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“o.k. but not 5 star”

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Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Lucea
Certificate of Excellence
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“o.k. but not 5 star”
Reviewed January 17, 2013

We stayed From January 2nd to January 8th 2013. Overall a good stay and I would recommend going for the right price but don’t expect it to be as advertised. This is a 3 ½ star resort at best even by Caribbean standards but could be better with a little work. Most of the staff at this resort were great, however the resort itself needs work.
Lots of little problems add up to ruin what could be a great destination.
Our room was missing the I-phone radio and plug for the Jacuzzi tub.
One day you would not get face cloths, another day the bath robe would be missing.
The mini fridge does not get cold
The entrance door and bathroom doors in both our rooms squeaked loudly would wake you at night.
The Bed was ok but the pillows were a little hard, you could upgrade your pillow for $2 a night.
The food at the buffet is average, all the meat at the grill tastes the same.
They only had 1 buffet open with only one working toaster for the first 4 days
On our 1st night the buffet did not open till 6:15 even though we were told 5:30 at check in, you will find that most things at this resort run on “Jamaican Time Mon”
There is an information board by the check-in which shows you what a la carte’s are open and what the show is but you need to find it yourself, they don’t tell you about it at check-in.
The a la carte’s are very good but the steaks are too small and are always well done no matter how you order them.
They always had two a la carte’s closed, even when there was an hour wait at the ones that were open
The sports bar menu offers chicken tenders, should say poor quality chicken nuggets.
2 of the 3 pool tables in the sports bar are unusable, and 1 of the foosball tables is missing a player
The archery is “not available” and we were told it has not been for a long time
You can throw out the activity brochure you get when you arrive as most of the events do not have staff to run them so they don’t happen, there is lots going on by the pool if you hang out there though.
Other than the boat being sunk, the water sports were great. Lots of Kayaks, we saw lots of fish while out.
The cove is a very good beach. Nice sand and roped off swimming area. Avoid the restaurant by the beach, very slow and not very good.
Drinks are good but the cups are small, take a large insulated mug or buy one there.
The convenience store at the resort is well stocked and reasonably priced.
I asked to talk to a manager to talk about the many problems but the one who showed up was full of excuses and no help. I waited ½ hour for a general manager but nobody came. Waited again on our last day but still nobody came so I left our room number, but nobody contacted us so I have to assume they don't care if you are happy..

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Traveller20137
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FiestaJamaica, Manager at Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 19, 2013
Dear Traveller20137,

We would like to thank you for taking the time in giving us your valued feedback in regards to your experience. We appreciate that you have taken the time to advise us of your opinion.

The Management and Staff at Palladium Jamaica are committed to satisfy our guests and we sincerely regret if the circumstances mentioned may have affected your vacation experience and your perception of our hotel.

Kindly accept our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience which you experienced looking for a manager. We have managers 24 hours every day, so we would like to assure you that we have taken the corrective measures to minimize the reoccurrence.

We look forward to receiving you again soon and that we have the opportunity to exceed your expectations.

Sincerely,

Laura López
Assistant Room Division Director
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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St. Louis USA
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

I don't understand where all the negative Nellies are coming from. I was really confused after reading the mixed reviews for the Grand Palladium here on TA. Some were really positive, others were awfully negative. ( Of course the smart TA reader always ignores those posted by first timers as you don't know if it's somebody with an axe to grind or a hotel promoting themselves ).

Well, in this traveler's opinion, there's nothing too serious to worry about. The place does nicely for a winter getaway.

Upon arrival, we did not experience any delay on check in. Of course, I'm sure that that are times when it's busier. It's about a 40 minute bus ride from the airport.

The room in building 26 was much better than expected. We paid for the upgrade and had an ocean view. The room was much nicer than I expected with nice furniture and tall 9 ft ceilings, and great A/C. The bed was not as hard as I had feared based on other reviews. Yes, it's firm though. Building 26 is one of the closest to the main pool and you will overhear noise from any loud bands that might be playing at night. For New Year's Eve, a band played until about 1:30, but not a problem if you travel with earplugs.

The main pool area is fantastic and there at least two other adults-only pool areas. However, the pool is not heated so it's a cool dip in December. If you're a shade lover, there are many areas just off the pool where you can set up.

The Las Brisas beach outside the window is NOT the best beach on the property. The best beach is kind of hidden and not obvious unless you study the map. Follow the signs to the Poseidon Restaurant. The Sunset Cove beach is there below the restaurant complete with calm water and free snorkeling ( deposit required ) and as much sun or shade that you want. I think that some reviewers didn't find this beach and that's why they were disappointed with what they thought was the only beach.

