10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Good Experience at Coba
"My husband, daugther (6 years old) and I have just returned from a one week stay at the Bahia Principe Coba on January 21, 2006. Overall, we liked the resort and would return. FLIGHT: We flew skyservice and found the plane very cramped!!!!!!, however, the on-board service was good. Remember to bring a pen because there was alot of paperwork to be filled out in-flight and they did not have any pens available. CANCUN AIRPORT: Very disorganized !!!!!!!!!!!! They have TV screens above the luggage belts stating which flight's lugggage was to be on the belt. After our whole flight standing waiting for their luggage for a half an hour, someone had discovered that our luggage was coming off on a different belt. Going through Immagration and Customs was pretty easy, but once past customs, watch out!!!! There are people everywhere trying to take your luggage and trying to get you to come with them (time share people), just keep sayins NO. CHECK-IN was fast and easy. We checked in shortly after noon. Olivia was very friendly and informative and our room was ready at the time we checked-in (lucky, I guess). Our luggage was taken to our room on the golf cart with us, so there was no waiting for it. ROOMS: Big and clean. We had a JR. Suite (I think all of the Coba sections are Jr.suites). Our mini bar was restocked daily and the maid did a great job. KID'S CLUB: The girls that ran the kid's club were great!!!! My daughter never wanted to be with us, it was always "when can I go to the kid's club???" They played games, coloured, went swimming, played on the beach, learned about the sea turtles, etc. She had a great time with them. The mini disco at night was also fun for the little ones, they danced, played games and one night they had a pinata (sp???). MAIN BUFFET: We ate most of our meals at the Kukulcan buffet. The food here was either a hit or miss (most things were very good, but there were a few items, such as the scrammbled eggs that were cold and gross). At dinner we always sat in Jorge and Jonny's section, always excellent service in this section!!!!!! A LA CARTES: We did ony 2. We booked three, but cancelled the reservation for the Japanese as there was a even a wait to get in and my daughter really wanted to go to the mini disco. We loved the Italian (Dolce Vita) and found the Mexician to be just ok. POOLS: the pools were big, beautiful, but a little on the cold side. DRINKS: No watered down drinks here!!! Once, I ordered a strawberry daquiri and there was so much rum in it, I could not even drink it!!!! SERVICE: Overall we thought the service was good. We did run into a couple instances were the service wasn't so good. One day at lunch we sat in a different section then usual at Kukulcan and we didn't get anything to drink until we were done our meals. The service at the main lobby bar one day was terrible, I waited 20 minutes to get a blue lagoon. Overall we enjoyed the trip and would return!!!!"
- Travel date: 22nd January 2006
All around great resort
"My wife and I stayed at the Bahia Principe Coba Club Golden section Jan 6-13, 2006 and bought it as a last minute deal. We are 30 & 32 years old, have travelled throughout the United States and Canada and stayed at a variety of different hotels ranging from hostels to Fairmonts but have never been to an all inclusive. Apparently the resort was sold out while we were there. Resort location: The Bahia Principe resort complex is located about 30 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen, 80 minutes from Cancun airport and 15 minutes from Xel-Ha/ Tulum. The Coba , Akumal, and Tulum resorts are all spread out within the resort complex and linked by shutte bus and meandering pathways. The Hacienda, (bars and shops)is along the highway about 750 m fom the resorts. The Coba resort is behind the Akumal, not beachfront, and is a 5-10 minute walk from the beach (depending on how many drinks you've had...) Although it's behind the Akumal you can't tell you've walked into another resort (besides the signs) as the villas are nearly identical. Who goes there: Estimation 60% Canadian, 5% British, 5% American and 30% italian. Facilities: Each of the three resorts have their own huge thached roof ,marble floored lobby which contains the show theater, music bar, lobby bar, reception, main buffet, and usually 1-2 a la carte restaurants. Spread around the Coba lobby are 31 three floor villas containing 36 suites entered though an outdoor staircase/lobby. The Coba villas are centered around 2 huge free form pools (each has it's own large 24 hr snack bar)with an aditional two small whirlpool areas dispersed throughout the complex. The Coba resort is huge itself and combined with the two others is massive. Villas in the Coba Golden Club are closer to the beach, have there own clubhouse with internet access, bar, and reception. Villas 12-21 are along the highway and seemed to be a little loud. Rooms: Our room was on the third floor in villa 29 and faced the smaller whirlpool area. The Club Golden Rooms are large, with a good size closet, king bed, separate seating area and balcony with a patio table and chairs. The bathroom was huge, marble floors, countertop and whirlpool tub and shower. In the bathroom they give you a basket of lotions soap etc. (not like the picture in the brochure), but not bad. The Room looked exactly like the brochure picture (Transat holidays). Double check that the doors are fully closed when you leave as they are brand new and didn't always close fully behind us. The room came with a mini bar (2 big bottles of purified water, 4 cans coke, 4 diet, 4 7-up, 4 carbonated water, 4 dos equis beer, 2 bags of chips and chocolate bars.)Despite how hard I tried (tips in fridge, notes in spanish etc.) I couldn't get more than 5 beers put in the fridge......(Although it's never hard to get beer at the resort.) The room comes with a pay safe $33 usd for one week (ask for a lock and key at check-in)and make sure you get the key for the mini bar at check-in. At check-in they give you a room key each along with a separate safe key and bar key with a draw string for around your neck. I would have preferred a key card but oh well. Service: Service around the resort is great whether you tip or not. I never felt once I had to tip, although I tipped often for good service. After a day or two they know who you are despite the size of the resort. Everyone from check-in to the bus drivers were great and genuinely friendly. In general the staff didn't speak really fluent english but you could always find someone that did. They also appreciate it if you tried to speak a little spanish and were more than happy to help you with new words.....