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“A nice spot with a few downsides...”
Review of Occidental Cozumel

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Occidental Cozumel
Ranked #22 of 51 Hotels in Cozumel
Oakland, CA
Level Contributor
49 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“A nice spot with a few downsides...”
Reviewed 31 March 2013

I just got back from a week at the Occidental Grand Cozumel with my partner. We were hoping for a week of diving and of quiet and peaceful relaxation. The diving was great; the peaceful relaxation part left something to be desired.

First, the positives:
- the beach and the resort property are really lovely. The beach is long, the sand is white, and the water is clear. The resort itself has nice walkways through well-tended plants and mangrove swamps, with lots of iguanas and even some kitties around. The look of the rooms is also nice.
- Dive Palancar on site: we came to dive, and the dive shop is awesome. All the staff and dive masters are super friendly, took great care of us, and put in the effort to make sure we got to the sites we wanted and saw the marine life we were hoping for.
- nice that there is a "relaxation pool" that is quieter than the rest.
- the entertainment at night was decent.
- staff at bars and restaurants are all really nice!

The negatives that really bothered us during our stay:
- the sewage smell/AC problem. Our room was on the ground floor of building 11. No matter what we turned the temperature to in our room, the air from the AC unit blasted only 1 temperature: freezing. Since we aren't big fans of air conditioning or of being cold on a tropical vacation, we would have preferred to leave the unit off, but when it was off, there was a horrid smell of sewage that never went away and made our time in our room really unpleasant. The smell was also noticeable along some of the paths in the resort.
- the beds are rock hard. i had read something on tripadvisor about asking for mattress toppers. when we made this request, the cleaning lady stuffed our comforter underneath the sheet. It made the bed a little more acceptable, but presented a problem in that we no longer had a comforter and our room was freezing.
- the ratio of guests to amenities & services: constant lines at the bar near the beach & pool (even just to get a glass of water); show up to the beach or pool after 9am and you can't find a chair because everyone lays their towels out by 8. This resort would be great if about 50% of the people were there! i often found myself feeling too surrounded by loud people with nowhere to escape to. If you are looking for a quiet and serene beach stay, there are other hotels in Cozumel that offer that experience; this was not it for us.
- the staff at the front desk (the two guys working there during the mornings and early afternoons) are extremely unfriendly. It made a pretty awful first impression.
- the noise in our room at night was extremely loud. we were situated close to the nightly entertainment and when we went to bed early, i was glad i had my ear plugs.
- the food was mediocre. The two "a la carte" restaurants are filled up for the week by late Sunday morning and are hardly worth eating at anyway. there were always a couple dishes in the buffet that were alright but for the most part, we were really disappointed in the food.

Overall, the resort wasn't terrible, but we will not be returning.

Room Tip: Ask for a room near the beach and not on the ground floor. I think it's best to request before y...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jessie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Deerfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2013

The facilities are very nice, staff is polite and quick to correct any problem.
Grounds are beautifully kept.
Evening entertainment every night was often cute.
Room was very nice and housekeeping made animals out of towels each day.
My husband and I are fish eaters and they had fish in all the restaurants.
They were not prepared that well (very bland) but it was there every day.
We are divers and the diving was incredible. Great dive sites and an outstanding
dive shop (Dive Palancar).

Room Tip: We are First Club members but did not reserve in time to get a suite, so we were in building 16. Th...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Robin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2013

My wife and I traveled here on our honeymoon. The island is beautiful and very safe, the resort is beautiful, staff is great, the beach is beautiful, and plenty of bars. The beach is like a swimming pool, crystal clear water and hardly no waves. Snorkeling is great right off the beach and it is free! I saw lots of tropical fish, conch, and even the local Barracuda!

Pros: Great relaxing atmosphere, the beach is great, snorkeling and scuba diving are the best I've seen, lots of activities, lots of bars, staff was great

Cons: Food was so-so

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank AnnualTraveler2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fargo, North Dakota
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2013

My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon at the Occidental Grand and were very disappointed. This place was not at all what is seemed from the website. They DO NOT have 6 restaurants they have 2, and your lucky to get “reservations” to get in. There is also a time gap for food so you must eat on their schedule. They have a morning lunch and dinner buffet that open late and close early and pending on the day run out of food and don’t replace it. We went to breakfast one morning at 9 they opened at 8ish and there were not eggs, we waited for them to come out with more and they didn’t come. We went to the lunch an hour before they closed no lettuce and they were cleaning up, more worried about closing up early. We got reservations for the grill one night, my husband got a steak, they asked him how he wanted it he said medium rare, and I got the fish. The steak was paper thin and well well done and the fish was over cooked drenched in the red sauce you get out of a chef Boyardee ravioli can. For desert we got burnt chocolate cheese cake hard as a rock. They don’t serve dos equis and ran out of Corona every other day. We got the romantic breakfast in bed; we got cold sunny side up eggs, cold hash browns, cold bacon, cold everything. We got room service a few nights that was also cold. The rooms were nothing special and weren’t really kept clean; we had ants in our bathroom sink every morning. Everything was too complicated. When you first get there you check and the shuffle you to the timeshare desk, they pretended to be part of the hotel staff wanting to welcome us and give us a tour, they took $20 for a deposit for a fishing trip lied about price and then came to our room the next day left notes 2 other days and kept hounding us. We asked him point blank are you time share or part of the hotel, he told us no I work for the hotel Im trying to make your stay better blah blah. Everyone we talked to that was staying there while we were had the same problems and were just as unhappy as us. We will never go back there again!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Emilie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sandra Alcázar U, Social Media Coordinator at Occidental Cozumel, responded to this review, 8 April 2013
Dear Emilie F,

