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.
- 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