Occidental at Xcaret Destination
About Occidental at Xcaret Destination
- high speed internet in room
- swimming pool
- fitness center
- bar lounge
- free parking
- public wifi
- wheelchair access
- air conditioning
- dry cleaning
- meeting room
- non smoking rooms
- laundry service
- concierge desk
- flatscreen tv
- banquet room
- family rooms
- multilingual staff
- breakfast buffet
- outdoor pool
- paid wifi
- conference facilities
- french amenities
- free breakfast
- private balcony
- breakfast available
- reduced mobility rooms
- fishing amenities
- hot tub
- facilities for disabled guests
- paid internet
- kids activities
- tennis court
- swimup bar
- poolside bar
- kids club
- adults only amenities
- adult pool
42 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Left 3 days into a 1 week trip
"Don't pay for the airport shuttle, they're great guys but I was told that there's a bus that goes to Playa del Carmen for about 100 dollars less and you can get a cab to the hotel from there, all told should save ~$75.
Once you get there, check in takes a few hours no joke. If you happen to join the mybarcella for the free wifi (that's right if you don't you'll have to pay $30 a day for wifi) you'll end up first waiting in the obvious check in line, it's a slow process. After a half hour or so of waiting you'll learn that you should have gone across, the room to check in. Time for more waiting. Finally , you are assisted and learn that they need you to email them a copy of the receipt you received... good thing you got that free wifi huh? Totally normal for the hotel to seem to not have a record of you given that you booked on their website and received several emails from them right? Oh, and about those emails, some of them were for your tours, well they have no recollection of those either so after you wait in the tour line to ensure they booked everything, you get to sit and wait while they call and book all of your tours.
We're now coming up on two hours for check in and if you thought the hotel looked interesting because of Xcaret well the joke is on you because not only does this add another chunk of time while you go back to the first check in desk to get a paper to ferry over to yet another check in desk for Xcaret, you also will find that you can easily see all of the included stuff at Xcaret in about 3 hours, maybe four if you're slow or with kids. Everything else costs more, including the food, neat huh? Don't you regret getting "unlimited" access? Oh and btw were you hoping to try and get a tan? Well, you get to wear a wide paper bracelet to access the park, and no supposed to take it off all week, in addition to the hotel bracelet to access food. Sound relaxing yet?
Speaking of food, it's not great. The salad bars in each place are pretty weak, you may have one green, no toppings, and a dozen dressings. The entrees are mediocre at best and the lines to get into the restaurants can be very long. If you don't eat early, expect a 30-40 minute wait.
As others have mentioned there is no beach. That stretch of the coast is all rocks, so they've got a man made cove that's pretty small with tiers of "beaches". The pools didn't seem to have many open chairs, and the towel, the process was insane. You get a little card and have to find a towel place to exchange it for a towel. One towel place is in the middle of the campus, no where near any swimming area, and there was none that I could see near the "beach" so plan ahead because it takes some 15 minutes to walk from one end of the hotel to the other, if you walk quickly, don't want to forget that card in your room.
About the rooms. Newly renovated, they were clean, the bed was fine, and that's about it. The tv had a picture so grainy I wondered if the signal was imported from 1980. There are no lotions or conditioner, just soap and shampoo dispensers mounted on the wall in the shower. The shower had and adjustable, hand-hold-able rain shower head... that only stayed in place if you kept it set at pressure wash. If you turned it down to "I'd like to keep my skin intact please" setting the shower head would droop down to spray the wall beneath it. This turned out to be a mixed blessing as the water would suddenly change to ice or boiling repeatedly throughout a brief shower.
The entire room and the hallway outside was all redone in natural stone. Looks pretty I guess but it's slippery, and you can hear every, single, sound, all night long. Someone walking by in heals? Group of people who were drunk chatting 10 rooms away? Some couple squealing on their way back to make use of their bed? All of it comes in clear as a bell, putting the tv signal to shame. Makes it pretty difficult to get any rest when you have to get up bright and early at 0700 for a tour.
