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“Great spot in Jamaica”

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Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Lucea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 16, 2010

Just got back from a week at the Grand Palladium and overall it was a great vacation, other than the fact that it was cloudy and windy for half of the time and even rained for a whole day.
The Good:
- The main pool is huge and beautifully designed - several restaurants built around the pool, with the ocean just beyond, allowing for great views! Loved the chairs built into the pool!
- No shortage of shaded areas by the main pool as there are rows and rows of chairs covered by palapas but if sun is your preference, there are several areas for that too.
- Lots of restaurants and bars to choose from.
- Several of the a la carte restaurants had salad bars too so it was the best of both worlds.
- Buffets offer huge variety and the quality of food is very good for being buffets.
- Sauna in the spa area is very big and very hot.
- There are covered walkways to cover almost the entire grounds which is great for shade and rain.
- Beautiful grounds and buildings.
The Bad
- It takes 30-75 minutes to get into some of the a la carte restaurants for dinner (it even took us 45 minutes to put our name down one night). This is despite the fact that you can see empty tables in the restaurants. They also have extremely slow service - probably a lack of servers or cooks but the food was very good.
- No non-smoking rooms and you can occasionally smell smoke drifting into your room.
- Some kind of loud, strange chirping noise in the courtyard area outside the rooms which is almost constant.
- The showers in the room have extremely poor drainage - you're pretty much standing in a few inches of water the whole time you're in the shower.
- No face towels - bring your own.
- They frequently run out of towels by the pool and at the gym.
- The music playing in the restaurants and the gym are the same few tracks repeating over and over, day after day.
- They don't have any spray bottles at the gym to wipe down the equipment after you're done using it (although they do have staff wiping equipment down periodically).
- There is a lack of washrooms near the main pool.
- They don't serve any food poolside, nor do they have any waiters that come around to take drink orders.
- No room service.
- The spa packages advertised on the website do not exist - false advertising!
- Spa staff is not very friendly.
Nice to know:
- They provide cribs but not a proper fitted sheet - they just give you a flat sheet to tuck in so bring your own fitted sheet.
- They have iPod chargers in the rooms.
- They only have 2 in 1 shampoo & conditioner - if I had known I would have brought my own conditioner.
- For those who have a preference, they have Coke, not Pepsi

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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3  Thank EdmontonMeli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,749 - 5,755 of 6,873 reviews

Reviewed January 15, 2010

we arrived at the grand palladium all excited at around 12 noon. We were told check in was at 3 pm so enjoy some food and come back.We still were waiting for our room at 4pm and started to get a little frustrated. The front desk clerk and assistant mgr appologized saying they were having trouble with the door and they were waiting for maintenance to open the lock so the room could be cleaned. At approx 4:30 we received our room key with the assurance that we would recieve extra ammenities because of our delay.No problems with the room. The next day and every day thereafter our room key would not work after comming back from the pool. So we would walk to the main lobby and wait for maintenance to arrive and correct the problem. Needless to say this became quite frustrating as the week progressed.Everyone at the desk knew us by name and had a new batch of excuses each day. The young lady Marsha took the brunt of our frustration and anger and did her best to appease us but there appears to be no systems in place to correct these situations. The assistant mgr Anna ALicia was insulting to us asking how our vacation was going and if we were having a good day. I bluntly responded how do you think our vacation is we waste 1 plus hours each day trying to get into our room.She appologized and said we would receive extra ammeneties .I told her that i had heard that line before. The next day a plate covered in tinfoill containing 5 cookies was brought to our room.I guess that was our extra touch. By the 6th day we became irrate with the situation and i told the assistant mgr to wipe the smirk of her face while she spoke with me. She offered us reservations at the rest of our choice and champagne with dinner. All the rersteraunts were included and so was champagne so we politely declined. She then offered us a complimentary room upgrade on our next visit which i promptly told he there wouldnt be one. On our last day we found two logo t-shirts in the room as a gift. Like im going to wear that around advertising this place..
On a good note the food was great and the service was always freindly at the bars and resteraunts. We were with a group of 16 people and luckily i was the only one having issues.

Thanks to Marsha for her helpfull attemps to correct the problem but management does not back them up at all or dont know what to do , im not sure but marsha would be much better suited for a mgmt position than Ann Alacia who was no help at all and really tried to do nothing for us . Itold her repeatedly i dont want anything just fix the proiblem. That never happened. I will not be returning to this resort

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank johnkevin123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2010

This Grand Palladium is beautiful. I really don't understand how picky some people would have to be to have so many complaints about it. We stayed there from January 7th - 13th. I have been reading the reviews for a few months now so we picked up some of the tips people gave, such as bringing big mugs and extra hand towels. I'll just give a rundown of how we felt about the the features of the resort.

Rooms: Fantastic. Best hotel room I have ever been in. It was huge and extremely clean. We booked three rooms, and before we came I requested 1 ocean view, and all three to be in Villas 12, 13, or 14. We arrived at 1 PM, and two of the rooms were already ready, and the other one was ready by 2:30 PM. We ended up with rooms in Villa 12, 13, and 18 with the ocean view in Villa 13 upgraded for free. We initially tried to get the room in Villa 18 switched to one closer to the other two, but they said they didn't have any availability for a few days. Once they got to their room, they loved it and didn't even try to get it switched after the first day. I left the maid $3 every day, and we always had plenty of towels and hand towels. Also, we left $1 in the fridge with a note of what we wanted every day, and it was always refilled to these specifications. Another thing we liked about the rooms were the nice flat screen TV's which had like 25 American channels, including HBOs, ESPN, NBC, ABC, etc.

Grounds: Beautiful and extremely well kept. There are workers tending to all parts of the grounds pretty much at all times of the day. You would think there would be a lot of empty drinks laying around with so many people there, but they do a great job of keeping everything clean. We stayed around the main pool most days, which is huge and really clean. It was a little bit on the cold side, though, but felt good when it was hot out. There was always plenty of open chairs, which was great. The beaches were a little rocky, but nice. We stayed previously at the Grand Palladium in Punta Cana, and the beaches and ocean were definitely nicer there, but the resort in Jamaica was a lot better. The best beach is at the end of the resort on the Lady Hamilton side, Sunset Cove, and if you are staying on the Jamaica side it is a little bit of a walk. It probably took us around 10 minutes from our rooms.

Bars: As the six of us, 4 guys and 2 girls, are all college students, this is what we were most looking forward to, and we weren't disappointed. The bartenders were very friendly and more than willing to recommend a good drink to us. The only disappointing bar was the swim up in the main pool. It was very crowded there, and it took like 15 minutes to get a drink there. The bartender just kept passing out shots to everyone, which took a while. MIss Lou's Bar, the Infinity Bar, the Sports Bar, and the bar next to the volleyball courts were probably our favorites. Miss Lou's had all the premium alcohols, like Courvoisier and Jack Daniels. The Infinity Bar had a great live reggae band every night. I recommend trying the Flaming Bob Marley shot at least once at this bar. The Sports Bar had plenty of flat screen TV's, good drinks and good food. Our favorite drinks were the Hummingbird, Flaming Bob Marley, Dirty Banana, Strawberry Daiquiri. Pretty much everything we had was really good though. We gave the bartenders $1 for every round of drinks we got, who seemed to really appreciate it.

Restaurants: If you didn't know, the restaurants rotate being open on a nightly basis, so you have to stop by the lobby to ask them which ones are open if you want to eat a la carte that night. We ate at the Italian, Mexican, and Bubba's Steakhouse while we were there. The Mexican was probably the worst out of the three, but it was okay. The appetizers are really small at all restaurants, so I don't recommend sharing. Also, each restaurant has some type of salad bar or cold bar, which we enjoyed. The food at the a la cartes was better than the buffets, which was pretty average. We never ate dinner at the buffets, though. Overall, the food ranged from pretty good to average, nothing spectacular.

Excursions: We went on one excursion, which we booked through Reggae Tours, and I highly recommend them. We spend $30/pp plus tip to go to Margaritaville in Negril, a little shopping there, and to Rick's Cafe. Also, we stopped in Negril on the side of the road to get some real Jerk Chicken, and it was really good. Definitely stop if you leave the resort, it's much better on the road than in the resort. Margaritaville was very expensive, but the drinks and food were good. Rick's was really cool, situated on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Definitely stop there. Our tour guide, Carlton, was great. He hung out with us the whole day and was really informative and helpful. He knew the best spot in Negril to get Jerk Chicken and took us on an extra tour of a village in Negril because we asked him to. Definitely ask for him if you book through Reggae Tours.

