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Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
Ranked #8 of 22 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed May 30, 2006

As a warning, I only stayed at this hotel for one night, which ended up being about 16 hours at the resort. So you should probably take everything I say with a grain of salt -- unless you're also just staying for one night, in which case it might be more relevant.

My dad decided to join me in the Yucatan at the last minute, and since he really wanted to go to the beach, I rearranged an already tight itinerary to pack in a day at the beach. I'm not sure if I'd recommend just going for a day, as it added another couple of hours driving to our trip, but it was sort of nice to see a sandy beach and lounge in the great pools. Plus, the rate was unbelievable -- we got two junior suite rooms, one for each of us, for $152 each. That seemed like a steal for an all-inclusive.

We drove there, and the road was relatively fine, just watch for the humongous speedbumps. Took about an hour and a half from Cancun airport. The resort sort of reminded me of a Disney World resort, in a good way. Check in was efficient, and they took our bags and then drove us to the room on a golf cart. Our car stayed parked in a little lot on property.

The room seemed perfectly fine to me, clean, in good shape. There was a TV with some English language channels, including Fox news. The bed was a bit firm, as were the pillows, but those were fine too. Since we both had junior suites there was a little sitting area with a balcony, and mine had a pretty good view. It was all very spacious. Well, maybe not the bathroom. As someone who likes to soak in the bathtub and read I found it ill-suited for that -- the tub tapered at the back, and there wasn't very good lighting. Water pressure and temperature was fine. There was also a little mini bar, and a safe that was free and big enough to fit my laptop.

We ate two meals there. The Brazilian restaurant was good, though not excellent. I've had better quality meat locally, but it was fine, and my dad loved it. I thought the breakfast buffet was great. There were tons of choices -- fresh fruits and salads, pancakes, eggs, potatoes, smoothies, omelettes, cereals, breads, yogurts, juices, milk, and so forth, I thought it was really pretty darn huge, though I don't go to buffets much. They were able to make an egg white omelette for me, no problem. Probably my favorite meal of the trip, though I do enjoy breakfasts.

The pool area was nice and huge, and that was just the pool area we were at. I swam around and splashed in the early morning, and it was like a ghost town, our own personal pool. There are chairs for lounging in the water, which is nice, because it's hot, though I felt too much like a beached whale to enjoy that. There was also a 'jacuzzi area' in the center of the pool, which didn't seem to be heated over the pool's temperature but had bubbles. Lots of deck space, and a few ping pong tables, and the beach towels were gigantic. I was a little self-conscious at first in my bathing suit, being a hefty person, but there were plenty of people of all different body types there, not just a bunch of ultra-thin model types, so it was fine.

The beach area we didn't get to see much of, but it was nice and sandy. There was a red flag up while we were there, so we couldn't go in the water. It was pretty windy. Oh, and I never could find where the hot tubs were. I'm sure they were somewhere.

The one thing the hotel seemed incapable of doing, despite the presence of a travel agency, was booking a hotel room in Merida for my dad. I'm not sure why this was so difficult, but in two hours, they couldn't accomplish it. Plus, I thought the internet rate was highway robbery. You pay 10-15 pesos an hour in internet cafes around the Yuctan, but there was like 2 pesos a minute, or something crazy. Captive audience, I suppose.

So anyway, our 1-day stay went fine. Staff was great, the grounds were great, the rooms were fine. We didn't get to try many of the activities or restaurants, obviously, so it's hard to comment on that. And neither of us took advantage of the free (included) drinks, so nothing to stay there either. Considering the rate, though, of $152 for a single person in a junior suite, I consider it an amazing value.

P.S. If traveling at night, be careful of the little decorative ponds. My dad didn't notice one and walked right into it. Luckily it was only 8 or so inches deep, and he kept his balance with some hopping around, but he ruined his shoes and nearly twisted an ankle.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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4  Thank rabidstoat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 30, 2006

