Old Reviews – Breezes Resort & Spa Rio Bueno (formerly Grand Lido Braco Resort & Spa)

  Grand Lido Braco   Melanie – Ontario

September 2009

I have travelled to many countries and many resorts and previously was not a fan of Jamaica, however this resort has changed my mind. We won this trip, hence why I tried my luck at Jamaica again, and I am really glad I did!!! I loved this resort. It is super small to what I am used to, and I thought I was going to be bored, but then I met the staff and I could have moved to this resort. I have never been to a resort where the staff is so good. All the bartenders and waiters were AMAZING. The entertainment staff was a blast and I wanted to cry when it was time to go home.

Rooms were standard, clean and the bar stocked daily. No complaints here!

Restaurants and Bars:
Well I have to be honest, the buffet was poor, however I didn’t necessarily mind as the room service is available 24 hours. I expected a bit more variety and was getting a bit sick of the options that were available.

The Japanese & French restaurants were really good. Disco was never really busy, however we had fun all the same!

Pool is small, it was a good thing the resort was not busy at all, but it was clean. Beach was nice, but windy.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
I have been to Jamaica before so this trip we did not do any tours.

Other Comments:
The only negative comment I have is about the front desk staff. We had purchased internet service at $18 for 1 hour of time, however they did not tell us this time expires after 24 hours. I had only used 30 minutes and lost the other 30 minutes. The lady at the desk did not seem to think it was their problem and had no desire to offer us 30 minutes back. I was not happy about this at all.

The resort was probably only at 30% capacity, so truth be told it was like a ghost town the majority of the time. I however didn’t mind this as all the guests were like one big family. I can’t say enough about the staff, they were genuinely wonderful. Shantel, Gawayne, Courtney & Fitzroy made our vacation. I wanted to bring them all home with me. We are actually planning a trip back there in December!

All in all the trip was good. We heard a lot of guests complaining about how quiet and mellow it was but really with this economy a lot of the resorts are this way. We met people during the week that were staying at other resorts and they said their resorts were the same way. Make the best of it and you can have fun anywhere 🙂

February 2008

We just returned from Jamaica, spending 6 days in a B&B in the cliffs of Negril and another 3 days at this all-inclusive facility. We usually consult this site because it has been so helpful in selecting a great spot for us so many times. We are veterans of both all-inclusive clubs and small BB type resorts, but recently have had a few more all-inclusive vacations than we cared for, that’s why we split this one up.

Of the 22 -23 different all-inclusive we have stayed at, the Grand Lido Braco ranked among the bottom 2. I had not expected this, nor would the dollars paid lead one to believe this would be the case. Friends of ours selected this resort for a full week stay, we were glad when our 3 days were over. The pool size is extremely small for a club of this size and stature. There essentially is no private areas around the pool as many clubs have designed. That way if you are not interested in the pool entertainment you can get away, not so at this club. The chairs are crowded in tightly around the deck and for privacy you need to head down the beach toward Pebbles for some relaxing, a long way from the pool.

The food in the main buffet was average compared to other much less costly resorts, and while very spread out at the buffet area, it was not very diverse in selections. The night’s we were there we choose to try the Japanese restaurant, and partake in the street party. The Japanese was excellent, but the chef concentrated so much time entertaining one 1/2 of the table, that I think I ended up with 6 shrimp and 5 pieces of meat, while others ended up with more than they could eat.

The street party was good, food was a nice blend of Americanized Jamaican entree’s. Everyone anticipated there would be lobster, but that night they substituted shrimp.

Entertainment was very Americanized, it almost seemed like the facility was going to extremes to assure that staff spoke little Patois, which really is the slang heard everywhere else on the real island. Even when using Ja Mon, and No Problem, it was spoken as if it was Disneyfied to impress the guests.

Also noticed after spending a full week on the Island before arriving here, was the unhappiness of the staff. The managers and leads were always quick to say hello. But the bulk of staff appeared instructed not to socialize openly with guests and only when prompted did we get honest, heartfelt exchanges, and they appeared very nervous about being open. This is not normal on the Island.

I checked into diving while there, the dive boat itself was a wreck compared to every other resort I’ve ever visited. And be careful if sitting on the beach relaxing when they fire up the outboards for the 1/2 hour warn up. The exhaust fumes will knock you off your beach chair. The folks I talked to that dived said it leaves daily at 9:30am and it returned within 90 minutes. They apparently use a protected cove just around the corner, and the individuals said it was a nice resort style dive, but little sea life. Also to be sure and pack a wet suit, which I did not. When told the diving included everything, I assumed a wet suit or shorty would be available, so did the guy I talked too and he ended up diving in his sweatshirt.

The beach is small when you compare it to other beaches in area, and after spending time over at Negril on Seven Mile Beach it was quiet a change. The sand was coarse and rock strewn, one half is dedicated to Nude only, but before getting the full rules, we were able to walk the full stretch fully clothed. Not a big walk, and to the direction of the nude area, just beyond a garbage dump is the next property adjacent.

Beach and Pool towels are a mess, the towels appear to be at least two seasons old, and worn to the threads. I have never seen this in even the lower end of the all-inclusive we have been too.

And they were quite often gone, a long wait would result, which meant you could lounge on the pool chairs that did have a cushion (about 1/2) and they were so dirty it appeared to be about 2-3 seasons since they had been replaced. The decor is old Caribbean, Plantation. Which was kind of cool. But as others have said, the bathrooms are defiantly outdated and in need of improvement if this club wants to consider itself even 3 star. Interior paint needed touch up and fixtures were worn. Grounds are nice, but the cart paths narrow, and delivery and luggage transports fill the full width, forcing the guests to detour around, not well designed far a facility of this ranking.

