We spent 3 weeks here January/February 2013 ; I have been putting off writing this review as it's difficult to put in print everything we want to convey;however here are our main points from this HUGE complex ; TIP Hold on to the Map you are given on arrival !! We were still finding short cuts,or taking wrong turns at the end of two weeks :-) You can take a land train or a buggy, but as walking outside the Hotel is dangerous because of the very busy main road, walking around the grounds is both safe and pleasurable, ( If you do go outside the Hotel grounds to get a local bus,(Collectivo-reliable and cheap)ensure to use the underground tunnel to cross the Road).
As with other guests we were staying at the Colonial and found this very busy/noisy, but as using facilities in the other areas was not a problem, it didn't bother us, and in fact found the experience of using the different areas at varying times very enjoyable.
Bonus if you need it - FREE WiFi throughout.
Hotel Grounds - WONDERFUL. Well maintained and as its in a jungle/mango grove area the wild life, flora and forna are a delight to walk through. The "wild life" were especially entertaining!
Rooms - we were in Block 5;Room 1528. Although a good central location, this is a dingy room, as it is set back so minimum sunlight. The room was adequate but tired. Mini bar(beer,mixers and waters)replenished daily. Coffee machine. Iron&Ironing board. On talking to other visitors from the UK, we found that no matter which rooms/blocks(including Junior Suites), all had a problem with noisy neighbours at some point. (Luggage being bumped up and down stairs, children running up and down, people coming in&out during the early hours) as any sound echoed around the buildings. Our room was kept clean/well serviced. The bed was HUGE, comfy with good pillows, and a big plus FREE safe in the room.
Pool Areas - Something for everyone. The main pools have entertainment and the "swim up" bars, but the Salt water pool(sunbeds not as comfy as elsewhere and if you want one of the four poster type,be early), or the Adult only pools, are quieter but still have a bar and towel exchange. We used the "Secret Pool/Bar" area on most days. A good bar man and the area was kept clean/tidy at all times.
Beach - Lots of sunbeds both in shade or sunshine. Colonial area the busiest, but a short walk up towards another resort (El Dorado)and the area is much quieter, but still with access to bar/w.c. ( This is also the direction where the Turtle nesting site can be found).
Spa - A must to experience. Lovely setting, with excellent facilities( as well as using the area on a sunny day we used this area one day when it was raining, therefore it was very busy and loungers under cover are limited). No bar in this area but plenty of juices and iced water.
Food - We used all the A la Carte restaurants and buffets available to us. It is nice to be waited on at table now and again, but we prefer the choice from buffets which were EXCELLENT. Breakfast(as with all meals) was a vast choice. There were hot cooked options, cereals, continental, fruits. smoothies alongside the option to have smoked salmon & Cava(they call it Champagne)! We usually ate about 730 a.m. and found this to be just before it got too busy.
Lunch and Dinner had fresh Pasta and Pizza stations. Starting with the basic choice, cooked fresh - you can then add as many other ingredients as you want to, making the dish your own! Always a carvery, good choice of meats, fish, vegetables ; excellent salad bar and choice of sweets( including a fresh crepe station)/fruits/cheeses to finish. (Service of drinks/iced water is ongoing throughout your meal).
Entertainment - The shows are based in theatre areas at the Colonial and Riviera. The style of entertainment wasn't for us, but very popular and busy every evening. We chose to sit in the quieter lobby areas ( Kantenah or White Sands) or use the Adult Bar "Hemingways" which had piano music 3 times a week.( Excellent barman : Mel.who was pleasant, efficient and made excellent cocktails).There is also an Adult bar next door "Churchill" which caters for smokers.
Finally a few Tips ; Don't use a Tour Operator to Swim with Turtles at Akumel, or Playa del Carmen. Very easy to do yourself by Collectivo from outside the Hotel and MUCH cheaper.
Use Playa del Carmen for shopping - 5th Avenue has a wide range of designer shops as well as large souvenir stores( a lovely beach area and plenty of bars/cafes to use). Here is also where the Ferry service is to Consumel.
Depending on the time of year you are travelling you may need an umbrella. We took one and waterproof ponchos from home, which came in very useful, as although there are covered walkways around the complex, there are times when there is no shelter.
BEWARE your "free gift" or free tour of the complex ( to include a look at the Royal Suites) - It is time share. ( It is interesting to note that guests of the Royal Suites were more often than not to be seen using all the facilities/buffets/restaurants around the main complex).
Queuing in the morning at the Customer Service desk from 715 a.m. ( the desk is not manned until 8 a.m.) if you want to make a reservation at the A la Carte restaurants is not necessary, unless you want to book a show table at the Japanese restaurant.
Overall a fantastic experience/holiday and one of the best All-inclusive we have been to for choice and service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Palladium Colonial 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 Colonial are invited to use the facilities provided by the adjoining Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, and the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa, with the exception of the Royal Suite facilities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium Colonial Hotel
- Hotel Grand Palladium Colonial
- Grand Palladium Mexico
- Palladium Colonial Resort
- Grand Palladium Spa
- Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico