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Occidental Cozumel
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Reviews (5,290)
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All reviewsroyal clublos olivosstayed at the occidental grandsonora grillspecialty restaurantsdive shopdive palancarfishthe mediterranean restaurantfirst clubquiet poolstayed in buildingbeach restaurantpizza placelobby bargrounds are beautifulactivity pool
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2,566 - 2,571 of 5,290 reviews
Reviewed 31 October 2013

I was very excited about staying here with friends and family. We got an amazing deal. Cozumel has some of the best scuba diving which is why this location was selected. I am going to give some pros and cons of this all inclusive resort, and you can decide what to do with the information.

Pros:
1. Awesome beach! The water is gorgeous, so many blues, just stunning.
2. Any activity that is not motorized is free(ex: kayaking, mini catamaran, etc)
3. It's all inclusive so alcoholic beverages and food was included in the stay(although i will say that the drinks were not as strong as i would have like:) )
4. The majority of the service staff were very friendly

Cons:
1. I agree with many other reviewers that there was a definite push to buy into the time share membership. For about the first 3 days they kept wanting us to come to their breakfast speech. If i say no the first time, i mean it. Don't push me!!
2. All of the eating, minus two formal restaurants, are buffet style. I am all about nothing running out when it comes to food. So when i go up to get food, i didn't like seeing an empty container. At another resort i stayed at in cancun, the food was always in abundance. It should have been the same here. Now having said that, the food was very good.
3. The rooms were very nice and the staff did a great job in cleaning it. However, you should know that they ask that you not put toilet paper in the toilet. They want you to put the tp in a little garbage can next to the toilet, doesn't matter what number you do. Sorry to get a little graphic but you need to know in advance, especially if that kind of stuff grosses you out. Also, about 3 days before we left, the toilet started to run, so we constantly had to wiggle the handle to make it stop. The air conditioning does work in the room but it is loud. Also, the beds and pilows were very firm, not too comfortable.

Tip:
Do not make your excursions with the hotel, make it with the dive shop on the beach, they give you a way better deal. They are still part of the hotel, but not, if that makes any sense. Hey it's mexico. ex: the dive shop charged a group of 14 of $24/per person to take a 3 stop snorkeling trip that was awesome, included snacks and beer/water. The hotel wanted to charge us like $80/per person.

Again, you get to weigh out what you will tolerate and what you won't. My goal was to eat, drink, and lay on the beach and get a tan. I got to do all those things with awesome weather. So was it a good trip for me...Yes! Would i pick this place again to stay at? Unless they made some changes, probably not.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Danielle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2013

I read the previous reviews about the poor food and service but thought I would give it a try because of the beach. Upon arriving we were taken to our room. My initial response was that the room looked clean, a little dated, but overall okay. Our first trip was to the buffet, the red flags went up! The food looked like it had been picked over and there was not too much of a selection. After tasting the food it was your typical buffet food with no flavor. Upon returning to the room we unpacked and headed for the beach. The grounds were kept and beautiful and the beach was also beautiful. From here it went downhill. The food was horrible and continued to get worse as the days went on. The beds were very uncomfortable and my sister found a cockroach in bed with her. Yuck! On the third night of our stay we were pulled into the front desk area saying that Bookit.com had not paid the hotel their money for our stay. We were told we would have to leave unless we paid the bill ourselves. Making the situation worse was the fact that both the hotel and Bookit.com were pointing the fingers at each other. We still don't really know who was to blame for this debacle. Not once did the hotel ever apologize or try to make the situation better by showing a little compassion. We wasted about 4 hours of our vacation time trying to make sure our bill was going to be paid. We were told on numerous occasions that we would be able to speak to a manager who never seemed to be present or always in a meeting. Our bill was finally figured out but it didn't make up for the stress this caused. I don't know about most people but we didn't have an extra 2000.00 laying around to pay the bill. Now on to the Time Share experience. They follow you around and want you to come to their presentation. We are timeshare owners in Phoenix, Arizona so know the routine. The sad thing is if this hotel would have had good customer service and food we would have possibly purchased or at least listened to the sales pitch. It seems that once we said we were not interested they could care less about the customer service. There were a couple of sweet waiters who always had a smile on their faces but for the most part you always felt you were being rushed. Also their were not soda machines and the sodas were terrible. I am not a drinker so this was a downfall for me. I really wanted to like this place as it was my first time to Cozumel. I do recommend some fantastic places to eat in town and up the beach. Try Guidos and La Choza, both wonderful places. You can also walk to Alberto's around the corner, a fun place to eat. I don't think of myself as a picky eater and am easily pleased but I cannot give this resort anything but one star.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank ddnkids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Itze P, Reputation Management at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2013

