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“Incredible experience!”

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Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Lucea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 March 2009

Our flight with SkyService was fantastic (only half full- food service was good), and the transition at the aiport was also smooth as silk- we were sitting on the bus with a Red Stripe in our hand within 10 minutes of landing. Bus ride to resort was quick, entertaining (great driver) and check in was reasonable (Ours was done with special guest services as we had booked with Transat). Our room was not ready but this was expected as we arrived early in the day and they kept our luggage while we had fun (pack your bathing suit in your carry-on) and room was ready at 3 as they told us. We walked our luggage to our room as we didn't want to wait for the group to gather to have the resort transport take it over. We were on 3rd floor so wondered at how smart that was once we got to the building but there are staff everywhere always willing to help and a nice young man carried our bags up for us. The room was exceptionally beautiful, all marble, brand new and nicely decorated. The balcony was overlooking sunset cove and the view was indescribable- sunsets and a view of Lucea at night across the bay were really amazing. Huge walk-in shower, large jacuzzi bath tub, and flat screen TV (mounted perfectly to watch from bed...) were part of the package in our room. I had emailed the hotel to see if we could have something overlooking the Sunset Beach and they came through. The posted price for such an upgrade is $15USD per room per night- we thought it would be worth it and it was. Although the view and the lack of crawling visitors on the 3rd floor was great, if you have trouble with stairs the 3rd floor would be difficult for you- the large resort also requires a lot of walking (under covered walkways for the most part which is nice). The walking might help burn off all of the calories you consume at all of the great restaurants they have there (we both gained 10 pounds). We tried the Jamaican, Italian and Asian a l'a cartes and found them all to be quite good. The buffet restaurants had a massive selection, some Jamaican dishes - I doubt someone would be left hungry regardless how picky they are (and I am picky). Bars were everywhere- only issue is the only bar to serve Red Stripe is Miss Lou's all others had other beer but not Red Stripe. Both red and white wine were great and poured without restraint!
Watersports/Beaches- snorkeling was fantastic right off the beach on both Sunset Beach and Coral Cove (the adult beach), equipment hard to get so bring your own if you can. Saling (catamaran) was really good- but if you went out too far and are not a good sailor you could end up in trouble and they would have to rescue you. Watch out for reef on Lucea side of cove as you can get hung up there. Kayaks and pedal boats plentiful and fun. We thought about booking a paid snorkeling trip ($38USD per person) but when we changed our mind they made it very difficult to back out- it is a different company that handles the water stuff for the hotel. We found the snorkeling on the beach just as good as going out on a trip- but did hear people rave about the snorkeling ans scuba trips. Swimming as good- some of the beaches are rocky so take your water shoes and it's fine. It is not the Negril beach but we preferred the variety of beaches and the ability to snorkel from shore.
Overall we had a fantastic time- we did get a deal on Transat Tuesdays for just under $1,000 per person so the value was incredible in comparison to other resorts at this price level. Once they work out the maintenance issues on pools, hot/cold variation of the showers, etc.- this will resort will warrant the 5 star rating they are working toward. This resort encourages tipping (I guess tips are not included in the "all-inclusive" price) which is different than other all-inclusives in Jamaica so you will be expected to tip maid, bar fridge attendant, servers and bartenders- so bring lots of US $1 and $5 bills for this.
One last note- they will charge for missing beach towels (you are issued a card or beach towel when you arrive), so tuck them away when you leave the room so the maid doesn't accidentally take the towels - this happened to us twice. Luckily they accidentally gave us both the cards and the towels, so we kept the cards in the safe until check out. If they do take your towel- the towel changes are not managed very well, so you can easliy pick one up.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Jamaica2Bound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,617 - 4,623 of 5,179 reviews

Reviewed 15 March 2009

I'll give you a coles notes version (I always get bored with the long ones):
Background: stayed in honeymoon suite (in Birth of Paradise Building) for a week.

