of our problems. We have been to the Palladium 3X's and when comparing the two resorts, we would pick the Palladium anytime. The exercise room was ; 1 treadmill that shuts off if you go to a jog, 1 elliptical, 1 rower and a few weight machines. The treadmill was older than I am(I'm a grandma) The meals were just OK and this is comparing Mexico to Mexico. One resort is just down the street from the other. The weather was great, the staff were also great. The resort just needs to upgrade there idea of Royal to compare with other Royal sections. They also need to remodel their rooms. Do not pay for the Royal service, because if you go to the Royal lobby and use there free internet, they will not stop you, because that would be rude. We felt that if we were in the Tulum or Akumal sections we would have gotten a better bang for the buck.

We had booked the Bahia Principe in Punta Cana for Feb 14 and when we came back we switched over to Palladium Royal in Punta Cana.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at christinetom2002@yahoo.ca

Top of Page

  Grand Bahia Principe Coba   Charlie ~ Ottawa, Canada

December 2007

December 2007 Firstly, I won't repeat much of what has already been written. Everything I read before going is reasonably accurate - very nice resort. I'll just focus on some things that we liked / disliked and some tips that may help you save money and enjoy your trip more.

We booked our trip through iTravel2000, and Air Transat's 'Golden Club' (mostly because we got a good deal - booked in mid Nov. for mid Dec. for $1175 incl. tax). The only real difference between Golden club and regular is the robe and slippers that we didn't use, free internet (when not busy - 3 PCs, often occupied, or bring your own laptop). The only possible reason to pay more may be that the block of villas is close to the quiet pool & away from the busy highway / activity pool. There is a series of 3 villas quite near the highway only seperated by a wall (#15,16,17) that I would avoid. There are no reserved areas for Golden Club guests - nobody checks braclet colours anywhere, and all the rooms are the same layout.

One more thing I must comment on - Air Transat. Less than a week before we left from Toronto, AT changed the return flight time and then again while we were there, and the plane was an hour late on top of that. I can deal with a few hours time change, but going from a nice mid afternoon return time to a red-eye 8AM arrival the next day is a bit much. We were offered free $5 headsets as compensation. You may have better luck, but I will not likely book another Transat vacation.

Rooms - The resort itself is very nice. We had a nice villa (27) and the grounds, pools and rooms are very well maintained. The bed is a bit firm - took my back a few days to toughen up.

Restaurants - The restaurants are pretty good. Some fine diners may be slightly disappointed, but we're not picky. I found the ones in the Coba section to be a bit superior. The main Coba buffet was better & had better service than the Akumal section.

Bars - Bars are everywhere - pools, lobbies, beach. They serve beer and whatever mixed drinks you can think of. What more do you want? There's nice live music in various locations. Never made it to the disco.

Beach and Pools - The pools are very clean and refreshingly cool. I prefer a cool swim over a warm soak though. The beach is fine, the water is clear enough to snorkle, but not near as good as Akumal beach (see below)

Tours - Get off the resort and check out this beautiful region! Unless you're rich or crazy, don't book any tours, especially through the resort. It's a lot cheaper (and more rewarding in my opinion) to hop on the collectivo or a taxi (or rent a car if you're comfortable doing so). Buy a tour book and find some places before you go. Here is the cheapest, most memorable thing we did:

Snorkle with sea turtles & barracudas at Akumal beach. A couple can grab a taxi for 5 bucks to go a few kms north of the resort to Akumal (the town not the resort section). You walk 5 minutes down to the beach, rent mask & fins for 10 bucks or bring your own. Swim out 50-100 meters and you are in coral reefs, schools of fish, sea turtles (look but don't touch!) and barracuda (definitely don't touch!). Just go where you see other snorklers. Taxis & collectivos are parked around the entrance, so just grab one to get back. You can do the same thing for Tulum ruins. The taxi was 20 bucks and entrance was 5. You can get a tour guide if you want at the park, but I personally hate getting led around like a flock of sheep. Use your guidebook to fill in the history yourself.

Taxis will offer you an all-day service that, if split 4-ways, is a lot cheaper than a tour. You are on you own schedule and you can make stops if you want to. We did an all day taxi tour to Coba ruins, stopped to swim at a beautiful cenote and stopped on the highway for shopping (cheapest place for gifts & crafts, by the way) all for $30 per person ($85 per person for the same thing via the resort). You can take a taxi just to drop you off at a spot, but if you have the guy for the day, you can leave gear in the trunk that you don't need. Use the money you save to splurge on a night out for dinner on the beach in Playa del Carmen - it's your vacation, enjoy it!

Conclusion - The resort is very nice, the food is fine, the entertainment is a bit weak, but OK. This resort is great for families, but may be a bit stuffy for those looking for a bit more fun. I found the huge size of the place made it hard to meet people. You felt a bit like another face in the crowd - not like some smaller resorts we've been to. All the tipping was a bit of a pain - it's not the extra cost, I just prefer it if they would work it into the cost up front. I like to file my wallet away when I'm at one of these places, instead I had to remember to bring cash when we went out to dinners etc. Minor nit-picking though. This is a very nice place considering the price we paid.

Top of Page

Grand Bahia Principe Coba USA
June 2007

We are from United States. Husband (Bosnian), Wife (American), two children ages 41/2 and 3. I booked 7 day vacation through Apple Vacations on a recommendation from my travel agent. Having lived for a year in Guadalajara and Veracruz and traveled throughout central and southern Mexico, I consider myself a tough customer. Also, six years ago my husband and I got married at Moon Palace. Bahia Principe was about $1000 cheaper for a family of 4 for 7 days in May 2007. We were truly very pleased with our vacation overall.

Getting out of the airport was a bit tricky. We had to bypass all of the bag carriers and the guys in blue shirts offering to find our arranged transportation. Once we got through them "no thank you, we have transportation, " our Apple Vacation guys were just outside of the airport. We were soon in a van on our way to the resort. This ride was 2 hours because they dropped off some other travelers at other resorts.

Once at the smaller Coba check-in Lobby we were surrounded by the beautiful architecture that is abundant throughout all of the Bahia Principe resorts.

Each lobby has a fountain, gorgeous granite and marble floors, glass doors to the buffets, huge tropical flower arrangements. The service people are friendly and helpful. We booked our ala carte reservations immediately after check-in.

Our room was in villa 15a. It was towards the back of the Coba section, but it seems that all of the villas are close to pools. We were by the larger activity pool. This pool has daily entertainment and music, a huge fountain in the middle, a swim-up-bar, a kid pool area and many grass thatched palapas for shade. There is a snack buffet by this pool serving nachos, kid-friendly food, fresh fruit, pretty desserts as well as coffee and tea. The staff here was always animated and ensured that the contests and games were still within the boundaries of "family fun."

The room was well appointed and clean. The bathrooms were big and had lovely jacuzzi tubs and marble counters and floors. I was able to plug in and use my own hairdryer. They brought in an extra cot for my daughter, we hadn't even requested that. They sent an iron up to our room after I requested. Mini bar was stocked every 2 days.

One of the reasons that I chose this resort was because of the Kid's Club. There is one at Coba and one at Tulum. They have organized activities and TONS of crafts for the kids to make. They even take the kids swimming each day at 11:30. The Club is air conditioned and there are even beds (not just cots) with disney character blankets for the kids to take naps on. I had planned on taking full advantage of their hours thinking that my kids probably couldn't tolerate all of the fun and sun for an entire day. I took my 4 year old daughter for just an hour one day when she was getting too much sun. When I came to get her she didn't want to leave and had made a number of glittery projects. The next day she begged me to take her back, I did for only an hour again. The staff person had saved the bracelet that my daughter had started the day before and immediately sat down to finish it with her! Top notch people working there!

The reason that I didn't use the Kid's club alot is because the resort is very kid friendly. There were lots of people there with toddlers and children. My kids had a geat time at the pools and the beach and the restaurants. The staff were always making little napkin hats and just being friendly to them. It's my opinion that being tolerant and kind to children is part of the Mexican culture anyway.

Entertainment. Super. The nightly shows were fun...some light-hearted....some artistically choreographed. Like the other reviews say, Michael Jackson was their best show. But their skill in the other shows is their ability to get the audience involved, and give away free stuff. The outdoor dance lessons by the Coba lobby at 6:30 each night were energetic and educational.

At the Hacienda Dona Isabel there was also a live band. The hotel has their staff there to teach dance and get the guests involved. The dance club tends to play some "oldies." Prices of things were expensive by Mexican standards...but competitive to good by Cancun standards. The prices are set. I got a nice hammock for $33 US dollars. But the kids toy guitars were $10 each.

