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“Wonderful Vacation!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa

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Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Wonderful Vacation!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2013

We stayed at the resort from June 22-June 29th. We are a couple in our 40's with two kids 11 and 18. My parents also joined us at the resort. I know everyone's experiences are different, and no vacation is perfect, but there was absolutely nothing bad we could say about our experience with GP. We chose the resort based on its proximity to Akumal Beach; one of our favorite spots. Last year we stayed at a much smaller resort nearer to Playa and while we also enjoyed our time there, it could not hold a candle to this resort.

We stayed in Villa 1 at the Colonial right next to the lobby. Yes, the rooms are a bit dated, but seriously, how much time do you spend in your room? I can do that at home. The room was clean with a nice tiled walk-in shower, balcony, hairdryer, coffee pot, and stocked refrigerator. Yes, the beds and pillows are hard, but we've found this to be the case with most of the AI's we've stayed in throughout the Caribbean. To be honest, we were all so exhausted by evening, I could have slept on the marble floor! The TV was old, the remote didn't work, and most of the channels were in Spanish. However, this is not my home country, so I would expect them to be. We still managed to watch several movies in the evening in English, but since watching TV was never in our plans for vacation, we didn't care.

The grounds are just lovely. Our kids loved seeing large iguanas, coati, peccary, raccoons, etc living on the grounds. Of course, we often saw people feeding these animals right next to signs saying, "please do not feed the animals." There is a reason they do not want them fed, please be considerate of that. Everywhere the area was lush with flora. There is a great deal of walking involved in staying at this resort. This was something we loved since you could get lost easily and just enjoy seeing new things everyday. I really enjoyed strolling through the vast wooden walkway system. However, if you are of poor health, I recommend asking for a villa fairly centrally located. Since we were near the lobby, we were close to the tram system. We never waited more than 3-4 minutes tops for a tram. In many cases, a friendly employee would offer to take us where we needed to go if the tram was not there quickly. I do recommend taking everything you need to the beach or pool if you are close to the lobby, since it is a walk back to the room.

I cannot understand reviews stating the staff was unfriendly. We always had a smile and "hola" from every worker. They work very hard. I cannot imagine what it takes to keep this resort functioning, especially at full capacity. Yes, at times, service can be slow. However, I don't expect to be treated like a queen on vacation or at any time, and can certainly walk five feet to get myself a cup of coffee if the servers are busy. Slow service is something that could be said of restaurants in the US too, and they don't have hundreds of customers at one time. I do wish the workers had more time to spend with guests. We love getting to know them as people.

The food was very good. We didn't eat much in the buffet, except for breakfast. Most of our lunches were in the beach bar where you could eat at the small buffet or order anything you wanted off of the menu. The ala carte system is great. I understand that there can be a lengthy wait for seating if you go late. However, we just adjusted and would eat an earlier lunch and then hit the ala cartes before 7:00 pm. As a party of 6, we never waited for a table, not once. In fact, most nights we were the first ones in the restaurant. I like not having to be up earlier, standing in line to wait for a reservation for the week. I also like that there is no limit on how often you can eat at the ala cartes. Everyone had a different favorite, but the consensus was that the Brazilian, El Dorado, and Italian were among the best. We did like the others, with the exception of the Mediterranean. The food was not bad here either, just not as good as the others. The Chinese was also not one of our favorites, but the restaurant was beautifully decorated!

The beach and pools were fabulous. We were told the resort was at full capacity, and even so, we always managed to find chairs underneath a palapa for plenty of shade. Chairs at the beach were a bit harder to come by due to the popularity of being on the beach. However, the water was clearer than anywhere we have been in Mexico hands down. The beach in front of the Kantenah is mostly sand and this is where many guests swim. The rest of the beach is rocky, but great for snorkeling. The salt water pool is truly stunning located in front of the ocean; probably the prettiest place on the resort!

I would love to see a permanent pool volleyball net or other type games that would get guests more involved in mingling with each other around the pool. My kids loved the beach volleyball and spent most of their week playing.

We cannot speak of the shows, since we didn't see any of them. We did attend the White party at the salt water pool one evening. My kids really wanted to see the fire show, but it must not have started until much later even though the party started at 9pm. I think a lot of people went there thinking the fire show was at 9pm also. They should probably specify on the flyers what time it starts since the music and dancing were geared toward 20 somethings.

