Grand Palladium Riviera & White Sand Resort & Spa

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This complex has an 800-metre stretch of sand on its doorstep. And Akumal, a sleepy fishing village that’s spot on for turtle-watching, is a five-minute taxi ride away. The complex has seven pools – including a beachside saltwater one and a lake-style pool with huge swim-up bar. Food-wise, there’s a week’s worth of restaurants including a Brazilian à la carte and a Mexican. Plus, because the complex is spread out, there's transport laid on to zip you about.

TripAdvisor rating

Based on 1369 reviews

  • Official Rating
  • 3Floors
  • Rooms: 324 Riviera 264 White Sand

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All Inclusive - Here's what you get

Food

24-hour All Inclusive. Full Board. Unlimited à la carte dining, subject to availability. Snacks.

Drink

24-hour All Inclusive. Selected local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Selected premium drinks at Hemingway's Bar and Churchill's Bar. Minibar restocked daily.

Sports and Activities

All are included except where indicated.

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Facilities► View all

3 outdoor pools

With sunbeds and towels.

Spa area*

Sit back and unwind with one or two of the following treatments a steam bath, a massage, a Turkish bath, a session in the sauna or the whirlpool. Service times vary depending on the desired treatment. Some treatments at the spa are chargeable and are suitable for over 18s only.

Rooms ► View all

junior suite

Junior suite room sleeps up to 4 with 2 double or 1 king-size bed and a sofa-bed in the bedroom - can be sold as a single. These rooms also have a ceiling fan, and a minibar restocked daily.

suite

Suites sleep up to 4 with 1 king-size and a sofa-bed plus an additional living area. These rooms also have a ceiling fan and a minibar restocked daily.

TripAdvisor Reviews Show more reviews »

Decent, could be amazing.

The Grand Palladium is enormous! The distance between your room, the restaurants, the beach, certainly help you burn off some of the extra calories you've consumed. The resort is too big and I was worried that it was going to be packed full of people but, as I was pleased to learn, it's nowhere near full capacity in early April. It really is a beautiful resort despite it's size. The army of staff are constantly buzzing around removing discarded cups, sweeping the paths clean, and raking up the sea weed that wash ashore in the early morning. The only thing that I really didn't like during my stay was the food. They must have gotten complaints in the past about their food being too seasoned or too spicy because all of it was rather bland. Kudos to the resort for the variety in dishes, but I would much prefer quality over quantity. The Japanese restaurant was my favorite.More

Cole H, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

A wonderful stay !!!

Hubby & myself went with a small group in mid Feb for two wks ... Let me start off by saying the resort as big as it is was awesome you had choices to walk or stay in your area & if you didn't want to walk you could wait and catch the lil train that goes through the different sections of the resort .. The restaurants were wonderful with the service being for the most part very good !!!!the employes were very friendly & always wore smiles !!! Our room was nice n the pillows wernt as bad as I read about lol ... & our room was very handy to a beautiful stretch of beach ... Hubby & myself loved this beach as much as the Palladium in Punta Cana the sand in PC you sank in where as this one was easier to go for nice long walks along the beach as it was packed down some !!!! Very tropical with all the trees & green everywhere you looked ...we even fed beautiful birds out of our hands from our 2nd floor balcony !!! Not big on pools although the bit of time we spent they seemed nice as far as pools go !!! We are into enjoying what we don't get to see at home and that is the ocean!! It was very awesome when we went into 3 feet of water we would be surrounded by tons of small fish and even some a little bigger very pretty!!!if you enjoy snorkelling def bring water shoes !! To avoid feeling the wrath of rocks etc in certain areas.. We found there were many lounge chairs on the beach as well if you enjoy palapas you pretty much have to be up early to get one as there aren't many !! The beach bar served many different drinks along with tossed salad items to Mexican along with northamerican favorites to pastas n pizza ... We had good meals where ever we went !!! The buffets were awesome as well !! The only thing I did not care for is the ride into Playa Del Carmen it's nicer to be closer to the resort town as we like to walk n look around as well as shop n it was too far but if I got a deal I definitely will go back !!!!!!!!! Oh & failed to mention we loved the band that played in the lobbies they were awesome they took requests n were very sociable along with playing a lot of different music .also did an excursion to CocoBongos which we really enjoyed !!!Take some time to look around PlayaDelCarmen as well there are many awesome shops along with plenty of bars & restaurants !!More

