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JerseyKitten's "a little bit late' Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Review

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#1 jk1101

  • Sr. Member
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    Posted 05 June 2010 - 06:34 PM

    Pre-Wedding, I was so on top of everything!
    Once we came home, and then with the AHR, and everything else we've had going on, I apologize for the lateness of this.

    Travel Agent – Destinationweddings.com – TA Sally F-
    There is a thread devoted to the inconsistencies of this company, as they contract out to different TAs. My review is based on my experience with my TA – She went from being slightly ditzy to stressfully upsetting to me – I am sorry I used the company and her.
    Just some of the issues:
    She referred to my wedding (Michele & Jim) as the wedding of Tiffany and Jamal to my BFFs…they sent me the email…when I called her on it, she said she didn’t do it.

    She told me that she ONLY did destination weddings, yet she told my mom she worked a lot with adult communities (55 and over) and Senior Centers….really? Are the 55+ communities hosting a lot of DWs these days? She also mentioned that she sent another couple to my resort for Easter…I asked her…for their wedding, and she said “no, just for a vacation”…don’t tell me you only do DWs if you don’t.

    My friend was emailing her from one email account and she would not reply to that email, but type in the wrong email address to respond, which resulted in multiple missed emails….this happened with several people.

    I blocked 12 rooms…I assumed that everyone’s rooms would be at least in the vicinity of each other. My 2 BFFs and my aunt and uncle were on the other side of the resort as everyone else.

    My 2BFFs sharing a room had one King sized bed
    DHs Aunt and cousin, mother and daughter also had one king size bed
    Our friend who traveled with her aunt – same thing.

    They all asked for 2 beds when speaking with the TA.
    The resort was completely sold out, so they couldn’t switch rooms once there – everyone dealt with it fine – but the TA is really a joke to many of my guests.
    So basically - Do Not Use them!

    Air Jamaica – B+
    We were very happy to have a direct flight, and to go out of Philly was a little further for us, but less difficult than Newark Airport. They had a place to hang my gown and FI’s suit on the way there, but not on the way back – luckily my mom took my dress home and FI didn’t mind if his suit got wrinkled since it needs to be cleaned anyway. We didn’t get treated any differently because we were getting married – I had a Bride Hat on, but we had our parents with us so we all sat together. On the trip back there was NO MOVIE – definite thumbs down on a 3 hour flight.

    JTL Tours –B
    As far as getting us back and forth to the resort and airport, they were fine. What I couldn’t figure out is if we HAD to use them to go our tours – we did ziplining that we signed up through them, but then they kind of screwed us on the Dunns River, so we did that through another tour company.

    ZipLining A+++++
    Click the image to open in full size.

    Dunns River - D

    From Grand Palladium it’s a 3 hour bus ride EACH WAY – our bus had no speedometer and no Tachometer – a bit scary!

    We did not think it was worth the hour and a half of climbing with a crowd - we are both adventurous people but it wasn’t that fun. I think if you’re in Ocho Rios it wouldn’t be bad, but too far from Lucea/Montego Bay


    #2 jk1101

    • Sr. Member
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      Posted 05 June 2010 - 06:37 PM

      The Resort – A
      The resort itself is beautiful and gigantic-1800 rooms. I really didn’t see any difference between the Lady Hamilton and Jamaica side at all. There were kids on both sides. The Lady Hamilton side has the Beach Front suites – the Jamaica side might too but I didn’t look for them.

      We got there at 1pm but our rooms weren’t ready – if you are going to be there before 3pm be prepared for this as check in time is 3 - they gave us drinks and a place to put our bags – locking up my dress – we were able to get into our bags to change into shorts and walk around, get food and find some friends.

      View of the lobby
      Click the image to open in full size.

      Tip #1 for GPLH Brides – Have a meeting place for your guests – we had one by the pool for during the day and one in the lobby at night. Someone would get towels to save some of the lounges by the pools…the ones on the sides of the pool don’t get as crowded as the ones in the front/beach facing.

      When our rooms were ready they sent a golf cart to take us and our bags.

      Click the image to open in full size.

      I was extremely dismayed to find out that
      A) my BFFs were on the other side of the resort
      B) my mom &dad were on the 3rd floor of a building with no elevator – they were able to switch my parents but not my friends.

      Tip #2 for GPLH Brides – Make sure your TA knows if anyone is handicapped or needs a 1st floor room – there are no elevators in any of the villas – only 2 in the main buildings. There is a lot of walking. The golf carts usually come when you call for them.
      Rooms –

      Our room was beautiful – king size bed – Jacuzzi tub in the middle – what I didn’t love was that the toilet was in kind of a stall – with a partial door – so if you are private about bathroom activities, as we are, it’s a little uncomfortable. We ran the water when we were in there to make it less “noisy”.
      We never got a robe or slippers – some of our guests did – sometimes we had towels, sometimes they replaced them, the maid tended to come later…if you leave notes and cash you will get more done. The mini bar has soda, red stripe and water. They refill that daily.
      There’s also a coffee maker in the room – the coffee is delicious.

      The night we got there we had a fruit plate delivered to our room with a note welcoming us.

      The really nice thing was on our wedding night, we came back to a room filled with flower petals, saying I love you on the bed, and a petal filled bubble bath in the tub with champagne. Loved that.

      Click the image to open in full size.

      Click the image to open in full size.

      Room placement – we were in villa 39 – it was the 2nd to farthest from the main building on the Lady Hamilton side, but very close to Poseidon restaurant (where our reception was) and the beach that had snorkeling and catamarans, so we didn’t mind.

