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“Great trip; would love to return.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa

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Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km, 256-100 | Municipio Solidaridad, Akumal 77710, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Akumal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great trip; would love to return.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

This is a huge complex which includes 5 resorts. It took us a couple days to figure out which trail to use for the quickest way to where we where going to. The walk was nice however, I ditched my heels after the first night. Unfortunately, we had a day of heavy rain, and although one of the path is covered, we got soaked getting there from our room and getting in the lobby. Although the staff was trying to keep on top of it, the lobbies and sidewalks leading to the restaurants where extremely treacherous as the thatch roofs where leaking onto the beautiful marble floors.
The beach is beautiful with lots of chairs in either sun or shade and you shouldn't have to reserve your chairs (which is not permitted anyway). There are areas with reefs for snorkeling; our friends said that they have seen more here while snorkeling than they have seen elsewhere scuba diving.
All the restaurants and buffets where great. On a small note; the lobster was good but does not compare to our sweet lobster from the Maritimes and may not be worth the extra $.
Our room (block 50) was beautiful with a nice view on the woods and wildlife which is plenty there. Shower, linen, bed, AC, Cleanliness, etc. all perfect. I brought my own pillow.
The animation around the pool was lame and certainly not comparable to what we have experienced at the Iborostar in Cuba. All in all, we would not hesitate to return to this resort.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
Thank you AnnefromOttawa for taking time to share with us and others readers your opinion.

Don't hesitate to contact with us if we can help you with something in the future.

Cordially,

Banesa Burque
Resident Manager
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Rating summary
  • 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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English first
Clearwater, Minnesota
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We traveled March 4-11 2013, This was our first stay here. We originally booked for the Colonial,but were sent to the Kantenah instead which was a little more of a walk to things, but not a big deal..better beach on the Kantenah side anyway. We arrived early in the day so our room was not ready for 3 hrs, Check in went pretty quickly, were told we could get something to eat for lunch if we wanted, no welcome drink?? lady at front desk could look a little happier to greet new guests. While waiting for our room decided to have a couple drinks at the lobby bar, excellent margarita's! Service was good, a little slower at night because of the busyness, so if planning to sit for a bit in the evening might want to order 2 drinks, could be awhile before she gets back to you. We had room 5003 ground floor, Maid service was good,fresh towels everyday,fridge stocked as well,although it wasn't very cold, lukewarm. Not a fan of that when you leave your room the air conditioning turns off,but it does cool down rather quickly. make sure to put everything in your safe you want locked up, we didn't have any issues, but I had read other reviews about people that did. I was always in & out of our room so maybe that's why?? I will also say that the hallways are noisy,you can hear everything plain as day in your room people slamming doors, maid carts etc. Pool area's are huge,There is one for the Colonial, Kantenah side, another for the White Sands part of the resort, the White Sands pool area is more scenic with the flowers, river & bridges(lots of bridges!) leading to the Mayan suites area, a definite must see!! plenty of loungers to go around, water is cold!! Lots of Iguana's everywhere! you have been warned! lol! Beach is beautiful!! There are basically two areas to swim in where there are no rocks. Plenty of lounge chairs here as well. There are photographers that wander the beach with different props in the morning and afternoon, take advantage of this, no pressure to buy photo's, at the end of the day they post them in the colonial lobby shop you just have to find yourself on the wall. You may end up with some fun photo's to remember your trip, 6x8 photo costs $6, they have other sizes as well. There are 2 Adult pools as well, very quiet if you like it that way..we did go there the first day..lasted about 2 hrs. then went to the beach, much better choice, more of a breeze on the beach and it's fun to "people watch". Another must see is the Saltwater pool,Beautiful stone pathway walk, lots of photo opportunity's along the way, Very relaxing if you can score one of the lounger beds, can be a little more windy. This resort is huge! Which I like, big enough but doesn't feel crowded, there are little trolly's to take you around if you don't want to walk, there is alot of walking! our calves hurt the next day, I found the easiest way to find your way around is basically to walk the beach during the day since it is centrally located, it is easy to get lost on the pathways, I did end up walking a few circles the first couple of days. once you figure out where things are it's easy. We did check out the spa area, very nice, hot tub, sauna, lazy river around the infinity pool is neat. They have shuffleboard,basketball,minigolf, soccer field, ping pong on the beach, lots of pool activities to keep you busy. I myself prefer to lay on the beach & relax. The drinks were very good, not watered down, if you want more alcohol just ask, they are happy to oblige. Service was pretty consistant at all the bars, the bartenders over by the Royal Suites area of the beach seemed more snobish, as far as drink consistancy was different at every bar, same drink ordered different results, depending on the bar. Now the food, Breakfast, Excellent!! lots of choices!! Lunch, the first few days we ate lunch at the colonial beach, it was ok, pizza, burgers, kinda thing. Then we decided to wander over to the White Sands side for lunch, much better!! Same foods different taste?? I have no idea why but that's where we went for lunch the rest of the trip. Dinner we ended up doing the buffets as trying to get into the ala carts was frustrating if you weren't first in line. Buffet was ok, lots of "interesting" meat dishes to say the least, I personally am not much of a "meat eater" so I mostly ate the macaroni they cook for you & the bread which was really good.he was a little more adventurous, they do have an american food area.Really could use a few more vegetable options to go with all the meat dishes. Desserts were bland but I might just be to used to american desserts, not sure what they use for sweetener.
All in all this is a great resort! We will definitely return & will recommend it to other people. Hopefully next time we can get a chance to try the ala carts.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
Dear PattiM69,

