The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres is a solid offering for its price point and the level of luxury on offer. Our review takes a deep dive into the resort, to see if it’s worth consideration for your next vacation.
Grade 4.0 out of 5 Stars
Only built-in 2018, the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres is a 5-star family-friendly all-inclusive resort that is located in Costa Mujeres in North Cancun. This resort is on the larger side with 660 rooms on offer and is broken out into a family side and a general side.
The resort has 3 large pools, 7 different a la carte restaurants to choose from, a magnificent beach, and top-quality service. What more could you want? Being that this is a newish resort, the decor and aesthetic it’s really nice. It feels every bit as luxurious as its 5-star hotel rating.
There are loads of options for family resorts in the area of Costa/Playa Mujeres. It’s one of the most competitive all-inclusive offerings out there. So, you’re probably asking yourself how do I choose which one to go to, we at InspoVacay are here to help you choose the right spot for your next vacation.
Firstly, we just want to clarify that Costa Mujeres and Playa Mujeres are the same places. There is a lot of confusion about this and we are always asked if they are the same. So, we needed to clarify that.
The resort is located around a 40-minute drive from Cancun International airport and a 25-minute drive from downtown Cancun. So, it’s a very convenient location for getting in and out of. The Costa/Playa Mujeres area is a great location as it offers bigger resorts, loads of amenities, and a level of seclusion that resorts in the main hotel zone struggle to offer. You are also close enough that you could get a taxi to have a night out in Cancun if that was your vibe.
The resort is a little unique in its layout. Firstly the resort is located in the same complex as its sister resort the TRS Coral. Some of the amenities are shared between both resorts. There is a centrally located village where a lot of the bars and restaurants are located. Most of these restaurants in the village are family-friendly.
The TRS Coral is an adults-only offering while the Grand Palladium is a family-friendly resort. In the Grand Palladium, there are two options when you are booking a room. The “family side”, which is called out in the room name, and the general side. All of the rooms on both sides can have kids in them, but the family side rooms are nearer to the kids’ amenities and have a few touches to cater to families.
There is a level of separation between adults and family areas here though, with a family building where all of the rooms are located and a kids pool and club area. So, there is a level of separation. Oddly enough even for the rooms in the non-family section, you can still bring a child with you.
One of the interesting things about the benefits you get if you are staying in the family selection. Is that they are actually better than the general side of the resort. For instance, adults staying on the family side of the complex can make use of four of the a la carte restaurants and all of the amenities at the sistering TRS Coral resort.
- A thing to note is that the pool areas don’t have any swimmable floats or closed cup glasses, so if you like chilling out in the pool with a Pina Colada in hand we suggest that you bring your own. They do sell them in the Village mall, but they are pricey
- One area that we definitely recommend going to is the Infinity pool at the spa. This is a hidden gem that has some stunning views over the resort. It was never too busy here and if you have a room type that has complimentary access to the hydrotherapy run you should definitely make the most of this. What we loved about this area too is that the Habits Healthy bar is located here too. Here you can get smoothies, Acai bowls, and salads as part of the all-inclusive package
- One of the negatives of this resort is that there are a lot of bugs throughout if you visit during peak bug season. As there is a forest area located within the resort, there can be a lot of bugs. So, be sure to pack the bug spray. One of the benefits of this forest is that there is really nice wildlife that you sometimes see roaming around the resort
- There is a Rafa Nadal tennis academy on-site, so if you’re a tennis lover and fancy upping your game. This is the spot for you. The facilities are really good
- There are a few amenities that you get if you stay in the TRS Coral that you don’t get if you stay in the Grand Palladium resort, so if you are going for an adults only vacation and weighing up the resorts, we’d recommend taking these into account. Guests of the Grand Palladium cannot use the amenities and facilities at the TRS Coral. While the TRS Coral guests can make use of the Grand Palladium amenities. TRS Coral guests also have access to the Hydrotherapy facilities at the spa, while the Grand Palladium guests have to pay $85 a day
- There are a number of areas throughout the resort that are exclusively for guests of the Palladium travel club. This includes a members lounge, pool, and front desk. Travel clubs are pretty similar to timeshares, but instead of having access to one location at a certain time of the year, you have access to a number of locations and resorts at any time. There is a yearly or monthly membership fee for these
- On the back of the Travel club point, one of the negative elements of the Grand Palladium is that there is a high amount of salespeople trying to get you to sign up to the travel club. It’s a little annoying, but they are good at leaving you alone once you have said no a few times
Once you arrive at the resort there is an impressive reception area that has an airy and welcoming vibe. The front area of the reception is also very impressive with a lovely architecture to it. It almost feels like you’re standing in an issue of architectural digest when you arrive.
