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“Ja-freakin-mazing Mon!!!!!”

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Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Reviewed January 4, 2008

first off I will not mention rediculous things such as a little cracks in the wall or one out of 50 staff members who didn't smile at me because too me that's not how this or any resort should be rated.
basically if you're expecting to have everything at the snap of a finger then Jamaica in general is NOT the place for you. the way off life is very easy going and relaxed!! as it should be since you are on vacation!!

all in all this resort was fabulous. always pleanty of good food and friendly staff when you need something. I highly recommend going to the Negril tour wich is about 50 USD per person the beach there is fantastic!!

my only negative comment to any management reading this review would be that the sit down dinner reservations are ridiculously long. 9 pm or 10 pm is just too long to wait to be seated to eat dinner when you can just walk into the buffet and get it over with!!

besides that everything was fabulous and I would difinetly return!!

Stayed: December 2007
25  Thank travelxox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9,937 - 9,943 of 11,389 reviews

Reviewed January 3, 2008

As soon as we got to the hotel, everything seemed fine, the lobby is open, and you can see the oceanview and feel the breeze coming in, and the lobby entrance was very grande.

But immediately, one of the staff members started harassing my wife by commenting on her looks, and wanted to shake her hand. A few days later, another hotel staff member, who was also a local, made vulgar comments about my wife, and it was very uncomfortable for both of us to be placed in that situation. I let it go as, I did not want to start a fight as I was new to Jamaica, and I did not want to cause any trouble, but it led to a very uncomfortable situation, and the hotel should be more selective with the staff that they hire.

Also, the first staff member continually made comments about my wife everytime we bumped into him in the hallway, and it caused us to feel unsafe and uneasy.

Outside, we got on to one of the paddleboats, and we requested help from one of the workers there to get it in the water. The worker was not happy to assist us, and called me weak for not being able to do it myself, and made furthur vulgar comments.

Also, we checked with the front desk about making reservations for tennis, and they claimed that no reservations are required. When we got there, we were waiting for one hour for the tennis court to free up, as they only have two. The tennis court attendance told us that he is going to let someone else go before us, as they made a reservation, even though they just got there, and the front desk clearly told us that it was on a first come first serve basis. We told him that there are no reservations and that we have been waiting longer and are going on first. Then when we went on, he told us to limit our playing time to 15 mins, even though a time limit of 1 hour is allowed per use. It was a very frustrating situation for us, and we did not expect this kind of service from a five star resort.

Whenever we walked by any of the local staff, we found that they were always talking loudly, and mentioning phrases like Bombacloth, and using swear words repeatedly. I definately do not recommend coming to this hotel unless you want your kids to pick up words like this. It is unfortunate, because the hotel itself is not too bad, and the grounds are kept clean, but the rude and harrasing staff just ruined the experience for us.

There were also a few quirks with the hotel as well. They only gave us one room card, and everytime we took the roomcard out of the socket to leave the room, all the electricity would automatically shut off, including the alarm clock, and we would never know what time it was. Also, the AC doesnt work if the outside door is even slightly opened, we found this out the hard way. The a la carte restaurants are really really bad, and they never ever cook the chicken properly, even though we told them that we want it well done. The food at the buffet was always good, but the problem is that it is open during limited times, and if you miss it, then you miss it.

The bar staff at the snack bar were not very helpful, and would easily get frustrated if they did not understand your order. The staff at the buffet restaurant would take an awful long time to get water for us, and we found ourselves continually having to wait and ask for more water.

The sattelite on the 1990's 32' tube tv would cut out from time to time, and it would interrupt your show.

The mini bar includes jamaican beer, pop, and water only, and the chocolates and chips were only for Gold members, and they did not give any to us, even though it was all inclusive for us.

They are supposed to give you two towel tickets for beach towels, which we did not get, and had to ask for, and someone just ripped up a piece to paper and put "2 towels" on it for us, and the did not accept that at the towel place. So we had to use our own hotel room towels, which were already in short supply. Also, I found that at the towel place, they never ever had any clean towels to hand out, and they always ran out.

The beach itself doesnt have very soft sand, and it has a lot of broken glass, and hard rocks and gravel, and it is not easy on the feet. Also, once you get in the water, there is a lot of plants growing in the water and fungi, and it doesnt feel good stepping on those.

The entertainment was horrible, and it was very corny. The only good entertainment was the band and singer on the terrace during evenings, but the night entertainment on the stage is not worth it.

The worst part about it was during checkout. Our checkout time was on Jan 1, 08 at 6am in the morning, and there was nobody at the front desk that knew how to work the checkout process. All the people checking out during this time were left stranded for at least an hour. The said that the person who was supposed to actually work at the front desk simply didnt show up to work that day, and that they had no backup plans in place. Also, I had to pay with credit card for the phone and safe expenses, and nobody knew how to take a credit card payment. They kept trying to swipe my card, at least 30 times, for a measily $35.00US, while the lineup behind me kept getting longer and longer. The other guests who were waiting to checkout were getting frustrated and told them to just let it go, and not charge the $35US, but they instisted that they could not let it go, and kept all the other guests waiting for 45 mins, while the one person behind the desk tried contineously to swipe my card to take the payment.

The bus operator was getting frustrated as well, as the delay at the front desk caused everyone to be late in getting to the airport, and the bus driver mentioned that there is always a problem with the front desk here, and that this was not the first time. So be sure to expect long long lineups during checkout and a whole lot of confusion. Don't expect to make it on time to the airport.

Overall, it was not a good trip, and I was happy to be going back home, it was a hassle, and I look forward to going somewhere else next time.

  • Stayed: December 2007
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
11  Thank guest12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2008

We stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe from Dec. 8th to 15th. It should be noted that we won this trip so the lack of cash investment on our part may have tempered our expectations and assessments of the resort. Overall, we’d rate the resort as pretty good, a rating that would probably drop to mediocre if we had spent our own money.



Restaurants:



Your only choice of restaurant for breakfast is the buffet and we really can’t see how someone could complain about it unless they were expecting a gourmet a la carte meal. There was a wide variety of decent food that should satisfy everyone. There are cooks who do eggs, omelettes, and crepes to order if you don’t like buffet style food.



Lunch is available at the buffet and at the snack shop at the beach. The buffet does a good job of presenting a wide variety of mostly European food that should satisfy most palates. The soups were always excellent. The salads were diverse and fresh. The main courses were also good. The pizzas were plentiful in style and always good. They did have a cook who would grill steaks on an a la carte basis but, when we had them make one for us, it was so tough that the knife would not cut it. There were also some days when we opted against changing out of wet bathing suits into more formal wear for the buffet (there is a sign that says that buffet patrons are supposed to wear formal clothes like long pants but most people wore shorts) and we visited the snack shop. It’s set up as a mini buffet and the food was actually really good and there was always Jamaican food included! On the days that we used the snack shop, they had jerk chicken and jerk pork on the grills in back of the restaurant, and they made a big deal out letting guests know when the jerk was ready (usually between 1:30 and 2:00). The hamburgers, however, looked horrifying (imagine dozens of mystery-meat patties soaking in a tray of oil – yech). Still, bad food reviews are unwarranted based on our lunch-time experiences.



Dinner at the buffet was the same deal as lunch: lots of food with something to satisfy everyone. We did not visit the Asian a la carte restaurant as we have never experienced really good food in Caribbean Asian restaurants. The Grill a la carte restaurant was alright, as was Don Pablo, which is supposed to be the gourmet restaurant. One of us enjoyed the seafood restaurant and one of us did not (not a seafood lover at the best of times). Overall for dinner, we have had better food elsewhere but we wouldn’t be too critical of the restaurants.



They have opened a burger joint in the mall but the burgers looked awful. The grilled cheese sandwich we shared was actually pretty horrible.


We are not wine snobs but we do enjoy wine with our meals so here is a quick rundown of what you can get in the all-inclusive package (they had other wine available at the gourmet restaurant for a fee). The red wine is in a Spanish style but is very light bodied and it left us saying, “meh” a la Bart Simpson every time we had it. The white was just horrid and simply not drinkable. The sparkling wine was your basic cava-style bubbler and was the best of the three. We have had better wines at other all inclusive resorts.



