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“Been to JA many times - want the facts read this”

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Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Lucea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 13, 2010

Ok - first off - I have traveled much of my career through out the US, Canada and Europe- for my leisure time most if not all of the Caribbean and the US-I have been in the best and the ultra modern (on the companies dime of course)

So - first thing to keep in mind is that this is not the US/Canada and not the Six star hotel that you see on TV with guys waiting to light you cigarette or jump at you every whim- it is Jamaica- it is one of the most beautiful places in the world with one of the most proud and intriguing cultures in the Caribbean - Relaxation is key -and by the peoples very culture & nature they are laid back-

My wife and I had to decide where to take my two children 9 & 12 and my parents 65 and 75, having been to JA many times I knew what to expect and WANTED them to experience another culture - we could have traveled anywhere in the Carib- so this was a conscience decision to partake in another culture-

After reading the reviews posted previously I almost changed hotels - some action has taken place as once you read the below you will see that we had no issues what so ever -

SO here we go!

The airport -

It was spring break - so it was a real pain in the Bum! good luck at immigrations - be prepared for a wait if crowded - if it appears dis-organized - that is because it is - just deal with it-

When you find your transport rep - tell him you want to get there quick and will take care of him if he gets you on the next transport (assuming it is part of your package) give the guy $2 to 5$

the ride was very nice - about 35 minutes - enjoy the drive along the coast-

Check - in - they need some help there - but I have to say after finally getting to the desk the people were polite and were were willing to work with you as far as requests ( my parents were put in a different building- no problem - they were moved by the bellhop)

The rooms - they were warm when you get in - especially the third floor (roof to sum contact) once the AC was on - no problem - we have a suite - my parents a room - building 22 - very nice

Towels, soap, pillows, all AOK! - We actually needed one more pillow -wrote a note to the maid left $2 - no problem

Room distance to activities - note - you may have to walk about 250 yards to the main area - if this is an issue - tell the front desk - the little buggies run around and will pick you up all the time - you can take them home from the lobby at anytime- bring comfortable shoes

The pool is awesome - a bit cool - but it's early in the season ( will warm up)

the five beaches are awesome- bring your own snorkel gear - they will give you some if you ask - but you may have to wait on line - with you own stuff - you can swim out just past the ropes at the cove beach and see tons of great stuff - clown fish, sea urchin, coral , etc-

The chicken hut on the beach is great but get there early - the line can get long

The food - we found the buffet's to be great - they do change the themes for dinner so you will get a different selection each night- you will find something that you will like -

we tried two specialty places - the Mex place "heck no" the Asian place " the best" we have the duck and the sushi with a waitress name Tenese - the best service ever - I tipped here $10 - made here night - I ever talked to the manager about how attentive she was - two kids - two old people - tough crowd

The spa is awesome - lots of free stuff to do in there - the Gym is nice - now if you are a walker or runner - this place is outstanding - where else can you go for a run along a mile of beach with the wind in your face

We stayed on the property the whole trip - kids and parents with us so it made sense this trip -

Now this is real important - Tipping

Having done the Jamaican thing a few times and will continue to do so - you feel as if you do not have to tip and you do not have to - but I will tell you after spending 5K to get my parents, kids and lovely wife there the extra 100 in US singles made the difference between good service to great service - NO One asked and frankly only about 5% did tip -

when I went into the restaurant for breakfast or lunch I tried to find the same waiter - and when I sat down- I politely said, please be sure that we have coffee, cokes and water at all times and I will take special care of you- at the end of the meal we gave about $2 to $4 - (we had six diners every meal) by day three - the servers who knew us would greet us at the front door and take us to our "spot", they knew our names, my kids names, what we drank, more napkins - you get my point - The best servers I found , were Charles, Damian, Kevin and Teneese - all were good and attentive, the aforementioned were stellar-

At lunch the best spot is with Marvin - by the volley ball court - that man can cook a burger - my wife told me they have burgers in the buffet - I told her not made by Marvin and not on the beach- he was awesome - made time to talk about life - the beach -

The other staff members-

my little one stubbed her toe pretty bad - some swelling - the lifeguard Paul was awesome - he came by to ensure she was OK and sat with her for a while to calm her down - first class guy - a real gem! I consider him a hero!

