This was my 12th trip to the Riviera Maya area, second time to an all-inclusive there.
ARRIVAL: Our trip started out with a four hour delay at the Denver airport while a plane part was flown in from L.A. Not a good start for a trip. We finally arrived at the Palladium at 10:30 pm (several hours late) and the first thing the night manager said to us was, "Oh, your finally here! We were getting worried about you when you didn't show up." This as the bartender brought us drinks while we registered. Next, we were informed that they had given away our bungalow suite since we were so late, but they were upgrading us to a third floor, one bedroom, beach front suite. Bummer ; )
THE ROOM: Let me tell you, this room was wonderful. It had two balconies (great views from both), a lovely bedroom, nice bathroom and a full size living room. The bed was very comfortable (unlike the Iberostar Tucan which was like sleeping on a concrete block!) No complaints at all about the room mix up! Plus for the "inconvenience" of not getting the room we had originally reserved, they gave us two free massages at the spa. I'd have to give them an A+++ for customer service.
STAFF: All of the staff were friendly, our rooms were always clean, the mini-bar fully stocked, and the restaraunt staff went out of their way to meet my friends special dietary needs.
The resort is large, but this made it feel less crowded. The only places you felt like their were a lot of other people around you were in the buffets and on the beach, and even there it was never crowded to the point of uncomfortable.
FOOD: The food in the buffets was okay, but the Brazillian steak house was out of this world! You must go there! I was just happy that EVERY restaraunt (including beach bar) had large vats of the most wonderful guacamole you have ever tasted. The drinks at the bars were good, not watered down at all (it helps if you tip the bartenders a few times, they will remember you and make you stronger drinks!)
THE GROUNDS: Abosolutely beautiful! Like almost everyone has noted, this is a large mega-resort consisting of four resorts in one. The trams run on a very dependable schedule, but walking everywhere is also fairly easy once you have a feel for the lay of the land and don't get lost! Their does seem to be a significant mosquito problem on the Colonial side of the resort because it is more jungle oriented with great boardwalks that take you through the thick of it. Be sure to take some bug spray if you plan to enjoy walks in the jungle! On the White Sands side this didn't seem to be a problem at all.
THE BEACH: The beach is beautiful but getting in and out of the water can be treacherous because there are large boulders of dead coral right at the water line. This may seem like a bad thing, but in reality it is why the beach is still there after several severe storms have washed away other resorts beaches in the last few years. You just have to be careful and watch your step. There is actually fairly good snorkling if you to all the way out to the ropes, clear water and a fair amount of sea life to be seen.
The only downside I found to this wonderful resort was the distance from the airport, but on the plus side of that.... it is only minutes from Xel-Ha, Tulum, and Akamul Bay!
And lastly, a word about safety in response to the State Departments call for no travel to Mexico because of drug cartel violence. That is a problem being faced in the northern border towns, not in the Yucatan! There is a very strong police and military presence in the area (after all, a large portion of the countries tourist dollars come from this area... they want to keep you safe!), and the resorts have good private security as well. In the 12 times I have been to this area I have never felt unsafe. Just use the same common sense that you would while traveling to any unfamiliar area.) Taxis are safe, just be sure to have the bellhop in the lobby call one for you, and if taking one back to the resort from some area attraction, be sure to go to a legitimate taxi station where the prices to your destination are clearly listed before you get in the cab.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Palladium White Sand 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 White Sand are invited to use the facilities provided by the adjoining Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, and the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa (excluding the Royal Suite facilities). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium White Sand Resort And Spa
- Grand Palladium White Sand Hotel Akumal
- Palladium White Sands
- Grand Palladium White Sands Resort
- Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa Riviera Maya, Mexico - Akumal