Dear Ddnkids,

Please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this incident has caused you. The comfort and safety of our guests are our highest priority; our maintenance and front desk team are always ready to repair or solve any problems and typically does so in a timely manner. We have reviewed your comments with our maintenance team in the hope of preventing similar situations moving forward. We do apologize again for the inconvenient.

It is really disappointing to read that our culinary offerings fell so short of your expectations. We strive to offer a variety of choices at our breakfast, lunch and dinner, including an array of fresh fruits, cereals, carving station, and various food stations including a Mexican specialties and gourmet salads. We shared your comments with our Executive Chef who values all guest feedback.

We hope to have the pleasure of welcome you back again in the near future.

Sincerely

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2013

My wife, her sister and brother-in-law decided to book our trip to the Occidental Grand Cozumel. We had read the reviews and did not think much of them. We should have listened to them. We barely got through the door and the folks that are more interested in selling you a vacation club membership than treating you like a guest. Once they finally realized that we were not there to purchase a membership, the staff became rude and unhelpful. Nothing was done for the good of the customer, it was always us explaining to them why we were correct. The second day of our stay, there was a letter left underneath our door stating we needed to go to the front desk immediately to discuss an issue with our rooms. Once we arrived at the desk, we were informed that there was an issue with our rooms being paid for and if they were not secured and paid for with an additional credit card, we would have to leave the hotel. This was impossible, we booked our trip through a third party, Bookit.com, and it was paid in full and we had the paperwork to show this. When we asked why we were being brought into this issue, we thought it should be between the Occidental and Bookit, we were told because we were staying there and the rooms needed to be paid for. Once again, horrific customer care. The issue was finally worked out two days later after numerous calls to bookitand dealings with the manager, Marcella Gomez. Now on to the food, we have been to Mexico a number of times and we know what to expect in buffet food. This food was such low quality and no variety of anyplace we have ever been. There are only two specialty restaurants and both are awful. Some of the staff is friendly but those are far and few between. Please be aware before booking this resort, I am not writing this terrible review because we are upset about something not being given to us, this is simply a bad resort and don't want people to make a decision without being informed.

Room Tip: Building 18
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank tmdavis2941
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Itze P, Reputation Management at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2013

Dear tmdavis2941,

Thank you very much for taking your time to share with all of us this review, your feedback is very important for us and it is our regret that we were not able to meet your expectations, although many travelers find Occidental Grand Cozumel to be a great place for romantic and relaxing getaway, with excellent food options and outstanding service.

Thank you for adding very generous remarks of the positive sides of your vacation with us and mentioning the services that made your stay more comfortable. On the other hand it is of deep regret to hear that our service was not of your full satisfaction. Although at Occidental Hotels & Resorts, each member of our staff is continuously coached on the way to offer an excellent service.

We appreciate you sharing your concerns and hope you will allow us the opportunity to welcome you again.

