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We were too late upon arrival to see our friends Irving at La Jarra, or Fernanda at the Sports Bar, so we made our way to La Terraza to see Alfredo. Big hugs were shared and we were happy that he was still at our favorite place for a drink after dinner. We had been up since 1:30 am so a quick dinner at the White Sand Buffet and we were back in our room for the night.
The next day we had breakfast at the Colonial Buffet (which is now my preference over White Sands, since the changes a few years ago). Everything was excellent, and we were off to the beach for the day. We prefer the Kantenah area of the beach, and love to take long beach walks north and south from there. Finally we got to see our friend Irving at La Jarra. He is always very busy and keeps La Jarra running smoothly, but always finds time to take good care of us. Irving is certainly one of the reasons we keep returning to GPRM. So sad to find Rodrigo has left La Jarra,and GP. He is certainly missed, however, we quickly found Victor to be excellent as well, and Yorgi (spelling?) the days that he was there. Elizabeth was also truly wonderful, and went above and beyond by cleaning our stainless steel straws without being asked. It was unexpected and delightful! The other workers cleaning the area and the TRS beach section are doing a great job as well. Everything always appeared exceptionally clean.
We cannot mention La Jarra, however, without voicing our dismay that Fernanda is no longer there. After visiting her at the Sports Bar, I can't help but feel that her exceptional people skills and winning personality are not being capitalized upon. She is one of the greatest assets at at GPRM. She is loved by everyone and really shouldn't be hidden away!
It is heartbreaking to see the beach erosion that has occurred. It is still one of the most beautiful beaches imaginable, but not what it used to be. We only had one day that was not windy, so we only snorkeled 1 time while there, and went straight out to the reef from La Jarra. Conditions were perfect and we saw a lot of beautiful fish. There is no problem with seaweed this year, which was quite nice, but never stopped us in the past from enjoying the beach or swimming in the ocean.
We found the resort to be quite busy this year, especially the TRS section. All too quickly, 8 days passed, and we were privileged to have Ruppert, the owner of NAST, promptly arrive at our departure time to drive us back to the airport. Sadly, due to the coronavirus, he said he was already experiencing cancellations. We have found Ruppert to be most reliable and honorable and hate to hear that his business was already affected. We wish him the best of luck!
In a nutshell, Grand Palladium Riviera Maya just cannot be beat. The wonderful staff, beautiful grounds, and excellent service keep us coming back. We love the size of the resort, and would feel cramped if it were smaller. It may not be for everyone, but it is certainly for the place for us!