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“Great Snorkeling”

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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #70 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Windsor, Vermont
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Great Snorkeling”
Reviewed September 8, 2011

Stayed here for 10 days and enjoyed it .
Pros:
Wonderful snorkeling right off the beach/saltwater stone pool area. Coral is coming in nicely and tons of fish. You can even snorkel in the salt water pool. We were in bldg. 16 so we were central to all areas. Room was standard (when we checked in we were placed in a substandard room, went back to the First Club rep. and we were moved asap. Seems the first room was yet to be renovated)
Bathroom sink wouldn't drain, called the operator, and within 5 minutes a service man was there to fix it. Got locked out of our safe, and same response....5 minutes and security was there to unlock it.

Cons:
Food and drinks were lackluster.....we were so unimpressed with the ala carte restaurants (never made you feel that it was "special"and food was so-so) so we ate at the buffet 8 nights, but that was always pretty much the same. Food was just ok.

All in all a very relaxing vacation with nice people.

Side-note:
Some have complained of poor service....I'm a firm believer that you get what you give!
The attitude of so many guests is laughable! We meet the most wonderful people because we took the time to talk with them. I know it's all-inclusive but..... would it kill guest to leave a token tip($1-$2) at meals....if I can't afford to bring $100 with me for tips then I should stay home! And another thing is the wasted food........people load their plates like they haven't eaten in 5 days, and then leave most of it behind so they can load up on deserts. You can go back as often as you want, so why load up? A little respect goes a long ways.
How is that perceived by the staff? Greedy, wasteful, spoiled tourist!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
24 Thank TOPNewHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Colorado
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2011

Great hotel, very clean rooms, a lot to do. Few things very irritating: not enough chairs on the beach and the beach is very small, no chances to get a reservation for dinner in the restaurants unless you made friends with front desk staff. Try to avoid sales people that will offer you discounted tickets to Xcaret park, you will loose half of your day.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank MtngirlColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2011

--Overall great experience; nice staff, super breakfast buffet, several top-shelf alcohol options.
--Rooms need updating, some problems (listed below). Staff said we had to be in the room for maintenance service and gave a three hour time window...who would wait around?? We're pretty easy going, but is you're used to top level service, you may be disappointed.
--Staff seemed to always be trying to sell something...building concierge selling time shares, lobby staff pushing certain excursions
--This resort doesn't seem to have the 'frills' that some have, but our family enjoyed it.
--Man-made inlet beach was great for snorkeling (we brought our own gear), but didn't provide for much of a view of the ocean.
--The lush grounds and seemingly free-roaming animals gave the resort a jungle feel which our teens enjoyed.
--Restaurant dinner reservations are limited. Seafood (open air overlooking the ocean) and Steak House were the best (son said it was the best meal of his life!). They told us they were booked solid, even though they were never crowded. Insist if you want every night. We simply showed up and were never turned away
--Free photo shoots are excellent bargain at $10/image purchased. Professional photographer will take pics at several locations (beach side, Mayan ruins, etc.) with no obligation to buy...but digital images are only $10 each or they will also print for you.

Room Tip: nice but rooms need updating; Bldg 19. Didn't complain, but ceiling fan dangled, shower didn...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank klgIllinois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birmingham
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2011

We visited this hotel for the third time but were very disappointed on this occasion. The hotel grounds were immaculate and well kept however the rooms had not changed or been decorated since our first trip 7 years ago, they looked tired & dated with old faded curtains and grotty towels /linen. Food in the buffet was not up to standard, more like 3 *,, the themed restaurants were near enough impossible to book and the concierge were only concerned in trying to book you on a time share tour which incidentally does not last for 1 and a half hours... but infact 5 hours. The evening entertainment was poor, perhaps one decent show a week.
I would not be able to recommend this resort any longer to families as it is not suitable ( it is more like a club 18 - 30s ). There is not enough vigilence by the security, infact their presence is not visible enough. We witnessed men fighting on the beach, girls throwing up and rowdy and extremely rude behaviour. The worst being two men climbing onto the stage during kids's mini disco and simulating gay sex. It was up to parents to challenge them....The swim up poolbar is open far too late and also guests are allowed in the pool all night.....so it doesn't stretch the imagination !
There is one quiet pool, but you feel guilty if you take your children. The main pool had blaring music (God's Kitchen Ukraine mostly) and the beach was also too loud. We saw one lifeguard in the whole complex and he was usually fishing for con shells at the beach and occasionally blowing his whistle.
All in all, a disaster, a very different hotel to the one we visited for the first and second time.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank BirminghamHoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 7, 2011

