This review without a doubt highlights one of Jamaica’s best hotel treasures. A massive, 4.5 star, picturesque resort with quality service and friendly staff all within a luxurious setting.
If you haven’t guessed as yet, I’ll be diving into the Luxury Bahia Principe. It is an alluring resort located in one of the most scenic areas of Jamaica; Runaway Bay. I’ll cover everything from my journey there to the check in, food, facilities and the room.
Now this is an adults-only resort adjoined to the more general kids and family hotel; the Grand Bahia Principe. Having secured a good deal on the resort from the hotel website I decided to give it a shot and share a detailed review of my experience.
It is my hope that this feedback will inspire you to explore Jamaica and hopefully put it on your bucket list as a must-visit destination.
The Journey to Luxury Bahia Principe
Journeying to this destination depends on how you arrived on the island. For those holiday seekers that arrive from the west you’re looking at roughly an hours’ drive as you travel from Montego Bay to Runaway Bay.
On the other hand, if you land at the Norman Manley International Airport located in the capital city of Kingston then you have a 2-hour drive before your eyes greet the Luxury Bahia Principe hotel.
There are a ton of tour services and buses which provide transportation to and from the resort. You can easily get a private charter or rent a car yourself at the airport.
As a Jamaican local, I didn’t go for a tour bus service as I’m quite acquainted with transportation on the island. It’s not too difficult for me to strike up a conversation and negotiate a deal with a local cab driver.
I just hit them with the Jamaican accent and the rest is history.
Review of the Luxury Bahia Principe
Before my arrival at the Luxury Bahia Principe, I had spent lots of time researching my choice of resort. I was well aware of the experiences (both positive and negative) that people had faced and had fully expected to encounter my own.
I was surely not disappointed though. Here’s a full breakdown:
We arrived at around 2:45 PM local time roughly 15 minutes before we were scheduled to be there (Check-In at Grand Bahia and Luxury Bahia is at 3 PM).
The first thing I can remember is the amazing and friendly smile of the front desk receptionist. Our reservation was checked, and we were told our suite was ready and waiting on us (the excitement begins!).
We filled out the check-in form, got handed our registration package, and that was it. Overall the process took less than 5 minutes which was awesome to see.
On that particular day, the Ambassador for the hotel (Mr. Angel) was also within the lobby area and offered to personally escort us to our room (that made me feel like royalty!). He took our bags, struck up a conversation and made us feel happy to be there.
It was a fantastic start to an amazing weekend ahead.
The room is everything you could ever want and more. It was huge, spacious and clean. Now admittedly this is the first suite I ever stayed in, but it lived up to my expectations.
If you happen to get a room like this, you can expect a huge bed with comfortable pillows for a well-relaxed sleep. There’s also more than enough furniture throughout the room to ensure your added comfort.
Other standout features of the room included:
- A Flat Screen TV
- Work Table
- Refrigerator/Minibar (with candy, soda, water and 2 Red Stripe Beers – A Jamaican classic).
Can You say Yea Mon?
The Bathroom – Crafted for Kings and Queens
I had to carve out a section specifically to talk about the bathroom. It was that great.
It’s one of those you see in magazines and admire. It was modern, spacious and immaculate. I found the two sinks in the bathroom to be a very nice touch (especially since me and my companion often fuss over the use of it when there is only one – lol).
As far as towels go, there was never any shortage. In fact, room service was sure to replace the unclean ones on a daily basis. They did the same with the self-care products on the counter. There was a mini shaving kit, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, a mini soap bar and a liquid bath soap for the Jacuzzi.
That’s right. Neatly tucked away in the corner was a Jacuzzi which comfortably accommodated two of us.
It became the highlight of each day as we pretty much looked forward to soaking an hour or two in it before dinner each night giving the jets full permission to caress our bodies.
Restaurants on Property
There are quite a few restaurant options available to you. From buffets to specialty la carte restaurants there is something for everyone.
On the luxury side closest to the pool you’ll find a restaurant called Las Olas. This restaurant often saw us for our lunch meals while the Jazmin (located on the Grand Bahia side saw us for most of our lunches and dinners).
Eating buffet style every day can get a bit tiring and so you’ll find that the reservation only restaurants offer a nice change of dining. One of the unique things about being on the Luxury side of the resort is that you get access to the Grand side as well. So you have the ability to freely roam and check out the food available on both properties.
The specialty restaurants (reserved by reservation only) can be hard to get into – or at least that’s what we were told. Luckily, I was able to come up with a genius solution to getting into them.
Simply put, I showed up during dinner time and asked if there were any cancellations for the evening. There will almost always be a few. Taking advantage of this and asking the hostess to fit you in is a nice way to secure a seat.
Now to be fair, I didn’t explore all the entertainment options that were available. On the few evenings, we took a stroll we chanced upon a live band which was playing some beautiful Jamaica classics.
Apparently, there’s an entertainment team which takes charge during the day and night to ensure guests have a unique and enjoyable time.
While I didn’t get to experience all this myself, I did speak with a few persons who said the entertainment they experienced was fantastic.
Pros of the Luxury Bahia Principe
- Fast and smooth check-In
- Welcome drink which offered a nice touch
- Well maintained and beautifully landscaped property
- Huge spacious room
- In-room Jacuzzi
- Turn down service at nights
- Beautiful and large swimming pools (perhaps one of the largest you’ll ever find in the Caribbean)
- Wide variety of food from the Buffets and Specialty Restaurants
Cons of the Luxury Bahia Principe
- Friendly staff can be a hit and miss
- Making restaurant reservations can be a challenge (use my suggestion above!)
- Mosquitos can be a problem at night (be sure to walk with some repellant!)
Overall, our experience at this resort was fantastic. We loved the hospitality, the good food, and overall good vibes. Would I recommend it? Most definitely! If you’re hesitant or have some more specific questions about my experience feel free to reach out and let me know, I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.
When you do end up coming here, send me a few snaps. I’d love to hear from you!