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“Wow......” 5 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
Aurora
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Wow......”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2009

We stayed from Jan 28 to Feb 6 2009 and had a fabulous time. We traveled with 5 friends and all agreed it was a true 5 star resort. The rooms were large and spacious and the decor was romantic. 2 of the 3 a la carts were fantastic, the Japanese
was incredible and the steak house was to die for. We never had to wait in long lines for drinks and when we were in one of the bars the service was super, orders taken and brought back quickly. All of the staff where very friendly and helpful. There was always space around the pool and you could always find loungers on the beach. You couldn't ask for anything better. We traveled with Noli Tours and our check in was done for us.A pkg was given to us before boarding the bus at the airport, a room key, towel card, map, wrist band,coupons, everything we needed, all we had to do was go to our room, no standing in line..what a service. We did have some rain but at least it wasn't snowing. We had a great time and would definately go back.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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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Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2009

I travelled to the Gran Bahia Principe with family and friends during the week of February 28th-March 7th. Overall, I was fairly happy with this resort.

The resort was beautiful. Very nicely landscaped and clean. The hotel isn't too big so unless you're directionally challenged like myself, you shouldn't have too much of a problem finding you're way around. Everything is located in one general area. The pool, the beach, the lobby, restaurants, and buffet are all located close to together as opposed to the Bahia in the Mayan Riviera and Punta Cana where I have travellled previously. There are no trams to drive you around the resort and they aren't needed.

Staff was sort of hit and miss. Some of the staff members we met were incredibly nice and friendly and some were not. I can only recall two staff members of all the ones we met that were rude. By rude, I basically just mean they seemed really annoyed with us, like they really weren't enjoying their job. However, like I said, this doesn't apply to all the staff members, or even to the majority so I think some of the people writing reviews are being a little harsh with their comments.

On another note however, staff don't seem to know what to do when the weather is bad. Unfortunately, we had rain almost every day of our vacation, and when it rained, the staff pretty much stopped working. Bars were closed, the BEACH was closed, practically. My mother and I walked down to the beach on a windy day when the waves were a little more rough than usual. They still weren't dangerous, not nearly as bad as what we experienced on just an average day in Punta Cana. As we approached the beach, we noticed there were pretty much no people on the beach. There was literally, maybe a handful of people there. A staff member then approached us and told us it was a "no swimming day". Needless to say, the bar on the beach was also closed. When we went to the pool, there were very few guests there. The animation team moved into the lobby I believe to do Bingo, but other than that, it seemed like when it rained, the resort shut down. There was no attempt to brighten people's spirits and try to continue on with having a normal day. It was RAIN people. It wasn't like there was any thunder and lightning or anything. I think if the staff hadn't made such a big deal over the rain, guests would have been more likely to not be bothered by it either.

The food was fine. The buffet has a wide variety of foods and there was a different theme every night, including Oriental, Mexicana, Dominican, and others. If you're a picky eater like myself, you'll find that the food gets rather tiring after awhile but you can expect that in any resort. I think the chefs did their best to cater to many different tastes and there was always something on the buffet that I could eat. Even if it was Dominican night, they still had pizza and such for those that didn't want to partake in the Dominican selection.

We only ate in one restaurant, the steakhouse, and almost everyone I travelled with agreed that it wasn't all that appetizing. We went on the second night of their new menu, so that could be why. Apparently you can no longer order a steak at the steak house. The only way you can get steak is if you order the "Mixed Grill" which is basically a small portion of a bunch of different kinds of meat (lamb, steak, chicken, sausage) all on one plate served with coleslaw. Everyone at my table except for one had undercooked chicken. I don't even like lamb or sausage but had to order it in order to get the plain chicken and steak. Needless to say, it wasn't a great experience.

The nightly entertainment is basically non-existent. This is in comparison to the two other Bahia Principe's I've been to. There is a theater but it doesn't get used at all for shows of any kind. My best guess is that it's used for wedding receptions. The only shows this resort have are on the outdoor stage in the Pueblo Principe. The staff tried to make the shows as interesting as possible, but the ones I saw were quite unexciting, and this is coming from someone who enjoys cheesy resort-type shows. They do have Jamaican night on Wednesday which I found pretty interesting since it gave an opportunity to see some of the culture. I did find it to lack in variety a bit and therefore, I was tempted to leave before the show was over. Keep in mind that I love the shows put on by resort staff anywhere I go and I'm really not that picky. From what I understood there was one show a night that began at 9:45pm (which was more like 10:00pm for the ones I attended), and ended at 11:00pm, which is when the disco opened.


The disco, at the time I went, was a small room reaking of a Javex smell. I never did spend anymore than 2 minutes in there so I can't tell you much about it. I can however tell you that when we first arrived at the resort at around 11:30 pm, the resort was dead. There were very few people hanging around, so there really wasn't much night life. This is a good resort if you like to go to bed early. I've read reviews saying that they could hear noise coming from the Pueblo Principe when they were trying to sleep. This is probably true, but you'll find it's pretty quiet after 11pm.

The Pueblo Principe has many souvenir stores as well as a couple "snack" stores. You will have access to chips, candy, chocolate, cookies if you ever feel like any lol. Just beware of the extremely high prices. 6 dollars American for a bag of chips! Also in the Pueblo Principe is a store called "Mama Marley" where you can find a ton of Bob Marley swag. Prices are a little high here as well but totally worth it!

Overall, I do have to agree with many of the people saying that this isn't quite a five star resort. I would probably rate it a 4 star for the time being. Although I enjoyed the experience, I can't see this as a resort I will be coming back to due to the fact that I didn't find anything to be all that impressive or extravagant...just a normal 4 star resort. One that is currently labeled as a 5.

