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Any Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Brides out there?


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#5491 luisanmike

luisanmike
  • Jr. Member
  • 162 posts
  • Wedding Date:August 9, 2014
  • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
  • LocationCalifornia USA

Posted 03 September 2014 - 09:44 PM

If I could give negative stars I would...It was seriously the worst experience EVER!  People to this day ask me how my wedding went and I have to pause and try to look for something good to say - at the end, I say well I'm married to the love of my life and I suppose that counts for something!  

 

Let me start off saying that we (my now husband) and I traveled here December of last year to look at the resort.  We had done our research that we wanted to get married in Jamaica and we narrowed it down to two resorts, this one and another one in Montego Bay.  When we went to Gran Bahia - we met with their wedding coordinator who we still adore despite all the challenges that came up but we went there to prepare for our wedding.  We went there to look at the resort, to meet with the wedding coordinator, to discuss our wants and to see if they were able to meet our needs for our wedding.  We were upgraded to a great room, we had great food, we met with different vendors while we were there for make up, photography, videography, florists, etc.  tried all the food and even chose our menu, our appetizers,  and our cake.  We were happy that we came down to Jamaica and spent 8 days to sort everything out for our wedding and we were happy to go back home and took the resort's recommendation to get married in August instead of December as we had wanted to do.  

 

Fast forward to our wedding date of August 9th - well let's start before then August 6th to when we arrived.  Maybe even before that - we had some difficulties confirming things, food, cake, things shipped there like our license information etc.  but we were so strong in our belief that at the final hour - the day of our wedding things will fall to place.  We had about 42 guests fly out to Jamaica with us from California.  Prior to our arrival, majority of our guests upgraded to their Don Pablo suites...I have so many bad things to say about my experience here that I won't have enough space or time to write it all down.  

 

So every headaches of confirming and sending credit card slips etc. our parties finally arrive - a month prior to our departure the hotel was completely booked (even though they told us to move our wedding to August because it's their down time) so half of our family had to stay at different resorts and commute over to our resort for the wedding.  They made us pay extra fees for them on top of what we were paying for their food etc. for the wedding and they were only there for our wedding reception - didn't even take advantage of anything at the resort or eat their food or even swim in their pool...I mean come on!!  So another 1k down to pay for day passes for our guests off sites... basically the mantra that we found at this hotel - if they could charge you for breathing their air - they'd do it.  

 

So we get there and the management is just rude - the whole Don Pablo and regular lounge thing is ridiculous.  They treat people who belong in the regular part of the hotel like they have malaria  - we had one family amongst our guests who were not Don Pablo and they literally chased them out of there although we were just sitting there resting after 24 hours of travel from California through transfers and airports etc.  

 

Moving on...our room this time around although this time was our wedding - was off to the side and our view was the bushes...geez thanks!  So basically once you've made up your mind that you're getting married there and they have your money - they don't care.  And now the stories have changed, now vendor fees that didn't exist before now exist.  We weren't told a vendor fee for make up and now we got one so we were forced to use their spa services for bridal parties hair and make up----DON'T DO IT!  For one or two people I guess it's fine but not for a party of 7 women for hair and make up  - they won't know what to do with themselves.  On the day of my wedding - thankfully I opted to pay the day passes for outside vendor for me and my maid of honor but to appease the hotel I used their spa services for my bridal party and it was a DISASTER!  They started at 6;30 - they were suppose to be done at 8:30, they were suppose to have 7 women there to do hair and make up - what they don't tell you is that those 7 women aren't up to par with make up or hair.  Out of the 7 women who got their hair an make up there, 5 of them took it off, 3 cried, two told them just to stop...and I as the bride was waiting in my room ready for my bridal party to go back into their own rooms to redo their hair and make up.  So two hours later - my bridal party is finally ready and I've lost two hours of my videographer, photographer etc.  you get the picture....

 

While this is going on...the church calls us.  We had two ceremonies, one at the church and one at the hotel gazebo.  The church tells us that our license hasn't been received so they can't marry us....so thankfully my uncle is the priest and we convince him that the hotel does havea  license to marry us so now the legal side of things are going to be taken care of by the hotel instead of the church.  We had sent all of our paperwork to the hotel to complete this for us two months prior and that we were going to be married by the church and just a vows ceremy with them...nevertheless...after that's all sorted out we proceed to the church. 

 

Another minor thing - I have no flowers that morning...since we have two services  they only ordered flowers for the evening and not the morning.  somehow the wedding coordinator gets me flowers and although its ugly as heck - I'm just grateful at this point that they're real and that they're flowers...

 

We had asked for them to provide water bottles for our bus since the church service was going to be long - nope didn't happen.  Thankfully the church anticipated that they'd have a lot of thirsty people so they provided some for us.  

 

We get to the hotel - other things that were suppose to be done aren't done - we asked for lunch to be delivered for our vendors so they could start with photos and videos....not done. 

 

We have our afternoon vows ceremony...scheduled for 4:30...let's just say I was waiting in my wedding dress on a lounge chair next to my guests waiting for an hour for the officiant to show up.  I had to call the general manager's secretary to get things going...and then ofcourse since that was late...everything else we planned for the reception was late.  We planned a grand entrance with a boat - that was late and the guests didn't even notice we came on one.  The food that we paid extra to upgrade...wasn't the food we paid for.  The food that we got was rubbery and gross and not what we tasted or asked for.  The DJ didn't even have our CD for our entrance or our music so again we're standing there waiting while people figure things out.  

 

We paid extra for a cake that they cut slivers of and then gave our guests some lemon cake that we never even asked for!  We paid extra for this cake and they cut like a fourth of it and put the rest in our room...I ended up putting that cake outside our door for the maid to take because what were we going to do with enough cake to feed 50 people? 

 

Oh...side note we had a rehearsal dinner planned for the night before - didn't happen.  So they planned it at one of the casual buffet of the resort.  We were running around all day that by the time we got back to the resort I had to go to dinner.  I had worn the same outfit to the church for rehearsal and you'd think if it was good enough for the church its good enough for the casual buffet right?  NO...I walked in with a white dress and a t shirt over my white dress that comes down pass my knee.  I was asked not ONCE but TWICE by the manager of the buffet Palmyra that I had to go home and change in FRONT OF MY GUESTS!  apparently the strap from my bathing suit was showing by my neck...geez...I have long hair just tell me to cover it.  No he tells me that I have to leave the restaurant...LOL I'm like geez so will my guests.  So we left not ONCE but TWICE...I canceled my wedding for the next day but felt bad for my guests so I decided to keep it.  That's how awful this place made me...I wanted nothing to do with them and wanted our money back. 

 

We paid for upgrades, we paid for a private venue, we paid for transportation, we paid for so many things with this resort so they could accomodate our wedding and it was literally like a nightmare.  The next day I was so pissed that it effected my mood at my own ceremony, all of their mess ups, influenced how I felt...the hour wait at the gazebo, the missing CD for the entrance, I mean you name it...it was wrong.  And we had given them a binder with instructions that were color coordinated with matching diagrams and mock pictures of what we wanted...

 

The next couple of days we meet with the general manager and his staff and do you know what they comped us for all of the above? The $250 fee that we paid for the officiant LOL.  Seriously we almost died laughing...so we didn' get the food we paid to be upgraded, the services at your spa - we didn't get, your staff actually caused the delay of our wedding and caused us to lose out on taking pictures with our bridal party and made us cut so many things out of our wedding reception and you're giving us back $250 after we paid how much to your resort and brought 42 guests for 7 nights?  

 

Don't do it...if you have a small wedding party of less than 10 and its a simple wedding - I say go for it but anything over 10....just go somewhere else or else you'll regret it and you'll forever have to tell stories about your wedding day like I do.  Save yourself the misery...go somewhere else.  We will never return to a Gran Bahia resort again...and they gave us three nights free for our wedding gift ONLY if you buy 7 nights...LOL believe me they can keep it...

 


#5492 Camalli

Camalli
  • Newbie
  • 4 posts
  • Wedding Location:Grand Bahia Principe Resort - Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Posted 06 September 2014 - 07:19 AM

 

If I could give negative stars I would...It was seriously the worst experience EVER!  People to this day ask me how my wedding went and I have to pause and try to look for something good to say - at the end, I say well I'm married to the love of my life and I suppose that counts for something!  

 

Let me start off saying that we (my now husband) and I traveled here December of last year to look at the resort.  We had done our research that we wanted to get married in Jamaica and we narrowed it down to two resorts, this one and another one in Montego Bay.  When we went to Gran Bahia - we met with their wedding coordinator who we still adore despite all the challenges that came up but we went there to prepare for our wedding.  We went there to look at the resort, to meet with the wedding coordinator, to discuss our wants and to see if they were able to meet our needs for our wedding.  We were upgraded to a great room, we had great food, we met with different vendors while we were there for make up, photography, videography, florists, etc.  tried all the food and even chose our menu, our appetizers,  and our cake.  We were happy that we came down to Jamaica and spent 8 days to sort everything out for our wedding and we were happy to go back home and took the resort's recommendation to get married in August instead of December as we had wanted to do.  

 

Fast forward to our wedding date of August 9th - well let's start before then August 6th to when we arrived.  Maybe even before that - we had some difficulties confirming things, food, cake, things shipped there like our license information etc.  but we were so strong in our belief that at the final hour - the day of our wedding things will fall to place.  We had about 42 guests fly out to Jamaica with us from California.  Prior to our arrival, majority of our guests upgraded to their Don Pablo suites...I have so many bad things to say about my experience here that I won't have enough space or time to write it all down.  

 

So every headaches of confirming and sending credit card slips etc. our parties finally arrive - a month prior to our departure the hotel was completely booked (even though they told us to move our wedding to August because it's their down time) so half of our family had to stay at different resorts and commute over to our resort for the wedding.  They made us pay extra fees for them on top of what we were paying for their food etc. for the wedding and they were only there for our wedding reception - didn't even take advantage of anything at the resort or eat their food or even swim in their pool...I mean come on!!  So another 1k down to pay for day passes for our guests off sites... basically the mantra that we found at this hotel - if they could charge you for breathing their air - they'd do it.  

 

So we get there and the management is just rude - the whole Don Pablo and regular lounge thing is ridiculous.  They treat people who belong in the regular part of the hotel like they have malaria  - we had one family amongst our guests who were not Don Pablo and they literally chased them out of there although we were just sitting there resting after 24 hours of travel from California through transfers and airports etc.  

 

Moving on...our room this time around although this time was our wedding - was off to the side and our view was the bushes...geez thanks!  So basically once you've made up your mind that you're getting married there and they have your money - they don't care.  And now the stories have changed, now vendor fees that didn't exist before now exist.  We weren't told a vendor fee for make up and now we got one so we were forced to use their spa services for bridal parties hair and make up----DON'T DO IT!  For one or two people I guess it's fine but not for a party of 7 women for hair and make up  - they won't know what to do with themselves.  On the day of my wedding - thankfully I opted to pay the day passes for outside vendor for me and my maid of honor but to appease the hotel I used their spa services for my bridal party and it was a DISASTER!  They started at 6;30 - they were suppose to be done at 8:30, they were suppose to have 7 women there to do hair and make up - what they don't tell you is that those 7 women aren't up to par with make up or hair.  Out of the 7 women who got their hair an make up there, 5 of them took it off, 3 cried, two told them just to stop...and I as the bride was waiting in my room ready for my bridal party to go back into their own rooms to redo their hair and make up.  So two hours later - my bridal party is finally ready and I've lost two hours of my videographer, photographer etc.  you get the picture....

 

While this is going on...the church calls us.  We had two ceremonies, one at the church and one at the hotel gazebo.  The church tells us that our license hasn't been received so they can't marry us....so thankfully my uncle is the priest and we convince him that the hotel does havea  license to marry us so now the legal side of things are going to be taken care of by the hotel instead of the church.  We had sent all of our paperwork to the hotel to complete this for us two months prior and that we were going to be married by the church and just a vows ceremy with them...nevertheless...after that's all sorted out we proceed to the church. 

 

Another minor thing - I have no flowers that morning...since we have two services  they only ordered flowers for the evening and not the morning.  somehow the wedding coordinator gets me flowers and although its ugly as heck - I'm just grateful at this point that they're real and that they're flowers...

 

We had asked for them to provide water bottles for our bus since the church service was going to be long - nope didn't happen.  Thankfully the church anticipated that they'd have a lot of thirsty people so they provided some for us.  

 

We get to the hotel - other things that were suppose to be done aren't done - we asked for lunch to be delivered for our vendors so they could start with photos and videos....not done. 

 

We have our afternoon vows ceremony...scheduled for 4:30...let's just say I was waiting in my wedding dress on a lounge chair next to my guests waiting for an hour for the officiant to show up.  I had to call the general manager's secretary to get things going...and then ofcourse since that was late...everything else we planned for the reception was late.  We planned a grand entrance with a boat - that was late and the guests didn't even notice we came on one.  The food that we paid extra to upgrade...wasn't the food we paid for.  The food that we got was rubbery and gross and not what we tasted or asked for.  The DJ didn't even have our CD for our entrance or our music so again we're standing there waiting while people figure things out.  

 

We paid extra for a cake that they cut slivers of and then gave our guests some lemon cake that we never even asked for!  We paid extra for this cake and they cut like a fourth of it and put the rest in our room...I ended up putting that cake outside our door for the maid to take because what were we going to do with enough cake to feed 50 people? 

