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“trashy and bland”

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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #72 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 21, 2011

after spending two weeks staying in small hotels what a shock disgruntled guests disaffcted staff. Room clean, good show no glasses n bathroom no water to drink. Example someone had room service and placed tray outside but no member of staff felt it was ther job to pick up same iwth replacing ater i cooler someone left container but that was it. Cocktails and drinks good quality food cold and bland. A la carte no better most of it wasnt available on the menu. Within 12 hours developed tummy pains and irrtable bowel my husband the same. Yet for two week we had eaten in local rural areas with no complaints it must be either a food hygiene problem or a lot of high fat and processed foods used once home pians are subsiding. We are not big drinkers or eaters but if quantity is your thing then i am sure you will have a good time.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank dawncarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8,183 - 8,189 of 12,861 reviews

Reviewed January 21, 2011

Just come back from a 7 day stay and enjoyed it very mutch..The hotel is very clean,the workers are always smiling and helpful,,The food is great,probably one of the best buffet restaurant that we have ever had..a girl by the name of DONA that works in the buffet restaurant made us feel very welcome..The alacarte restaurants were so so,with the exception of the steak house that was very good.The only negative about this resort is the beach area,,,its a man made beach and is very small .You cannot wallk up and down the beach here its to rough and dangerous.The hotel rooms are very clean and comfortable, I would say building number 18 is the most central..I would recommend going to the xcaret park next door.The cost is 49 us dollar for a full day or 25 dollars for a halve day...To see it all you need a full day...You can go to the park and come back in to have your dinner and return again without any problems ,,you can also eat in the park if so choose to ,its expensive to eat there.If anyone have any questions about this hotel ,feel free to contact me,,,,,,

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JOHNNYOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2011

Just returned from an 11 night vacation....the first week at Dreams in Puerto Aventuras, followed by the remainded of the vacation at occidental. Occidental could not EVER compare to the dreams, but I'll try to be unbiased in my review and not compare the two to one another.

First of all, I'd like to point out that I stayed here as part of the timeshare my boyfriend's family has...usually when we do this at occidental/allegro resorts we get VIP service, didn't see any of this here. Yes, we were taken to the VIP private check in, but we then waited a half hour to be seen there bc other people were discussing excursions. Bar was nice in there, and had all top shelf liquor and free phone and internet for time share people...probably the only nice touch.

Room---room was clean, shower with great water pressure. Bed was hard, pillows ok, tv very small. Safe very old yet functioning. Very disappointed by balcony since there was no view at all for us because of sooo many trees..i understand its pretty much in the jungle but the balcony is always my favorite part of a room. So, we went back to check in and asked for a room change to anywhere in the resort with a decent balcony view and we were denied this change and told there were no other rooms.....this was Sandy or Sandra whatever her name is at the timeshare office, she didn't even look it up for us...simply said no. I have a feeling it's because we are young....25...although we both look a lot younger and could pass for 18. Felt disrespected, especially since she didn't even try, it's like she couldn't be bothered with us.

Maid service- excellent. left a tip for additional beverages and receieved them. flower petals on bed as well, no complaints in this department.

Pools---we were in building 17 next to the quieter pool and liked that. It was large yet quiet with a bar and plenty of huts. Huts filled up quickly. Tip the bartender and he will walk you over drinks all day.

Beach--awful. I knew going here it was man made etc etc...however the pictures dont show you the beach chairs piled onto this tiny tiny beach like sardines. it really is awful. My boyfriend and i did, however, enjoy climbing to the end of the cliffs at night overlooking the ocean and stars.

Food--beyond terrible. The worst Ive ever had, and I've been to a lot of all inclusives, particularly in mexico. Also, got sick the last day from something at breakfast, and was sick all in the airport and on the plane, and still sick at home. Also, at breakfast they have plates on every table with assorted pastries which in theory is a good idea, but everytime we got to a table there were just crumbs, and once a half eaten muffin...just gross.

