The Bahia Principe Tulum Resort complex consists of three 5 star hotels that include the Bahia Principe Coba and the Bahia Principe Akumal. The commercial and entertainment center of the complex is “Hacienda Dona Isabel”.

All of Bahia Principe Tulum resort’s 1295 rooms have two single beds or one king-size bed, air conditioning, telephone, cable TV, a balcony, fully fitted marble bathrooms with bathtub and shower, mini-bar, and room safes.

Play on a mile-long beach of sugar-sand and Windex-hued Caribbean surf just 45 minutes south of Cancun. Some guests commented on the “rocky” nature of the beach and “rough” waves. The lifeguards post “red flags” when conditions are considered unsafe. But, there’s always lots of action to be had in the pools, and it gives you a break from the salt water. There are a huge checkerboard setup and hammocks on the beach, and the kids still can play in the sand. When the guards post “green flags”, it’s back into the surf. Snorkeling gear, kayaks, Boogey boards, catamarans, life jackets, etc. are all readily accessible right on the beach.

The beach directly to the east of the Akumal side is coral and rock. The beach is sandy from the point east of the Akumal lobby all the way to Los Olas beach bar on the Tulum side. But, there are many rocks scattered in the water. The ocean floor gently slopes out for a long distance. You can walk out a fair way with the water only up to your waist. The wave action is quite vigorous; a lot of people enjoyed getting bashed about it. I only remember one yellow-flag day – the rest were red. There are a number of palapas along the beach, but in order to get one, you have to stake a claim by 7:30 am every morning. By 9 – 9:30 am all palapas are gone.

The least rocky area of the beach is in the middle, where Tulum and Akumal meet. Bring water shoes and you won’t have any problems. Play in the waves during the “red flag” for a good workout. When the flag is green – go snorkeling. You’ll see countless fish of every color and type. Feeding the “pieces” will attract schools that cover you in little, fishy kisses. The kids will love it, too!

Take advantage of the kayaking, windsurfing, catamarans, scuba diving, bikes for use within the hotel’s confines, 3 lit tennis courts, 2 nearby golf courses, badminton, football, basketball, volleyball, aerobics, and horseback riding. Visit the popular attractions at nearby Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel.

Reserve your boats and kayaks first thing in the morning before they book up for the day. All operations shut down during the “red flag”. Don’t pay to snorkel. From Akumal, you can swim in the sea turtle reserve from the beach.

Bahia Principe Tulum poolsThe Bahia Principe has a swimming-pool in the form of a lake with a special children’s area, a giant open-air jacuzzi, sundeck with sunbeds and sunshade, private beach, mini-club, an amphitheater that hosts nightly shows and entertainment, a water-sports centre, gym, boutiques, and a large convention center.

The beach and pools fill up with bathers, so get there early, find a spot and put something down to “stake your claim”. This is the well-known “towel game”. The resort discourages this but everyone does it anyway, and so will you if want anywhere to sit at the beach or at the pools. The pools are by many accounts colder than the sea.

Guests will include Italians, French, Germans, Spanish, British, Portuguese and of course Canadians and Americans – all enjoying a Caribbean holiday. You will meet some interesting characters and make some new friends!

Each site has a theatre with general entertainment 5 or 6 nights a week. Thursdays at the” Hacienda” is the Mexican Fiesta. The cost is 160 pesos per person. If you book the Oriental restaurant for that evening you won’t have to pay.

Bahia Principe Tulum cocktails are always nearby at any of several bars. And, the five gourmet restaurants, each with a different style and atmosphere. On fiesta night, the buffets serve tacos al pastor, pollos asados, tamales, churros, and a host of other traditional Mexican dishes.

You are allowed three meals per week in the a la carte (reservation-only) restaurants. Frutos Del Mar is Akumal’s seafood restaurant which includes grilled mussels, scallops, shrimp, a sliver of lobster, and salmon. It gets good ratings. Gran Tortuga’s service is reported to be slow. Arlequin is the popular “French” restaurant. The service and food get the highest ratings by guests. You may choose to start your meal with an hors d’oeuvre like amuse bouche of sorbet, and then move on to the appetizers. Or perhaps a cold avocado soup. Entrees include lamb chops, salmon, etc. Dessert may be a fantastic chocolate cake with Grand Marnier sauce (Mexican “posters” are very rich and sweet).

A Note on Steak: It’s always a mistake to order steak in Mexico no matter what the description and photo on the menu indicated. Mexicans hardly eat steak, and beef (res), to them, is a paper-thin slice of cow called “Milanesa”. Mexican beef is not Angus, Hereford, etc. It’s more of a “longhorn” very lean, with absolutely no marbling, and tough as shoe-leather. So, it’s sliced thin (almost transparent), pounded to smithereens, and fried. It’s great for sandwiches (“tortas”) and tacos, but it’s not “steak”.

The Bahia Principe Akumal Tulum complex is huge and spread out. A lot of walking is involved. Many guests enjoy “strolling” the paths of lush, exotic vegetation. And, there are shuttles that will whisk you to anywhere on the grounds you care to go. Buildings 65, 66 and 67 have direct ocean views. Buildings 47 and 49 are closer to the main pools and theater bar. The Golden Club is further from the lobby and that means more walking unless you are going to wait for a handy trolley.

Bahia Principe tulumWhen leaving the Bahia Principe Tulum for shopping, exploring, tours, etc., take the white vans at the front of the hotel. The cost is $2 per person instead of $30 for a cab. You will have to wait until they fill up with enough passengers. A little patience can save you some bucks. Remember that almost everything in Mexico is negotiable (for sale).