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Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa
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Reviewed February 22, 2009

this is the firtst time i had gone on the computer and looked at the resort we stayed in after our holidays,just can't get enough.we have travelled to 14 other all inclusives,and i would honestly say that this was the best resort and holiday that we have been.i was reading some of the reports on this resort,it just shows you that you can't please all the people all the time.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Rosyrosy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2009

While this hotel is on beautiful grounds, the rest has a lot to be desired. I do believe though that everyone's stay is different. My husband and I would never go back, but the couple we traveled with would. I will start by saying that I live on a Caribbean island and I am used to the "Caribbean" way and have many Jamaican friends so this has nothing to do with the culture!
Arrival: This was our honeymoon trip and I had requested a room close to the beach as possible. I made this request 6 weeks prior to travel. When we arrived, I asked if our room was one of the romance suites that I requested. The front desk clerk responded "yeah mon yeah mon" and proceeded to show us that our room was down at the end of the resort close to the road( the opposite end that the romance suites are on). At this time I told him there was no way this was what I requested and he proceeds with his "yeah mon" again. I spoke to a supervisor and she said to check back on Tuesday - we were leaving Wednesday. Got to our room (bldg 24) and were greeted by one of the worst sewage smells I have ever smelled.
Told the front desk - they were not concerned at all that we had sewage smell coming through the shower drain and up from the toilet. Finally the next day I spoke to a manager at 3:00. She had no problem in moving us. Well, this took until 6:30. We were relocated to the romance suite that I had originally requested. But this was obviously and out of order room that she placed back in order just to get us moved. There was a leak from the room above that flooded the bathroom floor making it very slick. There were no cushions on the outside chairs, no clock radio/ipod docking station, no plug for the jacuzzi, and only hooks above the bed, no decorative swag. It took them 24 hours to come look at the leak only to be told it could not be fixed until we left and there was nowhere else to move us. Plug for tub finally came the next day after 4 requests and no cushions ever arrived for the wooden outside chairs. The worst part is that no one seems to care.
Only one bar in the resort serves Red Stripe. When we went, they were always out.
The bar and restaurant staff were always nice and accommodating(all but one of our trips to the restaurant). It only seemed to be the front desk staff that was rude.
Food: Food was ok for the most part except for the NY Strip at Bubbas...horrible, don't attempt! A lot of times food ran out on the buffets and was never replaced. The last night there was the last straw. If it wasn't our last night, I don't think my husband would have stayed another minute in that hotel. We went to the Mexican restaurant and arrived there at 9:30. Information at given at check in says they're open til 10:30 but as another reviewer said - that's worthless. As we arrive there was a lady and her family that was obvioulsy afiliated with the hotel because everyone knew her and were giving her hugs and taking their sweet time with her and not acknowledging us at all. She was helping with the arrival of the King and Queen of Spain. After chasing down the woman's son for 15 minutes the hostess finally came and asked if she could help us. It was now 9:44 and she explained that we could not be seated as they closed at 9:45. I explained that we had been standing there for 15 minutes while they socialized with the other lady and chased down her son. She smiled and replied "sorry". NEVER AGAIN!!!!!

As I said, I truly believe if you have no issues with your room and you don't depend on the staff for anything you will enjoy your trip. I happen to be a person who believes that when you pay for a service you should get it!!! There are too many other places in Jamaica that have wonderful guest relations and would gladly treat you like the guest that you are.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank angelis2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2009

