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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
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Reviews (14,471)
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11,629 - 11,634 of 14,471 reviews
Reviewed April 19, 2004

April 12 to 19, 2004 ----------WOW!....more than we expected. The people, the facilities, the food.....all wonderful beyond expectation.
Everything was extremely well organized, the excursions as well, everyone was extremely friendly, always smilling (those working at the resort as well as shops and at the excursions)..... You must visit this place, yes there is a lot of walking (ate enough needed it anyway!) but you create your own schedule, stay by the pool and order Pinas...and you wont have too far to walk. You can request a room in the "main lobby building" that way all the enternainment is at your fingertips.
The "beach" on site is not big, but perfect to just snorkel...not too deep and wonderful for the little ones, not huge waves come in so you can really enjoy. If you want to see the real BIG beach just an 8$us (80 pesos) cab ride into Playa del Carmen, we swam with a sea turtle...WOW!, nobody bugs you on the beach, the sand was like creamed butter, the water was crystal and steps away is 5th avenue, great souvenir shopping. They love to bargain and the jewlery "silver" got a fabulous deal at one of the shops...Excursions.....recommend highly Xcaret Park which, by the way, you can walk directly from the lobby (2min. away) or you can opt to take a "canal" ride. A gondola type boat will take you diretly into the park from the lobby(faster to walk it) At the park you can float (life vests) into a bat cave, the kids thought that was cool, me too!. You can swim with the dolphins many packages to choose from. There is tons to visit and even a beach area to swim at. Another excursion is the ruins of Tulum and Xel-Ha. We did a split package, Tulum in the am and Xel-Ha in the pm. They are located (15 min. apart bus ride). Next time we'll do each one day...so much to do at Xel-Ha...snorkeled with a stingray and a grouper and tons of fish as well you can float (life vests) into a cavern and you can purchase the photos they take on site. Suggest you get "full" package at Xel-Ha, that way your lockers, towels, and ALL the food is included in one price, when costed out it was a better deal that way. All the prices for souvenirs at both Xcaret Park and Xel-Ha were very reasonable, got some really good deals.(some were even better than 5th avenue) At the Tulum Ruins recommend a guided tour, you learn so much with them. It was a perfect vacation. A must re-visit for us......Sue

P.S. recommend you come with pesos in hand, great for tipping a the airport and the bell-boys.

  • Stayed: April 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Another-K-Adventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2004

We stayed at the resort from April 10 - April 15. The front desk staff were clueless when asked a questions. We arrived about 1 pm our room was to be ready at 3pm, it wasn't. Our luggage finally arrived in our room about 4:30. Because they don't have elevators (which is not handicapped friendly) the bell boy took forever to carry all our bags up 3 flights of stairs. Once we were settled in it got alittle bit better. While we were waiting for our room you could book a reservation for dinner on the nights you would be there until your name was in the computer and then I was told I'd have to wait two hours. The resort lobby smelled liked a septic tank, and noone could give me a direct answer on what it was. The breakfast buffet out at the beach club was by far the best part. Made to order omelets, cereal, fresh fruit and yogurt and fresh juices were extremely fresh. The restrauants were ok. Nothing extremely gourmet, but decent. The kids club was very nice. My children enjoyed the time they spent their. Activities were well thoughtout. And having the XCaret Park next door was perfect for the kids. That was a beautiful park. Our room was ok, the soap dispenser kept falling off the wall everytime we used it but was put back on by the maid service. Drinks were always ready and cold. The pool activities were fun for all.