We did golf the nine hole coarse on the grounds. It is marginal for a small coarse and they apparently allow you to golf free at 3 sites, we were told one of the three was in worse shape than this one, so I wouldn’t consider the club a golf destination unless you are willing to pay the fee’s to golf one of the fancier coarces in the area, like Rose Hall.

Towel service in rooms was also difficult. Both days we had to contact room service to find out why the room was made up but no towel’s left.

Bartenders at both the Caribbean and Pool bar were at times down-right annoying. In fact I may not have met a more unpleasant Islander than the individual who single handedly manned the Lunch / Caribbean restaurant bar. Indifferent, unhelpful, overworked and rude. And it appears from what I saw, that the full facility had too few staff in each of the high demand areas, bars, morning omelet area (in fact one morning this poor guy was trying to make egg’s for a long line, while also carving the morning ham).

The crowd here is defiantly older, I knew it was an adults only facility, which can be nice when you have visited ones that are not. But do not believe that this limits the pool entertainment noise and cheesy "Americans need to be entertained" attitude. Most of the guests appeared to be 60+ and dressed what I would call formally for breakfast and dinner. I mean sequin dresses, sport coats and the like. I’m a Caribbean casual fan, nice shorts and a collared shirt at best, but I thought I was in the minority when usually I would be well dressed at most all-inclusive. The dinning event was not that formal in my opinion to require dress attire.

My last observation was that the half of the crowd that came over from the Au Natural sector for all the evening events, were the most formally attired. Maybe the lack of clothing during the day, allows for a suit case full of formal wear. This said, I’ve never witnessed a group of retiree’s so worked up about spending a day nude and dressing like a hooker for evening events. I actually saw a woman in a painted on red disco skirt cut to her groin, and light up spiked heels like a pole dancer. I thought she was part of evening entertainment, until I noticed she was 65 years old plus.

It was all very entertaining, but not enough for the dollars paid. I’ll stick to true Island culture, thank you and enjoy the time we spent in Negril as my real visit to this Island.

Thank’s Debbie keep up the good work on your site, and if it wasn’t for the birthdays that we had scheduled at this resort, we would have been prepared from your site of what to expect from this vastly over priced facility.

Top of Page

Grand Lido Braco Lane & Bill ~ Denver

April 2006

One of the major reasons we selected Grand Lido Braco is because of the comments we saw on Debbies Caribbean Resort Reviews. So I figured I should comment on our visit during February/March 2006.

Overall, it was a great trip. We had never been to Jamaica and weren’t sure what to expect. However, the resort was great, the food was good and the staff was exceptional. It lived up to its reputation.

We met a lot of Canadians. Probably 2/3 of the resort is from up north. The rest are Americans with a smattering of other countries. (We’re from Colorado.)

Our arrival at the Super Club desk was disorganized and set the theme for that type of thing for the entire trip. You have to have a great deal of patience and ask a lot of questions. I recommend keeping track of your luggage throughout the check-in and check-out at the airport. Although we had no issues it seems like it’s a situation that’s begging for problems.

Although we heard several people complain about their rooms, we were very, very happy with ours. We had a beachfront room that was within feet of the beach. The resort is very picturesque and matches the photos on the Internet. One issue that seems consistent is that the bathrooms are not up to standards. However, I understand they were going to be upgrading the bathrooms within the next year. The room was comfortable if not the cleanest. The mini-bar was consistently stocked and there were about a half-dozen television stations to view if desired.

One of the most delightful aspects of Grand Lido Braco is that although it’s a large resort which allows you to enjoy a lot of amenities, it feels small. It’s a great balance we haven’t found any where else.

It is difficult to describe how truly exceptional the staff is at the resort. They ware conscientious, courteous, funny and helpful. They always have time for a quick conversation and will try to fulfill any request. We ended up leaving some tips with bartenders and the room staff because we felt that they truly went out of their way to ensure we had the best trip possible. But we never felt like they expected any tips.

One of the reasons that we were attracted to the Grand Lido is because of the reports that the food was excellent. For an all-inclusive it was very good — and consistently that way. The French restaurant is worth the hassle of setting up reservations. The Japanese is a stir fry table affair unless you specifically request the sushi bar. It is a good show and the food is okay. The rest of the food was consistently good and they provide a nice variety. It’s great to have various restaurants to select from for lunch and dinner. We particularly enjoyed having room service in the morning while setting out on the patio of our room facing the beach. It was a wonderful way to start the day. We also sat on the patio several nights and watched the stars while sipping rum creams (you have got to try the rum cream and dirty banana drinks!).

Our favorite hang-out was the beach bar, Pebbles. The bartenders were hysterical and after only a few days we felt like family. The bar serves the same food as room service and the hamburgers and chicken wings were great.

The resort does a good job of setting up different dinner "events’ with a night on the beach and one in the village square. For buffets they are pretty good. The entertainment is similar to what you’ve find on a cruise ship, but the house band is talented and the various singers did a great job of getting the crowd involved.

We never made it to the disco because it didn’t start getting going until late and we faded pretty early, but we heard good things from those who went. It seemed to attract a lot of people from the nude side who seemed to be a bit more on the wild side. There were some pretty skimpy "outfits" for the pajama and togo nights. And two tables dressed in evening gowns with gloves and tiaras for the French restaurant. They definitely seemed to be living out their fantasies — and didn’t cause a stir with anyone else.

We took a private trip to Dunns River Falls. It’s worth the trip as long as you have good balance. I chose to walk up the stairs while my husband climbed up the rocks. We also took a quick tour through Ocho Rios, but didn’t stop for any shopping. It was nice to get out of the resort and see more of the country. But in speaking with others at the resort, I got the impression that many are happy to just remain at the Grand Lido Braco and soak up the sun and the premium liquor.

We bought some souvenirs from the onsite crafts people and were happy with the experience. We didn’t bargain very hard so we probably didn’t get the lowest prices. But it still seemed reasonable and the quality was high. I do wish that the logo shop had a better selection of t-shirts.

We took a snorkeling trip one day and enjoyed it. It was a bit disorganized (very Jamiacan, mon) but the staff was very friendly. Really no rules. You had the choice on whether to wear a life jacket. The snorkeling itself wasn’t as great as we’ve experienced in Mexico, but we still saw quite a few small fish.

The coral wasn’t very colorful, but plentiful.

The spa services were excellent. My husband and I both got massages and were in seventh-heaven. The manicure and pedicure were rushed and the polish only lasted a few days. But, as always, everyone’s attitude was great and it was enjoyable.

While the beach may not be the nicest we have been at, it worked for hanging around in lounge chairs and enjoying the ocean ambiance. If you want to swim a lot it will probably disappoint; it has a fairly rocky bottom and one guest showed us the sand flea bites he received while snorkeling off the shore. We had a couple of bug bites, but no big problem.

One very nice aspect is that it wasn’t too difficult to snag a lounge chair before 10:30 a.m. Later in the day it was more difficult; but not impossible.

The beach is kept pretty clean and on two days there was a waitress who came by a few times.

The pool is central and very nice. Good size. There is a swim-up bar during the day and the jacuzzi is just steps away. There are activities planned around the pool, but we never paid much attention and neither did most. There is a second jacuzzi by the Pebbles Bar at the end of the beach and we did use that a few times and enjoyed it. Even though it’s by the bar it feels private and comfortable.

We had light rain one day which caused no issues, and a torrential downpour for a full day. The full-rain day was a bit of a struggle because everything was swamped. Although we heard that several people had to change rooms because of water problems, we had no real issues except that we had to wade through ankle-high water on the sidewalks to get to our room. We were told that is was an exceptionally hard rain and unusual for this time of year. It was so intense that the road to Ocho Rios was shut down and many employees had difficulty getting to work. We had to reschedule our spa services to later in the day and weren’t able to do the facial. But the staff that did make it did the best they could under the circumstances and the activity folks set up a movie in the piano bar and tried to provide some relief.

You have to go with the flow … yeah mon. We had been warned that Jamacians are laid back (except when it comes to driving!!!); and they definitely are. The other main complaint is that it is expensive. Everyone is out to make a buck from you and the excursions and crafts are fairly expensive considering that the average Jamaican makes $10/day. Somebody; somewhere is making money.

There wasn’t really an introduction to the resort and explanation of the services. Make your restaurant reservations early (several people told us they weren’t able to get into the French restaurant although we had no problem). If you want an excursion, book a few days in advance. We heard good things about most of them.

We were interested in deep-sea fishing, but it was $500 US and it was up to us to help find another couple of two to help defray the costs. We weren’t up to the challenge and never made it out.

We wanted to go sailing on the catamaran, but both days we tried it was too windy. Yet, in between we saw others using the boat. It would be nice if they’d be more proactive in setting appointments or following up on those types of things. But, hey mon, it’s Jamaica.

"No problem, mon …"

CLOSING REMARKS: We met many people who had been to the resort multiple times. The overall theme seemed to be that it was a great place to relax and enjoy the service, the beach, the food and the drinks. Although we probably won’t go again because there is a still a lot of the world that we need to discover, I would highly recommend it to couples who are looking for a break.

Top of Page

Grand Lido Braco Patrick ~ Canada

January 2006

December 31 to January 7 Temperatures in the low 90’s (30c), no humidity, one hour of daytime rain on one day, one night of rain on our last night.

