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“Second time just as fabulous”

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Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
Ranked #8 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Blackburn England
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Second time just as fabulous”
Reviewed March 26, 2013

We have just returned from our second stay at this super hotel. We stayed for two weeks at the begining of MarchThis hotel really does have something for everyone. We did email the hotel prior to arrival to let them know we were returning guest and they looked after us superbly. We were given a suite in block 9 which was excellent and had everything we needed we even got a complementary bowl of fruit and and a welcome back letter. Service was attentive throughout the Zentropia massage at the spa was well worth the money. Dining was excellent the a la carte restaurants which were always busy but when we had to wait we just went to the lobby for a pre dinner drink whilst waiting for our table to be ready. The hotel entertainment was varied and had something for everyone both young and old. If your looking for an excellent hotel on the riviera maya look no further book this hotel you will not regret it.

Room Tip: choose a high floor if you want a view from balcony, Go to the a la carte restaurants before 7 pm if...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank jetlagged2
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 review, March 27, 2013
Google Translation
Dear etlagged2,

Thank you for your excellent comments.

Regards from Riviera Maya.

Banesa Burque
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2013 via mobile

Just returned from the hotel and I would like to tell you exactly how we found the holiday both positives and negatives 

" if you want a beautiful beach with fantastic hotel facilities this is the hotel for you".... " If you want to me made feel like your special and nothing is too much trouble then this defiantly is NOT the place for you".

I hope my review is useful and helps you decide if this is the holiday for you.

Beach- unfortunately we arrived in March to find the weather had changed the fortnight we stayed- strong wind, rough waves in sea and clouds! This is not typical March Weather and nobody's fault but Mother natures. We had a fee days of flat sea and lower winds and have to say the beach is beautiful. The sea is the beautiful colour you would imagine the sea in Mexico to be and the sand white. The beach is NOT a wide beach and at first this disappointed us but although it is narrow you can walk for miles and miles safely. Snorkelling  Equipment can be hired free but if you have it take your own! It is just so much more convenient to have the freedom to snorkel as much as you like which I did on and off most days. The water is flat mostly and the seabed mostly sandy - no need for water shoes.
We also noticed that the hotel had loads of Sunbeds which prevented people getting up at silly o clock to save beds- always lots of beds free and shade available easily. Personally during our time at the hotel we found the best time for sunbathing was early in the morning when the sun was its most strongest- we managed to get to the beach most days by 8am and had full sun!

Beach Bar

We sunbathed mostly at the front of the beach by the Royal area we found this area of the beach the most quite and peaceful and also near the beach bar! Drinks ate served at this beach bar from 10am and not a second before! I have travelled too many counties and to Mexico twice but have to say my two worst customer service experiences whilst on holiday happened at this hotel. The first starting at the beach bar with Jose! Everything was just too much trouble, never a smile and a grunt and the drink you asked for slammed in front of you....on one occasion when asking for a drink that he had made I must add everyday for me....shouted " WHAT"? He obviously could not be bothered to make the the non- alcoholic cocktail on this occasion instead gave me a piña colada!!!!! A couple of holiday makers commented on his attitude- however I did witness a smile if you held a dollar bill and almost a grin....if you did not hold dollar you got the stare, the grunt and the slam of your drink usually barely half a cup.....Appalling attitude and such a let down to such a beautiful hotel.

Wifi- free wifi in the lobbies which was extremely useful and enabled me to check in with family instead of usually spending a fortune on my mobile!

Telephone cards- available to buy in the hotel Lobbies 

Rooms- We stayed in a standard room at the Kantana side...This side of the hotel is much more quite than the Colonial. The Colonial is just a minute walk away but like being in a different hotel much more lively and this is where the shows take place. 

The room was spacious with two double beds, flat screen Tv, balcony and lovely bathroom- including a bath. The rooms were spotless and cleaned from top to bottom each day- towels and bedding changed daily. 
The rooms have a free safe, ample amount of coat hangers, hairdryer and a fridge that is filled daily with soft drinks, beers and waters and a coffee making machine.
The friendliest members of staff without a doubt were the cleaners/ Maids. Each and everyone spoke, smiled and genuinely made you feel welcome! I think a few other departments should take some customer service lessons in politeness from them...on one occasion I left my diamond earrings in the bed!!! Took them off in the night and forgot about them- the maid had found them and left them on the side for me.....honest....kind and lovely  friendly hardworking people! 

