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Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa
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Reviewed 24 August 2010

This was our second vacation at the G.P. Lady Hamilton, the first was in April of 2009. Below is an outline of our observations.

Check-in:

This was our ninth visit to a Grand Palladium resort and the first time that check in was an issue. We arrived at the resort at 2 p.m. Our rooms weren’t ready, so we went to lunch. Upon our return to the front desk, we were told one of the rooms was ready, so we had all the luggage loaded into the cart and went to that room. It ended up to be the wrong building (the room was occupied!) so back to the front desk. This was the ONLY portion of our stay at the Palladium that was frustrating! We stood in a very slow-moving line three times with one person working the check in. It seemed that there were numerous guests with check in issues. There were other people behind the desk, but no one seemed to care. Jermaine, the front desk person we dealt with could not have been nicer, he apologized repeatedly—this wasn’t his fault, but there definitely needs to be a more efficient check in process put into place. Our check in began at 2 and ended at 5—if this hadn’t taken place during a downpour, we would have been very upset. However, since we weren’t wasting valuable beach time, no problem, mon! After discussing this with management, they are aware of the problems and it is being addressed.

Rooms:

My husband and I were in Room 2619—a one bedroom suite. No problems here. The room was in good working order and the view from the main balcony is amazing. This is one of the reasons we love G.P. Lady Hamilton. Our maid, Edwaney, did a great job keeping our room clean and we would come back to beautiful towel art every day.

Pools:

The pools have been completely resurfaced since our visit in April 2009. No more loose tiles! The Infinity Pool is huge, with built-in loungers around its perimeter. A new addition is the water volleyball court. There’s always plenty of room to play ball, lounge or swim.
The Adult Pool is located on the Lady Hamilton side. It overlooks Coral Beach, where tops are optional. Apparently, bottoms are also optional, as we observed one woman who walked up totally nude from the beach to the pool bar to get a drink, as well as a man swimming nude at Coral Beach. Free entertainment…..just keep the kids out of this area.

Grounds:

Very clean and well maintained. They were redoing the areas in front of the buffets while we were there. One of the issues here are the guests—PLEASE don’t leave your trash around for others to pick up and PLEASE don’t hang your beach towels over the balcony of the building—what a way to ruin the beautiful surroundings!!

Restaurants:

Buffets—we only ate breakfast and one dinner at the buffets. The food and service were good. There was a good selection of foods at breakfast every day. It was very busy and noisy (acoustics?). It seemed as though the Lady Hamilton side was more crowded at times, so we just walked the 2 minute walk to the Jamaica buffet.
Jerk Shack: Great for lunch. You can order off of the menu at the Poseiden Restaurant or walk down to the Jerk Shack for chicken and paella. The jerk was good and our daughter loved the Fiesta Burger.

Blue Lagoon is another lunch option. It offered a good selection of grill to order items, as well as salads and desserts.

There is also a grill poolside that makes burgers and hotdogs.

Dinner:

We enjoyed all of the restaurants we visited. Lotus was our favorite, but Boghali, Reggaetoni and El Mariachi were also very good. Service was good also.

Bars:

The pool bar was usually very busy. Bring your bubbas! We usually went to the beach bar, where Lawrence would make us a good drink. At night, Miss Lou’s has some higher-end selections. We had a few fun evenings with Cleon at the Casino Bar—very entertaining!

Entertainment:

The only show we went to was the Steel Drum Show on Friday. We did enjoy the bands at the Infinity nightly. We would like to hear more reggae—it’s Jamaica!!
We missed the beach bbq on Friday and the beach party on Wednesday, due to dinner reservations. Looked like a good time, though.

Excursions:

Since this was our kids’ first time in Jamaica, we wanted them to see 7 mile beach and Rick’s Café. We hired Reggae Tours for this, as well as our private airport transfers. Norman was our driver for both trips. He was an excellent tour guide! We went to Rhodes Hall Plantation (would skip this unless you want to go horseback riding), 7 Mile Beach, the Negril Craft Market (be prepared to bargain), and Rick’s Café.


Conclusion:

Some tips: Bring an insulated mug—it will keep your drinks cold and it cuts down on the numerous cups that people leave all over this beautiful resort. Bring a beach towel—some days they run out of towels for a few hours., if you have your own, no problem! Bring a flashlight—there were a few times that the power went out for a few minutes—it’s just a good thing to have with you when travelling anywhere! Bring the right attitude—we did not encounter one grumpy employee at this resort, but we always feel that you should treat people the way you want to be treated—it works wonders!!

With the exception of check-in, the trip exceeded our expectations. Many improvements have been made since last year, and we feel that the G.P. Lady Hamilton is going to continue to get better with time. We can’t wait to return!


Things That Make Me Go HMMMM:

My response to some recent comments on trip advisor—sorry, I feel someone has to say it!