Thank you for your all observations. The opinion of our guest is very imporante because is help for improve our work every day.

We hope to see you in the future again in the resort. If we can help you with anything, don't hesitate to contact with us.

Best regards,

Banesa Burque
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Missouri
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

I consider myself to be an All-Inclusive expert. This was our 11th AI resort. We've stayed in Puerto Vallarta, Cancun (Hotel Zone), Riviera Maya, and Punta Cana - DR.

Rather than echo the other reviews, I'll high-light some bullet points (Pros & Cons) for various key features of the resort.

We booked for the Colonial, and were upgraded to a Junior Suite on the Kantenah side, nicer furniture and couch - we were ok with this, since we used the shuttle to get to the WS / Riviera side at night.

First of all, the Colonial and Kantenah are symmetrical, so your walk to the Pool / beach / lobby is about the same on either side.

Resort Size – Very Large. I think this is a Positive for our style of vacationing, offering variety on the pools / bars / buffets / a la cartes. We stayed for a week, and only saw about 60% of the entire property.
With that being said, you can easily walk around the Col / Kan side fairly easy with maps / sidewalk signs, and pathways through the mangroves. After a day or 2, you’ll get used to which path to take to get you where you’re heading. If you want to go to the WS / Riv side, hop on a shuttle at the lobby. We did this at night for the a la carte dinners / nightlife.

Dining – The best we’ve had in all 11 resorts!!!!!
Breakfast -buffet was very good – omelets cooked to order, typical hot breakfast foods, juices, fruits, cereals - good way to start the day.
Lunch – We did the Beach bar / buffet most of the days, which consisted of burgers, chicken nuggets, fries. It was quick and served the purpose. The buffet right above the main pool was also good for lunch, lots of options.
Dinner - We had the buffet for dinner 4 of the 7 nights, and you can always find something to eat. Yes, they cater to a lot of different cultures, but they ALWAYS had good food and plenty of options. Ignore negative reviews about the buffets. Those people must have unrealistic expectations.
The a la cartes: We thoroughly enjoyed the Japanese (Sumptuori), Chinese (Bamboo), Steak House (El Dorado). We attempted to eat at the Beach buffet on our last night. We showed up a little bit late, and it was so crowded, and the wind was bothering my wife, so we left and ate the Mexican night buffet – which we really enjoyed.

