Occidental Hotels


Photographing Occidental Costa Cancun

When I really started picking up photography a few years back, I had goals and aspirations of what my “dream life” would look like. All I wanted was to travel and take photos, my ultimate goal being to shoot for hotels in different cities and countries. Now, in 2018, I can say that this is my reality. No, I’m not constantly on the road 24/7, although some months I come close to it, and I’m not traveling to a new country every week, but being a few weeks away from turning 24 and already having worked with multiple hotels, I am more than ecstatic.

This month I flew down to Cancun to work with Barcelo Hotels & Resorts to shoot their Occidental Costa Cancun location. Let’s chat about my work and stay.


First things first- I got to enjoy my stay with one of my best friends! Danielle flew down to meet me and help out with the shoot. I don’t mind traveling alone, but having one of your best friends with you on an adventure is so much more fun!

Basically, my job on this trip was to photograph lifestyle and product images for the hotel. For example, Danielle and I shot each other hanging out at the beach, by the pool, eating at the restaurants, etc. The hotel will use these images for their website and social media. I posted to my Instagram Story asking you guys to ask me any questions you might have about my stay and I actually got a ton! I will answer them below.


This was not my first time working with a hotel but I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’ve stayed at all-inclusive resorts before, however, so I had an idea of how the place would run. They have staff constantly walking the grounds tending to each vacationer’s needs, whether it be a drink refill or suggestions on activities to do for the day.

Let’s talk about the food. A lot of you asked what type of food the hotel offers and if it was good. Occidental Costa Cancun is an all-inclusive resort, which means you can eat as much as you want, whenever you want. And yes, the alcohol is included as well!

Since we were working with the hotel, the chefs would come out to us every time they saw us in the restaurants and speak to us personally asking us about our stay and if we liked the food. There are 4 restaurants at the hotel: A buffet that offers pretty much anything you can think of, a seafood restaurant, an Italian restaurant, and, of course, a Mexican restaurant. Unfortunately, I was too excited about the Mexican food (fajitas) to take photos before I ate them so I don’t have photos of those, but here are a few photos from a lunch the chef made specifically for Danielle and I.

I also got questions about the activities and “shows” the hotel offers. They have plenty of activities from daily dance classes, pool games, morning yoga, jet skiing, kayaking, boat trips, etc. At night, they have fun shows such as Michael Jackson performers, karaoke night, and other fun performances. The entertaining staff was SO kind- we were very friendly with most of them by the end of our stay. They did a great job of getting the hotel guests to participate in the activities. The hotel also has a full-service spa and gym


All in all, our stay with Occidental Costa Cancun was a great one. There are Barcelo and Occidental Hotels all over the world and I can’t wait to travel to the next one! I also wanted to give a BIG muchas gracias to everyone at Occidental Costa Cancun for treating us like royalty and being some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met abroad! Check out my vlog below of our first two days in Cancun! Enjoy!

Jessica Altieri