This resort is advertised as a 5 * and it is every bit that and more. We have been to Punta Cana, Puerto Plata and the Mayan Riviera 3 times and I have to say this was the best vacation we have had yet. For the people who would like to find something wrong with any place, I will start off with the negatives. The tap handle broke in the Shower/bathtub on our second day. The water could still be turned on easily, so we reported it to the front desk and said no hurry. It was fixed in under an hour. The power went off in the middle of the night once, for about twenty minutes. Half way through the week it was difficult to get water pressure around 6 p.m. for showers, but as most of the resort was probably getting ready for dinner at the same time, this was not a big deal for us, and it may have been our building only. On the positive side, this resort made us feel as though we were rich. Don’t know if it was the time of year, or if a smaller resort is always this way. We have always stayed at twin resorts with a thousand people or more where you fight for beach chairs, tables and reservations at dinner, line up for buffets, etc. We were greeted at the airport and taken to the Lido Lounge and pre-registered for our room. We were escorted to our van and were a total of six people going to our resort. The bus driver offered to stop for a cool drink (Red Stripe) and some shopping, but we all declined as we were anxious to get to the resort. He offered to narrate the sights along the way and was very informative, funny, and accommodating. Check in was friendly, professional, and quick. Our rooms were not ready but we were invited to go for lunch at Victoria’s Market buffet. Typical buffet food, plentiful and satisfying. The resort looks like a beautifully kept town and people liken it to Main Street in Disneyland, which after you have been there a few days, it begins to feel very much like that, minus the huge crowds. We were there for New Year’s Eve and they put on a spectacular event. The entire main street was set up with tables with linen, crystal and silverware and there were buffet stations throughout the street offering everything you could possibly imagine. All the trees are lit with twinkle lights and it made for a very magical, surreal, romantic atmosphere. They do a street party dinner every Friday night so we enjoyed it on New Year’s Eve as well as the last night of our stay. They have so many restaurants to choose from with unlimited reservations at any of them and the food is definitely five star. They have trophies in the reception area contesting they are the only Caribbean restaurant to receive a 5 star culinary rating. The bartenders can mix any drink you can think up, all the liquor is top shelf and if you don’t see your brand, ask for it, as they have some stashed away as well. The beach bar serves amazing drinks, food and fun, especially with "Upside Down" Ricardo on duty The tables are ten feet to the water’s edge under a palm tree, what more could you ask for. There is a Jacuzzi right beside the beach bar, which is big and hot, perfect after two 9’s of golf. The beach bar is also where room service is served from, which we enjoyed once. It was there in ten minutes and beautifully presented. The beach itself is long and beautiful with sand made up of bits of coral. The swimming area is protected and is somewhat smaller than we have been used to. There is a lot of coral on one side of the beach where no one swims and the other side has bits of coral, urchins, etc. They have float mattresses for the ocean which solves this problem beautifully. Snorkeling from the beach isn’t worth it, as there are no fish, but they have a glass bottom boat that goes out twice a day for snorkeling to a reef and twice a day just to see through the glass bottom for those that don’t want to snorkel. There is also scuba diving lessons, watering skiing, wind surfing, sailing, deep sea fishing, sea kayaks and pedal boats, all at the resort. The activity team is friendly and outgoing and manages to get even the most non-joiners (us) up to dance, karaoke, etc. But respects "no", if you mean it. There is live entertainment every night and many afternoons. A lot of it is around the pool, which we didn’t spend any time at, but what we did see was fantastic, whether it was the marching band on New Year’s day, the horn player in the square one evening, or the harpist in the French restaurant at dinner. Most of the time we wondered where everyone was and it felt like we had the resort to ourselves, plus a few other people, and apparently the resort was close to full. We enjoyed the 9 hole golf course which didn’t require t-times, caddy’s or carts. In fact it was so close to our room we were allowed to walk on at the 3rd hole and start there, finish.ing at the 2nd. The course is short but the holes were challenging enough for us, as can be attested to the number of balls I sacrificed to the water gods. We brought our own clubs and while the resort will transport you to full 18 hole courses, we didn’t want to sacrifice a whole day away. We ate breakfast, played nine holes and spent the afternoon on the beach, sometimes heading back and playing another 9 holes at 4 p.m. The staff at this resort are amazing and if this is what the Jamaican people are truly like, they are multi talented, outgoing, fun, warm, friendly, I could go on and on. There was constant maintenance ( non intrusive) and upkeep going on to keep this property in top notch condition. Tipping was not really allowed, and if you did tip it made no difference to the service you received. The only excursion we did was a reef snorkel, Dunn’s River Falls, Dolphin Cove excursion which was perfect. A little bit of everything all rolled into one. I would go back to this resort in a heart beat, but there are so many Islands to discover, but you have to go to the Grand Lido Braco at least once in your lifetime. You won’t regret it. If you are worried at all about exposure to the "Nude" side, don’t be, they are totally segregated and private. You wouldn’t even know they were there if it wasn’t advertised.

Top of Page

July 2004

Just got back from Braco we were there from 6/24 to 6/28 not long enough rooms were ok a bit musty but the view made up for it we were in block 4 room 426 first night there were problems with the fire alarms they went off all night long but staff took care of it as soon as we called food was outstanding pool and beach on the au natural side were much nicer vacationers on au natural side were also much nicer everyone respected everyone elses space but the most memorable part of Braco are the people….If you go make sure you meet Carl, Rohan, Dori, Lloyd, Del, Shelly-Anne,Maxine, Tyrone…these people made our vacation if I could have packed them im my suitcase I would have. All in all this was the absolute BEST vacation I have ever had

Top of Page

Grand Lido Braco William — Canada

March 2004

Started out in Toronto Canada via Air Canada vacations (two couples) on time with a slight medical problem on board 1 hour into the flight. It was handled by a Doctor and crew flawlessly. Arrival was good, bags and transportation quick and at the resort in just over an hour. Quick check in, although we were given a ground floor room without a patio. We asked for another room and we given our choice of two others and were happy with the second within minutes. Great Street party where we met other couples from the last few years at GLN and GLSS (Rosey’s Mom and Dad) from Toronto and The Black Donnelly”s from Winnipeg. Great food and lots of it (Lobster).

Diving: Our last time here was contract divers and the service and amount of dive was poor to say the best. This time with their own crew, I had the best diving in ten years in Jamaica! Ann Marire Goffe had forwarded our e-mail request to dive the next day and everything was set up! Great crew, Marcia, Eric, Bobby, JR and the visiting Cameron from FDR. Great service, fresh water rinse after dive, fresh fruit etc. One and only one complaint, Ron and Erole get the engines serviced as the crew must fight with them!! Spend some cash and get Yamaha in to do the service! Two dives a day good equipment and the best marine life I’ve seen in Jamaica in 10 years. This included 4 turtles, 3 big eagle rays, 2 grouper, barracuda, eels, sea horses etc. Needless to say great diving and they have improved 500%.

