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.
Based on 1335 reviews
- Official Rating
- Rooms: 324 Riviera 264 White Sand
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All Inclusive - Here's what you get
24-hour All Inclusive. Full Board. Unlimited à la carte dining, subject to availability. Snacks.
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.
Facilities► View all
3 outdoor pools
With sunbeds and towels.
2 al fresco buffet restaurants
With show cooking.
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 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.
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 »
Nice place, but........
Service, food, staff and beach was very good. Hotel rooms were very nice but very noisy. Music was extremely loud at pools and in the lobby at night. Smoking is still a problem in the lobby and in front of all the restaurants. Getting into the specialty restaurants was very difficult. Was not able to get into the Japanese restaurant any of the 10 nights of our stay. You must join the Palladium Vacation Club (several thousand dollars) if you expect to make a reservation at any of the specialty restaurants. The Spa now costs extra.More
Jack H, Fort Collins, Colorado
Good Resort with some Issues
We stayed for a week at the Grand Palladium White Sands. Huge resort of 4 hotels in one complex. More on that later. Travelled with Sunwing. At the Cancun airport our rep got us on the right bus and delivered to the right hotel and that was about the extent of his usefulness. Maybe other reps were better but this one did his job and went home. Front desk service at the hotel was fast and friendly but we were the only ones arriving at the time. Did see long line-ups at other times, but that usually meant a whole busload arrived at the same time. Of course it takes time to process that many people. Have patience. And we did not get the usual welcome drink, in fact we had a great deal of trouble finding anywhere to even get one for ourselves. The lobby bar at the White Sands closed at 11:00PM and we were left to find our own supper and refreshment upon our late arrival. Shuttle service to our room in the middle of the night was good, and we were picked up at our room on the morning of our departure, having booked with them the night before. Supposedly these little shuttles were available for use around the complex all the time, but usually they were delivering arriving guests, or picking up departing guests, OR going at a rapid pace in the wrong direction most other times. We walked. And walked, and walked. More on that later. Our room was okay. Some updates and replacement of some bathroom fixtures and tiles would be in order, but overall not too bad. Nice jacuzzi and tiled shower. Biggest complaint was the bed. It was a bit too firm for me, but that's just a preference thing.. but there was a horrible plastic mattress cover such as you might place on a hospital bed or a crib mattress. It was unbreathable (ie: sweat like crazy) and rattled every time you moved. Very unpleasant. Nice balcony and indoor sitting area. Mini-fridge stocked daily with soft drinks, water and beer. Good A/C. Pool area was very large, sometimes a bit difficult to find a chair. The usual saving of chairs with towels in the morning was commonplace. It was easy to join in the activities, which we did not, but it was also easy to find another area of the pool where it was quieter. Swim up bar was never busy but it was also in the shade most of the day and therefore a bit too cool. There are 2 such huge pool areas in the complex, the other one had children's activities such as a water slide and some falls to splash in, as well as a wading area for small children. There were also 3 adult pools which had limited seating, but were a gem for those of us who like to read and sunbathe. Also a saltwater pool which was never busy and had horrible "discount store" style loungers. Good fish/hermit crab watching on the rocky tidal area. The beach was great, had an interesting snorkeling area at one end (bring water shoes for the coral/rocky bottom) as well as a great swimming area at the other. Didn't try the water sports. Lots of chairs always available but shortage of palapas at the good swimming end of the beach. Food in the buffets was good, although by the end of the week it was starting to look repetitive. We could have broken up the monotony by trying the al-a-cartes, but did not. They were not able to be pre-booked. You had to wait until the evening that you wished to eat in one, and line up and book a time then. The line-ups we saw were for the steak-house and some people had to wait for 30 minutes or more just to book a meal time. Service in the buffets was a bit hit or miss at breakfast, better at lunch and good by suppertime. House red wine was better than the white IMHO. We had booked the White Sands because it was supposedly better than the other