Jamaica: All-Inclusive Stay at the Grand Palladium Resort

Grand Palladium Jamaica

I had held a reserved attitude toward all-inclusive resorts prior to this trip, and then I realized all-inclusive was actually a great option when traveling in places where it was not quite safe to get around. We both loved the all-inclusive features and our stay in Grand Palladium Jamaica.

本來一直對all-inclusive渡假飯店持保留態度,這次去了牙買加才發現其實在不適合單獨行動的地區all-inclusive真的很不錯!整體說來,我們對這次住的Grand Palladium Jamaica十分滿意。

Located in Lucea, Grand Palladium is about 35 minutes in driving distance from Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay (MBJ) and 40 minutes from Negril, the famous Seven Mile Beach. This resort hosts hundreds of weddings a month.

Grand Palladium位於Lucea, Montego Bay,離機場大概35分鐘車程,離牙買加最有名的沙灘Negril大概40分鐘,這個渡假村在旺季每個月有幾百場婚禮。

Grand Palladium Jamaica, Junior Suite

Honeymoon-Suite Looking Rooms 蜜月套房路線 

The hotel offers two levels of rooms, junior suites and suites. We stayed in a junior suite overlooking a garden next to the main pool. Our bed was decorated very much like a honeymoon suite every day. Every morning hotel staff picked fresh flowers, mostly hibiscus, from the garden and use them to decorate towels shaped into a heart or a swan.

Our mini fridge was restocked with bottled water every day, which was very nice and convenient. We heard that some people tipped their bellman or cleaning staff really well and had them restock coke and rum daily. There was also Red Stripe and a couple of different local soda in the fridge.

Our travel agent dropped several hints about the importance of storing our belongings in a save. That’s the same advise I got from some traveler safety app. It seems that petty theft is common and tourists are advised to use hotel room safes. We were very careful about keeping our passports, cash and my ring in the save the whole time.

飯店有兩種房型,我們住的是junior suite,床被裝飾得跟蜜月套房一樣,每天早上都會看到飯店員工在花園現採朱槿花,拿來灑在床上,裝飾他們用浴巾摺的愛心、天鵝或孔雀。

房間的小冰箱有免費的水、汽水和牙買加啤酒 Red Stripe,每天都會補,有免費瓶裝水真的很方便,房間冰箱每天兩瓶水加上我們買的一大桶,剛好足以灌溉我整整四天。聽說有人一進房間就塞給門房二十美金小費,請他們每天在小冰箱補蘭姆酒和可樂。

旅行社小姐千叮萬囑叫我們要用保險箱,在某個旅遊安全app看到的也是這樣,我們每天出門都會乖乖把護照、現金和我其實不值錢但也不想被偷的戒指手環鎖好。

Tips, Tips, Tips 小費 

Hotel staff fight to provide their service for tips, especially the lobby staff. Some of the all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica do not allow tipping, but Grand Palladium does. I prepared $100 in singles and we spent about $110 in tips in five days. We tipped $2 for the room every day, $1 per person at a buffet, $1 for a drink, and $5 or more depending on how good the service was for dinner at a waited table in restaurants.

既然吃住全包,飯店工作人員就剩下努力賺小費,大家真的非常積極。牙買加有些all-inclusive的飯店禁小費,但Grand Palladium是個要小費的地方,我準備了一百張一元鈔票,整趟五天兩個人大概花了$110的小費。我們通常每天早上壓兩塊錢小費、buffet一人一塊錢、點酒的話一塊錢、晚餐吃餐廳的話看服務決定要給五塊錢或更多。

Welcome drink strawberry daiquiri at the lobby.

Welcome drink strawberry daiquiri at the lobby.

As soon as our van pulled in, one guy at the hotel lobby showed up, picked up our two bags from our driver, and dragged them for 50 yards to the lobby. So that was $2 for the driver and $2 for the luggage guy.

Traveling for five days in summer, we did not pack much. I was capable of lifting my luggage for two flights of stairs and drag it to my room that was three minutes away. But no. As soon as we checked in and picked up our luggage, a bellman rushed over to pick up our luggage and led us to our room. There, another two dollars.

