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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #73 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Exeter, Ontario
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 2, 2004

We were supposed to stay at this resort from April 15-22. How do you rate a resort when you never had the chance to even arrive there? We travelled as a group of 6. Once we were all on the bus at the airport waiting to leave for the resort, a rep from the Grand Xcaret informed us that they had overbooked the hotel and we had to go somewhere else (that included 2 coach buses full of people). We were lucky because we ended up staying at the Moon Palace in Cancun which is a great resort and one that I had stayed at before so I knew that we were getting a good deal. We also received vouchers for 7 nights all inclusive stay at the Grand Xcaret to be used within the next year, although we are a little skeptical on booking this in the event we get bumped again and end up staying at a 2 star resort instead. We were very happy with our holiday in the end, but after returning home and reading some reviews on trip advisor about other travellers having the same issue, we just wanted to forewarn anyone booking at this resort that the same thing could happen to you. I've also read comments about not receiving voice mail messages. My husband had called the Grand Xcaret the first night that we were to be there to ensure that we had arrived safely. Instead of informing him that we were not even at this resort they connected him to a room where he left me a voice mail message -- which of course I never received. How do you get connected to someone's room when they haven't even checked into the hotel?

4 Thank Colleen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • 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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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 30, 2004

My wife and I went from March 6th to the 13th and....it was perfect! We booked our vacation through Transglobal Vacations and they took care of everything. This resort is all-inclusive and they have a upgraded package called the Royal Club which offer better drinks, a private pool for the Royal Club guests and a private restaurant. We did it all and plan to go back. I wouldn't suggest the Royal Club again because the resort is already so great it makes it overkill. It's beautiful, the people are great, and the food was terrific. What I liked best about Xcaret was it wasn't packed for of Spring Break idiots. A more upperclass clientle with a few families with children. Plenty for everyone. I suggest the Captain Hook surf and turf in Cancun and snorkeing in Xel-Ha. A point that is negative is that the beach was kinda stinky at times..EVERYONE SHOULD GO TODAY!!!

1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 30, 2004

Got my room confirmation Oct 2,2003 for my trip to Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret April 10 -17 2004. Took my 80 yr old mother with me for her birthday present. We arrived on April 10th and were informed they Overbooked and my confirmed reservation was meaningless. The total overbooked guests were 14. They sent us all to an another resort that they claimed " Has the best beach in Mexico" They sent us to the Venta Club outside of Cancun. Yes it had a beautiful beach but it was an Italian Resort. All the guests were from Italy and the staff spoke Spanish or Italian, only handful spoke Englsh. All the food, although plentiful, was Italian that is great if you like eating eel, octopus except for Friday it was Mexican night. I had to pay Occidental but found out that VentaClub rates were cheaper but did not get a refund of the difference.

1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 29, 2004

Just got back from the Flamenco Xcaret. This hotel had lots of positive things about it but also several negatives.

Here's the bad: When we checked in a manager came out and pulled us to the side explaining to us that the resort was overbooked and they did not have a room for our first night. I was surprised at this seeing as it was only about 7:15pm. He said we would have to go spend a night at the Iberostar resort and come back the next day. They would of course pay for it (including the cab ride). Of course after travelling all day that is the last thing you want to hear. He also offered us to come back in the future for three free days. The thing I hated about this the most is that we were not given a choice to volunteer our room and go somewhere else like the airlines. We we flat out told there is not room for us. Furthermore, as he walked us to the cab we saw other people checking in and when I asked him about that he just replied that they must have got the last room. They came after us so we felt singled out. As we had a discounted rate it appears that they choose who they want to bump from the hotel. For all the good that was at this resort (see below) that is something that I couldn't forget for the rest of the trip. I also had to pester the asst. mgr. Rene for the certificate for the free stay various times during our stay. I did not recieve the voucher until our last day. Further every time I approached him, even when we returned to the hotel the next day from the Iberostar, he never seemed to remember me as if he was meeting me for the first time. This was a very impersonal experience. Two days later there were flyers everywhere saying the hotel was overbooked again and they were offering three free days to be transferred to the Occidental property in Cozumel. It appears that they overbook this place alot. The rest of the front staff appeared to be pleasant enough but the other big problem was that we never received any of our messages during our stay. My mother left five voice mail messages and when we didn't recieve this she asked the front desk clerk to hand deliver us a message to our room. She said she would but once again we never received anything. Needless to say my mother was a reck until we called upon return from the trip. These are unfortuately big problems and on our next trip we will probably use the three free days then try another all inclusive in the area. The Iberostar we were sent to actually had a much nicer beach and also had a really nice pool.

Here's the good: The grounds are beautiful and very well kept. The rooms were nice and well kept. As the resort is only two years old thats to be expected. The pools were very nice as well as the small beach. But if you're reading these reviews you know about the beach. We really liked the small pool built into the lava right on the shore. This was the most beautiful spot at the resort. As for the restaurants - we liked the mexican and the italian ones the best. The oriental one had the best atmosphere (dark and intimate) but didn't really care for the food. The steak house was also pretty good. The seafood restaurant was booked in advance for the whole week we were there so we couldn't get in - book your reservations as soon as you get there. (That was a negative for me). The waiters at every restaurant were great. They seemed very eager to please us. I was impressed by that. As there is supposed to be no tipping you get a little review card at the end of each meal. When the service was really good we would also leave a tip which they always appreciate. The staff was always saying hello to us as they passed. The buffets were good but I found myself getting a little tired of it after one week.

