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“Unbelievable Destination Wedding!”

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Occidental at Xcaret Destination
Ranked #71 of 211 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 November 2011

I recently got married at the Occidental Grand Xcaret (October 2011) and had the most fantastic, easy, perfect wedding. I could spend forever explaining the details, but the truth is the reason my wedding was perfect was because I had the help of an unbelievably talented wedding coordinator as well as the help of the incredibly gracious staff of the resort.

Marialma Ortiz coordinated everything down to the tee. In the months before the wedding, she and I emailed back and forth on a daily basis. She answered every one of my questions, regardless of how detailed or ridiculous they were and always contributed with additional ideas and issues I hadn't even thought of. She made me completely comfortable planning a wedding from so far away because she was always happy to help me work through any questions big or small. When we finally arrived at the resort a few days before the wedding, she had everything expertly prepared and coordinated, ready for final review and this level of organization allowed me to enjoy the days before my wedding worry free. She was never pushy but she was always direct and honest when I needed her advice. It was easy to trust her because she genuinely cares about making this day perfect in every way. She made me feel like my wedding was the only wedding she had to do, which is simply not the case. Her attention to detail is unsurpassed.
On the day of the wedding, she and her assistant Luz were by my side when I needed them and I could trust them both to deal with any details that needed attention. Knowing that they was there allowed me to completely enjoy my wedding without worrying about anything. Having a wedding coordinator who is so happy to be doing this and who is so talented at it is a priceless resource that I could not have done without.

I also cannot say enough about the staff at the resort. Every single person I interacted with was genuinely helpful and always pleasant. They were responsible for the decorations and detailing and each person I interacted with treated everyone in our party like family. In the days before and after the wedding, the staff became more and more familiar and I found myself sharing stories with everyone, even the chefs responsible for cooking our wedding meal. The staff made our wedding feel even more like a big family party.

The wedding itself was simply perfect. The setting, the ceremony, the sunset cocktail hour and the reception were simply wonderful. I would recommend this resort for a wedding to anyone and I hope someone takes my advice seriously because I need to get back there soon. If a destination wedding is what you want, no one does it better than the Occidental Grand Xcaret.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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11  Thank Vanessa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Customer S, Manager at Occidental at Xcaret Destination, responded to this reviewResponded 26 December 2011

Dear Ms. Vanessa P
On behalf of entire Occidental Grand Occidental Xcaret staff and myself, we would like to express our gratitude for allowing us the privilege of hosting you during such a special occasion as your wedding.
Please know that it is truly rewarding when a guest takes the time to share such a words of praise, as it shows that our main goal of providing an excellent service is being achieved. We would like to thank you for taking the time to write such an amazing review about our wedding services and coordinators, we are very glad and proud of our staff, especially for people like Marialma, who is a really professional and caring person that understands the needs of our brides and grooms. We will make sure to share your motivating comments with our staff and especially with Marialma and Luz who will certainly value them.
Once again thank you for staying with us and we look forward to welcome you in the future, maybe to probably celebrate together your first anniversary?
Best Regards.
Ruth Carrillo,
Manager on Duty.

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7,724 - 7,730 of 12,898 reviews

Reviewed 14 November 2011

A very nice hotel - nice spacious room that was very clean. Grounds are very well maintained and scenic. Everything about the place seemed very clean to me. It's a pretty big property and spaced out, so plan on doing a lot of walking while you are there. They have shuttles around the place, but they aren't that convenient because you might wait around as long as it would take to walk there.

There isn't a beach, at least not like how most people expect beaches to be, but there are ample places to swim or get into the water. The pool area is huge and you can choose to be where the action and entertainment is (read "loud') or go somewhere quieter. The entertainment team led by Choco was actually pretty good and weren't so over they top that they became annoying.

We hardly tipped at all and I thought our service was fine. I didn't get the impression at all that people are expecting tips. We were there last week, which is before the busy season starts. As has been written elsewhere, make your reservations for the restaurants as soon as you get there. They claim they are full, when in reality they are only seating about 1/2 the capacity due to "limited staffing."

