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“Royal Club worth the extra” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Occidental at Xcaret Destination

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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #69 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Royal Club worth the extra”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2012

My wife and stayed at the resort for the second year in a row. Last year we thoroughly enjoyed it but felt that there could have been improvements to the food and made the mistake of having the 'tour' in order to obtain discounted tickets to Xcaret Park. With that exception I felt we received value for our vacation dollar. The only negatives were the beds (very hard) and the seafood restaurant which was aweful.
This year we booked a little later and had to upgrade to the Royal Club. The extra cost was well worth it. The staff througout the resort were very friendly and gave (for the most part) good service. the Royal Club tok the service to a different level. They were extremely accomodating and attentive. The restaurant in the club is only for those staying in it and is fantastic. It is a set menu which could be an issue if staying for two weeks but was not an issue for our stay.
All of the restaurants were improved over last year with the exception of the seafood restaurant which was the same. Having spent considerable time on the east and west coasts of Canada perhaps my expectations were too high. However, given the wealth of seafood in the area I was disappointed in the resatuarant.
Despite bing full both years you rarely have the feel of it being crowded.The lack of an ocean front beach is a bit of a drawback but this does preven beach peddlars and makes the resort much more secure.
We would go back.

Room Tip: You can't beet the ocean front of the Royal Club
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mp36440
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Cambridge
Level Contributor
89 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2012

We got a cheap deal and were prepared to eat and stay elsewhere if the accommodation was as bad as some reviews indicated but we were pleasantly surprised.
Our stay was from 17 to 25 December 2011.
The hotel is in tropical jungle/gardens and adjacent to the Xcaret ecological park.
The accommodation is in some branches from the main building and about 10 to 20 three storey building within the gardens.
Our room was on the ground floor in block 12 which is in a branch of the main building.
The accommodation was good with all one would expect plus a reasonable size balcony overlooking a quiet piece of garden. There were no noises except from birds and animals in the garden.
The buffet food was good in the beach club, snack bar and main restaurant, with hotel staff constantly refreshing food items, providing clean plates etc. Queues to get into the restaurants were generally short (2-3 groups). Waiters provided drinks; a tip was obviously appreciated (the bell boy would change large dollar bills for smaller ones). The wine served in the buffet was not very good.
In addition to the buffet restaurants there were 4 or 5 other restaurants which served the evening meal with waiter service; a reservation had to be made at these restaurants. There was no extra charge for using them. The dress code in these restaurants was no shorts or tee shirt.
The bars at the pools and the lobby all served a range of drinks. The mojitos were particularly good but varied because the ingredients were not measured, just a glug of this and that.
There were three main swimming pools, all interesting shapes with bridges crossing them, islands etc. All pools had a maximum 4 foot deep, but with shallower areas and bubble pools. We were always able to find loungers at one of the pools whatever the time of day. There were activities taking place close to one pool and all the pool bars played music but one could find a place where the music was not intrusive.
The beach/pool always seemed busy and was noisier than the other pools.
We did not visit the disco or theatre. There were a variety of musicians playing each evening at the lobby bar, they were generally good
Connex Caribe were very good meeting us at the airport and providing transfer to the hotel. We were surprised that we had a minibus all to ourselves, not a shared transport, for our arrival or departure. A word of warning, after leaving the customs area at the airport, before reaching the outside area, one runs the gauntlet of official looking people who appear to be tour agent representatives but who only seem to want to sell excursions which in turn, we believe, lead to timeshare sales. The CC agent was waiting outside with a board marked “The Holiday Place” We were not pestered by timeshare sales people at any time during our holiday.
The local representative of Connex Caribe Mexico was very helpful and gave us advice on tipping, transportation, trips etc.
We booked one trip to Chichen Itza. The time spent collecting people from other hotels at the start and dropping them off at the end made it a long (13 to 14 hour) day. The buffet breakfast on the coach and lunch was not very good. Chichen Itza was amazing and we’d recommend anyone in the area to visit. The cenote was very interesting and worth a visit. The visit to Valladolid, which was at sun set when the birds were returning to the trees in the main square, was interesting but too short. The staff on the coach, driver, tour guide and assistant serving drinks etc were all very friendly.
We visited the Xcaret ecological park one day. Entrance to the park costs $55 per adult. The park was very busy but there was plenty to see. Food and drink are extra as are some of the activities. The wrist band given on the entrance to the park allows one to enter and leave as necessary so we returned to the hotel for refreshment before going back to the park to see the show in the evening which was very spectacular.
We travel to Playa del Carmen on two days. Each time we walked from the hotel to the main road and took a colectivo (a shared minibus/taxi) which stops at the entrance to Xplor. (fare to PdC 20 pesos). We returned by taxi (fare 120 pesos or $12). On one of the visits to Playa del Carmen we took the boat to Cuzumel.
It is perhaps worth saying one could easily visit Xcaret and only spend US dollars, but often the exchange rate is not good so it is perhaps a good idea to have some pesos to pay for taxis etc.
Weather was always warm, but overcast sometimes with the occasional shower. We did not find the need to have the air conditioning on in our room.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank HappyJJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
33 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2012

