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“Excellent Trip!!” 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 Villa, Runaway Bay, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 15 hotels in Runaway Bay
Labrador City, NL
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Excellent Trip!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2009

I recently traveled to the Gran Bahia Principe resort in Runaway Bay Jamaica with my boyfriend this past April. It was our first time out of the country and what a time we had! Im glad our first trip like this turned out as well as it did! The resort is fairly big, very clean and well kept. The staff was so friendly and made you feel welcome as soon as you arrived. Our room was at the top floor, it was very spacious with a lovley balcony. The bathroom was very nice, it had a separate stand up shower and jacuzzi. We also had an amazing view from our room, it overlooked the pool and beyond that was the beach and ocean.. simply breath taking. Our maid did a great job of keeping it clean for us, but only got one towel art when others got them every day, a little dissapointing. But the mini bar was stocked daily with water, beer, soft drinks and chips. The room had a radio and t.v with satelite so we got to watch some t.v shows we would at home!
The pool is where we spent most of our time.. it is HUGE, very clean and has two swim up bars. There are a lot of chairs all around the pool with a restroom building at the end, which was very convenient if you were having a few drinks! There are three bridges that cross the pool to the other side as well, so its not as long of a walk to get around. There were water aerobics going on at one end of the pool with some tunes playing in the back ground. And at each of side of the pool there are kiddy pools attached for the little ones to enjoy their time as well. They have a pretty good range of drinks they can mix up for you, but was'nt impressed with the service from the bartenders, they could have been friendlier.
The best food we thought was from the main restaurant in the hotel, they had a buffet every morning and every afternoon. They have such a wide variety of food, it is impossible not to find anything you like.. for breakfast they had everything from breads to cereals to fruits and veggies to eggs and bacon and so on. Then for lunch there were lots of pastas, stir fry's, meats and veggies etc... it was just delicious! We were'nt totally impressed with the a la cartes, so we skipped three of our reservations out of five. They were o.k. DO NOT eat at the snak bar near the beach.. the food is awful! We also has 24 hour room service if we got a little hungry in the night.
The beach has two parts, one is a man made beach which isnt the greatest.. a little rockey. But the other part is all white sand that just stretches on forever. There are a lot of chairs available and palm trees to block the sun when you've had too much haha. At the end of the beach was a fence, and beyond that fence was a nude beach... we did'nt venture that one haha. There is a gorgeous gazibo that has a walkway that lights up in the evening, perfect spot for a caribbean wedding! In fact there was one down there when we visited! There is a very cute shopping square in the middle of the hotel, perfect place to buy souvenirs. They also carry water shoes and waterproof cameras just in case you forget to bring them and want to do some water activities. At one side of the square there is a stage for the nightly entertainment. It was raining when we went to the cultural show so they had it in the disco bar instead, it was a little crouded but worth seeing! Amazing talent!!
The only excursion we went on was a catamaran ride to Dunn's River Falls!! By far the best day of our visit!! They take you on a slow ride out at first and after about a 20 minute ride you can stop and go snorkeling and swimming or you can stay on the boat and have a few drinks if you don't know how to swim like me haha. After that, we cruise to Dunn's River... it is a waterfall that is almost 1000 feet high! It sounds scary but it is well worth climbing, you are well looked after by your guides so no worries! They make it so fun by video taping you and singing songs. Once you have conquered the falls, you get back on the catamaran and they throw a big party. The boat is cruisin back at a great speed, while the girls serve drinks and dance, the DJ is singin and playin the latest club music. It was the best day by far!! You can also buy pictures off one of the girls that go around and take pictures of couples and families, and you can also buy the video of you climbing the falls for $40.00. Definitely worth it!
So I think that pretty much sums it up. I would definitely recommend GBP to anyone who is looking for a relaxing and fun vacation. Its a great place for couples, friends, and families. It was our first caribbean vacation and it definitely will not be our last! I hope this helped anyone who is in doubt and happy travels!!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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ontario
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2009

