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Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal
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Reviewed 17 August 2014

We attended a destination wedding as a couple at the Grand Bahia Principe Akumal in early August 2014. We also paid for the upgrade to the Golden Suites, within the Akumal resort. We had never stayed at a Grand Bahia resort before but have been to many all inclusives before. Here are some pros and cons to our stay.

PROS:
Our room was fantastic and housekeeping service was frequent and exceeded our expectations. Our room didn't have an ocean view but was just steps from the beach. Our house keeper made sure our mini fridge was stocked and towels were clean and on hand. Overall all the staff (service, bar, lobby) were friendly and fast. Loved that we had wifi in the lobby (1 hour per day, 1 session per day) but tried to unplug as much as possible while we in such a beautiful setting. The 24hour snack bar had good selection into the wee hours of the morning and the golf carts the go around the resort are more frequent than posted (states that its every 15 minutes but is more frequent and if you leave the "cart stop" they will pick you up any where if you flag them down). We also used the fitness centre which was sufficient for our needs. The resort really felt like you were in the jungle and the landscaping, wildlife and the entire grounds were stunning. We recommend going for a run early in the morning (its a great way to get your bearings in such a huge resort AND its gorgeous). Check out the Hacienda / market place if you need souvenirs and aren't planning to go into town. Also the churros at the breakfast buffet were incredible. Make sure you have them with the hot chocolate. Finally best part of the resort was the beach and the snorkelling. Bring your mask and snorkel because the beach by the Golden suites had tons of fish (comparable to snorkelling excursions I've paid for in the past).

CONS:
Pool side: You can't get a chair unless you go before 7:30am. We didn't sit at the pool at all this trip.

Restaurant reservations:
As seasoned all inclusive travellers, we know that you have to book your a la carte restaurants early. We arrived Sunday 6pm and went to book our restaurants the next day around 10:30am. The pickings were slim. Between the 8 or so a la carte restaurants, we didn't even have the option of a few restaurants, and the remainder there were only a few reservations available.

As mentioned we were there with a wedding party; actually a huge party of around 75 guests staying the week. While I know the wedding planners for the wedding were excellent, we had a very difficult time booking a la carte restaurants for small groups of guests (12).

To add to that, we had a difficult time booking restaurants for just the 2 of us!!! The a la carte restaurants is a part of all inclusives that we really look forward to. It's like date night every night. As a result we just ate a random times, at whatever restaurant we could get into. What was especially disappointing was that at all of the restaurants we ate at, they were only about 25% full during our entire meal. One evening we attempted to walk in and request a table and they stated that they were fully booked (the restaurant maybe had 3 tables full and about 40 empty, at 9:30pm at night). The reservation staff at the Public Relations desk were not very helpful, and the hostess/Manager at Mikado was especially rude. We had a rehearsal dinner one night and had already booked reservations at Mikado. We were running a bit late, and when we arrived, the manager (tall woman, short red hair) was extremely rude saying that we cannot eat at the teppanyaki as there is a 10 minute grace time and we were past that. We asked if we could eat at a regular table (as we were just so desperate to take advantage of ANY of the a la carte restaurants) and begrudgingly she obliged.

Take home points & Tips:
I was really disappointed in Grand Bahia because of the poor availability of restaurant reservations for 2 people. Then to go to a few restaurants and see how empty they were was especially discouraging. Finally the poor customer service from the manager at Mikado was uncalled for. I understand that people probably just book and then no-show for their reservations - develop some system to optimize reservation space.

If I stay at a Grand Bahia again, I would book my a la carte bookings as soon as I arrived at the resort (i.e. within the first 60 minutes of being on site).

Room Tip: We were in villa 64 which was conveniently located near the snack bar, beach and pool. Given how large the resort is, I recommend staying as close as you can to the amenities you want to access (be it pool or beach). Book your la carte bookings as soon as you arrive at the resort (i.e. within the first 60 minutes of being on site), waiting until our first full day there was hardly any reservations left.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Samantha A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRPP A, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal, responded to this reviewResponded 20 August 2014

Dear Samantha:

Thank you for giving us the change to host you recently at Grand Bahia Principe Akumal and for taking the time to write your feedback.

Comments and suggestion from our guests are very valuable for our team, the opportunity points you have let us know have been headed to the hotel Management in order to analyze them and take the proper measures to guarantee the entire satisfaction of our guests.

We hope to have the honor to welcome you back in the future and prove you that our services are always improving. Please do not hesitate to contact us for your next visit.


Kind regards from Mexico!



Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, enjoy playing golf at our hotels on the Mayan Riviera.
Mario Enrique Moreno
Grand Bahia Principe Akumal

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 August 2014

I stayed at this hotel in July and can't fault it in any way. We were over for a friends wedding and stayed for two weeks.
I booked flights and room independently. I opted for private transfer all arranged directly on hotels website.
I was given a room a stone's throw from the beach. Room was lovely and clean. My only very small complaint bar wasn't stocked every day. However if I had complained then it would have been sorted. Check in fast and receptionist took time to explain everything.

The staff are exceptional probably the best that I have ever experienced and I'm a regular traveller.
Couldn't fault any of the restaurants either although you have to be quick to get them booked.

Pools and grounds are immaculate. There's always someone cleaning!

Would thoroughly recommend this hotel although I heard rumours that they were going to make it adults only which would suit me. But a shame as the kids in the children club looked as if they were having a ball.

Swim with Dolphins or visit to Coco Bongo is a must

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Macgers77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRPP A, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal, responded to this reviewResponded 18 August 2014

Dear Mr. Macguers:

First of all thank you very much for staying in the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal Resort and taking the time to write your positive impressions that will be shared with the staff because the recognition of our services from our guests, are the best motivation for us.

It is a pleasure to know that we filled your expectations due to the great location of your room, and the attention of our staff. It is important for us that all our guests enjoy their time on the property and leave with a good impression and even the desire to come back for more. It will be a pleasure to welcome you again in the future in our complex.

Once again, we thank you so much for your nice words!


Kind Regards from Sunny Mexico!




Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, enjoy playing golf at our hotels on the Mayan Riviera.
Mario Enrique Moreno
Grand Bahia Principe Akumal

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2014

This hotel is located equally from the two large towns either side, both have tourist sites, such as temples, restaurants and shops. The hotel is very large with luxury rooms. All of the staff are very helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Matthew L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRPP A, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2014

Dear Matthew:

First of all thank you very much for staying in the Grand Bahia Principe Akumal, Riviera Maya and taking the time to write your impressions.

It is great to know that you had a great time with us and it is a real pleasure to read your kind words.

Please, do not forget to contact us for your next visit; it will be my pleasure to help you with anything you may need.


Regards from The Mexican Caribbean!



Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in the Mayan Riviera
Mario Enrique Moreno

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2014

We have visited Mexico 4 times and unfortunately chose to stay at the Gran Bahia Principe Akumal on our recent visit 3rd June 2014 for 2 weeks. We have never encountered problems in Mexico before. This hotel is the biggest cost cutting exercise we have every endured. All inclusive and yet they ran out of alcohol on several occasions and on many only beer left. The coffee machine was out of order from day 3 and never repaired ( using too much milk). We could never have a drink as a family from the mini bar. Food was dire and room service hopeless. I have expanded on the main issues below to hopefully help others prior to booking. If you would like any information or pictures as proof please contact me. I also have a letter from the hotel apologising for the dreadful service.

Location
These 4 hotels and the time share complex are about another half an hour travel from Playa del carmen or 1.5 hours from Cancun. If you like a town or centre to browse then you will have to travel. this complex is on its own and too far out. You can use the local buses which are really cheap and that would depend on what time of you go due to the heat. Taxis can be called for you at the hotel but will be expense due to the distance. I was quoted £100 return to Cancun.

This complex is huge! If you are not good at walking ( in the heat) or have little ones this could be a problem for you. We were all ok.

Trains
There are trains to take you around the complex from one hotel to another which arrive frequently and you need them because its so vast. However the front of these trains have originally been cars. The boot/end of the car has been chopped off and trailers of seats have been added to make a long train. The problem with this is that the exhaust does not run through all the carriages to the end of the train and consequently all the exhaust fumes are being constantly blown in your face. The smell is dreadful and you feel like you can't breathe. Lots of people used the trains with scarves over their nose and mouth. Google the dangers of exhaust fumes. I definitely would not recommend these on a health basis and definitely if you are asthmatic.

Safe
There is a daily charge for the safe of $5 per day plus tax. We though this was very mean as this is not a cheap holiday.

