Sunbathing, watersports and spa treatments top the agenda at the beachside Grand Bahia Principe Akumal.
This hotel is set in a huge complex along with the Grand Bahia Principe Coba and the Grand Bahia Principe Tulum. Buggies take guests around so they can make use of the high bar and restaurant count.
White sand and snorkel-friendly waters lie just beyond the hotel. One of the pools is beachside, and there’s another pool – a long, winding number dotted with bridges, palm trees and thatched parasols.
Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner. 3 visits per week to the à la carte rstaurants - 4 if you book a Golden Club junior suite.
Selected local-brand alcohol, wine, beer, cocktails, soft drinks, tea and coffee until 23.00 and 02.00 in disco.
Snacks at set times. Afternoon cakes and ice-cream.
This restaurant offers traditional Italian specialities. Included in your All Inclusive package you get 3 à la carte evening meals. This place comes with a dress code, it's sleeves and long trousers for gentlemen. Reservation required. Highchairs are available.
Double room sleeps up to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children, with 1 king-size, twin or 2 double beds. This room comes with a ceiling fan, TV, iron and board on request, coffee facilities, alarm clock and a minibar restocked every other day with beer, water and soft drinks.
Double room sleeps up to 3 adults or 2 adults and 2 children, with 1 king-size, twin or 2 double beds - can be sold as a single. This room comes with a ceiling fan, TV, iron and board on request, coffee facilities, alarm clock and a minibar restocked every other day with beer, water and soft drinks.
Spent 7 days at the Bahia Principe Akumal resort from October 11-18, 2014. We upgraded to the Golden suites at booking for $80 more through Apple vacations. The advantage of the Golden upgrade is a room close to the beach, separate check-in, free room safe and 24 hour room service. (limited menu)
This is really just a typical resort, this was our third time to Mexico and we weren't blown away by this one. We have never had a bad experience in Mexico, maybe we were just expecting to have an "above and beyond" experience here. Any vacation is truly what you make of it, and I would say this resort was "ok". If you want to know what I would nitpick, here it is:
BEACH: The beach is very important to us, we tend to want to hang out there every day and relax, drink, cool off in the Caribbean and repeat. There is not an approachable beach on the Akumal side of the resort, man made sea walls along the water line prevent entry to the water. There was one small section that you could enter the water, it was very rocky and at the deepest only waist high.
We generally tried to grab chairs and a palapa on the beach between the Akumal and Tulum resorts, but it was a recon military mission after 9am. We usually ended up finding chairs that had just been vacated or chairs that were shunned because the adjustable backs were broken. Our last day we couldn't find a spot at all.
There are rocks in the water so swim shoes will help protect you while in the water.
POOLS: Same game with finding chairs and shade at the pools. There were parts of the Akumal pool shut down every day for construction, we couldn't find chairs there all week. We spent some time at the pool closest to the Golden lobby one day, and our last day we found a nice spot to spend time at the Coba pool.
It was frustrating to have to seek out someplace to relax on vacation, it's supposed to be ALL relaxation.
SHOWS: The shows in the most part at this resort are a hard pass. We attended 3, the Broadway show, the 70's/80's show and the Acrobat show. I feel bad for the performers, I don't know if their entertainment director is lacking, or if the strain of putting on a show at all three lobbies every night is too much. The exception was the Acrobat show, it was genuinely entertaining and awe inspiring.
MOSQUITOES: This was my first experience with mosquitoes at a resort, I think it was due to the rainier weather we had all week. (it rained every day, sometimes more than once) Just remember to bring repellent.
Now on to the good points:
CLEANLINESS: The resort is very clean. There are trash cans with ashtrays every couple of hundred feet. There were clay pots beside all of the palapas and pool chairs for the same reason. There were staff emptying the containers at regular intervals throughout the day.
Our room was also kept nicely, always fresh towels and snacks/drinks in our mini-fridge.
