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“You'll enjoy it if you're easy going!”

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Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
Ranked #6 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Burlington, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“You'll enjoy it if you're easy going!”
Reviewed September 20, 2007

We also were aware of the bad reviews but for right price you can take a chance. Overall we were very impressed but it's not problem free. We seem to have booked a week where the hotel was not very busy so we likely did not experience many of the headaches others had to endure.

-Check in: A breeze, had our room key 5 minutes after leaving the bus.

-Room: Very nice, all amenities, fridge stocked. However, it was next to an elevator and a stairwell so we opted to change. Went back to the check in and had a new room in 5 minutes. Next room wasn't as good. Fridge was not fully stocked, walls had some cracks. We know it's new and there is still some settling of the buildings but this should be looked after. We didn't care as the room location was more to our liking. Location was very quiet and we were never distubed.

-Maid service: Hit and miss. Rooms were cleaned daily but some towels not restocked and some re-used! Not sure if this is a supply problem or maid problem.

-Service staff: Without exception we found them all friendly and helpful. Great people. Antonio in the lobby bar is terrific.

-Food: Overall very good. Buffet will please most people, you will notice some repitition after 3 or 4 days but that is pretty normal. Reserved restaurants (we tried the Steak House twice and Don Pablo once) are quite formal in service and presentation. They make a very nice effort there. Everything seems to be right on track until it comes to how they cook your main dish. It's a coin flip as to whether it comes as you have requested. Still, if they get it right, these meals are outstanding. Never had to wait in line for any meal.

-Beach: Flip flops or water shoes are a must on the front beach.
The west beach gets nicer the further you go from the hotel. Reasonble sand and beach does exist but there is no huge expanse of gorgeous beach. There are many sun huts along the beach.

-Topless? Very common, most guests seem to be from Spain or Portugal.

-Nude? Rare, but yes. There is a nude beach at the furthest point from the hotel. Any nude bathing in the pool area was curtailed by the hotel staff.

-Pool: Very large, always clean. Lots of loungers but not that many umbrella's. Lots of private area to get away from the crowd if you want to.

-Drinks: Bring a LARGE insulated mug. The best parts of the beach are a long way from the bars. You don't want to run back and forth for little plastic cup of your favourite drink. They will fill any container you give them, no problem.

-Tips: A dollar can go a long way. U.S. currency is the only one worth using throughout Jamaica.

-Duty free: You'll be surprised. We found the best liquor prices at the airport, no matter how much of a "discount" someone has given you in Ocho!!

-Check out: Took maybe 2 minutes, no problem.

Overall, it does approach 5 star quality but it's not there yet. If you expect perfection in all aspects you will not be fully satisfied. If you realize it's a work in progress, you will enjoy a lovely hotel with excellent staff and food. The hotel is an isolated area so you can not walk to another area, you need a cab etc..

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Atnib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2007

We booked this vacation on the saturday before we left on a monday so it was truly last minute and we got a great deal from selloffvacations.com. I had read the reviews on here and was a little concerned about the hotel. I can tell you that we had a great time. There were small problems but everything was fixed for us. The elevator was broken for one day when we were there, but seriously it isn't the only elevator there are quite a few of them. The food was amazing. There were always lots of choices for everyone from burgers and fries to salads to seafood and everything in between. I don't really know what people are expecting from the food if they didn't enjoy this. I can say that the service is a little slow and you don't always get your table set right small things like that. I believe that is more of a Jamaican thing that a resort specific thing. Jamaicans seem to have a relaxed pace and attitude about everything they do. The bottom line is this place isn't perfect but I would certainly recommend it to anyone and would go back myself.

