Ctra Chetumal-Cancun km 256-100 | Kantenah, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico
The Grand Palladium Resort and Spa consists of four 5-star hotels: Hotel Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort and Spa, Colonial Grand Palladium Resort and Spa, Grand Palladium White Sand Resort and Spa, Grand Palladium Riviera Resort and Spa, and The Royal Suites.
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"Great place, objective review - based on good comparison"
Posted by: Namabeer
on Jun 20, 2012 >
5 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jun, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
238 people found this review helpful
This is my 9th time to Mayan Riveria so I’ve think I have a good handle on what to expect going to these all inclusives. Been to the Bahia Principe (good a la carte), Iberostar (good a la cartes & service), Ocean Turquesa (nice rooms & loungy), Princess (grand place), Barcelo Tropical (amazing beaches), Gran Sirenis (nice rooms & shows), X Caret (ok and attached to park), and Kentaneh (9 yrs ago), Every resort will have it’s advantages. The thing that really stands out here at the Palladium is the great variety of beach fronts (like Barcelo). Also unlimited al la cartes and no reservation policy. The other thing is it’s great bang for the buck too..
Clientele appears to be mainly Spanish young couples on Riviera/White Sand side with some Brits thrown in. Whereas Colonial/Kent was more partier people or families from US. So you choose whether you want quiet or fun
Good place, good value, and a solid 4.5 star place… no place will be perfect even if you pay 1 ½ to 2 times the price….
• If on the Riveria side - do whatever you can do to get building 60 (3 min to pool, 4 min to White Sand end of the beach, 6-8 min to main lobby)
• Eat at busier buffets - hotter food and more frequent refills – ie. Colonial/Kentanah
• At buffets order - cooked to order fish/meat then come back when ready
• Exchange rate is 12 Peso for $1US or 10 for Cdn$ at hotel - going rate is about 14 peso. Cheaper to pay things by Pesos (eg collectivo or at stores or taxis)
• If you want relaxation on the beach stay at the ends (White Sand or Kentanah) side - so peaceful, easy to find chairs and empty bars – no more than a 5-10min walk from centre of beach
• Even better, if you don't want beach is go to salt water pool - private bar as usually only 10 people lounging around. There are Bali beds there too and tiered lounge seating.
• Adult pools are nice too as no people, kids and a bar to your self…..almost
• Snorkel early in morning for better visibility – you can bring bread or mimic feeding action with your hand.
• Take collectivo to Akumal Beach (20peso each). If you can bargain taxis for 100 peso go for that but they will ask for $20 US or 200 Pesos.
• Wear mosquito repellant at seafood a la carte on the beach
• Eat before 7pm and no waiting at all. Eat at 8pm then 1-1 1/2 hr wait (but usually 1/2 the stated time).
• It is walkable to get to Colonial lobby from WS or Riveria within 10 min walk thru shortcuts. Even better is take any tram coming by and say I want to get as close as possible to the colonial lobby and you may only have to walk 3 min. Do not take the trains as you have to go to lobby and you have to wait around for them.
• There is dark beer avail at major bars. Cognac avail at Hemingways and Gran Marnier avail at restaurant bars. They use mainly prem liquor (eg gin/rum) and don’t skim either.
• There are novelty ice cream bars and scoop ice cream avail at Pool bars near buffets.
• Wi fi avail in lobby but if you sit at the dinning room closest to lobby at buffet you can get the signal too on the Riveria Side.
• BYO snorkel gear if you are an avid snorkeler. There are a few good mini and larger reefs right off beach. (around/beyond buoys at Kenenah) and between WS & Colonial near flag pole. Just look for were people snorkel.
• Kids love tidal pools at low tide near salt water pool - starfish, scampi, tiny butterfly, damsel, sargent major, box fish etc…...
• Riveria/WS pool is 4ft vs 5ft on Colonial/Ken side. So better for kids. Also it’s so quiet there.
• Go to Akumal beach on your own to snorkel with turtles. Cheap $2 collectivo ride there. Can rent equip at Akumal Dive Centre if you don’t have own. Guaranteed citing. No need to pay $40 for a tour. Beach is amazing too and souvenirs are reasonable.
• BYO clothes line – no rack or line on balcony
This is a biggy thing for me. We hit a la cartes every night given that we were eating buffet breakfast and lunch and many of the lunch stuff is at dinner. In general food quality is good esp when freshly made. You need to use your buffet 101 class. If it doesn’t look good, don’t take it. If, it’s almost empty wait for a fresh batch.
