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.
- 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