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Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa
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Reviewed 6 September 2011

My husband and I stayed at the Grand Palladium Kantenah from 29th July to 12th August. We were really looking forward to a much needed holiday and we were not disappointed!


FOOD AND DRINK
We've never stayed in such a big hotel before as we generally prefer small and intimate resorts. Being all inclusive, however, we opted for this hotel as it offered such choice of restaurants. We were a little disappointed after dining in Ribs n More and Mare Nostrum as the food in both of these places was poor. The steak in Ribs n More was good, but the sides and the starters were horrible. Mare Nostrum was very bland and the salad bar looked wilted and horrible. However, these were the only two bad experiences we had. We ate in the a la carte restaurants every night and the food just seemed to get better and better. We loved Bamboo (Chinese) and Sumptuori (Japanese), but our absolute faves were Rodizio (Brazilian) and El Dorado (steakhouse). The steak and the meat at Rodizio and El Dorado were amazing. The quality was outstanding and the meat was cooked to perfection.

We usually had a drink or two in one of the spectacular lobbies while waiting for dinner (never waited for longer than 40 mins, most of the time we didn't have to wait for more than 10mins) and we'd call into Hemingways after dinner for a couple of drinks. The pianist in there was brilliant. We mostly stuck to beer and cocktails as we didn't really like the wine. The beer was ok, refreshing but not the best flavour (not bad, just not as good as some). The cocktails were good at first but became a little sickly after a while. Especially the ones with lime in them. It was great that there was such a good selection of drinks, especially in Hemingways.


ROOMS and SURROUNDINGS
I emailed the hotel prior to our arrival to request a quiet room and to inform that we were celebrating our anniversary. I didn't expect to be upgraded (we had booked a standard room) but just hoped we'd get something nice and quiet. I was absolutely gobsmacked when we got there and they told us we'd been upgraded to a Mayan Suite (Room 3506)! The rooms was absolutely stunning. It had a gorgeous high ceiling, a HUGE bed (unbelievably comfy), beautiful marble floors and a fabulous bathroom with an outside shower! We never even used the inside shower - it was just amazing to shower outside! There was a jacuzzi bathtub, but we never bothered using this. Looked nice though. On the balcony there was a hammock which we loved swaying in after a tiring day by the pool! On top of everything, we were a few footsteps from the gorgeous beach. Icing on the cake!

The villas themselves are all lovely. I love that all of them have thatched roofs. It really helps them to blend in with the surroundings. The hotel is set in the most beautiful location and considering the size of the hotel, seems to work in harmony with the jungle. It was amazing to see so much wildlife and the jungle and mangroves made for gorgeous scenery. We loved walking along all of the bridges and trying to spot different flora and fauna. Gorgeous.


POOLS and BEACH
The beach was spectacular. We're reasonably well travelled but have never been to the Caribbean before and have never been anywhere with such picture perfect beaches. It's always been a little dream of mine to go somewhere with a beach like this. The sand was soft and creamy, the warm water clear turquoise. Everything a Caribbean beach should be. We didn't try snorkelling or any of the water sports on offer but we heard from other guests that the snorkelling was good (we certainly saw a fair few fish while swimming in the sea).

We lazed around the main pool several times. It was great for getting a sun bed in the shade and even though there were always activities on, it never seemed too loud as long as you weren't right next to it. The pool was humongous! So even if it was busy, it never felt like it.

The pool bar was disappointing. There was only ever one bartender on at a time and it was always far too busy. They bartenders were fantastic, but often obviously overwhelmed. It got quite annoying that we often were left waiting a ridiculous amount of time because other people were louder than us and managed to jump the queue!! It was also annoying that so many people congregated around the bar when they already had their drinks. Sometimes it was impossible to even get close enough to order. But this isn't the fault of the hotel - it's the fault of some ignorant guests.


SPA
We LOVED the spa! We didn't have any treatments (though I did look at the menu - seemed expensive, even for a hotel...) but we loved that the pool and other water facilities were free to use. We spent most of our days here. It was so peaceful and the surroundings were just amazing. A total paradise.