If you want to shop during your stay, it would be advisable to head to Playa. The prices of vendors in the lobby and the gift shops was much higher than what you would find in Playa.

If I had one bad thing to say about the resort, it would be the mosquitos. However, I cannot fault the resort for this. After all, sometimes you pay the price for beauty and the area is in the jungle. They were never a problem during the day, but did come out in droves at night. Just be sure to bring your own bug spray, since it is expensive to buy at the resort. I never did see a snake and would have liked to myself. Yes, there are bugs and again, this is part of being in the jungle and part of the experience. The resort is doing a great job at trying to be eco-friendly. You use your room key to turn on the lights in your room and when you leave, they shut off after a time. The toilets have a two button system which allows for less water to be used when it is not needed. They will happily replace your towels daily if you wish, but will also allow you to reuse them if you like as well.

We would happily come back to this resort.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank wrldexpl0rer
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, July 12, 2013
Dear wrldexpl0rer,

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,

Alejandro Martin
Assistant Manager
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Rating summary
  • Location
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  • Rooms
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  • Service
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  • Value
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English first
Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2013

We stayed at this hotel April 30 to May 14, 2013. We are a couple in our mid thirties with a 20 month old daughter. Emailed the hotel a month in advance, asked for a crib, 2nd floor room. Arrived and was told that there were no second floor rooms, only 1st or 3rd floor. Was asked to wait a few hours, then a day, then a couple of days. Ended up staying in the same room on the 3rd floor the entire 2 weeks because we gave up. The crib was not in the room, even though they knew we needed one and asked several times. When we stayed at Gran Bahia Principe Coba, the crib was in the room before we arrived. I asked for the crib several times again, still no crib. Waited an hour, walked to the lobby, asked again, was asked 'Do you need it right now?'. Yes! Baby is exhausted, we are all exhausted, there is nowhere to sleep, as she only sleeps in the crib, not used to sleeping in our bed. Room looks tired, very old furnishings. Ran into a cockroach a few days in, was crawling all over our stuff, big red one. Killed it. Sink in the bathroom got clogged all the time, had to call the maintenance people a few times. The room is small, dark and does not feel cozy. The bathroom is old, no jacuzzy, only a tub that was falling apart (grout coming out in chunks every time we showered).

We are big time beach people, that's why we go on vacation. The beach is very nice, you will enjoy the water. It is very pretty. However, I get the same beach or better in Dominican Republic, it is not the best beach we have seen, but it is nice. It is pretty much the nicest beach we visited in Mexico. Salt water pool is excellent, please don't miss it.

Location - Being close to Akumal is nice, their beach is 10 minutes away via collectivo, it is awesome to swim with the turtles year round there for free. Tulum is only 20 minutes away via collectivo. We did that trip on our own, at our own pace. It was wonderful to swim at the Tulum beach.

Food - it was the worst food experience we ever had at an all inclusive. I cannot say anything good about any of the ala cartes. We did not need to make reservations, which at first sounded great, but in reality you end up waiting at least 40 minutes or more like 2 hours to get a table. This is no with a toddler. You have to show up to get on the waiting list, then hang around for an hour or more until they page you. We did most of the ala cartes and the food was so bad that we ended up eating at the buffet. The steak house served us rib eye steaks that tasted like tenderizer. Places we usually stay at (Barcelo, Princess, Gran Bahia Principe, Iberostar, etc..) have filet mignon, lobster, etc.. at an ala carte included, this place did not have any of that. Ended up eating chicken all the time. Buffets are all the same, if it's spanish night at one, it's spanish night at all.

