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Jackie

Gran Baha Prinicipa Tulum Pictures and review

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LOVE THIS RESORT!!! We nearly drove our travel agent and wedding coordinator crazy because we emailed them so often before our trip. We were worried about all the negative things we had read--food poisoning, unsafe transportation, being switched to a different resort, insects, unhelpful staff, etc. Thankfully, none of this happened and we had the time of our lives. I will try to organize this review by category:

 

Wedding:

We stayed from May 24--31 with 8 other friends and family members to celebrate our wedding. The ceremony was everything I have ever wanted--beautiful and intimate. Our wedding coordinator, Jazmin, was very patient with our questions and made everything come together perfectly. Our photographer, Conrado (he is at the resort), was extraordinary--very passionate about his work, talented, and relatively inexpensive. If you are planning a wedding at BPT, I highly recommend also having the videographer (he works with Conrado). It was worth every penny. I still cry every time I watch it. If I was forced to pick something negative about the wedding, it would probably be the minister. He arrived 15 minutes late to our ceremony and his cell phone went off in the middle of it. However, his words were very touching and he handled the ringing cell phone so well that our guests didn't even realize it had gone off. It just gave my husband and me a good laugh. We had our meal afterwards at the Don Pablo and then went to the Bar Akumal to relax, sip a few drinks, and dance. The band was even nice enough to play a song just for us as our "first dance." What made it such a great wedding was all the special touches: having our room upgraded (for free) to an ocean-view suite, receiving champaign and a small cake in our room the day after our wedding, and Conrado throwing in a free poster-sized picture of our wedding.

 

Food:

The food was amazing. We ate at the Don Pablo (for the wedding reception), Oriental, Gran Tortuga, and El Pescador. My favorite was the Don Pablo and Oriental, but all were great. The buffets had a large variety and great taste. I would kill to have some more of the baked tortilla chips with fresh salsa and guacamole. Usually I don't even like chips and dip, but there I ate it for almost every meal! My husband loved all the fresh juices.

 

Beach:

Yes, as a zillion other people have reported, the beach can be rocky in places. Bring water shoes and you will be fine. The fish by the peer are really neat, and we had a great time going kayaking and playing volleyball. Bring your own snorkle gear if you are a water bug like me!

 

Grounds:

One word--immaculate. Everything was in it's place and super clean.

 

Entertainment:

The performers work hard and try to provide a variety. Yes, some of it is a little cheesy, and being from the relatively-conservative US I was a little turned off by all the barely-there costumes. (Between the topless beaches and the Broadway show, I saw more than enough skin for the week.) However, I LOVED the ballet dancer and the Michael Jackson lip synch show. God only knows how many hours per day they must practice and work out to stay in such great shape.

 

Transportation:

We booked our vacation through a travel agent and Worry Free Vacations. We had a charter bus taking us from the Cancun airport to the resort. This ride took 2 hours and 15 minutes because we had to drop off so many people along the way. However, we knew about this beforehand so we just relaxed and enjoyed the air-conditioned ride. On our way back to the airport, it only took 1 1/2 hours because we only picked up a few people. For all our excursions, we took the super-cheap, super-convenient Collectivos. $2 per person per one-way trip. Just go to the road in front of the resort and tell them where you would like to go. Of note: there are no seat belts in these vans and their driving is a little on the "Fast and Furious" side, so if you have young kids you may want to take a safer form of transportation. I made my 14-year-old brother-in-law sit in the middle of the back seat or in the front passenger seat (which does have a seat belt) just because I am a worry-wort.

 

Excursions:

The day after our wedding ceremony, our whole group went to Xel-Ha and then the Tulum Ruins. Word of warning--the tour reps will lie to your face. Not that I blame them; I realize that they are just trying to do their job. But know that anything they tell you will probably be in THEIR best interest, not yours. For example, we knew from reading tripadvisor that we could get into Xel-Ha cheaper by going on a weekend. Our tour rep tried to tell us that this was false and kept asking "where did you hear this?" Needless to say, we all went on Sunday, when it was only $22 per person (compared to 30-something during the week and more than twice as high to get the all-inclusive package). Xel-Ha was just amazing. I could have spent the rest of the entire week just there! But the rest of our group was exhausted, so we left around 2 and headed for the Tulum Ruins. This was free (since it was the weekend--another fact the tour rep denied), very hot (wear protective clothing and lots of sunscreen or you will fry), and had the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. I definately recommend these two places.

We also spent one day at Playa del Carmen. I got a little tired of haggling the prices, but I'm glad I went just for the experience. Some of our friends went on a snorkling tour out of Playa and really enjoyed it. Another friend went to Chichén Itzá and thought it was worthwhile, although the ride out there is pretty long (>2 hours).

 

Staff:

Generally, the staff work very hard and do their best to make your stay the best possible. My mother made the comment that you never see any of the staff just sitting around talking or "slacking off." Out of respect and gratitude, we left tips of about $2 per day for our housekeeper, $1 per person per meal (a little more for the a la cartes), $1 per bag for the drivers of the charter buses, and small tips for whomever we felt deserved it.

 

When I asked my husband if there was anything he wished would have been different about our trip, his sole response was "I wish we could have stayed longer." In fact, he still hasn't removed his wrist band!! (I guess he thinks he will magically be able to use the wrist band in St. Louis to snorkle in the ocean or eat anything he wants for free!!) This shows just how much we both loved this resort. Hopefully sometime soon we can return.

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. I'm a little busy right now with graduate school, so please be patient as it may take me awhile to return your email.

 

As for the negative reviews you will inevitably find on tripadvisor about BPT, all I can say is that these people must live really miserable lives if they are unhappy with a place like this. Just relax, go with the flow, be polite and respectful, and enjoy this piece of paradise!!!!!

 

 

Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.

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Hey. Thanks for all the info. We are getting married at the Bahia Principe Tulum in April. I'm a little confused because it says that your wedding date is in 2008?? Anyway, I was wondering what kind of details you were able to organize with the WC before you left. Flowers? Timelines? And did you rent the disco for after dinner? I'm not sure if I should do this or not. Thanks for your help.

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I think Jackie (the girl who posted this review) probably grabbed it from TripAdvisor or another wedding forum. SHe's the moderator on the forum for this area, and does a great job of gathering info and posting it for the other brides. She'd absolutely be able to help you out with some of your questions, but you read right - she's still in the planning stages of her wedding!

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