We went on our vacation from August 8th to the 15th. Jamaica was great but the hotel has a lot to improve on. We had read some of the reviews on here and were not sure what to think. We thought that the people that were saying bad things about this place were probably people that are spoiled and difficult people. We are not spoiled or difficult people and i really hate to give bad reviews but there were too many things that went wrong for this supposed 5 star hotel. Looks great from the outside but not that great once you enter your room. When we first got there we got a room that the air conditioning was not working. We asked for 2 beds but received a King size bed and a cot for our 12 year old. First thing I did was kill a cock roach. Was not very impressed over this. A few minutes later I killed another one at the door. The next day we were moved to a room with 2 beds but the beds were both double beds. Not bad for our son but we are grown adults and a double bed just doesn't cut it. There is more than enough room to put 2 King Size beds. Then we told them that the fridge in our room was not working. It only took about 2 1/2 days to get this fixed. Then there were 2 occasions where our door locks wouldn't work. We were locked out of our own room for almost an hour. This is supposed to be a 5 star hotel and I paid for a 5 star hotel. This didn't feel like one.
Then our toilet and shower didn't work which we had to wait another 1hr each time before someone would come and look at the problem, then another 1hr or so for them to fix the problem.
In reality we had 2 new rooms with problems, they have a book at front desk with the room numbers with problems that they need to fix. They do fix them but something occurs not just with my family but with others to.
Although they do a great job keeping the hotel clean outside they should work just as hard inside the hotel. I understand this is a very warm country and bugs will be all over but I strongly recommend everyone bring some Raid with them. You will get ants crawling in from cracks and the balcony. You would lift your shoes up off the floor and there would be a swarm of ants underneath them. I don't have a clue where they came from but look close and there lots of ants.
Pool was great and very clean. The la carte restaurants were great. The buffet service was ok. I personally didn't like the breakfast buffet. Nothing special about the buffet!
If you plan on buying any duty free I suggest you buy it ahead of time because there sure wasn't much time to look at any duty free stores in the airport. By the time we were done clearing security we had a grand total of 35 minutes before our flight was to leave.
I would rate this hotel a 3 star for sure and we were a Golden Member which technically doesn't mean much. We got 1 free la carte restaurant more than the regular customers got and a small bottle of rum & a bag & free internet which you waited about 1/2hr to get on to check emails. Only 2 computers in the whole hotel for golden members.
We enjoyed the nice weather when the sun was out and the la carte restaurants and service you got at the la carte restaurants.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Toronto
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2009

We arrived in Montego Bay on Aug. 7th at Sangster Airport. we waited for 2 hours to clear through customs due to several plans arriving at once. It would be appreciated if airport staf f were friendlier as it was not the best first impresion of Jamaica. Air Canada rep was great and managed to get us to the bus for the resort in a timely manner. So now we're off to the resort but not before 1 passanger asks the driver to stop for a beer on the side of the road to which he agrees. Very strange considering there are approx. 20 individuals on the bus just wanting to get to the resort, where we can get beer for free!!!
We stayed at the GB Aug. 7 to 14th and have stayed in GB resort previously in Samana so knew a bit of what to expect from the resort. We were not disappointed as the resort is beautiful. We did on occasion find some staff to be slightly rude but overall were friendly enough. The beach is great if you have small children as the water is quite shallow. There are 2 beaches at this resort, although using the term 'beach' for the one located close to the wedding gazebo is a bit of a stretch as there's no sand just small stones. We never had any difficulty with finding a place to sit at either the beach or pool area as there were always sufficient chairs, however, this may be due in part to the time of year. We were amused on several occasions to hear other guests commenting on and being offended by the nude beach located at the far end of the resort. To find yourself on this beach you must enter through a gate behind a fence with a big sign clearly indicating this is a nude beach in more than one language. One would wonder what they thought they'd see on the other side of this fence.
We ate at the buffet and found it adequate. Breakfast is definitely their best meal of the day. We didn't book any al a carte restaurants as we liked to eat quite late in the evening.
The hotel rooms were very spacious and clean. Really nice terrace/balconies. Bugs were not really a problem.
Entertainment in the evening was fine - not a Las Vegas show if that's what you're looking for you'll be disappointed.
We did the Chukka White River tubing excursion which was great and lots of fun. The water on the river was cool and very clear. The guides were terrific and kept all in attendace entertained. Definitely would recommend this for anyone in any age group
Overall the vacation was great.
We got exactly what we wanted from it.....relaxation and some sun.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Haarlem, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2009

