Tagged: Grand Palladium RivieraMaya
July 18, 2017 at 5:27 pm #12280
Thanks to Kevin Stoddard for sharing:
Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Review: Below is my review of my most recent trip to GPRM.
Background info: There were 7 of us on this trip. My wife, daughter & her boyfriend, my son, his fiancé and their son. We stayed in the Colonial section of the GPRM. It was not our first time here. We were there for 8 days.
Most of the time when I do a review, I do it in three sections. The good, the bad and the ugly. I will have to modify this one because I don’t have a bad AND an ugly.
• If you’ve never vacationed with your adult children, I highly recommend that you do it. It’s great.
• Check in was fast and smooth. It took about 10 minutes.
• The food makes the good list. It’s not like going to a 5 star restaurant in Vegas but it’s also not supposed to be. It’s good quality food and there are plenty of things to chose from.
1. The Mexican Restaurant. The food was very good. We had fajita’s all around. Some with chicken, some with shrimp, some with steak and some with it all. It was a very good meal and the service was good.
2. The buffet: The last time we were at the GPMR this was our least favorite place to eat and it would have made the bad list the last time around. This time its on the good list. No matter what meal you go for there is something for everyone. It’s very clean and all of the food is fresh. There are plenty of seats and staff so there is no waiting. The buffet here has come a long way and is a good choice for any meal.
3. The Brazilian: Excellent food….mostly. More on this in the bad section of this review. The steak was amazing!! Did I mention how good the steak was?
4. The Italian/Mediterranean: I don’t know how it was. We had reservations but the night we went there it was adults only so we could not get in with our grandson. The new adult only feature changes restaurants each night so choose wisely. I like this option for people so it makes the good list.
5. Ribs and More: We ate here twice. The ribs are great. And everyone seemed happy with their meals. The burgers are weird. If you order a blue cheese or BBQ burger the blue cheese and BBQ sauce comes on the side and not on the burger. The same went for the wings. We ordered BBQ and Honey wings. Both came plain and with the sauce on the side. IT was a little strange but no need to get your panties in a ruffle over it. The waiter service is great here but the cooking is slow. Both time we ate here it took more than 30 minutes to get our meals after we ordered them. Also both times they brought the kids meal out a full 20 minutes before the other meals. Weird but not the end of the world. If you like ribs this is a good choice for you.
6. The pool side lunch buffet. Excellent!! We did this at both the White Sands pool and the Colonial pool. The selection is smaller than the big buffets yet there is plenty to choose from. The food is quite good and once again there is something for everyone. There are multiple chefs on site so they can make you just about anything that you want. We normally don’t eat lunch when on vacation but it was so good we ate here almost every day.
• The drinks: Like Alice’s restaurant, you can get anything you want………..within reason. They have a standard list of drinks that they make but if you want something else they will make it for you. An example of this would be” Raspberry Vodka, Seven Up, a splash of grenadine and a lime. This is not on the list but we saw one get made and then consumed a battleship’s worth after that. If you want your drink strange, just ask and it will be done. IF you want it weak or special in any way they will accommodate you. Also if you’re a big drinker and want it put in a HUGE cup, bring one with you and they will fill it. That’s not my bag but I did see others doing it.
• Prices in the convenience store: We’ve been to these stores before and had to take out a 2nd mortgage to buy suntan lotion. This was not the case this time around. I did not buy a ton of things but the items I did buy were cheaper than they would have been in the states. I was more than happy with the pricing.
• Transportation: Quick, easy, friendly and accommodating. They were on time, they were clean and the drivers were nice.
• Snorkeling at the resort: The snorkeling here is excellent. Go straight out from the Punta Emilia restaurant and into the water. Its shallow, has plenty of life and activity. It really is an excellent place to spend a few hours floating and watching.
• The rooms: I am not one that asks a lot of a hotel room. I need it to be clean (spotless), quiet and bug free. The GPRM Colonial delivers that and more. The rooms were spacious and well laid out. The amenities were just what you needed and nothing you did not need. There were 3 small issues that I had with our room. They are not big issues and would not stop me form going back.
