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“Photography Service - Brides Beware!!”

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Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Reviewed December 8, 2013

I was married at the Gran Bahia Principe resort in Runaway Bay Jamaica, and I need to make other brides aware to ensure you don't get screwed over like I did! My issue is only related to the photography company and not the resort itself.

The wedding coordinator that looked after our wedding (Camecia) was absolutely amazing, she was so helpful and thoughtful through the entire process, and the photographer himself (Chris) was absolutely amazing too! My issue is with the actual photography company that is contracted through the resort.

I purchased the platinum package, which is to include photos taken in the room, at the ceremony, at the beach and 2 hours of the reception; they don't tell you that it's only the first 2 hours of the reception which was just our dinner. Sorry, I don't need 2 hours worth of pictures of people stuffing their faces. I had a dance at the gazebo which was to take place after the dinner, and I figured I'd be able to have an hour at the dinner and an hour at the reception, seeing as the package indicates 2 hours of the reception! I had to pay an addition $100.00 for the hour I wanted photos taken at the dance and when I asked the photography coordinator how many additional photos that would include, she told me none, that the additional $100.00 is for the photographers time only. So my question to her is, why would I pay an additional $100.00 (over and above the $800.00 I already paid for the package) to have additional photos taken to not get any additional photos, why would I pay extra to not receive extra photos........ here was the response I received:

"I will give you an additional 5 photos but that means the photographer is working for free for that hour" are you kidding me! Really?!

Here's the real kicker in all of this! After I paid $1,200.00 (considering the exchange from US to Canadian), I had a disk handed to me with no actual photos! So I'm wondering, how is it that when they hand a disk to you, with no prints actually printed that it works out to the photographer working for free for that hour!?! Secondly, I don't see why and how it matters if you take 80 pictures or 400 pictures (that they make you choose the 80 from) when it's all digital! They are copying and pasting photos to a disk they are providing you anyway, so how does the quantity matter!

Here's the next issue... They sit you down to go through about 300 to 400 photos and you can only chose what your package allows, and if you want anything over and above the allowable amount of photos stated in your package, they want $11.00 per photos! Again, this isn't for prints, they actually want $11.00 a photo to copy and paste to the disk they are already providing you! And if you say that you want your own photographer, or that you have a guest that wants to do the pictures for you as a wedding gift, they make you pay an $800.00 vendor fee!

This is absolutely ridiculous and not a good end to what was supposed to be a spectacular time in your life. You have the wedding coordinator that goes out of her way to make things magical, you have a fantastic photographer that captures every incredible moment, then you have the photography coordinator that pulls you down off your cloud and stomps on you! And to have the edacity of saying the photographer is working for free just because I want additional photos for additional time I'm paying for!! How are digital photos going to take away from paying the photographer!

it makes me disgusted that this photography company can be so slimy and take such advantage!! It really leaves a bad taste in your mouth after fighting for additional photos, to pay $1200.00 for photography service and have a disk handed to you at the end of it!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank Lori P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded December 13, 2013

Dear Guest,

Firstly, congratulations for your wedding and thank you for sharing your review.

We are happy to know that our professional wedding coordinators were taking care of every minimal detail to provide you an amazing celebration. However, we deeply regret that you have felt unsatisfied with some aspects of the planning; we humbly apologize for the inconvenience you have pointed out, which we have discussed with the photography company already.

We sincerely hope that this issue does not tarnish your perception of us and you give us the opportunity to host you again in the near future.

Cordial greetings,

Marvelis Symister
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,900 - 5,906 of 11,448 reviews

Reviewed December 8, 2013

This resort was perfect for a relaxing week in the Caribbean. It was huge, with good entertainment, great food, varied restaurants and friendly staff. In particular, the beach bar is great for lunch (their jerk chicken is second to none and they have a steel band!) and the Japanese restaurant (book the show table) is great for dinner.

Our room had a sea view which I would recommend. The pool is big and the pool bars are fun too.