(my wife is still kicking me). In the restaurants the service was more subdued but still OK. Don't go here if you expect to be waited on hand and foot. The staff were fun, genuinely friendly, always accomodating, never said no and were one of the main reasons we had such a great time. Food: There was a wide variety of food throughout the resort from large snack bars to a la carte restaurants. Buffets: The main buffet offered a large selection of quality, tasty food including, salads, soups, mexican specialities, made to order, healthy choices etc. etc. etc. The food was always high quality, fresh and great variety. The buffet service areas were kept immaculate and well presented. The seating area was huge with linens and fresh flowers at the table. Seating arrangements ranged from couples to large groups. The buffet rotates through theme nights throughout the week (French, American etc.)The variey of food also changes slightly from day to day. If you're staying at the Golden Club make sure you go to the Cozumel Buffet at the Akumal Club Premier building, a short walk from the Coba. It's more intimite has better service and has slightly different food. Snack bars: Large 24 hr snack bars are located around the main pools and offer a small buffet area or cooked to order areas. We liked these for a quick breakfast. A la Carte: In general I liked these restaurants for a change from the buffet, the food was good and provided a more romantic dinner from the buffet(duh).Each restaurant had appetizers a choice of salads and soup, entree, and dessert. Most of them also greeted you at the table with a welcome drink. Try and make your resrvations when you arrive at the Coba and you can always show up early and try to get an earlier seating. Arlequin-food was good, ambience was ok, service was ok. Fruitos Del Mar-Food was great (Mixed grilled seafood) service was good, ambience nice. Don't expect crab legs and all you can eat crab legs. Mediterraneo-Food was good, appetizers were a different change from the norm. Mikado-The chef prepares a meal in front of you while everybody enjoys a drink. It's a good show if you've never been to this type of restaurant before, but if you don't want to socialize you should choose another place to eat. It also takes up 2-3 hours of your night as you're waiting for others or your next course. Alcohol-Never had a problem finding a drink to my liking. From a cold beer(Dos exuis or Corona) to a Mai Tai. Never had to wait in line either even though the resort was full. The alcohol service is pretty much 24 hours. The Coba lobby bar is slow, The Akumel theatre bar is better. At the entrance to the buffets they usually had different tequilas you could pour yourself or in the mornings & afternoons the bars had cofee and liquers you could add yourself. Freddy at the Daiquiri bar (akumal club premier bar) made some really good drinks but has trouble driving a standard....Drinks are also included at the Hacienda at two bars and the disco. There is one bar there that charges so ask before you get a drink. Pools: Beautiful variety of meandering crystal clear pools. Always refreshing as the water is colder than the ocean. Some of the activity pools are a little loud during the day. These pools are kept in excellent condition. Beach: Huge long white sand beach stretching from the Akumal to the Tulum. Although the beach does have a rocky coral bottom in spots and other areas are rocky tidepools. If you're only going to Mexico for the beach there are other resorts with better ones. There is a small swimming lagoon with piers but it only gets to waist height. We loved laying on the beach under a palapa and suntanning and going for a dip in the nearby pool. Apparently there is a beach 10 minute walk south of the akumal which is great for snorkelling/swimming. Activities: There are lots of activities if you wanted to do them although we never had time. Transportation: Around the resort- They have shuttle trains constantly driving by. They will always stop if you flag them down. The shuttles run between the resorts, to the beach and out to the Hacienda every 10 minutes or so from 7:00 am -2:00 am. They are all labelled on the front window of the bus. The Hacienda bus is a blue chopped Ford F-150 that has covered seating in the back and in a trailer it pulls behind. To Attractions- take the Collectivos!!!!!!They are usually a newer white ford extended van (15 seats) that run along the main highway picking people up and dropping people off (tourists and locals).It may take slightly longer but is way cheaper than a taxi or tour. To Playa Del Carmen it's $2 usd each, Xel-Ha $1.50 usd each. If you're going to Playa Del Carmen the bus will stop 2 blocks from the beach without you saying anything. Pick it up at the same spot. Taxis are 25$ usd to Playa and 15$ usd to Xel-Ha. The resort runs a bus to town every other day for 8$ usd leaving at 9:00 am and returning at 1:00pm. Hurricane damage: We saw a little at the airport. Closer to Cancun and Playa Del Carmen there are roofs missing etc. At the resort the only sign was a few shingles missing on the villas (you have to look hard to see it). Although we loved this resort some people may people may find the following areason not to go. Beach-somewhat rocky Distance from town-80 min from cancun Service- they don't wait on you hand and foot Language-they don't speak perfect english Not Beachfront- a 5-10 minute walk Some tips: -Go to Xel-Ha (all inclusive, drinks food 59$usd)although they may have changed this as we drank them out of 3 different kinds of beer. They may now have a separate Canadian price (sorry guys!) -Try the different restaurants -Explore the resort and different bars -Take the Collectivos -Get a safe and check it's locked before you go -don't miss the special coffees at the bars (make your own) or the tequila bars. -Double check all your doors before you leave(the maids sometimes forgot to lock the sliding door)the lock is goofy... Have fun!!!"
