Old Reviews – Spa Montego Bay & Grand Palladium Jamaica

  Grand Palladium Jamaica   David & Janet~ Quispamsis, NB

June 2009

Arrival: April 2009

We had an eventful week at The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton in Jamaica from April 4 to 11, 2008.  Janet and I are experienced travelers to resorts in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico.  We were joined by some friends from Newfoundland and this was our first trip to Jamaica. We booked our vacation in mid January and were very disappointed to find out that most people paid significantly less than we did for the same vacation.  We were particularly annoyed by the fact that one couple paid 40% less than we did and they had first class seats on the flight. We booked and flew from Halifax NS with Air Transat.  We were very disappointed with the service on the flights and the seats were extremely uncomfortable.  In addition, the baggage weight allowance was insufficient and we were charged extra at check in.  Our friends from Newfoundland ended up paying $230 in excess baggage charges!  I stated in an earlier review that Air Canada could learn from the charter operators.  I now take that back because Air Transat is now worse than Air Canada ever was!

We arrived pretty much on time around 9 pm in Montego Bay.  There was a bit of a hiccup at the airport with the buses so we had a cold beer and a rum punch while things got sorted out.  The bus ride to the resort was about 45 minutes and check in went pretty quick.  Then we had a second hiccup as the bellman loaded our bags onto the trolley, then raced away to our rooms without hooking up the trolley to the car.  No Problem Mon!!!. 

We were assigned room 3324 which was absolutely beautiful.  We had a great view of Sunset Cove beach and the Villa was located right beside the Adult’s pool and bar.  We got a bottle of rum and a fruit basket as a welcoming gift. Our room was large, and had a king sized bed.  There were plenty of pillows, but we found the bed to be a little hard.  We had a robes and slippers for use while in our room.  The bathroom had a stand up shower and a separate Jacuzzi tub. Facecloths and toiletries were provided initially, but were not replenished.  We brought facecloths with us. The mini bar fridge in the room was stocked daily with water, juices, soft drinks and beer. There was a coffee maker provided with coffee, whitener, and sugar.  We had a wall mounted flat screen TV with a good selection of satellite channels. The room safe was provided free of charge.  However there was no clock radio in the room, we brought one with us.

We found out pretty quickly that the resort was only about 30% occupied.  It was probably a good thing because a few little things fell through the cracks for us so we can only imagine what it would have been like had the resort been full.  However, we will give them the benefit of the doubt as the resort opened only a year ago. Our room was not made up the first two days when we went back to the room for our late afternoon siesta and to get ready for supper.  A call to the front desk fixed that.  Other than that, there were no complaints as there were always clean towels available when we needed them.  We usually left a US$1 tip for the maid each day.

The food was very good at the Grand Palladium.  However, not all the restaurants were open every night due to the low occupancy and the resort did not do a good job of communicating this.  We usually went for breakfast at the Negril buffet which was very good.  Lunch was either at the main pool buffet or the snack bar at Sunset Cove.  We had some jerk chicken at Sunset Cove, which is too hot for my taste.  Jerk chicken is simply baked chicken with a very hot jerk sauce.  I tried some then went for the BBQ sauce instead.

The weather was great although it did cloud over a couple of afternoons.  But that was actually a relief as we already had enough sun for the day and it was very hot, over 30 every day.  And it wasn’t as windy as other places we’ve been.  The beach had green flags up most days which I have never seen before when down south. 

The resort is relatively new as it opened last June and it is very beautiful to the eye.  It has the biggest pool that I have ever seen.  They have a two storey restaurant/ bar complex overlooking the pool which is just fabulous.  Needless to say, we spend more than a bit of time there.  The Jamaican sunsets are spectacular and the Infinity Bar overlooking the pool was the perfect place to enjoy it.  The beaches weren’t all that great as there wasn’t a lot of sand but again it was very pleasing to the eye.  One downer was the poor workmanship of the buildings which was evident on closer inspection.  Lots of tiles missing on the pool, very sloppy tile jobs done on the bathrooms and common areas.  The owners must be pissed!!  But it was different being able to speak the same language with the staff.

We took it easy most days, but we took an excursion into Negril to do some shopping.  The country side was very poor, but not as bad as the Dominican Republic.  These folks have electricity and running water that is safe to drink.  We found things to be relatively expensive in Jamaica and couldn’t really find any good deals.  And the Jamaicans are very interested in the tips Mon, and they let you know it.  We went to Rick’s Cafe in Negril where folks jump from cliffs which are extremely high.  However, they had a place about halfway down from which I managed to jump and then dive from.  I was so proud of myself.  Our friend’s birthday was Thursday and we decorated up a Tiki hut near the adult pool and LeRoy  the bartender made us shots and did chants ….good times!!! But unfortunately we did have some drama.  Our friends rented a jet ski on Friday afternoon and he went airborne and crashed into a wave and broke his back.  We had to get a doctor who gave him a shot for the pain and some pills. 

Other than that, we had a great time.  We were all tanned up, but it was  friggin snowing when we got home.   Food was wonderful and nobody got sick except a bad hangover on Monday from drinking all day in the sun on Sunday.  I don’t think we’ll go back to Jamaica again because it was so expensive and overrated, unless we get a very good deal.

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  Grand Palladium Jamaica   Robert ~ New York

April 2009

Arrival
We came and it all seemed nice. Wou walk in with a nice welcome of drinks and nice staff.

Rooms
The rooms weren’t bad. We had two twin beds and a pull out couch(hard as a rock by the way) and the bath room is pretty cool with a nice jaccuzi.

Restaurants and Bars
The resteraunts and bars have the worst service i had ever experienced. They will not seat a big family together(8) and they forget a lot of things when you order. The food on the other hand isn’t that bad but it wasn’t so great.

Beach/Pools/Grounds
The pool was filthy and dirty and it was falling apart. The beach is very rocky but they have nice boats to rent.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
The activities happen like one every three hours and they arent so great. Half the stuff is broken so nothing really happens around there. The kids will get absoultly bored out of there minds unless they are todlers going to the kids cove.

Other Comments Honestly i would not reccomend this hotel to anyone because it isn’t that great and i’ve been to much better ones over the years. For a young hotel it is kind of a disgrace.

Rbrtynks@aim.com

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