Grand Palladium White Sand Resort And Spa

Grand Palladium White Sand Resort And Spa
4.204.204.204.204.20
4.20 based on 132 reviews
#74 of 121 hotels The Monarc.ca popularity scale (#1/15) classifies all the hotels of a single destination according to the number of grades received on 5 and the total number of reviews. in Riviera Maya
Rated 5 stars
Traveller pictures (19)

Travellers Reviews in

Filter reviews by
Sort by
pages: 123

Our Stay at Grand Palladium white sands resort

, Miramichi, NB
2020-03-18
Very nice resort met all our expectations with the exception being the beach which we found quite rocky ( good with swimming slippers ) food and staff were great will definitely book again. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
Certified
Hotel reply, Guest Services, on 2020-03-23
Dear Francis, Thank you for choosing Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa as your vacation destination and for sharing your opinion. We are glad to know that you had an excellent time enjoying our resort and that your expectations were met. It will be truly a pleasure to welcome you back in the future. Kind regards, Lizeth Arratia Hospitality Manager

Overall Impressions

, Ajax, ON
2020-02-05
Hotel was great overall. Excellent staff. English language tended to be quite weak. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Overall visual impression. The pools are great. The buffet was great. Most restaurants very good.
The weak points
The beach is great but the swimming not so much. Brasa restaurant (tough and undercooked beef). Visually does not look like a Brasa restaurant.
Certified
Hotel reply, Guest Services, on 2020-02-26
Dear Mr. Bruce Gilder, Thank you for choosing Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, as your vacation destination. And also, thank you very much for sharing your honest feedback about our service in restaurants, it has been transmitted to our managers in each area for improvement, since no one better than our guests to let us know our areas of improvement. We do hope to have the opportunity to host you in the future and improve your impression. Kind regards, Kenia Rodriguez Hospitality Manager

Escapes. Ca

, Kamloops, BC
2019-02-04
This place is paradise, beautiful resort, staff went above and beyond, food was amazing! We will definitely be coming back! [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
Certified
Hotel reply, Guest Services, on 2019-07-12
Dear Randall, Thank you for choosing Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa as your holiday destination and for sharing your impressions about your stay. It is great to know that you enjoyed our facilities and the attention provided by our staff. We look forward to welcoming you back. Kind regards, Lizeth Arratia Hospitality Manager

Upgraded from an already beautiful resort

, Toronto, ON
2019-02-01
Nothing to complain about this resort. Never heard any one person complain about anything during our stay. Amazing beach; pools are big and not crowded; food is superb cleanliness is off the charts. Staff is exceptional. Upon arrival it seemed they were expecting us by name and upgraded us to the TRS Resorts which is out of this world. We also spent time at The palladium white sands which was also top notch.

Would go back again anytime A [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Just about everything...Food, rooms, staff, pools you name it
The weak points
resort a little far from Cancun airport
Certified
Hotel reply, Guest Services, on 2019-07-12
Dear steveo, We would like to thank you for sharing such a nice review regarding your experience at our resort. It is great to know you enjoyed your upgraded suite and that you were able to take advantage of our facilities too. We hope to have the opportunity to host you in the future. Kind regards, Lizeth Arratia Hospitality Manager

Fabulous holiday

, Edmonton, AB
2018-06-04
Excellent service, staff, room, shuttle service, VERY helpful/friendly staff, entertainment and food. Sad to leave. Anyone with back/walking problems may have some challenges walking to pools, towel huts, etc. Got a wheelchair and moved to main floor of hotel. Would highly recommend as service was fantastic. Good internal communication. Great 50th Anniversary get-away. Gracias. Ron and Judy Babiuk, Edmonton, Alberta Canada [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Service and friendliness, cleanliness and dining
The weak points
Maybe more signage in hotel and towel huts closer to beach/pools.

