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“Great visit as part of a wedding group” 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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Special Offer
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Ranked #6 of 15 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great visit as part of a wedding group”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

This was my family's first visit to Jamaica but not our first AI (usually go to Palace Resorts in Mexico). This was no Palace but overall was a great resort. Our kids (ages 3, 7, 9) had a great time in the pool and the staff were all great with them. We went to GBP for my sister's wedding so we had a nice large group to hang with which usually ended up at the pool. The pool wasn't the cleanest I have been in but was fine and a great gathering place. I agree with other reviewers that this is a big place so be prepared to do lots of walking (or if you have a toddler, lots of carrying! Great workout!). Still, the snack hut with the Jerk Chicken place by the beach is worth the walk and the beach area past it is great - nice and calm, shallow, great for the kids. The food variety was excellent and the specialty restaurants had great selections. We were not tired of the same food after 7 days as can happen in some places. The kids menu was limited but a big thanks to the staff who got us food for our 3 year old that he would eat when the Don Pablo selections were not to his liking (Thanks Hughroy!).
The staff were all super nice and helpful - special mention to Juan at the Palmyra breakfast buffet, Hughroy at Don Pablo, and Steven at the Garden Grill. It's people like you who go above and beyond that really make for a memorable experience.
The rooms were spacious and the beds comfortable. The bathroom had all the amenities and the resort was very clean, save the pool which could have used a regular vacuum to get rid of the sand and leaves.
My sister's wedding was great and turned out to be a very special experience for her and her husband. The staff were most helpful and gave all us guests a great experience.
Pros: awesome staff, lots to do, don't need to go off resort but lots of excursions if you want to do so, food variety
Cons: 1 hour bus to get there, Montego Bay customs sucks (super slow), big resort so prepare to walk a lot

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IselS, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, July 14, 2013
Dear Guest,

It is very appreciated for all our team to know that we have achieved the expectations of you and your entire group. We are honored to have been chosen as a destination wedding and being able to host you during your recent vacation.

Your words about the spacious room, comfortable bed, quality and variety of the food and the helpful staff become an impulse to keep working to maintain our high standards.

Thank you for vacationing with us; we hope to see you again soon in our Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts for your summer holidays in Jamaica.

Yours sincerely,

Isel Salgado
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica.
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Rating summary
  • 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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English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

I have stayed at the Bahia Principe in Tulum Mexico several years ago and so I was excited to visit another Bahia Principe resort ... that is until I got there.

My sister and I went for a friend's wedding and left Toronto on 6/28-7/5/2013. Let me forewarn everyone when we landed and were making our way through customs in Jamaica ... oh Lord! Hot, humid and what a line up...felt like we were waiting in line for a ride at Canada's Wonderland.

Check In - This was quite the disorganized spectacle.. since we were a rather large group of us coming from Toronto there were two people responsible to get us our room keys/towel keys and bracelets. There was no rhyme or rhythm and they were all over the place. They ran out of bracelets and we had to wait to get some before going anywhere.

We initially were given Room 18106 - 2 Double beds room on the ground level. The room was standard nice hotel room with lovely canopy bed and mosquito mesh and a nice lounge couch to sit on near a table with chairs. Standard old style TV and a bar fridge in the dresser. Nice wood in the room and the flooring was nice with a ceiling fan along with AC. The bathroom was large and clean with a bathtub and separate show stall. There were plenty of towels and little shampoos and soaps etc ...

We didn't spend much time in the room until that night when we had the mosquito infestation and cockroaches come out for a visit. We called front desk to have them switch our room because I was not going to spend the next 7 nights swatting mosquitos and worrying about roaches in the room. Of course it took a good 5 minutes for front desk to answer the phone and when they did they were rather rude about the whole situation. We spent the night under the covers avoiding getting eaten alive and in the morning we were given a new room.

This of course went on throughout the whole time period we were there. The only decent person at the front desk was Marlon who was ABSOLUTELY wonderful. Treated us like proper guests and not like a nuisance.