Staff:



We actually had good encounters with mostly everyone with whom we dealt. We are not exceptionally out-going nor are we really “people persons”, yet we found that smiling at staff, greeting them warmly, and making requests in respectful manners elicited smiles, cheery responses and fulfilled requests. Go figure. Still, we have met friendlier staff at other resorts. One staff member told us he used to work at a resort that we have visited in the past. He said he much preferred working at the other resort. We were told by our tour representative on the resort that maintenance staff could be a problem (timeliness), so I guess I am glad we had no issues. In fairness to the people who have posted bad reviews based on the service at the resort, we would agree that the staff was not overly warm or even that attentive.



In terms of tipping, we did so when we felt it was warranted. For instance, on our last day at lunch in the buffet, the worker who takes your dishes and keeps your wine glass full was doing a great job of keeping our glasses full and chatting with us so we slipped him a couple of dollars. The bartenders who were stingy with their pour or po-faced when serving got no tips whereas the guys who bantered and poured stiffer drinks got tips. We have always operated on the premise that you will have lots of interaction with your maid so you should tip her. We want a clean room and if slipping her a few bucks every day means we’ll get a clean room and towels, then that is what we’ll do.



Beaches:



As you know from other reviews, there are two beaches: one directly behind the pool area and one on the west side of the property. We actually used the beach behind the pool every morning as it was virtually deserted and peaceful. The sand, though, is very hard packed and full of rocks so water shoes or sandals are required. We did not swim in the ocean at this beach so we offer no comments. The beach to the west has perfect fine sand. There are some rocky areas in the ocean as well as some sea-weedy areas but they are not widespread and we had fun swimming.



Resort / rooms



The resort is beautiful and our room was beautiful. We had a corner room in the building that was sort of between the two beaches and our balcony partially wrapped around both exterior walls so the view was incredible. We liked the stiff king-size bed. The resort’s workout room was perfectly acceptable (we used it nearly every day) however the resort was largely deserted when we visited; if there were more guests, there would not have been enough equipment. The pools are really nice but maybe a little chilly, which is probably nice when it’s so warm outside. We’ve seen negative reviews about the pools because the opening hours are so restricted but we used the pool before it officially opened to swim laps and the guys cleaning the pools just worked around us. We also saw some people use the pool into the late evening without being disturbed. We never had a problem getting deck chairs at the pool or the beach but people definitely did reserve chairs early in the morning with their towels. I’m not sure why people complain about the beach towels. We were able to exchange towels more than once per day when necessary. Every other day or so, there was a jazz band that played by the main lobby and they were really good.



Other



We have been to Ocho Rios in the past and we took the shopping excursion on this trip as well. Ocho Rios is awesome. We went off the beaten path looking for authentic Jamaican fare and never felt worried. We also took the YS Falls / Appleton Estate tour. Be prepared for a very long day and a bus ride from heck. We nearly died 26 times on that Jamaican road. The driver did not get a tip.



Negatives / Overall assement



Although we have not mentioned anything really bad, we can’t gush about the resort. Although the grounds of the resort were nice, we have experienced better for similar prices. The food and drink were adequate and often good, but we have had better for similar prices. The power went off several times per day. When it rained, the ceiling in the walkway disintegrated and there were massive leaks in the main lobby. Strange smells emanated from the drain of the shower. The entertainment got really old really fast (if you’re not into jazz dance, you are out of luck). We had no problem with size of the resort (it really isn't that big unless you're completely sedentary), but the stairs from the ground level to the main lobby got annoying by the end of the week. Unless you went out of your way to be friendly, many of the staff were completely disinterested, which was a bit of a downer. We don’t buy the, “You’re in Jamaica and they’re cooler than you so don’t expect them to bend over backwards for you” argument. We’re happy to operate on “Jamaican time” as it is holiday time and you should be relaxed but we would prefer not to deal with people who look like they are very unhappy fulfilling their job, which is to serve you (it is the service industry afterall). There were no negatives that would cause us to say, “Don’t go to this resort!” but there was nothing that blew our socks off except maybe the view (we got really lucky with room we got; it may have been the best in the resort).

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
25  Thank TravellingTourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2008

We traveled from Ottawa to Gran Bahia Principe for the Christmas holidays. Here is my take on it all. I point out several negative things but only to help vacationers avoid the issues. The good can be seen in the brochure.

Arrival
The flight was nice, but it was a full plane with not a lot of room. Air Transat ran a Skyservice 757 out of Ottawa and it was a tight squeeze. If being cramped up on a plane with small children after bed time can be problematic you may want to pay special attention to the time of day you and your little ones are traveling. It could save you a lot of grief. Bus ride from Montego Bay to the resort was just over and hour. A good driver or vacation rep makes the time pass easily with interesting information.

