Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know

Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know

We flew to Cancun last year and spent a week at Hotel Xcaret, which is close to Playa De Carmen. It’s taken me too long to get everything down about this resort but we loved it so much we are planning to go back again this year. Hotel Xcaret is a 5 Diamond resort that prides itself on ecotourism. I will recommend this resort to everyone and anyone I know day-in and day-out.

I really liked how they didn’t use key cards and your bracelets not only opened your room door but also activated the cameras that were around the resort and parks. I highly suggest you decide on one person in your party as soon as you arrive to be in charge of getting all the photos on their wrist band so you only have to purchase one package for the whole party.

Fancy a trip to South? Find the cheapest last minute flights

While we were there the resort was under construction although you could not see or hear it due to the area it was happening. When done the resort will have double the capacity. We found the resort to feel very spacious and open while there even though it was at capacity. Probably because of the access to all the different parks and tours, a lot of people were not on resort grounds during the day.

Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know

Transportation To and From Hotel Xcaret

We flew from Toronto to Cancun with Air Transat (read my post on the perks and benefits of flying Air Transat here) and they had transportation set up for us. Since we were a group of 11, we got a whole taxi bus to ourselves. The drive took almost an hour. Our Air Transat tour operator tried to make us go to a meeting the morning after we arrived to set up transportation back to the airport but we declined.

One of the staff at the resort let us know that plane transportation goes from resort to resort picking up other travellers and that Hotel Xcaret has its own transportation (it’s included with stay) that is more spacious and goes right to the airport.

Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know

Map of Hotel Xcaret

Hotel Xcaret Map | Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know

Four People Per Room Max

Hotel Xcaret has a capacity per room of 4 people which sucks if you have a family of more. We ended up booking our older kids in the room with us so that they had the wristbands to enter our room. Our younger kids were booked in a room with my sister but they ended up sleeping in our room. If you have more than 4 people in your family and still want to go, I would either get adjoining rooms with doors between them OR get some more family members to go on the trip.

Garden Suite Room

Even though we booked 4 rooms at once with 15 people, we were not placed together. Initially, 2 rooms were together, one was around the corner, and ours was in a whole other building completely. They managed to get the 3 other rooms together but we stayed in a whole other building the duration of the stay because it was the better choice. We were on the ground floor and right in front of the pool and close to food so we actually lucked out.

Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know

Our room was a garden suite room and it had two queen beds and a pull-out sofa. The room came equipped with a jacuzzi tub, a huge shower, and balcony with a hammock.

Hotel Xcaret room

I am pretty sure we got the least expensive option when it came to rooms but we were not concerned with room amenities because we wanted to spend time together. None the less our room was amazing, the decor was gorgeous and the housekeeping staff had it cleaned impeccably daily.

Fancy a trip to South? Find the cheapest last minute flights

The Food at Hotel Xcaret

I would (and will) come back to Hotel Xcaret just for the food. About midway through the week, I joked that we would need to start having two breakfasts, lunches, and suppers just to make sure we got our fill.

The biggest surprise for me was BIO which was the vegan/vegetarian restaurant by the inlets. It was so fresh and delicious and we waited until almost our last day to try it which was a mistake. I would have probably had a meal there each day if I had known plus they offered delicious fresh juices.

Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Salad at Bio restaurant
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Coconut ceviche
Veggie burger at Bio restaurant

If you are into the Brazillian steakhouse make sure you head across the way from BIO to LAS CUEVAS. You need to make a reservation for dinner but the sit-down restaurant with buffet has staff come to your table with bbq meat on sticks when you flip your coaster from red (which means you don’t want to be disturbed) to green. It is a great way to try a little bit of everything but I would definitely come very hungry.

LAS PLAYAS had such a stellar menu that we ordered everything on it and shared it. Its location by the interior beaches was impeccable because we could stop there after spending the day playing on the beaches or kayaking. There are two different menus here and I would 100% try both so plan accordingly.

The first disappointment on the food was at XIN-GAO, the Asian fusion restaurant. We went in last minute so we got seated on a long table so no table-side grilling for us. Because we were a group of 15 they didn’t want to allow us to choose off of the menu but instead gave us a few choices. It took about 15 minutes of talking to the server over and over in order to be able to choose more but by then our mood was shot and the experience was ruined.

CHIBALI s right by the kids club and the amazing kid’s pool. Food was buffet style with an amazing candy bar. We found this a great option for mornings when the kids wanted to go to the club because it was around the corner and the adults could go on with our day from there.