hotels at the Grand Palladium. We did not find that to be the case at all. In fact we spend most of our time at the Riviera hotel (Which shared the lobby area with the White Sands) and Coloniel hotels (Which shared it's lobby area with the Kantenah). We could have saved several hundred dollars and received exactly the same service level. I am not sure why such a pricing variance when all the hotels had access to the same services (or lack of). The evening entertainment at the Riviera was good, there was none at the White Sands. Also, if you wished to have a drink at an intimate bar in the evening, forget it, as there did not seem to be such a thing at this complex. The bar service was very slow at all the hotels. It usually took most of 20 minutes between ordering your beverage and receiving it. Order for yourself at the bar to get better service. We did find some smaller bars at the Kantenah hotel, but they lacked any ambiance and had no service except what you ordered for yourself. The entire complex was a maze of trails and lagoons. What gardens and grounds there were, were well manicured, but most of the complex is surrounded by natural mangrove swamp which needed to only by trimmed back periodically. There were lots of lizards and other native animals. PEOPLE, PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. They are cute, yes, but not afraid at all, and were coming right into the villas and restaurants at night to scrounge for garbage and whatever else they could find. They carry diseases (like rabies) and defecate and urinate wherever they go. The grounds could do with a little more colour in the form of flowering shubs and trees. The smelly lagoon maze at the White Sands and Riviera hotels is traversed by a system of bridges which resulted in an unintentional cardio workout every time you tried to go somewhere. The lagoon maze is continued inside all the hotel lobbies in the form of sculpted ponds and fountains. Very pretty but you had to walk about twice as far as needed to get anywhere. There has to be a better use of real estate. I like pretty, but this theme was overboard. The location on the Mayan Riviera is beautiful, but the complex is isolated and about 30 minutes from either Playa del Carmen, for which you can sign up for a free shuttle (as long as you are prepared to stop for 1 hour at a jewelry factory) or 30 minutes from Tulum where there are beautiful Mayan city ruins. Overall we enjoyed the hotel, but the artist that designed it needs to go back to design school to learn some basic rules of efficiency. I like to explore, but we learned every back path at the hotel by taking wrong turns here and there. And the bridges have got to go. I saw lots of people with small children and older people having serious difficulties getting about. This complex is beautiful, but I can't see myself going back due to service issues and the overall layout of the complex.More
101_TravelMom, Hanover, Canada
Absolutely Fantastic Facility but Sunwing Vacations a Disaster
We were scheduled to spend our week of vacation at the White Sand part of this huge property, but on arrival we were upgraded to a Maya Suite in the Colonial part of the complex. But first a note about Sunwing - I will never fly with this terrible airline again, and I will tell everyone I can how bad they can be. My wife and I booked a direct flight from Vancouver to Cancun on a flight scheduled to leave YVR at 10:00 AM, and return on a direct flight that was to leave Cancun at about 6:00 PM and fly directly to YVR. These flights were advertised in all of their literature extolling how wonderful they are. This fit with our busy schedule. well, a few days later we got a message from our flight broker advising us that the flight had been changed to about 7:00 AM and would make a stop in Calgary rather than being direct. Due to commitments that could not be changed this meant we had to leave home at 3:00 AM to make the flight. There were about 80 very, very unhappy people on the flight to Calgary, where we picked up about 20 passengers. In other words, Sunwing pi**ed off 80% of the passengers to pick up 20 people. Their business model is totally broken. On the way home the stop in Calgay added 3 1/2 hours to our return to YVR due to weather and a crew change. Of course you cannot get off in Calgary to stretch out so the total flight time stuck on the plane was over 10 hours to get back to YVR. Since the flights both ways were only about 2/3 full I have to guess that Sunwing is in financial trouble and will do anything they can, including alienating customers, to try to minimize their costs. I hope for the sake of the hundreds or thousands of customers they would strand in foreign places that they do not declare bankruptcy. However, in spite of horrid Sunwing we found the Grand Palladium facility to be everything we could have wished for. This is a very large property with 5 different resorts in