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Reviewed 23 January 2010

This resort is absolutely AMAZING. We stayed Jan. 6- Jan. 13 and had the worst week in terms of weather (rainy, high of 60 some days) and this was a real downer, yet the resort was so fabulous, we still had a great time!

Book w/ Apple Vacations because you get a private little van to drive you straight to your resort. You will not get to the Gran Bahia Principe Coba in less than 1 hour…trust me! Our driver was going fast and it took a bit more than 1 hour. If your company does not provide DIRECT transportation to the resort, I would get a cab, because dropping other people off to their resorts before yours can increase the time up to 2-3 hours.

Food- I am used to homemade dinners every night and will eat practically anything. This resort has amazing food at the buffets-breakfast, lunch and dinner. I recommend booking your 3 restaurants the day you arrive; after 1 week, you may get tired of the same buffet dinners. We ate at Don Pablo (my favourite), El Pasca..something(seafood) and the Mediterranean one. All were great; the servers were exceptional and beat any of the service from the restaurants in the USA or Canada!

Drinks- get the mango margarita! A vacation wouldn’t be a vacation without the all-inclusive drinks…the drinks were wonderful!

Excursions- You can’t go to the Mayan and NOT visit the ancient ruins. We went to the Coba ruins, where you can climb the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan Peninsula! Tip: rent bikes because the tall pyramid is a good 2km away. You have much more freedom that the touristy Chichen Itza, and I highly recommend doing this! We booked the Xel-Ha excursion as well, but ended up cancelling because of the weather =( however, I have heard great things about it.

Night life- the lobby is a great place to lounge after dinner and meet people. They kick everyone out at 11pm, but there are other places to go afterwards. We went to the disco one night and it was a lot of fun…very busy as well. If you want crazy night life, go to PLAYA DEL CARMEN! We did the party hopper tour (w/ apple vacations) and you go to Carlos and Charlies, Senor Frogs and Coco Bongo’s…all you can drink and transportation provided!

Shows- Saw the M. Jackson and impersonators one as well. They are professionals…highly skilled dancers (coming from a dancer, myself!) so I would definitely go see them.

Resort- this resort, as a whole, is immaculate. The facilities, grounds and pools are beautiful and new. Don’t even get me started on the staff…the Mexican people are beautiful, hardworking people and the trip would not have been the same if it wasn’t for them.

Safety- I’ve been to the Dominican where guards are standing outside of your resort, protecting the grounds with machine guns. You would not dare leave your resort and take a cab anywhere. I LOVED Mexico because you can take a marked cab anywhere you want. I’ve also heard that if you tag down a collective (little white vans), they will take you anywhere for a cheap price…we did not do this, but I’ve read you can. All around, it was very safe and secure.

Tipping- please tip the workers; I don’t understand those who don’t. A couple dollars to them can go a long way, and they are so thankful. We tipped our maid $5/day and also the restaurant staff.

If I could do this trip again, I would stay for more than 7 days. Between all 3 resorts, it’s huge and there is too much to do. There are constantly activities throughout the day- yoga, water aerobics, dancing, etc.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank peter4060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2010

Just returned home from a very good vacation at the Bahia Principe Coba. I'll start with saying how great the guest services were when I emailed befor I left. Not only did we get the requested rooms but Birthday towel art and Birthday cake for my freinds 50th the day we arrived! She also made us reservations at Le Gormet for that nite and we had a great start to our vacation.
We were in The golden section in villa 29, 1st floor facing the Jacuzzi pool and bar. this was where we spent alot of time because the bartender, Elmer, took such good care of us! The sign said it was adults only and it was pretty good most of the time.It was very close to the snack bar and to the Premier club where we would check our emails and meet befor dinner for drinks.
The food was good for the most part. Hit it great at the Akumal buffet one nite and the next time not good. Coba buffet was too large for our liking. Cozumel was nice for a quiet breakfast. We chose Le Gormet, La Tortuga, Meditaranean and Mikado for A La cartes. All were good food, hit and miss with service.If you ask for premier drinks you get them. We always asked for Bacardi and Smirnoff and we always got it.
Very little we didn't like. Wished the lobby bar was open till midnite. Nowhere to go for a quiet nightcap after the show without going all the way to the hacienda. The gym was terrible. One of each machine. No music or trainer like we were told and air cond didnt seem to work. I think they could have more staff in the A La Cartes. They seemed run off their feet.
I hate to even mention this because it cant be the resorts fault because it is SO clean, But there ARE bugs. Being from Manitoba, we weren't worried about mosquitos, but this was something else. We never saw them or felt them biting us but we were covered with hard welts that leaked like poison ivy. And itch like you wouldn't believe. One of the girls got infection in the bites and it was $140 just to see the doc and $50 for medicine. Our other freind saw her doc today and was told the bites down her shoulder looked like bed bug bites. We just cant believe because this place was clean.
Something else we learned was if the employee name tag said "trainee" they didn't get a salary, only tips. That is most drivers so please tip generously as they work very hard. One bell hop said he'd been there a year already and still was a trainee.
We still had a great time and understand why the resrt gets such great reviews. They deserve it!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Sherry_J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2010