Thank maramom16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
GR, MI
1
Reviewed April 12, 2004

All in all I can agree with most of the reviews I read here, however there are some things I'd like to add: Yes, the front desk is certainly this resorts weakness. The staff seemed trained to give you a blank, emotionless expression when you are unsatisfied. We were not greeted.
We were not welcomed. We stood at the counter alone for a few minutes before being acknowledged by the four staff members acting too busy.
Asking for a manager is a must but not a guaranteed fixall. Bring tip money. Even though they say it is not necessary it certainly helps. The staff that actually works for you, maids, bartenders, servers, etc...
count on it and they'll go out of their way to make it a better trip for you. Don't count on getting US dollars from this hotel either. They only exchange in Pesos which is not what the staff wants in tips. Also, they only have large denominations which didn't help me. I ran out of small bills for tipping and nobody will break a large bill unless you buy something. Don't count on regular shuttle service either. We debated on bringing the stroller, decided against it. I ended up carrying our small children quite a bit which isn't fun when you are pooped out at the end of the day. Anyone who says this resort is immaculate hasn't stayed at Iberostar. It isn't dirty here but certainly doesn't compare. Don't take this review as a total negative because it isn't intended as such, just pointing out some items that may make your experience a little more pleasant if you know what to expect. I can recommend it, however compared to other vacation destinations I will not return. Hope this helps!!

Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Grand Rapids, Michigan
13
Reviewed April 10, 2004

This was our sencond trip down to Mexico. The first time was to the Iberostar Paraiso Beach so we thought we would try something else.
First know we our traveling with four children under the age of 11, so our needs might be different then others. My biggest concern with our trip was our room accomodations. Both my travel agent and I emailed the resort with our request 3 days before our arrival. I followed up with a phone call to the resort and was told I was all set and they could meet my needs. We needed adjoining rooms with one kind and 2 doubles looking over the pool for nap time with my 2 year old. Upon arrival we got none of the 3 requests. Two unnconnecting rooms with 2 double beds looking at a jungle. They offered no help until we asked for the manager. The front desk staff needs to know they are the face of the resort and first impressions mean alot. We did finally get connecting rooms a day later but they were is a horrible location and we had to fight tooth and nail to get them. We talked to alot of people durring the trip that had the same front desk experience (about 1 out of 2 need room changes). Also we saw 4 families made to go to another resort because they overbooked the resort. So I guess our situation did not look so bad. But check in beware and also the more you complain they will finally take care of you. But you need to ask for a manager upon check in if you have a problem. No one else seems to want to help you.The resort itself seemed very friendly. Breakfast a must at the beach club.
So much nicer then le buffet. Alec from the fun club made lying by the pool a great time. The kids club was great Patricio took great care of our little ones. If you are trying to decide wether or not to take a stroller. Take it. I loved the walking but my 5 and 2 year old hated it especially in the xcaret park next door. The park itself is only a 3 minute walk but all of the activieites are about a 25 minute walk in to the park. Our rooms were kept very clean and we always got great towel animals on our beds. The food at this resort is alot better than the Iberostar but they could take a good lesson about customer service from the Iberostar. If you are trying to deicide between the 2 resorts I think the Iberostar is a better choice.

3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
11
Reviewed April 9, 2004

We went to the resort from April 1-8/2004. The meals at the buffet restaurants were good. The beach was disappointing (you'd know this if you did your research ahead of time, which we did not). The a la carte restaurants were good EXCEPT the seafood restaurant. Having travelled to other caribbean countries, it was shocking to see a charge for lobster at $20USD per person. Book your a la carte restaurants asap. There are not enough beach chairs for all, so the earlier that you get to the beach or the pools the better. The resort advertised FREE snorkling at the pools or beach. We approached the booth at the beach and were told that it was free for the mask and the flippers, but we had to pay $5USD for the snorkel. This was a surprise considering that the snorkels came shrink wrapped in a package that said FREE...GRATIS on it. We complained to the front desk to no avail.On a totally positive note, you must visit the Xcaret Ecological park next to the resort which is included with your stay at the Occidental. It is amazing and worth the entire trip. It is obvious that a lot of the $$'s that are spent go back to the park.Ther entertainment is top notch. Make sure you attend the "flea market" and also the Pre-Historic show. It is well worth it. To see the Mayan dancers was amazing. Also, the entertainers make sure to have things going on for children.All in all, would we go back again..........NO....chalk it up to a good experience, but we had a better time at the Bavaro Palace at Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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