BAHIA PRINCIPE AKUMAL VS. TULUM | MEXICO – FULL REVIEW with VIDEO FOOTAGE


Hey everyone I’m Leah and I’m gonna be
doing a full review of the grande Bahia príncipe hotels in the Mayan Riviera. If
you’re looking for a specific topic I’ve included everything that I’ve discussed
in the description below with a time that goes along with it so you can just
jump to that section and check it out. All right so the Gran Bahia Príncipe
hotels, there’s actually four there in this
complex there is starting with the most economical one is Coba which is I think
more geared to kids because they have this amazing pool area with a playground
and it just seems to be a really family-oriented with a lot of the
activities there. Next step would be Tulum which is on the beach which is kind
of nice because Coba is a little bit back away from the beach but you can get
there by the trolley so they’re all connected actually by the trolley system
or you can walk Coba’s close enough to walk the beach. But Tulum is right on
the water so you can get beachfront rooms there and Tulum’s got lovely pools
and I would say it’s there are still families there but I think it’s more
couples that are there, or young adults to older adults. And then next up to
that you start getting into their luxury resorts which would be Akumal, yeah
which is kind of nice because it’s got an adults-only section with pool there
it’s actually an infinity pool that overlooks the ocean and then they have a
bar and buffet that is also part of that which is really nice because that also
overlooks the water and it’s just kind of really open concept in a nice chill
area. And you can still have kids in Akumal they’re definitely were
families there and there’s a whole section with pools and stuff that you
can access but there is that added benefit of having the adults-only
section if you wish to enjoy that. Then we have Sian Ka’an which is actually
located on the other side of the highway so it is quite a trek to get out there.
Like I said all the resorts are connected by this trolly system and I
think it takes about 10 minutes to get to Sian Ka’an but it is beautiful there
you really feel like you’re in the jungle the grounds are beautiful the
resort and the a la carte’s that we’ve been to at Sian Ka’an have all been
really lovely and the rooms look really great so oh and they also are right by the
golf course which if you’re into golf maybe Sian Ka’an is where you want to
be. All right so I’m gonna be focusing more on Akumal and Tulum since those are
the two that I have been to. Let’s talk about food! Food is always one of the
biggest things that I take into consideration when choosing a place to
stay so let me just tell you you will not be disappointed staying at any of
these resorts they all are wonderful the buffets for the most part are the same
the food is just amazing there’s so much selection, they are huge! One thing that I
really wanted to make sure that I got when going to Resort was my fill of
Mexican food and this resort does not disappoint. Each resort has a Mexican
section in the buffet so you’ve got your guacamole which is amazing and if
there’s not any there when you go definitely ask for more. They’ve got tons
of different salsas you can make your own tacos, burritos, they’ve got lots of
different fillings from pulled pork, to beef, to chicken, lots of different beans
and it’s just pretty amazing you always have that even at breakfast that exists
so you can get your fill there and then from there they have pretty well
anything you can think of the buffets just seem to feel like they go on
forever you’ve got meat carving sections you’ve
got all kind of seafood I personally love calamari and shrimp and there is
always some kind of options there for the most part at every buffet for that
stuff too. Their pizza is actually really good, I know it sounds crazy go to Mexico
for pizza but it’s really delicious they obviously make the dough there and it
was awesome. They also have a grill section where you can pick your meat and
they’ll grill it there for you as well as make your own pasta where they’re
kind of put in your toppings that you want and make it all they’ve got tons of
appetizers to choose from lots of salads they have sushi there, different cheeses, different meats deli meats, there’s just so much food they have a kids section as well in the
buffet where it’s a little bit lower for the kids to be able to reach the food
they really try to make the kids food look fun they put little eyeballs with
like grapes on the sandwiches and cut up the fruits and different shapes and
stuff. Now the dessert section is not so much like you’d get kind of from Canada
or the States it’s a bit more like moosie jelly kind of desserts like
you don’t really get cake with icing there or at least the kind of cake that
we think about but they’re still really tasty one of my favorite things was when
they would have crepes and strawberries and chocolate sauce they always have ice
cream different cookies as well they do have some pies and cheesecake but again
it just tastes a little bit different than what we’re used to here but still
lots of selection we sometimes didn’t really eat that much dessert because we
were so full with everything else Breakfast is definitely a highlight. They
have all sorts of kinds of eggs, scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, fried
