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“The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #5 of 22 Hotels in Akumal
Reviewed 5 July 2014

When we were looking at the reviews of the Sian Kaan, prior to us booking, I thought people were moaning about the little things, just for the sake of moaning - however the good points far outweigh the little niggles.

Lets start by the check in process - when we arrived through the fantastic entrance gates to the hotel - we thought this place looks good. I am glad we took private taxi rather than turn up on a coach, as we were the only people checking in. The reception area is all open and we were greeted with a refreshing cocktail, and after a 10 hour flight, it was needed. We arrived at approx. 4.30 pm Mexico time and was told the room would be ready in about 20 min - I must admit I was not happy about this, however we finished our cocktails and collected our keys - the bell boys drove us to our apartment and took the cases upstairs for us.

When we got to the room - the cleaners were just finishing and to be fair the room was plenty big enough for me and my partner -there were 2 swans made out of towels on our bed, along with petals and balloons, then we were given a bottle of bubbly with choc strawberries - a nice touch.

We chose the buffet restaurant on the first evening and it was fantastic - the food was fresh and plenty to choose from. the staff were very friendly and we were topped up with fresh water and any drinks we required - the receptionist to the restaurant always greeted us with a smile and offered us a aperitif each visit.

After a good night sleep - we had a little wander around Sian Kaan - we found 3 pools with plenty of sun beds - to be honest the water was very warm, I was not that impressed with the cleanliness around the pool with the snack bar - dirty glasses left by the pool - obviously left there from the night before. You get 1 loudish pool , I pool which was not so lively and one which is like a library - so there is a pool to suite everyone.

The bar service we found good around the pools always someone topping you up.

We did book couple of restaurants and we would suggest booking them as soon as you can as they get full quickly, however we found the buffet amazing in the Sian Kaan and spent most evenings there. We did try the other Buffet ones on the other hotels, when we went to the beach, but there was no comparison to the quality at the Sian.

The tram things that take you to the other resorts were frequent, however getting back could be a pain, as for some reason or another they were not so frequent.

The private beach for the Sian Kaan is vey nice iced tea bought to you each morning, with some nuts and face towels with a cooling spray - the other beaches are just as nice but bit more lively.


Overall a beautiful setting and we were glad we picked the Sian Kaan over the others in the collection - as no screaming children - people in football tops, a very relaxing stay.

The other hotels are very impressive but very large - the pools looked lovely but as you can imagine very loud and full. We went over one evening and came back within 10 min as we found too many children running around.

So to conclude - the Sian Kaan is a place to go if you want peace and quite and to relax - with the facility to go across the road for more lively stuff.

The buffet restaurant is first class with different theme every night.

The Bad - 4 times we got back to our room at 4.30 and they were not cleaned - I complained on 4 occasions and got same response -(nothing) and our bar was not topped up on 4 occasions. It took ages for anyone to ans the reception phone. The rooms were cleaned ok ish - not 5 star standard.

The entertainment in the Sian Kaan was same most nights - 2 chaps on an organ singing and you get cabaret that lasts for about half hour - the entertainment finishes by 10 which is a pity.

I would honestly say the hotel is a 4 star max we had a fantastic time there and some of my moans may seem trivial, until you get there you will see what I mean.

Would I stay again -- No in all honestly as there are more places to visit and try.

Room Tip: we were in block 11b facing the Jungle - on 3rd floor - I would recommend a 2nd or 3rd floor apartme...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Carl W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 7 July 2014

Dear Carl,

Thank you for the time you have taken to post your review about the experience you had during your stay with us; your feedback is very important as help us to provide the service we strive for.

We value all of our guest’s comments that do not just include the positive but the negative ones as well. We are glad to read that you enjoyed the buffet, the details in your room, the private beach.

We would like to apologise for the inconviniences you mentioned, I have already forward your comments to the different areas managers, in order for them to take the proper measures.

It will be really happy to welcome you back in the future!

