We travelled to Palladium from Nov 20 to Nov 28 with our 9 month old son and 3 year old daughter.
We flew with Sunwing and we confirmed our flight to be early as stated on the internet airport departure status. It was 1.5 hours early so we drove off to the airport only to find that it was not early so we had to stay at the airport for an extra 1.5 hours because of their mistake. The flight attendants were friendly, hot meal was served, free headsets were given and children were given activity set.
We arrived in Mexico and got on the free bus shuttle to the airport at 3am. The bus was very empty, there were probably only 8 other families/couples on the bus, in which only half of them were going to our resort and the others were going to Riu and we had to drop them off first. It took approx 1 hour to get to our hotel.
Check In ** 2 stars
Check in was very slow – this was ridiculous especially because it was only 4-5 families/couples. They made us each fill out a survey with our information and they said it was for a “draw for a prize”. It took literally 10 minutes for us to fill it out (holding two very tired and cranky kids). The guy at the front desk was very slow in giving us our keys and when he finally did he told us that it was a double bed. I asked him for a king bed and a crib and layaway bed. He said at that time there was no other king beds available. So we went to our room and to our surprise it was a king size bed (I guess they don’t know which rooms are 2 double beds or 1 king bed). They advertize 2 queen beds but their queen beds are actually double beds.
Rooms ****4 stars
The standard rooms are nice and clean – marble tiles in the bathroom and nice colors. The smoking and non smoking rooms are on the same level. There is a damp weird smell in the closets but I mean you’re in a rainforest so what do you expect. Never had any prob with the air-conditioning or bugs. The beds are normal. My 9 month old slept in a crib and my daughter slept in a layaway bed that they brought. The beds are not too hard, they are normal beds. The negative thing about the layout of the hotel is that you have 3 neighbors. You have your neighbor to the side and then you have the 2 neighbors who’s doors are across your doors. This just increased the noise and sound that we heard in the morning and night. In the mornings I would always be woken up by people giggling and laughing in the hallway, or in the middle of the night someone walking through the hallway and talking loudly. We have stayed at the Catalonia Yucatan last month in Riveria Maya and the layout of the hotel was in a way where you only have one door neighbor and across your door is garden area so the noise level is much less.
Restaurants *** 3 stars
Buffet was okay. They did try to make variety but I found their food to not having any taste. Again, comparing it to Catalonia Yucatan, Palladium did not have comparable food or times for the restaurants. Sometimes the buffet or restaurants would be closed because they were having a bbq on the beach. I found this to be very inconvenient because bbq at the beach is first come first serve, and if its full you have to come back when they tell you to. Its nice for them to have bbq on the beach but I don’t think they should close the other restaurants in order to do so.
Buffet, for breakfast we made our own eggs everyday. They have pancakes and French, cereal, bread, cheese, etc. Lunch, there was always a meal with fish, pork, chicken or beef, or vegetarian. We don’t eat regular meat other than fish so we were kind of limited to what we could eat so everyday we ate a different type of fish. You can choose from the fish they have in the buffet or ask the chef to grill it for you. They always had salad, and fruits like watermelon and other things. I got to say that their dessert was fabulous, but their ice cream was very boring. They had an ice cream machine and your choice of vanilla, chocolate or twist – they had bowls with coconut shreds, sprinkles, smarties, pecans, nuts, etc that you could put over your icecream but the flavor was the same every day. Again, compared to Catalonia who always had different flavours of ice cream for all. For dinner they also have a make your own crepery where you can tell the chef what you want inside your crep and they make it infront of you.
Im surprised they never offered mashed potatoes at the buffet, they displayed mashed potatoes one time but it was orange color, im assuming it was SWEET mashed potatoes which we didn’t like.
They have an open buffet near the pools but its technically a snack bar with just hot dogs, pizza, hamburgers and one or two choices of food, watermelon, ice cream.
Mexican restaurant was not air conditioned and there was no ramp so we had to hold the stroller to go into it. The food was good, the soup was delicious and their dessert tray is amazing.
Italian restaurant was nice but they had really weird food like the shrimp still had its head and whiskers on – I don’t know maybe my family isn’t used to “fancy” food like this so we didn’t like it too much. I ordered fettuccini alfredo without the shrimp and it was yummy.
Bambu – is the oriental restaurant, we didn’t have a chance to go because the day that we wanted to actually go, it was closed because there was a bbq on the beach plus its on top of the buffet and the only way you can get there is with stairs and we couldn’t take the stroller with the tired kids so we just didn’t bother trying to go again.
BBQ at the beach, they had this 3 times during the week we were there. They move all the food and the chairs and tables near the sea and its beautiful setting. Its first come first serve so every time we wanted to go we were told that we had to come back in 45 minutes or half an hour so it wasn’t a big deal. The food is the same as it would be at the buffet. The scenery is beautiful.
Room Service **** 4 stars
The cleaning ladies did a great job, they cleaned everyday. They re-stocked the shampoos and Kleenexes daily. Also, you get 2 water bottles and 3 cans of pop restocked daily in the mini fridge. The only thing missing in this category was creative towel art. Compared to Catalonia Yucatan where they had daily towel art on the bed and the bathroom. At Palladium everyday there was a swan art towel in the bathroom.