Finally, we went to the timeshare club the night before we were going to check out and told them we would be needing a late check out, the lady said thats fine just come here tomorrow and let us know..it was to be a $50 charge. so, the next morning we go and the lady says that we cannot get a late checkout but they will give us a courtesy room for a half hour somewhere else. So, at 12pm we lugged our own luggage through the jungle to the bellboy and then had to return at 3pm for our courtesy room. You would think if you were there with their timeshare they would go above and beyond...they always do at other resorts, not here. Our courtesy room was right off the lobby which was good...but there were used towels and water all over the bathroom...it was obvious the room hadn't been cleaned.

Overall just a bad experience. bad food bad service. They serve masses of people and it's obvious they don't really care what one person thinks. the grounds are nice, and the location next to xcaret park is awesome and really the only reason we stayed here. I am easy to please, yet i would never return here.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank KimmyNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2011

I was looking for a spot to chill and rest and this was it. It’s an all inclusive, in Mexico so I knew food would be better than cuba, I won’t have to figure out transportation since to and from Airport is all included, it’s away from the main highway so there won’t be a buzz of activity like Cancun which is where I’ve stayed before and where you go when you want to party, not rest. The place is large (not immense as some described), lush and green - which isn’t always what Mayan jungles are like, and filled with colourful tropical birds and fishes. There were magpies who gather near the most popular pools and do cry as they come and rest there for the evening. The last few days I was there the noise did quiet down as resort may have warded them off. They didn’t bother me as I’d just hang out elsewhere by evening. The figure 8 pool on the other side had no magpie problems so you can go there also - just a short walk. The beach is in a small man-made lagoon. While it is small compared to Playa Del Carmen nearby, it is larger than most large pools at resorts, and you get to swim with the fishes. This you won’t get at other beaches. The waters here have plentiful fishes due to the nearby corals. This also attracts a pretty friendly flock of pelicans and sandpipers which sometimes sunbathe at the lagoon or the adult pool. The rocky shores were almost always deserted - which I loved. you can just bring your yoga mat and meditate here to the natural sound of the waves. or read. or like this woman I ran into one afternoon, put your ipod on and dance to the ocean. yeah baby! The ancient Mayan temples on the property, one right by the shore - add immensely to the charm of the setting. Walk north along the rocky shoreline (bring your crocs!) and you will find a pristine undeveloped beach. One can pretend that you are in your own private Mayan paradise. And that’s what it was for me.

Here’s how to make the best of your experience at Occ Xcaret. Buy these at walmart before leaving - crocs, water shoes, a pillow of the comfort level you like as the pillows here are small and hard - prices won’t bother you when you leave them there. Bring your snorkeling equipment as rentals can be expensive if you plan on any excursions. When the resort’s crowded as it was the last three days I was there - the main buffet will get crowded. I always found the best buffet food can be had at the beach club by the waterfront. The menu there is slightly different from the main buffet. and the food there I found to be cooked better than at main buffet. And it never got crowded. The best restaurant is the seafood restaurant - which is the same as the beach club, but in the evening. so make your reservations early, and often. Mexican restaurant was a huge disappointment - the buffet mexican food was better. Mediterranean restaurant - just sucks. Oriental - didn’t bother trying. Main buffet - don’t miss their Mexican and Caribbean theme night dinners. That’s the best buffet meal you’ll get. They’ll usually have very good seafood and roasts /grills. Bring a lot of dollar bills - the waiters are grateful for tips and will remember your needs well next time. Do the same for the room maids. You don’t end up paying the 15% or 20% tips that waiters at Toronto’s restaurants sneer at. And they’ll treat you much better than the waiters in Toronto. Internet access is expensive, there are a few computers, and wifi I hear is spotty. But this was a get away trip so it wasn’t a bother for me. Wine isn’t good (but this is a buffet), and drinks are watered down. I think of my daiquiris as fruit shakes. so bring your own booze. There’s always corona. Yes the bathroom doors are made like french windows and there’s no vent in there. Turn up the TV volume when you go to the john - put it on channel 21 the weather channel which always plays the best of the 80s music - and bring an air freshener with you.

