We just returned from a wonderful 11 day holiday (Oct. 5 - 15). There was me and hubby and 3 kids (10, 8 and 2) and I am 7 1/2 months pregnant. We arrived on a Sat. at 3pm and we were in our Canada Tranfers van within 25mins. of landing. They were great and it was a quick ride. Just a note that we left our car seat in the van and they were so awesome by sending me an email (which I didn't receive, but I called them and they informed me they were planning on bringing it back tomorrow) and thought that was wonderful service. We arrived at the hotel and check in took about 15mins. and we were assigned a wonderful suite in villa 20. We couldn't have been happier with it or the location. It was within 5 mins. walking to the lobby, main pool, beach, WS pool and trams from the Colonial/Kantenah side were out front and from the WS/Riviera were across the road. So easy and we sometimes wanted to take them with 3 kids and a stroller and my big belly.lol.
Things we loved were the no reservations, the WS pool was great, the Colonial was a little too deep for us but we knew that going in (and I had been here once years before, pre kids and pre WS/Riviera). We still used the Colonial pool quite a bit because it was close to the beach, snack bar (bingo.lol) and the lunch buffet so was easy. We had great meals at the El Dorado (great New York steak) and the Sumptuori tempanyaki table. The kids really enjoyed it. The buffets always had plenty and I have no idea how anyone could fault them (breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner). We went to the kids show almost every night and they enjoyed that. Our maid service was great and she was very pleasant and did the couple little extra things we needed and we tipped her extra for it. (We needed extra blankets for the little ones bed and we pushed two pull outs together so that the 2 year old wouldn't roll off and she made it that way.
Things that weren't great were the internet was terrible in the Colonial lobby, practically non existent and this is where we usually wanted to use it due to the shows being there and it was our closest lobby. It wasn't bad in the WS, but I would hope it to be better. Maybe it had something to do with the time of day we were trying, when everyone else was. We did not have a good meal at Ribs & More (although their salad bar was amazing). The chicken was not good, the beef ribs weren't either and it was so incredibly slow my husband had to take the little one out and leave as we couldn't wait any longer. We are used to things being on the slow side in ala cartes and have done many in Mexico, but this was painful. The Brazilian was good, but some of the meat was tough. Other than that, we did enjoy our meal there.
We found the staff to be friendly and very helpful, no problems there whatsoever. Our maid and concierge IMO were extremely pleasant and wonderful to deal with.
We also went to Crococun Zoo and Puerto Morelos one day by colectivo as we wanted to look at a few condos. Not sure going to the zoo would be worth it from here, but I got to see my condos, so that was alright. We went to Playa for shopping one afternoon and stayed for supper and it was amazing. If anyone goes into Playa for a meal, you must try Carboncitos. They are just off 5th on 4th calle and their prices were great and portions huge. Totally amazing. One other day we took the colectivo to Akumal and swam with the turtles. What a memorable experience with the kids. Me and my husband had snorkel gear, but we went to the dive shop to rent stuff for the kids and life jackets. One of us took the two older ones out and the other stayed and played in the shallow water with the 2 year old and then we switched. They loved it and so did we. We then had lunch at Lol Ha ad it was great, but expensive.
We also had great weather the whole 11 days. Other than overnight, it only rained an hour and a half one afternoon, so we went for lunch in the snack buffet and then swam in the pool in the rain for a bit and that was all we had. It was perfect.
As for the construction, it did not bother us really. The green fence was there, but we barely noticed it and they may have turned the music up at the Colonial pool to cover the noise, but that was fine and it didn't bother us. We really didn't notice the Vacation Club construction at all. It really wasn't great that the kids club had been moved and the little room they had for the babies was not great and my two year old would not stay there after the 1st time which really sucked. One of the reasons we picked this resort was for the baby club, so we were disappointed. The tour operator we booked with was not aware of the construction and I had to inform them before we went as the resort had not notified them either. I'm a travel agent, so we have a Palladium rep and we work with the tour operators closely and no one knew until I saw it here (although I'm sure the rep knew, but didn't say anything). Usually we are informed when renos will be done, but certainly not in this case. That being said, we made do and instead hired a babysitter for $10US/hour for the 2 year old a couple days for a couple hours each. We put him down for a nap and she would sit in the room and read while he slept so we could get a few ours of adult time. We would come back to wake him up, so she really just read while he slept and that worked out I guess.
This was a great family trip and we had an amazing time and would return for sure.