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Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa
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Reviewed 29 February 2012

We had a wonderful weeks stay at the Palladium Colonial Resort. Its really like 4 resorts in one. The place is HUGE! But that is a good thing. The resort is very spread out so you never feel crowded. There are little carts and trains to take you from place to place and you never have to wait more than a minute or two. The staff is amazing, always helpful and friendly and the entire resort is spotless! The beach was very nice too. We would go down to the beach in the morning and then head to the pool in the afternoon. We took walks at night and saw the hotel entertainment (they were very good for free entertainment). There are about 18 bars so we never had to walk far for our next "beverage". We were in Building 3 which was fine. I would have liked an ocean view but we really weren't in our room much anyways. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and may return next year!

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Debbie0508
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2012

Dear Debbie0508,

Thank you so much for you comments. I appreciate your time. It's a pleasure to know that you have had a beautiful experience with us.

With best regards,

Banesa Mª Burque
Resident Manager

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Reviewed 28 February 2012

We travelled with First Choice from Gatwick, where we were able to check in our bags the evening before our flight. This enabled us to have a lie-in until a reasonable hour on the morning of our departure.
Flight was fine, but at 11 hours 15 minutes felt a lot longer than Caribbean destinations.
It took us about an hour to collect our luggage and get through customs at Cancun airport. We then had to wait another 30 minutes on our coach for other travellers.
Transfer to the hotel was 1 hour 15 minutes. We were checked in swiftly, and taken by golf buggy to our room in Villa 7 of the Colonial section. This was an ideal location as it is in the middle of the resort and everything was in walking distance.

Accommodation:
The resort, consisting of 4 hotels, is huge. We were glad that we hadn't opted for the more expensive Riviera / White Sands hotels, as some of these villas were so far away from the spa and some restaurants that you would have to rely on the train that circles the resort (unless you really like walking!). It took us 3 days to get familiar with the layout of the resort - because many of the paths go through jungle vegetation, there are often no landmarks visible to guide you. Although paths are well-signposted, the signs are sometimes misleading and we wandered round in circles on our first day.
Our room was fine - very spacious. General cleanliness was very good throughout the resort, but was not as thorough as I would have liked in the room.
We had an issue with ants in the room, but a quick call to Reception sorted this out promptly.

Restaurants:
Great variety. We just about managed to fit in all the restaurants on our 2 week stay. My favourite was the steak restaurant, El Dorado. Buffets were fine - huge variety. There was always freshly cooked omelettes in the morning, and chicken breasts / fish grilled to order at lunch and dinner. Having stayed at the Palladium Dominican Republic last year, I was really looking forward to the crepes - unfortunately I tried these in 2 of the buffet restaurants and the mixture wasn't right - they tasted wet and tasteless.
Punta Emilia snack bar on the beach turns into a restaurant in the evening. You have to reserve a day in advance and I would definitely recommend this.
You also have to reserve the Friday night Beach BBQ a day in advance at Guest Services. Again, thoroughly recommended. The staff do an amazing job at transforming the beach into a restaurant.
For English speaking guests, some items seem to be lost in translation. Some dishes were different to what was described on the menu, and when I questioned this I was told it was a translation issue. Also, I asked for slightly changes to dishes or extra helpings (sides of potato are very small) on a number of occasions, but these requests were never once fulfilled.

Pools / Beach:
The pools are amazing - 7 in total, I think. We travelled in Jan and never a problem getting a sunbed. The 2 main pools are huge and the Entertainment Team do a great job. There's always something going on at these pools. Lots of shallow parts, so great for children.
The 3 adult pools were very relaxing. Very comfortable sunbeds.
The saltwater pool is great - location is beautiful, overlooking the waves breaking on the rocks.
Only about 25% of the beach is sandy at the entrance to the water - the rest is coral. But this was more than sufficient and the abundance of sealife made up for it. Crystal clear water is ideal for snorkelling - you can hire masks for free for half an hour per day from the watersports centre, or a little longer if you put money in the 'happy box'! There was lots of other watersports available, but we didn't try them as the water was fairly choppy for most of our stay.
The pool at the spa is very tranquil, with a lazy river, jacuzzis and sauna / steam rooms.
There's a bar at every pool, and generally service was very efficient. A nice touch was the ice-cream available at the 2 main pool bars.

Sports Centre:
We really enjoyed using this when it wasn't too hot. Tennis courts / mini golf / basketball court and a few more sports I can't remember!

Excursions:
We were having such a good time that we only left the resort for 1 day, which was less than we had planned. We crossed the road from the hotel to catch a public bus (collectivo) to Tulum to visit the Mayan ruins (30 pesos each). It's a 15 minute walk from the bus stop to the entrance, and all along the way official-looking booths will try to sell you tickets / tours. We bought our tickets at the entrance and wandered round under our own steam, then descended to the cove below the ruins. Really strong waves, but lovely to take a quick dip after walking round in the heat.
There's also a public beach at Tulum, but we decided to skip that and go to Akumal, which is on the way back to the hotel. At Akumal we booked a tour at the dive shop that cost about USD 15 each. It lasted about an hour and we saw the turtles for which Akumal is famous. Lots of other beautiful fish and stunning coral, although our guide wasn't great at pointing out what type of fish we were looking at. We all wore flotation vests, but even my boyfriend was exhausted by the end and he's a strong swimmer. You can also bring your own snorkel or hire it there without the tour.