Food- I have read some amazing reviews where people stated they lost weight as the food was so bad!!!! Oh my we're you at this hotel... I try to be strict with my diet but the food was so good I have gained weight!! Before I tell you about the wonderful food options let me throw in my negative- Appalling customer service in the buffets. The service is not good in there...not good at all which once again let's the hotel down. Staff would hang around doing very little and only suddenly spring into action when a supervisor was near by...it started off comical to watch but got annoying when it was time to leave and you had not even had a drink although asked. 

The buffets are run like clockwork and magnificent to watch.  As soon as you entered the buffets your hands were sprayed with hand gel and you were asked to wait until a waitress escorted you to a table.  Without a doubt the two members of staff who displayed magnificent customer Care was an elderly gentleman called David and Yolitzin who supervised at the buffets. David could not do enough to make our dining experience enjoyable and put many of the other waiters to shame! Yolitzen a different class to the rest professional, polite, friendly and without a doubt a credit to the place! 

Bad service out weighed good service- on our last night our water did not taste very fresh and unlike other nights. We politely asked if we could have a fresh glass and the waiter stood arguing about it stating a new one would taste the same! After 5 minutes we insisted he just changed his jug of water- he eventually agreed but we are convinced he just put ice cubes in the water! After this he stood talking in Spanish to a female waitress pointing at us ! They both visibly talked about us making us feel extremely uncomfortable! The female waitress cockily approached my table looked bend down so she was eye level to me and said " pwoblem" .... I stated no problem...After this she walked up and down banging wine bottles together as she passed our table!!!! The male waiter giggled....my friend suggested we just left our meal and went to a different buffet...we did not need the hassle.

At breakfast the following day the same male waiter was on duty and pointed at us giggling- by this point I had totally had enough so reported the incident although I doubt anything was done! Hey ho I did not o on holiday to make great friends out of the staff, the food was good so I guess the rest should not matter! 

The buffet has everything you could think of- you won't go hungry!!!!! The ale-carts are all wonderful but our favourite has to be the Japanese! Top class service, fantastic waiters in here who work really hard and gorgeous food!!! I recommend the beef......had it three times!!!!!!!! 

Size of resort- its massive simple! You can easily walk everywhere by foot but little trains and carts are available to transport you around the resort if you prefer!

Spa/gym

The gym is impressive lots of newish equipment, nice selection of resistance machines, free weights and cardio equipment. 

Spa pool amazing and a lovely place to just chill and sunbathe - jacuzzis are free and gorgeous! I did not have a spa treatment but was told that the massages are amazing! 

Rep

We travelled with First Choice and our rep was Jason-Nothing to say here apart from that he was probably one of the best reps I have seen- nothing too much trouble!

If you would like more information on our holiday or the hotel feel free to message me including any info on excursions, turtles, etc

Would I return to the hotel? Yes, tomorrow! The hotel is gorgeous, so much to do and in a beautiful location. Not all the staff are miserable but sadly the ones that obviously dislike tourists and the job they do should move on instead of tarnishing such a beautiful place!

If the Manager reads this- David the Waiter in Tickle is s credit to your hotel and Yolizin should be training the rest of your waitresses on excellent customer service and professionalism. Your very lucky to have both on your team! 


Just returned from the hotel and I would like to tell you exactly how we found the holiday both positives and negatives 

" if you want a beautiful beach with fantastic hotel facilities this is the hotel for you".... " If you want to me made feel like your special and nothing is too much trouble then this defiantly is NOT the place for you".

I hope my review is useful and helps you decide if this is the holiday for you.

Beach- unfortunately we arrived in March to find the weather had changed the fortnight we stayed- strong wind, rough waves in sea and clouds! This is not typical March Weather and nobody's fault but Mother natures. We had a fee days of flat sea and lower winds and have to say the beach is beautiful. The sea is the beautiful colour you would imagine the sea in Mexico to be and the sand white. The beach is NOT a wide beach and at first this disappointed us but although it is narrow you can walk for miles and miles safely. Snorkelling  Equipment can be hired free but if you have it take your own! It is just so much more convenient to have the freedom to snorkel as much as you like which I did on and off most days. The water is flat mostly and the seabed mostly sandy - no need for water shoes.
We also noticed that the hotel had loads of Sunbeds which prevented people getting up at silly o clock to save beds- always lots of beds free and shade available easily. Personally during our time at the hotel we found the best time for sunbathing was early in the morning when the sun was its most strongest- we managed to get to the beach most days by 8am and had full sun!