- Travel date: 21st January 2006
Had a great time at the Coba!!
"Hola everyone! We just arrived back from the Bahia Principe Coba after a one week stay from January 10th to 17th. We booked through Transat Holidays which meant we were in the Club Golden section of the Coba. Since I rely heavily on detailed reviews to select a resort each winter, I will do my best to return the favour and provide a comprehensive review for those who are considering the Bahia Principe Coba. Here goes: FLIGHT/TRANSPORT TO RESORT: As usual the conditions on the Air Transat charter flight were cramped but it was bearable since the flight is relatively short. After deplaning at the Cancun airport clearing customs was quick and efficient and we were on the bus within a very short time. All of the people on our bus were going to the Coba which meant no stops along the way. The bus trip to the resort was 1 hour 10 minutes. (Nice bus but no bathroom.) You get off the bus at the main Coba lobby and are then transported to the Club Golden lobby by shuttle. The luggage follows very quickly in separate shuttles. Check in at the Golden Club lobby is quick and you are welcomed with a glass of juice in a wine glass. Our luggage was delivered to our room very quickly after we checked in. ROOMS: The junior suite rooms are brand new, large, well appointed and gorgeous. We stayed in Villa #8. The bathroom is marble with a nice Jacuzzi tub. With the Club Golden option there are robes and slippers and there is a basket of body products in the bathroom. (The basket is refilled as needed during the week). When we first arrived we realized that we didn't have robes. That problem was fixed quickly. We just called down to reception and they delivered them promptly. The bar fridge contains beer, water, pop, chips and mini-chocolate bars and is refilled daily. There is an iron and ironing board. There is also a coffee maker in the room with coffee provided. Since I only drink tea I was constantly grabbing tea bags from the restaurants and snack bars to bring back to the room to make a pot of tea in the morning. (If you're a tea drinker like me I would recommend you just bring a small box of tea bags - it would be easier). In the Club Golden rooms you have the convenience of having your beach towels right in the room so there is no fooling around with towel cards. The Club Golden villas are all together (villas 5 through 9 I think). They are close to the Club Golden lobby. Our villa was at the end of the resort and our balcony faced the jungle. It was a very quiet location. We couldn't hear the music or people in the pools which is just the way I like it. I would imagine that the villas fronting onto the pools, particularly the activity pools, would be noisier. We talked to people who booked with Signature and apparently their rooms were in villas that backed onto a major highway. (It seems like Villas 15 through 18 should be avoided unless highway noise doesn't bother you.) The only complaint I had about the rooms is that the walls are apparently very thin. You can very clearly hear people talking outside your room and could occasionally hear furniture but this wasn't much of an annoyance since we weren't in our room that often and as well there weren't people out in the hall that often since there are only 6 rooms a floor. BEACH: We walked the beach from the far end of Akumal to the end of Tulum more than once. It's a lovely walk on a long beach with diverse areas. As you walk along the beach there are several bars if you want a drink along the way. At the very start the Akumal side it is quite rocky at the edge of the water. There are numerous spots that are all sand further on though. There are tons of chairs and palapas throughout the beach - more than enough for all the guests. There are quiet spots and more crowded spots so depending on your preference you should easily be able to find a location to suit you. I had read a number of reviews before we left suggesting that water shoes are a necessity but I didn't find that to be the case. I walked the entire beach in my bare feet and went into the water at various spots and had no problems at all. The water is just beautiful - clear and clean. I really was surprised to find how close our villa actually was to the beach after reading some earlier reviews. The Club Golden villas and villas 1 through 4 are a 5 minute walk to the beach at best. It really was no different than the distance to the beach for many buildings at other resorts. If you don't want to walk the shuttle will get you there quickly as well. POOLS: here are lots of pools to choose from. I think we tried most of them. The pools at the Coba are the nicest (likely because they're new) with the Akumal quiet pool coming a close second. The pools are all spotlessly clean and most are quite large with different interesting features. The pools in the Tulum side looked pretty run down compared to the pools at the Coba and the Akumal. There are signs beside the pools saying "no topless" but a number of female guests just ignored the topless prohibition at the pools. (In fairness, maybe they didn't read English which was the only language I saw the signs in). The staff do not appear to do anything to enforce the no topless rule at the pools. Personally, it didn't bother me one way or another. The Coba quiet pool and the Coba jacuzzi pools have the nice wooden lounge chairs with thick pads which are very comfortable. None of the other pools at the resort have these. The activity pools of course have music going all the time but the music isn't so loud as to be annoying. The animation staff are very friendly but not pushy at all. The only activity pool where we were even approached to participate was at the Tulum activity pool which turned out to be worth it because after two rounds of bingo (from my lounge chair) I won a free t-shirt. FOOD/DRINKS: All of the buffets we tried were quite good. We tried the Kukulcan (Coba main buffet); the Cozumel (Premier/Golden Club smaller buffet); and the main Akumal buffet. The Akumal was my favourite but the food was good at all of them. Some of the waiters at the Cozumel were hilarious and we had a great time there. There was more than enough variety at the buffets for the six of us that traveled together. I am very picky and usually not inclined to try strange foods but there was still always lots for me to choose from. You will usually encounter Mexican musicians at the restaurants which we really liked. I wasn't as happy with some of the a la cartes