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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #73 of 213 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Fife, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
160 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Excellent value for money”
Reviewed 23 May 2013

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.
TRANSFERS
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!
HOTEL
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!
ROOM
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.
FOOD
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!!)
Waterfall Pool
Noisy and dirty - give it a miss!
SERVICE
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.
CHECK OUT
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.
FINALLY
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

Room Tip: We stayed in Block 14 and liked the proximity to quiet pool, beach and buffet. I had emailed the hot...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank woodybark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Plymouth, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2013

We booked a cruise and stay with Virgin for 2 weeks this April. The hotel was well laid out and food and drink was varied and plentiful. The room we had was on the ground floor and spacious but because of the bushes and trees around the resort we found the room quite dark. Would have been better to have had a room upstairs with a bit of a view and a bit lighter. The man made inlet where the beach is situated makes it a lovely place to swim as there is no beach on the coast, only rocks to climb over and the waves crash over these making it very rough. The park next door (Xcaret) was fantastic and we got 2 free tickets to enter the park for a day. We booked several trips which were all good days. We went swimming with dolphins, zip wiring and rapelling. We also visited some of the Mayan sites and managed to climb the one at Coba. Our 2nd week was a cruise in the Gulf of Mexico and although we enjoyed the days at shore we felt there were too many days either transferring or at sea so wouldn't do the cruise again but would definately go to Mexico again.

Room Tip: Maybe ask if you could get an upstairs room so the room would be lighter and have a better view.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Karen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancaster, California
Level Contributor
53 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2013

We spend 2 weeks at The Grand Xcaret resort and it was very enjoyable, located in the midst of the Yucatan jungle. The entrance was very impressive with a huge thatched roof foyer with tile flooring and open to the elements.

We were in Bldg 22, which is about a 10 minute walk from the Lobby and Buffet and the same distance from the Beach area. If you need assistance in getting around there is a very frequent trolley service provided.

We thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the Xcaret especially the local wildlife that wandered the area, from Squirrel Monkeys, kotimundy and capybaras, along with numerous birds.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank hi-desertraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peoria, Illinois, United States
Level Contributor
86 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2013

The resort is about 45 minutes away from the Cancun airport. We arrived at the resort about 1PM and were immediately greeted with a strawberry margarita and whisked to check-in. The rep advised us that we could not check in until 3. We were given our all-inclusive bracelets so we went and had lunch. The concierge kept all of our luggage for us. We went back to the lobby around 245 and were told that our room was not ready. We waited until 4pm until they told us our room was ready and gave us the keys. We were tired, hot, and did not have access to our luggage as the front desk told us that they would deliver it to our room. When we arrived at our room the cleaning lady was in there and told us it would not be ready for another 45 minutes and to go have lunch. We already had lunch and countless drinks while we waited. All I wanted was to get in my swimsuit and jump in the pool. At around 5pm we were finally allowed into our room but our bags did not arrive for another 30 minutes. Not a great way to start our vacation. We had been traveling since 2am that morning. On a lighter note, the food was great at the buffett. We only stayed 4 nights so we were only allowed access to the ala carte restaurants for 2 nights. The Royal Club clients have first access to the reservations so our choices were VERY limited. We booked the Italian restaurant with an 830p reservation. The food was terrible! My husband was given raw chicken. Not just undercooked but raw. I ordered the rib-eye cooked medium and if too was so rare I could not eat it. The next night we ate at the Seafood restaurant at 930p. This was our last night and the best dining experience we had. The restaurant was located on the beach and there was a beautiful breeze. The food was spectacular! This dinner, although very late, made up for a lot. We were very disappointed with the beach area. It was a small man made cove and not really a beach. The pools, however were very large and nice.