      Food - A

      Food was probably the best thing this resort has to offer. All of the buffets were excellent and the food was really tasty. We ate in every ala carte restaurant except Bhogali – they were all fantastic – beautiful presentation – everything was tasty. I would suggest making reservations in advance – you have to make them before 2pm that day – but you can make them for the entire time you’re there in one day.

      The Sports Bar is almost always open and has burgers, fries, nachos, and it’s probably got the best AC in the whole place.

      There’s a Jerk Hut on the beach making paella and jerk chicken that was really good too but be prepared to wait in line sometimes.

      The Wedding

      Wedding Coordinator – C

      I don’t know if it was me or Phyllicia but I thought I was having a private reception with music and it turns out we weren’t. Make sure you have everything written down and I would suggest talking to Nina over Phyllicia. She got things done for us and seemed more organized.

      Tip #3 for GPLH Brides – Make sure you understand your package in full – Blue Lagoon has private receptions – Poseidon is a dinner restaurant – my reception was not private and we couldn’t play music but it ended up being awesome anyway!!!

      The ceremony on the beach was absolutely perfect, although they forgot to tell the official that we wanted a non religious ceremony, so he mentioned God, and then Jesus Christ…we were a little shocked (I stopped him when he wanted me to place the ring on his finger in the name of, as I was raised Jewish…couldn’t do it) but all in all, it was exactly how I’d been picturing it in my mind walking down the aisle to FI to the right song. The cocktail hour on the beach was also awesome – totally worth the extra money and the food was so good – everyone was raving about it.

      Click the image to open in full size.

      the Cake was delicious – It was supposed to be one layer chocolate one layer vanilla – it ended up being both layers chocolate – we used one that night and they gave us the rest to take to our room. We kept it in the refrigerator and ate it for the next few days. I didn’t bring anything to decorate it – they put plastic flowers on it and I think it looked fine.

      Click the image to open in full size.

      I brought candles and place cards for the reception that they set up perfectly.

      All in all, it was an amazing trip and the resort was beautiful. I think what people have to remember is that this is Jamaica, not the US. They do things slowly there, and while it may seem lackadaisical to us, it’s just their way – they do get things done – it’s just island time.

      Photographer – Sungold – Paula and Damian

      I did a ton of research on photographers and spent more on that than almost anything else – it was that important to me. When I saw Paula and Damian’s work, I knew I had to have them. When I emailed them about pricing, Paula told me she’d been talking to someone about my date, but they honored a “first come first booked” code on their website, so I went and booked asap.

      Paula met me in the spa while my mom and I were getting our hair done. She could tell how stressed out I was and got me to relax – she and Damian are so sweet and so easy to get along with – they made having our pictures taken fun. They even got my (now) husband to smile and relax, which isn’t easy – he had a habit of putting his chin up.

      They took tons of pictures before, during and after the ceremony, and came back the next day to do a TTD session at a local beach and shop.

      It took a bit longer than I would have liked to get my pictures back, but they sure were worth it.

      To see them go here

      And my slideshow came out amazing as well.

      Sir Jim and Lady Michele at The Lady Hamilton Resort. HOME

      #3 tiffandmarv

      • Jr. Member
      • 361 posts

        Posted 05 June 2010 - 10:11 PM

        As a future GPLH bride, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your honest review of the resort. It sounds (and looks) like you guy's had an amazing wedding day! Thanks so much for sharing. Lasty, I really appreciate all the "tips" you provided as well.

        Bride & Groom + 56 Booked for Jamaica!!!

        #4 autjo

        • Sr. Member
        • 2,182 posts

          Posted 05 June 2010 - 10:42 PM

          Great review! I think it is only natural to want to chill and not be super organized after planning a DW and an AHR and having your pics as part of the review really was worth the wait. I looove how your veil is blowing in the wind in some of the pics, it just looks beautiful. Congrats on being a gorgeous bride!

          #5 mlabbe

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          • 784 posts

            Posted 06 June 2010 - 12:05 AM

            Great review, thank you for sharing!!! I'm glad that everything worked out in the end.

            #6 tracy0716

            • Jr. Member
            • 431 posts

              Posted 06 June 2010 - 12:39 AM

              Glad your wedding was awesome!! Your review was very detailed and I'm sure it will be super to helpful for B2B using the same resort. Congrats on your marriage!

              P.S. Love your bouquet- I picked a similar one!

              #7 Mellyrox

              • Jr. Member
              • 161 posts

                Posted 06 June 2010 - 10:37 AM

                You should see all the notes I'm taking right now! Thank you for the honest review :)
                Vince and Mel - Grand Palladium Jamaica, May 04, 2011

                #8 Mellyrox

                • Jr. Member
                • 161 posts

                  Posted 06 June 2010 - 10:43 AM

                  Just watched your slide show. I have goose bumps! Fantastic!

                  You have some beautiful sunset shots. What time did your reception start? My photographer asked me to ensure that we make sure there is time for shots when the sun is setting.
                  Vince and Mel - Grand Palladium Jamaica, May 04, 2011

                  #9 AishaB

                  • Sr. Member
                  • 2,350 posts

                    Posted 06 June 2010 - 12:46 PM

                    Congratulations and thanks for the review
                    BDW the best place for my TYPE A personality!

                    #10 debbmach

                    • Sr. Member
                    • 1,457 posts

                      Posted 06 June 2010 - 12:51 PM

                      Great review...glad to hear that everything turned out great!

                      58 people booked...and counting!!!

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