STAFF
The staff were amazing. We didn't come across a single member of staff who wasn't friendly and helpful. The hotel was kept beautifully clean and the grounds were incredibly well looked after. The staff were a credit to the hotel.


EXCURSIONS
We travelled with Thomson and had planning on hiring a car and seeing the sights ourselves but after the welcome meeting we decided to just make life easy on ourselves and book some of their excursions.

Tulum and Xel-Ha
We would've got a taxi or the collectivo (a bus that runs along the road past the hotel - didn't use it but it's supposed to be good) to Tulum but it worked out better value for us to do the combo trip as we wanted to do Xel-Ha as well.

Tulum was stunning. Well worth a visit. Lots of ruins to explore and a gorgeous beach to enjoy. We didn't have a great deal of time here but it was so hot we were glad to head back to Xel-Ha to take a dip! If you want more time to explore, the combo probably isn't for you.

Xel-Ha was terrific. You can swim with dolphins and manatees for an extra charge. We didn't want to do either of these things so I didn't look into how much they cost. We loved the lazy river and my husband really enjoyed jumping off the cliff into the water (big kid!). The snorkelling was great. Make sure you put plenty of sunscreen on though!

Coba
Coba was amazing! The ruins are spectacular and the view from the top of the main pyramid was awesome! We felt very lucky to be able to climb to the top since they will be stopping this next year.

The trip included a visit to a Mayan village, which was really interesting, and a visit to a beautiful cenote on the way back.

Sian Ka'an - a natural biosphere reserve
There are no words! This was an amazing trip. The journey on the truck thing was horrendous (2 hours in what can only be described as a lorry with bus seats travelling over bumps in the road the size of camel humps... not for the faint hearted!) and the whole way there I couldn't stop thinking 'why am I doing this? Nothing is worth this" but oh my lord! How wrong I was! The whole day was just incredible.

We got off the truck and onto a little speedboat. After a little while on the boat we came across some sea turtles. Sooo cute! Loved them! We stayed to take some pictures and after that we sailed a little further and found some dolphins. Amazing!

After the sea turtles and the dolphins we stopped at Punta Allen and had a snack and a drink in a little shack of a restaurant with the most incredible views ever. We then got back on our boats and said out to a reef where we did some snorkelling. Great snorkelling - amazing reef!

After snorkelling, we stopped for a swim in a lagoon where the water was completely calm and pure turquoise. We drank tequila and just relaxed and enjoyed the spectacular scenery. Perfection!

We then went back to the shack/restaurant where we had lunch. We paid extra to have fresh lobster, but lunch was included and what we had was superb! Absolutely delicious! The lobster was incredible - well worth the extra money.

After lunch we walked through town and headed back to our boat where we sailed back to the truck. Amazingly, the journey back didn't seem anywhere near as bad as the journey there. It just seemed totally worth it and I'd do it again tomorrow!

A word of warning, if you do this trip, make sure you don't plan on doing anything to active the following day. I was sooo achy from the journey and it took me a couple of days to recover... Still worth it!

Chichen Itza
You can't visit the Yucatan Peninsula and not visit Chichen Itza. We had high expectations for this Wonder of the World but after all of the other amazing trips we'd been on we were worried this one wouldn't live up to expectations... It did! It was amazing. So much interesting stuff to see. This was well worth the long bus ride.

The trip included a visit to a stunning cenote before Chichen Itza. It would've been nicer to go afterwards, but hey-ho! Was still great fun!

Whale Sharks
We had decided not to book this excursion because it was quite expensive, but in the end we just couldn't resist. It's something we've both always really wanted to do and we knew it'd probably be a long time before we'd get the opportunity again.

I will never regret spending that money. It was a life-changing experience. Everything we hoped it would be and more. These spectacular creatures were just incredible. Words can't describe the feeling of being in the water with them. They're so huge yet so gentle. Ah! Amazing!