At first it seemed slightly annoying to see people rushing to offer their services, be it carrying luggage or arranging transportation, to fight for tips. But seeing people hustling all day for making a few bucks more in tips to put food on their tables, that makes me feel bad and willing to be fair or a tad generous in tipping.

第一天剛到旅館,箱型車一停,飯店大廳工作人員馬上一個箭步上來接過司機手中的行李,拖個五十公尺到大廳,這樣就是司機兩塊錢,大廳顧行李的人兩塊錢。拿到房卡,我們正要提起行李,馬上有飯店大廳工作人員衝到我們面前搶下我們的兩箱行李,我們一人一個中型箱子,都不重,真的可以拖著走五分鐘的路和兩層樓沒問題,但門房堅持要送我們到房間,這又是兩塊錢。一開始遇到當地人汲汲營營要搶著幫我們服務要小費覺得不太舒服,但想想大家每天辛苦就為了多賺這一兩塊,就默默心甘情願地讓大家搶提行李然後再掏出小費…

Grand Palladium Jamaica

Unlimited Strawberry Daiquiri at the Pool 池畔酒吧 

Grand Palladium Jamaica shared space, facilities and service with Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa, whose lobby mirrored the design of Grand Palladium. In the center of the resort lied the main pool where you ordered drinks from the pool side bar in your swimming trunks or bikinis without carrying any money or ID with you. A short wall divided a kiddie pool and an adult pool. We came to this pool almost every day. On our second day here, we spent one entire afternoon here mingling with people in the wedding group, sipping on frozen strawberry daiquiri or pina colada one after another.

渡假村分成Grand Palladium和Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton兩個部分,共用設施,兩個飯店的大廳長一樣。渡假村的中心是個很大的室外泳池,有兒童池和大人池兩部分,連在一起,用一道牆分隔。泳池中央有個酒吧,身上不用帶現金付小費就可以穿著泳衣走到泳池中間點酒。第二天下午和參加婚禮的人們見面,大家就在這個游泳池聊天,Aaron喝蘭姆酒加可樂,我喝strawberry daiquiri或pina colada冰沙一杯接一杯。

Grand Palladium Jamaica pool

Grand Palladium Jamaica pool

Our room was in the second floor of building 11, probably the best location in the resort. Building 11 was the lowest red on this map, right next to the lobby and the main pool, very close to buffets and most of the restaurants.

我們的房間在第11棟樓,是地圖上最低的紅點,這大概是整個飯店最好的地點,離中央泳池非常近,大廳和販賣部就在隔壁,buffet和所有餐廳也不遠。

Map-GrandPalladiumJamaica-MontegoBay

Three Beaches at the Resort 飯店沙灘 

This resort has three beaches on site: Las Brisas Beach, Coral Beach and Sunset Cove. Right by the main pool, Las Brisas Beach is a bit rocky.

飯店有三個沙灘:Las Brisas Beach, Coral Beach and Sunset Cove。Las Brisas Beach就在中央泳池旁邊,小石頭蠻多,有些地方走起來會痛。

Grand Palladium Jamaica Las Brisas Beach

Grand Palladium Jamaica Las Brisas Beach

Hidden behind trees, Coral Beach is a small corner of a nude beach. Very accessible coral reef lies near the beach in shallow water where you can see a good variety of tropical fish without any diving gear or goggles.

Coral Beach是個成人海灘,我們有看到幾個上空的阿姨,這一區有很多珊瑚礁,水很淺,不用任何裝備就可以看到很多魚。

Grand Palladium Jamaica Coral Beach

Among the three beaches, Sunset Cove is the best place to swim and offers the most activities. You can rent gears to go kayaking, sailing or snorkeling.

三個沙灘裡面,Sunset Cove最適合游泳,也提供最多活動,可以租設備去泛舟、浮潛或玩風帆。

Grand Palladium Jamaica Sunset Cove

Grand Palladium Jamaica Sunset Cove

Restaurants: Bring a Pair of Pants, Gentlemen 餐廳: 男士短褲止步 

Breakfast and lunch are offered at three buffets. Options for dinner would be the three buffets and the seven restaurants: Jamaican, steak house, Asian, Mexico, French, Italian and Indian. The food at the buffets rotate to feature different types of cuisine on different days of the week.

