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“Worth the price but don't expect a beach!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Occidental at Xcaret Destination

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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #69 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Montréal, Québec CANADA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Worth the price but don't expect a beach!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2010

Just got back from a 7 day stay at Xcaret. As most of you, I had spent lots of time shopping while reading reviews on TripAdvisor.... some people just go overboard in there complaints and sometimes frightens people not to book. Here's something as objective as I can be! Hope it helps, and do not hesitate contacting me if you have any specific questions.

Rooms: We had a deluxe room (not the suite) in building 14 - overlooking the Xcaret Park. Very quiet, no noise from the pool... although we could hear the flamencos from the park (I'd rather hear that than kids crying!). The deluxe room seriously lacks a seating area. There's 1 chair only and not all that comfortable, so we ended up sitting on the bed all the time. There is plenty of closet space, but not enough drawers. Beds are firm, but I've seen worst. Shower is spacious with LOTS of water pressure, shampoo and conditioner dispensers (practical). Plenty of counter space as well. Our room definitely needed some extra love and care... some ceramic tiles were coming off, sliding door very hard to open, air vents dusty, rusted trash can, lamp not working, some switches weren't operational. Small details that aren't dramatic, but you can tell this place is not a high end 5 star.

Service: Make the extra effort to speak Spanish, and the instantly become friendlier. Restaurants service was always excellent (sometimes even better at buffets!). Room service was OK - we left mostly 2 to 3$/day for the maid. Our fridge was stocked daily, and room kept perfectly clean. The "restaurant booking" service was odd... they always gave the wrong info, and the way they book is quite inefficient. They tell you to book as of 9 am for the next day, but you're the first in line to book at 9am and they say the restaurant is already full. When you go to the restaurant, half of the place is empty.

Bars: The martini lounge at night in the lobby is a nice added touch. Lovely ambiance with candles, and delicious martinis. However, one thing is missing... some lounge music or something to kick off the evening. Drinks never taste the same from bar to bar, but that's to be expected... I found the best drinks to be by the smaller pool. We had Susana all well serving us drinks, friendly and professional.

Grounds: Beautiful, clean... you feel you are entering a jungle. You do not feel you are actually in a hotel. The place has been well thought of and you know they have respected the environment. Paths and walk ways all around gives the impression you are walking through a park.

Beach: Although it's kept clean, and the main bar/building is a beautiful spot, the beach is definitely a big FAIL! It's a private lagoon with fishes swimming in, it's beautiful, but the chairs and people are packed up like sardines in a half moon shape. It's the biggest draw back of this hotel... although I knew not expect a beach when I booked, I never thought it would this bad. I actually stayed by the pool all week, with more privacy. If you want to experience a better beach, there's a much better one at the Xcaret Park beside the hotel, and a MUCH better one at Playa Del Carmen... right downtown. Public beach with pristine turquoise water.

Restaurants: I tried all - all of them are "just ok". The selection of food is limited and menus are so poorly translated, it was funny (cute!). I found the best food to be in the various buffets (quite ironically). The seafood was a disappointing... there is barely any seafood on the menu (other than the special platter for which you need to pay an extra 30$). They have fish and some shrimps. For the men, I have seen many guys (and I was too) wearing sandals, and they never turned me around. Don't pack up your dress shoes... won't be necessary. As long as you have long pants, you'll be fine. Make sure to eat breakfast at the Beach Club by the water... beautiful view and food is always good.

Overall: I think this place is the best bang for your buck, but DO NOT expect this to be a true 5 star. There is no trendy, luxury resort. I paid less than 1000$ for it all, and I think this was fair. When I went, the place was 65% booked (perhaps due to air restrictions because of the volcano)... so no problems for chairs, or accessing anything. It was VERY quiet... and that was perfect for us. We went their to relax and we got plenty of it.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Rico31mtl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
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  • 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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English first
Moncton, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2010

After reading some nightmarish reviews on here (my sympathies to those people) my wife and I were a little skeptical, and worried about what was waiting for us at this resort.

Once after landing, we were approached by the typical people wanting to give us rides at the airport (those were refused as advised) and we made our way to our bus waiting for us)
Upon arrival at the hotel, at nearly 3 am due to a long flight and wait time at the airport (immigration and all the processes) we were warmly greeted and rushed to our room, the clerk posed absolutely no issues. Asked for our hotel vouchers (Transat Holidays) and got a bell boy to show us to our room.

Our bags were delivered faster than anticipated. During our entire week, food was very, very good (we both took Imodium due to our stomachs not being used to this food) and aside that, I have only 1 complaint. And this apparently, is common in ALL resorts.

The bathroom door, is like a closet door. It is not a solid sealed door. So if you are like myself, and bathroom shy, you may have issues with this.

