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“Amazing Vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa

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Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km, 256-100 | Municipio Solidaridad, Akumal 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #13 of 20 Hotels in Akumal
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Amazing Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

We travelled from Dec 27th - Jan 6th, 2013.
We have been to many all inclusive resorts but this was an amazing resort. We travelled with Air Transat and had a direct shuttle to and from the resort which was nice. Not having to stop at many other hotels was nice as the resort was further away from the airport than I like.

Arrival and check in was painless. We weren't able to get into our rooms until 3pm but that didn't hinder us finding a pool and a bar.

Rooms:
We stayed at in the Mayan Suites. These were amazing rooms that were close to all of the facilities. It was nice to be able to sit on our decks over the river and watch the houseboat go by and also use the canoes to go for a paddle through the resort. The rooms with clean and the mayan shower was wonderful.

Food:
We went to 6 A la Cartes and they were all wonderful. The wait staff to the food that was served was always really good. By travelling with Air Transat, you were able to book up to 5 a la cartes at once so you never had to wait when you went for dinner.
We always had breakfast at the buffet and it had such a great variety and everything was always fresh. The late night beach location was also good for a snack after many drinks.

Entertainment:
It was really nice that there were 2 different shows everynight at the 2 theatres. The entertainment staff were amazing and so talented. The pool entertainment was not as noticable at the White Sand Pool as it was a the Colonial pool.

Pool / Beach:
The pool was a little cool but it was hugh which was really nice. We never had any issues finding chairs by the pool. It was extremely clean and the pool bar was never too busy so it was quick and easy to get drinks.
The beach was a little disappointing. It was rocky and you needed to be careful when going for a walk. There was an roped off area for swimming which was clear of most coral. The ocean was extremely rough most of the time so you couldn't really use the sailboats too many days.

Staff:
You could not ask much more of the staff. They work extremely hard and are always happy to help. Their english was good and they made a great effort to understand what you were saying. They seemed to be very proud of the resort and it was seen if how accomodating they were.

Grounds:
The grounds were amazing. We seen so much wildlife which you don't usually experience. Anything from racoons to ant eaters. The walkways and paths around the resort were easy to use. The resort is quite large so if walking is an issue, there were always golf carts and trains to move you around the facilities.

Overall, this was a great trip and we had a wonderfull time and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Pamela D,
It makes me feel very happy to see that you had a good vacation in our resort and you want to come back.
We are waiting for your next visit.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Sherbrooke, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

This was our 3rd visit to the Grand Palladium Complex (2009, 2011 and 2013). Stayed at the Colonial the first two times, White Sands this time around. Both were great! Can't remember the weather the 1st two times but had 14 days of sun with only a few minutes of rain in two weeks! Mid to high 20s celcius every day.

HOTELS

The hotel was always nice and clean, rooms, lobbies, walkways, common areas included. Sheets and towels of good quality.

The staff everywhere was friendly and helpful including Check in, reservations, restaurants, and shops. Everyone smiled and greeted us when we were walking.

We went to several of the nightly shows. There are 2 per night, one at 9pm and one at 10:30pm. What a treat! The dancers are really quite good and the choreographies vary from night to night! They lipsync the songs and dance at the same time. Their costumes are very well done too. There is a rock night that features a live band at 10:30pm. The dancers dance during the music show.

They also have a list of several activities that guests can participate in. Makeup and hair classes, Spanish lessons, sports classes etc. If you want to keep busy there is no shortage of activities to participate in.

You want to relax? The spa is available for everyone to use and is included in your stay. Only massages and similar services are extra. Hot tubs, polar baths, steam baths, saunas, etc. are available until 8pm every night. They were renovating part of the spa but at least one of each type of service was available all the same and even though they were renovating and we saw people there working, there was no noise to disturb you during your relaxation time. My husband had a Zentropia massage there which he enjoyed tremendously! 120 minutes and several techniques later he came out and said his whole body felt lighter!

BUFFETS

I found that the food in the buffets was very good, a nice variety was always available. The table wine was okay too, we never ordered from the wine list, which has an added cost. The waiters and waitresses were all very friendly and quick to offer water, coffee and drinks. They picked up dirty dishes quickly as well.

