My first impressions were great. We were lucky to have "First Club" status since we are RCI members. We were whisked past the busy reception and taken to a private air conditioned office for check in with bar and snack service. First Club staff were very helpful and accommodated all our requests with a smile. We had a great room...all week we watched the time share tours come to the rooms in our building so I think we had the nicest accommodations (building 14). We knew about the walk to the beach being a little far so that wasn't a surprise and we enjoyed all the wildlife we saw along the way. The beach is beautiful with roped off snorkeling area and great white sand stretching in both directions. They had several hut things you could lay in (though no one did, I'm not sure why). Be prepared to be hounded multiple times all day to but stuff. The same 3 guys walked by over and over. Got very annoying after the first couple times. We were glad to see someone taking orders for drinks on the beach, but usually only made the rounds 1-2 times in the day. They have lots of water toys (snorkeling, kayaks, wind surf) plus pool and beach volleyball to keep you from getting bored.
Then there is the food. The main buffet La Posada is located at the opposite end of the resort from the beach. It was stifling hot and muggy which doesn't help the appetite. The food spread was highly disappointing. The meats and stews were ok but produce was slim pickings and not good. And it got way worse as the week went on. Last nights left overs were all over breakfast buffet. Again, disappointing to eat indoors and miss the opportunity to eat overlooking the ocean. Ironically, we got this wish by the end of the week because La Posada got shut down for who knows why and all meals had to be served at the beach club, as it should be anyway. This brought the problem of the birds though and more than once I saw a bird sitting on the buffet eating. Yep, I did.
The restaurants were not much better. The effort was sorta there but they really missed the mark. Frozen calamari? Yum. Did I mention the first night my husband and I woke up within 5 minutes of each other to make a mad dash to the bathroom? We were sick all week. I've never lost weight or gone hungry at an all-inclusive until now.
The only time we enjoyed a meal was at La Careta in the Royal Club. Delicious, fresh cooked and well presented. Made me realize that they DO know quality, they just choose to not provide it to most of the guests.
We were also disappointed by multiple resort services being closed, broken or behind schedule. The jacuzzi in the spa was broken, La Posada had to be shut down (not a disappointment), the only bridge to the beach was being repaired midday, the quiet pool bar was closed and La piazza which is your only food after dinner shut down early with no notice. We also had poor service with the general staff. I called 3 minutes before 9 to make a dinner reservation and they said they don't take them until 9. When I called back 3 minutes later, he told me I had to come in person. I guess I'm lucky he answered though because another night we couldn't get anyone to answer when calling multiple times. Wait staff seemed apathetic and more worried about clearing tables than serving those present. The First Club and Royal Club were overwhelmingly helpful, though. But again this attitude didn't prevail for the general staff and guests.
Overall, there is a lot of potential at this resort but they miss the mark. I just feel like it's managed poorly by choice. They reserve the good food and service for the upper ranks which I'm glad we had access to, but wish they maintained these high standards throughout the whole resort. We won't be returning.
- 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