Sometimes you just need to get away, especially in the winter. From the moment that snowflakes started falling from the sky, Justin and I were dreaming of a tropical vacation, as many Canadians do. Thankfully, tripcentral.ca has a limitless amount of all-inclusive vacations in sunny destinations. It’s easy to book your dream trip online or with an experienced travel agent who will help you along the way. Before you know it, you’ll be relaxing on the beach with a drink in your hand.
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The two of us chose the luxurious Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Resort & Spa in Mexico. At this five star property, we were looking forward to kicking up our feet in the warm weather with gorgeous views of the Caribbean Sea.
While there are four properties at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya, Justin and I stayed at two of them and got to enjoy all four of them. After a week in paradise, we know the ins and outs of the resorts and what you simply must do when you go there. So, grab a coffee and get comfortable – here’s our in-depth guide to the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Resort in Mexico. I will warn you first: this blog post might cause you to immediately book a trip there (a good idea, I must say!).
The Resort of Our Dreams
After an early morning flight to Cancun, we embarked on a private transfer to the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya, just beyond Playa del Carmen. We were tired, hungry, and couldn’t wait to get settled at our new home for the week.
Upon our arrival to the Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, we were given the 5-star treatment. From hot towels to a tropical beverage, we were immediately welcomed to the resort by the staff.
Feel free to connect back to the outside world right way if you’d like. The entire resort complex has complimentary Wi-Fi that’s high speed. We never had any connectivity issues during our week at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya.
Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Overview
As you can see from the map above, the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya is actually four resorts in one. There’s the Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, the Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, and The Royal Suites Yucatan. We stayed for three nights at the Grand Palladium White Sand, and four nights at the adults-only TRS Yucatan resort.
There are restaurants, swimming pools, and common areas at each resort, but these spaces are available for guests staying at any of the resorts. You can move freely between each resort. However, there are a few spots designed for guests of the TRS Yucatan or those with VIP bracelets (the spa, the TRS Yucatan restaurants, and the VIP beach area).
In total, there are 9 a la carte restaurants, 5 buffet style restaurants, 25 bars, and 7 freshwater pools around the complex.
Grand Palladium White Sand
We stayed in a suite on the third floor of one of the buildings on the Grand Palladium White Sand property. White Sand is a family friendly resort, not limited to only adults. Out of the three family resorts (White Sand, Colonial and Kantenah), the White Sand section was the quietest and most peaceful.
A river runs through the property, surrounded by a natural mangrove forest. You have the option of staying in small huts on this lagoon (the Mayan Suites), and you can even canoe up to your front door. Although we didn’t stay in one of these huts, I really loved the concept.
There are family pools and adults only swimming pools here as well. These swimming pools were never busy and we rarely saw people around them. The pools at the Colonial resort were much more popular with families as one of them had water slides. The Colonial resort is also closer to the beach and the ocean.
There are 210 junior suites, 12 Mayan suites, and 42 suites at the Grand Palladium White Sand. That’s right, there are only suites! Our accommodation was stylish and elegant, featuring two separate rooms. In one room, there was a sofa, TV, and a balcony. The mini bar was beneath the TV, featuring beer and soft drinks that was always kept fully stocked.
The other room was the bedroom with a king-sized bed, another flatscreen TV, and its own second balcony. There were plush bathrobes and slippers waiting for us on the bed upon our arrival.
This balcony offered a view overlooking one of the swimming pools, off in the distance. Both balconies were surrounded by lush greenery and palm trees. Tropical birds in a rainbow of colours fluttered and chirped happily from tree to tree.
We had so much space in this suite for just the two of us.
The spacious bathroom exuded luxury, from the jetted tub to the separate rainfall shower. There were complimentary toiletries, a hair dryer, and a magnification mirror. A large window let lots of light into the bathroom. I highly recommend making full use of the jacuzzi bathtub for a rejuvenating experience.
Photo Tour of White Sand
Allow us to take you on a photo tour of the Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa. We’ll showcase the front lobby, the swimming pools and the public spaces near our accommodation.
It’s interesting to note that the Grand Palladium has strict environmental protections that respect the natural flora and fauna of the area. You can wander down paths that wind through the mangrove forest, and several bridges cross the lagoon.
