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“Very surprised to see the poor recent ratings”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #9 of 22 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 April 2012

We (a late 40's UK couple) can honestly say that we thoroughly enjoyed our 2 week stay at Gran Bahia Principe Akumal and were shocked to read the last few reports. We feel that we have high standards.

The Rooms:-

We stayed on the first floor of block 70 facing the jungle which was wonderful for spotting wild life including a nightly display by fire flies. We can confirm that there was a slight musty smell but nothing more than that and we didn't notice it at all after the second day. The room was well serviced to a high standard by the maid and we had no complaints.There was even a couple of maintenance jobs completed whilst we were out and we didn't even report them so the maid obviously noticed the broken light bulb and reported it herself. Drinks in the room fridge were replenished daily. There isn't a kettle as such supplied in the room but a coffee machine (fresh coffee included). If you are a UK traveller such as ourselves then we would suggest that you run the water through the heating process twice which will give you a water temperature suitable for tea. UK travellers may also be interested to know that 240v chargers, Ipod docks, laptops etc will work via the lower voltage Mexican power supply but appliances taking a larger current will not. The beds could be described as firm but we prefer these and found them to be comfortable. Both soft and hard pillows were provided to suit ones preference. Toiletries were provided and replenished as necessary.

The food:-

We are healthy eaters and can honestly report that there is a plentiful amount of good food available to suit all tastes.
Breakfast was served until 10.30 which we would describe as good. The service did vary though at breakfast and beverage supply (which was waiter served) could be haphazard though we tend to think that this was because they were very busy. Perhaps a few extra staff would help. Lunch was available between 12 and 15.00. This on the few occasions that we tried it was of a very good standard. The evening meal was in our opinion the best meal of the day. The choice was varied and being a buffet was plentiful though we found that we had to pace ourselves!!! The food should suit all tastes whether you are a vegetarian, have a preference for meat or prefer fish. We would advise that you try all the buffet restaurants (there are 3) as menus do vary and you may decide on your favourite as we did and eat there most times. We are not going to give away which was our favourite - you will have to try them all for yourselves!!! The fact that the hotel is large and encompasses 3 hotels is an advantage in our opinion as you are free to try all for food and daytime pursuits. On site transport throughout the day as has been reported previously is regular so there is no excuse for not sampling all that the hotel has to offer.
We tried several several of the À la carte restaurants and had our personal favourites.
The Brazilian restaurant was in our opinion superb and served perhaps the best beef that it has ever been our good fortune to taste. The waiter serves perhaps 7 or 8 various meat skewers in turn between intervals and you simply accept or decline what he has to offer. We were fortunate to eat here on 2 occasions but had to seriously pace ourselves the second time. You won't be disappointed.
We also loved the Japanese restaurant and again were lucky enough to go twice. This takes the format whereby diners are divided into groups of 12 and seated around the hotplate. The chef then proceeds to cook the meal of your choice in front of you as well as participating in various feats of utensil juggling / entertainment. Please note that this meal is an entertaining experience as well as a culinary delight and would be perfect if you are a single traveller as everyone tends to chat etc.
Everyone seems to take an insulated drink container with them and they use it on the beach to keep drinks cold. Also useful for cold milk to use in your tea and keep in your fridge. All you get in the room is sachets of Coffeemate.
The snack bars are good for whatever you want whenever you want it. The food isn't as good as the buffet but you can ask them to cook you a pizza which was OK. You can also make quite a good cup of tea, provided they have any UK teabags left. It's a good idea to carry tea bags with you for such times. However if you like Twinings herbal there's always plenty of choice of those.

