We stayed at the Grand Palladium Colonial from August 17-24th. We had a ball. There were three of us; me, my husband and our 21 year old son. We flew from Newark NJ via USA3000 Airlines. It was your typical boring 3 hour flight. We went to the GP in Punta Cana last year, so we were really looking forward to this. I even found a website called Palladium Addicts where most of the members have already been here; the information they provided was priceless.
When we arrived in Cancun we got our luggage, went through Immigration & Customs with nary an incident. When you get to Customs they have you press a button; if you get a red light they check your luggage, a green light you pass through. Although we got a green light as we were walking past security noticed we had backpacks and decided to check them. At that point they confiscated my husband's unopened pouch of beef jerky, claiming that you cannot bring beef into Mexico because of mad cow. Although I've never heard of mad cow being passed on from beef jerky, we took his word for it. Or, maybe he was just hungry, who knows.
We quickly found the Apple bus, only to wait on the almost full bus for 1/2 hour waiting for six people who never arrived. Then we were on our way - only to stop at six resorts on the way to ours. The bus ride took 2 1/2 hours. With the 1/2 hour wait at the airport, the bus ride took longer than the plane ride from New Jersey.
Surprisingly, we were the only ones checking into the resort that day, yet our room was not yet ready. So, we went to the buffet near the pool for some lunch, and by the time we were done our room was ready. We were in Villa 9, room 1917, which was up on the 3rd floor. The bellman said, "We'll take the Mexican elevator". Which turned out to be the stairs (there is no elevator). That three story walk up was a chore on some of the more humid days, but the view of the ocean from our Jr. Suite was well worth the walk.
Our villa was located closer to the White Sands pool, and this was the pool we frequented, not just for the proximity but because at only 4 feet deep it was much more comfortable for a non-swimmer like me than the Colonial pool which has a depth of 5 foot three inches (which is my height). The White Sands pool was also less crowded and there were almost no kids around. It was great, and we even enjoyed it more than the beach; although that was gorgeous. We saw many fish, rays, and other sea life. Spectacular is the only word to describe it.
The resort is gorgeous. The gleaming marble floors, the koi ponds and fountains everywhere, just made it a superior experience. We loved the walkways, both the covered ones and the rustic wooden ones. When I say rustic, I mean it; the boards are spaced well apart and at various heights, so you have to walk carefully. But it forces you to take your time and enjoy the jungle around you. We saw tons of iguanas, exotic birds, salamanders, even a creature that has a tail like a monkey but isn't; they call it a "honey cat", but it's not a cat either. Not sure what it was, but it was in the rafters outside of Portofino one night before it disappeared up onto the thatched roof.
The staff was wonderful, and spoke better English than many people I know in NJ. Everyone went out of their way to make it a wonderful experience. When something went wrong, it was quickly corrected. One day the air conditioning in our room wasn't working. Within 10 minutes maintenance was there changing the thermostat, and 10 minutes after he left the front desk was calling to verify that the repairs had been made and that we were happy. How can we complain about that kind of service?
As far as the food was concerned, frankly I enjoyed the buffets. I like a variety of food, and there was something for everyone. We ate at Portofino, Rodizio, and Sumptori for our ala cartes. We enjoyed all of them. But, my son studies Japanese and spent three weeks in Japan this summer, and pointed out that the wallpaper is upside down in Sumptori.
In all, we will DEFINITELY go back to Grand Palladium in the future, although we'll make sure we have non-stop transportation from the airport.
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be glad to answer them. Be sure to write "GP Mexico" in your subject line.
- 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