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“Loved It”

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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #70 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
grand flamingo
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Loved It”
Reviewed 19 March 2007

we have just arrived back from this hotel and we loved it the staff were friendly and service was impecable,the hotel was well maintained and staff worked so hard everyday keeping it clean.the food was lovely my kids always had plenty to choose from and always went back for more the main buffet was always a diffrent theme and the palce and staff would be dressed to suit .you have to make the effort to have breakfast at the beach bar buffet looking over the sea beautiful.thhe pools were great if you want complete peace best not settle at the beach bar as can get pretty rowdy(we has spring breakers when we were there and they were tooooooo loud we decided to move to the beach for a bit of quite and there was 30 or so there to we had them for 2 days and were very glad when they dissapered.the kids club was great the ladies were great with the kids the pool was a god send for my 2 yr old she was allowed to spend as much time as she wanted there my other daughter also loved it and made a few good friends there was lots to do and she went in when she wanted.thet do a show called cats it was fantastic if you have kids let them join in I was so pround.the room was fine we were in building 19 only prob was we had ajoining rooms on the top floor with a buggy and all kids stuff was a bit of a pain but then again it kept us fit.we didnt have much of a view ie pools but we had lovely trees with loads of birds and lizzards to watch and it was peaceful.the room was cleaned to a very high standard and fridge always restocked.xcaret was brill we spent 2 days there we only had to pay 10 dollers for 5 of us to return the show was great the storkling was great well worth a vist give yourself plenty of time!!the beach was better then I thought I had read that it was small but it was bigger than the pics I had seen it was over levels with loads of beds (too many in places)and lots of wonderful swing beds very romantic the sea was lovely loads of fish for the kids to find also join in the vollly ball etc good fun,the train was a godsend at times when really hot.We overall would recomend this hotel the setting was beautiful the way it was all open was lovely (be careful if it rains can be very dodgy) the parrots round the resort were lovely as was all the wildlife we saw.oops forgot don't forget to go to 5th ave lovely we went when it was overcast and the beach was lovely too 10 $ each way they also ahve a walmart which was very handy when we ran out of nappies and baby milk!!!!
if you are due to go her you are so lucky we want to go back we live in england and came home to wet windy cold weather you will enjoy it but don't forget your tipping money!!

  • Liked — clean
  • Disliked — top floor
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank seashell-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sainte-Therese, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2007

My husband, teenage daughter and I spent a wonderful week at the GOFX (March 5 - 12). It was our first time in Mexico and it was fabulous. The resort is huge and we got lost a few times at the beginning. The staff is very friendly and easy to communicate with. Our room was located in Building 11, next to the lobby. The room was very comfortable with lots of closet space and the shower is awesome. The safe in the room is free of charge and internet is also available from your room for US$20 a week.

We made reservations to the A la Carte restaurants upon our arrival. We tried the Mediterranean (Los Olivos) and the Seafood. Both were very good. The main Buffet offers a lot of food variety with a different theme every night. There is also a kids section (pasta, pizza, french fries) for finicky eaters. We also enjoyed breakfast and lunch at the Beach Buffet. The salsa and guacamole were tremendous especially with the nachos. All in all we all liked the food. In fact, my husband and I gained at least 5 pounds during the week.

The drinks are great! The bartenders are very generous with the alcool. The "Miami Vice" was a popular choice. If you like shooters, Carlos at the swim up bar is the best. He is very creative when it comes to shooters. He can make the Mexican flag... very strong but tasty. However, if you wish to stay sober, I don't recommend sitting at the swim up bar for a long period of time.

We took advantage of our pass to the Xcaret Park next door. Great bonus! Unfortunately, we did not get to see everything in one day partly because it rained most of the afternoon. We went back to the hotel and returned for the night show. It was spectacular.

All in all we loved everything about this resort and would definately go back in a heartbeat!

