I just got back from the Gran Bahia Jamaica on January 15th after a week stay. I have stayed at another Gran Bahia Ambar in Bavaro, Domincan Republic that I decided to check out the chain again.
The hotel/grounds- very beautiful and well kept.
Front Desk- there were some minor hiccups when checking in. Our flight was delayed due to snow in Toronto so we didn't get the special check in that we were supposed to get. We ended up checking in 4 hrs behind schedule due to the flight delay. The hotel is about 1hr and 15mins from the Montego Bay Airport that we flew into. Front desk seemed understaffed. The man checking us in kept answering the phone and doing other things in the midst of checking us in which caused a longer process than needed. He also made me panic a bit when he said he couldn't find our reservations- he found them eventually. Be prepared to have your reservation in writing to hand to them. He took scissors and cut out a portion of our reservation to keep.
Rooms- very nice, clean and spacious. We stayed in the new section, building 23 and there rooms are very spread out so there can be a bit of walking depending on where your room is, but we didn't mind. Our building had only been opened for 2 weeks. Our room overlooked the pool and the sea. There is a jetted tup which we never used and a separate shower. The shower is a bit small. There is one sink, makeup mirror, hairdryer and some shampoos/soaps etc. The beds are really comfortable and they give you tons of pillows. Be sure to ask front desk for an extra key because you need a key to turn on the air conditioner and electricity when you are in the room. We got an extra one and just kept it in the room so that the air stayed on when we were at the pool and we always came back to a nice cool room. There is a sitting area with a couch, small table and two chairs as well as patio furniture on the balcony. They have satellite tv (which we did watch due to rain) and they get a lot of tv stations and kids channels like the Disney channel. If you have kids you could even bring your own dvd player as the tvs can hook up to it if you wanted to bring movies for the kids. The closet space is decent, there are shelves in the closet that are large enough for a whole family's wardrobe and there are also three drawers in the dresser. The mini bar was stocked when we arrived but there was no alcohol in it. I'm not sure if there should have been as we didn't get any the whole time we were there but that was ok with us. We saw the guy that stocks the fridges and asked him for diet coke and beer and tipped him $5 US. He very happily stocked our fridge with more than we could have needed.
Pool- absolutely beautiful!! There are always activities at the one end of the pool, usually around 11am like aquafit, bingo, volleyball, etc. The activities people were very energetic and friendly. The pool was clean and well maintained. The pool bar was awesome and the bartenders were very friendly. They enjoyed joking and laughing with the guests. They also really appreciated tips as I guess a lot of people don't tip when you stay in an all inclusive but trust me you get rewarded. Any bartender we tipped would serve us before others when we were in line. A downside to the pool is that there are not enough pool chairs. Not even close. My fiance had to get up every morning at 7am to put our towels down on chairs to reserve them. No one took the towels or our spots.
Beach- the beach in front of the hotel is a bit rocky. You need to walk to the left of the hotel and there you will find a ton of chairs, shade, and nice sand. The water is very clear and my fiance even saw a manta ray. The beach is very very large and there is a bar at the very far end that we didn't go to. You can also get drinks from the snack bar which is closer to the hotel.
Activities/Tours- We only did the shopping tour in Ocho Rios. It was about an hour bus ride. They take you to a tourist shopping village that has about 30 tourist stores that all have pretty much the same stuff. The prices are ridiculous and you really need to haggle. I found it odd that the stores were all run by non Jamaicans. We picked u a few souvenirs but I still feel like we paid too much.
They have a dolphin cove tour that is very expensive. You can touch, kiss, and ride a dolphin for over $200.
They have tours for bobsledding in the trees, horseback riding, zip lining, cruises, a lot of Bob Marley tours where they tell you that you drive there and fly home due to the herbal influences on these tours. (We didn't partake).
