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The Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica

June 20, 2009
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At the beginning of May, theHusband and I went to Jamaica, to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, and me graduating! 😀

We stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe, in Runaway Bay, Jamaica… we had a wonderful time! Here was my review:

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We had a wonderful time at the Gran Bahia Principe. We went for a relaxing vacation, to sit and relax by the pool – and this resort was perfect.

TRANSPORT: We booked with Jamaica Tours Limited. Very easy to find at the airport. The only bad thing was that they wait to fill up a bus before leaving the airport – unfortunately we were one of the first on the bus, so we had to wait for about an hour to leave – my advice would be to buy some water/snacks before you get on the bus!

RECEPTION AT HOTEL: Super-easy check in. Delicious welcoming drink! Lobby area is beautiful. They give you two room keys – this is good because you need one to run the electricity in the room!. Book your dinner reservations early (when you get there or the next day)

RESTAURANTS: The main buffet (Orchidea) was wonderful. Lots of variety. Some of the food was not very good, but we could always find lots that we were pleased with. The a la cartes were ok. We went to Dolce Vita, The Grill and Mikado. Dolce Vita was not good flavorless food – skip it! The Grill was wonderful – the buffet there (appetizers) was amazing. Mikado was a fun experience. The beach grill has amazing jerk chicken – we were there often for lunch – my husband said it was the best chicken he ever had!

SERVICE: alright. The hotel/rooms were very clean, and our plates were always cleared away quickly at the restaurants. The bartenders were pretty good. However, the service at the a la cartes operated on Jamaica time – if you have a reservation for 6, don’t bother going until 6:30, they won’t be open. But, if you have a later reservation, make sure you show up on time, or they won’t seat you – even though the restaurant will be pretty much empty.

POOL: beautiful, and lots of chairs to sit on! We would just put our towels down on chairs before breakfast, and we’d get the super comfy chairs with a shade hut no problem!

BEACH: lame. Such a disapointment (even though I’d read the reviews – I didn’t think it could really be that bad. it was.) The beach in front of the hotel is a dusting of sand on top of concrete. There is a natural beach to the left of the hotel, but it seemed to us to be very far away from the rest of the resort – bars, restaurants and washrooms. It was also still not that nice – lots of debris!

ENTERTAINMENT: pretty non-noticeable. But we weren’t looking for a resort with an active nightlife, we just wanted to relax, so this wasn’t a big deal to us. If you do want a hotel with a lot of entertainment – this isn’t the hotel for you.

DRINKS: the pina colada’s were awesome! The liquor they serve is some off-brand from the Virgin Islands, and it wasn’t very good. They have Appleton rum though – you just have to ask for it!

ROOMS: Beautiful. Huge! Gorgeous, large balconies.

GYM: larger than expected – a few treadmills, ellipticals and bikes. Some weights.

HOTEL: Beautiful. Very well kept. This resort is huge!

OVERALL: We enjoyed our vacation. It was exactly what we wanted – relaxing. We were disapointed in the beach, and were sometimes frustrated with the service. We would definitely go back to Jamaica, or to another Gran Bahia, but probably not to this resort. Would definitely recommend, if you get a good deal!

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