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Reviewed 19 May 2012

There's a first time for everything I guess, and this was the first time my husband and I have been steered wrong by Trip Advisor reviews. We exchanged our time share through RCI to stay at the Grand Palladium Colonial the week of May 11-18. Despite everything the resort told us, this place is so far from a 5 star resort it's laughable. First thing, don't EVER use your weeks to trade here if you're on RCI. We did a cost comparison and what we paid just for the all inclusive fee was more money than a package would have been through Apple vacations. Save your money and go out of pocket for this one.

Pros:
- The resort is eco-friendly, which was a nice touch. All the trees had tags with explanations about their origins, and we saw tons of wildlife (iguanas, coati, wild cats, etc) so that was awesome. There were signs everywhere about the different animals and the environment, and we learned a lot.
-The beach was spectacular, and the pool was huge. If we had spent all our time in these areas alone this would be a 4+ review. We never had a problem finding a chair in the shade or in the sun. Sometimes we had to walk a bit further but there was always something. The pools were very clean, we watched them scrubbing the stairs and in pool chairs several times throughout the day. Swim up bar was great!
-Rodizio Restaurant! This place was amazing. It's a Brazilian style steakhouse and the food was out of this world. They have beef (tenderloin and brisket), turkey, chicken, pork (tenderloin and sausage), rabbit and lamb. We were lucky enough to eat here twice, and we probably would have done so every night if we had the chance. Our waiter here was David and he had us laughing so hard, after he'd convinced us he'd brought over some "anaconda' for us to eat. Just a fun time all around!
-For the most part wait staff was very friendly and helpful. We never had a problem being ignored at the bar like others have posted. Tip or no tip (it was rare that we had no $1s, but it did happen) we were treated the same.

Cons:
- We checked in through Colonial, but were 'upgraded' to a Jr Suite in Kantenah. I can't overstate how disappointed we were with this room. First, the bathroom was filthy (see pictures). There was hair and gunk in the bathtub and the towel rack had some kind of gunk on it as well. Part of the 'upgrade' was that we gained a sitting area with a couch. It was ripped, stained and generally just crap (again, see pictures). So the 'upgrade' was useless. The room in general was just very shabby. We've heard the rooms in Kantenah are going to be renovated, but they're several years late on that, I think.
- The pillows were *horrible*. Like really, really bad. Yes they offer better pillows, but in my opinion you should never have to PAY for decent pillows in a 5 star resort. They should come standard. ($10 when a manager responds to this they'll point out the pillows for rent...) Also, the sheets were scratchy and stained.
- A few weeks before we checked in someone emailed us asking about room preference, queens vs king size bed. My husband and I are both tall, and not incredibly slender ;) so we requested a king. Upon check in we found out that we were in a 2 queen (I don't think they're queens... more like full size) room. We immediately requested a room change, only to be told that the resort was full. Our concierge, Ornella (who was fabulous, by the way) put us on the waiting list. We checked in on Friday. On Sunday and Monday we checked, still no rooms available. On Tuesday we got fed up with the lack of communication and finally went to speak to a manager. We were offered a Standard Room in Kantenah, on the far side of the resort away from the beach. Trade one crappy room for an even crappier one? No thanks. I was absolutely willing to move to a standard room, provided it was not worse than the one we were in. This was not the case. He offered to replace our couch and have our room deep cleaned. FIRSTLY, this is beside the point, the room should have been deep cleaned in the first place! And SECOND, it never happened. Nothing was replaced, and the room was left just as dingy as it was when we checked in. I don't want to see a response here from management saying they wish we'd spoken to someone. We DID. His name was Eduardo and he basically told us to pound sand. Just look at the pictures, this rooms speaks for itself and the resort should be embarrassed to have presented this to a guest. When they offered to make it better to get us to go away, no one followed through. No one ever apologized, lots of shrugging shoulders and 'eh, whatever' behavior. They kept pointing out how they'd upgraded us! The fact that it was useless was beyond them.
-Food at the buffets was perpetually cold. On our second to last night we saw someone walking around checking the food with a thermometer but they definitely weren't doing it at the beginning of the week. The restaurants other than Rodizio were just okay. The buffalo wings at Ribs&More were sweet. The meatballs at Portofino tasted like tacos. Not inedible or anything, just not very good. The desserts all had the texture of gelatine. For a dessert freak, I stopped eating it a few days in, especially at the buffets. The ice cream machine at the bar was broken 6/7 days that we were there.
-The time share pitch. My husband and I have owned through RCI for 4 years. We've been on several time share tours before, but NOTHING tops how badly we were treated at GP. We're used to standing our ground, but these people just weren't having it. We went on the tour, then entered a room at the White Sands lobby to talk about finances. They sat us down and asked what we thought. When we explained our reasons for not being interested in buying (we aren't sure all inclusive resorts are for us to which she responded 'you'll change your mind when you have kids... WHAT?!, we don't need or want a second time share, while the money is there to spend, we don't necessarily WANT to spend it on something we aren't blown away by) we were berated (to the point of yelling) about wasting their time. They said we never should have accepted their invitation (you mean when we were begged to attend, and given 'bribes' for doing so? Right). It was appalling. We didn't use our tickets for a free massage, it left such a bad taste in our mouth.

