Hotel Review – Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort and Spa (Cancun)

20190411_1627026400770651798209787.jpgI stayed at the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa in April 2019 for one of my Travel Agent “Work Trips”
These work trips entail us flying to some beautiful beachy destination and checking out a ton of resorts so we in turn can sell them to potential clients. The Grand Palladium was chosen as our home resort (as in, the resort we stay at for the whole week while we check out other resorts during the day) so I really got to experience everything the resort had to offer.

20190410_2310047858946746647533418.jpgThe Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres is great for couples and families looking for a bigger resort with nice large pools and lots of options for places to eat.
They’re located in the gated community of Playa Mujeres (about a 30 minute drive away from Cancun Airport) so you’re not quite in the downtown Cancun Hotel/Party zone which is perfect if you’re wanting something a bit more secluded and you’re not too fussed on leaving your resort. Outside the resort, there’s not too much within walking distance apart from other hotels and a golf-course so it’s definitely a lot quieter than other parts of Cancun.

As the resort is quite big, they have electric buggies to take you to and from your room. I tended to walk everywhere as sometimes you had to wait a few minutes for a buggy to arrive and I couldn’t be bothered waiting. Everywhere is pretty flat anyways so if you’re in a wheelchair you shouldn’t have any problems. You may just need a push to get up and over some of the bridges. Speaking of the bridges, they have this man-made canal around the whole resort where you can catch a taxi boat to and from other parts of the resort which I thought was pretty cool! It took me until the very last day to finally catch one of the boats though as I was always out all day and one was never around when I was walking by.

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Rooms

We stayed in a Junior Suite, however there are also Loft Suites, Ambassador Suites, Swim-Up Suites and Family Suites. The spaces are modern and chic with warm woods and stylish furniture. Some rooms have a whirlpool tub whereas the Swim-Up Suites have direct access to the pool. As it’s quite a newer resort, you can enjoy all the mod-cons like flat-screen TV’s, iPhone docks, nespresso machines, Wi-Fi and fully stocked minibars. I loved the deep soaking tub we had which I’ve read are pretty standard throughout all the rooms. There’s also a separate walk in shower with a glass wall over-looking the bedroom (otherwise you can close a sliding door if you’d like some privacy)

*Junior Suite 
*Junior Suite – Swim – Up

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*Ambassador Suite
*Balcony of the Ambassador Suite
*Family Suite
*Family Selection Loft Suite

Spanning two floors, The Loft Suites have extra touches like wet bars, more seating space and an exclusive hot tub on the terrace. Ambassador Suites have separate living rooms, while Family Selection suites have extras like private check-in & check-out, a personalized minibar, a welcome kit for each child, a pillow menu for the adults and children, an exclusive zone on the beach and preferential reservations at all restaurants with breakfast, lunch and dinner à la carte.

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*The Family Section Pool Area

Things To Do
There’s a ton of things to do suited to everyone of all ages!
If you’ve got kids, there’s a great kid’s program with three different kid’s clubs (Baby Club, Mini Club and Junior Club) with lots of organised activities and areas like a painting room,  a room for video game consoles and an outdoor playground with trampoline.
Next to the main pool, there is also the children’s area with hammocks for parents and fun water playgrounds for the little ones. 

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If you’re a beach person, the resort has a lovely stretch of beach that is reached via wooden walkways. My friend and I had a walk along the beach when we were there however it was very very windy so we didn’t actually go in the water. I’m more of a pool person anyways so I enjoyed floating around in one of the three large pools the Palladium had.

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Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa - Piscina
Pool Area*

The hotel’s Zentropia Spa and Wellness center is massive at 4740 m2 and is dedicated to relaxation and well-being. The spa is shared with the neighboring TRS Coral Hotel but it never feels over-crowded. One thing I enjoyed was the hydrotherapy circuit, with a beautiful indoor/outdoor pool as well as hot tubs, saunas, steam baths, an ice cabin, and sensation showers – but access incurs a fee (unless guests have purchased spa treatments or are Palladium Travel Club members) If you’re after a massage or to get your nails done, they also have these services available.

