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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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