By airbornliz, · 633 Views · 0 Comments
I know this review is long, but I wanted to be as honest as possible. I also want to preface this with stating that I went in with low expectations so that I would not be disappointed especially after reading all of the reviews.
Our wedding ceremony was beautiful! On the beach with a nice breeze, I couldn't be happier about it!! While we did have several mishaps (please note that you'll have mishaps everywhere you go) the Grand Palladium did what they could to accommodate us. The hotel is a little worn, but sea water will do that to buildings, there were several areas getting renovated so they are trying to keep up with everything keep in mind just because you would treat your room nicely doesn't mean other will. I will admit that I was disappointed at the amount of disrepair that was in each room, which could have been easy and affordable fixes to maintain the hotel. We had a party of 21 and of course everyone wanted to go to meals together. Reading some of the other experiences I knew we wouldn't be able to sit together every time so I went in knowing that and telling my party. Everyone understood and we were actually able to sit together in one of the buffets. Our room was beautiful and right on the beach in front of the pergola we got married! It made it getting ready extremely easy and convenient! All was great in the room except for the smokers next door who's fresh cigarette, as well as other smoke, came through our vents on a regular basis, we asked to be moved once the wedding was over because it had gotten unbearable. We gave all of our guests information to our wedding coordinator and asked for the rooms to be closer together, but that didn't work out as well as expected, but with 21 people there's only so much you can do, the only problem was that several guests had to wait several hours for their rooms to even be ready. Several guests were given free upgrades to better rooms and even one that booked on the grand palladium side instead of the lady Hamilton was upgraded to our side after some room issues. Our photographers, True Colors, were great! We did have some overheated guests in the beginning when we were trying to get pictures without the sun blaring in our faces because it was a little bit of a hike to get to the shady area. I gave them all of my pose ideas and they loved them and did what they could to make them similar, I do wish there would have been more photos on the beach. We had our non-private reception for 21 at El Mariachi, the food and the wait staff was great, but what's a vacation without some drama... We waited about 2 hours before we finally got our dinner because the chef was overwhelmed with the other orders from other restaurant guests. I would highly recommend the private reception and wish I would have done it. The next issue was the air conditioning in El Mariachi, there was none, this can be a huge problem especially in a wedding gown. I was able to tolerate the heat for 2 hours before I asked to be put in air conditioning, guest relations took me to an office area where I sat for a little bit to cool off so that I wouldn't faint. The rest of my party was mostly over 50 and really suffered in the heat several attempts were made to get a supervisor to us to see what could be done with the air conditioning, but we were told the supervisor stepped out. At the hour and a half mark my father and husband went to guest relations to complain, this is when we finally started to see someone care about what was going on. One of the guest relations employees immediately began calling someone over the walkie to come and check the air conditioning. I put on a happy face to cut the cake (which was not what was advertised with fondant starfish but the outline of the starfish that were probably left over from another wedding) after we got the cake, my husband and I looked at the waitress and told her not to worry about serving our guests the dessert because we could not tolerate the heat any longer, but we wanted them to serve our wedding cake to us outside where there is a veranda and a breeze to cool off, they were hesitant at first, but obliged to our requests. Most of our older guests left to go to their rooms to cool off and did not spend the rest of the evening with us. The food was delicious everywhere we went. The spa was good, just very pricey.
Aside from our wedding, the overall experience was mediocre and I will not be staying at another Palladium brand resorts because there was a complete disregard for wanting fix simple repairs like broken bath tub handles, cracked doors and broken curtains. The beaches were ok, a bit rocky, and they were not raked in the mornings like most resorts do. There were also wild cats everywhere as well as an ant infestation on sunset beach because guests ate their jerk hut chicken in their beach chairs and did not clean up after themselves. We frequented the adult pool and bar we called trash bar because it smelled of rotting trash at all times, the bartenders were great despite the smell. The palm tree umbrellas were beginning to be replaced, but not as quickly as is necessary especially in the rainy season when those umbrellas are all that keep you dry. Next to the honeymoon suites, there were these beds that you could relax on with an ocean view, but they were completely unkempt and unusable. My sisters did have roaches in their bed, which was quickly taken care of and we had giant spiders in ours, it's important to remember you're in the Caribbean and there will be critters, however I've travelled many Caribbean countries as well as Mexico and did not see any creepy crawlys. The pillows available were not really comfortable so we did not sleep too well, but you have the option to purchase better pillows if you choose to forego the expense.