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Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
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Reviews (11,997)
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Reviewed April 10, 2008

My wife and I were at the Gran Bahia from Mar 20 to 27..
I have travelled each year for the last 21 years and I will confirm
that this resort is a 5 star in every way. We had no problems with
anything. A burned out light bulb was replaced in 20 minutes.
The buffet was fantastic.. the 4 a la carte dinners were very
impressive. The food was excellent. Service was standard and
while not as " speedy" as Mississauga ,Ont. .. keep in mind that
this is Jamaica.. their life style is different than ours.
Staff were friendly and appreciated a tip. They did not render poor
service if they did not receive a tip previously. There is an option
called " THE GOLDEN CLUB" for this resort. It costs extra but I
assure you it is worth it. There is about a dozen benefits from
that option and well worth the extra cost.
I find it difficult that some people had negative comments...
We had an excellent vacation and I would recommend this resort
to anyone.

Stayed: March 2008
5  Thank adonis69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2008

I could go on and on and write on all the positive things about GBP to my hands cramped, or I could write about the negative things...so here it goes.

The negative:

We had to leave, as our holiday had come to an end...yes it was was OVER !!!

For all you folks reading the not-so-good comments on here...have no worries, go to GBP Runaway Bay and enjoy.

Cheers.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank pablo&company
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2008

This resort is beautiful. I had reservations about this resort after reading on the forum but I can honestly say that we had a great trip. I don't mean to sound harsh but for those of you that bash these types of vacations, I don't understand because what you pay for and what you receive is more than well worth it. We have been to DR,Cuba,Jamaica and Bahamas and every one of the trips has been a real vacation where this is no cooking or cleaning. Where else anywhere else in this world would you find this type of vacation. Certainly no where in Canada would you find this paradise. Enough on this topic!!!!!

Back to Jamaica. The resort was beautiful. The rooms were beautiful as well. We found the people to be very friendly. The meals were good too but after a few days we were ready for a home cooked meal. I have to tell you the jerk chicken down by the beach restaurant was awesome. You could have both chicken & pork and it was yummy. Also the snorkelling over by the beach in front of where you can be married, it is also awesome. Take some bread and the fish and sealife is amazing. The A La Carte's were good but the chili at the Grill Restaurant was quite tasty.

The beach and water was breath taking. The sand not quite as nice as we have seen but once you got past the small stones it was fine. We went to Dunn's Falls and it was well worth the trip. I wear glasses and I was concerned about loosing them but I was fine so anyone with glasses you will be fine. Water was very refreshing. Be careful of the sea urchins. The staff are very careful to watch for the urchins and will also take the time to explain why you have to be careful.

I would not hesitate to return to this resort and probably will in a couple of years or so. So anyone that is thinking of going do so you will have a great time and a beautiful holiday.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank cateyOnatrio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2008

Read the reviews, knew what to expect, went anyway. This is my 3rd trip to Jamaica.

Rooms - all new, large, big balconies - especially the corner/tower rooms, very clean, housekeeping service was good, and decor/layout pretty much identical to Bahia property in the Mayan Riviera. Many more Spanish channels on the small TV than other resorts we have visited. Stay in section 18 odd # rooms. Mini bar contained beer (no Red Stripe - Real Rock only), water and pop. We met folks who were Golden guests - the only difference was free internet, room service, special breakfast, newspaper and guaranteed top 2 floors (of 5). You can decide if it's worth the extra cash.

Beach - a bit of a walk from most rooms. Ocean areas closest to rooms were not swimming areas (just mossy rocks in water). The beach lagoon in front of main section of hotel was gravel and hard on the feet. Long stretch of beach adjacent to hotel, nude beach is walled off , and only saw 1-2 vendors each day. One beach bar at far end (near nude beach) with limited service, another at beach restaurant opposite end near hotel - a hike either way regardless of where you are. Snorking is good - bring your own gear as resort requires deposit for loaners.

Restaurants - All restaurants have a dress code (no flip flops, shorts etc - pictures of required attire show men in jackets, ascots and long pants and women in cocktail dresses) but impossible to enforce and almost everyone was ultra casual. Buffet was extensive, elaborate and very Spanish - pretty much same look, feel, cuisine as Mexican Bahia. There was one 'Jamaican' theme night but other than that, little to no local foods at all. We loved the beach restaurant and had lunch there everyday. It serves mostly hamburgers/hotdogs but there's a jerk BBQ hidden in a small lean-to behind the restaurant. The high point of our day was gazing out at the ocean while savouring the generous plates of jerk chicken or pork with an icy Red Stripe and the steel band playing in the background. The a la cartes were good, not mind-blowing, but good. Only allowed 3 per week - we preferred Don Pablo and The Grill. Insist on the reservation time/day you prefer as they were all half full despite resort being at capacity. Regardless of where we dined, the staff ALWAYS provided good, friendly service.

