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“Disappointed..........to say the least.”

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Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Lucea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 21, 2010

Don't stay at the Gr. Palladium Jamaica.

Take the reviews you read about bad service to heart, as it really is true that you will not get any answers or service from staff or management. We were booked at this resort from Feb. 12-19. We were only 2 of many who were shipped off to another hotel for the night because this resort was overbooked. We did not receive notice from our travel rep (only because she was unaware they were overbooked) or the hotel before arriving at the resort and waited for 3 hours once we arrived to find out they were sending us back to Montego Bay for the night - that was after someone at the resort actually told us what was going on. After arriving back at the Palladium again the next day, we waited another 2 hours before finally getting a room. The resort is beautiful and has lots of potential, but it's not worth the risk no matter how much you pay.

If you want to feel like an inconvenience and spend your time trying to find answers and get service, then this is the place to go! Save yourself the frustration and book somewhere else!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
2  Thank gk4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 21, 2010

If you only read one sentence....read this: If you're packing to go to the Grand Palladium, make sure to pack a large insulated mug (and a swimsuit of course)! Drinks are served in VERY small plastic cups!

My husband and I were looking for a getaway from winter at a decent price and we found it! We stayed at the Grand Palladium Jamaica the first week in Feb. 2010 and the resort met our expectations and didn't disappoint.

After reading many of the reviews on Tripadvisor, we were A LOT nervous about our upcoming trip. But the resort and staff proved all of the negative reviews wrong. As many others have stated on this site, there are people that can never be pleased and complain about every little thing.

Here's a quick synopsis of our experience:

Check-in: Beautiful open-air lobby! We arrived between 3-4pm and were greeted with rum punch and were quickly checked into our rooms. Bellhops were efficient in getting us to our room in building 15

Rooms: Rooms were spacious and clean. Housekeeping was efficient. We didn't spend a whole lot of time in our room since we were in Jamaica for the sun and water!

Pool/Beach: Biggest pool we've ever seen. It was very easy to find chairs every day whether you wanted sun or to sit under a palapa. We spent most of our time by the pool, but there were 3 beach areas to choose from.

Food: We tried all but the Asian restaurant. A la carte restaurants were decent....some had waits, but it's just like any restaurant in the States, put in your name and grab a drink at the bar while you wait. Our favorites were the Creole restaurant (excellent jerk chicken & rasta pasta) and Mexican. Almost all of our servers were VERY attentive and cheery.

Drinks/Bars: The best bar was the Infinity bar, but Lawrence down at the pool bar was a lot of fun! Don't expect upper shelf liquor or servers around the pool or beach. As mentioned above, bring a large insulated mug (even a travel coffee mug will work) since drinks are served in tiny plastic cups and lines can be long. This is probably our only complaint about the place.

Overall, we had a GREAT time and would definitely go back! Here are just a few tips if you're headed to the Grand Palladium:

1. Bring a bunch of one's to tip....the resort staff work hard and do a very good job. We were happy to say "thank you" to housekeeping, servers, bartenders, etc with a tip. And they appreciate it! The one thing we found, though, is that tipping bartenders during the day at the pool bar didn't get us speedier service later on....

2. Expect to walk...the resort is HUGE and things are spread out. But enjoy the beautiful scenery and weather!

3. Sunsets are beautiful...take them in at the Infinity Bar or the "lookout point"

4. Catch lunch at the jerk hut....excellent grilled jerk chicken, mild and hot sauce, corn on the cob and great paella!

5. This hotel isn't a 5 star, but we didn't pay a "5 star" price so we didn't expect world class service. Set your expectations realistically and you'll enjoy your vacation at the Grand Palladium!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Waunawi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2010

