Resort Review: Grand Palladium Colonial (4.5*)
On a sunny Monday in March, we arrived at Grand Palladium Colonial in the late afternoon. Very quick check-in, complete with a welcome cocktail. We were given a booklet with more info on the property and quickly met with someone from the property to go over the map. After that, we were promptly whisked away with our luggage to our rooms.
Digs for the week - a deluxe room (1231) on the top floor of building 2. The room was very clean and had everything we needed. Beds were comfortable, plenty of water already waiting (along with some soda and beer), some shampoo/soap items in the bathroom (their spa brand), nice balcony (with towel hanger), laptop sized safe, iron and ironing board, plenty of storage, and room to move around. Room was very clean when we arrived and was cleaned everyday.
Grand Palladium Colonial is part of a four resort complex (along with Kantenah, White Sands, and TRS), so it's quite a large property. It's easily walkable (and great for getting those steps in), but there are trolleys you can take to move around the property. Staying at Colonial, you can access everything but TRS. The property is really lovely, meticulously maintained, and has a feel that's more traditional than modern.
If you're a fan of hanging by the pool, this property won't disappoint. There's a couple of huge pool areas with plenty of deck chairs, complete with swim-up bars. There's a couple of smaller pools as well.
If you'd rather head to the beach, there's no shortage of that as well. Since this is such a large property, it has a very long expanse of beach. The TRS area is very rocky and not swimmable (but does have a salt water pool at the shore). White Sands beach is rocky as well, but still great for a walk along the beach, and with plenty of lounge chairs (there's a private area for Palladium Club members here). At Colonial, the beach starts to change to a less rocky entry, and it's where you'll find the beach bar, volleyball court, and kids area. Kantenah has the best beach by far. Plenty of lounge chairs, plenty of palm trees for shade, and another beach bar as well. This are also has a private section of the beach for guests staying at TRS (sunbeds, loungers, etc.). They remove the seaweed every morning, but there was never very much during my stay.
If keeping fit and active on holidays is important to you, there's many options. Soccer fields, tennis courts, archery, rifle range, mini golf, volley ball, water activities, well-equipped gym, a marked running track throughout the property, and more.
After working out, maybe it's time to head to the Zentropia spa. It's quite a large one, and it has a nice mix of modern and traditional feel. There's a nice pool, a bit of a winding river, plenty of treatment rooms, and the gym is here as well.
You definitely won't go hungry here. In addition to several buffets and the beach bar, this complex also has Japanese, Mexican, Spanish, Italian, Thai, Brazilian, American, steakhouse, and seafood options. Only the teppanyaki part of the Japanese restaurant and the seafood restaurant near the beach require reservations. This complex is a great fit for people with dietary restrictions or allergies, as they take this very seriously.
Nightly, the entertainment mostly takes place in the Colonial lobby. Every night there was a 8pm show that was geared towards children, following by a 9pm show that was more all ages. Generally there would be some live music before/after the shows. The animation team had a jam packed schedule of activities around the resort (mostly at the pool and in the sports complex).
This property is definitely family friendly, with a small water park for the kids and a kids area with activities just for them (baby club, kids club, and teen club). They do have lifeguards on duty and also offer babysitting ($).
What I loved: I loved that the complex wasn't a giant mass of concrete and had lovely pathways you could walk through in the vegetation. I enjoyed the wildlife on the resort (cats, iguanas, coatis, agoutis, and birds). I thought the variety in the buffets was really great and I love all the built-in palm tree shade at the beach (though there are a good amount of palapas as well). There's free Wi-Fi throughout the resort, and it rarely kicked out anywhere I went.
Food for thought: There are wooden pathways and bridges through various areas of the properties, and there's definitely some places where the wooden planks could stand to be replaced. They do seem to be always working on something, so I expect it's something that will get handle in due time. I did find myself missing having a coffee shop, but you could get a coffee at any bar. I also don't love when properties have animals in captivity, and they did have a couple of areas with flamingos and a crocodile in a small enclosure.
Perfect for: Families, couples, groups, weddings, spa, meetings, and golf (nearby)
Location: Ninety minutes from Cancun International Airport and thirty minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen
I would personally stay at Grand Palladium Colonial again and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Think it's a good fit for your upcoming vacation? Get in touch any time for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org #gotravelwithange #palladium #grandpalladiumcolonial #rivieramaya
Disclaimer: This visit was not hosted by Palladium or discounted in any way. All pictures were taken by me during this visit and have not been altered in any way.