March 2, 2018 at 1:56 pm #16779
Better than average, still space for improvement – by Jammy
This was our 7th annual trip to an AI resort, and our first trip to a Grand Palladium.
We stayed in the Colonial Mayan Suite (lower floor). I thought our bed (mattress)was amazing (in comparison with others we’ve had in the past), my wife and our friends who came on the trip also (not in a Mayan suite) weren’t thrilled with the mattresses and were excited to be home in their own beds. My wife did comment when we got home that the King sized bed there was WAY bigger than our King size at home and now it has her wondering why and how she gets a larger bed.
Our room was serviced by Hugo every day and Hugo did a great job with the exception of a single day when we came back from the pool and our room hadn’t been serviced. We called and when we came back from dinner it was done. So really, no complaints there!
They have a refrigerator that they stock with drinks. You only get more drinks if you drink the ones in the refrigerator. If you take them out, they don’t replenish them. if you drink everything and want more before they come back and service your room again, there is a charge. So keep that in mind if you’re thirsty.
The Mayan comes with the outdoor shower and an inside tub with a removable shower head/sprayer. Both had great water pressure. I showered outside, my wife choose to not do that and use the tub. Outside I looked up and one unit above me wouldn’t have a view, the other unit would have only a SLIGHT view if they were REALLY obvious and practically climbed up onto their terrace ledge and leaned way over. It was very interesting showering outside, I kind of liked it!
The bathroom soap, shampoo, etc., were actually stocked in a good amount. My wife immediately noticed the larger quantity of shampoo and conditioner as she has longer thick hair and those tiny bottles are never enough (hence why she brings her own).
Closet space is spacious, there are no drawers though just shelves and hangers. There is a single outlet on each side of the bed, if you’re new to AI’s you’ll quickly learn to bring travel sized power strips. For the guys (or girls, or kids) the TV was probably 32″, and had a good amount of English speaking channels. But don’t expect HD quality, it was broadcast in maybe 720p. Still visible, but took you back about 20 years.
The hammock and porch, LOVED THEM!!! such an amazing breeze, the hammock was used quite a few times for an afternoon siesta. The wildlife that comes out of the jungle around 5:30 is so fun to watch. They don’t bother you and frequently completely ignore you.
We were in building 32, suite 3201. If you want to be close to the main pool, you can’t get any closer than building 32 (for Mayan suites).
We only went into the Azul pool at the Colonial. It was close to our room, close to all the other places to eat during the day and was really central to our location. Pool was always VERY clean, rarely did I see anything floating in the pool (vegetation or bugs). The areas around the pool were also very well maintained.
If you’re around the Azul pool, you MUST try to hook up with Leonardo for your drinks! He is fast, he does an excellent job and he will always take care of you!
Read many reviews on the pool and you’ll see people talking about how deep it is. WELL, they’re not kidding. The entire
pool, with the exception of the kids area, where it gradually drops off, is 5ft 4in deep. You will want to either bring some kind of floatie (We were introduced to the Doodle, an inflatable pool noodle this trip, we’ll have these for the next trip), or you’ll want to buy one if you’re not very tall. I’m 6ft tall and I still used a pool noodle to help me not have to hold my drink up all day while in the pool.
First, we all thought the food was way more flavorful than we have come to expect at AI resorts. The buffet had great food, the ala cart restaurants had great food. The longest we ever had to wait to get in without reservations was 20 minutes tops.
Buffet, there was only really one at the Colonial that was open for dinner. There are two open for breakfast and they’re side by side. The Tikal(?) seems to only be open at breakfast. There are a couple open for lunch around the pool. Our ONLY complaint about the buffet (all meals) is that the exact same dishes are served each day. We’ve been to some resorts where there are “themed” nights and the food reflects the theme. Not here, if you like something you’ll be happy to be able to get it EVERY DAY. If you aren’t enthused, then you’ll be going to a lot of ala cart restaurants.
When in the buffet you must try to sit with Natalia! She is such an amazing server and so attentive to your needs. Let her get your morning latte or cappuccino for you and chances are you’ll have on of her wonderful designs on top of the foam.
Breezy, nice, wonderful. But as other reviews say, you need water shoes. There is not much in the way of waves at the Colonial beach and I really enjoy the waves. So other than checking out the beach a couple of times, I didn’t spend a lot of time there.
Each night they have a kids show, the adults show and then after show entertainment. This place does not lack in the entertainment department. There is always live music each night. There is live music at the beach/pool buffet for lunch. The music is OUTSTANDING! I heard some very good artists while we were there (both English and Spanish speaking)! Probably hands down some of the best live music entertainment I’ve ever heard at an AI.
We watch the evening shows from the plaza area (open air) as my friend and I liked to enjoy a cigar each evening in the wonderful breeze. So we saw the evening entertainment from a distance. Some was really good, others… yeah kind of not so bueno, but overall it was all still well done! The staff should all be commended for the great effort and energy they put into each performance. One comment, if you’re planning on smoking at the Colonial in the evenings, good luck staking claim to a table and chairs in the open area. There are maybe 6-8 tables total for that entire area.
Overall, we will be back to a Grand Palladium resort again in the future. Will it be the Colonial (or any in RM, maybe not). But for the record, we’ve never been back to the same resort twice yet and it’s going to take something really special before we do that. Also don’t let the size intimidate you, the carts are frequently running around and you can always get a ride on any one of them.
If you’ve never been to an AI, you have to really weed out all the nay-sayers who like to give terrible reviews and base it on the food, on the musty smells or other things that are standard at Caribbean resorts. If you’re considering the Grand Palladium Colonial, I would recommend it. You won’t be disappointed unless you have VERY high expectations that are unreasonable for Caribbean resorts. – will be back
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