It has been one of the worst winters for me, so the thought of a few days of warmth and sunshine were so welcome.  I don’t usually get to travel in the middle of winter, but this year was an exception as I got to spend 4 days in beautiful Jamaica.

I stayed in two different resorts and they were both lovely in different ways, but you’ll notice I definitely had my favorite.  I traveled with my friend Maura who had never stayed at an all-inclusive resort so it was also interesting to get her perspective.

We arrived in to the MBJ airport and I utilized the Meet and  Greet service which expedites the immigration and customs lines and process.  Our greeter told me that it wasn’t too busy right when we arrived, but sometimes the wait is over an hour, so we appreciated the service.

We arrived at the Gran Bahia Principe about 1PM and our check in was a little disorganized.  First, we were booked in the adults only section called the Luxury Don Pablo Collection.  But at the front desk, they said we needed  to be escorted to that side of the resort, which was down a hall and through an empty theater to another hallway.  It seemed a little odd.  They checked us in, but we were told our room was not yet ready, but we got our wrist bands and were told where we could enjoy our lunch.  We waited until nearly 4:15 before we got our room keys and were escorted to our room.

The rooms were very nice, we had a gardenview, but we were on the 6th floor had a partial ocean view.  The room had two double four poster beds, a table and chairs, and built in seating area and also a balcony with more chairs and a table.  The bathroom had a shallow and small jetted tub, glass enclosed shower, and double vanity.  It was a bathroom with a door that closed for more privacy.

In the Don Pablo collection, we got a bottle of rum (our choice) and the minibar was restocked daily.   Ice however was a problem.  We couldn’t get it ourselves, had to call our butler and one time he promptly returned with our ice, but the next day, he never showed up at all!

The dining was varied at this resort, and at check in, we were told that they had already made our dining reservations for us.  We didn’t have a choice of time or which restaurant, but we were happy with our selections.  We had buffet dining for breakfast and lunch including some great jerk chicken and then had Steakhouse one night, and the Italian for the next night.

The pools were beautiful and well maintained, but sadly there was no view of the ocean from the pools.  The adults section had lots of canopies, so we had enough shade, and the bar staff was very friendly and helpful and gave us service right at our chairs most of the day.

I spent the last night at the Riu Palace Jamaica and it was everything the Luxury Gran Bahia Don Pablo connection was not.  It had great oceanviews from the pool, a spectacular beach, hammocks, bali beds, and the food was top notch.  Really excellent experience.  They did our check in right, we loved the room (very modern) but a warning that the bathroom is open to the room.

This was a much smaller resort and guests at this adults only do have access to the Riu Montego Bay next door.  There were planes flying over head about every 10-15 minutes, but didn’t bother us at all.

I would go back to Jamaica again in a heartbeat!  What a beautiful country, and such wonderful and friendly people.  We loved our time at the beach, relaxing at the pools and I even spent one afternoon enjoying the Spa.  There is no better way in my opinion to wash away those winter blues.

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Director of Sales and Marketing at Travel Leaders (Maple Grove Office)
I specialize in travel to: Europe, Islands of Hawaii, River Cruising, South America (Peru, Galapagos, etc), and Spa Vacations. Learn more about me and view my contact information►

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