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“First time to Jamaica ”

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Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Kent
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“First time to Jamaica ”
Reviewed May 16, 2014 via mobile

We returned from this resort earlier this week.

This is my honest opinion on our holiday.

The Resort : it's very big, lots to explore, lots of restraunts, multiple buffets, bars, shops, entertainment, a large pool & a beach broken into 2/3 sections. The resort is very well represented, beautiful trees & plants and immaculate lawns. The lobby is very grand looking which you can also get an hours free wifi in per day. However there's no games room ect here so after a few days it gets realy boring !

The room : average. Old fashioned, very large though with seating and a balcony. The bathroom was very tired and worn our shower stand fell off during a shower no screws holding it up just glued on?

The food : the beach side buffet Pisces ? Good food and quiet for lunch this is were you get your jerk chicken rice n peas and fried dumplings !! The a la cart were such a let down we luckily booked the show table in the jap which was fried rice ice cream soup and tempora ect and was lovely. The garden grill was disgusting, I couldn't stomach the sauce they'd drenched my meat in a concoction if BBQ sauce and white wine !!!? We are at the Buffett which was satisfactory burger chips chicken fajitas pasta fish rice curry ect breakfast was my fav bit ! Every type of batter entree you can think of , crepes , pancakes , French toast , waffles ect lots of American cereals lucky charms fruit loops ect omelettes bacon eggs you get the jist.

The pool is large enough to not feel busy, the beach is lovely and gets a nice breeze which is so needed as it's so ridiculously hot in Jamaica !

I was quite shocked at the price of things, it was so expensive a chocolate bar was £1.50 the trips where £70 each + we didn't do trips after hearing a few horror stories of tourists being bit by horses , hurting themselves and generally no safety regulations after all it is Jamaica , no problem mon !

We did try to leave the hotel to go to a local beach. Nightmare ! The receptionist in the lobby boasted about a beach when we got there we were told to walk through the next beach as the said beach was private but we'd get no hassle once there lol we walked past vendors in shanti huts until we reached the private beach after being hassled and followed to buy there things ! Then a security guard tells us we can't stay on this beach so we go to walk to the private beaches hotel reception to get a cab oh no not allowed, so after having a row about getting off this beach we were escorted to a back gate and a lifeguard flagged a cab down so we wasted around £40 to be humiliated all thanks to the silly girl on reception.

I'd also like to point out that don't be surprised to be expected to tip in the a la cartes with some serious attitude change if you don't!

Also watch the girl in the shop on the lower floor by the photo stand. We went into this shop regularly two bars of chocolate was $4 but the staff changed and she said $4 but then changed her mind asked for $4.50 my other half showed her his change he had she took his coins which didn't add to 50 cents and chucked them in a drawer whilst making the most revolting noise from her throat clearing all the flemb. Clearly she is pocketing money from the guests by over charging if management are reading this it is disgusting behaviour.

All in all I wouldn't return to Jamaica but that's my personal feelings towards it.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
8 Thank BBtog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, May 18, 2014
Dear guest,



First of all hope you had a nice trip back home and we are very grateful that you took the time to share your experience with us. Our guest’s feedback always helps us to improve and improve our service. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your opinion with us and we hope you could give us the chance to host you again in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Helena Gomez
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Runaway Bay
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 16, 2014

Great trip. Simply went to relax and shutdown for a week, which we did. Very nice grounds, good food, great pool and nice beach. Although the beach was a bit of a walk to get to.
Grounds are well kept.

Pool is huge, and in good repair. there is an activities end of the pool that has music and is a bit louder, and there is a quieter end where you can't even hear what is going on at the other end.


I would recommend to others, but likely not go back myself, we have other places to explore.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank Stephen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, May 17, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for recommending our Resort Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica to other reviewers of Trip Advisor and we hope to see you again in the near future.

Yours respectfully,

Helena Gomez
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
48 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2014

I was at the Grand Bahia recently for a wedding. I had been to Jamaica previously and have stayed at other all inclusives. I use TripAdvisor a lot and rely heavily on reviews. Therefore I put a lot of thought into my reviews and hopefully they reflect, accurately the property.

Food - the food selection was great, lots of options but the quality and flavour was not as I expected. I have definitely had better food at all inclusives (including others in Jamaica). It's hard to explain, but it just simply didn't "wow" meal. We ate a few of the a la carte options and I was actually very disappointed with a few. My experience is that the a la carte are restaurants were you are served by a waiter/waitress. Of the 3 or 4 a la carte restaurants we visited, 3 were buffet style. A wait staff took drink orders and entree orders, the rest was through a buffet. I found this not much different than the main buffet. This is the only place I have experienced this.