Hotel
The hotel is very nice and new. Pictures tell that story. Our room was great and well maintained.

Staff
The staff are friendly and helpful.

Food
The food is good. It is the same as I have seen in other BP hotels (I have stayed at 3 others) so I was satisfied knowing what I got. I have had better but I was well fed and satisfied. Make sure you go to the a la cartes. For some reason the drinks did not taste as good as in the BP in Mexico. That did not stop me. Not much can.

Amenities
Gym was nice, couple of treadmills, couple of ellipticals and several weights and exercise bikes. All in working order. Bring you towel, they don't give you one there. Shopping area had reasonable prices for a resort. Internet worked well. WIFI was there for those who need their laptops. I did not. Never went to the spa. There were several who went snorkeling, scuba diving and windsurfing. They seemed to enjoy it.

Pools
Water was a bit cool (not as cool as Ottawa) but not too cold to get in. Water was clean and there were several options for guests of different ages and heights. Lots of games for the children and aqua fit was popular for the adults.

The good
Room with a view. It is spectacular.

Weather - Could not be beat.

Gold club. We had a club golden booking and it meant that we had special additions that others did not have. It also meant that our check-in was done on the bus ride in.

Beach. It is on the far left from the front of the resort. Find it. There is a snack bar in between the beach and the resort. (Great jerk chicken)

Food. There are 4 a la carte restaurants, Fisherman's, Garden Grill, Mikado and the Don Pablo. I was happy with the service and food quality at the ones where I had eaten (Fish, Grill and Pablo). I loved the Pablo the best. Very nice service and great atmosphere. The others were very nice as was the buffet but the Pablo stood out for me.

The Bad
Complainers. Some people had a bad experience at the resort for various reasons and are willing to sing it from the roof top. That is unfortunate but there usually nothing another guest can do to help. Don't let them drag you down. Not everyone has a bad time. Enjoy your stay. Find happier people to mingle.

Dress code neglect. Men need long pants and shoes for supper at the a la carte. It is a more formal environment. I wore them and I felt it added to the dining experience. I had to wait to be seated while hearing someone yell about not knowing the dress code. Wear pants not swim wear. This may also be called complainers. They were awful.

If one wears wet shorts to the buffet where there are fabric seats the seat will be wet for the next person. Check before you sit.

Drinks. Could have been better. They were not as tasty or mixed as evenly as I have seen them at the BP in Mexico. Not terrible but not great. I do have to say that I like the Red Stripe in Jamaica more than Dos Equis in Mexico. That is only my personal opinion.

Recommendations

Be the boy scout. Be prepared. Come prepared to make your vacation work for you. Use your rep of public relations. Be patient and they will help you. Impatience buys you nothing.

Respect the sun. It is hot and you are cooking in it all day. Bring a hat, wear sunscreen and watch your exposure. Too much sun made me a bit stomach sick and I never saw it coming. It did not slow me down any but it did affect my overall experience.

Do an excursion. See the falls or something. You will regret it if you stay on the resort the whole time. The resort is nice enough but take the opportunity to do some adventuring. Golf is close by and can be arranged.

Would I go back or send a friend? You bet ya.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
30  Thank OttawaNewfie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2008

Travelled to Jamaica for the first time with our 2 children (3 and 7) and we had a wonderful time.

Upon arrival, we were taken to our bus and during the hour to the hotel, all documents were done so that we had our room cards in our hands before we got to the hotel. Only problem was that we got there at 11:30pm and only restaurant open was the Hamburger Pit which only had about 3 people working for the 3 flights that arrived.

The resort is very impressive. It is still being worked on but that did not affect us too much. The rooms were large and clean. We were on the main fl in building 18 which was perfect. We had ocean view, were far from the noise of the disco, close walk to the pool and beach, and far enough from the lobby traffic.

The pools were clean and perfect for our 3 yr old that doesnt swim. The beach was a bit rocky but after a few minutes walk the children found sand to make castles out of.

