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Old 10-10-2013   #1 (permalink)
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The morbidly obese bikini trip report

I had to call it something
We just returned from 9 days at the Grand Bahia Principe Tulum. This was our third stay at an all inclusive resort and was by far the worst. Our previous stays were at Secrets Capri and Catalonia Royal Tulum. Secrets is a more expensive resort and I will not compare the two, but Catalonia costs the same as Grand Bahia so I will compare them.

Here is a list of the good at Grand Bahia Principe Tulum.
1. The place is beautiful and well maintained.
2. Our room was large and clean.
3. Check in was easy.
4. The bed was comfortable, and changed every day.

Now the bad
1. The food was lousy. Food at the buffet was just barely eatable and some of it was from yesterday. The orange juice and sparkling wine to make Mimosa was warm, as well as the beer most of the time all over the resort, and it came in a cup that didn't fit in a drink cozy. If you asked for a different glass they usually forgot because they were over worked.
2. It is almost impossible to make reservations for the dinner restaurants, you have to go to the reservation desk and stand in line with the folks that are booking tours and such, and took us an hour. It can't be done by phone and I had to lose my temper to get the times we wanted. We did this the morning of the second day and if we were only there for 6 days we would not have been able to get a reservation because they said they were booked up for 5 days, but when we got to the restaurants, they were half empty. We were allowed three dinners and chose Don Pablo, the Brazilian and Tequila. The food at Don Pablo was just OK, it's the only full service restaurant, more flair than substance, but the service was good. The Brazilian was just glorified buffet food served on a skewer, and a salad, appetizer and desert bar. The only good meal we had was at the Tequila Mexican restaurant, I had grilled grouper and it was good, but still had the salad appetizer and desert bar. We ate away from the resort as much as we could.
3. There is no service at the pool or beach, ya gotta get yer own drinks.
4. there is a large lounge area where there is drink service, but it is slow and if you don't tip you will end up standing in line at the bar to get your drinks. We established a connection as tippers with a very nice waitress, but when the managers were around she had to just drop our drinks and go, no small talk. They have nightly entertainment in the lounge, but not very good, the most entertaining was karaoke night.
5. The shows at the theater were the worst I have seen in all our Mexican trips, we tried to watch two but left early. The Michale Jackson impersonator didn't look like him or dance like him, and they kept blasting you in the face with bright lights so you couldn't see what was going on.
6. They try to nickel and dime you, the Mexican fiesta costs $15 and you need to buy an adapter to plug in some computer and camera chargers because the electrical outlets are recessed in a hole in the wall.

Trip adviser folks give this place good revues, but from what I can tell is most folks that stay there never leave the place and don't know any better. We talked to a couple from England that had never left the resort other than tours. This was there second trip there and thought it was wonderful. They were shocked that we were taking public transportation to go places and eat at local restaurants. Another lady we talked with had stayed there 6 times and never went to town or stayed at a different resort. I will never stay at a huge resort like this again, I think most of the money the smaller resorts spend on service and better food goes to funding the transportation around the resort . There fleet of trams is huge and it's easy to move from place to place, but all those vehicles and drivers cost a bunch. This place is just too damned big.

OK! That's out of my system, I'm done bad mouthing the place and will get on with the the fun parts of our trip and and a bunch pf pictures later.
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Old 10-10-2013   #2 (permalink)
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Wow, what a bummer. I can't even imagine no service at the pool. The Catalonia Royal Tulum was my first AI ever, and I thought it was nice. Then I went to Now Sapphire, and I thought it was nicer. Then I went to Secrets Silversands and I was blown away! Man, that place is NI-IIIICE.

