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“Great Resort!!”

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Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa
Ranked #6 of 21 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed March 7, 2013

Stayed Feb 22nd to March 1st 2013. First timers to the GPK and would recommend, but there are so many places to see and stay that we rarely go back to the same resort ever. Arrived to find we had been upgraded to a suite, which was beautiful. King Bed, lots of pillows, yes they are a bit hard and my neck was sore the first night or so, then it was fine. Bathroom is beautiful, but must say they toilets are in need of replacing. They’ve done a great job redecorating the rooms, except they forgot to put new toilets in. We were in block 51, which if you love the beach is the absolute perfect location. Only steps to the beach and the walkways to pool/lobby. There is a bar, restrooms and towel exchange at this end of the beach as well, so we found ourselves loving this location. The ocean at this end is also great, no rocks, clear and easy to walk straight in.
We did the Segway’s the second day we arrived and I highly recommend everyone do this. They give you about a 20 minute lesson then take you around the entire complex. A stop at the salt water pool for a drink and back on our way. Tour was about 1.5 hours and so worth the $35US each we spent. We got to see the entire resort and things we probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. Would be good however if they allowed you to rent these outside of doing the tour and explore on your own. Went to the White Party Fire show at the Salt Water Pool one evening, an absolute must as well. We played mini-golf one afternoon to get out of the sun, but this area definitely needs to be repaired, it’s in pretty rough shape. Checked out the Spa and it is beautiful but didn’t use any of the facilities there. The main pools are a bit chilly and are way too deep, I would be fearful of children in the pools if they weren’t good swimmers.
What we loved most about the GP is that there is so much going on or nothing at all, it’s your choice you can find a quiet spot on the beach or at one of the quiet pools or get into the action at the Colonial Pool and beach area there.
Food was just ok, nothing to write home about. Breakfast was always delish, difficult to mess up breakfast, lots of choices, my fav champagne and OJ! Lunch, you could serve yourself a burger, hotdog, chicken nuggets etc. at the beach hut or order from a small menu of items (jalapeno poppers YUM) or go to the lunch buffet at Azul near the pool where there was a bigger selection. You won't starve here. Dinner was hit and miss. We ate only once at an al a-carte, the Steakhouse in the Colonial. Because it’s a pager system we went early (or early for us) 6:30p got our pager and he told us it would be an hour. We waited two hours! We were sitting in the colonial lobby having drinks waiting and after no sign of our pager going off at 8:30p I went to the restaurant to see what was happening and the guy says "come, come, now now!!" What the ??? I think they actually forgot about us. Anyway after the two hour wait, we ordered our dinners, I had the rib-eye and my hubby had the T-bone. The rib-eye had some weird texture to it and you could shred it with a fork. I couldn't stand the texture in my mouth so didn't eat it. His T-bone was perfect and wasn't weird tasting. I ordered a bottle of wine from the wine menu, not a bad selection either. The rest of the dinner was just ok. So we decided to just stick to the buffets the rest of the time and we had no issues grazing and finding something to eat. Yes the food was cold in some of the containers, but we stuck mostly to the food that was sitting in the chaffing dishes with burners under it (food was always hot), and went to grill to get fresh grilled fish and meat and it was fine. Desserts were actually surprisingly good for an AI.
The amount of staff at this resort absolutely amazed me, it seemed that there was 1 staff member to every 4 guests. Never a wait time for drinks, everyone worked hard and went above and beyond. One thing I really liked about the resort is every time you walked into a restaurant or buffet someone was there giving you a squirt of Hand Sanitizer. I must say that is a must given the number of people, it’s a good stop measure to help prevent the spread of germs etc. It’s probably the first time I've ever been to Mexico where I haven't been inflicted with a day or two of tummy troubles. All in all this is a great resort, families would have no problems keeping the kids busy, and like everyone has said in previous posts it’s a HUGE complex!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank beachgirl6533
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Manager at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 9, 2013

Dear beachgirl6533,

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for all the great comments that you made about our resort and especially about our staff. Our commitment is to provide the best service and attention at all times to our guests.

In reference to your observations about our restaurants staff and service, I can assure you that we will take note about, in order to always improve them, since all comments that we receive from our customers helps us to know what our guest are looking or expecting in their vacations. I would like only to add that we also have our main buffet open for lunch besides the Gran Azul and the beach hut.

Again, thank you for your comments and if we can help you in any way or you decide to come back to Grand Palladium please, let us know, in order to grant you the best of all attentions.

Kind regards,

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Reviewed March 4, 2013

In this review: documents, before & during the wedding, music, I'll try to include everything.
About us: laid back travelers, allergies to dustmites and lactose (intolerance), first time getting married, first time in Mexico
We chose Palladium because we had 54 people coming to our wedding, from retired couples to young families. We felt Palladium offered enough amenities for all our wedding guests at no extra cost, and we heard the food was great. Everyone that came to our wedding was happy with our choice, including us! Please see my review for the resort in general (coming soon) for more details about the resort itself. This is more for wedding information.

Map of the resort: http://www.resortsmaps.com/popup.html?maps/map-GrandPalladiumRiviera-RivMaya.jpg
KEY WORDS: Bodas = weddings in Spanish! When at the resort, remember this word!

DOCUMENTS & PAPERWORK

-you need to email a copy of both your passports so the Palladium wedding coordinators can process paperwork to prove neither of you were previously married (it's a new law there)
-you DO NOT need your long birth certificates. The Palladium wedding coordinators said we did, as did both Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the Mexican Consulate in Montreal but it turns out we never used them. I don't quite understand that but I spent >$300 to get them. Better that than needing them and not having them....
-you only need your tourist cards (you get that on the plane) and your passports to be married in Mexico
-your witnesses need their tourist cards and passports. Witnesses, when they arrive at the resort, should bring their passports & tourist cards to go visit the wedding office (back of the White Sands lobby) to complete a form with their names, addresses, years they've known the bride/groom--that's it. I read they had to take a trip to town--nope, it's that easy!
-witnesses can be parents and family members. Our witnesses were parents, a brother and a brother-in-law
-you get a choice whether you want to say your own vows or not. We chose not.

BLOOD TESTS & OTHER MEDICAL TESTS

-No, you cannot get these tests done in advance in Canada or elsewhere.
-Yes, you need to have a blood test done there. You pay the doctor / assistant directly in cash ($220 US per couple). They gave us some Spanish lessons for free! The medical test is done in the wedding coordinator's office (at the back of the White Sands lobby)
-No, you do not have to have this CIR / lung test anymore. That changed when we arrived.
-The Palladium wedding coordinator has the medical test appointment set up for you when you arrive. The information is included in a welcome letter you receive when you check in.


MEETING WITH THE WEDDING COORDINATOR

-bring your passports, tourist cards and any other information you want to bring, wedding dress & suit if they need pressing
-after the blood test, we sat with the wedding coordinator and finalized all the details
-we reviewed our decorations and flower choices, dinner and cocktail party locations
-we reviewed the total cost and she printed us a copy of the expenses
-we decided upon the order of the ceremony (flower girl first, then ring boy, etc).
-the wedding coordinator explained where the bride would be walking down the aisle

WEDDING PACKAGE

-we chose the Crystal Package. Palladium provided our travel agent (who also acted as our wedding coordinator) with the package from 2012, so it was out of date. All it meant was that we were not entitled to breakfast in bed.
-interestingly, the package states that fees for the Justice of the Peace are included, yet we had to pay him in cash--not sure how that happened
-we DID get an upgrade to a junior suite in the Kantenah building. It looked like the standard suites only it had an additional living room attached to it, with a white sofa and some chairs. And a king sized bed! We received some decorations of rose petals the night of our wedding and a free gift (sandals and a T-shirt) from the gift shop. We received a letter upon our arrival for a special dinner with a set menu but it was only on certain days and at 9:00PM so we declined.

FLOWERS & DECORATIONS

-decoration choices will depend on which wedding package you choose.
-they sent us 6 choices for chair decorations (emailed photos). We chose the vivid blue ribbons on white chairs--absolutely lovely in the sun!
-they sent us around 15 pictures of sample bouquets and 5 sample pictures of boutonnières. I requested a bouquet that I found on the Internet, and they said they'd make it for $25US per flower. (Ouch!) So we opted for one of the bouquets in the sample pictures. They made matching boutonnières with the same kinds of flowers as the bouquets, which was wonderful.
-they get it all ready and have the flowers / boutonnières delivered to the rooms in which the bride, bridemaids and the groom & his groomsmen are getting ready in the morning of the ceremony
-you can choose whether you want flower petals for your flower girl (we said yes) and there are 4 colours to choose from
-you can choose whether you want a carpet to walk down the aisle with or not (it was red, so we said no because our chairs were blue and white). I told my mom to make sure she wore sandals because I saw a video of a lady who wore high heeled shoes, and she kept sinking into the sand.


WEDDING LOCATIONS

-there are 4 choices: beach pergola, beach gazebo, garden gazebo, church
-I was worried about security--people walking by in the back of our pictures. All of these locations are secluded, so they're aren't many people wandering in the background. They did not provide security to rope off the area. Have a look on the map--the beach gazebo is at the south end of the resort (Letter I near Punta Emilia bar (XXX)) and the beach pergola is at the north end of the resort (if you walk from La Jarra bar (XXI)) towards the water, it is there)(it is not indicated correctly on the map). The church and garden gazebos are letter 'I' to the right of the Colonial lobby

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE

-the Palladium wedding coordinator offered to give the Justice of the Peace his fee, since I didn't want to be carrying around money and paying people during the happiest day of my life. I think his fee was $70US in cash. He did not speak English so the wedding coordinator translated.
-it says in our wedding package that fees for the justice are included--I don't understand that part

RECEPTION DINNER

-you can choose between a private reception with a set menu (between $55-65 US pp), à la carte restaurant or buffet restaurant
-we picked the buffet, which was no additional cost. The wedding coordinators suggested the Kabah buffet, in the Riviera building because it is very big. They were right--they reserved a section for us (no decorations) and we had a great time. The restaurant was pretty empty, so it worked well
-my main worry was that we would loose that group feeling in a non-private reception, but that was not the case. In fact, the other resort guests were quite happy for us so it was nice.
-if you choose the buffet option, you cannot have music or a microphone for speeches. We did that at our cocktail party after

COCKTAIL PARTY

-you have 4 choices for a cocktail party ($5US pp)
-we wanted somewhere for all of us to hang out after the wedding dinner so we chose a cocktail party at La Laguna restaurant--there is a rounded part of the seating area that they decorated and sectioned it off. There was nobody around so it was private. The pool was empty too. The bartender was nearby for drinks. They had a music system set up with a microphone for speeches
-our cake was served there
-our travel agent, who also acted as our wedding coordinator, said you could change your choice for the cocktail party at the last minute

THEATRE

-we requested whether we could reserve any seats together at the nightly theatre entertainment at the resort, because after the wedding reception dinner, we wanted all our guests to still be able to hang out together. We were not able to reserve a bunch of seats so our travel agent / wedding coordinator in Canada suggested a cocktail party which was reasonably priced and was in my opinion, an excellent choice. We could dance, talk, say speeches and cut our wedding cake.

WEDDING DRESS & SUIT PRESSING

-bring your wedding dress and suit / tuxedo to the wedding coordinator's office (back of White Sands lobby) at least 2 days before the wedding to have them pressed. Bring the room numbers you will be getting dressed in on the wedding day, so they know where to drop them off

HAIR STYLING

-they have a salon there in the Spa building (M on the map). You make an appointment, you have to pay them directly i.e. you can't charge it to your room. They have sample pictures you can choose from or bring your own ideas. She said not to use conditioner the night before when you wash your hair.
-the prices for the spa are well, equivalent of what you could pay here in North America for special hair styling.They can email you a price list.

PHOTOGRAPHER

-Palladium has an onsite photography boutique, Photopro (http://www.hotel-shops.com/photopro/gp/). The wedding photographer is not there everyday but only for weddings. You don't meet him until your special day.
-they offer several photo packages. We picked the silver package because we wanted pictures of us before the wedding, when we were getting ready
-for an additional $350, we purchased the entire set of digital pictures he took. It was just too difficult to pick only 60. He burned them all to DVD and we got our 60 prints
-if you choose Photopro, visit their office (Kantenah building) before your wedding to confirm and check any important details. You can request special pictures on the form (in the box at the bottom). We had 54 people come to our wedding, so we requested a group photo
-the photographer got some great shots of us and the group; he was really good
-he took us to Las Rocas (the saltwater pool, S on the map) after the ceremony for pictures.
-he is happy to include your requests for photos, example, I asked for one of us sitting on the rocks at Las Rocas and it is one of my favourites!
-you make an appointment with your photographer when you want to view and choose your pictures (since he is not at the Photopro boutique everyday-he works for 7 different resorts)

KEEP IN MIND FOR PICTURES

-our ceremony was at 4:30; the sun set at 5:30, so it was getting dark fast. The photographer was quick and got a lot of pictures (almost 300) before it got too dark. He rarely used a flash, which is great since I think it makes the faces look bleached.
-go look at the resort in advance to see where you'd like your pictures taken. Ask the photo boutique where the photographer will take pictures and go visit the site

MUSIC

-Palladium offers some live music, I believe a flutist for $475 for 45 min.
-since we were in Mexico, I just have to have live Mexican music. Our travel agent / wedding coordinator suggested Musicancun out of Cancun (www.musicancun.com). They were AWESOME. We hired a trio for $475 for 45 min. to play during the ceremony. We paid in advance by PayPal because I was NOT going to be paying people on my wedding day. They arrived and set themselves up without us having to do a thing. They were ready and waiting. It was the best enhancement to the wedding--the music was wonderful. See our pictures.