  • Stayed March 2009
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Calgary, Canada
1 review
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2009

This was my first trip to Jamaica and only my second trip to the Caribean. Writing a review is not easy for me.

Was very nervous due to the bad reviews posted right after I booked the trip. I booked the trip with Air Transat Golden. All went smoothly with the trip from Calgary and back . No complaints at all with Air Transat. Our reps were easy to find whenever we wanted them. We only had to give a deposit for the safe and our room included room service. Upgrading is worth it.

The staff were all amazing. Front desk was not as friendly but we only had to deal with them to get our key for the safe. Air Transat did the check in on the bus on the way to the resort. Seemed like someone was always asking me if I needed anything no matter where I was. All the bar staff, beach staff and restaurant staff did everything to ensure that I enjoyed myself. I am ashamed to say that I can not remember the name of the lady that was part of the entertainment staff. She had an amazing voice!!

The food was a big concern for me as I am quite picky. I know to keep my expectations reasonable. I was very pleased that I did not go hungry and I enjoyed ALL the buffets and restaurants. Loved that the restaurants had buffets too.

Jamaica was beautiful and if I had of found someone to adopt me, I would still be there. I plan on going back to Jamaica and more than likely will be back to GBP but I also want to visit Negril.

I read that tipping was an issue in Jamaica. This resort did not make me feel uncomfortable with tipping. I left gifts and cash for the housekeeping staff which included postcards from Calgary where I commented on my visit. I received notes back that I plan on adding to my scrapbook. The only place where I felt uncomfortable about the tipping was at the Dunns Falls. The people there were very aggressive. Our tour guides were all wonderful. We only went on the Party Boat (waves at Feather and staff from the Cool Runnings) and the Black River Safari (Mama D!!!! hurry up and adopt me). Saving other excursions for other visits.

Our room was on the top floor and was very spacious with a great view!! The pool area and grounds were gorgeous. Yes, one of the beaches was gravelly. Heard people complaining about that but it did not bother me. The weather did not affect our stay too much.

Special thanks to Stretch, Stefanie, Raul, Valentine, Andrea and Sheryl!!! Hoping to see you again soon.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
wisconsin
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2009

Our 5th trip to Jamaica, 1st to Runaway Bay, like the beaches on the Negril side the best. The beach at the Bahia is very rocky and you have to go quite a distance to find nice sand. Sign states no reserving lounge chairs, but no one follows them, almost impossible to get one by mid-morning.
Could use some upgrading to make it better. Seemed like they were always running out of food at the buffets, if they are going to expand their rooms should be more options for dining, esp. at breakfast. It also seems ridiculous to charge $6/day for a room safe, I could see a deposit that you would get back after returning the key.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Calgary
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2009

My wife and I were very happy with our stay at this resort, March 7th to 14th. The grounds, buildings, restaurants were all spotless, and well mantained. We loved how spread out the facility was; it was so large you could always find a little privacy. The facility is loaded with options from poolside lounging, ocean swimming, shopping, and booking tours.

Being a diver, I found the on-site dive shop great to deal with. "Stretch" my divemaster was terrific, super supportive, and made my trip. Really, all the staff were great, once you engaged them, they were quick with a “ya Mon”, and a big smile.

Our room was very clean, our maid was diligent, and always did little extras. Never experienced a power outage, or a cold shower. We preferred to use the stairs, helped to keep a few pounds off, so I can’t comment on the elevators.

Food for the most part was mediocre. The Japanese’s restaurant, and the Garden Grill were the best, and the Jerk chicken/pork at the beach restaurant was excellent. I did not like all the smoking around the pool area. Too much smoke, ashes, and cigarette butts left around the pool deck area. Also, they need some “man” pillows on the bed, can’t sleep on a postage stamp.

Being a diver, My wife and I usually take two warm weather vacations per year. This was the best resort, bar none. Never stayed in a nicer location, Palatial!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Whitehorse, Canada
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2009

This was our first trip to Jamaica, the island is breathtaking and the people were wonderful. When we first arrived we felt like we were in the "ignore section" everywhere we went on the resort as the people didn't appear to be friendly, however we decided to start conversations and made a point of talking to the employees, once we did this we found they were extremely happy to share information.

We would recommend this hotel, however make sure your room is not on the ground floor or close to the walk through leading from the hotel to the shopping area. We stayed in room 17101 and did not have a full night sleep the two weeks we were there. You either hear other guests returning to their rooms late at night or the entertainment until it ended.

Take small currency as when we tried to get change the hotel either did not have any or the amount was limited.

We did enjoy our stay, the room and our maid was the best, the food was good, don't miss a reservation at the a la carte resturants, they were very good.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Georgetown, Ontario
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2009

Just returned on March 14th after a one week stay. We were a group of 10 with 4 small children and all of us had a fantastic time. The only thing to complian about was the weather which was not great the first 3 days but then ended great. Many people told us that since January the weather has not been right.

We chose this resort because of the fantastic experience we had last year at the Gran Bahia Principe in Punta Cana. This was our first time to Jamiaca and it will not be our last, we loved this island. The hotel is large with a grand lobby, large pool with plenty of shallow spots for young kids. The food was great at both the buffet and the restaurants.

We honestly dont have anything negative to report about this resort. There have been alot of bad reviews on the service and its true that the people dont bend over backwards to please however keep in mind that the culture of Jamaica is to take things slow. The attitude there is that things will get done. Their motto is in Jamaica there are no problems mon, just situations and for every situation there is a solution. If you stop and take a minute to soak this in you actually find yourself slowing down and enjoying the moments which is exactly why you needed the vacation in the first place.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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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 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#6 On the Beach 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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