Rooms - We were on the 1st floor, which was noisy with the workers loading the storage closets with drinks, so I would suggest 2nd or 3rd floor. The only thing we had issues with, is that anyone can come into your room. The person who stocks the fridge, the maid, maintenance. We had an ipod stolen from us; it was our fault for not locking it into the safe, but this bandit also stole 2 cheap lighters too. Anything small they could fit into their pockets. We can’t assume which worker did this; make sure you lock your sliding door too.

Pool – The pools are massive, and we only frequented the Col / Kan main pool. We did not visit the Adult pools, as they were too quiet for our style. The main pool is very deep, so to get to the pool bar, you have to swim or walk on your “tippy-toes”; I’m 5’ 11”. There is a raised area near the pool bar, where the stools are, where you can stand easily, but if crowded, may force you into the deeper area. The Salt-water pool is very cool, lots of fish there. Take the beach to get to the salt-water pool, there is a path (shoes / sandals recommended) that leads to the pool, plenty of day beds / and a bar there too. Great photo ops with the rocks and waves too.

Beach – There are some rocky parts, so a pair of water shoes would fix that, especially if you want to get some good photo ops over by the Salt water pool, there are rocks that bare feet would not like. There are times you won’t need your water shoes, but you’ll be glad you brought them. There were times when it was tough to find a lounge chair, but not too bad.

Entertainment – There are nightly production shows at 2 different times starting at the Colonial (9:00) and then over at the Riviera (10:15). They usually start with an audience participation portion, then the show. They are OK, not great. Better production than any others we have seen, which is nice.

Bars – There are so many bars in this complex. The bartenders and waitresses are always nice and for the most part fairly quick. These people work their behinds off – please Tip them!!

All in all, we highly recommend this resort / complex. We will be back next year for sure!! Please e-mail me if you have any specific questions.

Room Tip: Higher floors will be quieter. Use the safe for everything!!!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Dear Sputnik5,

I would like to give you thank you for share with us your comments. I appreciate your complete review and I would like to give you our apologies for any incident that you could have had during your vacation.

Please, if we can help you with anything in the future, don't hesitate to contact with us.

Banesa Burque
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Teesside, England
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

Stayed here last April for the second time in two years. We are booked again for a visit at the end of April again.
As previously said by other posters this is a big complex but we did not have any difficulties in getting about and enjoy the size of the place as it gives you something different to do all the time.
The staff are more than helpful in every part of the hotel.
Rooms cleaned daily and no problems with towels being received etc. At the end of April there seemed to be a few large groups of younger Spanish visitors and sometimes this caused a bit of a backlog at bars etc as they would all arrive together and mass ordering would occur, but the bar staff coped well apart from one occasion at the beach bar early hours of the morning. The group must have come from the nightclub and literally 100+ descended all at once. We had already ordered a snack before they arrived but this seemed to be forgotten in all the rush at the bar. We asked again, and waited but as food orders where coming out people where just grabbing them and saying its what they had ordered. We gave in at the end, Felt sorry for the staff as they obviously did not expect such a large group arriving.
Food at buffets was always a good selection and constantly being replenished. The ala cartes really good service. Yes, there is sometimes a wait but a lot of the time we where given a pager and told it would be an hour. Most of the time before we had even finished our drinks the pager would go off to let us know the table was ready.
Received a complimentary upgrade to Junior suite.
Ricardo and all the entertainment staff work hard and made a special effort at the Palladium Addicts Get together. Also good meeting Octavio and Ovando from the Palladium in Punta Cana.
Make sure you visit the spa as its included and also try to catch a sunrise.
Looking forward to our 3rd trip next month.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Dear neilnsarah,

In behalf of Grand Palladium team, I would like to give you thank you for your good comments. We appreciate your time.

