Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel Review

Quiet resort and great for visiting Xcaret Park

Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel

The Grand Xcaret by Occidental Hotel has been on our recommended hotel list  for some time and we wanted to show you why and tell you who this hotel is a good fit for. Here is our review.

Grand Xcaret Occidental Review

The Grand  Xcaret by Occidental is just about 10 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen and located next to Xcaret Park. This was once an Mayan inhabited area in lush jungle. The grounds still maintain that feel and there are even Mayan ruins visible today. This is a quieter resort then some in the Riviera Maya and we hope our review helps you decide if this is a good fit for your stay or not.

Lobby and Main Buildings

If you are familiar with the Xcaret Park next door you might think that it will be about the same quality, however it is not designed as well or have the same energy. The main buildings is meant to be a village with a canal going through. It is a bit dead feeling and most of the storefronts that are supposed to be there are not used. So it is more like a ghost town rather then vibrant Mexican village. Some might like the fact it is so quiet since some rooms are right off this area.

This area could be a nice shopping area but we think you will have to go into Playa Del Carmen to do your souvenir shopping.

Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel
The main building by the lobby where it is supposed to look like a Mexican Village.

The main lobby of Grand Xcaret is impressive. It is a nice large open space. The lobby building lines up with the sunrise and  looks over the lush jungle surroundings.

 Grand Xcaret by Occidental Hotel
The main lobby and entrance at Grand Xcaret Resort.


Rooms at Grand Xcaret by Occidental

The rooms are standards and decent with no big complaints but no big surprises of great value. We rate the rooms at B+. You can upgrade to the Royal Club for much better rooms and most of our readers prefer to do this.

Tip: Buildings are three story and with stairs. If you have mobility issues make sure you request a ground floor room.

Grand Xcaret by Occidental
One of the buildings with rooms.


Food and Drink at Grand Xcaret

There are 11 restaurants on the property and 10 bars including a nice swim up bar at the pool. This resort has better then average food and drinks so we rate it an A-.

The Beach at Grand Xcaret Resort

The natural coast here is all rocky, so what this resort did was to build an inlet and create a beach with a beach club like atmosphere. So the idyllic white soft sandy beach with palm trees is not here. It is a quiet place to relax but not the best or nicest place to swim. It is however good for small children since there are no large waves. You do need to walk a little bit from your room to the beach.

We rate this beach a C- because it is not a natural sandy stretch of beach.

Grand Xcaret by Occidental resort
The “beach” at Grand Xcaret by Occidental.


Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel
The beach inlet at Grand Xcaret by Occidental.


Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel
Relaxing area of sunbeds around beach area.

The Pools at Grand Xcaret Resort

There are five swimming pools at this resort. The main pool is very nice and surrounded by large trees. There are many areas that are tucked off by themselves and quieter. If you are a sun lover you might want to get there early for the best places since there is less sunny spots then at other resorts since they have pools more in the open.

One thing we did not like is the beach loungers that are lined up at the edge of the pool and you have to walk around the pool to get in. If you like a lot of activities at the pool, well there is one end where the entertainment staff works but it is much calmer and less active then other resorts. Some may call it boring or dull while other might call it relaxing and quiet, so we are not going to give an opinion either way.

We rate the pools (mainly the main pool) here a A- because of lack of sun, the water is a little cooler, and it is not as entertaining and can be dull but at the same time not super relaxing, so it is in-between.

Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel
One pool view at Grand Xcaret.


Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel
Pool with swim up bar at Grand Xcaret by Occidental.

Other things we do not like:

There are a few things we want to comment on about this hotel. While many hotels try to sell services and even vacation packages, it seems a lot less intrusive. We noticed a little bit of a hard sell for products and services more so then other resorts. It is nice to have options but you are also there to relax and do not want to be bothered often by someone promoting  something.

Other things we like about this hotel:Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel

The kids club is good here. There are many native animals around like flamingos, macaws and even wild spider monkeys in the trees. There are even Maya ruins on the property, so all these things are nice for children.

You should take advantage of any discounts or tours they have. Being situated next to Xcaret Park is a major plus of this hotel. It is also close to Xplor eco adventure park. It would be a shame not to visit one of these while staying at this hotel.

Who we recommend this hotel for:

This Grand Xcaret by Occidental is for people searching a quieter stay in the Riviera Maya. It is also good for families that want to visit Xcaret Park since it is next to it and you have direct transportation from the hotel to the park. It also works out great since the Grand show in the park ends late at night, you only have a short commute to your room.

If you are a family with children that will enjoy the park next door, then this is a good choice for you. Families with older teens might start thinking about a more active place for kids age 16-18. Older couples (50-70) will enjoy the quieter setting and even lounging by the pool while not being in full sun all day.

We do not recommend this hotel for people that just want beach at their resort or for younger couples that want super exciting pool side activities because the beach is not the best and this is a much quieter resort then others in the Rivera Maya. We do not recommend this hotel for longer then one week stays because there are not a lot of activities and it is not as exciting as some other resorts.

Do you need help finding a resort for you?

We have great news for you! We have teamed up with a specialist that knows all the resorts, hotels and all inclusives in the Riviera Maya. See our article about Lori and how she can help plan your next vacation to Mexico.

Have you been to the Grand Xcaret by Occidental resort before? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below. We love to hear from our readers and have your comments help others find a good hotel for their vacation.


  1. We did stay at the Occidental Xcaret resort last year and have to say your impressions were about right. We got a little tired of them trying to sell us a membership or extra services. We visited Xcaret park which was nice because it was so close but now that we have been there we want a resort with a little more energy and better beach. The beach felt like we were in a bay and not nearly as nice as some of the other resorts we have seen online. Thanks for all your reviews because they are more accurate then Trip Advisor. So much of that site are fake or paid reviews. We like your independent style and all the reviews are things you go to. Thanks again and see you this year in the Rivera Maya.

    • Thanks so much for your comments! We do try to give a base point for all our reviews and compare things to all the other things we visit. We hope to add more all inclusive resorts soon. We hope your next stay in the Rivera Maya is great!

  2. It should be noted that there is a lot of walking on this property meaning distances are larger. This is nice if you like walking around. It was harder with a recent injury though.

  3. Hello. We just stayed at this resort and thought it was so relaxing. Even though it is close to Playa Del Carmen it is like in a nother world. I love the face it is close to Xcaret and we visited two days in a row because the park is so big. You will truly be transformed into another world when you visit Occidental Xcaret.

  4. We loved the stay at the Occidental Grand. The food, service and amenities were all excellent. Yes, there is a lot of walking, but it’s beautiful. You rock, Junior! Overall, we were very satisfied.

  5. We had a lovely stay at Xcaret Occidental resort. The beach areas was different but nice and clam and the kids love the water there. The food is good and we love the gardens with flamingos.

  6. We have stayed here but we will go to a new place this year. The Grand Occidental Xcaret is a little to quiet for the family and we have been to Xcaret, so that was the one big plus of staying there. We are looking at the Hard Rock this next time.

  7. We love this hotel because the beach is not the beach but an inlet. it is very peaceful laying there and having the calm water for the kids is great. Great service at this hotel. The property is big and makes for nice walks too. It is nice there are small Mayan ruins on the grounds.

  8. We stayed here last summer and had a nice time. We would give this hotel a 83 out of a 100. The rooms were nice , food was ok and energy was low but relaxing. We are looking for another hotel to try this year.

  9. We admire the staff here at the Occidental Hotel. We are treated so well. We see some of the same people here each year and feel like family. The location is so close to the Park of Xcaret and we like going at least once. We only visit Playa Del Carmen once in our stay.

  10. This hotel is nice and I know many people don’t use the gym but it does have one. I liked going there even though it could use an update. The tennis courts are also really nice at the Occidental Hotel.

  11. We spent our honeymoon here at Xcaret Occidental and go back each year. The hotel has a special meaning for us. It has consistent good service.

  12. We have stayed two times at the Occidental Xcaret Hotel. We have enjoyed it each time. It is a very relaxing resort and not as busy as some of the other larger ones. The pool is calm and a great way to de stress. We have visited Xcaret from there but maybe since we have done that twice we will venture further south to some even smaller resorts. I guess it comes with age, you start out at Cancun all inclusive hotels and then to the mid range and then to the small more luxury ones. We are heading toward out 50’s so we are looking for more quiet then entertainment.

  13. We tried The Xcaret hotel this year. It was nice but not our favorite. We like hotels with a little more energy and beach. This was good that it was close to Xcaret park but next year we want to be more toward Tulum.

  14. We stayed at XCaret in January 2014 and loved it so much we will be going back for our wedding this year. We really liked that the hotel was on the quieter side, that there were lots of places to walk around the resort with a jungle and beach feel, that the beach was a cove so the water was calm and you could snorkel with tons of fish right there. The room was not fancy but nice and clean, the food was good and we loved that you could walk back and forth to XCaret with ease. The only thing I missed was hot tubs – there are “whirlpools” but these are just pool water (I think there was an indoor one at the spa). Found the staff very friendly, and we just politely declined any timeshare requests or offers of a “Free Mayan Calendar” aka timeshare lure. Only other negative was beach and pool chairs got snagged early in the morning with “towel saves”…the beach would be deserted at 8am but people already had their stuff on every chair.

  15. I just stayed there and I must stay – I completely disagree with the recommendation- it’s is a terrible hotel- STAY AWAY! The beach is not C. There is no beach. It’s a smelly pool of dead fish.
    Food is disgusting. I had stomach ache all the time. For the same exact price you can get way better hotels (I got exact same deal at Paradissus, and the quality is day and night). People around you are retired couples that couldn’t save a lot in their life (sorry not trying to be mean, just saying), and people who just want to eat, quality of food not important. So you see tons of obese people, that’s why they get good reviews- from students who come to drink and don’t care and overweight people who come to eat and sleep and also don’t care.
    Avoid at all cost. It should cost twice cheaper than it is. Being next to Xcaret gives you zero benefits as well. You pay exact same price for park entrance as others, zero discount. Moreover, at the hotel they try to sell you dolphins rides which are way more expensive than what you can get in the park itself.

    Don’t waste your time and money here. I’m bitter I paid so much and had to escape it anyways in search of decent food and beach.

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