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Play with Raggs the Dog at the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa

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Amidst a seaside stretch of Riviera Maya's green lushness is the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa, an oasis of pampering surrounded by untamed foliage in Mexico. Although monstrous in size, it blends into the natural world like a gecko—precisely where the hotel ends and the wilderness begins is sometimes ambiguous. The Grand Palladium has honed their kid-friendly resources, the star of which is their new program, Play at Palladium with Raggs.

Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa

View from the sky of Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa (Photo courtesy of Grand Palladium)

The hotel's 324 suites are scattered across a labyrinth of nine villas, connected to one another by wooden bridges, winding roads illuminated dimly in the evening, and walking paths. These extend from the hotel's giant main building, where multiple swimming pools and over a dozen restaurants are located, along with meeting rooms and a seemingly infinite bevy of bars. Wherever possible, walls are eschewed in favor of open-air, which simultaneously enhances relaxation and minimizes perspiration.

The Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa is all-inclusive, which means your nightly hotel fee covers every indulgence. Here a human being's instinctual drives to eat, drink, sleep, and love are handsomely satisfied.

Open air bliss at Grand Palladium Riviera

Open air bliss at Grand Palladium Riviera (Photo courtesy of Grand Palladium)

Play at Palladium with Raggs

Raggs has increased the fun factor for families at the Grand Palladium Riviera. For those unaware, Raggs is a children's television show about five rockin' dogs (Raggs, Razzles, Pido, B. Max, and Trilby) who spread their message of love through dance and song while embarking on adventures with an educational twist. First produced in Australia in 2006, the show has since caught fire internationally, now airing in India, South Africa, Bulgaria, Ireland, and across wide swaths of the United States. Spanish-language Telemundo licensed over a hundred episodes last year, and the marriage between Raggs and the Grand Palladium could open a slew of new doggie doors.

Raggs poolside show

Raggs gettin' busy poolside during a surprise Pop Up Show (Photo by Gabe Miller)

During my recent visit to the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa, I witnessed the Raggs clan flex their dynamism, applying their educational swagger to a pirate-themed show, and a Pido Surf Party in the resort's discotheque.

The Pirate Show ushered in a series of performances with the energy of an unchained Doberman. The Raggs dogs wagged their posteriors alongside dozens of spry dancers in glistening spandex, while kids in the audience sat in rapt attention. Sugary pop tunes like “Brain Attack” and “What's the Dealio”—while dubiously educational and not altogether thematically relevant—had killer hooks. Indeed, they kept the joyful mood afloat once the pirates stormed the stage, the rhythms so sultry even the marauders succumbed to dance.

With any luck, a Raggs Pop Up Show might just break out. These surprise performances by the dogs take place in various spots around the resort. I can personally vouch for the adrenaline rush that accompanies an unexpected Raggs show, especially when it's poolside and you know the dance moves.

A watermelon carving of Raggs the Dog

A watermelon carving of Raggs the Dog (Photo courtesy of Gabe Miller)

Raggs Breakfast

For a special treat, take the kids to the Raggs Breakfast, during which the dogs pose for photos with families between bites of canine-shaped pancakes. The El Gran Azul's massive buffet transforms into a psychedelic feast, with food sculpted to resemble the objects and characters from Raggs. Cauliflowers assembled into canine bodies stand ready for consumption, while dog-head pancakes with googly blueberry eyes stared up from wide trays. For the kids feasting it was whimsical delight, all the more enjoyable when the Raggs team began mugging for the camera with their fans.

Kids Club at the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa

Kids Club at the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa (Photo by Gabe Miller)

Kids Clubs

Whether your kid is a wobbling toddler or teen preparing for college, he or she can enjoy the TV, music, games, and snacks of home with like-minded vacationers in the Grand Palladium's popular kids clubs. Raggs just might swing by to entertain the kiddos here, too! The Baby Club caters to children ages 1-3, while “El Ranchito” Mini Club entertains kids 4-12, and the Black & White Junior's Club keeps teens ages 13-19 busy with video games, pool tables, table football and even dance parties.

The Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa at night

The Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa turns romantic come nightfall (Photo courtesy of Grand Palladium)

Nighttime at the Grand Palladium

When night falls at Grand Palladium, resort guests converge on the hotel's central grid of shops, romantic restaurants, and bars aplenty. Torches set the mood, while coconut oil and cologne set the scent. Parents seeking date night can book children for a night of fun at the kids camp and enjoy a quiet meal and drinks in the resort's lush setting.

Doggie disco at Pido's Surf Party

Doggie disco at Pido's Surf Party (Photo by Gabe Miller)

Families who are up for even more revelry with Raggs should head to the hotel's disco. That is where the Pido Surf Party gets underway with dancing dogs and a limbo contest for little ones.

Grand Palladium Riviera pool at night

One of Grand Palladium Riviera's many alluring pools (Photo courtesy of Grand Palladium)

With Raggs in their arsenal, the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa has become even more appealing to families. But Raggs is not the resort's only fun and enriching activity for kids—the beautiful ocean and natural environment surrounding the Grand Palladium are ripe for exploration, and the resort co-exists with the landscape admirably. In tandem with the array of entertainment available, this all-inclusive resort is sure to please families seeking together time under the warm Riviera Maya sun.

What would your kids like most about the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort—the pools, the beach or playing with Raggs the dog? Let us know in the comments below!

A Note from The Philosophical Travel Daddy: I was invited to the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa as part of a press trip. All opinions are mine, as always.

About Gabe Miller, The Philosophical Travel Daddy

Long before Gabe Miller was a Travel Daddy, he was a Travel Son. Growing up in Ann Arbor, Michigan during the early 1980s, he was exposed to the town’s intellectual, hippie aesthetic before becoming functionally bipedal. He had barely shed his lanugo by the time he began to travel, going on modest trips that were nonetheless profound. His wife is equally passionate about traveling, and together they’re sharing new adventures with their baby boy. From the day of their son’s birth, they’ve rejected the idea that having a child means staying indoors with the blinds drawn. They take him everywhere they go, and his smiles are proof that he’s perpetually prepared for adventure! Gabe and his family currently reside happily in the small rural town of Dundee, Michigan. Gabe has a B.A. in English and works as a middle school English teacher. Connect with Gabe on Twitter as @thetraveldaddy.

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