The staff were very friendly and helpful. The housekeepers to the restaurant staff were very nice especially to our children. We were there before the holidays therefore there were not many children around and we didnt feel like leaving them in the kids club indoors. They did have evening kids disco's but we didnt know about them or where they were held until day 3. I had to ask the lobby staff for listings of what was happening only to be given an old schedule. But once we found it, the children loved going to the disco.

The restaurant - Orchid was great. Lots of variety, but for us that craved some spice, many items were quite bland. Kids loved the desserts and appreciated having some kids foods - pastas, hamburgers, etc. Our waiter - Marvin - was wonderful, we asked for him each time. The a la carte restaurants were ok but we would have chosen the buffet instead. The Mikado was very good and food tasty. The 2nd, Don Pablo's, food was dry and service poor. The Grill was wonderful and the food was great.

We had a great time and had no problems or difficulties. We hired a cab for the day from the front lobby - Leighton, our driver, was wonderful and courteous. We spent the day in Ocho Rios only to realize that we really didnt have to leave the resort. We were there only to relax and enjoy the food and weather. We did have a couple of days of clouds off and on, however did not affect the overall outcome. Even with showers, we were in the pool.

The resort is well laid out and just requires a lit bit more staff and organization to promote all that it has to offer. We just wished the arrival/departure times for the flights were better.

We would love to come back!!

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank jamaicadec07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2007

We had never stayed at an all-inclusive resort and it is not really our style, so I can't compare. It was better than the negative reviews. We traveled with our teenage children and my daughter particularly was happy because she wanted a warm and relaxing vacation.

Our rooms were on the ground floor near the beach. Each room has a marble bathroom with jacuzzi tub (which we couldn't get to work) and separate shower. There is a king sized bed with a very firm very flat mattress, a long chest with minibar inside and TV on top, a table and two chairs, and a built-in sofa that can be used as a bed. Sliding glass doors open to a patio with two plastic chairs and a table. The doors have no screen, which frustrated me because our room smelled but there were a few mosquitoes so we didn't like to leave the door open. They do not have separate non-smoking rooms.

The food was good but not outstanding. There was a lot of choice on the buffet, and some variety from day to day. The fish dishes were surprisingly good. There was often but not always some interesting local fruit in addition to melon and lackluster pineapple. I particularly enjoyed the smoked salmon always available at breakfast and the caramel bread pudding often available for dessert. We ate once each at the gourmet restaurant and the grill. The main courses were somewhat better than anything at the buffet restaurant, but the rest was not.

I neither drink nor like to sit in the sun, so this really wasn't our kind of place. The snorkeling right off the beach in front of the hotel was really quite good, though not dramatic. The swimming at the larger beach was good--I swim for exercise and was able to swim a nice lap out along the buoys marking off the channel for boats. They had two of three Hobie Cat sailboats in working order and there was a long wait for sailing, but there were plenty of kayaks. They have plenty of windsurfers available but they are small boards that are hard to balance on, not the larger boards I had sailed when I was younger. Some people not associated with the hotel were on a boat renting out a couple of jet skis.

It is hard to leave the hotel, except on bus tours and hotel-sponsored snorkling and scuba tours. The taxis are controlled by the hotel and very expensive--$10 for less than two miles to the nearby Green Grotto Cave (we walked back). The front desk told me it was not safe to go out on the main road but when I went and looked for myself I discovered it has an 8 foot paved shoulder. If you take that road to the east (turn left out the gate) it is less than a mile to the town of Runaway Bay, which has sidewalks. There isn't a lot there but we bought some local food gifts at the supermarket.

I felt very safe both at the resort and in town, both alone and with my teenage daughter. The resort has a very diverse clientel, not just from the US and Canada (including a number of African-Americans) but also a significant number from different European countries. In keeping with European customs, there were a few women sunbathing topless on the beach in front of the hotel and quite a few in bikinis even though they no longer had the figures of teenagers. Bathing suits were not allowed at meals (so bring a nice coverup) and they asked that women wear dresses and men wear long pants at dinner (though not everyone did).

We tipped a dollar here and there and found the service better than we feared at first. Someone came to fix a clogged toilet within an hour and when we asked for another large bottle of water we got two. The resort says that the water is reverse-osmosis purified and safe to drink. My husband and kids drank it (I don't drink tap water even in England). My daughter came down with mild stomach problems as we were leaving.

