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“Overall - great trip” 4 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 #14 of 21 Hotels in Akumal
toronto, canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Overall - great trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2010

Second trip to Palladium - first one about 7 years ago. Have been to Mexico about 8 times. Huge hotel, lots of walking, restaurants, bars, spa. Very nicely maintained. We booked a suite via Transat vacations - emailed the hotel to request an oceanview told them it was our 15th anniversary and we were repeat guests staying for 2 weeks. I'm pretty sure they rec'd my email as when we checked in they wished us a happy anniversary. Well - they didn't do anything really for us - you could see the ocean if you peaked around someone else's balcony. We ended up paying $15US per night for an upgrade to an ocean suite which was available the 2nd week of our stay in the riveria section which was gorgeous.

We enjoyed the a la cartes - we had 10 guaranteed reservations so we didn't have to wait for a table - some people were waiting 1-2 hours. We tried most places. Some were better than others - they could work on the lighting (dimmer lights are much more romantic). Lobby/beach bars were good & you could always find food at any time of day/night. Beach snack bars - average...for some reason they can't cook a good hamburger (undercooked so check before you eat). The buffet by the pool was great for lunch.

Suites - very nice spacious, we had 2 balconies and once we got the oceanview the views were amazing. Beds are hard & pillows are awful. Our biggest complaint was noise in the rooms. Rooms are in blocks with an open courtyard. Sounds carries pretty good and for some reason our neighbours (or maybe the maids) were constantly moving furniture around (or so it seemed) which made it hard to get a good night sleep even with earplugs. We noticed this in the White Sands & Riveria suites we had.

Beach - nice, but somewhat rocky in place. You can walk all the way to the El Dorado. Good for snorkelling & you'll see lots of fish, stingrays and the odd sea turtle. It rained one day for about 1/2 hour and the rest of the time was super hot which we loved.

Insect repellent - not too bad but best to bring some if the mosquitos like you. If u forgot anything, best to go to town to buy it - the hotel prices are pretty steep.

Getting around - collectivos are great, fast & cheap (12 person mini-van that goes Playa del Carmen to Tulum & everywhere in btwn for $3 US). We used them to go to Akumal - which has great snorkelling, lots of turtles. Also a vendor there who makes the best empanadas (meat filled pastries). We also went to Playa del Carmen 3 times for shopping/dinners returning around 10pm using the collectivos...very safe, no one bothered us & great food.

Best restaurant in town is Ajua - it's off 5th avenue. Their chicken enchilladas with mole sauce is out of this world. We always visit this place when we go to Mexico - this trip we went there twice for dinner/drinks www.ajua.biz Very romantic candles/linens), great service, music and very reasonable in price...

Booked a full day trip Coba Maya Encounter with Alltournative. Well worth the money... climbed an ancient temple 130+ feet up, ziplined over a pond with crocodiles, walked around the jungle, rapelled 50 ft down into a cenote, had a "mayan" lunch & learned a lot about the land, culture.

Overall a great trip - we spent a fair time off the resort which is typical for us. I have to say, I was disappointed Palladium didn't really do anything for us as repeat guests celebrating an anniversary AND charged us for the oceanview. Wasn't a huge fee, but still... not like it's high season.

We stayed at the Riu Yucatan for our 10th anniversary and they seemed to go out of the way for us (we booked a room and they upgraded us to a suite, special dinner, flowers,private shuttle at the airport) so I'd be inclined to return to the Riu. Maybe the Riu spoiled us...

Lastly - buy a few beers when you get off the plane for the busride to the hotel. It's a good way to start your trip.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    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
Gateshead, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2010

The room we had was lovely, completely massive. It had a mini bar that was restocked everyday with beers, pop and water.
Some nights were a bit noisy, but that could happen anywhere in any hotel. Its just people being inconsiderate.
The food was ok in the buffet restaurants, nothing fantastic. A big selection but like I say just cheap food. The themed restaurants were nothing special. You could go as much as you liked tho. Better than eating in the buffet.
The staff were ok, some were really nice and some were the opposite. The weather spoilt it a bit for me, Hurricane Alex turned up and we had some miserable weather and there was not much to do around the hotel in this event which was a bit disapointing seeing as the Mexicans have rainy stormy seasons.
The gym was good. the grounds were really nice and the beach was excellent. Free wifi in the hotel lobbys too.

