We took our two boys (2 & 4) to this resort the end of April. With the exception of day trips to all inclusive for weddings, this was our first all inclusive experience. Overall, this was a very nice resort. People we talked with (that frequent all inclusive) said this is one of the nicer ones they have stayed at and better food. At this resort you can play anywhere and dine at any restaurant of the 4 resorts. I hear this is unique and some other all inclusive will let you dine only at the side you are staying on.
Rooms: we stayed in unit 57. It seems this is a preferred location because it is fairly central in the resorts and closer to the ocean. We were hoping for the 3rd floor but were on the 2nd. I hear “members” only can get the 3rd floor. I was hoping to see the ocean, but no luck. There were large trees outside the units so it was fairly private and only one other building we could see. We were in a smoking room, initially I was turned off but the room did not smell or have odor so we thought it would be ok. We were wrong, a neighbor was a smoker and the units must share ventilation. Our room would fill with the smell of smoke, it was so strong we woke up in the middle of the night from it. We requested a room change but there were no rooms available for us to move. Otherwise the room was nice.
The pools were large and well kept. We were impressed with how clean the pool was kept. The pool bar was a favorite activity! The shallow areas were nice for the kids. The white sands pool was about a foot shallower than the pool on the Colonial/Kantenah side. I prefer the beach and the kids preferred the pool so it was a real bummer to me that they were separate. There were a lot of organized activities throughout the day at the pools.
I walked by the salt water pool but did not stay. It was a natural pool in the Oceanside rocks.
The beach was very nice. We were concerned about how rocky the beach would be so we brought water shoes. They could be useful but are not necessary. There was a large section of the beach with coral, the snorkeling was ok. But there were areas where it was sandy and we swam and played in the water without issue. We hoped to paddleboat with the boys but everyday they said the currents were to strong and we couldn’t, so I am not sure how often they actually go out. We didn’t have much trouble finding chairs, but did go early for shade.
The buffets were fine with good variety. I felt it was the same meal everyday so wasn’t too excited about the buffets. I was disappointed that we had to ask for tortillas in mexico, but staff were usually helpful and accommodating. Overall the dinners were good. We enjoyed Emelia’s and the beach dining is a must do. The kids did good there but it was not the best environment to take them to. The Italian restaurant and the Japanese were great. We did not like the two hour dinners each night, overall I felt we spent too much time of our vacation in the restaurants. We also did not like the need to get a reservation to do things like tempanyaki and we had mixed information as to how to make the reservation. You have to show up at the restaurant, they start taking reservations at 4:45 the day of. The beach bars were our favorite food and some of the most authentic on the resorts. I highly recommend eating there. It was really nice to not walk around with a wallet all week, but per Palladium Addict suggestions, we did tip a bit when service was excellent.
These resorts are so large it is a lot of walking. I like to walk but was tired of it by week end. It took me 5-6 days to orient, so I spent extra time walking for wrong turns!
We went to the spa for the free amenities. It is worth going to even if you don't want to spend extra. There are nice features. The kids enjoyed the mini-golf, riding on the boat and the shuttles/train. It was all enjoyable to them. Every day at noon, fish food is dispersed and you can feed the fish. The grounds were clean and very well kept (and I am pretty particular). There are other animals and a very natural feel to the resort.
Every night they have live shows. We discovered these at the end of our trip and wish we went to them earlier. They were fun and the kids loved them.
It was a very nice resort, pleasant staff and a fun week. It was a good first experience for an all inclusive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa is located on a spectacular, private Caribbean beach-front complex that boasts of 800 meters of white, fine sand and turquoise blue waters. Guests of the Grand Palladium White Sand are invited to use the facilities provided by the adjoining Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, and the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa (excluding the Royal Suite facilities). ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Palladium White Sand Resort And Spa
- Grand Palladium White Sand Hotel Akumal
- Palladium White Sands
- Grand Palladium White Sands Resort
- Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa Akumal, Riviera Maya, Mexico