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.
- 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