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“Gigantic Place, Beautiful!”

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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #74 of 215 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 13, 2004

OK Here it goes.... TRIP/CHECK-IN: We stayed at the Occidental Grand Flamenco XCaret (OGFX) from May 5-12. We booked our own hotel stay through travel-center (good deals) and our own flights through continental. Our transfers were through cancunvalet. We were not really greeted at all upon arrival to the hotel. Front desk people are pretty rude, and check-in is not the best experience. I can overlook that... check-in people in Mex are never exceptional. The lobby is gigantic and beautiful with screaming Macaws all over the place. ROOM: So our rooms are in building 14, rooms 302 and 303. No elevators, so be prepared to climb stairs several times a day. If you're disabled, request a lower-level room. Anyway, good exercise for me. The rooms are pretty standard, 2 double beds (which are pretty firm), a chair, balcony with chairs facing the jungle, and a bathroom with a glass shower.. no bath tub. Mini-bar is restocked every day, but we didn't use the mini-bar much. FOOD/DRINKS: The bar service was very good, no waiting, and the bar tenders try to keep all the customers happy. There are bars at each pool and close to every area of the hotel. They have premium liquors, just request them. The buffet food was average for a large resort. I'm picky and always found satisfactory food. The a la carte restaurants... didn't try the Mexican one, heard it wasn't that great. The Steak and Italian ones are best, and we were dissapointed by the Oriental one. The seafood one is difficult to get reservations for, and not really worth all the trouble. It's very windy at the seafood restuarant, too. If you stay for a week, you have 4 reservations that you can make. This means 4 reservations PRIOR to the day OF the dining. So, techinically, you can go a la carte every evening, you'd just have to book the day OF. Very confusing. The service at the a la carte dining was slow... it's Mexico. You should ask for mango at breakfast---excellent. It's not out on the buffet, but they do have it. Tip your waiter. Lobby bar is nicely waited. POOLS: We love the pool by 14, 15, 16, & 17. Quiet, and we loved the little jacuzzis that they had in the pool. All the pools are well-maintained and beautiful. Water a little cool. Fun club is really only by the fun-club pool. We rarely saw them. Adult pool by the beach is small, and I never went there. The bartenders may come out of their bars and wait the pool areas every once and a while. BEACH: The beach is pretty (even though it's manmade). I prefer to be at the pool, so it's not a problem for me. I liked to eat breakfast/lunch at the buffet at the beach. Breezy, cool, very nice. We didn't snorkel or swim there. Sat on the beach once, but there were lots of kids there.ATMOSPHERE OF RESORT: Lots of people from non-United States. I'm fine with that, but not used to it. Lots of people smoking all over the place. There was a 80-something year old woman there from Italy that decided to sunbathe topless. This offended me. Not too much nakedness going on at the resort, however. XCARET: It rained the day we went to XCaret. Don't bring anyone elderly with you to XCaret because the paths can be dangerous!! Lots of walking. Didn't snorkel at the underground river--couldn't even find it! Did the river ride (boat tour). Best feature of XCaret is the show in the evening. Don't miss it.HOTEL ENTERTAINMENT: About 1/2 of the shows sucked, and I wished I had been asleep in my room. A couple of the shows were outstanding. Hit or miss. I hope that's all. All & all, OGFX is really big. A serious suggestion: BRING WALKIE TALKIES! At other Occidental resorts I've been at, the Fun Club is far more active with the guests. I missed the personal touches that you have with a smaller resort.

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10,984 - 10,990 of 13,675 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Penngrove, CA
Reviewed May 10, 2004

My husband and I traveled to the Xcaret with our sons ages: 18, 16 and 12 during our spring break April 8-15, 2004. Our trip to Xcaret was very nice, although the humidity for the first 4 days was pretty bad. The Xcaret is beautiful, very green and spread out. Their have wildlife on property which you can view.

We experienced a travellers nightmare. They managed to overbook the hotel for at least 4 days - by ALOT! We checked in at 4:45pm and were told our room was not ready and to come back in an hour. Arrived 2 hours later (still in our travel clothes), sat in an office with another family from Canada and we were all told that they had no rooms for us and that we had to leave and go to another property. Finally found our new accommodations about a 15 minute cab ride away and managed to fall very exhaustedly into bed by 11:30pm Mexico time (we had been up since 2:15am PST due to our flight departure).

Went back to the Xcaret by 11:15am the next morning, received one of our 2 rooms and finally had access to the 2nd one by 3pm. Actually, we were lucky because they were doing this every night for the next at least 4 nights that I am aware and some guests never actually made it back to the hotel. We received a reimbursement for our first nights stay x 2 rooms on our credit card which my travel agent took care of when we returned home.

After losing basically 1 1/2 days of our 7 day vacation, things went smoothly. We became good friends with the family we met the previous night from Canada.

