Dear Doylestown Travel Team,
Stayed at the Bahia Principe Akumal - Adults Only section in the first week of February. We made the 1.25 hour trek from the airport to south Riviera Maya and the ride was absolutely worth it. Check in was very smooth, and we were taken to our room and our luggage followed very shortly after we arrived. This was our first time at the Bahia Principe resorts, as previously we had stayed with another large company and always booked through Apple Vacations and our favorite travel agent, Doylestown Travel in PA. Our agent Charlie assured us that the resort was very nice, and helped us select this location over a few other options. I had done some research and had put the Bahia Principe App on my phone, which allowed us to immediately book reservations at all of the restaurants in the first hour or so of arrival. This is a great feature, as it also gives you information on each restaurant and allows you to select times and checks availability. With a little work, I was able to get reservations at all the different restaurants that my wife and I thought could be a good fit for us. We did have to eat later than normal on a few occasions (9:30 is usually bedtime for us as we wake up early) but this worked out fine, and gave us incentive to stay up a bit later on a few nights. We utilized the electric trolleys every day to get around the resort, at first for fear of getting lost as the resort is huge. The transport around the facility was excellent, we never had to wait more than five minutes to get on our way on the trolley system. We visited all three sister resorts and the hacienda on several occasions, and I have to give credit to the drivers and efficiency of the in - resort transportation. It was our 25th anniversary trip, and the resort acknowledged this on several occasions, thanks to the great Butler assigned to our building, Cynthia. The way the building is laid out, you have to pass the Butler desk on your way in and out, and this proved to be a great asset, as Cynthia greatly enhanced our stay with advice, help with room logistics, and adjustment of some reservations.
I will break down the rest of my review by category, with some footnotes.
Location - can't get much better than this, as the resort is very far south, and the location on the ocean is picturesque and ideal for those who want to take an excursion to many of the area attractions like Tulum or Xel - Ha. The beach front spanning from the Tulum section to Akumal is extremely long, with around 2/3 being beach and the other third being coral oceanfront, great for walking and nature viewing. Grounds were immaculate, and it was evident that the groundskeepers were experts at keeping the resort looking extremely groomed and attractive.
Beach - there was a large amount of sea weed dying offshore, and the staff worked tirelessly to keep the beach and crystal clear blue waters clear of sea weed. I was skeptical of the sand 'whales' that were placed offshore to break the waves, but after experiencing the ocean conditions with the wind, came to greatly appreciate what the resort has done to make the water both swimmable and safe for the guests. Many guards and lifeguards were present to make sure everyone stayed safe. There were always chairs and palapas available for the guests, and many guests did participate in the towel game of reserving seats despite the signs indicating it was not allowed. Not the resorts fault here, just folks wanting to tie up seats for most of the day when they only plan on spending a few hours at the beach. I snorkeled the man made 'pools' near the lobby and the adults only section each day, and saw thousands of fish despite the lack of much coral. I had a great time snorkeling and saw barracuda, lion fish, sergeant majors, permit, and many other kinds of fish in the crystal clear waters.
Swimming Pools - extremely clean, and warmer than I expected for February in Mexico. The water was extremely clean - and the pools were great, but sometimes difficult to get a seat due to the reserve a seat game mentioned in the beach section. Pool swim up bar was also great, and had a lot of people drinking and having fun. Akumal had three pools for us to choose from, each offering a different experience. Infinity pool was adults only, middle pool was usually very quiet, and main pool was extensive and parts were very fun due to event staff and pool bars.
Rooms - rooms for all resorts on the ocean side looked very similar, clean and mostly marble tiles and simple but clean accommodations. The adults only section rooms seemed a bit nicer, as these buildings were newer. The rooms at the Sian Khan section seemed a bit nicer as well, but these rooms are in the middle of the jungle and it was pretty dense over there, and still without the ocean breeze. We had dinner at the Alux restaurant, which was very upscale and elegant.
Food - I had read the food was very good at this complex of resorts, and the staff and cooks did not let us down. I gained eight pounds during our seven day stay, and ate like royalty at six different ala carte restaurants and once at the dinner buffet. Breakfast each day was at the adults only restaurant near the infinity pool, and we mixed lunch up between the main buffet, beach food, and 24/7 snack restaurant. We did not use room service - the menu is very similar to the snack restaurant. We ate at the Alux, the Seafood Del Mar, the Teppanyaki, the Rodizio Brazilian, the Cozumel, and the Gourmet Arlequin. All were extremely good, hard to pick a favorite. Each night it felt as if we were at a restaurant that would have cost hundreds of dollars to eat at as a couple - really neat and the food was great (as you can tell by my weight gain).
Drinks - The bartenders were great, as was the staff that served drinks on the beach. Many times we did not leave our chairs, and the waitresses would bring us whatever we wanted, from Pina coladas to diet soda to margaritas to bloody marys - we never got thirsty the entire trip. If anything, we drank way more than normal due to the great bartenders and quality of drinks. One small point - I would like to have a bit more variety of beers, the only beer in the resorts was dos equis and sometimes dos equis ambar if we were lucky.
Staff - Can't say enough about the staff, they were great, especially our butler Cynthia. She helped us with details of our stay each day, and always had a smile and a greeting for us. Everyone here greeted us with a sincere HOLA or Buenos Dias, Noches, etc. and we loved the warmth of the staff in general.
Overall, the resort exceeded our expectations, especially considering that the price for the Apple Vacation and what we received for our vacation dollar. I felt that if there were issues, the staff would do anything in their power to make it right and assure our complete satisfaction. Highly recommended by my wife and I, who have stayed at many all-inclusive resorts.
Great Job Bahia Principe and Apple Vacations - thanks for making our 25th Anniversary trip a great success!
Thanks again – Mike Richter