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“Don't listen to the negative feedback... FANTASTIC HOTEL!” 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 #83 of 200 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
A TripAdvisor Member
“Don't listen to the negative feedback... FANTASTIC HOTEL!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2005

We went to the OGFX for 2 weeks on 7th May '05... We'd read some of the negative feedback and wondered what we'd let ourselves in for.
Let's just say the surprises were on us... we couldn't complain about any thing at this hotel. the staff were wonderful, not all english speaking but you're in Mexico, try speaking a little spanish... it gets you far.
Service from everyone was 1st class. Our maid was very artistic with the towels in our room, there was something different each day from dollies to dinosaurs to elephants. She actually had us excited about going back to check what she had made after each day out and about.
As for the hotel itself... 1ST CLASS. From the river running through it, to the manmade beach, which was never crowded even though the hotel was at full capacity. The buffet was so good we only made 4 a la carte bookings, no we didn't suffer from any upset tums either!
We didn't need to hitch a lift from the carts because after all the food you eat you need the exercise!!!
Beautiful grounds with all sorts of wildlife... and the park is literally joined to the hotel, takes about 5 minutes from the main building to walk there. We swam with the dolphins at Xcaret for about 1 hour, the guys teach you a lot about the dolphins and they really take care of them... no cruelty whatsoever. The dolphin swim is a must do... a lifetime experience for only $115 usd per person (£115 sterling per couple) cheap at that! Oh and we did buy 5 pics and the dvd, which added about another $100usd, but you can't put a price on the memories!
We took a trip in a taxi to Playa Del Carmen (about 10 minutes away) which cost us $8usd. Playa del Carmen is great too, fantastic beach, great stores etc. If you decide to do this, be warned... when you take a taxi back they stop in at a taxi checkpoint (beside a dirt track road)... don't panic and think you're being kidnapped/robbed !!!!! (we thought that!)
All in all we had the best holiday ever with no gripes or grumbles. We'll definitely be back.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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
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Seattle, WA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2005

My wife and two small children (ages 4 & 6) just came back from 8 days at the Grand Flamenco Xcaret (March 14-22) and we had a fabulous time and loved the resort. I had read most of the reviews on here, and we stayed at the Occidental Grand Cozumel last year, so we knew what to expect. Even so, we were pleasantly surprised at how nice this place is. Here are some random thoughts:

- I had read that this place was big; however it was even bigger than I had expected. And by big, I mean “spacious”, not “a lot of people”. We were still discovering new areas even on our last day there.

- If you are like I was, then you have no idea how to pronounce Xcaret. Well here it is: “esh-car-AY”.

- Some of the previous reviews said that this is a great place if you have kids, but maybe not for those who are looking to avoid children. This was not true at all for our experience. For most of the time we were there, we could have counted the number of young children there on our fingers. This was somewhat disappointing for us, as we had hoped to find playmates for our kids. There were probably only 5-8 kids at the whole resort who were near our kid’s ages (and there were a lot of people, as the place was booked). I think the reason is because we went between spring break and summer vacation. If you go back to the reviews mentioning all of the kids, then you’ll notice they were all around spring break. So my advice is if you want to go here when there are no kids then don’t go during spring break time or summer vacation months. Our kids were able to make friends though and for some reason there started to be more children on our last 2 days. Maybe some places let out earlier for summer?

- Speaking of demographics, I would estimate that the breakdown during our stay would be 1. Empty nesters (late 40s to 50s) the most, 2. Young couples without kids, 3. Families with kids, 4. Retired (65+) the least, although there were still plenty of older folks.

- Even though the resort was apparently near or at capacity, it never felt crowded. You almost never had to wait in line anywhere, which was amazing. Even at the buffet or most of the bars. The only exception was the bar near the theater at around show time, where you sometimes had to wait for a drink, but never more than 5 minutes. Other reviews had complained about people reserving lounge chairs early in the morning, but we never saw that at all. It was always easy to find chairs by the pool or beach at any time of day.