Not suitable for handicapped

, Vancouver, BC
2018-01-19
Do you like walking? This is the resort for you. Walking up and down 2 bridges, 30 steps up and down to the pool and restaurants. Otherwise, take a golf cart to the lobby and walk about 6 minutes. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Quiet area. Clean, fresh towels daily. Relaxing on a mini boat ride around and near the private TRS after lunch is wonderful.
The weak points
Swimming pool is far away from beach. Soft music played is very boring. Topless women walk around in front of children. Difficulties walking 30 steps up/ down on a slippery stairs to and from pool/restaurants. Swimming pool is very cold. Far from the bar.
Certified

Large All-Inclusive

, Sault Ste Marie, ON
2017-05-07
This is a large all-inclusive which has inherent strengths and weaknesses. Strengths: lots of pools, night time entertainment, restaurant choice, space to explore, large beach to explore.
Weaknesses: On-site snorkeling was not good (poor water clarity, very little coral and what was there was not healthy), if you don't like to walk you won't appreciate this resort. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Lots to do, variety of restaurants
The weak points
Poor coffee service in the morning (prior to restaurants opening).
Certified

Wonderful stay

, Thamesford, ON
2016-07-16
We are in our late fifties and went for rest and relaxation. Absolutely stunning grounds and the covered walkways are nice especially for shade and rain. Loved all the beautiful vegetation, birds, fish, animals etc. Environmental practices are widely used at this resort and informative nature signs are everywhere.

This was our second stay at a Palladium and we like the no reservation system for dining. We found the food selection at the White Sand buffet very good and ate most of our meals there as my husband found the a la carte restaurants had very little nonwheat dishes to choose from. If you have a diet restriction you get cards when you check in and show them to your server who will get someone to go over the menu with as to what you can or can't have. You can also make requests for the buffet restaurants as well.

We found most of the staff friendly and many understood basic english. If they didn't they always found a coworker who did. We stayed in building 57 which is central and perfect for us. There are lots of complaints about the size of the resort but we enjoyed the walking and nothing was more than a 10 minute walk away for us. The Rivieria rooms are the furthest away and if you have young children or limited physical mobility the Kantenah and Colonial would be more user friendly. The kids water park looks amazing and wished they had slides for the adults as well.

Our room was very large and with all the walking we did on the resort we were glad to be on the first level. The first level rooms all have a walled patio to give you privacy.

Pools were clean, very large and there were lots of palapas and chairs at all water areas. Beach is nice to walk on and long- only real negative is there is only a very small area where the water area is all sand by the Kantenah and Colonial. Most areas you need water shoes to go very far into the water but more to see when snorkeling.

We would definitely return to this resort as we had no problems and enjoyed everything about the place. There was lots to do if you wanted but we went for relaxation and loved every minute of it. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Beautiful grounds,very good food,friendly staff,lots of wildlife, large clean pools, lots of chairs and shady areas
The weak points
water shoes needed to go in to most water areas of beach-board walks and boards on bridges need renailing as some were loose or nails popped up so not good for bare feet.
Certified

Grand Palladium all inclusive vacation

, Greenfield Park, QC
2016-03-29
Great large resort, everything better than expected. Nice and big room and bathroom with Jacuzzi, very clean nice location.
Thy bars stocked premium liquor and give you everything you like.
Very nice bar and restaurant on the beach.
Huge choice of food in main buffet, 8 a la cart restaurants. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The service and food Friendly enthusiastic staff, great location. Very clean beach All the resort is looking great very impressive and esthetic.
The weak points
The rocky entrance to the ocean
Certified

SO GRAND!

, Winnipeg, MB
2015-01-12
We had booked a room at White Sand, but were placed in Riviera when we arrived. However, this was not cause for disappointment as they upgraded us to a beautiful suite (we had booked a junior suite). It had 2 balconies and a separate bedroom, as well as a jacuzzi tub & large shower. We found all of the staff to be super helpful and friendly. Not a negative word or attitude during our 7-day stay. Christina at check-in was great. And other staff was also very helpful with issues connecting to wifi. I'm sure they have to do this many times in a day, so their patience was appreciated.

One big plus for this resort is that it is close to the highway. So you are not obligated to take the expensive tours, as so many attractions are right along the main highway (307). It is very easy to get to the bus stop and wait for the little white Collectivo vans, they come along frequently, you will not be waiting long. Only $3 U.S. for the fare.

If you stay in the Riviera, the quickest & easiest way to the pool or to the beach bars (Punta Emilia or Las Rocas) is by taking the path toward the beach and walking along the beach to your destination. Good coffee, pastries, and beautiful sunrises await you at Punta Emilia!

Even though the resort is large, the train or the carts will take you from one lobby to another (or to your villa) easily enough, if you tire of walking.

Look for the sign indicating crocodile feeding time (I believe it is only once a week - I think it was Tuesdays at noon or 1:00). We missed it, but quite sure it would be interesting!

This resort is in a good location. Not too far to Xcaret, Tulum, Playa del Carmen. A little far from Cancun Airport, but not a big deal once you're at the resort!

Do not hesitate to stay at Grand Palladium Riviera Maya! [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Friendly enthusiastic staff, great location.
The weak points
Takes a while to learn the layout of the resort (but it is fun!) Just might be frustrating if you have mobility issues, lots of bridges (stairs) and raised boardwalk-style paths through the swamp have a few broken/uneven boards.
Certified

Great time

, St Albert, AB
2014-12-17
The hotel was great clean. Staff was very friendly and helpful. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
everything was great it was nice they changed the food everyday at the buffets. Very clean everyone was friendly.
The weak points
When you go to the a la carts they try to sell you wine no one explained that you can just ask for the house wine and then it's included. They should tell you that so you can have a glass of wine with supper with no pressure to buy.
Certified

Big jungle resort

, Edmonton, AB
2014-12-16
This resort is big! Lots of trails through the jungle to the beach. Nice party boat ride through the Whitesands and Riveria. Typical resort food...a couple of bad service and food issues with the Eldorado. Not recommend. Ribs and more much better. I tip a 20 pesos for everything and they rarely had 20s for exchange and I'm sorry, won't tip 50 for a drink...their loss. Beautiful beaches until you step in, large, sharp rocks await you almost everywhere you go into the ocean. We were here last year for a wedding and decided to come back with a different group. The bad stuff was more evident this time and will be our last visit. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The beach out of the water,most of the staff, the walking exercise, the lagoon trips, the lobby entertainment
The weak points
The rocky entrance to the ocean, no female waitresses in the all of the a la cart restaurants. Service and food issues at Eldorado, walking the vast area takes up a lot of time.
Certified

Nov 2014

, Hamilton, ON
2014-11-09
My experience was pretty good. I would say the food was a 3.5 out of 5. Service was good from staff. This is a large resort, so be ready to walk. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Cleanliness and staff
The weak points
beach was ok-rocky in some areas-TV's did not work-requested 4 times for repairs and nothing happened
Certified

Great but way too fat from things

, Calgary, AB
2014-09-25
Fantastic resort but unfortunately for us there was far too much distance between pools beach and places to grab a bite. Being diabetics we have to eat small meals frequently and this place requires that you walk long distances to either beach snack bar or to hotel buffet . and this time we had a plethora of mosquitoes [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
great food /staff variety of onsite wildlife fantastic room
The weak points
never could get same answer to question from staff . unless we accessed resort manager.
Certified

2014 mexico trip

, St. Albert, AB
2014-05-21
it was very beautiful and peaceful [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
worry free
The weak points
I did not find weak points on this trip
Certified

Grand Palladium White Sands

, Renfrew, ON
2014-04-21
The Grand Palladium is enormous. We had good meals where ever we went. The buffets were awesome as well. We stayed in villa 53, central to everything. Huge resort, so never felt crowded. Rooms are cleaned late in the day, some days a way toooo late, hit and miss if they replenished your fridge/coffee. Very easy to find a lounge chair and umbrella. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
TONS to do...there was SO much going on you could never be bored and could stay at the resort the whole time and still have lots to entertain yourself. The bell boys at the front desk were awesome. The pools were clean with plenty of chairs.
The weak points
I do like that you don't have to reserve like you do at some resorts but there were evenings we'd show up for a table and in looking in the window, the restaurant is 60% empty, but we'd be made to wait for 2 hours to get in. High pressure sales for travel
Certified

Grand Palladium White Sand

, Edmonton, AB
2014-04-06
Hotel had lots of vegetation & wildlife, variety of food choices, very clean property. Staff courteous. Eco friendly property. Beach nice but not huge, water was rough most days we were there (red flag most days). Food was very good. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Lots of vegetation, wildlife, eco friendly/conscious, huge variety of food choices and a la carte choices.
The weak points
Would have been nice if the resort was explained better on arrival as to what was available and locations of place on resort.
Certified

Great relaxing holiday

, Canmore, AB
2014-03-22
This was our 7th time at this resort, and as usual, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The grounds are well kept, the staff are all friendly, the facilities are well maintained except for a few items (our hide-a-bed in our first room was terrible, it was too short pulled out for an adult and the base was torn, this item really need replacement). Because we brought our adult daughter with us, we requested a different room with 2 double beds and a better pull-out bed, we were moved the next day, much better situation for us. The beach has to be the best along this coast, nice sand and stretching for miles. We ate in 5 a-la-cart restaurants, all were very good. A couple of waiters actually remembered us because we have been there so often. We split our time between the beach and the adult pool. Carlos, our favorite bartender welcomed us, we had become to know him well, we met him when he first started at the resort in 2002. He makes the best drinks. The only real negative that I see was the sign-in procedure. We were taken to the middle area of the reception area, arriving late in the afternoon, we could not see the writing on the sign-in forms, it was way too dark - change it back to how it was, at the front desk with some light. It was a pleasant week away and will be back. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Exceptional beach, great facilities, friendly staff, food in a-la-cart restaurants very good, the buffet is OK, pools are great, grounds very well kept.
The weak points
Sign-in in the dark, needs to move back to the reception counter. Some of the rooms are starting to show their wear, the resort is starting to upgrade some of these. Stairs to rooms should have hand rails on one side, not the greatest for seniors.
Certified

Grand Palladium white sands

, London, ON
2014-03-03
Very clean, great food, nice beach, good service. Overall very happy. The facilities are a bit tired looking, but other than that, no complaints. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Excellent food selection, cleanliness and size of the resort meant there was lots of variety
The weak points
For seniors, this is a big resort so if mobility or stairs are an issue, keep away.
Certified

Grand palladium white sands

, Stoney Creek, ON
2014-03-03
This trip in my opinion should have cost $1500 at the most. Food was good, lots to drink, and weather was perfect. The negatives are that it was difficult to communicate with the servers, maids, and some of the bar tenders do to their very limited English. Secondly the beach was a bit rocky and had coral growth, so if the beach is what you are going there for, you will be disappointed. This is a very large resort and there is lots of walking. Over all it is nice and clean, the grounds are well maintained. If asked, yes I would recommend this resort but not at the $1978 price that I payed. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Food
The weak points
Beach
Certified

Bad a la cartes

, Churchbridge, SK
2014-02-24
We were really frustrated by the a la carte restaurants. Long line ups and waits, bad service in one, being turned down because it was "adult only" night when we had paid full adult price for our teenage children, and trying to book the Japanese a la carte are the source of our frustration. We waited in line for more than 45 minutes at 7 in the morning. The concierge was late by 15 minutes. So, even though we were second in line, there was no availability left due to her being late. When we complained about this, the response was "we are over-booked, you must be patient". But, that is not my problem as a customer. Who wants to wake up at 7am on a holiday to stand in line and then not get a reservation? Especially after spending close to $12000 on a family vacation. The whole a la carte thing left us with a bad taste in our mouth, and for that, we will not return to this resort. It's too bad because we loved the pool area. We also found that the bridges that go over waterways all over the resort are in bad condition and sometimes shaky and scary to walk over. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Beautiful pool area and beautiful beaches
The weak points
a la carte restaurants; room décor/linens
Certified

Happy as All ways.y

, Grand Valley, ON
2014-02-12
Lovely resort. Can't wait to go back. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
They are all very prompted. All about better service. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Might be difficult to go else where.
The weak points
The overall is wonderful. Just keep in mind katana and colonial isn't as well kept. But keep in mind it is the old side of the resort. The staff there can use more hospitality in the buffet.
Certified

Great Place

, Niagara Falls, ON
2014-02-05
We have traveled a lot in our lives and would say this was one of the best resorts we have been to.The service and food was great . We upgraded to Royal suites and would never go any other way, beds, cleanliness,upgraded liquor,can't do enough for you.Service and food awesome.Cant wait to go back.Thank you Royal for a great vacation.See you next year. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The service and food
The weak points
Was no weak points
Certified

Grand palladium riviera maya

, Calgary, AB
2014-02-01
Second visit here. Big resort. Lots of options [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Friendly staff. Good restaurants. Nice rooms
The weak points
Very big. A lot of walking
Certified

O.k experience.

, Burlington, ON
2013-12-04
The hotel front desk service wasn't very good. They put part of our party in a whole different hotel called Riviera, so we weren't impressed. Also the bus schedule didn't have our names on it even though they had our friends on it. We had to spend timing clearing that up also because they had us going to the Bahia Principe. Felt like we spent a lot of money and didn't receive an equally rewarding vacation. Too much time spent on fixing their problems. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Good food.
The weak points
Too many screw ups!
Certified

As expected

, Calgary, AB
2013-11-27
Generally good. some issues with room service [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Large resort. Good beach, salt water pool and regular pools. Large exercise facility
The weak points
Had problems keeping room items stocked, including coffee and fridge
Certified

Grand Palladium White Sand Resort

2013-11-15
My wife and I went to this resort for two weeks to celebrate our 39th wedding anniversary. The resort provided us with time to relax, read and enjoy the beach, pool and ala cartes. Sadly, we would not recommend this resort to seniors due to the hard beds and the large footbridges. Although the resort is very large, we did enjoy our walks throughout the resort looking for the many varieties of birds and butterflies. We met many fine people from Alberta, British Columbia and England and that is all part of the all-inclusive experience. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
The ala carte restaurants are very good and reservations are not required for most of them. The staff are excellent and, of course, tipping goes a long way.
The weak points
This resort is not suitable for seniors as it is very large and there are large foot-bridges that must be used to cross a boat canal. Also, the beds are very hard and uncomfortable. All villas are 3 stories and there are not any elevators.
Certified

Great Time! Amazing for kids!

, Barrie, ON
2013-10-29
We had an amazing time! Large resort but easy to navigate. Lovely pools and beach. Area in front of White Sands is rocky by further down the beach is great! Good quality food and very clean resort. Raggs kids program is outstanding and my 3 year old loved the Surf Party and Breakfast with Raggs! Overall a great family vacation! [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Business Services
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Great hotel! Love the no reservation a la carte dining. Raggs program for kids outstanding! Overall quality is great. Suites are amazing for travelling with kids. Seperate area with pull out couch.
The weak points
Kids club closed for renovations. Train service slow around resort.
Certified

Great Stay

, Victoria, BC
2013-04-03
We stayed at the Grand Palladium White Sand for two weeks in December 2012. We are a family of four, with two younger children. We stayed in an Imperial Suite. We have traveled to Mexico fairly extensively, and visited the Bahia Principe Akumal a few months prior to this trip. Before you start reading, I will provide the following: Despite a lot of little issues early in our stay, I would return to this resort because there is so much to do and keep you entertained, and the food and service was very good for the most part.

Check-In:

We arrived by private transfer, and nobody knew quite what to do with us when we walked up to the regular check-in area (Imperial Club guests are supposed to have their own check-in area). It took a few minutes to figure out where we were supposed to go, and for them to find someone to come check us in. The “private” check-in area is a sitting area to the left of the main check-in counter. I guess because we arrived before the tour company bus, they weren't ready. We did not receive our “cool towel” or our “welcome drink.” Not a huge deal, but we were disappointed because we had been telling our kids how the pampering would get started as soon as we arrived. Check-in was relatively easy. Once we were given room cards and such, we were told a tram would arrive to take us to our room. After waiting far too long, we finally grabbed our bags and walked to our room ourselves (about a 5 minute walk).

Room:

The room was a nice size with two double beds, and one pull-out couch. We had already decided to put our children in the double beds, and my wife and I would take the “queen” pull-out bed. There were no sheets in the room for the pull-out bed, so we had to call down. They were delivered later in the afternoon (although we had to make the bed ourselves...not a big deal). As Imperial guests we were to have our beach towels in the room upon arrival, but they were not there, so we called down again. The person at the desk said they'd send some. By the next morning the towels still had not arrived, so I walked back up to reception where I had to argue with the front desk to either give me towels (they kept insisting they were in our room), or provide towel cards so I could go get them myself. They finally gave me the towel cards. What a headache.

The two double beds in our room were satisfactory, and the kids were fine sleeping on them. Beds are tricky because everyone likes something different. The pull-out bed was probably the hardest bed I've ever tried to sleep on, and when we come back to the resort with our kids in the future, we will be bringing an air-bed so nobody has to sleep on the pull-out couch (or we'll splurge for an adjoining room). We called down to housekeeping to ask for a bed topper (available at other resorts we've stayed at), and they said they'd send one. It never arrived. The next day we went down to the front desk and were told they don't have bed toppers. Later that evening we were back at reception dealing with an un-related issue, and one of the girls heard us complaining about the pull-out bed. She offered to send a mattress to go on top. We said sure, and went back to the room in hopes something would arrive. We were very impressed when a thick green foamy mattress was delivered to our room within about 30 minutes. The gentleman came in and set it all up, and even made the bed for us. I had planned to go back down to try and find out the name of the young lady who had ordered the new mattress for us, but we never made it. This is one of our few regrets from this trip, because she literally changed our whole feeling about the resort up to this point. It made the bed totally fine for us to sleep on for the rest of our trip. Again, that young lady at the front desk should be commended for the level of service she provided in successfully fixing the problem!

Room/Housekeeping:

We found housekeeping to be very inconsistent. There were four of us in the room. When we arrived, there were only three bath towels. Of the 14 nights we were there, they didn't put enough towels in our room for the four of us until about 4-days before we left when we finally emailed the Manager. We got so sick of having to call down and ask for more towels. They consistently only provided three towels in our room (one day only two towels), so we ended up having to share towels almost every day. Even when we called down to housekeeping and asked for more, they wouldn't arrive in time for pre-dinner showers. We finally emailed the main manager, and he was extremely apologetic. For those last few days at the resort, we had four towels every day. Ironically, the first day or so, we left a $5USD tip for the cleaner and $5 for the beverage person. The next day was the day we only received two towels, and instead of four bottles of water, we were left with only three. We think our room was simply the last one they cleaned that day, and they ran out and didn't go back to get more. After that, we stopped tipping our housekeeping staff. Normally we leave a few dollars every couple days and extra if they prepare towel animals (since the kids really like these). But we didn't start getting towel animals until the last few days. When the turn-down lady came to the room, she only left two chocolates. Again, not a big deal...but just one more thing reminding us they didn't remember that there were four of us in the room. We suggested to the manager that they always give their staff a list of how many people are in each room each night so they can ensure the room is prepared for that number of people. He definitely listened to us when we voiced our concerns, and was obviously eager to make them right. The manager clearly cared about the resort, and wanted to ensure they provided excellent service. My parents who stayed in another section of the resort, never had a single issue with their housekeeping staff who were always amazing, but then there were only the two of them in the room. I should also mention that we are not the kind of people who expect new towels each day, and are more than happy re-use to cut down on water consumption, but we do need enough for the people in our room. The room was however always spotless. On the rare occasions we used the air-conditioning it did a great job, and didn't have the musty smell common in Caribbean AC units. Our tv was an old one, but that doesn't really bother us as we're not there to watch tv. There were plenty of hangers, and enough shelves, drawers, etc, to put all our clothes. There was a small table and two chairs in the room, and two plastic deck chairs on the deck.

