There a quite a few whiners and divas on here. So please please read this review from two well traveled and very easy going REAL people. We are in our early 30s and were visiting Riviera Maya for the second time. Our first experience was at the Barcelo Maya Palace (also a great place) and we didn't think it could be topped until now! Gran Bahia Principe Tulum was an amazing resort and we couldn't have been happier. From the lobby to the staff, the room, food, grounds, pools, beaches, you name it, it was as the Mexican say was "Excellente"!!!! The rooms were very clean and the beds were SUPER comfortable. We stayed in the "Club" level room and recommend it! The food was amazing even at the buffet! We went to three restaurants and all were top notch! The drinks were delicious and the staff were all incredibly nice and although they all spoke english at least a little, I still tried to speak he language ad they were happy to teach you! We don't plan to stay anywhere else from now on in Riviera Maya, Gran Bahia was the best! You may hear about the time share sales people and yes, they are there; but they are not pushy or in your face, and all you have to say if you're not interested is exactly that and they are very nice about it. If you are looking to relax and recharge stay here and you will NOT be disappointed!
This is the 3rd time using cheapcarribean.com and it hasn't disappointed us yet. The site is easy to navigate from start to finish. When I called customer service with a couple of questions they were always courteous and very helpful. I will definitely use cheapcaribbean again! My husband and I spent 5 days and 4 nights at the Grand Bahia Príncipe Tulum for our 20 year anniversary. I completely depend on customer reviews and study many different sites before booking a resort. With that being said my review may be a little lengthy but very thorough. First when booking, if you are celebrating a special occasion make sure to put that in the notes. I mentioned it was our 20th anniversary and even asked for an upgraded room that was ground level and walked out on to the beach. (It never hurts to ask!!) Although we didn't get exactly what I requested, we were upgraded to the exclusive part of the resort that had it's own bar, pool, restaurant and beach area. Transfer from airport to resort: I would suggest to pay for the transfer. Cheapcaribbean uses Amstar that is very easy to locate and they are very friendly and helpful. We had a van that carried 6-8 passengers. It took us about an hour and 15 minutes to get to our resort in Tulum. Check-in: We arrived around noon and checked in at the front desk but our room was not ready yet. It clearly states check-in is at 3:00 so we were not upset by this. We were given our wrist bands that allowed us access to the buffet, towel service and pools. Our luggage was left at the front (with many other people's luggage) where the staff gave us a claim ticket to get it later. At 2:30 we checked on our rooms and we were given our keys and taken by a golf cart to the Club Hacienda building 42. Room: We were on the 2nd floor that was perfectly located steps away from our pool between the beach and Diamond Club bar. Everything was clean from the bathroom all the way to the balcony. Our balcony overlooked beautiful palm trees and well maintained landscaping. The Tequila restaurant was a short walk away that served breakfast and lunch but required reservations for dinner. The first night our room was pretty warm but cooled off eventually. Be ready, the room will not maintain a cold temperature but it was never unbearable. We found it helpful to keep our curtains pulled closed during the day. Our room was a little musty but that is expected due to the weather and humidity conditions of this area. On our first day there, a worker asked if we needed anything else in our mini-bar. We asked for more water and tipped him $5usd which from then on he kept it well stocked with extra beer, soda, chips and snack sized snickers. The bed was very firm but it was perfect for our liking! The shower had an issue with leaking from the one door but we overlooked it by putting down an extra towel on the floor. There was a safe in the closet but it was missing the lock. (I think you had to pay to get the lock) We found a great place to stash away our valuables so we did not worry about calling about the safe. Grounds: The resort is massive! Thankfully there are carts all over the place that you can take to get from one part of the resort to another. Be sure to ask the driver where they are going. We asked a few times to go to a specific place. Sometimes we were told we had to wait for a different cart and there were a few times the driver said hop on I'll take you there. Food: the Yucatán buffet had a wide variety of foods to choose from: Asian, Italian, seafood and of course Mexican. I think I ate a tostada everyday I was there!! The ceviche was delicious and the salsas were great! If you like hot go for the salsa verde!! A la carte restaurants: Immediately go and make reservations after checking in. We were a little disappointed that we were only allowed 2 reservations based on our 4 night stay. The couple of restaurants that we really wanted were either booked or had very late times. We missed out on Tortuga but heard it was excellent. We