eggs, omelettes, like endless options they have bacon lots of bacon they’ve got
sausages they’ve got ham all different kinds of things. They also have a little
section where they have crepes sometimes or sometimes waffles and obviously
they’ve got pancakes but if you go check it out they have chocolate sauce and
nutella sauce sweetened condensed milk sauce
that you can kind of put fruit on top of all those things which I kind of like to
do, and again salads at breakfast and the Mexican section again at breakfast. You
will never go hungry at this resort there’s just so much food. In addition to
the buffets you’ve got your 24 hour snack bars so if you need a little snack
when the buffet isn’t open you can head on over to the snack bars they’ve got
everything from ice cream it’s it’s still kind of done in a buffet way where
you’ve got your fruits and your vegetables there and then your kind of
Mexican section with chips and guacamole and salsas and then you can also order
like grilled cheeses hot dogs pizza hamburgers fries that kind of thing so
it’s a great little spot to grab a quick bite to eat
and then you have your a la carte’s so staying in a Akumal you get unlimited
a la carte’s from anywhere on the resort I know when we stated Tulum we only had
three a la carte’s and you were kind of limited I don’t think you were able to
go to the ones at Sian Ka’an. But the reality is I mean three is kind of
enough because the buffets are so good it is nice to go to the a la carte’s if
you just want a more formal dinner or something kind of romantic and be waited
on but the buffets are just as good too. Sometimes we found ourselves going to an
a la carte, and then going to the buffet, just cause very curious like we didn’t
want to miss out on anything. One of our favorite a la carte’s was the
seafood one in a Akumal it was called frutos Del Mar it was just really
delicious well cooked not overcooked seafood which sometimes happens but what
we found on the a la carte’s is if you’re questioning what to order just ask your
server what they recommend and they will recommend what the best thing on the
menu is so you know the thing with a la carte’s is sometimes there are things on
the menu that maybe aren’t as strong as others so a good fallback is ask your
server they are more than happy and they usually like kind of gave us a little
nudge like no you want to order this and we did that and we were really pleased
with whatever we got so definitely do That. The other a la carte to note is the
Brazilian one it’s done like a Brazilian steakhouse that we have here where they
come around with the big spools with all the meats and they carve off the kind of
meat that you want that was also a lot of fun and definitely did not leave
feeling hungry! Okay the other thing that I want to mention is in the morning they
have these stations where you can grab coffees and little pastries and danishes
and that sort of thing in the morning and ours in Akumal was just by the
theatre so you were able to grab something and then just sit and lounge
with your coffee so that’s kind of cool if you’re in a coffee. The other thing I want
to mention is they have these like tequila stations outside of the buffet
which is kind of neat I guess different flavored tequila’s
that you can go and try serve yourself type of situation. Drinks! So you do get
unlimited drinks at any of these resorts I didn’t find that anything tasted
watered-down they are more than happy to give you as much or as little as you
want one of my favorite drinks is a mojito so that is a must for me when I
go somewhere that they must serve mojitos they definitely did here they
used fresh mint and lime juice and that was amazing I was able to also tell them
like hey just go easy on the sugar that was no problem. The one thing that I was
kind of disappointed about was their pina coladas aren’t made from the fresh
ingredients like that coconut milk and pineapple they use a mix so that was
kind of a bummer but I still drink them. Make sure you bring your Bubba’s but a
Bubba is is a thermos that keeps things cold they have no problem filling those
up honestly it’s really smart because it keeps your drink cold way longer. There
is a time when I left my drink overnight and then I woke up the next morning and
there still was ice in it so it’s great if you just want to fill up your drink
and then head to the beach and chill there for a couple hours and not have
your drink all melted and warm on you. All right let’s talk about the swimming
options that you have so like I said Tulum and Akumal are right on the water
it’s beautiful and warm, yes right now all of the Mayan Riviera is having this
issue with seaweed they work so hard to try and clear it every morning and for
the most part where our beaches were it was clear seaweed but every day it
brought in more so it is an issue that they’re having we still were able to
enjoy the ocean no problem but it is something I’m not sure it’s getting
worse but you’re definitely gonna want to check the status on that but for me I
love being by the ocean I’m not someone that stays by the pools I like to grab a
spot and just enjoy a book or relax. One of our favorite spots to hang in Akumal was the bar that had the swings, we kind of picked some loungers
right up close to there so that we were able to
