Service: Seriously, you could not walk 20 yards without tripping over 3 employees, all of who would greet you with a smile. We were greeted with cocktails upon check-in and the bellman delivered our bags to our room. EVERYONE was incredibly polite, professional, and eager to please, from the housekeeping staff, bartenders, waitstaff, pool boys, etc.
Value: I got what I paid for, and then some.
Sleep Quality: The doors do not block out a lot of noise so I frequently heard late-night revelers going to and from their rooms; however, the walls between rooms were rock solid hard and you couldn't hear a thing through them.
Cleanliness: Room was well maintained each day with fresh towels, the beds always made, more toiletries, etc. Also, the grounds were meticiulously clean. There were people everywhere picking up litter, raking the large rocks off the beach, manicuring the landscaping, etc.
Location: About 75 minutes from the airport which was fine. Right on the beach which was perfect.
Rooms: Extremely spacious! Especially if you're used to staying in NYC or European hotels! Our junior suite had a table & 2 chairs and a sofabed in addition to 2 queen size poster beds and a full-size closet. The bathroom hand a shower plus soaking tub and the toilet had a door for privacy. There seemed to be some wear and tear: the hair dryer was broken but was fixed within an hour after our arrival, the light switches and mounted soap dish were wobbly, the curtains looked worn, and there were some dings and dents on the furniture and walls. We needed more towels and they were delivered w/in 10 minutes of a phone call. The view of the beach & sunset were spectacular from the balcony.
Beverage selection: it was fine considering it was included in the price, but you have to pay extra for the top shelf selections. Only bad thing I had was some white wine that tasted like the bottle had been open for a week. Tip: bring your own travel mug for drinks by the pool because those little dixie cups are a nuisance. The coffee was great and always piping hot.
Food: Incredible selection at all meals. Lobster tails & carved roast beef for dinner - yes! Huge selection for every meal, including a lot of vegetarian dishes, pasta, salad bar, fresh fruit, cooked vegetables, soups and a delicious dessert selection. If you're more of a simpleton eater, there were burgers and pizza, too. Breakfast had made to order crepes, mimosas, bloody marys, and enough food that it looked like dinnertime. They had a little corner dedicated each day to a different country's specialities, ie Canada, Portugal, etc as well as Jamaican specialities. The best place for lunch is the Jerk Chicken Center located on the beach. Best chicken ever! A decent sized buffet, but fewer choices than going to the dining room. Considering the mass production of food (probably close to 2000 people per meal if the resort is full), I'd rate the food very high. It wasn't 5-star quality, but then again that's not what I was expecting. If you leave hungry, it's your own fault.
(1) Beware of the young ladies who try to rope you into a presentation on timeshares. I came here to escape the cold, snow and ice, not to sit in a conference room listening to a sales pitch. I don't care how many "gifts" you might give me. So get your excuse ready: "My spouse isn't with me and they make all the financial decisions" ..... "I already went to that"
(2) You need a reservation for the a la carte restaurants. Make these before you leave home! We were staying 4 nights and were only permitted 2 reservations. It was impossible to get the times & restaurants we wanted so we had to settle for 2nd choice, which wouldn't have been such a big deal except that at both restaurants neither one was even half full. That was disappointing. Very annoyed that for the Japanese restaurant we were seated at a hibachi grill. I did NOT want to go to Benihana, I wanted a la carte ordering. We didn't know that until we got there.
(3) Yes, the resort is large, but what do you except when the property has almost 900 rooms -- NOTHING will be right outside your door. If you find the walking excessive, then you're lazy.
(4) I had no intention of leaving the resort for any activities and that's a good thing b/c it didn't appear as if there was anything nearby. You'd have to hire a taxi, private driver or take a guided tour.
(5) Dear pool hogs -- please stop throwing down a towel to "reserve" your favorite chair and then disappear for over half a day. Rude, rude, rude. Considering they say they'll charge you $25 for not returning your pool towel card, you run a big risk of "misplacing" your towel (hint).
(6) The entertainment was average .... both the shows at the outdoor theater near the disco & sports bar, and also the quieter trios that played on the veranda near the lobby. After a while, it all sounded the same.
(7) There really are no shopping options on the resort -- it's either tacky tourist crap or a high-end jewelry store.
(8) The beach was great -- some areas are sandy, others are pebbly. It seemed like more people went to the pool than to the beach so there was always open space, plus one section of beach was far enough away from the main resort that you weren't subjected to listening to loud blaring music and people playing silly grade-school games or doing water aerobics. Ooohhh .... they have a nude beach, too, tucked away behind a fence at the corner of the resort!! Overall, the beach never felt crowded and that was preferable than going to the pool, mainly because I wanted to feel like I was at the ocean.
Finally, I do recommend this place and would go back.
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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