All in all I don't think we'll be visiting the GP Riviera Maya again. The Royal Suites looked lovely, but I can't imagine they'd be worth the extra money spent. And on the off chance management really does read these reviews for anything other than a canned response, please go visit room 5131, then try to tell us you operate a 5 star resort.

Room Tip: Don't stay in Kantenah. Seems like you'd have better luck at White Sands/Riviera.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jameroo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 27 May 2012

Dear Jameroo,

I would like to give you our apologies for the incidents that you have had during your vacation. I will take note about each of your comments and I will analize this with our team.

All coments are very important for us. We are working in improve our installations and service.

Best regards,

Banesa M° Burque
Resident Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 May 2012

We stayed at The Grand Palladium Colonial resort from the 3rd to the 17th May 2012.
We have stayed at many hotels including others in the Caribbean but this exceeded our expectations.
The Hotel and grounds were immaculate, it was so clean and well maintained and is a credit to the large team of staff the have who obviously work extremenly hard.
Our room was cleaned daily by the lovely Esther, who left us a different item of towel art daily which we took photos of and updated facebook daily.
The ground wildlife and general layout of the place was excellent.
We always found the staff where ever you met them and what ever job they were doing be it Gardening, Maintenace, Bar Staff, Entertainment, waitress etc etc to be always polite, hardworking and always extremely smart and tidy with a uniform for the job that they did.
There was always a vast choice of places and things to eat, we did go to the El Dorado stek house one night as we did eat early one night and so was the only A La Carte that we tried.
The only reason for this was that we always likes to eat between 7.30 and 8.00 pm but there was always a wait for and hour and a half plus and we dont like to eat too late.
That being said the buffet restaurants had always themed nights and such a good choice we were more than happy to eat there every night.
It was good you were shown to tables and that you were given the option for hand sanatising gel on entry.
The staff were always rotating the food and testing the temperature ensuring it was as fresh and hot as possible, not a bad feat bearing the amount of food and numbers of people they were catering for.
We had outstanding weather with just one thunderstorm early one morning 0400 to 0600 and a couple of cloudy days but we were lucky.
The Thomson/First choice reps were in resort daily 0900-1600 and there if you needed them, apart from the welcome meeting and booking of trips we had no need to speak to them apart from a hello from time to time, but what dealings we did they were helpfull and friendly and efficent.
We as a cuople had most dealings with the witress staff in the main buffet and the colonial lobby bar.
We spent most late afternoons in the lobby bar taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi to keep in touch with our daughters at home. A little tip if you have an Android or Iphone, download Viber a free App as you camn make and receive free calkl and texts while in resort straddling the wi-fi and as long as both parties have it, it does work well and saves you a fortune.
Also we took an in-room plug in mosquito repellant and used Superdrugs own make of after sun with insect repellant make sure it has that as the two types look very similar as a result we only got one bite between the 2 of us in 2 weeks !!!!!!!
I know the resort manager takes time to read the reviews and I through him thank his staff for making it a wonderfull holiday and special mention to the girls in the colonial lobby who waited tables in the afternoon and evenings who were incredibly hard working firendly smartly dressed and so hard working and did it with beautifull smile many many thanks, I just wish I had written all their names down.
Try the Hotel you will not be disappointed, we like to always try different countries and hotels but we could make an exception after this hoilday.

Room Tip: We had no view to speak of, we were in block 7 but a room is a place to sleep, and we slpet well so in our opinion made no odds.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank IpswichSteve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2012

Dear IpswichSteve,

Thank you for your excellent comments. I will share your comments with the rest of the team. I appreciate your time and it's a pleasure to know that you have had a nice vacation with us.

