A truly grand experience awaits visitors to the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa in Lucea. If you like bold architecture and massive play spaces, this 540-room behemoth might just be the right fit. Based on my recent trip there, here’s what to expect.
What I like
- Food choices – all of ten restaurants to choose from.
- Accommodation – spacious and airy rooms with lots of extras.
- Massive pool – the largest on record in Jamaica and it overlooks the beach.
- Plenty of activities – from water sports to nightly entertainment, there’s lots to do.
What I didn’t like
- Not that good food – while the choices are plenty, some of the dishes are substandard at best.
- No room service.
- Rocky beach – the man-made beach leaves a little to be desired.
The Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort and Spa, if nothing else, is a huge resort, which is highlighted in several areas. First off is the 86,000 square-foot pool complex, which is the biggest in Jamaica and features a total of five pools. Next is the large lobby area, which is beautifully decorated with shiny marble tiles, columns, and a nice earthy feel overall, but can be a bit intimidating due to its expanse. Once you get over how big everything is, you should be okay, though.
Inside the room (I chose a junior suite) the décor was rather simple and less grand than the rest of the hotel but that was fine with me. The light coming from the sliding doors that lead out to the balcony reflected off the brilliant marble floor, giving the room a warm glow. In the morning, the sun shining in is also beautiful. Bear in mind that some rooms come with a garden view and others with an ocean view so that everyone won’t have the same experience.
All rooms come standard with the usual flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, mini-fridge, and iPod dock. A nice touch to the suite was the beautiful bathrooms, with marble all over, stone walk-in shower and a large whirlpool tub suitable for two.
When it comes on to things to do, much of the activity centers around the pool complex, which includes a swim-up bar and whirlpool hot tubs. The main pool has much of the action, with both kids and adults allowed to traverse its waters, so expect some noise here. However, you can experience a more secluded setting at the other pools, especially the Coral, designed for adults only.
Kids are well taken care of at the Grand Palladium via a Kids’ Club and various activities to keep them busy, so you can enjoy yourself too if you’re traveling with young ones.
As it relates to food and drinks, the choices are many, but you might have to try several of the restaurants before finding high-quality meals. You probably can’t go wrong with the sports bar, however. The sports bar is also good for music, as is the nightclub, which allows you to get up close and personal with staff members. There is also a theater with various theme nights.
One of the most striking features at the Grand Palladium is the Zentropia Palladium Spa and Wellness Center. It is a lovely large spa that includes a pool, numerous massage therapy treatments, and a pampering salon.
All in all, the Grand Palladium is a mixed bag of cool surprises and some not so fresh. It’s for this reason why many love it and others who have given it pretty low marks. But for me, it was good enough.