- Other reviews complained about the beach, but we loved it. It was especially great for our young ones of course, since it was protected, but even without kids I liked that there weren’t huge waves. Also, since it is set down low, with retaining walls around, there are no problems with excess wind which is a problem at a lot of beaches. The sand is perfect too – white and fine. It was never crowded either. There is a great bar nearby as well as the Beach Club restaurant. I thought the beach was almost perfect. If you're looking for more of the traditional tropical beach, then Play del Carmen has great beaches and is short, inexpensive cab ride away.

- Service was good overall, although there were certainly a few exceptions. One night at the Seafood a la carte restaurant we had the worst waiter ever. He was so bad that I suggested to my wife that Saturday Night Live probably couldn’t have done a better sketch for “The Worst Waiter”. Also, some of the bartenders did not seem to enjoy their jobs. Maybe it was because no one tipped them? This was one thing that surprised me, as tipping is common everywhere else we have stayed. I always left a tip at the bar, but I think less then 10% of the people did. I think that’s rude as these people are working hard, and a $1 tip is big money to them, and very much appreciated. I also tipped the maid $5 a day, which is one of the reasons I think we had the minibar restocked every day instead of every other day. It was also “over-stocked”. Oh yeah, I don’t know if this is standard for everyone, but we also had large bottle of Bacardi Rum in our room when we checked in.

- Speaking of the room, it was a disappointment, especially compared to the rooms at the Occidental Grand Cozumel. We upgraded to a junior suite, but I would not recommend this. I think that a junior suite is the exact same square footage as a standard room but then they make the bathroom much smaller and add a worthless small sofa and coffee table (no end tables, or lights and far from the TV). The bathroom was very tight, compared to the nice spacious bathrooms in a standard room. A lot of the room didn’t get natural light either, which made it feel like a cave. The furnishings and decorations were substandard as well, again especially compared to the beautiful rooms at the OGC and other tropical resorts. Oh well, at least we hardly were ever in the room except to sleep.

- The Kids Club was a very nice option if you needed some time away from the kids. We liked the staff and the area seemed fun and secure. They have regularly scheduled activities like a magician, sand castle building, chocolate party, crafts, etc. Our kids asked to go back a second time because they had so much fun! We used Kids Club twice for about 3 hours each and it was great.

- We spent a day at the Xcaret park next door and were disappointed. If this were a US park it would be considered 3rd tier at best. I know a lot of people have written reviews about how great the park was, but for us, we just didn’t get it. There were very few animals, spread way out, but in small habitats. There is LOTS of walking (and we like to walk), but the problem is that the walking is not enjoyable as there is little to see on your walks. It’s like there’s very little content spread over a large area (for no reason). The place could have been ¼ the size with the same content and been much more enjoyable. We did like swimming the underground river; however you should definitely do it early in the morning before the crowds. We did it at 9:30 or so and had a very tranquil, quiet swim and enjoyed the sites. Two hours later there were hoards of people as the tour busses had arrived, and the river would have totally lost it charm with all of those people screaming and splashing around. My wife swam with the dolphins and enjoyed that too. Our kids did not like the park and just wanted to go back the hotel. The animals looked sad in their little pens. We talked to 2 other families who also thought it was a waste of a day, so we know we’re not alone in our negative assessment. However others have obviously liked it, so I guess it’s a matter of taste. It’s probably a lot better without small children.

- The food at the resort is very good for the most part, and I’m surprised that anyone could complain. There is tremendous variety. Breakfast and lunch at the Beach Club by the ocean is the only way to go, as the food is the same as at Le Buffet, but the atmosphere is much better. We didn’t care for Le Buffet and avoided it if possible. Even though it has nice architecture, chandeliers and white table cloths, it still felt like a cafeteria because it was so big, enclosed and sterile feeling. The Beach Club is open air with a huge thatch roof and features the sound and smell of the ocean and nice tropical breezes. This is exactly what I want when I’m on a tropical vacation! Too bad that at night the Beach Club turns into the a la carte reservation Seafood restaurant. When you don’t have reservations anywhere, then you’re stuck with Le Buffet (or the limited Taco and Pizza places). We made dinner reservations for 4 nights and liked them all; although the food wasn’t “spectacular”, the service and ambience were excellent.

