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“What a load of rubbish”

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Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Reviewed July 22, 2007

We have just returned from the Gran Bahia Principe in Jamaica and was most appalled by the service and attitude of the staff in the resort.

This is where the nightmare began on 2 July 2007. On arrival to Montego Bay airport, we were faced with a 3.5hr travel journey in an non air conditioned coach to the resort. The reason for this was due to the roads being pulled up in Montego Bay - what an isore this was and very tiring too by the time we arrived at the resort in Runaway Bay.

On our arrival, we spent approx. 30mins checking in. On arrival to our room, we were very thirsty and opened the mini bar to find it empty!

The food in the buffet restaurant was luke warm and having to queue every morning, lunch and evening for food is totally unacceptable in my experience. The staff were extremely rude, making you wait a good 15 mins before they even served you a drink. Again, this was unacceptable. It should be specified correctly too that you are only allowed to use the restaurants on site (a la carte) 3 times a week.

I would also like to make others aware that on our second night, we got broken into whilst asleep in our bed - when we reported this to the General Manager, he did not seem at all interested and said he would speak to the Security and get this looked into. By the time we left for the UK, this had still not be resolved.

Also, a frequent occurance was the toilet overflowing. This seemed a general problem.

It seems there is also a racial issue as my boyfriend was confronted in the Grill restaurant as to not being allowed to wear shorts when across the other side of the room, was a black male wearing shorts! Surely there should be one rule for all! This issue should be addressed.

I could go on and on but to be honest, I am just glad I am back home in luxury and wished I had never of wasted my money on such a holiday. No way is this a 5 star resort, it should be given no more than 3 stars.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Londonlass1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9,911 - 9,917 of 11,226 reviews

Reviewed July 20, 2007

First of all, I want to say thank you to the staff at the resort. My fiance & I stayed here from June 23-July 1 (we got engaged while there) We were a little nervous after reading some of the earlier reviews, but were quite impressed. The resort is beautiful and huge, the locals treat you great, & the people are a ton of fun. If you can't be satisfied at the Bahia, chances are you can't be satisfied anywhere. I can't think of one person I met while being there that overall didnt love the resort. Sure, all of us encouter little things here and there that could be better, but for 95% of people, I guarantee you will have a great time. A couple of things that could be better, or shall I say, things you should prepare for: only 1 ATM at the resort (in the shopping center), and sometimes it didnt work. You may want to carry extra cash on you. But keep in mind that this is a new resort that is still under construction that is why you are getting such a great deal on your vacation! All new resorts are going to have little things here and there that need to be fine tuned but I am pretty confident that this resort will only get better (not to mention bigger) with time.

If you do go, make sure you take care of Antonio at the bar in the lobby-he was awesome & he went out of his way to take care of us during our entire stay. Also, take care of Morris, another waiter/bartender-he likes to be called "Denzel Washington". Just remember that these people are busting their backs down there for us to have a good time, so a buck goes a long way!

We took excursions snorkling, dunns river falls, horseback riding(they take you into the ocean on horses-awesome), & the luminous lagoon. Make sure you do some or all of these-they are absolutely beautiful. As far as the beaches, they are beautiful-sure, the one in front of the resort is a bit rocky, but the one to the left is strictly sand & you can wade in it all the way out to the reef. Be aware that a lot of the europeans & south americans like to tan topless, so dont be surprised if you see a little nudity. And if you're fair skinned make sure you either tan a lot before you go or bring sunblock with at least an SPF 50. My fiance is pretty pale skinned and he was burnt before we even got checked into our room! Which by the way our travel agent had us booked to where we showed up at the resort two hours before check-in time (NOT the Bahia's fault), the people at the front desk were very polite, checked our bags and gave us our bracelets so that we could go eat, drink, and swim while we were waiting to be checked in. And for the reviews for the a la carte restaraunts, again, you have to be extremely picky to not enjoy them! They were awesome! We went to the japanese, seafood, & the italian clubs, all were great & the employees were FIRST class. Make sure you bring some long pants & a dress shirt for dinner, or at least one with long sleeves. Also, bring a mug with you-the resort gives drinks in 8 oz cups, but will fill anything else willingly, & trust me, its usually a good drink. This will limit the amount of times you have to frequent the bar. We strongly recommend this resort, & guarantee that you will have a wonderful time! We WILL be going back!!!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank JasonandHeather
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2007

My husband and I went to the Gran Bahia in Jamaica for our fifth wedding anniversary. On the second day of our four day trip, ALL of our cash was removed from our LOCKED safe in our room. Over $300 USD was stolen while we were on a snorkeling boat tour booked by a company on hotel property. Needless to say, we had to put our room number on our waiver for the snorkel tour, so, someone knew we would not be in our room.

We filed a report with the hotel security and the local police. Nothing was done AND to top it off, we did not even get an apology from the Hotel Executive Manager OR the Security Manager. Not ONE apology. We were not only violated by a thief on their staff, but also the entire management staff.

We spent half of our vacation trying to investigate what happened.

