My boyfriend and I just returned from our trip yesterday, Sunday June 24th and before I begin just keep in mind that I was incredibly nervous to be in another country and even more nervous about transportation and leavng the resort for any reason! It was both of our first tme out of the United States and after booking the trip and seeing some of the bad reviews my anxiety started. All I have to say is DO NOT LISTEN TO THE BAD REVIEWS. We arrived in Jamaica on Tuesday around 1:30, after making it through customs everyone at the airport was incredibly helpful. Cheap Carribbean has their own booth right after immigration if you've set up a ride and this makes things very easy. There are so many people from Jamaica Tours Limited that are there to help you and make sure that you get on the right bus to the right location. The ride from Montego Bay to Lucea is about 40 minutes and our driver was very informative, pointing out different landmarks and giving us all a little history about the island. When we arrived at the Grand Palladium we were greeted by very nice staff members and welcoming drinks (with or without rum )! Check in took a little bit, however there were about 30 people in line. Staff at the desk were efficient, quick and they give you a litte welcome package with different tours, a list of restaurants, towel cards and a map. They give each person in your group a towel card and explain that you can use the towel cards to use the resorts towels and when you need a new one you just trade the towels in. I noticed that another review said that there were only two towel stations, this is untrue. There were towel stations at every, single pool AND at the front desk. The property is incredibly beautiful with great views anywhere you go. Our room was a suite that just happened to be in the villa farthest away from the main building on the third floor. The resort does offer transportation if you'd like it, however the walk IS NOT that far. We actually really enjoyed walking because we found different pools, restaurants or bars every single time. We ate the buffets every morning for breakfast and were never disappointed with food or service, one of our waiters even introduced me to their modified verson of a mimosa called a "jamosa" if youre going, ask for it :). For the a la carte restaurants we ate at the Poseidon, Pastafarian and Bubba's! Poseidon's was average but nothing special, however the other two were fantastic! I was a little skeptical about Italian food in Jamaica but it was probably the best meal we've had in a long time. The best part of our trip was the tour we went on called Cool Running. It was a tour that took us to Ocho Rios for snorkeling and an extreme waterfall hike up Dunn's River followed by a great afternoon on a party boat which was full of rum, people having fun and great music. It was an excellent time and was all set up through the tour room at the resort. Our cleaning lady was great! Her name was Amoy and if you're graced with her cleaning your room then you're in for a treat. She always made sure our room was clean, the mini fridge was stocked and that we had a cute towel sculpture waiting for us when we got back. Every staff member that we came in contact with at the resort was willing to take a second to help you and make sure that you were "good". I tried to find examples of the negative things that people had mentioned in past reviews and I actually found them in guests who were impatient, rude and hard to handle. My only suggestion is that if you are a person who doesn't like to walk and explore a little bit, incredibly high maintanance, impatient with tons of people who also want good service or rude then this probably isn't the place for you. This resort definitely has 5 star qualities and 5 star people working there, if you like some adventure, some rum, tons of pools, beaches and places to eat then take the Grand Palladium and Jamaica for all it's worth. Don't be afraid to leave the resort to go on tours, you're on vacation so relax, have a great time and try some new things.
