Formerly known as Barceló Costa Cancun (and still part of the Barceló Hotels and Resorts Group), the family-friendly Occidental Costa Cancun is located on the northwestern end of the Hotel Zone in Playa Linda, a popular beachfront area in Cancun. The resort is situated in a small bay which is typically busy with ocean traffic–Captain Hook’s Pirate Dinner Cruise, the Isla Mujeres ferry, and numerous other water craft make the adjacent port a stopover for their activities, while the nearby 300 ft. high rotating tower offers fantastic views of Cancun. The Occidental Costa Cancun is mostly frequented by a younger crowd and is a popular spring break stay; families with young children, groups of friends, and solo travelers have also been known to frequent this resort. The Occidental Costa Cancun has also become more popular since its renovation in the fall of 2016 when guest rooms, the lobby and pool areas, snack bar, and several restaurants were all redone.
The hotel itself consists of multiple-story white towers honeycombed with numerous archways giving its exterior a Mediterranean look and feel. Given the general layout of the hotel towers and their proximity to the water, there are only a few tower sections which are close to the beach and sea–this resort does not have very many true ocean view/oceanfront rooms. Many rooms, however, do have pool views but lack balcony space from which to enjoy them (many are French balconies with not enough room for a chair). Vacationers who appreciate a guest room as more than just a place to sleep should consider booking the Jr. Suite since it has an incredible amount of space as well as a balcony Jacuzzi. Guest room décor is primarily white and tan which gives the interior space a more open and airy feel; bathrooms are a good size with shower-only.
Guest room towers hug the only onsite freeform pool. A general hub of day and nighttime activities, the pool tends to be quite busy and noisy until around 11 p.m. following evening entertainment on the nearby open-air stage. There are lots of loungers and a fair amount of poolside umbrellas, but no swim-up bar. The cordoned-off shallow section is perfect for children and a large pool shelf makes water entry easier. The center “island” with fountain is both aesthetically pleasing as well as practical since it also serves as a pool shelf for swimmers who want to take a break. With over 350 rooms, the pool is perhaps a smaller size than one would expect for a resort this this kind of capacity.
The small, white sand beach with its mature palm tree grove and the pool are only a few steps from one another making it incredibly easy to move back and forth between the two settings. Since the palms provide a great deal of shade on the beach, there are only a few palapas provided by the resort–serious tanners may think the beach is too shaded during prime sunning hours. Given the fact that this is a busy water thoroughfare, a swimmable area is roped off allowing guests to avoid boat and water craft traffic; however, the scent of gasoline or boat motor fumes may temporarily permeate a peaceful day at the beach. On a more positive note, there is a popular beach bar which serves drinks until 10 p.m.
Many prior guests of this hotel have lauded the 24-hr. self-service snack, drink, and games area located on the 2nd floor above the lobby. Serving pizza, sandwiches, pastries, and various self-service drinks, it can be a life-saver for those coming in late from the Cancun club scene since room service is an extra charge. The surrounding area can be a little noisy throughout the night–just something to keep in mind if your room happens to be in the near vicinity. In addition to 24-hr. food and drink options, Occidental Costa Cancun boasts four restaurants and two additional bars.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Calm water for swimming, close to Isla Mujeres ferry, complimentary access to spa “wet” areas
Con: Some rooms have French balconies, small pool and beach, WiFi $, no swim-up bar
Best Suited For: While this is a popular spring break destination, at other times of the year it is popular with young families, friends traveling together, and singles.
No. of Rooms: 358
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, terrace or balcony (some are French balconies), A/C, ceiling fan, digital safe, mini-bar, flat screen TV, telephone, coffee maker, radio alarm clock, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, shower-only, toiletries, and complimentary WiFi. Room service is an extra charge. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Double Room: King or two dbl beds, French balcony. Pool or resort view.
- Double Oceanfront: King or two dbl beds, French balcony. Ocean view.
- Double with Terrace: King or two dbl beds, armchair, table and two chairs, balcony with table and two chairs, hammock. Pool or ocean view.
- Interconnecting Rooms: Two connecting rooms with two dbl beds in each, French balconies. Resort, pool, or ocean view.
- Jr. Suite with Jacuzzi: King bed, chaise lounge, breakfast bar area with two stools, table and two chairs, large balcony with Jacuzzi tub, hammock, two full loungers. Pool and/or ocean view.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Freeform pool (no swim-up bar, integrated shallow section), spa with complimentary access to steam room and Jacuzzi, beauty salon, fitness center, non-motorized water sports, pool wait service, giant chess set, Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), small outdoor play area, computer and printer use ($), concierge, gift shop, jewelry store, car rental, medical services, ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: One buffet restaurant (Albatros) and three a la cartes including Mexican (Mexico Lindo), Italian (La Trattoria), and Asian (La Claraboya). Reservations are required for Mexico Lindo and La Trattoria restaurants; guests are advised to reserve as early in the day as possible (most reservations are gone by 9 a.m.). Self-service snacks and drinks for late-night partyers can be obtained in the 24-hr. snack bar above the lobby. There are two additional bars including the lobby and beach bars.
Entertainment: Family-oriented nightly show by the pool, live music in the lobby at night, Captain Hook’s pirate dinner cruise located next to the resort, and party package offered by the resort where staff escort guests to some of the most popular clubs in Cancun for a night of VIP treatment (short entrance lines, bottle service, etc.) for an extra cost.