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“Great Trip with some problems”

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Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Lucea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 19, 2009

Showers will flood room if you are not careful. Had trouble getting towels and wash clothes. The air conditioning sucked. Food was good.Pool Bar was Great. Gift shops are very expensive. No bargans to be found in the resort.

The resort is beautiful and very clean and for the money it is worth the trip.

You dont get the service you would get at Sandles. I would pay more for better service

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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2  Thank jbrophyjr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 19, 2009

We stayed at resort from February 11-18
When we arrived in Jamica and cleared immigration and customs, we were met by an Apple Rep who showed us to a bus to take us to the Grand Pallidium. Another man said we belonged on another bus that was going to be just for that resort so we boarded. We sat in the bus for several minutes when we learned that we were expected to wait for another plan to land, retreive their luggage, clear immigration, customs, and then find the bus we were one before we would be under way. Everyone on the bus objected loudly and the driver finally called someone and said we refused to wait. Only then were we on our way.
We found the place to be in real disrepair. We were in Villa 14 and when anyone closed a door, the entire Villa shook. Many of the walls and pillars all over the resort are falling apart due to the fact that they are simply poured concrete which hadn't had time to cure before being painted. I don't believe it has anything to do with the local craftsmen but with the Fiesta Hotels management who wanted the resort finished in record time. Everywhere you can see that management is only concerned with the impression of quality. The main cobblestone road to the Jamaica Lobby was torn out on Tuesday afternoon (Feb 17) and the stonemasons worked literally all night to have it finished before the King and Queen of Spain were to arrive sometime on Wednesday (Feb 18). Again, impressions of quality, providing you don't look too close.
Our room was clean (no rats,or bugs. Whoever wrote that must have been dreaming) but we were unable to obtain wash clothes and hand towels most of the time. Our room maid (Maxine) was very pleasant and explained that the laundry seldom had enough wash clothes and hand towels to go around. She brought them to our room whenever she could get some, even if it was well after she cleaned our room.
Be VERY careful of the shower. You need to stand off to the side instead of facing the faucet, otherwise water will swamp the entire bathroom because the shower door doesn't go all the way to the floor of the shower.
The only other problems we had were, our keys didn't work and had to reprogrammed, and the keypad on our safe broke, just beeped and wouldn't accept our code. Someone finally came to check the safe 3 1/2 hours after we informed Reception of the problem.
Do not count on the bellman to come to your villa for your luggage when you check out. If they arrive at all, you will already be at the airport waiting for your flight home.
Most of the staff was very welcoming and friendly, even if we didn't tip them. When we did tip, they all seemed genuinely grateful..The only people we found who were concerned with tips were the skycaps at the airport and some of the transport drivers. They are offended if you take care of your own bags and many actually said "give me tip!". Some people who did give them money were exhorted for more.
The food in the buffets and restaurants was generally good but wasn't ever warm. I don't recommend the Italian. The food there is not great and the staff from the hostess to the waitstaff are rude. The game at mealtime is "Hide the Food" You have to guess which restaurant or buffet is open for that particular meal and what time they may open. The list they give you is worthless. The sheet says that times vary by season. It doesn't ,however, say which season they mean. February in the Carribean should be the high season and they charge high season prices but seem to be surprised that they have guests who might want to know when food is served.
We have been to Jamaica six times and have stayed in several different parts of the Island at several different resorts and, while the Grand Pallidium is brand new and very impressive looking, it really isn't better than others places on the Island and not as good as some. We didn't think the it was worth what we paid in comparison to other resorts

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank Traveler0264
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2009

