The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton & Jamaica — watch out
Reviewed June 18, 2012
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.
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.)
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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"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania 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 www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
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, Hanania 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. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
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