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“22nd B-Day”
Review of Occidental Cozumel

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Occidental Cozumel
Ranked #21 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Reviewed 16 July 2014

As the hotel was pretty but there were a few things not so good, as we called ahead to make sure there was VEGAN Food, there was not, so my daughter lived on Fruit & salad for the trip... we didn't have water on the property for a whole day, then a few days later we lost water again for half the day...The people at the Hotel were all very nice, one big Plus for them, everyone very nice...food didn't have flavor, it was ok, but expected something different being in Mexico, thought we would have some real authentic food ...not the case at all... if you don't like bugs get ready, plenty out there, as we sat at a table near the beach it was covered but 100 of spiders jumping all around, and outside massage in the heat was not a good idea, we were hot and sweaty, bug all over and wasn't a good experience at all, should of just did it inside...as I said there were good parts and bad parts, maybe just wrong time of year to go....way toooooo hot....might go back if they make a few changes , like food for Vegans..... stronger drinks, and spray for bugs...lol...as I said the grounds are beautiful and the staff very friendly ... wish someone would of Acknowledged my daughters Birthday, perhaps a sign on the door or a birthday cake at dinner, but I guess they don't do that stuff in Mexico...oh and I could never get wifi, and there is no cell service, the night entreatment was amazing , every-night something different for kids and adults...Oh bring your own pillow, theirs are hard as rocks !!

Room Tip: rooms in the middle of property, one end is all the restaurants, other is Beach, pools and one resta...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank maryg59_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liliana S, Reputation Manager at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2014

Dear maryg59_13,


Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us. We appreciate your feedback and you can be certain we will take your comments into consideration in order to maintain our quality standards.

Warm regards from Occidental Grand Cozumel,

Liliana S.
Reputation manager
Occidental Grand Cozumel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,795 - 1,801 of 4,814 reviews

Reviewed 16 July 2014

The hotel was nice, the staff was accommodating. When my friend and I arrived, we were greeted warmly. The location of the hotel was PERFECT for us, as it was out of town and on its own beach. (I would not have wanted to stay at a hotel in the middle of town during my relaxing beach/SCUBA vacation.) The food at the lunch and dinner buffet was sub-par and not recommended. There are 2 restaurants on site at the hotel which have MUCH better food. They must have different chefs. It was very convenient that there was a PADI dive shop directly next to where you have lunch. They organize everything for you and do have spare equipment, if you need it. Also, because you're in a location that is humid, expect the hotel rooms to be a bit musty. There are no rooms which have an ocean view, as they are all located

When in Cozumel, it's a necessity to visit El Moro, which is off the beaten path, but is a restaurant where many tourists go to eat. Expect to pay tourist prices and locals do not eat there because it's too expensive for them. However, the food is GREAT, and worth the trip to find it. The location is in the middle of a locals neighborhood: The owner of the restaurant converted his old house into the restaurant.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank dicenskr1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liliana S, Reputation Manager at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2014

Dear dicenskr1,

Thanks for your review. We're glad you enjoyed your stay with us at the Occidental Grand Cozumel. We sincerely hope to be able to host you again in the near future for yet another pleasant stay. We appreciate your comments about food so we know this is an area to work upon.

Warm regards from Occidental Grand Cozumel,

Liliana S.
Reputation manager
Occidental Grand Cozumel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2014

We had a wonderful vacation at the Occidental Grand Cozumel. The staff were friendly and helpful, specially the ones at the First Club. The rooms could need a little updating though. Since we spent most of our time outdoors, this was not an issue.

Chankanaab was amazing and their dive shop was great (Zapata Divers). Alvestra snorkelling was fun. Thanks to all the staff for making our stay a very good one.

Room Tip: Building 16 has a good location
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Challenger400_1006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liliana S, Reputation Manager at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded 23 July 2014

Dear Challenger400_1006,

Thanks for your review. We're glad you enjoyed your stay with us at the Occidental Grand Cozumel. We sincerely hope to be able to host you again in the near future for yet another pleasant stay of diving and relaxation.

Warm regards from Occidental Grand Cozumel,

Liliana S.
Reputation manager
Occidental Grand Cozumel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2014

We traveled to the resort for five days in mid June. After reading the reviews, we were hopefully optimistic about the resort. Checking in was easy, although like many others there was an hour wait for the room, so we ate lunch. The room although decent in size needs to be updated. Also, we were surprised to discover you can not flush toilet paper. We were surprised that was not mentioned it in any reviews. The pool area is nice, but there wasn't pool drink service, which was a little disappointing. Someone always had to leave the pool to go to the poolside bar. Overall the buffet was decent, but the reservation restaurants were nothing special. Living just outside of Chicago we have outstanding ethnic restaurants, which were far better than the ones on the resort. Nightly the resort had shows outside, which were nice. We especially enjoyed the live band and Prehispanic show. Also, the market set up in the plaza was great because it is too far to go to town to shop. My only advice is be prepared for the bugs, sun, and heat, but considering where you are it shouldn't be a surprise.

Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Sara R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liliana S, Reputation Manager at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Dear Sara R,

Thanks for your review. We're glad you enjoyed your stay with us at the Occidental Grand Cozumel. We sincerely hope to be able to host you again in the near future for yet another pleasant stay. We appreciate your remarks about service as well in order to improve our service.

Warm regards from Occidental Grand Cozumel,

Liliana S.
Reputation manager
Occidental Grand Cozumel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2014

Here we go:

The bad:
No King and we requested a king. They did not care,said we didn't request it and we had it printed out on the reservation. Said the only way to get a king was to pay more but I never saw that on their website. So we slept in two beds for 3 days of our honeymoon.
The sheets and linen were gross. The whole room smelled awful and the ac barely worked/very loud.
Pushy staff/ really did not care about us, just selling us stuff
overpriced snorkle trips from the hotel----Do yourself a favor and go down the road to plancar beach and book a tour with them. It was $40 cheaper and they were very laid back.
water was off for over 2 hours, broken pipe. Yes resturant stayed open..They again did nothing to show that they cared. (Put a few fans in the eating areas/lobby bar btw you cheap greedy place).
They tried to sell timeshare right as we were checking in. Called at 830 the next morning to remind me about meeting them. Looked down on us for renting our car ourselves from a place near the ferry.

The good:
The iguanas are cool and everywhere/ the beach is nice

Would not go back even if it were free! Thanks for only caring about selling your stupid timeshare and not about your guests comfort!

Room Tip: sleep somewhere else.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank itchingtotravel79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liliana S, Reputation Manager at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Dear itchingtotravel79,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us. We sincerely apologize for the various shortcomings experienced during your stay with us, and regret not having been able to provide you with a memorable experience. We appreciate your feedback and you can be certain we will take your comments into consideration in order to maintain our quality standards.


Warm regards from Occidental Grand Cozumel,

Liliana S.
Reputation manager
Occidental Grand Cozumel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2014

It's obvious this resort has seen better days and better clientele. The furnishings in main areas are very nice, as are the grounds. We reserved two rooms with the Grand Concierge Deluxe package. Our fruit basket and wine were really a buffet plate with half a dozen fruits and a bottle of inexpensive tequila, which we left for the maid. In the other room, multiple flying insects, a clogged shower drain, and fecal stains on the wall next the toilet greeted us. It was between meals and we were hungry, so I brought my leftover boxed snack from the airplane to the pool. A man swam across to watch us eat, a look on his face of someone who hasn't seen real food in days. I now know why. Our first meal at the reservations-only Mexican grill restaurant was disappointing--converted rice, rubbery shrimp, cheap cuts of meat. The restaurant was nearly empty, hot, and dim. It was so boring and mildly depressing. I also wondered how the "chefs" were able to cope without running water. This was one of two days that the resort's water was shut off--not a good situation. I spent the first night unable to sleep with anxiety about the possibility of switching hotels the next day. Thankfully, it came back.

Wanting to purchase a tour to Chichen Itza the next day, we became ensnared by the dreaded Vacation Club rep at the desk by the stairs to the pizza place--avoid this area at all cost. This swarm of people are awful and need no encouragement. The real tour organizers are located in another room off the bar's TV room. They will try to get you the best deal, and we were very pleased with our service.

We came to see the buffets as challenges. I literally had just dry Froot Loops and grapefruit juice one morning. Everything else was that unappetizing. As the days went by, simply the thought of an impending meal literally turned my stomach--I now understand what stomach-turning feels like. If I had the same ingredients available to me, I could make decent meals out of them. The fault is in the preparation. Real chefs don't work here. The grills and cooktops are grease-laden and the kitchen filthy. No one here enjoys their job.

We enjoyed the beach, but wish the snorkeling gear was available for longer periods of time and of better quality. They start charging you after an hour, which is not mentioned on their site. The water is clear and no coral is underfoot. Plenty of chairs and shade. Not enough bar staff, however. In fact, much of the resort is sorely understaffed. The bartender visits the beach only about 2 times during morning-afternoon periods.

Fellow guests bordered on boorish; many were tanked most of the time because of so little else to do. Ignorant of the Mexican law prohibiting feeding wildlife in a preserve (& which is just common sense), multiple folks were dropping snacks into the alligator's marsh and trying to hand-feed the iguanas. After telling my own kid to stop pestering the iguana near the relaxing pool, an older woman nearby went ahead and fed her snack to it, provoking it to bite her hand. Told you so.

Another hefty man, up to here with the lack of air conditioning and lousy food, loudly and profanely chewed out the staff at dinner, freaking out my kids. Not very classy. But frustration was understandable. There is no air conditioning anywhere except in the rooms, where you have to listen to a loud swamp cooler all day and night long. The food is really bad and the nearest decent restaurants are a 25-minute cab ride away. We escaped a couple of times to refuel and enjoy authentic Mexican food in town. It was worth it.

The overall sentiment of the staff is contempt and indifference. Some won't even look you in the eye when you talk to them, as though you're wasting their time. At lunch one day, we overheard in Spanish the waitstaff laughingly criticizing the guests for asking for refills and for generally being rubes. Yes, Americans can be ugly--we witnessed many obnoxious, sloppy people hanging around the pools and it turned us off too. But those in the service industry have to suck it up and at least be fake nice.

