Saturday 28 May 2016

Luxury Bahia Principe, Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Sister Sarah and I spent the last week at the Luxury Bahia Principe, an adults only all-inclusive resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica (Saturday until today).

It is about an hour's bus ride from the Montego Bay airport and a half hour drive from Ocho Rios (you can catch a shuttle there and back from the hotel for $15US).  It is attached to the Grand Bahia Principe, which is not adults only.

The reception area
The lobby

It is a huge complex ... the Grand Bahia has 850 rooms and the Luxury Bahia has 525 rooms.  We could use all the facilities at both resorts.  At first it was a bit overwhelming but by the second day it was fine.

The Luxury Bahia is on the right

I was very happy with my room.

As a head's up, there are only five single two prong plugs in the room (one for the TV, lamp by the desk, alarm clock, coffee maker and one in the bathroom for the blow dryer).  My laptop needed a three prong plug and there was only one in the room, which is what the TV was plugged into.  So I had to unplug the kettle, pull the dresser away from the wall to access the three prong plug, move the TV across the dresser and plug it into the kettle plug, and then plug in my laptop.  So bring a power bar as they don't have them or adapters at the hotel (I asked).

There was WIFI throughout the resort and you can connect two of your devices for free.  It was fairly speedy.

The mini fridge was stocked daily with two big bottles of water, two cans of beer, four pop and a bag of chocolate covered peanuts.

The towels were inconsistent.  On my first day, I had three big bath towels, three face cloths, a bath mat and two hand towels.  On the second day, I had three big bath towels and three hand towels.  On the third day ... well, everyday it was a surprise.  I never did get face cloths again.

I asked for a wake-up call three days (as a back-up).  Two days it was five minutes early and the third day it was ten minutes late.

The bed was big and comfy!
There was also a safe in the closet
I love love loved this tub ... it was deep and had jets ...
I took a bath every evening

Here's the view from my balcony ...

Here's our pool area (I never hung out at the Grand Bahia's pool).  The pool bar closed at 5pm every day ... hard to believe it was a pool bar in an adults only hotel!!  You had to go to the lobby bar if wanted another drink, which was inconvenient considering we were in wet bathing suits.

Here's our private beach.  While it was nice, it was also very shallow (just above my knees).  It would have been more suitable to be the kiddies' beach!  A deeper beach (over my head) was about ten minutes away on the Grand Bahia side.  There was also a nude beach on that side, though I didn't check it out.  There were always locals in the water coming up to ask if we wanted to buy shells or drugs, or wanting to know if we could hook them up with a Canadian wife.  That was annoying so I stuck with the pool.

The sunsets were lovely but quick

There are six restaurants on the grounds, two were exclusive to us (they were buffet).  The hostess would greet you with hand sanitizer (I didn't notice them doing that at the non-Luxury Bahia restaurants).  We didn't get to try any of the à la carte restaurants because we couldn't get reservations.  I tried the first day but the woman who took care of it was away from her desk.  I tried the next day but there were none left so you have to be quick and/or lucky. The food in the buffets was okay, not great.  It was cold a lot of time.  There were pasta and stir fry stations if you wanted something hot and fresh.  The thing to go for was the jerk chicken as it was freshly made at lunchtime but went quickly ... it was delicious!  Althea in Jasmine (our big buffet restaurant) was especially nice and friendly.  There were burgers and hot dogs available at the beach buffet restaurant on the Grand Bahia side from 11pm to 7am.  They were cooked ahead of time (rather than freshly made) and were sitting in oil or water (so not great).  They were served the same at the buffet restaurants during the day/night.

The main entertainment was on the other side of the resort (on the Grand Bahia side).  Each night there was something different from 10pm to 11pm ... singers, dancers, steel drums, etc.

There was also shopping, a sports bar, karaoke bar and disco in that area.  We checked out the karaoke bar a couple times and it was fun.  The sports bar was a bit lame as I was expecting something similar to home ... it was small with a pool table, TVs and video machines.

There was entertainment in our lobby area nightly ... singers, karoake, dancing, etc.  Our lobby wasn't air-conditioned, though, so it was really really hot.  The lobby bar closed at 11pm every night ... hard to believe it's in an adults only hotel!!  If you wanted to continue to drink, you had to head to the karaoke bar or disco on the Grand Bahia side (about a ten minute walk).

The staff was friendly, especially in the Luxury Bahia side.  They would greet you by putting their right hand on their heart ("one love ... one heart").  There were security guards throughout the hotel.  Some of the life guards and maintenance guys were a bit on the creepy side (asking if we could hook them up with a Canadian wife, etc.).  The entertainment crew was fun, especially Kelisha.

As soon as we entered the Grand Bahia lobby from our side, we would be hassled by the "Privileged" staff to buy into their time share program.  It was annoying as it happened all the time.  I would either ignore them or abruptly but politely say I wasn't interested.

While I had a fun time and met some nice people, I wouldn't go back to this resort.

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