Occidental Grand Xcaret
Carretera Federal Chetumal Km. 282, #307
Puerto Juarez, Q.Roo MX, 77710 MX
Phone: +1-52-984-871 5400
Pools: 5 Pool Areas
Fitness Center: Yes
Day Spa: Yes
Occidental Grand Xcaret
Occidental Grand Xcaret Reviews
The exotic and luxurious and All-Inclusive Occidental Grand Xcaret is a 769 room resort and the only one adjacent to the famous eco-archeological Xcaret Park in the Playa del Carmen area. The Occidental Grand Xcaret has an expansive subterranean river which forms canals through the resort’s pathways, allowing the resort to blend in nicely within this exotic natural setting. It is surrounded by Mayan ruins, exotic tropical forest and natural wild life.
The Occidental Grand Xcaret has a Large Free-Form pool that meanders through the resort forming 5 Pool areas, with different themes, swim-up bars, and chaise lounges for sunbathing. This large Playa del carmen resort has 11 dining venues and 10 bars.
769 Rooms with 2 doubles or 1 king bed, 1 Large Free-Form pool forming 5 Pool areas, Children’s Pool, 11 Restaurants, 10 Bars, Swim-up bar, Adults-Only Jacuzzi, Pool grill, Day Spa, Fitness Center, Activities program, Tennis Courts, Watersports, Golf nearby.
"Two of us stayed the last week of March. After reading some of the previous reviews, we were prepared for the worst. We found that most of the negative posts may have been isolated problems or them never having been on a vacation in Mexico before. First of all this is Mexico, things are going to be different. Some good, some not so good. As far as the restaurants go, reservations are no longer necessary. There are peak times that you may want to avoid, but going before or after will make your experience much more pleasant. They still prefer shoes over sandals, but shorts are tolerated. The food is excellent, but there are no Asians cooking in the Oriental or no Italians in the Los Olivos. Take that with a grain of salt. Tipping will get you very far, especially the ones that do your room. The refrigerator will stay well stocked,and there will be pleasant little surprises every day. They must have changed beer vendors, since Dos Equis is now the beer on tap. The beach is nice, although it is very crowded in the afternoon. The pools are awesome, but they too have limited lounge chairs. Get there early and reserve your space by leaving towels and such on the chairs that you prefer. The time-share people are part of life at all resorts. Being an owner, what was to be a scheduled to be a survey, was actually an attempt to up sell us. They are smooth. Just say no and do it with authority. All in all, this resort was an excellent experience for us. The people sitting around the pools are usually friendly if you take the initiative to say something to start a conversation. We met some very nice people from 5 different countries in the week that we stayed. The only thing that would keep us from coming back is that there are so many other places to experience." – Keith from Bismarck, North Dakota
"We will never gonna go back! Me and my family and my friends (20+ people) went there for Thanksgiving break. We stayed in bldg #12. Yes, it was very convenient because all buffet and restaurants were close by. BUT for my 9 month old son it was way too loud all night long. Service! Lobby ppl don’t move a finger. We needed a crib for baby (we checked-in around 2 pm), they told us they will bring it. By 8 pm I still didn’t have any crib in my room. We called 2 times for it. Room service wasn’t great too. I had none for two day, had no water and towels. When I called at 7 pm and asked why, they weren’t surprised at all. Told me they will clean it tommorow. We stayed with a lot of kids and we always needed a high chairs! You can wait for days for it! You can ask every server, he’s gonna tell you ‘just a moment’ and disappear. On a tables, if you have coffee–you have no cups; have cups–no coffee. The Beach was good, but a little be too small. Last thing: my friend asked where is the restroom once and the answer was – “go do you thing in a pool”!!!!!! I will never gonna come back. Too bad we have such little time off for vacation, pay so much money (Grand Xcaret wasn’t the cheapest) and get such a poor experience."
– Dina from Boston, Mass.
"We came to stay 7 nights at the Occidental Xcaret Resort the last week of April for our honeymoon. We were greeted with smiling pineapple drinks and quick check-in service. Our building’s concierge greeted us and showed us to our room where he invited us to a special breakfast and a tour of the resort, We accepted. Don’t fall for it. It’s a vacation rental seminar, unless your interested. With our stay we had unlimited reservations but didn’t realize that you need to make all your reservations as soon as you get there as most days were booked up. We were able to make it to 2 restaurants. The Mediterranean restaurant was delicious but the second restaurant we got into the Asian restaurant, the flavors were all wrong it was like eating Mexican food that looked like Asian food. We did get to enjoy a private romantic dinner by the beach on the deck of the fish restaurant as part of the romance package we bought for our honeymoon. Unfortunately we are both allergic to shellfish which was the most of the menu, they did their best to compensate for our allergies and did great. The bars had a standard selection. Some bartenders were better than some and we were sure to compensate those that went above and beyond. The resort is large and spread out so be prepared to walk a lot, witch I didn’t mind. There’s lots of vegetation, deer and interesting cat size rodents and actually little kittys witch are really cute and friendly. !!ATTENTION HERE!!