Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Hotel
Well it is firstly important to say that this was a very special holiday, as it was not only just a holiday but also my boyfriends Mum’s Wedding, awww.
This part of the hotel we stayed in, is the Lady Hamilton side of the hotel, there is another side called the Jamaica side, although you can use the facilities in both.
Date of travel- 5/12/20011- 19/12/2011
10 People aged from - 13-70 (two 13 year olds, four 24/25 year olds, two 44 year olds “bride and groom” and two 70 year olds)
Travelled with Thomson, from Manchester.
Price per couple- all inclusive- around £1800
The flight took around 10 hours and was absolutely fine, it was our longest journey, but it was as pleasant as a 10 hour flight can be! My boyfriends Nan and Grandad travelled first class, and they were also fine with the journey, but definitely appreciated that extra leg room.
We arrived at the airport around tea time, everything was straight forward, we filled out some forms on the plane which we then handed in, no arrival tax to be paid. So all simple and sorted!
It took around 45minute transfer from the airport to hotel.
We were greeted with a rum cocktail (non alcoholic cocktail for children) on arrival which is always a nice touch after a long journey, and after a short while queuing we checked in. It may have been a complicated process checking in 10 people with 4 different rooms, but it all went smoothly. Prior to arrival a interconnecting room had been requested and this was no problem when we got there. You also have the opportunity to request which building you wish to be in, this was also no problem when we got there and we got what we asked for. With having elderly members of the group with some walking difficulties, we had requested a room closest to the main lobby/restaurants etc. We got our keys to the room, and there were bell-boys waiting to escort us (in cars) to our rooms.
We had booked 3 double suites (all rooms are suites), and 1 interconnecting room (2 bed roomed).Double Bedroom Suites
The rooms were very spacious and very clean. We had a large double bed, a sofa, table and chairs, wardrobes, drawers, bedside drawers, which were all more than adequate. There was also a TV with plenty of English speaking channels (mainly american programmes, although Gordan Ramsey and Graham Norton popped up a few times, along with a good few films!)
The bathroom has to be one of the nicest bathrooms I have stayed in. It had a large Jacuzzi bath and a good sized ‘walk in’ shower, with a powerful shower head! And of course the sink and a toilet! We also had complimentary shower gels/soaps etc which I always find a nice touch.
There was air conditioning which worked very well, we even got a bit cold the first night because we had it on!
There was also a fridge with complimentary bottles of water/pop/beer which got refilled every other day. And a tea and coffee making facilities (even a coffee machine!).
The only problem we had with the location of this room was that at night you could sometimes here the singer/live band, however this did stop at 12am which was ok for us.
I have attached pictures of both the bedroom and bathroom, so you can see for yourself what they are like.
It really was a lovely bedroom to spend 2 weeks in.
Mmmm where to start, well lets start with the beginning of the day..Breakfast
Whilst we were there, there was a little inconsistencies with where breakfast was to be served, sometimes it would be in the main restaurant and other times it would be in a more outside restaurant (food is kept inside, tables outside), and sometime both would be open! It would always be buffet style breakfast which I prefer, because you get to see the food before you choose it! And there was always plenty to choose from. There was always two chefs cooking made to order foods, like eggs whether you wanted the, fried or an omelette, which were apparently very nice! I tended to stick to bacon, sausages, pancakes, beans etc (I was on holiday!). There was also plenty of fruit, cereal, yoghurts, milkshakes to choose from. There was also the Jamaican delicacy of fried plantain (fried banana) although I must admit I didn’t try this!
Dinner (or you might call in ‘Lunch’)
There was always two places to choose from for lunch, this would be the main buffet restaurant or the sports bar. We tended to stick more to the main restaurant but we did go in the sports bar a few times.
Again there was plenty to choose from, potato, chips, pizza, pasta, variety of meats. (We weren’t with any vegetarians so I’m not sure how well you might find something to eat here). But with all 10 of us we always found something to eat. There was also a selection of puddings and fruits.
Tea (or dinner)
Dinner was when you had plenty of choice as to where to go (most times). Here is a list of all the different restuaranst on offer:
Reggaetoni trattoria, (Italian)
Bhogali Indian restaurant, (Indian)
The Lotus House Oriental restaurant, (Chinese)
El Mariachi Mexican restaurant, (Mexican)
Bubbas restaurant (Steakhouse)
The only problem with having all these restaurants is that they are not all open at the same time, so you might only have a couple to choose from a night. We did travel here when it wasn’t high peak season, which could be the reason why. However on the occasions we did decide to dine in one which was open, we were looking at a 1hr+ wait, which we didn’t really fancy, so we would just end up in the buffet restaurant.
