Pros

  • Verdant jungle surroundings and wildlife on the premises
  • Spacious Family Junior Suites and Family Master Suites have superb kids' amenity kits
  • Two hot tubs, two large pools with swim-up bars, and tons of loungers
  • Dedicated area on beach, with a beach bar
  • Large buffet, six a la carte restaurants, two snack bars, and seven bars
  • Gym, tennis courts, large hydrotherapy spa, and off-site dolphinarium (a con for some)
  • Baby, kids', and teens' clubs, including a large kids-only water park
  • Access to golf course and club, water activity center, and Hacienda Dona Isabel mall with casino, club, and shops
  • One hour per day free non-motorized sports such as kayaking and snorkeling
  • Free (limited) Wi-Fi in lobby
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Cons

  • Fee for additional Wi-Fi time and coverage
  • Rooms can be quite dim
  • Not on the beach; the sands are a 10-minute shuttle ride away
  • Long lines at the beach bar
  • Large property requires golf cart shuttle service to get around
  • Dolphinariums are controversial animal attractions
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Bottom Line

With 1,080 rooms, the Grand Bahia Principe Coba is the largest resort in the property's Riviera Maya complex. Geared toward families, this upper-middle-range resort has features such as baby, kids', and teens' clubs; a water park playground; kids' menus; and special amenities kits in Family Suites. Simple, colorful rooms are spacious enough for small families, but can adjoined for larger parties. With two pools, a spa, 14 restaurants and bars, and access to the golf club and hacienda shopping plaza, this place is packed with features -- but there's no direct beach access. To avoid a 10-minute shuttle to the beach, check out sister property, Grand Tulum, or upgrade to Luxury Akumal

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Amenities

  • Casino
  • Fitness Center
  • Internet
  • Jacuzzi
  • Pool
  • Spa

Oyster Hotel Review

Grand Bahia Principe Coba

Scene

Large family-friendly property with everything but the beach

One large entrance services all four resorts located inside the gigantic Bahia Principe complex, and the property is colorfully marked from the road by bright yellow, pink, blue, and green building complex -- the Hacienda Dona Isabel. After following a winding road with a few turns and roundabouts, guests will reach the Grand Bahia Principe Coba's large, statement lobby with pillars and high as can be ceilings. (Well, actually, this large property is so big, it's got two lobbies.) The main lobby is located on the eastern side of the resort property and leads guests out onto a relaxing terrace area and the Kukulkan buffet. From here, guests can easily walk to the Bahia Spa and find their way to the children's water park, one of the large lagoon pools, snack bars, and pool bars. The other, more central but smaller, lobby leads out to a small shopping strip, Oasis Restaurant, and the Daiquiri Bar, and is easy walking distance to the resort's second pool, a few a la carte eateries, and a snack bar. 

Coba is such a large property that guests will probably want to take advantage of the intra-resort golf cart shuttles to get around -- both convenient and a pain. They're certainly faster than walking, but waiting or flagging down a shuttle can be annoying if you're just taking a quick trip or forgot something in your room. However, the lack of foot traffic gives the garden grounds and even wider sense of space, and even at a fairly full capacity, the resort doesn't feel cramped -- at least out on the grounds. We found that although this is the largest of the four properties and the most geared toward families, the vibe is surprisingly calm and friendly. 

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Location

Located near Akumal along an eco-reef beach, an hour south of Cancun

About halfway between Akumal Beach and Tulum, Highway 307 is flanked with the grandiose entrance gates to both the Grand Bahia Riviera Golf Course and Club and the Bahia Principe resorts entrance. Cancun Airport is a straight shot north for just over an hour, while Playa del Carmen can be reached in just under 40 minutes. Akumal Beach's turtle-filled waters are just a short 10-minute drive up the road and can be reached by cab or collectivo. Xplor, Xel-Ha, and Xcaret are located along the highway between Akumal and Playa del Carmen

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Rooms

Colorful garden-view rooms that can be tweaked for families of different sizes

All of Coba's 1,080 rooms are garden-facing Junior Suites, Family Junior Suites, or Family Master Suites with colorful decor. Expect tile floors, brown wooden furniture, bright sponge-painted walls in colors such pink, orange, and yellow, and bold patterned fabrics covering the bed, couch, and framing the windows. Overall, it's a fun and simple style that helps brighten up the sometimes dim rooms. Unfortunately, the built-in couches, also used as the bed for a small child, are just uncomfortable foam pads covered in fabric. Traveling families take note: If you book any of the Family Suites at Coba, expect to find a few superb kid-centric surprises -- such as mini-bathrobes and slippers, activity packs, and kid-friendly toiletry packs -- in the room. Family Junior Suites (basically the regular Junior Suite but with kid amenities) can be connected to create a Family Master Suite. All rooms have flat-screen TVs, hydromassage bathtubs, private garden-view outdoor space, coffeemakers, and a minibars (Family Suite minibars include juices, shakes, and other items for kids). 

