Onsite Review: Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal Don Pablo Collection

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Spa relaxation area.
Spa relaxation area.



The Bahia Principe resort in Riviera Maya, a huge, 4-complex property complete with a casino, a marketplace, a nightclub, spas, and more than enough places for kicking back and relaxing, is made for clients who might want to venture offsite to explore the area, but are perfectly content staying put and enjoying all the amenities an all-inclusive resort of this magnitude offers.

Four hotels make up the complex—Luxury Bahia Principe Akumal, Grand Bahia Principe Coba, Grand Bahia Principe Tulum and Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an—and during our visit, we called the Akumal property home for a few days. This particular property was renovated last year and upon completion became part of the hotel group’s luxury Don Pablo Collection.

The Don Pablo Collection, says Jose Luis Cervantes, sales director for Bahia Principe, focuses on providing guests with optimal service. “One of the main things we do for luxury is service, service, service.”

Welcoming service begins the moment you step onto the resort. My arrival was quite the fanfare, with drinks, a mariachi performance, and Mexican dancers dressed in traditional, colorful Mexican dresses. Then, after a quick stop at my guestroom—a Junior Suite Ocean Front, located steps away from the pool, beach and main lobby area—it was off to the SPA Akumal for a Mayan Massage.

And because I just couldn’t get enough of SPA Akumal, let me fill you in on a few findings your spa aficionado clients will want to know about: SPA Akumal was fully remodeled in January 2015 reopening as a luxury spa; it has seven treatment rooms (three single and three double); and two of the double treatment rooms have a private jacuzzi that are ideal for couples. There’s also an intimate SPA Circuit with a large jacuzzi, Finnish sauna and sensation showers. To top it off, there’s a Vitamin Bar as well as a relaxation lounge, where guests can enjoy handcrafted natural fruit cocktails. Incidentally, each of the four resorts has its own spa, although those at Akumal and Sian Ka’an are considered the luxury spas.

Ok, enough “blissful” thinking—back to those accommodations. Choosing a room at Akumal is an easy decision, as all accommodations are Junior Suites, although in varying categories. They feature butler service, pillow and aromatherapy menus, premium drinks, 24-hour room service and complimentary WiFi. Akumal added 128 rooms this past November, bringing the total number of accommodations at this property to 758 (a new pool and restaurant were also added since my visit last October).

Guests of the Akumal property have access to all of the restaurants and shows throughout the complex. Recommend clients take advantage of the daily beachside lunch—think paella and BBQ—so they don’t have to leave the shoreline to grab something to eat. Dining here runs the gamut, whether it’s a buffet breakfast with a mimosa bar, lunch complemented by a Bloody Mary bar, or the 24-hour beachside food court.

The complex is a whirlwind of activity, with 12 pools, nightly entertainment, and lots of shopping opportunities, and each property has its own kids club (except for the adults-only Sian Ka’an).

Clients looking for a family-focused vacation should book the Coba property. Its Family Master Suites or Family Junior Suites are a perfect fit. They come with perks for the little ones including a kids robe, sandals and a kids club T-shirt. The family rooms’ mini-bars include kid-friendly juices and snacks, and babysitting is available in case parents want some alone time. Kids are welcome throughout the expansive complex, except at the adults-only Sian Ka’an property, which features a more modern and sexy vibe. Recommend clients opting for Sian Ka’an book one of the 56 Penthouse Suites that feature panoramic views of the jungle and a private jacuzzi.

The Bahia Principe complex also offers various tours, including the Coba Tankah Tulum tour. It takes guests to the Coba ruins, Tankah and to breathtaking Tulum, a Maya walled city perched over a rugged coastline with a stunning beach and the most beautiful of turquoise waters. On this tour, visitors can climb the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan, “Nohoch Mul,” located at Coba, and swim in one of two sink wells at Tankah, located a short distance from Tulum. Here, guests can cross over a sink well via zipline, then grab a canoe to cross the largest sink well in the Mayan Riviera. Guests also hang with the locals at a Tankah village and enjoy a homemade Mexican meal. The tour cost ($120 for adults and $84 for kids) includes air-conditioned motor coach transport, admissions, cultural guide, lunch, zipline rides, and insurance.

Contact Information
Bahia Principe: bahia-principe.com