ended up booking at Mikado and Portofino. They both were excellent but the service at Portofino was a little slow. One night we ventured to Tequila right by our room and asked if we could possibly get a table (with a tip in hand). We were seated and had a wonderful dinner (the Stone Soup was incredible). We did the exact same thing on another night with Don Pablo next to the Yucatán buffet and it was by far the best of all the restaurants we went to. We both ordered the Surf & Turf and our filets were amazing!! Pools: many to choose from and always clean. Chairs were plentiful and even during spring break we could find one. Beach: the beach right off the main pool was rocky but if you walked in either direction you could walk straight in the water with no problem. I think the beach was almost a mile long extending from our area at Club Hacienda all the way down to the area near the Dolphinaris. There were always chairs available. Bars: if there were a downfall for this resort, it would be the bars. The hours were very odd. Most of them closed at 5:00. The most crowded bar by the main pool & swim up bar only had one bartender which made for a wait and overworked bartender. It would be to their best interest to staff accordingly in these two locations. Luckily the Diamond Club by our room was opened until 11:00. They had a disco and a sports bar at the entrance of the resort but we did not ever go. Entertainment: There were always some activity to do near the main pool. We participated in darts, bingo and the pineapple party. My husband did archery, BB gun shooting and a fun runway contest in the pool. I did Zumba every day and the last day went to the stretching activity on the beach. Be sure and participate in the activities as the winners of the contest were rewarded with a bottle of tequila, a certificate for a massage or even a certificate to swim with the dolphins. (These were given right before the night-time show.) The guys work hard to ensure everyone has a good time. We loved Ivan, Cesar, Luis and of course my favorite Gilberto!! Thanks for all your hard work. One evening we watched the Grease & Elvis show. This was really bad but the service during and around the show kept it bearable. Excursion: we booked through Amstar at the guest relations area. We went on the Mayan Adventures snorkeling tour. This is probably the best excursion we have ever been on. We first snorkeled in an inlet where we saw many different species of fish. Then we went to a Mayan Cenote (a fresh water sink hole) where we jumped off a cliff, ziplined into the water and then able to snorkeled a little more before leaving for our final destination of an underground river (cavern). This was spectacular.....very cold but spectacular. We ended our excursion with an authentic Mexican lunch at the cavern. Our tour guide, Eli was very informative and knowledgable of the area and history of the Yucatán. Tipping: it goes a long way! I know some don't tip at all and I'm sure some even tip more than we did. But I do know this, everyone is very appreciative when you give them a tip whether it is $1 or $10. We came with a handful of ones and fives so we could tip our cart drivers, bartenders, housekeepers, servers at the restaurants and tour guide. We gave our favorite entertainment staff $5 each and they almost seemed surprised but very very appreciative. All in all we were pleased with our vacation and will even return to this resort. We haven't found "the perfect" resort yet but the Grand Bahia Príncipe Tulum did a great job striving to make it a wonderful experience.
This was our first all inclusive vacation and we were very pleased with our overall experience at the Gran Bahia Principe Tulum. We really enjoyed our 3 dinner reservations at La Gran Tortuga, Tequila, and Frutos Del Mar. The service at the restuarants was excellent and the pace of the meal was perfect..........not rushed at all but yet not to slow, what a wonderful dining experience. The only down side we saw with the trip was the rockiness of the beach at Gran Bahia Principe Tulum. We were really looking forward to being in the ocean much more than we were. We did discover that walking down the beach to the Akumal resort that their beach was much much better. We wish we would have asked about this at Guest Services, they were so helpful with everything else, we just didn't think to ask. We would recommend this resort to anyone looking for a great value but is not necessarily wanting the "beach/ocean" experience.
Rooms filthy... No clean towels, was like pulling teeth to get them to deliver them... Pools closed... No more top shelf liquor as was two years ago... Can't go to bar in swim trunks therefore must change just to get a drink as for swim up bar only open for a few hours a day and takes forever to get a drink even when tipping... Fire ants and roaches in rooms (transferred to two different rooms during stay and both bad...) Personnel ignorant unlike two years ago when there...when everyone was so nice to you. Not responsible for valuables of course left in room but charge $5 a day for the safe if you want to protect things... Not as many "English" speaking representatives as in the past... Food not as it was two years ago, less variety and went downhill!!! Beaches dirty also unlike before... Will never be back!