CAKE

-we requested a cake not made from dairy, since I'm lactose intolerant and happily they could do it! I was happy that I'd be able to eat my own wedding cake
-advice: if you're going to request a non-dairy cake, please ask for margarine and soy milk (they have both at the breakfast buffets, so I know they have them at the resort). For us, they used a syrup (jarabe) and while the thought was sweet, the cake was too--I mean really sweet.


ON THE WEDDING DAY

-the Palladium coordinator is with you the entire ceremony, throughout supper and until the end of the cocktail party.
-getting ready: your photographer will show up at the rooms you indicated at the specified times to take pictures
-the wedding coordinator will send a white cart to pick you and your wedding party up from the salon and bring your room to get ready
-then she has a cart pick up the bride and her party and another for the groom and his party to bring them all to the wedding location
-at the wedding location (we chose the beach pergola), the wedding coordinator has everything set up. Tell your guests to be there 1/2 hour in advance
-the wedding coordinator cues you when to go where, she has a little radio so if ever you forget anything or need to change something, she will radio it in. For example, our ring boy got shy when he realized he had to walk down the aisle so we had to call his cousin to walk with him.

CEREMONY

-that went by really fast!
-the Justice of the Peace said his part, the wedding coordinator translated
-we both said "I do". We decided to be bilingual and say them in Spanish and English ("Yo acepto)
-we signed 3 pages of the wedding certificate and put our thumb prints on all 3 pages.
- the wedding coordinator called up our witnesses one by one and they signed each page
-done! Kiss the bride and we were served champagne!
-we hung around for a bit, then the photographer took over and captured our pictures before the sun faded. The pictures were gorgeous with the beach in the background

Guests were carted over to the Kabah for supper by a white cart courtesy of the wedding coordinator.
We headed to Las Rocas with the photographer to get pictures of just us done

We joined the wedding guests at the Kabah for supper. Then the wedding coordinator escorted us all to the cocktail party. We left before the end, but she stayed to be sure everything was OK

THE END! I hope I answered all your questions; I found it unsettling while planning the wedding from Canada because I didn't know what to expect and sometimes answers were not that clear. Things changed immediately once we met the wedding coordinator (Vanessa). It was clear they do weddings on a regular basis (we saw on their calendar they did almost one a day) and this was routine-they know what they're doing, they are very proficient and trustworthy. On top of that, Vanessa is charming and an absolute pleasure to work with. If you have her as your wedding coordinator at Palladium, you are in good hands-relax and enjoy the process. They take care of everything for you and make your destination wedding what it is supposed to be--a dreamy, enjoyable event under the Mexican sun!

Please don't hesitate to contact me with further questions if you desire.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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62  Thank La_Tortuga_amarilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Manager at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 9, 2013

Dear La_Tortuga_amarillo,

First and foremost, thank you very much for your excellent comments and for such a detailed explanation about your wedding experience with us, and for the tips you gave to other travelers. It is a real pleasure to realize that our effort is rewarded creating nice experiences to our guests, and I will transmit your greetings to our staff.


Thank you again and we look forward for your next visit, and please, do not hesitate to contact us for any request or further comment.

Kindest regards,

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Reviewed March 3, 2013

Stayed Feb 22-March 1, 2013.
Our second time to Grand Palladium Kantenah was better then the first. My wife and I travelled to GPK for our 20th anniversary and were suprised to find Mr.Banesa had up graded us to a suite. Let me say the staff at this resort go above and beyond to make sure you have a great time. I'm always happy with the service, and the grounds and buildings are spotless. These guys work hard. Mr. Banesa you have a great resort and awsome staff. Keep up the good work, see you next year.

Vince H.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Holligan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Manager at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2013

Dear Holligan,

First and foremost, thank you for believing in us and for making Grand Palladium your holiday’s destination, for us is really important to realize that our guests feel like home and become part of our Palladium family. We really appreciate your comments, especially being the second time to our resort and we feel thrilled to know that our staff made you possible to bring home nice souvenirs.

Thank you again and we remain at your service for any further comment or for your next visit.

Kind regards,

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Reviewed March 3, 2013

We had a great time during our stay but the resort has some improving to do.

Beach:
- Shared across the complex.
- Mostly rocky with two areas somewhat rock-free, so people that want to swim tend to congregate in these two areas. One of them is on the Kantenah side, which was convenient for us.
- Salt water pool is cool but too far. One our first day it took us 45 mins to get there from Kantenah side because we tried to catch a ride. Later found that it's much easier and more pleasant to just walk there across the beach.

