Photographic Adventures in Paradise
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This past weekend we drove down to Tulum on the Rivera Maya to stay from Friday though Sunday at an all inclusive resort for a much needed weekend getaway.
The Gran Bahia Principe Tulum is an older all inclusive resort on the beach near Tulum just past Akumal. It is very well maintained and the gardens and pathways are beautiful. The accommodations are in a multitude of 3 story buildings that each contain 18 rooms, at 6 per floor. Each room has a bath, and bed as well as a small refrigerated mini bar and balcony. They were clean and everything worked except the telephone on the day we checked out. The beds were comfortable and we had plenty of hot water and clean towels. The TV had some channels in English with Spanish subtitles. The hotel provides chauffeured golf carts and shuttles for those that don’t like to walk. The resort is spread out and actually blends into 2 others that they own which are adjacent to one another. They have 2 huge pools one of which has a great swim up bar. The beach is good and they have “sand whales” just offshore to prevent erosion. The beautiful turquoise colored water that this area is known for was warm and calm. We took advantage of the 1 hour per day snorkel and experienced the best snorkeling off of a beach ever. We did have to swim past the buoy line to get to the reef. The beach police whistled us back in-bounds after about half an hour. Next we walked over to the larger of the 2 pools and were surprised that they had freshly cut coconuts with a drink inside of it that was a mixture of coconut juice and rum………..very tasty and appreciated after our snorkel. We made some friends at the swim up bar and put away about 7-8 Mojitos. The bartender was great, funny and attentive to our call for alcohol. Later that night after our buffet dinner we walked over to the auditorium and watched a live Michael Jackson review, that was entertaining. We had a good time for very little coin.
The entrance-way off highway 307
The lobby check-in desk
Spectacular ceiling in lobby
The public relations office for making reservations and arranging trips. Unfortunately the young women working here is very arrogant and testy.
The Lobby Store, a place where the employee was grumpy and admonished us for not speaking better Spanish after stealing $100 pesos from my wife. My wife bought 1 pack of cigarettes and gave her a $200 peso note which she rang up as $100 and gave her change from that amount. So that pack of cigarettes cost my wife over $12 USD instead of $2.60. The next night when we stopped at this same store to browse and this same clerk yelled across the store to us……”HEY MISTER, CLOSED”. Rude and unacceptable behavior for a arrogant, inconsiderate, thief.
The entrance walkway to their gourmet restaurant “Don Pablo”. We had a very good rack of lamb dinner and the service was very good. The portions were extremely small, a puree of sweet potato included with the lamb amounted to about a teaspoon full, the soup amounted to one half of a cup served in a fancy bowl.
Beautiful flower arrangement on a great old table
Closeup of flower arrangement
Our building marker
Our doorway. A 3rd floor walkup, corner apartment, with old fashioned minimal keyed door handle locks in the door. No dead bolts or slider locks on the inside. A safe was in the closet but you had pay an extra $50 pesos at the check in desk to make it useable. Nothing can plug into the oddly shaped old fashioned wall outlets so you have to buy ($26 pesos) an adapter from that surly women in the Lobby Store. Security of the room is waaaaay behind the times. The most minimal I’ve ever seen anywhere I’ve ever stayed. Access to the facility is well controlled at the gate. But anyone could walk off the beach into the complex and have a field day of easy break- in’s. We did not have any security incidents but the potential was there.
This facility is so large they hand out a map so you can find your way around. This signpost by the large pool was very helpful.
Some views of the gardens and pathways
The swim-up bar
The happy couple
The buffet restaurant
One of the two dinning rooms off of the buffet room
Time to get on the path back home to Cancun
Some notes: My wife got food poisoning the first night 4 hours after dinner at the buffet. She had salmon and mussels. But…………..she is somewhat sensitive to shell fish mostly lobster which she can’t touch, so this was a bit surprising. She didn’t enjoy making a previously swallowed deposit to the porcelain Buddha. I also got a queasy stomach and mild diarrhea the second night and I never consumed any fish.
We thought the room was fine. It was quiet and clean. The grounds were perfect. The pools clean but not heated. The beach was very nice and there were plenty of loungers and palapas for shade. The beach where you can snorkel had a lot of smooth rocks at the shore that made it really uncomfortable to get in and especially out of the water. Once in it if you disobeyed the rules and went beyond the buoys the underwater life was great.
The occupancy was very light. When we made our reservations we asked for accommodations at the Akumal facility next door and we were told there was no availability. When we checked in we tried to upgrade to the Golden Club and again we were told there was no availability. When we saw how few guests there were, we couldn’t understand why there was “no availability”?
The food was good enough. We don’t have high expectations at A.I.’s so we weren’t disappointed. The drinks were typically weak and could be strenghtend with a tip which is typical anywhere. The majority of the staff were polite courteous, and hard working. The check in and out process was quick and efficient. We tipped everyone that provided a service to us. We noticed that the tips were very much appreciated perhaps because we seemed to be the only guests doing so. We would return because the good far outweighed the not so good. We had perfect weather and each others loving company, and it doesn’t get much better than that.
We did a little weekend getaway starting last Friday through Sunday. We stayed at the Bahia Principe Tulum, but stopped in Akumal to check it out on the way back to Cancun. We settled at this wonderful little rustic palapa bar right on the beach in the bay. As we enjoyed our ice cold cerveza’s we watched the snorkelers and scuba divers in the bay having a great time. It was a bit cloudy but the day was better than the photo’s indicate.
This is the community entrance to Akumal
Typical Akumal beachfront condo (Thanks Mapchick)………….La Bahia (The Harbor)
The beautiful Akumal bay
Don’t run over our crustacean friends
Young women enjoying the warm Caribbean water
Inside of the palapa beach bar on Akumal
View of the bay from my bar stool
Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery Thanksgiving Feast Menu
The Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery Dining Palapa
Carved wooden gorilla chair
Other side of the Gorilla chair
Tables made from tree stumps and trunks
If your ever in the Rivera Maya area don’t miss stopping and checking out Akumal. It’ s a very small unspoiled community the is exactly what you envision a place like this would be in Mexico