SERVICE: We particularly enjoyed our wait staff at the buffets, we asked for a particular server Alma, in the Akumal buffet because she was attentive and funny. The bar service may have been slower than we expected, but the resort was very busy.
TRAMS: There are trams to take you to any part of the resort. Wait time was minimal, at the most 5 minutes for us.
SNORKELING: The beach is very close to to reefs, which makes it a good place to see fish. My husband spent a lot of time snorkeling when we were there and fully enjoyed it. Bring your own mask and snorkel.
Final impressions? This resort was a firm 3 stars for us. I think when we return to Mexico we may book at a smaller resort, one that specifically has a fantastic and plentiful beach. We did not have a bad experience here, but wouldn't return.More
rebeccaf239, Elyria, Ohio
October, 2014 - Room 5305
This is our 5th visit to this resort & have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. The rooms are very comfortable & kept spotless by the maid service. The food is excellent with lots of variety breakfast, lunch & dinner & the A la Carte restaurants are really good. All the staff are very friendly & couldn't be more helpful. my hair is always a problem on holiday so I had to have it cut while away & was very pleased with the service & it didn't cost any more than a cut & blow dry at home. We also had a 90min massage which was really good.
We didn't go on any trips as we have done in the past but just relaxed for the whole 2 weeks - very lazy!
Tulum has it's own Dolphinarium where you can swim with the dolphins, they also have a short show at 11.30 each day which is free.
The whole area is very safe & you can leave towels & things on your bed without worry even on the beach.
The entertainment was even better this year as most of the acts performed live & there was very little miming to music as you usually get at some resorts. The Mobile Band was really good, playing 60s, 70s up to present day music. We were also delighted that Lev Jackson, Michael Jackson tribute act was back as he wasn't there last year, he is incredible.
I would just like to thank all the team at the Akumal for another wonderful holiday & like to say that if anybody has any bad comments to make about this resort, they must be mistaking it for somewhere else or will never be happy with anything.More
Good overall holiday
We have just returned from our stay at the Akumal staying in the Golden section. Having booked our stay direct with the resort I was very disappointed that I wasn't made aware of all the building work and maintenance going at the hotel. I would of thought it would been of good customer service to advise all passengers of this, had I of known in advance it would of been nice to be given the option to stay in one of the other resorts within the Gran Bahia. The hotel is changing to a luxury Don Pablo from the 1st Nov, however it will take more than a lick of paint, new floor around the pool areas and new sun loungers to make this luxury. Everyday you would hear bulldozers or drills when around the pool and sections would be roped off as they were laying a new floor limiting the sun loungers available. The poolside bar was closed for over a week with no access to the outside toilets so if you were in the beach or pool you had a long walk back to the main lobby to use the toilet. One day I sat on a chair in the lobby and fell straight threw it into the floor, it had been placed with no bottom to the chair with the cushion covering the hole! This left me with big bruises on the backs of my legs. The a la carte restaurants were randomly closed for maintenance too.
The roof to the main lobby and theatre room is all thatched so when it rained hard it all leaked in flooding the lobby floor.
In the golden section we had our own lobby which we only used on check in and check out. I don't think the room was worth the extra money as the only difference really was the extra a la carte meal and a fridge. Our air conditioning was non existent with the ceiling fan providing more cool air. On 2 consecutive nights we had no electric in our room for more than 5 hours and most days had no hot water.
Having said all of this the staff at this hotel are fantastic. They are all uber friendly and very accommodating. The children's facilities are outstanding with loads of entertainment to keep them occupied throughout the day and night. if I would of stayed at a different time I'm sure I would have had a fantastic stay with no problems. It was great that we could make use of the Coba and Tulum hotel facilities and I think this is what makes it such good value for money.
A special mention to Luiz in customer relations and Alma in the lunchtime buffet restaurant who couldn't do enough for us.