Grounds:
- The resort is gorgeous, as many reviewers noted. Green, clean, and well maintained.
- Trains and carts are a necessity for getting from one side to the other but they aren't easy to come by. As mentioned above, it took us 45 mins to get from the Kantenah side to the salt water pool (diagonally across) using trains and carts. Their resort map shows train/cart routes and stops but in our one week there we didn't see any regularity in how these run. Definitely an area for improvement.

Restaurants/Bars
- The food was a disappointment in terms of selection and quality.
- Expected more fruit variety, but all we saw was papaya, watermelon, and two kinds of melon.
- We found the Colonial side buffet to have the best overall food selection for dinner.
- Tried 5 of the alacart restaurants, and the only decent one was the Brazilian place.
- Beach bar food selection was really bad.
- Alcohol is of course poor quality, especially wine. You have to constantly ask them to add more alcohol in your drinks.
- Beach bars have great coffee.

Rooms:
- We were in villa 43 (room 4325). Room was good size, with two double beds (which is what we asked for as we were two friends vacationing together), and seemed very clean.
- There were many small things in the room that didn't function as expected. For example:
* A/C couldn't be turned off and is pretty loud even on the low fan setting. It also didn't react to sensors well so wouldn't turn on/off when expected so we kept trying to open/close all the doors to get it to work.
* The iron didn't work at all.
* The TV service had horrible picture on all channels. We were there during Oscars and tried to watch some but couldn't.
* Our friend's room on the Riviera side had a phone that wouldn't ring. We reported the problem to the management but it was never fixed during our stay,
* Beds are pretty uncomfortable (although not as hard as other Riviera Maya resorts I've been to) and the pillows are horrible. They have a pillow menu with better pillow selection at extra $. Seems like they purposely give you bad pillows to make you order better ones and pay more.

Entertainment:
- The entertainment manager is an idiot. We were there on a girls getaway trip (3 of us), and early during our trip we were getting some attention from the entertainment crew - nothing inappropriate, mostly making sure we danced during the evening music performances, etc. After two days, the manager told the staff members that they were no longer allowed to approach us at all. Poor kids were afraid to even say hello to us, and one of them was punished and made to work on his day off because he danced too much with one of us. I frequently go to Mexico on girls trips and I have never seen such foolishness at any other resort. The entertainment team is there for this exact purpose (as I mentioned, there was absolutely nothing inappropriate going on), and to make them avoid certain guests without any clear reason is just stupid. These guys made our nights so much more fun until they couldn't talk to us anymore. This was probably the biggest dissapointment during our stay, mostly because we felt bad for getting these boys in trouble with their boss, who obviously doesn't know much about running an entertainment team at a resort, given the rest of their entertainment program.
- The nightly shows were boring and not well attended at all. I do recommend the Rock Night (the late show on the Riviera side) and the White Party (a dance party at the salt water pool). Be sure to bring something white to wear and prepare to dance a lot. This was by far the best night during our 7 day stay. I wish they did these dance parties at the beach more than just once a week.
- The disco was usually pretty empty. Dancing there starts after all the shows are over and the entertainment team is gone (they have to leave the resort by midnight or so). I don't know why they wouldn't have the entertainment staff stay later and attract people to the disco for more dancing. This is what I've seen happen at other resorts.
- We never went to any of the pools during the day as we prefer the beach, so cannot comment on the quality of activities during the day.

Service:
- Inconsistent is the best way to describe it. Tip, no tip - doesn't seem to make a difference.
- Daily room cleaning was good (we left daily tip for the maid consistently).
- On our last night we got a note in the door saying the bell boy will come by between 11 AM and 12 PM the next day to get our luggage for check-out. I saw bell boys come in and out taking other people's luggage but no one came to our room. When i tried to ask one of them, he said he couldn't take our bags - he was there to pick up someone else's. I called the bell boy service twice but still no one showed up until it was already 12 PM and we got fed up of waiting in the room and decided to take our luggage ourselves. The worst part is that they told us to stay in the room waiting for them, so on our last day instead of enjoying the final hours at the beach, we were stuck in the room all ready to go for an hour and still ended up taking our own luggage to the lobby.
- Free internet in the lobbies was nice to have but service was slow and kicked you out at times (I guess when the lobby is crowded and more people are getting online, the bandwidth can only take so much load).
- We didn't use the spa but got massages at the beach. We all had 80-min deep tissue massages and all were happy with them.
- We also enjoyed parasailing but that was not something provided by the resort but some independent company (they had a small booth set up on the beach right outside the border of the resort territory on the Kantenah side.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank AlinaSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Manager at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2013

Dear AlinaSF,

First and foremost, thank you for your comments about your holidays in our resort and in particular about our staff and service. About the issues that you said in your trip report, I would like to mention that it is important for us as a hotel to know how and where we fall short and what we need to do to better meet our guests’ expectations.