The place is so large it is necessarily bureaucratic. When you check in you are handed a card to get a beach towel for each person, and you are charged if you don't hand in the beach towels and get cards back and then hand in those cards when you check out. There wasn't much effort to respond to individual interests, for example when I asked on Christmas eve about going to a church service Christmas day I was told I was the first person who had asked and that one employee went to a church that had a 5 am service.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Pam_in_SC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2007

My wife and I with a one year old went their during the christmas week.

Stars rating: Let's don't kid ourselves. If you want true 5 stars experience, there are only Ritz Calton and Four Seasons. There is a Ritz Calton in Montego Bay. I went there with a 3 star expectation, and I will give a 4 star.

Hotel and Rooms: It's a truely beautiful hotel, granduous, white siding with orange roof. Rooms are all the same - fairly big room with one side of room having a sofa seating area. There are no separate room suites. To me the wall cracks are minor. It is a one year old resort, so paint is destined to crack. I do see them retouch walls both in and outside the rooms.

Keys and A/Cs: I was a little worried about the malfunction of key or a/c or doors as complained by other reviewers. They use a smart-key entry card. And you have to insert all the way in the key slot to make it work. And if you want your room lights and appliances to work, you have to insert the key card into the wall slot after you enter the room, and again, insert all the way in. So I will highly recommend getting two key cards for the room. Otherwise after you leave the room, your electric will stop working. Also make sure you try the door handle from outside after your either enter and exit the room to make sure it locks, the way it is designed is you have to push it up to make sure it locks. A lot of previous reviewers complain about the key doesn't work or door doesn't lock or electric outage, I think they are mainly not smart enough to figure how this advanced mechanism work. I would recommend not to swim with the key cards in your pocket though, as the water and sand might cause you to try to insert the key a couple more times. Therefore I don't have any problem with the keys, power or false entry. As a matter of fact, one day I intentionally left the door open slightly, a security guard knocked to check if it is supposed to be.

Beach and Pool: Pool big, clean and very nice. Most people will go to the beach/bay at the left side of the complex, which is very big bay and plenty of palapas and seats. Water is very calm, sloping very gradual. And even at the end of December, water is warm for swimming, even warmer than the pool.

Restaurants: Buffet is good but I get tired of it after a couple days. For lunch I highly recommend the outside restaurant at the left of the complext where the water activities are, the breeze is constant and the open air makes it comfortable. The food there is simple but works fine for an easy lunch. The reservation restaurants are really nothing to sing home about. The Mikado Japanese restaurant is probably the better one in my opinion. But knowing that we are not in New York or Metropolitan or Ritz Calton, I don't expect to get a culinerary experience.

Gold Club: The main difference is the free internet. I prefer internet at my room instead of going to the gold club room. So I paid $120 for 6 days of internet in my room. Check in to me the front desk is more efficient than the gold club consierge. And I did make a room change through the front desk. Gold Club has a little extra amenities in the room, such as bath robe and slippers (slippers are extra useful as the floor in the room is tiles, but you can overcome this by bringing your own), some extra toiletries and room service (which I didn't order). I think they do have priorities to gold club members in terms of restaurant reservations. I was able to book early dinners - and early reviewers have been complaining about reservations not available until 9 pm. So depending on your financial well being and how these amenties stack against the price difference, you can make a call yourself.

Staff: don't expect everyone to greet you. but if you greet them, they normally greet you back with a smile. I think most of them are friendly. You do need to slow down a little - don't expect to be served right away, but I think if you tip and the bartender gets to know you, you will be served promptly.

Overall I like this hotel (their rate is very competitive too, you can't go wrong with that, even if everything goes wrong on you, you get what you paid for, right?). If you have a young child like me, this is probably a good place to go, as the Breezes, Sandals the like do not take child. I do see a lot of families with young children. To wrap it up, if you have time reading this forum, you are probably not those people who are super rich and belong to an elite club of exclusive, seclusive, white glove fancy resorts - just face the reality, relax while you on vacation and you will enjoy the Gran Bahia like we did.

  • Stayed: December 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
13  Thank XYZNY1
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, Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Phone Number:
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Romantic Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range: $173 - $435 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 (24h per day free of charge) and in rooms (additional charge) Wedding gazebo 2 buffet-style main restaurants and 5 speciality restaurants 4 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 848 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 
Reservation Options:
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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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