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Reviewed August 2, 2009

We stayed at GP Jamaica from July 27-31. I had read several negative reviews and had almost changed my reservation to Couples Towers in Ochos, and I'm so glad we did not. We absolutely love the GP. We had a couple from our hometown on the same plane that had gone to Couples in Ochos and was not very happy with their stay.

Here is a quick review of the GP

Check-In: We were met with drinks as soon as we got off the bus (very nice since we were delayed from take off by weather for three hours in Dallas) . Check In was fast and easy and everyone was very nice. I had emailed and requested an ocean view and we got that.

Room: Room was great. I was very worried about the air after reading reviews but I can tell you it worked very good, got to cold at night and had to add a blanket. We were in villa 18 which was a long walk to the pool and restaraunts but that is what we needed after eating and drinking all day. Keys were not coded right the first trip to the room but after the long walk back to the lobby they were very nice and quick about getting the problem resolved. Very nice shower and tub but the hot water could have been hotter.
We did loose electricty twice but for a very short time. One thing I might suggest is to pack a small flashlight because it is very dark when this happens at night.

Food: Very good. Buffet was good but just like any buffet, you get tierd of it. I liked bubbas ribeye the best but that is my favorite at home also. Really like the Italian also.

Drinks: Very good bartenders and drinks were not watered down by any means. Wish they would have had some American beer but after few Red Stripe it didn't matter anyway.

Beaches: Beaches were nice but a little rough on the feet. Sunset beach was nice but a little crowded for me so we spent most of out time at the adult beach on the LH side.

Pool: Huge. A lot of missing tiles but not a problem. Pool bar was very cowded but it didn't take long to get a drink. We also spent time in the smaller pools on both sides and there was very few people and each one had a bar that made it very easy to get your drinks.

Overall thoughts of Jamaica: I could not believe how nice everyone was in Jamaica. I have been to Mexico twice and have never been treated the way we were in Jamaica. From the time we landed at the airport, the bus ride to the resort and the time we were at the resort everyone wanted to know if we were having a good time and thanked us for coming to their country.

Already planning our next trip to GP in Jamaica!!!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank txtraveler1500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2009

Don't be discouraged by the negative reviews because someone will have something to complain about! 1st, this hotel and the Lady Hamilton are in the same location, just on the opposite sides so it's really the same place. 2nd, it's in Lucea, not Montego Bay. 3rd, bring a watch if you plan to do excursions, since there are no clocks anywhere on the resort, except at the check-in counter, (if not, just ask anyone). Cash conversion is not needed as American dollars are accepted everywhere.

WiFi for laptop users: There is free WiFi near the lobby areas. No WiFi in the rooms. The also have a computer area downstairs that charge $15 for 10min.

HOTEL: Yes, tiles are missing in the pools, so just walk carefully. The staff was great and tips (bring plenty of $1's) do help and are greatly appreciated, as they say "respect". The hotel is beautiful and you do get your money's worth at this all inclusive. Buying cigs ($10), snacks, etc, at the resort are expensive, so make sure to bring plenty of what you need or purchase at the airport/duty-free shops. Also, there is no room service for food since you aren't allowed to bring back food from the restaurants to your room and no microwaves in the room if you did bring food to heat. We stayed in room 2109 where the bed was super comfortable, room stayed cooled (just keep the balcony door closed as the A/C shuts off when open), location was perfect and our housekeeper rocked! We did leave her $5/day and anything we requested was met (we are huge coffee drinkers, so she kept us loaded on coffee, cream & sugar). She also made pretty designs with the towels on our bed. Small issues that didn't affect us: the shower would drain slow and flood slightly, but we just left a towel in front of the door (didn't bother to report it, we just requested extra towels). The toilet didn't flush 1 day, so we left a note with the housekeeper and it was fixed when we returned. The whirlpool jets wouldn't turn off, so we called to report it at 11pm, maintenance came by a few minutes later and shut-off the power to the tub for the night. We had left for breakfast the next morning and returned to grab some stuff from the room, when the maintenance was already there with our housekeeper to fix the tub. Also, we ran out of cream/sugar around 3am the day of our departure, so we called the reception and requested what we needed and in 5 min. was at our door! However, if you place the do not disturb sign, they will not disturb you, but will call your room to verify your request to let you know that the person is outside (we had forgetten to remove our sign from the door). Therefore, I have no complaints about their service and they totally respect your privacy once the "do not disturb" is placed!

POOLS: Ample space and many of them. Tiles are missing, but so what!?! Enjoy the waters, music, drinks and the atmosphere.

BEACH: Sunset Cove the least rockiest, but wear water shoes if you want. We didn't and did run into some sharp areas in the water, just had to be a bit more careful and stepped lightly.

