Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
One of our more popular all inclusive resorts in Jamaica, the Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica is a good choice for couples, singles and families looking for a high quality all inclusive resort. The junior suites are ample in size and the large free form pool is impressive. The beach here is semi man made which may be a turn off for some, but otherwise this is a great all inclusive resort in Jamaica.
We visited in January of last year and absolutely loved it. Great staff, food and grounds. Beautiful beach and Pool. Loved the Jerk Chicken served at the beach restaurant. Always fun activities for the kids to do.(which is always a bonus) We would definitely recommend this hotel.
First of all you have to know that there are 2 sections, joined in the middle. The Grand Bahia is family friendly and the recipient of all the poor reviews.The Luxury side is adult only, and very much better in most ways.I am mostly reviewing the Luxury side as that is where we stayed.First the good; rooms are beautifully appointed with marble floors, good quality furniture, all in lovely ivory tones. The grounds are truly beautiful and the gardeners do a wonderful job with upkeep, The pools are lovely, and although they are cool if you happen to be there when there hasn't been any sun, they warm up very fast.The entire place is squeaky clean.98 percent of the staff are charming and helpful; there will always be the odd sock who is not.There was never any shortage of pool towels on the Luxury side, no power cuts and no problems with the elevators. As in any large hotel, there is competition for the shaded seats by the pool, so be up early. There are plenty of sun beds but not enough shade.The lobby bar was stocked with premium brands and staffed very well; it is always a busy place int he evening, but the waitresses do serve the tables around the lobby very well. Behind the bar, Raymond is fantastic; warm, friendly, fun, and makes really good drinks. But then, everyone behind the bar is very good too.One of the best things; there are no salesmen on the beach to bother you day in and day out - real bonus for Jamaica. And the security guards work hard to keep it that way.Now the not so good; the in-room bar is a joke. You get 2 beers a day (IF you have drunk the ones that were there before!), 2 waters and some pop. You may or may not get a snack, and you may or may not get fridge service every day.Likewise the room service menu; not very interesting, sandwiches, salads and a pizza. I am comparing with truly 5 star properties such as Couples and even Sandals, and the Excellence Playa Mujeres, where your room is stocked with premium liquor and a bottle of wine if you would like. And there is a full service choice available from room service.We did not get turn down service 4 nights out of our 10, and fridge service about the same, and no, we did not have the "do not disturb" sign out.There were 2 main disappointments. The first is the food. It is unbelievably bland and lacking in seasoning; no herbs or spices, so unusual for jamaica, so I suspect the chefs are Cuban or Spanish. There is a very large selection at the buffet, so you will always find something edible. There is a stirfry station and a pasta station and usually a roast or fish; best bet is the Jamaican corner, which is very small but the food does at least have some flavour. The salad bad is good.The theme nights are really funny; it is exactly the same food as every other night, no matter which country is the theme. On Canadian night I circled the entire buffet and did not find one single thing that could be vaguely considered Canadian. With our salmon from BC, seafood from the Maritimes and all the delicious food from Quebec, Alberta beef - surely there could have been something? Likewise Italian, Mexican, Jamaican - you get the picture. The only good night was the Gala dinner, don't miss that; lobster and been which was very good indeed. And don't miss out on the special coffee that is served from a travelling cart.I should mention that the breakfasts are probably the best thing there.The beach cafe (Las Olas) serves the same jerk chicken and pork off the barbecue every day for lunch, with a smaller buffet with the same choices and problems with bland flavours. mind you, the mac and cheese is really good!If you are staying at the Luxury side, do not, repeat not, book a la carte dinners in the Grand Bahia side. Those restaurants are terrible.We went to the japanese, expecting tranquil, serene environment and Japanese food, but