Overall food was good to great in the French, Japanese, Italian, Jerk pit, Market and room service, also both beach bars were great. Ron has stated the Italian would be re-opened at noon instead of 3:00 PM, has anyone heard?

We used both the textile areas and the au naturel beach and pool areas and had great experiences in both areas with no hassle on the au naturel area as we a re novices. The textile area pool area was well used and lively, clean and central to bars and food. Special thanks to Karla who never stopped and after having her face painted blue and like a clown, still put on a good happy face despite this inhumanity.

The beach party was windy and not lit up enough for my liking, so in the future I will for go this event and dine else ware (my choice) but lots of other people seemed to enjoy the party.

Overall we had a great time, and will return next year maybe for 10 to 14 days! Kudo’s to the dive crew foe fantastic service!!!

P.S. Ron, $ 500.00 for pepper mills? I’m sure you can obtain some cheaper than that!

Top of Page

Grand Lido Braco Kim & Andrew — New Brunswick, Canada

December 2003

My new husband and I recently returned from Grand Lido Braco, after a 10 day stay, we also got married at the resort. We went from November 21-December 1st. When we booked our trip, we were a bit worried about the weather for the time of year, known as the rainy season, but we had great weather. Out of the 10 days 8 were cloud free and 30-33 Degrees C, the other 2 were a bit cloudy, but you could still lay out. It gets dark there all year round at about 6pm.

The bus ride was what I expected, it’s Jamaica…the roads are narrow, need repair, and they drive fast. But they know the roads very well, and we arrived safely. (both ways). When we arrived, we checked in, with a cold drink and facecloth. Our room had a beautiful view of the ocean, the wedding gazebo, and beach, 1st reaction was great. After a few minutes I heard this loud beeping coming from outside our room, the window in the bathroom was not a real window, just like a sliding vent type thing, so the beeping travelled into the room loud enough. I thought at that time, no big deal, it will go away, I’m sure. I complained about it several times and it never went away, it drove me crazy, it beeped 24 hours a day! Finally after about 3 days, I went out to see where it was coming from, and it was some kind of panel in a closet, maybe fire or electrical panel. I found a button on there that said "panel silence", so I pressed it and the beeping stopped! But, it came back about 24hours later, I called front desk again, but the beeping was still there when we got back from the beach that day, so I just kept silencing the thing everyday til we left. This was a real annoyance, but I did not let it ruin my vacation. Other than that and curtains were in bad need of cleaning (mouldy from the humidity), and a musty smell in the room, the room was O.K. The bed was comfy, and the view was wonderful. We had 2 chairs and a table on this little patio overlooking the Ocean, it was beautiful.

After check in I spoke to the wedding coordinator to discuss my flowers, # of guests at the wedding etc.. this all went well. We headed straight to the beach after that. The resort was really nice and clean, the bars all had bartenders, and the drinks were great! Anything you want, even Miller Lite cans! The best drink we had was a Hummingbird, you gotta try this if you go there. All top shelf liquor, wine list, champagne, whatever!

The food and service was AMAZING! Like nothing you will ever see in Canada! The staff aim to please, and are very friendly. Even though you are not supposed to tip, we tipped a waiter, who waited on us a few times $20 US, and the bellboy $1 a bag, and our driver if we went anywhere. Like $5-$10. The food at Braco is wonderful. Lots of variety, and anything you want, at dinner I could not decide what entree to have, so the waiter said "I bring you both Mon"…what a place! I ate 2 desserts at least everyday, there is a bakery where you can go anytime of day, and pick from many desserts, plus the desserts at all the restaurants, and buffets. Spectacular. 24 hour room service, sometimes a bit slow, but no problem Mon. My husband would get a bucket full of Miller lite and ice delivered to our room, daily while we got ready for dinner.

The pool and beach area were good, the resort could use some renovations, and new lounge chairs, we would go out early enough that we could get a good one. We went to the Au Natural side for 1 day, very nice, nicer pool and beach, but the textile one was fine. It is all Suites on that side, and I heard they were quite a bit more $$$.

We went to Dunns River Falls, not on the excursion, just hired a cabi from the hotel, he charged about $30 each. The Falls were awesome, we had a guide take us up, he helped a lot, showing us where to step and what not. He also held my camera the whole time, and took lots of pictures of us. We gave him $10 US, well worth it. It only took us about 25 minutes to climb falls, but we passed a lot of people. It is about 1000 feet. The only thing I did not like about the Falls, was that every time you left the gates, to go back to your vehicle, you had to go thru this craft market, and the people harass you like crazy. I did not even look at or buy anything. There were some shops at the hotel which were prices, I got a tank top for $12. I would rather pay the extra few dollars, than get harassed. Plus, I did not go there for the shopping. We picked up a few other things at the airport, like beach towels (moderately priced) and liquor (cheap!).

We spent 2 days over at Breezes Runaway Bay, as that is where our parents stayed, it was nice too, and the food was good. It is more of a party spot than Braco for sure. Braco was more couples and a few singles. We would not really be able to say what the night life a Braco was like, we were in our room by like 9-10 every night, we got up eary and had full days…plus we were honeymooning. We did see one band at Victoria Market and they were great.

We did not partake in any watersports, but they were all there and available. We really should have done something, but we did a lot of relaxation.