as the buffets. Of the ones we tried the Mikado was my favourite. Mikado is the Japanese restaurant and the chef cooks the main course on a grill in front of you which is always fun. The food was all good there. I was very disappointed, however, with the Le Gourmet. The filet mignon was pan fried and I really hate steak cooked that way. The menu was really limited and I didn't like most of what was on there. Thankfully they keep bringing you buns so you don't leave hungry. I liked my meal at the Mediterranean restaurant but some of our group didn't like what they ordered. Even with the Golden Club option there are only certain a la carte restaurants that you are allowed to book at. I really wanted to try the Gran Tortuga (steakhouse) but it wasn't on the list. I was told they could try to make special arrangements for me so don't hesitate to ask if want a restaurant that is not on the list. I didn't bother since there were 6 of us but in retrospect I really wish I had. Definitely book your a la cartes right shortly after you check in because the popular ones fill up fast. We were unable to make reservations at Arlequin which I really wanted to try because it was full. There are several 24 hour snack bars and the food was generally good at all of them. You should never go hungry at any time of the day or night at the Bahia Principe! The drinks at the bars were generally very good but the same drink can taste entirely different from one bar to the next. For example they use different types of Pina Colada mixes at different bars. If you want your drinks heavy on the alcohol that is no problem. Just ask the bartender to add more and they are happy to oblige. At some of the pool or beach bars the drinks are self-serve so you control the alcohol level yourself. There are a wide variety of drinks to choose from and some of the bars have top shelf liquor if that is what you want (mostly the lobby bars). The bar beside the Cozumel buffet restaurant was exceptional. The bar area is beautiful and it has great ambiance, especially at night. On some nights they have live singers that are very good. Most of the pools have swim up bars. The bars are everywhere so you never have to walk very far if you're in search of a drink. DAY TRIPS: First we did the Xel-Ha and Tulum combined day trip. Xel-Ha is a paradise if you are an avid snorkeler. There are so many beautiful fish in the crystal clear water it's hard to believe. Floating in tubes down the river was also a blast. Most of the day is spent at Xel-Ha then it's on to Tulum to see the ruins. In addition to the interesting ruins don't forget to check out the gorgeous beach and jump in the water to get some relief from the heat. We also did the half day ATV tour which was a lot of fun. In addition to riding the ATV's on the trails you stop at a Mayan area where you will see monkeys (keep an eye on your sunglasses - a very friendly monkey stole mine when I was holding her and even the guide had a hard time retrieving them!). There are also tarantulas and snakes to hold onto if you're brave enough. You also travel to a cenote (underground cavern with water filled by a natural spring). Swimming and/or snorkeling in the cenote was fabulous. They even have little boats to travel through the caverns if you don't want to get in the water. We also went in to Playa Del Carmen for souvenir shopping. Playa Del Carmen was a really cool place to walk around, people watch, shop and hit the beach. There are also lots of cool bars and restaurants. We almost didn't go and I am so glad we did. I had read reviews suggesting that you could find the same stuff at the Hacienda shops at the Bahia Principe for roughly the same price but I didn't find that to be true at all. There was a much better selection of items in Playa Del Carmen in the many many little shops and most of the prices were considerably lower. Beach wraps for example were less than half what they were charging at the Hacienda shops. There were so many shops we didn't get to see half of them. There are cheaper shops and some very high end shops as well. If you are looking for a really cool unique bathing suit Playa Del Carmen is the place to go. The beach is also very nice and the dock for the ferry to Cozumel is right there. You can take a taxi to Play Del Carmen for $25 or a collectivo van for $2. We took a taxi there and then a collectivo back to the resort. Some of the people in our group did a deep sea fishing trip with Captain Rick's Sport Fishing (at Playa Adventura). They pre-booked the boat by e-mail about a week or so before we left. Captain Rick's marina is about 10 minutes from the Bahia Principe by taxi or collectivo. The half day trip on the 23 foot boat (for 3 guests plus crew) was $250 USD. (Captain Rick's also has a number of larger boats for charter that carry more passengers.) They caught a ton of fish including different types of grouper and some very large Barracuda. WEATHER: The past 3 years we have been to Panama (twice) and Costa Rica (once). In Panama especially, at this time of year there is no need to check the weather since you are guaranteed very hot and sunny weather every day. It was a bit of shock to encounter rain and cool evenings in Mexico. It rained at least 4 days we were there. A couple of times it was just spitting briefly which obviously was no big deal. There was one pretty heavy downpour during the afternoon which lasted an hour or more which was a bit of a drag (but since we'd fortunately had too many Pina Coladas by that point I can't say that it bothered us too much!). One evening it rained fairly hard when we were walking back from dinner and we got pretty wet. Although it got fairly cool most evenings I refused to break down and wear a jacket. One evening, however, it was totally freezing. Even with a jacket I was cold. It was often quite windy. When it was hot the breeze was nice but it made the evenings even cooler. When it got quite windy down by the beach it was actually an advantage to be in the Coba section because the wind was less intense there being further from the ocean. The temperature ranged from 24 to 28 during the day and was mostly sunny with some clouds. We managed to get great tans and other than the evenings and the couple of times it rained for more than a few minutes we were satisfied with the weather. SPA: The Coba spa was not yet opened when we were there. This is not a problem at all because you can just use the Akumal spa. Our Transat package included a free half hour massage which was just to