Jump to content

Photo

Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton, JAMAICA review!!


  • Please log in to reply
45 replies to this topic

#1 caroline

caroline
  • Member
  • 697 posts

    Posted 21 December 2008 - 03:23 PM

    Where to start?!! I can't believe that it has come and gone so quickly! Our DW was everything we could have wished it would be... and more! And I'm so excited to finally be sharing this with you all - future Grand Palladium brides, you are going to have a wonderful, wonderful time!

    I will try to keep it brief and give *my own* personal opinions and thoughts on our experiences with our DW in Lucea, Jamaica. OneLove, I am using your review as a guideline - I hope you don't mind! Here goes...

    RESORT: Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton, in Lucea, Jamaica.
    DATE OF WEDDING: December 15th, 2008
    # GUESTS: 24 adults, 2 children
    PHOTOGRAPHER: Josh Brown (THE best!!!)
    Josh Brown Photography - Montreal - Destination Wedding Photographer


    TRAVEL TO JAMAICA:
    We flew with Delta Airlines, via Atlanta, GA. The fact that Delta allowed us to check 2 bags each was a God-send!! I actually ended up shoving my gown into our checked luggage (!) which I really wasn't too worried about, as the resort did complimentary steaming of the Bride & Grooms attire (with 2 days notice)

    Upon arrival in Montego Bay, Jamaica - we were immediately sought out by an Apple Vacations specialist... where we then waited (for what seemed like forever) to get on a bus and head for the resort. It was well after 4pm by the time we arrived - and let's just say I was not exactly a happy camper. The bus pulled up at the GP - had everyone get off the bus... determine who was staying at that side of the resort (there were TWO!) and then have everyone pile BACK ON the bus, to be transported over to the Lady Hamilton side. Didn't make a lot of sense, but whatever...

    GRAND PALLADIUM LADY HAMILTON:
    Grand Palladium Jamaica – Palladium Jamaica Resorts & Spa – Grand Palladium
    We were greeted at the resort with rum punch and check-in was fairly easy.
    Click the image to open in full size.
    The resort is ABSOLUTELY beautiful! Fresh and new... and HUGE. A down side for some might be the prospect of walking here there and everywhere, but a simple call to the Bellman, and they will gladly pick you up in their 'golf-cart-like-mobile' and transport you to wherever it is you want to go! (Having said that, it didn't show up for my groom and I, for transportation to our reception meal! We walked the full length from the Romance Suites to the Blue Lagoon Restaurant in full garb. We weren't too happy to say the least! But I digress...)

    Our driver while at GPLH was Jimmy - and Jimmy is the best!
    Click the image to open in full size.

    OUR ACCOMODATION:
    We stayed in Romance Suite #3074 and it was wonderful! The view was spectacular and we were greeted with champagne and a decorated bed!
    Click the image to open in full size.
    The jacuzzi tub was HUGE and great fun was had by all...
    Click the image to open in full size.
    And though Matt used the outdoor shower on a few occasions, I passed as it didn't have hot water (though others did)
    Click the image to open in full size.
    Our accomodations were excellent overall. I'm embarassed to say that Matthew and I "kept house" like pigs! But everyday, the room was cleaned up and sorted out some how...

    WELCOME DINNER:
    We had our (unplanned) "Welcome Dinner" at the Jamaican Restaurant. The food was rather mediocre, in my opinion (I'm REALLY fussy when it comes to food) and the service, extremely slow. I opted for the filet mignon (it wasn't) but those that had the "something-or-other encrusted talapia," said that it was great! A bonus in the dining department is that guest relations allows you to call ahead and reserve seating for the whole group, at any restaurant of your choosing. Our tables were split amongst two... but a good time was had all the same. Because of the slow service, we actually opted to have dinner at the Negril Buffet the next evening... and that worked out grand.

    PRE-WEDDING DAY ACTIVITIES:
    Okay, so I'll be totally honest and tell you that we had all of these great plans to go here and there and everywhere (!) Zip-lining, YS Falls and whatever else. Our pre-wedding days were basically spent by the pool... and at the pool bar... Sunbathing and playing beach volleyball (they have a court right beside the main pool) which was an absolute blast! We met (and drank with) some really great people - and Marvin the pool bar-tender, was an absolute hoot!
    Click the image to open in full size.
    Ahem, enough about that side of the DW events...

    THE SPA:
    My MOH, mother and I all had massages at the GPLH Spa on the day of the wedding. Theresa was my masseuse/hair stylist AND make-up artist - and was very good. I would definately recommend the massage and hair styling... but would probably opt out of the make-up if I were to do it over. I'd take care of that myself.
    Sorry, no photographs at this time...

