My husband and I honeymooned at the Palladium in Riviera Maya last year and it was wonderful in every respect. When we saw that a new Palladium resort in Jamaica was opening, we immediately planned to vacation there this year. Big mistake.
The concept is spectacular. It is the only resort in the area, and it is surrounded by mountains and ocean. The rooms are set up as villas with an average of 36 in each and they each look like a great house on a plantation and it is a beautiful layout. Unfortunately, the beauty is ruined by the corner-cutting, shoddy workmanship and extremely poor maintenance that is obvious everywhere in the resort, ie falling ceilings in the buffet restaurants, hanging electrical fixtures, peeling paint, and the disgraceful condition of the restrooms in the common areas.
1. The Pool. The main pool is centrally located and immense. It could be beautiful with its wonderful view of the ocean and jacuzzis stationed throughout . However, it is an accident waiting to happen. Strips of tiles coming loose was a normal occurrence, none of the jacuzzis were working, and the pool rails (where there were any) were loose and in some instances leaning into the water. Some of the drain covers were cracked and protruding. The cement surrounding the pool was cracked, crumbling and in many areas looked like it was just slapped on and unfinished. You need water shoes to walk around the pool.
2. The Service. The staff at this hotel is the most unaccommodating I have ever seen. They are rude and in some instances down-right arrogant. We can't understand why "No Problem, Mon" is their motto, because EVERYTHING was a problem.
When we checked in, we were not able to get into our room until 6:00, and no explanation was offered. One young woman in particular who worked at Sunset Cove where the water equipment rental is located had the audacity to lecture my husband about how inconsiderate he was for not returning snorkeling equipment (that it took us 3 days to finally obtain) within 45 minutes to an hour, and actually threatened to withhold our deposit. It is wise to make yourself a cup of coffee in your room before breakfast, because trust me, when you get to the buffet, you will wait. One day, we had to ask 3 different people 5 times before we were served, and don't expect service with a smile,
The bartenders drink on the job, and one became so inebriated one night, he actually fell on a guest. We witnessed supervisors arguing with subordinates about why they should do what they were asked to do. Men "working" on plumbing outside of one of the villas by the adult pool just stood around all day watching people and offering to sell "ganja." The men driving the jitney buses will run you over if you don't get out of their way. Upon our departure, we tried to return towels to a convenient towel station, and were told we had to go to the station that we originally received the towels (which was on the other side of the resort). Our inconvenience was not their problem, mon.
3. The Room. Our room was beautiful, with a breathtaking view of the ocean. But, the air conditioning was almost nonexistent. The safe wouldn't close. When the toilet was flushed, the drain cover popped off the shower stall drain due to improper venting of the plumbing system. The ceiling fan was very noisy, but at least it didn't crash down onto the bed while we were sleeping. Some people complained of roaches in their rooms, but we did not have an insect problem. The cleaning staff did a decent job of cleaning the room.
4. The Spa. You will need an appointment for any paid service at the spa, and you should make your appointment as soon as you arrive at the resort because you can expect to wait days for an appointment time. You may want to do this while you wait for your room. I had to wait 2 days for a basic manicure, and at no time was an Emory board used. The pools at the spa were just as unkempt as the rest of the pools in the resort, but it would still be a quiet place to relax if people didn't feel it appropriate to bring all of their children with them to the spa.
On the up-side, the food was very good, and reservations were not required at the ala cart restaurants. The scenery was beautiful and it is a very laid-back atmosphere, which is wonderful in theory, but the staff assumes the same laid-back attitude, and behave as though they are on vacation. Some of the staff were very nice, but they were the rare exception. A generous tip is required prior to receiving average service. Bring ID if you want to use a credit card in any of the gift shops.
Finally, if your idea of vacation is to drink til you drop every night, you will love this place. But, if you are someone who is looking for a luxurious place to relax and be pampered, you will not find it here.
- 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 Resort And Spa
- Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Hotel Lucea
- Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa Jamaica/Lucea