This hotel is huge and after doing the usual research had decided to ask for Tulum side and as we had been offered a free upgrade to Hacienda club took it. Don’t think you really get much more for your upgrade other than the ability to have breakfast at the tequila restaurant which was actually a real bonus. There is also another quiet pool area that I believe is exclusive , half an hour free internet is available at the hacienda reception plus 2 extra A la carte bookings.
I will just do my review on the areas we used. We never got round the rest and didn’t particularly feel the need. Rooms were lovely with huge bed , ironing board , coffee machine and mini bar stocked with Free beer, soft drinks and the odd chocci bar and crisps . I did read that if you leave a few pescos in the fridge the guy will give you more. Didn’t try it though.
After studying the map I emailed ahead to request high floor rooms in block 34 or 35. These are closest to the beach and also next door to the main pool area and buffet. I do suggest people study the map carefully because even Tulum side was very spread out and those not near to these main areas still had to hop around on the bus .If this doesn’t appeal to you I would suggest emailing ahead to request your room block. We would certainly not have liked to do it. I also requested our A la carte bookings to be made ahead. The first email just advised us to do it upon arrival but I pushed again and the reply came back that all bookings had been made.
To be honest I never found any of the A la cartes a lot better than the buffet restaurant which had everything you could possibly imagine and exceptionally good. The food is all available in a separate room which is surrounded by four eating areas. It is huge but the lighting is soft and ambience nice. As a group of 6 we never once had a problem finding a nice round table for us all, something that is often lacking. The 3 areas get progressively bigger and the biggest area that is linked to the reception walkway has people queuing at the door of an evening for some reason. We never went that way and instead used the step up the side next to our block 34 and chose the smaller section to the right. Never had a problem getting a table and it felt just a little cooler with the breeze through the window which was very much appreciated.
Main pool area is again huge with plenty sunbeds and umbrellas and in one section the entertainment team does a fantastic job of keeping everyone in high spirits. Music, dancing, games all day long. The water gym attracted a huge crowd.
The beach is fairly narrow at Tulum end and is very rocky when wading out. There are some sea breaks a few metres out that the lads (and men) seemed to get hours of pleasure from in the Waves. If you have the energy do have a walk along the beach up to the Akamul end, the beach is much wider and the sea shallow and clear up that end. If you have small children it would probably be better suited. Ours are much older and actually enjoyed crashing about in the waves that you don't seem to get at the other end.
One more mention of the bus situation. It was very busy in the evenings due to people going out and about in the different areas and clearly everyone goes out at the same time. If you have A la carte bookings at Coba you really need to be out the door half an hour before to allow time to wait for the bus if necessary, get there and then find it at the other end. We were late for most of ours as we never left enough time.
We didn't catch much of the entertainment. But did catch the Michael Jackson show on Fridays which I have to say was brilliant.
We also used the onsite dive centre that was excellent.
Ah Turtle nests that was the other thing I was going to mention. You will see lots of marked nests. If you take a walk along the beach at night you may see a group of people and the warden who watches over the nesting turtles. Do join one of the groups. They are huge and come up on the beach to nest at night .Sometimes as many as 30-40 in a good night. The whole process takes about 2 hours and you can clearly see the turtle digging the whole and laying eggs. It's a very special moment but requires patience and quietness. You cannot use your flash and please don't be tempted to try. one idiot gave us all the lectures when we arrived, he did the translation from the warden for the group telling us what they do, how we needed to keep quiet, not use flash camera etc. etc. and then as soon as the turtle had finished and started to move back down the beach he went and blinded her with a double flash. We were so angry; He nearly got a shoe across his head.
The hotel is beautiful, very clean even though it is a very large complex - you quickly get used to the size. When we first arrived we thought we were going to spend hours on the little trolly buses but you get your barrings quickly and we were soon walking around, which we found quicker.
Taking a morning stroll along the beach to see if anymore Turtles had nested over night was great; there were up to 18 nests when we left.
