We traveled in June 2012 to the resort. Check in went smooth and quick. They offered us a couple of room choices, one in the Lady Hamilton and one in the Jamaica. The one on the Jamaica side was closer to the main buildings, so we selected that room. We were able to secure a one bedroom suite for not much more than the smaller standard suite, and I must say, if I have an opportunity to afford one bedroom suites in our future travels, I'm certainly going that route (they are usually too expensive for our budget). I loved the spacious room and also having the separate "living" area. We even had two sliding glass doors and two sitting areas outside. The room was very, very nice, clean and well appointed and decorated. The nice thing about the separate living area is that I usually wake up earlier than my wife, and so it is nice to be able to have an area that I can watch tv and do other things without disturbing my sleeping wife.
We tried most of the restaurants and found the food good in all of the restaurants, and the selection and choices were more than enough for us to find something we liked. Most of the restaurants were not cooled very well, so for dinner, with long pants required, it made it somewhat uncomfortable, but not unbearable. I think this may be an area the resort may want to explore to make the overall experience better.
Since the resort complex is two resorts, it is very large and wide, so if you want to explore the entire resort, there is a bit of walking, which we don't mind at all. I think the resort offers "shuttle" service to get to different parts of the resort, but that would require checking in somewhere, waiting for a shuttle, etc., and we would just rather walk.
We liked the beach area on the Lady Hamilton side (I think the sunset cove), and we did some snorkeling, which was pretty good. I think the system they use for the use of the snorkeling equipment is problematic as you basically have to wait for the next available equipment, and can't get on a waiting list. Knowing this, we waited right at the booth for the next set of snorkeling equipment, which was about a 20 minute wait. A guy came up after we had walked away a bit and asked if there was equipment, and they said no, and he began yelling that he had been waiting for over an hour. We felt sort of bad, but because we knew that there was no reserving, we had waited right by the booth to ensure we were "next", and so, we had no clue whether the guy had truly been waiting for that long or not since he wasn't waiting by the booth. All in all, I think it would be better handled with some sort of reservation system in which they have time limits for the equipment being out, and an hourly schedule that you could sign up for. Of course, there would be issues with that too, but I think all in all, it would be a better method.
I really enjoyed the main outdoor bar on the second level that overlooked the main pool / ocean. There was plenty of seating at the bar and at the tables and the drinks were good. There is an inside bar attached to this main outdoor bar that served premium liquors and had nice snacks as well. The waitress there was outstanding.
The main pool is very, very large, the biggest pool we've experienced in our all inclusive travels. It seemed the pool swim up bar was always busy and never seemed to have an open spot, so I never even tried to swim up and get a drink. We ended up going to the pool near our building for the rest of the trip as the drinks were good, and easy to get.
The beaches are not very large, but being that we typically prefer hanging out at the pool, this was not a big deal to us. If you like large, white sandy beaches, this may not be the resort for you.
While our room had good air conditioning, some people we met had no air conditioning and for almost half of their trip, they had to move a couple of times with the cooling situation not being any better. I think on the third or fourth day of their trip, they finally got a room with air conditioning. I suspect their review was not a favorable one as I would have been upset as well if it had happened to us, but, we didn't have any problems with our room, so our experience wasn't impacted by this issue.
We had a great private tour guide, Lindsay McFarlane of SNL Tours, and had a wonderful full day outing with him, which included Dunns River, the Bob Marley mausoleum and Rose Hall Plantation. We liked being able to custom design our excursion so that we were able to get everything scheduled for one day. When at an all inclusive resort, I don't like to be away from the resort for more than one day as then you really aren't reaping the benefits of the resort facilities, food and drinks. Lindsay was amazing and the price was much cheaper with him than if we had tried to do all of those with group tours. He is highly recommended.
All in all, we typically stay at fairly nice resorts, and this resort was comparable in quality with our other experiences, and was the largest we have stayed at. I especially enjoyed having a one bedroom room, which was a first for us as these types of rooms are typically out of our budget. This was our first trip to Jamaica and we thoroughly enjoyed the vibe of the island. We typically go to Mexico as it is much cheaper for us, but we loved Jamaica so much, we would love to return and would love to stay at this resort again. The only issue for us is it is more expensive to travel to Jamaica for us than Mexico, and since we are budget conscious, I'm not sure when we can return to Jamaica. :(
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium Jamaica Hotel Lucea
- Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort And Spa
- Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa Lucea