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Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 23 Hotels in Akumal
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Brighton, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Would highly recommend !”
Reviewed 19 February 2012

This is an amazing resort for relaxation,service,beach,the grounds on this resort are amazingly endless.Most of the staff were Mayan who always had a friendly smile,appeared to be very happy and gave outstanding service.I thought the food was better at Grand Palladium in Dominican at the buffets, but that could be personal preference .Loved the a la carts here except the Japanese ,way too salty,nothing special ,did the show part.We had a one bedroom suite with Trans At,we did not feel it was worth the money, the room was very tired looking, and in need of some new furniture and repairs,loved the 3rd floor location though,very quiet and bed was comfortable.Avoid the Grand Palladium Club reps unless you are young and have a lot of money to spare,remember they don't give you a lot of time to think.Special thanks to the Air Transat Rep who got my jacket back ,at the airport in Cancun.
I could stay at this resort for a month,beautiful.

Room Tip: Stay on the third floor,the birds are plentiful to watch in the trees,but remember no elevater.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank snowyowltravelor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 20 February 2012
Thank you snowyowltravelor,
It will be a pleasure if you decide to come back and even better if you stay for a month.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
dtor.whitesandriviera@fiestahotelgroup.com
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English first
Oceanside, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2012

Just returned from our (3 couples) first trip to the White Sand Resort. The property is magnificent, lush gardens, marble pathways & lagoons on either side of the paths. The Renova Spa is outstanding, whirlpools, saunas, steamrooms, hot tubs, infinity pool, unreal. Service was exemplary, the staff bends over backwards to attend to your needs, unlike other all inclusives we have been to. The transportation on the property and to & from the other properties is unique & fun. The food was excellent, something for everyone in the buffet as well as the restaurants. Our only complaints were that there was no "brewed" decaf coffee & that the beach without the rocks from the reef was far from this property. The hotel is very "green" which is nice to see & they have nature signs explaining flora & fauna. The pools were magnificent. Everything was immaculate. This was the best property we have been to & look forward to a return trip. Highly recommend.

Room Tip: We were in building 57 which was near the pool & the beach. It is difficult to request specific...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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5 Thank marla b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 17 February 2012
Thank you marla b,

It's good to know that you liked the hotel and that you appreciated our commitment with the nature.
It will be a pleasure to receive you in the future.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
dtor.whitesandriviera@fiestahotelgroup.com
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Brampton, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2012

Went on Feb 3-10, the palladium was simply amazing, from the 4 resorts in one , the food, the people and the fun.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank chinkygal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 17 February 2012
Thank you chinkygal, I hope you visit us again in a near future.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
dtor.whitesandriviera@fiestahotelgroup.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, Ontario
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2012

We knew this was a good resort going into it. But it was more then good it was absolute fantastic. The maid service was excellent along with the concierge service, they were always asking if there was anything else they could do to make our holiday better. The hotel staff was always polite and willing to help even if they didnot speak english, they would find someone who could and then they would not leave until we were satisfied. The buffets were amazing and you could always find something you have never had before. The service at the buffets was above and beyond anything we have seen before and I have traveled all over the world.
The alacart restaurants were fantastic and of exceptional quality. For those who complain about the beach you just have to walk down abit from the rocky end and then the sand is like flour. The ocean is teaming with life and beautiful coral right off the resort. The resort even has water ways surrounding it and it was full of beautiful fish. The SPA was out of this world with more to offer then most when you travel. Our travel guide was very knowledgable and recommended some great excursions off the resort.
Absoluting amazing, this resort is so big we didnot get to see and use everything they had to offer. I would go back to this resort in a heartbeat, I really didnot want to come home I was having such a great time. Really made to feel like you were a Queen and King.

Thank you to all the Staff at the Palliadium White Sands for an excellent vacation experience.

