Riviera Maya, Mexico | Hotel Review and Travel Tips

I haven’t seen a blog post on Riviera Maya in Mexico, only videos on YouTube, and after going on holiday there in June I thought I’d write one. If you speak to anyone that’s been to Mexico, they will tell you it is the most incredible place and honestly, it is. So many people had told us before we booked that we needed to go there, and I can see why. By the time our holiday rolled around, we felt the need to completely chill after having stressful times since our last holiday and this was the perfect holiday for that! We flew to Cancun on TUI’s B-787 Dreamliner, which made the 10-hour flight seem like a breeze.

Riviera Maya Tulum Beach Hut Riviera Maya Tulum Beach Palm Tree Riviera Maya Tulum Beach Couple Riviera Maya Coba Hammock

Riviera Maya and Weather

Riviera Maya is a stretch of coastline in Quintana Roo, on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. There are many all-inclusive resorts in Riviera Maya, we specifically stayed in Akumal which is a lovely area. There is so much to do in Mexico, you could easily fill three weeks if you wanted to stay for that long!

The weather was absolutely beautiful during our holiday, other than two short downpours which were very welcome. The weather varied between 22-33 degrees Celsius for the 10 days we were there. The thing about Mexico is that it does not cool down in the evening, so that’s something to bear in mind. Because of the tropical climate and being in a rainforest, there are mosquitos everywhere! I was only bitten once during a power cut when the aircon went off…but other than that I wore my mosquito spray and bands and was fine. The currency in Mexico is Mexican pesos, but US Dollars are used pretty much everywhere so I’d say to take either, whichever you prefer.

Riviera Maya Coba Lobby Riviera Maya Coba Poolside Riviera Maya Hacienda Entertainment

The Hotel – Grand Bahia Principe Coba

We stayed for 10 nights at the Grand Bahia Principe Coba resort on an all-inclusive basis. On arrival, we were given an alcoholic drink including tequila which was very welcome after our long flight and transfer from the airport. Our bags were then collected and brought along on a lobby train to our villa. The lobby trains were so handy and would transport you between the different hotel lobbies and the Hacienda.

The hotel room we stayed in was very spacious and there was plenty of storage to put our clothes and different items in. The safe was also included with the room, which was a bonus. There was no free wifi in the rooms, so we had the TV on constantly during our time in the room as the World Cup was on, and there were many channels to choose from, from around the world. There was a coffee machine in the room which we didn’t use, but there was also a mini bar which is free to use and gets restocked daily with water, beer and soft drinks.

The hotel has entertainment every evening, in the theatre and outside the lobby if the weather is fine. You could also visit Grand Bahia Principe Tulum for their entertainment or we went to the Hacienda most nights for their entertainment. There are boards dotted around the hotel telling you what the entertainment is at the theatre, outside the lobby and Hacienda every night.

There are two large pools, two small jacuzzi pools and a children’s pool at the hotel. We found it quite difficult to get sunbeds most days, especially if we wanted ones in the shade. This wasn’t too much bother as we wanted to be in the pool the majority of the time anyway. Both large pools had a swim up bar on the one side, which was incredible as you could relax in the pool with your drink. Beach and pool towels are provided at the hotel, you are given a card each at check-in and you can exchange them as much as you like whilst the kiosk is open.

There is a cocktail of the day every day. My favourites were the Blue Mojito, Regular Mojito and the Strawberry Daquiri. We also drank lots of Sex on the Beach and Dos Equis beer whilst we were there.

Riviera Maya Coba RoomRiviera Maya Coba Poolside Evening Riviera Maya Coba Poolside Tree

Hotel Food

There are 8 places to eat in Coba, 6 of those being à la carte restaurants, there were also 3 à la carte restaurants you could book into at Tulum. During our stay, we didn’t visit any of the à la carte restaurants, I think it definitely would’ve been too hot to sit down for a three-course meal. We ate at the hotel every day, apart from for lunch at Xcaret (we’ll get onto that later).

We ate breakfast and dinner in the Kukulcan restaurant, which is the buffet restaurant at Coba. Kukulcan serves breakfast between 7-10am, and this was my favourite meal of the day. There was so much to choose from, such as your traditional English breakfast foods, American breakfast foods and continental breakfast foods also. My go-to breakfast was hash browns, waffles, pancakes and bacon, with a glass of orange juice. Lunch is served between 12-3pm and Dinner is served between 6-10pm, we didn’t really ever eat lunch in this restaurant but I would presume that the options would be similar to dinner. For dinner, there was a vast selection of food from a variety of different cultures, including chips, pasta, southern fried chicken, bread, burgers, hot dogs and fish dishes. I really enjoyed the dessert on offer in this restaurant, which included a chocolate fountain! The food quality was very good for a buffet restaurant, and your drinks order is taken at the table and brought over to you, so there is still that element of service.

By each pool, there is a small buffet restaurant which is where we ate our lunch most days. One of the pool restaurants is open 24 hours a day, which was great when we got back to the hotel in the early hours and I wanted some chips. In the pool restaurants, the food on offer included chips, chicken nuggets, pizza and self-serve soft drinks.

Riviera Maya Coco Bongos Outside Riviera Maya Xcaret Sea Trek

Excursions (TUI)

We went on 2 out of 15 excursions TUI had to offer in Riviera Maya, which were the trip to Coco Bongos Riviera Maya and Xcaret, a natural waterpark. These two excursions run on a daily basis, but it is advisable that you book Coco Bongos as soon as you arrive, as it does get full very quickly. They also had trips to Mayan ruins, boat trips, snorkelling, swimming with dolphins and jungle adventures.

Coco Bongos in Riviera Maya was an incredible experience. You are picked up by a coach at approximately 9pm – make sure you get on this coach as we were scammed by a taxi – thankfully TUI gave us our money back even though it wasn’t their fault. This is the best night out I’ve ever been on, it is like a cross between London’s West End and the most amazing nightclub you’ve ever been to. We paid for the gold package, which was $130 per person. The gold package meant we had stools to sit on and waiter service of unlimited drinks all night. They even give you a bottle of water not long before the club closes, which is a sensible thing that we’d never think to do here in England.

Xcaret is one of the five X-Parks, which is a natural water park. This cost us $160 each. It was an amazing experience, but I honestly do not think it was worth the money we paid just to enter the park. If you wanted to do any of the additional experiences, of which there were 17 of, you had to pay extra. We only did the Sea Trek, as that itself was around $50 each, which is where you walk on the bottom of the seabed and explore the sea-life around you. It was a great experience which my boyfriend and I loved. You could also pay approximately $50 each for a photo pass, but we had the GoPro with us so we weren’t too bothered. Lunch was included at a buffet restaurant with our ticket. We ate at Restaurant La Laguna and honestly the food was awful, but we enjoyed stopping for a refreshing drink.

Riviera Maya Xcaret RiverRiviera Maya Coba Pool

If you enjoyed this travel post, check out last year’s travel post from Cape Verde.


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