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“Kids club at the Grand Occidental”
Review of Occidental Cozumel

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Occidental Cozumel
Ranked #19 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Reviewed April 1, 2014

Abbey worked very hard every single day we were on vacation. From early in the morning to late into the evening. She was always very concerned with kids having a good time on vacation. The activities varied and our son did not want to miss out on the activities.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
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Thank Wyoming2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liliana S, Reputation Manager at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2014

Dear Wyoming2014,

Thanks for your review. We're very pleased to hear your son enjoyed our kids club so much, we'll make sure to pass your kind comments to Abi.
We sincerely hope to be able to host your family again in the near future.

Warm regards from Occidental Grand Cozumel,

Liliana S.
Reputation manager
Occidental Grand Cozumel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,236 - 2,242 of 5,140 reviews

Reviewed April 1, 2014

The location of this resort is great. The rooms were decent and each building had about 15 rooms total, so it didn't seem as though there were lots of people everywhere. The buildings closer to the beach seem optimal, we were in #16 on the third floor, which had great jungle views. Wendy at guest service was great to work with, she spoke great English and was very helpful; the other guest services manager was not as friendly or helpful. The grounds are beautiful and well maintained around the entire resort. It was very clean and interesting to have large iguanas freely roaming around. We even saw an armadillo one night. There are nightly shows at the meeting square which include a dance lesson and children's activities. The shows we saw included a Fire Dance show and a Mayan Dance show.

The timeshare and Royal Club sales people were obnoxious. It was hard to get any information or really know what was legit, as this was our first trip to an all inclusive resort. We avoided the presentation but the sales people continued to badger us our entire stay despite saying "no."

The beach is absolutely beautiful. We did not realize the first day that you had to reserve a beach chair first thing in the morning or good luck trying to find shade. The second day I got up at 7:00am to reserve our chairs and to my surprise, all the shaded chairs were already reserved for the day. The following day, 5:30am I walked to the beach and there were already towels claiming many of the chairs. This is ridiculous to me especially since most of the chairs go unused throughout the day; so if you want a chair under a grass hut, you better be up before 5:30am!! Don't forget your sunscreen; it costs $30 per bottle at the gift shop.

The pools were nice and the pool nearest the beach always seemed to have activities going on for both adults and children. They also had fun music. The bar at the main pool tended to have a pretty long line and it could take 20 minutes to get a drink as there was only one bar tender. There were several days where a server was taking drinks from the beach and would deliver right to my beach chair, which I really enjoyed. The bar at the relaxation pool was much easier, but not always staffed. It was somewhat difficult to get towels if you weren't there at the right time to exchange towels or towel cards. Snorkeling was fun right off of the beach. There were lots of boats in the area which seemed to stir up quit of bit of sand and sediment causing the water to be somewhat cloudy at times with the wind as well.

The food was good, not spectacular. There are three restaurants, two requiring reservations. I recommend making reservations the day you arrive. The Mexican restaurant was good, small portions, which was fine with me after eating buffet food. The Mediterranean restaurant was also good; they had pastas and several seafood dishes. The pizza place open from 7pm-1:30pm was very good as well, but had somewhat limited seating. The breakfast buffet was pretty standard, definitely some interesting Mexican dishes. They had an omelet bar option, which the line would get pretty long for at times, not exactly worth the wait. The dinner buffet rotated themes each night, which was interesting. I did have several very good things there, but expect buffet style. The lunch buffet was in a beautiful setting but seemed to have the same foods each day. The line for the lunch buffet would get pretty long around 12pm-1pm and would take up to 20 minutes waiting in the sun for seating, which gets irritating. There were not long lines for the buffet food, although it did take my husband 10-15 minutes to get a burger.

The gym facility was mediocre; three treadmills, an elliptical and a stationary bike. There was some weightlifting equipment as well. The air conditioning was not very effective and it seemed very hot. It seemed like the resort does not expect many people to use the facility. There is a small hot tub located in the gym/spa area as well as a sauna, which looked unused. My husband and I got a couples massage, which was incredible, I wished it were longer!

Travel to town was about $15-18 one way. The bellhops were very good about getting taxis and negotiating prices, which was very helpful. One even negotiated a day trip to Punta Sur where a taxi would take us and wait for us wherever we wanted to stop. He was a great tour guide!

Overall the trip was great. It was our honeymoon and both of our first trips to Mexico.

