Jamaica! Jamaica! Jamaica! You were everything I imagined and then some. I just came back from an amazing kidcation trip with my family thanks to Sunwing vacations and the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa in Jamaica.
First of all, if Jamaica is not on your short list for your next family vacation, do yourself a favor and add it, your kids will thank you later.The kids were a little jealous when I took my trip to Punta Cana with my friend back in March. So when this kidcation opportunity knocked they could not be happier.
The excitement started building about a month before the trip, but you know how I am, I started packing maybe two days before. Which is not bad considering how busy my life is right now. We wanted this trip to be relaxing and more about the kids having fun. So, no I did not pack 10 suitcases but, feel free to see some of the stuff I brought with me.
Jamaica is just four hours away from Toronto, which makes it a perfect destination for families. When traveling with kids, the less time we have to fly, the better. As usual, we had a smooth ride with Sunwing Airlines and the Elite Plus service made our traveling experience even better. I highly recommend it.
Because we arrived in Jamaica very early, the airport was almost empty. We probably made it out of there within 30 minutes. Our Nexus tour van was waiting for us to take us to our resort.
Where to Stay
When we travel with the kids, obviously finding a family friendly resort is a priority. The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa, located about 30 minutes from the Montego Bay Airport was just that. Minutes after stepping onto the property we were welcomed with cocktails and guided to the reception to check-in in our room. They provided us with everything we needed, including a list of programs for the week and map to the property. Believe me, you need that map to get you around at least the first 2 days. This resort is by far one of the most stunning and biggest places we’ve stayed at. Our beautiful suite located in building 28 had a stunning view with two large balconies. Hubby and I could sit there all day and enjoy watching and listening to endless waves hitting the shores.
What to eat
There are plenty of restaurants throughout the property featuring diverse cuisine. You’ll get to choose between 7 A la carte restaurants, 5 buffets and over 10 bars (swim-up bar, theater bar, sports bar, lobby bar).If you aren’t feeling like venturing out in the evening, the room service is available 24/7. Let’s just say you will not go hungry or thirsty during your stay in this property. Here are some places we liked:
The Jerk Hut:
One word: Tasty! This was one of our favorite lunch spots.The Jerk Hut is a hidden gem at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa. It’s located at the other end of the resort. I bet many people won’t even make it to that side of the resort. The jerk chicken is the best we’ve eaten. The spicy sauce offered next to the buffet is what takes it to the next level. Grab some, head to the beach or go sit by the Poseidon bar to enjoy some music.
Chez Bubbas is an absolute must try for any steak lovers out there. If you make it to theGrand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa make sure to reserve your spot as the place get filled pretty quickly. Everything from the food to the service, to the atmosphere, was an A in my books. From the cozy French like décor to the romantic setup, it is the perfect way to end your day!
The buffets (Mo-Bay and Negril) morning/night
The buffet is just like all the buffets at all inclusive resorts. You will find little exceptions here and there. For instance, I loved eating plantains in the morning and sipping on some island cocktails. Because of the size of the resort sometimes there are three breakfasts buffets open for your convenience.
We ate at El Agave on our second night; the kids and my husband were craving for some Mexican food. The restaurant is located right next to the infinity bar on the property. We enjoyed being outdoors and listening to the waterfalls while enjoying our meals. The menu is pretty decent with your usual Fajitas, burritos, nachos, there is even a salad bar.
All the A La Carte restaurants we’ve tried have kids’ menus. If your kids are not so much into the main menu, feel free to check out the kids’ menu for the usual suspect (chicken nuggets, fries, cheeseburger, and pizza).
What to do
The Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa has plenty of activities to keep you and your little ones busy all throughout your stay. For your convenience, the resort offers babysitting for kid’s age one to three years in the baby club. Children 4 to 12 years can also enjoy some time away from their parents by participating in events such as cooking, movie time, face and t-shirt painting at the kids’ club. The club even has his own pool and playground. Though we did not make it to all (kids and adults) the activities, the below activities will give you a little taste of what to expect:
During your stay, your kids will have plenty of opportunities to meet and even dine with the characters from the TV series, The Raggs. Amongst other things, they will also enjoy the excellent waterpark by the main lobby, Paddle boating, canoeing by the Jerk Hut, mini golf, Archery, Tennis, and Basketball at the sports center.Parents can enjoy the spa, the dance shows at night, or live music by the Infinity Bar.
A few nice touches we found made the experience special: we had the same cleaning lady the whole time we were there, she introduced herself and left a nice note after every cleaning. The service was consistently excellent. The resort is quite big, there is ample space to walk, jog and if you fancy a ride, there are shuttles running all day that can take you around. Kids love riding the shuttles. There are covered walkways to shield you from rain and the sun as you enjoy the resort. Last, I want to call out one amazing thing about Montego Bay: as we rode from the airport to the resort, we realized how much green this Jamaica had, it felt like the city was built around nature as opposed to displacing nature so the city could be built. This inside of the resort felt exactly the same. It’s a hard feeling to describe but being there feels just right.
Whether you are traveling to the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa for your honeymoon, wedding, or a family vacation, you are in for a full and amazing experience.