My family and I just returned from a vacation in this great facility. I'd been there 7 years ago and had very pleasant memories. The facility in located on a tiny bay with a small beach. I think with children, this would be perfect...easy to keep an eye on the little kids.
We were a family of thirteen, celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary. We had 8 adults, 4 teens and a 10 year old.
They were all to old for the children's activity center,but one or other of them tried archery, ping pong,air rifle shooting,tennis and lots of other activities.
The food was fine, and plentiful . The drinks of course are unlimited. I found it better to drink beer, as the mixed drinks were sugary and calorie laden. The teenagers loved being able to swim up to the bars and order ' virgin' diaquiris, pina coladas,and banana mamas.
Staff in the restaurants have amazing patience...its not easy to keep track of orders for thirteen people, and children who change their minds, or ask to have the pasta without sauce, or the French fries without seasoning etc.
Food in the speciality restaurants was very good, especially in the steakhouse.
We enjoyed our day spent in the adjoining XCaret Eco park. We were able to walk to the park from the hotel and were happy to get the discount for the hotel guests, which I believe is no longer available as of Jan 1, 2012. That park is fantastic. Everyone loved the underground river swim and the fabulous show at the end of the day. What appears to be a cast of hundreds, put on a spectacle where the tell the history of Mexico in the first half and show the traditional dancing from the various states of Mexico,in the second half. Some of the acts went on a little too long, but the dancing was wonderful and the costumes were spectacular. I would like to have some of the commentary done in English, so we could understand better what was going on. It was wonderful to hear the Mexicans in the audience sing along with the singers. I believe they were singing some traditional Mexican songs and the sang them proudly and with vigor.
I understand that the largest group to visit this resort are Canadians and the number of Russian tourists is increasing. The Canadians can get direct flights from several Canadian cities....something I was unable to do from my location on the East coast.. I felt cared for, welcome and completely safe in this resort

Room Tip: If you have bad knees or difficulty walking, ask for a ground floor.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank maryd42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2012

I will try to give as much helpfull info about staying at Occidental Xcaret as I can from my own experience, a lot of the negatives you will read in the review section at tripadvisor are actually true, but a lot is just blown out of proportion or not true at all. Keep in mind even the best resort can be picked apart and made to look like a place to avoid.

Firstly my general experience: I booked this holiday for me and my wife for Christmas holidays and only few weeks before so I paid A LOT, I had no choice in location and time really but was not dissappointed anyway, if I paid what some of the reviewers here paid I would probably feel like I hit vacation jackpot. This hotel was a significant upgrade over anything I've experienced in Cuba or Dominican Republic despite it's negatives. (No resort is perfect)

HOTEL ROOMS:
Very good and very clean, actualy I would call my room beautiful. I HIGHLY recommend buildings 14 through 17, these are smaller buildings with larger rooms with a better feel than the ones by the river (you will see this difference when you book your complimentary room at checkout for 30min to shower and change before you leave the hotel, they give you the cheaper rooms for this), the location is good because you are by the quiet pool and the bar is not so busy and the big plus is there is no concierge at the entrance (more on this later, this has to do with the stupid timeshare and special "club" things Occidental offers). If you are with children maybe you will prefer 18 through 21 as the main pool has many more activities, don't know about rooms but you will have "concierge" at the entrances, might not be a big problem for you I personally enjoyed avoiding these people. Don't know about "Royal Club" either as that area is completely off limits if you are not "Royal Club" member or somehow staying there.

