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“No Worries Man, Jamaica is Irie” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Salt Coopers. Runaway Bay. Jamaica | Salt Coopers, Runaway Bay, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 15 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Yorkshire, UK
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
240 helpful votes 240 helpful votes
“No Worries Man, Jamaica is Irie”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2007

I booked this holiday through Directholidays.com and got what I felt was a more than fair price for this hotel. We upgraded to premier service on the plane and we would certainly recommend that.

We were greeted with a drink and the ever-present smiles when we first arrived at the hotel and check in was very fast and problem free, our cases arrived within minutes, the porter was very polite and friendly. The first room was clean and the furnishings like new but we were overlooking the shopping centre so we changed rooms on the second day without any hassle at all. We got a room on the sixth floor (which is what we asked for) with a direct view of the pool and the sea, again in very good condition.

We enjoyed the food in the buffet restaurant and visited the Grill and the Japanese restaurant which we also enjoyed very much so no problems whatsoever with the food. We tended to visit the beach snack bar for lunch and were delighted with the food and the service there too, there is a barbecue down the steps from the snack bar several times a week, I don't know why its not more widely publicised. We had read reviews where people had had to wait a long time for drinks but we had no such problems in any of the restaurants, as soon as we sat down we were poured water and asked for our bar orders.

During the day we used the beach by the gazebo as, although it was more rocky, we were bitten when we used the main beach. It was also close enough to the snack bar to get a fanta every hour to make sure we didn't dehydrate in the lovely sunshine. We had a couple of days of cloud and some rain but it was so warm we weren't disappointed and usually the rain cleared up within half an hour or so. We had no problems getting sunbeds and umbrellas on the beach whatever time we went but if you want an umbrella by the pool I would suggest you are there before 9 am.

We took out kayaks and pedallos but didn't bother with the catamarans as it was breezy and we had seen at least one catamaran get into trouble on the reefs each day. We hadn't upgraded to gold, but these were part of the all inclusive package. We tended to snorkle each day and saw loads of fish and one day a whole family of cuttle fish. My husband is a keen angler and had taken a telescopic fishing rod, he fished from the rocks several days and although he usually threw all he caught back, one day he saved his catch and handed it to Denzel for his dinner. Denzil was absolutely delighted!

We enjoyed three trips (see the photos), the Cool Runnings boat trip to Dunns River Falls which was great (our coach driver, Marlon Brando, was a scream"), the H'Evans Scent trip where we glided down the main zip wire (exhilarating) and drove quad bikes - it was a rainy afternoon and we got filthy but the laundry service at the hotel was cheap, quick and very good. However, our favourite trip by far was the Chukka Cove horseriding trip where we trekked and swam with the horses. There is a similar trip (Hooves?) where guests only got five minutes in the water but we were in the water for at least 20 minues, probably half an hour, and we didn't stop laughing all the time we were in there. One horse was actually swimming and the guides were doing circus tricks on their horses. I can heartily recommend it.

We have stayed all over the world and enjoyed excellent service but the service we received from the staff at this hotel was so amiable, friendly and smiley that it was a joy to be served by them. Our favourite barmen were Evrol in the Lobby Bar and Antonio in the Daiqueri Bar. The karioki bar was fun too.

On the down side, the hotel works on a one week cycle so if you are there for two weeks, after the first week you will find the food is exactly the same, and unbelievably, the shows are exactly the same. The shows are of a poor standard to be honest and if you don't enjoy watching dancing you're in for a disappointment.

We took the instructions from this website on how to use the safe and that saved us a great deal of money for tips so thank you very much for that Trip Advisors! We only once were short of towels and they arrived within the hour of letting reception know. We also had a problem with the mini bar which was sorted very quickly and maintenance sorted out our blocked toilet straight away. We tended to tip our maid $1 every day rather than at the end of our stay and left a tip whenever we had had good service but don't believe the service would have been worse had we not tipped.

