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Occidental Grand Cozumel February 19, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Miscellany.
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This is our third visit to this hotel, this time for two weeks. As usual I’m using Blue XT Sea Diving run by Christi Courtney who pick me up at the dock each day that I’ve gone diving, except for 1 day when we dove the reefs north of San Miguel. That time I took a cab up to La Caleta Marina, where their boats are moored.

Being quite far south of Marina, and even further south of San Miguel, the resort is isolated from most activity on the island. I’m quite happy to hang out at the resort, which is all-inclusive, with my only getaways being the diving expeditions. It does though present a problem for the dive operators who have to restrict themselves to the southern reefs when picking up divers down here. Likewise for those who like to shop in town, experience the night life, and so forth would have more of a logistical problem here.

There are two restaurants on the resort plus the buffet. One restaurant has a Mediterranean style, and is OK. The other restaurant, the Sonora Grill, has more western fare and is not bad, but neither are anywhere near world class. However, it met our expectations. In Toronto you could spend a full day’s room and board here on a great meal out. In the end, other than for a change of pace, we prefer the buffet. There is tons of variety and a huge amount of fruit and salad, which we favour in our diets, so it keeps us coming back here.

My  main complaint is the telecommunications. So-called high speed Wifi is available for the outrageous price of US $15/hr, $25/day, or $100 for 5 days. It is much slower than my not-very-good high speed service at home. Telecommunications on the whole southern half of the island was down for most of yesterday. On a positive not, Hotspot International, the provider, was quite helpful in providing me with an extension to my 24 hour access to compensate for the downtime,

The telephone service from the hotel (which was also down yesterday) is USD $1.50 for each 3 minutes for a local call. There is no direct dial so all calls go through the hotel operator. I don’t like this nickel and diming from a so-called 4.5 star resort, which is, after all, advertised as all-inclusive.

Having said that, I wouldn’t hesitate to come back here, but we’ve decided that we’re going to try somewhere else next year. Maybe Los Cabos.

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1. Cozumel Wrap Up « Chronicle of an older diver - March 21, 2009

[…] Occidental Grand Cozumel […]

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