I will just write my review as a check list of sorts to be efficient as I can. My wife and I stayed Feb 26 to March 6th with another couple. We are both 58.
1. Bring about $100 in one dollar bills for 2 purposes, tips and bargaining for souvenirs, $1 = 10 to 12 pesos. Everyone dealt in US dollars so exchanging dollars for pesos is really not necessary at the front desk as they will not exchange pesos for dollars when you leave, only at airport which is a hassle. Avoid the hassle . If the native Mayans at Chichen Itzen can deal in US Dollars then all vendors can . What ever they start with for a price they will take about 60 to 70% of asking price so go back and forth about 4 times to get the best price on anything or just wait till you leave and you can shop at the all the stores right at your exit terminal. No bargaining there but fairly reasonable prices on souvenirs at the air port..
2 When you arrive in Cancun and you have Apple or other travel service just make your way outside into the sunshine and they will be holding a sign for your travel service. Do not talk to anyone especially those people inside that want to show you a condo . Just walk by and get outside after customs.
3. Apple rep outside took us to our van and watched our bags while we got a cool Corona for $6 a piece at the beer stand. It will be the only Corona you will drink as they have just the Sol beer at the all inclusive. Its about 90 minute ride with one or two stops to get to White Sand resort.
4. Most all inclusives I saw in Riviera Maya were very ecologically built where nothing is more than 3 to 4 stories high and lobbies were all thatched roofs. Nothing very high and a bit spread out to blend into the environment.
5. Bring a light jacket or sweater as it is nice in day in upper 70s in Feb but when sun goes down it gets a bit chilly at night. Guys just need one pair of khaki pants for the ala carte restaurants. Don't do the buffets at night as the ala carte restaurants are really, really good and you just need to go to each one and get on the list. Usual wait about 30 minutes or a couple nice drinks in the lobby bar area. I thought the Japanese restaurant in the Colonial was the best show and very fun. Italian Portofino restaurant in White sand was super classy . When you check in have them write down the type of food at each ala carte . The service was great at all ala cartes and they more than deserved a tip so bring some dollars along at night when you eat.
6. The early show at 9pm is always at the Colonial so head there after eating dinner. The late show is at the Riviera at 10pm but really too late in the day and not as well attended. Don't miss the night the animation kids perform, I have not laughed that hard in years. The international night with the professional dancers also is a good show.
7. Seems like the Whites Sand pool area was quiet most of the time. All the fun seemed to always be around the Colonial pool . If I went back I would personally stay at the Colonial. The sports bar at the Colonial also was a hit for the Canada vs USA hockey game. Boy were there a lot of Canadians there, I think Canada empties out this time of year.
8. Beach was beautiful blue water. Only clear area to wade in without beach shoes was in front of the Colonial by the big yellow tube . You can feed the fish by the yellow tube with hamburger buns at the snack bars. Order off the menu at the snack bars. I always ordered a double order of bbq chicken wings, very good. The rest of the beaches had coral beach areas making it hard to just wade but was fantastic to snorkel in with many, many great colorful fish . Bring fins and mask if you can find room in carry on. Lots of areas to be in the sun or under a palm tree sipping a Dirty Banana. Never had a problem finding a chair.
9. Pools were huge, actually too big as they are not heated and were pretty darn cold just to sit at the swim up bars. Swim up bar pools should have been separated from main huge pool. I enjoyed the socializing with other people last year at the swim up pool at RUI in Puerto Varrata but ocean on this side was just A+ versus C minus for the Pacific side. I just used the pool to practice my snorkeling before going to the ocean.
10. They have a wonderful Spa building that has a real hot tub area and make sure to at least walk through it the first day to check it out. Very cool, especially if your into fitness on a daily basis or want to pay for a great massage. Most everything is free except for when you request a personal service like a massage or manicure..
11. Walking to beach for us was about a 300 to 400 yard walk so its not a place if you have bad knees or back problems . RUI in Cancun would be a better place if you have mobility problems. They also use the walk ways as a little highway with lots of trucks and golf carts cruising through at a pretty good clip. I am amazed no one gets hurt by the trucks. Not very safe so keep your head on a swivel when walking the walkways.
12. They have several adventure trips but the best was an all day 8 am to 6 pm trip to Chichun Itzan. Absolutely amazing!!! $100 a person plus a tip at end of day . You can go to Tolum or Coba for a 1/2 trip for $60 a piece but its nothing like the amazing stuff at Chichun Itzan. We only did one trip as the beach snorkeling at the resort was just so amazing. Going into town is just not worth the hassle of getting a cab or hopping a bus, save your time and spend it at the beach to relax, you can shop till you drop at the airport when you leave or check out the vendors at the Colonial before the shows each night. They all sell the same stuff.
13. If you have little kids under 5 yrs old bring a stroller along as part of luggage at this resort as it make it so much easier to get around. I was amazed at how many kids where with their parents. No problems at all, just amazed so many people could afford to take kids to Caribbean in this economy.
Overall great place. I think I will head back to Negril , Jamaica though next year as the weather is a bit more predicable at 82 degrees year around and pools are always warm and beaches even nicer. This was a bit on the chilly side for me personally for the Caribbean. I would highly recommend this all inclusive as a Honeymoon destination for any young couple. I would just stay at the Colonial area instead of the Whitesand for more of a fun staff around the pool area.
- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium White Sand Resort And Spa
- Grand Palladium White Sand Hotel Akumal
- Grand Palladium White Sands
- Grand Palladium White Sand
- Grand Palladium White Sand Hotel
- Grand Palladium White Sand Resort
- Grand Palladium White Sand Resort Spa
- Palladium White Sands
- Grand Palladium White Sands Resort
- Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico
- 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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