RESTAURANTS

They don't have a reservation system for the à la carte restaurants but it was never a problem though since we usually like to eat early. Those who eat later may arrive at a restaurant to find that there is a wait time. For the few times that we ate later, the wait times were not all that long and they give you a pager so that you can go and have a drink if you like. Better than the wait at popular restaurants here where I am!

The à la carte restaurants were all good to very good as well. I've read a comment or two about the "bland" food at the Mexican restaurant. Yes, the food is mild but there are plenty of sauces and salsas available to spice it up. I love hot and spicy, trust me, the habanero salsa did the trick!

The only negative comment I can make is that the Brazilian restaurant serves the sides (rice and vegetables) way too early, they are cold by the time the meats start to arrive.

Our favorite was Portofino. We went there 3 times and the food was very good and consistent each time. We were were lucky enough to have Hector as our waiter. He was attentive, very polite and professional. We specifically asked to be put at his table the other 2 times and he seemed very pleased. Some will say that it is because we left a tip.... My response? He didn't know that we would the first time we were there and we received excellent service all the same.

GUESTS

There were some guests that I appreciated a little less though. The beach is a common area, shared by all. People left cups, glasses, cigarette butts and other junk on the beach even though there are plenty of garbage cans and recycling bins around. Yes, the staff picks up when they see these items but on windy days plastic cups, straws and packaging can find its way into the ocean and turtles and other wildlife mistake these items for jellyfish and ingest them. Since they can't be digested, they can cause serious harm, even death, to the wonderful wildlife there. If you are planning a trip, please be considerate of staff, other guests and the wildlife. Put your garbage where it belongs please.

DIVING

I've been a certified diver for many years now so I cannot say that the diving here is better than anywhere else but it is good all the same. The visibility was good and the dives well organized. They cancelled 3 days of diving when I was there because of strong winds so if you get a package, make sure that you don't leave your dives until the end of your vacation. They will make arrangements if you miss dives because of cancellations but I did not ask what they were.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that several of the people at the dive center recognized me even though it had been 2 years since my last visit. Fercho, who is in charge of the dive center, organized my package for me. Giovanni, the guy at the equipment booth, organized the gear that I needed. I did 10 dives so I had several different divemasters, Rodolpho (Rudy), Oliver and Mayra. Captain Sanchez and a helper got me to the dive sites and helped me with my equipment getting out of the water (knee problems). There were several others there who helped make my dive experiences there memorable, unfortunately I remember the dives but not their names. . :-( I hope that they will all be there when I return, which I definitely will, because I am looking forward to seeing them all again. Say Hi to them for me when you go!

THANKS PEOPLE OF PALLADIUM ! You are all winners in my book!

Room Tip: We've never had a noisy or unclean room. This time we were at White Sands, Room 5814. It is on...
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  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear DChristineB,
Thank you for your review. It is fantastic to see that this was your 3rd visit. I hope you visit us for the 4th time soon.
You still have to try our Royal Suites section!

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

Super place will definitely go back absolutely wonderful one thing i would STRONGLY RECOMMEND is WATER SHOES ARE A MUST BEACH IS CLEAN however water entry is very very very rocky other than that SUPER.

Room Tip: Rooms close to pool is access to lobby and other resort ( short cut)
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear I p,
Thank you for your review, I hope you visit us soon.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernard, Iowa, United States
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

Let me first start by saying that I read lots of the reviews for here before we went and I did take into account the negative feedback as well. Now after having been there myself all I can say is FABULOUS! I am from the states and am used to my soft comfy bed, soft comfy couch and pillows...I am not a nit picker! When I go on vacation I am not there to spend time in my room rain or shine, I like to be out and about exploring and doing or lounging at the beach.

The beds here are not top grade in comfort, but I did sleep very well! Our room was always clean and so was our bathrooms...We loved the jacuzzie tub in our room and the view from the top floor of villa 57 was a perfect ocean view. If you are handicap, be sure to let them know ahead of time as there are not elevators.

The place is huge and there is lots to see and do. If you are not a walker, no worries you can take the train or golf cart shuttle service for free. We used both and walked a lot as well.

A must see and do is the Salt Water Pool! Especially if you are a first time snorkeler. The spa is worth a vist (or 2 as in our case) the hot tubs are amazing and its interesting to walk through the foot spa too. It even has a beautiful outdoor pool.

We ate at the buffets and restaurants. Buffets were good, but not your home cooked meal you are used to in the states..but if you remind yourself that you are a guest in another country/culture it will serve you well. We found that when at the buffets it was best to wait and order something vs picking it up off the line...food is always best fresh and they had plenty to choose from. If you go hungry, it's only because you are fussy. We had not issues with the restaurants other than my one friend did not like the idea of her shrimp looking at her while she tried to eat it, that's right the food is fresh and whole! LOL

We did not care for the Japanese restaurant but loved the Mexican one! One of our friends had his birthday and the waiter and mariachi band came and sang to our table. The desserts were fabulous. The best part, you could order each dessert and try them all! We did that and shared them! I was truly awesome.

Another must do is the BBQ on the Beach (Cantenah) side or the Seafood one on the beach at Punta Emilias (White Sands) we loved both.

If you want your fan to work, look for the switch next the your headboard that has a marking on it (black). It took us a day to figure that one out..hahaha.. The a/c works in your room only if all doors and windows are closed tightly, kind of a nice feature.

We even snorkeled at the beach..there were tons of amazing fish right there were people were swimming..around 4pm things start to thin out and the snorkeling gets even better...we even saw a stingray up close and personal! So when you see the signs posted to shuffle your feet in the water, they are there for a reason! You don't want to step on a sting ray!!!

The refrigerator in our room worked but did not keep things 'COLD' like what we are accustomed to. It did help to leave the cabinet door open so that air could circulate better around it. But then again we were not there to care about a mini bar as we had the other bars at our service and our room was there for us to change and crash in for the evening!

All I can say it this place was like a dream and we can't wait to go back again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antonio P, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 15, 2013
Dear Jody G,
Thank you for your recommendations. I also agree that the salt water pool "Las Rocas" is a must and a very relaxing place.
Please visit us soon. It is always good to see repetitive guests.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
132 helpful votes 132 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed at the Grand Palladium White Sand for two weeks in December 2012. We are a family of four, with two younger children. We stayed in an Imperial Suite. We have traveled to Mexico fairly extensively, and visited the Bahia Principe Akumal a few months prior to this trip. Before you start reading, I will provide the following: Despite a lot of little issues early in our stay, I would return to this resort because there is so much to do and keep you entertained, and the food and service was very good for the most part.

Check-In:

We arrived by private transfer, and nobody knew quite what to do with us when we walked up to the regular check-in area (Imperial Club guests are supposed to have their own check-in area). It took a few minutes to figure out where we were supposed to go, and for them to find someone to come check us in. The “private” check-in area is a sitting area to the left of the main check-in counter. I guess because we arrived before the tour company bus, they weren’t ready. We did not receive our “cool towel” or our “welcome drink.” Not a huge deal, but we were disappointed because we had been telling our kids how the pampering would get started as soon as we arrived. Check-in was relatively easy. Once we were given room cards and such, we were told a tram would arrive to take us to our room. After waiting far too long, we finally grabbed our bags and walked to our room ourselves (about a 5 minute walk).

Room:

The room was a nice size with two double beds, and one pull-out couch. We had already decided to put our children in the double beds, and my wife and I would take the “queen” pull-out bed. There were no sheets in the room for the pull-out bed, so we had to call down. They were delivered later in the afternoon (although we had to make the bed ourselves...not a big deal). As Imperial guests we were to have our beach towels in the room upon arrival, but they were not there, so we called down again. The person at the desk said they’d send some. By the next morning the towels still had not arrived, so I walked back up to reception where I had to argue with the front desk to either give me towels (they kept insisting they were in our room), or provide towel cards so I could go get them myself. They finally gave me the towel cards. What a headache.

