Tuesday, 23 July 2013


I was lucky enough to be able to take a family vacation this year to the beautiful island of Jamaica which is a favourite vacation spot of mine.  We stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe just outside Ocho Rios.  I decided to start reviewing resorts that I get the opportunity to stay at because when I'm looking for somewhere to stay I find them very helpful.

This resort is massive!  I mean huge, just sprawling.  It's the first thing you notice when you initially pull up is the size and grandeur of the main hall, and huge sculpture...very impressive looking.  The resort is surrounded by a massive wrap around pool and has one of the longest strips of beach.  The sands were smooth and waters were clear of seaweed and rocks, you could walk barefoot easily.  The pool was very well attended, clean and the swim up bars were well kept and attentive.
The rooms were straight of of the 80's including a tube TV but they were cleaned regularly and housekeeping was never too far away.
I'm not sure how often they fumigate, but I did overhear a complaint from the ground floor.  I stayed on the 4th floor and luckily didn't see any creepy crawlies in my room during my stay.  I did see one about the size of my fist at night just outside the lobby area though.  So my suggestion is if you stay here, don't stay on the ground floor.

When you initially arrive you are greeted by smiling faces who immediately bring out a welcome cocktail and show you your way to the front desk.  This was probably the best service I received throughout my stay.  For the most part, the staff do not acknowledge you when you walk by with a glance or even hello and definitely do not act like they want to be there.   During my stay an older gentleman got stuck in an elevator...apparently he had been in there for some time before my party walked by.  Luckily I was with a couple strong guys who were able to pry the doors open.  When a member of staff finally did walk by and we told him what happened he shrugged and said "too bad I don't have a sign to put up".  That was pretty much the end of it, I'm not sure how hard it would have been to hand write a sign or how many more people if any got stuck before anything was done.  It's just sort of a nonchalant attitude that seems to resonate and when your on vacation the last thing you want to feel is that you are inconveniencing anyone.

The resort features 2 buffets, 2 snack bars and several a la carte restaurants.  I was able to visit two of the a la carte's while I was there.  "The Grille" was amazing, the quality was great and tasted delicious.
We also visited the Italian a la carte restaurant which was mediocre at it's best.  The two buffets vary depending on the night's theme.  The best was Jamaican night naturally,  everything was amazing.  Our favourite place to eat by far was the beach snack bar.  It was a beautiful patio right on the water.  They had a huge variety of food:  Burgers, hot dogs, salads, rice, stew chicken, festival, mash potato, pasta, seafood, and the highlight..jerk chicken cooked and chopped up fresh while you wait.  Everything was amazing.

Throughout the day the resort offers an array of daytime activities for you to enjoy.
Morning workouts, aqua size, poolside competitions and trivia for prizes, water volleyball, beach volleyball, dance-offs, etc.  Or you can choose to just lounge around the pool or beach.  The daytime activities end at about 5 around the time most people are ready to hit their rooms and clean up for dinner.  After that there is a "lull" in activities.  8 - 9 there is a show in the main court,  and then club doesn't open until around 12.  There was a sports bar that was open in between, it had 1 pool table and 3 slot machines...almost seemed like something someone threw together last minute, not much thought put into it.   So the daytime definitely felt more exciting then the nightlife.

So to sum it up, I had a great time in Jamaica as I always do.  It wasn't my favourite resort but I would recommend it for some.  Definitely for family vacations, if your bringing kids and will likely be in most nights anyways....Also it's huge so it's ideal if travelling with large groups as you can literally get "lost" when they get annoying lol.  It's worth it if you can catch it on sale, I'd say $900 or less.



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Hi, I'm Toni. A natural hair enthusiast, blogger and jewelry designer who enjoys experimenting with all things hair and beauty. I hope to share a bit along the way. :)