Buffets were really good with a nice variety of different foods. The flavored tequilas that they mix themselves at the resort were very nice. The scoop ice cream...not the machine kind....was out of this world
delicious. Please don't miss it! We literally tried everything, so did my kids. NOBODY got sick.

Nice perk: very international crowd. I was very pleased to meet people speaking German, Italian, Portuguese, French, Catalan, ETC. There were definitely a great mix of people, and lots of translations in the restaurants and shows.

I have tried to include some information from the parent perspective and things that other people didn't mention. I used Debbie's site to get inormation before I went. I found more information in this website than anywhere with regard to the COBA resort. We hope to go back there again next year...unless I find something else along the same lines but a bit closer to the airport. You can email me if you like with any questions that you might have. Kennalulic@hotmail.com

Top of Page

Grand Bahia Principe Coba Cyndi & Carol
May 2007

My girlfriend and I stayed one week at the Coba. We were hesitant because our husbands did not want to go and we had heard alot about shootings etc in Mexico. Well, the Maya Riviera is wonderful. I have not been anywhere else in Mexico. I felt safer here than walking on our main street at home. Never have I come across such warm and wonderful people. Helpful, friendly and accommodating. They also got a kick out of my desperate attempt at speaking Spanish but almost all spoke English or at least a bit. The first two days were getting acquainted with the lay of the land. The 3 resorts are quite large so the little trollies that bring you around are super and come almost every ten minutes. The rooms are very clean and well stocked. We flew Air Transat and it was wonderful. Our package was with the Royal Golden, so we had our own lobby to go and check in with free internet and a bar. Our representative Christine was absolutely fabulous and very entertaining.

Ask your travel agent about AGI - a private company that will pick you up at the airport and bring you back. Cost is $150 US so that was only $75 each and you avoid having to go to every resort to drop other people off. Ask for Thomas - he is wonderful. Our travel agent from CAA told us about him so if yours doesn't know about this service contact CAA in Sudbury, Ontario Canada and ask for Tanya. It is well worth the money and even at the airport he waits for you holding a sign with your name and you don't have to bother with anything or anyone else.

We took an excursion to Xcaret - this is an ecological park - very natural. We swam with the Dolphins and bought the video and pictures -WOW! We are not young - late 50's and this was a blast.

The rooms are clean and well stocked. The food in the 3 buffets is very good - we found Tullum the best. The Michael Jackson show was very good. Outside at night on the patio you can dance or watch Karaoke or have salsa lessons. At the entrance to the resorts is the Hacienda where you can shop or go to the disco.

The lobby at the Coba was nice to sit at in the evening and enjoy flaming coffee - specialty coffee with whatever liquour your heart desired. The alacart restaurants were super delicious. We ate at Le Gormet, Mikado, El Charro and I can't remember the Italian restaurant at Akumal but the food at these 4 were fabulous. What a show they put on at Mikado - Japanese. You sit around the grill and the cook puts on a show throwing knives etc. We felt rushed here to eat and leave so they could get the next group in. They move you to another area for dessert. The other places were relaxing. I didn't find the drinks were strong but their house wines were nice. (Dominican Republic wine was awful!!!)

The Bahi Spa was the best I have ever been to - the massage therapist sure know what they are doing and the facilities were beautiful.

The resort is large so it took a day or so to get the lay of the land but once you figure it out it is great - again use the trollies. We stayed in 6B - very far from everything - try and stay around building 28 - close to everything, but really if you don't mind walking it really isn't that far. We had an iguana living under the pillar of the building and named him Buddy - cute.

Coba is about 8 months old, Akumal is about 6 yrs old and Tullum is 8 years old - the public washrooms are not very nice at the 2 older resorts but lovely at Coba. There are stores to shop at at every resort, but nothing compares to shopping at Playa del Carmen. Take the collectivo for $2. US each way - very safe. You can also go to the beach at Playa del Carmen. They like to barter, but you have to be seasoned and strong skinned. Word of advice. If you take the safe for $5. US per day when you check out BRING THE LOCK and KEY. If you stay as far away from the main lobby as we were you had to hike back and get it our they will charge $100. If you lose the key they will charge $100. We took the safe to keep our passports and extra money in.

Our maid was great and our sheers on the patio doors were in a different design each day - like a butterfly etc. She also made animals out of towels on our bed with fresh flowers. If you have the air conditioning on and open the patio door, there is a sensor that will shut off the a/c. I had read that some people said the a/c was intermittent - perhaps they didn't know about the sensor.

If you like jewellery there is a place called Lapise but we didn't make it there. The beach is lovely, but rocky in the water in places but alot of shade huts or whatever you call them and chairs. The weather was devine over 30 (90) all week no rain.

This is a resort I would go to again - it is definately 5 star!!!!

Top of Page

Grand Bahia Principe Coba Paul & Irene ~ Canada
April 2007

We are in our mid forties with two teenagers 19 and 14. We just got back from the Grand Bahia principe Coba in the Mayan Riviera, Mexico. It is connected to the Grand Bahia Tulum and the Grand Bahia Akumel

We flew with Air Transat, which we recommend as the planes are larger and afford a little extra room .We were able to upgrade to bulkhead seating in advance for only $15 dollars. By comparison, Sky Service planes are smaller and getting preferred/bulkhead seating ahead without a faxed Doctors Note would be impossible.

This resort is incredible, very new, well maintained and manicured, the villas, landscaping and pools/whirl pools thoughtfully laid out. There are two more resorts next door, The Grand Bahia Principe Akumal and the Grand Bahia Principe Tulum which makes this resort very large. Trolleys abound everywhere trundling guests from one place to another (they are very quiet) Sometimes we would just to go for a ride at night and feel the warm tropical breeze and do some sight seeing. There are two main pools and several whirlpools throughout Coba . For a bit of variety we went next door and used the main pools at the Akumel and Tulum

We stayed in Villa 28B rooms 32822 and 32824, great spot which looked over the very sedate whirlpool (music levels kept low).We found the rooms very clean, the beds were firm but we didn’t mind at all. The maids did a good job cleaning our room, we left them a tip every day. These people work very hard and don’t get paid a lot of money so lets not forget to tip.

There is one buffet restaurant at the Coba which we ate at most nights, let me tell you there was no shortage of food there, and the restaurant was huge. There are snack bars located in several locations for all/night snacks. There are five A La Cart restaurants which you can go to (try the steak at La Tortuga, very nice), but you have to make reservations. We also ate at the other resorts a couple of times.

Each night at the Coba, the dancing started for the younger (and older people) in the main court yard out side under the stars, from 7:30-900. Our daughter loved this because she could dance and have some fun, she was too young for the disco which opened at 12:00 and closed at 2:30 am, which our older son loved. He met people his own age (late teens & twenties) and hung out with the whole crowd all week. If the disco is not for you, go see the show they put on every night (lots of great acts including the Michael Jackson impersonator) Or just relax in the lobby in one of the many lounges. They are tastefully set up with lots of tables and candles. It can be very romantic.

If you are going to do some shopping the resort has a section by the Tulum called “Hacienda” it has quite a few shops and a good selection to choose from. You can also sit and relax or have a drink in the court yard, it’s quite big. The games room and the disco are also located at the Hacienda.

We also went shopping at Playa del Carmen, lots to see and buy. We took a bus/collectivo which stops in front of the resort and takes you right in town for only 2 dollars (this is the Public Transportation). Playa del Carmen is a must see, we spent four hours in town, stopped and had lunch and then off to rent a jet-ski for a half hour, the cost 55 us.
There are a lot of day trips to choose from, we went to the town of Coba and saw the ruins, swam in a cenotes river/cave, went to a Mayan Village and met with it’s people, a great experience for all of us. You can book your day trips through the resort, but it’s cheaper to go to Playa del Carmen and book your trip directly with a tour company. As an example our trip would have cost $85US through the Resort and we paid 45 US by booking it ourselves.

We spent a lot of time at the beach which is in front of the Akumel, two minutes by trolley. The beach has lots of chairs and palapas for shade. The chairs are taken up very quickly by people putting their towels on them to reserve them, some were reserved as early as 6AM!! The water was warm and shallow by the resort. The bottom was a little rocky, so bring water shoes. There are a lot of fish swimming in the shallow water they were all around us. We had fun feeding the fish, they would take bread right from our hand our kids thought that was amazing. The sun is very intense and you can burn quickly, so we started with a 45 block. There is a beach bar right on the beach with hanging seats just like a swing overlooking the ocean. Local Mexicans walk along the beach selling different things including silver jewelry, (we bought silver bracelets at a fraction of the cost to venders in Playa Del Carmen). Over all we had a wonderful time and can’t wait to go back. Highly recommend this resort.

