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“Amazing hotel, amazing staff, amazing time!!!”

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Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Oakville, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Amazing hotel, amazing staff, amazing time!!!”
Reviewed 6 April 2014

This was our fourth trip to Jamaica, the first being to Sandals Beaches resort in Negril, the second to Couples Tower Isle Ocho Rios and the third to Braco Trelawny (last minute deal). I would rate the hotel, cleanliness, friendliness, food and the room accomodations on par to both Beaches and Couples. The staff were so friendly, and went out of their way to smile, and make you smile!! I just felt comfortable from the moment I arrived. The Don Pablo section is very nice, makes it a little quieter around the pool area. I agree with the other reviews about the reserving of the cabanas and chairs though. There should be some sort of policy, many cabanas had towels on them throughout the day with no one there??

The staff at the Don Pablo pool bar were awesome, the evening entertainment at the pool bar area was awesome and fun, and the disco and karaoke were a blast, thanks to the great people that we met while there!!!

We had absolutely no problem with air conditioning in our room, or in any of the restaurants, and we were there during 38c weather, March 26-30th.

My only issue that I had with this resort was the shuttle service to the hotel. We arrived at the airport at 12:45pm, and yet did not arrive at the hotel until 4pm, due to sitting at the airport for over an hour on the shuttle waiting for it to be full?? Then when we arrived at the hotel we were taken to a room for check in, by this time many were tired, hot and hungry, so we asked if we could just get our key without having the "introduction" to the hotel. I think that when paying the extra for the "Don Pablo" section, it would be a great idea to offer a separate shuttle, or even be given the option to upgrade to a private transfer for a nominal fee?? Then the check in needs to be expedited - a nice idea would be to have the check in completed on the hour long transfer to the hotel!!

We have never travelled to the same resort twice, but I would actually consider returning to this hotel - would do a private airport transfer though, unless they sort out the shuttle issue!!

I hope to "Soon come back"!!!

Room Tip: Building 24 faces the garden, but is apparently newer. When booking request a king room, or it seem...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Tabatha M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 7 April 2014
Dear guest,

We are very proud to learn that you experience with our Luxury Runaway Bay Bahia Principe Don Pablo Collection in Jamaica has been one of the best vacations and you enjoyed yours stay with your family and friends.

Thank you so much again for choosing Bahia Principe as your holiday Resort and we hope to see you again in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Helena Gomez
Luxury Runaway Bay Bahia Principe Don Pablo Collection
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Eastern Passage, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2014

We have traveled to many resorts in Dominican, Cuba and Mexico and just returned from Luxury Bahia Principe on the 4th of April 2014. This resort was better than most others we stayed but did fall short for a 5 star. We were very well received and we found the staff very accommodating. We were first given a room with two smaller beds just like most of the people we spoke to on the DP side. The following day we were moved to the older part, building 23, in a smaller room with a king bed but a better view. The air conditioning was not working well at all in this room. We tried to cope for two days but decided to report the problem and it was fixed that day. We also reported a broken toilet seat a couple of times which did not get fixed during our stay. We found that the air conditioning was terrible in most al la carte restaurants and in all the common rooms. It was 31 degrees C outside with the humidex moving the temperature up to 41 so sometimes a relief from the heat would have been nice. One evening we went to the piano bar beside the main lobby for a drink and it was considerably hotter in there than outside. We found the food at this resort better than all the others and the DP staff were very friendly. The DP pool was nice and the drinks were steady. We did notice an older body building couple that took people's cabanas two days in a row until security stopped them. I think that should have been handled differently.
I snorkled every day all around the wedding gazebo and saw many colorful fish. I also saw a 3 foot eel, 2 foot barracuda, many squid... I am an early riser so I took my fishing rod and fished the same area. Get some raw shrimp or squid from the kitchen and fishing after dark is key. The beach around the wedding gazebo is very pebbly and difficult to walk on with bare feet. This is the closer beach. The main beach is a good walk away but quite nice. There is a corded off DP section but bar service is poor because the nearest bar is used by everyone.
Most excursions offered were so similar to other vacations that we decided to only go out one day. We hired a cab recommended by "shorty". His name was Kevin and it turned out to be a wonderful day. Just write down all the sites you want to do then let Kevin know. He will try to fit everything in for you and it works out to be a lot cheaper than the package deals the resort offers you. It is also much more comfortable and there is no fear about leaving your stuff in the cab while climbing the falls for example.
Overall we had a wonderful time and loved Jamaica. We will definitely visit this beautiful island again but would probably not stay at this resort. The biggest draw back for us was the lack of air conditioning everywhere.

Room Tip: We were in both buildings offered to DP guests. Building 23 has a better view but the rooms are smal...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Rick A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 6 April 2014
Dear guest,

We are very happy to learn that you had a wonderfull time and we would like also to express our most sincere apologies for any inconvenience you could experience during your stay. Please give to us an opportunity to host you again in your next visit to this little bit of paradise, here in Jamaica.