Kind Regards,

Lizeth Arratia
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an Don Pablo Collection

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3,210 - 3,216 of 7,527 reviews

Reviewed 3 July 2014

we really enjoyed our week stay at the Sian Ka`an on june 21-28 as a Priviledge member. this was fifth stay at the Bahia Principe and our first in the sian section. this is the best vacation so far thanks to the great service of all of the bahia employee which are always wonderful. We have to give a special thanks to the Bahis Entertainment band (Anthony & Pepe) that made us dance every night. We go to the Bahia for the dance and the welcome feeling.
Thanks to the great service and morning smiles to Manuel & Miriam at the Sian Buffet... and to Florentina at the Coba lobby bar

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank JfSophie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 6 July 2014

Dear Sophie,

We would like to thank you for choosing our hotel as a Priviledge Club Member and we are really happy to know that this has been your best vacation ever.

We really appreciate you mentioning our staff, specially Anthony, Pepe, Manuel, Miriam and Florentina. I will forward your comments to all of them.

We hope to welcome you back soon at the Mexican Caribbean.

Warm Regards,

Lizeth Arratia
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an Don Pablo Collection

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Reviewed 3 July 2014

Fabulous everything!the staff, the food, the rooms, everything is top notch. No loud party animals, children or retirement home resort. A great adults only luxury resort! The only drawback is its not on the beach but the pools are great anyways and there is a shirt shuttle to a private section on the beach.

  • Stayed: June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Jason G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 6 July 2014

Dear Jason.

Thank you very much for staying with us. We are honor that you had chosen us for your vacation between many other options, and also we want to thank you for taking time to share your experience.

We are happy to read that you enjoyed the hotel facilities, the pools, the beach service and the food, hope we can repeat this wonderful experience in the near future.

Sending you kind regards from the Mayan Riviera,

Lizeth Arratia
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an Don Pablo Collection

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Reviewed 3 July 2014 via mobile

My wife and I checked into this hotel yesterday and had numerous disappointments after each other.
1. Lazy Bell boy: We rented and car and drove to this resort. Upon our arrival, I was expecting a bell boy or somebody to approach our car and take our bags and valet the car. None of these happened and had to take the bags myself and we were actually told that I cannot leave the car up front while we checkin and had to actually park the car and then check-in.
Okay no big deal, I am not going to let this ruin my day.

2. Restaurant reservations: upon our check-in (at 1:35pm) we were told room is not ready. Okay no problem. Now you have make reservations at the restaurants if you want to have dinner. 3 out of 5 restaurants that we selected didn't have any availability for either of the 4 nights of our stay. To our disappointment, we were told that Alux and La torgada (Brazilian) and Le gourmet restaurants neither of them had availability "anytime of the night" for either of our 4 nights staying here!!!!!

3. Dress code: ok make reservation at Maiko for our first night and arrived, I am wearing polo dress down shirt and dress shorts and I'm told that I don't meet the dress code minimum to eat dinner. I am told I have to wear long pants!!!!!
Are you kidding me? Who wears long pants on vacation in a tropical destination to have dinner!!!!
I had not packed any long pants so I go to the front desk to voice my complaints. The restaurant manager Emanuel come and tells me the only option is to wear resort provided community long pants!!!
What?????? You've got to be kidding me???
You want me to wear community long pants that god know who has wore just to have dinner?

4. Room does not have any hot water and the shower has very low pressure. I call housekeeping to tell them that there is no hot water in the morning.
We return in the afternoon to see that absolutely nothing has been done about the "no hot water"

So needless to say our first day here has been met with numerous disappointments!!!

Stayed: July 2014
12  Thank Navyboy439
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DireccionhotelComp, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 4 July 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking time from your stay to write your review on tripadvisor, we are sorry to read that you experience is not meeting your expectations.

It is to our understanding that you are currently staying at the hotel and we would like to personally follow up all the aspects you have raised.

We would like to kindly invite you to reach oue management at your convenience to give us more details about your review

Looking forward to hearing from you

Sincerely,

Lizeth Arratia
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an

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Reviewed 3 July 2014

Travelled to the Sian Ka’an for a two week stay from the 26th May – 9th June 2014 as a couple early 30’s from the UK. Travelling background is private villas, city breaks and similar priced all inclusive hotels in Caribbean, Europe and Northern Africa so nothing to adventuress.

I am going to try and provide a fairly detailed review so I apologise if I go on and into a lot of detail, it is just it was these reviews that helped us choose this resort to begin with.

I have reflected on my rating which I would say is 4/5. Why it can’t be a 5 for me is that there are just a few too many small things that are not up to standard which is a real let down. The core and most difficult things like food quality, service and drinks are excellent and would be rated 5/5 with no issue at all.

Arrival

We emailed approx. two weeks in advance requesting our preferred room options and restaurant reservations. We received a very polite email within 24 hours stating they will do their upmost with the room and that restaurants should be booked on arrival.

We arrived to a quiet reception and were checked in quickly and professionally. However we were not offered the standard drink and cold towels that others have talked about. This was no big deal and I think it was down to the random arrival of the private transfer from the airport rather than expected coach. When coach’s arrived they were at the ready.

On arrival at the room, which was honoured as requested in the email we were disappointed to see it has not been cleaned. There were still swimming shorts and toiletries in the bathroom. We were quickly swapped to an alternative room which wasn’t our preferred choice but again no big deal. I tend to like problems being fixed quickly and professionally than dwell on the actual problem itself, which in this case it was.

The phone rang while unpacking and I was pleased to hear that all our restaurant reservations had in fact been made for us and our tickets were waiting with the Customer Relations desk. So it still may be worth including these with your room request email. This saved us the trip to public relations to book these. Also the App is a great tool. We managed to book additional reservations on this with no issue. The restaurants at Sian Kaan were normally free the next night however in the larger resorts it was much harder to find a suitable booking.

Room

We had the standard junior suite located right by the 24 hour snack bar. It was good, nice shower and bathroom, no bath. The bed was great and very comfortable. TV choice limited with I think about 5 channels in English including BBC World News. The others were film channels which basically had the same 6 films on repeat for the two weeks we were there. I know this shouldn’t be an issue when on holiday but with 3 days of rain late mornings and early nights with a good film would have been an improvement.

Storage as mentioned was a little sparse and the “sitting” area quickly become the suitcase and pool clothes dumping ground. Balcony was small and only had a view of trees as we was facing the back of the hotel but to be honest we didn’t use it once as we were sat out by the pools.

Maid service was excellent and the room was cleaned to a very good standard everyday. Get the impressive towel art which is always nice .

Minibar service was good but didn’t arrive a few days. Think we had maybe 5 out of 14 nights where there was no mini bar top up. When it was delivered I was impressed. 2 large bottles of water, 2 beers, 3 mini (Jack Daniels, Rum and Vodka), four soft fizzy drinks and a packet of crisps.

Tips: we left 20pesos for the maid each day 50 if the room was a mess. Left 20pesos in the fridge for the bar.

Just on a side note we did make friends with a couple who had the superior room with hot tub. These rooms are much bigger in size so the seating are/ storage issue may not be a problem.

Pools

We only really used two pools at the Sian Ka’an, the first day we used the pool by the Alux restaurant and then the rest of our stay the pool next to the snack bar, which I would say is the medium pool between noisy and really really quiet. The reason for the switch is there really is nothing going on at all at the Alux pool and the service was pretty poor, talking over an hour in between drinks, but this isn’t a problem for all and there was always a lot of people there.

The snack bar pool is a different matter. You get constant service as the waitress works between the snack bar and pool bar towards the “noisy pool”. You can wonder from here over to see the “crazy games” and can walk less than 30 yards to two bars and two sets of toilets from this pool. I would say the better cocktails were made in the snack bar rather than the pool bar.

We did visit the other pools at the Sian Kaan, the one by the sushi bar has only beds and is shallow with whirl pools. All very nice just a little too quiet and relaxing for us. The noisy pool is good, but I liked to be just far enough away that I could see and pop over to join in if I wanted to, rather than be part of it all day.

All pools were clean and well maintained.

Beach

Sian Ka’an has access to a private beach with it’s own bar. The beach is nice but a little crowded. The waitress service is great and very attentive and the bar staff fun. I’m not sure this beach is the best for snorkelling, it may be better towards the rocks at each end of the beach but I am not sure. There are wave breakers and during our stay it was very rough past these. We probably spent 6 days at the beach. We walked the length of the beach and there are some nice little all inclusive bars, there is a cool bar towards Akumal hotel (right facing the sea) with swings as seats. There are also hammocks towards Akumal hotel which are nice.

We never made a special effort to get to the beach early and always found a spot. To the far left of the bar (as you face the sea) is a walkway with two beds on their own which are three rows back from the sea. This was our preferred spot. There is also a towel hut so you can change your beach towels as and when required.