And I suppose my second very mild complaint is, there are many solicitors that try to sell you on time sharing. And they solicit you often, and over and over again. You have to know how to say no.

Overall, our vacation time was absolutely amazing, and will return for sure!!!!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank rookie0014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Level Contributor
15 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2010

My husband and I just came back on the 15th from The Occidental Grand Xcaret. We really had no expectations, because we had read so many bad reviews about the place. We thought how bad could an all inclusive resort be?? We've been to so many all over the Caribbean, and they're all pretty much the same. We're never picky. We're the kind of people to just sit back, and enjoy whatever the resort has to offer. I think because it was a special holiday this time we expected more out of it.

It was our honeymoon, and we were so excited to get away, be romantic, and eat fabulous food. Definitely not the place to go for a honeymoon. We figured that because it was an off season it would be quieter, and children would be in school. Not the case. The resort was full, and pretty much everywhere you looked were children. Every time we booked a restaurant there was this one table full of wild kids running around with game boys. We were staring at the parents wondering when they were going to tell they're kids to settle down. They obviously didn't care about anyone around them.

Check-in is at 3pm. So be prepared to wait around until 3pm if you arrive in the morning. We had been awake for over 30 hours, and all we wanted to do was go for a sleep. Instead we were stuck walking around in what felt like 40 degree weather for hours with our carry ons. The front desk was kind enough to let us check in at 2pm. They gave us 10% off a massage, and a ticket for a free continental breakfast in bed as a gift for honeymooning with them. WOW. How kind....considering you can go to the buffet for breakfast and get a hot meal. SO we wondered to our room to go for a sleep. I was expecting rose petals on the bed. When we got there we started giggling. The decor was horrendous. Which who cares, your not in the room for more then to sleep. It was very clean and that was all that mattered. I was a little disappointed that they didn't use rose petals, but I was too tired to care. The bed was so hard. Like laying on wood. By the end of the week my hips felt bruised, and my neck hurt. The rooms are also paper thin. We could hear the people upstairs and in the rooms next to us urinating, and farting lol. We just laughed at that. In the morning everyone is awake at 6am....so if you like to sleep in forget about it. People are talking, and children are screaming in the hallways. Don't even try to sleep, because it just get's worse as the morning goes on.

Make sure if you want to get a chair around the pool you get out there before 9am, otherwise you have to go to the beach and get a chair up on the hill. We never had a problem getting a chair we wanted, because we were always out the door before 9.

The buffet has the most disgusting food you've ever ate. Everyday the buffet is the same for lunch, and dinner. It get's tiring eating the same thing everyday. We tried to avoid the buffet as much as we could. If you do go to the buffet, ask to have Dona as your waitress. She is the most lovely girl. She sings, and even pulled mine, and my husbands chairs to seat us. They all work very hard for $10 a day, so make sure you leave them something when you leave. Even if it's just a $1. Now the breakfast buffet is fabulous. It has anything you want to eat. I always enjoyed going to the beach restaurant for breakfast. Very nice. Your allowed 4 restaurant reservations for a 7 day stay. They are amazing!! We tried the stake house, Italian, Seafood, and Oriental. Make sure if you go to the oriental you taste the Pad Thai. Ridiculously good.

At night there is no night life. So if you like to party, and have fun don't stay here. We went a few times to the disco at night, but it was always empty. All you have is a cheesy night show at 9pm. There is also only one bar open at night. It's located outside the buffet, and there's always a really long line. There is a martini bar just outside the lobby. Every martini you could think of is there. We got all out drinks there. If you tip the guy, he will serve you even if your at the back of the line.

Overall we had an OK time. The resort is beautiful, and very well kept. When we were there it was being renovated. People painting, sawing, and fixing balcony's. It was loud, but it's improving the resort. There are so beautiful ruins on the grounds. Make sure to take a walk to the ruins at night, they're all lit up. We had 3 good days of sun, and the rest was pouring rain. Just had to make the best of it. Don't come here for a honeymoon, because no one cares. Great for children, because of the shallow lagoon, and shallow pools. Staff is just wonderful. If you need any help with anything they're waiting to help. They're very, very friendly. The resort is located 10 min from Playa Del Carmen, and it's a $10 cab ride. We loved it there. People are very pushy, so just ignore them when you walk down the strip.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Canuckgal25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta
Level Contributor
41 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 22, 2010

Our experience at OGX was good, although I think it is one of my vacation hotels in which I spent the least time so I didn’t really take advantage of all it had to offer as much as I could have - so my review might be light.