Sincerely

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2013

We planned this trip over 6 months ago and read the reviews so we knew what we were getting into. Some of the reviews were spot on – others, well I believe the hotel must have read them and made changes.
Things that have changed. . . . The AC! Our room actually got a bit chilly at times. But keep in mind the type of AC system they have does not take the humidity out of the air – only makes it cooler. We were very comfortable and in fact turned the system up a couple of times. The drinks – they weren’t really watered down. Of course it truly depended on the bar tender and if he noticed you putting a dollar in his tip jar. And if you are tipping it is real easy to get snockered really fast!  So be careful! The staff was very friendly and over all went out of their way to be kind and helpful. True, there were a few sour grapes in the bunch, but it was very few.
Things that have not changed . . . The time share people. They truly are everywhere and will snag you as you walk by if you aren’t prepared. We managed to arrive at the same time as several other people and didn’t get bothered. We also upgraded to the ‘Grand Concierge’ which meant we bypassed the front desk check in and that helped as well. They still called our room a couple of times and would stop us as we walked past – but a firm ‘no thank you’ did the trick. The entire place truly is a time share fronted as a hotel. We spoke with several folks who had happily bought into the place and were well pleased with their investment. So maybe you want to talk to the time share folks . . .
Other things to note. . . . The standard rooms are quite nice and very roomy. The beds are firm, very firm. I requested a mattress topper in my reservation and it made sleeping very comfortable indeed. If you arrive before 3pm, it’s likely they will not have the room you requested ready and will give you another one (i.e. two doubles instead of a king). Confirm that the room has everything you requested before you take the key! The 2nd & 3rd floors aren’t quite as humid and ‘musty’ smelling, but you will have a bit of a work out going to the 3rd floor. It is indeed a LONG walk from the lobby of the hotel (where the restaurants are located) to the beach and swimming pools. I would gage it to be at least 2 or 3 city blocks. So prepare to walk! The grounds are lovely and it’s a pleasant stroll, but still takes time to get back and forth. If you want to stay closer to the lobby area, request buildings 10 or 11. If the pool and beach area are your preference, buildings 18 or 19 are best. Only certain restaurants and bars are open at certain times of the day. And when the weather is rainy or the occupancy is low, they will limit these also. A taxi ride from the resort is 20 us dollars each way. This resort is one of the furthest from town, but has one of the best beach areas. The onsite dive shop is handy. We weren’t there to dive, but it appears to be a diver’s haven. My cell service never had any ‘bars’ on this property (Verizon). The folks from Olympus tours are very helpful in planning trips and are located just off the lobby area. The food has been a topic in many reviews. We thought it was good. Not wonderful, but good. It really is traditional Mexican food made in the traditional Mexican way. Simple, filling and nutritious. Fresh fruit and vegies were always available. But I will admit that by the 7th day, it does get a bit boring. Keeping this in mind, there is a great little beach side restaurant just down the beach a ways. It’s called ‘Alberto’s’ and is a nice change of pace if you are willing to pay out of pocket for a meal. Head past the pirate figures by the dive shop and keep walking. You can’t miss it! One tip I read when booking was to bring an insulated cup with a lid and straw. We did and it was great – it meant half the trips to the bar and the drinks stayed cold and bug free! As this was a first trip to Mexico for us, one thing I didn’t know and wished I had been prepared for was the sanitary system. I knew you couldn’t drink the water nor brush your teeth with it (they leave plenty of bottled water in the room fridge). I did not know that you could not flush your toilet tissue. You have to put it in a can next to the stool.

Room Tip: The 2nd & 3rd floors aren’t quite as humid and ‘musty’ smelling, but you will have a bit of a work out going to the 3rd floor. If you want to stay closer to the lobby area, request buildings 10 or 11. If the pool and beach area are your preference, buildings 18 or 19 are best.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank KayCee1011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2013

Just completed a 4-day stay at eh the Occidental Grand in Oct. 2013. Fifth time visiting Cozumel. Made travel arrangements through Skyauction.com to stay at the "older" Occidental resort (about 1/2 mile down the road). To our surprise the older Occidental resort was closed and being renovated (thanks for the heads-up Skyauction). My wife and I were not sure what to do but I remembered there was a new Grand Occidental not to far away. We drove over in our rented jeep (highly recommend renting a car or jeep in Cozumel - there is much to see and do and there is no public transportation) over to the Occidental Grand and checked-in. They had our reservations and check-in was very smooth. The resort is very lush with vegetation which made it seem smaller than it was. Overall, a very beautiful and well taken care of property. Nice rooms with great showers. The two pools and beach were awesome. The staff from the front desk, bartenders, room cleaners and waiters were all friendly and courteous. The only small negative is that there was a repetition with food selection. We did go outside the resort to tour and eat. Our favorite restaurant is Jeanie's (downtown next to Margaritaville). We love Cozumel. The resort was good but could have been great with with some menu changes and more food selection. HAD NO ISSUES OR INTERACTIONS WITH THE TIME SHARE SALES PEOPLE.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank PhilliesPhantastic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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