Grand Palladium White Sand Hotel

8  / 10
Average rating (11 reviews)
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10 / 10
My husband and I had our honeymoon...

"My husband and I had our honeymoon booked last minute here. We had never taken a trip anywhere before so we didn't know what to expect. But once we got to the resort it was like we stepped into heaven. My husband hates the heat and he was overwhelmed by the hospitality, food, scenery.

The staff were over the top. Food was gourmet, and the rooms were beautiful. Not that you wanted to spend too much time there anyways because there was too much to see and do. The grounds were wonderful. We didn't want to leave. We both decided that we will be back next winter, only change it will be for 2 weeks.

One was just not enough. To anyone that loves paradise, this is the place to go. Thanks to all of the staff. See you next winter!

  • Holiday details: Dec 2005, All Inclusive, booked with Lastminute

6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
SPECTACULAR experience

"We just got back from a wonderful trip. Grand Palladium White Sands Resort & Spa was simply outstanding. There is not one bad thing I can say about the place. I will try my best to categorize everything in topic order. If you want any other info, just give me an email note and I will gladly answer any questions. Ok here goes…

Food-We did not have any problems finding any variety of foods at the 2 buffets located on the resort. If you were on a diet or don’t care what you ate, there was something for everyone. I agree with other reviews it was the same food each day, but the various choices didn’t make it tiresome. We had a choice of 8 ala cartes (we were allowed only 3 for 1 week stay, 4 if you stay 2 weeks.) The Steak House and the Mexican were good, nothing spectacular but we enjoyed our experience. The final ala carte we did was the Brazilian (called Rodizio). It was my 40th birthday that day and the entire staff sang happy birthday to me as well presented me with a big piece of cheesecake with one candle on top (LOL)…then two Spanish guitar places serenaded me with happy birthday in Spanish and another special song…truly impressive! If you are a meat eater, this place is for you! You get so full from the salad bar and the many selections of meat they present to you on a giant skewer, then they cut it onto your plate….do not eat before you go there-trust me on that!! You do have to reserve the ala cartes and I would suggest to do it the first day after you are settled in as they do fill up quickly.

Room- We had a junior suite (Room 5728) which had a large Jacuzzi tub in your room…I had read a review from a “Lisa” on this site who had issues with rooms located on 5300 so when I arrived I was curious if I would get that area. Luckily we did not. We were a 2-minute walk from the beach. We did not smell sewage of any sort in our room as per “Lisa’s” description in her review. The room was truly wonderful. When we tipped we got an origami elephant and then 2 swans kissing….other times they just did up the room, but for us that wasn’t a big deal. We only spent time in our room to change and of course sleep.

Excursions- there are so many tours you can do. I can only comment on the two we did. If you are into this type of thing, I would strongly suggest to book via your Travel rep. Do not trust the guys at the airport as they are always time share scams—The first one we did was COBAS- we climbed a pyramid (we did Chitzen Itza in 1992 but this one was higher.) I apologize but I cannot remember the name of the pyramid we climbed. After that we met the Mayan People and that truly was a wonderful experience. They are very friendly and warm. I brought candy from home to give to the kids and they simply loved it. Our rep on the tour Miriam visits the children 5 days a week. When we arrived there, she gave the kids a garbage bag each. The kids then go fill up the garbage bags and after we tour with the Mayan People, she takes the garbage in exchange she gives them candy. Other days its toys, paper, pens, etc. Once a week she buys a bike with her tips to give to the village. This is Miriam’s way of teaching the kids recycling when they don’t know its that. She is the only one who thought of this program and it touched my heart she was so gracious and caring to them. After the Mayan Village we went to a cave where there is a sink hole. It was so much fun swimming in it! There are places to change into your bathing suit. We also spent time at a restaurant eating Mayan food. Each time we did a different part of the tour we were in a well air conditioned bus. The day did not feel tiring at all. There is much more I could share, but its best you email me if you want more into about this specific tour. ***The second tour we did was swimming with the dolphins at Xel-ha (pronounced Shell-ha) can visit Xel-ha for the day on a different tour, but we chose only to swim with the dolphins. You get to spend 1-hour with them. The swim around you and you can pet them. Then you each get to do a trick with them. The second activity is we each got to ride with them. The best advice for this part is as follows: keep you legs straight and arch your back as much as you can as soon as you feel the two dolphins touch your feet. You will fly up in the air. If you bend your knees at any time or don’t arch your back, you will land face first in the water. Also make sure you were a one piece bathing suit or you will lose your bottom part of you suit. That is what happened to me, but thank goodness my bottom piece landed by my ankles (LOL)…great story to share with friends! You cannot take pictures so make sure someone is with you to take photos. Also make sure you have a great zoom lens or you won’t get great shots. If you want to buy the DVD its 50.00 usd. A CD rom with your choice of 4 pics is 100.00 usd..doesn’t make sense to pay that as a cd itself only costs 2 bucks—I did buy 2 portrait pics- one is the dolphin kissing me and other I am holding it while we both look at the camera. They were 15 bucks each for 5 X 7 and I only bought them because my boyfriend couldn’t take portraits from where he was able to watch. The experience is well worth 115.00 & 24.00 for the transportation. My boyfriend didn’t have to pay and was able to travel for free which was great. The entire experience is worth the money!!! I didn’t do any more tours/excursions due to money but the two I did was wonderful!!!

