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“Miserable Vacation” 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
Broken Bow, Oklahoma
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Miserable Vacation”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2009

We stayed at the Grand Palladium Jamaica June 18th-22nd. I have mixed feelings about this resort so I will break it down.

When you get off your plane and enter the airport you get swamped by workers wanting to carry your luggage. We refused and said we could do it, but he took off with it and insisted he would take it to the bus for us. Again we said no but he kept going. Then, when we get to the bus he says, "OK, you must tip me for carrying luggage." We said no, we didn't ask you to carry it, but he kept on insisting we needed to tip. Finally we did to get rid of him. It is very annoying and the whole island, no matter where you went, people informed you that you must tip.

The hotel was beautiful and the island was breathtaking. The resort is a 600 acre spot, it is huge. We checked in and got room 1630. It was at the back of the resort and on the 3rd floor. There are no elavators. They also do not have air conditioning, they have coolers which is water cooled and sent through vents to your room. Our room was stiffling hot. Miserable. These people have a very different way of life, they get in no hurry about anything. We called everyday about our air not working, were nice at first, but then ended up getting irate and demanded to be moved to a room with air that worked. It never happened. We were miserable the entire trip because our room was so hot and unbearable. They do have little carts that come by and pick you up so you don't have to walk so far but there was no schedule, they just came and went as they pleased. There are no air vents in the bathroom at all and with the other vents in the room blowing warm air, you can imagine how horrible we felt the entire trip. If you get room 1630, do not take it.

The rooms were awesome. We had a suite and it had 2 balconies and a huge whirlpool jet tub. No complaints on the room itself, it was great, the air not working was the bad part.

The food was wonderful. However, all of the Al La Carte restuarants require men to wear long pants to enter so take some jeans or slacks if you have a male with you.

The drinks were great but in really small cups and the bartenders got in no hurry to make them. Be sure and take a mug from home with you because they will fill it with a drink. The cups they give you are really small but they have no problem filling whatever container you give them. Trust me, take your own mug and use it. If you forget and have to buy one at the resort they are anywhere from $15 to $30. The people at the resort were all nice and didn't ask to be tipped at all. I don't mind tipping, but I don't want to be told I have to, which will happen at the airport, so be prepared.

It rains everyday around 3 or 4 o'clock for an hour or less. But the humidity wasn't that bad, of course I am from Oklahoma where the humidity is horrible so maybe I just didn't notice. The wind blew during the day and felt nice but it didn't blow much at night which was weird.

The ride from the airport was only about 25 miles but with traffic and construction it takes about an hour to get to the resort. The town was so poor and run down that I didn't want to go shopping there so I got my souvineers at the resort. If you smoke you need to buy your smokes in the US. It is too difficult to get back to town and it didn't look safe and the ciggarettes in the resort were $10 a pack. I don't smoke but I saw them in the gift shops for $10.

You can not expect things to get done in a timely manner at the resort. If you get in a hurry to get things done you will stay mad the entire trip. We did not have wash clothes the entire time we were there, for some reason the maid never had any and was always out of them when she cleaned our room. We kept askking but never got any. Our safe did not work either and that never got fixed either.

All in all it was an OK vacation I guess but we were just so miserable from the heat we had a terrible time. I think if we had a cool room and the air worked we would have had an awesome time. It was weird in the room too because to get your air and electricity to work you had to keep a card key in the holder on the wall. We only carried 1 key with us so we could leave 1 key in the holder, but if you have someone in your room that wants to go somewhere other than where you go and you take both keys with you, then the air shuts off completely and your room is a sauna when you get back and takes forever to cool off. Ours never cooled off but others in our group had really cold rooms. If you have a small child or are handicapped you need to request a room on the bottom floor close to the reservation area.

