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“The most magnificant property”

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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #70 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“The most magnificant property”
Reviewed December 16, 2013

I have been going to Mexico, Cancun area for over 20 years. This was my 12th time there and first time at this property.

The grounds are enormous and there is so much to see and do right there but the best part is the snorkeling that is available to you with out an additional fee.

About 20 years ago, a local guy took my husband and I on a day trip and we walked along the rocky shore from a sand road to the very bay this hotel is on now. I remember back then thinking what a paradise it would be one day if there was ever to be a hotel there. Although the beach area is not huge, it is amazing.

Right there, there are tons of fish of many varieties. We even saw an eel in the bay. The water in the bay is a bit blurred because of the streaming fresh water, but still an fantastic experience. For an even better experience, go the far end of the south side of the adult area, and there are step to walk into the ocean. You must have proper fins and mask and snorkel, you can not do this area without.

It was here that we did a ton of snorkeling and even had the amazing experience of large sea turtle that insistently swam with us one morning. It would come so close that a couple of times I got a bit nervous and had to push it away.

There are tons of things to see in those two bays rendering it unnecessary to pay for a snorkeling trip. I have been on many in the area, and for the savings....you see exactly the same.

As for the hotel and services, be sure to make dinner reservations at the lobby of the hotel as soon as you get there otherwise you are almost out of luck. They have four restaurants with different flare. I really liked the seafood one. El Diablo and also the Steak house. The other two were not as stunning. The Buffet at the main building in the evening is different every night nearly so some what interesting although not stunning.

The staff of the hotel are exceptional other than those that stalk guests to get them into a "timeshare" presentation. In my opinion, not worth giving up a good portion of one of your mornings for a fee pass, but hey.....your time.

The property boarders on the Xcaret park. The Xcaret Group owns the hotel, Xcaret, Xplore, Xenotes, and Xhelha and they sell them hard.

We have been to all of them. Before we left home this time we purchased the Xcaret unlimited pass for our entire stay and it was well worth it. There are two different entrances to Xcaret right from the Hotel property and we were back and forth many times taking in different shows and events. Between the hotel property, Xcaret and a day trip to Tulum and Coba, we rarely just sat on the beach during the 10 days that we were there.

Thanks to all the great staff that took care of us. I certainly loved this property more than any other I have ever stayed at and will most likely consider staying there again.

Jodie and Rand Smith of Calgary

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank JodieofCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2013

First the negatives: the beach is small and crowded. The map of the resort is difficult to read. The TV channels (CNN) are Spanish. The taxi to town is $11 each way.

The positives: the jungle-like setting and wildlife is awesome - monkeys etc. Everything, including the buffet has a local 'flare.' The staff is friendly. Visit all the pools, some with entertainment, others quiet. The entertainment is varied for children and adults, day and night. A shuttle travels
the grounds every ten minutes.

A visit to Xcaret next door is a revelation of everything Mexican and more! Enjoy!!

Room Tip: building 12 has an elevator and is quiet and a short walk to the buffet - for those with disabilitie...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Gerry678
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2013

