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“1st time at the Grand” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Occidental Cozumel

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Occidental Cozumel
Ranked #25 of 51 Hotels in Cozumel
Ontario
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“1st time at the Grand”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

A group of 12 of us visited the Occidental Grand. We found the food was good, but as other reviewers stated, it was at times was less than preferred temp. The ground where nice, but we found there was not any area where you could sit down with a group to have a few drinks and talk, in the lobby area, Absolutly enjoyed the pool area by the ocean, the lunch area there was great. Don't think I am a real fan of getting up and getting my drinks all the time as we had to at this resort, but thats just because in the past we where spoiled. All in all, good place, would I return, probably not, I would prefer the iberostar myself in comparison to this resort.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank icepro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,342 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Heywood, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2012

Having travelled alot and last year visited Cuba, I expected (from reading previous reviews) to have experienced the same quality if not better from this holiday.
If you are thinking of going to this resort or have already booked - please be warned - the hotel concierge are the scouts for the 'timeshare' at this hotel!!! You genuinely believe the hotel staff to be honest and open, however they lie to you and falsely invite you to a hotel breakfast which in turn wastes about 4 hours of your holiday with high pressure selling of their Royal club. The perks of 'Royal Club' should be standard as they are standard in other 4 and 5 star hotels that I have visited (for example wifi). The concierge will take your money (in cash) for trips and tell you that you can meet your 'rep' later, to avoid you being warned of the underhand dealing they do. We got a subsidised trip of a snorkel tour for $70 - which when we went to the hotel dive shop to confirm our places was in fact only $56!!!!
they give you no receipts and cannot take credit cards (the concierge) - this whole expwerience left a really bad impression of this hotel chain and the way they do business!!
the food was always luke warm, never hot, and the variety was limited in comparison to other countries. the hotel entertainment was substandard and made no effort to include people in activities during the day.
If it wasn't for the other travellers at the hotel during our stay, I would have come home bitterly disappointed.

Room Tip: Go to another hotel
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Annabella G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this review, December 20, 2012
Dear Annabella G,
Let me begin by apologizing for the delayed response. Your review is extremely concerning and I am reaching out to you directly via TripAdvisor to discuss your experience in more detail.. The concierges you mentioned are Vacation Club representatives. They are there to support guests, assisting them in all requests. To read your feedback on them is troublesome. I am sorry for the discomfort you experienced and I have met with the Vacation Club Manager to discuss his employees’ practices and approach. Prices of tours offered by the dive shop do vary according to the package. However, it is hotel policy that the concierges give an official receipt to guests for all sales.
I was surprised to read feedback on our culinary offerings. We try to offer a variety of food for all guests at the buffet by featuring different daily dishes and several food stations and salad and fruit bars. In addition to the buffet, guests have the option of dining at our specialty restaurants, which include Los Olivos, a Mediterranean restaurant, and Sonora Grill, a steak house. During the day guests can also enjoy light fares at the Beach Club and during the evening pizza at La Piazza. I have met with our Executive Chef to share your comments.
I sincerely apologize for all the inconveniences you experienced. Our goal is to show our guests an amazing time and to hear we failed you deeply saddens me.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2012

My husband and I returned to the Occidental Grand during 10/13-10/20/12. It was "different" to say the least.

Pros: Very little people (maybe 75% less than during Christmas time when we were first there). This meant plenty of open seats by the beach and the pool. We received more of a personal service like the workers bringing us drinks poolside vs us having to walk to get them! There was never a wait for any of the meals. Also, housekeeping left us "towel art" everyday. It was a fun game for us to guess about what kind of animal they would make out of the towels for when we returned to our room. Each evening, housekeeping would also bring us fresh towels, chocolates and the next days "agenda". This told us the weather, where the meals would be served, the daily & nightly activities, etc.

Cons: The full buffets were not available. Some meals were buffets, just not as large as they were during Christmas. Some meals were a-la-cart. You were given a menu and could choose anything off of it you wanted. Sometimes, you had to make reservations at the restaurants for the a-la-cart meals. However, you never went hungry!!!