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I’m quite the gym bunny myself (too bad my body doesn’t like to show that ;)) but there’s a large fitness center on-site equipped with state-of-the-art machines, plus you have the

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Rafa Nadal tennis center which is built up of eight illuminated clay tennis courts and a selection of classes, training, and tennis camps for kids and adults. I’d describe it like a Museum combined with a Tennis Centre as they also have a shop, and an exhibit of Nadal’s objects and garments. The court rental is free for guests however you have to book 24 hours in advance. They also offer individual premium training through private classes which go from 3- 6 days and cost around $100 a day. Or you can benefit from group programs, of no more than four players, with similar ages and levels to improve your tennis skills.20190411_0918414996720020239346404.jpg

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A major point of difference compared to other resorts in the area is their very own CHIC Cabaret & Restaurant. The show’s are on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights and are a combination of acrobatics, dancing, singing and choreography matched to a legendary soundtrack of classic 50’s rock all the way up to present day pop, with a touch of Latin rhythm. The show goes from 8:15pm-11pm and then turns into a nightclub afterwards until 1am. We got to enjoy this show for free, however there is a charge even if you’re staying at the resort. Totally worth it though! You get a 3-course meal included along with all the entertainment and drinks.  (Suitable for vegan and vegetarians, you just need to let them know which menu fits your lifestyle during the time of reservation.

Food

With 10 restaurants, 19 bars and their All-Inclusive Package you’re not going to go hungry here! I ate pretty much everywhere but at the Japanese Restaurant because it was closed. One night we even ate at the French Restaurant and then headed to the Thai restaurant afterwards so there’s definitely no restrictions on how much you can eat.

Bar options are impressive here. You won’t get budget watered down liquor and you don’t need to walk far for a drink. They have a pool bar (including a swim-up bar), a sports bar, and a beach club, plus there’s a coffee shop and a juice bar at the spa.

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Nice little welcome platter in our room

Final Thoughts
I loved the food options and the cabaret show was awesome! Having so many choices for dinner – I was totally in my element. In regards to the rooms, ours was always tidied daily and all the rooms I saw were beautifully laid out and up-to-date with the latest technology. The spa was a pure haven for relaxation and even though I didn’t get a treatment done, a friend got a massage and said it was lovely. All the staff were very pleasant that we talked to and nothing was too much trouble!
On the downside, I personally found the resort to be a little too big. I didn’t tend to want to go to the beach because I felt like the walk was a little too far, even having to meet up for dinner at night with the rest of the group, I just knew it was going to be a bit of a walk which isn’t ideal when you have heels on. The resort does however cater to this and they provide the golf buggies to take you everywhere. It’s just the waiting for them that I can’t be bothered doing haha!
If I could recommend any improvements, it would be for them to design a cocktail menu. I do like to drink when I’m on holiday (especially at an all-inclusive) however I am one of those people that are always stumped with what to order when it comes to ordering a drink! I like to look at a menu and choose a drink or just work my way through all the combinations to find my favorite one. When there’s no menu, I end up ordering the most basic cocktail because I can’t think of anything on the spot.
Another thing that was a slight bother were the restaurants weren’t open every night (may have been due to the time of year we went) so we missed out on a couple as they weren’t open.
If you’re after a large family-friendly resort or you’re a couple looking to flop, drop and relax- The Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres is for you! Even if you’re thinking of having a destination wedding, they have lots of space and even a church for you to get married in. This place would be perfect for groups as there’s so many rooms and so much space.

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*Pictures have been copied from the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Website and are my own personal pictures.

Hotel Review – Atelier Hotel – Playa Mujeres (All Inclusive)

This is a first-impression review of Atelier Hotel Playa Mujeres.
I personally have not stayed as a guest at this resort (as I visited in April 19′ and it was opening in May 19′) but I did attend a site visit and had the opportunity check out the whole resort.

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Lobby Area

Let me just say, from what i’ve seen, I know this all-inclusive Cancun resort is going to be a hit!

Let me tell you why….
The Atelier Hotel in Playa Mujeres focuses on Mexican contemporary art. When you walk around the resort, you’ll find everything is made by Mexican Artists. They even have a gallery with paintings up to $1,000,000!
The suites have beautiful designs, luxurious amenities and ample space. I found the look of the rooms very ‘in’ right now – kind of what you’d find in an Interior Design magazine with marble/wood accents and avant-garde style furniture.

Rooms

20190411_1146036380072939876741190.jpgAt the Atelier there are 421 Suites, however they are currently building another hotel next door called ‘EStudio’ which will bring the combined total of rooms at both resorts to 600.

