I had the absolute pleasure of leaving from my City life in Kingston Jamaica for a Luxurious day in St. Ann. I must admit I was a bit skeptic about this trip as I’m not one for long journeys. The drive was about 2 ½ hours long, but If you are coming from Montego-Bay the journey will be shorter. Runaway Bay is known as the “Tourist Town” in St Ann and is known as one of the most beautiful places in that parish.
The Bahia Principe Hotel
The Bahia Principe Bahia was our Hotel for the day. Let me preface by saying at this Hotel, security is tight! You do not have the luxury of just walking or driving in without a thorough security check. This check includes the security post calling the front desk to ensure that your name is on the system, then getting back to you to ensure that you are in fact a guest. Once you get inside the Hotel, it is breathtaking. Imagine a modern day fairly tale castle type of Hotel. This Victorian style Hotel features 70 Rooms, all Junior Suites with 24 hour room and butler service, unlimited food, spas, manicures, pedicures, massages and so much more. I would recommend checking in at the stipulated check in time as I mentioned earlier that you might be at the gate for a while. Rates start as low as $83.00. Click Here for more info.
The Restaurants + Activities at Bahia Principe
This is an all inclusive Hotel which means you pay one price at reservation and you have access to everything and I do mean everything. There is the option to try World Cuisines or Traditional Jamaican dishes at a Buffet setting of at specialized Restaurant.
Some of the specialized Restaurants are:
- International cuisine in the Palmyra buffet
- Gourmet cuisine in the Don Pablo restaurant
- Italian cuisine in the Dolce Vita restaurant
- Grill cuisine in the Garden Grill restaurant
- Japanese cuisine in the Mikado restaurant
If you are looking for something truly authentic, I would recommend the Mikado Japanese Restaurant. They offer high quality Japanese dishes using Jamaican flavors. This makes a huge difference in the preparation as you can taste the richness and freshness in the food. As with most restaurants and buffets you want to make sure you get there on time to get the first batch of food as this is usually the tastiest. If you are one of those people who like a good drink, there are four (4) bars , where you can get as much Red Stripe Beer and Appleton Rum as you wish.
Ladies! The main reason we go to Hotels is not only to rest but to make use of the Spas. Relax with your favorite massages (from the Spa Menu) or get a Manicure & Pedicure and there is even get a Hairdresser at this Hotel!
Chillin Like a Local
About 15 minutes down the road from the Hotel is Ultimate Jerk Restaurant. We got there around 10:30 a.m and while the Restaurant was open there was only access to the Bar, Cold Drinks and Snacks, there were no cooked meals. I would recommend getting there at around noon. At this Restaurant you can get local dishes like Curried Goat, Stew Chicken, Vegetable Soup, Jerk Chicken, Jerk Pork, Bammy, Festival and Riped Plantain. If you are a Jerk Chicken newbie, I recommend telling them not to put pepper on the Chicken as it’s really spicy and you also get a Jerk Sauce to pour on top of that.
The Beaches at Runaway Bay
Runaway Bay is essentially a Beach Town, with a Beaches that are both private and public. The difference is that one is owed by a person or entity and will attract an entry cost while the other is just an unclaimed piece of land. The thing is, it’s the same Beach! One popular Beach is Runaway Bay Beach which can be found on Franklin D Resort, Ambiance Club and Breezes Beach. If you are staying at any of these locations, you will have access to the beach. There are activities like Jet Skiing, Para Sailing or just laying on the Beach under the Caribbean Sun. Another fun thing to do is go into the Ochi Town to do some major Shopping. There is the Taj Mahal Shopping Centre or The Ochi Rios Shopping Centre. If you are looking for souvenirs to take back home, a great place to visit is the Ochi Rios craft Market. This is a great place to see Brand Jamaica in its entire element as all the items there are made of Jamaican raw material. While at the Craft Market, be sure to be alert and aware of your surrounding as it gets really crowded and it’s easy to lose sight of your belongings.
Runaway Bay St. Ann is a nice getaway and really underestimated parish. The next time you have an Island getaway in mind, come on down!