One thing we would call out is that there isn’t a huge volume of check-in desks available and there is the potential for queues here. It’s really just timing for this. If you arrive at the same time as a busload of people then you will inevitably have to wait some time.
During that time there were a number of people that approached us trying to sell us on a timeshare, which we had no interest in. Once we did manage to get to a free check-in desk, the process was very smooth. The staff was great at describing the layout of the resort, which is really great for making the most out of your vacation.
Is the Grand Palladium a family-friendly resort?
Yes, the Grand Palladium is a family-friendly option. There are tons of experiences for both adults and kids to make this a super enjoyable family vacation spot.
There is a great kids pool area, that is basically like a mini water park with slides and dunk tanks. One of the benefits of this kid’s area is that it is completely enclosed, so it can give the parents confidence that the kids won’t wander off.
The family selection suites also offer a number of nice touches to make your vacation run as smoothly as possible. Things like free laundry service (2 pieces per person) before departure and a reserved area at the beach make the vacation run a little smoother.
There are three sections to the kids club. The Baby club that is for toddlers aged between 1-and 3 years old. This runs from 9 am through to 5 pm. Then there is the kids club which is for kids aged between 4-12 and runs the same hours and location as the baby club. Finally, there is a teens club which is located in the main village and is for teenagers aged between 13-and 18 and runs from 3pm – 11pm.
All of the clubs run a host of activities to keep kids of all ages entertained. All of these activities are supervised and are included as part of the all-inclusive package. Similar to the main show being put on each night for the adults, there is a comparable event that is put on each night for the kids. These can range from Mini discos, talent shows, Movie nights in the main village, and kids trivia.
The amenities here are very strong. There is a wide range of them and depending on your room category you can access some of TRS Coral’s facilities too. There are three main pools here at the Grand Palladium. The adults staying in Family rooms can also use the facilities at the TRS Coral, so if you’re traveling with your family and want an afternoon of relaxation. Then drop the kids at the kids club and make the most of the adults-only pool at the TRS Coral.
For the kids, there is a nice water park area. This is on the smaller side and is probably more suitable for kids aged 8 and below, but there are small slides and water fountains to keep them entertained. We would have liked it if this area was completely fenced in, it would have let the adults worry about one less thing.
The gym facilities here are quite big. There is a large fitness studio area as well as your choice of cardio machines. There are loads of treadmills, stationary bikes and ellipticals to choose from. More than enough for the size of the resort. The is also a great free and machine weights area.
One of the nicest things about the location of this gym is that it has some stunning views overlooking the forest and resort. An important thing to note is that the gym facilities are shared with that of guests at the TRS coral.
There are also a number of fitness classes that take place here throughout the days, with classes like Pilates, Yoga, Zumba, and aerobics on offer.
There is no Golf course that is directly linked to the resort, but the Playa Mujeres course is located just a 3 minute’s drive away. You can get the concierge team to make a booking for you or alternatively contact the course yourself. This Greg Norman-designed course is a nice challenge, but it’s not cheap with Green fees as high as $180 a round.
If you plan on golfing a few times you are probably better off staying in a resort that has preferential or free golfing included in their package. The Dreams or Excellence resorts in the area offer this.
Things to do during the day
During the day there is a full slate of entertainment and activities. There are notice boards with the schedule for the day around the resort as well as all of the information available on the app and the TV in your room. There’s a mix of activities from fitness-related classes (Yoga, pilates, Aqua aerobics) to sports events that take place on the beach (soccer, beach volleyball). There are a number of lessons that take place too like Spanish and dancing classes. The entertainment here does a great job at keeping everyone busy.
Things to do during the night
In the evenings there are a number of shows and entertainment that are put on. The full schedule can be seen on the app or the TV. There is always the main event each night. From fire shows, themed nights, and fiestas you won’t go bored.
