¡Bienvenidos! Forums Trip Reports Grand Palladium Kantenah (Royal upgrade) vs Secrets Akumal non-preferred suite

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Blueskies Blueskies 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #13203


    I have been to the Palladiums 13+ times (mostly RM, PC several times, and Jamaica once) and multiple times to the Iberostar resorts, Sandos Resorts, Barcelo, Bahia and others.  We are Palladium Addicts, however I am trying to be objective.

    We returned from a 6 day/5 night trip to Secrets Akumal the last week of June 2017.  I will try to do a quick comparison for you addicts to let you know that the grass is not always greener on the other side. 🙂

    Reservations: We had booked/paid for 6 nights/5 days however due to a death in the family, were unable to arrive until the second day of our paid in advance vacation. We alerted the travel company who we booked through and they contacted Secrets and I sent several emails to Secrets directly to let them know so that we could get into our room upon arrival.  I didn’t get a response from Secrets until AFTER the travel agency contacted them.  I have ALWAYS received an email from the Palladium staff when I have made any inquiry or request.  Upon arrival, the receptionist told us our room wasn’t ready and to come back at 3. After I explained that we had already paid for a day that we hadn’t used and that they had been notified, she said “oh, you are right” and found a room for us.  No apology.

    Room: Our room was beautiful…jungle view 2nd floor building 9c. Butler was very nice but was only there 2 days during our stay.  In Palladium PC Royal Suites Turquesa, the butler is normally at the buildings every day.  We had notified Secrets it was our 29th anniversary and our room had a banner saying “Happy Anniversary” on our door however I’ve read others received champagne, breakfast in bed, etc.  At the Palladium, even when it isn’t a special occasion, we have received flowers, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, etc just for being a return guest.  Received turn down service only 2 of 5 nights.

    BIG THUMBS DOWN:  NO TOWEL ANIMALS AT SECRETS!  No flower petals, either (unless you pay for them)  Very disappointing.

    ADDITIONAL BIG THUMBS DOWN:  There is a $50 charge for the bali beds per day at Secrets, even for preferred club members!  Royal guests at Palladium have free use of these.

    Food: The only buffet is the breakfast buffet.  The other restaurants are all menu restaurants.  We found that we did really miss the option of a buffet in the evening, especially as we found the restaurant food was not great.  Seaside steak house was poor. My husband had the ribeye and said it was the worst steak he’d ever had. I had the filet which was well done (ordered medium well) and very dry.  Hibachi grill was good (seems like they are most places in Mexico).  We are not big seafood people but we heard the seafood was good at Secrets.  I feel they are more focused on presentation than taste.  Room service was very good.  We probably liked it more than the restaurants.  Also, specialty restaurants do not have a specialty drink like at the Palladium restaurants. No lobster, even for preferred guests.

    BIG THUMBS DOWN: Nowhere to get ice cream unless you order it in the restaurants and it isn’t even on most of the menus.  We love our soft serve at the Palladium for an afternoon snack and the hard ice cream that the Palladium provides as well.  We really missed this.

    Bars:  Drinks were good; service not so much.  All bars are not air-conditioned and it was very warm at the end of June.  We arrived early to the Hibachi restaurant (10 minutes early) and they told us to leave and come back.  There was no in restaurant area to wait nor a bar in the restaurant.

    Pools: 3 different pools at Secrets.  We got very poor wait service at the pools unless we went to the swim up bar.  I have never had bad service at the Palladium.

    Sports Bar:  This was all open air and very hot.  Two pool tables and a few TVs.  Nothing compared to the Palladium sports bars.

    Coffee shop:  Secrets had a great little (open air) coffee shop with bottled Starbucks-like drinks, which were great!  However, getting one was not so great.  On the several occasions we went there, the wait staff either ignored us or acted like we were bothering them.  I was very shocked at this level of service.

    Beach:  The Palladium has an amazing beach and snorkeling but Secrets has Akumal beach with the magnificent sea turtles.  However, at one point I was told that I was not allowed to snorkel past a certain point without paying a “guide”.  This was on the Akumal beach not in front of the resort.  Also, Akumal has many day visitors and the beach is public in front of the resort.

    Entertainment: The two shows we saw were very good. Bar service in the theater (air conditioned) was the best we found.

    Additional Note:  We had come up from the beach when our room was being cleaned.  We stood outside without the cleaning person knowing we were there.  As the cleaning guy left, we entered and our safe was beeping.  Long story short, it “appeared” to have locked itself out after unsuccessful attempts to open it.  I did try to call the front desk 3 times but each time no one answered.  After 15 minutes, I was allowed to retry the safe and it opened.  Coincidence?  I am not sure what happened but I have NEVER had an incident at the Palladium regarding the safe.

    Overall:  The Palladium is our first choice and although we thought that since Secrets has a seemingly “higher standard of excellence”, we did not encounter that.  In fact, in our experience, the Palladium delivers better service, better food, and a better overall experience than we had at Secrets.  Our experience at Secrets may have been the exception and based on the reviews we have read, it seemed like we stayed at a different resort.  But this is my opinion based on our experience at both.



  • #13204

    Excellent comparison. Thank you. I guess the “grass is not always greener” as they say.

  • #13717

    Great review ! we have stayed at a few of the Secrets resorts and always return to our beloved Palladium in the MR.

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