The Atelier is focused on guests ages 16+ whereas Estudio is all ages. Anyone staying at  EStudio can visit The Atelier as long as they’re over 16 years of age.

Room categories are as below

  • JUNIOR SUITE – KING

  • JUNIOR SUITE – 2 DOUBLE
  • HANDICAP JUNIOR SUITE
  • JUNIOR SUITE OCEAN VIEW – KING

  • JUNIOR SUITE OCEAN VIEW – 2 DOUBLE
  • HANDICAP JUNIOR SUITE OCEAN VIEW

  • JUNIOR SUITE SWIM OUT – KING

  • JUNIOR SUITE SWIM OUT – 2 DOUBLE

  • ROOFTOP SUITE

The first room I got to view was one of the Junior Suites. All Junior Suites come with either a King Bed or Two Queen beds. Either room also has a Golf course view or an Ocean view. If you really want an Ocean View though, you’re best booking a guaranteed ‘Ocean View’ room so you’re not disappointed.
Another good thing about the Junior Suites (or any of the rooms for that matter) is that the hotel can guarantee you two Queen Beds or one King Bed. This is great if you’re traveling with friends and want separate beds or you’re traveling as a couple and you want a guaranteed King Bed to share.20190411_1148509171055764258835914.jpg

I feel my pictures don’t really do the room justice so I’ve shown a picture below of the Junior Suites off the Atelier Website.

As soon as I walked into the room, I could smell the woodsy scent mixed with a beautiful blend of aromatherapy – it really makes you feel like you’re on holiday as you’re instantly relaxed!
The rooms also come with a cute little beach bag to carry your towels in which is a nice touch.

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If you’re traveling as a family, the sofa in the Junior Suites can be converted into a bed. Or, if you’d prefer; you can always select a room with two queen beds. I actually prefer that option as I find it nice to have your couch available to sit on.

As part of the ATELIER Artist Service® Experience guests can enjoy the below in their rooms:

  • Total-Rest Beds®, to ensure a revitalizing and invigorating rest, complemented with pillow menu and top-quality bed sheets.
  • Chill-out Bath®, luxurious bathroom with two sinks and tub, rain shower with marble accents, Molton Brown® bath amenities, vanity mirrors and bath robes.
  • Bar with water and refreshing drinks, beers, tea and coffee, daily restocked.
  • 24-Hour Room Service Menu available during all stay.
  • Pool Concierge with towel assistance.
  • High-Speed Wi-fi throughout the resort.

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The next room I viewed was one of the Swim-Out suites.
(Again, you can choose if you want one King bed or two Queen beds)
The swim-out Suites feature a cozy working space like the normal Junior Suites however the rooms are slightly bigger at 1,097 sq ft and have a view of the Garden or the pool. You’ve also got your own semi-private swimming lane. A perfect option for guests seeking ultimate comfort.
Another thing to note is that all Ground-Level rooms are swim-out suites. If you have a disability and would prefer a lower level floor, the hotel unfortunately doesn’t have any standard junior suites but they do have elevators and handicap Junior Suites available which you can book.

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The third room I had a chance to view was definitely the best room at the hotel – The Rooftop Master Suite!
From here, you have the best views of the Ocean, Golf course and the Swimming Pool. This luxurious room has a spacious working station (if you like to do work on holiday 😉 ), a stunning Mexican decor, an indulgent signature bed, indoors stairs with access to a private rooftop terrace which also features a hot tub, shower, half bath and a pergola bed.

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Watch my short video below to see the views from the Rooftop Suite.

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Another point of difference that the Atelier has that I’ve never come across before is their Hotel App options. On the day of your arrival, you can check-in to your room and just pick up a resort bracelet from reception which has your room key attached OR you can open your room with your smart phone – no key card needed!
If you’re booked in a junior suite you can also choose the room that you want through the app. It basically gives you a list of the rooms available and their location and you can choose where you want to be the day of check-in, great if you like to be close to the pool or the restaurants.

Food

As I visited The Atelier before it had officially opened, not all the restaurants were completed. I also didn’t get to try the food 😦 but I’m absolutely dying to go back because if it’s anything like the rest of the property I’m sure it’ll be fantastic!
There’s 8 Restaurants and 8 Bars available. All food and drinks are included apart from the Mexican Specialty Restaurant which is an extra cost.