I was satisfied with the breakfast here. Some cheese, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, croissants and fruits─don’t need to be great quality─ make me happy. I loved fresh squeezed juice from the juice bar in the morning. (The sausage in the picture was bad, really bad.)

早餐和午餐都是在三個buffet,食物大同小異,buffet每天午晚餐每天有不同主題,譬如說義式料理日就可以自己選料現炒義大利麵。晚餐的另一個選擇是餐廳,有七間餐廳七種料理:牙買加菜、牛排館、墨西哥菜、亞洲菜(混日式中式泰式等等)、印度菜、義大利菜和法國菜。

每天早餐都吃得很開心,畢竟只要有燻鮭魚、炒蛋、可頌、起士和水果就可以讓我很開心,早餐有現打果汁吧提供五六種口味的果菜汁。(照片裡的早餐腸是地雷!)

Breakfast at Grand Palladium Jamaica

The four restaurants on the second floor had a dress code (Jamaica, Asian, Mexican and the steak house.) Men had to wear pants, which is very inconvenient. So guys, remember bring a pair of light pants with you to the Grand Palladium Jamaica. We thought about buying a pair of pants for Aaron at a boutique in the resort. Yet a pair of flax or cotton pants cost $80! I felt bad about making him put on the only pair of jeans he brought in 75F Caribbean weather just to go to dinner. One evening after a day trip, he refused to get in jeans, which I completely understand, and we ate at the buffet.

二樓的四間餐廳都有服裝規定,男生要穿長褲,很不方便,男人們請記得帶一件輕薄長褲!Aaron行李箱裡只有一件牛仔褲,我們逛了飯店的精品店,想說不如買一件棉質或亞麻長褲,不然大熱天要穿牛仔褲真的很痛苦,沒想到除了沒有他的大小之外,一件長褲要80美金!整個在搶錢。為了牙買加菜或牛排晚餐,自己穿個涼爽連身裙但要叫他穿牛仔褲實在很歹勢,第三天我們在外面玩了一天回來熱得半死,他直接放棄吃好料,決定穿短褲去吃buffet。

After we arrived the hotel, starving, we had to kill an hour and a half until check-in time at 3 p.m. We dropped out luggage at the lobby and headed over to the Negril buffet. To my disappointment, the food was horrible! Trying local cuisine and enjoying good food were so important to me when I traveled. I could deal with going cheap, eating granola bars for breakfast and spending very little for lunch, but I need to try some good, authentic food every now and then. Knowing the uncertainty of exploring outside of the resort, I was a bit bummed that this was the quality of food we paid for. Thankfully it got better. The buffets were kind of a hit and miss. Most of the time the food was all right. We were happy with how convenient it was to grab breakfast or lunch with a good selection anytime during the day at $2 for both of us.

第一天下午一點多才到飯店,奇蹟似地我沒血糖過低,下午三點才能check in,於是我們放了行李在大廳之後就先到buffet報到,結果超難吃!讓我很失望地想說未來幾天都要吃這個…還好後來幾天午餐buffet都好多了,食物沒有太厲害,但白天隨時可以走進去吃buffet然後只放兩塊錢真的很不錯!

naseberry

Seeing a freshly cut mango bar at lunch made me very excited. Yet I found that mangoes in Taiwan were way better than what the resort offered. I expected more in terms of fruit selection since we were on a tropical Caribbean island, but we did not see much difference than what one can get in a hotel buffet in the U.S.: honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, and watermelon. I did get to try naseberry here though!

本來很期待去個加勒比海小島國應該可以吃到很多厲害的水果,沒想到水果的選擇十分普通,跟在美國飯店buffet沒兩樣:哈蜜瓜、香瓜、鳳梨、西瓜,偶爾中午有現切芒果,但還是台灣芒果厲害。不過我有在飯店吃到這輩子沒看過的naseberry人心果。

Xaymaica

I made Aaron put on jeans to go to the Jamaican restaurant, Xaymaica, in the first evening because I was looking forward to trying some ackee and fish and curry goat. All the restaurants offer a la carte menus. We surely enjoy ordering whatever we would like and only had to tip. After a round of yuca chips, smoked fish, cold jerk pork, coleslaw and more from the salad bar, we were almost full.