Overall, we had a great time even though it rained for two days and was really windy the whole week. Apparently, January and February are the windy season, so bring some warm clothes for nighttime. Everyone was really friendly, and we just want to recognize Lawrence from the Volleyball court bar and Andrew, the waiter in the Italian Restaurant as doing an especially great job, just in case their bosses read this. We would stay here again, but probably not in January.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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8  Thank TheGute3366
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2010

This was a surprise trip from my husband for my 40th birthday. We had been to Jamaica twice before and had loved it so it was a wonderful opportunity to go back. We were impressed by the size of the place. There were plenty of restaurants, pools, places to hang out, and a variety of beaches to visit all within the resort grounds. Some of the beaches had beautiful views....others nice to walk on....and another that was beautiful for sunbathing and swimming. Recommendations..... The Asian restaurant had DELICIOUS sushi. The Creole restuarant had to die for fillets cooked exactly how we ordered them. The restaurant at Sunset Cove was a nice change to the buffet style....we enjoyed being waited on and the food was yummy. Things to avoid..... The steak house Bubba's was not good. I'm not going more into details but let's just say that I had a bad experience there. The breakfast was not good....food not hot and not flavorful but it was edible. The only lunch that we ate at the buffet was so- so. Our biggest complaint was the service. On more than one occasion, we were treated as if we were bothering the staff. We ended up leaving one of the bars because the bartender said she wasn't making drinks yet....the bar was open and we had gotten drinks there the day before much earlier in the day.....but we felt as if she didn't feel like making mixed drinks. Our past trips, we felt that the staff bent over backwards to ensure our vacation was pleasant. Not the case here. The drinks were tasty....not watered down so we were happy about that. No matter where you stay in Jamaica, don't miss the Zipline Adventure Tours. Best thing we ever did!! I read reviews before we went and I saw all of the negatives. I spent the first day or so trying to prove them wrong. I WANTED to prove them wrong. I honestly thought people were being too picky. Not the case.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank liamnema
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2010

My husband and I traveled to Jamaica on the first of the year and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. I had read so many reviews and just was not sure what to expect but the resort was just beautiful! The rooms were spacious, clean with a nice patio. We were able to see the ocean from our room and enjoyed the well maintained grounds. We were in the Lady Hamilton section of the resort and not too far from everything. It was a short walk to all activities but well worth it. The first day we were there we had water come into our bathroom from the room above us so we reported it and it was fixed right away. The pools were enormous and very clean- the food was delicious especially the Jamaican restaurant where I had the best lamb ever! If there was one thing I could complain about it was the 2 1/2 cloudy days we had but no one can control that but the good Lord. The day we came home was the best day (isn't that always the way). I would definitely recommend this resort especially for those looking for a nice relaxing place to go and chill out. Everyone was very courteous and friendly. Great time.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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6  Thank JonixPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2010

This was me and my husband get away for a few days with out our children and worry free of work. The flight down was ok but air jamaica can do with out serving salty banana chips on the flight. What happen to the lunch? the ride to the resort was fine. As for the resort it was very nice. But whats up with the slipper floors? Thats a case waiting to happened. We found everything to be ok except for the cold food thats suppose to be hot. My husband is a Jamaican but he was very disappointed with the so called Jamaican food. There was no authentic Jamaican dishes there at all. The entertainment was very disappointing I've seen better. All we saw was one or two girls on stage doing the Jamaican grind. The staff was ok but we could do without them telling us to give them a tip after they have seated us or doing something that the resort already pay them to do. Give us the chance to give you a tip when we think its needed.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank cb5817
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2010

Having stayed in nearly 300 hotels around the world, this was my first "all-inclusive."

The architecture of the resort is perfectly suited to its environment. Grand entryways and large swimming pools are softened by the cozy feel of each 36-unit residence. A winding coastline creates three distinct beaches which each have their own flavor of warmth. The beaches are not ideal for lying or walking on because the grains of sand are quite large - but there are plenty of beach chairs and swimming pools in which to relax.

Because the hotel is very large and is set away from major cities, it has its own culture. It was surprisingly less Jamaican than expected, perhaps because it is owned by a Spanish hotel group. However, there was an abundance of activities from dance lessons to water sports to nightly shows which ensure a visitor is as busy as they want to be. In addition, local dancers and crafts are brought in showcase the very best of Jamaica.

The spa and fitness area are nice (equipment is new), but the hot tubs in the spa were mostly cold when I was there. Hopefully that was only temporary. Restaurants are "international" with decent food, but not authentic. Be sure to check with the desk to confirm which restaurants are open each evening as they rotate on an unpredictable schedule.

We found the staff to be very pleasant and eager to help. Their constant upbeat spirit is refreshing. Bringing a few dollars/euros for tip doesn't hurt either.

Prices at the resort shops are slightly higher than the airport, although much less hassle than local street-shopping.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank TravelingElTimo
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: $236 - $575 (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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