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“"Has potential but the timeshare people ruin it......"”
Review of Occidental Cozumel

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Occidental Cozumel
Ranked #21 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Granbury, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“"Has potential but the timeshare people ruin it......"”
Reviewed 3 October 2013

We made last minute plans to vacation at the Occidental Grand Cozumel and then got really concerned reading the negative reviews. I am so thankful to all who take the time to post because at least we knew going in what to expect and who to avoid. As soon as they check you in they attempt to hand you off to the next desk in order to receive a map and a “welcome tour” of the grounds. It is such a smooth transition that unless you know it’s coming you fall right into it. Fortunately, I had read the previous reviews and I knew this was a trap. We refused to sit and I said we were really hungry and just wanted to be shown which restaurant was open. I was told we needed to sit and it would only take five minutes to show us. I told them it only takes two seconds to point but they were adamant that we weren’t going to get a map until we took a seat. We refused and then who shows up to calm things down but the infamous Jaime who wanted to be our friend. He played the role of good guy, pointed us in the right direction and then said to be sure to come see him after dinner and he would take care of us. The resort is totally complicit in all of this and has it all set up to where you have to walk right by the timeshare desk each day in order to get to the breakfast buffet in the morning and dinner at two of the specialty restaurants in the evening. The timeshare people hang out like vultures and swoop down on the unsuspecting hungry guests just trying to get something to eat. They are relentless at trying to get you to attend their “vacation club (timeshare)” pitch. We never did.
The onsite dive shop, Palancar Divers, was outstanding. The boat crews were very professional and attentive. They made the whole trip worthwhile. They offer a valet service of loading and unloading all of your equipment on each dive and that made things easy and enjoyable. According to several employees the resort is going with a lower bidder at the end of the year and has plans to bring in a cheaper European dive company which will put about fifty local Palancar employees out of work. That’s a shame because I would actually consider returning and dodging the timeshare vultures just to dive with Palancar Divers.
If you like to hit the beach early be advised there are no refreshment stands open in that area until 10:00 a.m. If you want water, you’ll have to walk all of the way back to the front of the resort to the breakfast area (about 250 yards). Same goes if you get hungry because the beach club buffet restaurant doesn’t open until noon.
The food quality is about what you would expect from almost any of the all-inclusive resorts in Mexico. We’ve stayed at several so our expectations aren’t very high. There was no bacon or sausage offered at breakfast and the lunch buffet didn’t offer a lot of choices. If you can live on an omelet for breakfast and a hamburger for lunch, then you’ll be fine. We tried two of the specialty restaurants, La Posada (steaks) and Los Olivas (Mediterranean cuisine). At both of these, the food was very good, in abundance, and the staff attentive and friendly.
Overall, the hotel is nice and has potential but the timeshare people make a person not want to return. I did talk to some of the vacation club guests and they said they had noticed the food quality and service had started to decline over the past couple of years. They had also heard about Palancar Divers and said they felt this was another attempt for the resort to cut corners.

P.S. If you're not a diver (or swimmer) take the snorkel tour through the dive shop. It's like being in an aquarium. You'll see lots of starfish, turtles, and rays. It is well worth your time.

Room Tip: Get a room on the third floor. The lower floors have a jungle view and that means no sunshine gets...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Charles G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 October 2013

I stayed at Occidental Grand Cozumel on 08-26-13. I used ATM at hotel and did not receive all my money ($100). The front desk employee called a rep. from Bansi who arrived and determined that ATM was not working properly. I never received my money and was told that I would never receive my money. This is wrong and Occidental Grand should be emabarrased by doing business with Bansi. The food at the hotel was horrible, I suggest that you walk to Albertos, which is next door they have excellent food. I will never stay at any Occidental Grand Hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank isaac v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SocialMedia_Ctor, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this review, 10 October 2013
Dear Isaac v,

Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this incident has caused you. As our hotel team told you is part of an external service, unfortunately we are not able to control their procedures. We have reviewed your comments with our management to avoid a similar situations moving forward.

We hope to have the pleasure of welcome you back the next time your travels bring you through the area.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 September 2013

the trip was not as great as we were promised. We were overcharged for a trip/activity then promised a reimbursement and did not get it. The workers were nice. The food was horrible. The only edible thing was the french fries and french toast for breakfast. The restaurants included were less than average. If you do not drink alcohol, you don't have much of a drink selection at the resort.

  • Stayed September 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank codycraig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SocialMedia_Ctor, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this review, 30 September 2013
Dear Codycraig,

Thank you for send us your review. The satisfaction of our guests is our goal, but it appears we failed to offer them during your stay. Your comments are very valuable for us, as they help us to improve.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for not meeting your expectations. We shared your review with involved departments and currently we are looking into new ways to improve the results.

We hope to have the chance to welcoming you back in the near future.