one place. The walking to get from place to place can be a bit daunting, but there are trams than can be used to get around. The Grand Palladium has gone to great lengths to try to preserve the jungle environment, so the walking can be a truly wonderful way to see local fauna and flora. The beach area is terrific and varies from beautiful white sand at one end to coral outcropping at the other. You have to be a bit careful not to step on bits of coral or sting rays in the sandy beach area, but we did not hear one complaint about this. We could always find lounge chairs somewhere along the beach when we wanted to. We like snorkeling and at the rocky end of the beach there is a good place to snorkel with lots of fish. Some of the schools were hundreds at a time and there was every color imaginable in sizes from a few inches to a couple of feet long. We did not see any turtles, but others said they had. We ate at the El Dorado Restaurant, the La Adelita Restaurant, the Rodizio Á La Carte Restaurant, and the Portofino Á La Carte Restaurant and found all to be excellent in every way. The Brazilian restaurant is an adventure in eating that every one should try. In spite of Grand Palladium indicating that all their buffet style restaurants are equal, we found the Kabah at the Colonial resort to be superior. There was always a good selection and we even saw a staff person measuring the temperature of the foods to be sure it was OK. We always drank the house red wine and found it to be perfectly fine. The beach bars were fun and we could always find something Mexican to eat and drink when we wanted. The upgraded Mayan suite we had was wonderful. It was clean and looked as though it had been painted and refurbished not long ago. There was always a towel creature left on the bed by the cleaning person. Since the suites are tucked into the jungle thre was almost no noise from anything going on at the bars/beach if we wanted some quiet time. We were about a 1 minute walk from the beach. There was an outdoor shower that was a ton of fun in the morning or after a snorkeling session. We took a boat ride on the canal that snakes through the property and saw flamingos and crocodiles in their enclosures. There were always wild animals begging for food even though the hotel does not want people feeding them LOL. All-in-all we had a wonderful vacation a the Grand palladium Mayan Riviera, and we will probably go back there is we want to have another vacation on the beach. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a large property wioth lots to do. Next time I will pay more and fly WestJet.More
Elmar G, Chilliwack, Canada
Me and my husband had our honeymoon here, and would highly recommend it. The rooms are huge, with everything you need and more. The staff were excellent and very friendly. All the food was good, at times the buffet restaurants were very busy and noisy, but that's to be expected in a resort of this size. We never pre booked at any of the A la Carte restaurants but managed to eat in them all. We did use the spa facilities and again found them fantastic. We also ventured outside the resort,using the local bus we travelled to Playa del Carmen. It was safe and very friendly. And a good way to see the places, not normally covered by taxi. We will return again someday and will have no hesitation in going back to this hotel.More
Nice Overall but Rooms are Tired and Run Down
Grand Palladium White Sands/Riviera My family of four stayed at Grand Palladium White Sands February 1 - February 8, 2014. This is was our second time at Grand Palladium. In February 2011, we stayed at Grand Palladium Colonial for a destination wedding. We love the Mayan Riviera area and the resort in general. Although we booked with the White Sands with Sunquest through Sears Travel, we stayed in the Riviera area of the resort in villa 60, ground floor Junior Suite 6010. Villa 60 is conveniently located by the White Sands/Riviera pool and short walk to lobbies, but it is surrounded by the sometimes stinky mangroves. Check In We had a late 10pm check in at the Riviera so there were no lines and we got our towel cards and keys without issue. The biggest problem was the mandatory registration card the girl made us fill out which is a data mining ploy for the imminent vacation club sales pitch. It was the same card they made us fill out last time. I told her that I didn't want to fill it out, that I didn’t want to be contacted and that they already had my information. She asked some guy beside her something in Spanish and then told me it was a government requirement. Thanks for lying! Not wanting to argue I wrote fake information and told my wife to do the same. Do not put down real information! They have no right to harvest your personal information such as passport number or SSN/SIN! It seems that staff adhere to rules for the sake of rules and don’t really listen to guest concerns or requests Room