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Grand Bahia Principe Coba
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Reviews (14,264)
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Reviewed 22 May 2012

We went to Coba over the Easter Weekend and it was great. Not too crowded and the staff was great. Took the 6am flight from Toronto and was at the resort by lunch time.

I am not a big fan of buffets but I have to admit the food there was amazing and endless choices. Got to the point we had a hard time choosing which one we should go to for lunch and dinner. The resort was very clean and our room was great.

Only negative I would have is they can do a better job in policing the the chairs at the beach. People came and put their towels down and would go for 5 - 6 hours. Other than that it was a great experience and definitely on my "visit again" list.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank BusTraveler2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2012

Let me start by saying "All places cannot be all things to all people."
Obviously, if you read my past reviews and look at the title of this one you will see that we absolutely,unequivocately, love the Gran Bahia Principe Coba. It feels more like our home now not just a place to vacation. Melitza, Felix, Hector, and the rest of the staff welcome us like family each and every time we come here. That has not changed since the first time we arrived at this beautiful resort.
This trip we brought our friends from Ontario. It was their first time to an all-inclusive resort and first trip to Mexico. We also met up with 2 other couples that we had met at the Coba in the last couple of years. Each and everytime we come here we make new friends who share a love of this resort and of Mexico.
For this trip we decided to book independently through our travel agent. Being repeat guests we automatically are given Golden Club priveleges. A nice touch from the Bahia chain. So we booked our air and hotel and then our transportation to the resort through USA transfers. If you can afford the extra cost it is well worth it. You book them online and dont have to pay them until you arrive at the airport. They greet you outside the airport,drive you in an air-conditioned van to the resort and pick you up for your return trip home. This cuts off about 1 hour in travelling time by not having to wait for the bus to drop off other vacationers not going to the same resort. As the Coba is the last stop it was wonderful knowing this is the fastest way to get there safely. The drivers are always friendly and courteous. They will even stop for beverages on the way if you ask.
We arrived in the lobby a little bit late as our US Air connections were delayed. Once flying out of Halifax and then again leaving Philidelphia.
It didnt matter once in the Premier Lobby Melitza and Felix were there to greet us along with Manuel. Hugs and kisses exchanged, baggage take care of and delivered to our rooms and check-in taken care of, we sat in the Premier Lobby and had a drink to cool off. This is always such a nice relaxing atmosphere. Quiet music and cool breezes. The waitresses are very attentive as well as the bartenders. Time had come to show our best friends their room.
We had looked forward to this trip for a very long time. We wanted to re-live our first trip here through the eyes of our friends. First impressions are always lasting ones and they were not disappointed. Matter of fact, when we asked them later, they said when they got to their rooms they had tears in their eyes because it was so beautiful there.
I here alot of complaints about how big this resort is. I've said it before "The resort can be as big or as small as you want it to be." The choices are endless when it comes to places to visit and things to do or if all you choose to do for the entire stay is sit and relax by the pool you can do that too.
We love the fact that we dont feel the need to be "dressed for dinner" all the time. Noone is peering down their noses at you if you choose to wear shorts to the buffet at dinner. However, there is a dress code when it comes to the al a cartes. Read the bottom of your reservation ticket to check the proper attire for that evening.
I don't know how this has happened but, in the 10 years of coming to the Coba, this is the first time we have ever eaten at the Don Pablo. What a wonderful meal we had there and it is my new favorite restaurant. The Mikado had a very good meal this time but beware it gets really warm sitting at the show table. Dress accordingly. Still a great experience if you've never seen it and the chefs are very entertaining. Thanks George you were wonderful.
The Portofino is and Italian restaurant and also a favorite of mine but I was disappointed to see it was closed until the end of May.
La Gran Tortuga is an al a carte with a Brazilian theme. They have a buffet and then serve your meat to you on skewers tableside. You will recieve a card with red and green on each side. Red is stop, green is keep it coming lol. You get the idea. Don't forget to save room for the warm pineapple basted in cinnamon and brown sugar. It's amazing.
We also enjoyed The Tequila al a carte. Food was perfectly cooked with lots of variety on the menu. They give you a serape and a sombrero to wear after dinner and your waiter will take your picture for you. Lots of fun and laughs here. Especially when he hands you over the fake moustache to put on.
A big disappointment to me this time was not having the Cozumel buffet open for breakfast. Its a nice break from the hussle and bussle of the main buffet. But with slow season comes certain closures and staff layoffs. They did open it up on "Dias de las Madres" for the staffs mothers to enjoy a celebration. Nice touch. Then closed it again for the rest of our stay.
The main buffet is always busy but we found the staff to be very attentive. They always brought things to our table if we were missing something.

