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“Excellent in every way”

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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #77 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Absolutely loved this hotel. Location, food, service, rooms and pools all exceeded expectation vs the price we paid.

Food
The buffet was great, I really don't know how you couldn't find something suitable. If anything there was too much choice! Burgers for lunch or carved meat and crusty fresh bread. A la cart also great, particularly enjoyed the Mexican and sea food.

Rooms / pools

Rooms were great, plenty in the mini bar which was stocked every day. Pools fantastic, we weren't fans of the activity pool or the beach so much, but the pool closer to the lobby was very peaceful and had plenty of loungers all times.

Service

Fantastic. A special mention too Maria cruz at guest services who went out of her way to fix a problem with xcaret tickets which was caused by our travel agent. She even got us upgraded to the royal club for the last night.

The royal club!

If you're wondering if its worth it IT IS!! We had an amazing view over the sea, petty much the whole pool area and cabanas to ourselves as well as the luxury of room service.

Keep your expectation in check and you won't go wrong. We are on the hunt for an occidental for our honeymoon!

  • Stayed: June 2013
    • Value
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2  Thank floridaobsessed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 25, 2013

After deciding we wanted to do a destination wedding I did a lot of research and found the Occidental Xcaret by chance. They were one of the few destination wedding locations that was extremely prompt with their email responses, which immediately made me feel more comfortable. We initially had looked at Cancun destinations but decided against the "party" atmosphere for something more private and romantic that would also be good for the families attending our wedding. Occidental paid for my friend and I to stay at their resort about 6 months before our wedding so that we could take a look at the property and plan the details of the wedding.

Luz Jimenez the wedding co-ordinator is absolutely amazing! She made everything from the planning to the day of the wedding very smooth and stress free. She was happy to make happen any of the little details I wanted like placing bags of candy in each of our guests rooms or taking a suitcase of decorations that I brought with me to decorate the reception. She really went above and beyond for me and remembered all the little details by recording them with pictures I sent to her from pinterest in a folder.

Here is my breakdown of the services and spaces:

CEREMONY LOCATION: Before we visited the Occidental I was going to use the palapa space for our ceremony but after visiting and seeing that it wasn't very private we decided on the absolutely stunning mayan ruin area. Pictures do not do the space justice, it is a cliff side that over looks the ocean... absolutely breath taking and extremely private with trees surrounding and a private walkway. The nice breeze from the ocean also kept everyone cool for our summer wedding.

COCKTAIL SPACE: Is a balcony that overlooks the ocean. We had a mariachi band come, it was a nice really space to relax before the dinner. Since we were having a small wedding we did our dinner at the La Hacienda which is the Mexican eatery at the resort but if you have a larger wedding the entire space can be used for a reception.

DINNER (LA HACIENDA): We decided to use La Hacienda because of the food and the amazing atmosphere with the white papel picado that goes all across the ceiling in the dining space. Honestly, our dinner space with the decor and food was way beyond what I ever expected. Luz and her staff did an amazing job making my vision come to life.

I would use Occidental again for my wedding. For the wedding itself adding a double layer cake, band, dinner, etc. The bill was less than $1,100 half of that was the mariachi band which I splurged on! When I told my friends how much I spent they were awe struck and couldn't believe it.

For reference our wedding had a total of 27 people.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank BDix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay here, but our expectations were fairly low. My Mom paid for pretty much the whole thing, so it's one of those "if you're not paying, you can't complain" situations. I was the one who picked this resort over many of the other choices, because the cost was lower.