We will return to the resort however might give one of the other hotels a try instead.More
Great Vacation for a Great Value
I just returned with my boyfriend from my week long vacation with another couple. We selected the royal golden suites which were definitely worth it. We had a separate lobby and the safe was included in the package (otherwise I think it's around 5$ a day for the safe). We were right beside the main lobby which was also nice because we didn't need to walk very far. The hotel itself is very big. There are trains that take you where you want to go every 5-15 minutes which was also nice. We lucked out with the weather- It was low season and it rained 4/7 nights but our mornings and early afternoons were always nice.
There are three hotels at the location - Tulum, Coba, and Akumal. We visited each one and due to our wristbands, we were able to go to each hotel as well to use their pools or their buffets. I personally think Coba was the largest lobby and buffet - it was also very directed for families, particularly with small children. The food selection seemed to be catered to the families more. But Coba isn't only for families as it had a casino, which we never tried.
The beach is very rocky - Akumal has a lot of snorkelling potential if you are interested in that kind of thing. It was red flag the entire week though, so we were very limited in how far we could explore. It was alright snorkelling, but the best but it was definitely nice to have the option.
We often beached in between Tulum and Akumal hotels as it had the most selection in beach - it wasn't as rocky as it was directly at Akumal.
There are A LOT of construction that is happening at Akumal so be warned. It didn't particularly bother me, but it may to some people. They were fixing the pool often. But if you complained, I'm sure they would accommodate you.
Hotel: The hotel was beautiful, very clean. They called me twice to ask if I needed anything, or how they can improve our experience. We had to call them for a service call - our air conditioner was leaking and they arrived in 20 minutes, fixed it no problem. Very good customer service. The rooms were kept very clean, and the maids were nice.
Pool: normal pools - they had several pools around Akumal you can use. I don't particularly go for the pool but it's always an option.
Chair selection: may be difficult - we always seemed to find chairs but sometimes it was a bit hard. Try to maybe go early, or be willing to walk a bit to find a spot.
Excursions: we did three excursions. We went to Maya Jungle with Tulum (ruins), Akumal Bay, and Xel Ha. There were SOOO many excursions available, so if you like excursions this is the best place to be. The hotel is located very close to many of the excursion sights which were very nice as we didn't need to drive very far. If you book one excursion, you are automatically enrolled to have a shopping trip, free of charge. It's a half day excursion which includes a jewellery store an a shopping centre - we personally didn't go but if you want to shop, that's also another option.
Maya Jungle with Tulum: Amazing trip. They took us repelling into a cenote cave. We went to three ziplines in the tree tops, we went snorkelling in another cave and we went to Tulum to see the ruins. You are NOT allowed to climb Tulum, or the other main ruin so please be aware of that. The Ek Balam (not sure on the spelling) is a ruin you ARE allowed to climb, however. I would recommend the Jungle Maya or the Cenote adventure with that other ruin. Both have good reviews. Tulum was beautiful but the beach section was under construction so we were unable to go which sucked. Cost: $139 US
Akumal Bay: We went snorkelling with sea turtles, saw stingrays, really cool fish and then we went cenote snorkelling into another cave in another mayan village. I really enjoyed it but it was a half day. Cost: $76 US
Xel Ha: One of my favourite excursions by far - we went snorkelling the entire day. We saw turtles, sting rays, sooo many fish and even an eel. I definitely lived this excursion the most but if you don't like swimming for long, this is probably not the best excursion. It had more additional cost trips within the park such as underwater snuba treking, seeing the manatee, dolphin swimming. Included in the park was restaurants, bars, lazy river, biking, a garden, a children's playground, small water zip lining, short cliff jumping, and some rope adventures. This is a whole day adventure. Cost: $109-119 US
If you are at the Akumal hotel, you have free wifi for an hour each day and if you are at the golden suites, the lobby has computers you can also use for with internet.
There is also like 10 a la carte restaurants and a 24 hr snack bar. We went to the Brazilian and the Italian a la carte restaurant. The italian was the best one; the regular buffet was good enough for us though, so it isn't really necessary. the 24 hr snack bar was also really nice option, but it didn't have much variety.
