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“Grand Palladium White Sands Resort & Spa” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa

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Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Ranked #8 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Grand Palladium White Sands Resort & Spa”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2010

Just returned from the Mayan Riviera and a 14 day family vacation at the Grand Palladium White Sands Resort & Spa. People were kind enough to respond to my questions and enquiries in the forums as we searched for a great place to stay for a family vacation. This reviewed is based on 6 adults (me, wife and three adult kids (21,20 &17). This is an honest review based on my own experience and hopefully I can pass on some insight into what you could expect from your stay at the Grand Palladium White Sands (GPWS) Resort in the Mayan Riviera.

Transportation/Arrival: I must say that this was probably the first vacation where the entire transportation from flight to resort went almost flawless. Flew down on Air Transat into Cancun and was met immediately at the airport by AT people who wisked us immediately onto a very nice luxury bus that had air conditioning. After about an hour and a half (included stops at the Barcelo Resort and Grand Bahia Principe to drop people off) we arrived at the GPWS lobby and were met by a wonderful women who introduced us to the resort and had us checked into our rooms within 30 minutes. All-in-all, I was somewhat surprised at how well eveything had gone so far.

Rooms: After discussing the GPWS in the Trip Advisor forums and the great feedback from other visitors to the resort, we had made a request to be in building 57 and on the second floor. Surprise, surprise, we got exactly what we wanted and were placed in rooms 5715 and 5717 (three people in each room) on the second floor. The rooms were well air-conditioned and were everything we had expected. We weren't expecting to spend a lot of time in the room but when we were in them, they were on a level with any other hotel I had ever stayed at. Mini-fridge was restocked every day with beer and pop as well as bottled water. We did have to keep on the staff to ensure we got our water as it becomes a necessity to your health down there. Tip: Stayed hydrated at all times or it will wear you down!! Tempatures for the two weeks ranged from high 80's to low/mid 90's and was hot as early as 9am when we headed to the buffet for breakfast. Each room had two twin beds with a couch that pulls out to a bed. You will need to upgrade if you are expecting to have a private bedroom. We had looked at upgrading and were told it would be US$69/night. We opted to sending our youngest camping in the other room a couple of nights if you catch my drift ;)

Resort: As everyone will tell you and as you probably already know, this is a very, very big resort with four (4) different complexes. There is the Kantenah, Colonial, White Sands and Riviera sections with each having its own lobby for check-in. Not to worry though as there is a train that comes by each lobby every 10 minutes or so. The staff were very helpful and would offer to give us a lift on the GP golfcarts when ever they passed us.

I did hear some people complaining about having to walk so far and for the most part it looked to be people who probably have never spent a day in their life excercising. We went for walks every night and quickly got a lay of the land within a day or so. It may seem overwhelming at first but take a deep breath, seek out a drink, relax and then explore. Tip: Upon arrival and after settling into your room, take a long walk around, study the trail maps and find everything you can as soon as possible. This may not be the resort for you if you have small children as there are fairly high bridges that you have to navigate to the pool areas and well as boardwalks that link the four sections.

Food: I can't say enough about the food at GP and the all-inclusive. We first started having breakfast and lunch at the buffet at GP Riviera but soon found ourselves wandering the extra distance to the Colonial buffet as it seemed to have a better selection, better service and the food seemed to be a little fresher. The first week was great as there wasn't a lot of people at the White Sands and there was lots of room at the pool to get a lounge chair and we never encountered a line-up at any of the restaurants/buffets. However, that changed after about day 9 when it became somewhat crowded everywhere and especially with young teenagers (girls). Line-ups at the restaurants and the pool lounge chairs were filled early and quickly. In saying that, we still managed to enjoy our last few days and put up with the slower response time in our endevours throughout the GP facilities.

We did manage to go out to the al la cartes on four different evenings (ribs & more, portifino, eldorado and the japanese place). Food was great but I just couldn't justify going every single night for a big meal even though we could make up to 5 reservations a week as part of our package through Air Transat.