You may notice a touch of mold in your room, a VERY SLIGHT touch that is if you are really looking for it, my wife saw nothing, I work construction and noticed it but understanding the climate there I feel the level is so slight it's not even worth mentioning, I only do because I've seen negative reviews claiming moldy rooms which didn't match my experience at all. In comparison when I went to Cuba we stayed in a hotel that was built 2yrs prior to our stay, very new, and the level of mold was already higher there, this is the type of climate we are talking about. The Occidental is an older hotel yet it was in excellent condition, I was very impressed.

The minibar has a sign that tells you the fridge will be refilled every other day, know this ahead of time so you don't have to complain about it NOT being refilled EVERY day. For me this was not a problem, especially since the pool bar was 15sec from my door and I don't spend much time in my room anyway but also I tipped the maid bigger on the first day, and then regularly on every day and magically my minibar was stocked EVERY day. Your results may vary. As far as towels not being replaced, there is a sign in the bathroom for this too! It tells you only towels laying ON THE FLOOR will be replaced, not stuff you leave hanging on your balcony, so don't complain about that either.

Don't know what else to add, rooms were fantastic IMO with small blemishes which should be expected everywhere. Bedding is firm as other reviewers noted, I personally like it this way because it is healthier on the back but I know others complained about it and it is a fact. Overall Mexico offers a higher level of everything compared to Cuba and Dominicana so if you've been in a nice place in the Mayan Riviera you may not feel the same about this place as I do, if you've gone to though Cuba then don't worry about what you'll experience in the Mayan Riviera, you'll be very happy I promise.

FOOD & RESTAURANTS:
Mixed bag here, in general the food was great compared to Dominicana and Cuba. More variety at the buffet, although not overwhelming, there's enough to eat for everyone and it tastes good. I'd say it was a jump in class to Dominicana and a huge leap to Cuba. A La Carte was dissappointing for me but it usually is, I never like these places since the Buffet's are so great but my wife likes them. The quality of food is not much better in most cases, and when it is keep in mind it's because it is cooked for you while you wait, Buffet is all ready right then right there. I saw some people complain harshly about the food at the A La Carte, but they seemed like high class people (like "we run an insurance company" type of people), I find the restaurants never live up to the "star rating" of the resort itself. I mean a 4-5star resort will not have 4-5star restaurants, at least not at the level a 4-5star joint would be in Canada/USA/Europe.. seriously it NEVER happens so don't expect that, but don't be afraid, the food really is good in taste and variety, this coming from a picky eater.

One thing I didn't like was that for Dinner there is only the one main Buffet open, even the cheaper resorts I've been to at least had 2 Buffets open which adds to variety if you're not fond of "A La Carte", but from breakfast untill 4pm you have the buffet by the beach and untill 6pm the "snack bar" (basically a smaller buffet) by the main pool. Overall not the biggest issue. Anyway the main Buffet is in the area you will want to spend your evening at anyway (close to the lobby, sports bar, disco, theatre).

Another negative would be the coffee, it's not very good. The one place where you will find good (actually excellent) coffee is in the lobby area (very pleasant to sit around in the evenings) but you will have to pay 25pesos for it (about $2 or $2.5 CAN), that bothered me a bit after having paid so much more to stay at this hotel. I come to these places in part for the "All Inclusive" aspect so that's just stupid. You don't even have a choice of the crap coffee in the lobby you would have to walk to some restaurant to get it I guess. The cheaper resort in Cuba had excellent coffee in the lobby for free. If you don't really like coffee though then it's not a problem, there is a nice bar at the very bottom level of the lobby and you don't even have to walk down there as there is always a server ready to bring you what you want right to the table. The "Seafood" restaurant in the evening by the beach actually served quite excellent coffee which was a big surprise, but that is "A La Carte", come to think of it the food and atmosphere was pretty excellent overall there even though I'm not a big seafood fan.

BARS:
There's a bar pretty much at every main spot in this hotel, with the exception of the "adult" area which has the salt water pool (very beautiful) but there is a server at most times to bring you drinks, the day I went there he seemed more preoccupied with cleaning up after other guests though so didn't get many drinks which was a bummer because it's a very cool area to lay around. The beer is exclusively Corona but the selection of liquors is a pleasant surprise over Cuba and Dominicana, I could even order "Wyborowa" vodka which is my favorite polish vodka and much more expensive than anything local, very cool. The bar at the beach gets the most traffic in the day, there is also a server at the beach but again on some days you'll get constant service on others he'll go missing, not a big deal since the bar is close enough from most spots at the beach. Never used the swim up bar at the main pool but there is one if you like that sort of thing, in the evening the bar at the theatre gets a lot of traffic, hop upstairs and there is a bar that goes quicker, sports bar opens at 6pm and is very rarely used but it has a pool table and darts so it's quite nice, disco is actually pretty impressive as well with just enough people to dance around with on most nights since there are a lot of guests at this resort. The lobby has a bar at the very bottom and if you want to sit around at the higher level a server comes around with drinks so it's very cool to lounge around there in the evening by the water.

THE RESORT ITSELF:
Beautifull, lobby has a river flowing through it into the park, fish to feed and Maccaws sitting around in the day. Around the river is a sort of mini city in a "Venice" sort of style with some shops and gym and stuff in the area, it's hard to describe in words even pictures don't do it justice, over the shops are the cheaper hotel rooms with balconies overlooking the river, everywhere there are seemingly random trees just growing out around the architecture so it's just got a perfectly complete feel to it and not artificial or forced. The way the lobby, the mini city, the "entertainment" area (disco,theatre,sports bar), Buffet and restaurants tie into eachother design wise and the aesthetics of the whole thing is nothing short of stunning (but confusing to navigate on your first day or when drunk). Then just outside the lobby you get tropical forests with natural pathways and wooden bridges to go through into your individual hotel area, I saw a howler monkey swing through those trees one day while lounging in the lobby which I thought was pretty cool.
Past the lounge you get more hotel rooms with pools and the beach area all surrounded by astounding forrest and interconnected with natural pathways and wooden bridges, as an added bonus inside the forrest you will find 3 ruin sites (2 mayan and 1 christian chapel), yes that's right there are ruins right there on the resort property. The hotels in the middle of the resort are next to pools, buildings 14-16 are by a smaller quiet pool with a single bar next to it, this one is my fav and there's a lot less kids in this area. On the other side you get a large pool with constant activities, music, snack bar (a mini buffet open till 6pm) and swim up bar. I spent very little time here but aside from the beach this is a great area for people with kids.. also in this area are the tennis courts, range for archery and air rifle, and the spa. I can't comment much because the only time I tried using the courts they were booked for the rest of the day and the next day I was leaving. Overall the pools were in great condition, if you see a leaf or some grass floating in the pool and you freak out then I don't know what to say, these things happen at all pools and eventually the stuff gets picked out or gets caught in the strainer pots, that's just how a pool works.
BEACH AREA:
This is a tough one. The beach is man made and it is not right at the ocean, it is a lagoon. If you absolutely crave a true beachside resort you should avoid the Occidental, however I have to say that the beach is cleverly designed and beautifull. The beach has stepped levels that go higher the further you get from the water with plenty of chairs and some "baldahim" beds. It's quite something really, even though I love a true beach the design and beauty made up for the lack of one to me. There's a bar by the beach which gets quite a bit of traffic but often there is a server going around with drinks which is nice. Next to the beach is my favorite buffet which is open for breakfast and lunch (untill 4pm), it's a pleasant place to eat with great views as well as trees growing through the deck on which hammocks hang for you to use if you eat/drink too much. Past the buffet is the adult area, not really a beach area but there is some sand here as well as grass and the main attraction the saltwater pool made out of stone, as usual at the Occidental it's beautiful. Overall it's a stunning beach area, but it is lacking that oeacanside feel which I loved at other resorts, for some this may be a dealbreaker but the people I spoke to at the resort felt the same as me and didn't complain about it.
If you feel like going to a natural beach and don't want to taxi to Playa Del Carmen you can head north along the coastline and you'll eventaully find a wild beach with nice sand and pleanty of rockless waters to swim around, however to get there you'll be trecking through rough stoney terrain (lizard heaven) and I can't vouch for your safety. In the water there I found a giant snake like fish which scared the crap out of me since I'm no wildlife/fish expert.. also a few days later a mayan tour guide informed me that this area of mexico does have poisoneous snakes, if I got bit out there I probably wouldn't make it back to the resort. However, I saw no snakes, just lizards, and the freaky fish, if you know what you're doing you might enjoy going out there.

