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“Great at first....” 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
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great at first....”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2009

The number one thing I would tell someone about the Palladium is that if your vacation is more than 5/6 days, don't stay there. We were there 8 days, and the small things that didn't bother us the first few days really began to drive us crazy by day 5. For example, no towles at the pools, out of ice, out of limes, out of bananas, the HARD beds, the slow pace of staff, the hike to and from your villa, ect! It really is a beautiful resort, with an amazing pool. You have many places to choose from for dinner, and it's nice that reservations are not needed. Everyone we met had different opinions of which restaurants were the best. My advice- don't listen, just try them out. If you don't like it, and are still hungry go somewhere else.

We did the Negril shopping trip, and for only 30$ I would totally recommend it. Plus, it gives you a chance to see some of Jamaica outside the resort.

The staff is very friendly- except the morning brunch people.

  • Disliked — The beds!
  • 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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4,192 reviews from our community

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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
    4 of 5 stars
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English first
Toronto, Canada
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2009

If you are looking for a relaxing time at a beautiul resort in a sunny destination with wonderful staff and a great value for your money, look no further.

Grand Palladium Jamaica and Lady Hamilton are two new resorts and are both wonderful places to stay in Jamaica. Lady Hamilton side charges about $50 more per person to stay because of being a bit closer to amenities and that is all the difference. There are shuttles that will take you anywhere you want to go within the resort and in my opinion the difference is not worth it.

My wife and I travel extensively and we have been to several 5 star all-inclusive resorts. This is among the good ones. There are a few small glitches because they are brand new and the staff are not all trained well yet but remember you are on vacation and not on a mission to work as a travel critic.

The beach is not great but you can go to the " Six mile Beach" which has six miles of white sandy beach not very far from the resort. You can take a tour or a taxi to get there. However, the main pool is huge and absoloutly beautiful and flawless. The food is great. If you are travelling with small children or a baby, there is absoloutly no problem. They have a day care that is free for children of 4 years or older with lots of activities during the day and at night. For younger than 4 year old, you have to pay $10 per hour for baby sitting.

There are 10 restaurnats that you can eat in.Food is good for an all-inclusive resort. No reservation needed to eat at the Steak house, Mexican, Indian, Italian and Japenese restaurnats. It takes about 2 to 3 hours though to come out of any of these restaurants. I found the kitchens a bit slow to give food to the waiters. I recommend to have 50 US$1 bill for tipping for a one week of stay.

Once again, go there and enjoy the opening low prices.

  • Liked — The main Pool
  • Disliked — The Beach
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2009

My husband and I arrived on January 10 the day of my birthday around 5:30 pm and was immediately taken care of. We had a one bedroom suite however it was upgraded to a ocean view since it was my birthday. The room was nice and the view outside was outstanding. The bed was extremely hard and it took several days for me to sleep comfortable. The staff was wonderful and catered to our needs. Food was in abundance and you had a variety of choices of what you wanted. Overall, my husband and I had a great time and would return again.

  • Liked — The envirnoment
  • Disliked — The bed
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2009

Love Jamacou But if you are going to go to get a little rest for get it. You do all the waiting on your self. Food and drinks. No one wants to pamper you in any way. If you are thinking they are going to be up beat like any other resort that i have been in for get that too. One night the bar maid was ask to smile her comment was nothing to smile for. The pools was all Cold. Beaches rocky. If that is what they are calling beaches. I call a beach with sand not rock.And yes i stayed on the Lady Hamilton side. If i was asked to go again NO. On the other side food was ok. Beds hard just like sleeping on the floor.

  • Liked — the food
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2009

Just returned home from the Grand Palladium hotel. I sure don't know what some of these people have a problem with. The resort and the rooms are beautiful.

We were somewhat disappointed in the beach but we got over it with the huge pool right on the water and there is some beach.

Too bad the ice machines in each of the buildings don't work. Seeing them there is just an aggravation if you want ice and none work. Take a zip lock bag and get some at one of the bars if you want it. They are happy to give it to you if you have something to put it in. You have an ice bucket in the room to put it in.

Staff doesn't move too quickly to meet your needs that is for sure but that is the laid back nature of Jamaica. They are all very friendly they just don't get in a hurry.
Food was really good. There is always lots to choose from.
I feel we got great value for our money. There were a few glitches but nothing to spoil your holiday over.

If you are going here you maybe want to take a few washclothes as these aren't always available.
You also need to leave one of your keys in the slot by the door in the rooms to keep the air conditioning going and the lights on.

We had a great holiday and met lots of really nice people..

  • Liked — The resort is beautiful with lot of Ocean views
  • Disliked — beach
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stoney Creek
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2009

OK, so I read all the reviews about the Grand Palladium and was of the opinion that what will be will be. The night before we left for our vacation while out for dinner we ran into a couple who had just returned from there and gave us some helpful ideas and information about the hotel. We flew Sunwing - which once we eventually got into the air, proved to be an enjoyable flight. We were two hours late leaving, but to be fair it was snowing a fair amount. We were very late arriving at the hotel, almost midnight, and we were travelling with a 23 month old. Check in was painfully slow but we were rewarded with great rooms. We decided to walk to our rooms as the shuttle was very busy and we the baby was asleep in the stroller. A security guy on a motorcycle came up and helped up and saw us up to our rooms. We had requested a crib but there wasn't one, however, our security guy saviour came up with one within about a half an hour. The first day was a series of "we have run out of it" - rum, triple sec, bacon at breakfast, hashbrowns etc etc but after that new supplies must have arrived and all was well. We did end up leaving the Mexican restaurant before dinner arrived as the service was extremely slow. We were five adults and a baby - and the staff were not too impressed to seat us and serve us. The staff at the Negril buffet were really nice and we tried to go there most of the time. It seemed they went out of their way to help us and get us a high chair for the baby.
The vacation continued to improve as the week went on. There is plenty of shade at the main pool and plenty of chairs for everyone. If there were no beach towels available straight away, they were available usually within 30 minutes. The beaches are not great but not bad either. We actually preferred the main beach over Sunset cove - one end of the main beach was really quite sandy and had lots of shade.

We found Sheryl the bartender up in the infinity bar above the pool and she is possibly the best on the resort. She makes a mean cocktail and her speciality cocktail is absolutely delicious.

We requested late checkout because of the lateness of our flight (9.40 pm) and the baby and we were told to check back the day before our flight at 3pm. When my husband went at 3 pm he was ttold 5 pm, then 8 pm, then "later". Finally, at 11 we asked to speak to the manager who found us a room that we would be able to move into the following morning and retain until 4 pm for an extra $40. He also said that there are a number of rooms at the resort that are not in use because of mainenence issues and are waiting for repairs. They advertise quite freely that you can get late check out for $40 but then make it very difficult.

Getting on the bus to the airport was chaotic. They had too many people for one bus and we all had to wait around while they ordered a second bus - incidentally the same thing happened on our arrival in Jamaica.

We did have a great vacation. I know it sounds like there were some issues but they were all minor ones. Food was perfectly fine and none of us got sick, not even the baby. The sun shone the entire time - except for one morning when it was cloudy, but no rain and it was sunny by lunchtime. Most of the staff were great. One couple on our bus and plane witnessed a major incident between two staff members one night over at the Poseidon Restaurant at Sunset Cove and was quite distressed by it. I think in a couple of years, once they have got into the swing of things and figured out which staff should be kept and which ones should not, I think this hotel will be great. Unfortunately, some of the fixtures and fittings have been poorly installed, and in some areas the hotel already looks like it needs renovating. We got really really lucky with our rooms as they were in good repair and had fantastic views. Would I return here again? - maybe if we were travelling with a few people as we did this time but if it was just with my husband then I would not but would prefer to go somewhere more intimate and personal.

  • Liked — The view, and our maid was great.
  • Disliked — The bed was hard, but other than that no complaints about accommodation.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
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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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa

Address: The Point, Lucea, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Hanover Parish > Lucea
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 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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