We just got back Feb 16th and had a fantastic time. We were a little concerned about the trip due to some of the reviews, but let me tell you it was fantastic. I will break it down for everyone:
Rooms: wonderful and clean. We saw our cleaning lady when we first arrived (Vivian) and I told her if she kept our room nice that at the end of our stay we would tip her well. We gave her $15, it was worth it.
Grounds: I did not get this from any of the other reviews, but the grounds are enormous, which was fine for us. We liked the walks cause it burned off all that extra food and liquor that we were drinking. When we wanted a little taxi trip we only had to wait maybe 10minutes, no big deal just remember you are on Jamaican time and no one is in a hurry, so relax.
Beaches: They were nice. The sunset cove beach is wonderful and beautiful, not to mention where the non-motorized boats are and motorized as well. We would go to this beach and eat lunch at the seafood restaraunt Poseidon (get the paya) and then head back to the pool around 3:30pm for happy hour at the pool bar. You must have drinks at the pool bar with Leroy, he is by far the best bartender ever!! He will have you laughing and plus you meet a lot of nice people there.
Pool: The pool was really nice, plenty of seating. Also they had volleyball, chucko, and other things to do. They did Jamaican dance lessons and all types of fun games through out the day. ALso, in the morning they would do water aerobics, which looked like a pretty good work out.
Restaurants: Mexican restaraunt was fantastic, try the guacamole it is to die for. Poseidon seafood restaraunt was very good. Italian rest. was also very good. We ate at the Indian rest for lunch one day and that was good as well. Breakfast buffetts were good, too. The omelet cook was great, don't try the sausage though, not the same as we are used to. Overall everything was good.
Entertainment: The steel drum band was fantastic!!! The dancers are good and very entertaining! They seem to be everywhere at the pool during the day, then at the theater in the afternoons, then at the disco dancing it up again. The one dancer Energizer Bunny was great and he fit his name perfectly. I like to thank Eye Candy for teaching my husband how to dance that was funny.
Overall: A fantastic vaca. If you are going there soon do not be concerned just sit back and relax. Take in the sun and the turquois sea and relax. The people are nice, we never ran into anyone rude, they do like tips though so we brought $50 in $1 bills.(we did not use all of it) It is all of what you make it. I liked to say hey to the very nice Wisconsin people we met as well, we are jealous cause they are still there!!!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank msnyder2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2009

I booked this trip as a v-day gift for my girlfriend and we both had a great time! We arrived on a Wednesday (2/11) and departed on a Monday (2/16). This is my first vacation review but based on the mixed reviews I read about the resort beforehand I felt like writing about our trip experience. I'll try to point out comments that I felt were accurate and those that weren't.

Booking and Checking In:

I booked the trip through Travelocity and didn't have any issues with our flights or hotel reservation. I did email the resort a few days before to request a villa that was more central because we had pre-booked the open water scuba certification course and the dive shop is on the far side of the resort on the Lady Hamilton side. We stayed in room 1135, which was a great location. The villa was right next to the lobby of the Jamaica side and close to all the restaurants and the main pool. I also requested for our room to not be on the ground floor and they gave us a room on the top floor.

Rooms:

The rooms are quite spacious and every room has a balcony. We had an ocean view and it was so nice to be able to hear the ocean when we opened the balcony door. The bathroom is also spacious and the jacuzzi tub is a nice touch. My only gripe about the room is that we had a couple of issues with our a/c but it's cool enough if you leave your balcony door open from the ocean breeze. It was nice that they offered all the premium cable channels on tv.

Resort Quality:

The resort is beautiful and quite large but it didn't take too long to walk around unless you were completely at one of the resort on the Jamaica or Lady Hamilton side. If you look at the details then you will find some flaws in the quality of construction and there were a number of workers who were fixing or building things at the resort but I didn't find it too bothersome. Previous reviews were correct about missing tiles in the pool and especially the steam room in the spa. Definitely be careful if you decide to spend a lot of time in the pool and if you have water shoes you should bring them. The beaches were not spectacular as previous reviews had mentioned but I'm not a huge beach person I do like the proximity of the resort to the beach and water. I think it's rare for a beachfront resort/hotel to be that close to the water. If you hang out at the main pool you're only about 50 ft from the ocean so you can enjoy the ocean without having to lay in the sand. Most people seemed to spend time at either the main pool or sunset beach. Sunset beach was fairly nice, the sand was soft for the most part and there are quite a few non-motorized water sports that you can try. However, be warned that they have a limited supply of snorkel/scuba gear especially since many people pay for scuba dives so you may not be able to get snorkel gear.

