Last Updated on July 5, 2024

According to Booking.com, there are nearly 120 resorts in the Riviera Maya area of the Yucatan. A good share of those are all-inclusive, meaning everything – from accommodations to food and drink and nearly all activities – are included in the upfront cost. With so many options, how do you choose?

If you’re looking for a luxury property that respects its native surroundings, consider staying at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya located halfway between the busy Playa del Carmen and the more relaxed Tulum area. With five separate resorts – Family Selection at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa. Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa, Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa, and TRS Yucatan Hotel – it’s suitable for nearly any type of vacation, whether families, couples or friends, and provides a nature-focused atmosphere often lacking in nearby properties.

Family Selection at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa

Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Kantenah's Family Selection Pool.
Grand Palladium Riviera Maya Kantenah’s Family Selection Pool. Photo by Janice Sakata-Schultz

While the entire resort offers luxury accommodations, only the TRS Yucatan Hotel and Family Selection at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa include access privileges to beach clubs, eateries, and entertainment. Guests of the other resorts must pay extra for these. Four of the eleven buildings, or villas, are part of this, and I was fortunate to stay here during our visit.

My second-floor double-queen suite overlooked a lush tropical setting teeming with native animals like coati and iguanas. The room featured light-colored, bright, modern décor and a white tiled floor, making the entire space look larger. My bathroom included a standalone tub, separate closets for the toilet and shower, and L’Occitane bath products. A mini fridge held sodas, beer and a few snacks that were inclusive and could be restocked by request.

The most welcoming benefit was the concierge staff. Their services included everything from making restaurant and show reservations to fulfilling room service orders. Yadi and Erick, the concierges in our villa, ensured that they met my needs, even though I only requested room service food, more beer in my mini-fridge, and a shuttle to the lobby before checking out.

Families can reserve two connecting rooms in these villas, one with a king bed and one with two queens and enjoy a suite. The first-floor rooms have small semi-private swim-out pools. Families also receive welcome gifts that include beach toys, a plush animal, water bottles, and totes or backpacks for the parents.

As part of the exclusivity, guests can relax at the Piscina Family Selection, a pool with a maximum depth of four feet. The nearby Black & White Junior Club has facilities and activities for children ages 5 to 17, including two bowling lanes and a paint-gun room. The other private section is a beach club with two bars and an informal outdoor grill, La Jarra.

TRS Yucatan Hotel

Spacious bedrooms at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya TRS Cabins.
Spacious bedrooms at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya TRS Cabins. Photo by Janice Sakata-Schultze

On the opposite end of the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya is the adults-only TRS Yucatan Hotel, also known as The Royal Suites. Eleven villas, most of which are oceanfront, each have a two-room suite for double occupancy. The accommodations feature a living room in the front and a separate king bedroom and open bathroom. Like the rooms at Family Selection at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa, closets separate the toilets and showers, and the first-floor suites have private swim-up pools.

TRS Yucatan Hotel also offers 20 upgraded standalone cabins situated around a narrow circular lagoon. Each unit has a spacious balcony with a cushioned lounger, hammock and canoe to paddle on the water. These suites have an airy king bedroom with tubs, a separate bathroom with a vanity overlooking the lagoon, and a tiled outdoor shower as large as my total bathroom at home.

It’s a relaxing, private indulgence that enhances a couple’s time at Grand Palladium Riviera Maya.

Guests can enjoy two pool areas. One is a Piscina Las Rocas, a natural seawater pool with waters fed by the Caribbean Sea. The pool had few guests during our visit because the seas were somewhat choppy, and sargassum ringed the edges. At another time, it was closed due to rough seas.

A more conventional and stunning three-tiered pool was nearby, called Piscina Infinity Helios. Part of this area is for Grand Palladium Club members, who must check in before settling in poolside. Three bars cater to anyone thirsty in the intense Mexican sun.

Shared Amenities

The Family Selection at Grand Palladium Kantenah and TRS Yucatan Hotel share resort amenities. One available to all staying at Grand Palladium is the Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness Center. Decorated in white marble with an open-air lobby, the facility has an extensive fitness center and a full-service spa with a hydrotherapy area featuring different pools, sauna, and steam baths. Another resort feature is an onsite cenote, or partially underground pool, often reserved for special private dinners.

The two luxury resorts have privileges unavailable to regular Grand Palladium Riviera Maya guests. Those include access to all restaurants and eateries, clubs and entertainment. Because I was a upgraded guest status, I could enjoy the Helios Beach Club and its adjoining pool area. I found the food here better in quality and freshness. The service was also more attentive than at the Hacienda and Nest buffet restaurants at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa.

At Helios, I ordered a poke bowl that featured ahi tuna, fresh vegetables and a creamy chili sauce that brought everything perfectly together.

Guests at both resorts also have dinner entertainment included in their stay. Grand Palladium Riviera Maya offers two productions – the all-ages Bravo at the Grand Palladium Colonial Resort & Spa and the adults-only Chic at TRS Yucatan Hotel. The difference between the two shows was significant. The first featured singers and dancers performing around the circular bar, with dining tables around it. The numbers were adequate, but amateurish. By contrast, Chic was an elaborate, sophisticated Vegas-style program with excellent music and acrobatic numbers, featuring a pre-show interlude outside the theater.

Staying at the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya offers everything you would want in a luxury Caribbean Mexican vacation, especially if you choose the Family Selection at Grand Palladium Kantenah Resort & Spa or TRS Yucatan Hotel. Just relax, and your accommodating staff will take care of the rest.

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