Room: Awesome. Steps to the beach, clean, excellent. Jacuzzi was loud when running though.
Beaches: Adult beach good snorkling; sunset cove good for swimming; La brisas beach (out side room) in between (Wear water shoes)
Food: excellent. No complaints at all. Although this is a buffet so you have to not expect individual meals. Went to three of the Restaurants, all were excellent. Note for those that had gastrointestinal issues, coconut milk (eg. pina colada's) is a laxative.
Location: Was good for us as we like it quiet but for those looking for a town..probably not great.
Shows: adequate at best. One night they had a local steel drum band that were good enough that it made up for the average shows. For those that think it is X rated... try getting out a bit.
Tours: did a half day Rick's cafe tour that spent too much time at maragritaville and not enough time at ricks cafe. Also did a full day Dunns River Tour. Dunn's River good but alot of time driving and the shopping part wasn't that good.
Drugs: We were never offered any on the resort. If you are overly concerned with this look up rastafarian.
Casino: open
Overall: This Grand Palladium is very similar to the two other I have been to. We had a good time and would go back. If you really look for faults you'll find them. If you want to ruin you're vacation worrying about that stuff, knock your socks off.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Seels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2009

This hotel received some bad reviews and not sure why. We just came back and really enjoyed this resort. The food is very good; you can try all of the restaurants and if you do not like the food, then you still have time to go to the buffets. Travelling to Cuba, the DR and Mexico we enjoyed Jamaica the best, they speech English and no peddlers at the resort. The beaches are not the best, very small but the snorkeling at the coral beach is good. Bring your own mask and snorkel, hard to get at the resort. It is nice that you don’t have to get up at sunup to get a beach chair like Punta Cana; it is also very windy on the ocean side so we stayed on the coral beach most of the time. The bars open early and if you wish you can get a drink around 10 am. Try the hummingbird or chocolate monkey drinks, they both are very good. Rooms are big but very little space for your cloths. We never had a problem with this place and would go back mainly because of the food and service.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank HalifaxFirefighter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2009

Flew air transat,tranfer to hotel was about 45 min. Check in was delayed, room not quite ready. Had fruit backet and a bottle of rum in room on arrival.one bedroom suite was huge, two balconys one off living room and one off bedroom. Turn down service at night.
Very relaxing , 7 restaurants,5 beaches, 13 bars. Food was great, service A 1.
Self contained resort no vendors on beaches. Beautiful resort for a wedding , spa was unbelievable .Casino openned day we arrived.
Just loved everything about it, Grand Palladium Jamaica is further to pools,beaches and spa then the Lady Hamiltom. Phase 2 will commence and be ready in about 3 yrs .We deffinetaly want to go back

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank patverner_Ontario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2009

I'll try to be as impartial as I can on this review so you can get the whole picture.
Transportation.
Flew Skyservice and although we were delayed in Ottawa and had quite a bumpy ride in, there were no problems. The transfer between the airport and the hotel was easy and I didn't hear any complaints.
Check in.
We had the "upgraded" package, so we had a seperate check in. There were packages ready for us with our key cards, maps, etc. so it was quite fast and efficient. Our room was ready but apparently some other people had to wait for their room. Not really a big deal.
Room.
Nice large rooms. We were on the ground floor so we had a terrace. The first day we tried to take a shower the water wasn't draining. I left a "please repair" card on our door and it was fixed by that night. Yes, there are a few flaws with the room such as a loose fawcet, cracked tiles and stuff but if you're not picky it suits just fine. Please note that the beds are quite hard. There are extra pillows for you to use, but by the end of the week I was looking forward to my pillow mattress. There is also a fountain in the middle of the building which is quite pretty but also quite noisy. However, it is turned off at about 10:00pm and on again around 9:00am, so it shouldn't interrupt your sleep. We did have a few "unwelcomed" visitors. Some very large (3-31/2 in) cockroaches came into our room. I believe they are attracted to the fountain and since the door doen't quite go all the way to the foor they came in under the door. I would recommend a 2nd floor room to avoid this problem. If you bring a laptop you can also get internet in your room for $8 an hours. It's a little slow, but it's nice to keep in touch with home.
Grounds.
Nice grounds and nice view, but be careful of uneven pavement in a few spots. It didn't bother me, but I could see where somebody could trip and maybe hurt themselves. Just be cautious. The resort is spread out over a large area, so be prepared to walk. However, there are covered walkways going to all the main areas so you can stay out of the sun/rain if needed.
Beaches.
Not the greatest in the world. Sunset beach is the best, but that means it's also the busiest. We chose to stay at Cove beach beside the adult pool. It is close to the bar, has lots of loungers but not a lot of shade. It is also a little on the rocky side. I didn't wear water shoes and I was fine. If you like to snorkle this is the place to go. I would recommend bringing your own gear because by the time you walk to Sunset beach to get your gear and back you'll only have a 1/2 hour of snorkling before you have to return it. The other beach in front of the main pool is extremly rocky. Difficult to get in and out of. Wear water shoes. Great for snorkling but only on very calm days.
Pools.
Although they are beautiful, there is a big problem with the pools. All the tiles seem to be coming off and they are constantly fixing them every day.
I actually never swam in the pools because of this as I was concerned with accidentally cutting myself. Besides, I can swim in a pool anytime. How often do you get to swim in the ocean?
Spa.
Included with our package was some of the spa items. The dry sauna, the steam sauna and the hot tubs. Well, the saunas are extremly hot and the hot tubs room temperature, so don't go expecting to soak your sore muscles away...do that in the jacuzzi in your room. It was an OK place to go when it rained.
Food.
Lots to choose from. The main buffet was excellent. Lot of variety and lots of food. For the a-la-carts, the Italian is to die for! Very good with a beautiful view. The steak house was OK, but nothing to write home about. We also ate at the Poseidon which is the seafood restaurant and it was also very good. No complaints about the a-la-carts except for the wait. They are done on a first come, first served basis so either plan to eat early or really late. If you try to go around 6:30-7:30 plan on a good 45 minute wait.
As for drinks...lots of them. Never had any problem with that!
Staff & Entertainment.
All the staff seemed quite friendly. There is always something to do and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The night shows are quite lame, but it's something to do and sometimes they are funny.
Excursions.
If you are adventurous at all, do the canopy tour (zip lining). It was the highlight of my trip. You can utube lots of videos and it really is as fun as they say. Just keep in mind that there is also a lot of walking/climbing going from one zip line to the other, so wear comfortable shoes. The guides were really good and funny and we had a great time. The river tubing is also located at the same place and apparently it is very fun as well.
We also did the day trip in to Negril. We went to Margaritaville, shopping and Rick's Cafe. The beaches in Negril are beautiful. Margaritaville is on the beach so we spent 3 hours lazing around on loungers and swimming in the ocean. For the shopping, don't buy at the first place you stop...wait until you get to me mall. Everything is close to the same price but you get more variety at the mall. Sunset at Rick's was also quite pretty, and if you really feel like a thrill jump off the cliffs. No, I didn't do it but there was a crowd of people watching the jumpers. Too scary for me!
The tour to go to Black River, YS Falls and the Appleton Rum factory isn't worth it. It's only about 70 km but a nightmare of a ride. It's takes about 2&1/2 hours to get there on small, hairpin turn roads going up through the mountains. People were actually feeling sick on the bus because of the constant hairpin turns. Don't waste your money.
The Ride and Swim with the horses was OK. There were probably 50 people on the trail ride and it isn't the most scenic, but it was OK. All the horses do is walk, so beginners are OK to go. As for the swimmin part, you go 6 at a time with 3 guides. It was fun, but I don't think I would do it again.
Conclusion.
Not a bad place if you get a deal. We paid $975 pp + taxes so I'm OK with what we got for the price. I probably wouldn't go back to this resort. I would rather find another place with nicer beaches, maybe reserved dining and better nightly shows. But then again, not bad for the right price.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank c_peterson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Grand Palladium Honeymoon Villas from March 1 to March 8. First trip to Jamaica and second to the Caribbean. We wanted a relaxing and romantic vacation but ended up with a rather nerve-wracking experience.