Sincerely
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Neosho, Missouri
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2013

The resort was very pretty but was warm. You were sweating everywhere you went even in the restaurants. The resort staff was nice especially Susana. She was the best person in the whole place. We did get ripped off from the time share concierge. His name was Jamie. He never gave us back our $10 deposit. Instead he spent it on tequilla to give to us. And then when we went to complain they did nothing about it. We did come in the off season, so it was nice not having very many people there. So, there was plenty of room on the beach and pool. The food was ok, you can live off it but its not the best food. You never knew where the food was going to be so you had to make sure you got a flyer for all the days activites. As for the rooms were pretty, the beds were hard and the ac didn't work the whole time. We had ants in our bathroom and had to ask them to spray 3 times that was annoying. I felt I couldn't put anything on the counter. The cleaning staff was great!! The servers were great. I would skip the time share people. They say its takes 90 mins but no its takes all morning. They put you in a room filled with other people doing the same thing so you hear a loud roar of talking. Then they play loud music that is annoying casue you have to try and talk over all of it. At the end of it you are suppose to get coupons for discounts for excursions but we didn't get that either. All in all, I won't stay there again.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jacquie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 September 2013

Resort is nice, beach is nice, Alberto's beach bar is fantastic BUT the "time share folks" drove us a little nuts. You check in, then immediately get directed to a desk to "take a tour". I have been here before and have taken the tour. I was not interested then and I wasn't interested this time. I respect the fact that this is how they make commission, but they should have a way to mark if you have spent time at the resort before and have already taken the tour. I was told "play the game" and felt like I had to avoid the front area because the time share folks were always there. I was there to relax...no interest in time share. I love the resort, everyone works SO hard to accomodate, clean rooms, staff was amazing but twice was enough. I don't like feeling pressured while on vacation. Miguel and Francisco and always amazing...

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank OKCSUNSHINE57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baytown, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2013

Even the rain couldn't stop everyone from enjoying a wonderful experience at OC Grand. It was my first experience there on recommendation from my travel agent and Boy did He Do Good!! Great Food, wonderful service, the activities and special events, movies really made this trip a success, only problem was the 7 days were over way too fast. Problem was the time share/vacation share people giving away stuff or doing special deals in "cash only" deals. Rip offs in the making - as a solo traveler I really do not understand when I said NO, I meant NO, being hassled even day by the OC people in doing a sales type event got to be a pain, and I didn't like that at all!!!

Room Tip: If you have health problems, recommend ground floor rooms - stairs slippery when wet! Don't pa...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank Anita N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashville
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2013

This was my second visit to the OC Grand and my sister's first -- and once again, it was so beautiful and relaxing. I would like to especially thank Miguel with First Club for his wonderful personality and the help he gave us every day. He made things so much easier for us with regard to reservations, car rental, etc. We were not bothered by the time share people, and my only real complaint is, once again, the hovering staff in the gift shop. I felt like I was being watched constantly when I went to the gift shop and it did not make for a leisurely shopping experience at all. I didn't like it last year and I definitely did not appreciate it this year. They need to relax their vigilance a little, lol.

The room was great, air condition worked perfectly, we had good beach drink service, and the food was pretty good (could get monotonous if you stay more than 5 days maybe). All the staff was very helpful.

We rented a car this time and went around the east side of the island and into town, which was well worth the money. The east side is so beautiful and different than we expected.

It rained some every day, but had plenty of sunshine to enjoy. We stayed mainly on the beach -- no problem getting chairs at all. Towels easily provided by the pool staff.

We did notice -- and this is no fault of the OC Grand --- that the majority of the other guests were not very friendly or outgoing. Some barely responded when we smiled and said hello. How can you be anything other than relaxed, friendly and happy when you're on vacation in such a beautiful spot?

I will definitely go back to OC Grand, and I'm sure my sister will too. Loved it! Very hard to get back into reality/work mode after being catered to for five days in paradise.

Room Tip: We stayed in Building 17 -- close to the pools, not that far from everything in general. First floo...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank FaithF426
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Occidental Cozumel

Property: Occidental Cozumel
Address: Km 16.6 Zona Hotelera Sur | Colonia El Cedral San Francisco Palancar, Cozumel 77600, Mexico (Formerly Occidental Grand Cozumel)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#11 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Cozumel 4*
Number of rooms: 247
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Only the Caribbean’s most famous reef system could match the beauty and splendor of the Occidental Grand Cozumel, which is exactly why the two exist side-by-side. Located on Cozumel’s gorgeous San Francisco beach, just above the bottomless blue paradise of the Palancar Reef system, you’ll find an authentic-style state that delivers all the luxuries of a private oceanside hacienda. Gourmet dining, bright and airy rooms, nightly music and entertainment, daily sports and beach activities and an on-site spa and salon make the Occidental grand Cozumel the jewel of any Caribbean experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
Occidental Grand Hotel Cozumel
Grand Cozumel
Grand Occidental Cozumel

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