1) The beach is small.
It occurred to me close to the end of the trip that there was some benefit to this. Oftentimes, beaches get closed due to intense undertoe. Since the beach here was basically in a small inlet, the undertoe was only noticeable when you got close to the bouys.
There are rocky areas where you can walk overlooking the ocean, and they have some loungers set up in a rocky area past the Beach Club overlooking the ocean.
2) There is some expanse to the resort.
I didn't think the distances between things was very great, but I can see how other people may be a bit put out by the 1/4-1/2 mile walk from the main pool, restaurants etc to the beach area.
3) The food is palatable.
Book your non-buffet meals as soon as you possibly can! We managed to get one for almost every night by booking them the morning after we arrived. This was definitely nice, especially toward the end of the trip, when the buffet food got a bit old. The selection is quite large at the buffet, but we resorted to old standbys after a while.
4) The pool is large.
Honestly, the pool probably covers as much ground as the beach and connected ocean area. The main pool has a zero entry area, which would be particularly nice for small children (we were all adults during the trip, but I have a 2 year old). It was kind of odd that they had many off the connectors between pool areas blocked off, so you couldn't, for instance, walk into the zero entry part and over to the swim up bar.
5) Many of the activities are included (although this may depend on the package you purchase and ultimately the color of your wristband).
We didn't do much other than relax on loungers with brief excursions into the pool. We thought about it, but it never happened.
6) Snorkeling is good.
One of the main criteria for our trip was that we wanted to be able to snorkel from the beach. I had read beforehand that the Dive Center required a $20 deposit when you checked out snorkel gear, but they didn't require anything from us (I guess we had the appropriate color wristband?). It was kind of amazing how many fish were living in such a highly used beach area. The area with the fish was kind of small, but they were large fish, so I rate the experience as equal or better than my previous snorkeling experiences.
7) Bugs come out at night.
We bought two different kinds of bug spray at the resort, and neither worked effectively. It would have been worth it to bring our own (although I'm not sure how well that would have worked either).
8) The resort is very jungly.
Perhaps this explains the bugs? The trees made the place very pretty, but there was definitely more wildlife than I've seen just about anywhere I've stayed before. Maybe that's common for Mexico?
9) They have on-site photographers.
We used Maxi to do engagement photos for my brother and his new fiance (he proposed during the trip) and then a few more to document what was supposed to be a "girls trip" before my brother crashed. We were charged around $10/photo with all the copyrights included. We got to pick from quite a few and they all turned out well. They also do photos with animals for $15/photo (or something like that)
10) The resort isn't very well lit at night.
There are lights, but the pool and beach areas are fairly dark. They pretty much clear out by around 5pm, so if you want peaceful swimming time, that would be a good time to go.
11) People are lounger hogs.
I'm sure this is a problem many places, but unless you're settled in by around 10 am, people will have "claimed" almost all the loungers, especially the ones in the shade. If the people were actually in them, it would be less annoying, but many of the loungers just had towels thrown over them for most of the day with no people in sight (even just using the restroom or grabbing a bite to eat seems acceptable to me - literally no where nearby). It would be nice if people would realize if they just use a lounger when they actually want to use it, there would be plenty for everyone all day long.

Overall, we really enjoyed the vacation. I would go back (if the price suited) or recommend it to someone else. It was my first all-inclusive experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was nice to pay ahead of time, and we only ended up spending extra money on more sunscreen, bug spray, feminine products, and a few souvenirs.

Room Tip: Some of the buildings have elevators. Most of the buildings are 3 floors without elevators. We enj...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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6  Thank watrfall86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

I read so many mixed reviews I wondered what I was going to get but the facts are there if you read carefully.
1. If you want to stroll along miles of Caribbean beach, this is not the resort for you. The manmade inlet and rocky shore suffice.
2. Sea view rooms are almost nil unless you stay at the Royal Club - the rest of the accommodation blocks are set in beautiful sub-tropical rainforest with lots of wildlife.
3. The complex is extensive but nothing is more than a 10 min walk away and if you really can't be bothered to walk, the mini train will take the strain.
4. If you do have genuine mobility problems, go elsewhere as there are no lifts outside the main lobby and getting about generally will detract from the lovely surroundings.
5. Tips are not expected but much appreciated by the staff. Try and have a dollar or 2 in your pocket - you're not going to pay for anything else!
6. Xcaret park next door is not to be missed and make sure you go to the evening show - you can pop back to the hotel for meals/drinks so the basic park ticket should suffice. There is also free WiFi in the park (but bizarrely, not in the hotel!).
7. Speciality restaurants - contentious subject when it comes to reservations it seems. At the risk of annoying you all I'll spill the beans...the Royal Club holds 12 places at every speciality restaurant, every day whether they get used or not. I got my booking at La Pescador, the same day I requested and at my preferred time of 1930. Sorry, just giving you the facts as they are, not gloating I promise.
8. The Royal Club is worth the extra if your budget will stretch that far. Everything is 5-star and exclusive and nothing is too much trouble for the staff.