We are working every day in order to improve our services and we really appreciate all comments that help us to know how to be a better hotel.

Thanks again and please, feel free to contact us for your next visit, so we can do our best to take care about your reservation and I’m sure you will appreciate the improvements in our service.

Best regards,

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Reviewed March 3, 2013

We stayed here for a 2 week vacation over Christmas and New Year's. At first I thought we made a mistake booking in this huge resort, but soon found our bearings and were able to get around very easily. It was quite interesting as an eco resort...a lot of wildlife running around that made it unique.
Our room was pretty basic and in retrospect I wish I upgraded to a suite. Our friends had a suite and it was quite a bit roomier. As well, we ended up getting a smoking room but had already settled in when we realized it was a smoking room. We asked to change our room but had quite a time convincing the staff we needed nonsmoking. The front desk was a little difficult about it but i persisted and eventually our request was granted, but it was so close to our checking out date that we didn't move. I would be more vigilant about nonsmoking room next time.
The food was good in both the Kantenah and Colonial buffets. We ate at both for breakfasts and dinners. We also ate at every a la carte....some good some average....basically it was the different atmosphere and experience...changing it up from the buffets that we enjoyed.

We spent most our time on the beach. It was about 1 km walk and very enjoyable. We found a great spot on the far end of the resort next to the beach bar, protected from the wind by a hedge...it was lovely. We only spent a couple days at the pool, but it was so busy you had to put towels on your loungers early in the morning.

We enjoyed the lobby chairs and sofas in the evenings as we played cards and visited in the lobby each evening. The stage entertainment was pretty basic with the dancing and lip-synching of cover songs.

The location is good for touring off the resort. We did Mayan jungle tours that included ziplining and rappelling and swimming in cenotes. We had a great tour of Coba and climbed the pyramid. We had visited Tulum on an earlier trip. We spent the day at Xel-Ha and did the activities there. I think it is more for kids about 6-12...great food and margs were included.

We walked around a lot to enjoy the different resorts and their different attractions. There is a lot of neat stuff to see right in the different resorts. We loved the little train that went between the resorts. We quickly caught on to the layout of the place.
Overall, we enjoyed the experience at the Grand Palladium.

Room Tip: Choose a higher room for a view and be sure to check you don't get booked into a smoking room..a...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank elbel58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Manager at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2013

Dear elbel58,

Thanks a lot for your good comments about your last holidays with us, we are glad to comprehend that you spent a nice time in family at our resort.

Concerning the type of rooms, please send us directly your requests for your next visit and, even if it is subject to availability, be sure that we will do our best to arrange them.

We hope that you will give us the opportunity to welcome you back to the resort and make your stay nothing but a delightful experience

Kind regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2013

This is a late review but I thought it would add some perspective to my other reviews. My wife, 2 sons (aged 6 and 2) and my in laws travelled here in January 2008.

Grounds- The grounds were nice and the resort is absoultely massive. This has pros and cons as there is something to do for everyone here but it is a long hike to get anywhere. We enjoyed the salt water pool and used that for snorkelling as many small fish can get in to it. We stayed mainly by the large pool at Kantenah although did try all of the family friendly ones at one point or another. My boys liked the covered walkways and the on site crocodiles. We played tennis a few times and the courts were nice as well. My boys liked the trains that took you to different areas of the resort.

Rooms- Our room was fine and had all the basic amenities we could need but was nothing special overall. We were in buliding 21 on the ground floor so no view but we were centrally located to the pool and pretty close to the beach. A bit of a hike to the restaurants.

Staff- The staff were fine and courteous for the most part but because of the size we didn't really get to know any of them or them us so it felt that the personal service was somewhat lacking.

Pools/Beach- The pools were large and clean with small kids pools next to them which was ideal for our 2 year old who was learning to swim. The beach was large and you could walk a long way which we like to do.

Restaurants/Bars- The restaurants were all nice and the food was fine although the only real stand out for me was the Japanese restaurant. The buffet was good at breakfast but again it is a large resort so it could get very busy. The drinks were good, we didn't really go much to the bars. We did go a few times to the Sports Bar as NFL playoffs were on and it was fun and had pool tables but was freezing!

Shows- We went to a few shows but aren't really in to the shows at resorts much. Would rather meet some new friends and have a drink or explore the resort. From what we saw they were fine.