——The pool and beach seating gets taken up early that is why we woke up at 6 am on our last full day to catch a hanging bed by the beach. We arrive at the beach at 6:30am and grab an EMPTY hanging bed there are no towels or anything on it. We lay out our towels and start enjoying and napping. Then we were attacked by an older European couple. Keep In mind this is 9:30 am and there was no drinking involved as the beach bar doesnt open till 10am. There was some arguing and confusion on our part as we didn’t understand their language nor why they were attacking us. They tried dragging us off by our towels then assaulted us physically multiple times and we tried to protect ourselves. There was a beach full of witnesses that came up to us saying they say the whole thing happen and that the other couple was completely in the wrong for their actions. Unfortunately there was no security or staff in sight, or I’d hope they come running to our screams. We are not violent people and do not condone violence. The situation could have been avoided all together if there was proper security in the beach area. We were escorted to the lobby where the told us we needed to go to the police station. We contacted the American embassy were we were told to make a deal with them at all cost to avoid going to jail. This was also suggested by the hotel staff. So even though we did not start the fight but merely protected our selves we were still forced to pay this couple $700 us dollars. You could see how this could ruin anyones day as well as our honeymoon. The hotel staff was not going to permit either couple to stay at the resort but, bend the rules since we were departing in the morning. Either way we did not feel safe to stay and tried to contact our travel agency to switch us to another resort with out added cost, since we had to spend all the money we had left paying off these violent guests. We contacted the hotel manager to expresses our concerns with the security and he basically said that they are not able to have security all over the grounds. I would think that if you have such a large resort and so many guest you would work on being better staffed. We enjoyed our stay there up till this incident and our purpose of this review is to make people aware that if you are in another country self defense is not allowed and you should just take the beating or be prepared to go to jail or pay up. We really hope that this never happens at this resort or any, for it’s not the resorts fault for having violent guests, but merely how they handled it. If there was just one guard on staff at the beach the whole incident would have been broken up before it was too late. "
– Drea from Seattle, Washington
"ROOM: We had room 31206, which is a jr. suite at the Royal Club. The room was the equivalent of a large one-bedroom condominium minus the kitchen. The room was pretty and well decorated with two balconies. The mini fridge worked sometimes, the balcony sliding doors had some problem locking, and lighting was not great. They forgot to put an umbrella in the room." – Leo from San Diego, California
"Enjoyed our vacation. This was our 2nd visit and we found that the time-share sales person was very annoying. Each day he would be after us to spend time on a tour. We will not return until we are sure to be left alone to enjoy our vacation." – Lloyd from Calgary, Canada
"Loved, loved, loved it. Great selection of alcohol, very friendly staff, food Ok, room always cleaned daily, always treated like a King. Saying please and thank you go a long way with Mexicans. Always tipped but never pressured. Try it, it’s good for your heart. Made many friends with guests and staff. One night, no pool que tip. Moaned. Two minutes later one arrived. Beach fantastic. Been 3 times, never had two bob bits. A holiday what u make it. I hate complainers. Very level headed guy. The O G X is a wonderment. Can’t wait to go back in April." – “Chicken George” from London, England
"I traveled with my son and daughter-in-law and asked for adjoining rooms, which we didn’t get…I didn’t want to be away from them because I was alone. On the 3rd night there was a loud altercation in the hall so I opened the door to see what was going on…there was a security guard and four or five other people arguing in the hallway. After they quieted down and entered their room they continued to argue and tried to enter my room. I tried to call the front desk but the phone didnt work! We eventually got both rooms moved to another building…My daughter-in-law became ill with stomach cramps and severe diarrhea and was so ill she couldn’t leave her room. UNFORTUNATELY all three of us came down with severe diarrhea and stomach cramps! I have been so sick from the stomach cramping and diarrhea that I have not been able to leave my home since returning. I would not recommend this place to my worst enemy!" – Patti from Charleston, South Carolina
"Ok, I’ve been reading some of these reviews, and I’m sorry, but I need to correct some of the common ignorance that is out there. First off, stop complaining that there weren’t any straws – it’s an ECO resort people!!! Eco resorts, along with using all natural cleaners that won’t pollute the local wildlife, are barred from using straws – 10 million straws per year creates quite a mess, so they are doing the environment quite a big favor by not providing straws. Secondly, stop bitching about the “Man-made beach.” It appears to be man-made because it is a small little cove, but this little cove actually been there for thousands of years. For this reason, the Mayans built a temple that you can actually go into (unlike Tulum) right there on site. It is in fact the exact spot where a fresh water underground river dumps out and mixed with the sea – beautiful fish can be seen while you snorkel within this little cove, so stop bitching about the man-made beaches. Now, as with any type of service industry, you have some staff that are miserable and others who bust their butts for you. All of you bitching about being unable to get a drink are surely too friggin cheap to throw an extra buck or two to your waiter, because if you had you would have realized how far that little extra actually goes. If you can’t afford to tip, your broke ass shouldn’t be going on vacation, period. Just a bunch of whiny pissants here and on tripadvisor if you ask me; I had an awesome experience."
– Alex from Baltimore, Maryland
"First time to Mexico. The resort was amazing. There were 9 people in our group and we all had a great time. The staff were friendly, helpful, and always had smiles for us. I am a Celiac and travel in the past has had challenges with food. Not Here. The amazing chefs provided me with meals that were more than I could have expected. It was great not to live on rice cakes and peanut butter for the week. The hotel was so clean and well maintained, and the setting unbelieveable. Monkeys and Iguanas to watch from my balcony while having morning coffee. The were many things to do and see. All of the group I was with would return again (Some had been before) and we hope to next year. If you are looking for an adventure for your children (we had none with us) but we met some there and could see how amazing kids found it. Try It You will not be sorry."
– Sharon & Tim from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
"The only thing good about the resort was the park next door. spent 5 days there out of 7. Food cold, only served Corona beer, no beach only a man made cove with sharp rocks all over, broke 3 toes walking on their beach. Went with another couple and booked together and were split up."
