28 May, 2008

Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret, review

So what was it like, this hotel? Well, that's fairly simple, it was (of course) staggeringly beautiful - but given the surroundings, one would have to work pretty hard to forge a "bad" hotel, however, the only neighbour that came anyway near close (from the multiple trips we made up and down the strip on pick-ups, drop-offs and waits for transfers) was the "Barcello" (not really surprising) somewhere back up the road towards Cancun (and even that wasn't quite as impressive), from the ludicrously titled "lobby" (bigger than an aircraft hanger) -
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- where you could find one of the 10 bars, enjoy live music and the Mayan show in the early evening -
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- to the *many* swimming pools (5 in total), this one was our view from the balcony (in our second room) -
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- more through the jungle, when the blue pyramid of the pool bar greets you over the foliage -
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- and in these rooms (picture this), you could leap from the balcony straight into the water(!), the beach -
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- complete with that gorgeous azure Caribbean sea and whitest of white, powder-soft coral sand (if you dug down a bit you could uncover quite substantial pieces still intact) -
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- hammocks strung around in the shade (awaiting tired guests) -
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- the shopping "village" that followed the river right through the centre of the site -
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- with a multitude of (what appeared to be) independent shops and stalls -
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- and artists working and selling their wares -
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- everywhere teeming with wildlife, from huge shoals of brightly coloured fish in the lagoon -
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- past the kind that reply if you say "Ola" to them -
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- the huge iguanas that are as prolific as cats in a European resort (if one were visiting Spain or Corfu) -
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- and other miscellaneous fauna -
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- including these rather cheeky birds who lurk at any restaurant they can find hoping to avail themselves of the small (but inevitable) gap between guest standing up and waiter reaching the table with his tray -
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- they redeem themselves fully, though, by cutely wiping their beaks (on both sides) after they have finished eating or drinking whatever they have stolen... ;)

There are ample facilities (and plenty to do if you *did* just want to stay in the hotel) -
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- and even a "Wally Trolley" to ferry you around the place if you are feeling lazy (as the site is *rather* large) -
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If there were to be any negatives at all they would have to be the fact that there was a bit of a lack of co-operation/communication between the various hotel departments (reception, when we decided to move rooms took almost 48 hours to get housekeeping to turn the new room over for us), and at times the food fell into the questionable domain (not a great deal of choice for vegetarians for example), but the restaurants on site probably deserve a posting of their own...so more to follow... ;)

Click here for my first impressions of Mexico upon landing...

Update - Click here to see our visit to a 100 ft deep cenote!

Update Update - Click here to take a walk with us around the Mayan Ruins at Chichen Itza (a wonder of the modern world)...!

Update Update Update - Join us as we saw the incredible sights of Tulum!

Update Update Update Update - Don your eye-patch and grab your parrot for the Captain Hook Cruise in Cancun bay!

Even more updates - too many to list, so click here to see the rest of the honeymoon as a photo essay...

2 comments:

Mum said...

Fabulous photos!
That wonderful shade of blue that you seem to get abroad, and sometimes on the coast of Cornwall,
Mum.

Tom Hopwood said...

Steve and I we're tracking you on Google, damn, the place even looks great from up there but the pix are brilliant.