“That is just crazy, the bathroom was a decent temperature but the bedroom was quite hot and muggy, even when we cracked the balcony door and turned on the ceiling fan to create a draft”

The a/c is controlled by your key card in the a/c slot—but it also shuts off when the balcony door is opened.

when we arrived in the room we had no washcloths and only 3 towels…..

Wow—no washcloths!! That would definitely ruin my vacation!! I’ll trade washcloths for a Jamaican sunset any day of the year!

no jamaican food....

Apparently, you missed the jerk hut, Jamaican night at the buffet, the restaurant “Xaymaica”, as well as numerous items (i.e. gnips, bammy bread, fried plaintains, patties on the buffet, Appleton rum and Red Stripe beer)

also I had a driver come to the hotel to pick me up and he was not allowed on the property not even to the lobby..

Our driver picked us up at the lobby twice, and we observed others doing the same. Perhaps this driver wasn’t able to pass security for a reason…..

I could go on and on---but for now, enough said!!!

.

  • Stayed: August 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank Margaritalady/pa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2010

Pros -I also was worried about some of the reviews before my wife and I went. Our experience could not have been much better during our six day stay. Beautiful jr. suite with ocean view. Almost all rooms have ocean views and the balconies are 8/14 ft. with two plastic chairs and a small table. We had a king bed and pull out couch. The room air conditioner kept up and the overhead fan made it cool. The bathroom was large with a good size shower and jucuzzi. Small rerigerator with water, soda and Red Stripe beer. Was refilled everyday. Room was cleaned everyday and towels,hand towels replaced everyday , but one. The property was beyond beautiful!. You can walk almost anywhwere in about 10 minutes. Best beach is the sunset cove beach. Had no problem getting a hut and towels at aroumd 9- 10 am. Buffet breakfasts were excellent. Bubbas steak house had a good steak fillet. Also the Italian restaurant was good. Lunch and dinner buffets were good with a different food scheme each night. Had no waits at the restuarants. Some of the foods were spiced up. You did not have to tip the staff and they did not expect it. I left the maid 3 dollars a day and tipped the waiters a dollar. I gave the bar help a buck each time they filled my 34oz bubba keg with a liquor drink or soda. You have to have one or a seven oz. cup is what you will get. The staff was very friendly and went out of their way to please you. At the sunst beach you also get the use of paddle boats, sail catemarans, cayaks and one person sail boats for free. There is a small restaurant and jerk hut there. There were live bands on the beach by the pool and the clubs at night. Also had a show and dinner at pool Friday. Small outdoor playground and activity area. Visitors Kids were part of the main show most nights.
cons - beaches were nice, but small beach rocky in water. Sunset beach was fine. Main show at night were alright, but done by staff. On Friday night do not miss the Silver Bird steel band show, they are Jamaicas number 1. Casino small. Hamburgers and hotdogs alright.
Would definitley recommend this resort overall. And would go back if visiting Jamaica. My wife can be fussy, but had a great time as did I. We are 56 and 60 year old. There were newly weds and familys who also had a good time.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank hank1949
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2010

I visited GP with my wife and 9year old daughter 8/12-8/15 through Apple. We went with another family and had a great time. The 45 minute drive from the airport was uneventful. Our standard room was much nicer than expected. All marble, very nice size, whirlpool tub, etc. I requested an ocean view room in building 12 and received it at no additional charge. The view was amazing. Our room (#1234) was less than 200' from the water. I dare you to find a nicer room at an AI, on the ocean for $150/night. We spent most of our time at the main pool, which is huge and a lot of fun. There is always something fun going on in or around the pool. We also spent time at the beach near the main pool and the sports beach. The kids had a blast. Overall we had a fantastic time and, considering our room and view, we received a fantastic value.

Unfortunately, I had to keep reminding myself to shrug off the endless little things that detract from a worry free AI vacation. Many of the gripes I've read in previous reviews are true to some extent. For example, maid service was good, but one day our room wasn't ready until after 5:00pm, so we had no towels to shower with before dinner. Wash cloths are nearly non-existent. Towels were unavailable by the pool and beaches after 10:00am. The plumbing leaks, so the bathroom floor was soaked anytime the bathtub or shower were used. Self serve Coke machines were empty at 10:00am. The in-room mini-fridge was nicely stocked exactly as we asked, but the mini-fridges are useless and don't chill anything. We put our beers on ice the first day, but unfortunately, the ice machine was empty or broken 99% of the time. Luckily our friend Simone at the quiet bar, located directly behind building 12, took care of us and filled our ice buckets. Too bad her bar closes at 5:00pm. The air conditioning barely works, not only in our rooms, but in the resort overall. The watersport center was in disarray. I screwed up and didn't bring our snorkeling gear and unfortunately, they didn't have fins for my daughter. In addition, when the snorkel trip goes out twice a day, they bring every last snorkel on the trip. They take about 20 people on the trip, but take a giant garbage bag filled with snorkels on the tour leaving none for the other guests. It makes no sense. After we couldn't take the snorkel trip due to lack of fins (that we had already paid for), my daughter wanted to use a paddle boat. The guy in charge had people waiting in line on the beach waiting for the 3 paddle boats that were in already in use. Keep in mind there were 3 more boats right there in the sand. All that needed to be done was to drag them 15' to the water. Again, this makes no sense. We left the sports center never to return to avoid aggravation.

