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“Grand Xcaret” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Occidental Grand Xcaret & Royal Club

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Occidental Grand Xcaret & Royal Club
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km. 282, #307 | Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #92 of 201 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Chino, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Grand Xcaret”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

We traveled from 11/13 thru 11/17 and stayed at the Royal Club, this is our third time visiting. On prior visits we stayed in hotel units. The Hotel is large and doesn't have a beach, but it has a nice lagoon with a bar and restaurant. The grounds are kept clean. They have transportation from the lobby to the beach, First Club and back. On our three stays at Xcaret we have never encountered any problem with the rooms or service. We would stay here again.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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7,114 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,550)
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English first
Great Malvern, United Kingdom
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

Unfortunately our stay at the Grand Xcaret was marred by persistent wet weather. More about that later but from the beginning and check in, we were exhausted after a long flight and check in did not seem too clever, Top tip, make sure you know where your room is before you leave reception especially if you arrive when it is dark. We wandered around lost for a while, this was down to fatigue and poor directions. If you are prone to insect bites and react badly to them this is not the place for you, we took all the normal precautions but still got bitten. Back to the wet weather, the hotel is designed for good weather so when it does rain, and it did heavily, it struggles with a Plan B. Some of the main public areas, the Lobby bar for example, leak badly. People were sat in the lobby bar under umbrellas ! Be aware that if you have noisy neighbours you will hear them, we had American neighbours and did hear them ! The rooms are designed with locked adjoining doors. The best thing about the hotel is the staff, they are without exception polite and friendly. Any requests we made were met quickly and in a no problem way. Food was good and the different restaurants you can visit give good variety.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

First of all, I hope this review helps others who may be getting misled by many other reviews on the hotel, particularly on the food part. First of all the people on this side of the country are magnificent. Friendly, happy, always smiling. I would know, I'm mexican and there is more to Mexico than just the beach. Everyone who treated us was nice and polite, even the staff part that is clearly not from Mexico and are more part of the sales team for the Time Share (expats from NA, Europe, etc.). Staying on this topic, when you go to Mexico, you should expect to be treated and experience your stay based on the local language and local customs, not the other way around. Which brings me to the food part. The food was great. So why do people complain on other reviews that the food is either bad or just OK? Maybe it has to do with what I observed at the buffet during my stay. I mainly went for breakfast and I payed close attention to what people were putting on their plates. Eggs or omelette (with nothing on them), bread with butter/jam, breakfast sausages, bacon, fruit with yoghurt, hash browns, orange juice......... my point? everyone was going for the things they're probably used to eating at home or local breakfast shack and nobody was going for the other very good REGIONAL and MEXICAN options available there. Nopales, Chilaquiles, Eggs with chorizo, papaya with salt and lemon (or what many call lime), etc. I had them all and they were great. The Watermelon or Melon water or green juice was far better than the orange juice and I'm sure many would discover something quite pleasant if they spread cajeta instead of peanut butter or nutella on their toasts. So people going to Mexico (or any country) and eating the same thing they eat at home and expecting it to be spectacular probably need to rethink a little. It's like me going to Japan and expecting to get Pozole at my hotel restaurant or buffet. Even if i did, chances are it's not gonna be great. So what do I do? I grab a bowl of white rice, a bit of natto with mustard, soy and a raw quail egg, some donburi, miso shiro...... I eat LOCAL food. So when you go to Mexico, you should at least make an effort to enjoy the great things and tastes that the country has to offer and not expect the country to adapt to whatever your personal tastes or habits are. Same goes for the language. Even if the staff speaks english for the most part, a little bit of effort on your part to communicate in the local language and bring a smile to those who are servicing you will go a long way in having them servicing you even better and making you happy. Actually, my only complaint about the food is precisely this, too many options available that try to fit the needs of those not willing to experience the local flavours and options. The specialty restaurants I went to (Mexican / Mediterranean / Seafood) were all great (not exceptional but great) and the staff was fantastic in all of them.

Back to the hotel part. The hotel area is big and yes, you can get lost. If you like walking and have nothing that prevents you from doing it, you'll love it and you'll get used to it in no time. There's lots of wildlife and things to be seen, including ruins. If you like walking but can't do it for health or other reasons, there's a shuttle that goes by every 10 to 15 mins so getting around should not be a problem for you either. If you're the lazy complainter that wants to take 2 steps to get to the pool or beach and cares about nothing else but lying there all day, you're probably not in the right place.

