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Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 22 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 31 March 2005

Let me start by saying I have been to the Xpu Ha Palace and Iberostar Tucan, and the Grand Palladium is by far the best. By way of background, I travel with my wife, three kids, my two parents (70's) and my brother-in-law's family.

After two trips to mexico (Xpu Ha and Tucan) I was very unhappy with the food. At the first two the food was horrible. Breakfast and Lunch are always ok, but dinner was terrible.

At the GP, the food was very good. The buffet had new items every night, and the restaurants were great. I own a restaurant, so I can be picky. We ate at the Japanese and Steak House. Both were very good.

Also, this was the first resort that actually was able to place all of our rooms close to each other. We were all in the same building on the same floor.

Here are some tips:

Contrary to what many of the reviews say, I would stay on the Colonial side. There is much less walking. Also, I e-mailed the resort and asked for an upgrade to a jr. suite. The resort upgraded all 3 rooms at no charge. It may have helped that I let them know that I was not happy at the other resorts. Also, ask to stay by the pool. There were many buildings that require alot of walking, but if you are by the pool everything is close by.

There is a Friday beach party. We arrived on Thursday and all the reservations were taken. If this is the case, simply go to the beach on Friday afternoon and speak with the man in charge. Be very nice and offer him some money for a table. I gave him $20 for a table for 10. We had no problems. While I was talking to him, before I even offered him any money, another individual came up in a rude way and tried to get a table. The manager told him there was no way he could get a table. Its amazing what being polite can do.

Also, this was the first place were at night every bar had a small band playing. Very nice touch.

Drawbacks:

There is construction going on on the Colonial side, but it never bothered me. There are no waiters serving drinks at the pool. At the other resorts it was nice to be able to not have to get up to get a drink. No room service. The pool is too deep. It is 5' deep accross the pool. There is a place for kids though. The bus ride to the resort takes 1 1/2 hours.


Overall, the staff was much more accomodating that the other resorts I have been to. I would definately go back. Just be sure to request a room near the pool. I also called 2 weeks prior to coming to talk with the front desk. I told them we had small kids and elderly people who couldn't walk far. It seemed to work.

Lastly, for those who have not been to the Mexican all inclusive, all the nicer resorts are beautiful. So the reviews about the marble and appointments, forget about. Wherever you go will be beautiful. My biggest concern is the food and this was the best place to go.

51  Thank ELS44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,610 - 3,616 of 5,424 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2005

Our room was superb! 2 Double beds, lovely big shower cubicle, all furniture/furnishings appeared new and typically Mexican. Construction noise mentioned in other reviews wasn't a problem for us - very faint noise and distant. We were in Colonial Villa 1. Some mossies so take protection plus cardy or wrap for evenings as bit cool some nights.
Chambermaid slightly sloppy sometimes missed dirty dressing table glass etc. but good service otherwise and she was very grateful for tip each day.
Waiting staff in main international and Azul buffet were 50% friendly other 50% fairly unfriendly did their job but no smiles and we DID tip most meals including in the buffets when the service was either friendly or reasonable, must admit I know we're on vacation but it was mainly "despacio" SLOW! Often had to ask for water and glass, wine was mediocre so it didn't matter that they didn't rush to refill glass. Having said all this they do work SO) hard and such long hours and we saw some people treat them with such rudeness and disdain it made us angry. Drinks in bars were o.k. not weak as some reviewers claimed. Again service in bars was mainly slow. We booked the Mexican resaurant and were disappointed that the food was cool. In fact if anything that was our biggest complaint we RARELY had hot food anywhere but there was plenty and mostly good quality, something for everyone, you didn't need to go hungry. Fruit juices were truly awful, weak and watery, yet smoothies bar drinks at breakast time were lovely. A mountain of fresh fruit every morning!
Reception staff were very helpful and friendly as were bell boys.

We discovered the Adult and spa pools and preferred them to main pool as quieter and easier generally to find shade/seat. The waiter at the Adult pool came round for drink orders and was very friendly and happy soul. He made Daquiris with fresh strawberries.

The nightly shows - the performing bit (we're not keen on the people participation part) were excellent, VERY professional indeed, we watched many shows. Our trip to Xcaret was incredible. What a trip! We could have gone 3 times and still not seen everything and swimming with Dolphins was a once in a lifetime experience though I did feel a pang of conscience that they were effectively captive. If you go to Xcaret you MUST stop for the end show, an incredible spectre.

RIP OFF The Dr. in hotel was cheeky and overcharged charged 200 MXN peso over the price for 1 lot of medication and 50 MXN pesos overcharge for another medication that I later had to buy more of in a normal farmacy (chemist), which is how I discovered this rip-off, The Dr. also converted peso to US dollars with a high mark up and when we came back with MXN pesos as not enough dollars with us, converted from dollars back to pesos with another mark up making a profit of $10 which you don't need when you're already having your holiday spoilt by illness. Altogether an overcharge of 250 MXN pesos plus $10 US dollars on top of normal fee!

BEWARE at airport there are operators who call you over by saying which tour are you with and you think they're officals directing you to the correct coach but offer you huge discounts on outings, but don't show you the paper till you've given a deposit at which time you discover you've signed up for a meeting for 1 and half hours - which turns out to be all day and difficult to escape from with high pressure selling of Royal Mayan timeshare!

All things considered, I was ill (bought "bugs" with me possibly off airplane) the whole time, but we rated this hotel/trip higher than Dominican Republic (Iberostar) last year and would not heistate to book a Palladium hotel again.

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
20  Thank francesspicer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK
123
Reviewed 24 March 2005

Having just got back to reality after the best 2 weeks at Colonial palladium just wanted to write a quick review about the resort as i found other peoples comments really useful when decising to get married in Mexico!

We flew from the UK - 11 hour flight but well worth it. Having left Engalnd when it was snowing to get of the plane into 28C heat it was great!

The transfer to the hotel was easy and check in was really efficient. The place is massive and needed a lot of exploring.

We stayed from March 7th for 2 weeks and got married on the 14th. Everything was organised in an hour meeting with Rocio the Wedding coordinator - we had our own photographer a local mexican lady Claudia ------ who was superb. it was all so easy - after we had the blood tests etc, we were left to enjoy the rest of the holiday not having to worry about a thing!!

Now a bit about the resort.....
Food - well all i can say is superb, loads of choice in the buffet restaurants and always really fresh, trays of food get replaced really regularly even if they are not empty. The beach bar is also quite handy especially for late night munchies after a few tequilas!! They can not do enough for you and will prepare most things if asked!
The A La carte restaurants were also superb, especially the show table at the Japanese.

The pools are fantastic even though the main pool is quite deep - tha adult pool and the spa pool are also really nice, much more relaxing.

Entertainment is always available for the energetic. The evening shows are quite good - but got a bit bored of them after 2 weeks.

The resort as a whole is really clean, rooms were spacious, but try to get a room with a king size bed its massive.

For anyone who is thinking of getting married there it is amazing, get married on the beach, its quite nice to be able to get the breeze as it can get really hot.

Trips.....we went on a few trips and they were all superb.
Cozumel is well worth the trip - the eco park at Chankanaab is well worth going to - the snorkelling is amazing. Well worth going round to the other side of the island as the beaches are a lot more rugged and you avoid the crowds. Arrange a price with Taxi man first though can be quite pricey.

Xel-Ha - the highlight of our holiday - snorkeling in the lagoon was amazing look under the bridge near the sea trek there were massive grouper fish, glass eyed jack and parrot fish! Even saw about 3 rays one was massive.

ATV tours - Quad biking through the jungle and then swimming in a cenote, it was fantastic a really good morning.

Dolphin Discovery - what can I say, it was fantastic - the dolphins make you feel really relaxed. When they push you out of the water by your feet its great. Go to Puerto adventurs to do this as the area the dolphins are kept in was much bigger than at other places. It is worth buying the DVD great memories.

Anyway anyone who is planning to go you will have a great time.

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
23  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

51  Thank ChrisCKP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

17  Thank nancynurse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Erie, PA
114
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
14  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
32  Thank abkajk
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

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:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#6 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#7 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#9 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range: £171 - £466 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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