Grounds - your typical tropical setting, pretty flowers, clean, manicured, just like everywhere else we have been to in Mexico/DR. They have mangroves throughout the resort, great idea and I get the whole ecological reason. However, everyone we talked to saw snakes. Our friends from Germany saw a small green snake in the tree. People we met from NJ came across a large thick snake crossing the pathway at night. The pathways are not lit very well and in some places very dark. I was afraid to walk through the dark areas. I have a first hand snake story: my 20 month old daughter and I stopped at the pool (next to the entertainment area where they dance zumba/etc..), put our stuff on the chair and started putting sun screen on. Suddenly I hear a noise, look up and see a thin long snake fall from the tree to the ground right in front of the chair that my daughter is sitting on. The snake was a foot away from the chair and very ANGRY. Apparently it was hunting for birds, moving very quickly from side to side. I have an incredible fear of snakes, I cannot tolerate even the sight of them. I grabbed my daughter and ran off to where the animation people are. All of our things: bag, shoes, were left on the chair. The snake parked under the chair and would not leave. Incidentally there were 2 entertainers standing near their booth (20 feet from the snake). I pointed out the snake to them and at first they didn't believe me, then when they saw the snake they laughted it off, saying it's a baby snake. I asked for their help with getting my bag. I had a crying child in my arms and no way to retreave my things, was afraid this snake would crawl into my bag. These guys just stood there and laughted. One of them is Sergio. I can't remember the other one's name, but his face is covered with dimples, some kinds of scars. They would not help me, instead they just wanted to joke around and turn this into some kind of a funny thing. I can laugh at a joke, but not when my child is scared and crying and when I can't get my things because there is a snake parked under them. Finally the gardener came by and waved a rake at the snake. It left my chair and moved toward some other chairs. I must say that this incident upsets me. I am disappointed in the staff of this hotel. I understand that it's a natural habitat for snakes, but when there is one and if the guest are afraid as I was, the staff should try to help and not laugh it off.

The people who clean the rooms did not do anything special for us, not one incident of towel art, nothing. At Gran Bahia Principe Coba, we had tower art, balloons, flowers, even pastries delivered to our room as a surprise. Nothing like this here. You are lucky to have your room cleaned before you come back from the beach around 2pm. Oh well.

Entertainment was OK, they try hard. Their dance group is nice, talented. We enjoyed it, but it was not the best we have seen at an all inclusive. Theaters are old and tired looking. The best night is the White Party, when they take everyone to the salt water pool and do a Fire show. That was cool.

Drinks were good, mid shelf alcohol can be gotten without too much trouble and included. Unfortunately we don't drink much. Capuchino at the beach bar is great, had it every morning on the way to breakfast.

Kids Club - great idea, very handy for parents whose kids are OK with being without them. My daughter could only tolerate a few minutes, and the staff called me immediately if she cried. We could not take advantage of the free babysitting at all.

Overall, we really wanted to have a good time and tried very hard. Met some great people, had some good memories. The hotel is 3 stars max, it is OK if you got it very cheap and there are no other places. However all of my prior all inclusive experiences beat this place hands down and there is no question about that.

The only way we will return is if there is nowhere else to go. The beach is great, the rest is very much average. Even the Gran Bahia Principe Coba where we stayed 6 months ago was so much better, except I did not like the beach there. Iberostar Paraiso is probably the best combination of beach/hotel that I saw in Mexico. In DR, it's the Barcelo Bavaro Palace Deluxe that beats everything else in terms of beach+food+room.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Katherine V
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, July 2, 2013
Dear Katherine V,

I would like to offer you our apologies for the incidents that you have had during your vacation. I will take note about your comments and I will share with the rest of the team. All comments, negative and positive, are very helpful for improve our work.

Please, if you change your opinion and decide to visit us again in the future, don't hesitate to contact with me. It will be a pleasure for me help you with anything.

Best regards,

Banesa Burque
Resident Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2013

We paid around the equivalent of our mortgage to upgrade to a Mayan Suite and it was very disappointing. At check-in, I was told I had the last one and that the resort was sold out. So we could not change our room due to problems. There was a theft in my room at the beginning of our trip. I had cleaning service in my room in the evening and morning and also my fridge was restocked. When I went to get my ipod for the beach after these events I found it was missing from the desk where I last used it.

Immediately, we went to an Apple Representative to report the theft. She was not very helpful and pointed us around the building to Guest Services. I went to guest services and reported the missing iPod there. After, a guest services member and a security guard came to our room, looked through all of our belongings and had me fill out a report. They couldn’t find the iPod so they told me management would make a decision and get back to me within three days.

