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“Loved the Palladium!!”

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Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
Ranked #8 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Loved the Palladium!!”
Reviewed 24 March 2005

We stayed at the Palladium on the Colonial Side from March 15 -22nd. It was my husband, myself and our 2 year old son. It was our second trip to the Mayan, the first being at the Copacabana Riviera, which was also wonderful.

Cancun Airport: We were the last to get off the plane and thus, last in a massive line which snaked outside of the airport. I thought for sure we would be in line for hours, but it was remarkably quick. We had landed at 12:10 on a Tuesday, was through customs, had our luggage on the bus and left for the hotel at about 1pm. The drive to the resort took about an hour, and it wasn’t that bad. Our bus was comprised entirely of Palladium people, so we had no stops to make.

Check-In: Very quick and smooth. I had emailed the resort before we left to request a room with a tub and one which was central to everything due to being with my toddler. We were pleasantly surprised to find we were given a free upgrade to a Jr. Suite in Villa 9.

Room: We had two double beds, and a pull out couch which we did not use. We were happy to have the extra seating area and coffee table though. The room itself was gorgeous, lots of marble, but it was slippery when wet, that’s for sure. The shower had great water pressure, but we found that the temperature fluctuated wildly from hot to lukewarm to cold back to hot again. We tipped our maid every other day but did not find that we received any better service on the tip days to the not. However, every day there seemed to be something ‘wrong’. One day the garbage hadn’t been emptied, the next we had no face towels and one day only one bath towel. It wasn’t really a big deal though and we didn’t think anything of it. Our mini bar seemed to get refilled everyday, which was nice. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary while there and on our first night, we were surprised to find a bottle of champagne and two flutes in our room. We thought this was incredibly nice. Since we had our son with us, we took our champagne home and we will have it when we have a night to ourselves.

Food: As everyone has stated, DO NOT MISS the Japanese restaurant. It was incredible, the best meal I had anywhere for a very long time. We also did the Mexican and Steakhouse. Both were great as well. The buffet for dinner wasn’t bad, definitely some of the food was hit or miss. Because of the little one, we got to the buffet when it opened at 6pm and some of the food was cold. Didn’t make a lot of sense to me since it had just opened, but it also wasn’t a big deal. The breakfast buffet was great. There was a lot of selection, but don’t miss the freshly pressed juices…incredible. I would not recommend eating at the Beach bar for anything except nachos or the made to order tacos. We had a burger and it was dried out and cold. Conversely, at the Gran Azul (sp?) the burgers were undercooked and were entirely pink inside. Gross. Even the hot dogs, yellow French fries and orange chicken nugget were questionable. Still, you won’t go hungry, we certainly didn’t. Don’t even try to go to the main buffet at lunch if you are the slightest bit wet from the pool. They kick people out even with the slightest dampness on them.

Pool: Awesome. Huge. The temperature is only cool for that initial dive in, then its fine. I was deathly afraid of freezing in there after all the previous reviews, but it wasn’t bad at all and I am very sensitive to the cold in general. Beware of missing tiles though. My husband scraped up on one and cut his hand open pretty badly. The kiddies pool was ok, it was a big size as well, but there was nothing of interest in there (no slides or water features). Beware that the towel game is in full effect here though…if you don’t get your towels down before 10 you will be out of luck obtaining a chair, especially if you need more than 1! Even at that, we found people to find chairs and then stick them in beside you, completely ignorant of any personal space. This was very annoying. I think a 2 – 3 foot distance on either side of you is acceptable, but some people insisted on putting their chairs 2 inches from yours, especially if you were in the shade.

Beach: Beautiful. White, pristine sand and crystal blue water. If you don’t like crowds, go to the Kanetaha side, you will have no problem getting chairs there any time of day. We had red flags about 4 of the 7 days we were there, but it didn’t stop us from swimming in the ocean. What did stop me was almost stepping on stingray. Still, the water was beautiful and the sand was great. It was like heaven.

Grounds: Immaculate and very well tended to. The only issue I had was that people felt the need to litter and not walk the extra few steps to get to a garbage can or somewhere to put down their beer bottles. The hotel was built around the jungle to preserve it - not to have rude tourists throw their crap in there.

People: The workers here were very kind and friendly. I found that a lot of them took great interest in my son, even hugging him and kissing him. It struck me that perhaps they miss their own families due to the incredibly long days they put in. In any event, they were great, and deserve an extra tip here and there.

Overall, the Palladium provided us a fabulous experience. I thought I might have been disappointed after reading all the good reviews, with the build up and all, but we were not the slight bit disappointed. Any questions, please feel free to post in the forums. I used this site extensively when planning our vacation, and would like to return the favour.

