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Reviewed 16 January 2012

Ahh where do I start with this resort?
I travelled with my boyfriend to this resort for 2 weeks. We looked up the reviews and did our research on it and decided to go because it was raved about and I can see why.
We went at the start of august.

Just a bit of info for those planning on going with thomson :)
I would recommend doing the thomson package to this resort, it all went smoothly apart from we did get put on a slightly smaller first choice plane which is annoying considering it's an 11 hour flight. For £5 I think, you get choice of what selected films you'd like on, games and tv programmes which definitely helps the time along, i'd probably go nuts without it, they had the bus waiting for us at the cancun aiport straight away and there was no hassle. Simple.

Check in
When we arrived we were very very happy, the lobby is GORGEOUS, it's all open and exotic, really positive start. The staff were lovely and we had to fill in a small form and we were away, except a woman did give us a cocktail and talk to us about the resort (I know this isn't what you want after all that travelling but she really does help as it's a huge resort with lots to know)
A man then put our suitcases onto a golf cart and drove us to our block.

The room
At the palladium, there are many many blocks of rooms which is lovely! There are only about 16 rooms in each building and all the buildings are separated so you never have too much noise and it's very peaceful. We arrived at our building which wasn't too far from where everything was, maybe a 3 min walk. The room was good, clean spacey with a working bath and shower. We wanted a double bed but got two large separate beds so we had to put the two beds together, the only downside was neither of us could sleep in the middle as you'd fall down the gap separating the two beds haha! We're not complainers to be honest so we didn't feel the need to complain about this, we sorted it ourselves and it was no problem.
The resort is in the middle of some kind of jungle so I didn't go out on the balcony much because there were often giant ants or cockroaches out there which i'm not too keen on, my boyfriend was happy to go out there with a beer and relax though. We had a boring view of bushes but what can you do, it's hit and miss with the view.
The beds were not very comfy which I expect in large resorts but they weren't horrible, i'd maybe bring your own pillow if you can to avoid any stiff necks.
We had our fridge filled up EVERYDAY without fail with cold cokes, sprites, orange fizz and beers which we appreciated muchly. The maid was lovely, always said good morning and our room was always spotless, I think they deserve a daily tip as they get paid so little and are still cheery to all guests.

The resort layout
The layout of the resort is amazing, it's four very similar resorts all in one and you can use any of the four even though you're in a certain one. We stayed in the kantenah but we loved going to the riviera side and white sands as they had different a la cartes. The pools are all pretty much the same in all resorts as are the lobbies and bars but there are diff a la cartes in each one, the walking distance is quite far to do often if you're not a walker so you can catch the train which is constantly making stops outside each lobby so you will never wait long for it at all. The walks are nice every so often and good for discovering more parts of the resort!!
Overall the resort is MASSIVE!!! If you get bored here there is something wrong with you ;-)

The food buffet and a la cartes
Lunch
For lunch you could go to the buffet or to the beach bar which serves hot dogs, burgers, nachos, chicken wings, chicken burgers and all that kind of stuff, we appreciated this now and then because the nachos were yummy, a lot of the younger ones loved the beach bar for food and there was many groups of young kids eating together there with friends they had met which is adorable.
We often went to the little lunch area which overlooks the pool because it was breezy and you could watch the lunchtime challenges in the pool whilst eating. They served burgers, pasta, chips, wedges, spagbol and a wide range of salad options etc. There was a waiter there who would never let us finish a drink before bringing us another one, he got us quite tipsy at lunch quite often but it was amazing service.

The buffet area in each part of the resorts are lovely! The buffet room is very posh and feels like a restaurant and not a canteen which is the case with a lot of resort buffet areas. Each day there would be new decorations up to suit the theme of the food and it's a really nice touch :)
The food was yummy, we never ever ever had a problem with it or found it repetitive because there was just too much variety especially with the daily changing themes of food. There was american style with lots of kentucky fried chicken, fish nights, chinese and indian etc. The quality of the food was seriously high considering it's a resort, everything I tried was delicious and restaurant standard. My boyfriend had fun trying all sorts of different unfamilar food, because it's all inclusive you can do this which is a bonus!