The next day we were left a message to see guest services so we went there to see what they could do to help us. The first person I talked to was an extremely rude woman named Carmen. Her first question was “Are you here about the stolen chain?” I told her no, the stolen Ipod. After she found my complaint she told me management would not be helping. She showed me a key card report that showed all of the entries to my room. However, the evening cleaning service was not listed at all, as if it had been deleted. When I told Carmen this she said that I was wrong but couldn’t explain to me how my room got cleaned if no one had been in there. I asked her about the morning time slot that was listed for around 10:30am the day I couldn’t find my ipod and she said that one didn’t matter because my iPod went missing the night before. I told her I didn’t know if it went missing the night before or that morning, only that the last time I used it was the night before. She kept smirking and rolling her eyes at me so finally she got a supervisor who also rude and unhelpful.

The apple rep had joined us by that time and told me he was not for me or against me. I could’ve booked through any travel agency so I did expect him to help me. As I was repeating what happened to the supervisor I looked over the Apple rep and asked him if understood what I meant. He was shuffling through a clip board and his response was, “Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention”. This was AWFUL customer service from both parties. I asked the supervisor if there had been many thefts, since Carmen had mentioned the chain. The supervisor said there was no stolen chain and denied that Carmen had said that.

I asked the supervisor for a copy of the key report, even though it was incomplete but she refused to let me have it. I also asked if she could pull the phone record showing that I called for cleaning service Monday night (where the timeslot was missing from on their report), but she told me, “No, they only do that for guests in the Royal Suites”. I did not feel safe in my room the rest of the week since people could come and go without being recorded. I also didn’t feel safe leaving my room because I was worried about things being stolen. We did use our safe for as much as we could but those can be broken into as well and only hold so much. My vacation was ruined at this point and I wanted to leave. I left the lobby feeling completely helpless and let down by Apple and management.

I only had cleaning service once after because I was so nervous about things going missing. For most of my trip I had to make my own bed and ask random cleaning people outside for new towels and toilet paper. The television reception was bad and also the bed and pillows were very uncomfortable. These are not characteristics of a luxury or 5 Golden Apple resort.

Check-in: Check in was fine but when the bell boy was leaving the room he informed us that the patio furniture and hammock should have been set up and that he would have someone sent to do this immediately. No one came so we called and reminded them before dinner that night. By the next day the chairs and hammock were still in our sitting area inside of the room so we moved them out ourselves and hung up the hammock. The plastic patio table had a broken leg so we called again to have that replaced. That was finally done the following day.
Sewage pipe/stench: Once we got the patio set up we couldn’t enjoy it anyway. We were in Villa 32 and the smell outside was really bad. There were always garbage bags lying around and a big pipe filling some kind of sewage/waste into marshy water right next us. Also, we had an upper level of the Mayan suite and had to be careful not to lean too far over the patio or we could definitely see into the lower levels outdoor shower. There was a snake on our patio the one night that security was supposed to come and remove. Again, that didn’t happen so we waited an extra hour to go to dinner. We also got food poisoning one night. I can’t say exactly what did it. They do have 24 hour medical care but it’s expensive and when you’re too sick to leave your room you can’t get help from them anyway.

I have always used Apple in the past and have never had problems like this before. Now that I’m home I’ve filed complaints and am waiting to hear back. I’ve never done this before. This was an extremely bad trip. Trust me that I didn’t want to spend my vacation or time after doing this. I get one vacation a year and it was completely ruined by the Grand Palladium. I stayed at a Dreams in the Dominican last year and the people were a thousand times more friendly and the on-site Apple rep was amazing. I’m making another review right after this to give credit where it’s due.

On bright notes the food was good: we ate at the Italian place twice, the steak place twice, and also the Chinese and Japanese. Everything was great at those. The buffet was nothing special but not bad. The pools were great and so were the beaches. Miguel in the Sports bar is awesome. In the colonial bar/lobby Luis and Lucy were excellent! Very friendly and great customer service.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank TravelGirl_1719
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, July 3, 2013
Dear TravelGirl_1719,

I would like to offer you our apologies for the incidents that you have had during your vacation. I understand and respect your point of view but in every moment we try to help our guest with everything. We have a safe box in our rooms without extra charge.

