We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

Which Puerto Aventuras hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Indiana
Level Contributor
341 posts
37 reviews
Save Topic
Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

Looking at resorts for a trip next May. We have never stayed at a large resort, but I am trying to talk my husband into considering one. I like the look of the pools being near the ocean and facilities at Barcelo. We like the idea of not having to make dinner reservations and unlimited ala carte dinners at Grand Paladium. The beach looks about equal at both resorts.

I always have thought I would book Paladium if we did book a mega resort for the unlimited ala cartes, but everyone that I know that has been to Barcelo has loved it. And the one person I know that went to Paladium did not love it. She didn't hate it, but would not book again. Looking for peoples opinions and thoughts on these two resorts.

We like a comfortable room, good food and good drinks. We also like a resort that is easy to get around and to go from beach to pool to restaurant. We really like resorts with a restaurant close to the beach and pool for lunch. Bars and restaurants with outdoor dining is a huge plus. Live music is best, but we can be quite happy with recorded music and somewhere to sit and have some drinks or dance in the evening.

We have always enjoyed the convenience of a smaller resort and wondered which of these resorts would be the easist to navigate and would have the best chance at rooms close to restaurants, beach and pool?

We also wonder which would have the best food and in particular if the buffets at Barcelo were good, since we would have to eat there some nights.

Another question, what are the beds like at these resorts? Hard as a rock? We try and pick resorts that do not have hard beds. Iberostar Tucan had a bed that was like sleeping on a slab of concrete. Even with a topper, my husband woke up sore.

Last question: Which resort would be closest to the highway? We like to take colectivos to Akumal and Tulum and sometimes Playa Del Carmen or Puerto Morelos.

Any help would be appreciated. I always worry before booking and try very hard to make sure that we will be getting the right resort for us. This will be a snorkeling trip, so close proximity to Akumal might be nice. Thanks again!

Tequesta, Florida
Destination Expert
for Puerto Aventuras, Punta Cana
Level Contributor
9,531 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

Hands-down, go with the Grand Palladium!

With regards to proximity to the highway, unless you are at the entry-level Barcelo Caribe section which is closest to the resort's main gate, Palladium takes it!

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
841 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

Grand Palladium, no doubt about it. Which Barcelo are you looking at? I stayed at Barcelo Beach (the cheaper section) and buffets were very mediocre (in comparison). Grand Palladium is much much better and there you're not limited to the # of nights. At Barcelo if you're staying 7 nights, you're limited to 3 ala carts and ala carts there are not impressive food wise at all. Between the 2 I would definitely go with Grand Palladium. And as pp said, the distance to Akumal/Tulum from either is about the same - they're in the same area.

Also FYI, not sure if you're a beach or pool person...at Barcelo (cheaper sections) there are no palapas on the beach, you only get shade from the palm trees. At Grand Palladium there are palapas.

Charleston, South...
Level Contributor
10,847 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

The Palladium is close to the highway (Colonial lobby). I have used collectives from there there many times.

As was said, unlimited a la carts for all. One (Punta Emilia) is on the beach. There are also two beach bars on the beach (Colonial and White Sand) that serve food 24/7 including lunch.

Both resorts have a loyal following. One thing that is negative to many is that the Barcelo now has a dolphin pool. The Palladium does not.

The Palladium has a ton of shaded loungers.

There are new beds in Kantenah and Royal which I find comfortable. Colonial will soon have new beds (under reno now).

Palladium is close to Akumal and also has some good snorkeling off the resort beaches.

Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
1,418 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

Both are good resorts... but my preference is the Barcelo.... I have been to both and the snorkeling is superior at the Barcelo. Palladium is better for evening entertainment and live bands... Barcelo's pools are better... The Japanese(show table) and the French ala carts at the Barcelo are fabulous... Stayed at the Colonial at the Palladium and did not like the wooden walk ways, very slippery when wet.

near Chicago
Level Contributor
1,370 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

We've been to both and in my opinion the Palladium is the best choice. One of the reasons is what you stated in your original post............unlimited ala cartes. Another reason, in my opinion, is better service at Palladium.

Indiana
Level Contributor
341 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

Thanks so much for your replies! Are any of the pools at Palladium located close enough to see the ocean from the pool? My husband mentioned that last night as being important to him. And what about the quality of the food served? Do you think one resort is better than the others? Our friends that went to Barcelo said the food was very good.Food (and in particular deserts and ice cream) is very important to my husband.

Stowe, Vermont
Level Contributor
7,084 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

Which Palladium is the best - is there a ranking among the resorts?

Canada
Level Contributor
2,264 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

We have been to both resorts. For years we absolutely loved the Barceló Maya. Then when they put in a dolphinarium (and lied about it for months on their Facebook page) we chose the Grand Palladium. Both are great resorts and we loved some things about Barceló better....the pools, the grounds in particular. We stayed at 4 of the 5 sections at Barceló. At the Grand Palladium we have only stayed in the Kantenah section (this resort has 5 sections as well with the Royal Suites on par with Barceló's Palace). We found the service much better at the GP as well as the entertainment at night in the lobbies, the à la cartes which don't have to be reserved and the free wifi. We find at Barceló they nickel and dime you on many things. If it weren't for the dolphin prison, we would go back to Barceló but I couldn't stay there knowing they profit from animal abuse.

The beaches are fabulous at both resorts but the Grand Palladium has palapas as well as many palm trees. The Palladium also has the salt water pool which is neat and the lagoon where you can take boat rides. Both resorts require a LOT of walking but I think Barceló wins on resort layout whereas the Palladium is very spread out.

Indiana
Level Contributor
341 posts
37 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

Thanks again for your help. Still not sure where we will end up booking. And still not sure if my husband will really want to stay at a mega resort. I think it would be interesting to try a large resort. Now if only I can convince him. He likes to stay at resorts in 500 -600 room range. That size of resort is very convenient, but I think it could be time to try something larger. Grand Palladium is the most likely pick. Thanks again!

Charleston, South...
Level Contributor
10,847 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Barcelo or Grand Palladium?

We used to go to smaller resorts. When we first went to the P 11 years ago it had only 2 resorts.Now that it has five areas we love it for all of the options it provides. Also keep in mind that you can se as little or as much of the complex as you wish. Each side (colonial/Kantenah)(White Sand/Riviera) share a large main pool, share large buffets and have some a la carts. The Royal area has its own gourmet restaurant, pool, lobby and amenities.

The beaches vary with Kantenah having a large white sand beach with lots of palapas and a beach bar for drinks; the Colonial beach is more active with volleyball, water sports and a beach bar with food(24/7). The White Sand beach has a reef for snorkeling and a beach bar with food 24/7. The Riviera has a salt water pool and is lovely and peaceful. Beach bar there for drinks.