One of the recurring words i keep hearing while reading the reviews is "money grab". For some reason, I find this word sums up my time in Mexico, specifically at GBP Coba.
Now of all the "spectacular", "Beautiful trip", "everyone helpful" and "great food" reviews i have read, I am wondering which resort they actually vacationed at with rose colored glasses and if they get out much when they are at home?
First of all, this all-inclusive was like being sentenced to one of Canada's most gluttonous, self centered, unapologetic and obscene white trash suburban Neighborhood.
Yes, yes yes, there are roaches, everywhere. They come under the front door, vents or balcony door, just check your suitcases before leaving and shake all your clothing for bedbugs. But after 3 nights of coughing, feeling ill, we found out that the strong smell in the room was not from an air freshener but from fumigation. Never warned about it. We happened to catch them in the act. And the dead roaches stayed there for the next 2 weeks.
Yes. yes. yes, the main buffet smells of sewage, (most of the resort smells of it) service in any of the buffets are non-existent. Unless of course you were Mexican or Spanish which is a theme that does not go unnoticed, especially when the only 3 servers in the entire place are at their table side while your table hasn't been cleaned yet, no cutlery, no water to lay claim to your table nor wine before hitting the jungle they call the buffet line. People will push, sometimes shove, eat directly over the food, elbow each other, completely undo an entire display of food that the staff will not replace nor rearrange. All manners are completely forgotten here. I would quickly walk around the others and jump in and get something then quickly move out of the way. It was stressful to eat dinner at the main buffet. So we found the other buffet, at the premiere club Akumal (which is still Coba) called Cozumel.
Cozumel.What a relief. Large dining room, only about 4 tables maximum every night, but quickly found out why. After waiting 20 mins to even be acknowledged we went to get our own food. Sat down and started eating . Manager and server completely ignoring us on their numerous passes next to our table. We saw other frustrated guests get up get items, and silver water jugs from behind server stations.This place was empty, and virtually void of staff.
Having accepted the fact that we were not in Canada, Europe, USA or even Dominican republic, we were content with the idea that maybe being a third world or developing country, that perhaps Mexicans were simply ignorant of what basic service standards are, like a greeting, clean table and basic sanitation. Until a tall white man with the "radio" shows up unannounced. It was like someone flicked on the lights in a roach infested apartment kitchen. Boom, the waitstaff magically multiplied tenfold, the same cockroaches that couldn't see us for the entire hour that we were dining, picked up our stack of dirty dishes, water/wine poured, all sweat-browed and smiles asking how our experience is at the restaurant in perfect english, keeping an eye on the man with the "radio". This entire time, every night, every place, every ride, front lobby, bartender, waitress , towel guy and animation team, all were taking every single one of us for fools. This was the enlightenment that i would regret for the remainder of our 14 day stay.
Yes, yes, yes, 100 chairs around the quiet pool, 10 people in them, 3 in the pool, 87 reserved with towels all day long. Get over it, it will never change at this resort.
Yes, yes, yes, waiting in line behind these people with obscene mini keg-sized thermoses takes twice as long for the foot dragging bartender to make drinks.
Yes, yes, yes, you get what they give you not what you ask for. Ask for white bacardi and diet coke gets you brown unmarked sludge and reg coke. Even when we succeeded to get bacardi, never tasted the same twice.
Yes, yes, yes, food safety is not a priority here at Coba. Snack bars with open food lids all day long, insects, dangerous food temperatures, this was more evident at the picsis snack bar next to the loud pool. Staff ignores everything. People are even worse. I watched a shirtless man wearing only a wet bathing suit no footwear, profusely dripping from his hairy moobs directly onto the food. Not even a quick towel dry off before entering a food establishment. Again, no action from on-looking staff. I also saw the Tulum district health inspector at this particular snack bar later in the week. Instructed staff to keep lids closed. People, if the lids are closed, close them when finished, staff will not do it for you. I was very sick from a burger that afternoon. Can't imagine kids eating that food.
Yes, yes, yes, pool is dirty, not properly filtered. You are dirty and sticky from the exon valdez-like sunblock spill floating over the water. Think of others, don't over paste and lather up to go for a swim, ironically if you do, water probably seems clean to you, guck slides right off. Pool tester is just for show.
The Beach- from what i have gathered from people who either lived or worked in the Mayan riviera for years,is that there are no natural beaches. What you see are truckloads of ground white stone. which is why the beach is 5 feet above sea level, some parts are just rocks and its like quicksand when you enter the water. They have sand bags in the water to stop the waves, but creates a calf-deep swimming area where ocean debris gets stuck.Then, its the fish. Normally not this close to the shore in shallow water, but attracted by guests feeding them bananas, and food from the buffet to watch them school around their ankles. Then come the birds. People eating directly on the beach, leaving their half eaten plates in the sand filled beach pots used for cigarette ashes. Classy.