Scuba Diving:

I was a little worried about getting our PADI certification because there were limited reviews that I could find and those I did find weren't very good. Both my girlfriend and I were able to do the entire Open Water certification while we were in Jamaica in about 3 days. I'll say that they are a bit more relaxed on the requirements but you do cover all the important skills and the staff is very friendly and encouraging if you have trouble. It did help to read the manual before going down to get an idea of what we would be doing in the pool and open water dives and the final exam was a breeze. We did the entire cert in 3 days.

Food:

The food was pretty good overall but not great. However, you'll find this at almost any restaurant especially if it's buffet style. When food sits in the metal containers you're definitely going to find meat that tastes overcooked. I found the selection at most of the buffet restaurants to be excellent. Usually when you're at a buffet restaurant you find the same food on both sides of the restaurant. I didn't find this to be the case. The a la carte restaurants were decent and we found the Indian restaurant to be the most authentic. Bubba's wasn't as good as other reviews had mentioned and I found the menu to be very limited. The Creole restaurant was fairly good and I recommend the rasta pasta if you want to try spicy Jamaican food. I didn't particularly enjoy the Italian restaurant. I didn't like the selection of food on the menu and our server wasn't particularly friendly. He was nice but very quiet. We did notice that the service varied greatly and we tried to tip accordingly. Many people did not tip but we did notice that servers were happy to receive a tip but didn't expect them. I would encourage tipping if you feel inclined because of the good service. I did notice that the host/hostesses were not very good at estimating wait times. On V-day, we wanted to eat at Bubba's but the hostess said it would be a 1.5 to 2 hr wait. We said that was fine since we weren't hungry. She asked us to check back in an hour. We came back after 50 min to find out that they had already called 5 tables after us. So the wait was really more like 30 min.

Spa:

My girlfriend and I both scheduled a Swedish Massage at the spa. I felt it was very reasonably priced at $57 for a 50 min massage. I'm not sure why deep tissue and shiatsu were significantly more expensive but $57 is a very good price for a massage at a nice resort spa. Any guest can use the humid area for free which includes the hot tubs, steam room, and sauna.

Transfers and Tours:

We booked our transfers and tours through Gregg Connell at Reggae Tours and had a great experience. We opted for the private airport transfers, which is $50 for 2 or more people. The driver, Carlton, who picked us up at the airport was great and extremely knowledgeable about Jamaica and it's history. He also recommended Scotchie's as the best local jerk chicken restaurant and we weren't disappointed. We also booked a private tour to Rick's Cafe and Negril. It's more expensive than the trip you can book at the resort but you get a personal driver for a half or full day. We booked the half day tour and our driver took us to Margaritaville in Negril. We spent a few hours walking on the beach and laying out. We had some Red Stripe beer and then we headed to Rick's Cafe to catch the sunset. On our way we asked the driver to stop by some shopping plazas so we could experience the local life. We shopped at a grocery store and some gift shops and then we went to Rick's cafe. They have some crazy cliff jumpers and you can opt to jump as well. The sunset was beautiful and there was some live reggae music as well. On our last day, we had a late flight so we booked a private tour of Montego Bay and then got dropped off at the airport afterwards. For only $20 more than a cab or private transfer, Gregg personally took us to Scotchie's, some local craft huts to shop, a place to buy cuban cigars, and some other spots. We added spots to visit on the fly and then he took us to the airport. It was well worth the $20. Gregg and all the drivers from Reggae Tour were always on-time to pick us up, friendly, and knowledgeable about the island. They definitely helped make our overall trip a great experience and we plan to visit again in the future.

Theater Shows:

We did catch some of the evening shows and found them to be amusing. The performances were a little cheesy but I was entertained. I would definitely recommend catching a couple of the shows. The disco was decent but we only went there on v-day. I don't think the casino was open but it's only slot machines anyway. Jamaica doesn't have any full blown casinos yet.