We just came back from 2 weeks at the Bahia in Runaway Bay. We really liked this hotel and our stay. If you expect a super 5 star hotel where everything is perfect: don't go there. If you want a hotel where you can have a wonderfull vacation: go there! We had a great time in this hotel!

The pool is really big and has got 2 swim up bars. And yes, one part is near the contruction area (hotel is not yet finished, they want to build more rooms), but the pool is so big (and the hotelbuilding as well) that if you don't want to hear this, you can swim at the other part of the pool and won't hear it. There are absolutely enough sunbeds. Even if you go in the afternoon.

The beach in front of the hotel is rocky, but the beach some further away, which still belongs to the hotel, is nice white and sandy. There are no waves because there is a reef in front of the whole beach, which is so great for snorkeling! You can see stingrays, ink-fish, lobster and a lot of coloured fishes. It's possible to rent snorkeling gear from the diving school for 5 USD. You can also make a snorkeling tour for 15USD, but you will see the same fish as when you just jump into the ocean. They also have paddleboats, kayaks and catamarans which you can use for free.

The rooms are fine, airconditioning is working. The bath is a hydro-massagebath, really nice! We had a view over the pool, garden, ocean and great sunset.

The Orchid buffet restaurant is ok, especially the breakfast with fresh donuts, bagels, crepes, omelettes, etc. Dinner is ok, everynight a different theme and enough choice. We didn't try lunch here, because we liked to have lunch at the beachrestaurant and there is a jerk chicken place over there where you can eat the best jerk chicken.
We tried all the ala carte restaurants, except the Japanese. The gourmet and grill were perfect. We didn't like the Italian, because we chose veal, and the Jamaicans can't prepare it like an Italian. But the pizza's are nice! It is a good idea to make your reservations for the ala carte restaurants when you arrive, and not one day before, to make sure that it's available.

If you want to see some of the real Jamaica, take a walk to the center of Runaway Bay (follow the road from the entrance to the left). They don't have souvernirs here, but only some little shops and bars for the Jamaicans. If you walk a bit further, you will see The Flavours, the Jamaican will go here to the beach and have party's here. We went to this place at Independence Day and it was great!
Don't visit the Dunns River Falls, this has nothing to do with Jamaica, a lots of people, hand in hand, walking up to a waterfall, screaming and singing???

We really enjoyed our stay in the Gran Bahia Principe and would really recommend it. If you have any questions about this hotel, you can sent a message!

  • Stayed July 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scotland
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2009

Similar to some other comments here I was seriously worried that after working hard all year round to go to the caribbean my dream holiday would turn out to be a nightmare (based on some of the previous negative concerns )... NO PROBLEM! folks .. the hotel was wonderful. lovely room with beautiful restuaraunts and the chicken jerk at the beach hut was amazing.. ! but the most noticeable thing was the friendliness and the polite manners of the staff . they were absolutely perfect - polite and attentive without being in your face and always smiling /. so for those who have busted their backsides off all year to go and have some fun in the sun .. dont worry - you will have a fabolous time at this resort and whether you just want to chill out or prefer to do some more energetic things this reort will accommodate you ... Ye mon ... dont miss dunns river falls and the horse riding in the sea .. dolphin cove is great for the kids as well . id go back at the drop of a hat ... hope you have great time .. !

