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“Occidental Grand Disappointing” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Club at Occidental Grand Cozumel

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Royal Club at Occidental Grand Cozumel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Kilometro 17.5, Carretera Sur Cozumel, El Cedral | San Francisco Palancar, Cozumel 77600, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 58 hotels in Cozumel
Haslett, Michigan
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“Occidental Grand Disappointing”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

We stayed at the Royal Club from March 5-13. We usually stay at 3 star resorts, but we decided to try this “luxury” resort based on the reviews and a good early booking price. We were very disappointed. We booked last September and the reviews were very good then. However, the resort has apparently gone downhill since then. This is not a 4 or 5 star resort as advertised.

The main problem was the food, which was terrible except for the Royal Club restaurant. In fact, the food at the 3 star resorts that we have been at has been much better than this. I never saw a “manager” in the restaurants or anyone with a thermometer checking the temperature of the food on the buffet.
The breakfast buffet was just fair only because of the omelet station and the fresh fruit.

The lunch buffet was at the beach restaurant and was actually better than the dinner buffet, but selections were still very limited and the food was often not hot. There is no separate snack bar, so to get a snack you had to be seated in the restaurant and there were often long lines and a wait for an open table. The beach restaurant was closed until noon, apparently making it impossible to get to the bar in the restaurant which was supposed to open at 10:00 AM. However, if you walked past the ropes and chairs blocking the entrances, the bartenders would serve you and there were no lines.

Dinner at the buffet restaurant was terrible. Selections were limited, the food was often not hot, and the food was generally tasteless. The ice cream was the best feature. There were very few “Mexican” dishes and they were not good either. The “refried beans” looked like something that would come out of a can (with a lot of water added) here in the States. The salad bar was very limited.

There were only two specialty restaurants (steak house/Mexican combined and Italian), not three as advertised. The food was not good in either one and the service was slow. Seating was very limited and it was very hard to get reservations at a reasonable time. Reservations had to be made 3 to 4 days ahead. Ironically, there were often numerous open tables at these restaurants.

The one bright spot was the Royal Club restaurant. The food and service were both very good. Unfortunately, it was just as difficult to get reservations there. This restaurant is supposed to be only for Royal Club guests, but there were a number of guests from other buildings checking in while we were there.

The rooms at the Royal Club were very nice. They were large and clean with comfortable beds. There were nice additional touches at the Royal Club including: bath robes, free Wi-Fi, free computers for internet access, better linens and towels, premium toiletries, nightly turn down, fast check-in and check-out, concierge for only the Royal Club.

The staff was generally friendly and helpful. The maid service was good.

The grounds were very nice. The buildings were set in the native jungle with minimal disturbance of the native vegetation. This provided nice screening between the buildings.

The beach was nice but there were not enough palapas for shade or beach chairs. You needed to “claim” a palapa by 6:30 AM with towels on the chairs or you were out of luck. The palapas were also very crowded together. The snorkeling was so-so with no reef and little structure. There were a fair number of mostly immature fish and an occasional barracuda or ray. There were an unusually large number of loud, obnoxious, and drunk people, especially on the beach. The drinks at the beach bar were very strong (cheap liquor) and I suspect that this contributed to the problem.

One day a manager was walking the beach asking guests for their opinions. I gave her a quick overview (the good and bad) and said that the food at the buffet was terrible. Her response was: “Go to the specialty restaurants.” Not much of a customer oriented point of view.

I would not recommend this resort to anyone. Decent food is a critical part of a vacation at an AI resort.

Room Tip: The jungle view rooms were quieter
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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207 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • Spanish first
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English first
New Jersey
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Overall a very nice place. Great location, great beach, good facilities, good food and service. I should preface the review by saying it is spring break and the resort is full of families and couples. This put a lot of strain on the staff and the facilities.
First the good:
Really nice resort great location to dive sites. The beach is really nice with sand a good ways into the water. Snorkeling off the beach was surprisingly good. The quality of the food was good and fairly typical of other all inclusives we went to. The rooms are clean and modern and roomservice did a really good job. The bar service was by good and drinks were always available (no straws anywhere though). The food at the specialty restaurants was very good. Get the Mayan coffee at the royal club restaurant (la caretta) it's really good and a great show. If you like wine the house wine is drinkable but not great. They have a wine list (at extra cost) which is a good option.
The bad: because the resort was so full the staf was really stretched thin. You could get help if you asked but there was. Or much effort in looking to help you out. The other way to say it is the staff was reactive not proactive. There were long lines for drinks by the beach at times and in the lobby bar before dinner. Understandable though given the crowds.
Specialty restaurants were really hard to get into. You were always on the waiting list (which is really a nice no) if you weren't a pest you didn't get to eat at all of them. They need to create more capacity during busy times. The restaurant by the beach is. It used for dinner but it should be during busy times. Lines for drinks got really long during the day at the beach bar and at night before dinner. Maybe they could open another one or two. Drink service on the beach and around the pool is spotty they could use more people serving drinks. Tipping is no expected but greatly appreciated. A smile and a tip really improves service. The impossible becomes possible. My advice tip in advance of a request. For example we needed tables of 8 every night at dinner. This was impossible to get reservations for so we got two tables for 4. One person would go to the restaurant with a tip and ask to get the tables pushed together it was never a problem.
The ugly:
Beach chairs are are problem at the resort during busy times. The great chair grab starts before daybreak and ends about 6:46am. If you don't get up and claim your chairs you need to drag chairs from the pool area down to the beach. Forget about any shade. This is not unique to this resort but a fairer system is needed. Half the chairs are empty at any point in the day. The gym is in serious need of updating
The other ugly aspect is the little silvere garage can next to the toilets in the room. In order to save the ecosystem all paper is to be put in those cans, All Paper. One word... Gross. Here again a better plan is needed ( biodegradable paper, a better sanitary sewer system?).
The only other advice I have is that you need to be aware that when the north wind blows ( el Norte) the port closes and the waterfront shuts down ( boats, fishing, diving, snorkeling,etc) there is not much to do here that doesn't involve water.
Overall this is a nice family and couples resort. No wild stuff here. You will have a good time but try to avoid busy times of year if you can.

