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Reviewed 3 February 2018

Every year we question "Should we go back to the same place again?" and every year we are thankful we did! This was our 5th visit to the Grand Palladium Kantenah, and we had another fabulous time.

I've done full reviews of the resort previously, so if you want to see that please check my other reviews. I will cover what we noticed as different since last year.

First the BAD.
1. The resort complex is made up of 5 hotels. One of which is TRS - The Royal Suites. It appears that TRS is the big focus now as they have taken one of the 4 other hotels and merged it into TRS. What this means is that unless you stay at TRS (Adults only) you no longer have access to the Saltwater pool. This was a disappointment to my kids as we usually snorkel in that pool as there are lots of fish to see and it's a safe environment.

2. Steak House - El Dorado
Overall the food was decent, but our waiter messed up about half the orders and some of the steaks weren't cooked as per the order.

3. Service at Grand Azul - They seem to be under-staffed at the Grand Azul, as the service can be quite slow. It's an outdoor buffet, so the only service required is drink orders and table clearing. Prompt table clearing is important as the animals will come into the seating area to pick food from the plates if they are not cleared away. Need more staff here at lunch time!

4. Umbrellas in the room! - It rained a few times while we were there and it would have been nice if there was a courtesy umbrella in the room for evenings.

5. Beach Bar table service was a bit slow.

6. Breakfast Buffet - Always seemed to be a shortage of ketchup for some reason.

Now the GOOD
1. They expanded the beach bar which now has more seating.
2. Breakfast buffets are still absolutely amazing...everything you could want.
3. Hector from La Hacienda provided wonderful service at dinner.
4. New ping pong tables are top notch and the central location is also better than under the trees.
5. Big Chess is back!!! Thank you!! My kids and I LOVE the big chess board and pieces, and given that it was always being used, I guess lots of other people do as well!
6. Daniel (bartender) at the beach bar was excellent.
7. Alberto who delivered drinks by the pool near the Grand Azul was excellent and always stopped to ask if we wanted drinks and never messed up a single order!
8. The Animacion team are fantastic, specifically Axel, Alexia, Alejandro and Brandon
9. They implemented TV screens in the lobby that shows the GPS location of the inter-lobby trains....very cool as you can now see how long you need to wait, and can make an informed decision to walk if you prefer!
10. At O'Pavao restaurant Lorenzo, Alberto and Federico provided Excellent service. Although the cuts of meat were sometimes chewy.
11. New Buffet: La Dahlia: This was going to be a negative point originally, as they removed the giant Kabah buffet and replaced it with this smaller one. But it is fantastic! Service was excellent, food was amazing, and the decor was just great. Loved this place! Froylan gave us excellent service there as well!
12. The Animacion team would walk around with large sign boards explaining what activity was happening and when. This is a great idea! Very easy to see what's going on.
13. Casino night was so much fun!! Well done whoever dreamed that up! You need more tables and chips for next year!
14. Portofino Restaurant - Being of Italian descent, I was skeptical about this place but my wife wanted to go. I thought the food overall was very good, and Basilio provided great service! One tip for the chef...the centre of my ravioli was cold....make sure you let them heat through properly!
15. Lots of live music all over the resort. Very nice touch.
16. There were "Pop up" bars making specialty drinks in the White Sands resort which was a very nice touch and allowed you to try something you might not have otherwise considered. Great idea!!
17. Don Julio Reposado - Excellent Tequila. Thank you for stocking this wonderful spirit!

Overall we were extremely happy with our choice and would likely go back again!

Date of stay: January 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
8  Thank FabioB_Toronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rosa R, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2018

Dear Fabio,

Thank you for once more, taking the great decision to return to our paradise, we are very honored to have such a loyal family spending holidays with us!

First, we want to show you our appreciation for this fantastic feedback, your observations regarding service in our restaurants and the suggested umbrella for the room, have been transmitted to the corresponding departments.

Furthermore, we understand that not all changes we have done will be well accepted by everyone, be certain that your perception will be share with our Management, nevertheless, our goal is to continue innovating, creating new spaces for you and your family to enjoy and as you could have noticed with our renovation of the snack bar and new additions in restaurants and premium beverages, we will continue to grow year by year, offering you novelties for your satisfaction.

We are also very appreciative of the compliments for our exceptional staff throughout the property, and will be sure to share your comments with Hector, Daniel, Alberto and everyone else you mentioned in your review. They will all be very glad to hear you were pleased with their service.

It will be so lovely to welcome you soon, rest assured that each time you stay with us we will endeavor to show you that you have made the right decision by choosing us for your holidays again!