Resort- The grounds were manicured but I was slightly puzzled at the lack of lighting in the hallways and the exterior at night time. Also the lack of music was puzzling considering that it is Jamaica and home to Bob Marley. There was no 'entertainment' by staff and the only entertainment I saw was the VIP people trying to get you to go on a Don Pablo tour.

Food - Overall I can say they had alot of selection for food and the Piscis beach snack was great for the jerk chicken and view. However I found it really odd that the breakfast is from 7:00 am until 10:00 and the next place opens at 11 to eat. So if you like to sleep in and wake up after 10 you are out of luck and go without food for an hour.

The A La Carte restaurants weren't bad but Dolce Vita is not very Italian and the Japanese restaurant was meh ...

Beaches - The sand was nice and smooth and I saw the beach staff removing large rocks from the beach where people walk. The water was beautiful blue and clear. Smokey Joe was always there waiting every day in the beach to sell conch shells and/or weed.There are lots of fish (all different kinds), eels, starfish (different kinds)The water is pretty shallow.The resort has a nude beach all the way to the furthest point on this beach. There are a few bars on the beach and if you want to "get happy" make sure to look for Gerrick for drinks ... he makes them strong!

Pool - It is huge but filthy. There were many drunken people in the pool spilling drinks and although the staff cleans the pool in the morning I found lots of empty plastic cups in the water and stir sticks and hair ... so after day 1 I never went back in the pool. To get a towel you have to go at 8 am or else good luck getting one.

Overall the employees (mostly the men) love to make lewd comments and follow you and ask where you from and if you're single. Day 1 it was flattering by Day 3 I was avoiding all staff (maintenance guys and lifeguards) The entertainment is lacking, I was expecting more music at this resort. Most seemed annoyed to work there. The bartender at the pool was rude every time and the contract workers creeped me out.

The delight of my stay were the following: Marlon - Manager of the resort, Julio - Ensured my dining experience was wonderful each time, Desirnee - Cleaning lady extraodinaire, Janelle - VIP staff whom we did the tour and got awesome loot bags to boot! and of course Hyacinth - Best masseuse ever!

Would I go back to this hotel? No. Would I go back to another Bahia Principe? Yes.

Tips: Building A - C is in the OLD part of the building. Ask for a room above the 3rd floor in order to avoid bugs and mosquitos. .
If you score a chair on the beach leave your towel, go eat and then come back to the same spot. If someone takes your towel tell staff someone stiffed it and they will give you another card. Ask for extra towels from the get go as waiting for front desk to do anything is like watching paint dry.
When getting a drink ask for rum cream or something with overproof... they tend to water their drinks down with not a lot of alcohol.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IselS, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Dear Erica,

Thank you for sharing your opinion with us. We appreciate to learn that you have enjoyed the manicured grounds, overall the food and the beach. Though, we regret to see that we couldn't reach your satisfaction and we apologize wholeheartedly for the inconveniences you have had.

Let us kindly point out, that we would have appreciated to know the information you have pointed out whilst you were here as communications like yours represent a valuable tool for our management to rectify the issues right away. As well, it would allow us to try our best in recovering your preference before your departure.

Certainly, we thank you for communicate us your experiences; we are forwarding your comments to the related departments to further investigate on it and take strong measures to its solution.

Thank you for vacationing with us; it would be our pleasure to have yet other opportunity to host you and recover your confidence in us.