All in all we had a good time at this resort and there were aspects we really enjoyed. We wouldn't go back though as we have found other resorts in the Mayan that we much prefer fro the same money. If you like really large resorts you may really like this place.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank TE3636
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Manager at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded March 2, 2013

Dear TE3636,

We would like to thank you for your nice comments and for taking the time to explain your experience in our resort, even if it was long time away. It is very important for us the feedback from our visitors and we really take it into consideration.

Thank you again and please, don't hesitate to contact with us if you decide to come back or for any further comment.

Best regards,

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Reviewed February 26, 2013

I would like to think we are "All Inclusive" veterans. We have been going to AI resorts for close to 13 years so I think we've seen the good and the bad from both the Dominican Republic and Mexico. Some people that read the reviews only want a quick overview, so my first paragraph will be a quick cliff notes version of our review and I will then provide details if you wish to read further.

We traveled with two couples, all in our 40's - like to have a good time, but are not obnoxious and don’t party like college kids. We stayed Feb 17-24.

Overview - If you book the Colonial, get ready to get moved to the Kantenah side as that's what we heard from most of the other visitors and what happened to us. I don't actually think it was that big of a deal as the rooms are newer and the walk to the beach, pool, restaurants and lobby was only about 3-5 minutes (closer to the beach) - no big deal and about the same if you are at the Colonial side. Resort was very well maintained and clean, beach further to the left on the Kantenah side was better (less rocky), but less busy. No rocks at all the further you go left and there is a smaller beach bar on that side too. Buffets were fine, we went to the Japanese, Chinese and Steakhouse. Japanese was our favorite. Service was very good for the most part, but you do encouter some nicer service people than others. Shows were pretty good and started later on the Riviera side. I would highly recommend this resort for the price we paid. Ok, now for the details:

Rooms - we stayed in Bldg 51 (closer to the beach). We liked it as we spend more time at the beach/pool and liked the ability to walk back to our room throughout the day. Since we were repeat guests (previously stayed at the Palladium in Punta Cana, DR), they upgraded us to a junior suite. Be sure to email the resort a week ahead of time and request where you would like to stay and let them know you are repeat guests if you stayed at other Palladium properties. The junior suites had an extra couch area that we liked to have a pre-dinner drink with the rest of our party. Stocked frig with soda and beer that are refilled once a day (usually early). If you sleep late, I would ask for a room on the second or third floor as the staff are up and moving around early (8ish) and can be noisy. A lot of other reviewers complained about the pillows. They weren't that bad. Some 4-5 star hotels I've stayed in have nicer pillows, but they are not terrible and I don't think anything to worry about. If you want better pillows, you will need to pay - $3 I think.

Beach/Pool - this is where we were a little worried as we LOVE the beaches in the Dominican Republic and have stayed at other resorts in Mexico and were disappointed with the beaches. Don't worry - the beaches here are great and just as good as the DR. A few less palm trees and few more rocks right as you get in the water, but go further left and no rocks. Good waves for playing/swimming in – unlike other resorts further north (closer to Cancun) where there are a lot less waves. No beach service which we liked in the DR, but only a small 30 second wait at the beach bar and you will have a cocktail. Unlike other reviewers, I thought the beach bartenders were very nice considering how busy they are. A dollar tip here or there goes a long way and they do remember. I NEVER waited for a drink. The water in the pool is cold and the pool bar has little/no sun after 3:30-4pm. This is an issue as we usually finish our day at the pool bar and some days it was just too cold. Ok, now for my biggest complaint of the entire resort. The water in the pool near the pool bar is too DEEP. I'm 5'6" and the water was over my head unless I stood closer than a few feet from the pool bar. This is an issue if it is crowded. The bartenders are less friendly at the pool bar, but they probably get tired of all the people that are getting crazy and drink too much all day so not that big of a deal. But they didn't get that many tips and I saved the money for the people that gave me better service. Unless you are going snorkeling off site, I would not lug around the snorkeling equipment. You can see lots of fish just standing in the ocean and a lot less work than snorkeling. They do have a section roped off for snorkeling on the left side of the beach, but my husband said it was very rocky and not much coral or fish. They have snorkeling equipment you can rent for free on the beach if you want.