The two double beds in our room were satisfactory, and the kids were fine sleeping on them. Beds are tricky because everyone likes something different. The pull-out bed was probably the hardest bed I’ve ever tried to sleep on, and when we come back to the resort with our kids in the future, we will be bringing an air-bed so nobody has to sleep on the pull-out couch (or we’ll splurge for an adjoining room). We called down to housekeeping to ask for a bed topper (available at other resorts we’ve stayed at), and they said they’d send one. It never arrived. The next day we went down to the front desk and were told they don’t have bed toppers. Later that evening we were back at reception dealing with an un-related issue, and one of the girls heard us complaining about the pull-out bed. She offered to send a mattress to go on top. We said sure, and went back to the room in hopes something would arrive. We were very impressed when a thick green foamy mattress was delivered to our room within about 30 minutes. The gentleman came in and set it all up, and even made the bed for us. I had planned to go back down to try and find out the name of the young lady who had ordered the new mattress for us, but we never made it. This is one of our few regrets from this trip, because she literally changed our whole feeling about the resort up to this point. It made the bed totally fine for us to sleep on for the rest of our trip. Again, that young lady at the front desk should be commended for the level of service she provided in successfully fixing the problem!



Room/Housekeeping:

We found housekeeping to be very inconsistent. There were four of us in the room. When we arrived, there were only three bath towels. Of the 14 nights we were there, they didn’t put enough towels in our room for the four of us until about 4-days before we left when we finally emailed the Manager. We got so sick of having to call down and ask for more towels. They consistently only provided three towels in our room (one day only two towels), so we ended up having to share towels almost every day. Even when we called down to housekeeping and asked for more, they wouldn’t arrive in time for pre-dinner showers. We finally emailed the main manager, and he was extremely apologetic. For those last few days at the resort, we had four towels every day. Ironically, the first day or so, we left a $5USD tip for the cleaner and $5 for the beverage person. The next day was the day we only received two towels, and instead of four bottles of water, we were left with only three. We think our room was simply the last one they cleaned that day, and they ran out and didn’t go back to get more. After that, we stopped tipping our housekeeping staff. Normally we leave a few dollars every couple days and extra if they prepare towel animals (since the kids really like these). But we didn’t start getting towel animals until the last few days. When the turn-down lady came to the room, she only left two chocolates. Again, not a big deal...but just one more thing reminding us they didn’t remember that there were four of us in the room. We suggested to the manager that they always give their staff a list of how many people are in each room each night so they can ensure the room is prepared for that number of people. He definitely listened to us when we voiced our concerns, and was obviously eager to make them right. The manager clearly cared about the resort, and wanted to ensure they provided excellent service. My parents who stayed in another section of the resort, never had a single issue with their housekeeping staff who were always amazing, but then there were only the two of them in the room. I should also mention that we are not the kind of people who expect new towels each day, and are more than happy re-use to cut down on water consumption, but we do need enough for the people in our room. The room was however always spotless. On the rare occasions we used the air-conditioning it did a great job, and didn’t have the musty smell common in Caribbean AC units. Our tv was an old one, but that doesn’t really bother us as we’re not there to watch tv. There were plenty of hangers, and enough shelves, drawers, etc, to put all our clothes. There was a small table and two chairs in the room, and two plastic deck chairs on the deck.

Restaurants:

We dined at every restaurant on the property except the Royal Suites restaurant (because you aren’t allowed unless you stay in the Royal section), and the Brazilian restaurant. We found them to be good to excellent, with most being very good. Our favourites were Bamboo, Sumptuori, Punta Emilia, and the steak house (they even had apple pie). We also enjoyed the beach BBQ. We ate breakfasts at Tikal and La Hacienda, and ate lunch wherever we found ourselves at the time. The buffets were always good/very good. We dined at the ala carte restaurants for supper each night at around 5:30pm and never had any issues getting a table promptly. Any nights we went later, we waited no more than 20 minutes. Service varied from restaurant to restaurant (as with anywhere else), but was generally very good with attentive staff. Those that provided excellent service, got excellent tips (just like at home). We also ate lunch at the restaurants by the pools which are also buffet style and they were usually quite good with a varied selection, and lots of salad items, etc. I think that this was one of the best resorts we’ve been to for overall food quality. This was my parents first all-inclusive (they usually cruise), and they were pleased with the quality of food.

