We visited OG Cozumel for 2 weeks in September. We chose this resort mainly due to its diving locations.
The hotel, gardens and grounds are in a great setting with lush gardens that are well maintained. We caught the backlash of the tropical storms that caused devastation on the mainland, so the weather was cloudy/sun/rain and storms. We had room 1236 (on the top floor), and I would recommend asking for a top floor room as the floors are tiled and the cleaners and guests dragging furniture around makes a hellish noise, so top floor best to mitigate this. Views slightly better from up there too. Building 12 was, we thought, a good spot, couldn’t hear the entertainment or nightclub noise, and not too far to walk for evening drinks and meals. One thing I really think is required is some sort of clothes hanging maiden for dive gear in each room - it is after all a place filled with scuba divers, so why not make it easier for them to dry their kit etc. Our ceiling leaked for 5 days due to the stormy weather, had to use a towel to soak up the water. The hotel buildings in general need more maintenance - peeling paint, broken tiles, cracked floors and general wear and tear all need many more man hours to make the place look 5 star again. The outside lights for building 12 kept tripping out, once we had located the fuse box it was easier to turn them back on ourselves rather than keep reporting it to reception. There is plenty of wildlife to see around the grounds, making the walk to and from the rooms, restaurants and pool/beach more interesting. I have attached a picture of the hotel map, which may be useful. The pool and beach areas were clean, and plenty of room so no need to get there early to bag a sunbed!
I thought the selection to be small, and (even though I am far from a fussy eater) got bored of it all after 3 or 4 days. The evening buffet really got dull, with the same 'meat with sauce' dishes constantly on offer. Not all the display stands in the buffet were in use, so I guessed they had trimmed it down as the resort was not at its busiest. The hot plates weren't hot enough, and so a lot of the side dishes were lukewarm at best. I was hoping for some spicy Mexican food dishes, but alas it was tamed down to suit the US palate, and everything was pretty tame. The desserts were cheap and synthetic. The lunchtime buffet at the beach club was much better, and even though there were more 'meat with sauce' dishes they were much tastier, the salad selection was very good, there was good fresh bread and of course the obligatory hamburgers, which were actually quite tasty compared to some other dishes on offer. Again, things like fries, rice and pasta on the hotplates were lukewarm some of the time. Breakfast buffet was OK, usual items on offer, and the egg chef lady did rustle up a good omelette, even though she was grumpy as. Coffee was naff, and as I love coffee I missed a proper cup. Pizzas after 9:30pm were a welcome change from buffet food, we would order a selection with friends and share them out. We enjoyed the restaurants, particularly the Mexican restaurant as the food was hot, and had varying tastes. The menu was the same for both weeks, and so did get boring once we had tried all the dishes - changing the menu once a week would be logical, would it not?
A lot of people complain about the management and reception staff, but we had no problem, and found the front desk staff to actually be very helpful, apart from sending us to find our own room at check-in. The bar staff throughout were very good - friendly and approachable. The beach club staff at lunchtimes were really good, drinks and refills always offered quickly, but we did notice the restaurant manager was always present at lunchtimes, so maybe this had something to do with it. The restaurant staff were also really good, especially a bloke called something like Arturo in the Mexican place who was a star. THE WORST STAFF BY FAR WERE IN THE EVENING BUFFET and I really hope the management read this and do something about it. Sometimes we would be ignored on arrival, so had to find our own table, obtain place settings, napkins, cutlery etc from other unoccupied tables, and wait ages to be offered drinks. It was just NOT ACCEPTABLE. We would then have to move our used plates and dishes onto other dirty tables, as they had not been cleared in-between our courses. The staff were RUDE, and obviously not doing their jobs as they should be. The pizza bar from 9:30pm to 01:30am was EVEN WORSE. As an example, five of us went for pizza at around 10pm one evening, we were ignored for 15 minutes, so we asked to be seated. We were then offered a small table usually used for two people, with one chair just stuck on the corner and no extra place setting. We asked for a large table, and the waiter said no several times, refusing to even make eye contact. This made us all a bit angry, so we pulled two tables together ourselves, obtained our own place settings and sat down. We were then ignored for a further 30 minutes, so two of us went back through to the bar to get our own drinks. The friendly chap on the bar asked us why we were doing this, we told him and he served us drinks and came back to the buffet with us to find out what was going on. Eventually our pizza order was taken, and only after this did the useless waiter come back later to ask us for our drinks order. The pizzas took ages to arrive, but we enjoyed them all the same as we were pretty hungry by this time. The waiting staff seemed hell bent on getting all the tables set up for breakfast as soon as the evening buffet finished at 9:30pm, and eating pizza with a table set with jam and marmalade is just no good. The pizza service is advertised as 9:30pm to 1:30am, and the tables should be laid accordingly. This terrible service was a common theme when we used the buffet, and that along with the average food made it really poor. We tried to use the restaurants as much as possible, and if we hadn’t got round to making a reservation we were never turned away if we just turned up looking hungry.
The cleaning ladies did a really great job keeping the rooms lovely, clean and tidy. The entertainment staff were a mixed bag for us, the lady that was on during the day by the pool (Jeanetta I think) was wonderful, friendly and organised, but one of the blokes that did the towels was a real miserable tike.
Take US$ in small notes for tips and cash purchases. The ATM charges you $17 per withdrawal, which was extortionate, and the thing broke half way through a withdrawal, so we are having to dispute this with our UK bank. You can use pesos, but it turned out US$ are preferable. There is a US$ and a Mexican pesos ATM.
Bars and drinks:
Good bar staff, we had no complaints. They offer international brand drinks, so there were things like Morgans Spiced, Bombay Sapphire, Jamesons, Stolly etc on offer. Drinks served in plastic glasses, which we thought a bit naff. However they kept running out of the good brands, deliveries are every two days, and they would only order one bottle for each bar, so this would run out after a couple of hours, leaving you back on the local brands. They need to order more, and by the sounds of it they know this but choose not to do so.
As there was no noticeable air con in any of the bar seating areas, we took to sitting in the nightclub to cool down after dinner. Music selection OK, pool table always busy, but all in all not too bad. Outside the front door absolutely stank like a blocked toilet though.
As many other reviews have stated, these sharks hound you. They phoned our room shortly after arrival, and we thought they were just hotel staff inviting us to a welcome meeting to make sure we knew where everything was. The actually waited for us outside our building one morning, and escorted us to the desk to show us how much discount we could have on excursions and diving. We didn’t click, and only when they said we must attend the 90 min presentation did it sink in. Good job it was raining that morning. They even sent someone to sit with us through breakfast, it was pathetic. We told them we weren’t going to buy right from the start, sat through photos of other OG resorts, had a quick tour of the Royal Club facilities, and daydreamed through some scrawled prices on a sheet of A4, said no again and then left. We did get our dives for $28 each as opposed to $35 each, so for us it actually wasn’t too bad. It is just the underhand way they go about it that annoyed us and seems to have annoyed just about everyone else that has left a review. I lost a bit of respect for this resort chain after this experience.
In summary, Cozumel is a lovely island with world class diving, and I would choose another hotel if we were to return – The OG is just not up to scratch, there will be better hotels elsewhere and the buffet waiting staff really need a massive kick up the backside.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Barcelo, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Odigeo, Hotels.com, Ebookers, HotelQuickly, getaroom.com and Cancelon so you can book your Occidental Cozumel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Occidental Grand Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
- Occidental Grand Hotel Cozumel
- Grand Cozumel
- Grand Occidental Cozumel