All Inclusive drinks- The bartenders are very friendly and make all sorts of shooters. Some of the ones we had were as follows: Mexican Flag & Rainbow. They have every alcohol for any person. Baileys, Whisky, beer, Caesars, etc, etc. As to whether they were watered down, I am not the expert, but then again I didn’t drink as much others, but lots of people got very drunk. If you tip them it is true the drinks will be a lot stronger.

Getting around- I read a lot of reviews on this website and a lot of people had some issues with walking. There is a lot of walking, but it is not intolerable. If you have leg problems or other physical issues, then this resort may not be for you, but there is the “Red train” which goes to all the areas, as there are two other hotels you have access to—Riviera & Colonial. Take the train at night, as it is truly fun as the driver goes crazy fast!! At the other hotels there are Flamingos and Alligators. At our hotel there is a monkey that swings from the rooftop at night in the lobby, but we were not able to get a photo, as he was very fast. Down at the beach there is a little restaurant that serves chicken wings and other appetizers from midnight until morning.

Animals- I took many pics of iguanas, Flamingos, birds that I think were crows but wasn't sure...I have included a pic of each animal I saw....

Miscellaneous- We went from March 5-12 just before the spring breakers arrived and if you want less kids, this is the best week to go. All the people we met were wonderful and we now have new friends for life. The staff were always friendly and attentive. We could always find a spot at the main pools, or at the beach or at the salt water pool.

There is so much I am sure I am forgetting but if anyone wants to know more please give me a shout. The resort like I said before is wonderful and we have no regrets booking this resort! I have many other pictures so if you want me to send them, just give me your email address and I will send whatever you like. I have many beach views as well as more from visiting the Mayan people...I think this website is extremely valuable for info so I hope I have given you a good indication of what to expect at this resort. It has only been opened since November 2005 so being a new resort I felt was a benefit.OLA amigos & amigas!!!

  • Holiday details: Mar 2006

1 reader found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
Best family vacation ever!

"I just returned from 6 days at the Grand Palladium White Sands Riviera Maya. I booked the trip about 2 months ago on the advice of my travel agent and then became extremely apprehensive after reading some less-than-great posts on this site.

Happily, none of my fears were realized! This was, hands down, the best family vacation we have ever had. My husband and I took our 2 daughters, ages 21 and 17, and their boyfriends, ages 23 and 17.

From the moment we arrived, we felt like royalty. There is an absolute army of staff at this resort...6 people at the front desk at all times...2-3 bartenders at every bar...scores of maintenance and grounds employees sweeping, raking, cleaning the pools, and landscaping all day long.

Our rooms were wonderful; marble floors, tasteful decor, jacuzzi tub, and a nice balcony. The mini-bar is stocked with beer, soda, and water as part of the AI package, and is re-stocked every other day.

We were in villa 54, on the first floor. I was determined to get a room with an oceanview, but the travel agent was unable to secure this for me in advance, they kept telling her we'd have to arrange it on arrival. When I learned of our room assignment, I asked about oceanview, and the front desk clerk was very nice, saying that nothing was available the day of arrival, but to check back the next day. In any case, we'd have had to move to the Riviera side, as the White Sands side doesn't have oceanview rooms. After seeing our location and how nice it was to be in the first floor, we decided not to pursue it.

If you're interested in oceanview, you'll need to make sure you book either Riviera or the Royal Suites. I'm not sure the cost difference for the Royal Suites, but they had their own bar and pool, and the villas had great oceanviews, so I'm sure it's more expensive.