Yours respectfully,

Isel Salgado
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
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New York, New York, United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Recently came back from the Grand Bahia in Runaway Bay, JA. I must say it was a lovely, HUGE resort and by huge i mean HUGE like we felt we needed a golf cart to travel around lol. None the less, the property is very well maintained and clean. The staff is so very friendly and welcoming and will go above and beyond to make your stay exceptional. The food was great, they had a lot of varieties which we liked so we never got bored and were able to make reservations at the a la carte restaurants as well which we liked. Don Pablo is the best rest. they serve gourmet food and this was our fav. We left the resort 3x. Once to go to the supermarket to buy rum to bring back and it was fairly easy to get a cab right at the lobby and twice to party at night which I will not lie was scary bc the roads are so dark at night and Ocho rios is about 45 mins away and thats where everything is at. Make sure you try and get a trusted driver to take you to these places, wait for you to leave or go in with you otherwise the night life may be a bit scary b/c locals as well as tourists party at the same places.


CONS

1. One huge con we didnt like was the WIFI. You have to pay $15 a day for a wifi card OR only use the free WIFI at the lobby once again this property is huge and going to the lobby each time is annoying so we ended up buying the cards which can only be used on one device for 24 hrs but worked all around the property which was good.

2. Distance from night life

3. People kept getting things stolen from their rooms, not I b/c i left my privacy on the door the whole stay I was there to avoid anyone from coming into my room.

4. Staff is super slow. I think we all know why lol but really you have to have patience. You will sit at a la carte rest. for about 2 hours so be prepared lol. They are reaaaallly nice though.

Anyway, next time I think I would stay elsewhere just b/c of the distance nothing personal. If I found a good deal maybe would stay again but that is the only way.

Shout out to:

Driver: Orville (ask for him) safely got us back and to hotel for good price. Stayed with us at club and brought us back. Made us Dancehall Cds, he is awesome!!! Can ask for him at lobby.

Staff: Richard!!! Helped us find everything we needed and was super cool. Thanks for everything.

Room Tip: Email the hotel in advance asking for ocean view.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IselS, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Dear Sasha,

Thank you for your feedback. It is grateful to learn that you had a great time with our hotel and you consider our property lovely, well maintained and clean; the great variety and quality of food were of your choice and you have found our staff friendly and accommodating.

We are sorry that you encounter some aspects you dislike. We are taking all your comments in account and will forward those that must be rectified to the related departments' heads to take them into consideration.

Thank you for vacationing with us; we sincerely hope you will consider to stay with us again in the future, for your summer vacations in the Caribbean.

Yours sincerely,

Isel Salgado
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
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stoke-on-trent
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

just got back from gran bahia where we had a great time. the people were so friendly and polite. this is a place i would return to and recomend to all. on some reviews i read that staff were not to frendly. i can say all staff were very frendly those who wrote otherwise need to look at themselves maybe they are the miz ones.
the only bad point but not to bad was the restarant where could be difficult to get a table.. besides that great time had by all

Room Tip: try get high floor room for best views. and tend to get migies on lower floors
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IselS, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your warm note and for letting us know that you have had a great vacation with our hotel.

We appreciate you reported that you have encountered our staff friendly and polite; thank you for highlighting that you have felt the hospitality and warmth of the Jamaican people in our hotel.

Thank you for vacationing with us. We hope cannot wait to see you again in our Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, a 5 star experience in Jamaica.

Yours sincerely,

Isel Salgado
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
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MrsBGray
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

First let me say we've stayed at the Iberostar 3 x's in MoBay, Riu Cancun, and Majestic Colonial Punta Cana..so AIs are not new to our family.

My husband, teenage daughter (17), and I went to GBP from 6/30-7/5/2013...arrived in MoBay at 2:30 p.m. did not arrive to hotel until 4:30-5 p.m. why you ask!? customs had huge lines by the time we got our bags and ready to go our bus it was 3:15ish then our bus left around 3:30 p.m. It is approximately an hour away.

Check In - We did not have Don Pablo collection or any other collection (yes there apparently was more than just DP - "club gold, club diamond and then you have the top Don Pablo). We were plain simple light blue bracelets, standard room. Check in was fast no lines, they gave you a welcome drink and then sent you to put a deposit down for room safe (if you want it - cost $6 per day). We gave a $50 cash deposit and then went on our way to find our room. We got lucky and where placed in building "K" which houses Don Pablo guests. We did not get asked if we wanted to upgrade to DP or any other "club."