On June 9, 2016 I booked my 7th trip in six years with Cheap Caribbean. As always, I informed the Cheap Caribbean representative of my need for a wheelchair accessible room at the Grand Bahia Principe, and I waited on the line while he called the resort to notify them of my need. Our trip was set for August 5 - 12. When my mom and I arrived at the Grand Bahia Principe on August 5, a young lady began the check-in process with us. She asked us to move to a table where she gave us our wristbands, and then she walked away without an explanation. We thought she would return momentarily. After about 15 minutes of sitting there, we were greeted by two different employees - Aws and Samantha. They asked how they could help us, and we said we were checking in but didn't know exactly where the person who had been helping us went. Aws and Samantha walked away, then came back and told us our room was not ready yet. They suggested we go get something to eat and come back in an hour. We went to the restaurant and ate, looked around in one of the shops, then returned to the registration area. More than one hour had passed. When we asked about getting our room key, there was nobody who could give us the key or explain what was going on. Clearly there was confusion, and either nobody would - or nobody could - tell us what was happening. I went to the Guest Relations area and asked a female employee there if she could help us straighten out whatever was going on. She couldn't. Finally someone told us that they did not have a wheelchair accessible room available. Ridiculous attempts to "solve the problem" ensued: 1. They would move us to a first floor room (my mom went to look at it before we agreed to take it, and the bathroom door was not wide enough for my wheelchair to fit through). Just because it's on the first floor doesn't mean it's accessible for someone in a wheelchair. No good. 2. Aws asked if I could just stay in the room that was not accessible for one night, and then the following night we could be moved to an accessible room for the remainder of our stay. Uh, no, I will not stay in a room where I can't go to the bathroom. 3. A manager named Luis offered to put us up one night in a wheelchair accessible room in the Sian Ka'an portion of the resort (across highway 307 on a golf course). When mom asked if she could see it before we agreed to it, he told us it would be 10 minutes because the room was being cleaned by housekeeping. We said we didn't care about that, we just wanted to see if it was accessible and it didn't matter if someone was in there dusting at the moment. No, he said, we had to wait. Mom asked him what the room number was and after dismissing her question several times, he eventually said he didn't know. How can he know the room is available and accessible if he doesn't know its number? Mom finally went with Luis to look at the room - a 15 minute ride on a golf cart to get there, another 15 minutes back - and when they returned to where I waited in the lobby, mom told me that the sink and the toilet in that room are so close together there is no way I could get my wheelchair close enough to the toilet to transfer onto it. No deal. 4. We asked if the staff could check with those guests currently in wheelchair accessible rooms to find out if they absolutely needed the accessible room, and if anyone did not, offer them an incentive to move out early and make the room available for us. Principe staff would not consider that suggestion. Through the course of the afternoon and into the evening we were misled, lied to, and strung along under the guise of being "helped" by Principe staff and management. I called the Cheap Caribbean phone numbers provided for when problems arise while on vacation (001-800-590-6489 and 1-267-895-5161), but all I heard on the other end of the line was music. I listened to music for about 10 minutes and then hung up. It was becoming clear that mom and I were on our own. I had the phone number for the Barcelo Maya resort, which is about 15 minutes north of Principe, so I called them to inquire about a wheelchair accessible room for the week. Fortunately they had one, so although it added CONSIDERABLY to the cost of the trip, I had no choice but to book it. We got a cab to the Barcelo resort six hours after arriving at Principe, and things there were much better than they were at Principe. Since I was unable to reach Cheap Caribbean from the Principe on Friday evening, when we most needed their help, I tried again to call them on Saturday morning from our new resort, Barcelo. Again, I listened to music for at least 10 minutes before hanging up. I sent an email to inform them of the fact that we had to change resorts, and then on Sunday, when we met our Amstar representative to discuss ground transportation arrangements, he was able to put me in touch with a Destination Specialist at Cheap Caribbean. I firmly believe, though, that the only reason the Amstar rep (Roger) got through is because he has a dedicated line on which to call in. I will not consider Principe resorts after this experience, and I am also bothered that I was not able to get in touch with anyone at Cheap Caribbean when I most needed their assistance. I wonder if they would have been able to negotiate a better price at Barcelo than what I had to pay. In spite of the fact that Principe did refund our money since we did not stay there, the additional expense we incurred by staying at Barcelo makes me feel like we paid for two vacations but only took one. That's not exactly "cheap caribbean".
