Bahia Principe Jamaica: My Family Will NOT Return

HOTEL GUESTS - In Jamaica for a family wedding, Mom, Dad, grandparents, and three year old, in two rooms (one with king bed, rollaway bed, desk; second room with king beds and desk) for seven nights.

HOTEL DESCRIPTION - Huge hotel opened in January 2007 with 518 king, 418 double and 64 suites. It's a relatively new hotel and it shows (in a bad way).

DOWNSIDES – Just so you know…We're starting with the downsides because there are so many:

  • The hotel bills itself as a five-star property. It is NOT.
  • Some rooms and common spaces are showing signs of wear and tear and/or poor construction (mold, rust, holes, flaking/bubbling paint)
  • Rocky beach (fake sand covers what appears to be concrete)
  • Lame kids club (peeling paint, worn toys and games, the staff members were nice though)
  • No connecting rooms for us
  • Faded bedspreads (no duvet covers)
  • Mediocre and occasionally terrible food at the onsite à la carte restaurants
  • Very little Jamaican food (only Wednesday dinner at the buffet offers local food) at the onsite restaurants
  • Long waits, limited menu and/or no room service depending on day and time we called room service
  • NO Red Stripe beer in the complimentary in-room mini-bar
  • Only cheap Spanish beers, and terrible red and white house wines offered during dinner (my husband wants me to mention this)
  • NO food available poolside, only a bar, which turned out to be a downside when adult guests drank too much and engaged in heavy petting and other adult activities
  • Bikini contests and other adult-oriented poolside activities
  • People smoking everywhere, especially at the entrances to the restaurants
  • Six dollars a day for the safe (that really got my goat)
  • NO late check-out appears to be available (no matter how empty the hotel is; I had to beg to get them to let me check out 30 minutes late)
UPSIDES – We liked these property features and amenities…
  • Magnificent grounds, beautiful landscaping with native shrubs, flowers, palm trees, etc., and a lone rooster which the kids loved
  • “Junior suites” room size (really just large rooms with sitting area)
  • Large balconies with table/chairs for two (kids can play board games on balcony)
  • Large pool area (actually four “contiguous” pools (separated by walls)
  • Two separate kiddie pools
  • Lifeguards and plenty of hotel staff poolside
  • All-inclusive (sort of)
INSIDER TIPS – For you to use, if you're brave enough to stay at this hotel
  • Don’t bother with Golden Club unless it’s free upgrade. It was only helpful in booking the awful meals at the a la carte restaurants, use of the computers with Internet access in the Gloden Club room, unlimited towels poolside.
  • Insist on a rollaway bed, if you need an extra bed (the sitting area has built-in seating with a hard two-inch cushion that the hotel claims you can use as a bed…not!)

1 comment:

cupcake queen said...

Is this really a new (2007) hotel? The name sounds very familiar from when I went to Sandals Dunns River about a decade ago.