Pool/Beaches: The pools are very nice at GP and if you are so inclined you can seek out the salt water pool down by the ocean. There you'll find better lounge chairs (although not as many) as well as some lounging beds with shade covers. We spent a fair amount of time at the swim up bar at the GPWS and met lots of people from around the world and for the better part most were a pleasure to chat with. The only complaint I had was that for some time there was only one bartender to service the never-ending thirst of resort guests seeking to maximize their all-inclusive value through free drinks. At times it was very frustrating trying to get a drink and I was left with no other choice but to go bake on a lounge chair for a little longer. We learned quickly to upgrade our drink cup from the standard 6oz plastic beverage container to a mega 24oz big gulp container we found in Playa Del Carmen. The beaches are spectacular and make long walks with your loved one seem just a little more romantic. It is here that you'll find more lounge chairs as well as some good snack bars. Be sure to bring a camera during the evenings and get a shot of the racoons begging for handouts. You can also get lots of shots of the many, many iguanas that seem to be everywhere throughout the resort.

Excursions: With four adult kids, it was a task trying to decide where we wanted to go and what we wanted to do. We booked all our off-sight trips through Air Transat as they seemed to be somewhat cheaper than most if not all other options. Our first trip was to Tulum to see the Mayan ruins. I guess for me is that when you see two or three Mayan ruins throughout Mexico that they seem to look the same. It was hot and muggy and all I wanted to do was get back on the air-conditioned bus. Our second trip was to "Xel-Ha" (pronounced "Shell-Ha") which I would recommend to any family. Upon arrival we immediately booked the underwater walk with the diving helmuts to what we thought would be a zoo of undersea wilderness. Unfortunately it was a walk into a milky mix of freshwater and saltwater blur with a few fish and one ray that looked well past its prime. However, in saying that it got better. We next grabbed some snorkeling gear and immediately jumped into the bay whereby we were met by lots of marine life including a friendly barracuda (if there is such a thing) who seemed content just to float around with all the snorkelers. Spent about two hours in the bay and then happily took on the buffet (all-inclusive with ticket). Our third trip was to the "Xplor" adventure park. This is a must for anyone and is a complete day of fun and adventure on the ziplines and the underground caves where you can swim through freshwater caverns. I can honestly say that after I finished completing the 14 zipline towers (7 on each side) I was ready for a nap or a stiff drink or maybe both. I give Xplor a 5 star rating and is well worth the $85 price tag even if it is just for the experience of hanging out on the ziplines (very cool).

Finally, it was off to Puerto Adverturas where we went deep sea fishing for four hours and managed to snag two nice sized sailfish. If you're into fishing, you'll enjoy dropping a line for some big game fishing that is catch and release.

Pros:After returning home on May 17th, the concensus with everyone was that it was probably the best trip we had ever been on as well as the best resort. Yes, GP may have the odd hiccup, but when you think about the amount of people making demands on the resort for food, beverages, entertainment, assistance, medical help and everything else, they get a five star rating from me. The food/accomodations were first class, we were treated very well and most importantly, we had fun!

Cons: If there was one major complaint it would be with the smokers. Being a family that are non-smokers, we couldn't enjoy sitting in the lobbies because all the smokers hang out there including the cigar puffers. Unfortunately, that is the only place you can hook into the wi-fi for internet access on your notebook. The smokers also hang out at the swim up bar which made for some discomfort and having to move to the very end of the bar or move further into the pool. This may be the only reason that we wouldn't return and might seek out another resort that is non-smoking or has a designated smoking area. (please take notice GP).

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank sharkhunter2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DtorAdjunto, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2017
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your friendly review. We are very pleased to have made your stay a special and memorable one!
It makes us happy to know that you had a wonderful vacation and we were able to live up your expectations! Thank you for sharing.
Your home away from home awaits you next time you are in Mexico, and show all the newest renovation and progress

Best regards,
Grand Palladium Team
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Evans, Georgia
Level Contributor
151 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2010

I will break this review into sections so you can skip what you aren't interested in. I will also try to keep it brief but be thorough. We were there May 6-13.