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51 Thank ChrisCKP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Chicopee, MA
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 March 2005

Just returned from a week at the Palladium (March 13 to 21) with our two boys 18 & 21. We were in Villa 1 on the Colonial side. At first I was disappointed that we were at the front of the hotel ( I thought the highway noise would bother us) it did not. This location was actually good, in the morning you had a nice walk to breakfast and the pool beach area then at night it was close by when you were more tired from your days activities. There was construction on the new Palladium next door. I don't think noise was a problem for Villas 1-3 after that I'm not sure how bothersome it was. you could here it from the Adult pool area, but it wasn't too annoying. Check in was smooth,unfortunately our flight left Hartford late, late arrival, shuttle to hotel wasn't as bad as some stories, only stopped at one other hotel before ours, but still didn't get there until 11:30PM. I had emailed the resort beforehand and had requested two rooms close to each other and had told them it was our 25th anniversary. We were given VIP wristbands although I didn't notice any different treatment, other than a waiter at breakfast made a rose out of a napkin for my husband to give me. They gave us a bottled of champagne and a nice note in the room. Food was good to excellent. We ate at the Japanese show table our last night there. It was great, I even tried and liked the sushi. We also ate at the Mexican & steakhouse. I liked the Mexican better. We ate at the Friday beach BarBQ, it looked beautiful they really put a lot of work into there special events, but the food was cold and only mediocre, so we ate again at the buffet. Must try the dessert crepes, they are out of this world. The beach and pool area were fun. We migrated from area to area depending on our mood. Quieter days called for the adult pool or Kantenah beach. Afternoon activities and pool bar brought us to main pool or beach bar area. Try the chicken tacos put on some salsa & guacamole yummy! We had tendencies to get up early, walk to beach bar get a cappuccino before breakfast, so by the time the night shows were on we were pooped. I am not a bingo fan and they seemed to play bingo every night before the shows, I got tired of hearing numbers called out in 4 languages, I'm sure there were many people who liked this. The shows were mostly dancing type entertainment and we never stayed until the end of any show. The fun team group worked hard to make sure as many people had a good time as possible. Our beach activities were limited because it was red flag for most of our stay & they wouldn't allow snorkeling, kayaking,etc. One incident which I need to email the resort about, was that on our last night our boys decided to stay up all night as our check out was 5:15am. There were quite a few people out all night as well, mostly just talking and walking, all were quiet and respectful of other guests, not near any villas. A girl with the group was chilly and wanted a blanket for the beach, my son got one from his room. When they were at the beach, a security guard grabbed him, told him he was stealing from the hotel and would be arrested. But, if he paid him a fine he could avoid the police, first the "fine" was $50 to the younger son, then increased to $250 to the 21 y.o. He (21 yo) asked to speak with the manager, said he would be glad to give back the blanket that he wasn't removing it from hotel property and that he would not pay any fine. The security person let them go without another word. When we checked out about an hour later, our sons pointed this guard out to us and nothing was said. Even though this incident occurred, both our sons & us loved the resort and would return.

Helpful?
17 Thank nancynurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 15 March 2005

We stayed at the Palladium 2/26-3/5 and were quite impressed. First time to Mexico but certainly not the last. We were on the colonial side Villa 3 and found it to be quite convenient to everything. A little walk at times but beautiful scenery. The rooms were great, we had a king standard and it was very nice. Small bugs in bathroom but not a problem. Service by all employees was amazing. Food for the most part was very good. We ate ala carte at the mediterranean which was very good, the japanese fun table, and the steak house all were very good. Book your ala carte meals as soon as you get there as the times fill fast. On friday sign up for the beach barbecue as they only take reservations for 250 and it goes quick. We booked this trip through Apple tours and everything was like clock work. Will use apple again. Palladium was a 10 as far as we are concerned

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2005

This was our first time to an all-inclusive and we fully enjoyed our stay at the Palladium. For the price you are paying it exceeded our expectations and left us with some spending money to explore the surrounding area (which we did on two of our seven day stay. We went to Tulum and Xel-ha in one day - went in taxis instead of a tour so we could go on our own schedule - and to downtown Playa for shopping and dinner the other night. Both lots of fun.)