die for. We had a couples massage outside at the Akumal spa (under a gazebo covered in plants and flowers). The massages were just amazing. You can also have a massage outdoors beside one of the jacuzzi pools at the Coba (La Iguana). RESORT GENERALLY: The resort grounds are immaculate and simply beautiful. Everything is kept in tip top shape. I did find that the Tulum side, which I believe is the original section of the resort, to be more run down than the rest which is not to say it was in horrible condition just that in comparison to the Coba it was not as nice and new. Contrary to what I'd read in some earlier reviews, we did not have any problems with mosquitoes or other bugs. Even when we were in the jungle on tours we didn't get any bites. You will often see caterpillars on the walkways but that was about it. You will also see iguanas sunning themselves at various spots around the resort. Although the resort seems quite large, it really isn't that difficult to get around. You may be overwhelmed at first but once you get the lay of the land you will be fine. The Coba and Akumal sections are basically joined together so it seems like one resort with no division. In fact, if you're not paying attention you likely won't even realize when you've crossed into the Akumal side. You can easily walk from any point in the Coba to any point in the Akumal resort. Tulum is a bit further away but we walked there a couple of times on the beach and quite enjoyed the walk. In any event, shuttles run frequently to all parts of the resort and the Hacienda shopping and disco complex. In most cases you only have to wait a couple of minutes to catch a shuttle. We never had a problem finding lounge chairs or palapas at the beach or at any of the pools. As well there were always lots of free tables at the buffet restaurants. Despite the fact that there are thousands of people at the resort, it certainly didn't seem crowded with the exception of a couple of prime spots on the beach where large numbers of guests congregated (but even in those areas there were still lots of lounge chairs left). The free internet access at the Club Golden lobby for Club Golden guests was a nice bonus. There are 3 computers in a room at the back of the lobby. There is often a line up to use the computers but the wait is usually short because most people were considerate and didn't spend much time on the computers when there were people waiting. In conclusion, I would definitely recommend the Coba unless you have your heart set on an ocean view. If you want to be right on the beach, I would recommend you book Villa #66 in the Akumal section. It is literally right in the sand and must have tremendous views from each room. If you want a large beautiful resort with lots of different options for dining, pools and beach either the Coba or the Akumal would fit the bill. If ocean view isn't that important but a brand new luxurious suite with lots of amenities is top on your list then the Coba Golden Club option would be a good choice."
- Travel date: 18th January 2006
Great Trip - January 7-14/2006
"We just came back yesterday from the Mayan Riviera and are surprised to see that the reviews for the Gran Bahia Principe Coba are mixed. We thought it was terrific. We didn't choose the Coba but we ended up there because the place we booked in Cancun was not ready (Wilma) and the Gran Bahia Principe Tulum was overbooked and so we were taken to the Coba. The Gran Bahia Coba is great. It is huge, the pools are great, transportation to the beach is convenient and the junior suites are wonderful. The food was fine, but some things could have been better (coffee was weak, some food was cold), but there are enough choices in the buffet that we always found something we liked. The Ã la carte restaurants are nice as well. It is important to make reservations for the week as soon as you arrive. Our favourite was Le Gourmet. We would go back anytime."
- Travel date: 15th January 2006
"We stayed at the Coba 5-12 January 2006 (middle-aged couple). Loved it. Everything has already been said (positive and negative) in previous reviews concerning the "sister" hotels (Akumal and Tulum). Our only comment on these reviews - extreme views are normally held by extreme people. We found nothing to complain about. Here are some information, hints and pictures for those of you contemplating staying at the Coba area of the Bahia. 1. Location - The Coba is set back from the beach behind the Akumal. We looked at this as if we were staying at a larger hotel that included the Akumal and Coba properties. All Akumal facilities, less their Buffet restaurant, are open to you. All are within easy walking distance. You will probably not use the Tulum facilities if you are staying at the Coba - too far away. Trolies always available, though. 2. Lobbies/Bars - In addition to the Akumal and Tulum lobbies, there are three lobbies right on the Coba property that are open to you (Coba, Premier, and Golden). Premier has a quiet bar area with a singer (vice house band) in the evenings. Golden has internet service that is available to all Coba residents - very handy. 3. Buffet Restaurants - Coba residents have access to two bufet restaurants (one at the main lobby and another at the Premier lobby). Coba residents also have access to La Dolce Vita and Gran Tortuga restaurants for breakfast and lunch. The view from La Dolce Vita is spectacular - the atmosphere very comfortable. The only drawback is a limited selection of buffet items. 4. Visiting Tulum - Don't bother with tours or taxis. Catch a Collectivo on Higway 307 ($2 per person). Walk the 500 metres to the site. Entry fee is $4.50 per person. Very interesting site with a nice beach. Beach bars are reachable on foot from there - just ask one of the many tour guides there how to get to Beach Bar El Paraiso. Great food , reasonably priced. Makes a nice outing for half a day. Very safe. Note Collectivo is also cheapest way to get to Playa del Carmen for shopping. 5. Room location - Avoid buildings 16-18 as they are very close to the highway noise. We moved from Building 17 to Building 30 the second day of our stay. Very central to all facilities and the Quiet Pool. (Trollies always available) 6. A la Cartes - Gourmet and Oriental were great. Mediterranean was so-so. 7. Miscellaneaous: - Face cloths do not exist in Mexico. Bring your own. - Avoid ground floor rooms if you do not like "critters" - centipedes etc. - Evening shows start at 9-9:30 PM. Time your a la carte reservations accordingly."