Diana

Room Tip: If you need something special just let your travel agent know and the resort will even give you a co...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank silverdragonfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 17 February 2012
Dear silverdragonfamily,
Maybe my opinion is not the best to say this but you are totally right (just kidding).
Thank you for your comments, it's nice when I read people who enjoyed their holidays and didn't find anything wrong.
Of course we are not perfect but we try to help or find a solution when something doesn't like our customers.
I hope to see you soon back in the Hotel.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
dtor.whitesandriviera@fiestahotelgroup.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2012

We went in August, It was perfect weather.
The food was great, even something for my finicky teenagers.
I really enjoyed the beach, the water was beautiful and the snorkling was
great. For a very large resort the beach did not feel crowded.
The kids enjoyed the volley ball court and with that many people there was
always someone to play. Lots of activities for everyone and I could sit on the
beach and read a book. The Rooms were outstanding, mini bar always stocked, large tub, great shower, very comfortable for a family of 4. I recommend this property.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Family T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 17 February 2012
Thank you Family T,

I'm happy your family could enjoy our activities. I recommend to check our daily activities with our entertainment team in our main swimming pools as we have daily and nightly activities and shows every day.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
dtor.whitesandriviera@fiestahotelgroup.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2012

Part 1
Live from........bloody Halifax airport. We are so used to having a direct flight to Mexico our mindset was stuck on getting to the airport 3 hours before take off. Geniuses that we are, we're pulling into the airport when it dawns on us that this time we are going to Toronto first. Only had to be here an hour before departure. Since my husband was so anxious to began our vacation, he had me out the door even earlier than we needed to leave. So, our lovely vacation begins with a lengthy 3.5 hour airport visit. Of course, it's the middle of the night, so no stores are open, but we can entertain ourselves by gazing deeply into each other's eyes, bloodshot from being awake so long, and thinking to ourselves it's the other one's fault. Stay tuned for the next riveting report from Tweedledee and Tweedledum. And for those of you with inquiring minds - I am Tweedledee. Just wanted to make that clear.

Part 2
OMG! What a nightmare. We landed about 11am on Friday, and were so happy to get off that inferno-plane from Toronto. Paul was so hot (I don't mean that in a hunky kinda way) that he couldn't stand being in his own skin. And let me tell you, it was no picnic sitting next Mr. Fidget with the wild *let me jump out of this freakin plane* eyeballs, so I can at least get a breath of fresh air. He had to keep standing up, for no apparent reason to any of the saner folks on-board. I'm sure he was worrisome to the more nervous passengers. For some reason they had the temp in that plane cranked up as if we were all frozen solid and needed to be defrosted.

When we landed in Cancun, the place was like a zoo. A zoo where the animals haven't had their brekkie yet. People are hot, impatient, claustrophobic, hungry, thirsty and in some cases, mean. And don't forget, the wild-eyed, fidgety one is still by my side. CLOSE by my side. We must have lucked out on previous visits. A gadzillion people were packed in and we all wanted nothing more than to expand our personal space by more than 6 inches. It's never a good feeling when you know you could stick out your tongue and catch the sweat dripping off a stranger's skin. One airport worker was screaming at people to get in the back of the line should they dare to cut in. I don't think most of the people were trying to cut in - it was just so congested it was easy to veer off. Said screamer was only a young pup too - I recall being impressed with his vocal abilities. It took me years, kids and a mother-in-law before I reached that kinda vocal range.

Finally escaped to the outside and into the waiting arms of AGI. Mario was waiting for us and took us over to the van. Mario is a character and managed to bring Paul back to life - or at least a reasonable facsimile. Roberto was our driver and when Paul and Mario said goodbye, they sealed it with some kind of special handshake fresh from the hood. I'm not sure where this particular hood would be located - the handshake was on a level of specialness I've never witnessed before, and hopefully will never witness again. You had to have been there - it was a multifaceted, in-depth, palm slapping, hand crushing, finger wagging, back, forth, up and down motion. I was already inside the van when it took place. After watching the beginning and middle, I chose to look away so missed the finale. Roberto is a lovely man and chatted with me on the drive. He was very friendly and helpful answering all my questions. Paul had no questions for Roberto and in fact did not chat at all as he slipped into a coma, exhausted from his handshake ordeal I'm sure. Then we arrived at the resort! Okay, now all the good stuff begins!