The flights: This trip was our first time taking the kids (4 years and 13 years) out of the US and our first time taking a connecting flight. We flew American from O'Hare to Dallas/Ft Worth. That flight was fine. However, after rushing the kids through the terminal, sucking down some lunch and check the board we found the plane was delayed. Big shock. We shrugged it off and said if something is going to go wrong on vacation, it is always the flights! Finally after a 1 hour delay, we board and the rest of the flight is fine.
The return flight was not. We left CUN 1/2 hour late due to a bad thunderstorm in Chicago, not a big deal and the flight was fine until the decent over O'Hare. I don't know what happened, but it was awful! The plane fell hard enough 3 times to lift you out of your seat. People will complaining and grabbing their seats. It was not turbulence. Not sure what it was, but it was terrible. Then bouncing and shaking like mad. Finally hit the ground and the lady behind us said she has never had such a horrible experience and she flies 1-2 times a month for business. Our little guy (4 years) threw up as we were taxing in from motion sickness. It was really bad.

Transfers: Great! Walked out and Lomas had a sign with our name, hoped in our van and off we went. Took just about 1 hour.

Beach: Huge, deep, gorgeous! Rocky areas for snorkelers, sandy areas for swimmers. Something for everyone. Plenty of beach chairs and shade from palm trees and palapas. While we were there, they were building more palapas. Water was calm, except the last 2 days. Clear, warm water. Loved it.

Pool: We only went in the White Sands pool. It was very large, water was warm. If a few missing tiles, moldy grout areas, or broken tiles bother you, you will not be happy. Our kids loved it. The water was very clear, no murkiness like some pools at other places. We swam in it every day and really enjoyed it.

Service: Overall, pretty good. The lady that welcomes you to the resort was horrible. She insulted us and gave us some wrong info about the resort ---I knew it was wrong from this site and another I am a member of. Not a good way to start the trip. Buffet service was anywhere from horrible to pretty good. Only ate in 2 sit down restaraunts and one had great service other was pretty good. It's a family resort, we didn't expect much.
Took 2 phone calls and 1 hour before someone came and fixed our A/C in the living room section of the suite and our fridge. Also not a good way to start a vacation when you are tired and it is late.

Food: Overall, pretty good. Only at 1 meal at the Colonial buffet was pretty awful, the buffets at White Sand were overall pretty good. They are buffets, not gourmet dining. The 2 sit downs had very good food. Again, it's not gourmet, but very good. We wished they didn't use so much salt on the food, but overall it was pretty good.

Rooms: We had a 1 bedroom suite. It was a very nice size and worked great for our family of 4. The kids (4 and 13 years) shared the pull out sofa and hubby and I had a king size bed in our bedroom. Both rooms had a seperate balcony which was very nice. Our room was cleaned every day and even had a towel animal 5 of the days we were there.

Entertainment: Did not see any shows. They were too late for us since we are early morning people. Disappointed that the kids show didn't start til 9 PM. Wish it was at 8 PM as our little guy really wanted to see it, but he is an early to bed, early to rise kid and that is just too late for the little ones.

Kids and Teen clubs: We did not use either.

Would we return: We would consider returning for a family vacation, but not if it was just the 2 of us. Too many kids if we were having an adult vacation. But it is a family resort.

Would we recommend this resort? Absolutely to families and to couples that understand there will be kids around unless the stay soley in the adult only areas of the resort.

Helpful hints....if you are going to this resort as a couple and you sit down next to beach chairs with sandtoys there are probably kids they belong too. Don't get all crabby and make a big scene about leaving when the family returns from the water and the kids are playing with their toys. This IS a family resort! Also, when a 4 year old says "Hola" and smiles, would it really kill you to smile and say "Hola" back??

And smokers.......the beach is NOT your ashtray. The potted plants in the lobby are also NOT your ashtray! Show some respect if not for the environment at least for other guests.

And please people, there are plenty of garbage cans around the beach, pool area and resort, use them.