Regards from the Riviera Maya.

Banesa M ° Burque
Resident Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2012

I have been to several places (Tropical and Travel Abroad) and so far, Grand Palladium has been my favorite! In the past I have done cruises (5 to be exact) and my husband and I decided to try out an All-Inclusive! We are now the biggest fans! We stayed on the Colonial side and were impressed most by the beautiful grounds! The tropical surroundings make you feel like you have escaped to a paradise and the greatest part is that everything is still close enough that you can get to it.

We were fine with the hour and 20 minute drive from the airport, I would rather not be in the middle of a crowded hotel with crowded beaches anyway. Once we walked into the lobby I was mesmerized by the beautiful marble and fountains. Staff was very friendly (for the most part). A train took us to our room (come with lots of singles $ to tip). The rooms were well kept, fridge was a little warm if you like your beverages super cold. Storage was great. The walking distance to the main lobby, beach, and pool was not bad. I didn't mind the walk because it was such a beautiful walk. If you are wanting to go to the other side of the resort train stops were spread along the way.

Beach was beautiful! Pack a mini bubba keg to keep drinks frozen or cold, bartenders will fill them as big as your mugs are!!!! Pretty decent buffet food, AMAZING restarant food (best habachi I have had was cooked here!!!!).

We did do a snorkle excursion but found Xel-Ha beautiful but not worth the money!!! Very dissappointed by the snorkel and found the hotel beach a better source of fish. Pack your own snorkel and mask!.

Met a lot of friendly people, did the bar crawl (so many bars), ate in all but 2 restaurants, all amazing...most loved the brazillian and habachi! looked forward to morning omelettes!

water is fine to drink!!! never got sick.

pool was clean and never overcrowded (pack a raft if you like to float!).

We just booked our second trip to Grand Palladium Colonial!!! We have looked at other resorts, but we are such fans of this one. Can't wait to return in July!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank bagofsunshine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2012

Dear bagofsunshine,

In behalf of Grand Palladium team, I would like to give you thank you for share with us your comments. The opinion of our guest, it's very important for us.

Best regards,

Banesa M ° Burque
Resident Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2012