Colonial And Kantenah Resorts
Now that I’ve shown you around the Grand Palladium White Sand, allow me to show you around both the Colonial and Kantenah resorts. All four of these resorts (including the TRS Yucatan, which I’ll introduce later) are connected to one another.
You can ride a train between each of the three resorts or walk. I enjoyed mostly walking around to get some exercise, and I didn’t find the property to be too big that I couldn’t walk it. The train stops at each of the three hotel lobbies (Colonial, Kantenah, and White Sand), as well as the spa and activities area.
When you’re staying at the TRS Yucatan, a private shuttle car will pick you up and drop you off wherever you like on the resort.
Colonial Resort and Spa
Swimming Pools by Colonial and Kentenah
Kantenah Resort and Spa
Colonial Resort at Night
The Beach in Riviera Maya
You’ve likely been waiting in anticipation to see what the beach looks like, right? Well, you won’t be disappointed! If the name, “Grand Palladium White Sand” tells you anything, there will be white sands. Turquoise waters with a gentle wave and a powdery, white sandy beach is exactly what you’ll find. With just about 1km of beachfront to explore, you’ll find pure relaxation right here.
Walk along the beach, go for a swim, lounge on a deck chair, or participate in water sports. There’s something for everyone.
Activities at the Resort
Speaking of water sports, there are so many activities to keep you busy and entertained at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya. Enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, wind surfing, and pedal boating.
There’s an entire sports complex at the resort. Justin and I spent one morning playing shuffleboard and basketball. There’s also beach volleyball (both at the sports complex and at the beach), tennis courts, soccer fields, badminton courts, archery, ping pong, rifle practice, and mini golf.
The Zentropia Palladium Spa
Ah, one of our favourite spaces at Grand Palladium Riviera Maya. The Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness Centre contains a swimming pool, a water spa, a fitness centre, and of course, massage rooms.
Justin and I went for a soothing Swedish massage on the last day of our trip, and it was the best massage I’ve ever had. I’m not even joking. It was pure bliss.
For guests of the TRS Yucatan, those with VIP bracelets, or those with a spa appointment, you’re welcome to enjoy the invigorating water spa. Alternatively, guests of the resort can visit this area for $10 per day. There’s a swimming pool, hot pools, cold pools, a steam room, a sauna, and more. Alternate between hot and cold pools, much like traditional Nordic spas. Some of the pools are indoors and some are outdoors.
At one point in a circular hot tub with an open ceiling, it started to rain. It was an incredible experience to have the rain falling from overhead while soaking in a jetted hot tub.
There’s also a fitness centre on site, with a vast array of cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, and an exercise room for yoga and other classes.
After your workout, why not grab a juice from the juice bar?
TRS Yucatan Resort
For the second half of our week in Mexico, we moved one resort over to The Royal Suites Yucatan. It’s an adults only, all-inclusive, luxury resort. While every property at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya is a five star resort, TRS Yucatan is even more luxurious and the staff is somehow even more attentive.
Every building has three butlers that are ready to cater to your every need. For us, our butlers were a friendly face to greet us upon returning to our suite. They also put fresh flowers and fruit in our room. Anytime we wanted a ride to a restaurant or another resort, they quickly arranged for a shuttle to pick us up and take us wherever we wanted.
Our suite was on the third floor and had a spectacular view of the infinity pool and the ocean. There were other suites on the first floor that had their own private swimming pool. We adored the view and I really enjoyed sitting on the balcony every morning with a cup of Nespresso coffee from the room.
I’ll take you on a tour of our suite at TRS Yucatan. It’s ultra modern with tons of mirrors, and an open concept layout with the sinks and bathtub all in the same space as the bedroom.
There’s a separate stall for the shower and the toilet, and a jetted tub in the middle of the room. With the couch, flatscreen TV, and mini bar, you can really make yourself right at home here. I also adored that I could make myself a delicious cup of coffee in the room.
Now, allow us to sweep you off your feet with this beautiful balcony and scenery.
Private Pools and VIP Beach
If you stay at The Royal Suites Yucatan, you truly get the royal treatment. There are several private pools for guests of TRS Yucatan at the resort, including an infinity pool and a saltwater pool. The infinity pool is picture perfect with views of that stunning ocean. If you’re looking to relax, there are plush loungers or even full beds to enjoy an afternoon snooze in the sunshine.
