This huge resort is 5 hotels in one. The Riviera and White Sand are neighbours, so it’s easy to pop between the two.
Five hotels make up this complex, and you get the run of all of them. The Riviera and White Sands are on the same side and a train shuttles you between them. Plus, a long, sandy beach is just on the doorstep.
There are a huge number of restaurants and bars across the whole complex, with a fair share of them at these 2 hotels. As for pools, White Sands and Riviera have 3, with another handful dotted around.
Based on 1578 reviews
- Official Rating
- Rooms: 324 in Riviera, 264 in White Sand
Holidays with added luxury
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- 20kg luggage allowance
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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. These rooms also have a ceiling fan, and a minibar restocked daily.
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.
TripAdvisor Reviews Show more reviews »
We visited the Gand Palladium Riviera Maya with our children - ages 11 and 13 - January 4-11, 2014. I believe enjoying a vacation is having the right expectations, so I'll describe in this review what to expect - the good and the bad. Overall, we were very pleased. We have been fortunate to have traveled to many tropical places and stayed in many high-end resorts. This is not the place for you if you want to have all the little luxuries that one expects from a 5-star hotels, but if you want a nice resort with a lot to do that is fun whether you're young and single or bringing your family, this is one we'd recommend. The resort is almost 1 1/2 hours from the airport and a half hour from any town. Keep that in mind if you plan to sight see. As other reviewers already described, the resort is massive, which we liked. We never went to the same place for dinner twice and weren't even able to get to all the restaurants or pools there are so many. There are 4 hotels on the resort we could go to, all very similar in appearance and layout. I would just pick the type of room you want to determine what resort to go to, because they all are similar. The Colonial/Kantenah had a nice kid water slide area for young kids if that is what you're looking for. While you could get a tram that went lobby to lobby, there was still a nice walk outside over uneven pathways to get from the lobby to your room or anywhere else. Some areas require you to go up and down stairs to get over the lagoon. So ladies, leave the heels at home. Also, Invest in some walkie talkies. If you lose your family member, you will never find them again by walking around looking for them. The resort is very kid friendly and there were a number of different nationalities which all seemed equally represented: Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and even heard several Russian conversations. I tried to explain that to my kids when they turned their nose up at some of the buffet food choices that some people from other countries hate cheesy French fries but love broiled fish. Nevertheless, they never went away hungry, and my husband and I thought the food was very good compared to some other all inclusives we've been to. We went to the steak house on the first night (had to wait over an hour to get in), and the filet mignon was very good. The second night, we went to the Mediterranean restaurant and liked everything we ordered. The wait was only 20 minutes. We liked the Italian restaurant. The beach is beautiful. The water clear and warm when we were there. It's about a half-mile walk on the beach from one end of the property to the other. The kids loved playing in the water. The pools are also very nice and big....not too crowded either. I'm guessing the night life is a lot of fun, but have to admit, we never made it past 10:00 pm after eating and drinking all day. Now for the bad. Unfortunately, as others have described, the front desk person we checked in with seemed bothered by having to do his job. When I read reviews about rude staff, I assume the guest was the the one being rude, so I put on my nicest smile to prove these reviewers wrong and approached the front desk. "We're here to check into our ocean view junior suite with two double beds," I kindly said. He said nothing, looked down, and said, "We don't show you in an ocean view." Becoming alarmed, I explained we did reserve an ocean view, paid extra money for it, and was lucky I had the reservation with me that clearly stated we had an ocean view. He grumbled something and came back and said our room wouldn't be ready until 3 pm. While we were at the front desk, another guy came up to complain he was supposed to have an ocean view and did not. The point of all of this is there are very few ocean views at this resort, so don't bother paying the extra money for one, because you may not get it, and those with ocean views aren't great. Fortunately, all the other staff members were very nice, but it's a shame that was our first impression of the place. When we got into our room several hours later, it was a king size bed (we had 4 people with us). We called the front desk and said we'd have to be moved, and they said there were no double beds with an ocean view. Fortunately, we had already walked down the hall, found a room that a maid was in with two double beds, and she said it was vacant. Our bellboy communicated to the front desk we wanted that room (I think he just didn't want to lug our luggage back down the 3 flights of stairs.). So we got our view, but went through way too much work to get what we paid for, and you have to be standing to see the ocean. Another thing you should know about the room is the actual beds and pillows are very hard. Also, the mini bar described in the brochure is a few beers, soda and some waters - not what we expected. In a nut shell, if you're looking for a large resort with a lot to do, this is a great pace.More
H H, Kansas City, Missouri