I guess I'll never go to the Gran Bahia Principe Tulum!
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Old 10-10-2013   #3 (permalink)
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Yes Secrets put the bar pretty high, really hard to beat. The Grand Bahia Principe has whats called the privilege club that you can buy for extra bucks that gives you the service in a roped off area, but why do that, I would rather just spend my money on a better quality place like Secrets and get great service and food.
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Old 10-11-2013   #4 (permalink)
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I know some people really enjoy an AI but we prefer to eat at different places all the time and I absolutely hate playing the towel game
I love staying at small places..IMHO, they appreciate your business more...
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Old 10-11-2013   #5 (permalink)
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We have stayed at AI Resorts our last 10 trips to Mexico, with varying levels of service. So this trip and all future trips will be non AI hotels for your reasons stated above. Excellent service is hit or miss or very inconsistent. Sometimes non-existant.

Last time in February our AI trip ran $3700 for 7 nights, Last October our AI trip ran $2600 for 9 nights. This trip will be 10 nights at a non AI hotel and will be less than half the 9 night All inclusive trip. With that savings, we can eat where and when we want, no reservations at the fancy on site restaurants, drink whatever we want at all the local bars.... and still save money and stay longer!

AI is not a savings for us, unfortunately we found this out 20 years too late. Who says "You can't teach old dogs new tricks"
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Old 10-12-2013   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coming to Playa View Post
We have stayed at AI Resorts our last 10 trips to Mexico, with varying levels of service. So this trip and all future trips will be non AI hotels for your reasons stated above. Excellent service is hit or miss or very inconsistent. Sometimes non-existant.

Last time in February our AI trip ran $3700 for 7 nights, Last October our AI trip ran $2600 for 9 nights. This trip will be 10 nights at a non AI hotel and will be less than half the 9 night All inclusive trip. With that savings, we can eat where and when we want, no reservations at the fancy on site restaurants, drink whatever we want at all the local bars.... and still save money and stay longer!

AI is not a savings for us, unfortunately we found this out 20 years too late. Who says "You can't teach old dogs new tricks"
I came here for 13 years and avoided AI's the entire time. Now that I live here, going to one is like a vacation, and I looooooooove them.
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Old 10-12-2013   #7 (permalink)
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I'm finally back to add my next installment. I'm 70 and slowing down a bit and AI's fit better than staying in a downtown hotel besides I find the restaurants aren't that much better, if at all than some of the Quality AI's.

So I've bad mouthed the resort and here is my report.
Up at 3 AM and off to the airport at 4 on the airplane at 6 for four and a half hours of sheer boredom, only to have a 4 hour layover in Houston and an airport lunch before another 2 and a half hours of boredom before landing in Cancun. Customs was a non-event, basically just waved us through. I had to rescue my wife from the time-share folks; she’s a sucker for a friendly face. We finally got to our resort at 8:30 and got checked in with no problems, had our first taste of buffet food and went to bed.

Day two was another hurry up event, my wife had a dentist appointment in Playa ay 10 am so we had breakfast and caught a cab to Playa.

I introduced My wife to Dr César Moreno, he is Dr Amenta’s partner.
She was having a 35 year old bridge replaced and it was supposed to take 4 hours so I headed off to hit a ATM machine to get Pesos and wander Playa before meeting her later at the Wah Wah bar.

I walked up to the north end of fifth and down the length of it looking around at the changes since last year.

Stopped at the tequila barrel for a beer and arrived at the Wah Wah at about noon, sat down had a beer and heard my wife’s voice from behind me say hay sailor need a date. She explained to me that one of the teeth that her old bridge was attached to was an old root cannel tooth and it had deteriorated beyond repair and she needed oral surgery and a post inserted and that would take more time than we had so we would need to come back again. I’m thinking why would anyone want to come back here? any excuse to come back to the Riviera Maya is a good one so we will be back sooner than planned and for two weeks at that. We Had lunch and spent the rest of the day wandering and looking in shops then headed back to the resort for dinner.




The goofy statue I watched then erecting last time I was in town



[IMG]http://i913.photobucket.com/albums/ac338/Harold_R/IMG_2106_zps8445b24b.jpg[/IMG




Some sand sculpture's Very interesting.

