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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #75 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Preston, Idaho
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“It depends on what you are looking for in a vacation”
Reviewed April 19, 2014

This was a mother daughter trip. we wanted to relax, swim eat & enjoy a beautiful, restful vacation. The first room we were thrown in was awful! Building 10. Foul smell in the bathroom that got so bad I had to ask them to move us, When we complained about the smell they sent a maid to spray something all over the room. worked for....about 5 minutes! When I finally got them to move us it was a wonderful room in building 20. The biggest problem we had with the property was the long walks to get anywhere. I am disabled & my mother has had a broken hip and has trouble walking long distances. (I should have done more research on the hotel) The front desk at the check in is terrible, not accommodating at all and down right rude at times! (Although when we were checking out I was able to talk one of the gentlemen into letting me print out our boarding passes! BUT... the bell boys, maids, and everyone else were wonderful! Joel (bellboy was GREAT!!!!!) Claudio, Miguel & the gentlemen over the snack bar area were wonderful!! I was told we would have slippers, robes etc.. in the room (mother was excited, had never been to Mexico before) and we had no pampering what so ever. I thought prices for other things at the hotel were outlandish! Last year at another hotel I got my hair braided for $20.00 US, the spa wanted $100.00 to even think about it! (Went to Playa Del Carmen, still $20.00 US) We thought the food was alright other than having half a days hike to get to it. We did get ready to leave on Wednesday & had to get high $$$$ meds from the tobacco shop so we could get home. I have since went to the Dr, & had to get on Metronidazole to help stop the diarrhea, still have it & am starting with the vomiting now, but was fine the other six days we were there. (Mother did not get sick)????? HUH! All in all we went for the warm weather & got that, I love the laid back culture!!! They do need to specify there is NO beach area at this hotel, was VERY disappointed in this! I also lost my wallet, it might have fallen under a bed or something (I am in NO WAY saying someone stole it!) If anyone finds it, PLEASE mail it to me & you will be rewarded! It looked like the staff really catered to the children at the theatre area (showed movies etc...) Wildlife was wonderful & we met a lot of good people from all over the world that were wonderful to visit with!!!

Room Tip: Like I said in the review, building ten seems like it was built 100 years ago, cracks in the walls...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank 967sherper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Galloway, New Jersey
Level Contributor
28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2014

The resort was beautiful and the staff was extremely friendly. The food was good, and there was a lot of variety. We purchased the unlimited package but the so called $1000 resort credit is a waste. They were all coupons that required you to spend more money. If you go to this resort get a basic package. Everything you need is included, and the unlimited did not offer any worth while perks. With that said the vacation was amazing and we would definitely go back.

  • Stayed April 2014
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Helpful?
6 Thank Shutz20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warwickshire
Level Contributor
31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2014

My first trip to Mexico, it was as I expected, however I wasn't disappointed. This Hotel is big. It is spaced out in blocks so doesn't overwhelm you with its size. The Service by the waiting staff is excellent, they are so friendly and take pride in their job. Our check in was less helpful though if we weren't staying in Block 22 with Virgin Holidays I think we would have struggled as we weren't given that much information or any cards for the beach towels! Check out was excellent quick, efficient and without any issues.

A few helpful tips.

Take plenty of $1 notes, they are so handy for tips. We tried to get some dollars changed to $1 at reception but where told they had none and to ask the Bell Boy who did have some but not as many as we would have liked.

I was travelling with my 6 year old boy and husband so mainly stayed at the beach, to get a 'first row sun lounger' in order to keep an eye on my son in the sea you have to be down before 7.30 to reserve your spot! Coming from England with the 6 hour difference that was not a problem.

Breakfast location wise is best at the beach and we usually had lunch there too. Its all buffet style, could be better, could be worse I guess, fabulous omlettes for breakfast though. Book your A la Carte restaurants way in advance. My husband liked the Steakhouse, I liked the fish Restaurant (at the beach) my Son liked either as they had a Kids Menu with Chips and Chicken Nuggets etc.. perfect for little ones.

We suffered with the yellow stain on our swim wear - as with a previous comment, may be its the beach towels (beige colour) as we had the same stain at the beach and the pool?

