We had a wonderful time at the Grand Palladium complex in July, 2011. We stayed at the Royal Suites, which is an area that is technically its own (separate lobby, etc.), but in practical reality is located in the general area of the GP Riviera. The resort complex is large. With four separate lobby areas for each main resort area, along with the 5th Royal Suites area . NOTE that while this listing seems to be for Puerto Aventuras, the Palladium complex is much closer to Akumal, and in fact the reviews for the other 4 sections are located on the "Akumal" page.
Grounds are pleasant, and kind of closed-feeling, as the green mangrove surrounds many trails and roadways. It is hard to get large expansive views of the property, other than perhaps at the main pool areas. A great view of the main beach can be had at the salt water pool area – look back towards the resort from the flagpole. You can walk the grounds, or take the trams among the various components of the resort, the most useful of which is the lobby train (as it is a hike if you are over on the WS / Riv side and need to go to dinner at the Col / Kan side). Royal guests can call a private cart to take them wherever they want to go. There are many pools, both large and small, including adult pools, The spa also has a lovely pool and water feature area - There are plenty of free areas to use at the spa.
Our room was very nice – well-appointed, a warm shade of yellow. There was a Sony flat screen with a relatively large channel selection. In the royal Suites you also have the option to check out DVD’s at no charge. The fridge is stocked daily with your choices among sodas, beer (superior, sol, miller), and water. Their water is filtered and bottled I believe on or near premises. In the Royal Suites you also have four full bottles of liquor – though we did not use them – there’s plenty of free drinks down at the bar. Robes and slippers also come with the room. There is a large Jacuzzi out on the deck. Open bathroom concept: It’s not that big a deal really. The sink and vanity area is open to the room. The toilet and shower are each behind their own respective doors. The problem is more the “audibles”, as the door to the toilet offers only a visual separation from the main room – not an aural one. I guess it just seems like it takes up a lot of space with the vanity area.
The food was good to very good, particularly in the a la cartes. I did find there to be a difference in quality among the buffets: The Kabah is the main buffet for the WS / Riv side, and is larger and I thought better than its counterparts over on the C/K side (there are two smaller ones over there). Also, the main indoor buffets are significantly better than the nearby wet / dry pool buffets that serve the bathing suit crowd - Better selection of foods at better temperatures. If people complain about the food, I am sure it is these two main pool buffets that they are referring to. Though I grabbed a few bites at both of them, they were not my first choice and I only did so if I was damp from swimming, because the indoor buffets are right there and they are just better options IMHO. The a la cartes were good – some were excellent. We had great seafood rice skillets down at the beach place (Punta Emelia), some unique soup offerings, strong Mexican dishes, etc. Once or twice I would have liked the flavors to have been bolder. But on the other hand this place has a large selection of homemade salsas that change often, and they are all very bold and delicious. The Royal guests have access to the exclusive restaurant, El Jardin, and I must echo that yes, it is better than all the others, particularly in presentation and originality in preparing what looks on the menu to be basic dishes. BTW, they tend to use the word veal a lot here - though that seemed just a general word for beef most of the time as opposed to what I think of as veal which I grew up with. (I avoid it nowadays.) Beware: they garnish with beets here at El Jardin, which I personally detest.
There is good snorkeling on the Kantenah side out by the ropes, we saw a sea turtle here plus a ton of fish, and some shallow water snorkeling in front of the White Sand / Punta Emilia for more fish among the rocks. Note: Harder entry and exit here with all the shallow rocks – use water shoes rather than flippers. Save the fins for the Kantenah side.
Service was great – like my experience last year at the Iberostar, there are friendly and helpful employees everywhere you turn. Some are of course more pro-actively engaging than others, but overall we were pleased with the service. The staff works very hard.
I recommend that if you are looking for a nice AI in the Akumal area that you strongly consider the Grand Palladium complex. I can see why it has so many fans.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Suites Yucatan consists of 130 luxurious rooms located in an exclusive area within the Grand Palladium Resort & Spa in the Mayan Riviera. Guest may enjoy first class facilities that include a private lobby with a bar, exclusive swimming pool with Jacuzzi, unlimited dinner reservations at the theme restaurants, private bar with premium beverages, room service, free Internet connection, bar service to the pool sun beds and an exclusive restaurant. For adults only. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Royal Suites Yucatan By Palladium Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- Royal Hotel Puerto Aventuras
- The Royal Suites Yucatan By Palladium Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico