We got a chance to visit an old friend this week, the unique and eco-friendly Occidental Grand Xcaret. Located just south of Playa Del Carmen (which makes for a very easy 5 minute taxi ride into town), and just over an hour from Cancun’s airport, the Grand Xcaret (pronounced with the Mayan “sh” for x, so “shcaret”) is a sprawling all-inclusive resort built right into the natural Yucatan landscape.
This 4+ star resort features 769 rooms (over 280 of them being connecting, great for larger families); 11 restaurants including Oriental, Italian, Mexican, Steak House, and Seafood; an impressive 10 bars; both standard and junior suites with in room minibars; a sheltered man-made beach that allows for very calm swimming and snorkeling (it’s quite common to see dozens of fish weaving between swimmers!); several onsite Mayan ruins; and the upscale hotel-within-a-hotel Royal Club, with its own pool and restaurant exclusively for Royal Club guests.
Guests staying a week can make four a la carte reservations for dining upon arrival; this doesn’t mean the other nights cannot be a la carte as other resorts may do, however. Guests can simply check at the restaurant that day to see if space is available. Royal Club guests have preferred reservations. The resort is very spread out, and even at maximum occupancy one would be hard pressed to find a crowded area. In the evenings, Grand Xcaret’s philosophy changes, as the restaurants, theater, sports bar, and nightclub are all in and around a central plaza, making for an enjoyable, higher-energy atmosphere.
One last note – the Occidental Grand Xcaret is adjacent to the Xcaret nature/water park, which is a eco-themed adventure destination with dolphin swims, snorkeling, and nighttime Mayan fire shows. Guests of the hotel are able to walk or take a small Mexican gondola along a stream into the Xcaret park, and instead of the normal $69 entry fee, only pay $49. Another great benefit – it’s just a five minute journey, so guests can enter in the morning, enjoy the park for a few hours, head back to the hotel for lunch (all inclusive remember!) and maybe a nap for the kids, and reenter the park late afternoon for more activities and the nightime show. No other resort has that!
We’ve got dozens of brand new Occidental Grand Xcaret pictures posted on our site. They are currently running a really aggressive 52% off sale through June 30th, plus 30% savings in the Royal Club, and kids 12 and under stay free. Rates start at $80 per person, per night (no airfare) for summer travel!