Myself and my husband have just returned home from two weeks in this beautiful place,do not have doubts about booking this resort it was amazing.We stayed at the colonial side of the hotel we booked through Thomson but they didnt even acknowledge that we were there !! everyone got given first choice booklets on the coach the airport rep said ours was at the hotel,when we arrived there was nothing from Thomson so I emailed the 24/7 the day later and they informed us that we had two reps at the resort Neil and Paolo and that we should of been at the welcome meeting at 9am ! but if we missed it ! there was another one the day after! excuse me Thomson are you not supposed to look after your customers?,when we did catch up with the rep he blamed the bell boy for not posting stuff to our room,that was a really bad excuse,good job that this was our second visit to Mexico,if it would of been our first it would of been a little daunting.This was your fault Thomson,not the hotels !! We were taken to our room in block 7 on the colonial side by a buggy, it was bottom floor backing onto the garden bit outside,there was privacy from the pathway by some bushes,the balcony was quite spacious,large king bed,tv unit with fridge underneath filled daily with 4 beers,4 waters,and 6 bottles of pop.The room itself was a decent size quite spacious and clean.The bathroom had a shower that worked well,hot water was constant.No complaints about the room itself, Air conditioning was noisy but efficient also had a fan.Coffee perculator did not work and Iron did not heat up, but were changed once we notified reception.Thought that it would of been noisy on the bottom floor but it wasnt we had peaceful nights sleep most nights apart from the odd door slamming by the odd inconsiderate people it was fine.Did not get any animals made out of the towels but that is not important we tipped the maid everyday anyway.The resort is huge we did get lost sometimes,there is a train that goes around the resort stopping at the bus stops or you can catch a buggy if you do not want to walk.This resort all in jungle settings the wildlife we seen was amazing, the cotis were so cute they came out every morning,signs were everywhere saying do not feed but seen some people feeding them bread of all things, so ignorant they dont know what damage that can do to an animal like that.All different species of birds,squirrels and reptiles,funny raccoons which I had never seen before.There is a crocodile park on the resort as well as beautiful flamingoes, the grounds are really beautiful and very well maintained.You can take a boat around the resort,pedaloes and catamarans.There is sports area where you can play shuffleboard,badminton,mini golf (that was fun)and football pitches.Each lobby had a bar set in beautiful surroundings,there was entertainment on most nights,colonial had a large stage which they put shows on mostly for families with children they looked entertaining. They had a sports bar with the occasional football match showed, hemmingway bar where you can get branded drinks but everytime we asked for a baylies we got given the equivilant not the real thing dont know why,churchill bar for smokers,a disco we never ventured to. Beach snack bar bit breezy of a night but was nice to go and just have a drink in the breeze or a snack which was open 24 hours.Restaurants what can I say, the food is excellent you will never go hungry there was so much choice, we ate at the hacienda for our breakfasts and were given hand sanitiser when we arrived which is a good idea,this is on the colonial side service was really good breakfast choices and buffet dinners with theme nights.Mostly ate at the alacarte restaurants brilliant that you never had to book and you could go as many times as you liked,Men have to wear long trousers and shirts with sleeves which sets some kind of standard which is only right,found that if you went at before 7pm you only had a short wait for a table if you eat late then be prepared to wait.In everyone of them the food was excellent and the service was brilliant except for the El Dorado steak house,we arrived at 7.30 and we were told it was an hour wait so we said we would wait,we sat in the lobby bar with a bleeper disc looked like a flying saucer then after an hour and 15 minuets it went off buzzing so we went to the restaurant. We got shown to our table the waiter came over and did not introduce himself then left us for a while came back and asked us if we wanted the wine menu we said no my husband said he would have a house wine an I would a beer only because we are not really wine drinkers,he walked off in a huff didnt even light our lantern on the table! He then sent over a waiter in charge of the wine menu, we said no we dont want any wine we would like a beer and a house wine he said he would send someone with our drinks, two beers came about 5 minuets later,after we had ate our meals the dirty plates were left on our table nobody even asked us did we want another drink,been there for on hour and nobody had even asked us if we would like another drink,we got no water,the dirty dinner plates were left on the table nobody came to clear them away or ask us if we wanted a dessert so in the end we just got up and left.Dont like to complain but that was the only restaurant we got shabby service, even though the food was good we did not return.The others we ate at were Punta Amelia and La Laguna for lunch,Bamboo the oriental,Portofino Italian. ribs and more excellent steaks,Rodizio Brazilian restaurant what can I say they come around with different meats on skewers for you to try and brilliant service I was so full,the Japanese which was also good. We always gave the bar and restaurant staff a tip,we seen that others didnt,shame on them! these people work so hard and give us excellent service why not tip them for it.White sands buffet restaurant was slow service and the staff do not speak hardly any English they all looked like new staff .All the food was totally amazing we have stayed many times at the Fiesta hotels in Ibiza Spain and knew we would have no problem with the food quality.Beach is long wide soft white sand like talcum powder you can walk out quite far before it gets too deep,fish are swimming all around and we saw rays a few times coming in with the tide when the sea was quite choppy.The sea is warm and we always went up to the north end of the beach,it was quieter,but not much shade and it did get hot in the afternoon.You can walk on the beach all the way up to the elDorado hotel if you like a walk, turtles come in of a night and lay there eggs which are cordened off by staff,didnt like to venture on the beach of a night incase we disturbed them and it is completely dark anyway.Topless sunbathing is allowed at the adult pools, but got frowned on here which was not good and felt a little uncomfortable even though there was a sign saying that topless sunbathing is allowed,also open till 12pm if you like late swim and can avoid the rowdy teenagers. At the beach it was fine,cannot at the main pools which is understandable. Salt water pool was nice place did not go into it but it was nice to take a little walk over the rocks where bench seats shame it was not lit of a night even though lights were in place they were not on,as it would of been nice to walk around there.Did not venture to the main pool only because we love the beach and it was so hot when we passed through there was no breeze .We went to the spa which is free to use all the facilities only thing you have to pay for is the treatments, went to the gym which is fitted with the top equipment,and free vitamin juices on the tap you can go and chill out on the sunbeds swim around the lazy river and sit in the jacuzzis and use the spa therapy hot pools sauna and steam rooms,there was peace and quiet for everyone to enjoy (sometimes). Found out different things about this resort as we went along because there was so much to see and do we only ventured off the resort twice, this being our second time in Mexico and this being the best place we have ever stayed in.Outside the resort is the colectivo stop we went to playa del carmen this is no problem and is cheeper than getting a taxi, cost around 70 pesos for two one way as we have been here few times now and sort of knew our way round a little,then we went to Explor which was an amazing day out worth every penny and the food was delicious,we went on our own on the colectivo just gave the driver 70 pesos one way and paid on the door, saved ourselves around 40 pounds instead of booking with Thomson.All in all a wonderful holiday only thing that spoiled it if I may say was the mass invasion on bolshy russians which I would say made up 70 percent of the guests,we had enough of them in the Greek islands,they must get their holidays alot cheaper than us,there was only about 5 percent british and the rest Canadians and Americans, we dont like to return to the same place on holiday but we will return here because we loved it so much,I miss it already.Mr Manager those staff who work for you are a credit, they are so helpful, friendly and polite and are genuinely lovely people who work so hard for us to enjoy,well done, everything about this resort is beautiful,There was so much to do in this place I have probily left somethings out.We shall definately see you next year.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2012