THIS WAS OUR 20TH TRIP TO THE RIVIERA MAYA AND HAVE ALWAYS STAYED IN THE ALL INCLUSIVE RESORTS FROM PLAYA DEL CARMEN SOUTH TO TULUM AREA. WE HAVE BEEN GOING TO THE BARCELO FOR THE PAST 7 YEARS AND WERE SPOILED WITH AN ALMOST PERFECT RESORT SO OUR REVIEW IS IN COMPARISON TO THE BARCELLO WHICH IS 5 STAR ALL THE WAY. WE BOOKED AT THE CLUB HACIENDA ....AND WAS GLAD WE DID THE GRAND BAHIA PRINCIPE IS HUGE AND THE CLUB HACIENDA VILLAS HAS THEIR OWN LOBBY TO CHECK INTO.THEIR OWN RESTAURANT FOR BREAKFAST AND LUNCH AND THEIR OWN POOL AND BEACH AREA ALL CLOSE TO THE HACIENDA VILLAS (ONLY FOR USE OF THOSE WHO UPGRADE). WE STAYED AT VILLA 34 AND IT WAS WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE TO ALL OF THE ABOVE.AND ONLY ABOUT 500 FEET TO THE BEACH.. THE REST OF THE COMPLEX WAS SPREAD OUT OVER MILES AND MILES OF PROPERTY AND IS HUGE. THE HACIENDA UPGRADE IS WORTH IT BELIEVE ME. THE ALACARTE RESTAURANTS WERE GOOD BUT YOU USUALLY HAD TO TAKE THE TRANSPORT CARTS TO THEM. NOT CLOSE ENOUGH TO WALK (THERE ARE 3 OF THEM IN THE PRINCIPE TULUM THE REST ARE IN COBA). THE ROOMS ARE NICE ALTHOUGH A BIT DATED AT THE HACIENDA BUT WORTH IT FOR THE CONVIENIENCE TO EVERYTHING. ROOM SAFE KEYS ARE EXTRA $ BUT WORK FINE. MAKE SURE YOU TIP THE STAFF (WAITERS AND BARTENDERS) THEY REALLY WORK HARD. FOOD WAS GOOD.....NICE CHOICES AT THE BUFFET & A LA CARTES BEACH WAS GOOD...NOT GREAT....GOOD... ROOM CLEAN AND MINI BAR ALWAYS FILLED AS WE REQUESTED. POOL ACTIVITIES WERE NOT GREAT. STAFF CATERS TO EUROPEANS. LOBBY BARS GOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT EVERY NIGHT. WE WOULD RETURN....BUT ONLY BOOK INTO THE CLUB HACIENDA.
We were referred to this resort by family members who have stayed at Grand Bahia in DR. However, our experience here was very underwhelming. Due to Zika warnings, names of two occupants had to be changed. Changing from a child to an adult required an additional fee, which was paid almost two weeks before trip to Cheapcaribbean (CC). After a long flight we were received by a reception desk that refused to issue a bracelet unless I paid another $300 for the change (despite having previously paid to CC and having a confirmation page printout). They claimed that payment information had not yet made it to their system (2 weeks after the fact!), and was only able to check in after providing my credit card information. Eventually they did confirm that I had, in fact, already paid for this fee, but not before making our family spend two days of unnecessary worrying and inconvenience. Food, beaches, and shows were good overall. However, the stringent rules for booking reservations can be kind of a headache. Most of the workers were nice enough. That being said, you do get the sense that they are being overworked and underpaid. Room was not in top shape. There were water stains in the bathroom ceiling. Having visited a different resort during this past stay, and given the annoyance with the registration process and how unhelpful the reception staff was, I am not likely to return to this resort. The quality-price ratio does not justify staying here. Look elsewhere, we certainly will.
