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Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
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Reviewed August 26, 2011

My partner and I stayed at this resort in August and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, the resprt completely exceeded our expectations and we would happily return. We have stayed at many 5 star hotels in the caribbean and would say this was our favourite.

We liked that each of the hotels on the complex were well integrated and allowed you to use all facilities. We went to the spa, used the games and much more.
The beach was lovely, the staff cleared away seaweed daily, the beach is narrower than the likes of punta cana but still white sands, clear sea etc. There are rocky parts along the beach, but it is clear where these sections are, simple solution = sunbathe by the sandy parts. We would sunbathe just behind the colonial pool at it was lovely, no rocks walking in and out and not crowded either. It is more crowded the closer you get to the beach bar.

Pools were all lovely, we stayed mainly at the beach as we loved it that much, rooms are fine, same as all caribbean hotels, mini bar etc.
We did not see much of the entertainment as we tended to eat later at the a la cartes. we liked that the riveria lobby did their entertainment later at 10:15 so we could watch that after we had eaten if we wanted to. It is easy to walk between the hotels once you figure out the short cuts. We were disappointed with the bus service as it never stopped at the bus stops and when you got on, it never stopped where you wanted it to!!

Food was lovely, we ate in the evning buffet only twice as the a la cartes were soooo nice, we loved being waited on every evening. We ate at all the a la cartes expect for the japenese, our favourite was the mediterranean. It is worth giving them all a go. we waited upto an hour only once or twice, every other time only a few minutes wait, each area has its own bar which is nice. Breakfast and lunch both very good, 3 places to choose from for lunch, all very good.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will most likely return with all the family in a few years time. Anybody with reasonable expectations will enjoy it here, many people we met had returned time and time again! Ignore negative reviews and people moaning, some people will find anything to moan about, go and have a wonderful time!!!!!

Room Tip: To be inbetween the beach and reception I would suggest block 6, if you email the hotel with your requests they will try their best!
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank amiePeterborough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2011

Dear amiePeterborough,

Thank you for taking time to give us your comments about your recent stay with us. In Grand Palladium Resort & Spa, we appreciate feedback from every guest, as this provides us with information that is vital to improve our service and facilities every day.

Wiht best regards,

Banesa M° Burque
Resident Manager
--------------------

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2011

Best time at an all-inclusive yet!!

Check In: Very smooth- we got in late so didn't have much of a wait.We had a late dinner at the Sports Bar-okay snack food. Quick tip: we tipped the bell boy and throughout the trip he was very helpful to us.

Rooms: Our room was very neat and up-to-date. Well stocked mini fridge. The beds were a little hard. The bathroom and closet space both have plenty of room. We had two baby lizards that kept coming in the sliding door which was funny. The patio faced a canopy so there wasn't much of a view but we didn't use it that much.

Grounds: The grounds are very large and there is a small train that can take you to the different areas. We loved to walk around the premises because there was soo much to see and so many places to go. There are plenty of pools. I would recommend going to the natural pool area. Its very quiet and has great scenery. We loved the adults only pool which has its own bar and hot tub. If you walk around you can also catch a glimpse at the animals that live on the premises-lizards, monkeys, racoons etc. There is also a Spa area that is free- unless you want a massage etc. I would recommend going to. There is a giant hot tub, eucalyptus sauna, a lazy river, and a infinity pool- very relaxing!

Food/Bars: Great food. We chose to stay mostly with the buffet. It was constantly changing to there was a large variety of foods. The beach snack bars are also good. The beach bar is open 24hrs serving only beer and snacks. If you stay there late enough you can meet the very friendly raccoons.There is also a Disco for all the late-nighters.

Entertainment: We went every night and had a great time at each. There is also live music in the main lobby-also recommended

Beach: Very nice beach. Plenty of chairs and shades. Okay for snorkeling plus they have snorkels you can use for an hour each day. Tip-bring bread to the water and the fish will surround you.

Excursion: We went on the Mayan Adventure(??)- it was a day tour to the Mayan ruins(had a Mexican cab ride), zip lining, canoeing, rock repelling, cave spelunking and had a Mayan lunch. LOVED it! It was very fun- Davide our tour guide was awesome! Would recommend this to only the brave.

Room Tip: ask for a ocean side room.
  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank jeanna j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2011

Dear jeanna j,

I want to thank you for taking the time to share your comments with me and other readers regarding your recent stay in Grand Palladium Resort & Spa.

Nothing is more satisfying that to learn that our guest have enjoyed their stay with us and that they take a nice remind of the Riviera Maya.

Regards from the Grand Palladium team.