Room Tip: The closer to the beach and pools, the better.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Robyn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liliana S, Reputation Manager at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2014

Dear Robyn C,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us. We're very proud to have been your honeymoon location! We love to hear you enjoyed seeing our guest iguanas and even an armadillo.
We will take all of your comments in consideration in order to keep our quality standards. We look forward to host you again in the near future.

Warm regards from Occidental Grand Cozumel,

Liliana S.
Reputation manager
Occidental Grand Cozumel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 1, 2014

My husband and i stayed at the Occidental Grand February 16-21. Despite our flight being cancelled due to the snow storm on the east coast and us not arriving until two days later, the vacation was great! This was our third time at the Occidental Grand and have to say everything went well. We had booked our vacation via Apple Vacations.com and booked the Deluxe Romance package, which i totally would recommend. It came with a 30minute couple massage, a dinner at the Royal Club, check in at the Royal Club desk, King bed, and champagne and fruit upon check in. It was definitely worth it the extra money. I was a bit concerned when we checked in and was given a bottom floor room, as we've always had a top floor room, but since the king beds are limited at the resort, we ended up taking it. I have to admit, the room was very humid and damp, unlike the other two times we were there and stayed on the top floors and never had that problem. The wifi was not included and even though we paid for it, it was not great. The one thing different with the rooms, were the tvs. They now have upgraded to all flat screens which i thought was a nice touch.

The service was great and everyone we talked to at the resort was pleasant and helpful. The food at the buffets were better then some of the other all inclusive resorts we've stayed at especially the lunch buffet! I loved being able to have fresh grilled fish and making fish tacos with the tortillas they had.. yummy!! The dinner at the Royal Club was awesome! The food and the wine is just better there! I wish i had all my meals there, maybe next time we'll upgrade to the Royal club. The pools and the beach are beautiful. They have the best beach out of all the resorts on the island. No rocks are coral, just a nice sandy beach and easy access into the water.

The entertainment staff was great. They didn't bother you if you weren't into participating which was awesome for those who just wanted to relax, but they did have fun things going on up by the pool area for those who wanted to have fun. I have to give a shout out to Abi... She was there the last time we were visiting and is such a sweet heart! She cares alot about her job and is always so happy and friendly! It was so nice to see her again.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
Thank beachgrl1030
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liliana S, Reputation Manager at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2014

Dear beachgrl1030,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We're most happy to read you had a great vacation at Occidental Grand Cozumel! We'll make sure to share your kind word to both the entertainment team and Abi.

We sincerely hope to be able to host you again in the near future for another pleasant stay.

Warm regards from Occidental Grand Cozumel,

Liliana S.
Reputation manager
Occidental Grand Cozumel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

We recently spent a week at the Occidental Grand at Cozumel. The hotel and food was fine but the dive shop needs work. The staff was great but the boats and the equipment was below par. Boats were old and the o-rings on the tanks needed replacement on almost every dive. Boats were filled to capacity and very tight quarters. Use a different dive shop that comes to the dock. Cheaper and better boats - not crowded.

Room Tip: We had a room by the relaxing pool. Was close to beach and the bar was not busy.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Terry O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2014

We upgraded to the Royal Club and although it made for an expensive stay we were very glad we did. By booking directly online into the RC we had access to three a la carte restaurants which we booked into several nights, access to a nice quiet pool and breakfast venue, superior service. The main breakfast/dinner buffet was mediocre at best - which can quickly get very old. There was often a lineup to get into the only lunch buffet which is ridiculous - so we felt fortunate to be able to escape to the RC restaurant. We met some outstanding staff: Roccio was very very helpful all through our stay but we too got sucked into doing the Vacation Club pitch and it just about ruined our stay. Hugo was our "sales agent" and he was unbelievable rude even though we made our intentions very clear upfront. The aggressive sales pitch comes close to ruining the environment at this hotel, as others have noted you see people being toured constantly. The location seems to be about the best on Cozumel, the setting/grounds are wonderful, the beds were comfortable, rooms are okay, diving was great with very good staff. Housekeeping, even at the Royal Club, was very poor.