Resort Property - the property is very big, the biggest I have been too. I did not like this as it took 10-15 minutes to pretty much walk anywhere. The beach is a good hike from most of the rooms. I like smaller resorts where you can easily go back and forth to the room if you forget something. They do have many bars and washrooms along the beach. The beach and water are great. It is a seclude bay and therefore it is shallow and pretty much 0 waves. Great for little kids. The outdoor terrace was a great place to go at night, they had live bands and a good bar. We never went to the disco, but heard it kind of smelled. The outdoor area when they have the nightly entertainment was large and had many shops to browse. The sports bar was great during hockey playoffs.

Staff - I found the staff to not be overly friendly. Of course there were a few here and there, but most went about their day like it was just a job. I stayed at the Jewel Resort down the road in Ocho Rios and the staff there were amazing. Anytime they walked by you, they would ask if you needed anything (towel, drink etc). This never happened at the Grand Bahia.

Wedding - this was perhaps the most disappointing part. The ceremony itself was great, nice location, good staff and champagne after. The parents of the bride had paid a large sum of money to reserve a restaurant for a dinner and reception (for 40 people). It was nicely decorated but the food was not spectacular by any means. Having paid such a large sum (at an all inclusive) for a meal and reception, I expected much better. The reception and dance after was very awkward. They didn't have a bar set up, so guests were just asking the staff for bottles of wine. We had to find cups to use, some just resorted to drinking out of the bottle. There was a DJ who played a good selection of music, however he kept saying "This is the last song" but then kept playing. It was kind of confusing to figure out what was happening. I recommend skipping the reception part and just going to the outdoor terrace or other bar for a good time.

Room - the room was nice, with a great view however it smelled like smoke. It had a weird system where if you weren't in the room, the AC turned off. This meant many people returned to pretty warm rooms. The workaround is to leave your spare key in the slot near the door (which activates the electricity including the AC) and then go about your day.

Pool - the pools were very nice. Very large with plenty of different sections for various types (kid section, party section, two swim up bars, volleyball section). The swim up bars were great, they had shallow sections where you could lie in the water without having to swim. They also had a view sunken section where you could sit in a hot tube like seating (not hot water though). The only drawback to the pools were that the washrooms were a short walk away. There was a washroom behind the towel bar, but seeing as how that served all the pools, it was quite busy.

Overall, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this resort. I think there are definitely better options in Jamaica. It's a bit too large for it's own good. Many in my party shared my concerns. It's a good option because nothing was 'horrible' so it's a safe bet if you have never been to a 5 star before. Perhaps if you pay for the upgraded "Luxury" or preferred package you get a better experience (they have different rooms, different restaurants, different pool) but that gets quite expensive.

Room Tip: Most rooms have good views, can't really go wrong.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Craig P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, May 17, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking time in writing to trip Advisor and giving us the opportunity to inform that our Restaurants a la Cart, starters and desserts are buffet and the main course is a la Cart, except our Gourmet Don Pablo , that all the menu , starters, main course and dessert is chosen a la cart.

We really appreciate your suggestions and recommendations to help us to improve and we sincerely hope you could give us the opportunity to host you again in your next visit to Jamaica.

Best regards,

Helena Gomez
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dartmouth, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2014

We had a great week in Jamaica (first time) both on and off the resort. We thought the buffet was very good and the meals in the a la carte restaurants were excellent. Don Pablo was outstanding, Mikada (teppanyaki table - ask for it) was delicious and we really enjoyed the Garden Grill too. As everyone says,the jerk chicken at Piscis (and the paella) is so very good that we ate there every single day at lunch. We enjoyed the Spanish Night at the buffet (try the ceviche) and the Seafood Gala.

The pool is gigantic and is probably the best resort pool we have seen. As for the beach , we headed for the point close to the nude beach every day and lounged underneath the tall casuarina trees. You could watch lovely tropical fish without even donning a mask and snorkel and we loved this activity!

I really liked the special drinks and the rum cream is wonderful in coffee, coladas and daiquiris. If you want to take some rum cream home with you get it before you hit the airport as they were completely sold out when we left. As with most resorts the Lobby Bar was the best one.

Our room overlooked the pool and ocean (Building 22, Floor 5). It was a lovely view! The room itself was spacious and well laid out. The room was cleaned promptly each day (thanks!) . In fact, I found all the staff to be very accommodating.

As for side trips, we decided to go with custom trips (4 of us) and it worked out well. Donovan with J.U.T.A. Tours is a great guy if you are looking for a reliable driver (touringb2k@yahoo.com or ask for him at the front entrance). We went to Mystic Mountain and did the Sky Explorer, the Zip Lining and the Bobsled and highly recommend this experience due to the wonderful rain forest vegetation you travel through. Also I highly recommend the Coyaba Botanical Gardens, Green Grotto Caves and (of course) Dunn's River Falls for those who are interested in the natural world.

We enjoyed the Silver Birds Steel Band Show, the African Show, the Jamaican Show and the Michael Jackson show.