Brenda the security guard - I went to go get lunch - and said if my stuff was OK at the pool for an hour - she said no problem i will look after it - first class -

The entertainment staff was awesome - they help out at the pool during the day the do the stage thing at night- very nice people- the show are not Hollywood but if you have kids - go early - they will take them on stage - my kid were enamored by the process and then watched every one as my wife and I almost dosed off-

If you can afford to do this - do it -

every year we go down we ask our children for book from there room (old readers, books they do not read much and even some that they like) we bring them to the hotel and ask them to donate them to a school- next year I will take my kids to a local school to show them how there help can impact others -

The drug situation - I have to be candid - what people do on their time is their time - BUT with two little girls (9 & 12) I was worried as we have been to JA I know the liberalness of some of the adult only resorts - I am pleased to say - I was never asked and that was directly due to the managements policy - well done-

Some must do's

bring the plastic mug - it helps- really
bring your own towels for the beach - they were available is helps to have your own color
bring 150 in singles $$$
bring you own meds (stomach, tanning , asprin)
snorkel gear - bring it -
sunglass - two pair
tennis shoes and WATER shoes
the Airport going out will have some good deals on trinkets/shirts/rum
try and request a closer room if the walking is an issue-
get to your spot early (to reserve with a towel)

Show the people there that you have respect for their culture - and enjoy it - every time I met someone I looked them in the eyes and said " hey Mon" - these are very proud people - involve yourself and you will enjoy more-

If you want something like the US that stay in Destin or goto Cancun (no disrespect to Cancun- great place) but if you want something that will stay with you and really impact you as a great experience - got to Jamaica-

please contact via this site if you have any questions!

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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11  Thank atljamo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,771 - 5,777 of 7,147 reviews

Reviewed April 13, 2010

We just came back from a week at the Grand Palladium Resort. Beautiful resort, great food and wonderful accomodations. I've been to many all inclusives and the food at the buffet was by far the best I've ever had. The selection is amazing and the food was very tasty. The water at the resort is safe to drink.

If you have any sort of allergy, bring your benadryl or any other medication you think you might need. I had to get benadryl from the Medical office and they charged me $30 US for 4 tablets. Bring a really good sunscreen because if you burn on the first day, you will suffer the rest of your stay there. The sun is very intense and you don't realize how intense because of the breeze off the ocean.

We took a day trip to Negril which involved shopping at he market and Town Square. Great deals at the Town Square. Then we went to Rick's Cafe. Bring your swimsuit as you get the opportunity to jump off a 60 foot cliff. Very cool sunset.

The evening shows were not very impressive. It's worth while going to one but you probably won't be back for a second night. :-)

The Sports bar was amazing. The food was great and it's open 24 hours a day.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank monsieurjasper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2010

We just came back from our trip from Jamaica. We stayed at the Grand Palladium (Jamaica). I will give you 10 pointers to make your vacation better:

1) Bring a large cup or mug to drink beverages from. Cups are really small. They are use to filling them.
2) Beaches are full of coral... Sunset Cove on the Lady Hamilton side is the best beach where you can swim, but it doesn't compare to the beaches in Negril. If you want nice beaches then go to Negril.
3) Be prepared to walk a lot or call for a free shuttle. The shuttle drivers are awesome.
4) Go to the al a carte restaurants early because they are hard to get into if you go later.
5) We got a personal shuttle driver from the airport and to Rick's cafe. It was great. Our driver's name was Mark Phillips - Phone: 876-376-9555. Round trip to/from the resort was $140 for all 7 of us. Rick's Cafe round trip was $90, which was great. We didn't have to wait around for a bus load of people to get back on. Also, he stopped along the way when we wanted to shop or get food.
6) Definitely go to Rick's cafe for the cliff diving and to watch the sunset. Our kids had a blast jumping and watching.
7) Get up early to get your towels. They run out of towels all of the time.
8) Snorkles are free, but you must put a $25 deposit down for each mask and then you get it back when you return the mask. You may want to bring your own. Snorkeling is better outside the roped off area at Sunset Cove. It is safe.
9) Service was slow, but I think that is just the culture in Jamaica.
10) A different person fills your mini fridge with Soda/Water/Red Stripe then your room maid. Therefore, if you want more of something (we wanted more red stripe and water) then leave him a note in the fridge and a tip.... you will be surprised when you return :)

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with family
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2  Thank bethanybeachDelaware
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2010