Banesa M° Burque
Resident Manager
------------------------

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed August 24, 2011

First let me say that I did a ton of research before I picked this hotel. Simply because I am a picky traveler and have a low tolerance for poorly managed businesses. this review is intended for the quality oriented traveler. if you are the type to get hammered at the swim up bar 24\7 then don't bother reading. I have never written a review, but I feel that I truly owe one to this hotel.

the two major complaints that we came by during our research was A) Walking because of the size of the hotel. B) Poor quality food. Allow me to address those first.

A) Walking; Honestly the people that have complained about the walking must be either lazy or obese. We brought our runners expecting a daily hike. Not the case whatsoever. No matter where you are in the hotel, it takes about 5 minutes to walk to the lobby\restaurants\beach\pool. TIP: Read the hotel map and find a shaded shortcut to your hotel room.

B) Food; It near brings me to tears to read people complain about the food. Food was beyond incredible at this hotel. I cannot possibly exaggerate the sheer selection that they offer. 4 Buffets restaurants and 8 specialty restaurants. There was food everywhere. Everything under the sun was available in those buffets. No, not every dish was 5 star worthy but you can just sample things and pick what you like. To the people who complain about the food, just remember that there are people starving on this planet, and take another look at the buffet in front of you.

THINGS WE REALLY LIKED:
- Infinity Pool at The Spa; so calm, so relaxed, so clean. Loved that place. Just please try to keep it quiet here as it is meant to be a getaway from the noisy main pool.

- Nightly shows: The best shows I've seen in my life. Extremely well executed, very funny team. Catch "The Ideal Couple" show on Sunday nights for epic laughs.


THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE:
- Noise: It's hard to get sleep. The hotel floors are marbled so you hear every footstep. The maids are SO loud in the morning. They start at 8 am and tear the place apart! Also the signage requesting people to keep courteous at nights is hard to notice for the night owls.

- Beach: The waves are relatively strong, the sand in the water stinks if you pick it up and the water is extremely salty and almost acidic if it comes in contact with eyes or mouth. My GF's nail polish was bleeding off. The water is just not human friendly. Giddit? The snorkeling was fun though. TIP for snorklers: Snorkle at the right side of the beach, in front of Scuba Caribe. Search for clearing in the grassy bottom, with some search, you will find massive boulders in the water housing hundreds of fish.

- Shopping at Playa Del Carmen: Recommended by hotel team, but we hated it. Mexican vendors will tear you apart. Everything is ridiculously over priced and yes we did bargain where we could. They overcharge tourists for transportation as well. I recommend avoiding it. Trust me, NOTHING there is cheap enough to make the trip worth it.


If you go to Scuba Caribe on the beach, they have a snorkle tour called "Snorkling at Turtle Bay". Strongly recommend it. You get to swim with turtles and stingrays in the ocean for $40. Much better deal than the $80 snorkleing trip we booked through the travel agency.


Anyways, that's it. Feel free to shoot me legitimate questions. But don't ask me dumb questions about whether the alcohol is watered down or whether you need to bring bug spray or whether there is a god or not.

Room Tip: A) The lower building numbers are closer to the lobby. If you are lazy\obese, stay in building 1-3. B)Stay on the top floors, quieter.
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22  Thank ticktocktwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2011

Dear ticktocktwo,

Thank you for your valuable feedback on Trip Advisor regarding your visit to Grand Palladium Resort & Spa. We appreciate the detailed report.

Your remarks are very much appreciated as they help us to improve both our service like our facilities.

Thank you once again for sharing your experience with others and don't hesitate to contact with us if you decide to visit us in the future.

Cordially,

Banesa M° Burque
Resident Manager
--------------------------

Report response as inappropriate
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Reviewed August 23, 2011

We have just returned from a two week holiday at the Grand Palladium Colonial and had one of the best holidays ever! I travelled with my husband and two daughters, aged 10 and 17.

On arrival at Cancun airport we were met by chaos, I have never seen such an unorganised airport. Hundreds of people queueing to get through customs in unsupervised queues, which meant that ruder people just pushed in without challenge. It took us two hours to get through, by which time my 10 year old had had enough as we had been travelling for 16 hours by then. When we got outside to our coach I have never seen rain like it, torrential with black skies. My husband and I were thinking 'What have we done???'

An hour and a half later, we arrived at The Grand Palladium and things inproved in a second! The rain stopped, the sun was shining and it didn't rain again for the next two weeks (the odd 5 minute shower but that was fine)! The Colonial lobby is very impressive and set's the tone for the rest of the resort. We were checked-in and settled in our rooms within 20 minutes.

A bit jet lagged, we were all up and ready to start our holiday at 5am the next morning so we headed down to the beach to watch the sunrise. Beautiful! There were staff there clearing away any washed up seaweed to ensure that the beach was at it's best for the guests!

The hotel & grounds are kept spotless by a discreet army of staff, always with a friendly 'ola' and a big smile! Yes, the resort is big, with the four hotels joined by a series of lovely walkways and a frequent mini-train but this just added to the excitement of discovery!. We walked sometimes and got the train other times. The resort also feels very safe. I have previously stayed in a Riu in Jamaica and did not feel safe there at all. By comparison, our 10 year old met a 10 year old friend and they were able to go all over the resort exploring unaccompanied, without us Mum's worrying!

Yes, the mozzies are a real pain! We went armed with tropical strenghth insect repellant from Boots but it was totally ineffective. We were getting eaten alive! The locals all use 'OFF', which you can get on-line before you go or when you get out there. That stuff works!

The food is fantasitic! We ate in the buffet every morning, which is big with a huge variety of food. A word of warning for Tea drinking Brits, they just don't get it! The waiters will come round frequently with jugs of coffee & milk but if you want Tea be prepared for a struggle!

We then ate in a different a-la-carte restaurant every night, you are spoilt for choice! The steakhouse was our favourite, but the others were all good too. The only one that disappointed was the Chinese (probably because we are used to our usual chinese take away in England!). We found that if we got to the restaurants before 7.45pm we went straight in, no waiting. Any later and the queues had started and they give you a buzzer for when your table is ready. The longest we had to wait was an hour on a couple of occasions, but we just plotted in the lobby of whichever hotel and had a few pre-dinner coctails!!

The entertainment was good too, always something going on. The entertainment staff are not pushy either. If you want to get involved, great. If not, they don't pressure you.

We went on a few excursions, which we booked via the Thompson rep in the hotel. However, they were expensive. We spent £1400 doing 3 trips! Dolphin Trainer for the day was an amazing experience. This wasn't just get in a pool and pet the dolphins for half an hour! We found ourselves stood on the noses of dolphins getting propelled across the lagoon!! We also went to Xplore (zip-lining, under ground caving, cavern rafting etc), brilliant day. And we also went on the Captain Hook Pirate Boat Adventure, which was an evening trip in Cancun. What a laugh we had!

All in all, a totally fantastic holiday. We all agreed that we would like to return as there was so much we didn't do this time. I cannot fault this resort and would definately recommend.

Room Tip: If you want a room close to the lobbly so not far to walk ask for a room in block one.
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank ShannonPeacock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2011

Dear ShannonPeacock,

We wish to thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us and other reader on Tripadvisor.

It is very gratifying for the Palladium team to know that you and your family have enjoyed your stay with us and that you liked our service and facilities.

All your comments have been shared with the Palladium team and we hope to see you in the Grand Palladium in the future