Al La Cartes:
Ribs and More (ate 2 times) -(9 out of 10)
Salad bar a bit boring compared to others (just cold mussels, some shrimp salad, potato salads). For appetizers, Onion blossom (gross & greasy – awful batter), Buff wings (ok), chicken fingers gross looking, Beef broth (ok), Rib Eye is the best, NY Steak good too as well as Pork Ribs. Best dessert was chocolate soufflé, Apple strudle good, cheese cake hit or miss. Finish it off with a Gran Marnier.
Steakhouse (9 out of 10)
Appetizer bar slim but had some mayonaised smoke salmon. Onion soup good, tomato based soups so so, T Bone good, as is Rib Eye. Stay away from the filet. Not sure what kind of meat it was. Looked like it was hacked off a cow. For dessert apple pie was ok as was the brownie.
Seafood (8.5 out of 10)
Starter was plate of cheese on toast, and shredded crab meat on toast and strange quiche like pieces shared by all. Fish soup was very good – hearty and homemade like. For Appetizer the octopus ceviche was good, as was seafood ceviche, garlic shrimp were ok but mini portion and sized shrimp. For main, coconut shrimp was best. Mixed seafood was same as buffet (mahi-mahi, grouper, salmon) and a tiny clam shell and a mussel - so so, Octopus was ok for entree too. Didn't eat dessert there as being bitten alive by mosquitos. Don't feed the raccoons.
Mediterranean (7 out of 10)
Salad bar was ok with smoke salmon, beef carpaccio, couscous, humus. Appetizer soup was ok - bisque, or heavy potato cream soup. Entree, Veal Ratatouille was more like a thick piece of the filet from the steakhouse on a pile of potatoes. Not really like a stew like Ratatouille. It was edible but just ok. Cream Ravioli was ok. Avoid kid’s meal. Dessert, crème Brule was so so and a bit too big and not enough sugar crusting. Baklava ok despite not like a real baklava. Choc mouse so so.
Restaurants and Bars:
Italian (5.5 out of 10)
Good salad bar but was never refilled the entire time. Scrounged up some smoke salmon, tiny prawns, prosciutto, carpaccio. For appetizer, pizza was ok, salmon soup was pretty good tasted like shrimp bisque. Entrees bit of a disaster. Risotto starchy and blaaaa, stuff chicken breast was dry as cardboard, pasta a bit gluey. Awful tiramisu (buffet version was better), and choc mouse tasted like a chocolate covered marshmallow.
Japanese Teppanyaki (5.5 out of 10)
No sake - we are out, yeah right. Sushi rolls are shared - pretty gross and mushed up rice with some cream cheese or avocado or deep fried. No fish involved (negiri). Tempura was a regular battered tiny shrimp on a stick and a spring roll. Definitely not tempura. Miso soup was disgusting soya sauce based with some weird tasting deep fried wonton in it. Where’s the MISO? Fried rice - can't go wrong. Veggies were 3 tiny bits each of whatever you got. Surf & turf nothing to write home to (some shrimp some beef, chicken, tiniest scallops dumped in soya sauce). Desert was pretty gross - deep fried batter ice cream or banana or a tasteless jello cake. Flan you could not go wrong. This place is over hyped and is only good if you want to watch the 7 min show by the chef and have never seen it. He was skillful but I’ve seen better show and audience participation at other resorts. The food ain’t quality – no where near Bennihana nor Bahia Principe's Japanese food/show. This is not Japanese food but strange concoctions made with lots of soya sauce and butter and olive oil. Bennihana is not true Japanese either (an American invention) but it taste better. Yes I am a Japanese food snob. Actually went to buffet afterwards for the Italian Theme….
Breakfast – good breads & pastries, churros doughnuts always there. Lots of fruits are provided in whole. Grab mangos if available, make your own Panini is good. Always pineapple, papaya, etc….
Lunch – Pool bar has higher turnover esp colonial side. Very similar to Dinner buffets. Always have your 3 fish (grouper is best), 3 meats (beef, chicken, pork) – made to order. Pastas not bad, pizza could be deep dish or thin crust. Paellas often there.
Desserts more of the European lighter mousse type or light cake rather than heavy American style. So more refine. Soft ice cream is good as it’s very icy and not that sweet.
