The Grand Palladium Kantenah 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 Kantenah and adjacent Colonial 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 Kantenah 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. 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 Kantenah is situated on the north end of the Palladium complex which means that guests have easy access to Colonial amenities, but it is a distance for those who may want to access White Sand or Riviera amenities such as the second main pool, the beachfront seawater pool, the additional theater, or other bars and restaurants. The advantages of staying at the Kantenah include the following:
- it has the best stretch of beach–fairly smooth ocean entry, swimming and snorkeling possibilities, and lots of white sand
- incredibly easy beach access from the resort’s Mayan Suites
- destination wedding ceremony site on the beach at the Kantenah
- teen and kids clubs are located here
- separate “quiet” pool with built-in Jacuzzi/tiled loungers and bar area
- commercial area with all the shops is here at the Kantenah
- two specialty bars (cigar bar and bar with premium alcohol)
The Kantenah and Colonial share the same main pool which is one of the deepest on the Palladium property. Lagoon-style with several gradual entries, this main pool offers built-in loungers, several in-pool Jacuzzis surrounded by Tuscan columns, and a swim-up bar. The sundeck has plenty of loungers with shade palapas and easy beach access. Guests looking for a louder, more boisterous pool atmosphere with lots of music and activities will definitely find it here at the Kantenah/Colonial main pool. Adjacent is the children’s water park (geared toward ages 4-10) with slides and large overhead water bucket, while the Kid’s Club is located conveniently nearby. Families with very young children will be happy to learn that the Kantenah offers a Baby Club for ages 1-3, a rarity among all-inclusive resorts in this area.
Since the Kantenah has the best stretch of beach, many Palladium vacationers from all over the complex will try to access beach loungers here as well as non-motorized water sports equipment over at the Colonial including kayaks, hobie cats, and paddle boards. Shade palapas and some opportunities for natural shade are available, while several hammocks are stretched beneath palm trees just off the beachfront area. Royal Suites guests, however, will not add to the lounger “competition” since they have their own roped-off section complete with butler service. The Kantenah beach has one bar with limited food selection, while another beach bar with 24-hr. food and drink can be accessed over at the Colonial. While not offered by the resort, Jet Skis can be rented just past the Kantenah property line to the north of the resort.
Guests looking for rooms which can accommodate larger families of five will find two categories available (Jr. and Master Suites). While Travel Club members (timeshare owners) have priority booking Master Suites, non-members can book them if there are availabilities. Couples wanting a more romantic type of accommodation or to be steps away from the beach should consider the Mayan Suite with its outdoor shower and terrace hammock. Guest rooms underwent renovations in 2012; 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 Kantenah will enjoy its great beach and children’s clubs. 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 which has a very comprehensive virtual tour of the Kantenah along with other resorts in this complex. Also, there are additional websites which offer more detailed information on the Palladium including the Palladium Addict and Unofficial Palladium websites.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Stay at one play at four, Baby Club for ages 1-3 and teen club facilities onsite, free WiFi, ocean entry, rooms for families of five
Con: Lack of ocean view rooms, dining reservation system, limited room service hours
Best Suited For: Families with children ages 1-17, couples who want a more romantic experience with easy beach access from their Mayan Suite, families and couples who want a mega-resort atmosphere
No. of Rooms: 422
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 is 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 41-47. 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. 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, 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 steps away from the beach and located in buildings 33-36.
- NOTE: Guest room buildings have up to three floors and all lack elevators. There is a path to the “quiet” pool and teen club between buildings 46-47 and 49-50.
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 Kantenah and Colonial, 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), “quiet” pool with built-in loungers and Jacuzzi (all pools are non-heated), children’s water park, Kid’s Club/Baby Club (ages 1-12) and Teen Club, spa, beauty salon, fitness center (adults-only) over by the Colonial, theater and sports bar over by the Colonial, water sports/dive center over by the Colonial, beach hammocks, beach bar with select food items, 24-hr. food and drink at the Colonial’s beach bar, main pool wait service, flamingo/crocodile/orchid exhibits and displays, concierge, gift shop, jewelry store, clothing store, tour desk, car rental, and ATM. Guests are free to use the amenities at the Colonial, Riviera, and White Sand resorts. In addition, Segway tours of the Palladium complex are available for an extra fee.
Restaurants/Bars: There are three buffets easily accessible to Kantenah guests (La Hacienda, Tikal, and El Gran Azul buffets), while the El Gran Azul buffet is also designed for groups such as wedding parties or large family reunions. There are four a la cartes located onsite at the Kantenah/Colonial 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. to line up. The beach bar at Kantenah is open until 6 p.m. with select food items during that time, but the beach bar at Colonial is open 24-7 with food and drink options (beer and snacks after 10 p.m.). Additional dining/munching options include paella served by the Colonial beach bar on Sundays, and there is an evening beach BBQ once a week with two seatings–reservations are required for this and can be made at the guest services desk. Between the Kantenah and Colonial 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 at the Colonial, 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 Colonial lobby. There is a disco near the Riviera lobby.