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“Dinnerless in Jamaica” 2 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
New Jersey
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Dinnerless in Jamaica”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2008

We just returned from a four night, five day stay at the Gran Bahia Principe, Runaway Bay, Jamaica. The property is beautiful, a carribean paradise. However, this resort is not even 18 months old and it shows. We had an all inclusive package. There are four a la carte restaurants to eat dinner in, a buffet(breakfast, lunch, and dinner),and a snack bar for lunch. We did not care much for the snack bar and the buffet was serviceable. However, my main problem with this resort was dinner. The most restaurants they have open a night is three, and that is only a couple of days a during the week. You go to reserve a seat at an a la carte restaurant, in the morning for that same day, and are told that all restaurants are booked, for the whole as a matter of fact, and that the only opening they have is for a 10pm dinner. Who eats dinner at 10pm, especially when you are traveling with a nine year old boy. When we checked in the first day, they made us a dinner reservation for the last night we were there at 6:30p(I believe they did this for everyone). We went to this restaurant and if there were fifty tables in the place, only about fifteen were full. We also heard that from other folks too who got to eat dinner a decent time, the place they ate at had many vacant tables. This leaves you now to eat at a buffet every night for dinner. I did not pay to eat dinner at a buffet every night. As far as the service with a smile aspect of the stay, for about as many people that were pleasant, there were as many not pleasant.

  • Liked — The beautiful property
  • Disliked — The Dinner situation.
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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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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Colorado
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2008

My wife and i just returned from this hotel. here were our problems with it
1) The staff were RUDE- it was like pulling teeth to get a smile out of them let alone a refill on our drinks
2) We had to go to the front desk every evening for towels as the maid just left notes stating they were out
3) We never got a pool towel as they were always out of those as well
4) Mexican music played- the only time we heard bob marley was on the bus from the airport
5) A couple nights we did not have hot water
6) You have to make reservations to get into the gross restaurants- the first lady lied and said we couldn't get in until 10pm when we went back another lady said 8:30 but when we got there at 8 the restaurant was empty and they tried to sit us in a dark hallway.
7) Unless you are a Gold Member you don't get reservations before 8:30 and you do not get room service
8) Men must wear pants to dinner even at the buffet- be careful the website does not state this
9) There are only 2 bars at night and each time it took 40 min to get a drink
10) They do not have mixers for drinks and they do not know how to make drinks- you are pretty much restricted to the sweet frozen ones they have which get old and if you do not watch them they won't put alcohol in it
11) The food is beyond disgusting- they had polish sausage, yams, pumpkin, and cabbage on the breakfast buffet. Who eats that in the morning? If you are looking forward to jerk chicken and beef patties forget it- this hotel did not have a Jamaican feel at all
12) At night they allow bums in who sit out front the buffet and ask you for a to go box
13) My wife also got harassed every day to braid her hair.
14) The min bar in the room consists of 2 unknown beers and some soda
15) there are no hammocks on the beach as advertised
16) only 1 swim up bar is in use and the one open was always busy and they were VERY RUDE

  • Liked — beauty of the hotel
  • Disliked — the food, drinks, and the RUDE staff
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2008

My wife and I just got back from 5 days at the Gran Bahia in Jamaica. It was our 25th anniversary and we just wanted time together in a quiet, comfortable hotel near a beach.

The Good: Big new hotel, plenty of food and felt pretty secured. The room was fair sized (it was not a “suite” that you would expect in the States) and the water was clean.

The Bad: VERY disappointed with room service. NO wash rags and half the time, no hand towels which drove my wife crazy. We had to order extra towels every day which took at least two or three phone calls and 4 hours average. We arrived late Sunday and tried to make dinner appointment at the Japanese restaurant first thing Monday morning but were told both the Japanese and Italian restaurants were booked up the whole week. When we walked by the restaurants however, they were only half full so it was clear the hotel was cutting down costs by forcing most guests to use the buffet. When first checking in, we were given a smoking room (we specifically requested non-smoking) and had the worst view in the hotel. I complained to the front desk about it and was told that “sometimes our non-smoking rooms have ash trays in them”. Right! I demanded another room and forced them to give us a non-smoking room (hello! They have whole wings that are non-smoking!)

Finally, it was HOT!!! It was clear the management cut back on all costs, especially electrical costs. They were running the Central Plant at only half power so even the restaurants couldn’t get below 80° F and the men had to wear long pants. You just sweat during dinner. I’m sure the hotel was on electrical rations and the management did EVERYTHING to cut expenses so I don’t blame the staff for being overworked and understaffed but put the problems directly on the hotel management. I predict this hotel will be bankrupted in a year if they don’t make the stay more enjoyable for their customers.

The Ugly: Old women that hang down to their navel should NEVER sunbath topless, OK? If they want to go topless, go to the nude beach. Just stay away from the pool!

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2008

My husband and I stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in June 2008. First off, let me say that this is an extraordinarily BEAUTIFUL hotel. The property is well-maintained, the buildings are virtually brand new and everything about its appearance makes you feel like you are in the lap of luxury. Definitely a five-star property.