First , my husband and I have stayed at lots of AI resorts over the last 12 + years , and have a pretty good Idea of what to expect at a good resort . Our stay was from Jan 10-17 th . we stayed in the Golden section at Akumal , ocean view . This complex is made up of 3 story 24 room units, no elevators, and is very , very big . When you check in , do count your keys , we only got 1 and then had to pay $10.00 usd , so make sure !! There is shuttle service between , Akumal, Tulum, and Coba . At the main lobby there are 3 levels for shuttle's top is Akumal rooms , 2 nd is to Tulum lobby , 3 rd is to Coba lobby . Ocean view here is not on a sandy beach , it's rock and coral , if you want the beach you will need to walk about 5 min down the beach , or stay at Tulum witch is closer to swimming beach.
Check in was very fast and friendly ( Thanks Carlos ) .Through no fault of this resort the first 3 days was really cold . The reclaimed beach sand has got a lot of small rocks and coral in it , so take some beach shoes ( the kind with mesh top and rubber bottom ) .There are man made brake water spots , so you can swim , yes there are some fish but they try to stay away from you . There are docks built out in the water so you can see the fish from there if you don't want to get to close. All staff we found very friendly , they deal with complaints all day , so if they seem hard to deal with , think about that . The food was ok , we were never hungry but it's pretty basic. Look around before you fill your plate so that you can go back and get what you want as the food cools of very fast . Draw backs with the Principe are , Long bus ride from airport ( 2 to 3 hrs) both ways, even with shuttles there is lots of walking, and yes the food could be hotter . If your looking for good food and nice beach go to Jamaica ( Ocho Rios or Negril ) ! Best beaches ? Cuba and Punta Cana , Dominican Republic . Also , If you want to go to a water park there are 2 basic's , Shel' Ha or Xcarat . Shel 'Ha is the better one for snorkeling . Hope this helps !

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Shaie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2010

The Coba is the sister resort of the Bahia Akumal and the BahiaTulum, really just one huge resort complex. Although not directly on the beach it is just a 5 minute walk if you don't want to catch the mini trolleys which run very frequently between the resorts. The junior suites are very nice and well kept, with fridge bars and jacuzzi tubs. Leave a dollar on the pillow and your maid will make you the most interesting towel art. We had the third floor of #7 unit and it faced the jungle and was very quiet. We did hear that some of the units were close to the highway and rather noisy.
The food was very good with lots of choice in the buffets. The house wine was just fine, particularily the white. When you choose your evening restaurants, don't miss the Don Pablo at the Tulum- spectacular. Le gourmet at the Coba is another good choice
The drinks were generally yummy but did seem rather weak which is a good thing. Try the Bahama Mamas and don't miss the Poco Locos which were the best from the Akumal beach bar.
The grounds and pools of the resort are beautiful and perfectly maintained. The service in the buffets and restaurants was prompt and friendly.We always left a dollar each meal for our waiter because they work so hard and get paid so poorly. I'm not convinced the service would have been any different if we hadn't tipped though.The shows in the evening were ok- the Michael Jackson show was quite good. Lots of activities were being organized around the pools by some very enthusiastic young staff.
If we had any complaint it would be the smokers. It would be wise if the resort was to try some kind of separation in the restaurants and bars, especially when there were cigars being smoked- most disagreeable for we non-smokers!
Great resort- you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with friends
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7  Thank holidayer44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2010

It's hard to find words to describe how incredible this hotel is! Coba is the best hotel on the entire resort. Staff, location, pool, beach etc...is the best.
The resort itself is stunning. Not only stunning, but huge and extremely well-kept. The staff there is out of this world. But most importantly, the animation team. They are AMAZING! They make the trip super fun. There are always fun activities by the pool-side everyday, and at night there's the karaoke/dance lessons, which is a blast, as well as an outstanding show put on my proffesional dancers and singers. The animators are a hoot; always laughing and smiling. Very fun people to hang around with throughout the trip. Chico, Babyface (Gabriel), and Aline were definitely my favourite people the whole trip. If you go to COBA, make sure you seek them out! They are absolutely hilarious and SO fun to be around. From playing games by the pool, playing volleyball, learning salsa at night, or being pulled up on stage for the nighttime show, they are truely great people who know how to have a great time! The food there is fabulous, as well as the resturant services. The fact that the booze and food is all inclusive makes it that much better. The special resturants they have all around the resort are also extremely good, and I highly recommend them. The transportation from hotel to hotel, or room to room, and sometimes even to the beach, are very fun and interesting to go on. There's not much more to say about Gran Bahia Principe, other than you will have the greatest time ever! Coba is where I've stayed the past 2 years and I've honestly fallen in love...and not only with the goodlooking staff! Saying goodbye to all the new friends (animation staff) and leaving such a beautiful place is extremely hard. But it just makes you want to come back for more!

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled with family
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7  Thank izzmartz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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