Yours sincerely,

Helena Gomez
Luxury Runaway Bay Bahia Principe Don Pablo Collection
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 April 2014

This is our first time at this resort but we have stayed at both the Sandals Royal Plantation and the Secrets in Montego Bay. Both of these resorts are 5 star. The Grand Bahia hotel is huge but has a lot of great amenities to go along with its size. My wife and I enjoy the smaller resorts but since the Don Pablo section is at the East side of the building and has it's own pool area it did feel quaint. Our room was in building 23 on the second floor at the end of the building. This spot was perfect. The only issues we had at this resort was the lack of proper air conditioning both in the room as well as the restaurants. I know Jamaica is really hot (42 degrees with the humidity) but this is no excuse for poor HVAC services. In the room this made everything damp and it was at times a bit hard to get to sleep. We also found that the housekeeping services especially in the evening were inconsistent and the amenities, ie towels were not very good for a high end resort. Anyway that aside we enjoyed the beach and pool area as well as the Food, which always seems better in Jamaica than Cuba, Mexico or the Dominican, which we have been to on many trips.

If I have to share any complaints it would be people hogging the pool chairs. I thought I would be crafty one morning and headed out at 7 am to discover every chair had a towel on it. One suggestion to the management is to do like Sandals and have a 30 minute time limit on reserving these loungers. If you are not sitting in your chair for over 30 minutes guess what, you lose it .I know that people put their towels on the chairs in the morning and then head to the beach and probably hog the chairs down there and then head back up to the pool area after lunch.

I found all of the staff very nice and especially in the Palmyra and the Picasso which are Don Pablo guests only. Both Damion and Alex always had a big friendly manner about them. I would also like to give Kudos to the servers at the Don Pablo beach bar.

Room Tip: These people don't make a lot of money and a tip is appreciated and really goes a long way. Don...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 6 April 2014
Dear guest,

We sincerly appreciate your suggestions that have been already addressed to our Management. Thank you for your recommendations to assist in our effort to improve daily.

Looking forward to hosting you in the near future.

Yours faithfully,
Helena Gomez
Luxury Runaway Bay Bahia Principe Don Pablo Collection
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 April 2014

My husband and I enjoyed this resort very much, the rooms are clean and staff was amazing!
We enjoyed everything about this place, sure there where a couple of hiccup's but it was dealt with quickly. Because I work for a major airline we have stayed in many resorts and hotels around the world, if you are looking for perfect then don't travel because you will always run into a problem even in a 5 1/2 star you can have issues. The food is great, the people work hard and treat you like gold and they go out of the way for you, what more could you ask for!
I highly recommend this resort, We are going back in November!!!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Carmen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 4 April 2014
Dearn guest,

We are very proud to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us.

Certainly we really appreciate your gesture to take your time to send your review trough Trip Advisor and in the name of all our staff members from Grand Bahia Principe we would like to thank you your kind comments and of course, we will be always at your disposal.

Yours faithfully,

Helena Gomez
Luxury Runaway Bay Bahia Principe Don Pablo Collection
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kingston, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

I am really surprised at the amount of positive reviews about this resort. They promised us a bunch of things like private check in and didn't receive it. It is far from everything so you are basically stuck at the resort. The buffet times need to be adjust breakfast ends at 10:30 then lunch begins at 1-3 and then nothing until 7pm (the adults only buffet).
We were given two double beds however, we are a couple
Watch for the girls that want to invite you to a celebration....they try a hard sell to buy into the privilege club.
People put their towels out at 5:30am and reserve the cabanas. So if you are honest and show up at 10 forget it you won't get shade.
I would never go back and if you would like more info email me

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Wendy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 3 April 2014
Dear guest,

We are very sorry to know that our exclusive services of our Luxury Hoteldoes not suit your needs despite different options always offer our guests to make their stay the best of their memories.

We regret not having lived up to your expectations and hope to see you back on your next visit to Jamaica.

Yours respectfully,


Helena Gomez
Luxury Runaway Bay Bahia Principe Don Pablo Collection
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancaster, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon on Sunday 3/30 after spending a week in the Don Pablo Collection at the Gran Bahia Jamaica. From the minute we arrived at the resort we were treated with the utmost kindness. We dealt primarily with Cordell from the Don Pablo and she is phenomenal!! We read reviews from other people and found that most often the negative reviews were more than likely written by some of the rude guests. Bottom line: TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT AND KINDNESS AND THEY WILL TREAT YOU IN THE SAME MANNER!! There was not one aspect of this trip that I would have changed. When we arrived there was not a room with a king bed available for us so we took a room with two doubles instead, but in less than 24 hours of our arrival Cordell got us a room with a king bed and an amazing view. The staff at Bahia really go out of their way for their guests. The food is delicious and the staff in the restaurants is wonderful. I can definitely say that we will be returning to Jamaica and staying at Bahia in the future. Thank you to Cordell, Sasha in the Palmyra buffet, Johovan in the Picasso, and to all of the staff at the Gran Bahia Principe for making this such a wonderful and memorable experience for us!!

