Guests looking for a resort with Mexican charm in the midst of a jungle setting and within walking distance to a major Riviera Maya attraction can look no further–the Occidental Grand Xcaret may be just the resort for you. Built on a grand scale with 750 guest rooms surrounded by 220 acres of natural jungle, the Grand Xcaret is home to several onsite Mayan ruins, a subterranean river which meanders through the lobby area providing a means of transportation to Xcaret Park, a multitude of animals to see (and some you may not want to see), and some great offshore snorkeling.
Water is a central feature at the resort with five pools, the river, and a man-made beach and cove. Although guests cannot access the ocean at the cove’s end (there is a barrier), ocean water and marine life can freely enter and exit at this point which makes the cove an ideal place to snorkel, or for young children to swim since there are no strong currents or waves. Since the cove’s beach is narrow, loungers and Bali beds are terraced above the beach. Guests who value long beach walks won’t find that here; most of the natural beach at the resort is extremely rocky with rough surf making it unusable for recreational purposes.
The resort’s five pools include a very large freeform main pool with swim-up bar (cover your drink when exiting out from under the waterfall!), the “quiet” pool with its built-in Jacuzzis (non-heated), the oceanfront adults-only natural pool which, like the cove, allows ocean water and marine life easy entry and exit, the upgraded Royal Club pool, and the children’s pool. For those who sunburn easily, be aware that the oceanfront pool lacks shade.
The open-air lobby is a wonderful place to relax, have a drink, and enjoy the soaring palapa roof and central fountain with lots of available seating. Be sure to see the Mayan-inspired show where entertainers in original Mayan dress and face/body paint canoe their way along the subterranean river into the lobby and perform native dances to the accompaniment of multiple drums (the show used to be held daily at 6:45 p.m.). This performance is meant to be a “teaser” for the acclaimed evening show over at neighboring Xcaret Park (Xcaret Mexico Espectacular).
Near the lobby are many amenities including several restaurants, a disco, theater, sports bar, fitness center, spa, tennis courts, and shops (Pueblo del Rio). Just past the tennis courts is the main pool, while adjacent to the main pool is the Kid’s Club. Further along past the main pool is the Royal Club which is located beachfront. Only certain Royal Club guest rooms have good oceanfront views; the remainder of the resort’s rooms are either garden or pool view. The other half of the resort is over on the south side of the property directly adjacent to Xcaret Park and consists of the “quiet” pool and accompanying guest room buildings, two Mayan ruins, and the man-made beach and cove. Since this is a large resort, there is a shuttle service which transports guests to/from various amenities with transportation offered from 7:30 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. Guests who choose not to take the shuttle can count on a 15-20 min. walk from the lobby to the Royal Club area (to give an idea of scale).
Those staying at the Occidental Grand Xcaret for three or more nights have access to an upgraded package for those who want to devote more time at Xcaret Park. It is called “Unlimited Xcaret Xperience” and includes the following additional amenities:
- separate check-in area and welcome drink
- robe and slippers
- unlimited access to Xcaret Park for number of days purchased
- reserved seating at the Xcaret Park evening show
- purchases made at any Xcaret store can be delivered to your guest room free of charge
- 10% off meals at Xcaret Park
- 30% off 90 min. Wayak Mayan massage at the spa
Resort guests who choose to visit Xcaret Park, even without an upgraded package, can save some money by having meals at the resort and then return to the park to further enjoy its marvels. There are also additional promotions listed on the park’s website for those guests who do not choose to upgrade to the Unlimited Xcaret Xperience through the resort.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Easy access to Xcaret Park, no dinner reservations needed, offshore snorkeling at the cove.
Con: Small man-made beach, WiFi $ (there’s only one hr. free per day in the lobby), strong timeshare presence.
Best Suited For: Families with children ages 4-9, nature lovers, those who wish to explore Xcaret Park without the transportation hassle.
