My wife and I just got back from our first time to Jamaica, and we were looking for a mega-resort to just sit back and relax on the beach. The Bahia did not disappoint!
The resort was apparently over-capacity during our stay (they offered $100 to anyone willing to relocate to resorts in Montego Bay for a night), but we never felt crowded; it is that big. The only "busy" spot was the prime pool area with the entertainment, but we were there for the beach so that didn't matter to us.
The beach is really long and narrow, which means it was easy to get a spot right at the water. If you were out by 8:30 to set down a towel, you could get a great spot. We were usually there by 7:30 and had our pick. There was a good breeze all week, and the water was great. Lots of fish for snorkeling just off shore.
We booked through Apple vacations, and our entire group was upgraded to their Don Pablo collection. We don't think the rooms were any different, but it gave us access to a lounge with a couple of laptops and wifi (none in the room), as well as a bar with premium liquor (Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker Red & Black, Bailey's) that are not available in the rest of the resort. There was also a roped off area around the pool that had it's own bar with the same liquor, and the drinks they made there fresh made (Pina Colada not from a slush machine, delicious). There was also a roped off area on the beach. Both of these areas had waiters to bring drinks, but they weren't 'prime' areas, more like the quiet areas at the end of the pool and beach. Lastly, the smaller breakfast buffet had an area exclusive to Don Pablo, the best part of which was the fresh made juice that you could order from waiters.
We had a room on the top floor of the East building. It was a long walk to the beach which is on the West side of the resort, but it was nice and quiet. The elevator was terrible, but we are stairs people so we didn't mind. The nice thing about the upper levels were tile flooring throughout. We walked through other sections of the hotel and the hallways had dated, dark carpets that you could easily imagine being full of mildew. I'd definitely recommend trying to get a room in the tiled sections.
Our room was great, quite clean, and we had a straight-on view of the ocean from the balcony. The bathroom did have some mold in the shower, and the "whirlpool" tub was older, we didn't bother using it. We did have a small flat panel TV, the channels that worked were in the 60's-80's, which was odd. There was no channel guide either, but we weren't there to watch TV.
Another thing that may have been Don Pablo related was unlimited a-la cartes. They even booked 5 for us in advance, one at each restaurant. We booked a second meal at the Japanese restaurant in their interactive section (there is a regular section, and they have different names when you reserve) on our last night, so it was almost like six restaurants. Quality varied dramatically between them. Can't miss the gourmet or Japanese, Spanish was good, steak house was buffet quality, and Italian was worse than the buffet.
The food was good overall, omelet stations every morning for breakfast but you are out of luck if prefer fresh crepes or waffles. Wait for the fresh food to come out to the heat lamps, they generally left food out too long. We loved the cantaloupe, melon, & water melon, which was a good thing because they were pretty much the only fresh fruit available. A couple of days there was also pineapple and Jamaican apples. Lunch at the Jerk chicken shack was amazing, we had this almost every day. You won't find many vegetables that aren't soaked in oil.
As I mentioned, we were here for the beach, but we also did one tour in Ocho Rios through Peat Taylor tours. Will post a separate review for them, but in short, they were amazing, highly recommended. This resort is isolated, so if you are looking to do a lot of excursions or to explore Jamaica, it may not be right for you. If you want to relax on a beach with plenty of booze and food, and don't mind a bit of walking, it is perfect.
- 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:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, BookIt.com, Orbitz, KIPPIN S.A Lussemburgo Cadempino Branch, Priceline, Booking.com, TravelUp, Travelocity, Hotwire, Cancelon, Evoline ltd, Cheap Tickets, TripOnline SA, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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