OTHER INFO:
As others have mentioned before me this hotel sells timeshares, all the concierge work for the hotel and have an interest in selling you a timeshare, they do this by inviting you to tour the hotel with them and then pitching you at the end. I skipped this by declining politely. When you get to your room there will be a welcome card asking you to speak to the concierge about receiving your free gift, the free gift was a cheapo mayan calendar deal and of course an offer to tour the hotel and pitch you a timeshare. Remember how I said it's nice to have a hotel building with no concierge? This is why. I believe the timeshares they sell are in the "Royal Club", since I was not allowed entrance there I can't tell you anything about it, but I'm not into timeshares so I didn't care for the "tour" but I saw lots of people falling for it.
Aside from the timeshare and "Royal Club" they have "First Club", it looks like a restaurant/lounge/bar building, very nice looking actually. The annoying thing is this small building is situated right at the quiet pool and unless you take a tour or are "First Club" you can peek from the outside but can't enter. There is also the "Vacation Club", I have no idea what it is but in the main buffet there is a seperate room which is smaller but looks beautiful, "Vacation Club" members can eat there the rest are not allowed to enter. I also noticed at the lobby there is a "Preference Club" but I have no idea what it is. Occidental is not the only place in Mexico that plays these games but I think they take it to another level. This however didn't ruin my vacation at all but you need to be aware that you might end up going on a time wasting "tour" of the hotel only to be pitched a timeshare at the end.
Another oddity is the Baracuda shacks. These things are at every pool and the beach, you can replace your beach towel here, however sometimes while you are at it they will try to sell you excursions. To my understanding they are allowed to sell watersports only but they told me they can sell me a trip to COBA for much less than my travel company can. I declined.
Moneywise your best bet is to get Mexican Pesos at a good rate in your home bank. Exchanging at the airport anywhere is usually a bad deal, exchanging your local currency to $US is an even worse deal as vendors accept $US but at a rate of 1US to 10Pesos when the real rate is closer to 13.5Pesos as of this writing so you'll lose out twice on both transactions. If you forget or don't have time to get Pesos at home exchange your money at the lobby as their rate is about 12.5Pesos to $1US or 12Pesos to $1CAN or go to Playa Del Carmen for better rates, but don't go to Playa just to exchange money as the taxi ride itself is $11 so that would be stupid. The ATM at the hotel gives out $US at a horrible rate and charges a service fee, avoid this at all costs if you can since again you will lose twice on the exchange when vendors treat your $1 as 10Pesos. If you're in Playa Del Carmen another option is to use your bank card at a Santander or Scotiabank ATM to get Mexican Pesos, I've not done this in Mexico but I assume the rate is good and the fee should be around $5 to your bank account since that's how it's gone for me in other countries. Paying by credit card in the city is not the best idea, easy way to get ripped off. If you plan on buying stuff at the duty free in Cancun airport on your way back home it's best to have some $US or $CAN as all prices will be in $US and Pesos will be subject to funky exchange rates, however food joints at the airport deal in Pesos so you'll want MXN for that (stupid I know).
When you arrive you will have a presentation with your travel company, it's worth going to, if you can't find where it's scheduled go to the guest service desk across from main reception, other staff may try to be helpfull but may also waste your time, guest services will have the accurate information.
You don't really need to tip in Mexico, the staff will still be happy and helpfull whether you do or don't, however I tipped the cleaning lady and in turn she restocked my minibar every day when she didn't really have to.
Renting a car in Mexico can be expensive and a hassle, it's not hard for the cops to spot you as a tourist and pull you over for nothing and make you bribe them to let you go, I know someone that paid bribes 3 times in one day on a trip to chichen itza. However you may get lucky and get by without incident.