Evenings:
There were 3 shows each evening, including 1 children's show. We never managed to stay up late enough to see them, but saw some rehearsals that looked very impressive.
The 4 lobby bars had music each evening. The quality varied, but it was great to sit and listen to the music whilst waiting for dinner or for after-dinner drinks.
Hemingways bar was always quiet when we were there, so it was a lovely place to escape the hustle and bustle of the main lobbies and to listen to the pianist. It also has a great array of books you can borrow.

The boat trip around the lake is lovely. There's a huge variety of wildlife at the resort, although the caged crocodiles seemed out of keeping with the resort's commitment to eco-tourism.

I wouldn't class the resort as 5 star, as the facilities are excellent but I wouldn't consider it luxurious. The staff work very hard, especially the Entertainment Team. We had chosen this hotel after an enjoyable stay at the Palladium in the Dominican Republic last year. We were tempted to return to the Dominican Republic again this year, but were so glad we chose Mexico as we enjoyed it even more! Overall, we were very impressed with the hotel and would happily return.
Palladiumaddict website is invaluable if you're thinking about travelling to this resort.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank CailinLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 February 2012

Dear CailinLondon,

Thank you for share with us your comments about your vacation at Grand Palladium. This information it's very important because we can improve our service every day.

Please, if we can help you with your reservation in Punta Cana, don't hesitate to contact with us.

With best regards,

Banesa Mª Burque
Resident Manager

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Reviewed 27 February 2012

Just returned from a week stay with a party of 7, including 3 small children and 2 in the party having Celiac Disease. Needing to eat gluten-free on vacation can be very stressful. The staff in the hotel was very informed and accomodating for each meal, each day! We met Manuel, (captain at Tikal and Gran Buffet Azul) on day 1 of our stay. He was professional, helpful, and served our food needs perfectly, often either getting gluten-free foods from the chefs or bringing the chefs out to meet with us (as well as serving as the translator!). We would come back just for Manuel! In addition, we ate our nightly dinners at the a la carte restaurants, receiving their gluten free menus each time! Not being fluent in Spanish, we found that in the a la carte restaurants (when we weren't dining with Manuel there), communicating our food needs to the captains, not the servers, worked best.
In addition to food, the hotel grounds are amazing, the beach and pool are beautiful, fun, and relaxing! The rooms in the villa are on the small side and had difficulty getting something repaired, but are kept very clean- we didn't spend anytime in there at all, how could you, Mexico is an amazing place! We can't wait to return!

Room Tip: We requested prior to the trip for connecting rooms, to be close to our daughter who was staying with grandma and grandpa. Hotel didn't meet our request, ended up a couple villas away. On day 2, Front desk offered us a move to a different Palladium Hotel to be closer together, but we chose to stay at the Colonial.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank famfromBuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 February 2012

Dear famfromBuff,

Thank you so much for share with us your comments. I am glad to know that you and your group had not problem with our menús and with the Gluten free food.

I will share your comments with Manuel.

Best regards,

Banesa Mª Burque
Resident Manager

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Reviewed 26 February 2012

7 day stay, the hotel facilities, service, cleanliness and overall exceeding our expectations, having travelled and stayed in a number of destinations we were very satisfied and felt the hotel as well as sister hotels offered excellent value for money

  • Stayed: February 2012
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1  Thank Mooz2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 29 February 2012

Dear Mooz2,

Thank you for share with us your comments.

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
Reviewed 24 February 2012

We arrived home 17 Feb after a one week vacation. This resort has it all, clean, well maintained, lots to do. Yes there appears to be a lot of walking but not as much as you think when you look at the resort photos. You get to know lots of shortcuts and trails. We were at the Colonial and only 5 minutes or less from the big pool, adult pool, sports complex/spa, Colonial Lobby. The grounds are lovely and it was no hardship to walk along the paths, lots of wildlife to look at also. The paths are well lit at night and always people around. We had no trouble getting chairs at the pools or beach or anywhere. This is a huge resort and therefore no hoards of people at any one location. I want to thank Tere for looking after our room, she did a great job, our room was always well stocked and kept spotless and thank you for the little towels animals !! I wish we had met you. The restaurant staff at the a la cartes and buffets were all friendly and accommodating. The food presentations at the all restaurants was beautifully done. The Segway excursion was the best, thanks to George and his staff, we really enjoyed it. The spa was lovely and the only complaint I might have is parts of the Sports Complex could have used some work, i.e. mini golf and there was only one set of shuffleboard accessories but we used the facilities anyways and still had fun. And yes, I have read many reviews about the front desk staff, all true unfortunately, they are not very welcoming or friendly which is sad but the good news is, you only deal with them twice !! Coming and going.........everyone else at the resort was amazing. I dont remember his name but the young guy who ran the Animation Department was fantastic, Always something going on at the pool and the evening entertainment was also fantastic as were all the staff. We particularly liked the Forever Rock show, the band was great. All in all, we would recommend this resort; you wont regret booking this one ! We have never considered going back to the same resort but we would consider going back to this one. Also thanks to Tracy our Sears Travel rep and Helene our Air Transat rep . Thanks !

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank susan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColonialKantenah, Gerente at Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2012

Dear Susan G,

Thank you for share with us your good comments about your holidays at Grand Palladium. It's a pleasure to know that you have had a great time.

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
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