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“Beautiful resort, awful people”

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Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
Ranked #7 of 21 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed June 17, 2014

We came here for a wedding, 21 of us in total. The hotel grounds were kept clean and spotless. Beach was beautiful, except some rocks scattered under the water that we all stumbled on daily. The food was great and bartenders were fun. The place was huge and we were centrally located. Our AC worked flawlessly and the room was cool, the staff did not remove the key (needed to keep the AC running) which was nice. We were the only ones out of the group that had a smooth check-in experience.

THE BAD:
1) Our room service never replaced the towels, or anything else for that matter (which wasn't a big deal because the storage room was left open so I got my own towels). The few (out of 10 days) times we did get room service, the towels were thrown on the counter.

2) Room was old, with what I can only hope was rust on the lamp, beds hard.

3) We had most meals finished before we even got offered water or anything (we once got our own and got a gleaming look from the server before he snatched it out of my sister’s hand)

4) For some reason it was impossible to seat us all together, regardless if it was 6 people or 21. We reserved a spot in the al a carte's two days prior, both times and we had two tables where there was room for one.

5) The front desk service is atrocious, to the point that I will never stay at a Palladium resort again. One day we can get a shuttle, the next you can’t, then you have to be a gold member to get it..... and it goes on. When we were checking out, we had to call three times to get someone there, each time being told they will be there in a "minute". 45 minutes later, we had to miss breakfast to make our flight.

6) During the wedding ceremony, we were rushed, the two pillars made it impossible to see the Bride and Groom from where our seats were placed.

Basically if you are not a Gold/ Travel Club member, you don’t mean anything to these people. Also, be careful when using the room irons, as one leaked and ruined a pair of pants, to which there was nothing they could do. Save yourself the trouble and book somewhere else.

Room Tip: Ask for a central room to be able to get around the resort.
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Braco1127
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Assistant Manager at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 18, 2014

Greetings Braco1127,

Thank you for taking the time to share a review of your vacation with us.
We regret that your vacation was less than satisfactory and that you left the resort with such an impression.
Our Public Relations team located in our lobbies as well as our Food and Beverage Managers are available to help once we are advised in advance so that we can provide the best dining options available for groups.
The trains and carts at the resort are available to provide transportation for all our guests throughout their stay to and from various points.
Our management team has noted very seriously your comments as your feedback will assist us immensely in improving our services.
We are sorry that this was your experience at the resort, however we are always available throughout your stay to assist you in the best way possible. We regret that this was not the case for you.
We sincerely hope that you would consider returning to the resort as we would love another opportunity to demonstrate that this was an isolated case.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should we be able to assist you in any way.

Kind regards

Alberto Gallegos
Accommodations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,585 - 1,591 of 5,299 reviews

Reviewed June 17, 2014

Stayed at Colonial side room 1712.

Negatives:
On arrival are room smelled musty. We informed reception and asked to be upgraded and agreed the price for the upgrade and told we were on the list. It seems a few other guests were in the same situation as us. We were eventually offered a room upgrade at the end of our holiday.

Positives:
We didn't let the room upset our holiday, so unpacked after two days and got on with it. After a while we got used to smell. Resort was fabulous. We loved the jungle and the animals in and around it. The beach was very good although a bit rocky in places. Nice stroll in both directions along the beach. Pools were very good. Sunbeds always available at any time of day. Childrens area looked fabulous even though we didn't have kids so didn't use it. Daytime entertainment seemed to keep a lot of the guests entertained, and the staff worked extremely hard.
Evening entertainment was also very good, although is repeated weekly instead of fortnightly, which we felt would have been better. Food in general was pretty good. Some of the speciality restaurants were better than others. Good selection of drinks and cocktails but felt they could have been a bit stronger.Even my wife could drink these without getting drunk, and she's a lightweight. A special mention to the evening bar and waiting staff in Colonial, especially Maria. She was a credit to the hotel.
Any minor problems we had with our room were dealt with very quickly.
Our First Choice rep, Lee, was extremely good and helpful.
All in all we had a very good holiday and would feel happy to recommend this hotel, although we would advise you to go for an upgrade if put into the Colonial. Would like to add that the Colonial is the best area for the evening entertainment with live music on until about 1am.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade if situated in Colonial. Rooms are dated and need updating.
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank tonyandBev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Assistant Manager at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 18, 2014

Greetings tonyandBev,

Thank you for taking the time to share highlights of your vacation experience with us.
We are delighted you had a great stay and enjoyed our food and beverage, wildlife and variety of pools.
We would like to comment that we are available throughout your stay to assist you in the best way that we can. We regret that this was not the case and that you have left with such an impression of the resort.
Our management team has noted your comments in order to help us in improving our services.
We would be delighted to have another opportunity to host you once more, as such please inform us prior to your next arrival.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should we be able to assist you in any way.