Room 24108 - Double bed room on the ground level. It was nice just like the photos you see. The beds were pillow top and comfortable (especially for Caribbean standards). The pillows are small and flat. There is an extra pillow and two blankets in closet. What helped me sleep with the flat pillow situation was the extra pillow and the fact the beds had two toss pillows which were kind of long and large. I just placed the pillow on top of the toss pillows and slept just fine. The AC is operated by your room key. So keep a key in the switch at all times and your room will be nice and cold. Our room was great. Seriously no complaints, great working a/c, mini-fridge nice and cold, coffee maker with coffee/tea and fixings, flat screen TV with channels from all over the world (Canada, Italy, Spanish, USA, Jamaica, etc.). Channels came in nice and clear. Sitting sofa (not a sofa bed) and small table with two chairs in room. The bathroom was large and clean. Our bathroom did come stocked with 3 wash cloths (I had read some reviews that complained about this so I packed some just in case - never had to use what I brought). Jacuzzi tub/stand up shower, his/her sinks. The room overlooked the garden. Balcony had 2 chairs and table. Ground level which leads you to restaurants, pool, beach, etc.

The resort - The grounds are well manicured and the hotel is very nice. Looks just like the pictures. Was there some pieces of molding missing on some of the doors in the halls, yes, was it being repaired? yes! The rugs on the first floor halls looked fine to me (I had read the rugs looked worn and weathered). There are people working (painting, cleaning, fixing throughout the day). The resort is very large..I would say probably spans approximately 1/2 mile from where my room was in the DP section (K) to Pueblo Principe or section (A) rooms. The elevators do not have A/C and do run a little slow. We usually took the stairs up to the main level (3rd fl).

The food - All restaurants are located on ground level. The food was really good. I have to say you don't go to an AI for 5 star dining but GBP really does do a good job trying. We ate at the buffets (small one has a section for DP guests) for breakfast and dinner a few times and had lunch daily at Piscis beach snack place (jerk center is tucked away in this place). Dinner we ate at Don Pablo Restaurant and The Grill (aka Garden Grill). Both of these restaurants had EXCELLENT entrees. The jerk chicken at the jerk center is the same as you getting it from the side of the road again EXCELLENT. We always found stuff to eat and liked at the buffets. This hotel has a huge amount of Canadian guests(75% Canadian/15% Other/10% American) so they even have a section in the buffet with Canadian food selections. They also have a section with Jamaican food which is usually where we ate from. They have Burger Principe in the pueblo so after you've danced at disco or sang at Karaoke bar you can grab a burger there. It is tucked away in the corner. They don't make fresh to order burgers they are all premade patties which you throw on a bun with your fixings. My only thing with this was the burgers weren't hot or really warm but when you're hungry at 2 a.m. and we didn't have room service we ate what was there.

Beaches - I live in New England/East Coast and do not go to the beaches here so every year I have 1 week a year I go to the beach in the Caribbean. So beach is important to me. The resort has 2 beaches. Beach 1 (in front of main pool bar) is rocky sand, has jet skis (rent for fee), catamarans, snorkel, and some other water equipment to use free of charge. This area is very rocky you need water shoes. This beach area also is by the gazebo where many weddings take place. There are lots of sea critters in this area...schools of fish (all different kinds), eels, starfish (different kinds!), crabs running up and down the rocks by the gazebo. Beach 2 (close to pueblo principe - the other side of resort) has softer sand as you get to the water, less seaweed, and beautiful blue water. The water is pretty shallow, the beach has two beach bars (no beach service which I'm used to having so I was disappointed). The resort has a nude beach all the way to the furthest point on this beach. We didn't check it out so I have nothing else on that.