我一直期待要吃牙買加煙燻香料雞(jerk chicken)和魚阿開木煮鹹魚(ackee and fish,又稱西非荔枝果),第一天晚上,我拜託Aaron換上牛仔褲,去牙買加餐廳Xaymaica吃晚餐。七間餐廳都是菜單上隨便點,只要付小費。這間餐廳有沙拉吧,吃完一輪樹薯薯片、香料雞跟豬冷盤、煙燻魚片、好像有放法螺的沙拉,我們都快要飽了。

Xaymaica salad bar

My curry goat was very good. Aaron liked his jerk chicken. I thought the texture of goat in kind of a stew would be quite tough. Surprisingly the meat was tender and not gamey at all. (However, I do normally have a high tolerance for gamey flavor of lamb.)

主菜我點了咖哩羊,Aaron點了牙買加煙燻香料雞,兩個都很不錯。我以為山羊肉的肉質會很硬又有羊騷味,但完全不是!肉還蠻軟的,沒什麼腥味,雖然說我天生對羊騷味忍受力很高,問我可能不準。

curry goat

Ackee and fish was very dry and was not impressive in seasoning. I was convinced that this resort cooking did not do this national dish of Jamaica justice.

我的前菜阿開木煮鹹魚不怎麼厲害,鹹魚很乾,味道也不令人印象深刻,我一直相信一定是吃到飯店裡面不厲害的,這可是牙買加國菜,外面家常菜餐廳應該有比這好吃的ackee and fish.

ackee and fish

Restaurant Do’s and Don’ts 餐廳地雷 

The second evening, a group of people were going to dinner together. We tried to hint around and direct people to the steak house, which we wanted to try, but the group was determined to go to the Jamaican restaurant, which we already went. We did not want to pass on an opportunity to have dinner with the bride and the groom and get to know people, so we caved.

Our waiter of the previous night was extremely nice and hospitable. We had a great dining experience. So we thought maybe we could get him to overlook the rule and let us order from the menu of Lotus, the Asian restaurant that shared a kitchen with this Jamaica place.

Jamaica had some Chinese and Japanese population. Many people from our group liked this Asian restaurant. This was a nice hotel. How bad can its Asian food be? Besides, it was really tempting to order as many sushi as we wanted without having to look at prices. Sounded like a good idea to us.

The sushi turned out to be really, really, really bad. Rice was overcooked and overly pressed to a point it was smashed and a tad gooey. Maybe other entrees were good, but we were only able to order appetizers and sushi from the Asian menu. If you know what good sushi is like, don’t get sushi from the Grand Palladium.

第二天晚上,跟參加婚禮的人們一起吃飯,我們努力暗示大家選牛排館,但眾人心意已決要去吃我們吃過的牙買加菜,我們只好又去一次。前一天晚上的服務生非常熱情又人很好,Aaron給了很多小費,我們想說來拜託他偷偷讓我們點隔壁亞洲菜的壽司跟前菜。牙買加有日本人跟中國人,這是個大飯店,我們又聽了很多好的評價,所以想說它們壽司應該不會太差。加上可以不用管價錢隨便點壽司,聽起來很誘人。沒想到壽司超難吃!壽司飯過熟又被壓到爛,口感很可怕。

fish tea

From the Jamaican restaurant menu, I ordered a Jamaican fish tea this time. Since it was a Caribbean dish, I somehow thought it would be heavily seasoned with spices and maybe with a hint of lime or something citrusy. It was nothing like what I thought. The fish tea was very light and bland.

這次我點了牙買加魚湯,我以為,既然它是個加勒比海菜,應該會有很多香料和一些檸檬萊姆味,沒想到是個清淡無比的沒味道魚湯。

Prior to the trip, I read about reviews online that dinner at the Poseidon near Sunset Cove was terrible. However, some of the people from our group were satisfied with their dinner at Poseidon, and we were starving on the second day at the Sunset Cove. So I thought, it was just lunch; we were not paying; how bad could it be?

Well, it was bad.

