I went with friends for this trip and it had the level of fun and relaxation I needed. Full disclosure, I took the bar exam right before I left for Jamaica, and anything is better than studying. This is also my first time traveling to Jamaica, but I have been to other similar destinations such as Cancun and the Caribbean.
First and foremost, if you tip well, you get treated extremely well. Everyone in our group made sure to bring a lot of $1s to tip heavily, especially toward the beginning of the trip. However, it still seemed like pulling teeth at times to get service, more so at the buffet.
There were 8 of us all together, with 3 people in the room I stayed in. The rooms were quite accommodating for our group and were quite nice. Our room had 2 beds and one pull out sofa. The decor was very pretty. Our housekeeper, Norma, was also very nice and gave us plenty of towels. The only issue I had with the room was that the floor was a marble type tile and always seemed a bit dusty. I found myself using the slippers that came in the room quite often. We even had to ask Norma for a couple more pairs. Also, the bathroom is not ventilated so moisture gets trapped very easily in there. If you have wet clothing, it is best to hang it up out on the balcony. There are drying racks out there and the weather is so warm that wet clothes dry very quickly. Take the drinks in your mini bar out for "road beers" or hydration. They refill it every day and really fill it. The only problem we ran into were skunky beers a couple days.
As people have stated, the restaurants can get REALLY crowded. The steakhouse seemed to be the most popular one, and if you did not get there early (as in as close to 6 as possible), it is likely that you would not get to eat there. The hostess stops taking people after a bit. The people in my group thought that the steakhouse was the best. Surprisingly, the Indian and Italian places were quite good, but the portions are quite small. The steakhouse and seafood restaurant had normal portions. I was not a fan of the seafood restaurant and it was a bit far. It is close to where the kayaks and other water activities are located. We did not try the Asian, Jerk, or Mexican restaurants so I'm not sure how they compare. The other frustrating thing about the restaurants is that the rule regarding dress is enforced inconsistently, even in the buffets. Sometimes you will get a hostess that says it is okay and sometimes a hostess will enforce it strictly. To be safe, especially during dinner, it is best the guys wear long pants and sleeves. Also keep in mind that water does not get refilled as often as most people are used to in the states. At times I drank my water slowly because if I drank quickly, I would be waiting a long time for a refill, even after asking. A final thing about eating is the napkins. At some meals we would have napkins and sometimes we wouldn't have any at all. I'm not going to lie, sometimes I used the tablecloth to wipe my hands and mouth.
The bartenders were great and always seemed to know how to have a good time. Yes, as people have stated, the liquor is garbage. There were some "better" liquors in some areas around the restaurants, such as red label and smirnoff. If you want top shelf, you should probably buy it duty-free and bring it. Roy, who was our bartender at the bar by the entertainment, was a lot of fun. He made us a shot called the "devil claw" or "demon claw" that is sure to get you totally hammered, if that is your goal. The caveat is that it tastes like dimetapp and absinthe. It makes the well rum taste like malibu. Kemar, at the pool bar, also makes some good mixed drinks. The popsicle and green monster are quite good. You would think Red Stripe in Jamaica would be better than it is in America, but I found the opposite to be true.
As people have stated, the beach is quite rocky. The water in both the ocean and the pool are very warm always, so if that weirds you out, just a heads up. The pools did seem to have a lot of kids when we went. I'm not sure if that is the norm, but I did not expect that many kids playing in the main pool. The adult pool never had any kids (as the name would suggest), but the water is much deeper. So if you are shorter, around 5' 3" or less, walking around the pool is a bit more challenging. The bartenders by the adult pool did not seem to be as fun and lively as the bartenders at the pool bar.
The last piece of advice is to absolutely DO NOT go swimming in the ocean at night. I know you are not supposed to anyway, but if you are feeling adventurous, direct it elsewhere. Our group went swimming at night and one of us got stung by a jellyfish. We also later found out that there are stingrays and other creatures that come towards the shore at night, so we are probably lucky that it was only a jellyfish.
I think other people have covered other things. I cannot say that the complaints I had do not apply to other hotels. We ate at Cosmos and we had a similar issue with water refills and napkins. I think that for those things, it definitely isn't expected, so if the patron would like it then he or she just has to ask multiple times. Although I am only speculating. Overall, I had a good time, as did the other people in my group.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The resort is bathed by the calm turquoise waters of Jamaica's north coast, in a small bay on a privileged enclave on the coast. The design is a perfect harmony between modernand luxurious facilities of a first class hotel and the attractive natural environment of the area characterized by the turquoise sea and the relief of the landscape. The complexalso houses an ultramodern Spa, which is equipped with the most advanced facilities and offers guests a wide variety of therapies and services. Near the village of Lucea and approximately 30 minutes from Montego Bay and its airport. Within the complex is theGrand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa has a total of 540 guestrooms in 15 villas ofthree levels with 6 Suites and 30 Junior Suites per villa. The Grand Palladium LadyHamilton Resort & Spa has a total of 516 rooms distributed in 13 villas of three levels with 6 suites and 30 Junior Suites per villa and 48 two-story cabins with 4 Cabins Suites(adults only) each. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Hotel Lucea
- Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort And Spa
- Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa Jamaica/Lucea