The resort reminder told me all I needed to know:
"REMEMBER: During your stay, you'll enjoy a Butler service to take care of all your needs."
With a carry-on strategically packed with off-the-shoulder tops, my best bikinis, and coordinating sunnies, I ran away from adulting for a few days to an affordably luxurious, adults-only resort in Jamaica — and “no worry” vibes.
All-inclusive amenities were expected; personalized service was icing on a Caribbean rum cake.
Less than an hour drive from Montego Bay Sangster International Airport, Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay offers an intimate getaway with a white sand, beachfront setting.
The five-star Don Pablo Collection category hotel stuns guests beyond exclusive swimming pools and natural pool beaches: new restaurants, lobby, and additional suites are perfectly complemented by warm, Jamaican hospitality.
And though Luxury guests can cross over to the more family-oriented Grand Bahia Principe to enjoy additional dining and a colourful “Caribbean Town” offering handicraft shops, live music, and discotheques, the invitation isn’t mutual.
Exclusive wristbands draw a line between the two hotels, only allowing an adults-only crowd to enjoy the VIP perks and facilities of Runaway Bay’s more luxurious amenities.
Same grand room, different view
Each one of the 525 rooms in Luxury Bahia Principe offer a lavish Junior Suite worth bragging about. In fact, feel free to post it on social media while connected to the complimentary WiFi. Hashtag "wish you were here" as you sip a cold drink from your room’s minibar, and don a fresh bathrobe and slipper set from your suite closet.
It was one of the few times I didn’t have to double-check online photos of the different rooms before arrival: each one has a balcony or terrace, canopy bed, lush bedding, and a hydromassage bathtub.
When booking a room in the U-shaped resort, your only decision is whether to enjoy an ocean front, sea, or city view.
The perks of staying at the Luxury Bahia Principe
Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay
ROCK STAR TREATMENT
The resort’s acclaimed butler and concierge service extends beyond your suite. Golf carts can be requested at the front desk if walking isn’t on your itinerary (hand-fed grapes not included) and wait service follows you to the pool, cabanas, and beach.
Though spa services aren’t included in the all-inclusive rate, you might find yourself eager to try the reggae massage: a 50-minute massage using ganga oil and finished off with a shot of rum.
The truth: despite my curiosity, the ganga oil massage’s medium pressure did not sound like a match for my travel writing-induced aches so I passed on it for a solid deep tissue massage, instead. No regrets.
A favourite luxury perk was the unlimited access to à la cart restaurants; a feature that Grand guests only get a taste of.
From Spanish tapas, to Asian, Brazilian, and gourmet cuisines, these reservation-only establishments offer menu-based entrées to guests as an alternative to their standard buffet restaurants.
As of June 2017, there is a new à la carte restaurant: Tallawah, for guests seeking more of Jamaica’s signature flavors.
Exploring beyond the resort property
DIAL UP THE FLAVOUR
Visit Scotchies Caribbean restaurant for what is rumored to be the most authentic jerk cuisine on the island. If your taste buds can handle it, add the spicy Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce to your meal for a fiery kick.
Relax with a partner on a flat bamboo raft as you drift down Martha Brae River with a local guide. From the fruits and flowers dipping toward the river, to the dried gourds carved into ornate containers for sale, you’ll enjoy the shaded tour as you learn about the local flora and fauna — lessons passed down by generations.
When you go:
HOW TO GET TO JAMAICA
A non-stop flight to Montego Bay takes just over four hours from Toronto, Ontario.
For an extra touch of service upon touchdown, consider booking a meet and greet bundle package from Club Mobay: a VIP departure and arrival service that offers “red carpet” fast tracks for guests who want to skip the long lines; lounge access with drinks and food; and free Wi-Fi.
Disclosure: Accommodations provided by Runaway Bay; all opinions are my own.
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