I was able to take a little trip last month to the popular Caribbean vacation destination with clear blue waters, sandy white beaches, and a “don’t worry, be happy,” feel-good culture: Jamaica. This was my first time to visit the country that so many of my fellow travelers visit (with very good reason)!
I jumped at the opportunity to go on this little getaway, on behalf of the Jamaican Tourist Board, before we add four more kids to the family and major vacations might become a little sparse for the next few years. I left Jamaica with the feeling of excitement to bring my whole family back in the future to experience it all together.
For the first half of the trip we stayed at The Grand Palladium, a large, all-inclusive, family resort. It has 7 a la carte restaurants with a wide variety of cuisine, 3 buffet restaurants, 13 bars distributed throughout the complex and the largest pool in Jamaica. As you can tell this is one BIG resort, which would be a plus for some families, but I can imagine others preferring something a bit smaller.
I stayed in a Junior sweet with one King Bed. This type of room runs for $300 a night right now with a max occupancy of two adults and two children. On vacation, I know many people don’t spend too much time in the room, but a nice room is a plus. The room was clean, well-decorated, and offered all of the best amenities. The view from my balcony was even better.
The sprawling resort has beautiful architecture and is well kept. The Grand Palladium is the cleanest all-inclusive resort I’ve stayed at, especially the pool.
At some hotels and resorts I’m a little apprehensive to take a swim, but the large pool seemed to be the most popular place in the whole resort and I was impressed that with that many people it was always crystal clear.
One important feature of the Grand Palladium is that it is family-friendly. There are always activities scheduled for all ages: aerobics, beach volleyball, soccer tournaments, beach barbecues, entertainment in the evenings, a teen room and more. The kids club and nursery is important for parents, where children as young as 9 months are watched by staff that are certified by the government.
For those traveling on a romantic vacation, but still want the all-inclusive resort activities and amenities, The Grand Palladium offers adult-only areas, pools, and beaches that have a different atmosphere from the rest of the resort. These are definitely areas I could see my husband and I taking a little time for ourselves without the kids.
Overall, I think The Grand Palladium is a resort I would bring my family back to. Although, I think what is both a blessing and a curse is how big the property is. I love how many different restaurants, pools, beaches and activities are offered, but at the same time I would be a little scared that I would lose someone in my brood of five.
But as a young family, the price point and the plus of the all-inclusive is what we would be looking for in a Jamaican vacation. The atmosphere is kid-friendly and offers a wide variety of activities we wouldn’t ever hear an, “I’m bored!” We would be able to have fun as a family, but with the availability of child-care, knowing that my husband and I could spend some time together alone is also a big plus.
The variety and the quality of the restaurant and buffet options surprised me. My favorite restaurant was Bubba’s BBQ where we had a filet mignon and a nice wine followed by some local live music at one of the many bars.
All in all, what would bring me back to Jamaica is the beautiful ocean view and the “island life” feeling. No matter what resort you choose, I recommend venturing off of the property to experience Jamaica!
Have you been to The Grand Palladium Jamaica? What did you think?