Conclusion:

All in all we had a really great time and I think the trip was excellent value based on what we paid. There are some negative reviews but based on what I saw firsthand the reviewers are either really nitpicky or they just had some personal bad luck. I've traveled a lot and stayed at some of the top hotels in the world and I found the Grand Palladium to be an excellent resort. With any hotel you're going to have some issues and things aren't going to be perfect. The resort is huge so it's understandable that they're going to need to fix some things. Aside from missing tiles in the pool and steam room I didn't really find any issues with the resort. The trip is what you make it out to be. Maybe we set our expectations a little lower because of some of the negative reviews but at the end of the vacation, we had a wonderful and relaxing vacation. We also got our PADI certification for scuba AND we saw "Vanessa" and "Chuck Bass" from Gossip Girl at the main pool on our last day. That was a nice way for us to end the trip. I hope this review helps you decide if you want to book a trip at the GP or helps you prepare better for your upcoming vacation there. Check out www.palladiumaddict.net to read more about the resort.

And as they say in Jamaica... No problem! Smile Mon!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank zeefactor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2009

I am writing solely to comment on the safety of the resort. This place is an injury waiting to happen. One member of our party fell on the dangerously slick tile after a rain. We were told that the over $1000 in medical bills that were incurred as a result of her injury would be covered by the hotel. Her head injury required stitches and a CT scan. After returning from our trip, which was pretty well ruined by this incident, her claim was denied. No part of her trip was refunded, no part of her bills were covered by the hotel which was clearly negligent. By the end of our stay the body count was piling up. We meet a women who fell on the same area of tile and broke her arm. There was another individual who fell of the ledge at the beach and broke his rib and his cheek bone. Stay way form this place for your own safety. The poor quality construction and low safety standards make this place an accident waiting to happen. All the stuff about the beds the missing tiles… are all true also.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank Holly G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2009

We had a great time, the place is amazing! Just some FYI's: When we got there and checked in we wanted an ocean view room but when we asked we got the cold shoulder and went onto the next couple, the people at the front desk are roued even when we checked out.The wait staff were great, restaurants do not take reservations so some nights it was 1/2 to an hour wait if you went at around 8:00. In the steak house we had a singing waiter! The presentation of the meals we awsome. You have to try the talapia at the Sunset cove for lunch! Drinks were great, try the mohito at Bubba's Steak House!!!!! At the pool bars thay give you small plastic cups and alot of people brought insalated mugs from home so we went to the gift shop to buy them and hay were 20.00 each! so bring your own. The pools were all tiled but there was quite a few loose consedering the hotel is new someone was cut and needed stiches. The other thing about the pool is the juccuzie did not work, the main pool had 4 and I never saw them work. I asked about it and was told thay were working on it . Make sure you go to the water sports beach its very fun for lunch you can have jerk chicken right on the beach. The Vegas bar was never opened the week we were there. Watch your step on the walks that are done with pavers, thay are uneven and we saw alot of people falling. This place is in the middle of no were so you need to take cabs and its not cheep.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank themomMichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2009

I have to say that I was nervous about staying after reading all of the reviews..... Once we were there, all my worries went away. The resort is beautiful, very large with lots of places to go. We stayed here from Feb. 9 - 16, it was beautiful everyday!

I have traveled to a lot of places over the years and have stayed in many different hotels. While we were there, we met some people and one happened to be a travel agent. She had been all over the caribbean and thought this was a very nice place to stay. There are things that need to be worked out, but all in all it is great.

Getting there: We did not have transportation arranged prior to arriving, but once we were there it was a breeze. We ended up riding along with the apple vacations group that was going to the hotel. It was $20 pp, not a bad deal and we went directly to the resort.

