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“Grand Pallidium in Montego Bay - Not!!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa

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Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   The Point, Lucea, Jamaica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Lucea
NYC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Grand Pallidium in Montego Bay - Not!!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2009

A friend and I returned from the Grand Palladium in Jan. I have mixed feelings about the hotel. First of all, the hotel is NOT in Montego Bay. The hotel is located in another town on a beautiful but isolated beach. Depending on your driver, the hotel is about 45 minutes from the airport if there is little traffic, and about 40 minutes from the "Hip Strip" in MoBay. If you have no connections, hiring a driver for a 4-5 hour round trip to MoBay will cost you $100-$120 US.

Almost everyone in Jamaica takes US dollars. My advice is to take lots of small US bills, 1s, 5s, 10s so you don't need US change, which often is not available.

Rooms - I opted for the basic room. The room was large, beautiful, and clean, a hotel strength if you ask me. It had a jacuzzi, beautiful shower, flat screen TV, free mini bar (emphasis on mini) , electronic safe and door keys, ...all the basic necessities. We had a small problem with water running in our room. We called once and it took a couple hours but they came and fixed the problem. Daily maid service was good and they replaced consumed items. Be warned. Hotel rooms are widely dispersed in dozens of three floor villas over the huge hotel compound, and you will have to walk a lot. You can opt to take an electric taxi to the main lobby if you don't feel like walking there.

Food and Service - On a ten point scale, the overall food experience was about a five. There were some tasty American and Jamaican selections in the main buffet, but overall I found the choices a bit limited, but that's just me. Service was lacking in the main buffet area. Some food selections ran out a bit more than usual, and these items were sometimes slow to be replaced if at all. They seemed short staffed and you had to wait to be seated always, even when there were many empty tables, very frustrating and unique in my all inclusive buffet dinning experiences. A few times you had to wait a bit too long for basic services such water and drink requests, and a couple of times my drink never came. The hotel was not even that crowded during my stay. Memo to management, hire more staff. This is supposed to be a 4 star hotel??? Also the attitude of the staff ranged from 20% very nice, 60% ok but not friendly, to 20% downright rude. Be prepared to be disrespected.

Avoid Sports Bar - One of the few places to get something to eat from let's say 4-6 PM is the Sports Bar. The design of the place is poor. The choices are limited and there is only a small bar area to order which easily becomes congested. You may have to work your way through a crowd to place your order. Be prepared to wait a long time even when crowds are light, and that's a good day. On a bad day they won't even take your order because of a backlog or because they ran out of something, like plates. Fix this place and/or provide more off hour choices please.

Pools and Beaches - Pools were big, abundant, and absolutely stunning, really pleasing on the eyes. There are currently beach chairs to sit by the ocean toward one end of the resort, in an area behind the Lady Hamilton resort. If you are in Grand Palladium, you will have to venture far to sit by the ocean. Also, there were also absolutely NO ocean activities by the hotel beach or anywhere in visible range whatsoever, motorized or unmotorized.

Summary - Overall our stay was ok. The hotel is beautiful and the view of the ocean is prominent from many locations, so it has a romantic and soothing feel. The food is ok and the rooms are big and clean. Most would agree that the attitude of the staff needs improvement. The lack of ocean activities and limited areas to hang out by the beach was disappointing. Finally and to repeat, the hotel is NOT IN MoBay, and you are a bit isolated.

  • Liked — Beautiful rooms, beautiful setting.
  • Disliked — Isolated from MoBay, lack of friendly attitude from most staff.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Springville, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2009

Cheapcaribbean.com was running a fantasic special on this new resort, so despite the few bad reviews I read here on Trip Advisor, I booked it anyway.

Here are the facts;

This resort is gorgeous.

The rooms are BEAUTIFUL.

The restaurants are absolutely amazing. ALL OF THEM.

The staff is very friendly and more than accomodating.

The beaches are beautiful, but only two of them are ok for swimming. The good news is, Negril is not far away, so you can take a day trip there and go to Margaritaville, where you can lay on the beach, swim, or jump on the water trampolines. Rick's cafe is also a great place to go and see the Cliff divers. Both places are very close to each other

Centrally located. The Resort is in the town of Lucea, which is right in between between Montego Bay and Negril.