If we can help you with anything, don't hesitate to contact with us.

See you soon,

With best regards,

Banesa Burque
Resident Manager
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Calgary
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

The hotel was lovely. Very well kept, but very large with 4 hotels on one property. We were the for 2 wks. One of the most anoying things was the liquor in the lobby bar. You could only get good liquor in the Cigar Bar right in the lobby and the waitress couldn't get it for you. The if you went in to the Cigar Bar and ordered a liquour they tried to stop you from taking it 10ft. away to the lobby seats. So every time you wanted a drink you had to get up and get it youself. I do not enjoy the air conditioning in the Cigar Bar.
Couldn't get a clock in the room ,one you could see in the dark. Every time you left your room the power went off.
You couldn't make a reservation at the restaurants, it was first come firtst serve. So if you wanted to eat at one of them you sometimes couldn't get in till 9:30 or 10:00, which is way to late for us. So almost every nite you had to eat in the buffet.
The beach was rocky and it was hard to get in the water with out water shoes. We bought a pair in town. The beach also could have been cleaned up a little better in the early mornings. My husband was on the beach at 6:30 am most mornings.
The weather was great, 2 days off rain which was no problem. The animals around the resort were very interesting. That was great.
The food was OK, great variety in the buffet. The beef is never cooked right and quite often chicken was under done, so we avoided it. Pork and fish were very good.
Several things could have been done a little better.

Room Tip: There is a high way that runs very close to the hotel. With our patio door open it was so noisey it...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Dear shebacalgary,

I would like to offer you my apologies for the incidents that your have had during your vacation.

Please, if you decide to visit us in the future, don't hesitate to contact with us. It will be a pleasure for us help you with anything.

Best regards,

Banesa Burque
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brampton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

Stayed Feb 22nd to March 1st 2013. First timers to the GPK and would recommend, but there are so many places to see and stay that we rarely go back to the same resort ever. Arrived to find we had been upgraded to a suite, which was beautiful. King Bed, lots of pillows, yes they are a bit hard and my neck was sore the first night or so, then it was fine. Bathroom is beautiful, but must say they toilets are in need of replacing. They’ve done a great job redecorating the rooms, except they forgot to put new toilets in. We were in block 51, which if you love the beach is the absolute perfect location. Only steps to the beach and the walkways to pool/lobby. There is a bar, restrooms and towel exchange at this end of the beach as well, so we found ourselves loving this location. The ocean at this end is also great, no rocks, clear and easy to walk straight in.
We did the Segway’s the second day we arrived and I highly recommend everyone do this. They give you about a 20 minute lesson then take you around the entire complex. A stop at the salt water pool for a drink and back on our way. Tour was about 1.5 hours and so worth the $35US each we spent. We got to see the entire resort and things we probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. Would be good however if they allowed you to rent these outside of doing the tour and explore on your own. Went to the White Party Fire show at the Salt Water Pool one evening, an absolute must as well. We played mini-golf one afternoon to get out of the sun, but this area definitely needs to be repaired, it’s in pretty rough shape. Checked out the Spa and it is beautiful but didn’t use any of the facilities there. The main pools are a bit chilly and are way too deep, I would be fearful of children in the pools if they weren’t good swimmers.
What we loved most about the GP is that there is so much going on or nothing at all, it’s your choice you can find a quiet spot on the beach or at one of the quiet pools or get into the action at the Colonial Pool and beach area there.
Food was just ok, nothing to write home about. Breakfast was always delish, difficult to mess up breakfast, lots of choices, my fav champagne and OJ! Lunch, you could serve yourself a burger, hotdog, chicken nuggets etc. at the beach hut or order from a small menu of items (jalapeno poppers YUM) or go to the lunch buffet at Azul near the pool where there was a bigger selection. You won't starve here. Dinner was hit and miss. We ate only once at an al a-carte, the Steakhouse in the Colonial. Because it’s a pager system we went early (or early for us) 6:30p got our pager and he told us it would be an hour. We waited two hours! We were sitting in the colonial lobby having drinks waiting and after no sign of our pager going off at 8:30p I went to the restaurant to see what was happening and the guy says "come, come, now now!!" What the ??? I think they actually forgot about us. Anyway after the two hour wait, we ordered our dinners, I had the rib-eye and my hubby had the T-bone. The rib-eye had some weird texture to it and you could shred it with a fork. I couldn't stand the texture in my mouth so didn't eat it. His T-bone was perfect and wasn't weird tasting. I ordered a bottle of wine from the wine menu, not a bad selection either. The rest of the dinner was just ok. So we decided to just stick to the buffets the rest of the time and we had no issues grazing and finding something to eat. Yes the food was cold in some of the containers, but we stuck mostly to the food that was sitting in the chaffing dishes with burners under it (food was always hot), and went to grill to get fresh grilled fish and meat and it was fine. Desserts were actually surprisingly good for an AI.
The amount of staff at this resort absolutely amazed me, it seemed that there was 1 staff member to every 4 guests. Never a wait time for drinks, everyone worked hard and went above and beyond. One thing I really liked about the resort is every time you walked into a restaurant or buffet someone was there giving you a squirt of Hand Sanitizer. I must say that is a must given the number of people, it’s a good stop measure to help prevent the spread of germs etc. It’s probably the first time I've ever been to Mexico where I haven't been inflicted with a day or two of tummy troubles. All in all this is a great resort, families would have no problems keeping the kids busy, and like everyone has said in previous posts it’s a HUGE complex!!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Manager at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa, responded to this review, March 9, 2013
Dear beachgirl6533,