Room Tip: I am not sure how much extra it is to join the Royal Club but they seem to get all of the amenities.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Amanda Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2013

The Occidental is situated in a beautiful archaeological area of Mayan Mexico - waterfalls through the hotel, Iguana's walking with you - sun bath with you on the rocks :-)
My room was surrounded by trees and wildlife and within the building also. The hotel it self is immaculate kepted clean the staff are superb especially Orlando & Alexander from Guest Services, Irma & Eduardo from Sports and Entertainment.

In general the sports and entertainment were excellent - they presence was definitely up-lifting, even when few people attended activities there were still motivating ;-)

My trip was solo and I felt safe all the time - definitely a brilliant place to recuperate and relax

Room Tip: Specify what type of room you would like - some buildings are near the main reception and that's...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Rehila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 23 May 2013

Of my 4 vacations to Mexico, this was my favorite resort. It's connection to the Xcaret theme park, so we could walk there whenever we wanted. The staff were excellent, rooms were great, food was good (especially the late-night pizza bar.) Also, this was the best hotel beach I've ever seen. The beautiful carved-out cove makes swimming safe, rock-free, and picturesque.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Colleen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2013

We stayed at the Occidental X caret from May 2 to May 13, 2013 in the Royal Club. When getting to the airport be very careful you don't talk to anyone about excursions and such we lost $100, because it was a timeshare thing. Our ride was about an hr from the airport. When we got to the resort we were greeted right away and taken to our "special check in spot" we were then upgraded to a different suite for free. We were suppose to have sparkling wine upon arrival but didn't when I asked they said there was a fee for it. The room was a junior suite. It was spacious and very clean. The bathroom was marble- very nice.

The royal club restaurant was AMAZING!!! Best food on the resort by far. I think if we just had to eat the buffet for 10 days we would have gotten bored of it. It gets very repetitive but still very good food! They try very hard with themes and decorating. There were 5 a la cartes. The fish and pasta restaurants were our least favorite and we love fish! The best was the Mexican- huge portions- so skip the salad bar.

The ground were VERY well kept and beautiful. No complaints there.

The Beach was relaxing but if you like a long stretch of beach (like I do) this is not the place for you. I really missed it. We had heard about the "secret" beaches up the coast so ventured out there but they really are not that great. First you have a rocky hike on the coast that can be very dangerous and the beach isn't kept- so it's hard to swim and lay your towel down. I also have to say that when I go on vacation I love to pick up sea shells. They are NO sea shells here. We also went to the beach in Playa del Carmen and Tulum and none. I think it's because of the coral reef and they get smashed against them- not sure.

We spent most of our time at the pool bar :)

The only upside to the royal club was the extra food options and the quiet pool at night time. We would sit in there and drink champagne alone. :)

No towel art from our housekeeper- even though we tipped her well EVERYDAY! :(

While we were there we booked a few excursions.
1) Catamaran To Tulum: Amazing scenic view- I highly recommend this! When we got to Tulum we had some time to spend on the beautiful beach and then went on a walking tour of Tulum. Our guide was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot!

2)Cenotes and Snorkeling with the Sea Turtles/Akumal Bay- By Ocean Tours.
This was by far my favorite! We snorkeled in cenotes (caves) and then took a ride to Akumal Bay where we swam to the coral reef and snorkeled with Sea Turtles! It was amazing. They were so cute and BIG! Bring money though so you can buy the pictures their photographer takes throughout the day.

3) Xcaret Park: It was next door so we decided to do this over 2 days. It only took us 1 day. It is really big but are able to do it in one day. Not my favorite by far but definitely worth taking a look at.

We took a Cab in to Playa (fifth ave) and did some shopping. (Always negotiate the rate before) Cost us 115 Pesos each way from the Hotel. There is an actual store there were you can get souvenirs and at a fair price and no one harassing you to come into their shop. They were all really nice in the shops and I did take a peak in a few but after awhile I just couldn't take the harassing. I did get some amazing deals but you need to be firm and patient. Don't be afraid to walk away and say "I'll think about it" they will take your offer!

First time to Mexico and although I enjoyed it- Cuba is still my ultimate favorite!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Becky J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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