The pool is enormous, clean and beautiful, the food in the buffet is pretty good (considering it's a buffet... there's only so much you can do with it) and the lobby bar is particularly elegant and nice at night. The A La Carte restaurants are all excellent (especially Don Pablo and the Garden Grill).

However-- and be prepared if you choose this hotel-- the service is HORRIBLE. The staff in the restaurants and at the bars were rude, inattentive and generally seemed completely disinterested and/or miserable with their jobs. I'm not sure if it's an issue with the management or training, but for a five-star resort, the service was two-star at best. No smiles, no friendly greetings, and inordinately long waits for coffee, drinks, cutlery, or virtually any standard request. And to be clear, my husband and I are NOT demanding, obnoxious tourists-- we are friendly ourselves; but good luck getting any kind of customer service at this place.

Another thing-- the beach directly in front of the hotel is man made and while it looks pretty from a distance, it is rock hard and made of sharp stones. However, the beach that is just west of the hotel (still on the hotel property) is soft and beautiful and crystal clear.

We had a wonderful time at this hotel, in spite of its flaws. If you can overlook the ridiculously rude staff (or at least have a sense of humour about it), you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful environment.

  • Liked — The property and the pool
  • Disliked — The staff! Awful service.
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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UK
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2008

Report on the Gran Bahia Principe in Runaway Bay Jamaica

Guest room 18322
Period of stay 2nd to 15th June 2008

The hotel is supposed to be a five star - it is definitely NOT

Issues arising

1 Room key duplicate given to other guests - they were able to enter our room unannounced. Report filed with hotel security but no resolution. Our key 7 days later then mysteriously ceased to work and WE could not get in. This happened on the 3rd June and AGAIN on 13th June - different people each time
2 Repeated daily requests to housekeeping for towels etc
3 Room internal floors not cleaned regularly
4 Cockroaches in room which we dealt with ourselves
5 Service quality in speciality fish restaurant non-existent - we walked out after waiting too long
6 Service quality in normal buffet restaurant also slow for drinks and tables- we filled out our own drinks several times and found our own tables. On one morning 40 meter queue to get in for breakfast Hotel not yet fully built so trying to get by on smaller facilities with poor food selection. Try the Bread Pudding- it is on EVERY MENU
7 Sun beds supposed not to be reserved - we saw evidence of several being "reserved" with towels 10.00pm the previous day so several times we used the beds on the beach itself
8 Heavy water leaks in main fabric of the building - these are in several places but largest in public area of the Daiquiri Bar near main reception Leaks near main reception also
9 3 days before we left we had a huge water leak through the electrics from upstairs bathroom Supposed to be fixed and confirmed as safe and ok but not so - unsafe to use the shower at all Housekeeping and cleaning also requested but took over 24 hours to finally arrive
Discussions with hotel manager finally got maintenance guys to arrive. - it was the "pool technician" - I saw him later that day + he agreed risk on electrics - he started to dry it out in the ceiling but not able to go back and finish since only his supervisor has the room key
Still not fully resolved and signed off as safe For us the shower is simply out of bounds. !
10 Talked to T Cook rep - Patrick and seeing him 9.00am Friday 13th to discuss alternatives he confirmed that room was now safe but also said he had great problems in getting any answers at all on this from anyone
11 Offered other room by hotel but this was facing the commercial centre where the shows were held every night and was refused
12 Was this an isolated instance? NO - Whilst waiting for Customer Services we spoke with another guest - exactly same plumbing/leaks of toilet water from above
13. Finally reported second entry to local Police and logged the incident- especially after the “management” confirmed that only “managers” can issue duplicate keys

RECOMMENDED TO AVOID AT ALL COSTS

  • Liked — Pool
  • Disliked — Quality Food Service
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2008

We were at this hotel for a week and the hotel is really beautiful but the service is definetly not 5 star. If you think your paying the extra money to get five star services I would definetly say don't expect any. The staff in the hotel don't really seem to care as much. We read a lot of negative reviews on this site about this hotel but went with a positive mind. The first day we were down we heard a number of couples complaining about the service but decided to see it for ourselves as we didnt expect anything over ordinary. Over the week the hotel staff showed its real colors. The service in the hotel is really terrible. When you ask for a simple thing like towels or soap which is supposed to be placed in your room, it took the staff six to eight hours. We had some stuff get stolen from our room inspite of using the inroom safe. We had to spend three days with the same pool towels as everytime you to exchange them they are out and they ask you to come back and try again. On our last day we heard many other couples had similar problems and one had their cellphone stolen from the room as well. The reviews about the beach being rocky is true. The beach and water is full of rocks which can be cleaned up if the hotel really wanted too.

Overall I would rate this hotel a 3 star for its service. If you are getting a good deal and don't really care about the service its a beautiful hotel but stay away if u expect any service from the staff.

Stayed June 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Metro Atlanta
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2008

Last year I went to Jamaica. On the way back we passed the Gran Bahia. I went in and got a brochure. It was so beautiful, I wanted to consider it for my wedding the following year. I narrowed my wedding destination down to maybe five resorts, and ended up selecting the Gran Bahia.