The spa was fantastic, I had several Swedish massages with Fiona during our stay. But it's not cheap - $100 for about 1 hour.

Water: After having gotten sick in the Dominican Republic several years ago, I made it a point to ask about the water. The desk staff told me that the restaurant water is ok, but that drinking the water in the rooms 'is not recommended'. Well, gee, it would be nice if they told you that when you check in. I'm so glad I asked. Both of us survived the vacation with no illnesses.

This brings us to the mini bar. The only way to get free bottled water is via the mini bar. Everything in the mini bar is included (sodas, local beer). We left notes asking for more bottled water but it was only effective some of the time. Other times we had to call for specific delivery of more water.

The food at the various restaurants was much better than I expected. No, it's not going to rival any top restaurants but it was much better than my previous AI experience and a Carnival cruise. There are I think 8 a la carte restaurants. We tried Bubba's Steak House one night and I didn't know what to expect when I ordered the New York strip, but it was actually pretty decent! The best place to have breakfast is at the Blue Lagoon which overlooks the main pool area. The Asian restaurant also served up some tasty fare.

We did have one problem with the A/C in that it wouldn't respond to any thermostat settings. The only way to turn it off was to open the patio door. A technician came by and discovered that the thermostats were hot-wired to stay on. He said that was probably because they had stopped working correctly. The next morning I explained to maintenance the same thing the tech had told us and that they should be replaced. Much to my surprise, they actually came and replaced them! and the a/c was once again controllable.

The housekeeping service was fine and we tipped her a few dollars every day. Most of the time she gave us extra towels when we asked or left a note, but sometimes she didn't.

Misc notes: We booked through Apple Vacations and I have to give them very poor marks for the bus transportation. We waited at least 1/2 hour at the airport until they finally put us on another bus route that was about to leave for a farther away resort which passed ours. But if I hadn't spoken up we would probably still be sitting there at the airport. Also, the drivers seem to think that they automatically deserve tips.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank travel0723
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FiestaJamaica, Manager at Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 19, 2013
Dear travel0723,

First of all, we would like to thank you for taking the time to let us know your comments from your last stay at the GP Jamaica. Your feedback is very helpful to us in evaluating our service and we will certainly be looking into the observations which you have made with a view to taking corrective action.

We look forward to receiving you again soon and that we have the opportunity to exceed your expectations.

Sincerely,

Laura López
Assistant Room Division Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwalk, Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

First time in Jamaica for our honeymoon, the hotel staff,daily and nightly entritatiment was exeptional, full of fun and interesting activities. However, the sad part of our stay was to find out , that the staff was not allow by the management to eat at the restaurant while so much food was thrown out, it was heart breaking to see that some waitress are hungry.
Shame on you MANAGEMENT!!!!Treat your people right. Let them eat after the food is left over.
The honeymoon special dinner was a disaster, no handwritten menu only two choices, expected better, waited long time for the food because people were understaff , despite of their hard work they service us with the smile.
Also, only 2 beaches had no rocks, other two beaches were full of rock by the water. If you want to take a long walk on the beach, this isn't a place to do it. But if you like small, private type of setting this is the place to be.
We will be back to Jamaica because the people are full of GREAT SPIRIT!!!!!
GOD BLESS YOU JAMAICA AND THE STAFF!!!!

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Edyta H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

Just returned yesterday .Visited grand Palladium in Jamaica for a three week holiday arriving christmas Eve 2013 from UK
Cannot believe the bad reviews,
This place is Paradise. The location is unbelievable with views in every direction. Our Room was spectacular cleaned every day to perfection and mini bar filled.The food was amazing every day and the choice was mind blowing. The xmas eve buffet and New years eve night entertainment from the staff on the beach show was fantastic. Cannot praise the staff high enough to name a few Sharlene our waitress in Blue Lagoon what a darling,Harold the supervisor Blue Lagoon what a guy ,Queshane waitress,Orville what a smile, Merlyn at the adult bar,Kimmair, Allison,mikhaell ( hope your Mum gets better) Deon what a girl, Tamara,Shanna-Lee beautiful girl ,Mariah, Aishia and last but not least Andrew . These people made our holiday. There are more just too many to name, they are just fantastic people. Will certainly be back to Grand Palladium Service is second to none and this was the holiday I have always dreamed of having but Grand Palladium is the only one so far that delivered it for me.
Still have my wristband and keep putting it on but nobody gets me my Gin and Tonic.Boo Hoo
This is a 5 star resort because of the location, the staff and the quality of the food and accommodation. Book this resort for your holiday you will not be dissapointed

Room Tip: We stayed on the Lady Hamilton side right on the edge of the resort but we walked all around this re...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank janlizzyPeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FiestaJamaica, Manager at Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Dear janlizzyPeo,

First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to describe your last vacation in Grand Palladium Jamaica. All reports help us to understand what our guests need or want from their vacation.