like go up to that bar it’s right by the water and it was just really nice to be
in that area. When you’re looking for a spot on the beach definitely walk around
because you might find that the beaches get a bit better towards the Tulum
section although again there are great sections throughout but we definitely
walked up and down the beach just watch if you aren’t loom there are some
loungers that you can’t get because you’re not part of Akumal so
just watch out for that but we never had a problem finding a spot, we weren’t up
super early either but by the time we got there it was fine I know maybe if
you wanted to be like right by a pool you might want to get up and put your
towel on a chair but we never ran into that issue there is always more than
enough spots for everybody so yeah. The swimming is pretty good, it’s not the
kind of beach that stays shallow forever it does get deep so if you have kids you
want to kind of stay in the more shallow areas in front of the Tulum section
there are big breaks kind of these sand filled packs that they’ve put in the
water to just stop the large waves from coming so it kind of breaks it up. When
we were there the first time the waves were quite rough the second time they
weren’t so I think it just kind of depends on the time of year but it is
nice that they have that for kids so that you don’t get these huge waves
coming over you so it is pretty kid-friendly. There is actually a lot of
fish that you can see in the swimming areas so definitely bring goggles
because I had a lot of fun just kind of swimming by the rocks there’s some rocks
and some parts and just looking at all the fish that was a lot of fun so you
might want to do that too! The pools are all beautiful there are multiple pools
there’s a swim up bar and all the different resorts they’re all pretty
similar different layouts but they are similar Tim did mentioned that Akumal
the tiles looked a little more fancy there than they did in Tulum and they
did in Coba but I’m not really ever much attention to that but you will
notice that yeah there is kind of a more luxurious vibe in Akumal. That adult only pool is actually a really nice area to chill. They’ve got music
that plays there but it’s like acoustic versions of pop songs which is kind of
neat and it’s nice not having kids running around, I really loved the buffet
that was right by the pool as well there it just it was nice because you’re
overlooking the water overlooking the pool and it was a smaller buffet but it
still had kind of the best stuff of the larger buffets so you don’t really feel
like you’re missing out so is the neat place to just go and hang if you’re and adult. Entertainment they have lots of entertainment and lots of games and
activities to do at any of the resorts you can check schedules there’s an app
that the hotel has but then they also have signs up near the lobby you can
take a photo of it and just have it so they’ve got everything from you know
Aquafit in the ocean or in the pool to volleyball to ping pong to bingo games
all sorts of different things that you can participate in. They also have a kids
club that happened I think in all the resorts because I know in Akumal
they also had a kids club there Tulum had one and Coba definitely has one. So I
don’t have kids so I don’t know exactly what that was like but it looked like
you could almost leave your kids there and do your own thing but that’s
something that you might want to check out. There is a common area for all the
resorts that is basically like, feels like a mini town. They have a square
there with lots of shops around where you can do some souvenir shopping they
have a bar there they have a disco that is open every night which is a lot of
fun to go to if you have some friends for dancing and stuff like that and they
also have live bands in the square too with different things karaoke or just
cover bands it depends on the night but if you’re looking for something to do in
the evening that was always a go-to place. Oh they also had a casino if
you’re into that as well. There is a big theater there which they’ve got nightly
entertainment so some Michael Jackson show or Greece themed
show that stuff was good they also had a live band in the lobby as well on most
evenings a little bit earlier before the theater show so that’s cool you check it
out there’s kind of always something to do. Also another thing that they have is you can go and eat your walks throughout the
grounds or rent a bicycle and go through different paths there I didn’t get to do
that but that was something that I really wanted to do. They also have pottery
which was one of my favorite things so you can paint right by the ocean. It was
incredible so you get to pick different ceramics that they had there and then
you can just paint it and kids can do it adults can do it and you can if you
don’t finish it and one day you can come back the next day and finish it and once
you’re done they’ll gloss it up and make it look really nice there is a charge
for that but you can negotiate with them so make sure you do that because you can
get a better deal. They also have nature trails so you can go check out near the
resort and you can sign up bikes too to go check that out as well as archery and
beach volleyball pool volleyball all different things. The main differences