FOOD: The Negril buffet is huge compared to the Blue Lagoon buffet. Both have almost similar foods with slight variations. However, I am certain you will be able to find something you like, love, or don't like. Breakfast is great. Lunch and dinner vary a bit with foods, and there's always made to order stations. My advice, try everything at least once (who knew that honey plantains would be so yummy)! Bubba's Steakhouse was the best, the burger and rib-eye a must try! Pastafarian (italian) we did not like at all. Bhogali (indian) was ok. El Mariachi (mexican) was good. The restaurant at Sunset Cove seemed always busy and when we went had an hour wait, so we didn't eat there, however, that is where to go if you want a seafood dinner. The Jerk Hut is by the Sunset Cove restaurant and has the best chicken and either a rice/pasta seafood dish there. We ate there a few times (don't be afraid of the line here sometime as it's totally worth the wait)! The Lotus House (asian) we didn't get to try, but did have sushi on the menu. Also, while there, when on the tours, try to stop by the carts where the locals cook food, trust me, it'll be the best stuff you've tasted!! FOR MEN: any of the upstairs dining require long pants and are very strict with this and WILL NOT let you in. Downstairs dining is more casual.

BARS/Entertainment: So many to choose and drink from! Name it and they'll make it, or if they can't, you can tell them how to. Tips are much appreciated. Bring Bubba Kegs as we found ours to be ideal and they have no problem filling them! FYI, their Mudslides are delicious. We didn't see much of the nightly entertainment since we were busy seeing, exploring, or simply just walking around the resort. There is a night club, a gambling room, and a sports bar with foosball, pool, and yes, pingpong! Miss Lou's bar is where you can find the premium liquors and is open in the evening. Sunset Cove is where the water sports are.

Transportation: Taxi's super expensive unless more than 4ppl are traveling together. We purchased the hotel transfer to/from the airport when we booked our trip, which made it easier. We also booked our excursions through the travel agents at the resort. Check around the resort before booking since some do offer discounts when asked. We did the Negril Shopping/Rick's Cafe which was interesting. This is where you need to do all your souvenir shopping as the resort doubles the price for the same items. We also did the Chukka ATV and Zipline tours which was very fun and exciting! A must do for anyone vacationing here. Prices for these include your transportation to/from resort. Again, make sure to keep track of time, as they WILL leave without you if you are late!

Overall, we were skeptical after reading some of the negative reviews and hoped for the best. I will say that we were very happy with the resort and our 1st all inclusive vacation-- we would recommend this hotel to anyone, including another possible trip for us. This place will be what you make of it and we truly had a blast. The staff is very friendly and the resort is very safe as there is always someone standing watch by the buildings and walking around. At no given time, did we ever feel unsafe and you can ask anyone for help/advice and they are more than happy to assist. Service with a smile and just genuinely laid back people!

"Lets get together and feel alright....." ~Bob Marley

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank roompdawg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2009

My girlfriend & I stayed @ Grand Palladium 7/26-7/31. I have read dozens of reviews here and on other sites: some good, some bad, some mixed. After completing my vacation @ GP I decided I would try to write a fair & objective review. I consider myself to be a pretty relaxed & easy to please person, apparently some of the reviewers might not be this way so take things you read with a grain of salt.

The first thing to keep in mind is that despite being deemed a Montego Bay hotel, the resort is actually in the town of Lucea. Given that there is only one two lane road between the airport & the resort, expect a ride of about 45 minutes between the two. Also keep in mind that there is construction going on in certain parts of this road, so you may experience a delay or two along the way. If you can, try to book a shuttle bus through Jamaica tours for your transfers between the airport & the resort. Don't however be tricked into having your bags brought to the bus for you unless you feel you need this service. When we finished checking in @ the Jamaica Tours desk in the airport, we started to walk towards the buses and were stopped by a worker @ the airport who claimed to be with the bus company, knew the name of the person we needed to see there & said he'd take the bags over for us. Of course, when we got to the bus he said "ok, what have you got for me?" - now I have no problem tipping when taken care of, but this guy really made it seem like he was part of their crew when he took our bags & then basically demanded to be given money. I gave him a few bucks & he complained, claiming the bus driver got a salary & he didn't. I told him to get lost as he was just being rude at this point. Thankfully we didn't encounter anyone else like this during our trip!