Room Tip: A few extra dollars to upgrade to the Don Pablo Collection makes a big difference. We had a room on...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Valerie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 3 April 2014
Dear Guest,,

It is a great pleasure for us to learn that you have fully enjoyed your stay at our Resort and you appreciated the professionalism of our coworker Mrs. Cordell, ,Sasha in the Palmyra buffet, Johovan in the Picasso . We are aware that it is only because of them we are able to achieve our goal- the continuous improvement of our services. We are very proud to have received your excellent comments regarding our employees.

In the name of our General Manager and staff , we would like to thank you for vacationing with us at our Luxury Runaway Bay Bahia Principe Don Pablo Collection and we hope to see you very soon in our property.

Yours respectfully,


Helena Gomez
Luxury Runaway Bay Bahia Principe Don Pablo Collection
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2014

We stayed 4 nights at this resort. It was our first time travelling as just the 2 of our without the kids, as we decided to upgrade.

The bellboy (Kenton) was amazing! All the girls at the Don Pablo check in area were great. Super friendly and you get a nice glass of champagne at check in. We had a set of double beds but were upgraded the next night without issue. The rooms were very clean and this side of the resort smelled amazing! I found the regular side smelled a bit like the tropical smell you get....not quite musty, but just 'that smell'. The Don Pablo side was slightly sweet. My husband and I 'Mmmmmm'ed' every time we entered the lobby. It's like sweet flowers and lemon pledge, LOL! They ladies kept everything spotless.

The beaches were great. You will never see someone that is not Don Pablo on the Don Pablo side! They are really strict with it, which is nice because you did pay for it. If you are looking for a true childless vacation, the beach spot is just in the middle of the regular beach, roped off. So there are children right beside you. I smiled, watching them play while (almost) missing my own (HAHA) but when one is screaming in the water, it's a bit of a mellow harsher. I expected the beach to be a bit more private, so this is just a little heads up for those wanting a true childless vacation.

The food was AMAZING. The buffet, YUM! The Don Pablo restaurant, amazing!! The Japanese was good too, but it's a long show. We had a late reservation (they pre-book them all for you and we hadn't gotten around to making it a bit earlier). By the time we actually ate food, it was probably 9:30 and the whole table was starving! So be prepared for that. It was really great though!

I don't know why people are complaining about the staff. We thought they were all really friendly. We met a few amazing people and had some great laughs! I think you get what you give.

Our flight was crap; delayed a really long time (2 days, in the airport). Buy tickets to the Mobay Lounge at the airport. SO WORTH IT! You get to skip the long security line and go through a short one and get snacks/drinks/a shower at the lounge downstairs. Ask for C. Taylor, he's amazing!

I would totally go here again! It would be nice to see floaty mats in the pool and to not be harassed by the Priveledge club people daily, but we spent most of the time at the beach anyways.

Room Tip: The resort is big but any room is great.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank QTsmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection, responded to this review, 3 April 2014
Dear guest,

We are very proud to learn that you experience with grand Bahia here in Jamaica has been one of the best vacations and you enjoyed yours stay with your family and friends.
Of course we would like to thank you also for your kind suggestions and recommendations regarding our performance that can help us to be better and reach our main goal, our guest’s satisfaction.

Thank you so much again for choosing Bahia Principe as your holiday Resort and we hope to see you again in the near future.

Yours sincerely,


Helena Gomez
Luxury Runaway Bay Bahia Principe Don Pablo Collection
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection

Property: Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection
Address: Salt Coopers, Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Runaway Bay
#3 Family Hotel in Runaway Bay
#4 Luxury Hotel in Runaway Bay
#4 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection 4.5*
Number of rooms: 525
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Facilities and services 3 lake-style pools 3 Jacuzzis Large sun terrace with gardens, sun umbrellas and loungers Pool and beach towel service BAHIA SPA (20% discount on some treatments) Sports facilities: gym, 2 tennis courts, volleyball court, football pitch Water activity centre Motorised sports (additional charge) Entertainment amphitheatre Wedding gazebo WiFi access in the lobby (free) and in rooms (additional charge) 2 main restaurants 5 speciality restaurants 5 Bars 1 Snack bar Exclusive terrace bar serving Premium drinks Private check-in/out Late check-out subject to availability 18 hole golf course. Pueblo Principe: stores, live music, shows, bars and disco. Rooms 70 Deluxe Junior Suites Room facilities: Four poster king size bed or 2 full size beds Pillowtop mattresses Air conditioning Ceiling fan Direct phone line (additional charge for external calls) Sitting are with sofa Balcony or terrace with sea view Fully-equipped bathroom with separate shower, hydromassage bath tub, wash basin, magnifying mirror and hair dryer Bathro be and slippers Don Pablo Collection amenities Radio alarm clock with iPod docking station Flat screen satellite TV Coffee-making facilities Mini-bar Ironing set Beach towels in rooms 24 hour room service Butler service in rooms (available on request) Evening turndown service Pillow menu Safe (no additional charge) Internet and international newspapers and magazines in the Club House WiFi (no additional charge 24H) Aroma menu Bahia 'au Naturel' (over 18s only): The hotel has a nudist bathing area apart from the other areas ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Don Pablo Collection Jamaica, Caribbean

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