The Luxury Bahia Principe Resort is considered one of Jamaica’s best hotel treasures. It’s a massive 4.5-star, picturesque adults-only resort that promises top-quality service and friendly staff, all within a luxurious setting.
As you’ve probably guessed, I’ll be talking about my recent stay at this alluring resort, located in one of the most scenic areas of Jamaica; Runaway Bay. Let’s dive in.
What I liked
- Accommodation: Large and airy junior suites with neutral colours, clean and shiny floors, and dreamy bathrooms.
- Friendly staff: smiles and helping hands were easy to come by. Receiving a welcome drink was a nice touch. Nonetheless, while friendly service was a hit for the most part, there were a few misses.
- Food options: a wide variety of food choices between the buffets and specialty restaurants here and those at the neighboring Grand Bahia Principe property.
- Entertainment: an entertainment team takes charge during the day and night to ensure guests have a unique and enjoyable time. While I didn’t get to experience it all, I did speak with a few of the other guests, who said the overall entertainment package was fantastic.
- Grounds: beautifully landscaped and well maintained. Beach is extensive with clear waters.
Swimming pool: breathtaking beachfront swimming pools, which are among the largest you’ll find in the Caribbean.
- Activities: there are many activities available, from beach volleyball and golf to dance classes and scuba diving. I didn’t get a chance to explore all these but heard from other guests that had a whale of a time.
What I disliked
- Restaurant reservations: it was hard securing an available spot for restaurants. However, I came up with an ingenious plan to counteract the problem (explained further down).
- Mosquitoes: be sure to walk with some repellant, as the mosquitoes come out at night.
- Grand Staff: some staff on the grand side were not so friendly (Luxury guests have free roman of both sections).
In contrast to the neighboring Grand Bahia Principe, which is a kid and family-friendly hotel, the Luxury Bahia Principe caters strictly to adults. It is a well-reviewed 525 room property and regularly offers deals for anyone interested in visiting. For my visit, I secured a good deal from my favorite booking site.
Getting to the Luxury Bahia Principe
The journey to this beautiful spot depends on how you arrived on the island. For example, if you’re a holiday seeker coming from the western end of the island, you’re looking at roughly an hours’ drive, traveling 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.
Whatever the case, There are tons 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.
We arrived at approximately 2:45 pm local time, which was roughly 15 minutes before we were scheduled to check in (check-in for both Bahia Principe properties is at 3 pm).
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. Well, the first thing I remember about arriving was the amazing and friendly smile of the front desk receptionist. I started feeling relaxed right away as a result.
Our reservation was checked, and we were told our suite was ready and waiting for us before being asked to fill out the checking form and then handed our registration package. And that was it. The process took less than five minutes, which was excellent, and in no time, we were ready for the excitement to begin.
To top it off, we got personalized attention from the hotel’s Ambassador (Mr. Angel), who happened to be in the lobby at the time on that particular day. He offered to escort us to our room (which made me feel like royalty) and took our bags then struck up a conversation, which made us feel right at home. From that experience, I could tell that it would turn out to be a fantastic weekend.
To begin with, the room was impressive. It was the first junior suite of its kind that I stayed in, and it lived up to expectations. If you plan to visit the Luxury Bahia Principe, you can expect a huge, four-poster, canopy bed with comfortable pillows (I slept like a baby). The room also came with beautiful furniture pieces, including a sofa bed, nightstand, and work table with chair, as well as a flat-screen TV and a minibar, stocked with candy, soda, water and two Red Stripe Beers – a Jamaican classic. Can you say “yea mon?”
One of my favourite features of the suite was the bathroom, which I can only say is crafted for kings and queens. In fact, I had to carve out a section in this review just to talk about it. It’s one of those dreamy types you see in magazines and can’t help but to imagine yourself being there. There were two sinks, which was a nice touch (especially since me and my companion often fuss over the use of it when there is only one – lol).
There was never any shortage of towels; room service was sure to replace the unclean ones on a daily basis. They did the same with the self-care products, which included a mini shaving kit, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, a mini soap bar and liquid bath soap for the Jacuzzi.
That’s right. Neatly tucked away in the corner was a Jacuzzi tub, which comfortably accommodated the both of us. It became the main highlight of each day as we pretty much looked forward to soaking in it for an hour or two before dinner, giving the jets full permission to caress our bodies.
Restaurants and food
With five restaurants and four bars on the property, there is something for everyone. You can choose between buffet and a la carte dining, depending on the restaurants you want.
On the luxury side closest to the pool, you’ll find a restaurant called Las Olas. This restaurant often saw us for our breakfast meals while the Jazmin (located on the Grand Bahia side) saw us for most of our lunches and dinners.
One of the unique aspects of being on the Luxury side of the resort is that you get access to the Grand side as well. As a result, you can freely roam and check out the food available on both properties.
Eating buffet style every day can get a bit tiring, so you’ll find that the reservation-only restaurants offer a nice change of dining. Only one thing, getting reservations can be a bit ticklish. Yes, 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.
Admittedly, I didn’t get a chance to explore all the entertainment options that were available. However, when we did get a chance to take a stroll, we came across a live band playing some beautiful Jamaican classics.
I hope that this feedback will inspire you to explore Jamaica and hopefully put it on your bucket list as a must-visit destination. Overall, our experience at the Luxury Bahia Principe was good. 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 going to the Luxury Bahia Principe, send me a few snaps. I’d love to hear from you!