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“Could have been great!”

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Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Reviewed January 25, 2009

Big and beautiful! We went for beach and sun - no problem. Great layout, awesome landscaping, huge pool, beaches were nice. Buffet was awesome, but wouldn’t go to the on-site reservation restaurants again. For the most part the staff was very friendly, but we noticed the staff working the three reservation restaurants had attitude problems. We were treated like they were doing us a favour by serving us!
Things were going good until the power started going out. Not once, but on and off for two days. This is when my wife got here fingers slammed in a door in the pitch black. No explanation or "sorry for the inconvenience was ever posted. Then there was the little problem of unreliable water pressure for 2 days. When the water worked it was either all hot no cold or the other way around. - once again no explanation. When we tried to call the front desk they wouldn’t answer. Like I said we went for sun and sand and that was great.
For the price we paid I didn’t expect 5 star treatment so we got what we paid for. Our stay for the most was really good.......not really great.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Rastaspike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9,546 - 9,552 of 11,386 reviews

Reviewed January 25, 2009

Just returned from two weeks at this resort. The resort is a beautiful clean resort, however lacked in the little extras which would make this a 5 star resort. I am comparing this Bahia with the one in Punta Cana (Bahia Amber which was truly a 5 star). Food was average. Beach is man made and was nice but somewhat disappointing. Booked with Sunquest and had to pay $6 per day for a room safe and room had no robes etc. Apparently other tour operators had these extras included! Main complaint was that there was atleast 15 power outages during our stay which lasted anywhere from a few minutes to six hours at a time. This effected room air conditioning, limited the types of drinks and no power means the food was not hot! We took the first few outages in stride, however this soon became a real hassle and inconvienance. Complaints to hotel and tour operator has not resulted in any satisfaction yet, but will continue to complain and I hope others staying between the 08 and 22 Jan will do the same. Those who are going in near future...don't panic you will enjoy your vacation...but I certainly would not go back to this one again.

  • Stayed: January 2009
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5  Thank KenSOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2009

This is a good 4 star hotel. The employes are friendly, pool is great, the ameneties are new. Food at the buffet is ok and the special restaurants are good.
The others reviews from the beach are true.
We did some tours with a private driver ( ken Becey). Very safe driver and cheaper than the tours from the hotel. I strongly recommend this guy , his email is : [-]

The hotel staff were great. Special thanks to Cintia and Vanessa (managers) that showed to be great professionals.

Unfortunately we have energy ( electricity) problems for the last 3 days of our one week stay…. And because of it we have other problems ( no hot water, no internet or phone, etc..) We understand that problems happens everywhere, but for a one week vacation taking more than 3 days to solve a electricity problem is a very big issue…so I can not rank this hotel with more than 4 stars.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TUTU1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2009

The resort was beautiful and clean, the beach was beautiful, the food was excellent, but the service was very bad. The front desk staff and the employees working at the stores were not friendly at all, and acted like they hated their job. Sometimes they were down right rude. I went to ask for a wake up call one moring and the front desk clerk (her name was Kimberly) looked at me and said "no came back later" I was confused and said "excuse me" and she just said "just come back later"! Kind of odd and rude...another day I went to ask the front desk if they could send someone to fix a broken lamp and the 2 girls working basically continued their personal conversatrion and were laughing the whole time I was trying to talk to them. I wasn't impressed. One day I asked 3 times for a coffee machine to be sent to my room and never did receive it the entire stay.
At the exchange desk they never had American money...well they never wanted to give away smaller ($1 or $5) away...same at the shops...one day I was waiting in line and the lady ahead of me wanted to buy a small item with a 20 and the cashier said she had no 1's to give her change...when it was my turn to get checked out my total came to $4 or something so I gave her a $5 and she pulled out a huge wad of $1 bills. I went to the gift shop in the hotel one day and asked if I could use my Mastercard, and the lady said no all the credit card machines were doen. I asked her when they would be fixed and she said she had no idea. The way she was acting seemed odd, so I went to my room and called the shop. I aske dthe girl that answered if they accepted credit card and she replied "yes mastercard, visa and discover card" I said so I can use them today, all the machines are up and running? She replied "yes the machines are working fine."
We had one waitress come up to us and ask if we wanted anything and i ordered a paralizer with diet coke, and she rolled her eyes and walked away. My mom and I were confused because she didnt ask my mom if she wanted a drink. We thought maybe she was just checking if they could make it with diet...but she returned put my drink on the table and started to walk away, until I stopped her and said my mother would like a drink too.
Another thing that sucked about the resort was their was no waiters or waitresses EXCEPT in the lobby bar at night. If you were laying by the pool you had to get up and get your own drink. I realize this isnt a big deal, but I would have just expected more from a 5 star resort. Even at the spa, they were rude. My mom and I got manicures together, and when we sat down the girls didnt even say hi to us they just sayt there and talked to each other the whole time about other staff members! Mom and I were shoked! But you have to tip...Everyone in Jamaica ASKS for tips.
my point...beautiful place to stay....but horrible service...its hard to even get a smile out of the workers.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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Thank LynSaskatchewan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2009