We did dine in Bubba’s for the wedding meal, which I will talk about later (if you manage to get that far in my review!)
The buffet was again similar (not the same) foods to dinner time but there was a larger selection of choice, and more cooking stations open. Again we always found something to eat as there was lots of choice. There was always some form of jerk chicken, or jerk pork or jerk fish to choose from!
This hotel offers 24hour drinks and snacks. After 11pm would be when you could opt for that late night snack in the sports bar.
The sports bar had a few TV’s in there, pool tables, ice hockey etc, which were all free to use. There was also unlimited popcorn and ice cream in here too.
It could get a little rowdy later on in the night time though, which did put us off staying in there for a long time.
The main entertainment in the largest room, was a little disappointing, if you have been to this type of hotel before then you would probably know what to expect from the entertainment team at night, this was below average. Very repetitive and quite boring. This children in our group also didn’t find this very good, but they happy enough in the sports bar, which did keep them happy. There were shows like: ‘Michael Jackson show- which was probably the best just because you could listen to the music, dancing shows, dancing from around the world shows etc’
The bar which we tended to spend more time in was the bar upstairs, it was here where you could find the steel drum band playing, or some very talented singers, it had more of a relaxed and chilled feeling about it, which we enjoyed. It also had views overlooking the pool/sea. So you could see the aeroplanes coming in or boats going by…ahh I do miss that bar!
Huge! Simple as that, the main pool was huge, with lots of sunbeds around, there was plenty in the sun and plenty in the shade. There was a swim-up bar, a main pool bar, and other little bars dotted around. You could be as close to the music, or as far away from the music as you wanted to be. It really was picturesque and peaceful. And the weather was hot which definitely helps!
There are also a children’s pool, an adults only pool (quite small) and a spa.
I am pretty much a beach lover, and although this beach doesn’t live up to that of Cape Verde, it was an OK beach, there were 3 beaches to choose from, with Sunset Cove being the nicest, although it did get busy, and once it was busy you would be hard to find some sunshine, as it was very shaded, which is great for the kids. It is also at this beach where you will find the Jerk Hut, rice and chicken, which to be fair was delicious, but you do have to eat it from a paper plate on the beach, which we did enjoy but I can see why some people might not!
There is also another restaurant here ‘Poisedon’ where you can have other snacks.
If you like long strolls along the beach then this place wont be for you, but if you like long strolls around the hotel grounds then this is definitely for you!
Thomson offered lots of different trips but they were quite expensive, the only trip we went on we booked through the hotel.
This was a trip to Dolphin Cove. There was two different dolphin coves you can go on, one is about 1-2hrs drive away, visiting the river dunnes on the way there, and the other dolphin cove is about 10minute drive down the road, at a fraction of the cost, no guesses as to which one we chose.
I will admit to being a wimp and chose to opt out of the dolphin experience, however if you would love to swim with dolphins this is definitely the place for you, it cost around £30-40 and they spent a good 50minutes in the sea with the dolphins, they absolutely loved it and it was great to watch. This trip only lasted about half a day, if that, and there was also a shark show, a chance to stroke sting ray fish, and also a camel ride (which was the only additional cost).I think I have spoken about everything major about the hotel that you would want to know if you were thinking about coming here, I would definitely recommend it, but be prepared to walk quite far if you were in a room block quite away from the main hotel lobby. It is a large hotel, so if you’re not in the centre of things you will be away from the action literally. There are golf type buggies you can phone up for but these might take a while to get to you.
If you’re still reading, then here is the main reason why we came to Jamaica for the wedding!
And you will be pleased to know it was a beautiful day, the hotel wedding organiser was super and really made the brides and grooms hopes be fulfilled. They chose to have their wedding on the gazebo which overlooked the sea, stunning views! There was also a beach option (much less private!) and another gazebo choice.
All of the flowers they had chosen were beautiful and the day went without a hitch! The food at Bubbas steakhouse was delicious and the waiters in there were just great, even serenading the bride with a lovely love song!
It definitely made the whole holiday one to remember!I will now let the photo's speak for themselves...