Jamaica Me Happy: Grand Bahia Principe, Jamaica
My significant other, Nathan, and I should win some sort of award for last minute vacations. We booked this trip a week before we went but there’s something exciting about whisking yourself away to a tropical destination. I have been to many beaches and all-inclusive resorts. The Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica is definitely in my top three!
Culture (Yaa mon!)
I think something beach-goers really miss by staying at all-inclusive resorts is the culture. You’re confined to your dreamy bubble and warned to never leave the resort so the only native people you interact with are the resort employees who are typically very professional. Jamaica, however, is oozing with culture. The people love their history and are not shy to tell you about their lifestyle. It made for an authentic experience. Just be warned, you will be asked to buy drugs *a lot* so just politely say no thank you. You don’t have to be rude, they get it.
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica had a lot to keep us occupied. Not to mention, the view! From what I could tell, every single room had an ocean view. It was absolutely gorgeous! The rooms were very clean and lovely. The pool was gigantic with multiple bars around and a swim up bar. They constantly had games and contests every single day by the pool as well. At night you could venture down to the water to watch a variety of entertainment. The shows were a lot of fun and weren’t cheesy like some of the other resorts at which I’ve stayed. The dance club was alright–a lot of people just kind of standing around but I’ve been to worse. Just make sure you don’t forget anything at home…you’ll be paying at the shops. Sunscreen was $24 for a normal sized bottle.
The buffet food was just okay, but do make sure you try Jamaican Jerk! You’ll also want to make sure you make dinner reservations the very first night you arrive as they book up quickly! I’d recommend the Japanese restaurant. There was also a guy who floated in on a raft (a literal raft, like made out of sticks with a pirate flag) and sold grilled seafood on the water. I’m not a huge seafood person but nevertheless, it was very cool to see. If you want to be as Basic as possible (like me) you’ll be wanting a coconut–at least for a photo op. When you see a groundskeeper, just ask and hand him a couple bucks! He’ll cut one down and either open it for you or cut a small hole in the top. I took mine to a bartender and he mixed my coconut milk with coconut rum. Speaking of drinks, make sure you try a Jamaica Me Happy and a Bob Marley!
The beach is where I spent most of my time. It was an inlet area and the water was perfect–warm, shallow, clear blue, and you could see fish swimming all around. The white sand beaches were clean and there were plenty of chairs both in the sun and shade. If you’re wanting waves or deeper water, you’ll have to book an excursion which you can do at the resort.
The staff at Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica was superb. Everyone was friendly and wanted to help in any possible way. If you’re looking for a little extra attention, remember to tip! While it’s not required, you will get waited on quickly when you tip. I loved the little words of wisdom and character that the staff showed. Our one waiter told us to Fulljoy: you don’t want to en the joy. Another groundsman corrected me when I asked where my other half was, he said, “he is not your other half because you are whole on your own.” And of course, Yaamon! Those little moments are what makes a trip memorable.
We stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica for four nights (we definitely needed one more day) in March 2017 (also, March is very windy). Our all-inclusive total was $908/person. This included flight, hotel, food, drinks, activities, taxes, and bus transfers to the hotel and back. EVERYTHING. I literally took a $20 bill with me and I came back with $6 because I tipped some guys to get me coconuts. Nathan also took about $50 and spent it on tipping bartenders. To me, it is SO worth spending a couple hundred bucks more to stay at a good quality resort with a beautiful beach. We’ve gone the cheapest resort track and it showed. The Grand Bahia Principe is 100% worth it! Try Apple Vacations to book today!
Let me know in the comments what you loved or didn’t about Jamaica! Happy Travels!