Alright ... where do I start! well .... As much as some people have made comments on the Jamaican airport I have nothing bad to say about it. We were in and out pretty quick. Our luggage arrived 10x quicker than it does at Pearson. We did not get bothered once throughout the week in regards to Jamaica's finest.

The trip to the hotel was a bit long but that's something everyone should have known before hand and should have nothing to complain about. The bus was comfortable and air conditioned.

11:30pm we pull up to our hotel ... what do we see .... NOTHING!!! There was a power outage! You’d think there'd be staff waiting there for us with flash lights or even think that a hotel may have operating generators. Nope! I traveled with my husband and 2 year old daughter. Another couple was also arriving with us and also had a 2 year old.

The men made their way to the front desk where they checked in over candlelight. Both couples are then sent to our rooms with 1 bellhop. We made our way through the pitch black hallways with a cell phone light.

We then get separated from the other couple because lucky us have to lug our 3 suitcases, 2 carry ons and our child down 2 flights of stairs. Not easy! Finally after about 1/2 hour of walking in the dark we get to our room. Being that we have never been to this hotel before we do not know our way around and were left feeling for walls and listening to our child cry in fear. The bellhop then shows up again and tells us that if we want a candle then we can go back to the front desk and get one there. That just made our blood boil. That's how backwards these people work. We are also not told that whenever the power does go back on that there is a device on the wall that you need to leave your entry card in at all times in order to keep your power on in your room.

After 2 hours of being there the power finally went back on. wo hoo. but not so much. This was something we battled with the entire week. There were power outages every single day! They last anywhere from 3 minutes to 7 hours. and this happened SEVERAL times a day and during the night. When the power goes out the water is affected so if you are as lucky as I was you will have to wait in the shower covered in soap until you get power again.
Now if you are a mixed drink kind of person you will have to wait because their blenders can't work. Beer drinkers will get cans for the time being.

Now lets talk about the mosquito infestation. We are convinced that it was a combination of mosquitoes and bed bugs. We were eaten alive and we did have mosquito repellent on. The mosquitoes make their way through the vent, so keeping your sliding door closed makes no difference at all. I wouldn't say the rooms are spotless or even all that clean at all, especially the shower and toilet area.

This may not be a big issue for some but it bothered me that they did not have a peep hole or safety latch on your hotel room door. Because you need to keep your card in the wall device to keep the power on my husband would have to leave and knock to get back in and you verbally need to ask who's there.
We also requested a crib upon arrival and never got one the entire stay!!
Your TV does not come with a remote. We requested one and got one 4 days later. That's service!

The food was alright. Not many traditional dishes, which was what we were looking forward to, but it was edible, lots of saucy dishes. The food, ice and dairy does not effect you so it was perfect for us travelling with a young child.

Service ..... it's only good in the main buffet restaurant. They are extremely attentive and seem to like people. Other than that ... especially the front desk, you will not be impressed. We got eye rollers and "oh well" kind of attitude. You would think after all the power outages we would get some kind of apologetic responses.