After getting on the bus we were on our way to the resort. The ride was quite comfortable & the driver very friendly & happy to point out places of interest along the way. Upon arrival at the resort, we were given our bags right away & started to walk into the lobby when a guy asked me "do ya smoke herb mon?" - being as I don't, I simply said no thanks & that was the end of that. Check in can be somewhat of a lengthy process, ours being a bit worse as there was a group of 20+ people in front of us. When you do get up to the check in desk you have to sign a bunch of papers & are given an envelope full of information about the resort. We were given our wristbands & told that our room wasn't ready yet. No big deal though, the bell captain held our bags, we had a drink at the lobby bar and about 20 minutes later the room was ready.

After all the nonsense of the airport & check in, things got alot better. We were very lucky to be put in villa 25, which is right at the front of the resort next to the main building on the Jamaica side. Keep in mind that there is no difference between the Jamaica & Lady Hamilton sides other than the color of the buildings. Everyone has access to all facilities, so book whichever is cheapest. The villas are 3 stories, and our room was on the 3rd floor. There are no elevators so if you don't want to be walking up & down alot of steps be sure to ask for a lower floor. We had a junior suite which for two people was very spacious. There was a king size bed, a pull out couch and a table with two chairs. You also have a minibar which contains water soda & beer. My only complaint about the room appointments is that there are no dresser drawers. You have a pretty large closet which has some shelves in it, so clothing that can stay folded is probably best put here. In the closet is also a digital safe which is bolted to the wall. You get to set your own combination for the safe, and it is free of charge. We locked all items of value (money, cameras, ipods, etc.) inside the safe whenever leaving the room & never experienced any problems. I did hear one story about someone losing a watch they left on a dresser, but this guy also claimed to have passed out drunk the night it happened so who knows. Another important point about the rooms is that the electricity is controlled by a room key. There is a card slot by the door and you must have a room key in there for the power to work. Since we were always together, we left one of our room keys in the slot at all times & never had a problem. The maids are supposed to remove them if they see this, but ours overlooked this - probably because we left a nice tip everyday. By taking care of her, we were also given extra towels & bottled water as we requested each day. One small problem with the rooms is the air conditioning. It is certainly not as cool as people are accustomed to in the US. However, a $5 bill and a quick chat with the maintenance guy solved this as he did whatever needed to be done to take the restrictor off & the room was suddenly alot cooler. Also keep in mind that if you open the patio door the air cuts off, so make sure to keep it closed if you want the room cooled.

One really nice thing about GP is the great variety of food choices that you have. There are a few breakfast buffets available in the morning, and again for lunch. You also have a terrific sports bar which offers snacks ranging from beef patties (which were awesome!) to burgers & fries, quesadillas and more - really a great place to have lunch in my opinion. Dinnertime there are buffets again, but also a la carte restaurants themed by cuisine. We ate at 4 of them - italian, seafood, steak & mexican (twice). Each had several options for appetizer, entree & dessert, and each person at the table is entitled to order whatever they'd like. The only time we had to wait was at the steak restaurant, and in my opinion it really wasn't worth it. The other restaurants were terrific and had no wait at all. Each has a salad bar to get you started before the appetizer arrives, and they're all themed by the cuisine type as well. The resort paperwork indicates that long pants are required for men at the a la carte restaurants. This is sort of true. What we discovered is that the "inside" restaurants (mexican, asian, creole, indian) required pants - when i say inside i mean that it is in an enclosed, air-conditioned room. The other restaurants are al fresco dining - the italian & steak being on the patio adjacent to the main pool, the seafood restaurant down by sunset cove beach. Here, shorts & a polo shirt were perfectly fine.

The drinks are plentiful @ GP. Get to know the bartenders, most are really nice & if you take care of them they'll go out of their way to make you happy. Do try the hummingbird, dirty banana, miami vice & green lizard drinks - all were awesome. If you're feeling brave, get a bob marley shot too! Also, ask the bartenders for their specialties, most have their own drinks that were quite good. Another thing to keep in mind is that the drinks are not very big if you get them in their glasses - i'd guess the cups are about 6 ounces. However, you are free to bring your own cup to the bar & they'll be happy to fill it up for you, even with an alcoholic drink. We found insulated mugs called Bubba Kegs in wal-mart, 32 ounce ones were $5 and well worth it.

The pools @ GP are quite nice - from a distance. When you get in them, please be careful. The pools are all tiled - I don't know if they didn't let the adhesive dry before they filled the pool, if the workmanship was bad or what, but there are tiles coming up all over the place. If you're careful to avoid these spots you'll be ok. I unfortunately ripped a bathing suit on the corner of one of the tiled lounge chairs in the "relax pool" our first day, but otherwise we didn't have any problems since we were careful. The infinity pool is big & has alot of people there all day since it also is where the swim-up bar is located. Of the smaller pools throughout the resort, we found the one next to the spa to be the nicest. It is where the lazy river is located also, but it doesn't appear to be finished just yet.