We have just returned from a fantasic holiday at the Colonial. it really is a lovely hotel and the staff were so helpful and friendly, always willing to go the extra mile for you. we were very lucky in that we seemed to sail through Cancun airport with no delays or problems and very little queuing. it took us an hour and a half on our transfer bus then to the hotel but as this was air conditioned and the rep was quite entertaining, it was not a problem.
First impressions at the hotel were very favourable, greeted by friendly bell boys who immediately took our luggage to our room. the lobby is very nice with lots of marble and fountains and a very comfortable bar area. check in staff were happy to see us and very quickly we were welcomed by them and checked in. now the only real problem with this was that we were given our key cards and room number and vague directions to our room, but had not a clue where to go! this resort is big and after a 10 hour flight, i really didnt know where to begin to look for the room. however, a freindly bell boy came along and gave us very clear directions and 10 minutes later we were there!
the rooms are ok, a bit more basic than i expected, but very clean and the air con combined with the ceiling fan kept us cool. the bathroom is very good and the shower excellent. the maids work so hard and always call a cheery Hola whenever they see you. the towel sculptures that everyone mentions really are amazing!! it's little touches like this that would make me return to the Palladium.
The beach is gorgeous, white sand and turquoise sea. loved it! the beach bars have every iced cocktail you can imagine and then some. try their nachos for lunch, they are really good.
all the pools were good, but as we were travelling without children we did prefer the adults only pool (it was the closest one to our room too!). it had a nice little bar all of its own and was rarely more than half full.
we found the food of a good standard generally. i agree that it can become repetitive but then i find that will most all inclusives. we loved that steakhouse and can recommend the New York steak which was delicious. in fact we ate at the steakhouse twice as it was so good. the mexican a la carte i was most disappointed with. the standard certainly was not as high as the other a la carte restaurants.
now my favourite part of the resort, THE SPA!!! it was the best. the pool alone is magnificent. then you have the steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and lots more things. i had a back neck and shoulder massage which was good and my partner had s full body massage which they called 'stress cure therapy'. he said it was good but he was aching after! we had to pay for these treatments and in total i think they came to about 1200 pesos, so not cheap but very worthwhile.
we really enjoyed meeting lots of different nationalties at this hotel and the Americans and Canadians were our favourites. they are just so friendly and welcoming and so easy to talk to. there were quite a few europeans at the hotel but they kept to themselves, and seemed nice too.
i cant comment on the nightclub as i never got there! after a hard day in the burning sun, sipping strawberry daiquiris and swimming, eating tonnes of food, we were just to tired to go!
all in all we had a wonderful holiday. the distances between different facilities can be a pain but we enjoyed the walking, trying to burn off some of the food! dont be put off by the size of the resort or the walking involved, it more than compensates for that with the huge variety of restaurants, bars, pools, and other facilities.

15  Thank jules2772
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
London, Ontario
Reviewed May 28, 2006

A completly wonderful vacation. The staff were absolutly amazing and were constantly bending over backwards for you. Kindest, hardest working staff I have ever seen. Quite a bit of walking but there is a little roof type thing over all the walkways so it is a very nice walk and with all the great food that walk is a good thing. There is tons of food, it wasn't fantastic but defently go to the resturants that you are allowed to go to 3 times. The lobby was gorgeous, only thing I would skip is the crockidle feeding, quite boring.

  • Stayed: March 2006
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8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 27, 2006

ok upon our arrival we checked in at the front desk the place seemed nice but not 5star
as told it was we were taken to our room we walked in and it smelled terrible like mold /mildew also there was a loud buzzing noise, and upon sitting on the bed we discovered it was dirty there was pee spots on the bed and it smelled very bad ...we called the front desk asked them to change rooms and they said no.....i could go on but i will not about this... the food was very bad we got food poisoning on our second day there
they serve the same thing over and over again i do not see how any one was eating this
food.......over all it was the vacation from .............please be advised this is no 5 star resort the grounds are ok the marble was nice but the quality was not there
i wouldnt send anyone there!!!!!!!! also the liqor was not good we were told it was all top shelf and OTHERs etc...non of these liqors they had were of any brand very very bad!!

  • Stayed: May 2006
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2006

I have to write in our review! It has been almost 3 years since we've been there and our 3 kids are still talking about it!!!

We went in August for a good rate and to be somewhere hot where my husband and I can comfortably be in the pool- where we know our kids prefer to be. We were sweating every minute we weren't in the pool, but it was such a blast! We brought little inflatable boats we bought for 5 bucks at the grocery store back home and the kids floated around the pool in them with their nada-colada's in hand. The boats were all the envy of other guests.

The food was perfect. We all still laugh at how our oldest was addicted to the crepe bar every evening at dinner. And when our 3 year old would fall asleep at the dinner table, a friendly staff person would come along and create a little bed for her out of 2 chairs. At the lunch buffet staff would mingle and try to teach our kids some spanish. It was so fun!