If the hotel asked me for recommendations for improvements I would suggest their building programme includes another bar for the evenings and that perhaps it would be a good idea to make the resort adults only. Other than that we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday here, would recommend both the hotel and the island to anyone, and would return again!

  • Liked — The staff
  • Disliked — Occasionally the corridors needed cleaning
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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1 review
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2007

We were indeed pampered at the Gran Bahia Principe in Jamaica...This was our first trip to the Jamaica...so grateful to our travel agent for recommending this new property. It's excellent...new...elegant...the rooms are just as exquisite as shown it the photos.
The grounds and gardens and the beach are excellent.
The staff were amazing...we enjoyed them and their eagerness to make our stay 'the best"...Before we even arrived to hotel we had our gold wrist bands on and were all ready to begin our days of luxury!!!...no hassles...We were met with that delightful, warm Jamaican welcome! It was "hugs" along with the good-bye at the end of our 7 days...we'd love to return...we are delighted with this "find"!!!!

  • Liked — The elegance plus the gardens/greenery and The Staff!!!!!
  • Disliked — There was no significant disappointment; we would have liked more opportunity to use our allowed # of ala carte meals...they were heavily booked but still enjoyed the buffet so it wasn't a really big loss to us.
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, England
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2007

Like others read the reviews previously and was a little concerned - but we had the time of our lives at Gran Bahia - first time on all inclusive.

My wife and I travelled with my wife and daughter (18 years), we arrived after a 10 hour flight with Thompson (possibly one of the most comfortable long haul flights we have been on - plenty of leg room, entertainment and quality of meals served).

The check-in was smooth and simple. The room was fabulous size, everything worked, the room was well serviced daily as was the mini bar fridge and toiletries - it was also very quiet (15206) at all times. The a/c worked extremely well - wow you really need it!

The meals were well prepared and served, we ate in all the outlets. The quality of the food was fine to excellent - Breakfast was our favourite meal of the day - the choice was fabulous, nothing ran out and we had bucks fizz daily!

The bars were all great, service varied between the pool bar, main bar and beach bars. Service was quick - only negative was the spirits served were local and not branded - small issue really.

Other guests included Americans, Canadians, Spanish and Portugese.

In terms of all inclusive - it really did include the lot - from bar drinks, snacks, meals, wine with meals, sailing, pedlo, snorkelling...etc.

Jamaican people were great and very friendly, thought the staff were very warm and very well presented.

The setting was fabulous, loads to do, the swimming pool - is one the largest I have ever seen...the staff were continually seen cleaning - the place was very well kept.

The beach (although man-made) was fab - no issues, staff even on the beach clearing up any washed up seaweed!

We went on the Dunns Falls excursion - excellent day out, the DVD cost $40, just seen it at home and well worth it! Also went to swim with Dolphins - they say it is one thing that you need to do before you die - they are right! Again we paid for the DVD - cost $49 and although we were with a group of 8 others, we asked for the DVD to be of our family of three only and they obliged!

Overall, one of the the best weeks we have spent - so would definately recommend, would definately go back to Jamaica and would definately use the Gran Bahia group again.

  • Liked — Quality and choice of meals, choice of facilities on site, all inclusive really meant all inclusive
  • Disliked — Local branded spirits served in bars, mosquito's
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2007

We had a marvellous time at this hotel. We stayed there for 2 weeks and we had the most wonderful honeymoon that you can expect. The staff we very polite and nice. The room was awsome. The bathrooms were awsome too. The only negative points that i can post is that the animation is not a 5 stars hotel animation maybe a 3 star and the beach are not as great as Cuba's beaches but it was a great beach. The food was extraordinanary and the restaurants were very nice. I recommand this hotel to anyone. We booked two expedition during our trip. The first one is the Dunn's falls (Ochos Rios HiLites = 50$ each) was a bit expensive for what we saw. I suggested you to take only the trip to Dunn's falls that were only 30$. At least if you still think it is too much, the entry on the Dunn'S falls is 10 us$ and a you can take a taxi (outside of the hotel) and say to the driver that you want to go to Dunn's Falls and you only have 5$ left. The other ones was Black River. I doesn't recommand this trip to old people or tall people because it a whole day trip with more than 6 hours in bus. It is a great trip but it is very long.