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — Cannot think of anything!
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank MYRIAM T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryland
Level 4 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 March 2007

We just returned last night from a very lovely week at this relaxing resort. We are NOT all-inclusive/cruise type travellers,,,but thought we would give it a try for something different. It was extremely relaxing!
The grounds are spacious with lush vegetation. Everything is scrupulously clean -- the pool, the dining establishments, rooms, common areas and fitness facility. The food was excellent. I was impressed with all of the local foods I was able to try -- especially the seafood. They had the standard foods available for the well-done meat and potatoes crowd as well.
The staff was friendly and welcoming. We enjoyed our Building 18 -- it was right outside the Fun Club desk and close to lobby and there was a short-cut to the beach -- walk behind the flamingos on the nature path and snake around the quiet pool.
Regarding the comments about the musty damp rooms -- bring some benadryl along I did hear a few folks coughing in the next room. It is a humid part of the world-- nothing really dries completely (towels). We rented a car at the hotel lobby desk (highly recommended) for $85/day and saw Tulum and Coba (loved Coba). Went into PDC for an evening which was fun.
It was so much nicer than what I had anticipated after reading some of the comments on this board!

  • Liked — Friendly staff....
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank flufffluff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sellersburg, IN
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2007

Tip # The Grand Concierge or Deluxe Romance package is not worth more than $100 pp. Don't get us wrong, it is a lovely package but we paid $400+ and were a bit disappointed by the promised service. We were to have a guaranteed garden/ pool view room - our room was more of a garden/tennis court view. Plus almost all the rooms are already garden/pool view because of the nature of the resort. Additionally, we assumed when we arrived to the room our basket of fruit/chocolate dipped strawberries and champagne would be waiting for us -- not the case. We had to call the front desk and found out it doesn't get delivered until 6-8 pm your first night. The champagne was cheap and the fruit did not have a good presentation. On a good note however, the massage was fabulous and the dinner at the Royal Club was a nice change from the resort restaurants. But again, not worth our $400.

Tip #2 On your first day at the resort, a good way to get oriented is to pick up a shuttle that goes around the resort. These run all day long and pick up everywhere. It will help you in getting acquainted. Additionally, if you enjoy bike riding, check the activities board for the scheduled session. A fun club staff member will take you around the resort and point out areas of interest.

Tip #3 If you enjoy mixed drinks, try "Ticket to Ride". My husband loved this drink.

Tip#4 Don't even try snorkeling in the beach front when it is windy. You more than likely will not be able to see any fish. Take a calm day, and you can see tons of beautiful fish! Great snorkeling.

Tip #5 Invest in your own snorkel gear and bring it with you. You can use it at the resort and in XCARET park. This will save you lots of money in both places.

Tip #6 Take the time to see the evening shows in the main auditorium. They are quite entertaining. They generally start at 9 p.m. and run through 10 p.m.

Tip #7 Book the AllTournative Trip to Coba. Well worth money especially for adventure loving people. Zip line in the jungle, canoe in a natural lake, rappel into a Cenote, eat Mayan food, and climb to the top of Coba. NOTE: We originally planned on going to Chichen-Nitza (sp.?) but we talked into this trip by the XCARET travel rep. on site at the resort. He informed us that Coba was closer, you could no longer climb to the top of Chichen-Nitza, and would experience many more things.

Tip #8 There will be a person who sits at a desk in the lobby of your unit. They will want to give you a "welcome" package when you arrive. Be aware, they want to try and sign you up for breakfast to listen to a time-share offer at Royal Club. But we didn't find them pushy at all. We just said we were not interested and didn't here anymore from them.

Tip #9 There are a total of 3 pools. Two of these pools are quite noisy and have music played all day. The other one near building #14 is the quiet pool - we didn't figure this out until our 2nd to last day.

Tip #10 If you bring travelers checks you may have difficulty cashing them except for in the hotel. A couple of times, we were unable to use it for a purchase. We actually exchanged for pesos for often than we thought we would do. Make sure to research the exchange rate before you go to make sure you are getting a good deal.

Tip #11 Do not believe it if an employee says "it will cost you XX amount for XXX" I ran into this a couple of times. The first time I encountered this was when I attended the free tennis clinic. I had a wonderful time but at the end of the session the staff member told me it would be $10 if I decided to come back a 2nd time. At first I really believed him. But then I got smart and called the front desk. They said "he is so funny. I'm sure he was joking," But I know he was not joking. I did return back and he didn't mention the money. Also, on a couple of occasions when exchanging towels the worker said "it will be $5 for a clean towel" and then I would just look at them --- then they would start laughing. I really think they are trying to pull a quick one on gullible guests. Be Aware.

