We stayed here from Dec 23-30, 2010, in the Royal Club, booked through Air Canada Vacations.
Arrival: I had been concerned about timeshare sellers at the airport, but saw absolutely none. Went straight to our Air Canada rep, got an info package, in the waiting van, and off to the hotel. Again, concerned about timeshare sellers at the resort, but in our whole time there, no one at all approached us (although we did see other people being taken on tours). Check in was smooth (we were taken to the Royal Club to do that). I was hoping for connecting rooms, but we got side-by-side rooms with no connecting door, and that was fine.
Rooms: Yes, there was the musty smell people have mentioned, just due to the humidity, I think. I came prepared with some Febreze plug-ins, and that helped, and really, we weren't in the rooms all that much and it didn't bother us. The beds were firm, but not too hard. Pillows and linens nice. Bathrooms huge. It would have been nice to have a mirror in the room that was not in the bathroom.
Staff: Fantastic, friendly, helpful. Just very nice. Air Canada rep. Francisco was a good guy.
Food: With two vegetarians, the buffets gave us alot of choice. Lots of fresh fruit. Enjoyed the buffets overall, especially the beach buffet for lunch. What an awesome venue. Xmas Eve buffet was fantastic. Ate once a tLos Olivos (Mediterranean, just OK), twice at the Sonora Grill (Mexican, very good), and once at the Royal Club (excellent). All three a la carte restaurants were very accommodating for our vegetarians, modifying dishes if requested.
Beach: Beautiful. Fun to watch the dive boats come in and out all day. Had to get up early to reserve beach chairs, but it was a chore I didn't mind, because the resort was so quiet, and you could hear all the birds on the walk to the beach.
Pools: We didn't spend any time in these except for the Royal Club jacuzzi (very nice to get away from the busyness of the beach).
Resort activities: We used the snorkeling gear a few times. Easy to get. Lots to look at in the water off the beach. Took a Spanish lesson one day. Also, there was a booth set up on the beach where you could paint pottery - you paid $10-15 for whichever piece you wanted, then painted it. Then the people added finishing touches and brought it back fired the next day. It was alot of fun and our pieces looked really professional.
Off-resort activities: We rented a jeep one day and drove to Punta Sur and the lighthouse. This is a really beautiful park and fun to climb to the top of the lighthouse. They have a crocodile viewing area too. We also drove into San Miguel. Very charming. We went back to the town another day by taxi (roughly $25 each way). Ate at Tiki Tok's (tacky and fun) and Pancho's Backyard (very nice). Daughter got her hair braided (half head for $20, as opposed to $45 at the hotel). Lots of souvenir shopping and other vendors (churros!). We also did a three-reef snorkeling tour with chacchoctours.com. They were really good with us beginners.
Currency: Everything I read before our trip said people would appreciate pesos more than American $. However, all prices were quoted to us in USD. Taxi rides, gift shop prices, etc. So it was sort of a pain to have to ask what it would be in pesos.
Shopping: Hotel gift shop is Los Cinco Soles, which has a large shop in San Miguel, and at the airport. I thought they had a good selection of items and the prices were good. The prices weren't any cheaper at the shop in San Miguel (I thought the hotel shop might be overpriced). We went into town on a Sunday, when there are no cruise ships in port, and it was quiet, but still very interesting and lively. Some shops were closed, but there were plenty that were open.
Entertainment: There was some kind of entertainment every evening. Nothing major, but interesting. On Xmas Eve, they did a pinata for the kids, and Santa gave out presents. They also had Santa parasailing onto the beach that day. Very cute. Xmas Day was very quiet.
Internet: The Royal Club had a computer with free internet in each of its buildings. This was good for us. No one hogged the computer too much, and the kids were able to get on Facebook every day (a must!). Otherwise you could pay approx. $10 for one hour, $26 for 24 hours, or $80 for a week of internet in your room.
Leaving: Checkout easy and smooth, Air Canada rep got us all onto vans and easily to the airport. Worst part was check in at the airport - either the AC people didn't know what they were doing, or Mexico has an excruciating check-in protocol. Took forever!
Other thoughts: Seeing the iguanas was pretty neat. One lived outside our room (2118). The bridge over the mangrove swamp was great - fun to stop and look at the turtles and the birds in the water below. Other guests seemed very nice. No one stumbling around drunk or anything like that. Felt very comfortable leaving the kids at the beach or letting them walk to and from the beach on their own. Mostly there were families - kids of all ages. We didn't make use of the kids club, but you could leave kids ages 4-12 there from 9:15-5:00. Lots of activities you could do if you chose to - scuba lessons in the pool, beach volleyball, giant chess, kayaking, windsurfing.
All in all, a great trip for us!
- 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, Hotels.com, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Odigeo, TravelUp, Holiday Gems, Traveltool, S.L.U. and HotelQuickly 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