The tower in the sky restaurant XPIRAL was ok, although the mimosas and view of the Caribbean sea were breathtaking. We all decided to go on a timeshare meeting which included lunch in the tower BUT if I had to pay to go there I would skip it personally. You can get the same food at the other main buffet.

Views from Xpiral

The restaurant we went to the most was MERCADO DE LA MERCED which I think is the largest and closest one to the main lobby. They had everything including a raw bar that satisfied me daily. Some days there were women sitting in the restaurant making fresh tacos right in front of us and I loved watching.

I highly recommend LA TRAJINERA as it offered amazing surf and turf options with a Caribbean flair. I would go there a few times just to hit the menu enough. Located in the middle of the Infiniti pool, its location is ideal if you are spending the day at the pool.

There is a Michelin star restaurant on the resort that you have to pay to eat at called HA. I think we paid around $100 USD each person and they made you pay for the bottles of water but the wine was included. Kids are not allowed there and although the experience was good with amazing service and hospitality, I was not impressed with the food. The presentation was immaculate but we promptly went to the taco stand outside the restaurant once we finished eating which is not a good sign.

Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know

There are also a few restaurants we just didn’t get to. The CANTINA LOS FAROLES, TEATRO DEL RíO, and FUEGO are on the list for next time but if the rest of the resort restaurants are any indication, I am sure they are delicious.

Alcohol at Hotel Xcaret

Lobby Bar at Hotel Xcaret

No complaints about the quality of alcohol here. Drinks were consistently amazing with high-quality ingredients and alcohol. I could order a cocktail in one bar and get the exact same one somewhere else on the resort which may not seem like a big deal but it is. I also appreciated the top-level beers and liquors with a wide variety of tequilas available for tasting.

Kids Club at Hotel Xcaret

We had 6 children with us and we stayed away from the kids club the first few days because we didn’t want to be the parents who left their kids in the kids club all day. Good thing we did because once they got a taste of the club they didn’t want to spend any time with us and stayed there from morning until 10 pm. The space was huge and the kids refused to leave early no matter how much we begged. On the day we left they gave each child a bag full of knick-knacks which saved us a trip to the store for momentos.

Face painting after spending the day at the kids club

Beaches at Hotel Xcaret

The Caribbean Sea beach at Hotel Xcaret was admittedly rocky and not much to look at. To make up for this, the hotel has many, many beaches within the resort that are meticulously maintained and easily accessible. We loved that we could often find a beach that was empty for our own private use.

Kayaking and paddle boarding at Hotel Xcaret
Kayaking and paddleboarding
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Taken using night mode on the Huawei P30 Pro but you can see the rocky beach behind my husband
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
One of my favourite spots at the river that had a slide and bar in very close proximity
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Wildlife at the resort

There are also many little pockets where you can access water within a cave or a cave off of the river with hammocks to just lay back and relax.

Water Safety at Hotel Xcaret

If you look at photos and the map of Hotel Xcaret you will see that there are a lot of pools, beaches, rivers and even kayaking available. There are lifeguards anywhere where there is open water and there are even a few places where you can grab lifejackets.

Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
We brought our own life jackets for the two youngest but they are provided in some places
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Looking at the fish in a random area that opened up to the river
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
One of the bridges within the resort
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know

All Fun Inclusive at Hotel Xcaret and Why It’s Perfect for Families

Although you will pay a little bit more to stay at Hotel Xcaret the return you get is priceless. The All Fun Inclusive experience means you get unlimited access to the parks called Xcaret, Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xavage, Xoximilco and Xenses, as well as Xenotes and Xichen tours. While at each park you also get food and beverages included and this makes all of the difference.

Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Xenses where nothing was as it seemed.
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
The butterfly experience at Xcaret park was beautiful
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Flamingoes at Xcaret Park
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Snorkelling at Xel Ha
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
This water slide was insanity and never-ending. Be warned
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Dead skin removal by fish

As such a big group we would usually pay around $100 USD each to try the parks, not including food and drinks. We managed to hit up 5 parks in our first few days and it was the best experience. You can also get to the Xcaret park by taking a riverboat by the spa in the hotel which we will do next time we go there rather than the bus.

Eco-Friendly Stay at Hotel Xcaret

The first thing you will notice when you get to Hotel Xcaret is just how lush and green the resort is. They have the EarthCheck certification and so as visitors I think it’s super important to be conscientious of that.

Although the resort does not check which sunscreen you use I would highly suggest waiting to purchase until you land there as they have well priced, eco-friendly versions in the gift shop. They protect the environment and work very well. I also liked how you can see where the hotel made adjustments while building the resort-like seeing a tree growing through a balcony. You can also see lots of wildlife throughout the resort which really brings the jungle feeling to life. Also, we didn’t experience mosquitos while at Xcaret which was very pleasant.

Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: Everything You Need to Know
Hotel Xcaret Review: The water slide

The Culture at Hotel Xcaret

We arrived in the first week of November which means we missed the famous “Day of the Dead” festivities but we did get to see the decor as it was still up. We were also treated to amazing shows that happened on the grounds. You could also see a show while eating dinner at the Theatro del Rio.

Hotel Xcaret Review: Day of the dead celebration
Hotel Xcaret Review:  Day of the dead celebration

If you are looking to book Hotel Xcaret I would start checking prices on this 5 diamond gem ASAP. You can check Air Transat here as they are having a great sale.

Pin for later:

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Why we love Hotel Xcaret for a family vacation spot
Hotel Xcaret Food Review
Hotel Xcaret: Everything you need to know

Aneta Alaei
Aneta Alaei

Aneta is a Toronto-based mom of four that loves a good meal, great company, and learning something new. In her free time, you can find her trying to keep yet another plant alive.

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18 Comments

  1. April 4, 2020 / 5:17 pm

    Solution Lady: Things Children Need after Divorce – Dr. Romance: 3 Tips to Letting Go of Pain onlinedivorcesedwichcountyks.wordpress.com

  2. nicky
    November 23, 2020 / 9:57 pm

    Looks awesome! I can’t wait to travel again.

  3. Janet M
    November 24, 2020 / 1:28 pm

    It looks like such a lovely resort. beautiful pictures.

  4. nicolthepickle (Nicole Graham)
    November 25, 2020 / 1:11 pm

    What a beautiful place to visit. The sky and water look so blue.

    Ps. Those short are super nice.

  5. Amanda Masters
    November 26, 2020 / 11:20 am

    Looks like a fantastic family place. Wish I was planning some trips now. its going to be a long winter with no beaches.

  6. Lynda Cook
    December 6, 2020 / 6:34 am

    Oh wow this was an amazing review, sounds like the perfect resort, I loved all the pictures, and the water is so clean looking, glad you and your family had a lot of fun

  7. Cynthia B
    December 12, 2020 / 2:43 pm

    Sounds like a great resort!

  8. Frank
    February 5, 2021 / 8:56 am

    I’m guessing people get pay to tell lies about this resort and not tell the whole truth, the resort is ok not worth paying $8000 for 1 week for a party of 3 thats for sure, the whole place is very low quality, room services is ok but resort wont fill up fridge everyday , takes too long to get ur food in the room, concierge only show up in the beginning and once while walking around resort , you could get better services in other resorts, this person that posted this about the resort might have been paid or wants to get a free vacation , cause I have been good to this people and im a good tipper and still feel like I have to ask for a favor every time . Be aware

  9. February 5, 2021 / 9:46 am

    Hi Frank. We actually paid over $28,000 for a party of 15 and had an amazing time. I don’t know why you had such a bad time but our experience was phenomenal and we are planning another trip back once this virus is under control.

    I’m sorry that you’ve had such a bad experience but from ours it was amazing. I was in no way paid to write about Xcaret just shared what was a beautiful week in paradise

  10. Marinee Cuevas
    March 25, 2021 / 3:03 pm

    Has Anyone ever Been there in the Begging Of ,
    August hope it does not Rain.????

  11. Marinee Cuevas
    March 25, 2021 / 3:05 pm

    Has Anyone ever Been there in the Month Of ,
    August hope it does not Rain.????

  12. Stanya
    April 26, 2021 / 7:55 am

    I will be at Hotel Xcaret in July! Great review.

  13. Shirley
    May 24, 2021 / 7:58 am

    I would love to visit here It looks like a beautiful place to vacation

  14. Shirley
    November 16, 2021 / 7:07 am

    I would love to visit here The photos are spectacular The food looks amazing

  15. Arlene G
    November 21, 2021 / 5:17 am

    Looks amazing! Could use a vacation right about now.

  16. Sandra McG
    November 21, 2021 / 9:27 am

    this looks like an incredible place!! hope to be traveling again some day soon!!

  17. Linda H
    November 27, 2021 / 10:35 am

    Looks like a beautiful place to go for a family vacation.

  18. Jason Thompson
    July 26, 2022 / 1:00 pm

    Xcaret review

    Hablo English? No – The staff state they speak English although their English is limited to none. This is concerning when trying to relay a food allergy or when trying to obtain safety instructions at a park activity. We went to park called xoximilco where the guide is supposed to provide entertainment. Unfortunately, the guide only spoke Spanish therefore we didn’t understand the jokes he told or the information/entertainment he was providing.

