Let me start off by saying that I used to think reviews like mine (what I'm about to leave) were nitpicky, but honestly, there are some good things about the place as well as things that can be improved. Because it was our honeymoon, we were given special wristbands which got us some special bennies (free bottles of booze, a Mimosa when we arrived, etc), which was pretty cool... but lord, that band was a curse too as every timeshare Rep they had hounded us til we broke down and took the tour. 90 minutes promised turned into three hours with a guy who missed his calling and should have sold Ginsu knives on late-night TV instead. DO NOT TAKE THE VIP TOUR! The rooms were very nice: no tub, but otherwise perfect: all rooms have either a balcony or patio, and the fridge is stocked daily. Maid service was great! There isn't much to do on the grounds of the resort: no snorkeling or jet skiing, and the beach is just a small cove. The guys passing out towels are also excursion reps: ya can't get a towel without hearing a spiel... we took one, to Isla Mujeres, and lord that was beautiful... all the same, though, it'd be nice if there was a little more to do... The restaurants... the a la carte (reservations needed) ones were worse than the buffet! The service in the two we tried was awful: you'd get one drink, but afterwards you had to find the waiter for a refill. We kept to the buffet afterwards: the food was better, and even though the service was still lousy we at least had more to choose from. The food was actually pretty good in the buffet... (Side note: service at the Beach Club buffet was always EXCELLENT! Best view too...) The grounds were very clean, and the people outside the restaurant were incredibly helpful: I lost my glasses one day, and the person at Guest Services found a place to get some made that day. Thank you Maria :) It was OK: I wouldn't hurry back to that resort unless there was a sale, and there are better choices up and down the coast.
My wife and I had a great time during our stay here. As soon as we made it to the hotel they carried our bags to our room and we were taken to speak to the manager and skip the wait at the front desk. The room was nothing to special, it was smaller than most we have stayed at in the states(Do not worry because you will spend very little time there). They have staff that work at the floor level of all the building and can get you headed in the right direction. I recommend scheduling you tours to everywhere you would like to go before you get there to avoid having to go to a meeting and listening to them try and sell you stuff. They had a trolly bus thing that took you around the hotel to from the lobby, pools, and "beach". The pools were huge and had plenty of room to have your own personal space(in the pool not the lounge chairs around the pool(they are packed early)) The "beach" was tiny and I put it in quotations because in reality the part of landscape next to the ocean is sharp sharp sharp rock(I thought it was amazing(but still not sand)).The "beach" they claim to have is dug about 100 yards in from the ocean and is so small that you almost brush shoulders to make it around there. The water does not have any waves(and it is not very deep), so I guess thats a plus if your bringing your children. There are plenty of places around the resort to sit around and meet all kinds of people. there are bars everywhere and waitress to bring you what ever drink you desire(be careful because they do not stop serving you). I gave the dinning options a four because the food at the buffets were absolutely delicious, however you have to make reservations to eat dinner at the majority of the dinning places there and a lot of times they book fast. I also gave the service a four because all the staff was great the whole time but when we were leaving we had to carry our own bags. It would not of had been a big deal but I mean if they carry your bags to your room they can take them back to the front when you leave. Bottom line they hotel was spectacular, if you go there you will love it and if you want to go to a sandy beach while your there the city if Play Del Carmen is a 8-10 Minute taxi ride away(there are taxies everywhere). If you would like to check out tulum take public transportation because its like an hour away. Good Luck. Hope my review helps someone! Just rememeber to familiarize your self as best as you can with the area before you go and your time there will be better spent.
Awesome!!! Been to Hawaii, Japan,and Jamaica - I absolutely love this place... just bring your own beach towels and watch cloth.. Wach the time share people .. SAY - NO .... once you get off the plane keep going outside and fnd the taxi to take you to the hotel or if you purchase the service -look for them outside the building....do not talk to the people inside ..... SCAM When you get to the hotel - check in and head to your room, once again before you go to your room , you will be approached by the timesharer . get them to book your resturants get your tickets but say NO or you will get back to them to have breakfast. Go to EXCARET Park - get the multi day pass-$119..you can go to there park any time you want -lots to see and do but also there beach is wonderful !!!! We just got back - went in Sept and the weather was excellent and no crowds...LOVE IT!!! Oh the pictures do not do the place justice!! Going back next year.....