After planning for month our 20th wedding anniversary celebration, we picked the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton due to its reviews and location.
We got there ar 1PM and the staff said that there was a problem but only the manager could tell us what it was.
After waiting for an hour the supposed manager came to talk to us saying there was an overbooking situation and offered to send us to the Hilton, which was away from the location we wanted to be. He also said if we would take that offer he would give us a free week in the future at the Gran Palladium hotel.
Well, at that point I told him that I was not moving away from the Grand Palladium since I had a confirmation number. I also called AA Vacations where I booked the trip.
I also asked this manager why have they picked me, since I could see lots of people checking-in at the time I was waiting, but could not get a reasonable answer.
After another hour waiting, they finnaly managed to find a room for me at the very last building and facing a wall. I complained and suddently I got a room beach front and very close to the main complex. But we had to wait until 4 PM to check-in.
Once we got to our room, it had not been cleaned and I complained to the cleaning lady who was close by. She appologized and cleaned on the spot.

So that was our reception at the Grand Palladium.
But after that everything went very well. The staff was very nice, the food wes good and the drinks were plenty.
The entertaining crew was amazing and the party went late every night.

The hotel has many places to go and a lot to do.
The maintenance is not the best, but it is good enough.
We did enjoy our stay over there, but the managements has to seriously improve the way they do business.
Overbooking at a pre-paid hotel stay with a confirmaton number should never happen.

One more thing. apparntle some Canadian travel agencies have some kind of special deal with the hotel, so that their guests are able to reserve spots at the a-la-carte restaurants, which did not apply to us and many others.
But nobody tells you that in advance.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Bob_Creek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2010

The Grand Palladium overbooked its hotel by at least 300 rooms for the Presidents Week (February 12 - 21). Our trip had been booked, confirmed and PAID FOR months in advance and two days before we were scheduled to leave, Travelocity called to notify us that we could not stay at the Grand Palladium. No one from the hotel ever contacted us and not so much as a form letter of apology was issued on their behalf. We met countless other people in the same situation including a wedding party who was forced to relocate without notice. Despicable.

What was supposed to be a relaxing time away was a maddening week of trying to deal with Travelocity and our new hotel site to secure a comparable package that was purchased month before. The hotel should be ashamed that they assumed no responsibility whatsoever, despite happily accepting our $3400 prepayment. You should only consider booking here if you have thousands of dollars to throw away.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank GRANDPALLADIUMSCAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2010

Well I would have liked to write a full review but we never ended up actually staying at this resort. My husband and I booked our trip almost 6 months in advance with 5 other couples; 8 of us booked through American Express Travel, the other 4 used Expedia. Expedia sent an email two days before our departure and word soon spread that there was some kind of reservation glitch and the Grand Palladium overbooked by over 400+ people (this was eventually confirmed by the resort staff itself). We spent those two days on the phone with numerous individuals trying to resolve the issue. The Fiesta Hotel Group, who owns the Grand Palladium, did not offer much solution and I will say that they have not heard the last of us since they almost cost us money and huge disappointment. In the end it all worked out due to a lot of persistence and some inside connections... and we ended up staying at the Moon Dance Villas right on 7-mile beach in Negril. It was my first trip to Jamaica and I must say we have raised the bar for future vacations. We passed the Grand Palladium on the way and one of my other friends actually stopped on the way to Negril. She said the lobby was very pretty but that there were huge lines in the lobby... I imagine some did not know about the reservations error till they got there. We ended up having a very different vacation but it was wonderful at Moon Dance... I liken it to going from a huge Carnival Cruise to a private yacht. I cannot say yet if Fiesta Group will make good but I will tell you we won't be going to their location in Jamaica. My one word of advice: if going with a group, use one travel outfit because using two complicated the situation. Much to our surprise Expedia was easier to deal with and much more accomodating; American Express made good in the end but it was not an easy process (and two in our group had traveled extensively internationally with them in the past). Finally, I must say, Negril is the place to be Mon!

Stayed: February 2010, traveled with friends
1  Thank AmyofOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2010

Unfortunately, I cannot say anything good or bad about the resort itself since I never had the opportunity to go there! My issue is with the poor handling of my reservation and I wish to warn others so they can avoid the same miserable experience that my family and I had.