Tulum Ruins later
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Old 10-12-2013   #8 (permalink)
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Yes I have been waiting for a new trip report....continue and THANK YOU!!!!
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Old 10-12-2013   #9 (permalink)
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Yay!!! Love Trip Reports!! And how lovely that you get an unexpected return trip!! Bravo!!! J-e-a-l-o-u-s....
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Old 10-13-2013   #10 (permalink)
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Had the resorts buffet breakfast and had no plans but we decided it was a great day weather wise for a trip to the Tulum ruins. We are using taxi's this trip because my wife is having ankle problems and has to limit walking a bit. So! off to Tulum, it is one of the most beautiful places I have visited in Mexico.


WE caught one of the tractors for the short ride to the ticket booth paid our money and went inside.


My wife Amorah


The entry arches are so spectacular as you walk through them and out onto the beautiful well-maintained grounds. This was my wife’s first visit, I had been there before but I was just as blown away by it as I was the first time.



http://i913.photobucket.com/albums/ac338/Harold_R
/IMG_1881_zps0e3a264a.jpg






The ocean and beach are so breathtaking. The ocean was a bit rough and we thought we might get wet because of a storm near Cuba, but that never happened, it was just a bit cooler than normal and a beautiful day to be there.






Folks on the stairway down and the swimmers on the beach.




Amorah coming out of one of the arched entrances


[IMG][/IMG]
Some of the flowers adding to the beauty of Tulum


We were inside for about two hours and would have stayed longer, but my wife's ankle had reached it limit so we caught the tractor back and found these guys swinging around a pole. I'm sure I would get sick,not a pretty picture especially for the folks below.

The Cabbies don't get many fairs at this time of year and we found out driver waiting for us for our return trip to the resort, and I will post some pictures of it next time.
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Old 10-14-2013   #11 (permalink)
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Plodding along, writing this trip report Here is the next installment.
We finally quit running around and spent the afternoon and next day checking out the resort and started laying around by the pool and beach and drinking our share of the booze.

The beach is very long, looks like a mile or so with small sandy areas but mostly rocky. The only reason it is swim-able by the average person is because of the sand bag beached whale brake water.

There are some turtle nests

This is the nicest swimming area, it is the beach for the Coba area, you get there by taking the trams that connect the resorts.

The hose monster riding his water powered rocket pack. some guys could do it pretty good others just blasted out of the water and did a face plant, looked like fun I wish I was younger so I could show them what a quality face plant looks like.
After an hour or so by the beach we gave it up and went up by the pool because there is no beach service and it’s a long way from a bar.




Lots of pools! There everywhere.

The pools is are bit better if ya like to drink, there is a pool bar, but there is still no service around the pool, if you want something you have to go stand in line to get it unless you are at the swim up bar. It was always full and we only got drinks there when we needed to cool off.
It's the only swim up bar, at the resort and that's where the action is with too much BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! I don’t know how people do aerobics in 90 degree weather especially in the sun, but they had classes everyday and you could hear the drum beat all over the resort. The average age of guests was about 45 and folks were complaining the music was too loud; I just turned off my hearing aid.

My wife shooting a basket to win a t-shirt no it didn't go in.

Lots of really over weight folks, both men and women, and yes some of the women were wearing Bikinis, one in particular wearing a white string thing inspired the name of this report, but I didn't get her picture. I think the whole western world needs to go on a diet.

some dancing girls with the hottest person in Mexico.

How would you like to wear that on a 90 degree day.

I'm tired of trying to make sense so I'll be back at a later date
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Old 10-15-2013   #12 (permalink)
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I'm getting way too confused the way I'm posting pictures so forgive me for not making sense.
Back to the pool and and grounds. There 4 resorts as part of the Grand Bahia Principe complex. One is an all inclusive adult only resort and costs more than the others, and I think includes the privilege club that gives you a special beach that I think has drink service, but I don't know for sure because we were not allow to go there. You can buy a privilege club membership, but by time you do you could have spent the money to stay at Secrets or some other top notch resort. The others are areas are Coba, Akumal, and Tulum. Tulum is the more expensive area of the three, but I don't know why because it seams to be the same as the others. We ate at the Coba buffet lunch and breakfast several times as the service people were more friendly and fun and also spent time by one of the pools and swam at the Coba beach.




