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Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Toronto
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Problem, mon !”
Reviewed 10 March 2011

Our family has travelled to many places in the Caribbean and we travel with an open mind and few expectations. We have encountered relatively good (tasty) foods and services ... until this trip:

1. reservations at an a-la-carte restaurant were not available - 2 days' wait;
2. coffee/wine service at the buffet restaurant was slow;
3. food replenishment at the buffet was also slow;
4. 90% of all food (under heat lamps or served) was cold and was bland/tasteless;
5. poor wi-fi connection (worked 10% of the time) and was immediately disconnected upon check-out (12 noon). We remained at hotel until 4 p.m. due to an evening flight with no internet connection even though we paid for the day. Check-in time is 3 p.m. and no guests checked in while we were still at the hotel; and
6. friendliness was not an attribute for the staff and some were quite abrupt (especially at the front desk & guest services);
7. It was made very clear that tipping was expected; and
8. Beach towels are not always available.

On a positive note:

1. The resort is huge, beautiful, well-maintained and very clean;
2. The beach is groomed and well-kept with enough loungers for everyone. It is on the property but off to the left of the hotel.
3. Lifeguards are present.
4. Security is everywhere.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank 4FriendsVaughan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2011

Not sure why people complain so much about this hotel and about the staff. I read some reviews before leaving on holidays, and once I got there I couldn't believe people had bad things to say about the staff and and about the hotel.

Your vacation is what you make out of it. There will always be people who are not satisfied with one thing or another, or anything for that matter. If you go to the Caribbean with an open mind you will enjoy your vacation a lot more!

This hotel was excellent in every aspect! Its always super clean, the staff is friendly, the food was great and lots to choose from, the beach was awesome for Jamaica (not the best in the Caribbean but loved it).

A true 5 star!

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank csonhadora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2011

Reading the reviews, we were a little edgy about this resort, but booked it because of the price. Couldn't have been more pleased! The place is gorgeous--a photo op around every corner, and immaculately clean. Modern rooms (the website pics don't do them justice), gorgeous views, definitely underrated.

We were really happy with the food, even in the buffets, although the ala carte places were even better (worth lining up for reservations). Loved the sushi! Bars are everywhere with great drinks (no nutrasweet in the pina coladas!) and plenty of premium liquor. Must try the rum cream.

I can't believe people complain about the service; we thought it was fantastic! Jamaicans seem a little more reserved than, say, Dominicans, but it was just right for us; they were polite and helpful without overkill. The maid patiently brought us 3 different clocks until we figured out the voltage makes the clocks lose time (bring a watch if you care!).

This isn't the ideal place for long, dreamy beach walks, but between the small, white sanded sea cove and the massive, perfect-temperature pool, we spent much of our week in the water. I love beaches, but I really didn't feel deprived.

We read some complaints about the 1-hour drive from the airport, but if you arrive during the day, you couldn't have much more spectacular scenery. The sea is on one side of the road, and low-lying mountains on the other. It's a nice way to see some Jamaican countryside. And the resort itself is quite close to Ocho Rios and Dunns River Falls, so there's plenty to do nearby.

And the spa... ah the spa. Splurge and book yourself a massage (better yet, a couples' massage). Very worth it!

Chose this resort. We didn't hear a single complaint from anyone all week. It seemed like everyone (mainly Canadians) was having a fabulous time, and we'd go back in a heartbeat! Our room was in the new wing, block 23 on the seventh floor, and our ocean view was amazing. We were told that block 18 is ideal because it's between the beach and the pool.

Thumbs up to Claudia at the buffet and Hyacinth at the spa! Thank you, ladies!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Sandbanksgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, AB
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2011

Honestly...this resort is amazing, with great food, drink, and wonderful people! Really...what's to complain about...you have sunshine, crystal blue water, you don't have to cook or clean....and you are there to relax! If you go with an expectation that this is Buckinham Palace are you are the Queen of England....then you may be disappointed. The resort is clean, food is great, a la carte's are fabulous, service is for the most part good, but even Jamaicans can be grumpy I suppose, ...I can't imagine they put up with any crap from drunk annoying guests!!! And believe it or not....they too are affected by the recession that is affecting the rest of the world, so YES they may be a little understaffed at times.
This was truly a great vacation, and we would definitely go back and recommend to our friends!