The room was nice (I got the basic one with 2 beds) and served its purpose. A good night's sleep and things to keep me entertained when I was in there (fridge stocked up, TV, reading material). The shower and bathrooms were very nice and clean. I love the fact that you need to insert your card at a slot next to the entrance to light the room up. Environmentally friendly by saving unnecessary waste of electricity.

The beach is man made and for those expecting the open greatness of the caribbean sea and atlantic ocean, you may be dissapointed. But the water in there is clear and nice and plenty of fish come from the sea so snorkeling can be done and is a nice experience. Entertainment was OK and that's all I'll say because I'm not fond of any type of hotel entertainment for tourists.

Drinks were also OK and the staff behind the bar were also very nice. Again, for those complaining about the drinks, if you're expecting unlimited Single malt Scotch, Courvoisier XO, the best Añejo Tequila/Mezcal and/or Dom Perignon, you're definitely not in the right place and not paying the right price.

The only complaint I would have is the staff trying to sell the Time Share. I didn't fall for it because fortunately the reviews I read led me to be cautious but not everyone comes prepared and falls victim to the whole sales pitch and all that. Yet, when I politely declined, I was left alone.

Overall, I recommend this place to anyone that actually takes the time to learn about the hotel, the region, the food, the language and the learning experience that it will provide to you. Not to mention you're right next to Xcaret, you can walk there, don't even need to take a cab.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

The resort is beautiful but it is very large, with winding paths that aren't well signed. It's also pretty dark at night which led to us getting lost. At one point we were pretty sure that we had wandered into Belize. I would like to say that this only happened once. I would be lying.

Our original room overlooked the noisy pool. I learned an important lesson: We should not stay at a resort that has a pool with a swim-up bar. It sounds fun and I'm sure it is. But it seems to bring out the worst behavior in some folks. Unfortunately that behavior is LOUD. We asked at the front desk if we could move to a quieter part of the resort. They were very friendly but said that they were overbooked due to several weddings so would we be willing to be moved to the Blue Bay Grand Esmerelda for one night?

We thought that it would be great to get to stay at a second resort during our trip, especially one with a nice beach. It turned out to be a bit more of a hassle than we anticipated but the Occidental promised us various perks on our return as their way of thanking us for giving up our room for a night. None of the perks came through, like a nicer room. We were placed right back by the noisy pool again.

We accidently discovered a way to avoid the high pressure time share come-on from our building's concierge: Do not enter or leave the building as a couple. They need both of you to sign on. Also, remember that you do not have to stop and talk. Really, it's okay to smile, say hello and keep walking even if they continue to talk. After you've said, "Thanks but we're not interested" you have no moral obligation to chat with this person. Just say, "Have a nice day" and keep moving. Do not answer your room phone. No one is calling you from home. The front desk is not calling to upgrade you to the Royal Club. And do NOT respond to the piece of paper they slip under your door inviting you to come and pick up your "welcome gift". It's a trap!

This resort is a really lovely place and the rates are always very reasonable. We probably won't go back because we're big beach people. But I'll always look back fondly on eating breakfast each morning on the deck overlooking the lagoon. It was like dining on top of an aquarium... just breathtakingly beautiful. If only we could find our way back to our room.

Room Tip: Beg, plead and bribe to get a room away from the activities pool. It is crazy loud.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 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.
Syracuse, New York
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

