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Comparing The GBP Properties

Kuujjuaq, Canada
Destination Expert
for Prince Edward Island
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4,514 posts
87 reviews
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Comparing The GBP Properties

I'm new to Mexico and the research of all our options has been a bit overwhelming. I've been to Cuba previously 6 times and there isn't nearly as much variation and sheer numbers in terms of resorts. The best prices/value I am seeing seems to be with the GBP properties. I understand there are 4 within a very short area of each other (Akumal (rank #3), Tulum (rank #4), Coba (rank #6), and Sian Ka'an (rank #1)). I also understand the first three mentioned are very close to each other and essentially make up one mega resort (with the Sian Ka'an being a bit farther away). Really hoping for some advice on which one of these are our best bet for booking. The Tulum and Coba are about par on pricing. The Sian Ka'an is not in my price range so we can eliminate that one right away Really hoping someone can answer my questions to help me narrow it down between the other 3:

-Which has the best section of beach (I think the Coba isn't directly beach front and you'd need to take a tram to the beach?)

-Best service?

-Smallest? (I think each resort is huge are they not?).

-Nicest property? The Coba and Akumal look the nicest in terms of facilities from the pictures I've seen, are they the newest or am I mistaken?

-Can I use all the properties if I book one? I think the Sian Ka'an would be off limits, but I was hoping the other 3 share facilities.

Really appreciate the help, I'll probably have follow-up questions but this should really help me. Kind of all over the map with picking a resort. Have narrowed my search to these 3 as an option if I don't want to break the bank, Dream PA as my expensive option, and Ocean Coral as a middle of the pack option. Cheers!

Vancouver
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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1. Re: Comparing The GBP Properties

Here is a description I put together for this resort (hint - all located over in Top Questions including a great 1st time tips)

Tulum - older (1998) original section built parallel to the sea. 90% oceanview standard rooms, 10% jr suites. Restaurants except Don Pablo oceanview and open air - Don Pablo is interior(between front desk and buffet)and air conditioned. Restaurants located from farthest northern point (Tequila) to farthest southern point (La Gran Torguga). Very manicured and well kept grounds. As it is built along the sea this appears to be the largest section - room wise it is not. The pool /pool bar at the north end is restricted to Diamond/Hacienda only guests (upgrades). Two new buildings have been built on the other side of the access road

Akumal - (2001) more compact with 95% jr suites, 5% standard rooms and 8% oceanview or oceanfront. Restaurants more centrally located to each other (La Dolce and Pescador side by side @ pool side) Arlequin close to the buffet. Water a bit calmer in front of Akumal section including a small bay type area which attracts families with small children. The Golden only guests get to use the small bar/computer room / special internet in the Gold Lobby bldg

Akumal becomes an' upgraded Don Pablo' section starting Nov 1 with many more perks. New buildings are being built on the south border of this section. Tulum and Coba guest will NOT get access to the this section after Nov 1st but Akumal Guests will be able to access all the other sections

Coba - (2005) built between Akumal and hwy 307 this is the largest section by room count but more compact than Tulum. All rooms jr suites - no oceanviews as Coba is completely "land locked". Originally marketed as Adult Only but was not successful in that niche. Restaurants are air conditioned. Due to lack of proximity to the beach this section tends to price less than the other two. As a result you MAY find more families in Coba -dependent upon the time period of your stay. The Golden only guests get to use the small bar/computer room / special internet in the Gold Lobby bldg. It now has a new kids waterpark

The SIAN KAAN section was just built in 2012 and is across the hwy near the golf course. It has upgraded drinks / special buffet / alacartes that are only available to Sian Kaan guests or those other section guests that have 6+ visits. Sian Kaan guests has a reserved section on the beach

You have use of all facilities except those noted above- and the trams do run throughout ALL sections (including Tulum. All sections have 24 hour snack bars, entertainment areas and specific lobbies with the dive shop located at the far southern end of the Tulum section.

All guests get free golf at this time but must pay for the golf cart

Edited: 13 July 2014, 16:22
Kuujjuaq, Canada
Destination Expert
for Prince Edward Island
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4,514 posts
87 reviews
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2. Re: Comparing The GBP Properties

Very much appreciate you posting this info, sorry I didn't look closer at the top questions section. Just had two questions I'm hoping you can advise me on as I think you've been there before?

1. Obviously the resorts are huge. Was it overwhelming? We've always stayed at resorts around 400-500 people. With the GBP properties we're talking double that, or more, for each. I think that's probably my biggest concern when picking a resort. All three look acceptable, I just wonder if we will feel like we're in a massive city rather than a resort where we can get to know a few of the staff. I understand this is probably a matter of a personal preference but I'd love to hear impressions from people who have been there.

