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Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Reviewed 9 June 2014 via mobile

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!

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Richard W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

Dear Richard,

First of all wish you had a great trip back home. We greatly appreciate your time to express
your opinion about yours stay . The guest’s feedback helps us to improve our performance.


Looking forward to host you in the near future,

Yours respectfully,

Helena Gomez
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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5,159 - 5,165 of 11,452 reviews

Reviewed 9 June 2014

This was our second time at the GBP, on our previous visit we got married here in May 2012 with a party of 30, and we had decided to spend our 2nd wedding anniversary this year at the resort.

A much different experience for us this time, we had our 10 month old daughter with us. Its amazing how much you don't pay attention to any of the other things are not important to you on vacation if you don't require it.

First can i say that the hotel hasn't changed much at all, its still as enjoyable, clean, friendly and fun as 2 years ago. The food was still fantastic and the choice was wide ranging, the lunch Jerk Centre was our personal favourite everyday ! We enjoyed a few very good a la carte's, especially the Garden Grill and the Dolce Vita, we had a meal on our anniversary in the Dolce Vita in the exact room where we got married 2 years previous, an amazing time to reflect on many happy memories from back then. The buffet was very good and had plenty selection for everybody, they mixed it up with selection from day to day although when the say "theme night" its not all that true. We had one bad experience at the buffet one night, my wife had picked up some chicken cordon bleu which was totally raw in the middle !!! We told the head waiter about it, not much was done, but we were very wary after that.

The pool and ocean were as excellent as we remember them to be, if you want more privacy and quiet then go round the beach towards the nude area, its quite a walk but there's plenty of beds there. The swim up bar at the pool is amazing, the staff are very friendly, we met one bartender who was only a trainee there during our week but we recommend he be hired full time he was fantastic, Thanks Norwayne Bolton for your service !!!

As we had our 10 month daughter with us we noticed how little stroller and wheelchair access there is, for example if you want to get to the buffet you either have to take the elevator down from near the lobby or use the ramp near the buffet around the pool, the bridges that cross the pool all have steps so you cant take a stroller across them (without lifting), access to the gazebo and pebble beach has stairs and no ramps, you actually have to walk right to the jerk centre and then double back to get to these sections, more ramps should be installed throughout the resort in our opinion as the resort is geared for lots of young kids too with strollers. We also noticed how little baby changing areas there were, in the washrooms at the terrace there was no facilities and throughout the resort, we made do though and it wasn't a huge deal.

All in all we had a fantastic time and wouldn't hesitate to return again, to anyone that is looking at staying here, you won't regret it, thankyou GBP for making more magical memories for us !

Room Tip: we had block 16 on the 3rd floor, and had a very good pool and ocean view, didnt need any elevators...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank imajoseph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

Dear guest,

We truly thank you for taking the time to share your positive experiences your valuable comments and hope that when returning to Jamaica, you will give us the opportunity to welcome you again at our Resort.

Yours faithfully,

Helena Gomez
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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Reviewed 9 June 2014

2nd time at the Bahia, 10th time in Runaway Bay. We switched hotels 2 years ago when our previous hotel turned "lifestyle." The wasn't for us so we tried the Bahia and have never regretted it. We have met so many friends in Runaway Bay over the years and many of the staff who worked in our previous hotel work here now, which is fantastic!
The food is plentiful and varied in the buffet, sometimes it can be busy so be patient, you will get served. The jerk station for lunch is great, but beware the jerk chicken is very HOT!!!
The Don Pablo a la carte restaurant was our favourite, but we also loved the Picasso, the Grill and the Mikado. The service in them all was next to none, the staff were efficient and very friendly and helpful.
The bar staff and waitresses at the Terrace Bar were extremely busy, Colin, Donetta and Delisha (a hello and thank you from us) for the great service. Fabian and Junior on Security really do look after you, thank you also and of course not forgetting our very good friends at the Privilege Club, Nyoka Harvey and Storm. You all made our holiday one of the best ever.
Don't be scared to venture of the resort during the day, take a left at the main gate and keep walking down the street, there is a supermarket at the crossroads and pop in for a drink with the locals at the Villa Rose (on your left) where you will get a Red Stripe out of the bottle!. You will also pass a 'Future Walmart' where you will find Ziggy, he sells souvenirs (caps, tops, bags, etc).
Grab a taxi to the British Bulldog pub in Salem. It's around 5 minutes in a taxi (too far to walk) ask for Junior the taxi driver. They do a Sunday roast, and also on a Monday they do a pub crawl up the backstreets of Salem, it is a fantastic experience! On a Saturday night they have a Karaoke, we went a few times and had a ball. Tell Gail and Trev the (British) owners we were asking for them and will see them next year.
We went on one trip this year, Mystic Mountain, up thousands of feet above sea level in a chairlift, down through the rainforest in a very fast bobsleigh and then zip lining. It has to be one of the best trips we have every done.
So, yes, we will be back again next May, we're hooked! So give it a try............we're sure you'll be hooked too!

Room Tip: Go Golden Club, it's worth it! Free safe, bathrobes, slippers and a wonderful room.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ALIANDGAV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

Dear Guest,

We appreciate your kind comments about your stay at the hotel, this makes our work worthwhile. We pass your satisfaction our staff., thank you so much.

We hope to see you soon.

Best regards.

