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“Phenomenal Resort”

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Occidental Costa Cancun
Ranked #44 of 176 Hotels in Cancun
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 22, 2011

So this was a first trip to Cancun, I am in my early 20's and if you're looking for a fun place to go where you can relax, party, take your family, be with your significant other... this resort honestly has it all.

I went with one friend but we made so many more being there. Wonderful atmosphere at a very competitive price.

I suppose I will start talking about all the good things and then talk about the few things that needed improvement (trust me, there weren't many).
-->THE GOOD
FOOD:
Honestly... fantastic. The buffet was plentiful and carried a wide variety of different foods. There was a different theme every day and loads of fresh fruit. My absolute favorite was BBQ night. The group that we went with, none of us ended up getting sick to our gastrointestinal tracts at either end, so well done to the kitchen staff. All the condiments you'd need are there, mayonnaise, ketchup and for us Canadians maple syrup. We only dined at one of the three a la cartes, the Spanish, this was amazing and certainly worth the 2 minutes it takes to reserve it. It was easy to reserve and no you don't have to be there at the crack of dawn to do it.

STAFF:
The staff was wonderful, always helpful and smiling. We offered modest tips to our cleaning staff and when the staff would go above and beyond and they were very gracious. The staff is very fluent in both English and French (as well as the obvious Spanish). The rooms were cleaned very well and the front desk was very quick and helpful. The bartenders, the waiters, the entertainment staff all wonderful.

HOTEL:
The hotel is in a great spot, the beach is a little small, but it was never overcrowded. There was a good amount of people at the resort and always somewhere to sit on the beach. There was a lobby and a beach bar, both really quick to get you drinks. The one thing I loved about this hotel and Cancun was the night life. There were several families there and it is easy to do so because the party in Cancun isn't at the resort, it's at the clubs. It was great to give the families the peace and quiet as most of the busses to the clubs left around 10:30 PM and most people don't return until 3 or 4 AM giving families time to sleep.
The hotel has a great pool, always very clean. The beach was always very clean and seaweed free. Bathrooms were all fantastic, never once had a problem with any sort of lack of cleanliness.
We stayed in a standard room and it was beyond our expectations. The safe is free of charge and it is very secure (needs your key cards to open and close it). The beds were comfortable and the rooms were quite soundproof I found.

NIGHTLIFE:
If you like going out dancing, or having a good time in general... Cancun is certainly the place to be. The entertainment is out of this world, if you go with the hotel it's VIP access everywhere and the hotel staff really do look after you making sure you have a good time (and no not only if you tip them). It's the experience of a lifetime and highly reccomend the City bar or Coco Bongo clubs.

GYM:
The gym was great. I wasn't expecting it to be as well stocked and air conditioned.

--->IMPROVEMENTS

MUSIC:
The music was fantastic for the first few days, however at night time it would be nice to hear a little more pump up music past 6PM, at least until 10. It's really not the end of the world, and if you really want to, just go hangout by the beach bar instead.

NIGHT TIME ENTERTAINMENT:
I'm not saying it was bad, just repetitive. The staff works really hard to put on a great show, the only small improvement that could be made would be something other than a song and dance show every night. Perhaps some comedy or audience involvement. Anyway, the entertainment was pretty good other than that.


That's it, go to this resort. If you want to go to Mexico they have so so much to offer.

Room Tip: Get a high up room so you get an ocean view.
  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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1  Thank Kelly_Marie33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 22, 2011