Al la Carte Restaurants

We found these slightly disappointing and during the end of our 2 week stay cancelled a few of our reservations to go for the buffet meal service.

Alux – This seemed to be the preferred restaurant by most people at the hotel and everyone we spoke too seemed to speak highly of this restaurant. I think personally this is trying a little too hard and the food standard compared to its desired image is a little lacking. It is good, just not as good as they make you think it will be with all the “fuss” you get. Also the menu choice we found to be quite basic and once you had eaten here twice there was nothing that really changed and was very the same.

Maiko Japenese – This I have to say was our favourite of the al la carte restaurants, nice ambiance the service was very good and the food was excellent in flavour and presentation. There was a lot of choice and from the selections that we chose the chef took a lot of pride in presentation and the flavour to the food. We only ate here twice as sometimes too much of a good thing spoils it but I would defiantly recommend a visit. Little added things like I enjoyed warm Sake with my meal was nice.

Tortuga Meat Restaurant – When we arrived at our welcome meeting this was one of the restaurants that our rep singled out as being amazing and the idea of having a red and green card to say go and stop for unlimited meat was something all wanted to try. Unfortunately I don’t think that it lived up to the hype. First of all the restaurant isn’t very well air conditioned so as soon as you walk in it is quite stifling and uncomfortable. There were set rules with this restaurant in that you had to pick a starter then you had to go up to the salad cart and pick a plate full and then the meat started, we asked if we could skip the salad part (this wasn’t just salad it was stew like meat, chicken, salad etc seemed to me like a bit of a ploy to fill people up before the meat started to come out) Once you had finished this you then started with the meat, of course it was sausage and chicken first, the sausage wasn’t to my personal taste but was cooked well. The chicken was nice. Next if you left your card green you received the turkey and pork which unfortunately was really dry and inedible which was ashame, if you still managed to keep eating the beef started to come out again, the not so nice cuts of beef first before you made it to the steak, unfortunately due to the sheer amount of food and the fact that turkey / pork and chicken kept on being dished out between the beef not many made it to the end. We didn’t stay for desert.



Buffett Restaurant – Sian Ka’an

On a whole the food here is excellent. Not much more can be said about the food at the buffet restaurant, for each meal it was always well supplied with lots of varieties and there was a constant change on the food plates if things had been sitting for too long and you never really had to wait a long time for eggs in the morning or the pasta bar in the evening.

The waiter service was a little hit or miss towards the end of our holiday as the hotel was getting busier, you found yourself queuing just to get into the restaurant as they couldn’t turn the tables quick enough and if you did find a table sometimes it took a while for it to be laid with knifes and forks or glasses for water. Some meals we found ourselves laying our own table and having to ask 3 or 4 times for a drink or even a glass of water which again was a little disappointing. I know that people say to try and get the same seat so you can get to know your waiter but the hotel again seemed to get so busy this was impossible.

One thing I can say is try the other hotel buffet restaurants, we found a few real hidden gems like the morning breakfast buffet restaurants in Tulum served british style sausages and after a night on the tequila and your body is craving certain natural fixes a sausage sandwich here was great. Also, we found that because children were allowed in this hotel that the selection seemed to be more varied. In fact the only change that they had that the Sian Ka’an didn’t was smoked salmon but the array of other treats you didn’t even miss this or even notice. We did try most of the other buffet restaurants and was really pleased that we did.

Entertainment

The entertainment team we felt were good, again there was a disappointment in that this finished every evening at 10pm and as there is not much space (compared to the other hotels who have halls / stages) it was quite cramped. It would have been nice if maybe the music played for a little longer or at least until the bar closed. The bar in the reception lobby finished serving at 11:00pm yet the entertainment at 10pm.

Being English I think we have been programmed for “no dancing before 11pm”. The normal process for me anyway is bar has closed, now dance.

I did like that if there was a show on the evening like Michael Jackson, Elvis etc that the dancers came down to the pool area around 3pm just to give everyone a little taster as to what was installed and it gave the place a buzz at that time of day as everyone got involved.

We also went to the Mexian Fiesta night at the Hasianda again this was a good night and there were lots to see and do, they had made a real effort to keep everyone entertained with free popcorn and candyfloss for the children which was great.




