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.
- 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