 

Oh...side note we had a rehearsal dinner planned for the night before - didn't happen.  So they planned it at one of the casual buffet of the resort.  We were running around all day that by the time we got back to the resort I had to go to dinner.  I had worn the same outfit to the church for rehearsal and you'd think if it was good enough for the church its good enough for the casual buffet right?  NO...I walked in with a white dress and a t shirt over my white dress that comes down pass my knee.  I was asked not ONCE but TWICE by the manager of the buffet Palmyra that I had to go home and change in FRONT OF MY GUESTS!  apparently the strap from my bathing suit was showing by my neck...geez...I have long hair just tell me to cover it.  No he tells me that I have to leave the restaurant...LOL I'm like geez so will my guests.  So we left not ONCE but TWICE...I canceled my wedding for the next day but felt bad for my guests so I decided to keep it.  That's how awful this place made me...I wanted nothing to do with them and wanted our money back. 

 

We paid for upgrades, we paid for a private venue, we paid for transportation, we paid for so many things with this resort so they could accomodate our wedding and it was literally like a nightmare.  The next day I was so pissed that it effected my mood at my own ceremony, all of their mess ups, influenced how I felt...the hour wait at the gazebo, the missing CD for the entrance, I mean you name it...it was wrong.  And we had given them a binder with instructions that were color coordinated with matching diagrams and mock pictures of what we wanted...

 

The next couple of days we meet with the general manager and his staff and do you know what they comped us for all of the above? The $250 fee that we paid for the officiant LOL.  Seriously we almost died laughing...so we didn' get the food we paid to be upgraded, the services at your spa - we didn't get, your staff actually caused the delay of our wedding and caused us to lose out on taking pictures with our bridal party and made us cut so many things out of our wedding reception and you're giving us back $250 after we paid how much to your resort and brought 42 guests for 7 nights?  

 

Don't do it...if you have a small wedding party of less than 10 and its a simple wedding - I say go for it but anything over 10....just go somewhere else or else you'll regret it and you'll forever have to tell stories about your wedding day like I do.  Save yourself the misery...go somewhere else.  We will never return to a Gran Bahia resort again...and they gave us three nights free for our wedding gift ONLY if you buy 7 nights...LOL believe me they can keep it...

 

 

Who was your wedding coordinator? I have Kalfani and my wedding is on November 1st. He's been good so far. I'm so sorry to hear of such a horrible experience you had. I've stayed at the resort a couple of times and it's always been pleasant - but reading your review now has me on even more edge - especially since they're not the most responsive and my wedding is so close.



#5493 luisanmike

luisanmike
  • Jr. Member
  • 162 posts
  • Wedding Date:August 9, 2014
  • Wedding Location:Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay Jamaica
  • LocationCalifornia USA

Posted 06 September 2014 - 07:31 AM

It's kalfani he's great but they have him working on so many weddings. Hopefully you have a smaller party? They can't seem to support a wedding party more than ten. Most of the weddings we see there are for smaller groups. Yeah they're not the most responsive group and we were there four days before our wedding and met with them. If you're doing the spa ask to do a trial run for you and your team...I read my husband your note and he said ask her if she could change locations...no on the serious note good luck I hope everything goes more smoothly for you. I don't know what happened to my wedding maybe it was too many people for them maybe we upgraded too many things and brought our own decorations and had too many things for them to do that was out of the ordinary for them but it was just awful

#5494 Camalli

Camalli
  • Newbie
  • 4 posts
  • Wedding Location:Grand Bahia Principe Resort - Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Posted 06 September 2014 - 03:58 PM

It's kalfani he's great but they have him working on so many weddings. Hopefully you have a smaller party? They can't seem to support a wedding party more than ten. Most of the weddings we see there are for smaller groups. Yeah they're not the most responsive group and we were there four days before our wedding and met with them. If you're doing the spa ask to do a trial run for you and your team...I read my husband your note and he said ask her if she could change locations...no on the serious note good luck I hope everything goes more smoothly for you. I don't know what happened to my wedding maybe it was too many people for them maybe we upgraded too many things and brought our own decorations and had too many things for them to do that was out of the ordinary for them but it was just awful

