On the first morning of our stay, a ray of sunshine filters into our spacious beachfront Family Selection accommodations at the expansive Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa in Mexico, setting the stage for a long weekend of family-friendly delights.
And those delights come in many forms at this resort that’s spread out across a sprawling beachfront—families can spend hours by one of the many pools, explore the complex via a boat ride, go dining-hopping, or build fantastical sand castles along the picturesque shoreline. How families choose to entertain themselves is up to them, but the point is that they have a dizzying array of choices at this resort, located only a short drive from bustling Cancun…although a world apart.
The tucked away Family Selection accommodations are a designated area for VIP families that’s located in a single building within the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort & Spa complex, which is also home to the main Grand Palladium resort and the adults-only TRS Coral Hotel (more on this resort’s offerings in the Mexico feature on page 14). Families booked into the Family Selection accommodations, made up of 80 guestrooms, including thirty 2-story Loft Suites and six Oceanfront Jr. Suites, arrive at the Grand Palladium complex’s beautiful outdoor lounge area, decorated with whimsical structures and with stunning views of the grand (no pun intended) resort, and are quickly whisked away to their home by the ocean. They are welcomed into a Family Selection-specific lounge, with colorful children’s play areas and kid-friendly movies playing all day and night. Once checked in, they are introduced to their Family Host, who escorts them to their rooms, gives them the 4-1-1 on the gorgeous guestrooms, and are there to make every one of their wishes come true. It’s at this point where parents can start asking away—requesting priority reservations at onsite restaurants (those at TRS Coral are adults-only, by the way), asking about the available watersports excursions and getting details on the amenities that are exclusive to the Family Selection accommodation category.
Those exclusive amenities? There are plenty, such as “milk and chocolate” turndown service; mini bathrobes and slippers; 24-hour room service; video game zones; cooking classes for kids; unpacking and packing services; a Family Selection pool with waiter service; and The Nest, an a la carte restaurant open for breakfast (overflowing with yummy treats) and dinner (ideal if families want a quiet family dinner not too far away from their guestrooms).
Surprises for kids booked into the Family Selection category abound, including Palladium’s playful mascot, Raggs, showing up poolside in the afternoons, or when it’s a rainy afternoon, board games magically appearing in the family lounge. Even teenagers are sprinkled with sparkly fun—during our visit, my 13-year-old daughter had a prepared bubble bath waiting for her upon our return from a full-day excursion offsite, with the bathroom spilling over with gold-colored balloons.
“Resorts have to keep guests of every age in mind when planning amenities,” says Pilar Arizmendi-Stewart, v.p. of sales and marketing, the Americas, for the Palladium Hotel Group, “and curate experiences that are appealing to parents and children alike.”
- What We Love
The Village—Home to many of the resort’s restaurants, including two of our favorites, The Village is the hub of activity come nighttime, with many adults flocking to the shimmery CHIC Cabaret and Restaurant. If your clients don’t opt for this adults-only experience, two of our favorite restaurants are the Italian eatery Portofino, where the chef prepared a custom-made dish for my daughter since she wanted something not listed on the menu; and Sumptuori—our Family Host surprised us and booked us two spots at a teppanyaki table where we watched our chef prepare all our dishes in animated style.
- Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness Center—Adults booked into the Family Selection accommodations receive complimentary admission to the hydrotherapy area of the spa. This is a MUST for the grown-ups in the family—it’s one hour (or more, if they wish) away from the kids, and includes quite a few hydrotherapy stations, including an ice room, a salt room, and an ice-cold plunge pool (sitting back and watching people dip their toe in is entertainment enough).
- Piacere—We adore this coffee shop located in The Village. The decor is adorable, the space spacious, but intimate, and the pastries…you can’t order just one. It’s a great hangout spot afternoon or evening.
- Explore the complex—Best way to do that is by hopping on one of the boats that sails along the resort’s canal system.
- Clubs—When kids and teens want to act their respective ages, they can take a detour over to the charming and cool spaces created just for them.
- Exploring Offsite
To visit this region of Mexico and not explore a Mayan ruin is practically a sin. Recommend clients book an excursion with the hotel’s onsite Destination Services. Our excursion of choice was the Chichen Itza tour, one of the country’s most impressive archaeological sites, and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The day-long excursion also includes a visit to the colonial city of Valladolid to view the town’s 16th century cathedral, as well as a Mayan village, where participants can jump into a 60-ft.-deep, sunlit cenote, located deep underground and buzzing with bats (a thrill for kids!). Swimsuits are encouraged
and buffet lunch is included at the Mayan village.
What’s In it For Travel Advisors
Palladium Hotel Group has created the Palladium Connect program specifically for its travel partners, allowing them to enjoy exclusive rewards such as special bookings and hotel stays at the group’s properties. At the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, agent rates are: $65 (main resort); $80 (Family Selection and TRS Coral). All you need to do to access those rates is register in Palladium Connect (palladiumconnect.com), complete the Palladium Academy Training Program, and make reservations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Palladium Hotel Group: palladiumhotelgroup.com