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All-Inclusive / Food

One buffet, six reservation-required a la carte restaurants, and two snack bars

Coba's main buffet restaurant Kukulcan serves up international fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offers special themed cuisine nightly during dinner service. If you have a hankering for a specific type of food, you can check out one of the six a la carte spots on-site: Portofino (Italian), Mediterraneo (Mediterranean), Pescador (Seafood), Mikado (Japanese), Oasis (modern cuisine), or Le Gourmet (gourmet fusion). Just remember you'll need to make advance reservations and that guests are only allowed to dine a la carte three times per week-long stay. Otherwise, you can grab a quick bite at the buffet-style snack bars, La Casitas and Piscis, located by the pools. 

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Drinks

Several places to grab a drink from the lobby to the beach

While we've definitely seen more bars in smaller spots, it's hard to say Grand Bahia Principe Coba doesn't have a fair amount of variety for thirsty guests. Right off the bat, guests can grab a drink at the casual indoor Lobby Bar where there's sometimes live music, or down at the Daiquiri Bar near the shopping plaza, Oasis Restaurant, and second lobby. However, most of the drink-slinging spots are outdoors (which can be a problem if the weather isn't cooperating). Coba's got you covered down by the pools at the swim-up Hibyscus and Flamboyan pool bars, at the two hot tubs (each has its own bar), and even down at the (far, far away) beach with Holbox Beach Bar serving Coba's small stretch of sand. There's also the unofficial all-white terrace bar for a sundowner cocktail and an elegantly casual outdoor lounge vibe. 

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Beach

A 10-minute ride to the beach

While the beaches are a major reason to come to the Mayan Riviera, only two of the resorts within the Bahia Principe's complex have direct access to the sand -- and unfortunately, Coba is not one of them. But the resort has a free shuttle that leaves every 10 to 15 minutes and heads to a small stretch of dedicated sand (trips are more frequent during peak hours). Guests at Coba don't have to stick to this particular area -- although there is a lively beach bar (with fairly long lines), and it's a few steps away from the Dolphinarium -- as they are welcome to share the sands of Grand Tulum's much larger beach area. 

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Features

Typical large resort features, including two large pools and a water park

If you're looking to grab some sun and take a few dips closer to your room, Coba has two large pools on the property and a boisterous kids-only water park with slides, waterfalls, and shallow pool. Each of the lagoon-style regular pools has plenty of loungers on deck, volleyball nets set up, and swim-up pool bars built in. There are also two hot tubs, set back a bit from the main pool areas, each with its own bar. 

Coba also has an upscale hydrotherapy based spa with several different pools, a sauna, and body treatment rooms. Massages can be given on tables either outside on a thatched roof deck or in the privacy of an indoor room. There's also a beauty salon with hair and nail treatments. But if you prefer to sweat and stretch the old-fashioned way, there is a small indoor gym with cardio machines, weights, and a few stretching mats. Guests also receive one hour of free non-motorized sports each day of their stay, so you can strap on a snorkel or paddle on the open waves. 

In addition to the water park, family-friendly features include a Bahia Scouts kids' club for babies and young children, and a Teen Club for up to age 16. Off-site features shared across all resorts in the complex include the Riviera Maya Golf Club with 18- and 9-hole courses, plus cenotes, and a jungle area; Hacienda Dona Isabel with shops, a nightclub, and live music; and the Dolphinarium (in the Tulum property). 

Unfortunately, guests are only given one free hour of Wi-Fi (on one device) per day, and can only access it in the lobby. Additional Internet service is at a fee. However, all local taxes and tips are included which is a nice bonus.

This hotel offers a tourism attraction that involves animals. You can learn more about the cruelty animals suffer in captivityhere.

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Best Rates

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner

  • Airport Transportation

  • Beach

  • Beauty / Hair Salon

  • Business Center

  • Cabanas

  • Cable

  • Casino

  • Children's Pool

  • Concierge

  • Fitness Center

  • Golf Course

  • Internet

  • Jacuzzi

  • Kids Allowed

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Mini Bar (with liquor)

  • Pool

  • Rental Car Service Desk Onsite

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

  • Spa

  • Supervised Kids Activities

  • Swim-Up Bar

  • Tennis Court

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.