Beach Bar

We sunbathed mostly at the front of the beach by the Royal area we found this area of the beach the most quite and peaceful and also near the beach bar! Drinks ate served at this beach bar from 10am and not a second before! I have travelled too many counties and to Mexico twice but have to say my two worst customer service experiences whilst on holiday happened at this hotel. The first starting at the beach bar with Jose! Everything was just too much trouble, never a smile and a grunt and the drink you asked for slammed in front of you....on one occasion when asking for a drink that he had made I must add everyday for me....shouted " WHAT"? He obviously could not be bothered to make the the non- alcoholic cocktail on this occasion instead gave me a piña colada!!!!! A couple of holiday makers commented on his attitude- however I did witness a smile if you held a dollar bill and almost a grin....if you did not hold dollar you got the stare, the grunt and the slam of your drink usually barely half a cup.....Appalling attitude and such a let down to such a beautiful hotel.

Wifi- free wifi in the lobbies which was extremely useful and enabled me to check in with family instead of usually spending a fortune on my mobile!

Telephone cards- available to buy in the hotel Lobbies 

Rooms- We stayed in a standard room at the Kantana side...This side of the hotel is much more quite than the Colonial. The Colonial is just a minute walk away but like being in a different hotel much more lively and this is where the shows take place. 

The room was spacious with two double beds, flat screen Tv, balcony and lovely bathroom- including a bath. The rooms were spotless and cleaned from top to bottom each day- towels and bedding changed daily. 
The rooms have a free safe, ample amount of coat hangers, hairdryer and a fridge that is filled daily with soft drinks, beers and waters and a coffee making machine.
The friendliest members of staff without a doubt were the cleaners/ Maids. Each and everyone spoke, smiled and genuinely made you feel welcome! I think a few other departments should take some customer service lessons in politeness from them...on one occasion I left my diamond earrings in the bed!!! Took them off in the night and forgot about them- the maid had found them and left them on the side for me.....honest....kind and lovely  friendly hardworking people! 

Food- I have read some amazing reviews where people stated they lost weight as the food was so bad!!!! Oh my we're you at this hotel... I try to be strict with my diet but the food was so good I have gained weight!! Before I tell you about the wonderful food options let me throw in my negative- Appalling customer service in the buffets. The service is not good in there...not good at all which once again let's the hotel down. Staff would hang around doing very little and only suddenly spring into action when a supervisor was near by...it started off comical to watch but got annoying when it was time to leave and you had not even had a drink although asked. 

The buffets are run like clockwork and magnificent to watch.  As soon as you entered the buffets your hands were sprayed with hand gel and you were asked to wait until a waitress escorted you to a table.  Without a doubt the two members of staff who displayed magnificent customer Care was an elderly gentleman called David and Yolitzin who supervised at the buffets. David could not do enough to make our dining experience enjoyable and put many of the other waiters to shame! Yolitzen a different class to the rest professional, polite, friendly and without a doubt a credit to the place! 

Bad service out weighed good service- on our last night our water did not taste very fresh and unlike other nights. We politely asked if we could have a fresh glass and the waiter stood arguing about it stating a new one would taste the same! After 5 minutes we insisted he just changed his jug of water- he eventually agreed but we are convinced he just put ice cubes in the water! After this he stood talking in Spanish to a female waitress pointing at us ! They both visibly talked about us making us feel extremely uncomfortable! The female waitress cockily approached my table looked bend down so she was eye level to me and said " pwoblem" .... I stated no problem...After this she walked up and down banging wine bottles together as she passed our table!!!! The male waiter giggled....my friend suggested we just left our meal and went to a different buffet...we did not need the hassle.

At breakfast the following day the same male waiter was on duty and pointed at us giggling- by this point I had totally had enough so reported the incident although I doubt anything was done! Hey ho I did not o on holiday to make great friends out of the staff, the food was good so I guess the rest should not matter! 

The buffet has everything you could think of- you won't go hungry!!!!! The ale-carts are all wonderful but our favourite has to be the Japanese! Top class service, fantastic waiters in here who work really hard and gorgeous food!!! I recommend the beef......had it three times!!!!!!!! 

Size of resort- its massive simple! You can easily walk everywhere by foot but little trains and carts are available to transport you around the resort if you prefer!

Spa/gym

The gym is impressive lots of newish equipment, nice selection of resistance machines, free weights and cardio equipment. 