Hasienda

We did make a visit to the Hasienda to have a look around the shops and to visit the Corona Bar (do note this is not all inclusive and you have to pay for your drinks here). The Hasienda is a good place to have a look around the shops but you do need to haggle quite a bit to get the best price or the fairest price as they seem to start very high and as soon as you walk away they are almost halved which is ashame as this puts a lot of people off but I understand again why they do this. I think it is worth a visit and worth a note that the prices in the shops for Tequila, hot sauces etc are reasonable and not much difference from Playa del Carman and the airport.

Shuttle Buses

These are generally good and a nice way to meet other guests. They can be a little hit or miss around 9.30am where they are used to drop the 10am bar staff to their destinations. Again no big deal if this is communicated, but to be told 2mins by the staff is not helpful, I would prefer a 45 minuet wait sat at the bar than standing for 20mins being lied to.

We found that it was also nice to walk to the other hotels rather than take the bus each time, this way you got to see a bit more of the grounds and also on the way got to meet some of the amazing wildlife.

The best way to walk is down past the golf course onto the main road, cross and past the Hasienda and down into Tulum, stop for a drink and walk along the beach to the Sian Kaan area. It just so happens you have the sun on your face walking towards the beach in the morning and also on the way back in the afternoon.

Drinks

This was one of the best things about the hotel as all the spirits were premium, and the measurements were always on the large side. The beer was cold and refreshing and the cocktails were a real treat and again some real hidden gems, the pina coladas and mudslides are a must try! Although be careful with the mudslides as on a hot day they are like drinking milkshake but the only non alcoholic content of this cocktail is the ice which classes as the mixer! (Note - these are not on cocktail menus but are a must try)

The bar staff in all the hotels were top notch and couldn’t be faulted you was never standing at the bar waiting at the Sian Ka’an for longer than a minute and they also got the order right.

Summary

Overall we had a really good two week holiday where we met some lovely people, ate lots and drank lots.

I’m not sure whether we would go back as there are too many little minor faults with the holiday that make you not want to rush back. These really are trivial though and in no real way impact on the overall enjoyment of the holiday, if they could just fix these little things it would be a 5* review from me. Just tiny things really like not changing films regularly, the table tennis table being of poor quality with poor equipment, being mislead about the next shuttle, entertainment team being a little self obsessed ect.

Also, when you see other hotel lobbies you will be disappointed with the grandeur of Sian Ka’an. All other lobbies also have flavoured Tequila and Rum that you can help yourself to, as well as coffee machines which are missing at Sian Ka’an. The trade off is however in the drink quality and service. There is also little seating by the pool areas. I had to steal a chair from the snack bar as I like to sit rather than lie flat out. All trivial really but impacting on it not being a 5/5. So for this hotel alone I would give a 4/5.

Complex

However, the real beauty of this location is the use of all the other hotels. If you put the best bits of all the others together you have an amazing place to stay, and you get to use these all day. Listed below are some of the areas I think are a must try during you stay at other hotels –

- Tulum buffet for breakfast. Stop here on your walk to the beach in the morning. Greater selection and a nice high energy atmosphere to start your day
- Coba swim up pool. Great service and lots people to talk to. They also have a great snack bar here where you can BBQ your own food to your liking.
- Akmual Premier – not sure you are meant to use this but we did on several occasions without issue. Enjoyed the music bar here and the lunch buffet had some really good cooked meet. This is located if you walk between Akumal lobby and Coba lobby.
- Akmual Beach – nicer water, cool beach bar and hammocks.
- Dolphin show – 11am each day. Whether you agree with it or not it is still amazing to see these clever animals perform
- Coffee / drink at the golf club house – you have to pay but you will likely be the only ones on a beautiful balcony overlooking the course.

For the resort at large this in my view is worth a 5/5.

All in all though we had an amazing time and I would highly recommend the hotel and complex. I would invest some time getting to know the whole complex and then use your favourite bits of it rather than being stuck to the Sian Ka’an. Try and get lost and walk around, you will find little hidden gems which will make your stay.

I hope you enjoy your trip and if you have any questions please PM me. I may post this also in the forum section if people want to comment / debate ect.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
24  Thank NickandGemFly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 6 July 2014

Dear Nick,

I would like to thank you for your detailed feedback regarding your recent stay at our facilities. It will certainly help us to keep focus on customer satisfaction and fulfillment of our hotel standards.

