Recently returned from 2 weeks at the Sian Ka’an and we were very disappointed, given the great trip advisor reviews. I will bullet point for those wanting to quickly scan through and I’ll expand below.
• Friendly staff
• Helpful reception staff
• Excellent selection of drinks
• Waiter service at the pools
• Free room safe
• V Good room aircon
• Lack of parasols at the pools (14 in total for 4 pools), all claimed by 6:30am
• Lack of sun beds
• Infested with Mosquitoes
• Buffet Restaurant staff slow at providing drinks (particularly at breakfast)
• Buffet Restaurant too warm at all times of the day
• Lack of storage space in the rooms
• Vans/golf buggies/motorbikes constantly driving along the paths (always need to be looking over your shoulder)
Our room was on the ground floor of a block near the far pool, which turned out to be the activity pool. The room was very dark due to the overgrown trees and shrubs surrounding the patio area (which we never used due to the number of mosquitoes hanging around). While the room was fairly comfortable, there was a lack of storage, even in the bathroom.
The room had a built in double plus single wardrobe. The single wardrobe housed the fridge, with a shelf for the coffee maker, cups and glasses. Above that was the safe, leaving a high shelf containing a spare pillow and sheets. This left only the double wardrobe for storage, of which in one half, the bottom half was shelves (3 in total), meaning there was no room to store your suitcases.
There were also two bedside units with a draw and a bottom shelf. In the bathroom, the was only one towel rail, which was fine to fit 2 fresh folded towels on, but once used, you want to be able to spread out the towels to dry. Another rail and/or some hooks would have been useful.
The main problem we had with the room was the noise. Firstly, there was noise from the hotel staff using a storage cupboard next to our room, constantly banging and scrapping items across the floor. Secondly, there noise from the activity pool (music), which got louder post 3pm when the activities started (water polo) until ending after 5pm. Thirdly, we had a young Spanish couple as neighbours that were arguing during the night, so we asked to be moved. Thankfully, the reception staff were excellent here and gave us the option of two other rooms. We opted for a top floor room on the other side of the complex which was much brighter with a usable balcony.
The most annoying thing with the hotel was the lack of parasols, only 14 in total across 4 pools, which were all taken by 6:30am, even earlier on some days, which is totally unacceptable for a hotel claiming to be 5 star. On some days there was even a shortage of sun beds with some people resorting to sitting/lying on the floor. If you sat by some of the pools that had natural shade from the trees and bushes you got bitten by the insects.
The grounds are very over grown, and while the staff are continually pruning, it doesn’t hide the fact that there are just too many bushes and trees (some in the middle of footpaths), which attracts the mosquitoes. Mosquitoes seem to be a big problem here, we got bitten many times as did many other people, and there were quite a few people that changed rooms from the ground floors to get away from them.
Another irritation was the constant need to avoid vehicles (vans/golf buggies/motorbikes) along the main paths.
As mentioned above, there is an activity pool, which isn’t actually advertised/signed as such, so you can be happily sat there enjoying the sun, when all of a sudden the music starts pumping out. For the most part, the music isn’t too loud, until one the pool staff decides to start playing DJ and irritatingly start turn the volume up and down at different times during the day. The music ramps up after 3pm when the activities start and on some days a random cabaret turned up during the water polo event. Also, on some days the water polo activities switched to the middle pool so you can’t get away from the noise.
The management need to get a handle on this, if they are to have an activity pool, then keep the activities there. They also need to address those arrogant guests that like to share their music with everyone nearby using portable speakers by their sunbeds. I also wish they would ban smoking at the pool sides, but this is a problem with most hotels.
The buffet restaurant food in general was fairly average. Some dishes weren’t hot enough, some a little bland. You could have fresh pasta cooked with a good choice of ingredients and sources, but the pasta was undercooked and hard. The desserts were very good, but the ice-cream was never frozen.
The Japanese Maiko restaurant was excellent and we went there twice, but we didn’t try any others as the menus didn’t appeal.
The buffet restaurant staff, while very friendly, seemed rather disorganised, particularly at breakfast. One morning, it took 4 waiters to get a cup of tea. The first one to ask for a cup of tea, the next to put the teabags in the cup, then another to come with the water, then another to bring the milk! One morning we didn’t even get asked did we want tea or coffee, another morning they had no teabags. This is an easy thing to solve, have the teabags on the table ready, ask if people want tea or coffee when they arrive at a table, if they want coffee place a pot on the table, or a pot of hot water for tea and provide a jug of milk.
Some waiters would go and get people fruit juice, when they should be pointing people to get their own from the breakfast area so they can focus on clearing the tables and therefore reduce the queuing for a free table. Also in the evenings, all the tables are set for 4 people, so the staff then spend half their time taking away 2 places as most people are here as couples. A waste of their time.
Overall, the hotel was ok, but too noisy for us and not as relaxing as we had hoped. It needs to decide who its target guests are, as even during the 2 weeks we were there, it seem to be evolving more towards a club 18-30’s hotel rather than a relaxing/put your feet up and chill out venue. An Adults only golf and spa resort, with some reviews saying it was too quiet and nothing to do, sounded exactly what we wanted, but this wasn’t the case. We won’t be returning.
- 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