funinthesun, Yorkton, Canada

Meh....It Was Just Alright

Ok I have been to a LOT of all inclusives over the past many years and I've been to a few in the Akumal area so I will give you an honest, no holds barred review. The Palladium is basically 4 resorts in one with 4 lobbies. I know a lot of reviews say that they are 'shared lobbies' but that's really not the case. There are 4 lobbies. If you don't like walking, this is definitely NOT the resort for you! There are a lot of complaints about the bridges but, really, the week we were there, there weren't any of them that we HAD to cross to get where we were going. We usually used the one to get from the White Sand pool to the beach but there were other ways we could have gone. Now this could be a LONG review but I'll try to keep it brief The Pros -TONS to do...there was SO much going on you could never be bored and could stay at the resort the whole time and still have lots to entertain yourself -the beach was awesome! One of the nicest beaches in the area that we've been to -the food was really good...tons of selection for restaurants and lots to choose from for picky eaters....we loved 'Ribs and More' best of the A La Cartes -the service was excellent...staff was very friendly and accommodating -the pools were well kept and never too busy -the room was decently sized and beds were comfortable -Seguay Tour-by far our favourite thing we did! -the pontoon boat tour around the lagoon was so nice and relaxing...we did this pretty much every day -the Spa...we went twice...it was a great way to spend a day! The Cons -the shows were not great...and some nights they didn't even bother doing them...there were a couple evenings we were definitely left hanging with nothing but the lobby bars -in line with that, there's not really a lot of explanation as to what is happening where...there are 4 lobbies...you pretty much have to go around to all 4 just to figure out what's going on in an evening -getting into the A La Cartes was sometimes a pain. I do like that you don't have to reserve like you do at some resorts but there were evenings we'd show up for a table and in looking in the window, the restaurant is 60% empty, but we'd be made to wait for 2 hours to get in -the service and meal at the steakhouse wasn't the greatest...weirdly, the steaks at Ribs n'More were WAY better -the power went out one night...for at least an hour....not their fault but definitely put a damper on the evening -sometimes you had to wait FOREVER to get a seat on the trolley that ran between lobbies...they could maybe have a few more running at busier times but not a huge deal...again if you don't mind walking, it's easier to walk -in the middle of our week, a High School graduating class checked in for their 'Grad Trip'....I had assumed, due to locatioin and price, that this resort was NOT going to be a Spring Break hangout...needless to say, I was less than thrilled when we were bombarded with a hundred 18 year olds where there to PARTY!! Yikes! Lots of falling down, sloppy nonsense -"the map"...yes you get a map when you check in....it is not to scale and, really, helps you find nothing. There's one pool we never did find and, on our first night, we checked in around 10pm. We wandered for well over an hour trying to find one of the 2 places on the resort where you could still get food. The 2 options were the Sports Bar at the Colonial and the beach bar by the Colonial Pool...the map was NO help...we just wandered and wandered til we got lucky! All in all we had a good time. Would I go back? No I don't think so....it's a little to big for my liking. You definitely don't feel like you can make a connection with any of the staff or other people there because it's just TOO big. It's nice for sure and there's lots to see and do but I've definitely enjoyed other resorts more than this one. I went into this vacation with an open mind and really hoping to enjoy myself as this resort was a 'splurge' but I definitely left somewhat disappointed and I know my husband didn't like it nearly as well as hotels we've stayed at in previous years. It's a great resort, just not for us. I have lots of pics if you're interested but for some reason I'm having issues posting this review as it is so feel free to message me :)More

supergirlteacher, Ontario

Excellent vacation once again

We were a group of 14 people and stayed at the Grand Palladium Whitesands from Feb.3 to 17, 2014. My wife and I have stayed many times at the Grand Palladium in Mexico and Dominican Republic and we were the ones who recommended the Whitesands. Needless to say that the entire group was totally impressed with all the services provided and will surely return in the near future. The rooms were spacious and the housekeeping staff did a marvelous job in ensuring that we had everything we needed. Our entire group was located all together in the 2 buildings closest to the beach (Bldgs 58 & 59. Thanks Sandra from Redtag – great job). The entire complex was spotless including the public washrooms and restaurants. The food quality and variety was perfect, no complaints at all. The unlimited a la carte’s was a nice touch. It was a first come first serve basis which was just fine with me. We ate at the a la carte’s 13 out of 14 days and we were not disappointed once. The bell boys at the front desk were awesome in arranging any transportation that we required to visit Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel. The only downside was the beach on the Whitesand side. It was very rocky but if you walked down a bit to the Kantenah side the beach was very nice. The pools were clean with plenty of chairs and if you wanted a little quiet time you could go to the adults only pool. All the pool bars served excellent drinks. I highly recommend this resort and would return anytime. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.More

