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This beautiful beach resort located in Akumal between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, nestled amidst tropical trees and stunning vegetation facing the Caribbean Sea enjoys a beautiful seafront position with private access to an 800 m long pristine beach of fine golden sand and crystal-clear waters. Located only 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen and 7 minutes from the archaeological site of Akumal. The resort includes luxurious rooms decorated in lovely pastels, all rooms at the property feature various amenities, bathrobes, plus Wi-Fi. The resort offers a la carte themed restaurants, buffet-style r...More details
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An honest review of a resort during COVID
Reviewed 5 december, 2021
I’ll start with a holiday is what you make of it so will keep this review to everything we experienced. We flew with TUI from the UK - we organised a private transfer with USA tours who were fantastic and took around an hour to get to the hotel. We noticed the other TUI passengers arriving a few hours later as had to stop at several hotels so if it is affordable for you I would definitely recommend getting a private transfer. We paid $145 return and all easy on the app. Lovely arrival at white sands the lobby is beautiful. The reception was empty (as we had arrived before anyone else I guess) so only took a couple of minutes to check in. We were then taken to our block and the bell men carried our bags to our room. There are 3 resorts and I can honestly say any of the blocks in white sand is within close proximity to the beach, sea buffet and reception. Katenah and colonial are speak out a lot further and would require a bit of a walk to the lobbies but there are regular carts driving about. The white resort was quite quiet never had to look far for a sun bed and there is a lovely pool bar where Angel and Elvira serve delicious drinks. The beach is not far a walk. White sands beach bar isn’t open at the moment and the sea on this beach has quite a bit of seaweed so we would walk along to colonial or katenah beach - it is honestly a 5 min walk not far and there is a beach bar and entertainment here. The pool is joint at katenah and colonial and has a kids water park area. For our personal taste it was not a pool I would enjoy but if you had kids it would be the pool to go to however if you want a quieter pool white sands is the way forward. The beach is stunning, snorkelling is amazing but defo bring beach shoes. We had ours but a lot of people didn’t and is Rocky when you first get in. We booked a see the turtle tour for $55 which I would recommend we saw turtles, puffer fish and stingrays. The entertainment is every night in the colonial lobby so white sands and Kantenah are very quiet. Personally we didn’t enjoy the evening entertainment, very limited seating and didn’t start until 9/10. We would usually go to the secret pool which is open until midnight, has a bar and music and you can swim until midnight so for us was a no brainier! But obviously it’s each to their own. Zentrioia spa. I looked online before hand and thought the prices were extortionate however they come by the pool and beach and offer packages. We got day spa access, 50 minute back massage and tickets to CHIC caberet (which is $135 on its own) we got all of that for $150 usd. I’ll come back to CHIC. The spa was great and had hydrotherapy spa, hot tubs and an outside lazy river which leads you to outside hot tubs and large swimming pool with sun beds. They make baguettes and wraps and fresh fruit smoothies so you can spend the whole day here. The massage was unbelievable, we decided to book another which was $90 for 80 minutes. If it’s in your budget I would defo recommend. CHIC - no words just wow! We thought it was $35 but that is the reservation fee so wasn’t expecting much! When we found out it was $135 (but we did get the massage deal) we decided to go for it. It was unreal! It is in the royal suites hotel which you are not usually allowed in. I would recommend getting there early as there is a pretty show on the decking with live music. The variety of good wines etc here were amazing. Then you go in for the show with a 6 course meal. Honestly from being long haul cabin crew I have seen shows in Vegas many times and this show was on par. We were concerned our seats wouldn’t have a great view as near the back but it wouldn’t matter what table you are at - you’re on a table on your own and it’s not a massive theatre so all tables can see and they come round on podiums. Very impressed. Drinks - all range of premium brands and compared to other all inclusive as I have been and not watered down at all. Not much variety on wine but it was drinkable. Can get mimosas at breakfast and made to order coffees like cappuccinos etc Food - the food was a big disappointment. I am not fussy, you can book al a cartes as much as you want on the app but they were not great at all. The buffet was better and I never thought I’d say that. Breakfast was good but all meals repetitive and quality not great but always something to eat. I do feel this is down to Covid though as my parents have been to this resort previously and raved about the food. Just not enough staff Excursions - we got a taxi to Yal Ku which is a lagoon which is basically like dipping your head in an aquarium. We didn’t do it as a tour we just got a taxi which was $60 return and $14 entry fee. You can rent equipment there or take your own snorkel and mask. We have been to Mexico a few times with work so have done Xplor and Xalhal which if you haven’t done are unbelievable. Also swimming with the turtles is fab. TRS - you are not allowed in this hotel unless you have CHIC tickets. It is luxury and if I could have afforded it would have booked here. They get butler service and numerous types of quality wine, swim up pools and designated carts just for them which is slightly annoying when going in the same direction and won’t take you but I guess you get what you pay for. White sands - out of the 3 resorts this is definitely the most luxury - all the lobbies are beautiful but colonial rooms look like they could do with a bit of TLC. As mentioned before much more laid back pool and no kids as the kids pool is at colonial-katenah lobby. Rooms - we had a junior suite with whirlpool bath, very modern, air con was great , beds are massive and whirl pool bath insanely good! Wish I had one at home. Cleaned daily if you want but no complaints on the room. Staff - the staff are INCREDIBLE, I see people in other posts have named some, hector at lobby bar angel and elvira at white sands bar and angel at the secret pool. But to be honest all of them work so hard especially with dealing with drunk people who can’t handle their drink! Only problem is they are MAJORLY understaffed - especially in the al a cartes - usually over two hours in there! It’s ok I’m the quieter areas but colonial evening entertainment expect to be waiting nearly an hour for a drink hence why we went to the secret pool. Carts- they are so regular and if you’re in white sands you are so close to everything you won’t need them however my friend had a bad foot and occasionally needed one and we never struggled. If you wait at the lobby they will take you directly to your room or call 0 on your phone and they will pick you up. Tips - please tip the staff - it won’t affect the service but they so deserve it. I suggest little and often. We tipped the maid every other day and every couple of drinks. Animals - you’ll see lots of animals, iguanas, coatis, agouti, raccoons - they are roaming around all the time. Hope this review helps - I was reading such negative reviews before I came and think it’s just best to be honest and give tips on here. Everyone is different but you will make what you Will of your holiday - remember you are on holiday after all!
Reviewed 5 december, 2021
Having to have reservations to the restaurants was a huge pain. No pool or beach service. Front desk staff wasn’t friendly. White sands had unusable beach access. If you weren’t a TRS member you were treated as a peasant.
Reviewed 5 december, 2021
We had a very bad experience with this hotel. It was our anniversary and they give us a room with separate beds. You are not able to book any reservation for dinner. The answer on all our questions was only “sorry, we are short with our personal”
Another great vacation
Reviewed 2 december, 2021
My husband and I had another great vacation at Grand Palladium! It was very clean and safe. The staff treated us like family - a special thank you to Maria, Javid, and Mario from La Dalia who provided excellent service and gave a useful recommendation for our Thanksgiving dinner. We also really enjoyed the Mexican restaurant, Adelita, our server, Florencio, and captain Alejandro. We will definitely be returning! Until next time!
Reviewed 2 december, 2021
This was our fourth stay with our family at White Sand. That should say it all! There is something for everyone here. All age groups are accounted for. The staff is excellent: hardworking and friendly. The garden suites are perfect for parents and one or two children on the living room sofa bed.