The only other thing that spoilt the place a lot was some of the Americans. I have never met any before and they are the loudest rudest obnoxious people ever. Plus the greediest, piling there plates up in the buffet and not eating it. Shouting on at the pool talking rubbish but making sure everyone could hear them. Pushing past people waiting to get on the little busses that took you round the grounds. Basically a lot of them had zero manners and were obsessed with the word AWSOME! What a bunch of freaks!

So if the weather was nice and the Yanks were not there I probably would have had a belter time!

Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Ottawa
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
100 helpful votes 100 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2010

Stayed 1st week of October, took 2 hours and 20 minutes to arrive from Cancun no traffic just dropping other passenger to other Hotels. Great weather all week.
Check in was a breeze very efficient staff explaining all the where about of the complex.
Check out again staffs very helpful you need to book your bell boy to a specific time you want him to pick you up and he will take your suitcase downstairs for you, no elevators there, staff very friendly and polite. Been to Riviera Maya a few time so this vacation we wanted to enjoy the full advantage of Grand Palladium no outside activities just relaxation in mind and no rush.
Stayed at the White Sands villa 57 Suite 5731 3rd Floor ocean view from both balconies superb sunrise. King size bed comfortable but truly awful cheap foam pillows, asked 3 times to have them changed and always received the same, they expect you to pay 3$ per night for better ones. Great big bathroom with window and extra size bathtub. A. /C worked great sometime a bit noisy but not enough to keep you awake, ceiling fan in bedroom and living room.
Excellent location close to beach and pool easy access to everything. Easy access to Riviera or White Sand lobbies. It's a big complex prepare to walk, waiting for the green train that goes from lobbies to lobbies or white train that goes from room to room on both White Sand and Riviera and Royal section. We ended up walking instead of waiting which made me wondered how efficient this system would work during high season. They should indicate Villas more clearly number of villa is on the lawn on the side of building and not on building itself not visible at night hard to see when not familiar with grounds as they all look the same.
Restaurant
Due to low season they alternate restaurant to be open no reservation required, on first come basis, if you arrived before 7 there was no waiting in line. Guest relation have the schedule of restaurants, they should posted it more evidently from front desk instead of always having to ask. Other than beach restaurant the only outside restaurant was on the Colonial section.
Buffet was as expected no real surprise there like any other buffet clean and repetitive.
Tried restaurant Ribs and More, Bamboo, Porto Fino, El Dorado all good but second time was truly disappointed either under cooked pasta or over cooked meat, good thing buffet was still open. Don't eat that much desert but must say it was the piece of resistance of every meal, better plate presentation than the main course. Seem like the same soup at all restaurant it was called potato or cauliflower white milky soup white bowl on a white plate on a white linen tablecloth, no dressing it up very bland. Most of the waiters very friendly and trying hard to please.
The beach on the Riviera, White Sand part is very shallow and rocky, lots of weeds but more shade and quieter.
On the Colonial / Kantenah side the beach is better. Lots of music and entertainment on that side of the beach, mostly in full sun. Nice and easy to walk from Kantenah to Riviera section. Saw lots of small stingrays by the sea in the morning, turtle’s tracks, coatimundi and lots of wildlife.
Salt water pool was not what I expected to be. It was smaller and all cement platforms with chairs and sun beds, they have parties at night (white clothes required) did not go because tired of waiting for train and did not want to walk lots of mosquitoes bring some spray.
The thing that bothered me the most was seeing people feeding the birds while sitting at the table at outside restaurant on the beach. Disgusting to see bird dropping and birds trying to get to your plate, not very sanitary. They should put a sign not to feed the birds and have waiters trying at least to respect it, saw food on tables sitting there to long and birds all taking over the area. Dropping everywhere and then waiter comes by clean with a cloth and doesn't wash his hands and serve you a drink. Could not eat there fear of being sick. A real turn off for me, lacking sanitation.
They should install a hand free sanitizer like on cruise ship for all customers walking in a restaurant or buffet. Buffet at the entrance did sometime offer some sanitizer but at random. Always bring my own.
Spa
You must go to the Spa it is a must. Great place to enjoy a quiet morning or afternoon relaxing by the pool great view. There is a lot to see and to enjoy, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath and a big gym. A real oasis on its own. Only thing missing was a restaurant or bar service.
Entertainment in Riviera Lobby every night or the theater no much to say here same as other Hotels they did a good job entertaining guests. But truly disappointed with the Sport Bar and Disco. Disco dark and lots of different floor levels nothing special. The Sport Bar is to dark and smelly. Was expecting something like the Palladium Jamaica, there it was always clean and inviting always a great place for food at the sport bar in hours of need and always friendly staff.
Funniest drink mixed up was I order a glass of chilled sparkling wine and a glass of water and got a glass of wine mixed with water with a cherry. Lobby bartender not always attentive to guest request. Would recommend to honeymooners, only those with limited mobility would find it extremely hard to get by.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, October 18, 2010
Thank you very much travel101Otawa for your comments. We really appreciate all feed back received and most when it comes from a repetitive guest of any of our Palladium Hotels.
One of the points we are working hard right now is to get the best things of each of our hotels in order to implement them in the rest of our caribbean complex.
It's glad to know that you enjoyed many of our facilities and you can be sure we will reinforce the points you mentioned in order to improve our services.
Please feel free to send us more detailed information to our email: acliente.riviera@fiestahotelgroup.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2010

