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Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 21 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed 23 April 2009

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.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Rabbit99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DtorAdjunto, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2017

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your nice feedback regarding your stay at the Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa

We are delighted to note that you had a pleasant experience on our lovely resort years ago. It’s always a pleasure when our guests have a wonderful time with us.

We appreciate your kind tone and look very forward to welcoming you back again in the near future to show you the newest development and progress.

Best regards,
Grand Palladium Team

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Reviewed 20 April 2009

For our third all-inclusive go-round, we were joined by our 23-, 21-, and 17-year old kids. Though we had been to the area last year, this was our first GP stay, and our oldest "child's" first foray into the all-inclusive world. All in all, we had a good time, though there were "buts..." to the trip.

AREA: The resort is FAR from the Cancun airport, so be prepared for a lengthy van ride. Only went off-resort once (to Playa del Carmen) and even that was a 20-30 minute drive, so if you are interested in seeing the locale, stay somewhere else.

RESORT: Lovely, but very spread out. The walking wasn't a problem for us (note: acclimate your feet to summer shoes ahead of time!), but I could see that it could have been a problem for the elderly or those with little babies in strollers. We really just focused on the beach, so making the trip there and back once a day was no big deal. Everything we encountered was very clean and maintained.
Spent a good deal of meeting time in the lobby area which was spacious and welcoming. Overall, a very jungley atmosphere, and somewhat hard to orient yourself...look for and rely upon the numerous wooden maps they have frequently placed. Though many people said bugs weren't an issue, my daughters and I were eaten alive after dark...! Though we were there over the Spring Break rush (April 11-18), it never felt crowded.

ROOMS: We were told that our rooms were right next to each other, which apparently in Spanish means on two different floors, but after a couple days, we were able to move to a more suitable room. The bathrooms were a little creepy, especially for our kids. It took a little maneuvering for the daughters to be comfortable with the semi-transparency of the shower door, but they apparently got used to it. The beds were comfy though the pillows were itsy-bitsy! The sleeper sofa, which was where our 23-year-old son (and 6'1") son slept was REALLY small. Everything from his mid-shin down was off the mattress! A few extra cervesas, and that didn't seem to bother him!

FOOD: I personally got pretty sick of the group we were with complaining about the food. I guess if you want American food, you should stay in America. For me, I would have felt pretty guilty criticizing the food when we were eating far better than most of the help, not to mention the locals in the surrounding area. After all, if I were invited to a friend's home for dinner, I would certainly not berate their menu choice or culinary skill, but rather be appreciative of what they were generous enough to offer. Yes, I understand that we were PAYING for the meal, but it was the best they had to offer, and I was grateful that I didn't have to prepare it, serve it, or clean up after it...a welcome break from my normal day!

BEVERAGES: I'm not much of a drinker, but I had a few cocktails every day. Were they watered down? Sure, but that was ok with me. My son and husband certainly had no problem getting a buzz, so I guess it is just a matter of how much you want to drink! In 96 degree heat, I was more concerned with staying hydrated than getting drunk! Besides, I wanted to REMEMBER my vacation!

ENTERTAINMENT: Lots of water sport equipment was available, though only boogie boards and wind-surfing were attempted by my family. The volleyball courts got a major work-out from my son and husband though, as did the work-out facility by the whole family. As for nightly entertainment, my kids spent most of it in the game room playing cards. They only went to the disco once and had fun, but honestly, we were all too tired from our days in the sun to stay up too late! Tried a few of the shows, but they were not of our taste. Not bad, mind you, just not our cup of tea.