行前看到網路上的評價都說飯店裡面的Poseidon餐廳晚餐很難吃,但我們的親友團去吃了晚餐十分滿意,我們這天剛好在Sunset Cove,兩個人都很餓,想說只是個午餐,應該不會多糟。

我們又錯了。

Poseidon Grand Palladium Jamaica

Nobody came to take our drink or food order for a long, long time. We waited for forever. Giving up on the waiting staff, Aaron got up, stayed in line at a bar next to us, and got us a coke. It took forever to get our food. My jerk chicken was not good. Aaron ordered some sort of grilled chicken sandwich and it was tasteless and dry. He is an extremely generous tipper, but the service was so bad that we left without any tip.

If you were in Sunset Cove, the best combination would be to order jerk chicken and paella from the Jerk Hut and get yourself a soft serve swirl from the Poseidon’s salad bar. It would be a waste of time on terrible food if you ate lunch at Poseidon.

我們等了三百年都沒人要幫我們點飲料或點餐,只好自己跑到旁邊的bar去排隊點飲料。好不容易點完餐,沙拉吧拿的東西都吃完了,食物還沒上來,再等了一百年,我點的jerk chicken很弱,一點也不入味又沒有煙燻或燒烤的香味,Aaron的烤雞三明治超難吃,很乾又沒味道,麵包也不好吃。Aaron向來給小費很慷慨,但服務差到我們沒放小費就走了。

Jerk chicken

Yah mon! Coconut Mon!

Hands down the best part about this resort: Coconut man!

As we walk back from Sunset Cove to our room on the second day, we saw people walking around sipping coconut water from a cracked open shell. But we did not see fresh coconuts available at any bar or restaurants. Then we finally found the mysterious coconut man!

As a gardener and probably handyman working on the resort, he picked and hid a bunch of coconuts behind a bush. Whenever hotel guests who knew where to look for fresh coconuts wanted one, he dug out one and cut it open in front of you. Although I was never a big fan of coconut, under the heat and burning sun, coconut water was so refreshing and a perfect way to re-hydrate.

Every time we talked by this corner, I look for my coconut man. The second time, he was collecting some branches and leaves on the ground. I was not sure how to go about this. So I walked over, and politely asked, “Excuse me. Can I please get a coconut?” He stood up, smiled, and said:

“Yah mon! Coconut mon!”

The first coconut I got was very ripe and yellow, with flesh inside. That coconut made my day. I drank all the liquid and started eating the jelly-like flesh. Aaron and I hopped in the main pool afterwards. That was one of the best moments during this vacation. I was submerged in pool water in shade, keeping my empty coconut floating in the pool while eating coconut flesh scooped out with s straw.

整個渡假村最厲害的地方!新鮮椰子coconut mon!

第二天從Sunset Cove回來路上一直看到路人拿著新鮮椰子在喝椰子水,我們十分困惑,在餐廳酒吧或沙灘都沒有看到有人兜售椰子,後來發現是這個coconut man! 他平常在渡假村的花園工作,每天會摘好椰子藏在樹叢後面,遇到有人想要椰子水就現場剖開給遊客。我平常不愛椰子,但曬太陽走路大半天,椰子水真的很消暑。從此之後每次經過這個角落都會找一下我的coconut mon。第二次看到他的時候,他在工作,清一些掉下來或剪下來的樹枝樹葉,我不知道如何開口打斷別人工作為了一顆椰子,剛一走近,跟他眼神對到,馬上抓住機會很有禮貌試探性地問 can I have a coconut please? Coconut mon人超好,馬上微笑說 Yah mon! Coconut mon! 走到花園另一邊,變出一顆椰子。

第一次拿到的椰子很熟,是黃色的,喝完椰子水之後,泡在游泳池裡,讓我的椰子浮在水面上,沒事用吸管把邊邊的椰肉刮起來吃,是整趟旅程最享受的一的下午!

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3 thoughts on “Jamaica: All-Inclusive Stay at the Grand Palladium Resort

  1. Pingback: Jamaica: Seven Mile Beach at Negril 牙買加七哩沙灘 | Near and Far

  2. Pingback: Jamaica: Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat and Soursop | Near and Far

  3. Pingback: Jamaican Food / Recipe: Vacation in Negril – Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat and Soursop | THE ISLAND JOURNAL

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