We have just recently came back from our second vacation at Grand Palladium in Riviera Maya (Nov.15-22, 2009), this time it was Riviera side. Our first time was 3 years ago when we stayed at Colonial side. In the time between these trips we visited numerous resorts incl. a few Rius, Barcelo Tropical, Viva Wyndham Maya. We returned to Palladium again after the long deliberations as we usually like to try new places, but there are a few specific things that I need to have on the vacation that is not easy to find elsewhere for the reasonable price. For me is very important to have awesome long beach with the sandy areas for the swimming and rocky areas for snorkeling, plenty of shade palapas and palms, good food and nice place to have my morning coffee on the beach and something to do in the evenings (I do not care for the shows and prefer some life entertainment in the lobbies). From our previous trip we knew that it all can be found at Palladium and we were definitely not disappointed this time again.
Our trip was with the Signature Vacation with the direct flight on Air Transat from Vancouver, everything was on time and included transfer was quick as their separated people that were staying in other areas of Riviera Maya and we only had people from Puerto Aventuras on the bus - Barcelo, Palladium and Grand Bahia Principe so we only had one stop before getting to our resort.
We arrived very late after midnight but reception was working fine and check in was very quick. There is a Punta Emilia beach restaurant that is open 24/7 that we had a very nice meal at 1-30 am with freshly cooked for us Mexican dishes sitting 10 feet away from the sea...
We were accommodated in the building 60 at the Riviera side - awesome new room with king size bed and the sofa in the sitting area of the room, unreal ocean view, good size safe that probably fits laptop up to 14", fridge with the beer/soft drinks/water replaced daily, clean, big separated washroom with the jacuzzi and huge shower.
The food was OK, I have eaten better but good variety and I could always find something that I liked - lamb, duck, shrimp, smocked salmon, local cheeses, prosciutto, crepes. We only did two restaurants as we are very lazy people on the vacation so we ate at the buffets. We even didn't go to the breakfast buffet most day to go on the beach instead to be able to spend as much time there as possible. It is a pity that there is no fresh juices at the Punta Emilia in the mornings but only some pastries but awesome cappuccino next to the salty waves makes up for that for me.
The very long beach is awesome at Palladium, it lasts a few km from very rocky part on the South (with the fascinating stoned sea creatures from the past, salt water pool and quiet bar) to the sandy bottom in its middle and its North end with the snorkeling parts in between. It has such a uncrowded feel in the North end of the beach with the palapas placed in between the palms and shady trees and huge green bushes. There is a beach bar/washroom/towels at that part of the beach too. The water was very warm and we swam all the time.
The weather was extremely good, previous week was raining but we did not see a single rain in a whole week, some days all sun, some days some welcome clouds, one day mostly cloudy that gave us a break not to get burned. There were very few mosquitoes, mostly at the dusk on the hot day with no wind, it was easy avoidable, we just stayed at the lobby/spa/the windiest place on the beach by the marble wedding gazebo. I recommend to the people to get familiar with the difference in the weather depending on the time of the year, the shoulder season is my favorite with the water being very warm (it gets colder in the winter as it is winter in Mexico too) and the air being not that extremely hot as in the summer. The end of the November-beginning on December and April/May are my favorite moths to go there. You can still get some rains in Fall though.
The evenings - we visited spa and life entertainment in the lobbies. The spa was one of the reasons that we returned back to Palladium again as the sun sets early this time of the year (5 PM) and you need something nice to do before of the dinner. We spent about 1-2 hours every day at the spa with most of its use being free/included in your AI package except personal treatments - saunas, different massage pools, lazy river, steam rooms, adult only. Bring your towel cards to get the towels for the use at the spa. Lots of facilities for the sport activities around the spa. Entertainment was also very nice with a few bands/artists playing at the 4 lobbies at the different times, but I missed some folk music with the Mexican types of instruments we enjoyed the previous time. When something ends at one of the lobbies, hop on the mini-train to go to the other lobby, it is a part of the Palladium fun - hopping around the lobbies.
I also wanted to note the boat that you can take along the fresh water artificial lake to the lobby from the small pier at the Riviera side - it is free and it comes every 10 min or so, the setting is very nice with all the flowers handing from the sides toward the water. There are huge pools at both sides of Palladium - Riviera White sand and Colonial/Kantenan with plenty of palapas, from my point of view Riviera side is more beautiful and quiet, it is new, was build may be 5 years ago.
Free internet in the lobbies, bring your laptop. We bought a small 10' netbook to read on the flight and for the internet, very convenient and inexpensive.
Our flight back was at 1-10 AM with the pick up time 9-20 PM and the check out is 12 PM so we paid $60 for the late checkout at 6 PM to be able to keep the room and pack after the sunset and not to loose the last beautiful morning on the beach. There are very good courtesy rooms with the showers and luggage storing room so we had 3 hours for the last dinner/drinks/music in the lobby before we left.
Overall we are very pleased with the trip, this was exactly what we are looking for. I liked Barcelo too but unfortunately they do not have shade palapas on the beach and their swinging palms although beautiful do not cover me enough so I get burned there, and the beach at Palladium has more privacy as there are areas where people do not lie right next to you. PM me if you need more info.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa is located sea front with superb access to the beach and is only 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen. Guests 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 White Sand Resort & Spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium Riviera Hotel Akumal
- Grand Palladium Riviera Resort And Spa
- Grand Palladium Riviera Maya
- Hotel Grand Palladium Riviera
- Grand Palladium Riveria
- Gran Palladium Riviera
- Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico