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Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay
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Reviewed 19 June 2014

Flew from Toronto to the Luxury Bahia Principe from June1-8th. We took one hour to arrive at the resort from the airport. On our bus we could buy some Red stripe beer for $5.00 each.

Private check in at the luxury lounge, we where given champagne and a cool cloth. Explained how the luxury service works and taken to your rooms. We had the 6th floor in building 23. What a great view of the pool and beach. Part of the hotel was blocking the amazing sunset that we had seen before when we where in the Royal Golden section, small price to pay with being on the Luxury side.

Why upgrade to the Luxury side
In the Luxury section you can have three bottle of alcohol for your room, vodka, rum and whiskey. If you use them up then they will replace them. Also, you get 24hr room service (never used), premium alcohol in certain areas. Beach towels in room, bathrobe and slippers, evening turn down service, 20% discount at the spa, no charge for the safe, unlimited a la carte dinners, butler service if needed, private lounge with premium alcohol, separate swimming area at the pool and beach with outstanding service, pool has canopies for shade. Unlimited free wifi in lounge, Don Pablo restaurant plus access to the adults moly restaurant.

We went snorkelling twice and saw the normal fish you see but I did see a snake and a big crab which was interesting. Bring some crackers or banana for the fish. Best snorkeling is by the wedding gazebo

Don Pablo beach section - The private section is a bit of a walk which we like as it was a nice walk on the beach. The private beach is just a portioned off little section of the beach which could have children on both sides. The nude beach is at the very end of the beach. They have three beach bars along the beach, if your in the Don Pablo beach section you will get outstanding service.

DP pool - sectioned off section with the staff going around constantly asking if your ok, fruit kebabs are offered to while you are relaxing. Even your drink glass are upgrade in the luxury side, they are fancy plastic beer, daiquiri glasses.

Near the DP pool is a lovely outdoor lounge section. With a nice seating area, and live music every evening. I was able to get premium alcohol here. Sad that not too many people use it.

We did not go to any of the shows.


We had outstanding service in the DP lounge, thank you to Maria who we emailed about or dinner requests, and a very big thank you to Sanita at the DP lounge who looked after us a couple of times. And thank you to every staff member in the DP section, you made our vacation very special.

Restaurants
Orchid- main buffet for the rest of the resort, very noisy
Piscis- beach restaurant, amazing jerk chicken, steel drum band every other day
Pisacco- Don Pablo members only for breakfast, for dinner is a la carte
Palmyra- adults only buffet
The Grill- dinner only. A la carte for main course, buffet for starter and dessert. No air conditioning
Dolce Vita- dinner only. A la carte for main course, buffet for starter and dessert
Don Pablo- a la carte, my favorite
Mikado- Japanese if you want a show table ask for tepanyaky table
Pueblo principe- burger place, open from 11pm - 7am, we never went here. I think it had alcohol pass 11pm

Breakfast is served from 7am- 10pm at Piscis, Pisacco & Orchid.
Lunch 1-3 at Orchid
Lunch 10-6 at Pieces (beach snack bar), jerk chicken is gone by 3pm
Not sure what time dinner starts at the a la cartes as we eat later in the evening

Bars
Lobby bars 10am-11pm
Luxury terrace bar 10am-10pm or a bit later
Pool and beach bars 10am-6pm
Pianobar/karaoke 10pm-12am
Disco 11pm-2am,
Sports bar, 1pm-12am

SPA - we did a couples massage for 60 minutes with Hyacinth & Simone. They did a wonderful job and was very relaxed.

We did not know who our morning maid was the room was very clean, only a few towel arts where done, fridge was stocked every day. Clean towels everyday even facecloths. Our turn down maid was Candy who gave us a lovely poem every night to read.

We hired a taxi driver from the front. He dropped us off at a school where we dropped off school supplies to Runaway Bay Basic School, this school is for 3-6 year olds. They are desperate for any electronic learning material, even old laptops for the teachers. Any flash cards, pencils, books would be appreciated. Our driver then took us to Ocho Rios where he took us to a few shops, took us to the mountains so we could see the town, went out for lunch then went to St Anne's Bay for a drive. If you would like a driver please contact Donovan at touring2k@yahoo.com or archiedr48@gmail.com

This is a very big resort, could use more wheelchair ramps. Maybe get wifi in other place other than in the lobby. We did not find any unhappy staff, everyone was willing yo talk to you and help you out. We did a lot of tipping but did not notice difference if we tipped or not.

