I stayed at the Grand Flamenco Xcaret (pronounced Eshcaret) from Feb.
27th to March 5th, 2004. Overall, it was a good trip...starting at the top: upon our arrival, we were able to check in immediately without any problems. We requested and got a room in the Flamenco building #20 because we wanted to be where the action (bars, pools) is. We got some very poor directions to our room and ended up getting lost for quite some time before we found our way there. The lobby area is beautiful and classy although very poorly designed with a river running through the middle. It's a bit of a maze to find one's way through it. At first we were thinking that we should have gone to a smaller resort, but after a day or two we had figured out our way around it. There are shuttles that pick people up at designated stops and bring them to wherever they're going...we didn't use them at all because it's really not that far to walk, and we thought we could use the exercise. The grounds were very clean, beautiful, and well-kept. The rooms were fine, very clean, with lots of shelves and storage space, a little dimly lit, with a coffeemaker, iron and board, and a mini-fridge that was refilled everyday with sodapop, beer, and water. On our first night there we returned to the room to find that our electronic key card no longer worked in the door...and once we managed to get new keys and get inside, our electronic safe no longer worked either. We were told by some other guests that the power had flickered out at some point so we assume that this was the reason. Both of these issues were addressed promptly by the hotel staff and we didn't encounter any more problems of this nature for the rest of our stay. The food in the buffets was top notch, and the buffets were never over-crowded. The beach club is definitely the place to dine for breakfast and lunch as the view is spectacular. The only thing that I can say that was a little bit frustrating about the buffets is that you spend a lot of time looking for things...the spoons are located across the room from the cereal, it's always a guess as to where the ketchup is hiding, etc. We went to two a la carte restaurants during the week. The Italian restaurant was very mediocre. The service was poor, the food was a bit bland, and we probably could have had something tastier in the buffet. The Mexican restaurant was a little bit better--the food was good, the service was better, but we had to wait 25 minutes for our appetizers to arrive once we ordered...and everything just seemed to take forever and a day. I wasn't impressed with the house wine...the white wine was extremely sweet and just overall not very good. The rest of the drinks we had were good and the bartenders were all very nice. The nightly entertainment ranged from good to a little bit boring. On a few nights there was barely anyone watching it, but on other nights the theatre was packed. The entertainment around the main pool during the day was OK...water aerobics, bingo, etc. It was always easy to get a lounge chair at any point during the day. The beach was alright...we knew before we went that it was going to be more of a manmade lagoon and were OK with this. It was a good place for little kids to enjoy the calm water and play in the sand, but not great for anyone who wanted to play in the waves. We solved this problem by spending an afternoon at the beach in Playa del Carmen, which was incredible. We went to the disco a few times, and it was usually pretty quiet in there although it picked up towards the end of the week when some new people came to the resort. We found that the other guests at the resort were couples and familes...this resort is not the place for spring-breakers. We went to Xcaret park one day, which was great. It was very hot out and we got tired quickly, but we did go up the scenic tower, swim through the underground river, and went snorkeling at the beach...it was awesome!
The show in the park was pretty cool...it was a traditional Mayan dance/drama. My suggestion to anyone who wants to do some snorkeling during the trip...bring your own so that you don't have to rent equipment. As far as the tours/excursions, we went on the Maroma snorkeling trip, which was great. We intended to go to on the Tulum trip, but we heard from other guests that it's a bit painful because you spend so much time picking up and dropping off guests at other resorts. So, we opted to take a taxi which cost $65 US roundtrip. This was great except we had to check out the ruins without a guide. If you go to Tulum, you may want to bring a bathing suit so that you can do some swimming at the beach. So, overall, it was a great trip and despite some of the negative things I've said about the Xcaret, there is nothing seriously wrong with the place...just a few minor inconvieniences. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to go there to relax and check out the area. Just don't go there if you want to party hard...but it's a great place for families and couples!
If you have any more questions, please email me at ladonnah at HMDC.
- 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