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Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 22 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed October 20, 2005

My husband & I spent 8 days at Palladium, ending the day after Hurricane Emily - so I'll address that first.

Previous comments about poor service during the hurricane actually reflected problems with travel agents, rarely with hotel staff. And I have to mention that the Apple representative who was there the morning after the hurricane, had stayed on site DURING THE HURRICANE (!), and was unhelpful afterward mostly due to the fact that the hurricane had blown down the cellphone towers and he had no communication with anyone else. Also, the airlines were singularly uncommunicative, so I don't see that he could have done any more than he did. He was unfailingly courteous and apologetic.

During the hurricane, the hotel staff also stayed and provided immense help and safety for the tourists, when they could have gone home to their families. Some tourists seem to forget that the staff were probably worried sick about their own families and homes, and yet they cooked us breakfast and accepted complaints about the lack of amenities! It was a HURRICANE, folks!! I was immensely impressed with the preparedness and professionalism, not to mention the dedication, of the staff.

Hurricanes aside, this was the best vacation I have ever had, and I have travelled extensively. While the food was not spectacular, it was consistently very good, with moments of excellence -- the best that anyone can expect from a buffet. The property is (or was) truly gorgeous, the pool is amazing (especially the built-in lounge chairs), and Apple vacations had several tours available which were wonderful. We did the Chichen Itza tour -I can't recomment it enough! - , and the Jungle eco-tour, and the bar-hopping, we also visited Tulum and went on the snorkeling tour, and spent a day shopping in Playa. It was fabulous, and I hope that Hurricane Wilma spares the resort at least a bit so that we can go back!

  • Stayed: July 2005
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32  Thank CaliHistoryBuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,550 - 3,556 of 5,433 reviews

Reviewed October 18, 2005

First of all, let me tell you that I travel each year since about 16 years in the carribean, so I do know what I am talking about!

I have to say that the place is very nice, and a good job has been done since the passing of hurricane Emily, most of the cleaning up has been done on the Colonial side, kantenah side is not as nice yet!

Good food, except at the beach snack bar where the food was almost always cold and saggy, good drinks, very nice beach, but very smelly rooms, had to wash everything when I got back home because of the humidity that was always present in the room , everything was humid in all of our stay, papers got damp, close always damp, not very fun at all, this is the first hotel I have been staying in that caused this problem....

I found some workers at the front desk very rude as for some were very nice. I had emailed the resort about 4 times a request for a top floor room, prior to our arrival, and did not get it at all, as I told the clerk upon our arrival of this request, got "Can't do anything, wait til to tomorrow", and found thant very rude and annoying, especially after we went to our room and found out that some other guest that had arrived on the same flight as we did had a third floor room without even wanting it......., have to mention we were there 2 weeks, and most of the guests were there from a couple of days down to a week....., so..... what was the problem??

As another reviewer wrote, I also found that some guests were treated differently depending on their origin, that is not cool at all, as we have paid to for our vacation, the same as the other travellers...., our mini bar was restocked only once in two weeks, and had to ask for a second refill the second week!!!!!!!!!! Come on!
And just to confirm this, let me tell you something that happened to us on our last day...., we were snorkelling in the designated area, were about 4 poeple near that spot, as I was under water, I heard a sound, really loud, so got my head out fast, just to see that there was a guy on a jetski that was in the snorkelling area , zigzaging around and passed about 10 feet in between my husband , myself and another person......, we yelled and screemed to him, as we did not want to be hit, and the guy continued this all the way in the beach area....., as I got out furious and complained to the guys renting the jetskis, they, as I would say,were not very responsive, let the guy finish his time without even getting him out......, someone could have been seriously injured, they said to me "He is a guest, a spanish crazy guest", had to tell him I WAS a guest also and wanted to enjoy my snorkelling without injuries, grrrrrrrrrrr, was I mad!

Went to the Bahia tulum last year, woud go back there in a heartbeat, but won't be going back to tne Palladium!!

  • Stayed: October 2005
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17  Thank Loulou03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2005

Sept 21st - 5th Oct . Stayed at this hotel. We had a lovely holiday and have no trouble in recommending this resort. Clean, comfortable. very friendly staff, nothing too much trouble.