no. The place was incredibly loud, with one waiter leading a table of 12 in karaoke, lots of noise from the "cooking show" areas. The shrimp tempura is coated with a cornflake mix; the chicken "teriyaki" is just drowned with bottled soy sauce. There was no hint of Japanese anything. The chef special was steak with mashed potatoes. Enough said.Then we tried the "French" Don Pablo Gourmet. Don't. It is as far from being French as it is possible to be, and I have been to France a lot.The menu is impressive, and we happily ordered our favourites. What a joke. The soupe a l'oignon arrived first; a big soup plate with about a tablespoon of cooked sliced onion (not caramelised) dumped in it with 2 small slices of bread topped with possibly gruyere. Then a weak, totally unflavoured lukewarm broth gets poured over those. This is not onion soup! The chateaubriand arrived medium to rare, not medium well as ordered. It was decent beef, but again, no hint of seasoning of any kind. And the plating - well. 2 quenelles of white mashed potato, one floret of white cauliflower. On a white plate. I had ordered bearnaise sauce - it might have been close to a hollandaise, but there was no tarragon at all. My husband said the pepper sauce was not too bad, but certainly not good.I switched from white to red wine for the steak, and the red was poured into the same glass I had used for the white. This was supposed to be the gourmet restaurant!We did have a better experience at the Asian reserved for Luxury guests. Lovely, tranquil atmosphere, soft oriental music. You serve yourself starters from a buffet which featured 3 oriental soups, various sushi, salads and spring rolls, very nice.The mains were not quite as good, but were cooked fresh to order at least, and the teriyaki did bear some resemblance to the real thing.The second disappointment is in no way the fault of the hotel. We are used to Negril, with the lovely white sand beaches and clear turqouise water. There are neither of those things here. There is a very small man made beach, a small lagoon not deep enough to swim in and with rocky surface. There is a way to walk in avoiding the rocks if you look carefully, and there are lots of little fish near the outer rocks. So if you prefer pools to beach, you'll be fine.Tips for guests: stay and eat in the Luxury side. Bring good walking shoes, it is a very big property. If you do find your elevator not working, there are lots of others if you walk a little. If you are in the Luxury side, the wifi is free, so is your in-room safe.Tipping; I asked a manager. It is not necessary to tip, but it is certainly appreciated. One dollar is fine, two is good and 5 outstanding. But be discreet.Don't miss the synchronised swimming show - amazing and as far from the Olympic style as you could get, set to great funky music. Very original.Tips for the hotel management:Send managers to Couples or sandals to see what a real 5 star is about.Get some of the excellent Caribbean chefs working in your restaurants; and get chefs from the countries you try and represent for your theme nights. For heavens sake get some herbs and spices going!For the French restaurant - please get a good French Canadian or French Chef!Improve your room service menu. Please. And make the in room bar a real bar!And now for the stars of our visit.Deandra in Jazmin buffet runs an efficient and charming service. You will be very well looked after by Deandra and her team.Joseph in Jazmin at breakfast is amazing, with his infectious smile and cheerful nature.I have already mentioned Raymond int he lobby bar, but he's worth a 2nd shout-out.Petagay in Las Olas works so hard all the time and is very charming.The real treasure was Shaniel in the Takara Asian. She gets it exactly right. Efficient service, really charming personality without getting too chatty.A thumbs down to the photographer that hangs out at the pool and beach; if you don't want to be bothered and say "no thank you" he will still stay and talk at you for up to half an hour, and you are a captive audience on your sunbed! We had to leave to get away from him as he just doesn't get the hint when you say "no thank you, but have a nice day" We did do a walking tour of the grounds of the Grand Bahia side; the water park looks like a great spot for the kids, they were having a ball, and having fun playing on the man made beach there too. The beach parties with bonfire are awesome.Didn't see the inside so cannot comment.I think it is probably this side where the mosquitoes could be a problem as it is older and there is a lot more surrounding vegetation.