I have read some of these reviews and it seems some travelers can find fault with anything and everything. I agree with some complaints -- the service is not always good. When they ran out of towels, the young woman at the towel desk acted like my request for a towel was an outrage and I should never think to ask her for a towel again. I complained at the desk and two towels were found in about 3 minutes. There is no working voice mail and no one ever got me any of the 5 messages left for me. They claimed they were delivered to my door. I suspect some other guest may have wondered what uncle was coming to visit and what husband was calling to find out about our day! Other staff seemed indifferent and not particularly concerned if we were happy or not. On the other hand, I have never seen a resort where so few guests tipped. One reviewer said it was included in the price. I'd bet the staff are earning a low wage and whatever guests paid in tips doesn't come to them. The beds are way too hard. I also hated the smoking policy. Canadians and Americans (who can not do this in their home towns) were smoking in the restaurants and all over the common areas, leaving behind butts and a trail of foul smoke. When my 9 year old daughter was sitting with me by the pool, a large group of older adults sat down right next to us and lit up and commenced a conversation that they had no business carrying on in front of a child. But that is simply a reflection of the bad manners of smokers and perhaps their glee that in this place they can smoke wherever and whenever. I hope the hotel comes up with a better policy on smoking.
There were also way too many drunks there. On our first night, my daughter was quite astonished to see an adult woman carried back to her room by her husband and a bell hop. We saw another woman lying on a beach chair, leaning over to vomit repeatedly. Again, not the fault of the hotel. But this place did seem to attract some pretty unattractive guests.
On the up side, this resort is huge. The main pool is a large U shape and the loud drunks tended to cluster on the side of the pool with the bar and the quieter guests and those with children could stay on the other side. We loved the pool. Yes, it should be warmer. But it is beautiful and my daughter found many other children to play with and I met some great people too. The beach is not great. It has rocks and the sand is coarse. If your goal is a beautiful beach, this resort may not be for you. It is very large. If you don't like to walk, this resort may not work for you. There are little shuttle buses but really, you will walk a lot. There are no elevators in the villas and a couple near us had to carry up the stairs a baby and gear and stroller every day. We enjoyed the walks and enjoyed the bigness. It meant lots of different pools and different restaurants. We enjoyed the Italian one. The staff were very warm and welcoming and adjusted a dish to suit my daughter's tastes. At our second visit, they remembered her name and her preferences. Following the advice of an earlier reviewer, I brought 50 US one dollar bills and I tipped at every meal. That likely improved the service -- same as it does everywhere else in the world. My daughter loved the steak restaurant Bubba's. She loved the burgers and the salad bar. It tends to fill up and we were able to get a table only when we went before 6:30. I loved the creole restaurant but my daughter didn't. But she enjoyed sitting at the table and watching the King and Queen of Spain's reception and the gracious waiter. After I finished my meal, we went to the buffet where she found many good things to eat. She loved the sports bar food and the fun cook who teased her and chatted with her. She also enjoyed the games there. We loved our room. We had a gorgeous ocean view and the sound of waves crashing put us to sleep each night. My daughter said she felt like a Jamaican princess because the room was so pretty. We also enjoyed the jacuzzi in the room and the flat screen tv. We loved the spa. We sat in the whirl pools and swam in the big pool there. It is a quiet place, not really suited to children but she understood the need to be quiet. I noticed a lot of couples sitting in the roof covered area of the spa, napping, reading, and just enjoying the quiet. Several women I met used the spa services and they all enjoyed that. My daughter scraped her toe on the stair at the whirl pool and the staff were very kind and found us a first aid kit and were asking her about it at our next visit. It was a little thing but very nicely handled.
We went snorkling one morning. I would NOT recommend the dive shop at this hotel. They are poorly trained, indifferent to safety and don't care if you have fun. We set out in the boat and as soon as we got into the water, the wind picked up and the waves were very big. It was dreadful weather for snorkling and not possible to enjoy. None of the so called trained instructors even got wet. One woman was a novice and she got tossed by a wave into a big patch of coral. Her legs and belly were cut and she kept saying, "I'm on fire, I'm on fire." A proper instructor would have been in the water and helped her to avoid this. Because of the strong wind and the waves, nearly everyone got sick and we couldn't see a darn thing because we were being tossed around. Any trained person would have known the conditions were poor and would have told us to wait a few hours. I also had to ask repeatedly for life jackets and the foolish instructor kept saying my daughter didn't need one! Heck, I needed one! It was rough out there. I met some folks who were scuba diving one morning and they were appalled at what went on and declined to go out a second day. I would recommend giving the dive shop a wide berth. We didn't do other outings. We were both needing rest more than adventure so we were happy to swim and kayak and read and sun.
We had gone to Jamaica for sun and relaxation and we found that. We returned home warmed and refreshed.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank CapitalMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2009