Weather showed rain everyday on my weather app, it only rained one day for about a hour at lunch time.

I thought they might of had nicer patio table and chairs.

This is our second time to bahia in Jamaica, first time was a few years ago where we did the Royal Golden, we love the little extras that make such a difference. Also have been to the Bahia in Mexico to Akumal then Sian Ka'an. I thinks it only Don Pablo now for us a we like to be spoiled a bit.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
16  Thank beachsunsand H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2014

Dear Valued guest,

We are very proud to learn that we could reach your expectations second time round and you enjoyed your vacation at our Grand Bahia Principe, best Resort here in Jamaica.

On behalf of our Management and staff we would like to extend a big thanks to you for giving us the opportunity again to make you feel at home and we are looking forward to seeing you again in the near future.

Best Wishes!!!

Cassandra Gentles
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2014

So I went with a friend and her family because they bought timeshares for all Bahia Principes and we got to join in. It was my first time in Jamaica and can I just say that I love Jamaica, period!

Everything is laid back here. Staff is always singing and joking around with each other AND the guests which is something I LOVE to see. Sometimes there was quite a long wait but I'm a patient person.

Drinks? There wasn't much of a selection in terms of mixed drinks. Only some of the waiters knew what a sex on the beach was and...in the end....it didn't really taste like a sex on the beach BUT I still drank.

We had the privileged section of the pool. It's a tiny section with about 4 or 5 cabanas closer to the Don Pablo section. We had our own waiter named Hakeem. Good Guy! Hi Hakeem!
One side of the pool was more quiet and cough*boring*cough while the other side was more hype and that's where the entertainment staff and music was all coming from. The younger crowd was more on that side. That's where the party was.

The food in the al a carte restaurants was delicious! Physically they didn't all look too great on the plate though BUT I still ate! Even the buffet had plenty of selections to choose from. If you have the opportunity to go to the adult only breakfast section, get Delroy to make your omelet lol...He always did it the best.

The room was gorgeous. We were on the 5th floor.Great view of the Don Pablo side of the pool and the ocean. Great view at sunset but you missed the actual sun setting by just a few rooms. I can't seem to remember our room number but we were right smack in the middle. If you had a few rooms to the right you might be able to actually see the sun setting.
There is no door to the toilet if you're the type that likes to stay completely private but there is a wall that separates you from the shower. They refill your fridge everyday with soft drinks, beer mini alcohol and water. Snack are banana chips if that's what you fancy.

Entertainment - To be honest I didn't get to see the entertainment every night. I missed the Michael Jackson show which I hear is awesome! But whatever I did see of the entertainment. It was alright. The hosts are funny and the games they play are fun.
The disco wasn't bad either but I guess it depends on the crowd. One night they played all Pop music - britney spears type and then other night was reggae/soca/spanish. There were a lot of people in the sports bar and they have all types of different things to do depending on what you're looking for.

The Privileged section of the beach.............not the greatest. The seating and everything was absolutely comfortable but there was mainly seaweed in the water. Which if you're like me and don't like the feeling of things between your toes- no thanks.
We had to walk over to the Don Pablo section of the beach which was MUCH better. The water is nice and we got to experience some fun waves to jump in.

We got a private taxi into Ochos Rios to do some shopping and they took us up the mountains.
We also got to stop and eat at Scotchies and have some real Jamaican Pattys.

Overall, it was a very relaxing trip and the sun is HOT. I don't usually burn but I was a tomato during 90% of the trip. I never bring more than spf 15 with me because my skin catches color easily with minor redness but this time I brought 30 to cancel out ANY redness and I STILL burnt.

I highly recommend getting the Don Pablo package. There are a few amenities that us Privileged package did not get like an extra restaurant to eat at or the better part of the beach.