We are delighted that you have spent your vacation with us and that you enjoyed the a la carte restaurants, your room, trolley service, buffet and visiting the area. We will share your comments with our staff to improve the areas we need to and keep providing the good service and ambience we strive for.

Once again thank you for your comments and also for your beautiful photos regarding our facilities and delicious food!!

Hoping to welcome you back in a near future.

Receive our warmest regards,

Lizeth Arratia
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an Don Pablo Collection

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Reviewed 2 July 2014

There is not much that anybody could complain about with this 5* resort.

The Best Bits:
Food- For starters the food in this place is phenomenal, the Buffet food is nothing like any other All inclusive food we have ever tasted before Venison, rib-eye steak, beef wellington, crabs claws, smoked salmon and king prawns all on offer and they save the best till last with a fantastic array of chocolate covered strawberries and truffles displayed at the lobby bar throughout the evening, last year we stayed at the Tulum section of the hotel which was great, but this blew it out the water. Hats of to the chef(s), who didn't disappoint for the whole 2 weeks of our stay here. The buffet restaurant was so impressive we didn't even utilize the numerous unlimited Al carte restaurants that we loved so much last year.

Drink- if your a fussy drinker and like nothing better than the best then this place has it all, but you will need to remember when ordering your drinks from the table you will need to stress to the waitress that you would like the specific brand of alcohol for example, Malibu and coke can sometimes be served as coconut liqueur, also on offer is Drambuie, Smirnoff, Jonnie Walkers red label, Baileys... the list goes on, also extra bonus you will get refilled miniatures each day in your room.

Service- No place in the world will you receive better service than that at the Bahia Principe Resort, regardless of what colour band you wear these people will ensure your holiday is perfect. Some of the nicest people we have ever met such as Jesus (chu-chu) at the 24h snack bar, the lady who worked at the egg station in the morning was AMAZING, Stefi the trainee at the Lobby bar Sian Kann we wish you every success in the future & hope to see you next year. Also, the customer relations staff who don't get mentioned very often do a fabulous job and ensure every issue is attended to. We found that these ladies were TEN TIMES more helpful than the holiday rep who only seemed interested in taking more money off us for trips than actually informing us what is included in our holiday.

The Bits that could be slightly better-
More attention needed to the surrounding areas of the villas
Bushes could be sprayed with repellent more often when mosquito are rife (but we understand this cant be helped)

TIP: when traveling to Mexico and buying cigarettes, Cancun airport run a strict limit on the amount of cigarettes you can bring into the country which is not explained before you travel. A form is handed to you when you get off the plane and you are rushed to fill it out. We were unaware of the small print at the bottom of the form stating that you will be taxed on arrival to Mexico for anyone holding more than 200pp which we were sold 600 on the aircraft and were not informed that we would be unable to take them off the aircraft without paying an extra charge of $116 per pack of 200. THOMSON SHOULD NOT SELL THEIR CUSTOMERS CIGARETTES ON THE PLANE WITHOUT INFORMING THEM OF THESE RESTRICTIONS. (There is also restrictions on alcohol).

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank david j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 6 July 2014

Dear David,

Thank you for the time you have taken to share your fantastic experience during your stay with us.

We truly appreciate your feedback, it is a pleasure to read that you had a good experience with the the food, drinks and the service.

Also we would like to thank you for recognizing our chefs and Jesus, I will forward your post to our Management for their well deserved recognition.

We are looking forward to the pleasure of welcoming you again at the Riviera Maya,

Warm Regards,

Lizeth Arratia
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an Don Pablo Collection

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Reviewed 2 July 2014

Date of stay 14/06/14 - 28/06/14

Although this hotel has the potential to be the luxury 5 star hotel that it claims to be, it lets itself down with small simple things.

POSITIVES
Peace and quiet - the lack of music and children at the pool side made for a very relaxing atmosphere at the pool.
Food - the main buffet restaurant at the Sian Ka'an had good quality food with good variety and you could easily eat there every night without getting bored. The Japanese restaurant, Maiko, is also well worth a visit, lovely food and good service.
Drinks - the cocktails contained a reasonable amount of alcohol (unlike many all-inclusive resorts where the alcohol content of cocktails is minimal) and the alcohol used was mostly decent, international branded drinks.
Facilities - all of the pools in Sian Ka'an were well maintained and clean and there was pool side waiter service for drinks. The private beach was lovely; there were plenty of activities, plenty of sun-loungers and sufficient shade. There was also waiter service at the beach.
Bar and Waiter service - generally good, polite and attentive.

