by Candyce H. Stapen and Whitney Rife
This boutique hotel is within the larger resort. Level members share the pools, recreational activities and evening entertainment with guests at the main resort; however, the rooms and suites feature extra amenities. A concierge dedicated to the Royal Level reserves your dinners, arranges your outings and helps with whatever else you need.
Even though meals at the Occidental Cozumel’s regular buffets and specialty restaurants are good, the Royal Level’s food is even better! As a guest, you get the best of both worlds: the activities, beach and pools of a large property, plus the personal attention of a boutique hotel gifted with a really good chef.
When we show up at the Occidental Cozumel, a staff member whisks us away in a golf cart, delivering us to the Royal Level for a private check-in. The concierge offers us champagne, juice or water and asks if we have any special requests. The two guest buildings, as well as the dining room and small pool, surround a flower filled courtyard crowned by a fountain.
The Occidental Cozumel, a 251-room property, is charmingly landscaped with palm trees, tall banana fronds, crotons and shrubs. The ochre, salmon and earth red buildings reflect Mexican style and architecture. Each three-story guest building features an interior courtyard with plantings open to the sky, adding light and greenery.
Staying at the Royal Level at Occidental Cozumel adds a level of luxury and personal attention to your all-inclusive stay.
Our Editor Loves
- Kids' Club and activities
- Royal Level's suites
- White-sand beach and the pools
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Kids' Pool
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Of the Occidental Cozumel rooms, only the Royal Level offers suites, which makes it an ideal hotel for families. At 767 square feet, units consist of a spacious living and dining area with a television and DVD player. An additional bedroom has another television. Marble-floored bathrooms are home to both showers and hydro-tubs that are only found in Royal Level suites. The rooms can easily fit a cot or a crib for children and infants. Towel animals strewn with petals welcome you to your room each day, bringing a sense of fantasy and fun to children.
All Royal Level accommodations, suites or rooms, come with bathrobes, fruit baskets and nightly turndown service. Room service is also available and free use of the lounge computers offers Internet access. Because there are no elevators at the resort, even in the buildings, it's best for families with young children and strollers to request a ground floor room.
Everything was wonderful about our trip. I would highly recommend the Royal Level. Our check in was easy and Juilene was very helpful. We had a problem with our transportation to the hotel which I booked through Olympus Tours. We were suppose to have a private transfer which I paid $110 for but we were put on a shuttle with others that paid $7. We were told we would have to wait an hour for our private transfer. We decided to go ahead and go with the shuttle. When I tried to contact them I did not get an answer. I decided to go talk to the Royal Level manager Esbeidi and she was incredibly helpful. She had trouble getting a hold of them too and tried around until she was able to contact someone. She went out of her way to be exceptional. Of coarse this all had nothing to do with the hotel but Esbeidi still found a way to fix the problem for me.
All the restaurants were very good and the service was exceptional. The only thing I did not like was that you had to have reservations for all of the restaurants. It made our trip stressful for me. Normally I like being somewhere on time but in this case It was not pleasant for me. The Royal Level restaurant we had to have reservations for dinner and I didn't think it was necessary because every time we went there was hardly anyone there. Also this resort does not serve alcohol until noon which I found really weird. I don't normally drink before noon but on occasion I like to have the option especially on vacation.
We met a lot of wonderful people on our trip and if we come back to Cozumel we will definitely consider staying at The Occidental
The property was in great shape. The beach, restaurants, and pools were very clean. Although we visited in low season, there was plenty of staff to attend to our every need. This place is to the south, away from all the downtown cruise ship tourists, but not too far to easily get to town if you want to shop. One of our favorite things to do it to walk 10 minutes down the beach for lunch or dinner at Alberto's Beach Bar for some fresh seafood with our feet in the sand. I highly recommend the Occidental.
The Royal Level is a hotel with the Occidental Cozumel resort, which offers plenty of complimentary activities, including tennis, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing. The activities staff is friendly and low key. They organize, yet do not bully, you into beach volleyball games, water aerobics or yoga classes.
A long stretch of beach displays soft, white sands. Guests can stroll along the boardwalks and admire the turquoise Caribbean waters. An onsite dive operator offers scuba and snorkeling outings to Cozumel's spectacular reefs. These cost extra. The legendary Palancar site, with its large coral heads, big barrel sponges and sea fans, is just a 10-minute boat ride away from the resort. Paradise Reef, known for star coral and brain coral, is also nearby.
