The Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an Don Pablo Collection is part of a mega-resort called the Bahia Principe Riviera Maya Resort Complex which is located three miles south of Akumal in the Riviera Maya. There are three additional properties which belong to this mega-resort–the Grand Bahia Principe Coba (inland with 1,080 rooms), Grand Bahia Principe Tulum (beachfront with 978 rooms), and the Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection (beachfront with 630+ rooms). The Sian Ka’an resort is actually set in the midst of the Riviera Maya Golf Club golf course which is located inland on the west side of the federal highway. In addition to having easy golf course access, Sian Ka’an guests have full access to the Akumal, Tulum, and Coba resorts; however, only adult Akumal guests have access to this resort. Given the mega-resort’s overall size, there is a tram service which transports individuals all over the entire complex from 7 a.m. until 2:30 a.m.
The Sian Ka’an makes the most of its modern, minimalist décor–light colors, marble, sculptures, and contemporary furnishings are used extensively throughout the property to create light-filled spaces in this inland, tropical jungle setting. Guests stepping into the open-air lobby have the reception area with its tiled backdrop to the left, the lobby bar with its many chairs and tables off to the right, and the patio beyond with its small stage and tables and chairs just perfect for live performances since the resort has no official theater. The extensive grounds are well-manicured yet maintain a jungle-like atmosphere with plenty of trees, natural flora, and numerous creatures roaming about including coatis, iguana, agouti, and the occasional snake. Expect lots of mosquitos, particularly during rainy season.
Large guest rooms continue the resort’s modern, minimalist look with woven-back armchairs, beige and tan décor, wall hangings, and basic contemporary furniture. All guest rooms come equipped with a balcony or terrace, flat screen plasma TV, mini-bar, in-room safe, and smaller marble bathroom with shower-only. Jr. Suite Garden rooms have a walkway leading to a greenery-enclosed Jacuzzi, while Jr. Suite Penthouse rooms include a rooftop deck complete with its own private Jacuzzi. Since the penthouse is one of the most popular guest room categories, it may be advantageous to book it in advance rather than relying on upgrading once at the resort.
If you can tear yourself away from the beautiful, spacious rooms, you will find no less than four pool areas to enjoy. There is the unique and mellow “sushi bar pool” with its three built-in Jacuzzis and surrounding day beds located by villas #27-#36, the busy main activities pool furthest away from the lobby located by villas #14-#22, the quiet pool by the Alux restaurant, and another freeform pool with an adjacent round, shallow pool. None have a swim-up bar, but all have lots of natural shade, loungers, and some shade umbrellas as well. If four on-site pools aren’t enough, there are always the pools to enjoy at the nearby Akumal, Tulum, and Coba resorts.
Although the resort lacks its own beach, there are trams which transport guests to the reserved beach area adjacent to the Akumal resort (tram rides to the beach take approximately ten min. from the lobby). This reserved stretch of beach includes loungers, shade palapas, and wait staff just for Sian Ka’an guests. Guests choosing to sit in the reserved sections receive a tray with a hand towel, a small mist spray bottle, and a wooden flag–if service is requested, just make the flag stand up on the tray. Of course, Sian Ka’an guests are free to enjoy any lounger on either the Tulum or Akumal resort beach sections. The ocean waters by the Akumal resort are great for snorkeling; however, some guests may not like the few sand whales which lie offshore to help protect the beach from erosion.
The Sian Ka’an resort is in a perfect location for those who like to golf. There is easy access to the Riviera Maya Golf Club golf course which was designed by Robert Trent Jones II. The course includes 18 long holes, nine executive holes, and incorporates cenotes, natural lakes, and varied bunkers set amidst the Mayan jungle. In addition to receiving complimentary greens fees, Sian Ka’an guests are also entitled to receive complimentary snacks and refreshments at the on-site clubhouse including beer and premium alcohol. Cart rental is an extra cost.
