Grand Palladium Resorts & Spa celebrates 15 years of excellence
GRAND Palladium Jamaica Resorts & Spa, a jewel in the Palladium Hotel Group, recently marked a significant milestone, completing 15 successful years in Jamaica.
The roots of the Palladium Hotel Group trace back to the late 1960s in Ibiza, founded by the visionary businessman Abel Matutes Juan. His dream was to make paradise accessible to travellers, offering them unforgettable experiences.
“Our founder is a visionary, the kind of person who sees things where normal people don’t,” Gerardo De Groot, the general manager of Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa, expressed in admiration for the founder while speaking with the Jamaica Observer.
In the early 2000s, the group acquired land in Jamaica and other Caribbean destinations. In 2006, Don Abel Matutes, chairman of Spain’s Fiesta Hotel Group, fulfilled a commitment made to the late reggae superstar Bob Marley by breaking ground for a new 1,600-room hotel in Jamaica. This project marked the Fiesta Group’s first venture into the English-speaking Caribbean.
In July 2008, the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa and the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa were inaugurated, offering a myriad of facilities and services just 25 minutes from Montego Bay Airport. The initial investment amounted to $220 million, boasting 1,054 rooms across two properties.
Over the years, the hotel expanded, breaking ground in 2011 for an additional room under phase two, reaching a total of 1,800 rooms. Completed today, the resort boasts about its pool, which is the largest in Jamaica and among the hotel chains. It also has an additional three pools, along with beaches, 10 restaurants (seven a la carte and three show cooking), two lobbies, a spa, five stores, 10 bars, a gym, a 3,500-square-foot meeting room, and several locations for weddings, events, and parties.
The location in Hanover, though perfect for the founders, posed recruitment challenges. The hotel addressed the issue by providing housing solutions for staff residing far from the premises, contributing to a robust employment rate.
“We are one of the few hotels that have housing right here, and we house like 400 team members,” De Groot mentioned.
The hotel has plans for additional housing areas to further mitigate recruitment challenges. The location has had its upside as the hotel has leveraged it to offer competitive rates, contributing to healthy revenue numbers. The hotel did face some negative reviews in previous years as it faced challenges due to building deterioration. In 2022 and throughout 2023, Grand Palladium Jamaica Resorts & Spa invested over US$30 million in renovation and refurbishment.
“2023 has been a good year, but we are going for an even better 2024,” De Groot optimistically stated. “We will be building another hotel on this property,” De Groot shared while revealing future plans emphasising ongoing refurbishments in 2024 to the Business Observer.
The comprehensive plan includes renovations to restaurants, increasing seating capacity, enhancing guest experiences, and improving back-end operations for team members.
“Aside from the outward appearance, we are working on the kitchen,” De Groot added. “That’s where the service comes from, so we need to provide a comfortable environment for our team members to enhance the guest experience.”
The hotel’s focus is on achieving a balanced ratio between occupancy levels and rates, with internal budgets guiding their strategic approach. As Grand Palladium Jamaica Resorts & Spa looks towards the future, their commitment to excellence and continuous improvement remains at the forefront of their vision.
“I would like to see Grand Palladium as the best hotel in Jamaica; we are working hard to make it happen. The company is taking the right steps. We, with the team, are taking the right steps. I am confident those fruits will be coming soon,” said De Groot.