Read a lot of reviews before heading on vacation and boy were they off!! This is my 3rd all-inclusive and 3rd different resort and this was the absolute best hands down!!! They had something for everyone. 4-5 pools designed for the people that want to relax, or who want to have a few drinks, or who want to join in pool activities. The beach was awesome no problem finding 6 seats together. About 9 bars located all over the resort to get a cocktail or cold beverage. Rooms were clean and tidy, mini bar fully stocked every day, bed was a little stiff for my fiances taste. Greeted right when we got to the resort with some margaritas! We arrived at 1:00 check in was at 3:00. No problem they gave us our wrist bands and said the room would be ready at 3. We walked around visited the pool and beach. At 3 got our room keys and our luggage was taken to the room. Every building has your own conceirge to help book excursions or help with any problems you may have. Had a blast, restaurants and buffets were awesome everyone nice and polite. Had different contests and games through the day to keep the good times rolling. We WILL be going back next year!!!! Basically the resort has everything for a great time!!! If you are one of those people that only look for negatives and dont know how to have a good time, don't go to this resort...... or any resort for that matter, just stay home!!!
We had a great time at this hotel April 22-May3, 2012. It was a 50 minute drive from Cancun Airport. We used Entertainment Plus (USA Transfers) to/from the hotel and they were excellent. From arrival to departure at the hotel, everyone was friendly, courteous and helpful. The room was a standard room but was very clean with the minibar refilled daily and a very large shower with great water pressure. The concierge at the building was always helpful and friendly and they made our restaurant reservations - thank you Santos and Carl. The place is very large. There is a tram that takes you around which we found useful. Thank you Juan, the tram driver, who always waited for us when he saw us approaching. The Beach: this hotel does not have an ocean front beach but rather has a secluded lagoon which we liked a lot. If you are looking for pounding waves, this is not the place to go. The snorkeling is great right off the beach in the perfectly calm, clear water with plenty of fish. The bar service on the beach provided by Daniela and Ricardo was top notch! The buffets were ok, nothing spectacular, except for a few Mexican dishes at the beach buffet for lunch. The sit down dinners were very good and the staff was very attentive but you are limited to four nights per seven night stay in the specialty restaurants and you have to make a reservation. We saw Armando, the same head waiter, in two different restaurants and his attentiveness really made us feel special - thank you Armando! Xcaret Park: the park is connected to the hotel and is a five minute walk. The normal $100 ticket is discounted at the hotel for $79. Yes, we know this park gets great reviews but we could not see why. It was very expensive and once you got inside there were additional costs for many of the things you would have liked to do. There was a lot of walking around with not that much to see. The bat exhibit had no bats, the mushroom exhibit had almost no mushrooms, there were very few orchids in the orchid exhibit, there was one manatee in the manatee exhibit and so on. The butterflies, sea turtles and aquarium were nice. The snorkeling at the hotel was better than the park. The underground rivers had zero fish so I don't know why you snorkel and it so dark you saw nothing while wearing horrible vests which did not allow you to move very well through the water. They do collect all of your property when you enter the river, put it in a very large bag, lock it, give you the key and then transport the bag to the end of the river for you to pickup. If you did not buy the $119 ticket, then a buffet lunch is $30 ($30 for a buffet lunch in Mexico???). There is no water available in the park except for small bottles at $2.50 a bottle. The evening show gets great reviews but we could not see why. We left early, however, in all fairness, the Mexicans who are bused in just for the show loved it. If you have ever been to Disney, you will be disappointed. We would return to the hotel again particularly because of the lagoon.
Our first impressions were incredible because It was very big and very nice. We just returned last week (July 2013) and had a great time. I honestly don't think we would return only because we would like to try different places. This resort was very clean and staff was wonderful! Our room was just okay. The view was not that great as it was of the lagoon running through the resort and completely covered by the big trees. With that said we didn't spend much time in the room at all. The Buffet got very old. They had the same food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We only ate there if we had to (it was the only food available at all times). The Beach Cafe was open for breakfast and lunch but they also had the same food. It was okay, though. It wasn't terrible or anything. The evening restaurants that you HAVE to make reservations for were great. What they don't tell you (or we didn't see) is that you only get to make three reservations. That's all. And…they fill up fast. We made reservations at the Steak House- our favorite - one morning and the earliest reservation they had was at 9:30pm the next evening! I would recommend making your "nice" dinner reservations as soon as possible. They tell you wine and lobster is not included but we were offered wine with dinner and were not charged. I was also told they do expect tips. We never felt like that, but did leave tips for the bell hop and at the "nice" restaurants. This company did a great job informing us to bypass all of the time share people on the property. We were warned ahead not to talk with them so we ignored them - even at the airport we were told not to talk to any people until we walked out! Thank you!! It's true! If I could give one piece of advice, it is to bring Off or other bug spray. There is water through the whole resort and mosquitos are bad! They sell Off and other brands but it is 9-10 dollars. There are plenty of bars throughout. It says there is a snack bar but we never found it (we didn't look either). But we didn't find ourselves to be hungry with three big meals a day. We actually came back without gaining a single lb too. I'm confident it is because the food was decent. Oh…another thing that is important to know, that we didn't care for…the walls are paper thin. I almost called the desk one day because the alarm clock next door went off for hours straight. As in, we left and came back and it was still going off. That was annoying. I could also hear the toilet flush, shower run, and baby crying next door. It was too bad, but annoyed me that I could hear it. Others warned us that it is not a "real" beach. It is a man made cove with the ocean about 100 yards out. That is real enough for me! I'll try and include a picture. It was super nice and better than a "real" beach because the sand was powder, not rocky like most American beaches I have been to.