Last thing, change your US or Canadian dollars in Playa Del Carmen, you’ll get more than at the hotel. Example - Hotel $1 Cdn = 6.50 pesos, $1 US = 9.50 pesos Playa Del Carmen Money Exchange (everywhere) $1 Cdn = 9 pesos, $1 US = 10.90 pesos

Please visit our photos at:

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Cheryl
March 2007

Just returned from the March break. We have been to Cuba and Puerta Plata. This resort was the best! It is listed as a five star resort and it certainly is. It is three hotels in one. There is the Coba, Aukumal and Tulum. We stayed at the Coba. This hotel is the newest of the three but it is the farthest from the beach. This was no big deal. There are all kinds of golf cart like shuttles to take you everywhere around the resort even to the beach because it is so big. My husband and I thought Coba was the nicest since it was the newest, but they were all nice. THere was never any problem getting one of the huts around the pool. At other resorts we usually have to get up really early and put our towels out to get one but this was never a problem. The food and drinks were fantastic. The rooms were beautiful and super clean. Make sure you see the Michale Jackson show during the night- very good. We travelled with signature vacations. We were delayed 12 hours leaving due to a storm in nova scotia and signature brought us back to the hotel. I know of others who were with other travel companies and they were left at the airport for their delay. The beach was nice but it was rocky. When I read other reviews I couldn't understand what people meant by this. Take something for your feet in the water. THere are sandy areas but there are rocks in the water. I guess noting can compare to the Beach in Varadero. However, I did spend 2 days at the beach, it is nice. THere are so many huts on the beach don't worry about shade. If someone finds something wrong with this resort than there is something wrong with them, you must be a complainer. I would go back in a heartbeat. The weather was super. It rained the last night we were there. It is about 1hour and 30 minutes from Cancun airport but sit back, drink a beer and enjoy the bus ride.

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Melissa ~ Canada
March 2007

We stayed at the Coba for two weeks are are so glad we did. One week just wouldn't of been enough to do and see everything that we wanted to do.

The resort is big but nothing that you won't learn your way around in a day or two. We found our way around and usually stuck to that way the whole time there, everytime we thought we found a short cut, nope!

The resort itself if beautiful. Nothing out of place. The grounds are very well kept and everything is nice a lush. We found that there wern't many flowers in bloom while we were there but could just be the time of year.

The pools were nice. One was a quiet one with a swim up bar and it was a nice place to relax and read. Next to the snack shack which I am not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing. Too easy to eat ice cream all day. The other pool was a more loud and happening pool. The animation staff hung out here and played silly games so if you wanted to participate, this was the pool to be at. They had some water sports and some drinking games. The towel game is diff played at this resort and I was out there most mornings at 7. One morning I got there at 7:30 and there were no chairs.

The ocean, its true, there are some rocks but nothing that would stop you from going in the water. We didn't wear water shoes and were fine. The fish around the pier are awesome and great for snorkling. We snorkled almost daily. The water is very calm in this area even on the most windy days. Palapas, lots of them. They dont seem to fill up too quickly but you diff have to be there by 10ish, 11 at the latest. The Akumal is right behind the beach so washrooms and bar are close by. There is also a beach bar to the right of the beach that has swings around it. Very neat.

We went off the resort three days, very unlike us but we were so close to everything and it was so easy to get there. We did Xel Ha first. Diff do the all inclusive, so worth the $59 US. Some of the best food we had eaten. This is mostly a water theme park and we thought it was some of the best value we got for our money. We spent the whole day there and took the collectivo to and from. Cheap transportation and it was only 10 mins up the road from the resort.

Next we went to see the ruins at Tulum. This turned out to be so much more then we expected. The scenery at this place is something out of a magazine. The ruins themselves were something to see but when we got to the top of the hill where we could see the ocean, WOW. We spent so much time in the ocean playing in the waves. It was probaly the nicest ocean we have ever seen. I would suggest going early. I think we got there at 9 and left around 1. As we were leaving a ton of tours were coming in so we were glad we did it early. It cost $4.50 to get into the park and we once again used the collectivo. Cheap day for sure but one of the best. It was about 15 mins from our resort.

Last but not least we did Xcaret. This was an all day thing. A little more costly at $119 US but SO worth the money. It was all inclusive and we would probaly do it again when we return to Mexico. The park is full of animals, some diff ones that you wouldnt' see other places and some regular ones such as deer. We got here at 9 and left at 8 that night. There is so much to do and see here. They have an underwater cave that you can snorkle from one end of the park to the other. They have photographers that will take your pic all around the park and you can buy them at night on your way out. They have dolphins and they are so neat to watch, really amazing creatures. They have a butterfly pavillion, Mexican cemetary, church, stain glass area, lagoons, aquarium, etc........at 6pm the night show starts and this is a must see. 300 dancers from all over Mexico and the performance they put off is nothing short of spectacular! You can do just a night show for $42 and if you dont want to spend the day at the park, diff go to the night show. Transportation was included in this package.

The food at the Coba was great. Some of the best we have had while on vacation. We got 8 a la cartes so this meant we only ate six dinners at the buffet. It certainly does break up the repetitiveness of the buffet. We are not picky and if we had to eat at the buffet every day for dinner we would but the a la cartes are something we would look forward too. We tried the Mikado, great show there and great food. La Gourmet is wonderful, we ate here twice. Fillet Mingon is great as are the grilled shrimp. El Peascador is seafood but great food. We usually skip the seafood while in the Caribbean but this is not to be missed. Mediterrian is also good. Service at all the a la cartes we found to be great. No complaints at all. Dolce Vita which is the Italian at the Akumal was great too. Diff the best dessert. Conoli, which has cream cheese in it, I loved it! La Charra I think is the Mexican one and this was a great dinner as well. The music trio they have playing in there sets the mood wonderfully. The desserts weither it be a la carte or buffet were wonderful and I sampled just about everything they had. They even had choc and vanilla fountains one evening in the buffet with all kinds of freash fruit for dipping.

We were part of the golden club which meant we had our own private check in at a seperate lobby. This was a really nice feature. It was small and very friendly. The staff here were great and couldnt' do enough to help you with anything. They spoke very good english as did most of the staff around the resort. The internet is off this lobby and sometimes there would be a wait but 20min time limit on the computer so we never waited long.

There are lots of iguanas around the resort. They are more timid of us then we are of them. They just come out to soak up the sun as well and at night you never see them.

Although this is the biggest resort we have been to, we loved it and would gladly return there again. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to family and friends.

If anyone has any questions feel free to contact me. I would be more then happy to help answer any. m_pardy@ns.sympatico.ca

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Rob & Janis ~ Ontario, Canada
March 2007

My husband & I visited the Gran Bahia Principe Coba for our honeymoon from January 26th, 2007 to February 2nd, 2007. The drive to the resort was very long, 2 hours with nothing to look at since it was 8pm. But when we arrived to the resort we were extremely happy and couldn’t believe how beautiful the resort is!

Check in was a breeze and were greeted with champagne and juice. Our bags were delivered to our room very quickly. We stayed in one of the villas just outside the lobby; therefore we were close to everything! We were on the 3rd floor, and never experienced any ants. We were very happy with our room; just disappointed they did not have anything for honeymooners. We were hoping for a bottle of tequila or something.

We went on two excursions, to the Coba Village/Ruins and to Xcaret. The Coba Tour was pretty good. The ruins were interesting and we climbed the tallest ruin in Mexico. The ruins were followed by a visit to the underground inlet that they believed made you 10yrs younger by swimming in it. Next we had a great lunch in a Mayan restaurant, and then we visited a Mayan family to see how they lived. It was a full day, 9am to 5:30ish pm but well worth it. The tour to Xcarat was ok, but way too long. We left the hotel at 9am and had two options to return 5pm or 9pm. We chose to leave early and we missed the big show, which I heard was the best part! Xcarat was pretty much a zoo. There were lots of animals to look at. I went swimming with the dolphins for ½ hour; it was around $80 US. We also swam through the underground rivers. That was fun, but I thought that there would have been more to look at since we were snorkelling, but it was neat. After swimming with the dolphins, the underground rivers, and having lunch we basically ran out of time and hopped on the early bus. Which was ok with us because we did the two excursions two days in a row. Not a good idea, we were exhausted.

We have nothing but good things to say about the resort & the employees! We didn’t mind being away from the beach, the pools were just as good. We went to three a la cartes: Italian, Oriental, & Mexican. The Oriental was awesome!! The salmon was amazing! The Mexican was ok. But the Italian was horrible!!!! We both had the chicken parmigan, it came with instant mashed potatoes!!! Anyone could have made it better themselves at home!!! Do not pick the Italian a la carte. We heard the Japanese one was really good. The snack bars and buffets were really good.