Food
This hotel should never have been rated 4/5 * it is a 3* at best. The buffet hardly changed for a full two weeks, burger, hotdogs, chips. There is a Lobster in a perspex case so you could actually say there is Lobster in the dining room but its only on show. You can't eat it and you certainly won't be served it. Paella without sea food? The air conditioning unit in the restaurant is leaking and dripping water all over the cereal, seeds, nuts, and fruits. We took immoduim for most of our stay and we think it was due to visiting this food station. We spoke to other people who were experiencing the same illness. The themed restaurants are a joke. We upgraded to the Gold club and with that you are supposed to have 4 themed restaurant visits per week. There is no chance of booking these and yet when you go they are empty. I don't think they have the staff to cope with them if they were fully booked. We managed 4 and I can honestly say we did not miss out by not getting the other 4. The Brazillian was like road kill on a plate. We have never witnessed so much food waste and were constantly amazed that such waste did not tell them they had a problem. The only restaurant were the food good was the Japanese, I would ask for a show table...if you can get one. A the risk of upsetting people if you thought that the food at this hotel was good then you can't be used to much at home. We have stayed in Mexico before in three other hotels and the food at this hotel does not even come close to what we have experienced before.

Hygiene
Our room was on the third floor of our block. For the full two weeks the stairs were covered in urine and faeces and were never cleaned. The pools of urine would dry with the heat. Faeces of undigested seeds were sprayed up the walls. We were well aware that urine and faeces was being walked into our room by us, the maid and service people. There was also a mattress full of urine on the landing when we left for breakfast and it was still there when we got back in the evening, stinking in the heat. The hygiene at the snack bar is horrendous. The animal where sitting on the plates whilst eating off other plates. There was faeces and urine all over the floor. The animals were walking in this and leaving paw prints everywhere. We witnessed a Racoon trying to take a families meal from their table, it was hissing and would not move. Nobody is cleaning the food/plates from this area so the animal know is a source of food and its overrun. This hotel pays lip service to hygiene by putting hand gel on every hand that enters the dining room but allows you to walk pee and poo into your room and animal is sit on plates and rub their bottoms on tables in the snack bar outside. There is no logic. There are waste bins on every landing outside the rooms and every morning the rubbish or food stains would be all over the landing where the animals had emptied the bins looking for food.

Rooms
I don't know what other rooms are like so I am only commenting on our room. I am guessing by the layout that this room was designed to be a twin or something else. We had our 21 year old son with us and our room was supposed to be a family room. The size of the room was very good and we had two double beds. The only problem was that the large wall lamps were now over the head of whoever slept on the left of the bed. I could not sleep because I was well aware that the lamp was above me and I would bang my head if I lifted my head up. The bed also had a mattress topper on it which was too small for the bed. Consequently our pillow disappeared into the gap between the topper and the headboard so it was like not having a pillow. There was no ventilation/window in the bathroom so after three people have showered the heat and moisture was terrific. They air con was useless and the fan made a constant clicking noise when on so you could not sleep.

Room service
This was a nightmare for us. The golden upgrade boasts 24 hour room service, it just fails to tell you it will take 36 hours to arrive. Every day we had the same problem, no towels, no coffee, no water. On day 1 we had no towels to get showered and when we rang the reception they asked us to come and collet them. If reception was a staircase or a lift away I wouldn't have had a problem with that but this was a train ride away! The towels arrived the following day. No matter how many times we complained to the Thomson reps, the hotel or the golden club reception would could not get room service resolved for the entire holiday. We have since received a letter from the hotel management admitting to the poor service stating that their standard is for two people and not three. We paid full price for three though!

Minibar in the room
This is a waste of a fridge. Three adults for 14 days received:
1 water
1 coke
1 fanta
2 beer
and 1 pkt of 18g crisp between 3 for the whole holiday.
Getting the mini bar restocked was impossible. Our constant requests and complaints for the same problem resulted in the mini bar stocker locking the fridge on us. That took hours in reception, a visit from the management team (because they could not believe it was locked and wanted to see for themselves) and a talk on "what they could do for us". What a waste of precious holiday time.
They offered to waive the safe key money for the whole holiday if we signed a document waiving all rights to complain in any way about any aspect of our holiday.

Bars and service
Whilst we were there the World cup was happening. All day they were putting up bunting etc turning the entertainment room into a World cup theme. There were over 300 people in the room and only one bar man serving. The service was so bad that we witnessed a man giving a waiter a large amount of money to keep the beers coming to him and his pals. There were two waiters and one barman. Every time the waiters arrived at the bar the barman would do all their drinks immediately leaving everyone else unserved. It was impossible to get a drink. We encountered this problem at various bars of the hotel, even at the Michael Jackson show, anywhere that there was a large number of people. On numerous occasions after queuing for a long time we were told only serving beer or no bloody mary....they frequently ran out of alcohol which is unacceptable from an all inclusive resort. All service stops a 11 am and the cushions are whipped from under your bum and from the back of the chair and tables are flying around everywhere being put back to where they think they should be. At this point you would have to go to the Hacienda, by train to get a drink. or go to the faeces infested snack bar. You are told if you want a drink after 11 pm to go to the Hacienda but what they are not telling you is its only the sports bar at the Hacienda which is your all inclusive package. When the sports bar is closed you have to pay for your drink at the Corona bar.

Time share
The Bahia group have built a Time Share complex on the opposite side of the road to the 4 hotel complex. Thomson fail to mention this in their brochure or at the reception meeting. They have two desks in reception so you have to walk past them every time you go to the dining room or to the toilet. The call in person to your room, they ring your room. Even when we tried to book the themed restaurants the conversation quickly moved to pressurising into time share. You do not expect this form of harassment in a 4/5* hotel. If we had of known this we would never have booked this hotel and thats probably why its never mentioned. You go on holiday to relax and get away from all the hard sell and cold calling. You don't expect to battle them several times per day. It's a total invasion.

Our holiday was so bad and we were so fed up wasting our holiday in reception complaining that I emailed a complaint to Thomson head office in the Uk, the Thomson reps at the resort and the Hotel itself on day 10 of our holiday. No response and the problems were still not rectified. I have sent a recorded letter with pictures to Thomson giving them 28 days to respond.....they replied saying they would respond within the 28 days.........still no response ( 36 days) I have written to them again today giving them another 14 days to respond after which we shall be pursuing them via the county court. Dreadful holiday and dreadful customer service from Thomson. Never again would I use Thomson.

Room Tip: Golden club will not guarantee you a sea facing room. The room service is dreadful and you won't get your 8 themed restaurants so would not bother with the upgrade to Golden.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
25  Thank tropicalaware
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRPP A, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal, responded to this reviewResponded 19 August 2014

Dear Guest:

Thank you so much for being guest at Grand Bahia Principe Riviera Maya; it was truly an honor to be at your service the past June!

We really regret the experiences described referring the service at our hotel on your two weeks of holidays. Thanks to communication of this nature our customers give us an opportunity to target areas of concern and take necessary measures, as well to ensure that we maintain and deliver the level of service expected.

We have sent your feedback to our General Manager and Departments involved, since you sent us this information by email, in order to let them know your perception, be assured that along with your Tour Operator proper measures had been taken to guarantee the complete satisfaction of our visitors, keep in mind that sometimes takes more time than the expected.

It is never our attention to make any of our guests feel uncomfortable. We are truly sorry that our efforts to fix these inconveniences as soon as you reported to us were not up to your satisfaction, we always try to make our guests' vacation, their best experience.

We can only hope that you will accept our apologies and hoping that you can give us a second opportunity to make your holidays very memorable and to meet your expectations this time.

Kind regards!




Mario Enrique Moreno
Grand Bahia Principe Akumal

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2014

We have just returned from our third time at Gran Bahia Principe and we will go back again!!!
As before we were greeted by smiling faces and the check in went smoothly. As we know the resort we did not spend much time finding our way around, but unpacked and went for dinner and early to bed due to travel and time difference (6 hrs).
We spent most of our day time on the beach which was cleaned and raked every morning, and in the evenings we ate mainly in the restaurants.
Both during the day and evenings there are plenty of activities to join in (dry or wet), just look at the boards around the hotel for the times and places. I.e. every morning there was Zomba on the beach, and aqua aerobics in the sea!
The water sports include kayak, jet ski, paragliding and sailing catamarans ( some you need to pay for)

We keep trying to find faults with the hotel, but we can't find anything. The hotel is being maintained constantly i.e. plenty of gardeners, cleaners, beach cleaners, decorators, but they are not in the way as they tend to work out of the way or during the night / very early morning.
As per our previous stays we ate too much as the selection of restaurants and food is great. Our rooms were clean well every day with clean towels and beach towels could be changed during the day by the pools. The room fridge was restocked every 2 days with different drinks.

Our only comment is that the bars around the resort close around 11pm, however if would be nice if they could stay open for some hours longer for people who would like to sit in comfortable chairs and chat or play games. Currently after 11pm the options are the Hacienda with the disco or the 24hr restaurants!

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
7  Thank LoneBucks_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RRPP A, Public Relations at Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal, responded to this reviewResponded 16 August 2014

Dear Guest:

Thank you for choosing the Grand Bahia Principe Akumal during your trip in the Riviera Maya.

We appreciate for taking time to review our services, and we are glad that you have rated most of our services in very high way. Thank you for share us all your important points of views.

It will be a pleasure to welcome you again and provide you another memorable experience, so please do not forget to contact us before your next visit.


Our best regards from the Riviera Maya,



Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel on the Mayan Riviera
Mario Enrique Moreno
Grand Bahia Principe Akumal

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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