The food was another story. There was plenty of selection at the buffets, unfortunately none of it was very good. At one breakfast I had a glass of warm putrid milk and ice cold eggs. It left me wondering how it is possible to get eggs colder than the milk??? I think the heat problem at the buffet is because there are no heat lamps above (simple light bulbs) or steam heat below. I did notice several items being kept warm by sterno, which is an issue in itself with all the children. In fact, the 4 year old in our group reached for a piece of bread and burned her arm on an open sterno flame. The nurse came by promptly and applied some type of cream. The sports bar, which is also called the "all night" bar only serves beer and wine after 11:00pm. I did notice Appleton rum, Johnny Walker scotch and Jim Beam whiskey at several bars, but that was about it for brand names. All of the bars mainly serve unknown brands of liquor. To their credit, all bars had fresh mint and the Mojitos were pretty good and the redstripe was always cold and flowing.

Even though my grievance list is quite long, we still had a fantastic time. The hotel and grounds are kept up very well. Service was usually very good, staff very friendly and accomodating and most employees were working their butts off at all times - the resort seems understaffed. I feel compelled to mention tipping. I don’t understand why so many people get bent out of shape at the thought of tipping the staff. They deserve it. If you choose to be cheap and not tip, that is ok, but I find it disrespectful to the staff to come online and say they expect tips. B.S. I never once felt any pressure to tip, but I usually tip everybody who helps me. Question: Who do you think a bartender will serve first, a person at the front of the line with no money in hand, or me standing behind that person with a couple bucks in my hand and who has tipped the bartender for every round received? Sarcastic Answer: That was me the bartender was passing drinks to, over your head!

Overall, this hotel is a 3-3.5 star (out of 5) hotel. At $150/night for a family of three in a beautiful ocean front room, you can't beat the value. I can only recommend this hotel if you are doing a family trip on a tight budget. If you've been to any of the more popular brand name resorts (Superclubs, Couples, Sandals, Beaches), set your expectations appropriately when visiting GP as you are paying less than 1/2 the price. A lot of people say "your vacation is what you make of it", which is true, but I just wish I didn't have to keep reminding myself of it.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank PeteInIL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2010

I stayed at this hotel with my wife and a 1year and seven months child, August 17-21,2010. Our stay was a fairly good one with some noticeable improvement that we think should be done to improve the hospitality product at this resort.

We think that this is a beautiful property with well kept lawn, however some of the workers are not pleasant and spend much of their times cursing especially in my presence and others as I have witness several times. They the workers needed to be taught more about the importance of good customer service.
It is also our views that the provisions of fruits daily is very poor, this is the first time going to an all inclusive hotel with limited amount of fruits, especially apples.
The other problems is the policy of paying for alcohol at the Indian Restaurant and Lobster at another restaurant on the property. This is in addition to charges for some services. Well why call it an all inclusive hotel.
We have stayed at Riu in Ocho Rios and Sandals in Ocho Rios and we were not asked to pay for these things that Grand Palladium is charging for.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Horace097
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2010

We just got back from GPLH. The stay was not what we expect. For an upgrade we did ask for an ocean view room. After paying extra $105, we did see a partial view of the beach on the right side of our balcony; we did stay in Villa 33. Main view was on the pool. We were sad, but they told us no other room was available. The food was bad, same everyday. We went for a few trips to Aruba, Dominican Republic and everywhere they try a " new theme food". Not here. With the Apple Tour we did book a trip to Dolphin Cove, to swim with the dolphins. Don’t go! The trip looks good in the brochure, but since it was raining, no kayaking, beach was closed, shopping is horrible and the food is the worst. People serve you with such a dirty hands I did never see in my life. So for almost $400 we travel 2,5 hours in the bus there spend 45 min in the water, had a 3 rides with dolphins and took another 2,5 hours back to hotel. Personnel in the hotel expect the tip for everything, and the management is looking and saying nothing. For 6 days we spend $100 in singles. We try one evening not to give any tip, big mistake. You should see the face after we got drinks and not tip. Night programm in the hotel is bad, the only one we like was band next to theInfinity Bar. To the housekeeper we did give a money everyday, so our room was clean. Got very upset on the last few hours, when we started to pack our stuff, we did find out that my boyfriends and my perfumes were gone. On reception we didn't resolve anything and we went for the airport. Our flight was delayed for 2 hours, the organization there was the worst I did ever see, so many people in one place and everyone is just standing. I can honestly say that I will never be back to Jamaica, didn’t like the trip at all.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Zuzana18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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