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“Relaxation....beautiful”
Review of Occidental Cozumel

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Occidental Cozumel
Ranked #23 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Ottawa
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Relaxation....beautiful”
Reviewed January 2, 2010

Let me start off by saying.... if you want nightlife... or to be walking distance to it.... run!!! This is a quiet resort. Full of afternoon fun if you want it, but VERY quiet at night.
We stayed in building 16. Closest to the royal club, the relaxation pool and beach. By far the best building for water people!
Town is an $18 cab ride/each way (well worth it) with shops and restaurants. We made the trip twice and you need to get off the main drag (rafael melgar) to enjoy it. Safest place I can think of to just tour around and end up where you end up. Of all the southern destinations we have been to I felt the safest.
Resort - Beautiful! Everything is laid out in lush vegetation, the beach is gorgeous and they even make good Caesars! Room was cleaned everyday, bar stocked. The damp sheet thing everyone talks about can be totally alleviated by going to your room in the afternoon and untucking all your sheets - it is damp but by doing this and putting the air on - ours were dry in the night. Mosquitoes are bad for about an hour – then they go away for the night. Bring some fly dope but overall we were not bitten badly.
Entertainment - as discussed above - they have a few good shows but really not a party place. Nice place to sit outside after dinner and enjoy everyone’s company.
Food - I am a really picky eater and usually get tired by the Thursday of our trip and make my husband take me out.... here I could have stayed longer. Food was ok and plenty of selection.
Trips - went in twice to town - quiet if off the main street and less hassle! Also took a beautiful island tour - 1.5 hours to tour the island and the scenery was beautiful. The tour guide probably helped - local man who loved his heritage and made it all the better. Also booked before leaving a snorkel trip with Rose Fury - she gave everything and more. Picked us up on site. Had only 6 other people on board and gave us a grand tour of the reef. Everyone thought I was getting scammed sending a deposit to Florida but this was by far the best snorkel trip I have ever been on. Did another one in Coz through our rep and it didn't touch it.
My expectation with all of our choices is to enjoy the sun, relax, meet new people and try new things. This resort however set a new bar for all future vacations – the entire package. We heard some complaints about not having a king size bed, air not working well, quiet nightlife but everyone was happy! Overall we will be back to Cozumel and definitely the Occidental Grand.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank down_south2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Austin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 29, 2009

We stayed at the Occidental Grand Cozumel after the Ironman race. I was looking forward to a relaxing time and friendly service. Unfortunately, it was quite the opposite. My wife and I have stayed at the Occidental Grand since it first opened, we even recommended it to friends who were in town for the race... won't ever make that mistake again.

First, the people at the front desk were very rude and didn't care that we had stayed there in the past (we were even previous members of their vacation club). That didn't matter and they didn't care about making our trip enjoyable (e.g. put us in the wrong room, refused to make dinner reservations for us, etc.).

Second, the food was horrible. I was so tired of eating the same thing (a hamburger) every day for lunch because the other options were so bad.

Third, the place smelled like a water treatment plant.

Bad experience and will never go there again... save your money.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mytravels09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2009

My husband and I read endless reviews on the Occidental Grand Cozumel (OG) - some good and some were not so good. We've both travelled to Cozumel in the past but this was our first stay with OG. At the end of our 8 day stay, we both agreed that we should write a review. We had a fabulous time and really were pleasantly surprised by many of the features that weren't highly marketed. For example, there are beautiful/well maintained gardens throughout the resort with evening lighting and even music. It created a wonderful and romantic ambiance. The 2 fine dining restaurants were fantastic and we both thoroughly loved our dinners. The breakfast buffet was good, no complaints. I grew a little tired of the lunch and dinner buffets by about day 5 but my husband (a much harsher food critic than I) never tired of either of them. He is much more willing to explore different foods than I which made the difference. I stuck to the basics and after a total of 8 days of eating those same basics, was ready for change. My husband tried each new item. The staff was very helpful and friendly. We have both travelled a good deal and were so pleased that we purchased the vacation club membership with Occidental. The room and bathroom was very spacious, comfortable and clean. Beach was gorgeous. Our only complaint is that they don't provide a jacuzzi/hot tub. There is a hot tub in First Club but that's for members only and I believe there is a hot tub inside of the spa. However, a hot tub outdoors near the pool would be great. We had a great time exploring the island and the staff was helpful in making suggestions and helping us coordinate with horse back riding, jeep rental etc... If you are planning on visiting this resort, you'll need to make your reservations for the fine dining reservations immediately when you check in as they book up very quickly for the week.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sarahlargay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level Contributor
31 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2009

I stayed at the Occidental Grand Cozumel for 11 days while scuba diving with Living Underwater dive op from August 18-28,2009. I was totally impressed with all facets of the resort. The food included a large array of dishes, something for every taste and was consitently very high quality, fresh and delicious. The outdoor buffet and specialty resaturants receive high praise. You couldn't ask for better service from each department of the resort or harder working and pleasant staff throughout the entire resort-they were all magnificant, eager to please, friendly and a huge credit to the hotel. The grounds are beautiful , well kept and include beautiful floral gardens, iguanas, 2 pools and a beautiful beach. The rooms are very spacious and include a large ensuite bathroom complete with separate toilet, bath and shower, a safe in the room , and well stocked refrigerator. the room includes a telephone and tv. Beware that bed sheets are moist but that is standard ina humid jungle environment. Rooms are well air conditioned and include a ceiling fan and as much bottled water as you want. The only down side are the expensive phone charges in the rooms (so use the public phones at the resort with a phone card) and the $36.00 round trip taxi ride to the downtown and back-however, it's better than staying in the hustle and bustle of town. As for the town, some great restaurants, very clean town and wonderful locals more than ready to lend a helping hand-great shopping as well. Living Underwater scuba dive op is a highly rated, well recommended dive op that picks divers up and drops them of at the Occidental grand Cozumel pier. Boat rides are comfortable and a brief distance to amazing dive sights. Living Underwaters boat and crew -captain and dive masters and guide are outstanding, eager to share tips and skills, very friendly, professional-highly recommendable. Divers and others at the hotel would be interested to know that there is always a well qualified english speaking doctor on call. I'll definately be back! Steven S

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank aqua147
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dersnuka
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 20, 2009

Arriving at the grounds at the Occidental Grand was a treat. Set in a jungle setting, the grounds are very well maintained and the buildings are beautiful. We arrived around 2PM, but our room was not yet ready. This was disappointing, as both my wife and I were wearing pants rather than shorts, as we traveled down from Nebraska. We checked out the afternoon buffet, and I was not impressed. The food was bland, but I figured since we were hitting the end of the buffet time, it was probably just the little that was left over and not an indication of what was to come. I had high hopes for this place, being as it was our first trip as a couple in 3 years of marriage.

After getting settled into our room, we did notice a musty smell, but due to the climate I wasn't too worried about it and after a day I didn't even notice it any more. I will say that we will be washing all of our clothes upon our return home though. We had requested and were given a king bed room, which was fantastic. The bathroom was huge, with a seperate shower and tub, and was more than adequate.

One thing that is definately a drawback to this hotel is the constant sales pitch to get people to buy into their 'vacation club', aka Time Shares. I had to give excuses and say no at least 10 times throughout the trip, many times to the same people. We talked to people staying at the Iberostar, which was another all-inclusive that we had considered, and they said that there were no sales pitches there. That would have been a huge bonus and I wished I had done more research before we'd booked this location.

The next issue was booking the ala-carte restaurants. The first morning that we were there, I called the front desk around 9:30 am to ask about reservations. They said that we needed to come down every morning at 9:00 am and that reservations were first come, first serve. My wife and I figured that we wouldn't worry about it the first few days we were there, as we just wanted to relax. So on the Tuesday of our trip (day 3), I headed to the front desk to enquire about reservations. At this time, i'm informed that we were supposed to make our reservations for the week when we checked in. We were never told this, and the only reservation that was available for the entire week was at 9pm in the Mediterranean restaurant on that Thursday night. It seems like unless you take them up on their sales pitches, you are either lied to or misinformed, but it could just be a case of people not doing their jobs correctly. Either way, this was very very disappointing.

The pools and the beach at this location are great. The relax pool is a nice quiet place to do just that, relax. The beach is good sized, and there are plenty of activities available if you choose to do so. We aren't drinkers, but the bar selection looked ok. I highly recommend the strawberry daquiris with no alcohol if you aren't a drinker, or with if you are, as they are delicious.

The food, for the most part, was ok. Due to our miscommunication, we spent every meal eating at a buffet. After a while, you really begin to notice the repitition to everything, and this definately was not an exception. The food was never bad, but it was never great as well. It was buffet food, and was about as good as I would expect a buffet to be. I will say though, the deserts were fantastic, especially for someone with a sweet tooth like I have.

All in all, I wouldn't go back to this resort. It was average, but average isn't enough to garner a return trip for me. I expect a resort to be at least above average or excellent to get return business. I hope this review helps anyone who may look into this resort in the future.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank dersnuka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arctic Bay, Canada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2009

We just got back from this Wonderful Place December 5th and miss the beach and great Hamburgers by the beach already....I dont understand the people who complain about the food here...Buffet was always hot and alot of choices...The breakfast was great..Pancakes...French toasts ..Eggs..on and on...We went to the steak house and both had the steak...It was great MANY THANKS to the Gentleman @ the front desk who got us in our last night there...Staff are all wonderful.....Wife snorkled off the beach every day and even seen the Large Baracuda out front ...Gave her a little scare...LOL...

Grounds are beautiful here and the pools are kept clean ..We would spend the mornings @ the Beach and afternoons @ the quiet pool with the iguanas...
We will be back for the right price....Safe Travel All you will not regret going here..
Only comlaint was the Musty smell of the rooms I would bring some air freshener or candles next time...

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jimmy_sea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
danbury,ct
Level Contributor
70 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed December 17, 2009

Joined scuba diving buddies who had been to this location before and raved. They had good reason. Top notch in all respects. We had stayed at other Occidental properties including Allegro next door 2 years ago. This place is the model for a modest scale all inclusive resort. Very nice for a couples trip , lovely relaxation pool area, main pool with activites across a mangrove area elevated bridge, and powder white sand beach. Dive shop and water toys on grounds, very professional and busy. Full gear rentals available and 4+ dive runs available daily.

After dive ,easy crawl to luncheon area with full view of the water. Other activities fairly limited with some evening entertainment.

Rooms were excellent with over sized bathrooms, a small sitting area, and an adequete veranda. We faced main courtyard , so would opt for something facing outside of grounds since surrounded by nature. Note , mosquitos a problem right at dusk ,gone in an hour or so. Very pretty and well maintained grounds.

Food was a highlight with buffet superior. Meditarean restaurant good, not great. I am easy and found the buffet level of cuisine exceptional, agreed with group of 7. either no wait or short time at peak hours to get in an the wait staff was very attentive, friendly and fast. Very nice dining areas, and no hassle getting either large or small groups seated.
Minor observation was that deserts did not meet standards of exceptional entrees.

Reception area and small store were excellent, open court yard theme picked up through out resort. A bit of a trek to get into town, although cabs easy to get. Staff was unfailingly friendly ,helpful and polite.

I would not suggest a meet and greet location since most everybody was paired up, but one couple we went with got engaged at the beach after the special "romantic" dinner which apparently did the trick!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kevin g
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
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#12 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#14 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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