Our room was very nice and very clean and was a great place to cool off after a hot day in the sun


The view outside our small patio area also very well maintained.


New construction that was going on across the walkway from our room. Security had people posted watching the construction crew like a hawk. They only worked during the day and we were never there so it was no problem for us. The labor force in Mexico has changed, they now work fast with no standing around and were making great progress.


Riding one of the any trams moving all the people around the resort, you never had to wait long and they were kinda fun. We took several rides just to look at the resort, the place is huge.


Our favorite waiter at the Coba complex. We are tippers and got a bit of special attention because of it.


This is the Hacienda shopping area, They have a Mexican fiesta there on Wednesday nights, we thought it was included but they wanted $15 so we didn't go. All the entertainment was iffy at the resort and some was bad enough to get a chuckle.


The wife having Breakfast and looking cute.


Me looking like I drank too much yesterday.


The fountain alongside where we were sitting for breakfast.


This was another pool day. I have a minor form of skin cancer and need to stay out of the sun. I unbuttoned my shirt and laid there for two hours in the shade and discovered that I had gotten a shade burn. I thought shade was OK, but I guess not in Mexico. The bad part is I had to face my skin doctor the day after I got home to have a cancer removed from my solder and got a stay out of the sun lecture.


Stopped at the lounge for a drink


Our favorite waitress Carolina


And the beer cups that don't fit in a cozy

Tomorrow dinner at LA Buena Vida

Last edited by Harold-R; 10-15-2013 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 10-15-2013   #13 (permalink)
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Friday we hung around the resort and were getting bored so in the afternoon we called a cab and went to Half Moon Bay and were going to have dinner at La Buena Vida Having never been there.
The cab driver was very friendly and told us that we were his first fair of the day and he had started early in the morning. He waited for us even tho we told him we had now idea how long we would be. We steeped inside and knew we were gonna have a good time. I understand it is the oldest restaurant in Akumal.


The entrance


Not many people were there and we got the best seat in the place.


We had a few drinks and some Calamari and thoroughly enjoyed watching the ocean. Some local folks came in with there two large dogs and sat down next to us, something you just don't see at home.



Then a couple came in and put on a show. I don't know what the significance of there headdress and costumes but they danced and drummed for about a half an hour and passed a hat for tips. They were entertaining and we gave them $5 I didn't think that was much, but they seemed appreciative.


You got to be careful not to tip your chair back, you might end up on the beach with a bad headache.


And a Sol advertisement picture.


I climbed up there and took a picture but the palm trees block most of the view. there is a platform with a small table and you can have drinks and I suppose dinner up there, but I wasn't feeling too secure as it sways around in the breeze, it's about 15 feet in the air.


The view from the tower


The drink delivery system to the tower.


Birds in the beach


We sat and watched the sun go down and decided that we had killed our appetite with with the Calamari, chips and hot sauce, and as usual beware the green, but I always got to try it

So out to our waiting cab for the short ride to the hotel.
More later
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Old 10-16-2013   #14 (permalink)
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I enjoy your reports Harold, you have a great sense of humor!!
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Old 10-16-2013   #15 (permalink)
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Saturday Is dentist appointment day for Ma-Ma to pick up her temporary partial to fill the gap till we get back later to have her work finished. It took about twenty minuets and It was lunch time so we headed for La Vagabunda for lunch. Big mistake! I had the worst fish Taco's I have ever had. We have eaten there many times and it is usually good. Today the fish was cooked yesterday and cut in square chunks, and dry as hell, at least I didn't get sick. anyway we walked down fifth and ended up at Wah Wah again for a few drinks.


My only picture of the day, The ruins behind Wah Wah.
We then went home for dinner
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