So about the food. I'm not a terribly picky eater, nor do I have fantastically high expectatations when it comes to food. I'm completely fine with simple, but good. I found it very difficult to find decent food on this trip. The buffet, with the exception of breakfast, was not good at all. For the life of me, I cannot understand why they don't have a constant taco bar or something at this place. It's Mexico for crying out loud, and finding basic, simple Mexican food at this hotel is a challenge. The Mexican restaurant is pretty good, but again you have to make a reservation. If I had to do it over again, I probably would have made 3 of my 4 reservations allocated to us at this place. The Asian restaurant was almost unbelievably terrible. It's not worth going into detail, but I have no idea what they are doing there. It certainly does not include preparing edible Asian cuisine. The steakhouse was average, as was the seafood restaurant. I heard the Mediterranean place was pretty good, but we didn't go there. They don't know how to make pizza at this resort either. I could go on and on, but in summary, the food was extremely disappointing. My wife and I made it a point to fill up on breakfast (which was pretty good) so we wouldn't have to eat lunch. On the bright side, I spent six days at an all-inclusive resort and managed to come back home one pound lighter than when I left.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Brent H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrea S, Manager at Occidental at Xcaret Destination, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2011

Dear Brent H,
We would like to thank you for showing your appreciation for our resort design and hotel’s staff. We will make sure to share your motivating comments with our staff and especially with Choco and all the entertainment team who will certainly value them.
Please accept our apologies that the food service and offerings did not meet your expectations. Please know that I will share all of this with our executive chef and food & beverage team. We are already making improvements to our menus and food, and your feedback is extremely helpful.
In regards to your observation about the reservations in the restaurants, we would like to explain you that sometimes our guests do not show at the restaurants, even though they have made reservations therefore you could get the impression that you got about us claiming to have the restaurants full when it was not the case, we would like you to know that we are finding alternatives in order to avoid this type of situations and to be able to provide the service for guests that really want to enjoy of the restaurants.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us and we hope we have the privilege of hosting you again in the near future.
Best Regards.
Ruth Carrillo.
Manager on Duty.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2011

Stayed her for a 2 week vacation to meet family flying in from other parts. Rooms are ok and service is reasonable, staff are mixed from useless to really good, resort facilities are limited and it is isolated from the main public resort areas. Want to snorkel in the sea, that's an extra $33 with the dive centre (you are not allowed to swim in it), want some drinkable wine for dinner that's an extra $32, want to check your email that's an extra $18/hour, don't loose your towel card, that's an extra $50, want good or a decaf coffee, that's $2, but only availabe in the main building, want to dine in the empty non buffet resturants, get ready to give a really big tip to the waiter at the door! Oh and don't get talked into an upgrade (it's a time share), that talk is free and initially is offered at 25,000, then 6,000 and finally 3,000 as you walk out the door! So if you want to hang around a pool, drink cheap sugary weak cocktails all day and eat bland greasy mexican food this is the place for you. For a $10 taxi ride escape to Playa del Carmen where tours to local attractions are half the price, the beach is free and unlimited internet access costs a $3 cup of decent coffee.
Oh, the traver company rep (first choice) was useless!

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank monkeybreathLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2011

This place was a treat to hang out at for a week. We were upgraded to first club status because we went with friends who were "owners" (timeshare buyers). This gave us a two bedroom suite to share with them and a fully stocked fridge with canned beer and liquor dispenser. the ocean area had a nice, unique adult only area with a great salt water lagoon, between 4-6' deep. Also the snorkelling right in the bay was great, probably 10-15 different types of fish, octopi and shrimp. The theme restaurants were all good except the oriental, it was very bad. The buffets were all good. Not really into the shows, but from the people I talked to they said they were good. The place was clean, staff friendly, and iguanas were cool. No wifi in the rooms unless you pay$$$. The other man made beach was great if you have kids, or liked snorkelling in calmer waters.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank OkanaganGetawayguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrea S, Manager at Occidental at Xcaret Destination, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2011

Dear OkanaganGetawayguy,
Thank you for choosing Occidental Grand Xcaret for your getaway; it was a pleasure having you at our hotel and we are glad that you can enjoyed our beach, snorkeling s and general hotel environment.
In regards to your comment about the Oriental Restaurant we would like to inform you that we are working on the menus in order to improve the food offerings for our guests. Please note that our First Club members have complimentary internet access at their private reception, however I will pass on your comments to our management team, in order to provide better service to our guests, which is the main objective at Occidental Hotels.
Once again, thank you, and we hope we can have the privilege of hosting you again.
Best Regards.
Ruth Carrillo.
Manager on Duty.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2011