- We stayed up for the entertainment every night and it was mostly good. First they start with kids entertainment at 8 PM, featuring a game, piñata or dance. The only problem was as I said before there were too few kids. But our kids loved it and couldn’t wait to go every night. After the kids, they usually had the house band with a good female singer come out for an hour and sing mostly 70’s and 80’s stuff, but some modern things too. She’s a great singer, although not many came to watch her. Then at 9:30 they would have a show that would go until 10:30 or 11:00. Most of the shows were good, but some were lame. The best and most attended and appreciated by the audience were the shows that featured the guests, such as Karaoke night and “Miss/Mr. Grand Flamenco” contests. The worst shows in my opinion were the ones featuring the choreographed dancers lip-synching broadway or movie tunes. They seemed very cheesy too me, even cheesier than on cruise ships. And I don’t appreciate the lip-synching either, as it was done poorly. The Mayan show was pretty good though.

So overall we had a wonderful time and would go back again to the Grand Flamenco and highly recommend it. I think anyone who had a bad experience was either very atypical, had terrible luck or weren’t going to be happy with anything. Have fun and don’t hesitate going to this place!

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2005

We stayed for our honeymoon in March 2005. After a 26 hour delay in Manchester, the Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret made up for it.
The room was excellent, plently of room, cleaned every day and the mini bar stocked also. The staff gave first class service from the waiters to the gardeners. Everyone made the whole experience a fantastic one.

This was the best holiday resort that we have experienced. The free pass to the Xcaret Park, next door to the complex, was a day to remember. You could clearly see the animals, birds and sealife creatures. My daughter had the time of her life.

If you are thinking about going to the Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcart, take it from me you will not be disappointed. Do it, I am glad I did.

Stayed March 2005
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2005

We were at the Grand Flamenco xcaret for ten days and every day was great. The staff was teriffic and the food excellant no shortage of great drinks. There is so much to do there that you don't have to go out of the resort. We did go to Cozumel diving and to the mayan ruins and Ceynotes. We were very pleased with the maid service and all the staff for that matter. I had read some of the reviews before departure and was a little apprehensive but upon arrival we were blown away it was gorgeous from the lobby all the way around the resort. They keep it spotless and everyone that works there has a smile and greets you wherever you are. The buffet was great as were the other restraunts. I wouldn't recommend the pizza place or the mexican restraunt but all the rest were great. The biggest complaint I read online was about the beach and oders there, we loved the beach and no odor and the other area that was an adult only beach was really nice . Would highly recommend to anyone that this is a top notch resort and we can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2005

My boyfriend and I just returned from 5 nights at Xcaret and had a fabulous time. The hotel was beautiful, service terrific, and weather was awesome. Like many others, I was nervous after reading some of the previous posts. However, I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived.

RESORT: The resort itself was beautiful!! The grounds are expansive and there is a lot to see (nature trails, ruins, monkeys, etc.), so bring some good walking shoes. For those who don't like to walk, there is a shuttle service that travels almost everywhere onsite and complimentary bikes for hotel guests. As other guests commented, there are foul smells randomly around the resort. However, upon talking to other guests, this appears to be something common to resorts in Mexico due to the poor sewer system. Do not be alarmed though. This is coming from someone who is very sensitive to smells and who did not find this disturbing at all during our trip. Also, there is a small river that runs through the lobby. However, it is beautiful and there are many ways to travel across it. They have lots to do for entertainment on site (many programs by the pool and beach during day and nightly shows).

ROOMS: Nice! Decent size. Seemed to be well taken care of. Service was fast to respond (<5 min) when our safe was not working :) Cleaning perssonel did a good job everyday.

FOOD/DRINKS: Must be honest. Food at buffets was iffy! I am not a huge buffet person though so I may not be the best judge. They changed the theme each days so they did have variety. We made reservations upon arrival (with no problems) at the seafood restaurant, steak restaurant, and mexican restaurant. We had great food at each one. The mexican was my personal favorite :) Drinks were good. Good variety. Frozen drinks did not have significant alcohol content. However, mixed drinks were quite strong at times. Bartenders were helpful and always willing to make whatever you asked for. They also did not seem to expect tips for good service :) Drinks were delivered to your beach chairs while lying at the beach or pool-a bonus!!!

BEACH/POOLS: Beach is small, but it wasn't overcrowded. You could always find a chair and the water was nice. There is also a 1 hour complimentary snorkel rental by the beach each day and many small fish in the beach water. As huge beach people, we were a little concerned after previous reviews of the beach being crappy, but it met our needs! Both pools were very nice as well. One had a swim up bar and the other had a regular bar. Do recommend if you want a chair/hut with shading on it to go early in the morning and leave out a towel.

XCARET PARK: Awesome!!!!!! So much to see. Go early!! Go to underground river first. We went first thing and were nearly the only ones in it. However, when walking by it in the afternoon, it was packed! Evening show is very good! Beach is nice!

TOURS: We did the horses/snorkeling tour offered from the hotel. It was unbelievable. They take you to an awesome secluded beach for horsebackriding. The tour is small so you get personal attention. People were very friendly! Snorkeling is right off the ranch. Beautiful corel reef area. Same area where xcaret park takes people on there snorkeling tours.

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2005

If you are looking for perfection, this is it. The beauty of this resort and the surrounding areas is uncomparable. Every morning staff are trimming the grounds and cleaning to keep it looking it's best. The rooms are very tastefully and minimally decorated and reflect the mexican culture in a classy way. The pools are cleaned every morning and they are big and always the perfect temperature. There is no lack of space here! It is a sprawling resort with plenty of vegetation and animals to separate the buildings and you never feel crowded at all. There are macaws at several stations around the lobby and they will occasionally say "hola" to you. There are also lots and lots of iguanas! they will not let you get too close though. There are daily activities to keep you occupied if you wish and everywhere you look there is a bar! The food is also fantastic and there is always a huge spread of all different types to choose from - it is not all mexican. There is not enough time or space to describe how wonderful the Xcaret is; if you haven't been, you are missing out on the time of your life!

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2005

I went to this hotel in April this year. I was with my family which was a party of 10. This was the best hotel I have ever been to. I often stay in hotels within Mexico and the Craibbean and I think this hotel was the best I have ever visited.
Food: I always whinge on holiday about the food but I thought the food was fantastic. There were specific countries each night like caribbean and mexican and chinese and if you didn't like the food applied to these countries, there was always chips, rolls, pasta and some kind of meat for everyone. Breakfast was the best, I loved the omelettes the best! I also made friends with Jaspar. He was great1
Beach: The beach was very small and we didn't really visit it as we don't like sand but it was still lovely. The view was amazing and the bar was very very close as well as the beach hut which served breakfast and lunch
Pools: The pools were of a good standard. They were big and the hotel supplied rubber rings and floats. The only problem we encountered was one of the pools has 5 jacuzzis which are deep and not signposted or anything so on the first day my sister of 3 years old nearly drowned and had to be rescued by a passing man! The activities in the main pool were excellent.
Rooms: The rooms were big and lovely. I cannot fault them. There was a coffee maker, huge beds, a mini fridge that supplied beer, water, pepsi etc every other day and a cable tv. Our patio door broke but as we were on the third floor we didnt find it a problem. We complained however and it was fixed within 15 minutes of our call. Probably not even that long
Staff: The staff were excellent. Very good with the kids also. Patrick, Carlos, Miguel and Oscar were great fun to talk to and helped out and played with the kids. The dancers especially Aldo were great.
Entertainment: The entertainment was the best I have ever seen. They put on shows form Mexican tradition dances to a broadway show and a las vegas show. They also put on Mr and Mrs Flamenco Xcaret shows which got men against each other and women against each other to compete to get the title! There were also adult games before each show and a kids disco. Joanna was great also, she sang after the kids disco until the shows and she had the most amazing voice. I hope this review helped you. And I will definiatly be going back.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
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
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:
#27 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#30 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#38 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#39 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Family 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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