Speaking of the tours, did you want more giant bracelets to irritate you? Well, you're in luck because Mexico has a fetish for them. Apparently, most of the federal parks down there require you to wear them to access the place, so enjoy that. Wait did you change your mind and want to cancel a tour? Since you're not going did you think you'd get your money back? HAHA that's adorable, no refunds here.
In fact, if you leave early for any reason they won't refund jack for you, unlike any kind of normal hotel where you pay for what you stay for this monstrosity you pay or what you book. Period. So buyer beware. I recommend steering clear, because let's face it no matter how the budget a hotel these trips are expensive and if you're not getting your money's worth and you can't even get it back by leaving this isn't a place worth your time and frustration. "
- Travel date: Thu 24th of November 2016
The worst hotel ever
"This was undoubtedly the worst hotel I have ever had the misfortune to stay in, the staff have no concept of service or going beyond the basic to help customers, tried to book a table for 14 only possible by paying $20/head on top of a premium room rate and additional charges, any request is met by dis-interest from staff.
The rooms are filthy as is the pool in the Royal Club area, had to have the room fumigated during our stay as the bed was infested with bugs.
You will get run down by staff who speed around at all hours on golf carts with no consideration for the guests, the pool cleaning when they bother to carry it out is done during the day whilst guests use the pools.
No beach despite them claiming one, and due to the vast number of trees the humidity is always too high to be comfortable.
Avoid, loads of better hotels in Playa del Ccarmen."
- Travel date: Tue 23rd of August 2016
It was terrible they don't go above below average
"This place is so bad if you want food in your room the guy David at the buffet says u can take it out if you give him 50 pesos, they don't turn down your room they fill nothing up, today my wife asked for peanut butter they said no but yesterday they had it, they have a foam party they play rude music and squirt tequila right next to the kids then if your in a speed they try n call police and embarrass you zero management skills please if your looking for value go somewhere else, beds are so uncomfortable also"
- Travel date: Sun 31st of January 2016
Superb Holiday, couldn't fault a thing
"The hotel is stunning. It has 11 restaurants all with excellent food and service considering the all inclusive price, and the numbers being catered. Some reviews here must clearly have unrealistic expectations, as in terms of perception of value what you get is superb. The staff work hard, and do a great job at it. The food is varied, decent quality, and very accessible even at peak times. There are 9 bars on site, and all inclusive includes branded drinks and cocktails, the five swimming pools are well looked after, which reflects the whole complex which is clean, look after and well run. The hotel is adjacent to an eco park Xcaret, our holiday deal included free entry, and the show on there nightly is not to be missed. The hotel is well spaced out, rooms are not compromised and are spacious and comfortable with a free mini bar restocked stay. It certainly is visited by many nationalities and the atmosphere is excellent. The nightly entertainment varies in quality, but is always acceptable or better. Someone else commented on the failings of the reception staff, our experience could not have been more different. I have travelled extensively and our welcome by a member of staff called Monseratt simply could not have been improved on. "
- Travel date: Sat 14th of February 2015
"Don't book it! Don't let the low prices entice you! The customer service is terrible! From start to finish, multiple issues with the rooms including air conditioning, they mislead you on the restaurants, be prepared to hear numerous excuses. Even booking three rooms they treat you bad."
- Travel date: Sat 21st of June 2014
Another day in Mexicof
"This was a last minute holiday.Had a brilliant time .Room a little tired but clean.Large resort Lots of wild life ,brilliant to walk around.You can go straight through into excaret itself from the hotel a at cheaper price.Good food weather and staff.Would go back"
- Travel date: Tue 15th of January 2013
"Two great weeks here broken up by four-day Legend of the Yucatan tour, which was a huge highlight of our trip.