From the beginning, our arrival at Occidental was interesting. We were shuffled off the shuttle by an unknown person to the check-in desk and our bags were set in a strange line after we received a receipt. After check-in an employee (?) showed us around the resort and escorted us to our room. Luckily we had been warned about pushy sales and scams because this guy was aiming to get us on time shares and other pay to play services. After brushing him off we arrived at our room and then walked around the resort by ourselves to get oriented. The rooms are plain, but clean and decent- mainly for sleeping anyways. Use the safe, as many reports of theft occurred, luckily we had been warned and kept EVERYTHING locked. The fridge is stocked with bottled water, although we were told the water was safe, we stuck to the bottled and had no problems. Its a big resort, but plenty of maps and signs to keep you on track. Its well maintained and beautiful, with nice pools (salt water- so don't worry about green hair) and plenty of wildlife to keep you occupied. The snack bar is atrocious, so just avoid that all together. Stick to the buffet and the al la carte restaurants. Our favorite place to eat was Pacos Tacos- most flavor of any food on the resort. The oriental place was good too, but still had a few shortcomings. Be sure to try them all, but avoid the steak place at all costs. The meat was flavorless and overcooked- also, very poor cuts of beef. DEFINITELY do not eat the 'swords'- Brazilian inspired dish. It was awful, and we know good Brazilian. The pools are great with plenty of seating. The beach was small but cozy, with music and plenty of drinks. Oh, the drinks are everywhere! They are mostly watered down and scant as far as alcohol is concerned- stick to shots if you are looking to party. There ARE mosquitoes on the resort, very few and sneaky buggers. Use some spray and you wont have an issue (December). There is scant snorkeling at this resort, the small cove was fun though, and there is a mostly dead reef nearby past the salt water pools that offered some fun- choppy water so wear fins. The service was fine, just be sure to be smart and don't get scammed- lots of scams happening while we were there but we just kept to ourselves and politely declined and we were fine. As far as excursions- don't take my word for it, but you can pay a taxi a small fare, and go pretty much anywhere you want for MUCH cheaper than they want to charge you at any of the excursion desks. We spent about 160 US dollars to see Telum, Akumal, some Cenotes, and do some street shopping- Including cost of the taxi to and from. I recommend finding your own way unless you want a tour guide and some interesting info about the archaeological sites. Overall, its a fun resort with lots to do, very family friendly and pretty. That aside, I will likely go somewhere else on my next visit- mainly due to my fondness of variety and I wouldn't want to go someplace I've already been.
We needed a quick escape for the family and our 3 year daughter wanted to go to the beach. This resort was perfect for us. They had a wonderful little beach cove for our daughter to play in. it was also next to Xcaret park (2 Minute walk). Daughter was able to get up close to sea turtle release, manta rays, and dolphins. Very relaxing trip and we all had a wonderful time. Only negative experience was related to the vacation property (time share) sales persons. They tended to be very pushy until you attended their sale pitch. After that and a talk with the general manager, we had no issues with sales persons.