The towels were plentiful and our maid, Carmen, crafted them into the shape of a swan with a fresh flower one morning. The rooms were absolutely spotless.

Oh, a couple notes about the rooms...there is very little privacy when using the bathroom...the glass doors are open on the top and bottom. Not a big deal unless you're very daughters had some issues :-) Also, there were no clocks in the rooms. Didn't mind much since we were trying not to be mindful of the time and had watches, but if you're used to a clock radio or being able to wake up and know what time it is, you might want to take a small one.

The buffets at White Sands and Riviera were very good...lots of variety, excellent service, and plenty of fresh fish, veggies, and fruit. The kids loved the pasta made-to-order! The breakfasts were great, they had mimosas in champagne glasses, which was a nice touch...also real fruit smoothies (about 6-8 varieties). The entrees ran the gamut from beef, pork, chicken, and fish to pasta, pizza, enchiladas and many other selections. There truly was something for everyone.

My only criticism of the buffet at La Laguna (White Sands side) was that the burgers and hot dogs seemed to be slightly undercooked; I heard several guests simply say, "please cook it some more," and the chefs were happy to comply.

The beach bar at White Sands was great...24 hour service, so the kids loved going very late for nachos, tacos, etc. Unlike the La Laguna burgers, those at the beach bar were way overcooked! But the tacos, nachos, and other finger foods were fine. The setting is beautiful.

The alacarte restaurants received mixed reviews from my crew. We loved the Mexican restaurant! Very fun experience, they walk around and plunk sombreros on everyone's head, which made for great photo ops. The food was good and the service was excellent. We shared the strawberries flambe for dessert, which was a bit hit.

We also enjoyed the japanese restaurant on our last night. We sat with a lovely family from Saskatchewan and chatted the whole time. The chef was very entertaining and the food very good. The sushi was excellent!

Our least favorite alacarte experience was at Ribs and More. Our reservations were for 8:30 and we didn't get our meals till after 10:00. The kids were literally falling asleep at the table! It was disappointing because they were most excited for this dinner. The food was very average. We talked to lots of other guests who said that the steak house on the Colonial/Kantenah side (El Dorado) was much better than this one, so I would recommend trying it!

One tip our travel agent gave us that worked...since we were there for 5 nights, we were entitled to only 2 alacarte meals. However, I visited the mexican restaurant one afternoon to ask whether they were full that evening. I was initially told that they were, but I gave the captain a $20 and he said, "Come back at 8:30." If you want to try more than your allotted alacartes, just check whether there's availability and, if necessary, offer a little incentive!

The bars were all great...very good drinks, friendly bartenders, and very efficient service. Our favorite bartenders were Jesus at the swim-up bar and Roque at the La Laguna bar. They were both so much fun, and really made an effort to personally know the guests.

We took the pontoon boat cruise around the Riviera/White Sands canals which was fun. The crew on the boat was very friendly, insisting that my husband sit in the captain's seat and wear his straw hat for a family photo!

The "fun team" at the pool was...okay, fun. They offer dance lessons, trivia games, bingo, water aerobics, and various other contests. If you don't participate, they will walk around the pool to personally "invite" you to join them! At times, the constant chatter over the loudspeaker became a bit much, but I just turned on the ipod and tuned it out!

The palapas by the pool and the beach provided great shade and we never had trouble finding chairs. There was lots of room and we never felt crowded. A couple of days, families with small (and loud) children took up residence near us, but we simply gathered our stuff and moved to a quieter spot, no problem. There is an adults-only pool w/its own bar if you prefer even more quiet. It really was very peaceful by the pool.

Resort photographers came by one day with an iguana and asked guests whether they'd like their photos taken. The kids had some great shots taken, and they were in the gift shop the following day for $11 US each.

As reported in prior posts, the pool water is very cold...but so refreshing! When you're in 80+ degree weather, who wants warm pool water? We loved it and spent lots of time in the pool. If you have an inflatable raft, bring it along; they charge $11 US dollars for rafts in the gift shop, and they really are nice to float around on since the pool is so large.

One other tip I read here and wished I had remembered was to bring a large insulated mug or thermos for drinks. After countless trips to and from the bar, each of us carrying several drinks per trip, I went to the gift shop on the Kantenah side and bought insulated water bottles for $14 each!! Many others thought to bring their own from home.