OK first up - don't expect European five-star facilities, 'Mexican 5-star' is about on a par, rooms wise, with top standard self-catering accomodation in Greece or Turkey. Nowt wrong with that at all of course. And don't go if you're after miles of Caribbean beach on your doorstep, the cove is truly beautiful, but of course is, erm, compact and bijou. Knew this already and not a prob for us, but amazing how many people were unhappy - do these people actually LOOK where they're going before they book?
That's that outta the way - The hotel and grounds are absolutely stunning, buffet restaurant food is just as good if not better than the a la carte selections, which consist of a salad bar starters, sweet bar for dessert - just like the buffet - and decent standard mains, but not worth stressing out over trying to get booked!
Wildlife in the grounds streches to white-tailed deer, white-noses coatis, Central American agoutis and huge array of birdlife - pelicans, orange orioles, Kiskadees, Greckles - if it's your bag try and get hold of a Central American wildlife guide - it makes a big difference to your enjoyment.
Staff are absolutely lovely, always got a smile and seem pleased not to be dealing with the US tourists who, a few exceptions aside, are the rudest, most arrogant bunch I've ever come across. Deep breaths n count to ten...
Swimming pools are a delight, none more than 4 feet deep so very safe for kids, and have outdoor jacuzzis - absolutely lovely!
One thing to look out for - Occidental staff are hell-bent on flogging you upgrade packages to Royal Club. It starts by them trying to give you a Mayan calendar, asking your star sign then drifting on to the VIP breakfast etc, etc... Just cut em short at the calendar stage and save yourself some time wasting!
Oh, and yeah, didn't get swine flu. "
- Travel date: Thu 7th of May 2009
Serious Management & Service Upgrade Required
"What could be a terrific hotel is seriously marred by horrific management. Guest services is inept: not having a solid, fast reference for tour and golf prices, distances from hotel and updated availabilities. They need to waste tons of timing calling for everything. Reservations are required for dinner and need to be made in person with guest services vs. a telephone call from your room (major inconvenience and waste of time). If your family doesn't have a res, it will be turned away from restaurants even if there are 12 empty tables there (in our case 12 empty tables remained through our entire dinner and afterwards after literally fighting to get seated). Restaurant management, other than the Seafood place, should be fired yesterday. Men are required to wear long pants. Pressed Bermudas with a dress shirt is turned away, yet you can sit next to people wearing torn jeans, sandals and wrinkled tee shirts (dumb beyond words). Beautiful ocean setting yet no masks, snorkels or fins are available (beyond dumb).
Place needs some professional, client centric hotel management. The terribly poor quality of service takes away from great weather, good food and warmth of the Mexican people. At least the town of Playa del Carmen was a lot of fun. Can't recommend until they clean up their act. It's back to the Fairmont Mayacoba for us. You get what you pay for.
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- Travel date: Mon 5th of January 2009
Fantastic, amazing,luxury. We went to th...
"Fantastic, amazing,luxury. We went to this wonderful place to get married, we were a party of ten people, my husband and I were treated like king and queen, nothing was to much trouble for the staff all of our wedding plans were arranged for us for when we got there, we had the dream wedding in paradise, it was absolutley amazing. We had two blissful weeks there and will be going back a.s.a.p but this time for longer."
- Travel date: Wed 6th of August 2008
The Hotel Was AMAZING! Very Clean Very B...
"The Hotel Was AMAZING!
Very Clean Very Big Very Friendly.
Not Many Teenagers AT ALL! Would Recommend More For Honeymooners. At The Time Of Year We Went There Was Only 40% Of The Hotel Full. Most People There Were Not English. Being There With Teenagers They Didnt Enjoy The Fact That Not Many Children Were There.
The Animal Park Next Door Was Also Amazing!
Night Time Entertainment Was Good Considering It Was DOne By The Pool Staff.
However During The Day We Did Find Ourselves Hiding From Poolstaff In The Day So We Werent Forced Into Any Activities.
The Beach Was Beautiful Too And Food Was Lovely. Was Very Humid And Hot At The Time We Went!
Overal Beautiful Place TO Go."
- Travel date: Fri 13th of June 2008
Amazing holiday! Hotel was clean and tid...
"Amazing holiday! Hotel was clean and tidy at all times. Staff very helpful and friendly. The food in the main restaurant changed every night on themes, although there were the standard pasta, chips, and salad every night for the unadventurous.
The food in the beach bar was lovely, and just what you needed after a busy morning sunbathing.
The beach is small and man-made, but clean, quiet and tidy. If walks along the beach is your thing on holiday, then this may not be for you.
The pools are great, but noisy. If you want a quiet day, go to the beach. If a bit of noise and water games don't bother you, then the pools are fine.
The Xcaret park next door is great for a day (or 2) out of the hotel and Cancun is a short trek in a taxi. Cancun is worth a visit, but do the excursions if you want to go in for a few nights out of the resort. They will take you to the better drinking holes that you may not find if you are on your own.
The rooms are clean and tidy and for the amount of time you spend in them, they are fine.
Would recommend this hotel to anyone thinking of going to Mexico."
- Travel date: Tue 15th of January 2008
My sister had already been to this hotel...
"My sister had already been to this hotel and recommended it, so we went on her reviews. We upgraded with First Choice to Premiere and it was the best thing we could have done, extra room, great food and attention all the way there.
We arrived in Mexico to a massive storm, the rain was so heavy it was flooding everything! It took us ages to get to the hotel and some of the stops to other hotels seemed to be out of order and we backtracked several times. It took us one and a half hours to finally get there. When we did I was very impressed with the lobby. This was the only downside to the whole trip... quite a few of us arrived at the same time and the check-in staff were slow at best. After a 10 hour flight and the trip from the airport all we wanted to do was have a drink and change our clothes. We were initially greeted with a lovely glass of juice but then left stood there for 30 mins or more with empty glasses and feeling pretty impatient. When we finally checked in they had booked us close to the reception and near all the entertainment. We asked for somewhere quieter and they happily obliged. As I say, this was the only sticking point, they perhaps need to think of a better way to check people in at busy times.
Our room was in a block next to the Royal Club and opposite a pool. It was the perfect place in between all the restaurants and the beach. Our room was absolutely perfect. It was huge, the bed was massive and possibly the most comfortable one I have slept in on holiday. It was impeccably clean and the bathroom was great with a huge walk in shower. The TV was good and it was nice having the free drinks in the room.
The best bit by far from my point was the adults only pool (Sorry to all the parents out there). We had real peace and quiet there and the seawater pool was a great place to swim in, very cooling and great fun to swim with fish. We even had a turtle in it one day. The pool waiter was brilliant - as were all the staff there - and got to know our drinks and when we wanted them. We ate breakfast and lunch at the restaurant that overlooked the pool rather than the usual buffet. The atmosphere there was great and the views were wonderful.
I had no problems with any of the food and the al a carte restaurants were all good, the seafood one was gorgeous and we watched the moon rise over Cozumel which was very romantic.
The only downside to the hotel was the exhibition centre, on a couple of days the place was packed and very noisy. Us Brits are quite reserved and sometimes the Americans can be a little overwhelming.
Definitely go and visit Xcaret, I really enjoyed it, but go early in the morning as it gets really hot. And do go and see the evening show, yes it is all in Mexican but visually fantastic. We booked a meal and got great seats. It does get really hot in there so wear appropriate clothing and take lots of water.
A trip to a Myan village is a must and we went to Coba and climbed the pyramid, it's a lot smaller than Chichen Itza and a lot closer, but I still couldn't walk for two days!
Playa Del Carmen does have a lovely beach and as other people have said, only $10 by taxi to get to. If you like good nightlife then this is a place to go.
I really enjoyed my stay at the Occidental. I especially have to recommend the First Choice rep Nick, he went over and above the call of duty for all his holiday makers and he was a credit to the company. For somewhere family or couple orientated that is good value for money, you can't go wrong."
- Travel date: Sat 27th of October 2007