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“The fabulous Royal Club”

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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #73 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Milwaukee
Level Contributor
53 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“The fabulous Royal Club”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2012

I can't say enough about the Royal Club at the Grand Xcaret! This upgrade took us to a superior level of treatment during our stay (1/14/12 - 1/21/12) at the Grand Xcaret. The room was superior. The staff was friendly and helpful, the food in the private dining area was outstanding. We loved our waiter, Ismael! We were at an exclusive resort inside an already beautiful resort! We never wanted to leave the area!

  • Stayed January 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JanBalMilwaukee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Monterey, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2012

First off I want to state that I am a front desk agent & Concierge at a 4 diamond hotel so I know service. This place is magic. Everything is amazing. Well almost everything the food could be a little bit better. When we first got there we were checked in asap which was great since we got off a 6 hour flight. The room we booked was a standard but great, lots of space a ceiling fan and a great shower where you can sit down so you can use the hot water to steam your self to detox from the tequila :) At night we opened the door to hear the birds and crickets outside. In the morning we sat down with our concierge to go over the area and anything we wanted to do. what a great intellectual person ''Carlos'' from building 19. Then we had lunch at the snack bar it was good not dry, not tasteless, good. The Disco was fun but the music was the same every night which I understand since the have to make everyone happy. Oh yeah & Carlos at the fun club nice guy very helpful and fun. LOL. I also want to mention one of the cooks at the pacos tacos night & pizza he was so sweet and a great cook I can't remember his name I think it was Juan. Okay Okay moving on... It's at a great location near the pyramids. There isn't a beach but there is if you walk 20 min by the ''artificial''' pool. but it's rocky so if you have kids probably not the best idea. So I have to run but best trip ever!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank OhLaLaZahzah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirknewton
Level Contributor
55 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2012

A wonderfully relaxing experience following the stresses of arranging our wedding. Our room was clean and I suppose basic - but the staff were lovely. Even though the brochure said fridge replenished every couple of days, we were lucky enough to have ours restocked daily.

Enjoyed the walk through the grounds. It really is in the middle of the jungle - the only place to walk to was the eco park, which is worth a oeek.

Lots to do, if you feel the urge, or not (as you please).

Can't wait to go back to Mexico with our family in a couple of years.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Nina_H_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ontario
Level Contributor
134 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 January 2012

First I'd just like to say that if you are a beach person this is not the place for you. Otherwise this is a great place. We were three families all with boys ranging from 10-15 and they had lots to keep them busy. They participated in the kids club show every night but not the club itself. We all partcipated in the fun club activities and we had so much fun...loved the water balloon fight! We we all in building 12 and we enjoyed it, rooms were standard 2 doubles with a mini bar, they say restocking everyday but we left a small tip mostly everyday and it was restocked. There is an ATM near the tabacco shop that give out pesos so I didn't worry about bringing a lot of cash. If you are Canadian just bring canadian money as you need a passport with you if you want to convert any US cash. We didn't go to Xcaret but opted for Xplor instead and it was awesome, probably could have saved a bit of money but not booking thru our tour operator and going on the bus as it does stop at other hotels....
Overall this was a really nice resort the kids loved all the wildlife and activites and just being together and being able to wander and feel safe. Us adults loved that it felt safe, the food was decent, the drinks were good and the disco was surprsingly very good. We danced the night away 5 out of the 7 days we were there.

Room Tip: building 12 was near the lobby, the main buffett and the majority of the bars
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank yelsel71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Potomac, Maryland
Level Contributor
75 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2012

Just some background first, we've been to Mexico about 15 times over the years, with about a dozen times in the Riviera Maya or Cancun. This trip was from Jan 10-17, 2012.

