The Grand Bahia Principe is a 5 star property in the Mayan Rivera, Mexico that lives up to its stars. It’s not a new place but they keep the grounds and buildings up nicely. In the 3 year between visits I could not see a difference in the buildings or landscape, but, there have been some changes. More on that later.
We decided to upgraded to the Golden Club at $13 per person, per night. We emailed ahead to one of the PR people (Erica who was awesome) to arrange this since it was not part of our West Jet’s package. The golden club desk seemed to be under the steady hand of Brenda Gutierrez who was very helpfully and resolved most of our questions, always with a smile.
Even though our room wasn’t ready on arrival, we didn’t mind. We were on Mexican time. Our group sat back and drank a few beverages in our exclusive lobby bar and then a guy in a golf cart took us too our rooms. After an almost a 2 hour drive from Cancun we had missed the lunch buffet but there was a 24 hour snack bar where we could still grab a quick bite. After that we had a quick dip in the pool before dinner @ 7.
The rooms themselves are pretty basic but each has a built-in sitting area with a table and a couch. We ended up in a room beside the main Lobby and restaurant. we were also very close to the pool, right beside it in fact which was great when we needed a potty break. The only downside was how busy the turn-around for the carts was. A bit noisy and they could look right inside of our ground floor room. But we were rarely there so it wasn’t a deal breaker. The rooms we clean, the bathroom large and the tub had whirlpool jet but we didn’t try them out this time. The lady cleaning our room was quick and we never saw her but had no complaints about her work. The in-room safe cost $5 per day but I felt should have part of our upgrade. It was an old style with a key and lock so maybe that’s the reason. Most places I’ve been to lately have the electronic kind with a key pad. It was a bit of a pain carrying the key around without losing it. I will say they were large. Large enough I could have brought my DSL with lots of room for our other stuff.
Some of the differences:
We did not have access to all the resorts. last time we could use the restaurants, pool and bars of the GBP: Akumal. This is now a Luxury resort and they have access to the Coba and the Tulum resorts. We could still use their beach front since that’s Mexican law and a few folks said they were able to get drinks.
The “quiet” pool is a very different feel. More kids and teens. One lady I met said it started about a year ago. They now have a guy who runs games and leads activities in this pool. They also served a different themed lunch everyday.
There is a whole new kids play structure in one of the pools. The one I remember as the “Activity Pool”
The Internet is now a sign-in system that you get for one hour free each day. It seems you have to use all your time in one continuous hour. There was a $50 for a 7 day package. I considered this but decided I was on vacation so just worked around the one hour limitation. We usually went to the Golden lobby between pool time and dinner each night.
They added a bunch of new wicker chairs and couches up outside of the Lobby area. It had a nice feel and was good to sit out at night and listen to the entertainment without being inside.
Overall, I’m torn about returning to a resort we have been to before. I didn’t feel the urge and excitement I get from exploring a new hotel. At the same time, there was something nice about knowing where everything was and seeing staff I had met before. We have discussed trying another resort we didn’t like as much but it’s still up in the air… there is so much of Mexico let alone the World to still see. Only time will tell.
Thanks for reading our review.
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