Review 2022: A Stay at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum

Review 2022: A Stay at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum

Guest review written by Josie H.

Mexico has always been a place that we wanted to visit. I’ve read countless blogs about the Riviera Maya and it sounded to me like paradise on Earth with its white sand beaches and luxury resorts. This year, we finally took the plunge and booked two weeks in Mexico for our annual vacation.

After looking at various options on the Mexican coast, we decided that we wanted to stay in an all-inclusive resort close to Tulum. Bahia Principe Grand Tulum stood out as the best option for our group because of the great price and incredible amenities. This post is my review of our time staying there.

About Bahia Principe Grand Tulum

Bahia Principe Grand Tulum is a newly renovated 5-star all-inclusive resort in Mexico. It’s situated in Akumal just north of Tulum, in the state of Quintana Roo. Positioned on the Yucatan Peninsula, this area is known as the Riviera Maya. This entire region of Mexico is world-famous for its year-round hot climate, incredible food, and stunning scenery. 

The resort is directly on the beach which is a big bonus. This part of the coastline is on the Caribbean sea, so the beaches are made of perfect white sand and the water is clear, calm, and warm.

The property itself has over 700 rooms, five restaurants, seven bars, three pools, and a spa. Bahia Principe Hotels is a well-known and much-loved hotel group with properties throughout Spain and the Caribbean. This hotel is one of four in Mexico, with the others situated in other parts of the Riviera Maya.

What Does All Inclusive Include at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum?

In the past, we’ve stayed at all-inclusive resorts that aren’t quite as inclusive as we first thought. There sometimes seems to be additional costs that we hadn’t factored in when booking our trip. However, Bahia Principe Grand’s package really does seem to cover everything.

This isn’t an exhaustive list but some of the things we were glad were included in the all-inclusive package are as follows:

  • Access to a la carte restaurants, entertainment, and services at Bahia Principe Grand Coba
  • Entertainment (day and night)
  • Kids club activities
  • Free Wi-Fi in all areas of the hotel
  • Gym and tennis courts
  • Local drinks and beers

The hotel does offer some extra services for an additional charge. We didn’t require most of them during our trip but they include the following:

  • Premium Wi-Fi
  • Beauty and massage treatments
  • Premium drinks
  • Scuba diving and motorized water sports
  • Babysitting services

The Rooms at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum

The rooms at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum are exactly as good as you’d imagine for a 5-star hotel. What I liked most about our room is how modern and functional it was. We chose a Premium Superior Ocean Front room with a king-size bed and we had so much space. The seating area gave us room to enjoy our morning coffee while watching the news on the flat-screen TV.

We really liked the semi-open plan bathroom. The washbasin and vanity mirror are separate from the toilet and shower which made getting ready for dinner much more efficient. The shower was hot and powerful and the hairdryer and other quality amenities were handy as it meant I didn’t have to take up space in my luggage bringing my own.

The room also had all of the conveniences we needed to be comfortable during our stay. The air conditioning and ceiling fan kept us cool and the free Wi-Fi was strong and reliable. There was plenty of storage for our luggage and an iron and ironing board were handy for reviving our clothing that had been crumpled in our suitcases. We also loved the mini-bar for a pre-dinner drink on the balcony. And speaking of the balcony, the view was incredible. We had unobstructed views of the Caribbean sea and watching the sky change colors as the sun went down was an experience we’ll never forget.

Family Rooms

The family in our travel party chose the two-bedroom suite because they were traveling with two children. The kids slept in the living area on what looked like a very comfortable sofa bed and they seemed to enjoy the ‘adventure’ of sleeping in the lounge. The room overall was super spacious with lots of storage, and having two bathrooms was definitely a big bonus for them.

Things to Do at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum

The thing we loved about Bahia Principe grand Tulum is that there’s truly something for everyone. And you can do as much or as little as you want.

Pool Deck

The lake-style swimming pool was our favorite place to relax at the resort. It’s a great size and there’s plenty of seats and loungers so everyone can get a spot. I also liked that the loungers are spread apart so everyone can enjoy their own peaceful area. The bamboo straw umbrellas were also plentiful which we were grateful for as the Mexican sun is known for being extremely powerful. The poolside bar was the icing on the cake and we made a tradition of afternoon margaritas during our stay.

If you prefer your outdoor pool time to be more active, there were daily water polo and water aerobics classes. We also saw that there was the opportunity to try scuba gear in the pool which seemed to be popular with hotel guests.

On-site Spa

We just had to give the spa a try during our stay and we weren’t disappointed. The spa’s setting is tropical and tranquil and there are lots of facilities including a sauna, steam bath, outdoor whirlpool, and foot baths.

I chose the Anti-Stress Wellness Package which included a relaxing Caribbean massage and an anti-stress facial. The therapist was very skilled and when the treatment was finished I felt as though I was walking on air. I also had my hair washed and styled for our final evening in the salon and that was a great experience, too.

Beach Access

The beachfront position of the hotel means that you can be on the beach in seconds, and we certainly took advantage of that. While I was happy on a recliner with my book, my partner took advantage of the watersports on offer and hired one of the kayaks, while the others in our group went snorkeling. The resort also allows guests to take part in their Eco-Bahia Foundation activities where the area is prepared for nesting sea turtles and releasing of the hatchlings. We loved this unique activity and it’s a memory that we’ll cherish for years to come.

Kids Club Activities

The children in our travel party were also well-catered for. The kids club has lots of activities like games, crafts, and workshops that keep them entertained all day long. The staff there are extremely friendly and welcoming which makes parents feel at ease when dropping their little ones off. There’s also a children’s water park which our group loved, and it definitely helped the adults relax knowing that their kids were enjoying the vacation as much as we were.