The hotel's website doesn't fully show off this resort, and the mixed reviews on various websites limited my expectations but I was quite frankly blown away. Where to start? Well if nature is your thing then stay here, if you don't like the idea of iguanas, parrots and various other visitors from the surrounding jungle like Coatis (kind of half raccoon half monkey and very friendly) then stay well away. Personally I loved the wildlife and the way the jungle is sculptured into the design of the resort.
Location-wise its 5 mins in a cab to busy Playa Del Carmen but snuggly hidden in the jungle nearby so you get the best of both worlds. It's right next door to Xcaret too which is a must for all visitors to the Mayan Riviera, you get a discount on the entry and a boat carries you there from the lobby.
Accommodation is clean and well kept, the resort design is incredibly impressive, the main lobby is a masterpiece with a river running through it. the shops are made to look like a little mexican village and the stage/bar/buffet area looks like a town square complete with small market. Many complaints seem to centre on the man made beach which is actually very nice so don't be scared off. It's very authentic and luxurious, there's plenty of fish in the little bay, very few waves and white cool sand. And unlike the 'real' beaches of Cancun to the north you are not constantly hassled by people selling trinkets, beer and days trips.
The staff here are really friendly, and can't seem to do enough for you. Other all inclusives seem to limit staff numbers and access to the bars and food. here you can eat/drink from 6am till 2am and the staff are plentiful and generous, Ramon and Luis would come to our table in the 'plaza' and ask if we wanted more drinks as well as offer us tips on where to go and what to do in the local area. One night there was a knock at our door and a member of staff brought a full bottle of tequila 'compliments of the house' we were worried that there was a catch but there wasn't.
The all inclusive plan was great, all drinks were leading brands (Jack Daniel's etc) and the food changed every night and with the exception of the chinese themed night was excellent every single night. The steak was particularly good, being cooked fresh at the buffet and replenished frequently.
Drawbacks? Few, the 'lively' pool where we were situated seemed to insist on loud music all day from 10am for aerobics etc even though virtually no-one attended. But this was only a mild annoyance (there is the beach and a couple of other quieter pools anyway). Wifi is a complete rip off at $25 (USD) dollars access a day or $11 an hour! And fairly unreliable. I couldn't fathom why when they were so generous with everything else they would take advantage of people's reliance to connect to the internet. Take a USB dongle with a cheap international plan it'll be cheaper.
Otherwise everything else was excellent and very affordable. I would definitely return. Many thanks to all the staff who made the trip so much fun.

Room Tip: rooms near the lively pool are noisy from 10am but not too bad.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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6  Thank tombugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrea S, Manager at Occidental at Xcaret Destination, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2011

Dear Tombugs,
We are so glad that you gave us the opportunity to host you during your holiday and that you enjoyed the Occidental Grand Xcaret property, staff and natural environment. We would also like to thank you for taking the time to write about the benefits of staying at our resorts such as its beautiful natural surroundings of which we are really proud, the discounted fee on Xcaret park admissions and as you mentioned our “plentiful and generous” all inclusive plan and our staff.
In regards to your comment about the internet, we would like to apologize for not having this service too accessible for our guest, since the company that provides it, and which is external to our operations, has set the prices, nevertheless we would like to thank you for your comment and we are already considering on making some changes in order to provide better service, moreover we will I will like to inform you that our guests staying at the Royal Club have an area where the internet is included, nevertheless I will pass on your comments to our directors in order to take action and to provide better service to our guests, which is the main objective at Occidental Hotels. Our hotel is designed to satisfy our different guests’ preferences, which is why we have an area with a pool with activities organized by our entertainment team, which starts early in the morning. However, as you mentioned, we do have the Cangrejos Area, the pool is quiet and we do not play any music.
Once again thank you for your review, and we will make sure to share your motivating comments with our staff, especially Ramon and Luis who will certainly value them.
We look forward to welcome you back and please do not hesitate to contact us.
Best Regards.
Ruth Carrillo.
Manager on Duty.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2011

The girls and I do a trip every November and this year we headed off to the Occidential in Xcaret. First off, I have to say that I love Mexico and the people. The staff and locals are all so friendly and welcoming. We are actually planning on going back to Mexico next year because of that.