  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2007

We just returned from a five day stay on Oct 25, 2007. We read some of the reviews and were a little afraid of what to expect. Overall the hotel and grounds are beautiful. We did what others said to do, tip allot to get good service. It did not work. Tipping was not appreciated by anyone except the pool bartenders, and they were great. (Ask for Maurice, he was allot of fun) We could not get room service for three days and finally had to go get a sack of clean towels at the front desk after having to get someones attention. I had left money on the bed and inside the mini fridge and nobody even came into the room. So then we tipped the maid outside and was told by the head maid who was checking rooms that ours would be put down to get cleaned. We went out and came in late and still no clean room and no towels! We were told by some locals it was the fastest resort ever constructed in Jamaica and you can tell by the poor quality of workmanship in the rooms. We had to change rooms due to the first room unacceptable, the Jacuzzi tub looked like someone mixed up mortar in it, the tiled walls were splashed with stain of leftover grout, tiles were loose and it was not just in the two rooms we had, our friends had two rooms too( as the first night they gave them twin beds) and the same stain only yellow like paint was in their bathtub. Plus their ceiling fan was loose and hanging. Apparently they did not put very many light fixtures up tightly as they were loose in the lobby too. Although it will pass now, in two years, I cannot see this place holding up to being able to draw full price for these rooms. I do not blame the poor service on the help, the management has no clue as to what is going on in his hotel. I doubt if he even knows these rooms look the way they do as there are so many rooms. We also had to ask for help from the hospitality desk, as we could not find out if our friends had a way back due to a flight cancellation on the way there by bookit.com. At the last minute, I mean at the airport on the morning of our trip, they find out the airline cancelled their reservation. They were lucky enough to be put on our flight, but had to run to get on our plane! (They had booked a month after us and were going on a different airline) The hotel manager said Bookit's representative was on site, the lady named Nadia who was supposed to be the representative, said very rudely, she does not work for Bookit she works for Jamaica Tours and she would not help us find out what happened to the flight. So we spent about one whole day of our time trying to make phone calls and find out why Bookit left them without a flight. (I also do not recommend using Bookit as they take no responsibility to help you if you are out of the country and something goes wrong. The airline said they emailed Bookit and Bookit says it is not their responsibility to let us know after you have paid for your trip. My flight also had changed but only on the amount of time for the layover, so although disappointed it did not ruin our trip, as it almost did for the other couple. The rumors about the drinks are true, they are definately watered down, the beer was okay. The food was assorted on the buffet quite a variety, but by day five, it all appears to be the same. A few people did get sick on something from the buffet, was probably the seafood, was as near as we could figure.
The scenery of Jamaica was beautiful, we walked up the Dunn River Falls, (a bit treacherous in spots), but the best part was eating jerk at a roadside stand called Scotchies. It was marvelous! You are better off renting a taxi at the hotel outside at the taxi desk rather than a bus tour if their are just a couple or few of you, we paid $20 per hour and a driver named Donovan took us to the falls, and shopping and to eat Jerk. It was probably a little over four hours and we paid $80, plus a tip. He was very good, very clean taxi, was a comfortable air conditioned mini van and he will answer any questions you may have about the locals. Watch out buying t-shirts, we bought them in Ocho Rios, beautiful embroidery, soft cotton, great deal at 5 for $20. Only problem, they shrink up to almost a belly button length shirt. They do not shrink in, they shrink up and they say on the label, pre-shrunk and wouldn't you know it, made in China! So watch what you get there. All in all, was a fun trip, the entertainment each evening was enjoyable and the disco was fun. The beach although manmade was still beautiful to get away from the pool and take a nap!
Enjoy the resort why you can, as I say, it will almost certain be rundown in a couple years if managment does not do a better job of taking care of the shoddy workmanship that is occurring during the building process and to get the help better managed to take care of the massive amount of rooms that are in this hotel.

