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Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Milwaukee, WI
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“No problems mon!!!”
Reviewed April 3, 2009

This was a really nice hotel, I couldn't have asked for more. The staff was very friendly, the beach was clean and nice. Rooms were cleaned daily and plenty of activities, you don't even need to leave the resort. I would definitely reccommend! The swimming pool was about a mile long so plenty of room for everyone. Plenty of chairs available on the beach!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank jessica2931
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Barrington, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2009

We stayed here from the 21st to the 28th of Feb. It did not have too many nice reviews on here, so whats new in that? First let me say I had some worries about the reported size of the place as I have to push my wife everywhere in her wheel chair and I myself am not exactly Mr fittness...lol lol lol. Size was No Problem.

My wife loved the food, I found it ok, nothing special, in general though there was something for everyone and nothing wrong with it. What was special about it was the Main Buffet Manager,[wish I could remember his name] . He was an insperation to observe. He led his staff by example and was truely a sole of descretion. I suspect he would make a very good resort manager, anywhere. I wish he had been the main manager here. I think my wife would have avoided a flat tire , had he been, as he would have solved the problem of broken glass shards a long time ago.

We realy enjoyed our stay. At the end of the day thats what we went for, sea, sun and fun.

A special note of thanks goes out to "Mary" , who anyone who was there and botherd to pass the time of day with, durring her stay with her husband "Barry" will remember with fondness. We remain in close contact. We may even go and stay with them for the Tall Ships Festival in HFX this summer !!!!

Another big thankyou goes out to " Janice ?" the dive master at the resort, who went out of her way , against all circumstanaial odds , to enable me to open water dive for the very first time. Firsts are allways rememberd.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank RobertOttawaOn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Coquitlam, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2009

A friend and I travelled to Jamaica on Feb 22, and stayed at this resort until Mar 1, 2009. From the moment we spotted the resort from the bus we were impressed. It was my first ever winter vacation and my friends first time at an all inclusive resort.

We did not get the Golden club package and didn't see any reason to have it while we were there. Perhaps, if we had taken it we might think differently. We were the only ones on our bus that got off at the resort, so there was no troubles checking in, except that it was early in the day and the room was not ready. There was a bell boy who was quick to offer to go and check to see how long the room would be. We in the meantime were advised to go and book our reservations at the 3 a la carte restaurants that we wanted to try. At first, because we didn't have a room number, they weren't going to make the reservation, but a call from the front desk remedied the problem. We made 3 early reservations and were quite happy with that.

We booked our safe, gave the credit card number as a deposit, got our 2 room keys, and went to our room which was in section 17. It seemed like a long walk at first but was on the lobby level and we soon realized that it was an ideal section of the hotel to be in.

Our room was freshely cleaned when we got to it, and although we were missing wash cloths, we had them when we asked the next day. Our room had a light that wasnt' working and no bottle opener, but when we were asked how the room was and we pointed it out, they corrected the problem. All during the week, we left a little tip for our housekeeper and she was very sweet, leaving us notes and when asked for extra coffee etc, she was always willing to accomodate it. We ended up with 2 extra pool towels as she made us swans for the bed on the first day.

We went to the beach on the first day only as we enjoyed being poolside more than on the beach. We had wonderful service at the swim up bar and the staff was friendly, talkative and very appreciative of the guests in the hotel. We found that there was never a member of the staff that wasn't smiling, happy and responsive when we greeted them, and they all seemed to be enjoying what they do.

The buffet was large, with lots of choices. I am not a daring eater, so I stuck to items that I recognized and I was in no way disappointed. The service in the buffet was very good. They have a lot of people to feed in a short time and are very organized and we never felt rushed or ignored while in the buffet.

We ate at the Garden Grill and the meal was wonderful. The buffet salad/appetizer bar was very good, food was fresh and the main course was also very good. The next restaurant we tried was the Mkado. We had a reservation at 630 and were seated around the grill with 10 others and it was an entertaining, delicious and very filling meal. The chef Damien was very funny, and had us laughing the whole time. Moving as a group for dessert was very nice as we then chatted and go to know some other guests in the hotel. We also ate at the Don Plablo which also was very good. Portions were just right, and we were not waiting too long for service. I guess having 6:30 reservations was the right thing.

We were there during the week that the 2 big groups(over 200) each were there. We as outside observers found that many of one group were quite critical of the staff/food, and the resort as a whole. We found that giving a smile and being polite and treating the staff like they deserved to be treated was duplicated by them threefold.

We did not leave the resort for any excursions. We went with the intention of resting and relaxing in the sun which is what we did. We enjoyed the entertainment of the steel band at the beach hut during the lunch hour. And did eat there occasionally, although we usually went to the buffet.

In the evenings we had a spot on the balcony at the lobby bar and had a wonderful time interacting with the staff and the other patrons of the hotel. We never had a worry about waiting for service. All the girls waitressing were friendly and quick to ask us when our glasses were empty. The bar manager was always hovering and also quick to offer his services to us. Junior in the lobby bar made the best mudslides ever!

We never went to watch the live shows. We were being entertained enough at the lobby bar. We did some shopping at the resort, and found it sufficient for what we needed.

All said, we had a great time. A week of memories that i will always have. I would recommend the resort to anyone who wants a beautiful hotel, with wonderful staff. I have never felt more pampered. As we checked out....... we discovered we did not get charged for our room safe nor did they charge for a short phone call that was made.

I was so happy with the whole experience I wrote a thank you letter to the manager of the hotel when I got home. Many people complain about things, not many compliment. The staff at the hotel deserve to be complimented.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank winnipegds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2009

I went with my hubby in feb of 2007 after a week at another hotel (Riu Ocho). It was only newly opened and had many improvements it needed ... if we were to do it again we would have started our week at the Bahia and ended at the Riu but that being said it was a nice R&R trip.
The hotel was huge and at that time was only at about 25% capacity, they were still building half of it. The beach in front is quite corally and rcky but it is a man made beach. There are a coup[le cove beaches right in front but we found it nicer around the bay to the left of the hotel that the better beach was and where the water activities and beach restaurant were accessible.
The service at the beach bars and pool bars was less than desirable and waits were quite long but the staff were always pleasant and were doing their best with the means that they had.
The restaurants at night were amazing and the buffet was wonderful. Lots of replenished food and my hubby particularity loved the made to order fish that was in the buffet nightly.
We had an amazing steak one night at the steakhouse on the water ... mmmm provolone stuffed steak... if was fantastic.

Being that we went to the hotel 2 years ago it by far has undergone major improvements and reviews have improved since I read before I went.

Don' t let peoples reviews spoil your vacation, go enjoy yourslef, Jamaica is an amazing place, take in the culture and the laid back way of life. We could all learn a little from the slower paced life there and it is eveident it is good for the soul becuase all Jamaicans have a smile on their face.

  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelprocloverdale2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2009

We stayed with friends at this beautiful resort but have no desire to return. The service was poor, we had to repeatedly ask for our wine and for dinner. The food was poor quality as was the wine. Unlike other all-inclusives we had to pay extra for our favorite bar brands. The physical layout of the resort was undesirable because it was spread out too much. A long walk was required to get to the beach and other buildings. You would not come here for the night life. The "entertainment" was mediocre and the location was also a long walk from the central part of the hotel.

  • Stayed February 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BaltimoreMargaret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto,Ontario
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2009

Beautiful resort!! Grounds are lovely and well kept. Pool is amazing, beach is nice. Service is poor we had to sneak bananas from the breakfast buffet (which is not allowed) to the bar tender to have him make us a banana daquari. They ran out of rum cream on Wednesday and still were out when we left on the following Tuesday. Selection of alcoholic drinks were very limited. We were a group of six with 3 rooms. Only one room out of three had a working T.V. All doors patio and entrance doors were very difficult to lock. We complained to deaf ears at the front desk. No facecloths in our room but my daughters did get one on their last day. Pool closes at 7p.m. would have been nice if it stayed opened till 9p.m. Food was pretty good.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank caume
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2009