Pool - Really nice, meandering pool around the hotel. Get there early (6am) to put your towel on the padded, teak lounge chairs.

Bars - Two small bars in beach area and 2 pool bars. I never saw any fresh fruit whatsoever used in any drinks during the entire week (and we drank a lot) but my husband said he got a banana once. The bar on the main terrace overlooking the resort and ocean was an amazing location to relax anytime of day and is also attached to a large lobby bar. The house wines were acceptable - there was some wines available for purchase but we did not try them.

Entertainment - Only went to the show one night, it was very Spanish in format and language, closing with Bahia Principe theme song. Terrace bar often has nightly entertainment, and many mornings 3 musicians were outside the entrance to the buffet. As mentioned, there's a good steel band every afternoon at the beach restaurant. Off the resort, we had a blast on the Cool Runnings catamaran - sailing, snorkling, a climb up Dunns River falls and lots of music, beer and rum on the cruise back.

Overall - A beautifully landscaped and enormous resort (700 rooms and in the process of building another wing), but too many rules, and signs are posted everywhere. The Jamaican staff were always friendly, courteous, eager to please and made us feel very welcome. Our biggest disappointment was that the Jamaican culture seemed entirely suppressed at this hotel - we felt like we were in Mexico. It's not that we had a bad time, but we love the humour, personality and flavour of Jamaica and you have to look pretty hard to find it here. Make sure you get off the compound and experience some true Jamaican hospitality and get to know these wonderful people.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank Rob_DebBarrieOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2008

I would note that a 5 rating in Trip Advisor means "Excellent", not perfect.

But our stay in the GBP was close to perfect with a few minor glitches.

We stayed from March 9 -16 and took the Royal Golden club. Well worth it for all the reasons already cited in the reviews. The ocean view alone would have been worth the extra price. The free in-room safe nearly paid for the premium itself.

Room: The room was gorgeous - great bed, lovely bathroom and very comfortable. Balcony with that gorgeous view. We stayed in 21605. It was quiet and very clean. The pictures posted by others tell the story.

Pools: Lovely. The middle pool (in one of my pics) is great for swimming. Unfortunately there are no stairs into it, which my wife did not like. So we mostly used the pool closest to the lobby.

Beach: Loved it. The man-made beach out front is great for snorkelling. The natural beach further out is lovely and the swimming is great. The bottom was soft and there's tons of room to swim within the buoys.

Service: I can't say enough. The servers were funny, animated and did a great job. Yes they appreciate a tip. But I always tipped after the service in any event. So I'm not sure if it made a difference. Leaving $2 in the mini fridge definitely helped though. The life guards were great (I kept cutting myself and stepped on a sea urchin.) Our maid was wonderful.

Food: It varied. The Buffet was very good but can get repetitive. I enjoyed the pasta station. We had one meal at Don Pablos (surf and turf) that was as good a meal as I've had anywhere. The steak at the Grill was disappointing - although their buffet was very good. We had 2 dinners at the Fisherman restaurant. The first was excellent. The second came cold and under-cooked. The ladies sent theirs back (the guys should have too) and the replacements were excellent. Jerk chicken at the snack bar was great.

Liquor: Not the best, but you get used to it after a few drinks. :-)

Entertainment: Can't really advise. We were in bed by the time it started in the commercial area. We took in the steel band at the Snack Bar and it was great. The singer and band at the Terrace bar was fine.

Excursions: Booked a taxi for half a day to see Ocho Rios, Fern Gulley and the Botanical Gardens. Loved it and it only cost $100 with tip for 4 of us. We took the snorkelling boat trip and that was great.

Resort: It's beautiful, clean and has spectacular views. It's large, so don't go here if you want an intimate experience.

We've already booked next year's trip - Sandals Negril to see a different part of Jamaica.

One final note. This was our first trip to the Caribbean, so we don't have a lot to compare. The couple we went with travel extensively but this was their first trip to Jamaica. They loved it. They especially appreciated Jamaica - the people, the ease of using English, the 110 volt electrical system and the natural beauty.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
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2  Thank EdwinOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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