I will break this review into sections so you can skip what you aren't interested in. I will also try to keep it brief but be thorough. We were there May 6-13.
The flights: This trip was our first time taking the kids (4 years and 13 years) out of the US and our first time taking a connecting flight. We flew American from O'Hare to Dallas/Ft Worth. That flight was fine. However, after rushing the kids through the terminal, sucking down some lunch and check the board we found the plane was delayed. Big shock. We shrugged it off and said if something is going to go wrong on vacation, it is always the flights! Finally after a 1 hour delay, we board and the rest of the flight is fine.
The return flight was not. We left CUN 1/2 hour late due to a bad thunderstorm in Chicago, not a big deal and the flight was fine until the decent over O'Hare. I don't know what happened, but it was awful! The plane fell hard enough 3 times to lift you out of your seat. People will complaining and grabbing their seats. It was not turbulence. Not sure what it was, but it was terrible. Then bouncing and shaking like mad. Finally hit the ground and the lady behind us said she has never had such a horrible experience and she flies 1-2 times a month for business. Our little guy (4 years) threw up as we were taxing in from motion sickness. It was really bad.
Transfers: Great! Walked out and Lomas had a sign with our name, hoped in our van and off we went. Took just about 1 hour.
Beach: Huge, deep, gorgeous! Rocky areas for snorkelers, sandy areas for swimmers. Something for everyone. Plenty of beach chairs and shade from palm trees and palapas. While we were there, they were building more palapas. Water was calm, except the last 2 days. Clear, warm water. Loved it.
Pool: We only went in the White Sands pool. It was very large, water was warm. If a few missing tiles, moldy grout areas, or broken tiles bother you, you will not be happy. Our kids loved it. The water was very clear, no murkiness like some pools at other places. We swam in it every day and really enjoyed it.
Service: Overall, pretty good. The lady that welcomes you to the resort was horrible. She insulted us and gave us some wrong info about the resort ---I knew it was wrong from this site and another I am a member of. Not a good way to start the trip. Buffet service was anywhere from horrible to pretty good. Only ate in 2 sit down restaraunts and one had great service other was pretty good. It's a family resort, we didn't expect much.
Took 2 phone calls and 1 hour before someone came and fixed our A/C in the living room section of the suite and our fridge. Also not a good way to start a vacation when you are tired and it is late.
Food: Overall, pretty good. Only at 1 meal at the Colonial buffet was pretty awful, the buffets at White Sand were overall pretty good. They are buffets, not gourmet dining. The 2 sit downs had very good food. Again, it's not gourmet, but very good. We wished they didn't use so much salt on the food, but overall it was pretty good.
Rooms: We had a 1 bedroom suite. It was a very nice size and worked great for our family of 4. The kids (4 and 13 years) shared the pull out sofa and hubby and I had a king size bed in our bedroom. Both rooms had a seperate balcony which was very nice. Our room was cleaned every day and even had a towel animal 5 of the days we were there.
Entertainment: Did not see any shows. They were too late for us since we are early morning people. Disappointed that the kids show didn't start til 9 PM. Wish it was at 8 PM as our little guy really wanted to see it, but he is an early to bed, early to rise kid and that is just too late for the little ones.
Kids and Teen clubs: We did not use either.
Would we return: We would consider returning for a family vacation, but not if it was just the 2 of us. Too many kids if we were having an adult vacation. But it is a family resort.
Would we recommend this resort? Absolutely to families and to couples that understand there will be kids around unless the stay soley in the adult only areas of the resort.
Helpful hints....if you are going to this resort as a couple and you sit down next to beach chairs with sandtoys there are probably kids they belong too. Don't get all crabby and make a big scene about leaving when the family returns from the water and the kids are playing with their toys. This IS a family resort! Also, when a 4 year old says "Hola" and smiles, would it really kill you to smile and say "Hola" back??
And smokers.......the beach is NOT your ashtray. The potted plants in the lobby are also NOT your ashtray! Show some respect if not for the environment at least for other guests.
And please people, there are plenty of garbage cans around the beach, pool area and resort, use them.
Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.
- 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