The drinks are very free flowing! On the beach you could be enjoying a fabulous cocktail from 10am. Service between 10 and 11am was poor as only 1 member of staff (who worked very hard) from 11 you had excellent beach service (the $1 helped) so no need to move from the lounger.

We did 2 trips, one was swimming with Dolphins at the Delphinus Riviera Maya (a short walk from the beach). This was an hour session with 4 in a group it was more intimate and we enjoyed it very much. As you would expect this is not cheap and don't forget any photos (they took over 100 of us) and video footage will cost too as you are not allowed to take your personal camera.

The other trip was to Chichen Itza with Tourex (via Virgin). It was a trip we wanted to do, it took 3 hours to get there though so by the time we got there it was mid day and very hot. Take sunhat, sunscreen, water etc.. it is very crowded too. Good for souvenirs if you buy wisely much cheaper than the hotel. Afterwards you have a brief stop at Ik Kil Cenote which is a fresh water pool 85ft below the ground open to the sky it is fabulous and cools you too!

In summary, we had a fabulous 9 day holiday, very pleased with the hotel choice enjoyed everything we did. Would we go again? Probably not. Would we recommend this Hotel yes definitely!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank AlcesterAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2014

There are two sides to the Occidental, the holiday camp side and the Royal Club. I will only comment on the Royal Club.
First impressions were not good, You get dropped off at the main reception to be told you have to check in at he Royal Club, ask the porter for directions. The porter takes you to the rear of the main building, points to a bus sign on the wall and then down to some area below ( we later found was a bus stop). We set off walking with hand luggage and the clothes we travelled in which were a bit warm despite it being dark. We stop three times on the way looking at maps and getting our bearings when two Americans help us but tell us they had checked into one of the rooms in the main building and had to be moved, they said was a 3 star place with 5 star potential.
We got to the Royal club and what a difference. A glass of champagne while you check in is always welcome. We had an upgrade to a suite which was very roomy. The best part of the Royal club is the restaurant. The staff were outstanding and could not do too much for you including many items not on the menu. It was our wedding anniversary while there which we mentioned to a waiter. The following evening they had prepared a special table and meal for us which was a typical Mexican feast and truly wonderful. The Royal Club would easily have a 5star + rating, just a pity they don't have transport ready to take you there from reception

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Exportopete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2014

I booked a wedding at the Occidental in May 2011. In August 2011, a few weeks before our departure, the wedding coordinator contacted us with a list of menu options for the wedding. Each course consisted of about 4 options. We emailed back our choices and that was that. 3 weeks later 9 of us left for Cancun. When we arrived we had quite a long walk from the lobby to our building. Fortunately, it was absolutely stunning. There was wildlife everywhere, it was quiet and VERY hot! Our room was nice. Big bed, big bathroom, sitting room with a big tv and mini fridge with pop, water and beer. We showered and headed to the buffet. The room was gorgeous. Tall ceilings with big, tall windows you could see the trees and lemurs out the window. It was beautiful. There was a lot of food all of it just okay. I was looking forward to some seafood but unfortunately, during our 7 day stay, not once did the buffet serve anything other than the occasional fish dish and prawn dish. They didn't offer "slushy" drinks and no straws!! I even asked and was told, nope. After we headed over to see the entertainment. It was karaoke, kids playing around, very mediocre. And EVERYONE was smoking. As a non-smoker it was awful! The next day, My fiancé and I met with our wedding coordinator. She sat us down and asked very simple questions. "what kind of flowers" we wanted white lilies and stargazer lilies."what kind of cake-- round, square, heart shaped?" We wanted round. "What flavor?" We asked what options we had. She said "anything!" so we said white cake infused with baileys irish cream. "what music do you want?" we got to choose a "walk down the aisle" song, a "signing papers" song and a "now youre married" song. they has the traditional songs and a couple current songs on hand. I wanted 3 specific indi songs so its a good job I brought my ipod (which I handed over the morning of the wedding) "where would you like to get married?" we said the gazebo over looking the ocean. "what time?" we said the latest we could (4pm) she then told us that after we were married we got to choose a day to have a private dinner in the wedding gazebo catered by the seafood restaurant. we chose 6pm the day before we were scheduled to leave. she gave us each an itinerary of where we will be picked up and at what time by a little decorated golf cart. it also said what time I could go get my hair and makeup done by the salon.
The following day, everything was absolutely perfect. my hair, makeup, dress, the flowers, the food, the music, the cake it was all perfect. I couldn't have asked for anything better. my husband had a bit of trouble understanding the officiator but we giggled through it. when we got back to our room, they had rose petals on the floor and bed.
the rest of the trip was wonderful. we basically had the pool to ourselves, the sun was shining. a man came around to the pool with a monkey on a leash. we could have our picture taken with him and then go to the photography booth and purchase the pictures the next day if you want. As a member of PETA this made me soooo sad! but that's besides the point LOL
The day before we left, my hubby and I made our way at 6pm to the gazebo for our private dinner. it was empty. there was no one in sight. we walked back to the lobby (and by the way since the resort is huge I was already mad that I had to walk so much) when I got to the lobby the wedding coordinator wasn't there. her assistant apologized profusely and arranged for us to head over to another restaurant to have dinner there. again, no seafood for me. the waiter was very nice though and made it a special evening.
All in all, I had a wonderful time. it was a lot of walking and nothing special about the food but I had a lovely time.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank courtney g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ottawa, on
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2014