Feelix_1960, Ottawa, Canada

White Sands Wedding

My fiancee and I had our wedding at the White Sands on January 8th, 2014. We had 42 guests with us (both friends and family). I will try to divide the review into sections as there is A LOT to talk about (so please read on!). Hope everyone finds my review helpful! I will be comparing this resort often to the Excellence in the Dominican as this is the only other all-inclusive resort I've been to. Sections will be as follows: Airport, welcome, rooms, food, restaurants (specifics), beach and pools, wedding, excursions. -PLEASE read the wedding section if you are thinking of having your wedding here. Generalized pros and cons Pros -Free wi-fi (if slow) -Fantastic beach (requires water shoes or careful steps) -Lots of food options (though quality varies) -24/7 beach food available at two locations. -Huge resort, so never felt crowded (but hard to find people and easy to get lost) -Fun mini golf, archery, shuffleboard. -Jonathan Cabezas (JJ) from alltournative ecoarcheological adventures group. -Nidia as a wedding coordinator. -Salt water pool is more quiet and has its own bar. -Lots of little carts and the trains to help bring you back and forth between sections of the resort. -Big gift card to the span if you go to the travel club meeting. High pressure sales environment so be ready. The people are nice and if you do buy the travel club package you'll get faster pickup by special vehicles and some other perks. -Amazing pictures as the environment and weather were both absolutely amazing! Cons -Small swim-up bar at the main pool. -A decent trip from the airport and from many excursions -No room service whatsoever unless you're at royal suites. -Room was tidied up and the bed was made, but I'm not sure if it was ever actually well and truly cleaned. Sometimes grass or dirt on bathroom floors tended to linger. -Food quality (in my opinion) was only passable. Quantity should be cut down to provide better quality in general. -MUST take care to choose the proper wedding location if you're having a wedding. -You get raked over the coals for the wedding packages (price-wise), though I loved my wedding and (more importantly) my wife loved it. -35USD fee to use the ATM at the resort, which is beyond highway-robbery. -Lots of bridges so if you have knee issues or older members in your group, it may be more difficult to travel around. -Pillows and bed are harder than you might be used to. (Was still so tired every night that I slept with no problems). Airport 1): Make sure your baggage is easily differentiated so no one accidentally takes it and so you can grab it quickly. I saw a few people with the same luggage, so stickers, etc really help. We had our luggage accidentally taken before, and this is a headache you want to avoid. 2): Do not buy water at the airport if you can avoid it. It costed 4USD and they had water on our Air Transit bus for 2USD each (along with other beverages). Welcome 1) I would recommend one person stay with the luggage and a second person run to the counter to get signed in if you have a huge group. Lots of little things to deal with as soon as you get there. 2) I would encourage the resort to be more prepared to welcome guests in the future. At the Excellence in the Dominican, they were prepared with a choice of two drinks (one alcoholic, one non-alcoholic) as you approached. This made us feel welcome and special, whereas the reception here felt much more hands-off. 3) MAKE SURE you get a couple copies of the resort map. The humidity makes it wear pretty quickly and you'll need a few copies. 4) Book excursions immediately if you can. Once you get rolling, you'll be busy having fun and relaxing and may end up doing them at the last minute. More on excursions to come. 5) You should be given a welcome bag when you arrive from the travel club. You should have your own as well, obviously, but this was nice. A note to the resort: I asked for a second bag but was told I couldn't get one. The bags are cheap-looking but practical, and a guest should not need to beg for a second bag if one is requested. Considering the price paid, I found it nearly astounding that they couldn't accommodate this request. *****Room Pros:***** -I'll just quickly note that I do not believe the Mayan suite is worth the extra cost unless you are on your honeymoon or you really, really want the privacy of having your own little building. -We were in a Mayan suite at the White Sands resort. The room has a large bed, couch, table, tv (wasn't working when we arrived, but was fixed after a few requests to fix it), and balcony on the water (complete with a hammock and lounge chairs). -Mayan shower was really cool, water pressure was fine, and water was warm. -Fridge was well stocked with local beers, pop, and water bottles. -Safe was included in the closet and worked well. Just don't forget to lock it! -FREE WI-FI is an excellent tool (though I should note it is extremely slow). *****Room Cons:***** -Closet is very small, as the ironing board and iron take up a lot of room. I recommend taking them out and depositing them somewhere else in the room. -The closet door got stuck and we needed to figure out how to open it properly by lifting the one door to get it to move. -Hangers do not easily come out of the closet and there may not be enough of them if you have brought a lot of clothes. -Fridge was extremely small. If you bring home food from the beach as leftovers, you will struggle to find room for it. -Shower in the Mayan suite did not have a shower head. It was basically