My husband and I returned yesterday after staying 10 days at White Sands. This is one of the most fabulous resorts we have ever stayed in. The suite was awesome as was the view. The beach is parardise! The water was so calm and blue with so many fish in the ocean, not to mention all the wonderful wild life in the resort that are quite people friendly. The staff were the best and always tended to our every need, which was quite impressive. The spa is awesome and the restauraunts, for the most part are great!. There is lots to do for people of all ages and to top it off the resort is in close proximity to Playa Del Carmen, which is easy to get to. I definitely recommend this resort and plan to return in the future.

  • Stayed October 2010, 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.
Lindsay, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2010

This resort can give you whatever type of holiday you are looking for!!!
We have been back twice and enjoyed 2 very different vacations. The first time was just to relax and rejeuvenate the second we wanted to soak up the local culture and see some of the sights. Both vacations were for 2 weeks, totally different but were exactly what we wanted them to be.
This resort is unique in that you actually get 4 resorts in one and can use all of the wonderful facilities. You can relax by the many pools, (some of which are adult only), laze about on the beautiful white sandy beach or you can be active and participate in the many activities offered by (POP People of Palladium). The Spa is beautiful and has some great facilities which are offered free of charge.
You need never leave the resort and still have lots to do or you can take advantage of the many cultural interests off resort but still nearby. Take a taxi or use the local Colectivo to get around, both are safe and clean. The nearby towns of Akumal, Tulum or the shopping town of Playa del Carmen are all worth seeing. Many offsight tours are offered and can be booked right in the lobby.
The food is very good, especially the ala cart restaurants, buffets are awesome especially for breakfast. The beach restaurants are great for lunch and snacks.
The drinks are very good, plentiful and available everywhere. The staff is friendly, hard working and very willing to please.
This is a family resort but never seemed to be over run with kids or teenagers. There are kids clubs which offer many different activities daily which the kids really seem to enjoy. There is an adults only section in the hotel, which includes its own restaurant, pool, room service for those who wish.
Nightlife was not a priority for us but we enjoyed the evening shows put on by POP. There is a disco for late night partying but we never attended.
This resort is very, very big and spread out. There are trains and carts available for those with mobility concerns.
We think this is a great resort, well worth the money and will definitely return again.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton, Wisconsin
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2010

This was our 7th trip to this resort, and even topped the last 6 trips! From the management to the laborers at the resort, these people are amazing. We are also Palladium Addict members, so we are well versed on this property.