Food was exceptional and definitely 5 star, we had one poor meal, and sadly that was in one of their Al a Carte restaurants, Dolce Vita. We wished we had eaten in the main buffet restaurant instead. I wouldn't have given the food offered to an animal, let alone pass it off as Al a Carte. The waiter's were just messing about. This is the only negative thing I can say about the food, generally the choice was amazing. Don Pablo's s fantastic.
We paid extra to stay in the Hacienda Tulum, advertised with its own reception and pool towels in the room. Unfortunately these are not a benefit, if you need anything you have to go to the main reception anyway and the pool towels in your room are not changed.
We were very disappointed with the Turtle snorkelling trip, purchased through the hotel. We were told we would be taken to 2 reefs, 1 for the Turtles and 1 for Coral and we were lead to believe this was 15-20 minutes off shore. Well in fact the boat went out from the coast and back into Akumel beach (30 metres off the shore).
I can only describe the Bahia Principe in Mexico as paradise. Everything is so perfect.
The grounds/ gardens are kept in excellent condition, everything is so immaculate and the staff cant do enough for you.
The restaurants are really great, my favourite was the Arlequin which was excellent, followed closely by the Oriental. We went to 6 different restuarants and couldnt fault any. The rooms are kept to a very high standard and cleaned on a daily basis, fridge kept topped up with beer/ juice/ water/ crisps and sweets every 2nd day.
There is lots to do, we hired the cycles daily(free), hired the snorkelling equipment,kayaks etc, all included in your holiday costs (and so much more). The beach is great,no problems getting a sunbed, spent many a day there soaking up the sun. I loved the swing bar,a bar on the beach with swings as seats, Alex the barman was great at mixing cocktails.
The entertainment was good, if you missed a show at one lobby you could catch it another night at a different lobby. The Michael Jackson show was really good! Dont miss the Mexican night at the Hasienda, its brilliant.
Cant fault this holiday at all.... We loved it.
Travel operator: direct holidays
The grounds and public areas were well kept and well staffed, as were the restaurants and bars. The staff themselves were pleasant and helpful (not all spoke English). You felt safe wherever you were in the hotel, and our 5 year old would go wherever she wanted to on her own (of course unbeknown to her we always had a watchful eye following her).
The drink was plentiful and varied, and sometimes self service. Tea and Coffee was always available in the foyer areas of each hotel along with polystyrene cups. The food was plentiful and well cooked. You had a good choice of restaurants to choose from and even if you missed any sittings there was always the 24 hour snack bar.
The location of the hotel is a bit far out, but that can be overcome by local minibus ($2 per journey) or taxi inside the hotel (expensive)or taxi just outside the hotel (cheaper but not as cheap or as much fun as the bus!) Get the price agreed first. You would not walk along the main road - for your own safety! The transfer from the airport is long and laborious as you drop off everyone else before you eventually get to yours!
Entertainment is just about OK, a bit Butlinish, and could be a lot better as befits the star rating. The animation team worked hard, but seemed a bit clockworkish. The childrens club was a really big letdown, unfortunately. There was no security and no signing children in or out, so this needs addressing.
Although the site is large we were quite happy walking around, although there were various little 'Noddy' buses/golf carts nipping around for your convenience.
Having use of all 3 hotels/facilities is a bonus and gives a variety during your stay. The beach is fantastic and you have a good variety of pools to choose from - noisy with children or quiet with adults!You don't need to leave the hotel as you have everything to hand, but why come all this way not to venture out and explore just a little? Trips were expensive for us - for a famiy of 2 they are reasonable, but for a famiy of 5 they bordered on the outrageous, but you're only going to do them once! Our family would certainly visit this hotel again and would highly recommend you having your holiday here. The children spent most of their time in the pool but be warned, there are no lifeguards except on the beach.
Go on and book this hotel - you won't be disappointed!
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
The hotel is lovely, and even better than the one in Tenerife! The food is excellent, although the a la carte restaraunts can be disappointing so choose carefully. The japanese is by far the best. Rooms are cleaned everyday to a high standard, but we did have difficulties with the towels occassionally.
The staff are really friendly and well presented, and you feel safe with the security patrols.
All in all, an excellent holiday and we will be going back.
Travel operator: first choice
The hotel was spotless.
