The Grand Bahia Principe Coba is part of a mega-resort called the Bahia Principe Riviera Maya Resort complex which is located three miles south of the town of Akumal. Three adjacent properties comprise this mega-resort–the Grand Bahia Principe Coba (inland with 1,080 rooms), the Grand Bahia Principe Tulum (beachfront with 978 rooms), and the Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection (beachfront with 630+ rooms). There is a fourth Bahia Principe property nearby, the Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an Don Pablo Collection (inland with 480 rooms), which is located on the Riviera Maya Golf Club golf course located on the west side of the federal highway. In addition to the separate resorts with their own amenities, this mega-resort has a separate shopping and evening entertainment center called Hacienda Dona Isabel which houses souvenir shops, a sports bar, disco, entertainment stage, and the relocated casino which was originally housed at the Coba resort; the Hacienda Dona Isabel is located on Tulum resort grounds. Given the resort’s overall size, there is a tram service which transports guests all over the entire complex, including the Sian Ka’an property, from 7 a.m. until 2:30 a.m.
With the recent rebranding of the Akumal property (adding it to the Don Pablo Collection with all its upgrades/renovations), there has been a re-structuring of how all of these resorts interrelate with one another. The Coba resort no longer has any access to the adjacent Akumal resort, but continues to have unrestricted access to the Tulum resort. Once having designated beach space on Akumal’s beach, Coba resort guests now must use designated space on the Tulum resort’s beach with its own loungers and shade palapas. Coba guests may continue to swim in the ocean right off the Akumal beach area, but the use of Akumal loungers, bars, restaurants, and even restrooms is now prohibited. With that being said, there are several outstanding on-site amenities which the Coba resort possesses which will keep guests coming back to this budget-friendly, family-oriented resort.
Pool lovers will definitely want to check out Coba’s two massive lake-style pools, each with its own swim-up bar, as well as two much smaller “Jacuzzi pools” with their own respective bars (don’t expect to swim in these pools–they consist of several built-in Jacuzzis with very little room for doing anything else in the water). Guests wanting more poolside activities and excitement should choose the main pool with its large fountain, integrated Jacuzzi, and shallow children’s swim area. Also hosting daytime activities is the “quiet” pool with its integrated Jacuzzi; both pools have an overwater bridge, while all pool areas offer loungers and shade palapas.
Children aren’t excluded from the fun at the Grand Bahia Principe Coba. There is a separate water park complete with multiple slides, splash fountains, and a bridge, a playground over at the Kid’s Club, and a teen center with multiple gaming tables (pool, foosball, etc.) and a video arcade. Even the buffets have a section devoted to children with their favorites from which to sample, while parents can find guest rooms large enough to host larger families in the two-bedroom Family Master Suites. If you’re traveling with an infant, the Kid’s Club has a changing table, baby bottle sterilizer, and microwave to heat formula for feedings.
Since the Coba resort is located inland, guests will need to take the tram (a 5 min. ride) or walk 10-15 min. to reach the beach at the Tulum resort. Once at the beach, guests will find a rocky shoreline, sand whales (be sure to bring water shoes), loungers and shade palapas. Offshore snorkeling opportunities are available in addition to the dolphinarium pool which is right off the dedicated beach space for Coba guests. For those wanting a better beach or swimming experience, take a taxi or colectivo into the nearby town of Akumal and swim with sea turtles and stingrays at Akumal Bay.
Coba guest rooms are basic yet offer everything for a comfortable vacation–in-room mini-bar and safe, jetted tub/shower combo, and a balcony or terrace for every room. Families will like the Family Jr./Master Suites which are conveniently located close to the children’s water park and include such additional in-room amenities as robes and slippers for all family members, kid’s mini-bar goodies (milk, juice, milkshakes), and kid’s toiletries. Given this resort’s inland location, room views are primarily those of the surrounding jungle or beautiful and well-maintained resort grounds.