Assuming not much has changed in almost 3 years, we would come back in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed: August 2003
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10  Thank sjkel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2006

After reading several negative comments about the horrible odors at night, the long walks to get anywhere and the average food, I lowered my expecations. I wouldn't have had to. The Grand Palladium Colonial was beautiful; from the open air lobby and restaurant areas to the gorgeous beach and grounds. I'll admit, we were fortunate to be assigned a villa within 2 minutes of the pool and 3 to the restaurant area. There are some hikes from the furthest villas.

Our room was big enough for 4 adults. It was hot, but the air conditioning always worked and was easy to adjust. The beds are firm, but not to the point of being uncomfortable. I did find the pillows too hard and chunky, so I put a throw pillow inside my pillow case each night.

The food was good, but not great. You will find the same things most days, but we found the grill area inside the buffet restaurant had a nice variety of freshly grilled meats, poultry and seafood.

For whatever reason, the tap beer at the beach bar was never as good as from the lobby bars. Naturally, outside drinks were served in plastic glasses, which might have something to do with it, but it seemed flat at that location. I saw some people bring their own insulated mugs...a good idea.

Some get-out-of-the-sun activitities would have been nice after baking for a couple hours...an admittedly minor complaint.

If yoiu are trying to decide between the Colonial/Kantenah and White Sand/Riviera, opt for the Colonial/Kantenah complex. We walked the beach by the White Sands and it was full of sharp shells and rocks. Guests from that complex had a 10-15 minute to the sandy bottom beach area in front of the Colonial. The pool area was larger at the White Sands/Riveria.

My wife and I did get sick, but we believe it came from something we drank as part of our excursion lunch and had nothing to do with the resort. They said it was made with purified water, but I'm not convinced. Thankfully, it didn't hit until late in our stay.

The resort is a good 1.5 hours from the Cancun airport. Do whatever it takes to get a later return flight. Our 7:00 a.m. flight required that we be picked up before 3:00 a.m.

All in all, a great trip. The staff was friendly and always willing to help. We highly recommend the Colonial.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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18  Thank barefootinwis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
New York
Reviewed May 22, 2006

We stayed six days at the Colonial Palladium and certainly had a nice time. Lots of pros but a few cons limited our score to 3 out of 5:

The good: Friendly staff. lovely, large pools (and swim-up bar). The Spa area is also very nice, probably the nicest part of the entire resort. Other than our initial (mandatory) meeting with one of the tour operators at the hotel, we didn't get continously inudated by salesman during our stay which was great. Drinks are served promptly at the bar, alcohol levels are decent in the mixed drinks. The grounds and hotel public areas are very nice. The rooms (bedroom wasn't great - see below) but the bathroom was large and very nice, the room we had also came with a private outdoor shower which was pretty cool. The beach area is nice, 'whitish', fairly gentle sand and nice water.

The not so good:
Our timing wasn't great since the area is still recovering from the Hurricanes. Mostly in the sense of the foliage as many palm trees have their tops sheared off, and trees are twisted together, falled and uprooted. The only effect from a tourist's standpoint is one of aesthetics, as both the resort and surrounding area are not as picturesque as they must have been before the storms.

Regarding the resort itself the biggest negative was the food. The buffets were average at best. Breakfast and lunch were actually pretty decent but dinner had some low quality, unimpressive dishes both in terms of taste and creativity. Each night they say there is some special theme like Italian (where they have pizza, pasta, canneloni's, chicken mole), then French night (where they have pizza, pasta, canneloni's, chicken mole) and then International night (where they have pizza, pasta, canneloni's, chicken mole)..... It was by no means inedible but that part of the resort is certainly 3 star at best.

The beds in the rooms were rather hard and do not suggest luxurious in any way, rather Hotel 6 like.... The room we had was in front of the public walkway so people would walk by and be looking right into the bedroom, so you have to keep the blinds closed the whole time, keeping the sun out.

But those are really the only bad comments, so nothing terrible and I would not recommend avoiding this resort, especially if you are not worried about the above negatives, the rest of it is very nice.

P.S. Rent a car instead of taking the tours. You can see much more, on your own schedule, for less than half the price.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
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13  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:
#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: $232 - $651 (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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