The resort has three pools. The kidney-shaped Relaxation pool is an ideal place for parents to lounge and read a book while counselors watch over kids in the children's pool. A beachfront pool hosts a myriad of activities, like water aerobics or pool volleyball. There's no pressure to participate, if you don't feel like joining in. The recreational staff is welcoming without being domineering. The pool's location allows parents to keep kids playing shore side within arms reach, while still keeping their toes in the pool. The activity pool also has a shallow area for little ones.
The mid-morning walk amidst the mangroves to the activity pool or beach is pleasant. You can easily count the turtles swimming among the reeds during the walk.
A Kids Club is provided for children ages 4 to 12. It runs from 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Kids can play beach games, try snorkeling, learn Spanish, play horseshoes or design T-shirts. Cultural activities are offered, including dance lessons, paper flower-making and beaded iguanas crafts. In the evening kids regroup in the main plaza at 8:30 p.m. for mini-disco sessions where kids enjoy musical chairs and freeze dancing games. Also in the evening, children can make crazy sodas and play musical bingo. The Kids Club room is a fun environment decorated with children's art projects. It is comfortable and air-conditioned. Most of the time; however, kids are taken around the resort to enjoy events in the gardens, at the pools or on the beach.
Occidental Cozumel's evening shows take place in the main plaza -- a circular courtyard with decorative rings outlined in smooth pebbles. Guests can attend music concerts and dance performances. Occasionally, the resort hosts Mariachi music, stargazing gatherings or Mexican crafts fairs. Bargaining with local vendors often pays off.
Faro Celarain Eco Park is a 2,700-acre park located at Cozumel's tip. Formerly called "Punta Sur," the park features sheltered beaches and mangrove estuaries. A tram takes you to the park's historic lighthouse where, after climbing more than a few steps, you are met with a sweeping view. A nearby lagoon offers opportunities for kayaking and sailing.
The Royal Level Restaurant
The hotel within a hotel concept means families can enjoy dining at the Royal Level as well as the Occidental Cozumel restaurants. Guests of the Occidental, however, are not permitted to dine at the Royal Level, so there is an air of exclusivity for the guests.
The food is good at the Occidental Cozumel, but most of the time, the food is better at the Royal Level restaurant. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's nice to enjoy breakfast or lunch on the patio, but the menu is limited to eggs or French toast in the morning, both of which are tasty, or to two entrees for lunch. If you crave more options, go to the buffets at either La Posada near the lobby or at the Beach Club overlooking the sand and sea. Members may dine anywhere; however, they are the only ones who can dine at the Royal Level.
Dinner is the real reason to enjoy the Royal Level. The club restaurant exudes a comfortable elegance and the cuisine is more sophisticated than what's available in the regular, specialty restaurants. Among the must-tries are shrimp and coconut soup with lemon and ginger, duck with Indian spices, sea scallops with coconut and grapefruit and the filet mignon. Every night we looked forward to dinner, a rarity at most all-inclusive resort, where mediocre food is the norm.
The number of specialty dinners that non-Royal Level guests are guaranteed depends on the number of nights of their stay. As a Royal Level member, you automatically have priority reservations at any of the specialty restaurants.
At the regular restaurants, buffets always include a chicken, fish and a beef entree as well as hamburgers, hot dogs and a pasta dish. The Beach Club restaurant serves pizza from 6 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
La Posada, the other buffet restaurant, serves Asian, barbecue or other themed dinners 6 to 9:30 p.m. The grilled to order items taste best. The staff is helpful, assisting you with carrying plates to your seat as you hold onto children.
Sonora is a specialty restaurant; a steak house with a Mexican flare. Dishes typically feature grilled meats and seafood. Reservations are required and a dress code is enforced, but kids are still welcome -- the restaurant offers children's menus with typical favorites like hamburgers, chicken and fries.
Another specialty restaurant is Los Olivos, a bistro that serves Mediterranean cuisine. The food is good, but we preferred dinner at the the Royal Level. Reservations are required, a dress code is also enforced, and a children's menu is available.
La Piazza serves pizza late night, if you so desire.
Exclusively for Royal Level guests, breakfast, lunch and dinner are available here.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel for all Royal Level guests. Babysitting services can also be arranged.
The Art of Smart Timing
High season starts around mid-December and through mid-April. Low season starts in September. Shoulder season is from mid-April through August.
Several airlines fly into Cozumel International Airport. In addition, you can fly into Cancun International Airport and connect to Cozumel by air shuttle flight. Another option is to take the ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel -- about a 30-minute ride.
Car rentals are available for hire at the resort.
For Mom and Dad
Work off the buffet pounds at the gym or by dancing at La Mission Bar & Disco, built to resemble a mission era church. The adult-only disco is open from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
Parents can also be pampered with a massage at the resort spa.