Sorry, just had to get that off my chest.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank beachlivin2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DtorAdjunto, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2017
Dear Guest,

First of all, we want to thank you for choosing us as you holiday provider. Thank you also for sharing your excellent experience at the Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa.

We are delighted to know that we were able to exceed your expectations. We are beyond thrilled when our guests have a fantastic experience with us.
Thank you again. We are so looking forward to welcoming you back again in the future to show you all the improvements and renovations in the last years

Best regards,
Grand Palladium Team
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Vancouver
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 16, 2010

This is my first time to Palladium and I probably would not go back. The resort was just average with tons of walking.

Pros:

-Beautiful beaches, grounds and awesome pool
-Workers except for some in reception/information are very nice and helpful
-Food was average (Brazilian, Mexican and Japanese were great!).
-Very clean and well kept place!
-Salt water pool…it is phenomenal and private
-The beach was literally 20 seconds away from our suite.

Cons:

-Be prepared to fill out a ridiculous registration form (name, address, email etc) upon arrival. After 10 hours on a plane and bus, we just wanted to get to our rooms and shower but the resort staff will not give you your card keys until something is filled out

-We were told that we can only get 3 a la carte meals a day but it was conveniently open only from 5:30pm-10:30pm. (We love to eat) Definitely make reservations for dinner in the morning/early afternoon (White Sands Lobby) or expect to wait up to an hour and half. Certain restaurants are only open on select nights as well.

-Bring a laptop!! There’s free wireless internet in each lobby there but no actual computer stations except in the sportsbar (which costs $8US for half hour).

-Dress code in effect therefore men must wear pants/jeans to a la carte dinner! It can be frustrating for those who sweat profusely but need to rock the necessary bottoms. BF ended up carrying jeans in a backpack and changing before dinner in the lobby

-Beaches near White Sand are a bit rocky but move down towards the colonial/katenah side and its nice soft white beaches

-The imperial junior suite looked like an old room with an ancient Zenith tele. Sadly, some hostels in Asia were better and cheaper as well.

-Bring that mosquito repellent or else they will eat you alive

-Beware of the pool!! I’m not sure if it’s the chlorine they use but white swimming trunks/bathing suits will turn yellow. And yes, it has been experimented.

-I would not recommend the snorkelling trip through the hotel (you can book this on the beach) where all the paddle boats etc are located. The reefs are not impressive.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank krossingboundaries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
nova scotia
Level Contributor
86 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2010

Travelled here with husband and 2 couples, one with their adult daughter... 25April-2May2010.

Weather the entire time was fabulous - just the odd shower, nothing to spoil anything; humidity was starting to climb toward the end of our vacation..

We all reserved White Sand Section, Imperial Club Suite, offered by Transat Holidays. We chose the suite as it guaranteed King bed and had 2 balconies, one off the living area and one off the bedroom. Bathroom had spacious shower with separate whirtpool bath.

The other benefit of the Imperial Club inclusions is having a bathrobe and slippers in room; bottle of tequila and fruit basked in room upon arrival, stocked mini fridge (loved the large bottles of water - bottled on site at Palladium's own plant!) and best of all 5 guaranteed a la carte reservations made through a dedicated Concierge. Having 5 reservations makes all the difference when it is busy ... no line ups, just right to your restaurant and seated at your reservatoin time!

At check in, we were bumped to Riviera section, but wore the Imperial Club bracelet for our perks. It worked out well as we were assigned Villa 60, the first in the line at Riviera; actually closer to the main pool area than we would have been had we gotten our request in Villa 57, 58 or 59! We had a second floor room with little view from the mangrove, but it did not bother us really. We basically used the balconies for watching the sunrise and drying our wet bathing suits! We liked relaxing in the whirlpool or the air conditioning of the room versus the balconies.

We ate breakfast every morning at the Riviera/White Sand Buffet La Laguna. Plenty of variety, something for every taste... serioulsy, absolutely no complaints. Had lunch one day after our morning sejour to Playa del Carmen at the Colonial Section Buffet. Great choices again, but not set up as well as the R/WS one.