Property is located a good 1hr-20 min from Cancun airport. Definetly get the airport transfers. But worth the ride once you arrive. Very well manicured grounds! Very clean and staffed. Property is sprawled out, but all well care for. Limited options on reservations on the multiple al-la-carte resturaunts. Upon arrival, we imediatately tried to make the weeks dinner resv. All of the resturaunts we wanted were booked for the week! Unless we wanted to eat at 10:30 at nite. Finally had to make resv at a adjacent property resturaunt to eat in the 6-7:00 range. The Grand Buffet makes you forget any hassle with the al-la-carte reservations. Its awesome. Diving was good. Reef not as good as Palancar in Cozumel. But the Cenotes are a must do! The resort dive shop was great. No reason to book off property. Diving was our reason to take this trip. We dove every day with them. Nite life was limited unless you bring your own party. But our days were always full of energy. Room refigerators refilled daily with all beverages. Great maid service. Rooms were clean. always ground labor activity. Most rooms have foriegn AC outlets so a quick trip to the on-property convience store for $3 ea. fixed that. Make sure and give them away to another new arrival when leaving.... Pay it forward. We wil be back. Great value for our $$$. Its not a US 5 star resort. But we didnt pay for that either. Beach was good and long! Enjoy
This was our second time staying at the Bahia Principe Tulum. We have been to the Mayan Riviera 4 times in the last two years and decided to take our kids and parents back to this resort as we loved it so much. As a gift to my parents, we upgrade their rooms (and our rooms) to the Hacienda Club. We wanted the vacation to be awesome and as we had stayed on the beach and upgraded at another resort, we knew that this is what we wanted for our family. When we got there, our kids room and our room was not close to the beach at all... actually they were far away from everything. My parents received a nice room very close to the beach but not anywhere near ours. We also had requested two double beds and a cot for the kids room (as they were 18, 19, & 13 sharing) as well as my Parents room. Seeing as we booked 8 months in advance and sent two emails to the hotel to confirm, I would have thought that this would not have been a problem, but although they were quick to reply to our emails, our requests were not met. So our 18 year old had to sleep on a cot (which he was not impressed with) and we had to order another cot for our 13 year old. This was not the only problem with the room. Their fridge during the whole stay was never stocked, or if we called to request it to be stocked, they would get 1 coke and 1 bag of chips when there are 3 kids in the room. The main problem was that their air conditioning unit did not work which we called about. we thought it was fixed as apparently it was working off and on but on the 2nd last day, it was around 35 out and there room was hotter. We called and asked to switch rooms which no one showed up. At 11:00 that night, after my husband was yelling at the top of his lungs, they finally got another room to sleep in. (and were settled in finally by 1:00am) In trying to fix their air condition, our room's air conditioning conked out for the rest of the trip.... and in 35 degree weather, it wasn't acceptable. Also we found that none of the restaurants were really air conditioned. And there was rolling black outs. I think this hotel is getting a little bit old and needs maintenance badly. I hope they can fix this problem as it is a nice resort, but no air conditioning is a serious problem especially in July when the feels like temp is 40. Also, we were told in the Hacienda club it was no problem to book dinner reservations but we did not get what we wanted until the last 4 days. I tried to prebook dinners before we got their and was told we couldn't. But I do recommend Arlequin. What an awesome meal! All 7 of us thought the food was fabulous! Another problem with the resort was we had to get up every morning by 7:00 to get a chair at the pool. One morning, there was only 1 person in the pool and towels reserving all the rest. The staff said to move the towels, so we did... At 11:30 that morning, people came and got mad that we had taken their spot (we had been there for over 3 hours!) We told them that if we were told by the staff to move we would.. (knowing they were in the wrong and they never came back) This happened a total of 3 times. The hotel should do something about this as fist fights could happen and it is not right that our vacation has to be wrecked over it. We went to the Coba pool for two days and had no problems there. But when we are staying at Tulum, Coba was a long way to go each morning. The "free" internet in the club house... they had 2 laptops and you had to get up at 7:00 and go down to the club house to reserve your spot. This was a major issue as my son had to register for University. I tried to explain this and even offered to pay to reserve a spot but they wouldn't. He never did get a spot but got word to his Dad in Canada and he registered him. Good thing too... the next day, all the courses were full, and his year would have been wrecked. This was the first time I experienced this at a resort, usually there is a room with computers set up that you can come and go... not a lobby.... needless to say, we never used the computers. Last time we stayed here, we stayed near the 24 hour snack bar and it was a much better location. Our rooms were in the 1400 building. I would recommend staying in that building, than anywhere in the Hacienda club. So paying for the Hacienda Club was not worth the money we paid and we did not receive any better service. It was a waste of money. We will not stay here again as there are too many other great resorts to try. It was a big disappointment although we had a great vacation with our family.
