I read and reread reviews for months on resorts in Jamaica. After picking this resort I continued to read and read reviews on this site and others. This resort was the one that had all the amenities that I wanted as well as a reasonable price.
However, reading still had me asking questions. My review of this hotel is going to hopefully answer questions if you are doing the same reading and reading I was doing!
TRANSPORTATION - We hired a private driver to get us to our resort. We did not want to waste time on a bus. We didn't do the mobay lounge, however we talked about it. The process getting from our plane to our taxi was not a big deal! We used JAMISLAND TOURS and will use this company each time we come to Jamaica!!! Our taxi driver stopped on the way to our resort and we had some drinks and ate some local jerk chicken! yum! Our trip back to the airport we took the free shuttle and were there in plenty of time and were happy with that decision.
LUXURY VS. GRAN - Either way you go you will enjoy your stay. The differences were minimal. If you are going to be waited on and have your own "area" than go with the Luxury. There is a lounge with unlimited wifi and alcohol. We loved this about our choice. We didn't use the luxury only pool area or the beach area. We went out to the beach were we wanted to lay and didn't feel that we were missing out on anything. the bar and potties were close at the beach and when we were at the pool, we liked the area where there was a "ledge" to sit on and closer to all the activities. The luxury enabled you to eat each evening at a sit down restaurant. It was soooo hot in each of these and you were eating a scheduled 4 course meal... we were there for about 2 hours and after 2 nights of this, we ended up at the buffet so we could eat and get out! The food was good in all the restaurants we ate at.
2 Luxury (Picasso and Palmaya for breakfast were good)
Garden Grill was our fav. 1/2 order and 1/2 buffet. There were also fans in this one and the only one with fans.
DON PABLO took over 2 hours and no air and no fans. the food was ok but miserable heat and wait.
MIKADO was even hotter in front of the cook top. we had one of our party get sick and have to leave. The food was ok, but not great.
ORCHID - this is the huge buffet that the entire resort uses. we ended up eating here and were fine with the huge selection and the ease to eat and get out!
SNACK SHAK - our favorite favorite!!! only open at lunch so don't miss it!!!
Here are some more 411 tips from our trip
1. Take a snorkel and mask! The sandy beach is amazing!
2. Take mugs for drinks! We had BUBBA mugs from walmart and they were perfect!
3. BRING 1.00 bills. The resort has limited ones and you will want them!!!
4. The sandy beach is a little walk but SO WORTH IT! The beach, water, snack shack... awesome!!!! We spent every day here!
5. Best meal we had was the snack shack and the jerk chicken. Lots of choices there as well. Right on the water and a short walk on the beach!
6. I would bring your own shampoo and conditioner. Only had a combo shampoo/conditioner and after all day in the sun/ocean/pool... our hair was needing more!
7. make sure to walk over to the outdoor area with shopping and eating.
8. room service took a long time. order early!
9. keep calling and asking if you need something. remember you are in Jamaica and they are all laid back and not in any hurry!
EXCURSIONS - My husband and I have been on trips where we took excursions that were offered by the hotel or company. These are some of the best times we have had. However, since we have done the "snorkeling/catamaran/bus" trips we are now enjoying hiring a taxi driver and taking the day to go on our own time. We used JAMISLAND TOURS. Lynval Morris was our awesome driver. He is the one that picked us up from the airport as well. He arrived early to our resort and we took off around noon. He took us to Dunns River Falls and we all got to do this. We then changed and went into Ochos Rios. He dropped our men off at a bar and he went with the ladies around town shopping. He then took us up into the hills and we drove through Fern Gully and then to one point where we could view the city of OR! We ended up at a restaurant eating dinner and then he returned us to our resort! We loved our day with Lynval and it was much cheaper and more fun!
A HUGE SHOUT OUT TO MONIQUE, NICHOLE, GAY ANN AND GERRICK! you all made our trip even more awesome!!!
Overall I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone. We were so relaxed and loved being there. Whether you choose the don Pablo or the gran you will love this resort!
- 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