If you're looking for nice conch shells, there is a seashell stand just past the hotel on the main road. The man who runs the stand there is very nice and I bought some very pretty shells from him at a great price.

This resort is not really designed for kids but if you're looking for a romantic getaway it is perfect.

The hotel slipped us an invitation under our door for a romantic honeymoon dinner at one of the restaurants, which was amazing.

If you want some really good jerk chicken, stop at one of the local roadside bbq stands. We stopped at one not far from the resort, on the main road, and it was incredible.

The buffets were good. The lunch selections were the sam every day , but every night for dinner they would do a different theme (mexican, italian, asian, etc.)

The bars are great! They even have a huge swim-up bar. The bar by the activity center is fun to hang out at, too. We got involved in alot of activities; volleyball, merengue lessons, salsa lessons, bocci ball, and daily trivia. ( I won a bottle of rum playing trivia.)

This is a great place. We had an ocean view suite and the views were absolutely breathtaking.

Take a long walk along the coastline, it's really nice! ( and romantic)

You can rent a jet ski at sunset cove. They'll ask you for $50 for an half an hour but we offered them $30 and they took it. It was well worth it. You can go as far out as you like.

I absolutely recommend this resort !

PS; TAKE THE ZIP-LINE TOUR!!!!

  • Liked — The Hospitality and the beautiful grounds
  • Disliked — the beaches
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kitchener
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2009

My family and I have travelled extensively and this by far is the worst Caribbean vacation ever. The grounds are beautiful but there is loud construction everywhere on the site. The way they were working I figure they should complete it by 2010. The food was generally cold just like the bath water. The room key has a mind of its own, it either works or it doesn't. I heard from other vacationers of missing money and passports. You will not get any cooperation from management as they feel you are the one that owes them something. I would probably rate this resort as a good 2 plus star.
Lump
Nabo

  • Liked — the sun
  • Disliked — the whole experience
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hooversville Pa.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2009

