Grand Bahia Principe Tulum, Mexico. Anyone been?

posted 3 years ago in Travel
Post # 3
4827 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2013 - Upstate NY

@mrsbacon:  I’ve been there!! I just dug up my tripaadvisor review for you: I however traveled in December. It was HOT so I imagine it will be blazing in August!


“My boyfriend and I just got back from the Gran Bahia Principe Tulum- we went “just because” (Expedia had some pretty good deals). We were initially booked at Coba (by the way Coba is substantially further from the beach. They should NOT consider it beachfront) but there was mass confusion checking in(mass confusion being par for the course trying to book things and get organized in the Mexican Caribbean), and they ended up putting us up in Tulum! SO GLAD about this– Tulum is so much better in terms of beaches. Their buffet was equal to Coba’s (never bothered going to Akumal’s) and the beach was 2 minutes away!
The resort is very far from the airport. Our shuttle took over an hour and a half. next time we will consider Cancun. 

Some comments/ recommendations… Go right away to the Public Relations room in the lobby to make your 3 a la carte dinner reservations (meaning all other nights are buffeet night– they’re not bad at all. Except the dessters. I was not impressed). Le gourmet was awesome, skip the Mediterranean place and Don Pablo’s- nothing too great. If you want Mexican food, Gran Bahia is not the place to go! I came home and immediately had a burrito– nowhere on the resort did we find a lot of Mexican food. Such a disappointment. Our room reeked of mildew. I guess thatt’s what you get when you’re oceanfront! This is typical for most ocean- front resorts.

Big but uncomfy beds.
Make sure you shut the balcony door to have the AC work. There was booze everywhere! Try the tequila shots at the table when you walk in. We had no problem with drinking ice but stay away from the water.
Get to the beach by 10am for a lounger. Pool loungers were reserved early too. The rocky water was not fun- I cannot fathom an older person swimming at the resort. We also felt really safe. I didn’t even lock up anything and I noticed people were leaving their belongings on the beach to go swimming (surprised me) Weather was great, a little cloudy some afternoons. 85+ !
We felt very safe the entire time.
The wind felt GREAT- really cooled you off. Bing lots of $ ones to tip. If you want a little jungle adventure (bring a strong stomach for the “jungle buggy ride” and bug spray) go to Hidden Worlds Cenote park.
Grab a cheap colectivo on the highway right outside the resort. You don’t have to make reservation. This wasn’t the BEST place (lots of waiting around, but apparently it was busy that day) but it was good to get of the resort, although truthfully we didn’t want to. Mmm I miss that sun…

This was such a relaxing trip – the staff are like little busting worker ants, so helpful! They even had a “gala” for us for New Year’s. I would definitely recommend this hotel.”


Post # 5
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@mrsbacon:  We stayed at Grand Bahia Coba (one of the three resorts that are all together with Tulum) for our honeymoon at the end of August/beginning of September in 2013! 


We had a great time. I think I personally like PV better, but the beach at this resort is amazing.  The weather was ok – super sunny and hot one minute (very humid), then down pouring the next (LITERALLY).  It could be annoying sometimes – if you were on the beach and it’s sunny and beautiful, it might downpour the next moment.  Overall, the weather was just okay.  The showers would usually happen in short bursts!  Sometimes they would happen at night too.  The carts that drive all around the resort have little tarp/curtain things on them to stop the rain from coming in. Bring bug spray and some kind of afterbite spray! As you know, when it’s humid those bugs really come out.  


Unlike other resorts, you have one towel each for the duration of your stay – you trade this in at little huts near the pool. You can trade them in all the time if you like – just don’t leave your towel in your room, as you can’t get a new one without trading in your old one.  Bring snorkel gear if you can (mask and snorkel) as there is lots and lots of great snorkelling on the beach! 


Be prepared for lots of smoking. We didn’t expect this as we don’t smoke and we didn’t have this issue in PV – we found it quite annoying, esp. on the beach, but that’s because we don’t smoke. Also, many women will be topless, which we weren’t used to. No big deal though.  


There’s no servers on the beach that we saw – you have to get your own drinks. Try to find a seat sort of close to a beach bar if you can, but be aware that they aren’t always open (sort of open whenever and at random days/times).  It can be faster to go into the hotel bar and get a drink than wait at the beach bar sometimes. 


I agree about booking your restaurant nights early (when you get there).  Try to book them for days that you aren’t doing excursions, so that you can make the dinner with enough time to spare. I think if you miss it you can’t reschedule it.  The dinner bookings were kind of annoying, because it didn’t allow for flexibility in my opinion. But then again, this is only my second resort experience, so I’m not sure what the norm is for that. 


We did some excursions and had an incredible time. I would recommend Chichen Itza – a full day tour.  It takes about 3- 4 hours to get there I think and three- four hours back?  


We also did a whale shark snorkelling experience. DO THIS!!!!  It was by far the best excursion and we had a fantastic, memorable time. It’s expensive, but it’s basically a day tour and you can only swim w/whale sharks in a few parts of the world (Australia being one other place – maybe South Africa too).  Whale sharks are harmless and such amazing creatures.  We also saw manta rays.  We used Cancun Adventures for this excursion.  The first day they had to cancel due to bad weather, but the next day we were able to do it.  Make sure you book this early in your trip if you want to do it, just in case of inclimate weather – so you can reschedule it if need be.  It doesn’t cost extra – if the weather is bad, they just pick you up the next day.  I can’t rave enough about this experience and the tour itself. 


 Nicole from Cancun Adventures is an amazing guide – she took us on our other Cancun Adventures tour, which was a snorkelling tour – also worth it.  


I would also recommend the spa there if you are looking for a massage – we had a couples one. It was fabulous.  They make you wear paper underwear though, so prepare your DH for that 😉 haha. 


One other thing – the time share people are very aggressive at this resort.  It can be annoying, as they are situated near the buffett entrance/exits.  I would suggest a standard response of “not interested” or even “not married”.  Becuase the front desk staff knew that we were newlyweds we got it a lot.  The events coordinator asked us to come claim a ‘gift’ at her desk and it was some cheap key chains – then she tried to pitch us for the time shares after we’d already previously told her no. I had to repeatedly tell her that we were not interested, over and over.  I guess it’s just something that’s part of the resort experience now. 


There’s also some kind of dolphin swim thing at the resort too – we didn’t do it (re: animals in captivity, very sad in my opinion).  There’s a dolphin swim at a centre (there are three main dolphin swim opportunities) that’s supposed to be ‘better’ in terms of treatment of the animals, etc.  Cancun Adventures guides told us which one, but I can’t remember. I’m sure the activities coordinator could help you with that if you were interested – or research it online.  


Our fav. restaurant was Arlequín.  Delicious!  Also, I was obsessed with the vanilla soft serve (me and all of the 8 year olds at the resort. LOL!).  I found the bar drinks to be awesome too.


There are these really REALLY cute litle furry animals – a cross between a raccoon and a lemur? lol. They are freaking adorable and run around the resort.  They are quite calm and not aggressive, but they love food. I saw people feeding them ice cream cones 🙁 I fed them fruit and they loved it.  They are so, so cute.  


I think overall you will have a wonderful time!  Please let me know if you have any questions that I can answer. We stayed for 12 nights, so we were there for ages.  Sorry if I’m rambling! Have a great time OP! 


Post # 6
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@mrsbacon:  PS OP – try to book your shuttle to and from your hotel before you go – this way you have guaranteed transportation and won’t get hasseled or ripped off when you leave the airport.  We used to get us from the airport to the resort and back again and had a great experience with them.  When you get out of the airport there are many men and women holding signs for different tour companies, etc.  They will be easy to spot and take care of everything.    

Post # 8
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@mrsbacon:  No worries – I am just glad that I can give you some advice! 

Things were open, yes. I do not think the weather impacted much in terms of that.  The beach would be super busy when it was sunny and then when it would rain everyone would disappear lol. Which was great because then you get your pick of seats!  Some days were amazing with the weather. Some days it rained on and off. It was rare to have a cloudy day all day, but it did happen.  It was hot always though!  One cool thing that happened – we saw baby turtles hatch on the beach!  The workers came right away to protect them (from PEOPLE). Everyone was jockeying for a spot to take photos, stare, etc.  so the poor things were overcrowded, but they were Oh So Cute! 

The whale shark tour we booked at the hotel through the tours desk.  We didnt do a lot of research into what tours there were because we didnt want to plan too much in advance.  You know how sometimes you want to just chill, but you dont know that until you get there…anyways, it was easy to book through the tours desk. 

It is probably cheaper to book before hand though –  There is a lot of tours to choose from for this, but I just had a great time on ours, and sometimes personal recommendations are good to have! 🙂  let me know if I can help  with any more questions!   

Post # 9
1109 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

My husband and I stayed at Secrets Capri in the Riviera Maya and I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend it. Its not a huge resort (only like 200 rooms) but you are treated SO well there. 

My husband and I stayed at a Grand Bahia in the DR and we were not impressed. The resort had like 5000 people and we just felt like a number!

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