July 9, 2017 at 8:21 am #12009
(Thanks to Joan for sharing) “Bang for your Buck in Paradise” –Kantenah
Just returned from our second visit to this resort( and not our last) . We were welcomed with a nice fruit basket . On this visit we had our 11 yr old son with us. ( First trip was older teens and young adult kids.)
Our visit was great. Weather was quite rainy before we arrived, but luckily the weather changed and we had 6 days of sun, with a sun shower one day( lasted ten minutes max) and a downpour on the first day ( which lasted all of 20 minutes, and then once again brillant sunshine ). It was hot and humid but bearable in the restaurants and our room had good ac.
Mossies were bad first two days.. but as week dried out, mossies dissappeared. Do take good bug repellant just in case.
We are beach people and we loved the Kantenah beach, even in the heat there was a lovely seabreeze that kept us from wilting . The ocean was warm but still refreshing , and the pools were as hot as bathtubs (which we don’t like , so we are glad we like the beach ) . The pool area also is quite a bit hotter than the beach because it doesn’t get the breezes, even though its close to beach ( steps away). There is some landscaping that surrounds the pools and keep it hot and still.
One thing that we really didn’t like about the main pool area was it was impossible to enjoy any peace and quiet. The music was always blaring. I want to read, and hear the waves.. not some techno crap piped in EVERYWHERE.. its hard to escape.
We had a junior suite in building 48 on the third level and were very pleased with our room. Comfy king size bed and the sofa bed our son slept on he said was very comfy. I will note the sofa bed is fine for one child over 10, but would be crowded for two, so our son was fine alone in it, but if you have two teens you would need to request the two queen beds instead of the king bed.
Room was clean and well equipped. Fridge was stocked with soda, water and beer. It would have been nice to have juice as not all of us like to feed our kids sodas.
Room service was great, they always tell you it will be 45 minutes, but we ordered it 3 times and it was never more than about 20 minutes. The chicken wings were an afternoon favorite ! Only issue we had was you can not order any drinks ( non alcoholic I mean.. so that’s what I mean it would have been nice to have at least juice in mini bar to offer child , as we usually drank the water at the beach).
Food– We love the no reservation unlimited Ala carte system. We dine early so never had to wait more than a few minutes; if you go at 7 you will likely have to wait. Smart people take the pager and go have a drink and relax. Stressy people complain.. decide which person you want to be on vacation.
We felt the food actually improved in the a la cartes this visit.. a nice surprise. We enjoyed the Steakhouse ( El Dorado) but did not like Ribs and More. ( The food there really is sub par, sorry, its like some bad chain) . However the food in the Thai restaurant was excellent.. thank goodness they haven’t blanded it down for everyone.. Thai food is supposed to be spicy !!!( Don’t change that please.. it will make it less authentic .) The beef tips were excellent . The only issue at the Thai restaurant is our son is allergic to shrimp and that severely limited his choices.. he couldn’t even order the chicken wing appetizer as they told us they use powered shrimp to season many of the dishes. It might be an idea to have more than one or two dishes that you don’t use shrimp powder on.. however.. he ordered the beef tips also and loved it. They serve it without rice, but just ask for a bowl of rice and its on your table in an instant !
We also ate at the Brazilian meat place.. it was ok.. too much meat and some of it was over cooked. ( I think some folks may like that.. we like our lamb pink, and it was well done. ) Hint.. they bring out the cheaper filling meats first, don’t always say yes.. wait for steak and lamb!
Service at all restaurants was good however.
Our second favorite meal was at the Japanese show table.. we lucked out getting to sit there as I had not reserved, but we had gone early and they had a vacancy and offered us the seats.. well worth making a reservation for.. the food was great. They start with sushi appetizers then cook the rest of the meal in front of you.. choice of five meats, you choose three. You can order 3 x of one type , or 1 of each three types of meat you can choose from five. ( I think it was beef, chicken, shrimp, pork, salmon. )
Pools – main pool is huge and clean . Never crowded . Main pool is deep in most areas so not ideal for non swimmers, but there are a few shallow areas.
Around the pool they roll out an ice cream cart in afternoon, very nice touch.
You can also get ice cream bars from the bar Azul.
Buffets – We had buffet breakfast each day and always found plenty to eat. Loved the omelette station, but they should have more than one worker on .. our omelette maker would often have a line..a long line.
Lunch – we ate at main buffet once, and at smaller one once (not as impressive ) and at beach bar twice. Beach bar buffet is not kept properly supplied. There seemed to NEVER be glasses for the drink machine, and the ice cream machine broke down twice . The rest of it was pretty pedestrian.. hot dog or hamburger. I did however like the cut up fruits offered.
The beach was our favorite part of this resort.. I walked one day all the way to El Dorado ( some other resort far down the beach) .. sand is soft and warm and white. Water is clear and clean. There was a tiny bit of seaweed but I can’t stand it when people complain about a naturally occurring phenomenon.
We loved the jungle around us.. and the paths through the jungle are the fastest way to get around.. we only took the trolley twice , and that’s mostly because our son thought they were fun.
Son loved visiting the teen club after dinner to meet friends he had made during day at the beach. He met boys from Montreal , Scotland, Poland and Long Beach. Of course it was mostly to play video games.. but they did play pool once or twice too.
This resort is great bang for your buck; there are fancier places, but you will notice a price difference. We felt we got very good value and look forward to our next visit !
Every staff member we met with or dealt with was VERY polite.. they were pleasant everywhere. It makes me mad to read a review where the staff is trashed because of one misunderstanding.. and we never get to hear how the reviewer treated the staff. I have seen some very arrogant tourists who think they can treat staff like slaves and are not respectful of them. It works both ways !
That brings me to tipping. We tip. Sometimes we wouldnt have a tip because we were in our swimsuit etc.. but never noticed a change in how we were treated.
Ps we have been to the Grand Bahia Akumal twice and the VIM once. We would return to VIM but will now always choose the Palladium over the Grand Bahia.
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