Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Review of Jamaica

A lot of you asked about Jamaica and our resort so I'm giving you my honest opinion!

I'll start with the airport... it was a major cluster fu**. A lot of planes landed around the same time so we waited probably 30 minutes to get through customs. By the time we went through customs our luggage had already come out and they had just thrown it all on the floor. Needless to say, with 2 black suitcases, it was kind of hard to find and I almost had a minor melt down thinking we didn't have our luggage! Once we got our luggage we made our way to wear all the shuttles were. We hadn't pre-booked transportation so we just had to find a shuttle company and had to pay $50 each for a round trip shuttle service. Some hotels had a welcoming room (Sandals and Couples were 2 that I saw) and they provided transportation for you. 

Our hotel was in Runaway Bay which was about an hour from Montego Bay, where the airport was, and about 30 minutes from Ocho Rios. There is not really anything in Runaway Bay. No restaurants, shopping or anything like that so you really can't leave the resort. We would love to go back to Jamaica, but we would try to stay in Montego Bay next time just to save on travel costs and time. Ocho Rios would be ok too just because you're in a city (and closer to Dunn's River Falls) but it's a long way from the airport. 


As far as our resort goes, I wouldn't stay there again even if it was in Montego Bay or Ocho Rios. The name of the resort was Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica. It's a chain similar to Sandals with locations in Spain, Riviera Maya, and the Dominican Republic. The room was great and we had an excellent view as you saw in our pictures, but we paid extra for an ocean view. The food was good for an all-inclusive although there was very little authentic Jamaican food. We only got to eat at 2 of the A la Carte restaurants due to us only being there 5 nights. If you stay a whole week, you get 3. So, the buffet is pretty much the only option for the other times. The drinks were strong at the pool bar - in fact the bartender that was there all week would even give you the rum bottle and let you pour what you wanted! My biggest complaint - no beach. The beach flat out stunk. It was rocky, the water wasn't clear, and there were no waves. I didn't go to Jamaica to sit by the pool. I can do that at home. There was also no pool or bar service. In fact there was no bar on the beach at all which was the reason we stayed at the beach for 20 minutes then made our way back to the pool :) 



We used Jamaica Tours for our excursion to Ocho Rios. It was called the Ocho Rios Highlights tour. Our tour guide was awesome and told us fun facts about Jamaica and made it fun. I would highly recommend them and this tour if you are staying in Runaway Bay. If you are staying in Ocho Rios, just do a tour to Dunn's River Falls. 



We used Juta Tours for our airport shuttle service. The driver was good, got us to the hotel in an hour and picked us up on time for our trip back to the airport on our last day. It was expensive, but cheaper than a cab.

I wrote a big long review on our hotel on trip advisor with more details about the hotel if you want more information. Or just email me and I'll tell you anything I can!

Hopefully this helps some of you who are thinking about planning a trip to Jamaica! I would highly recommend going there (especially with the Mexico safety being shady right now) but would not recommend our hotel unless you are on a budget. 

Enjoy!!



11 comments:

Stephanie said...

Uh that pool looks HEAVENLY right about now! :)

Heather said...

Our experience was pretty much the same! Except our wait in customs was about an hour!

Neely said...

Ive never been and I think I need rectify that!

Cajun Cowgirl said...

Not headed there soon but this is great info in case it appears in our future!

Sean Marie said...

Thanks for the honesty! I'll keep it in mind if I ever travel there!

Amber said...

I wanna gooooo!

Meghan said...

Bummer about the hotel, but honestly, the views look amazing! Welcome home!

tara said...

good to know!! hopefully we can go to jamaica sometime soon!

Michelle said...

Such a good review!!!!!

I'm sorry the hotel wasn't a bit better for y'all! Your pictures are gorgeous!!!

I'm glad you guys still had a good time and made it home safely :)

Meg O. said...

Glad to read your honest opinion. Sorry that the hotel wasn't as good as what you expected. Good to know that Montego Bay is probably the place to be!

Courtney@SDB said...

We stayed at Couples Swept Away in Negril, and although we had a 2 hour shuttle ride, we would def stay there again. :)

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