Our visit to Mexico earlier this year was chock full of fun and excitement off the resort. However, we don’t want you to think that we didn’t stay at a great resort. Our home base during out time in the Riviera Maya was the Whitesands portion of the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya resort. It was our first visit to a mega resort. It is BIG. There are 1554 rooms across the entire complex (including the Royal Suites). While a big resort can mean extra time getting around, it also means more food options and more amenities. The Grand Palladium is also very centrally located for access to great excursions in the Riviera Maya.
Here are our thoughts on each of the different parts of the resort.
The Rooms at Grand Palladium
We stayed in a Junior Suite. It had two queen beds and a sofa that folded into a bed. We could have made Evan on the other bed so that we could use the couch as a…well…couch but he loved it as his bed. It was a foam mattress as opposed to the usual uncomfortable fold out sofa bed. He adored it which is always a plus for us.
We found the rooms spacious, comfortable and clean. Our bathroom was huge with a walk in shower and an oversized soaker tub. Each room has a mini fridge that is stocked daily with beer, pop and water. Our balcony overlooked the mangroves between the beach and the resort.
We had a couple of rainy days and we didn’t feel cramped hanging out in the room. There was plenty of room for Evan to put together an impromptu game of Angry Birds using fruit as the birds. No apples were harmed during this game.
Dining at the Grand Palladium
Across the entire Grand Palladium complex there are 9 a la carte restaurants, 5 buffets and one beach snack bar. With that many choices, there is truly something for everyone. We got to try out many of the a la carte restaurants during our stay. Our favorite was the Sumptuori Restaurant which is a Japanese teppanyaki. Evan calls it the “Woop! Woop!” restaurant. The chefs are fun and make it dinner and a show in one.
We found all of the a la cart restaurants tasty. We had reservations each night that we dined. Some guests did not and there could be a wait for a table. Also, the Palladium rotated an Adult Only night through each of the a la carte restaurants so that guests without children could have a quiet and romantic dinner.
Evan preferred the buffet restaurants above all of the a la carte restaurants other than Sumptuori. His main reason? Unlimited ice cream and candied cherries for dessert. Yep, he is quite the gourmand. Each of the buffet restaurants offered a wide assortment of choices for each meal of the day. Everything was freshly prepared and tasty. If something ran out the staff quickly filled it up again. I figured out that it was always a good idea to look at everything before you decided what to eat. Otherwise you would have a full plate and happen upon your favorite item with no room left. Unless you are Evan. He headed straight for the pastries and filled up his plate.
The Pools at the Grand Palladium
The Grand Palladium Complex has 7 freshwater pools and one salt water pool. We didn’t get around to all of the pools (a few are adults only and we had limited time at the resort) but the two we spent the most time at we LOVED.
First the kids pool/splash park. Evan loved this area. It was full of kids, easy to see from your sunbed (score!) and there was a rule that adults could NOT go on the slide. I don’t know about you but I LOVE that rule. No more “Mommy, come slide with me!” Nope. I just had to say “Sorry Ev, can’t do it. It’s against the rules.” and lay back to enjoy my pool chair.
My favorite pool was the beach side saltwater pool. It’s a pool that is like an extension of the sea. Sea water fills it during high tide every day so there are fish, crabs, etc in the pool. However, you can let your kids splash and play without worrying that they will float out too deep. We loved the peaceful views and Evan loved stalking hermit crabs on the rocks between the pool and the ocean. Win/Win! We spent every minute we could at this pool. Oh and there is a beach bar right there so there’s no reason to ever leave.
We never had any problems getting beach chairs while we were at the Palladium. A few times the pools were quite busy so you couldn’t get a first row chair but there were still lots to choose from. Towels were also plentiful and easy to find.
The Beach at the Grand Palladium
The beach at the Grand Palladium is accessed in most areas by an elevated pathway through the mangroves. The resort is quite large so you have lots of beach to choose from.
Kids Activities at the Grand Palladium
The Grand Paladium has three kids clubs: one for babies 1-3, one for kids 4-12 and one for teenagers. Since we were off the resort most days, Evan didn’t get to spend any time in the kids club. He did get to go to the brunch featuring Raggs and Friends.
Even though Evan is a little old for Raggs, he had a blast at the brunch. All of the food was Raggs themed. Dog shaped food stretched as far as the eye could see. They also had fun, themed fruit plates that kids could build themselves. Overall they did an amazing job of making kids feel special. The kids that knew Raggs had a great time meeting the characters and having a dance party.
A Last few Notes
We really enjoyed our time at the Palladium. We’re not ones to take the bus so we spent a lot of time figuring out the layout of the resort. Evan got in on the adventure too and learned how to read a map on this trip. We enjoyed our walks immensely….even when we got lost. One of Evan’s favorite parts were keeping our eyes peeled for some of the animals that call the Grand Palladium home.
His favorite were the agoutis. They look a bit like a guinea pig with long legs. He never got very close to any of them. He did, however, manage to get up close and personal with quite a few iguanas and hermit crabs.
For booking information, check out the Grand Palladium site. If you have any questions, use the super helpful chat option. I couldn’t remember how many rooms were in the entire resort and they helped me out in a flash.
I didn’t get to mention all the resort has to offer….there is also a spa and local merchants come in for markets in the different lobbies. There are also daily activities both on the beach and in the pools. Basically there is something going on all the time if you would like to participate.
Just go…you’ll love it.
Disclosure: We were hosted by the Grand Palladium during our stay. As always, all opinions are my own.