The Grand Palladium Colonial Resort and Spa is part of a 300-acre mega-resort called the Palladium Riviera Maya complex which is located between Puerto Aventuras and Akumal. The complex is comprised of five resorts–the Colonial and adjacent Kantenah which share amenities, the Riviera and adjacent White Sand which share amenities, and the adults-only Royal Suites Yucatan which is often referred to as the Royal Suites. Guests of the Colonial have unrestricted access to every resort but the Royal Suites; this means access to five buffets, nine a la carte restaurants, 25 bars, nine pools, two theaters, a disco, sports courts, mini-golf, spa, fitness center, kids and teen clubs, and other amenities/activities located around the resort grounds. Since the Colonial is centrally located within the complex and has easy access to the best beach section, the spa/fitness center, and multi-sports courts, it is a popular vacation choice at this Palladium mega-resort. Guests looking for ways to get around the entire resort in addition to walking can use the golf carts and shuttle “trains”; additionally, there are pontoons which traverse the man-made lake which surrounds the White Sand, Riviera, and Royal Suite resorts. Guests who like to reduce their carbon imprint while on vacation will appreciate the fact that the Palladium Riviera Maya complex has won several awards for environmentally-friendly initiatives such as their reverse osmosis water purification system, biodegradable products, low energy lighting, and recycling program making this an eco-friendly resort despite its size.
The Colonial gets its name from the Spanish Colonial style used in its architecture and design–from beautiful wrought iron chandeliers and arches in its lobby to courtyards and fountains scattered on the property, this is a lovely resort which has attempted to blend in with its jungle and mangrove surroundings.
There are several amenities which distinguish the Colonial including the following:
- sports bar
- kid’s water park near the main pool
- Catholic Chapel by the lobby with Sunday service
- recent renovations including guest rooms, the sports bar, lobby bar and general reception area
- adjacent extensive sports facilities including six tennis courts, soccer fields (indoor and outdoor), two basketball courts, two badminton fields, one multiuse sports field, two paddle courts, archery, and BB gun practice
- adults-only pool with bar service which remains open until midnight (El Secreto)
For all-inclusives, this is indeed a rare amenity–pools typically close between 6-8 p.m. at most resorts. The Colonial, however, offers an adults-only late night swim opportunity in a secluded jungle setting; there are only two paths to the pool and bar which can be found between guest room buildings 3-4 and 20-21. At the end of either path guests will find a lovely retreat with an in-pool Jacuzzi (non-heated) surrounded by Tuscan columns, in-pool tiled loungers, padded loungers with palapas for shade on the sundeck, and a separate thatched roof bar area. This pool area opens at 10 a.m. but offers no food throughout the day or evening.
The Colonial shares its main pool with the Kantenah–this pool is one of the deepest pools on the Palladium property. Lagoon-style with several gradual entries, this main pool offers built-in tiled loungers, several in-pool Jacuzzis surrounded by Tuscan columns (just like El Secreto), and a swim-up bar. The sundeck has plenty of loungers with palapas for shade and easy beach access. Guests looking for a louder, more boisterous atmosphere with lots of music and activities will definitely find those elements at the Colonial/Kantenah main pool. Nearby is the relatively new kid’s water park (geared towards children ages 4-10) with slides and large overhead water bucket. The water park is also conveniently close to the Kid’s Club which hosts a separate area for ages 1-3, another all-inclusive rarity.
In addition to several great pools, the Colonial also offers a better stretch of beach than resorts on the southern half of the Palladium property. Although this mega-resort’s beach as a whole is often described as narrow with a rocky ocean entry, guests will find easier ocean access here (water shoes are still recommended, however). There is a beach bar at the Colonial which serves drinks and select food items 24-7 (snacks and beer are available after 10 p.m.), while fixed palapas and palm trees provide shade; water sports enthusiasts will find kayads, paddle boards, and hobie cats at this location along with a dive center.
Guests looking for rooms which can accommodate larger families of five will find two categories available for booking (Jr. and Master Suites). Although Travel Club members (re. timeshare owners) have priority when booking the Master Suites, they are rented to non-owners if there is availability. Couples wanting a more romantic or unusual type of accommodation should consider the Mayan Suite with its outdoor shower and terrace hammock. Guest rooms were renovated November 2014; ocean views are not available from most guest rooms. Also, there are no elevators at the Palladium, so those with disabilities and families with very young children should consider requesting ground floor rooms.
Just a word about the dining reservation system–guests are no longer limited to a certain number of a la carte dinner reservations based on length of stay. Reservations are not necessary at most a la cartes with the exception of two restaurants (Punta Emilia and Sumptuori’s teppanyaki show tables). Guests who wish to make reservations for these restaurants must be in line at the guest services desk by 8 a.m.; even so, it may still be difficult to get a reservation prior to 10 p.m. during peak travel seasons.
There’s no doubt that vacationers who choose to stay at the Colonial will enjoy its central location and livelier atmosphere. The entire Palladium mega-resort experience literally has something for everyone, but it also requires prior research in order to determine whether this type of resort will meet vacation needs and expectations. Potential guests should explore the Palladium website (www.palladiumhotelgroup.com) which has a very comprehensive virtual tour of the Colonial along with other resorts in the complex. Also, there are additional websites which offer more detailed information on the Palladium including the following: www.palladiumaddict.net, and unofficialpalladium.com
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Stay at one play at four, Baby Club (ages 1-3), free WiFi, adults-only pool open late, can accommodate families of five
Con: Lack of ocean view rooms, dining reservation system, limited room service hours
Best Suited For: Vacationers who enjoy a mega-resort experience, families with children and teens (there is a dedicated Teen Club over at the neighboring Kantenah resort), and couples who want a special room category (Mayan Suite) but don’t mind vacationing around lots of children.
No. of Rooms: 414
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, table and chair, desk and stool, bureau, mini-bar, digital safe, flat screen TV, telephone, ceiling fan, coffee maker, alarm clock with iPod dock, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, shower, toiletries, and free WiFi. Room service is from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Here’s a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Standard/Deluxe: King or two dbl beds, shower-only in ground floor rooms while upper floors have a tub/shower combo with body wand. These rooms are in buildings 1-7. Garden view.
- Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds, sitting room area with sofa bed, two armchairs, and coffee table, robe and slippers, Jacuzzi tub/shower combo. These rooms are closer to pools and the beach. Garden view.
- Master Suite: Consists of a room similar to a Jr. Suite with king or two dbl beds, sitting room area with sofa bed, two armchairs and a coffee table, a separate living room area with an additional sofa bed, coffee table, and second flat screen TV, large bathroom with Jacuzzi tub and separate shower, large balcony/terrace off the bedroom and living room with a Jacuzzi, robe and slippers. Garden view.
- Mayan Suite (adults-only): King bed, sofa, coffee table, armchair, luggage area, vanity area, Jacuzzi tub/shower combo with body wand, separate outdoor shower, dbl sinks, large balcony/terrace with hammock. Mayan Suites are closer to the beach and main pool in buildings 30-32. Garden view.
- NOTE: Most guest room buildings have three floors and all lack elevators. Buildings 1-3 have quicker access to Colonial/Kantenah lobbies with their restaurants, the sports courts, spa/fitness center, and adult pool, while buildings 30-32 have better access to the main pool and beach areas.
Physically Challenged Rooms: The Palladium complex as a whole can be difficult to navigate for those with disabilities due to the many bridges and uneven pavement which exist throughout. The Colonial and Kantenah resorts, however, are the least “offenders” with regards to potential physical impediments.
Resort Amenities: Large main pool (swim-up bar, built-in loungers and Jacuzzis, gradual entries), adults-only pool with built-in loungers and Jacuzzi (all pools are non-heated), children’s water park, nearby Kid’s Club (ages 1-12), spa, beauty salon, fitness center (adults-only), sports courts, water sports activities/scuba center, sports bar, theater, Catholic chapel with Sunday service, beach hammocks, beach bar with select food items, main pool wait service, orchid/crocodile/flamingo exhibits, computer use at the sports bar ($), concierge, gift shop, jewelry store, clothing store, tour desk, car rental, and ATM. Guests are free to use the amenities at the Kantenah, Riviera, and White Sand resorts in addition to the Colonial. In addition, Segway tours of the Palladium complex are available for an additional fee.
Restaurants/Bars: There are three buffets easily accessible to Colonial guests (La Hacienda, Tikal, and El Gran Azul buffets), the El Gran Azul buffet is also used for groups such as wedding parties or large family reunions. There are four a la cartes located onsite at the Colonial/Kantenah including a steakhouse (El Dorado), Mexican (La Adelita), Mediterranean (Mare Nostrum), and Japanese (Sumptuori–teppanyaki show tables). There is no limit to the number of a la cartes, and no advance reservations required for these restaurants with the exception of the teppanyaki show tables at Sumptuori. (An additional a la carte also requires reservations, but it is located at the White Sand resort). Reservations can be made at guest services in the lobby the day prior–be there well before 8 a.m. The beach bar is open 24-hrs. a day and offers great drinks and snack/meal options such as burgers, pizza, sandwiches, wings, quesadillas (only snacks, soft drinks, and beer are available after 10 p.m.). Additional dining/munching options include paella served by the beach bar on Sundays, and there is an evening beach BBQ once a week with two seatings–reservations are required for this which can be made at the guest service desk. Between the Colonial and Kantenah resorts there are 12 bars including two lobby bars, two specialty bars including a cigar bar, theater bar, sports bar, three pool bars, a swim-up bar, and two beach bars. Guests are free to use the restaurants and bars not only at the neighboring Kantenah but also at the Riviera and White Sand resorts.
Entertainment: Theaters at both the Colonial and Riviera resorts host nightly shows, the sports bar also has table games (foosball and pool), piano music at the Hemingway bar, and live music in the lobby. There is a disco near the Riviera resort lobby.