I will take note about your observations and I will analize this with the rest of the team.

I’m really sorry that everything we did wasn’t enough but if you decide to change your opinion and you decide to visit us in the future, don't hesitate to contact with us.

Again, our sincere apologies.

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.
red deer
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2013

We spent a lot of time trying to pick a resort to take our 10 year old daughter to that we thought she would

have a good time and that the kids club had good hours. Also one that we thought my parents who have

never been to mexico would also enjoy. My parents were very apprehensive about coming to mexico and

wanted a hotel that was safe, had many amenities and good food. We found all of that here.

Check in was pretty easy, although the girl was not easy to understand or overly friendly.

We dropped off our bags to our beautiful rooms ( I emailed the manager of the hotel previously and

had asked to be on a top floor room close to my parents room since we had booked through different

agencies. I had not heard back from him to know if this was done or not and to our surprise it had! I

had also asked for a king bed for my parents and 2 queens for our family and this was also granted!!)

And we headed on down to the brazilian restaurant . One of the other reasons we picked this hotel is

that you do not need reservations in the specialty restaurants. There was a bit of a wait so they gave

us a time to be back. We went for a little walk, got a few drinks at the bar and went for a ride around

the lagoon the little boat the have! The guy driving the boat is great! He really seems to love this job!!

By the time this was done it was time for dinner. The Brazilian is great! Meat after Meat brought out on

swords, my parents loved it!! (This was the first time they have left the country, second time for my

daughter who loved the Brazilian last time in Mexico) Also go for the Caphrina drink, super yummy.

My daughters favorite restaurant this stay was the Japanese. You will need to get up early in the

morning and wait in line to get a reservation at one of the tables where they cook your food in front of

you and do a show. It is worth it though! It was great!! Good food and good show!! And wonderful

service! There s also a dinner on the beach a few nights a week. You will also need to get up early and

stand in line for this dinner. It was also worth it. We had a blast and the BBQ was delicious.

My daughter loved the kids club. The only thing I think she didnt like was that when they went in the

pool they kept them in a very shallow area. She is a very good swimmer. I imagine not all kids are. This

she dosent understand and the pool was deep. There were also kids of all ages. They had a very fun

blowup slide thing they brought out there though. It looked like it was a good time!! I could not keep her

from the kids club. It was open until midnight. The kids did a show in the evening for the adults. In one

show they allowed my daughter to be one of the stars. She was beyond excited. It was very cute.

She wanted to go back every night until they closed to hang out with all her new friends

The lady who runs the kids club (and I cannot remember her name) Is amazing. Thank you.

The spa was fantastic!!! It is free to use. Not the services like massage ect but all the pools and hot

tubs, steam rooms, even a cold pool and its a really really cold pool. We loved going here and once we

found it we went here every day after we dropped of my daughter at kids club (adults only quiet area).

They had these really refreshing drinks in the spa but you could not bring your own drinks in.

There was a lot of wild life around the property. Flamingos, crocodiles, coati, raccoons, all kinds of

birds, iguanas, geckos. It was pretty cool.

The pool on our side was pretty deep. My mom cant swim and is really afraid of water. We bought a

floaty in playa and had to float her out to the swim up bar. The water is also pretty cold.

The pool on the other side of the resort is more shallow though.

There is also a salt water pool. As you walk past the white sands beach snack bar along the sea (very

nice walk) you will come to it. It is usually not very busy and the bartender there was really nice. There

is water coming from the ocean and fish from the ocean. It is not something to be missed.

My favorite place to eat for lunch was the buffet that was set up at the pool bar. They had soo much

delicious food! We were always so impressed. And the servers in this area were usually very attentive

at lunch time too, If you missed lunch though it turned to a snack bar and became very limited.

We found the snack bars by the beach confusing. We tried to order at the window and we told that we

had to sit at a table to order. We had been sitting at a table for 10 min and no one had come by?

There is a snack bar in the sports bar in the lobby. The guy that worked there was very nice. They

have fries and sandwiches made to order. It was good.

All the pool bars also had Ice cream bars and hard ice cream. It took us a while to figure that out!