I am a cynical Carribean frequent traveler for the past 22 years. (Married 32 years.) I own businesses, thus my expectation of "good service" is pretty high. In the past, I have been robbed (literally) and ripped off (figuratively) in the Caribbean. I really couldn't believe that all Palladium offered would really be as nice as the agent at CheapCaribeen.com touted it to be. I couldn't believe the on-line photos could be that nice. In both cases, I was completely wrong! We were there for the first week of April and the weather was like from a movie. The resort was full, but not packed. We never waited in line for anything: rides, meals, drinks, chairs at pool, towels, housekeeping, phone pick-ups. We stayed in Building 31 on Lady Hamilton side and loved waking up to see the ocean from our bed. Likewise being on the second floor gave us even more privacy. I had an ice machine right outside our villa. The unexpected surprise was the enclosed open sky shower! It was immaculately clean and the water always warm. Likewise, the two person Jacuzzi filled quickly and the water was always warm enough...and THAT has never been the previous scenario! The drivers providing lifts to various points, arrived in five minutes every single time. The reception desk people even remembered my name when I walked through the lobby for the next four days! The only tiny thing would be the food quality was like that on a cruise ship i.e. heaping presentations but just OK. However, we weren't there for the food but rather the ambiance and every feature in that department was beyond our expectations. (We can get a "Good Meal" back home but never have I experienced this level of "getting away.") Bottom line: this traveler can't wait to go back to Grand Palladium! There was so much more to do but we were so totally relaxed that we only scratched the surface of this wonderful vacation paradise. Don't even question if you should book it.....like Nike says, "Just do it!" Happy Guy
I want to start off by saying this will be long but a good review, so if you're looking into this resort id read it! lol...My husband an i returned from this resort on Saturday and it was amazing! i am not sure why others had such a bad experience, but again - everyone finds something to complain about..your vacation is what you make of it...i went in a little nervous because of the previous reviews and regret doing that because it was seriously amazing!! The room: A lot of people complained about the bed - i for one thought it was fine...i've been on worse beds so this wasnt bad at all...people also complained about pillows...the bed came with 3 pillows and there were 2 additional in the closet, which was more than enough for 2 people lol...the room we stayed in was on the second floor of villa 18...Villa 18 is great - like a 5 minute walk to restaurants and we had ocean view...literally best of both worlds...i would suggest asking for an additional room key b/c the AC is on only when the room key is in...and when you come back from a day outside you do not want a hot room - so ask for an extra key and leave it on at all times... The Food: Everyone ranted and raved about Bubba's Steakhouse - i was not at all impressed...the food here was ok...nothing to rave about...and there was no ac...my husband and i went to bubbas, the mexican, italian and the Jamaican (creole) restaurants. My favorite was the mexican! We also did the buffets for breakfast and lunch and sometimes dinner...there was a good variety to choose from - something for everyone...i was overall pleased with the food choices... The beaches: I think people have gotten confused with the beaches because a lot said sunset cove was rocky....i am not sure where they saw or felt rocks b/c there was NONE....the 3 other beaches all had rocks....so if you're looking for a good beach head over to Sunset cove (and if you are on the palladium side - get a shuttle! lol)... The pools were great...nothing to complain or rave about..the lounge chairs in the pools are an amazing idea! My husband and i had asked a maintenance man to take a picture of us near the water at our villa and he literally did a photo shoot with him lol...it was amazing! we ended up tipping him $5 because he was amazing and actually took great pictures! lol In regards to tips - i personally do not understand how some can go on vacation and not tip....yes its all inclusive but these people work for their tips....they are so friendly and willing to do anything for you - i just dont understand how some cant tip....you dont have to tip big - just something...for breakfast and lunch at the buffet we tipped $2-$3 depending on service...for dinner we gave $5...housekeeping we gave $4 each day then on the last day we gave her an additional $5...when we got drinks we'd tip $1 per drink...then when we took the shuttle we'd tip $1 as well, sometimes $2 depending how far we went... everyone rants how "big" this resort is - yes its big but not so big where you cannot walk to explore...my husband and i took a day and walked to the lady hamilton side and it wasnt bad at all (and i am not a skinny minnie and i am pregnant lol)... The store to buy things - a bag of chips cost us $7.50 which blew my mind - so id suggest bringing snacks with you lol...as for gifts to bring back home - id suggest possibly going on a shopping excursion...we did the shopping tour which also took us to ricks cafe (booked through JTL Limited - same company who picks you up from airport (which i do recommend getting the round trip service)- we booked this at the resort)...they take you the times square shopping and give you about 2 hours to shop - which is plenty bc its small...but have great stores to buy tons of stuff to bring home and for great prices too! You can get Wifi in the lobby - we were told not to bother with the wifi in our room for an extra charge bc its not worth it...the wifi was pretty slow but do able... Check in was a breeze - our room was ready and waiting for us.... i am trying to make sure i dont forget anything but i think i mentioned everything... one more thing! this is mostly a relaxation place - if you're looking for a crazy club scene dont come here...if you're looking to relax and get some sun then deff come here... overall this resort was amazing and am thinking of doing my 10 year vow renewal here....i would recommend this resort to anyone and everyone! i hope this review helped! sorry its so long! lol