. When we got there, the bellhop took our bags and told us we were staying the Tulum portion of the resort. I told him that was not correct and showed him we upgraded to the Hacienda suites. He said no, you didn’t and then tried to take out bags to the wrong lobby. I stopped him and told him again we were not staying in the regular Tulum rooms. He said no again and I said, I need to speak to a manager. He then dropped out bags and said well then if you are staying over there, then take your stuff over there and walked away. Another bellhop was nice enough to take our bags and said he would take them over to the other lobby for us. We got to the other lobby and the staff was not so friendly. They said there were no rooms available and I then showed him my reservation form and he then said he found a room. It was not near our friends we were traveling with. He then said they were booked up but could find us another room. I then told him that we have been traveling for hours and if they had a room close that was fine because I was at my end. He then found us a room in the next villa over from our friends. Which was not a big deal. He checked us in and told us that our beach towels and things would be in the room waiting for us. By this time is was almost 10 pm. 8 1/2 hours after we were supposed to be there originally due to airline issues. When we got to the room, you could tell no one stayed there in a while as it was all shut up and very humid and musty smelling in there. There weer no towels for us but at this point all I wanted to do was eat something and got to bed. I called the front desk and asked for the beach towels and they said they were there. I insisted they weren't and they said they would send some over. This was the first call for towels out of 7. They also gave us the key and lock for the safe. Well, that lock would not work and it actually got stuck in the safe with our stuff inside of it. I said “hell with it” and would call in the morning. The next morning, no towels and was not able to get the lock open because the cylinder was stuck in the lock and would not move. I called to have someone come fix it. They told me to take the key out and I explained to them again that was the problem. We could not get it to come out. So they sent someone to fix it. They had to drill it out and it took 3 workers to do it. 2 hours later it was open and we were able to get our stuff out. Then someone from the front desk called the room and said we needed to get a new lock for our safe and that there would be no charge. And BTW... no towels had arrived yet. I asked him about the towels and he said they were in the room. Again I told him they were not there. He said they would send someone. We waited for a bit and no towels. I then saw our maid service guy and asked him for some and he said they should be in the room. Again, I told him they were not and he said I can to call the front. I called again and went through the entire conversation again. And again Nothing. This went on a few more times until I saw another maid service worker with a bunch of them and I asked him for our towels. He said they were in the room and again I told him no, he told me to call and I said NO I am not calling again and can I please have 2 towels. He then took me to the storage room and gave me one. I said I needed another one and he said he only had one which was odd since he had a few with him. I just took it and thanked him. When I was on my way back to the room our original maid gave me another one. So after 3 hours of waiting for the lock and the towels, we were finally able to go to the pool and actually start the vacation. The rest of the week was great. We did notice there was not enough bar staff at the pool bar and that poor bartender was slammed. We were able to get some beach time in, went snorkeling, rode atvs and had an amazing time. Most of the food was good except one of the seafood restaurants we went to as our ala carte dinners. The portions were really small and the seafood was not fresh tasting. We ended up going to the snack bar afterwards. When I checked out they tried to charge me for the lock telling me we broke it. I told her to check the notes as there should be notes stating we were not being charged. She said she didn’t see it but after I started to get more insistent she found the note saying what happened and said I was right. So over all the trip was ok, we had fun but we will not be staying at that resort again. It looked beautiful but the staff seemed to not really care that much. They did ask me to come to the personal desk to talk to someone about how I was liking it. I told him what was going on and he gave me a free t-shirt and then tried to sell me a time share and to join the “privilege club” I told him no thanks Last time we went down there, we stayed at the Barceló and it was worlds better than this place.