just returned from Grand Bahia yesterday. Just wanted to write a review just to be informative to future guests, rather than being super critical etc. First let me start by saying I am in the "travel" business (23 years) and have been to every island in the Caribbean and pretty much every vacation destination in Mexico. I have just started staying at "all inclusives" about 5 years ago. So my "experience" with all inclusives is somewhat new, however, they pretty much are all very similiar (buffet restaurant, al a carte restaurants, same activities by the pool, free bottom shelf liquor, basic room with basic amenities). I go to all inclusives with this in mind, that they are all pretty much the same. Some are nicer than others (Riu Palace!) but overall they are all the same. I dont go with "high" expectations AT ALL for food. You have to remember the buffets are pretty much just one step above a cafeteria, regardless of the "star" rating for the hotel. A "5 star" all inclusive is still a "3 star" hotel when compared to ALL hotels (Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton etc). It might be a "5 star" if compared to OTHER all inclusives, but overall most all inclusives are probably a 3 star when compared overall to every hotel. With that being said, here is my "opinion" of the Grand Bahia:
Room: comfortable, clean, excellent air conditioning, mattress was comfy, pillows were flat, safe was fairly large, TV was awful (got a cable signal only about 30% of the time and TV was very old-not that we watch TV a lot but we like to have it on to watch news etc when we are getting ready to go for dinner etc), shower was nice, good water pressure, light was broke in shower. Never saw bugs in room (i.e. ants, roaches etc) but we did have a few mosquitos since sliding glass door does not have a screen, so every time you open sliders a stray mosquito would get in, mini bar was stocked but with terrible quality beer (not even the local Red Stripe-was something called Presidente from Antigua, and they only gave us 2) and also had some sodas and water in there. We only had one beer from minibar and they did replace it the next day. Our soap/shampoo never got replaced but didnt bother us as we brought our own shampoo etc but the bar soap we used was not replaced (not a big deal cuz we used the same bar the whole time we were there, just pointing this out since that might be important to some people!). My only complaint about the room is my small jewelry pouch that I had some earrings in was stolen from our room. Probably my own fault since I didnt put it in the safe, but they were like cheap fashion jewelry earrings so I didnt think anyone would want them LOL. I didnt report it to management because I wasnt "sure" if I actually left them at home on accident but when I got home and didnt find the pouch I realized they mus'tve been stolen. so make sure you put everything in SAFE
POOL: very clean, very big, water was comfortable temperature. Had nice shallow sections where you can lounge and get sun and have just like half your legs covered with water. Daily activities got a little annoying but the pool is so large you can go sit farther down away from activities area and not hear them. We wanted to be closer to the activities area to hear the music they played, however, we discovered that not much music gets played because they are constantly doing activities and announcing them over the PA system (i.e. Bingo, beer drinking contest, putt putt golf game, water aerobics, etc).. The activities personnel were very good, getting people involved, they were very funny and seemed to really enjoy what they were doing, everyone seemed to enjoy them and they had a good repoire with the guests. Pool chairs were fine, had no issue with those.
RESTAURANTS: Buffet was SO SO. Not many choices for breakfast, your standard made to order omelettes (not many ingredient choices however). Had scrambled eggs, hard boiled eggs, fried eggs, bacon, sausage, cereals, lots of pastries that were excellent. Only thing we were disappointed with was the fruit selection every day was pretty lame, same thing every day-watermelon, canteloupe, tangerines, honeydew melon. fruit was same at every buffet meal. No mangos or papaya at all, but they had papayas carved up and used as decorations, so why not put some on buffet to eat? I mean come on we are on a tropical island, people want tropical fruits!!! LOL Ala carte restaurants were excellent-Japanese was the best, do the Hibachi grill dinner. The Ala carte restaurants here I thought were better than some other all inclusives I had been to.
BEACH: AWFUL. This is why I gave this resort a three star rating. The beach was awful. We were very disappointed with the beach situation. The beach directly in front of resort is NOT WALKABLE without water shoes on (This is the beach right by the wedding gazebo). We heard this area was all man made and they laid ALL pebbles down so its not walkable without any kind of shoes on. And the water is not very swimable here either, as it seemed to have quite a lot of rocks and seaweed. The other beach area that everyone seemed to gravitate to was the "cove" area directly to the left of hotel (when you are facing the beach). This beach was somewhat nicer, has less rocks/pebbles and is walkable without water shoes on. This was where most people swam, however the designated "swim" area is quite small as there is a large reef with lots of coral and rocks not too far off the shoreline that guests are not allowed to go to (theres a swim rope designating the swim area). This area has softer sand on the bottom so you can walk out and swim but its pretty shallow (waist deep only). The beach area where the sun loungers are has VERY hard compacted sand. There's pretty much NO soft sand anywhere at this resort, which we found a little odd, what happened to all the soft sand? We thought maybe it had been washed away during a hurricane, but we werent sure why they didnt replenish it with sand they imported from somewhere else (they do this in Cancun all the time whenever there is a hurricane). This beach with the swim area also had a large wall made out of rock and concrete that was all busted up (from a storm I presume) and was not only an eyesore but seemed very dangerous as someone (A child!) could easily fall off or hurt themselves playing on it. We were very disappointed with beach at this resort. ***BRING WATER SHOES IF YOU STAY HERE****
HOTEL STAFF: Waiters, bartenders, etc were all very very good, hard workers. We never had a problem waiting for a table anywhere, we never waited long at all for our food, there are people all over constantly cleaning, sweeping, etc. Everyone was very very pleasant, cordial, polite, respectful, etc. We thought the employees were ALL very very nice and work very hard. We were NEVER approached at all ever about time shares etc. but we did see quite a lot of people doing "time share" tours etc.
Another thing worth mentioning: We waited TWO hours for our room when we checked in. We checked in at 245 pm (check in time is 3 pm). They told us we had to wait a bit as room was not ready. We ended up waiting TWO HOURS and after me asking them probably 6 times if room was ready yet, they finally gave us a different room. We also heard from other guests they waited several hours also for their rooms, and one couple waited several hours only to go up to their room to find someone in there already!! Also, we didnt do the "upgrade", felt like it was probably a gimmick. We heard you get a robe and slippers in your room if you upgrade, and you get "top shelf" liquor, and you get one more ala carte reservation (they lmit you to how many ala carte restaurants you can eat at, for example we stayed 4 nights we were allowed 2 ala cartes only but concierge gave us an extra ala carte reservation i think cuz we waited so long for our room) and the upgrade wristbands allow you to use "nicer" sun loungers by pool. Not really worth it to us so we didnt upgrade
Sorry this review is so long----Just wanted to be very specific about everything. A lot of reviews I read I feel are not specific enough nor go into great detail about everything and I always wish more people would go into more detail about thier stay, so thats why this review is so long. I hope it helps! Bottom line, we would probably not come back to the Bahia. We might try a different resort in Jamaica, but it would have to have a nice beach-the beach here was the turn off for us. THAT is pretty much the only reason WHY we would not come back to the Bahia.
If you want quiet, stay in the "new" building (supposedly this building was just built a y...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.