I will never stay at another Gran Bahia Resort in my life, I could not believe the lack of customer service. They did not even offer a deduction from our bill or anything. And, we were told our money was gone and would not be returned.

In each room, there is a card that reads: Hotel not responsible for items not kept in the safe….well, they are not responsible for the items in the safe either! Beware.

Stayed: July 2007
15  Thank JaneneVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2007

We had originally booked to stay at a different hotel but was moved to the Grand Bahia due to renovation work at the original hotel. Having read some of the reviews on here we were not best pleased to be given the Bahia as an alternative. However reluctantly we accepted it.
I have to say we were in for a surprise. This is a first class hotel and I have been to many all over the world. This ranks very highly.
Our rooms were great, spacious and we had two four poster double beds but if you wanted you could have a huge four poster super king bed. Great views of the sea from most rooms. Fantastic pool which was vast. Lots of entertainment during the day if you are inclined our just sit by the pool or on the beach reading a book.
There were so many choices for food, the buffet was really excellent, lots of choices and all freshly cooked, not like most buffets. There are also 4 speciality restaurants. You can visit 3 in any one week.
Free drinks are served all day and night, one small bar stayed open until 4am!
The nightly live entertainment being very critical is not the best, but they tried hard. There is also a disco which opens after the live entertainment finishes about 10.30 until 2.00. There is also a small karaoke bar for those inclined, but its not obligatory!
The main bar area overlloks the pool and has fantastic views, and lovely ambiance at night, it has a huge open air veranda to sit and chill as you drink your cocktails (all free).
The staff were all very friendly and attentive, we always got whatever we asked for.
Absolutely no complaints with this hotel.
My view is that those that have criticsed this hotel have had personal problems that can occur with anyone, just bad luck, but is not a fair reflection on a fine hotel and staff.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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11  Thank hammerLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2007

My girlfriend and I stayed at the GB from June 21 to June 27. This is my 10th time coming to Jamaica. I must say that Sangster Airport has done some noticable upgrading since last year. Also, the roads have improved compared to previous years. The drive from the airport to GB was one and one half hours.

The Hotel: Upon check-in at the GB you notice an inviting view. The lobby's decor is picturesqued and staff were available to serve you. I must say we had a long flight and arrived at 9pm, so we were tired. Well, when we attemped to check in we were told that only a King size bed was available. After trying to convince the staff that we wanted two beds we opted for the king size and decided to change the room in the morning. When we went to the room it was HOT. The air conditioning and ceiling fan weren't working. Also, the STOCKED FRIDGE was empty. My girlfriend said, "Let's get outta here!". We went to the front desk and requested another room. The staff wanted to send maintenance to fix the air but we said no. Finally, they gave us another king size bed room. This time we were accompanied by Wayne and Carlton. They tried to remain upbeat. Wayne checked the air and got it going and he made sure the fridge was stocked. Feeling tired and hungry we went to the buffet. The food selection was cold and not tasty. We then went to the room and crashed, hoping for a better tomorrow. We got up the next day to change the room. We were told that there still were no rooms available. I continued to express my displeasure, vowing to come back and talk to Mr. Perez (manager) and to also tell the Air Jamaica Vacation rep about the ordeal. With the assistance of the AJ rep and the asst. manager we Finally got the two beds we requested. Whew! One Room, Two Room, Three. There were some hiccups; clogged running toilet, no face cloths, lack of info. regarding towel card, cost for the use of room safe, three dinner reservations allowed for a six night stay, add'l $$ for top shelf alcohol. I have to say the staff did try to accommodate us and whenever we requested assistance we got it in a timely manner.

Beach/Pool: Scenic. There are 3 parts to the beach. The rocky side, the area near the Snack Bar and the Nude side. I preferred the beach area near the Snack Bar. The pool area is huge and nice. There is music and swim-up bars around.

Food: We ate breakfast at the buffet. It was pretty good with the usuals (waffles, french toast, omlettes, bacon and other selections). We tried lunch there once and never went back for that meal. We opted for the Snack Bar on the beach. Drinks were plenty along with good jerk chicken, sandwiches, salads, burgers, dogs and really good desserts. I asked one of the cooks to prepare me some jerk sauce and I got it. She warned me that it was really hot; it was but OOH SOO good. Dinner at the buffet was also good (curry goat, jerk chicken, ackee, dumplings, desserts, shrimp, ect.. A nice variety for all.
Don Pablo Restaurant: Well, let's just say it should be called Don Pitts. The food was not good, however, the service was. We were also introduced to a guest at the table ( a huge spider about the size of the palm of one's hand). My girlfriend hollered and jumped from the table, creating a scene, followed by laughter.
The Grille: Excellent, Excellent. The food was really good. I had lamb which was grilled perfectly. The cheesecake melted in your mouth. There was a wonderful salad bar too. My girlfriend had red snapper. I guess she enjoyed it cause when she finished her meal you couldn't tell what she ate.
El Pescador: Again, Excellent. The decor, ambiance and service were top notch. We both ate the fish plate. Yummy. Shrimp cocktail, salad bar, dessert and champagne were delicious. Kerry Ann and Keryy were a hospitable pair to us.