My friend and I took a 5 night trip to Cancun on April 3rd and stayed at the Occidental. First and foremost. If you are into walking along the beach, this hotel is not for you as they have a man made beach which is very tight with beach chairs everywhere. The beach, does not have a lot of shade so you need to go early (7am) if you want a chair with a shade (which you have to find and save with your beach chair). The huts and beds are minimal so don't even bother trying unless you go down at 6am. Same with the pools, their are always chairs but just not in a good spot or shaded area. The hotel rooms were fine, our room was 10208 which is a building right off the lobby, which we found great as we had a bit of a walk in the morning to beach or pool but then we were right in the same building of all the stores/vendors and restaurants. The entertainment crew was really good, they really tried to keep things grooving but the entertainment in the theater wasn't that great. They had a movie every night at 7pm for the kids followed by a kids dance party. The discotheque doesn't open till 11 so once the entertainment ends at 10, there wasn't much to do unless you wanted to go play pool with the young kids in the sports bar that smelled. And the WIFI .. you have to buy it, there is an internet shop which closes at 6pm, otherwise their is no internet, whatsoever. And even after you purchase it the best place to use it is at the lobby bar. The food was good, the buffet always had a variety and the smoothies are awesome. You can have breakfast and lunch in the main buffet and their is also a buffet at the beach restaurant which is nice. Hammocks everywhere for a quick snooze and the drinks are awesome. The restaurants were very nice, my favorite was the oriental, the portions and options were great and El pescador is actually located at the beach. You can catch the little cart that travels thru the resort thru out the day and night. Overall the hotel was very nice. I would of appreciated an orientation of the hotel showing us the location of the pools and restaurants as you spend quite a bit of time looking for everything and possibly speak more English.

Room Tip: Buildings off lobby were nice, had a balcony and close to the restaurants.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Adriana B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2014

Really large hotel with lots of flora and fauna! You have to walk a lot: to get to the beach or the buffet area. Food was average, typical all inclusive stuff with themed buffet nights and themed restaurants. Best ones were the Mexican restaurant and the Steakhouse! The private beach is gorgeous with helpful waiters and the pools are really lovely with good music. If you are planning to spend the day at the pool/beach, get your towels and reserve loungers at 7am, otherwise you're walking around for ages finding a great spot. Also the beach have parasols and sun shade cove things but the pools don't at all, so when the sun is blazing- its blazing full force and you have no shade to hide under! The waiters no how to make a lot of cocktails but SOME of the waiting staff in the main buffet restaurant are a little distant (they only tend to you if you tip or call them over).
The disco was hilariously empty but after a few drinks you let loose and make new friends with the only other 2 people in there! The beds are really firm, which I found uncomfortable. And balconies are small, you literally have 2 steps to take.
Overall was a nice hotel with lots to see: parrots, monkeys, iguanas, deer etc. Great for families and bonding time with friends too.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sali M
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:
#40 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#45 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#47 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#53 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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