Evening entertainment:-

This was our first 'all inclusive' holiday so were wary as being British are used to things not being all that they seem without further cost. We can report that alcoholic drinks to a good standard were plentiful throughout the day and evening which is another thing you will need to keep an eye on!!! The waiters are skilled, super efficient and don't skimp on measures. The British retailer could learn a lot from this hotel regarding pleasing the customer without attempting to extract more money or reducing their costs to the detriment of their customers!!! Ouch. The Michael Jackson ‘do’ seemed good though we had to stand so get there early if you want a seat. There was various evening entertainment on offer until about 22.00 and this varies at the 3 hotels so again, explore. The lobby bars close at 11pm but there is a disco at the Hacienda on site most nights of the week from 24.00 until 03.00 and it is suitably sited to be of no inconvenience to the sleeping majority. We didn't manage to make it here - too tired from the sun / days events.

The Beach:-

This is not the best but there are various pools well scattered throughout the site. Pools are good but sunbeds as well documented in other reports, hard to get. We tended to frequent south side of the Beach and had no trouble getting a sunbed here. The sand is quite gritty here and the far north end has better sand but you can't swim there safely. If you want amazing beaches go off site to Akumal or Tulum. Akumal beach is 25 pesos per journey each on Collectivo and you walk down the beach road from the bus stop on the main carriageway. It's not far. We went to Tulum beach on a trip. I don't think you could walk there from a bus stop, but it's amazing and overlooked by Tulum ruins.
Shopping and going off site :-
We went to Playa Del Carmen by bus (30 pesos each way) It has loads of shops and a beach. Good for silver jewellery etc. There aren't really many shops near hotel except Hacienda market which we found was quite competitive on pricing and stocks everything you see in Playa and at airport etc. You don't really spend alot of money on this type of holiday unless you wish to tip heavily, however we did find trips expensive. All trips seemed to be around 99 - 129 US dollars per person, so we tried to choose the most cost effective. You can go to Akul lagoon by taxi (they reside just outside the hotel gates) rather than pay for a trip. It cost us 300 for taxis and then it's 1100 pesos to get in, but it's worth it with many fish and spectacular underwater geology. Let me know if you find my lost snorkel!!! You are asked not to use sun screen due to the chemicals in it but they sell the Eco friendly there for 150 pesos (only small bottle) We would suggest that you take an old tee shirt to swim in to avoid this cost. I didn't see it for sale anywhere else. We went to a Cenote which was a great experience - well worth doing. These are underground rivers (surprisingly warm) which you descent to via a pothole. Lifejackets are provided and the swim / snorkel down the river is recommended for the underwater geology which could best be described as submerged canyons.

Money:-

We took peso’s but US dollars appeared to be the preferred currency. It was surprising that the currency exchange at the hotel lobby were offering 18 peso per GB pound which compares favourably to the rate available at home. We would seriously consider exchanging at the hotel lobby as required on a subsequent holiday which of course would negate having to exchange them back when you get home. Don’t forget that you will need 780 peso’s each to cover the departure tax at the airport.

The people:-

We found both the hotel staff and locals that we encountered on our travels to be very friendly. We didn’t feel that the traders try and rip you off. You will need to barter for taxis but in our experience they honour the agreed price when you reach your destination. The collectivo’s (white minibus’s) are reliable, frequent and stick to fixed charges so no bartering is required – pay when you reach your destination. Take care when crossing the main road when dropped off on the opposite carriageway to the hotel.

Room Tip: This is a big site so all rooms have advantages or disadvantages depending on your pursuit at any ti...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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28  Thank MorpheusCheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,262 - 5,268 of 10,046 reviews

Reviewed 10 April 2012

There are soooo many resorts to choose from when you go to Mexico. My husband and I stayed in a resort close to Playa del Carmen two years ago and absolutely had no complaints. We loved it!!!. This time around we made the mistake by trying a new area and a new resort. Well you would think you would be safe with a reputable chain like Gran Bahia, but this was not the case. Very dissapointed with just getting a simple cappuccino. We tried three times at the Akumal resort and each time there was an excuse why they could not make one! The machine was broken, the second time they ran out of milk third time there was nobody behind the counter! Not a lot of saff in this resort!!! Rooms were musty smelling, hit and miss with hot water! Staff was good, but then again hit and miss! Very big resort!!! Too big to get Good service!!! Shuttle buses you would have to wait about 15 min. Food was OK nothing to rave about!!! I do not recommend the fish restaurant in Coba! AWFUL!!!!!! NO clam's in the clam chowder soup, and the fish soup had no fish in it! The meal was over cooked and had no taste! Over all I expected more from this resort! Don't let the name of the chain fool you!!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank vanita h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2012

There were pros and cons to this resort and as a fellow traveler I thought I would share them. This is now my 5th time at an all inclusive, so I hope I have some insight.