In the evening there is the Chic Cabaret & Restaurant. This is a dinner and show experience. What we didn’t particularly like about this experience is that this experience comes at a surcharge. The price also varies significantly depending on where you are staying in the complex. For TRS Coral and guests staying in the Family section of the Grand Palladium, it will cost you $35 to attend the show and dinner. For guests in the Grand Palladium that are not on the family side, it will cost you $135 per person. Why there is such a price discrepancy we do not know.
The experience itself is quite entertaining and the food here is actually significantly better than most of the restaurants in the complex. It’s definitely worth doing if you’re paying $35, but not worth it for $135 ahead.
Rafa Nadal Tennis Center
This is a really great amenity if you’re a tennis lover or want to get into tennis. Located directly on the complex is the Rafa Nadal tennis academy which is a state-of-the-art tennis complex. The center offers adults and juniors training programs as well as private lessons. All of which are done on the signature Rafa Nadal clay-court type.
Programs range in price depending on the length of time you want to do and the ratio of learners to coaches. One of the nice things is that you can book your tennis course and stay at the Grand Palladium or TRS Coral directly through the Rafa Nadal tennis center website. You can also add the tennis courses if you book through the Palladium website too. A two-day group course will set you back around $200.
The beach in Costa Mujeres is probably the best in the wider Cancun area. Although staying at a resort in the main hotel zone has lots of benefits to it, a strong beach is not one of them. The beach at Costa Mujeres is very swimmable as the waters are protected by the island of Isla Mujeres. The beach is also really expansive, so you’ll have no problem getting a sun lounger throughout the day. There is also a drinks service on the beach, which is integral for any beach vacay.
The one negative of this beach is that it does suffer from seaweed accumulating on the shoreline. There’s not a ridiculous amount of seaweed, but it can be a little bit off-putting. The staff here do their all to clear the beach each day, but they’re fighting a losing battle. We have heard that it can be more prevalent and it really depends on mother nature on the amount of seaweed that washes up. It’s really just the luck of the draw.
The Zentropia Spa & Wellness center is the spa on site of the Grand Palladium. These facilities are shared with the TRS Coral which is located in the same complex. Even though both resorts are quite large in terms of capacity. The spa is more than big enough to cater to both resorts. There is a full spa menu on offer with beauty, facial, and massage treatments available. All of these can be booked either by ringing the spa/concierge or booking through the mobile app.
If you are staying on the family side of the resort or in the TRS Coral resort you do get complimentary access to the hydrotherapy run. Bookings do need to be made for these and it’s a very relaxing experience. It’s a good way of experiencing the facilities without booking a treatment. Sadly if you are staying in the general area of the Grand Palladium there is a surcharge for this experience.
Throughout the resort, there are always staff members on hand ready to help you with anything you may need. Our key metric for understanding one of the elements of good service is staff to guest ratio and it seems to be quite high here at the Grand Palladium.
Booking during Covid
Traveling during Covid can be a daunting task and while we at InspoVacay urge you to follow your countries and Spain’s travel guidance we are also here to arm you with the information needed to make sure you are maximizing the resorts Covid protocols and protections
The Grand Palladium is part of the Palladium chain of resorts that has a number of brands in its portfolio. They are a service operator in the services industry and have a robust plan in place to protect its guests and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Flexible Cancellation Policy
If you booked your vacation directly through the TRS Coral website, they offer a super flexible cancellation policy. You can cancel your stay up to 2 days before you arrive and receive a complete refund on the cost of your accommodation.
The room selection at the Grand Palladium is really simple which we really liked. It made the room choice very easy. Effectively there are two main room types. Junior suites and Loft suites. These suites come in a range of options. Suites with sea views, garden views, poolside and beachside. There are the signature and ambassador suites on offer too, but these are available in limited quantities and book out fast.
The other consideration you need to take into account. Is it if you are staying on the family side of the adult’s side. Each of the room types is available on both sides of the resort. There are two additional suite types available on the adult’s side, but there are a limited number of them available as we mentioned. These are the Signature Suite and the Ambassador suite.
The standard Junior suites are really great offerings and they have a level of luxury at a really competitive price point. As this is a new resort everything is pretty modern. The decor of these rooms has a seaside theme to it. There is a king-sized bed, a living room area, and a large bathroom. You really can’t go wrong with these suites.
These suites are pretty special. What makes this suite is the rooftop area that has an impressive jacuzzi that overlooks the resort. There is also a separate living room area. The suites come in at 1054ft², which is a really decent size for a hotel suite. These suites have the capacity for 3 adults and 1 child.
Ambassador suite (Not available on the family side)
Comparable to a very well-sized apartment. The ambassador suite comes with two bathrooms, two balconies, a large bedroom, and a separate living room. This suite has a capacity for three adults and one child. This is kind of the perfect suite if you have a family of four with two older kids. As you will have your separate bedroom areas as there is a pull-out bed in the living room area and a separate bathroom too.
Signature suite (Not available on the family side)
These are the biggest suites on the resort with room for 4 adults and 2 children. The Signature suite has two private bedrooms. One with a king-sized bed in it and another with two double beds. This room also has a separate living room, two large bathrooms, and a large balcony area that has a jacuzzi, an outdoor eating area, and a small bar. The suites are located right beside the beach, so the views are really special. These are the most expensive suites on the resorts with rates running into the thousands during peak season.
Price Range + Packages
The resort overall is well priced for the service and level of luxury that you get for it. The price is dependent on which side of the resort you are staying on. The family side of the resort is typically around 15% more expensive than the general side of the resort. You do get more benefits if you’re staying on the family side, so that price difference makes sense.
What’s included in the all-inclusive package
The all-inclusive package at the Palladium chain of hotels is called “Infinite Indulgence”. Overall it’s a relatively comprehensive package. All food (including room service), drinks, activities, entertainment, tips, and taxes are included in the cost of your package. Some of the elements that aren’t included are treatments at the spa, and motorized water sports to name a few, but these are rarely included in packages.
One of the glaring elements that are not included in the “Infinite Indulgence” package if you are staying in the main section is room service delivery. Although there is a room service menu to order from. If you want to avail of the menu you will need to pay $15 per room and service. We would have liked to have seen this included in the package. What’s very odd is that if you’re staying on the family side there is no fee to have room service delivered.
Food + Restaurant Options
The food quality at the Grand Palladium was good, but nothing to write home about. Another issue that we saw was that the portion sizes for everything were quite small, so it meant that you needed to order multiple mains to be full at the end of the meal. As this is all-inclusive and you can order as many dishes as you want, it wasn’t too much of an issue.
We really liked the central village at the resort where most of the restaurants are. It created a nice atmosphere and almost felt like you were going off the resort in the evening. For the restaurants, some of them require bookings but not all. As a rule of thumb, the specialty restaurants do and the buffet options don’t. We advise that once you arrive you book as many dinner reservations as you can for the week ahead. As restaurants do book up quite quickly.
Ranking the Restaurants
Poseidón Beach Club
This is an Idyllic spot. Located right down by the beach by the family selection section. It’s a buffet offering that’s open for all meals throughout the day. It’s the perfect place to grab lunch if you are lounging by the beach for the day. The food here is really consistent and there is a nice offering of dishes. There is a focus on fresh seafood here, but they have a mix of fresh salads and your buffet favorites like pizza, burgers, and pasta.
Located near the entrance of the resort the Isla Blanca restaurant is the main buffet option at the resort. Isla Blanca has a nice modern aesthetic to it and serves a range of cuisines. It’s definitely the largest spot in the resort and there are no reservations needed to eat here. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the quality of food here is pretty good. In the morning, there is no better way than to start off your day with some delicious Mexican coffee. You’ll be buzzing for the rest of the day.
There are your typical choices of omelet stations, pastry area, cereal, fruits, and hot dishes in the morning. For lunch and dinner, the offering is pretty much identical. There is a pasta and burger-making station as well as sushi options and local Mexican choices. The desserts were the standout part of Isla Blanca, with so many delicious options.
Portofino (Italian Cuisine)
The food here is very good and really quite authentic. Serving up pizzas, pasta, and salads to name a few this spot does the basics of Italian cuisine well. The mushroom risotto was very good and the pizzas were cooked well. The dough used did not taste the best, but it’s not bad for an all-inclusive resort.
El Dorado (Steak House)
As you enter the restaurant you will be greeted with these impressive fridges with the really impressive cuts of meat on offer. We are not sure if these are just for show, but we felt the impressive-looking cuts did not materialize into good steaks. The menu here is nice with good variety and on paper what looks to be premium cuts of meat, but like most all-inclusive, the quality of the steaks wasn’t the highest. Our favorite dish was actually the skirt steak that was really beautifully cooked. There are off-menu items that can be ordered for an additional price. You can get a tomahawk steak for around $50 and the quality looked quite good.
