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Grand Bahia Principe Coba
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Reviews (14,372)
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Reviewed 20 March 2008

We were suppose to stay at the akumal but when we got there, they were over booked so they moved us to the coba premier and gave us the room safe free, free tickets to Mexican night and 3 minutes free phone in our room. We heard from a lot of people that they were also moved because of overbooking. I don't understand how this happens! Every thing worked out fine though. The room was clean fridge always stocked, they even phoned our room a day later to see if every thing was ok.

Most every thing you read on trip advisor is accurate. Beach is a bit rocky just take beach shoes. The resort is huge but my husband and I walked to the pools and the beach most of the time.

A complaint we had were with all the people that put their towels on chairs and never showed up for HOURS My husband and I went to the pool one day and the bar tender at the swim up bar took 2 towels off a couple of chairs for us because he said there was a 2 hour rule. If chairs are unattended for 2 hours their towels came be removed. At the aukulm there is a big sign that reads no reserving chairs but people still did. I think the staff need to get on board and start pulling towels off the chairs when they notice this..You can go to any pool in the morning and see all the chairs with towels on them, go back 3 or 4 hours later and the chairs are still not being used..

We only had one bad night of service at the coba buffet.. A waiter came and took our order for drinks and never showed up with water or drinks for the entire evening. They were very busy that night and every other night was ok so 1 out of 7 is nothing to complain about.
Over all though it is a beautiful, clean resort. The staff were always friendly. You will never be bored. My husband and I would probally go back.

Stayed: March 2008
8  Thank alberta08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2008

My boyfriend and I traveled to the Coba for a seven day stay on the 26th of February. As most of the reviews have stated this is a beautiful all inclusive. We throughly enjoyed the entire week. I cannot understand how anyone could give this resort a bad review, to those people, please stay home and whine, stop scaring other people with your obvious personal pet peeves and negativity. On the second day of our stay, I joked with my boyfriend that if we had to pay for everything, like we do in Canada, we'd be broke already!! This is how this resort makes you feel, with the emaculate grounds, impressive marble lobbies, huge clean pools, and all the fabulous dining choices, you can't help but feel incredibly rich and pampered. We even enjoyed the beach! As you can see in posted pictures, it is beautiful! Yes it is a bit rocky in some places when you enter the water, (bring the water shoes $6.50 a pair at any retail store in Canada) as advised, you don't have to, but again, it will stop the negative comments. We were on the beach from 9 to 3 every day, and felt like we were in heaven. We went into Playa for one afternoon, took the public transportation, had a great day of sight seeing and shopping. One note is that if you are buying Barcardi rum, it is cheaper at the Cancun airport then anywhere else. Our travel guide warned us about traveling on the Collectico, saying it was not safe, he had us really scared about doing anything on our own in Mexico. I think the reason for this is because they are losing lots of money by not getting the people to book tours through them. A three hour trip into Playa for shopping costs $12. per person if booked through them, but $4.00 return on your own, these vans are clean, airconditioned and very safe, most tourists use them, so don't be frightened. This trip was probably one of the best we've had. The resort is gorgeous, clean and safe, with so much to offer that you should never be bored. Another plus is that the location gives you the opportunity to go off on your own and explore the country you are visiting. We would definately return to the Bahia Coba, but next time we'd take two weeks as you really need more time to enjoy all that this place has to offer.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
8  Thank Halli2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2008

My boyfriend (35) and I (34) stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Coba March 2-9. We booked through [--].

Booking through Apple Vacations has been known to offer benefits, such as a Premier Upgrade. This includes free internet (bring your own laptop), an additional al a carte (4 instead of 3 per 7 night stay), premier location (close to everything important: i.e., pools, lobbies, restaurants, spa, etc), access to the premier buffet (Cozumel), free safe for the week (usually $5/day – or so I’ve heard). This is not a guarantee and has not been confirmed by Apple or the hotel, it just seems to be a common occurance. Apple was unaware and would have sold the upgrade to me for an additional $200. My opinion would be go there, see if you get a safe key and 4 al a cartes when you get there and you’ll know you got the upgrade.

Transportation – we paid for a private transfer to and from for $100. Was it worth it? I’m not sure. It was convenient.

Check-in – no lines, everyone was extremely accommodating. Any question we asked was answered thoroughly and with a smile. We booked our restaurant reservations upon arrival so think about what days you want to do excursions and what days you want to chill out, then decide what days it’d be appropriate to go to a nice restaurant.

Grounds – immaculate. Very clean, well groomed.

Pools – the activity pool was chilly. Not sure why but it took my breath away to jump in. We spent most of our days at the quieter pool (right outside of our building, #23, and the water was perfection. The chairs were padded (unlike at the activity pool). My motto: if ya can’t beat’em, join’em! Get out there at 6am and lay your towels, beach bag and a book on the chairs you want in the shade. The sun gets really hot during the day and there is nothing like chilling out ALL DAY by the pool reading and relaxing. You won’t get a chair in the shade if you’re not out there. It’s just the way it is. Just don’t be ignorant and leave your stuff there for hours w/o you being there!

