Our family (husband, I, daughters 17 & 14) stayed at the Palladium Mar 26 – April 2. After reading the reviews I was starting to think that I had made a very big mistake in the choice to stay there. We all went in with an open mind, ready to make the best of whatever got thrown at us. We were all VERY pleasantly surprised, and very happy with our stay. I’ve come to the realization that sometimes, some people, will never be pleased.
Where to start.
Buffet: Firstly, I was taken aback when I seen how large the buffet was, and the dining areas were comfortably appointed, and the staff very attentive. There were some constants, such as the tossed and Caesar salad, the pasta bar, bread station, fresh fruit, dessert, and pizza. And then the rest of the buffet changed nightly, many authentic Mexican foods (we were in Mexico), and always a variety of different meat/fish, potatoe/rice, and vegetable options. I have one daughter who is a vegetarian and she never had any trouble finding plenty to eat. The area was constantly being wiped down, tongs changed, and kept clean. It was impressive. Breakfast buffet had everything you would ever see on any breakfast menu anywhere, the fact that it didn’t change too much was because there was nothing to change it with…. What else would you want to see for breakfast? French toast, pancakes, omelet’s (or just fried eggs if you wished), sausage, bacon, toast, fruit, yogurt, cheese, fried potatoes, you name it, and it was there.
Rooms: Exactly as expected, clean, modestly appointed, and all in working order. Beds were fine, not hard for us. Our two rooms were in building one overlooking the adult pool and the ocean. I was apprehensive at first, as I had originally wanted to overlook the main pool in building two, but in the end these were perfect for us, quiet, and easy access to everything. Sleeping with our patio doors open to hear the surf all night long was hypnotizing. The Maids were very helpful, and left more water if you left a note, ( in Spanish). And we took trinkets and gifts, which we left on our pillows with a tip daily.
Beach: From suggestion on this forum we all took watershoes, and they were great. I must reiterate however, that the whole bay was formed because of a volcano, so when people say there are rocks, they aren’t gravel rocks on the beach, its actually hardened lava, and not loose rocks. The beach is very nice sand. We really enjoyed the walks on the lava out in the water, some very interesting creatures to be found, and tide pools to explore. Great photo ops as well, the crabs just scatter when they see a shadow or movement, quite fun. Kayaks were a blast, and many were enjoying surfing and boogie boarding. You can walk for a very long time, and go infront of some very impressive homes along the beach.
Pool: Main pool was always a hub of activity, maybe the same CD’s being played day in day out, but lots always happening. The Adult pool we didn’t spend too much time at, however the loungers around it were always filled with many sun worshipers. I didn’t witness any unruly behaviour. The infinity pool was nice at sunset.
Entertainment: What a blast. The activities staff is also the entertainment for the evenings. This isn’t Vegas, and you aren’t paying $100.00 a show - so the negative reviewers need to lighten up. It’s as fun as you make it. Enjoy yourself! Often staff approach you during the day to see if you would like to participate, our daughter did twice, and she had a blast. The staff work very hard all day, and I really don’t know when they get time to rehearse or create the new shows, but our first night was a premiere of a show that they performed poolside. It was such a great welcome to the resort, and most impressive. We looked forward to the shows nightly, it was a chance to mingle and visit with all the guests. It was also nice to have the vendors brought in Monday and Friday nights to the resort, for those who didn’t get out of the resort they had a chance to do some shopping.
Tours: We just did the rough city tour to Puerto Vallarta, figuring that we might not get back into town on our own. Our guide was informative and explained a lot. I wasn’t interested in seeing the “fancy houses” that were being built, I’d have rather spent more time along the boardwalk, main beach area, the market and romantic area. Lunch wasn’t included on our tour either, and I was rather disappointed that we didn’t actually get to have lunch until 3pm. We had left the hotel at 8, so breakfast had been early… 3 pm was just too late in the day. Other than the market in PV, the other stops that the tour makes gets kickbacks from the amount of purchases that are made at those stops, (the nut man at the lookout, the silver store in the romantic area, and the restaurant in Mismaloya)…Le Kliff restaurant would have been a much preferred restaurant stop than were we did stay for lunch. Amazing view, and prices not much more than the “tour bus” menu that we were given. All in all, the tour was a great experience, we wouldn’t have ever ate at a place like we did- seemed rather questionable when we pulled up, but the food was probably the best we had all week, and the atmosphere great once we settled into a Corona or two ;-). (the restaurant also didn’t take CC’s so pesos were a must) I almost forgot to mention the tequila tasting tour - it was a interesting and informative stop.
Restaurants: Service was excellent, food was great, atmosphere was awesome. Staff are amazing.
Bucerius: A must do trip by bus. Quite the experience on the local bus system, and thankfully the ATM machine worked for us to get Pesos. A very Mexican experience to wander down the cobble stone streets. Much better prices than PV market, and vendors who spoke very fluent English. The local stores is where I purchased my Vanilla, and hot sauce for gifts.
Hotel grounds: Beautiful, the lush green tropical vegetation amazing. Walking was never an issue for us, I’ve walked much farther from my elevator to my room in Las Vegas ;-). The resort itself was like a little paradise after the initial trip from the airport. A bit of a culture shock to see the “Mexican drive thru’s” and some of the living conditions on the bus trip to the resort.
Front desk staff could perhaps smiled upon check in, we were served beverages while waiting in line to check in; the reservation system worked fine for our dinners (we got there early and didn’t have to wait at all). I understand that some people had problems with room location as far as noise levels go, luckily we had none of those issues.
Overall – it was a great vacation for our family. We enjoyed everything, and don’t think we would change anything. The staff go out of their way to assist and accommodate. They are friendly, pleasant and always have smiles on their faces.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.