I will definitely recommend this resort to other people and I already have but I'm hoping to see what else it out there the next time I take a trip to Jamaica.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Psequeira2887
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2014

Dear Guest,
We are pleased that you enjoyed our services and we hope to have you back soon. Please do not hesitate to contact us to assist you in your next visit to Jamaica.
Yours Respectfully,

Cassandra Gentles
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2014

This is my second time at this hotel and 2nd review. I travelled there from June 1st to June 11th for my wedding, bringing with us a total of 38 guests. All in all I love the Don Pablo, but being that a few of our guests were not Don Pablo made it slightly awkward at times especially since security are very strict at moving people from the beach and pool areas when they do not have the appropriate DP coloured bracelets. Normally this would not bother me at all, but since it was my family from overseas and my niece was 17 and could not go Don Pablo due to adults only......I really felt it:( As did they!!!!!

So for those people who did not have Don Pablo.....I was hearing complaints of lack of towels and face cloths, poor wine quality with no option to pay for better wine selections at dinner. For us in Don Pablo....no complaints there.

I guess my biggest beef being a returning guest and the bride to be.....was that we emailed ahead of our trip requesting building 23 higher floors and when we arrived we were given building 24 on the 3rd floor closest to the main road!!!!! Really........ I was not impressed at all.....absolutely no view and the lovely sound of a highway on our balcony. I immediately went to the Don Pablo staff who reassured me that we could change the next day......and they would give us a nice room!!!! They did.....fortunately to room 23701.....which was excellent but it would have been nice if this could have been our first impression. Also, all our guests requested rooms too, and not one of them were accommodated!!!

We were meant to have a wedding package set up in our room on arrival....not done!!!! I'm sure the wedding planner should have communicated this with staff of Don Pablo so not sure who is at fault there...... but again....just one of those things that could have made our stay exceptional. On the day of our wedding, we did not have our room cleaned. I came back from the beach at 1pm and called for cleaning staff to come as I had guests coming to the room for changing. They did not show up, so there I was cleaning my room on my wedding day!!!!!

Now the good points..... I love Don Pablo. They make you feel special. They are very friendly. The a la carts are excellent however the reservation system is poorly run. I have been to resorts before where you take your tickets to the desired a la carte you feel like that day, and you wait till they can accommodate you just like here in Canada. Most people don't mind waiting.....you easily just go for a drink. It's easy enough to change your times in the lounge but good luck if you have more than 2 persons. Trying to plan a dinner with my immediate family who came from overseas was just not happening!!! The DP lounge and DP pool areas are fantastic. The entertainment by the pool at night was fun. The drinks are wonderful in these areas also.

I sound like I am complaining more than complimenting...... please be reassured that this hotel is beautiful. There is plenty security, the gardens are immaculate, the buildings and restaurants are exquisite and the food was amazing. Even the buffets...... Avoid the crowds at the buffet....do yourself a favour and go to the Palmyra buffet.....so much nicer. Only complaint here.....Last year I really enjoyed sitting at the outside tables with white linen tablecloths at the Palmyra....It was a self serve buffet and you were served your beverages. This year you had to sit indoors. Mind you.... you could go to the Picasso for this service which is DP guests only...... however I found that it took longer as you ordered from the menu......sometimes you just want to eat and go!!!! No biggie really....just our little preference:)

All in all......If you like to be spoiled go Luxury Don Pablo.....it's worth the extra money.....Just those nice little touches that you do not get in the main resort.....and I can vouch for that as I have my family to who missed out!!!!

Would I go back......absolutely:)

Room Tip: Building 23 higher rooms are better views of the pool and ocean. Building 24 which is mainly Don Pablo look over the gardens and some have ocean views if you are high enough. Avoid the rooms closest to the highway.....eg- 24710 you would prefer 24701. Closer to pool.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank ewaba12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2014

Dear User of Trip Advisor,
We would like to thank you for taking the time to post your kind comments on Trip Advisor because your opinion is of great help to us in our effort to improve and achieve our main objective, which is to achieve full satisfaction of our guests. Please do not hesitate to contact us to assist you in your next vacation with us.

