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“A lovely place to chill out and relax”

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Royal Level at Occidental Cozumel
Ranked #32 of 53 Hotels in Cozumel
Reviewed 19 May 2013

I can't believe that there are 18 better hotels on Cozumel. I think many reviewers place their reviews on the Occidental Grand site rather than the Royal Club and this might be dragging down the average score for the Royal Club.

I have three gripes about the place, and they apply to the whole hotel, rather than just to the Royal Club.

1. The air conditioning in the rooms is much too loud, although we did get used to it.
2. The lobby bar is a bit tatty and has a stale smell that seems to linger.
3. Dinner in the buffet restaurant is poor. The food was only warm and the choice was not great. The room is also lacking air conditioning. In our opinion this restaurant is way below the standard at other similar hotels we have visited. Fortunately we only ate there once.

Otherwise, this is a lovely place to go to relax. If you want lots of activities and late night activity, however, this is probably not the place for you.

The Royal Club has a very private feel about it.

Dinner in the a la Carte restaurants was always very nice. The Royal Club restaurant was by far the best, but the other two were pretty good too. The Pizza restaurant has shut.

The staff at this hotel are great, very friendly and always helpful. The stand out service was in the Royal Club Restaurant.

The beach is nice but snorkeling in the sea was a bit disappointing, although we saw a couple of barracuda and some rays. We went on two snorkeling trips, once with the onsite Palancar Diving, and once with Alberto's, which is just along the beach to the South.

Wildlife around the hotel was a real joy too. The turkey buzzards that soar around and occasionally sit on the domes of the buildings; the very chirpy and loud small black birds, and some humming birds too. We also nearly trod on a couple of scorpions, and a couple of snakes, on the path to dinner in the evenings - not threatening, you just need to look where you are going. There was an armadillo that didn't seem to mind a line of us taking flash photos whilst it was digging for food. The best creatures, however, were the many iguanas that laze around the hotel, particularly around the quiet pool, where sometimes they even basked on the sun beds!

Room Tip: Its worth the cost of upgrading to the Royal Club
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mont1e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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146 - 152 of 338 reviews

Reviewed 7 May 2013

The trip started out on a sour note when we checked in. When we made the reservation, we were "assured" that we would have a room with a king size bed.

It didn't.

When we complained to the Royal Club staff, they told us that they have a limited number of king size bedrooms and they can not assure it. The salesman on the phone, on the other hand, had no problem promising it to us. We just moved the nightstand and pushed the beds together to ease the situation.

That was the first, and last, problem.

A short time later, a waiter knocked at the door and brought in 4 full bottles of booze - rum, tequila, scotch and vodka. ( all reasonably good brands). Since my wife likes wine, we asked for a bottle of red wine, which was soon delivered, along with a corkscrew and glasses.

The staff could not have friendlier or more pleasant. The Royal Club restaurant was excellent. We had a group of 8 people and had no problem with reservations, eating there 3 times during the week.

Since it was mid-April, the resort was not overly booked and we never felt crowded in any of the other restaurants. We felt the Mediterranean and Mexican restaurants were just OK, not great. The breakfast buffet was good, with a good selection that changed every day. The lunch at the beach was also buffet style, with hamburgers and hot dogs included.

The rooms are large and comfortable and the grounds are beautiful. The staff is constantly caring for the grounds and it looks it. There are many beautiful iguana in the resort and they allow us to share the place with them.

There are scuba and snorkeling trips that leave from the property.

When they say "all-inclusive", they mean it. When we checked out, after a week of over-eating and over-drinking, we owed nothing.

One note about Cozumel, there is a pirate ship dinner cruise out of the ferry dock in town. Although it's not included ,if you don't take it, your missing a highlite of your trip. It is 3 hours of laughing, drinking and a good dinner.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Ira4527
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2013

We stayed at the Royal Club from April 6-20. My expectations were not high, but this resort did exceed my expectations. Our room was clean and comfortable. Nothing fancy but we were in Mexico and didn't expect luxury. The beach was beautiful, always able to find chairs and we normally didn't hit the beach until the afternoon. The first couple of days the water was crystal clear. The wind picked up for the rest of our stay so the water became quite dirty and murky. You can't control Mother Nature so we just made the best of it. The food was fabulous. We ate at all of the restaurants. Only did the buffet two or three times. It was what I expected for a buffet. The Lunch restaurant at the beach served up some great hamburgers and a variety of other buffet style foods. Our two favorites were La Carretta and El Sonora. The food was always delicious and cooked to perfection. The servers were friendly and made our meals enjoyable. Special mention to Arturro from El Sonora and Rogelio, Magorico, Adrian and Tom from La Carretta. Most of our meals were at La Carreta, which was one of the benefits of the Royal Club. Each morning we enjoyed cappicinnos and espressos at La Carreta to start our day. The servers knew exactly what we wanted as soon as we entered the restaurant. The dinners here were out of this world. Small portions, so make sure you order a course from each section, ie. soup, appy, main meal and dessert. And don't forget the Mayan coffee. This is truly an art of the servers at this restaurant. They make the coffee at your table and it is so entertaining to watch. Enjoyed the wildlife at the resort. Many iguanas throughout the property. From our room, which faced the mangrove, we saw a turtle, large crab, armadillo, a small boar and each morning woke to a black bird that made the most incredible sounds. Wifi in the Royal Club was definitely a plus. It was accessed throughout the Royal Section of the resort. Drink service was good. Sometimes had to wait in line for awhile as there was only one bar open by the main pool. Occassionally there was drink service on the beach which I thought was a real nice service. Didn't spend much time at the pools, since we prefer the beach, but they were warm and clean. Didn't take in much of the entertainment, but did enjoy the Disco a couple of the nights. The best part of this resort was the people that we met. The staff was very friendly and we enjoyed talking with them and getting to know them.

Room Tip: Room in the Royal Club on second or higher floor
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank RobertaC64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2013

first of all, this is a nice spot to dive sites, but that's it
this place is awful. everything is going down the hill
if you are looking for a luxury, relaxation or romantic , you must find out a different place.
mosquitoes everywhere,lizards,spiders , we slept in a zoo!

was impossible to get a beach chair , people wake up at 5:00 a.m for shade or beach chair, 5:00 am really!?

food was not good at all, in either one of the restaurants and the service was slow, in the specialty restaurants was impossible to get reservations too.

overall there are better place for less money.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Robert R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2013

My wife and I vacationed at the Royal Club last week. Check-in (April 6th) was a bit arduous, due to issues in the laundry dep't. However, Nelly and Margerita took very good care of us all week. Food at La Careta was excellent, whether at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Wine was good.
Food at the buffet was OK but wine was not good at all. Same goes for La Piazza à la carte.
This was our third stay at this hotel. The staff is exemplary and everyone works hard to make your vacation memorable. Adrian and Esteban really stood out. We come here for the scuba diving which is exceptional, right in front of the hotel. We would not stay at the regular hotel, but the Royal Club makes it all worthwhile...

Room Tip: We were 'upgraded' to a nice ground floor room (2117) with a King Bed.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank RoadWarrior98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2013

We stayed at the Royal Club from March 5-13. We usually stay at 3 star resorts, but we decided to try this “luxury” resort based on the reviews and a good early booking price. We were very disappointed. We booked last September and the reviews were very good then. However, the resort has apparently gone downhill since then. This is not a 4 or 5 star resort as advertised.

The main problem was the food, which was terrible except for the Royal Club restaurant. In fact, the food at the 3 star resorts that we have been at has been much better than this. I never saw a “manager” in the restaurants or anyone with a thermometer checking the temperature of the food on the buffet.
The breakfast buffet was just fair only because of the omelet station and the fresh fruit.

The lunch buffet was at the beach restaurant and was actually better than the dinner buffet, but selections were still very limited and the food was often not hot. There is no separate snack bar, so to get a snack you had to be seated in the restaurant and there were often long lines and a wait for an open table. The beach restaurant was closed until noon, apparently making it impossible to get to the bar in the restaurant which was supposed to open at 10:00 AM. However, if you walked past the ropes and chairs blocking the entrances, the bartenders would serve you and there were no lines.

Dinner at the buffet restaurant was terrible. Selections were limited, the food was often not hot, and the food was generally tasteless. The ice cream was the best feature. There were very few “Mexican” dishes and they were not good either. The “refried beans” looked like something that would come out of a can (with a lot of water added) here in the States. The salad bar was very limited.

There were only two specialty restaurants (steak house/Mexican combined and Italian), not three as advertised. The food was not good in either one and the service was slow. Seating was very limited and it was very hard to get reservations at a reasonable time. Reservations had to be made 3 to 4 days ahead. Ironically, there were often numerous open tables at these restaurants.

The one bright spot was the Royal Club restaurant. The food and service were both very good. Unfortunately, it was just as difficult to get reservations there. This restaurant is supposed to be only for Royal Club guests, but there were a number of guests from other buildings checking in while we were there.

The rooms at the Royal Club were very nice. They were large and clean with comfortable beds. There were nice additional touches at the Royal Club including: bath robes, free Wi-Fi, free computers for internet access, better linens and towels, premium toiletries, nightly turn down, fast check-in and check-out, concierge for only the Royal Club.

The staff was generally friendly and helpful. The maid service was good.

The grounds were very nice. The buildings were set in the native jungle with minimal disturbance of the native vegetation. This provided nice screening between the buildings.

The beach was nice but there were not enough palapas for shade or beach chairs. You needed to “claim” a palapa by 6:30 AM with towels on the chairs or you were out of luck. The palapas were also very crowded together. The snorkeling was so-so with no reef and little structure. There were a fair number of mostly immature fish and an occasional barracuda or ray. There were an unusually large number of loud, obnoxious, and drunk people, especially on the beach. The drinks at the beach bar were very strong (cheap liquor) and I suspect that this contributed to the problem.

One day a manager was walking the beach asking guests for their opinions. I gave her a quick overview (the good and bad) and said that the food at the buffet was terrible. Her response was: “Go to the specialty restaurants.” Not much of a customer oriented point of view.

I would not recommend this resort to anyone. Decent food is a critical part of a vacation at an AI resort.

Room Tip: The jungle view rooms were quieter
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank MIHorseman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2013

Overall a very nice place. Great location, great beach, good facilities, good food and service. I should preface the review by saying it is spring break and the resort is full of families and couples. This put a lot of strain on the staff and the facilities.
First the good:
Really nice resort great location to dive sites. The beach is really nice with sand a good ways into the water. Snorkeling off the beach was surprisingly good. The quality of the food was good and fairly typical of other all inclusives we went to. The rooms are clean and modern and roomservice did a really good job. The bar service was by good and drinks were always available (no straws anywhere though). The food at the specialty restaurants was very good. Get the Mayan coffee at the royal club restaurant (la caretta) it's really good and a great show. If you like wine the house wine is drinkable but not great. They have a wine list (at extra cost) which is a good option.
The bad: because the resort was so full the staf was really stretched thin. You could get help if you asked but there was. Or much effort in looking to help you out. The other way to say it is the staff was reactive not proactive. There were long lines for drinks by the beach at times and in the lobby bar before dinner. Understandable though given the crowds.
Specialty restaurants were really hard to get into. You were always on the waiting list (which is really a nice no) if you weren't a pest you didn't get to eat at all of them. They need to create more capacity during busy times. The restaurant by the beach is. It used for dinner but it should be during busy times. Lines for drinks got really long during the day at the beach bar and at night before dinner. Maybe they could open another one or two. Drink service on the beach and around the pool is spotty they could use more people serving drinks. Tipping is no expected but greatly appreciated. A smile and a tip really improves service. The impossible becomes possible. My advice tip in advance of a request. For example we needed tables of 8 every night at dinner. This was impossible to get reservations for so we got two tables for 4. One person would go to the restaurant with a tip and ask to get the tables pushed together it was never a problem.
The ugly:
Beach chairs are are problem at the resort during busy times. The great chair grab starts before daybreak and ends about 6:46am. If you don't get up and claim your chairs you need to drag chairs from the pool area down to the beach. Forget about any shade. This is not unique to this resort but a fairer system is needed. Half the chairs are empty at any point in the day. The gym is in serious need of updating
The other ugly aspect is the little silvere garage can next to the toilets in the room. In order to save the ecosystem all paper is to be put in those cans, All Paper. One word... Gross. Here again a better plan is needed ( biodegradable paper, a better sanitary sewer system?).
The only other advice I have is that you need to be aware that when the north wind blows ( el Norte) the port closes and the waterfront shuts down ( boats, fishing, diving, snorkeling,etc) there is not much to do here that doesn't involve water.
Overall this is a nice family and couples resort. No wild stuff here. You will have a good time but try to avoid busy times of year if you can.

Room Tip: Spend the extra for a junior suite the other rooms are small with two queen beds
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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Thank JKirk00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Level at Occidental Cozumel

Address: Carretera Costera Sur Km 16.6 Palancar | Cozumel, Cozumel 77600, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#14 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: £136 - £317 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Royal Level at Occidental Cozumel 4*
Number of rooms: 39
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Also Known As:
Royal Club At Occidental Grand Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
Royal Hotel

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