After a pleasant trip with Air Transat from Vancouver and shuttle bus ride to the hotel we were quickly checked into the hotel. Asked for a convenient room next to lobby and 5th floor, no problem. Norma, the front desk clerk was pleasant and efficient. Please don't forget to ask for the safe key. Antonio, the senior bell man was very pleasant. He was with the hotel for the past 23 years.
Our superior room faced the courtyard greenspace. A balcony allowed standing room or a footstool to dry your clothes. It was comfortably spacy for 2 with a king size bed with comfortable cusioned pillows. Great sleep. Room was clean with a TV no DVD player.
Bathroom was finished with marble floors and counters. Warning: use the foot towel coming out of the shower, the floor is very slippey. An electric cooler contained 4 beers, 4 pop, 2 water bottles, sparkling water bottle and some snacks. Note: if you remove most of the drink cans the cooler will be warm for many hours as they replace them with warm cans. A large bottle of water was left for making coffee but you need to order coffee pouches from room service (I think).
The atmosphere in the resort is friendly but the guests prefer privacy and do not appear to mingle in general. Many groups of boys and girls from Britain and Quebec stayed largely to themselves. A number of Mexican student groups would arrive for 2 or 3 days and happily spend their time on tours and in the pool making whoopy, noise and fun.
We were treated well by restaurant and buffet waiters, barmen, pool service girls and all staff.
Commenting on the food: lots to choose from but not all items were of acceptable quality. I enjoyed meats such as roast beef and roast or baked pork. Other people liked fish, chicken, Mexican dishes, burgers and fries or pasta dishes. The Mexican Linda, a la carte restaurant had the best atmosphere and acceptable menu dishes. The food taste in general was bland but no dishes of salsa were offered. This is not "Mexican traditional dining". The other restaurants were not as appealing, with less attentive service and some low value menu items.
The pool side areas were pleasant, sunny or shaded while the beach had spacy feel with 2 beach lounges under every palm tree. The beach is over 200 feet wide and is adequate.
When we very at the resort the tide during main part of day was outflowing. This produced clear fresh water outflow from the lagoon. No jellyfish or salt water to avoid. The clear water was enjoyed by children and adults alike.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lonesome guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2011

I went to the Barcelo over spring break and had such an amazing time. Met so many young people and partied all week long! I was concerned as I had read some reviews after booking this vacation, but I ended up having the greatest time. The staff at the front desk was definetly not the friendliest-but did their job. The servers and bartenders are all very friendly, and my room was always clean. The beach is small but the water is still beautiful and it has nice white sand with an ocean bar. The food was good too! I have no complaints about this hotel. Best spring break ever!!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank tb54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2011

FEELING VERY RIPPED OFF BY BARCELO.

When we got there, the front desk claimed the reservation was only for 2 people, and wanted to charge us again. They were demanding MORE for our 2 kids than we had paid originally for our reservation, otherwise we couldn't use our pre-paid reservation.
3 people at reception told us they couldn't help us, that they "had to" charge the maximum rack rate.

Asked to talk to the manager. He was totally useless. Told us we were lying, and he "had to" charge the maximum rack rate.
They wouldn't let us check the reservation on Priceline unless we paid the high daily use internet charge.
Called Priceline. Spent 40 minutes on hold. Told us they would not help us resolve our reservation issues or cancel the reservation and refund the money - just deal with the hotel.
Final had to go find an internet cafe with internet access.
We found the price on Barcelo's own website was significantly less than they were trying to charge us at reception.
We came back to the reception, and showed them their own advertised price for the same period. None of the people at reception would agree to using their own advertised pricing.

Finally got to speak to another manager in the back, who would only talk to us over the phone, and wouldn't come to the front desk. After 20 minutes, she finally agreed to charge us the same price posted on their website, rather than the highly inflated maximum rack rate.

By that time, the person we were dealing with at reception person had gone for lunch. The manager told someone else at reception the agreed rate, but when they tried to book us in, there was no sign of our original registration, so he claimed he couldn't check us in.
The missing info including the credit card imprints and passport copies they originally asked for. Definitely didn't leave us feeling too comfortable!

So, we had to wait for her to come back from lunch, and explain everything again. Since the manager had gone for lunch by this time, so also had to wait for her to get back from lunch, even though the manager had confirmed the pricing the other person at reception.

Over 3 frustrating hours wasted in the lobby.

Ultimately we ended up paying double - for our 2 kids sharing our room. FEELING VERY RIPPED OFF BY BARCELO.

Would have been MUCH less to go to a nicer resort!

Other than reception, rest of wait staff and housekeeping staff was friendly.

Evening shows were OK.

For drinks from the bar, there is no real juice available, only artificial colored syrup. The only juice is available during breakfast.

For dinner, 2 of the 3 restaurants were extra, charging regular restaurant prices.

FYI: There is free WIFI internet access available from the Pirate ships' dock next door (just by the beach/hotel restaurant) after you make any purchase from their restaurant/bar. Much better value than the hotel wifi's rate.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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Thank TravellingTime
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2011

I love this hotel, I stayed here 5 times. Looking foward to August. Guest service is the best. Keep up the good work!