All of this is expected since it's there "low season" and they have a substantially reduced number of guests.

Overall, I guess my Pros could be Cons and vice versa for some people. I guess it just depends on what the atmosphere is you're looking for. For us, we enjoyed both visits. We are adaptable to make ourselves enjoy our vacation.

All of the restaurants and shops in town were open and seemed to be just as busy as ever.

Room Tip: The lower number buildings are towards the front of the resort and the higher number buildings are t...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kathy1211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Janesville, Wisconsin, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

This was our first time to Mexico and for the most part I did enjoy the friendly staff and clean grounds. Was not pleased with the extremely slow service and cold food (it would of been fantastic if it was HOT). Saw several iguanas, pigs, ferro cats, & trantulas! YIKES!! Also ended up getting sick the last 3 days (not fun). I had the best cabana boy named Freddie he was wonderful! I will miss him. I guess we were told it is the slow season in October and boy were they right! When there was night life it was at 10-11:00 and then noone showed up it was mainly just my boyfriend & I. They had a DJ, Kareokee,bingo that was about it.

Im jus glad to be back on American soil & will never go to Mexico again...been there done that

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jenny S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Dear Jenny S,
Thank you very much for sharing your comments with the TripAdvisor community. I’m happy to hear you that enjoyed the beauty of our hotel and our friendly staff. I shared your compliments with Freddie, who was very pleased. I was, however, disappointed to read your feedback about our service and food. We hold our staff to the highest of standards and to hear that they fell below them is upsetting. I have met with the Manager to ensure that our staff remains fully attentive to our guests, going beyond their requests in a timely manner. I have also met with our Food & Beverage Manager to guarantee that all food is served at the appropriate temperature.
Regarding the wildlife at the hotel, we are located in an environmentally protected area home to native fauna, which many guests enjoy as they provide an authentic experience. I assure you that they are all harmless and we have never had any issues with them. However, I do apologize for any discomfort they caused you. I am truly saddened to hear that you are turned-off of Mexico as it is a beautiful country full of colorful and warm culture, which we strive to embody in our hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
94 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

I think every vacation is about your expectations. Our goal for this vacation (October 24-28, 2012) was to relax in the sun and enjoy the warm water. We thoroughly enjoyed and achieved these goals. If you take each of the good and bad reviews, I would say they are each accurate! The food is mediocre, the alcohol is lesser quality. Although top shelf bottles are displayed, they are also empty. The beach side buffet was open each meal, a restaurant was open for dinner on two evenings. The website boasts 7 restaurants, but we were told that is only in high season. Even with low season, our room was not available for 2 hours following our arrival. When you are introduced to you "personal concierge" begin the following mantra..."no, thank you, no thank you, NO, Gracias." no matter how good the give a ways are, I promise they will still make money. We were way too nice....our 30 minute presentation (with breakfast in the same buffet you would have eaten anyway) turned into 2 1/4 hours of my vacation. Yes, we knew it would take more than 30 minutes, but breakfast is with your new best friend while he fishes for information about you personally and professionally. (to be used later) took 90 minutes alone!! At 2 hours, we finally forcefully voiced our frustration and that we did not see the service and quality they were boasting at the resort. Believe me! If you are interested in purchasing a timeshare, enjoy the sales pitch and invest. We told them from the beginning we were not interested in owning a timeshare, but that didn't stop the hassle.

The ground are beautiful!!! The beach is well maintained and very nice. In low season there are plenty of chaise lounges with umbrellas! We didn't spend time near the two pools but they looked very nice.
The wait staff is prompt and helpful. Although breakfast is available until 10am, the buffet is not replenished after about 9am. The food is mediocre and I was thankful I brought some easy snacks with to have between these light meals.
The room was cleaned daily and replenished often with fresh towels during the day. The room is dated and is in tremendous need of new linens. The beds in our room were extremely hard and my husband had a difficult time sleeping.
The buildings with rooms are a fair distance from the beach or the front desk. Just know that you will have a bit of a walk to reach either. I would estimate the walk from Building 15 to the beach/bar/meals/diving to be 8-10 minutes.

