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Great for Divers!09/26/2013
We are just back and had a great trip ... even though it rained the entire time (not the hotels fault, obviously! but we found umbrella's in the closet provided ...
We are just back and had a great trip ... even though it rained the entire time (not the hotels fault, obviously! But we found umbrella's in the closet provided to use during our stay to get around the hotel grounds!) I am going to be as straight up as possible. For those that this is to long to read it all - know this The on site dive shop DIVE PALANCAR was Fantastic! and the valet for your dive gear was Soooo nice and worth the extra tip to them at the end of the week! Regarding the "promo's" - If you don't want to be bothered with the "vacation package" sales pitch , just tell them NO nicely, with a smile, and mean it - and Don't use the "free" entertainment deals they offer (because you Only get them With the sales pitch!) - and they Will leave you alone. If food quality and variety are a major part of your vacation enjoyment or fine dining is options are criticle, you are not going to be happy here. Do ask questions and ask for whatever you need or want - water, extra towls, an umbrella, directions, information or whatever, we found that ALL of the staff tried to be helpful and accomodating - Now into more detail; most of the reviews were at least partially correct.... yes there is allot of walking, but the grounds are Beautiful and it was fun to spot all the lizards, iguana's, blue crabs and a little family of pigs (javalina's) roaming around! The Beach is Pretty and is natural - not a concrete pier with sand, which is why it's so roomy I'm sure! Do take bug spray for evenings and night strolls and sitting on the balcony. The balcony's on the rooms are like little tree house seats because of the tropical vegetation, it is like sitting in the jungle, no ocean views here - I enjoyed it, husband preferred the bed! The food was not great and defintly not gourmet, and it tended to be repatitious, but there was always something to get full on (and no funny looks when ya took a little fruit or box of cereal or yogurt to snack on later!) - however the coffee at the buffet and restrarants was Horrid (but our room had little packs that were Much better and the maid would give you as many packs and as much bottled water as we wanted - so we had coffee in our room and we just had fruit punch and water at meals, or mixed drinks- that were very good!); the salt always plugged so be prepared to just uncap, dump some on the side and use fingers to sprinkle! or do like I finally did on a trip to town, I bought my own that had a solid lid and carried it with me to eat! Yea I know .. but I gotta have salt! As I stated above, the dive shop is Fantastic! We did not use the water sports equipment available because of the weather (though we did dive every day) but spoke with several people that did the snorkeling tour and class and said it was great! We plan on using the sea kayaks next trip and maybe try the kite boards! On to our room, the AC was defintly Cold- but we saw the comments in the reviews and took lightweight jammies and fuzzy socks (for me) in the room and it was perfect. We have stayed where the AC was weak before, and with the humidity and heat of Mexico, even with the daily rain, we considered it a plus that the air conditioning was so chilly! Our room was very comfy and clean, beds are very very firm/hard. Our bathroom was our favorite part of our room! Good size closet, which is where we found the stocked fridge (2 beers, some soda's and a few bottles of water) and the room safe and iron. Also there was an alcove of sorts with a full length mirror and some empty tiled floor space for wet stuff. The shower and tub were separate and the shower was THE BEST! It was large and roomy and had fantastic water flow and pressure and lots of hot water! After a day of diving and walking it was the perfect warm up and wind down! Hot shower and cup of coffee!
Not a Good Pick08/01/2013
I do not recommend staying at the occidental grand at all. Â like some other reviewers here, we did not have a good experience. Â yes, the hotel grounds are lush and ...