Xcaret theme park next door costs US$49 - but is FREE if you go on a 2/3 hr vacation club presentation. the club prices are ridiculous so don’t fall for it - crown plaza in cancun I hear gives 2 weeks every year for 30 years for $10,000. But ask that your theme park tickets be for full day. And take everyone along as only those in attendance gets the tickets. Food and equipment rental at the theme park is expensive so bring the snorkeling gear and go back to eat at the resort. The theme park isn’t spectacular by my standards and not worth $49 so look into it before you go. the closing show at 6 is interesting so you won’t want to miss this.

If you’re feeling restless and wants to leave the resort, but not take a cab or go on a paid excursion, the highway is a 15 minute walk from the front lobby (or just a shade under 1km). I am in decent shape so this is no biggie - it’s my warm up. there are bus stops on either side of the highway. the “busses” are air conditioned shuttle vans. It’s 15pesos ($1.10) to Playa del Carmen, and 35pesos to Tulum each way. Entrance to Tulum archaeological site is 51pesos and the scenery there is worth the trip. you can also go swimming at the beach on the archaeological site so bring your swim gear. Playa is a typical tropical beach resort town. There’re a lot of restaurants, shops, hotels of all types, free wifi at places. A lot of people sells silver jewelry there - so know your prices and your silver before you go there. I didn’t find prices to be reasonable. Xel ha is a wonderful snorkeling site close by I’m told. didn’t make it there so next time. If you’ve never been, Chichen Itza visit is a must, and it’s an all day trip as a warning, and this I took a tour for. the site is huge, very hot (bring lots of water) and worth the visit. I’ve been to egypt, and the temple (not the pyramid) impressed me. So that’s a lot to do, but if you’re there to rest, don’t try to do too much. There’s always next time, and that’s just what I plan on doing.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled solo
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9  Thank Burmese_Python
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2011

Really nice ammenities, though I recommend the Royal Club, better food, service, more private and still a good value. Royal Club restaurant and bar much better than other areas. Disapointed with Internet availability. Had to pay $26/day, even for wireless!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Spaul123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2011

REALLY unimpressed with Occidental Grand Xcaret. I just got the overwhelming feeling that this resort was trying to save money, and when I just spent all that money to stay here, I don't want to feel like they're broke.

The setting was gorgeous, but the resort can't take credit for the geography of the region. They should be embarrassed by how far away from the beach they decided to build their resort though. It's a good 7 minute walk before you see ocean.

We stayed in building 11 and it was so noisy with all the foot traffic and the shows that it was impossible to get any rest in the room at night.

The bartenders were stingy and wouldn't let you walk around with a drink. You had to finish what you had right there and couldn't get drinks "to go". There also was never beer in our room even though the website says there will be, and that it will be replenished every other day. We didn't even have water in our fridge upon our arrival, and housekeeping never once refilled it. Anytime we wanted water we had to call roomservice and wait an hour or more.

Housekeeping also never replaced our toiletries in the bathroom. Same tiny little sliver of soap to last two people 6 days. That's just gross. We repeatedly asked for more soap and never got any.

I understand that you're going to get some musty smells in a hot, humid climate, but our room was just plain gross. The one bed smelled so bad we didn't even want to put our luggage on it. After our first day there they changed the sheets on that bed and it smelled fine, so that tells me that they just hadn't set foot in our room in weeks and didn't bother to check on it before lettings us check in.

The safe in our room and our friend's room didn't work. I thought that was suspicious. All inclusives know that people will be traveling with cash and passports, they're safes should be in working order. If it had been just ours it would have been kind of lame, but two safes on opposite ends of the resort make me wonder how many safes actually did work. It took the front desk about two hours to get someone to our room to fix the safe, which was then done with a nail file and some duct tape. SUPER SECURE!

Our TV was not plugged in and even after we plugged it in it didn't work, nothing but static. Not a big problem because who goes to Mexico to watch TV?... but still annoying.

And finally, the staff was a joke. Out of the probably 10 times we called the front desk (to request more water, to make a reservation at a restaurant, to ask to have our safe fixed, etc) they only answered twice. And then never sent anyone. The only way to get anything done was to physicly go to the front desk and ask in person.