We stayed at the Royal Golden club (upgraded) at Akumel.

Pros
The food was nice. There was a great selection.
The water was lovely.
The grounds are pretty and well maintained.

Cons
Service - not good most of the time.
- We struggled many times throughout the week to get an answer about anything or even a smile. First of all, 3 pm check in is ridiculous when you get there at noon. Second of all, by the time we got to our room, our luggage and the crib we had requested were not there until almost 5 pm.
- The reception of the Royal Golden is useless- they constantly had no answers, were rude and sent us to the main lobby for answers.
- we used the express check out the night before we left and paid our bill - that was a catastrophe - turns out they didn't check us out (and a few other people too!) and the next morning at 5:30 am we demanding payment and not letting us leave...what a disaster!

Rooms were musty and the air conditioning didn't work all the time. Had a serious lack of hot water every night past 8 pm. But they were clean and well maintained.

We upgraded to Royal Golden because we were told we would be close to the beach - we were still a solid 5 minute walk from the beach. Turns out this resort is MASSIVE so if you are in the other sections you are really far. The beach was beautiful and that's were we spent 90% of our time. I'm glad we aren't pool people because all the chairs were 'reserved' by 7 am (even though there were signs everywhere asking people not to do that!).

We also experienced issues with the a la cartes - we were entitled to 4. We went the minute we check in to make reservations but were only able to get 5:30 reservations at certain places - couldn't get a spot in the Mexican restaurant!

Will not be going back to the Bahia. Will go back to the Barcelo, which was much better.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Noemie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2012

This was my first time south. This resort came highly recommended by a travel agent, who suggested it was a "Great Resort"
Cons about resort
This is not a place for young people to travel to, if you are wanting to enjoy night life or fun. This resort is literally dead at 10pm. Coba seemed more lively. The pools are closed at 8pm and the beaches are federally policed, so this doesn't allow you to swim to cool off at night. This resort is family friendly which is nice, but kids were everywhere and for the most part not being supervised, while in the pool. I personally would not go to another resort with children unless it was an adult specified resort or area of a resort. The beach chair availability was horrible, as all of the previous reviews stated, you had to do the old towel at 5:30 am to reserve your spot. The food was absolutely awful and I would not feed it to my dog! I ate bread for the entire trip, as everything was either fried in the same grease, so ex: chicken, fish, fries etc had a fish taste. I typically eat healthy but the salad tasted bad. Both my partner and I both got extremely sick and we were laid up in the room which definitely killed some of the vacation. The a la cartes were no better! The Brazilian restaurant that is suppose to be a steak houses, was GROSS! The service was horrible and the food was as bad. The service in the room was disgraceful, the "fresh towels" were dirty and stained and not replenished. A more then generous tip was left on the pillow everyday and we never received anything extra in the room and others we spoke to received numerous things, such as chocolates flowers or even towel animals. I was lucky to receive 2 towels one day, without having to share one towel. The snack bar was gross as well. It was a hike to get anywhere, the resort was too big. The animals they use to make a profit off of for pictures, such as the monkey, parrots, toucans and iguanas are all stored in a house together in Playa Del Carmen. While at the pool, I witnessed the monkey bite someone, who was getting his picture taken with. The staff who were taking the pictures minimized and said "oh she is clean" Would not reccomend the excursions through the resort, extremely over priced and you can do the excursions yourself for 1/100 of the price ex: the ruins, you can take a cab for 3.00 and then pay 6.00 to get in, which is a donation for upkeep. Also to go downtown, you pay 3.00 per person each way as oppose to 30.00 per person through the resort.
Pros
Majority of the staff were friendly, Big shout out to Jose at the bar by the pool, waiter,Javier in the lobby buffet, Carlos in the Italian buffet and Migiel and Dayvis trolley drivers and the animation team (aquatics and zumba)! Ariel and Juan with Air Transat! Thank you for all that you do!!!!
The grounds are beautiful and well kept, the sprinklers are always on and the staff are working hard constantly to upkeep the grounds.
Lots of cool animals around the property
The beach was nice, there are many different kinds of fish and they love to be fed. The parasailing excursion was the only one worth the money, it was worth every penny. Would do it again.
Playa Del Carmen was the highlight of the trip and was not part of the resort, would highly recommend going there if you are in a group, best experience of all!!
Would go back to Mexico, not to this resort