a hose jutting from the wall with warm water and a beautiful shower setting. Being able to take showers outside was nice. -Lights outside (in the shower area outside) turn off at 11pm, so if you want to take a shower after that it'll be somewhat dark. We asked twice to have the lights turned back on, and the one time they accommodated this request and the second time we were told it wasn't possible to turn the lights on, so be prepared for inconsistent service. -No room service whatsoever unless you are staying at the Royal Suites. We paid a similar amount going to the Excellence in the Dominican, and had access to 24/7 room service. It might have taken a while to arrive at times, but this was a nice option. That said, you should never go hungry at this resort. *****Food Pros***** -I will firstly note that I do not enjoy seafood, so if you do enjoy seafood you'll need to extrapolate from what I write and other reviews to help you out. Sorry! -Lots of options as there are a total of 14 restaurants between the two resort buildings. -Each of the a la carte restaurants has a buffet style salad bar. (However, I'll note that this was not always stocked with everything noted on the menus, and I believe this is here to lessen the workload of the waiters and cook-staff more than for any sort of actual convenience or value). -Buffet breakfasts are excellent, with plenty of fruit, fresh juices, pastries, meat, and other assorted goodies. Plenty of bacon, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, and all the usual things one would expect. -24/7 beach food was excellent and was some of the best food at the resort. I recommend the chicken fajitas, though others in the group enjoyed the jalapeno poppers and quessadillas. -Fresh crepes are incredible, but only available at dinner time at the buffets. If you are reading this review and you work at the resort, please get rid of one of the other random breakfast items and serve crepes. *****Food Cons***** -Though there are 14 restaurants, I did not find the quality at any of them to be truly outstanding considering the time needed to wait for your meal. -Buffet options are extremely varied, but again I did not find the quality of any of the individual items to be truly outstanding. -Mexican sauces were always available at the buffet, but none of them had much of a 'kick' to them and they were inconsistent in their spiciness. -Each time I requested something extra (special habanero hot sauce) I felt like I was being a burden. I absolutely did not feel this way at the previous resort I'd stayed at. I'm sure this is due to the fact that the waiters are constantly rushing about and are serving too many tables or that the kitchens are too busy. -You cannot take food to go as I tried asking a couple of times. This was rather shocking to me, as at the Excellence I had no problems with this. One time I was halfway through a meal of pad thai there and ordered another full plate to go and this was done with a smile. -You can only book reservations a few times for the a la carte restaurants. Sometimes even with a reservation you had to wait for your seat and without one we heard of groups that had to wait upwards of 45 minutes. -Long wait times for your food along with the unimpressive quality of the food meant that we often preferred just to go to the buffet. I should note that my fiancee preferred the food here in Mexico, though I strongly disagree. -If you are trying to meet up with people, make sure to be very specific about which buffet and which section of the buffet you're meeting at or you'll end up eating alone. *****Restaurant Specifics***** Mare Nostrum (Mediterranean): Food here was fairly good. We had this for our rehearsal dinner and went back later during our stay. I enjoyed the soup and the pork with cheese on top. I forget the names of each. La Adelita (Mexican): Hmm. What to say about the food here. When we went with a large group most enjoyed the food. If the chicken mole had been an option the night we went, I would have ordered that. However, my fiancee and I ordered a chef special beef dish, and when it came it was inedible. I literally could not cut the meat, and the small piece I tried was not good at all. It's likely a fluke, as most of the group said the food was good, but we went there once and I was not impressed in the least (whereas the single time we went for Mexican food in the Dominican, we found it delicious). Portofino (Italian): We had this food for our wedding and it was excellent. Courses were served at a reasonable pace, and they did not interrupt speeches or anything of that nature. We went back a second time during our stay. Rodizio (Brazilian): Food was ok. I only found the turkey wrapped in bacon to be truly excellent. if you've been to Copacabana in Niagara Falls (or elsewhere) you're going to be disappointed. I enjoyed my dinner here because of the company more than the food itself, though there is a good variety. Other Restaurants: -Book the japanese Tepanyaki show very, very early if possible because it is always booked up quickly. My fiancee and I did not get to go, though we heard that it was enjoyable. -Steakhouse + Ribs and more and other restaurants: Throughout the week we heard mixed reviews of many of the other restaurants. It seems like luck is a big factor, as we heard from a few people that the ribs and more was fantastic and that it was horrible and not worth going to from others. We heard mostly good things about the steak house, but some were ho-hum about it. ****Beach Pros***** -Large beach with beautiful