Rooms – We were in building 23 on the 2nd floor. We loved it. Right across from the Spa (which I never went so I can only relate what I heard from another visitor while there – it was professional, service was good). The beds are not hard. They are firm. Huge difference. It’s not like you’re sleeping on some cheap mattress that feels like rock. It’s soft and firm, the sheets are luxurious and you can get extra pillows to make it even better. We had a king size bed and loved how massive it was. There were plenty of choices of things to watch if you want to chill out in the room and for kids – early morning cartoons! In room safe – easy to use. Mini bar – sprite, diet coke, coke, soda water, OJ, chocolate bars, Dos Equis (restocked every other day)

Entertainment – the main auditorium had decent entertainment. Some nights it was a little cheesy but good for kids. The Michael Jackson show was fun. Disco – didn’t go. We couldn’t stay up that late! But heard from other people that it was mostly younger (late teens/early 20s). Lots of lounges that had live entertainment and heard there was karaoke one night. Very relaxing and good place to people watch.

Food – Kulkukan buffet was the main buffet. Food was plentiful. Very lively environment both day and night. There isn’t a time of day that you aren’t offered a drink! ;) At night, this buffet is filled with music from right outside where they have more entertainment. Cozumel is the premier buffet. The only difference is they only have the best of what is offered at Kulkukan and the environment is quiet, dimly lit and more elegant. I hate pineapple and ham pizza every day. It was so good.

Restaurants (that I went to)

Le Gourmet – great service. Lamb chop the size of a golf ball and lobster that was overcooked to the point it was hard to get it out of the shell. Dessert was raspberry ice cream with a toasted meringue cover. AMAZING. Exceptional service.

Portofino – My personal favorite. Buffet as an appetizer (fresh fruit – amazing strawberries), bruschetta, fried mozzarella, calamari, pasta salads, grilled veggies (asparagus, tomatoes, etc) Chicken breast stuffed with gouda cheese and asparagus w/Tiramisu for dessert. John had Lasagna and a cream puff pastry with chocolate ice cream for dessert. We LOVED it.

Mikado – I had a bit too much tequila beforehand so from what I remember ;) It was fun. Good food.

Arlequin – my taste buds weren’t ready for this eclectic menu. A little too gourmet for me. AMAZING service though! This restaurant sits directly on the beach and has an open air feel – it’s just beautiful.

Beach – Our first day there I took a tram to the beach while John took a nap (this shows how easy it is to figure things out because I felt extremely comfortable within minutes to do this on my own). I walked along the beach but found the sand to be rocky. The water wasn’t as turquoise as you’ll find in Playa del Carmen or Tulum. After my first visit, we decided to stay by the pool.

Service – This was by far the best part of the resort. Everyone there seemed genuinely happy to be there. The wait staff were extremely well trained. I can’t say this enough. You’ll have to experience it to know what I’m talking about. I was so impressed with the staff.

Check out. Do a pre-check out the day before you leave to make sure everything will be settled for you and so that you know if your flight is running on time and what time you should pick up your transport back to the airport. Call to schedule bell service the night before.

Excursions – Take the collectivo ($2/person). Take the Hacienda tram from your hotel to the Hacienda (it’s blue and red as opposed to the other white ones). Walk from the Hacienda to the road out front and make your way to the left. This is where the white busses and taxis are. Let them know where you want to go and they’ll direct you to the right van. Playa del Carmen is great for shopping and the beach. Bring your beach bag! We did the Mayan extreme, which included repelling, zip lining, snorkeling in a cenote (not a lot of fish – at all), and tour of the Tulum ruins. Our guide was wonderful and the ruins were majestic. We had our beach bags from earlier and we had enough time after the tour to swim in the water at Tulum beach (which is ranked the 5th most beautiful beach in the world.) It was breathtaking.

I hope I didn’t forget anything! If anyone has questions, I’d be happy to answer any of them ☺ I highly recommend this hotel for couples and families. Singles? Not so much for you unless you’re just looking to chill out and relax.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
18  Thank ldgtown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2008

Overall, a great stay. First off:
Works like a well-oiled machine - bring in the pasty, white tourists and send them
home a lot browner, a tad fatter and a lot mellower.
Resort was beautiful and extremely well-maintained.
Staff work extremely hard and never complain - tip 'em generously.
Rooms were spacious and clean but a tad stale - poor ventilation.
Sun Block - minimum 30 SPF, preferably 50 SPF - apply often!!
Booze - pretty watered down - could never drink like that at home and
not be blitzed. However, can you imagine 2000 pickled guests?

Onward and upward...

Stayed at the Coba portion of the resort from March 9 -16, 2008. Arrived via the shuttle bus provided by the Tour Operator - coach was clean and fast and there really wasn't any point in arriving earlier as your luggage won't be delivered to your room any sooner anyway. Grabbed a bite to eat at the 24-hour buffet, but strangely, no coffee or tea was available. Hmmm? Next day caught some serious rays poolside and when our skin turned lobster-red we decided to explore the resort. Word to the wise: bring comfortable shoes if you intend to walk as the distances can be quite great. Smartened up by late afternoon and used one of the resort's numerous shuttles to go here and there.