I am glad I took the trip but I don't think I will ever go back.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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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
Michigan
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2009

Resort/Grounds:
Overall, the resort presented itself well. The gardens were beautiful and well taken care of. We often saw people working on the gardening. As written in the other reviews, there were pool tiles missing. Actually, there were quite a few. It wasn’t going to ruin our trip, but it was noticeable. Other than that, the pools were clean. The Roselle pool is deeper than it says- at least five feet. Watch out!
Sunset cove was a fun beach, and the beach to go to. It looks like there will be a bar and towel exchange put up closer to the beach.
The rooms and bathrooms were spacious and clean. A note about the air conditioning: there is no way it is going to cool off the room the way Americans expect it to with the humidity there. Also, as an energy saving method, there is a switch that shuts off the air conditioning when you open the sliding door. That could be why the air conditioning wasn’t working in some rooms.
It is a spacious resort, so be ready to walk. However, there are trams you can call if you'd like to catch a ride.

Food
We thought the food was pretty good, better than our last all-inclusive.
Breakfast: The breakfast buffet had an omelet station, and there was something to please just about every taste.
Lunch: We highly recommend going to the Poseidon restaurant for lunch- it is partial buffet, but that’s where you can get the jerk chicken- yum!
Of the seven a la carte restaurants, we went to…
Bubba’s (steakhouse- nothing special)
Pastafarian (Italian- good, order the cassata for dessert)
Poseidon (really good- order the Marlin Tostada appetizer, also good dessert)
Xamayca Creole restaurant (our favorite…loved the jerk chicken and plantain appetizer and lamb entrée)
BBQ on the beach: A must-do if you’re there on a Friday. At this time of year, if you want the sunset, sign up for the 6:30 dinner.

Activities
We didn’t do too many of the activities, but there’s something for everyone. Water aerobics was fun. The dance lessons were fun, quick, and not at all intimidating. The schedule of activities was slightly different from the one we were given when we checked in (they did reggae dance lessons each day).

Culture
We didn’t experience any problems, with our room or service. Everyone at the resort was really friendly. Sure, service wasn’t speedy. They weren’t in a hurry to get my drink, but I never waited more than a couple of minutes, and they’d rather visit with guests than work, but that just seems to be part of the laid-back Jamaican culture.

We enjoyed our week at the Grand Palladium Jamaica.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MD
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2009

I stayed at GP as part of a wedding group. There were about 65 of us.. and we all had different concerns/issues. Firstly, like most other guests stated they are very VERY laid back in Jamaica, no one rushes to serve you. So, therefore, most of our crew's rooms were not ready by 3pm as promised. And when you ask about it, the front desk folks tell you 10-15mins... but they really mean 2 hours!
It rained for about 30mins- 1hour everyday --- you must be very careful walking through the resort b/c the floors are marble- and very slippery!
The food- not the best by far. When I'm on vacation, I like to eat good food--- even the breakfast food - was just ok. very bland... the a-la-carte restaurants weren't much better. except for the Jerk Shack, The Seafood restaurant next to the Jerk Shack and the Steakhouse.
The room- again, for this place to be so new, I didn't expect holes in the ceilings and walls. The layout was nice, we had a jacuzzi tub and all... very roomy- but just not too tight with the construction!
If you can pay a few extra bucks, do so... i will not stay here again!

  • Stayed June 2009
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedar Rapds
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2009

We had an absolute blast! I was getting nervous hearing all the negative reviews, but so worth every penny and then some. My only complaint is that we didn't get an ocean view room like we were supposed to (we got over it pretty quickly). The resort is beautiful, the staff is awesome, and we will go back. We enjoyed the steak house the most and not to mention the awesome breakfast buffetts. The views were beautifull. We recommend the Dreamers catamaran snorkel and booze cruise in Montego Bay. The boat docks at Margaritaville at the end for drinks($) and shopping. My wife enjoyed the foot massage at the end of the ride. The trip was $75 each and very well worth it. We love the Grand Palladium and can't wait to go back!!!!!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jemez Springs, NM
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2009