There wasn't a lot to do near by and you could only really leave the hotel on a tour bus as I don't think it would be safe to wander off on your own. We did a trip to dunns river falls which is a must. Had we stayed longer we might have got a bit fed up being in the resort all the time but it was great for a nice relaxing week in the sun, especially when it was freezing at home!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank THOMAS D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Dear guest,

It is an honor to know that you have had a relaxing week at our Resort and you have enjoyed our entertainments, bars, gastronomy and especially our jerk chicken center by the beach. We are happy to learn that we have achieved our goal in providing you with the ultimate vacation experience.

Thank you for your heartwarming review and for vacationing with us at our Grand Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, your best hotel in Jamaica.

Cordial greetings,

Marvelis Symister
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013

I read all the reviews before coming to the resort. It's a bit of a sport for us, seeing what negatives people can find when staying at a nice resort. We have been to many all inclusives in Mexico , Dominican, Cuba but this was our first trip to Jamaica. We had a fantastic time and would recommend this resort for all people with good attitudes. With that said, I will chime in on the pros and cons.

The good. All the meals were great. I loved the fish, I could always find some at every buffet. The staff, I enjoyed the level of service. If you said hi, they would smile and say hi back and always seemed happy to answer questions or engage in a conversation. Our bed was fine, air conditioner worked well. I really liked the expansive nature of the resort. We would walk the beach each sunset, a 30 minute stroll to the end of the beach and back. The beach has very good snorkeling located in front of the jerk chicken restaurant. I saw sea cucumbers, brain corals, crabs, many fish. I spoke with a Canadian coming out of the water with a spear, he caught a lion fish and said he saw an octopus, all with in a five minute swim from the main beach.

The bad. The food at the al la cartes was tasty and well presented. The thing I wasn't keen on was the efficiency of the service.....very efficient, we could have been in and out of the Japanese and Italian restaurants in 40 minutes....they do this by having a hybrid of service and buffet....not five starish.....I've never seen that before and didn't really like it. I was in no hurry.

The ugly. Yep, waaay too many time share sale people. Mostly nice charming young girls, who smile nice and don't mind much when you say no thanks. They are like Walmart greeters, blocking every intersection. We were askedseveral times a day if we got our welcome gift yet. One, ke$ha, was not like this, she came up to us at the pool, would not take no for an answer the first few times, was trying a much harder sell than the others. She should be in some other type of sales position, she is not suited to this style.

All in all, we had a great time.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank dannyjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Dear Guest,

We really appreciate your comments letting us know that you have had a fantastic time and have enjoyed our services, cuisine, the beach, and the warmth of our staff.

We are also taking note about your comments concerning your experience with the Privilege Club representatives. We assure you they have been shared with the Club Management for internal review.

Thank you for choosing us to stay in Jamaica; we hope to be afforded with the opportunity to host you again on your upcoming vacation.

Yours sincerely,

Marvelis Symister
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013

Reading reviews prior to my trip to Bahia Principe was very helpful. Some of the tips that made the trip easier were....Definitely plan your transportation from the airport to the resort prior to your arrival. We booked transportation as part of our vacation package which was stress-free and worth it. Read a tip to get a cocktail for the ride which made the long drive not seem so long. Upon arrival at the resort, check in was very smooth. Property is very well kept and clean. Our room was very spacious and the balcony was great. The one complaint about the room was that my boyfriend was a certified mosquito killer by the end of our trip. We did not have issues with them while outdoors but in the room was ridiculous. I would recommend that you request a room away from any service areas as it was a bit loud and requested a room change which ended up on the other side of another service area, after the move we just dealt with it. Another tip was to bring water shoes for the beach which was another great tip. The beaches were beautiful and calm. Be sure to visit them all. I kept reading about complaints of the food and..... Buffet had a nice variety of food. Don't expect bacon for breakfast. I must say that this would not be such a problem if guests were a little less determined to pile it high on their plates. My worst experience was Lobster night. Still can't figure out how you totally destroy cooking lobsters. It was horrible and mushy. The other disappointment was the Steakhouse. All I can suggest is to select a different one. The Japanese restaurant was an enjoyable choice. The Jerk pit on the beach was by far the best meals we had. There were daily activities by the pool but we chose to hang out at the beautiful beach instead. The staff was very pleasant and social. I am usually a cruiser but this was my first experience at an all-inclusive resort and I do look forward to doing this again, just anxious to try a different resort to compare them. Almost forgot ... Lots of reviews about the resort running out of face towels and this is true. Because it was a consistent complaint, I packed a couple from home and I was so glad that I did. There was entertainment each night but it was not very good but they tried.

