Discovering Jamaica with Transat

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We had the chance to discover in November the beautiful island of Jamaica with Transat, to be more exact, the region between Montego Bay and Negril, in the city of Lucea. We stayed at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton hotel, where luxury meets relaxation and breath taking views. This 5 star resort is located 32 km from the Montego Bay airport, which is about 40 minutes. The shuttle ride from the airport to the hotel is amazing. The views are spectacular and the landscapes are uniques. Get your camera ready as soon as you hit the road because the discovery starts there.

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A MOUNTAINSIDE RESORT

This beautiful and luxurious oceanfront resort, located on the western side of Jamaica, the Grand Palladium, has 2 sections and we stayed on the Lady Hamilton part. It has a multitude of greeneries, beautiful sidewalks and little lounge areas and offers exceptional amenities. There is a continuous onsite shuttle service that we took sometimes because the kids were too tired to walk, but otherwise, we walked all the time, everything is quite close and the walk is totally worth it.

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SOFT TONE ROOM

We had a beautiful Junior suite of the family collection. The room was pretty nice with a contemporary style and warm wooden furnishings.

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We had more then enough space for the 5 of us, with a full bathroom and a bath… which is always nice to have when traveling with kids, if you ask me.

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GASTRONOMY

Because the food is definitely a big concern when it comes to choose a resort or destination and I totally agree with that. One major comment I would have is that every dish was really tasty, with all it’s fresh herbs and island seasonings. Don’t be afraid to try many of their dishes, you will definitely discover new favorites, just like we did. The resort counts 10 restaurants in total + 2 huts for lunch, and here are our favorite…. because food is important when making a resort decision right? To resume, we ate well. Really, really well!!

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We all know that with kids, it gets sometimes tricky finding the right meal for them but you won’t be disappointed with this resort. My 3 sons found meals they loved, all from the regular menu with local flavours, even if they offered a popular kids menu choice or that we could’ve opt for the buffet.

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Our favorite was definitely the El DORADO – STEAKHOUSE.  Ask for a banquette, it’s really cozy, you will love it with kids. You need to try the filet mignon, it’s really good, even if you are not a meat lover just like me. The boys enjoyed the little salad bar to start, because we all know that kids loves to pick their own stuff and make their plates. You can ask for smaller portions at the restaurant for the kids too.

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We really enjoyed the POSEIDON – SEAFOOD restaurant, were we really enjoyed eating outside with the warm ocean breeze. Again there was a salad bar ( so popular with my sons ) and we loved, loved the tuna steak and the seafood and fish plate. Everything was so yummy and tasty again. Also, the presentations where always stunning.

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Finally, you need to try the XAYMAICA – JAMAICAN restaurant and be open to try yummy local dishes. We took the akee saltfish appetizer ( that is their national dish usually served as breakfast ) and the coconut shrimps that were both AMAZING. For main dish we tried the coconut sea trout, the curry goat and the escovitch snapper. So yummy again and what an EXPERIENCE! When at the beach during the day, we had lunch almost everyday at the jerk huts and honestly, it was the BEST place to have it!

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BREAKFAST and LUNCH

We love eating outside when we travel as much as we can so we had breakfasts at the BLUE LAGOON, an outdoor terrasse with a view on the main pool and beach with a buffet (between the Bhogali and the El Agave restaurants). We had lunch either at the jerk huts or Poseidon restaurant, which was 1 minute walk from the Sunset Cove beach… because with kids,  we’re always in a  hurry because they are always hungry right?

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LOCAL FOOD

If you ask me what are the moments and things I enjoyed the most during our Jamaïcan trip, well discovering new culinary traditions and dishes is definitely one of them. Discovering new plates is definitely a reason why I love to travel. The jamaicans knows how to cook the tastiest fruits, local vegetables, fresh fishes and locally grown herbs and spices. You will be pleased at the hotel or if you eat outside because all the food was delicious, fresh and really tasty. You need to try our favorites, the Jerk chicken, the Akee Saltfish and the plantains.

