Leigh-Ann stayed at the Grand Palladium for a wonderful seven night vacation recently. Here is her review.
The Grand Palladium is a multi-section resort about 1.5 hours from the Cancun International airport that is nestled inside a rain forest along Mexico’s Riviera Maya. This property is divided into 5 different sections. The Kantenah and Colonial were the first to be built in 2002. The rooms in both sections are all identical. The only difference is each one has it is own lobby to provide faster check-in and better service for visiting guests. This is the only section of the resort to have a standard room. Also, in an effort to conserve energy, the lights in these habitations can only be turned on when the room key is entered into a panel. Room categories here are the standard room, junior suite (similar to a standard room but with a seating area), and the Mayan Suites. These are the only Mayan suites in the complex that are clustered together in a building. The rest resemble bungalows. This is also considered the “budget” section of the resort as rooms here usually price out lower than the other areas. Next is the White Sand and Riviera sections. The lowest room category here is the junior suite which features a small seating area with a couch that pulls out into a bed. Guests can request two doubles or one king. These rooms also feature a Jacuzzi tub that can either be found inside the bathroom or the middle of the room. The suites are similar, but the bedroom is completely separated from the living area with a door. Connecting rooms are even available. In the Colonial section, specific junior suite rooms connect to other junior suites. In the White Sand and Riviera section, some junior suites connect with suites. The Mayan suites in this section are incredibly romantic and overlook the lagoon. Guests can request a canoe so they can paddle up right to their balcony or take a tour of the property via the lake. The rooms are circular with a king bed which faces a small couch. The bathroom is a huge hallway that features a sink/closet area which then leads into another section featuring a tub directly across from the toilet and bidet. There is no private door around the toilet. Directly beyond this is an outdoor, private shower where couples can enjoy a romantic interlude beneath the stars or under the sun. Mayan suites cater to couples and are adults only. Finally the Royal Section (where I stayed) is at the end of the property and is considered the premium, adults only section as it features additional amenities that aren’t available in the other areas such as a liquor bar which features full bottles of Rum, Vodka, Scotch, and Tequila as well as 24 hour room service. These guests also have access to a private beach and pool area, which again is adults only and has palapa beds which are ideal for lounging by the water with a frosty beverage. Guests in the Royal section also have their own private restaurant, Jardin, which is open for breakfast and features a dinner menu that changes daily and includes lobster at no extra charge.
Since this property is built within a forest, visitors will see all types of flora and fauna in its natural habitat. Grand Palladium does a great job of putting plagues throughout the resort that explain the different types of vegetation and animals indigenous to the area. There is a gymnasium inside the spa with a separate room for aerobics where a Zumba class is offered Monday-Friday at 5PM. The outside walls are floor to ceiling windows so you can see what’s happening in the woods while you’re shaking it. On the opposite side of the spa is a water circuit that is free for all guests over 18 years of age. It even includes a vapor steam room and a treatment where guests walk on a circular path of rocks to stimulate circulation.
Guests are allowed unlimited access to the various ala carte restaurants on the property which include Japanese, Asian, Brazilian, Mexican, Steak House, Italian, Mediterranean, and a restaurant for “Rib’s and more”. When I was there, the dinner crowd didn’t start until after 8PM. But when a line forms, guests are given a pager like those found in traditional restaurants that alert them when their table is ready.
Those staying at the Royal Suites are able to make reservations for 3 different nights during a week of stay. These are the only guests who can reserve a table in advance. There are also a few buffets that are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They feature grill and pasta sections for dishes that are made to order in addition to several buffet bars filled with various salads, soups, fruits, vegetable, cheeses, sauces, and other items. They are equipped to handle most dietary restrictions from gluten-free options to those with nut allergies. Visitors should alert their travel agent to any special dietary needs so they can give the concierge a heads up email prior to arrival. Guests requiring a special menu are given a color coded card specific to their particular need.
Entertainment on the resort comes in many different forms. They have two shows every evening. One starts around 9PM and other around 10:30PM. They have a weekly schedule of activities that includes things like Bingo, Salsa and Meringue lessons, rifle practice, archery, trivia, ping pong tournament, bartender lessons, and more! Free water sports can be found at the Scuba Caribe area on the beach right off the Kantenah section. There you can find paddle boats, kayaks, hobie cats, windsurfing, and scuba gear. Guests are limited to 30 minutes of use for each item per day. Instruction isn’t included. I had an amazing snorkeling experience during my visit. They had an area marked off for especially for snorkeling and I saw all sorts of fish right off the beach. The resort even has a disco that is open from 11PM-2AM each night. We were there for Mexico Independence Day so they played a lot of Latin Hits. We stopped in for retro night and heard a few tracks from the Grease Soundtrack before calling it a night. It is just like a little bar you’d see somewhere in downtown with strobe lights, a disco ball, a full bar, and all types of seating.
I really enjoyed my time at the Grand Palladium. I saw each room category available and there is something for everyone. Honeymoon couples can enjoy the romance at one of the Mayan Suites in the White Sand or Royal Suites areas. Families on a budget can find great pricing on a room in the Kantenah and Colonial areas. Families who’d like a larger suite can find accommodations in the Riviera and White Sands section. I spent 7 nights at the resort, and had plenty of things to do. The beds were pretty comfortable. The food was decent. As far as alcohol goes I remember seeing Skyy and Stolichnaya Vodka. The scenery was incredible! They had two very large family pools and each pool area had Greek columns denoting the Jacuzzi area. There were even tiled loungers built right into the pool. In addition to all of the beautiful plants and flowers, I found myself excited by all of the different creatures and insects that make their home here. It was a fun, exciting, informative, and relaxing vacation. I would return.
We’ve all witnessed other passengers behaving badly while traveling, but I wonder how many of us have been behaving badly and perhaps not even realized it. So, I decided to look around the aircraft and compile a list of 10 tips for being a good citizen while flying.
1. Try not to use overhead bin space. I can already hear things whizzing past my head as you business travelers are throwing things at me, but hear me out. For one thing, I believe that most of my audience are vacation / leisure travelers. When you’re going on vacation or you’re going to attend a family wedding or visit your grandma you are not usually on such a tight schedule that you can’t wait the extra 15 or 20 minutes at baggage claim. As far as the baggage fees, what I hear people say most often is “why don’t they just build it into the airfare”. Well, the same could be said of you. Why don’t you just build those baggage fees into the total price you intend to pay for your trip.
When you’re not worried about getting an overhead bin, you don’t have to worry about how soon you get on the plane and you’ll never get stuck with a seat in row 14 and your bag back in row 27. (How much time are you saving anyway when you have to wait for the whole plane to get off before you can get back to get your bag?)
2. Stay in your space. I know this is easier for some people than others. At the very least, do go ahead and put the arm rest down and respect the fact that the area beyond that arm rest belongs to your seat mate.
3. Get on and sit down. When your row is called, get in line, board the plane and don’t stand in the aisle messing with your stuff. Stand in front of your seat (or at least in your row) and finish whatever messing around you have to do to stow your stuff. Don’t stop traffic to mess with your stuff.
4. Don’t lean back in coach. There is precious little room for each passenger. Don’t lean back and take up the space that rightfully belongs to the person behind you. Also, your leaning back makes it awkward for the passenger behind you to use their tray table.
5. Touch the seat in front of you as little as possible. If the person in front of you is sleeping and you grab that seat so that you can stand up, or you jostle that seat to pull down your tray table, or you play air drums on that tray table, that person is going to wake up. If the person in front of you is lucky enough to have fallen asleep, do you really want to mess that up?
6. Don’t read the screens around you. Maybe your fellow passenger is writing email, maybe they’re watching a movie, maybe they’re reading a website. Whatever they’re doing, I’m pretty sure it is none of your business. Keep your eyes to yourself.
7. Follow crew member instructions. Put your electronics away at the proper time, take your seat and don’t get up while the seatbelt sign is on (unless it is an honest to goodness emergency). Follow instructions and make the flight as smooth as possible.
8. Order promptly. When the cart comes near to you and it is almost time to choose which snack to purchase or which drink to have, go ahead and make those choices so that when the flight attendant asks, you’ll can order promptly and let them continue their cabin service. (There is probably a list of the options on a card in the seat back pocket in front of you.)
9. Bathroom Tips: There are an awful lot of people using those teeny tiny bathrooms. Don’t linger, someone is probably waiting for relief. Also, Drain the basin. Wipe the basin out Flush. Make sure your paper towels go all the way in the trash can without hanging out. Try to leave it in good shape for the next person.
10. Be nice. It isn’t the flight attendants fault if you had a fight with your spouse right before you left the house. It also isn’t your fellow passenger’s fault if you had a really rude clerk at the hotel. Take a deep breath and remember that you’ll always catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
P.S. I just went back and talked to the flight attendants in the galley as they were cleaning up. They added these two tips to my list:
11. Don’t touch the flight attendants. They said that people are forever poking them on their hips and bottoms as they go by on the cart. If you wouldn’t touch a stranger in a certain way any other setting, don’t touch the flight attendants that way either.
12. Please and thank you go a long way.
So you’ve chosen the dates of your vacation. You’ve called us and priced what you’re considering. Great…you’re closing in on finalizing your plans. BUT, maybe you have to wait for your next paycheck, or you have to wait to make sure your vacation time will be approved. Maybe you have to wait for your traveling companion to confirm that they’re able to go with you.
Whatever the reason, you can’t confirm your vacation.
Then, finally, the last detail is in place. You’re ready to confirm. So you call us and, HORRORS, your trip has gone up in price.
The simple fact is that prices just aren’t guaranteed until deposit is made on a reservation. Airfare tends to be the most volatile, but hotel prices can certainly vary as well. Not only can things sell out, but even if the hotel or flight is still available the prices can change at any time.
So, if you can’t quite confirm your trip yet, keep in mind that waiting is like playing the stock market. You could win..but you could also lose.