The final insult was on check-out, when our family schlepped luggage from our building on the far end of the resort in the hot sun all the way to the front desk only to be insultingly asked to return to the room to fetch all five of our towels (proving that we weren't towel thieves). Our dog's bath towels have more nap to them, and would I really want to re-use a publicly used towel in my home? Gross. Who does that? We explained that we weren't told to return them when we checked in. We had been checked in using the private service at the Royal Club, where they apparently trust and respect their guests. We declined to return to the room. Hopefully we won't see a charge for 5 crappy towels on our card. There is a definite class system in place here.

The hotel's goods promised online weren't delivered in real life. This is one hotel to avoid. It's sad, because it could be restored to its former glory. But I think the business model is now to use the resort as a front to get as many suckers as possible to buy into the vacation club.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank newbieski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liliana S, Reputation Manager at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Dear newbieski,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review for us. We sincerely apologize for all of the service shortcomings found during your stay and not having been able to provide you with a memorable vacation experience. We appreciate your feedback and you can be certain we will take your comments into consideration in order to maintain our quality standards.

Warm regards from Occidental Grand Cozumel,

Liliana S.
Reputation manager
Occidental Grand Cozumel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2014

Reading the reviews prior to our trip, I was really nervous. We were pleasantly surprised! We booked through FunJet vacations, so transportation was easy and our arrival was wonderful. We knew check-in time was 3pm, so we were expecting to have to wait. They got us a drink, towel cards and escorted us down to lunch. The grounds were gorgeous. Again, know that there are no beach view rooms, but the views from the pool and beach are wonderful.
The time-share component was not something we were prepared for. Jose was very nice, but the pitch and deals with associated hassle took more time than we were ready for.
Our room was good. We were in building 15, which was right in the middle of the resort, so quiet, but access to pools/beach and main buildings/activities. Our A/C worked just fine and we were happy with the bed. It's not the Westin heavenly bed, but it worked for the week. The fridge was well stocked and we didn't really need much else.
The food was a fear of ours, but again... expectations are everything. This is not a 5 Star restaurant in NYC. The service was outstanding and Adrian was SUPER attentive. Breakfast was great. If you can't find something you enjoy at breakfast, I don't know what you're looking for. Lunch was great every day, but our last, but we were still able to find something we enjoyed. There are always fresh fruits, veggies, tortillas, fish and chicken, so you can make it work. The coconut ice cream was outstanding! The view from lunch was tremendous as well. Dinner buffets were good. Seafood night was my favorite. We ate in both of the specialty restaurants and enjoyed Los Olivos the most. Our package included a specialty meal and it was wonderful. I believe if you go in with expectations for good food and open to different combinations, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Our romance package also included a welcome champagne and strawberries which we had to request a few times, but they were worth the wait. The massage was ok, it was not a deep-tissue or romantic-beach massage, but it was a quiet 20 minutes to relax (30 minutes is set-up time included). It was something we probably would not pay the extra money for in the future.
The drinks and bar service were also good. We have stayed at all-inclusives before. You always need to specify what alcohol you want, just like any other bar. They will give you the house liquor if you do not specify. We brought our own insulated cups and highly recommend it. It keeps your drink colder, longer and make for less trips to the bar. I was sad that there was no swim-up bar, but the lines were not too bad.
The pool and beach were also great. There were a lot of kids in the main pool, but the relax pool and beach were quieter. The beach was great and there were always chairs available. There were a few salesmen, but they were not as pushy as other places I have been.
The entertainment was ok. The fire show and Aztec nights were really good, the others were not the best. The disco was fun to meet up with other couples, but not a true dance club, unless you're willing to lead the line dance.
Our excursions were good. As mentioned before, there was some hassle in getting everything ironed out, but in the end, the snorkeling and jeep rental were worth it. We would highly recommend renting a car/jeep to explore the east side of the island. The beaches are SPECTACULAR! Having a dock right on the resort was helpful with our snorkeling outing because we got right on the boat and wasted no time getting to the reefs.
Overall, my husband and I had a great time. Everyone was very helpful and courteous. The room was what we needed and the food and drinks were plentiful. We were looking for and expecting a quiet, romantic week, and that is what we got. If you are looking for 5 star, you will need to pay for a 5 star. If you keep your expectations in check, you will enjoy your stay.

Room Tip: If you want all beach/pool, stay in the higher number rooms. I would not suggest staying close to th...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank Hairstons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Liliana S, Reputation Manager at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this reviewResponded 22 July 2014

Dear Hairstons,

Thanks for your review, we appreciate your honesty about grading various areas or our resort. We're glad you enjoyed your stay with us at the Occidental Grand Cozumel. We sincerely hope to be able to host you again in the near future for yet another pleasant stay

Warm regards from Occidental Grand Cozumel,

Liliana S.
Reputation manager
Occidental Grand Cozumel

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#11 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: £117 - £301 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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