– Mark & Lisa from Peshtigo, Wisconsin
"Service and pools excellent. Beds are like bricks and sheets are so hard they hurt my skin when it gets a wrinkle. Food is very good and all staff very friendly. The day we checked out we were supposed to get hospitality room and a safe to put valuables. They were so overbooked we didn’t get either. But they did give us an appointment at the spa to have a shower. But there were no outlets, couldn’t dry hair or curl it. Our shuttle didn’t come till midnight so would certainly have appreciated a hospitality room. When I got home, everything and I mean everything smells musty. How to get rid of that even in luggage, shoes, books, clothes, handbag and so on. EVERYTHING. Time-share people were not aggressive and much appreciated that. All in all a very good holiday and would consider coming back." – Elizabeth from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
"Just got back from the resort today and could not wait to write the review. My wife, son and I had a fabulous time at the resort.The staff was very accomdating and were very willing to go out of their way to make our stay a very positive experience. other reviews we read before we went talked about them bugging u to go to the timeshare presentation.we were aksed very politely 1 time and never asked again. not pushy at all.this resort has all a family needs from the young to the teens to the old.the food was the only down fall. could be a little bit better if they had just a few more options on the menue for the evening Dining. the breakfast and lunch buffet was always very good.some of the bars closed earlier than others but we never had a problem finding a drink.I would recomend if u stay request the first club or Royal club. the rooms are a little bit bigger.we met several people that were members who keep coming back year after year and have not a bad thing to say. Overall we cant wait to book our next trip to this resort." – Timothy from Collinsville, Oklahoma
"The resort itself was gorgeous, food was excellent, staff was friendly and helpful. It’s close to all the major tourist attractions, but I will never return and I do not recommend this resort to anyone. The staff from the Occidental Vacation Club will profile you relentlessly, even some of the staff that work on the resort will harrass you to attend the club’s presentation. We were duped. It’s a horrible feeling and although no one held a gun to our head, I completely believe we werw tricked and it’s truly not a good feeling. After declining several times, we were offered gifts and more just to sit in on their presentation and they would leave us alone for the rest of our holiday. After being extremely persistent we told them we’d think about it and decide once we got home. They explained to us that this deal would not be available once we got home and were assured we could cancel within a grace period and that if our financial situation changed or if we just wanted out. We could sell it back. We were rushed through the signing process and stupidly we signed without legal representation. Once home we read the contract and realized the things that were discussed in our meeting was not in our contract and we realized we were duked. We were given a number to call to cancel but were told there was only a 2 hour window in which to call. The line was always busy…we summed up our situation as a bad move and decided to suck it up. After reading a few other stories we realized we weren’t the only ones and decided to investigate to see if we had any other options. Do not go to this hotel or any other occidental hotel without knowing that these people will be present." – Kelley from Ontario, Canada
"We stayed at the Occidental Xcaret in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. This resort is called an all-inclusive and list 11 restaurants but you can only eat at 4 during a weeks stay. You cannot make dining reservations with out talking to the time-share people first. Web site very misleading and does not share everything. Will not stay again at this resort. We made airport transfers with the resort and could not get information on the return trip for 6 days of asking without sitting with the time-share people." – Susan from Salem, Oregon
"We are just back from the Occidental Grand Xcaret and we had an enjoyable stay. I read the reviews before we left and was prepared for the worst. It certainly was not BAD but there were things that could be improved. I will start with the PROS:
* The resort sits on 60 acres. It has lots and lots of walking trails – most of which are paved. The property is absolutely beautiful and the trails are very easy to walk and relaxing. There are shuttles running from very early to late at night so if you are not able to walk, that is no problem.
* There is a lot of wildlife on the property. We saw lots of iguanas, Brazilian raccoons, monkeys, birds, fish and turtles.
* There are Mayan ruins in several places throughout the property.
* The staff was very helpful and eager to please.
* Bars and restaraunts all around as well as beach/pool stations.
* Our room was cleaned well every day and our room refrigerator was stocked every day.
* We did not have our children with us but if we ever take them with us, the Occidental Grand Xcaret would be a good resort to take them to. They would like the trails and all the animals.
* We ate at 2 sit-down restaraunts while we were there and the food was absolutely DEVINE at both. They were Los Olives and the steak house (I dont remember its name.)
Now for the CONS:
* Every time you turn around a staff member is trying to sell you something. They really push the time-share thing hard and they try to sell you excursions too. We agreed to do the time-share presentation because for doing so, we got 2 tickets to Xcaret for $76. We were told it would only be 90 minutes but after 2-1/2 hours, I finally said we were NOT going to buy anything and the time was up. As soon as I said we were not going to buy, they were not nearly as friendly but allowed us to leave with our prize. As it turns out, we also won the one daily prize of a free week stay to come back. When we picked up our “prize” we realized that the “free” part was only the room and we must pay $85 per person per day for food and drink. What a JOKE!
* A big con for me was the food. It was nothing at all to brag about or to look forward to. Now the sit-down restaraunts were excellent but we were only allowed to go to two of them since we were only staying for 5 days. I am a big dessert fan but there were NO desserts AT ALL that I was interested in so I did not eat any the entire trip. There was just no WOW factor to the food at all. If you are looking for great food, this is not the resort for you.
* The sit-down restaraunt reservations fill VERY fast. Make your reservations AS SOON AS you can or you may not be able to get in. The one restaraunt that I wanted to eat at was El Pecador (the sea food restaraun) but we were not able to eat there because either it was booked or not open. There are only 3 sit-down restaraunts open per night. Going in, that was the ONE thing that I knew I wanted to do if I did nothing else. Well, I didn’t get to go there and I was – and still am – very disappointed about it.