Room Tip: Request to be away from service areas.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ceeya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your review about your vacation experience with us. It is good to know that we have impressed you with our well kept grounds, room and the beach. On the other hand, it is with regret that we know that we were not able to reach all your expectations.

We apologize wholeheartedly for the situations that you have brought to our attention. We can assure our guests that we have strict programs of fumigation, which are continuously carried out. Nevertheless, the landscaping around the Hotel are factors that may influence their presence.

It is really a pleasure for us to host you and we hope to be given the opportunity to meet you again in the near future.

Yours respectfully,

Marvelis Symister
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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Reviewed December 8, 2013

My sister and I just returned from one week in paradise ( Nov 30 to Dec 7). The airport was a breeze. Check in had a nice surprise and was upgraded to Diamond. Went very smoothly. The employees at the front desk were very friendly. There are several people "Privelage club" near the front desk that want you to listen to their presentation. Just say no and keep on walking. They are very nice about it. The pool was beautiful and clean. Lots of chairs and shade if you want. The towels are a bit of a problem. Props to Dean who handled it very well. If you go at 10 in the morning they usually have them. Otherwise we would put them on or balcony. No problem. Our bathroom leaked over the toilet. They were very fast to fix it. It happened 2 times. We then changed rooms. They were very fast in helping us out. The rooms were beautiful. The beach was sandy and you could see your toes through the beautiful clear blue water. One day we had waves so It was fun. Lots of shade wether it be palapas or trees. The Weather at this time of year is fantastic. Bit of rain but at night. The people are warm and friendly. Shout out to Ainsley on the entertainment team he always had a smile on his face and had a great aerobics class in the pool. The food was outstanding. We ate at the garden grill (2x) and the Don Pueblo (high end). The service was fast... The buffet was very good. The Jerk chicken at lunch was to die for as well as the Sangria served at lunch. The shows were good. They have a Steele drum band that is extremely good. The drinks are not watered down and very good, we has to tell them to put a little less.
Lots of little shops to buy souvenirs... The lady that works at "Gifts to go" is so sweet. We went on the Cool runnings and Bob Marley excursions. Both were outstanding. Shout out to Jason and Devon who were on the bus for the Cool Runnings. This resort is amazing and would recommend it. Cannot wait to return.

Room Tip: Even though the resort is large it is easy to get around. We were in 17307. Close to everything.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank VivaMexico7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Dear Guest,

Our Manager and all Staff members at our Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica appreciate to know that you have considered your stay with us as a paradise. We have felt encouraged when reading that your expectations were fulfilled and you are pleased with the services overall the once offered by the Diamond Club.

Thank you for your opinion and warm review. We look forward to seeing you again in our Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, a 5 star experience in Jamaica.

Always at your disposal,

Marvelis Symister
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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Reviewed December 7, 2013

