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Reviews (14,700)
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Reviewed 2 February 2007

Firstly, thanks to all who had posted reviews about the Coba. We did a lot of research and this one clearly came out on top. We stayed from Jan.21-28. Being almost 8 months pregnant, it was important we have a room on the floor level and the staff were extremely accommodating in this regard.

The food was excellent. There wasn't anything that made our stomaches queezy. Breakfast was redundant, but always had the basics....cereal, eggs, toast, fruit. As for al a carte's, we tried El Pescador, Mediterraneo, Le Gourmet and Mikado. All were delicious with excellent wait staff.

Rooms were spacious and kept very clean. Out of the week, one day we returned to our room at 4:30pm and it still wasn't made up. No big deal, we took some cards to the lounge had a drink and returned in a half hour to find it clean.

All in all...resort was fabulous. Staff is pleasant, food is great and plentiful, drinks are delish, beach and pool are relaxing and enjoyable.

After spending a week, the one piece of advice we can offer is....have patience, you're on vacation. We were dissappointed to see so many guests who were rude to staff because they had to wait a few minutes for coffee or cutlery. Also, bacon tends to get snatched up very quickly at breakfast. It amazed us how upset people can get if they don't have their pound of bacon in the morning.

The staff at this resort work their tails off. Reality is, the majority of them leave work to go to sub-standard living conditions and this low paying job most likely supports a large family. We were concious of this and left a few dollars tip at each breakfast, lunch and more than a few dollars at dinner. Tips although not expected, were very much appreciated by the staff. In the grand scheme of things, by weeks end we spent about $60US on tips and felt it was well worth it for the great service and smiles from the staff...which frankly, would have been the case if we hadn't tipped.

Yes, you're travelling to an AI and shouldn't feel as though you have to tip...but a little really does go a long way for these hard working people.

We're looking forward to returning to this resort in a couple years with a toddler in tow!

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
13  Thank MommyG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2007

The resort is BEAUTIFUL! You will not regret your decision if you book here!
We are a couple in our mid-20's and have traveled to other All Inclusive resorts. We stayed January 21-28/07 and booked through Air Transat- Club Golden. The rooms were large, very clean, all marble floors, slippers, housecoat, mini bar, jacuzzi, excellent shower with plenty of hot water...we had a king size bed and were on the 2nd floor. This was ideal, although the family above us were really noisy and had a jacuzzi EVERY MORNING at 6:30am! We were shorted a few times on towels and called the front desk to send more- they either took forever or didn't come at all. This was not the standard of service we were provided everywhere else, so we let it slide.

Food- Great, lots of selection at the 2 buffets (one large, one small), restaurants were good too- book these THE DAY YOU GET THERE! We got there Sunday at noon, and some were already almost booked up for the end of the week! We ate at the Mexican (good appetizers), Italian (at Akumel- good desserts), French (small portions), and Japanese- this one is by far the favourite of all people so don't miss out on this. Please note, the Japanese restaurant was very cold inside, so bring something to cover your arms. We also had about a half an hour wait, even with reservation, but I'm not sure if this is the standard. We also ate one dinner at the Tulum buffet- didn't find much of a difference although the food did seem hotter.

My boyfriend got sick on day 3 (only lasted 1 day). We think it might have been from the seafood as it was the only thing he ate, that I didn't. It could have also been the multiple beverages consumed...

Drinks- I think we counted 21 bars in total (including restaurants)! There's some nice quite spots to relax at in the evening, like the "music bar" by the lobby where there is live music, candles on the table, etc., very nice. (That is, quiet until some family brings their small children to run around and play at 11pm!). They stop serving at 11:30pm which was quite fine for us (as we were up early due to the jacuzzi-users upstairs!). One night we went to the disco located at the Hacienda (which serves until 2 or 3am) but we felt pretty lame so we left. It's a good place to go and dance, or hang out with a group of friends. There's a party every night outside of the main coba lobby that has music and dancing that goes from 7:30-9:30pm. The shows start each night at 9:30 at our resort, we only went to the Michael Jackson one which was very entertaining. If you miss it one night, it rotates around all 3 resorts on other nights (the others start at 9:00 & 10:00).

Fiesta Night- we paid the $16 for this. It's a party at the Hacienda. When you walk in, they dress you up in Mexican wear and take your photo with a donkey. You can pay $10 at this point to buy the photo (we did, it's very cheezy but fun!) but you don't get to see it first, and you pick it up the next day in the photo lab. Also at the Fiesta night are games you can play to win free t-shirts & tequilla, and a mechanical bull you can ride. There is a Mexican show put on by the resort that is quite similar to what you would see at the nightly performances. It was fun to watch, but about 60% of the people left before the show was over. It is really long, and quite drawn out. We were ready to leave also but I wanted to stay for the fireworks- which consisted of about 8 explosions! It gave us a good laugh at least. I don't know if it was necessarily worth the $16, but we did each get a free t-shirt and a photo-op with a donkey...

The resort is huge, and we never really quite found our way around but we weren't trying that hard either! You always end up getting to where you want to go, sometimes we just took the long way there! You can also take the trolly car if you don't want to walk.

The floors can get very slippery when wet so be careful. They are especially slippery in the buffet restaurants, be cautious when entering. They are also VERY clean! You will constantly see people around the resort cleaning, washing, and even picking out pieces of grass from the gravel!

We left the resort twice- once to go to Tulum (15 min drive) to the ruins there which were beautiful. We also went to Playa del Carmen for the day (40 min drive) to check out the shops, and we ate at a restaurant there- in fact this was some of the best food of the trip! For both trips we took the Collectivo, which is their bus system- it's a white van that holds 12 people. Both tourists and locals use this transportation.

Spa- we indulged ourselves with the Mayan chocolate body wrap- yes, it was as delicious as it sounds! I would definitely recommend it! You'll get a $40 spa voucher with the Club Golden package (you might have to ask for it- we did), and we paid an extra $60 each for the treatment.

Activities- my boyfriend participated in the beer drinking contest (wow! that resort team sure can drink fast!), dart tournament, and bounce-the-ping-pong-ball-into-the-bucket-for-tequilla contest (they set this up in the lobby one day it rained). As noted in another review, the activity board changes constantly, so don't count on it- we came back to play water polo multiple times, only to find it changed!

Pools- there are 2 large pools and a few small jacuzzi pools (each contain 3 "pods"). We spent all of our time at the activity pool- they played good music (mainly American) and we would get up every once in a while to watch the activities (macho man contest, etc.). The pools were refreshing and VERY clean! Each pool has a swim up bar with a pool bar on the other side, and the snack bars close by.

Beach- just a short walk. No problem finding chairs in the shade. As noted, bring your water shoes. Beach bar is fun with swings all around it. Hammocks were fun too, but a little smelly. We fed the fish in the water some banana- there is so many of them!

Tipping- we left $2 each day for the maid and $1 for the mini bar filler. The maid didn't do anything extra special, but the room was immaculately cleaned daily. We requested it to be cleaned between 10-12, and they seemed to comply. We always left a tip at the a-la-cartes but it was sometimes confusing as there were often 3-4 people serving your table. In those cases, we left the money on the table for them to work out! We tipped at the bars a few times but they didn't seem to care that much- which doesn't mean you shouldn't tip, just don't always expect a reaction.

All in all, this was by far our best vacation ever.

Stayed: January 2007
16  Thank travelcoupleOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2007

My wife, our 10 year old son and I stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Coba Jan 13-20. We had a great week and would definitely return to the Mayan Riviera (it was our first trip to this region), but would not return to the same resort.

I had read many reviews before going and had spoken with 3 co-workers who had stayed there previously. I can't fault the resort much. The grounds are beautiful, the beach was very nice, the room was excellent and the service was great. The food was fresh and plentiful, although we did tire of the buffet (which was a little lacking in pizzazz). Even the a la carte restaurants used a buffet for the appetizers, which we found a bit odd. We also found the coffee to be a bit weak and generally not hot enough. One other oddity was the fact that they wouldn't serve mojitos. We tried everywhere and even tried tipping for a mojito, but to no avail.