We took advantage of our a la carte reservations:

Sumptuori located at the Colonial/Kantenah section - we reserved the Japanese Teppanyaki show table. Cook was definitely adept at his craft, flicking knifes/forks, spatulas, etc. Good thing he was entertaining! I enjoyed the appetizer sushi and thank goodness I filled up on it as the main courses of Chicken, Beef, Fish and rice were so salty they were inedible. We all commented on this. Not even the putrid wine could compensate for this disaster.

Portofino Italian - located in the Riviera/White Sand Sectoin.... most of us had the King Prawns which were delish... the Mushroom side dish served was very smokey flavored. The one chicken dish which was ordered had to be sent back as the chicken was not cooked. I had a Kir Royale which helped the evening. Note: You can get top shelf brands at the bars servicing the a la carte restaurants. The Lobby bars do not serve Champagne nor Grand Marnier or Sambuca.

Rodizio Brazilian restaurante - located in the Riviera/White Sand section - this had to be the most interesting meal we enjoyed! Servers kept coming around with huge skewers of grilled meats and you kept eating until you thought you were going to blow up! All the beef, chicken, pork, rabbit et all were done to perfection! We really liked this experience and it seemed to be very popular every night with line ups waiting for the next available table... thank goodness we were able to make reservations! Gave up on the wine!

Bamboo Asian restaurant - Located in the Riviera/White Sand sectoin... we sat at the floor level tables which made for an interesting feat when we got up to get our appetizer/salads and when we were leaving. I again enjoyed the Sushi. The Sweet N Sour Pork I ordered for my main dish was very good and the portion was very large, I could not finish it. It took a long time for this meal to end though. Again the wine was not good.

Ribs N More - located in Riviera/White Sand Section - hubby and I had a dinner to ourselves this night. When we arrived our table was not quite ready so we ordered a Grand Marnier and Kir Royale as aperitifs and no sooner were they served and we got seated! I gotta say it was probably our best evening meal while we were at the Grand Palladium. Hubby had the pork back ribs and he really enjoyed them and I much to my surprise, I ordered a Rib Eye Steak. While not very thick in cut, it was juicy and grilled to my perfection! Very nice surprise as MX is not known for its beef!

Grounds are immaculately kept; resort is very spread out between the four sections: Riviera, White Sand, Colonial and Kantenah. The Pontoon Boat ride within Riviera/White Sand sections is a nice added bonus. The lone alligator exists in its large pen - it ate 8 of its mates, so he is alone now. The resort does not want to add any more gators to the area for fear they will suffer the same demise... I say get rid of that gator, baby!

The beach the spans the Colonial/Kantenah and White Sands sections is gorgeous. Fantastic walking beach and some great snorkelling on site as well. You need aqua socks for the White Sand portion by Punta Emilia Beach Bar and Grill because of the remnants of the reef there. While there is no beach fronting the Riviera section, it is home to the beautiful Salt Water Pool. Plenty of lounge chairs and shade everywhere - same as at the pools.

We really did not get to enjoy the evening entertainment while away, but we normally don't ... a late dinner with an after dinner drink and we are done for the day!

Staff was without exception very good and we tipped where appropriate - FOR service, not to get it! I tipped our maid and left a couple of gifts for her and our room was very well tended - no complaints here either.

Mosquitos were starting to get bad toward the end of our stay but I was prepared wtih the Deep Woods Off... sprayed on me and in our room around balcony doors, entryway and windows. Save for a couple, I think we had them beat!

We enjoyed the spa area ... the pool, the hot/cold pools, steam room, etc - make sure you get there... they are all free to use!

We loved the main swim up pool bar at Riviera/White Sand. Service was outstanding even when we got inundated with rude and pushy Cinco de Mayo revellers. Some people just don't wait their turn! Bubba Kegs were a god-send as they serve beverages in those flimsy plastic cups. The bartenders were always glad to give them a rinse and pour new drinks in them for us.

Enjoyed the adult only pool off to the side of the main pool. Wish the bar was swim up there, but Moses was more than happy to wait on you at your chaise!

