The Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa, located on the north coast of Jamaica, is among the newer hotels in the country. That hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the most popular.
With over 6,000 reviews on Trip Advisor alone, the all-inclusive resort receives a high volume of traffic from local visitors and tourists. That’s not altogether surprising, based on the fact that it is located just 40 minutes away from Montego Bay, a city regarded as the tourist capital of Jamaica. Plus, it is right next door to its sister property, the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort and Spa, which is ranked as a five-star resort.
Add to that the hotel’s main selling points, which include Jamaica’s largest swimming pool, sizeable ocean-view rooms and its full assortment of amenities. It’s also regarded as one of those resorts where you are likely to get the most ‘bang for your buck.’
For my stay, I gave the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa full marks. However, this wouldn’t be a good review if it was just about my experience. This review will consist of my observation while examining the experiences of others who gave their reviews.
Prepare to dive into what’s hot and what’s not about this resort.
Why the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa
A truly out of this world experience is promised when you check out all that is on offer from the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa. Not only does it have an ideal atmosphere for singles and couples wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the outside world, but it is also a family resort. It’s easy for the property to cater to everyone, considering that it is a 540-room giant.
Not only that, you will never feel cramped for space to do anything you want, since everything is just sprawled out. From the main lobby area to the size of the suites, you will feel as if you are in a palace that probably had too much land space to play with.
The design of the building itself is a traditional, colonial style and reeks of overstated luxury with massive columns and generous distribution of natural marble and stone. In fact, it is possible for you to feel just a little overwhelmed by it all, especially if you are used to the smaller, boutique hotels. That didn’t take away from my enjoyable experience at the resort, however, and you will possibly start feeling right at home after a day or so when you get used to the lay of the land, so to speak.
Another thing that I like, and which many others have admitted to loving about the Grand Palladium Jamaica hotel is its abundance of water on the property. That is, it’s five pools, which include the massive Infinity pool. This main pool commands a large section of the beachfront and features the backdrop of the ocean for a sublime Aqua experience. There is a swim-up bar, and some whirlpool hot tubs integrated into the pool area for maximum fun and relaxation. Plus, the area seems to be a social gathering point for adults and children alike; in other words, the atmosphere here is very friendly and easy-going.
As for the other pools, they are more geared towards adult relaxation, with the Coral Pool and Roselle being among the most popular. If you decide to stay out of the water, there are scores of lounge chairs nearby, many of which are shaded, so you don’t get burnt by the sun.
You are also very likely to enjoy the Romanesque spa on property, which offers some relaxing spa treatments and is possibly one of the largest on the island. Called the Zentropia Palladium Spa and Wellness Center, it provides a variety of soothing massages to ease every sore muscle and calm the mind, as well as a large pool for spa guests only.
Finally, there is also a modern gym for the fitness-aware vacationer who wants to keep in shape while at the Grand Palladium. It is a large space with top-class cardio equipment and other machines you would expect in a gym of its magnitude.
As mentioned before, the rooms at the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa are large compared to those you might stay in at other hotels. The junior suites, for instance, are not that junior, taking up 50 square meters, while there are 78 suites and 48 Villa suites that are larger, of course, and many offer breathtaking ocean views.
The room I stayed in was one of the larger suites, and I had everything to my comfort. All rooms come with flat screen TVs, King-sized beds, air-conditioning, nice showers with hydro-massage tubs, and various amenities to make you feel right at home. However, there have been quite a few reviews which suggested that some of the rooms needed a makeover, despite their grandiose appearances.
This review would not be complete if the food on offer was not discussed. The Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa provides a variety of eats across the property, with ten restaurants, seven of which serve à la carte style. Buffet style is good at any all-inclusive resort, but it’s not that great as when you get to choose what you want. There is Jamaican-style cuisine available, as well as Italian, Mexican and even Indian food on offer, so there is something for anyone with the most discriminating taste buds. My favorite was Mexican, but I also enjoyed some of the popular local dishes on offer. Drinks are also abundantly available, whether you’re into expensive wines or fun, mixed drinks.
One of the main issues that guests have at the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa is what makes it what it is; its sheer grandness. Not everyone is prepared for the over-the-top arrangement, which will take some getting used to if you were expecting a more close-knit setting. On the other hand, many visitors are awed and love the photo-ops that are presented.
Room service is also an issue for some guests who left reviews about the resort as it is not always readily available. Considering the size of the property, that’s understandable, but it can be a bummer nonetheless because it does take away from the overall experience.
Another thing to mention, which guests have complained about, is the rocky, man-made private beach which can make swimming quite uncomfortable. However, there are some water sports to indulge in – free of charge to boot – and the water is beautiful to look at and agreeable in temperature for most of the day. Plus, the pools are a suitable alternative to swimming in the sea.
One more thing; the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort is definitely a home away from home, but it might be too far from home for some people. It is essentially located in a rural area, with not much else to do close by. You would have to either drive east to Montego Bay or go further west towards Negril in order to find hangout spots. However, there are many things to do on property, which can help you pass the time if you’re looking for activities. There is a night-time theater, a nightclub, and a sports bar that offers a number of fun activities for adults, and there are also kid-friendly play areas and even a kids’ club for those traveling with kids.
The Grand Palladium provides a good mix of fun and relaxation. With that said, the team at the Lucea-based hotel, which is part of the global chain of Palladium resorts, seems to still have some kinks to iron out for it to live up to its ‘grand’ moniker. The destination has received a bunch of negative reviews, averaging about 3.9 out of five stars as a result.