This was our 3rd visit to the Grand Palladium Complex (2009, 2011 and 2013). Stayed at the Colonial the first two times, White Sands this time around. Both were great! Can't remember the weather the 1st two times but had 14 days of sun with only a few minutes of rain in two weeks! Mid to high 20s celcius every day.
The hotel was always nice and clean, rooms, lobbies, walkways, common areas included. Sheets and towels of good quality.
The staff everywhere was friendly and helpful including Check in, reservations, restaurants, and shops. Everyone smiled and greeted us when we were walking.
We went to several of the nightly shows. There are 2 per night, one at 9pm and one at 10:30pm. What a treat! The dancers are really quite good and the choreographies vary from night to night! They lipsync the songs and dance at the same time. Their costumes are very well done too. There is a rock night that features a live band at 10:30pm. The dancers dance during the music show.
They also have a list of several activities that guests can participate in. Makeup and hair classes, Spanish lessons, sports classes etc. If you want to keep busy there is no shortage of activities to participate in.
You want to relax? The spa is available for everyone to use and is included in your stay. Only massages and similar services are extra. Hot tubs, polar baths, steam baths, saunas, etc. are available until 8pm every night. They were renovating part of the spa but at least one of each type of service was available all the same and even though they were renovating and we saw people there working, there was no noise to disturb you during your relaxation time. My husband had a Zentropia massage there which he enjoyed tremendously! 120 minutes and several techniques later he came out and said his whole body felt lighter!
I found that the food in the buffets was very good, a nice variety was always available. The table wine was okay too, we never ordered from the wine list, which has an added cost. The waiters and waitresses were all very friendly and quick to offer water, coffee and drinks. They picked up dirty dishes quickly as well.
They don't have a reservation system for the à la carte restaurants but it was never a problem though since we usually like to eat early. Those who eat later may arrive at a restaurant to find that there is a wait time. For the few times that we ate later, the wait times were not all that long and they give you a pager so that you can go and have a drink if you like. Better than the wait at popular restaurants here where I am!
The à la carte restaurants were all good to very good as well. I've read a comment or two about the "bland" food at the Mexican restaurant. Yes, the food is mild but there are plenty of sauces and salsas available to spice it up. I love hot and spicy, trust me, the habanero salsa did the trick!
The only negative comment I can make is that the Brazilian restaurant serves the sides (rice and vegetables) way too early, they are cold by the time the meats start to arrive.
Our favorite was Portofino. We went there 3 times and the food was very good and consistent each time. We were were lucky enough to have Hector as our waiter. He was attentive, very polite and professional. We specifically asked to be put at his table the other 2 times and he seemed very pleased. Some will say that it is because we left a tip.... My response? He didn't know that we would the first time we were there and we received excellent service all the same.
There were some guests that I appreciated a little less though. The beach is a common area, shared by all. People left cups, glasses, cigarette butts and other junk on the beach even though there are plenty of garbage cans and recycling bins around. Yes, the staff picks up when they see these items but on windy days plastic cups, straws and packaging can find its way into the ocean and turtles and other wildlife mistake these items for jellyfish and ingest them. Since they can't be digested, they can cause serious harm, even death, to the wonderful wildlife there. If you are planning a trip, please be considerate of staff, other guests and the wildlife. Put your garbage where it belongs please.
I've been a certified diver for many years now so I cannot say that the diving here is better than anywhere else but it is good all the same. The visibility was good and the dives well organized. They cancelled 3 days of diving when I was there because of strong winds so if you get a package, make sure that you don't leave your dives until the end of your vacation. They will make arrangements if you miss dives because of cancellations but I did not ask what they were.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that several of the people at the dive center recognized me even though it had been 2 years since my last visit. Fercho, who is in charge of the dive center, organized my package for me. Giovanni, the guy at the equipment booth, organized the gear that I needed. I did 10 dives so I had several different divemasters, Rodolpho (Rudy), Oliver and Mayra. Captain Sanchez and a helper got me to the dive sites and helped me with my equipment getting out of the water (knee problems). There were several others there who helped make my dive experiences there memorable, unfortunately I remember the dives but not their names. . :-( I hope that they will all be there when I return, which I definitely will, because I am looking forward to seeing them all again. Say Hi to them for me when you go!
THANKS PEOPLE OF PALLADIUM ! You are all winners in my book!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Palladium White Sand 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 White Sand are invited to use the facilities provided by the adjoining Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, and the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa (excluding the Royal Suite facilities). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium White Sand Hotel Akumal
- Grand Palladium White Sand Resort And Spa
- Palladium White Sands
- Grand Palladium White Sands Resort
- Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico