Looking to try a brand that you haven’t thought of before? How about one that maybe doesn’t have the number one name recognition for the public at large here in the US but is well known throughout Europe? One that has locations not only in Spain and Italy but also in Mexico and the Caribbean? One that is all-inclusive and also features an adult only section? Well then – I have just the brand for you – the Palladium Hotel Group.
And…not too long ago I had the pleasure of speaking with Will Kauke, the Midwest Business Development Manager for Palladium Hotel Group about this amazing group of Spanish owned properties and all they can offer. I think you will agree – after watching the above video or reading this synopsis that they are a very inviting option for your next getaway.
Let’s take a look and you will see what I mean….
Company Overview: The Palladium Resort Group is a Spanish hotel chain – the sixth largest Spanish hotel chain in the world mind you – and they have a plethora of hotels throughout Europe and North America. And being the sixth largest Spanish hotel chain in the world they can deliver a good product at a good price, but they are also small enough so that you will still have those personal touches and those one-on-one interactions. They aren’t just some kind of large faceless chain. It’s a family-owned company and the values of the company come from the family that owns it and who have 50 plus years in the hospitality industry. Now that’s longevity. But there’s more – how about these impressive stats:
- 13,000 rooms
- 50 hotels
- Six countries
- 12,000 + employees
Today we are focusing on the all-inclusive collection in both Mexico and the Caribbean, but they do have some great resorts in Spain and Italy. And per will, some of those are quite world famous – including their number one-party hotel Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel which just so happens to be the summer residency for the DJ David Guetta!
One thing that Will stressed throughout the chat was that Palladium’s values as far as a company are really something that you feel when you’re on property and they put a lot of emphasis on not only entertaining but also on the innovation aspect of it as well. Let’s take a look at those values, shall we? They are:
- Excellence: We inspire you to enjoy every moment of your vacation
- Entertainment: We entertain you far beyond your expectations
- Innovation: We share your passion for innovation and technology
- Engagement: Turning guests into lifelong fans is our best promotion
Side Note: Since they are not just in Mexico and the Caribbean – for those of you guys who are interested in perhaps going somewhere like Sicily and staying at an all-inclusive this – as well as some other parts of Europe are options.
Brands: There is the Grand Palladium – which is for is for couples, singles and families – let’s face – it’ fun for everybody. The Grand Palladium Brand is usually grouped along with their TRS Brand which is their adults only brand. Typically, in resort areas you will see a Grand Palladium Hotel and Resort as well as a Palladium Hotel and also a TRS Hotel as the three Palladium properties represented. Many of the Grand Palladium’s also have the Family Selection at the Grand Palladium side as an option – which you will see mentioned throughout.
Then there is TRS which the adults only portion of the brand. These are luxury properties located in the most spectacular destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean and they offer a wide range of premium services and personalized attention in a private and tranquil environment. I think these are a super great opportunity for you guys who are doing bachelor or bachelorette parties or girlfriend or guys getaways or even a couple’s romantic getaway. And if you are looking for a destination wedding where no kids will be in attendance this is a great property to do that with as well.
And once you have been to one of Pallidum’s properties even though they all have their different feel as they’re reflective of their location, you’ll realize as far as what they have to offer it’s the same experience as to how they make you feel. And that’s what I’d love about this brand because it doesn’t matter where you go because there is some level of consistency even though it’s also unique to the destination it is in.
Family Friendly: Will was telling us about their Costa Mujeres property where they have a hybrid kind of family area which is like a VIP section for families called Family Selection. The great thing about that is if you’re adults that are staying there can go access the TRS Coral which is for the adults only so it’s kind of like a hybrid vacation for the adults as well. And that is one thing that I love about this brand is how they just totally cater to people who bring their families but really want some adult time and there’s opportunities for the kids to do their own thing as well – thanks to kid’s clubs at all of the resorts. The kids’ clubs will take children as young as one year old in their age three and under area. They also have an area for ages four through 12 as well as a teens club – so the kids are not all lumped together in one group. And they are open until 11:00pm so if you’re staying the Family Selection side, you can go have an adult only meal on the TRS side and then come back pick up your children later in the evening. Perfect!