we just got back from the grand palladium last nite( feb21) had to write this, dont believe everything you read on here for one thing,(or you will never stay anywhere) we have travelled all over the carribean and this is right up there with the best of them! people are great very friendly (not rude at all) food on the buffet was excellent never ate a bad thing all week. the alcarte restaurants are what they are ,buffets where actually better. place is spotless clean! beds are typical (HARD) no faceclothes (same everywhere!) only bad thing about this resort is location! its too far from anywhere. if you like to see things. 45 mins to montego bay 45 mins to negril beaches are not very good either(coral) other than that its a great resortits new they are working on the beaches as we speak. dont hesitate to go here you will have a great time!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank trux1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2009

We just return from a four night stay at thr Grand Palladium Resort & Spa. I will try to be as honest as possible in this review so you can decide if this is the place for you.

Day One

My wife, son and myself arrive in Jamaica at the airport at 2:00 p.m. where we push past the pushy transfer & taxi people to meet our contact from Clives Transport. We are welcomed and given a welcome drink of either a spring water or a Red strip beer. Our driver Balerie gave us a history and current state of Jamaica. A great ride and I thank Clives for a very pleasent ride to the resort.

We arrive at the Grand Palladium at 3:00 p.m. Upon arrival the person who checks peoples bags in could not find our name on the list. He checks our bags in and tells us to head to check in where they will straighten things out. The checkin desk personal were very friendly, But could not find our reservation. We were asked to fill out forms which they took to backroom . They came out a short time later and gave us our wristbands and informed us our room was not ready yet. They told us to please feel free to go eat lunch and check back in one hour.

The lunch buffet was near the large pool.While there was not a great choice we figured we would find something. Both my wife and son chose to get some chicken nuggets and some other stuff. I made the mistake of wanting a hamburger. I wait in line for about 20 minutes to reach the front of the line I ask for the burger to be well done ( I noticed that the cook asked if people would mind having a medium burger.) he gives the famous answer " No problem Mon." As I wait for my burger he continues to fill the orders of medium burgers. I then see he gives out the last burger and starts to put frozen patties on the grill. I ask what happened to my burger I got a " Oh sorry Mon I will have more in about 10 Minutes." He then starts talking to another guest who it seems he has been hitting on for a while. I give up on luch and go to meet my family.

4:00 p.m. check in all goes well . Driven to the room . The room is very nice, some corners have been cut and it shows but it's nice. Its large with kingsized bed. Realized that the couch bed has not been made up and there are no sheets for it in our room. Call housekeeping lady says ok we will take care of it. We change and go out to see the resort. The resort is very sharp at first look upon closer look some flaws but nothing major. Later check back at the room still no sheets. Go to front desk ask about sheets they say someone will take care of it. Go have dinner at the buffet. Basic buffet with pork, chicken, pork most where luke warm at best. Pasta station very good with a custom made sauce served very hot. Breads very good, deserts ok . Beer, wine or soda only.

Check out the nightly entertainment we lasted about 10 minutes before we leave. (we tried one more night and then figured we would give up and did not see any more) The entertainment is a joke it's very bad dancing with to old 80's-90's music called A Night With The Stars.

Go back to room still no sheets. Call housekeeping says someone is on their way. 30 minutes later a knock at the door. Worker brings sheets and ask where the blanket is. Tell him there is no blanket. He says he will go get one and be right back. 30 minutes later he returned. Nice guy but very slooooooow.

Day 2
Try to keep it short

Breakfast is the best meal of the day. Tip:Go early all food is hot. Over medium eggs,
custom omelettes. meats, pastries, fruits, and anything else you can think of for breakfast.

Poolbar . Bartender Leroy is the best. sings, dances(much better the the entertainment workers) make sure you feel like a special guest at the resort. Out of all the bars we had a drink at none where as good as the ones leroy made. Sure the pool was cold but Leroy and the drinks were worth it. On a side note Leroy was chosen to be the bartender for the King and Queen of Spain.

Wife and son checked out the kayaking, peddel boats. They had a good time but found they stop checking out equipment at 3:30 p.m. So no snorkeling.

