The Occidental Allegro at Cozumel was the worst vacation destination that I have been too. When looking into Occidental Allegro, my family and friends thought we were going to have an enjoyable, all inclusive vacation in Cozumel, as was advertised on their website. Instead, I feel I needed a vacation from my vacation because I was consistently being nickeled and dimed at what was advertised as an “all inclusive resort”. I went on this vacation with my wife, two sons (4 and 5 years old), and five other friends. We had three separate rooms in different locations of the resort. All of us had complaints about the resort, beginning almost as soon as we got there. As advertised, this all inclusive resort has five restaurants, five bars, four pools, tennis courts, a fitness center, a kids’ club and a pirate themed swimming pool for kids.
Allegro Cozumel was a disappointment from the moment we checked-in. The concierge was less than enthusiastic to explain services to us. They seemed confused and did not always give full answers to questions. When we arrived, we received an Occidental Vacation Club card that invited us to come down to the concierge desk to pick up our welcome discount activities. The card also said we could rent a jeep for 24 hours for $30. The concierge seemed to be more of a sales team, with the job of having you go to a timeshare presentation at the Occidental Grand (the resort calls it by some other name, but it is a time share sales presentation and tour). The sales people told us that we would get a VIP breakfast and a small presentation and would be returning to the resort in no more than 90 minutes total. For going to the presentation, I was told that I would also get a discount on both a jeep rental and activities. For the jeep, the sales person said he could give it to me for $30 the first day and $50 each additional day, including taxes and full coverage insurance. I was uncertain, so they dropped the first days price to $10. I mentioned that my family was also interested in going to Chankanaab park. The sales associate said that he could get us two-for-one tickets and the kids would be free because they were so young. This seemed like a good deal, so I set up a time the next morning to see what the Occidental Grand had to offer. The next morning we had to wait quite a while before they connected us with a sales person. The breakfast served in the Occidental Grand was okay, but other than offering bacon and eating outdoors, there was really little difference compared to the Allegro buffet.
Arrival: Then we took a tour of the Occidental Grand. The rooms of this resort were a little nicer but I was not impressed with what it had to offer. When we were done with the tour, my wife and I sat down with the sales associate and said that we were not interested. In total we had to tell them no four or more times before they would allow us to leave. Instead of the presentation and breakfast taking a total of 90 minutes, as was advertised, it took closer to 210 minutes, or three and a half hours. We left the Allegro at 9:30 am and did not return until around 1:00 pm. We considered renting a jeep and going to Chankanaab park but since we would not be able to get there until after 2pm, and since the park closes less than three hours after that, we would be in a rush, so we decided to go the next day. As parents, my wife and I felt terrible, because our kids were excited to go to the park and see the animals and snorkel in the ocean. We had told them that if they were good for the breakfast and presentation, we would go to the park for the rest of the day. How inconsiderate is a resort that deprives you of a day of vacation with your kids? My children were very confused and disappointed, as they did as they were supposed to, waiting patiently for the falsely advertised 90 minute presentation, but could not receive that which was offered as a reward. Later, while at one of the small pools, we saw two other couples who had been at the Occidental Grand presentation. I asked how long their presentation took and both couples grumbled a little before saying that they were told it would take 90 minutes including breakfast and it instead took over three hours. Both couples also had plans for that day, that they had to cancel due to the false advertising of time it would take for the presentation to finish. If the company had been honest in their advertisement of the presentation, all of us would have been able to plan accordingly, and vacation time would not have been lost.
Rooms: The room Our room was on the second floor and had a comfortable hammock on the balcony. The room itself was small but adequate for sleeping and showering purposes. However, the room smelled musty from the thatched roof and was humid and too warm to get a good night’s sleep, even with the air conditioning and ceiling fan running continuously. We think the inability of our room to cool was due to the gap between the wall to the next guest’s room and the ceiling such that if the other guest wasn’t cooling their room, the hot humid air was traveling to our room. It also meant that we could very easily hear conversations in the next room. On separate mornings we woke up to a neighbors wake up call at 5:30 am and an alarm at 6:30 am. Also, there was a mysterious dust substance that feel in clumps from the ceiling onto one of the chairs and my drying shirt during the last day of our trip (see pictures).
Restaurants and Bars: The restaurants at Allegro are terrible. I went into this vacation thinking I might gain a couple of pounds eating delicious food. Instead, I lost about two pounds because I had little interest in eating more food than it took to sustain me. What is left out on the website is that there is really only one restaurant that you can go to at anytime of the day. From 7am to 10:30am the only option is eating at the buffet. From 12 pm to 4:30 pm only the poolside restaurant is open. This becomes the Mexican restaurant at 6 pm to 9:30 pm every other day. From 5 pm to 9:30 pm you have to eat back at the buffet. There are no restaurants to eat at between 10:30 am and 12 pm. Also, in order to eat at one of the other restaurants it is necessary to make a reservation. This is not completely ridiculous; I would find making a reservation acceptable if the resort was accommodating and let more people eat at their restaurants at any given time. The Oriental and Italian restaurants sat about 55 people and the Mexican restaurant could seat 74. Unfortunately, the resort only allows about fifteen people per hour into the restaurant and are open for 3 1/2 hours. Each restaurant serves about 45 people per night for a total of 90 people nightly. But, there are 301 rooms, and according to the people at the front desk, the resort was at 70% occupancy for the week, with about 2-3 people per room. If this information was correct, there were at least 422, and possibly as many as 633, guests staying at the resort. With this many guests why does the resort only let 90 eat at their restaurants per night? This is not all inclusive. In terms of food quality we found the food to be repetitive and unappealing such that we were eating mostly fruit by the end of the trip. Even when there was something we liked, it often was not replaced when it ran out at the buffet. The fact that we were limited in the number of times we could visit the restaurants (3 times for our 8 night stay) was not disclosed on the website and was a surprise to us. We felt this was deceitful. The pictures on the website are an accurate depiction of what the restaurants look like. They are nice and almost completely empty. The bars
The resort says it has five bars. However, it depends on the time of day as to which bar is open. There are only two bars open during the day and they are both near the main pool and beach. It is all the alcohol you can drink, but it is all bottom level bad alcohol. The best scotch they had was passport and the highest level alcohol they had was still well alcohol. They only beer on the entire premises was Dos Equis. Also worth mentioning, on the web site it states that taxes and gratuities are included, but this is not the case, as the tip jars were everywhere and it felt like we were expected to tip. When the alcohol is all inclusive but it is not any alcohol you would like to drink does that make for a good experience?
