Note: This post originally appeared on Travelocity’s Inspire Hub.
All-Inclusive Riviera Maya with Kids
“All-inclusive” means different things to different people. For some, it’s assurance that their vacation will be easy, with no financial surprises. For others, though, all-inclusive resorts are associated with huge properties, a party scene, and lackluster food choices. We’ve had positive and negative all-inclusive experiences, so I’m very picky when evaluating resorts. I want them to be family-friendly without resembling amusement parks. I want good food with multiple dining options. I want fun pools and (of course) a good beach. I want local culture. And I want peace. It’s fine if one of the pools has music, but I also want to be able to relax and not feel like I’m at a rave. I finally found what I’m looking for.
Occidental at Xcaret Destination is located south of Playa del Carmen, next to Xcaret “eco-archeological” Park. I absolutely loved Occidental Xcaret for all of the reasons above plus some. Here are my highlights.
This is the big one. So many resorts are simply placed on a flat piece of land next to a beach. Occidental, though, is nestled in a jungle with Mayan ruins. Th feels like it belongs there. It still has a beach and turquoise water, but exploring the property feels like an adventure. There are even side paths through the trees where you can see…
My kids LOVE animals, and any resort with wild animals rates highly. At Occidental, we saw turtles, iguanas (many, many iguanas), monkeys, deer, fish and several types of birds, including parrots in the lobby. Both times we asked hotel employees if they had seen monkeys recently, other guests spoke up first and told us of their latest sightings. It was a great conversation starter!
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Paul K says
what are your thoughts of this place compared to rosewood mayakoba?read your review of that place and was very intrigued. pros/cons? I know there are difference in all inclusive vs high end. are they close to each other?
Eric Stoen says
Great question. The resorts aren’t far from each other – Occidental is south of Playa del Carmen and Mayakoba is north of the city, closer to the airport by maybe 10 minutes. Rosewood isn’t all-inclusive. I just ran pricing in October for a family of four. Rosewood is at $605/night plus tax, and you need to add several hundred dollars a day for food/drinks, unless you have a car and are running into Playa for meals. Occidental is only $179/night plus tax, and that includes all meals. That’s obviously more accessible for a lot of families, and I think it’s a great deal. I love everything about the Rosewood property, but I don’t think a family would be disappointed at all at Occidental.
Paul K says
Thanks! Read your review of rosewood a few years ago and was so impressed have been trying to go this December (~700+/night)! If money was no issue we’d try the place, even if it’s only for a few nights. This seems like a much cheaper options kids would be equally happy?
Eric Stoen says
My kids have been to a lot of amazing hotels around the world, including $2000/night places, and I think they would be perfectly happy at Occidental – especially with all the animals roaming the property, and with Xcaret park right next door. The “unlimited Xcaret” package is a good deal if you’re there for several days.