The place is very large, lots of walking, it is beautiful and the food is good. Alchohol must be watered down by 2/3??, but that was okay as I was not really looking to being drunk (although most everyone 18-24 was!). Disco, unfortunately catered to the very young and if you were a smooth talker, most kids as young as 14 could get in. We popped in for one night and left w/in 10 mimutes as I am no longer a teenie bopper and I felt very out of place. Not really to much to do in the evening if you are over 23.

My sons had a great time - I hardly saw my older boys as they made friends (lots of teenagers!) and they kept very busy. My twelve year old was with the 2 boys from Canada and they had a blast! There are poolside activities daily and they also offer other activities.

Buffet is wonderful w/lots of variety, although getting reservations for the 5 specialty restaurants was limited to only 4 dinners and the times were not great, in fact the way they run it is ridiculous!, as most restaurants do not even fill up to 1/2 capacity due to people no-showing. BE AWARE - Men are required to wear pants to all reserved restaurants or they are NOT allowed in. This rule does not apply to women or children. What a shame as my husband & uncle both looked VERY sharp in their dress shorts with pressed & clean collared shirts! Thankfully they both brought one pair of dockers.

A show is offered every night - some much better than others, but entertaing all the same. We hired a private car to drive us to/from the airport. I highly recommend this as it only cost us $70 more, and it really beats getting on a bus and stopping at every resort on the way to/from the airport.

Most there were from the east coast & Canada. No worries about when & what to eat and beverages are plentiful. Very courteous staff and lots of 'holas' from everyone. They had a sewage pipe burst and it got kinda ripe, but things happen.

All things considered (even with the gross & continuous overbooking), the place is very well worth the $$ and great for families. Even with our horrific first night, I would actually recommend this hotel, but would demand a room guarantee in advance (if at all possible).

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A TripAdvisor Member
Wakefield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Reviewed May 8, 2004

Recently got back from the Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret. We stayed from 29th April 2004 to 6th May 2004 and enjoyed every second of it. On arrival we were told not to touch our luggage as it would be taken to our rooms for us by the bellboys(small tip), and were swiftly booked in in the most amazing reception area & lobby i've ever seen.....top marks for first impressions.
As it was our honeymoon we had requested a sea/pool view on an upper floor in a superior room. We were given room number 12226 which was located a short walk from the lobby. The room itself was superbly clean with rose petals in the shape of a loveheart on our bed with 2 towel swans in the middle(nice touch which we got on 3 consecutive days, even in the bathroom), we had been left a complementary bottle of Jamaican Rum aswell as a minibar which was refilled everyday. When we checked the view on the balcony we were a bit let down at first as we wanted a sea/pool view and had got a quiet riverview with romantic music coming from a nearby jewelleryshop. We soon found out this was a perfectly located room for honeymooners due to the peace and quiet romantic music away from the pool views. The majority of the other blocks were a bit too far away from the main lobby and restaurant areas for me but the guys in their golf carts who picked you up every 10 minutes due to the size of the place was pretty cool.
I've read a few complaints about the reservations for the a la carte, but we went straight up to the desk one evening and booked 4 nights in a row with no hassle at all. A few days later it was busy with a queue, but only in the mornings. The restaurants themselves were fantastic, the Buffet had a wide selection of food and drink, the beach restaurant opened at 7am every morning for breakfast with a vast array of choice which catered for every continental tastebuds with a view to die for looking out over the Caribbean sea to Cozumel, to the side of that was the El Pescador which did excellent seafood with a great view again, La Hacienda, the Pizzeria, and the others were all top notch in my opinion. We even got serenaded one evening in the Mexican restaurant by three happy chappies with sombreros, harp, drums and a guitar who asked us if we wanted something romantic, which was embarrassing but nice while we waited for our main course.
The hotel is a huge place with its own Mayan ruins and was lovely to walk around if you could take the heat and humidity, the guys in their carts were always happy a would stop and ask if you wanted a lift anywhere. There were plenty of Iguanas all over the place to see, even one BIG one to take your picture with. Macaws(Parrots to me) were placed around the lobby area on a daytime which were from the Xcaret Park nearby which is a day out in itself. We snorkelled in the undergroung rivers and enjoyed it immensely.
Everywhere we went we were greated with HOLA by the well presented and happy staff who would help you if you needed it, the bellboys and reception staff were a bit slow to give you messages but nevertheless helpful. The pools are aplenty with jacuzzis and showers, bars aswell catered for us with many different flavoured margeruitas/beers and spirits which were topped up on a regular basis. Our only disappointment was when we received a free VIP pass to the nearby Occidental Playacar Hotel. We thought it would be a straight forward tour round then to the beach but were put through a 2 hour sales pitch trying to sell us property in the company, just say no and off you go...we did, right back to our hotel as the people relaxing by the pool and on the beach were miserable as it was much smaller and more of a sales venue.

In all it was a fantastic place to go which we thoroughly enjoyed and would love to go back to. If we didn't get the salespitch(our own fault for going really..DOH)it would've been 10/10.

