While we didn't have an ocean view from our room, the beach at the Occidental Grand Xcaret was beautiful and well worth a little stroll or trolley ride. The coastline is rocky here, so a man made inlet has been created with a sandy beach. This was perfect for us because the water was very calm with no undertow, and shallow for a good distance in. The sand was soft, and continued underwater so it was comfortable for the kids. The water was just as clear as can be, blue and full of tiny colorful fish. There is a saltwater pool (just for adults) right at the shoreline, and if you want to go for a bit of a hike, you can follow the rocky coast and enjoy the waves breaking at the shore. I wish I would have gotten a picture of the deck you can see in the picture below. It's off of a large open air restaurant that is a buffet during the day, and a candle lit a la carte seafood restaurant in the evening. It leads down to a private adult area for reading and sunning, but also has a cluster of hammocks which we hung out at. Todd slept, Eve and I rocked, and Luke swung like it was a playground swing. It was a favorite spot to enjoy the sea breezes. The beach area had hanging beads with linen curtains and canopies. Gorgeous.
I've had the chance to stay at a very simple residence on the beach, to a very upscale adults only resort, and several 3 and 4 star resorts. There is something to be said for the first option, a simplicity that can't be beat. However, out of all the resorts I have visited in the past 10 years, I would definitely say this was my favorite. Plus, the drinks were great and I never got sick of fresh pico de gallo, guacamole and fresh tortilla chips. Sigh . . . I miss that.
Next up, SHOPPING in Playa Del Carmen's Quinta Avendia!