Overall, I really enjoyed this resort. I am low maintenance and really easy to please. I have read some of the reviews of this place and I will give you the lowdown of everything and try to provide as many details as I can. Also, since so many reviewers want to nitty g gritty, I will try to nitpick as much as I can, even though I feel that the overall experience as terrific! The food was ok. The buffet was decent and I was able to find something to eat and enjoy it. I especially liked that they had fresh spinach and grilled mushrooms daily. My husband was happy that he was able to make fried egg sandwiches daily. The food was well seasoned and they had lots of it. However, it was a little frustrating at breakfast when they continuously ran out of things like bacon to the point that there was almost fighting to get certain items on the buffet. However, there was a lot of variety. Also, I have stayed at many resorts in Mexico and the guacamole at this resort was the best I have had so far. It was very fresh with big chunks of fresh avocado. There are three different buffets at the resort. There is one that is designed for children so it's mainly burgers, chicken nuggets and pizza. That one is next to the pool with the swim up bar. It was ok, but I wanted a little more variety/ The buffet that is on the beach was WONDERFUL! I had the same waiter all three days that we went. The wait staff was terrific and brought us all types of fun drinks and checked on us several times. We were not forgotten after our first drink order. I recommend the Scooby Doo Shooter as well! The reservation restaurants were decent. If you are wanting a 5 star restaurant worthy of a Top Chef Finale, you are not going to get it and your expectations are way too high. The food was very good. I did not like all of the non functioning garnishes that they put on the plates but they try to dazzle you with the plating. The Mediterranean Grill was my favorite. My husband got the filet and I got the Beef Saltimbocca and both were very good. I would recommend the Saltimbocca over the filet as they stuff the filet with cheese and I personally believe that ruins the taste. The Steakhouse (La Senora) was good as well. I had the filet and it was wonderful and my husband had the New York Strip. Both were very good and the Onion soup was quite tasty. Both of these places also had a wonderful salad bar with lots of fresh veggies and such. My only criticism at La Senora is that they put so much cinnamon in their quinoa, it was inedible. Other than the heavy handed quinoa, the food was good. The Seafood Restaurant (La Pescadora) was my husband's favorite. We both had the Mahi Mahi, but mine came with a large filet minion and shrimp. Also, his Mahi Mahi was steamed while mine was pan fried with crispy skin. We both enjoyed the main courses but my only tiny criticism was that the Mahi was a tad on the salty side. The appetizers were yummy. I got the seafood quesadilla and my husband got the fish tacos. They quesadilla was good and you could really taste the seafood and it was really meaty. The fish tacos were great. They fish was perfectly fried, not too greasy, and you could taste the fish. The soup was decent but a little spicy. I am not much of a spice fan so others may love it (my husband did). Paco's Tacos-I have heard rave reviews about it but I was not impressed. We went there for two of our nights for late night drink snacks. The pork tacos are really great. They put lots of fresh chopped onion and pineapple in them and are really tasty. However, the mixed fajitas were not as good. I could not tell what type of meat it was. The chicken burrito was not very good either as the meat was an odd texture. Also, the service there was terrible. The waiter gave us the impression that he did not want to be bothered with us. This was the experience both times. We did not try the place for the pizza night as I am not a fan of the Mexican version of pizza. It is just not my favorite. The service at the steakhouse and the seafood restaurant was FANTASTIC. Our drinks were refilled frequently (we have 4 rounds with dinner) and the waiter was kind and attentive. Also, at the steakhouse, the waiter (Almando) asked us to fill out a comment card for his service. He was wonderful and attentive and treated us with impeccable service. I would not recommend doing the coffee bar as they charge you for the drinks. The Room-The room was fine. We are not picky and are new parents so we were just grateful to have time away to sleep and enjoy ourselves. When we first got into the room, it did smell a bit moldy and we have two full sized beds instead of the king that I had requested but that was the only bad thing I could think of. We did not complain though as it was not that big of a deal to us. However, we opened the balcony/patio door for about 30 minutes and it was fine. Remember, you are in a jungle/forest with humidity and a beach so sometimes mold can occur. The beds were firm but did not bother me and I slept like a log. The room was cold and the bathroom was fine. Our toilet got clogged when we first got into the room but they had someone there to fix it within 15 minutes of us calling the front desk. Our mini bar/fridge was stocked up daily with bottled water, several sodas, and beer. It was pretty nice. The maid service was also great. She kept our room immaculate while we were there and just did a wonderful job. We also took advantage of the safe in the room for our passports, etc. It was an easy 2 digit combination you create. It was very handy. I liked in the bathrooms that there were body wash and soap dispensers in the shower. I did not have an issue with them not providing conditioner as I brought my own anyway because I use a certain brand that I like. The pools-We only went to the pool(s) for one day and were not thrilled with them. The swim up bar was so packed it was hard to get service. Also, the other pool we went to, they swing chairs were slightly uncomfortable. The water was not very deep (4 feet so we ended up at the beach every day. The beach was one of my favorite parts. I don’t care that it is a "man Made" beach. It was perfect. The water was nice and clear and you could see lots of cool fish in the water. Also, they had people out there providing free scuba lessons which my husband took advantage of. We did have people trying to sell us massages but they were not really pushy. Once you said no, they backed off. I would recommend getting to the beach a little early to lay your stuff down to ensure that you get a spot. We went some days at 10:30 and were able to get decent chairs. There was also fun entertainment during the day with contests. They only lasted about an hour or two and then were moved to main pool. They did advertise daily about a place to travel to called Coco Bongo. We did not go but there was no pressure to go. Also, the beach games had nice prizes from bottles of champagne or tequila to t-shirts. It was pretty fun. I partook in the beer drinking contest. The service on the beach was so much better as well. I only had to walk to the bar once to get a drink. The rest of the time, I had two waitresses who topped my drink order every 10 minutes. I would strongly recommend the XCaret Punch or the Havana Lights. Those two were my favorites. Also, the beach bar has a full drink menu as well and the bartenders love having fun with you and surprising you with fun cocktails. Some days I would just tell them what I liked and they would make me some awesome drinks. The Lobby bars were fine and they made drinks quickly and were pretty good about the alcohol to mixer ratio. There were two bars in the lobby area so that was nice. The sports bar was good and they served pop corn and pretzels in the bar. The service was nice and the bartender was great. They had several activities to do there such as foosball and darts as well as 3-4 large TVs showing sporting events. I was there when the World Cup was going on so that was what was on the TV. Also, there was a big board outside with World Cup brackets that was neat. We did not do much at the nightclub as by the time it opened at 11 p.m., we were worn out. The people who went seemed to like it. One thing I would encourage is to tip. You don’t have to tip much. I tipped the waitress $1.00 per round and she spent the next three days making sure that we were taken care of. We also tipped in the restaurants as well. They don’t make much so tipping means a great deal to them. I think that some of the people who complained and got upset with bad service is because they did not tip. We brought $150.00 in one dollar bills with us and did not need more than that. Finally, if you are a smoker, buy your cigarettes in the airport at the duty free shop where they are $2.74 per pack. If you buy them at the tobacco shop, they are $10.00 per pack. I would also recommend not buying the souvenirs from the people who come to the resort and set up. They gouge the prices way up. If you check with reception, they will arrange a $12.00 cab ride into Play Del Carmen where you can find things on 5th Avenue super cheap. We even arranged with the taxi driver to pick us back up as well. Finally, I did get a little annoyed with the salespeople. When we arrived, they kept trying to get us to sign up for a timeshare plan. We flat out told them no in the beginning and that we would not change our mind and not to ask us again. They did not continue to pressure us after that. We ended up getting stuck with that at another resort and the 90 minute presentation took 3+ hours. There were lots of people trying to get us to do excursions, etc. Generally, once you told them no, they left you alone. We were pretty firm and adamant when they said no so they did not push us. Their job is to sell those things so they can tend to get pushy.
I must say my family really enjoyed ourselves at Occidental Grand Xcaret for 1 full week and were very sad to leave. Rented two rooms for 6 of us and took my two kids (age 3 yrs. and a 4 month old) along with my wife, mother in-law (yes, I am a good husband) and wife's aunt. I upgraded to the junior suite to have more room for the kiddos and it was a great decision. The suite doubled the space at a reasonable cost and able to have the kids sleep in their own space and not be cramped. There was even a small kitchenette included as well do could wash baby bottles, etc. Resort itself is extremely nice and plush since it has a jungle like setting. There is a small lazy river that runs through the lobby area which makes it more relaxing. To get to the beach you walk through the trees and some small ruins, quite nice compared to a building only type of place. Once you figure out the layout it is not difficult to get around by foot even with small children. There are two pools which are plenty big with a swim up bar. Good food options with high quality. We enjoyed the buffett so much we are there for most of our meals and never got bored with the food options. We are at the Italian restaurant twice it was so good but at the end regretted not trying out another place or two. Went to the Xcaret park one day which is connected right next door, just a short 5 minute stroll. Park is expensive ($99) per person, kids under 5 free, but plenty to see and do so worth it in the end since we wanted to do something different. In my opinion, staying at Occidental Grand Xcaret is worth more than what we paid it is so nice. For one week you can't beat the price for the high quality resort. Only downside I can think of is the beach area is a bit small since it is in a cove. We found plenty of chairs to pick from though so not a big deal. Overall I would not hesitate to stay here another vacation so don't think twice yourself!