•Good snorkeling right off beach. Saw sea turtle and rays on Kentanah side by buoys directly out were turtles nest. Walk out as far via sandy area then snorkel out. Lots of sea fans schools of fish beyond buoys. Between the Colonial & WS beach there are few coral formations teaming with yellowtail, grunts, triggerfish, snappers, damsel, butterfly fish, wrasses, conchs, giant box fish, cowfish, ocean sunfish, giant angelfish (2 ft), giant promfet fish (3 ft), sergeant majors. Everyday you will spot different things. It ain’t Cozumel or Puerto Morelas but it’s at the footsteps of the resort.
•2 great areas to ride the waves in the sandy patches. Less people and bit wavier on the Kentanah side than the crowded Colonial side.
•Giant prawns at lunch buffet and seafood buffet night. Yes the head are on it and that’s the best part when you can suck out the sweat brains.
•Paellas is very good. Usually paellas is dry and meat and seafood dried out. Had it 2 times and it was perfectly cooked (chicken/shrimp and rice). Unlike any other resorts.
•Best show was Pirate of the Caribbean show. Like Broadway – good props, stage, costume and dancers in sync. But the show also had pole dancing like act in addition to circus/acrobatic acts. Don’t miss it…. Disney show was so so – but good costumes. Pop show was so so – just lip-sync and some dancing. Rock show is suppose to be very good too. Saw at the pre-show - the band in lobby and they were excellent. Shows at Riveria side are a bit late for kids at 10:15. Colonial is 9pm. Pinata time is on Mexico night (Sat)
•Air conditioner actually worked very well in room and didn’t go off all day. Unlike some places where it would become a humid vent in the middle of the night or shut off if no key or no motion.
•Fridge filled daily and was actually cold – a rarity. Guess it’s the luck of the draw.
•Lots of wildlife – iguanas, lizard, coatis, raccoon, capybaras but also some mosquitoes or sand fleas near seaweed
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
•Japanese cooking table - awful food (weird sushi mush, soya sauce miso soup, skimpy veggies, tempura is not real tempura, surf and turf edible but forgettable). They also claimed to have ran out of sake. Definitely not worth lining up at 8am to reserve. The show was too quick and rushed - ok if you've never experienced but not worth it if you've been to others –pass on it. Same food on menu if you don’t get cooking table and don't care about show.
•Housekeeping inconsistent with towels situation everyday get 2 towels or 3 but never 4 for 4 people. No face cloth or hand towels some day. Only last night did we get towel art despite tipping. This is minor as you just call up and they will bring.
• Bathroom looks a little worn – mirrors all discolored, tiling chipping, but still very clean.
•Pillows stunk a bit. All pillows we had were different. Some provided were hi/low/soft etc..
•Bed felt damp given this plastic under pad. Very uncomfortable to sleep as your body gives off heat so feels damp. ½ way thru I decided to put towel under sheets to help.
•Most restaurant and buffets A/C are turned off/low or are used sparingly to save $$$. Only place with nice A/C is Hemingway Bar and your room. I was sweating like crazy in a la cartes except Ribs & More. This is a common tactic used by all resorts (even in rooms)
•Juice bar guy (Riveria Buffet) very unfriendly and would say we don't have any left every morning (eg soya milk). I asked waitress and amazingly it was served.
•Coffee and cappuccinos tasteless even with a double shot of espresso. Usually sits at bar and comes to you lukewarm also
•Food sometimes cold at buffet. They leave freshly made items out then put out when cool. Not always refilled promptly – often seeing many empty trays.
•Avoid kids meals as it looked nasty - eg spaghetti & meat worm (small, dried out meat balls & pasta). Order the adult meal if you have kids.
•Wine at times was not drinkable. Odd time passable. Sparkling wine a bit too sweet.
•Bridges are a bit of a pain to walk up and down everyday…. But good exercise on the thighs.
any questions, please let know
"Are you kidding me?"
Andrew on Mar 19, 2012 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Mar, 2012 | Leisure | Family and Kids
219 people found this review helpful
Was the theme for this place. Kid friendly? (if they are teen-agers) (good luck with the 10 miles of walking a day with toddlers. Strollers? Hope you like bridges. Booking dinner on the beach. Better get it confirmed three times. Ditto for the babysitters. Ours didn't show on our big night out with our whole family (10 people). Was asked to leave the restaurant on our first night after ordering dinner and getting salad because I was wearing non-approved shorts. Had to walk 1 km back to room to get pants. Nice. I'd skip this one - too big, too many people - lots of the them staggering around at breakfast. No balls or other floating objects allowed in the pools. Fun for the kids. Hope you like floating. At least the kids liked the constant booming dance music around the pools.
Took about 1 hour to check in. Drag with 4 kids.
Fine - large, clean, well kept during the week. No views.
Restaurants and Bars:
A real attempt made to get you to not go to the a la carte restaurants. Probably because the food isn't very good. The alternative are the buffets in the hospital operating room bright "atmosphere". Food falls flat and are unprodictable. The service was almost always really good.
Pools great. Aren't allowed any floating toys - have fun kids!
About 5% of the beach was swimmable - the rest was rocky. With 4,000 guests...well, you do the math.
I'd skip this one unless you love huge all-inclusives with bland food, miles of walking every day - if you have young kids I'd definitely re-think and look to some place smaller.
Jennifer on Jan 8, 2011 >
2 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
333 people found this review helpful
Excellent resort! Staff were amazing, food was delicious! Would definately recommend this resort and will return. If your looking for a party place, this is not your resort. It also seemed like mostly couples. Beautiful and relaxing. Cannot express how great this resort is.
Pool side room was amazing with a bar close by.
Restaurants and Bars:
Some of the best meals I have ever had. The Japanese restaurant was amazing.
"This resort is not to be missed!"
Posted by: Keith
on Feb 9, 2010 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
350 people found this review helpful
Great weather, good food and very good hospitality. You can't control the weather but the resort can sure control the other features and this can mean a good or bad experience. This one is a great experience so I have no problem in recommending the Grand Palladium Riviera.
Handled very expediently. Bell staff was very efficient and well organized. The only downside to this resort is the distance from the Cancun Airport and usually you are not the only ones on the bus. In our case we were the last stop so it took at least 2 hours to get there from the airport. I think it is time that they built another airport closer to Tulum. But you only make this trip once so once you get there you quickly forget the time it took.
Very clean, well provisioned and comfortable. Any problems were looked after very quickly. They were larger than the normal North American hotel room so you did not feel cramped if you needed to stay in the room for any reason.
Restaurants and Bars:
Excellent A La Carte restaurants. The only downside was their steak. It was tender but you could tell that the tenderness came from marinating and this gave the meat a rather different texture to what we are used to. Their pork was very good, excellent ribs on two occasions. I wasn't terribly interested in the shrimp, it seemed very fishy but there was so much else to chose from it really didn't matter. The buffet restaurants were also very good with lots to chose from. They do have name brand liquor so if you asked you could get a better drink. The beer was fine for me but as with all resorts it would compare with a light beer in Canada. Waiting staff was excellent, very well trained, prodominently Mayan who appear to be a very friendly people to begin with.
The two main pools are very large and have lots of room. We did not seem to have any problems in getting seating although there were times when you needed to be early. The beach was great although in some spots there was a lot of reef just a few feet out in the water. It was a great spot for snorkeling and we saw a good many fish without having to go out in deep water. This was great for my wife as she is rather new to the sport. She liked it so much she kept bugging me to go out again. We did not sail but the resort was well stocked with Hobie Cats, paddle boats and kayaks. As long as the winds cooperated these were well used. The grounds in the resort were kept in very good condition. They had some very interesting raised wooden walkways c/w thatched roofs that went through the mangroves and this provided a nice way for getting from the villas to pool and main lobby.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We liked the resort so much that we didn't leave for any excursions this time. As this resort is connected to 4 others that we had access too, there was always something that you could do or just do nothing. There was an early show at the Colonial and the later show at the Riviera so you could make a choice. The Grand Riviera also has a salt water lake and canal system that runs around the pool and connects three of the lobbies (White Sands, Riviera and Royal Suites)and they have two pontoon boats with 25 hp motors to take you across or around this system (one was broken during out time there). There are fish in this area and they also have a crocodile in a penned area adjacent to this. In the morning taking the boat was a very nice way of getting to the main lobby for breakfast. During other times of the day they would have these lake tours and the driver would stop here and there and explain things about the fish etc.
We would definitely go back to this resort. The Riviera was a quieter place to be. If you like to party then go to the Colonial or the Kantena resort.