My neighbors planned a group trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica. They worked with a travel agency called Get Up and Go that made accommodations for the group at Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton. I don't usually do all inclusive resorts because I like to enjoy the local culture so I typically opt for an Airb&b but Jamaica is not one of those destinations...no offense. Ok, so here's the breakdown.
Jamaica requires a travel authorization document as well as a negative Covid test. I would recommend checking www.visitjamaica.com before you travel to understand all of their requirements. Leaving the US, the airline checked for these documents several times so make sure you have them!
The check-in process at the resort was a headache! The lines were long and they were extremely slow. They offered welcome drinks I guess to distract people from the wait time. We stayed in an ocean-view double queen suite. The room was decent. It was clean (which is most important to me) and had an amazing view of the ocean. My only complaint was that the beds were hard. The resort offered an app that allowed you to look up information, restaurant menus, maps, etc which was really helpful. The resort is more villa style so you had to walk to the main buildings for the pool, shops and restaurants. They offered shuttle service as well. The resort grounds were well kept and clean. They were constantly wiping down counter tops and offering hand sanitizer. Mask were required in common areas. The infinity pool was beautiful and probably my favorite feature however, it closed at 6pm. They also had a smaller adults only pool that stayed open until 10pm. I was not a fan of the buffets which were open for breakfast. For lunch, the only options were the Jerk Huts which only served jerk chicken and rice and peas. I actually enjoyed it, so I wasn't upset but I could imagine how after a few days, you would want something else for lunch. The restaurants were open for dinner. The restaurants were nicely decorated with modern furniture. They offered about 15 different restaurants, however a few of them were still closed due to Covid. The food was decent but service was really slow.
The resort offered a 2 for 1 special on massages so my bff and I enjoyed a spa day. The spa was calm and relaxing. The masseuse wore gloves to decrease infection risk. Their spa facilities were outside which was a little different but I actually like it. They had a lazy river pool, hot tub, cold immersion pool, sauna and steam room. The spa also had a juice bar and light snacks.
The resort provided Covid testing for free. A negative Covid test is required to fly back to the US. Their system was smooth and seamless. They provided print out results within 30 mins and also emailed the results.
I really just wanted to relax this trip so I only did one excursion. We chartered a Catamaran in Negril that took us out on the water and stopped at Rick's Cafe. Our tour guide smuggled some chicken and beef patties on the boat for us. Probably the best patty I've ever had! I just feel like Rick's Cafe is one of the things you have to do when you go to Jamaica. It was a cool vibe. It was fun to watch people jump off the cliffs. The jerk chicken and rice and peas were really good.
All in all, Jamaica was a good trip.
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Chantel is a healthcare professional, restaurant owner and Independent Travel Agent. She enjoys taking advantage of all that life has to offer.
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