Note: The beach is just a man-made inlet and is not on the coast. This is neither a pro nor a con for us. The beach was beautiful and there were plenty of fish to see while snorkling. The ocean beach was rocky but still had a beautiful view.
Overall, we had a nice stay at Occidental Grand Xcaret. It was enjoyable but it certainly did not have us wanting to go back instead of going someplace else."
– Kathy from Wentzville, Missouri
"This place was extremely disappointing. Felt like we got the bait and switch. The resort is in need of repair, the service was awful (couldn’t get packets of coffee for the in-room maker to save our lives). Had one server taste our drinks to see which was which. The same server rolled her eyes at us. Asked for Vodka and got Tequila, twice in 2 separate bars. No straws, no npakins and drinks were served with as lttle ice as possible. Couldn’t get reservations at the reserved restaurants even tho tables were empty. We felt forced to eat at the buffets which got tiresome. Gratuities were supposed to be included but if you don’t tip, your service will be marginal. On our last day, we asked to have our bags delivered to the lobby to catch the shuttle to the airport and no response. We had to haul our bags through the resort at 3:30am. We were never treated so rudely at a “5 star” resort before. We will not be back." – Sherri from Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
"Let me start off by saying that my husband and I travel quite a bit—at least once a year. We have been on many cruises and have visited many all-inclusive resorts around the Caribbean. After booking our trip (one week here from Feb. 4th to Feb. 11, 2012) we started reading reviews of this resort and I must say we were getting quite worried (more him than me). However, after arriving at the resort and spending the week there, we’d like to know what alternate/bizzaro universe the nay-sayer reviewers were in? They certainly weren’t in the resort we were at.
HOTEL: The hotel is really beautiful. It’s very large and yes, you have to walk (or take the little shuttle) everywhere but hey, get off your butts and get some exercise! If you have trouble getting around, this probably isn’t the resort for you. There are 10 restaurants and 11 bars and many pools and the beach area. All are basically spotless and there is always someone cleaning or sweeping something. The wildlife was amazing! We saw a deer (who almost knocked us over while crossing the road leading to the beach), coati mundi, agouti (you’ll have to look this one up but my best description is a groundhog-dog), spider monkeys (who we watched go thru the trees by the pool one day), iguana, and many other lizards. The birds were also amazing – pelican, heron (great white and great blue), little yellow birds, oriole, black birds with a blue back, and many many others.
ROOM: We were in room 22209 (Bldg 22, 2nd floor, room 09) and had the grand romance package which included a Junior Suite with king bed. From our balcony, which overlooked the putting green, we had an amazing view of the Caribbean Sea and Cozumel. The room was always immaculate and we didn’t have a problem with anything. Our fridge was always stocked with beer, soda and water. There is a wash towel (it’s used as decoration in the bathroom on the freebies) but I brought my own after reading earlier reviews. And the maid put little towel animals on our bed every day! (also where you’ll find wash towels). Every building has a Concierge. He’s there to oversee the housekeeping staff and attend to your needs (which I’ll get into shortly). Ours was Francisco and he was fantastic.
STAFF: After reading about the surly, miserable staff it was certainly a pleasure to find that each and every day you would pass or see a staff member – from the person sweeping up or raking leaves, to the security personnel, to the bar staff and wait staff and front desk personnel – and they would smile and wave and say “HOLA” or good morning, or good evening. Every day—every time. We did not see or experience one unhappy person. The entire staff was amazing and everyone would go out of their way to get you or bring you what you asked for. Our favorites (in no particular order) were Ruth Carillo, General Manager, Sarai, Wait Staff at the Lobby Bar, Antonio and Juan, bartenders at the Swing Bar (they move them around every 15 days so look for these guys, they are so much fun!), Francisco, our building concierge (we booked all of our restaurant reservations with him and had no problems. You don’t need to go to guest services – see your Concierge!) and all the rest of the staff we met but can’t remember your names! Bottom line is that you get treated on how you treat people.
FOOD: Like I said, there are 10 restaurants, we choose only two so I cannot comment on the others. Sonora Steak House; the meal was fabulous and you get your choice of several types of steaks. We chose the Rib Eye and it was very good. They have a salad bar and a dessert bar and your choice of side dishes. The ambiance is very nice as well. Pescator Seafood (at night the Beach Club becomes the seafood restaurant) We went here twice – once for dinner and once for our Grand Romance dinner. If you do not like seafood, this isn’t the place for you. The choices were many and varied. I had a shrimp cerviche which was fabulous and my husband had a shrimp cocktail which wasn’t bad (smaller shrimp in a tangy tomato sauce). For entrie, he had surf and turf (beef bourguignon and grilled shrimp) and I had lobster (spiny not New England) — which costs a little more but came with grilled shrimp and was fabulous. The desserts were also very good. The atmosphere is nice. It’s an open air restaurant overlooking the Caribbean Sea. We went several times to the Grand Buffet and it was always very good. They have theme nights so the food is varied and you can always find something you like. They have a carving station with different meats every night. The wait staff is great and they’ll get you whatever you need. For breakfast we either choose the Beach Club buffet overlooking the sea or the Grand Buffet. As with dinner and lunch the choices are varied and food is plentiful. Several days for lunch we went to the Snack Bar above the swim up bar (which is under a waterfall). Again, food is plentiful and varied and here you can get pizza or a hamburger (you have to ask the chefs behind the counter for the hamburgers as they don’t put them out but will make them for you).
ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment staff works very hard, long hours. They have activities going on all through the day and then they perform the shows in the theater at night. We didn’t participate in the activities but noticed that those who did were enjoying themselves. They have some contests during the day and if you are the winner you get a special hotel tee-shirt at the evening’s performance. The entertainment wasn’t bad (hey, it’s not Las Vegas) and it was entertaining. They had a disco (which we didn’t go to) so if you want to party until the wee hours, you can. There are also children’s activities during the day to keep them busy.
SPA: Our package included a 30 minute couple’s massage. We took advantage of this and were so relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards; we booked another hour massage for us both for the day before we left. I highly recommend this to anyone. If it’s not included in your package, book it anyway. The prices are really not that bad and it’s worth it to completely relax. The spa is beautiful and peaceful and VERY clean. We went a half hour early and used the Jacuzzi prior to our massages. They also have a steam room and a sauna for those so inclined. Can’t say enough about our two masseuses…they were great! (although I didn’t catch their names).
OVERALL: The resort was way beyond what we were expecting. We were very happy here and would go back again. I will recommend this resort to anyone that asks me for a recommendation on where to stay in the Riviera Maya. We had a very relaxing, fun, and enjoyable time there and I’d go back again (hopefully longer next time). While the resort is all-inclusive some people tend to think they should not tip. WRONG. I’m not saying you won’t get treated well if you don’t tip but a dollar or two doesn’t hurt. We always get to know and talk to the staff to ask inside questions. The bartenders only make approximately $125 every 15 days. Tips on top of that. The maids and other staff make less. That is NOT a lot of money any way you look at it. We tipped our maid well the first day and left a little bit every other day or so then tipped her well at the end of our stay. Our fridge was NEVER empty. She brought us beer every day. The room was immaculate every day. We tipped our bartenders well the first day and gave them a little more during the week and again, gave them some at the end. They were VERY appreciative. Same with the barmaids at the Lobby Bar. If you want to be treated well you have to treat them well (and I’m not talking about money). All in all the resort was Excellente!!" – Diana and Martin from West Deptford, N.J
"Before booking we looked at hundreds of reviews, some good some bad. We finally decided to book with Xcaret and were happy we did. After being here twice once in Aug 2011 and Oct 2011, I was very satisfied except for a few little gripes. After a few days the buffet became monotonus, wish they changed it up a little more and their coffee was the worst I’ve ever had, bring your own. Their staff were great and when you tipped awesome, a few bucks goes a long way. The rooms were clean the beds were comfortable enough although the first time we stayed the AC vent was full of mold but the took care of it. Another gripe no ocean-view except if you stayed at the Royal Club. Didn’t really matter that much because I wasn’t in my room enough to look for it, we had a blast the location was awesome if you like outdoor activities, we are not hard people to please I come from a poor family so I know what these people have to put up with, so for all those people with champagne taste and beer money stick with what youre used too dont pay for beer and expect champagne save up some more money." – Marland from Brockton, Massachusetts
"Occidental Grand XCARET all-inclusive. The travel books rated it 4 to 4.5 stars. They obviously never stayed there. I easily give this a 5-star. Anyone who has written a negative review of this place obviously never asked to have the problem fixed. We had an issue with our room when we first arrived. Instead of just fixing the problem they moved all our stuff to another room. They took care of the whole thing, moving us to another room. The staff were absolutely easy to get along with. The grounds were well maintained, the rooms were great and what made the stay so great was the staff. The food and service staff were great. Hopefully my conversion from Canadian dollars to Pesos in tips represented how happy I was. As far as entertainment… hats off to the Fun Club. I have been to resoprts where the nightly shows are just something to have in the background while you take advantage of the all inclusive bar… but these guys are the real deal. The shows are easily the best I had seen on any resort only downfall was the shows were so good I never got up to get a drink! A great resort for families or mature couples/adults. My next trip will be to the exact same resort." – Mike from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
"Our first All-Inclusive stay and first time to Mexico. Resort was very nice, and we have no reason not to come back. Staff all very friendly and accommodating. A couple times there was a language barrier… we got some different answers to the same question a couple times. Our room was OK: mattress was hard (we were told theyre all the same), our shower head had to be replaced, no view to speak of, we had to call every day to have coffee packet delivered for coffee maker (they didnt automatically replace what was used). Small annoyance was only 2 single outlets in entire room. Had to unplug lamp and/or coffee maker to recharge camera/phone batts, etc. Setting and grounds were beautiful… very tropical. The ruins (reportedly 16th century Spanish), were a nice touch, even if not authentic Maya. Made for some nice photo ops. Very spread out, so be prepared for much walking, which was OK with us. We had read about the small sand beach (not on the ocean, but rather an inlet), but resort had several options, from that to lots of pool space to “adults only” section of beach on the ocean. We spent most of our sunning time there. Get out early to claim your beach chair with your resort towels. thats the system used and it appears to mostly be respected, although one of our towels was taken one day, (it was replaced after walking to the main desk concierge). Some competing entities (Apple Vacations, who we booked with, the resort concierge, and the snorkel people), all offering their own excursion packages. Most had no interest in you if you did not show interest in their products. They had a nightly dance/revue show at 9:30, but not much as far as night life besides that… which was OK with us. Food… plentiful and varied at the general buffet locations, although predictably kind of bland. 