The Occidental Xcaret was a huge resort with lots to do. It’s directly next to the Xcaret park, which I’m told is a great place to visit. Sadly, I never made it there… but like my friend says “If you do everything in one trip, you have no reason to go back.” Anyhow, the resort was clean, staff was friendly and we were treated well. I liked the fact that they constantly had drink service on the beach, around the pool and in the lobby. Not a lot of resorts have that. They had a shuttle that helped you get around the large property which was nice too. The grounds were simply beautiful. Lots of lush foliage and wildlife.

What I liked best was swimming with the fish at the natural pool and at the man-made beach. It was like swimming in an aquarium. I was taking some rolls down to the water with me and feeding them while they were swimming all around me. I was a big hit with the kids, that’s for sure.

They had some shopping there on site, which was nice. I loved the lobby bar at night and the entertainment there. At 6:45 pm they had a Mayan ceremony in the lobby, which was neat.

Downsides to this resort was the food. It wasn’t horrible, but wasn’t great either.

The beach was my other issue. They had a small beach area in this lagoon thing, but it wasn’t “the beach”… you know, with the waves and expansive stretches of sand. If you are a beach person… this is not the place for you. However, to get a beach fix while you are there, take a cab for $14 USD to Mamitas Beach Club in Playa Del Carmen. It’s 15 minutes from the resort and it was so nice. You have to pay for your drinks and food, but it was well worth the day there. Lots of shopping on 5th Avenue there and I fell in love with the place. Got to Las Delicias on 5th and 22nd Street. BEST food I had the whole time! Oh, and bring pesos for Mamitas. They take US dollars, but don’t give change.

Couple of tips… try to get a room near the lobby which is near the restaurants and shopping. Take a ride on the shuttle at night around the resort when you get there to get the lay of the land. It was a beautiful ride with all the lights and nature. Bring bug spray… there were some nights the mosquitoes were out in full force. If you are into massages, do NOT get a massage on the beach unless it is early in the morning or later in the afternoon. They have entertainment and loud music there during the day that made me feel like I was getting a massage in the middle of a night club. I highly recommend David for the massage.

All in all, you won’t be disappointed in Occidental Xcaret… enjoy!

Room Tip: Get one near the lobby!
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Wendyc222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrea S, Manager at Occidental at Xcaret Destination, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2011

Dear Wendyc222,
We are so grateful for your appreciation of the hotel staff, and the Mexican people! It is truly rewarding when a guest not only takes the time to write a review, but shows that they truly enjoyed their stay with us.
In regards to you comment about the food, we would like to inform you that our chef and his team are working on revising the menus in order to provide more variety to meet the expectations of our guests.
Thank you for your comment about the Mayan Ceremony and the drink service in the beach area, we will make sure to share your motivating comments with our staff, especially David from the SPA, who will certainly appreciate them.
We are very pleased that you enjoyed our beach and all the fish that live there, this beach is definitely a plus for our hotel, as there are not many hotels that can give their guests the opportunity to swim with so many fish without going in the depths of the ocean.
Once again, thank you for staying with us, we look forward to welcome you back so you can enjoy the discount on Xcaret park admission that we provide to our valued guests, that you could not take advantage of during your last stay.
Best Regards.
Ruth Carrillo.
Manager on Duty.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2011

Overall the resort was beautiful. We were there for a wedding and had a great time. The wedding was down by the beach and was beautiful.

However, I couldn't help feeling that I was being "sold" things all the time - there are sales people selling you diving, excursions, massages, photos etc every day all day!! The prices are double what they are in Playa del Carmen. If you want internet access its $11 an hour, a good coffee is 25 pesos. I had my hair done at the resort (which looked great) but they tried to charge me more after the fact (saying it was long hair rather than medium etc). Not a big deal but I felt they were always trying to screw every last penny from you!! I had a massage on the beach with my husband and it was terrible and expensive. Also, all the staff expect tips - I even saw people tipping individual people at each of the buffet stations!!

All the restuarants accepting reservations had good food and ambiance but I was sick of the buffet after day 2 (a lot of fried food/ pizza's etc)
We enjoyed eating at the restuarant by the beach overlooking the water rather than the buffet near the lobby.
Service seemed to be hit or miss - I would say generally good.
The resort was very clean and grounds manicured. We had a 1yr old and I was impressed about how clean the room and toilets etc were kept. We felt very safe with belongings etc.
However, I did not feel that the resort was very "kid safe" - there were wires hanging out everywhere and uneven paths etc
We used a babysitter ($10/hr) and she seemed really nice - they need 24hr advance notice.
We had a crib in our room

There is no beach and the resort is a 20 minute (120 peso) cab ride from town. Playa del Carmen has a beautiful beach - it would have been nice to have been closer.
We went mid Nov (during term) and there was one 12yr old in our party. We didn't see another teenager on the resort the whole time we were there.

