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“Will try a different AI next time” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa

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Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km, 256-100 | Municipio Solidaridad, Akumal 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 21 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence 2014
A TripAdvisor Member
“Will try a different AI next time”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2005

I stayed at the Grand Palladium on the Colonial side over Aug. 20-27. I went with 8 people between the ages of 16 - 53. This was my fourth stay at an AI resort in Quintana Roo and was definitely my least enjoyed trip because of the following gripes I have about GP Colonial: the service was sub-par at best; the food was not that good and sometimes, quite bad; the construction of new property was loud (you could hear it at the pool - and the loudness in our room was unpleasant).

This was the first resort I've stayed at where anything I asked for was denied - at least initially. This is a poor way to encourage repeat visits in my opinion - the other resorts I've stayed at always accommodated any request within reason. For instance, they would only give out one beach umbrella per room. One umbrella is not sufficient to provide shade to two people on lounge chairs and since most of the palapas were still in the reconstruction phase, there should have been leniency in these requests. The pool palapas were also in various states of repair and many were missing, so there was inadequate shade there as well and when we asked to take a beach umbrella to the pool, again denied. There were even umbrella stands in the pool area - for show apparently. Additionally, the policy of pants in the a la carte restaurants was staunchly upheld, which I find asinine. We're in Mexico in August and men are supposed to wear pants? And who can see your legs when you're sitting at the table eating? Our entire group was turned away from the Mexican restaurant (ironic) because one of our guys didn't bring any pants. I understand they have policies in place, but I found this policy and their adherence to it to be ridiculous. Teenage boys were allowed to wear shorts, but not grown men? What's the difference!

The food at the other resorts I stayed at was far superior to the offerings here. They had a very small selection of fresh fruit, which was very disappointing based on previous experience in Mexico. I would say half of the buffet offerings at dinner were downright scary-looking. And to add insult to injury, we had two instances where roaches were spotted in the buffet by people in our group - one roach I saw when it scurried across the dinner table. Nasty!

I can overlook a lot of stuff about the room itself because I tend to spend most of my time outside of the room while on vacation. But it starts to take on an air of ridiculousness at GP. The mini fridge was not cold - more like lukewarm. We called about it, set the fridge outside of the door since that's what they told us to do and when we returned, the same fridge, with no apparent amendments was returned inside the room - nothing was done. We had to rig up the room telephone because it didn't work - the jack was hanging by a wire out of the wall and we had to use a matchstick to rig it up so it worked. The construction noise was seriously unbearable. It would start at 7:30 in the morning every day but Sunday and continue until 5:00 pm, with the only break being siesta, I guess. We had the unfortunate luck to be placed on the construction side of our building and of course, right by the construction site. While I spend most of the time out of the room, I do like to take naps on vacation and that was pretty much out of the question here.

Overall, for the amount of money we spent on this vacation, I cannot in good faith recommend this resort. For all of the people giving this place five stars, try out the Iberostar line of resorts. You'll be in for a real treat.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2005

Myself and another travel agent in my office visited the Grand Palladium from Sept. 17-21. I was amazed at the quality of service at this hotel. Every staff member I encountered always had a smile and a "hola" for me. We loved the entertainment staff who worked so hard to make sure everyone had a good time. I think the key to any great vacation is what you put into it. We made an effort to get involved in the daily activities and tried Bingo, trivia games, spanish lessons etc. At night, when we went to the shows, the staff all knew our names and would grab us to come up on the stage and dance or play a game etc. We got to know the hostess at the buffet, Cinthia, who greeted us with her lovely smile in the morning and would still be smiling when we came back for dinner at night. Horacio, our waiter at the shows and the disco, laughed with us and got us to taste some new drinks we had never tried. Our maid left us towel animals and even folded my pj's that I had carelessly thrown on the bed. After a full day of site inspections that had our feet aching we decided to try massages at the spa and Manuel and Miguel had us both so relaxed we never wanted to leave. All in all, this resort exceeded my expectations and I thought it was a great palce for anyone looking to have a nice, laid-back, unpretentious good-time.