Stayed October 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2007

We flew premium with Airtours which is worth it as you get priority check in and all the perks of first class. We arrived at the hotel after a 10 1/2 hour flight, as soon as we went into reception to book in we were met with welcome drinks and friendly staff. Book in took about 10 minutes.

Our room was fantastic the bathroom was spotless. we were in 16305 and the view was of the shops and the bay. We tipped our maid $1 every day and always had our mini bar restocked and extra towels.

The food was fantatsic especially in the Don Pablo restaraunt the grill is okay but the smoke gets a bit too much. The beach bar is great with steel drums most days, if you want to hear reggae go here every where else is Spanish.

The only thing I can say about the beach is don't expect white sand even though pictures show this as it is all man made and sand flies are everywhere and they do bite along with the mosquitoes.

The pool feels like it goes on for a mile and is just lovely, I recommend trying a strawberry slush puppie with extra rum. These will blow your head off.

We took the shuttle bus which cost $20 for both of us to Ochos Rios and went to the craft market (just a tip take the guided tour we didn't and couldn't wait to get out). We then went to Hard Rock Cafe which is fantastic and a nice set of shops expecially for tourists. Although I found the hotel shop cheapest.

We did quad biking at Chukka Grove which was great (having done this in Egypt before we sort of knew what to expect only they give you helmets and tuition here). At the end of the trip you get to jump 15 feet into 20 foot of water off a cliff and then purchase pictures after. 5 pictures cost $20 which you get on a disc.

The only problem was we never saw our rep when we needed her as we had a 24hour delay we had an extra night in the hotel and when we came to check out they tried to make us pay. I don't think they are used to the British as all we did was bang our room cards down and go and get on the coach, to which the management could do nothing, except for watch (as most of the management sre Spanish I think they knew better than to annoy us as it was 4:15am.

The airport is okay again with Premium we jumped the queues and also paid $60 to go into the VIP lounge for free drinks and food which is worth it (although not on the same scale as the UK). Unfortunatly on the way back the premium was not nup to standard with ripped seats and then they ran out of duty free, ice and drinks.

All in All I would go back to this hotel and recommend it to friends and family

  • Liked — everything was clean and there was always something to eat for everyone
  • Disliked — in the middle of a very poor area and you cannot just go outside the hotel
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2007

I must admit that I was very nervous about this trip having read the mixed reviews. Having just returned, let me relieve someone else's anxiety.
Please read other's reports to get the tips e.g. taking an insulated (large!) cup for drinks, leaving a key card in the slot inside the door to keep the a/c/ on, locking stuff in your luggage to avoid the $6/day safe charge. I can add a huge suggestion- men, take long pants for dinner. They really expect slacks on the men for the dinner hour. Ladies can get away with casual attire (no shorts) for dinner. No bathing suits at lunch. (served 1:30-3:30) Take some kind of cover-up to avoid having to go back to the room to change clothes frequently. The food is plentiful- especially at the buffet. The other restaurants require a reservation and are more formal. Actually, you can get by with shorts at the buffet. The place is huge, clean, and absolutely beautiful. Be prepared to walk! All elevators were working during our stay. The staff was very cordial and helpful. A dollar tip here and there was much appreciated. The frozen drinks were wonderful! The pool is the nicest and largest that I've ever seen. Lots of lounge chairs. Try for the scarce umbrella. The beach has many shady bahias, hard sand, warm, shallow water.
We were most impressed with everything- except the beach cafe. The flies were everywhere. Actually, flies were a bit of a pain at the pool. That's why you need a bathing suit cover up to get lunch and avoid the cafe on the beach. Anyhow, it's all good. Have fun.

  • Liked — The weather, the room, the food and drinks!
  • Disliked — The flies- especially at the beach restaurant!
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
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

Address: Salt Coopers. Runaway Bay. Jamaica | Salt Coopers, Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Runaway Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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 (1h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Wedding gazebo 2 buffet-style main restaurants and 5 speciality restaurants 8 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 850 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

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