With warm regards,

Banesa M° Burque
Resident Manager
---------------

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2011

My family just finished a trip to the Riviera Maya, staying 5 nights at the Grand Sirenis (with our 23-year-old daughter) and 5 nights at the Grand Palladium (after our daughter left). We’ve stayed many times in the Rivera Maya (lost count); this was our second trip to the Sirenis and our first to the Palladium. We stayed in the Colonial section of the Palladium, since of the two less expensive sections (Kantenah and Colonial) it was more centrally located and so had easier access to the Riviera and White Sand sections. On balance, this was a great resort, although like everything there were some pros and some cons. On the positive side, the food was exceptional. We found it better than say the Grand Lido resorts in Jamaica, and definitely the best we’ve found at AIs in Mexico. The Mediterranean a la carte restaurant would have been a nice find at home in DC, even paying regular prices. We ate 2 nights at Punta Emilia, the tented /open air fish and rice restaurant on the beach on the Riviera/ White Sands side. They had excellent and interesting fish dishes, and the atmosphere was great, albeit a bit windy. This is the only restaurant where you have to make reservations, and they fill up by early in the morning. We were afraid we wouldn’t be able to get reservations, since they don’t open reservations (at the guest services desk in the lobby) until 8:00, and we were gone from 7:45- 11:30 diving. But we left a note at the desk one morning before we left at 7:45, and they obligingly gave us a reservation!
As wine lovers, we especially appreciated the house wines, which were all enjoyable. I would even consider buying the rose to drink at home. (All of the wines were Spanish. The red and rose were tempranillos and the white a macabeo. The sparkling – which was misleadingly labeled ‘’brut’’ – was an off-dry cava and also very nice. It made a great kir royale with the addition of a little cassis.) Service was excellent everywhere in the resort, although at night, the bartenders in the lobby/ theater bar in the Colonial had to make the drinks really fast, so this was not the time to ask for anything complicated. The Hemingway piano bar in the Kantenah lobby became one of our regular après diner stops. The piano was only played on some nights, but it was always a very under-populated, quiet place where you could get some beverages you couldn’t get in other bars. I usually had a Drambuie on the rocks, and my wife and I especially enjoyed sipping a nice reposada tequila (they had several brands) with the bartender’s hand-made sangrita. (Sangrita – not to be confused with sangria – is a kind of bloody mary-like non-alcoholic beverage that Mexicans like to sip alongside a glass of tequila). Much better use of good tequila than doing shots! And the guys at the Colonial lobby bars introduced us to a drink we will now always keep in our repertoire – the ‘’iceberg’’. This is a half-glass of cerveza, with a frozen margarita poured on top (where it floats, iceberg like). This sounded very strange, but once we tried one, we were hooked. The cerveza cuts the sweetness of the margarita, making for a most refreshing sip!
This resort preserved a LOT of the natural jungle when it was built, so you really get the feeling of being in the middle of a rain forest, especially walking along the paths between your room and other areas in the resort. It also means there’s plenty of interesting wildlife. Iguanas of course are everywhere, as they are in most resorts in this area. We also had many sightings of agoutis – cute rodents that look like large guinea pigs on stilts! (Unfortunately, they come out mainly early and late when the light is not great, and they don’t pause for long, so we didn’t get any very good photos.) A raccoon ambled through our tent at Punta Emilia one night! We asked for a room on the top floor so we would have a ‘’birds’eye’’ view over the tree-tops, and so we got to watch many beautiful birds flying in and above the canopy. They also have a lot of fish ponds and a couple of pond areas with pink flamingos. Considering all the vegetation and water, there are surprisingly few mosquitoes – mainly because they make sure all bodies of water are stocked with small fishes, which eat the mosquito larvae – but we still got a few bites every day. We thought a few bites was preferable to using bug spray, which I find very uncomfortable. If you really hate mosquitoes, you should probably plan to spray – or maybe re-consider whether you should be vacationing in the humid tropics!
On the downside, in my view, the hotel has 2 real shortcomings, compared to others in the area. One is the room size, which was not much more than half that of our room at the Sirenis, with only a small desk. The room was nicely decorated, and for its size, it did have a decent balcony. The second is the snorkeling, which didn’t live up to expectations I had from other reports and from looking at the aerial view of the ocean off the Palladium’s beach. The area south of the Kantenah beach is pretty much a snorkeling desert – almost no coral, soft or hard. The area off of Kantenah is not bad (not a lot of hard coral, but a fair assortment of soft coral like sea fans, gorgonias, etc.), but not up to other resorts at which we’ve snorkeled, including Sirenis, Dreams (Puerto Aventuras and Tulum), Gran Bahia Principe, and Be Live. The snorkeling might be good outside the fringing reef, but unless you have a suicide wish, that’s made off-limits by all the jet skiers and para-sail boats that speed up and down this area.
A few minor complaints: ice machine in our building never worked the 5 days we were there, despite the fact that I reported it several times; it took 3 days to get the internet working after a storm knocked it out our first day; and the telephone system (also knocked out by the storm) was still not fixed as of the day we left. Also, the sheer size of the place may be a problem for some. They have little trains running between the lobbies of the 4 sub-resorts, and shuttles among the buildings within each resort, but if you don’t like to wait on these (we didn’t), look at the map before you start walking and plan to allow plenty of transit time.
All things considered, the Palladium was an exceptionally nice place, and we will definitely consider coming again. Knowing what I know now (specifically, the best snorkeling is off Kantenah and most of the restaurants we want to go to are in the Kantenah/ Colonial complex), we’ll stay in Kantenah next time.

Room Tip: From a room on the 3rd floor, you can get a great view overlooking life in the jungle canopy -- especially birds
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank johndc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2011

Dear johndc,

Thank you for your valuable feedback on Trip Advisor regarding your recent visit to Grand Palladium. We appreciate the detailed report about your experience with us.

We appreciate your positive comments about the hotel, and also taken note of your negative comments with regard to the service of ice machine and telephone service. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience that you have suffered. The problem about the telephone was caused by a storm and then we started to work for to have the phone service to 100% as soon as posible.

I will check the situation of the ice machine with our maintenance and reception manager for that those situations like this don't occur in the future.

We do hope that we will have the opportunity to welcome you back to the resort in the future.

Please, if we can help you with anything or if you need information, don't hesitate to contact with us.

Sincerely,

Banesa M° Burque
Resident Manager
-------------------------

Report response as inappropriate
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