This was the first vacation my DH and i had taken in 5 years. The resort was recommended by a few people so we tried it. The place is HUGE! It has over 700 rooms in 30 bldgs, set in a kind-of rainforest. Monkeys swang on the trees! Lizards everywhere. Turtles. Flamingos! The pools were super clean, the water just too warm for our taste. The beach was our favorite spot. It is a bit small, but never too crowded. We swam with fish :) To get from one place to another either be prepared to walk or wait a few minutes for the shuttle. We did both. Shuttles ran pretty frequently so it wasn't a big deal. There are a number of restaurants, the downside was that we went during off season so the not every place was open every night. Additionally, the food at the buffet was mediocre, at best. We had no problems geting reservations for dinner, and only had buffet 1 night. However, for breakfast and lunch the buffet is the only place to go. And with no room service they do not let you leave with food. So when my husband and I were both sick the morning after dinner at the buffet, I wasnt allowed to bring even tea and crackers to our room. We were stuck there due to Hurricane Irene and found the front desk staff extremely accomodating. And guest services let us use their phones over and over to call airlines to try to get home. The most disappointing was the fact that after dinner the only air-conditioned place to have a cocktail was the "sports bar" til 10, than the "disco". At a place this size there should be more options. All in all-great vacation, decent place, no need to return.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank s d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
atlanta
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2011

My family and I stayed here for 4 days and we looovvvveeeeeee it. Its amazing place. Foods and drinks were awesome. The staffs were so friendly. The place is awesome. Huge and so much to see. The beach is beautiful. We will be back!

Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank shahrine k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed September 7, 2011

Booked a scuba trip through divevacations.com.
The resort is huge, grounds are very nice, and the room was very clean, comfortable, large and new looking. Wildlife was very cool, and we loved the seawater pool near the waves. The Mayan river and warriors were cool.
After checking in, we went to the pool bar to cool off. The large pool was shabby, lounges were very worn, and there was a bunch of drunk young people at the pool. (We love cocktails too, and are not prudish at all, but they were HOOLIGANS) Security spoke to them briefly, but it didn't do much good...suddenly, one young man sitting at the pool bar simply turned away and THREW UP right in the water, then turned back to the bar and kept drinking as his friends screamed with laughter. The bartender didn't do a thing, and we immediately got out. GROSS
The other pool was undergoing some construction, but it too was run-down.
All the dining areas except the buffet and taqueria required long pants for men, so we were restricted.
The food was okay, which is par for the course at an all inclusive buffet. Breakfast omlete bar was very good.
Drinks were so-so, and hard to get service. The bar at the lagoon closed early. :-( We would have liked a place to sit in the evening where we could get a drink while enjoying the breeze and hear the waves crash.
We were also pressured to sign up for a sales seminar, but resisted.
We went to the spa. My husband enjoyed his massage very much. My facial was not great. She basically washed my face, spent a lot of time going in and out of the room to get supplies, and the A/C fan in the vent above my head sounded like it was about to fall on me at any moment!
That all being said, we were there to dive. Two dive trips to Cozumel with Barakuda Diving were excellent. Divemaster Alex was incredible....
We will dive with him again, but will probably stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Suzi H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Occidental at Xcaret Destination

Property: Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 282 | Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Occidental Grand Xcaret All Inclusive Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#39 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#47 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#51 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#77 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Occidental at Xcaret Destination 4.5*
Number of rooms: 764
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 5-star Occidental at Xcaret Destination in Riviera Maya is a perfect combination in a natural setting with preserved cultural landmarks and an all-inclusive resort with a unique array of rooms, services, and state-of-the-art facilities. Choosing among the many possible activities is the most complicated part of a stay at this resort in Playa del Carmen. Swimming with dolphins, attending a Mayan Indian ceremony, enjoying all types of water sports at the beach club or sailing down the beautiful rivers and canals that surround the hotel are just a few highlights. The Xcaret eco-archeological park offers one of the most unique and exciting park, especially for families, by guaranteeing over 40 cultural attractions and expositions on art and traditions in Mexico. However, as people normally say at the hotel: "Do it all...or simply do nothing." Choose from a list of diverse activities such as strolling through the lush gardens at the resort, enjoying the sun while lying on a hammock, or taking a refreshing swim in one of the resort's five pools or private beach. Anti-stress remedies at the resort are endless. Regardless of how you plan each day at the resort, the hotel's choice of culinary selections is designed to satisfy the demands of every kind of guest. With 10 bars, including the one at the club, and 11 restaurants, guests have the freedom to choose a snack, an informal meal, a gourmet feast or a candlelight dinner, among many other options. The key to this resort is balancing between modern facilities and the marvelous Mexican rainforest that is filled with stunning local wildlife. Entertainment, relaxation and nature coexist at the Occidental at Xcaret Destination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel
Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret
Grand Flamenco Xcaret
Xcaret Grand Occidental
Occidental Xcaret
Hotel Xcaret
Xcaret Playa Del Carmen
Grand Xcaret Occidental
Xcaret Hotel
Grand Occidental Xcaret

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