A la cartes
We ate at most of the a la cartes and loved them all except the mexican strangely enough haha, the restaurant didn't have as nice an atmosphere as some of the others and i'm not sure if we chose the wrong dish or the food just wasn't to our taste. We had chicken fajitas but I wasn't fussy. Apart from that they were all great. Our fav was the italian, the restaurant is gorgeous and they served really posh italian food, we went there twice!
When you go to the a la cartes there is a little waiting time, you go into the building and they take your name and give you a little buzzer so you wait till it flashes then you're ready to go. We liked this little wait time because it meant we could sit down and have cocktails together before the meal. It's actually a nice touch :)

The beach
Ahhhh the beach, we loved the beach. Just looking at it was good enough for us, the water was clear blue and the sand was so soft and you can really see you're in the carribean when you look at the beach, although it's a massive resort the beach is still relaxing, beware if you go in the summer months though, lying down on the beach under the sun can burn you very strongly and quickly even with factor 50 on!!
There were water sports available and we went on the peddle boats out into the sea which was cool and relaxing, free of charge so worth having a go on.
Beach vollyball is just at the back of the beach and there were always a lot of people up for playing and it gets competitive haha, very fun.

Pools.
The pools are HUGE and there is a similar massive one in every four parts of the resort. They're clean and often peaceful because they're so big, you can always find a quiet spot. There are sunbeds in the pool along the outside of some parts, they're so good for having a sunbathe whilst keeping cool in the pool.
pool games are played throughout the day, you could play some kind of pool football where you have goals and have to pass the ball to each other, great for the kids and adults too, the dads got more competitive than the children! Around lunchtime the entertainers do challenges and courses around the pool which gets noisy so if it bothers you, then you can go to lunch. There are looads of sunbeds so you should be able to find some quite easily, we would go down about 9ish and get a nice sunbed right by the pool.

Gardens
The gardens are kept spectacularly well looked after. Always green and lush and you'll always see gardeners tending to it. There were often iguanas (I think that's what they were) wandering around for you to take snaps of.

Drinks
The drinks are all decent but the cocktails are AMAZING! They have a massive range of them and the blue lagoon was my ultimate fav. They're strong and not watered down like a lot of resorts, you can really get your moneys worth. Plenty of bars for you to order them from.

Spa
We visited the spa twice, it's great! Most of it is free, you can use all the pools, whirlpools and hot tub type areas for free and the lazy river is so relaxing! The spa is gorgeous, it's decorated so beautifully and a must-go. I could spend all day there. We didn't use any of the services so can't comment on them.

Sports
The resort offers lots of sports facilities, tennis, football, mini golf etc and we had a go on mini golf, many people said loads of mozzies were lurking there but we never saw one. It was a fun little round so worth having a go!

I have tried including everything in my review but have probably forgotten a lot. If you're thinking of going to this resort then GO! I have been to many 5* resorts and this one tops all by far. It was my first time in Mexico but I honestly can't imagine many resorts beating this one.
We're going here for our honeymoon we loved it that much and have special memories here.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank jhg123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2012

Dear jhg123,

Thank you for your time and for your comments. I am glad to know that you have had a nice honeymoon with us.

Best regards,

Banesa Mª Burque
Resident Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2012

This is our first stay at the kantenah hotel from January 3 to January 10 the resorts was big, the train and golf carts helps getting to the other parts of the resort easily. The beach was awesome with nice white sandy areas lots of palapas for shade and lots of chairs to lay in . The 24 hr. beach bar serves up drinks thanks for pedro...and food right on the beach with lots of entertainment and activities on the beach like live music , volleyball, , beach b.b.q, scuba diving, water sports. The swimming pools are big with the nice swim up bar.The 3 large buffets serves up great food for breakfast , lunch , and dinner. We were not able to hit all the a la cartes, Elderado and the Mexican was so authentic. I wish people would tip more! these people wrk so hard to please everyone. We enjoyed a train ride that takes u through the resorts. swim up bar was so refreshing. Our daughter spent a whole day at the kids raccoon club, krafts games and fun, the staff are very attentive and love thier job. the beds were changed everyday, CLEAN. Iguanas everywhere! harmless creatures who love to pose for the camera. Flammingos.....sooo beautifull! I rate this place a ***** resort. Truly Paradise!!! a must when booking a vacation.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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7  Thank Rob H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 18 January 2012

Dear Rob H,

Thank you for share with us your comments. It's a pleasure for us to know that you had have a nice vacation in Grand Palladium.

