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March 2-9 wonderful

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MindyH8
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Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:30 pm
Location: Denver

March 2-9 wonderful

Post by MindyH8 »

Great time (long) The bad reviews I read before leaving did not appear to be substantiated.

Resort overall: Resort was at about 65 % capacity due to storms in the east preventing planes from leaving. It was a beautiful resort and was remote if you want to take an excursion off site. We didn’t leave the whole time we were there and we would certainly return. I can't say enough about the warm and friendly staff. Most of them seemed to really enjoy their jobs.

Reception: We arrived at 5 pm on Sunday March 2. We were meeting my husband’s sister and her husband. As we walked into the lobby we spotted them at reception and walked up to greet them. The receptionist had just met their request for ocean view with the response that it was a $10 upgrade per night. My husband and I then gave our names and said our reservation was linked with my sister -in -law’s. The receptionist said wait a minute I believe we received some emails on your reservation. She came back and said “you are reserved ocean view rooms in building 13 second floor and I have red wrist bands for returning guests.” I had sent an email requesting ocean view, buildings 12, 13 or 14 on the Jamaica side and 3rd floor. I sent it to 3 people at the resort, my sister in law also sent an email and my travel agent emailed. We have been to the resort in Mexico twice and my sister in law has been there once. It was our first time to Jamaica. We were checked in quickly and whisked away to our rooms on a cart with our luggage.

Rooms: Rooms were spacious and very clean. Nichole, our maid, was very thorough and put fresh flowers on the bed each day. One morning we told her that we were just going to be out for a half hour walk and would be back so she wouldn’t have to start our room right away and she tried to get it cleaned before we got back. Our mini bar was restocked daily. Just leave a note of what you need. We were glad to be on the second floor as it wasn’t too much of a climb walking back to our rooms. The only thing to be aware of is that there are no railings on the stairs and they are tile stairs. They could be slick when wet. If you have any mobility concerns ask for first floor. We had ocean view rooms. Building 13 was far enough from the main building to make it quiet, but not too far to run up to the lobby when necessary. (We like to walk.) Some of the rooms on the Jamaica side are a good distance from all the restaurants and lobby, such as building 19. Many did seem to be utilizing the shuttles.

Bars: Our favorite was the Infinity bar. We went there for a before dinner drink each night to watch the sunset. The bar tenders were always dancing to the music. Jean passed out champaign every night and took drink orders. She was very friendly and genuine, a very lovely personality. We spoke to her every night and she was passing out the welcome drinks in the lobby when we were leaving on our last day and she came over to tell us good -bye. All of the a la cartes have a bar where you can get a drink as well. We went to the swim up bar and had a very good conversation with the bartender there. I can’t remember his name, but he was young, he floated between bars where he was needed, and his mother worked in Avon, Colorado during the ski season. (Sorry I couldn’t remember the name.) He said he frequents the Palladium Addict web page. We stopped in for drinks in the Casino, but the air conditioning wasn’t working so we didn’t stay long. We weren’t impressed with the sports bar. The bar tenders at the bar on the east side of the pool were excellent and remembered what we were drinking. Don’t expect to get good Margaritas. They don’t exist. Their best drinks are rum based.

Beaches: If you are expecting to come here for the beaches don’t. They are nothing like Mexico. They are manmade, rocky and small. On the other hand, my husband and brother-in-law said the snorkeling was excellent. They said they saw more than they would have on a $50 snorkeling trip in Mexico. They saw colorful coral, multiple fish, spiny sea urchins, octopus and more. They probably went snorkeling at least an hour and a half each day and didn’t have to leave the resort. We would go to the adult pool in the morning and they would go to Coral Beach to snorkel which is just a few steps down from the adult pool. The life guards at the adult pool were great. One of the lady’s, (she had a long name starting with Nichole, we called her Nikki) was great. She had short hair with a red streak in it to identity her. Nikki taught us to dance Jamaican style and was always singing and moving to the music. She has a 13 year old daughter. We went to the main beach one day and Nikki was there and recognized us.

Pools: What can I say, it’s the largest pool in Jamaica. Parts are shallow and parts are about 5 feet deep. It is gorgeous and overlooks the ocean. There are plenty of tile loungers in the pool to sit on. The pool temperature was on average around 76*F. There are two other smaller, quieter pools as well. There are some minor maintenance issues with the pool. They didn’t bother us. There are some tiles missing in some areas, the Jacuzzis don’t work and have some lights hanging out, and there appears to be some mold in areas. Maintenance people are working on the pool all the time, cleaning it every day. I believe the problem is it is so big a pool and to do some of the repairs would require draining it, which they can’t do when the resort is in use.
Restaurants: We ate at the buffet for breakfast and only one dinner. It was excellent with lots of selections for breakfast with made to order eggs.
We went to Bubba’s steak house which is half of the Mexican restaurant. This was the only a la carte where we had to wait and only 15 minutes. It was very good, we all had the T-bone steaks. Order it medium if you want some pink, as I ordered medium well and it was a little too well done. Everyone else raved about theirs. Our waiter was KenNeil. He was excellent and told us were now considered Jamaican. He and other waiters were serenading the patrons with songs.
We also went to the Asian (Lotus) restaurant. It was ok, order the crab rolls for an appetizer.
The Italian, Reggaetoni, was excellent. I ordered the lasagna, but the men wanted to try the spaghetti and lasagna so they were given half orders of each.
The last a la carte we tried was the Mexican. We ordered the fajitas which were good, but needed more vegetables. I only got one piece of green pepper for 3 fajitas.
Beach barbeque is held on Saturday night weather permitting. It was great, lots of choices with a live band. They close the buffet and all but 2 a la cartes that night. Check the board by guest relations to find out the schedule for a la cartes. They xeroxed it for us. Some nights are adult only.
Grounds: The grounds were beautiful with lots of vegetation and blooming bushes. The maids use the flowers to decorated the beds each day. We saw workers trimming bushes each day with machetes. They were replacing bushes on some paths and power washing the roofs over walkways. Some of the workers would offer to cut a coconut for the guests to drink from.

