The hotel is very well kept. Repairs needed a done quickly, and rooms are being consistently upgraded. I did not get the room I requested on check-in, but the desk quickly changed my room to the one I needed, and moved my bags for me. The attendants will walk you around the property and show you the resort. The food was good, even though they had the same thing on the buffet every day. Making reservations in "other" restaurants was kind of ridiculous, but wasnt a complete waste of time (skip le Hacienda). The hotel is a short $12 cab ride to fifth street in Playacar, where you SHOULD buy all of your knick knacks and take home goodies... plenty of bartering to be done. And YOU MUST MUST MUST eat at Karens in Playa... I had the biggest, best, and most beautifully prepared lobster you have ever seen.
Now the bad part: Barrakuda Watersports. They are a vendor ON SITE at the Occidental that offers diving trips, et al. They offered a catamaran trip to Isla Mujeres for my family, billing it as a family affair where they would snorkel, swim, pet a shark and parasail, and then enjoy a typical mexican meal while getting the chance to shop. When my two younger children got sunburned the day before the trip, they begrudgingly returned the money for my wife and I but happily charged me extra for my two older daughters to continue on the trip (21 and 17 years of age). For the record, they told me that if I still wanted to go, the catamarans were covered where I could keep my younger two in the shade; I declined. Anyway, when my two daughters arrived, they were greeted by "welcome to the booze cruise!" Yes, I sent my two lovely young daughters on a booze cruise, replete with open bar, etc. I WAS NOT TOLD OF THIS! I digress: they did NOT snorkel, swim, petting the shark was ridiculous (it was a nurse shark kept in a tank... they were allowed to touch its tail, take a pic, NEXT), and since they could not do any water sports, they were kept on the catamaran, in open water for over two hours WITH NO SHADE. The mexican fare was boiled chicken and rice, and Isla Mujeres is a dump... dirty, and crowded. Needless to say both my daughters got badly burned, and advised they were miserable, having the opportunity to do NOTHING they were promised.
I brought this up to the manager of Barrakuda at the Occidental; he casually escorted me away from his stand (and paying customers) where he offered to give my daughter a free diving lesson for one hour in exchange for the BAD experience. I asked for two hours (two daughters), but he scoffed, saying this was "too much". I will add that they gave diving lessons FOR FREE every day in the pool, so I really dont see where this was a fair exchange. Anyway, BUYER BEWARE. Barrakuda is a rip off.
Other than that, decent experience. Beds are somewhat uncomfortable, but Im a light sleeper. Internet is $12 USD per hour, so dont plan on doing anything internet related. Also, I will go further south next time to get away from the MONSTROUS crowds of Playacar. I hope this helps.
- 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