white sand and plenty of room to swim.One of the best parts of our stay here at the Grand Palladium. -Plenty of beach chairs and shaded areas. We never had to fight to find one. -Sand banks make it possible to swim out a good distance without the waves going above my head. Very enjoyable. ****Beach Cons***** -Very rocky, so make sure to wear water shoes or tread very carefully. -Be careful not to sprint into the water and try to run out. If you do, you'll end up stepping on a rock, or stepping into a deeper area and falling on your face. I can say this from experience. *****Pool Pros***** -Plenty of pools, plenty of space around the pools with plenty of beach chairs and shaded areas. -A few adult only pools which are more quiet and secluded where a group can go and relax. Can get noisy if you have a rowdy group (like our group). -Pools never felt especially crowded, even at the Colonial where there are a lot more families and the kids area. -Swim up bars. -Volleyball nets set up and available. *****Pool Cons***** -There is only one swim-up bar at the White Sands pool and because of the wide columns, access is not always easy or quick. Swim-up bar at the Excellence was much wider and easier to access. ****Wedding*** -Nidia was an excelelnt wedding coordinator, who was extremely organized and always did her best to help us out. -There are a few possible wedding locations to choose from. The pictures of the weddings on the beach or at the beach gazebo look beautiful. However, if you have your wedding on the beach there is the sand to deal with and people are often walking by, so you'll have plenty of people photo-bombing your wedding pictures. -The beach gazebo looks beautiful, but you will NOT see that it is 30ft from the beach restaurant. A few times when weddings were happening people were gawking, trying to walk past, and clapping. People mean well, but you're not going to have a peaceful, secluded wedding here. It is also often VERY windy. Twice when a wedding was occurring the music was still playing from the nearby beach restaurant. I would recommend you ask them to turn the music off ahead of time and try to have a few people keeping people away from the main celebration. -The gazebo by the church was our first choice after we'd seen the other locations in person. It is much more secluded. The landscape nearby is beautiful for pictures. It is near the Colonial, so you'll need to arrange transportation there. Note that we did NOT have our wedding here because of rain. -The Spa: We had our wedding here (a last minute change). It was beautiful and handled the number of people well. It was a bit warm inside as there was no breeze, and as the groom I had to stare off to the left to avoid seeing my now-wife before she was coming down the aisle. Everyone else had nothing but good things to say. Since it is at the spa, there are fewer people here as there is an extra cost unless you're a member of the travel club. -Beach bash was incredible (atmosphere-wise). We had to rent a dance floor and sound equipment for around 500$ to play our playlist from our ipod. The dance floor was quite wet at the start and so I heard nearly every person complain about how slippery it was, but no one had any falls and everyone got used to it. -Bar at the beach bash was great as we had a wonderful bar staff who made all sorts of cool drinks and shots. The welcome drinks (called Carnival I believe) were great. -Food at the beach bash was supposedly good, though I didn't get to try any. I would request your wedding coordinator to have the food served much later than it was for us, as it began nearly immediately after our arrival and since we'd just had dinner very few were hungry enough to try anything. -Wedding cake had to be served at the beach bash as we were running way late. Thrice I asked for the wedding cake to be cut and put on plates for our guests to try, but the wedding coordinator who was there (NOT Nidia) said guests could cut it themselves and take what they wanted. I was pretty ticked off about this, but wanted to enjoy my night. For future reference, if the groom asks you three times to have something reasonable done, you should do it. I was not impressed. *****Excursions***** -If you are going on an excursion with the ALLTOURNATIVE group, you absolutely MUST request that Jonathan Cabezas (also known as JJ) take you. His English was excellent, he has studied mesoamerican history, and he was absolutely hilarious. I can guarantee you that the bus ride will fly by with him as your guide. -Ek Balam and the Cenote Maya were amazing. About 1h45min from our resort, but the time flew by with JJ. However, you DEFINITELY should request that you do Ek Balam first and the Cenote Maya 2nd. We did it in the opposite order and the water at the cenote was freezing and then the ruins were blisteringly hot (literally. More than a few people with mild sunburns left with blistered skin). Mayan food was delicious (avoid the whitish-green sauce if you don't like spicy food) and I learned a lot and got some great pictures. -Segway tours was a fun diversion. You won't learn much, but it was definitely fun riding around on a segway. For 40$ish, you'll need to decide on whether a run little ride around on a segway is worth it considering the other options. -We only heard good things about Xel Ha and Adventur, but my wife and I were not able to go on these excursions (somehow, even with 10 days, we ran out of time).More

Zafri M, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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