1. In our room we had a king size bed. Due to this there were no empty electrical outlets in the room. If you had 2 double beds there was an outlet near the night stand.
2. The cord for the iron was only about 24 inches long. I had to plug it in near the bathroom sink and also try to fit an ironing board in there. I ended up wearing wrinkled clothing most of the time because it was close to impossible to iron with that short cord and no empty outlets.
3. All electricity in your room shuts off shortly after you leave the room. All electricity. I get not having all the lights, TV and AC running if you’re going to be gone for the day but when its 90 degrees out you don’t want your room to be 90 when you get back. IT seems like they could put the AC on a low setting just to keep it dry and a little cooler when you’re not there. Also because all of the juice goes out it took me 3 days to charge my iPad. We don’t spend much time in the room so the power kept shutting off.
• The staff: It’s the staff that makes this place my favorite vacation destination. They are all super nice and go way out of their way to make your stay the best it can be.
o Example: My son got sick (more to come on this) and we had to go to the store for some Pepto. A cart driver took us to the store and then waited for us. When on the way back to the rooms my wife mentioned that we should have gotten some Gatorade. Our driver then dropped us off and volunteered to go pick up the Gatorade for us. Not only did he pick it up but he hand delivered it to my son’s room. How’s that for service?
o I had a birthday while on vacation. I can’t tell you how many of the staff came up to me, throughout the entire day, and wished me a happy birthday. I don’t know how they knew but they did.
o LUCY IS THE BEST!! Lucy served us drinks in the Royal section the past two times we traveled here. Knowing that the Royal was closed we were worried that we would not see her this time. We asked around and found her serving drinks in the White Sands lobby. If you ever go to the GPRM be sure to look her up. She is the sweetest lady you can meet. Everyone in my family loved her. She too, somehow, knew it was my birthday and wished me a happy birthday. When we see her it’s like seeing family.
o Our Bellboys and drivers. I know I will forget a few names and I am sorry for that. George, Jesus, Daniel, Ruben and Ali. These guys went out of their way to make sure we were taken care of. IT seemed like every time we walked anywhere there would drive up to us and ask if we needed a ride. Sometimes we did and sometimes we did not. It was nice to be asked. There were times when we were in the lobby and needed something from our room. These guys would bring us to the door and then wait for us to come back out. It was amazing. They would see us during the day and ask us what time we were going to dinner. When we told them they would say “ok I will pick you up at XX:XX oclock and bring you there. Just incredible service.
• The Beach: The water was beautiful in color and temperature. The seaweed was minimal. Two years ago while at this resort the seaweed was washing up by the truckloads. It was a problem all over Akumal. It was no issue this year. Clear water the temperature of a warm bath. Gentle waves and lots of fish to see. If you’re afraid of fish don’t be alarmed. They come close enough to see but they don’t touch you.
• The Teppanyaki restaurant. The food is good. The show is OK. You have to remember that you are not at Benihanas. Don’t expect perfection with the show. It’s fine by us. We don’t expect perfection and we have a good time. What we do expect and get is fresh food that is prepared correctly.
• The AC in the restaurants in not very strong so it tends to be hot and humid in them. There was one section at the Buffet that was so warm my son and I left and had to go change our shirts. They were visibly wet with sweat. I saw plenty of people sweating while waiting to be seated.
• People coming into your room while your sleeping. I try not to make big deal out of things but I do prefer that when I go to bed at night, no new people show up in my room. On night number 2 some drunk guy came barging into our room and woke us up from a sound sleep. For real this happened. I guess he was drunk and needed help getting back to his room. A bellboy was helping him and the drunk must have told him the wrong room number. So the bellboy used his passkey and opened our door and then two of them fell in. When they noticed their mistake the both left but they also left the door wide open. I had to get out of bed go see what was going on and then close the door behind them. I did not register a complaint because I felt the bellboy was just trying to help some poor shmuck that had had too much to drink. I did not want to get the guy fired for trying to be nice.