Dec6 2008 through Dec. 12, 2008, this will be a beautiful resort, "when it's finished", to new, lots of thinks need taken care of, Only one beach was really accessable,that was the sunset cove, all the other beaches were still being worked on at night, and very rocky, (on what sand is there.)
No doubt the pool was absolutly beautiful, no doubet, bartenders were all very friendly, but the women who work there, other then the Hostess's at the resturants, were not friendly.
The first night, was a nightmare, 1st, when we got there at 1:30 pm, our room wasn't ready, this was after traveling 6 hrs, so we were told we could grab a snack at the sunset cove resturant, as they were still open, when we got there via a little shuttle, we were able to get a drink, but the resturant was closed, Ok, so we left there to go to the next suggested place to grab a bite and relax until our room was ready, which was the sports bar, had a burger there, waited until 5:30 pm to actually get a room, ok,( when this trip was arranged in Sept of 2008, we had special request of a villa close to activity, and on the first floor, with a view or the ocean" paid extra for this, as my signifent other had a walking problem do to a auto accident. Well!, not only did they put in the furtherest villa from the main hotel and resturants, they put us on the 3rd floor, 48 steps up!, The porter who drove us tho the Vills, said "no problem mon, I am here to take care of you" OK, strike one for me, but My guy says it'll be ok, we problaby won't be in the room that much i anyway, ok. Well by the time we got situated there, the resturants, were almost closing as they close at the latest 10:30 pm, Yes, there is always the sports bar with a hamburger or nacho's, well, I said, lets just stay here, and get in the Jacuzzi, and relax awhile, before we venture out, ok, well, we got in the beautiful jacuzzi, but wasn't in it more then 5 min, when all of a sudden a burst of smoke came out, and the motor had blown, our room was filled with smoke , ok, now I wanted to call the desk, but he says, just wait until we go to the main area and we will discuss with them, ok, I say, well, We decided to take a shower and go try and see some of the resort, and grab whatever is available to eat, it is now 930pm.
Guess what, yes, there was no HOT WATER! OK, Again he says we'll take a cold shower,and talk to them at the desk, OK< I say. Well, while he was taking his shower, I decided to look at the ocean front view I requested, and when I pulled back the curtains from our "3rd floor" suite, I got a beautiful view of the sand piles, and about 6 back hoes beginning to shovel sand to put on the unfinished beached, with about as many giant flood lights. OK! now I had it, I called the desk, told them about the late assignement of the room, the request for a first floor close to the main buildings, made in September, the 3rd floor room, assigned to someone, who couldn't climb stirs well, the blown jacuzzi which our room was still filled with smoke from, the cold water, and now the view of the sand pills, I was quite upset, I'm not hard to please, but when I pay for a "relaxing vacation" that wasn't cheap, I expect service, so far, no relaxing, The desk clerk was very accomidating and asked if we wanted to move to another room right then, I said no, but I want to be moved early in the morning to a closeer villa and the first floor, as it it now 10pm, and We are wiped out, that settled, we settled for the snacks we brought on the plane for our dinner and decided to go to bed early hince ends a 1st wated day in Jamaica. Well, they decided to send a maintance man up to our room at that time of the night to remove the motor from the jacuzzi, when they entered the room they laugh and was fanning they're faces, due to the smoke, (oh, very funny), but they were polite, they offered to bring another motor to replace it that night, we said no, we were changing villa's in the morning, and wanted to sleep. Ok, next morning, we were moved to a villa close to the main lobby and resturants and pool on the first floor, great, (we thought), after getting settled there, we decided to shower and go for brunch, ok, me first, shower, guess what, oh, yes we had hot water, but the showere wouldn't drain, and filled to the lip, my signifent other couldn't shower in there, or he might slip do to the water not draining at all, so I said, your going to have to climb in the jacuzzi and shower or bath there, as it had a shower nuzzle, well, this was very difficult for him as he can't lift his right leg, do to the injuries, and he was afraid of the high step in the tub, but accomplished it, guess what, water didn't drain there either!. OK, went to brunch, good food, I agree, then up to the desk bell boy sent maintance to our room they cleared the drains from multiple stones, and I was happy, but later that evening after returning early around 9pm, (as there is nothing to do there, after the amature show in the theatre is done,) except drink at the sports bar, we settle in our room, only to discover bugs out of Jurassic park running the floor, which they called cricket!s and also Giant spiders, which I was freaking out about, and my guy killed with his cane after being awaken by me several times through the night, as I was afraid to sleep without the light on, Next day they did spray the room and I saw no more bugs, just had to smell spray for a few days , "no problem mon",on the plus side, the pools were beautiful, the spa wonderful, and food good, as long as you got there early or made a resurvation, and Leroy at the swim up bar, is the greatest, did love those special!, Resort very large, too new, alot of kinks to work, out but some day will be a great resort, the casino also was not ready to be opened which I looked forward to. Was not a good experience, sorry.
sorry but no relaxation this trip, and it was "a problem mon!) Next time I will stay in Negril at a different resort.







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  • Liked — the pool and spa
  • Disliked — The beaches, except sunset cove of course, long waits to eat because of no reservations allowed,staff overall were not friendly or helpful, sorry
  • Stayed December 2008
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wayzata
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2009

Palladium Jamaica December 24 ’08 – January 01 ‘09

This was our 9th visit to a Palladium resort and first to the new Grand Palladium Jamaica & Palladium Lady Hamilton. It was also the first vacation that my daughter and I were taking together so there was some nervous excitement.

We flew into Montego Bay on Christmas Eve. Note that the baggage handlers in Montego airport take the luggage off the belts and line it up all over the airport. We were waiting for our luggage to come out and finally realized it had probably been taken off. Alfred from Alfred’s Taxi was waiting for us. I had found him via the internet and was a bit concerned as our flight was late but there he stood and greeted us warmly with a smile, and helped us into his new AC van.

As we drove to the Palladium, Alfred explained some of what we were seeing. We passed “Santa”.

The trip is picturesque and was pleasant despite the traffic. Alfred explained that virtually everyone in Jamaica goes shopping on Christmas Eve! The trip would normally have been about 30 - 40 mins. but took 1 ½ hrs due to Christmas shoppers’ traffic.

Arrival

Arriving at the Palladium we were impressed with its beauty. As in Riviera Maya, there is lots of gleaming marble. Everything is meticulous. Alfred helped us out (we were in the Jamaican side). Note the Palladium Jamaica and Lady Hamilton have separate lobbies but otherwise share all amenities. Many of the buildings that house accommodations have stunning ocean views.

We were greeted warmly by both reception and Guest Services. We had been upgraded to a beautiful ocean view suite on the Jamaican side in bldg 12. Our building overlooked the ocean and Gully Beach. The suite had a master bedroom with king bed, flat screen TV, fridge, desk with internet connection, clock radio, separate AC, deck overlooking the ocean. The living room had a very comfy sleep sofa, another flat screen TV, fridge, coffee pot, separate balcony with ocean views. We shared a marble bath with Jacuzzi and separate shower and double closets with a self-programmable safe.

We went to our beautiful suite to change and then wandered off to find something to eat. We made our way to the Sports Bar.

After our snack we went to the room to freshen up and rest. Wow. The resort further surprised us with an attractive birthday cake and some chocolates for my daughter. What a warm and thoughtful welcome!

Beaches & pools:

I know there is a lot of interest in the beaches at the new Palladium resort. I went aware that the beaches would be different from Mexico. There is a variety and if you explore the resort you’ll be sure to find that special spot just for you. Note there is no towel card system and towels can be found in strategic places around the pool and beaches.

Our room overlooked Gully Beach which was a small white sand beach. It was not a swimming beach but beautiful to see and oh those sunsets! One thing I really loved about this resort was the “sound” of the waves crashing. That sound is intoxicating. As it was windy in the Las Brisas area most of the week, (I was told this was typical for December) there was a surf. There is nothing more beautiful than watching and listening to the surf crashing. However, we had the best of both worlds as the coves did not have the wind. They were more protected and calm.

Sometimes while I was waiting for my daughter to wake up I would sit in the lobby. Wi Fi connection sometimes worked there.

Other days I would sit on the Jamaica end of the Las Brisas beach. It was very peaceful there, a quick walk from our room and often times I had the beach nearly to myself. Those who wanted to swim or snorkel would go a little further down to the Lady Hamilton beach.

Walking down the Las Brisas Beach past the beach bar one finds a beach for swimming and snorkeling. I would suggest beach shoes for snorkeling here as there are some reef areas, just as there is a reef on White Sand in Riviera Maya.

After a wonderful breakfast (they have more than one egg station in the morning buffet which is a plus), My daughter and I would sometimes walk to Sunset Cove for the morning. This is a beautiful beach area, calm waters, good snorkeling, water sports available via Scuba Caribe and a restaurant and bar. (I was planning to go to Sunset Cove for the sunset but never made it.)

The Scuba Caribe staff said that snorkeling was very good over near the cliffs. Another great spot for snorkeling is over at Coral Cove. That is just below the Coral adult pool and bar.

We enjoyed the variety of beaches and pools. The Infiniti pool is by far the largest pool I have ever seen. It looked immaculate to me but there was someone always cleaning. There was a shallow area where the kids played and where the staff conducted water robics.

I loved the new loungers here. Some loungers had views of the pool and the ocean. Very nice!

The Spa and the Spa pool were beautiful and peaceful. The gym was state of the art.

My favorite pool area at the end of the day was at “Roselle” or Relax pool. It was very relaxing with soft music playing. Simone is the bartender there and such a “sweetheart”. It was always so nice to end the day with her warm smile.

Food & drinks

We arrived on Christmas Eve. Owing to various flight delays and the Christmas shoppers’ traffic in Montego Bay we arrived at the resort around 4.

When we arrived we were greeted warmly by both reception and Guest Services and given a cold rum punch. After changing into comfortable clothing we went in search of food. We knew that they were having a special Christmas Eve buffet but needed a snack as we hadn’t eaten all day. The Blue Lagoon buffet was just closing its luncheon buffet so we went to the Sports Bar. This is opened 22 hours per day and serves burgers, quesadillas, pizza, nachos and more.

That evening we went to Negril buffet for a delicious Christmas Eve buffet. We really enjoy the outdoor seating here which overlooks the pool and the ocean beyond. Some of the ala cartes and the Blue Lagoon buffet have ocean views.

The food was plentiful, beautifully presented and excellent. There was almost anything you could want, i.e. shrimp, clams, roast beef, pork, many salads and great vegetables. The champagne was flowing on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and on into the New Year.

Service was excellent here and the staff were very friendly.

