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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
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Reviews (14,465)
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A TripAdvisor Member
ottawa
15
Reviewed March 8, 2006

Really enjoyed my stay there. The resort is beautiful, accomodations clean, staff are great. Take advantage of all bars and pools - very different environments. And Xcaret park was great - the evening show is a must. Food was fine, although dinners were nothing to write home about. I'd definitely go back.
PS - agree with another reviewer - Air Canada Vacations reps were awful - new one every day, new story, new excuses, terrible service.

Stayed: March 2006
5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2006

My husband and I went for one week of vacation at this hotel in Feb/Mar 2006. This is the third time in this part of Mexico. We love the Caribbean sea. We very much enjoyed our stay at the resort. The pools were great. The snack bars and poolside drink service was excellent. Drinks generally were above average, as they weren't the slushy mix variety. You could order anything you wanted and for the most part they made it. They even serve Caesars for us Canadians (although I didn't try them as they had some extras in there). The buffet food was good, with a good variety. We only wished they served Mexican mole more often! We booked our 4 al la carte restaurant dinners within 15 minutes of arriving at the hotel; the settings were very nice, the service usually very good, but the food was not consistently good. I was disappointed a couple of times with the shrimp (once it ended up in my napkin). But, some of the fish was still good. The grounds were beautiful. The beach was as expected, except that we assumed we would be able to walk down the beach even if over rocky areas. However, it appeared that the area was closed off due to the hurricane (behind chain link fence). The room was comfortable, bed was firm, nice big shower with lots of hot water. Air Canada warned us that the one pool was not open yet, and the outdoor theatre was not up and running; Occidental thereafter told us both were up and running but that wasn't true in the end. The pool opened up 2 days after we arrived, but it wouldn't really have mattered because the other pool(s) are great. And the indoor theatre is a fine place for the shows, which generally were very good. It was only the kareoke night that wasn't too appealing to me. We also enjoyed the day we spent at the park next door (we got free entrance with our package). We even considered spending a second day there for a special rate of $20 each, but decided on other adventures. A few of the things at the park are not up and running because of the hurricane, including their big, fabulous outdoor theatre. Nevertheless, the alternative venues were fine and we enjoyed our time at the park.
Just make sure you know what they offer at this resort for a beach before you go! For some people, the beach was a disappointment.
All in all, we feel we got very good value for our money. We loved our time at the resort, even if the weather didn't cooperate fully (a mixed bag of sun, cloud, stormy weather). For my sensitive skin, the weather was a bit of a blessing.

19  Thank EmmyChilliwack_BC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2006

People like to gripe at these web sites. i usually don't, but you need to be warned of the Occidental Xcaret.
We go on one carribean vacation a year and this place looked great on line. Last year, our agent got us to an all inclusive in Jamaica that was wonderful. So when she suggested Xcaret, we did our research. It looked good. Folks gave it great reviews here and at other travel web sites. It was rated high for families with small children by folks who had visited it. (We have a four and half year old) So to say we were excited was an understatement.

In brief, here is the bad.

1. The food was very average. I don't mean good some days and bad others, I mean average. The a la carte restaurants are weak. They don't let you make reservation at their flagship El Pescador until your last night there, hoping to leave you with a good taste in your mouth. Even thre the food was lifeless. If want a lot of food and don't care about the quality, it is a good place. But I didn't pay to end up eating chips and Guacamole at every meal.

2. The beach is an afterthought. The web site makes it look like it has some expanse. It doesn't. Barely enough room to get everyone on the beach that wants to be there, and no room to build sand castles ( little kids) or bury dad in the sand. forget about finding a quiet little corner. There isn't one.

3. The service was lacking. They seemed to be under staffed at every bar, even around the pools. The service at the restaurants was generally a little better, but not much. At first we chalked it up to the rennovations being undertaken after the hurricanes and a possible temporary shift in staffing. But at the prices they charge, we expected better.

Now some good.