We are more than happy to know you have had such a fantastic vacation with us. We are always grateful to receive feedback about our hotel facilities as we work very hard to assure our guests have memorable vacation experiences.

It is a pleasure to have had the opportunity of hosting you. We look forward to seeing you in the near future. Please do not hesitate to contact us...

Kind regards,

Laura López
Assistant Room Division Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

The only reason I'm giving it 2 stars is because I asked them to put a heart shaped towel on my bed and they did it "Without Charge" I'm going to start this review with Cons and then the Pro's, and you decide whats good for you and what's not (Maybe one of my cons is a pro for you) This hotel is extremly stingy, they nickle and dime you where ever they can and I'll give you some examples, 20 dollars a day for wifi in the room? I mean for real?? it's wifi for crying out loud, you can't take ice unless you put in your key card, It's ice, freezing water why do I need a key card?

Cons:
You can not talk to a staff member for more then 30 seconds without them offering you something, whether it's drugs, taxi to Negrill, sailing, boating:
Staff is very pushy:
Even the hotel is all inclusive, there still stingy and try to make a buck of you:
Terrible Service:
My Mini bar was empty when I got to the hotel and I called them to fill it up took them 4 hours to get to my room:
20 dollars a day for wifi in the room??:
Bought wifi in room but it didn't work but they wouldn't give me my money back:
you can not use the lobby computer unless you pay $20.00 a day or 6.00 and hour:
you have to put in your key card to get ice:
Can't close outside balcony light (Little privacy please):
No ATM in lobby (Have to go to casino and pay 6 dollars for each transaction):
Late checkout $40.00:
Horrible Beaches, all rocky and dirty:
Waited 2 hours for maid to bring me towels:
At least a 10 minute walk from my room to Lobby:
Hotel Taxi's make you crazy:
Rooms smell bad:

Pro's:
Nice rooms:
All inclusive:
Nice grounds:
Live shows every night:
Live music every night:

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Kishmir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FiestaJamaica, Manager at Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 16, 2013
Dear guest,

First of all, I would like to thank you for taking the time to describe your last vacation in Grand Palladium Jamaica. All reports help us to know about our guests expectations and help us to find the corrective actions necessary.

Sorry if our staff bothered you offering services, excursions etc…we understand that it can be a bit stressing when you are on holidays. About the staff engaged in illegal practices it would be very helpful for us know about this during your vacations in order to take the opportune measures.

We are sorry to know about the situation you encountered with the minibar and the time it took to bring the drinks.

It is true that this is an all inclusive resort but it doesn’t mean that we don’t have services with extra charge like Wi-Fi in rooms or lobby computers, late check outs etc…

For your information ice machines work only with the key card for energy saving reasons

Regarding beaches, in Grand Palladium Jamaica there are three different beaches for all tastes; Las Brisas Beach is a soft sandy beach with some rocky parts, sundecks, Bamboo beds, showers, loungers... perfect location for hotel weddings. Sunset Cove Beach where the water-sports centre is located with water bikes, canoes, and catamarans. Its turquoise waters are ideal for swimming snorkeling and diving. And the "Coral Cove Beach", the only beach on the resort that is reserved to adults only, some guests love it for being so peaceful and quiet.

We guarantee that all comments have been considered and forwarded to relevant departments to take measures.

It is a pleasure to have had the opportunity of hosting you. We look forward to seeing you in the near future. Please do not hesitate to contact us; if there is anything at all we can do from this end.


Sincerely,

Jose Torres
Accommodations Director
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Galway
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

Our friends got married at the Grand Palladium - bringing a troupe of about 50 people along with them. I think my review is fairly consistent with the group's experience...

The grounds of the resort are lovely: the gardens are clipped and in bloom, the rooms are large with high ceilings, the bathrooms appeared clean, and the pools were well-maintained. The resort boasts restaurants representing different world cuisines, and there were a number of recreational activities offered. The main pool was large, kept at a nice temperature, had ample lounge seats, and had a lovely swim-up bar. The smaller pools were also great if you wanted less congestion and noise. On paper, this should be a fantastic resort.

