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Gran Bahia Principe vs. Riu Ocho Rios


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#1 dinzers

dinzers
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  • 45 posts

    Posted 30 April 2008 - 03:32 PM

    Hi there!
    I'm brand new to the BDW Jamaica Forum and desperately need help...
    My fiance and I are planning our wedding for May 2009 and we are having the hardest time trying to decide which resort to choose from. We've narrowed it down to 2:

    Gran Bahia Principe (Runaway Bay) OR Riu Ocho Rios

    PLLEEASE HELLLLPP!!!!!!!
    Josh & Denise
    May 2009

    #2 J&M

    J&M
    • Jr. Member
    • 173 posts

      Posted 30 April 2008 - 03:50 PM

      Hi

      Welcome to the forum:)
      You will find lots of info on here..We just got married at the Riu in April. The resort is really nice...I haven't been to the Gran Bahia Principe but a girl i work with has been to the Gran Bahia in Mexico and said that that hotel chain is great

      Happy planning

      #3 chicklet

      chicklet
      • Member
      • 718 posts

        Posted 30 April 2008 - 05:08 PM

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by dinzers
        Hi there!
        I'm brand new to the BDW Jamaica Forum and desperately need help...
        My fiance and I are planning our wedding for May 2009 and we are having the hardest time trying to decide which resort to choose from. We've narrowed it down to 2:

        Gran Bahia Principe (Runaway Bay) OR Riu Ocho Rios

        PLLEEASE HELLLLPP!!!!!!!
        Picking the resort is the stressful part I found. Do what the two of you want and don't let other people make your decisions..that's my advice :)
        Both hotels are very high quality hotels. I am not too sure on Gran Bahia but it looked nice when I was checking out the sites. ROR is a very large resort so if you have a lot of guests planning on attending it would be ideal (if you don't all want to be together). ROR also offers a free wedding package. If you are considering the wedding there, you should maybe look into wedding dates..they fill up very quickly.
        If I can help with any other info on ROR (i am getting married there in jan 09) let me know. I am always willing to help.
        Happy planning!

        #4 dinzers

        dinzers
        • Newbie
        • 45 posts

          Posted 30 April 2008 - 07:34 PM

          thanks so much for the help...i cant deny that im stressed. we want to finalize our destination by the end of next wk! i just hope i can find someone who has had their wedding there (Gran Bahia) before we make our final decision. I've looked high and low on the net for a wedding review and I cant seem to locate anybody that's been married at that particular resort. Let me know if you stumble upon someone. I NEED feedback!!! lol
          Josh & Denise
          May 2009

          #5 jmhein

          jmhein
          • Member
          • 665 posts

            Posted 30 April 2008 - 09:18 PM

            I do know of a bride on the canadianbride.com talkboards who got married there, her name was Mel I think... you could try there... I am not sure if she checks in too often. She had a beautiful wedding, her pictures were great and she said they had a wonderful time. I think the only comments that were negative were that the prices of the packages there add up very quickly.

            My in-laws went to that resort shortly after opening and they enjoyed it but they said the beach is man-made so it's a bit rocky and gravelly... but that was 2 years ago and I am sure they have made improvements!

            We were married at the Riu Ocho Rios and it was amazing, so I of course can recommend it! We did drive by the Gran Bahia though and it does look stunning as well, all brand new and sparkling white!
            ------------------------------------------------MARRIED at the Riu Ocho Rios - Feb 12, 2008 - Best day of our lives!Honeymooned at Sandals Whitehouse European Village - Feb 16-23


            My Riu Ocho Rios Wedding Review with Pics

            #6 jamaica08

            jamaica08
            • Newbie
            • 34 posts

              Posted 01 May 2008 - 12:55 AM

              Actually, we looked at GBPJ and were very close to choosing it. The resort looks beautiful and their gazebo off the beach for the weddings - totally perfect.