Spa pool amazing and a lovely place to just chill and sunbathe - jacuzzis are free and gorgeous! I did not have a spa treatment but was told that the massages are amazing! 

Rep

We travelled with First Choice and our rep was Jason-Nothing to say here apart from that he was probably one of the best reps I have seen- nothing too much trouble!

If you would like more information on our holiday or the hotel feel free to message me including any info on excursions, turtles, etc

Would I return to the hotel? Yes, tomorrow! The hotel is gorgeous, so much to do and in a beautiful location. Not all the staff are miserable but sadly the ones that obviously dislike tourists and the job they do should move on instead of tarnishing such a beautiful place!

If the Manager reads this- David the Waiter in Tickle is s credit to your hotel and Yolizin the best by far. 

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Bettybugpug
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 review, March 27, 2013
Dear Bettybugpug,

I would like to give you thank you for taking time to share with us your complete review. This informacion is help for us. Thank you for your good comments about our staff, I will share with them your opinion.

Don't hesitate to contact with us if we can help you in the future with anything.

With best regards,

Banesa Burque
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 26, 2013

FAB! We stayed at the colonial for 3 weeks from the 2nd feb, and what a lovely time we had, beach is lovely and weather was hot, grounds are perfect and very clean,really big complex but there are the little buggies to take you around, and you see some great animals while your there as it is literally in the jungle! After arriving we was upgraded to a nicer suite as it was our honeymoon, room was great, nice jacuzzi bath, and 2 double beds also a pull out sofa. There was a balcony as well which was fine, we was on the top floor so no problems. We also had a bottle of tequila and a basket of fruit delivered, fridge was stacked daily and room cleaned every day, we have visited Riviera Maya before last year and stayed in the Grand Bahia Principe Akumel, we preferred this hotel though. We took along our little girl who is 10 and she loved it too!We met lots of people there and a had a great time. We didn't have any problems with food or anything and tried most of the ala carts but did have to wait a while up to 1-2 hours for one of them but it just got busy and you didnt have to wait around as you get a buzzer which lets you know when your table is ready, so it was ok, my girl much preferred the buffet though,but my husband and i enjoyed both.
The staff are fab from the reception, bar staff, pop entertainment, they could not do enough for you, really nice people and always smiling. We had entertainment around the pool which we got involved in and had a laugh, the entertainment of a night was good as well, some shows really good. The spa is fantastic and had a great massage, although no kids allowed.
We are planning to go back again for 3 weeks this christmas and new year! would definitely recommend this hotel and cant wait to return!xx

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Steve L
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 review, March 27, 2013
Dear Steve L,

It's a pleasure to know that you have had a great honeymoon with us. Thank you.

Best regards,

Banesa Burque
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericton, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 25, 2013

We were there for a week February 28th, 2013. We booked last September and were worried on how we'd entertain 4 teenagers.
No worries! It was a long trip after delay from AirTransat from Moncton (as it was on the return flight) we got there late into the night. Our arranged bus trip was cramped but the driver and host were great fun.

Our rooms weren't together as requested on our reservation (and an unanswered email to the hotel) but they moved us from the Colonial to the Riviera (Villa 68) so we were all together which worked out better as the teenagers had a very short walk to the beach for adventures. It was also super quiet which was nice for sleeping in.
The room was simple but the beds were not the King size my husband and I were expecting. The beds could have been more comfortable. Meh, whatever. Shampoo, body wash, lotion etc were in the rooms so no need to pack them.

Everything else exceeded expectations. The teens had a great time and not once did we hear "I'm bored" The trolleys and carts were usually within a 10 minute wait at most so you didn't have to walk anywhere. We never were at a loss for a place for the 6 of us to sit either at the beach or the pools. The hotel wasn't overly crowded. The teenagers had a great time with the raccoons at dinner one night on the beach.

The drinks and food were great. We ate at a different a la carte restaurant every night and the staff was very friendly and always smiling. Maria and Yvonne were our servers in the lobby bar and always remembered us from evening to evening for our pre-dinner and pre-show drinks. Two of us had an early morning massage on the beach that was incredible.

Bernie, our excursion go to person, never steered us wrong. We jet ski'd just off the beach area (not with the hotel), then booked the snorkeling tour where the teens got photos taken but have no idea where to get them for pickup? :(

The Xel-Ha park was amazing!! That was probably the most crowded of our trip. If you add the ruins to the excursion, bring an umbrella to keep the sun off you and a bathing suit so you can swim. The teens had an incredible time snorkeling there and swimming all over the water park area. Drinks and food were also included in this park excursion.