The kids bought a watersports package for $80/pp that included parasailing, a 2-hour snorkeling cruise, and the banana boat. They loved the cruise and the parasailing. The last day, the water was too rough for the banana boat ride, so they gave them t-shirts to compensate.

A word to the wise...if you have small children/adolescents, you need to know that there are topless sunbathers on the beach. Of course, it didn't bother us, but it could be uncomfortable for some families. Nothing blatant except for this one woman who insisted on walking up and down the beach all day long in only her bikini bottoms. The men joked that if she had been somewhat attractive, they wouldn't have minded as much :-)

The live entertainment at the bars was great. There was a guy who wore a baseball cap and played the guitar who sang Beatles, Eagles, Elton John, Buffet, James Taylor, and other popular artists who was great. He played in the White Sands lobby bar. There was a small band of 3-4 who played at the La Laguna Bar one evening who were lots of fun...really got the crowd dancing.

It was hard to find out what entertainment was going on at the bars, you just have to walk around and check it out.

I'm embarrassed to say that we never made it to the live shows in the theaters. Every day, we checked the bulletin boards for the entertainment and promised ourselves we'd go...but after spending 8 hours in the sun and having a late dinner, we seemed to be in bed by 9:30 or 10:00 every night! Even the kids, the oldest of whom are night owls and used to partying till the wee hours at college, only made it to the disco one night! They did say it was alot of fun, with a live band...they were just too tired!

In terms of the walking, yes, you walk a bit within the resort, but it wasn't excessive. I had read the one post that said that "you have to cross two bridges" to get to the main pool...and I actually laughed when I saw the little bridges referred to. It took us no more than 5 minutes (if that) to get from our villa to the pool each day.

There are little trains that shuttle between the 4 lobbies, so it's easy to get from place to place. The walk is nice too, if you enjoy walking.

The spa is just beautiful..and massive! We worked out in the gym several mornings and there's a reflection pool, nail services, salon services, and body treatments. There must have been 10 people at the desk when I went in to book massages!

We had the Ocean Harmony massages on the beach which were incredible. They set up the massage beds right at the water's edge at night, and light tiki torches all around them. The therapists were very skilled and professional. The funny part of our massages was that it was very windy the night we got them, and both my daughter and I had our towels blow off mid-massage! Fortunately, it was dark and we didn't have any onlookers! It was very cold because of the wind as well...but this was an amazing experience and I was so glad we tried it. It cost $120 US for each of us.

The gift shops have a nice variety and I thought the prices were reasonable...except for the disposable cameras which were $26 US!! We decided my daughter's digital would do the trick! The gift shop in White Sands is very small...the shops at Kantenah/Colonial are much larger, and the vendors from Playa del Carmen come in at night and set up tables to sell their items, which was alot of fun.

Internet access is available in Kantenah, and also in White Sands, although no one told us that and it's not on the maps, we stumbled upon it! It costs $.20 US per minute. Newspapers are hard to come by...usually the NY Times was available a day late.

I can't report on any excursions because our primary goal was to relax, relax, relax...and we did just that. We did not want to leave the resort. Lots of other guests who did try the excursions had great reports and said they were glad they'd tried them, especially the Mayan Village and Xel-Ha.

I hope this information is helpful. If I can answer any questions, let me know via this board and I'll respond!

  • Holiday details: Mar 2006

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6 / 10
Do not recommend

"We stayed at the White Sands resort at the Grand Palladium. The 1st room we were given was overlooking a swamp that was filled with scraps and brush that still had not been cleared. I understand this is a newer resort - open in Dec/05. They are still doing alot of work planting. the sewage smell coming from this area and several other areas as you walked around was digusting. I do understand that there water system is not what we are acustomed to but something needs to be done about it.

We were given a room in the 5300 block - DO NOT recommend this. The room was small although it was a junior suite. The bathtub was located right beside the bed and the washroom had a seperate Glass door that did not even touch the ground and there was absolutely no privacy if you know what I mean.

We asked the front desk to be moved to another location and there was no problem at all with that.

In fact they were great. I highly recommend staying in the 5700 - 5900 range as these rooms overlook the ocean but make sure you are on the 3rd floor otherwise you will be looking at old trees and smelling the sewage.

If you enjoy cold food than this is the place for you.

If you did not have the cook prepare your meal for you than you could expect it cold. That was very disappointing.

I am probably the easiest person to please and I was not impressed with this Resort at all so if you are picky do not stay here.