Dear susac,

Thank you for your complete review and for the excellent comments about our staff. I will share your opinion with them. This information it's motivation for improve our service every day.

With best regards,

Banesa M ° Burque
Resident Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2012

We have recently May 5th returned from another 2 week amazing holiday to the Grand Palladium Mayan Riviera.Everytime ( this time we took my best friend Fiona who said it was the best holiday she has ever had )
Everytime we leave this place we feel sad to be leaving behind friends and what we classify as FAMILY...the hotel gets better and better and everytime we go new things are added to make our holiday an even better experience.

When we arrived at reception we were met by Edwardo and Alejandro
met with a cold drink and a big hug what a wonderfull welcome back.

We has planned this holiday
to join 192 others for the PALLADIUM ADDICTS 7TH ANNUAL GET TOGETHER
The hotel put on the most amazing party on the beach and if you look at you tube there are a lot of video's as to what we got up to...what a brilliant time we had.

THE ALA CARTES and Buffets
The food is outstanding and we did not have one bad experience or bad food in all the time we were there
and yet again because of my dietry Gluten Intollerance problem the staff and chefs went out of there way to give me amazing food...thanks to everyone.

THE ENTERTAINMENT
The entertainment is so proffesional there is never a dull moment and you can do as little or as much as you want to join in.The new Rock forever show is brillaint and not to be missed.We attended the WHITE PARTY again and had a blast there dancing the night away and watching THE MAYAN SHOW...

We went into Playa Del Carmen and had a great time shopping lots of sales on and the freshly squeezed orange juice at La Pirrete on the high street was very welcome because it was very hot there.

We also went to Puerto Adventuras...a 1st for us all this place is somewhere where I could live...it's a gated complex that anyone can go into with wonderfull houses and marinas and you can watch the Dolphins and stingrays and the people who are on a trip to swim with them...for free your right next to the Dolphins...wow what a great experience.
We ate and Drank at Cafe Ole....here and what a welcome..the food is excellent and the staff are so friendly...at night they have live jazz and spanish guitar and all you can eat bar-b-que...for next to nothing...you have to go and eat here right next to the Dolphin pools.

We also went into Akumal at night with some freinds to eat at La Bueno Vida the food is just WOW WOW WOW and what a setting right on the beach.

THE RENOVA SPA at hotel
we had quite few treatments here and I can honestly say they were fantastic...the place is so clean and inviting and even if you just want to go the hydrotherapy pool or jacuzzi or swim in the lazy river pool...you really will love it... the staff here and especially the Manager David really do work hard and go out of there way to make you feel very special.

My husband is a Master Scuba Diver and did 16 dives with SCUBA CARIBE which is located on the colonial beach at the hotel ( don't get duped into booking elsewhere with the rep's it's a lot more expensive and why travel when this is on your doorstep.)
A fantastic crew await you at Scuba Caribe and they are..so proffesional and with an amazing safety concious view...to everything they do.
My Husband would highly recommend them for diving and snorkel trips ...if you need any info about this please e mail me. He saw and photographed some amazing corals and fish and I will be posting some of his video's / photo's soon .

The quality and standards of every part of this hotel and its staff improve everytime.we go
..if thats possible.
The value for money is un questionable and we will returning again this year in September...That has to say a lot.

This place is like a drug...you can never get enough of this hotel and the people who work here...they are always happy with a welcoming smile and we cant wait to go back again in September.

If you have any questions please feel free to message me

Chrissy

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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10  Thank CHRISSY007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2012

Dear CHRISSY007,

Thank you for your excellents comments and for your confidence in Grand Palladium.

I will share your comment with the rest of the team.

See you soon.

A hug,

Banesa M ° Burque
Resident Director

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