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank joanna b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2012

Stayed here in February for a week we had booked to stay at the GB Coba and when we arrived they informed us that they were moving us to Akumal because the rooms were getting renovated so over to the Akumal resort we go and walk into this musky smelling room. I have stayed in Mexico many times and the Domminican and have experienced that musky room smell but this was terrible. I washed and fumigated our suitcases when we got home but ended up having to throw the luggage away.
This resort is very big it has the three resorts together and only so much beach front so we had to get up at 6 am and put our towels on the beach chairs or we would not get one anywhere. The staff weren't the most friendliest and we have never had this problem before at other resorts so that was very disappointing, we enjoy the resort staff they are usaully wonderful people. The food was nothing great the same old buffet stuff the specialtiy restaurants were okay but not great. The entertainment was very boring we went afew times and had enough of that. Then the day we had to leave the bus driver forgot to pick us up so they sent a cab over and he took us to the airport and we almost missed our plane.
I don't complain much you can see that on my other reviews but I really have nothing good to say about this resort except the Tequilla was good and maybe I should of drank more of it. Next time I will make sure to find out how big the resort is and if it has sister resorts joining it.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank ShellyLRZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2012

If you want an honest review of this resort here it is. My family has vacationed in the Playa del Carmen area every year for the past 5 years and usually stay at an Iberostar resort, this year we had a family wedding that was at this resort so we thought would give it a try. While this is a beautiful resort they have many problems. One of the things I noticed right away was the staff, they did not have enough of them in the buffet and those that were there are so over worked that they are not friendly and cannot offer good service to anyone. To get a glass of ice water at this place was like finding gold in a stream. I tried to just get the water myself, and then was met by disapproval from the server. Next were the rooms, we had little or no air-conditioning for 5 of our 8 days at the resort, despite numerous complaints, we had "fresh" towels that had makeup on them, our sheets had footprints and various other stains on them. The pillows had a funky odor. The biggest problem was the cockroaches! I did not bring one piece of luggage into my house when I got home. Many of the people we were traveling with had no hot water for their entire stay. The beach is very rocky, and if you dig very far down you will begin to find trash. The swim beach is a looooong way from the rooms, so be prepared for your daily hikes. The food is mediocre at best, and there is little Mexican food at the buffet and what is there is the same every single day. While you can get transportation to the other resorts, Tulum and Coba, you have to wait for the shuttles (up to 15 minutes) and then literally fight to get on one because there are so many people trying to "escape" from Akumal. If you have a 6:30 reservation at a restraint at Coba you had better start trying to get there at 5:30. One advantage to staying at this hotel is you are close to many attractions in the area. Overall I would never stay here again, bad service, dirty rooms, bad food, bad beach. The Iberostar resorts are much much better.