Our reservations entitled us to enjoy the upgraded services which included VIP checkin, room service, discounts on spa services and concierge services. So our check-in process was personalized and that started off our stay in the right direction. The view from our room was just breathtaking, we were able to see both the pool and the ocean but high enough so it wouldn't be loud. Our only gripe is the bathroom needs upgrading...desperately but sure not worth complaining about that much.The service we received was outstanding from almost every staff member there. Guests usually had a smile on their face even then they were checking out! A must to-do for your list is the spa! Make sure and do the relaxation cycle. So worth it! Also enjoyed the disco and the live entertainment in the village. We loved the village because we were able to do all our souvenir shopping without leaving the resort. You can choose to either stay on the quiet side of the pool or be in the heart of all the jammin'. The beach is always relaxing and don't forget to try the many restaurants including the Pises where you can eat with the best view of the beach and then have a quiet dinner at the Garden Grill or Don Pablo! Walk through the garden at night and just enjoy the quiet. That alone is worth it!
We stayed in block 18 on the 3rd floor looking straight out to the ocean! Awesome view. It was a great location close to the beaches, and just a short walk to the buffet hall and restaurants. The grounds keepers, and maintenance staff keep the place looking great. Our house keeper (Nardalee) has a great personality and did her job in a pleasant professional manner. We snorkeled a few times and the beaches are well maintained and the water was beautiful. There are several beach locations with lounge chairs to relax on...some areas crowded....some not. Then there is also a large winding pool with plenty of room as well and lots of games organized by energetic staff. We went to 3 a la Carte restaurants...Mikado, Garden Grill, and Don Pablo. All had great food and great service. The Show performed by the Mikado Chef was of particular interest and fun and he cooked the meal in front of 14 guests...awesome! We were treated very good by well trained and engaged staff. Some notable people were Japeath our porter who wheeled our bags to the room...we had a great conversation with him and he impressed us with his quiet professional manner in performing his duties. Overall we had a great stay at this resort and would definitely recommend this resort to others.
Things I liked:- pool is beautiful and large- beach is great- soft sand and calm water- the strawberry daiquiris are the best I've had- most service people were friendly and some of them went out of their way to get us what we wanted- resort is clean- designated smoking areas so you aren't subjected to it everywhere- I'm an animal lover so I enjoyed the fact the stray cats were really friendly- when we requested anything for our room they were VERY quick to respond- lots of entertainment during the day, especially for kidsThings I didn't like:- always pushy time share people bugging me on the way to breakfast- when my friend and I checked in we got one bed! When we requested a room with two beds and they said no because they were fully booked. After 20 minutes of complaining they magically had a room with two beds. Hmmmm...- service can sometimes be extremely slow. I don't mind a laid back life style, but when I don't have water and cutlery for 15-20 minutes I get upset. Sometimes it was quicker just to bring drinks from the bar- they run out of A LOT of things- Diet Coke, plates and bowls at the buffet, popular foods like French fries and even rum!- the resort is very large but that is just a personal preference Overall I wouldn't say this resort is horrible, just don't expect 5 star quality when you go. We got a really good deal for an 8 day vacation!
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily
- 3 a la carte dinners per week
- 24 hr food and beverage service
- All drinks (Domestic and selected International brands, House Wine)
- Introductory scuba diving lesson
- Tennis (1 hr per stay)
- Daily activities
- 834 rooms
- 1 buffet restaurant
- 4 a la carte restaurants (Gourmet, Japanese, Italian, Steak House)
- 6 bars including Beach bar, Swim-up bar,
- 4 outdoor pools
- Shopping plaza
- Fitness facilities
- Scuba diving on-site (fee)
- Motorized water sports (fee)
- WiFi (fee)
All rooms are Junior Suites and include:
- 1 king or 2 twin beds
- Ceiling fan
- Satellite TV
- In-room safe (fee)
- Balcony or Terrace
- Bathroom with shower
- Mini-bar (fee)
- Living area with sofa
- Max occ 4, up to 3 adults
Kids Deal - First child 12 and under stays and eats free when sharing a room with 2 adults.
For the Kids - Kids 4 to 12 enjoy supervised activities daily at the Kid's club, babysitting service (fee), and Kid's section of main pool.
Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.
Weddings - Wedding packages are available. Please inquire for details.
Resort Location Map
Grand Bahia Principe JamaicaRunaway Bay,Jamaica
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
Salt Coopers, Runaway Bay Jamaica
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.
Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.
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