We awoke on Christmas Day to beautiful sunshine. Hard to believe it was Christmas! We went to the buffet where they immediately offered a champagne or mimosa. I ordered a cup of excellent Jamaican cappuccino. Breakfast is a breakfast lover’s delight. They do have more than one place here to get eggs which is a great idea as morning omelets are very popular. Service varied depending on how busy they were. Earlier in the day it was very good. If it was later in the morning it was busier and it might take a little longer to get coffee so I always made a very good coffee in the room.

For lunch we ate a couple of times at Sunset Cove. That is a nice restaurant overlooking the cove. They serve jerk chicken (excellent), burgers, quesadillas, have a fresh salad and fruit bar and sometimes have paella. At night it converts to a seafood restaurant. Beautiful views of Sunset Cove. Most days we had lunch at Blue Lagoon. That is the restaurant above the main pool. It has views of the pool and the ocean and the food is excellent. If you don’t see something you like, they will grill something for you. Most days I had the grilled chicken which I fell in love with in the Riviera Maya. They do it here with different spices and have lots of fresh fruit and veggies which I love. The burgers and jerk chicken were popular as was the pasta station. Drink service was usually very good.

On Christmas night we had a reservation for the Christmas buffet at Blue Lagoon. What an amazing meal! Service was outstanding with Ramion as our waiter. We felt he was there just for us!

As we were there for the holiday week, we had some special dinners in the buffets and then alternated ala cartes. My daughter loves the buffets, which are theme related on non-holiday nights, so we decided to go to a handful of ala cartes. We went to Pastafarian (Italian) twice, Bubbas (steakhouse) and Lotus (Asian). (Ala cartes are unlimited and there is no reservation required.)

As a very special treat on this first night in Pastafarian my daughter spotted her favorite actor. OMG!!! She was so excited that she had to track him down and confirm it was in fact him. (Chase Crawford from Gossip Girl) Yes. It was and she later got a picture of herself with him.

On our 2nd trip to Pastafarian my daughter enjoyed the Fetuccino Alfredo which she said was excellent and I had the stuffed chicken breast which was delicious.

We also loved Lotus and Bubbas. When we went to Lotus, Kendrude, who had waited on us elsewhere saw us, (he was in the adjacent restaurant that night) and came over to say hi.

My daughter said the Asian was the best she has ever had. The atmosphere was attractive and theme appropriate. Annalyze (sp?) was our waitress and she was outstanding.

We were getting to the ala cartes around 6:45 and did not have any wait until we went to Bubbas. There was a 45 minute wait there. It worked out, though as my daughter’s friends were there from Alberta and we had a nice chat with the family. They were in Lady Hamilton near Sunset Cove and loved it. The steak in Bubbas was excellent and portions were huge. Service was a little slower as they were so busy but not to worry Mon!

We didn’t try Bhogali (Indian) but it was very popular and I heard good things about it.

New Year’s Eve was amazing. The resort went all out on every front. There were grilled lobster tails, baby lamb chops, ice sculpture displays with shrimp, clams, crab legs, juicy roast turkey, beautifully prepared veggies and just about anything you could want for a special occasion. My camera was taking strange pictures at night so I did not fully capture the magic of the night. It started out with us getting a great outdoor table at Negril. Laticia was our waitress and she couldn’t do enough. She chatted a lot and told me about her son. What a sweet person. I felt like we were old friends by the time dinner was over.

Our overall impression of the food at this resort: Very good to excellent.

Our impressions of service: Good to excellent. (Depends on how busy they are; most notably at breakfast.) Ala cartes and special dinners had outstanding service.

Drinks: I usually stick to wine and it was from Argentina and very good. Coffee and cappuccinos were excellent.

Hopefully this is helpful. The resort does a great job with food, hygiene and service. Please tip. I saw few people tipping and the staff really do remember who tips and appreciate it.

Entertainment & Off site trips

This was the first time my daughter and I went on vacation together and the first time as a teen that she did not bring a friend with her. I was a bit apprehensive as naturally I wanted my daughter to have a good time. If you’re traveling as a couple or as a family with teens or little people there is nothing to worry about as this resort has something for everyone.

The first couple of days we hung out together. We enjoyed watching the little kids on stage at 8 pm, followed by the evening show by the staff. I especially enjoyed the groups brought in such as the steel band. (Entertainment schedules are posted at the beach bar and in the theater.)