Part 3
I've covered the bad - the airport and flights.....the ugly - Paul's gangsta hand-maneuvers...... and now for the good. Well, you'll have to go read something else cuz there ain't no *good* here. There's only EXCELLENT! That's right - Palladium knocked good clean out of the ballpark. We were upgraded to a SUITE in White Sands - Villa 56! As soon as we walked over to the front desk, it was like they were waiting for us. We were treated like royalty and not the kind of royalty that gets their heads chopped off either. I did my little Snoopy Happy Dance in front of whomever happened to be in the lobby at the time. Before my first twirl was completed, Paul walked off to get something....not sure what it was he needed to get. If I was a suspicious person, and I am, I'd say my little jig hit him in much the same way his wrist hip hop routine hit me. Oh well - payback's very satisfying! Our beloved Pedro happened to be in the lobby and came over to give me a big hug. Who doesn't love Pedro? He's working as a Bellman, but at times covers Royal cart-driver duties. He told us to let him know if we needed anything....and he means it. He'll go out of his way to be helpful. More on Pedro later.

Our room is # 5618 - it's got a great view of the pool and lagoon off the bedroom balcony. The living-room balcony also has a pool view but is more private. Actually one could step out naked....and *one* actually has. ;o) The *one* who remained clothed handed the other one a hand towel to cover up what needed covering up. I'm sure he'd rather I tell you I handed him a beach towel, but let's keep this real....at least it wasn't a face cloth.

On our first night, we ate at the buffet. Found lots of good things to eat. They had a lentil soup that was very tasty. Whilst I did not come across any of those pastry swans I've enjoyed before, I did spy some tube things filled with cream that were very good. Any time I see a dessert that isn't glazed over with that gelatin crap or have that mushy - like consistency, my eyes light up and I have to suck back the drool.

Second night we stuck to our guns regarding trying restaurants we've not yet tried, and ate at Portofino. For my appetizer I got the Italian Fusion Soup. It was a combo of carrot and spinach. They pour both soups in the bowl at once so half the bowl is filled with orange, and the other half green. It was one of the best soups I've ever eaten. The *greeny look* on the one side turned Paul off. Apparently his culinary vision does not include anything coloured green in a liquid form. Who knew? I had the Sirloin and Paul chose the Chicken D'Angello. Both were really good. I asked for mine medium well, but should have just requested medium. Paul's chicken was done to perfection. Now comes dessert. I'm usually disappointed in dessert - in any resort. Thanks to a suggestion I asked for the Baked Alaska. Holy Happy Taste Buds Batman! You have got to try this. Paul ordered the cheesecake. It was dreadful, which was a shame because I then felt obliged to share my dessert with him. Before I leave I'm going back to have this again.

Part 4
The weather. It has been gorgeous! The wind has been strong, but that has been so welcome and offers such a nice relief from the heat. Each day has been a red flag day but we don't care about that as we don't have a desire to take out any of the boats etc. Bobbing in the waves on the water hammock is great fun. A group of people were in the water holding up their arms with bread in them. A flock of seagulls were hovering just inches from their hands waiting for the tasty morsel. Cool to watch from a distance, but not sure how wise it is to hold food up over your head to a flock of hungry birds. They want that food and they have no intention of flying off to take a bathroom break. I was reminded of that old commercial for Alka Seltzer, but with a twist. *Plop Plop, Pizz Pizz - oh what a mistake that is!* I fear many of the group needed a good shampoo after that adventure. Beach seems like it's cleaner, not so many guests biffing their garbage around. The new trash containers with the lids are a great improvement. I also really like the new Fish Feeder stations. I haven't seen anyone feeding the fish bread.

On Tuesday, we roused our lazy bones to make that trip into Akumal. Went the the front entrance of the resort, and walked through the staff tunnel. Guards were posted on either side, but no issue passing through. We saw the employee housing on the opposite side of the tunnel. Pedro told me he stays over after working a night shift. He shares a unit with 3 other guys. Usually he goes home - which for him is a 2 hour trip. He tells me the resort provides transportation and picks people up and takes them back home to their communities, so they can work without owning a car.

The first Collectivo we caught was crowded. It cost us 40 pesos, so about $2 each. You have to go up steps and cross the highway on a sort of pedway to get to the other side of the highway. once over, it's a short walk to the Arches and Akumal Beach. We arrived about 9am. There is a extra big palapa just to the side of the Dive Centre, directly in front of Akumal Caribe residences. We snagged that. There is a hut filled with beach chairs just behind and the guy was setting them out for the people staying at the Akumal Caribe. We asked him if we could rent two. He said we had to go elsewhere to pay and waved in hand in the general direction of...nowhere. We checked with the guy in the dive shop who was bewildered that the other guy didn't take the money. He suggested we check at the Lo Ha restaurant as both are owned by the same company. The girl there called the first guy to come over and then sent him back. Then we had to see him again, and did end up paying him. He was not a happy person. He slammed two chairs down in our spot. We had noticed there were cushions for the chairs that were not offered to us by Mr. Personality. We asked for them and he huffed off and graciously brought us two. We paid him $100 pesos for the 2 chairs and zippo for the attitude. Paul bought a morning Corona, not to be confused with an afternoon or evening Corona, from Lo Ha. It was nice and cold and cost $4 US. We were to find out later, on our way out, that there is a little grocery mart where you can buy it for just $1.50.

Turtle time! We had our own mask and tube, so Paul just rented a pair of flippers for about $7 from the Dive Centre. We weren't in the water very long before we came upon a huge guy....turtle, not tourist. He had some vivid green plants stuck to him, or so I thought. As we got closer, we saw the plants were actually fish. They were big and long and stayed on the turtle's back as he swam away. We saw other fish and then came up to a group of turtles. Paul stuck out his fingers pressed together as if he had some food trying to get the turtle to come eat it. I jerked his hand so hard he'll never do his special handshake till his fingers heal. While I like to look at these creatures, I need a little personal space! Then, up swims a huge Ray. His tail was sooooo long and again, Paul tries to drag me as close as humanly possible. Could the man not see that pointy spear waving back and forth? I had to throw a little underwater hissy fit to yank him back. Oh my nerves! I think he imagined himself latching on like those fish that were suckered on to the turtle and gliding through the water like you would holding a dolphin's fin. No more Breakfast Coronas!

Off to join Paul at the beach - maybe I'll get there in time to see him balanced on a shark's back riding out to sea. If that happens, you'll find me back at Portofino eating that Baked Alaska without sharing with anyone!

Part 5
We received some chocolate-covered strawberries that night when we returned to our room. They were covered in white chocolate, with milk chocolate drizzled all over them. I grudgingly offered one to Paul, mostly because I didn't think he'd take one. Strawberries are not his favourite. Well, he loved these ones and ate half of them. Pig. :(

That night we went to Mare Nostrum. I know lots of folks like it, but not us. My soup was good - cream of broccoli. Paul ordered the mushroom soup. When it came out it looked like, tasted like and WAS a tomato cream soup. Very good but not mushroom. We asked the waiter, but he swore it was mushroom soup. Not ones to argue, we smiled and said ok. So, Paul had the mushroom soup that didn't contain a hint of mushroom, but it was very tasty. I had the Pepper steak - just okay. Paul had the pork and spaghetti dish - not so great. For dessert I ordered the Creme Brulee - yuck! Paul tried his luck with the cheesecake again...not a winner.

The other night we ate at Ribs and More. Yum! They told Paul the Ribeye wasn't looking good and suggested the T-Bone. It was great. I had the Pork Ribs - delicious! When you can pick up your food and gnaw on it by hand, I find it ramps up the overall enjoyment of the meal. My enjoyment was ramped up substantially, and as an added bonus my fingers were flavorful long after the meal ended. For dessert I had the chocolate cake. It was dry, but I knew that from having it on a previous visit, so this time I ordered vanilla ice-cream on the side. Fixed it up wonderfully. For some reason, Paul keeps trying the cheesecake. He should know by now it's obviously different from what he's used to. This time was no different ....just not good.

The internet - I decided to purchase the week's package so I didn't have to lug it up to the lobby. It worked great the first few days, then for the last 2 days, no service at all. It just started working again today. Forgive any typos but I'm going fast before it cuts out on me again. Since it wasn't working for 2 days I'm going to ask if they will extend the service for 2 days - can't hurt to ask. (Update - they did extend it at no charge)

The weather - gorgeous! If I'd been asked to create the perfect vacation weather, this would be it. We've had a couple very short showers. Everyone on the beach runs like there's a monsoon approaching....even when it's just a sprinkle. The flag has been red, but you can still swim and have fun in the water. Today on the beach I saw the photographer with his Toucan. Amazing how trained the bird was and how he allowed the trainer to pose his face in whatever position required.