Oh ok. Yea Kalfani is good. I like him and so does my mom and fiance. We actually took a trip there to meet with him in person in May. Only issue I have with them so far in the planning process is responsiveness. It's quite ridiculous and I know they wouldn't get too far that way here in the states - I guess it's the 'island pace'. Of course this is exasperated by the fact that I'm anal retentive - so you can imagine my nerves at this point. But other than that, so far - I think, so good. My wedding is about the size of yours 45 guests including my fiance and I. We got the wedding extravaganza package and the Pisces for the $2,500 to have a fully private reception. Kalfani also confirmed that the DJ is good (DJ Kingston), which we were adamant about, since we're Caribbeans ourselves and my fiance is a party promoter. I'm a project manager by profession, so I've approached the planning and execution from that angle - but of course come the day - you can't predict what will happen. I have a cousin who is an events planner - specializing in weddings - who I've assigned to be my eyes and ears and hands and mouth come the day from morning to night. I've told him not to get in the way of Kalfani and the wedding staff when they're doing their thing, but to make sure it's all getting done and to my liking. He was more than happy to obliged lol. We're planning, we're praying and we're keeping positive that November 1st will go off without a hitch - because they are going to have a bunch of outspoken-take-no-BS angry Jamaicans, Trinidadians, Bajans, Guyanese and Italians to contend with. Like seriously.



#5495 jenmasters

jenmasters
  • Newbie
  • 10 posts
  • Wedding Date:August 24, 2015

Posted 12 January 2015 - 12:36 PM

Hi Ladies!

I am just beginning to book my wedding for August 2015. I know there are some older threads, but hoping that there are some brides willing to share their tips and what they did recently? We will be a group of 30-40. Thanks so much in advance!!!



#5496 ebecks

ebecks
  • Newbie
  • 12 posts
  • Wedding Date:December 3, 2015
  • Wedding Location:GBP Jamaica
  • LocationOntario, Canada

Posted 26 January 2015 - 11:23 AM

I'm getting married December 2015 - I think we should start this thread up again.   Any 2015 GBP weddings happening?



#5497 Richele

Richele
  • Newbie
  • 1 posts
  • Wedding Date:November 26, 2016
  • Wedding Location:Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica

Posted 30 January 2015 - 02:57 PM

Hey I totally agree that this thread needs to see some more action! I'm getting married November 2015! hows your planning going?



#5498 ebecks

ebecks
  • Newbie
  • 12 posts
  • Wedding Date:December 3, 2015
  • Wedding Location:GBP Jamaica
  • LocationOntario, Canada

Posted 02 February 2015 - 09:11 AM

Hey I totally agree that this thread needs to see some more action! I'm getting married November 2015! hows your planning going?

 

I'm pretty much planned - few details to go.   Thanks to this forum I was able to decide what options were best for me.

 

We are a group of at least 30 - I expect some last minute bookers.

 

I first stressed about a 2pm wedding - but this gives me more time for pictures and potentially to take a rain break if needed before getting sunset pictures.

 

I decided to go with dinner at the Dolce Vita for the "free" private room rather than a long table off to the side in the grill.

 

Mostly I'm excited about the Gazebo we rented for dancing after dinner.   We opted for the "Romance extravaganza" package only because it includes the open bar at the gazebo and steel drum band I wanted for the ceremony.  We get some extras for basically the same costs it would have been for the open bar and band.

 

How is your planning coming along?  



#5499 jenmasters

jenmasters
  • Newbie
  • 10 posts
  • Wedding Date:August 24, 2015

Posted 16 February 2015 - 12:44 PM

I have my wedding scheduled for Aug 24, 2015. We were given an 11 am ceremony which also stressed me out a little but from what I read, that's the best time for the photos - for the colours etc. We booked the Picis grill for our reception from 630-1030 and then plan to hit up the disco/. I'm still so torn about what to do about hair and makeup and photography, what are you ladies doing?



#5500 ebecks

ebecks
  • Newbie
  • 12 posts
  • Wedding Date:December 3, 2015
  • Wedding Location:GBP Jamaica
  • LocationOntario, Canada

Posted 19 February 2015 - 06:16 AM

I decided to just go with the photographer at the site, their facebook page show some pictures and they've really improved.  I don't want to pay the vendor fee and don't want to rely on friends and family photos.

 

I think i'll just do my own hair / makeup.  With a few test runs at home to see how best to do it.  I'm going away to make this wedding easy and painless, so worrying about the spa and having to spend the money doesn't interest me.  I've heard great reviews about the spa, but also negative ones and don't want to take a chance.

 

I've already stressed about the amount of people actually going and may cause me to shut down a restaurant I don't want to stress about the little details.

 

What are the 2015 brides planning for their days?  Did you rent the gazebo or a full restaurant?

 

I want to know what people thought about the piscis?   Did it feel tropical still or similar to a reception like we have at "home"?






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