Room Tip: Building 22 is good - it is close to the restaurants. It is quite far from the beach (especially th...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BarbK68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, May 17, 2014
Dear guest,

We are very pleased to hear that we exceed your expectations with our pool, the nice view from your room, but above all, that we provided you a delightful stay.

Thank you for your honest opinion and we hope to host you again in the near future.

Yours respectfully,

Helena Gomez
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2014

We booked this hotel base on good reviews but never expected it to be this good!! The suites were all very spacious - we had booked the standard category, our suite had a good size balcony, four poster bed, and all the amenities you would want to have in your room. We arrived at night and check in was smooth. Next day morning as we left our suite to go for breakfast, we noted how clean this huge property was and how the staff were busy mopping the floors, cleaning the corridors' carpets with those carpet cleaning machines, the whole place was spotless! We loved the hotel and for our next trips we would definitely stay at a Bahia Principe in other destinations.

Room Tip: When we were going to Ocho Rio for some tours and activities our bus stopped at a few other hotels t...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Azita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, May 17, 2014
Dear guest,

It is an honor for us to receive your appreciation about the efforts and hard work from our Housekeeping department.

Thank you so much for your feedback and we are looking forward to serving you very soon again.

Yours respectfully,

Helena Gomez
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond Hill, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 14, 2014

Just returned from Grand Bahia Principe in Jamaica. A beautiful property. Too bad this company utterly failed to train the staff to provide even basic customer service. Our reservations for dinner were badly handled, causing a bachelorette party to be turned away from one of the a la carte restaurants with no apology or effort to address the error -- which was entirely the fault of the resort. Jacuzzis were broken and dirty. When we asked if someone could clean the Jacuzzi or fix it, we were given a flat no. The hotel staff could not have cared less that a wedding party of 45 people had no option for breakfast at all -- despite its having been paid for in our package -- because we had to depart for an early flight. We could not even pay for room service, though it was available to those with a gold wrist band.

After the first a la carte restaurant screwed up the bachelorette party reservation, we made the mistake of going to the Teppanyaki restaurant. Your company would be well advised to stop advertising this restaurant as offering Teppanyaki. Teppanyaki chefs are very well trained to perform. Our chef told us he learned on YouTube. This was very evident because the food he served was burnt and saturated with soy to the point of being almost inedible. Further, there was absolutely no show in the preparation, and the table's vent was broken, so the room -- where we waited for service for a half an hour after being seated 45 minutes past our reservation -- was unspeakably hot and without air conditioning.

One night while walking to get a hamburger on the resort property, a group of four of us were approached by a drunk kitchen staff member who asked which of the women he could hug. He proceeded to tell us that he worked such long hours with no break that he didn't even have energy to f--- his woman. (I'm not paraphrasing.) I did not feel safe walking along at night around the resort after that.

We tried to make use of an ap the company has created for use by guests. None of the staff knew how to use it or how to help us. Some functions work, but many do not, so we gave up after spending almost a full hour trying to download it using the hotel's crappy wifi service.

We were subjected to daily harassment in the form of upselling, which saw some guests being phoned in their rooms early in the morning -- waking them up -- to try to sell them a time share. The sales pitch, which was promised to take "just two Jamaican minutes" lasted three hours for one couple we knew.

I overheard staff using foul language in the restaurants, they did not make eye contact, and were not empowered to solve even the most basic problem for a guest. I am providing this feedback on Trip Advisor, because all of these problems are so preventable -- if the resort paid and treated its staff fairly, trained them properly, and empowered them to provide guests with a positive experience. Otherwise, all the money this company has spent on its properties is wasted, because guests will never return, and some will read reviews and never visit in the first place. How utterly disappointing.

On the up side, the food was pretty good, but you may as well skip the a la carte restaurants altogether. Seems like they do everything possible to discourage anyone from going anyway.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Jennifer P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, May 17, 2014
Dear guest,

First of all, our gratitude for taking your time to share with us your opinion, so important and valuable for us

We can assure you that we understand your concerns and we are really disappointed to learn that we could not exceed your expectations with our performance, however we really appreciate your feedback that gives the best of the opportunities to improve our services, facilities and human resources.

Thank you so much for vacationing with us and we hope to have the pleasure to see you soon.

Yours faithfully,

Helena Gomez
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston, Jamaica
1 review
Reviewed May 14, 2014

Overall it was a wonderful stay. The staff was warm and friendly, the room was spacious with all the amenities, the food was great and the grounds well kept. The snack bar was a whole lot more than we had expected. The food there (especially the jerk chicken) was just divine.

Room Tip: Rooms on Block 23 are some distance away from the beach.
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Customer Servic... B, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica, responded to this review, May 17, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you so much for your honest opinion and your time to share it with other reviewers. We hope to see you again very soon.

Yours faithfully,

Helena Gomez
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Report response as inappropriate
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica 3.5*
Number of rooms: 848
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 (1h 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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