Hotel Review: Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Kaan Don Pablo Collection. Akumal, Mexico.

December 11, 2013 - by Ghoulio

I travel often, and I enjoy sharing my experience online, in blogs and traveling website, 
I find this community of VMY, a wonderful place to write about it as well, so here we go!

*Long review, grab a drink : )

Arrived at Cancun airport with another wonderful trip with Air Transat, no problems at the airport, no problem locating our transport and after an hour or so drive we were at the hotel. We stayed at Sian Kan from November 1st until the 9th, 2013.

Now there are allot of repetitive information that you can read at all the previous reviews, I will touch on the common section lightly as I am sure you already made  quite good idea, and jump at the end to what I might think useful for you.

Check in:
Greetings at the helpdesk was great, with their traditional margarita and smiles. I Emailed 10 days prior to our arrival with our alacart reservation and room preferences, to find out at the desk that the Email was ignored, the reception staff tried his best to convince me that I did the mistake of Emailing the wrong address, and because I am a repetitive guest to Bahia, I know how to connect to their free Wifi, it took me 10 min, to connect via my phone, search for the Email, and showed it to the gentleman, which he verified each and every letter of it, then apologized for the unintentional mistake, right away he booked us our room, and showed us the client service which is directly by the reception, and they honored our Alacarte reservation list, which helped to make our stay enjoyable, a special thanks to George from Reception, we appreciated your help!

The usual standard when it comes to Bahia, which is a good room, TV, mini fridge, safe which is included in the price for Sian kan, and a big umbrella that became really handy during our stay, and a small seating area, was enough for us. The toilet was decent and clean, with allot of toiletry that added a cozy touch to the room.  Room was stacked daily, we used to leave couple of dollars a day, and the room was cleaned, stacked, and they even arranged our bags and small items in the room that we left behind if we had to leave in a hurry, can’t beat such a service, one day the room was not cleaned, and we really needed towels and water, so I called it in, right away they sent an inspector, he called in for the room to be cleaned and fridge to be refilled, talking about quality, way to go!

The Bahia Principe compound contains 4 resorts, the luxury parts that is Sian Kan ‘’ Adults only ‘’. The entire compound is wonderful, landscapes are manicured, spotless clean, and by spotless I mean, it might rain twice a day, still they would wash the entire compound with jets and detergents!!

Pool and Beach:
The atmosphere is very relaxed and quiet around the pools during the day, which we liked but if you like lots of fun and games then Coba is the place to be, the animation team there are the best and will keep you entertained all day and its only a 5 min tram ride away. Now to Sian Kan, there is a quite pool by the Alux Restaurant, which was too quite for us, we called it the hush hush pool : ) and there is no waiter service there or a bar, but the bar is 5 min walk from there, this place we avoided it for the entire trip, and it would be the perfect place if you want to read a book, relax, with no disturbance.
A small Jacuzzi pool, we didn’t try it, and the main pool, which wasn’t that big, with some music playing, and a bar that serves you very well, and occasional waiter taking a walk see if you need anything. We pretty much most of the time.

Beach: it is simply wonderful, the water is so clear and the atmosphere is super great, with a bar service to the Sian Kan section with prime alcohol, waiter service, we never went dry, and before our drinks would finish, the waiter would have passed by us 2 or 3 times asking us if we would like to have any thing else! You can’t beat that. The wave breakers was actually super fun, we used to clime it and jump from it, it was a wonderful game that we played every time we went to the beach, and in no way the wave breaker ruined the serenity of the landscapes, you can either grab your towels from the hotel it self, or at the beach, and there is places over there where you can leave your used towels, we never had a problem with towels. Special thanks to Adriana from the waiters team at the beach, you made our stay wonderful.

I highly recommend you do. I don’t expect you to tip your life savings away but don’t be cheap. Remember you paid around $2000 to $2500 for one week. I think you can afford at the very least $100.00 more in tips for the week. Just because you paid for an all inclusive doesn’t mean that the staff doesn’t deserve a dollar or two for amazing service. These people work extremely hard, 14 hour days over 11 days straight and only get 6 days off a month to see their families. Before going, I made sure to make plenty of singles to last me the week, yet I ran out of singles as much as I was tipping, the service was that good.