If it wasn't for those two big negatives I would have given this resort a 4 instead of a 3.

  • Stayed April 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 29, 2004

We just got back from Mexico and being from Texas and so close to Mexico we go alot, but this was our first trip to the Xcaret Park and Hotel ~ we loved it. This was by far the cleanest hotel we have stayed at in Mexcio (and yes you can use the faucet water to brush your teeth.) The gardens are beautiful and the eco trails and quiet sitting areas are so peaceful. If you like animals they have many roaming free around the hotel including Howler Monkeys. The beach was nice but it is more of a lagoon - which was fine with us because sometimes hotels will have "normal" beaches and they are packed tight which we do not like. This beach was designed so you can have a little privacy. The food was excellent and the drinks are awesome. You can eat and drink as much as you like. Our room was nice and quite - we stayed near the quiet pool - the rooms near the main pool are a little louder. We celebrated our anniversary and my husbands 30th birthday - they went all out to make him feel special. We had no problems booking tours outside of the hotel. You must make dinner reservations the day you get there with guest services and bring a nice casual outfit too - there is a dress code in the nicer resturants!! The staff was vert nice and the atmosphere was great - I recommend having a drink in the lobby bar around 6:00pm - you will love it - there is a special ritual they do for lighting the tiki torches in the hotel! The night shows are excellent. They also offer activites like pottery painting by the main pool, pool water sports, games, dance lessons, archery/riffle sports, tennis, biking, snorkleing at he beach lagoon and lounging in hammocks (this was our favorite)The Xcaret Park was great too - be prepared to do a lot of walking and don't miss the night show which is included in your day pass - The underground river is the best part and it is very refreshing!! BUT - The food inside the park is an extra charge and is $$$$$ - it was $40 US for a buffet for 2 people - I would recommend walking back to the hotel and eating lunch for free them going back to the park for some more fun!!Overall - I can not wait to return to Xcaret and I am counting the days!!!

2 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 27, 2004

I, too, was a bit hesitant about going to Flamenco Xcaret after reading some of the negative reviews. The place is absolutely beautiful and the service, once you get past the front desk, is quite good. Not as good as some of the other resorts we've stayed at, but definately acceptable, and just as friendly. The place could use a couple of waiters more in each restaurant and perhaps one more bar tender per bar.
The thing that did bother me is that we had several messages left for us at the front desk (minor family emergency) yet no one ever gave us the messages. They knew which room we were in, yet nothing. We stayed there for 8 days and the messages were left on the third, fourth & fifth day. Plenty of time to deliver the messages.
I found this inexcusable!
My complaint is with the personnel at the front desk only - they don't seem to care about the guests' comfort. From the time we checked in, to the time we left ... I never felt they cared ... just doing their job. Also, considering how many of the guests are from the states, and the american dollar is most welcome, one would expect their english to be a bit better.
The food is excellent, the drinks a bit watered down and not quite enough waiters by the pool... but as we weren't there to drink, just to enjoy the weather & scenery, no complaints.
The park? Excellent! both educational & entertaining. If you go snorkeling, don't do as I did, get ear plugs & wear them :) Will save you some misery a few days later.

1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Markham, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2004

We just spent at week at the resort and loved it. Just want to point out (and I'll try and keep it short) some of the negative comments we read before leaving. It's true if you are a beach lover, you will be somewhat dissappointed - however, knowing this before prepared us just for how small it actually is. The plus side of this is it's always calm for swimming and you do see some fish. It's close to the beach bar and the food there is great (for bkfst & lunch).
We stayed at Barcelo last time and found the resorts comparable all except for the beach. We didn't feel the need to book at any a la carte restaurants since the food at buffets were fine and lots to choose from. Sometimes service was a bit slow for drinks, but remember you are on vacation, just relax and enjoy - this is the case in most places in mexico and carribbean. Staff are very friendly, but, yes, front desk needs help. They are slow and seem a bit confused sometimes. However, we did have a bit of a problem in our shower with the water not draining (i remember reading this from one other person as well) when i mentioned this to the front desk, it was fixed immediately. It really doesn't help to yell & scream at the these people, they are human and will help you if you treat them with some respect.
The xcaret park next door was a total bonus - great day! bring comfortable shoes and bathing suit. took the ferry to cozumel and loved the beach there, spent 1 night there as our hotel was overbooked and asked for volunteers - they paid for everything and since i missed the beach it was a nice treat to go and spend some time there. my husband is a diver and loved it there as well.
hope this helps you out and clear up some of the negative comments you may be concerned about. it's a great family orientated resort if that's what you are looking for - food/drink great, very clean (were not bothered by the smell in the lobby - you could catch a wiff every now and then, but really nothing to worry about) oh, and yeah, we did find the beds really hard to sleep on - could be a softer mattress.
Overall, a great place - large, but easy enough to get around.

1 Thank hwtj
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
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
#51 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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