OVERVIEW: Liked the Barcelo Maya Palace rooms better...liked the nightly shows at the Iberostar (Punta Cana) better...definitely liked the food at this resort more than either Barcelo Maya Palace or Iberostar (Punta Cana). Would I stay here again...SURE!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank compudorks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DtorAdjunto, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2017




Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your friendly review. We are very pleased to have made your stay a special and memorable one!
It makes us happy to know that you had a wonderful vacation and we were able to live up your expectations! Thank you for sharing.
Your home away from home awaits you next time you are in Mexico, and show all the newest renovation and progress

Best regards,
Grand Palladium Team

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Reviewed 19 April 2009

The service was awful. We didn't get the room we requested; we were put on a waiting list and NEVER contacted the entire week. The vanity was broken and we reported it and it was never fixed the entire week we stayed there. Entertainment was amateurish and not much night life at all! One disco in four hotels! The staff was not helpful. The drinks were way watered down and the hotel used Name brand bottles e.g. Bacardi light and dark, etc. It didn't even taste like they had alcohol in the drinks. The buffets were not good. Same food each day. The restaurants didn't take reservations and we had to wait 1 1/2 hours some nights for dinner at the "popular" restaurants.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank lovethesunHolland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2009

The front lobby staff was rude we had a arrangement with our tour company conquest vacations at which time the hotel quit relations with conquest the hotel then demanded
that we had to pay the hotel bill or we would not be allowed to leave the resort
we where threatened by management of the hotel we would be arrested?
we where held by the hotel and had to pay $1668 cdn to the hotel when had all ready paid $3500 cdn to conquest for this vacation . it was a very frighting experience for my family
also being told that we would be tossed out on to the street like common criminals in the middle of the night for non payment of the bill

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank deskdriver2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2009

What can I say...I have traveled a bit but haven't done too many "all inclusive" resorts and wasn't a huge fan of those I had visited. However, when traveling with 7 teenagers you look for the best way to feed and entertain them. I figured I would sacrafice some quality for more value...WRONG!!! Grand Palladium so far exceeded my expectations in all areas. The accomodations were beautiful, well kept, clean and spacious. The food excellent by American standards and outstanding by resort standards. The setting (very jungly) was exactly what we were looking for without any of the unpleasantries of jungle life (such as bugs.) The staff was helpful, friendly yet unobtrusive. I would recommend White Sands over the other three hotels due to the proximity to everything and the quality of rooms but I heard that they were all wonderful. We are already planning our next GP trip WITHOUT THE KIDS!

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled with family
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4  Thank Islandbound0512
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DtorAdjunto, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2017


Dear Guest,

First of all, we want to thank you for choosing us as you holiday provider. Thank you also for sharing your excellent experience at the Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa.

We are delighted to know that we were able to exceed your expectations. We are beyond thrilled when our guests have a fantastic experience with us.
Thank you again. We are so looking forward to welcoming you back again in the future to show you all the improvements and renovations in the last years