5 themed evening table-service restaurants requiring reservations (limit 4 with a 7 night stay). These offered better food than the buffet, but no on par with a private restaurant in town (Seafood restaurant was the best of the 3 we attended). Interestingly, one of the evening eateries, Pacos Tacos, was extremely disappointing. Our best mexican food came the evening we cabbed into Playa Del Carmen and ate at Karens on 5th Avenue… crowded shopping area with typical barkers at every shop vying for your attention and business. Nicest touch of the whole stay was Amelio, lifeguard at the Adults beach area. We asked him about snorkeling off the little bay there (on the ocean), and he eagerly helped my wife and I on two different days with fins and guidance. this snorkeling was arguably better (certainly cheaper), than the excursion we went on the first day. We also did a half day excursion to Tulum (as opposed to what we heard was about a 12 hour excursion to Chichen Itza), which was very interesting, but crowded. Again… we will certainly vacation like this in Mexico again and would definitely recommend the Occidental Grand Xcaret! The only reason we would not return would be to try another resort." – Bob from Minneapolis, Minnesota
"I thought this hotel and area was fabulous. I, and my four sisters took my 85 year old Mom. She was in her glory as we all were. In fact, I just booked the same hotel yesterday for my family. Staff were amazing and David gives wonderful messages on the beach!" – Trudy from Okville, Ontario, Canada
"This was one of the most amazing resorts I have ever been to! We went with my two kids, 15 and 12 and had an great time. The food was excellent and the staff was very friendly. They would do anything to make your stay comfortable. The pools were big and clean. There are plenty of activities to do in or out of the resort. I reccommend going to explore rather than Xcaret if you have older kids or are adventurous. They had zip-lining, rafting, ATVing, and swimming in caves. Overall an amazing trip and will gladly return in the future!" – Rob from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
"We just spent a wonderful week at this resort! Service was excellent. Resort was spotlessly clean!! Water pressure in the showers was unbelievable!! Better than my house! Poncho at the Courtyard bar makes the best Mojitos! I don’t normally like them Only a couple of negatives; No straws for drinks (bring your own) especially for the blended drinks. Beds were a little on the hard side. All in all, I would definitely go back to this hotel! Happy Holidays!" – Louise from Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia, Canada
"We went there in mid April and had a great time. Summary – If you are looking to hang out on the beach, party it up or eat the best food of your life, this is not the place. If you want a gorgeous resort with tons of activities/excursions (especially in Xcaret park) then its a great place to go.
Negatives first: The food in the buffet was pretty average, at best. The service was good (except one time at the Mexican restaurant) but not outstanding…even though we were there for our honeymoon. The beach area was small with no waves because its just an inlet (we knew that coming in so it didn’t bother us). Not much of a night life after the show is over at 10:30. It was a little confusing finding out when/where to do stuff. The guest services desk etc are not clearly marked and finding when things were open (for example, the disco was only open Fri-sun and the taco place switched places every other night with the pizza place) was a task.
The Good: Absolutely beautiful grounds. The “jungle” areas everywhere were peaceful and calming, and there was no shortage of animals running around (we saw many raccoon type animals, along with wild deer, some squirrel like animal and iguanas everywhere, aside from what was in enclosures). Everything was always clean and at all hours of the night we saw workers working, especially cleaning. We got a special “romance package” for just a little extra money and it was totally worth it. We got an ordinary breakfast in bed, a 30 minute couples massage and a romantic dinner. The romantic dinner was a special table out by itself on a gazebo overlooking the ocean that included a 5-course meal (this actually was probably the best meal of my life) that included everything from lobster salad to chipotle shrimp etc…all prepared just for us. We did lots of excursions – you have to go to the Xcaret park, especially the show there and the bird aviary was neat. We also swam with the dolphins there and did Sea Trek (which we also definitely recommend, it was so easy compared to learning to scuba). We also spent a really fun day at Xplor doing zip lining, jeep driving and “rafting” on a cenote…all very worth the money. Last, we did horseback riding (the “bonanza”). It was neat, especially going on the beach, but lasted a little too long for our tastes. We booked the Xplor and horseback riding through Lomas Travel who had a representative at the building next to hours and we booked the other two at the Xcaret office across from the lobby. We were always a little confused as to who worked for the hotel as opposed to strictly excursion people, but we figured if they had an “office” at the hotel they were trustworthy. Definitely make reservations at the restaurants. The food there is much better than the buffet (although still not spectacular most of the time). The breakfast buffet was better than the lunch/dinner…its always nice to get a fresh omelet. We read online ahead of time of the pushy sales people but we didnt have a problem with that. Each building has a concierge who you go to to make dinner reservations and ask questions. She did try to convince us to do the tour of the Royal Club (the time-share) but mainly just by offering a good discount to the park. We declined and she never bothered us about it again at all. The drinks weren’t super strong, but I think that is because that is how most people (including me) like it. If you want them stronger, just tell them and they are happy to oblige. The martini bar in the lobby was always a hit…I must have had 15 coconut martinis just as we passed by during the week." – Stephen from Dallas, Texas
"Spent a week with 3 sons ages 12, 10 and 8. Great fun! Felt very secure. Food was great. Bought wine at restaurants because I heard the free wine was bad. Clean and neat. Not a singles place. Water park next door was nice. Never got asked about buying time-share. Wish I could pay extra for premium Scotch, but not end of world (Johnny Red was included). A little tip goes long way. Steak house was very good, but no Mortons. Will go back. If looking for Ritz, do not go. Great bargain for money." – Brian from Charolotte, North Carolina