PROS:
1. Staff is incredible. There must be 5 to 10 employees for every guest. We stayed while the hotel was at maxium capacity and never waited long for anything. We did tip (an average of $10 a day between the maids - cocktail, bartenders, and servers) and it was least we could do to show our appreciation for the great servide - but it was not at all expected. You got great service either way.
2. Plenty of places to "park" for the day at the pool or beach. There are tons and tons of lounge chairs. You may not get the same location- as expected - but there will always be enough to satisfy all the guests.
3. The reservation dinners were very enjoyable. We ate at the Steak House, Japanese, and Italian - all were above expectations. Service again was very good - my wine glass was never empty. You will not feel rushed - enjoy the evening as every meal comes with a salad, appetizer, main course, and dessert. Once you get to the hotel book them right away - we made our reservations every other day to break up eatting at the buffet. Request a "show table" at the Japanese.
4. Grounds are very beautiful and well maintained. From reading previous reviews I knew the hotel was a large campus like setting. We knew to leave higheels and uncomfortable shoes behind. We enjoyed the walks that are carved out of the jungle - they are well lighted and well signed. The pool is huge! We enjoyed many games of ping pong - five tables are set up on north end of the pool.
5. Entertainment suits ages from 1 to 101. We were amazed at how well the hotel catered to all age groups and level of activity. We don't have kids (this was our belated honeymoon since we got married in a warmer month - we are in our late 20's) but saw plenty of them enjoying the "kids club" and the kiddie pool. At night they have "vegas style" shows - they are a bit corny but entertaining none the less. We only watched one as we found the live bands that play in the bar area closer to the pool more our style. We brought cards and played, drank cocktails, and enjoyed the music every night - even danced when the mood hit us. On Mon-Wed-Fri about 20 vendors set up a flea market in the main outdoor lobby. You can also take on any of water activites,volleyball games, basketball games, tennis, spanish lessons, dance lessons, or work on your tan all day - which was our main priority while getting into good books.

CONS:
1. From reading reviews we did know there was a chance we wouldn't get our requested room with a kind sized bed since they must have a shortage. And even though I requested and emailed - we did get a room with two doubles. We were put on a waiting list and did recieve notification on our third night that we could change - but by then we were comfortably settled in and passed on changing.
2. Beach isn't as long as I had hoped. Since there aren't hotels on either side - once you pass the property lines the beach front isn't maintained. There is a lot of rock and "beach debry" making it hard to take long strolls on the shore. Rooms aren't beach front - but again we knew that going into it. We went in the ocean every day and loved it.

OVERALL:
Water is purfied in all the restaurants and you get two liters in your mini bar everyday. We never felt in short supply. Drank the water in the restaurants with no issues. You may feel a bit "buffet'ed out" by the end but there are no shortage of options...for example at breakfast you can get omelets, eggs any way you like them, potatoes, french toast, pancakes, waffels, cereal, mexican breakfast items, bakery items, fruit, 6 different fresh squeezed juices, breakfast meats, real hot cocoa (be sure to treat yourself to this) etc - all the goodies that you probably aren't making all at once every day in your kitchen. We always ate down at the beach for lunch - order tacos from the bar (beef or chicken) they are very good. Did notice the construction of the new resort next door - but never effect our enjoyment. Since we had read up on the hotel we knew what to expect and fully enjoyed our stay. You will too.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
32 Thank abkajk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2005

Our first visit to the Palladium and we were not dissappointed. Our stay was from the 20 Feb.-6 Mar 2005. My sister and brother-inlaw would join us the second week. Had emailed resort to request 3rd floor and kingsize bed. Check-in was fast, then booked ala carte restaurants, then off to our room. We stayed in Villa 5 room 1532 Colonial side, got top floor but not the king size bed.When sister arrived they were on the second floor same villa. Rooms are spacious and nicely decorated. The in-room safes are a definite plus. I would say it took us a day or two to get orientated and find our way around thats how big this place is. I had chosen this place because of the jungle setting and I was not disappointed. Lovely thatch roof walkways and boardwalks throughout the resort. Lots of walking which was fine with me since we did lots of eating and drinking. I gained 5 pounds in two weeks which would of been double if we didn't do all the walking. Buffets were excellent, lots of variety, I don't know how you could get bored with it. Also we had no problem with the service in the buffets. Always enjoyed having either the red or white house wines and to top the meal off a capocino. We did the steakhouse twice, the 1st time was better then the second time,I would rate it good, the mediterranean was excellent and to top it off the last night we had the show table at the Japaneses Restaurant. Meal was excellent and lots of fun. Most mornings, I would head down to the snack bar , where my capocina would be waiting,bartender would see me coming, tipping does help, walk over to the kantenah side to get our loungers under the shade. This side is nice and quiet but on windy days poolside is better. The activity team do a wonderful job, and my hats off to ceasar. The snorkeling is fantastic at this resort, we had one very calm day where I saw a huge barracuda (5 ft), several eagle rays, sting rays, squid and lots of fish.Evening shows were good, service at the bars and theater was excellent.We took the collective twice, once to playa del carmen and the other time to Tulum ruins. Fast and easy tranportation and cost is only 20 pesos each. I would return to this resort in a heartbeat. Any questions just email.