We may return to Occidental, but I will keep my mantra, no, no, no.

Room Tip: lower your expectations so they might be exceeded
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lv2CSun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 29, 2012

First let me start off by saying this is my first visit to an all inclusive so I do not have a ton of experience to compare it to. That said, I will try to be as concise and fair as possible.

THE GOOD:

The grounds were very lush and beautiful. The flora and fauna on site were enjoyed by almost everyone we met. There are several large resident iguanas that roam the property along with turtles and birds. Its quite the tropical jungle experience. The beach is beautiful with a lof of tropical fish to view while snorkeling. Beware the 6' resident barracuda that lives just off the beach. Bring cheese whiz if you want to feed the fish, they go crazy for it. There are tons of coral and rocks on the waters edge so it is not the most desirable walking beach but this didn't bother us. I only mention it because I overheard others complaining about it.

The service was above average and bordered on excellent. Its worth noting that my group was tipping which obviously enticed the staff to be more helpful. Room service is about an hour even though they say 30 min but otherwise no problems.

The rooms were pretty nice and for the most part clean. We especially liked the large tiled shower. I will mention more on the rooms below.

If you want to rent a car they have them on site, although I'm not sure if I would recommend it. we did and cars are beat up and certainly wouldn't pass inspection here in the states. Also, they charge mandatory insurance which really is cash that goes into the service agents pocket.


THE BAD:

We arrived at the Occidental early October 19th - Friday afternoon. We learned later that this was a big change over day but at first the resort was completely dead. We were walking around confused wondering where everyone was at including the staff. We had to complain to the front desk to get the bar tender back to the bar to make us a drink. It was a little odd walking through the resort at first not understanding why it was so quiet and why everything was closed. On top of that nobody ever told us all but 2 restaurants would be closed because this was the "slow season". The disco was also closed so all and all over half of the advertised activities and restaurants were closed for the season. This was pretty disappointing but because we went on this vacation with another couple it wasn't that much of an issue. We entertained each other but I would imagine if this was my honeymoon (as it was for some others we met) I would be extremely disappointed.

The rooms were fairly nice at first, but they smelled very moldy from the humid tropical weather and had we had several issues with things not working and breaking while we were there. The phone we had had a connection problem and would cut in and out. The tv was old, small, and did not have many channels. The few it did have were in spanish. The safe we had stopped working halfway through our trip. Most of these issues were called in and fixed within the same day so I can't complain too much. The only other thing worth mentioning is that none of the rooms have beach front or views available. They are too far away and the jungle is too thick to see the ocean no matter what floor.

The food was below average. All 4 of us agreed that the food was more of a "we have to eat" than wow I really enjoyed that or it tasted great. I think the lunches were the worst and after 3 days of eating them we actually passed a few days and ordered room service. For whatever reason the room service seemed to be higher quality than the restaurant buffet. Overall the food was a huge disappointment.

As mentioned above the service was good, but a lot of that was due to our constant tipping. There was very limited service on the beach and pool area. We had to hunt down a server and tip him to have him bring us drinks on the beach and pool.

THE UGLY:

When we first arrived at the resort we were greeted by this very kind gentlemen who claimed he was our personal concierge. He brought us drinks and gave us a nice Cozumel coaster. He then proceeded to hard sell us on everything from activities to timeshares. It was very high pressure, misleading, and very uncomfortable. This continued for several days and we were constantly harassed by different staff members no matter where we turned. We would literally avoid walking places due to the time share salesmen. Personally, this alone was enough for me to never visit the resort again.