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EL SUSPIRO
Restaurant featuring a mesmerizing ocean view. During breakfast time serves a great assortment of international dishes, and seafood with a Peruvian touch is part of the main course for lunch.
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International buffet during breakfast.
 Seafood a la carte during the afternoon.
 Breakfast 6:30 am to 11:00 pm | Lunch 11:30 am to 5:00 pm.
 Dress code: Casual
 Reservation not required

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TAKESHI
Contemporary Asian cuisine.
 A la Carte.
 6:00 pm to 11:30 pm.
 Dress code: Relaxed chic.
 Reservation is required.

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Authentic Italian cuisine.
 A la Carte.
 Lunch 11:30 am to 5:00 pm | Dinner 6:00 pm to 11:30 pm.
 Dress code: Relaxed chic.
 Reservation not required.

Golf

The golf course is approximately three minutes away from the hotel lobby and if you’ve reserved an INSPIRA Suite category you get extra amenities such as eight complimentary green fees and unlimited use of practice holes on game day. (The number of complimentary rounds of golf vary depending on the room category reserved and apply for stays of 5 nights or more)

Pool/Beach

The pool here is really spacious, plus I loved how the Pool was super close to the beach!
I’m more of a pool person whereas my boyfriend loves the beach so I could totally see us staying here in the future and switching it up between each area without having to walk miles.
And of course, no good resort isn’t complete without a swim-up bar!

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Yay! Pool food. I hate being at the pool and then having to pack up all my stuff just to go and get food.

Conclusion

Rooms, Staff & Layout I really couldn’t fault. Restaurants were not up and running when I visited but the reviews I’ve read online since it’s opened are outstanding.
If you enjoy a massive resort where you travel everywhere by golf cart or want a crazy party time in Cancun than this resort probably isn’t for you. I would defintaly say the vibe is more intimate, focused mainly on Couples, Friends, Honeymooners, Wedding Groups and families with older children.

If you have stayed here since I wrote this post, let me know what you thought of it in the comments. As I’m a travel agent I’m always looking for feedback on the properties I sell.  I’ll try and update this with reviews when I can!

 

Hotel Review – The Langham (Auckland)

Stayed: July 2017 (2 nights)
Room:
Deluxe Room
Overall Rating:
 9/10
Price Range: $$$$ from NZD$199 – $1534 a night

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My lovely boyfriend and I spent two wonderful nights at The Langham Hotel, Auckland in July this year. (Very very late review I know) I’ll start this post off by saying it was definitely one of the best stays I’ve had at any of the hotels I’ve been to in my life!

This time I wasn’t in Auckland for work, more of a weekend away with N where we didn’t really have any plans but to relax, chill out and do a bit of shopping.
I chose The Langham Hotel as I got a good rate through work and they had the well-known Eight Restaurant at the hotel. (A restaurant with eight cuisines and unlimited dining!) which N had been wanting to go to for awhile.

Arriving at The Langham around 7pm, we were amazed at how big and beautiful the lobby was. The smells of ginger flower, rose and jasmine hit you as soon as you entered the room and the grand chandelier hanging from the lobby ceiling really showed how grand the hotel was.
At check-in, we were upgraded from their lead-in Superior Room to a Deluxe Room which was nice of them to do. I personally don’t think there’s too much of a difference between the rooms apart from being higher up in the hotel (better views) and the bed being a bit bigger but we were very thankful for the upgrade.

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There are 411 guest rooms throughout the 10 levels of the hotel which aren’t overly large but definitely enough room for two people! The Langham is a very classic hotel, all beautifully furnished with dark wooden furniture, large king or twin beds and big windows with views of the city. The room we stayed in had everything we needed and more. They also had Executive Rooms and Suites which you can stay in which are so much more luxurious and spacious than your usual rooms if you desire.

I Loved:

  • The turn-down service they provided every night. They closed the black-out curtains to ensure a well rested sleep, folded back the covers and placed a Whittakers Chocolate bar on each side of the bed for us. Such a nice touch!
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  • The bed – it was comfortable and so big I didn’t even feel like I was sleeping next to anyone!
  • The toiletries – they didn’t have your typical small hotel sized shampoos and body wash, they provided decent sized Body wash, Body scrub, Shampoo, Conditioner and Body milk in the bathroom for guests to use which were from the hotels own Chau Spa. Not to mention the amenity box in the bathroom was full of goodies from your usual sewing kit to a toothbrush, shaver and shower cap.
  • The staff!
    This was probably why I enjoyed my stay so much. I always recognize good customer service when I stay anywhere (or eat anywhere for that matter) and I have to say that The Langham Hotel has some of the best staff I have ever come across. Everyone from the valet workers who greeted us when we arrived and offered us an umbrella when it was raining, to the waiters in the restaurant who remembered our faces and asked us about the rugby game they knew we were watching.
    I had enquired about seeing some of the other rooms or suites during our stay to one of the Front Desk staff who ensured if I came back the next day they could try and do something for me. The next day, the gentleman I talked to the night before about seeing the rooms, he hadn’t even started his shift yet but still came up to us to make sure we’d checked out some of the rooms and we’d been taken care of. I just felt everyone went out of their way to make sure we were happy with our stay and we had no problems whatsoever with anything.

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Hotel Facilities:

  • The Langham Club – When you stay in one of the Executive Rooms or Suites you automatically get to enjoy the facilities of The Langham Club. These include fruit and mineral water delivered to your room daily, complimentary pre-dinner drinks and canapés served in The Langham Club Lounge, a butler available for packing, unpacking, shoeshine and the pressing of three garments and not to mention a large breakfast selection for your hunger every morning of your stay.
  • Chuan Spa – With an extensive treatment menu, Chuan Spa is the ultimate in relaxation. From massages to facials, the professional therapists offer it all. 
  • Jacuzzi & Outdoor Pool – As part of the Chuan Spa, hotel guests are allowed to use the outdoor jacuzzi and heated pool as they please. It was raining when we where there but we still enjoyed relaxing in the large Jacuzzi outside. 
  • Gym – As everyone knows, I love a hotel with a good gym. I didn’t get to use the one at The Langham, however I did have a quick peep and it was spacious, modern and everything seemed clean which is a big plus for me!
  • Event Rooms – According to their website, they will help you with small cocktail parties to large corporate dinners and everything in between!

Dining:

Now this was a massive highlight for us. The breakfast was an all-you-can-eat buffet served daily which N and I definitely took advantage of. We even set our alarm so we wouldn’t sleep in and miss out! They had everything from bagels, cereals, toast, croissants, muffins, fruit, waffles, pancakes, yoghurt and an Omelette station where they had someone making omelettes. I haven’t even covered half of what they were offering so hopefully my pictures will show the yummiest of it all!

Dinner was even better, the Eight Restaurant is based on having Eight Cuisines from Asian to Western food and it’s again, an all-you-can-eat buffet. They have a chef at each station cooking up the most delicious meals.

At the Pasta station, you choose your own pasta and what you sauce you’d like and they make it right in front of you. You can select your own seafood and have it arranged into whatever you’d like at the Seafood station. If you love your meat, there’s about 8 different meat selections you can choose from and have cooked to your liking in front of you. They have Beef, Chicken, Venison, Kangaroo and even Alpaca! Personally I stuck with the Chicken.

20170701_213835Once you’ve enjoyed dinner, there’s all these desserts available for you to eat! I’m not gonna lie, I think I sampled everything. I started off with sticky date pudding and apple cinnamon crumble and finished off with cheesecake, salted caramel mousse tarts and macaroons.

20170701_213813The restaurant costs $119 per person, so it’s definitely a lot more than your usual dinner date however it’s quite the experience! It’s also open to the public for Lunch and the Dinner so if you’re staying at the hotel make sure you book Breakfast with your stay and organise a night to enjoy the dinner so you don’t miss out!

Overall I had a wonderful time. As I now work in the travel industry, I always recommend it to clients of mine that are staying for a couple of nights in Auckland. It isn’t super close to the airport (about a 45 minute drive away) so if you’re just stopping in Auckland for a night it’s probably a little too far to travel as a quick stay. 

I know they’re currently doing a renovation of the hotel to make it more ‘modern’. Personally I like it how it is but while we were there we got to have a glimpse of a mock – up room. To describe it in a few words “fresh, white, clean and classic” is what springs to mind with and “touch of glamour”.