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Baltimore
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2009

Before leaving on my vacation I was a little nervous after reading some of the reviews. Once I got there I had to ask did those people stay at the same place? The front desk staff, ALL staff were wonderful. They were very helpful and not rude at all. The grounds were simply beautiful. The food was good, you always could find something that suited your taste buds. The rooms were very nice and clean. The nightly activities were enjoyable, what you would expect from a resort. I will definitely stay at the Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica again.

  • Stayed July 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Island, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2009

We stayed here for 6 days and it was our first time in Jamaica. Arriving to Montego bay airport was a hastle due to custums/immigration. We waited online for several hours due to numerous plans arriving at the same time and not enough workers handling the lines. We got a bad experience right off the bat from the airport. Finally 3 hours later we were set up with transportaion and brought to our hotel.

We arrived around 6pm and check in went very quicky. We had 2 joing rooms that were located in building 22, floor 5, room 14 & 15. (22514). The rooms were very nice and clean and rather large. The bathrooms were clean and had seperate tub/shower/toleit areas. The balcony was roomy and had furniture. THE PROBLEMS: The airconditioning never worked. This resort required you to leave a room key in the wall to operate the electrical items. We left our spare key in all the time and it never got cold. The fan worked better than the a.c. The toliet was terribly loud everytime it flushed and staying running for several minutes after each flush the entire trip. Our patio door does not lock but we were on the 5th floor so did not mind. There is no clocks in the room, if you would like an alarm please bring your own. And finally, even though we had a great view of the pool we were right next to the new construction area that is being built. Every day you herd jack-hammers and nails and concreate from early morning till sunset. This was a sore sight to look at and distracting when you are laying out my the pool.

The reservation system used for the resturants is done electronically through a computer or you sit the old fashio way with someone at the desk. We used the computer the first evening we arrived to book our dinner reservations for the week and found that all the alla carts were booked for the entire week we were staying there. Luckily we found 1 openeing at The Garden Grill around 730. My family was somewhat disapointed that we could only attend 1 alla cart resterant due to no openings the whole week. We then had to eat at the Orchid Buffet for every breakfast, lunch and dinner. THis got extreemly repetitive and was a big disapointment. The food was cooked well and there was a huge variety for different peoples likes, it just never changed.

Best excursion to do it Dunnes Rivers Falls in ochos rios. THis was a wonderful experience and lots of fun. When you go just be careful because there is plenty of venders looking to rip you off. Once you climb the river the only way to exit the park is threw a conviently placed maze of pushy venders. Just keep walking and be firm with them. They tell you this is the way to the tour buses but it isnt, its to their hidden shop. Everything is overpriced and you find yourself just buying their stuff so they can stop bothering you. BE AWARE of poeple with wooden statues. They ask you where they are from and what your name is. The next thing you know they are carving your name in it and making you buy it.

The hotel services were nice, staff was friendly, bartenders were always attentitive. I felt that each bar i went to made drinks differently. I prefered the lobby bar because it had top shelf liquor and was indoors. THey also had coffee, pasteries, tea etc.

Jamaica is a nice island but not exactally what i exprected. THis was the hottest part of the carribean i had ever been too. It also was extreemly windy at times each day which made laying out very difficult. We found our towls blown away each morning as well as people books, clothing, and pool chairs being blown into the pool. Leaving Jamaica was no problem except flight delays due to Miami weather but the airport itself was big, clean and had food choices (although very over priced).

I dont think i would plan to come back to the gran Bahia Principe. I did not get the true jamaican culture from this resort. It is a spanish chain, which made me feel like i belonged in mexico not jamaica. If i return to jamaica i would prefer a sandals resort or would like to try some place different. The hotel was not bad, but just did not meet by exprectations.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 Villa, Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Runaway Bay
#4 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Family 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*
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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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