I booked my trip to the Grand Palladium through US Airways Vacations back in August 2009. We were supposed to arrive on 2/14/10 for a 5-night stay. On 2/12 I received a call from the booking agent telling me that the resort was overbooked and my family was "bumped". We were offered an "upgrade" to a different resort (Franklyn D Resort), which is a great place if you have small children, which I don't.

Initially I blamed the travel company because I never heard of a resort overbooking, but have since come to understand that I was wrong...the Palladium Resort screwed us over,
along with at least six other families that were also "bumped" to the Franklyn D. The overbooking was admitted to me when I called the resort directly, but I was told that it should not have happened to me because I made my reservation so far in advance and that I should speak to the Front Desk Manager. Am I missing something? THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN TO ANYONE! Although from what I have since read in other reviews this appears to be common practice at the Palladium.

Anyway, long story short, I have tried several times to contact the Front Desk Manager, but regardless of what time I called, he was always too busy to take my call. In addition, I have sent emails to the customer relations departments at both the Resort and the travel company seeking a better explanation as to how customers that pay in full for their vacations over six months in advance can still get bumped. At the time of this posting I am yet to hear back from either one. In these times, when money is tight and options for travel are many, I would recommend that you stay away from both the Grand Palladium Resort and US Airways Vacations!

Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
Thank RichChrisNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2010

We heard the mixed reviews before we went but have been to quite a few all inclusives and always have a good time so felt comfortable booking at the Grand Palladium for the week of February 13-20, 2010. It wasn't a great beach week weatherwise which I'm sure didn't help as a lot of difficiencies with the resort can be covered up if you have sunshine in the caribbean. We only had 1 1/2 days of sun with most days overcast and windy. We still had a decent time but we had to work at it and whether the resort is for you probably depends on what you look for in a vacation.

We like to go to the gym and spa, have a pretty beach, lounge at the pool/beach, swim and have access to reasonably good food and drinks why we do so. Have a nice dinner and maybe take in a show. Relax and enjoy time together. We knew the resort didn't have the nicest beaches but thought we could get by with Sunset Cove and the large pool area.

The main challenge with the resort when we were there was that the service wasn't adequate, the food was poor and we sensed that perhaps the resort was poorly managed. I heard that they were overbooked during our stay which may explain some of the issues we encountered but certainly not all. And besides, overbooking is a decision the resort makes to maximize their revenues. When it seriously effects the quality of your vacation then as a guest we'll take our vacation dollars elsewhere next year.

We are a family of 3, two adults and an 8 year old daughter. The resort isn't really kids freindly in the sense that there is less here for children then at other resorts we've visited most notably the Dreams resort in La Romana DR which is awesome. They have a small kids club but our daughter is now too old for that so I offer no opinion there. They do have snorkling and kayaking at Sunset Cove which looked promising. Unfortunately the wind and clouds made the area too rough most of the trip to enjoy. They do have a small minature golf course, 3 tennis courts, basketball and soccer field - all balls and rackets supplied. This was great and probably "saved" our trip in that outside of that there were too many aggravations to make it our kind of trip and not enough for our daughter to do.