  • Stayed: August 2010
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1  Thank Laura G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2011

The first week of my 16 day stay at this hotel was great we had a large, clean QUITE room with a lovely ocean view and me and my boyfriend were having a great time. Then one night while we were getting dressed to go out we got a phone call from reception saying that there was a leak above are room and we need to pack are stuff up and leave ASAP which i thought was abit rude as it had gone 10 pm! None the less we began packing up as fast as we could with in 5 minutes of the phone call from reception they had sent someone up to collect are bags! As soon as we arrived at the new room we were absolutely horrified that the room we had been moved to was no were nearr as nice as the room we had been moved out of and had no view, however we decided not to let it ruin are holiday and never bothered complaining plus the fact it had already gone 11pm by this point and we had a night out at coco bongo booked! After arriving back from are night out in the early hours we couldn't wait to have a good night sleep, little did we know the new room that we had been moved from was next to at least 50 air conditioning units that were making the loudest noise ever!!! Even after a heavy alcohol night out the noise was still unbearable!!!!!! To embarrassed to complain we tossed and turned all night with out a wink of sleep! Then it was only in the morning when we went out on balcony that we realized that nearly the whole block was empty ( due to the unbearable noise no doubt) so we went down to reception and told the two most unbelievable rude women on the desk that we couldn't stay there another night due to the noise and that we thought it was unfair the fact we had been moved to a smaller room with NO view! There response was once again beyond a joke and they informed us to come back at 2pm when rooms where available! We had to go back four times which completely ruined that day of are holiday as we had to sit in the lobby all day! Then after the fifth time we were told to go away and come back by the most rudest women i had ever meet in my whole life and 14 hours after we had first spoke to them!!!! My boyfriend asked to speak to a manager then a man appeared who said he hadn't heard anything about what was going on he gave us keys for two different rooms to look at well let me tell you he must have found the worstttttttttttttt rooms in the entire hotel, but by this point we just wanted sleep and never had the will power to go back to the WORST front desk ever!!!! worst costomer service i have ever received! so we took one of the rooms smaller than the other two before with no view what so ever on the ground floor!!! The way we were treated and spoke to was a absolute disgrace and we must have ended up with what must have been the worst room in the hotel!! great holiday turned in to the holiday from hell in a few hours!!! and i would NEVER recommend this hotel to anyone after the way we where treated!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank shanahan_18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2011