Pool - The pool snakes around the resort from one end to the other. It is huge. There is a section for DP guests which is right outside building K, then you have your first pool bar and lots of pool which then leads to the main pool and main pool bar. The main pool has the towel hut and that's where all the daily activities are. Yes it is all true about the lounge chairs being impossible to get people claim them early in the day, leave for hours, then return. Stinks but that is the way it is at all AIs it is just worse at some more than others. It was pretty bad here. We usually where able to put our stuff down on a lounger in the sun around 3 p.m. All our days there we were able to get a sun palapa only 1 day and it was at 4:30 p.m.

Here is the ugly - There was a family or a group of about 25 ppl (10-15 of them young adults) they were smoking pot/ganga/weed at the main POOL!! during the day time....While small children played in the pool, walked by, etc. I watched employees walk by and not say a word( I am not old or a prude I just thought it was plain wrong!). The employees here are not as friendly as we are used to in Jamaica. We LOVE Jamaica and this was our 4th trip to the island and have to say we were kind of taken back by some of the staff. The entertainment staff is lacking. This by far was the worst we've seen in all of the AIs. I will leave that at that. Now I know this is the Caribbean and their are bugs but we've never seen this happen anywhere else - maid leaves a towel swan on our bed. My husband goes to use towel and a huge roach or beetle comes out of it!!! How did she not see it in the towel before she made it into a swan?! I was speaking to another guest and when she finished her cocktail she had a surprise on the bottom of her cup! yes you guessed it a bug...We couldn't tell what it was but I was super cautious after witnessing that incident.

The good- Great beach, comfy beds, good food and a few special employees who made our trip delightful (Steven at the Grill - Great personality and wonder waiter)(Antonio at Diamond Bar - Great personality and very attentive) and (Sofie from the time share area - So polite and definitely tried her hardest to get us to go to the presentation! When we declined she continued to greet us daily and kind).

The bad - Entertainment staff needs to be revamped. No beach activities (volleyball, etc.) actually not to many activities (there is daily water aerobics 2xs a day, bingo, some other random pool games).

Would I go back to this hotel? No I wouldn't ....Would I go back to another Bahia Principe? Yes I would. If I had to choose between this resort and Iberostar I would go with Iberostar anywhere in the Caribbean. If I had to choose between Bahia Principe and a Riu resort I would choose Bahia Principe. It was a good vacation but not great usually great staff make a vacation like this memorable.

Please feel free to ask me any questions!

Room Tip: Building k is furthest to right - no noise dead silence. Rooms in C and D bring ear plugs if light s...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IselS, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comprehensive review. We appreciate to learn that the room, its bedding and comfort, the beauty of the resort, food and beach have been able to meet your satisfaction; and you have considered your vacation overall a good one.

We are deeply sorry that some areas didn't meet your satisfaction and we do apologize for all the inconveniences you have pointed out. We regret we were not allowed to know about some situations you have informed whilst you were on property, as your communication of such an uncommon situation would be definitely a great help to its solution. We are taking note of all your observations for proper follow up and solution.

Thank you for vacationing with us, even though you said you wouldn't return; we sincerely hope you reconsider staying with us in the future and giving us the opportunity to provide a more enjoyable vacation.

Yours respectfully,

Isel Salgado
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
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Ontario, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

DON'T BE DISCOURAGED BY THE BAD REVIEWS! This was our first trip to Jamaica for my boyfriend and I and after spending weeks reviewing all the resorts in Jamaica and reading all the reviews (Good, bad and outrageous) we decided to take a chance on the Grand Bahia Principe in Runaway Bay. We read a bunch of great reviews from recent vacationers, but my Boyfriend got spooked by the odd outrageous review posted that made the resort seem like a travellers nightmare.

Let me set the record straight. This resort was first and foremost SO SAFE and makes nervous first time travellers feel SECURE! It felt like all the staff from the front desk, to security, bellhops and bartenders all have your safety in mind. THat was a HUGE deal for me.