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for all the great comments that you made about our resort and especially about our staff. Our commitment is to provide the best service and attention at all times to our guests.

In reference to your observations about our restaurants staff and service, I can assure you that we will take note about, in order to always improve them, since all comments that we receive from our customers helps us to know what our guest are looking or expecting in their vacations. I would like only to add that we also have our main buffet open for lunch besides the Gran Azul and the beach hut.

Again, thank you for your comments and if we can help you in any way or you decide to come back to Grand Palladium please, let us know, in order to grant you the best of all attentions.

Kind regards,
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Montreal, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

In this review: documents, before & during the wedding, music, I'll try to include everything.
About us: laid back travelers, allergies to dustmites and lactose (intolerance), first time getting married, first time in Mexico
We chose Palladium because we had 54 people coming to our wedding, from retired couples to young families. We felt Palladium offered enough amenities for all our wedding guests at no extra cost, and we heard the food was great. Everyone that came to our wedding was happy with our choice, including us! Please see my review for the resort in general (coming soon) for more details about the resort itself. This is more for wedding information.

Map of the resort: http://www.resortsmaps.com/popup.html?maps/map-GrandPalladiumRiviera-RivMaya.jpg
KEY WORDS: Bodas = weddings in Spanish! When at the resort, remember this word!

DOCUMENTS & PAPERWORK

-you need to email a copy of both your passports so the Palladium wedding coordinators can process paperwork to prove neither of you were previously married (it's a new law there)
-you DO NOT need your long birth certificates. The Palladium wedding coordinators said we did, as did both Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the Mexican Consulate in Montreal but it turns out we never used them. I don't quite understand that but I spent >$300 to get them. Better that than needing them and not having them....
-you only need your tourist cards (you get that on the plane) and your passports to be married in Mexico
-your witnesses need their tourist cards and passports. Witnesses, when they arrive at the resort, should bring their passports & tourist cards to go visit the wedding office (back of the White Sands lobby) to complete a form with their names, addresses, years they've known the bride/groom--that's it. I read they had to take a trip to town--nope, it's that easy!
-witnesses can be parents and family members. Our witnesses were parents, a brother and a brother-in-law
-you get a choice whether you want to say your own vows or not. We chose not.