No. of Rooms: 750
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, telephone, coffee maker, ceiling fan, alarm clock, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, shower, and toiletries. Although most rooms have a balcony, there are a few which do not. WiFi is an extra charge, and there is no room service in non-Royal Club rooms. Here is a brief list of guest room categories:
- Deluxe: King or two dbl beds. Resort view.
- Deluxe Pool View: King or two dbl beds.
- Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds, balcony, sofa, coffee table, armchair, desk and chair. Garden/resort view.
- Jr. Suite Pool View: Same as the Jr. Suite only with a pool view.
- NOTE: Some non-Royal Club room categories can be upgraded with the following packages:
- Grand Concierge: Includes internet café access, turndown service, welcome fruit basket and bottle of wine, robes, and dedicated concierge service.
- Grand Romance: Includes welcome bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries, 30 min. massage p/person, breakfast in bed (first morning), romantic dinner, turndown service, gift/special amenities.
- Unlimited Xcaret Xperience: See above for list of amenities.
(Royal Club) This is an upgrade and includes the following amenities:
- private check-in/out
- dedicated concierge
- all guest rooms have a balcony/terrace
- private pool with Jacuzzi and wait service
- private restaurant and bar
- access to a very small strip of sand beach
- access to private lounge with snacks, hors d’oeuvres, top-shelf liquor, and complimentary use of lounge computers
- complimentary room service with limited hours (7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Jacuzzi tub
- nightly turndown service
- fruit basket and bottle of wine upon arrival
- pillow menu
- robe and slippers
- upgraded toiletries
(Royal Club Room Categories)
- Royal Club Luxury: Two dbl beds, balcony, table and two chairs.
- Royal Club Jr. Suite: Separate bedroom with king bed, entertainment center with TV, CD/DVD player, living room with sofa, two armchairs, coffee table, telephone, entertainment center with TV, dining area with table and six chairs, bidet, balcony off the living room and bedroom.
- Royal Club Master Suite: Two bedroom suite (king bed in one bedroom and two dbl beds in the other), three TV’s, three telephones, two bathrooms, bidet, living room with entertainment center, CD/DVD player, sofa, two armchairs, coffee table, dining room table and six chairs, two balconies.
- Royal Club Master Suite Ocean View: Same amenities as the Royal Club Master Suite with an upgraded view.
- NOTE: Royal Club rooms can be upgraded further to include Unlimited Xcaret Xperience amenities. Also, guests should be aware that all guest room buildings do not have elevators–these are three story buildings.
Physically Challenged Rooms: This resort may be difficult to traverse for those with mobility issues.
Resort Amenities: Five pools (main pool with swim-up bar, quiet pool with three built-in Jacuzzis, children’s pool, adults-only pool, and Royal Club pool with Jacuzzi), man-made cove, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, tennis courts, paddleboard, archery, shuffleboard, mini-golf, theater, sports bar, disco, hammocks, Bali beds, resort shuttle service, boat service to Xcaret Park entrance, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), lobby espresso bar ($), concierge, gift shops, car and motorcycle rental, ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: One buffet (Le Buffet) and five a la cartes including two Mexican (Sonora Grill and La Hacienda), Italian (Los Olivos), Asian (D’Oriental), and seafood (El Pescador). Reservations are no longer required at the a la carte restaurants. There is also a pizzeria, taco bar (Pacos Tacos), and snack bar (El Lago), and for Royal Club guests, their own private restaurant. There are nine bars–a swim-up bar, lobby bar, disco bar, sports bar, two pool bars, beach bar by the cove, theater bar, and drinks available at the snack bar. Royal Club guests have their own private bar as well. Try the Flamencos pool bar at the quiet pool with its own swing seats and nearby hammocks.
Entertainment: Nightly shows are held in the theater, nightly movie, disco and teen mini-disco, sports bar, Mayan lobby show at dusk, live music by the lobby bar and by the stage area.