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“Food Disappointing”
Review of Occidental Cozumel

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Occidental Cozumel
Ranked #19 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We were very disappointed by the quality of the food at this resort. The menus at the 2 speciality restaurants that were open during our stay were interesting, but the food that arrived on the table was poor quality, not very warm and often over cooked. The buffet was equally disappointing. I don't usually eat burgers, but did so at lunch times because they were cooked to order and therefore the only thing that was hot.

The concierge is obviously on a kick back as he was so keen to talk to us when all we wanted to do was go to bed after a very long journey. However the dive master he fixed us up with (Hector) was very good, picking us up at the pier each morning. Sergio, who accompanied him one morning was even better- taking his slate and writing down the names of several of the fish. Thanks to the two of them who made our holiday, together with the nurse sharks, turtles, eagle rays, pipe sea horse and numerous other under sea

Initially I couldn't understand why the time share sales people caught you on the first day, but I soon realised that if they left you any longer there's no way anyone would buy because the place was such a let down. Entertainment was very short in the evenings - one really good group started at 8.30, got everyone up dancing and promptly left by 9.30.

The staff were lovely, always helpful and smiling even though we didn't carry any money with us and therefore didn't tip at all.

I wouldn't go back to the Occidental Grand and would need to be convinced before going to any other Occidental establishment.

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Annie 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 reviewResponded December 20, 2012

Dear Annie B,
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I am saddened to read about your disappointment and was surprised to read your comments about our two specialty restaurants Sonora Grill, the steak house, and Los Olivos, the Mediterranean restaurant as we usually receive great feedback from guests. The menus at these restaurants feature gourmet dishes made from fresh and seasonal ingredients. At the buffets, the Executive Chef strives to offer delicious food options for every guest. Additionally, guests have the option of having pizza at La Piazza or lighter fares at the Beach Club. I met with the Executive Chef to discuss your feedback and he has assured me that he is using it in planning his upcoming menus.
I sincerely apologize for the discomfort you experienced with the concierge and Vacation Club representatives, who are the timeshare people you mentioned. They are supposed to guide guests, showing them all of the facilities and services available at the hotel. I have met with their manager to assess how they are serving our guests.
I am so happy to read your positive feedback about the dive masters. I shared your compliments with Hector and Sergio, who were pleased. I’m also glad to hear you appreciated our nightly shows and met with the Fun Club Manager to discuss extending the hours.
I am sorry you left feeling so dissatisfied. I hope you will visit us again so we can show you the amazing experience we are truly accustomed to providing our guests.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,655 - 2,661 of 4,927 reviews

Reviewed November 5, 2012

We are divers and Cozumel was our first and only diving experience so far--we go there once a year for 2 weeks because we fell in love with the diving, the people, and the island!! Our second year we found Occidental Grand, bought there and really became more enamored of the people and the island---the diving is still so wonderful it is hard to imagine a better place to go, and certainly we couldn't find any place where the diving is as good and as close (we live in South Texas). Our only experience at the Grand has been in October; we choose to go then because it is a slower time of year and not so congested. Everyone there has been super helpful, and always looking to make our vacation a memorable experience!! We LOVE it!!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank campbel7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank icepro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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1  Thank Kathy1211
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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
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4  Thank Lv2CSun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#11 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: $161 - $381 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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