Smaller kids also have their own ‘Splash’ children’s pool area where parents can safely play in the water with them. If you’re traveling with teenagers, the Teens Club is a great spot for them to hang out and meet other kids their age. It always seemed to be packed with youngsters playing foosball and arcade games, and it was nice to see that they had a space of their own to enjoy.

Entertainment at Night

There was plenty of entertainment at night, too. The resort has a vibrant, family-friendly atmosphere that our entire group really enjoyed. There were a few shows on offer too, which did cost extra but were completely worth it in our opinion. The ‘Origin’ show was our favorite because it was about the cultures and traditions of Mexico and it felt very special to experience it in such incredible surroundings.

Food & Drink at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum

There’s an incredible range of food and drink options at the Bahia Principe Grand Tulum, and with so many restaurants on-site there’s sure to be something to satisfy everyone’s appetite. We couldn’t come to Mexico without eating traditional Mexican cuisine, and the Tequila Restaurant did not disappoint. There are specialties on offer from all over Mexico, so it was like we were on a food tour without ever having to leave the hotel. Try one of the mole dishes and definitely make sure you leave room for dessert.

We also visited the La Gran Tortuga restaurant which is a traditional Brazilian place that serves grilled meats tableside. This was a fun way to eat and the kids loved it. One restaurant that surprised us was the Thali Indian restaurant. We didn’t expect to be able to find such authentic Indian flavors in Mexico but the tasting menu blew us away. We spent our final evening at Don Pablo restaurant and it was a very special end to our vacation. The oysters were incredibly fresh and the confit beef cheek was outstanding.

We also visited the international buffet restaurant a few times when we wanted a low-key dinner, and there was a great variety of fresh and tasty cuisine on offer. The Mexican-style food truck and the burger bar were also popular places among our group for easy lunches on lazy beach days.

Eating at Bahia Principe Grand Coba

A bonus of staying at this hotel is that we could also dine at the Coba location of the hotel. The high-end French food at Le Gourmet transported me to a Parisian brasserie and the flavors were exquisite. We also enjoyed an evening at the hotel’s Italian restaurant, and our entire party loved the menu of fresh, authentic dishes.

Day Trips and Activities

The hotel itself is so beautiful that you could easily spend two weeks here without getting bored. However, if you’re similar to us and love to do a little exploring, you won’t be disappointed. Positioned in Akumal, just north of Tulum, there’s easy access to all the best parts of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Discover Mayan Ruins

Photo Credit: Richie Chan

The Yucatan is renowned for its Mayan ruins so no trip is complete without visiting at least one site. Chichen Itza is the best-known ruin but it was a long car journey to reach it so we instead decided to see some of the more local ruins. Tulum itself has an incredible site set atop cliffs overlooking the Caribbean sea, so we headed there early one morning to explore.

 The resort’s front desk staff can also help you arrange trips to see other harder-to-reach ruins in the area including Nohoch Mul Pyramid, Laguna de Muyil, and Adoratorio Ruinas Chac-hal-al.

Swim in a Cenote

Photo Credit: Kazuki Yamakawa

Before we arrived in Mexico we knew that we wanted to experience a cenote. Cenotes are underground fresh watering holes and there are hundreds if not thousands of them dotted throughout the Yucatan. Some of them are hard to reach but many have been set up so that they’re safe for visitors to swim. There are even cenotes that are deep enough for scuba diving.

We decided to visit Gran Cenote as it’s very close to Tulum and has good facilities. After we’d finished swimming in the clear blue waters we laid out on the grass with a drink and dried off in the beautiful warm weather before heading back to the resort. Calavera Cenote and Carwash Cenote are two others that we heard great things about.

And speaking of natural beauty, we heard from another guest that Sian Ka’an (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is a stunningly beautiful spot to see Riviera Maya’s fauna and flora.

Explore Quintana Roo

Quintana Roo is the state that the resort is located in and there’s so much to see and do throughout the region. We took a 25-minute taxi ride to Playa del Carmen one afternoon to check out the city and we’re so glad that we did. It’s a vibrant beachfront city with great bars, restaurants, and shopping. Fifth Avenue (the main street that runs parallel with the beach) was a fun spot for afternoon drinks and some tasty tacos.

We also spent a lazy morning exploring bohemian Tulum and we loved it. This picturesque beach town was the perfect place to pick up some artisanal crafts to take home as souvenirs. Next time we visit Mexico we’ll aim to spend an evening in Tulum’s center as we saw some incredible-looking bars and restaurants on our stroll.

Riviera Maya Golf Club

Photo Credit: romakoma

If there’s a golf nut in your travel party, they’ll be thrilled by the nearby Riviera Maya Golf Club. This 90+ hectares plot of land was designed by Robert Trent Jones II who is said to be the best golf course architect in the world. Mexico’s incredible natural landscape certainly gave him a hand with the design though: the course winds through the Mayan jungle around spectacular lakes and cenotes. We were told that hotel guests also get a discount at the course.

Getting to Bahia Principe Grand Tulum

Photo Credit: Patryk Kosmider

The closest airport to the resort is Cancun International Airport. The airport welcomes both domestic flights from all over Mexico and international flights from around the globe, so you’re unlikely to struggle to find an option from where you live.

The drive from the airport to the hotel takes just over an hour. There are plenty of official taxis available from the arrivals terminal as well as several car rental options. However, the easiest way is to let the team at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum deal with the logistics and arrange a transfer for you. That’s what we did and the service was flawless.

You’ll Love Your Vacation at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum

As you can see we had an incredible time at the Bahia Principe Grand Tulum and would definitely go back. In fact, we loved it so much that for our next vacation, we’re thinking about booking another stay at Bahia Principe Grand Tulum. It really was just that good!

Book your stay to Bahia Principe Grand Tulum today!