Those familiar with the Grand Bahia Principe Riviera Maya Resort complex will know that each major lobby has its own distinctive sculpture which dominates the space. Within Coba’s lobby stand the majestic “Tribute to the Sun”, three individual pieces of varying heights made of cement and mortar and carved on-site by Mexican sculptor Renato Dorfman. The pieces represent the three sides of day–dawn, day, and dusk. The rest of the lobby is also on a grand scale with a high thatched palapa roof, marble floor, surrounding shops, and a bar just off the lobby.
The Grand Bahia Principe Coba is an excellent value for one’s vacation dollar since guests also have access to amenities over at the Tulum resort (stay at one play at two). For those who don’t mind staying at an inland resort with beach access, this can easily be a vacation which is both enjoyable for all family members as well as easy on the budget.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Stay at one play at two, on-site casino and water park
Con: Located inland, lack of A/C in common areas, in-room safe/WiFi$
Best Suited For: Families with children ages 2-10, those who enjoy mega-resorts
No. of Rooms: 1,080
Room Amenities: King or two full beds, A/C, balcony/terrace (upper story balconies have solid retaining walls which partially blocks the view when seated), mini-bar, non-digital in-room safe, sofa, ceiling fan, flat screen TV, telephone, radio alarm clock, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, Jacuzzi tub/shower combo, and toiletries. Room service is available only for Club Golden upgrades; WiFi is an additional charge. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
(Non-Club Golden rooms)
- Superior Jr. Suite: King or two full beds
- Family Jr. Suite: King or two full beds, sofa day bed, robe and slippers, children’s toiletries, children’s mini-bar amenities, welcome basket of sweets. These rooms are close to the children’s water park.
- Family Master Suite: Two connecting rooms each with a king or two full beds along with the same amenities as the Family Jr. Suite. These rooms are also close to the children’s water park.
(Club Golden Amenities): Club Golden is an upgraded service and includes the following amenities:
- private check-in/out
- personalized concierge
- use of the private Club Golden lounge with bar, complimentary use of computers within the lounge, snacks, newspapers
- an additional a la carte reservation (four per seven night stay)
- room service
- robe and slippers
- in-room pool towels
- umbrella upon request
(Club Golden Guest Rooms)
- Jr. Suite Club Golden: King or two dbl beds
- NOTE: There are no elevators throughout the three-story villa complex for any guest rooms.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Two pools (an activity and quiet pool, both with swim-up bars), two Jacuzzi pools, children’s water park, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, complimentary one hr. daily use of non-motorized water sports, theater, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), disco, casino, and sports bar at Hacienda Dona Isabel, complimentary greens fees at Riviera Maya Golf Club, complimentary lobby WiFi for one hr. per device per day, tram service, concierge gift shop, jewelry store, tour desk, car rental, and ATM. See separate listing for Grand Bahia Principe Tulum for its respective amenities.
Restaurants/Bars: This resort offers one buffet restaurant for all guests (Kukulkan, no A/C), and one buffet restaurant for Premier guests (Cozumel). There are six a la cartes including Mediterranean (Mediterraneo), Italian (Portofino), seafood (Pescador), Japanese (Mikado–teppanyaki show tables), international (Restaurant Oasis), and gourmet cuisine (Le Gourmet Restaurant). A la carte reservations are required; guests should make these bookings when checking in at Guest Services or via the Bahia app. Guests can book three a la carte dinners per person per week’s stay, while Club Golden guests can book four a la carte dinners per week’s stay. There are two poolside snack bars including one which is open 24-hrs. per day (La Casita). Thursday night is Mexican night at Hacienda Dona Isabel, which is an additional charge. There six bars at this resort including a lobby bar, theater bar, two swim-up bars, two Jacuzzi pool bars, and the 24-hr. snack bar. Guests have unrestricted access to all restaurants and bars at the Grand Bahia Principe Tulum.
Entertainment: Nightly shows in the theater, fire show at the main pool area, children’s disco at the theater at 8 p.m., live music in restaurants/bars, entertainment available at Hacienda Dona Isabel (disco entrance fee and drinks included) and Grand Bahia Principe Tulum.