Â Â Â I do not recommend staying at the Occidental Grand at all. Â Like some other reviewers here, we did not have a good experience. Â Yes, the hotel grounds are lush and tropical, but thats about all the good I can say about Occidental Grand. Â Â Â Â To begin, we paid a shuttle bus about $40 to drive us from the airport through town and then across an additional 10 miles of mostly undeveloped land to our hotel. Â This resort is isolated! Â We were dropped off at the main building and our luggage was placed with other bags in the parking lot. Â We checked in at the front desk easy enough, but then were escorted to another desk where we were asked to sign up for the orientation breakfast the following morning. Â This required a $10 deposit, but we were assured we would get more than that back in activity coupons. Â All we had to do was sit thru a 90-minute presentation. Â This sounded suspiciously like a time share push to me, but the guy at the desk assured me it was not. Â In the end I opted out of the breakfast and got my $10 back. Â They were not happy at all. Â And since we werenât opting for the time share push that meant we could not use the jacuzzi and could not eat at one of the buffets. Â Those things were reserved for âRoyal Clubâ participants only. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â After dealing with the front desk(s) we were pointed in the direction of the beach and were told of a restaurant serving a buffet there. Â So we walked. Â And walked. Â And walked. Â We walked approximately 1/4 mile across the hotel grounds in order to get to the first pool, then the second pool and then finally the beach. Â After eating we then had to walk the 1/4 mile back to the front desk to get our room keys and bags. Â But there was nobody there to help with our bags so we hauled them ourselves. Â Back in the direction of the beach we walked and walked. Â When we got to our building we then discovered there were no elevators to take us to our 3rd floor room. Â So we hauled our stuff up the stairs. Â Â Â Â The room itself was fairly nice and clean, but the bed was hard and the pillow cases smelled sour. Â So we had housecleaning replace the cases, but those were sour too. Â We went thru the process again before we finally got fresh linen. Â Somewhere along the way our electronic door lock mechanism fell off when we closed the door. Â We had to have maintenance come out and fix that. Â Â Â Â Â We got situated in the room and checked our view. Â It was tropical all right. Â Nothing but trees. Â No ocean view at all! Â How could there be a view when the ocean was a couple hundred yards away and hidden by a jungle of trees and landscaping?Â Â Â Eventually we got our swimsuits on and made the trek to the water for some play time. Â But we couldnât get any beach towels. Â All of them had been taken by other guests. Â And clean towels would not be available for some time. Â Same thing the next day. Â I mentioned it to the front desk and asked if they could deliver some beach towels to our room. Â No, they said. Â I would have to get them at the pool whenever the laundry was done. Â In the end it took us 3 days to get our beach towels!Â Â Â After some beach time we walked back to our room and up the 3 flights of stairs to a hot hotel room. Â The thermostat was set at its lowest, but the A/C was not up to deal with the tropical climate. Â So the room stayed hot. Â And the power fluctuated throughout our stay which caused the code for our room safe to erase and the door to lock with our valuables inside. Â Another call to maintenance. Â And one night the room A/C was not working at all. Â Yet another call to maintenance. Â But still we felt fortunate. Â The couple in a neighboring room went without any power whatsoever for hours. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Speaking of A/C, there is none at all in the gift shop and the restaurants. Â They donât even have ceiling fans to circulate the air in those places! Â So you get 100+ hungry and sweaty people standing in a buffet line so they can sit together and generate body heat in an enclosed, un air-conditioned, unvented dining room and eat food that is mediocre at best. Â Oh, and make sure you are clear on how much of that eating you can do. Â The length of your stay dictates the number of reservations you can make in the non-buffet restaurants. Â We stayed 3 nights and were allowed only 1 reservation. Â Everything else had to be the same old stuff in the buffet lines. Â And if you are hungry and they are not serving a buffet at that time then sorry, youâre out of luck. Â There are no other snack options. Â Â Â Â Â Â In regards to other amenities, there is no Internet access in the rooms, you canât flush toilet paper, the water is not filtered so be prepared to brush your teeth with bottled water and keep your yap shut in the shower, and the night life activities the hotel offered were not well attended at all. Â The pool closes at 8 pm and everything else pretty much dies down by 10 pm. Â Â Â Â Â Sooner rather than later, we wanted to get away from the resort and go explore the town. Â Maybe eat some better food. Â Getting a rental car from this hotel was a nightmare though. Â They use minimal staffing, you see. Â Most often there was only 1 front desk clerk attending a line of guests. Â There was also only 1 spa lady which only occasionally attended her desk. Â And there was only 1 car rental guy too. Â Want the time share or want to buy tour packages? Â Well there are 3-4 folks waiting to help you. Â But if you need something from the front desk or want to reserve a massage at the spa or want to get a rental car and get away from the hotel then be prepared to wait. Â And donât expect the clerks to answer their phones or to be at their desks during their listed working hours. Â I waited an hour to get my rental car. Â My rental scooter never showed up at all, and then I couldnât find the rental clerk to fix the problem because he had gone to lunch from 1 pm to 4 pm. Â In the end, and feeling quite trapped by this time, we had to pay $25 and take a cab the 10 miles into town. Â From there we rented a scooter for the day for $25. Â Despite all Iâve said here, if you choose to stay at this hotel I at least recommend that you use a vehicle rental agency from outside the hotel. Â Alimo is just down the street. Â But know in advance that Occidental Grand refuses to let competition onto their property so you will have to go meet Alimo at the front gate. Â Still much quicker and more efficient than dealing with the hotelâs one rental guy and his Iâll-be-there-when-I-feel-like-it work ethic. Â Â Â Â Â All of that to say this once again: I do not recommend staying at the Occidental Grand at all. Â Cozumel itself is a beautiful island! Â It is a bucket list destination for sure. Â Just donât stay at this hotel when you get there. Â Instead, stay somewhere else. Â There are many other resorts to choose from. Â I suggest picking one that is much closer to town or one that is in the town itself. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Need to hire more help07/18/2013
My family stayed at the occidental grand cozumel 3 years ago and had a good experience, so we elected to stay there again when we returned to the island this ...
