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“Incredible, above all if you´re a diver”
Review of Occidental Cozumel

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Occidental Cozumel
Ranked #19 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Reviewed August 26, 2013

Me and my wife were at the Occidental Grand Cozumel for one week in winter. Here´s my feedback:

POSSITIVE POINTS:

- The staff: The hotel staff is incredibly pleasant and kind, above all Margarita (receptionist), the barmen, the bellboys, the waiters and the cleaning ladies.

- The beach: One of the two best beaches in Cozumel. It´s wide, long, and has lovely sand. The water has a transparent turquoise colour. The hammocks are comfortable and new. A waitress is always asking if you want something to drink. Snorkelling near the hotel is very nice, in a matter of 5 minutes swimming you can see lots of fish. I saw a very big barracuda trying to hunt small reef fish!!!
The dock is also integrated in the hotel beach. It´s very comfortable for divers.

- The diving center is very good. There´re boats really nearby. The dive masters are very professional and attentive to clients. Yhe only strange thing is that they want you to pay in cash. They offer special rates if you pay in cash.

- The location of the hotel: It´s very separated from civilizaton, you don´t hear any traffic noise. The villas are integrated into the landscape, surrounded by jungle and mangrove swamps. It´s easy to see animals around your villa, like caribbean birds, wild pigs or iguanas.

- the night buffet was original and varied. Each night a different menu was offered. The breakfast buffet was also very nice and abundant.

- The two thematic restaurants are comfortable and warm. Los Olivos (the mediterranean one) is very romantic and they cooked the pasta and meat well. The mexican one (Sonora) as good also, they prepare very good tacos.


NEGATIVE POINTS:

- When you arrive there, when the receptionist finishes their initial speech (room, hotel, timetables...), another member of the staff tries to convice you to sign up to the Occidental Hotels Club. He´s very persistent and try to force you to listen to a sales speech of two hours. It´s very unpleasant, I only wanted to get into our room, see the beach, relax... if you say you don´t want to listen to the speech, he gets a bit angry. This can´t be the service of a hotel of this status.

- Careful with the selection of your room...

Rooms on the 1st floor are very wet and it´s possible that certain animals or insects get into the room. Careful with your things also...

Rooms on the 2nd floor are also wet. The jungle is very thick and near the rooms. For example our room (1025) didn´t receive sun all day. The jungle didn´t allow the sun to get in. The room smelt wet and moldy all the time.

In addition to this, 2nd floor has an ice machine. It produces a lot of noise, particularly from 7 to 10pm. I don´t understand why it´s so important to have an ice machine in every villa. Do people really use it?

Our room didn´t have a security box, and the TV was very old.

Rooms on 3rd floor are the best. there is sun and you can enjoy the garden. The best are the ones what are located at the front door of the villas.

- Lunch buffet can be boring. It´s always the same meal:

For starters they have simple saladas, nachos and soups.
Main courses included different chicken dishes, a fish dish (always the same) and the hamburguer grill. I missed grilled fish, eating the same meals for one week is a bit boring...

- They don´t have a veriety of restaurants: We have been to other all inclusive hotels in mexico and they had more different restaurants, like the Asian one, American grill, etc... it´s a bit boring.

- There aren´t any pizzeria, they only served pizzas at the same place where they serve the night buffet.

- Some of the taxi drivers near the door were unpleasant, rude and their cars were very dirty. The hotel should control the quality of them.

- The hotel is very boring at night. They have a club, but it´s only for teenagers. They have a nice square, but they don´t take advantage of it. Thay have no entertainment on weekends (why not??) and the other days are a bit boring. The only day we enjoyed was the one with live music. It´s true that we went ther to relax, but no too much...

Room Tip: Rooms on 3rd floor are the best. there is sun and you can enjoy the garden. The best are the ones wh...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank JOSEFELIXAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 25, 2013

My boyfriend and I decided to travel to Mexico for the first time after my sister raved about her trip to Mexico. We choose the Occidental Grand, because the all-inclusive amenities were appealing. Some aspects of the resort were true to their descriptions. The complex itself is very nice and clean. The beach was beautiful. I enjoyed an hour massage by Erika at the Spa. We loved the fire show put on one night for entertainment. The best part of our trip was paying $30 each to the resort's sports/boating company to go snorkeling for 2 hours. (Only snorkeling gear is included, trips are not)

Many things described on their website were not accurate. First, the nice restaurants were not open half the nights when we visited and reservations were necessary and unavailable some nights. Therefore, we were left eating the buffet most nights. The lunch and dinner buffet rarely changed and I think I was so disappointed, because I kept thinking that my college dining hall food was exponentially better. My other disappointment was our room. We requested a King bed instead of two doubles. We got two doubles. We would run the A/C on high all day and night and yet I couldn't sleep at night, because I was hot.