I was a bit worried after reading reviews, but I couldn't be happier with the vacation I had. My boyfriend and I had an amazing time. We ended up staying on both sides of the resort due to being delayed a day and booking an extra night, and both rooms we stayed in were very nice! The Lady Hamilton side of the resort is a bit fancier, but we loved both rooms. The mini fridge was restocked daily and our room was always cleaned. We didn't have any problems with a shortage of items. We always had enough water, soda, beer and towels in our room. The service at every restaurant was great! We enjoyed talking to our servers and asking questions about the food. They never steered us wrong. The bartenders were friendly and would make you any drink you wanted. Tips are included, but we did tip staff we felt gave us exceptional service. Sometimes there is a wait to get seated at their restaurants for dinner, but you can go to the bar and they will get you once your table is ready. We never had to wait longer than half an hour. We enjoyed asking the bartenders to surprise us with different drinks. Bryan was one of the bartenders we really enjoyed talking to. You could tell he enjoys his job and the drinks he made us were perfect. Not once was I disappointed during this vacation. If you relax and enjoy yourself there is nothing to complain about. The pools were clean and beautiful. The beaches on the resort were also very nice. We spent a lot of time at the sunset cove beach on the Lady Hamilton side. If you are picky about where you want your beach chair just get there earlier. There is a restaurant, bar, and a jerk chicken hut right next to sunset cove so it wasn't an inconvenience to spend a day there. Snorkeling is included and we enjoyed snorkeling around the coral and seeing the different types of fish. We did bring our own beach towels because we read that the pool towels run out fast. We were able to get towels the first morning and we held on to them until we were able to trade them in, if they ran out. We also had concerns based on what people told us that we would be harassed to buy things. The only time someone asked us to buy something was when a spa person asked us if we were interested in a package, which we politely told them no thank you and they did not ask us again. They seem to be very strict about that happening and we were not bothered. Occasionally photographers on the bottom floor of the lobby would ask to take your photos, but we would tell them "no thank you" and they left us alone. On our last night there we had photos taken by Akeem and they came out great. We ended up buying a few. If you are interested in buying photos ask to see their prices for their packages and single photos ahead of time because if I did not ahead of time, I would not have known some of the photographers were trying to charge me a bit more than they should have. They are just doing their job. I was able to get a good price on the photos we did buy. We booked the shared roundtrip transfer through Amstar and had the same driver, Tony, both times. He was great and was able to tell us about different landmarks as well as the history of Jamaica. We booked two different excursions once we were at the resort. I definitely recommend the Dunn's River Falls, which is around a two hour drive, and the Chakka Horseback Riding. Riding in the ocean on horseback was an experience I will never forget. Don't forget to bring water shoes to Jamaica if you are looking to do some excursions. Friendliness goes a long way in Jamaica. If you go to the resort looking to find flaws you won't enjoy your vacation. We were sad to leave and will definitely be going back to the Grand Palladium!
We went to Grand Pallidium on a much belated honeymoon (11yrs later). Overall, the hotel was great with just a few drawbacks. The place is family friendly and had quite a few small kids, so keep that in mind if you prefer more of an adult only honeymoon type experience. I have been fortunate to travel quite a bit and thought this place was a good value. Positive: Staff was incredibly helpful and friendly. We were pampered from the moment they handed us the cool washcloth & rum punch at check in to when we were stuck d/t weather complications & they helped facilitate airport communication. They are VERY liberal with the alcohol in the drinks & you can tell most employees really like their jobs. The hotel was super clean & our room was both clean & tastefully decorated. We went to the main pool every day, but you have lots of options. The pool was pretty cold, but very refreshing in the heat and right on the beach. The spa services were reasonably priced & the massage therapist was good. Because the 2 hotels are joined, you really felt like it was one big hotel. Negatives: Maybe it was b/c it was off season, but only 2 or 3 restaurants were open nightly. Most nights there were supposed to be 3 and they would close one. There wasn't much of a wait so reservations weren't necessary. The food was average except for Bubbas, Poseidon's and the Asian restaurant. There was only one buffet place open for lunch daily, but they switched up the offerings so it wasn't that bad. Beware of the marketing ploy to listen to their sell over breakfast. We did it for the two free spa coupons. I thought it was worth it b/c I love massages, but it ended up being 3 hours long. They kept passing us to another person after we said no. In actuality, it was an awesome deal and we probably would have bought into it if we had the money, but that's just not the case for us right now. They got a little aggressive and annoying in the end. Otherwise, I would highly recommend this place for the price. Sidenotes: If you enjoy cigars, there is a guy named Rocky who comes nightly and sets a table up at Miss Lou's bar. DON'T buy them at the hotel's store, as they jack the price up! Rocky is a really nice guy & gives you a reasonable deal. Also, we did a catamaran tour booked through Island Tours (desk in main lobby) that was one of the highlights of our trip...SUPER fun! We paid our driver $20 & he took us on a tour of Negril & 2 shopping places after the cruise. Lastly, it's not on the drink menu, but once you try a Hummingbird, you won't need to try any other drinks your whole trip! =)