  • Liked — food and setting
  • Disliked — I liked most things if I had to complain about anything it would be the service was a little slow
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank HottubCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2007

I booked this vacation through Bookit.com. Although it was a decent price, the experience we had there was terrible. I read through the reviews and thought I would go ahead and take a chance but the negative ones I read was right. The resort is beautiful, very nice looking rooms, grounds were well maintained and cared for and the pool was immaculate. That is the only good I can comment on. From this point I can only give a few examples of why we were so dissapointed in this resort because anything more than that will require me writing a book. When we first arrived there we tried to make reservations for dinner at the restaurants, we were told they were booked for the next two nights. When we walked by one of the restaurants that night - it wasn't even 1/4 full the whole time. They had very little activities throughout the day and evening considering it is am "all-inclusive" resort. The fact that it's in the country should motivate manegement to have more fun stuff for their guests to do since it's not within walking distance to anywhere. Another thing - don't leave any money out whatsoever. The maid took money from a stack of papers I had sitting on the desk. I was told the next day by another guest that the same thing happened to them. They think they deserve to have it so they just take it. Again - this is just a few examples that doesn't even scratch the surface as to why we will never return.

  • Liked — The rooms and hotel grounds
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank molosmiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2007

I must say that this resort is NOT worth $500 for an all inclusive package. Unfortunately, when my wife and I went to book our honeymoon vacation everything was booked, so we settled with Grand Bahia Principe – Jamaica.

Since day one we had problems. Firstly, the construction of the resort is not finished, and the suits that were completed were not done to perfection. When booking the trip, we expected the hotel and the honeymoon suit to look flawless, that wasn’t the case. The bathroom, which is the most intimate area in the suit, had bad finishes. The caulking was all black and poorly applied. There was a hole in one of the walls. The balcony door closed but did not properly lock. Even after the maintenance staff came to fix the door, the next day it broke again. Furthermore, night stand was broken- so I had to fix it myself. We had to change our room key SIX times during the course of our 7 day stay. The elevators straight to the sixth floor NEVER work.

Finally, which frustrated me the most was the fact that they did NOT CHANGE THE LINEN- later I found out that they were cutting down the costs for the week because the occupancy rate was low! Moreover, they fired the general manager and got some other Spanish dude to settle everything out.

Lastly, on the first day when I requested scissors from the cleaning lady, she told me to go downstairs and get it myself.

Although, I complained number of times, nothing was ever done to correct the situations. It is not what I would expect from a Golden Club (5*) resort at Bahia Principe- Jamaica.

DO NOT WAIST YOUR TIME, MONEY, OR ENERGY and FRUSTRATIONS.

  • Liked — lagoon tour
  • Disliked — quality and service of the hotel
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank mikediana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2007

When my wife and I decieded to visit this resort but were a little conserned after reading some negative reviews here in Tripadvisor.
Well let me tell you that we could NOT find anything negative about this hotel resort. The Gran Bahia Proncipe in Jamaica is FABULOUS.
The first impression when you approach the hotel is WOW look at that, thIs hotel is by far the best you see anywhere on the island.The room we had was on the second floor (block 17)overlooking the pool with a good view of the beach and was perfect with two double beds and lots of room, including a large balcony (perfect for sitting out in the evening).
The food at this all inclusive hotel rates with the best we have ever had on some of the top cruises we have been on. Presentation and taste was excellent with lots of choice in the main buffet restaurant, including wine with lunch and dinner (not to mention the champagne and orange juice with breakfast).The specialty restaurants (4 of them) just stand out and should not be missed. Service was also very good and always with a smile. My wife and I made many comments on how the staff kept this place so clean, there was always someone working to maintain the high standards they expected.
The beach to the right of the hotel is the best one and the sea excellent and safe for swimming. The large pool was always great and the swim up bar is perfect to relax, drink and chat with other guests.
Overall I would say this is probably the best hotel we have ever stayed in on holiday - great place -great food - great people.