The grounds are pretty expansive and you feel like you’re surrounded by jungle! We were in the regular section (as opposed to the Club section). Building 17. No elevators. The rooms are a nice size and kept very clean. Beds are fine. The minibar only had 2 beers, 4 waters, and 2 pops – it was restocked everyday and I’m sure you could get more if you asked. Shower pressure was great. Our balcony view was into the jungle – I’m not even sure if there are sea view rooms as it’s mostly set back from the water. There’s a few English TV channels. Ohhh - if you’re having a drink or two in your room before you head out you can put the TV on the Weather Channel - it seemed to always play a great 80’s mix! ( :

Beach. I am sure you know by now that they don’t have a beach beach – the shoreline in the area is very rocky. What they have is a lagoon (man-made?) with a channel to the open sea. It has a small beach with sand as soft as powered sugar! Kind of neat I guess – great for kids I suppose. There seems to be plenty of chairs – they kind of go up a hill in tiers. But it is small. Make sure you know what to expect. I am a beach person – and I did know it was a lagoon – but I also knew I’d be spending a lot of time off of the resort so I was ok with the sacrifice. For me, if I was going to be spending more time on the resort, this wouldn’t have worked for me (I think it was smaller than I anticipated and I think I need the open sea). Just look at photos so you know what you’re getting – there’s nothing wrong with it – it’s just not for everyone.

The pools seemed nice but I didn’t go in them. (“What did this girl do on holiday, then?”, you might be asking. Well, I spent 2 days out of the resort scuba diving with Mexico Blue Dream and then another away with them on a full day excursion – that brought us to the middle of the trip when, sadly, it poured rained for the rest of our days there. Oh well.)

Food. Well, not much to rave about for the main buffet – but it was fine. The shrimp on Mexican day were awesome. We didn’t do any a la cartes. BUT, Pacos Tacos was great!! Check the hours – it does supper and then “after hours” food. I think they alternate between pizza (delish!!) and tacos/fajitas/quesadilla (also delish!). It’s on the top floor in the building kind of to the side of the evening show stage.

That brings me to evening shows. We only saw one and I think it was of a far higher calibre than any other resort show I have seen. Far better costumes, choreography, even some set décor. I was pretty impressed.

The taxi ride to the main area of Playa takes about 10 minutes and around $10. Drinks in town seemed expensive – Bacardi and coke for 65 pesos (roughly $6!).

Tidbits - Bring an umbrella (for the sun!), extension cord (especially if you’re travelling with a girlfriend and you both might need to use a hairdryer at the same time – I find it’s just a huge convenience to have one), straws (because they don’t seem to have any – we brought our own and they sure add to the frozen drink experience). And please don’t underestimate the sun – it is really strong and everyone should always wear SPF 15 at least!

So, overall I think this resort is a very solid choice. My next visit to Playa, however, will likely see me in a condo or boutique hotel closer to town. It all depends on what you want to do on your holiday!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank luvmypuppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2010

Yes you can always find things to complain. But Royal Club Was wonderful treatment. Great for a quiet vacation to reconnect. Wow i would go again. My husband and myself did not want to come home. Beds on the beach, royal treatment. i own a rest/bar and I have to say the food at the royal club was wonderful. Very clean property. pools were awesome. I think you need to remember to treat people with respect. We were so happy with how nice and accommodating everyone was. we will be back. A very nice private beach after a walk over the rocks we found the property to be awesome.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sgh128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2010

My boyfriend and i are going to this resort on the 30th, we wanted to bring a laptop for the plane ride... i was just wondering if it will fit in the safe? if not we wont bring it.

Thanks!!

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank sc_rockerus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2010

We just got back on Sunday from a week at this resort. Have to say, most of the reviews are spot on. If you get the chance, you absolutely have to see the show at the Xcaret park - it was one of the highlights of our trip, The lagoon is small, but we were able to do some snorkeling and we're pool people anyway. The resort is huge if you're not used to walking, but only big if you are fit and/or like to have a walk after meals.

Those who are overly negative either didn't read reviews prior to going or expect more than they should - you will not be waited on hand and foot! Yes you will probably be asked to attend the timeshare presentation - ignore them and walk by or if you have to talk to them (as we did in order to book the a la carte) just say no.

Our room was spotless, the maids were friendly - they kept our mini bar stocked every day.

We mostly ate at the buffet when we were on the resort. The steak restaurant was ok. I'm a picky eater and I almost always found something I liked. Service was a bit slow, but I was on vacation so it didn't bother me or my husband.

Would we stay there again - yes if we were taking our son to Mexico. The discount rates for Xcaret and the ability to walk between the resort and the park make it so much more enjoyable. If it was just the two of us, probably not - only because we'd like to see what else is out there and I'm not one for repeat visits.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Theresa010
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
#43 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#50 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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