After reading tons of reviews about this resort, I was nervous for our trip and what might or might not happen. We were only there for a 4 day weekend, so we didn't book any excursions, and planned to enjoy the beaches and pools. On arrival, we were greeted and transported with no delays, and our room was ready when we checked in. Others didn't seem to be having the same luck we did, however. The staff at the hotel was very nice, and for the most part helpful. The food was okay. I am not a buffet fan, so options were pretty limited during the day, but the dinners were good at the specialty restaurants. The waits weren't terribly long but it was frustrating that we were told we couldn't make reservations. The beaches were beautiful, but a little rocky so it was hard to walk on them without shoes. The pools were great, and we could not have asked for a nicer time at them. The swim up bartenders were wonderful! Our room was great, but it never really felt cool even with the air conditioning running. The room was clean and the housekeeping staff were great. Other reviews mentioned thefts and break ins, so we were a little nervous about that. But we also didn't take any risks and stored all valuables in the room safe and didn't leave electronic equipment laying around. I don't typically go back to the same place on vacation twice, but I would recommend this resort to anyone who was looking for a great getaway.
This was our first time to this hotel. We love so much about this place and will hopefully return again. Some of the reviews that we read talked about how there was a lack of beach that was usable. We did not find that the case at all. In fact, what other people did not enjoy, we thought were some of the best assets for the beachfront property. There is a beach for everyone's style. There is a beach with beautiful rocks and scenery, there are more typical beaches in three other places and there are beautiful scenic places with sand to enjoy in other places. I truly think that the diversity of the landscaping on this property makes it so beautiful. You definitely should bring water shoes if you plan on walking in the water on one of the beaches close to the hotel. In most of the other beaches though, we saw people snorkelong in the water with no water shoes on at all! Make sure you get to see all the little coves and beaches. There are many little coves and beaches in front of the hotel, but also look for places called Coral Beach and Sunset Cove. Sunset Cove has all your water sports and family-friendly activities. Coral Beach is a small, private, adults only beach! On the last night we were there, they had a fantastic beach bonfire and party at Sunset Cove.. It was a blast! The property is absolutely huge! We walked quite a bit each day, which was wonderful because of all the dining options that you have throughout the course of any given day. For an all-inclusive resort, I thought the food was really well done. It's great because you have the option to eat à la cart or buffet. For the a la cart places you definitely have to get there at the earlier side of dinner, but we had no trouble getting in to the places that we wanted to go to. From what I heard from others, the steak place had quite a long wait, but the wait was worth it! The staff at the resort are wonderfully friendly and helpful in so many ways. There are tons of smiles and laughs and you feel like you're welcome to come back anytime! As far as the rooms, they were huge. They were well-kept and clean with a great amount of space to spend your downtime in. We requested a room that was on the third floor and away from the hustle and bustle. We were happy to see that they honored our requests and we had a room that was a perfect distance away from the hustle and bustle. The only thing that I would change about our room is staying with an ocean view room. Those rooms had beautiful! There were a few things that needed attention at the resort… The minor things and some of the smaller touches. On the other hand, the staff at the resort are working tirelessly and nonstop to make the improvements and to maintain the property. Every day we saw people taking meticulous care of the pool, the grounds, and the gardens. People were constantly making repairs to the smaller features on the exterior of the hotel and it just adds to an already beautiful place. Be sure to head over to the Infinity Bar for sunsets there, as they are absolutely beautiful at the end of the long sun soaking day! Whether you are a couple getting away for a short vacation or a family heading for a vacation, this resort has a little something for everyone! I can't wait to go back!
It was a little rocky getting there but once we arrived it was very relaxing and we really enjoyed ourselves.. The food was good in most restaraunts but different restaraunts were closed on different days. The pool was amazing but the beach was a dissapointment.. The staff went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect. Overall great value and we would go back tomorrow...