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SWIMMING and POOLS

The Lady Hamilton counts 6 pools, and the way they are located on the site, you never feel like being at the same spot. They are all well located and easy to access and walk to. The water is pretty warm which was a plus with the boys… because the youngest doesn’t like it if the water is too cold. We enjoyed the built-in chairs in some of them while the kids could swim around and have fun! We brought them small pool balls which they always like to play with when we travel.

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BEACHES

What I really enjoyed and loved about this resort is definitely the layouts of the multiple beaches. There are several beaches, all located in between big rocks which makes the view a little more natural and wild. The sand was very very soft and the water itself was very clear, with almost no sea weeds around, so we could enjoy swimming quietly.

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WATER PARK & SLIDES

To my boys surprise, there was a nice and fun water park, perfect for all ages, with fun slides. Even Axel was able to do them, so it was the perfect setup for them. Their pool is perfect for their hight of course and the enjoyed the games and splashing seahorse in the pool. We always bring balls with us so the kids had fun for hours.

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KIDS CLUB

The cute and fun kids club, next to the main pool, has supervised activities, indoor and outdoor areas, a splash pool as well as a craft and arts room. My youngest sons enjoyed the little pool as well as the big playset park. There was also a mini-disco during the evening to party with friends. We loved the little rides that we could borrow as we wished.

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SPORTS and ACTIVITIES

The boys enjoyed some tennis and basketball games outside. I recommend that you go very early right after breakfast because it is really hot if you go later. We had lots of fun at the Sunset Cove beach, where all the water sports are happening. We had the chance to try the kayak, the snorkelling and catamaran! oh the fun we had! We brought our own snorkelling equipment, but if you don’t have yours, you can rent it for free at the sports hut.

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The boys loved to play pingpong at the beach, volleyball by the main pool and giant chest game as well, located on the site. One thing for sure is that we were never bored at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton with all the animation, festive vibe and happy and welcoming staff.

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KIDS MOCKTAILS

Happy kids makes happy parents right? Besides sports, activities, beach and pool, my boys lives for food… and mocktails, an a special exception they know that we will approve on vacations. So of course they were more then served with the food and buffets but let’s talk about the mocktails or the pina colada “no alcool”… even Axel ordered his own like a big boy! They even make smoothies with real fruits and coconut milk, they were really yummy. We even had them in the morning after our sports as a snack.

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VISTING THE COUNTRY

If there is something you really need to do is to go out of the resort, visit the country and I guarantee that you will be amazed with all the landscapes, how friendly the locals are and all the beautiful hidden gems this country has to offer. I totally think it’s the best way to learn about a country.

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We booked beautiful excursions and I can’t wait to share my experiences on my next blog post with lots of details, must see and do and many, many pictures.

Here’s a sneak peak at the beautiful locations we visited and that we ALL enjoyed so much, I’m telling you, it’s a MUST to do with kids, even young ones.

YS FALLS

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RICKS CAFE

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LUCEA

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NEGRIL

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BLACK RIVER

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ST-ELIZABETH

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MONTEGO BAY

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TRANSAT

Did you know that Air Transat was named World’s Best Leisure Airline in 2018?

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We’ve been traveling with Transat for many many years now and I need to admit that they stay my choice #1 without any hesitation. The reasons why I love this carrier so much, especially now that I have kids, is because they welcome for free, in the kids club  little ones from 2 to 11 and offer them a kit filled with cool travel goodies and many on-board surprises to make air travel fun… and to my sons greatest happiness, they tried Transat new kids menu wit a yummy Mac and cheese… and for our greatest happiness, we can benefit from a free seat selection, a dedicated family check-in counter and pre-boarding for all our family… which are a MUST when traveling with little ones if you ask me!

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Check out all the many more Transat kids club advantages here.

I totally recommend the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton and I am sure you will be able to make beautiful family memories like we did.

Thanks for reading and feel free if you have any questions regarding our experience, Transat or the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton.

You can find all details and book your trip here with Transat.

Stephanie

 

 

 

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