The saltwater pool is super unique and allows water to flow in and out of the ocean itself. As you can imagine, it was actually filled with tropical fish that swam in from the ocean. It was so interesting to see fish in a swimming pool like this, as they can come and go freely as they please. I even saw a guest snorkeling in the swimming pool!
As there isn’t any beach right in front of TRS Yucatan, you need to move to the opposite side of the resort for the private beach. Over by the Kantenah Resort, guests of TRS Yucatan have access to a VIP beach that’s quiet with lots of loungers. Lay among the palm trees and savour the scenery of white sands and brilliant waters.
As a vegan, the chefs were able to prepare delicious, plant-based meals. While there weren’t any vegan choices on the regular menu, it was simple for them to make a variation of a dish or an entirely new meal. You can read about this in more detail in our Vegan Guide to Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Resort.
From Mexican food to sushi, there were restaurants featuring several cuisines from around the world, so you’ll never get tired of eating the same thing every day. In total, there are 9 a la carte themed restaurants, 5 buffet restaurants, and 1 exclusive restaurant for guests of TRS Yucatan.
At TRS Yucatan (and available to all guests), there’s a dinner theatre show called Chic Cabaret. At an additional cost of $100 per person, it’s an extravagant evening where you’re served several meal courses while watching an impressive stage show.
Chic Cabaret has talented performers who sing, dance, and even perform acrobatics. It was a feast for the senses: our eyes, our ears, and our taste buds. It’s easy to have a vegan meal, too. Some of my dishes included a unique sushi dish made out of fruit, tofu with garlic, and a sweet treat for dessert.
The singers belted out popular tunes and we were encouraged to sing along. Lasting about three hours, it was an excellent way to spend an evening together.
Even though it’s tempting to stay on the resort, you might want to consider getting out there and exploring the region. The Mayan Riviera is home to ancient Mayan ruins, island getaways, and some of the best snorkeling and scuba.
We decided to try something a little different this time and embark on a sunset sailing cruise on the Caribbean Sea. I’ll go into more detail on this excursion soon, but it was such a beautiful sight to watch the sun go down from a sailboat.
If you’re looking for more excursions and activities, check out our guide to the best things to do in Riviera Maya, amazing reasons to visit Playa del Carmen, and how to spend a day in Playa del Carmen.
Seeking a tropical destination to relax and get away from it all? We highly recommend the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya and all four of its resorts. Whether you’re staying at the family friendly White Sand resort or the ultra luxurious TRS Yucatan resort, you’ll certainly have a memorable and rejuvenating experience.
Our week totally flew by in an instant as we were having so much fun together. It’s moments like these that we’ll always cherish. Nothing beats visiting a spectacular destination with the person you love the most. From being pampered at the spa to gorging on yummy food for a week straight, we’d love to return someday to experience it all over again.
|Essential Riviera Maya Travel Guide|
|Getting There: To get to Riviera Maya, you should fly to the Cancun Airport. Search for cheap flights to Cancun. The national airline of Mexico is AeroMexico. To get to your resort or hotel from the airport, book your Cancun airport transfer in advance for a seamless journey.|
Getting Around: When staying in Riviera Maya, you’ll often have transportation included in any tours that you book. However, if you’d like to explore on your own, I suggest renting a car in Riviera Maya Mexico. The most popular place to pick up your car is from the Cancun Airport. Compare car rental prices to find the best price online.
Fast Facts: Mexican Peso is the currency. Power voltage is 127 V 60 Hz using Power Sockets A and B. You do not need an adapter if you’re from Canada or the USA.
SIM Cards & Mobile: You can rent a portable Wi-Fi device with unlimited data that works in 130+ countries worldwide. We’ve used our portable device all over the world and love how we’re always connected!
Travel Safety: Don’t forget to get travel insurance before your trip. Whether you have an accident, have a flight delay, experience a theft, or need to return home sooner than anticipated, it’s always best to cover your bases. Get a travel insurance quote now for the best rates.
|Browse all of our Mexico photos and read more of our Mexico travel blog posts.|
Thank you so much to tripcentral.ca and the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya for hosting our stay.