Food- I am a pretty picky eater and the food was ok. We had a la cartes booked but didn't end up doing any of them as the menus were limited. The buffet was well stocked but very repetitive over the week. There was always stuff for kids, hot dogs, hamburgers, french fries at every meal. The fruit was not very good at all which surprised me. They have a pasta station that you pick you ingredients and have pasta made for you which was decent. They have a ton of different bread and rolls, a decent salad station, good tropical flavoured ice-cream, mediocre dessert selection. One note- every kind of meat has bones in it. Even the ones you wouldn't expect so be careful if you have little kids with you. They also have omelette stations every morning. They have themed dinners. On mexican night they had free shots of flavoured tequila. Sometimes you had to wait a bit for a clean table. The waiters were decent but getting refills on drinks took awhile. The water was very good. The house wines were not good at all, they served these at dinner. My fiance said the red was ok though.
Jerk chicken- the jerk chicken was amazing! You can only get it at the snack bar which is on the beach near the garden grill restaurant. You will see a sign that says jerk chicken and you need to go down a few steps where they have it on the beach. It was so good!!
They give you a ton of it!
Maintenance/Safe- when we first arrived our safe did not work. You have to pay for them but through Air Canada Vacations you get a free safe. You need to have your room key programmed to work the safe but it should be programmed for you if you have a free safe included in your package which we did but it did not work. We called to have it looked at and in less than 10 mins someone came up to fix it. We were very impressed and no further issues with it.
We also had a problem with our shower light leaking and the floor in the bathroom was leaking as well. We called for maintenance and they arrived the next day. They fixed the issues with no further problems.
Maid service- we brought a lot of little items for the maid like shampoos, kids toys, candies etc and left them for the maid when she cleaned our room. The maid made beautiful towel decorations on our bed and put some fresh flowers in the room. The rooms were always spotless. My only complaint- one day we left a $5 tip for the person who restocks the fridge in the fridge with a note asking for more coke, beer etc. and when we came back to the room after the maid had cleaned but before the bar guy came in I noticed the $5 in the fridge was gone. One could only assume the maid took the bar guys tip.
Air Canada- we booked our trip via Air Canada. The Air Canada packages seemed a bit more expensive but were well worth it. Firstly the planes seemed roomier and I didn't feel like I was packed like a sardine. They have tvs at every seat so you can pick your own movie, watch tv shows such as the Simpsons, Big Bang Theory, etc as well as listen to music. Be prepared to pay for snacks on the plane as there is no meal provided. You can only pay with credit card.
Air Canada Reps- we had two air canada reps and we attended a meeting the day after we arrived where they tell you about the tours and sell tours but also provide useful information about the hotel. They tell you that they are there to help if you have any problems and that they are your liaison between you and the hotel management which is nice to know that you would have assistance if you had any problems. They were very friendly reps and were easy to find and always around.
Kids- we did not have any kids in our party but my sister and kids plan on visiting there so I took special note of kids activities. There is a kids club that pretty much looks like a daycare and is opened daily from about 9-5. There is a small playground for the kids too. They have a daily kids mini disco I think at 8:30pm. There were not a lot of kids there and there was not that much for kids to do but if your kids like the beach and pool they should be pretty happy. There also is a kids section of the pool with a wading pool.
Shows/entertainment- the nightly entertainment was pretty good. One night they had "jamaican talent night" that was very impressive, men played current pop songs from Rhianna and the Black Eyed Peas on steel drums while dancing. Amazing! And then they had like a dance off portion where the dancers showed off their skills. Very good! A bartender gets you drinks and these drinks are better than the ones from most bars.
Animals/insects- there are a few stay cats around the resort that did not bother guests, they just laid there in the sun. I did get a couple of mosquito bites and I would advise wearing repellant to avoid possible Dengue fever.
Overall the resort was very lovely. It is everything you would expect from a 4.5- 5 star. I really don't understand some poor reviews. I think when you travel you have to be appreciative of other peoples cultures and realize that not everything is as efficient as it would be in Canada/Us. I would recommend this resort to any couple, family, and young travellers as well!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, KIPPIN S.A Lussemburgo Cadempino Branch, Hotels.com, Orbitz, TravelUp, Travelocity, Priceline, BookIt.com, Booking.com, Cancelon, Evoline ltd, Hotwire, Cheap Tickets, TripOnline SA, getaroom.com and HotelQuickly so you can book your Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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