Golfers aren’t the only ones who will enjoy what this resort has to offer–the Sian Ka’an has quite a reputation for its innovative and exquisitely prepared cuisine. Those used to bland and uninspiring all-inclusive resort buffet food will be pleasantly surprised by the fresh ingredients and variety of food at Yal-ku Restaurant, while gourmands will feel right at home at Alux. Sian Ka’an guests may also dine at any of the other mega-resort restaurants, including the a la cartes.
Although this is a rather quiet resort, live evening entertainment can be enjoyed by the lobby or by taking a colorful tram to Hacienda Dona Isabel (a sixteenth-century Spanish Colonial hacienda replica on the Tulum property) which houses souvenir shops, a disco, sports bar, a casino, and also puts on quite the Mexican fiesta every Thursday night (this is an extra charge). There is also a dolphinarium on Tulum resort grounds.
Guests wanting to keep their vacation on the quiet and serene side will want to take a tram to visit the nearby TAO Wellness Center with its lap pools, gym, locker room, Temazcal huts/ceremony, additional spa treatments, a gift boutique, and Elixir Bar which serves wellness drinks and snacks. The Elixir Bar and any spa services are an extra charge.
Type of Resort: Adults-only 18+
Pro: Stay at one play at four, easy access to golf course, complimentary WiFi, large guest rooms
Con: Not beachfront, no theater, lots of mosquitos during rainy season
Best Suited For: Older adult couples ages 40-65, golfers
No. of Rooms: 420
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, living room or sitting room area with sofa or two chairs, ceiling fan, flat screen plasma TV, in-room safe, mini-bar with several small bottles of alcohol, coffee maker, telephone, radio alarm clock, iron/ironing board, pillow menu, hair dryer, vessel sink, shower, toiletries, complimentary WiFi and 24-hr. room service. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds
- Superior Jr. Suite: King bed, sofa, armchair, coffee table
- Superior Garden Jr. Suite: King bed, terrace with Jacuzzi, two loungers, and table with two chairs, dining table and two chairs in the room, sofa bed, coffee table. These rooms are located on the ground floor.
- Superior Penthouse Jr. Suite: King bed, rooftop deck with Jacuzzi, two loungers and table and two chairs, dining table and two chairs in the room, wet bar, sofa bed, coffee table. These rooms are located on the top/third floor.
- NOTE: There are no elevators at this resort.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Four pools (no swim-up bar), Bahia spa, access to the nearby TAO Wellness Center, complimentary one hr. daily use of non-motorized water sports at the beach, reserved beach area with wait service and easy access to the Akumal beach bar, disco, sports bar, and casino over at Hacienda Dona Isabel, complimentary greens fees at Riviera Maya Golf Club, bicycle rental, tram service, concierge, gift shop, clothing shop, jewelry shop, tequila shop, tour desk, ATM. See separate listings for amenities at other Bahia Principe resorts (Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection, Grand Bahia Principe Coba, and Grand Bahia Principe Tulum).
Restaurants/Bars: One buffet restaurant (Yal-ku), two a la cartes including Japanese (Maiko–no teppanyaki show tables), and a gourmet restaurant (Alux). Sian Ka’an guests also have unrestricted access to all mega-resort a la cartes as well. A la carte reservations are required; reservations can no longer be made in advance but instead can be made upon arrival or by using the Bahia Principe app. Guests also have access to the poolside sushi bar and 24-hr. snack bar in addition to lunch service set up between the Sian Ka’an and Akumal beach sections. There are three on-site bars including the lobby bar and two pool bars; the lobby bar area has coffee service from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., tea time from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and champagne on ice and canapés from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. All Sian Ka’an guests have full access to bars at the Tulum, Akumal, and Coba resorts.
Entertainment: There is live entertainment in and outside the lobby area during the evening. Entertainment as well as the casino is also available at Hacienda Dona Isabel, or guests may visit any of the other resorts’ theaters.