When we arrived @ The resort we were taken care of by Freddie. If you choose to visit make sure you ask for him, as he was phenomenal the entire stay. We checked in with Janine who was helpful the entire stay as well. This is an all inclusive resort, but a few dollars here and there and you will be treated like royalty as my family & friends in our group were the entire trip. Remember, while all inclusive resorts are technically paid for, the workers at most of these places make nearly nothing and as is the case with this resort they survive off their tips. A dollar or 2 goes a long way. Look up a few people when you go there, Ricardo in the Mexican rest., Joseph, Akeem & especially Kristopher in the Steakhouse. Nichola depending on where she is, usually serving drinks. The food was great, many choices, lots of places to go. We read alot about the poor food or not many choices, long lines, etc. The resort was oversold, completely booked and we had no issues what-so-ever. Only place we would say stay away from is the Sports Bar, its the low end of the dining. For your evening dining, make sure the males have long pants, linen works best. There was a guy complaining that he didnt bring pants. Well make sure you read about where youre going and no what you need to have before you book it. Most of the reviews that are negative come from people you cannot please no matter what. They are unsatisfied no matter how far people go to serve them. So please dont judge your booking off of them. We saw a few cases of "cry me a river" while we were there, and it was simply because they didn't read or understand what the policies/rules were. You cant blame a resort for your own ignorance. Of course certain things can and will happen out of your control, thats everywhere though. The only negative review our group would give is the lack of music being played around the resort & at the bars. You'd assume being in Jamaica, wanting you to be upbeat and involved there would be more. Other than that, it was an amazing trip. Beds and pillows are hard, but we were there for the experience, not to worry about the beds. The AC and water worked great the entire trip and it was warm, IE 90 Make sure you bring comfortable shoes, the resort is big and you will be doing alot of walking. Which our group found as a positive, not a negative as so many others stated. Its good for you to walk, and if you dont, wanna be lazy just call the front desk, they will send someone to pick you up. So its a win win for all. We will all be going back. The value this trip holds is amazing. Highly encourage you to book it.
I was nervous after reading some reviews, but went on this trip with an open mind 5/10 -5/14 2013. We purchased the transfer option of a private car. I loved it, and will try to do so every time. We were met after customs, and brought to the bar while a driver was coordinated. The driver was very informative and the 45 minute drive from the airport was enjoyable. Check in was pretty simple, and our request for an ocean front room on an upper floor was granted. It is a large resort and our room was at the far end. There are golf carts that take you and your luggage to your room, and you can get in them while going to/ from your room, but in general it is a bit of a distance and there are no elevators, so keep that in mind if that's an issue for you. We had a 1 bedroom suite that had a sitting room & balcony, a bathroom w/ Jacuzzi tub, separate shower, and a bedroom with a balcony facing the ocean. There are things that could use a little TLC-the balcony door needed to be cleaned, the shower soap holder was broken, the ceiling fan made a scraping noise, but we were more than happy with our accommodations. I guess those are the things that upset people expecting a 5 star resort and are disappointed. We didn't go to the restaurants, only the buffets. They were fairly good, but got a little boring after a few days. For the most part, the service was often pretty good, and most employees were smiling and friendly. Again, it is a large resort and although there are some very attentive employees, you may not get the "personal" experience some desire. At the same time, I was disappointed to see that many people do not tip... at all! Yes the trip is all inclusive, and tipping isn't mandatory, but good service should be acknowledged! We tipped the bartenders, servers, transporters, the housekeeping, and the drivers and I must say we were treated quite well. The pool was amazing! The infinity pool was popular and is so large it never felt crowded. We actually enjoyed the "adult" pool a little more. It is smaller, but deeper, and more private. Nightly entertainment was pretty good - although I will say the Reggae theme night may be considered a little risqué if you aren't familiar with the dancing. : ).... I have read reviews where people were offended,and felt it wasn't "family friendly" but to each their own - we were impressed! LOL The music & dancing at the Infinity bar (entertainers from the nightly shows came and "partied" with the guests) was far better than the disco- which was rather outdated and not much fun. Overall - we LOVED our vacation. I believe people need to keep an open mind, and not get stuck on being too picky - you dampen your own experience. Bring some tip $, sunscreen, large insulated cups to be filled at the bars (best tip), and a good attitude - Jamaica is beautiful, and sunset at the Grand Palladium is breathtaking!