The Wedding: I was quite disappointed with the wedding coordinator. The brochure says, there is someone there to ensure your day goes flawlessly, more like she caused the only flaws! The weather was beautiful the day of our wedding, we were there for 3 nights before the wedding. The day I arrived, I met with the wedding coordinator, and picked out my bouquet, cake, video/pictures are optional. While I met with *********, I told her my parents were at Breezes and asked if she could arrange transportation for them the morning of the wedding at 10am, she assures me this will be done. At the same time I asked her if we could go to Breezes to visit them at no cost, for a day, she told me this should be fine, and she will check on it and get back to me the nextday. (we wanted to go over the day before the wedding, so Sunday, and she was supposed to let me know on Saturday). Otherwise we would have to pay $60 each, and it is also owned by Superclubs. The next day comes, and we did not hear from her, so around 5 pm, we ran into her, and she said she was still waiting for an answer, and we would get a message from her before she left that day. Well, we never heard from her. So we arranged the golf shuttle bus, from our resort to Breezes for Sunday morning. When we arrived at the clubhouse, our parents were there waiting for us. My husband and his father golfed and myself and the mothers returned to their resort, across the street, and I walked in like I was staying there, and no one said a word the whole day. There are no bracelets or anything, so everyone just thinks you are staying there. I did not feel dishonest doing this, as I was not at Braco eating or drinking that day, and they are both owned by the same company, and we paid more $ for Braco. We really wanted to be alone/parent free on our honeymoon, this is why the different resorts. When I saw *********, she said she left the message, yeah right! Monday was the wedding, at 4 pm. My mother calls us at 11am and the driver had still not arrived. I went to *********’s office, and she called someone on the phone and told them off and hung up and told me someone was on their way, so the parents did not arrive til noon, so much for having breakfast with them. ********* told me to be ready at 3:45, and she would come to my room, to make sure everything was on track, and that her assistant would be with the guys at the Gazebo, getting the music ready etc. No one showed with the music and to help the guys or at my room. At 4:10 ********* arrives at my room, obviously, I thought this was very unprofessional, she said she was on a phone call! This was the most important day of my life, and HER JOB, is to make sure it goes "flawlessly". The photographer, the videographer, and the priest, my fiancé and his parents were all ready at 3:50. So my fiancé had to wait, wondering if I was coming for 25 minutes in the afternoon heat. ********* opens the garden door and exist the room ahead of me, and as she pulls the curtain out of her way, she lets the curtain bar (the hanging down wand you use to open and close the curtains at hotels), go and it came right back and hit me square in the forehead! At this point I was not happy with her. However, it was my wedding day and I was not going to let her ruin it for me. The rest of the day, I was walking on a cloud and all was good. Except, the machine they use for the music walking down the aisle and the 1st dance is brutal, and really needs to be of better quality. It crackled and skipped etc, and they had it was too loud, which made it sound worse. ********* just sat back and smiled as we were serverd champagne and cake at a table on the beach after the ceremony. All of which was great. The priest was a really great guy, and the pictures and video are EXCELLENT, well worth the money! My bouquet was beautiful, but the made took it about 3 days after the wedding, which I did not think was very nice, she did not even ask me if I wanted it. I found the wedding coordinator unreliable and unprofessional, I also mentioned the beeping to her, and she did nothing either. I never saw or heard from her for the rest of our vacation.

I really like the resort, and would go again for sure, but if I could choose where to get married again, I may go with Sans Souci or Grand Lido Negril. If you want to ask us any questions about our vacation, feel free to email us at : ak97@nb.sympatico.ca

Top of Page

Grand Lido Braco Tony — Canada

November 2003

The following is a brief synopsis of our trip to the Lido Braco from 2003-10-25 to 2003-11-03. The occasion was to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary which happened to fall on my 51st birthday. This was also to be the first time we were to be separated from our 16 yr old twins daughters whom my mother-in -law graciously offered to care for. Both my wife and I have traveled extensively to many countries such as the Dominican, Hawaii, Mexico etc. that you have mentioned in your reviews. As a Canadian Police Officer I have had the fortunate opportunity to dine with may VIP’s and Heads of State as well as providing them with overnight hotel security in some of the finest hotels and restaurants. I therefore feel confident in providing you with my take on the Braco.

Let me fist preface by saying, I ‘m a steak and potatoes type of guy with an Italian background and love al la dente pasta. We are by no means fussy eaters but like most people our age we seem to have acquired a champagne taste with a beer pocket.

We decided to take the Liddo Lottery route based on our travel agent recommendations and besides it was another cost savings for us. According to our agent, 90% of the time your given your first choice of the resorts. In our case only the Lido Braco and Lido Nigel formed part of this lottery, so what the heck lets take a chance eh!!.

My comments of the resort and our experiences are as follows:

Air Canada provide the transportation however we were 1.5 hrs late on departure. They had to replace a landing wheel, just what we needed to hear. The meals on all flights leave something to be desired so I suggest you eat a good meal before your departure.