Part 6
Yesterday I almost got eaten by wild geese. I got tired of bugging Paul to take a walk with me up towards the El Dorado, so decided to go on my own. I thought when I said I would go on my own, he would feel guilty and come with me. My manipulations backfired and as I didn't want to be caught in a bluff, off I went. Too bad someone wouldn't clean up all the seaweed between the Palladium and the El Dorado....would make for a much nicer walk. As I was huffing along, I passed that land for sale and started to fantasize about buying a piece of it. I was so focused on my imaginings of what it would be like to own a little spot in Paradise that I didn't notice two big birds till I was almost upon them. I really don't know what they were but the closest guess would be some type of geese. They were big - about the size of a swan. I have an African Grey parrot, and am always fascinated with birds. I just stood there for a while watching them preen. They were having quite a go at their armpits, or wingpits I should say. I decided to stealthily creep a bit closer for a bird's eye view - pun intended. Well, that was a mistake. One of them, whipped his neck from under his pit and looked at me. Then he extended his neck - and let me tell you it was a long neck. He then lowered his entire neck but kept it pointed in my direction. I know from my own bird, that is not a good sign. He started coming towards me. OMG! What to do, what to do? He was picking up speed and all I could think about was how bad of a bite I was going to get. I put my hand out and said "Shoo!" That was as effective as eating a quart of berries to stop the back door trots. I scooped up a handful of sand thinking I could throw it in his face and blind him, but that seemed so mean. Then the thing actually started to run towards me - up went the handful of sand, most of it came down on my own self and I partially turned and ran. We were all up on a little sand bank, and I jumped down and ran towards the water. Cuz we all know a goose can't go in the water. I wasn't thinking - just didn't want to turn my back fully and run, because then I wouldn't know how close he was to chomping my butt. Not that it would hurt to have a few pounds removed from each cheek, but there must be a better, less painful way to accomplish that. Lucky for me, the creature thought I wasn't worth the chase and went back to pecking himself. They were still there when I returned to go back to the resort, but I kept a wide berth. I passed two ladies who were on a path to pass close by them - I was down at the water's edge. I could hear them speaking in English so I said "Good Morning." They looked at me but didn't bother to reply so I swallowed my warning about the geese and thought it would serve them right to get a scare and/or bite for being unfriendly. Sadly, they decided to walk towards the water before they got too close. So, if you go for a walk, just keep your eyes peeled for aggressive birds.

After my scare, it was lunchtime. We went up by the beach bar to watch some volleyball before eating. Actually, when I returned from my adventure, Paul said he had something for me. I thought to myself "Ah - he felt guilty for not coming with me so he probably bought me that necklace I saw up in the jewelry store." Well, that's not what it was. He found me a wind-tunnel. Yes, you read it correctly - a wind-tunnel. I can't take the sun and need to be in the shade. I normally don't watch the volleyball with him since it's so hot there. Well, right by the net, there is a little path to the beach that people use. But, one big bush over, there's a smaller path that's in between two of those big bushes. it's just big enough to slide a chair in, and it provides shade and acts as a wind-tunnel, so there's a nice breeze. I might not have scored the necklace but I bet you nobody else's husband got them their very own wind-tunnel!

We ate lunch at the beach bar by the Colonial pool. They had what they called Kentucky Fried Chicken. YUM, NON NOM NOM. it was so good. We got it fresh from the fryer - it was juicy and moist with a crispy coating and bursting with flavour. I'm going to suggest they serve this in the buffets. For all I know it could have been one of those wild geese and this was Karma's way of punishing unfriendliness to unsuspecting tourists.

We've also tried the jalapeno poppers - great, veal sandwich - great, but had to scrape off all that green stuff (guacamole?), cajun chicken sandwich - very good......all in all, been very satisfied with the beach bar food.


Part 7
We got home 2 days ago and what a flight! But first, let me go back and fill in the things I might have missed mentioning.
The weather: As I said, this was the first time we went in January. If the weather we experienced on this trip is any indication, this will be our favourite time to travel to Mexico. There were a few showers - nothing big and didn't interfere in our enjoyment at all. We were there for 10 days, and the first part of the trip was on the windy side. I loved the wind as I do mind the heat. I'm not a sunbather due to a medical condition I have. The medical name for this condition is Casperitis. Others suffer from this ailment as well, but not to worry - it's not contagious and it's easily recognizable by the colour of one's skin. My understanding is Crayola will be manufacturing this colour in their 120 piece box. They're calling it Truly Translucent. The temps in the evening were glorious. A light breeze, but not really cool enough for a wrap of any kind. Like Baby Bear's porridge, it was just right. The water temperature at the beach was great as were the temps in the pool. I'd read lots of posts indicating that the pool temps would be glacial. Not in my opinion. You want frigid, you come swim off the beaches here in Nova Scotia in January - or even in June.