2. I think the free golf is a great feature. Do they provide transportation? Also, we have clubs but probably wouldn't bother taking them. Any idea what it would cost us to rent a set and for the cart? I have a feeling those costs will make golf a non-factor.

Really appreciate the information!

Vancouver
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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3. Re: Comparing The GBP Properties

1. I myself like smaller resorts as well so I found this resort and even the sections too large - but you get a large variety of pools, bars, and restaurants. Akumal has 630 rooms (more to be built), Coba with 1080 rooms, Tulum has 978 rooms

2. Golf club rentals are $45 and the cart (mandatory) is from $70 and more (each) - more in Top Questions

Kuujjuaq, Canada
Destination Expert
for Prince Edward Island
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4,514 posts
87 reviews
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4. Re: Comparing The GBP Properties

That's exactly what I needed to know, thank you! I'll have to give this some serious thought. GBP Tulum is currently at $1200 taxes in for 10 nights, Ocean Coral (Puerto Morelos) $1500, and Dream (Puerto Aventuras) is $1600. Obviously appealing to save $600 by picking GBP, but I'm half thinking it would be too big. Love the ample options in pools and dining, and snorkeling would be great. Any suggestions? I'm a complete newbie when it comes to Mexico. I think the beach at Akumal is better than the other two?

That's pretty much what I figured with the golf, we'll probably skip it. I play golf regularly but my better half only occasionally.

You've been VERY helpful.

Vancouver
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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5. Re: Comparing The GBP Properties

When are you going?

Kuujjuaq, Canada
Destination Expert
for Prince Edward Island
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4,514 posts
87 reviews
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6. Re: Comparing The GBP Properties

End of April 2015.

Vancouver
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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7. Re: Comparing The GBP Properties

Perfect time - I always go that time

two other choices for smaller resorts

Oasis Tulum (Grand and not grand - cheaper)) - small resort just north of Bahia

Akumal Beach Resort - while Sunwing has some prices for the remodelled resort, ABR will soon nbe releasing their own hotel rates

We always get airfare separately

Kuujjuaq, Canada
Destination Expert
for Prince Edward Island
Level Contributor
4,514 posts
87 reviews
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8. Re: Comparing The GBP Properties

Yes, we've always loved the weather that time of year in our travels to Cuba. You seem to risk cold fronts in March and April is a nice humid time of year without being the sweltering heat of the summer (also seems to rain less).

I'll check those out, thanks for the tip. Do you have any insight into the Ocean Coral (my initial impression is it's the best fit for us) or the Dreams Puerto Aventuras? Thanks again for your help from one DE to another :)

Edit: Neither the Oasis or Akumal are available during our timeframe.

Edited: 13 July 2014, 17:41
Cambridge, Canada
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416 posts
13 reviews
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9. Re: Comparing The GBP Properties

I have been to GBP Coba and am returning there first week of October.absolutely loved it. Was concerned about Coba not being directly on the beach but it was not an issue. The complex is massive but the trams are very frequent so if you are not physically capable, this will make life easier while there. We are physically active so walking was not an issue. It took us a day to figure out time saving walking shortcuts amongst the different resort complexes and their amenities.We enjoyed exploring the resorts. I would also say it was great location to venture to Playa del Carmen or Akumel Beach or Tulum Ruins for inexpensive off resort day trips.

We enjoyed the room,food,service and amenities. It is a long trip from the airport which we did not mind because it put us close to tge day trip locations so we were not wasting time travelling to those locations. For bang for the buck we loved it. Is there better out there? Surely,but when I paid $1000 taxes in for a week in January and $900 taxes in for this October well who am I to complain 😉

Best of luck with your decision.

Windsor Ontario
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762 posts
20 reviews
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10. Re: Comparing The GBP Properties

I have been to both. We love the Bahia and have been there 7 times. It is very big but we love having lots of choices to eat, swim, drink, go to different lobbies and theaters at night.

We also enjoyed the Ocean Coral. It is much smaller so it is more personal. The beach is not as nice there but we went out on a boat for snorkeling right in front of the resort. It was the best snorkeling we have done in Mexico. Puerto Morelas is a nice little town to visit. The resort is only 15-20 minutes from the airport where The Gran Bahia is about 1 1/2 hours. You can't go wrong with either one. We are looking at both of them as well as the Grand Sunset Princess for Dec.