Tips:
1. You get 4 restuarant reservations for a week - reserve as soon as you get there as they will get booked out and you might not get the restaurants you want.
2. When asking for a drink you have to specify what brand you want (For example Absolut/ Smirnoff was available but they would give you the cheap vodka with your drinks unless you asked for the premium brand).
3. Some people brought there own cups/ mugs so they could get more drink in them - (even better if they are insulated so the ice doesnt melt!)
4. My dad brought a torch which was helpful as some of the paths aren't very well lit at night and he used it to read some of the menus in some of the dimly lit restaurants!
5. There is good snorkelling by the adult pool (but you have to sign a waiver)
6. The photo shop onsite took some great photos - approx $10 a photo and worth organising a private shoot if you have time (it doesn't cost any extra - you just pay for the photos you like)
7. When you arrive, walk straight through the airport to find your rep - people try to grab your bags from you and then expect to be paid $5
8. If you dive/ book tours I've heard it is better to book through an operator in Playa del Carmen as it is half price.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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10  Thank collmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Andrea S, Manager at Occidental at Xcaret Destination, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2011

Dear Collmm,
Thank you for choosing Occidental Grand Xcaret and for taking the time to share your experience. Please accept our apologies for the negative aspects of your stay. We strive to create memorable vacations for our guests and we work hard to give as many options as possible in order for you to make the best out of your holidays. Nevertheless we would like to thank you for inform us about this in order for us to avoid future misunderstandings like this.
In regards to your comments about child safety at our resort, please know that we are a family-friendly hotel and we try to keep all the areas safe for the little ones. I will speak with our Maintenance Manager to ensure that your concerns are addressed.
On the other note, concerning your perception of our staff expecting tips, we can assure you that this is not a typical example of behavior from our staff; all our employees know that tipping is reserved for truly the extraordinary service. Please accept our sincere apologies and rest assured that we will take the appropriate corrective actions to prevent future similar situations.
Once again, thank you for staying with us and we hope that you can give us another opportunity to erase those mixed feelings and to demonstrate to you that Grand Occidental Xcaret is a resort worthy of another visit.
Best Regards.
Ruth Carrillo.
Manager on Duty.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Occidental at Xcaret Destination

Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal Puerto Juarez Km. 282 | Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly Occidental Grand Xcaret All Inclusive Resort)
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#38 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#45 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#47 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#48 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#50 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#77 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: $160 - $770 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Occidental at Xcaret Destination 4.5*
Number of rooms: 764
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The 5-star Occidental at Xcaret Destination in Riviera Maya is a perfect combination in a natural setting with preserved cultural landmarks and an all-inclusive resort with a unique array of rooms, services, and state-of-the-art facilities. Choosing among the many possible activities is the most complicated part of a stay at this resort in Playa del Carmen. Swimming with dolphins, attending a Mayan Indian ceremony, enjoying all types of water sports at the beach club or sailing down the beautiful rivers and canals that surround the hotel are just a few highlights. The Xcaret eco-archeological park offers one of the most unique and exciting park, especially for families, by guaranteeing over 40 cultural attractions and expositions on art and traditions in Mexico. However, as people normally say at the hotel: "Do it all...or simply do nothing." Choose from a list of diverse activities such as strolling through the lush gardens at the resort, enjoying the sun while lying on a hammock, or taking a refreshing swim in one of the resort's five pools or private beach. Anti-stress remedies at the resort are endless. Regardless of how you plan each day at the resort, the hotel's choice of culinary selections is designed to satisfy the demands of every kind of guest. With 10 bars, including the one at the club, and 11 restaurants, guests have the freedom to choose a snack, an informal meal, a gourmet feast or a candlelight dinner, among many other options. The key to this resort is balancing between modern facilities and the marvelous Mexican rainforest that is filled with stunning local wildlife. Entertainment, relaxation and nature coexist at the Occidental at Xcaret Destination. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel
Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret
Grand Flamenco Xcaret
Xcaret Grand Occidental
Occidental Xcaret
Hotel Xcaret
Xcaret Playa Del Carmen
Grand Xcaret Occidental
Xcaret Hotel
Grand Occidental Xcaret

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