Some reviewers complained about the language barrier. I personally did not notice as I am rational enough to try and learn from and respect the culture I’m visiting. It really doesn’t take much to learn some basic words in Spanish and try to expand your language pallet. I made a conscious effort to speak to everyone in Spanish and the staff appreciated it. For those who are pulling a sweat right about now don’t worry, most do speak English and you can get by. Just learn how to salute with a smile, and you will be amazed!

Bars and Shows:
All Sian Kan guests are served prime Alcohol, if you need a special brand, simply ask for it, I am a vodka drinker, and I didn’t run out of choices over there. They prepare allot of nice cocktails and juices, keep experimenting till you find something you like, and I am sure you will have hard time picking as most of the drinks are simply wonderful. The Sian Kan lobby bar was our hangout place, simply wonderful drinks, mini shows almost every day. The pool bar was also awesome. At the buffet, you can ask for your drink, and they would have it brought to you from the lobby bar in no time. Finally you have the club bar, which is at the same level with the rest of the resort.
We used to go most of the nights to the Hacienda square for entertainments, live music and dancing in the street with the entertainment staff great atmosphere but be warned the do stop serving drinks at 11.50PM but there's the nightclub or your own 24hour bar back at the hotel if you want anymore drinks.

Nighclub: It is free, the design inside is not bad at all, the bar serves prime alcohol, and if you tip, ohh boy!! The music was hit or miss, the first day we went there we were in for a wonderful experience, the music was wonderful with the DJ mixing LIVE, not just a play list playing, the club was packed till it was closed, they had to kick us out ; ) clean toilets in there as well, and the crowed were very respectful, and simply having fun, with the occasional drunk girls or boys, but they were no inconvenience by any means. Second time the Dj was different, and the music was so dead that we left after 20 min, but all over all, I would really recommend giving this place a chance. 

Ignore any bad review about the buffet, the food selection is too much that I would be wasting allot of time talking about it, but rest assured it is top quality ‘’ For this type of resorts ‘’, and you will have a problem selecting your food from the varieties and the good varieties of dishes they have. I am honestly not sure how can any one complain about it? Unless they are used to 5K plus resorts!
Staff running right and left to accommodate you to their best, bringing your cocktails from the lobby bar or from the buffet bar, service was wonderful and food is top notch! Special thanks for Aurora the smiley omelet lady, who always made our breakfast special with her smile, and never lost her smile thought I saw her dealing with some unpleasant guests!

I will try to make this as short as possible, we reserved 5 alacart based on the reviews I’ve read.
Alux, Mikado, Le Gourmet, Don Pablo and Arelquin, all were good, we had super time with our friends, service is impeccable, if you don’t like a dish they change it to another of your licking, we simply had wonderful time. Please pay attention to the dress code, as some restaurants enforce semi formal dress code, they let you know in your reservation ticket. We were surprised to see some guest refusing to comply and they get mad when they are not allowed into the restaurant. We never had a problem with the dress code as we always dressed to impress at night ; )

Came frequently and was an enjoyable experience. Don’t be overwhelmed, the system is very simply, you always take it from the lobby, each trolly arrives has a big sign on its top saying where it was going. It is as simply as that, if you are in doubt, ask any trolli driver and they will be more than happy to help. 

The free Internet worked just fine for us, it covers the lobby, pools and worked in the rooms as well. I used to Skype home, and it always worked fine with me, nothing fancy, but it got the job done. Kindly note if you require POP3 Email client service or VPN, then you will have to purchase an Internet package, which I find it pricy for $50 per week.

Now time for some random thoughts and what I didn’t like about this resort:

1- I knew from the beginning the Sian Kan is located far away from the beach, and it is a 10 min trolly drive to the beach, and my thoughts were, not a big deal! But it actually ended up to be a big deal, and here is how: We ended up with 5 rainy days out of our 8 days stay, now if the beach is a walking distance from our room, I would’ve went to the beach whenever it is not rainy, and get back to our room if it started raining. Our room was 10 min walking away from the lobby, wait for up to 5 min for the trolli, then another 10 min drive to the beach. Whenever we saw heavy clouds we canceled going to the beach, as we knew for sure it would be raining by the time we arrive there. We ended up going to the beach 3 times only through our stay, and it actually rained on us two days out of 3 we spent there, while weather by no mean the resort’s fault, the 25 min walking and ride was no fun under the rain, and caused us to skip on the beach many times, which was a real disappointment.

