“Aruba, JAMAICA, ooh I want to take you… ” Beach Boys anyone?! Kokomo by the Beach Boys was stuck in my head almost the entire time I was in Jamaica (and the Pina Colada song, but that’s another story). I am beyond grateful to have been able to go on a trip to Jamaica last week with my family. I had not been on a vacation in years, and felt so blessed to be able to go on this trip with my aunt and cousins. Packing, going on a plane ride, and experiencing a new country was so exciting for me. Can someone ship me back to the beach?!
We stayed at the Grande Bahia Principe in Salt Coopers, Runaway Bay, Jamaica. Our flight landed at the nearest airport which was in Montego Bay. A bus (courtesy of the resort) picked us up from the airport and took us to the Grande Bahia Principe. The drive took almost two hours, but getting to see the beautiful island made the drive go by so quickly! The drive was hilly and I was surprised to find out they drive on the opposite side of the road than in the US.
The resort has a beautiful open lobby area with white columns and a subtle tropical theme. I loved the open floor plan. The back of the lobby leads into an outdoor patio area with a bar, lounging areas, and stage for live music. This patio overlooked the pool and featured a beautiful split staircase leading to the lower level of the resort.
Our hotel room was absolutely gorgeous! The room featured a small sitting area with a desk and daybed that was built into the wall. The room also had a large restroom with a Jacuzzi style bathtub and separate shower. My favorite part of the room was by far the balcony! We had a corner room so our balcony was larger than most of the other rooms. The view of the ocean was unbelievable!!
The resort featured two main buffet-style dining areas. These buffets provided a wide variety of food options for even the pickiest of eaters. Although the quality of the food could be improved, some options were really good and I enjoyed the dessert bar. The jerk pork was my personal favorite! The resort also had a few restaurants (French, Italian, Japanese, and a steakhouse) as dining options. We only had a chance to eat at the steakhouse and I was bit underwhelmed. Still not bad though! I would also like to note that all dining options were included in the resort package. Alcohol was also included (unlimited drinks at the bars!!). One of my favorite things about this resort was that it had bars on the beach, meaning I could order beach-side pina coldas!! Sometimes staff members would bring you drinks from the bar straight to your spot on the beach! It was amazing.
One of the outdoor buffets (it is hard to see from the picture but this dining area was beachfront)
The private beaches on the resort were so beautiful! The water was turquoise and crystal clear. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves!
The Luminous Lagoon
Since we were only in Jamaica for five days, we spent most of our time enjoying the beach and the resort. However, we were able to book an excursion to the Luminous Lagoon in Falmouth. The lagoon is home to millions of dinoflagellates (microscopic organisms). These organisms cause the water to glisten and glow when disturbed. The boat tour took off at night since this is the best time to see the water glow. The movement of the boat caused ripples of neon blue water. The boat stopped at a certain point and allowed those who wanted to get off the boat and swim in the water. It was so fun to move around and watch the water glow. It was also amazing to take your hands out of the water and see your hands sparkle! It was such a magical experience. I highly recommend booking this excursion if you are planning a trip to Jamaica.
The lagoon at sunset
We were moving our feet and hands in the water to create the glow you see in this picture!
- Large pool with a swim up bar
- Plenty of shops and activities on the resort ( a spa, live music, shows, kids entertainment, bars, a nightclub and a karaoke bar)
- Private beaches
- On-site buffets, restaurants, and alcohol included in the resort package
- Beautiful private beaches
- Aesthetically pleasing architecture (loved all of the white columns) with a luxury feel
- Can book excursions from the resort
- Free WiFi is only available in the general areas of the resort. You must purchase a WiFi plan to get WiFi in the hotel rooms.
- You must make reservations at least a day in advance to dine in the non-buffet style restaurants on the resort.
- The dining areas, pools, bars, etc. can get crowded. This is a large resort and crowds can be unavoidable
- The pool closes at 7! I found this strange as I can picture guests at a resort partying and drinking at the pool during late hours. Maybe that’s just me and people don”t like spending their nights at the pool haha!
- Needs a few more easy access bars
- Although the resort provides plenty of food options, the quality of the food is not the best
Overall, I really enjoyed my time spent at this resort. Jamaica is a beautiful island with amazing beaches and great culture. I wish the trip would have been longer so we could explore more of the wonders of Jamaica outside of the resort. Has anyone been to Jamaica?!
I also wanted to give a special thanks to the fabulous Bea from beafree.com for interviewing me as part of her Get to Know series. If you are interested in reading the interview you can check it out here
Have a wonderful weekend!