My sister and brother in well traveled with us, and it was their first trip to Mexico. At the end of the trip my brother in law told us that if he'd paid double the price, it still would have been a great value. They loved it as much as we do!

We booked thru Vacation Travel Mart, and everything went like clockwork from the moment we checked in at Chicago, O Hare to returning a week later.

I would be remiss if I did not personally give kudos to the manager of White Sands/Riviera, Mr William Cervera. This man goes way beyond just good customer service. Despite the size of the resort and the hundreds of guests there at any one time, he does his very best to meet the needs and requests of anyone who contacts him. In all of our travels, we have NEVER met a manager that consistently goes the extra mile like he does. He deserves our gratitude.

The food was yummy, the restaurants were better than ever. The Friday night beach barbeque was so special, complete with linens on all of the tables. The food was fantastic, service was excellent, etc. It was one of the few beautiful evenings without rain, and we enjoyed every minute of it!

All in all, we have no complaints. We received a huge bang for our buck, and will be spending our 8th trip there next September.

  • Stayed September 2010, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stamford, Connecticut
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2010

When you arrive at the White Sands Lobby, the first impression is wow, this is a nice place. Upon checking in with a rude desk clerk who could care less about any requests you have, you realize that the trek to building 57 is FAR from the lobby. This resort is way to big and laid out poorly. The signs are terrible and you have no idea where you are going for 3 days.
ROOMS: we had a junior suite in building 57, nice room with jacuzzi. One big problem is the shower head and shower walls had black mold on them. We asked a few times to have housekeeping clean it, they never did, we had to clean it ourselves. A/C worked good but for some reason nothing would ever dry here. We did find one huge roach in the room, I killed it, never saw another. Also we saw a huge tarantula in the doorway of the building, we notified a staff member who happened to be at the end of the walkway, he laughed and kicked it into the bushes. It was about the size of a human hand.
POOL AREAS: The Colonial pool seems to be the more lively of the 2 with more activities, music and the like. Us being non smokers, just about everyone smoked about 50 ciggaretts all around us all day. Most of the people there were from Spain/England/Russia and they could not smoke fast enough.One thing that is annoying, when they annouce pool volleyball or water polo, you start playing and then they stop you 30 min later and take the ball away regardless if people want to continue or not. The White Sands pool was more laid back with more English speaking people. Also I dont think they washed the towels very well, by the end of every day, they smelled like mold.
BEACH: the beach was narrow and rocky with lots of trash on it. I dont understand why they dont clean it. Water is beautiful of course, calm waves good to swim in. Beach volleyball was fun a 4pm every day, for some reason they let you play this for as long as you want, different from the pool areas.
FOOD: The buffet is not too bad but it gets old after 9 days of eating breakfast and lunch there. Enough variety so everyone can find something. Al la carte resturants were good, especially the Steak House and Brazilian in my opinion, but did not have a bad meal in any of them. Be prepared to wait for at least an hour, they only let Royal Service people make reservations at the Al la Carts. Good service from the waiters in the Al la Carts.
SUMMARY: Resort way to big, hard to figure out where youre going, nice looking place decent food, decent rooms although dirty, most staff could care less about you. 15-20 min walk to restaurants from rooms. Upon check out, we were told by a rude desk clerk we could NOT have our check out slip to retreive our luggage until we filled out an automated evaluation form on the computer next to the front desk. I said we didnt want to do it and she said " you have too" very rudely. Needless to say I checked poor on every question. Did not leave me with a good impression of this resort. One last note, the night time shows at the riviera theatre were very good, the people are very talented.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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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 ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#9 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#10 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*
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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