2- The sea is rocky, while it is not sharp rocks, it was a real inconvenience to us, and we wish we had brought our beach shoes. So if you have sensitive feet, bring a sea shoe, you will use it.

3- Our room was a garden view ground floor, and we simply loved it and enjoyed staying at the seating area in the garden. We didn’t see any mosquitos. We were prepared and brought with us insect repellent for our bodies, room and bed spray for bugs, and after bites. We were blessed to do that, though we had the insect repellents applied whenever we went out, still we got bitten allot. We sprayed the room daily the much that nothing alive can live in it, still we had bed bugs almost daily, thought the sheets were changed daily. Nothing to fault the resort, just the nature of the climate over there and the fact that the resort is built on a small jungle.

4- Now this is an adult only, we knew that, we had a very bad experience with the lady taking the room above us. The second day we were at our garden seating area and playing some music from my IPhone, it was 6PM for God’s sake! And the lady above us opened her balcony and was shouting at me: Senrio bla bla bla la musica bla bla bla por favor!!!! I had two options, either to be rude and tell her buzz off, or to play nice! I played it nice and apologized and turned the music off. Again, it was in our room garden, 6PM, Iphone music not a sound system! The next day at 7PM my wife and I were at the garden again having a drink and relaxing before our Alacart reservation, when the lady above us said few loud words and went inside her room and slammed the door, we were not playing any music, we were just talking and in a very moderate voice as any one would talk to another person when they are alone in a quite environment. I honestly at that point I couldn’t care less, we were in an Adults only section and not in a no talking zone or a prison. Again not faulting the resort, but you might experience something like this in an Adult only.

5- Something I really liked about his resort is having designated smoking areas, especially at the lobby. It actually benefited me as a smoker, to have the freedom of smoking guilt free without bothering any one around me, if you are in a smoking section, well .. you are in a smoking section. If you are in a none smoking section, then you enjoy smoke free air, kudos to Bahia!

6- I hated the idea that the main Sian Kan pool had a no pool swimup bar. While the bar was just beside it, I really enjoy swimup bar where you set and enjoy talking to people and have your drinks served.

7- Always check the rainy season before coming to this hotel, I never thought rain would ruin our stay, but it actually did, we had only one single day without a drop of rain, and 7 rainy days with 5 of them with heavy rains almost none stop. We couldn’t do any excursions due to the rainy season.

8- We wanted to try the Spa service and reserve a massage session for my wife and I, I was really surprised by the rate! It was $150 per 50 min per person!! I was like .. seriously!! I thanked them and made my departure and they asked me why I am not taking the service. I told them while I am not cheap by any mean, but for $300 in north America or specifically at my home town Montreal, Canada, I can get a day pass to a 5 stars spa, and enjoy all the facility of the spa, from heated pools in the snow, steam rooms, relaxation rooms, sauna and Jacuzzi, with a couple message for 60 minute, followed by a fancy romantic dinner with wine, for less than that! I gave my wife the choice and she also shared my opinion, it was really too much. This is something really for Bahia management to work on, if you want to have clients at your spa, you need to be reasonable, and price your service based on Mexico prices, and what you are offering! It is up to you.

9- We tried allot of wine at Sian Kan it was very bad, so acidic that you can’t even finish couple of sips, we tried purchasing a bottle for $49 and it was as worst. I think Bahia need to work on that!

Now that all said, we really liked this resort! If you have no problems with the points mentioned above, then you are in for a wonderful stay. For us, I don’t think we will ever again visit any adults only resort, not any time soon for sure, as we prefer more active atmosphere, and this place was simply not for us, as we are mid thirties.

A special mention to Nick and Sandy from Montreal, we were so happy to have met you there, and hope to meet you in future trips!

Best of luck all!

Category :   Travel
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