Best regards,

Banesa Mª Burque
Resident Manager

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Reviewed 14 January 2012

Have just returned last evening and Air transat was once again solid from start to finish. Stayed at the Kantenah in building 43 near the lobby and found it to be centrally located. This resort is spotlessly clean with staff everywhere.We travelled from the salt water pool to the end of Kantenah beach by foot, trolley and train and the kids loved it, kept everyone busy with a small adventure.Food was great and many many areas to go for buffet or ala carte, I love civiche.Beach is amazing with a full reef and a full soft sand area as well, always lots of room and privacy at the beach or the pool area.
My kids espescially loved the pool and the resort will provide life jackets, free as needed.
There is a full crocodile exhibit and a flamingo area that are beautiful and the kids had to see them each day, Iguanas everywhere.
This place is a paradise for families with kids, it appeared to me all the adults had kids along, and my older one spent a half day at the kids club and enjoyed it.They provided a go-kart style stroller to let my little one ride around on our walks through the many sheltered and roadway areas at this incredible resort.
My thanks to all staff for their courtesy and accomodating way.

Room Tip: Every room creates your own adventure Go have fun
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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5  Thank travelbugs008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 18 January 2012

Dear travelbugs008,

In behalf of Grand Palladium team, I would like to give you thank you for your time and for your comments.

Best regards,

Banesa Mª Burque
Resident Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 January 2012

Stayed at the Palladium the week of Dec 3, 2011. This was our first time to this resort and we were very impressed. Liked the fact that you could use the spa free of charge. There is a charge for services and the mud treatment was excellent. There are plenty of tennis courts to use,s my boys had a great time playing for the first time. Archery competition was a lot of fun for them as well as miniature golf and shuffle board. They didn't get to snorkel very much because the water was to rough except the last full day we were there. Bring your own snorkeling gear if you want to stay out longer than a half hour, that was the time limit they were given. The pool is very large and I liked the fact there were enough lounge chairs so you could always find a free chair when needed. The beach was nice and the boys were told to bring bread out on the sand bar to feed the fish. That was pretty cool as they swarmed around you to eat the bread. The water was so clear you could see them all. We only had to wait 10 minutes or less to be seated at the a la carte restaurants for a party of 8. No reservations needed was the best thing. The food was really good at the a la carte and buffet restaurants. The employees were all very nice and polite. The adults only pool was very nice, liked the extra cushion on the lounge chairs. Loved the show People of Palladium especially Beyonce single ladies song that was pretty funny. The kids want to go back to the same resort next year they had such a great time. I don't think there was anything negative about our visit. We all had a great time and can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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Thank lvanor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2012

Dear lvanor,

Thank you so much for your excellentes comments.

Please, if you decide to visit us again, don't hesitate to contact with us.

With Best regards,

Banesa Mª Burque
Resident Manager

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Reviewed 13 January 2012

Sorry so late. We traveled December 10-20 from Chicago. This was our 7th time here, so we already knew what to expect, but that didn't take anything away from the excitement of walking into the lobby of the Kantenah. We stayed in villa 50 Kantenah side which is conveniently located right by the beach and the beach bar.

Airport: Make sure you ignore the people in the airport trying to get you to take taxis or whatever, they're just trying to sell timeshares. Walk past them outside to get to your shuttle. We booked through Apple and reserved a shuttle for $30 USD a person round trip from the airport to the resort. Well worth it. The bus stops at resorts on the way, up to 54. after that plane ride, you just want to get to the resort!

Beach: Best part of the beach in my opinion is the Kantenah side, which is the northern part of the resort. It's less rocky and the sand is very smooth. The beach itself has plenty of shade if you want that or plenty of chairs in the sun if you want that.