  • Stayed September 2005, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2005

We have stayed in at least 5 different hotels in this area within the last 8 years. This stay was the most disappointing of all of them. The staff was not nearly as pleasant as our previous experiences. We were with a group of 9 (My husband and I, 3 married children and their spouses and our 16 year old). My husband and I and our 16 year old had a room with two double beds. A double bed is just not acceptable for two adults. My son finally ended sleeping on the floor. (They don't have roll away beds). There was very loud construction going on outside of the rooms and they would start this Jack-hammer type thing at 7:30am each morning. This was not to repair hurricane damage but, as I said, for new additions to the resort. The first two days we were there, the electric would go off for several hours at a time and it gets very, very dark there with no lights what-so-ever. It also gets warm and stuffy in the rooms. The pool is absolutely beautiful but too deep for everyone under 6'3" tall. There were signs up all over about no nudity but this was not enforced.
There was not really anything to do in the evenings except drink and watch the shows which were mediocre and didn't start till 10pm each evening. The food was plentiful but mostly disappointing taste-wise. And finally, and most disconcerting, my daughter and I (two out of 9) got very ill from the hotel food or water (we did not eat anywhere but at our resort). Our last two days were spent sitting on or standing over the porcelein bus. This also made us quite anxious on the trip to the airport and the flight home as we were not sure what would come up (literally). I definitely would not recommend this resort at this time.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2005

Just returned from our second visit to the Palladium and third visit to the Roo in the past 3 years. Stayed at the Bahia in 2004 and Palladium in 2003.
As we were arriving August 21, we were concerned the effects of Emily may ruin our trip. For those of you concerned, don't be. Other than a few missing palapas, some banged up jungle and a fountain in the main lobby of the Colonial side not functioning, the resort is 100%. Based on what I had read and seen in photos posted here and on other sites, the repairs are quite an accomplishment.
A few general comments. First of all, we thoroughly enjoyed our vacation. As repeat visitors and having stayed at other AIs in Mexico and the Caribbean we were aware of what to expect in regards to food, facilities and the like. We choose to return to the Palladium because we felt, overall it had the most to offer our family. (Husband, wife and two boys 9 and 11). While the resort still offers loads of activities for all ages and terrific food, we felt that, unlike our previous visit, the finer details were lacking. For example.

1.Although we e-mailed the resort prior to arrival, indicating we were repeat clients and would like a king size bed none was provided. Although we saw many first timers receive upgrades as we waited at check in.

2.Had to call several times as houskeeping left only 2 or 3 towels although there were 4 of us in the room.

3.Pool was very dirty. Requested several times to have scum removed at entry stairs however was never done.

4.In the past, the staff was very friendly. Very few employees acknowledged or spoke to us.

5.Service at the buffet restaurants was POOR to say the least. Would be seated, serve ourselves food and be half way done eating before anyone would even ask if we wanted water or some other beverage. And we tipped! We even tried tipping as we sat down, prior to receiving any service and that did not help. After 2 or 3 days of this we just stopped tipping altogether. Left the US with every intention of tipping the $160.00 in singles we took, returned with almost $100.00. In addition several times when we did finally receive our drinks the stemware was chipped or broken and had to be returned therefore adding additional wait time for a beverage. There was no problem with the food at the buffets and as we had experienced during our previous visit, the variety and quality were exceptional. I must add here however, service at the Ala-carte restaurants was OUTSTANDING. We visited the Japanese, Mexican and SteakHouse and all three were great. The food and service were as good as we have seen at many high end restaurants in the US and better than almost any resort we have visited.

As indicated in the begining of the review, we had a wonderful trip We are hopeful the dip in service is only temporary and perhaps a result of the staff being overwelmed by hurricane recovery,however, we will probably not return to the Palladium until we can be sure these type of service issue are worked out.

On a final note, they are adding a very large addition to the resort and these new rooms will share the facilities of the existing resort. From our perspective this is not a good thing as there are currently issues handling the existing client base. Hopfully, the Palladium will get its act back together and return to the first class resort it should be and not just another AI in the jungle of AIs.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2005

Stayed at the G.P. for 7 days. Overall nice resort. Long ride from the airport, so be prepared.
Keep in mind that this resort is set in a jungle like environment. It rained for about 15-30 min each evening, which was not a problem, but the next day the smell of rotting vegetation in the blazing sun was not plesant when walking around. Be prepared to be bitten up by monster mosquitos, so forget about those romantic strolls on the beach at sunset...Forget about eating at the buffet area by the pool unless you are in the mood to shoo away flys the whole time.
Drinks were not strong, had multiple margaritas, pina coladas without getting buzzed...
Food: I thought there was a lot of variety, but quality was lacking at the buffets for lunch (pizza was a joke) and dinner (not a lot of healthy options tons of fried foods). Breakfast buffets were pretty good and varied. The coffee was terrible. I'm used to having espresso after dinner and it was like drinking tar. We ate at the Japanese, Mexican and the Steakhouse, all were ok...house wine was bad.
Spa was great, had a nice back/neck/shoulder massage...
Rooms were nice. We never used the balcony because of the bugs coming into the room.
Restrooms in the public areas (lobby, by the pools) were nasty and smelled horrible...
Beach area was plesant...no issues with towels/cards. Be very careful with the sun, I used SPF 30 the whole time and still got dark.
One last thing...just because it's all inclusive, don't forget to tip...these people make below our minimum wage, they can't afford to vacation like you and I... and it won't hurt you to dish out a dollar here and there...DON'T BE CHEAP!!!!