Secondly, I will be honest and confirm that the check-in process in VERY time consuming and drawn out. However the staff are so friendly and outgoing as long as you keep the mood cheerful this isn't that big of a deal. I mean you're on vacation to relax, so do just that! We weren;t in a rush to go anywhere anyway!

Again, after reading the reviews we took the advice of taking the Don Pablo upgrade. It was $300 for the week for my BF and I. We did not get the upgraded room for the first couple nights as it was unavailable, however when we were upgraded the view, room and service was UNBELIEVABLE! The regular room was gorgeous as well. If you are extremely picky on food and Liquor the upgrade will be worth it hands down. You get to eat at one of the OUTSTANDING restaurants every night with the upgrade, otherwise you would be stuck with the buffet for a week, and really, how much jerk chicken can one eat! ALL of the food, including the buffet was fantastic.

We went on the Dunn's River and Shopping excursion. Worth every penny! For the guys, it'll be worth the shopping trip as there is free rum tasting at one of the shops with over 50 different types of rum ;-) So give your girl your credit card and pull up a stool with our boy Omar.

THe staff were incredible, shout out Smiley, Grant, Shanica, Richard, Alcain and all the DON PABLO POOLSIDE STAFF!

If you're going for a relaxing, event filled vacation as a couple or family then this is hte place for you! Would definitely go back.

Room Tip: *Take the Don Pablo upgrade *Stay in the 24000- 25000's! and ask for oceanview when you book...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IselS, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, July 8, 2013
Dear Chantelle,

We appreciate your generous review.

It is thrilling to learn that all of your expectations were fulfilled during your vacation with our hotel. Thank you for your words about the room, amenities, safety, friendly staff, food and views. We are really happy to know that we have been able to achieve our goal to provide an amazing vacation, with you.

We are already looking forward to host you again on your next vacation, in our Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, a 5 star experience in Jamaica.

Yours sincerely,

Isel Salgado
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
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Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

Dear Sir/ Madam,
My partner and I booked a holiday with your company for a two week all inclusive holiday at the 5* Gran Bahia Principe in Runaway Bay, Jamaica, at a cost of over £2300. We understood this to be a luxurious type of hotel and were looking forward to spending a memorable time there.
Our first impression was that the hotel was that it was very grand and beautiful. We checked in very quickly and were shown to our room. When we got to our room (which was one of the diamond club rooms) the initial impression was great, it had two four poster beds in it and a fantastic view of the beach and reef. Our initial impression was quickly changed once we had spent some time in the room, as after travelling from home to Manchester, then on to Jamaica we were exhausted, we got something to eat at the snack bar and went to sleep.
The next day we went to welcome meeting with your Thomas Cook rep Sancha (who was lovely) and explained to her the problems that we had incurred since we arrived about the room. Sancha took note of this as well and they are as follows:-
Room Number-- 18507
The Air conditioning didn’t work properly, no air was coming out. We explained to the rep and she said she would send someone down to fix it. Someone did come down but it wasn’t fixed. The next day we complained to the Diamond club representative and she once again said she would get it resolved, once again someone came and nothing was done. The third time we complained it was the reception desk at 3 in the afternoon; the man assured us this would be fixed. After 8 pm someone still hadn’t come, we went up to the desk again the man said they had been having problems elsewhere and it would be dealt with asap. Someone did come and again nothing was fixed. The fourth time we went back to the Diamond club lady and she offered us another room, which we went to look at, but was worse than the one we were in, it was two floors down and on the other side if the building, was even more tired looking than the room we had and was where all the mosquitoes seems to hang out and the air con wasn’t better, we refused the room. The diamond club lady then came up to our room to see exactly what was the problem and agreed that the air con defiantly wasn’t working properly and tried to make a call to maintenance only to find out that the phone in our room wasn’t working either!! She once again promised this would be fixed. We did ask if there were free standing fans or air con units that we could have or hire and were told no they don’t have any!! Eventually someone did come down again to have a look at it, he took the plastic boards off the ceiling and said he was away to the roof to have a look; we went out for dinner and to the entertainment only to come back to no air con fixed and the ceiling panels missing. At this stage we gave up and resolved ourselves to the fact we were going to be extremely warm and uncomfortable for the rest of the holiday.
The room did have a ceiling fan, which had no chain we couldn’t turn it up to keep us cool.
The toilet kept blocking and nearly overflowed every time it was used. Three toilets in the blocked did overflow into the hallway the carpets had to be lifted up and replaced.
The shower overflowed into the bathroom. My partner ended up fixing it. He took a knife from the buffet and cleaned it all out and fixed the screws in properly.
The Jacuzzi bath had a big crack in it which had been filled with temporary filler, which had turned yellow. We didn’t use the bath in case the crack got worse.
The plug sockets in the room we unsafe they were uncovered with wiring exposed, we did inform the Thomas cook rep but it was never fixed. We didn’t use the one right beside it for fear of electrocuting ourselves.
The patio door handle was broken reported right away to rep and was fixed but the patio door still wouldn’t lock.
All the walls were badly cracked all over , in one place a big chunk had come out and someone had just stuck it back in.
We rented a safe, it stopped working in the second week ,we tried for 2 days to get it working, we ended up just handing the key back for it and getting our deposit back.
The room keys stopped working, my partner went up to reception to get it fix only to be told that they had stopped working because we had checked out!!! This was a nearly a week before we were leaving.
Service—
We went to al-a-carte Italian restaurant which is a pre booked table, only to have to wait 30mins for the table to be brought from the back and laid out for us. There was only one thing missing Cutlery! Had to take it from one of the empty tables that were sitting that we couldn’t have because we were only two people not four. The table of four was empty the whole time we were there. We were also asked if we wanted drinks, we never received them.
One of the Al-a-carte restaurants were shut (the grill)
The buffet restaurant again we asked for drink several time, on several days, needless to say we are still waiting for them.
Several times there were no spoons on the table, had to ask, never received them and had to eat my ice cream with a fork!
The overall service was shocking-, I understand this is a big hotel with lots of guests but unless you were American or Canadian you were ignored, unless you constantly tipped the staff.
We booked all inclusive, this only succeeding in working if you succumbed to the constant blackmail and pressure for tips; if we didn’t comply we were ignored and left without our ordered drinks and cutlery. We were left in no uncertain terms that tips were expected for any request for service, being constantly badgered and pressurised. One waiter even tried the subliminal messaging of continually saying “good service, good service” and sticking his hand out for money for a service that we already had paid for with our all inclusive package. We ended up tipping nearly $900 dollars to receive drinks and food that we already had paid for.
Also we booked a trip through the Thomas Cook rep to go to Dunns river falls at a cost of $100 dollars for the both my partner and I. we were picked up late and when we got there, we were given a wrist band for the entry to the falls and park. The band clearly says that the entrance to the falls is only $20 dollars. How is it possible for it to be $30 dollars each for a bus?
Overall we were very dissatisfied with our holiday and certainly will not be returning to this hotel. We have previously stayed in the Gran Bahia in the Dominican Republic and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday this was why we chose to go to the same hotel chain in Jamaica. I will not be recommending this holiday to anyone. Your company needs to address the constant begging and blackmailing in the hotel especially as it is supposed to be all inclusive and food and drink is included in the price of the holiday.
I strongly feel we were let down with what was advertised and paid for and the standard was well below what was expected. I await your reply after your investigation and I believe that the rep Sancha was also putting in a report to yourselves.
We believe we should be compensated for our miserable stay at this hotel.

Room Tip: pay the extra for gold
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IselS, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review.

We are sorry that we did not meet your expectations and hope you accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience you've experienced.

We have forwarded already all your comments to the related departments' heads for its revision.

Thank you for vacationing with us; we sincerely hope to be afforded with the opportunity to host you and recover your confidence in us.

Yours respectfully,

Isel Salgado
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 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: 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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