Food: We did 7 ala cartes. The Italian at the White Sands and the Japanese at the Kantenah were my favorite, but all were good. The show table at the Japanese is the best way to do it! The ala cartes used to take up to 3 hours for a complete meal and we noticed that they knocked it down to about 1.5 hour which is great. We ran into a family from Canada who were told they weren't allowed to make reservations? We never heard of such a thing. As soon as you check in, there's a lady on the Colonial side with a computer making reservations from 8am-5pm. Visit her, she's super nice. We tipped the servers 5-10 each meal. They were great! There is a beach bbq every thursday on the beach in front of the main pool. Great food! You have to make reservations though, and can only do it one day prior.
The 24 hour beach snack bar was great. It's right by the main pool and the food is great. During the day they set up the buffet but at night it's cooked to order so the mapache's (raccoons) don't bother it. The jalapeno poppers and the chicken quesadillas are great.
The buffet at the main pool also has great food. The roasted pork was amazing. They're only open until 4 o clock.. and when they say 4, they mean it. they close the doors and that's it. but the beach snack bar is still open if you're really hungry.

Bars: The drinks are as strong or as weak as you want them. Make sure you tip the bartenders. Even if it's only a $5 they will keep you in mind and always take your order first. Alejandro at the Beach bar Kantenah side was great. Very personable. Went to visit him the morning we left and it was tough to say goodbye. On the colonial side theres a sports bar that's a lot of fun. Card tables, pool tables, etc... they also serve drinks and food there too. i believe they close at 1 am

Travel around the resort: EASY! The resort is big, yes. But it is so easy to get around. The trains take you from lobby to lobby and other trains actually take you back into the villas to your room. The bellhops are sooo nice and very helpful. *tip them, they may recognize you and give you priority on the golf cart rides.

Entertainment: The "fun team" at the pool is GREAT. They have belly flop contests, beer drinking contests, bull riding contests (they bring in an actual mechanical bull).. at Night there are 2 shows. One in the Colonial Theater and one in the Riviera Theater. The shows are cheesy but are also fun. The audience participation is always hilarious. There is a discoteca located in the Riviera that closes at 3 am. it's huge but if you get the right people in there, it's alot of fun. ONly 18 and older though, they have security watching.

Excursions: We went to XPLOR this year.. amazing!!! Besides the obvious ziplining, it's basically a waterpark. We took the collectivo there (pick up right in front of the resort for $2.00 USD per person) drop you off there and then when done, walk across the main highway and catch it back to the resort. The cost was $99 per person for XPLOR. well worth it! That price includes everything- ziplining, going into the caves, food, ETC.. The ziplining is A LOT OF WALKING.Once you get past the first zipline, the line moves rather quickly. My advice is to get there when they open at 9am so there isn't a lot of poeple and you can be in the front of the lines. THey are closed Sundays. The ATV through the jungle was AWESOME. it takes your through the jungle and through caves. THere is also a buffett set up which had suprisinginly good food (included in the price) and you can go there as many times as you want throughout the day. THe park closes at 5. GREAT EXPERIENCE!! My advice would also be to bring an underwater camera. Neat pictures to be taken!
We also went to Playa del Carmen for our annual shopping trip down 5th Ave. Again, we took the collectivo which dropped us off 2 blocks from 5th ave. When we got done, we walked back to the collectivos and they dropped us off back at the Palladium. We always feel safe with the collectivos, the taxis are very expensive.

SPA: Me and my mom enjoyed a 25 min wonderful massage. It was great, they were very professional. If you don't want to pay for a spa service, they have included amentities such as stepping stones, saunas, etc... make a trip there- WORTH IT!

****We stayed at Gran Bahia Principe last year and it was nowhere near what this resort is. I know we'll always come back here. We feel like family and they treat us like family. I know I'm probably leaving a lot of stuff out but if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask! Don't hesitate to book this resort... we can't wait to go back from Christmas 2012, just waiting for flights to open!

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank sarah5120
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2012

Thank you sarah5120 for taking time to share with us your feed back about your vacation at Grand Palladium Resort & Spa.

I appreciate you time and I am glad to know that you enjoyed your vacation here.

With Best regards,

Banesa Mª Burque
Resident Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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