The day started early (pick up at 5.55am!). We drove to Cancun where we were dropped off at the port. Here we had a little drink and a pastry for breakfast. Then we boarded our boat. There were 10 people in total on our boat. We were all given snorkels, masks and flippers. The boat sailed for about 40 mins and it was a really lovely ride. Not choppy at all with lovely views. After 40 mins we saw a few other boats and masses and masses of dorsal fins popping out of the water! We couldn't believe how easy it was to find the whale sharks.

We went into the water in pairs, each pair had 10 mins and then got out. We all got to go in the water 3 times which was plenty (although I could've easily stayed there all day). The water was quite choppy - lots of big swells and everyone on the boat felt really sick. Once you were in the water though, it was fine. Even though there were other boats there, there were so many whale sharks that you hardly noticed anyone else.

While swimming (always with a guide) the first time we found ourselves surrounded by three whale sharks! Amazing! Every time you turned there was another one. Even while waiting between swims on the boat the whale sharks were constantly coming up to the boat - they weren't shy! They're just the most beautiful, amazing creatures!

After we finished swimming the boat headed back inland and we were all given some cheese and ham sandwiches (best sandwiches I've ever had!). We then stopped at a reef and did a bit of snorkelling which was great. Saw lots of different fish included a big star fish. Lovely.

After this, we went to a lovely lagoon where the water was so amazingly clear! We got in the water and were served ceviche (prawn salad - amazing!) and drinks. There were a few boats around and they were playing Bob Marley while we bobbed in the water eating the ceviche and drinking our beers. It was heaven.


All in all, we had an amazing holiday! We're so glad we did the excursions. It was great to get out and see some of the amazing sights Mexico has to offer. The hotel was fantastic and we wouldn't hesitate to go there again and would recommend it to anyone. If all you want is a lazing by the pool/beach kind of holiday, then this hotel is great. For us, it served as a great base for our trips and a wonderful place to spend our time in between.

We were in desperate need of a holiday. We came back feeling completely refreshed having had some amazing experiences and thanks to staying in a wonderfully relaxing and beautiful hotel.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank haphol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 14 December 2015

Dear haphop,

Thank you for staying with us and for your kind review and recommendation. We are glad to know that we were able to meet your expectations

We appreciate your kind tone and look very forward to welcoming you back again in the near future

Best regards,
Santiago Escañuela
Asistente Dirección

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2011

WOW! Got back 9th August 2011, went with my mum and my two teenage daughters for two weeks all'inclusive and it was amazing. I actually can't find any faults! We have been to USA, Maldives, Spain etc etc but this holiday was by far the best. Its all there, and everyone was so nice. Well done, we are already looking forward to returning very soon, this resort has it all and we loved it. Thankyou!

  • Stayed: August 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank 1972quinny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 September 2011

Dear 1972quinny,

Thank you for your valuable feedback on Trip Advisor regarding your visit to Grand Palladium Resort & Spa.

I am very pleased to read that you and your family have enjoyed the hotel and facilities.

If you decide to visit us in the future, don't hesitate to contact with us.

Sincerely,

Banesa M° Burque
Resident Manager
dtor.colonialkantenah@fiestahotelgroup.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2011

This resort is surrounded by jungle and has a white sandy beach. It has an amazing selection of wild life which seems to be everywhere. In addition to this it has 2 Flamingo and crocodile pens so if you like the wild life you will love it. Of course being in the jungle you are prey for the mosquitoes but you have to expect that and be prepared for it. We received a free upgrade to a Mayan Suite which was great. The room was on the beach front. It had a King-size bed, flat screen TV, Coffee maker, IPOD dock, large balcony with hammock but best of all was the outside shower! In addition the room had free safe and mini bar (both standard). The food is the best we have had on an AI. The choice is amazing. The ala carte restaurants are worth a try but the buffet style also have a great choice and it is all very well prepared. Being able to use the facilities of the other hotels means that you can eat somewhere different everyday and you really feel like you are in a resort and not just a hotel. We can not believe some reports, anyone not happy with the food at this resort should stop going on vacation and remain at home! The drinks are known brands and not local. Generally the bar staff are very good considering the number of people needing service. In particular Ernisto who can be found at the Adult pool bar (White Sands). He quickly gets to know your drinks and looks after you VERY well. We never even had to ask, he just seemed to know when we needed a drink and brought them to us! A really nice man who always had happy smile and provided us with great service. Thank you! Not all the staff are as happy. We found the restaurant staff at Kantenah’s/Colonial buffets a bit glum looking and it was hard raising a smile, yet the opposite at the Buffets at White Sands/Riviera – they were lovely. Like wise we found the pool at Kantenah a bit packed and rowdy however it was quiet at White Sands. Strangely, our Daughter and Fiancé where at the resort 2 weeks before us and it was the opposite on both counts! So it may all be a question of timing. I find some of the negative reports uncalled for. However, it does seem that they all come from the same continent. Such reports can be summed up by a comment made in the report made by British Texas –“Remember that respect for others and a smiling face go a long way”...

Top Tips:
1. Book it
2. On arrival at the airport – take note your rep will meet you outside the terminal. Although the people inside look like reps they are timeshare salesman!
3. US Dollars are still widely used, especially in the airport.
4. Book it!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Awaythelad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 5 September 2011

Dear Awaythelad,

On behalf of the Palladium team, I wish to thank you for taking the time to share your comments about your stay with us.

We were delighted to read that you enjoyed your stay in Palladium. I appreciate your positive notes about the hotel, and I am very happy to read that you liked the hotel, restaurantes and other facilities.

Thank you once again for sharing your experience with us and other readers, and We look forward to welcoming you to Grand Palladium in the future

With Best Regards,

Banesa M° Burque
Resident Manager
dtor.colonialkantenah@fiestahotelgroup.com

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Reviewed 30 August 2011

We travelled as a family of three with a six year old girl. The reason for the title? Well the resort is advertised as 5 star (by Thomson and Fiesta) and we'd have agreed if our room was modern, we had a standard room and it was a bit tired with a few faults that required the handyman. The bed and pillows were not the best, possibly why there's a 'pillow menu' on the night table.... We made do with the ones provided, paying for a better pillow was a new one on us. The resort gives you access to the four lobbies with Kantenah/Colonial being the oldest - possibly explaining the bedrooms faults.
Resort guests can use all four lobbies and this is where the resort can advertise justifiably that it's facilities are approaching five star.
There are two main pools - laid out the same and both are huge with a swim up bar at each. Two smaller pools in the complex and a salt water pool by the shore.
There is also a pool at the spa, which has the gym and an artificial turf football pitch... WARNING mini golf, don't bother, the resort should bulldoze the thing, or at least not advertise it - save people looking for it and maybe the jungle will reclaim it.
The Kids Club provided our six year old with entertainment and activities during the day as well as a chance to jump on the Colonial stage prior to the nightly shows. A big thank you to Ana and the rest of the staff at the kids club, they work long hours.
The food - there are five buffets which provide breakfast/lunch for all guests and you have everything from fresh fruit to the full breakfast, burgers and cake. There's also two snack places on the beach - burgers, hotdogs and fries place, on colonial side and a wrap/fajitas place near to White Sands. We had no real issues with any of the places other than drink service if you caught the buffet at a busy time.
The al a carte restaurants were all good, the mexican 'Adelita' and chinese 'Bamboo' were our favourites - the kids menu is the same for them all though, which got a bit boring.
We also asked to go on a tour of one of the Mayan Suites that surround the lagoon at the Riviera, which was a Five Star hotel room.
We would recommend this resort to anyone, the kids club and facilities are good and the staff are helpful.
The only things we'd advise are mozzie spray - a must, and get a room upgrade, the standard room was our only real disappointment and don't expect a view from your balcony/terrace - it's a jungle out there!!!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank KnyMM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 9 September 2011

Dear KCCMM ,

Thank you for taking time to give us your opinion about your vacation here in the Grand Palladium. I would like to comment you that we are working in improve the facilities and service every day. All comments, positive and negative, are help for us, a very important help.