- Travel date: 15th January 2006
"We stayed at the Coba in early January & We had a great time! Coba is MUCH quieter than the other two hotels. We didn't even see any other guest in our section of the building we stayed in. The pools are beautiful (and not crowded, we didn't even have to reserve a good pool spot early in the morning, like some of the other resorts I've stayed at), the hotel is so, so clean, and the restaurant staff was very friendly. The restaurants were all very good (we ate at 4), and by far the best one was the Gourmet at the Coba. The drinks were also very good and there is a wide variety. They even have menu at almopst all the bars with many of the drinks listed. As far as entertainment there is a little music bar that a band plays cover songs. They were entertaining and my husband and I went almost every night to listen. They play until the main show begins, and itâs right next-door. The only trouble we had was there were no locks available until the second afternoon that we were there. The restraints were booked by 8:30 am the morning after we arrived, so the staff basically told us when and where we could eat. One night was 5:30 and another was 9:30. The Oriental restaurant was booked for the entire week we were there, so unfortunately we didnât get a chance to eat at it. We requested on a sheet that was provided for us in our room that our room be cleaned between 8 & 10:30 each day but it was more like between 2:30 â3:30 each day, which was fine because the cleaning lady did a great job. We went to xel-ha and Tulum (different days) and took the vans from the highway that you can catch outside of the Hacienda. It was way cheaper than a taxi or a tour. They run back and fourth from Playa Del Carmen to Tulum Ruins all day/night. We spent the entire day at Xel-ha and had a great time snorkeling. Tulum was very interesting, although I'd recommend doing some research about the Mayans prior to going if youâre no going to get a tour guide there. Overall we had a great trip, and weâd recommend staying at the Coba to anyone."
- Travel date: 15th January 2006
Good overall vacation - with comparison to Barcelo Maya Beach
"We spent the week of Jan 7-14th at the Bahia. This was our second trip to the Mayan Riviera, last year was at the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort. Had a long bus ride from the Cancun airport, as Bahia is located towards the end of the drive, we made a few stops at other resorts along the way and arrived at the Bahia at sundown. We booked for the Tulum side, but were told we had to stay in Coba due to "problems on the Tulum side." I have read many previous reviews from others who booked on the Tulum side who were put over in Coba due to "renovations". Personally I think they want to have an even amount of people located in Tulum/Akumal/Coba to keep the restaurants/buffets/lobbies functioning equally, and if not enough people book in Coba, they will move others to Coba. At first we were upset that we would not be staying at the Tulum side (we were placed near the Club Premiere lobby in Coba), we wanted to be directly on the beach. However we got one of the more southern villas in the Coba section, fairly close to Akumal, and the walking distance wasn't that bad. The pools, buffets in the Coba section seemed quieter which was nice. The resort is very big, but they have a good tram system that works well to transport you where you want to go. Food/Drinks - EXCELLENT. Buffets were plentiful, lots and lots of great food. This was a huge plus in our opinion. A la cart restaurants were great as well. Service was a bit slow in the A la carts from time to time, but we were in no rush. Lots of sweet drinks, we found a few bars that would make us more International-type drinks (caesars, kalua mudslides). Food was very very good at this resort. Pools/Beach - Lots of pools to choose from, the Coba pools were definately quieter, however we spent most of our pool time at the Akumal pools, as we wanted to overlook the ocean. Coba is not directly on a beach, so we travelled down to the Akumal/Tulum areas to enjoy the beach. The beach is quite rocky in most areas, there is a decent stretch between Tulum / Akumal that is nice for swimming. The water was very rough for us all week. Night Entertainment - This was one of the more disappointing areas for us. There are theatre performances each evening, but they were poorly done for the most part. There is a disco located at the Hacienda, which is geared more to younger people. Rooms - Rooms in Coba seemed to be mostly Junior suites, just a bit bigger than the standard rooms, with a sitting area. They were nice and clean. Most of the rooms are located along walking/driving paths, and could be quite noisy at times when employees would push carts down the walk ways. Also, walls seemed quite thin, you could hear a lot of noise from nearby rooms. Grounds - Beautiful. You could see damage from the hurricanes (some trees are still knocked down, looking a bit bare) but it was nothing major. The grounds are beautiful and they take pride in maintaining them. Service - Excellent. Very very attentive and friendly staff everywhere we went. They work extremely hard and always seem to have smiles on their faces. Overall, we were very happy with the vacation and would recommend it to others. We would probably try another resort next time, only because we like to try new things, but the Bahia Principe is an excellent choice for a wonderful trip. A few comparisons to the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort for those interested: * Barcelo's beach is much nicer. Soft white sand, beautiful clear waters throughout. Bahia beach tends to be more rocky except for a smaller swimming area. * Bahia food in general is a step up from the Barcelo in our opinion. * Enjoyed Barcelo's nightly entertainment (theatre shows, disco) more. More talent in the theatre shows, and a disco that people of all ages can enjoy. *Service/Grounds/Pools/Rooms similar between the 2 resorts."