Yes, yes, yes, this resort, the workers, the people, its nothing but a money grab. From the exchange rates, (if you have U.S the price is in pesos,and vice-versa) they cancel all shows on Thursdays, to force everyone to pay 16 dollars to go see the Mexican show at la Hacienda. They advertise open bar on the pamphlets. In an all inclusive? No way.. We tipped about 40-50 usd per day, just to get them to do their job, things like actually returning with our order, Ensure using a drinking cup from the clean pile, actually changing the sheets, restocking the mini fridge, getting all the towels for the room, getting a ride to your destination from a driver whom never seems to be going where you are going to. (makes fake radio call, then agrees to drive you special...) If you don't tip, like we learned, our driver who was buttering us up the whole way back from la Hacienda jumped out and yelled "what! you no like my serBice" with his hand out.
So.. yes, yes, yes, rude, unprofessional, misleading, lying, deceitful and unmanageable staff in every department. I never once complained, acted rude, said anything disrespectful in any way. I felt like an imbecile every time i ordered anything or spoke to anyone. Then i would remember where i was. No one cares about you. The attitude from the workers is borderline resentful and its comical to them that you would remotely expect what you asked for.
I tipped everyone everyday. 50peso room, 20 peso mini fridge 20peso for towels. 50 pesos for main lobby or else it was a huge hassle to get any change from them. Then we learned we should take out usd instead. Huge difference. 1usd goes a long way. If you are going to tip, go with american money. 10x1usd can last you a whole night.
Out of 14 days, there were only 3 where the sun didn't disappear at 930 am. All the humidity from the gulf, is somehow funneled directly over the resort all day long. A 20 minute drive in either direction will give you sunshine. Not a cloud in the sky until you return the resort. Maybe it was just in February that this happens, but i would not take another chance.
We were two male gay friends travelling together, A lot of looks, both from staff and guests. Offers of cocaine and "chicas" were plentiful, from the cab driver to the salesmen, street vendors on 5th avenue to the Akumal door man and drivers etc.Very unprofessional and unappreciated. This resort is huge yet only one black couple. 3 Asian couples with 2 kids,some Europeans, locals on the weekends, the rest are very white suburban Canadian families. Just so you get a better picture of the clientele.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Facilities and services: 2 lake-style pools, 3 Jacuzzis, large sun terrace and gardens with sun umbrellas and loungers, pool and beach towel service, BAHIA SPA (additional charge). Sports facilities: gym, 5 tennis courts, basketball court, bicycles, motorized sports (additional charge), water activity centre, entertainment amphitheater. WiFi access in the lobby (1h per day free of charge), buffet restaurant, 4 a la carte restaurants, 8 bars, 2 snack bars. Riviera Maya Golf Club: 18 long holes and 9 executive holes with lakes, natural wells and Mayan forest. Hacienda Dona Isabel: karaoke bars, shows, live music and disco Rooms 1080 rooms including 4 types: Superior Junior Suite, Club Golden Junior Suite, Family Junior Suite and Master Family Suite. Room facilities: Two full size beds or a king size bed, sitting area with sofa, fully-equipped bathroom with hydromassage bathtub, shower, wash basin, magnifying mirror and hair dryer, bathroom amenities. Balcony or terrace, air conditioning, ceiling fan, telephone, radio alarm clock, flat screen satellite TV, mini-bar, coffee-making facilities, safe (additional charge), ironing set, terrace, Wifi. Family Junior Suites and Master Family Suites, the perfect choice for families, including: All the facilities and services of a Junior Suite; bathrobes and slippers for all the family for use during your stay, children's bath kit, welcome basket with sweets, mini-bar with juices, shakes, milk and soft drinks for children, two fully independent connecting rooms (Master Family Suites), Club Golden Junior Suites Children Bahia Scouts Children can enjoy a range of specially-tailored facilities: Children's pool Mini Club with daytime activities Evening Mini Disco Bahia Scouts Water Park Teen's Club (11 - 16 years) Baby Station Other services On-site miniature railway providing access to all facilities Medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Personalised diet option for celiacs and diabetics Cash point Specialised service for organising weddings, events and anniversaries Casino ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Gran Bahia Principe Coba Akumal
- Hotel Gran Bahia Principe
- Bahia Principe Coba Mexico
- Gran Bahia Coba
- Gran Bahia Principe Resort Coba
- Gran Bahia Principe Coba Hotel
- Gran Principe
- Gran Bahia Principe Mexico
- Bahia Coba
- Grand Bahia Principe Coba Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico