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“Sewer water smell in showers, terrible food, service stinks”
Review of Occidental Cozumel

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Occidental Cozumel
Ranked #20 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Reviewed 14 April 2009

We just got back from this resort and it was the worst trip we had ever had. To start, the beds were like sleeping on a concrete slab and the walls were paper thin, you could hear everything around you. The shower water smelled like sewer water. The food in the buffets was terrible and covered with flys at the outside buffet by the pool. The food looked like most of it was mixed up with left overs from previous days. We ate at their high end steak restaurant on the last night and the New York steak I ordered was 1/2 inch thick, fatty, tough, and nasty. We were also told after we arrived that we could only eat at their 2 premimum restaurants only 2 times with our 5 night booking. In the end we weren't too disappointed since that food was just as bad. It also cost to use wi-fi (20.00 per day), drinkable wine started at $45.00 per bottle, hard alcohol was watered down tasteing, and no one seemed to want to help you with anything. I have been to some real nice places in Mexico and this is not one of them. This was by far the worst vacation our family has ever taken.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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Thank sodiman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 April 2009

I prefer the bullet point reviews so here goes...

Grounds - I agree with everyone, the grounds are very well maintained, no complaints here. Not right on the beach, but I wasn't expecting that. Only minor issue was the "grey water" others have spoke of. Im guessing some kind of minimally filtered sewage water. One of the staff joked to watch out for "stinky bullets" coming out of the sprinklers; smell was pretty bad, but again this was only really near the entrance to the hotel and didn't affect our stay.

Room - We stayed in a garden deluxe I believe, no king, but two doubles (we asked for a king room but werent any available). No biggie though. The room was very clean, large. Seperate standup shower/tub. Safe in room worked fine. Only complaint was AC/Minifridge could have been colder, but we were never uncomfortable.

Staff/service - Great, no complaints everyone was super nice. I think it helps if you try to speak their language a bit/treat them like humans/tip well, which I felt a lot of people did not.

Food - This (along with drinks) is why I give the OG 2 stars. I am a self admitted foodie from Boston, however, I was not expecting four star cuisine. Simply put a lot of the food I just would not have eaten. The quality/freshness at the buffets was very poor. We tried the pizza place and literally left after our first bite to get some tacos from a local dive in town. I guess they are trying to cater to Americans, but I was hoping (maybe foolishly) for some MEXICAN food. About the only safe bet was two eggs over easy from the egg station during breakfast. (Coffee was acually good).

Drinks - Read a lot about the "heavy pour" at the OG. Not sure what these people are talking about. Im admittedly a bit of a drinker, but even when tipping well, and asking for higher grade booze, it felt like way too much effort to get a buzz while laying in the sun. It wouldnt surprise me if they actually watered down the gin/vodka. Tip: bring a large insulated travel thingy for your drinks, otherwise you get maybe ~10oz plasitc cafeteria cups.

Beach - Beach is very nice, the snorkeling here though is only OK. We went to several beaches on the east side of the island and for snorkeling Dzul-Ha is by far the best. It's not on many maps, but coming from town take the exit for the El Presidente resort (on your right, not too far from OG). Theres a place to rent mask/fins if you need it, and a great beach bar, the Money Bar. TONS of awesome fish/marine life. Did a 3 hr snorkel tour with Blu Palancar and OG, which was great, well worth the 41/per.


Girlfriend and I booked booked a week's vacation at the OG thinking the all inclusive aspect would save us money (free drinks and food!), but they were both so poor we ended up spending all our time off the resort. Since we got a good deal it didnt end up being too much of a bummer, but if we had paid more and had to pay for meals/drinks at outside spots that would have sucked.

If you like sitting by the pool and reading for a week, maybe you'd enjoy this place, but my personal recommendation is to get a room/condo close to town, which is much less expensive, and you can walk to all the local spots that have good yucatan cuisine. I would also highly recommend renting a car, its cheap (100 for a week) and gives you the freedom to explore the island. Other thoughts... Nightlife is Cozumel is kind of non-existent, everything shuts down at dark, so dont expect spring break type atmosphere. East side of Island is beautiful, beaches look amazing, def worth the drive, as is Cocounuts bar. PAY in PESOs, otherwise you are getting ripped off as they can convert however they like into usd.

Hope this was helpful!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank malarickk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2009

Trying to think of what to write is rather difficult. My husband and I had rather mixed feelings regarding the Occidental Grand in Cozumel. I had read some of the reviews prior to the trip and kept an open mind since a previous resort we stayed at in Mexico got OK reviews and we LOVED it.

First of all, I agree with many of the reviews that stated there was a MUSTY smell in the room. It was strong and did not go away during our stay. We got used to the smell after sitting in there awhile before going to bed. The other thing I seemed to notice was a damp feeling in the sheets. Our sheets felt damp all of the time.

As far as the resort, the grounds were absolutely beautiful. Lush trees and beautiful flowers and large tropical plants. The gardens were well taken care of and it showed.

The desk/concierge staff were decent. They answered your questions, but did not go out of their way beyond that. The bartenders, maids and waitstaff were excellent. Very friendly and helpful.

There were a lot of families with younger kids there. They seemed to be having a great time.

