Just back after two weeks (7th to 21st May) at the OGX and would happily return if we managed to get such a good deal again. We travelled with British Airways Holidays and given that we had a connecting domestic flight included in the price to LGW the whole thing was excellent.
We transferred from the airport with Amstar which was better coming back than going - our transfer took 3 hours from the airport to the hotel due to waiting for late guests and dropping off at other hotels. On the return the very comfortable coach arrived bang on time, only picked up OGX guests and was straight to the airport in less than an hour. Raul at the Amstar desk in the hotel was very helpful when I went to see him about our return transfer and seemed keen to get feedback from his clients and take note of any problems or suggestions that he could improve on for future guests. Taxi transfer if available on your booking form online may not be that much more expensive he told me so look out for it on booking or ask if its an option. Excellent service - thanks Raul!
We can only compare this hotel to the Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal in Playacar which we have stayed in twice before and quite honestly it was only the food that wasn't up to the same standard - however the OGX was half the price so that's no surprise.
GROUNDS & GARDENS
The star of this hotel must surely be its wonderful grounds which are full of exotic plants, animals, birds and butterflies. Its beautifully kept and very tidy and a joy to walk around when you need some relief from total relaxation. The people who use the little trolley bus are missing out on a lot of areas like the ruined temple at the beach and the interesting old church and temple ruins in the centre of the jungle area. I expected to have a long walk to the lagoon given what previous posts have said and I meant to count the steps just to prove how short a walk it actually was from our block to the beach restaurant but quite honestly you'll find out for yourself when you visit and explore...and if you don't explore then shame on you!
Our room was perfectly clean and comfortable with the quietest air con we have ever had and a good sized bathroom with walk in shower and big towels which can be changed as often or as little as you feel necessary depending on how much you care about the environment. The same for the beds - you can asked to have them changed or use the bedding for more days depending on what suits you and I have to say that we found the bed VERY comfortable, cool and clean and the pillows were very good too.
We visited the Oriental, Steak House and Seafood restaurants (this last one on two occasions because we felt it was the best food with the nicest location) but the buffet at the beach for breakfast and lunch was excellent although the main buffet at dinner was hit and miss. The booking system for the speciality restaurants is annoying because often there are only very early or late times available so we missed out on more visits than we were entitled to. Note to Sandra Alcazar - its only little things that are annoying like no cucharas or cucharitas at breakfast in the beach buffet, (and then having to ask every day for them) running out of plates at dinner in the main buffet, having to wait for wine or water in the main buffet (one night we only had one glass of wine delivered throughout the meal!) The noise from the loud music in the Theatre during dinner in the buffet was so loud it spoiled our meal on two occasions in the buffet (and also once in the Oriental restaurant) because we were sitting near the door - they even shut the door to drown the noise but it didn't help!
But these are only small annoyances and although the dinner food wasn't brilliant we usually found something to eat which was fine because we always ate well for breakfast and lunch.
POOLS & Lagoon
The quiet pool was just that - blissfully quiet with no annoying music blaring out to spoil your snooze. However we chose to sit at the beach area during the first part of the day and the top tier where the swinging mattresses were was usually empty and uncrowded unlike the area by the water which was very congested. It would be nice if the music could be edited to cut out the offensive lyrics which some parents of children would hope their offspring wouldn't repeat in company - if you have been and heared it you'll know what I'm talking about! (Its the SHOTS song!!)
Noisy and dirty - give it a miss!
Usually with a smile and usually more than adequate but on occasions it was lacking. Not sure if that was due to undertrained and overworked staff or some who just didn't like their job but on the whole we were happy and staff seemed friendly. Best waiter must go to Adrian in the Beach restaurant who made our breakfast and lunch visits excellent when we managed to be seated in his area. Best waitress - Mariela in the main buffet who should be training other staff to work as efficiently as she does - and do it with a lovely smile. Wilson and his team in the Quiet Pool bar kept us topped up nicely thank you! There were many others too numerous to mention who did their jobs very well. Spare a thought for the girl who sweeps the decking at the beach or the gardeners who keep the grounds looking so nice and thank them with a dollar - they are not in the front of the queue when it comes to tips but they all work hard to make the place look beautiful.
I was dismayed to find that no-one asked me to complete any sort of feedback form on check out as I would have preferred to feedback directly to the management rather than hope they read my review and I even asked for Sandra Alcazar who nobody had heard of so I am assuming she works at Head Office somewhere out there?? PM me Sandra - I would be happy to speak to you please.
Please help Maddie who works at the Barrakuda Dive Club to look after the environment. DON'T FEED THE FISH - it changes their behaviour, they cannot digest bread and its harmful to the environment because it stops them from feeding on the algae which is essential for healthy coral. Do not let your plastic (cups) go into the sea or those lovely turtles you want to see swimming in the ocean will cease to exist. They think plastic is jellyfish and will try to eat it and die! There are notices around the hotel but idiots ignore them (or just don't see them!) More should be done to educate guests as to why they need to take heed of not feeding the animals (and fish and other wildlife) You have been warned - if Maddie catches you, you will get a lecture and rightly so!
I would be happy to return to this hotel - in fact as I sit here looking at it snowing and its 2 degrees outside I might just book up for next year
- 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