Hotel- In many ways this hotel is designed like so many of the others in the Riviera Maya, with a few variations. The main building has an upper and lower lobby. The upper lobby is for check-in and out, a business center and a Xcaret Park sales office only. There is no upper lobby bar or restaurant and limited lobby seating. Therefore, except for you first and last 10 minutes of your vacation, there is little reason for you being there and virtually no guest lingering there. The lower lobby has a waterfall and a terrific water feature with a man-made lake and river.There are some six shops along the "river," but space for many more shops. Some stores have opened and subsequently closed, some store fronts do not appear to have ever been occupied. Six nights a week at about 6:45 there is a Mayan themed 5-10 minute event/show on the river/canal and lake. There is no lobby bar here either, but one down another level, facing the jungle. There are a lot of steps in the main bldg. Unlike some other all-inclusive hotels, there is a wing of hotel rooms attached to the main building. Most of the rooms, however, are in twelve 3 story walk up, open atrium buildings scattered throughout the property. Be prepared for some walking. Our building (#21) was about a 7-8 minute walk from either the main building (to the west) or the beach (to the south.) Unless you stay in the main building and use the elevators there, this is a tough property if you have mobility problems or are in a wheel chair. Even the beach is on three levels.

Each building has it's own concierge (nice feature.) You can even make your specialty restaurant reservations with her. Our bldg also had a rep from our travel company in the building lobby, rather than back in the main lobby- also a plus.

Like many other Maya Riviera hotels, the grounds are attractively landscaped, with attractive pool-scapes.

The entire property is adjacent to the Xcaret ecological/amusement park. It's an easy walk or river boat ride from the lower lobby to the park entrance.

Rooms:

Decent sized, but the decor and furnishings are tired. A free safe in the closet for your valuables. I hate the hotels that nickle and dime you with an extra fee for the safe. A small note of caution, two British ladies complained to my wife that their safe was broken into during our stay. A Samsung flat screen TV is nice feature, but there are no English language offerings in their cable system, not even CNN. Odd, since the hotel is about 40-50% English speaking Canadians, maybe 20% Americans, plus a contingent of Brits. I've been in China, Russia and all over Europe and never before not have English CNN. It couldn't hurt to have a French station for the French Canadians as well. Great shower though. Also, nice and new towels and linens. Our room also had a decent sized patio with two chairs and a small table.

Beach:

There is a smallish, man-made beach in an alcove. So, no waves and no long walks on the beach, like you can have on much of the Mayan Riv or Cancun. The protected alcove does make it kid friendly. Also, it allows people to just stand in the water and gab (like in a pool,) which is tough to do in waves. Outside of this small semi-circular area it is very rocky and rough along the coastal shore front. Conclusion- I prefer a natural beach.

There are three levels of beach area. The bottom-most is crowded like an American urban beach on July 4th weekend. Chairs are cheek-to jowl along the shore and if you're sitting on level two or three, you have to literally work through the chairs to touch water. If I ran the hotel, I would keep a clear path from the level 2 stairs to the water.

Like too many hotels, by 9:30 AM no chairs were available on any level. Hotels have to come up with a method of discouraging this holding chairs with towels. They offer about a dozen covered beach beds. The one next to my chair had towels on it at about 8:45 AM (and I believe possible overnight as well.) The holders finally showed up at noon, took some photos and then immediately left for lunch! Ridiculous and selfish. I would not have used it anyway (can't read in that position,) but other guests could and would have. Remember there are only about twelve of these beds. At about 10 AM way more lounge chairs are empty but saved then actually occupied. All of the chairs and beds need replacement. They should at least consider bringing in 100 new chairs a season and gradually replace the worst stock.

The staff plays loud music all morning, but gives you a break in the afternoon. Seriously, note to all hotels-lower the volume.

Food:

The buffets are sub-par, but the hotel does allow you to eat four times at the specialty restaurants (some hotels only allow 3 per week.) The steak place, called the Sonora Grill and the Mediterranean place, Los Olivos, were both excellent. Good service and good food.The Mexican food place, La Hacienda had decent food and wonderful staff. The Asian style place, D'Oriental was okay, but the kitchen was slow. Note that the wait staff throughout, incl. the buffets were overall very friendly. We did not get an opportunity to try the fish place (El Pescador) which is in the beach front breakfast and lunch buffet location, which is converted at night.

Evening Entertainment:

Nothing much. One of our nights there was a staff run, guest participation bit. One evening we saw an entertaining gymnastics show (saw them before at another hotel) and a fire and drum ( a bit like Blue-Man Group) show. Both entertaining. The shows start at 9:30, but there is little to do after dinner and before the showtime. Most evenings they offer Hollywood movies on big screens in the nightclub, usually action or kid flicks. The hotel does offer a sports bar and after the show disco. Conclusion- less elaborate nighttime entertainment than some of the competing hotels.