We just returned from a 1 week stay at the Barcelo Costa. I will try to cover as much as I can.
Check In: Many people here have complained about the front desk people. Our opinion is different than most. We got there at 1pm. Our room was not ready. They gave us our wristbands so we could eat. Came back at 3 and room was almost ready. After surveying the place, my husband asked if we could have a 1st floor room by the pool. At first we were told we would have to check back the next day, but minutes later they were able to place us in exactly what we hoped for. Staff might not be overly friendly, but they were pleasant and did their job and did get us exactly what we asked for.
Room: The room was not the best I've ever stayed in, but it IS nice. The pictures you see on here are exactly how the rooms look. Now when we got to our room all the lightbulbs were burned out. That was weird!!! We did tip our bellhop man generoualy so as soon as he saw our lights weren't working he came right back with three bulbs, replaced them and it was fine. As far as the complaints about the airconditioning and lights, here is the trick that worked for us. Your lights and air only work when your room key is placed in a slot on the wall by your door. We kept one of our room keys in that slot at ALL TIMES. Never took it out the enitre week we were there. If you do, then the air and lights go out. So we left it in and our room when set on the cooler temps on the thermostat actually verged on freezing. Anyways, the room was nice. Maybe could use some updating. Our shower door did not close all the way which was annoying, but not worth asking for another room. I also saw the makeup mirror was extremely rusted. A few minor updates and the room would be even better.
Food: The buffet was what you would expect at any place that caters to such a large group of people. There was just about everything you could imagine for breakfast other than waffles. I always got a made to order omelette. This was my family's favorite meal there. Lunch was always pretty good as well. They have good french fries and if there was nothing else that looked appetizing, then a burger or nachos always satisfied us. Dinner was probably our least favorite. It just got kind of old. Always pork, fish, chicken, etc. They would give it different names every night, but it was all the same. We did go to the Mexican Lindo restaurant twice. It was very good both times!!! We made reservations around 8:30am and never had a problem. We chose not to go to the other restaurants so I can't comment on those. As far as the buffet goes, we had Pepe wait on us every breakfast and lunch. Marcos took care of us every night for dinner. Those two men were excellent and are the reasons we felt so special at the hotel. If we choose this resort again, it's because we were so fond of them and their service!
24 hour snack bar: TERRIBLE! All I would go up there for would be drinks. They have lettuce, carrot sticks, celery and ranch that is out in the open with fruit flies all over it and it is warm. They did have hot dogs and pizza which I thought was horrible, but when my kids (ages 10 and 13) were hungry late, the cheese pizza worked for them. I would rather go hungry that touch what was up there to eat. There was all your pop products, corona on tap and many different bottles of liquor. Only reason I visited the snack bar.
Entertainment: They have a live show every night at 9. Now you aren't paying for broadway here. They are shows for the entertainment and enjoyment of the guests. We enjoyed most of them. The Michael Jackson show we had heard so much about was changed a bit for our trip. They changed it to the "Legends" show and had some numbers by Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Liza Minelli imposters. That was really bad. I did leave in my comment card that they should go back to just the Michael Jackson show and forget those other numbers! The Pirate themed night was great and I also enjoyed another night of Theatre songs! During the day there was so much to participate if you chose. Beach and pool volleyball, water aerobics, water polo and so much more. You did not get pressured, but it was there if you felt like joining in.
Noise: Probably my biggest complaint at this hotel. I did not mind the loud music at the pool. I also did not mind the noise from the shows until sometimes 10:30 at night as we requested a room right there by the pool and stage. My problem was the partying until some crazy hours of the night. I was young and single once without children and remember the fun partying days! However it did seem that the partying got a bit out of control. I'm not sure where security was, but you would think that at 4 - 5 am when the drunks are coming back from the bar, they might keep their eye on them getting to their rooms. It's a small resort. It wouldn't be hard. Most nights we were awoken to people banging on our doors in the middle of the night. We could hear people hanging out by the pool area until 2 am or later drunk and carrying on. Pool closes at 10 and shows are over shortly after that. I would think it would be appropriate by at least midnight then to keep people out of that area as most rooms face that court so people who did want to get some sleep could. It was frustrating to get at the most 3 to 4 hours straight sleep each night. The prank phone calls and banging on our door was just childish. We finally took the phone off the hook.
Beach/Pool: The pool is really nice. You didn't have to get up early to throw towels down. There were always chairs available. We did go down to the beach, but as stated by others, this beach is not all that great. It's a bit small, the water is murky and there is seaweed all over. Yuck! My kids do not like salt water, so all I was concerned what booking was a nice pool. My husband loves the crystal blue waters most of Cancun has, so if we don't go here next time, we will be looking for a nice pool as well as a nice beach. I knew before coming it was a disappointment for most so I was not surprised!
Other Info: I know they say all inclusive includes tips. Talking to people such as cab drivers and other locals, we found out the maids all make 50 pesos a day. NOT an hour, but a day. We left 50 pesos for our maid every day. We also tipped at every meal anywhere from 20 to 50 pesos a meal. I didn't see alot of people doing it, but we did to keep getting the great service we were getting. I do wonder if most people wait until the end of their trip and tip a larger tip then. Also, the TIMESHARE people. When you arrive at the airport, walk straight out of the airport. The people that grab you right before you are out of the airport are timeshare people. ALSO! The people at the resort walking around in the lobby with dark blue shirts and tan pants are also timeshare people. Do not be fooled! They will tell you they want you to just check out their sister hotel but it's BS! If you want an easy way out, let them know you are not traveling with credit OR debit cards. They will leave you alone. We took the bus to many places. It's less than a dollar a ride per person vs. the cabs. Every now and then I would find a cab driver that would offer to take my family somewhere for $5 just so they could make some money vs. the cabbies that sit in front of the hotel taking naps and asking $15 to the same place. We would always grab a cab if a driver offered us that deal so we could help him make a living and we could get somewhere a little faster. If you are American and want to socialize with other Americans, this place is not for you. We were the only American's until our last night. We were with almost all people from England and Canada. We enjoyed meeting people from other places, but if you want Americans you will find very few, if any, here.

Sorry for such a long review. Was just trying to get everything in. Would we go to Barcelo Costa again? If the price was much cheaper than other all inclusives as it was this time. We'll see where the price tag brings us next year as we prefer all inclusive so we can use our spending money on excursions and shopping. We aren't against going here again, but for the same price we would probably try a different place unless it had way more negative reviews than this one. Happy travels!!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank jennapea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Occidental Costa Cancun

Address: Boulevard Kukulcan km. 4.5, | Lote D7 5 Zona Hotelera, Cancun 77500, Mexico (Formerly Barcelo Costa Cancun)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#34 Spa Hotel in Cancun
#37 Top resorts Hotel in Cancun
#40 On the Beach Hotel in Cancun
Price Range: $170 - $345 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Occidental Costa Cancun 3.5*
Number of rooms: 358
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Barcelo Costa Cancun Hotel Cancun
Barcelo Cancun
Gran Costa Real
Costa Real Cancun
Barcelo Costa Cancun Mexico

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