Once my daughter began making friends I encouraged her to join them. This is an easy resort for the teens to meet others as they all gather at either the beach bar, the sports bar or the disco. The entertainment staff engaged the teens in dance lessons, Bingo, volleyball and more and they also were in the disco after 11 so it was easy for the teens to transition into the group.

Being the holiday season, there were a fair amount of little kids and multi-generational families. The resort had some things geared toward the little ones and the kids club seemed quite busy. There was a lot of kids’ food. My daughter said that they had “the best” chicken nuggets. I just heard tonight that they are going to have a “kids’ corner” in the buffets.

As for me, I found this a comfortable resort for me to wander around and find something in the evenings. I enjoyed the shows that had music like this steel drum band.

My very favorite place was the Infiniti Bar. I met a lovely couple there from Ohio who were on their honeymoon. I shared some books with them. The resort is building up a recycled book collection in the Miss Lou Lecture bar but there wasn’t much of a selection yet.

The Infiniti lounge has rotating live musicians every night. There was dancing there as well. Igol was a favorite bartender and Marlene an outstanding waitress.

The absolute highlight of my daughter’s trip was meeting her favorite TV star from the show, ”Gossip Girls”. As I mentioned, she met and actually hung out with Chase Crawford. Apparently his favorite sport is “cricket”. He was there for most of the week with his family and the teenage girls were going crazy.

Side trips

Early in the week we had talked about going into Negril to see the beach, do some shopping and watch the sunset at Rick’s. The resort TA has a very reasonable tour for this. Then we talked about going horseback riding on the beach. (There is a list of “Jamaica Adventures" on this Unofficial site.)Once my daughter met some friends (and saw Chase) she did not want to leave the resort for long so our side trips amounted to two trips to nearby Lucea, a rustic little town, for specific shopping.

Lucea
Lucea (pronounced Lucy-a)is a rustic, bustling little town about 10 minutes from the Palladium via taxi. When I ran out of books and couldn't find any on the resort I asked Celine, the lady taxi dispatcher, where the closest book store was. She said "Lucea". Not knowing anything about it I agreed to hire a taxi for the reduced rate of $20 and she called Roger for me. Roger is a quiet, polite Jamaican man. He drove me into this town with narrow streets and people crowding the street sides (no sidewalks). I saw nothing that would suggest a "Book store" (thinking Barnes & Noble).There were tiny little bars, a produce open market, some T shirt vendors. We pulled behind a slab building that had a hardware type store and climbed some metal steps to a second floor room. Inside were neat stacks of what appeared to be school books. I wandered around pondering how I was going to diplomatically leave. Roger was with me, watching over me like a big brother. Finally I spotted a rack with about 6 paperbacks on it. Not my usual genre, but I chose two and began the payment process. I only had a $20 and the shopkeeper had no money so Roger offered to go get change. He soon came back and I thanked Roger profusely and paid for the books happy to soon be on the beach of the Palladium just 10 minutes later.

The next day my daughter found me in the lobby and said she needed to go somewhere "close" to find a dress for New Year's Eve. I said that Lucea was the closest place but I couldn't imagine finding anything to her liking there. I asked if she wanted to go to Negril and she said no it was too far. So we went back to Celine and explained what we needed. She said "Lucea" would be good. I explained as politely as I could that My daughter is a teen, very fussy, etc and she said there is a "Boutique" in Lucea. I agreed and asked her to call Roger to come with us. I had forewarned My daughter not to expect more than maybe a couple of sundresses in a t shirt shop. Roger drove to Lucea, down an alley behind a non-descript building and I saw a worn sign saying "Discount Boutique". I was very skeptical as from the outside it didn't look like a place where my daughter would find anything remotely interesting. How wrong I was. Roger pulled up a stool as the shopkeepers ushered my daughter into another room where she found numerous dresses she liked. There weren't "sized", they just took down any my daughter liked and Roger mentioned that she should try them on. He really was being a big brother to both of us. As my daughter tried the dresses on, Roger was pointing to some very high purple stilettos with the pointiest toes I had ever seen. "That would look nice" he said. (They looked painful.)I know he was trying to help. "I think she's wearing flat shoes so she can dance", I said. Roger patiently sat there which was a bit awkward as my daughter kept finding more and more dresses she liked. The shop girls kept giving her the "more provocative" ones they could find and would oo and ah when my daughter came out. Finally we found something that was attractive and not "too provocative". We bought the dress and some accessories for a reasonable price. Roger was very proud of himself and said, "I know the best places". When we got back we showed the taxi dispatcher Celine and she oo-ed and ah- ed and said, "see, I know the best places".