1. The physical facilities are beatiful. Deer came to our balcony. The Mayan Ruins were great at Sunrise. The best thing I can say about Xcaret is that the showers are wonderful. The park next door is pretty neat.

2. The kids club was better than average. While my daughter was more interested in swimming with me, she did attend the kids club for a little bit. There are some educational aspects (Mayan history) as well as crafts.

But given why we go to an all inclusive, this was not one I could recommend.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank GAhiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2006

We were at the occidental grand xcaret March 2, 2006 thur March 5, 2006. The only thing I can complain about is the trip was too short.

When we arrived my husband and I were given a Deluxe room with two beds. We complained to the front desk and we were moved the next morning to a king bed. The rooms were clean and nice.

The grounds are just beautiful. Almost everything was up and running except for the theater area. The pools were great, and the beach area was just beautiful.

The food was great. We never ate at the a-la-carte resturaunts, because the food was just fine at the buffet and paco tacos. We ate burgers at lunch cooked by the pool.
The drinks were great. The bartenders and waitstaff were great as well. We did tip, but I don't think the service was any less for those that were not tipping.

We visited xcaret park and loved it. We didn't get to see everything because we had excursions planned. We went on the steak and lobster sunset cruise. It was a lot of fun and the food was good.

There is a lot of walking at the hotel, but there is also a shuttle that runs from 7am until 11pm. We never had a problem getting a shuttle. We only used it twice to go to the beach area. The walking was actually good for us after all the good food and drinks, so we didn't mind at all. We stayed in building 18 which was close to the lobby.

I have stayed at many resorts in Riviera Maya, Jamaica and Puerto Vallarta and I would have to say this is one of the better ones.

We will be going back to Mexico in September for a week, and will probably stay at a different resort only because we like to try different places. I would definitly reccommend this resort and I will definitly go back again.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
18  Thank mrucker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Boston
115
Reviewed March 6, 2006

I concur with the recent reviewers -- overall, this resort is lovely! The pools and beach area are beautiful, and instead of umbrellas, they have cool thatched huts you can lie under -- fantastic for those of us who'd rather not burn... No long walks on the beach, but lots of walking paths throughout the resort, some even through very jungle-y areas, with animal viewing areas.

The rooms are lovely -- nice bathrooms and terrific show. Minimal amenities in there, though -- be sure to bring your nice lotion and hair conditioner, since they don't provide these. If you can get a third floor room, you might be lucky enough to get a vaulted ceiling like we did -- makes the room feel huge! We were not in the Royal Club, but didn't regret the decision. Rooms and pools were absolutely great.

The massages at the spa were surprisingly good -- we had low expectations, and they were greatly exceeded. Not so good on the manicure/pedicure side, however. Get your nails done before you go...

On the not so great side: they don't have butter, just this nasty margarine stuff. Not an issue for most, but I do love butter. Also, the Mexican approach to customer service is a bit lacking, compared to other places we've been where people can't do enough for you. When asking questions, it was hard to get a clear answer -- we felt left to "figure it out" many times. Also, many concerns were met with a shoulder srug -- no real interest in acknowledging or attending to our concern. Fascinating.

But the only truly awful thing was the issues they were apparentely having with the sewer system. Every evening, and sometimes during the day, there was a nasty sewage smell (you all know what I mean here) thoughout the property. Interestly, complaints about this were met with a practiced blank look, which made us think they all knew full well but were keeping a unified front. Yuck.

Food: Buffet breakfast quite good. Lunch was ok, but they also make burgers and dogs by the pool -- no other poolside snacks, be sure to note, are served. Dinner buffet was not so great. The restaurants were a mixed bag. We love steak and were disappointed with the steakhouse, but the mediterranean, mexican and seafood restaurants were all lovely, and the food excellent. Oriental, not so much.

Don't let the negative comments dissuade you, though. It was a lovely place and a wonderful time. Be sure to do the Xcaret park and swim with the dophins. Extra money but worth every penny.

Hope this is helpful to folks. Feel free to be in touch via e-mail with questions.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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