Thank you for sending us your comments, the satisfaction of our guests is our goal, and we are very sorry to read about your disappointments and your most detailed observations, it appears we didn’t meet our own standards during your stay.
Please accept our apologies for failing your dinning expectations; our executive chef and his team work diligently to offer a wide variety of food at the buffet restaurant La Posada, which changes daily, the Beach Club, La Piazza; which serves up scrumptious made-to-order pizzas, and two a la carte restaurants; the Sonora Grill and Los Olivos, where the menu options change frequently. We always use fresh products of the highest quality including a large variety of fresh fruits and gourmet salads. Thus we understand the importance of an incredible dining experience; I’ve addressed your review with our executive chef as to enhance our quality standards. Also, I have addressed your experience about the temperature and food refilling with our restaurant manager and I assure you it will not be repeated.

I hope you will offer us a chance to gain back your confidence in product.

Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2013

Stayed 4 nights here on our honeymoon and a lovely relaxing stay it was. Beautiful architecture and gardens make this an idyllic retreat. We stayed in the Royal Club which has private concierge which made a difference and the rooms were huge and had two balconies (had a separate living area which we actually did not need but we good to keep our luggage in).

The food and service was superb. The speciality restaurants to book up quickly so make your reservations as soon as you get here but there is a nice variety and the lunch variety down at the beach bar is also excellent and includes a barbeque. The main bar in the evening was served well but it was just a shame most of it was inside and away from the seafront. Being from England when on holiday it is a novelty to be able to drink outside. A shame the hotel don't use the excellent beach club area as an outlet in the evenings and that is one improvement I would make. Also the restuarants closed at 10pm and the evening entertainment (very talented dancers etc) would start at 9 so my advice would be to get your table booked for 7.30-8pm. Full marks to the barmen down by the pool areas. What a cracking job they do, very busy but smiling constantly as they pour you your drink !

Location wise it's on a peaceful deserted sandy beach and is in a really safe swimming area (Cozumel is 'sheltered' by the mainland) so great for families. To get into the island's only town, San Miguel - shopping galore - the taxi ride is about 10-15 minutes and cost about 14 USD.

Not a place for you if you like lots of nightclubs etc but if you are looking to re-charge your batteries and get away from it all in a lovely natural setting then this is for you - it was just what we wanted !

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Mike W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2013

Just returned from a week stay at the Occidental Grand Cozumel. We were invited by friends with a time share and stayed in the First Club rooms in building 14.

Diving: If you're a diver, this resort is in a perfect location to dive in the am and be back in the sun with a drink in hand by noon.

Beach and Pool: If you want shade, get to the beach early (most are gone before 7:15 am). The beach is nice and the water is warm and calm. The pool is fine with lots of open chairs and shade throughout the day.

Rooms:The rooms are a little outdated, but it looks like they have started updating some rooms. The bathrooms are the nicest feature with huge showers and great water pressure! The higher the room, the less musty it is. We read reviews before going and we happy with our third floor room.

Food: The breakfast buffet is fine but small. The lunch buffet by the beach is by far the best meal - ask the chef for fresh tortillas to make tacos! You'll be glad you did. We ate most of our dinners in town but did eat at both a la cartes - not the greatest.

Staff: The cleaning staff, bartenders and servers were very friendly and polite. We enjoyed the creative towel art left for us each day. However, reception in the First Club could use some improvement. When we checked in, the receptionist told us she would make a reservation at a restaurant in town (which she didn't), promised to deliver information about an excursion to the room (which never arrived), and did not attempt to explain why we did not receive the king bed requests we made three months before arriving (two out of three couples had double beds). This level of service was disappointing; especially at a resort that asks guests to purchase time shares!!

Overall, for the price we paid, we were content with the resort and would return.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JanineLP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norman, Oklahoma
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2013

The facilities and grounds are lovely. The staff worked hard to accommodate necessities and extras. A few glitches in timing (be sure to check dates in writing of anything you arrange there). The Dive Shop was great and Mateo, my dive instructor, went out of his way to make sure I had a great dive. I can't image a better experience on the edge of a great dive reef!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Sharla R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Occidental Cozumel

Property: Occidental Cozumel
Address: Km 16.6 Zona Hotelera Sur | Colonia El Cedral San Francisco Palancar, Cozumel 77600, Mexico (Formerly Occidental Grand Cozumel)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
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 Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#12 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Occidental Cozumel 4*
Number of rooms: 247
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Only the Caribbean’s most famous reef system could match the beauty and splendor of the Occidental Grand Cozumel, which is exactly why the two exist side-by-side. Located on Cozumel’s gorgeous San Francisco beach, just above the bottomless blue paradise of the Palancar Reef system, you’ll find an authentic-style state that delivers all the luxuries of a private oceanside hacienda. Gourmet dining, bright and airy rooms, nightly music and entertainment, daily sports and beach activities and an on-site spa and salon make the Occidental grand Cozumel the jewel of any Caribbean experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Cozumel Hotel Cozumel
Occidental Grand Hotel Cozumel
Grand Cozumel
Grand Occidental Cozumel

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