I had read that Jamaicans were a blunt people, but as soon as we arrived, the bellman in our buggy turned around to us and asked us point blank, "Are you big drinkers?" "Blunt" would be putting it mildly.

We were in room #3082, which has the outdoor showers. There is a major drainage problem with some of these showers, and there was a pool of gray water/sewage?? behind the shower area. It was there before we arrived, and during our stay some workers put yellow "crime scene" tape around the area. It was the other unit next to us that had the most drainage problem, though, and they actually had sewage back up into their unit. What is sad is that the staff will have to try to fix this unfixable problem, which is due to bad engineering (water doesn't drain uphill without pumps, folks!)

The villas are indeed gorgeous, located right at the head of "The Point". It was so windy that we had to pour fresh water on the outside of the patio windows, there was so much salt spray, not that we minded about that. But the wind was fierce the whole week.

We experienced people asking for tips, including the man who refilled the refrigerator although not the maids, who we thought were extremely nice. We also thought all the hostesses were pleasant at all the restaurants. The ubiquitous people trying to fix the walkways were also always polite and greeted everybody.

I cannot say the same about the staff in the a la cartes... in Pastafarian one night we ordered pizzas and were told we could go up to the salad bar anytime. We said great, and sat there for a moment enjoying our drinks and chatting. After just a couple minutes, our waiter appeared with a scowl on his face and said "Are you going up to the salad bar or not? Because I have to put in your pizza order!" He looked really angry! We said, "Yes, we're going!" and hightailed it to the salad bar. It was so rude that it was funny. This has become one of our lines that we will be repeating between ourselves for a long time. But it's sad that people there have so little idea of how to act around others. Later on in the meal, this same waiter gives us a review form where we are supposed to rate the meal and the wait staff. I filled it out, going out of my way not to mention how rude this young man was (this was only halfway through the week, and it's Lent, and I really am a non-confrontational person!). Lo and behold, he picks it up at the end of the meal, reads it in front of us and says, with this big grin on his face, "I hope you gave me a good review!!" and takes it away. *** Note to management: if you want real reviews of the restaurant and staff, YOU are the ones who are supposed to pick these up, or get some other way of doing this confidentially. This happened again to us at the Negril buffet, with the same waiter picking up his review.... the waitresses at the a la cartes, especially Bubba's, were uniformly surly. We are quiet people who do not demand that people smile at us fakely.... but the grimaces on these girls' faces really got to be a little too much to take. They could at least have a pleasant expression on their faces. They look as if they would rather die than be there.

Also, ladies, be aware that men go into women's bathrooms when there are plumbing problems. This happened last Thursday at the Adult Pool bathroom when a toilet seat broke. All of a sudden, along with myself and a young lady wearing a bikini, there was a man in the bathroom, apparently looking for the broken seat. That would be illegal here, so just to give you a heads up on that one.

On Saturday, we were verbally accosted by a Rastafarian pool attendant, "Zitsoi" or a similar name, who started out speaking to us in a rational manner but ended up by stating that Bush engineered the WTC attacks and went on to tell us loudly that "God is a murderer! Jesus Christ was a murderer!" I was horrified at being spoken to like that, very upset. That was a lovely way to end our trip. We had just had a swim and were sitting, quietly reading our books, when he came over to sit down next to us and start a conversation. It's incredible to me that pool attendants are even allowed to sit down next to sunbathers and start conversations with them. Not to be unfriendly, they should certainly be allowed to speak with the patrons, but to be allowed to sit down next to them on a lounger is a bad idea.