We just returned from a week at the Jamaican GP. We have been there before and once to the one in Mexico. The Jamaican one is by far better. I also wrote a trip report on the Palladium Addict site and mentioned that it doesn't make a lot of sense to repeat the particulars of the food, entertainment, rooms etc when it's all been said before, so suffice to say--it's a wonderful resort. If you are reading these postings trying to decide whether or not to book here--do it. You won't regret it. I had the opportunity to meet the general manager, Dimitris, on this trip, and was thrilled to be able to tell him about a couple of his outstanding employees. I have truly never met a more hard working manager. Believe me, he reads these reports and responds to them. That said, I would like to add just a couple notes. First, it would be helpful to the staff and to people looking for chairs at the pool and beach if the staff would place some bins for used towels here and there at the pool exits and beach stairs. Second, I haven't seen this mentioned before, so I will add that at the Miss Lou's Bar (top next to Infinity Bar) they offer a "lending library." Take a book-leave a book. I took one and left the 3 there that I had brought along and read the first part of the week.
To those of you thinking of booking: you will absolutely fall in love with the view from the Inifnity Bar of the pool, the ocean, the complex and the unparalleled view of the Jamacian sunsets. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any specific questions.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank worldtraveler4727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2010

We went to the resort from April 3 - April 10th. Had to come back and write a review. Somthing that I NEVER do. But after reading so many negative reviews, I wanted to voice my opinion.

First off, traveling is always a pain. Yes, we had to wait for everyone to get on the bus. I particulary annoyed when people were going back towards to airport to get their first drinks in Jamaica. It was a HUGE bus to fill and it was a little disorganized. BUT this is not the hotel's fautl.

The ride back was great. We had a smaller transport and our driver acted more like a tour guide with a lot of interesting information and pointing out spots of interest. This was the same tour company going back.

We got to our hotel about 12 and the room was not ready. But this was no suprise because the hotel was filled and check out time was just at 12. We were able to change and go to the pool and get something to eat at the buffet. No big deal. Our room was ready at 2.
THE ROOM
The room was wonderful. RIght on the water with TWO decks and a huge bathroom with a shower and whirlpool tub. The room was cleaned every day by a very nice maid. We did not experience any towel problems. I brought wash cloths just in case but did not need to use them.
THE FOOD
The morning buffet had everything that you could possibly want to eat. The servers were excellent. Dont forget to try the buffet right above the pool. Wonderful views.
There are a variety of resturants to go to. If you dont like to wait, get there early between 530 and 600. Otherwise you may need to wait.
My husband liked BUBBA's the best (steakhouse). I liked the Jamaican resturant the best. Just individual tastes..,
ACTIVITIES
I enjoyed learning new dances and the water exercise class.

ENTERTAINMENT
We went to 1 show, and it was fine.
POOL
If everyone would pick up after themselves, it would make the staff's job easier. THere are always some people who leave their stuff laying around.

Otherwise the pool was clean.

BEACH
We went to 2 of the 3 beaches. The biggest beach at Lady Hamiliton was the most popular. Although, we always found a place to sit in the shade.

SNORKLING
THe beach at Lady Hamiliton was the best for snorkling. If you are going to plan on taking other trips like this, I would suggest you bring your own mask, snorkel and fins. You have to put down a deposit to use the hotel's (which is understandable) and I heard they had to be back within an hour.

THINGS TO BRING
If you like to read bring enough books. I finished 3 and ran out of things to read. I refused to buy a paperback for $12 at the hotel store.

I always bring my own first aid kit; Tylenol, Stomach problem meds, band aids and LOTS OF SUNSCREEN. Dont Forget ALoe for that first burn. Just to name a few things. I also found mini packages of TIDE at my local Rite Aid for washing things out in the sink if needed.

I know some people mentioned water shoes. But I did not feel we needed them. I could see if you had young children with you, it might be helpful.

CUPS, We bought insulated cups at the dollar store $2 and 3 different colors. They were great because they kept the ice from melting quickly and I did not have to keep going up to the bar. WE DID NOT HAVE THE BIG BUBBA cups, just about a 12 oz size. Look at it this way, you are helping the environment.

This is a B IG resort, so be prepared to walk. They do have covered walkways so you do not have to walk in the sun. I like to walk, so it was fine with me. But I can see how someone else might not like it. You can get rooms, closer to main area to avoid all the walking.

We went to this resort because we stayed at the Palladium in Mexico and wanted to try another one. It was a wonderful relaxing time.


If you need something, it will cost you 3-4 times the amount you would pay in the States.

EXCURSIONS
We did not take any trips of the resort.