"I wish I didn’t have to give this hotel such a bad review because it does have some good points. However, the bad far outweighs the good. Pros: Very nice pool, good food, some staff were nice, the park next door is awesome. Cons: Starting the moment we arrived, there were hotel staff perched outside our room waiting to trap us into going to some breakfast/sales pitch. I had to get nasty with them on multiple occasions to get them to back off. There were three of them assigned to my building and everytime we came or went we were uncomfortable, trying not to make eye contact lest we be pounced on again. The waitstaff at the a la cart restaurants, also rude, poor service. The food was good, but on two of the three nights we ate at one of their a la cart restaurants we did not recieve one of the courses. One evening we were eating on the deck at the seafood restaurant and it was very windy. We couldn’t keep our menus on the table, and then a plate flew off the table and accross the deck. We asked to be reseated and the host was a complete jerk about it. We went on a trip one day and got back after the towel exchange had closed. We needed to leave before it opened the next day. We called the front desk and they said to come by in the morning and they would get us new towels. When we did so, the front desk guy was very rude and refused to help my husband. Beds – hard with scratchy sheets. Don’t go, it isnt worth the hassle." – Denise from Wellington, Colorado
"This place was amazing; I could not have guessed it would’ve been so great. The grounds were so beautiful and very well maintained. The food was probably the best part. I am very much into health and fitness and I found that almost everything they offered to be reasonably healthy, VERY wide variety and as far as taste went, I tried nearly everything they offered at the buffet and left very little behind. As for the dinning out restaurants, they were very good at fitting us in. We forgot to book our reservations till the last minute and the person booking us was able to push things around and squeeze us in. The drinks were not too strong, but that was fine by me as I did not go to get so blind drunk I could not remember the trip. The only downside was that our room was right across from the entertainment section of the resort where they don’t quiet down till 11pm at night. Bbut after two nights we decided to go see what the noise was all about and we regretted wasting two nights in our room and not watching the show. I found the staff to be very happy with their jobs and treated everyone rather well. We tipped our room service every day and on two occasions we were greeted by a elephant and a dinosaur made from our towels just sitting on the table. The staff definitely enjoys their job. If you worry about theft, there are safes in every room. I have read other reviews of this resort and for the most part they are good, but I have seen some very negative ones out there and I just could not believe what I was reading they must have stayed at a different resort because everything was amazing and well worth my time and money! I do give these words of warning though; make sure you book tours with your travel agent and NOT the people on the beach. They do tell you that as you are checking in so if you don’t listen it’s your own fault as it was in me and my friends case. Even then the resort and our travel agents worked to fix our problem. I will be going back here and very soon; this time I will be bringing my family so share the joy with me.
" – Adam from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
"As a vacation, cruise and honeymoon specialist, I am more critical of resorts than the average guest. I look at the resort in terms of how it would fit the needs of my clients so I tend to be very picky when I travel. My husband and I spent 6 nights at the Occidental Grand Xcaret in mid June. I emailed the hotel general manager prior to our arrival to ask for a complimentary upgrade (the same as I would do for all of my clients) and he responded very quickly to let me know that we had been upgraded to the Royal Club. Having seen the properties in Punta Cana and Cozumel, I knew the Royal Club was the concierge section of the hotel with extra amenities so I was anxious to experience this service. The resort is about 1 hour from the airport and upon our arrival, we went to the front desk. Since we had been upgraded to the Royal Club, we were escorted to the shuttle to take it to the Royal Club lobby. Our luggage was sent on to our room separately. We were greeted by name upon arrival at the Royal Club and were told that we had the “best room in the house.” Not knowing what to expect, we went up to our room #31302 on the 3rd floor of building 31 and were amazed at what we saw. We were expecting a regular room or junior suite but what we were booked into was a 2 room suite with gorgeous ocean-views, 2 balconies, a separate living room and dining room and a fabulous bathroom with a separate Jacuzzi tub and shower (with views of the ocean!). We definitely had the best room in the house! Royal Club amenities include junior suites or the master suites (18 in all which was the room we had), concierge service, upgraded toiletries, Jacuzzi tubs, nightly turn down service, fruit basket, upgraded linens, free internet in the Royal Club lounge, DVD library, priority reservations at the a la carte restaurants and the additional restaurant exclusive to Royal Club guests. The Royal Club has its own pool area with a large Jacuzzi pool that is exclusive to the Royal Club guests. The young ladies who work in the Royal Club lounge were always pleasant, smiling and knew us by name after check in. They went out of their way to help make our stay as pleasant as possible and I would highly recommend the Royal Club. We did see the deluxe rooms and junior suites in the resort and they are very comfortable rooms with garden or pool views. The 400 rooms around the Flamenco pool (buildings 18-22) are in the family oriented section. You will also find the Apple and Funjet Vacations representatives in these buildings. The rooms in the “Crab” section (#14-17) are more adult oriented. Their pool is the quieter of the 2 pools in the complex. The deluxe rooms have 2 doubles or 1 king. The junior suites have 1 king and some have a sofa bed. The bathrooms only have showers. The mini bars are refilled every 3 days but if you can always call for a refill earlier. There are some corner rooms that have a junior suite and a deluxe room side by side and have an exterior door that will close off the entry to both rooms so you can have 2 adjoining rooms for a larger family. These are on request only and can’t be guaranteed. The resort is very large but not difficult to navigate. After the first day, we got tired of waiting for the shuttle (which circles the property every 10 minutes) so we ended up walking. The Royal Club rooms are closer to the beach but the furthest from the lobby, restaurants and theatre areas so we truly got our exercise walking all over the resort.
