The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton & Jamaica — watch out

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The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton & Jamaica — watch out

Reviewed June 18, 2012

The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton and Jamaica has two listings on Trip Advisor. You can click here to get to the 2nd listing. It is two hotels in one — like many of the other resorts you find in Punta Cana, except this one has very small beaches.Here is my review posted on the other listing that you SHOULD read BEFORE you decide on this hotel. I found it to be far below what I expected. But a good traveler makes the best of even a terrible resort and the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton and Jamaica Resort is a TERRIBLE resort.

Click here for Travelocity ReviewHere is what I wrote if you don’t want to check out the other listing:

I spent the past week (June 3-10) at the Lady Hamilton in Jamaica and have to say I was TOTALLY DISAPPOINTED in the experience. Here is the problem and why you will read some good reviews. If you travel the Caribbean extensively your disappointment will come from a comparison to other resorts and beaches. This resort is the worst I have ever traveled to. If you don’t travel much, bread crumbs do look like cake. But, even if you have booked your trip here, you can still make the best of it by going to other beaches like the Negril Trip ($30 a person). The only saving grace is the swimming pool. It is very nice, except for the drunks who hang out at the pool bar and leave their booze glasses everywhere.

1-The beaches were OK. The Las Brisas beach was cluttered with rocks and coral making it very difficult to enjoy. Sunset Cove was very small. Half the beach is for swimming and the other half is for water sports.

Standing on the same spot looking to the left (above) and then looking to the right (below).
The Las Brisas beach is cluttered with rocks making it difficult to walk in the water … there are some
sandy spots with no rocks but they are very small and not easy to find once in the water. Further out, about 25 feet is coral rocks filled with Black Sea Urchins and painful spines. (To the left are the honeymoon villas for the honeymooners and there is a small private beach there, too. And beyond that is the Sunset Cove which is even smaller and is infested with flies and bugs.)
As you look to the right (above) you see a sea wall. Beyond the sea wall is a beachfront of coral coves covered with rocks and coral. That is the beach area that is in front of the Jamaica Resort. The Las Brisas beach is in front of the Lady Hamilton Resort.
2-Food: The resort has no system to sign up for ala carte dinners. You have to “GET THERE” at 5:30 and put your name on a list and then wait. If you get there late, chances are you won’t be able to get in. That’s great for people not enjoying what little there is to enjoy at the resort, but it’s terrible for people who are trying to enjoy the day.The Negril Buffett was so-so. The food was OK. The selection was limited.

3- Resort layout: The resort is two hotels, the Jamaica and the Lady Hamilton. The Jamaica villas overlook the reefs and you have to walk pretty far to get to the crappy beaches. The Lady Hamilton villas are located near the beaches (The Honeymoon villas are in the middle). The Hotel tries to pack you into the Jamaica … if you don’t mind spending your time in a chair watching the ocean from the top of a reef lookout, it’s great, I guess.

4-We had a Lady Hamilton Room, 1 bedroom. Nice layout (bedroom, hall and bath, frontroom, two verandas.)

An overview of the resort showing the two small beaches above. The pool (below) is very nice and there are chairs set in rows on sand where it is enjoyable.
Here’s a map of the resorts from Trip Advisor
Photos of Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa, Lucea
This photo of Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Image from Google Earth of the resort. Top left is Sunset Cove. Middle is the tiny adult beach. Right is the Las Brisas beach. The vilas on the right are the cheaper ones facing coral reef beaches, very rugged and difficult to enjoy. The villas on the left are the Lady Hamilton villas nd cost more. The villas on the in sulfa are the honeymoon villas for couples. Great view, ok beaches.

5-Air Conditioning. You don’t want to be in Jamaica’s humid climate with good air conditioning. Our air conditioner went out five times during the week. Turns out the Hotel Shuts the air conditioning down in the middle of the night in your room to save money. You have to put a Key Card into the in-room box to keep the electricity on. We did.

6-Front Desk: They suck. They do their best knowing they can’t do anything about the resort’s problems.

7-No information. We went through Apple. This was the first time that I didn’t get any real substantive information about a hotel from the Apple Rep. When I did waste a morning meeting her, she had nothing to do give me except to try to sell me an excursion.

They do not provide much info on activities at all. You have to LUCK OUT to learn about things happening ont he “beach”.

8-Best Excursion to get away from the Hotel: Rick’s Cafe. It cost $30 per person. You leave at 11 and return at 8 pm after sunset. They take you to Sherreta’s on the beach restaurant. I ordered a Crab Meat Sub, there was very little Crab Meat on it. Horrible place. They have lounge chairs but only very few umbrellas on their small beach section (This is a place where the beach is divided into 60 foot wide sections for each shop and restaurant. The Hotel excursion takes you to one of the spots). You will burn to death in the sun. The beach and water are phenomenal. You stay at the beach and fry there for 3 hours. (They will give you towels if you need them). They then take you to several Malls to encourage you to spend money — junk stores, tourist trap junk. Then they drive you to Rick’s Cafe where you can enjoy the cliff diving and the sunset for about 2 hours or so. Rick’s Cafe was GREAT.

There is an adult cruise to Rick’s Cafe also that cost twice as much. I have an 11 year old son so we couldn’t try that.

9-Tipping. It’s an entitlement there. They say hi and demand money. This was the problem at the Negril beach where people wouldn’t let you alone for one minute, begging for money trying to put a reefer in your hand, wrapping colored wrist bands on your wrist and trying to get $10 from you. And when you politely try to discourage it, they start swearing in the worst language — I’ve been to Jamaica 100 times and know all the swear words. You’ll learn them fast at the Negril Beach in front of these shops.

10-There were many nice employees there who tried to do their best but had no answers to problems. I feel sorry for them.

Conclusion. Family of four, $6,000. Spend the extra $2,000 and go to Beaches or Sandals on the Negril Beach.
I thought this would be a good alternative to our usual trips to Punta Cana. It sure was different.

— Ray Hanania

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political columnist and author. He covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at TheArabDailyNews.com, TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com ArabNews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
Ray Hanania