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!
- 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