The resort was just too big for our liking. Before booking, I understood that the resort was huge, but I booked anyway knowing that it was a safe bet for our first trip to that area. I have no regrets having stayed there and would be very surprised if anyone could regret staying there. I would definitely recommend the resort as a safe bet. You won't have a bad time staying there. It's a very nice resort, it's just not somewhere that I would return.

Some people we spoke with enjoyed the anonymity offered by a resort of that scale. We just found that something was missing and it seemed that the scale of resort maybe led to the reliance on buffets, the lack of pizzazz in the food, the cool week coffee and the lack of mojitos.

Stayed: January 2007
6  Thank fuegodog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2007

We have just got back from here and had the best holiday ever and I would recommend this resort to anyone.
Accomodation:
This is a fantastic Resort and a fantastic hotel. We stayed at the Coba hotel but visited Tumul and Akumul daily and they are all on a par with each other. Do not listen to any bad reviews of this resort or hotel, it is a fantastic holiday experience.
Food:
Okay so there is the odd thing that could do with a bit of sorting out...maybe service can be slow on occasion, but hey you are on holiday and the way of life is slightly more laid back. We found the only thing that we could fault was that at breakfast the coffee would take a while to arrive. We tended to eat as near to the little service stations as possible and realised that we got better service by doing this. In the al a Carte restaurants we found service was also a little hit and miss, but we lived with that. We enjoyed the Mediteranean restaurant to be the best one but enjoyed all the others. The buffet is excellent in all three hotels and had to be something for everyone. Anyone complaining about the food here had to have a problem themselves as it was extremely good and plentiful. The hamburgers at the snack bars were awesome and tasted better than they looked!
Am a little disappointed to read on other sites that the al la carte restaurants were bookable on line prior to your stay as we couldnt get in a couple and we didnt realise this. They are never full though and we worked out that they only booked the amount of people they were capable of dealing with comfortably which is fair enough.
Drink:
As a couple of self proclaimed wine buffs the wine was not very good. We made do with the red at meal times but I tended to go for the Cava or champagne as this was the better option. We got to realise that any cocktail would be different depending on who served you. This became a quite fun to see what you would end up with. It wasnt a problem because they were all quite delicious but never the same twice!
Accommodation:
Room we had was huge and quite adequate. We tipped the maid a dollar a day and got all sorts of arrangements left on the bed made out of towels and something different with my nightie every day!
Pools:
Lovely and big, and lots of them. We tended to go on the beach most days.
Beach:
Need beach shoes as getting in the water is a bit rocky in places. Plenty of Cobanas and shade and beds. The fish are amazing down by the jetty and you can feed them with bread (not supposed to but everyone did). Did lots of snorkelling and saw lots of fish.
Trips:
We did independent trips as it was a lot cheaper than going by tour operator. Tumul is well worth going to. Get the Collectivo bus outside by the Hacienda. Its 2 dollars each way and you can go on the beach at Tumul as well. Ask anyone about the Collectivo as they are frequent and easy to get about in. Excerat is an excellent day and the show in the evening is jaw dropping. We thought it was worth the entrance fee alone. Go see it and you will see what I mean! We caught the ferry to Cozumel from Playa de Carmen (again we got the Collectivo) and had a day on the island. This was good but avoid the bogus information people they are time share. We went to the National Park and the taxi was 10 dollars. The snorkelling was fantastic there and it made a change.

Entertainment:
Every night there is a show in the theatres. We only caught two as we were doing other things but apparently the Michael Jackson show is the best and we missed it! Other enterainment is available should you want it. There is also a Piano Bar at Coba and live music in several bars throughout the resort.


I cannot think of anyone who would not love this place, we have read reviews of moans and groans on other sites and I cannot believe it. We found it was mostly frequented by Canadians and the British were in the minority but this was a bonus in some respects! The Canadians we met were really lovely and friendly -we didnt realise that Mexico is a real hot spot for them. There was no problem with anyone and everyone was happy to be there and on holiday. The shuttle buses are very frequent and run you about all over the resort and to the beach which is a little way from Coba but its not a problem at all as you get the shuttle door to door.