Best regards,
Grand Palladium Team

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Reviewed 15 April 2009

If you want sun and only sun, then you'll have it (at least we did). Other than that, I guess the saying "you get what you pay for" is true, only this trip we didn't. We arrived at 1045 and was told that our room wouldn't be ready until 1500. Well, they were right, we waited for almost 4 hours for a room. When we got to our room, it was not what we asked for (this was the travel agent's fault, not the hotel's). When we asked for another room we were told the resort was fully booked (and if it was, the people were well hidden for the whole week). We were told that they could accommodate us then next day, unless, of course we wanted to pay $90 a night for an upgrade (and I thought the hotel said they were fully booked?). That night, the entire front of the "bathroom" vanity fell off, and despite repeated calls to service, including a conversation with the night manager, it stayed that way for our entire week. And speaking of the bathroom, be warned! If you don't care for privacy, then you will like this room. The jacuzzi/tub is IN the bedroom, the shower and toilet have only a frosted glass door which also opens up directly into the bedroom. You can hear all bathroom noises throughout the room. The shower offers no privacy when you are through, so modest Americans are out of luck. The next day, when checking on a room change, we were told again that they were fully booked. I know for a fact that the room next to us, which would accommodate our request, was vacated that morning. The manager told us he would call us back....he never did. After the third day of this run-around, we gave up. There were other problems with the room, but I'll focus on the resort next.
Please be aware that the resort is far from anywhere, and the hotel offers no shuttle service to the nearest towns, so you either go by tour, or take a taxi. We did everything on our own. There is absolutely no night life at the resort, unless you're 16 and want to go to the disco which opens up at 2300 and is packed with other teenagers. The buffets are only edible is you're eating breakfast. Lunch and dinner were pretty uninviting, not to mention other adjectives. Dinner was eating at one of the restaurants if you can't stomach the buffet. Despite what you've read on other comments here, you cannot make reservations, so unless you get there very early, there is a 90 minute wait for a table, which is interesting, since looking in the restaurants many of the tables were empty. Understaffed? And this is 5 star? A far cry from the Four Seasons!
Ok, now for the all inclusive package. I am not a big drinker at all, but after 10 drinks I didn't even have a buzz. I drank more mixed drinks in the 7 days I was there, then I have in probably the last 10 years of my life with no effect. In fact, with the all you can drink deal they had, I never saw one person who even seemed like they had been drinking. These drinks, coming out of premium bottles, were at least half water. I didn't go there to get drunk, but I didn't go to drink watered down drinks either. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Definately not a repeat visit to this resort.
On a good note, the fitness center was really nice, as was the spa. The weather was great, and the staff was friendly....not helpful, but friendly. The grounds were well kept up, and the place was extremely clean.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with friends
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4  Thank TBoner1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2009

My husband and I went to the Grand Palladium White Sand from March 4-14. We had never been to Mexico, and never been to an all-inclusive. I was concerned that the hotel wouldn't live up to the reviews and pictures that I'd seen. Much to our surprise and pleasure the hotel, grounds, service and restaurants far surpassed our expectations. Yes, there is a lot of walking, but the walkways are beautiful and there's always the golf carts or little trains to ride if you don't want to walk. We went to the gym every day and the equipment was top quality and the facility was spotless. The only thing I would recommend is to bring your own music (iPod etc) as the gym music wasn't that invigorating.
Restaurants: The buffet choices were HUGE. I'm fussy, and enjoyed every meal. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies, choices of meats, different breads. We tried the Brazilian, Steak House, Ribs & More, the restaurant on the beach and the Beach BBQ. Every meal was unique, delicious and the service was great.
Rooms: we had heard that there were some people with difficulty getting the type of room that they reserved, but we got exactly what we requested - jr suite with a king bed. The jacuzzie fit two comfortably, the room was always clean and the bar fridge was always stocked up. The balcony was big enough for both of us to sit out on without feeling crowded.
Beach: all water sports were as advertised, I was just surprised to hear that you could only use the equipment for an hour at a time (but they were pretty easygoing about it - a Mexican hour they called it! LOL).
Hotel: lots of activies and entertainment, the service was always friendly and prompt. Extremely clean.
We had no complaints at all about the whole experience. We also did the Coba trip, and it was great, really good tour group. We organized our own trip to Playa del Carmen, and went the Xcaret - a must see for everyone. There was so much to do around the hotel that we really didn't feel the need to do a lot of excursions.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Missfit909
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DtorAdjunto, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2017


Dear Guest

Awesome! Sounds like you had a splendid trip here at Grand Palladium Resort & Spa. We have succeeded providing a memorable vacation.
Thank you for your feedback. This information has let us know during the years to know what we are excelling in and what we need to work on and we can proudly show a new development with many renovated facilities and a generally resort upgrade.
We appreciate your kind words on our resort amenities. Our staff is always there to assist and make your experience even greater. It’s our hope to be able to exceed your expectations once more.
We feel honored that you would return and can’t wait to see you on your next vacation!

Best regards,
Grand Palladium Team

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Additional Information about Grand Palladium White Sand 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:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#8 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#9 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#12 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#12 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range: £188 - £507 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 264
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

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