My wife and I just recently spent 5 nights at what is likely the only resort in Runaway Bay(between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios). We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and had never been to Jamaica, so we booked a 5 star.
So where to I begin... Well first off we did not like the room they first placed us in. If you can avoid building 15 then you should. The halls smell really bad, it is above the main lobby so it is always noisy and generally looks more run down and not romantic in anyway.
We were moved to building 18 which I highly recommend due to it's close proximity to the beach and the pool. It took some polite killing with kindness to get the switch done and in the end we had to deal with two smaller beds rather than 1 king but all in all they have us what we wanted.
so on to the pros and cons:
Pros: food is amazing, especially the jerk chicken. Watch that jerk sauce though. As the locals say, it comes out the same as it goes in. Worth the sacrifice for at least 1 meal if ya ask me. Our other must have was curried goat. Unreal flavour that you won't get anywhere else.
The male workers are all irie. Eve the ones that come off as pushy sales people will back off if you tell them no and continue to mix it up with you in a friendly manner.
The pool is giant and there is lots of entertainment and bars to satisfy. It is your family/party area. Think loud music, dancing, families playing and tipsy people playing too.
The Mikado a la carte is a must. Make sure you request a show table. It really made for a fun night. Unless you are painfully shy this one will get the night started right.
Beach is clear water, soft sand, lots of shelter available(more so than the pool for sure). Check out Gerrick at the second beach bar. He is the man. Always friendly, and takes care of you.
Maids are great here. Donelda made our room feel warm and romantic daily. She went out of her way to meet us and talk with us. Nice touch.
Now to the cons:
Customer service doesn't seen to be number one. Number one seems to be "no problem" attitude which can be frustrating. Nothing huge here just that it can take time to get drinks at the restaurants... Etc I'll tell you though, tips get things moving. Problem here is that you almost need to tip everyone you meet!
Fully stocked mini bar fridge equates to 2 miller lite a water and 4 pops. I guess when I heard fully stocked I imagined more booze. Just being honest. Don't bother calling to get more either. I called a few times and was told someone would come to fill it up... Nope. Another in the no problem mon attitude. Not a huge deal as you can just go to the bar.
The booze... Well there is no other way to say it but it is cheap and limited. If you want anything other than Appleton rum or red stripe beer(both good) then you get into a slew of no name stuff that isn't bad but isn't great. Also if you are looking for fancy cocktails once again you will be disappointed. Think more like rum and coke, gin tonic, tequila sunrise, basically your mainstream bar drinks. My only real disappointment in the part of the resort was that the piña colada was a slush machine not home made like they do it in Cuba.
The beach is beautiful, calm, mellow and chalk full of sales people. It can be annoying unless you are stern. Hard to be stern in the land of irie and yea mon as they start by making you there friend.
Now this isn't all con, that is if you are looking for that Jamaican Ganja. Then just ask any of the "shell" sales guys floating in the water. One thing I can say is that they are legit ;)
My advice to anyone going here would be to get into that "no problem mon" state of mind before you arrive. Once in that state of mind eveyting goin be irie mon! Oh and get that curried goat in ya!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Facilities and services 3 lake-style connecting pools with 2 areas for children 3 Jacuzzis Large sun terrace with gardens, sun umbrellas and loungers BAHIA SPA (additional charge) Sports facilities: gym, 2 tennis courts, volleyball court, football pitch Water activity centre Pool and beach towel service WiFi access in the lobby (24h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Wedding gazebo 2 buffet-style main restaurants and 5 speciality restaurants 4 Bars Snack bar Entertainment amphitheatre Meeting and convention room The 18 hole Breezes Runaway golf course is just 5 minutes from the hotel. Pueblo Principe: local craft stores, live music, shows, sports bar and disco Rooms 848 rooms including 4 types: Superior Junior Suite, Sea View Junior Suite, Club Golden and Club Hacienda Room facilities: King size bed or two full size beds Pillowtop mattresses Fully-equipped bathroom with separate shower and hydromassage bath tub, wash basin, magnifying mirror and hair dryer Bathroom amenities Air conditioning Ventilador de techo Sitting area with sofa Balcony or terrace Telephone Radio alarm clock Satellite TV Coffee-making facilities Mini-bar Safe (additional charge) Ironing set WiFi (additional charge) Club Golden and Club Hacienda Junior Suites Children Bahia Scouts Children (aged 4 to 12) will have the time of their lives with these facilities: Children's pool Special shows and activities Entertainment team Mini Club (4 - 12 years) Other services 24 hour medical service (additional charge) Pharmacy (additional charge) Specialised service for organising weddings, incentive trips, events and anniversaries Nudist area on the beach 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:
- Bahia Principe Jamaica
- Gran Bahia Jamaica
- Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica Hotel
- Grand Bahia Jamaica
- Bahia Jamaica
- Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
- Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica Resort
- Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica Runaway Bay, Caribbean