Definitely bring a travel mug for your drinks. Two bar drinks fit in the mugs. The pina coladas & margaritas were our favourite drinks. We never tried the flavoured tequilas, which was one of our regrets.

Shopping was great with the market right on the grounds. We found a great deal on pottery. The stores right in the lobby were good for T-shirts. Very convenient, since we didn’t want to waste an entire day going to Playa del Carmen.

Check out was a breeze, except they tried to double bill us for the room safe. But they didn’t argue with us and said that was fine. The ride back to the resort was not as long, only 1 hour.

We would definitely go back in a heartbeat!!!!! Loved it!!!!

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Tawnya ~ Canada
February 2007

My husband, three year old son and I traveled with my sister and her boyfriend to the Bahia Principe Coba in May 2006. At the time I had traveled previously to Puerto Plata D.R., Punta Cana D.R. Cuba and Puerto Vallarta. This was our first time to the Mayan Riviera and I am definitely planning to return. We booked with Signature for a great price. After reading many reviews I was disappointed to learn that Coba was positioned behind Bahia Principe Akumal and was not what I considered to be beach front. Once arriving at the resort and being quickly shuttled to our rooms we were very impressed and pleasantly surprised with what we saw. We were in villa 24 on the main floor with a great view of the “quiet” pool, Japanese and Gourmet restaurants. It was priceless to be able to walk back to our room in under a minute to use the facilities or to grab something that was left behind especially with a little one in tow. Although not walking distance to the beach, our rooms were very close to everything else including both pools – the activity pool was only a short walk away, restaurants, lobby and our favourite the Jacuzzi bar. Many of the restaurants and other buildings are designed like Mayan pyramids and are very attractive.

There are numerous shuttles to take you to various locations throughout the complex including to the beach, Akumal and Tulum areas which was very exciting for our three year old to catch the train and look for “baby dragons” better known as iguanas that can be seen all around. The beach is a bit rough in some spots but we usually keep sandals or water socks on anyways. The fish will come right up to you in the water.

Our rooms were very spacious and thoroughly cleaned daily. Towel art and mini fridge top ups were supplied daily without asking including mini snickers bars and chips. The food was good to great ranging from chicken nuggets and fries for kids to lobster at the a la cartes. There is a kids section at the buffet that caters to kids tastes such as hot dogs, pogos, nuggets, fries etc. My personal favourite was helping myself to mimosas for breakfast – the champagne and orange juice greets you at the door. We also tried what I call the “tequila buffet” which is an assortment of flavored tequilas such as strawberry, cinnamon, mint, lime that is put out in the evenings. Other favourites were Miami Vice which I believe is a mixture of daiquiri and pina colada and of course good old cervesa. The Japanese and Gourmet restaurants were our favourite as was the Cozumel buffet which I think is for the Premiere or Golden Club only but they did not enforce this during our stay.

I enjoyed the evening shows as they were better than any other places I have been. There is also a bar area that has live music. Things do shut down at around 11:00 p.m. then the festivities continue at the Hacienda which is a shuttle ride away. The service for the most part was excellent and we did tip a lot because the people work so hard. All the staff seemed to be able to speak decent English and appreciate it when you attempt to speak Spanish. Although the entire complex is huge we stayed mostly close to our rooms since we had everything we needed there. I am planning on returning to this resort which says a lot since I have been to many places but until now had not found one I would consider returning to. Although next time we will likely stay at the Akumal section in the Royal Golden Club.

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Andy and Anne ~ London, UK
February 2007

My husband and I travelled from England to the wonderful Gran Bahia Principe resort and stayed in the Coba hotel. I can honestly say that it was a wonderful holiday and we enjoyed every minute. We were in the minority being English as most people seemed to be Canadians. We met more Canadians there than when we spent 2 weeks in Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Banff and Calgary a few years ago! They were all friendly and great to chat with. We cannot fault this resort and cannot believe anyone wouldn’t enjoy it.

The food was fantastic and so plentiful with lots of different choices in the buffet restaurants. I had the best steak I had ever had one night in the buffet carvery. The al la carte restaurants were good but service could be a little slow at times. But what the heck you are on holiday after all! I am quite honestly shocked that some reviews I have read on some sites are moaning about the food, there is nothing to moan about unless you want something completely unusual you can always find something to eat there is so much choice. I need to go on a diet immediately! The drinks were great and we did laugh as sometimes you could order the same cocktail and depending who the barman was you could have a different drink every time! We found this amusing and our theory was that every drink possible was just poured into the blender in different quantities each time. They were all delicious despite the variation! We are a couple of wine buffs and I have to say that the wine served with the meals left a lot to be desired so I stuck to the Cava (champagne as it is called there). The red was marginally better than the white though if you would like to have the wine.

The accommodation was just fine. We had a downstairs room with no bugs and creepy crawlies at all. We left a dollar tip for the maid each day and the room was spotless and new towels and sheets every day – luxury!

The beach was lovely but rocky in places to get into and you do need to wear some beach shoes. I wore my Crocs in the water and they were ideal. Once in it was sandy though and varied along the beach as to where you got in. The fish by the jetty were wonderful and colourful and great snorkelling was in abundance.

The pool we found fine. It was a little noisy at times but I think being English we are quite a reserved nation and everyone seems louder than us! Still it wasn’t unbearable and we didn’t mind at all as it just added to the spirit of the place.

We did two independent trips one to Cozumel and one to Tulum. Just go to the Hacienda and go outside the resort. There are the Collectivo buses waiting or at least come along very frequently. They cost $2 usd each way and take you to Playa del Carmen one direction and Tulum the other. If you fancy going to Cozumel get the bus to Playa del Carmen and then the Ferry which is about $20 return trip. Once there we caught a taxi to the national park and did some fantastic snorkelling. The taxi costs $10 each way. It was a great day out and a change of scenery. Tulum – get the bus and go to the ruins and take a costume for the lovely beach there. We also went to Xcaret which was a fantastic day out. Snorkelling in underground caves, dolphins, Mayan village, and best of all the fantastic show in the evening. What ever you do do not miss this show. It was awesome and truly spectacular. It was worth paying the entrance fee for alone. See the Mayans playing their ball game and see them playing the ball game with a flaming ball up and down the arena, the singing and dancing were fantastic. Highly recommend this. Every night there is a show in the hotel but nothing like this one!

We English found it cheap there. The suntan lotion at the resort was cheaper than we have to pay at home. We paid $16 usd for a bottle of Panama Jack. We cannot buy this in England and all suntan lotions and oil here are at least $20 usd if not more, so we found most things relatively cheap and good value in the Hacienda. In fact, we bought some hot chilli sauces in Playa del Carmens supermarket and they were cheaper at the hotel!

The one sour note of the holiday was being ripped off for excess baggage at Cancun airport. I don’t know if anyone else has had this but on the day we went home quite a few people were being charged for supposed excess baggage. We knew we were not over the limit as we had only bought two small bottles of tequila and chilli sauce. We were told that we were 5 kilos over the limit (impossible) and that we had to pay $75 usd. We were outraged and we did not have the cash to pay this and were told we could not pay by credit card. We tried to argue but no deal. In the end a travel rep had to show us how to use the cash machine and we drew out 1000 pesos. Going back to pay the guy he then upped it to 900 pesos ($90 usd). We asked why when we had been told five minutes before we were being charged this he refused to let us have our tickets unless we paid up and very conveniently pretended to not understand us but kept repeating 900 pesos. What can you do? You either pay up or miss your flight. We found others that this had happened to. One guy we got to know on the holiday was fined $140 usd and when he argued they let him off! Someone else we knew was the same over as us and got through also. Others were being told to pay up and when they asked why the airline staff suddenly couldn’t speak English. We were so upset at this as we had already had to pay $50 usd each to get out of the country. I have written to my tour company regarding this outrageous scam. So BE WARNED travel light. You may get out of your country but not back in so easily. I have not seen this mentioned before so thought I would.

On the whole disregarding the last comment, this holiday was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone without fail.