All in all we would definitely recommend this resort for family. It's really 4 resorts in 1, no extra to use all the restaurants and bars among them all and we didn't even get to explore it all.

Note: We noticed after our trip the package was nearly half price of what we paid for it, if you traveled March/April.

Room Tip: Riviera #68 was set off from the hotel, but close to the beach AND a trolley pick up. It was very qu...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JC S
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 review, March 26, 2013
Dear JC S,

Thank you for your time and for share with us your opinion.

Best regards from Riviera Maya.

Banesa Burque
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ottawa
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Amazing grounds. Large resorts great if you enjoy walking or running but no worries they also have shuttles to take you around. The spa and gym are beautiful. Great food at the a la carte restaurant but a bit of wait if you arrived after 7p.m. We had a basic room in unit #4, it was clean but in that area we had no view just a lot of trees. Better view at White Sands. The pool and beach was very nice. The salt water pool has a amazing view. The adult pool is opened late at night nice area to go and have a drink, very quiet.
Lots of activities. Overall great all inclusive.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sun3
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 review, March 26, 2013
Thank you sun3 for taking time to share with us your feedback about your vacation with us.

Sincerely,

Banesa Burque
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uppsala, Sweden
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Just spent 7 days at the Grand Palladium and are very satisfied with our vacation except on some details.
We booked our week ourselves and E-mailed the hotel prior to our arrival and asked about the transport from the airport but they didn´t really have any good answer, as they are not used to this situation as a majority of people coming to the resort come with booking agencies. At last we rented a car at the airport and that was a good choice as it made it easy for us to go on trips by ourselves.
This is a very beautiful resort situated at the beach of the Mayas. A prefect place to stay at if you never have been in Mexico and are afraid about the crime and that it is dirty. You can feel absolute safe at this resort and the staff are very warm and friendly and it is also the cleanest resort we ever have been to. We noticed, however, that the toilets around the big pool areas are not as clean and well maintained as the rest of the resort.
Our favorite for relax was the secret pool, a good place to sip a drink, relax and read your book without the endless music streaming out around the other pools.
There are many a la carte restaurants and three large buffets. The buffets have excellent food, but don´t miss the Japanse restaurant, the Brazilian restaurant at White Sands and the romantic Fish and rice restaurant at the beach.
Also; don't miss 1) to take a trip and snorkel as the reef is considered as the second best in the world 2) the ruins of the Mayas. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Because of the humid climate some rooms are very moldy so ask for a sunny room at 3 d floor if you a...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LadyredOrlando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Manager at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Dear LadyredOrlando,

Thank you for your kind words, very much appreciated, we are glad that you enjoyed your stay in our resort and the facilities and service that we provide. All opinions are really significant for us as our aim is to enhance our offer day by day.

Thanks again and we look forward for your next visit.

Kind regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Hi vacationers,
We were just at the Grand Palladium Colonial during March Break 2013. We selected the older suites to be central (Villa 19 was where we were) and it was an excellent choice. The rooms were perfectly fine and we never walked more than 10 minutes to get to any pool, restaurant, etc in any direction.. In fact we only went on their "funny train" once. This was our 4th trip to the area and its the largest resort we have ever stayed at, which is a bit intimiating at first. We vacation throughout the Carribean so have a good idea of what works and what doesn't work and value for money.

What I liked about the place was the huge great beach, somewhat of a good reef but it was very choppy when we were there, a la carte restaurants/with first come first serve for the most part that were very good by resort standards, staff were very friendly and effective, and the abundance of nature all around. The birds, iquanas, funny mexcican racoons etc, were everywhere. I hate lining up to get chits for restaurants so this resort, nailed it perfectly!

