As guests under the all-inclusive Golden package, our arrival in Montego Bay got off to a good start with a small bus that travelled to our hotel only (with a brief restroom stop and a chance to try jerk chicken - recommended if you like spicy food). Our Transat rep gave us our welcome package on the way, and the keys to our room were handed to us upon arrival, eliminating a formal check-in. Although the resort is large, its U-shape makes it seem self-contained. The room was large and attractive with a 4-poster bed and a TV with lots of choices (BBC, Spanish, Jamaican and American channels). Our view was of the ocean and the enormous pool. With our golden status, it was not necessary to produce towel cards. We also had access to unlimited internet and newspapers in the Golden Room. The Transat agents gave a helpful talk on our first day.
FOOD: The Orchid Restaurant served a buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a good variety including lots of made-to-order dishes, roasts, pastas, salads, fruits and desserts. There was something for everyone. The 4 a-la-carte restaurants were all good, with degrees of service ranging from inexperienced to superb. The pleasant personality of the servers more than made up for occasional deficiencies. A tip of the hat must go to the Food and Beverages Manager, Mr. Juan Andre del Rio, who has made tremendous progress in the short time he has wored there, and whose genuine concern and attention were much appreciated by our party of eight. The Piscis lunch buffet available on the beach offers hamburgers, hotdogs and other dishes. Kudos to that bartender who introduced me to the Nutty Jamaican (Rum cream and Amaretto). There is also a small burger place open all night long.
BARS: The bars were indeed everywhere. Even on the beaches, servers were at hand. Generous tipping (in U.S. $) these hard-working employees was well worth it in terms of service and assistance rendered throughout our week. Bring lots of $1 and $5 bills as U.S. change can be difficult to get. We found the house white wine acceptable, but the red wine was not great. There is a great variety of drinks and liquors available. Nightly cocktails on the outdoor patio of the lobby bar were accompanied by musicians.
ACTIVITIES: The resort is very clean and very secure. Minor repairs and improvements were noted daily. The tennis courts are now open. Snorkeling equipment is available for free (with a refundable deposit). The rocky beach is good for this purpose. Water shoes can be purchased in the hotel store for $11.39 U.S. Generally, I found the prices in all their stores for souvenirs and clothes are not out-of-line. The sandy beach is nice but remains shallow a long way out. Golf at the Breezes Resort was a 5-minute $20 round-trip drop-off and pick-up taxi ride (no tee times necessary, reasonably-priced equipment rentals, caddie mandatory).
TOUR: Ocho Rios is about 30 minutes away. Dunn's River Falls requires an hour of hand-holding climbing, not recommended for people with bad backs or bad knees. Bailouts are available at different stages (a blessing for us!). Tipping the guide, buying water, pictures, videos, CD's, and wooden artifacts add quickly to the cost. (Beware - you will be asked if you are carrying wood at customs - they will inspect your purchase for a burrowing bug - my article was okay).
The weather was perfect, the week relaxing and fun. The Gran Bahia Principe is definitely a place we will consider for future vacations.
- 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