Food was of the highest quality and was varied every day.
the location was ok can get taxi to Porta Del Carmen
outside main entrance for $2.00 each way.
The hotel staff are excellent would re-book this hotel, we are in fact going to book the Bahia for my daughters wedding next October.
Travel operator: thomas cook
The hotel and rooms were spotless. We didn't get towel art every day was good as it meant the maid spent more time cleaning. Air conditioning broke 4 times but was repaired promptly.
Food was good. A-la -carts were good bar Tequilla Mexican, don't bothere with it as food was poor and staff rotten. All the other staff were excellent.
Entertainment was trypical all-inclusive stuff, very Butlins and a Micheal Jackson show.
We paid a bit more to use the Haceinda Section which meant access to a private pool, resturant and section of the beach.
Apart from the stunning view this was not worth it as where ever you stayed in the resort you good use all the resturants and all the pools.
They are currently building a Golf Course on site so the resort is going to be even better and apart from the distance I would go back!
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
Beach beautiful great for snorkelling. Hammocks on the beach. Good range of activities & entertainment throughout the day by the pool and quite a few pools to choose from. The hotel surroundings are kept in immaculate condition.
Rooms were nice though we were a family of 3 adults and had a room with 2 queen beds...not ideal. Only fault was that the air-conditioning was not the best. A different surprise in the shape of a towel awaiting us each afternoon..elephants, swans, eskimos, you name it.
Restaurants were great, buffet a la carte even the snack bar (24hrs). Huge choice for all tastes and nationalities, great food, good service...just fabulous. So many bars great with a wide selection of cocktails etc. even champagne! Staff all brilliant, friendly and attentive.
We went on quite a few trips, to the Mayan village up the pyramid, which was really interesting. Quad biking, horse riding and Jet skiing, great fun! Sunset boat trip with lobster dinner, very nice. Shopping, to see a fantastic show and lots more. We really enjoyed ourselves. You can jump on small buses for only a dollar to playa del carmen the nearest town which takes around 40mins. From there you can take buses elsewhere or the ferry to Cozumel Island which is agood day out. Although the hotel is a little way out the location isnt too bad as you can easily get out and about.
So many places in the world to visit but I would return to this hotel tomorrow. If you have booked your guaranteed an amazing holiday and im so jealous.
Travel operator: First Choice
The hotel is brilliant, the a la carte restaurants are well worth a visit 3 per week.
The grounds are stunning - beautiful pool areas, swim up pool bars.
3 hotels and you use the facilities at each hotel, reached via a mini train, which we found very frequent.
Also we found no queues at the bars = a lot of the pool side bars, are self service.
I would definately go again.
The weather was perfect for the 2 weeks that we were there - we had 10 mins of rain on the last day!
The down sides - hmmmm air conditioning could have been cooler.
Travel operator: FirstChoice
We were in the Akumal hotel side. as this resort is split into 3x 5* hotels for which you can use the facilities of all. The Akumal, Tulum and Coba. There is such a lot to see that you have to take their free trollies (like mini land trains) that are running around the resort and we never had to wait longer than 5 minutes for one.
The food is just fantastic no matter where you eat and there is a very wide choice of dining facilities and al la carte restaurants and all this is included in the all inclusive package.
The beach is out of a brochure and picture perfect, i just wanted to sit and look, it was just that beautifull, the pools were very clean and being kept tidy all day with no litter at all around the pool.
The staff are the frendliest and most kind people i have ever met. always smiling and ready with a "hola". i must have said that word at least 50 times a day.
The place is immaculate throughout and very very clean, and the staff wear white and there uniforms were crisp and white every day, the gardens are a credit to the staff that tend them and the iguanas roam freely but are very shy of humans, some of them were around 3 ft or more long. The rooms are constantly clean and we had clean towels and sheets changed every day.
Leave the maid and the fridge man a 1 dollar tip each day and you get extra drinks and snacks in the fridge and the maid makes a different towel art animal.
We had a selection including a turtle, elephant and a doll. I would return here in an instant the only negative thing i can think of is the trip from cancun to riiera maya being 1.5 hours long. When you have been on an aircraft for 11 hours its a long haul after.
Travel operator: first choice
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