Best regards

Alberto Gallegos
Accommodations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2014

We were booked at another resort in Playacar and due to an error that BOOKIT made and would not correct we were forced to cancel and re-book at Palladium which was about the only resort left at the last minute for the same money. We have always stayed at 4-4.5 star resorts, and were a little nervous about this resort being a 3.5 star, but when we arrived, we were pleasantly surprised. The beaches, water, grounds, pools, lobbies were beautiful. The beds were comfortable, the rooms nice enough, the buffets and spa were excellent, and the drinks and ala carte restaurants were very good. It was great that you could dine at all the restaurants w/o reservations except for 1. Although I don't care to stay at mega resorts, this one offered constant transportation with very little wait. The resort is about a $50.00 cab ride south of Playa Del Carmen, but we took the Collectivo which picked us up at the gate for $3.00 per person each way. It was a safe van ride (not private, of course). But watch out. Returning, the driver told was it was $7.00 per person and we just told him we knew it was $3.00 and he took the money and drove off mad. We hope to go to the Dominican Republic next year and would definitely try to stay at the Palladium again.

Room Tip: Jr. Suites are closer to the beach and building #1 is closest to the lobby.
  • Stayed: June 2014, traveled with family
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2  Thank SHARON L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Assistant Manager at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2014

Greetings SHARON L,

Thank you for sharing highlights of your vacation experience with us.
We are very happy you had an excellent stay with us and enjoyed your vacation immensely.
We look forward to hosting you once more in the Dominican Republic as well as in the years to come in any of our several destinations.
Please do not hesitate to contact us prior to your next arrival.
See you soon.

Best regards

Alberto Gallegos
Accommodations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2014

Had a lovely time here. We travelled here for our Honeymoon, flying from Gatwick on 19/05/14, and returned back on 02/06/14. We were dreading going through Cancun Airport, and imagined things would be very slow and boring there, but thankfully, this was not the case. The whole experience was pretty painless actually!! After the Transfer to the Resort, which took about an Hour, we went to the Reception, and proceeded to check in. This took around 15 Minutes, and after some basic questioning and an explanation of everything, we went to our Room. This Hotel really is a lovely place. 95% of the Staff are fantastic. Special Mention to Juacinto and all the Bar Staff at the Pool Bar, who were absolutely brilliant. The last few Days, it poured down with Rain, and whilst at the Bar, they were all handing out Drinks and Shots to keep everyone happy. I thought it was a lovely touch. These guys are really good at their Jobs, and should get a Pay Rise!! There are a few Members of Staff across the rest of the Resort who were less than helpful, which does let the overall Team down.

Good Stuff:-

Space - The Place is huge!! Lots of Sunbeds readily available. This is good as you can freely move around from Day to Day if you fancy seeing new bits of the hotel, or alternatively, you can pick your favourite place, and get Sun Soaked there. We chose the Main Pool by the aforementioned Beach Bar. This Bar had a Swim Up Bar, which we loved.

Drinks - What a Choice!! Sol Light on Draft. Nice Beer. Very Easy Drinking and Light on the Palate. All the Spirits you could want and more. Jim Beam Bourbon, Bacardi Rum, Skyy Vodka, Smirnoff Vodka. You name it, it's there!! The Hemingway Bar was great, as they had even more Choice, adding Disaronno Amaretto and Jack Daniels to the previous list of Spirits I Mentioned!! The Mini Bar in the Fridge also had Bottles of Sol and Dos Equis, which were lovely after a Day of Bathing in the Sun. Also, there were Soft Drinks in there. To start with, as the Days past, these were filled up Daily, but towards the end of our Stay, things were being left, and we almost ended up with a bare fridge!! The Sports Bar in the main Colonial Reception was great. Try the Chicken Wings there, they are very good. The Air Con in there was very powerful too, and was great too cool off whilst having a nice cold Beer!!

Food - Something for everyone. The Buffet Restaurants all had a great choice of Food from all over the World, and not just Mexico. We always found something nice, and were never short of options. The A La Carte Restaurants were top quality too. Our Favourite was the Ribs and More Restaurant, which was lovely. The Steak was perfectly Cooked. And I love my Steaks!! I also liked the Brazilian Restaurant, which had no Menu, but had lots of Spit Roasted Meat, which came out on Skewers, and this was very tasty indeed.

Wildlife - Amazing!! Iguanas everywhere. They are fun to watch, and are harmless. They crawl around everywhere, and can always be seen on the way to the Rooms in the Colonial Area and generally chilling out by the Sunbeds! We found them very amusing, and called them "JUAN", which we though was hilarious. Also, lots of Coatis and Otters were scattered around the Resort. These were also very cute, and there was always a Laugh to be had watching them. We named these "Cyril" God knows why, but it was funny!!

Bad Stuff :-

Americans and Canadians - Not all of them, but some of the Americans and Canadians were pretty rude to the staff. Just because you've got a Dollar in your Hand, it does not give you the right to talk to a Member of Staff with an attitude. I heard some lady saying, "I'll have this" and "get me this" She was speaking to the Guy like something she'd trodden in. Fair play to him for not saying anything. I would have told her to get her Drink herself.

Smell - Some parts of the Hotel, I noticed a very weird smell coming from some of the Room walkways. I'm sure this will not get anyone too upset though, as it's only in a few areas.

Overall, this place was very nice indeed, and despite the few small niggles detailed above, I highly recommend staying here.

Room Tip: Blocks 3-4 are in a good location.
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled solo
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7  Thank stevelondon20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Assistant Manager at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 17, 2014

Greetings stevelondon20,

Thank you for taking the time to share highlights of your honeymoon experience with us.
We are very delighted you had a great time with us and enjoyed our restaurants, bars and wildlife.
Our management team has noted your comments in order to assist us in our aim to continuously improve our services.
We look forward to hosting you once more for another spectacular vacation, as such please inform us prior to your next arrival.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should we be able to assist you in any way.
See you soon!

Best regards

Alberto Gallegos
Accommodations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2014

This was our second trip to Mexico, but first at the Grand Palladium resort, from 25 May to 1 June.

Check In - We arrived around 9pm, on a bus full of Spanish guests that were on the same flight, so there were more than 50 people at the front desk for check-in. The employee who handled the check in was very unfriendly and took less than 2 minutes without exchanging a word with us virtually. Before going had requested a top floor in the village 46 or 47 of Kantenah or Colonial village 6 or 7. No answer and neither have given me any villages requested. They gave us the 21 at the Colonial. The location was good, close to the beach, the pool and the lobby.

Resort - The resort is huge. Very well maintained with many animals, but the distances are great and the best way to move around is by train. So if you do not want to waste too much time waiting for the trains, prepare to long walks.

Room - The room was large, very clean, air conditioning worked well, the bed very comfortable. The pillows are very high, so I asked the front desk if they could exchange for thinner. They tried but the ones they brought were also very high. I assume they do not have thin pads, so we slept with no pad, but we slept well.
Beach and Pools - The pools are nice and big and there are several. We really enjoyed the pool "Las Rocas" which is salt water and has fish and the adult pool with a small jaccuzzi, very quiet and where you can be reading a book in peace.
The beach was the biggest disappointment. Although we already know that it had many rocks never thought they were so many. Good areas for bathing were small so people were all crowded. If you want snorkelling this is the perfect beach, but for swimming and bathing is not good. Plenty of chairs and shadows always available at anytime.

Buffets - Overall pretty good. We went to Colonial, the Kantenah and White Sand. Great selection for breakfast and lunch, with plenty to choose from. At dinnertime they do theme nights, but we never went because we were going to restaurants.

Restaurants - Not necessary to make reservation, except for the Japonese and Punta Emilia. The average waiting time was 1 hour, but that's okay we were on vacation! Went to the Hemingway bar and have a drink while we waited for our turn.
Sumptuori - Our favorite. Excellent service and food.
Mare Nostrum - Great service and food
Portofino - Good food.
Punta Emilia - Excellent fish.
El Dorado - It's just ok
Rodizio - Pretty bad. The rodizio system does not work. They serve a slice of meat and waited over 10 minutes to bring you yet another slice. The side dishes horrible. Few employees for many guests.

Staff - All hard workers and very friendly and helpful, with the exception of one or two of the front desk.

General appreciation - In general we liked our stay (we were on vacation we had to take advantage of everything and not let small setbacks ruin the holidays) despite the negative points that I emphasized, the resort is huge and the beach is perhaps the worst I've in the Caribbean (Mexico, Dominican Republic and Cuba).
In the last two days it rained in torrents (of course the hotel is not to blame), but there was little to do but stay sitting at the bar or in the bedroom taking a nap.

Would we go back to Grand Palladium? Perhaps!!