Beach and Pools:

We spend most of our time at the beach when we travel, but do spend a bit of time at the pools as well. We usually went to the Colonial/Kantenah pool because my parents were staying in the Kantenah section and this area provided a great half-way point. We went to the White Sand pool a few times as well. I don’t think we had a preference of one over the other. The beach areas were amazing, with lots of chairs and space in both the sun, and in the shade. We usually found a spot that provided a bit of both. We did some snorkeling and you can see large fish in as little as 3’ of water. So for those who don’t want to go out too far, there’s usually still something to see. Some areas of the beach are fairly rocky, but we got to know how to look at the colour of the water to know where the best path was, and none of us had any issues with this. Most areas are just fine; it’s only a few areas with rocks. We didn’t bother with water shoes. We walked over to the salt-water pool area, and it was beautiful; definitely worth a visit. They always had lots of activities around the pool – dancing, fitness classes, yoga, etc. In the morning they usually had relaxing music playing, but the dance music started shortly after 10am if I remember correctly. We don’t really mind this too much either as it makes it feel festive, and if you wanted a quieter space, you just chose a chair on the opposite side of the pool (the area is huge).

Sports and Recreation:

They have a really good sports facility here, with many options. We played mini-golf a few times, and they had soccer fields, volleyball, etc. One day we went down to try their rifle range, but apparently the rifles (pellet guns actually), were all broken and they had no idea when they’d be back. So that was disappointing. Instead we were offered target practice with bow/arrow, which we thought sounded fun. There was however only one bow and a few arrows. We walked to the range and were each only able to shoot about 10 arrows because there were other people waiting who wanted a turn as well, and with only one bow and about 20 arrows, it turned into a very short and disappointing experience. We didn’t bother to go back there after that. But the facility was nice, and the mini-golf course provided lots of shade while playing. So that was fun. Their gym facility has lots of equipment, is clean, and is in excellent shape. There was almost nobody there. Overall, there is a ton of great recreational opportunities around this property!

Feeding the Animals:

Lots of people feed the animals, and most of the time it was in an area that had big signs up saying “Don’t Feed the Animals.” We did see one little girl get bit, and she had to go get a shot. This was because she was holding the food and the animals were taking it right out of her hand, so accidents happen. What really annoyed us is how many people feed the animal s chunks of white bread. I thought most people knew that all this does is expand in their stomach to make them feel fool, but it doesn’t provide the nutrition they need. But I guess some people don’t get it. If you’re going to feed them, at least give them a piece of fruit. One issue they have there is the number of people feeding the koi in the many ponds around the restaurants. People insist on giving them chunks of white bread, which bloats their stomachs, and they die. We saw several fish floating dead, and the staff explained this is why the fish die. The resort even provides boxes around the pond that hold the proper food for feeding the fish, and explain the proper feeding times and such...but many people still don’t get it, and they end up killing the beautiful fish.

Getting Around:

This is probably the largest resort we’ve been to. We have been to other large resorts like this (Bahia Principe Akumal), and we like them because they provide a lot of variety, and new areas to explore. We walked around the entire resort daily while we were there, and always walked everywhere we went. We did not like their tram system, and the one time we got on the driver kept driving and wouldn’t stop at any of the stops despite us calling up to him in both English and Spanish. Even other guests were yelling for him to stop at various times, but he just kept driving. I guess he was behind schedule. We ended up twice as far from our destination than where we started from, and had to walk twice as far. So we didn’t waste our time with the trams anymore after that. My elderly parents used them in the Kantenah section, along with the private golf carts, and this worked well for them in that area. I think in general this is a good system, we just had a bad experience, and since we are very mobile, we just didn’t bother trying again.