Food: Meals are is always a big deal in an all inclusive resort and we weren’t disappointed by the meals in the a la carte restaurants. We tried the Steak House, Mediterranean, Oriental and Seafood restaurants as well as the Royal Club restaurants for dinner. Since we were in the Royal Club, we got priority reservations and had no limit on the # of times we could eat in the specialty restaurants. If you are not in the Royal Club, there are limits (I believe 3 or 4 a la carte dinners per 7 night stay). We found the food and service in each of the restaurants to be very good to excellent. Our least favorite was the Oriental restaurant. The food was tasty but the air conditioning wasn’t working well and we had to leave because the heat was oppressive. The seafood restaurant is outdoors (part of the Beach Club Restaurant which is open for breakfast and lunch). Because it is oceanfront, the breeze was nice and kept us pretty cool. Dress code for the a la carte restaurants is long pants for men and some guests who were not dressed appropriately were asked to leave. We ate at the Beach Club for breakfast once and for lunch twice. The buffets were “ok” pretty standard. For breakfast the line for the omelet station was incredibly long but there was the normal assortment of breakfast items. For lunch, there was a pasta station, with pizza, a grill, salads, hot and cold food as well as desserts with ice cream. The main buffet was only open for dinner since the occupancy was pretty low during our stay and we didn’t eat there at all. It is air conditioned and the dress code for dinner is casual. Had we had to eat at the buffet for = of the time we were there, I’m sure my review might be a bit different since I do not like buffets for dinner. I’m ok with them for breakfast and lunch but I like to be served for dinner. Drinks and bar service- We are not big drinkers but we were happy with the bar service. For dinner, we were offered a house wine, either red or white and I liked the white but my husband didn’t. There was bar service around the beach and adult pool area and one of the waiters balanced a tray full of drinks on his head. Not an easy feat when walking on sand! Mixed drinks were always good- Miami Vice, Pina Coladas, Sombreros- were what I sampled. Club soda with lime and lemonade were my standard daytime beverages- both cold and refreshing.
Entertainment: Every night there is an evening show in the theatre at 9:30pm with a pre-show at 9:15pm. The pre-show usually included audience participation. They were cute and fun but typically had some sexual innuendos made so they may not be necessarily appropriate for young kids. We saw about 3 shows during our stay. The first was a “Miss Flamenco” contest with guest participation. The other was “The Beat Goes On” and the third was music and dancing from around the world. The dancers were better than expected. They did lip-sync to the songs but they were very high energy and entertaining. My complaints about the shows were that the sound system was uncomfortably loud and the theatre is very hot. Although there are fans, it is open air and there isn’t much of a breeze. In addition to the evening show, there is a disco and sports bar which we didn’t go into. The lobby has some nice seating and in the evening it was used by couples and groups just relaxing and having fun. There is also a good deal of just outside of the restaurant complex with tables and chairs and a bar. This was an area that many guests hung out in the evening as well. During the day, the Fun Club staff tried to entice guests to join beach volley ball games, salsa lessons, and had a full array of activities. Again, due to the low occupancy rate, there wasn’t much guest participation. There is a nice kids area for ages 3-12. We only saw kids in there once. The resort also has a putting green, tennis courts, volley ball courts, air conditioned gym and spa but we didn’t use any of them so I can’t comment on them. The sauna and steam room are free of charge, but you need to make a reservation to use them. Beach and pools I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the beach area. Remember that I was told the resort had no beach. Not true- it is actually a man made beach/cove that is ideal for swimming and safe for kids. It is sectioned off from the open ocean so it is very calm. There are a lot of fish in the beach area and lots of guests were snorkeling right there. Since other guests were throwing bread into the water below from the Beach Club restaurant bridge, there were lots of fish around. There was another snorkeling area but the water was pretty rough during the week we were there and it didn’t seem terribly safe since this area was surrounded by rocks. There are 2 large free form pools- the “Flamenco” and the “Crab” pools. The Flamenco pool is the larger pool with a swim up pool bar and this is the activity pool. The Crab pool had easy entry (good for those with walking issues) and whirlpools. The Royal Club pool was small and exclusive to the guests in this section. In addition, there is an adult’s only pool right near the beach club restaurant. It is a salt water pool that refills from the ocean looks like it has 3 jacuzzi tubs in it but they are just for decoration. There are 2 sets of steps down to the water- no easy entry for people with walking issues, and please note that the stairs were VERY SLIPPERY. My husband fell on his way in the first time. We learned after that. Since the adult pool is oceanfront, it was cool and breezy, unlike the other pools which are very hot since they are further into the resort where there is less of a breeze. There are a good number of palapas around the beach and adults only pool for shade.
Resort and Grounds: The resort is truly lovely. The lobby is open air with fountains and water features. There is a “river” going through the lobby, restaurant and shopping area that connects with Xcaret park. On the resort grounds, there are many parrots, a deer enclosure, lots of iguanas, Mayan ruins and beautiful landscaping. The resort was clean and the grounds were always being kept up by the staff. Overall travel agent impression I would have full confidence recommending this resort to qualified clients. Those who would enjoy this resort, I feel would be families with younger kids and multi generational groups, couples and honeymooners. The property also has onsite wedding coordinators for those clients who want to get married on site and their wedding packages are very reasonable. I would not recommend this resort for the true beach lover since it is not a large beach or for those who like to walk along long stretches of beach. I would be a bit hesitant to recommend the resort for clients with walking difficulties since most of the pools do not have zero entry and the resort is large. I would highly recommend upgrading to the Royal Club for the superior service and rooms. My complaints about the resort- pretty standard in the Riviera Maya- are the relentless time share sales people who were constantly trying to get guests to buy time share units. Also, the beds were very hard- 2 egg crate mattress pads still barely helped.
If you have specific questions, feel free to email me directly. I have many pictures of the resort and rooms as well."