While there had been some comments earlier in the season about the pool temperatures, they were absolutely perfect when we were there at the end of April.

I could go on and on... overall, we had a great trip. We were disappointed with a couple of the evening meals, but that did not deter from our vacation enjoyment. We definitely would go back, which is a great sign, but we prefer adult only resorts.

I would be pleased to answer any questions you might have.... go and enjoy the Grand Palladium Riviery Maya!

Denise & Stu

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank DeniseAtBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DtorAdjunto, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2017
Dear Guest

Awesome! Sounds like you had a splendid trip here at Grand Palladium Resort & Spa. We have succeeded providing a memorable vacation.
Thank you for your feedback. This information has let us know during the years to know what we are excelling in and what we need to work on and we can proudly show a new development with many renovated facilities and a generally resort upgrade.
We appreciate your kind words on our resort amenities. Our staff is always there to assist and make your experience even greater. It’s our hope to be able to exceed your expectations once more.
We feel honored that you would return and can’t wait to see you on your next vacation!

Best regards,
Grand Palladium Team
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Western NY
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2010

This was our 3rd trip to the area, always on April break. When we first arrived, in an hour thanks to our friends at AGI tours (the best!), we were a bit overwhelmed. It was later than our usual arrival time (just the way the flights worked out) and after our sit down with Nancy to tell us all about the resort, it was 4:30 as we made our way to our room. Shortly we were on our way out to where Nancy told us we could get food at that hour since we had not eaten in quite a long time. She said the beach bar served food 24 hours a day. When we arrived at 4:55, we found they had stopped serving food....WHAT?? This is the only place to GET food I told him, but no; food could not be had. Apparently they take time to switch over to the evening food fare. This did not make us happy, but we waited to eat at the Italian at 5:30 and then I was not happy with the food there. Not a good start to the vacation but I am here to tell you, it got better from there. I don't know if it was partially because of our expectations from previous stays or maybe we were just dead tired from all the travel and getting up at 4:00am, but the next day it was like a completely different resort for us. I tell you all this story because I want you to see that if thing are not going exactly as planned, it pays to give it another look in the morning. I really wanted to leave that first night, but the next day turned it all around.

I took the advise of others and took an early walk (not far at all from us in bldg. 56) to the beach bar for a famous cappuccino and hubs had a double espresso. YUM! We had one every morning thereafter. On our walk down the beach we ran into Fernando from Scuba Caribe. We had booked with them for my hubs and son to do a resort dive in advance and I was concerned because we had but Fernando calmed my worries. He was the best. He took us over to the hut down on the beach, showed us around, told us where he would be to do a practice pool dive over at White Sands pool, and then we were on our way for the rest of our morning walk. And by the way, we saw more iguanas in one morning walk here than we saw the entire trip to either of our other resorts! Saw many wonderful birds and all the other great creatures they have. Hands down the best place we have been for unrestricted wildlife. After the long walk, we found a spot by the White Sands pool and parked it for the day. The entertainment group here is great. The guys at the pool bar were great too. My husband was not a fan at all of the Sol beer offered everywhere in the resort, so the guys in the pool bar would make a special trip to another bar for him for the dark beer he loved if they did not happen to have it tapped that day right there, without even being asked to, btw. They would just tell him "uno momento por favor" and be off to another bar somewhere to get him some. Outstanding service there! The next day we went over to the Colonial pool just for something different and it was indeed different. Lots more people taking part in the fun morning activities and the pool volleyball. More kids around the early teen years too. Just a different feel all the way around but they are both good. Dinner that night was a tasty surprise for us at the Mexican and we ended up eating there again before leaving because we loved it so much. Service in there was the best for us too.