Costa Mujeres, Mexico
- TRS Coral: This property is pretty much the flagship of all the TRS properties. Now, they are all really great properties but this one is a designated Leading Hotel the World which is a huge deal as there are certain standards that you have to abide by in order to get that designation. It has only been open since December of 2018 so it’s really fresh, really new and it’s got a very urban and sheik vibe to it – it’s not like an old-style Mexican Hacienda by any means. Bonus – it’s located relatively close to the Cancun airport so if you’re just going to go for a few days and don’t want a long transfer time it’s a great option. And being in the Costa Mujeres area of the Cancun region – which is a newer area that is being developed – it’s not in the busyness of the hotel zone nor is it in Riviera Maya – it’s on a pristine peninsula where resorts have been being built in the last five years.
- Here you will find that the beach is absolutely phenomenal, and it is being developed in a very eco-friendly way due to the fact that part of the Mexican government granting the ability to develop this area, was there were certain environmental protections that they have that they had to have in place so it’s a sustainable development as well which is fabulous. And here you are going to find beaches are more still – and the waves are calmer – and because you’ve got Isla Mujeres right across from you, so you really have a little bit more of that buffering – making it so it’s great for those of you who like nice calm beaches. In addition to the beautiful beaches, you also have:
- A lot of different room categories so depending on what you want to experience they have got a room type for you.
- For entertainment there is the super-fun Chic Cabaret – at three plus hours – it’s a pre-party than an after-party, a seven-course meal and the show itself! It’s really part Vegas nightclub, part Cirque du Soleil!
- There is plenty of ala carte dining and the food here is awesome – they really do a great job for not only presentation but taste and freshness.
It also has a layout which is kind of unique in the fact that it’s got what they call the village which results in the ala carte restaurants not being spread out throughout the property but instead they’re all kind of gathered together with the coffee shop, the 24-hour sports bar and the theater. It features cobblestone streets, so it has the European piazza kind of feel to it and at night that’s where most of the entertainment is including Chic Cabaret and some rooftop bars that overlook the village.
One of the things that I loved about the property is the canals that make for a fun way to get around via boats. They will take you from one end to the other with certain stops along the way. So, for instance if you want to go from your room to the Chic Cabaret show just hop in a boat and arrive in style. Bonus – the pier for the Chic Cabaret is right next to the Aqua Bar which is like a sunken bar at water level and it’s a great way to get there too!
Pssst. Want to know of the secrets of this resort? All of the buildings are connected by underground tunnels for the staff so that you won’t have to move over for say a laundry cart when you are out walking the grounds. Let me tell you – this resort has been really well thought out!
- Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres / Family Selection at Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres: So, this property being for families there are great room options. For instance, you can easily sleep five in the two double room as it has a sofa bed along with the two double beds making them large enough for those of you guys with three kids. They also have loft suites as well which are spread out over two floors and those are very accommodating – and they’re available in both the Family Selection and in the regular Grand Palladium.
The Grand Palladium Family Selection area has its own restaurant in the lobby for breakfast and for dinner. This way you don’t have to leave the building to get breakfast or if you’re tired and you just want to grab a quick dinner and go right upstairs it’s easily done. They also have their own snack bar as well as a couple of pools and the adults have access to the hydrotherapy area of the spa offering a great way to relax and get away from the kids. And although the spa is the right across from the kids pool it’s far enough where you cannot hear them – but you can still see them. Which is a neat thing for a little peace of mind!
The Family Selection is definitely a great way to go for those folks that want to have some adults only time on the TRS Coral side while the kids enjoy their extra benefits. I really am in love with this brand because it is so family friendly on the Grand Palladium side and it really focuses on adults on the TRS side.
Side Note: All though Palladium did pride themselves on no reservations on their al a carte dining, due to the current environment they are going to start requiring reservations at a la carte their restaurants. Along with that they will expand out the ala carte dining hours and enhance the room service as well just to give the guests more options and a little bit more of a comfortable feeling. But never fear – the sports bar is open 24 hours so you can get food there at any time! They have also spread out the tables to keep everybody safe and happy. And – since one of their company values is innovation – you’re going to be able to make the reservations on your television in your room!