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parker, Colorado
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2005

We arrived on August 20 to stay a week at the Kantenah. Traveling in our party were my husband and myself, as well as our children 16,13, and 7. My godmother who is 85 decided to join us as well. As you can see, we required a diverse amount of activity and interests. Even though we had been reading reviews since December, we were suprised to see that all of the good things were true.

Everyone was very friendly and anxious to help. Any help or information needed, all we had to do was ask. I told our room maid that my seven year old loved the towel animals, and we had a different one every day after. Sometimes she would hide it, and it was a great game to find it.

They are still wiring the lighting fixtures on some of the paths on the Kantenah side. We would recommend a flashlight. The creatures ( hermit crabs, frogs,and assorted lizards) come out at night and you really don't want to take a chance of stepping on one. Keep you eyes open at night though, we saw a monkey emptying a garbage can.

The stores at the hotel only accept mexican money or credit cards. This suprised me. You can of course exchange at the hotel, but we got a much better rate in Playa de Carmen. Make sure you get into town. We took the Collectivo for 15 pesos per person. Much cheaper than taxis and a lot more interesting. (More of a native view of the town). You can find anything on 5th street, ie hairbraiding, henna tatoos and all kinds of trinkets. Just off the main drag are some higher end stores. And about 2 blocks the other way you'll find a beautiful beach. Go early in the day and enjoy.

We ate at the japanese,meditaranian, and the steak house. We loved the japanese restaurant. I don't know if the food was that much better, but the entertainment made it a lot more fun. We ate the sushi, and the seafood. We also drank the water from the resturants as well as the tap, and none of us got sick at all. All in all, we enjoyed all of the restaurants. I don't know,maybe because I speak spanish, when I made my reservations, the girl let me know that the mexican food was made very bland. I would do better getting mexican food outside of the hotel. That was why we stayed away from the Mexican restaurants.

The beach was fabulous. My kids did the parasailing and loved it. We took bread and cereal into the ocean and were "attacked" by a variety of fish. It was so neat. Wear at least goggles so you can see where the corral is, and the fish. We took snorkling gear, but I didn't use mine very much. I liked just the goggles. We saw the other water activities, but didn't find time to use them.

We went on an excursion to XCARET. The river snorkling was a lot fun, as well as snorkling at the inlet on the beach. We saw a lot of different kinds of fish. The show at the end of the day was wonderful. The first act is kind of hard to follow if you don't understand spanish, but the dances and costumes in the second act were spectacular.

We also took ourselves to Tulum, which was very interesting. My husband is still talking about the cab drive there. I just closed my eyes and prayed. You'll notice that the natives will get on the collectivo or bus and go to sleep. I think that it's their way of avoiding the "excitement" of the drive. The people there seem to understand each other's ways. No way would I want to rent a car and get on the road with them.

We also did the Interactive aquarium, with the dolphin swim. It was good but I've heard that there are better. Will check on it before we go back.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seneca, South Carolina
1 review
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2005

We just returned from a wonderful 6 night stay at the Palladium. We arrived on Aug 19 and stayed thru Aug 24. We did experience a "little" rain on Sat, but that only gave us more time to try out the resort's on-site amenities...bars, shops, restaurants, and shows. Our rooms were above average, even though we could have used a little more light and a colder fridge. The landscaping was beautiful....almost impossible to believe a hurricaine had passed thru here less than a month ago. But by far the most valuable asset this resort has are the people working here. We were greeted with smiles and "hola's" from every employee we encountered. From our waitress Vianeli at the Theater, Juan our bar-tender at the Colonial Lounge, Edgar at the main desk, and Naoimi our housekeeper...we were treated like friends or family rather than guests. I wish that kind of atmosphere was to be found at all A.I. Resorts.
And when you decide to venture off the property check out the shopping at Playa del Carmen....and take the local "bus" instead of a taxi. It's only around $6 round-trip for two vs $40 or more for the taxi. And if you feel real adventurous, try one of the ATV outings....it was a blast. All in all we couldn't have asked for a much better vacation. We would definately go back and plan on recommending to our friends. Please feel free to e-mail with any questions (pirateforty@earthlink.net) and have a great time at the Palladium.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa

Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km, 256-100 | Municipio Solidaridad, Akumal 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#7 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#9 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 414
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Palladium Colonial 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 Colonial are invited to use the facilities provided by the adjoining Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, and the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa, with the exception of the Royal Suite facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Palladium Colonial Hotel
Hotel Grand Palladium Colonial
Grand Palladium Mexico
Palladium Colonial Resort
Grand Palladium Spa
Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico

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