The beaches are small & seem to be man made. Most are rocky & don't have a long shoreline, but it can still be fun. Sunset Cove was by far the nicest & most popular. There are plenty of lounge chairs, tiki huts for shade, a bar, and an awesome hut where they make jerk chicken, paella & roasted corn - all very delicious. There are all sorts of watersports available @ Sunset Cove, but only non-motorized ones are included in your stay. There are guys who own waverunners that will offer you to ride them, but they want $60 for a 30 minute ride which is kind of steep. Paddleboats, snorkels & all that are on the house.

There is also a spa available @ GP. The exercise facilities & jacuzzis are complimentary, but massages etc are additional. We did the "ocean harmony" treatment which is basically a swedish massage for two near the beach at sunset. It was a very nice experience but a little awkward because the place they take you is somewhat open to people walking by, and they don't give you any privacy while you're disrobing. If you aren't uptight about this, it's pretty nice.

There are plenty of people selling excursions in the resort lobby, and we did ours through Jamaica Tours. Because we used them for the airport transfers we actually got a discount on our excursion. We did the catamaran snorkeling trip & it was alot of fun. The company which owns the boat is called Dreamer Catamarans & they pick you up at the resort and drive you back to Montego Bay. Upon arrival, you board the catamaran & set sail for a snorkeling stop which lasts about 45 minutes. After snorkeling you head to Margaritaville where they have trampolines in the water & a 110 foot slide you can go down. After this it's back on the boat to do some more sailing before heading back home. The crew on the boat was really nice & alot of fun. An open bar is also included in the $75 fee (that was the discounted rate).

The entertainment @ GP is not that much or that great. They have a small show @ 9:30 each night on the stage, and usually a band of some sort in the infinity bar at night, but that's about it. For a good time I recommend hanging out in the sports bar - the bartenders are awesome & there are alot of fun gaming tables in there. There is also a video arcade & a very small casino which has a few slot machines.

A few last suggestions before I wrap things up:
- DO take care of people - you'll get much better service
- DO have patience - things are done "in a jamaican minute" so just relax & have fun
- DO be careful walking inside the main building as it's all marble & can be slippery
- DO have your bags picked up on check out day at least 45 minutes before you leave
- DO stay on them if something you want isn't getting done.
- DO NOT wait all night for the steak house - wasn't worth it.
- DO NOT miss the jerk chicken @ sunset cove - it was very good!
- DO NOT go without sunscreen - you will get burnt!
- DO NOT do your shopping @ the resort - even the airport shops are cheaper!

This review has been pretty long, but I wanted to provide a good detailed description of our trip to GP Jamaica. I think with a few modifications this place has the potential to be a top notch resort. For now though, if you're not uptight it is a fun place to spend your vacation in Jamaica.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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14  Thank larryb78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2009

No complaints about this place.
In fact it was the best resort I have ever been to!

The food was great, the drinks amazing, staff amazing.
The only complaint was the water in the pool was a little chilly, oh well.
A couple "banana boats" Bartender Leons speciality and the pool seems nice and warm to me!

I WILL GO BACK TO THIS RESORT ANYTIME!!!
IN FACT ITS THE ONLY RESRT I WANT TO GO TO FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!!!!!

randychiassson@gmail.com if you have any questions about my stay.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank apetimberlake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2009

My husband, nine months old son and I just returned from a stay at the Grand Palladium. The resort is quite nice. Yes, there are missing tiles in the pool, but it's not noticeable if you haven't read the reviews where people have blatantly pointed it out. The check in process was great. We arrived at noon and had no problem getting into a room. The staff was very friendly and welcoming and the rum punch welcome drink was great. Our room was nice. We had requested an oceanview room and a crib. The crib was there and set up, but we didn't get an oceanview. We were in Villa 11, which is right next to the big pool. It was nice because having a baby we never had to walk too far. The main pool is beautiful and HUGE! The swim up bar service is kind of slow and I would absolutely recommend to bring a big glass. The glasses they give you are about 6 oz glasses, so if you like to drink, you have to return often!

The restaurants were good. Bhogali the Indian restaurant was amazing! Romey and Kamahal were amazing! The scuba crew, Hugo, Sharika, Julianne were great too! If you have a child under 2, the hotel will not babysit for you. My husband and I really wanted to go diving tho and the scuba staff watched the baby for us so we could take 2 quick dives. They were amazing! Hugo really took care of us underswater. We even saw a huge ray!

Overall, a great trip. I would recommend to anyone with kids over the age of 2. I would not recommend it for honeymooners or anyone looking for romance. THere are lots of kids everywhere.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank wurldtraveler09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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