              The problems that we had with it was that it was still fairly new so alot of the travel reviews I read said that their was still some construction going on. That was at the beginning of the year so by the time you get married, maybe things will settle down. One TA also said that it was super huge, and although ROR is pretty big, I hear that you definately need to use the shuttle carts to get around. Oh ya, and they have a service charge on using the in-room safe!!! What?!?! I know... That bothered me but I guess if you get the golden package (I think that's what it's called) - the safe is included.

              Our big concern with the Gran Bahia was the wedding costs - I think they have a single wedding package that starts at $1400 - which includes some of the basic stuff, ie paperwork, decorated location, semi-private dinner for up to 12, cake, etc. If you are having a lot of people (I think over 12 - we are having approx 50), you HAVE to have a private dinner reception where you have to buy plated menu meals which were crazy expensive (ie. appetizers $15-25, main entree meal $40-45, this is per person cost)... it was like having a wedding locally for pete's sake. Also, open bar was another upcharge to have during the dinner (but this is typical I find for all the resorts). Also, I didn't feel comfortable with the communication with the wedding coordinator (Yanique), like I always felt pressured to book the date even though I was just asking questions and I confirmed with Mel (who jmhein mentioned above on the canadianbride.com forum) that Yanique was self absorbed and was new. But overall, Mel said she was happy with her wedding and her pictures turned out great.

              I know it sounds like I'm giving GBPJ a bum wrap but I still really really wanted to get married there (new resort, near the airport, beautiful wedding location). But because of the amount of people we were having.. the costs just kept on piling on... we opted to go ROR. To be honest with you, the great reviews and the amount of brides going to the ROR was really comforting because like you, I had trouble finding feedback for the Gran Bahia.

              Hopefully this helps you make a decision... I know it was super tough for me! Hang in there...

              #7 chicklet

              chicklet
              • Member
              • 718 posts

                Posted 01 May 2008 - 07:33 AM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by dinzers
                thanks so much for the help...i cant deny that im stressed. we want to finalize our destination by the end of next wk! i just hope i can find someone who has had their wedding there (Gran Bahia) before we make our final decision. I've looked high and low on the net for a wedding review and I cant seem to locate anybody that's been married at that particular resort. Let me know if you stumble upon someone. I NEED feedback!!! lol
                Look on trip advisor. They may have a wedding review but if not they will at least have reviews of the hotel I would think.
                Let us know which one you pick :)

                #8 twinkletoes

                twinkletoes
                • Sr. Member
                • 2,302 posts

                  Posted 01 May 2008 - 07:57 AM

                  to the forum!

                  Happy Planning
                  2 Hearts, 1 Love 08.08.08Punta Cana, D.R.

                  #9 ochoriobride

                  ochoriobride
                  • Jr. Member
                  • 489 posts

                    Posted 01 May 2008 - 11:12 AM

                    I know people that when at th GBP last week. They said the resort is beautiful, food is great an everything is perfect .BUt the only thing they said it's they're is almost not any beach. I think the beach is better at the ROR depending on what you are looking for.
                    http://tickers.Ticke....ed78/event.png



                    Justin & NathalieApril 22nd 2008Riu Ocho Rios

                    #10 geology_rocks

                    geology_rocks
                    • Jr. Member
                    • 215 posts

                      Posted 01 May 2008 - 11:42 AM

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by jamaica08
                      ... Oh ya, and they have a service charge on using the in-room safe!!! What?!?! I know... That bothered me but I guess if you get the golden package (I think that's what it's called) - the safe is included.

                      Our big concern with the Gran Bahia was the wedding costs - I think they have a single wedding package that starts at $1400 - which includes some of the basic stuff, ie paperwork, decorated location, semi-private dinner for up to 12, cake, etc. If you are having a lot of people (I think over 12 - we are having approx 50), you HAVE to have a private dinner reception where you have to buy plated menu meals which were crazy expensive (ie. appetizers $15-25, main entree meal $40-45, this is per person cost)... it was like having a wedding locally for pete's sake. Also, open bar was another upcharge to have during the dinner (but this is typical I find for all the resorts)...
                      This is exactly why we went with ROR. We're leaving tonight, I'll post some sort of a review when I get back.




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