Before I forget to mention this, we stayed in a Suite in the White sands, which I hear is a smaller suite than in the Colonial/Kentanah side. The size was good, bathroom nice, but the pull out bed for my son in the livingroom was like a rock. We did get the staff to bring us a few extra blankets to put down on it so it was a bit softer, but if we go back I will get the regular room with the two queen beds. I'm sure this pull out bed would have been fine for a young child, but my son is 14 and stands 5' 10", so it was a bit uncomfortable for him. They did have flat screen t.v.'s and all kinds of bath ammenities in case you forgot any of your own. They also had 2 or 3 english cartoon channels so the kids will be thrilled. Another really big downside for us; no computer hook-up at all in the room. WiFi would have been great, but we were willing to settle for just a hook-up. I couldn't believe there was no way to use the computer in the room. There was wifi in the lobby but 2 nights we couldn't even stay down there and use it because the bugs and humidity were so bad. And 2 other nights they couldn't get a connection at all because there were too many people already on it.

Lastly, I just want to say what a fantastic experience it was for my husband and son to go on the scuba trip. Scuba Caribe was top notch. We liked them so much that we ended up booking all of us to go on the underwater mayan trip which goes out Mon,/Wed./Fri. only and goes from 9:30 to 3:30ish. You go to Akumal to swim with turtles first. We did this last year but on our own, and I cannot tell you what a different experience it is with a guide. And they take really great care of you. Then onto the cenote called Dos Ojos (2 eyes). This was the best part. The water was crystal clear and the bat cave is really something to see. I highly recommend this trip.

So, to recap:
Didn't like the pull-out bed in front room of suite, the lack of good spots for wifi, no computer hook-up at all in the room, the Sol beer everywhere, the stairs over the lagoon or the hour we spent with Nancy going over everything the resort had to offer. Nothing personal on Nancy and she did a fine job but I just felt she was trying to get us to go to the time-share type meeting more than anything and we were not interested. Didn't get 3rd floor as requested either, but our spot was ok and had a view of the White Sands pool.

LOVED the cappuccinos at the beach bar, the beautiful and long beach, the friendly and accommodating staff, the food which was above average almost everywhere, the area itself was well maintained, the pools were beautiful and the Scuba Caribe shop was fantastic (Thanks Fernando and "Mr. Bobby"!). Salt water pool was beautiful too! And if you also have a teenager who cannot live without contacting his friends back home once in awhile, they have great wifi in the black and white club fand a quiet pool right next to it for the grown-ups.

We are already talking about a trip back next year and bringing our older children and their significant others with us as well. There were things we loved and didn't love about the other two places we stayed at too. Everything is a trade off and this was a really great deal for the price. We will be back. And next time we will know what we need to do to make everything perfect for us. BTW, the reason we didn't go back to the other two places were the first one had been couples only and we were not on that type of vacation this time and the price on the second one had gone sky high. Palladium is definitely the better deal in our minds.

So go here and enjoy!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank travelcrazyinnewyork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DtorAdjunto, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2017
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your nice feedback regarding your stay at the Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa

We are delighted to note that you had a pleasant experience on our lovely resort years ago. It’s always a pleasure when our guests have a wonderful time with us.

We appreciate your kind tone and look very forward to welcoming you back again in the near future to show you the newest development and progress.

Best regards,
Grand Palladium Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Que, Canda
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2010

This was my 2nd visit to a Palladium hotel, definately worth it.
Very big & clean resort, from the bathrooms of the lobbies to the ones on the beach. Lots of walking, but there are the trains every 10 min. that bring you from lobby to lobby and also to your villas.
Clean gym facility & good equipment.
Food was fantastic, from the restaurants (lots of choice) to the buffets.
I do not recommend this resort to singles. Very couple's oriented, and Playa del Carmen is 35 minutes away, but close to Tulum and the ruins.
A bit dissapointed in the room, I had an Imperial Junior Suite, looked more like a regular room to me.
Overall great trip.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AzzurroMontreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DtorAdjunto, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2017
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your friendly review. We are very pleased to have made your stay a special and memorable one!
It makes us happy to know that you had a wonderful vacation and we were able to live up your expectations! Thank you for sharing.
Your home away from home awaits you next time you are in Mexico, and show all the newest renovation and progress

Best regards,
Grand Palladium Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
south wales, ny
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2010

Stayed in a Junior Suite at the White Sands Palladium - one of 5 resorts in the sprawling Palladium complex along a beautiful white sand beach. My wifey wanted to do an all-inclusive where she didn't have to shop and cook - not the usual trip to the cottage which she says is "not a vacation for her". So after reading about a thousand reviews and becoming totally frustrated with trying to decide where to go we went to a travel agent and she sent us here through FunJet tours - thanks Sue.

