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.