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“Please Don't - Forewarned is Forarmed” 1 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
Washington DC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Please Don't - Forewarned is Forarmed”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2009

I realize this is a long post. What you see below is a letter I wrote to the head of the Fiesta Group Hotel chain which owns the Grand Palladium. I really don't have time to write such long letters and reviews, which should provide you with some insight into how upset I am about this property and our vacation there.

In summary, don't stay here. Like others, we read all of the reviews, many of which were glowing and positive. I realize that travel is sometimes hit and miss. We honestly were not looking for anything fancy just a few relaxing days in the sun. Well, if you miss at this property, you miss big. It's just not worth it, regardless of "how much of a deal you get".

You can read the letter below and decide for yourselves. However, don't miss the photos, as they speak a thousand words. Of course, there are no photos of the broken television or the wasted money we spent.

Do yourself a favor - there are so many other resorts to choose from - pick another one. Try the Bahia Principe in Akumal - much better!

I hope this helps!


Dear Mr. Abel Matutes Prats,


I am writing this letter to share a recent experience that my wife and I had at one of your properties; the Grand Palladium Resort and Spa in Jamaica.

We stayed at this property between January 17 and January 21, 2009 to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We booked our trip through BookIt. Com.

We both agreed that as business owners/managers we would like to be informed when the quality of our products or services fall short of our standards and therefore felt compelled to write a letter to you, a fellow businessman.

I think it may be helpful to share with you that we are seasoned travelers. We travel extensively for business and pleasure. We travel both domestically (in the United States) and throughout the world. Some examples of international places we recently visited are:

• Paris, France
• Rouen, France
• Honfluer, France
• Le Havre, France
• Hong Kong
• Macau
• Guangzhou, China
• Bologna, Italy
• Florence, Italy
• Almalfi, Italy
• Genoa, Italy
• Santa Margherita, Italy
• Nassau, Bahamas
• Cancun, Mexico
• US Virgin Islands
• Puerto Rico
• Montreal, Canada
• Quebec City, Canada


I point this out to assure you that we understand the different standards and customs associated with international travel. My wife and I are both professionals in our late 40’s.

Based on our experience with staying at hotels and resorts throughout the world, we would rate our satisfaction with our recent stay at the Grand Palladium as one of the worst we ever experienced.

This resort characterizes and advertises itself as a five star property (as an example, we recently stayed at the Ritz Carlton and Marriott Casa Magna resorts in Cancun – true five star resorts). By no measurable standard was this resort anywhere near close to earning five stars.

Prior to our arrival I sent an email explaining that this was a special occasion; our wedding anniversary. I requested a waterfront room. I recognize that there is no guarantee of receiving one and that many guests are celebrating special events. We were not given a waterfront room, but did have a partial view of the water.

We did receive a “red wristband” which we were told was to denote that we were “VIPs”.

When we booked our trip we chose to pay for an upgrade to a one-bedroom suite instead of the normal junior suite. This was predominantly because of two televisions.

We arrived in our room, which we found spacious. Once the bellman left, we began unpacking only to notice that the room had not been properly cleaned. We found a used Q-tip swab on the floor, a dirty diaper in the trashcan, a rotten plum on the floor and a crumpled magazine on the balcony (please see photos). While we recognize that any one of these items could be missed when the room was cleaned, having them all missed was very disconcerting. We also learned that the mini bar was not stocked as promised and that the television in the bedroom did not work.

We called the operator and kindly requested that they rectify these situations and were told “no problem mon”, our first of many such offhand, insincere responses. After touring the resort for several hours we returned to the room and learned that nothing had changed. We headed out for dinner, and my wife stopped by the front desk believing that addressing the problems in person might help get them rectified. The gentleman at the front desk was very polite and wrote down the issues my wife shared with him, promising that they would be resolved promptly.

After dinner and some evening entertainment (several hours later), we returned to the room to find that none of the issues (including the dirty diaper in the waste basket) had been resolved.

My wife telephoned the front desk and firmly asked that someone help us now! We were greeted 30 minutes later by an obviously angry man who removed the diaper and Q-tip. The other issues were not fixed. I asked the man for the name of the manager on duty. I then phoned Mr. Roger Clark and set up an appointment to meet with him the following morning at 10:00 a.m., thinking that professionally addressing the outstanding issues might provide an expedited level of resolution and help us to enjoy the remaining days of our short vacation.

I arrived promptly at 10:00 a.m. and walked to the reception desk. I informed the ladies at the desk that I had an appointment with Mr. Clark. They said he had yet to arrive for the day and that I should have a seat. I sat down and waited 20 minutes before I proceed to the guest relation’s desk. I explained that I was waiting for my appointment with Mr. Clark. She radioed Mr. Clark and informed me that he would arrive shortly. I again took a seat and waited for Mr. Clark who arrived about ten minutes later. By this time, I learned that my wife and I had missed breakfast.

I calmly explained what had happened the day/night before and that the television in the bedroom still did not work. Mr. Clark said he understood, but there really was not much he could do for us except to have the television fixed right away. He said he was disappointed that he did not have any other rooms available to upgrade/move us to, but the resort was quite full, with some rooms undergoing repairs. He then told me that it is his intent to WOW his guests and that he would deliver that WOW factor to us many times over before our trip ended.

He certainly did earn a WOW from us; that is WOW how could any property, let alone a five star resort be so insensitive to service, quality and the needs of its guests! WOW, how could management of a five star resort totally disregard legitimate complaints of its guests?

While a filthy room (I think a dirty used diaper, rotten fruit and a crumpled magazine qualify as filthy), an empty mini bar and broken television might not bother some, the responses to the requests for repair and service should bother you and your entire hotel family. We recognize that good help is hard to get and that things can and often are overlooked, however, when one makes repeated requests, including wasting vacation time by seeking out a manager, who appears 30 minutes late for a meeting and resolves nothing, then it is impossible to overlook. It certainly puts a black cloud over the whole vacation.

Mr. Clark did indeed try to WOW us; he sent a bottle of cheap champagne to our room. We bumped into him later during our stay and he asked my wife how it was going and what he could do to make her vacation memorable. She said a bottle of white wine in the room would be nice touch. He complemented her, saying he appreciated her "humility". A bottle of red wine showed up in the room that evening; there was no corkscrew. I called the desk and asked for an opener; none ever arrived. The bottle remained in the room unopened when we left; as did the broken television and the crumpled magazine on the balcony (see photos).

Granted, this is an all-inclusive, so the wine he provided and the champagne are already included in the cost of the vacation, so this was not too big of a request from my wife and not too big of a gesture from Mr. Clark.

The television was never fixed despite requests every day and evening to have it repaired. A workman did arrive one evening at 9:30 when my wife was asleep. Against my better judgment I let him into the bedroom to complete the repair. He said he would be quiet. He could not fix the television and needed my help in putting the monitor back on the wall. One of the primary reasons we upgraded to a one bedroom suite was to have two televisions as there were quite a few important events occurring, including the Presidential Inauguration (and all the associated events) and the NFL playoff games. We love to watch television in bed together when away and were unable to for the entirety of our vacation.

On our third night, the floor above us began to leak into our bathroom. We used our towels to clean up the mess from the dripping ceiling (see photo). We explained what happened and requested new towels, but none ever arrived, so we could not shower the following day. Additionally, I informed Mr. Clark (as the hotel’s brochure requested that we do to conserve water) that the sink would not shut off and continued to drip. The maintenance man left a to-do list and a part in the bathroom, but nothing was fixed (see photos).

A few other items we thought you might be interested in your quest to implement “action systems based on the principles of Total Quality” (as we learned from your web site was your goal).

The entire resort ran out of beer one day we were there. It appears that they purchased some bottled beer to replace the empty kegs, but the supply kept running out.

The Sunset Cove bar ran out of Rum one afternoon. How does an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean run out of rum?

Various bars ran out champagne, ice, rum punch and bananas (again, a Caribbean resort running out of bananas?)!

The food at the buffet was consistently cold. I waited for over 45 minutes to get an omelet one morning. There was no bacon on two different days. The wait for the ala carte restaurants was over an hour and the wait to get a drink often was twenty minutes or longer.

None of the food service staff wore gloves. I was anxiously waiting to get a fresh piece of pizza, when the lady bringing it from the kitchen to the buffet took every piece off of her tray with her bare hands and put it onto the chafing dish. We witnessed similar uncleanliness and a lack of basic restaurant hygiene throughout the resort.