between Tulum and Akumal I would say was yes you have access to the adult only
pool which is nice and you have that extra buffet that is connected to that
area you also got when you arrived kind of
like your own personal Butler in a way that was able to help you with anything
that you needed but to be honest we didn’t really use them at all, our
a la carte’s we just went to front desk and booked them so I know some people like
if you want your fridge restocked with something you can call them and they’ll
do that, but every day that refilled your fridge you got a couple beers you
got some mini bottles of whiskey rum and vodka which we kind of stopped up then
and brought them home because I didn’t drink them all. But yeah that that was
pretty well it. It was nice staying in the Akumal section the rooms are maybe a
little bit nicer generally I feel like the rooms are the same throughout. We
didn’t pay extra to have a waterfront viewing room so our view out of her room
was not that good, but the room itself was amazing, you have a nice, I think we
had it yeah we had a king-size bed you have a little sitting area with a little
bit of a couch there and a beautiful bathroom we also had a jacuzzi tub in
our room as well. But you’re really not spending that much time in your room
because hopefully you’re out enjoying the wonderful weather. Wi-Fi, the Wi-Fi is
pretty darn good across all the resorts they have unlimited in Akumal, like
unlimited devices that you can connect. It really wasn’t an issue, we also were
able to access the Wi-Fi rate by the water as well are one of our favorite
spots that was by the bar with the swings had a little router on it so I
think that helped extend the Wi-Fi so it wasn’t an issue if you had to do a
little bit of work by the pool or the beach or if you just want to update your
Instagram and make all your friends jealous you can totally do that here.
Money and tipping! I think for the most part having a U.S. dollars is your best
bet because Canadian always seems to a little be a little bit funny it’s harder
for them to make that conversion but us was accepted everywhere obviously for
tips they’ll accept anything but for the shops that were in the square they all
were priced in USD. I brought pesos both times and never really used any of them
so yeah stick to USD and you’ll be good. As far as tipping goes you do want to
make sure that you have some ones, there were a couple times that I ran out and
had to go to the bank in the lobby and they were just a bit funny sometimes
they didn’t have that I had to wait so maybe bringing a couple extra ones is
good but I mean if you can’t you’ll figure it out sometimes you can exchange
with one of your servers and swap larger bills for smaller. We did tip at buffets,
a la carte’s, drinks, I mean we were kind of bouncing around to all different bars so
kind of leave that up to you but a couple bucks when at dinner, and
for your housekeeper I think is really nice they really appreciate it.
There were a couple times when we were coming straight from the beach and
didn’t have any money on us when we went to the buffet and so we weren’t able to
tip but it didn’t really affect any service or anything so yeah that’s your
best bet for tipping. Transportation to and from the hotel both times that I’ve
been there was with Air Canada and I’m sure mostly all the travel companies if
you’re if you got an all-inclusive package they will include your
transportation to the hotel. It takes just over an hour but they do make it a
lot of fun you can get drinks on your bus they had margaritas and beer I think
it was three dollars and they also have water they’re four dollars so really
reasonable and kind of helps get your party started!
Okay I think I have covered just about everything. If you have any extra
questions leave them in the comments below and I will do my best to answer
them. Overall you are not gonna go wrong booking any of these four resorts they
are all lovely the staff is wonderful the grounds are beautiful the beaches is
really nice the pools the buffets like I said are pretty much very similar and
throughout all of them. I have been twice so obviously I loved it enough to return.
If I had to return again since now I’ve been to Tulum and Akumal, it’s hard to
say which one I would do again it was nice and Akumal having the
adults-only section I really liked the vibe there and the buffet there just it
was really open concept you’re able to have the just open air coming in and
right by the water but Tulum you know does come in at at slightly cheaper price
point and it is pretty much the same thing so I don’t know you just kind of
gotta weigh it out. Sian Ka’an when I was searching on Expedia
it does often come in at a lower price point I think that might be because of
the distance from the beach, but no doubt about it the grounds and the rooms look
really lovely in Sian Ka’an and if you are a golfer
maybe that’s why you might want to go there but if you love the beach you
definitely want to be right by the beach so choose either Tulum or Akumal.
Alright I think that is it! I hope you enjoy your vacation wherever you go
thanks for watching and subscribe I would love that. It really helps us out, and thank you. I
hope you have a great day, I’ll talk to soon!

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