  • Stayed February 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
31 Thank blacky1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2005

Stayed at the Grand Palladium from 2/24/05 to 3/3/05. We were on the Colonial side. I couldn't quite understand the difference between the Kantenah side and Colonial side from the reviews I read previously. They are all connected and the two lobbies are right next to each other.
We stayed at the Bahia Principe Tulum for our 2 previous trips and wanted to try something different.
It is lovely. All of the pathways are wooden bridges or covered paths with low lighting. We were in building 9 which we initially thought was "miles" away from everything. However, once we became familiar with the path system, we found that we were surprising close to all the activities.
There is nightly musical entertainment in the bars and additional musical groups in the lobbies. It is so relaxing.
The food was fabulous. We ate at the Japanese restaurant, The El Dorado Steak house and the Medditeranian restaurant. The Japanese was the best with the El Dorado a close second. We were a little leery about going to a steakhouse as our experience at the Bahia's steakhouse was less than good. Let me tell you, the steaks were thick and melted in your mouth.
The rooms were nice. There are only 2 disappointments. #1 there are no ocean front or view rooms and #2 we requested a King bed, but got 2 full size. I guess they have very few Kings. They should at least offer 2 queens as the full size beds were a little cramped for 2 adults. The couch in the JR suite that we were in was very bad--the cushions sank into the frame so you couldn't really use it. But there were 2 other comfy chairs, so that was okay. The digital combination in room safe was a real plus. Didn't have to mess with keeping track of a key.
The beach was great. Didn't even need our water shoes as there weren't any rocks. We definitely would go back there.

Helpful?
29 Thank nypd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2005

My husband and I are both 30 years old. We have done several cruises..but this was our first all-inclusive.
Cons: 1. Size......Resort is very large...I do not recommend this resort if you have problems with walking long distances....there is no golf cart to take you around the resort. There is 1 spot to get your towels...so you have to walk there everyday to get your towel and return it...unless you keep the same towel all week. Same goes for any activities...the mini-golf, archery, basketball, tennis....you have to walk 15 min to get the equipment and then walk back to return it.
2. Dining......3 out of 6 of us had GI issues from eating off the buffet....also depending on the number of days you stay, you get dining vouchers for the restaurants...we stayed for 5 nights so we got 2 vouchers and you have to make those reservations upon arrival..otherwise they get full quickly.
Pros: 1. Service......excellent...no complaints at all .
2. Bar....drinks were not watered down
3. Cleanliness....other than having GI problems...resort was spotless
Tips: 1. Rooms: We had a standard room...we were in building 7...which we thought would be closer to the beach...I would recommend building 2-3 because it is closer to all the dining, entertainment, bars, adult pool, etc. It is a better place to be for easy access to the pathways that lead everywhere on the resort. Our room had a hairdryer, iron, ironing board, coffee maker, mini-refrigerator with sodas and beer and water
2. No need for a flashlight (recommended by someone else in the review....the resort is well lit) but do bring bug spray as the pathways all take you through a jungle like setting....we got quite a few bites.
3. Comfort shoes....can't wear high heels....some of the walkways have gaps large enough to get stuck in...so be careful.
4. Breezy in the evenings...bring a sweater....it also rained a few days we were there...umbrella would have been nice.
5. We took walkie talkies and that worked out great...I would highly recommend that....not many area on the resort to use phones.
6. Alarm clock for the room
7. You can email the resort and make you room building request ahead of time
8. Take something nice to wear to the dining halls...men must wear pants
Hope this helps to all of you going! You will not be sorry for picking this resort.

Helpful?
23 Thank ginger123snaps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km, 256-100 | Municipio Solidaridad, Akumal 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Akumal
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#6 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#8 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#9 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 414
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa is located on a spectacular, private Caribbean beach-front complex that boasts of 800 meters of white, fine sand and turquoise blue waters. Guests of the Grand Palladium Colonial are invited to use the facilities provided by the adjoining Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, and the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa, with the exception of the Royal Suite facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Palladium Colonial Hotel
Hotel Grand Palladium Colonial
Grand Palladium Mexico
Palladium Colonial Resort
Grand Palladium Spa
Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa Riviera Maya, Mexico - Akumal

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