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Sandy ~ Vancouver, BC
December 2006

Well, to start off and tell people who plan on going there, the place is beautiful, the rooms are larger then most of the resorts we have stayed at, this is about our sixth all inclusive we have been on. Now to be honest with everyone, I would never go back to the Coba again, for a few reasons, it is a long way from the airport.....The SERVICE in the whole resort is about the worst we have ever stayed at, unless you are going there to tip tip tip and tip again, don't go. The main bar in the main lobby, was the worst, but man give them money once then they will come back for your next drink, but if you don't give them another tip, then you might just as well go to the bar and get it yourself. As I say we have traveled allot and never spent this much money on just tips, to get service, I was getting very tired of the whole thing. This was the first resort that we had to pay five dollars US for a room safe. All in all the food, no different then any of the other resorts, same old thing, the buffet was so short staffed, that when you went for breakfast, you could never find a clean table, and if you did it took you 20 minutes to get your silverware, not saying that they were not working their butts off cause they were, they just need about 50 more people working in that area. All in all, this is the third time n the Mayan, and the other two resorts we stayed at were older then the Coba, but the staff actually cared about you there, the Coba staff were all into the tips they were getting, rather then the service they were giving. We have never complained about any of the trips we have ever been on, but this resort needs some big time changes. They was six of us that went down, and everyone of us said, we would for sure all go back, but never stay there again, we all do recommend the Rui Yukatan, it was more of a 5 star then the Coba.

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Al and Glenda, age 35-40 ~ Canada
October 2006

Since we based part of our decision on reviews, we wanted to write our own. The resort was pristine (first class facilities), the service great, the food and drinks outstanding. Our visit was one of the best weeks my wife and I had in all our 15 years of marriage.

Getting There: No problems. Our check-in, flight, customs, and bus ride were uneventful and there was no unexpected waiting. We went straight to the resort (no extra stops). You don’t need passports for Mexico. Driver’s License and Birth Certificate do just fine. At the Cancun airport you may be accosted by people offering “Information”, maps, or “Free Activities”. Take the map, it gives you a bit of perspective, but all they’re doing is selling RCI time-shares. Unless you’re interested, don’t waste your time. Better to talk to a friend or colleague who already owns one. You’ll also see the “Information” booths in Playa Del Carmen and near various tour sites. Signature invited us to a presentation. We didn’t bother and didn’t miss anything. We took excursions (see below) on our own. We saved a lot of money and had a much grander time than those taking group tours.

Arrival and Check-in: Our bus dropped us at the wrong lobby (Tulum). The driver must have been in a hurry for another fare. This was not the resort’s fault. Coba is one of three (Tulum and Akumel are the others) at Bahia Principe. The Tulum security and bus boys were awesome and quickly got us (5 couples) to Coba’s Premier Lobby. We arrived just after eleven and were not able to check in until three, but we did receive our resort tag and towel cards. If you fly early, wear bathing suit under “Toronto” clothes so you don’t get as hot as we did. We had a snack at one of the snack bars and got into Coba’s air-conditioned Premier buffet at 12:30. After enjoying our first meal, we walked the lay of the land, checked out the beach (a short walk and even shorter ride on a tram), and were promptly checked in at 3:00.

Room: Beautiful and very clean. The Jacuzzi is a one-person (I had expected something bigger). We were in building 25, which is right in the middle of Coba’s activity areas and a close walk to anything. The pools close at 8:00 and all the noisier night activities are well away from the room blocks. Some earlier reviews complained of “thin” walls. We had no problems with noise through wall. However, because all floors are ceramic or stone, noise in the hallway sometimes carries under door. We soon became used to it and it wasn’t a serious issue. Housekeeping did a great job, but do expect folks to pop in at all hours during the day to check rooms, fill mini-bar, drop notes, etc. The “Do not disturb sign” is usually respected if you need a siesta or a break if you’re not feeling well (we were both ill one day).

Food and Service: Could eat anything and in any of three areas. After I got sick on Sunday, I focused mainly on food I “knew” and there was plenty. The Coba Premier Buffet excelled in service and food quality (it was smaller). The open air Tulum Main Buffet excelled in size and food variety. We enjoyed all three of the a la cartes we selected. They were all very different, but we were both plenty full by the time we were done since we were already half full from generous breakfast and lunches. Coba was very quiet (some of the areas and restaurants were even closed) and we enjoyed excellent and personal service in many cases.

Drinks: Every drink was a new experience (all are hand mixed and could vary from weak to quite strong) and some orders were lost or changed in translation. My “rye ‘n Coke” was sometimes whisky and sometimes rum. We made this an enjoyable part of the experience. Our favourites were coco-banana (non-alcoholic), Mayan coffee, and the fun Spanish coffee (available at the a la cartes).

Special Occasions: My wife celebrated her birthday during our stay. I mentioned it to our Coba Premier server Manuel at breakfast and he made a beautiful napkin swan. I also asked Public Relations if housekeeping could do anything. She informed me that they could make a “towel” cake and hang some extra balloons. When we came back to the room after our excursion, the room was decorated to the hilt. It was unbelievable – some two man-hours must have been spent on it. I also mentioned her birthday to our Tulum buffet servers (Carlos and Luis) at dinner (to see if Mariachi band could sing for her). The guys dug up a bottle of champagne and gave her a small cake (with her name) for dessert. WOW!!

Getting around: Just ask anyone if lost or hail one of the trams constantly floating around between the four lobbies and La Hacienda (the shopping area). We went to Playa Del Carmen and the Tulum archeological site using the Collectivo, which stop along the main road just outside the resort entrance ($2.00 pp one way – very cheap).

Shopping: Check out La Hacienda (on the property) first to get an idea for fair prices. You can barter at the little shops outside the main portion and can often get 15-20% off at shops in the main area. However, in Playa Del Carmen and other tourist areas you need to barter because the first price offered is usually double to triple of the prices available for similar items at La Hacienda. The Mexican shopkeepers are persistent and want to make a deal; we walked away from several and were thrown prices as low as 20% of the original asking price when we did that.

Activities: We took the Collectivo to Playa Del Carmen for shopping. The next day we took it to the Tulum ruins and enjoyed them on our own for $4.50 each. Bring swim gear if you want a quick dip in the water there. We also booked a private excursion with Edventure Tours (recommended by a previous post) – INCREDIBLE!! Eduardo can be booked on-line at www.edventuretours.com.mx. Just set a date and time with Bonnie his wife (10 o’clock was perfect for us) before you leave for the trip and Ed will pick you up at the resort entrance (he only lives a few minutes away). If you’re not so sure, he has a cubicle near the little mall at the Tulum archaeological sites (by bus parking lots). Just ask around for “Eduardo Tours” and the shopkeepers will help you find it. Eduardo is married to an American and his nephew (who works for him) was raised in California. His English is excellent and he is very patient. We paid $140 ($45 each, $40 transportation, and $10 for sunscreen) for the full-day snorkeling tour. This included transportation, a bottle of biodegradable sunscreen, all equipment (we bought some of our own at home and this was OK), and entry tickets. Bring an underwater camera (or he can take ones for you on his digital) and a few bites for lunch. The tour included a cave snorkel (cool [ask Ed to pack a wet suit for you if you have little insulation or get cold easy] and a touch claustrophobic in some spots), turtle and reef snorkel (we saw 10 turtles just off the beach and a barracuda at the reef), and a private lagoon snorkel.

Resort Activities: Pools were pristine. The beach clean with safe swimming areas marked. We used bikes and took a scuba lesson and could have played tennis, volleyball, ping-pong, soccer, and used kayaks, gym, etc., but didn’t get around to them. Activities were ongoing at the activity pool in the afternoons; we watched from and relaxed at the other pool. Nighttime entertainment: we enjoyed Mariachi bands (twice) at our buffets, and two shows: “Broadway” and “Italian”. Both were high-energy productions managed by eight actors. They’re not Disney, Stratford, or Broadway productions, but are quite enjoyable (even without a few drinks under the belt). The men will definitely enjoy the “Italian”. We were socked and in the sack by the time Very Late Night activities (after 11:30) rolled around at La Hacienda and can’t comment on them.

Overall: An excellent first-class resort with tonnes of space, a great variety of things to do and food to eat, and outstanding service. October weather was a touch overcast, we had a few showers (lasted 30 minutes max), and the Caribbean Sea water was rough on a few days. We would definitely return and the others we talked to (flight, buses, and at resort) echoed our thoughts. Despite a day sick (each of us) and getting a tad cold (me) and claustrophobic (my wife) in the caves, a 5 star week for us. Feel free to e-mail us at alwielinga@yahoo.ca if you’d like to ask specific questions.

Complaints: We could come up with a list, but vacation time is time to relax, be a bit flexible, and go with the flow of things. We filled out the guest comment form and made the following suggestions: benches outside lobbies for guests to rest on while waiting for trams, limiting service trips to rooms during a set two hour window, and ensuring the small step between the Tulum eating area and the giant outdoor fountain is better marked. Several guests tripped over it – one quite badly.