We stayed with another couple and had read ALL the reviews of this hotel. We were quite nervous to say the least but were hopeful. There were no problems at all at the airport. A shuttle picked us up and drove us to the hotel which was a little over an hour. The lobby of the hotel was very nice, check- in was a breeze, no problems at all. Our room was nicely decorated, yes the shower tiles were a needed touch up work but who cares! We had bath towels in our room replaced everyday. We're in Jamaica!! We got the "gold club" package which included dinner at 3 restaurants but what they don't tell you is you need to email the hotel PRIOR to arrival to request which restaurants you want otherwise you get what you get, you don't have a choice in which days or times or which restaurants. I suggest emailing them about a week before. Also, if you choose "Mikado" the Japanese restaurant and want to sit at the large family style tables where they cook in front of you, you have to let them know that when you make your reservation( we didn't know that so we were sat at a regular table with no frills and no cooking in front of you :(.) the food there was ok. Buffet food at Orchid was ok also, nothing mind blowing amazing but they did have good desserts. Don Pablo restaurant was amazing and so was The Grill. The beach was gorgeous although you did have to walk a bit to get to the soft sand and clear water section. There is a bar at the beach which was super nice!!! That water was amazing!!!!!! Plenty of beach chairs, I recommend going to the $1.00 store at home and buying a blow up floating device and pack it. Very shallow water you could just float in. Peaceful!!! Evening show nightly from 9:45-11:00pm. Mainly dancing. There is a karaoke bar and a discotheque in the same area as the evening show which open at 11:00pm. The "Jerk Center" was where you could have lunch outside, BEST jerk chicken!!!!!!! Staff there was awesome too. Lobby had free wi-if but could never get our phones or iPad to work so gold club can use a lounge and use a computer for 30 minutes a day per person so at least I was able to check emails that way. So all in all, the grounds were pristinely kept, beautiful landscaping, friendly staff, great drinks. We've stayed at five star hotels before, I wouldn't say this place is a five star as it claims, but a three to four star and a great value for your money. I was very happy with my overall experience.

  • Stayed: November 2013
    • Value
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3  Thank ElisaNeil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded December 10, 2013

Dear Elisa,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience on Trip Advisor. It is good to know that after your stay in our Hotel you have a completely perception of our service. There is nothing more important to us than our guests we always try to provide them the best, and it is rewarding to see that we were able to meet your expectations.

We are already looking forward to host you again in our Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts, a wonderful vacation experience in Jamaica.

Warm regards,

Marvelis Symister
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 7, 2013

My husband and I just returned from staying at the Grand Bahia Principe in Runaway Bay, Jamaica for our 35th wedding anniversary and although it looked beautiful on the surface, we quickly found out that there were many areas that we would not have access to unless we "upgraded". We couldn't even eat dinner at the specialty places more than twice during our 6 day stay because we didn't cave in to the constant pressure to pay more for our vacation! My husband and I joked that the only time that the piranha sales people didn't bombard us was when we were on our way out of the hotel lugging our suitcases behind us! There were lounge chairs and cabanas and a pool bar that we could not use as well as one whole section of the beach and one of the restaurants. And when we did go to dinner, there were so many empty tables, it was ridiculous! But they wouldn't let us eat more than twice. My husband told the hotel manager that he felt the hotel had misrepresented themselves on that end. I also was pretty upset about the cleanliness of the bathroom. My husband is undergoing chemotherapy and infection is the enemy. Our shower had soap scum all down the walls and floor. Gross! Some of the staff was pleasant, but there were others that acted like they didn't want to be there at all. So, in summary, we made sure we enjoyed ourselves and relaxed, but we would like to give other travelers a heads up as to what to expect. If you're planning to upgrade, no problem. But if you're like us and figure you paid for your vacation already and don't want to be harassed the whole time to pay again.... you might want to stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank christina m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Social Media Coordinator at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this reviewResponded December 11, 2013

Dear Guest,

We are in the business to bring an ultimate experience to all our guests. We accomplish this most of the time. That is why we feel very unhappy when we read comments like yours letting us know that we were not up to par of your expectations. Please, accept our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience you have described.

Please, note that we have different entertainment activities programmed every night for the enjoyment of our guests like the Lobby bar terrace, Disco, night show among others. In relation to the comment about the beach, we kindly clarify that there are two beaches in our hotel where our guests can enjoy, one specifically for water sports like snorkeling and another for swimming.

Thank you for sharing your comments. We really hope you change your perception toward our Resort and to be given the opportunity to host you again.

Yours respectfully,

Marvelis Symister
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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 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: $172 - $433 (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 
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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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