Room Tip: Good Luck!
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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15  Thank Mary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2012

My husband and I enjoyed our stay at the Akumal resort a few years ago, we decided to return. Unfortunately, our experience this time around was not as great.
Positives:
-A majority of the staff were friendly except for the front desk where you would expect a smile to be cracked.
-The buffet was great especially at the other nearby resorts. Highly recommend dining at the Coba resort. Customer service was much better.
-The 'a la carte' restaurants were ok not great. I would recommend that the minute you arrive reserve your 'a la carte' restaurants.
- The ice cream and yogurt were amazing...just as we remembered.

Negatives:
-The cleanliness of our room was extremely disappointing. The bed sheets and pillow cases smelled very badly. So bad you did not want to sit on the bed. We immediately called housekeeping to get them changed. After 4 hrs someone did arrive and she kindly switched them out. The smell was better but lingered. Unfortunately, we slept on towels throughout our trip. Our room resided on the main floor with very little airflow. So when we would return to our room we had to quickly open the balcony and front door to air things out. The humidity and lack of airflow not only contributed to the musky smell in our room but probably to the sheets. As well, the beds were hard.
- If you want a chair by the pool or beach, you need to get up at 7am. Any later, you will notice a sea of 'blue' towels; beach bags and sandals...but no owners. Despite the fact that there are tiny signs that do not allow the reservations of chairs...no one cares.
- If your not a golfer but want to accompany your spouse or significant other, expect to pay $70 USD because they will not allow you to tag along and watch.

Overall, our experience at this resort was not as enjoyable as the first. We definitely noticed the Akumal resort has gotten a lot busier which is great for the resort but from a quality perspective it has definitely declined.

Room Tip: Select a room on the top floor. The breeze will help air out the room from all the humidity.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank rockstar8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection

Address: Carretera Chetumal - Cancun Km 250. Mexico | Cancun Km 250, Playa Aventuras, Akumal 77760, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Casino Hotel in Akumal
#3 Family Hotel in Akumal
#4 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#8 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#9 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
Price Range: £171 - £326 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection 4*
Number of rooms: 758
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 3 swimming pools 4 jacuzzis 2 children's swimming pools Solarium with sun umbrellas and sun loungers BAHIA SPA (additional charges apply) Sports centre: a gym, 5 tennis courts, bicycles Motor sports (additional charges apply) Aquatic activity and diving centre Entertainment amphitheatre Wi-Fi access in the lobby (free) and with an no additional charge in the rooms Buffet restaurant opposite the sea 3 a la carte restaurants 9 bars Cocktail Lounge Riviera Maya Golf Club: 18 long holes and 9 executive holes with lakes, cenotes and Mayan jungle Hacienda Dona Isabel: karaoke bars, shows, live music and a night club Rooms 758 spacious Junior Suite Superior rooms. Equipped with: Two full-size beds or one king-size bed A living area with sofa A fully fitted bathroom: shower, washbasin, dryer and magnifying mirror Hydro massage tub Bathrobe and slippers (to be enjoyed throughout your stay) Pool towel (to be enjoyed throughout your stay) Balcony or terrace Air conditioning Ceiling fan Direct-dial telephone (additional charges applicable to external calls) Radio alarm clock Flat-screen TV Mini-bar with mini alcoholic beverages (included) Coffee set Safe (included) Ironing set 24 hour room service Butler service (upon request) Evening turn-down service Pillow menu Wi-Fi (no additional charge) Children Bahia Scouts Children can enjoy facilities designed especially for them: Children's swimming pool Mini Club (children aged 4 to 12) Mini Disco in the evenings Bahia Scouts Water Park Teen's club (children aged 11 to 16) Other services An internal mini-train service providing access to all the facilities: 24-hour medical service (additional charges apply) Pharmacy (additional charges apply) Personalised menu options for celiacs and diabetics Specialised wedding, anniversary and event planning service Casin ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Bahia Principe Akumal
Bahia Principle
Bahia Principe Mexico
Gran Bahia Principe Hotel Akumal
Mexico Bahia Principe
Bahia Principe Tulum
Grand Bahia Principe Akumal
Bahia Principe Riviera Maya
Bahia Mexico Principe
Akumal Gran Bahia Principe

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