Some nights I could not get service at the lobby bar and waited more than 20 min. It was very

frustrating. If we ordered from the waitress she did not know what we were ordering and seemed to

just bring us random drinks. Maybe it was just too loud mixed with a language barrier?

The hotel is huge. We spent a great deal of time walking. Our rooms were pretty far from the lobby.

Just plan to take everything you will need for a while or it will be a long hike back!

I cannot wait to come back to Mexico and stay here again!

Room Tip: Try to get a room close to the lobby
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jolene138
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, July 9, 2013
Dear jolene138,

On behalf of the entire team at Grand Palladium, we would like to thank you for sharing your positive comments on Tripadvisor. We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay.

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.
los angeles
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2013

We just got back from a 10 day vacation at this resort and we will never return here.
The first room we were given upon our arrival resembled Motel 6. There was rust everywhere, especially in the bathroom, the walls were dirty, the door to the balcony and the closet was broken and there were ants in the room. We went to the front desk to complain. (Our kids were in a room next door which wasn't any better). They said that first they have to send a staff member to look everything over. Two ladies came to our room and asked if we would like the room to be painted and fumigated tomorrow while we were at the beach. I have never heard anything like this! We obviously said "no" and when we returned to the front desk, they said that they will change our rooms tomorrow. The next day we moved to a Jr. Suite, the room was better, but also somewhat run down, registers were rusty and most of the fixtures in the bathroom where rusty as well. Our TV did not work, when we called the front desk they said that it will probably not work for the entire length of our stay (which it didn't), but they can move us again. We just unpacked both of our rooms and chose just to stay in this room without a working TV.
The food in the hotel buffet was very mediocre. The restaurant system was terrible. There are two restaurants where you have to make reservations. To do so, you have to come to the lobby at 7:30 am and wait for the concierge to come at 8:00 and they are booked up within the first 15 min. You can only make one reservation for the following day. The other restaurants that don't require reservations made you wait from 45 min to 1.5 hrs. and that whole system did not make sense. Sometimes we were told that it was a 2 hr wait, we put our names down and came back to check in 1 hr and were seated. So, you never really knew what the wait would be.
The beach was nice, but you can only swim in a small part of the beach because the rest of the beach was rocky. So, everyone who was using the beach was concentrated in that small part.
The hotel is huge and if your room is not well located the walks can be quite long.
The grounds are very green, but I think the water built up in some of the areas(swamp-like) attributed to a terrible mosquito problem.
Generally, we did not feel that the hotel was service oriented. We did run across a few staff members that were nice and accommodating, but overall we felt that they were all rushing to get whatever task they were assigned done and did not have time for customer service.
Finally, the pillow situation that was mentioned earlier is terrible. The pillows are small and hard and they provide you with a chart of good pillows which you can purchase fore $3/day.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank 123brs
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, July 2, 2013
Dear 123brs,

Thank you for share with us your opinion. I would like to offer you my apologies for the incidents that you have had during your vacation. I will take note and I will see this with the Front Desk manager. We will try to improve our work every day and the opinion of our guest is very helpful.

Please, if I can help you with anything in the future, don't hesitate to contact with me.

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.
Eldersburg, Maryland, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2013

We just got back from our trip to this great resort in Mexico, and I highly recommend it. It is really 4 resorts interconnected on one property, and all guests are able to use any of the facilities and restaurants. The buffets were huge, and conveniently located both in the main lobby areas and also close to the pools. Two huge pool complexes, both with swim up pool bars (we loved those!) and all day long activities. The Colonial pool area seemed a little more rowdy and crowded, and the White Sands pool was more laid back, but both were wonderful and clean. The beach was gorgeous, with a good size area for swimming, and also areas with coral bottoms that were great for snorkeling (you can get snorkeling equipment at no cost right on the beach). We found ourselves gravitating toward the far end of the beach where it was less crowded, there were palm trees so we could have both sun and shade. There was also a beach bar right nearby, and we could get beverages and snacks all day long. My kids loved the all inclusive aspect, and I think my son had about 7 virgin pina coladas each day! The restaurants were fabulous, each had a different style (Mexican, Brazlian, Japanese, Chinese, steak house, Italian,etc) so you did not get bored. We went to dinner around 6:30 each night, and had no wait at all. Those who wait until 7:30 or 8:00 for dinner usually found a long wait, so keep that in mind.