Entertainment: Night life was subpar, particulary for singles. Boring shows with a lot of shouting in spanish by the emcee to the crowd. Everything shuts down at llpm except for the disco. Leave the property and go to Margarittaville if you can. Try a local disco (Amnesia, Just Cheers). A side note: If you are single take the above advice.

There is a schedule of events calendar. Check it out for various activities. The gym is decent for a good workout. The massage I had was OK. For a wonderful massage try one at at the Sans Souci resort. There are plenty of tours. I've tried many. This time I did Margarittavile and Rick's Cafe in Negril. Beautiful beach, nice views, reggae music and good food at Margarittaville. Rick's Cafe had Cliff divers, pretty sunset. Skip the food and order a drink.

Mosquitos are everywhere at GB. I think due to the large pool area and still water at GB the mosquitos kept multiplying. Even after you spray yourself they bite through your clothing.

Items to bring: small $$ for tipping as needed, bug repellant, large mug for drinks.

Advice: Ask questions at the front desk prior to getting your room. Don't pay a lot to go to Ochi (Ocho Rios) because some drivers charge as much as $80 r/t. Negotiate everything, including the price for souvenirs.

There is a little construction going on. Ignore it and enjoy your stay. Once the property is completed, Watch Out! There is another spanish hotel being built nearby. I hope that their management will heed to having a Jamaica theme and culture, not spanish. FYI: Most Jamaicans can't speak spanish. If I want spanish food, music and language I'll go to Punta Cana or Cancun.

Big Ups to Kerry Ann, Carlton, Wayne and the asst. to Mr. Perez. Also Richard, who made you laugh and "pop off".

All in all, the trip was relaxing and enjoyable. I'll continue to go to Jamaica. In Jamaica there are no problems, just situations. Yeah Mon!

8  Thank jamericanlady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2007

I took my daughters age 12 and 8 to the Gran Bahia over the Spring Break week. The Hotel was gorgeous and the service was spectacular. We had dinner at three of the specialty restaurants, the first was a Japanese which my daughters loved the show cooking. Second was El Pescador a seafood restaurant, which I enjoyed lobster and shrimp. The third was the gourmet a la carte in which my 8 year old had surf and turf served so pretty. The beach was short but very nice. The pool was very large with a swim up bar and regular bar service. The workout room had everything you would need, including a full spa. The entertainment staff were fun teaching the girls how to reggae dance. It was a very relaxing week and I didn't feel worried being alone with my two daughters.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank tc7575
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2007

My husband and I went to the Gran Bahia Principe for our second honeymoon, with our friends who were on their first honeymoon. The resort is very beautiful, and the staff is very friendly. We got to the resort, and as we stepped off the bus a bellmen was waiting to grab our luggage. At check in we learned that we were upgraded, although our room was not yet ready, the bellmen did take up our luggage, and we waited in the coffee lounge for a couple of minutes. When we entered our room we were very impressed, we were on the 6th floor, and we had an amazing view of the ocean and pool below us. Our suits was very clean, and we never had a problem with housekeeping. We took a shower and learned that we had very little water pressure, so I called down to the front desk and it was fixed the same night.

The pool is fantastic, if you stay on the far right side you will be the only ones at the swim up bar, this was nice. The beach is rocky, but the water is very warm, and there is absolutely no tide (surfers will be disappointed). The buffet has good food, however the service for drinks at dinner is very slow. Our last night there we never did get the wine we ordered when we first sat down. The sit down restaurants are lovely, however defiantly order more then one entrée as the entrees are small, but they are presented to you on very large plates. At night the karaoke bar was very fun, and the night club played a lot of 90’s, neither were ever very crowded, this resort I would not recommend to anyone looking to “party harty”. If you are looking to relax with some strong beverages, I highly recommend it. This hotel is brand new, it seems to me that they opened a little too soon, they need to step it up in service, and give the hotel a couple of touch ups. While I was there our friends did experience some housekeeping problems, on our last night, we were all late to dinner because housekeeping took their dirty towels, and didn’t give them new ones.

EXCURSTIONS, we were offered the $40 per person trip to Dunns river falls, Ochios Rios shopping, and botanical gardens. The other option for the Dunns river falls was $30 per person and just went to Dunns river falls. We decided on the 40 per person, this trip was ok, the shopping was terrible, the first stop we got divided from our friends and pushed from hut to hut where Jamaicans threw cheap made in china souvenirs at you. The botanical gardens are ok, the dunns river falls was really fun!.

Overall we had a fantastic time; this was a very relaxing vacation. The hotel needs some work, here and there you where able to tell that the hotel just opened the buffet on our last night had a leak in the ceiling, the front desk wall paper is already pealing. The power does go out all the time, but you don’t really notice it, as it just for a moment.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank Irene2007
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 Family Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Spa Hotel in Runaway Bay
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range: $166 - $462 (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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