If you’re here at this page hopefully it’s because you’re heading down to visit the beautiful Occidental at Xcaret Destination (Formerly known as Occidental Grand Xcaret All Inclusive Resort). We were there late in 2016 and it was our second visit within 5 years. This time we went with another couple. When we arrived we found out it had been taken over by the Barcelo company and they were working hard to freshen the place up.
Maybe a bit more info about us before I dig too deep into this review. We love to travel and I in particular love going to all-inclusive resorts. I’m a 4 or 5-star guy all the way. Michelle is a bit more willing to do the adventurous accommodations. We are 40 somethings who don’t travel with kids and like to travel during the shoulder seasons so we encounter fewer crowds. Ok, with that out of the way, on with the review…
This is a huge resort. Not as big as the Bahia resorts I’ve been to but still large very large. There is a tram to take you from the lobby to the beach with stops along the way for the different buildings. There are two entrances to the Xcaret Eco-park as well. On in the lobby by boat and another down by the beach through a gate. A very nice feature so you can come back at lunch, change out of your wet clothing and then head back to the park.
First off, I love the beach area here and normally I don’t leave the pool. You can’t walk along the coast but the man-made beach area always has a green flag and you can snorkel in a safe bay. One member of our party was afraid of the Ocean and this worked well for her. There is a beach bar, tiered seating and the beach restaurant all in one place. We spent quite a bit of time snorkeling both in the man-made bay and out around the point when the water wasn’t too rough. They had lots of chairs and beach beds with little sun shades for pasty white guys like me.
There are a few pools that all connect to the center of the resort. The main “entertainment” pool is closest to the lobby. Right beside that is another pool that has the pool bar is a bit quieter depending on the crowd. There were a few times that there were large groups hanging around hooting it up but with lots of room, it was never a problem. Lastly, there is another pool that has a walk-in beside a sit-at/walk-up bar. This bar has some rope swings at the bar (3 or 4) and was the quietest pool while we were there. They have stone chairs and a jacuzzi like a feature on the far side. The only issue I had was there were a few areas with chairs reserved for the Virgin Club customers but that might be because their building seemed to be farther away from the pools.
The rooms are nice and have been updated since we were last there. There was a USB port beside the beds and one on the table under the mirror. A mini fridge was stocked with water, beer, and pop. There is also a new safe with a programmable keypad. All the typical things you’d expect at a modern resort. One interesting thing was that the sliding door to the balcony locked automatically. Could be kind of a bummer if you are both out sitting and the door closes behind you.
The Food & Restaurants
While we were there the buffet was closed for renovations but they have opened up the beach restaurant for that. All the rest of the restaurants were open and very good. We didn’t need reservations and could go to any we like any night but we went at the end of the low season. Not sure if this is the standing policy going forward now that Occidental has been bought by Barcelo but it was nice to not have to get up early to fight for that reservation. They also have a sports bar beside the theater and up the stairs from that is a Taco bar, English style “pub”, and a Pizza spot.
The Dreaded Time-share
Lastly, they have a “1st club” that replaced the Royal Club as their Occidental “time share thing”. They are less offensive the most places but they are insistent and stationed at the front desk in your room block.
Thanks for reading, Happy and Safe Travels.