Food Staff Service **** 4 stars,
They did good job and were friendly, most of them don’t speak English.
Grounds ***** 5 stars
Honestly, I did not think the service or the food at this hotel was anywhere near the 4.5 stars that they say they are. I would more likely give them a 3 stars in the food and service category. The category that Palladium wins in is the grounds and location area. I would give it a solid 5 stars. The place is BEAUTIFUL. Unfortunately, there are a lot of stairs and its okay for most people but its hard when you have a double stroller with a sleeping 3 year old and a sleeping 9 month old. But, fortunately there are ramps everywhere except the a la carta restaurants. There is access to the rooms and the zoo, and all around the grounds and the buffet via ramp. The landscaping is beautiful, the view is beautiful (you can see the sea from most of the rooms, even if its not an oceanview room). Lots of flowers, lots of plants (banana tree, olive tree, etc). Very clean grounds, hotel is built on a cliff so the higher up you go the more breathtaking the view. Plus they have little viewing sitting areas that have a canopy seating so you can enjoy the view.
Sea ***** 5 stars
You’re able to go into the water and go swimming, its little bit rocky but much better than most other resorts. In addition they have a wading area that is sea water but its excellent for kids because they can enjoy the sand and the water without having to be so worried about waves and currents.
Pools: **** 4 stars
Theres 2 pools, and a baby pool – lots of chairs in shade, on weekends its very busy with locals. Come Monday it wasn’t busy anymore.
Kids Club/ Babys Club: ** stars
Kids club is for kids aged 4 +, I saw them playing with the staff but the staff member was more concerned with chewing bubble gum and staring at other people than taking care of the children.
They recently opened a baby club for ages 1-3, it’s a small air conditioned room with toys and tv but we never used it since there were no other kids there.
Evening Entertainment *** 3 stars
They tried their best but I found myself bored most of the time. They did a diva show one night and the rest of the nights it was mostly latin entertainment which is nice but after watching it 3 nights in a row, kind of got repetitive. They did a horror show one night, another night they did dancing from around the world – which was mostly latin countries so most of the dancing was similar. The entertainment staff did try very hard but I found the entertainment to be much better at Catalonia Yucatan.
You can pay 20 pesos per person and take the public bus to Puerto Vallarta downtown, it takes approx 40 minutes. Be prepared to be holding onto your seats because the bus is very old and when it goes 70 km / hr you feel like its going 200 km /hr!
We paid $55 american per person to go to an island. It was 8 hour excursion, we were on the boat for 200 people for approx 2 hours – if you don’t get sea sick then its good to go.
They have a zoo with ostrich, deers, monkey, chickens, etc, they also have a crocodile and snake.
Palladium is excellent: grounds are well kept, and beautiful scenery
Palladium is average: food, staff service, rooms, entertainment, room service
Palladium is poor: ramp friendly, restaurant variety (they kept closing two restaurants everytime they had a bbq on the beach, so you went from having 1 buffet and 3 a la carte to having 1 buffet, and 1 a la carte choice and the bbq which was technically the buffet food). Front desk service,
Overall I would give this hotel a 3 star (not 4.5 star). The place is beautiful but I did not enjoy the food or nightly entertainment as much as other resorts and for that reason I would give it 3 stars.
Advice I would give to Palladium:
- Add more ramps to go to the restaurants because I saw many people that had strollers and small children
- Add more variety to the buffet food, have mashed potatoes, garlic bread, different flavor of ice cream, different salads, etc
- Make it clear to the people staying at the hotel which restaurants are going to be closed if you decide to close it, don’t just post it on the buffet door so when people go to the buffet they see that it is actually closed. Have a schedule that is easily visible to everyone so they know when and which restaurants/buffet will be closed.
- Put air conditioning or fan in the Mexican restaurant, my family decided not to order the main course because it was too hot for all of us to sit there comfortably.
- Entertainment staff – I know they work very hard and they are amazing but their shows are outdated, do more variety acts that are suitable for people of all ages.
- Have a salt shaker that actually pours salt out of it (on the tables at the restaurant and buffets). Most of the food were saltless so we would want to put salt but it was filled with rice and no matter how much you shoke it nothing came out. We’ve tried over 10 shakers! I know in humid countries they put salt inside the shaker but maybe have packages of salt if that’s the problem.
Any questions, feel free to email me
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa is located on a spectacular property that offers a 300 meter long private Pacific beach, from which guests can witness stunning sunsets. The construction of the hotel has maintained the natural flora and fauna of the area to provide an extraordinary setting for an unforgettable vacation. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with BookIt.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Despegar.com and Booking.com so you can book your Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Palladium Vallarta Resort And Spa
- Palladium Vallarta Hotel Punta De Mita
- Palladium Vallarta Puerto
- Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa
- Palladium Puerto Vallarta
- Viva Vallarta
- Hotel Palladium Vallarta
- Club Viva Vallarta