Would we stay there again? Probably not, but it was nice.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Wisconsinite8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2009

My wife and I took our first All inclusive vacation at the OGH and we were floored. This place is awesome. The Food, staff, and service was fantastic.
I urge one thing, if you get a great price from an internet site like Expedia, take that price, call the hotel direct and get them to match the price and you will get moved to building 19, close to the ocean and next to the Royal Club. The Hotel gets the commission and the internet site does not. We just did that and had a great time in building 19.
The grounds are clean and beautiful.
If you can bear the Vacation club tour, do it, You will get almost every excursion at half price, we did, the tour was not high pressure, and almost everything else you want to do is far cheaper if you are into exploring.
There is not much else we can say, we will be going back next winter for sure.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank denjulie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2009

For starters, I highly recommend flying into Cozumel. The hotel is about a thirty minute drive from the airport.
The resort is absolutely beautiful. We paid for the Royal Club upgrade. Well worth the extra charge each night. We were very close to the two pools and ocean. The rooms were cleaned each day(if you wanted) and fresh bottled water was given every other day.
The food was what you would expect for an all-inclusive resort. You could always find something to eat. Reservations were easy to make at the al a acarte restaurants. We never tried Los Olivos but it was getting great reviews from other guests. The pizza place and steak house were excellent. If you tipped the server right as you sat down they did everything to make your dining experience perfect!
Every evening there was a night show. They were ok.
We were able to take a look around the Occidental Allegro, which is right next door to the Occidental Grand. The Allegro was also just as beautiful. Looks like a great place for kids.
We took the Lobster Dinner Cruise! Absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend. Not for little kids though. Some of the activities weren't for children's eyes to see. Just be careful choosing the activities because most of them require a cab fare, which we didn't know. We spent $30 getting back and forth from the excursion and that didn't include the cost of the dinner cruise.
All in all this was a great trip for its value.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Megola16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2009

We just returned from OCG 4/5/09. I need to start by saying my family is easy to please and I hate to put in a poor review. This was our 2nd trip to Cozumel. We booked OCG because we had heard wonderful things when we stayed next door at Allegro on our prior trip. First I'll start with why we were disappointed.
**The resort has two pools.,The quiet pool is small which is fine for relaxing however the nearest bar is about 3 city blocks away so extremely inconvienent. The beach pool is the other option, which is where nearly everyone ends up. This pools is fairly small considering the size of the resort. It becomes loud and crowded. Games for the kids are nice (we come with 3 kids ages 9, 12 & 15), but it takes up the entire pool, and plan to get hit with balls all day long. The pool just isn't large enough for a lot of activity. No swim up bar option...... OCG sets up a small cart with a bartender, but no blender type drinks here, and plan to wait in line. Again, the nearest full service bar is in the "beach club" which is about a block away and if you forget your shoes or your clothes, plan to walk back to get them because you can't just go get a drink in your swimsuit. They only have one girl getting drinks for people and (bless her heart), it's about 30 minutes before she gets back with your drink. The entire pool area and beach club shuts down at 5pm so don't plan to hang out and watch the sunset at 6pm with a cocktail, or listen to the waves at night with friends because the entire beach club/pool area shuts down at 5pm Arrrgggh!! The only option in the evening is the lobby bar, which is hot and stuffy since they don't turn on the A/C. We come to Cozumel for the beach/ocean so this was our biggest complaint.

Food: Very average, terrible booking system. We had to really work to get a reservation at one of the specialty restaurants, then when we show up thinking we were lucky and it might be packed, we walk into a completely empty restaurant, one other table was seated while we were there. Why??? Ricardo at the reservations desk is extremely rude. Because of people like him we would never want to come here again. (I think he used to work at Allegro's front desk, and he is just as rude as he was 3 years ago!) Luches are recycled from last nights dinner. Breakfast & dinner are good but plan to sweat because there is no A/C in the main buffet and often we had to stand in a long line to get in only to find many open tables. OCG does offer room service at no additional charge and this was a nice option.

Fitness center: Easily 105 degrees F in here.

Kids Club: Only open when they feel like it?

Now what we enjoyed:

People: Love the mexican people (except Ricardo)....they are hard working, honest, wonderful people. They are one of the reasons our family loves Cozumel.

Beach: Absolutly breathtaking! Our family loves to snorkel......don't bother booking any snorkel trips in the lobby. Just go to the dive shop down by the beach. The divemasters here are awesome! You will just pay more if you book with the tour operators.

Resort Grounds: Spotless, lush & beautiful. Though, very spread out so it's a long walk to the beach. (probably 3 city blocks from the front dest to the beach.)

**We spoke with many people who have been to OCG several times and said that the resort is being run differently from prior years???? Apparently, the restaurants were always air conditioned in the past, & the beach club was always open in the evenings on other visits.

We won't be going back to the OCG. :( ** I would rather stay at Allegro next door (which is now called White Sands, or Iberostar which just south of OCG.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank jhart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2009

My wife and I stayed from 3-14 to 3-21, had a terrific time, beautiful resort, small, very laid back, excellent service, quiet as can be, premium liquor, all inclusive was great. Nadia, the concerige for us was excellent, took care of all the restaurants reservations, had flowers delivered for me for the wifes anniversary, and any issues were well taken care of. I recommend the sunset massage for two on the beach, great way to end a busy day. Albertos next door is good, but pricey, go to town, Pancho;s Backyard for lunch, and Jimmy Buffets for margaitas all afternoon. If you want a little excitement, try the Fly High Zip Lining, good rush. Food was only average, wine with dinner is extremely poor. Nature is all over, snorkeling is great just at the resort, and if you want to do nothing the whole time, no one bothers you. Only once did the time share people talk to us and we told them firmly no, did not bother us again. Rooms are extremely spacious and bathrooms most people would love to have at home, however rooms had musty smell and you will have to wash all your clothes when you return. Lobby bartenders were great, especially the evenings. I do recommend to tip the good servers and the person who makes up the rooms. Overall great resort, if we didnt like going to other places, we would definitely return there.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Patrick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#11 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: £111 - £275 (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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