And finally, for my tennis players – another great feature at this property is the Rafa Nadel Tennis Center – Rafa is a Spanish tennis pro fyi. It consists of eight clay courts – as clay is Rafa’s number one surface. You can even take tennis lessons on property – Spanish tennis lessons as all the instructors are from Spain – which is a different way to play. And Will joked that if you can’t play like Rafa you can go to the Nike store and you can dress like him!
Riviera Maya, Mexico
- TRS Yucatan: So basically, going to this property is as if we are on our way to Tulum so to speak. Distance wise it is a half hour south of Playa del Carmen and about 20 to 25 minutes north of Tulum. It’s a little bit further of a transfer from the airport than the Costa Mujeres property – however – what you’ll find is that you are going to be really close to a lot of the attractions that are down in the Riviera Maya. So, if you go to Xcaret or Xel-Ha or some of the other attractions in the area you’d be better served staying here as opposed to the hotel zone – especially want to see Playa Del Carmen because you will only have to travel the extra transfer time once instead of several times. While you may balk a little bit at the transfer time from the airport, when you arrive you will realize that’s where all the attractions are making it a good fit if you like to go off property.
The resort itself is situated in kind of like a mangrove jungle forest so it’s a very natural setting and there are some planks and water walkways that go throughout the properties so that can get lost in nature. There is a fabulous infinity pool here and it’s got its own beach area as well. There are actually miles and miles of great beaches to walk, and the beach is beautiful here – in fact, Will noted that you’ll find folks that book a lot of Riviera Maya say the further south you go on Riviera Maya the nicer the beaches are.
For those of you guys who are looking for a destination wedding this property has a Catholic chapel on site. In fact – the Costa Mujeres property does as well. Per Will if you are looking for a Catholic chapel to have a full-on Catholic mass and wedding in, both these properties will fit those needs – however in much different ways. For instance, the chapel in Riviera Maya is really ornate and kind of indigenous to the Mexican style, while the chapel in the Costa Mujeres property – which is newer – is akin to the Gaudi cathedral in Barcelona. It’s steel and glass and it’s open-air. So, depending on what kind of feel you’re going for both chapels are great options.
One of my favorite amenities in the some of the rooms are the hammocks on the balcony where you can sleep and enjoy the night. I love that jungle kind of feeling! And as we said – it is a very natural environment and miles away from any kind of noise or disruption so it’s noticeably quiet. Plus, with the grounds being so large it’s a quiet resort.
For transportation there is a little train as well as shuttles so you don’t want to wait for transportation very long said – and again with the innovation they have when you get on property just download the app and you can request a ride just as you would Uber! So, you don’t just sit there waiting – you’ll know exactly when to go downstairs to catch your ride!
I love the kids’ section here as well because it is so creative and it’s so appealing and it’s going to keep them entertained while the adults do their own thing. And Will noted that it’s not a resort that is going to feel overly juvenile to you by any means but in the area where the kids go, they’re going to appreciate it. And if you don’t have kids, if you don’t look for it, you’re not going to find it.
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
- Grand Palladium Vallarta / Family Selection at Grand Palladium Vallarta: This property is located about 30 to 35 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta airport. Fun Fact: The transfer time used to be around 50 minutes. However about four or five years ago the Mexican government improved the road so that it hugs the coast the whole way making it more of a kind of a superhighway that cuts the transfer time down by ten to 15 minutes.
Located on the Pacific Coast it really is a different vibe – or flavor if you will – from what you’re used to in the Caribbean, and I personally love this section of the world! They are about 20 minutes south of Sayulita – which is a great surf town. Between that and it’s Riviera Nayarit location you will find a lot of in American expats and surfers, so if you want to get out and experience a Mexican surf town. In addition, if you want to go into the city and experience the vibrant nightlife of Puerto Vallarta, you’re able to do that as well – or if you want you can just stay on property as there are plenty of things to do there!
This property has a Family Selection side as well, but it doesn’t have a corresponding TRS side basically making it just a high-end experience for families. They offer free surf lessons as well as free standup paddle board and boogie board lessons. A big part of the difference between the Caribbean side and the Pacific side are the waves. But another thing you have on the Pacific side is really the opportunity for you to not only enjoy having the waves but it’s a Pacific swimmable beach – which is a little different than from when you’re in say Cabo.
It also features a big saltwater pool that is built out into the ocean which it’s great for when kids that they want to learn how to snorkel and put up a fuss that they don’t want to snorkel in the pool. Here they can go in the saltwater pool and it feels like they’re in the ocean but yet they’re still protected. It’s a great little area that’s always been really popular because it is a little bit more confined, a little more contained and calmer.
So, you know most of the time you think beach resorts you think flat. Well, this resort actually has some changes in elevation and thanks to that there’s a Mexican restaurant with great views over Banderas Bay. Here, in between November and March you can dine and get a free show – watching the whales breaching in the in the bay! And I love that about the Pacific Coast – that we can enjoy what we are doing while whale watching! Plus, you have Nuevo Vallarta which is a big port where you would take any fishing or charter excursions is only about 15 minutes or so south of the property.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- TRS Turquesa / Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites / Grand Palladium Palace Resort: I’ve had the pleasure of being on property with a number of these different properties that they have Punta Cana and having seen them firsthand and really experiencing them I absolutely love what the brands can do and the feel you’re going to have. All of the amenities are all shared on the Grand Palladium side between the three hotels and of course the TRS guests can come over to the Grand Palladium side anytime they want to. Side Note: I think one of my most favorite things was when I went into the TRS in Punta Cana was and got a coconut with a straw right into. It was an extremely hot evening, and I was just like oh my God this is perfect! The property is situated on Bavaro Beach which is the number one beach in Punta Cana and is about 20 to 25 minutes from the airport – so it’s a short transfer time the resort itself.
Some key points here are:
- Great dining options – one of the restaurants on the TRS side is Cusco which is a hybrid Japanese-Peruvian cuisine – so if you’re looking for some kind of neat and different type of food options, they have it for you here!
- The rooms have different styles and really are fitting for couples and families alike. And the unique Loft Suite will give you separation between occupants.
- There’s a small casino on property too (Will joked nobody’s going to mistake it for Caesars Palace or anything) giving you an opportunity for an additional nightlife choice for you while you’re on property.
The TRS side has a great spa here and again TRS guests have access to hydrotherapy. However – one of the spa features which is pretty neat are the mudrooms that feature different muds imported from throughout the world. And here I must add that they claim to be really good for sunburn and I can vouch for that as my shoulders have gotten a little bit extra sun and those mud baths really helped take away a lot of heat from my body!
And – once again – the property is large enough that you are never going to feel cramped as there’s plenty of space for everyone – even when I’ve been down there when it’s been relatively full as it’s a very expansive ground.
I also want to point out one other thing in regard to special needs travel. At the Punta Cana properties they are certified by IBECC, which is special needs continuum. They do have the same certification as some of the other resorts too so if you have special needs children, they would be able to accommodate them in an accredited way in Punta Cana. So, for those of you guys with autistic children or a child on the spectrum you know that they’re going to be well taken care of which I absolutely love as most of you know my sister has downs. For me that’s a really important piece overall for all of the partners that I work with – to make sure she’s comfortable when I take her – and also for my guests who have these extra needs – we make sure we take care of them.
Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
- TRS Cap Cana: This property is closer to the airport as it’s about ten minutes in the other direction from TRS Turquesa making it ten minutes from the airport and great for a quick getaway!
This TRS property is kind of unique to Palladium. Most of the properties on the TRS side are between 350 and 500 rooms while this is only 115 rooms – so there’s a little bit more boutique-y feel to it. Plus, it is situated all by itself – which is also unique – as there’s no companion Grand Palladium property accompanying it. Fun Fact: Out of those 115 rooms 33 of them are swim out.
Now, if you want a destination wedding or maybe you’re planning a corporate retreat of sorts, this is a great property to actually do that with because it’s an easy buyout. So, if you’ve got enough people where you just want the space all to yourselves this is a great option. And – you still have the Chic Cabaret at the TRS Turquesa if you want to experience it. It’s about a 20-minute drive but they’ll take you back and forth. And the property itself is situated in the Cap Cana complex, which is a large, developed area giving you lots of other things that you can do that are in the right there.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Grand Palladium Jamaica / Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton: This particular property I’ve also had the pleasure of visiting and it was truly very zen and I never felt like anybody was on top of me – which I said about all of them, but it is what I love about these properties.
Will described it as kind of like a Mexican scale resort in Jamaica – because a lot of times in Jamaica the properties in Negril don’t have a lot of space to move around on. Grand Palladium is situated halfway between the Montego Bay airport and Negril. So about 30 to 35 minutes from the airport and you are by yourself with no neighbors – which means the amount of room they have on property is quite expansive. And stationed here you can do excursions in Negril or you can do excursions in Montego Bay pretty easily as both are relatively short transfer times.
One of the other things is that because it is a manmade beach it is a private beach – so you can relax on the beach and not be disturbed by anybody else who’s not guest of the resort. They actually have three beaches. There is the main beach, an adult only beach and an activity beach too where you can get out in a hobie cat or choose from other water sports.
The property itself has thousand rooms split between the Lady Hamilton side and the Grand Palladium Jamaica side but there is no adults only component here. However, the Lady Hamilton does have honeymoon villas available that are situated on “Honeymoon Point” – a secluded area of the resort. They also have an adult only pool and adult only beach so you can kind of get an adult only experience – you just may have to dine with children – but that’s about it.
The infinity pool here is amazing and it really makes it feel like the pool is going right into the beach. Fun Fact: It is one of the largest pools in the Caribbean. There is plenty here to occupy the kiddos as well, so they’re not going to be bored thanks to the kids’ clubs.
It also boasts of one of the most unique things I have seen at any resort – the opportunity to highlight your food allergies. It’s a great program for anybody who does have food allergies or needs to follow a special diet or anything along those lines. Thanks to color coded cards your servers are very aware of these types of things and I think that’s super important. How it works is that each color-coded card represents a different diet and as you go to your ala carte restaurant or the buffet you simply put it on your table. This way you do not have to explain what you can or cannot eat (as obviously in Jamaica there’s often a language barrier) – they’ll recognize the card and will automatically know. And if you don’t find anything on the menu that appeals to you then they’ll ask the chef to make something special for you. Needless to say, this has been very well received by their guests.
Gastronomy: They put a lot of emphasis on the food and beverage aspect and it’s really quite evident. The chefs they hire for the different cuisines actually represent from around the world and they are all trained in the location they are cooking for. So, if you’re going to the Italian restaurant that chef has been trained in Italy, etc. Plus – being a Spanish owed company they do have a European kind of flair and flavor to some of the dishes. And most of the resorts also have a Boogali Indian restaurant as well which is a great option for those who want to expand their palates.
The ala carte restaurants you may find at the property you visit include:
- El Dorado – Steakhouse
- Boogali – Indian Cuisine
- Sumptuori – Japanese Cuisine
- Portofino – Italian Cuisine
The properties also have restaurants where you can actually see and experience the cooking right in front of you making it like dinner and show. I think this is a great experience overall for everybody to enjoy and it’s not like what you would expect with the typical buffet at all at all-inclusives!
Safety: Palladium has put a variety of new restrictions in place – but Will assures us that you are still going to be able to have a great time! They have mainly changed things about the resorts to emphasize social distancing so it’s still going to be a fabulous experience – just slightly different than pre-COVID. And of course, all the staff will be masked but while you’re out in the open, outside areas there’s going to be no mask requirements for the guests. You’re going to be on vacation and you’re going to be able to relax in a safe environment thanks to these new protocols.
Updated COVID-19 Information: As each property resides in a different destination please check with the Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health in the destination you are interested in visiting for up-to-date entry requirements.
What do you think? I know there’s a lot of different brands – but you know that I can help you find the right fit to make sure that you are actually getting the perfect property for you! I’m really excited because I’ve been to these properties and there’s a lot of personal service that you guys will experience that I’ve experienced firsthand.
And Will assures us that they are there for you and they take the new reality seriously and will provide you a great vacation in a safe and secure environment. Palladium is all about turning guests in the fans and they are waiting for you! So, when you’re ready – they’re ready!
For more details on the fabulous Palladium Hotel Group, their price points and more – contact your Travel Guru! Oh, and if you need a payment plan to fund your travel adventure – we got those too!