We paid $6US per day for our in room safe.
They do have shops there but they are extremely overpriced.
Make sure you bring large drinking cups or you'll be taking many trips to the bar. Their cups are tiny.
As for water ... they have filtered bottled water which you don't have to pay for. There's a surprise.

The beach ... well the one on the left side was beautiful. There are parts that you need water shoes but if you actually look into the water before you set your things down you will see what areas are clear.

Would we return to Jamaica .... yup! To this hotel ... NO WAY!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank MississaugaBronzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2009

The purpose of our little 'last minute club' Christmas get-a-away was to be rid of the Canadian winter for week and lay in sunshine without ringing phones and whining graduate students. And, all-in-all, it worked for us. We booked with Last-Minute Club, which didn't provide near as much cost effectiveness as they brad about, and we were placed on Sunwing which I would avoid like a plague when I next travel. The plane was 6 hours late, packed to the last seat with all manner of travelers, most of which it seems had never traveled before and were packing babies and toddlers. We arrived at 4AM, and even at that hour there was a guy on the bus to the resort that tried to sell us Jamaica's finest, twice. The hotel isn't finished, but what there is of it was nicely appointed and we did finally get a room with the right number of beds after a bit of a wait. The rooms are not 'Junior Suites' however, they are just hotel rooms, including adjoining room doors. Whenever the people upstairs had a shower it rained in our bathroom, and copious complaints did nothing at all. When it comes to complaints, and we did, and overheard many more, the management was deaf when we finally managed to corner one. The meals/buffet was great though! Lots of variety, but be there on time when it first opens or suffer quite a wait. Or, go late and suffer the scraggs of what might be left. If you go in a group, don't all go to the workout room at once, it's tiny. The giftshop village is highly overpriced - wiat until you go into town or back to the airport. And God bless'em all, but I actually felt thin out at the pool, and many were clad in bikinis I would never have believed they sold in that size. This is not a honeymoon or young people's kind of place. It is good for over-the-hill'rs and families. As for 'all-inclusive': you get 6 cans of pop and 2 beer in your room minibar every second day. No rum or other liquor other than what you can get at one of the bars. Stick to the buffet, it is a far better deal than the restaurants, and whatever you see at the restaurant is in the buffet anyway. If you do want 'a night out' though, I'd suggest the Sushi restaurant where you at least get a little show by a non-sushi chef making a little noise on a grill (it all tastes the same once cooked though). By the pool, you can clearly hear the racket of the adjoining hiway and construction site, so don't expect a beach get-a-way experience. As for the beach, it isn't one - wear water shoes and keep an eye out for any lack of security as the guard needs to be visible on a regular basis to keep the 'souvenir' selling locals off the waterfront. I'd say you get what you pay for, but as 3 adults packed into a little hotel room with 2 double (not queen) beds, we paid far too much for this all-inclusive. The Jamaican sunshine was really nice though, and if that's what you want, this is as good a place as any to go. Get your towel out early, they say not to, but if you don't you won't get a good spot by the pool.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank worldfishingfreak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2009

I stayed there for one week with my girlfriend. We knew was a new hotel, and we could imagine that we would find some problems (I have worked in hotels and big chains) It is normal some kind of problem for a new hotel, it happens! But Bahia Principe was my worst experience in a 5 star!
Jamaica is fabolous, but don't stay with all the yankees in the resort,,,,get away from there and discover the real Jamaica! The hotel beach is awful, doesn't seem to be the Caribean, is full or rocks, no sand. Rooms were nice, spacious, clean, etc.. There are different restaurants, not really good (try to avoid the japanese one, cause the chef is jamaican, try to imagine........), under my opinion the best one was the buffet restaurant, there was a wide choice of dishes, also for breakfast.
The big problems came from the reception. They were unhelpful. The front desk manager (a little mexican guy) was rude and didn't accept any critical comment.
The swimming pool was always crowed of big fat americans drunked...
They really need to improve the service they offer and maybe show professional behaviour to some staff.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank pradomalo
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 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: $159 - $429 (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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