Just got back from this resort a week ago. We were a bit afraid to stay her because of the mixed reviews, but we took the chance because we are both really laid back travelers with easy travel expectations. Our experience has been if you pay a Honda price, you're going to get a nice new reliable car, but you'll never be getting a luxury car like a Mercedes. Occidental Grand is not a luxury resort, you don't pay near the price you do for the newer luxury resort, so don't expect to get that kind of service. Also, you are outside of your country- people won't always speak your native language very well or at all. There are people from other countries traveling there as well. If you are uncomfortable with that- don't leave your country. We never had a problem communicating, but we also made sure to meet people half way and do our best to communicate in their native language. We loved the diversity of all the guests at the resort, met many people from all over the world! It was lovely!
We did have an overall wonderful experience!
Things we liked:
-Check-in was easy- even though we were early, they held our bags and gave us our wristbands so we could go eat.
-The main buffet in the lobby was our favorite, we ate there for almost every breakfast and lunch and one of the nights for dinner.
-Our building concierge, Toni, was wonderful. So sweet and got us set up with our dinner reservations for the entire week.
-The Oriental and the Mexican restaurants were the best of the 4, in our opinion.
-Even though we each have very different diet needs, we always found options that worked for both of us.
-They were very accommodating: We had the "romantic" package, so we had a private lobster dinner on the beach planned. It poured that night, so they moved us to their VIP Royal Club restaurant instead, and went out of their way to make up for being rained out. Guest Services was very helpful.
- The beach was beautiful, but windy so we stayed at the pool. The whole resort had beautiful grounds that were well kept.
Things that were “ok”:
-The Beach Club buffet, it was a small buffet so the variety could have been larger, but we each found enough to eat, and we enjoyed petting and playing with the few stray kittens that were wandering around.
- Rooms were outdated, but not bad. Clean, comfortable and bug free. Big vaulted ceiling, large and quiet balcony. We had an older flat-screen tv, not a tube tv as it seems a lot of other people reviewed they did. The fan and air conditioning worked fine and were not silent, but not super loud. Refrigerator was always stocked and our housekeeper was great at letting us have extra coffee and water if we needed. Towels were good quality and our bathroom was clean and dry. Not much to complain about. Coffee pot broke, they replaced it right away. Bed was a bit too hard. We were on the top floor in building 11.
-The safe was worth the money, we just wish it was included in the room instead of an option.
Things we didn’t like:
-We found the steakhouse skippable, and wouldn't go back.
-Don't buy the romantic package at the resort- it was a nice add-on but not worth the resort price. We were only happy with it because we booked it for only a few dollars more than our original booking price.
-The sales hassel. We expected that we were going to get thrown a few sales pitches. Unless you are looking for a chance to join a travel club, the free breakfast to sit through the Royal Club orientation is not worth it. Also, book any off-site activities/tours online before you leave. You will still get hassled by sales people every day, but at least you can say no thank you. Don’t buy souvenirs at the on-site gift shops or vendor market that comes in and sets up. Unless you are not leaving the resort or you forgot a last minute gift. The prices are not worth it, and the quality is not authentic.
Up for a bit of adventure? Walk just off property and grab a drink at Steve's Bar. There are also authentic cafes and shops.
Take a motorcycle taxi to Don Lucas or Lucas Meester if you want cigars, the ones sold on the beach or around the resort are fake or low quality.
No elevators in the buildings, so be aware of the floor you are on. We loved being on the 3rd floor...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.