Plus location. If you are a snorkelling buff, Akumal bay is a 10 minute cab drive away. We paid $20 each way plus tip and went twice. It is by far one of the best and most popular places to snorkle we have been to. It's up there with Turks and Caicos and i thought better than St. Lucia, but clearly a notch down from the Hawaiian islands. We once stayed at the Akumal Beach Resort right on the Akumal Bay, 7-8 years ago and Akumal was sleepy. Now its on the list for the eco-tour people. On our first day there, I counted 200 hundred snorklers in one area -- I kid you not. But that's okay because those 200 people saw between 10- 20 turtles plus the reef fish. Further out I saw a beautiful manta ray with wide wings - it was fantastic.. Here's my advice about Akumal beach: 1) bring your own gear or rent at the dive shot; 2) where a safety vest to inflate if tired for visibilitiy; 3) bring a water proof camera but tape the door shut with black electrical tape (i've gone through many cameras so take my advice here), be in a cab at 8.30, be in the water at 9 am, be out by 10 am and back at the pool by 1030. Do not, I repeat, go on an organized tour that stretchs it into a day trip. The boat from the resort at $40 each is a good alternative if you don't want to go by taxi. The main part of the bay is where most of the turtles are and as you swim south you hit the reef, etc. You need to have a plan for your valuables. Leave someone to guard, rent a locker at the dive shop or take it with you. The picture attached is of me swimming down. Curiously, my daughter took the picture and she was down 10-15 feet or so to capture the angle. Do not touch the turtles or bother them. My wife gave these two idiots heck who were trying to ride one! Lastly, remember that people drown in the bay. There is a lifeguard on a kyak but you need flippers and an inflatable vest. Just blow it up a bit and you will float. The risk is getting a cramp, panicking and drowning.

The other really good excursion is Telum which is more like 45 mins south by cab. I don't know the cost from the Paladium. if you go, do not go on a tour unless you enjoy standing in heat for hours and been taken to places to get your money, and use up a whole day. You paid good money to get to the Palladium, so why waste time elsewhere? Here's my advice: arrange a taxi and structure your departure so you arrive at about 7.45 AM. Gates open at 8 Am so you get to see the ruins without hoards of people in your pictures. An hour or so is enough time (skip the guide unless you are a history buff) and then hit one of the best beaches in the whole world right at the ruin. The Mexican tourist people use THAT beach in their promos all the time. I There is not WC or change rooms there so you need to be innovative with a towel. It's a grand experience. Bring drinks with you. I've been 3 times over the years and enjoyed it a lot.

Back to the hotel, the Colonial pool is great but was bit cold. The buffet for breakfast was really good but busy after 8 AM. My only complaint was the coffee. It was truck stop coffee. The beach bar (24hrs) makes a nice coffee. The machines in the lobby were terrible. I just had my one beach coffee a day and that was it. The Japanese and Asian a la cartes were good. In fact all were good. At the a la cartes, the idea is you wait for you turn, if busy the host gives you a beeper, have a drink, and then once you get a table you have a salad bar before the a la carte kicks in. They have a revolving adult night plan so check first if you have kids. Also, the paperwork to describe the restaurants at the resort is very poor, so if you can print it out in advance it would help.

There were lots of handicrafts for sale in the evenings at the hotel which was nice. The shows were so-so but who cares. I found it easy to get drinks always, tips help but the staff were respectful about it (unlike Cuba where tips make a huge difference in service levels).

If you are prone to bugs, bring bug juice and walk back to your room on the road not the paths (less bugs). Watch the raised walkways and some of the boards look like they are about to give way. Try to hitchhike a ride on a golf cart.

What else, lots of tennis and other activities.
Also, the outdoor pool provides a great vantage of the coast. It is quiet and the first ones there in the morning get the "outdoor beds".
Free wifi in the lobby which worked fine. If coffee was served before 10 Am in the lobby, the experience would have been complete for me.

Also, if you are in a large group, think about rechargeable walkie talkies. it's a big place so you won't randomly find them if lost, and walkies are way cheaper then cell phones and less valuable. $50 at Walmart gets you 2. A lot of people have them there (plus staff) so you need to find a less popular channel. We swear by them.

Bottom line, is its a perfectly fine place, just figure out whether location of room is more important to you than quality of room. I would definitely go back. It's not perfect, but what is in life? I'd say of all the 15-20 different resorts I've been to its much closer to the top than the bottom.

Enjoy whereever you go - you're lucky to be able to get away!

Best
Steveadventureguy

Room Tip: Try to get into 19 20 or 21 which are between the two pool/restaurant areas.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Steveadventureguy
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 review, March 26, 2013
Thank you Steveadventureguy.

It's a pleasure to know that your have had a great vacation with us. If we can help you with anything in the future, don't hesitate to contact with us.

With best regards,

Banesa Maria Burque
Resident Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km, 256-100 | Municipio Solidaridad, Akumal 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Akumal
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#6 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#8 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#9 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 414
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

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