I will start with the positive. The rooms were beautiful and the grounds were well kept. The hotel offered a variety of adventure tours and activities. This is a good family resort. On the down side. We experience a variety of issues. Our room faced the parking lot and they couldn't make any changes until the following day. We requested a change with a ocean view and were told a $15 dollar upgrade per night. We had to hammer a bit to get the ocean view with a king bed. It took 2 days to get a beach towel from the hut. The hotel offers a good variety of foods and different restaurants. The bad side is the restaurants are extremely slow in bringing out your order. Like the other reviews this hotel is in Lucea not Montego Bay and you are quite a drive from Montego Bay and Negril. Taxies are $50 one way and tour buses are less, but you are stuck with the schedule of the tour and it's stops.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2009

Originally I selected this resort just based on price and was a little skeptical after having read the mixed reviews. From my perspective this deal was SMOKING (pun intended). We (my wife and I) stayed at the Grand Palladium on the Jamaica side and loved every second of our trip.

The Trip:
We landed in Montego Bay at 8:30pm on Wednesday 7/22/2009. Immigrations and baggage claim were really smooth. We checked in with our shuttle service and were on the bus fairly quickly. The resort is halfway between Montego Bay and Negril in a town called Lucea and we reached in under 45 minutes. Our check-in was smooth and efficient. I had called the day before and requested an ocean facing suite in villa 11 and I got what I asked for. We got the keys to our room and also 2 towel cards that you can use to get your towels at the pool/beach but MUST return when checking out else there is a $20 charge per card.

The Rooms:
The room was beautiful - it came with an ocean view (overlooking the Gully Beach), a jacuzzi in the bathroom (which worked great), a flat screen tv, a mini bar that was a part of the all-inclusive package, which had a couple of beers and some sodas (we drank the beers and there were two new bottles the next day), a safe for our valuables (the lady at the reception also included instructions on how to operate the safe) and plenty of towels. Be sure to call-in and request a particular suite (11 and 12 are really close to the main reception lobby and close to the pool and all the restaurants).
I realize it may have been easier to get the room we requested since we went in on a Wednesday, which I assume would be relatively light from a travel perspective. Maybe I wouldn't have gotten lucky if I were checking-in on Friday when a lot more visitors come in.

The Pool and the Beaches:
The resort has a main pool called the Infinity Pool, which we frequented during the day and at nights (for a stroll, although there were ppl swimming in them well after the posted hours). The pool had a swim-up bar and jacuzzis all of which were working. There were some chipped tiles but nothing dangerous and the pool attendants worked hard at keeping it clean.
The resort also has 3 beaches, which are fairly rocky but the best beach is on the Lady Hamilton side called Sunset Cove. That beach is not rocky and its where all the water activities like snorkeling, kayaking and wind-sailing take place. We snorkeled the shallow reefs and also used the kayaks. Sunset Cove like the name suggests is also great for viewing sunsets.
Sunset cove also has a great little restaurant called Poseidon Cafe, which serves an amazing fried tilapia for lunch. (It also has jerk chicken but its not that good - see section on Tours and Attractions below to see where to go for good jerk chicken)

Tours and Attractions:
On our first day at the Infinity Pool we met up with this pool attendant called Dwayne - really great guy who hooked us up with his pal Carter who runs a car service. This is a lot cheaper/better than renting a JUTA cab service at the official posted rates, which are super expensive. Carter was fabulous. He was with us the entire day from 8:00am to 8:00pm and we felt extremely safe with him. He even showed us reviews other tourists had written about him to prove his credibility to us.

He took us to the 7 mile beach in Negril (a MUST SEE for all beach fanatics). Its 7 miles of pristine white sand and turquoise blue waters. The spot we parked at the 7 mile beach was a water sports center (it was right across from the Kool Runnings water park) and was in between the Sandals and Beaches resorts just in case any of you ever happen to be visiting the area. Carter offered to get us a good deal on any water-sport we wished to try. He hooked us up with a local fisherman (Sonny), on his time off to take us snorkeling for $15 USD per person for an hour. The snorkeling was great, shallow reefs with a lot of good marine life to see and enjoy.