Lucea is an underdeveloped, busy little town with a "local" flavor and lots of local people. It kind of reminded me of St. Lucia for any of you who have been there. It has a farmers market, another souvenir type marketplace and not much more that I saw. If you like local kinds of places I would say it’s worth the trip. It’s very close and to me would be interesting to explore.

Conclusion

Internet

As I mentioned earlier, I sometimes sat in the lobby and was able to pick up WiFi there. Each lobby has its own WiFi. It seemed to me that Palladium Jamaica was a little stronger than Lady Hamilton. Posting pictures was extremely slow though so after the first couple of days I gave up on that idea.

You can also go to the Cyber Hut and purchase a coupon for their Wi Fi connection which works in your room. If you don’t bring a laptop you can purchase computer time in $5 increments or an hour’s worth for $18. (You can log on and off and use this time.) Dwayne in Cyber Hut was extremely helpful and patient.

Phones

My daughter wanted to be able to use Apple I phone to message her friends which came in handy when she spotted Chase! I did not activate the AT&T international feature on my phone but was able to call my daughter when I needed to touch base with her. Phones worked very well there.

ATM
There is a Scotia bank ATM off the Palladium Jamaica lobby. It is really great as it allows you to withdraw in either Jamaican dollars or US dollars. It will also give you your balance in either currency. (Check your balance in Jamaica dollars if you want to feel wealthy. Exchange at the ATM is about 80 to $1 US.) I used the ATM a couple of times and in looking at my statements it looked like the fees were minimal. $1.50 to check the balance but the transaction fees were about 50 cents.

I don't want to leave!

All of my anticipation about us enjoying ourselves was for naught. The night before we were to leave my daughter said, “I reeealllly don’t want to leave”. Well, neither did I so we went to the front desk to work things out. We then spoke to Joy in Guest Services to see if she could help us change flights. We couldn’t get through to the airlines so Joy brought me into the Palladium office area to use their computers. Still no luck. I got up at the crack of dawn and used the lobby phone to call the airlines. It took time to get through but I succeeded and got a flight for two days later. Yes! I also called Alfred’s Taxi from the lobby phone and followed up with an email to tell him to come two days later.

Fortunately for us this two days would allow us to enjoy the festivities at the resort on New Year’s Eve!

Alfred arrived right on the dot two days later. We knew we were going home to snow and bitter cold. It was bittersweet leaving. We had a wonderful and relaxing week.

Our impressions of the resort are positive. It is new – five months to be exact but they have done a remarkable job. Everything is immaculate, sparkling and beautiful. The staff were very friendly and helpful, food wonderful, great wine and coffee. The teens suggested that it might be nice to have some food at the beach bar and soda fountains similar to Riviera Maya. I heard last night that they are adding a “kid’s corner” to the buffets.

Suggest getting to the airport early. We asked Alfred to pick us up three hours ahead of time and glad we did. It took forever checking in. (Things are slower here. No problem Mon!) Security is tight here also so be aware of the security guidelines.

This resort has a lot to offer couples, (lots of nooks & crannies), families with teens or smaller children. There really is something for everyone.

  • Liked — Beautiful surroundings, accommodations. Excellent food
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
montreal QC
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2009

its a great place and it was a great trip.... but your vacation is what you make it right. anyway the only thing i have to say is big ups to my man LEROY at the pool bar in the main pool....what a character, great guy, and he really had a huge impact on my trip... if you go... go see Leroy!!!

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2009

Great hotel, absolutely loved it! The Sunset Cove Beach was the best. The snorkeling was great. Our room was right on the water.The food was the best we ever had. Our only complaint on this trip was SUNWING, they changed our flight from Ottawa direct to stopping in Quebec City both ways. They overbooked our flight on the way home too and we had to wait on board for the people to remove their luggage from the plane.

  • Liked — sunset cove
  • Disliked — stairs
  • Stayed December 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa

Address: The Point, Lucea, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Hanover Parish > Lucea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Lucea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 544
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Palladium Jamaica Hotel Lucea
Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort And Spa
Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa Lucea

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