We have never had any issues with our room ever, the musty smell others talk about comes with the humidity of a tropical climate. I can suggest however, that bringing a scented candle with you to burn helps or packing some dryer sheets in your luggage to put in your drawers if this is an issue for you, works also. We bring our own coffee from home, pre-ground, along with some CoffeeMate,a bag of pre-packaged sugar and a box of #2 coffee filters. It's so convenient when you can get up at anytime of the day or night and make your own coffee in your room without having to go to the lobby/buffet for it. We also bring a few things like Immodium,Gravol, Tylenol,
Zantac and a first aid kit with bandages, tape, gauze, polysporin etc. Make sure to purchase your sunscreen and lotions at home. They are very expensive on the resort and unless you are planning to take a trip to Tulum or Playa Del Carmen you are going to need it. Any prescriptions should be filled before leaving home and left in the original containers but there is a doctor on site at the Hacienda that will re-write them for you if need be.
The trolleys are plentiful on-site, have signs on the front of them and are colour coded. The tram to the Hacienda Dona Isabela can be a bit of a wait but think how many people are using them to get there to shop from all 3 areas of the resort.
If going off the resort please dont be afraid to use the collectivos at the side of the highway. When you leave the Hacienda you will see men waving you over. These gentlemen are taxi drivers and will charge you more than if you walked out to the highway and grab a collectivo.
These are mini-vans that drive the local workers to their resorts but stop to pick up tourists and will take you anywhere you want to go for $3.50 per person one way. If they have room they will flash their headlights at you to let you know they are stopping. We have used them for years and they are perfectly safe. Big tip here depending on what excursion you are going to. Take a collectivo or taxi to your destination, pay at the gate, you will save yourself quite a bit of money this way and arent tied to bus schedules or tours. You can go at your own pace and leave when you want. Xel-Ha and X-Plor are lots of fun.
Playa Del Carmen can be very warm and crowded during the day. Go in the evening when it is cooler and less crowded. The vendors sometimes will drop their prices in the evening also when the crowds are down. Go for a walk down on the beach. There are alot of beach bars with live bands down there playing at night. Stroll on the boardwalk and go to the Zocalo (centre square) in the middle of town. When we went there we were surprised by some people in Mayan warrior costumes that climbed a pole, hung by their feet and spiralled down to the bottom of it. Amazing. They also do this at the Tulum Ruins. We ate at a restaurant called "Karens" while in Playa. Its on 5th Avenue and was awesome. Food was cooked perfectly and great prices. We had Calamari, Nachos, 3 prime rib dinners, 2 chicken fajita dinners and 2 drinks each for a party of 5 it came to $135. Service was great. Live Band.
The Sian Kaan Golf Course: This is only hearsay on my part because I dont golf. My husband does however and he loves it. A Robert Trent Jones designed Professional Golf Course with all the amenities, your own golf cart with a 10" GPS, and Calloway clubs. Costs around $110 for the day. The clubhouse is air-conditioned and my husband said the food is really good. He loved trying the Dos Equis Amber. They have added another al a carte to the Sian Kaan since I've been there but we opted for the VIP bbq for repeat guests because we hear that they serve quite a bit of sushi there and we dont like it.
To Melitza, Felix, Hector, Felix,Manuel, Rene(quiet pool bar), Sergio, Ophelia, Evelyn, Mary, and all the wonderful staff too numerous to mention, we will see you in November. Thankyou for everything you did for us to make our and our friends stay as memorable as ever.

We will be back home soon, sitting out at the premier club, listening to the band with our friends and enjoying life. We miss you all when we arent there.

