Surrounded by picturesque ocean views, lined with luscious tropical greenery and filled with an abundant amount of swimming pools, bars & restaurants, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I enjoyed most about my stay at the Occidental at Xcaret Destination in Playa del Carmen.
Only a three and a half hour plane ride from NYC and a 45 minute ride from the Cancun airport (thanks to Vacaciones Barcelo), the Occidental at Xcaret Destination was a breeze to get to. Upon entering the resort, we were greeted by an impressive lobby, which houses an array of restaurants, like La Hacienda and Sonora Grill, a selection of bars, wild animals and even a river that runs through the middle of the lobby, leading all the way to the Xcaret park next door.
The Room: During our visit, we had the opportunity to experience the Occidental Royal Level, which operates as a luxury boutique hotel within the all inclusive resort. In this area, you’re able to enjoy gourmet menus, feature VIP services, including a private pool, club and beach, 24/7 room service, and more. Our room, which you can see below, had a living room, dining room, hot tub and two beautiful balconies overlooking the resort and ocean. The best part? It had the most stunning and unobstructed views of the water, which was a refreshing sight to wake up to each morning.
The Experience: We’d spend our days on the private Royal Club beach, taking frequent dips in the refreshing waters of the ocean just a few steps away, or at the Royal Club pool (images below) taking a break from the sun. We also enjoyed napping in the day beds located throughout the Club, which like everywhere else, offered stunning views of the water.
While at the Royal Club, we also had a great time enjoying the various activities that they have available for the guests – from couples massages, to paella making classes; there’s something for everyone there.
When we’d had enough of the sun, we’d explore the resort – visiting the beach cove, the lobby bar, tennis and volleyball courts, and searching for monkeys in the trees leading up to the main lobby, or in the ecological pathway.
One of my favorite things about traveling is having the opportunity to experience a different culture. Being in Mexico, we were all about tasting the local food, drinking the local drinks (lots of 100 Anos Tequila) and immersing ourselves in the culture. Luckily, while we were there we had the chance to take a Mexican trajinera ride through the resort. It was so nice to have the chance to see the resort from a different perspective and the best part is it’s available to all guests at designated times throughout the day.
The Food: Now, I couldn’t end this post without talking about the food, am I right? This was by far one of the best resort restaurant experiences that we’ve had in quite some time. Every morning we’d wake up and have our breakfast at the Royal Club – this consisted of chilaquiles for me, literally EVERY morning because it was that good. They also offered a green juice each morning, which consisted of greens and pineapple. I couldn’t get enough of it, so naturally, I had at least three glasses everyday.
We’d then come back to the Royal Club for lunch everyday and though I didn’t think it was possible, this beat out breakfast. In our time there, we tried the tuna tostadas, shrimp and steak quesadillas, ceviche in a green sauce, shrimp cocktail, and so much more. Much like our breakfasts, we just couldn’t get enough.
For dinners, we’d head out to try the various restaurants located throughout the resort. On our first day, we tried Sonora Grill where we loaded up on our fair share of meat, like pork, beef, sausage and more. It was a great way to kick off the trip.
Over the course of our time at the Occidental at Xcaret we had the chance to try La Hacienda, where we had a taste of some authentic Mexican food (we recommend the Mole) and then El Pescador the next day, which was by far my favorite given that I’m a huge fan of fish. Here we were treated to a special shrimp tempura, seafood soup, seared tuna and more. I truly could not get enough of the delicious meals that we had while we were here.
The Service: Now, last and definitely not least, the service. I have never experienced such personalized service than at the Occidental at Xcaret Destination. Everyone on the staff – from the waiters and waitresses to the barmen and grounds crew – was extremely welcoming and helpful and was a big reason why our stay was as wonderful as it was.
It’s safe to say that I’m already planning my trip back to the Occidental at Xcaret Destination.
This post was sponsored by the Occidental at Xcaret Destination. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.