Beyond the surface, however, there were some serious deficiencies. There was a certain funk and moistness to our room, which the air conditioning and open doors never fully solved. The A/C was - at best - marginal, and never functioned in some of our friends' rooms. The WiFi never worked in our room, despite assurances that it would.

I wouldn't say that the staff was rude exactly, it's just that I found them to be mostly uninterested in the customers, unless you consistently tipped. By the end of our trip, my husband (who had significantly greased some palms over the prior few days) was taking drink orders for the whole party because everybody else was waiting, at times, an hour (literally) to get served at a table.

I admit that I never fully felt safe walking at night here. Partially, this is due to the "Jamaica horror stories" I had heard, but it was also partially due to the fact that the staff was indifferent, and the lighting was rather poor. I didn't feel like the staff was particularly invested in making our stay a memorable or enjoyable one: it was all-inclusive, so you're a bit of a captive audience - whether you like or not, you're staying there, so I guess the management / staff doesn't need to aim to impress (or at least they don't).

The only decent beach (Sunset Cove) was a solid 10 minute walk from the Grand Palladium side (closer on the Lady Hamilton side) and down a fairly steep incline. I cannot imagine trying to access this beach if I was elderly or towing a bunch of children with me. Sunset Cove offered some fun recreational activities (at a surcharge), and we took the opportunity to snorkel, wind-surf and scuba dive. We also played tennis and soccer (although the athletic facilities were pretty run-down). The gym was also also lacking - the equipment was sparse and both treadmills kept shorting-out. Nonetheless, the activities were a nice break from the monotony of most days there.

There was very little liquor selection. Aside from one bar on the second floor (I can't remember the name), which had more premium liquor stocked, the bars only had well liquor and only offered Red Stripe beer, and not even Red Stripe Light. After two days, I was dying for something to drink that was COLD and NOT sugary-sweet: it was a tough order to fill.

Despite the above, my main complaint was with the food. Aside from the ludicrous dress code (I understand if you want to impose some type of dress code, but requiring men to wear pants and then not having working A/C is just plain mean) and "reservations system" (we were alternately told that reservations weren't accepted and that we couldn't get into certain restaurants because we hadn't made a reservation), the food was dreadful. I don't know precisely what the problem was but ALL of us either got sick or felt sick from the food. You need to have some amazing intestinal fortitude to survive this place. The only day that I didn't feel sick was the one day that we hired a local guide to take us around the rest of the island. We ate road-side jerk with nary a problem... but food at the resort - that was a different story. I would have been very upset with this situation if I was the bride: who wants to put on a wedding dress when you're nauseous and bloated?!

As for the wedding event planning, I'll leave it to my friend to do a full review of that, but I suspect she would have some choice words: the transportation never showed to take people from the beach to the reception, and the photographer didn't take any group shots or couple shots on the beach (aside from photos of the wedding ceremony). The wedding reception meal, however, was the best meal that we had the entire trip.

Maybe I'm just not cut-out for all-inclusive or gated resorts, but I have to imagine that this type of vacation can be better managed. Would I go back to Jamaica? Maybe... but with so many places in the world to visit, this trip didn't exactly entice me into revisiting Jamaica over exploring a different region or island. Would I stay at Grand Palladium again? A definitive no.

Room Tip: There are no elevators, so if you have any mobility issues, request a ground floor room. The Lady H...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aroush1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2013

I have nothing but good things to say about this resort. The staff were friendly and accomodating, the property was absolutely beautiful. Any issues we had were minor and were dealt with in a friendly and expedient manner. A great selection of restaurants and the food was good in all of them. The filet at Bubba's was delicious! Please tip the staff if you visit this resort; the wages aren't great and if you take any tours you'll see the poverty that exists there. You will also be rewarded with a big smile and genuine "thank you", The snorkeling was fantastic, the ocean was lovely & warm. We didn't mind the walk from our villa to the main buildings either as it helps wear off all that wonderful food! We are planning a return trip in 2014 and will make this our destination again, very impressed!

Room Tip: If you don't mind stairs get a 3rd floor room facing the ocean; the view is breathtaking. The La...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Carole M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FiestaJamaica, Manager at Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Dear Carole M,

I would like to thank you for your report about your last stay in Grand Palladium Jamaica.
I was very pleased to read all the positive comments you had for us and for us it is a pleasure to know you enjoyed your vacation.

I would appreciate hearing from you before you make your next plans to return to Jamaica if you decide to come back here. I am positive that we can make your next vacation an unforgettable experience.

Best regards,

Laura López
Assistant Room Division Director
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa
Address: The Point, Lucea, Jamaica
Phone Number:
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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