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Eric ~ Oakville, Canada
May 2006

My wife and I were at Gran Bahia Principe Coba (Club Golden with Air Transat) from April 13-20. Based on the first half of our stay, I would have rated this hotel very highly. Except for the front desk, the staff service was great & super friendly (especially waiters, maids, groundspeople, etc.). The rooms and condition of the facilities were very good (except for air conditioning failures in several villas – including ours - on the hottest days of our stay). I would have said the quality of food and drinks were very high - except for the worse FOOD POISONING I've ever had in my life. I suspect this was from the "homemade yogurt" I had the day before I got sick (one of the only things my wife didn't try). The Mikado, Le Gourmet, and Arlequin (Akumal resort) restaurants were excellent, but the Pescador wasn't very good. If nothing goes wrong, this could easily be a 4 or 5 star stay for many.

Problems started on the second half of our stay – the resort became overcrowded, as they apparently massively overbooked for the post-Easter holiday. Daily arguments over saving of pool chairs, etc., became frequent and unavoidable. These are common at all resorts, and don't normally bother me - but the sheer volume of it during the last couple of days was very unpleasant. It turned what had been a very relaxing stay into a very crowded and stressed out resort by the end (around the pool at least).

And then I came down with food poisoning (massive vomiting and diarrhea) the night before we were scheduled to leave. The medical staff was great – we called at 1AM, and again 8AM, and both times the doctor or medical technician came within 15 mins. Received 3 injections (2 different anti-emetics and high-dose antibiotics), plus pills. But there was no way I could fly (threw up 40+ times even with the drugs – I am not kidding or exaggerating - I’ve never experienced anything like it). You need to pay cash ($90USD consult fee for room call + drug costs), so make sure you have extra handy. Well worth it – quality of their service was top notch, literaly life-savers!

The front desk staff repeatedly re-assured my wife that morning that there was no problem with our staying longer, but the hotel wanted $450 a night (!) – which we agreed to pay, given my state. But just before noon, Air Transat called to say the hotel was kicking us out, but they found us another resort nearby (I actually threw up while on the phone with the rep!). This was followed immediately by a call from the front desk asking if we wanted a bellman to come to the room for our bags!!

At this point, the local Air Transat rep was great in helping us get moved to the other resort (e.g. ordering barf bags, guys to help carry me down the stairs, getting a taxi, checking me into the other resort, etc.). But the Coba hotel front desk resisted at all stages - they even had the gall to try to charge us late departure fees!! Again – the same front desk that had REPEATEDLY reassured my wife there was no problem with us staying, up to 10 mins before checkout time!

At the end of the day, the resort we were sent to - Grand Palladium Colonial – was even nicer (not that I saw much of it – spent next 2 days in bed – but my wife liked it). It was older, so a bit worn in some areas, but the air conditioning worked and the grounds were amazing with tons of wildlife, greenery, etc. I would definitely recommend it over Coba for nature lovers. The fairly sparse vegetation and wildlife was only complaint I'd have of the grounds at Coba, which was otherwise excellent.

In the end, no complaints with Air Transat or the medical service I received, but the Coba front desk attitude was shocking (as the local Air Transat rep pointed out to them: I got sick on their food after all!). The resort was full of hard-working, friendly staff – but suffers from poor management and occasional overcrowding issues (not to mention obvious food preparation concerns).

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Peter ~ Hamilton
April 2006

We just returned from our trip (April 16-23) and will recommend this 5-star package offered by Transat Holidays to everyone we know. Visit their site (www.transatholidays.com) for a full listing of everything this all inclusive package offers.

As part of the Golden Club, upon arrival we were whisked to a private club house with bar. Very quick and courteous staff. Even though our room wasn't ready for a few hours (we arrived at 12pm and check-in is 3pm) we were offered a secure office to store our carry-ons and then taken to the buffet for lunch. The club house also provided free internet access. Check-out was quick and painless too.

In the past we've been disappointed with rooms upon arrival as they don't quite live up to their pictures in brochures. The junior suite we had was amazing, the pictures we saw didn't do it justice. Maid service was great, bar and snacks were refilled daily. In-room safe required the rental of a lock which was ~$5 US daily.

The two buffets offered something for everyone and featured different cuisines each evening, in addition to their Mexican, Oriental, Italian and Kids corners. The a la carte restaurants offered a finer dining experience but with most fine restaurants, you leave hungry. You can visit the buffet or one of the 24 hour snack bars if you're still hungry.

All the bars were fully stocked with more than I could imagine and they were all over the resort. In the lobbies, the pools, buffet, the entertainment theatre and piano bar. Service by the bartenders was great in every area. Drinks (beer, water, coke, sprite) were also provided in the room fridge and refilled daily. Distilled water was served, and used to make ice served, throughout the resort.

They had 2 huge pools, one with daily activities and a quiet pool. There were also a couple of smaller jacuzzi pools which were nice and quiet, each with their own bar of course.

Daily entertainment was provided but we only caught two shows, both of which were incredibly well done compared to what we've experienced in the past. If you didn't get their early be prepared to stand to watch the show. Seating must've been available for at least 400.

Take one of the free trolleys, which run continuously throughout the day, as the beach is about a 15 minute walk. We only went out to the beach one day to do some snorkling which can be done right off the beach and/or pier.


- new resort, grounds, rooms, everything was meticulously maintained and cleaned
- food and drink was great
- service in every aspect of the resort was outstanding
- flight was out of Hamilton which was quick and convenient, at both departure and arrival
- trolley service throughout the resort and to the beach provided all day

- the resort is about 90 minutes from the airport, with the stops in between, it took almost 2 hours to get there - there were a few brief power outages that required the time on the alarm clock to be reset (yes, I'm struggling to come up with cons...)

- take advantage of the free half hour massage!
- avoid the resort if you don't like having kids around. There weren't too many this time of year but still more than I had expected. - if you're a snorkeling fan, don't visit Xel-Ha, it was a waste of money, although swimming with the dolphins looked amazing (costs extra). Try the half day snorkeling adventure and visit the reef!
- some clowns get up early and try and reserve lounge chairs with their towels. Our tour rep recommended removing the towels and moving the chairs. One day there were four chairs 'reserved' and nobody had used them the entire time (about 3 hours) we were at the pool.

I'm not a fun-in-the-sun guy but my wife made me take her down south for some r & r. If she ever convinces me to go anywhere again, she'd have a hard time trying to find a package that can compare with this, especially at under $1000 CDN.


Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Mary ~ Nova Scotia
April 2006

This is our third vacation in three years, and we would have to say that our trip to Mexico to the Coba this year has been the best.

We were a group of 12 that stayed at the Coba, & a group of 8 at the Tulum.

The resorts are very big, & you can travel back & forth using the facilities of Tulum & Akumel.

It was a little confusing at the airport, check in was o.k. Some of our rooms were not ready, but that was alright. We were served with champagne & orange juice on arrival. The rooms at Coba were very nice, & maid service was wonderful. Our fridge was restocked everyday.

The food was very very good. We had no problems booking the a la cartes the second day we were there. The snackbars were open 24 hrs., for snacks and drinks. Champagne for breakfast was available on entering the buffet. The bartenders & waiters went out of their way to please you. We got free bottles of tequila at the buffet one night.

The resort was very clean, & the lobby entrance & lobby bathroom were very nice. We spent alot of our time in the lobby bar, the waiters would see us coming & smile. They knew we would be ordering Tequila boom booms. This is a tequila shooter that they made. They would bring it to your table, bang it on the table & when it started to fizz, you would shoot it down, they were very good. At the snack bar we were at the waiter would hold them for you while you drank them. "Now that is service."

The only thing that I can say was not good, was that it was not on the beach. Again something that you could live with, because if you wanted to go there, hoop on a bus and they would take you there. The pools were very large, there was a swim up bar. Jucuzzi's in the rooms & pool. A barbeque at the pool and lots of activities, even a beer drinking contest.

The weather was very nice, it rained alittle bit the day we arrived and that was it. The first couple of nights alittle chilly, but after that it was perfect.

We would have to say that our vacation was perfect, & we would return to Coba. It is a five star, & we could not have asked for anything better.

The staff, drivers, waiters, maids & everyone else at the resort made our vacation special, & we hope to return someday.

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Eric and Barb and the kids
April 2006

I often use Debbie's reviews for when I am looking to book a resort. With this in mind I felt I would contribute to the reviews and let you all know about my stay at Coba in the Riviera Maya recently.

First of all I am 39 yrs old, my wife is 40yrs old and my two daughters are ages 7 & 10.

We have all travelled together before, last year we all went to the Dominican Republic for a week (Tropical Princess Resort ). We booked this holiday with Signature Vacations, our flight left Saturday at 4:20pm in the afternoon and departure was scheduled for the following Saturday at 8:45pm. If I were to do it again I would book it for a Friday departure or even a Monday, less busy at those times. I also found that at the resort if you wanted to extend your room (check out is at 1pm) it was very difficult to do as the resort was totally booked up. Apparently on a Monday or Friday there is usually more room and therefore not a problem to extend the room.