I was in contact with a wedding planner named Yanique. It was going ok until she lost ALL of the documents. This wouldnt be that much of a problem if it didnt cost so much to mail documents to Jamaica. Well, she never found the documents, however, she said that my wedding was assigned a minister to do the ceremony, so not to worry. Meanwhile, Yanique leaves the company. I am now working with Graciella. Graciella had limited English, I have no Spanish. Instantly, we have a barrier. None of her emails made any sense. I sent her the same forms 4 times and she "never received them."

I have never read a review for a hotel/resort before going. I usually just enjoy the adventure. I looked at Tripadvisor at the request of my daughter. I thought that the people complaining were just people who were never satisfied with anything. No matter how nice you were, they would find something to be unhappy about. SO....

May 29, 2008, we arrive at the resort. Part of the wedding package which was $1400 was that we receive a gold upgrade. This means we have a room with a better view, as well as use of the gold lounge. When we started our check in process, they realized a mistake had been made in our itinerary. One of our daughters was not on the itinerary. There was no record of her. Our room wasnt ready, so we went to eat while they worked out whatever was wrong. The ladies at the counter were RUDE, RUDE, RUDE. So after checkin was complete, I went to the gold lounge to use the computer. A girl named Cassanova said I couldnt use it and that the lounge was only for gold members. Well, I thought I WAS a gold member. SO, what I didnt know, is that nobody marked my itinerary for the upgrade. Cassanova told me that I had to go downstairs to use the other computers. I went back to the front desk to inquire. NOBODY would give me the upgrade. Finally, Graciella came out and said that I didnt get the upgrade because I can only get it for 1 day of my stay. I knew that was not what the paperwork said. So I asked Graciella to show me in the paperwork where it says that. Of course she couldnt. So, I let it ride. I was getting married that Saturday and didnt want to stress myself out.

The next day, I went to inquire about the excursions. I meet a girl named Naudia. She was VERY nice to me and asked about my stay so far. I gave her a brief on what happened the day before. She looked up my room and didnt understand why I wasnt getting the gold upgrade. She leaves and goes to the gold lounge, and comes back with a terrible attitude toward me. She said that I cant get the upgrade, and even if I do, I couldnt use the computer. I am not sure what happened...Well, now, I want to find out WHY I am not getting a service that was offered. Nobody has any answers. A lady named Vanessa came out. Walked me to the lounge and had them cut off my old band and upgrade me. NOW, I am just wondering what the actual problem was. I forget about it though because the wedding is the next day. Alejandra was over the top great to me...She made everything wonderful!!

It IS true that the women at the front desk were extremely rude. So were the staff, just generally speaking. You would think that they had a stake in the hotels stock. They worked at keeping me from getting that upgrade.

The lobby was very beautiful. The rooms were great as well. They did not have a full bar, and they were very stingy with soap. Our housekeeper was SO good. I really liked her. The food was not so good for me. My stomach stayed upset almost the entire time. My wedding guests, however, enjoyed the food. The snack bar was just ok for me. There is a jerk chicken stand right passed the snack bar that was WONDERFUL. I think I ate jerk chicken everyday for lunch. The staff at the bar, especially the women, were not at all friendly. This was my third time in Jamaica and I had never before experienced such poor service and attitudes. So we finally asked an employee what the deal was. Why was everyone so damn rude??? This person told us that in general the staff was angry at management. They were mad that the place was Spanish owned and a very small amount of management were Jamaican. They show their anger by treating the guests very rudely. I noticed that most of the management were Spanish. Both times that I spoke to a manager, neither person was jamaican. So, apparently there is some animosity against the system. One other thing, while sitting in the lobby palying a game with my guests, the management came and started turning off the lights. This also happened at the outside bar...The staff came over and started packing up around us, stacking chairs, and taking in the seat cushions.

I had a good time since my friends were there. I got married, and had people there to have fun with. So my personal experience outweighed the fact that the staff was rude, and I NEVER GOT A WEDDING CAKE. Yes, its true. Not only did I not get a wedding cake, they only gave me a $30 refund for the price of the cake. Graciella was NOT trained properly. When I asked if I could have the cake another time with my guests, the answer was no. She said,"forget about the cake." Where was the cake? I will never know.

There were two guys outside taking photos of the wedding. Later on that night, I went to take a look. Only about 20% of the pictures were usable. I dont think the photographers were professionally trained. Either the photos were too dark, too light or not clear. There was a total of 853 pictures. The owner of the photo shop wanted to charge $1300 for all of them. I ended up getting 12 with the wedding package, and purchasing another 10. Out of all of the pictures, it was EASY to select 22.

Would I return to the Gran Bahia? No. Would I recommend it? No. Most of my issues stemmed from the wedding. If there was no wedding, my complaints would have been about the food and the rude staff. The way I am treated at a resort weighs a lot. If that doesnt matter to you, then you may enjoy the Gran Bahia. It definitely looks the part. This is not a 5 start resort in my opinion.

  • Liked — The looks of the place and room
  • Disliked — customer service
  • Stayed May 2008
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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
Amenities:
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 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: 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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