There are so many things to write about this place that I could go on and on but the only bad part of the holiday was getting ripped off for excess baggage on way home at Cancun airport. They were doing it to everyone and charging what they felt like. We got ripped off for $75 excess and didnt have any cash to pay. In the end we had to get a tour operator to show us how to use the cash machine and get the money out in Pesos. We returned to the desk and they saw we had a 1000 Peso note and demanded $90. We argued but got no where as they pretended they couldnt understand us. We ended up paying it as without it we had no flight tickets. Do be aware that you need to have less weight than you think. You may get out of England with it but not back in. Grrrrrr! We only had a couple of small bottles of tequilla and some chilli sauces which seemed to have tipped the balance but we feel a little cheated and it was a shame to end a fantastic holiday in this way. Dont let this put you off though.

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
18  Thank Auralight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2007

Gran Bahia Principe Coba is an Excellent place to stay. I give it 4 stars only because it lacked a little in service at the buffets.
You have a lot to choose from at the buffet so everyone should be able to find something. If you find your food to be cold by the time you sit down, it is probably because you took a while to choose what to eat. We ate at three restaurants, Mikado excellent, Le Gourmet good, and Le gran Toutoga (Tulum) excellent.
We tried the buffets at all three areas and found the Coba and Arkumal to be the best.
Rooms: we left a tip every day and found the room clean with towel art each time we returned after our day outing, except one.
One day when we returned around 5pm the room was not done and they were just starting on the floor, they ask if we wanted the room done and we declined.
Beach, the beach area is very nice, you can take long walks on the beach, there are sandy areas and areas with more coral or rock. Snokeling off of the beach is ok but not as good as other areas. You get in trouble if you go out past the roped off area.
You are allowed one hour of your choice of beach toys each day, such as hopie-cat, boogie board, kayak etc. it is a narrow channel which can be difficult to get the hopie-cat out of if the wind is not going in the right direction. It is $30.00 extra to have someone go out with you. If you want drinks on the beach you have to go get them yourself. Also had to get there early to find a lounge chairs in the morning, some open up in the afternoon as people leave.
Pools, the pools are very nice but difficult to find lounge chairs unless you place towels on early (I hate this). if you want to spend the morning at the beach and then go to the pool good luck. We walked around every pool and finally settled for chairs until we saw someone leave late in the afternoon. Yet there were lounge charis that had towels on them that no one ever sat in.
Shows: the dancing in the plaza after dinner is a lot of fun to join in with or just watch. We saw several threater shows and probably only liked 3. Michael Jackson, Hacienda Mexico night (if you don't like mexican dancing then this is not for you) and Cats was ok. If you go to the shows and need a drink go to one of the other bars, terrible lines at threater bar.
Excursion: the only outing we did was with Edventures tours
[-] this is probably the best tour in area. $50 dollars per person plus if you don't have your own transportation an additional $40 for up to 4 people. I would highly recommend this tour outfit, it was the best day of our trip.
You have to go out to the road to get picked up, because the hotel won't let any tour guides in other then what they have at the hotel (they don't get their cut from independent tours)
Transportation: We booked thru Apple Vacations, and paid extra for direct transportation, Waited 30Min at airport for them to find someone else going in the same dirrection. It took 1 hour and 15 minutes once on the road to get to resort.The return trip they have your pick up time 5 hours before your flight telling you that it is because of the horrible lines at the Airport. We were at the gate 2.5 hours before our flight. The airport is very crowded and food is expensive so take a snack from the resort.
The hotel is very good at making request before you arrive, just contact guest services. We got a room in the area we wanted and restaurants at the Coba pre booked.
Conclusion: This is a great place to stay, they do not have the service of a 5 star but for the amount of people here and the facilities it is excellent. the only reason i might not return has nothing to do the the resort but rather with the transportation to the resort. Go and enjoy.

  • Stayed: January 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank Sumner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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