¡Viva Mexico! Once you visit the beaches, you’ll know why we keep coming back to this part of Mexico. On our recent trip, we stayed at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya, which is right by Akumal in the Riviera Maya.
We’ve stayed in Cancun, Tulum, Isla Holbox, and lived in Playa del Carmen for 5 months, so we know the area. This was our first time staying in this part of the Yucatan, and if you’re looking for an All-Inclusive in the Riviera Maya that is close to all the attractions – this is it!
*When looking for the best price and biggest selection of hotels, check prices on Booking.com. We’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*
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Grand Palladium Riviera Maya
The Grand Palladium Riviera Maya is a great spot on pristine beaches located right between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Here are some of our favorite things about the resort and reasons to put the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya on your list to visit.
White Sandy Beach
White sandy beaches and several shades of blue were a quick minute walk from our room. We are total beach lovers, and nothing beats white sandy beaches. There were always beach chairs and umbrellas available, which is great because no one likes to wake up early on vacation to save a chair.
If you are into snorkeling, buy a cheap snorkel set before coming (cheaper than renting), there is some great snorkeling right from the beach. If you’ve never gone snorkeling before, we think the best place to learn is a place where you can walk out from the beach as opposed to being thrown into the ocean of a boat. So, the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya is a great place to get your feet wet with snorkeling.
Pools for Everyone
If, for some reason, the beach isn’t your thing, don’t worry there are several pools at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya. The main pool is HUGE. I loved the built-in lounges in the pool and whirlpool areas. I spent most of our time at the adult pool, which conveniently had a bar, too, it’s a great place for couples traveling without children. Again we had no issue finding a sunny or shady lounge chair mid-day.
Tons of Food Options
We stuffed our faces silly with guacamole, no really, the guac here is amazing (lunch buffet & snack bar daily)! The lunch buffet mains changed daily, and our favorite was the day they had a taco station with Al Pastor on the spit over flaming charcoal.
For dinners, make sure to make reservations for the specialty restaurants at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya:
La Lola (Spanish)Portofino (Italian)Ribs & More (American)El Dorado (Steakhouse)Rodizio (Brazilian)Sumptuori (Japanese)Chang Thai (Thai)La Adelita (Mexican)Punta Emilia (Seafood)Mare Nostrum (Mediterranean)
Our favorite restaurant at the Grand Palladium was La Lola. We had amazing tapas. The patatas bravas tasted just like they did in Barcelona.
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Swimming with the Sea Turtles In Akumal
If swimming with sea turtles in Akumal is on your bucket list, then the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya is the perfect place to stay. The hotel is only a 10-minute boat ride away. We’ve been to Akumal before, always by car. Make sure to read 5 must-know tips for renting a car in Cancun.
Visiting by boat avoids the normal hassles of having to deal with the parking guys, renting the snorkel gear, and going with a group. If you stay at the Grand Palladium, they will have swimming with a sea turtle from a boat that takes off right from their beach.
We’ve been to Akumal several times throughout the year (March, May, July, October, and February), and we’ve always seen sea turtles. So we can say you are almost guaranteed to see them, we always have.
Visiting the Tulum Ruins
Add a little bit of history to your trip and visit the ancient Mayan Tulum Ruins. The ruins are only 20 minutes away from the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya. We highly suggest going early in the morning, not only to beat the crowds – but the heat as well.
No matter what time of year it’s always really hot at the Tulum Ruins. Don’t forget your swimsuit. There are stairs leading down to the beach at the ruins where you can jump in for a swim and cool off. You can arrange a tour at the hotel or consider driving in Mexico yourself (it’s super easy).
Swim Up Bar
After a day exploring some of the Riviera Maya excursions grab a barstool at the coolest bar the Grand Palladium. We love making friends at the swim-up bar and chatting with the bartenders, it is usually the liveliest crowd too.
The Grand Palladium Riviera Maya doesn’t cheap out on drinks either, all the bars have top-shelf drinks. Don Julio in your margarita or Bombay gin & tonics, NO problem! The Grand Palladium has some great alcohol options and brands available. This is great because no one likes a hangover from low-quality alcohol. For a unique shot like above consider getting a GoPro dome, we love ours.
Unique Room Options
The Grand Palladium Riviera Maya has a wide range of room types for any family size or budget. One of our favorite room types was the overwater bungalows located around the lagoon waterways of the property.
Built right over the water these rooms were both very private and super exotic, and much more than your standard room. Aside from the awesome setup right on the water, the location was close to the pool, lobby, and the beach. Breakfast on the balcony was pretty epic!
Don’t head back to your room too early. Make sure to check and see when the sunset is. Head down to the beach bar or snack bar and grab a sundowner before claiming a beach chair to watch the sunset. Sunsets in the Caribbean are amazing, and Riviera Maya puts on a pretty good sunset!
If you’ve been considering getting a drone this is a place you’d want it for, traveling with a drone is worth it! Check out our travel drone guide to see which drone is best for you.
Places in Mexico to Visit Before or After Grand Palladium
If you’ve got more time to explore Mexico, there are some amazing places nearby you should check out. If you can’t it on this trip consider them on your next trip. Make sure to check out some of our other Mexico articles to fuel your wanderlust.
Is Isla Holbox worth the trip? YES! Holbox Mexico is one of the best places in Mexico to visit. Skip Tulum! 2023 Complete Holbox guide with things to do in Holbox, best restaurants, where to stay, how to get to Holbox, and more.