Overall-

Warning-They do push the vacation club tours. A small section of the hotel has re-done rooms and some special services which are part of this club area. They offer a 90 minute tour. I studiously avoided the entreaties to take the tour and hear the pitch. Several guests told me it takes way longer than the 90 minutes promised. I was told that his is a hard sell, so be forewarned. They did receive some swag for their time though.

My travel company gave The Occidental Grand Xcaret ( also called the Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret in some places) 5 out of 6 stars. I would give it 4 out of 6. The staff are all very nice, including the bartenders, maids, desk people and waiters. The river in the lower lobby is a lovely feature. The pools are quite nice as well. As I wrote above, I am not a fan of the beach, but it may work for you if you have small children.

At least for us, at our price, I did think it offered very good value. Admittedly, this is in the eye of the beholder, but in calculating the price in relation to the amenities you may feel that this works for you. I did not choose the Occidental. My travel company offers a "they pick it" program where you select the star ranking and they pick the hotel. We learned where we were staying upon arrival at our departure airport. This is not for everyone. I tell you that so you can understand my conclusions:

Was this overgraded at 5 stars? Yes. More like a 4 out of 6, or a 3 1/2 on a 5 point scale.
Would I specifically select this hotel again? Unlikely.
If it was chosen for me at a reduced price, would I object vociferously? No
Can this be a good value location? Yes

I hope that this helps.

Room Tip: The buildings numbered 14-17 are more centrally located on the main lobby-beach access then 19-22 wh...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2012

I Just came back on Jan 19,2012. By the time we reach the Resort our room was ready with decoration... which was Impressive. They cleaned our room everyday and decorated with some flowers.

Restaurants: We enjoyed breakfast and lunch at the La Buffet (you can find all varieties..I loved it) and view was awesome from Beach Club restaurant. when you go to beach and get tired you just go to Beach Club restaurant and have food which is right beside the beach.
We also ate at the Mexican restaurant ...really AWESOME... waiters were very friendly and first time I'm so impressed with Mexican food
I'm taking of 1 STAR for the food and service at Medditerrian and the Oriental Restaurants.
Waiters are really slow taking order and getting the food and food was not that good. Mexican was the best.

Bars: Bars were good and I loved Swim up Bar... Its fun. People were really Friendly.

Fun Club was really awesome ... they always make everyone engaged in some activities.

Over All I'm Satisfied.

Room Tip: Rooms were good but you can hear noise outside your door if people r talking loud. Lower lever is p...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ashi g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Dakota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2012

We stayed at the Occidental Grand Xcaret Jan 8-15. We have stayed in a number of resorts in the Playa del Carmen area and are generally pretty easy to please. We generally take negative reviews with a grain of salt but sadly, I would have to agree with some of them this time.

The grounds are beautiful and we loved being in the jungle, except for the fact that there are paths going everywhere through the trees and it is very easy to take wrong turns. I think it took us three days to get to know our way around. Oh well - what better way to explore the place.

I was a bit nervous about the lack of a waterfront beach, mainly because my husband loves to be out in the waves. Me? not so much. I do have to say the man-made beach area was the highlight of this trip. It is beautiful, calm and crystal clear. I have never spent so much time in the water. And the snorkeling was amazing. We saw so many fish. I do not swim so am not super comfortable in waves or deep water, but I spent a lot of time in the water here and did a lot of snorkeling. Even my husband, who loves to be out in the waves, really enjoyed this beach area and the snorkeling.

There is not a swim up bar here but there is a beach bar right by the water. The beach is served by a great bar maid, Suzanna who walks the beach and takes your orders. She is wonderful and works hard.

As far as the food (buffets) and service, we have had much better at all the other places. We ate at the buffets for breakfast and lunch every day and found the food to be OK, but it was the same stuff all the time, and not as big of a selection as we have seen at other places. And it was almost as if they did not have enough help because most days you just couldn't find anyone to give you coffee or clear away the dishes. In other places someone is right there all the time. We always tip, but even that did not seem to help. We spent a week but I couldn't imagine eating at the buffets for another week.

We ate at the a la carte restaurants every night and found them to be pretty good, with good portions and great service. Had the best ribeye steak ever, at the Senora Grill. We generally don't eat steak in Mexico since beef is not great down there, but someone told us it was great so we tried it. We eat ribeye often at home and have never tasted better than this!! We did hear from a couple of people that theirs wasn't great, but ours was! We ordered it medium and it was perfect.

Overall service and staff we found to be poor. In other resorts we have had a great time interacting with the staff and became good friends with many of them. At this place they just seemed to lack any kind of enthusiasm. Granted we met a few that we really enjoyed, but most others were 'just doing their job'.

We had an issue with our room when we arrived. They put us in building 11 which is kind of above and connected to the lobby and it had two double beds and the AC didn't seem to be working. My husband went to the front desk and had to argue with them to switch to a king which we had reserved. They finally agreed to move us and the next day we had a king in building 18. Much better. No complaints about the room or maid service after that switch.

I would have to say that we probably wouldn't return to this resort because of the food and service, but if traveling with small kids or anyone else who is not comfortable in the ocean, I would recommend it for the awesome beach area.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Darla W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer S, Manager at Occidental at Xcaret Destination, responded to this review, 10 March 2012
Dear Darla W,

On behalf of the entire staff at Occidental Grand Xcaret I would like to thank you for taking the time to post your review, and we are really pleased to read that you enjoyed the beauty of the jungle surrounding our hotel as well as our the beach. We are also glad to hear that Susanna was able to help you at the bar and we look forward to sharing this comment with her. .

In regards to your comment about the food and service at the buffet, thank you for your observations. We will meet with our Food and Beverages manager about it, to discuss possible changes and solutions. On another note, we are delighted to read that you enjoyed the rib eye at The Sonora Restaurant and can’t wait to tell our Executive Chef!

Please accept our apologies for the situation with the Air Conditioning and your room assignment. Fortunately we could accommodate you in a better room on the next day.

We are really disappointed to read that you left with an overall bad impression of our staff, since we are always promoting a culture of service and love for our job within the company, we will address this situation to our Training and Quality Manager in order to take any corrective training and to continue the efforts of providing good service to our guests.

We do hope you will give us another chance to host you in the future.

Respectfully,

Ruth Carrillo Campos
Manager on Duty
Monduty2.gfx@mx.occidentalhotels.com
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 at Xcaret Destination

Property: Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 282 | Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Occidental Grand Xcaret All Inclusive Resort)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#39 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#44 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#46 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#51 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#77 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental at Xcaret Destination 4*
Number of rooms: 757
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 5-star Occidental at Xcaret Destination in Riviera Maya is a perfect combination in a natural setting with preserved cultural landmarks and an all-inclusive resort with a unique array of rooms, services, and state-of-the-art facilities. Choosing among the many possible activities is the most complicated part of a stay at this resort in Playa del Carmen. Swimming with dolphins, attending a Mayan Indian ceremony, enjoying all types of water sports at the beach club or sailing down the beautiful rivers and canals that surround the hotel are just a few highlights. The Xcaret eco-archeological park offers one of the most unique and exciting park, especially for families, by guaranteeing over 40 cultural attractions and expositions on art and traditions in Mexico. However, as people normally say at the hotel: "Do it all...or simply do nothing." Choose from a list of diverse activities such as strolling through the lush gardens at the resort, enjoying the sun while lying on a hammock, or taking a refreshing swim in one of the resort's five pools or private beach. Anti-stress remedies at the resort are endless. Regardless of how you plan each day at the resort, the hotel's choice of culinary selections is designed to satisfy the demands of every kind of guest. With 10 bars, including the one at the club, and 11 restaurants, guests have the freedom to choose a snack, an informal meal, a gourmet feast or a candlelight dinner, among many other options. The key to this resort is balancing between modern facilities and the marvelous Mexican rainforest that is filled with stunning local wildlife. Entertainment, relaxation and nature coexist at the Occidental at Xcaret Destination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel
Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret
Grand Flamenco Xcaret
Xcaret Grand Occidental
Occidental Xcaret
Hotel Xcaret
Xcaret Playa Del Carmen
Grand Xcaret Occidental
Xcaret Hotel
Grand Occidental Xcaret

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