Dinner was Mexican Buffet was good not great but good refills on drinks were a little hard to get.

After dinner there is nothing to do but the entertainment show. Again not good. There is nothing planned for teens. Disco is 18 and over and opens at 11:00 p.m. Casino bar still not open.

Day Three

Very windy day hung out at the beach at Sunset Cove. 3/4 of the beach is very nice with 1/4 being very rocky. All of the rest of the beaches very rocky.

Booked zipline tour from the tour office on site. Cost was $85.00 U.S. This encluded transport to and from the tour location.

Sport courts pretty open. played basket ball Rims are pretty beat up and not very tall.
Tennis courts are artificial grass
Mini Golf is only eight holes. Guess they ran out of room.

Found out the sports bar pool table are in very bad shape ball look like a house ball at a bowling alley. Very beat up with chips and chunks missing from balls and very uneven tables. Food in sports bar is good and cooked to order. Drink are the 2nd best in the resort behind Leroy and the pool bar. When we were in there we also played ping pong. The cook had no work and came over and played my son. My son said to him this one of the best parts of our trip. So D'Andre thank you very much.

Shopped at the stores. The cost of some things did seem high. Most only were a buck or two over what we found at the store in the airport. Funny thing they sell many items that show pot leaves or are used for smoking pot. Like rolling papers, glass pipes, Grinders,T-shirts, shot glasses, key chains, hats.

Day 4

Went on zipline tour. What a blast. Our group was 15 people from the resort. Everyone from our group were very outgoing and made it seam as if all 15 of us had been friends for years. There could not have been a better fit of people. Our Driver was Spencer. He filled in for another driver. We were very please as we wnt in to the Mountains Told stories, told jokes, answered questions and with our group their were a lot of wild & weird questions.Zipline was a very fun tour with a break between zipline 3 and 4 for a taste of coconut water, pineapple and sugercane. If you have never had a pineapple that was picked the day you eat it . Then you have never truely tasted a pineapple.

Today was the day the King And Queen of Spain came to the hotel. Tons of police, military, and black suits. Because of the Royal visit the resort closed 6 restaurants and 5 bars. To make this up to the guests who payed to stay here they offered a grand bbq and beach party. The food line was over an hour long. While standing in line we saw sand being blown into the the food. The reggie band was Shall we say not that Reggie. The first two songs were a very slow soft jazz followed by the theme song from Mission Impossible. When the first song that finally sounded like reggie startedit was shouted over by the entertainment MC. He screams welcome to Jamaica, Welcome to the the Grand Palladium in around seven different languages we the tells us what will happen tonight. By the time he is done the band is back to slow jazz. We give up on the bbq after we have not moved in line but a few feet during this and mission impossible. Also not wanting to eat sand.

There were so good things and some bad things.

The drinks flow free and they are not afraid to put booze in the drinks.
Food over all was ok not the best but not the worst. didn't eat at any restaurants as our son liked the icecream at the buffet. Being 13 if this was something that would make him happy with the lack of activities for teens ( All Games played by the entertainment group were for the over 21 crowd as the prize was a small bottle rum.)How could we say no.

The people were very friendly except for the hamburger cook the first day.

I felt even if tips were included I was willing to tip the people who made sure things were done right. The bartenders again Leroy is the man. The cooks in the sports bars D'Andre will beat you if you play him. (He might let you keep it close for fun.) The housekeeper Karen who maid sure we had towels, wash cloths even made the bed runner into a flower design and placed real flowers on that. The cart drivers who with a wave will stop and take you way where in the resort.

As for thing I read on here before I went.

Rats- Never saw any

Roaches - Never saw any

Loud bugs - Like a big cricket or grass hopper. They are loud sound like a playground swingset. I will say one night while reading on the patio I had to stop because there were so many for a while it sounded like a song. ( Might have been the best entertainment the resort offered.)

Plumbing problems - None for us but heard a couple whose tub leaked into the room below them. They had workers in their room working on it till after midnight.

Pools cold - They are.

Beaches suck - They do except 3/4 of sunset cove (beautiful sunset here)

So there it is.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank icemanrulz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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