- Travel date: 15th January 2006
Beware.... this is NOT a beachfront resort
"Contrary to what the brochures would have you believe, this is NOT a beachfront resort!!!! The Coba is the 3rd hotel in the Gran Bahia family on the Mayan Riviera. It is actually located BEHIND the beachfront Akumal resort. So, if you're looking to spend your days on the beach, I do not recommend the Coba. OVERALL: The Coba resort is actually very nice. The lobby, restaurants, pools, etc... very clean. The grounds very nice, although there are still signs of Wilma - fallen trees, still some cleanup with respect to the "green spaces". Nothing that spoils the atmosphere though. The staff do not speak much english, which can sometimes be frustrating. POOLS: The Coba has 4 pools. There is one large, main pool, where all the activities take place. It's nice, but noisy. There is another large pool that is much more quiet, and equally beautiful. There are also two very small pool areas where you can relax - both are very quiet. FOOD: Outstanding! The buffet is... well, a buffet. But the a la carte dining is not to be missed. We had 4 a la carte dinners (French, Fish, Medditeranean, and International) - all were superb. The restaurants offer outstanding service, relaxing atmosphere, and excellent cuisine. ROOMS: Beware! As you are checking in, confirm that your room is in fact either single or double occupancy. It seems they often "mix them up". Prior to unpacking and settling in, CHECK YOUR ROOM. Make sure the lights are working, make sure the A/C is working, make sure the mini-bar refridgerator is working, etc... We had a bad (and frustrating) experience with our room. First, they gave us a single occupancy, when we had booked double -- they had to switch us. So, we get our new room, but the A/C was hardly working and the mini-bar not working at all (nothing like a warm drink of water on a hot sunny afternoon....). Nor did we have any of the "extras" that come with the Royal Golden Club package (bathrobes, basket of lotions, beach towels, etc...). I informed the front desk 3 times, and 3 times people came to check the mini-bar and the A/C, yet nothing was fixed. I also complained about not having all the extras. We got bathrobes for one day. After which they were removed for laundry, and never replaced. Overall, the room situation was incredibly frustrating. How many times should you go back to complain about the same thing! After speaking with several other people, I found out that we were not the only ones in this situation. Certainly not to be expected of a new resort that has just opened. SUMMARY: I would NOT return to this resort. I booked this trip from the internet (selloffvacations). I specified a beachfront resort in my selection. The Coba should not be categorized as such. When I book a beach vacation, I would like the hotel to actually be on the beach. We made the best of it, and took the whole "bus" thing as part of the experience, but it was not what I had signed up for."
- Travel date: 15th January 2006
Our family trip to Coba
"We just returned from Bahia Principe Coba with 2 seniors, 2 adults, and 2 children (ages 9 and 10) and I wanted to share our experience. Our flight from Calgary was delayed an hour and a half, so we arrived at about 10:15pm on January 30, 2005. Check in was fine except that they didn't have keys for the room safes. Also, after reading about the layout of the Coba, I questioned our location since I didn't want to be disturbed by highway noise. I was assured it wouldn't be a problem. We arrived at our room but had been sent with the wrong keys and had to return to the front desk for the proper set. Our room had a panoramic view of the highway as well as a construction area. The next morning I questioned my parents who were in the adjoining room if they felt we should request another room but they seemed to think that we might have trouble finding adjoining rooms on the 3rd floor of another building so we decided to hand tight. It turns out that the highway and construction were the LEAST of our worries. MY MAIN RANT: (then the nice stuff) There is something seriously wrong with the soundproofing at this resort. I could hear my parents speaking in a normal tone of voice in the next room which gives you some idea how thin the walls seemed. The worst part was the slamming doors. The cleaning room for each building is located in the centre between the 2 sides of the building. There were doors on each side of this cleaning room which were consistently being caught by the wind and slammed so hard that the building shook. Other tenants talking, moving chairs and furniture around, at various hours didn't seem to be aware how loud their talking and carrying on was. On several occasions we had security guards standing outside our door (with the do not disturb sign on) with their walkie talkies on full blast. I could go on about all the racket, but suffice it to say that in the 2 weeks we were there, we didn't get to sleep through the night and an afternoon siesta was a lost cause. THE GOOD STUFF: The staff were extremely pleasant, especially the waiters and transportation staff. The food was good. The buffet at the Kukulcan was not much different from day to day, even though they announced "theme nights" every night. We decided that the color of the balloons that they hung and the glass of alcohol they handed you when you walked in were the main theme items. That said, there was always pasta, pizza, meats, mexican food, kids foods, desserts. The specialty restaraunts were a different story. The service was excellent, and the food was even better. The Oriental, Mikado, Gran Tortuga, and Pescador were all great experiences. Our only dissapointment was the Mediterraneano and heard