Beach/Pools/Grounds: The beach
The beach looked pretty and the water was nice and calm for swimming. Unfortunately, it was a challenge to relax and enjoy the beauty as there was constant blaring music. The resort had set up multiple speakers on the beach and next to the main pool that played a lot of common current hit songs from the United States. The resort appeared to be catering mostly to the high school graduates as the days and nights were filled with loud music and loud, annoying teenagers that carried on well into the night. There was a graduation trip of about 100 relatively unsupervised high school graduates at the resort during the same week as us, whose language was not appropriate for our 2 young children and who were also very noisy at night. I talked with one of the trip supervisors to see how common these trips were and they said that they had multiple weeks of different graduates coming in every week and the week after our trip they were expecting close to 200 graduates. Not only were some of these graduates loud and did not care what kind of language they used in front of kids but every morning on my way to breakfast, I saw many plastic drinking cups tossed in the bushes and grass.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Included activities On the web site, the included activities state that there are snorkeling, diving and kayaking classes, along with sailing and windsurfing. On location though, there were no classes for snorkeling nor kayaking, the windsurf was broken, and there was only one tiny sailboat. When I inquired about the different activities available, here are the responses I was given. Mask, snorkel and fin rentals are for one hour and must stay on the property. After the first hour, each additional hour would be $7. For a full day use it would be $21 and for half a day $14. There are only 3 kayaks. Guests may use the kayak for an hour. If no one else is waiting for the kayak then you can go back out. There is no additional charge. The sailboat you can take out on your own if you know how to sail but they were very quick to add that you are responsible for any damage. If you do not know how to sail, then you have to go with someone on their staff and you only get 20 minutes. I asked if they will teach sailing and the answer was no. There is only one windsurf and it was broken. When I asked when it would be fixed the employees just looked at each other and did not know. I asked if the windsurf was not broken how the activity works. They said that one could only take out the windsurf if they knew how to use it and lessons were $40 an hour. The pirate themed waterpark seemed very dirty and unsafe. When we first got there the water was a little dirty and green. The play equipment was in a state of disrepair. Over half of the equipment did not work and much of it was left open where little fingers could play with rusty parts (see pictures). The two slides were nice but there is not consistently enough water pressure to push a 35 pound child. Instead, most of the kids seemed to have a better time running up the slide and sometimes falling and getting hurt. After our first two days, the water park became a darker green and we avoided playing there (see pictures). Workers were out there everyday to clean it but the job never got close to completely done. The plastic grading was cracked and in many cases broken and just floating or placed off to the side where anyone could trip on it (see pictures). Had our kids been any younger, we wouldn’t have let the kids play on the pirate ship at anytime given its state of disrepair, including exposed rusted parts and a loose screw on one of the steps sticking-up a half inch next to a rusted out hole (see pictures). One of the pools was closed for the first 4 days. Unfortunately, it was the pool right outside our room which would have been most convenient to us. Also, it was a quieter and more family friendly environment as it was located away from the swim-up bar which the drunk teenagers and their foul mouths preferred. The schedule for the pools said that they were supposed to be open until 8 pm but they seemed to close down around 6 pm.
Other Comments: Summary of problems False advertising of all inclusive resort restaurants and activities. False advertising by sales associates/concierge on the resorts behalf: Car rental for $50 taxes and insurance included (actually $70), 60 to 90 minute presentation including VIP breakfast time (actually 210 minutes), discount on activities – denied by sales associate. Day of vacation taken from family because of actual presentation length. Rental car far below expectations; the resort should be ashamed with the quality of cars they rent out to their guests. Deceptive car rental pick up. Why do I have to go across the street to pick up the rental car? Undisclosed information pertaining to restaurant availability and choice. Poor food quality Bad alcohol Large number of high school graduates which made for a not so family friendly environment. False advertising of gratuities included. Only 3 kayaks. They were often used and we needed to wait. Broken windsurf. Sailboat a huge disappointment. Extra cost of snorkel gear after first hour. Pirate theme waterpark in major disrepair and filled with green water. Pool closure and early pool closure of other pools. Paid snorkel tour though resort was late, snorkel time cut short, and the boat traveled to two and not three locations. Uncomfortable, musty-smelling room. We had a difficult time of keeping it cool at night. We could easily hear neighbors conversations and wake up calls/alarms. Strange substance falling from celling during last day. Loud music on beach and at main pool ruined relaxing beach and pool time. Loud music and drunk teenagers throughout night. Unable to clean clothes as laundry was broken. No response or follow up from management. Fumigation covering my family as we swam. Cost of doctor exam not inclusive. High shuttle prices: $46 to the resort but only $25 back to the airport
Understaffed resort. Cannot meet needs of the resort to keep it from a state of disrepair.