We returned from a two week holiday in the Kantenah section of this resort the Kantenah shares the same restaurants pools and bars with the adjoining section the Colonial.
Our family and my friends and their family have holidayed in Mexico many times over the past 8 years we have stayed in The Bahia Principe, Dreams Tulum, and Iberostar Lindos and Maya, we have always enjoyed great holidays there and apart from the odd tummy bug etc you come to expect when visiting countries with hot climates we always put little annoyances behind us and never once complained or even contacted our holiday rep unfortunately this holiday was an exception to the rule!
Our first week went really well, the kids enjoyed the pool games and activities around the pool, the easy stroll to the beach bar, beach, pottery painting etc the food was generally pretty good .
Our problems started on Sunday the 4th of August, service at the pool bar was particularly bad, one very hard working bar an tried his very best but the waiting for a drink was too much, I felt sorry for him and any kids that tried to get served. The akumal buffet restaurant which serves this area was also severely under staffed, the same evening we all dressed to go to one of the restaurants for dinner but were informed that there were none available, we were not alone, many couples and families were getting extremely annoyed the staff were lovely and tried their best but as there is "supposed" to be a no reservations policy they couldn't cope, there seemed to be plenty of empty tables in the restaurants so we assumed that understaffing was the real problem and we were correct, one of the managers told my friend when she complained that they "just couldn't get the requisite amount of staff they required" we were offered the chance to book all future meals for the remainder of our holiday an offer we gladly accepted.
We found out pretty quickly through speaking to other guests that anyone kicking up a fuss regarding the table reservation policy were always offered the same privilege! Really unfair to those who don't like to make a fuss.
The situation was so bad that Sunday that my friend and I decided uncharacteristically that we would go see the First Choice rep on the Monday morning to voice our concerns.
Monday the 5th August. Our problems really started! We strolled along to our usual spot by the pool to be confronted with a 2.5 m high green net fencing off a large proportion of the pool area it encompassed the entire children's pool and kids club area along with lots of shaded and sun bed sections of the pool, it also caused an obstruction to us accessing the beach, beach bar, beach dining and the pottery painting area, we stood in amazement watching heavy concrete breaking machines, tippers and plant and squads of workers dismantling buildings, tearing up trees, breaking concrete etc!
As you could imagine this wasn't something we had anticipated otherwise we would not have booked this hotel.
With shocked disbelief we sought out our rep Linsey ( first choice)
Our initial complaint regarding service etc seemed to pale into insignificance when we met with her!
Linsey and her colleague seemed surprised and told us that they had not been informed of any building works scheduled for the resort, I informed her that I work in the construction industry and could clearly see that this wasn't reactive or emergency repairs but a full blown major demolition/ building project, she said she would look at the site and revert back to us.
I returned to the pool area and shot some video of the site both up close and across from the pool where we usually set up beds etc the noise, vibrations, dust and diesel smell meant we could not stay around this pool, we waited a while and as Linsey hadn't sought us out as promised we went looking for her, we met her near the Colonial reception, when I informed her about the noise etc ( noise compounded by the music system being pumped up full blast to try and cover the construction noise) she said she had been to the pool and heard nothing, more or less calling us liars! I duly turned on the video on our iPad she soon retracted and asked if I could give her a copy!?
She then sat down with my friend and me and we discussed what our options were she agreed we should have been informed that construction works were planned and that we would be compensated in some way but that everyone would need to be assessed independently due to length of time the works would impact on their individual holidays etc. we asked to be moved to another hotel preferably the Iberostar as we knew this hotel and wouldn't have to find our way around yet another large hotel and grounds, she said she would look into this and get back to us later that day.
Linsey did get back to us, she offered a move to the Iberostar at a cost of 2 thousand dollars each! We declined her offer and told her we would be seeking compensation on our return.
The next day we spoke to other holiday makers, quite a few had already spoken to Linsey not only about the service ( although to be fair this did improve dramatically as days past possibly helped by our new dining plan) and the building site but a lot of people were experiencing food poisoning symptoms cramps etc etc. luckily I was the only member of our party to have had any such problems at this point this only lasted a day or so no big deal this changed later in the week, my wife and her friend lost a few days with severe cramp stomach pain, vomiting and everything else you can imagine (7days later back home now and my wife still hasn't recovered)
So second week was a bit of a disaster.
We were informed that First Choice were sending a senior member of staff to discuss mainly the building work and to offer compensation, we met with the Resort Team Manager Ellie Fish, she seemed much more professional and amenable than her colleague Linsey ( who quite frankly is in the wrong line of work considering her lets call them untruths or memory lapse she experienced with her recollection of events!)
Ellie informed us that she had the authority to deal with any compensation due to guests on site rather than us waiting until we got home, she was meeting with numerous guests and told us we would get a letter from her within a couple of days, she informed us that First Choice were unaware of the construction work and agreed it was a serious problem, she found out that the work would last around four months!
Days past and we were nearing the end of our holiday, we exchanged e-mail addresses with other disgruntled holiday makers.
One family had received an offer from Ellih refunding all accommodation costs for their family for the number of days they had experienced the building work problem and also offered a refund of 700 pounds they paid for an upgrade when they arrived but as the 2 adults had experienced severe food poisoning also they declined the offer.
We were pretty surprised when a letter from Ellih arrived at my friend room telling them that as they had received an upgrade when they arrived and that they were offered a move to the White Sands Resort there would be no offer of compensation! My friends were livid, not only hade any of us been offered a move to the White Sands they had paid and got the standard of suite they paid for when booking, no upgrade!
My friend is not a Larry lout he is a very senior police officer and he took the reps to task about the inconsistencies and downright lies displayed in his letter, they agreed he was right and promptly gave him another letter stating the first letter was totally incorrect.
I asked where my letter was and was told that it was sent to my room a couple of days earlier, I was in the foyer waiting for departure when I eventually got Linsey to admit that I hadn't been sent a letter but that she had it, she gave me the same letter that my friend had received ( the one with all the wrong facts!) I said to her while holding my friends second letter that his second letter totally contradicted everything on the letter she gave me, she just shrugged as usual!!!
Sorry this review has gone on and on but if you have booked this hotel and arriving anytime in the next 3/4 months beware that there are major works going on at the Colonial pool area and that the First Choice reps are inept to say the very least and if you whinge you will be able to get restaurants when you want them.
There is an upside ! The staff or at least 99.9% of them are cheery, helpful and hard working , gust services are extremely helpful, the buffet lunch at the White Sands is probably the best I have ever experienced and I have experienced many! The ribs and more and the Eldorado are both very good eateries and the Brazilian is excellent! Avoid the Chinese really terrible.
The bell hop guys are great too Omar is a star!
- Also Known As:
- Palladium Grand
- Kantenah Palladium Grand
- Grand Palladium Kantenah Hotel
- Grand Palladium Kantenah
- Palladium Mexico
- Palladium Grand Resort
- Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa
- Hotel Grand Palladium Kantenah
- Palladium Kantenah
- Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort And Spa Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico
- 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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