As you can imagine, we had a less than satisfying stay at this property. We believe that management could have reacted differently, solving our problems in a number of ways. If they could not fix the television, they could have offered to move us to another room. There seems like a variety of small ways to WOW us was available, but never used. Certainly, the resort and Mr. Clark could have provided an better/different room, a fruit basket (instead of rotting fruit on the floor), a corkscrew with the wine (or at least after we requested one), free pillows from the “Pillow Bar”, a romantic dinner on the beach, flowers, or any variety of other amenities at his disposal, but none was ever proffered or delivered. Mr. Clark’s wanting to WOW us was just lip service, the standard, empty “no problem, mon we received throughout our stay. Never did anyone we met sincerely try to resolve our problems, which were really their problems, caused by the lack of attention to detail and actually caring about the guests’ experience. We were not looking for or expecting anything fancy; just a clean resort where the television and plumbing worked and you could get a drink without a hassle. We felt that they were just trying to process as many guests through with as few problems as possible. I asked a cashier for one dollar bills so we could give them as tips, she said, “crap, you took my last ones”, as she angrily counted them out. We consistently heard complaints from the staff about how busy they were, again, not what you really want your guests to hear (or what we want to hear as guests). It was very clear to us that the resort was nowhere near capacity, which leads us to believe that they are terribly understaffed and/or not managed very well. Of course, we can attest to the latter, first hand.

We asked numerous employees what the red wristbands were for and they consistently explained they were for VIP guests. When we asked what VIP guests received that others did not, none, including Mr. Clark could answer. That seems very insincere to us.

We feel cheated. We have precious little time to vacation and spent close to $2,000 for a few days in the sun.

We thought you would want to know. We intend to post this review on several web sites including BookIt.com and TripAdvisor. In fairness, we promise to post your response once it is received.

Frustrated Travelers,

  • Liked — The Sun
  • Disliked — Everything - No Service, Dirty, Horrible Food, Surly Staff - Stay Away!
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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
Ontario
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2009

Our vacation started with a cancellation of our original departure time out of Toronto at 6:20 am and arrive in Montego Bay 10:35 am flying Sunwing to departing Toronto 1:45pm with a stop over in Kitchener/Waterloo Ontario (15 min flight) to pick up about 90 passengers. After an hour we were on our way to Montego Bay, Jamaica but now arriving 8:15 pm. We arrived at the Grand Palladium at 9:30 pm. We lost that day, besides a double take off and landing. We'll think twice about flying Sunwing. We didn't let this ruin our vacation.
Staff were friendly, maid decorated our junior suite with towel animals and flowers, tied the sheers fancy, they could speak and understand english too.
The steak house a la carte was best, rib eye was recommended by staff. I had my birthday celebration there and was treated royally. They brought out champaigne before dinner and a candle in brownie with singing happy birthday. Our server Garth was very good.
The beds were hard but never lost any sleep. Washrooms at the Blue Lagoon Restaurant was over used and not working well. This washroom was close to the main pool area that we lounged at. The pool washrooms were way on the other side of the pool. Oh ya, the main pool is huge with a swim up bar, unfortunately some of the 2 inch square tiles are coming off, but that didn't hold us back from swimming or walking in the water to the bar. Leroy is a great bartender. Try a dirty monkey or miami vice, you won't stop at just one.
We had a great holiday, didn't take any side trips. The infinity bar had lots of specialty drinks, liquors and coffees.
We were in building 17 but didn't mind the extra walking. Short walk to Sunset Cove beach, nice restaurant there for lunch or dinner. I would recommend this resort!

  • Liked — overall appearance, clean and friendly staff, new lounges around pools
  • Disliked — Small beach area and beds are hard
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fairfax va
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2009

We have stayed at many hotels and resorts all over the world
and by far this was the worst. The food is mediocre at best , you can get into one of the ala carte restaurants if you want to wait several hours. When we checked in - there was a lovely dirty diaper in the bathroom trash can, food on the floor and a broken tv. We asked three times for someone to come clean up. Finally after the third call and I wasn't too nice, I got a "ya mon, we coming". Some angry employee finally showed up. By day four, the tv was still broken.

The hotel is understaffed, even when the bars and restaurants were not full, the staff was overwhelmed and could not keep up with the crowd. I didn't get a sense that the plates and glasses were very clean and none of the cooks wore gloves...gross.