Food in the buffets was good but not stellar and got pretty monotonous after the 3rd day or so. However, due to the large numbers of hungry guests it's incredible how they can keep churning the stuff out day after day. All utensils and eating areas were spotlessly clean and excellent food handling techniques were used by front line staff at all times. However, the a-la-cartes can range from abysmal to stellar. Book 'em the minute you get to the check-in counter - wait till the next day and you'll be disappointed. Restaurants we patronized ranging from "don't bother" to "book it now" were:

1) Le Grand Tortuga - the biggest disappointment of the bunch. Food was cold, buffet (for salads, etc.) same as regular buffet fare in the resort, service was slow and the steak? don't even bother to order it.

2) Don Pablo - no complaints here. Incredible to see the difference from one restaurant to the next. Heaps of staff and a very attentive maître d' who wanted honest feedback on the experience and provided comment cards for same. Food was delivered on heated plates and properly timed. Wine glass continually refilled, however the house wine wasn't really worth a second glass.

3) Le Gourmet - Strangely, the restaurant had tons of empty tables and we had to take a later seating time than desired. It appeared that there might have been no-shows and that's just completely unfair to all - staff and patrons included. Food, however, was tasty and well-presented. Staff was attentive - probably partly due to the lack of diners - but they never complain and are always smiling. Steak - top notch.

3) Mikado - the Crown Jewel of the resort. You're seated in a private room at a horseshoe-shaped table with the chef's cook top in the centre. A Mexican "Japanese" chef prepares everything to order "ring-side" including some pretty deft handling of knives and spatulas and superb cooking skills. You also get a chance to chat with fellow diners and that makes for a more memorable experience. Even if you get the late seating don't hesitate to check out this restaurant.

Beaches - great surf and fabulous breakers - winds were very high and the red flag was up for most of the week but if you stayed in the protected areas it was great fun to splash about in the salt water. Water shoes? They might have helped these Canadian feet that are normally entombed in mukluks but the free dermabrasion was worth the price of admission.

Pools - yep, there was some lounge-hogging and towels seemed to be the preferred method of staking one's territory, but there are plenty of pools and someone is always leaving so just be patient. There are so many pools and places to swim that one can't really complain.

Children - sure, bring them. Lots did, but if kids aren't your thing then this might not be the resort for you. We tried to escape the little screamers on occasion, but it does take some doing. We don't think that children that are still nursing really get the benefit of "dining" in a 5-star restaurant but we figure that this is the way of world these days.

Off-site excursions - just grab one of the mini-buses that seat 15 and they're always available at the resort's main entrance. $ 2 gets you into Playa del Carmen where you can shop till you drop. Another $ 2 gets you home, you hop on the resort's continuous shuttle service and voila! you're home. Couldn't be easier.

Can't think of much more to add, but if someone needs more info just ask via this forum and we'd be glad to help.

The only negative of the trip and not resort-related at all, was Air Transat's return flight. Sure, we all expect to be packed in like sardines on charters these days, but to have the crew dump all the water upon landing and not refill the tanks? Seems strange. Glad they had the foresight to refill the fuel tanks though. So, no coffee or tea or water to wash your hands. And the cabin air temp was was too cold - crew ran out of blankets to hand to every shivering passenger. Next time we'll dress much warmer and bring more liquids to drink. And, by the way, you might be restricted to 3.2 oz. departing Canada, but you can carry 1.5 ltrs of water onboard from Mexico without difficulty.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
11  Thank CrazeeCanucks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2008

Having stayed at this hotel for 7 nights from the 17th February I would like to a post a review that is perhaps a little less glowing than most given for this hotel.
On the plus side as most people note the hotel and grounds are immaculately clean and tidy. The hotel pools and beach are also good.
On the minus side we think that the rooms must vary in quality. The room we had on the ground floor in block 15 was average at best. The coffee maker was broken, I got an electric shock from one of the room lamps and the ice machine outside the door was amazingly loud. The hotel transit carts also go past the window every couple of minutes, so its not good on the privacy front. All minor things but...
The main problem that we had at this hotel was the generally poor service. The staff at checkin were off-hand, unhelpful and in the case of one gentleman just plain rude. I have seen lots of positive posts but whilst we were there the staff in restaurants were more interested in chatting to each other than paying any attention to customers. Tipping made no difference to the attention or rather lack of attention that we received. The exception was the night the customer service questionnaire was handed out, but 6 days of poor service is not balanced by one evening of good service. Checkout staff maintained the low standards of customer care.
We don't consider that we are overly fussy, we just like to stay in a nice room and get served drinks etc when sitting in the bars and restaurants.
Our stays at 3 other hotels in the Yucatan over the last 3 years have all been highly enjoyable and we love Mexico. Possibly we were just unlucky and if you are going to this hotel I hope that you enjoy your stay, we would never return to this hotel.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank Alwaystravelling67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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