  • Stayed: April 2010
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3  Thank Beachy113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2010

We knew we wanted to go to Jamaica, and we chose this new hotel (opened in July 2008) to visit in early October 2008. Though located in Lucea, was within taxi proximity to Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril.(long ride but scenic). We ventured off the property twice, on two private tours. The 2nd was a tour of Lucea, including a primary schools where we had donated supplies. The teacher and kids were wonderful and so incredibly advanced. The principal gave us a tour and the three year olds would get up and spell their names, and show us their written work. It was awe inspiring. It seems the less you have, the harder you work. No trip to Jamaica is complete without going to Rick's Cafe and watching the sunset.

Beautiful facility. The rooms are lovely, each with its own jacuzzi tub. I would not recommend this facility for spring-breakers. Quite upscale with numerous ala carte restaurants, with no lineups or limits. The Lotus restaurant and Jamaican Creole were by far the best - best sushi I have had to date. Great jerk shrimp (prawns). The Oriental (Lotus) restaurant we were skeptical of as they offered dishes from the Phillipines, Korea, Japan, China, Thailand etc. We thought they had stretched themselves thin, but were blown away by the quality and taste of all dishes. We tried all of the ala cartes-Indian, Steak, Seafood and Italian. The food is five star all the way - try each and every one. Even the buffet was fabulous. All palates in our group were pleased from a 3 year old to a 73 year old. Some nights we cheated and did an early dinner at the buffet and a late dinner at the ala carte because as I stated before, even the buffet was top drawer. Hats off to the two chefs - breakfast buffet ladies - to the left and to the right -making omelets and ackee/salfish.

If you love a pool resort, this is the spot. The pool bar in particular was the place to be to socialize. If you love a genuine beach resort, this is not the location, in our opinion. The man-made beach was not indicative of the beaches normally found in Jamaica. Though there are plentiful beach chairs, the beach did not stack up. They do offer shaded walkways if you wish to avoid some of the sun and carts to pick you up if mobility is a concern.

The plus sized lady at the kids club was fantastic - she also has a great voice - and sang in the nightly shows. (knew her name but its been six months).

We did have a small issue with the roof leaking when the couple above left the water running, but it was dealt with quickly. One employee (sous chef) at the buffet restaurant - beware if he offers to get you exotic Jamaican fruits (fresh coconuts, mangoes, soursop)etc. He ripped my husband off and then claims the fruit all got squashed because of where it was located in the food fridge. He is tall, slender and claims to have relatives in Ajax, Ontario. As far as staff went, he was the ONLY one who left a bad taste with us.

I have a few recommendations which include reduction of the Spanish influence. Though the resort is Spanish owned, we are in Jamaica. I want to feel like I am in the Caribbean, not Majorca. Let the night-time shows be feflective of the culture / customs of the people of the host country. People pick Jamaica for its people, rich history, great food and culture. If that is supressed, why would I go there. When I go to Cuba, I know I am in Cuba. In Mexico, regardless of the owners being Spanish, I know I am in Mexico. I hope the owners will allow more of the Jamaica "flava" to shine through when next we return.

Secondly, address the key card situation. We were in villa 16, a fair distance from the lobby and to have to go back and forth 3 to 4 times a night to replace a key is forgiveable if it only happens once during a 7 day trip.

We will try some of the other resorts in the Palladium chain as I have read excellent things about their Mexican properties.

  • Stayed: October 2008
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Thank TorontoSnorkelQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2010

I went to Grand Palladium Resort last April and this was my first time doing an all inclusive resort. First off like stated in a previous review the resort in in the middle of no where. once you are on the resort that is it . there are trips offered if interested in leaving the resort. The resort itself was very clean, staff were great except for the receptionist was very rude to my parents she could not find her reservations and had no sympathy what so ever. The maids always kept the rooms clean plenty of towles and hot water. Building was somewhat noisey because of the way the building was designed. Food was great we never had a problem getting into the restaurants. snorkeling is free but you had to pay a 50$ deposit to use their gear. snorkling on the beach on the resort was not good at all water was kinda cloudy. we did take a trip out on a boat to snorkle and this trip was not good as well not very many fish except for jelly fish very tiny ones and we all got stung and the guides even said we would.. Why take us to a place with so many jellies? anyways as far as beach and sand was not much at all. there is a smally tiny beach no waves or anything it was more like a bay. all together there were three seperate beaches all bay like setting but very small and extremely rockey you could not go out very far at all as far as swimming you really could not do it. So if you are going for good food clean resort and just relaxing I would recommend it. but if you are more into beaches and swimming and snorkeliing I would recommend the seven mile beach where there are plenty of beaches and sand ect...

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank trishabird429
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: $270 - $475 (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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