The Mayan Riviera is a tourism hotspot for Canadians looking to escape the winter blues. We love it because it’s a direct flight from Vancouver, it’s has great weather all year long, the beaches are beautiful, it’s affordable and the area has lots of activities for kids.
It’s for these reasons that we’ve been to the area several times and will certainly return again.
The Gran Bahia Principe is a VERY big complex with 3 family resorts, 1 adult only resort and a private golf course. Akumal has 630 rooms, Tulum has 858 rooms, Coba has 1,080 rooms and Sian Ka’an (the adult only resort) has 420 rooms.
That’s almost 3,000 rooms in the resort complex!
Reasons why we like the resort
- The beach. The swimming area is protected by man-made barriers, making it a safe place for kids to swim (although they are not very attractive).
- The rooms are large. We were provided a travel cot for Baby B and still had plenty of room for him to run around.
- Bathtubs in the room. Many resorts only have showers, which is totally fine for most adults, but when traveling with a baby a bathtub is essential.
- Great food selection. We stuck to the buffet because it allowed us to find a variety of food for Baby B. It was convenient to be able to get his food right away and not have to wait for table service. There were lots of high chairs available and the service in the buffet restaurant was quite good.
Reasons why we didn’t like the resort
- Beds are hard and uncomfortable. The beds were really bad. This meant we didn’t sleep very well and woke up feeling sore every morning. If you have young kids who co-sleep, this could create trouble since we had a hard time getting a good night sleep even without Baby B in our bed.
- Slippery floors. All of the floors in the rooms and in the restaurants had tile, which was very slippery for a baby just learning to walk. Baby B fell a number of times and banged his head pretty bad in our room (he had a big purple goose egg on this forehead within minutes).
- Rooms smelled bad. The moment we walked into the room we were greeted by a musty odor that never left. We asked about the smell and were told it was because the doors were closed all day. Not true. Most of our friends experienced a similar smell in their rooms
We enjoyed our time at the resort. The food was good, the service was good, the beach was good and the grounds were well maintained.
That said, we would not classify this as a 5-star resort and we likely wouldn’t return to this resort.
Have you been to the Gran Bahia Principe in the Mayan Riviera?
Do you have any tips or recommendations for traveling families?
Share your feedback in the comments section below!