Kind regards from all your Palladium Family!

Rosa Rivero
Hospitality Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2018

I really wanted to love it here. We traveled with my sisters family and my parents. My mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and we were taking a family trip.
FRONT DESK: I emailed the resort many times to communicate our situation and ask for rooms that would be best for my Mom. I called customer service, posted here in questions (Pedro responded) and emailed all the suggested people. Lucky my family got there a day before my parents. When we got there, no one had any record of my requests. NANCY, the most unwelcoming, patronizing horrible customer service person I have ever met. She did not even say hello when we arrived. She is trained to say no to everything 5 times. I finally got 2 (of the 5 rooms) in close proximity. It was 930.
The first set of room in building 46: our room was completely smoked through. The room also had stained comforters, hair in the bathroom and stained sheets, a broken screen door, broken dresser door, broken phone. So we went to our kids room to call the front desk (the terrible Nancy). Our kids room had s missing door handle so we got trapped in the kids room and had to be rescued by security. After a long haggle, Nancy had us sleep elsewhere while the original room was ozonated overnight. We got to our room by 11:30. The next day, with the smoke still a problem, we had to haggle for another 1.5 hours to get moved to livable rooms best building 47. My sister had the same problem with her room (smoking). We also noticed that something was broken in all the rooms.
LESSONS Learnt: ask for service, they will say no, ask to see Pedro, they will send another “customer service” person who will give you something a tiny bit better, ask for Pedro again. After 5 tries, you will not see Pedro but they may fulfill your request. It’s all comical except, you are wasting time and energy.
FOOD: This is the first time is all of our all-inclusive travels and cruising that I had a hard time finding something to eat. We don’t eat pork so this may have been a unique situation, lots of pork options.
BEACH: awesome. Yes, there where rocky parts, but it was spacious and when it was calm, crystal clear. Lots of shade, we could always find chars. No towel cards when we were there.
SERVICE: it’s a shame that the front desk killed it for us. Everyone else works so hard to make your vacation special. The rest of the service staff were the best we have had anywhere. Buffets, restaurants, bars. Can’t say enough good things. Maybe Nancy should be trained by one of the buffet servers what customer service means.
ENTERNTAIMENT: We found this resort a little quiet for our group. No happy music or dancing. It was boring at night.
CLINIC: this is purely for planning purposes… unfortunately one of our kids had the flu so we saw the docs twice. They can prescribe antibiotics and check for general symptoms but… flu tests or strep test had to be done at the hospital. I recommend you bring meds with you if you anticipate possible problems, I wish I had antibiotics for my kids.
Overall, I probably would not go back primarily because of Nancy.

Date of stay: December 2017
Trip type: Travelled with family
5  Thank kokaadam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rosa R, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 3 February 2018

Dear Guest,

First, thank you for deciding to make this special trip to the Riviera Maya with your family and for selecting our Hotel Grand Palladium Kantenah.

It makes us feel very pleased to know that you enjoyed the beauty of our beach and facilities, all our staff will be very happy to know that attentions in general received from bartenders, wait staff and more was the best service you ever had.

We deeply apologize for the situation presented with your rooms upon arrival, all your requests were in our system indeed, but as you might know, our front desk depends on the availability of rooms they have at the time of your arrival.

Of course, this does not justify the bad smell of your room and we regret to know that the situation was not well handled by Nancy, we have already transmitted your observations to our Management, to make sure that this does not happen again.

We tried to do everything possible so that you and your family were comfortable, accommodating your different requests in the room, which is why we are saddened that these events, in some way, harmed your general perception of the services and attentions received in our Hotel.

We assure you that we will work on the points you mention to improve and we hope you reconsider the possibility of visiting us again, it will always be a pleasure to welcome you in the company of your beautiful family.

With our best regards,

Rosa Rivero
Hospitality Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2018 via mobile

We booked the boots on the beach trip through Marlin Travel last July. Marlin has been amazing. Now for a review of the resort.

I have stayed at a few resorts on the Mayan. I also read a hundred reviews of this resort before coming. It is a beautiful resort. Spotlessly clean and so well kept. A few reviews concerned me so I wondered if this resort would live up to expectations.

I will preface this with saying we work hars and expect the most from our vacations but we are not difficult or unrealistic.

The rooms are perfectly adequate, out bar was stocked daily with beer pop juice and 4L of water. The maids kept out room clean.

With the use of the three resorts we didn’t once eat in the buffet for dinner. But for breakfast and lunch it was fabulous. Yes keeping food piping hot is difficult but the flavours and service made up for it.

Dinners ... the steak house was great order the sirloin. Cooked perfectly and more importantly the staff really were fantastic. In an entire week the only restaurant we didn’t care for was the Mediterranean, the salad bar was outstanding and the service top notch but the entree lacked heat and flavour. Considering we had one mediocre meal this week we did well. We didn’t have enough nights to make it to all the restaurants

The resort offers kayaks, paddle boards, and sailboats for you to take out. We did all three and had a blast. There are some reef rocks in front of the resort so water sports are great although swimming is best right out front of the Kantenah.

There are shows every night at the theatre and the dancers so obviously work hard. After the shows a DJ plays for a good hour and the dance floor is packed in the lobby. After that live music is played all night and the bands are great.

They serve good brands of liquor... Havana club. Captain Morgan’s, Bombay and tangeray..... baileys, don Julio etc if a certain liquor is important to you they probably have it. I always asked for a Bombay and tonic with lime.

The kids pool has fabulous water slides and a water play area. We saw the staff running around the resort with kids in tow doing all sorts of activities every day... although we don’t have young kids it looked like a well organized and fun group at the kids club.

We unfortunately had to make use of the medical facilities. My mom slipped after a rain storm, yes right beside the “watch your step” sign. Being a nurse (stubborn) she didn’t want to get her ankle looked at. Dad chatted with the doctor and he sent someone up to bring her down. He was fabulous! The dr was absolutely top notch on par with Canadian service. The resort offered to move us to the ground floor provide her a wheel chair and the list goes on. It was a sprain and although we declined all offers they were fabulous.

The staff here are always smiling. Always helpful and truly provide great service and regardless of how much or if you even tip it doesn’t change. We truly enjoyed learning new Spanish and chatting with them.

We have stayed in iberostars, Barcelos, Sandos, sirenis, and this so far has topped the list. Although we have a rule that we never go the same resort twice we will absolutely book at Palladium again. I’m glad I didn’t put too much stock in the negative reviews. I’m not sure you can have a perfect vacation but this place does what they can to come close.

Date of stay: January 2018
Trip type: Travelled with family
8  Thank 671rachelh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rosa R, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2018

Dear Rachel,

Thank you so much for deciding to share this fantastic review with our readers, it is fantastic to know that you enjoyed this special trip with us.

As you might know, reviews from our guests are very helpful when deciding to book a destination and it is the best way for Management to know your likes and dislikes, appreciating all kind of feedback and learning from it, to improve our guest’s holiday experience.

We were fortunate enough to have you as our guest, as a frequent traveler to the Riviera Maya, we understand that your expectations are high and we feel very proud of our team, for offering attentions that got us to the top of your list!

On the other hand, we felt very sorry for the incident with your mom, we hope she is feeling fully recovered by now, we will transmit your kind words of appreciation to the Doctor onsite and to all the team, that united efforts assisting her and making her feel as comfortable as they could.

Furthermore, we appreciate your recognition for all the food and drinks quality, we aim to continue improving it and satisfying the most difficult palates, is our goal!

It is fantastic to know that you consider our Hotel for your next trip to this enchanting destination!

With a great desire to see you again…

Rosa Rivero
Hospitality Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 February 2018 via mobile

This trip was actually in January/February 2016. The Grand Palladium Resort we stayed at in Riviera Maya was excellent! The food was great, the views were spectacular, the entertainment was fun, the pool activities were cool and the rooms were very clean and comfortable. Except for walking along the beach, I never left the resort property, so safety was never an issue, although I do recommend using caution should you decide to leave the resort property, don’t go alone.

Date of stay: March 2017
Trip type: Travelled with family
2  Thank Z3862GEashleyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rosa R, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2018

Dear Guest,

Thank you for giving us the pleasure of being your chosen Hotel for your first trip to México last year and for sharing your experience with other travelers.

We are glad that we have made your vacation excellent, offering you the spectacular views of our property; it was a pleasure for all our team delighting your palate with our all-Inclusive services and sharing with you fun and entertaining moments.

Hopefully we have the privilege of welcoming you back this year and remain at your disposal for future vacations.

With kind regards,

Rosa Rivero
Hospitality Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2018 via mobile

We really enjoyed our stay at the Grand Palladium. My husband and I have both been to the Riviera Maya a number of times but this was our first time at this resort.
We were there for 2 weeks and stayed at the Kantenah part. We are from Victoria BC Canada.
We had a very nice room on the second floor. I loved having the long tub and used it every day. A word of warning though, the tub can be slippery and I actually fell the first week and still have a bit of soreness as a result. The safest way to use the tub is to drain the water out and throw a towel on the bottom of the tub so your feet won’t slip. Also, when we used our shower the water would leak under the glass door and onto the floor, so a towel on the floor and a washcloth at the bottom of the glass door was necessary.
I loved that WIFI was available in the room and all over the resort free of charge.
The staff are terrific. Everyone we interacted with was friendly and helpful. I would give the hotel a 10 out of 10 for this.
The grounds are beautiful and I loved seeing all the animals( coatis, agoutis, raccoons,iguanas and birds). I was pleased too, that insects like mosquitoes were not an issue. The beach is lovely although quite a bit of wind so snorkelling off the beach was limited. The pools are numerous and no matter if you wanted a warm or cool pool or one for families or only for adults, you could find it. We liked the Adults Only pool at White Sands because it was quiet and the water was cool.Some of the other pools were bathtub warm, which we don’t care for but some people prefer that. One day at the Adult pool there were a group of yelling, swearing, drunk people. We reported this to the front desk before going back to our room and they said they’d send security there. The next days the people did not return. Don’t know why they didn’t return but it was likely because the hotel followed up on our complaint.
We thoroughly enjoyed the nightly entertainment. My favourites were the Argentinian dance during the “World” night and the Mexican night. Very talented group of dancers. We also played mini golf and even tried target shooting and there are many other things for kids and younger people to do.
The food was overall good. The buffets have so much choice you could always find something good to eat. Coffee unfortunately was hit and miss. Some days it was ok and some days not. The a la carte restaurants were variable. Most were very good but some not so much.
They now have a separate section of the hotels called “The Royal Suites” or TRS. We ended up going to the Travel Club presentation because of the offer of a gift, which was for us $300US towards spa services. I think we met with 4 different people and had a tour of one of the new, luxurious suites. The first 3 people were pleasant and did not try and hard sell us. The 4th person, Ursula, however was aggressive, sarcastic and disrespectful of us and gave us the hard sell. I guess when it was clear we were not going to buy into the Travel Club they tried to hard sell us as a last resort. Also, we were told that the $300US would pay for us both to have a massage. This ended not being true as a massage is ~ $200US. So only I got a massage.
I enjoyed the Spa and had a 80 minute deep massage and used the facilities. At home in Canada, I have massages frequently and have had for 20 years. The massage was good but I had trouble giving feedback to the therapist as I didn’t have enough Spanish and she didn’t have enough English for us to communicate that she was applying too much pressure. If I went again I would learn some key words in Spanish so I could communicate better. Perhaps the Spa might consider teaching the staff with limited English some words like “too hard”, “lighter” or body part names. The Spa area needs a women’s change room. After my massage I was covered in oil including my hair. This was not a problem until I realized there was no women’s change room to have a shower with shampoo and soap to clean off the oil. I had to put my swimsuit on and go to a public shower with an opaque door and clean off the oil as best I could with a soap dispenser. Very awkward! Also, no hair dryers in the washroom and was in one of the toilet stalls trying to dress when a male staff member walked in, making me glad I’d changed in the stall. Just glad I didn’t drop anything in the toilet! I thought about using the women’s change room around the corner from the fitness club but decided it was too distant from the Spa area to work. I know the Spa is fairly new and has great potential but needs some improvement.
Overall of the 4 hotels I’ve stayed at in the Riviera Maya I would say the Grand Palladium was the best. I look forward to returning possibly next winter.

Date of stay: January 2018
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank P5278LNdianeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rosa R, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2018

Dear Diane,

Thank you for deciding to stay in our Grand Palladium Kantenah, we are very fortunate to have had the opportunity to welcome such a frequent travel of the Riviera Maya in our facilities.

It is fabulous to read your comment and we are proud for successfully providing you a wonderful stay, with our beautiful facilities with many pools and natural charm, with the kind attentions from our staff and the many services that were up to your expectations.

Regarding the presentation that you attended, we would like to mention, that the final objective of Palladium Travel Club is that guests like you who are satisfied and happy with our Hotel become a part of our Palladium Family and consider us as their home away from home, therefore, we apologize if this presentation was not well accomplished by one person, your observations will be transmitted to the TC Management.

Also, we appreciate your wonderful suggestions about the experience you had in our Zentropía Spa, your excellent feedback will be transmitted to the Spa Management, for further review an application as we want to fulfill your expectations and complete the relaxation experience, from beginning to end.

We love to know that you consider returning again next winter, we will be waiting for you with open arms!

Our best regards all the way to Victoria BC Canada!

Rosa Rivero
Hospitality Manager

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