We stayed for a second time at the White Sands from Aug. 30th to Sept. 6 2014. The room was clean, the air conditioner was working, the mini bar was stocked every day. The nice thing is that you decide how much laundry you create, do you need to change your sheets every day? do you do this at home? the bars are good, excellent service and the restaurants we visited were excellent and no issues with reservations. The buffets were also very good, many choices. We choose the beach over the pool, so we spent no time at the pools, the beach was fabulous if you use the Kantenah section, not many rocks and clear blue water.. Other sections of the beach are rocky but are perfect for snorkeling. The salt water pool is worth a visit, very relaxing. We also treated ourselves to massages at the spa, what a truly relaxing experience, worth every penny!! Just be aware of the push to join the Travelers club, it is a bit aggressive... We have been to the Riviera Maya 11 times now, we have stayed in much fancier hotels than the White Sands but for the price, it is worth the stay. We would go back again.More
Great family vacation
My family enjoyed our stay at the White Sands. We found the kid's clubs to be fantastic as they allowed R&R for both my husband and me. Diego and Iris did a great job organizing activities and making them fun for the entire family whether they were the football toss or a bean bag toss. My son, Jack, loves wearing the shirt given to him from Diego as the bean bag toss winner. They made it fun. I was very impressed that for the rest of the week whenever we saw Diego, he remembered all of my family member's names. The food was average. We enjoyed the Mediterranean restaurant and beach BBQ. I wish that they had a better reservation system. Jennifer, who was is in charge of guest services, did a great job planning special dinners and finding babysitters for us. The folks at the dive shop were very helpful.More
bosco_hoggins, Rye, New York
Literally made us cry...............................................
to leave that is. My kids, my parents and I were practically in tears waiting for the bus to pick us up & take us back to the airport. A full week was not long enough to see and do everything they had to offer. I had read the reviews and was very torn about staying here. I liked the sound of a large resort because I thought that meant plenty to see and plenty to do. I also loved the idea of being able to eat at the restaurants EVERY night instead of only a couple of times like the Grand Bahia Principe resorts do and buffet the rest of the time. However I wanted to bring my elderly parents & children on this trip and was concerned about the walking and availability of trains, etc. from reading the reviews. We have traveled all over the world from Europe, Ireland, to Jamaica and every state in the U.S., and in the end we decided to give it a try. We could not have asked for a better stay! Ms. Laura Lopez is literally a Spanish Angel! The hotel is so very fortunate to have her. She assured us that my elderly parents would not have to climb any stairs and there would be transportation to help them get from one point to another. She was true to her word. The room… was perfect. I had read what sounded like horror stories about things from no air conditioning, to no power, to smelling like mold, etc. I feel so sorry for whatever unfortunate customers met this EXCEPTION. I am telling you that we were on the 1st floor of Villa 59 and had two separate rooms with no complaints. The only thing that I knew ahead of time was that the beds were firm, from reading the reviews. I am used to this as my company sends me throughout Germany, France, Netherlands, pretty much all of Europe. So not having a super soft mattress or topper was no surprise and no big deal. The room was very spacious and plenty of room for my husband and I and our kids slept on the sleeper sofa in the living room. My parents were in the room next to us and again not a single complaint. I loved the bathroom. The tub was great, jets worked perfect, and the shower was great, plenty of water pressure, hot water, everything you want and need. The beach… One reason we chose the White Sands is exactly for this part of the beach. This side of the beach is Rocky. READ the reviews. If this is not what you want then you have two choices; 1) Walk 50 feet or so to the LEFT to the next side of the beach perfect for kids, swimming, etc. or 2) Stay at one of the other properties if the sand closest to you has to be perfect… This part of the beach is where people like me put our heads in to snorkel and see the beautiful fish and reef. So please don’t complain about rocks when there is what seems like a mile of beautiful smooth beach a few feet away. Leave this rocky part for people like me and my family to appreciate and enjoy for its natural beauty and sea life. The food… was great. We ate at Ribs and More, El Dorado twice, Rodizio, the Monday night beach BBQ, and the dinner buffet once. My parents still argue over which was better as my dad loved Ribs & More for their ribs, and my mom loved the steak most at El Dorado. I cleaned my plate at each every night. My 3 year old LOVED the spaghetti and the pizza at all of them so they have something for everyone & every age! The beach BBQ was great so don’t miss this if possible. All of the food, the burgers, the chicken, the steak, the pork chops, etc. were tender and very juicy. The band played music and it was simply perfect. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet each morning, never got old. I’m still missing the variety of smoothies they offered each day :( The omelets were made perfectly. Fresh fruit, literally everything we would have wanted except waffles. But the perfectly made pancakes made up for that :) Bottom line absolutely nothing to complain about food wise. It was all great to all 7 of my family members and the extra pounds we all somehow came back with was additional proof! At the El Dorado Steakhouse, the waiter Angelo (I think is spelling) was awesome! We gave him the biggest tip of all the waiters at the resort. He was nonstop filling glasses and making sure if there was anything we needed. I have never had a waiter that attentive before. Very hard working, and made our first meal there perfect, which was why we returned a second time as well. Service… We are still telling everyone about how friendly the staff was. And I’m not talking ‘forced’ friendly like some places you go and you can tell that the people don’t want to be there but obviously need a paycheck so they ‘force’ that fake smile. Not here. The people here were All friendly to us, like true jovial friendly. The train and cart drivers all cut up and joked with my dad and the kids. I did not have paper and pen with me for each ride but wished I had gotten all of their names. Humberto & Manuel are a couple that comes to mind though. But there were all so very helpful and courteous. I tried to tip them for each ride. They work really hard and carefully to make sure you and your stuff gets where it should. They really appreciated the tips and were very deserving. Even each cleaning staff member we passed seemed truly happy to be there. Always smiling. The front desk staff such as Paul, Waldrup, and so many others would come up and conversate just to make sure you were ok and your stay was going well. Really enjoyed talking with them and getting to know where they were from and why they loved it here so much. Kids Club… was shockingly unbelievable. My kids NEVER want to leave our side thinking they are going to miss out on something I guess. But on Thursday my husband and I wanted to go snorkel for a little while so asked them if we could drop them off for a couple of hours at the Kids Club. They really did not want anything to do with being left there so we thought of ways to bribe them by agreeing to spend extra time at pool etc. So we dropped them off and promised to be back in two hours. 2 hours later I was back and went to sign them out and my youngest son (9) ran over to the teacher, sat down and said he wasn’t leaving. They had jumped on the trampoline, made jewelry, were making pizza, and were putting on a play that night... My oldest son (11) who REALLY had not wanted to stay, said to come pick them up later that evening perhaps 6. My mind was blown! I didn’t know what to think. But I left them there and went back to take my 3 year old and parents to the pool. Later that night the Kids needed to go on stage to put on a musical. They performed GREASE! My oldest son was the lead star Danny and my youngest son was part of the gang. It was great and I am so glad they went to the Kids club that day. It ended up making a lifetime memory for them to be in that musical and put on that show. Thank you kids club for such a perfect day for them! The resort… was beautiful. Every flower, bush, tree whatever seemed to have been given attention to. The kids had a ball seeing all of the iguanas. It took about 4 days before they stopped pointing out EVERY SINGLE ONE :) The raccoons were also a treat to watch and were most curious at night when we went to the 24 hour snack bar on the beach one night. I did not catch the name of some of the other animals but one is similar to our rabbit, and the other one I’m not sure but the little brown ringed tailed animals and their babies were precious. Precious to look at that is… Please do not feed the animals regular food. I think that is one of the reasons why they no longer do the room service or allow you to bring food back to the rooms because people were abusing the Privilege and feeding the wildlife. Back to the resort though, we took the kids through the plank boardwalk forest one night. They thought we were in the jungle. I enjoyed that as well. The resort was truly beautiful. We went on several excursions while we were there and dropped others off at their hotels on the way back. I think Grand Palladium was much nicer than some of the other resorts for sure! I could go on and on but only because we loved our stay there so much and have so much to talk about. We did not get to visit the spa I will do that when I go back in May. I can only tell you that I have been many many places and I loved this place enough to already be planning my trip back there in 7 months for my 11th anniversary. As I said earlier, I feel so sorry for whoever runs across any exception to the splendor of this resort, but I for one could not be more satisfied. I only wish I had more vacation days available to visit more often. I thank you to everyone for showing my family and I how wonderful Mexico can be and making memories to be talked about and shared from now on. A special thank you to Ms. Laura Lopez for everything. I will see you again soon on May 1st!More
Not even close to five star...
Now, in spite of the five star rating, I knew before I went that it would be truly a five star experience but I thought it would be very good. In fairness, the hotel is ok, just ok...not poor as a two star rating indicates, but not good enough to be worthy of a three star rating. I'll star with the room, the room wasn't a bad size, the bed was comfortable and it was relatively clean. However, the air on was noisy, the decor (particularly in the bathroom was a bit tatty), the mini bar was restocked only twice in two weeks- and that was after calling reception to "remind" them repeatedly. The pools and facilities weren't too bad, but again, they were a bit tatty around the edges and many things were broken. The food was pretty poor, long queues for the restaurants serving luke warm food. The drink on offer wasn't great either! If it wasn't all inclusive you certainly wouldn't drink it. The staff were pretty inept to be honest... Not rude or nasty in anyway, just a bit clueless. The whole comes seemed understaffed for the volume of residents. All in all, I wouldn't go again considering the price I paid. I'm not a fussy traveller but if I'm paying a decent amount of money I expect a decent hotel- this didn't even come close. More
UndamagedPanda, Birmingham, England
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