Oh well, at least the weather was nice

  • Liked — sun
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 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.
Washington, DC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2009

A few things to add to previous posts:

TRAVELING OUTSIDE THE RESORT:
I would recommend hiring a driver (you can hire one through the activities office at the resort). It's reasonably priced and provided us with some flexibility in planning our day in Negril. Oh and while you're in Negril, don't miss Rick's Cafe. It was one of the higlights of our trip.

And, if you're looking for another adventure, try Ziplining. Jamaica Zipline Adventure Tours is excellent. The guides were hilarious (expect a lot of singing) and very careful about safety. There were 5 ziplines, an Indiana Jones style bridge, and a snack break (with yummy pineapple and coconut). This was, by far, the best part of our trip. You can reserve your place at the activities office.

RESTAURANTS/DRINKS/TIPS
Avoid the Jamaican restaurant (ironically, it's the worst one on the resort). We enjoyed the Italian and Asian restaurants best. Although, skip the dessert...it was a disappointment in virtually every restaurant.

One of the first things you should do it visit Leroy in the pool bar. He mixes the best drinks in Jamaica. Just be sure to bring some dollar bills and a large cup.

And be sure to bring plenty of dollar bills for your trip. We tipped a few dollars for every meal and drinking session (with American dollars). You are also expected to tip for the driver to and from the airport, the gentlemen who handle your bags at the hotel, and the maid service (at the end of the week).

  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MISSISSAUGA,ONTARIO
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2009

i stayed at this resort from jan10-17,2009 in room 1320.

i went with 14 of my family members and to tell the truth the resort was great all around, until, on the day i left i realized that i left my brand new $350 jeans behind the couch!! so me being me i waited until i got home and called right away!! they left me on hold for 34 minutes and then they simply said the would call me back!!! 8 1/2 days later the hotel manager left a message on my home phone saying the jeans were nowhere to be found!!! i know for a fact that our cleaner stole them because the jeans were indeed there and one of our neighbors was also robbed of jewelry!!! my conclusion is if you do go there DO NOT trust anyone, trust me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Liked — the sun
  • Disliked — the beach
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ohio
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2009

Ok so heres the deal, when we went it was barely open, EMTPY, but turned out great because everything was available!
the first day was dull not many people my age (17) but as the days went nmore people came, after the second day about 400 people had come. I gotta say our room and the views were AMAZING! weather,..GORGEOUS!

Now the best part, the entertainment staff were the best ive ever met, one of them Dominic i became great friends with and definately adisve meeting him! If you do tell him Willie says hi! but the rest of the staff were great too, throughout the whole trip i hung out with them. we did activities and played dominos all day at the bar where the entertainment reps are mostly at. the bartenders were great and a total blast to drink with!

Every afternoon around 5 i would go out for a walk and listen to my ipod strolling along the beach...BEAUTIFUL!

the cove beach was my favorite, i met a family with 4 kids 15 16 19 and 23, i hung out with them most of the time and one day we took a sailboat, best 2 hours of my life.

The restaurants were great and the club was amazing! all night dancing taking shots and enjoying my time with the entertainment reps! the sportsbar is also a great place to go seeing as its open all night!

Overall i was VERY pleased with my stay and i plan to go back this summer!

  • Liked — entertainment staff
  • Disliked — beach was a bit rocky
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2009

WOW what a great place. Not only did we win a free trip from our local radio station 97.3 EZRock along with 20 other couples, but the place was actually great. Stayed the week of 01/09 - 01/16 and the only complaint I would have is the beach which is not quite as nice as some of the beaches in Cuba. Apart from that though, it's our new favourite place. The room was huge, the Bathroom very nice with a Jacuzzi that actually works and CAN be filled with HOT water. What a novelty for the Carribean. Large assortment of restaurant ( 7 a la Carte ) and the Buffet was very versatile. 13 bars to choose from. The pools offer a variety from large main with Pool bar and lots of noisy guests, to secluded ones where you can enjoy peace and quite. The SPA was also very nice as was teh Fitness facitly with new equipment. No beach Vendors to bother you as it's a private beach. The staff friendly eventhough most were new to the resort and not very skilled, but they tried hard to please. Felt very safe and secure. Can't wait to go back

  • Liked — The large grounds and newness of resort
  • Disliked — Beach
  • Stayed January 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort And Spa
Grand Palladium Jamaica Hotel Lucea
Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa Lucea

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