  • Stayed: April 2004
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2004

We just returned on May 1st from a week at Grand Xcaret. Just a few thoughts.......The property is beautiful and clean from the lobby to the rooms. Very rarely if ever did we see trash around, and the rooms were simple, not lavish, but clean. We never saw an insect and the sheets were freshly changed daily. The food was fine but not 5 star quality. The buffets for breakfast were fine, with about anything you would want. Lunch buffets were the same with something for everyone. Dinners in the special restaurants were good, with the steak restaurant being the best followed by the oriental, mexican, and italian. Just make sure you make your reservations after you unpack to ensure the time you want. We did this and were eating at 7pm daily. The drinks were available about anywhere you went, but the pool bars were the best. Be aware that they are not using top shelf stuff so you can just ask the barstaff to use a heavy hand when mixing. A dollar or two here and there doesn't hurt either. It helps make you a good customer and the bartender will remember you for next time. The shows at night were awful. This is unfortunate because there isn't much to do after dinner except drink. The spa was nice and you can get a 50 minute massage for about 60 US dollars. They have 3 tennis courts, 1 of them grass which is nice on the knees. The front desk staff needs work but they ultimately get it done, but make sure you have plenty of small bills because they will only change US into pesos. They will not make change for smaller US currency. Their exchange was 10.5 pesos to the dollar during our stay. In town (Playa Del Carmen) I saw it for up to 11.30 pesos. Last but not least.........THE BEACH...... or lack of it. Spend your time at the pools the lagoon as I call it is only good for getting a tan. There is no beach as you know it. There is no endless white sand to your left and right just reef and rock. If you are looking for the total beach atmosphere, SORRY !!!! ......as we were. All in all, the stay was fine but next time I would try another property with true beachfront, it makes you feel like you are on vacation. One nice amenity was that you get a free admission to the Xcaret park next to the hotel that in itself saves you about $69 per person. It is worth going to. Feel free to contact me with any questions

7  Thank mrgoalie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2004

We just arrived home this afternoon. I found this resort to be excellent. We booked with Apple and everthing went very smooth. Apple started us out with a free parking voucher with Avistar which for the week was free. Going and coming their service was right on time, getting us to the Airport and being there to pick us up. USA 3000 was the air service, on time going and coming with back. Apple Rep was right at the Cancun airport when we arrived. We had the 7:00am flight leaving on Monday the 26th and returned a week later with a 11:30am flight coming back. I wish we could have booked a later flight coming back..Spending another day in the sun would have been a plus. Check in took about 5 minutes when we arrived at the Resort. In the pool by 1:00pm. The room would not be ready till 3:00 pm ,we knew that from other comments we have read. We hade our suits in our carry on's, so we were set to go. I feel a key here after checking in is to promptly make You dinner reservations for the week,even if You cancel or change Your mind. This is direstly across from the check in counter. The Seafood one gets booked quickly for reservations, we waited till after swiming and could not get into that one til the day before coming home. It was very good, it is located by the beach and is a very nice setting for dining. We would have eaten there twice if I had know this.The Italian is just as good, and the Mexican one. Hacienda. The Steak House we felt was average, beef in the Midwest is hard to top, and I am spoiled by it. We only had rain one day, and it was not much at all. No Lobby smell at all, no bugs at all.. Maybe it was the right time of the year to go,but I found this to be rare considering thr grounds . with the jungle and all. The grounds are beautiful, with monkeys, peacocks,flamingo's,macaws, and birds all over. If it is hard for someone to walk, this resort could be a problem. It is just so big. It does not have the large beach for walking, but we knew that from other comments. The lagoon was large enough for us. Also a big plus if you have children. Not having to worry about rip tides or large waves. Excaret Park,do not miss it..We paid the extra for the half hour swim with the dolphins,85 dollars each,it was worth it. 8 dollars for a cab ride to Play Del Carmen, nice for shopping and a nice walk on the beach with plenty of bars,if you need one. Our Aple rep told us to eat at AJUA there,it was excellent if you like seafood, which we do. We had 2 lobster tails,grilled fish fillets,octopus, calamari, 2 mango margirita's for 50 dollars US. It was excellent. We will be going back here, building 20 we stayed in , right across from the pool bar. We loved the location. Rooms 20120 -20126 are very nice rooms and you can step of your balcony into the pool,we will try for one of these next time. If any one has any questions I can help with please e mail me.We loved our stay. I am sure there is some missed spelling, it has been a long day. If You stay there You wont regret it. One last item ..I did talk to some couples by the pool who had NO room when they arrived.The place was over booked. I would have been highly upset if this happened to us. They did get put up at other resorts,and did get more night for a later use, but to me the would really start a vacation off on the wrong foot. I did not ask if they booked it themselves or a Travel agent. Just be aware this did happen..

4  Thank minette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
A TripAdvisor Member
Twin Cities, Minnesota
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!!!

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Additional Information about 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:
#34 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#42 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#51 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#55 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#77 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $172 - $433 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental at Xcaret Destination 4*
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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