Upon our arrival in Jamaica ( 2130 hrs) we were greeted with a torrential downpour as we walked from the tar mat to the terminal, at least we landed safely was the reply I gave to my unrecognizable poor drenched wife. Before you read too far, this trip was my idea as the Mrs. generally makes all our family travel arrangements, so after getting her co-workers and the travel agent on side the conspiracy was hatched, a good start ,yikkes what next. We eventually cleared customs and made our way over to the Super Clubs desk. My wife stood in front of a fan the size of a turbine trying to dry off while I made arrangements with the Super Club Desk to take us to the hotel. Once the necessary forms were completed we were escorted to a small min van and waited for our driver. While waiting for him I was offered dope and beer, I took the beer. Our driver arrived and told us there was a slight delay in our departure to the hotel as the road outside the airport was closed due to a riot in progress. What next I thought, as I listened to Mrs. knees rattling. Our driver and his assistant informed us that 4000 rioters were upset at the local police for shooting a taxi driver and his passenger for no apparent reason. The military and riot police were in the process of clearing the road from debris and we would be on our way shortly," NO PROBLEM MON" was the reply from our driver. An hour later the driver and his assistance loaded us on the small mini van with another couple from Newfoundland . Although I did not see any weapons on them, I assumed his assistant was along for added protection. As we exited the airport compound in total darkness and getting ready to run a gauntlet of 100 military police equipped with AK47’s and MP5’s the driver’s assistant leaped from the moving van. Thank goodness the Jamaican front rt. passenger had the steering wheel, my wife and the other couple nearly passed out at this point as they had forgotten that their vehicles have the steering wheel on the right side of the vehicle, and drive on the left side of the road. His assistant simply wanted a drive to his vehicle that was parked outside the airport compound. The terror on the faces of my poor wife and the couple from down east did not let up until they safely reached their destination about an hour later. The ride at night is something one must experience, as unsettling as it may seem, these drivers are very capable and know every bump in the road.

Our return trip to the airport was right on schedule and provide us another opportunity to see the Jamaican landscape during day light hours without all the military fan fare.

Although there is no tipping, I did break the rules and tipped the driver both ways, hell it’s a hour drive each way and their salary is peanuts. I generally pay $90.00 for a 30 minute cab ride from my airport to home. They are very appreciative of anything you decide to give them, so you be the judge. One of our hotel bartenders coined their employment opportunities beautifully " Jobs are easy to get, keeping them is the hard part".

We were greeted like royalty , given cold face cloths and our choice of any beverage ( more beer). I never thought that checking in could be so much fun. The Braco looked magnificent with all the lights on the trees. Before I could finish the beer ,we were promptly escorted to our room 1217. Oh Oh ,immediate disappointment, the garden room was comparable to a dingee 3rd rate motel . It contained a bathtub that had seen better days, stained tiles, no sink area to store makeup and toiletries, the dresser drawers were hard to pull out, TV volume contained lots of static noise, and there was no bar fridge. Thinking positive "NO PROBLEM MON ", we will make it home and started to unpack. Once completed I decided to use the facilities and you guessed it, OVERFLOW problems. Hotel maintenance arrive within 10 minutes and fixed the problem, well at least the room service works fine. We really needed a drink and some food at this point so we ventured over to the Victoria Market Rest. Once again we were treated like royalty with exceptional service for this time of the night and enjoyed a great steak dinner. Once we finished eating it was off to bed to get some well deserved sleep. I awoke early to get a fresh start on the day, got the coffee going, and was being as quiet as a church mouse so I could let the Mrs. get some beauty rest; today was going to be a great day. I decide to get my shower out of the way and just as I turned the shower tap on, the water pressure released the metal shower nozzle and struck me in the head. So much for her beauty sleep, I guess she heard me curse a little louder than I should have. Still in a good mood I assured the MRS. I’ll get this little annoyance fixed as well. Once she finished her bathing we noticed that there was water seeping into the main area of the room and was getting our luggage wet. Remember, I picked this place. I reached the front desk, still smiling with the nozzle in hand, but underneath it all I was on a MISSION and NOT ABOUT TO TAKE ANY PRISONERS. Once I explained what all had happened since our arrival, management were more than accommodating and provided us with a room change, funny how little things all work out in the end. We now had room 1212 on the ground with floor with an ocean view, can you imagine what they may have given us if I had drawn blood. The room was a shade better ,but they are in a real desperate need of upgrades. Many of the guest’s whom we met ,including those in the upgraded ocean view on the (clothing side) suites were in agreement that the Braco has some major refurbishing work ahead of them . Let’s face it, how much time do you really spend in the room when the temp is in the 90’s and the ocean’s warmer than the pool.

The Au Natural side does have a nicer pool, nicer gardens, and a better beach area. The guests we met from this side had no complaints with their accommodations. All the rooms appeared to have hot tubs and bar fridges but they are $200.0 0 per night (USA) extra.

Once we got over the room incident , we were in awe of the majestic surroundings the resort had to offer. The pictures that you find on this resort are a true likeness of the area. We had it from a reliable source that the Lido Nigrel has a better front lobby entrance and beach area, but that’s all. This hotel has all the charm of a small Jamaican Village with its small boutiques, not to mention excellent opportunities to take some memorable pictures from various vantage points.

The word "exceptional" is an understatement , they have to be the most courteous, polite and professional individuals I have ever come across. This includes everyone from the back breaking hard working gardeners to senior management. They are not as some say always " in your face". They actually take time to talk with you and look ya in the eye. Their job is to ensure that your every wish is cared for in the most professional of ways. The same caring service is also provided on the Au Natural side, so I was told. At every meal seating, your greeted with a warm smile and escorted to a table of your choice. No sooner are you seated than a waiter is by your side to take your drink order and give you time to look over the menu, yes even at breakfast time. Some of our Canadian Hotel staff should take a lesson from Braco, they are champions in my opinion when it comes to service. The Braco was 70% filled to capacity when we visited ,just so no one thinks we were the only ones there.

The food is to "die for" in every restaurant on the premises. It was always presented in such an elegant manner that it’s was a shame to eat it , but I quickly got over it. The pasta dishes complemented with its salad bar are exceptional. My personnel favourite would be the lamb dinner which I unfortunately finished before my wife had a bite of hers. It was cooked to perfection, just the way you order it. Each day you have a several varieties of a 5 course meal to choose from. There is an excellent variety of red and white wines to choose from, not to mention all the top name brands of liquor and liqueurs. If they tire of filling your wine glass they generally leave you the bottle to finish or take it back to your room, you gotta love this guys. I’m not a dessert freak but according to my better half she would have to book a month’s stay, simply to try all the delicious varieties they have to offer. There is enough variety for anyone’s palate, if you are that picky of an eater, stay home, this in not the place for you.