Crowds:

There were none. I don't know the percentage of occupancy while we were there, but it never felt crowded. Midway through our trip, a large group of young people arrived. I don't know what country they originated from, but all the girls looked the same - slim and beautiful, with long dark hair. They all wore skimpy white outfits hemmed up as far as possible, and cut down so low their belly buttons could wave to the people..... and not one case of Casperitis to be found. I hated them on principal. They weren't as unruly as other groups I've seen, but I did hear that some of them turfed poor old Spiderman, the life-size statue advertising Coco Bongo's, into the pool one night. However, the guilty culprits were caught and Spidey received mouth to mouth in time to save his superhero self and was none the worse for his dunking.

The food:

One day we arrived at La Laguna just as they opened. This makes a major difference to the taste and temp of the buffet food, and same goes for all the buffets. We could always find something good to eat. For churro lovers like myself, when you first enter the buffets, or at least the Kabah where I ate, go to the food station furthest along the back wall to the left in the morning. On all but our last day they were making churros. Yum! Most days they even had chocolate sauce.

We ate at Mare Nostrum, El Jardin, Ribs and More, El Dorado and Portofino. We didn't care for Mare Nostrum, but had great meals at all the others. Specifically delicious were the ribeyes at El Dorado and El Jardin, Pork Ribs and T-Bone at Ribs and More, Chicken D'Angello and Veal at Portofino, as well as the Baked Alaska. The Baked Alaska was better the first time we had it. It was still good the second time, but too frozen - if that happens, just let it sit a bit. In my opinion, the desserts need improvement, but not just at the Palladium. It's been the same at every resort we've travelled to.

Size matters:

Yes, it does and don't ever let anyone tell you differently! I like that this complex is so huge. You can make this resort as big or as small as you want it to be. For those who like a smaller feel, just stick to the particular section your room is in. For those who prefer bigger, you can walk till your legs fall off. The steep bridges may be problematic for some. They are necessary to allow the pontoon boats to navigate along the lagoon. They are also problematic for those of you who, like me, have a totally untrustworthy spouse who provides for his own entertainment by climbing them BEHIND his wife for his own nefarious purposes. God only knows what people have witnessed and must now scrape out of their mind's eye. Poor, poor me.

Sights:

Other than the above mentioned bridge gropings, prods and pinches, the other sights are beautiful and derived from nature and not evil. The landscaping is gorgeous and makes one wish they lived in a climate that would allow for the planting of tropical flowers and palm trees. You usually hear the birds way before you can see them, with the exception of the birds that I equate to our crows. This year we lucked out. On previous trips I caught a glimpse of birds with vivid turquoise wings and orange beaks. This year, we saw flocks of them flying from tree to tree. We also viewed pretty yellow and orange bellied ones around the Royal section. These little guy liked to dive bomb the Royal pool to cool off their undersides, not unlike ourselves. Very entertaining. We also saw many of what we refer to as *rat-like piggy thingies.* AGI's Roberto told me the proper names of these creatures, but I forget it. It looks like, and might be, an Agouti, but that's not the name Roberto told me. Anyway, one morning, just before the sun was fully up, I went out on our balcony and saw one. I looked closer, and it wasn't one, but two. Bear in mind we were on the 2nd floor and they were in the shadow of a big Palm tree. One was behind the other and partially on top. Oh great - I get to see these things mating. I called to Paul to come out and have a looksee. Just after I explained what I was showing him, the *do - ee* rolled away from the *do-er*, but the *do-er* chased her (just assuming the do-ee was female) and got hold of her again. The *do-er* was rather aggressive, bouncing his partner up and down. After watching for a couple minutes, he threw his lady down the hole surrounding the Palm tree. Unusual foreplay, but what do I know about these things? After all, I'm the one married to the Bridge Troll. That's when the sky lightened up and I got a better look. That was no lady he was shagging - it was a coconut!!! If only I'd kept this sight to myself instead of sharing with Paul. I might have realized my mistake earlier if these things had bloody tails. The creature kept running in the hole, dragging up the coconut and biffing it down again in an attempt to bust it open I guess. Or maybe he was really turned on by coconuts - to each his own I always say.