For lunch I craved jerk chicken and Carter took us to this little shack called "Best in the West", which had some amazingly tasty and hot jerk chicken cooking in a cylindrical smoker for hours. I washed it down with some pina-colada. After a whole morning of snorkeling and swimming the food could not taste better or go down faster.
From there we proceeded to Margeritaville, which is another fun spot on the 7 mile beach where you can participate in any water-sport you want or just lay on the beach and relax. Just a note however this place is a little expensive. I paid 8 dollars for a pina colada and even the water sports are a little more expensive. You are better off going to the spot I mentioned earlier to try any of that.

We passed on Carter's offer to take us shopping at the duty-free stores and the crafts market in Negril but came back a later day to do that. Shopping for me is what it is and I did not want to spend too much time on it. We just picked up a few souvenirs for the house when we went back the next time. Most of the shops have the same things, you just have to look around to see where you can save a few dollars.

We then proceeded to the famous Rick's Cafe to watch the cliff divers and catch the sunset and the experience of watching "The Birdman" jump off the tree on the cliff was unreal. My wife even jumped off a shallow cliff herself. We caught a decent sunset (the sky was overcast with dark rain clouds and we did not see the sun all the way till it hit the water but it was fair). We came back a couple of days later to catch a fully blown sunset.

At no point on this trip did we ever feel rushed by Carter. I highly recommend you engage him if you are at the Grand Palladium and plan to visit Negril, Ricks Cafe and even the falls.

The Food and Drinks:
At the resort was not great but not bad either. They have a variety of restaurants and we ate at the Indian, Asian, Creole and Italian restaurants on different nights. The fried tilapia at the Poseidon Cafe is a MUST HAVE. Everything else is fair but worth the money you are paying for it. Breakfast is a great spread, with made to order eggs and bacon being the highlight for me. If its late at night you can catch a snack at the sports bar (the only place on the resort that serves food till late).
Drinks are great and part of the all-inclusive. Like reviewers prior to me have mentioned you are better off carrying a huge mug of your own and having the bar-tender fill it up rather than making multiple trips to the bar.

The Service: Impeccable. From Andrea who was in charge of our room service to all the waiters and staff that waited on us at the restaurants and bars the service was great. I tipped because I was happy with the service not because I felt the staff hover around me for one cause they never did. They were warm, extremely friendly and always smiling. Anyone who has had complaints is basically just a whiner whose sole aim is to carp and find faults with the most ridiculous things while on vacation.

The Place: Jamaica while beautiful is still a poor country and its important not to venture out of the resort without the assistance of a tour guide (arranged through a travel and tours company, which can be found in the resort lobby) or a driver like Carter. There will always be people trying to sell you something, from water activities to merchandise to hair braiding and even pot but its important to realize you can say no and walk away from anyone and they won't bother you. Always ask your tour guide for anything you want and they will hook you up.
I'm sure I paid a little more than I should for the stuff I wanted but I wasn't about to go "bargain hunting" in Jamaica to shave a few dollars at the cost of ruining my vacation.

I will DEFINITELY be going back.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Springfield, Illinois
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2009

Beautiful room, gorgeous views, friendly staff, delicious food (recommend the India restaurant and the mexican restaurant), sunset cove beach is the best with snorkeling, parasailing and kayaking, good nightly entertainment, strong but fabulous drinks (don't order the Bob Marley unless you want to get drunk quick) and great pool area with lots of fun activities (recommend the water aerobics with Superman, a real workout). Yes there are tiles missing in the pool, but so what. Check before you go though, we heard they are going to drain the main pool and repair tiles. Don't know when. When it rains, go the the spa area and relax in the large outdoor hot tub. We chaperoned a group of 18 high school graduates and would recommend this resort to anyone. We plan on going back very soon. Don't listen to all the negative reviews. You will have a great time. Our group went to Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios. It is a two hour drive, but worth it. You ride a sky glider up 700 feet through the rain forest with the Caribbean sea as your backdrop, eat at the restaurant on top of the mountain, ride the bobsled and zip line down. Watch out for the vertical drop though. Fun but scary!!

  • Stayed June 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 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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