BLOOD TESTS & OTHER MEDICAL TESTS

-No, you cannot get these tests done in advance in Canada or elsewhere.
-Yes, you need to have a blood test done there. You pay the doctor / assistant directly in cash ($220 US per couple). They gave us some Spanish lessons for free! The medical test is done in the wedding coordinator's office (at the back of the White Sands lobby)
-No, you do not have to have this CIR / lung test anymore. That changed when we arrived.
-The Palladium wedding coordinator has the medical test appointment set up for you when you arrive. The information is included in a welcome letter you receive when you check in.


MEETING WITH THE WEDDING COORDINATOR

-bring your passports, tourist cards and any other information you want to bring, wedding dress & suit if they need pressing
-after the blood test, we sat with the wedding coordinator and finalized all the details
-we reviewed our decorations and flower choices, dinner and cocktail party locations
-we reviewed the total cost and she printed us a copy of the expenses
-we decided upon the order of the ceremony (flower girl first, then ring boy, etc).
-the wedding coordinator explained where the bride would be walking down the aisle

WEDDING PACKAGE

-we chose the Crystal Package. Palladium provided our travel agent (who also acted as our wedding coordinator) with the package from 2012, so it was out of date. All it meant was that we were not entitled to breakfast in bed.
-interestingly, the package states that fees for the Justice of the Peace are included, yet we had to pay him in cash--not sure how that happened
-we DID get an upgrade to a junior suite in the Kantenah building. It looked like the standard suites only it had an additional living room attached to it, with a white sofa and some chairs. And a king sized bed! We received some decorations of rose petals the night of our wedding and a free gift (sandals and a T-shirt) from the gift shop. We received a letter upon our arrival for a special dinner with a set menu but it was only on certain days and at 9:00PM so we declined.

FLOWERS & DECORATIONS

-decoration choices will depend on which wedding package you choose.
-they sent us 6 choices for chair decorations (emailed photos). We chose the vivid blue ribbons on white chairs--absolutely lovely in the sun!
-they sent us around 15 pictures of sample bouquets and 5 sample pictures of boutonnières. I requested a bouquet that I found on the Internet, and they said they'd make it for $25US per flower. (Ouch!) So we opted for one of the bouquets in the sample pictures. They made matching boutonnières with the same kinds of flowers as the bouquets, which was wonderful.
-they get it all ready and have the flowers / boutonnières delivered to the rooms in which the bride, bridemaids and the groom & his groomsmen are getting ready in the morning of the ceremony
-you can choose whether you want flower petals for your flower girl (we said yes) and there are 4 colours to choose from
-you can choose whether you want a carpet to walk down the aisle with or not (it was red, so we said no because our chairs were blue and white). I told my mom to make sure she wore sandals because I saw a video of a lady who wore high heeled shoes, and she kept sinking into the sand.


WEDDING LOCATIONS

-there are 4 choices: beach pergola, beach gazebo, garden gazebo, church
-I was worried about security--people walking by in the back of our pictures. All of these locations are secluded, so they're aren't many people wandering in the background. They did not provide security to rope off the area. Have a look on the map--the beach gazebo is at the south end of the resort (Letter I near Punta Emilia bar (XXX)) and the beach pergola is at the north end of the resort (if you walk from La Jarra bar (XXI)) towards the water, it is there)(it is not indicated correctly on the map). The church and garden gazebos are letter 'I' to the right of the Colonial lobby

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE

-the Palladium wedding coordinator offered to give the Justice of the Peace his fee, since I didn't want to be carrying around money and paying people during the happiest day of my life. I think his fee was $70US in cash. He did not speak English so the wedding coordinator translated.
-it says in our wedding package that fees for the justice are included--I don't understand that part