So I get it, it's cultural, it's more relaxed down there, blah blah blah. But bottom line, when I'm spending that much money to be there, and I have that many different options of places to stay next time don't make me feel like:
A. I'm inconveiniencing you by asking for a bottle of water
B. I'm breaking a rule by asking for a beer
C. you're doing me a huge freaking favor by putting my room in working order

I also just really hate that you have to make a reservation at their restuarants. I'm on vacation. When I'm hungry I want to eat. I don't want to have to call at 9am the morning of to make a reservation. The best part was, any time we did try to call to make a reservation, we never once got an answer on the phone. Then when we just walked in, we got a lecture about how we have to call and make a reservation. Whatever.

So again, in a region that is absolutely packed with resorts competing for your money, don't bother staying here. It's just not worth it. Location to Xcaret can't be beat, but it's not like you couldn't take a shuttle from any other hotel in this penninsula.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank malorina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2011

Star - definetly not four and a half, but four.

Reception - will have to wait 10 min before someone helps you. They do not call you when they see you waiting, they just chat until you come up and firmly ask for help.

Service - was good, fast and service staff are pleasant and nice to deal with.

Buffet restaurant & le-cartes - buffet was good, food is ok/good, not the best. Le carte restairants are better than buffet, serve quality meats. Mexican restaurant are the worst. Steakhouse is the best.

Resort - full of trees and bushes, also there are a lot of wild animals walking about, and annoying birds. Some birds gather at 4:00 and begin singing until sunset, so get ready for some loud, annoying bird sounds. Since there are a lot of trees, leaves frop into the pool every night, and it takes them up to 10:00am to clean them. They've got guys in the pools until noon taking the leaves out - which I though was not cool, you are supposed to do this kind of stuff at 6:00am at sunrise. When raining a lot of roofs leaks, water dripps on the main stage, in the public bathrooms and in the lobby, so there are wet floor signs everywhere. The resort is beautifl but run down. Needs a lot of upgrading and fixing here and there.

Rooms - are ok, not the best, of course. Four star the most. Bathrooms are separated by a wooden door through which you can clearly hear your partner/friend is doing number 2, and the other way around. Showers are nice and upgraded. Free safe included, which is great, and a fridge they refill every second day. Also, by the time our trip was over, we had plenty of bites on our skin, however there werent any moskitos at the resort or in our room, so we suspect it were the bed bugs. So be careful, inspect your matresses if you have the same bites. I have inspected mine but didnt find anything.

Beach - man made and very safe for children to walk and roam around. The staircase leading to the top of the beach and to the open ocean shore area is a bit dangerous (please see photos) for small children to go there. The beach is clean and sand is very soft. There is a waiter lady who goes around giving out drinks, which is neat. The line up at the beach bar gets pretty long at lunch time, so order as much as you can.

Snack bars - have variety of food, ranging from chicken, pasta to french fries, burgers, and sweets. Very pleased with the food at the snack bar.

Services @ the resort - internet is very expensive. Its wireless service cost $11/day and $82/5 days. On site computer use is $5.00/half an hour. No shuttle bust service to the Playa del Carmen, unlike other resorts. You would have to take a taxi, thats the only way out of this place. Coffee bar outside of the lobby is not all-inclusive (coffee is $2.50). I suggest you go to the buffet (a 2 min walk from coffee bar) and get the same coffee for free. Towel lady at the quiet pool is so nice, she can give you towels to use even if you dont have a card (when we did not cuz we checked out at 12 and were stuck at the resort without a room until 7pm).

Night entertainment - one word: cheese. The same group of dancers wear different costumes, put on different type of music and themed-background every single night and lip sing to the music. yawn booring. We walked out a couple of times. One time a magic crew came to the resort, which was finally something different!!!

Children`s club - not so good for toddlers or babies. When I came in with my 2 year old, he started diassebling the train tracks so the lady yelled at me that he can break those. From then on all I head was `dont touch this``, `dont go there``, dont sit there``..so we just left.`Also the playground is kind of run down and has pieces of fence missing.

Did not go to the disco, sports bar, Paco`s tacos or pizza place to comment on those.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank wildcancer
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

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
#45 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 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: $159 - $633 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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