The resort also indicates food 24/7 at the beach bar.

There is a menu to choose from but when we asked for something we were told it was not available until later as the cook was not there.

The beach was beautiful but the sand was very hard unless you walked down to the far end where the Jet ski's were rented and the sand was very nice.

As far as the lounge chairs goes these were the most uncomfortable chairs I have even tried to lay in.

They do not go down all the way and when you try and snap them in to hold this also will not stay in and every time you would move they would snap back out and could cause you to spill your drink which is not a good thing.

If you like to shop then either take the bus which you can catch outside at the road for 1.50 US otherwise it will cost you 18.00 us to take a cab one way. It is 30 minute cab ride to Playa where you can shop.

We also went golfing at Playacar. Please note that they do offer food and beverages with your green fees.

We played the twilight rate of 120.00/person and expected to have a bite to eat after the golf as we knew we would not get in all 18 holes as it gets dark early.

when we finished our golf - which by the way was only 16 holes - the clubhouse and pro shop was all closed at 6:00, which we were not told about so therefore no food after golf. Only because we found a worked still there were we able to use there washrooms before we left to go back to the resort.

that was also very disappointing as one of the members of the foursome did not golf but wanted to join us. He pd 55.00 US - although the web site quotes 35.00 and all he had was a bag of chips and 2 pops. We were all looking forward to sitting down to a nice dinner but that did not happen.

My advise EAT before you golf.

all in all the trip was okay but I will not be back to this resort.


  • Holiday details: Feb 2006

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10 / 10
Beautiful Grounds and Fantastic Staff

"When we arrived at the hotel it was around one o'clock in the morning. It was hard to see just what the resort is like. We got picked up by a bell boy and he took our luggage up to the room. Very nice boy, make sure you tip them though. We were speaking to some of the staff and they make equivalent to 2.50 USD a day. (Remember they work like 12 hour days.)

Our room was spectacular. We were in White Sands villa 57. It was a hop skip and a jump away from the pool, just as close if not closer to the beach, and only a 2 minute walk to the buffet. If you want to request a room I definetly suggest that you request villa 56 or 57 (they are right next to eachother.) You can contact Lulu (who books the reservations) at (---). You have to contact her 3 days prior to your arrival, and provide her with your confirmation number. She won't know about your reservation until 3 days before your arrival, so don't bother e-mailing her then. She will return your e-mail within a day. Very quick with the responses. The floors in the rooms are all marble. (Beautiful, but slippery when wet.) The beds are comfortable and big. The air conditioning doesn't work extremely well, so we only slept with a sheet. I was okay, but my boyfriend was sweating buckets in his sleep. We had a sitting area with a couch, and the room was very spacious. Then we had a balcony. Unfortunately our room was facing the resort, an ocean view room had been spectacular. But hey, we're in mexico, you can walk to the ocean right?

As for the walking aspect of this hotel, there is alot of walking. We spent the first day there (kind of crummy weather) just walking around and figuring everything out. By the end, we had figured out the quickest way to everything. It really isn't that bad if you are in decent physical shape. And after the all inclusive eating and drinking I was glad that there was some walking involved. Plus the paths at night are super romantic. Definetly a must do if you are there with your partner. The only thing I would question is the stairs. There are a bunch of stairs over the pool and the moat around the resort. These may prove to be difficult for those with knee problems etc. They also have a train service to get to the lobbies, but we found it faster to walk.

The restaurants were beautiful. We never got sick of the food. They offer tons of options, it takes around five minutes to just walk through the selections they have. One thing of advice, don't eat everything. Some things they do repeat, and it's nice to have options for something different. The breakfasts were by far the best. Fresh fruit, bacon, eggs, pancakes, french toast, you name it they had it. Be careful on the Beach bar on the White sands side. We went there the first night we got there and my boyfriend ordered a hamburger, it was raw. (Make sure you tell them you want it well done.) Otherwise they cook it like a steak, still pink in the middle. They were very quick to fix it, and made him another one with no hassles what so ever. If you are a guacamole fan, be sure to try it at the beach bar. YUM!

We also did 3 a la carte dinners. You are allowed 3 for a one week stay, and 4 for two weeks. Since the resort was not full we never had to worry about getting a reservation. A couple we met also said that they would tip the waiter 5.00 and they would get in without a reservation. (Since they were never at capacity.) We tried the Ribs and More Steakhouse, and it was very good food. Definetly quality over quantity, but hey if you are still hungry there is the buffet or beach bar avaliable. We also ate at Portofino they Italian restaurant on the White Sands Side, and it was absolutely beautiful. We never had such good service as we did here. The other places were good, but this was spectacular. They have tons of options from various pastas to meats and desserts. Try the mango mousse. It was to die for. The last night we were there we went to Sumtori, the Japeneese restaurant on the Kantenah side. This was by far the best because we booked a show cooking table. It was neat to watch your food get cooked and all the different tricks they do. The food here was delicious. They were announcing the different ingredients and I wish I had written them down, because the food was so delicious. If you book at a show cooking table, be sure to mention that to the lady when booking. There will be 8 of you, so you will sit with different couples/families. It was neat to share stories from our vacations.

The shows are spectacular. The first night we went thinking it was going to be a show. Sunday night is called the Ideal Couple. Be careful if you have small children as this show is not appropriate for them. My boyfriend and I got called up to participate, and we were laughing the entire time. Good thing it was Mexico, because I wouldn't do that at home. Monday night is a Mexican themed show, very nice. Tuesday was International, and it was okay, not as good as the Mexican one though. Wednesday is a mystery show, this was awesome. They did dances to Michael Jackson "Thriller" and to the Phantom of the opera. A definite must see. On Thursday it was a Caribbean theme show. That one was also really good, and upbeat. The dancers are amazing, but be prepared to see a lot of thongs.

The "fun team" staff work so hard. They are always working from dawn until the wee hours of the morning. And they are always in good moods. Be sure to clap for Mr. Ricky Martin, as he won't have it otherwise. (One of the fun teams names is Ricardo and he prefers to go by Ricky Martin, because he wants people to clap and scream when he enters the room.) They are all very funny, helpful, and always in good moods.

The Pools and Beaches were very nice. We ended up spending more time by the pool because of the wind while we were there. If you want a busy more lively pool than go to the Colonial one, if you want a more quiet relaxed atmosphere than stay at the White Sands one. Just depends what you are looking for. The water is cool, but it feels very relaxing on such a nice day. If you go in the ocean bring pieces of banana. The fish will swarm you. We didn't do that the first time, and they were swarming us anyway because they thought that the ties on my bathing suit were food, they kept swimming beside my legs. Made me scream a couple of times. The beach is full of coral at parts. We just looked for where most people were swimming (near the Colonial pool) and went there. It was sandy all the way out and didn't really get that deep. Try the swim up bar, the waiter there is always happy. (And makes good drinks)

Also, every night they have vendors come in from playa, and you can shop right at the hotel. Some people said they had trouble getting the prices down. Just remember to cut in half first. We got two really good deals. Less than half of the asking price. They are really nice people. It was also neat to watch the spray painting. Very talented people.

We did two tours as well Xel-Ha and Discovery Jungle Park. We recommend both. However, if you are going to Xel-Ha walk across the Highway to catch a collectivo. It's 1.50 USD per person, and you just ask the driver to stop at Xel-Ha. Be sure to watch for the signs, and announce your stop again just before. This will save you about 20 USD per person. You should also spend a whole day at Xel-Ha rather than combine it with the Tulum ruins. There is alot to see and do. I would recommend going snorkelling as soon as you get there (aim for around 9:30) because after that it gets pretty busy. And remember 20.00 USD as you will need to leave that for a deposit for the snorkelling gear. They will give you everything you need and the mouthpiece is yours to keep. I would also recommend the all inclusive option. Unlimited food and drinks, then you don't have to pay or worry about carrying money. Also, be sure to do the lazy river. It was super relaxing. If you are looking more for the snorkelling stuff stick the the rocky areas, there were tons of stuff there.

The Jungle Tour was amazing. We were picked up and then dropped off in Playa. You take ATV's down a dirt rode. Opt for the glasses as it is really dusty. Then you get to the jungle and you do a bunch of obstacles in the trees and zip lines. It was very safe. You were always clipped to something. I am the type of person who can't even look down to the ice at an arena because I am so scared of heights, but this made me feel safe. At the end you can go for a swim in a cenote (an underground cave). Definetly a must do for the adventourous type.

We would definelty stay at a Palladium hotel again. We are already looking at the Palladium in Nuevo Vallarta in two or three years. They definetly are there for vacationers, and are willing to do anything to help.

If you need any more information be sure to check out this website (---)

I really found it helpful in planning for our trip. Wish I was going back tomorrow. Pictures do not do this place justice. I looked at almost every picture on the net, and was not prepared for the beauty of this resort.