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
6 Thank Rella_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lethbridge, Alberta
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2011

First I would like to state we enjoyed our stay at this Bahia, although it's no where near the quality of the Bahia's in Punta Cana or Tulum. Once we realized this we enjoyed our stay very much. We booked with Bahia in Jamaica after staying at Bahia's in Tulum in 2009 and Bahia Ambar (Punta Cana) in 2010.
We had requested an upper level room in advance of our arrival, but we arrived to find they had us on the ground floor, this in it's self shouldn't have been a problem, But, we were in suite 17104 across from the pueblo and the disco. So beginning the first nite and continuing every nite we were awakened several times during the nite by people singing and laughing as they went by our door on their way back to locations in the resort. They would go by at 1:30 2;30 even 4:00 each nite.

The first morning after a sleepless nite we ventured to the buffet for breakfast, second problem. I would compare their buffet as a close second to many Cuban buffet's, not so good. We did manage to find something to eat daily, however this buffet was no where near the quality of their other buffet's in Tulum and Punta Cana.

OK, so we realized booking strictly by resort name was our mistake. All Bahia's are not created equal even if they insist they are all 5stars.

There are some things that are standard, the rooms very nice, almost exact replica's of the other resorts, the grounds very beautiful and well groomed like the other resorts, the ala carte's very good as with their others.

They have a nice theatre but have never been able to use it because of a sound (an echo) problem. So nitely entertainment is at the pueblo and not as good as other Bahia's.

Beach is shallow and turns into a shallow reef not too far from shore. Beach bars are very far apart. However we enjoyed each day along the beach and neither of these things spoiled our stay. There is very good snorkelling right in front of the hotel.

Now the things that are really good. This was our first visit toJamaica I can not say enough about the Jamaican people. From the airport to the streets of Ocho Rios they made our trip truly memorable. Never did we feel unsafe or unwelcome. We talked to many Jamaicans and each took the time to answer our questions and tell us a little about their island.

This resort claims almost 2000 rooms, but never was it crowded. The staff was wonderful and soon began winning our hearts.

The beach snack bar became our lunchtime home. You will hear a dog bark around noon, it's not a dog but a wonderful chef by the name of Wallace letting everyone know his jerk pork and chicken is ready. I ate my weight at his bar-b-q , do not miss his lunch it is a highlight.

Beach vendors set up in the shade by the far end of the beach, take the time to talk with them you will be pleasantly surprised. They move to different resorts each day. On Sunday we met Paul Montique a local painter with a very interesting story, he shared his life story while we watched him create a painting right in front of us. Several hours later we had a beautiful painting to take home with us, along with a remarkable memory and a better understanding of life. Paul is a true gentleman and we feel so priviledged
to have met him.

We made a trip into Ocho Rios for shopping, try and spend an entire day if you can the shops are numerous and the people wonderful. Never did we have any concern for safety.
We also did the Dunns River Falls climb another highlight . A must do.

Overall this resort is no where near a 5 star maybe a 3.5. With a little work it could be a 5 star. The people on this resort make up for any facility downside. We had a wonderful holiday and would not be afraid to return to this resort.
We will definitly return to Jamaica but probably to another resort.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ish_08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2011

we have been to the resort 5 times with young kids-(4-7)and always have loved it.the girls at the kids club are great(veronia).we have made a lot of friends there and would recommend it to anyone with kids. (GET YOUR OWN HOLIDAY)the people are great but would you be rude to people at home? NO.foood is what to be epected from a all inclusive.beach is great lots of sand. ENJOY...
)

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank eyeballss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2011

Poor Quality of Food and Service. Staff not very hospitable. Very limited choice for Vegetarian. A la carte Restaurants are terrible. I would never go back to any of their other properties.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank RAMVIN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

Property: 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 Romantic Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Family 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica 3.5*
Number of rooms: 848
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 (1h 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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