I would not recommend this resort mostly, however, due to the concierge staff. When we arrived we were manipulated by the concierge to attend a presentation to receive coupons to take a trip to Tulum and Xel Ha. We only found out after reading the fine print of the form she handed us that it was a presentation about the timeshare club. As young adults with little money, we knew we wouldn't buy anything, but decided to go since our concierge promised us a great deal on our trip. The presentation was extremely awkward and much longer than described. When we finally were allowed to leave since the gentleman realized we didn't have any money, we were told that we were lucky, because they'll try to keep talking to people for up to 6 hours. Back at the concierge to pick up our promised coupons, we were told we misunderstood her and that the price we were promised was ridiculous. Fed up, we talked to another concierge and planned a trip to Tulum and Xel Ha that involved taking a taxi at 6am to a ferry and meeting a man who would take us to a bus. We really wanted to go so we put down a down payment and accepted that we only got a sheet of scrap paper with a name on it. A day later we felt so uneasy since the staff had only showed us not to trust them that we cancelled our trip. We were also told the incorrect price for a cab to the airport, which cost twice as much as we were told.

I would only recommend the resort if food quality is not important and you don't interact at all with the concierge staff.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank hilski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

You always write a review wondering if a nice spot will be flooded out with people. lol The facility was very clean and nice. When I checked in I found I didn't have access to the room wifi. I took my papers down and showed them it said wifi was available in the rooms and they said, "Our mistake and we will correct it." but they kindly gave me the service at no charge. The pools were clean, ok beach and it was a short walk to Alberto's. I felt very safe and will go back again.

Room Tip: My room overlooked the jungle but nothing on the resort was a far walk away from anything else.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank Hippie558
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

As scuba divers we have been coming to Cozumel for 20 years. We have stayed at several of the all inclusive resorts on the island but came to this property several years ago. We liked it so much we joined the Occidental vacation club and come back every year. We usually stay in the Royal Club which is wonderful as we can dine at any of the specialty restaraunts as often as we like. The Royal Club restaraunt is particularly good. As members we also get to use the First Club amenities which are great. We are always greeted like members of the family and a lot of the staff have been there for years and remember us when we return.
The dive shop on site is Dive Palancar and they are wonderful. They do 4 single boat dives each day, we usually do the two morning dives as the wind can pick up in the afternoon. Many of the dive masters have also been working here for years so we often end up diving with the same guides we have known for years.
We usually go in May when it is quiet but it can run into the start of the rainy season so bring plenty of bug spray.
The beds like most beds in Mexico are hard! So I have learned to ask ahead of time for an egg crate mattress topper.
This is not really a resort full of crazy young people who just want to drink as much as they can, but maybe in the high season there may be a few more. The entertainment is geared for adults, but they do have a kids club. There is a small gym which we have used and a spa which is good too.
A taxi ride into St. Miguel the town is always worth it. The shops are very good and prices are reasonable. Lots of diamond stores!
The town and the resort are very safe, we have never had any trouble at all.

Room Tip: If you want to be close to the pools and beach choose one of the higher numbered buildings. No room...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
3  Thank Scubagirl936
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

Grand Cozumel is great as is the island itself. The place is clean the food is great;we especially enjoy the beach restaurant at lunch. The the beach is beautiful and the people are very warm and friendly. he resort even comes with it's own mascot Paco the Iguana. we enjoyed being on the lookout for Paco every day. The pools are great as are the activities and the entertainment on the property. The resort offers good side trips at reasonable rates. We have been back to this resort 3 times and have shared our secret hideaway with our friends and family.

Room Tip: We have been in rooms in various parts of the resort and they are all beautiful and comfortable.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Becky Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2013

This was our second stay at Occidental Grande in Cozumel. We go every year but this was our first time staying in the same place! We will be joining their vacation club as well because we like it so much. The employees are wonderful, it is clean and safe and a lot if fun.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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Thank Sonjy4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

My wife and I returned to the Occidental for another trip to Cozumel after two years. This year, we upgraded to a Club room and I think the upgrade was worth the money. The property is well maintained and very clean. Our room was ready when we arrived, clean and pretty much a typical room at a resort in Mexico. We had no issues with the air conditioning or anything else in the room.

I was there for the diving and used the on-site dive shop, Dive Palancar, for my dives. Overall, this is a good dive shop and the dive masters do a pretty good job keeping everyone on the same page. I wish they would do a better job with less experienced divers or those that like to touch the under water critters. We had a gentlemen from Europe that liked to pose the sea turtles so he could get a good picture. Nothing was said and it was up to other divers on the boat to address. If you want to do some of the more challenging dives, you need to ask at the dive shop and they will make sure you get on the right boat in the morning.

My wife and I ate at the buffet for the most part as I did not bring long pants. The food is good but it's buffet food so don't expect 5 star gourmet food. We never went hungry. The main restaurant can get hot and air doesn't move through very well. We much preferred the beach restaurant where they served lunch. I wish they would serve dinner there once in awhile.

When we go back to Cozumel, we will stay here again.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank scmichaels
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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