  • Holiday details: Feb 2006

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8 / 10
A great break!

"We stayed at the Grand Palladium White Sand from Jan. 31 through Feb. 4th and just had a fabulous time.


Our room was an end of hall suite with a living room and separate bedroom. We had two balconies - one that over looked the sports center and one that over looked the new fitness center. We had a large shower and large jacuzzi. Our shower head fell off of the hose, but they had it fixed by the time we got back to our room and never had any problems after that. The sheets are a little rough, but the rest of the room was great.


The pools are large and there are always activities going on around them. They have lots of chairs and adult pools so you can get away from children. The water was a little cold, but after being in the sun it was nice to cool off.


The beach is great for lounging and snorkeling. You can swim out a long ways and it doesn't get very deep. There is a lot of coral though so don't walk out barefoot.


The buffets were great. The restaurants were good. Everyone was really friendly and helpful.

You will do a lot of walking so be sure to bring comfy shoes. The bartenders were great about coming around to get you drinks if you needed them and the all made great drinks.

The resort is still finishing up everything. For instance the spa/fitness center was still closed, but we were impressed with the amount of work they accomplished just in the time we were there. The mini golf course is very hard!

Overall we had a great time and would definately stay there again. You are very close to Xel-Ha, Tulum and Xcaret.

  • Holiday details: Feb 2006

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2 / 10
Will never go back

"The resort is not ready and is not by any imagination a 5 star resort. Too many problems to list. Book elsewhere, there are so many nicer places in Riviera Maya! This resort is mismanaged and will never be a 5 star resort, unless they do some major personnel changes. We just filed a complaint with Apple to get our money back. Most people were filing complaints and Hotel management offered us and others 4 nights free if we return. We refused because we will never go back!"

  • Holiday details: Feb 2006

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8 / 10
Great all round trip!

"Just got back from Grand Palladium White Sands on Feb9/06 with my husband and parents. Wonderful trip! Have been to Iberostar Lindo last year and it is definitely comparable.

Grounds are huge, very uncrowded, didn;'t have trouble finding a chair on the beach! If you don't like walking don't go here, this is not your typical Florida style highrise where you walk directly onto the beach from your room, and there aren't manicured lawns either, lots of natural flora and fauna - even weeds! This newer section is still planting gardens, and there of course was wind damage to the tops of the palms as in other resorts. The mangroves by the beach are starting to come back as well.

Food was wonderful, buffets great, we tried the buffet at the Colonial next door but weren't as impressed. Take some time to walk around the first day to get your bearings and find shortcuts (go thru the lobby at the Riviera to get to the buffet, don;t go in at the White Sands lobby and walk all the way around the pool area). Beach was fantastic, so was the salt water pool around the point at the southend of the beach. Never bothered going in the pools, we're beach people, but they weren't crowded and lots of chairs for everyone.

Rooms were awesome, all are junior suites with huge jacuzzi in room, note the loo and walkin shower have frosted glass doors into the room, and the sink is in the room by the tub so could be awkward if you're not a couple.

We went on great daytrips, some recommended by our Nolitour agent that aren't recommended to everyone (steambath ritual with Mayan shaman at night) and Coba ruins instead of Chichen Itza.

ONLY complaint is that the beach bar at the south end doesn't have a serve yourself area, walk 1min down to the Colonial for that.

All in all, would go back no problem for next years holiday, I'm sure the gardens will be all grown up by then. email me if you want more info:

  • Holiday details: Feb 2006

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10 / 10
No worries at the Royal

"After reading several of the reviews on the Grand Palladium White Sands and Royal, I was very concerned about our vacation. However, it was spectacular. The room was great, huge and beautiful. The only problem we encountered was one outlet that didn't work and the sliding door did not slide well. The food was good and the on-site resteraunts were a blast. The staff was very attentive to our needs. There is a lot of walking at this hotel to get from place to place but they also have two on ground trains that run along with other shuttles.

This was a great expereince for us and I would recommend highly to others.

  • Holiday details: Feb 2006

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6 / 10
Nice Trip

"Stayed at this resort Feb. 4-9th, 2006

My husband and I and another couple just back from a 5-night stay at the White Sands. The rooms were very nice and spacious. Had a hot tub in the room that was big enough for 2. We were on the 3rd floor and there are no elevators so had a good hike to get up and down, although we are young so we didn't mind that part.