Then we went to the Negril buffet for dinner and my husband ordered a coffee with milk when the waiter came over for drink orders. I said I'd like a cup of tea... ordinarily not a difficult thing. This waiter was probably 18 or so. He opened his eyes wide and said "What??" and I said "A cup of tea please". He started chortling and snorting and said incredulously "A tea bag??!!" and I said, "No, a cup of hot water with a tea bag in it, you know, a cup of tea". He asked, "Coffee??" and I said, no, tea. He just turned on his heel and marched away. He spoke briefly to one of his coworkers and lo and behold he did appear after a few minutes with the cup of tea. He very obviously did not know what a cup of tea was, and had to be told. I'm sorry, we are not picky people, but it is beyond belief that anyone working anywhere in the world at a resort restaurant would not know what a cup of tea was.

Saturday evening at 6 PM we walked by a placard in the Jamaica lobby stating that the was a Catholic Mass on Saturdays at 5 PM in one of the conference rooms. I had just missed it and felt terrible, as I try to never miss Mass. I had emailed the concierge before we left, inquiring about a Mass, and she had stated that, no, they didn't have one, but that there was a Catholic church in Lucea. Also very disappointing.

On Sunday, our last day, we got a call at 8:30 AM from one of the bellmen at the lobby, telling us loudly, "Your bus is here and you have to get up here right now!!" Since our bus was scheduled for 10:30, we were amazed. I asked him to check, and he said, OK, sorry, I must have the wrong people. But a couple minutes later, he calls back saying that no, he was right, our bus was here and get up here right now!!! So we hightail it (thank God we were packed) up to the lobby area, getting a ride luckily with one of the buggy drivers. But turns out he had indeed made a mistake and we ended up staying in the lobby until 10:30 AM just to make sure we didn't miss our actual bus.

Truly, this is all factual and I'm sorry to say there is more. We did speak to Courtney, our Apple rep (big props to Courtney, he's great) but we didn't attempt to speak to management anywhere else as they are basically nonexistent and we really didn't want to start trouble. But after this last incident, it was just too, too much. Courtney did say he would mention the pool attendant to management but he wasn't hopeful that anything would come of it.

I would never, never stay at a Palladium again. Completely nonexistent or noncaring management. It's not a good idea to build a beautiful hotel and just leave it for untrained people to manage. It's the size of a small town and it just isn't working.

We did enjoy the lovely pocket beaches and we can tolerate swimming in any kind of water, so we swam everywhere. They are doing a good job on beach sand management, especially at Las Brisas, where the breakwaters held off the biggest breakers last week.

But, I'm sorry to say, I couldn't recommend the GP to anyone at all.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank PenobscotMaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2009

We found the hotel to be new and a first class hotel with a beautiful swimming pool and excellent food and restuarants. However, we found the entertainment on one particular night "x" rated. If it was for the fact that the audience participation had clothes on while on stage, you would think that this was a pornographic show. There were children in the audience and were suprised that the parents didn't leave with them. The other nightly shows were mediocre at best. During the day the Activities Center was alright except for the two or three drinking bouts with guests participating. The entertainment crew also taught dirty dancing to adults as well as children.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Meadowlark223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa

Address: Building 27, Lucea 8800, Jamaica
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Jamaica > Hanover Parish > Lucea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Lucea
Price Range: £194 - £493 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 444
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The resort is bathed by the calm turquoise waters of Jamaica's north coast, in a small bay on a privileged enclave on the coast. The design is a perfect harmony between modernand luxurious facilities of a first class hotel and the attractive natural environment of the area characterized by the turquoise sea and the relief of the landscape. The complexalso houses an ultramodern Spa, which is equipped with the most advanced facilities and offers guests a wide variety of therapies and services. Near the village of Lucea and approximately 30 minutes from Montego Bay and its airport. Within the complex is theGrand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa has a total of 540 guestrooms in 15 villas ofthree levels with 6 Suites and 30 Junior Suites per villa. The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa has a total of 516 rooms distributed in 13 villas of three levels with 6 suites and 30 Junior Suites per villa and 48 two-story cabins with 4 cabins suites (adults only) each. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Hotel Lucea
Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort And Spa
Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa Jamaica/Lucea

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