I am thrilled to be able to write a POSITIVE review about this hotel after reading all the negatives before leaving...some people must be very hard to please!
We arrived to the hotel fairly early, so there was a bit of a wait until we could get our rooms. I recommend packing shorts and a bathing suit in you carry on so you can head straight for the beach or pool until your room becomes available. Normally they will take your luggagge to a locked "luggage room" but we were told to just leave it at the entrance to the lobby which did make me a bit nervous. Everything was still there when we returned tthough, no problem mon!
We travelled as a family of five with our 12, 14 & 16 year old children. We chose to upgrade to "Gold" and found that to be worth every penny as we were in the perfect rooms on the top floor overlooking the vast pool and ocean. The rooms have four poster beds, a stocked mini bar and big balconies. Gorgeous! It also allows for other extras such as 24 hour room service, free access to internet and I do do believe staff may be a bit more attentive as we were occasionally asked about wristband color when asking for towels etc. They have a terrific power saving system where you need to insert your room key into a box which turns your power on. Great idea!!
After our week long stay all 3 of our kids were ready to move to Jamaica! The people are very friendly and the hotel itself is beautiful and majestic. We found it to be extremely well kept and clean.
The beach to the left is where you want to be, as the waves are a bit bigger there, the sand is finer and if you keep going you will come to a great snorkelling spot (across from the beach bar at the end) where we saw stingrays, an octopus and a lionfish! At times it can be difficult to get the snorkel gear (not enough sets available?) and bring cash for a deposit $25US/pair. There were almost always lawn chairs available here and we travelled during busy Spring Break.
I can't say the same about the pool area though as people must be up at 5:00 am to put there towels and magazines on the chairs just to save them for the day. I say, "Get a Life!" Good luck getting a chair. Personally I'd much rather be at the beach watching the waves roll in and the palm trees swaying anyways so this was a non-issue, but I did hear others complaining. Hanging by the pool is better late afternoon (more chairs available then) and the bartenders there are super friendly. Don't expect super fancy umbrella topped drinks here- Rum & coke, Pina Coladas (kind of like a slurpee with rum floating on top) and Red Stripe beer were our faves... what more do you need?
Music was a bit lacking-same cd over and over with many Spanish songs playing. As much as I love Spanish music, when in Jamaica one wants to hear more reggae...Bob Marley, Toots and the Maytalls & Jimmy Cliff please! Overall it was a relaxing, and at times entertaining place to be as they do group games and dance lessons. It never really feels crowded in the pool as it is huge and winds on forever with little bridges for crossing.
Tipping is a MUST and believe me it is greatly appreciated. Everyone from the maids to the waiters (yes even in the buffet, people!) the bartenders, bus drivers etc. You have to realize that these people are paid very little and work very hard. Even a small gratuity is appreciated. I believe the people complaining about service are non- tippers.
Next time I would definately bring trinkets, books and crayons for the kids as these things are very expensive to buy here. ($6.00 for a pack of crayons!)
The nightly entertainment is pretty good, (be there at 9:15 to get a good table)
The dancers are great (funny too) and you can't miss Jamaican night where you will see local dances, the fire woman, and an amazing guy that can balance stuff on his head and make it look like it's floating there(tables, lawn chairs, his child in a chair!)
If you want earlier entertainment you will find piano playing and lounge singers on the patio.

NOW ABOUT THE FOOD: (We tried it all!)
Buffet: Terrific with many choices; something for everyone. Could get a bit repetitive at times but overall great selection and quality. Absolutely LOVED Jamaican night where they offered wonderful local ciuisine...wished EVERY night had local foods!
A MUST: Try the meat patties, fruit, coconut &sugar cane-delicious and exotic!
Patio beach buffet/PICIS: GOOD- You must go around to the side where they make Jerk chicken and pork with jerk sauce on the side for the timid. DELICIOUS!

The Garden Grill: MEDIOCRE
(thin steaks/instant mashed potatoes/if you order vegetarian you will get a bowl of cabbage & peppers)
Mikado: ENTERTAINING,INTERACTIVE & DELICIOUS
You must get the room where your chef cooks in front of you (miso soup/ tempura ice cream-yum)
Dolce Vita: GREAT
ravioli & micro cuisine were favorites)
Don Pablo: OUTSTANDING!
(surf & turf is a must- tenderloin & lobster)
SERVICE IN ALL WAS PERFECT! FUNNY AND ATTENTIVE STAFF! BEAUTIFUL DECOR!

This resort is amazing but it is a MUST to go on a few excursions to really get a feel for the people and culture. You have to have an open mind, sense of adventure and appreciation for other cultures and ways of life. We took the shopping trip to the flea market & tourist shopping center. The flea market was a definite experience and you do feel pressure to buy souveniers as there is a sense of desperation from the vendors. They will try to seperate you from each other in order to get you to buy more. We felt relieved to leave but also glad to have gone and spent money there, as opposed to the gift shops at the hotels where they don't need the money. You can find the exact same things in every store! Bartering is a MUST! A couple we were with bought 20 bags of the famous Blue Mountain coffee for $7.00 a lb (everywhere else they were asking $20-$25 lb) so it is possible to get amazing deals, especially when buying in bulk like that. Skip the mugs and tacky tees...people back home will want the coffee & rum! Didn't care for the shopping center, named the "Taj Mahal"...am I in India? Too touristy.
The second excursion we went on was the "Cool Runnings" catamaran & climb up the Dunn's River Falls. We all enjoyed that immensly, especially the giant waves splashing onboard on the way back, the dancing woman with the tray of drinks on her head and the 3 little boys dancing on the dock on the way in. (not part of the excursion, but a definite highlight!) The Falls were amazing and fun to climb but probably a bit tricky for very young children or the elderly.
The third excursion was for adults only, the Bob Marley tour. You can take this in a bus (NO!) or in an open air Jeep(YES!) and believe me the drive there and back is amazing...and also very scary, as Jamaicans tend to be fast and aggressive drivers. The drive up into the hills and through the villages is a wonderful experience-we enjoyed it very much. You will see some poverty and you will find most people super friendly and waving most of the time...especially the precious children. You will stop for a beef patty and have an opportunity to sample the local Ganga once you are there-your choice...no pressure Mon! It was neat to see Bob's childhood home, meditation rock and final resting place. Our driver Richard will tell you alot about Jamaica's history-very appreciated.
OVERALL A TRULY WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ytbproductions
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

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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