There is a charge to extend your room but I think you can get around that with a little tip for the guy or girl at the front desk. It was about an hour and 20 minutes to get to the resort by bus, our guide stopped at a local store to buy some Coronas for the trip, they sold them for $2 each, very refreshing ! By the way the bus was very nice ! Unlike the one we had to use in the Dominican, yikes ! We made 3 stops at other resorts prior to arriving at Coba, of course Coba was the last stop. Oh well more Coronas for us ! Believe it or not in Playa del Carmen (we drove past on way to Coba) they now have a Sam's Club, Walmart and of course a McDonalds. Playa del Carmen is about a $10 taxi ride from the resort.

The resort was clean, well maintained and very new ! The main buffet, where we went everyday for breakfast was very good, the service was a little suspect but it wasn't bad. i.e.: It usually took a little while for someone to come over and offer you a coffee or a tea, but for the most part it was something we could live with.

The usual at the buffet, sausage,bacon,pancakes, eggs, freshly made waffles and so on. Allot of fruit to choose from, yogurt, cottage cheese etc.. The lunches were very good and the dinners were also very good, after talking to some people (at the beach) Coba had the best buffet. We ate at 4 a la carte restaurants, El Charro, Steakhouse (Tulum Ocean view), Mikado and Le Gourmet. By far Mikado was the best and then I would say the Steakhouse, I can't remember the name of it and then Le Gourmet and El Charro coming in last. Keep in mind the food was good at all of these places but some of them they gave you so little food you were looking for the buffet afterwards and keep in mind my wife and I are by no means huge eaters !

We attended the shows every night and enjoyed them all very much !

We spent alot of time at the pool everyday, especially after breakfast , we were in building #16, our room was big and had a great shower and Jacuzzi tub it was kitty corner from the El Charro restaurant and directly across from the big pool (pool bar, Jacuzzi) it was also close to the 24 hour snack bar, we are not big eaters but it still came in handy when you have kids and they want a little snack. By the way we did not have any problems with any of the food for the entire week! My girls would have burgers almost everyday at lunch, I would on occasion have some sausage in the morning and so on... I even had a steak (medium rare) at one of the A la carte restaurants ! No problems.

There are lots of activities at the pool everyday, pool volleyball, aerobics and fun events. They did a cooking class one day and a BBQ another. Both very good !

If you like to have a view of the ocean, Coba is not the resort for you. You have to take a shuttle service which ran every 15 minutes to go to the beach. It was no problem for us because the kids loved to ride the shuttle !
We went to the beach 4-5 times the week we were there and spent 2-3 hours at the beach each time. The ocean was not the greatest for boogie boarding (much better in the Dominican) but we still managed to have a couple of good days. We did some kayaking, lots of fun but alot of work ! Snorkeling was good and the swimming in general was good. I would recommend water shoes for those with sensitive feet, I myself did not use them and I was fine. There is about 10-20 feet of coral as you make your way out into the ocean but then it clears up and it is nice soft sand.

We decided to spend a day at Xel-Ha (pronounced Shel -Ha )Ecological Water Park. One word, Fabulous ! Some of the best snorkeling I have ever done. We saw , a sea ray,a sea turtle, grupper etc....
We had a great day ! We booked the all inclusive tickets at our resort which set me back $202 US (2 adults,2 children)and we decided to take a taxi from the resort (which was recommended) to get us there before the tour buses arrived. Taxi was $8 US each way from Coba. The park opens at 9am and the way it works is as you go in you have to get your snorkeling gear, flippers,goggles,snorkel (brand new) and so on, they have lockers if you want to lock up some of your valuable goods and then you are off to find a spot around the lagoon, which is basically your spot for the rest of the day. Obviously the earlier you arrive the better the spot you get. A quick tip don't get your snorkel gear from the first rental place you see, there are more as you walk around and far less busier than the first one. With our tickets everything was included, food, drinks (beer) gear everything. If you like to snorkel this is the place for you!

All in all a very good trip that I would recommend.

Some tips for your trip:
Tip whenever you can if you want to upgrade your room or better service i.e.: bartenders to remember you, extra a la carte restaurants and so on
If you want a certain spot by the pool be prepared to get up early and reserve it with your towel, roughly 6am will get you a good spot and then you can go back to your room and sleep and then go for breakfast , your towel reserves the lounge chairs for you
Tip the bartenders at the pool bar early in the week and they will bend over backwards for you the rest of the week
If at all possible bring a thermal mug for your drinks, keeps drinks cold and saves you alot of trips to the bar, there were alot of people very envious of ours !

Stay away from the Tequila bar first thing in the morning ! I learned that one the hard way !

Enjoy !

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Ian and Cathy ~ Vancouver Canada
March 2006

MARCH 2006 (Spring-Break)

Our family has been to the Mayan Riviera 3 times during Spring-Break in the past 3 years. We rate Bahia Principe Coba as the very best of the 3 resorts we have stayed at. The other two in order of preference are Copacabana and Club Maeva Tulum. We would also consider staying at the Bahia Principe Tulum or Akumul.

Maid service was mediocre but, service from buffet and 24 hour restaurants and everyone else made up for it. If you have any problems talk to "Public Relations" staff located beside front desk. These ladies provide excellent customer service and will also book your restaurants.

Very clean, new, large and most have jacuzzis.
We fit a family of four comfortably in the room.
We are a family of two adults and 2 children.
Our daughter slept between my wife and I and my son slept on the sofa.
Water pressure and AC worked perfectly but, we did experience the occasional power-outage.

Went extremely smoothly and quickly.
They were very prompt in baggage transport.

Very good food expecially French night in the buffet where you can eat as much lobster and peeled-shrimp as you want. The French and Japanese specialty restaurants were excellent and please make sure all men wear pants.

The two pools are very large. One pool had all the activities and the other one was quiet. My children always found activities to participate in at the active pool. If you like tennis be sure to book courts early as they get full very quickly.

The shows were satisfactory but, the Michael Jackson show was very excellent.

This resort is not adjacent to beach but, you can walk to it in about 10 minutes. You can also take a shuttle which I highly recommend because it will take you to the non-rocky portion of the beach. The non-rocky beach is near the "Tulum" building and we would consider staying at this building next time we return.

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Donna And George ~ Ontario Canada
March 2006

Hi there. My husband and I, mid 50’s, just arrived back from the BPC. I have used these reviews to help us make our decision about a resort and felt the need to add our review.

1. The resort is absolutely beautiful, although you can still see a few effects of Wilma. The beach is a little disappointing as in other reviews, but we did enjoy swimming with the fish and lounging on the beach. Part of the beach was very crowded but if you went a little further down towards the Tullum end, you could usually get a hut and lounge chairs, although the swimming isn’t as nice. I was glad I brought my swim shoes but the rocks and rough sand didn’t seem to bother hubby as much. The food, the rooms (not very sound proof), the service, the pools, etc. etc. were all above average in our opinion. We ate at the Arlequin (very nice) go early and you may get an ocean view seat like we did (beautiful) the Le Gourmet (don’t go if you are hungry, the portions are very small) and the Japanese (Mikado) which was very nice and well presented.

We found the Gourmet buffet restaurant and piano bar on our last day there. Too bad because the Gourmet is air conditioned and much quieter than the main buffet, the service is much better and in our opinion a far better place to take children to eat, much more relaxing than the main buffet. The piano bar also had entertainment but we had to leave before we could go there. Maybe next time. We also ate at the Tullum buffet and the Akumal buffet (both about the same as Coba but maybe not as big). Neither of us were sick, although hubby had a few cramps a couple of days which seemed to stop when he stopped eating the ice cream. Be careful of the dairy products. Their milk isn’t pasteurized the same as ours.

I think we saw two bugs the whole time we were there. The weather was perfect, rained one hour the day we arrived and another day for about 45 mins. We never felt the need to wear long pants, except for the a’la carts (mandatory), or a sweater the whole time we were there. The breeze at night was refreshing, but you may want to pack a light sweater just in case.

Anyway not a lot more to add to the other reviews. Our only complaint was that the property was too big. We love to walk and only took a couple of trams the whole week, but by the end of the week, we were pretty tired. Also, you would meet people one day and really connect and never see them again the whole week, the resort was that big.

We would go back, but having only been to Punta Cana and the Mayan, will probably try another island next year. Have fun.