Please, if you decide to visite us in the future, don't hesitate to contact with us.

Banesa Mª Burque
Resident Manager
dtor.colonialkantenah@fiestahotelgroup.com

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Reviewed 30 August 2011

This is the 4th time that I've been to Mexico. The first time was to Cancun, the second time to Playa del Carmen (Iberostart Tucan), and the 3rd time to Hotel Akumal Caribe. Until this visit, all of my vacations have been nice. At this hotel, check in took 1.5 hours, and the front desk staff were incredibly rude. It didn't help that we were exhausted from a long day of travel from Atlanta. No tropical drinks were brought to us either. Our reservation was for this hotel but we were put in another hotel on the property so we requested that we be put back in this hotel. I had read the reviews on trip advisor and thought that this was the best hotel at the property. FYI, the rooms are the same at the resorts. One isn't better than the other unless you stay in the villa's. Just make sure that you stay at a room that is closest to the pools and the beach or you will be doing a ton of walking. I'm in shape and walk a lot so I thought that walking was not a big deal. It becomes a big deal. Imagine, that you forget your sunglasses in your room or a hat etc, you literally will be walking about .5 miles to your room depending on the location. The golf carts aren't available to bring you to the pools and the beach. I've learned a lesson, huge resorts don't make for a relaxing vacation. Now on to the service problem. 1. Check in was a nightmare; serveral of the American guests said the same thing. The front desk staff just don't seem to be happy with their jobs. They never smile, and offer zero customer service. I've never seen a resort like this in all of my travels. When you are in another country, you want to feel comfortable with the hotel in case of emergency. No comfort here. 2. We went to one of the mediterranean restaurants for dinner. At the hour mark, we still didn't have our entree's. My little boy was falling asleep on the table. We got up and left without eating our entree's. Once again, the staff weren't welcoming and nice. 3. The first night, there was a domestic dispute in the hotel room above us. Tons of screaming and fighting. The hotel security came. We didn't get any sleep at all. 4. The second night, we had a knock on our door at around 2 PM in the morning. We didn't open the door, being half asleep, and he opened it without our consent. Very scary. The night manager said that our air conditioner was vibrating and keeping our next door neighbor up with our baby. It wasn't even loud. He said that we had to turn it off or they could come in and fix it in the middle of the night. We were given no choice. I was shocked. So we had 3 strange men come in our room in the middle of the night to supposedly fix our air conditioner. Once again, very scary. We are in a foreign country. They actually removed parts so that we couldn't run it all. So now we have no air conditioner at all due to a vibration that bothers our neighbor. Needless to say, in the morning, we are exhausted after our second night of no sleep. I go to the front desk manager in the morning, and he wasn't nice at all about it. Surprise, surprise. There's obviously a real management problem at the hotel. We proceed to call our travel agent, and apple vacations, and move to a different hotel. None of our money was refunded etc... To be honest, our room was very clean and nice. The grounds were very nice as well. If you are going to anothe country, make sure that you pay the extra money to get a hotel with excellent ratings on trip advisor. I've learned my lesson. Service is very important.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank duggan_atl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 14 December 2015

Dear duggan_atl,

Thank you so much for your review. We truly appreciate you taking the time to describe your full experience on our property.


We have taken note of each matter you have had and will pass them on to the appropriate members of our staff. Guest satisfaction is our top priority and we regret that we fell short during your stay. The issues you experienced are very rare and we do hope that you will allow us another opportunity to exceed your expectations. 
By the way, we love constructive criticism, and will select those substantive points of your review, that help us improve; which is the purpose for our daily work

In short, thank you for your trust and hope that despite the issues you comment, you were able to create a nice memory of your vacation.

Regards,
Santiago Escañuela
Asistente Direccion

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