Restaurants – buffet was totally fine and better quality food than in the Dominican. We usually had some sort of digestive problem in the DR, but no problems here at all. The breakfast was repetitive, but I think the best buffet of the day. The lunch buffet by the main pool was good and close if you didn’t want to walk all the way back to the lobby. We usually grabbed a quick bite at the beach bar. Burgers, hot dogs, fries, chicken nuggets were available on the small buffet, but you could order chicken wings, larger quesidillas from the wait staff – just a little longer wait (10 min), but very tasty. Dinner buffets were fine, and al la cartes were fine too. Beeper system worked well as wait was usually an hour or less – just time enough to get a drink and soak up the atmosphere of being on vacation. We booked the Beach BBQ, but it looked kind of disorganized so we skipped and went to buffet as it was Mexican night. Better choice in my opinion as the wind was strong on the beach. We ate at the Japanese, Chinese and Steakhouse. Steakhouse was just ok (but I’m kinda picky about beef). Japanese and Chinese both had “sushi” which was very good and I could have just eaten that and skipped the rest of the meal. I liked that their portions were not overwhelming.

Nightlife - Kantenah side - pretty much shuts down early. Colonial lobby bar pretty happening place after the show and decent bands at night. The shows are better production quality than in the Dominican and the band playing popular music is a nice touch if you want to stay out a little later. Unless you are in your twenties, I wouldn’t bother with the disco. The Colonial lobby bar stays open until 1am. Hemmingway’s is nice if you want better quality drinks, but in my opinion, very boring.

Animal life (raccoons, kooties and iguanas) around the resort has been discussed in a lot of the other reviews. They are all over and a pretty cool.

Entertainment Staff – I would say this is so-so. Resorts in the DR had better “animation teams” and more activities on the beach. If you are at the pool bar, there is landscaping that blocks the ability to see what activity/contest is going on. It could be that we just timed it wrong when we came up from the beach to the pool and they had more going on than we were aware of. The entertainment staff was more involved before the shows and usually had a cute contest before the show each night. We used to be participants in these shows, but as we get older, so does our interest in being on stage in a contest.

Also as others have said, this resort is huge. The biggest we’ve ever been too and we like large resorts for the variety. In my opinion, this is a plus if you like a variety of food and atmosphere. If you like smaller boutique type resorts, this is not for you. If you have trouble walking or getting around, the trams/trains are nice, but I still think there is a lot of walking so something to think about. We went to the White Sands/Riveria side near the end of the week and wish we would have spent more time over there – next year.

In my opinion, the coolest part of this resort is the salt water pool and pool area. If you are staying on the Kantaneh side, it’s about a 15 minute walk to the complete opposite side of the resort – near White Sands/Riveria rooms. If you decide to walk over there, take the beach, not the pathways or it will take much longer. It’s pretty quiet, they have daybeds and nice loungers and some light music playing through speakers in the late afternoon. There is also a bar over there. The best thing about this is the view and waves. Largest waves and (in my opinion) best view of the ocean. Great place to sit with a book, cocktail and just relax.

I didn’t make it to the spa (again, next year), but heard others rave about it and heard nothing negative.

I was debating putting this in the review, but if being totally honest and helping out fellow Trip Advisor readers, I think I should mention it. My Ipod was stolen from our room on the 3rd night at the resort. We were listening to it prior to going out to dinner and forgot to put it in the safe (our fault). I didn’t report it as we are usually diligent about putting stuff in the safe, but we just forgot. So, please be sure to lock of valuables. I was disappointed, but am not going to let it reflect that badly on the resort as there is a reason there is a safe provided in the room.

Finally (and I bet you are really tired of reading this review), I love-loved this resort. The only reason it did not get 5 stars is because of the pool depth, pool temperature and the lack of sun in the afternoon. Other than those two minor things, we really liked everything. We are very easy going travelers and remember – you are on vacation, don’t take things too seriously. This is a clean, well maintained resort that tries very hard to please all their guests (and there are a lot!). Comparing it to resorts in the Dominican Republic, I would say I liked everything the same or better at this resort.

Feel free to email me questions that I have not covered. We soley base our decision on where to stay on Trip Advisor reviews so I take my reviews and comments seriously. I’m happy to help as much as I can.

Room Tip: Building 51 is close to beach, but ask for a room on the side where the ice machine is or it's a...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
19  Thank CaesarKelley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ColonialKantenah, Manager at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Dear CaesarKelley,

I would like to thank you for your goods comments about your last stay in our resort, and I really appreciate that you had the time to share your opinion as this is the best way we have to improve our offer and make this place a little bit better each day.

Kind regards,

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 Kantenah 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 Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#5 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#6 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#6 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#8 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range: $229 - $582 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 422
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Grand Palladium Kantenah 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 Kantenah are invited to use the facilities provided by the adjoining Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Colonial 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:
Kantenah Palladium Grand
Grand Palladium Kantenah Hotel
Palladium Mexico
Palladium Grand Resort
Hotel Grand Palladium Kantenah
Palladium Kantenah
Grand Maya Palladium Riviera
Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort Spa
g Palladium Kantenah
Grand Palladium Mayan

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