Top of Page

Bahia Principe Coba Tara ~ Welland, ON Canada
March 2006

Overall, this resort was a great value for the money. This was the most beautiful resort I have ever stayed at. I have traveled at two other resorts in the Mayan, both 4.5 stars and one in LaRomana (2x same resort) in Dominican that was 4-4.5 stars, and would say that this was the most beautiful. However, having said that, I would not return for reasons totally beyond their control. Specifically, the resort is too far from the airport – 1 hour and 20 minutes, the resort itself is one of three complexes and just too big for my taste and the beach was not the nicest – I have been to much nicer.

Service was amazing. The staff were very attentive, professional, pleasant and friendly would bend over backwards to meet your every need or desire. For example, following dinner in the buffet, a drink cart would come around to the individual tables to offer after-dinner drinks and I had asked for a liquor that they did not have on the cart, but said that they would find it and bring to my table. I would have been content to select another, but they were determined to get me the liquor I had requested. Within minutes, I had the liquor I had requested.

My husband also asked a staff member, who appeared to be upper management, where he could buy the flavoured tequila that was set up on a table with numerous flavours to choose from (cherry, jalepeno, coffee bean, cinnamon, strawberry, etc.). He was informed that this was not something that could be bought as it was something they made themselves. He asked my husband which one he preferred and then informed him that he would have a small bottle of it delivered to our room. We did not even leave our table that evening and it was in fact delivered to our table. Very eager to please. This certainly has left us with a great impression. This was a totally unexpected response to my husband’s simple question.

Room was gorgeous. Bathroom was filled with marble/granite/ceramic. Daily, we were surprised with a different towel sculpture, confetti, rose petals, balloons, chocolate kisses on our bed. Bathroom even adorned with artificial flowers and the Kleenex/toilet paper folded in designs. Little extras really make the stay more memorable. Bar fridge restocked daily with drinks and snacks (chips and chocolate bars – either Snickers or Milky Way).

We had robes and slippers in our room as well and a complimentary basket filled with everything from razors, toothbrush, sewing kit, lotions, shampoo, conditioner, etc. If something was used out of this basket, it was replenished. We had a fruit basket delivered to our room almost immediately upon arrival to our room. What a nice surprise. There was a coffee maker in the room. Housekeeping was great.

Upon our arrival, there seemed to be a bit of confusion. I did not realize that our entire bus was staying at the Coba section; this obviously meant quite a crowd to check in all at once. We were thinking it was a little unorganized, first there was chaos at the entrance trying to assist the bellboys in marking our luggage with stickers and then we were all directed to the theater and offered our welcome drink. The manager/supervisor of check-in worked with the Entertainment supervisor (?? this I thought was a little unusual but I think it was intended to humor us as this man was very funny), had us complete our check-in paper work at that point, given our bracelets, and then our names were all called out and given an envelope with our room keys for those of us whose rooms were ready. We were called 1st. This was a nice surprise. The only down side was you were then allowed to leave and go to your room immediately (if you were one of the lucky ones). As I mentioned, the place was so big, it was very time consuming trying to find your building/room. I ended up stopping a painter and asking him to direct me to our building. He actually stopped what he was doing and practically brought me right to it. What a doll! Each building has a sign with it’s number. Our room number was 30517 – building #3 and room 517 (2nd floor). I should note that I e-mailed a request for building three and 2nd floor a week before our arrival. I also emailed with our room request, our preferences for ala carte reservations. Well we got our building and 2nd floor level and had a pretty good view from our balcony – overlooking one of the many hot tubs. Nothing was done with our ala carte requests as we had included restaurants that were not found in the Coba complex but in the Tulum and Akumel resorts. However, once we had located our room, we went to our “own” reception (this is for Premium Gold guests traveling with Air Transat) and got our safe key, key for bar fridge and booked our ala carte’s. Alexandra., reception supervisor who was present at the Theater upon our arrival was very accommodating and had allowed us ala carte reservations at restaurants not normally allowed for Coba guests. Again, another example of doing their best to make your stay an enjoyable one. It was at this point as well that we informed reception that our phone was not working properly. This was fixed immediately as well. We only discovered this when we were trying to find out when our luggage was going to make it’s way to our room. This was a little unnerving at the time. Basically, you can’t do anything or go anywhere until you have your luggage delivered. You pretty much have to hang around until it arrives. It actually happened to be on the luggage shuttle when we were in the reception looking after safe key, bar key etc. So timing was pretty good at that point.

In hindsight, I think the confusion we were thinking was taking place at check-in was probably the only way handling a group this large could be dealt with. My husband was thinking at the time, they were just dilly-dallying. After an early flight and long bus ride, he just wanted to get to the room, unpack and start to explore.

The night before our departure, we checked out as this was recommended due to the early hour we would be leaving in a.m. We handed in our safe key at this point as well and we were not charged for that day at all. This was a nice surprise. It was a savings of 45 pesos. Not a huge savings, but something we certainly did not expect. Therefore we only paid for 6 days – 270 pesos. Antonio was at reception upon check-out – he was adorable. Again, extremely pleasant, humorous and professional.

This is also where the internet room is in the back. This is free for Gold Premium Air Transat Guests.

Food was great – buffet and ala cartes.

Service as I mentioned is very good.

The Ala Cartes we went to were – Le Gourmet – we enjoyed this very much. Appetizer, main course and dessert all ordered from menu.

The Mikado – Japanese – fabulous. Hands down – favourite and we are not huge fans of Japanese/Chinese food. We normally just like basic Chinese food. This was great.

Tortuga – I think this was at Tulum. Steak house. This was our first ala carte reservation and we were misinformed and brought to the Tulum entrance to catch another shuttle to the Akumel where we were informed it was in fact at the Tulum. It was good as well. The appetizers are buffet style and then you order from the menu for the main course and dessert.

Dolce Vida (I could be a little off with the name) – Italian – again appetizers were buffet style (my favourite of all appetizers at ala cartes) and the main course and dessert ordered from the menu. My least favourie of all ala cartes.

Again for Gold Premium guests only, there was a smaller buffet which more quiet. It also did not seem to have the selection that the larger had, but if you were looking for a really quiet meal – this is where you want to be.

Snack bars/huts – these were really good. They always had the usual hamburgers, hotdogs, nachos and fries. In addition, there was pasta, rice, ribs, onion rings, chicken, etc. This is where they had the soft serve ice cream machines as well.

We did the buffet for lunch only once. This was actually very good. It was just more handy to do the snack bars for lunch. One day, there was a BBQ set up by the pool with fresh hamburgers etc. being served fresh. This was a nice change from the snack bar.

There was not a shortage of bars, there were bars at the snack shacks, in the pool, at all the hot tubs (not very hot), on the beach (this one had swings you could sit on at the bar – cooooool!!), in the lobby, in our private reception (check in/out).

It had become a nightly ritual to have Spanish coffee in the lobby bar area. This was amazing. I tried the cappuccino at the recommendation of another guest we sat with at the Mikado restaurant – not “my cup of tea” at all. Not like the cappuccino’s I have had before; Spanish coffee much better. We also had expresso with Sambuca in it here as well – this was also very good.

The pools were a little chilly. They were quite large and as the evenings and a.m.’s were not as hot as I have been used to, I would think that it doesn’t give the pools much chance to warm up. There is the “noisy” pool with the fountain where all the action is and the more quiet pool without the fountain. The entertainment staff are around the noisy pool trying to get guests to participate in bingo, water polo, soccer shoot-out and drinking contests. There is one tiny little female entertainment staff- I don’t know her name, that can drink beer through a straw faster than anybody I have ever seen. Hilarious, good, clean fun.

I think we made it to one show (9:30) – it was pretty good and then of course at one point they have guests get up on the stage and participate in some of their antics. It was at this point that I think I had never laughed so hard. Some of these vacationers really know how to participate and have fun – better them than me. Great to watch!!

We also made it a nightly ritual to spend some time in the music bar. There was a band that played – two different ones alternating nightly. They were pretty good. I was certainly entertained.

There was always pre-theater action taking place in the patio area outside the entrance of the buffet. Entertainment staff are at it nonstop. There was usually dancing with the guests or congo lines making their way through the restaurant.

The night of Super Bowl, there was a tailgate party set up on the patio with nachos, hamburgers, hotdogs, and of course the big screen with the game and of course the bar set up outside.

Don Isabela Hacienda – at the entrance of resort complex. – quite large. No need to go off site if you didn’t want to. Prices very comparable. More silver in Play Del Carmen though. We preferred to go into town to Playa Del Carmen on two of the overcast days. We just caught the Collectivo (public transportation – white vans clearly marked) that was waiting outside the entrance of the Resort $2 per person one way. Apparently there is a bus that will also take you to Playa Del Carmen on Saturdays and Thursdays for $14 round trip from 9 – 1. We preferred the Collectivo as we had no time limits.

Top of Page