It always interesting to see the outfits of our fellow travelers as well. There were many skimpy speedos on some rather unskimpy men. Bow chica wow wow! Not. Again, not meaning to be judgy, but after a certain age, and once one's body has gone beyond, well beyond, FAR BEYOND, its best before date, speedos are just wrong and should be put in the vault, like some of those Disney movies. Only once in the vault, they should never see the light of day ever, even again. A few of the women must have come fresh from surgery, the results of which were proudly on display for all to admire. I got whiplash a few times from trying to move my head out of the way from oncoming boobage. Wowser! Who knew one could fit so much saline in one specific area of one's body and defy the laws of gravity by not toppling over while standing? I call them "Weeble Ladies" from the commercials for those toys (Weebles wobble but they don't fall down) - only in reverse cuz they're top and not bottom heavy. Having said that however, it's like the rat-like piggy thingie and the object of his lust, Ms. Coconut, - to each his own.

The staff:

This is where the resort shines in my opinion. Pedro was his usual entertaining self. I gave him one of my big Tervis Tumblers and will bring him one with his name on it next trip. He makes me laugh by just looking at him. He's so friendly, and so mischievous. He could always spot us from far distances and would yell, wave and/or come to see if he could drive us somewhere. One day, Paul and I were over by the Royal pool. I was in the water, and when I came out, Paul was gone. Since his tumbler was also missing in action I thought he just went to the bar. He wasn't there. I waited about 15 minutes but still a no show. I thought he zipped over to the Royal Lobby to get a particular kind of vodka he likes. Waited some more, then walked over the grassy section and stood on the ledge just on the perimeter of the lagoon across from the lobby. I shaded my eyes, and leaned over as far as I could lean trying to peer inside, but it was too dark. I was so focused on my spying, I almost fell off when I heard a voice yell, "So, are you going to jump in?" It was Pedro on the other side. Hu - mil - iat - ing! He went in to see if Paul was there but he wasn't. Turns out Paul was watching me hunt for him the entire time from the comfort of a Bali Bed located just behind the chairs we were sitting at. I had no idea he was there. Swine.

Fernanda at La Jarra deserves mentioning. What a sweetheart. So willing to please and so friendly. Jose at the Royal Lobby always made Paul his special morning coffee well before the bar opened. Jose took a liking to Paul's Tervis Tumbler, so we will be bringing an extra one with us next time. We would have given him Paul's but it was part of a set of 4 that I can't get at our local Bed, Bath and Beyond.

We never came across a snarly face or impatient worker. Everyone greeted us with a smile and a "Hola" and went out of their way to help us in any we they could.

And William Cervera. How I adore him! William is such an asset to Palladium's management team. I remain impressed with the level of customer satisfaction the Palladium's management insists on, and excels at. I will keep returning to the Palladium, not necessarily for the amenities, although I value and appreciate them, not necessarily for the pools, room and or even the beautiful beach. I have come to understand I want to return for the feeling I get while I'm there. Feelings that are a direct result of how I'm treated by the staff. They make us feel valued, appreciated, welcomed and special. Who doesn't want to feel that way? I've been to other beautiful resorts, but none that have this affect on me. *Things* are great, and for sure we're all looking for nice surroundings on our hard earned trips, but it's always the *people* who make or break a vacation. Palladium's people shine.