RECEPTION DINNER

-you can choose between a private reception with a set menu (between $55-65 US pp), à la carte restaurant or buffet restaurant
-we picked the buffet, which was no additional cost. The wedding coordinators suggested the Kabah buffet, in the Riviera building because it is very big. They were right--they reserved a section for us (no decorations) and we had a great time. The restaurant was pretty empty, so it worked well
-my main worry was that we would loose that group feeling in a non-private reception, but that was not the case. In fact, the other resort guests were quite happy for us so it was nice.
-if you choose the buffet option, you cannot have music or a microphone for speeches. We did that at our cocktail party after

COCKTAIL PARTY

-you have 4 choices for a cocktail party ($5US pp)
-we wanted somewhere for all of us to hang out after the wedding dinner so we chose a cocktail party at La Laguna restaurant--there is a rounded part of the seating area that they decorated and sectioned it off. There was nobody around so it was private. The pool was empty too. The bartender was nearby for drinks. They had a music system set up with a microphone for speeches
-our cake was served there
-our travel agent, who also acted as our wedding coordinator, said you could change your choice for the cocktail party at the last minute

THEATRE

-we requested whether we could reserve any seats together at the nightly theatre entertainment at the resort, because after the wedding reception dinner, we wanted all our guests to still be able to hang out together. We were not able to reserve a bunch of seats so our travel agent / wedding coordinator in Canada suggested a cocktail party which was reasonably priced and was in my opinion, an excellent choice. We could dance, talk, say speeches and cut our wedding cake.

WEDDING DRESS & SUIT PRESSING

-bring your wedding dress and suit / tuxedo to the wedding coordinator's office (back of White Sands lobby) at least 2 days before the wedding to have them pressed. Bring the room numbers you will be getting dressed in on the wedding day, so they know where to drop them off

HAIR STYLING

-they have a salon there in the Spa building (M on the map). You make an appointment, you have to pay them directly i.e. you can't charge it to your room. They have sample pictures you can choose from or bring your own ideas. She said not to use conditioner the night before when you wash your hair.
-the prices for the spa are well, equivalent of what you could pay here in North America for special hair styling.They can email you a price list.

PHOTOGRAPHER

-Palladium has an onsite photography boutique, Photopro (http://www.hotel-shops.com/photopro/gp/). The wedding photographer is not there everyday but only for weddings. You don't meet him until your special day.
-they offer several photo packages. We picked the silver package because we wanted pictures of us before the wedding, when we were getting ready
-for an additional $350, we purchased the entire set of digital pictures he took. It was just too difficult to pick only 60. He burned them all to DVD and we got our 60 prints
-if you choose Photopro, visit their office (Kantenah building) before your wedding to confirm and check any important details. You can request special pictures on the form (in the box at the bottom). We had 54 people come to our wedding, so we requested a group photo
-the photographer got some great shots of us and the group; he was really good
-he took us to Las Rocas (the saltwater pool, S on the map) after the ceremony for pictures.
-he is happy to include your requests for photos, example, I asked for one of us sitting on the rocks at Las Rocas and it is one of my favourites!
-you make an appointment with your photographer when you want to view and choose your pictures (since he is not at the Photopro boutique everyday-he works for 7 different resorts)

KEEP IN MIND FOR PICTURES

-our ceremony was at 4:30; the sun set at 5:30, so it was getting dark fast. The photographer was quick and got a lot of pictures (almost 300) before it got too dark. He rarely used a flash, which is great since I think it makes the faces look bleached.
-go look at the resort in advance to see where you'd like your pictures taken. Ask the photo boutique where the photographer will take pictures and go visit the site

MUSIC

-Palladium offers some live music, I believe a flutist for $475 for 45 min.
-since we were in Mexico, I just have to have live Mexican music. Our travel agent / wedding coordinator suggested Musicancun out of Cancun (www.musicancun.com). They were AWESOME. We hired a trio for $475 for 45 min. to play during the ceremony. We paid in advance by PayPal because I was NOT going to be paying people on my wedding day. They arrived and set themselves up without us having to do a thing. They were ready and waiting. It was the best enhancement to the wedding--the music was wonderful. See our pictures.