Restaurants:

We dined at every restaurant on the property except the Royal Suites restaurant (because you aren't allowed unless you stay in the Royal section), and the Brazilian restaurant. We found them to be good to excellent, with most being very good. Our favourites were Bamboo, Sumptuori, Punta Emilia, and the steak house (they even had apple pie). We also enjoyed the beach BBQ. We ate breakfasts at Tikal and La Hacienda, and ate lunch wherever we found ourselves at the time. The buffets were always good/very good. We dined at the ala carte restaurants for supper each night at around 5:30pm and never had any issues getting a table promptly. Any nights we went later, we waited no more than 20 minutes. Service varied from restaurant to restaurant (as with anywhere else), but was generally very good with attentive staff. Those that provided excellent service, got excellent tips (just like at home). We also ate lunch at the restaurants by the pools which are also buffet style and they were usually quite good with a varied selection, and lots of salad items, etc. I think that this was one of the best resorts we've been to for overall food quality. This was my parents first all-inclusive (they usually cruise), and they were pleased with the quality of food.

Beach and Pools:

We spend most of our time at the beach when we travel, but do spend a bit of time at the pools as well. We usually went to the Colonial/Kantenah pool because my parents were staying in the Kantenah section and this area provided a great half-way point. We went to the White Sand pool a few times as well. I don't think we had a preference of one over the other. The beach areas were amazing, with lots of chairs and space in both the sun, and in the shade. We usually found a spot that provided a bit of both. We did some snorkeling and you can see large fish in as little as 3' of water. So for those who don't want to go out too far, there's usually still something to see. Some areas of the beach are fairly rocky, but we got to know how to look at the colour of the water to know where the best path was, and none of us had any issues with this. Most areas are just fine; it's only a few areas with rocks. We didn't bother with water shoes. We walked over to the salt-water pool area, and it was beautiful; definitely worth a visit. They always had lots of activities around the pool – dancing, fitness classes, yoga, etc. In the morning they usually had relaxing music playing, but the dance music started shortly after 10am if I remember correctly. We don't really mind this too much either as it makes it feel festive, and if you wanted a quieter space, you just chose a chair on the opposite side of the pool (the area is huge).

Sports and Recreation:

They have a really good sports facility here, with many options. We played mini-golf a few times, and they had soccer fields, volleyball, etc. One day we went down to try their rifle range, but apparently the rifles (pellet guns actually), were all broken and they had no idea when they'd be back. So that was disappointing. Instead we were offered target practice with bow/arrow, which we thought sounded fun. There was however only one bow and a few arrows. We walked to the range and were each only able to shoot about 10 arrows because there were other people waiting who wanted a turn as well, and with only one bow and about 20 arrows, it turned into a very short and disappointing experience. We didn't bother to go back there after that. But the facility was nice, and the mini-golf course provided lots of shade while playing. So that was fun. Their gym facility has lots of equipment, is clean, and is in excellent shape. There was almost nobody there. Overall, there is a ton of great recreational opportunities around this property!

Feeding the Animals:

Lots of people feed the animals, and most of the time it was in an area that had big signs up saying “Don't Feed the Animals.” We did see one little girl get bit, and she had to go get a shot. This was because she was holding the food and the animals were taking it right out of her hand, so accidents happen. What really annoyed us is how many people feed the animal s chunks of white bread. I thought most people knew that all this does is expand in their stomach to make them feel fool, but it doesn't provide the nutrition they need. But I guess some people don't get it. If you're going to feed them, at least give them a piece of fruit. One issue they have there is the number of people feeding the koi in the many ponds around the restaurants. People insist on giving them chunks of white bread, which bloats their stomachs, and they die. We saw several fish floating dead, and the staff explained this is why the fish die. The resort even provides boxes around the pond that hold the proper food for feeding the fish, and explain the proper feeding times and such...but many people still don't get it, and they end up killing the beautiful fish.