    COVID Guaranteed – Most dining options are open buffets. I have witnessed several guests coughing on the food or lick their finger prior to grabbing food off the buffet. I have witnessed several staff members that are either serving or preparing my food not wearing a mask. Most of the guests are also not wearing a mask at the resort or at the parks as this is not a requirement. At the end of our trip, on the bus ride back to the airport multiple people around us were coughing and blowing their nose, still with no mask on. Recommend only to travel here if you are prepared to get COVID.

    No availability- This is a word you will hear quite often when trying to make a reservation for one of the restaurants, or their onsite activities such as painting or pottery, or when trying to book transportation to one of their all-inclusive activities/parks listed. I attempted to book these activities 2-4 weeks prior to my arrival and was informed that many activities were sold out. The few activities I was able to book I was informed that I would get an email confirmation after my phone call with the concierge. Unfortunately, I never received the email confirmation. When I called back to request my email confirmation, I was informed that nothing was booked under my reservation which unfortunately left me with even less available options. My recommendation is to book all activities AT LEAST a month prior to your arrival and ensure you get an email confirmation prior to getting off the phone with the concierge.

    Food allergies or restrictions NOT welcomed- The hostess at each restaurant asks if you have any allergies or food restrictions on arrival but I am unsure where this information goes as it is not conveyed to the waiter or anyone else. We informed each waiter we had that we are vegetarian, but this also didn’t translate into vegetarian food. We were brought multiple food items we could not eat and had to inform the waiter several times there was meat in our food. My wife has a shellfish allergy which is anaphylaxis which we informed the waiter. Sadly, the waiter also didn’t seem concerned about this as they brought her food with shellfish that she luckily caught prior to eating. Most items at the buffet are mixed with meat with limited vegetarian options at the buffet and the restaurants. There are also no labels available to show you which foods are vegetarian. Unfortunately, due to most of the staff not speaking English they don’t understand when you ask if something is vegetarian. My recommendation, if you have a food allergy is bring your EPI pen with you and be prepared to have limited food options if you are vegetarian.

    Food poisoning is inevitable – Sadly both my husband and I ended up with severe food poisoning requiring treatment. We only ate at the hotels restaurants that are supposedly highly acclaimed although the food there was awful and tasteless! When we let customer service know what occurred they were not surprised, and stated food poisoning occurs all the time at this resort. They do have a physician on site and for a hefty additional cost you can be seen and treated. My recommendation is to bring with you medicine to treat your inevitable food poisoning.

    Safety is NOT a priority- Most of the activities at the parks are unsafe. The staff members do give safety instructions prior to each activity but they are in Spanish. When you request English safety instructions, they are limited to none given the staffs limited English. On one activity I requested clarifying safety information and the staff member said, “no speaking English”, counted to three in Spanish and pushed me on the ride. One of the days we were at a water themed Xcaret park when there was a major thunderstorm. Instead of getting everyone to safety and out of the water, things continued as normal with kids continuing to snorkel in the water which was very concerning to see. The Xcaret park activities do not have the same safety regulations as the United States. In one of the activities, I had overextended my wrist causing a fracture. My recommendation is to avoid dangerous activities.

    Park experiences- Most of the parks have around 4-5 activities which you can complete in roughly 2-3 hours. As stated above, some of the activities are dangerous and provide limited to no English safety instructions. Furthermore, if you have any medical conditions including hypertension, diabetes, vertigo they won’t allow you in the activity/ride. Most of our day in the park was spent waiting for the bus ride back to the hotel. Most of the parks require a reservation to ensure there is enough space on the bus to/from that park. My recommendation is to rent a car so that you don’t have to worry about making reservations or the availability on the bus to/from the park, additionally this will give you freedom to come/go as you please and see multiple parks in 1 day.

    ALL inclusive = Limited inclusive options- Firstly, the all-inclusive options are not clear and most do not have availability. When we arrived at the hotel, we found out that the hotel offers painting and pottery classes that are included. When we tried to book this activity, they informed me that the pottery class is only for 2 people per day, and it was booked out for weeks! Needless to say, we were not able to participate in any on site activities. The hotel also advertises their amazing restaurants although when we attempted to book reservations weeks in advance most had no availability. To this day I’m still unsure of what additional activities are included nor how to book them. My recommendation is inquiring about ALL activities that require advanced booking with the concierge PRIOR to arriving.

    Prepare to get LOST- The hotel offers NO map, so you are constantly getting lost trying to find the buffet, the pool, or your room! It was only because we got lost that we even stumbled onto the included pottery and paint experience which was never conveyed to us. We also found out on our last day at the hotel that we had a rooftop pool on our building! Additionally, there are hidden activities on site such as paddle boarding that I also found out on our last day. I am still unsure of all the activities that are offered at the hotel, how to get to them and even how to get to the hotel beach (which I assume they have)?

    Customer service is abysmal- Our first experience at the hotel we walked in, no one helped us with our luggage and our concierge whisked us away to a corner for her to go through her greeting spiel. We informed our concierge of how hungry and tired we were after our long flight and how heavy our luggage we were carrying was. We requested she point us in the direction of the nearest restaurant so that we could get food and show us where our room is so that we can rest and drop off our luggage. Unfortunately, she did not allow this to occur and was very rude in the process. It was such a poor interaction that my wife walked away in hopes to find someone else who could help us. Furthermore, during our stay, we were blessed with getting a fractured wrist and good poisoning. We reported our experiences to both the manager at customer service, the concierge manager, and the manager at the vacation club. We were informed by the manager at the vacation club we should give him $50,000 USD and he will make our experience better. We were informed by the concierge manager to essentially deal with it as this is Mexico. The guest service manager tried to help us by requesting more money from us. Due to us getting food poisoning we were unable to attend an excursion therefore they charged us with a hefty no-show fee. The guest service manager informed us he will remove these charges as a gesture of good will. When it came time to check out these charges were not removed and no one from guest service was able to be found. The same guest service manager also “helped” us by arranging transportation back to the airport upon departure. When trying to board the bus back to the airport the staff member informed us that our names were not on the list! Thankfully they had enough space on the bus to accommodate us. If you attempt to call the hotel to reach the concierge or obtain any information or help you will be passed around from person to person, my average is 6 people prior to getting help or giving up. Just remember no matter how nice you think this resort is, they only care about up-charging you any way they can and not your experience or the customer service they provide.

    Vacation club is a scam – During our stay the staff members requested we attend a breakfast to discuss how to become members. Don’t let the word “membership” fool you, this is a time share presentation that’s cleverly disguised as a breakfast. Firstly, we were told that we can have this meeting at 8am and it would take approximately 90mims. When we arrived, they said 8am was booked out and our appointment time was at 9:30am. Secondly prepare to spend AT LEAST 3 hours of your day in this high-pressured sales pitch. My wife and I were also interrogated regarding our marriage status with them requesting to see our marriage certificate. What they are trying to sell you is a “membership” which allows you access to a website to get discounted night’s stay at this resort. One of the lowest membership tiers you can purchase was around $50,000 USD and allowed you to book 21 days each year at the resort at the “discounted rate” for 10 years. The salesman gave me access to the website to view these “discounted rates”. I went ahead and looked at the discounted rates for the same dates we were staying for the following year. I subsequently searched for the same dates using a search engine on my cellphone and found that the discounted rates were only $40 per night cheaper then what you could obtain online. They do NOT give you any free night stays in any package. Doing the math, $40 per night saving for the 21 days per year package gives you a saving of $840 USD per year or $8,400 USD for the 10 year package. Not sure where they come up with the $50,000 USD cost ??? Furthermore, don’t forget to add the $140 per year maintenance fee that has the ability to increase over time to an unlimited amount!! My recommendation is STAY AWAY from becoming a member. It’s a large scam that you will end up paying more for.

    The bugs will bite! (Yes, bed bugs!) – Bring plenty of bug spray with you as you will get bitten all over. The resort will try to sell you their overpriced version of bug spray that doesn’t work so I recommend bringing some from home. Also be prepared for beg bugs in your elegant bed. I witnessed these critters crawling around and biting at nigh which was disgusting! I recommend to being plenty of anti-itch cream and wash your clothing thoroughly when you get home!

    My final recommendation. The resort is very visually appealing and boasts about all their positive quality that frankly aren’t there. I relate this resort to a beautiful women that wears a lot of make up with a poor personality. Visually the women is beautiful, but when she takes off her makeup and you spend time with her, you quickly realize how disgusting and fake she truly is. There are tons of all-inclusive resorts in Cancun that are more affordable with much better quality. I had high expectations for this resort and paid the high entrance fee only to be dissatisfied. The only Xcaret park that I think would be worth seeing is the original Xcaret Mexico park that you can book as a day excursion from another all included resort in the area. I would not recommend staying at any of the overpriced Xcaret hotels as they provide poor quality and abysmal service. I hope this review helps others avoid an awful vacation.