Around the White Sand area, you can get on a boat that will take you around the “lake” there. We all really enjoyed this. The boat driver is a really great guy, and obviously loves his job! My parents went on the boat at least once every day. There is limited seating, but well worth it if you have to wait as it’s very relaxing to tootle around...helps you slow down (since you’re on vacation). The driver will take you to areas with lots of fish, and you can feed them, which the kids enjoyed.

Something we really liked about this resort is that most sections are an easy walk to the highway. We like taking Collectivo’s to Playa, Tulum, etc. So it’s nice to not have to walk too far to get to the highway. At the Bahia Principe it was quite a trek to get to the highway.

Shows/Entertainment

We took in a few of the shows, and they were very good. Staff try very hard, and put a lot of effort in. They offer quite a variety, so there’s something for everyone. Anytime our ladies got caught up in a show we didn’t want to see, the boys just headed next door and played some pool. So that was great.

Staff Interactions:

Almost every interaction with staff was positive! Even passing the groups of cleaners as they deployed for their days work in the morning was met with friendly greetings. We were very impressed with all the staff we met.

Conclusion:

We dealt with a few little annoying issues while at this resort. Would we go there again? Yes, without question. My parents are already planning their next trip to Mexico, and trying to get a group of people to go with them. The Grand Palladium will likely be the place they choose. We were concerned that two-weeks would be too much and we’d be bored, but we could easily go back for another two-weeks right now. It’s the sheer size and variety found at this resort that makes a longer stay an easy decision.

Room Tip: Be ready to explore and have fun!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Victoriatravelers,
Thank you very much for your time and your detailed review regarding your vacation at Grand Palladium.
I have taken many information that of course will help us to improve our day to day. Thank you very much for your understanding and letting us know if something was not being done ok during your stay so we had the opportunity to help you and change your bad initial impression.

I hope you visit us soon, it will be a pleasure to meet you personally during your next stay.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
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Moline, Illinois
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

I must start of by saying upfront how big this resort is. With that being said the resort does a good job of having transportation available via a golf cart style train or regular golf carts that hold 6 plus riders. The room we got was a junior sweet in white sands villa 56. It was a very nice room, with a nice shower and jacuzzi tub. Overall the room was good and housekeeping did a good job but seemed to come very late in the day when we would be returning from the beach or pools. The mini bar was restocked everyday, giving us plenty of water and soda.

The Food at the buffets were average. There would only be one person cooking omletes for a rather large buffet hall, so getting one could be a real wait at the breakfast buffet . The dinner buffet is a little better, I would have to say this buffet has some of the best pizza in the caribbean. Overall there is plenty of food to choose from but alot of choices can be bland and or cold. Also, The buffet workers can be a little eager to clear things from you, almost bothersome at some points, although i feel they were just trying to hard to leave a good impression. The japanese restaurant is a must.

The bars were nice. Most all the bartenders were good and very nice. Getting a drink could be a challenge sometimes, as the bars would would feel understaffed. My biggest complaint about waiting for drinks is that they have latte/ espresso machines at every single bar on the resort and this would consume all of the bartenders time. Even at the beach bar on a 90 degree day , you would wait a very long time for a beer or mixed drink while the bartenders made coffees for people, it would get very old.I feel these should have the own lines and person dedicated to just coffee.

The grounds of the resort were well kept. We did see a little trash here and there in the very early morning but nothing to bad. Again this resort is very big so plan on doing alot of walking, also the resort has a alot of very steep stairways over a pontoon boat moat that must be crossed to go almost any where. these stairway bridges may be to much for those with walking problems..something you must consider about going to this resort. The pools are nice, chairs are usually available. the swim up bars were good but just didnt ever seem to take off the way other resorts do.

This resorts has a very nice beach. The beach is very long with very white sand. Its very popular during the day and getting a chair in the area you want to, be could be difficult. The beach has some coral spots but plenty of good swimming and snorkeling area. I would say overall this is a very nice beach.

In the end it was a good hotel but needs to improve on the understaffed bartender issue and get more involved with guest entertainment as they just dont have as much going on as other resorts in the entertainment area. . As nice as this hotel is I would consider doing some real comparing of other hotels at this price range before picking this one. HAPPY VACATIONING !!

