Submitted on 14-11-2016
My girlfriend and I were very excited about our trip to the Grand Palladium, Lady Hamilton, we were staying there November 2nd-11th, after seeing all of the pictures and positive reviews how couldn't we be? We were dropped off at the Montego Bay Airport which was about 40 minutes away from the Palladium. We were quickly shuttled off to the resort with nobody else but ourselves in the shuttle, which was kind of nice. They first said they were going to wait for other people, however, I guess they ...
My girlfriend and I were very excited about our trip to the Grand Palladium, Lady Hamilton, we were staying there November 2nd-11th, after seeing all of the pictures and positive reviews how couldn't we be? We were dropped off at the Montego Bay Airport which was about 40 minutes away from the Palladium. We were quickly shuttled off to the resort with nobody else but ourselves in the shuttle, which was kind of nice. They first said they were going to wait for other people, however, I guess they just wanted to get the show on the road and just took us. They said shuttles go to and from the airport every 15 minutes, so I think they had a few running. The roads are kind of crazy, it's a little hectic if you're not used to narrow roads, but you get used to it quickly if you go on excursions and what not.
We arrived at the Palladium and were instantly greeted with a smile and a rum-punch. They took all of our luggage and put it with everyone else's who was arriving that day, which would be shuttled to our room once it was ready. They gave us our wristbands, which by the way, the color did not matter at all. We got great service from everyone, so I'm not sure why some people say the color of the wrist band matters, it didn't for us. Our room was ready 2 hours after check in time, it was kind of annoying, but we were just excited to be there and took in the scenery while we walked around the facility. It's a big place! We decided to go back to the front desk around 5:00 PM and our room was ready!
We had a honeymoon suite, room 3132, first floor. This room had an amazing view. It had two palm trees with the sunset in-between them, postcard stuff. We felt like we got really lucky, seeing as how we did not request a room prior to arrival, like some folks do. The room was very nice, we definitely felt justified for the money we spent to stay in a honeymoon suite. We did notice that the Jacuzzi wasn't working properly, so we called the front desk and they sent maintenance down to fix it. The guy was very nice and he was quick to fix it. I said, if that is all that went wrong with this vacation then we're in good shape.
Throughout our stay, we noticed that the housekeeping didn't wipe the windows down or mop the floors, they only picked up trash and made the beds/restocked your fridge. So we requested them to mop the floor and clean the windows a couple times, the floor gets a bit sandy at times, and for some reason the glass doors going out to the patio and the shower don't have handles on the outside of them, so you have to press your hand against the glass to open them...they get gross over a period of time. One tip you might want to do, is to request more water in your room. They only give you 3 or 4 bottles, it's nice to have more if you're out drinking. The first night we didn't have enough water for both of us and were dying! Just a suggestion. We asked for 8 bottles of water to be stocked each day.
The beaches were nice, as everyone else says, sunset cove is easily the best. They have water sports, the jerk chicken hut, a bar, and it's not rocky like some of the other beaches. If you have a lot of people in your party and want to spend the day down at Sunset Cove, you might want to get down there a bit early, because at noon it gets pretty packed and it's hard to find a set of chairs together. The water on the resort was not nearly as clear as the water on 7 Mile beach in Negril, that water was insane. That is not to say the water wasn't nice at the Palladium, it was, but just not as clear as 7 Mile beach water.
The pools! Everyone has seen the pictures of their gigantic pool. Unfortunately for us, some of it was under construction, the outer rim where the chairs are in the water. This was probably the most frustrating thing on the trip. I understand they need to do maintenance on the pool, but it would have been nice if they would have told us they were doing it before we booked and or told us when they found out they were going to do repairs on it. It didn't ruin our experience, but that is one of the main attractions there, it's why some people book the trip. We asked one of the workers when it would be finished, and she said on Friday (it was Thursday when we asked). It was not done by Friday, it was not done at all throughout our whole vacation. I wouldn't have even been upset if they would have just told us ahead of time that there was going to be construction on the main pool, but nothing was ever said. Like I said, it didn't ruin our experience, it was just frustrating that there was no communication about it. Perhaps call ahead and ask if there is going to be any major construction being done at the time of your stay if that's something you care about. The swim up bar was nice, they probably had the best servers...they all had a great time and loved to interact with everyone. Damion (probably spelling his name wrong) was great, really cool guy. One thing I would recommend is bringing your own cup to drink out of. They will rinse it out and fill it up with anything you ask, it's better than the small cups they give you. A lot of people brought those Yetti cups, as an example.
The service. The service was phenomenal. These people work so incredibly hard for very little. A couple of the workers said they only make 3 U.S dollars an hour, which is crazy for how hard they are constantly working for you. There was one review I read where someone said they need to smile more. Not sure what they were talking about, but everyone was smiling in abundance. The workers that are at the Grand Palladium never expect a tip for their amazing service, when you compare that to the USA, where everyone expects a tip for mediocre service, it makes me feel really bad for them. When you see how some of them live it puts a lot of things into perspective about how happy they are and how hard they work to live in some of those very small shacks. In the airport I made the mistake of transferring some of my money to the Jamaican currency, you probably shouldn't waste your time. Every place we went wanted the USD. And if you gave them the Jamaican dollar they wanted the equal transfer rate that it would be in American dollars, so it wasn't really worth it.
We went on the deep sea fishing excursion for 500 dollars/4 Hours, Kevin, one of the excursion guys got us that deal, some people were trying to sell it for 700 dollars, so we got a good price for the four of us I feel. It was fun, we didn't catch anything, but that's just fishing. The other excursion we went on was a full day event, we went on a party boat, which dropped us off at Margaritaville on the 7 mile beach, then we drove about 5 minutes to shopping, then we went to Ricks Cafe. All of those were pretty awesome, I'd definitely recommend getting to Ricks and 7 mile beach to see the water. The nightlife at the Palladium could be a bit better, they have a dance hall that opens at 10 PM or so, and have events on the beach during some nice. I would like them to play more Jamaican music at night rather than classical music, I'm not asking for dubstep or anything, but something better than elevator music.
The food like a lot of people say was very mediocre. I didn't go to this place to have 5 star food, it was just kind of there, but it didn't ruin anything for me. The jerk chicken was easily the best, which is located at Sunset cove, but everything was just kind of bland. The best restaurant in my opinion was the Mexican joint, it actually had some flavor! They say on the website you need to be a bit dressed up for the restaurants, but they don't enforce it at all. I think they just don't want you to be dripping went in your swimwear. I showed up with sandals, some cargo shorts and a white tee-shirt everyday and was never denied entry, so they are pretty lax about it as long as you're not in your swimsuit.
Overall, the experience was a trip of a lifetime, it was our birthdays and I engaged my girlfriend there! We had an awesome time with her sister and brother in law. The service was great, regardless of our wristband color, the food was average, excluding the jerk chicken, which was awesome, and really the only con I had was they were having having construction on their main pool which I just would have liked to known about ahead of time, oh, and when we did request a shuttle to leave and pick up our bags on the last day, we were waiting around for 20 minutes with no shuttle in site, so we decided to just walk back to the lobby with all of our things. I'm sure we just got unlucky. I had an awesome time and would probably go back, but I do admit I want to try the Sandals resort sometime to be on that 7 mile beach. I'm still very much pleased with how this vacation went. Thank you, Grand Palladium!