Club Mobay: We were arriving and departing on a Sunday afternoon and felt the airport might be busy so we booked Club Mobay round trip. Upon arrival we were met at the bottom of the ramp from the plane by a Mobay representative with our name on a sign. She escorted us through Customs and Immigration in a separate line from all the other plane arrivals without the 1 ½ hour wait. Our luggage was first off the baggage carousel and we were off to the arrival lounge. We had time for snacks and two drinks in the arrival lounge as we waited for them to come tell us that our bus was loading. 15 minutes at the bus and we were off to the resort. It was very relaxing. I must say that my sister-in-law and her husband did not have the same experience. They barely got to the lounge and they were told their bus was there. The representative put their drinks in a to-go container and they went to the bus and proceeded to sit on the bus for an hour before it left. My criticism of the Amstar bus is that it stops five minutes from the resort at a roadside bar for people to get drinks and bathrooms. I understand for those going on to Negril, but we were so close to the Palladium we just wanted to get there.
Our departure was much better with Mobay. Though we had to stand in line to check our bags with the airline, we were fast tracked through immigration and up to the concourses. We found our own way to Club Mobay where we were met and seated with drink orders taken. They had snacks of soup, sandwiches, meat patties, etc. We had our lunch in the lounge and it was plenty. We were able to get chips and apples to take on the plane and they had bathrooms for changing. The departure lounge was much bigger than the arrival and if I had to pick either using the arrival or departure service, I would use the departure.

In conclusion, we would go back and we were happy with our choice. The things I would like to see improved on would be to repair the Jacuzzis in the main pool, put railings on the stairs in the buildings for the rooms and improve the service and atmosphere in the sports bars. We only went to one of the shows and I didn’t feel it was of the quality they had in Mexico. They should also provide a do not disturb card for the room doors so the maids would know the room is occupied. It would also be nice to have snacks at the pools.

ttfraize
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:06 pm

Re: March 2-9 wonderful

Post by ttfraize »

Thank you for your detailed review!
Couple of questions:)

-Did you see any activities happening for children ages 8 thru 16? I'm wondering should I plan on spending a lot of money on excursions to keep them happy! We are going for 11 days (two are travel days though really).

-You mentioned no snacks at the pool... :19: When we've been at other AI's...we've been able to stay in our swimsuits and get out of the pool...walk to a fast food type place (burgers fries/nachos cheese/sandwich/pop station) and grab a bite to eat to take back to our lounger. Is there no such place? If not is there another pool/spot that you'd recommend that we hang out at that has these things close by?

-tipping....I usually allow about 100 bucks for tips. Does this sound like a fair amount? The only resort that we've been to that ALLOWED tipping was the Jewel. When we went there last year I would tip like $5.00 JA$ to the bell hop, $2.00 for drinks, $3.00-$5.00 for maid. Would you think that this is the correct amounts? I really have no sweet clue! LOL!

Thanks for all of your help!
Glad that you had a great trip!
Tania :51:
TANIA & TREVOR- NEWFOUNDLAND CANADA
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

ttfraize
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:06 pm

Re: March 2-9 wonderful

Post by ttfraize »

one more thing....

Question...we are booked for Jamaica side in April...would you recommend that I spend the extra cash to upgrade to LH?
TANIA & TREVOR- NEWFOUNDLAND CANADA
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

MindyH8
Top Twenty Poster
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:30 pm
Location: Denver

Re: March 2-9 wonderful

Post by MindyH8 »

There are no snacks on the beach or at the pool unless you go to the farthest beach by the LH side, Sunset Cove. That is where the jerk hut is located. They only have jerk chicken and pork, paella, and rolls starting at I believe 12pm until 4 pm. The Poseiden restaurant may have some snacks at the same time but it is a restaurant as well so you would probably need a cover up. We saw a children's area with trampoline near the pool and they have a 9 hole mini golf that is mostly flat surface, but it is in front of the LH lobby so the children would have to be accompanied. They have a teen club but I saw no one using it. We spent about $100 in tips for the week and we tipped our maid daily as well as waitresses, bartenders, and bell hops. My biggest gripe was probably no snacks at the beach or pool, but we didn't have small children so it was less of an inconvenience. We still loved the resort though and I probably didn't need the extra calories! LOL

MindyH8
Top Twenty Poster
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:30 pm
Location: Denver

Re: March 2-9 wonderful

Post by MindyH8 »

Forgot to say that we didn't feel the need to upgrade to lH as rooms are exactly the same, but if you don't like to walk some rooms on the Jamaica side are quite a long way for Sunset Cove. My beach bag had rollers so we enjoyed the walk, but take shoes that won't cause blisters. I wear flip flops most of the summer, but I still got blisters because my feet weren't accustomed to the after winter at home.

Jeffster
Moderator/Grand Palladium Jamaica Expert
Posts: 5416
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:35 pm
Location: Bartlett,Il

Re: March 2-9 wonderful

Post by Jeffster »

Unless they recently got rid of it there is a grill on Las Brisas beach with burgers, hot dogs sometimes chicken breasts that is open for lunch.
:60:
"The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass"[/color]

MindyH8
Top Twenty Poster
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:30 pm
Location: Denver

Re: March 2-9 wonderful

Post by MindyH8 »

We only went to Las Brisas beach once and didn't see it. That's not to say we didn't miss it. They were constructing 2 new life guard stands. I don't see it listed on their list of restaurants and bars we got in our check in packet.

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