Room Tip: Spend the extra and use the Royal Club
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled solo
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7  Thank Lizzie P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2013

The hotel and staff is great. The food overall was not exceptional but still good and the experience was worth it. The only negative aspect was the coupons that are given to use during the unlimited Xcaret stay. At first, when you book the package, it appears that you will have $980 to use towards activities but essentially they are useless as they have many many many restrictions. If you don't intend to go the Xcaret park multiple times, don't waste the cash on the unlimited experience upgrade.

Room Tip: we stayed in building 19 and it was very central to pools/ bars etc
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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18  Thank eimaad1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013

This is great value resort. I mean you get a lot for the rather low price per person that is advertised. The grounds are very well kept and very interesting. It's like walking through the jungle with all the plant and animal life. The Mayan ruins on the property just add to the ambiance .
Lots of great pools with plenty of pool chairs and no need to "save" one at the crack of dawn. This may change depending on the capacity. I found the pools to be well kept, clean and had plenty of options for all preferences. (8 inch deep areas to play or lie in, 4 foot deep areas for others, bubble spas, waterfall bar, volleyball/basketball). I personally recommend the adult only saltwater pool created out of the rocks and reef next to the surf.
The room was good sized and comfortable, although the beds are very firm!! The TV worked reasonably well and was nice for the rainy times. I don't recommend buildings 18,19,20 if you like to nap between 11-4 because they are next to the fun zone and music and the PA are constant during those hours. All other building/pools seemed rather quiet. The royal club definitely seemed like a nice area to be in. Next to the beach, with a private restaurant and certainly quiet, although a bit far from the main dining/entertainment area. The showers have great water pressure and temperature control with lots of hot water or cold, but not the biggest. A/C worked great as well as the ceiling fan. The rooms were supplied with an umbrella which was quite handy because it rained for a significant time and nothing is very close to the rooms other than the pools.
The food was good to OK. It was pretty much as I expected for a large resort and the price I paid. The variety was fine and quality OK. I recommend Paco's Tacos if you like Mexican food. I was only there for 3 days so the food didn't get old to me, but a week and it definitely could. My biggest gripe was the specialty restaurants. I didn't get to go. I arrived on a Monday and left early Thursday. Monday at 4pm I went to make reservations and was told there was nothing available at any of the restaurants at anytime for any of the 3 nights. I sincerely feel that is very wrong, especially since the resort was well below capacity. You'll have to read other reviews for that. The Snack bar was good and very convenient for staying around the pool as was the beach bar/restaurant. Almost no where did they have self service beverages which could be a little annoying during meal time if you were very thirsty.
Overall, I would come back for sure. I loved the resort grounds and found the rooms to be just fine. I didn't mind the amount of walking and meandering to get places, but those that have difficulty walking or don't enjoy it may be put off by how much you have to do. I don't think this is a luxury resort by any means, although the royal club may be more suited that way. This is a very good resort for those on a budget and/or not looking for a lot of luxury amenities. Next time, I'll request a room in a quieter building closer to the beach side. If you're really looking for lots of white sand beach to roam go elsewhere, this resort has Very limited beach, but what they do have is quite nice.

Room Tip: Avoid buildings 18,19,20 if you want to nap during the day, but they're great for being close to...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank txsoccerref
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

We had a great time at Occidental Grand Xcaret. We upgraded to the Royal Club which is highly worth it! The Royal Club has a private pool and private restaurant that does not require reservations. The food and service was fabulous! The ladies at the front desk at the Royal Club, Monica, Jennifer and Gaby, were very accommodating. The grounds of the resort are beautiful. A lot of wildlife, ruins and lush greenery. I would advise packing bug spray just to keep the mosquitos at bay, but that is true with any tropical vacation. The beach cove is small, but we were prepared for that and didn't mind. My only complaint is that the marketing people are VERY eager to sell you a timeshare. I understand it is their job, but it did feel a bit pushy. Other than that, I would certainly recommend this resort.

Room Tip: upgrade to the Royal Club
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Melissa N
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

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:
#34 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#43 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#51 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#57 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#77 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $167 - $411 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental at Xcaret Destination 4*
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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