Chang Thai (Thai Cuisine)
The food here was ok, but a little inconsistent. The menu choice, design, and setting were all really nice. It just lacked at times in its consistency. This restaurant is closed on Wednesdays.
Sumptuori (Japanese Cuisine)
Located in the Village area, Sumptuori is a Japanese restaurant and Teppanyaki spot that serves up some serious eats. You have three options when you eat here. The Teppanyaki option is pretty much a set offering. The chef effectively chooses the menu with fried rice and cooked meats as the main ingredients of the dishes. The sushi bar serves up a limited number of sushi dishes, and the main menu serves up a mix of Japanese dishes. Our favorites here were definitely the Tuna steak cooked in a Miso and mustard sauce. As well as the Shoyu Ramen, which actually had a very flavorful broth. It’s only open for dinner and reservations are required to get a table.
Boghali (Indian Cuisine)
Open for dinner only this spot has a lovely design to it. This restaurant is closed on Mondays. The food here is quite nice, there’s a nice selection on the menu and the dishes are executed quite well. We wouldn’t say that the dishes are cooked very traditionally, but they are comparable to a lot of taking options you get in North America and Europe. Again the portion sizes are quite small, so you will need to order multiple courses. This was one of the best places to eat if you’re a vegetarian as there are loads of veggie dishes.
La Adelita (Mexican Kitchen)
Another restaurant with a lovely view overlooking the lagoon is the Mexican cuisine restaurant at the resort. Sadly the food here did not match the views you get at this spot. This seems to happen quite a lot for Mexican resorts that falter on their local cuisine.
Chic Cabaret & Restaurant
Just a note that this experience does come at an additional cost and the price will again be dependent on whether you are staying on the family side or on the general side. The food here is a level up from the other restaurants here, but with the additional cost, we would expect that.
Bars and Drinks Offering
There is no shortage of bars at this resort with 6 bars available to all Grand Palladium guests throughout. That number increases if you are an adult staying on the family side as you can drink at the bars at the TRS Coral too.
The drinks selection is good, they have a good selection of liquor on offer. There are lots of premium options and the cocktails are made to order.
At InspoVacay we believe that Tipping should be considered mandatory at all-inclusive resorts. Although it is listed that tips are included in the cost of the all-inclusive package. Tipping the staff is strongly advised. The staff here are really great too. They do their best to make sure your vacation runs as smoothly as possible. We recommend that you put aside around $30 a day for tipping. The amount will depend on how much you drink throughout the day, but we usually budget $30 for all tips a day.
Costa/Playa Mujeres is a super competitive area for all-inclusive resorts. The Grand Palladium is definitely up there with the top resorts for its food, service, and overall luxury experience. The biggest question for us is how it stack up against the top family resorts like the Finest Playa Mujeres.
The aesthetic of the resort and amenities are all really good. The elements of the Grand Palladium that falter a little are the food offering and the upselling of their Vacation club packages throughout the resort.
We would say that if you want an adults-only experience you shouldn’t consider the Grand Palladium. Although there are separate sides of this resort (one family, one open to all ages groups) we would recommend that you look at the TRS Coral or Excellence Playa Mujeres.
If you’re looking for a family getaway then we recommend checking out the Grand Palladium. Although the overall experience wasn’t as strong as the Finest Playa Mujeres, with the slightly lower price point it is a stronger option if you are looking for a little better value. As the experience is still really strong throughout.
Q. Does the Grand Palladium offer a shuttle service from the Airport
A. Yes, the Grand Palladium does offer a shuttle service and private transfers to and from the airport. These do come at a surcharge and can be booked by ringing the resort.
Q. Is parking available at the resort
A. Yes, parking is available for guests and it is complimentary
Q. Is Wi-Fi included
A. Yes, Wi-Fi is available to you in your suite as well as throughout the resort.
Q. What local attractions are there?
A. This is a super convenient location as it’s just a short drive from the main area of Cancun. So, there are loads to do there. Costa Mujeres is also very close to a number of historic locations such as the area of Tulum and the Chichen Itza.