Tip #12 The store prices at the hotel are very expensive compared to Playa Del Carmen prices. Take the time to go into town to shop. The cab ride is $10 each way and very well worth it. You can buy things for 1/2 the price. Make sure to bargain with the owner to get a cheaper price on the item. They will reduce it.

Tip #13 Really enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean Ocean. Nothing beats eating breakfast and lunch at the Beach Club with a wonderful view of the ocean and a cooling breeze.

  • Liked — Fun Club Activities
  • Disliked — Food quality was just "okay".
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
24 Thank Goem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Ontario
Level 4 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2007

We stayed at the Grand Xcaret Mar 7th through 14th. We were somewhat concerned about our booking because of some of the reviews we read on this site. Thankfully, our experience was very different. Also note that my husband and I were travelling with our 10 and 12 year old daughters.

I will preface this review by indicating that we decided to upgrade to the Royal Club (which is about $400 extra) when we booked. I am very pleased that we did so.

We booked through Air Canada Vacations and the transportation from the airport was fine. We were at the resort in a matter of minutes. Check in to the Royal Club was private and so we were escorted to this area of the resort immediately.

We were informed that our room had been upgraded from a deluxe to an amazing master suite. There was a huge, comfortable living room, private dining room, master bedroom with oversized king bed (which was very comfortable) and an amazing bath with huge shower and jacuzzi that was much enjoyed. Two televisions (rarely on) and dvd and cd player. Two balconies overlooked the Caribbean.

The housekeeping staff was wonderful. A well stocked mini bar daily, plenty of towels and turn down service.

The Royal Club also has private pools, room service, and a private dining area for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a dvd library and there are books to borrow if you wish. There is a concierge for the RC and a private shuttle.

We spent a good deal of time at the beach, but when the resort got crowded (and it did the second week) it was nice to have a private pool. (Please note though - we never had difficulty finding a preferred spot at the beach) Additionally, the Royal Club Restaurant was convenient for the 1st night (when we had no other reservations) We went back a second time for dinner because the dining was quite exceptional. We ate lunch and breakfast there once, which was lovely (outdoors is nice - on their patio). Although we did not eat there a majority of the time, it was nice to know that the Royal Club was available - no reservation required.

We had no difficulty in booking any restaurants for dinner. We got the restaurant we wanted, when we wanted it through our concierge. The food at each of these restaurants was quite good and we had a most enjoyable experience at each of them. In the end, we preferred La Hacienda and El Pescador for both the food and atmosphere.

Breakfast and lunch were more frequently had at the Beach Club. The buffet was well prepared and tastey - not the best food I'd ever eaten - a little bland to appeal to the wide variety of patrons - but fresh and good. Always something to satisfy. Although I do not like eggs much, my daughters and husband enjoyed a fresh omlet prepared to order each morning. Those complaining about the food I think are apt to be unhappy people in general. They certainly didn't look hard enough for something they liked (and they didn't have to look hard) and the staff was always extremely accommodating if you wanted something a little different or spicier etc. You just have to ask. We didn't bother because we were very satisfied, but saw others who did, and staff was very helpful.

The grounds were impecable. Lovely to stroll around. Some complained about the walking, but we were glad to get some exercise. The Royal Club is in a rather secluded area, so anywhere else on the grounds was a bit of a hike (5 minutes?) Hardly tough work.

The gym was well equipped. It was clean and uncrowded. My daughters got their hair braided at the spa ($40 each - we knew we could get it done much cheaper in Playa - but the job was good and has lasted well).

As others have indicated, Xcaret Park is not to be missed.

Our time was spent at the beach. Other reviews have described it and we concur that it was small but lovely. Great snorkelling. We really enjoyed painting pottery during the noon heat. Not to be missed.

We spent an overcast afternoon in Playa del Carmen on the 5th Avenue (and area) strip. Best buys are at the drugstore/variety store where you are dropped of by taxi. Do barter polietly.

The girls really enjoyed swimming with the dolphins at Delphinius, but note that it is really expensive ($150 each, plus $100 more if you wanted the dvd, photo disc and a couple of prints) but they had the time of their lives and I guess we paid for it accordingly....

The staff at the resort was across-the-board amazing and accommodating. They were not searching for tips, but were gracious when given. I get the feeling that the service would have been the same with or without tips. We tipped $2 day for housekeeping, $1 or $2 for breakfast/lunch service and $10 for dinner. We always had random $1s around for other services. Jose at the beach bar got $5 in the morning for a day of great service.

Some guests were amazingly boorish. I found most staff spoke excellent english (and french) and were gracious with my terrible attempts at spanish. Some fellow decided he would barter in pigeon english with the painter on the beach - "I give you three dollies for this - Only three dollies" What an idiot. Staff never lost their composure.

We were never asked about timeshares.

All in all this was a restful and lovely vacation. I recommend the Grand Xcaret highly.

  • Liked — Friendliness of staff
  • Disliked — Disrespectful, demanding "guests"
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
14 Thank KCOOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2007

I cannot see what anyone finds to complain about at this hotel.
The staff were very friendly and professional. (although some peoples attitudes to them left a lot to be desired) We never had to wait to be served with drinks - on the beach they were taking your orders for the next drink before you had finished your current one!!!!
The gym was fantastic - and if you want to imporve tennis then book a lesson with the tennis pro - Manuel - he was so friendly and certainly helped us improve our game.
The whole holiday experience was superb - no compalints.
Food was lovely and such a variety. The location of the Beach Club restaurant was stunning - thought we were in paradise.
Everything was so clean and no problems from mosquitos.

We will be returning in 2008!!

If you want a great day - do the sea life plus tour to Dolphin Discovery - swim with manatees, meet a sea lion and swim with dolphins.

If you are going to this hotel please say hello to the ginger and white cat - who is seen around the Beach Club buffet.

Stayed March 2007
Helpful?
11 Thank ChubsNorwich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2007

We got back from the Occidental Grand Xcaret on March 10, 2007 and I have to say, this place was absolutely fabulous. We have never been to Mexico and we were a little nervous reading all the reviews of the hotels but I have to say, I did not have one complaint about this place. This might be because we are not that picky, nor do we have anything to compare it to as this was out first Mexico trip.
One thing we did read ahead of time was to try and avoid Building 12. Sure enough, that is the building everyone we talked to, including us, were originally assigned to. We had that changed before we even checked in. We ended up with room 21228 which is in Building 21. This room was excellent. Very clean, excellent view of one of the pools and very well cleaned every day (the little gifts we left the maid probably helped).
The beach was a little small but we knew that going in. It was still nice to swim in and snorkel a bit, and we never had a problem getting a lounger. I guess the good thing about this beach was that there were no peddlers or people trying to sell you stuff like we read at other places. All the pools were excellent and everyday there were staff trying to get people to participate in the activities. The swim up bar was kid of neat, but one precaution, WATCH YOUR STEP when you first swim up, there is a rise in the pool floor that all of us slipped on the first time. All the bartendres were great, expecially the ones at the pool bar. These guys provided the most entertainment of them all. And, the girls serving drinks were always coming around asking if we wanted more. There was always enough loungers at the pools as well, even though the place was overbooked for Friday.
The restaurants were also excellent. There were a couple of meals on the a la carte menus that I wouldn't order again just because they didn't meet my flavor preferences. We ate at all the a la cartes except for the Oriental one. The seafood restaurant is a nice little restaurant that overlooks the beach and carribean. The salmon dish at this restaurant was excellent. The main buffet always had good food as well as the lunch buffet by the main pool. Paco's Tacos is a nice place to get snack type food as well. Book your a la cartes as soon as you can after arriving as you may not get the time slots you would want. The safood place is smaller than the rest so I suggest working around that one as it fills up quickly.
Lastly, the evening entertainment was just that, entertaining. The first part of every show had some of the guests playing various games that that emcee was thinking up. The rest of the show consisted of some great song and dance themes. Unfortunately the day we were leaving was the day they were going to perform the show on the water at the beach.
Playa del Carmen is only a $10 cab ride each way and 5th Avenue was something that everyone should do.
We would definitely go back to this place and recommend this place.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — A little too secluded from everything else
  • Stayed March 2007, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank CanadaBubbaBoy
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
#45 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#47 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#50 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#77 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Occidental at Xcaret Destination 4.5*
Number of rooms: 764
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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