We drove from Buffalo to Detroit (5 hours) and stayed at Fairfield Inn with Free parking right next door for $110 for the Sun-Sun. We did this to get a non-stop flight as my wife gets nauseous on takeoff and landings. Fairfield was fine. Parking was great. Bordercrossing was unpleasant. As a US citizen, I expect to be treated with respect by US customs - not grilled like a criminal - more on this later.

We flew SPIRIT air - a company I had never of, and will NEVER use again. Be ready to pay for EVERYTHING on Spirit - $25 per bag each way if you check and even water or coffee on the plane with credit card only. NEVER again Spirit!!!

Loomas travel took great care of us at the Cancun airport - be prepared to be swarmed by people trying to sucker you into a timeshare at the airport. We were warned to avoid these people.

1.5 hour busride to White Sands. Checked in and had 3 hours to kill before our room was ready so we changed in the convenient locker rooms off lobby and headed to the pool and Buffet. Be prepared to do a LOT of walking at this place. If you are unfit, elderly or handicapped, you may want to go elsewhere. You can catch a golfcart, train, or boat to move around the White Sands / Riviera complex.

The Good: Food was great at the Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner - we ate most meals here. You can have pre-prepared stuff or have chicken or fish grilled fresh - I ate a lot of fish. Main pool at the White Sands / Riviera was where we spent a lot of time - depth is just right. Can't dive but can move around whole pool and touch the bottom. Pool at Kantaneh/Colonial was too deep to touch for wife and son - a little dangerous for poor swimmers. White sandy Beach is great. Free snorkling, kayaks, sailboats, etc. Loved the spa area - the only place you'll find a heated whirlpool. Archery is fun. Pool area activities are fun. Free alcohol and icecream is great. Sunrises and coffee at the beach bar. Bakini tops are optional - be prepared if you are traveling with children.

The Bad: killed a cockroach in the bathroom - it's the tropics and I don't have a daughter so nobody freaked out. Also had a small lizard in the room - a skink we used to call them in Florida - don't know where he ended up. Room was fine otherwise. Got into some stinging ants somewhere and the mosquito's were brutal at night as there had been a lot of rain before we arrived. Too hot much outdoor exercise - the spa gym is very warm and I sweated like a pig when I got on the treadmill - I'm used to running in Buffalo NY. Large iguanas are everywhere you want to walk - so be prepared if you are afraid of reptiles.

The Ugly - Birds hang out at the lunch buffet outdoor tables. You CANNOT leave your plate unattended for 5 seconds as the birds will attack your table. They should string some fishing line to try to get rid of these birds. Drunk punk welcoming the sunset at beach bar wanted to do a shot with me at 6am - a little early for me as I was having black coffee (cafe' negro). Drunken couple in the water another morning at 6am - girl had to be carried off the beach in a chase lounge chair. Beach bar food not good and area is besieged by birds. Nachos and cheese are good for a snack.

We had a great time overall - felt so mellow it was incredible. Would go back.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank dave14139
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DtorAdjunto, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 24, 2017
Dear Guest,

First of all, we want to thank you for choosing us as you holiday provider. Thank you also for sharing your excellent experience at the Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa.

We are delighted to know that we were able to exceed your expectations. We are beyond thrilled when our guests have a fantastic experience with us.
Thank you again. We are so looking forward to welcoming you back again in the future to show you all the improvements and renovations in the last years

Best regards,
Grand Palladium Team
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 White Sand Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Palladium White Sand 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:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in Akumal
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#7 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#8 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#13 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#13 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 264
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 Resort And Spa
Grand Palladium White Sand Hotel Akumal
Palladium White Sands
Grand Palladium White Sands Resort
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico

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