Room Tip: Spend the extra for a junior suite the other rooms are small with two queen beds
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blauvelt
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

This was my second trip to this resort as a Royal Club Memeber. This time the food was sub par and most of my meals were left un eatten. The lack of security allowed people to wander freely throughout the resort even into the PRIVATE Royal Club area. The only thing they were good at was over serving people alcohol. After lodging several complaints with security about a single repeat offednder guest (5 to be exact) , I was physically assualted and forced to defend myself. Security once again did nothing but take the highly intoxicated trouble maker to his room. I learned that evening that this trouble maker had incidents with several hotel guests. The very next day I was informed by management that there was nothing they could do, they were not removing the troublemaker from the resort, and they would not gaurentee my safety and I should stay away from him. Thats pretty hard when he seemed to show up where ever I was.
I could not beleive the lack of professionalism of the management staff. All I was told was we will take care of it over and over again. They informed me that the day manager was speaking to the trouble maker guest. Several minutes later I observed the drunk stumble out of the managers office , YES with a drink in his hand. I had no choice but to check out of the resort and move to another resort at an additional cost to me. Most likely I will NEVER return to this resort and certianly not recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, USA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

I was really disappointed for this trip. The level of service and food quality was horrible. I was amazed that everything had dropped to such a sub-par level. Complaints were giving to management and were fallen on deaf ears. It is sad this WAS my favorite spot in Cozumel.

Regarding the diving, well that did not go well either. The dive shop puts to many people on a single boat and accidents happen. As did when my tank and gear was bumped and fell over causing my regulator to get damaged…

Room Tip: I would go elsewhere at this point.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Granger, Indiana
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

This vacation was a spontaneous effort to escape the winter and the lake effect snow of northern Indiana. We had forgotten that we had stayed at the Occidental Grand's Royal Club about 5 years ago (and loved it), so we were delighted to realize that we could upgrade our accommodations to the Club when we arrived. The private dining room alone was more than worth the cost! The food was excellent and the service personal and efficient. Our server, Captain Rogelio, took special care of us and we loved the quiet, the variety on the menu, and the excellent wine. The place was top shelf in every respect.

We loved that there are no plastic bracelets! Our week of respite from the snow even made the wind and snow of Chicago seem not that bad and we enthusiastically recommend the Royal Club!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Laval, Quebec, Canada
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

My brother and his wife had attended a wedding last year at the Occidental Grand Cozumel and had only good things to say about the resort so when we planned a wintertime sun getaway, we decided to giving it a go; a wise decision on our part.

We opted for the Royal Club, having been told the extra cost was worthwhile and this was demonstrated immediately upon our arrival. While other guests on our shuttle were ushered to the front desk to check in, Joanne and I were escorted to the Royal Club without delay where we were greeted by Gabriela and invited to make ourselves comfortable in the sitting area of the RC lobby. First things first, we were offered a refreshment before getting down to check-in formalities and a minute later were served ice-cold cervesas with the mandatory lime wedges. Required paperwork was ready and completed in no time and, following an introduction to Nelly, the RC's manager, we were turned over to the bellhop who waited with our luggage. Long story short, easily less than ten minutes after getting off the shuttle, we were in our room and ready to proceed with some fun in the sun.

As we hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was 3pm, we asked where we might get a bite to eat and were directed to the RC private à la carte restaurant where we were quickly served our first fine meal in Cozumel. Thanks to Regelio, Adrian and the rest of the RC restaurant staff, more great meals followed be they breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Throughout the week, we also tried the other resort restaurants and were never disappointed but I must make a special mention of Arturo, who made our visit at the Sonora Grill the most pleasant dining experience of our stay. Arturo gets extra points for introducing us to Agavero, a fine tequila based liqueur which became our staple after-dinner drink.

But, enough about food and drink. What about the resort? No complaints from us, that's for sure. Housekeeping was timely and well done, towels and toiletries replenished and fridge restocked and every day brought a new and impressive towel sculpture waiting for us when we returned to our room. The room was comfortable, the king-size bed more so, the bathroom great with a huge shower and no shortage of hot water. The huge jacuzzi at the Royal Club was a great place to end the afternoon and about ten of us actually spend a couple of hours in there during a torrential downpour on the one day it rained.

The grounds of the resort were very well maintained as were the pools and beach and, compared to other resorts we've been to, we had no rowdy crowds to endure at any time during our stay. A truly wonderful place and highly recommended!

Room Tip: We had been told to request a room on the second floor as humidity seems to be less of a factor than...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Ontario
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2013

Well worth the upgrade to Royal Club. Excellent dinners in the Royal Club dining room. So nice to be able to order from a menu for all meals. We ate lunch most of the day's at the Beach Restaurant that had a great variety of foods and nice open atmosphere. Nelly and Staff were always available to answer any questions and accomodating. First class maid service. No rooms with Beach view as the trees are too high. Beach is very nice, busy by early afternoon but many lounge chairs. Grounds are always kept clean. Ask for late check out and it was not a problem. Nothing negative to say about the Royal Club or the resort as a whole.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Royal Club at Occidental Grand Cozumel

Address: Kilometro 17.5, Carretera Sur Cozumel, El Cedral | San Francisco Palancar, Cozumel 77600, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#7 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Club at Occidental Grand Cozumel 4*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Royal Club At Occidental Grand Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
Royal Hotel

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