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“Loved it, but beware on departure” 4 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   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
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Ranked #6 of 15 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Toronto
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Loved it, but beware on departure”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2007

When we got to the Bahia, from the time we entered the looby, the service was great!
If you didn't know, the Bahia is huge Spaish chain of resorts. And so the Spanish influence is prevalent around the resort.
However, the Jamaican employees on the resort, in fact Jamaicans in general, are some of the nicest, most hospitalble people I have ever met. They will never ask you for tip so please remember to tip while you're there.
Now the bad news. Check out time is generally 12pm. Our bus to the airport was leaving for the airport at 5:30pm. With the Gold Package, (and maybe even with out it) we were promised a room that we could use to freshen up before boading the bus. With that in mind, most people checked in their suit cases and proceeded to the pool or beach for that 'last dip' in the water under the sun. When the time came to get ready for the bus, we discovered that the room we were promised is actually what they called a 'Club House' located under the lobby area. One room for two bus loads of people to use!
So we head downstairs to this 'Club House' only to be greeted by a pool of water, one of the toilet's had over flowed. So ok, this happens we thought. We then headed to the front desk to tell them of the issue and to request an empty room to use to get ready for the Bus. By this time its 5pm and the bus is coming at 5:30pm. The employees at the front desk proceed to explain to us that they ony have one empty room, which was across the resort in another building. Out of desperation a few people trekked to this room only to find out that the room they were offered had no lights, and no hot water. Please remember this is supposed to be a 5 star hotel.
Some other folks like myself were forced to change, in the toilet area! So no shower for us. Changing for our trip from this 5 star hotel had to be done in the toilet.
And forget the tour operators, we approached the Tour Operator from Transat Holidays. She began to tell us its our fault for waiting so long to get ready.
So in summary, enjoy your stay, enjoy the pool and beach, but beware, you have to use one room to get ready in, and a few people will be with you. And if that room is out of order, you will have a problem on your hands if you need a shower.

  • Liked — Clean, Service, Resort activities
  • Disliked — Excellent treatment at check in, terrible treatment at check out.
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,282 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2,048)
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English first
Montreal, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2007

We spent the week of October 14th and there's so much to say !!! This a beautiful resort and I can only imagine what it would be in a couple of years when the vegetations will have growth.

I must say that I was worried after all the reviews I've read between August & October but the Jamaican people are lovely...you just can't love them....the service was perfect and it's clean...everywhere. But it's not an all-inclusive resort. You have to pay for international drinks and for some of the activities. Just be careful.

We were in the Golden Club section (room 11506), beach front on the 5th floor. Was it worth ? Yes...the room was done twice a day, the mini-bar always refilled, beach towels in our room, free safe, 1 more restaurant à la carte and free internet. I really felt like being pampered and the bed was so but so comfortable... Two negatives points: rooms are not sound-proof...sleeping between 10 pm & 7am is perfect & normal but a little nap before lunch time or after 8 am is hard, especially if there's Spanish people around. Advise: use the bathroom just as a bathroom...not at place for funs ...you would be surprised to hear the folks beside just as if they were with you !!!

The restaurants are SO good...I've never ate steaks so good and I don't buy cheap steaks at home...I'm more like AAA beef, Boston cut. I wasn't interested by the Japonese one and the fish restaurant didn't impress me but the Grill (been twice) & Don something were amazing !!!

We are golf players so we brought our golf club. I can hear you say why didn't she choose the Breezes...well I've been to the Breezes 14 years ago and I wanted see something different and now I can compare. So we went 4 times at the golf and the cost was 80$/person (we were 2 and we were playing only a 9 wholes) for the taxi & tip (8.50$), green fees(50$), cart (11.50$), caddy (5.50$) tip to caddy (3.00$) and add another 14$ if you need to rent the clubs. Was it worth, yes because we really love golf. The frontnine is more difficult but the view is beautiful on the backnine. The grass is very very different...you may not play what you are used to in your area.

Before talking about the beach and the snorkelling, I must tell you that my favorite spot is the Playa Pesquero in Holguin Cuba but there's no Golf course around...

The beach was a cruel deception for us...I'm a beach girl, I pay for the ocean not for a pool. No white sand and worst, the sand is full of small rocks...the shore is okay but can hardly snorkel when the tide is low like in the morning but yes there's nice spots all around. We also did the snorkelling trip for 30$, beautiful but doesn't worth the money. Also, you always have to leave a deposit of 25$ to borrow the palms (fines) since we brought our masks & tubas. And yes there's flies & mosquitos...There was a enough place for everyone but it was October and what will it looks like when there will be 2000 rooms instead of the actual 757 ???

Tips: We didn't tip everywhere and it was okay. People are really friendly. So I've brought bunch of stuff from the dollarshop for the kids and I left 1$ per day to the maid. We also tip the bellman, some of the bartenders and in the restaurants, just like what we would have done here.

Disco: We like dancing...but the disco wasn't worth the lack of sleep....especially when the Spanish people took control on Monday & Tuesday, with Spanish music. We were so glad to see American people arriving on Wednesday and Thursday...it was more international !!!

Will I recommand this hotel ? It depends what you're looking for...for the beach, definitely no but for the rest, yes.

Honnestly, the Breezes offers more for almost the same price if you play golf...tips are not allowed, the beach was nice, there was snorkelling offshore, the golf was free like all the many activities and I've heard that the hotel has been renovated and EVERYTHING is included even ALL the watersport like diving and waterskiing. But the hotel is old and I'm not even sure if there's balcony...

So we'll continue to look for the perfect spot for us... with a beautiful beach, snorkelling offshore, golf and all of that at a cheap rate...I know I'm dreaming !!! But just in case you have that place in mind... our budget is not more than 1700$/person for October 2008.

  • Liked — Everything except the beach !!!
  • Disliked — The beach
  • 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
    • 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.
Toronto
1 review
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2007

We just spent 7 days at the Gran BP in Run- Away-Bay, Jamaica
The resort has 767 rooms each one a suite. Very clean and the
balcony views were awesome in most rooms. One and a half
hour drive from the Airport. Air Transat Vacations reps met us
at the airport, they had already booked us into our rooms - no
line ups to check in. Because our flight arrived at 10pm and the
drive to the hotel put us arriving near Midnight, the hotel kept one
of the restuarants open so we could have a meal upon arrival.
It's true that the hotel has a rooster that roams around the grounds at will. Security was very tight at the BP. Even on the beaches. 4 beaches in total, one a nude beach fenced off away
from the public side. 4 pools and 2 swim up bars, staff had
daily entertainment at the pool and on the beach. Food was very
good and the hours great for any schedule.
The resort has a sports bar, disco, casino and shops that are
resonably priced.

We would recommend this resort to anyone. Awesome time in
Jamaica (no problem mon!)

Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iceland
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2007

I stayed there for 8 nights with my family and we had a very plesant stay, the jamaican people are so frendly and most of the staff was great, the food was amazing! and the rooms and the pool where in superb condition.

This is a 5 star hotel with all its qualitys, we saw other hotels on the Island and we where quite shocked, this is really the only place to stay if you go to jamaica, and a tip is always apreciated from the staff.

The only thing I didnt like was that the great staff didnt get paid overtime, the owners of the hotel should realy take a look at this, its a disgrace!

  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with family
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2007

My lady and I stayed here the week of october 15 through 20th.
What an awesome experience. Like most I was very hesitate about booking this property after reading some of the reviews.
However, we did our homework and booked this trip. The property is breathetaking from the resort's entrance to the beaches overlooking the caribbean sea. The food was outstanding. Not what you would normally find at a all inclusive
caribbean resort. From the buffet to all the specialty restuarants.
The shops on the property are designed like a mini outlet mall,
with very good prices on everything. During the ride over from the
airport their were multiple conversations by severals travelers bragging about how much they spent and how nice their propertys were but when we arrived at gran bahia to the person
their mouths drop opened and asked," who is staying here". My lady and I looked at each smiled and replied we are. Then I told them the great deal that we paid through bookit.com. Several of them got of the bus to take a better look. But this was understandable, because from the property entrance, the lobby, the large suites with marble baths you saw elegance. The out door swimming pool was the largest and best that I have ever experienced. Ladies and gents this is truthfully a four star property. I travel alot about four to six times a year. I have visited all the hawaiian islands, most of the caribbean and west indies islands, the dutch antilles, mexico and the south pacific. Bottom line I seen and enjoyed alot of property's you Will enjoy the gran bahia principe. If Jamaica is your travel destination stay at the gran bahia. During your stay on the island you will see alot of the other hotels and resorts after those visuals you will be glad you stayed at the Gran bahia.

  • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2007

The hotel is beautiful looking and the rooms a large and nicely appointed. The problem is with the horrible service. Twice in 4 days my room was cleaned but no towels were in the room. The resort is huge but they have not staffed it properly. Several times there were not enough staff where breakfast was being served. I found it strange that the only official language in Jamaica is English yet all the hotel literature has Spanish as the first language. When we received restaurant reservation slip, it was entirely in Spanish! Jamaica has a strong and distinctive culture and there is no reflection of it at this resort. I have been to Jamaica several time and at each resort the entertainment and food were Jamaican. The hotel room doors have no peep hole which I found quite strange! The most troubling aspect was the fact that all the management of the hotel was Spanish and workers Jamaican. A few times I saw staff being publicly berated by a Spanish supervisor. I feel bad the employees at this Hotel! A lot of them are overworked and treated poorly.

Stayed October 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorkshire, UK
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 62 cities Reviews in 62 cities
242 helpful votes 242 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
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
Phone Number:
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Spa 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: 812
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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