    The General Manager, David, was kind enough to give Matthew and I complimentary massages during our stay. Unfortunately, we didn't find the time to take advantage of them - though having previously booked for my MOH & myself, we were able to indulge on the day of the wedding. Well worth it, for the destressing component!

    The dress... Photo by JOSH BROWN.
    Click the image to open in full size.
    Squeezing into my dress with the help of my girls! Photo by JOSH BROWN.
    Click the image to open in full size.

    THE CEREMONY:
    Was at the newly positioned gazebo (at Lover's Bluff) Upon our arrival, the gazebo was far from ready. But the GM and WC both promised that it would be finished in time for our nuptuals on the following Monday. And they were true to their word! They had folk out there busting their asses until the sun went down, making sure that it would be ready in time. And it was abslutely beautiful... with a tiled, winding walkway down to an absolutely breath-taking, spectacular view! Truly unbelievable!

    #2 caroline

    caroline
    • Member
    • 697 posts

      Posted 21 December 2008 - 03:24 PM

      Our wedding set-up:
      Click the image to open in full size.
      The walk down with my father... (lamb to the slaughter!) Photo by JOSH BROWN
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Matthew & I actually left our vows at home - both the vows AND sand ceremony vows (not good!) but the minister did an ABSOLUTELY amazing job - and our nuptuals were truly, (although still run-of-the-mill) very special. He was wonderful!
      A steel drum Band played me down the aisle! They were brilliant and cost $300 per hour. They actually played for longer than an hour for us, poor souls!
      Click the image to open in full size.
      The nuptuals:
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Photo by JOSH BROWN
      Click the image to open in full size.

      The Sand Ceremony, which included Matthew's daughter. It was beautiful! Photo by JOSH BROWN
      Click the image to open in full size.

      Our reception was held at the semi-private Blue Lagoon Restaurant ($300) and at a cost of $50 per head (over 8 people) We dined on Lobster and Beef medallions... and the meal was wonderful!
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Sorry, photo of the beef dish is a little fuzzy...
      Click the image to open in full size.

      The cake! It was really good (vanilla) and we furnished the staff with our cake topper and ribbon. I'm not quite sure WTF was going on with the ribbon (!) but it was grand, all the same!
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Cutting the cake:
      Click the image to open in full size.

      #3 caroline

      caroline
      • Member
      • 697 posts

        Posted 21 December 2008 - 03:25 PM

        I brought along an iPod and Bose docking station, which we used for music throughout the meal - and for the father/daughter dance, our first dance, groom/mother dance, etc. It worked out fine...
        Our First Dance. Photo by JOSH BROWN.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Matthew & his daughter... SOOO sweet! Photo by JOSH BROWN.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Following our reception, we headed upstairs to the Infinity Bar, where a live band was playing. It was a really good time and a much better option (we thought) than paying the $900 for a DJ - where 26 of us would have been dancing amongst ourselves! The "mingling" was a much better option for us.

        And there you have it.
        Here I am... happy bride showing off my bling (!)
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        And with my wonderful new husband (still having trouble bringing myself to say it! H-U-S-B-A-N-D, that is!)
        Photo by JOSH BROWN.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Photo by JOSH BROWN.
        Click the image to open in full size.

        I plan on getting around to doing a planning thread at some point. But with Christmas and then leaving for our honeymoon(!) at the end of the month, it may take a little while.

        If anyone has any questions about anything, please feel free to ask! I can whole-heartedly say that this was without a doubt, one of the best days (trips) of my life! We were a little nervous, the resort being so new & all, but GPLH far surpassed anything that we had hoped it would be! And I would definately recommend it to anyone!

        #4 MarieSam

        MarieSam
        • VIP Member
        • 2,336 posts
          • LocationSouthern California

          Posted 21 December 2008 - 03:40 PM

          Everything looks beautiful ~ Congrats Mrs!!! Your pics are gorgeous by the way, isn't Josh Brown a BDW member? Can't wait to see more

          #5 caroline

          caroline
          • Member
          • 697 posts

            Posted 21 December 2008 - 04:02 PM

            Quote:
            Originally Posted by MarieSam
            isn't Josh Brown a BDW member? Can't wait to see more
            Yes he is! And a bloody brilliant photographer! I can't say enough good things about Josh! (And his brother Todd)

            #6 ~*petals*~

            ~*petals*~
            • Sr. Member
            • 1,572 posts

              Posted 21 December 2008 - 05:33 PM

              Congratulations Caroline-- everything looks AMAZING! I am so happy to see that everything turned out SO well for you! Totally LOOOVE the gazebo- it looks gorgeous. (When I went, the space was just dirt & rocks.. lol) And your pics are awesome-- Josh did a great job!

              Okay, here come the questions... :-)

              How long was the ceremony? (We have the 5:00pm ceremony so wondering how long we have before sunset...)

              I'm happy to see that the steel band was actually less expensive than on the price list- I saw them while I was there & loved them too!