CAKE

-we requested a cake not made from dairy, since I'm lactose intolerant and happily they could do it! I was happy that I'd be able to eat my own wedding cake
-advice: if you're going to request a non-dairy cake, please ask for margarine and soy milk (they have both at the breakfast buffets, so I know they have them at the resort). For us, they used a syrup (jarabe) and while the thought was sweet, the cake was too--I mean really sweet.


ON THE WEDDING DAY

-the Palladium coordinator is with you the entire ceremony, throughout supper and until the end of the cocktail party.
-getting ready: your photographer will show up at the rooms you indicated at the specified times to take pictures
-the wedding coordinator will send a white cart to pick you and your wedding party up from the salon and bring your room to get ready
-then she has a cart pick up the bride and her party and another for the groom and his party to bring them all to the wedding location
-at the wedding location (we chose the beach pergola), the wedding coordinator has everything set up. Tell your guests to be there 1/2 hour in advance
-the wedding coordinator cues you when to go where, she has a little radio so if ever you forget anything or need to change something, she will radio it in. For example, our ring boy got shy when he realized he had to walk down the aisle so we had to call his cousin to walk with him.

CEREMONY

-that went by really fast!
-the Justice of the Peace said his part, the wedding coordinator translated
-we both said "I do". We decided to be bilingual and say them in Spanish and English ("Yo acepto)
-we signed 3 pages of the wedding certificate and put our thumb prints on all 3 pages.
- the wedding coordinator called up our witnesses one by one and they signed each page
-done! Kiss the bride and we were served champagne!
-we hung around for a bit, then the photographer took over and captured our pictures before the sun faded. The pictures were gorgeous with the beach in the background

Guests were carted over to the Kabah for supper by a white cart courtesy of the wedding coordinator.
We headed to Las Rocas with the photographer to get pictures of just us done

We joined the wedding guests at the Kabah for supper. Then the wedding coordinator escorted us all to the cocktail party. We left before the end, but she stayed to be sure everything was OK

THE END! I hope I answered all your questions; I found it unsettling while planning the wedding from Canada because I didn't know what to expect and sometimes answers were not that clear. Things changed immediately once we met the wedding coordinator (Vanessa). It was clear they do weddings on a regular basis (we saw on their calendar they did almost one a day) and this was routine-they know what they're doing, they are very proficient and trustworthy. On top of that, Vanessa is charming and an absolute pleasure to work with. If you have her as your wedding coordinator at Palladium, you are in good hands-relax and enjoy the process. They take care of everything for you and make your destination wedding what it is supposed to be--a dreamy, enjoyable event under the Mexican sun!

Please don't hesitate to contact me with further questions if you desire.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
ColonialKantenah, Manager at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa, responded to this review, March 9, 2013
Dear La_Tortuga_amarillo,

First and foremost, thank you very much for your excellent comments and for such a detailed explanation about your wedding experience with us, and for the tips you gave to other travelers. It is a real pleasure to realize that our effort is rewarded creating nice experiences to our guests, and I will transmit your greetings to our staff.


Thank you again and we look forward for your next visit, and please, do not hesitate to contact us for any request or further comment.

Kindest regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa

Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km, 256-100 | Municipio Solidaridad, Akumal 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#4 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#6 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#8 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 422
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Palladium Kantenah 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 Kantenah are invited to use the facilities provided by the adjoining Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Colonial 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:
Kantenah Palladium Grand
Grand Palladium Kantenah Hotel
Palladium Mexico
Palladium Grand Resort
Hotel Grand Palladium Kantenah
Palladium Kantenah
Grand Maya Palladium Riviera
Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort Spa
g Palladium Kantenah
Grand Palladium Mayan

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