NEGATIVES
Room cleanliness - the floor in the room was not mopped. If you walked around the room in bare feet, your feet would soon be black. The shower base was never cleaned, and the surfaces in the bathroom did not appear to be wiped
A la carte restaurants – The hotel has many a la carte restaurants of which we tried five. Two of these were not fully a la carte as they are advertised! In both the Mexican, Tequila, and the Brazilian, La Gran Tortuga, the starters and deserts were buffet style with only the main courses being a la carte. The Mexican restaurant was especially poor, the food lacked flavour and both the starter and desert buffets were a smaller selection of what is on offer at the Sian Ka'an buffet and of poorer quality! The Brazilian offered better food, but service was slow, and the front of house staff miserable and slightly rude. We visited the tepanyaki restaurant, The Mikado, twice as we really enjoyed the first visit. However on the second visit, the starters were stone cold, the main course overcooked, and the tempura ice cream was served melted.
Bugs - the hotel cannot be blamed for the fact that there are bugs around, that is just the nature of the hotels setting. However, we are careful to keep the lights off and shut the doors quickly behind us with the aim to minimise the number of bugs in the room. Despite this, there were several occasions when several large bugs such as cockroaches were found in our room. We also discovered that the maids and maintenance staff wedged the door open whilst they were in our room, leaving a clear path for bugs to enter. It wouldn't take much for the maids to clean the room with the door shut.
Towels - on a couple of occasions, we returned to the room to find no towels. On one of these occasions, the maid returned 10 mins later with three towels, one of which she dropped on the dirty ground outside our room (in front of our own eyes) before passing it over to us. On another occasion, we had no bath or hand towels, and after 4 follow up phone calls to reception we eventually received them two hours after the initial request. This was despite stressing at the first call, that we had restaurant reservations and needed to shower very soon. So much for express service!
Beds - we booked a room for 3 adults and one of the beds was a sofa bed. Usually this wouldn't be too bad. However, the top half of the bed was rock solid and the bottom half was very soft leaving a harsh ridge digging into your lower back. Having said that, as soon as this issue was conveyed properly to the reception, the sofa bed was replaced with a single bed which was much more comfortable. 3 days before the end of our stay, the maid put thick, super soft mattress toppers on all of the beds. We had experienced these once at the first attempt to fix the sofa bed issue and they were so soft that they provided no support and left you with a bad back in the morning. We called reception at 6pm to request that they be removed. We returned to the room at 9pm after food and they were still on the beds. We had a very, very early morning planned for the next day, so we contacted the reception again asking for them to be removed as soon as possible as we wanted a restful night. Despite saying that they would send someone immediately, it took another 2 phone calls from us, and a further 1.5 hours for the toppers to be removed and the beds remade. 4.5 hours after the original request, the mattress toppers were removed.

Although from this review it would seem that the negatives outweigh the positives, we still had a lovely holiday. The hotel does not currently live up to the luxury 5 star standards but with some minor changes this hotel could be amazing!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Ann A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRPPSIANKAAN, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 6 July 2014

Dear Ann,

We thank you so much for sharing your comments about how your experience was with us, we are glad that even that our hotel was not what you expected, you enjoyed the food, drinks, facilities and the service of our bar’s staff!!

Also, we appreciate that you let us know all the inconveniences experienced on your visit and we would like to offer you sincere apologies for that. We thank you for offer us the opportunity to learn from your experience through your comments shared.

We hope to have a second opportunity and receive you soon at The Mexican Caribbean!

Receive our warmest regards,

Lizeth Arratia
Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an Don Pablo Collection

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection

Address: Carretera Chetumal - Cancun Km 250, Mexico | Cancun Km 250, Akumal 77760, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Casino Hotel in Akumal
#2 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#2 Family Hotel in Akumal
#5 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#5 Spa Hotel in Akumal
Price Range: £146 - £327 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka'an Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 420
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

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