To add insult to injury the very first night we stayed at the resort our building fire alarm went off constantly all night. Nobody in our building (12 rooms) got any sleep. This continued for the first 3 days making the first 3 days of our vacation absolutely miserable. It was also mentioned to us that other buildings were having the same problem. The office staff gave us every excuse under the sun as to why it was malfunctioning. At first it was the humidity, then it was because someone was smoking in the building, then it was back to the humidity. The finally fixed it after day 3 but by then half of our vacation was over. After complaining over 5 times to various staff members they finally offered us "an upgrade to the royale club". The problem was they didn't have any king sized beds and only offered us 2 doubles. They also only had 1 room available which would have split our group up. On top of all that packing all of our stuff and moving would have been quite the hassle. We passed.

BOTTOM LINE: After discussing this trip my my wife and other couple that went with us, we decided we would never visit this resort again. The food was not very good, service was good but sporadic, and the explanation I made under "THE UGLY" is self explanatory. I rated this 2 star strictly because of the fire alarm issue. If it had not been for the fire alarms and the staffs lack of attention to it, I would have rated a 3 star. For the money and time there are many other resorts which are far superior.

Cozumel is beautiful and overall we still enjoyed our vacation, but I don't think I can directly attribue that to the Occidental Grand Cozumel.

Room Tip: I've heard the ac doesn't work well on the 3rd floor and the lower level has mold problems...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Jared B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Dear Jared B,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us, please know that your feedback is invaluable as it helps us enhance our service. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed our beautiful grounds and beach and our excellent service. However, I am concerned by your feedback about the Vacation Club staff. They are there in order to offer personalized service to guest and information on the hotel and area. I have met with their manager to discuss how they can best approach guests and avoid negative encounters in the future.

I sincerely apologize for the disturbance with the fire alarm and for the miscommunication in relaying the problem. We had a technical programming error in the system. Our maintenance team has since fixed the issue and put measures in place to prevent it from happening again.
I am sorry for the inconveniences you experienced with your room. What is most concerning is the issues you mentioned with the safety deposit box. Our maintenance team has since checked on all our safety deposit boxes to ensure that they are fully functioning. Regarding the smell from the humidity, we try to prevent it by providing dehumidifiers in every room. I have meet with the head of housekeeping to see if we can find other solutions.

I was surprised to read your comments about lack of things to do at the resort. Every day our activities team invites guests to join in on various games and classes, including volleyball, water polo, streching and dance classes. Every night we offer a different evening show that includes a traditional Mexican dance performances. Regarding our à la carte restaurants, we have five at the resort. During low-season, we open three of the restaurants each night for guests to dine at. I am sorry if this was an inconvenience to you. I am also sorry to hear that you were disappointed by the food. Our Executive Chef works to offer guests with top quality culinary options, providing different daily dishes at the buffets made from the freshest ingredients. I have shared your feedback with him.

I sincerely apologize for falling so short of your expectations. I hope you will visit us again so that we can show you the wonderful time we accustomed to providing. Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edna
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2012

We stayed one week at the all-inclusive Occidental Grande 5-11 October 2012. The place was excellent, the food as good, all the employees were excellent. Access to the hotel is well controlled. The dive-operator that I used picked me up at their pier each morning but they also had Palencar Dive on site providing all types of scuba and snorkel services. We are definitely going to return!

Room Tip: The only tip I can give is to reject the effort on the part of a sales person to sell you a time-sha...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Jay W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Occidental Cozumel

Property: Occidental Cozumel
Address: Km 16.6 Zona Hotelera Sur | Colonia El Cedral San Francisco Palancar, Cozumel 77600, Mexico (Formerly Occidental Grand Cozumel)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
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:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#13 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#15 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Cozumel 4*
Number of rooms: 247
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Only the Caribbean’s most famous reef system could match the beauty and splendor of the Occidental Grand Cozumel, which is exactly why the two exist side-by-side. Located on Cozumel’s gorgeous San Francisco beach, just above the bottomless blue paradise of the Palancar Reef system, you’ll find an authentic-style state that delivers all the luxuries of a private oceanside hacienda. Gourmet dining, bright and airy rooms, nightly music and entertainment, daily sports and beach activities and an on-site spa and salon make the Occidental grand Cozumel the jewel of any Caribbean experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
Occidental Grand Hotel Cozumel
Grand Cozumel
Grand Occidental Cozumel

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