Warm Regards,

Cassandra Gentles
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2014

We stayed at the Don Pablo section of the Grand Bahia Principe in Runaway Bay because we were taking a much needed break from our kids. The Don Pablo did give us the luxury and the adults only experience that we were looking for. Mimosas for breakfast - awesome :) Our butler Garey was very friendly when we arrived. But we didn't see him much, perhaps because we are not high maintenance and did not have many needs. I understand however that he was in demand by many of the other guests. I have 3 complaints: 1) the location of the beach - it was way off to the left side of the resort, was grainy and not comfortable on the feet and was just not laid out nicely and didn't have a nice view; 2) the food was just OK - most of the food was unimaginative and other basic items were just not cooked properly - the plantain was over cooked and dry every day, hash browns overlooked, Jamaican section of the buffet was boring - no bammies, no breadfruit, no coconut, no tamarind drops, no coconut cake. Don't worry. They have got lots of pasta and mashed potatoes. 3) the staff was not particularly friendly or upbeat which is unusual considering they are all Jamaican who are generally light hearted and good spirited. This leads me to believe that their employer is not a good employer. We were at the Riu in Ocho Rios 2 years ago and found the staff just fabulous. Also the layout there was better - the beach was walkable the full length of the resort which is wonderful in the evening. I probably would not go back but it wasn't terrible. The pool in the Don Pablo section is beautiful and the cabanas are great. The resort is in good shape and clean. People who complain about small items are being nit picky. It really was well kept and there wasn't anything wrong with our room or any part of the resort. The Buffet reserved for the Don Pablo was a nice treat because it was quieter and less busy. Yes there was champagne at check in but that is irrelevant compared to the more substantial issues I mentioned re: beach, food and staff. BTW do not misunderstand my comment re: staff - they work hard. We saw them working hard and as I said, the place is in great shape. That's because of the staff. They just could have been more jovial.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank MsDominique
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 19 June 2014

Dear User of Trip Advisor,
We appreciate that you have pointed us out some aspects where we must improve and we would like to inform you that we are working on them and thus improve the quality of not only our services but also of our facilities.
We would like to inform that we have for our guest’s disposal a very nice and sandy beach on the left side where also a private area with sun beds for our Luxury guests is provided.
Please kindly note that every Tuesday we offer our Jamaican night dinner at our Orquid Buffet with more than 16 different dishes from our Jamaican gastronomy and also for lunch time at our dining room Orquid 8 different dishes are daily provided.
In the name of our General Manager and all our Staff members we would like to thank you for vacationing with us and we hope to welcome you again in your next visit to Jamaica.

Cassandra Gentles
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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Reviewed 9 June 2014

This was my 2nd time with my cousin from Montreal. We visited for 10 days again this year. We returned for the bay of course and the excellent service given to us by the executive assistant-.manager of the Don Pablo Collection, Loraine. She was wonderful and we knew we could always count on her. She would actually say "I am there for you !" and she was. We were there from May 26 to June 5, 2014.
We loved the calmness of the water in the bay, the service and the delicious food at the different restaurants. We had our breakfast at the Picasso managed by Scotisha with our lovely hostess Yaneish and our friendly waiters Damion and Alwayne. We ate our lunch at the Palmyres managed by Delroy or at the Jerk chicken Buffet on the beach. Every night we ate at one of the "A la carte" restaurants. Hughroy and Jermaine were two of our attentive waiters at the Don Pablo restaurant where we had French onion soup, Crevettes Croustillantes followed by a Chateaubriand steak or one of the other main dish delicacies and a delicious desert. We enjoyed the red Cabernet Sauvignon served with our meal.
Our room was impeccable. We will return again. Gigi and Louise

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank demain2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay, responded to this reviewResponded 24 June 2014

Dear Gigi and Louise,

We are satisfied to know that you did enjoyed your stay here with us and that you appreciate the level of professionalism that Loraine, Scotisha, Damion, Alwayne, Yaneish, Delroy, Hughroy & Jermaine has shown you during your vacation.

Thank you for choosing the Grand Bahia Principe the best family resort in the caribbean and we do hope to see you again in the near future.

Yours Respectfully,

Cassandra Gentles
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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