My family stayed at the Occidental Grand Cozumel 3 years ago and had a good experience, so we elected to stay there again when we returned to the island this year. Some noted changes - The food quality was slightly diminished and the variety was certainly diminished. The most glaring change however, was the short supply of wait staff. Don't get me wrong, the people working in the restaurants and bars were working very hard, there were just not enough of them. It was difficult to get table service and drinks. Most of the tables at the buffet had no place settings. The line at the pool bar was often 20 to 30 people deep with only one bartender. Then when he ran out of glasses, he would leave for 10 minutes to get more and there was NO bartender! My impression was that the resort was trying to cut costs by having fewer staff and also by having fewer staff (bartenders) they served fewer drinks thereby saving money. Well that may come back to bite them when people decide not to return. The good -- the beach is very nice and has some pretty good snorkeling right off the beach. You don't have to venture out to see a nice variety of fish. The Occidental also has a nice pier, so if you book excursions to dive, snorkel or fish you don't have far to go. They will pick you up right there. They also have a dive shop on the resort to book those excursions. The rooms are fine. Beds are hard, very hard.
You Get What You Pay For07/11/2013
We booked a 7 night stay through travelocity for the occidental grand cozumel. it was definitely a solid "good". the hotel grounds are beautiful, well-maintained and huge. the fact ...
We booked a 7 night stay through Travelocity for the Occidental Grand Cozumel. It was definitely a solid "good". The hotel grounds are beautiful, well-maintained and huge. The fact that there was both a "relaxation" pool and an "activity" pool was nice when we wanted to get away from the noise of the larger pool. The staff provided fun activities throughout the resort during the day, though on a rainy day, they ended up changed without notice or anyone seeming to know what was going on. The hotel itself was well maintained but on the older side. It's not a fancy, 5-star resort like you would find in Cancun or outside of Playa del Carmen, but it's nice. Our main complaints were that we did not have a safe in our room (when you have passports, this is a big problem) and the lock on our door was malfunctioning so that we could not ever seem to get in (I guess we didn't have to worry about our passports being taken though). When we asked about the safe, the staff said "Oh are you in building 10?, Yes, there are no safes in that building." So that was the end of that. We had also requested a king bed and ended up with two, very small double beds instead. It wasn't horrible, but when you're on vacation as a couple, it's a nice luxury to have the king bed. The food at the resort was not bad. It was certainly edible every single day and we didn't quite understand all the complaints we read prior to booking. It was, by no means, gormet. But it was decent and certain things were really good. The biggest issue we had was that there was almost nothing healthy for breakfast and the breakfast and lunch offerings seemed to be basically identical every day. It got boring. We do not see ourselves heading back to Cozumel anytime soon. We loved it and had a great trip, but the island is small and you run out of things to see/do. But that decision has nothing to do with the resort. They do their best to make it fun for you and overall, they succeed. It was a great value that allowed us to be able to take a vacation and we are appreciative of that!
We enjoyed a great vacation with beautiful scenery. the tropical atmosphere and very friendly staff made our experience very enjoyable. i was very pleased with the meals and actually ate ...
We enjoyed a great vacation with beautiful scenery. The tropical atmosphere and very friendly staff made our experience very enjoyable. I was very pleased with the meals and actually ate a great rib eye at the steak house. The only Â complaint I have was the initial two hour time share sales pitch from the resort.Â
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