similar comments about slow service and poor food from other guests. The pools were very nice. There was a "loud pool" where the music and games went on all day, we spent our first 2 days there. Then the "quiet pool" where we spent the rest of our pool days. The quiet pool didn't have music going, had nicer loungers with big thick cushions, and to be honest just seemed more realaxing. The beach was wonderful. Although it was a popular spot we always seemed able to find palapas and loungers. The snorkeling was a blast, kayaking, castle building, fish feeding... this was what made my vacation. WOULD WE GO BACK? The short answer is no. While in my opinion the Coba seemed the nicest of the 3 resorts, the noise in the rooms was a deal killer for our family. We loved the beach and ala carte restaraunts, but next time will be looking for something maybe a little smaller and hopefully quieter. Lastly, any 5 star resort charging for a room safe is ridiculous. I pay 30 dollars a YEAR for a security box at my safe and ended up paying about 60USD for 2 weeks. I knew there would be a small fee as indicated in their brochure but 5 dollars a day is excessive. It seems idiotic that they couldn't figure out how to work their fees into the room rates. It just seemed to be a kick in the rear as we left the resort, not a good way to see your guests off in my opinion. Thanks for those who read this whole review, just a couple more things, we went to XelHa and did the dolphin swim, what a great experience. As well we took a cab to Coba and toured there with a guide. Another great day trip. If anyone has any suggestions as to where a family of 6 can find a similar but quiet resort somewhere in Mexico please drop me a line at [email protected] Adios!"
- Travel date: 14th January 2006
COBA INFORMATION....there is little information on coba
"After lengthy research on the bahia principe resort and others in mexico....we found little on coba. WE decided to stay there anyways...couldnt beat the cost. My first impression was not that great. After a long plane ride, then a 2 hour bus ride to the resort, and having to check-in at a different lobby then the main one (we were part of the 'gold club'), I initially wished we had gone to a smaller resort. The place is HUGE. I cant stress that enough HUGE. Bahai principe is composed of 3 resorts- the Akumel, Tulum and the new Coba. The Coba is the furthest from the beach....but dont think that Akumel is much closer (some of the rooms at Akumel are nearly just as far). Tulum is the oldest but closest to the beach. The Coba resort has 28 villas of about 10 rooms each. The room we were in was huge- king size bed, jacuzzi tub...nice. Anyways, back to the HUGENESS. TO walk from our villa in Coba to the beach (once you figured out the best way there- I recommend taking the bus from the Primier Akumel lobby to the beach...will teach you the way to walk there the fastest) was about 5 minutes. Everyone waits for the bus, but I found it was quicker just to walk. The beach was crazy busy. I have been to other resorts in the past and nothing has compared. This beach was large, but packed with people and cabanas and lounge chairs. I didnt really enjoy the beach that much. I love carribean waters, but it was slightly too cool for my liking and the floor of the ocean had lots of rocks (bring water shoes). I also recommend bringing your own snorkeling gear. The days I wanted to go snorkelling the waves were classified as "red" meaning that all the water activities were closed for the day...no snorkelling included (couldnt rent them but could have used your own). What is interesting about the beach is that the waves break further out than at the beach itself....so even if the ocean is quite wavy, there is a great swimming area that isnt. The main reason for our trip was relaxation. Did tons of it by the pools (2 huge pools at Coba, plus a little jacuzzi pool). The pools were quite cool, but refreshing. I really liked that that place was so big that if you happened to be around a noisy crowd, or some kids that were loud, it was very easy to move to a more quite place. WE have no kids and although like them very much, we were able to avoid them most of the time. The food was great. There are 2 buffets at Coba. There is the main one which is gigantic and a smaller one beside the Primier Akumel lobby. WE only tried the smaller one near the end of the trip and preferred it for breakfast and lunch as it was quieter and the "made to order" food was quicker. YOu could have eaten something totally different each day. WE had 4 Al a carte dinners. Tons of restaurants to chose from. I really liked the seafood one (tuna was outstanding). If you dont like big resorts, or cant walk- do not go to this resort. The only other downfall was the staff. The wait staff at the restaurants was aweful. You really have to get their attention to get anything. Being on vacation and in no rush makes this better....the main lobby at Coba though has a bar and the staff were extremely slow and rude....didnt go back there. Tipping is nice, but we didnt see too many people do it. All in all I had a great time. I would go back for the food, drinks and ability to relax in the sun (by a pool). If you are looking to lie on the beach all day (and want some peace and quiet) I dont think this is the place for you. As well, the Coba pools seemed a lot less busy than Akumels pools. If I wend back I would definately stay at Coba. Try and check out a map of the resort before going.....we were shocked with how big it was when we got there. HAve fun. Hope this helps."
- Travel date: 13th January 2006
Grand Bahia Principe Coba is also called
- Gran Bahia Principe Coba
- bahia principe coba
- gran bahia principe coba akumal