I am a seasoned traveler to all-inclusive resorts, but I usually take negative reviews with a grain of salt. This was a last minute low budget holiday, so I guess you get what you pay for. I traveled last week to this resort with my daughter. We arrived around 7 pm, there was no line to check in and we were immediately informed that the hotel was overbooked and we would need to be shuttled to another resort for a few days at no extra charge. We flat out refused to be taken to another resort and not another word was said about it.
We paid extra for a junior suite and we found it to be quite nice, clean and accomodating. Our bags were delivered quickly to our room. There was a bottle of champagne chilling with two glasses on the table, we immediately opened it to find that it was entirely flat!! It had a nice large bathroom, large closets with shelves and a safe. What we did not have for the rainy weather, which everyone else seemed to, was an umbrella. It took us 4 days and 5 phone calls before we ever got one. Also, half the time we had no coffee for making morning coffee in the in room coffee maker and no glasses, as they would take them and never replace them. Same with our hand towels. We were always calling the front desk and leaving the maid a note, along with occasionally tips, which didn't seem to make any difference. The one nice thing that we did have, was no pressure from the time share representatives, due to the fact that we were mother and daughter! That was really nice, as I was worried about that.
All of the buffet restaurants were a joke. Most of the food was unrecognizable, along with no real variety, same thing all the time most nights. The pasta station was really bad, there was never any chicken to be had anywhere on the resort, most days there were no bananas, the desserts were tasteless. The service was horrible, no coffee cups, couldn't even get a glass of water most times without getting up and asking for one. The waiters just didn't seem to care, tipping did not even help. There was always a bad smell when entering the main buffet, and I noticed on two occasions that the highchairs were filthy!
We went to three ala carte restaurants, the Italian had a great salad bar, but the main entrees were entirely full of salt, that was all you could taste, our waiter, Domingo, was excellent! On Wednesday, during the worse weather, like a tropical storm, we went to the Seafood restaurant, it was blowing and raining sideways, they had to move our table into the main part of the restaurant, they cancelled alot of the reservations, but let us stay, as we had already ordered, everything was blowing everywhere, the floor was completely flooded, the waiters kept apologizing, they brought us an entire bottle of wine and tequila, and tried to make the best of it. Our food was fabulous, I had the whole grouper and my daughter had the tuna, I cannot say enough about the staff that nite. On Friday we went to the steak restaurant, which was wonderful, food was good and our waiter, Luis, was more than accomodating!
There are a variety of pools all around the resort, they all seemed nice and clean, but the entire resort could use new lounge chairs, they are dirty, ripped and did not always work correctly. The beach beds at the beach were in bad shape also, although the beach itself is nice and water is clear. Our favorite was the adults only salt water pool, and the drink service was great!
The grounds at this resort are absolutely beautiful, well maintained and every staff member you encounter always speaks to you. But at night, the paths are not well lit and it is hard to see. The lobby bar was very nice, the bartender there made the best drinks and the drink service again was good.
There is a coffee bar near the lobby bar, but you have to pay for the coffee, Just as much as a Starbucks. Ridiculous!!
Never saw any shows due to rain, and we never saw any of the animation staff.
I would never go back to this resort, I have never seen such deplorable service, even when you give someone a tip! The entire resort needs a facelift with new management and chefs and a lesson in customer service!!!

Room Tip: No tips, don't go there!
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Itze P, Reputation Management at Occidental Grand Xcaret & Royal Club, responded to this review, November 26, 2013
Dear EdiebSyracuse,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us your feedback. We are disappointed to read you had a less than satisfactory stay with us, and experienced anything less than the courteous service we are known.

We regret the lack of service you may have experienced upon arrival to our hotel, we have immediately taken the necessary measures to address the situation with our Rooms Division Manager in order to prevent any future occurrence. Also, please allow us to express our most sincere apologies for the shortcomings you encountered with your room, we do our best to accommodate all guest preferences, which can be challenging during high season, but unfortunately we can’t guarantee them.

We are also sorry for not meeting your overall food expectations. We do our best to provide a wide variety and I’ve also shared your feedback with our food and beverage manager to determine how we can continue to enhance the dining experience for our guests.

Regarding our entertainment and daily activities, we will address your comments to the manager, as we are always looking for ways to better serve our guests.

We do hope that you’ll give us a second chance to demonstrate our high standards for quality service.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

travelled to mexico in september as a couple meeting family there,about hour from airport,we were very lucky cause been raining constantly we had gorgeous weather wirh one shower,so yes pick time of year to go!in wet weather would spoil it,rooms ok does the job! good shower,we stayed in block 15,lovely next to pool,place is not huge at all nice to wonder around taking in the lush grounds and wildlife diff pools etc! food was ok never went hungry,service not brill but met some lovely bar staff,and we dont speak spanish, just made the effort!does make me laugh when people slate places yes there is no beach just man made cove which is lovely,do ya research on the holiday ya bookin then!!!lovely long beach in playa just 5 mins taxi up road and where nightlife etc is!gorgeous bay in akumal again 20 min taxi go snorkel with the turtles brill!!went to xcaret next door was ok but expensive for what is nice beach though!!and did excursion to tulum gorgeous!entertainment in hotel was ok we just mingles with other holiday makers and had a laugh,coco bongos in playa great night,been to vegas and was great club!!would go back if price right but prob another hotel nearer playa,just do research on what hotel ya booking first lol!!want a beach go where is a beach!!oh and didnt get no hassle from time share all in all lovely!!def will go back to mexico!!enjoy hols are what you make it!!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

My husband and I stayed at this resort from Oct27- Nov6. It was a pleasant experience for the most part. I'll break it down into specifics that might be helpful.
We flew US Airways from Ottawa to Charlotte to Cancun. All flights were all on time and the planes were comfortable. We cleared US customs at the Ottawa airport, so our bags were checked to our final destination. This was smooth and easy. Coming back, we had to go through US customs in Charlotte, collect our bags and then recheck them. It took about 1.5 hours in total to do this.
Check-in at the hotel was a nightmare. When we went to the desk, they pulled up my reservation and then asked me to stand at the side and wait for the manager to speak to me. Meanwhile, many others were checked in. Finally, a manager came and took me to another area. Apparently, my tour operator "forgot to pay for my holiday" and the hotel was insisting that I make full payment to them or I wouldn't be allowed to check in. I flatly refused and spent the next 2 hours on the phone with the tour operator. Being a Sunday, the manager in the accounting department was not there, so nothing could be resolved. After much pleading, the hotel permitted me to check-in provided that I return to the lobby at 9 am to make certain things were in order. It took until afternoon the next day to hear that my tripped had been paid for. I am uncertain who is to blame, but am in the process of determining that. I am not prepared to name the tour operator at this point.
Our room was as pictured on the net-not fancy, but clean with a king-sized bed on the third floor as requested. We were in block 21 which made for a fair bit of walking, but I don't mind that.
I thought the food was pretty good all over the resort. We tried all the a la cartes. I loved the seafood the best(especially the view) and my hubby preferred the Asian one. There was a large variety of fresh fruits and veggies everywhere. The food here was even better than many of the 5 star hotels I have visited.
The nightly entertainment in the lobby was enjoyable for the most part. We did not go to any of the shows or the disco.
Yes the beach is a small manmade cove, but I knew that when I booked. The water was warm, crystal clear and had many fish. It was a really good snorkelling cove.
We had an unlimited pass to Xcaret and went 3 times. The sky tower was closed and the main theatre was under construction. I loved the park especially the underground river and the wide variety of animals. We went to the show that had been relocated due to the construction. I enjoyed it for the most part, but really wished the intro could have been done in English as well, to help me understand better. The theatre was packed and extremely hot. Many people felt unwell because of the strong incense being burned everywhere.
What I didn't like was having to pay $82/week for wifi.
We were never approached by the timeshare guys. Many others were harassed all week long.
This hotel is showing it's age, but all in all I feel it is a solid 4 star at a decent price.
We took a cab to Playa for the day, walked 5th Avenue to shop, as far as the Royal and then got onto the beach and headed back toward the pier. We stopped for an amazing couples massage on the beach thanks to Lily! Is was a true bargain at $40 US per couple for one hour! We then carried on to Wah Wah beach bar where we had a snack and a couple of drinks. I needed my beach fix, so this little jaunt was well worth it. The weather was quite rainy for about half of our trip. We made the best of it anyway.
In closing, I would recommend this hotel for animal lovers who are budget conscious but still want clean rooms with great food. Enjoy! Feel free to message me with any specific questions.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Occidental Grand Xcaret & Royal Club

Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal-Puerto Juarez Km. 282, #307 | Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#29 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#34 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#39 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#45 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#47 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#54 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#81 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Grand Xcaret & Royal Club 4*
Number of rooms: 769
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked within an ecological and historical preserve, the all-inclusive Occidental Grand Xcaret captivates guests with spectacular grounds, a pristine coastline and unparalleled service and amenities. Located less than an hour south of Cancun International Airport and ten minutes from renowned Playa del Carmen, this glorious resort boasts winding river channels, free-form pools and a private beach with powder-soft white sand on a quiet cove. The Occidental Grand Xcaret features eleven international restaurants and ten bars to fit every mood and occasion, from a romantic dinner to a lively family meal. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel
Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret
Grand Flamenco Xcaret
Xcaret Grand Occidental
Occidental Xcaret
Hotel Xcaret
Xcaret Playa Del Carmen
Grand Xcaret Occidental
Xcaret Hotel
Grand Occidental Xcaret

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