The trip home:
In a nutshell, our vacation was like an Oreo cookie. The resort was like the luscious filling. The flights down and back were like the cookie wafers, only gone stale. The flight from Mexico to Toronto was okay - my only problem in the Mexican airport was in one of the stores on the lower level. I had previously bought a couple woven style wallet pouches from this airport 2 years ago. I like to use them on vacation cuz you can keep your room card on one side, and the main pouch is big enough for tip money without having to scrunch your hand inside. I wanted to get another one for a friend. When I took my wallet to the cash, she noticed the one I was using and thought I should be paying for it as well. I explained that I bought it a couple years ago, but she looked like she thought I was fibbing. I hauled another one out of my beach bag that contained all my other money and id's etc. "See, I bought this one a couple years ago too. Look, it has all my stuff inside." Other shoppers were listening and I felt like a thief. She finally rang it in, but I don't think she was ever fully convinced of my innocence. Next time, I will remove the money from this pouch before going to the cash register.
The flight from Toronto to Halifax was first delayed because they couldn't get the temp in the plane hot enough. When I heard that I was overjoyed and prayed it would stay that way, as it was stinking hot on the way down. Once they achieved a heat that would rival the bowels of H*ll, they boarded us. Then we sat. For over an hour. It was snowing and they had to wait for de-icing. I was just reaching a good 9 out of 10 on the old crankiness level, when it was our turn. Off we went. I was watching the map on the tv screen. Once we got to Halifax, I saw our plane was going around and around in circles. After 30 minutes of this I questioned the flight attendant. She said that weather conditions were quite bad in Halifax and the pilot was unsure what was going to happen. We might have to return to Toronto if it was decided it wasn't safe to land. I almost cried. Waited another 15 minutes till the pilot came on and said they had managed to clear the longest runway (we were on a 767) for us. It was a bumpy landing! Kinda scared the crankiness right out of me. Once we got inside the airport, we went to claim our baggage but the carousel broke down after the first few pieces of luggage came out. Got it working after 20 minutes and got picked up by my poor ex, who had been waiting at the air port for 2 hours. We were supposed to have gotten in at 10:30pm, but actually arrived about 12:30am. Dropped him off, and started our hour's drive home. After about 5 minutes, we ran into a snowstorm and had to navigate in it all the way home, driving well below the speed limit. As soon as we opened the door, around 3am, our parrot Jake hears us, and calls out "Mommy's home!" And she was.

"Th-th-that's all, folks!"

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Jackie-N-Jake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rivieraywhitesand, Resident Manager at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 20 February 2012
Dear Jackie 127,
I needed a couple of days to finish reading your review and I just can say thank you for your time and your detailed description of your holidays in our resort.
It's good to see that you took your time to share your experience and the things you liked or not.
Thanks again in the name of our staff. It's good that you recognized their effort. I'll extend your compliments to them.
It will be a pleasure to see you soon with us.

Regards,

Antonio Parrado Rodríguez
Director Residente / Resident Manager
Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa
The Royal Suites Yucatán
dtor.whitesandriviera@fiestahotelgroup.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2012

We booked the White Sands - Royal suite, the extra cost for the Royal Adult only section was well worth the expense......The service from the front desk to the transportation to the servers to the cleaning staff, were sooooo fantastic. We could not want for anything....whatever you wanted you got it. The resort's total appearance was welcoming, clean, lush gardens (well maintained). There are plenty of activities to please a wide variety of people and age groups.
The only thing that I can suggest that they try to improve upon is the beach and the cleaning of the weeds. It would need a fulltime staff because of the waves, to clean everyday all day to stay on top of it. But that is not a complaint but an observation. This trip by far was the best we have been on. We travelled with another couple and both my sister and I have food issues and they were addressed on arrival while booking our dinners reservations. They sent advanced notice to all the restaurants we were attending and made sure we were taken care of and that we would not get sick from eating something that our systems couldn't handle.......they even had food choices for celiac's
.................VIP service all week..........We would for sure return.......sooner rather than later..........Thank you to all the staff for making our stay soooo great!!

Room Tip: water shoes as there is only a small section of the very long beach that is sandy.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank disapointedOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DtorAdjunto, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 24 January 2017
Dear Guest,

First of all, we want to thank you for choosing us as you holiday provider. Thank you also for sharing your excellent experience at the Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa.

We are delighted to know that we were able to exceed your expectations. We are beyond thrilled when our guests have a fantastic experience with us.
Thank you again. We are so looking forward to welcoming you back again in the future to show you all the improvements and renovations in the last years

Best regards,
Grand Palladium Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa

Property: Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa
Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km, 256-100 | Municipio Solidaridad, Akumal 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Akumal
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Green Hotel in Akumal
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Akumal
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Akumal
#8 Spa Hotel in Akumal
#9 Luxury Hotel in Akumal
#13 Romantic Hotel in Akumal
#13 Family Hotel in Akumal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 264
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 Riviera Maya/Akumal, Mexico

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