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Reviewed 8 June 2014

We stayed at this hotel from 26th May to 6th June. When we arrived at this hotel we were checked in quickly and easily due to the fact that we had a Golden Club upgrade because we booked early. We were in room 61514 adjoining 61512 which housed my son and his family.
Cases were quickly taken to the rooms, staff were always very polite and nothing was ever too much trouble for them.
Huge choice of food in the main buffet, two of the staff in there were very good, Tina and Warren, thank you for making our stay even more enjoyable, you were fantastic, always more than happy to help. I never went for lunch but the rest of my family did and they said food was also good then as well.
Sometimes, as per another reviewer, spoons were hard to come by, but on our last but one day, they had new cutlery and spoons all round.
The pool is large, very clean, couldn't fault it, but it was the same old story as everywhere else, towels being put out at 6 in the mornings, then not being used for 2-3 hours. Management do not do anything about this, even though it says you cannot save sun beds!
We were on the beach every day, the best part being right down the far end, but the walk to it is about 10 mins in very high temperatures, and can be very exhausting if not used to the heat. There is a bar down that end of the beach and just want to say a huge thank you to Leroy and Michael for serving us drinks all day, every day. They were great fun and very sociable.
The sea is fantastic for swimming and snorkelling, loads of fun, but just watch out for the guys on the small boats, or on foot, trying to sell you "stuff" all day long. My grandchildren called them "pirates" maybe they are. They do get a bit annoying after a while, but the security guards try and keep them from hassling you, doesn't always work, but mostly it does.
This is a very large Hotel complex, and even though busy, you never felt like it was overly crowded. The whole place has a very laid back feel/attitude about it.
Overall, we had a great holiday, would go again, but a bit too hot for me ( and I love the sun)
One final thing, we tipped the guys daily, it seems to be the way to go.

Room Tip: A bit difficult as we had a Golden Club Upgrade.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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6  Thank Snuffs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your feedback.

It is a pleasure for us to know that you enjoyed your stay at the hotel. We will pass on your praises and satisfaction to our staff.

Family Holidays with Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica.

Kind Regards

Davinia Portillo
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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Reviewed 8 June 2014

Had a great time at the resort whils ton holiday with the family. This is large place with a fantasticpool which winds around past the various sun-lounger areas. The resort room are spacious and clean; although we found afew mosquitoes lurkingin the corners and under the bed. Worthwhile buying a can or insect killer spray and ive the room a once under/over when you go out for dinner so any creepy crawlies are killed before you get back (and the stuff smells!).

Fantastic beach with warm, clear water. Kids had an awesome time splashing around here. Only adviceon that is to get down early so you can get a lounger near some mangrove cover as the day hots up so its nice to bring the loungers back out of the heat. The beach restruarant is great for lunch too with plenty on offer on both the usual beach hut food and local cuisine.

In all a good 4 star resort!

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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Thank CityGuy1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

Dear Guest,

We appreciate your comments.

We are glad you enjoyed our pool and private beach. We hope to see you with family in our Hotel Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica.

Thank you so much.

Best regards.

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Reviewed 8 June 2014 via mobile

Just got back from a 10 day honeymoon, this resort is absolutely fantastic, great food, great rooms, very clean, staff are so friendly, went on a few trips out, all I can say is make sure you get all the info on trips.... Godfrey (johnny Barnes ) the rep was excellent for Thompson.
All in all A1 recommend you go

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Mick P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your feedback.

It is a pleasure for us that you enjoyed your honeymoon at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, a bit of paradaise in the Caribbean.

Enjoy an all-inclusive holiday as a couple with Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica.

Regards

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Reviewed 8 June 2014

We just returned from our stay at Grand Bahia in Jamaica and I was very impressed with almost everything. We stayed there as a time share transfer from RCI so we were automatically upgraded to Privilege Club which was fantastic. They took care of all our dining reservations, transfer from the airport, and even made our 20th Anniversary very special by decorating our room. Anita and Shenequa from the Privilege Club were awesome, they went above and beyond to make sure we had a great Anniversary! The only thing better than Privilege Club is Don Pablo, if you can afford to upgrade to Don Pablo do it. They have a restaurant just for them for breakfast and a whole pool and bar area just for them. The food was great at all the restaurants, I was able to find something I liked at every buffet. I also enjoyed trying Jamaican specialties like the curried goat and of course the jerk chicken! Since we were Privilege Club we were able to eat in all the al la carte restaurants and they were wonderful, our favorite was the Don Pablo restaurant we liked it so much we ate there twice. If you eat at Mikado make sure to ask for the chefs table so you can watch them cook. The bad thing about Privilege Club and Don Pablo is that the rooms are the farthest away from the beach so it is a long walk to get there. I believe that this is the newer section of the hotel so I guess that's why they have the rooms on the far side of the hotel. The good thing about being over there is that it's always quiet. The other thing that was not the best is that there were times during the day that all the food places were closed so if you eat frequently bring some Ziploc bags to make sandwiches :) For some reason I was always hungry an hour before the jerk chicken place was open. The other thing is that they don't let you take food out of the restaurants, I guess that's how they keep their grounds so perfectly clean. All the staff were excellent and would go out of their way to make you feel welcome, by the time we left we were way too relaxed. When you go make sure you stop by the pool bar and see Marcell and Norwayne, they're the best bartenders and they'll take good care of you. One last tip is to bring lots of $1's and $5's if you're planning on tipping because it was hard to get our $20's changed, several times the front desk couldn't even make change for us.

Room Tip: If you want a good view make sure you book an ocean view room, we saw some rooms that had their balc...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank sdchickie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded 12 June 2014

Dear Guest,

It was very pleasant to know that you enjoyed our services and facilities from Privilege Club and Don Pablo.
On behalf of our General Manager and all Team Members at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, we thank you for vacationing with us and we hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again in the near future.

Yours respectfully,

Helena Gomez
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

Address: | Salt Coopers, Runaway Bay, 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 Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Runaway Bay
#4 Romantic Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range: £129 - £324 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica 3.5*
Number of rooms: 850
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

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