CONCLUSION:
I know it's a long read but hopefully it will help someone, I've included the negatives I've encountered at this hotel but don't let that steer you away from the resort unless it's one of those things that you just can not accept in your vacation like the beach situation or the coffee. If your only prior tropical resort experience is somewhere in CUBA then keep in mind that a 5star Cuban resort would probably come out to 3.5 to 4 stars in Mexico, the quality of just about everything in Mexico is that much higher. Mexico also offers so much more outside the resort I actually wish I'd stayed a few days longer.

Room Tip: buildings 14 through 17 have nice large rooms by the quiet pool
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
73 Thank Seb K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
97 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 2, 2012

I was so disappointed in this hotel on our third visit. There is not much that hasn't gone downhill since our 2nd visit in 2010.
No question it is a spectacular hotel and the staff as usual were helpful and very friendly.
These are some of the issues we experienced that we were not happy with:
1) It took 2 days and many requests to get a bar of soap
2) The air conditioner was noisy and I mean clanging like kids playing with pots and pans that eventually was resolved after a night of not sleeping and a few Tylenol
3) The food was hum drum at best and very repetitive altho the deserts were good.
4) The quiet pool is deteriorating, there are many tiles missing which makes rough edges thus stubbed toes.
5) The building we were in; 17, the rooms were in poor shape, it was like stepping back into the early 90's.

The other major concern I have is: that at one end of the hotel grounds is The Royal Club, then in the middle buildings around the activity pool, loud, non stop DJ. If you enjoy quiet and relaxation that's not the area for you. The quiet pool ,which we have always stayed in has now being made into a vacation club. This means that if you aren't a Royal Club Member or a Vacation Club member, once all the renovations are complete the only area left will be the middle near the "activity pool".

Regretfully I won't be back and I say regretfully because we really liked the hotel. We always vacation in the Mayan Riviera area. We had hoped to stay there for a few nights during our vacations.

In the last 3 years we have stayed there a total of about 4 weeks.
If this was your first visit you of course would not notice the difference.
If you plan on staying there get a map of the resort and try to find a room in an area you would enjoy;be it partying or quiet or with kids etc.

Room Tip: Get a map, the buildings we enjoyed were 15, 16, 17, however these may not be available due to the...
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Bluenoser55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2012

Absolutely beautiful resort with easy access to Xcaret Ecopark. Nightly shows were great and the food was ok. Be careful going into Playa del Carmen. Lots of sketchy characters in the doorways with "special deals for you". My advice is do not rent a car. La policia are on the lookout for touristas to give tickets to, and offer "special deals" as well if you pay them cash.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Kenoragrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2011

This hotel is located in the best place, near Playa del Carmen, Tulum & Xel-há, next to the Xcaret Park, 1 hr far from Cancún. The beach is an exclusive bay, the place is a natural reservation, the staff is friendly, food in the night restaurants is delicious. Chef Valenzuela and the First Club Staff are really professional. Unforgettable experience!!

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Axs2u
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
#44 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#50 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#77 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental at Xcaret Destination 4*
Number of rooms: 757
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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