Room Tip: send an email request a few days before you go to the hotel , where you want to stay
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear vaca101_13,
Thank you for your review, it will be very helpful to improve our services.
I hope you decide to visit us very soon.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

I'll start off by saying that this was my first vacation south, as well as my boyfriend who traveled with me, so we did not have any comparison of other countries or resorts.

That said.. we loved this hotel. It is located on a huge, beautifully kept complex with other hotels you can share amenities with (pools, lobbies, restaurants, buffets). Lots of walking, or if you prefer it there are trains and golf carts to take you too and from your villa/from lobby to lobby. We booked with transat and had the 'imperial club' which offered us a few benefits such as a welcome fruit basket and small bottle of tequila.

The room: Our room was a junior suite, and for two of us - I can't imagine needing anything more than that! It was a lovely large room on the third floor of building 56, close to both the main pool and the ocean. Very clean and well kept. No elevator, but in the long run I think those stairs helped me burn off all the food we ate. We did have a problem with our shower not draining properly (took about 20-30 mins after a shower to drain the water), we called on our second day there and they send they were sending someone "now" but it never got fixed. The decor is a little dated, and our couch had some stains on it as well, but we aren't the kind of people to focus on little things like that.

The food: My recommendation is to check out the different buffets. We ate lunch at the buffet by our pool because it was convenient, meanwhile right around the corner there was a much bigger and better buffet being served at the riviera! Buffet food was good enough, decent selection. I found that unless the food was being cooked in front of you it was generally not hot, but not cold either. Desserts were nothing special, at the buffets or the a la carte restaurants. We ate at the Mexican, Japanese, Chinese and the beach BBQ. All were good food, and a nice change from the buffet which you get a little sick of after eating there for breakfast and lunch. The Mexican restaurant took about 50mins to bring us our food, which was nothing complicated to make, it was hot and it was good but a long wait. I recommend checking out the beach bar closest to the salt water pool, you can also order lunch there with table service and the bar is 24hrs so if you get up to enjoy the sunrise you can enjoy a cappuccino and a pastry too!

I found the pools to be clean and never had a problem swimming in them, not sure what other reviews that refer to this mean! I had no reservations swimming in either the adult pool or the main pool. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere you can also use the spa pool which is silent, and quite lovely. We had a couples massage, and I had pretty low expectations being someone who has had quite a few massages, but I quite enjoyed it! We also received a 15% discount with the imperial club wristbands. The White Sands seemed to be the quieter of the hotels, we spent a lot of time in the lobby relaxing on the couches and listening to the (cheesy) music. There was a couple of different weddings when we were there, but we never felt as though it affected our stay at all. I agree, things happen at a leisurely pace there - we liked to call it "mexican time". With regards to others mentioning having trouble booking with the a la cartes. We booked for our whole stay on the second day, in the afternoon, no line up no problem done and done. We even walked into the Chinese restaurant without a reservation and were seated straight away. Perhaps this is because there was only 2 of us!? Or maybe luck. We also missed our reservation for the japanese and they still managed to get us seated at the show table.

All in all I would recommend this hotel and would definitely consider going back. Many of the reviews I read were helpful, but it seems everyone has a very different view of what a good resort is.

Room Tip: Building 56!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 18, 2013
Dear Jenny932,
Thank you for your review, I am glad that you liked the Hotel.
I agree with you that everyone has a different view of what good the resort is. Fortunately most of the reviews are happy after their stay with us but we know there are many things we can improve and the feedback we receive is very important.
I hope you visit us soon.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
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 White Sand Resort & Spa

Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km, 256-100 | Municipio Solidaridad, Akumal 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#7 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#9 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#13 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#14 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 264
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Palladium White Sand 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 White Sand 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 Riviera Resort & Spa (excluding the Royal Suite facilities). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort And Spa
Grand Palladium White Sand Hotel Akumal
Palladium White Sands
Grand Palladium White Sands Resort
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico

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