I don't know that there is a lot I can add to the previous reviews, but I will try!
For context we traveled as a couple 40-somethings - fourth visit to the Riviera Maya (Colonial Palladium and GBP Coba twice), first visit without kids. The Adults-only nature of the Sian Ka'an was fantastic, really a selling point.
Upon arrival and check in, our clerk saw that we had connected via email with the legendary Claudia, so moments later, Claudia arrived, confirming all the pre-bookings we had done, wishing my wife a happy b-day and basically looking after us. This professionalism, combined with the good-natured professionalism of all the staff at the Sian Ka'an made for just a wonderful stay.
Our room was top floor Junior Suite booked through Air Canada Vacations and was excellent. Plenty of room, good room for storage and a FANTASTIC large patio overlooking the "active" pool (which truly is never that active!) Cleaning staff were attentive and our fridge was restocked daily.
Shuttles - Were totally fine. Two years ago we stayed at the Coba with someone who had mobility issues, meaning we always needed to take the shuttle to the beach. Sian Ka'an, while further away, is no any longer (time wise) than the Coba. We never had to wait more than 2 minutes, and those that say it's 15 minutes really should check their watch batteries.
Beach - Private area on the beach with chair service. No other section of GBP has this, and I gotta say, it's okay being spoiled. Chairs were better (arm rests) and really it wasn't that hard finding chairs. We were there around 9 or 9:30 and always found a chair (slightly earlier to get shade) - but no 5 am chair wars like you have in some places. The only bit of a problem is since you don't have a towel card, people often just leave towels on their chairs when they leave. Rule of thumb we used - crumpled towels w/ no personal items nearby = chair is fair game. Never had an 'incident'.
Beach is wonderful, or if you don't like what's right in front of the Sian Ka'an area, walk about 30 minutes in either direction and you're still at the GBP.
Pools - Not hugely pool people, but there was enough action to keep people interested, but it's definitely not a big party.
Meals - Ate at two a la cartes - Alux and Maiko....we had high hopes for Alux, but must have ordered the wrong meals. Not fans, in fact we had planned on eating there twice, cancelled the second night. Maiko was excellent - great service, good food, well presented.
Buffet was spectacular - best we've had an all inclusive. Yes it got a little repetitive for main courses, but still, great, fresh and hot. Took part in the Saturday lobster feast....only time the restaurant was PACKED - in fact we had to wait 5 minutes to get in. Lobster was quite good actually.
We got a great deal, great connections through Air Canada Vacations (our homeward flight was delayed and they TRIED to connect with us, but we had just left, happily we didn't have to sit in the airport). Only thing I cannot understand is why they want you to leave your resort 5 hours before your flight....a minor quibble, but made for a long day.
Here is the long story short (too late for that I know) - if you are traveling as a couple and considering the GBP. Unless you NEED to be right on the beach (Tulum), and unless you get a way WAY better deal at one of the other resorts, all of the pluses for the Sian Ka'an really make it a no brainer. It is a far better resort than the others - plus the extra pluses far outweigh the minor inconvenience of the shuttle across the road.
Any questions, I'm happy to share.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Facilities and services 4 outdoor pools (1 with Jacuzzi) Sun terrace with loungers and sun umbrellas BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Transfer to the beach and other facilities on the complex (at set times) Water activity centre, Beach Club with exclusive bar (at the Grand Principe Tulum) Motorised water sports (additional charge) WiFi access in the lobby and in rooms (free of charge) 1 international buffet restaurant 2 speciality restaurants 4 Bars 1 snack-bar Riviera Maya Golf Club: 18 long holes and 9 executive holes with lakes, natural wells and Mayan forest. Hacienda Dona Isabel: karaoke bars, shows, live music and disco. Rooms 420 rooms including 4 types: Junior Suite, Deluxe Junior Suite, Deluxe Garden Junior Suite, Deluxe Penthouse Junior Suite. Deluxe Garden Junior Suites and Deluxe Penthouse Junior Suites are larger than the Junior Suites and the Deluxe Junior Suites. Room facilities: King size bed or 2 full size beds Air conditioning Ceiling fan Direct phone line (additional charge for external calls) Sitting area with sofa-bed and armchairs Balcony or terrace Bathroom with shower, hair dryer and magnifying mirror Bathroom amenities Bathrobe and slippers Don Pablo Collection amenities Alarm clock with iPod docking station Flat screen TV Coffee-making facilities Mini-bar Safe Iron and ironing board 24 hour room service Butler service in rooms Private Jacuzzi Wifi (free of charge) Pillow menu Aroma menu Other services Medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Specialised service for organising weddings and anniversaries, as well as corporate incentive trips and conventions Casino ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Bahia Principe Sian Ka`An Golf Resort And Spa
- Gran Bahia Principe Sian Ka`An Golf Hotel Akumal
- Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'An Don Pablo Collection Riviera Maya, Mexico - Akumal