Braco is large enough that it boasts having 2 separate beaches and pools to accommodate whatever your taste maybe. The nude beach and pool is far removed from the clothing side that even a good pair of bino’s wouldn’t do the trick . The Au Natural side does have a bit more fun but that’s a decision you will have to make. You may get proposition on the Au Naturel side but don’t take offence, it’s a life style, simply adjust and move on. I did get my butt pinched by a lovely gal at the piano bar one night, damm I still got it. When I proudly mentioned the incident to my wife she insisted on getting the drinks for the remainder of the evening. Don’t get me wrong this is not "swap meet" what I’m referring to are really isolated incidents. Both sides mingled (socialize) very well at night time during the nightly festivities. This is unlike the Hedonism resort, where it can sometimes be described as a smorg of uninhibited sexual activity, the Braco is upper crust in the every true meaning of the word.

It is everything the reviews boast about. The work out area has up to date equipment and the treadmills really do work.. I tried jogging on them but the ice cubes kept falling out of my drink, so I readjusted my priorities and moved back to the beach.

We took in the Dunn’s River Falls which is a must, make sure you bring a water camera for this venture and buy it before you leave or expect to pay $20.00 USA. Bring the proper water footwear or you can rent then at the falls for $5.00 USA/pair. Be prepared, your guide will ask for a tip at the end of this tour and follow you to your bus to get it if there is any indication that you are willing to give him something. Of concern to us was that there should be a health warning posted for anyone not in shape to climb these falls. It’s no ease task climbing this beast, trust me, you can easily twist a foot or fall on a rock as some areas are mossy and extremely slippery. On this same excursion we did have an opportunity visit the Taj Ma Hall Jewelry Center. Here you can purchase T-shirts and junk for the kids at a good price ( ex: 5 t-shirts for $25.00) . Purchase your BOOZE at Duty Free upon your departure, it’s cheaper. There is a vast assortment of high end jewelry that comes in all shapes and sizes, hang on to your wallets guys. My wife saw a beautiful 3.5 carat diamond for $16,500. Guess what, its still waiting there for YOU.

I would suggest that you save your money for this location, many of the "small street corner" vendors are extremely overpriced unless of course your want to barter in 90 degree heat for a wooden fish carving that you would probable get at the Taj Mahal for 1/4 of the price.

It’s certainly not the nicest we have been at but it is big enough for you to get wet and float around in. The hotel staff are constantly cleaning up the beach and arranging the beach chairs which there is no lack of, hence negating the early morning rise to claim yours for the day.

The Au Natural side is much nicer, bigger and a has a nicer pool bar. The clothing side had problems with their pool pump and was cloudy most of the time. The pool bar had all what we required and was again complemented with excellent friendly staff. We are beach people and therefore never really ventured into the pool although there were many guests playing the typical water volleyball games. There are 2 hot tubs that are neatly sequestered in amongst some trees, one is located by the pool and one is beside the "shack bar" at the end of the beach on the clothing side. I’m sure there is one on the Au Natural side.

I had some grave concerns booking this trip as everywhere I looked, it had forecasted clouds and thundershowers for the week. Yes, October/November is the highest precipitation level for this time of the year, and yes we lucked in. We had a one partial afternoon of rain for an hour but it rained mostly late at night once we were in bed. The daily highs were generally in the 90’s with cool 80 degree nights.

IRRITABILITY’S. This resort is not meant for loud, bullish, foul mouth, cursing individuals who cannot handle their liquor. I was disappointed to learn that on the eve of our departure a few newly arrived Canadian muscle types decided to get a head start on "Spring Break" by jumping off the pool bar counter into the pool. They continued their display of intoxication by loud cursing and attempting to start a fight with a long time guest who had simply ask them to tone it down . If by some strange reason they ever happen to read this commentary you can rest assured that the hotel management was present during your antics. I trust that you behaved in a more professional manner for the remainder of your vacation and did not tarnish the good reputations Canadian’s have come to enjoy. The Braco is an upscale resort meant for newlyweds and adult couples who simply like to be pampered and enjoy the finer things in life.

SELF : "Bob, do you have any more excursions planned"?
BOB: Yeap, this afternoon I’m moving to that side of the bar….

CLOSING REMARKS: I would not hesitate in recommending this resort to anyone and look forward to returning to it. We’ve now found our oasis, why bother looking elsewhere.

Top of Page

June 2003

debbie just wanting to give you a review on grand lido braco , we arrive on tuesday and left on sunday. they had let 66 teenagers have their high school graduation there. Service was slow because of all the teens . But to top things off we came in from dinner saturday night and had a open bottle of wine on the coffee table with a cheese tray , what a nice gesture but the wife and I didn’t care for a drink so after packing we went to sleep , bags had to be out by 5.00am so we got up at 4:00am the wife went out on the balcony to notice that the green travel bag was on the balcony , the green bag was left that night on the dresser with my wallet before going to sleep , someone during the time we were sleeping came into our room from the balcony and stole my wallet ,left all passports and jewerly and took cash , they had 4 other units broke into that night while people were sleeping . what an experience people need to realize that no matter what floor they are on always lock the balcony. grand lido has not done a thing yet. what great service

Top of Page

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *