This was my second trip to this resort and the first for my 2 girlfriends. They trusted me to decide on our destination. They were very happy with my choice. The beach is as always just amazing, weather was beautiful, & staff were friendly and welcoming.
We booked through Air Transat and had the Preferred Club. Our stay was from Jan. 7-14, 2014.
The room we shared in building 26 was much more dated than the one I had in building 10 back in Feb 2012, however it met our needs and we are not as fussy as some. ;) Our housekeeper ROSITA was fabulous. She must have thought we were slobs, 3 women can really trash a room with all our stuff! She was always very friendly and our room was always spotless when she was done.
The restaurants were very good and we liked the variety of dishes available at the buffets. A la Carte's were very very good as well. I would have loved to see a Seafood Restaurant added though. All the staff we had wait on us were very happy and personable. We loved the interaction we had with the staff.
I actually recognized 2 of my favourite bartenders from 2012 in the Lobby bar. I was very happy to see ONY and EMILIO! Love love love these guys!!! Also want to mention FIODALIZA who also worked at the Lobby bar. She was also awesome. Always great smiles, great service and great drinks.
Our Beach Bar bartender who deserves recognition is FRANKLIN. He was so fun, always smiling, and you can really tell he loves his job and enjoys meeting new people. He makes awesome drinks and we loved his Mojitos and the Franklin Special. He really was a joy to see every day, and we missed him terribly on his days off.
One excursion we booked this week through the SeaPro Dive shop was the "Booze Cruise" booked with "L.A". We spent 3 hours on a party boat, went snorkeling, and met other party boats at a private sand bar. It was the best party!!! We really had the best time! We highly recommend it! That said, a word of warning! LA was overly friendly and several times over the week attempted to get us to go off resort with him. We did not go, and are suspicious of any staff who would target vacationers in this way. After returning home and doing some research we found that he has done this before and there have been complaints of women being exploited for money.
Over all though, the good staff are truly what makes this resort an enjoyable stay, but this review would be too long winded to read if I named everyone. Rest assured they have many excellent staff members, from the entertainment crew to the grounds crew etc. I will only mention a few more names we really appreciated this past week as they deserve mentioning. Towel boy JOSH, Beach Security ISAIAS and of course our Concierge VICTOR. They are also friendly professional staff that the Occidental should be proud to have.
Now for my critisism....No the review couldn't possibly be all good, and it isn't. There are a few things that I feel needs to be addressed by the management if they wish to keep their faithful return vacationers.
1) One of the things I feel they need to offer their guests is FREE WIFI!!! I cannot stress to you enough the importance of this. Most vacationers demand it and I guarantee that your competition is offering it. To add insult to injury what you charge for your wifi is rediculous! $60 per week.....oh hell no.... Suck it up Occidental! Treat your guests to wifi. It will be much appreciated and will encourage new and repeat customers.
2) News flash...we shouldn't have to pay for a safe! That is a required part of our paid for accommodation. Cut the crap. Include the safe without extra charge.
3) The vendors the Occidental allows to set up inside the hotel's grounds are annoying and aggressive. I did not appreciate being harrassed every time we had to "walk the gauntlet" between the Lobby and the Stage.
4) The last complaint I have is regarding MANGU CLUB. I realize this is separate from the hotel but it is one the the reasons why people like myself chose to come to Occidental. I don't know who took over, who is managing, or who is making the changes to the club but STOP IT!!! They have ruined it for vacationers who remember what MANGU was like 2 years ago, when they had the best Electronica/House music, awesome DJ's, dancers, etc. Now they only play endless Latino House. Its not the same! Give the people what they want or they will stop coming and find somewhere else....and it seems that they already have, as the club was nearly empty when I did go and people who showed up didn't stay. 2 years ago it was packed every night and I didn't leave until at least 4am...it was that good! After seeing what they have done to the place now, I was very very disappointed!
In the end I would come back if only for the nice staff, good food, and beautiful beach. But not having the hopping dance club might deter me from returning, I have to be honest.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.