The food was all in all pretty good. Had to remember we were not in the states so it would not be as good as back home. We ate at the Steakhouse which was real good. Also ate at the Italian restaurant which none of us cared too much for. Depends on what kinds of food you like. The buffets were good and had a good variety to choose from. They pretty much had a different theme every night, i.e. Mexican, Italian, etc. Breakfast was real good at the buffets. They had a lot of food like home, i.e. omelets, pancakes, french toast, bacon, etc.

The drinks were all very good. If you don't like it, you get a new one. They had a lot of bars to choose from.

The beach was okay. I have been to better beaches before. It was real rocky and a lot of coral. I killed my feet walking out into the water. Beware of that part. My husband and friends walked right out in the ocean from the beach and did snorkeling. Lots of people were doing this. I guess the snorkeling was awesome. We also went a separate snorkeling tour through the resort which costed $30.00 per person. Took us on a boat out to Turtle Bay. We were out there quite a while. That was a nice tour.

We went on 1 other tour while were there which was Jungle Jim's ATV tour. Took a 4-wheeler to an area where we saw monkeys, birds, and some other strange animals. Went through a cave which was awesome. Then went to an area where you could jump off a cliff and swim. It was about 3-1/2 hours and was lots of fun. Got very dusty and dirty.

They had a show every night in the theater from 9:30-10:30. Most of them were pretty good. After 10:30 though there was not much to do besides walk around, ride the trolley (which we did 1 night for fun), the disco (we are not dancers), sit at the bars. We also walked along the beach some nights but the beaches were not lit up so was pretty dark.

There were some trees down yet and they were still working on things from the hurricane. There was also smell of sewer in some areas but not all. Just happened that our villa had the awful smell so when you walked in or out we had to plug our nose or hold our breath to walk through. They were working on that issue though when we were there. We went with an open mind though and this did not bother us too much.

If you have children at home to call too, the calling home --- big time. We took 4 calling cards along and none of them worked. Our only option was to call home collect at $4.00 a minute or buy the 1 calling card they had on the resort which was $22.00 for 12 minutes. We spent $88.00 calling home during our trip. Could have been worse I guess but just beware if you need to call home to take extra cash along for the calling cards. Sounds like if we would have stayed in Playa Del Carmen that it would have been easier to make phone calls but not positive on that.

All in all the resort was beautiful and huge. We did lots of walking but that did not bother us. They have a trolley that goes from resort to the next until 2 a.m. We rode on that once in a while. One night we had a crazy drive and had a ball on it. Sometimes they take you through other areas to drop people off at their villas.

I would recommend this resort as it was very nice. Keep an open mind and you will have a great time.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me and ask.

  • Holiday details: Feb 2006

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10 / 10
This place is HUGE! But really cool!

"My husband and I (along with 2 other couples) stayed in the Riviera section in a Royal Junior suite. We absolutely loved this place! We stayed for 4 nights and tried a different restaurant every night (Brazilian, Japanese, Steakhouse, & buffet) and loved them all! I would never expect my steak to taste so good in Mexico!! We found something to do every day. We loved the adult pool hidden in the jungle in the Colonial section (topless!). We went to the disco one night...that was fun but certainly our "drunkest" night. We met lots of nice people (lots of very nice Canadians), even some people from Chicago (like us). The only (I repeat ONLY) bad thing about this resort is all the walking you do. Sometimes the guys on the golf carts are nice enough to take you where you want to go, but I thought that staying the Royal Suites would entitle us to more when it came to transportation. It seemed like most of the activities were over in the Colonial & Kantenah sections and we had to walk pretty far to get there. We went on Jungle Jim's ATV tour and that was worth it except for the fact that the pictures are misleading - you don't actually get to hold monkeys and play with them. It's more like a zoo. They also told us we would be going to 3 different places when we actually only went to 2 total. But swimming in the sinkhole and diving into it from a 15 foot cliff was GREAT! Back to the resort....the bartenders were all SO nice and they made our drinks strong...not like most all inclusives that make your drinks weak so you can't ever get drunk! I would recommend this place to anyone looking to go to Riviera Maya and I definitely want to return in the future! And if that Canadian guy I met at the disco ever reads this, PLEASE EMAIL ME!! HA HA!!"

  • Holiday details: Feb 2006

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Address: Carretera Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km, 256-100 Municipio Solidaridad, Akumal 77710, Mexico