Getting Around:

This is probably the largest resort we've been to. We have been to other large resorts like this (Bahia Principe Akumal), and we like them because they provide a lot of variety, and new areas to explore. We walked around the entire resort daily while we were there, and always walked everywhere we went. We did not like their tram system, and the one time we got on the driver kept driving and wouldn't stop at any of the stops despite us calling up to him in both English and Spanish. Even other guests were yelling for him to stop at various times, but he just kept driving. I guess he was behind schedule. We ended up twice as far from our destination than where we started from, and had to walk twice as far. So we didn't waste our time with the trams anymore after that. My elderly parents used them in the Kantenah section, along with the private golf carts, and this worked well for them in that area. I think in general this is a good system, we just had a bad experience, and since we are very mobile, we just didn't bother trying again.

Around the White Sand area, you can get on a boat that will take you around the “lake” there. We all really enjoyed this. The boat driver is a really great guy, and obviously loves his job! My parents went on the boat at least once every day. There is limited seating, but well worth it if you have to wait as it's very relaxing to tootle around...helps you slow down (since you're on vacation). The driver will take you to areas with lots of fish, and you can feed them, which the kids enjoyed.

Something we really liked about this resort is that most sections are an easy walk to the highway. We like taking Collectivo's to Playa, Tulum, etc. So it's nice to not have to walk too far to get to the highway. At the Bahia Principe it was quite a trek to get to the highway.

Shows/Entertainment

We took in a few of the shows, and they were very good. Staff try very hard, and put a lot of effort in. They offer quite a variety, so there's something for everyone. Anytime our ladies got caught up in a show we didn't want to see, the boys just headed next door and played some pool. So that was great.

Staff Interactions:

Almost every interaction with staff was positive! Even passing the groups of cleaners as they deployed for their days work in the morning was met with friendly greetings. We were very impressed with all the staff we met.

Conclusion:

We dealt with a few little annoying issues while at this resort. Would we go there again? Yes, without question. My parents are already planning their next trip to Mexico, and trying to get a group of people to go with them. The Grand Palladium will likely be the place they choose. We were concerned that two-weeks would be too much and we'd be bored, but we could easily go back for another two-weeks right now. It's the sheer size and variety found at this resort that makes a longer stay an easy decision. [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Amazing Beach, food was excellent.
The weak points
Pull-out bed, and disorganized components of our stay
Certified

Wonderful resort

, East Preston, NS
2013-03-02
The White Sands section of GP was exactly what we like in a resort. It tended to be a little of quieter than the rest of the resort. Huge pool, no line up at the bar, plenty of chairs any time of day, excellent entertainment team, great music. Tons of fun. Beach was large but you will need water shoes due to the coral. Excellent snorkelling. Food was very good. Loved the no reservation policy at the a la cartes. Only had to wait for a table once. The Colonial resort was much busier, long lines at the buffet, bars, etc. Two shows a night and we went to both when we could - much higher quality of show than I have seen elsewhere. Best aspect were the staff - all were friendly and hard working. Met lots of interesting people [Details]
  • Room
  • Quality - Price
  • Front desk & Reception
  • Beaches
  • Location
  • Bathroom
  • Staff / Crew
  • Cleanliness
  • Food & Restaurants
The strong points
Staff,enough chairs for everyone at pool, can choose between busy or less busy as you choose
The weak points
pillows are awful, not designed for people with mobility issues as there are lots of stairs and bridges
Certified
pages: 123

Click to
see hotel on
Google Maps

Are you a hotel owner?

Copyright © Monarc.ca 2008-2021