We have just spent 10 days at the Hotel Occidental at XCaret. We came over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was nice to not have to have the kids miss so much school, but I will admit that I missed our traditional Thanksgiving traditions. The weather was perfect. It was in the high 70’s and low 80’s every day with no rain! It was heavenly!
It seems that there are always pros and cons of every place we visit. We travel with our three children, my parents, and my husbands mom. 8 total traveling with ages ranging from 7 to mid 70’s.
What we loved 💕
1. Right next door to XCaret The package that we booked included unlimited access to XCaret. This park is truly incredible. I will be going over this attraction in detail on another post. There was an aquarium, wildlife, entertainment, a great beach, and amazing underground rivers!
2. Unlimited food and drink and friendly staff! We LOVE to stay in a resort that is all inclusive. This is such a great thing when traveling with large groups and kiddos. I love not having to say no one million times and not having to carry my purse with my everywhere we go. There is something different mentally about paying one price up front and feeling like everything is “free” once you are there! Even though I know there isn’t the case! 😉😂. The staff was very friendly and always willing to help in any way. There seemed to be ample employees and most spoke English. One of our morning servers even did a little dance for us and one of our evening servers helped us with our TERRIBLE Spanish skills.
3. Free Snorkeling each day The hotel provided snorkeling equipment each day for one hour per guest. There was great snorkeling right off of the shore and it was a fun activity to do with the kiddos each day.
4. Fun activities planned each day The hotel had a great activities staff. They helped facilitate bocce ball, volleyball tournaments, ping pong tournaments, a foam party, guacamole lessons, and water aerobics. It was wonderful and helped keep the kids entertained. Each evening they had a fun show for everyone to enjoy. The outfits were sometimes slightly risqué, but overall it was a good show for the whole family.
5.) Abundant Wild Life There was so much wildlife right at the resort. The trails were filled with monkeys jumping overhead, iguanas at ever turn, and macaws in the lobby. It was an adventure every time you walked to a new part of the hotel.
What was lacking
1.) The food needed improvement Overall we all; ate well and the food was good. I just felt like there was room for improvement. You could only eat at the buffets for breakfast and lunch and I was not impressed with the seafood quality. The dinner restaurants were very good food but you had to be there right st 6:00 when they opened in order to get a table for our large group.
2.) No HotTub Need I say more? Not really, but I am going to anyway. There is something about being on vacation and hanging out in the hot tub in the evenings when the sun goes down and the kids are asleep. I truly missed this during this vacation. There was a hot tub in the First Club area which was a private area that you had to pay to be a member of. I checked these hot tubs twice during our stay and they were ice cold! I would have been pretty ticked if I had payed for this service and the hot tubs were cold.
3.) SO MUCH WALKING The hotel is very spread out and requires a lot of planning to avoid a ton of walking. With members of our group being in their 70’s this turned out to be a challenge. It was also very easy to get lost for the directionally challenged like me! 😜
4.) Small annoyances The men were required to wear pants and closed toed shoes for dinner. I understand a collared shirt but the only reason my husband had pants with him was because it was snowing when we left Montana! Having to wear closed toed shoes was also kind of a pain. My husband typically wears a nice button up shirt, linen shirts, and flip flops for dinner on vacation. We didn’t loved being told what to do on vacation. Maybe we are just stubborn! 😜
No designated smoking area. We do not smoke and being from the states and being used to no smoking areas; this was a bit of a shock. We didn’t like having to move tables and such due to people smoking in the common areas.
No free WiFi! 😩 We had unlimited data on our cell plan but it showed down after certain usage. You had to pay for WiFi at the resort and the cell service was poor in our hotel room so using Facebook and Instagram in the room was nearly impossible.
These were all small things, but were frustrating enough to warrant mentioning. 😬
Would we go again?
I think the jury is still out on this one. My mom LOVED everything about this trip. She says it was one of her favorite vacations and thought everything was top notch. I know the kids have had an excellent time. I really enjoyed the trip and am so glad we came. XCaret is a must see and think it was an amazing place. I feel like it is somewhat like Disney world or Disney land. Something everyone should do but probably not something you do on an annual basis. I think we will be visiting other locations for the next few years but we would probably come back several years from now.
Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about visiting the Cancun area or visiting XCaret!🌞🏝