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank AnnLisbon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Assistant Manager at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 16, 2014

Greetings AnnLisbon,

Thank you for sharing details of your vacation experience with us.
We are delighted you enjoyed our restaurants and our friendly service staff.
Our management team has noted your feedback, as your comments assist us in improving our services.
We regret that your vacation was not completely satisfactory, it is our hope that we will have another opportunity to demonstrate that this was an isolated case.
As such, please inform us prior to your next arrival as we look forward to hosting you once more.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should we be able to assist you in any way, as we would be happy to assist.

Best regards

Alberto Gallegos
Accommodations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2014

Got back from our 10 day holiday April 2014.

As this was our eighth visit we were given VIP gold coloured bracelets which meant we had certain advantaged i e unlimited reservations in the al a carte restaurants and also the Lobster dishes did not incur an extra charge, I think we had most of the advantages the Royal guests receive except for the accommodation.

The new improved kids facilities around the pool were a great hit with the children in our party and the kids club kept them entertained especially Karla and Anna but all the kids club staff were great.
The Raggs breakfast every Wednesday was awesome, the kids in our group loved it.

Again my husband and I stayed in a Mayan suite with the outside shower, brilliant, also there were loads of animals walking around the gardens which we loved to watch.

The shows in the evening were entertaining, even the ones we had seen on previous visits, it was nice to see Jun Carlos back with the Palladium Dancers.

I could go on and on so I'll just say this is a lovely hotel which feels like a home from home, can't wait to visit next year.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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5  Thank HJB891
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, DIRECTOR ADJUNTO/ASSISTANT MANAGER at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 11, 2014

Greetings H J B,

Thank you for taking the time to share highlights of your eighth vacation experience with us.
We are delighted you enjoyed once again our services and facilities.
We look forward to hosting you for many more vacations to come.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should we be able to assist you in any way.
See you soon!

Best regards

Alberto Gallegos
Accommodations Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2014

I'll start with the positives, the resort is big with lots to do, everywhere is in walking distance, but there are golf buggy things if you want to take the more leisurely option. The beach is wonderful and right there as part of the hotel. The resort as a whole wasn't over crowded, no problem getting sunbeds or served at the bar. The food was nicely varied from day to day in the buffet restaurants, I'd say the best All Inclusive food we've had. The Al a Carte restaurants were all OK, The Teppanyaki restaurant being by far the best (on our first visit to this particular restaurant). Rooms were clean and tidy, but nothing special.

Now the service. The first week of our holiday we were made to feel very welcome with excellent service throughout the week, then something changed, as the second week went on the service dropped right off. It felt like a bit like a conspiracy. The teppanyaki resturant being a case in point, our first visit was excellent, very attentive, explaining what was for dinner, what to choose, the courses we were going to enjoy etc. The second visit our waiter was plain rude, he upset one of the children, didn't explain anything, missed the middle course (which the first time our youngest really loved) and couldn't get us out quick enough.

A visit to the beach sea food restaurant went further with the brutal service. A grunting waiter eventually showed us to our table after a discussion regarding whether we'd booked or not. Table wasn't set, Bread and water was taken from the table next to us (that was left by other diners) and given to us. We ordered a bottle of wine and our food, mine was a Tuna special. So the wine came, it was placed unopened in the ice bucket, 30 minutes later we were asked if we wanted the wine opening!! Parched isn't the word! Starters came, which were overcooked prawns in a fish stock in a cereal bowl (the prawns also had the poo pipe still in them) not what was on the menu... The starters were taken then immediately the mains were brought to the table COLD, the tuna special actually turned out to be Salmon.

These are a couple of examples, other things included (in the second week only) ... Intrusive waiter service, i.e. clearing plates before we'd finished, no coffee at breakfast, everyday we had to phone reception to get the minibar or the coffee restocked in the room... The list does go on

It still gets 4 stars because we kind of laughed it off, it became rather amusing in the end and we didn't let it spoil our holiday.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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6  Thank Ross L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, DIRECTOR ADJUNTO/ASSISTANT MANAGER at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 10, 2014

Greetings Ross L,

Thank you for taking the time to share a review of your vacation with us.
We are delighted you enjoyed our beautiful beaches and our facilities.
We regret that you experienced the issues you have highlighted and hope that you were able to enjoy the other elements of your vacation.
We appreciate your feedback as this is very important to us as it helps us in improving various aspects of our service.
We do hope that you will visit us again so that we can have an opportunity to demonstrate that these situations were isolated, as we strive to offer a consistently high level of customer service.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should we be able to assist you in any way.

Best regards,

Alberto Gallegos
Accommodations 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

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:
#4 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: $222 - $519 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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