Room Tip: Ask for an upper room (we asked but didn't get one and that would have helped a lot). If you can...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Susanne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2014

I have never taken this opportunity before because I realize that we travel to countries that do not have the same standards we are accustomed to and we have always been pleasantly surprised. This vacation to celebrate our 31st anniversary was a disappointment from the time we arrived in Cozumel
1) arrived at the airport and it felt like we were a herd of cattle that they weren't interested in welcoming - there were 3 planes arrive at about the same time but only 2 boarder staff to look at our documents! Then eventually a 3rd one joined them. This does not indicate Cozumel is welcoming of their guests.
2) arrived at the resort to find there was only 1 staff to check us in - another staff member was there but was TOO busy to help (Ricardo). After providing the info to check in she noted that we were celebrating our anniversary and asked the date - that led me to believe they might do something special for our anniversary - it would have been nice since they asked the date - but of course there was nothing - if you aren't going to do something, don't ask!
3) after checking in we want to go to our room, we ask how to get there - told go to the bell hop - no bell hop; wait for a few minutes and go back and was told to go back and wait! We would have gladly found our room ourselves but weren't even given a map of the property - oh, if you want that you have to go the concierge desk the next morning only to find out they want to sell you a time share! Not at all a professional way to welcome your guests.
4) go to the buffet for dinner (remember we have been travelling since 4 in the afternoon!) and are told that the buffet is closing and we must hurry and they start removing the food from the buffet
5) next morning want a beach chair - get the last 2 at 9:30 a.m.
6) 3 a la carte meals are included - go to book them on the monday morning and asked when are you leaving - say friday and we are told they are all booked up and the only 1 available is Thursday night at 8 p.m. - yet people we met there booked after us and were able to have 4 dinners!!
7) asked for a late check out because we didn't have to leave the hotel until 4:30 - told they were over booked and couldn't even guarantee there would be a hospitality suite - again, another couple after we had asked were given until 2:30 that day - hmmm....we found out that we could have a hospitality rom at 10 a.m. the day of departure after a number of trips to the front desk and phone calls - could only get the info once Ricardo was there - staff did not seem empowered.
8)if you want a chair on the beach be prepared to get up at 5 a.m. to reserve it! they need to take some lessons from Rose Hall Suites in Montego Bay Jamaica!
9) line ups for lunch in the heat!
10) too many sales pitches with people being shown around the resort for the Vacation Club which was very disheartening - without an exaggeration it appeared to be days where they were going all day long with the tours and meals
11) line ups at the omelette station (no personality staff!) and for BBQ lunch
12) two pool bars and each only had 1 bartender - the quiet pool bar was not as busy but people clued in that it was worth the walk across the mangrove swamp walk to get a drink rather than stand in a line 15 deep to get a drink at the bar by the beach - need to improve that!
13) overall the staff were good, however the resort is poorly managed
and now some of the good
1) the bed was comfortable
2) the snorkeling was great at the resort - saw fish that we never had seen before but definitely not the colours of Roatan or Curacao
3) the food was okay - not a great variety but okay
4) the grounds were awesome!
5) the lizards, crocodile (in the swamp), turtles and birds were very nice to see

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Christine N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2014

We just returned from Occidental Grand in Cozumel. Our stay was less than perfect. First the good: nice beach location on south end of cozumel island near prime diving reefs. The grounds are beautifully maintained. The rooms are in a lush jungle setting but don't expect a view of the water. Nice sized main pool that is ideal for families with small children and those who enjoy pool games such as pool volleyball and water polo. There is a bar next to the pool and a beachside restaurant where lunch only is served. Pool chairs and beach chairs were available for the early birds. The beach is the best hotel beach on the island and decent snorkeling right off the beach. Although there is no reef there are fish to be seen. There is a nice pier for boats to come and pick you up for excursions. The second quiet pool is very serene for those to simply want to chill. The drinks at this resort were good with some premium liquors available. The clientele at this resort seemed to be older retired and families young singles were scarce.Now the BAD. This is a front for a Vacation club. The Club is located within the resort and is an upgraded area with nicer rooms, a dedicated concierge, and good air conditioning. The Salespeople are located in the Lobby and they will offer you gifts to take the 90 minute tour that really takes 2-3 hours. They also will back off if you say no thanks a few times. They are two types of guests at Occidental Grand: members and dot commers. Dot commers are those of us who paid for our vacations through a travel agent and who are not interested in a vacation club membership. The members are treated better and seem much happier with the resort. Our experience seemed to be typical with many others we met. We paid for a room with a king sized bed but they had none available. Our air conditioning failed miserably and they did nothing to fix it. The food at the buffets was ok but not great. The Specialty Restaurants were good but you were lucky to get in one. We have been to Mexico several times and this was rated 4 stars. Of the places we have stayed lately: The Royal in Playa and the Iberostar in Cancun, this was our least favorite. Perhaps if I had joined the club and been treated better I would feel differently. We did find a way to put the bad stuff aside and have a good time but we won 'to go back to the Occidental Grand.

  • Stayed: March 2014
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2  Thank Thaowner
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:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#11 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: $170 - $317 (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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