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Lets start with check in. We arrived with a coachload of people. It was a little chaotic i suppose but they had 5 people on at checkin and we wait less than 30 minutes. Really not a problem. Actual check in itself took less than 10 minutes. They called us a cart and off we went. We had asked for ground floor due to having children and a stroller and this was accomidated. As was our request for a king sized bed. We were in building 28 (excellent location) in room 2804 which had a partial ocean view which was a bonus! On entering the room there was a slight musty odour but after just a few minutes it was gone and we never smelt it again. Maybe the room hadn't been used for a little while??? They had forgotten to put in a cot for our baby although in the end we all slept in the bed together so we never bothered to ask again. The room itself was large and clean. Mini fridge with drinks were cold. Never had any issues with our fridge. Drinks went in warm and came out cold and i stored baby formula in there as I was happy with the coldness. It was restocked everyday no issues at all. The bed and pillows were very firm but ok. The sofa bed was HARD!!!! So we all slept together but the bed was huge so it didnt matter. The jacuzzi bath was brilliant. Never used the shower as the kids and i LOVED the bath (my hubby too although he won't admit it lol). Maid cleaned our room daily before 1pm. Always left enough towels and face clothes. A few times she returned later in the day to do so but normally it was all done when we returned after lunch. And no it wasn't cause we were tipping heavily. We tipped at the end not on a daily basis. we found the AC cooled the room nicely. It wasn't freezing but i had ac thats too cold. At night you wanted the blanket on but weren't shivering when you got up for the loo... perfect right?
Staff were incredibly friendly. They remembered our children's names. They laughed, they joked, they got our drinks. I can't understand any review saying bad things about the staff. Again not due to tipping as we usually had no cash on us. They were just nice people.
Grounds were beautiful and gardeners constantly maintaining them. bathrooms around the resort were spotless as were all communal areas.
The pools are brilliant. Only went to main pool and relax pool as the other two are adult only but again the pools constantly being cleaned. Plenty of loungers. yes some were worn but who really cares??? Good amount of sunny and shadey areas. Easy to get pool towels at all pools and at sunset cove beach.
Onto the beaches. A dissapointment for me. man made. They are beautiful and nice but not AMAZING. I'm afraid i've been to some amazing beaches in my life and so its hard for these to impress me. My kids were happy though. The pools made up for the beaches.
Food was good. Better than other all inclusives i've been too. Buffet breakfast fantastic! There was literally every breakfast item you could want. Lunch we went to buffet again. Good choice and it was quick and easy for us. Plus with the children nice to go inside the ac ffor a bit. We personally were NOT impressed with the jerk hut but then everyone is different and others seem to love it. The beach snack place at sunset was open for lunch but nothing on the menu interested us. We went to 5 of the Al a catres. Didnt do poisden (i dont eat fish) or Mexican (again we aren't into it). All were good. The only dissapointing meal was at the jamacian. The starter was great and came quick but then we waited for ages for our main. I dont know how long as we weren't wearing watches but it felt LONG. So long that we'd gone past wanting our food when it arrived. Plus with kids getting tired it made it feel even longer. But nevermind these things happen. We always ate by 6.30 so never had to wait long for a table.
I do think this hotel could improve its cocktails. Strawberry daquires and pina coldas out of a machine is not good enough i'm afraid. Although in the restaurantes they make them in the blender and are good!!!! I know its the be quicker but it was dissapointing. Also they dont use real grenadine in their tequila sunrise.. again dissapointing. The drink still taste nice but if you've had the real deal in the past you notice.
We never had a problem with the wifi in the lobby. A few times it was slow but that was due to lots of people using it. Went for a drink and came back later.
Due to having kids we never saw the shows as they were too late for us.
So overal a very enjoyable holiday. We got good value for money i feel. Staff were lovely, it was warm and sunny and we had fun. Probably wont go back purly because we never visit the same place twice. To many places it the world to tick off but i certainly would be happy to visit a grand palladium in another location.
Thanks for your review... I like reading fellow UK reviews as i assume we will have similar opinions. My husbands family are Jamaican and although he grew up in UK we are really looking forward to some Jamaican food. You mentioned you grew up in the caribbean - i wonder if you thought the local food was good? I love patties, ackee, oxtail and curried goat. Wondering if there will be authentic Jamaican food on offer.
Like you i have been a little worried about some reviews but think sometimes people don't understand that five star doesn't mean immaculate brand new rooms etc, it means the extent of the amenities. And if i have a problem with something i would politely ask for assistance, I'm sure they deal with problems as they happen.
We cant wait.... Apr hurry up!
Just wondering if there were many activities for kids? Ours are 8, 12, 16. Are there any pool floats? Should I bring some I wonder?
Also I'm on the Jamaica side.....wondering if we should pay extra for LH...thoughts?
Cheers! Can't wait to go now! LOL!
1995- Radisson Marlboro, Boston
2002- Sunspree, Orlando, Florida
2006- Carnival Victory Cruise Eastern
2007- Sunspree, Orlando, Florida
2008- Sunspree, Orlando, Florida
2009- Sandals, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
2010- Beaches, Negril, Jamaica
2011- Port Orleans French Quarter, Orlando, DisneyWorld
2012- Grand Velas, Mexico
2013- The Jewel, Dunns River Falls, Jamaica
2014- Grand Palladium Resort and Spa, Jamaica
2014- Toronto, Canada
2014- Calgary, Canada