• The Beach BBQ. I’ve been to the GPRM several times now. Each time I have tried to go to the Beach BBQ I have failed. The first time was due to not having a reservation ( I was a newbie so I did not know about the reservation thing). The second time the power went out on the entire resort and stayed out for a few hours. The third time it rained. So this was time number four at trying to go to the BBQ. As soon as we sat down it started to rain. I thought oh no here we go again. But within a few minutes it cleared up. So we came back and were seated…….in wet seats. Joy. It should be said that the seats are simple fold up chairs put in soft sand so they sink a little. So you end up sitting well below the table. I would say the table was even with the top of my chest. Also the chairs are on their last leg. In fact one of them broke while someone was sitting in it. Sure it was funny because it was not me but…. Then we waited for the BBQ buffet to open. It took a while and we were overrun with mosquitos and humidity. When it came time to eat the food was ok and the selection was minimal. We ended up leaving and going to the buffet and having a very good meal. I love BBQ, just not this one.
o Tip for the GPRM: Set up your buffet on the other side of the kids pool. The location is flat and the sand is hard. Setting it up at the volleyball court is not optimal.
• The Jewelry Store (Fini). The selection is nice. The pricing is OK. The layout is fine. So you may be wondering why this store makes the bad list. Here is why. They do nothing to work with their customers. On this trip our party bought several items at the store in the Colonial lobby. One of the things we/they bought was a pair of sunglasses for my birthday. They thought they picked out the ones I wanted but got it wrong. I thought no big deal I can just go an exchange them. Oh how wrong I was. When I went to exchange them they said I needed the receipt. He also said that if the glasses I wanted were less money that he would not refund the difference. This did not sit well with me but I was on vacation and tried to go with the flow. So I got the receipt and went back the next day. I showed him the glasses I wanted and he said he had to wait for his manager to come in and approve the transaction. I would have to come back. I went back later and the manager had left for the day. I went back the next day (day 3 in this story) for my 4th time and once again the manager was not there. In addition to that the glasses I wanted had been sold and they had no more. On day 4 we were having dinner at the White Sands and I went into the jewelry store there. I told the salesman about my issue and he said that he was the one that sold the glasses to my kids and that I could exchange them with him no problem. So I picked out a pair of glasses and had him hold them for me. I was to return with the glasses and receipt the next day. So the next day, my 5th day of trying to exchange my glasses, I went to the store. He had the glasses I put on hold and asked me to try them on outside. When I went outside he told my wife he could not do the exchange. He said that even though he sold the other glasses to us they were sold at a different store so they could not exchange from one store to another. Needless to say I was pissed at this point. The other store did not have the glasses I wanted and this store could not do the exchange. INSANE. So I went back to the original store and got the run around. The salesman asked me if I wanted him to call his manager or if I wanted to come back later. I had “come back” enough. Call him! After a short phone call the salesman said there was nothing that could be done until the next day. Oh yeah I forgot to tell you that the next day was not an option because I was going home the next day. I said call him back and fix this problem TODAY. Here is what the manager proposed: I should go to the other store and pay for the glasses that I wanted. Then later in the day he would come to store #1 and let me return the first pair. I hit the roof. I said I’ve been trying to return these for 5 days with no luck and you want be to pay for another pair and then hope you refund the money for the first pair? Why would I do that? After I explained the lack of logic to this procedure (about 5 times) his light bulb went on and he allowed the stock transfer between stores. In the end I got the glasses I wanted but man what an ordeal and time waste it was. Also I never could get a receipt for the glasses because the manager never showed up. That means that I can’t register them and now have no warranty. All I can say about this entire thing is that you can tell that the store is NOT run by the GPRM. If it was I can assure you that none of this would have ever happened. The GPRM is all about customer service and satisfaction.
In the end this was a great vacation. I highly recommend the Grand Palladium to anyone that wants a big place with lots to do. If that is what you’re looking for then this is the place for you.
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