I'll start by saying it wasn't a bad place at all. Its a nice grand resort in beautiful Jamaica (biased because that's my heritage) and definitely a nice getaway. While on vacation, you need to 'slow down' and that's what Jamaica is all about - 'no rush man' - jus chill :) The lower than expected rating may be harsh but still deserved. The resort could be so much more - a true 5 star experience if they'd just get their 'ish' together.
Check in was fine - the front desk staff expedited us through the process and even served us a glass of 'something' - maybe champagne mixed with fruit juice - really can't say because it wasn't great - a bit too sweet for me.
The room was nice as well. We paid for the sea view and got it. Top floor so the view was great. The room was good too - very big - nice and surprisingly comfortable king size bed, the pillows could be a bit thicker to round that out. The washroom was nice although starting to show its wear. The marble hides some of the aging but looking closely you can see it could benefit from a power washing or some sort of treatment.
The main buffet is a good mix of traditional and local jamaican options for those daring souls. All in all it was 'meh'. I found the Jamaican dishes way too salty (or saltier than what my mom makes). The rest of food was standard resort food - kinda bland - definitely made with volume in mind. The specialty restaurants were good (your package will dictate how many you can access) - we had the Japanese Teppanyaki which was good with a lively staff - the Garden Grill which was ok - not great but ok - and the 'Don Pablo' which was an attempt at 'high-end cuisine' and was about 90% there except for a poor wine list (red or wine - no variation).
The beaches - well just make sure you ask where the beach is. The one directly north of the main pool is the 'snorkel beach' more for that activity. The 'good beach' is just west of the main pool. Its nice, the water is clear and shallow for a good distance from the shore.
So the things that ruined it for me
Dirty Bed Linens - on 2 occasions our bed was made with stained linens. We called the front desk one night at midnight to provide new linens which took 2 phone calls and 45 minutes!!!
Activities - there aren't really a lot of activities and those that are available are run by lackluster staff. Not really engaging, making side jokes with other staff in 'patois slang' which I understand and found a bit rude.
Electrical problems - our room had a faulty electric switch (resorts usually require you to put one of the room keys in to run the electricity while you're in the room - you remove it when you leave to conserve power). Ours didn't work at all - took 2 visits from the on-site electrician. The first just kicked the outlet which worked temporarily but died the next morning. The second guy actually took time to open the switch and essentially bypass the key mechanism so we could run our AC without the key.
I guess I would hope that staff would be attentive to their guests but things seem to be done on their schedule - or 'jamaican time' :)
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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