The common areas are clean and well maintained, but the room was very disappointing. It was very tired and run down: hard double beds, fake pullout couch with permanent futon mattress, cotton ball sized pillows and an ancient tube TV with broken remote. The room was hot and humid and the air conditioner was very weak. My family doesn't like air conditioning so I was outnumbered and forced to suffer. On our second day we realized that the shower drain was mostly clogged and after 2 showers, the bathroom floor was flooded. We told the front desk and they had it working again later that day. The fridge was useless so I had to “borrow” a plastic tote box I found, fill it with ice from the ice machine that didn’t work after day 3 and keep that in our room to chill drinks. Not a good start to a $6000 vacation. Pool Huge, clean, cold and mostly one depth: 4'. There were plenty of lounge chairs around the pool but the resort was quite empty compared to the colonial Kantenah area. The entertainment/towel hut was busy with people borrowing balls, games and books. The staff always had some activities going and the music wasn't too loud or obnoxious but it seemed repetitive and sometimes just a hodgepodge of genres and periods. The saltwater pool is a pool-shaped hole in the rocky shore with ocean fed water and fish! So quiet and relaxing there, comfy beds and it has it's own bar. Best kept secret on the entire resort! Do not miss it! Lobbies, Entertainment The Riviera and Colonial lobbies were the most action packed. The entertainment was surprisingly good quality and very professional. They had some local bands and musicians playing on alternating nights and they were so good that spontaneous dancing erupted in the lobbies a few times. The free Wi-Fi in the lobbies was OK but slowed considerably in the evenings when demand was highest. We bought the week long room Wi-Fi service for $60 which worked all over the resort. I thought I could get Wi-Fi to my wife’s iPhone and then hotspot the signal to our other gadgets but no luck! They seem to use a MAC address filter to identify the device that subscribed to the service. Restaurants We ate mostly at the Buffet Kabah and Riviera pool restaurants for convenience and because I refuse to wear long pants in Mexico. We wanted to eat at the Japanese restaurant but it was impossible to get reservations. I managed to get a reservation at the seafood restaurant Punta Emilia at the beach after getting up at 7 am to wait in line to make reservations. This system is so stupid! You have to make reservations for the next day only, they apparently hold reservations indefinitely and you can make more than just one reservation if you plunk down some pesos to the right person. Although the restaurants were fully reserved, they seemed only 40% full because people reserve and never show up! The host won’t let anyone in on standby. Punta Emilia (it’s really just the beach snack bar & bar converted with table cloths) was really good except for the marauding raccoons and coati mundi that come up and try to grab things from the table. The selection at the buffet was very good, food quality was fair to excellent but some consistency would be nice. Service was inconsistent too. Grand Palladium: tell your people to CARE! Guests are paying a lot and keeping them employed - they need to at least act like they appreciate us! The restaurant managers did strut around looking important but they didn’t seem to notice the whole lettuce leaves in the salad bowls that weren’t chopped or that there is a difference between honey and pancake syrup. Cancun Airport Arrivals: you need to really pay attention to what’s going on and where to go. I like to mark a few people from our plane and watch them to get a sense of where to go next. We forgot our check-in and insurance paper on the plane and it seems no one has a clue on how to get in contact with someone to retrieve the stuff. Like this has never happened before! After a lot of bad advice we ignored, we spotted a baggage handler with a 2 way radio and told him what we needed. He radioed someone on the plane and brought they back our stuff. Departures: Do NOT let the helpful guy take your luggage from the bus to your check-in counter. Cancun airport is very small and our counter was about 50’ from the door and the guy wanted $200 peso tip! As if! After the security checkpoint is a small food court and duty free shop. But if you go toward your departure gates, there is a larger, newly renovated waiting and food area with another duty free shop. Overall It is a nice resort with great potential, and we enjoyed our time away from our glaciated home, but the inconsistency, spotty service and terrible room amenities left me feeling ripped off. We won’t be returning until we see some much needed room upgrades WITHOUT increased room rates.More
Rob_K_Canada, Hamilton, Canada
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