A friend and I returned from the Grand Palladium in Jan. I have mixed feelings about the hotel. First of all, the hotel is NOT in Montego Bay. The hotel is located in another town on a beautiful but isolated beach. Depending on your driver, the hotel is about 45 minutes from the airport if there is little traffic, and about 40 minutes from the "Hip Strip" in MoBay. If you have no connections, hiring a driver for a 4-5 hour round trip to MoBay will cost you $100-$120 US.
Almost everyone in Jamaica takes US dollars. My advice is to take lots of small US bills, 1s, 5s, 10s so you don't need US change, which often is not available.
Rooms - I opted for the basic room. The room was large, beautiful, and clean, a hotel strength if you ask me. It had a jacuzzi, beautiful shower, flat screen TV, free mini bar (emphasis on mini) , electronic safe and door keys, ...all the basic necessities. We had a small problem with water running in our room. We called once and it took a couple hours but they came and fixed the problem. Daily maid service was good and they replaced consumed items. Be warned. Hotel rooms are widely dispersed in dozens of three floor villas over the huge hotel compound, and you will have to walk a lot. You can opt to take an electric taxi to the main lobby if you don't feel like walking there.
Food and Service - On a ten point scale, the overall food experience was about a five. There were some tasty American and Jamaican selections in the main buffet, but overall I found the choices a bit limited, but that's just me. Service was lacking in the main buffet area. Some food selections ran out a bit more than usual, and these items were sometimes slow to be replaced if at all. They seemed short staffed and you had to wait to be seated always, even when there were many empty tables, very frustrating and unique in my all inclusive buffet dinning experiences. A few times you had to wait a bit too long for basic services such water and drink requests, and a couple of times my drink never came. The hotel was not even that crowded during my stay. Memo to management, hire more staff. This is supposed to be a 4 star hotel??? Also the attitude of the staff ranged from 20% very nice, 60% ok but not friendly, to 20% downright rude. Be prepared to be disrespected.
Avoid Sports Bar - One of the few places to get something to eat from let's say 4-6 PM is the Sports Bar. The design of the place is poor. The choices are limited and there is only a small bar area to order which easily becomes congested. You may have to work your way through a crowd to place your order. Be prepared to wait a long time even when crowds are light, and that's a good day. On a bad day they won't even take your order because of a backlog or because they ran out of something, like plates. Fix this place and/or provide more off hour choices please.
Pools and Beaches - Pools were big, abundant, and absolutely stunning, really pleasing on the eyes. There are currently beach chairs to sit by the ocean toward one end of the resort, in an area behind the Lady Hamilton resort. If you are in Grand Palladium, you will have to venture far to sit by the ocean. Also, there were also absolutely NO ocean activities by the hotel beach or anywhere in visible range whatsoever, motorized or unmotorized.
Summary - Overall our stay was ok. The hotel is beautiful and the view of the ocean is prominent from many locations, so it has a romantic and soothing feel. The food is ok and the rooms are big and clean. Most would agree that the attitude of the staff needs improvement. The lack of ocean activities and limited areas to hang out by the beach was disappointing. Finally and to repeat, the hotel is NOT IN MoBay, and you are a bit isolated.
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium Jamaica Hotel Lucea
- Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort And Spa
- Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa Lucea