The Buffet restaurants has a lovely selection, bread very good, we often had the meat or fish grilled fresh to order then collected the vegetables. Soups nice and very good selection of deserts, crepes a must! . Food should be hot or cold. If we had anything warm we did not eat it. We had a restaurant 15years and are very fussy. A la carte Restaurants very good but went to the Japanese Restaurant twice, Show Table a must!!!

We liked the Adult pool and Spa pool , smaller and quiet. You can book the Steam/Sauna/Jaccuzi for 30mins free everyday. Lovely end to the day after being on the beach/pool. Had a couple of massages and a reflexology massage , very good. We did not bother with insulated mugs as some of the other trip advisors had advised, never far away from bars. There is a fair amount of walking but that never bothered us.

I had read about a musty smell in the rooms so I took a little battery operated air freshner, it did smell a little so I put that on and within a few hrs, air great , just put it on if the smell came back. Not very often, but the resort is in mangrove swamp, so you have to expect different smells, often smelt eucalyptus as walking through the rain forest. Be prepaired to see lots of animals around the resort, big butterflies, thousands of frogs, you can hear them talking to one another, lots of different birds singing the dawn corus at 7am approx. crabs, brown mongoose I think, eguana, big ants and bugs. Very interesting.

If anybody has any questions please do not hesitate to e. mail me.

  • Stayed: September 2005
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24  Thank joshuaglatz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewed October 16, 2005

I just returned from staying at the Palladium with my family (mother, brother, and sister-in-law) and loved every moment of it!

I felt the buffets had an overwhelming variety of food and offered something a little different every day. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The fact that we are Americans who can speak Spanish may have helped! We ate at the mexican, italian and japanese restaurants and all agreed that the japanese was the best.

The beach is beautiful, well maintained, and there are plenty of shady spots. The sun is super intense - I wore 30 the entire time. The pool is clean and beautiful. Both the beach and pool are so huge you didn't feel like you were surrounded by people.

The resort is about 2 hours from the airport with all the other drop-offs. They had plenty of activities but I feel this is a place you go to relax, not party. So if you get bored easily, go to Disney Land.

I also felt that the price per person was very reasonable. The rooms are comfortable and yes, the electricity did flicker from time to time, but relax! You are on vacation and it always came back within seconds. Double rooms have double beds - get over it to those who complained. This is a Spanish run facility and the European influence is obvious. Spoiled Americans need not bother - your complaining will only spoil it for the rest of us.

It is a great resort and I would definiately return!!!!

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
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24  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2005

We were at this resort from 10/1 to 10/8. We read reviews of this resort before we booked our honeymoon so we had an idea of how others viewed it . It was my husbands first time at an AI but I had been to others before so I knew what to expect as far as the food was concerned. I do feel most resorts out of the United States do caterer more to Europeans than to Americans. But, I think that is why you travel out of the country, to get an idea as to how others live. Although it rained 5 of the 7 days we were there we still had a great time. I will try to break things down so I can speak to a number of issues.
1. Our ride from the airport took about 1 1/2 hours, about what we expected from what we had read. We got to see a couple of other resorts when others on our bus were dropped off. Not a bad experience at all. It was a little daunting at the airport with everyone that wanted to help and since we didn't speak the language were unsure who to trust, but it ended up all OK. The ride from the resort to the airport took much less time. his would be a small complaint, our flight out wasn't till 1045 and we were picked up at the resort at 6:20a. We were at the airport by 7:10. It was a long time to wait and we could have had dinner here in Columbus at a nice resturant for what breakfast cost at the airport.
2. It was raining by the time we reached the resort, but the way the lobby is arranged neither we nor our luggage got wet. Check in took less then 10 min. Since check in wasn't till 3p and we were there at 1p, we were told to check back in about 30 min for our room but that we could go eat while we were waiting. The folks that checked us in were very nice and friendly.
3. Went to the buffet that over looks the pool. The service people were helpful and friendly,took our order for drinks as soon as our butts hit our seats.lol Food was above what you would expect, in my opinion, at a pool side buffet. Hot food was hot, cold food was cold and there was plenty.
4. Our room was very clean and neat and was kept that way all week. I did notice the frig wasn't real cold but felt like the beverages were cool enough.
The bed was firm but I felt like it was comforable. Pillows were OK but I usually travel with my own, so OK is high rating for me.lol
5. We ate at the Steakhouse, Mexican resturant and the Japanese and thought all of the food was very good. We had filet mignon with shrimp and our steaks were both thick and juicy and cooked the way we like them.
6. The pools were always clean, it seemed someone was always sweeping the bottom to keep it that way. The beach and water were beautiful. Plenty of loungers and areas to get out of the sun. Bees were a problem but no other types of bugs.
7. We took one of the day trips to Tulum then a catamaran ride to snorkle. It was beautiful to start the day but about an hour into the catamaran ride it got rainy again. We met a great bunch of people though and had a wonderful time. It was well worth the $190 it cost. They served lunch on the boat after we snorkled and all you could drink on the ride back.
All in all we really enjoyed this resort and will go back. Our only neg would be the rudeness of alot of the other guests. As was said in another review it was like they wanted to play chicken with you on the walkways. After the first day my husband would put me behind him when someone was walking towards us and would shoulder them if they didn't move. We were more then willing to give them half of the walkway but they would walk three and four people abreast and not want to give an inch. They had some kind of shoulder roll they would do right as they passed so that you just missed running into each other. I guess this is a way of life for some so they have mastered this move.
We were in building 5 on the Colonial side and this was quite a walk to get to the resturants, pool etc, so we would ask for a room closer to the main lobby next time. We heard no noise, other then two nights in a row someone pulled the fire alarm.
We did tip some but not always and it didn't matter which we did, we still got good service.