We've been to worse places. Like all Mexican resorts, they are going to push you to buy a timeshare. And the nicer rooms that are well kept are the Vacation Club ones. They probably aren't making money off of the hotel rooms. The food is not bad. It's typical buffet, and there is a wide variety of choices. You will not starve. Don't spend too much effort on the ala carte restaurants. The only one we liked was the steak place. And you didn't come for the food anyway. You came for the sun and the alcohol. There are multiple pools and a small beach. The beach is not much but it's ok. We spent most of our time at the smaller pool. All of the pools are well kept and the lounge chairs all look brand new. If you believe the labels, there is top shelf alcohol (Absolut, Stoli, Bombay Sapphire, etc) available for your drinks if you are smart/sober enough to ask for it. The facility is very scattered around, and it does take a little walking from the main hotel to the beach (easily less than 10 minutes). But they have shuttles that run around the entire facility if you want a ride. The fitness room is absolutely top notch. Very, very impressive. The spa is nice as well (get an 80 min massage - ask for Moises). While we did hear about issues with other rooms, ours was fine, except that the AC fan was a little noisy. So we just turned it off at night. My #1 complaint was that the wireless internet blew monkey chunks. I don't have an issue paying $82 a week, because that's a heck of a lot cheaper than what I would pay for cellular carrier service, but it didn't work well at all around the small pool. There were plenty of access points (probably too many), but they didn't connect properly back to the main system. I would say we got connectivity by the small pool area about 40% of the time. Other than one person we dealt with upon our arrival, all of the other staff members were very nice, and very helpful. And when they say don't come before 3pm, they kind of mean it. They didn't let us into our rooms before 3:45. In hindsight, we should have grabbed some of our clothes and changed while we were waiting, but the facilities were fully available for our use while we waited.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank bdybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whippany, New Jersey
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2013

My wife and I visited Occidental Grand Xcaret from 12/7 to 12/14. We have been to a few all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and found this one to be slightly above average. Unlike some reviewers, we did not encounter significant problems with mold, bugs, or the resort being in disrepair, especially when compared to other resorts in its category. And if you can’t ignore the timeshare people, you’re going to have a bigger problem dealing with people throughout the world.

Food
There are 3 buffets, 5 a la cartes that require reservations, and 2 (only 1 is open each night) a la cartes that do not. The service and the quality of the food at the buffets were very inconsistent. The a la cartes were all pretty good, so I would recommend booking your reservations as soon as you arrive.
Le Buffet: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Service gets better as the day progresses. The food gets worse the later you go during each meal, as the good items get picked over and the bad ones just sit out.
El Lago Snack: Lunch only. It has a much smaller selection of food at its buffet, but its proximity to the main pool, and the fact that it’s the only place where there is any consistency in the service make this the best lunch option. You can also order burgers or hot dogs from the servers.
Beach Buffet: Breakfast and Lunch. Service, food, and selection just aren’t as good as Le Buffet. Only positive is the view. This place turns into the seafood restaurant at night.
A la Cartes: We only were allowed to book 4 reservations, but they may allow more if the resort is less crowded. Also, we were told that we could book additional reservations the day of, if there were cancellations that day. The pizza and taco restaurants don’t require reservations. The pizza is slightly better than the pizza at the buffets.

Drink
The drinks are really good and stronger than most resorts. It would be nice if they had straws to drink the frozen drinks. They don’t have a lot of top shelf liquor, but enough good brands of each type. The Regular and Amber Dos Equis are probably better than other beers you will find in the Caribbean.
The layout of the lobby bar (or lobby in general) was really disappointing. The bar itself and bathrooms are a level below the main area of the lobby, where most of the seating is. They do have servers at night that will bring you drinks if you want to wait that long. There are a few seats on the level with the bar, but they get wet in the rain. Once those seats and the seats in half of the lobby fill up, you have to walk out of the way (and up more stairs) to cross a bridge to get to the other side. It sounds insignificant, but all of the other resorts I’ve been to have had a connected lobby bar area to hang out in at night.
The other bars are all pretty good. The swim up bar has a place to enter where you do not have to go through the waterfall.

Pool
There are plenty of seats even when the resort is full and some people reserve them with their towels. Seats in the shade are easier to find than seats in the sun.

Xcaret
The proximity to Xcaret park is a huge positive. There is an entrance near the beach and near the lobby. Both entrances are about a 3 minute walk to the park. With the Unlimited Xcaret package, it’s nice to spend a couple of hours a day there. Also, they have free wifi, so that will greatly reduce the cost of the package, considering how expensive wifi is at the resort.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Adam L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guelph, ON
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2013

This is a hard review to write as we stayed at the OGX - Royal Club twice and had two very different experiences.

In April 2010 we stayed at this resort with a group of 30 for our wedding and had a FANTASTIC stay. Everything about the week was fantastic and I have no complaints. We had an amazing ocean view suite in building 32 that was outstanding, the restaurant was delicious (sometimes a bit slow as I think our group overwhelmed them a bit) and the service was wonderful.

We went back in November of this year with my parents and our 7 month old baby. It was still a great time and the resort upgraded us to a suite (not ocean view) as we had stayed there before. The room seemed a bit tired this time around and is in need of a reno. We did hear that they had renovated some of the other rooms so maybe they are better. The Royal Club restaurant was still very good but the service seemed spotty. Sometimes we would get fantastic service and sometimes not so much.

The one big annoyance that we experienced this trip was the time share people! Every single time we stepped out of the Royal Club we were approached by a sales person. It was very annoying and definitely impacted the feel of our vacation. Also, this may seem like a small thing but the coffee shop in the main lobby used to be included in the All Inclusive package and now it costs about $3 per coffee. This was annoying for us as we specifically went to the lobby to have a cappuccino the first morning only to find out that we needed cash.

Overall it was a good trip but the first time was definitely better than the second. I don't think we will return as the resort seems to have lost some of its "shine".

Room Tip: Royal Club upgrade, building 32, higher floor
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank supernatural
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2013

My husband and I recently visited this resort and were extremely pleased with our experience. The staff was excellent and very accommodating … we had to move rooms because of a gas leak and were treated to a complimentary massage. Our room was average but well maintained every day. The resort was very large but beautiful … a lush natural environment with coatimundi, flamingos, macaws, iguanas and tropical fish at the beach. I loved having drinks before diner at the lobby bar over looking the canal and fountain waiting to see the Mayan ceremony at 7:00. The food was excellent … we enjoyed fresh omelets at the buffet every morning thanks to Grizelda who always had a pleasant smile. We enjoyed Diego at the buffet suppers in the evening ... he was pleasant and helpful. The" a la carte' meals were excellent, we enjoyed 6 and
the service at each one was exceptional. We spent most of our time at the large pool as our balcony over looked this pool… it was beautiful and clean. A special thank you to Brianda at the front desk who was very helpful when we were moving rooms. I would highly recommend this resort … a very memorable vacation!!!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Pat T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barnoldswick, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2013 via mobile

This hotel is not a 5 star more like a 1 star . The only good things about it are the girls at the lobby bar and the guy's at the pool bar who are all brilliant. The rooms are not very good supposedly had a deluxe if this was so then a standard room must be a mayan ruin. The dining room was not very good, as the staff didn't seem to know what they were doing one night we had 3 tables for 3 courses, breakfast tables never set up correctly (ie 2 knives 2 forks 1 spoon and if you are very lucky you might get 1 cup and a jug of coffee for 2 people) NOT 5 STAR SERVICE. BEWARE !!!the cooking stations one night they were cooking beef and pork and using the same spatula to serve the cooked beef that they had just put raw pork on to the griddle also mixing new and old rice together (The best way to get food poisoning ever). Now for the themed restaurants Mexican the food was terrible my wife had prawn diabolo should have been called prawn diabolical as it was just a mush on her plate. Steak restaurant can't cook them to order asked for medium mine was well done my wife's was so rare that they gave her a horse and lasso and told her to go and catch it her self. The fish restaurant was quite good went there twice, the best restaurant was the Asian the service was excellent and so was the food. Another thing about this hotel there is no free wifi even in the lobby most European hotels have free wifi in the rooms for a (5 star) even 3 star hotels have it in the lobby. The surroundings of the hotel are marvellous with the Coati's being the best when they beg for food. I can't fault the location or the pool and lobby bars which are all great and worth 5 stars but the rooms and dining let it down and I cannot condone trying to poison the guests in the buffet. Will not be going back to Mexico or using Occidental again. This hotel is a very good advert for Riu or Princess hotels but not for occidental

Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Barlicker_7
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
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:
#39 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#47 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:4.5 star — Occidental at Xcaret Destination 4.5*
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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