  • Liked — Large new building in a great location
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank jlt1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Martinez, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2007

I read most of the reviews that others left and decided it would just have to be something I found out for myself. Once you get past the bus ride, a little bumpy b/c there's road construction, and you arrive @ the resort, your ride soon becomes a distant memory. Everyone was very friendly, helpful. The rooms are amazing. Yeah, we did find a few cracks in the walls but we didn't let that come in the way of relaxing. Our room view was of the garden and pool and it was beautiful. There were plenty of lounge chairs, plenty of food and always something to do. Lots of activities planned by the "Entertainment Crew". We never found ourselves just sitting around - unless, of course, we were beach side or poolside. Didn't expect to see topless women @ poolside, so be prepared. But once we were used to the idea, it didn't bother us.
We enjoyed the shopping center - Pueblo Principe. Didn't have to leave the property, which was nice. For the Americans reading this review, we also liked that we didn't have to exchange money. All stores accepted American currency.
Will definitely return but next time w/ the kids - :).

  • Liked — The hospitatlity
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank Sandol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2007

ok, so overall i had a decent time, but only because i had the right expectations, i will try to summarize by pieces and give the review that way

booked the trip through air canada vacations, so its flight, hotel, transfer

flight - it was fine, AC flight in the morning, instead of transat in the afternoon, got to hotel around 4 - 5

transfer - greeters for AC were great, friendly, the driver was awesome, gave us tons of info on jamaica, and had jokes to tell for most of the ride

hotel check-in - horrible, worst in my life, attitude was bad, and we were on our honeymoon...i checked online, suppose to have some sort of "special", got nothing

bellboy - horrible, rude, actually made me get a drink for him, wtf, and i had to carry my own bag for one floor

elevators - only used it once during our trip, dont bother, use the stairs

activities person - horrible as well, but only had to talk to them for making a la carte reservations, and ask questions on random things

bartenders - great, they are nice, friendly and very eager to help

waiters - also great, nice, no complaints for sure, and these are for bars, buffets and especially a la cartes

maid/room/bar refill - this is really random, i think it really depends on if/how you tip them, which i personally think is not the best way, because you should be providing the service no matter how i tip, ie. we didnt tip day 1, only got 2 small waters, tip day 2, 4 waters, more soft drinks and beer

room - the room is nice, clean, and fairly big, our view was great, saw the pools and ocrean, i think all rooms faced the ocean, all the water worked fine, we never used the safe, just locked luggage

resort - its huge, its pretty nice and new, the construction is not much of a bother, only if you are on the beach on that side would you really hear it

BUFFET - buffet is really a buffet, some good, some not, 60 - 70% is the same everyday, the rest they cycle thru, my personal favorite was the made to order pasta; i was disappointed in the fruit selection, very small and was below average overall

we went to the following a la carte, Garden Grill, Mikado, Fisherman's Place, we picked them based on reviews here...

Garden Grill - awesome stuff, we had the surf & turf main and the pork chop, both cooked really well, appetizers were buffet style, they were all good too, this has to be the #1 choice for a la carte

Mikado - omg, what a mistake, i cant believe the ppl that liked this place, they probably never had japanese or asian food b4, im from toronto, and even the food court japanese food was about 10x better, avoid this place at all costs...they dont know what they are doing, everything is just wrong - except service, which was good/great, like all the other a la carte places

Fisherman's Place - this place was good, not great, its equivalent of garden grill, but aimed for seafood instead of meat, im docking them just cuz im more of a meat person, this would be a fine choice as well

Entertainment - ppl in charge of that was decent, they were energetic and enthusiastic, the actual quality depends on the amount of booze you had that day, but check them out for sure

Excursions - we did shopping, Dunns River and Hooves

Shopping - dont bother, just get the driver to drop you to shopping places while you are on other excursions, save you more $ that way, and most of the things is cheaper at airport or hotel, only thing we notice was cheaper at those markets were actual crafts, crappy shirts (not the nice ones) or coffee (by about $5 - $8USD)

Dunns River - great way to spend 1/2 a day, you climb up as a group, lots of fun

Hooves - ride horses down a trail, to the beach, then into the water, lots of fun as well

thats it, dont know what else to put, i think the resort is ok, not great, but needs A LOT of work, if u dont mind crap service here and there, then go for it, the rooms are nice and this place isnt that expensive, best of all, it wasnt crowded at all

  • Liked — service from waiters, bartenders
  • Disliked — service from other staff
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank old_type
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 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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