Room Tip: We love the 3rd floor of the buildings. A bit of a climb at night when you are tired but less noisy. Corner suites in some bldgs seem to have a nicer breeze at night.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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16  Thank Bluenoser2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2012

We visited GBP Coba for the second time in May 2012. This time we brought our 3 children (ages 10, 8 and 3) and my Mother in Law.
This time we booked a private transfer from Cancun airport to Coba ahead of time with USA transfers, it only took about an hour to get to the resort since we didn't have to stop at other resorts to drop off passengers. I would highly advise a private transfer.
The weather was amazing, it was warm enough without being to hot. We spent every day at either the beach or the pool. The beach was very clean and the had great entertainment and activities such as Zumba. The pools were also wonderful, very clean and just the right temp for us. Our kids LOVED all of the pools.
The food was good, although there was a little better selection when we went in August 2011. That being said we always found something to eat at the buffets and the snack bars. There is ALOT of child friendly food. The A la Cartes that we went to were really good, we went to Mikado and El Pescidor, both were deicious. We had a show table at Mikado which our kids really enjoyed!!!
The service was FABULOUS!!! Everyone was friendly and helpful and went out of thier way to talk to our kids and make sure they were having a good time. Our son lost his bag (a black bag with "Kade" embroidered in green letters, in case anyone comes across it) and Felix had people looking for it and even said he would keep looking for it after we left. That is great service!!
We were looking for a quiet place to relax for a week and enjoy time as a family and that is just what we got at GBP Coba. We can't wait to return for another family vacation.
We also had pictures taken on the beach from the photographers at the hotel. I have to say they turned out really good. We had Gabriel and Eric as photographers and we were very happy with their service.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank n3km
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2012

enjoyed our trip to the coba again this yr but ran into a couple problems but got them iron out after a couple days there...but i have to say the entertainment team was awesome...my husband love the activities and the team played a great role in his two weeks there..this means alot to my husband....wants to send a special thanks to Sopheia,angel,sexy mongo , rickie,and all the other enterainers...you guys was awesome.....keep up the good job....we love you

Danny and Christina Dalley

Room Tip: VILLA 14 b - close to the activity pool...great location for us
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Christina_Danny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2012

After having such a brilliant time in October. Myself and my mum decided to re-visit GBP Coba in the hope of having a holiday like last time..... This is where the fairytale ended.
I mentioned the food last time and sadly no improvements had been made... It was still cold. The staff in the buffet restaurant (85%) of them were rude and arrogant. It was like they really could not be bothered with customer care at all...for example. My mother asked one of the waiters if she could have a spoon...Very politely I may add...20 minutes passed...still no spoon. I asked another waiter for a spoon (he was stood around doing nothing) but he didn't return with one. My mum asked another waitress for a spoon and the waitress ignored her completely! Finally someone arrived with a spoon and it was slammed on the table in front of her! This is the service I would expect in a prison not a 5 star hotel! I would like to point out that this service happened on more than one occasion. Its truly disgusting and we reported it to the manager immediately.
Secondly, the room we had would have been perfect except one of the plugs kept falling out of the wall and every time you put it back in, you could see sparks coming out of it....Imagine a child in that room!
The dancers were appauling. Rarely was the females in time...it looked truly shoddy..unlike last year when they were great..
Entertainment was very hit and miss. I was told numerous times it was due to the season...But how come that was not the case in October and the hotel was way more full this year??
Trolley buses...30 minutes we had to wait for some of them..why? Because they do not seem to care for Akumal, Coba or Tulum anymore just Sian ka'an! That hotel I believe is the main cause for the complete downfall of what used to be a great hotel...Its a shame really because I have never been so disappointed in my life in Mexico (this was my 7th time)..
I refuse to let this hotel ruin what a lovely country Mexico is to me but I shall not be returning to the resort.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank tegzidoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SubDirectorGBPC, Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Coba, responded to this reviewResponded 23 May 2012

Dear 'tegzidoll',

First of all I would like to express my appreciation for taking your valuable time and making the effort to provide us with your comment.

On behalf of the entire team I would like to apologize for the inconveniences you experienced and ensure you that we have taken your feedback very serious. In addition to that we have taken immediate actions in order to improve our services.

The inconvenience you had at one of our buffet restaurants has already been discussed by our Food and Beverage director.
Besides that we have forwarded on your concerns about the trams, Food and beverage services and the hotel room to all corresponding managers.

Furthermore regarding the room I would like to express my deepest apologies. Additionally, we are currently in a modification process in order to keep our rooms updated.

In fact you have been visiting our hotel once again, and your loyality makes us very proud. I sincerely hope you give us another opportunity in order to demonstrate our improved results.

I do kindly ask you to please contact us again under given contact email.

Yours Sincerely,

Melitza Freites de Blanco
Subdirector of the Gran Bahia Principe Coba

Email for Guest Services: pramx3@bahia-principe.com

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