              Was the volume okay with the ipod & speakers? Were you able to set it up at Blue Lagoon for no extra charge? Somebody mentioned a $200 charge to use speakers/microphone so just wondering....

              How did they set the reception-- did you do any of the add-ons for the decor? Were any other parties at Blue Lagoon while you were there?

              Thanks again for posting such a great review--I'm so happy that I chose Grand Palladium for my wedding! Have a great honeymoon!

              #7 JUSTUSTWO

              JUSTUSTWO

                VIP Member

              • VIP Member
              • 12,193 posts

                Posted 21 December 2008 - 06:12 PM

                Congratulations on having a beautiful day. The pictures are great & it looks like you really did have the best day/trip!

                I also love your caption of the picture where you're father is walking you down the aisle "lamb to the slaughter". I don't think I've ever heard anyone describe that moment as that! LOL
                And the last pic with you & your new hubby on the rocks...really nice!
                Congrats again & thanks for sharing!

                #8 lmdels

                lmdels
                • Newbie
                • 33 posts

                  Posted 21 December 2008 - 06:45 PM

                  Caroline - Everything looked absolutlely beautiful!!! Congrats!!!!!!

                  Thank you so much for such a great review!!!!!

                  I just booked my wedding at the GPJ and I have been a little nervous about everything!!! Thanks for the reassurance!!!!

                  Just one question - How long were you able to hang around the ceremony location after the ceremony and did the steel drum band play there for the hour?

                  Thanks!!!

                  #9 caroline

                  caroline
                  • Member
                  • 697 posts

                    Posted 21 December 2008 - 06:58 PM

                    How long was the ceremony? (We have the 5:00pm ceremony so wondering how long we have before sunset...)

                    Petals~ Our ceremony was to start at 3:00pm... and I was about 20 minutes late!! The ceremony (which included the sand ceremony) probably lasted about 20-30 minutes. I would say that the sun was setting somewhere around 5:30pm... Don't be late, sista! Of course, sunset shots would be perfect too.

                    Was the volume okay with the ipod & speakers? Were you able to set it up at Blue Lagoon for no extra charge? Somebody mentioned a $200 charge to use speakers/microphone so just wondering....

                    We literally had our iPod set up ON the table in front of us! I can't speak for other docking stations, but our Bose provided ample volume. Now, when they say "private" or "semi-private," you still have the background noise of the restaurants on either side and the pool bar below. But our Bose worked out great. And it was charged and not plugged into anything. We did not pay anything extra.

                    I'm actually thinking that we over extended our 3 hour limit on the BL allotted time. But that's between you and me...

                    How did they set the reception-- did you do any of the add-ons for the decor? Were any other parties at Blue Lagoon while you were there?

                    We had our table set-up in a "U" formation. They initially had Matthew & I at the top table, ON OUR OWN! That was changed, pronto! And worked out really well in the end.

                    Our reception decor consisted of some candle holder/centerpieces we brought with us. Very simple (though a pain in the ass to transport b/c they were glass!) glass vases with inserts at the top. We put some stone in the bottom and some bright orange and dark green floral pieces (that I made myself) and candles in the insert at the top. They were cute... and I'm hoping I'll root out a photo or two from somewhere. Along with that, we scattered bright orange petals around the tables. Linens (provided by the resort) were all white. It actually looked really nice.

                    On a side note~ We didn't take back the glass holders/inserts... so you might ask Jascynthia if you could take a look at them - and maybe put them to good use again!

                    I have no doubt that you will have a wonderful time at GP. It was a long week for us - partying, pre-wedding... But one of the best times of my life. And our guests couldn't stop commenting on just how beautiful the resort was.

                    Oh, another thing! David (the GM) came and greeted EVERY SINGLE ONE of the wedding guests. They were all astounded at the fact that they felt like royalty!!! Too funny! They really did go above and beyond to make our stay a special one.

                    #10 caroline

                    caroline
                    • Member
                    • 697 posts

                      Posted 21 December 2008 - 07:04 PM

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by lmdels
                      Just one question - How long were you able to hang around the ceremony location after the ceremony and did the steel drum band play there for the hour?

                      Thanks!!!
                      Imdels, we were able to stay at the ceremony location for as long as we wanted - and did linger for quite a while after the nuptuals/champagne/photographs, etc. The steel drum band played the whole time!

                      They were scheduled to start playing at 2:45pm. As I said, I was late! We not only took the token wedding photographs, but also goofing off pictures of the Bridal Party - after most guests had left. And those guys were STILL there, tinkering away. They were excellent and I would guess that they played for close to two hours! Now, I'm pretty sure that there weren't any weddings scheduled for the 5:00pm slot - so we possibly just hit lucky!




                      0 user(s) are reading this topic

                      0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users