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“Very Relaxing Vacation”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Occidental Cozumel

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Occidental Cozumel
Ranked #22 of 51 Hotels in Cozumel
pa
Level Contributor
255 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Very Relaxing Vacation”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2013

We were originally booked at the Allegro next door, but due to their closing for construction, we were transferred to the Occidental through Cheap Caribbean. I did read the reviews, but having travelled to many other resorts, didn't worry about the time share or vacation club vultures, figuring we could handle them. Boy, was I wrong!! These guys are slick and persistent. We weren't even out of the van and they were hovering. We were upgraded for check in at the Royal Club, and that was smooth- gave us champagne. Room was not ready but we decided to go to lunch. Had to tell Diego, our "concierge" that we were tired & hungry & not ready to book excursions. Walking up the path to meet us after lunch was- Diego. Wanted to talk with us. Had a gift for us- Mayan horoscope tiles. Talked about how he could get us discounts on any excursion we wanted- and asked us no to tell our Olympus rep that he was doing us this special "favor". Next thing I know, we're plunking down $20 each as a deposit for our glass bottom boat trip. And if we meet him tomorrow morning, he will give us the vouchers for the trip. Next morning, after breakfast, Diego rushes up to us that we have an "appointment" to meet with someone from the hotel for an "orientation", which should have been done over breakfast. As we had just eaten, we asked for the voucher, but instead Diego called in for backup and we met with the rep from the Club. He said it would take 90 minutes of our time. The whole process took about 4 hours. Short story- didn't buy the time share. Next morning at breakfast, the rep comes up to our table & wants to know what he can do to change our minds. We politely told him no & that we wouldn't waste any more time on this. He persisted until he was asked twice & louder each time to leave us alone. The dining room was crowded and many people overheard this exchange. Now for the most unbelievable part-- two days after this happened, my sister left the room to get ice. We were staying in Building 18 and waiting for her in a chair under the stairs was the rep from the time share, accusing us of telling everybody that it was a time share. She didn't speak to him at all, and that thankfully was our last encounter with those people. Except for the glares every time we left our room (they have a desk in every building) and when we were in the main lobby. We took the long way to avoid that nonsense.
Now for the good points:
Food is ok, you can find something to eat at every meal. The omelet station at breakfast is a lifesaver, and some mornings you can get warm rice puddings. Lunch at the beach is good, the fresh fish for lunch or dinner was always delicious. The fruits were also awesome- especially the watermelons. Pasta stations at dinner also a good option when nothing else looks good. The Sonora was ok, but the service was better than the food. The food at LaOlivio was great- stuffed chicken is a must-have. Portions are a nice size for ala carte dining options.
The bartenders are fabulous- tip $5 your first day and they will remember you & your drink preferences. Franklin and Freddy were the two most consistent with service and smiles. We had our own glasses and it was not a problem getting them filled. Suzanna and her partner were fantastic and getting and keeping everybody involved. Went snorkeling with them on hotel property several times. They are very knowledgeable about the local fish & concerned about safety- ended a tour early due to jellyfish presence. She actually took the time one day to have lunch with us and tell us about some of the Day of the Dead customs. The Spa was good too, after some issues with scheduling. Had to push back our massage appointments due to a worker not being able to make it in due to the rain. Erika gave us an 80 min massage for the 50 min price. Very happy she was able to accommodate us in that way. We did rent a car through the agency in the lobby, had no problems with this. Maps and directions were very easy as it is such a small island.
One other thing that was missing was a book or binder that listed pool hours, phone numbers and other info about the hotel/area. For example, we didn't realize that room service or late night snacks were available until our second to last night there.
The beach is clean, water blue. Plenty of chairs available. There is some waiters that come to the beach, especially if you tip. Beach vendors are there, but are respectable. The activity pool is also clean- the bar staff takes the time to pick up glasses & they do keep the area swept up.
The grounds are well kept, they have an army of gardeners making sure of this.
We found the other guests to be very friendly as we struck up many conversations with people in various situations. Also found the staff to be pretty helpful.
Just be careful- the "concierge" is there to get you to agree to meet with the time share people.

Room Tip: I would try to get a second floor room if you enjoy using your balcony.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank PaBirddog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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texas
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2013

My friends and I stayed there with the assumption it would be an upgrade from allegro. I would have rather stayed at allegro. Never would go back there again. When checking out a woman had bought wifi but it didn't work and they wouldn't refund her. I saw nothing special there. I would rather spend the extra money at the palace. Fiesta Americana is better. We all have been coming to Cozumel for many years, but never tried occidental. Never again.

Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank sungirl5
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, 11 October 2013
Dear Sungirl5,

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback from your recent stay with us. We are disappointed that you found it less than satisfactory.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for the lack of service you may have experienced during your stay, we shared your experience with our management and we have immediately taken the necessary measures to prevent any future occurrence.

We hope to have the pleasure of welcome you back and show you the service for which we are known.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Granbury, Texas
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Charles G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
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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,
Report response as inappropriate
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
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Neosho, Missouri
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jacquie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank OKCSUNSHINE57
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
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#12 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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