The hotels also had a shopping centre, a doctor, and a pharmacy if required. A train came every 15-20 minutes and brought you directly there to the shopping centre to each hotel. Very easily managed and very convenient.More
Never Got Bored!
This review is based on the use of facilities at all 3 hotels available at the time of our visit - first two weeks of August 2014. Please note that from November if you stay at Akumal you can only use facilities at this hotel and Coba (not Tulum).
We had a lovely holiday as it catered for all age ranges and offered so many facilities, night and day, that you could never get bored. It was easy to visit places of interest outside of the hotel whether you arranged it yourself by using the local buses/taxis or through organised trips on offer through the hotel or tour operators. All members of staff were courteous and we always felt we were being taken care of. We were never approached by the Time Share staff when going to any buffet restaurant, just don't make eye contact. Although the hotel classes itself as a five star, tour operators in the UK are correct to rate it as 4 star and if you donât set your expectations higher than this you wonât be disappointed.
We were a group of 9, age range 8-78. We emailed in advance to ask for 4 rooms close together with at least one on the ground floor and close to the lobby and our request was honoured, block 53. We needed to change one of the rooms as it had a double bed not twins as requested and this was dealt with efficiently and was still in the same block. All Rooms were always cleaned to a high standard, with towels and sheets changed daily, different towel art and fridge replenished also daily, aircon and fans worked and this was in all 4 rooms. 2 of the rooms did have a musty smell which remained throughout our stay and impregnated our clothes but it was bearable.
There is a vast array of places to eat and drink. As many reviewers have mentioned the restaurants are sweltering and this does lead to an uncomfortable dining experience. In the buffet restaurants at all three hotels, the same dishes are available for lunch and dinner every day but there is enough variety that you will always find something to eat. We felt the hotel focused on quantity of food rather than quality as they used the cheapest cuts of meat and fish available and the food was always lukewarm. Unfortunately everyone, except the vegetarian in our group, had an upset stomach at some point during the holiday which we put down to the meat and fish not being kept at the correct temperature. Other downside of buffet at Akumal during the 2nd week of our stay was the over powering smell of blocked drains in the 2nd section of the restaurant â to give them their due they were working on this problem all week but it never improved.
We tried many of the al-la-cartes and were not overly impressed with any as again the food was cold except for the Japanese when we were at the show table. Tried both Italians and both served crunchy pasta; Japanese â only thing Japanese was the sushi for starters, the main course is simply stir fry with some soya and garlic oil splashed over, the only choice for main is if you want chicken, beef or fish, not the type of sauce; Brazilian served tough meat; seafood restaurants - avoid seafood selection as you will be served the same cheap cuts of fish found in the buffet restaurants. We also found deserts on offer disappointing, always the same â tiny rectangular sponge base topped with flavoured cream. If you are a food connoisseur this is not the place for you.
Lots of pools to choose from, but you wonât find a sunbed unless you are daft enough to get up before 6am to bag one. Even though the beach is vast it was always crowded (reminded me of being on the beach in Benidorm) impossible to get a sunbed in the sandy area if arriving after 9, although always found sunbeds on the man-made stretch at the rocky areas. The beach looks much better in photographs then in reality, it is not a typical Caribbean beach and too shallow for any proper swimming. The bonus of the shallow beach are the fish you can see without the need for a snorkel, definitely recommend wet shoes though. If you wish to experience a real Caribbean beach, keep walking along the beach past the Coba hotel for 20 mins and you will find it. Most days when staying at the resort we used the catamarans, also tried scuba diving and jet skis and the staff were very experienced and professional.
We found the evening shows pretty amateurish and again with no air-con the theatres were very uncomfortable. Saying that, lots of other places to spend the evening and we often went to the Hacienda and really enjoyed the live music and dancing and the younger members of the group went to the disco.
If we were visiting this part of Mexico again we would consider staying again.More
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