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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23  Thank TheVicster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2005

We stayed on the Colonial side from the 5th to the 12th of October. I was very nervous to say the least considering this was our first time to Mexico. It was absolutely amazing, if you are still trying to figure out whether you want to stay here, I hope this helps. Everything from the airport, transportation and guest services was perfect. It didn’t take long at all going through customs both on the way there and back. It is about an hour and a half to the Palladium from the airport but it’s worth it! We stayed in Villa 1, which in my opinion was a great location. It’s close to food, pool and beach. The food was to die for; everything we had was well above average. I know a lot of people said the food selections got old; you must have an extravagant eating lifestyle at home because they had something different every night at the buffet. Also the reservation restaurants were excellent, I recommend the steak; any kind the steak was good at all the restaurants. We also went into Playa Del Carmen, and took the collectivo which picks you up just outside the hotel. It’s very clean and very cheap, I think 3 Pecos per person. The rooms were very clean and the staff was extremely friendly, they can make any drink you want. I recommend the Bloody Mary, very good. All in all, we would go back. If you’ve already booked here and are having 2nd thoughts, DON’T! Please email me if you have any questions. Lammy1278@hotmail.com Lisa

  • Stayed: October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
25  Thank lammy1278
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 14, 2005

We just returned from the Grand Palladium - Colonial we stayed from Oct 8-12th. Overall not a bad place, but got off to a rough start, at check in our travel agent suggested to ask for a complimentary upgrade for our room, the check in clerk couldn't understand what we were asking for then got distracted by a phone call and when she was finished she completed our check in without acknowledging our request. Upon entry to our room, there was a very musty odor, so I went back up to check in and requested they move our room, they advised they would send maintenance to see if they could fix the problem. Maintenance arrived with his can of air freshner - no this did not work, I advised the maitenance man that this had not worked, another maintenance man arrived with a different kind of air freshner - no this didn't work either. We then went and spoke with the apple rep who then talked with management who then said they would change the bedding and drapes in the room to see if that would help, I advised them it appeared the smell was coming thru the airconditioning vent and changing the linens probably would not help. They finally switched our room.

Most employees didn't understand english, the bartenders were pretty good with the english language.

Next if you need to make phone calls and you bring a calling card, the hotel charges you a $4.00 fee each time.

The bus trip from the airport took 2 1/2 hours, invest in private transportation.
Overall resort was very nice- just a few minor set backs at first,beach was very nice, food was good never went hungry, and drinks were excellent. Lobby bar on colonial side was by far the best service thanks to Freddie and Eric.

Stayed: October 2005
16  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
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 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#6 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#6 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#9 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range: $227 - $666 (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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