We have recently returned from a two week stay at The Grand Palladium and had a wonderful time. I carefully researched the holiday before booking and can only agree with all the positive things said about this resort so I won’t be boring and repeat it all. It wasn’t spotlessy clean because some inconsiderate and thoughtless guests don’t seem to know what bins are for. That said, rubbish wasn’t left lying around for long. The staff worked extremely hard from early in the morning until late at night. Wherever we went there were staff cleaning, tidying, maintaining or repairing. We experienced a problem with the screen door on our balcony half way through our holiday and reported it as we went out to dinner. It had been repaired upon our return.
We had a horrendous transfer from Cancun airport (4 hours and not the fault of the resort) and after a 10 hour flight from Manchester, arrived feeling pretty tired and fed up. Check in was quick, efficient and informative. We were given a lovely welcome drink and cool cloth and told we had been upgraded from a standard room in Colonial to a junior suite with a sea view in Riviera. This all helped to improve the mood. Our luggage was removed from the coach and transferred by the hard working bell boys to our suite. We didn’t have to touch it again until we unpacked. The suite was very spacious and clean and we had none of the problems mentioned by some negative reviewers on Tripadvisor. The room was cleaned every day, the bed changed every three days and we were treated to lots of creative towel art.
Service in the bars and restaurants was excellent and staff, on the whole were very friendly and cheerful. Another indication of how hard they worked was that the decorations in the three main buffets were changed every evening to reflect the theme of the day. I can’t understand the comments made by some people about the buffets being boring, bland and repetitive. Choice in the buffets was extensive… complaining about it is a bit like saying supermarkets sell the same food every day. We never encountered any problems with finding a table and the resort was full when we stayed. Service at both breakfast and lunch was quick and efficient and coffee and water refilled promptly without having to ask. We mainly ate at the al a carte restaurants in the evenings and as we tend to eat early we didn’t ever have to wait although I believe a pager system is in use later in the evening. One thing I hadn’t come across on previous reviews is that the al a carte restaurants are adult only on a rotational basis (one per night). Details of this can be found displayed outside the restaurants and in the lobby areas. This is a bonus if like us you are travelling without children. We ate at most of the restaurants but particularly liked the Mediterranean and our favourite was Ribs and More. The service there was excellent. The food quality for a resort of this size and for the price paid was also consistently good. There is a wide selection of tasty breads and pastries cooked fresh every day. We would also recommend booking the barbeque on the beach, it needs to be booked a day in advance. Our only negative experience was that like many other guests we queued early in the morning on numerous occasions to book the Japanese restaurant only to find that there were no slots before 10:00pm.
The drinks menu is extensive and as strong as you want them to be and premium drinks are available in Hemmingways bar to all guests.
I can’t really comment on the entertainment in the theatres because we didn’t go to any of the performances. Not our kind of thing. But the team were always busy rehearsing. There were often live music performances in the lobbies which were generally very good but lacked variety. A bit repetitive.
Smoking was allowed almost everywhere which proved to be a nuisance at times. We had a smoking room which was not a problem as it didn’t smell at all but I did find the notice in the room a little odd. It requested that you didn’t smoke in your room if there were children or pregnant women in your party or if any staff were in your room. So effectively you are warned not to smoke near people you care about but you can blow as much smoke into the faces of strangers as you want, including staff working in the bars and around the resort…. Just not in your own room!
Some negative reviewers complained of a bad smell….. mangroves are smelly, it’s natural and they are only in small areas of the resort. Mosquitoes? Never encountered any. And we didn’t meet anyone who had problems with stomach upsets either. Some complained about having to walk… I am not a walker but rarely took the golf carts or train and found it didn’t take more than 10 minutes or so to get from A to B no matter where we were going. Also there was always lots of wildlife to see on the way which made it more interesting. Initially you will probably get lost, especially walking between the two lobby areas but we found if we headed for the beach it only took about 5 minutes and what can be nicer than strolling along a Caribbean beach to get to your destination?
There were a lot of children at the resort and some very inconsiderate and very irresponsible parents. I actually saw one woman at the beach strip her toddler naked and let her roam off on her own. Neither parent paid any attention to her whatsoever for at least 10 minutes. Anything could have happened and they wouldn’t have noticed! Thankfully there are a couple of adult only pools where I could relax and not have to worry about other people’s children.
We had a very relaxing and memorable holiday and although we rarely return to the same place twice I wouldn’t hesitate to book any section of The Grand Palladium again and would thoroughly recommend it as a holiday destination. The Thomson Dreamliner is also a far superior experience to any long haul flight we have taken previously.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa is located sea front with superb access to the beach and is only 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen. Guests 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 White Sand Resort & Spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium Riviera Hotel Akumal
- Grand Palladium Riviera Resort And Spa
- Grand Palladium Riviera Maya
- Hotel Grand Palladium Riviera
- Grand Palladium Riveria
- Gran Palladium Riviera
- Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa Riviera Maya, Mexico - Akumal