What were the problems we had? Here's a random list of pro's and con's

Con's- First because there were more of these

1. In general you had to wait in lines that were too long. This was most pronounced in the evenings when your average wait time to get in a restaurant (as opposed to the buffet which had a 10-15 minute wait at most) was an hour. If you planned ahead and made reservations you could shave this down to about 20 minutes. (Also several times at lunch at the Jerk Hut the line was 30+ minutes long. They only have one small grill to cook for 50+ people. How does that make sense?) If this doesn't bother you night after night on your vaction more power to you. Expect to wait to get a table and then expect service to be slow- on average. Some of the food was good but overall it was average at best and their buffet was especially poor- selection was limited and food quality very average at best. Could you find something to eat, of course, but don't expect much and you won't be dissappointed.
2. Bar Service: This was mixed. It was absolutely insane in the beginning of our trip with 2 bartenders attempting to serve 35+ guests. Bring a large travel mug container with you. That seemed to be the strategy employed by most guests in the know. Wait 20-25 minutes for a drink but then get one that lasts. Only problem with that strategy for the resort is that each guest took a lot longer to serve. They really needed to double the number of bartenders and that would have solved the issue. Later on in the week the crowd thinned somewhat and the wait times dropped to more reasonable levels so it may depend on when you go. In any event bring your travel mug or sports bottle. The liquor quality was average at best. If you want something better you'll have to bring it.
3. Service- Just say No! I've never been to a resort where I've been told so often that I can't do that. My daughter was kicked out of the Spa area while just sitting there- adults only. OK, that's actually fine. I can certainly accept that there can be areas where adults can enjoy themselves without kids present. We were told we couldn't eat outside the main buffet in tables that were open for breakfast but closed for lunch. They wanted us to eat inside on one of our few days with sun. It's hard to articulate but the resort staff was marginally unwelcoming which is strange to experience. There were some real nice staff as well so it was mixed. More mixed than we'd ever experienced to put it politely.
4. Let's just call this management. These are things you'd never really think about until they happened over and over. Go into a bathroom and more times than not there won't be any paper towels to dry your hands. Go to the gym and there will be no towels. They even ran out of towels at the beach one morning. At the buffet in the morning they ran out of bacon almost daily. They only have one machine at the buffet to toast bread - for over 100 guests! Be prepared to wait in line to get an omlet and then wait in line to get toast and have your omlet go cold (better to go in teams one to toast and one to omlet station),In the gym they have one eliptical that works the other was "out of service". At the sports bar they have only one ping pong table and the air hockey is "out of service". At the Spa they have a great steam room but the sauna was "out of service". They have soft ice cream machines at 2-3 locations in the resort that are operational 50% of the time for lunch but NEVER for dinner. Do you think that kids and even adults might want some ice cream for dessert? There was also no waiting service by the pool or beach. If you wanted to get a drink you had to get up and go get it. There was only one main bar you could walk to and one swim up bar at the primary (Infinity) pool area. When you got there prepare for a long wait. Other resorts we've been to had wait staff come around and serve drinks. Here you just had to work harder every step of the way. I actually felt by the end of the trip that it was a conscious decision by managment to limit the amount of alcohol served by making it harder to obtain. We're not even big drinkers. We went several days without having a cocktail during the day because it was such a headache to get up and fight in line 20+ minutesto get one. That's just insane.
5. Beaches: Sunset Cover is a nice beach. Other than that the beaches are sub par. The water is not as nice as other carribbean destinations and certainly a lot worse than Negril in Jamaica. The pool is very nice but oddly arranged for sunbathing. The views are inland and not to the ocean which is crazy IMO.

Pro's

1. We had a room on the Grand Palladium side and although it was a hike to get to the room was large with a King Size Bed and a pullout for my daughter. The bathroom was also great with a large jacuzzi tub and a great shower. There wasn't enough storage space for cloths (no drawers) and only one thin blanket on the bed but overall very nice.

2. The main complex around the Infinity bar was very beautiful. It's a shame the resort wasn't built on a nicer beach or it could have been so much more ascetically.

3. People. This was really a mixed bag. We tipped like crazy but still found a lot of staff that were either indifferent or plain inhospitable. But we also found a lot of cheerful people who were great. It really was mixed. The shows at night while not broadway productions were put on with a lot of energy and effort.

Overall, I would recommend this resort for adults only and if you can get a deal on it and are just looking to get away somewhere warm this may be for you. If you want a high quality vacation experience I'd advise that you look elsewhere.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ebayfisherman
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: $271 - $476 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 544
Reservation Options:
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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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