Check in: Check in went very smooth, it took maybe 5 minutes. We were originally given a room at the very end of the resort, I asked to be moved and they did what they could to move us closer to the pool. We were told we had to wait an hour and a half before the room would be ready. The room was ready when they said it would be. The only issue that we had was that they key did not work. It sounds like this is a common problem and we eventually got it resolved.

Room: Very nice, the bed was hard! We were so tired by the end of each day, it really didn't matter too much. The room was clean and NO RATS, MICE or BUGS! I laughed when I read that someone had a rat jump out at them. The way the closet is situated, if something jumped out over your shoulder, you won't have to worry about it running away.... it would hit the wall behind you and drop to the ground. There were no holes in the closet or bathroom, other than a vent. You have to ask for face towels and hand towels, but we left a note with a tip for the maid and she would make sure we had everything we needed.

Restaurants: We ate at the Poseidon, Lotus, Bubbas Steakhouse & Xamayca and they were all very good. If you go to Bubbas, order the ribeye, it is very very tasty! I am not sure why anyone would choose a ny strip over a ribeye? The ribeye is a better cut of meat and has a lot more taste to it. If you want to get into Bubba's, you have to be there by 7:00 p.m. or you will not get in. The buffets are good, they tend to have the same choices everyday. At least you know what you are getting.

Pool: The pool is beautiful! Yes, there are tiles missing here and there. I am sure they will plan to fix this once the busy season is over. The water is cool, but very refreshing when you are in the hot sun! Leroy at the swim up pool bar is AWESOME! There are a few other pools scattered around the resort and they are nice.

Beaches: The beaches are all nice! We swam in the main beach by the pool, yes it is rocky. The area in front of the hotel is rocky and the rocks that everyone talks about are in the water. We walked along the beach in bare feet and used our aqua socks in the water. It was very refreshing! The coral beach is nice and great for snorkeling. Sunset beach is beautiful and the water is calm with a sandy bottom. Lots of chairs to chose from. It is a long walk up to the bar from the sunset cove beach, so make sure you bring large mugs! They were making improvements to the main beach while we were there, adding palapas, palm trees, sand and a new bar on the beach. It will be very nice when they are done.

Staff: I was concerned about staff from what I read in the reviews, however, the staff were all very friendly. I could see why some people complain about the way they were treated, but my guess is that they were disrespectful to staff. I witnessed this first hand! People are just rude and disrespectful! There were some people from Chicago that came in and gave the bartender a hard time about not having jack daniels, they had ran out, it was almost time for that bar to close, but they insisted that they get jack daniels. Loud and swearing the whole time. They started to put the bartender down, because he couldn't find a shaker to make shots and he had to go get shot glasses. They told him that he didn't know what he was doing. Little did they know, that this was the first night that particular bartender had worked in that bar. If you are going to treat people with such disrespect, then you should expect to get it back. One lady slapped her hand on the pool bar, because the bartender told her he had to get something and in her mind he did not come back fast enough. Another lady didn't like something, so she started to yell at the staff in the restaurant and tell them that they "better not mess with her, she was from NY". Big deal, she is visiting their county, she wouldn't give them the time of day if they came to NY and treated her like that. Trust me! Long story short, the staff are very nice and they have to put up with a lot of grief from the guests. If you want to be waited on hand and foot, then you need to go to a five star resort, one that has a reputation for that type of service. I guess that they can't afford it, so they come here expecting to get that type of service. A little respect will go along way.'

Some inside tips, Miss Lou's is the only bar that serves Red Stripe on the entire property. They also have better alcohol there, sky vodka and canadian club to name a few. The Poseidon, seafood restaurant is very romantic, if you get there at 6:30 you can get a great table! There are many people who don't know that it exists, because it is not by the other restaurants. Bring large cooler type mugs, this saved on trips to the bar and not just for alcohol. They will fill it up with anything you want. The towels are given out by the entertainment center by the beach volleyball court, but get there early. There are always plenty of chairs in the sun, as well as the beach!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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18  Thank mnlv2trvl
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
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: $269 - $487 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 544
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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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