I agree with other posters that the staff was terrific - friendly, hardworking, and everywhere! Everything on the property was extremely clean and well kept, even the majority of the public bathrooms, which is quite a feat. One person that I have to point out is our concierge Michelle - the restaurants require men and boys over 13 to wear long pants to dinner, and we neglected to bring them for my husband and son (my son is a teenager, he wears shorts all year long, and my husband who usually always brings long pants decided that in Mexico in June, dressy shorts would suffice). Michelle offered to purchase pants for both of them in town on her way in to work the next day, saving us a taxi fare and a couple hours out of our day, or having to spend $50 at the hotel clothing shop. She got them for $8 (US) each - amazing! We loved Michelle!

One thing that I think was key to our enjoyment of our vacation was the location of our room. We stayed in the Colonial in Villa 9, which was centrally located to both pools, both sets of lobbies, all the restaurants, and the beach. We were able to walk everywhere. There are shuttles that will transport you from place to place, but you might end up waiting up to 15 minutes for one to come by. We did have an issue at check in with getting the room that I wanted, they tried to put us in the Kantenah side, which I'm sure was fine, but I knew I wanted that central location. They were eventually able to get us there, but we did not have rooms that were next to each other (they were sort of across the square, but close). We have 3 teenagers, the oldest of whom is 18, so we were able to make it work, but it would have been nice to have adjoining rooms. I'm not sure that much can be done before you arrive, but check out the property map and try to get a room that works for you.

We took this vacation as a sort of last family vacation before our oldest daughter goes off to college. I wanted something that was special, and that we all would remember for a long time, and the Grand Palladium went above and beyond. We will be returning someday!

Room Tip: If you want to be able to walk easily to pools, the beach, restaurants and lobbies, try to pick a vi...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Kelly G
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, July 2, 2013
Dear Kelly G,

In behalf of Grand Palladium team, I would like to give you thank you for your good comments. I appreciate your time and I am very glad to know that you have had a great vacation with us.

Best regards from the Pallatium team,

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
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 29, 2013

We stayed at this hotel from 14th June until 28th June 2013 and prior to us going read some of the reviews on here taking into account the good and bad ones. What are some people talking about with the bad reviews they must have been staying at another resort.

The location was excellent right on the beach although the sand was not as good as in Dominican Republic it was safe and good. The sea was warm and although a few rocks they didn't cause any problems, there was plenty of beds to lie on and soak up the rays after a nice swim in the sea. You didn't have go out to far to see fish swimming all around you and when I saw fish the size of some of them would make any anglers day.

When you have had enough of the beach go to one of the many pools that due to the weather which was hot was like getting into a warm bath. There was plenty of beds also and this is where the entertainment team work hard to get people to join in there games.

When you have enough sun there was a number of places to go for a drink or something to eat and having been to a number of different countries on all inclusive the food was plentiful and varied and if you couldn't find anything to eat then there was something wrong with you.

The rooms were not the best in the world but the beds were good and firm and there was always plenty of hot water for a bath or shower and the mini fridges were stocked with water beer and fizzy pop. The air conditions was a welcome when you had come in hot and bothered from the sun.

Ok the drinks in the bars are not as strong as we get at home in England but do you want to be drunk every night or do you go on holiday to relax and try a new cocktail or two.

The ala carte restaurants were very good and the staff were freindly and welcoming and would always introduce themselves to you.

The only problem that we found were the other guests who continued to feed the wild life that lived with us at the resort even when there was signs asking them not to do so. They all came out for photo shoots and we even found some having a early morning swim in the sea.

All in all this resort is well worth visiting if you want to have a good holiday in the mexican sun and I would like to thank all the staff in the resort.

Because this resort was so good we are thinking of booking to go the Grand Palladium in either Jamaica or Dominican Republic next year.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 1460LythamStAnnes
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, July 4, 2013
Dear 1460LythamStAnnes,

I am glad to know that you have had a great experience with us. Thank you for your confidence and please, if we can help you with anything, don't hesitate to contact with us.

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.
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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 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#6 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#7 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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